Saturday, October 29, 2011


Head's up: EPISODE 59 - which deals with the "sexism in Arkham City" controversy - will debut WIDE a week from today EXCLUSIVELY on Saturday, November 5 at 11pm EST.

As with before, ScrewAttack Advantage members have the option of seeing it early beginning TONIGHT at 11pm! Remember: A portion of the Advantage membership fee goes toward the favorite show of your choice.


Veech said...

"Controversy?" I'm sorry Bob, but you are the only person I've seen make any sort of note about the game being sexist. Really misleading, and even a little sensationalist. Although that's the point of the show, isn't it? To make blunt points about games to create discussion about them?

While I wouldn't doubt that was the case about Arkham City, I can't really say anything for myself because I've been waiting for the Wii U and plan to get the game for that system. So I haven't really played it at all yet.

Semantics aside, do you really want to dip your hand into the very real Other M controversy again just to make a point about a different game? You're already coming off the revisit to that episode, and you already made it clear that you were gonna compare these two games in that previous blog post. And, well, frankly, you aren't exactly the best person to explain why something is or is not sexist.

And on a completely unrelated note, ScrewAttack's updated site is just really bad. I thought it was bad before anyways, but now it really sucks the big one. In my time browsing the internet I've never seen a video player as laggy as ScrewAttack's current one. I can't really see how it is the best fit for TGO, besides perhaps providing a contrast to some of the others on the site. It'd be kinda nice if the Escapist had picked it up actually, but I guess you're in a contract with ScrewAttack now, aren't ya?

Popcorn Dave said...

I'm looking forward to watching you hopelessly tie yourself in knots to suit your anti-West, pro-Nintendo agenda. You're going to have to pull out some weapons-grade bullshit to make this "argument" work.

Peter T said...

Actually, the argument makes a lot of sense. Where one game was accused of sexism on a flimsy basis, another isn't when it shares a flimsy basis for such accusations. And GO isn't the only one stirring this pot.

Aqua said...

Okay, yeah there was sexism in Arkham City, but... was it REALLY that controversial? Really? All picked up on was that the prisoners called Catwoman a bitch in every single breath they took when you played as her.

Misterprickly said...

Is sexism still a relevant issue in today's games/media?

Unless Bob's gonna talk about the objectification of MEN... I think everything has already been said.

What else can you say?

-Mario ALWAYS saves the princess.
-Link ALWAYS saves Zelda.
-Duke ALWAYS saves the Ho's

and EVERY girl has either...
-A skimpy costume
-a kinky/sleazy demeanor
etc, etc, ETC.

Ya, we get it!

Personally I hope he talks about the objectification of MEN 'cause I'm sick of it!

Shark said...


Film Critic Hulk talked about the sexism in Arkham City before Movie Bob did. Film Critic Hulk even responded to and deconstructed every single argument made by people who didn't believe that Arkham City was sexist.

Sylocat said...

@ P.Dave:

Personally, I'm looking forward to watching the hatedom hopelessly tie themselves in knots to trump up knee-jerk charges against Bob.

Misterprickly said...

I just hope we're not going to be sold another "Let's revisit a past episode" 'cause we can do that without the repackaging.

I.E: episode 6 & 12

Aiddon said...


Seconded. I wonder what the chances of this episode being just two people yelling at Bob is.

Having finished Arkham City, I can say there is a layer of latter-day Frank Miller weirdness to it in regards to its treatment of women. I also find it ironic that for all the focus on Catwoman in the game she's probably the least interesting female character. Harley and Talia I found to be more fascinating and well-written while Catwoman comes off as an overly smug, female Nathan Drake without any of the rogueish charm other iterations of her had

Sir Laguna said...

Really? Batman: Arkham Asylum IS NOT SEXIST. FilmCriticHulk just tried too hard to create a controversy where there's none.

Sexism on videogames is an issue and it has to be addressed... but Batman: Arkham City isn't the right game to do so.

Anyway, I'm confident you'll do an interesting episode, as (almost) always, I just hoped for a better subject.

Smpoza said..., Arkham City is sexist because the only way it can think to characterize bad guys is to have every male be a misogynistic, rape-y asshole and the female hero be overly sexualized. Okay, fair enough. That sounds familiar though. I could've sworn I heard of a similar sexist thing like that, except with the added implication that women can only accomplish things by seducing men and destroying them while they're distracted...,r:1,s:0

Oh. Well. Bob, you held this movie to the same standards you're holding this other game instead of ignoring the disturbing subtext and giving the implication that you're using this to further the "METROID OTHER M WAS ONLY HATED BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE RACISTS/HATE WII" argument, right?

Bob, your stuff is interesting, but...c'mon. It's OKAY to let people think "this guy is stupid when it comes to _______". All these attempts to defend/justify your views aren't really entertaining or thought provoking. They're boring, and a little sad.

You disagree with people. We've said our reasons, you've said yours. MOVE ON.

Lido said...

really hope this isn't another one of those things we're bob just says "Other M wasn't sexist, gamers are just racist" cause I maintain America has just as much to do with the creation and development of Video Games as Japan does

Smpoza said...

Actually, these days, I'd say that America is WAY more important to the video game industry than Japan is. In monetary terms alone, this is undeniable. Artistically, I'm also inclined to agree. While we all bitch about how generic video games have become due to the ludicrous number of realisitc FPS's being released, Western developers like Valve and Bioware are not only making kickass games, but also actively trying to use the game's interactivity to reinforce its already stellar story-in other words, trying to tell stories in ways only video games can do. Other than Team Ico, I can't really think of any major Japanese developers doing this, instead strongly segregating the game bits from the story bits (almost always presented in overdone cutscene form). What's especially weird is that games like Super Metroid and Chrono Trigger, released over ten years before the rise of western gaming, clearly understand this kind of storytelling and use the interactivity of the game to help tell their stories. You'd think Square and Nintendo would remember how to do this...

shadowhikari said...


The Overthinker, over thinks something that isn't an issue. Oh no don't make me a strawman to kill or delete my comments like you usually do!

If Catwoman was made by a Japanese developer, you make another masturbation like praise video for her just like what you did with bayonetta. Another game which bombed in sales and no cares for.

But curses! This game is developed by Baka Gaijins! HSSSSSSSS! NIPPON PRIDE! NIPPON PRIDE! NIPPON PRIDE!

Tkscz said...

Ok all I see from the comments are sexist racist sexist racist. Please, shhhh.... None of that. Also if you disagree with him or don't like his views, say in a way that doesn't make you sound like an ass. Respect people regardless of their opinions. Wouldn't care if you disagree with him but doing it like a complete dick only solidifies the stereo-type of people who watch stuff like this on the internet.

Aiddon said...

that and it makes them look like people who'd fit in perfectly at a cross burning

Popcorn Dave said...

Bwahahahah! Nice one, Smpoza. I'd totally forgotten about how Bob tried to pass Sucker Punch off as female empowerment just because Snyder was on his "approved" list.

Spongey Blob said...

Oh goody, MovieBob's making a video about controversy about a game that he's already drawn comparison to Other M; I'm not fed up of hearing him call everyone who didn't like Other M an idiot who's somehow beneath him yet.

As for Arkham City itself, I can certainly see where the controversy is coming from; you hear big burly men calling women 'bitches' and 'whores' and you're not going to avoid all the slack. I think, however, we have to remember who's actually saying the sexist remarks; the bad guys. The mooks are painted as idiotic and unambigiously evil; they're thugs who'll happily murder, and you are NOT on their side. If anything, it's saying that sexism is bad, because the villains are sexist. This is the flaw in comparing it to Other M; Other M unintentionally painted very sexist and backwards messages about women in a positive light, while Arkham City intentionally paints very sexist and backwards messages about women in a very negative light. You might as well call Straw Dogs sexist, or To Kill a Mockingbird racist, or Orange is Not the Only Fruit homophobic. Bringing up sexist themes is NOT sexist in of itself; painting sexism as a good thing IS sexist.

shadowhikari said...


You know what I admit it was a bit over the top but honestly, you know its true. Since he claims when we criticize any game of a Japanese developer, we are accused of being racist.

Also Moviebob thinks if we ever encounter a woman like catwoman, who would violently rob you, your not allowed to call her a bitch! Especially after she dislocates your shoulder and drags those metal claws across your face, or hits you with a whip.

No, no! Gentlemen Bob to the rescue! He'll lay down his coat in the street for her to cross a puddle. When she then violently robs him he'll be all ""Oh you, bi... woman who I respect for making this bold statement against an oppressive male like myself! Your actions may cause me to curse!""

I stand by my comments, if this was a Japanese developed game, he won't make a peep. Just look at the previews of lollipop chainsaw where one of the bosses calls her vanilla slut. Wheres gentlemen bob to the rescue?

MovieBob said...

Just FYI (without spoiling) the episode is mainly about the way online gamer culture reacts to criticism and/or negative observation (re: like gigantic infants) with Arkham City as a jumping off point - Other M and Japan don't really come up.

Also, let's just clarify something here: I never said that it was "racist" for people to criticize the Japanese games industry - I said that it was racist to make RACIST CRITICISMS.

"Racist" and "sexist" aren't just made-up words used to shut down discussions about their respective subjects - they have actual linguistic meanings. "ist" or "ism" at the end of a word generally means "based-on" or "pertaining-to;" as such a "race-ist" criticism is literally "criticism based-on race." It has a negative conotation because modern genetics tells us quite plainly that race/ethnicity have little or nothing to do with ability or actions, and as such "race-ist" criticism, hiring-practices, beliefs etc. are fundamentally wrongheaded.

Here's a handy racist/not-racist guide for this particular subject:

"I don't care for Japanese game-design sensibilities." - NOT RACIST.

"The Japanese games industry has fallen behind the West in many respects." - NOT RACIST.

"Modern Japanese culture maintains certain anachronistic attitudes about gender-equality" - culturally-biased and overly-simplified in many respects, but NOT (technically) RACIST.

"I accuse Yoshio Sakamoto, a man I do not know, of holding a certain view because of his ethnicity." - KINDA RACIST.

Tkscz said...


Here's the thing, he never said that's exactly what he'd be talking about, YOU are guessing that. Not only that, but during the metroid video, I never got the same vibe from it that you did. Only thing I didn't like about the Metroid thing is that he didn't play the Prime games, games which gave Samus a personality via her actions (and when you look at it, it isn't different from Other M's, just not played as hard).

Aiddon said...

ah, intriguing. Considering that gamers and gaming "journalists" even within recent months have responded to legit criticism (like Deus Ex 3's blatant minstrel show crap and Dead Island's tasteless attempt at "ironic" humor) with all the grace and maturity of brats plugging their ears and going "LALALALALALALALA!" it is definitely something we need to shake off. We won the damn case, we need to start growing a pair and acting like adults when crap like this pops up

MovieBob said...


"Lollipop Chainsaw" is actually a joint US/Japan project - James Gunn, the guy in charge of the story/scenario is an American director and screenwriter. Also, it's kind of obvious that it's aiming for parody even moreso than Bayonetta was. Suda51's involvement is also reason enough for a second look, since Shinobu from "No More Heroes" was such an effectively brutal riff on the Lolita-fetish thing.

Thanks for reminding me to post that trailer, though.

Popcorn Dave said...

Here's a handy racist/not-racist guide for this particular subject:

"I don't care for Japanese game-design sensibilities." - NOT RACIST.

"The Japanese games industry has fallen behind the West in many respects." - NOT RACIST.

"Modern Japanese culture maintains certain anachronistic attitudes about gender-equality" - culturally-biased and overly-simplified in many respects, but NOT (technically) RACIST.

"I accuse Yoshio Sakamoto, a man I do not know, of holding a certain view because of his ethnicity." - KINDA RACIST.

I agree. But the problem is, I've heard those first three sentiments from various places, but I honestly haven't heard anyone say the last one. Judging by the responses you've been getting, it seems no-one else is hearing it either. So why do YOU keep coming back to it? It's not just in one video but over and over again, as if you think it's the whole point of the debate. It's not.

When you linked to the Extra Credits video you specifically praised them for - wowee! - criticising the game without being racist, as if they were the first people to do that. There's nothing wrong with calling racism out when you see it, but when you paint the debate as "Bob vs the racists" it's misleading and kind of annoying.

shadowhikari said...


So that makes it all OK? Because an American wrote it when the majority of the development is done by a Japanese studio?

Its still blatantly sexist either way and before you say ""Its the context!"" shouldn't that apply for Batman also?

You don't pick and choose, it is what it is.

I remember people were using the same argument when Resident Evil 5 was made ""Its OK they have African stereotypes, see? Some of the voice cast is black!"" we all remember that disaster.

But what it really comes down to you try to compare this to Metroid Other M in controversy (to get more hits) when it clearly isn't going to happen at all.

Like I posted before this game isn't getting a huge negative backlash from the fans and its selling incredibly well. Unlike Other M.

Just let Other M go. Nintendo blew it, Rocksteady made an awesome game.

Aiddon said...

Lollipop Chainsaw is freakishly tongue-in-cheek in the same way something like Machete, Grindhouse, or, hell, I dare say even something like Airplane or the Naked Gun would be. Arkham City thinks it's The Dark Knight (which, like Hulk pointed out only had one utterance of the word "bitch" and that was Gordon saying "son of a bitch") and ends up looking more juvenile and sexist for it.

shadowhikari said...


Arkham city thinks its the Dark Knight? Then why is the character designs, settings, voice actors completely different? Oh right because it ISN'T ANYTHING LIKE THE CHRISTIAN BALE MOVIES.

We already had a batman game based on those, it was Batman Begins the game! The Arkham Asylum/City series is completely different.

Again context, ARMED THUGS/PRISONERS call someone a bitch who happens to BEATING THE CRAP OUT OF THEM.

Its nothing out of character in fiction or real life.

Jannie said...

I'm going to make an offer to anyone who is willing to take me up just as I did before: IF Bob can get through this without making ONE SINGLE attack on Western gaming, OR making a reference to "jocks" and "fratboys" including his favorite still from Revenge of the Nerds, then I will personally apologize for ever questioning him; if he doesn't make it then I want nothing more than someone to say "You Were Right". You don't even have to mean it, you can be as insulting as you want, you can call me a cunt or bitch or whatever, just say "You Were Right".

Take note that there is NO reason for him to make a comment on Western gaming at all, or his favorite scapegoats either, so this SHOULD theoretically be easy money, as it were, for anyone who takes up the come on, anyone REALLY believe Bob can do it? Anyone REALLY believe in Bob at all? Just one person, anyone, I swear to God I'll do my part if need be, come hell or high water.

Aiddon said...

what I meant was it's trying to be "serious" and fails quite a bit in regards to the writing on that account. Actually learn to read for once

Popcorn Dave said...

Jannie, to be fair, this episode IS about a Western game controversy so he's allowed to talk about Western games. But yeah, I too expect a heavy dollop of the "douchebag voice" in place of actual argument. Sigh.

I hope he at least has the sense to avoid blaming Arkham City on sexism in Western culture, because that level of hypocrisy would be comical even for him.

shadowhikari said...


I think you need to actually read the Batman comics. Which is what the games take heavy influence from. The script usually isn't taken seriously because hey, a billionaire that can go around freely beating on the criminally insane in a costume is deep thoughtful literature right?

So deep! No that actually did exist in the comics...