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Dancing girls and industry evolution

Dancing girls and industry evolution

Fri 05 Apr 2013 6:48am GMT / 2:48am EDT / 11:48pm PDT
PoliticsDevelopment

Arguments over how the industry treats women are a good thing - they show how far we've come, as well as how much remains to be done

If you ever feel depressed about how this industry is performing in terms of gender representation and treatment of minorities - and god knows there are plenty of reasons to feel depressed about that particular subject - then this year's GDC has been a very interesting event to watch. It's not the most commercial or high-profile event the industry has to offer, and for that very reason, it's the beating heart of the industry's social calendar - the place that people go to talk about the creativity, business and culture of games, both in the official sessions and (perhaps more importantly) in bars and parties in the evenings.

This year, the question of how the industry deals with women was firmly on the agenda. It was present in a number of sessions, but it was more obvious in the evenings - and even more obvious in the mornings, when hung-over attendees awoke to find storms raging over the once de-rigeur decision to include scantily clad dancing ladies at parties for developers. The IGDA even saw a couple of resignations over their failure to block this practice for a second year running at their GDC party.

"At GDC, genuine problems were called out in the open, and far from being dismissed, those calls were widely supported. We're getting there"

A lot of people were quite upset by this - which I actually find rather heartening. In fact, the overall tone of GDC in terms of the industry's slow and painful process of growing up was extremely positive. The first step towards addressing problems is to admit the existence of problems - and at GDC, genuine problems were called out in the open, and far from being dismissed, those calls were widely supported. We're getting there.

It's worth talking briefly about why the issue of dancing girls is actually an important one, because it's something that many of us simply don't understand. I'm perfectly comfortable with dancing girls, and I expect that most of you are too - no matter what your gender or sexuality may be. However, not everyone is. Some women find the sexualisation of the environment through the presence of dancing girls deeply uncomfortable, even threatening; some men equally find it disturbing and unpleasant. As such, it becomes a question of context. If I hire dancing girls for my party (unlikely, but more unlikely things have happened), well, it's my party - you don't have to come. The IGDA's party, however, is for IGDA members - for game developers - for the whole lot of them, including plenty of people who aren't comfortable with dancing girls being imposed on what's meant to be a mostly professional networking event.

This is where the changes in the industry over the past few years are really becoming evident. Dancing girls (and worse) have been part and parcel of what passes for after- hours entertainment in this business for decades. Plenty of the entertainment that publishers have laid on has focused exclusively on a disparagingly adolescent view of their business associates (in the press and elsewhere); plenty of game launches, in particular, have been an exercise in awkwardness as the industry's small but growing band of female, gay or simply happily married types look unhappily at the floor or ceiling while their compatriots leer at an underdressed young woman sliding around a pole.

1

Yet for all those decades, hardly anyone said anything - because the reality was that the industry was almost entirely made up of young, straight, unattached males, and there was no hope of making any headway with the suggestion that considering other people might be a good idea. Here we are, though, the week after GDC, and we're actually having the discussion. Inclusiveness isn't happening, entirely, but it's being talked about, and that's perhaps the most important step on the way.

Not all of the discussions are going well. Even here on GamesIndustry International, where the comments threads are usually interesting and thoughtful, discussion of the industry's treatment of females and minorities can bring out unpleasantly backwards and small-minded views from a small number of commenters. On the wider web, plenty of misogynists with no skin in this game but an eternal axe to grind with women took this as another cue to set forums and threads alight with unpleasant and often downright nasty responses. It wouldn't be hard to look at those threads and think the wrong side is winning - but it would be incorrect. The vehemence and rudeness of the backlash is, if anything, a testament to how utterly the backwards, sniggering, adolescent industry of old is being changed by an influx of new blood that's not prepared to kowtow to such attitudes - not to mention by plenty of "old blood" veterans who aren't prepared to be shushed any more.

Talk to people around the industry, and it's clear where the wind is blowing. If this medium is to have a future, it needs to appeal to everyone - to all genders, all ethnicities, all orientations - and doing that doesn't just mean creating products that appeal, it means creating an industry that appeals. It means being able to attract the best and brightest no matter what configuration of genitals, skin colour and sexual attraction they may employ. We've been terrible at that for altogether too long, allowing ludicrous and discredited arguments to stand in the way of progress - now, finally, we're starting to roll back the institutional biases which were thinly veiled by mealy-mouthed lies about women being disinterested in working on games, and so on. Open criticism of dancing girls at an industry party may only be a small step on the way, but the longest marches are made up of small individual steps, and this one speaks to a wider confrontation of industry values that have excluded huge swathes of the population from participating.

"Finally, we're starting to roll back the institutional biases which were thinly veiled by mealy-mouthed lies about women being disinterested in working on games"

We're not there yet, of course - don't pop open any corks. At heart, the games industry is still male-dominated both in its employment statistics and in its assumed consumer. We still don't have the confidence to launch very many games with female lead characters; we routinely turn out products where women are presented as little more than adolescent sexual fantasies wrapped up in a bunch of poorly-clad polygons. Loads of girls play games - they always have, and now they do so more than ever - but few game developers seem to be able to create something that genuinely speaks to an audience that isn't straight and male, or that inspires such a person to think of games as a creative medium where they could bring their expression to life.

That's what we need to do, if the medium is to evolve into something more than a cavalcade of man-shooting and car-driving. GDC this year, in this light, was a seriously positive event. Sometimes it's worth stepping back from the heat of today's arguments and considering, for a moment, how much worse things were back when there simply wasn't any argument at all.

78 Comments

Andreas Gschwari
Senior Games Designer

559 608 1.1
Great article Rob. We certainly have come a long way in the last decade i feel. I remember E3 booth babes websites after the show and comparing notes could be found on the internet, and now there are industry events where booth babes and similar entertainment are actually frowned upon or seen as immature. A step in the right direction.

However, as last years Nordic Games gala evening and more recently the Overkill promotional video showed, the industry still has plenty of people who simply don't see anything wrong with casting women as objects and perpetuating that awkward/geeky way of interacting with other people and women in particular.

I feel it's getting better, we are maturing, but there is still a lot of people who need to realize that gender, skin color or religious belives are irrelevant and that skill, dedication and passion are what matter. Companies themselves also need to realize that while going for a very specific demographic is fine, their workforce is probably more diverse than the demographic they aim for, and thus might be more sensible to certain things.

Posted:A year ago

#1

Jessica Hyland
Character Artist

282 1,065 3.8
Reading about GDC this year filled me with a mixture of hope and dread. The #1ReasonToBe panel was inspiring and powerful and I hope the surge of energy and discussion it started continues for a long time, but some of the commentary that has followed in its wake has been dispiritingly negative and narrow-minded. Things are getting better though, just slowly. Great article, Rob!

Posted:A year ago

#2

Rob Jessop
R&D Programmer

37 35 0.9
Nice work Rob; I agree. Unfortunately I didn't manage to get to most of the lectures and panels discussing this at GDC but I did make it to Anita Sarkeesian's talk about her experience of harassment which was pretty distressing. I'm looking forward to a more inclusive future for gaming and the industry.

Posted:A year ago

#3

Paul Johnson
Managing Director / Lead code monkey

850 1,107 1.3
Wow, has it already been 10 minutes since the last article about women in development? I'm assuming it is, but just cannot be arsed to read it tbh.

I started off 100% gender neutral, but am starting to feel anti-women because I'm just plain sick of all the highlighting and whining.

Posted:A year ago

#4

Jessica Hyland
Character Artist

282 1,065 3.8
Popular Comment
Aww Paul, I'm so sorry you are being forced to read every single article on this website. That must truly be a burden.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Jessica Hyland on 5th April 2013 1:12pm

Posted:A year ago

#5

Spike Laurie
International Digital Games Coordinator

12 14 1.2
It's just sex guys. Get over it already.

Posted:A year ago

#6
Its a difficult subject tbh - I guess I'm roughly libertarian in my views so I feel that those dancers have as much right to do their thing as do attendees have a right to like/not like it. And I also admit as an ex-christian I'm suspicious of anything that attempts to suppress adult sexuality even if intentions are wholly positive as in this case. Having said that I would err on the side of inclusivity if we had to draw straws - being a geek I'd much rather meet lady gamers at GDC than lady dancers. But answers I have none.

Posted:A year ago

#7

Caleb Hale
Journalist

154 230 1.5
Aside from being socially backward, it also doesn't make good business sense for the gaming industry to continue alienating women. Women play games and have money to spend on games. Don't overlook that fact.

The trolling on this thread is also disappointing given the titles attached to some of the names. You have to address problems. The industry doesn't have a great public image in the world outside of video games. It's portrayed every day as a group that gets off on excessive violence. If you add the strip club mentality industry events to that mix, no one is going to take you seriously.

Posted:A year ago

#8

Adam Campbell
Associate Producer

1,169 953 0.8
The trolling on this thread is also disappointing given the titles attached to some of the names.
Quite worrying actually.

Posted:A year ago

#9

Joshua Rose
Executive Producer / Lead Designer

191 81 0.4
I think I agree with Barry here.

Be it dancers, booth babes, what have you. They have just as much of a right to do what they do as people have the right to enjoy / not enjoy their performances. I've gone to E3 and have seen the booth babes (Darksiders 2 and the World of Tanks Hetzer commanders were my favorite) and not once have I felt they were being treated badly. I'm all for equality, please do not misrepresent my opinion on the matter.

I will use the term MAN here specifically and not the term GENTLEMAN because the two are often misconstrued and misused. A man may think he has the right to grope a booth babe, or put his hands just a little too low on her hip when he gets his picture taken with her. A gentleman would see this happening and immediately confront the 'man' for having done so regardless of any prior relationship to the victim, because that is what a gentleman does (perhaps even throw a punch because the asshole deserves it). At the same time, a gentleman would also believe the woman has the right to knock the 'man' flat on his ass for having done what he did. Respect for a woman is of the highest priority for any respecting gentleman.

All the above being said, I believe gentlemen have the right to admire beauty when they see it. I also believe women have just as much of a right to admire a handsome man when they see one. Even on the flip side, I believe any LGBT individual has just as much right to admire their own perceived sense of beauty. It really is a case of beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and I'm not talking about the crazy floating tentacle monster with a giant eye in the middle we all grew up with.

Sexuality, as Barry put it, is as much a part of the 'human condition' as eating, breathing, and sleeping. This is not something (nor should it be) that can be suppressed. But it IS something that should be dealt with in a respectful manner, that means no groping on the booth babe simply because she is there. Booth babes are not there for you to get your grubby little hands on and something at which to make cat calls. They are just as much of a human being as anybody else and they deserve the same respect.

Also, as Barry stated (look Barry, you have a fan lol) - being a geek myself, I would much rather meet and chat with a female gamer/developer than the booth babe out on the floor entertaining the googly eyed gawkers. Actually, I take that back... Let me rephrase that - I would much rather meet ANY gamer / developer (male or female, gay, straight, bi, trans, whatever) than I would the booth babe. After all, I've got more in common with the gamer / developer than I do the booth babe anyways. I got rather lucky and found an extremely attractive female gamer with which to share my life, so I have no reason to hit on the booth babes either way =P

Posted:A year ago

#10

Michal Korec
Editor/Analyst

9 1 0.1
Again, great article, Rob! Was wondering what topic can be mentioned from GDC and this one is strong.

But one more thing needs to be added. Regional point of view - comparing western world to Japan is necessary in this area tool. In Japanese gaming, heroines are much more common and girls or women are more often targeted with games releases. Sure, they tend to display them in different ways and have something to learn as well. But seeing many girls playing handhelds on the street or looking at more balanced portfolio makes certain sense.

Posted:A year ago

#11

Chiara Pasquini
Global Submission Manager

10 40 4.0
Popular Comment
Its a difficult subject tbh - I guess I'm roughly libertarian in my views so I feel that those dancers have as much right to do their thing as do attendees have a right to like/not like it. And I also admit as an ex-christian I'm suspicious of anything that attempts to suppress adult sexuality even if intentions are wholly positive as in this case. Having said that I would err on the side of inclusivity if we had to draw straws - being a geek I'd much rather meet lady gamers at GDC than lady dancers. But answers I have none.
There is a difference between trying to prevent dancers from being there and do their job, and promoting the sexual objectification of women.
Especially because, by promoting sexual objectification to women, you are actually preventing all other women from being there and do their jobs the way they want.
I think that the point with dancers here has more to do with sexual objectification than with some sort of prude thinking.
Women in the industry are generally not very well recognized and are often being reduced to a sexual object, to a decoration at an event. This is, well, at least in my opinion, the issue with dancers.
In a perfect world where there is no sexual discrimination, pretty, scantly clad dancers would be absolutely fine and not problematic, I believe.

Posted:A year ago

#12
@Spike Laurie I don't really see this as about "just sex".
This is really about manipulation as it's about having a lopsided preference towards dudes with too much testosterone.
How can the industry grow and expect people to take them more seriously if it continues to see merchandise by taking advantage of the lowest denominator?
You have companies struggling to convince the general populous that games are for everyone besides the usual stereotype from a non-gamer that games are "just for teens and kids". And on the other side, you have companies trying to sell games like car washes and guns(i'm going by the example like the stereotypical bikini car washes and women in gun adverts).
I know that ultimately, the industry isn't a small community of common goals, it's a vast array of different genre's and target audiences. But it seems to me that right now, most triple A titles are going for the same audience, therefore you have all of these companies competing on a marketing level that are almost indistinguishable from each other. What I don't understand is, you have this huge untapped market of women and girls, that could be very lucrative if they actually put forth the effort to get their attention. This whole situation is not a simple subject, nor is a simple fix of "Get over it already" and judging by your picture, you seem to be part of the target audience this behaviour caters towards.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Paul Davies on 5th April 2013 4:36pm

Posted:A year ago

#13

Joshua Rose
Executive Producer / Lead Designer

191 81 0.4
Sexual objectification of women as an act in itself is subject to a myriad of interpretations.

A woman dancing (scantily clad or not) can appear to one person as somebody doing a job and enjoying their job... While it can appear to another person as sexual objectification. So when you get into an argument of what is / isn't considered sexual objectification, there is no way to set a clear line between the two.

If a man in a video game has his shirt half ripped off showing bare chested muscles and scrapes and scars all over him... This is seen as an obviously result of whatever action he was in previously that caused said shirt to fall off and said scrapes and scars to be all over him. If a woman in a video game has her shirt ripped up with a hole in it that shows the left side of her bra and the bra strap along with portions of her mid drift scratched up after being subjected to the same action as the man, it's seen as sexual objectification.

For every 'Top 10 hottest female video game characters' list I see on the internet, I see 'Top 10 sexiest male video game character' lists as well.

Nobody wants to play video games to see a bunch of ugly and fat men or women (unless it's a plot device or something). Even if you put an 'average' looking man and an 'average' looking woman in a video game... somebody is without a doubt going to complain about the woman's character role being sexually objectified. Would it be best if we just put blank slate characters in the games with no obvious way of determining male or female in the character. Even if you stripped away any sort of 'beauty' or objectification on any male or female model, you're left with a blank slate with absolutely no personality. If we're going to do that, why not just put stick figures in games instead? it would save a ton on character modeling and animation time.

Arguments of equality go both ways regardless of the subject matter. So next time you see a hero in a video game come out of a fight with a ripped up shirt and showing toned muscle definition, think about why it wouldn't be different if it was a female in the same situation. Male protagonists are subjected to just as much 'eye candy' scrutiny as female protagonists. A straight male will eye up a female character and be satisfied, a female will eye up a male character and be satisfied, a gay male will eye up a male character and be satisfied, a lesbian female will eye up a female character and be satisfied, a bi male or female gets the best of both worlds and doesn't have to limit him/herself to one gender or the other.

Why is this any different when the male / female characters are not digital?

Posted:A year ago

#14

Chiara Pasquini
Global Submission Manager

10 40 4.0
Why is this any different when the male / female characters are not digital?
Because in our current society men are not oppressed, but women are.

I agree that sexual objectificaition, in theory, works both ways. I would also say that there is nothing wrong in some good and healthy sexual objectification. I think that most people would agree that it's a nice thing when our partner sees us as sexually attractive (and with this I don't mean to alienate the asexual people).

The reason why I say "in theory" (and I said it in my previous comment, too, in a perfect world there wound't be anything wrong) is that, unfortunately, we don't live in a perfect world.
Men are allowed to be valued for other things that aren't their phisical attractiveness. They aren't judged just by that and they are not perceived as decorative only.
This is not the same for women. Sexual objectification plays a big part in sexism and feeds the gender gap, by supporting a system in which the only feature that counts in a woman is how attractive she is.

To draw a parallel between the real world and fictional characters, like you did:

Nobody ever complained that Kane and Lynch is a bad game that can't sell because the main characters aren't attractive, but the moment you try to make a game where the main character is a woman, you are being told it will only work if she's attractive and half naked.

Also, I would argue that muscular, attractive male characters are there to provide a way for the player to identify with an hero that is better, so not really for sexual objectification, while attractive and scantly clad characters are there to satisfy the lust of gamers.

Otherwise, straight men would have no interest in playing as Kratos, if he were a sexual object only.

There is a belief that men only want to have female characters in their game, because they like attractive women, but they would never be able to identify with a female hero as they identify with a male one. I don't believe this, but the industry is feeding this thought for some reason, that the only kind of woman that male gamers and game makers want to be surrounded with is the attractive, decorative type.

And before you argue that women love sexy female characters, too and like to identify with them, well, what other choice do we have? It's either Lara or Bayonetta... where's the Kane and Lynch equivalent?

Posted:A year ago

#15

James Brightman
Editor in Chief

228 272 1.2
Popular Comment
All this talk of sexuality and how we shouldn't suppress it makes no sense to me. Please tell me, what role does sexuality have for 99% of the games on display at E3 or most gaming expos? There's no need for booth babes (or booth hunks). If this industry were actually mature enough to support a game with real sexual themes (no not a porn simulator either), then maybe, just maybe, there's some point to having some sexualized person at the booth, but even then it's pretty questionable. Just let the damn games speak for themselves. If, as a publisher, you need a pretty lady to get attention for your product, then you know what? Maybe your game sucks.

Posted:A year ago

#16

Neil Sorens
Creative Director

17 48 2.8
What a joke. The recent ginned-up controversy is by no means a good thing for the industry. We had all this knee-jerk, emotive, white knight wailing and gnashing of teeth and self-flagellation based on completely inaccurate and poorly documented reporting. Everyone was debating without knowing the facts, as a party the next night had been confused with the party in question, and the dancers in question were actually relatively modestly dressed.

How is loud ignorance a good thing for the industry? And when did we start listening to the morality police demanding a complete de-sexualization of this particular form of entertainment (unless, of course, it is to portray same-sex relations in a positive light)?

We need to be inclusive and welcoming, yes, but we are an entertainment business, and it is sad to see the neo-puritans trying to eliminate any fun that doesn't meet their tortuous moral standards.

Posted:A year ago

#17

Feargus Carroll
Producer

23 18 0.8
@ Joshua

Read the article again. It's not about the rights of the dancers to dance.

It's about hiring women as 'entertainment to be leered at' for an event that includes fellow industry (female) professionals. Pole dancers are welcome to do their thing, in the appropriate place. Which is not an industry networking event.

Posted:A year ago

#18

James Berg
Games User Researcher

159 206 1.3
Well, things are definitely getting better. Here at EA Canada, we've got a lot of #playas1 buttons being worn around the office this week.

Feargus echoed my sentiments exactly - scantily clad dancers are awesome, in the right context. General industry events are not that context.

Posted:A year ago

#19

Bonnie Patterson
Freelance Narrative Designer

159 431 2.7
Popular Comment
@Neil Sorens

What a load of bigoted tripe. Sorry, but it is. Why should a business party cater only to the men present to the extreme discomfort of the women who have to be there? (Yes, it's a networking event, you do -have- to be there or you lose out on business opportunities).

No it's not been confused with a party the next night. There was another party the next night that also caused complaints, but the IGDC party had people present at it resign - they know what they were upset about.

The women onstage may not have been strippers, and may have been wearing entire miniskirts and tiny tops, but the fact remains they were put on stage to be ogled and objectified on the bland assumption that everybody there would enjoy that. They were not up there for anyone to say "My, look at the artistic value on that."

It's interesting that you equate the removal of objectification with de-sexualization. I know a lot of men with thriving sex lives who actually like women as fully-fledged human beings.

And why is this such a big issue at the moment? Why are the "morality police" stamping down on all your fun?

Because you're treating other human beings like crap. And your characterization of it as "white knight wailing" and "loud ignorance" is downright ironic. If you can't see how this industry has treated women, and encouraged others to treat women, then perhaps it's because you're too busy defending yourself against stuff that you yourself have done.

Misogyny should not be fun; if it is to you, there is something wrong with you.

Quite simply, if you want to be inclusive and welcoming, you can't shut people out by saying "You have to be my gender and sexuality if you want to enjoy this event." Or would you have artistically appreciated a couple of ripped, shirtless men on stage oiling each others chests?

Just keep sex in the context of things that are to do with sex. A games industry party shouldn't have anything at all to do with sex.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Bonnie Patterson on 5th April 2013 5:56pm

Posted:A year ago

#20

Caleb Hale
Journalist

154 230 1.5
@James Brightman:
Please tell me, what role does sexuality have for 99% of the games on display at E3 or most gaming expos?
Paying a woman to stand mostly undressed in the vicinity of your game at an expo is nothing more than a desperate cry for attention that insults both women and the intelligence of the men these game companies are trying to reach. As important as it is for women to call out this BS, it's equally important for the men to demand publishers stop trying to hook them in through prurient interests and respect the reasons real professionals attend these types of industry events.

Posted:A year ago

#21

Hector Moran
2d/3d Artist

3 5 1.7
So I hope that after the barrage of panels and articles about how awful it is to be a woman in the world and in the industry we can start doing some positive PR about the good things... There must be some, no? why would any woman be in the field at all if not? I'm a dude, but if I were a 16 year old girl I don't imagine that these kind of panels and articles would make the field look like an option. I'm also a digital sculpture teacher and I try to show to students, all the amazing game artists out there, and I make it a point to show many of the female artists I admire in the field. I'd like it if more women started talking about the good things in a creative field, however immature and young it is, there's plenty of hope and fun for both genders. Aside from following the works of many female game artists in the field I'm also a fan of several cos players girls who embrace their sexuality and dress as sexy characters ON THEIR OWN ACCORD... they love it and it empowers them. Come on people... women in the field, how about you try to do lectures at high schools and higher education places to recruit girls with the good things about the field... if more girls get recruited in the industry with the positive aspects and become part of it things will even out much faster. I've seen some of this in companies where I worked that had almost no women, there's an awkward period in between, but soon after the dudes start behaving themselves and things normalize or at least improve lots. The victim mentality and approach takes away people's power and can give us as a result an entitled or privileged minority that engenders resentment and that's not good either... strength in numbers might help this lots, and those numbers can be brought up by recruiting younger women with the perks rather than scaring them off with the downsides. My two cents.

Posted:A year ago

#22

Bryan Robertson
Gameplay Programmer

86 210 2.4
Popular Comment
Talk of suppression of sexuality is a red-herring anyway. No one is suggesting that there is something wrong with sexuality, but there is a time and a place for sexuality, and an ostensibly educational/networking games-industry event is not one of them. There's a reason it's called "Game Developers Conference", and not "Human Sexuality Conference".

I would hope that most of you have the sense not to talk about sex during job interviews. It's the same thing.

I know when I go to GDC, it's to learn by attending excellent talks and roundtables from people at the top of their respective fields, and to meet fellow game developers from all over the world. It's not to ogle scantily clad women.

Posted:A year ago

#23

Spike Laurie
International Digital Games Coordinator

12 14 1.2
@Paul Davies I remember diet coke ads growing up where bored women office workers would all run to the window for a 'Diet Coke break' and watch a labourer strip and seductively drink a diet coke for their sexual gratification. What was the purpose? To sell Diet Coke to women. Should we be mature enough to realise it for what it is, or should we scream and shout because it objectifies the male form for the 'titillation' of a female audience?

Have you ever walked into an Abercrombie and Fitch store? Guess what, you can have a polaroid taken at the door with a topless guy, and girls queue up for it outside.

If there's a problem, it swings both ways and it certainly isn't unique to our industry.

People on this thread are accusing people of molestation of women, that's a crime, full stop. It certainly shouldn't be taken as the 'norm'.

I will ignore your ad hominem about my profile picture. Does what a girl is wearing and what she looks like have any bearing on whether or not I'll purchase a game or not? Absolutely not. Not a chance.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Spike Laurie on 5th April 2013 9:17pm

Posted:A year ago

#24

Bonnie Patterson
Freelance Narrative Designer

159 431 2.7
@Hector Moran

Staying silent about a problem has never lead to it being fixed.

Posted:A year ago

#25

Paul Jace
Merchandiser

926 1,382 1.5
But, but....if you get rid of the booth babes what are all of those young women going to do for work? I mean, they still have bills to pay and some of them even have kids mouths to feed. I'm all for not objectifying women/men or any kind of outright discrimination to anybody/anything but people still need to work. How about we dress them up in police uniforms and call them security guards. That way they are more fully clothed, they still get to work and we have an extra layer of security at various industry events. Thats a win-win.

Posted:A year ago

#26

Neil Sorens
Creative Director

17 48 2.8
@Bonnie Patterson

Fact: sexy women dancing makes a party feel more like a party. For males and females. And sometimes a party is just a party. Let go of your crusade for a minute and just have fun. You're seriously saying that this: http://b-i.forbesimg.com/carolpinchefsky/files/2013/03/IGDA2013Photo.jpg is horrible and demeaning and objectifying? It's no more so than Ulala in Space Channel 5, which as you might remember was actually well-received by the female audience. I don't recall anyone saying that she was a sex object created for the amusement of misogynistic men.

Next you'll tell me we can't have cheerleaders at a football game, beautiful women in beer commercials, music videos, Victoria's Secret catalogs and commercials, and so on - portrayals an activities that quite a few women do not find demeaning. And stereotyping women as universally feeling as if their gender is being objectified by the presence of sexy dancers is no more logical than any other stereotype.

Again, this is an entertainment business, and it was a party. Lighten up. Goodness knows we have enough looming challenges in this business.

As far as the "you don't need sexy women to sell games" bit - that has to be intentionally dishonest, because no one could really be that unaware of how every entertainment industry operates (not to mention quite a few other industries). The most successful female actresses get cast because they are sexy. The most successful female singers get promoted because they are sexy. Should they need to be sexy if they have musical talent? Irrelevant. That's just what people buy.

And of course the irony is that the most successful games are the hyper-violent ones, either with realistic violence, like shooters, or "fantasy" violence, like in World of Warcraft, where players kill hundreds and thousands of living beings, to the point where killing becomes routine and boring.

And you're worried because dancers at a party had too much thigh showing.

I most certainly would not care or feel threatened or objectified or excluded or shut out by a party that had shirtless men dancing. "Oiling each other up" seems well beyond what actually occurred at the party and thus an invalid analogy, which I will attribute to your overall hyperventilation.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Neil Sorens on 6th April 2013 9:27am

Posted:A year ago

#27

Hector Moran
2d/3d Artist

3 5 1.7
@ Bonnie
By all means keep talking about it. My point was more related to doing something positive about it besides criticizing and complaining in a way that depicts women as powerless victims. In my time in the industry I've interviewed and hired many female game artists in the companies I've worked on. I've done my best to make them feel welcome and encouraged to improve and integrate. Similarly I've taught several female students in my teaching years and I've encouraged them to pursue the field. In one local school I teach digital sculpting to those who are more in the art side and I teach basic maya to computer science groups with a couple girls in them. I spend my energy trying to keep them and welcome them into the field and little to no time on telling them how horrid it will be because the field is full of misogynistic pigs or something. I hope the women on the field spend a similar or much larger amount of time bringing women into games as they do scolding the men in it for being how they can be when many don't know better but are willing to learn better. In the past couple of years how many of the women feeling strongly about this whole thing and posting online have hired other women into the industry or have taught them artistic or technical skills they need to join?

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Hector Moran on 6th April 2013 1:54pm

Posted:A year ago

#28

Bonnie Patterson
Freelance Narrative Designer

159 431 2.7
@Neil Sorens

I don't know any women at all who go out of their way to have sexy women dancing at their own parties. When they are there, they're there for men. Full stop.

Why don't you let go of -your- crusade backwards and let other people have fun, rather than existing only for your fun?

Yes, putting those women on that stage is demeaning and objectifying. Does their presence there have anything to do with the production of games? No. Are they there as anything other than objects for you to look at and get mildly turned on by? No.

Space Channel 5 was before my time, but I can't help but notice that Ulala is a) a cartoon character and b) the protagonist, so at least has some value in addition to being ogle-meat. Also note that no-one was forced to buy the game as a step in their career, and at least knew to expect it from the cover.

Cheerleaders at football games? Why should you have them? Again, they're just there to ogle, and in a lot of cases, are under the age of consent. Yes, I consider that messed up. Ditto for beer commercials - beer commercials should be about beer. Those music videos with scantily clad dancers bopping around are typically made for incredibly misogynist musicians in the rap industry, so again, they're just fap-meat.

Victoria's Secret catalogues are actually there to sell lingerie. They're selling their product, it's appropriate to show how it looks.

Basically, what you've just told me is that you're not happy about anything you can't masturbate over, and you don't see why women and men alike object to that - women for the insult to their existence and men for the insult to their intelligence.

"Stereotyping women as universally feeling as if their gender is being objectified by the presence of sexy dancers is no more logical than any other stereotype." Except there are women telling you they were offended by this. Resigning so that they don't have to put up with any more of it. And it doesn't matter if you "feel" your gender is being objectified or not. Something is either objectification or it isn't. If you present a person soley as a function for someone else, they are objectified. Some forms of objectification are acceptable - a comedian is objectified as an instrument to make you laugh, but it so far hasn't lead to the mass exploitation and mistreatment of comedians. Whereas with women, we are constantly treated as instruments of sex regardless of whether we want it, and suffer from the prioritization of that perception over our abilities, feelings, desires and other human qualities.

This is not the porn industry. This is not a dance industry. "Entertainment" is not a synonym for masturbatory aides.

"Lighten up" means "Do what I want." I refuse. Why don't you lighten up and stop treating human beings like pieces of meat, which is apparently something you need to do 24/7.

I don't actually remember saying anything about not needing sexy women to sell games, though it is true. How many sexy women are on the cover of Battlefield again? How many breasts could you actually see in The Sims? More to the point, how many games were being sold at the IGDC party? I'll tell you: none at all.

More importantly, you shouldn't use sex to sell things that have nothing to do with sex. That is intellectually dishonest. And it also contributes to fairly serious worldwide problems of discrimination against women and in many cases, rape culture. And it only sells those products to a small percentage of men - the ones who can't go without something to whack off to in their morning newspaper, their beer commercials, their sporting events and their music. No-one's saying you have to lose all interest in seeing naked women - there's porn for that. But you have to make space for human women to fill - the ones with their clothes on, things to say, things to do, and a whole set of attributes that have nothing at all to do with what you do or don't want - things that are theirs, not yours.

Whereas you could have 47% of your audience being female if you didn't shove them out of your market share by demanding they be a heterosexual (usually) white male. You are actually halving the amount you could sell by constantly reiterating - in the form of half-naked women - that your product is not for them.

The thing about the sex/violence comparison is that there's a fairly well-established societal taboo against murder. People don't just say it's bad - they know it's bad. In most MMOs, as an example, you won't run into people talking about killing things much at all. They don't "murder" their enemies. They don't "butcher" their way through dungeons.

They "rape."

And when a woman logs in, she's either told to get back in the kitchen or show them her tits. There isn't a societal taboo against objectifying or degrading women - talk about it in those terms and people will say "Oh yes, that's bad" and then go back to making jokes about gangbanging an unwilling female subject. And in meetings, they'll stare at your breasts and ignore what you're saying, and then be all ears when a man repeats exactly what you just said.

You might not feel excluded or objectified if a party put shirtless men up on stage (I added the oiling because men's bodies aren't as sexualized as women's at present), but you probably would if that was the almost the only way you ever saw your gender being displayed. If people treated you every day as if you were dancing on that stage whether you liked it or not. If your morning newspaper looked like this, but with men being the pink side: http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/audio/video/2012/11/25/1353857846564/Campaigners-protest-again-001.jpg. You might, then. Until that happens (and hopefully it never will), you have the choice of either sitting in an ivory tower wondering why women spit at you, or actually getting down and listening to the people who are affected talk about how it affects them, without presuming that you know better from your position of total ignorance - because you have never had to be a woman and you never will, but anyone with eyes to see and the slightest sense of empathy could work it out, like the other men in this thread.

My apologies if my "hyperventilating" interrupted your masturbation.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Bonnie Patterson on 6th April 2013 10:29pm

Posted:A year ago

#29

Bonnie Patterson
Freelance Narrative Designer

159 431 2.7
@Hector Moran

The #1reasonwhy movement sparked a mentoring programme whereby women already in the games industry provide advice and support for those looking to join it. A good chunk of my time is spent working with young writers of all sorts, but particularly women and minorities, and helping with writing skills, tradecraft, CVs and job hunting techniques. I don't do presentations at schools but I know others who do.

There is always the necessity to be honest with them, however. It's a far cry to say that every experience in the games industry is negative, but people are always the best judge of what they themselves can handle.

That said, #1reasontobe really did a good job of capturing reasons why we fight so hard and put up with so much crap to work in this field. It's because we want to make games, and the feeling when someone engages with our content and is excited, engrossed and delighted is truly wonderful.

Posted:A year ago

#30

Morville O'Driscoll
Blogger & Critic

1,536 1,339 0.9
"Stereotyping women as universally feeling as if their gender is being objectified by the presence of sexy dancers is no more logical than any other stereotype." Except there are women telling you they were offended by this.
See, I keep coming back to this. Either people believe that women are uncomfortable about this situation, or people think that women are Making Shit Up. If it's the former, then things have to change. If it's the latter then just say so. Don't make excuses. Don't rationalise it. Just come out and say that women are making this all up.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 7th April 2013 12:44am

Posted:A year ago

#31

Paul Smith
Dev

189 148 0.8
I think its more "there's two sides to every story" rather than blatant lying.

Posted:A year ago

#32

Paul Jace
Merchandiser

926 1,382 1.5
Basically, what you've just told me is that you're not happy about anything you can't masturbate over
That may just be one of the greatest lines this site has ever produced.

Posted:A year ago

#33

Greg Wilcox
Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,177 1,125 0.5
I don't know any women at all who go out of their way to have sexy women dancing at their own parties. When they are there, they're there for men. Full stop.
The rather wild birthday party I went to back in 1985 for a co-worker and her girlfriend would like to have a word with you...

I was one of only three guys there (out of something like 40 people) who ended up stuck in a corner having a conversation as we were mostly ignored the entire evening (save for the happy waitress getting big tips from everyone circling around with drinks). Which wasn't a bad thing at all, as it was just cool to talk to other artist-types and laugh at ourselves about the role reversal thing going on...

Posted:A year ago

#34

Morville O'Driscoll
Blogger & Critic

1,536 1,339 0.9
@ Paul
I think its more "there's two sides to every story" rather than blatant lying.
Indeed, that's the natural reaction to someone saying they're offended by something. But, how are there two sides to "I'm offended by [X]"? There's two sides to "Why [X] produces such a reaction", but not the feeling.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 7th April 2013 8:41am

Posted:A year ago

#35
@Bonnie Patterson - You don't speak for all women, you only speak for yourself. Neither you, Rob or anyone else has the moral authority to determine what is right or wrong in society. That's what the Taliban do and ironically women don't do too well under their rule.

It's not the point that your trying to make I find offensive but rather the demonization of the opposing viewpoint which is all very "New Labour".

Is having a few female dancers on stage to give the place a bit of life and vibe really misogynist which remember is defined as a hatred towards women?

Posted:A year ago

#36

Bonnie Patterson
Freelance Narrative Designer

159 431 2.7
@Greg Wilcox

:)

But yeah, that's why I used the qualifier "I don't know any women" as the gay and bi women among my friends aren't into dancers, but a personal birthday party is still rather different to an industry conference.

And you and your friends get about 10 million cool guy points for not being all "Ooh, lesbians! This must be just for me!" about it.

Posted:A year ago

#37

Bonnie Patterson
Freelance Narrative Designer

159 431 2.7
@John Owens

I'm fairly sure comparisons to the Taliban are right up there with comparisons to Hitler when it comes to debating failures.

People determine right and wrong in society all the time. You can either base it on sociological and psychological studies and your own experiences and the experiences of those around you, as I am doing, or you can base it on "But I like that so it can't be bad."

No, I don't speak for all women. I speak for me.

But if you want to know if it's misogynist, ask yourself this: Do you think it was respectful to put those women on stage at this conference? Was it respectful to those women at the conference who want to be appreciated for their own abilities? Do you think anyone was looking at the dancers and thinking "My, she's a very good dancer" or "I bet she's a nice person" or were thinking "She looks hot"? Even among the men, there were those thinking "This is cheapening, to assume that I, as a man, have no ability to enjoy this party unless my libido is pandered to."

Remember that hatred can not just be embodied in rage, but also in contempt. And yes, I feel it showed a great contempt towards the women there to slap dancers on stage as if they didn't exist. I feel it showed a great contempt to not even ask "Hey, would this bother you?" first, after years of women in the industry trying to point out that it's treated like a boy's club.

Posted:A year ago

#38
@Bonnie - Yea I agree that people define right and wrong all the time. I was highlighting the danger of people stopping the debate by the demonization of the opposing viewpoint.

To answer your question. It's not misogyny. They didn't put them on the stage, they hired them to do a job. It may have been unwise at an industry event that also contained women but to call it misogyny is simply as I've already stated an example of the demonization of the opposing viewpoint.

Even the term "boy's club" could be considered sexist as the modern term is used to describe a group which admits and promotes members based on their social connections rather than their merit. So why is that a "Boy's club" exactly?

Anyone can play the "I am so offended" game.

Some men are offended by women who wear short skirts, some women are offended by women who cover themselves up for religious reasons. You can't please everyone and yes you are right "But I like that so it can't be bad." is my view however you're view is also just as simple as it really is "But I don't like it so it is bad." however you try to make it seem.

Posted:A year ago

#39

Bonnie Patterson
Freelance Narrative Designer

159 431 2.7
You're confusing the term "boy's club" with "The old boy's club". A boy's club is the one with a sign on the door saying "no gurls alowd" with the r written backwards.

And I ask again: Was it in any way respectful to have dancers at an industry event?

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Bonnie Patterson on 7th April 2013 10:55pm

Posted:A year ago

#40

Paul Smith
Dev

189 148 0.8
None one can really comment on how respectful or disrespectful the dancers were because they didn't attend the party, All I can think is that the dancers must of been respectful as no one who actually attended the party as commented on the matter, they probably didn't even notice them.

Posted:A year ago

#41

Andreas Gschwari
Senior Games Designer

559 608 1.1
@ Chiara Pasquini:

"Because in our current society men are not oppressed, but women are."

I would contest that to be honest. In western society women are not oppressed. Individual women might well be (probably also true for some men), and that needs to be addressed and changed wherever that is found, but i would strongly disagree with your statement which implies women in general are oppressed.

The rest of your comment i can agree with :)

Posted:A year ago

#42

Spike Laurie
International Digital Games Coordinator

12 14 1.2
@Bonnie Patterson
I'm fairly sure comparisons to the Taliban are right up there with comparisons to Hitler when it comes to debating failures.
And Godwin's law has been invoked! Balance is once again brought to the internet.

Posted:A year ago

#43

Jessica Hyland
Character Artist

282 1,065 3.8
All I can think is that the dancers must of been respectful as no one who actually attended the party as commented on the matter, they probably didn't even notice them
I have heard from personal friends(men and women) who were actually at GDC, who turned up to the IGDA party, saw the dancing ladies, and left again because they felt 'this party is not for me'. So there you go, there's some commentary.

Posted:A year ago

#44
"Because in our current society men are not oppressed, but women are."

Seriously? In many parts of the west, women make up the majority of new entrants into the legal profession, the medical profession. Their exam results often outscore those of men, and the rise of the female consumer has influenced everything from advertising to how shops lay out their stores.

I get the whole "booth babes" argument, and I agree stuff like that has no place in video games. But look around you, for crying out loud. All sorts of people are oppressed these days, for many it's a crappy time to live through - gender has nothing to do with it.

Posted:A year ago

#45

Eric Pallavicini
Game Master

287 182 0.6
I get the whole "booth babes" argument, and I agree stuff like that has no place in video games. But look around you, for crying out loud. All sorts of people are oppressed these days, for many it's a crappy time to live through - gender has nothing to do with it.
Indeed, discrimination is about all and everything, should it be negative or positive, age, appearance, names... not only gender or race.

While I can agree that for a professional event, it may (and it did) hurt some people's feelings to have female dancers on stage (would it have been different, this whole debate, if there was a couple of scantily clad guys amongst them ?) I don't really get the point, since in the first place I would start to question the very concept of having a party (at least this type of party) during such events, if I was to question something. Additionally, I mean the whole western society is objectifying both men and women, should it be sexual objectification or anything else (success, confidence, etc.).

We always advertize products with both gender models that are far from representing the visual reality of most people on this earth, exceptionally handsome men or gorgeous women to highlight whatever stereotype the product wants to tend toward to hit its target audience (furthermore, if a product or magazine specialize in big size women, they will always choose to find chubby models that are actually still pretty good looking not to say charmingly attractive). Even the feminine press, aimed mainly at women, keep carrying those ideas of objectification and women keep buying those magazine without getting upset. I have the feeling that this fight, within the industry, is like trying to put a pure drop of water in a widely polluted ocean. While I am not saying it should not be attempted, it is a concern that is related to a much wider scale than the industry : society.

Again, while we go "thou shall not pass" against the objectification of women in the industry, we still live in a world where the most successful "artists" (notice the brackets) for example in the music industry are the ones with the coolest haircut, the craziest outfits, the hottest body and so on. I did not mention talent on purpose. While we can fight for our turf to be the cleanest and purest one and attempt to quarantine the industry from whatever comes from outside (which is obviously impossible). Things won't change if we just heal a few cells of a sick organism and contagion will do its work again.

Again, I am not saying we should not try to make the industry better on this topic, what I am saying is just that the insurrections I see in those "women in the industry threads" are often misplaced in regards of the big picture, again society. While I am not saying either that those dancers (initially hired to cheer up the crowd by giving a festive party feeling and encourage the attendee to maybe join the fray) were appropriate, nor do I minimize the fact this may be perceived as degrading for the women's image. But look around in your everyday life, isn't that happening all the time and everywhere ? And if you react badly to that, finally minor event (those dancers danced - that is all they did and there was no obvious stage play about them being sexually objectified leaving this perception only to the spectator with an inclination to think that way, while many others just saw them as dancers at a party and probably never had in mind the issues being debated here) how can you bear the reality of this world without spending your day fighting it (the world as it is).
I have heard from personal friends(men and women) who were actually at GDC, who turned up to the IGDA party, saw the dancing ladies, and left again because they felt 'this party is not for me'.
If that is all what they did, choose what is convenient for them then that is healthy personal and social way to see and do things.

Now about the booth babes or those dancers, I just wish we had more of them giving their opinion on this site on how they feel about themselves, how they feel about the (allegedly pejorative) women's image they relay (whenever the phenomenon is conscious or subconscious) and in general about those topics. But I am pretty sure that to do this kind of (often side) job, you need not to be insecure about neither one of the other (ignorance can also help, but I do not think, and don't want to believe that these women are just brainless bodies - actually I know it is not the case). At the end of the day, and I am sorry to most certainly stir up a hornet's nest here but I am wondering why the defenders of the "good morale", "feminine condition" are not asking themselves why there are so many women doing such jobs and what those women do think about it and about all the concerns being mentioned here.

Edited 6 times. Last edit by Eric Pallavicini on 8th April 2013 12:08pm

Posted:A year ago

#46
@Bonnie - It doesn't need to be respectful. It was a party where a few dancers where hired to liven it up. We shouldn't be forced to respect other people's opinions ALL the time. Sometimes the people attending should just accept it's not to their taste rather than demonizing all those that quite enjoy it.

Save the fights regarding women's rights to the ones that matter. These articles and views just turn a lot of men off to your cause.

Or maybe you will come to realize that in reality we do live in a more or less equal society and these BS issues are the only things professional feminists can get angry about to still have a purpose and therefore pay their bills.

btw - Sorry for the confusion. In my experience it is treated as an "old boy's club" :-)

Edited 1 times. Last edit by John Owens on 8th April 2013 12:17pm

Posted:A year ago

#47

Jessica Hyland
Character Artist

282 1,065 3.8
It doesn't need to be respectful.
We shouldn't be forced to respect other people's opinions ALL the time.
Sometimes the people attending should just accept it's not to their taste rather than demonizing all those that quite enjoy it.
Ahh, I love the smell of privilege in the morning.

Posted:A year ago

#48

Paul Smith
Dev

189 148 0.8
Everyone has privileges.

Posted:A year ago

#49
It's got nothing to do with privilege and maybe if weren't so condescending you may even open up your eyes to the point I'm making. In fact this is just another example of the demonization of an opposing view point.

I'll use analogy to help illustrate what I'm trying to say. My wife is chair of her sports and social society in work and as a result she's responsible for organizing their nights out. Various activities that are proposed are Go-karting (which she hates), cooking classes, dance classes etc however there's a small minority that used to basically stop anything from being decided because they use the argument (when it suits them) that it's not inclusive i.e. girls don't like go-karting, guys don't like cooking etc

As a result in the past all they ever did was "drinks down the pub" because that's the only thing everyone could agree on which also happened to be what the small minority liked.

Now that my wife has taken the attitude. "Too bad, get over it". Most people are happier, they can attend what they like and not attend what they don't. And truthfully those that thought they wouldn't like something sometimes actually end up finding that they do.

Just because you don't like something doesn't give you the right to categorize it as morally wrong which is what happens when discussing these issues. That is a VERY dangerous path to go down.

This has to do with taste not feminism or equality and it's certainly not misogynistic or childish or any of the other demeaning terms that have been used.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by John Owens on 8th April 2013 3:23pm

Posted:A year ago

#50

Klaus Preisinger
Freelance Writing

1,104 1,075 1.0
If your PR thinks players are only willing to look at your product if a half-naked woman is attached, then there is either something seriously wrong with your product, or seriously wrong with your PR. Because your customers will certainly not be asexual entities from planet neutrum. Why blame them?

If you think you absolutely need men only to get a specific task done, you are just as insane. I certainly wouldn't want to miss books written by Le Guin and Rowling as I wouldn't want to miss Tolkien or Pullman.

Anything beyond that is just run of the mill office BS and power struggle by people with too much time and too few productive tasks.

Feel free to still enjoy this video in all its implications:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=18fUdx-_ixQ

Posted:A year ago

#51

Eric Pallavicini
Game Master

287 182 0.6
If your PR thinks players are only willing to look at your product if a half-naked woman is attached, then there is either something seriously wrong with your product, or seriously wrong with your PR.
I do not think any decent PR thinks like that (nor do I think any decent audience would fall for that). But still, if you have to represent the brand with people you will take either people that the audience will identify themselves to, or on a more generic basis people that will be attractive by themselves. While there is nothing like universal beauty, there are still people that are more or less going to attract a wider audience than others (either because of their beautiful... smile, or either because whenever they are not particularly pretty/handsome they have a charming behavior and body language). Same goes for booth babes or professional dancers that are there to animate a party in the background.

It's not the matter of supporting the idea or not. It's the matter that it is how it works. If the vendor in that place you go to eat your meal at noon is missing 3 front teeth and his hair looks greasy and dirty, smell weird you will most likely not feel confident about your food (even if the food may be the most hygienically prepared, even if your meal has nothing to do with the guy serving it who may have lost his teeth in a car accident, has greasy hair because he had too many BBQ orders today and smell weird because of the spices he uses in his outstanding marinade). Same goes for the games and even if there is nothing wrong with your product, if you involve humans to represent it, those need to be at least not repulsive. Seems logical to go to the bottom line and the next step is going for an attractive representation and this mainly because in our "fast paced" industry we do not have the time to build a lasting relationship over every single product (in my opinion, gaming companies should PR more on the brand - see the company as the real product - rather on their short-life products, but that is another debate).

The amount of clothes is another debate (related to multiple factors, including the tradition&customs). But I am sure that even a fully naked gorgeous girl holding a turd in her hands will not manage to sell the item to anyone. Unfortunately, the opposite is true too.

Edited 6 times. Last edit by Eric Pallavicini on 8th April 2013 4:26pm

Posted:A year ago

#52

Harel Jann
Graphic & Sound Designer, Co-Founder

6 3 0.5
Using attractive babe in expos is an assault on male mind.
It's a bad marketing trick that hurts the industry and limits diversity in games.

Posted:A year ago

#53

Eric Pallavicini
Game Master

287 182 0.6
Using attractive babe in expos is an assault on male mind.
It's a bad marketing trick that hurts the industry and limits diversity in games.
Feel free to use repulsive (or at least non-attractive) hosts then, to prove to the world there could be a better marketing strategy for the industry. Now of course if you give them a fully covering Pac-Man costume, it won't matter and won't count as a valid experiment.

About diversity in games, I do not see any link, sorry (you don't go to a con/expo/fair without a product to advertize on the costly booth, and you don't hire booth hosts without going to one of those).

P.S. I am pretty sure you're being sarcastic though and sorry if I took it in a "down to earth" way.

Edited 3 times. Last edit by Eric Pallavicini on 8th April 2013 4:50pm

Posted:A year ago

#54
I think the problem in the original article is that this is not something IGDA wanted to be seen as. If you have women dancing, it could make some people uncomfortable. You could say, just add in attractive men. It's also likely to make people uncomfortable. I don't think anyone would complain if the hosts are attractive, but the way they are dressed, their demeanor and actions set the tone and image for the event.

IGDA prides itself on professionalism and not excluding people or making people feel excluded. This event may have done just that and that's not in line with their goals.

Posted:A year ago

#55

Eric Pallavicini
Game Master

287 182 0.6
IGDA prides itself on professionalism and not excluding people or making people feel excluded. This event may have done just that and that's not in line with their goals.
Thank you for bringing back the light. The skies have been darkened by extrapolations.

Posted:A year ago

#56

Bonnie Patterson
Freelance Narrative Designer

159 431 2.7
I think you are willfully misunderstanding something quite fundamental here.

If I am at an event where someone trots out female dancers, particularly a work event, what goes through my head is not "Meh, this does not appeal to me."

It's a reminder of how I get treated every single day, that no matter what I do, what I wear or where I am, I am always being judged on how sexually enticing others consider me to be.

It's an encouragement to others to judge and assess the dancers in the same way and we have to hear that knowing we get spoken about the same way.

It changes the temperature of the room. Once you sexualize an event, there is always someone who starts behaving inappropriately. Sure, we have the option of reporting them, but there are still enough men like John and Neil that mostly, we have to grin and bear it.

John, I am not saying you cannot go to a strip joint or look at porn if you want to. But an industry party is not an optional activity you can just not pass up if you don't fancy it. But yes, treating people as less than human, as something that exists solely to satisfy your own needs, as something you don't need to respect all the time - that is misogyny and it is morally wrong. It's not a question of taste - people are not looking at it and saying "Meh, not my kind of thing". They walked out of the party and resigned because they were looking at it and saying "This degrades me as a human being."

Posted:A year ago

#57

Eric Pallavicini
Game Master

287 182 0.6
It's an encouragement to others to judge and assess the dancers in the same way and we have to hear that knowing we get spoken about the same way.
@Bonnie Patterson
If this is true, then the real issue is not the dancers but the people you have (or may have) to hear things you dislike from, and maybe the fact you hang around them (or at least you could be grateful for the lesson/experience and know where to stand in the future instead of blaming and requesting the world to fix it) and this has nothing to do with a more global or social/moral issue.
It changes the temperature of the room. Once you sexualize an event, there is always someone who starts behaving inappropriately.
I agree I was not there so I can hardly know what is it you call "sexualize" and based on the few pictures the dancers outfits seem hardly inappropriate even for a family show (in our century and "western" culture at least). Now maybe it was the dance moves... or the fact no one else was dressed as a party-goer...?

Not to mention that every straight man doesn't go rutting as soon as there is a bit of female flesh shaking and except a few primitives (which I don't deny they exist) many can actually watch a scantily clad woman do Iceskating, dancing, juggling in a circus on a rope, etc... without having any sexual/pornographic thoughts.
They walked out of the party and resigned because they were looking at it and saying "This degrades me as a human being."
particularly a work event
That is the only thing I do understand in this whole party thing related to the event type/tone itself.

Edited 11 times. Last edit by Eric Pallavicini on 8th April 2013 6:30pm

Posted:A year ago

#58
@Bonnie - You're talking rubbish and quite frankly being very offensive.

I'm not arguing that there should have been strippers or porn stars at the event. I'm arguing that you are trying to equate dancing girls and promotional models with them so that you can claim moral authority and vilify any other view point.

I don't think it's appropriate either to have strippers or porn stars there however dancing girls and men are a common sight at club events. You might think that sexualizes the environment and you're right off course, most people go to nightclubs for that reason and what's wrong with that considering work is one of the main ways couples meet.

It's an AFTER party after all! The day's business should have been done before hand.

Personally being married I've no interest in that either and quite frankly I'm at the age where going to clubs is boring but it's an opportunity for others to let their hair down and have fun which I see nothing wrong with.

Posted:A year ago

#59

Christopher Pickford
Producer

54 76 1.4
"...but it's an opportunity for others to let their hair down and have fun which I see nothing wrong with. "

60 comments in and a large amount of people have stated they aren't comfortable with half-naked girls dancing at events. Is this 'inclusive' fun you're referring to, or just your own personal brand? It's plainly obvious that people are uncomfortable with things the way they are - and now *those* people are getting vilified for "ruining it for the rest of us."

Tell me again why fun can't happen without booth babes and hired sexualization?

Edit: Mistype.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Christopher Pickford on 8th April 2013 7:30pm

Posted:A year ago

#60

Eric Pallavicini
Game Master

287 182 0.6
60 comments in and a large amount of people have stated they aren't comfortable with half-naked girls dancing at events.
If being half naked is showing a percentage of flesh, then yes, those girls are sometimes half naked, sometimes only. If being half-naked is showing the commonly admitted "sexually related parts" which I don't need to picture here, then no, those girls are not half-naked.

I saw many booth babes, while being hugely gorgeous who were not showing any flesh but their face and hands. It also depends how it fits the product. The only "sexualization" I see there is the fact those hosts/animators are intended mainly to interest a male audience. While we talk a lot about the women's image and women's respect, I can assure you those thousand women (who are by the way also working for the industry) are women. We seems to forget that. Calling them "impersonation of sexualized objectification" is no mark of respect for women either.
Tell me again why fun can't happen without booth babes and hired sexualization?
It proven to work better with them, because people tend to be willing to take pictures with cosplayers (hire or fan) and well, it will look better on their facebook page or real wall if their "souvenir" looks nice in every aspect (amongst others reasons). Additionally, as I explain above which seems the very basic of any advertizing concept booth babes represent whatever image the company is willing to display for itself and its products.

Let's do not confuse booth babes on fairs and dancers in a professional event after party. Now if the tone of this after party was deemed inappropriate for the organization making it is another question and is the only true real question here about those dancers. While the "feminine condition" in many aspect can still be discussed and SHOULD be discussed equally to whatever minority or seen as a minority we should be careful not to mix everything, our own opinions, our feelings, rational thinking into whatever messy debates because it doesn't serve ourselves, others, the debate nor, and that is even worse "the cause" if we are "fighting" for one.

That being said, fun can have many shapes and of course some of those shapes don't include booth babes and whatever you are calling "hired sexualisation".

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Eric Pallavicini on 8th April 2013 11:22pm

Posted:A year ago

#61

Paul Johnson
Managing Director / Lead code monkey

850 1,107 1.3
>> "It's a reminder of how I get treated every single day, that no matter what I do, what I wear or where I am, I am always being judged on how sexually enticing others consider me to be."

Bloody hell, how screwed up or arrogant do you have to be to say something like that. Either stop making this shit up, or if it's really true then just move on. I don't recognise this world you're describing at all.

Posted:A year ago

#62

Christopher Pickford
Producer

54 76 1.4
Well - that's me done with this thread.

Posted:A year ago

#63
"It's plainly obvious that people are uncomfortable with things the way they are - and now *those* people are getting vilified for "ruining it for the rest of us."

I always kept the argument away from personal attacks and I never vilified anyone. There's a big difference from saying that someone was wrong to the language that was used to attack me personally.

My point is very simply. You might not like something however that doesn't give you the right to judge it on a moral level. Whether or not it's appropriate at "an industry event" or for the IDGC is another matter.

Using words like misogynistic, childish, even the title with the word evolution is clearly framing it in those terms. It serves to shut down the opposing view of whether it's then appropriate.

It's got nothing to do whether I personally like it or not.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by John Owens on 9th April 2013 10:26am

Posted:A year ago

#64

Dave Herod
Senior Programmer

525 768 1.5
@Christopher Pickford
Tell me again why fun can't happen without booth babes and hired sexualization?
Well said. I wonder how many people would have stormed out and resigned because there weren't any dancing girls.

Posted:A year ago

#65
@Dave - Off course it can and it's for the IDGA to determine if they should have hired them however there's the danger. Everything gets watered down to the point where it's totally safe and therefore doesn't upset the nice corporate image.

"Since When Did Banality And Mediocrity Become A Good Role Model For Our Children?" - Bill Hicks

Posted:A year ago

#66

Dave Herod
Senior Programmer

525 768 1.5
I know what you're saying, John, and in a balanced industry it wouldn't even be a big deal. I think you're just extrapolating a bit far. It's not about banning everything that anyone ever may find offensive ever, it's just about recognising a minority who feel excluded and making a sensitive compromise to make a point that you're not being dismissive of their concerns.

Posted:A year ago

#67
And that's fine. I don't have an issue with IDGA taking that view either.

My issue is the language used which essentially says that someone who doesn't have an issue with it is morally wrong. People who like dancing girls don't want to be told that they are objectifying women or being misogynist. I understand that it's perhaps unwise at an industry event however if the above is true then the location should be irrelevant and it shouldn't be acceptable anywhere.

Edited 3 times. Last edit by John Owens on 9th April 2013 1:48pm

Posted:A year ago

#68

Jessica Hyland
Character Artist

282 1,065 3.8
Several consumer games expos(the PAX family and Eurogamer Expo) have already banned the use of booth babes because it makes plenty of people uncomfortable and feel unwelcome from their show. Is that not enough of a 'real' reason?

Posted:A year ago

#69

Eric Pallavicini
Game Master

287 182 0.6
it's just about recognising a minority who feel excluded and making a sensitive compromise to make a point that you're not being dismissive of their concerns.
Most our western societies are democracies. Democracy is the dictatorship of the majority, of the 50.1%. While it is important to acknowledge the concerns of minorities, we deemed fair enough to please 50.1% of the people even if it was unpleasant for the 49.9% remaining. I am just saying here that, according to this system and principles, the way we've built societies over the last 3 centuries (considering French Revolution in 1789 was the first step for major european nations - while Athenians did it 2 milleniums before and Helvetia has been a democratic country surrounded by medieval monarchies since 1291) is also the way we deal with most concern within microsocieties (imperium in imperio) within those societies.





Now to come back on the Human Rights Declaration, there was two writings of it and here under is the articles concerned, from which I will only translate the most relevant part:
In the Human & Citizen Rights Declartion of the 26 August 1789 :

Art. 4. - Liberty consist of being able to do anything that doesn't harm anyone else...
And in the second writing (on which the French Constitution of the 24th of June 1793 was based, in a slightly different wording :

... Don't do to anyone else anything that you would not want to be done to yourself.
Why do I mention this, why do I need to dig that far and deep away ? Because those principles (beside the Greek heritage) are the ones that not only shaped our current societies but are still very much in use at least theoretically. At the end of the day, on a practical level it is impossible to apply those concepts. And whatever the majority decides according to democratic principles it does harm the minorities and therefore nullify the very concept of human rights. Beside the theoretical perfection, although there is a practical consensus (call it common sense or social adaptation), which pretty much work peacefully in most standard situations.

The point I am trying to make is that while it is necessary and important to listen to minorities (as they may become the next majority - which makes it even more important to let them express themselves, their goals, their ideas to reach and maybe convince others), it is also impossible and totally unproductive to stop doing things as the majority (who may be wrong) thinks they want them to be done. So the minorities, in their struggle have to be patient and do their "majority undermining" work at the same time the do accept that "nothing changes" till the right time comes, till the minority becomes the majority (and I would recommend a wise, patient and peaceful method for that to happen, as history shown there has never been real winners in any violent process). That is exactly what John Owen expressed in that thread by giving the example of his wife being chair of an organization and having to organize activities. At the end, she had to choose, to impose activities (I guess people where still free not to show up) if she wanted to make something happens that was maybe different than going into a bar, which doesn't mean at all that she could not come up with a consensus to sometimes, beside go-karting (which she hates but still offered) or kitchen lessons, to also plan activities like going to a bar.
I think you're just extrapolating a bit far.
Because seeing those dancers as "hired sexualization", "sexual objectification of women", "degrading as human-being" is not extrapolating a bit far ?

Now it is very normal to extrapolate since those concerns are clearly not related to the industry but to a much wider field of studies, the human culture, history and society. And it is also very normal to give more "personal" examples as our lives/personal experience is what we probably know better. But to make a general rule of an individually experienced phenomenon (regardless of the sporadic occurrences of this phenomenon) is a wrong extrapolation, just like the opposite. Both Empirism and Inductive methods should be validated on a much wider scale than the individual basis, or than the general field of study basis and in such complicated concerns like sociology (or Human Sciences in general) that often involved opposed but complementary theories (considering also that the field of study is changing at the same time as the observer's perception - what is true today may not be anymore tomorrow).
Several consumer games expos(the PAX family and Eurogamer Expo) have already banned the use of booth babes because it makes plenty of people uncomfortable and feel unwelcome from their show. Is that not enough of a 'real' reason?
@Jessica Hyland
I'd like to highlight the fact you said "banned the use of booth babes" which sounds very much like they are items, objects to be used and serve a purpose, and not respectable people, not self-determined women willing to do this job.

Well then if that is the case, if that is the future, so it will be. While I do not think it will solve anything about discrimination or women's rights (except that many of those women will have to find another job - and if they don't have any other skill than dancing or hosting and they will probably be very grateful to other women with intellectual principles who thought about their well-being which was most certainly getting rid of the allegedly negative image those job conveyed about women's condition).

If I was one of those dancers or hosts, If I had trained and gained experience in this career, I will definitely be grateful to the women who actually put me out of work because of supreme moral principles. On the other hand I would seriously question their real intention, if they really did it for the women, past, present and future, or if they just did it for themselves.

Once we got rid of booth babes (hosts) and dancers (if it ever happens), what will be next ? And don't start complaining that women won't be able get jobs on fairs, since those will be taken by only booth-boys and exclusively available to men. Think of the consequences, about all of them, all of them.

Not all women wants/are able to get access to education, not all of them want/are able to do educated or intellectually or socially valuated jobs, just like men. And even some of the booth babes, while the job is being quite hard and tiring and is not absent of any skils set beside just "looking good", are actually very educated women who are for example doing it to finance further or current education. Pursuing equality on what we assume we can or should do/be ourselves is a treachery to equity.

EDIT removed the little allegory, topic is TL,DR enough already.
EDIT a more accurate translation of one of the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Declaration_of_the_Rights_of_Man_and_of_the_Citizen can be found here.

Edited 15 times. Last edit by Eric Pallavicini on 9th April 2013 5:36pm

Posted:A year ago

#70

Joshua Rose
Executive Producer / Lead Designer

191 81 0.4
Well this thread escalated quickly since the last time I posted.

Having 'dancers' at an after party is a decision to be made by the hosts. They are the planners, they know the kind of mood they want to set, okay. Likewise, it is also an individual person's decision to go (or not). Things like this -can- be sorted out naturally without artificial modification.

Say a single company, every year for 5 years, has dancers at their after party. They keep a tally of the total number of people that go into the party and how long it takes for people to trickle out. The people that desire to attend this party, go there more for relaxing and having a good time after walking around an expo center all day long. If they go in and enjoy themselves that's great! If they don't think it's the right thing for them or they don't think they will enjoy themselves, that's fine too. Over the course of 5 years, say a host notices a decrease in the number of people coming to the party. If they see a problem, it would only be logical to correct it in some way. If they correct the problem, then everybody is happy and more people come to the party in later years. If they leave it as is, they will continue to see a decline in the number of people that go to their party, and may stop entirely. It's not like there's a shortage of after parties at events.

Restriction of the many because of the few will cause the world overtime to become a completely 'average' group of people where if you offend anybody, you're immediately shunned from all of society. I see this future as being in all black and white, and it might as well be without variety. People will always be offended by things, it doesn't matter if it's dancers at industry events or bunny rabbits being objectified during the Easter holiday or PETA being offended by the mass slaughter of digital creatures known as Zerglings. SOMEBODY WILL BE OFFENDED. It's a fact of life.

While yes, there are some booth babes that wear very little clothing, I saw far more 'booth babes' wearing costumes RELATING to the product. The colonial Marines game, there were both men and women wearing Colonial Marines outfits. Planetside 2. If I remember correctly, the girls at the Activision booth were wearing short shorts (which women wear all the time willingly) and a black t-shirt. When you don't have millions of dollars to spend on a really big loud and flashy booth, it's hard to get the attention of people at all. Regardless of whether or not a woman finds a particular booth babe attractive or insulting, they will grab somebody's attention just the same. Grabbing that attention long enough to get said person to look at the booth (even if for maybe five seconds), which gives them more than enough time to decide whether or not the content of the booth holds their interest in any sort of personal/professional way (and I'm not talking about the booth babes being part of the booth content).

I have absolutely no issues with women, nor do I treat them as pieces of meat. But apparently, according to Bonnie, because I don't find the existence of booth babes as misogynistic, I apparently have a screw loose and only care about the "fap-factor" of any booth content. Any topic, regardless of what it is, deserves a FAIR, and RESPECTFUL debate. Engaging in reductio ad absurdum by demonizing anybody that disagrees with your own view as being super horny men with overactive sex drives (apparently in constant need of fapping to alleviate), not only negates any reasonable argument you may have provided within your statement, but it also goes to show a logical and respectful debate can't be obtained regardless of future additions. If you want to know why there are men that look down on feminism, it's because most of the arguments that stem from any debate usually degrade into name calling and direct insults.

The MOMENT you insult somebody directly in any argument or debate, your entire stance and opinion is considered null and void. Why should I try to reasonably debate with you, if all you're going to do is call me misogynistic sex fiend for disagreeing with your opinion? Would you listen to anything somebody had to say if they called you a man hating feminazi? No, because it's NOT RESPECTFUL and completely unacceptable in any professional form of conversation. So why do you think it's acceptable to do the same to anybody else attempting to counter your argument?

Posted:A year ago

#71
@Eric Pallavicini - We are told we live in a democracy. However as Jello Biafra said, "We live in a one-party state masquerading as a two-party state".

Feminism is just one of a number of ways which is used to control the masses that has replaced religion in the secular world. Some of us may argue for those views or just agree with those views silently and therefore don't have a problem and therefore still think they're free but they aren't. Remember not so long ago many people of the moral majority believed homosexuality was wrong causing plenty of gay children and adults to commit suicide due to the shame they had been made to feel because society knew best. Freedom is the ability to do what other people don't approve of or want you to do. It's the source of most of human innovation and progress.

Feminism in this guise i.e. telling women that they can't use their sexuality how they wish either explicitly or implicitly by banning men from thinking it is wrong is oppression masquerading as protection. The only difference is that today it is women oppressing other women.

Bonnie you can argue that it's not to your taste or even to the taste of a sizeable percentage of the attendees and for that reason it's not appropriate. I can argue that you should just get over it and be a bit less up-tight. Both are valid arguments and I'm not even sure which is right in this instance. tbh If it really was an issue for a large proportion of the audience then yea it was probably the wrong decision.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by John Owens on 9th April 2013 8:31pm

Posted:A year ago

#72
@ John Owens

"Freedom is the ability to do what other people don't approve of or want you to do. It's the source of most of human innovation and progress." Don't you realize you're are one the wrong side of the "freedom" which you speak of?! Freedom by necessity implies something to be "free" from; a bondage, an oppression, or a bind of some sort. There is no way to verify if the dancers were acting "freely." The true indicator of "freedom", as defined by you, is doing what others don't approve of. The women here are doing just that, i.e. arguing against the use of women solely for the purpose of sexual objectification. This is obviously something many guys do not approve of. This is the verifiable account of the "freedom" you mentioned. Again, this act, by necessity of it being "free", informs that there is a bondage, oppression, or bind in place. These women (and men also) are acting in the manner that is "the source of most of human innovation and progress." You seem to be arguing against your own theoretical position. You claim freedom is the source of progress and innovation but want to sequester the only verifiable acts of freedom. You can never know if someone is acting freely if they go along with the norm. The epitome of freedom are the men and women who are speaking out against the objectification of women. By your own ethical standards you should be supporting those who find this offensive.

To your second point, while both arguments maybe valid, both are not sound. A quick definition: validity is your argument being true by deductive logic and soundness is true deductively AND actually true of the world. For example: Wings allow one to fly. I have wings. I can fly. That argument is valid but clearly isn't sound. The difference between your argument and Bonnie's is soundness and validity. I am referring to Bonnie's complete argument, not the reduced (and a bit inaccurate) version you posted.

edit: Clarification on Bonnie's argument.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Kenneth Edusei on 9th April 2013 10:27pm

Posted:A year ago

#73
@Kenneth - Who are you to say the dancing girls weren't acting freely?

Last I looked kidnapping, false imprisonment, slavery are all crimes and I don't think anyone is claiming that any of them where committed.

I suppose you're another one who knows their mind and knows how they must be thinking and doesn't trust them to make the right decisions so you're going to make their decisions for them. Just like the Taliban.

Freedom isn't doing what others don't approve of. It's the ABILITY to do what others don't approve of and I have no problem with feminists fighting for women's rights although personally I think that war has already been won as do a lot of women. There's still things that can be improved however today most of them can easily be classified as family or both men and women's issues rather than as woman's issues. However in principle I support all people fighting for equality men or women. What I take issue with is the vilification of the non-feminist viewpoint. If you disagree with any feminist viewpoint then you're a misogynist or your objectifying women etc

You know I remember a women saying why she liked watching football "I watch it because they have nice legs" - I rolled my eyes to that and I could have reasonably argued it was objectifying men however seriously what kind of kill joy would I have been.

If she had turned round to me then and said "Get over it" her point would have been valid and sound.

Anyway - IDGA has made their decision which I agree with. Bonnie has reiterated her stance that hiring or going to a club with dancing girls is misogyny. I've made my point over and over again. This thread is over.

Edited 7 times. Last edit by John Owens on 9th April 2013 11:50pm

Posted:A year ago

#74
@ John

A final thought for you before we close: We can never know what ability a person has until it is expressed. Having the ability to act freely will never be known until I act. Going against the norm proves freedom. Going with the status quo can be a free action or an act of submission.

Think about it John, what is purest expression of your ethical values? Is it not the act of dissent?

Thanks for the closing dialogue.

Kenneth

Posted:A year ago

#75

Eric Pallavicini
Game Master

287 182 0.6
Going against the norm proves freedom.
@Kenneth
I am sorry to disrupt your intent to close the dialogue or the debate/thread but I don't think your definition of freedom is complete : "Going against the norm proves freedom as much as going with it". Dunno what you call norm as well, since for me there are 3 levels of norms (the cultural one, the social one and the individual one) that are more less inter&time dependent (this also meaning they are as many norms as they are cultures, societies and individual ones - which leads basically to an infinite amount of norms in time and space).

Freedom is the state of one who is not bound to any external constraints. That is the essence of the semantic definition of this word. While it has (and probably still is debated, discussed) about the fact that pure and true freedom is not practically achievable because we depend on our cultural, social and parental education at first to "think" the world and therefore a pure state of freedom would be able to "empty your cup" from even any previous educational constraint. If that is what you mean by "going against the norm" then I can partially agree with you, although again, this is even theoretically impossible to achieve and express without ending in a paradox, while even more difficult (yeah more difficult than impossible, isn't that great ?) to achieve practically. So freedom, in in purest form can only exist in very few rare cases and only if you consider that external factors are strictly limited to the 3 levels of norms and don't include the environment (call it nature, call it universe). But as much as true tolerance is about being able to deal with the intolerable, true freedom is also about being free to choose not to be free, as long as the process is not technically being influenced by external factors like norms. As I very simply demonstrated here, state that is anyway impossible to reach except maybe in case of complete amnesia and isolation. And even in the main characteristic of pure freedom is that it is not self aware of it. That is the one, and only freedom. Everything else that we express as "freedom" is a compromise and an abuse of language and none of us will ever know true freedom intellectually.

This compromise is actually a compromise with the norms, and you got that right. Although that alone is far from complete, because we very soon found out thousands of years ago that one could just not do whatever he wanted if it affected others. And that humanity (and I would probably extend this statement to a wider reign) discovered it very early on, in the first form of society, before the tribe, the family cell. That is the social meaning of the word freedom, and its second main sense, main meaning. And it means the power of self-determination of a citizen (of a societal structure) to do whatever he wants WITHIN THE LIMITS OF LAWS AND UNDER THE PROTECTION OF LAWS. This involves a tacit agreement that we are bound to by coming to the world, coming to the society of men.

Those 2 definitions are the most relevant here, while they are at least a dozen more definitions of free and freedom in various fields like philosophy and various sciences and fields. And the one that keeps us busy is of course the second definition (which is unfortunately confused with the first) which lead to the next question "what are those laws that protect us and that limits us". I believe most of us experienced them directly of indirectly at a pretty early age by observation (either reproducing an observed behavior, or either understanding that an observed behavior is not be reproduced by ourselves) or education (when not preemptive, it usually meant we got slapped for breaching them - mainly because of ignorance we were actually breaching "the rules"). Basically the first definition is the concept of freedom, and the second is the practical application (also known as social contract). While based on the first definition, one's freedom may, and most certainly will interfere with one other and therefore conflict will arise. The practical concept is supposed to regulate those very likely to happen interferences in each individual's freedom.

Now to come back on the topic, which includes two parts one which is the observed fact that after a professional event of a very specific organization there was a party which involved female dancers that were wearing contextual costumes relatively to a party on one side, and on the other side this display did hurt the feelings of an unknown number of attendee who deemed it inappropriate relatively to women condition. The second part being what the author of the article called "the industry evolution" and which is meant to allow even more extrapolation.

If we stick to the 1st part, as the catalyst of this whole thread, there was nothing in that party which actually infringed the common law we are all bound to obey and that protect us since we are born. Strictly nothing and everyone was free to enjoy or not, have an opinion about the situation or not, stay or leave.

But then we related this event and the details of it to wider thought concepts, to the industry (a group I identify myself to) evolution, to how-it-should-be-in-my-opinion-because-I-identify-myself-to-this-group-then-it-should-be-more-like-me-and-less-like-that. In psychology, while not being the exact same phenomenon, it is called a transfer and I don't think I really need to explain further what I am trying to demonstrate here and can rely on common sense and understanding. That is how and when the real conflict starts. And that is how and when freedom is invoked on both sides of the conflict and of course everyone is right in his own mind. And whoever is tempered or balanced will simply be dismissed/ignored because he is not being identifiable as part of one side, one identity (the good or the bad one, the good being of course the one we identify ourselves to the bad being anything else).

To be a little more pragmatic and trying to make it shorter (damn, I am starting to write novels on this website since a few days, I really need to find another hobby!) the dancers were certainly not the problem, and jumping from "it was inappropriate in the very context of that after party regarding the nature of the organization which was behind the event" and "what does this tell us about the evolution of our industry" to the witch-hunt that suddenly included women working as host on booth in fairs saying they we all half-naked just like the dancers at this party and we should burn... erm, sorry ban them! these demons destroy the industry, the image of us pure women and corrupt all weak men into devilish beasts that will then only see every women as objects to use for their pervert needs and never give them a job for their professional skills, I am sure any reasonable person will agree, is a slight (and maybe more inappropriate even) skid. Skid that made us end long time ago in a far away galaxy (which is why many people, with less endurance and patience than I have maybe, are calling for the closure of the topic - now If I am still here trying to argue with logic, culture and the less possible opinions from myself it is because I am pretty sure that this topic is only a battle and that as long as the two fighting side do not agree to stop fighting senselessly they will be other topics, other battles and this war not only won't be over, but it will lead to all kind of bad feelings (revenge, retaliation, anger) to make it last even further, even longer - but my mind's resilience has limits too so I may very soon just leave it and move on).

Edited 8 times. Last edit by Eric Pallavicini on 10th April 2013 11:10am

Posted:A year ago

#76
@ Eric

I agree with sentiment that we have reached a place where progress seems unlikely. A rebuttal, a closing, and hopefully we both can continue to truly try to understand the other's perspective.

The definition of freedom I used was not my own. It was quoted from John's statement to which I replied. I have not defined freedom in this thread and I will not do so now. I will try respond to your post.

The question of "pure freedom", honestly, is pointless. If I grant your position that "pure freedom" is impossible, as a person can never truly "empty their cup", then simply going against the norm grants a logical basis to claim this person POSSIBLY has freedom. If I start with your premise, that conclusion is enough for me. The possibility of freedom is all you will get in a deterministic world.

The lack of infringement from a legal perspective doesn't mean people's freedom aren't being imposed upon. The law doesn't always encapsulate "freedom" equally for all people. Too many historical and contemporary examples that deal with this.

If there are slippery slope arguments being made, I totally agree we should disregard them. However, all people aren't necessarily calling for the removal of scantily clad women, just give them a purpose that's relevant to the event. If you had a Bayonetta booth babe at the Bayonetta booth, these complaints would almost vanish. Give the girls there a relevant reason to be there other than simply being female or remove the girls for something relevant to product. I do not see this as a slippery slope argument. It is a universal claim.

It is sad that many have left this thread without truly trying to understand the other's perspective. I hope that we can all learn to suspend our beliefs while we investigate the claims of others. While we can all equally learn to forgo our current positions to better understand one another, what we actually gain from this endeavour will never be equal.

Kenneth

Posted:A year ago

#77

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