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Misogyny in videogames

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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 21 Sep 2013, 03:08
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Post 03 Oct 2014, 22:27
Indigo wrote:
Alright, this is going to sound foolish. But what the hell is SJW?

Social Justice Warrior. Usually it's used to mean annoying people who are just looking for something to whine about. Think, the Tumblr crowd, where "we shouldn't be going to third world countries and calling it a vacation, that's racist" can get a ton of reblogs.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 19 Mar 2005, 20:08
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Post 04 Oct 2014, 05:45
So basically Cata in the past few years here.
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"Bleh, i don't even know what i'm arguing for. What a stupid rant. Disregard what i wrote." - Loz
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Post 04 Oct 2014, 06:41
MissStrangelove wrote:
Social Justice Warrior. Usually it's used to mean annoying people who are just looking for something to whine about. Think, the Tumblr crowd, where "we shouldn't be going to third world countries and calling it a vacation, that's racist" can get a ton of reblogs.


Calling it a "vacation" is racist. It's a fragging holiday.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 27 Apr 2007, 18:04
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Post 04 Oct 2014, 09:38
Jesus, all these walls of text. Trotsky was a fag?
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Post 05 Oct 2014, 14:13
No 14 wrote:
Calling it a "vacation" is racist. It's a fragging holiday.

No no, see, a vacation has a clear and well-defined meaning. Holiday could mean one of two very different things. And it sounds funny.

And, mostly, we just want to spite Britain. Just because.
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Post 06 Oct 2014, 00:19
Hey! Hey! Back on topic.

What's the stance on the Gianna Sisters, then?


"Where Argentina goes, Latin America will go".
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Mar 2010, 01:20
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Post 06 Oct 2014, 23:43
MissStrangelove wrote:
Because obviously, talking about skewed gender portrayals, something widespread in any form of media, means being "a concern troll" and "an SJW."
Raising the issue is just "a story."
How can throwing strawmen like this around actually help the discussion? I'm sorry if you assumed that everybody here was just going to agree with you (because we're Leftists) but I've been following this since the beginning and it's a fair bit more complicated than that.

MissStrangelove wrote:
In other news: global warming doesn't really exist, Trayvon shot first unless you're a Tumblrite, and Ukraine having a far-right is some myth concocted by Putin.
What's the point of throwing out more strawmen? None of them have any relevance to the topic and none of them are claims I'm making.

I can see what you're trying to imply, but just because that sort of crappy rhetoric is popular on certain sites doesn't mean it holds any merit.
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Post 07 Oct 2014, 01:03
It might help to put things into their proper perspective by noting that the current generation of people who are currently becoming Geopolitical policy makers are people my age who have, indeed, grown up with the Internet, but aren't inclined to pay terribly much attention to cheesy internecine Reddit squabbles.

That's for the NEXT generation of policy makers to be influenced by.

I'm not looking forward to that.
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Post 07 Oct 2014, 01:08
Shigalyov wrote:
How can throwing strawmen like this around actually help the discussion?

Calling it a strawman doesn't make it so. And I quote, bold for emphasis:

Quote:
I'm kind of sad to see gamergate stuff on SE and disapponted (though not entirely surprised) to see people falling for the whole misogyny story. I know there's some overlap between Communist sympathies and those of these SJWs, but these are the same concern trolls who killed Occupy. They can get lost as far as I'm concerned.

The fact of the matter is, whatever criticisms you have of people like Sarkeesian or Quinn personally, this doesn't invalidate the points they're making. Dismissing that as just being "an SJW" and "a concern troll" is essentially shutting down talk of gender in the industry. Denying a problem exists, with an ad hominem, lumping everyone talking about it together under a slur.

The denials I listed were to drive that point home.

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I'm sorry if you assumed that everybody here was just going to agree with you (because we're Leftists) but I've been following this since the beginning and it's a fair bit more complicated than that.

I actually didn't. I completely expected controversy, because as you can see here, this gets y'all's panties in a knot.
Last edited by MissStrangelove on 07 Oct 2014, 02:37, edited 1 time in total.
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Post 07 Oct 2014, 01:55
Shigalyov wrote:
I'm kind of sad to see gamergate stuff on SE and disapponted (though not entirely surprised) to see people falling for the whole misogyny story. I know there's some overlap between Communist sympathies and those of these SJWs, but these are the same concern trolls who killed Occupy. They can get lost as far as I'm concerned.


Wow, I never realized how much your politics sucked. I guess it's because you never talked about it at all. I can see why you never venture outside Mir.

Loz was right about SE. I find this place has become like a club of old regulars who discuss nothing and act as reactionaries to wider internet trends while hiding in a bubble (and a bubble within that one, Mir). It doesn't surprise me at all the 'stalinist hub of the net' has such an issue with 'SJWs'. It's a culture thing, and SJW's aren't 'eastern' and have no precedence in the USSR whatsoever. Which is why the farthest this forum gets to a left-right divide is on stalin and trotsky, it's already a precedent. The worst part about it, I don't even see any SJWs around here. I see someone who mentioned gender, and an explosion of reaction ensues.

Ultimately, SE is a USSR history discussion forum, not a communist forum proper. So we get social conservative cretins and Soviet patriots. Hooray.

Ironically shig, you and others seem to have taken your own advice already. Why do they need to get lost when you already have?

All this reminds me why I started going to revleft in the first place. But they're on the other end of spectrum, bubble-wise.
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Post 07 Oct 2014, 04:07
Conscript wrote:
Loz was right about SE. I find this place has become like a club of old regulars who discuss nothing and act as reactionaries to wider internet trends while hiding in a bubble (and a bubble within that one, Mir).

Meanwhile, the average SE member, such as yourself, is making much more of a difference in the world by posting in the SRS BSNS section.
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It doesn't surprise me at all the 'stalinist hub of the net' has such an issue with 'SJWs'. It's a culture thing, and SJW's aren't 'eastern' and have no precedence in the USSR whatsoever.

You and several others seem to have an especial dislike of "the East" and posters who are fans of its culture, history, and traditions.
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Which is why the farthest this forum gets to a left-right divide is on stalin and trotsky, it's already a precedent.

What do you expect for a website named Soviet Empire? If you were looking for MTW discussion or a limo liberal debate club, there are other locations.
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The worst part about it, I don't even see any SJWs around here. I see someone who mentioned gender, and an explosion of reaction ensues.

Except that I don't see the "reaction". A different perspective and a different opinion do not "reaction" make.
Quote:
Ultimately, SE is a USSR history discussion forum, not a communist forum proper. So we get social conservative cretins and Soviet patriots. Hooray.

Because you expected to meet with Kiss fans on an Animals As Leaders fan board. Or Reagan diehards on a Hilary Clinton website.
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Ironically shig, you and others seem to have taken your own advice already. Why do they need to get lost when you already have?

In which case, what exactly is the issue?
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All this reminds me why I started going to revleft in the first place. But they're on the other end of spectrum, bubble-wise.

Nostalgia for the old days vs. armchair geopolitics from the teenage perspective. At least here, I don't get ripped for my lack of 4chan/Reddit awareness.
Miss Strangelove: "You feed giants laxatives so goblins can mine their poop before the gnomes get to it."
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Post 07 Oct 2014, 06:10
That most of our regular posters never post outside Mir is a troublesome trend.

I'd never accuse Shig of being a soviet patriot or eastern reactionary though. He's an old man like Order and has old ideas but whatever. We'll be the old dudes with old ideas in a couple decades. I do wish they wouldn't fall for the old "these damn young-people" trope though. I hope I can avoid the alure of this tendency as I age (without ending up as the creepy old dude at young people's parties).
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Post 07 Oct 2014, 07:49
I don't consider myself a vehement anti-Westerner, or an Orthodox reactionary, etc., but I do get a little irritated by the anti-Slav opinions some people here do seem to have. I mean, of ALL the places on the Internet to vent such feelings, they'd choose here? It's mystifying and aggravating at the same time.
Miss Strangelove: "You feed giants laxatives so goblins can mine their poop before the gnomes get to it."
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Post 07 Oct 2014, 12:32
OK, so this discussion has resumed. I wasn't sure whether I should post about it again, since it's probably boring to most people, but on the other hand, I wanted to give MissStrangeLove a proper response. The post I'm responding to is this one (I don't really like responding to individual snippets):

MissStrangelove wrote:
More because you're, in this thread, pretty actively taking a side. Except when you try to frame it as you being impartial and uninvolved, except then why are you debating me?

And I really don't think the equivalence is warranted at all, it just seems like a lame excuse to seem "fair and balanced" and divest of the controversy. Like most claims of equivalence. The feminist side wants a societal discussion on sexist tropes and for games to have better portrayals of women. The other side wants them to shut up for... some reason. Partisanship is totally warranted; one side wants things better for women, the other side is status quo reaction.

Completely false analogy, and frankly just smug condescension. Kony 2012 was an attempt to affect political change by social media, specifically trying to get Congress or the UN to invade an area on a humanitarian mission. This is an effort to start a discussion on a societal problem. We're discussing it, right here. Forums all over the internet are discussing it. Gaming media is discussing it. That's sign enough that it's working.

If you mean the auxiliary objective, changing the gaming industry itself, those people on social media are also a market demographic. The game industry makes money by what people buy. It's simple enough to not piss these customers off, it just means using a few specific tropes less often, and so they'll generally do it. That's the feedback mechanism.

Yeah. Is there supposed to be a contradiction there? I wasn't seriously discussing it, I don't have the power to implement it and (as I even said in the post) don't know that I would if I could. There's just a chance I would, since I do consider it more important to treat seriously cases of violence which are common in the real world than to keep a very minor gameplay mechanic. I also want to reiterate that I'm literally the only person who even raised it, but you're apparently jumping on that as a huge issue for some reason.

And yes, I find your attitude a little weird for a Marxist, since media having social consequences is generally taken for granted. What you described seems more like a liberal, individualistic attitude. "I like this game, so you can't change a thing in it, or you're some big-gubbermint busybody!"

Companies, like human beings, can and do self-censor all the time. It's called pandering, appealing to market demographics, whatever words you want to use for it. There doesn't exist some natural, free, open state of corporate behavior that we just want to impose on.

Also, really funny way to describe what we want. I'd call it an equal depiction of women. Or is it somehow wrong to want us represented as equal human beings, as important and developed as males?

Isn't everyone "driven by personal motives"? Oh no, they want a discussion on it because... it's in their interest! Oh my god!

Of course there's vitriol on both sides. But to take the "they're both wrong, whatever" cop-out from that is pretty fallacious.

Except proportionally, the vast majority of player characters are male, and the vast majority of female characters are sidekicks, damsels, and otherwise defined in relation to that male character. There are incredibly few female developers. The female game market is often treated as basically nonexistent in press, marketing, and discussions, outside of the RPG genre. And calls for equality in the industry are treated... like this.

Congratulations, that's exactly what we want.
That's what a more equalized industry means.

Because personal attacks totally negate the message, right? <3 Who's doing what is not and never has been the point, it has nothing to do with whether or not what's being discussed is worth fixing. I'd argue it is, and this is mostly just an ad-hominem type sidestep.


Of course I don't have any problem with "calls for equality", and I would encourage anyone to follow in the footsteps of great women in gaming. For instance:

Image


Strangely enough, they accomplished what they did without anyone on YouTube trying to speak for them. But then again, some of them are probably responsible for one or more of those horrible "tropes" in gaming that are being bravely exposed from the sidelines by the male and female feminists of this world, who of course know what's best for all women all the time. They don't contribute anything themselves; they sit on the sidelines, waiting for someone to say or do something slightly "incorrect", so they can knock it down. Oh, but of course I'm forgetting the brilliant text-based non-game by Zoe Quinn.

Now I think we're talking at cross-purposes here, because you seem to take a more positive approach in general, or at least, you just want to open a discussion. But from what I've seen, this is the exception, rather than the rule, in feminism in gaming. I'm afraid there are a lot of prominent participants in this effort who do look rather silly because of their attitude towards facts, people who are just doing this as a PR business, and people who actually misbehave in one way or another. You say this is "ad-hominem", but so what if it is? A person's character and behaviour is rather important. In the real world, we make decisions all the time of whether to engage with someone or not, and if they're seen to have acted dishonestly or corruptly in some way, then that could be a reason not to engage with them, let alone "follow" them.

The whole recent history has certainly influenced my opinions as well, since you mentioned my being "involved". Feminism in gaming has been going on for years, and I've been happily ignoring it for most of that period, because it's mostly limited to games that I don't play and publications that I don't read. Its home is in environments that I'm not a part of and want nothing to do with. But now it's spilling into places that I do read, and I form opinions based on what I see. So sorry. I'm not claiming to be neutral, and I'm clear about the fact that I sympathise with the people who want to show up harebrained post-post-postist theories and dodgy dealings in the gaming industry. But I don't consider myself part of some Gamergate "movement" because I don't tweet about it, I'm not calling advertisers, etc. This is just me stating my opinion.

As for the standard leftist accusation of "liberalism" and "individualism", I can play that ball right back to you. The feminism that we're dealing with here is an unabashedly liberal form. The tactics of "spreading awareness" through the media and academia is also decidedly liberal. Where is the materialist analysis of concrete reality as a basis for class organisation? It's absent; instead, what we get is a pre-cooked opinion of how it should be, channeled into society through PR firms, clickbait media businesses like Gawker Media, lecture halls, and so on.

With regards to censorship, it's undoubtedly true that media have social effects of some kind, but the nature of these is heavily debated. For instance, I have already mentioned the theory that media audiences are not just passive dupes, and that their reading of something may differ from yours or mine. Unless a direct, concrete effect can be demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt, you'd simply be calling for censorship of things you don't like. To resist that is not liberal or individualistic; it's a perfectly healthy and natural response, and one that will occur immediately (and often with more violent language) if you even tried to suggest this to people who aren't inclined to listen to you just because we've got a good deal of ideological common ground.

Of course Marxism goes beyond just the immediate "big government should keep its hands off my vidya gaems", but if there is no good reason for government to lay hands on them, then that kind of response will be sufficient in a hurry. Why make more effort to debate something that the proposer isn't even sure about, because the justification for it would amount to little more than a moral panic? So let's have no more of that, unless there's actually something to talk about beyond the provocative suggestion.
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Post 07 Oct 2014, 14:03
Quote:
Strangely enough, they accomplished what they did without anyone on YouTube trying to speak for them. But then again, some of them are probably responsible for one or more of those horrible "tropes" in gaming that are being bravely exposed from the sidelines by the male and female feminists of this world, who of course know what's best for all women all the time.

That's colossally disingenuous. You know full well that a cherrypicked selection of a few people put together on 4chan, mostly second-hand members of a big team (in major games) and small-time indie developers based on that very list, doesn't even make a dent.

The overwhelming majority of individuals in the gaming industry are male, especially lead developers for big-budget companies (i.e. the games most people actually play), and game writing reflects this.

Quote:
Oh, but of course I'm forgetting the brilliant text-based non-game by Zoe Quinn.

I wouldn't call it a non-game, interactive and visual novels have been part of the gaming community since the 80s. They're massively popular in Japan. I mean, Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni and Fate/stay Night are basically the same set-up, with more pictures.

And you'd do well to not put words in my mouth. It's well-written in the beginning, and I can sympathize with why she made it. But, I actually have a huge problem with how the game handles depression towards the end; its solutions aren't really constructive. This issue hits home for me in a pretty personal way.

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Now I think we're talking at cross-purposes here, because you seem to take a more positive approach in general, or at least, you just want to open a discussion. But from what I've seen, this is the exception, rather than the rule, in feminism in gaming.

That's exactly what the Tropes vs. Women series is trying to do. So, I'd say it's the rule.

You've admitted to not having watched (and saying you'd "never watch") the videos that started this whole thing. So, I don't think you can really judge that.

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I'm afraid there are a lot of prominent participants in this effort who do look rather silly because of their attitude towards facts, people who are just doing this as a PR business, and people who actually misbehave in one way or another. You say this is "ad-hominem", but so what if it is? A person's character and behaviour is rather important.

But it has nothing to do with the quality of their argument, and amounts to dodging it. What you're doing here is justifying a logical fallacy.

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In the real world, we make decisions all the time of whether to engage with someone or not, and if they're seen to have acted dishonestly or corruptly in some way, then that could be a reason not to engage with them, let alone "follow" them.

You can have the decency to engage their arguments rather than attack them as people. Personally, I couldn't care less about the Quinn issue, and you'll notice nothing I've said relates to it. The only people I see whining about GamerGate are the other side. What I care about is the impact of skewed gender portrayals in the industry, this is dodging that point with personal attacks.

Quote:
The whole recent history has certainly influenced my opinions as well, since you mentioned my being "involved". Feminism in gaming has been going on for years, and I've been happily ignoring it for most of that period, because it's mostly limited to games that I don't play and publications that I don't read. Its home is in environments that I'm not a part of and want nothing to do with. But now it's spilling into places that I do read, and I form opinions based on what I see. So sorry. I'm not claiming to be neutral, and I'm clear about the fact that I sympathise with the people who want to show up harebrained post-post-postist theories and dodgy dealings in the gaming industry.

I'd hardly call the fact that men are better-treated in entertainment media, more often heroes and independent characters, a "harebrained post-post-postist theory." It's not post-anything. It's something even first-wave feminists, the very first feminists, would agree with. It's a push for equal representation, fullstop.

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As for the standard leftist accusation of "liberalism" and "individualism", I can play that ball right back to you. The feminism that we're dealing with here is an unabashedly liberal form.

Which is still unabashedly better than brushing the issue under the rug and going "I hope y'all lose because I don't want tiny changes in my gaemz," which is still more individualistic and amounts to (liberal) conservative anti-feminism. Since what's being called for is a step up in the context of socialist feminism (defined by Kollontai, Zetkin, Eisenstein, Haraway) too.

Liberal feminism is problematic, from a socialist perspective, not because it's too radical. It's a problem because it only equalizes the genders as capitalist workhorses, without addressing the broader cultural problem of emphasizing male traits over female ones and the class exploitation underlying it, lumping everyone together under one box instead. And because it only addresses the concerns of white middle-class women in the first-world, apologizing for imperialism in the process. Basically, it's a problem because it doesn't go far enough.

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The tactics of "spreading awareness" through the media and academia is also decidedly liberal. Where is the materialist analysis of concrete reality as a basis for class organisation? It's absent; instead, what we get is a pre-cooked opinion of how it should be, channeled into society through PR firms, clickbait media businesses like Gawker Media, lecture halls, and so on.

What we get is the opinion that gender portrayals should be relatively equal. Sorry if that bothers you. And I'd say looking at real-world examples is material analysis of concrete reality. That we don't have a vanguard is irrelevant, because the changes that are being called for are minor from the industry's perspective (just using a few plot tropes less) and can work through economic pressure.

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With regards to censorship, it's undoubtedly true that media have social effects of some kind, but the nature of these is heavily debated. For instance, I have already mentioned the theory that media audiences are not just passive dupes, and that their reading of something may differ from yours or mine.

That's really giving too much weight to personal choice. If you're bombarded with a given message constantly, it will shape what you view as normal and acceptable, whatever choice you'd happen to make in a non-existent vacuum. Often, that message is what's normal in the wider society, but this reinforces it.

People are not islands, nobody's thoughts can just remain uninfluenced by any prevalent trope. We're all shaped by the world around us. And participating in something personally, like a game where you're actively simulating something, would have an even more direct psychological impact.

For demonstration: there have been studies where beer ads were shown to guys. They were more likely to view women sexually first and foremost afterwards; that one should just provoke "duh," they viewed a sexy ad and are probably turned on. But interestingly, they also ended up on average more sympathetic to mentally looking down on those same women within that span of time. Because ultimately, being objectified does by definition mean you're seen as a tool first and foremost. A person second.

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Of course Marxism goes beyond just the immediate "big government should keep its hands off my vidya gaems", but if there is no good reason for government to lay hands on them, then that kind of response will be sufficient in a hurry.

I, personally, think there may be a pretty good argument for government to do so. But again, I'm the only person who mentioned that. The vast majority of people on my side are liberals, and instinctively opposed to censorship for moral reasons.

I'll go one further though, and give a form of it I'd definitely support. Under socialism, it'd be even easier to equalize gender portrayals. With a system where state regulation of the airwaves is the norm, we could say "we have too much of X, please find something else." Stalin's USSR did it with regard to literature all the time, for good and for ill. Right now, with 6 companies running the airwaves, something like that is much harder to coordinate. So we have to rely on industry pressure. Imperfect, but if they're afraid of losing a sizable market share, it influences them.

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Why make more effort to debate something that the proposer isn't even sure about, because the justification for it would amount to little more than a moral panic? So let's have no more of that, unless there's actually something to talk about beyond the provocative suggestion.

We're debating the issue of gender in the media, specifically gaming. Only you keep harping on about one tiny thing I said.

And sorry. I happen to think, in some cases, censorship may be justified. My possible opposition to it is rooted in nothing kneejerk, but in the fact that what I want is equality, 50/50 depictions. Thus, there will be some media where women do take a backseat, just as there should be an equal amount where men do. So I don't want a hard and fast law that says "you have to give women an equal portrayal," and think that would lead to unrelatable tokenistic portrayals too. Basically everyone involved seems to agree, Sarkeesian even outright rejects it offhand as a possibility in her videos on ethical grounds rather than practical ones. The kinds of laws I'd be open to would be difficult to write, since they're for extreme cases (sexual violence) and would have to allow them to be portrayed, just while showing it for the problem it is. I don't want it brushed under the rug, I want the victims to be human beings rather than ragdolls used to fuel someone's story for 5 seconds.

I see comparing it to "moral panic" as very faulty though. It's concern for the impact all-too-typical portrayals of women would have on the wider society. Lumping that in with "D&D causes Satanism" is just incredibly disingenuous. One is predicated in the fact that what we see, day to day, is what we know as the social norm; so, it has consequences. Tellingly, most women talking about it are gamers themselves. The other is predicated in fearmongering and lack of understanding. And since you keep hammering on about one little thing I speculated about as an option, just because it scares you, I see the latter far more from your side.
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Post 07 Oct 2014, 19:47
So... no stance on the Gianna Sisters??


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Post 07 Oct 2014, 20:24
Che Burashka wrote:
So... no stance on the Gianna Sisters??

I just bothered to look it up. I have to admit, I don't really play many platformers.
But I really like the graphics in Twisted Dreams, and it looks pretty fun.
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Post 07 Oct 2014, 20:59
I thought it was pretty funny as well. He's been going at it since forever. Sorry Che, can't help you there neither.
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Post 07 Oct 2014, 21:13
You had to look it up? I'm not talking about Twisted Dreams, but about The Great Giana Sisters. One of the best games of '87, where a girl - Gianna - trapped in her own nightmares fights all kinds of monsters in order to find her sister Maria.
How's that for gender equality?

By the way, I distrust any "gamer" that don't know the real classics.


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Post 07 Oct 2014, 21:19
Che Burashka wrote:
You had to look it up? I'm not talking about Twisted Dreams, but about The Great Giana Sisters. One of the best games of '87, where a girl - Gianna - trapped in her own nightmares fights all kinds of monsters in order to find her sister Maria.
How's that for gender equality?

A step in the right direction, definitely.
And nightmare settings always give fuel for creative enemy design.

The cover of it was, from what I'm seeing, definitely using sexualization as a marketing tool. But at that point the playerbase was basically entirely male. Not doing it was almost the exception, and the sequel veers in the opposite direction where the sisters look like they're about 5.


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By the way, I distrust any "gamer" that don't know the real classics.

Obscure 80s platformers just aren't my thing. ^~

The closest I get to "classics" are my first games: Mario 64, Star Fox 64, Shadows of the Empire (dad loved the first level of that one), Monster Bash (<3 <3 <3), Heroes of Might and Magic 2 (which 5-year-old me was amazing at), and God of Thunder (...fragging elves). I also remember my mom playing King's Quest VI-VIII; even though that's the most similar to what I play now, I wasn't that interested then. Basically, if it's 90s, I've probably heard about it and might have played it. Before then... um, it better be Mario or Sonic.

EDIT: Oh my god yes! Monster Bash chapter 1 is available for download, and God of Thunder has a browser version. http://www.classicdosgames.com/online/gotfree.html
Last edited by MissStrangelove on 07 Oct 2014, 22:06, edited 1 time in total.
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