Tropes vs Women in Video Games: What is your honest opinion

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MindBlind
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06 Aug 2013, 5:30 am

Before I make this post, I want to establish the fact that I do not hate Anita Sarkeesian, nor do I necessarily disagree with her views. She is entitled to her opinion and does not deserve to be harassed, stalked or personally attacked by people. I am merely wanting to discuss her views and not her as a person.

I am personally quite amazed at the lack of skepticism towards her video series among my hardcore gamer friends. Most of them have, even without watching the videos, just agree with her without question. I find that to be a disappointing stance. if they had at least watched the series so far and still came to that conclusion, I would be fine with that. But instead it seems that my friends simply don't want to be associated with the Dudebro Fedora Brigade, which is a very cowardly stance. Just because a problematic group may rally against Sarkeesian, it doesn't mean your stance is automatically false.

Now I know that this is all just anecdotal, but it's a trend that I fear will completely kill rational discussion of these issues. Worst of all, a lot of the points that she makes in her videos are just assertions not backed up by data, which is fine if she was just presenting this as her opinion...but she isn't. I also find that when men question her views, people resort to attacking their integrity by claiming that their privilege is the reason they can't see why they are wrong and therefore are wrong by default. If you're a woman and you disagree, well that's just internalized sexism.

I also find that the series is totally redundant. We already know these tropes exist and why they are problematic. Maybe instead of stating the obvious, you could set a good precedent by actually funding a game that fits your criteria for a non-sexist video game.

So what does everyone here feel about Tropes vs Women in Video Games?

Incidentally, if you have any videos or articles from people defending her views or refuting them then that would be much appreciated. I'm just going to provide one video for now, but I do think it exemplifies my main arguments against her series thus far: [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwwFx-tz9TY[/youtube]



Kurgan
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06 Aug 2013, 8:50 am

While the points of these feminists are mostly valid, they've done a lot of cherry picking as well. These videos do not mention anything about game characters like Nicole Collard or Grace Nakimura, for instance--who rely more on their intelligence than anything else. They're also forgetting that the plattform games from the NES/SNES generation were mostly aimed at males and that it's more natural to cast a male character in certain action games.



Schneekugel
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06 Aug 2013, 9:32 am

I simply wished, that female charakters in video games, were a bit less "Aion Flux" like ^^, and a bit more "Ripley Scott" like. So it doesnt need to be a model of an female olypmic russian ironballthrower, but I dont know, whenever I see military troopers wearing high heels into battle, thats so dumb. ^^ Like resident evil 4, where you could play a female charakter as well. So ok, when I am chased by umbrella through african slums by tons of Zombies, giant madmen with axes, searching swamps for amuletts and get mashed by now and then from lickers, as a male I look a bit f****d up. Not totally f****d up, but yes I dont look like a come fresh from hairdresser, I am a bit sweaty, I have some dirt here and there, and at least I wear military practical gear. If I do the same as a woman, I have fresh make up and hairstyling and wear a flawless golden latex dress and High Heels. Yop, thats what I waited for, when I unlocked the second garderobe...a pornsuit. -.-

I mean whats so hard about a little more practical style, so as example a camouflage trouser that may as well have low-hip design. A tanktop with a knot, and at least some sweat and simply plain makeup and hairstyle like a pony instead of Oscar night style?

Or strings. I mean if strings had any practicle use in combat, it would be duty for US-marines to wear strings and run and jum around with that. Thats simply something you can wear in an office job and additional for at home to have some nice hours with your partners, but running in strings is even dumber like fighting zombie in a swamp with high heels. I mean what kind of training must these woman have to be able to do that? Do they get a wood-rasp instead of toilet-paper as little kids, so they can handle that later? O_o

So my oppinion shortly: Yop goddamn, nothing about some nice optic. But please not absolutely extraordinary dumb. ^^

And yop, at least in games where you can choose a party out of different characters, it would be nice to have at least some female characters that are not either "wise healer woman", "squeeking, adoring bow/magic cheerleaders" or "Sadomaso psychos in leather bondage cloths".

I mean Alien was a great success, so men seemed to like Ripley Scott´s personality as well, a natural woman, because I dont think it became that great success only because of her 1 minute "sloggy underwear"-scene in Part 1. So why not more of that type of woman in games, if both genders seem to be ok with that?



Metalwolf
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06 Aug 2013, 4:52 pm

^^^ I think you mean "Ellen Ripley" instead of "Ripley Scott." You might be thinking of Ridley Scott. :wink:

MindBlind wrote:
"I also find that when men question her views, people resort to attacking their integrity by claiming that their privilege is the reason they can't see why they are wrong and therefore are wrong by default."


It's not the fact that they disagree, it's the fact that a lot of them either do it in a douchbaggy manner or attempt to justify certain humiliating tropes. If games weren't trying to push women as 'meat on display' then why all the big boobed skimpy dressed women? Why the woman in combat who wears chain bikini armor, or a little camo miniskirt with just a thin strip of material covering her breasts?

Where are the men who no shirts, who prance around in a speedo in these same games? Or a man with just a codpiece for armor? Would you send that guy out in battle with such impractical dress? It's what women see when we get reduced to our 'assets,' treated less like people and only as something to put on display to make a man get a boner.


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Kurgan
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06 Aug 2013, 6:24 pm

Metalwolf wrote:
It's not the fact that they disagree, it's the fact that a lot of them either do it in a douchbaggy manner or attempt to justify certain humiliating tropes. If games weren't trying to push women as 'meat on display' then why all the big boobed skimpy dressed women? Why the woman in combat who wears chain bikini armor, or a little camo miniskirt with just a thin strip of material covering her breasts?

Where are the men who no shirts, who prance around in a speedo in these same games? Or a man with just a codpiece for armor? Would you send that guy out in battle with such impractical dress? It's what women see when we get reduced to our 'assets,' treated less like people and only as something to put on display to make a man get a boner.


The Powder Ganger Simple Outfit from Fallout New Vegas is more revealing than any female outfit in this game:

[img][800:625]http://www.ladymoiraine.com/forum/gallery/10/2121_12_06_11_5_25_13_109131233.jpeg[/img]

You'll also see far more shirtless scenes with Gabriel Knight than you'll see of his companion Grace Nakimura if you ever play the Gabriel Knight games.

I somehow doubt that this man from Tera Online is well protected in a swordfight.



LKL
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07 Aug 2013, 1:03 am

Kurgan, one man in one video game wearing skimpy clothes, or one woman in one game dressed sensibly, does not make up for the vast populations out there that are the opposite.

http://planetivy.com/gaming/53930/what- ... ere-a-man/

http://www.uproxx.com/gammasquad/2012/0 ... es/#page/1



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07 Aug 2013, 1:57 am

I don't have much to contribute by myself, but the following link could be useful:
http://thehawkeyeinitiative.com/post/50 ... iative-irl


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Jono
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07 Aug 2013, 3:29 am

LKL wrote:
Kurgan, one man in one video game wearing skimpy clothes, or one woman in one game dressed sensibly, does not make up for the vast populations out there that are the opposite.

http://planetivy.com/gaming/53930/what- ... ere-a-man/

http://www.uproxx.com/gammasquad/2012/0 ... es/#page/1


Regarding the tropes that Anita Sarkeesian talks about though, the problem is that most of her examples are old games from the '80's and '90's. I know of a number of modern examples where they don't hold and even of some examples from that era. In her latest video, she talks about the cases where the "damsel in distress" trope is gender reversed, in other words, where a male character is the one to be rescued but then dismisses that by saying that the "dude in distress" doesn't reinforce any negative stereotypes about men while the "damsel in distress" does that about women. She's usually not satisfied with any attempt to rectify any of the tropes that she mentions.

Also I can name examples such as the following:

There's no mention of April Ryan (The longest Journey series), Princess Rosella (King's Quest series), Sarah Kerrigan (Starcraft) or female Shepard (mass effect series), those are all strong female protagonists in video games. Of course she doesn't care for most female protagonists either because she claims that most of them have stereotypical male traits thus "turning them into men", though I that's the case for any of the examples I listed above. Some of her points are valid but she also doesn't cite any sources.



Jono
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07 Aug 2013, 6:44 am

Metalwolf wrote:
^^^ I think you mean "Ellen Ripley" instead of "Ripley Scott." You might be thinking of Ridley Scott. :wink:

MindBlind wrote:
"I also find that when men question her views, people resort to attacking their integrity by claiming that their privilege is the reason they can't see why they are wrong and therefore are wrong by default."


It's not the fact that they disagree, it's the fact that a lot of them either do it in a douchbaggy manner or attempt to justify certain humiliating tropes. If games weren't trying to push women as 'meat on display' then why all the big boobed skimpy dressed women? Why the woman in combat who wears chain bikini armor, or a little camo miniskirt with just a thin strip of material covering her breasts?

Where are the men who no shirts, who prance around in a speedo in these same games? Or a man with just a codpiece for armor? Would you send that guy out in battle with such impractical dress? It's what women see when we get reduced to our 'assets,' treated less like people and only as something to put on display to make a man get a boner.


It's because of the fact that she was harassed that anyone who disagrees with her specific points must be sexist apparently.



Kurgan
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07 Aug 2013, 8:07 am

LKL wrote:
Kurgan, one man in one video game wearing skimpy clothes, or one woman in one game dressed sensibly, does not make up for the vast populations out there that are the opposite.


I believe I mentioned three games. Plenty of men in New Vegas wear the Powder Ganger simple outfit, though. These games were just examples;

Quote:


Lara croft wears a top, if I remember correctly. She's generally dressed to be agile and not to be heavily armored, though. Some feminists will always find something to complain about regarding the Tomb Raider games. They didn't like that she was a femme fatale, and now that the series has gotten a reboot, they don't like that she has a human side an relies more on stealth and intelligence rather than her dual pistols--and has a human side to her.

Quote:


If we're going to split hairs (since these comicbooks are aimed at a male audience), I'd like to mention that there are far more lightly dressed men in Twilight than there are lightly dressed women. Both the Batman trilogy and the recent Man of Steel movie (both of which were aimed at both genders) also had far more lightly dressed men than lightly dressed women. Since I don't see any problems with lightly dressed men in movies, I'm not gonna post a video of how this is bad for men, join a support group and so on.

Image



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07 Aug 2013, 8:12 am

I think you make the wrong comparison. So men seem to be more into physicals, so videogames are full of the average dream women. If you want to do the right comparison, then simply imagine that 90% of male characters in videogames were based on the average dream men of young girls, and how much that would make you puke if every character would be looking like this Image and additional behave and talk all the time like its little girl dreams. "Oh Wesker its you. Why dont you stop all that bad, evil Zombiestuff, and instead we could sing together a song about love?" I think the percentage of boys who want to play that is really minor and it doesnt need big discussions, so I dont understand why there is an discussion needed, why I dont want to play somethings thats simply dumbass. ^^ I dont care if that characters give little boys wet dreams, just as Ken does it with little girls. That doesnt change, that its lame playing such characters. ^^

I mean it simply sucks playing a character, you would like to punch in its face, every 30 seconds.



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07 Aug 2013, 8:18 am

Schneekugel wrote:
I think you make the wrong comparison. So men seem to be more into physicals, so videogames are full of the average dream women. If you want to do the right comparison, then simply imagine that 90% of male characters in videogames were based on the average dream men of young girls, and how much that would make you puke if every character would be looking like this Image and additional behave and talk all the time like its little girl dreams. "Oh Wesker its you. Why dont you stop all that bad, evil Zombiestuff, and instead we could sing together a song about love?" I think the percentage of boys who want to play that is really minor and it doesnt need big discussions, so I dont understand why there is an discussion needed, why I dont want to play somethings thats simply dumbass. ^^ I dont care if that characters give little boys wet dreams, just as Ken does it with little girls. That doesnt change, that its lame playing such characters. ^^

I mean it simply sucks playing a character, you would like to punch in its face, every 30 seconds.


I still fail to see the problem, as the original Lara Croft to boys is what Edward Cullen is to girls. The series has gotten a (highly acclaimed) reboot, though, where Lara Croft actually has fear and other human reactions.



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07 Aug 2013, 8:21 am

I watched some of her videos and liked and agreed with most of the ones I watched except for the Trueblood one.



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07 Aug 2013, 8:24 am

Quote:
Lara Croft actually has fear and other human reactions.
Causing her to pant, squeek and groan a great amount of the time. If my partner wouldnt be sitting next to me, I wouldnt know if he is looking porn or playing video games. ^^



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07 Aug 2013, 8:44 am

Schneekugel wrote:
I think you make the wrong comparison. So men seem to be more into physicals, so videogames are full of the average dream women. If you want to do the right comparison, then simply imagine that 90% of male characters in videogames were based on the average dream men of young girls, and how much that would make you puke if every character would be looking like this Image and additional behave and talk all the time like its little girl dreams. "Oh Wesker its you. Why dont you stop all that bad, evil Zombiestuff, and instead we could sing together a song about love?" I think the percentage of boys who want to play that is really minor and it doesnt need big discussions, so I dont understand why there is an discussion needed, why I dont want to play somethings thats simply dumbass. ^^ I dont care if that characters give little boys wet dreams, just as Ken does it with little girls. That doesnt change, that its lame playing such characters. ^^

I mean it simply sucks playing a character, you would like to punch in its face, every 30 seconds.


Did you feel that way playing female Shephard in Mass Effect? Also, they tried to make Lara Croft less sexy in the reboot of the Tomb Raider series.



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07 Aug 2013, 8:48 am

Kurgan wrote:

You'll also see far more shirtless scenes with Gabriel Knight than you'll see of his companion Grace Nakimura if you ever play the Gabriel Knight games.

I somehow doubt that this man from Tera Online is well protected in a swordfight.


Gabriel Knight, Broken Sword and - one you haven't mentioned - the Ace Attorney Games are all old-school point-and-click adventures that appeal to women as much as men. The reason for the strong female characters is, I think, the genre. Another example is Governor Marley from Monkey Island. You also don't see scantily-clad women in the Grand Strategy games I play, even though those are mostly aimed at men (because the emphasis is on the gameplay and AI.)

I think any commentary about sexism in games always focuses on specific genres - FPSs and platformers. Even in RPGs you get strong female characters.


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