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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
PoliticsDevelopmentGDC 2013

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.

65 Comments

Jessica Hyland Character Artist

368 1,598 4.3
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

#1

Rob Jessop R&D Programmer, Crytek

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

#2

Paul Johnson Managing Director / Lead code monkey, Rubicon Development

961 1,760 1.8
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

#3

Jessica Hyland Character Artist

368 1,598 4.3
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

#4

Spike Laurie International Digital Games Coordinator, Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment

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

Posted:A year ago

#5
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

#6

Caleb Hale Journalist

157 238 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

#7

Adam Campbell Associate Producer, Miniclip Ltd

1,219 1,054 0.9
The trolling on this thread is also disappointing given the titles attached to some of the names.
Quite worrying actually.

Posted:A year ago

#8

Joshua Rose Executive Producer / Lead Designer, Storm Eagle Studios

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

#9

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

#10

Chiara Pasquini Global Submission Manager, 505 Games

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

#11
@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

#12

Joshua Rose Executive Producer / Lead Designer, Storm Eagle Studios

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

#13

Chiara Pasquini Global Submission Manager, 505 Games

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

#14

James Brightman Editor in Chief, GamesIndustry.biz

263 466 1.8
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

#15

Neil Sorens Creative Director, Zen Studios

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

#16

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

#17

James Berg Games User Researcher, EA Canada

190 250 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

#18

Bonnie Patterson Freelance Narrative Designer

196 545 2.8
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

#19

Caleb Hale Journalist

157 238 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

#20

Hector Moran 2d/3d Artist

4 9 2.3
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

#21

Bryan Robertson Gameplay Programmer, Ubisoft Toronto

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

#22

Spike Laurie International Digital Games Coordinator, Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment

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

#23

Bonnie Patterson Freelance Narrative Designer

196 545 2.8
@Hector Moran

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

Posted:A year ago

#24

Paul Jace Merchandiser

955 1,449 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

#25

Neil Sorens Creative Director, Zen Studios

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

#26

Hector Moran 2d/3d Artist

4 9 2.3
@ 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

#27

Bonnie Patterson Freelance Narrative Designer

196 545 2.8
@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

#28

Bonnie Patterson Freelance Narrative Designer

196 545 2.8
@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

#29

Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic

1,630 1,509 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

#30

Paul Smith Dev

189 154 0.8
I think its more "there's two sides to every story" rather than blatant lying.

Posted:A year ago

#31

Paul Jace Merchandiser

955 1,449 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

#32

Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,196 1,176 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

#33

Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic

1,630 1,509 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

#34
@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

#35

Bonnie Patterson Freelance Narrative Designer

196 545 2.8
@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

#36

Bonnie Patterson Freelance Narrative Designer

196 545 2.8
@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

#37
@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

#38

Bonnie Patterson Freelance Narrative Designer

196 545 2.8
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

#39

Paul Smith Dev

189 154 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

#40

Spike Laurie International Digital Games Coordinator, Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment

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

#41

Jessica Hyland Character Artist

368 1,598 4.3
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

#42

Fran Mulhern , Recruit3D

863 707 0.8
"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

#43
@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

#44

Jessica Hyland Character Artist

368 1,598 4.3
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

#45

Paul Smith Dev

189 154 0.8
Everyone has privileges.

Posted:A year ago

#46
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

#47

Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing

1,186 1,273 1.1
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

#48

Harel Jann Graphic & Sound Designer, Co-Founder, Virtual Mirror Game Studios

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

#49
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

#50

Bonnie Patterson Freelance Narrative Designer

196 545 2.8
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

#51
@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

#52

Paul Johnson Managing Director / Lead code monkey, Rubicon Development

961 1,760 1.8
>> "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

#53
"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

#54

Dave Herod Senior Programmer, Codemasters

528 788 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

#55
@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

#56

Dave Herod Senior Programmer, Codemasters

528 788 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

#57
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.

You're being na´ve if you think that framing it this way isn't merely a first step. It will lead to the banning of dancing girls and booth babes and while I don't particularly care about that I don't want to see anything banned unless there's a real reason.

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

Posted:A year ago

#58

Jessica Hyland Character Artist

368 1,598 4.3
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

#59

Joshua Rose Executive Producer / Lead Designer, Storm Eagle Studios

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

#60
@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

#61
@ 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

#62
@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

#63
@ 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

#64
@ 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

#65

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