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Anita Sarkeesian, Riot Games cofounders receiving GDC Awards

Anita Sarkeesian, Riot Games cofounders receiving GDC Awards

Tue 11 Feb 2014 6:44pm GMT / 1:44pm EST / 10:44am PST
People

Feminist Frequency creator to be recognized with Ambassador Award as Brandon Beck and Marc Merrill share Pioneer Award

While most of the Game Developers Choice Award winners will be named during a ceremony at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco next month, a handful of special recognition categories are revealed ahead of time. Organizers today announced the winners of the Ambassador and Pioneer Awards, with the honors going to Anita Sarkeesian and the Riot Games duo of Brandon Beck and Marc Merrill, respectively.

The Ambassador Award, given each year to someone helping games "advance to a better place," will go to Sarkeesian for her work on Feminist Frequency examining how women are portrayed in games and pop culture. Sarkeesian is also the creator of the Tropes vs. Women in Video Games series, a Kickstarter-funded look at the subject that drew both online harassment and financial backing in significant amounts. Sarkeesian was given the honor after an open nomination process from the game development community, with final voting by the Game Developers Choice Advisory Committee.

As co-founders of creator Riot Games, Beck and Merrill helped create the phenomenal free-to-play success League of Legends. The pair is being honored both for their work in growing the eSports market, but also for fostering new levels of community engagement among their players. According to the GDC Award organizers, League of Legends boasts a player base of more than 67 million players who combine to spend more than 1 billion hours in the game each month.

This year's Game Developers Choice Awards are set to take place March 19 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, with Respawn community manager Abbie Heppe serving as host.

129 Comments

Nicholas Pantazis
Senior Editor

963 1,160 1.2
Popular Comment
I felt betrayed by Sarkeesian. I backed her, and in return received extremely poorly made videos with awful fact-checking and very little insight into the problems (and victories) of women in the medium. Genuinely kind of sad to see her getting an award for her efforts, which honestly felt a lot like a scam to run away with a lot of kickstarter money.

Posted:2 months ago

#1

Paul Smith
Dev

195 155 0.8
Sarkeesian has been putting out poorly made videos long before the kickstarter campaign, so to be fair you should of known the quality you were going to get.

Posted:2 months ago

#2

Sergiu Badau Wittenberger
QA Tester

25 31 1.2
Why is encouraging feminism like this good? Can someone please explain ?

Posted:2 months ago

#3

Paul Johnson
Managing Director / Lead code monkey

787 931 1.2
Didn't you know? These days, if someone doesn't like what you say or do, this has now somehow become your problem.

Most social activists these days exist to back up that position, as there is almost no actual prejudice in the industry to rally against. Some, granted, but that will disappear naturally if people just stop stirring the pot and getting backs up with their own agendas.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Paul Johnson on 14th February 2014 8:50am

Posted:2 months ago

#4

Alfonso Sexto
Lead Tester

714 495 0.7
Popular Comment
@Paul
"there is almost no actual prejudice left in the real world to rally against"
If you think that, specially in the games community, there is not a very strong sexist prejudice against women I really envy the environment where you move yourself. But if you roam a bit around forums of any kind you'll see that reality is not that nice.

The fact that you don't see it does not mean that it's not there. If there were not a problem there would not me people complaining. Pure logic.

Posted:2 months ago

#5

Alfonso Sexto
Lead Tester

714 495 0.7
@Sergiu
Because of this: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/08/16/video-game-writer-leaves-company-after-threats-against-her-children/
And this: http://kotaku.com/she-was-harassed-by-a-games-reporter-now-shes-speakin-1510714971
And this: http://www.examiner.com/article/girl-gamers-stay-silent-on-xbox-live-to-avoid-insults-and-taunts

And because answering in a "polite and mannered way" proved to have no effect at all. So what do you expect? Hope this was explanation enough. I'm personally tired of all that sexist BS that you can see everywhere, in any environment, and then arrive home and read comments like this one previous to mine making a joke out of it.

This is some serious stuff that I've seen far too many times

Posted:2 months ago

#6

Morville O'Driscoll
Games Blogger & Journalist

1,372 1,018 0.7
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/130525-Depression-Quest-Dev-Faces-Harassment-after-Steam-Submission

There might (might) not be as much in the professional community, but the abuse heaped upon women from the consumers of this industry is shocking.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 12th February 2014 9:33am

Posted:2 months ago

#7

Adam Campbell
Associate Producer

1,116 888 0.8
I'm glad the nominations are proposed by industry and the awards decided by an advisory board, or the likes of Anita Sarkeesian would be silenced and fail to recieve recognition. I'm not about to write a review about her work but even the discomfort she has managed to create (on the topic of sexism in games) is welcome in my opinion.

Some people had me almost conviced Tropes vs Women was/is merely a vehicle to push a secret feminist agenda and not really about the core issue, but I feel its much more than that.

Posted:2 months ago

#8

Andrew Watson
Programmer

79 135 1.7
I agree with Paul Trillo (EDIT: the comment at the top, not the one right above mine), you should always properly research anything you want to back on kickstarter/indiegogo/etc. No amount of money can make someone a better debater, short of hiring someone else to do the writing for you, and I personally think a huge chunk of Anita's donations were purely because of hype

She did generate a lot of attention towards the sexism issue though, so I'll give her that. Even though she was arguing against portrayals of women in video games and not how female gamers are treated.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Andrew Watson on 13th February 2014 10:45am

Posted:2 months ago

#9

Brook Davidson
Artist / 3D design

57 88 1.5
Personally, I never seen much of an issue with how women are portrayed in video games and don't know many females who have an issue with it either. Men are portrayed in the same manner in games as well.

Now, how women in the industry and women video gamers are treated I agree that can improve greatly. Which I feel it has been anyway. It really isn't nearly as terrible as feminists try and make it out to be.

Posted:2 months ago

#10

Alfonso Sexto
Lead Tester

714 495 0.7
@Paul
Please, tell me you are not comparing insults with threats of raping and directed to your sons. This question is for you and whoever gave you a Star in your comment.

Imagine that happens to you daughter, would you tell her "just laugh off that raping threat"?

It's not the same, man.

@Andrew
She did generate a lot of attention towards the sexism issue though, so I'll give her that. Even though she was arguing against portrayals of women in video games and not how female gamers are treated.
If I recall correctly that was going to be his topic from the beginning.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Alfonso Sexto on 12th February 2014 12:23pm

Posted:2 months ago

#11

Alfonso Sexto
Lead Tester

714 495 0.7
@brook
She did generate a lot of attention towards the sexism issue though, so I'll give her that. Even though she was arguing against portrayals of women in video games and not how female gamers are treated.
Please, check the links I posted before. The fact that there is only one person that feels entitled to act that wait it already makes it terrible and tragic.

Posted:2 months ago

#12

Morville O'Driscoll
Games Blogger & Journalist

1,372 1,018 0.7
what they do is play the victim "ohh look at me im getting all these death and rape threats over twitter poor me my life is hard!" I have no idea why they do this
Perhaps because women generally speaking live in various levels of fear of being mugged and raped, to an extent which men don't have to.
Perhaps because women are constantly reminded of how careful they have to be because a lot of countries still view women as "asking for it", and they have to try and do every damn thing they can to not be blamed.
Perhaps because women can't even go out for a drink without asking themselves if the drink the nice guy bought them is laced with something.
Perhaps because the vast majority of rapes are perpetrated by someone the victim knows, and they don't want to be reminded of such a fact.
Perhaps because they've been raped or sexually assaulted in the past, and such threats are a trigger for them.
Perhaps because, when a woman is threatened with rape simply because of something she says, she ohIdunno... expects there to be repercussions, because a man is far less likely be threatened in such a way, and it's not right, nor just.

No-one should be threatened, and no-one should keep quiet about being threatened.

Just sayin'.

(and to ease the tension in this thread, I'll just say that trying to type with a cat hanging over one arm is hard)

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 12th February 2014 1:03pm

Posted:2 months ago

#13

Adam Campbell
Associate Producer

1,116 888 0.8
Anonymous rape and death threats on twitter are utterly meaningless and I expect a very high percentage of them are just trolls, if all these women just ignored these trolls then they would stop but they don't, what they do is play the victim "ohh look at me im getting all these death and rape threats over twitter poor me my life is hard!" I have no idea why they do this (I would love to know if they are attention whores or just very naive). Then of course video game sites/SJW blogs pick up on it (because real journalism is to hard) and it turns into a shitstorm which just amplifies the trolling towards that person.
This is disgraceful.

Posted:2 months ago

#14

Rick Lopez
Illustrator, Graphic Designer

1,203 816 0.7
I want to start this by repeating everything Brook Davidson said on comment #11...

Now, whats so sad about this is her work isnt even much to begin with. The videos themselves are pretty simple to make. I find her videos contribute more to the feminist audience than the videogame industry.

She talks about games yet knows very little of the examples she shows. It doesnt look like she has played many of those games she uses as examples in her videos. She doesnt even seem like an avid gamer or even know much about the games shes talking about like "Super Smash Bros.

One picture of her playing super mario world simply isnt much proof she has a genuine interest for games.

What is sad about all this is she probably googled most of the stuff she was talking about and used videos that she herself did not create.

Her videos were not all that special, basic editing skills or a simple cheap video editing app was all that was required. i dont see any heavy editing besides cutting and pasting videos that were not hers. And I doubt she played through any of those games or has an active role in developing them.

And thats what makes this sad. Their are many people aspiring to create games and others that are working their asses off, and she automatically gets this award for what? For contributing to the gaming industry or her mysandrist point of view.

I dont think woman are portrayed poorly in games, nore do I think that there arent games that woman can enjoy. Many games allow you to create a customizable character in which both male and female versions have equal standing. And one can bring the same arguments she made about woman in games, towards the way men are depicted. And while she does bring an issue about woman in games, I just think her efforts are deeply rooted in mysandry or hate towards men. And I think that is why she gets so much hate.

Frankly while womans involvment in games has increased I just think the fact that there are more men developing them is because its simply something that more guys are interested in. Like cars or comic books. Like wise there are thinks more woman are into that guys arent. However I can understand if there is some sort of discrimination, but honestly that happens everywhere regardless of gender.

So does this automatically make her part of the games industry or "industry"? I remember this website wanting to get rid of people who "were not" industry. So I guess people like her can relish on that privalage. So i guess this makes her now "industry"

Just great....

So anyway, when I make a comment about these things it usually puts me in a hot seat. And I really got nothing more to say. I just its sad that a person like her gets an award with so little involvment in the actual games industry or playing games and absolutly no role in developing them. I really find her arguments more deeply rooted in mysandry than an actual interest in games... and she gets an award...

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Rick Lopez on 12th February 2014 3:18pm

Posted:2 months ago

#15

Wesley Copeland
Freelance Video Game Journalist

6 44 7.3
@Paul Trillo

Honestly, I'm at a loss for words here.
Anonymous rape and death threats on twitter are utterly meaningless and I expect a very high percentage of them are just trolls....
Okay, so, 99% are trolls let's say. How about the other 1%?
if all these women just ignored these trolls then they would stop but they don't,
Show me one example of this being true. In every case I've seen, trolls don't just vanish. They sometimes take a break, but they're there, lurking ready to pounce when a feminist opens their mouth.
what they do is play the victim "ohh look at me im getting all these death and rape threats over twitter poor me my life is hard!"
No, they don't. In your warped perception of real-life they do, but in reality, they don't. People like Anita, or even journalist Laurie Penny, mention the threats they get to try and show others what they have to deal with, and why they do what they do.

There's example of women receiving phone calls, with the caller telling them their address and what car's parked outside their house, and then telling them they're going to be bombed that same day. Whether a person is trolling or not, these kind of vile actions shouldn't be tolerated in the real world. it must be terrifying to subjected to that level or torture just because they're female and they spoke out against the people committing these crimes.

Actually, yeah, their lives are hard. But if you bothered did some research instead of just agreeing with what your mates tell you down the pub, you'd see that feminists don't moan or play the victim like you think.
Then of course video game sites/SJW blogs pick up on it (because real journalism is to hard) and it turns into a shitstorm which just amplifies the trolling towards that person.
How dare you! What a horrible and downright stupid thing to say.

I presume you've been in a situation where you've been working on a feature for weeks only to have someone drop out and it be cancelled half-way through? And I presume you've been in a situation where, because of that, you've had to then explain to your family why you're making less than minimum-wage that month? No, I have a feeling you don't know what that's like, because you think 'real journalism is too hard'.

Whether you want to believe it or not, us journalists work our arses off, so don't you dare tell us how hard our job is.

Regarding the 'shitstorm' part of your comment, the reason stories like this become shitstorms is because people like you lack basic empathy, and rather than actually thinking about it, or empathising with the victims, you go on a nonsensical rant. Others join your nonsensical and uninformed rant, and it becomes a shitstorm.

The reason people like Anita exist, is because of people like you. Maybe before pointing the finger, you should take a long look in the mirror.

Posted:2 months ago

#16

Andrew Watson
Programmer

79 135 1.7
@Wesley
Are you implying that being treated that way on the internet is exclusive to females?

Posted:2 months ago

#17

Wesley Copeland
Freelance Video Game Journalist

6 44 7.3
Are you implying that being treated that way on the internet is exclusive to females?
I don't believe I've said that at all. I've been on the receiving end of death threats because I didn't like a game The Majority did. But in that same breathe, I also got let off easier because I'm male.

Posted:2 months ago

#18

William Leu
Software Developer

7 9 1.3
I tried watching a couple of her videos with an objective open mind. I could agree with some points she was making and gave leeway to some others - but a good amount her arguments were downright petty and pedantic.

Posted:2 months ago

#19

Christian Keichel
Journalist

413 559 1.4
But in that same breathe, I also got let off easier because I'm male.
Why? Sounds like positive sexism to me to say so.

The problem with Anita Sarkeesian's videos was, that they weren't not only poor when it came down to research and pacing, but that she intentionally left out facts when they didn't support her argumentation.
For example, in the first episode she used a short cut scene from Karateka to show the use of a damsel in distress motive in the game. Everybody who played the game knows this is false, because in the end, when the hero tries to save the princess, she easily knocks him down with a single blow, if he enters her cell in combat position. This will happen to anybody playing the game for the first time. By failing to mention this she showed, that she has no interest in showing examples of powerful women in games, her only interest is in painting a totally distorted picture of video games in general, that serves her agenda.
There were countless examples, especially from older games, in her series, where she twisted facts in a similar way.

Additionally her constant attacks on male japanese developers, japanese video game culture in general and especially Shigeru Miyamoto felt extremely xenophobic to me.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Christian Keichel on 12th February 2014 3:25pm

Posted:2 months ago

#20

James Brightman
Editor in Chief

193 176 0.9
Popular Comment
Paul Trillo, your commenting account has been suspended. Your comments about rape and death threats in this thread are not acceptable on GI.biz, and should not be acceptable in this industry. In a week's time, we'll remove the suspension and give you another chance, but further comments that cross the line may result in a ban.

Posted:2 months ago

#21

Morville O'Driscoll
Games Blogger & Journalist

1,372 1,018 0.7
Why? Sounds like positive sexism to me to say so.
Not really. Male Privilege is a thing, and acknowledging it is (generally) a good idea, since you can then make allowances, and learn how place, race and gender positively and negatively affect people.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 12th February 2014 3:33pm

Posted:2 months ago

#22

Christopher Pickford
Producer

53 58 1.1
Popular Comment
@Paul Trillo "Studying Game Design" - Don't expect any of us to be racing to snap you up when you've finished. Sounds like you've got a lot more to learn about the humanities, especially as you've just exhibited classic victim blaming.

And to the rest of the commenters making out that prejudice somehow doesn't exist or maybe isn't as bad as it seems - the sheer volume of evidence is working against you. Actual documented facts. The backlash against Anita was *horrendous* and well documented, and over what? Some video game analysis? Her opinions?

As to Anita's final product - some bits I agreed with, some I didn't. That's the nature of DEBATE. If she was supposed to validate the opinion of the masses merely because there was money involved, I feel the point was missed. Anita didn't control the flow of money that went her way, she was given it willingly by the public. She then made more videos along the lines she'd already done - how is that a surprise?

Stop picking on Anita or the kickstarter campaign, and maybe look at the points she's raising. They're much more interesting and much more valuable to discuss.

Posted:2 months ago

#23

Nicholas Lovell
Founder

179 120 0.7
Thank you James, for the ban on Paul, although it doesn't seem to work. I'm all in favour of free speech, and Paul is welcome to make his comments on his website, but I am delighted that you conclude there is no place for it in this community.

I suspect that Paul has just made it harder for himself to get a job in the games industry. Which is an interesting decision for someone who is studying game design, presumably with some interest in working within this community.

Posted:2 months ago

#24
Christopher Pickford, thank you.

Posted:2 months ago

#25

Dan Pearson
European Editor

81 102 1.3
Popular Comment
Paul, there's no place for that sort of attitude here - and as Christopher points out, you're making a spectacle of yourself in front of the largest gathering of potential employers you're ever likely to have direct access to. Disagree with Sarkeesian's arguments, style, funding, etc in any way you wish, but if you're not able to do so without reverting to this sort of behaviour then you're probably best keeping it to yourself.

Posted:2 months ago

#26

Christian Keichel
Journalist

413 559 1.4
Stop picking on Anita or the kickstarter campaign, and maybe look at the points she's raising. They're much more interesting and much more valuable to discuss.
But the points Anita Sarkeesian raises she supports with her arguments and these arguments are often arguments that show a lack of research and/or are based on totally made up or heavily twisted facts, so it's hard to look at the points without looking at the same time at the person that raises the points and the way the points are raised at the same time.
In the end, the videos Anita Serkeesian is doing are part of her job, she collected money to make these videos and the product she delivered for the collected money was substandard on every level.

Posted:2 months ago

#27

Morville O'Driscoll
Games Blogger & Journalist

1,372 1,018 0.7
so it's hard to look at the points without looking at the same time at the person that raises the points and the way the points are raised at the same time.
I wouldn't say it's hard, it just requires analysis. And it's not a very academic form of analysis, either. The same form of analysis occurs when reading or watching the news - separate out who owns the publication; who the person asking the questions is; and what questions are being asked. All three of these things go towards determining the true value of what's said, and any potential bias.

Posted:2 months ago

#28

Christian Keichel
Journalist

413 559 1.4
The same form of analysis occurs when reading or watching the news - separate out who owns the publication; who the person asking the questions is; and what questions are being asked. All three of these things go towards determining the true value of what's said, and any potential bias.
Doesn't work, because your analysis relies on the idea of an "outside" truth, that can be discovered by seperating the information into "relevant" bits, while there is nothing like an outside truth, that can be discovered, there is only the discours and the struggle to enjoy discursive priority. Anita Sarkeesian is part of this discours with her videos and with her self fabricated media personality.

Posted:2 months ago

#29
Even if Sarkeesian can have questionable <insert here>, using that to discredit her content is just resorting to a "poisoning the well" type of rhetoric. And, being an ad hominem attack, it just ends up being overall weak.

As pretty much anyone who legitimately joins this type of discussion, she's bound to say some bollocks as well as some quality material. Watching the Tropes vs Women in videogames series, at least, I did feel that most of the arguments that she made were quite reasonable and even when I disagreed with them, they got me thinking: "So... why do I feel this is okay, when this is similar to this other thing I do not think its anything near okay".

That in itself is a great victory, the way I see it, and I know it led me to look somewhat different at both individual games (Oh, Lords of Shadow, you <unflattering adjective>, you) and at the "games environment" as a whole.

Posted:2 months ago

#30

Kristian Roberts
Senior Manager

4 12 3.0
I think it's odd that people seem to accuse Ms. Sarkeesian of trying to use these videos to "further her agenda" -- as if that agenda was some nefarious scheme of world domination. By all (sane) accounts, her 'agenda' is the betterment of women (in general) and to increase the variation of the portrayal women in games (in particular). Have I missed some evil cackling, super abundance of poorly armed henchmen, or other super villain indicator that should have tipped me off to some underhanded dealings? At this point, I expect that some folks will see their hackles raised, responding: "Yes! She hates men!" To which I respond: "So?" While it's probably, not true, it's also immaterial to her cause -- unless, I suppose, one assumes that feeling comfortable in the world is some manner of zero-sum game (an assumption that I resoundingly reject).

So yeah, maybe she manipulates examples to suit her points (much like every politician ever in the history of the planet), but that doesn't mean that the broader points themselves aren't worthy of critical examination.

Also, I think that some ought to point out that the treatment of women in/by the games industry cannot be divorced from the portrayal of women in popular culture (which includes games). For example, if it is 'normal' to see women primarily as sexual objects generally, it will show up in games, and thus will be expressed by some people who internalize the tropes presented in said games -- a connection which is likely stronger in people who create the games themselves. To invert that logic, by addressing the tropes, Ms. Sarkeesian is (seemingly) attempting to change both the dominant 'normal' portrayal of women (in this case in games) and by extension the less-than-awesome treatment of women and woman gamers.

Posted:2 months ago

#31

Chris Reeves
2D Artist

7 35 5.0
First up I'd like to lead this up with my congratulations to Anita Sarkeesian for frankly her stellar work in creating an accessible inroad to feminist theory into games, a space which desperately needs it's influence. I admire her personal strength greatly for standing up and speaking her mind on these matters in the face of unmitigated, intolerable abuse.

Secondly I advise Paul Trillo to check himself and educate himself on why GI.biz probated him. The last thing you want to be in this industry is famous for all the wrong reasons.

Lastly as a older Teesside grad, he is not representative of our Uni's student body. :)

Posted:2 months ago

#32

John Epler
Cinematic Designer

1 13 13.0
Christian Keichel, do you have examples of these arguments that show a lack of research and/or are based on totally made up or heavily twisted facts? Because I've seen this argument a bunch of times and it's yet to be accompanied with any sort of actual proof to back up these claims. But, let's say you're right. Let's say some of her points aren't as well supported as I think they are.

So what?

Most of her points are completely valid. There's a disturbing trend for people to look at something troubling and fish as hard as they can for that one 'smoking gun' piece of evidence that says 'hey, this one minor detail is wrong, so it's all wrong!', ignoring that she is raising some very good points that need to be addressed. Because our industry still struggles with sexism (as well as racism, transphobia and homophobia, but that's not really the topic at hand here), and she raises some very good points in this regard.

The only reason why we're finally -hearing- about this sort of stuff is because of people like Anita. Otherwise, booth babes, sexual harassment and misogyny is just swept under the rug as 'just boys being boys'. They're shining a light on what is an endemic problem and, unfortunately, being the person behind the light makes you a target.

Whether or not every single example Anita brings up is completely properly researched is not as big of an issue as you seem to suggest it is. It is, however, a convenient way to discredit the actual problems she brings up, and a tactic that I am frankly sick and tired of.

I'd also mention that I rarely see this same kind of scrutiny applied across the board. Write a hit piece on a game or company? Hell, even if half your facts are wrong, at least it -feels- good, right? But screw up a few minor details in a lengthy and ongoing video series about sexism and misogyny in gaming and OH MY GOD YOU'RE A SCAM ARTIST.

It's a screed that I'm pretty much done hearing.

Posted:2 months ago

#33

Alfonso Sexto
Lead Tester

714 495 0.7
Although I already said all I wanted to say already, I would like to add one last line. Because I consider it would be fair to say this beforehand, since I don't want to use a wrong tone in my favorite corner in the internet for smart videogames industry talk (and earn a well deserved ban in the process)

I will be blunt and direct: In two cases I had a female friend expending the night in my appartment, both very close friends, both raped.

I don't want to hear jokes about it: there is no joke about going to a police station at 4am.
I don't want to hear the "just laught it off": You can't laugh when a good friend is crying in your room.
Especially, I don't want to hear that "the problem is not that big", when the only thing I experimented about those CRIMES was the absolute pain and defeat in the eyes of a friend. And i swear to God, that expresion in those eyes is something I'm never going to forget.

And what can I say? "shit happens"? well, when it doesn't happen once but twice then you know that it can happen at any moment to anyone. I don't know about the rest of the people reading this, but when "raping" is uses in such a frivolous way then you know we have a big problem there.

@Morville O'Driscoll
Perhaps because women generally speaking live in various levels of fear
37 comments in this article. Only one by a girl.
Coincidence?

Posted:2 months ago

#34

Nicholas Pantazis
Senior Editor

963 1,160 1.2
@ John I absolutely agree there is a ton of sexism in gaming on many levels (corporate, consumer, within the plots and designs of the games themselves), but yes, I have a number of things I felt Anita did poorly which hurt her point. I think it's an important issue, and deserves the right sort of attention.

Much of what she did was criticized for a lack of research, and I don't think she ever considered the medium even worth the time it would take her to do the research. Just as an example of this, she regularly criticizes games like Borderlands and Fable for male on female violence, despite both having a number of female character options in which the same situations take place. Smaller factual inaccuracies (her infamously edited Bayonetta review) and unfamiliarity with the roles of the characters she discusses ("Zelda is always the damsel in distress") get to me as well.

I absolutely want to see the issue discussed well and in detail. I'm glad Anita got people talking. I wish she had enough respect for herself and what she's doing to take the time to do research and report accurately on issues, rather than cursory google seraches and an hour of gameplay.

Posted:2 months ago

#35

Alfonso Sexto
Lead Tester

714 495 0.7
@Nicholas Pantazis

Being fair, that is actually a problem I find with her videos (which in general I like) She tents to point what is convenient for her argument and keeps what is not aside. You example about about violence in Borderlands is a good example.

In an alegory (just because I love them, in case nobody niticed it): If a Stable has a white horse and a black horse it is correc to say "there is a black horse there", but not when you imply "There are only black horses in this stable"

Posted:2 months ago

#36

Christian Keichel
Journalist

413 559 1.4
@John Eppler
Christian Keichel, do you have examples of these arguments that show a lack of research and/or are based on totally made up or heavily twisted facts?
One I already gave in this thread, it was about Karateka, her portrayal of the game and the role the princess has is either poorly researched or twisted intentionally.

Another example is her take on Dinosaur Planet and it's transformation into Starfox Adventures. Here she not only fails to mention, that in Starfox Adventures the female character is indeed a playable character, but she also claims that in the original Dinosaur Planet the female character would have been the main character which would have gotten more playtime then Krystal in Star Fox Adventures, what she completely fails to mention is that beside some video clips and the character sketches she shows (of course she doesn't show any sketches for the male character) not much is known about Dinosaur Planet and that there is no way to say how big the part of the female character would have been (Dinosaur Planet was announced as a game with 2 playable characters a male and a female - just like Star Fox Adventures as well). What we know is, that there is a 1 hour gameplay video from a beta version of the game, were the female character get about 15 minutes and the mail character 45 minutes. No word about this in Anita Sarkeesian's vdeo, Instead she (again) blames Shigeru Miyamoto for "rewriting" the game.
As in Karateka, I really don't care, if this was just poor research or twisting facts to proof a point, in the end her argumentation was flawed because of this. These aren't minor details, her whole argumentation was build upon this and if somebody doesn't get his facts right, I think it's necessary to say so, because I don't think having good intentions could be an excuse here, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Christian Keichel on 12th February 2014 9:29pm

Posted:2 months ago

#37

Isaiah Taylor
Writer/Photographer

26 0 0.0
Look at all these dudes. Gamesindustry.biz we cool with how a large portion of this conversation is going?

Posted:2 months ago

#38

Tim Ogul
Illustrator

272 325 1.2
While I don't believe that Sakeesian was personally deserving of any award beyond the thousands she's raked in off that Kickstarter scheme, I do think it's nice to see them recognizing achievements in trolling. They just need to find a more interesting troll to award next year.

Posted:2 months ago

#39

David Hunter
Studying Media Studies

1 3 3.0
@Christopher Pickford - Made an account just to thank you for this, I feel I may very well stick around. This site is exactly the kind of thing that gives me hope that the games industry isn't quite as irreparable as some have said.
As a fellow Teesside Uni student I feel I should apologise on his behalf. We do not need such toxic views being brought into the games development community. I can see this thread landing him on a lot of "Not Employable" lists in the future.
I must say that I'm glad I took a Media Studies course instead of Games Design. I almost shudder to think that I could have shared a class with someone like him.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by David Hunter on 13th February 2014 3:09am

Posted:2 months ago

#40

Sam Baker
Studying Computer Animation BA

1 6 6.0
Okay, I was really kind of lost for words when I heard about this thread, so this might be long.
Being a Teesside student myself (and a similar field too, computer animation), I was pretty mortified that opinions such as Paul's were being attached to our university's name. Naturally I'm not here to whiteknight on behalf of the university itself or Mr. Trillo, but I thought it best to come to clarify things... and to reiterate that, no, we are not all like this.
Whilst no education is perfect, we are by no means taught that this kind of attitude to the games industry is acceptable. And for this to explode in such a spectacular fashion during Teesside's fifteenth Animex festival only makes this situation even more embarrassing. Having never really spoken to this student in person, I'm not particularly qualified to pass judgement on whether this is the norm or not, despite having seen his work and being pretty impressed with it. Either way, I feel some vague obligation to apologise for all of the above.
But, and this is a big but;
I know a lot of people (myself included) can often be pretty outspoken and vitriolic on certain game-related subjects... but there's always a limit and there's got to be justification for it. While I do concede that Paul's comments are indeed excessive and completely insensitive, I also think things may have escalated beyond what was really necessary. Just a quick search on Twitter and there's a considerable amount of venomous backlash (eg "You're a fucking idiot, Paul Trillo" and "I hope he's blacklisted from every games studio in the world", etc)... This sort of thing has been retweeted hundreds of times, and it's starting to turn into a small-scale hate campaign. When really, none of these people actually know the guy. Yeah, he said some pretty vile things and has some opinions that're probably best kept quiet... But really, can every single one of the people hating on him honestly say they don't too? The key difference is that Paul voiced them. Sure, in the worst possible place imaginable for an aspiring games designer, but does that really define him as a person?
Again, I'm not here to defend him, but I do think this whole thing needs to calm down a bit. It's turned into something extremely ugly, and I fear it has the potential to spiral into the very kind of online harrassment that this article and its commenters decry.
Either way, that's my stance on the matter. Sorry if it offends.

Posted:2 months ago

#41

David Thornhill
Studying Journalism

8 25 3.1
I am bewildered that the industry has even gotten to this point. How is it that these issues weren't dealt with 10-20 years ago internally?
I'm not in a position to assign any blame, but I believe any industry veteran who contributed to this (either through action or inaction) should certainly feel ashamed.
There have been reports of women in the industry who felt their jobs would be threatened by speaking out or they would be perceived as 'troublemakers,' but what about their male colleagues? Were they not willing to support their colleagues publicly?
If indeed female employee's were threatened with dismissal, aren't these companies still businesses? With Human Resource departments? Codes of Conduct to discourage and - if it came to it, deal with - sexual discrimination? How has it gone on so long?

I'm only 24 years old. I don't have personal contacts inside the industry. So my perception of the industry is not far from the average consumer's (slightly more informed maybe, as I try to follow as much industry news as I can).
But from here in the cheap seats it seems like the industry exists in a sort of alternate reality, where it was for the longest time, and possibly still is, run by some Mad Men-esqe cabal.

These issues of blatant sexism should haven been stamped out a long time ago. Of course, it would be unfair to cast a net over the entire industry. It's uncommon, but there certainly appear to be companies were men and women are treated equally. I've also read one or two interviews were women have said they have never experienced discrimination from their employers.

While it doesn't account for every consumer who has lashed out against the discussion of equality, I think its also necessary to understand that some probably feel betrayed by the press in this issue. For years some elements of the popular gaming press validated bad behaviour by either playing into the boy's club mentality or ignoring any problems. Things that are now heavily criticised were given a free pass. And when Ms. Sarkessian (notably not a member of the press nor member of the industry) spoke out, the press changed its tune almost overnight. Again, that does cast quite a wide net, but even those who did criticise usually did so wrapped up in satire and parody. Effective in some cases, but when it isn't presented alongside real criticism, it's hard to take it seriously. And the new found courage to explicitly denounce it feels opportunistic.
When writers with +10 years in the industry say 'We all have stories of colleagues or friends who were harassed at functions or received harassment from consumers,' or even 'I have plenty of stories of when I was harassed at function...' I'm confounded why they didn't use their position as journalists and writers to highlight and discourage this behaviour. Who was it that discouraged these men and women from conveying these stories to the public after their first experience?

Again, I don't have all the facts and am not in a position to blame anybody. Although from the position of the consumer, it feels as though everyone is more than happy to assign blame, rather than get on with dealing with the issue internally. When you hear of booth members at conventions still treating members of the press differently based on gender, you have to seriously question why something as simple as equality training isn't mandatory.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by David Thornhill on 13th February 2014 7:59am

Posted:2 months ago

#42

Paul Johnson
Managing Director / Lead code monkey

787 931 1.2
I'm only 24 years old. I don't have personal contacts inside the industry. So my perception of the industry is not far from the average consumer's (slightly more informed maybe, as I try to follow as much industry news as I can).
But from here in the cheap seats it seems like the industry exists in a sort of alternate reality, where it was for the longest time, and possibly still is, run by some Mad Men-esqe cabal.
And that's the problem with troublemakers like Sarkeesian.

I'm sure someone somewhere could point at a company that's exhibiting prejudice, but there are already laws for that kinda shit. In the meantime, I've never seen it firsthand at all. Have moved 6 times in 30 years and worked with many women. Some of whom were even a pita. Like some of the men.

Posted:2 months ago

#43

Alfonso Sexto
Lead Tester

714 495 0.7
@Tim Ogul

Are you going to make a point other than random accusations? We are having a proper discussion here, not a youtube insult chain.

Posted:2 months ago

#44

Alfonso Sexto
Lead Tester

714 495 0.7
And that's the problem with troublemakers like Sarkeesian.
So, somebody posts her point in the internet, some people listens to her by free will and she is now a "troublemaker"?

Marilyn Manson once said "the only real way to annoy and make people angry is by showing them an ugly truth they can't prove wrong" Sarkeesian with those "cheap videos" and that "simplistic perception" put a lot of people to think and chat about it. I call that a triumph; when you make people think.

Posted:2 months ago

#45

Morville O'Driscoll
Games Blogger & Journalist

1,372 1,018 0.7
@ Paul Johnson
In the meantime, I've never seen it firsthand at all.
Right. But your experience differs from that of other people. There have been posts by women in the industry here in the past which talk of sexism in the workplace. You've participated in conversation threads with them.
I'm sure someone somewhere could point at a company that's exhibiting prejudice, but there are already laws for that kinda shit.
http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2013-06-10-investigation-into-trendy-entertainment-reports-mismanagement-sexism

Did anything ever come of this investigation?

Posted:2 months ago

#46

Alfonso Sexto
Lead Tester

714 495 0.7
@Sam Baker
there's a considerable amount of venomous backlash (eg "You're a fucking idiot, Paul Trillo" and "I hope he's blacklisted from every games studio in the world", etc)
Comments like those from Paul have the risk of causing that reaction. But I must say that the backlash you mention is just atrocious and can't be justified under any excuse, and I really hope whoever are responsible of those cheap insults are not amongst us in this community. When people throws that kind of insults they automatically become worse that the person they are attacking.

And don't worry, I don't think anybody here would put a stigma on the university or all the students there just because of a persons opinion, that would just be ridiculous.

Posted:2 months ago

#47

Paul Johnson
Managing Director / Lead code monkey

787 931 1.2
Well, I can only comment on what I've seen. But it's not like I haven't seen much.

But really, for all the crusaders out there. Stop whining about injustice on the forums and go do something real about it. Know a company director that treats women like shit? I mean actually, really know this actual person? Go tell the authorities and it'll get fixed in no time.

Posted:2 months ago

#48

Morville O'Driscoll
Games Blogger & Journalist

1,372 1,018 0.7
Go tell the authorities and it'll get fixed in no time.
I can see where you're coming from, but I'll also say that "whining about injustice" keeps the issue in the public eye, and raises awareness. It also means that (hopefully) people will be encouraged to stand up for equal rights, and that consumers and people going into the industry will be more accustomed to equality, and issues of privilege.

As an aside, "telling the authorities" doesn't always help on major issues. You only have to look at how few tax evasion/extreme tax avoision techniques are prosecuted to see that the system doesn't always work.

Posted:2 months ago

#49

Iain Compton
Senior Game Designer

4 13 3.3
I'm sure glad we have all these white men in the comments telling us that sexism and prejudice no longer exist.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Iain Compton on 13th February 2014 3:04pm

Posted:2 months ago

#50
Wow a lot of top comments from both sides. Go team :-)

I've given up on this topic. It's a religious argument, no-one is going to change anyone else's mind. I just hope that I'm wrong and this kind of feminism which sees prejudice everywhere doesn't actually do more harm than good by causing people to take a cynical view when confronted with real prejudice.

I think what's really regrettable is that people aren't talking more about the people who are being rewarded for their contribution to eSports which has the potential to really transform gaming.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by John Owens on 13th February 2014 3:30pm

Posted:2 months ago

#51

Iain Compton
Senior Game Designer

4 13 3.3
@John, my understanding of the phrase 'given up on this topic' tends to strongly lean towards not commenting any more. I am therefore sceptical of your claim. Maybe the reason for feminists such as Ms Sarkeesian seeing prejudice everywhere is because there actually is prejudice everywhere? There's certainly a lot of evidence to support that view including a successfully kickstarted series of Youtube videos that you might want to start with. It seems to me that there are depressingly many, well documented cases of real prejudice in our industry, I'm not sure how you can dismiss them so cavalierly.

Posted:2 months ago

#52

Paul Johnson
Managing Director / Lead code monkey

787 931 1.2
I'm with you John. The moment someone accuses someone else of living in a bubble because they're white and male, it's all gotten too esoteric for me. Last post.

There is an appropriate word to describe people who make sweeping statements and generalisations based on just gender and colour, and I'm guessing he won't like it when he figures out what it might be.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Paul Johnson on 13th February 2014 5:28pm

Posted:2 months ago

#53
@Iain

I'll take the bait and post one last thing then but that's then it.

Everyone has prejudices. It's human nature and can be understood in terms of what's called the MonkeySphere or Dunbar's number which effectively means that we're only capable of recognising about 150 different individuals after that we start classifying people into groups which leads to prejudice.

The point I'm trying to make is that feminists like everyone else are not immune to that and their views of men are shaped by their own prejudices too.

Ultimately we should try to recognise that everyone is an individual and you can only tackle prejudice from that level otherwise you run the risk of tarring people unfairly or allowing people to use you're own prejudice against you.

As I said in my comments there is serious prejudice which does real damage but to elevate everything up to that level does more harm than good.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by John Owens on 13th February 2014 4:09pm

Posted:2 months ago

#54

Iain Compton
Senior Game Designer

4 13 3.3
@John Your assertion that "feminists' views of men are shaped by their prejudices" is an evidence-free way to handwave away the vast and overwhelming array of objective data that shows this industry *is* rife with some of the most horrible discrimination and hostility towards women. Why not start by dealing with that rather than trying to assert that the somehow all that data represents a plot to undermine men by feminists?

You are also dead wrong about tackling prejudice at the individual level. You cannot effect change that way in any meaningful sense, it has to be systematic and top-down. There has to be a change in the atmosphere that makes misogyny and sexism as publicly unacceptable in future as blatant racism is now. That happens by pointing out all the ways - large and small - that the hostile environment is being perpetuated so that everyone can understand how they consciously or unconsciously contribute to that.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Iain Compton on 13th February 2014 4:55pm

Posted:2 months ago

#55
Who died and made you the new church to be the moral police for everyone.

Surely in a free society it has to be down to the individual otherwise one person's protection is another's oppression.

If you want to talk specifically about this case. The treatment/abuse that she received was out of order and in no way can be justified. Just like the recent case with the guy who made FlappyBird or before then Phil Fish. No-one should be treated like that but as others have said that's the internet - that's got nothing to do with the games industry.

Even supporters of hers before now have serious concerns after seeing her work that this wasn't just a way to milk people out of money by using this emotive issue. If you look back that's always been my issue. There is an industry around feminism like a lot of social activism and quite frankly it does far more harm than good.

Ok now I'm done.

Edited 4 times. Last edit by John Owens on 13th February 2014 5:30pm

Posted:2 months ago

#56

Iain Compton
Senior Game Designer

4 13 3.3
@John, I see a lot of non-sequiturs but no actual engagement with any of the points I raised.

Posted:2 months ago

#57
I'm done.

If you want to think I avoided your points then fair enough.

Edited 3 times. Last edit by John Owens on 13th February 2014 5:49pm

Posted:2 months ago

#58

Andrew Clayton
QA Functionality Tester

11 34 3.1
Maybe I missed Sarkeesian's comments about sexism in the industry. All of the videos I have watched of hers have been about sexism within games, specifically around female characters. That's a pretty different conversation than what we're having now. People of both genders can make great characters of both genders, but plenty of games include shallow meatheads and busty babes instead of complex characters with realistic personalities and emotions. There are plenty of borderline offensive female and male characters.

I want to argue that Sarkeesian's videos clearly demonstrate her bias because they only focus on the female characters, but that was pretty obvious from everything else she's done. I can't fault her for picking a particular topic to rail against since I frequently do the same thing.

The reason I squirm at the idea of her getting an award is simply that I don't believe she has the best interest of games or the gaming industry at heart when she creates her content. It seems to me that she spends far too much time discussing the historical failures of video games (of which there are plenty) and far too little time discussing the things that can be done to improve all games as a whole.

Posted:2 months ago

#59

Wesley Williams
Quality Assurance

131 68 0.5
Regardless of the absolute accuracy of Anita's work, she has done a phenomenal job of highlighting these issues and in doing so educated a number of people (myself included) who wouldn't have thought twice about some of the content of the games they play. I am now considerably more informed and considerably less willing to spend my money and time on games (and other media) that don't do a good job of representing female characters. Hopefully many others now take the same stance.

Provoking debate and highlighting issues like these are a good thing for the industry and the community, because we'll start to see more rewards for content creators who don't continue to perpetuate the status quo.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Wesley Williams on 13th February 2014 7:03pm

Posted:2 months ago

#60

Brook Davidson
Artist / 3D design

57 88 1.5
I honestly don't understand how anyone could have taken Sarkeesian that seriously. It felt more like a scam then anything. I have watched the videos she made, and they just are bad all around. Majority of her evidence is twisted and warped to meet her needs. I am all for equality for sure, I mean after all, I should know what that is like being transgender, but if you are going to start a kickstarter and make videos and do something like she did. At least do it right.

I do agree all the hate she got was not needed. I do have to point out though the hate had nothing to do with her gender, it had to do with her really uneducated arguments, her false accusations, and bending of truths. I have never face palmed so many times in my entire life watching videos.

There is a problem with sexism everywhere for men and women. Both sides. We should be humanists, not feminists. We should be working together to make the work place a better place. Not pointing fingers at one another on who is right or who is wrong. Frankly it's stupid and immature. Feminists are not helping all that much because they are to focused on females and entirely leaving out the male side.

Let's not even get started on gender equality. Transgender people have it worse then both males and females. However, it has gotten loads better in the more recent years. I am grateful for that. You don't see me pointing fingers or causing trouble. There are better ways to do this. It's called educating people properly. Also we need to bring a stop to bringing religion into these things. That's a personal matter and should be kept as such. Would solve so many problems.

Posted:2 months ago

#61

Morville O'Driscoll
Games Blogger & Journalist

1,372 1,018 0.7
I do have to point out though the hate had nothing to do with her gender,
http://www.feministfrequency.com/2012/06/harassment-misogyny-and-silencing-on-youtube/

This is why it is hard (but not impossible) to separate her videos from sexism in the industry. I'm not trying to score points (honestly), but I would assume Paul Trillo started as a consumer, and is trying to get into the industry because of his love for the medium. Consumers can so easily get into the industry - through YT, blogs, amateur journalism, development - that I would argue that the separation between pro and consumer that exists in this industry is, at times, so vague as to be non-existent. And this is why just the fact that Anita produced the videos helps - because the more consumers (and industry pros) rail against her (note: "her", not "her arguments"), the more "in-the-open" sexism becomes, the more it's talked about, and the more chance it can be stamped out.

Posted:2 months ago

#62

Brook Davidson
Artist / 3D design

57 88 1.5
http://www.feministfrequency.com/2012/06/harassment-misogyny-and-silencing-on-youtube/

This is why it is hard (but not impossible) to separate her videos from sexism in the industry. I'm not trying to score points (honestly), but I would assume Paul Trillo started as a consumer, and is trying to get into the industry because of his love for the medium. Consumers can so easily get into the industry - through YT, blogs, amateur journalism, development - that I would argue that the separation between pro and consumer that exists in this industry is, at times, so vague as to be non-existent. And this is why just the fact that Anita produced the videos helps - because the more consumers (and industry pros) rail against her (note: "her", not "her arguments"), the more "in-the-open" sexism becomes, the more it's talked about, and the more chance it can be stamped out.
Stuff like that will never go away. That is simply internet trolls. A lot of people say things on the internet they never would dare say in real life. The internet is never a good judge for this type of stuff. You tell them not to call you fat .. and they will do it. You tell them not to be sexist and they will do it more.

Doesn't matter how much it's talked about. This is the internet, where even being a little over weight on youtube will get you hate comments.

I will say it again, the hate she got has nothing to do with gender. Another good example of this is Flappy bird. It just goes to show you how much the internet is terrible and there isn't much that can be done unless it's enforced greatly which no one seems to want or agree with.

Posted:2 months ago

#63

Morville O'Driscoll
Games Blogger & Journalist

1,372 1,018 0.7
This is the internet
Perhaps this is the issue... So many other industries thrive even without the internet. But take the internet away from the games industry? This isn't the 80s anymore. The internet holds a disproportionate amount of power - whole companies would literally disappear overnight - and inherent in that is that trolls have a disproportionate amount of power. Add to that a viciousness that the internet has helped create...

Or maybe not... Something to consider though.

Posted:2 months ago

#64

Brook Davidson
Artist / 3D design

57 88 1.5
Perhaps this is the issue... So many other industries thrive even without the internet. But take the internet away from the games industry? This isn't the 80s anymore. The internet holds a disproportionate amount of power - whole companies would literally disappear overnight - and inherent in that is that trolls have a disproportionate amount of power. Add to that a viciousness that the internet has helped create...

Or maybe not... Something to consider though.
Oh, yes, and I entirely agree. However, there is only 2 solutions, ignore it, or start actually doing something that will keep peoples behavior in check on the net. The former is a much easier choice. The latter on the other hand really should be done. I really think people need to start taking responsibility on the internet for things they say.

Posted:2 months ago

#65

Tim Ogul
Illustrator

272 325 1.2
Are you going to make a point other than random accusations? We are having a proper discussion here, not a youtube insult chain.
If that's what you prefer to call it, fair enough. I'm just getting a bit tired of this trend circling the Internet lately, where anyone who makes a point about the state of [women in X], whether accurate or not, is immediately jumped onto as being Correct by a certain portion of the audience, and any subsequent responses pointing out things like factual inaccuracies or clear bias in the reporting are shouted down, trying to make those people out to be villains for challenging the unassailable Virtues of the original message. I also hate the 'the enemy of my enemy is my friend" trend, where any time a person (often female) is attacked by trolls, some people seem to take that as adding legitimacy to her case, whether it is innately deserving of legitimacy or not.

Anita Sarkeesian's original Kickstarter was attacked by trolls. Trolls gonna troll. If trolls gonna troll a woman, they will be very sexist about it, because sexism is the laziest and most effective form of troll against women. This trolling does not in any way make a point about the nature of men in general, society in general, gamers in general, etc., because these are trolls, trolls gonna troll. they do not form a representative sample group of anything other than trolls.

These trolls said some things that nobody would defend as being accurate or polite, but at the end of the day, it's just words. These were not physical attacks, they were not financial attacks, they caused zero permanent harm to her beyond that which she chooses to take in. If she ignored the comment section entirely then she wouldn't even be aware that attempts to hurt her feelings were taking place. The fact that a troll says horrible things to someone does not mean that the things the victim was saying was any more deserving of being heard. And yet, trolls attacked Anita Sarkeesian, and as a result she raked in tens of thousands of dollars. It couldn't have gone better if she'd planned it that way.

She then went on create several videos about the roles of the damsel in videogames. These videos were very well constructed from a technical standpoint, but were fiascoes from a research or journalism standpoint. They had numerous biases on clear display, and rather shocking omissions of fact that would tear her premises to shreds had she bothered to note them. There have been numerous video responses to her own videos, most of which were not as well crafted (because they didn't have thousands of dollars in backer money), and some of which were just as biased and incendiary as her own, but many of which did go above and beyond her work, with much better research and much less bias. The nature and state of the damsel in games, past, present, or future, is not nearly as dire as Sarkeesian would have us believe.

Some here have said "I watched those videos, and noted the logical fallacies, but I know better so it doesn't bother me," but keep in mind that plenty of people aren't as tuned in as we are, and won't recognize those fallacies on their own, they might watch her videos and believe that they are accurate representations of the games she highlights, and that would lead to them having an unrealistically negative view of the game industry.

I think it's fair to say that there are elements of gender bias and even some overt sexism at play in some areas of the gaming sphere, and that's a topic worth discussing reasonably, but that rarely seems to take place. Instead what happens is you get a small number of misogynistic and/or trolling participants that wet the bed, then you get a bunch of holier than thou white knights who take anyone who isn't also an uncritical white knight and lumps them in with the misogynistic trolls without even considering the potential validity of the points they're making. In doing so, they are no better than the trolls themselves, they are just coming at it from the opposite direction. There's very little room in the middle for actual discourse.

It's worth having a discussion about sexism in games, but Anita Sarkeesian is a terrible messenger on the issue, and the elements that she specifically addresses should probably be avoided entirely. She is very good at marketing and profiting off of her brand, but she does nothing to make the games industry a better place for anyone other than herself.

Posted:2 months ago

#66

Morville O'Driscoll
Games Blogger & Journalist

1,372 1,018 0.7
If she ignored the comment section entirely then she wouldn't even be aware that attempts to hurt her feelings were taking place.
It's worth reading TotalBiscuit's reasons for giving-up his sub-reddit ( http://www.reddit.com/r/Cynicalbrit/comments/1xrx27/in_light_of_tb_abandonning_his_own_subreddit/cfe3rgc ), and then trying to argue this line of reasoning. If you can.
I think it's fair to say that there are elements of gender bias and even some overt sexism at play in some areas of the gaming sphere, and that's a topic worth discussing reasonably, but that rarely seems to take place.
Tim Ogul said earlier in the thread:
I do think it's nice to see them recognizing achievements in trolling. They just need to find a more interesting troll to award next year.
If you think it's worth discussing reasonably, and you think there's a dearth of insightful comments, then perhaps contributing to the criticism initially, instead of making a trite comment, would've been a better idea? :)

Edited 4 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 13th February 2014 10:00pm

Posted:2 months ago

#67

Mike Bithell
Design

2 11 5.5
Oh my, what a thread.

So, I've been spotting this on and off, it's done the rounds on twitter. It's become popular to point and shake your head at it. The only reason more haven't jumped in is likely GamesIndustry.biz strict user rules (which I'm increasingly grateful for).

This comments thread is an embarrassment. To see senior people in our industry (using their real names and those of their employers, no less) gathering around to collectively bury their heads in the sand over the shortage of women in our industry, and the toxic environment that's keeping them out is just sad. The fact that Anita's videos are about content, not industry, only speaks to the misplaced defensiveness of those clinging to this blinkered view of the space we work in.

I'm not worried for the senior folk reading this. They've kept their heads down in industry long enough to know that these views are unrepresentative of the good work many are doing to open things up, I'm worried for the students who make up a large part of the readership here.

Young men looking to get into industry: Leave your phobias and gamer bro bullshit off of sites read by future employers. Ideally, grow out of it. Sooner or later you're going to have to step away from the computer and into an environment filled with human beings. Human beings of beautiful variation and awesome differences. It's not scary, it rocks. And you will be so embarrassed by the silly little opinions you had on feminist theory in your late teens.

Young women looking to get into industry: This thread is not indicative of the world of game dev, I promise you. There are monumental issues around recruitment, encouraging a diverse staff, and culture to address. Great studios are working to address these issues, and the world is changing. You are going to be a part of this change. I sincerely hope that you take me at my word, because as you can see from the above, we need you.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Mike Bithell on 13th February 2014 10:33pm

Posted:2 months ago

#68

Tim Ogul
Illustrator

272 325 1.2
It's worth reading TotalBiscuit's reasons for giving-up his sub-reddit ( http://www.reddit.com/r/Cynicalbrit/comments/1xrx27/in_light_of_tb_abandonning_his_own_subreddit/cfe3rgc ), and then trying to argue this line of reasoning. If you can.
Yes, that's exactly the point I was making. Trolls gonna troll, it's not a gender thing. If you can manage to remove trolls from the equation, then great, nobody's arguing that they provide a useful purpose, but if you have a system that allows trolls to post, then you have to accept that they're going to do so, and that you'll have to be willing and able to weather their comments if you want to participate. Nobody much likes it, but complaining about it isn't going to make it any less, because the sorts of people that get outraged when they hear about the effects of trolling aren't the sort to troll anyways, and the trolls love nothing more than the hear about the chaos they cause. It's just feeding the beast.

The point is, just because someone is verbally attacked over the Internet, no matter how undeservedly or viciously, it does not lend even a shred of credibility to the comments they make. Really one of the best marketing tools over the past year or two has been to make some comment, review, blog post, video, whatever that is reasonably likely to invite trolls. The trolls inevitably show up, take a dump all over the place, then the white knights swoop in, "how dare yous" start flying, the trolls don't care at all and can't possibly laugh any harder at the sputtering fury of the white knights, and all the while the person who started the whole thing collects donations/pageviews/etc. out the wazoo.

Look at the number of responses this article has gotten. Each of those responses represents at least one pageview, probably several. It's good business, do you think it's a coincidence how often these sorts of stories pop up lately?
If you think it's worth discussing reasonably, and you think there's a dearth of insightful comments, then perhaps contributing to the criticism initially, instead of making a trite comment, would've been a better idea? :)
My point is that in the current environment, there would be little value in doing so. Any comments made that don't fit the accepted "Orthodoxy of the White Knight" are immediately dismissed without even considering their potential for validity, posts like Iain's imply that men cannot even participate in the discussion, so why even waste the words? Between the white knights and the trolls they have managed to drive out all reasonable discourse that people in the middle could have on the subject. Better to just let them both have their fun.

Posted:2 months ago

#69

Stephen Mangold
Studying Digital Media

2 4 2.0
Sarkeesian was given the honor after an open nomination process from the game development community, with final voting by the Game Developers Choice Advisory Committee.< I think this says something about the validity of her opinions.

Have those who criticized the videos actually watched them or just the videos slating them. I've only watched one and found very little to disagree with(the ms male video). This was voted by game industry professionals. Also good or bad her videos have created a huge amount of discussion with the issue. Certainly there is room for legitimate criticism. The "she doesnt have the game industry at heart" criticism doesn't make sense. It's not the point. The point is to highlight the sexism in games and in a way is her way of attempting to improving the industry. Shutting someone down for not being gamer enough is elitist and its censorship. I know people question her motives. If you disagree, Make a video pointing out the errors intelligently. You could argue she did "move gaming to a better place" as she was the one who brought the argument out.
Given how this was voted on by game industry professionals, I'd find it hard to disagree with the award.

Posted:2 months ago

#70

Tim Ogul
Illustrator

272 325 1.2
Sarkeesian was given the honor after an open nomination process from the game development community, with final voting by the Game Developers Choice Advisory Committee.< I think this says something about the validity of her opinions.
I think it speaks more to the validity of those institutions, or lack thereof.
Have those who criticized the videos actually watched them or just the videos slating them.
I've watched them all, including ones prior to the Kickstarter, and they were all horrible. If you want to state an opinion on her value, you should probably watch them all as well.

Posted:2 months ago

#71
I've just read the comments above my first one and I didn't realize people had brought the issue of sexism in the workplace into this discussion.

I was commenting upon Anita's work which among other things discussed whether Princess Zelda was a negative female stereotype.

In particular David Thornhill's post disturbed me. Sexism in the workplace is/was a very important issue however I also thought like him we had solved that problem decades ago. Games companies are like any other company and accusations of discrimination, harassment or abuse have to be treated with the upmost seriousness not just because it's right but also because it would open the company to legal liability.

Is this a widespread issue? Unfortunately I couldn't find any objective data related explicitly to the games industry but I was able to find this website.

http://www.humanresourcesiq.com/employment-law/articles/time-to-review-the-most-recent-stats-on-sexual-har/

I was just wondering if anyone had anything related specifically to the games industry?

Edited 1 times. Last edit by John Owens on 14th February 2014 2:30am

Posted:2 months ago

#72

Shane Sweeney
Academic

329 211 0.6
I imagine if people can't see sexism all around them then they are probably part of the problem.

Super Mario 3D World on Wii U is a sequel to a pre-existing franchise on 3DS in 2011.
Post Feminist Frequency however, Princess Toadstool is now a playable character and the plot does not revolve around retrieving her.

Damseling *is* lazy writing, and I bet we will see a massive drop of the trope, especially in the indie scene as a result of her talks.

Discourse leads to conversation which leads to ripples in the pond. She's already changing the industry.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Shane Sweeney on 14th February 2014 3:00am

Posted:2 months ago

#73

Tim Ogul
Illustrator

272 325 1.2
Or there's no sexism anywhere around them, one or the other.

Posted:2 months ago

#74

Shane Sweeney
Academic

329 211 0.6
"Everyone's a little bit racist" as a reality applies to sexism and homophobia too.

Repeatable Implicit-association tests reveal everyone is in all categories, it is more a matter of to what degree.
Pretending it doesn't exist flies in the face of all empirical science. Gender/Racial bias denialism is up there with any other kind of factual empirical denialism.

Posted:2 months ago

#75
@Shane

Do you have statistics that I can review on the issue of sexual harassment in the workplace?

I'm not saying that it doesn't exist but I'm trying to ascertain the extent of the problem and if there's anything more that can or needs to be done.

If you honestly think playing Super Mario World negatively effects anyone's opinions of women then fair enough. It may be a lazy simplistic story but I see it as a mere plot device. I'm just curious what empirical evidence are you referring to?

Edited 2 times. Last edit by John Owens on 14th February 2014 3:36am

Posted:2 months ago

#76

Rick Lopez
Illustrator, Graphic Designer

1,203 816 0.7
OK guys… Ive been reading the comments and im gonna go on a rant, I haven't had much time to look at this or edit it. Just know I don't mean to be disrespectful. And if I say something offensive or stupid, just use the quote function and let me know in a nice manner. And really I probably feel im doing Anita Sarkeesian more of a favor in giving her more attention than I think she deserves. So Im going to write this go to sleep wake up tomorrow hoping I did not write anything stupid…. If you find it too long, just read the stuff in Bold... so here I go...

--------------------------------

Anita Sarkeesian uses video games to further her own feminist agenda… BAM!… I said it, its what i think. It does not mirror or reflect the point of view of others... thank you.

So many people really working hard to do something for the video game industry and she is getting all this recognition within the games industry. I mean Damn if thats the case Angry Joe deserves 50 awards... who plays the game, makes his own videos which are (about a half hour long) and give a really nice detailed none biased review of it.... (this is a joke by the way)

One can make the same points about men that she made about woman. A guy can be offended at the way men are depicted and also make points of how games are sexist towards men.

A guy can be offended by a semi naked man with bursting muscles as well if someone brought up the issue, i bet it would make headlines. These topics are like religion and relevant only to the person who belives in it. I think the fact is more boys are simply more interested in games then girls, not only in playing them, but creating them. And most discussions involving woman in the gaming work place applies to most other jobs as well. Its not like the problems found in the video game industry don't exist elsewhere. And one can bring up her points in just about any media. Why target games?

For a person who loves games sooo much, like she claims she does, its hard to belive when you see how she talks about them. I dont think she played through the games she talks about, nore do I think she knows much about them either. And the videos she posted were googled off the internet, and she used other peoples footage to create "her" own videos. Thats where all the kickstarter money went. And for you people who put in a pledge and you think it was worth it good for you.

And if the things she discusses were really a huge issue I think more woman would come foward to say so. I think they would have done so a long time ago. But in general most woman that play games do enjoy them.

I understand sexism is an issue... but thats really in all forms of entertainment media... its like racism, but towards a specific gender…… and case in point don't any a you guys think she is being sexist towards men?

But I really dont see videogames as such a horrible media towards woman and I find it has a very broad appeal to a large demographic with so many types of differant games.

-----------------------

Regarding the internet death threats and controversy she has generated… i don't really feel sorry for her. Is it wrong for people to be jerks, defenitly. But it cant be controlled in social media. I have a Facebook and twitter account, nothing forces me to post a comment or a thought of mine. But likewise I find it really stupid when people post things and then don't like how people respond to it.

As with the case of Phil Fish, If there are so many assholes on twitter or if twitter makes you feel miserable because you don't like what people have to say about what you post, then just don't post anything at all. I barely use my Twitter and when i post on Facebook I almost never post anything too personal regarding my life or thoughts on certain things like religion or politics. they generate a lot of backlash. And people are quick to judge you on the things they do know about you, which happens to be very little. A tiny comment you might have posted.

Nobody controls how people will respond in social media, and I just think if you cant take the public perception regarding the things you post and if their response make you so miserable, don't post anything at all.

Phil Fish could have easily shut down his Twitter and quietly made FEZ 2 and not give a fuck about opinions of people who don't even now him. But he chose to let it shut down his career… who won there? I don't feel sorry for Phil. Like wise I defend Anitas Sarkeesians choice in deactivating comments on her videos.

I think people should be weary, critical and thoughtful of what they post on the internet. Remember your point of view is not absolute and you responsible for what you say. In the same manner you approach a person and want to tell him the truth without hurting them… I think Anita could have been more sensible in the way she says things… which is why…

-----------------

I don't feel sorry for her. She is saying these things, but she is not in her house, among close friends, giving a keynote speech to a group who is specifically interested in what she says.She is voicing out her thoughts through social media, and when a person does that they should measure their words accordingly. I believe in self expression. I have bachelors a 5 years bachelors degree in fine arts(minor) and graphic design(major) and a masters in graphic design. I know about art, i know about self expression, even now i seek to further my skills, knowlage and studies. You cant go ahead and do something and be pissed off, if people don't respond to it the way you wanted. I was a professor for 3 years. Likewise when Im in front of a class room I had to measure my words accordingly. And the same should be said about social media.

And I refuse to believe so many people hate her for NO REASON? She does come off as full of mysandry(hate towards men) which few here even care about. Every body is like "Oh poor Anita Sarkeesian". Likewise woman can be pretty harsh on there thoughts on men, which is why I think anita was met with so much scorn and discord.

She came off to me as despicable, unpleasant and pedantic, this is my personal opinion. So if anyone here supports her fine. But i dont. I cringed the whole time I watched her videos. And I think she could have gotten her thoughts through in a more sensible manner. I have a girlfriend who is very feminist. And I had a ex girl friend who was raped and hated sex. Likewise I have lots a female friends and its pretty scary how many woman get raped and it goes under the radar. Ive had these heated arguments about "men vs woman" with woman who actually hate men and sex, but there are ways to do it that doesn't come off as such a hateful manner.

Is public backlash only valid if its good as with the case of PSY's song Gangnam style? Does the positive feedback say something about his work? Likewise if the public receives a persons work full of discord and scorn what? Its not valid? I think people should should think about why people responded to Anita Sarkeesians work in such a way. i myself had a hard time sitting through them and Im a really open minded guy. I guess my problem is that she is bashing something i love with little conviction and is gaining fame for simply bringing the topic up.

I watched all her videos and I do not invalidate her points, sexism is a seriouse thing and discrimination and harrasment in the workplace, none of which are exclusive to video games. However I cant swallow or support what she says, much less because of pity, because I felt she spoke about the games as a person who googled them. There is more material written by more proffesional people regarding these topics. ANita twisted everything up so it would meet her point of view and left very little in terms of others peoples point of view. Her arguments were very superficial and generic. i mean princess peach can be an awesome kick ass character if you know how to use her. She is no damsel in distress. Nobody says anything about all the sacrifices mario goes through to save her. And in the Zelda games Zelda is usually the one to save link or participate in the battle with ganon. In twilight princess you need the arrows of light that only she could use to beat ganon. And I don't see Zelda or princess peach showing much skin or looking… "slutty".

And I know lots a girls that play video games, they may not be the majority, but i don't see a general reaction of them feeling put off by the depiction of woman. True some games are catered more to guys like god of war, but like wise we have the nintendo games, dance games, pokemon games and lots a games that woman can enjoy. Lots a girls seem to like animal crossing, which I think is also fantastic.

------------------

Seriously I don't see why she deserves such an award. In fact I don't even know why I wrote this, Im just giving her more attention than she deserves cuz at the end of the day, they are crappy edited videos that lack substance to hold much conviction. But I keep thinking why, and i just feel she is bashing something i love.

im playing a game called FUSE right now… has 4 characters. 2 girls and 2 guys. One guy has big huge strong arms, but like wise one girl has a big chest, not overly huge, but not flat either. And the character designs have them all dressed in similar manner regardless of gender, the girls aren't wearing any dresses or thongs and they are covered up from the neck down. But Anita wont mention games like this. She wont mention games like Saints Row, MAss Effect, Dragon Age, Dragon Dogma, where you can create a custom character that can be female or male and that have equal standing. The story or abilities of a character don't change because of gender.

-------------------

To end my public rant... I understand sexism is bad and shouldnt be allowed, but I think we have come a long way in improving things, just look at these links...

http://neatdesigns.net/35-extremely-sexist-ads-that-you-should-see/

http://www.businessinsider.com/these-modern-ads-are-even-more-sexist-than-their-mad-men-era-counterparts-2012-4?op=1

I can see people going crazy over stuff like that, but the video games Anita presented? Seriously? Really i am done with Anita Sarkeesian. Now give me a shovel so I can dig a hole and bury myself incase I said something stupid.

Edited 5 times. Last edit by Rick Lopez on 14th February 2014 4:34am

Posted:2 months ago

#77

Brook Davidson
Artist / 3D design

57 88 1.5
@Shane

I really don't understand what is so bad about a person rescuing another person who is in trouble. Why wouldn't you?

I do understand that many females in video games get kidnapped or fall into danger, but I still fail to see how that is sexist in anyway. The hero is male, and he is saving the one he loves. If the main character was female I am sure that would switch around. Of course, it would be nice to see more same sex couples.

Is it a bad plot device? I personally do not think so. It works and has worked since the beginning of story telling. It's really no different then someones daughter or son getting kidnapped in movies and shows. Or a pet getting kidnapped. It's simply a story and should NOT be takin as some sort of insult to anyone.

It's pretty stupid if you ask me to see it as an insult. Have you all ever seen the way most transgender people are portrayed ... XD it's far far worse. Again, it doesn't bother me because it can sometimes be a hilarious plot device. How is it, I am able to laugh these things off and not take offense to them. because I know they don't mean any harm by it, yet everyone flips out when it's a female.

Even males are portrayed as a certain way. Why?, because it's a made up story, not real, fake.

I could say Mario is a bad depiction of a male because he is a plummer. Course, it's just stupid to point that out, because again .. it's a story. The reason he is a plummer likely has nothing to do with him being a male.

Same with females being kidnapped because males get kidnapped as well in stories. Kids do, pets do ...heck even strong men get kidnapped sometimes >.>.

Posted:2 months ago

#78

Tim Ogul
Illustrator

272 325 1.2
Post Feminist Frequency however, Princess Toadstool is now a playable character and the plot does not revolve around retrieving her.
And yet the game does include, what, seven or eight OTHER damsels? Having Princess Peach as playable in SM3DW is neither a net positive or negative, it's just a thing that happened. If you love paying as Princess Peach, then great, it's a nice option to have, but it's not a stride forward in gender progress.

And it's obviously not a reaction to Anita Sarkeesian, the development time on the game had to have extended well before her series was even a twinkle in Kickstarter's eye.
Damseling *is* lazy writing, and I bet we will see a massive drop of the trope, especially in the indie scene as a result of her talks.
I imagine we'll more likely see more parodying of it, as in the Spuluky example. Damseling is lazy writing, but not all games need clever writing. Plenty, like Mario, focus on gameplay and the story is just a wrapper they don't want or need to spend more than ten minutes designing. You just need a situationally appropriate McGuffin, and if that McGuffin happens to be female, so be it. It is neither a positive nor a negative, it is neutral.

Posted:2 months ago

#79

Shane Sweeney
Academic

329 211 0.6
@John Owens
Sexual harassment is a legally defined term country to country and is unlawful. Legal definitions are quite muddy and are hard to keep relevant. For example the Australian Sex Discrimination Act (1984) predates both email and social media and still classes same sex harassment under work place bullying etc. The legal frameworks need work as 88% of all cases in Australia reported are related to social media and email. I can't speak for Ireland though with any level of certainty.

In almost all cases sexual harassment is publicly frowned upon. Gender bias which I was speaking of does not exclusively manifest itself as sexual harassment though. The Implicit-association tests I mentioned highlight gender bias and/or racial bias. Personally having various gender biases is not illegal. But it is measurable. The below test from Harvard highlights how they work. Their is quite a robust amount of research into humans and how to measure various forms of racial and gender bias.
https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/education.html

Possessing gender bias while academically interesting doesn't mean people hate women but it does manifest itself into real world consequences. Identical resumes, one with a male name and one with a female name in almost all industries will result in the male resume receiving more call backs. Evidence suggests women recruiters are just as likely and in some industries even *more* likely to prefer the male candidate.

Excluding most of the world where women are persecuted daily. Overt sexism in the west has almost been stamped out, rapes are awful, sexual assault is awful and sexual harassment in the work place does exist openly in many industries like mining and agriculture (being the two worst sectors). But when these examples are exposed publicly it is punished, frowned upon and is highly regulated. They get named and shamed.

The remaining sexism is the more pervasive kind. The kind that both genders do. The kind that makes women earn less then men, be promoted less than men and own less assets then men. The kind that makes everyone okay that this is the reality. The kind of gender bias that prevents many young girls from even trying to enter certain industries or learn certain skills.

Joss Whedon the writer of Buffy is often asked why he writes so many strong female leads, in a recent talk he said the answer is because people keep asking him that question. Why are people surprised he would do that? Because we are taught from birth culturally and through our art that men rescue women, with a few exceptions like Buffy and Lara Croft that act as the exception that proves the rule.

No one refutes that gender bias in video games and movies are just reflecting the default gender bias held by most (if not all) of western society. But it's not something to be proud of or to deny exists.

We need to collectively start to name and shame this pervasive kind of sexism as well. As a country, as an industry and as people.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Shane Sweeney on 14th February 2014 6:10am

Posted:2 months ago

#80

Brook Davidson
Artist / 3D design

57 88 1.5
No one refutes that gender bias in video games and movies are just reflecting the default gender bias held by most (if not all) of western society. But it's not something to be proud of or to deny exists.

We need to collectively start to name and shame this pervasive kind of sexism as well. As a country, as an industry and as people.
It's unfixable and will always exist no matter what we do.How do make a movie that has a rescue scene if it's always going to be viewed as sexist? Can't a person be rescued because they simply need rescuing? Why does gender even have to be brought up by these plots?

What if a story writer wants his main characters girl friend to die and a tragic accident? Again, it's going to be seen as sexist by people like Sarkeesian.

The only way you can eliminate this is to simply stop making stories and video games. Because you can't just not include females in the game, as that would be seen as sexist. Yet when you do include females, anything that happens to them is also seen as sexist.

It's stupid >.>

Posted:2 months ago

#81

Morville O'Driscoll
Games Blogger & Journalist

1,372 1,018 0.7
@ Tim
My point is that in the current environment, there would be little value in doing so. Any comments made that don't fit the accepted "Orthodoxy of the White Knight" are immediately dismissed without even considering their potential for validity,
How convenient. You see little point in adding to the discussion, so rather than even attempting to add to the discussion in a valuable way, your first post in the thread was "She's a troll".
posts like Iain's imply that men cannot even participate in the discussion, so why even waste the words?
I assume you mean
I'm sure glad we have all these white men in the comments telling us that sexism and prejudice no longer exist.
Which is not an implication that men can't take part in this discussion (since we have plenty of men here engaging with the subject), just that having white men saying prejudice and sexism don't exist doesn't add anything to the discussion. A better phrasing for it would be "I am a white male, and I have not seen or taken part in sexist actions", which puts forward the point-of-view just as well, but doesn't implicitly belittle someone who says otherwise. It also doesn't sound as defensive.
Trolls gonna troll, it's not a gender thing.
But having dicks be nasty to someone is different to them being dicks whilst using degrading language and threats that relate directly to gender..
If you can manage to remove trolls from the equation, then great, nobody's arguing that they provide a useful purpose, but if you have a system that allows trolls to post, then you have to accept that they're going to do so, and that you'll have to be willing and able to weather their comments if you want to participate.
And this is where we differ greatly. You accept "trolls gonna troll". I don't. And neither should anyone else. The more people accept that "trolls gonna troll", the less anything will change, and the worse it'll get. We don't accept that people can stroll-in off the street to your local coffee-shop, shout verbal abuse, make rape threats, then walk away. We wouldn't accept it if it was done via letter, email or telephone. So why are people (and it's not just you, btw) so ready to accept that life on the internet has to involve abuse, sexism and hatred up to and including having you or your loved ones threatened with bodily harm?

You can call it White-Knighting or SJW'ing if you want. But in the Real World it would just be called making the world a nicer, better, place. Like calling for a higher minimum wage, or fairer taxes.

Edited 3 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 14th February 2014 6:50am

Posted:2 months ago

#82

Shane Sweeney
Academic

329 211 0.6
You can't entirely fix it permanently? So be proud of it? Deny it?

It's there. We will fix parts of it slowly a generation at a time. But it will be done only from active participation from society. At the very least we need language to identify it. Terminology is the very most basic level of understanding. The stuff Sarkeesian brings up is obvious gender bias and most of us felt it innately. But at least Sarkeesian is contributing to the academic lexicon so we can more acutely talk about it.

Every artistic field has gender studies, video games should be no exception.

Edited 4 times. Last edit by Shane Sweeney on 14th February 2014 7:05am

Posted:2 months ago

#83

Brook Davidson
Artist / 3D design

57 88 1.5
@Shane

No, you can't fix it because in many cases it simply doesn't exist. Many of these stories are done and have nothing to do with a person gender but stupid people bring it up anyway. How do you fix something that isn't actually there?

Everyone interprets things differently, that doesn't mean their interpretation is correct.

I can literally pull any story at all and point out things that you can call sexist. It's not very hard to do, even though the story didn't do it to be sexist in anyway. As I pointed out before. Why is Mario a plumber? Because he is a male? SEXIST! Why is princess peach wearing a pink dress? Sexist! Not all women like pink! Why do super heroes have all those msucles? It's sexist!

Again .. you can't fix it, because it doesn't actually exist. It's all in peoples heads. Now if an author comes out and says ... I did this because the character was female .. then it's sexist. Just assuming it was done because the character was female or male, doesn't mean that it was. You can't just say something is sexist with out actually knowing the reason and intentions behind it.

Posted:2 months ago

#84

Morville O'Driscoll
Games Blogger & Journalist

1,372 1,018 0.7
The only way you can eliminate this is to simply stop making stories and video games
Books seem to do okay, though. Books run the whole gamut from pointlessly-sexist, to well-constructed, with everything in between. Imagine that.

Posted:2 months ago

#85

Christian Keichel
Journalist

413 559 1.4
But at least Sarkeesian is contributing to the academic lexicon so we can more acutely talk about it.

Every artistic field has gender studies, video games should be no exception.
Sarkeesian's videos aren't academic. She doesn't use a scientific tools in her videos, her arguments and her way to argue aren't for scientific purposes, Sarkeesian's wants her videos to educate people, in other words, she wants to make propaganda, that's the opposite to working academic.
Nothing is wrong with propaganda, but it has nothing to do with gender studies.

Posted:2 months ago

#86

Tim Ogul
Illustrator

272 325 1.2
No one refutes that gender bias in video games and movies are just reflecting the default gender bias held by most (if not all) of western society. But it's not something to be proud of or to deny exists.
But neither should we, in the context of a game, classify it as a "problem" that should be in any way changed. If you want to make a game with a female lead, go ahead, I'll play it if it's good. I loved Tomb Raider. If you want to make a game with a male lead, you shouldn't have to feel ashamed about that or second guess it. If you want to have your lead chasing after a human McGuffin, and you feel that a mixed-gender pairing would have more easy emotional resonance, then maybe that McGuffin turns out to be female, again, not something shameful that should be actively avoided. Just make a good game, tell a story that is at least adequate to surrounding the gameplay (ideally more than adequate), and let the genders of the characters filter out as appropriate to the story you're trying to tell.

Ideally of course you could let the player choose the gender of the protagonist, and of the love interest, and various other characters perhaps, but in the real world we should all know how quickly that would balloon the budget and that it's not always a reasonable option. Given that the people making the game often have to make those choices themselves, there's no wrong choice for them to make on that, if it serves the game they're making. If the genders of the characters could be anything and it would work fine either way, then setting the protagonist to male and the love interest to female is a perfectly fine way to go. Setting it to female/male or even m/m, f/f is fine too, but there's no reason to second guess the designers choices, so long as what they choose works.
How convenient. You see little point in adding to the discussion, so rather than even attempting to add to the discussion in a valuable way, your first post in the thread was "She's a troll".
Yes, that was the point that I was making.
But having dicks be nasty to someone is different to them being dicks whilst using degrading language and threats that relate directly to gender..
No, it's not. It's like saying that someone stabbing people with a knife is different than if he were stabbing with a sword, it's just a different weapon. Trolls are inherently lazy. They grab the nearest weapon to hand. If they intend to troll a woman, they will get sexist. If they intend to troll a minority, they will get racist. They will troll based on weight, hair color/style, height, occupation, whatever is the path of least resistance to your hurt feelings. This is not to defend their behavior, by all means take them down as best you can, but don't hit anyone else with collateral damage by making broad generalities.

That trolls use sexist language when attacking women does not mean that they themselves must be sexist people. They might be, they might not, there's no way to tell from trolling alone.More importantly, it says absolutely nothing about other people around them who are not trolling (ie blaming "male gamers" for the behavior of "male trolls" who happen to be members of a gaming community). When a troll uses sexist language, he is not saying these things because he believes them to be true and wishes to convey those truths, he is saying them because he believes they will deliver the most harm for the wordcount.

Essentially, you could hand a troll a list of ten phrases in a language he does not understand, convince him that each of these is a highly potent insult in that language, and set him loose on a board fluent in that language, and he will happily use those words whether they translate to horrible slurs, or whether they translate to "I wear fish on my head" (apologies if that last one offended anyone).

So trolls aren't in it to be sexist, they are in it to be horrible people, it does say something about human nature that they enjoy being horrible people, but it really says very little about the broad state of gender relations amongst people who are not trolls. Unless you believe that a great many people working in the industry are trolls, the behavior of trolls isn't really relevant to the conversation, and trolls should be exiled whenever possible, and ignored completely whenever not. Those incapable of doing the latter when necessary need to exile themselves from places frequented by trolls.
The more people accept that "trolls gonna troll", the less anything will change, and the worse it'll get.
What's your alternative though? You can't "tell off" a troll, you can't convince them of the error of their ways. They FEED on that stuff. If you make it clear that you are displeased by their behavior, that only makes them happy. You only make them stronger by doing so. If you try to insult them back, they slough it off because they have no investment in their anonymous "trollsona." Discussing the "troll problem" among people who are not themselves trolls is equally pointless, we all agree that they suck, but our agreement on that does not make them suck any less. Again, if you have a method for ejecting trolls from a given environment, then use it, but if you don't, then there's absolutely and quite literally NOTHING to be gained by acknowledging their presence in any way. You cannot defeat a troll except by removing them or ignoring them.

There is never any benefit whatsoever to white knighting. It's just preaching to the choir. Anyone who your words could touch already agree with you, and anyone who would disagree with you isn't looking to have their opinions changed or even to think critically about their own arguments, they just want to say mean things with the goal of making people mad. The most you can accomplish is to annoy everyone else in the space that disagrees with the trolls but also don't appreciate holier-than-thou attitudes.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Tim Ogul on 14th February 2014 7:30am

Posted:2 months ago

#87

Tim Ogul
Illustrator

272 325 1.2
Books seem to do okay, though. Books run the whole gamut from pointlessly-sexist, to well-constructed, with everything in between. Imagine that.
And so do games, what's your point? Books are no less (or more) sexist than video games are.

Posted:2 months ago

#88

Shane Sweeney
Academic

329 211 0.6
@Brook
As I pointed out before. Why is Mario a plumber? Because he is a male? SEXIST! Why is princess peach wearing a pink dress? Sexist! Not all women like pink! Why do super heroes have all those msucles? It's sexist!
I think you will agree that in a vacuum there is no sexism involved in a story where a man rescues a women. But there is sexism involved when the opposite story attracts media attention focusing on the gender. Again, Joss Whedon constantly gets asked about his strong female role models, nobody asks every other director about there strong male role models. That's the reality and it's tragic.
Now if an author comes out and says ... I did this because the character was female .. then it's sexist.
If a writer has intent about the gender then they are being overtly sexist and get's named and shamed for it. By definition the pervasive kind of gender bias I am exclusively referring to is subconscious, pervasive and has real world impact.

@Christian
I agree, she is a public figure. And yet, I just saw a paper the other day referring to Damseling. Language is powerful and comes from many sources. Change happens from exposure not just academic posturing. As I said, I bet she is already having a real world change on various areas of the industry.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Shane Sweeney on 14th February 2014 7:31am

Posted:2 months ago

#89

Tim Ogul
Illustrator

272 325 1.2
But there is sexism involved when the opposite story attracts media attention focusing on the gender.
Sure, but that's sexism in the news media, not sexism in the games industry itself.

Posted:2 months ago

#90

Morville O'Driscoll
Games Blogger & Journalist

1,372 1,018 0.7
What's your alternative though? You can't "tell off" a troll, you can't convince them of the error of their ways. They FEED on that stuff. If you make it clear that you are displeased by their behavior, that only makes them happy.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/twitter-trolls-isabella-sorley-and-john-nimmo-jailed-for-abusing-feminist-campaigner-caroline-criadoperez-9083829.html

Naming/shaming/arresting would work? Perhaps only in extreme cases, but it might act as a deterrent. In any event, ignoring the problem certainly won't make it go away.

Posted:2 months ago

#91

Shane Sweeney
Academic

329 211 0.6
It's not exclusively the journalist fault.
It's gender bias because it *IS* surprising that he writes a lot of powerful female role models. Very few successful writers do.
It's rare that anyone tries, let alone manages to convince the west to be interested. At every stage there is gender bias.

Posted:2 months ago

#92

Brook Davidson
Artist / 3D design

57 88 1.5
@Shane
Are you purposefully skipping over all my main points?
But there is sexism involved when the opposite story attracts media attention focusing on the gender . Again, Joss Whedon constantly gets asked about his strong female role models, nobody asks every other director about there strong male role models. That's the reality and it's tragic.
I don't see how that is sexist. To want to see a show with a male hero isn't sexist. It's just what that person wants to see at that current point in time. It's not like they said he shouldn't make stories with a female lead.

Also, how do you know nobody asks other directors about their strong male roles? Just because it's never mentioned, doesn't mean it does not happen. Keeping in mind this does entirely depend on the audience and again has nothing to do with actual sexism.

This isn't to say it never happens, it does, but not nearly as bad as everyone thinks. Those who mention sexism so often are more sexist then those who do not even think about it. Those who mention it are looking for it to trying and point fingers on the other gender, which is in itself sexist.
By definition the pervasive kind of gender bias I am exclusively referring to is subconscious, pervasive and has real world impact.
I am telling you, for the most part it isn't actually there. What ever happened to people first getting evidence before accusing people of certain things? You can't ever claim a particular part of a story is sexist without knowing the authors intent. A girl gets beaten to death in a movie doesn't mean the author is sexist. It just happened to be a female character that got beaten to death in the story .. nothing more to it.

Posted:2 months ago

#93

Morville O'Driscoll
Games Blogger & Journalist

1,372 1,018 0.7
I think I'm gonna withdraw from this thread... It's too many white guys talking about stuff they don't have experience of. (And I include myself in that. For all that I believe sexism does exist in games and attitudes in the industry, my only interaction with it is in the general sense of bad writing and general awkwardness.)

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 14th February 2014 8:18am

Posted:2 months ago

#94

Shane Sweeney
Academic

329 211 0.6
Again the artist intent is irrelevant. The sexism people think about does not concern me it's already publicly named and shamed. It's the silent pervasive subconscious gender bias that does That's the type that thrives. That's what pervasive means, there is no artistic intent by definition.

The measurable fact that almost all stories are about males rescuing women is a gender bias it's not necessarily sexism or gender discrimination. It doesn't occur out of deliberate malice but no one is claiming that.

However it *does* occur and has real world damage.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Shane Sweeney on 14th February 2014 8:23am

Posted:2 months ago

#95

Brook Davidson
Artist / 3D design

57 88 1.5
would be useful if it came from those who are affected directly (women).
Well, I am transgendered and my gender identity is a women. But hey whatever .. to you I must not count.

Posted:2 months ago

#96

Morville O'Driscoll
Games Blogger & Journalist

1,372 1,018 0.7
Huh... I apologise for that. Massively. And I'll edit my post. :) No offense was meant.

Although, I hope you find it somewhat amusing that you just proved my point. :)

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 14th February 2014 8:21am

Posted:2 months ago

#97

Brook Davidson
Artist / 3D design

57 88 1.5
Huh... I apologise for that. Massively. And I'll edit my post. :)
It's ok XD ...

Truthfully I don't know if this subject will ever really be solved. It's clear many of us all have different views. *shrugs* I mean there isn't really more I could say on the matter.

I just personally think most people over react. It's not like I am saying it isn't a problem or that it doesn't exist at all. I am just saying most people who point out something is sexist, whether it is in a show, game, movie, or book don't have any proof that it is actually in fact sexist.

I also don't understand how something can be sexist if it isn't deliberate. If that is the case, then we have a very serious issue on our hands because every book, movie, game and show has sexism in it to some extent. >.> .. So what on earth could possibly be done about it exactly?

Posted:2 months ago

#98

Morville O'Driscoll
Games Blogger & Journalist

1,372 1,018 0.7
I also don't understand how something can be sexist if it isn't deliberate.
It muddies the water slightly, but it might help to look at other minorities. Things like the "token black/hispanic/British" character are (were?) often done not with the intention of being racist, but because they reflected a certain world-view of the writer. If the writer only hangs out with white American dudes, then his perception of the world can (though not always) be coloured by that. Which is where the whole "check your privilege" thing comes from - it's looking at yourself and examining what attitudes you honestly don't mean to have, but which are part of who you are (mostly from your upbringing).

Edit:

An actually relevant example would be something like "A guy is a stud for sleeping around, a woman is a slut". There's no difference in action between either gender, but inherently sexist attitudes instilled in people from their upbringing say one is okay, the other not, even in people who are otherwise pro-equality.

Edited 3 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 14th February 2014 8:46am

Posted:2 months ago

#99

Tim Ogul
Illustrator

272 325 1.2
Naming/shaming/arresting would work? Perhaps only in extreme cases, but it might act as a deterrent. In any event, ignoring the problem certainly won't make it go away.
In extreme cases where they literally break the law then you can arrest them. in cases where they are merely rude and insufferable though, there's nothing you can say that would make any positive difference. You can't "shame" them because they have no shame over their behavior. Any attempt you make to shame them for it only makes them happier at how successful they are being at annoying you. You are saying the nicest things to them that you possibly can by saying anything at all.
In any event, ignoring the problem certainly won't make it go away.
No, it won't, but talking about it won't either. The problem just won't go away. EVER. So long as people are allowed to post anonymously, there will be those who use that freedom irresponsibly, and you cannot talk them out of doing so. Ignoring the problem won't make it go away, but since nothing else will either, the best response you can make is to not let it harm you by ignoring it yourself.
It's not exclusively the journalist fault.
It's gender bias because it *IS* surprising that he writes a lot of powerful female role models. Very few successful writers do.
It's rare that anyone tries, let alone manages to convince the west to be interested. At every stage there is gender bias.
It's not terribly surprising really. There are plenty of strong female characters out there. It's more an issue because he's a male himself and it's always a bit more impressive the a writer can convincingly write outside their own personal experiences. Even so, it's a fairly "dog bites man" story, and it really is an issue if journalists keep bringing that up, it shows they don't really pay attention to the work and just raise banal surface questions to fill space instead.
The measurable fact that almost all stories are about males rescuing women is a gender bias it's not necessarily sexism or gender discrimination. It doesn't occur out of deliberate malice but no one is claiming that.

However it *does* occur and has real world damage.
I was more or less with you until the last sentence. It's true that there are a lot more stories about male protagonists rescuing female characters, but it's not true that it does any damage to anyone. You may as easily say that the majority of cupcakes are yellow and that has real world damage, or that the most popular house paint color is lemon sorbet and that this has real world damage. Nobody is harmed by games that feature male protagonists and/or female damsels any more than they're harmed by games that do the opposite.

Posted:2 months ago

#100

Brook Davidson
Artist / 3D design

57 88 1.5
It muddies the water slightly, but it might help to look at other minorities. Things like the "token black/hispanic/British" character are (were?) often done not with the intention of being racist, but because they reflected a certain world-view of the writer. If the writer only hangs out with white American dudes, then his perception of the world can (though not always) be coloured by that. Which is where the whole "check your privilege" thing comes from - it's looking at yourself and examining what attitudes you honestly don't mean to have, but which are part of who you are (mostly from your upbringing).
Ok . .now I understand what you mean. Though, I still don't think that really should be seen as much of an issue as long as it isn't done intentional to hurt someone or cause any sort of inequality.
Edit:

An actually relevant example would be something like "A guy is a stud for sleeping around, a woman is a slut". There's no difference in action between either gender, but inherently sexist attitudes instilled in people from their upbringing say one is okay, the other not, even in people who are otherwise pro-equality.
Right, but that creates inequality so it should be taken seriously. However, things that really have no effect on being equal shouldn't be taken seriously. Like video games that have a damsel in distress.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Brook Davidson on 14th February 2014 8:51am

Posted:2 months ago

#101

Alfonso Sexto
Lead Tester

714 495 0.7
@Brook

Recently we were talking about that in the office, trying to state where is the difference between "objetivization", "sexualization" and "sexist". All because somebody suggested that I was being sexist because of two anime statues I have on my desk (One from the collector edition of Tales of Xillia, the other one from "Ikkitousen")

Of course I could not disagree more; having those two statues there only means one thing; that I enjoy the sight of a female's body (Nothing wrong with that). I could be considered sexist if I could not realize that the "Ikkitousen" one is over-sexualiced.

The same way that I find the existence of strippers from both genres acceptable, or porn, or that stuff that in a lot of cases is considered "sexist". As long as those professionals, that did choose that profession, are treated like the human beings they are then everything is ok under the sun.

If gamesindustry.biz allows me to put a link to youtube. I'll leave this here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4UWxlVvT1A (Oppresed Majority, french short film with English subs)

Posted:2 months ago

#102

Morville O'Driscoll
Games Blogger & Journalist

1,372 1,018 0.7
Though, I still don't think that really should be seen as much of an issue as long as it isn't done intentional to hurt someone or cause any sort of inequality.
That bolded part is the thing... It's hard to say what affect everyday pervasive sexism has on equality. My whole rant up there ^ about Trolls is based on the assumption that some anonymous person on the internet thinks it's okay to hurt someone using sexist attitudes about their gender against them. And since there aren't any repercussions for that, it gets into a whole mess of "I'm sexist because of the attitudes I see around me everyday, and since those attitudes aren't criticised by society or the industry I take part in, I'll assume it's okay". (See also: the reason why people are standing up against "Rape Culture").

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 14th February 2014 8:58am

Posted:2 months ago

#103

Paul Johnson
Managing Director / Lead code monkey

787 931 1.2
So, somebody posts her point in the internet, some people listens to her by free will and she is now a "troublemaker"?
She's not posting her point. She's gathering money to set herself up as an unlected spokesperson on a subject that she doesn't even present properly. The bias in her articles has been well documented above and elsewhere.

As for causing trouble, I now have about 20 tweets about me as a woman hater. Quite how we got there from here I don't know, but that feels like trouble to me. This whole subject is toxic and once again I wish I'd just moved on by.

Posted:2 months ago

#104

Tim Ogul
Illustrator

272 325 1.2
An actually relevant example would be something like "A guy is a stud for sleeping around, a woman is a slut". There's no difference in action between either gender, but inherently sexist attitudes instilled in people from their upbringing say one is okay, the other not, even in people who are otherwise pro-equality.
It's not actually a sexist attitude though. A stud is an animal that is used to breed with multiple female animals, that's just biology. Males have a biological imperative to sleep with as many women as they possibly can, while women have the imperative to hold out for the best possible genes, since she'd be locked into that choice for at least nine months, and potentially much longer.

With modern humans we've socially moved past base biological imperatives, culture is all about suppressing animal instinct, but they still influence our behaviors, so there is that instinct to view a sexually promiscuous male as "winning," and a sexually promiscuous female as "failing," at those tasks, as counterproductive as that might be. I'm not saying that we should just accept those tendencies, just that there is far more to them than some arbitrary societal norm, and moving past them is something society will always have to struggle with so long as we carry human DNA.

Posted:2 months ago

#105

Brook Davidson
Artist / 3D design

57 88 1.5
@Paul
This whole subject is toxic and once again I wish I'd just moved on by.
I agree. This subject is so hard to talk about because of the way many people act. For the most part it's just people pointing fingers back and fourth rather then anyone actually solving the actual issue. Though I do have a feeling there really is no way to solve it entirely.

Posted:2 months ago

#106

Tim Ogul
Illustrator

272 325 1.2
And since there aren't any repercussions for that, it gets into a whole mess of "I'm sexist because of the attitudes I see around me everyday, and since those attitudes aren't criticised by society or the industry I take part in, I'll assume it's okay". (See also: the reason why people are standing up against "Rape Culture").
But that's where you make a leap too far. There's no evidence that trolls employ sexist language because they think it's "ok," quite the opposite, in fact, they only use it because they know it's not ok. If it were "ok" they wouldn't bother because it wouldn't suit their purposes. Mad Men trolls would never used sexist talk because it wouldn't get the response they wanted.

Likewise, there's no evidence that the existence of trolls makes other people feel it is more permissive to display actual sexism in daily life. Criticizing trolls isn't going to make non-trolls less likely to engage in bad behavior, punishing actual bad behavior is more likely to have an effect of that. Chastising trolls on a web site isn't going to ever result in even one less rape in the world, catching and punishing rapists will, but that's an argument that doesn't really have anything to do with games.

Posted:2 months ago

#107

Morville O'Driscoll
Games Blogger & Journalist

1,372 1,018 0.7
@ Tim

Yeeeeeeeees... But....

One, we should not be blaming biology for people (both men and women) saying, out loud, to other people, "She was the village bike". It might be in our genes to think that, but... No.

Two, it leads almost-directly on to "She was asking for it". And, again, we shouldn't be using biology/ianimal instinct to do harm in such a way.

So, yeah, it might be a struggle, but we shouldn't be encouraging this (not that you were, just stating it. :) )
There's no evidence that trolls employ sexist language because they think it's "ok," quite the opposite, in fact, they only use it because they know it's not ok. If it were "ok" they wouldn't bother because it wouldn't suit their purposes.
I'd argue there's a difference between knowing something is okay or not, and knowing if something will hurt. Some of the remarks aimed at Phil Fish would likely not hurt another developer; that doesn't mean they're any less okay to think or say though.

Also, apologies if this is now completely off-topic. I agree it's not going to be solved straight away, if ever, but I think it's been interesting (which is good, right? :) )

Edited 3 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 14th February 2014 9:15am

Posted:2 months ago

#108

Tim Ogul
Illustrator

272 325 1.2
One, we should not be blaming biology for people (both men and women) saying, out loud, to other people, "She was the village bike". It might be in our genes to think that, but... No.
Like I said, rude and counterproductive, not something one should say , but something that human biology in both men and women would compel them to think. Fighting against that instinct is what defines civilization, but it's important to understand where these instincts come from.
Two, it leads almost-directly on to "She was asking for it". And, again, we shouldn't be using biology/ianimal instinct to do harm in such a way.
It certainly doesn't have to, although both men and women need to constantly be aware of their situations and the signals they are sending. A tiny man in the worst neighborhood in town, crouched over a giant bag with a dollar sign on it might not be asking to be robbed, but he certainly isn't sending the safest signals for preventing it either.
I'd argue there's a difference between knowing something is okay or not, and knowing if something will hurt. Some of the remarks aimed at Phil Fish would likely not hurt another developer; that doesn't mean they're any less okay to think or say though.
There were probably at least a few comments that Fish took seriously that were intended as fair criticism rather than trolling, but all he accomplished by taking note of the trolls was to redouble their efforts. The outcome is sad for all of us, but it's not something that we could have done anything to prevent. If we had been on the same social media, yelling back at the trolls, the only thing that could possibly have achieved would be to make the trolls even more viscous.

Posted:2 months ago

#109

Christian Keichel
Journalist

413 559 1.4
And yet, I just saw a paper the other day referring to Damseling. Language is powerful and comes from many sources.
The term "damseling" is no academic term, it's a negatively connoted term used to name a narrative pattern, that is seen as socially unacceptable by the user of the word "damseling".

Posted:2 months ago

#110
@steve

I think people are clutching at straws if they think princess Zelda is a negative female stereotype but I will read the work done by Harvard when I have time to see what the evidence is and how they arrived at that conclusion although and I would like to make a general point, University Researchers will research anything for you if you give them the funding.

Until then I can't really comment except to give this gut reaction. Buffy is one of my favorite shows and while it does have a strong female character and thats positive I still don't believe it's sexist to have a weak female character. It doesn't and shouldn't work like that. This is an example of seeing prejudice everywhere.

However it's actually an interesting question and we where faced with a similar delema. A member of the contracting team who worked on our story had made the "bad guy" character black and in a meeting it just occurred to him that this could be considered racist although obviously that's wasn't the intention so I took the view that it would have been racist to change the character.

Surely the goal is for people not to be having these discussions and all this kind of work does is perpetuate that. There are people who financially benefit from that happening but again I wonder if it does the rest of us more harm than good.

Anyway I'm done now.

Edited 3 times. Last edit by John Owens on 14th February 2014 12:18pm

Posted:2 months ago

#111

Brook Davidson
Artist / 3D design

57 88 1.5
@John Owens
" A member of the contracting team who worked on our story had made the "bad guy" character black and in a meeting it just occurred to him that this could be considered racist although obviously that's wasn't the intention so I took the view that it would have been racist to change the character."

This is a great example of what I mean. It really isn't racist. I think what is causing more issue is people bringing things like this up and claiming this is racist or this is sexist. It really doesn't help, it only serves to cause a lot more trouble.

I don't know how anyone can win in situations like this.

I just feel some people out there have taken the whole claiming racism and sexism thing a little to far.

Posted:2 months ago

#112
You can't so it will continue to go on because the world is run by corporations and they're terrified of getting attacked so they bow down to the pressure.

It comes down to money. Jesse Jackson and his like have bills to pay.

Posted:2 months ago

#113

Stephen Mangold
Studying Digital Media

2 4 2.0
Regarding the trolls, people have wished her to die or be raped. So its a little difficult to just let it be. Also Sexism exists in the industry. See #1reasonwhy? Having some sense of decency isnt bowing down to feminists. With regards to the damsel in distress argument, I get where shes coming from. Its also a cheap cliche plot device but as mentioned, its been in many stories and somewhat reflects western society. and sure, us guys have a lot of testerone and love being the hero. At times theres nothing wrong with that. I think its a stretch to say shes the Al Sharpton of the gaming industry. Regarding Fish, he was constantly called an asshole, had his word taken out of context(the japan thing). Very difficult to ignore trolls when you get constant criticism for what you're doing. Phil wasnt just called an ahole by trolls, he was called an asshole by various game journalists.

Posted:2 months ago

#114
It's this statement that I find offensive and is the root of the problem and what gives these people the power and the hold over others.

"Having some sense of decency isnt bowing down to feminists."

The reason I say this is because it alludes to the fact that decent people agree with feminists. Therefore if you are decent then you can't disagree.

I would guess that you are decent, I have no reason to think otherwise but someone's decency has nothing to do with this argument. We can both be decent and have different viewpoints.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by John Owens on 14th February 2014 3:42pm

Posted:2 months ago

#115

Bryan Robertson
Gameplay Programmer

86 209 2.4
Trying hard to say this as politely as possible, but if you're a man and you think sexism isn't a problem in the industry, did it ever occur to you that the fact that you're not part of the target audience for that kind of abuse, might just have a little bit to do with the fact that you don't see it happening?

Unless you're literally omnipresent, you don't see every interpersonal interaction that happens within the games industry, or even within your own office. Maybe you should try to imagine being in another person's shoes for a bit, instead of trying to dismiss a problem that you will never be on the receiving end of? Just a thought.

Or just listen to people that say that they really are on the receiving end of this treatment. Unless you think all the women that tweeted under the #1ReasonWhy hashtag are part of some kind of organised conspiracy to fabricate a sexism problem, which is a pretty crazy viewpoint if you ask me.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Bryan Robertson on 14th February 2014 3:58pm

Posted:2 months ago

#116
Bryan -

It's for this reason why I asked Steve to provide me statistical data related to the games industry. You can't determine anything by anecdotal evidence.

I'm not saying harassment doesn't happen. It still does but as an industry or even as a society we've had these arguments. It's 2013 not 1950 and as Steve said this kind of thing has mostly been eradicated thankfully.

I haven't come across it but you obviously have so I don't know what that says about your employer.

Anita's work doesn't actually deal with that issue.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by John Owens on 14th February 2014 4:12pm

Posted:2 months ago

#117

Bryan Robertson
Gameplay Programmer

86 209 2.4
I haven't personally come across it either, but I'm not omnipresent, and I'm not part of a group that's on the receiving end of prejudice and discrimination. Which means I have absolutely no idea how prevalent the problem is.

But when thousands of women tweet about the issues they face, and there are so many high-profile incidents, I tend to think there might actually be a problem that needs to be addressed there, rather than dismissing it out of hand because it's not coming from a peer-reviewed academic journal.

Posted:2 months ago

#118
I understand your position but I'm not dismissing it out of hand which is why I asked if anyone had any data. I'm saying that as a society we've already done all there can be done to correct this problem without making the problem worse.

It's the difference between institutional sexism and individual sexism. You can and should fix the former but the latter is unfortunately something that can only be dealt with at the individual level.

If you look at employment law in the west that has been done.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by John Owens on 14th February 2014 6:48pm

Posted:2 months ago

#119

Morville O'Driscoll
Games Blogger & Journalist

1,372 1,018 0.7

Posted:2 months ago

#120

Tim Ogul
Illustrator

272 325 1.2
Regarding the trolls, people have wished her to die or be raped. So its a little difficult to just let it be
Why? Did these people have any means to carry this out? Is there any evidence that they were actually serious about those threats, or were they just saying it? Saying it is dreadfully easy to do if you are anonymous and have no care about the consequences of your actions. There really is no difficulty at all in ignoring such comments. I'm not saying that these people were in any way right or good or acceptable for making such claims, it's abominable behavior, but there's absolutely no reason why you can't simply ignore it and go about your business. Sticks and Stones.
I think its a stretch to say shes the Al Sharpton of the gaming industry.
Of course it is. Al Sharpton actually has some value to his existence, it would be unfair to compare him to her. She'd be more. . . Ken Ham?
The reason I say this is because it alludes to the fact that decent people agree with feminists. Therefore if you are decent then you can't disagree.
/second. I consider myself to be feminist by the honest definition of the term, I want and support gender equality, but a lot of those who claim to be feminists online tend to go well beyond that, and I often find myself unsupportive of their behavior. That does not mean that I am not a feminist, and it certainly doesn't mean that I'm not decent.

Posted:2 months ago

#121

Rick Lopez
Illustrator, Graphic Designer

1,203 816 0.7
This thread has run its course, Im not really adding to it with this post.

Some people just see sexism everywhere... anyway, I bumped into this.

Thought it was cute... its in spanish, but its well animated and really doesnt need to be translated for non-spanish speaking people to understand it.

Its about a disabled boy in a wheel chair... thought it was a cute animated short that depicts male and female roles in an interesting way.

http://youtu.be/A6IfiJ6hdsk

Posted:A month ago

#122

Paul Smith
Dev

195 155 0.8
Apologies for bumping a week old thread but I just wanted to make a final post saying how deeply sorry for I am for all the offense I have caused, the comments I made were insensitive and heartlessly worded. I have learned a lot through this experience and I now have to deal with the serious consequences of my idiotic actions, Again I am profoundly and truly sorry to everyone I have offended and hurt.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Paul Smith on 21st February 2014 1:14pm

Posted:A month ago

#123

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