Monday, June 11, 2012

More Of This

With appologies for not covering this sooner, things have been a bit wiggy around here as of late.

Anita Sarkeesian, video-producer for FeministFrequency, has set up a Kickstarter for a proposed video project called "Tropes vs. Women In Video Games;" which sounds like exactly the kind of gaming commentary we need more of whether you agree with her conclusions or not. I encourage everyone to take a look and consider kicking in.



Oh, and the people who've been pulling THIS shit? You are a disgrace to "gamers" worldwide. Shame on all of you.

138 comments:

Anonymous said...

Huh. Well, I look forward to seeing what comes out this. She seems quite civil and intelligent.

Kris Russell said...

And it's that sort of YouTube commentary mentality provided on that other link that makes me embarrassed of being both a gamer and a male, for that matter. Grow the frak up kiddies.

I can throw my support behind this cause, if it means that it can metaphorically shove these assholes' nose into their own "superior" shit.

aaronbig1 said...

FUCK FeministFrequency

Anonymous said...

Wow, aaronbig1. You managed to demonstrate stupidity while implying sexism and anger issues in only two words! I'm impressed. Bob, if you get around to deleting the troll comment, you can feel free to delete mine.

Anonymous said...

I'm going to play devil's advocate for a moment: I understand why gamers what to silence talk of feminism and female characters in games; It's because they're scared.

They are scared because to admit that games have misogynist undertones it to admit there is a problem. And gamers don't want to admit there's a problem, they want to keep playing games and enjoying eye candy without feeling guilty.

I understand that, but that doesn't excuse blatant misogyny and hatred. There is a problem with how video games treat women, it's just that gaming has been a male dominated medium for so long, that gamers have been indoctrinated into thinking that this is normal. So when people like Feminist Frequency point out these problems, gamers freak out, like parents freaking out over their good christian daughter coming out as a bisexual punk rocker.

Razmere said...

While I may disagree on a few things she has to say, she does NOT deserve the boiling bag of bile she gets in the comment section. That kind of behavior is sick and they should be ashamed of themselves.

aaronbig1 said...

Responsing to the last polling. calling me Stupidity & sexism think you.

Anonymous said...

http://youtu.be/igXz_hXKUcE I'll just leave this here.

MSkull01 said...

"Responsing to the last polling. calling me Stupidity & sexism think you."

Wow. You just proved his point. Way to go, aaronbig1!

Glad to see you STILL haven't matured AT ALL.

Aiddon said...

The sheer, mind-numbing stupidity of this astounds me. This is an embarrassment to gamers anywhere and anyone who has ANY sense of decency should openly condemn this.

aaronbig1 said...

inmatured to fucking right

Mads said...

"This is in response to my Kickstater project for a video series...][...these are the types of silencing tactics often used against women on the internet who dare to speak up...]"

Excerpt of one such silencing tactic:

"This[what she's reffering to in videogames] isn't sexism - and if it is, it's towards both sexes - it's just the current state of modern video games. They have no originality and they feel no need to flesh out characters, which is why the bald muscle man and the busty babe are constantly pumped out, game after game. It's not sexism, it's just laziness and the shitty state of the gaming industry"

This here, this is my problem.

I get that she's generalizing for the purpose of making a point, and that this comment just happens to get conflated with other ones by accident, ones that actually deserve the scathing response she puts out.

She's probably perfectly aware that this specific comment is merely pedantic (well, _and_ actually somewhat interested in discussing the project), and she includes it not because she wants to conflate the comments - it's merely a side effect of wanting to include an unedited screenshot such that we can have a look and decide for ourselves the validity of her claims.

I figure she doesn't want to say "notice also that there is in fact some of these comments which aren't silencing tactics, and which don't think I should make my video because they don't think my cause is worthwhile" because that would dilute the fundamental message she's trying to get accross: It's common for female advancement advocates to get to get flamed, and it's common for these flames to try to exploit weakness from the fact that such advocates (whether feminist males or females, equal rights advocates, 'white-knights' or outright misandrists) to care about insults that target the female gender.. and these flames can fundamentally be seen as attempts to silence the voices they argue against.

And you know, that's a fine message to put out there. I don't honestly think they're trying to silence her, I think they just have a difference of oppinion and feel like the rabble-flamey behaviour is the most constructive way of expressing it. But hey, she's free to guess at their motivation.

But she's guilty of being populistic and manipulative when she casts it as some coordinated effort to bully her into shutting up because she's a woman who doesn't like to conform. When she conflates the above reasonable comment with the others, she makes it seem like he's almost as bad as them. And this right here, this is the problem.

It's really, really hard to get behind someone who misrepssents things like this for the sake of making a better rhetorical stand. What of what she says can we trust? What if I didn't know that youtube is full of rabblerousing, petulent users who only want to piss people off who disagree with them, and try to take digs at them with whatever rhetorical means they can get their grubby little hands on?

I might be convinced that the internet is chok full of people who are actually misogynyst and organize around it, and not just a rabble of really, really impolite people? There's a massive difference. I would almost be guaranteed to be swayed to her cause (under false pretenses!).

And what does she gain from this misrepresentation? additional viewers? More people who seemingly agree with her? Spread of her ideology? Fans?

And that's why I can't support her, or even really express support for her. Her cause is probably pretty good, but her means are terrible. There are causes that don't do this kind of BS, that are honest about what's going on, and where I don't have to second guess everything I hear because they might be disingenous. I just don't feel like she respects me as a person in her audeince, I don't feel she gives me the whole truth. And that kindof disqualifies her right there.

Mads said...

@ Aiddon

I do of course condemn the rabble of youtube for being morons and using foul and unpleasent language when that goes on, and I think it's no way to treat a person of obvious interest in this debate (or any person of course).

To make it clear, I was just explaining why I think she's not worth outright supporting.

Anonymous said...

I really do expect Bob to donate something to this project. Sometimes he can be a hypocrite, raging on sexism on the one hand and making "rack" jokes on the other. I really hope he doesn't back out because he's scared that this project might mean "no more hot chicks and breasts" because that's not the goal at all. The goal is to make game companies adopt feminist policies and raise awareness to young children so that they grow up enlightened and go into the tech and gaming industry with a more progressive agenda and mindset.

James said...

Just so no one here thinks I'M a hypocrite, I'm seeking out the idiots who left those hateful comments on the video page and sending them vitriolic flame messages berating them for their vulgar behavior. I urge everyone else to do the same. Let the assholes know we outnumber them.

Anonymous said...

Is she a professor or does she have any degrees in gender studies? If not I don't know if I would pay her money to make some web series. I would pay money if she was planning to provide these videos to gender studies classes across the US. I've taken a few gender studies classes and their representation of video games and even movies in their curriculum is often dated and very skewed.

I totally agree with her views and that we should be having a frank and hard discussion about women video games. However, I think we need to have view points from both sides of the table, men and women. It really isn't enough to just point out why these characters and tropes are bad. Women gamers need to frankly and honestly talk about problems they are having with some of these characters, instead of using a soap box to just rail on Peach. That is how we learned about problems in society, by seeing how they affect people, not by looking at what's wrong. At least that's how I see it.

Men as well need to be included in the discussion because, most of the time, we don't see these issues when it comes to gender. We also need a voice to defend ourselves using respectful arguments towards the other side. Many people on the comments were saying that men were just as objectified. This is an important point to the discussion. Anita needs to include men in the discussion because we have an important viewpoint and opinion that she must address. Just sayin'.

Silens said...

"But she's guilty of being populistic and manipulative when she casts it as some coordinated effort to bully her into shutting up because she's a woman who doesn't like to conform. When she conflates the above reasonable comment with the others, she makes it seem like he's almost as bad as them. And this right here, this is the problem.

It's really, really hard to get behind someone who misrepssents things like this for the sake of making a better rhetorical stand. What of what she says can we trust? What if I didn't know that youtube is full of rabblerousing, petulent users who only want to piss people off who disagree with them, and try to take digs at them with whatever rhetorical means they can get their grubby little hands on?"

I agree that conflating it as a concentrated bullying effort is incorrect, and probably not helpful for her overall case. That's a fair comment.

But just because it's not organized doesn't make any less problematic or wrong. In this case, the motivation for the misogynist commentary loses relevance, namely because regardless of whether this springs from misogyny or trolling, it produces identical results. The fact that for some reason gender-insults are acceptable in trolling is indicative of the same problem.

And really, the dismissive attitude with 'Oh, she posted it on Youtube, a well-known marketplace for petulant wastes of carbon who troll just for the hell of it, she had it coming' is just as intellectually lazy, namely because she shouldn't have to deal with it in the first place. She's trying to advance a legitimate cause and instead gets buried beneath an avalanche of trolling and/or misogyny (and it's not like you can tell them apart). That's a action from the community as a whole telling her that her cause is either unacceptable to them or not worth the attention of greater gamer culture - and that's bullshit.

It might not be some grand conspiracy, but if the YouTube community is allowed to get away with it either due to the dismissive attitude of the indifferent or the careless attitude of trollers who could only dream of possessing motivation for a higher cause, then she's made her point regardless. The greater gamer community, by not standing up against this horseshit, has failed.

Aiddon said...

Mads, actually THINK for once and realize that when people talk about sexism they aren't somehow attacking you personally. God, you're fucking insecure.

Anonymous said...

Is anybody concerned she may make ethnocentric judgements of other cultures' gender standards?

Sam Robards, Comic Fan said...

I am not at all opposed to this web series. Regardless of whether or not you agree with her opinions on any given subject, it's never a bad thing to discuss these types of issues in a civilized manner.

I even hopped over to her blog and watched the episode on, of course, the comic book related Women in Refrigerators Trope. While I didn't agree with all her points, I thought it was a well-done work.

The responses she received in regards to her video game series are simply horrific and make me sad that those types of people, through their overpowering of any intelligent conversation, are becoming more and more representative of gamers as a whole, at least as far as the wider culture is concerned. Simply sickening.

Broadly speaking, I think issues of sexism/racism/any type of discrimination are determined largely by intent.

If a white guy kills a black guy for his wallet, it's murder: if that same crime happens because the white guy hates black people, it's murder and a hate crime.

Is the latter any more horrible than the foremost? It's abhorrent that a man killed another man in that scenario. Why does the reasoning behind the crime make it better or worse?

On sexism, it is highly unfortunate that the majority of video games women are depicted like objects, but to call something sexist/misogynist brings the creators' intent into question, and I doubt that the majority of video game creators have any problems with women.

Once again, I think the state of women in video games can (and should) be drastically improved, but I think you have to be a bit careful when throwing the "-ist" labels around.

Bob, I remember you saying you might trying and revisit one of your earlier GO episodes (Episode 6, "Pron," in particular) at some point: think now might be the time to do that?

Peace out!

Anonymous said...

No

In her Bayonetta video she made it pretty obvious that she had never finished the game. She thought that Bayonetta was a single mom. Never corrected it either, and with all the dislikes that vid had, and her "comment pending approval" she puts on almost all her vids, there is no doubt she is probably getting comments even now about her mistake.

Then there is the straw feminist video where she knocks on the powerpuff girl episode "Equal Fights". She is right that Femme Fatale was a straw feminist yet she never points out that Fatale was made that way intentionally to help point out the differences between what feminism is, and what it isn't. She goes on to mention how much of a disappointment it was that the powerpuff girls will fight for equal rights but wouldn't call themselves feminists.

See the ending for yourself
http://youtu.be/AHSCSjabsuE

How does that in any way portray feminism in a bad way. Femme was used to show the difference between a hack that wants unfair advantage versus true feminism that wants equality.
----------------

As for her harassment, yes there are plenty of trolls being nasty. However some of them are offering valid points. Points that normally never get made because their comments never get approved. Even the people that politely disagree with her sometimes never get approved.

I find it rather manipulative that she let the comments go for her kickstarter video. With all the pent up frustration people have never had the outlet for on her other videos due to her censorship I am not the least bit surprised when she gets flooded with bile as soon as she opens the floodgates.

It's like she did it on purpose. Point out the trolls, gather sympathy from supporters and have your supporters lump anyone with legitimate criticisms and concerns in with the baboons hurling crap.
-----------

I will show absolutely no support to a person who doesn't do the appropriate amount of research on the things she chooses to criticize, doesn't bother correcting her mistakes, uses "No trolls allowed" as a ruse to enforce censorship, and then asks for money to make videos she had been making for free this whole time.

Yes their are negative stereotypes in gaming that must be addressed. She is DEFINITELY NOT the right person for addressing it.

smile said...

If you watch some of Sarkeesian's existing videos on YouTube, she has seemed to have relaxed herself into a comfortable formula of reciting a cliche from TV Tropes and giving examples. Rarely do I hear profound or original insights from her commentary, but the videos are pretty innocuous while not being afraid to call out developers and studios on their bullshit.

You might have an interesting debate with her as she thinks Bayonetta is incredibly sexist.

As for the creepers talking about raping her, etc. Thanks for making us all look bad, jerks. They've fallen into the exact same trap a few months after E.A. dismissed all criticisms towards Mass Effect 3 as entitled complaints from a minority of angry homophobes because idiots were saying the exact same crap to Jennifer Hepler.

Any legitimate argument against Sarkeesian, like why on Earth would you pay anyone directly to talk about tropes in video games when many talented people already fill that void for free like the actual TV Tropes website itself, will fall by the wayside in favour of reporting another victim of an unthinking drooling mob.

Then again, maybe the legitimate arguments would not have even been heard without the slobbering bellowing from the great unwashed masses. Internet drama really is the tumour that consumes us all.

PadMasher said...

I commented on the video myself. I saw the shitstorm first hand. I decided to express my thoughts about the whole "Women in Video Games" thing on my blog since I have way too much to say about it. Basically, I feel like Anita's heart is in the right place but, what she is doing just seems like a waste of time for the actual case. As for the trolls...fuck them. Seriously, those guys need to grow up. Feel free to respond to me about the blog here or in the comments section there. I will be tracking both.

Shark said...

Why should I donate my hard earned money to a self serving hypocrite who doesn't even play video games?

Anonymous said...

She needs the money so she CAN do the research, particularly about the stuff from Japan. From what I've heard, she's also got degrees in gender studies and popular culture. She got some of the video game stuff wrong the in past because she was more focused on mainstream popular culture before she decided to focus exclusively on games.

Nathan Lickliter said...

Jesus fucking Mary in a manger! I looked at that link you posted, Bob, and I couldn't even get a quarter of the way through the bile before the fear of my head exploding came round.

I know people are not very good on the internet, but Christ, I didn't think they were that bad!

I... I'm dumbfounded.

Anonymous said...

Love and tolerance? :c

Mads said...

@Aiddon

"
Mads, actually THINK for once and realize that when people talk about sexism they aren't somehow attacking you personally. God, you're fucking insecure.
"

What leads you to think I'm of the oppinion that I'm being personally attacked?

Mads said...

@ Anonymous June 11, 2012 5:33 PM
And Sam Robbards:

I followed up on the "women in refrigerators episode" to see how it laid things out. I very quickly felt like she wasn't providing counter examples or mellowing her points out - at all. Now maybe they just aren't there, maybe things really are that bad. So then I notice her mentioning a couple of examples that I can actually fact check. I used to watch heroes. Que 4:50 in the women in refrigerators video.

"or how about all these heroes from the TV show Heroes, who were depicted as either losing or being unable to control their power".

Then we see a picture of 4 characters - Niki Sanders, Maya Herrera and Elle Bishop who are major characters in some or all seasons. The 4th character she displays is Claire's mother, a recurring character.

Of these, one character is essentially skitzophrenic and her alter ego has the power, one is a walking bomb that goes off whenever she gets sufficiently upset and one is a psychotic villainess. The recurring character is pretty much just irresponsible and her ability seems to bother her.

In general, according to my counts, there are 8 female characters among the main cast, 1 unpowered, and 12 male characters, 1 unpowered.

If we look at the 3 powered, main female characters and say, ok, these appear to be more in control than their male counterparts, then I'd like to call bullshit on that. The villainess is a female Elle complement to Sylar(the series heavy), who is very much not in control of his ability (his ability rather control him), and has turned him psychotic. Niki serves as the series "hulk", and while her occupation is hardly the most flattering, her "episodes" are fully controlled by another female counterpart; kindof like a gollum to her smeagol. Either way, if she isn't in control of her ability, then neither is Hiro (whose ability is pretty f'in random a lot of the time), and neither is Isaac Mendez, a painter who enters trances where he paints the future. Mohinder Surresh also appears to have similar rage-hulk episodes.

Poison Girl, Maya Herrera does have a timebomb that she is unable to control - but so does Peter Petrelli, the character closest to being the series protagonist. Ultimately, she does wreak some destruction with her ability, but he blows up New York in a nuclear explosion because he can't keep it together...or at least he would (and in most timelines he does) if left to his own devices and not flown away by his brother. Petrelli in general has very little control of his abilities in many episodes.

In terms of hero power balance, the show is pretty darn even. It's structured such that the primary actors are often men - it's a hero TV show, and the female characters just weren't that popular - but in terms of strength, control, and ultimate influence on the storyline, there's a fairly even distribution of female and male agency. And yet, she pulls it out as an example reinforcing the trope, presumably because very few people would bother to fact check.

Redd the Sock said...

Hmm. I'm not sure what to make of the project. I think it's a good topic to go into with an open mind, but coming from her Trope vs Women videos, I'm afraid the whole thing will be a very basic repeat of "trope I don't like -> examples of trope -> why trope is problem -> blame creators for persecution not laziness". Still not bad in and of itself, but it's not worth my money to see an intro feminism lecture that'll ignore a lot of the actual context for the usage of some of these tropes however overused they may be.

Now the respone she got, that was uncalled for. Ah, internet trolls: in small doeses they're great to heckle. In large ones, I weep for our species.

Mads said...

And you know, coupled with the issues annonymous mentioned, I'm a lot more certain that my criticism of this person was appropriate.

She has a case and a soapbox, fine, but she presents the tropes with a clear slant. Once I've found out she's manipulated her examples, and doesn't bother to mention that they aren't clear cut or have any ambiguity to them, I can't trust her.

The onus is on her not to overstate her case. I can't fact check every little thing before deciding whether or not to believe her, so she needs to telegraph which things could be questionable to me; I shouldn't have to stumble upon things I would clearly disagree with by accident when there is this high a likelyhood that she already knows her claims are contentious.

It's simply not being fair; if I watch her videoes, I have to treat has as a hostile source who will hide relevant things from me to advance her case.

This has nothing to do with daring to discuss feminism, and everything to do with how she does it.

Mads said...

@ Silens

I absolutely agree that just because it is custom to be flamed on youtube, you shouldn't ever feel you deserve it.
It's bad behaviour, and it sucks.

But listen, I don't have a dismissive attitude towards it. I have a dismissive attitude towards the assertion that it's (organized) misogyny. That it targets her specifically because she's a woman speaking out.
The idea that there would be acceptable and non-acceptable ways of trolling is ridiculous. People try to hit you were it hurts. If you're a woman, they go for that. If you were black, they'd go for that.

This isn't to apologize for racism _or_ misogyny, and you know, taken on their own, _sure_, the comments _are_ misogynystic, they _are_ racist.
But they're not indicative of racism or sexism within the person making the comments. They're indicative of anger. I mean you're right, they _might_ be indicative purely of those other things, we can't actually tell what the background was...
But if they were indeed internet trolling? Then it's anger, or it's people out to mess with you, or somesuch. That's just how these things always work in every internet community I've ever seen.

And you know, there's a big difference between trolling behaviour, and an actual misogynistic world view. One is absolutely horrifying, the other can usually be ignored without harm coming for it.

aaronbig1 said...

FeministFrequency is a thief

El Pibe Progre said...

Been watching her videos for a while.

While I agree that sexism in videogames should be discussed with maturity and open-mindness, I think this Anita girl does a pretty bad job at it.

The reasons why she does bad (IMO) have already been given by the previous commenters on this thread.

I don't have to mention that I utterly DESPISE the comments people posted on her youtube video. And no ammount of disagreement justifies such bigotry.

But, back on topic, I have the impression (correct me if I'm wrong) that she wants to "ban" sexy slutty girls from videogames. And that's just wrong. I agree that there's an enormous lack of decent female characters in videogames. But her position reminds me of that of the Christian Right-wing.

maninahat said...

"Anonymous said...

http://youtu.be/igXz_hXKUcE I'll just leave this here.


To address the video, I think it would be safer to actually watch FeministFrequency's game series before trashing them.

I do have my concerns; on major sites, game journalists talk about feminist issues almost every other week. I've enjoyed some of her previous videos, and I'm glad the series is being made. I just think there will be a struggle for FF to find enough to say, which hasn't already been said.

Sabre said...

What I want to say has already been said.

One thing I will say is that this childish hate is actually getting attention whereas well reasoned comments and rational arguments are ignored. Anyone who disagrees is insulted.

She has a history of talking out of her arse, silencing criticism, and that she has already planned the video topics in such a way that there is nothing that can change her mind.

I have a dumb question, and it's quite a radical idea I grant you but... If she has a problem with games not portraying women right, and she can raise so much money at the snap of a finger, why doesn't she raise some money and make a game to show "this is how to do women right in games"? Wouldn't that be way more effective than taunting NeoGaf and 4chan?

John M Osborne said...

If you want video games to be legitimate art forms, you're going to have to suck it up and watch the hobby be criticized. This is how art advances, through inspiration, criticism, and iteration.

A video response or a different blog on the subject would be a more appropriate response.

Sparking discussion is a good thing.

Anonymous said...

"Sparking discussion is a good thing."

It's too bad no further discussion will be possible now that dissenting opinions will be lumped together with internet trolls.

The best way to make a series about this topic would have been to use the scientific method. Start collecting data, form a hypothesis, then test the hypothesis before reaching a conclusion, regardless of whether that conclusion supports or disproves your hypothesis.

Instead, Feminist Frequency does the opposite. she starts with her conclusion and then works backwards.

Her argument is already tainted by her own preconceived notions and she telegraphs her discussion points by the way she introduces the topic. She doesn't want a discussion, as dissenters are labeled misogynists because trolls exist on the internet.

Anonymous said...

After watching a few of her earlier videos I have to agree with the more reasoned detractors here. For example, her portrayal of Captain Janeway as a *favorable* female lead character in her "The Smurfette Principle" shows she doesn't do anything even resembling research.

Depending on the episode Janeway is either portrayed as crazier then Captain Garth and Janice Lester combined while being dumber then John Gill of TOS (a point reviewer SF Debris loves to bring up again and again) or Captain Mary Sue.

She seems to be avoiding a point that the Overthinker brought up way back in "Mississippi Pwning 2" (E23)-the brass tax that encourages these tropes because most gamers are young white males.

Sam Robards, Comic Fan said...

Mads,

I never watched Heroes myself, so I couldn't argue one way or the other on that one.

My beef was with her assessment of Big Barda from the Death of the New Gods miniseries. What she doesn't tell you is that EVERY New God (male and female) is killed off with very little effort and without putting up much of a fight. Not that Death of the New Gods mattered anyways. It was just churned out by DC to get the characters out of the way for Final Crisis, but I digress.

However, the original women in a fridge was definitely put there to give then-newbie Green Lantern Kyle Rayner a sense of loss and tragedy.

The same applies to the death of Gwen Stacy in Amazing Spider-Man; however, I still maintain that that story is probably the best Spider-Man story ever written.

What can I say? Sometimes, the trope works.

But, in terms of the overall video, it wasn't perfect by any stretch, but I feel she did bring something good to the discussion.

By no means are her methods and conclusions above reproach, but she should be allowed to present them without this outrageous and despicable backlash she's gotten.

Anonymous said...

If Bob doesn't contribute anything to this, be sure to call him our for it. If he's brought this to light, he might as well do something about it himself instead of just telling everyone else to do something.

Anonymous said...

Apparently her last video will cover positive female characters and how to do them right, according to her kick-starter page, so she won't just be covering all the bad stuff. The Video Game Curriculum thing actually sounds more helpful than her simply pointing out what's wrong with female characters on the web. I haven't heard about a "female in games" curriculum before.

Sabre said...

"Apparently her last video will cover positive female characters and how to do them right, according to her kick-starter page, so she won't just be covering all the bad stuff. The Video Game Curriculum thing actually sounds more helpful than her simply pointing out what's wrong with female characters on the web. I haven't heard about a "female in games" curriculum before."

As already pointed out, her idea of a good female character is a feminist Mary Sue with no unique features and next to no story telling potential. The end of a video someone posted previously explained it better than I can, so this link should take you to the 7 minute mark in that video when he jokes about it.
http://youtu.be/igXz_hXKUcE?t=6m55s

DeclanIsaDarkness said...

I think this documentary series is a incredibly dumb idea, mostly because it doesn't look like its going to tell us anything we don't know already, and has a astronomical budget for what it is.........I also have a bad feeling the series is going to have a overly simplistic poorly thought out point of view.......but oh well, if it somehow by some miracle turns out insightful and interesting, it wouldn't be the first time I've underestimated something like this.

Misterprickly said...

How am I supposed to comment on this WITHOUT putting on a Al Bundy sanctioned "NO MA'AM" T-shirt?

This argument is soooooo old that it has hair on it.

Ya, ya, ya I get it "it's the 21 century and women are still being objectified!"

We it's been going on since the dawn of humanity and it's not going to go away just 'cause you want it to.

We should create 5 videos showing the way men are treated in video games.
Examples can range from the waxed sexually questionable hard-bodies of devil may cry to the cannon fodder of Call Of Doodie.

I will admit that the way women are exhibited in games waaaaaaay overboard BUT that's more to do with the producers than the buyers.

Question to Bob: Are you trying to score with the chick or what?

Misterprickly said...

***BTW***

Feminist Frequency has already been debunked as bias, narrow minded or downright wrong.

Personally I think she's CRAZY!

Her sexist identifications reminds me of Denzel Crocker's "fairy freakouts".

I'm surprised Bob's endorsing her.

hazlenaut said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
hazlenaut said...

The first step of solving the problem is to admit there is one. Hopefully she will do an exception video. Let me provide example. Dixie Kong was snack junkie who glides by spinning with her hair. She rescued both Donkey Kong twice and Diddy Kong while babysitting and educating Funky Kong’s baby. Maybe you can do one Bob.
I have feeling that she will make mistakes. Just like almost everyone else she fails to know that there are other female Smurfs. They are handful but they are there. This proves her data is flawed. She is not lieing she just mistaken ideals for those characters. If she mistakes a character this could hurt both games feminism.

Shark said...

I just can't support her. She's not qualified to cover a very touchy subject. Feminist Frequency spreads lies and misinformation about the media, it completely misses the point of some of the shows and books it talks about,desecrates the reputation of a lot of good people and characters,and worst of all, Anita doesn't know how to distinguish good criticism from bad criticism.

As for the comments on her Youtube page, I know those people. They don't usually cause a ruckus unless someone provokes them.

PadMasher said...

@Sabre

foreverpandering is fucking hilarious and I mostly agree with the video's point. I like the fact that Anita is bothering to bring this topic up but, it's old as fuck and how she is doing it doesn't seem to constructive. I'll wait until the series starts to judge it though, when she mistook Bayonetta as a single-mom, that was proof right there that she didn't do enough research.

I honestly don't know what she or anyone else expects from female characters in general but, it's not really the developers problem. There's already good female characters in games. Not as many as we'd like but, they're there.

Also, I really want to hear Jannie's opinion on this seeing as she is one of the few women who frequent this blog.

Anonymous said...

why doesn't everyone just wait for the actual series to come up over the summer, and see if that over 60000 dollars worth of research was actually worth it first? Then everyone can see for themselves whether or not it was a dumb idea.

PadMasher said...

@Anon 11:23

People are up in arms about the idea because it doesn't look like a good one. I'm not saying the project is worthless but, considering how old the topic is and how some of her past videos have been, I get why people feel insulted by the fact that's making money off of this. I'm curious to see how it turns out. There's plenty of potential here but, we'll know soon enough if it goes anywhere.

maninahat said...

@MisterPrickly

"We should create 5 videos showing the way men are treated in video games.
Examples can range from the waxed sexually questionable hard-bodies of devil may cry to the cannon fodder of Call Of Doodie."


Yeeeersh, there are problems with male portrayals too. But one is getting it worse than the other. The simple difference is that games typically have only 1 to 3 women, whereas there will usually be a big variety of men.

The consequence of having only one female is that she becomes the sole representative of all women everywhere, and if her character isn't impossibly perfect, she'll be hated by all. If you have a distinct bunch of women in the game, you can instantly skirt this issue. Like we've been doing with men for ages.

maninahat said...

...I get why people feel insulted by the fact that's making money off of this. I'm curious to see how it turns out. There's plenty of potential here but, we'll know soon enough if it goes anywhere.

Seeing as how her pay is coming exclusively from donations, some people clearly don't mind paying her for her trouble. Those that do mind - well, so what? They haven't lost any money, so no one was robbed. It isn't really their business to get mad at how other people choose to spend their money.

PadMasher said...

@maninahat

I'm well aware of that. It's not like I donated any money to her but, if complaining about video games over the net is all I need to do to get a paycheck then why bother pulling out student loans to go to college to make them and actually try to the make the kind of games that people like her claim there aren't enough of?

It's kind of like how iJustine is popular for being bad at video games. Here you are actually trying to do a good job and you see people getting paid to do a bad job. Not saying I share this feeling because I could care less but, the idea that $60,000 was pumped in THIS can be seen as quite stupid especially when that money could have been donated to someone actually trying to make a video game.

Popcorn Dave said...

It's unquestionably a topic worth discussing, but I don't think she's the best one to discuss it. As others have said, all she really does is parrot TV Tropes articles, show a couple of examples and say "they should totally stop doing this". She's just a poor man's Nostalgia Chick who's managed to make her work look vaguely "professional" so it can be used for educational materials and so on.

That doesn't excuse the vitriol that was thrown at her, obviously, but I won't be donating to this video series.

Anon1 said...

@James
Here's the thing. You might not be an asshole like some of those animals, but you are still an asshole. Your voice and opinion no matter what it is not wanted here. You lost that right a long time ago.

Anonymous said...

http://i.imgur.com/lFZYr.jpg

Mads said...

@ Sam:
"
By no means are her methods and conclusions above reproach, but she should be allowed to present them without this outrageous and despicable backlash she's gotten.
"
Absolutely. The backlash is childish, it's petty, and it's dumb. I agree completely that it's despicable.

But it's not necessarily a sign of rapant sexism, or attempts to silence feminism. There's no way to know if the backlash happened because she's a woman, and while the issue does appear to make people quite incensed, that's probably mainly because they think she's wrong about a lot of the things she says.
They're probably not angry simply as a result of this issue being discussed. It probably goes deeper.

http://www.youtube.com/all_comments?v=1z8gCZ7zpsQ

Look at this nice little bit of controversy, and look at the insane volume of comments. A large number of these are hateful. The comments aren't pouring in because Kanye felt Tailors video was inferior to Beyonce's. Noone wants to silence him from airing his oppinion.

They're coming in because the way he presented his oppinion incensed them to comment. They're coming in even though he cannot be silenced by this. It's not even Kanye's video, not that he'd ever consider reading 80k comments.

The comments are an act of anger and disagreement (repeating myself here), and the assertion that this anger and disagreement (whatever vile form it takes) is necessarily a result of misogyny is disingenuous and manipulative.

Now, I'm not apologizing for anybody's behaviour, and I feel as strongly as anyone that people are fundamentally wrong to use the youtube comments section to trash things in this fashion, be they Kanye or this particular type of feminism videoes.

But that doesn't mean I think she should get off scott free either; she's a bad source of information because she exhibits selection bias in her examples (as you and I were both able to point out happened in the fridge episode).

Either she's convinced she's right and just needs to find good examples that explain why she's right, or she's purposefully trying to arrive at a specific conclusion; either option means we simply cannot trust her to be truthful with us, and either option means we can't expect her to do solid research.

This is pretty f'in important to realize before you support someone purporting to do "documentary" work. She asserts that her work has been used in education, seeming to suggest that her work is a primary source. She does the kickstarter in part to do research, suggesting she's going to do actual research to increase her general stock of knowledge in this area (which would be fundamentally unbiased).

But the video I watched simply doesn't reflect this approach. If she intends to approach this future material the same way she apparently approached that material...well, then I think I'd actually call her a fraud.

Anonymous said...

I'm probably not the only one who noticed that two of her videos slated for production contradict each other.

Taking "The Sexy Villainess" and "Unattractive Equals Evil" together essentially means that casting women as antagonists is impossible, because she'll either be "beautiful" or "unattractive." If you make a woman a protagonist, you'll get slapped with a "harmful trope" as she puts it and called sexist. This means only men can be cast as antagonists by elimination. That's progressive, right?

I eagerly anticipate what she considers good, positive female characters. I hope she doesn't gloss over strides made in the early days and I CERTAINLY hope she keeps her culture privilege in check.

Anonymous said...

If you make a woman an antagonist, rather.

Misterprickly said...

@maninahat

Actually the numbers are quite equal.
The reason why there are more males in games is because they're villianous cannon fodder.

I've noticed that's the one role female characters DON'T play.

Shark said...

@Misterprickly
No one wants to be the villain cannon fodder. Getting your ass kicked by the hero on a daily basis doesn't feel empowering.

Sabre said...

"Taking "The Sexy Villainess" and "Unattractive Equals Evil" together essentially means that casting women as antagonists is impossible, because she'll either be "beautiful" or "unattractive." If you make a woman a protagonist, you'll get slapped with a "harmful trope" as she puts it and called sexist. This means only men can be cast as antagonists by elimination. That's progressive, right?"

As already mentioned, the same is true of any other character. There is an extremely narrow field of acceptable female characters in terms of feminism. The bachdel test also puts harsh limits on stories. (eg. a core play through of Mass Effect as fem shep passes, but the same play through with a male character does not due to every conversation either involving Shepard, or being about Shepard)

What you end up with is a set of constraints that are almost impossible to make any work, fiction or not, that is not some bland mess of tedium.

Anonymous said...

Now people are trying to get her Wikipedia page deleted!

Megabyte said...

well of course they are! This it da INtawebz! And here, trolls are EVERYWHERE! Now they know they are getting to her when she makes a damn post on her website to point them out!

SHE thinks she is making them look foolish. THEY see she is crying and push harder.

Add this to the fact that wikipedia editing is main stream enough Wierd Al mentioned it in the song White and Nerdy and... well... it was only a matter of time before trolls went-a-trollin.

Ryan said...

@Sabre The bechdel test is specific to movies. Video games aren't movies and shouldn't be judged on every metric that applies to movies, at least without modification. Just because a conservation can be missed should we treat the work as if it does not contain it? If for example a game with an all female cast had a glitch that allowed the end credits to be triggered before the first conversation would you say it fails the bachdel test?

Given the fact that movies are linear and are usually experienced in their entirety the bechdel test makes a certain amount of sense. However, every movie should not need to pass it. That would limit filmmakers more than they should be. I think it would be an improvement if more movies did pass it, say something approaching the amount of movies that feature least two male characters who talk to each other about something besides a woman made in the same year.

John M Osborne said...

You disagree with a Kickstarter, don't donate to it. You disagree with a video, comment, create a rival video, or blog post.

It's that simple.

Do they need to E-stalk and deface her? That's the equivalent of painting a mustache on a picture of someone you disagree with and placing it on a dartboard.

Funny, maybe, insulting, sure, but doesn't get your point across?

No. No it doesn't.

hazlenaut said...

It seems that your Princess Peach and Fat Princess videos would be very beneficial to her. I said before that she is not well inform in some of her episodes so they will give her information she needs.

Sabre said...

Ryan- I don't like the bechdel test in any form as passing or failing doesn't mean anything in relation to the films content. I do agree that it shouldn't be applied to games, but that doesn't stop it from happening.
http://bechdelgamer.wordpress.com/2012/01/02/what-is-the-gamer-bechdel-test/

Halisann said...

so many people have already linked this. what's one more so people finally get the point that this is a pointless and stupid video series...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=igXz_hXKUcE

Eze said...

If she isn't qualified to talk about this, then who is? And if so, who would you pay your money to donate to? That's my question to all of you.

Who's qualified?

Daniel Floyd of Extra Credits?
Jim of Jimquisition?
Michael Pachter?
The members of GiantBomb.com?
The Sidescrollers podcast?

James Rolfe?
The guy behind "SuperSize Me?"

Who?

And if you say, "no one", why is that? Should this not be discussed?

Eze said...

And, if it should be a woman in the video game industry, then whom?

Maybe there aren't many women who want to come out and talk about this for fear of misogyny?

Eze said...

Oh, and, unless this was pointed out already, they received more than enough within the span of a day, so donations are moot at this point...

Nulmas said...

Well, after watching some of her previous videos, I've come to a simple conclusion:

How exactly can someone point out the "straw feminist" trope and then proceed to play one herself so well?

Granted, most of the times she does it seem to come out of either ignorance on the subject or just due to missing the point, but she still manages to pull it off with an alarming degree of success.

All the abuse she took was unwaranted, but hey, I guess it paid off in the end.

PadMasher said...

@Eze

As a gamer who is very much concerned with characterization, I'd like to believe I could handle such a subject but, I was under the impression that this shit was over and dealt with. I plan on watching Anita's series to see how well it turns out but, she probably isn't the best person to address female tropes in video games. It's important to keep the context in prespective and read up on the entire story which Anita doesn't do (she mistakes Bayonetta for a single mother when she is actually saving her younger self).

The problem with this issue is that gamers and developers are the only ones truly qualified to dicuss it because they pay the most attention to the actual games and not just marketing or the characters' appearance. Frankly, if you don't already know what "needs" to be done to fix female character design then the issue is that not enough people give a damn. The gaming media we have now isn't serious enough to address this issue without looking pretentious or just plain stupid and not enough gamers seem to be offended enough by it to say something constructive. Unless the series proves otherwise, this dicussion is over. It's been over for years.

Nulmas said...

This is weird.

Her Bayonetta video seems to be marked as private everywhere I can manage to find it.

Can anyone point me out to it?

Anonymous said...

As well intentioned as this might be (even if she is presents a strawman argument most of the time), this I feel is in now way 100,000 dollars worth of what was once supposed to be only 6,000 dollars. Especially if it is only going to be more of the same in the style of her youtube videos.

Kickstarter really needs a cap on how much a person can get in donations for a project.

PadMasher said...

@Nulmas

Er, well aaronbig1 has a video response to it that has pretty much all the video in there but, you'll have to tolerate his remarks to it. I find it weird that the video is now private especially since I agreed with the overall message. The way Bayonetta was advertised was bad. People need to know that. Anyway, here's the link. Follow at your own risk.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MgLw8tChxX4

Nulmas said...

@PadMasher

Thanks. I'd already found that vid but, as you mentioned, his remarks are just a tad... too much, let's say.

Regarding Bayonetta's advertisment, I completely agree with you. I've heard some people say that the message of the game itself is a bit different, but I really can't say never having played it myself.

But honestly, the thing that bugs me the most regarding Bayonetta are her proportions. They remind me too much of the comic books of the 90's (ugh, so many bad memories. I'm having flashbacks of all the pouches and ridiculously oversized guns.)

PadMasher said...

@Nulmas

LOL, the funny thing about Bayonetta is how ugly she is to me. I think she has a cute face but, her body posture when idle looks like a cross between a spider and a flamingo. They sexualized her to the point that it was fucking scary to look at her. The game's ridiculous plot never really goes anywhere either.

I'd argue that the game is OK but, the camera is bad and it can be said that the game is repetitive though, you can say that about all beat em' ups. Basically, you didn't miss much which sucks because I had high hopes for it. I'd say play it for the gameplay but, I honestly had to skip some of the cutscences because they were THAT bad.

Bayonetta - "You want to touch me?"

Me - "No...just...no..."

aaronbig1 said...

@Nulmas

About my vidoe Feminist Frequency vs Bayonetta. I made the vidoe went i was drunk and I was playing it for comedy. I have made a vidoe on Tropes vs Women in Video Games

link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zyVyiMoFRJI&feature=channel&list=UL
As for Bayonetta proportions. Bayonetta is about 11 head tall. your about 7 head tall. Bayonetta proportions would make her about 2.5 metre tall. and her leg about 1/3 longer

Anonymous said...

@Sabre

I have to agree about the constant trope police.

The fact that she only decided to make a "bonus" video after the fact that displays her opinions on good characters show that it was not her original intent.

If you actually tried to make a female character without ticking any of the "harmful" trope boxes, it would be impossible.

She couldn't be a villain, because she'll either be beautiful or unattractive.

She couldn't be weak or strong physically.

She couldn't be a third person player character because of Male Gaze and the assumption (by FemFreq)of a male audience. The camera would always be firmly attached to her butt, or her profile.

She can't be conservatively dressed, because that indicates patriarchy by repressing her sexuality.

She can't be provocatively dressed, because that indicates eye candy for Male characters and Male Gaze and thus, Patriarchy.

She can't "act like a man" (apparently it's ok to boil one gender down to a set of tropes, stereotypes, and behaviors, right?) and "kick ass."

She can't be a damsel in distress.

I'm just waiting to see how she handles Japanese games, because most of those games WRECK. HER. ARGUMENT. Games like RPGs and Fighters are filled to the brim with women of various character types, of all ages and lifestyles, of all manner of dress, and all manner of behaviors from extremely masculine to extremely feminine and all points in between. Hell there are even games released with all female casts, like Senran Kagura, Touhou, and Strike Witches.

I wonder if she even mentions those. OR if she does, how much you want to bet she focuses on the "fetish" of school uniforms or "male gaze," which would prove that she's being ethnocentric by judging another country's culture by her own preconceived standards.

Considering she picks Mai from King of Fighters out of about 20 female characters from that series shows she might not want to see the range and would rather harp about the flaws of a few. Which is a shame, because this is a topic worth discussing, but if she cherry picks data to misrepresent the status of women in games, she's only giving fuel to detractors.

Mads said...

Eze:

I would much rather see this series be produced by the guys at extra credits (or by Bob, for that matter), since these people show a significantly lower degree of selection bias.

I mean, I don't think she isn't qualified to make it; I think she actually understands perfectly well that she employs selection bias. I don't think she cares; I think she feels the goal (better equality, less penetration of sexism in society) justifies the means (carefully selecting evidence to present her point of view as more obviously correct).

To an extend, I can actually accept propaganda. It's not such a terrible thing when weilded for good and meaningful purposes.

But I can't ever see myself watching it without being extremely critical, and I feel like what Anita does on kickstarter...presenting her general schtick(which I've extrapolated from a tiny amount of her material, so that may be unfair of me) as scientifically honest, and not oppinion pieces...this presentation, undertaken specifically to get donations, is disingenous to the point where it's fraudulent.

I would love to see this series getting made. I love learning and getting smarter. But I really do not feel like that's what I'll get if Anita makes it.

Someone intellectually honest who deals with gender issues - male or female - I would love to watch doing this. A lot of guys and gals at channel awesome fit this bill, but so does the team at extra credits.

hazlenaut said...

Perhaps this video would be needed. We need to see how we can handle this because she does point out good facts from time to time. It is best to have perspective from another point of view that is not well knowledge game characters story and etc. This can show that game character has been ill-informed to everyone else.

Hypershell said...

I don't expect to agree with everything Anita says; any character type has negative points that can be drawn out. However I do feel that analysis on the topic is a good idea, and part of that MEANS listening to people whose opinions differ from your own, so yeah.

Popcorn Dave said...

Eze - I'm not sure who would be "better", but it's not my job to find someone.

I'll say this - Extra Credits are pretty good at doing "academic" type videos (some of them could easily be used as educational materials) while still managing to bring their own unique input to the table. James Portnow's insider knowledge gives that show an edge and, although they do state the obvious at times, they mostly do their best to offer a perspective and level of depth that you can't easily get anywhere else. Similarly, Film Crit Hulk has written some really good stuff on gender issues, and he's brought sharp analysis and a unique voice to the table.

I don't see that in Sarkeesian. As far as I can tell she mostly uses one source - TVTropes - and does very little except a basic outline and a handful of examples. To her credit, she doesn't try to hide her inspiration, but the point is I don't see any benefit to watching her videos as opposed to just reading TVTropes.

It may be that she wants the extra money specifically because she intends to bring something new to the table this time around, but the Kickstarter pledge doesn't fill me with confidence. It sounds like she's just going to do the same thing she did before, just with moar videogames.

I don't want to get too negative on her, though. Her videos are harmless enough, some people obviously like them (presumably people who haven't wasted as much time on TVTropes as I have), and her original fundraising goal was modest and realistic - it's not her fault people threw preposterous amounts of money at her. I was just responding to the suggestion (of Bob and others) that this video series is some Really Important Thing that we should be supporting. She's a mediocre Youtuber like any other - no big deal.

Like you say, it doesn't really matter now. The videos will happen, they might be good or they might not. Personally, I'm more interested to see what happens to all that extra money - a lot of eyes will be on her.

Roger Allen said...

I have to say I agree with you moviebob. A critical look into how the medium is created would do more good than harm. Let's face it, it's not like games are going to take out eye candy altogether. Stifling creative thought that a woman can only be scenery, an objective, or object is deeming to both artists and creators. I believe that more games with a leading female protagonist would help mature the game medium and maybe gain a better acceptance from the art community at large.

Shark said...

@Roger Allen
The resident Ms. Fanservice in video games aren't there for show, they usually double as the leading female protagonist and the action girl in certain genres like JRPGS and Fighting games.

Slothy said...

Most of what I wanted to say was covered in

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=igXz_hXKUcE

But also I don't like her commentary, it's dull and patronizing and unlike you, Extra Credits, Jim Sterling etc. she's not in this to have a discussion. She censors out disagreeing comments on her youtube videos all the time.

"he goal is to make game companies adopt feminist policies and raise awareness to young children so that they grow up enlightened and go into the tech and gaming industry with a more progressive agenda and mindset."

That's propaganda. Don't believe me, replace feminist and progressive with conservative or libertarian or communist or anything else.

Anonymous said...

Well, I still see that Bob hasn't donated anything to this yet. So him bringing this up was all for NOTHING?

aaronbig1 said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mZgTgublaY

Jannie said...

Ok let me wade in here...

The problem is not that "girls don't have good role models" which is basically the exact argument here using different words, an argument that is as old as time. The problem is the notion that girls--or anyone--NEED role models. As if somehow they won't grow up "right" unless they have some vaguely articulated "feminist, progressive" upbringing.

The thing is that, this is just as asinine then if you said the opposite. If a man made a video saying we need misogynist conservative role models for boys everyone would rightly assume it's either trolling or an idiot. But at heart the same can be said in reverse without any real attempt at tackling the problem.

The problem isn't what pop culture says about women or if Lara Croft has big tits or any such nonsense and, frankly, if it were, if our society's grasp of modernity was dependent on video games, then just giving up and starting over fresh after a nuclear holocaust would be better.

No the problem is that pop culture only REFLECTS and not shapes what actual people feel, and not JUST what boys feel about girls but how girls feel about girls. Which frankly starts at home. Someone isn't born a wife beater, just like no one is born a spousal abuse victim. Thanks in no small part to their families, upbringing and background a person's entire life can be vastly different--for example everyone likes to say "jocks" are categorized by somekind of neanderthalian sexism but remember there were no jocks in the room during that unpleasant Cross Assault incident.

This argument is something that needs to start at home, with parents, at an early age and not something that needs to come from or be based around video games.

Because I can literally assure you the fact that Tina Armstrong has huge breast implants has no impact on any of the people who played Dead or Alive beyond giving young nerds a stiffy. But I can also literally assure you that someone watching their mother get punched by her boyfriend does.

Trying to blame pop culture, or video games, or whatever, for the issues that arise from our society or suggest that somehow or another we should start...what? Censoring games? Making games specifically as a counterpoint to other games? That's not going to fix the problem.

First and foremost because frankly that's stupid and no one would ever fund or buy it, and secondly because it's going to buzz right the fuck past the people you're aiming at and the only ones who WILL care are the people who ALREADY care. It's the same reason why Michael Moore movies about how shit our health care system are have no effect on the mammon-obsessed health care industry...because one of the people involved in the system gave a damn and the people who did give a damn were people who already did.

Jannie said...

This is also the problem with making propaganda against drugs, gun violence, drinking, etc.

No one ever got off of or stopped using drugs because of Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue and no one who WANTED that to exist was ever going to use drugs.

Which is not to say that images of women in pop culture is not somewhat skewed in an...odd direction but I'm not entirely sure it's an absolutely negative one. As someone else said this person--who I've never heard of before so her name escapes me--is not really looking to discuss anything...not that the death threats and ridiculous insults have indicated her audience does either (talking is a two way street douchebags) and since this started the internet seemed to hit the bath salts pretty hard and go rage zombie in response...

THAT being said, propaganda for ONE side is no better than propaganda for another. And what we're essentially talking about here is propaganda.

Sabre said...

Jannie- "Trying to blame pop culture, or video games, or whatever, for the issues that arise from our society or suggest that somehow or another we should start...what? Censoring games? Making games specifically as a counterpoint to other games? That's not going to fix the problem."

There is one of main faults in this "lack of roll model" argument, is that whatever demographic is under represented (women in this case) there is nothing stopping people making those games. If she can raise $100,000 at the snap of a finger, then it should be no problem to make a feminist game. They don't.

A perfect example is Her Interactive, that was supposed to be a company that made games "By women, for women" and consistent pushes out a stream of so-so pandering Nancy Drew games. Arguabley more insulting than what the 'sexist' game companies make.

Another thing you didn't mention is that it's a double standard. A male character is held as a character (Homer Simpson is dumb) but female characters are held up as representations. (Lolipop Chainsaw woman means that the designers and consumers consider this woman, and thus all women on the planet to be dumb)

Evilkinggumby said...

it's such a strange thing to see that the more attention, money and 'views' she gets, the more people feel a need to pick apart, judge, and microscope both her as a person, as a personality on youtube, and her work on youtube and it's validity. If she was continuing to do her work and only made say the $6,000 she asked for, I suspect she'd still get criticism and questions, but not nearly as tempestuous as she is now. Since thee is a large sum of cash at stake, people seem to want to find ways to label her as a fraud, as an attention whore, or some kind of alarmist. It's kind of .. messed up.

I tossed some money at the project while I could. Even at this point, my $10 won't likely feel like more than a raindrop and I know it. But in my heart I celebrate and appreciate what she is trying to do, and I recognize just how much of an uphill battle she has in her future. what was originally a ambitious project that she likely figured would garner a little attention is now so much bigger and so scrutiny of her is 100x more abundant...

Popcorn Dave said...

There's no point donating now - she passed her last milestone a hundred thousand dollars ago. She could stick all that extra money in her back pocket and there's nothing you lot could do about it.

PadMasher said...

@Evilkinggumby

I agree that too many people are getting on her case but, with $60,000 worth of kickstarter money, she really needs to deliver something relevent to the dicussion or else you could easily accuse her of ripping you off. What her series intends to be about doesn't sound like it will fix anything. Jannie, a woman, already explained why this is. It really looks like feminist propaganda but, we'll know soon enough if your $10 were wasted or not.

Anonymous said...

Looks like one of her first videos from the kickstater will be titled, "Top 10 Most Common Defenses of Sexism in Games"

Man, just from that alone I can already see the strawman arguments she is going to deliver.

Mads said...

I'm always scared that my demographic dictates my oppinion. As a male in his 20'es, speaking out against a supposed feminist...well, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

I don't like it. I introspect about it, and I want people of other demographics to say something similar so I know I'm not likely to be a sexist or racist or something else hateful on account of being unable to understand the situation, or on account of ignorance.

Maybe that's dumb, but there it is.

Anyway, Jannie, I'm not sure I agree that gender studies are completely useless...just as I do think Michael Moores movies tend to have an impact of some sort...but I agree with your overall message.

@KingGumpy
She's getting scrutiny because people are spreading the word and asking their friends to donate.

Anybody who's seriously asked to contribute to something would seriously consider it if they respect the person asking. I seriously considered it. She's not worth it because I think she's intellectually dishonest, while pretending to be intellectually honest - ie. I think she's a fraud. End of story.

Hypershell said...

I have to admit that, while I'm happy to hear discussion of tropes, what they mean, what they impact, etc., and especially how they apply to video games, having actually watched Anita's videos I'm not that impressed.

If any sexist trope exists it is most likely a symptom rather than a cause of sexist mentality, yet Anita rarely discusses what behaviors and mentalities created these tropes in the first place. I thought that Smurfette and Woman In The Fridge were fairly provocative, but that's two out of six. On the whole the video series was oversimplified, and the Manic Pixie Dream Girl absolutely reeked of a double standard.

Seriously, when your criticism is "females who exist only to support totally dependent males is degrading to women", how do you not notice the male character flaws in that dynamic? As a litmus test, reverse the gender of the roles, and have you created anything less degrading to women? If a mentally unstable lead character relying on support characters to achieve the lead character's higher calling is considered degrading to the supports and not the lead, then why exactly did everyone throw a feminist-driven fit over Metroid Other M?

That's just the tip of the iceberg. Well, like I said, discussion requires listening to people who disagree with you. But from what I've seen Anita's been missing far more often than she's been hitting. Still doesn't excuse the derogatory remarks directed at her, but the fact that she bothers to hold comments for author approval and yet still lets some of the most hateful bullshit I've ever seen pass, that does raise an eyebrow.

Kenji Setou said...

I'm just going to leave this here:

http://www.indiegogo.com/misandryinvideogames?c=home

Nixou said...

@ Bob

I know you've already talked in several episodes about the "Circling the Wagons" ├╝ber-defensive reality-denying prone attitude among the noisiest members of the "Gaming Culture"...

But some of the comments from the last few days -and not only among this post comments- are pure gold for this theme: the outraged self-proclaimed representants of the "modern" hardcore gamers have during their serenades produced pearls like:

• There's no sexists among Us
• There's no racist among Us
• Developers are not deliberately targetting sexists and racists gamers: the Call of Duty campains were totally just sarcastic jokes used to create controversy, the Hitman beat-the-nuns-to-death trailer was just misunderstood and Squeenix definitely never-ever tried to sell us the new Tomb Raider as a rape & revenge torture porn
• Retake Mass Effect was a purely rational reaction and had nothing to do with Bioware breaking our masturbating fantasy of being that badass invincible space marine turned space dictator.
• Video games aren't toys because we aren't kids, we're mature adults who are definitely not playing with plastic toys regardless of what your lying eyes are telling you.
• We forbid you to contradict our mindlessly repeated narratives with actual sales figures: this would be disrespectful to our mature adults' intelligence.
• How dare you express any sort of lack of respect for our circling the wagon antics: did you not know that "civility" means being curteous to people who do not deserve it you troll? so shut up! shutup! shutupshutupshutupshutupshutup!

It would be a shame to see so much good comedy material go to waste.
Also, may I suggest that instead of using these comments as a fodder for yet another commentary you make your next villain/antagonist/whatever a randian pseudo-elistist cult brandishing every fallacious arguments similar to those listed as revealed truths? Now that would make a funny plotline.

Anonymous said...

I think the biggest concern of this isn't that video game women are portrayed as sex objects. We do know that there is and something needs to be done about it. The problem some of us were having is that we think that Anita is wrong in some of her videos. Good examples is her Straw feminist and Bayonetta videos. In Bayonetta she really didn't get the story stating it was just a single mom thing. In her Straw feminist video, she talks about how an episode of power puff girls portrays the topic, in which; she states how the ppg are turn off of feminist when what exactly the opposite happens at the end of ppg episode is they see what villianess was doing was wrong. As you seen Susan B. Anthony was fighting to be treated as the same as a man an not given an easier route or less in all aspects of life.

Another problem some of us had was the monetary aspect. She was able to do videos like this before but now she's asking for money. There have been a few to say she should be doing this for free. That she already has the means of producing a video and to obtain games.

Lastly is the fact of her subject matter for these videos. Most of the videos and descriptions seem relatively simple. Something that could be done in less that 30 minutes. Not to forget the fact that she added in positive "role model" females after she got enough donations. Meaning this sounded pretty one sided.

Also this reminds me of that video made not to long back about how certain things were meant for everybody like that book twilight. I saw it on a tumblr the other day. Which could be brought up. here?

Christopher said...

Wow, just wow. Between the reactions to this and the Mass Effect thing, I'm never going to self identify to ANYONE as a gamer again. The fandom has become fucking disgusting.

Anonymous said...

Anyone else find that anita is alot like that overtly femmenist chick from saved by the bell or even brita from
Community. In a way she is a trope herself

Andrew said...

I won't support because I can't imagine what she needs 6000 dollars for. Please make the videos, but lots pof people make great insightful commentary videos on issues like these for free already.

Anonymous said...

An awful video maker premotes another awful video maker to keep making awful videos.

And how exactly will donating money will fix any of these issues that are plaguing gaming exactly?

Oh wait it, it won't. Its already bought up you could actually do REAL work for women/human rights in countrys that actually need the help right now...

But thats work, so lets all complain about videogames instead! That'll fix everything!

Anonymous said...

welp, looks like Bob was just riding off his high horse again...I don't see his name anywhere on the woman's donators list. Not that he would've made a difference now anyway.

Aiddon said...

@Nixou

It makes me wonder why Bob even bothers. So much of gaming has become represented by whiny, spineless, self-indulgent, disrespectful, childish troglodytes that it amazes me that they're anything such as a gaming community

Anonymous said...

I ask, how will donating money to her will actually fix the problem?

Will it change the developers or publishers?

Will it change the markets biggest consumers are 15 to 25 year old males?

Will it do, well, anything?

How about instead of arguing between each other with name calling and prentending to know who is the majority of people representing gaming and actually ask...

How will giving her large amounts of money going to fix or change the current industry?

Anonymous said...

@Aiddon

"It makes me wonder why Bob even bothers"

Because he wants pageviews durrr.

El Pibe Progre said...

@Nixou:

Stop using strawman arguments to mock hardcore gamers.

The Hitman trailer was misunderstood.

Retake Mass Effect had a just, even if short-sighted, goal.

Videogames are closer to DVD players than actual toys.

Nixou said...

"Wow, just wow. Between the reactions to this and the Mass Effect thing, I'm never going to self identify to ANYONE as a gamer again. The fandom has become fucking disgusting."

Well, the noisy part of the fandom.

***

"So much of gaming has become represented by whiny, spineless, self-indulgent, disrespectful, childish troglodytes that it amazes me that they're anything such as a gaming community"

Frankly, I don't think there's such a thing as The gaming community: there are several hugely different communities, which do not speak with each other.

The problem now is the monetary footprint of each group of gamers:
• Kids: they're heavy gamers and often willing for trying something new, but they depends on their parents money, which limit their footprint
• Ludophilic connoisseurs: they're also heavy gamers, they're discriminating in their choice and try to avoid giving money to companies which do not deserve it, but there is too few of them.
• "Casuals": There's a ton of them, but they're not willing to invest a lot of time and money to something they see more as a distraction rather than a hobby: so their footprint is dominished by the small amont of money each of them spend on games, which makes them a perfect target for companies which make inexpensive games.
• "Hardcore" troglodytes: they have more disposable income than kids, are more numerous than the connoisseurs, which give them so far the biggest footprint and therefore make them the main target for big AAA companies PR departments.

And there is the very real risk that the "troglodytes" footprint is driving the industry into a wall similar to the one which hit Hollywood during the rise of television: by only catering to the "troglodytes" who keep on demanding more and more expansive to make games, big developers may well be going into an unsustainable corner: already AAA games cost so much than being a million seller is not alway guaranteed to break even. Once you take into account the fact that only 30% of a game price goes to the publisher, you realize that a game like FFXII needed to sell over 2,7 million copies to bring back to squeenix as much money as it cost to make, MGS 4 needed to sell over 3,5 million copies to be even slighlty profitable, GTA 4 needed to sell over 5,5 million copies to be profitable... If the prices keep on rising during the next generation of console, the market will reach a point where AAA games cease to be profitable altogether.

Botman said...

@Nixou

Also, may I suggest that instead of using these comments as a fodder for yet another commentary you make your next villain/antagonist/whatever a randian pseudo-elistist cult brandishing every fallacious arguments similar to those listed as revealed truths? Now that would make a funny plotline.

If he does something as stupid as create another story where he creates yet another strawman character holding opposing opinions, while depicting him as either irredeemably evil and/or incompetent/stupid (in essence, if he creates another Antithinker for his Mary Sue self-insert "character" to beat on), I will from that point exclusively watch the show through [REDACTED].

This may be hard for people like you to believe, but I don't think he created these stories for the express purpose of spiting members of his audience who disagree with him. (At least, I desperately want to believe that, as someone who actually voted on his show back when it was a different beast entirely.)

Sabre said...

"• Kids: they're heavy gamers and often willing for trying something new, but they depends on their parents money, which limit their footprint
• Ludophilic connoisseurs: they're also heavy gamers, they're discriminating in their choice and try to avoid giving money to companies which do not deserve it, but there is too few of them.
• "Casuals": There's a ton of them, but they're not willing to invest a lot of time and money to something they see more as a distraction rather than a hobby: so their footprint is dominished by the small amont of money each of them spend on games, which makes them a perfect target for companies which make inexpensive games.
• "Hardcore" troglodytes: they have more disposable income than kids, are more numerous than the connoisseurs, which give them so far the biggest footprint and therefore make them the main target for big AAA companies PR departments."

Ouch. The only group you don't use negative terms for is the one you believe to be a part of, which reads to me more like "pseudo intellectual hippy" than "connoisseurs".

Why does a games budget automatically make it and anyone who plays them bad? It's even more strange giving that a great deal of 'indie cred' is marketing, just a different type. Notch and Blow often told stories of how they were starving artists who risked their home and gave up stable jobs in a down economy to make games. That's marketing. Also, ever wonder why That Game Company downplay that they are funded by Sony? That is because if they ever came out and said "We are financially secure" they would lose their 'indie cred'.

Aiddon said...

Rising costs is why I wish developers would stop whining for the next generation; if the console makers do it recklessly the cost of so-called AAA gaming is going to become absurd. It'll be to the point where there's only schlocky "blockbuster" titles and offbeat indie stuff. People can say what they will about Nintendo, but they realize nothing good will come out of trying to show off quickly and try to mitigate that by being slower or nontraditional with hardware updates.

Sabre said...

"Rising costs is why I wish developers would stop whining for the next generation; if the console makers do it recklessly the cost of so-called AAA gaming is going to become absurd."

Reckless being the main word here. Tools are also getting more advanced. Devs have been having trouble fitting games onto current hardware. At present, it's common to make a high poly model, and then use that to generate bump maps and the like, before making a low poly version. This is why I don't get the "graphics can't get much better" type of arguments. It's even possible that one day textures won't exist for most things. It's only hardware limitation that stop, let's say a sword, from having all the nicks and scratches modeled instead of being 'painted on' by textures. Add in extra shaders that mean devs can quickly do once time consuming tasks and have them look better than doing them the slow way.

A great example of what I mean is Grimrock. Made by a few guys in a short space of time, that game has graphics on par or even better than the likes of Doom 3, which was a big budget game back in it's day.

Anonymous said...

http://www.facebook.com/femfreq/posts/10151009462941355

More haters left pornographic drawings on her facebook page the night after her kickstarter was funded. Sore losers!

Aiddon said...

urge to kill, rising

Nixou said...

"Ouch. The only group you don't use negative terms for is the one you believe to be a part of, which reads to me more like "pseudo intellectual hippy" than "connoisseurs".

Well, if you had read what I wrote Before copy-pasting it, you'd have realized that I was not describing anyone negatively.

I do not consider the "whiny, spineless, self-indulgent, disrespectful, childish" part of the hardcore crowds to be the majority: just a minority big and noisy enough to catch the attention of companies PR departments and be deemed profitable. Aaaaah, but silly me, trying to add nuance in a shouting match.

*

"Why does a games budget automatically make it and anyone who plays them bad?"

Did I write such a thing?
Oh, yes, I didn't.
You really should settle whatever score you have with the imaginary me who lives in your head in private.

Anyway: the problem with budgets is simple:

Take a company like Bioware: a well respected RPG developer, known for the quality and more recently the daring direction they give to their writing. Flagship games from this company sell between 3 and 4,5 million units. That's a very respectable amount, but if the devellopment costs keep going up (less than 1 million per game during the mid 90s, 1 to 4 millions during the early 2000s, up to 20 million before the introduction of the current gen, up to 100 million now), at some point Bioware will be forced to
• Either make well received games which bring them less money that it cost them to make nonetheless
• Cut corners and make games less beautiful than whatever Vivendi's peons can produce, running the risk of a lukewarm reception, hence bringing them less money that it cost them to make
• Cut corners and make shorter games, which will be panned by critics, lose them customers and bring them less money that it cost them to make
• Sell their games for more: either by adding 10 or 20 bucks per game, or by putting an increasingly big part of their games on DLCs... but their customers pockets are not bottomless, which will lead to more of them to buy used copies or play pirated version, or simply renounce to play their games altogether because of the raised price, an event which will come all the faster if everyone else pull the same trick, leading Bioware to sell games which bring them less money that it cost them to make.
• Migrate to the handheld market, then discover that the JRPG industry is far from dead, face renewed competition on these new territories while the "real RPGs are for living room consoles" audience may be abandonning them, hence, again bringing them less money that it cost them to make (even the handhel cost is raising up)

So expensive games are not "bad": its just the rising budgets which are killing the AAA industry unless costs reach a plateau very soon.

*

"It's only hardware limitation that stop, let's say a sword, from having all the nicks and scratches modeled instead of being 'painted on' by textures."

Riiiiiiiight: you can add in either the working hours of the artist which will have to handcraft all the nicks and scratches or the price to pay for the license of whatever 3D engine includes a nicks and scratches algorithm.

*

"A great example of what I mean is Grimrock"

Which is a grid based dungeon crawler with very little visual variety.
Which helps a lot in the graphics department since the workload ends up being much much much much lower.

*****

"People can say what they will about Nintendo, but they realize nothing good will come out of trying to show off quickly and try to mitigate that by being slower or nontraditional with hardware updates."

It's more than that: if you look at the most recent interview done by Iwata, you realize that Nintendo higher ups are clearly banking on the AAA industry becoming unsustainable in the near future.

PadMasher said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OExCdOImmVA

Man makes some good points. On a side note, I decided to rewatch her Tropes vs Women series and a few other videos and I really I'm getting a "radical" feeling from them, especially the Straw Feminist where she completely misinterprets Femme Fatal. Also, quite a few tropes in her upcoming series have been mentioned in previous videos so you really aren't learning anything new if you are familiar with her work. I have a bad feeling about this...

Shark said...

@PadMaster
She deserves all the hate she gets. Only an idiot would provoke 4chan.

PadMasher said...

@Shark

Yeah, unfornately I'm losing sympathy for this woman. If you watch some of her videos, it's blantantly obvious that she blames sexism, misyogny, etc. entirely on men. She paints a picture where men are the driving force behind the oppression of women.

Of course, if anyone is going to be sexist towards a woman, it's going to be a man but, she makes it seem like all the tropes in pop culture are men's fault. As if women who support such projects have nothing to do with it. In other words, she sounds like another radical feminist.

Shark said...

@PadMaster
I already lost my sympathy for that woman. I can't even read her name or Feminist Frequency without getting foaming at the mouth.

PadMasher said...

For the record, her promo video now has likes/dislikes removed and she is shutting down the comments section. I don't know what to make of that but, it's a little funny how she is basically engaging in censorship since it can be argued that she is trying to censor what she considers sexism in games.

Anonymous said...

Anyway, speaking of women in games, there an interesting criticism of one of the game that FemFreq will be discussing, specifically from page 5 to page 9!

http://www.projectafterforums.com/index.php?showtopic=2455&st=80

Look for Schmekie's posts in particular for the difference between sexy and sexist.

Shark said...

@Anonymous June18
Big deal, nudity is pretty common in art. What's the difference between all of the cheesecake in Skullgirls, and "Olympia" by Manet?

Aiddon said...

very interesting observations, though I do wish the people posting didn't resort to namecalling so much (especially against one of Skullgirls' voice actresses). There is definitely a subtle difference between exploitative cheesecake and a work of art. It's why Botticelli's works are stunningly beautiful while a lot of gaming character design is a bit pathetic. Heck, there's a reason I consider Samus Aran one of the sexier characters around.

PadMasher said...

@Anon 7:09AM

I'm not to fond of most of the artwork in that game either but, you know what, it's Alex's artwork and he can draw what ever the fuck he wants.

This is what I was talking about in regards to censor. If an artist wants to draw nudity or make the star of their story a pornstar, they should have the creative freedom to so without people telling the artist what they should and shouldn't do based on "harmful tropes".

The fact that the posters in that thread wanted SkullGirls to tank before it even came out was pretty pathetic to be honest. Here I am defending an artist I don't even like. That's how stupid this is getting.

Specter Von Baren said...

Really I just look forward to what a lot of you haven't even mentioned here which is the fall out when these videos are made.

From the looks of things, if she turns out something poor after receiving all this money then her credibility is going to be hammered hard. This is the make it or break it point for her, either she does a good job and gains respect or she does a horrid job and her reputation could never recover.

If she really is just a pusher for narrow view points then getting all this money is going to be the worst thing that could happen to her since it brings her deficiencies to the public eye. Thieves only get by if they can succeed at not being noticed or hiding, I look forward to seeing how this all turns out one way or the other, either someone deserving of respect will get respect or someone deserving of scorn will get scorn.

I'm paraphrasing here but, "The best way to judge a (wo)man's character is to give them power and see what they do with it."

Sabre said...

"From the looks of things, if she turns out something poor after receiving all this money then her credibility is going to be hammered hard. This is the make it or break it point for her, either she does a good job and gains respect or she does a horrid job and her reputation could never recover."

It won't though. It's not like Jack Thompson who abused his official title until it was taken away from him. She preaches to a choir, and if her videos are a failure, she will claim it was the patriarchy keeping her down, this will strengthen the belief of her and her followers. We see this all the time with groups like doomsday cults.

Anonymous said...

http://www.anime3000.com/a3k-network/165-the-other-side/1068-stay-free-fandom-the-other-side.html

Go to the 54 minute mark for this guy's opinion on one of the games that she'll be covering...it's interesting to say the least.

PadMasher said...

@Anon 3:19

You mean that same video where those 2 guys rail on David Sirling (who is a total douche) for damn near 20 minutes? I enjoy a well deserved frying of an asshat as much as the next guy but, those 2 end up making fools of themselves in an attempt to make fun of someone else. I'm glad I left fighting games before I turned into that.

Anonymous said...

Agree with Pad. I tried listening to that and they came off as whiny as the people they were complaining about.

PadMasher said...

@Anon 6:56

Yeah, they milked the hell out of those Sirlin jokes. I couldn't help but, notice that one of those guys was really dominating the podcast, especially regarding SkullGirls. Seriously, we know he hated the artstyle but, he goes on and on about the proportions and outright drills into Alex Ahad. He even tells him to "never draw again". To top it off, he said if you like SkullGirls "you're wrong". I can't fucking stand people who pull out the "your opinion is wrong" crap. I didn't know it was a crime to think differently. Those guys are tools.

It's funny because I never liked SkullGirls but, it still has a right to exist. That's what I don't get about these "harmful tropes" and whatnot. A lot of the people ranting about sexism in games seem like they're trying to indirectly censor the games by telling people what they can and can't do. Alex Ahad can make all the ridiculously proportioned women he wants. You don't have to look at his stuff.

MKG said...

She is ok, alot of her points are valid, but I feel at a lot of times she is reaching for something to protest. Can't blame her though, she is in the spotlight so people will look to her to comment on every little thing.

Aiddon said...

I honestly hope that this video series does well, if nothing more than to teach punks like this a lesson:

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/118310-Flash-Game-Makes-Players-Beat-Up-Tropes-vs-Women-Creator