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Captain Gordon
Jul 22, 2004


I got paid off so Halo 5 is a good game, deal with it

*buys house with videogame review bribes*

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LaTex Fetish
Oct 11, 2010

If only I could get her to sharpen me axe!


any women are mistreated and misrepresented within the games industry. It’s not a matter of opinion, a political position, or claim made to reinforce previous bias. It’s the demonstrable, sad truth. Ask women in the games industry – find out. That you may not perceive it does not mean it doesn’t exist. That you may not perpetuate it doesn’t mean it isn’t relevant to you. Whether you are male or female or identify anywhere between does not exclude you nor repudiate you from the matter. The amount to which you think it doesn’t exist is directly proportional to the amount to which you do not care that it exists. If you don’t care that it exists, I hope you are willing to be open-minded enough to try to empathise with others that do – at least give that a go. And if you care passionately about it, and feel offended by the tone of this piece as if it doesn’t acknowledge you, then I apologise, and hope you understand why.

I want to try to break down why people object to the discussion, why there is a concerted effort to deny the need for the discussion, and to explain how my own tangential role in it all has affected me. I want to do this because I want to dispel myths, raise awareness, and encourage others to speak out. For those who think such articles are “preaching to the choir”, were that true, I certainly want that choir to be bolstered, encouraged to sing louder and truer. Sadly it’s not entirely true, as is evidenced by the responses any such article receives on RPS. I want to speak to those people too.

So briefly, let’s observe the pervasive nature of sexism and misogyny (and we’re not going to get distracted by the debate over which is which) in the games industry, and in the reporting of it, with two examples from just the last fortnight.

There’s the ludicrously overt. Like a video from the 4th April by Machinima (this mirror now deleted due to “copyright”), featuring two women in skimpy outfits being electrocuted and spanked as they play Rock Band, described by a lecheroineineus narrator as “girl on girl action”, and showing their pink rear end cheeks at the end. No, really. After outcry it was taken down by Machinima, but that doesn’t change that this is an industry in which such a video can be conceived, scripted, filmed, edited and produced, then uploaded, without anyone effectively challenging it. These extremes are not rare, not particularly unusual.

Then less in-your-face, arguably more insidious, is an article like Complex Tech’s “The 40 Hottest Women In Tech“. It is the most peculiar of pieces, seeming to want to appear as if it’s all a big misunderstanding, that by “hottest” they just meant, “ones to watch” or similar. Its introduction presents a straight-faced façade of how the technology industry has been a “boy’s club” for so long, thanks to an “unfortunate repercussion of the patriarchy”. “Here are,” they explain, “40 women we admire doing work in the field of innovation.” Oh, so the title was just a misunderstanding?! First entry, picture of Marina Orlova in a bra. Third, a shot looking down Courtney Boyd Myer’s bikini top. Jessica Chobot is described as “daringly beautiful”, whatever the crapping gently caress that means. And the sum total of her achievements described are that she’s “proof that gamer girls are just as sexy we envision.” Jade Raymond is “The Canadian gaming beauty.” It’s language that would of course never be used when writing about men in tech. No man in the field is called “daringly handsome”. None is ever introduced based on their aesthetic appeal, but rather their personal achievements. This is the very patriarchy the article pretends to lament.

Both these examples are demonstrative of what a hostile, alienating industry gaming can be to so many. I think it’s interesting how the first example is more likely to be accepted by people as an example of something that’s unacceptable, and that the second is more likely to be dismissed. But both are equally powerful in communicating a simple message to women: this isn’t your place. Whether it’s being put off by the suggestion that a woman’s role in gaming is to be a physically harmed victim, or told that in order to be acceptable in tech you must first be “beautiful” – or at least be photographed in your underwear – the message is loud, and all-permeating. If you can’t see how it’s a problem that needs discussing, then you simply don’t give a poo poo. I’m asking people to start giving a poo poo.

More disclaimers are likely necessary here. Reasons why I’m writing this? Because I care about it. Because I am a part of it. And because it damned well matters. Reasons that aren’t why I’m writing this? A need to get laid, a desire to be liked by women, because I think women need me to defend them, and to win the approval of others. And for clarity, I’m using “gaming and women” as a short-hand term for “gaming’s representation of women, the industry’s treatment of women, and the media’s reporting of matters related to women”, and “women” to mean “anyone who identifies as female, no matter their biological sex.” Understood? Great.

Over the last six years of RPS, and in years previously for other publications, I’ve both given thought to, and written about, the subject of gaming and women. While my understanding of the subject remains severely limited, I’ve learned a fair amount over the fourteen years I’ve been doing this, and while I feel certain I’d be very embarrassed by how I’d have expressed things years back, my position is much the same: I like people, and I like it when people are treated well. I abhor it when people are treated badly. The root of my caring about this subject isn’t any more sophisticated than that.

In having written about the subject of women and games over the years, I’ve received a significant amount of abuse. (I’m not going to fret about saying, “But of course not as bad as…”, because of course it’s not as bad as…) Most of the abuse I receive is lazy insults, and until recently I tended to assume them fairly innocuous. Some has been extreme, such as forum threads dedicated to associating my name with acts of child molestation to skew Google results, personal threats, and deeply personal insults. All of it has one purpose: to intimidate. Whether the purpose of the intimidation is because the person wants to read about new screenshots for a game and not gender politics, or because they are violently defending their privilege, it’s always about intimidation.

It can fit into a variety of categories, but there’s always just that one intent. While a lot has been extreme, the majority just want the discussion to go away, and angrily tell me why I need to stop talking about it. And indeed the vast majority of the non-hostile communication takes the form of, “I just wish you’d stop talking about this.” But the thing is, that’s not okay, either.

Anita Sarkeesian, in her GDC talk “Equality, Or GTFO”, quoted a perfect metaphor for this, quoting Beverly Daniel Tatum’s moving walkway (those horizontal travelators you see at airports) idea from Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together In The Cafeteria?. The gaming industry and those who write about it, she says, are stood on this moving walkway, always trundling toward the sexism and misogyny that infests throughout. There are of course those who march forward toward it, embracing it. But most, she says, are standing still. They don’t particularly desire or support it, but they also don’t want to think about it, discuss it, contest it. So they stand still, and in doing so, inexorably glide toward it.

The only way to make a difference, Sarkeesian argued, is to turn around and actively walk against the flow of the travelator. Something which is, it occurs to me, not easy. Not only are you walking against the flow of movement, but you’re also going to bump into everyone heading in the other direction. And some people are going to be hostile about this, especially if they think you might start a trend, start seeing others change direction, maybe even enough to see the direction of that walkway changed. The voluminous responses of wanting to talk about something else is a combined effort to stand still on that walkway, and that’s not something we’re willing to do.

Doctor Goat
Jan 21, 2005

Are stitches trendy now?


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4/5

Falsum
May 10, 2013

Crazy for the Bros

Quoting RPS/Kotaku/Polygon is cheating IMO

Captain Gordon
Jul 22, 2004


*misquotes something a company says*
*plays the social justice warrior card*
*gets paid*

FactsAreUseless
Feb 16, 2011

Still totally okay with this situation.

I though the graphics were good, but the gameplay it was also good. The controls were good. I enjoyed the elements of style, I felt it had a good balance between sturm and drang. However, I did not like the forced addition of the console's gimmick. Nevertheless, it was good. Please go back in time and preorder it, because it will have been good.

exmorte
Dec 9, 2007

I'm playing a much cleverer game than that..I'm a fake hawk.


*sharts in cup*
*chugs it*
Ahh this is the muse I needed to write this totally epic article about why ea is the best publisher ever.

Jackie D
May 27, 2009

Democracy is like a tambourine - not everyone can be trusted with it.



no such thing, close thread OP

FactsAreUseless
Feb 16, 2011

Still totally okay with this situation.

Five Reasons Why Peach Should Be The Next Disney Princess

Eight Things You Didn't Realize About Kirby's Adventure

How Ted Woolsey Defined The SNES Era

Why Blast Processing Is The Next Big Thing In Retro Gaming

Six Weird Easter Eggs In Duck Tales

Six More Weird Easter Eggs In Duck Tales, Submitted By Our Readers

Find Out Which Shadow Hearts Babe Will Break Shadow's Heart In This Weird New Game

Action Tortoise
Feb 18, 2012

A wolf howls.
I know how he feels.


This everyday item sort of resembles a notable video game character. Thanks to one of our subscribers for keeping us posted!

Action Tortoise
Feb 18, 2012

A wolf howls.
I know how he feels.


We're not going to PAX and will be missing out on whatever coverage will be there because dickwolves

Action Tortoise
Feb 18, 2012

A wolf howls.
I know how he feels.


People in Japan do this thing. Japan makes video games so this article is newsworthy

FactsAreUseless
Feb 16, 2011

Still totally okay with this situation.

I first encountered Battletoads In Battlemaniacs in 1998, playing it on my older brother's TV that he was allowed to have in his room, because Mom thought he was mature enough. Sure, the game was a little primitive compared to Final Fantasy VIII's epic plot and gorgeous graphics, but something about its retro charms sucked me right into the world. It was like I was right there with Zits, Pimple, and Rash, headbutting my way through the Dark Queen's armies. Fast forward to 2013. I'm 19 years old and about to get friendzoned for the first time.

No Such Thing
Oct 12, 2012

self-destructive


I play video games, and I like to play them with my wife and maybe have sex later. 8.8/10

FactsAreUseless
Feb 16, 2011

Still totally okay with this situation.

2001 was a dark year for America. A recession, the endless recounts in Florida, and of course 9/11. But it was also a dark time for me. I'd just played Phantasy Star 4 for the first time on a clunky old television I'd hooked up in the garage, and the death of Alys, the boomerang-wielding babe of every teenage boy's deepest fantasies, had rocked me to my core. For the first time, I understood what my parents felt when they watched the towers fall. They'd told me video games were just for children, but what could better help a child understand how to grieve than anime lovingly rendered with Blast Processing?

AE-35 Unit
Jul 25, 2007

another quality post


Here Are Your 15 Absolutely Epic Gaming Tattoos

No Such Thing
Oct 12, 2012

self-destructive


Top 5 Inexcusably Misogynistic Ideas Corrupting the Game Industry

20 Best Videogame Titties

FactsAreUseless
Feb 16, 2011

Still totally okay with this situation.

That's when I knew that if Lara Croft could have breasts that powerful, my mom would definitely beat cancer.

That's when I knew that I had to stand up for myself, just like the Paladin, Barbarian, Amazon, Sorceress, and Necromancer had stood against the forces of Diablo.

It was as the tears rolled down my face that I knew no other medium, whether it was film or literature, would have this power over me. I was a gamer for life.

It was then that I realized that I Want To Be The Guy wasn't just a challenging game, it was the universal journey to discover one's identity. I, too, wanted to be the guy, and I wasn't going to let anyone in Intermediate Creative Nonfiction get in my way.

Action Tortoise
Feb 18, 2012

A wolf howls.
I know how he feels.


The Sexism Within E3 Needs To Stop


Top 10 Sexiest Booth Babes in E3

FactsAreUseless
Feb 16, 2011

Still totally okay with this situation.

How Mother 3 Made Me Speak To My Father For The First Time In Ten Years

The Seven Most Shocking Games Imported From Japan

Five Games Nintendo Would Prefer You Forget About

How Daikatana Subverted FPS Tropes And Got Punished For It

iuvian
Dec 27, 2003
darwin'd

Why Straight White Guys Shouldn't Always Play Games As Themselves

FactsAreUseless
Feb 16, 2011

Still totally okay with this situation.

Five Reasons More Female Lead Characters Helps Empower Females

1. Everyone loves looking at a female butt

Let's face it, whether you're gay or straight, man or female, everyone loves...

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW THIS AD

Harthacnut
Jul 29, 2014



ARE MICROSOFT AND SONY TEAMING UP ON A NEW CONSOLE?

I dunno, maybe, if my totally legit source is right. I mean, he's due to get it right eventually.

Captain Gordon
Jul 22, 2004


iuvian posted:

Why Straight White Guys Shouldn't Always Play Games As Themselves

that was actually a good article

Captain Gordon
Jul 22, 2004


call of duty 5 will revolutionize and revitalize the fps genre with stunning, never before seen action sequences such as a dog jumping out of a window into a tank

8/10

*forgets to breathe*

*dies*

DoubleDonut
Oct 22, 2010



FactsAreUseless posted:

How Ted Woolsey Defined The SNES Era

Find Out Which Shadow Hearts Babe Will Break Shadow's Heart In This Weird New Game

These but unironically, shadow hearts loving owns

iuvian
Dec 27, 2003
darwin'd

Captain Gordon posted:

that was actually a good article

JethroMcB
Jan 23, 2004

Dude, calm down. It's not a ghost, it's just music. You can't touch music.

But music can touch you.


Games, but What If They Were Real Life? We've got 8 half-formed ideas in a Google Doc that the editor says are "good enough" to publish

Four Irishmen With a Kickstarter and Plans to Revolutionize the Stunt-Racing Genre (Two Words: Electric. Bicycles.)

Why Hasn't Anyone Made a Truly Epic Game about Science?

Advergaming: Good for the Industry? What CliffyB Says Will Shock You

Nanomashoes
Aug 18, 2012

have a sad cum bb

Miss America, bigot shaming, and the media’s vile attraction to the worst in America

This doesn’t really have anything to do with video games, but I hope you’re going to stick with me anyway. This issue is getting a little crazy, and it’s starting to drive me crazy too.

The first Indian Miss America was crowned recently, which is pretty great. America is a diverse place, and many people celebrated this, although it’s kind of weird that we’re looking to beauty pageants for evidence of American diversity. One step forward, one step back, I guess.

Buzzfeed published a story made up entirely of racist things people said about the new Miss America. That was the entirety of the news, in fact. That there are racist people out there, and they say racist things. Shaming racists by name, on social media, has become big business. I'm not going to link these stories, but you can find them easily. They feature the most explosive tweets, links to each person's Twitter account, and the idea that something needs to be done.

Why this is a problem

Racist tweets are a search away, they’re always going to happen after most big events, and you get big clicks from people who like to see how terrible their fellow citizens are and then they get to feel superior for not being racist.

It’s not hard to find people who think the election of a mixed-race President or an Indian Miss America are great, or don’t care, or already live in mixed-race families and celebrate this sort of news, but you don’t get people to click on stories that point out the literally changing face of America. But people who post intolerance, or call Obama a racial slur? That’s viral gold, my friend.

And their names are right there, you can take action and become a vigilante! Call their work, send a nasty message, FIGHT BACK!

So why is this bad? First off, because we’re raising up the voices of a crazy group of people and giving them way more power than they deserve, and thus give the illusion that America is filled with vile racism.

It may be that's the reality. It may not. Tracking how Americans, as if it was even possible to lump a country into one homogenous group, feel about those of different ethnicities, backgrounds, and skin tones is damned near impossible, and doing a quick search for racist terms isn’t going to teach you anything about what the average American thinks, or how they act.

This is the journalistic equivalent of me going to your house, heading into the basement, grabbing a handful of poo poo from your cat’s litter box, and claiming that since it was so easy for me to find excrement, your kids are assholes. Finding people who say vile things online is easy, it doesn’t tell us much of anything, and if we continually focus on those groups of people they'll begin to dominate the conversation and give a skewed outlook on how the United States actually deals with race.

“This creates that proverbial echo chamber. A bunch of people post the BuzzFeed story to their Facebook feed, then pretty soon the morning TV shows and cable-news folks want to talk about the crazy, racist reaction that some people are having in the Twitterverse,” Poynter explained in a recent story. “Then more people share links to those stories. And even more journalists do pieces on that reaction.”

This is about business, and it’s easier to get people worked up about negative things than positive. We’ll click to rubberneck at racists way more often than we’ll read messages of support, and of course in these stories you can see these people’s real names and Twitter accounts, so you get the bonus of being able to take direct action and harass them or shame them yourself. In almost all cases the Twitter accounts are quickly shut down and made private due to this issue, in fact.

There is also the case that in many situations the names on the accounts don’t match up with the person doing the posting, and the video embedded below gives you some good information about why this is so problematic on so many levels.


Which isn’t to say hate speech should be given a pass, and it’s important to talk about it when it happens. You can quote these tweets without posting links to the accounts writing the content, which will go a long way to stop the spread of fighting racism with harassment, and should keep minors and those whose numbers were used to sign up for the account safer from the Internet mob.

We can then use the racist tweets as a jumping-off point to discuss how to actually stop the thinking behind these messages, instead of going straight to calling the perpetrators terrible names and trying to get them fired, or worse.

Perpetuating the idea that some groups are at war with Americans who don't share their values isn't helping anyone, and that's the message sent when we fight fire with fire. It just escalates the sense of distrust, hatred, and fear. We may feel like we're throwing water on the fire, but if you look closely you'll see that it's actually gasoline.

The trend of scraping at the bottom of the social media barrel in order to manufacture outrage and mobilize the Internet lynch mob is gross on just about every possible level, and I don’t want this story to sound like an apology for people saying gross things on Twitter or Facebook.

In fact, let’s say I post something on Twitter that you find insensitive, and you want to write about it. You should do so, and that goes for the Twitter account of most people who face the public. If a developer is gross online, and you know for sure it’s a legit account, there is nothing wrong with spreading the message, reacting to it, or calling attention to it.

As a writer I would hope you would reach out to them for clarification or just a quote about their thinking, but tweets are public statements. They’re fair game for news, and I'm a public person speaking under my own name. This is part of the reason why I use my real name on social networking sites, it's very literally my livelihood, and I want to stand behind what I say and be held responsible for them. You can talk to companies and ask them not to support me if you don't like me, or e-mail my employer to get me fired. I'm a public person. It goes with the territory.

This is a very different situation than someone who had 50 followers a year ago suddenly having their message blasted in front of a few million people, and suddenly finding themselves the target of abuse and harassment. I don't really care if they have ignorant feelings on race, the answer is not putting people in a situation where they face very real physical harm.

Indiscriminately publishing hateful tweets, the accounts of the people who supposedly wrote them, and then collecting a group as some sort of evidence for how terrible people are is bullshit tabloid writing, even though it’s effective at getting people to click, get upset, and then write nasty messages back.

It’s not only elevating hate to a wider audience, it’s encouraging social media to become a more aggressive, confrontational place as your audience begins sending harassing messages to the people quoted. It seems to give implicit permission to the readers to reach out to these people and do something back.

These stories don’t help anyone, they don’t spread awareness of any important issue, and the chances for collateral damage are high. There are ways to react to racist use of social media without feeding into the negative, hateful worst instincts of the Internet, but it takes more time and effort to do so, and that doesn’t really lead to advertisement buys, so it’s unlikely that a more measured approach will become popular.

I want to leave you with this quote, from another story about Miss America.

When I was a little girl, I’d often watch The Miss America or Miss USA Pageant with my family. My parents had amusing commentary, usually along the lines of, “Lynn could do that” and I would dismiss them, knowing someone who looked like me would never be accepted in a world dominated by blonde-haired, blue-eyed women.
Tonight, not only was Nina Davuluri the first contestant of Indian Heritage to be crowned, but her runner-up was also Asian-American, Miss California/Crystal Lee.
There is a nasty, disgusting side to American racial politics that is easy to find with a Google search, but Nina Davuluri also means something to a great deal of Americans who don’t look like the average winner of a beauty pageant.

Focusing on the people who have a problem with that, and making sure their message dominates the conversation, hurts everyone.

JethroMcB
Jan 23, 2004

Dude, calm down. It's not a ghost, it's just music. You can't touch music.

But music can touch you.


Free 2 Pray: A Lapsed Catholic in Osaka and the Story of how a Mobile Game Reintroduced Him to Christ's Love

Captain Gordon
Jul 22, 2004



its still videogame journalism, but at least it creates an interesting point about introducing diversity into your life through the medium that you interact with most

but I digress, herp derp i am write about videyagames

hewrp

anita sarkessian

derp

gone home

7/10 IGN

Falsum
May 10, 2013

Crazy for the Bros

Captain Gordon posted:

its still videogame journalism, but at least it creates an interesting point about introducing diversity into your life through the medium that you interact with most

but I digress, herp derp i am write about videyagames

hewrp

anita sarkessian

derp

gone home

7/10 IGN

Go out into the world and seek new experiences. Introduce diversity into your life that way.

Wait nvm that's cultural appropriation.

JethroMcB
Jan 23, 2004

Dude, calm down. It's not a ghost, it's just music. You can't touch music.

But music can touch you.


We tricked Peter Molyneux into giving a two hour interview to a Chatbot, and we think he may have a serious mental illness. The complete log, and much more, after the jump.

Captain Gordon
Jul 22, 2004


Falsum posted:

Go out into the world and seek new experiences. Introduce diversity into your life that way.

Wait nvm that's cultural appropriation.

but i am a gamer

Crewmine
Apr 26, 2012


While the aesthetic of the game may discourage the closed-minded, people with a genuine interest in japanese culture will find

FactsAreUseless
Feb 16, 2011

Still totally okay with this situation.

The roar of the crowd. The crack of the bat. The shout of the umpire - yerrrrrrOUT! These were the sounds of my childhood. But they were 8-bit sounds. Because of my asthma and poor eyesight, I spent most of my days realizing my baseball dreams alone in our living room, playing RBI Baseball on the NES I got for Christmas. The same NES that would start a lifetime of gaming, and ensure that I remain a virgin to this day. And that's how I came to be writing an OKCupid profile...

Action Tortoise
Feb 18, 2012

A wolf howls.
I know how he feels.


JethroMcB posted:

Free 2 Pray: A Lapsed Catholic in Osaka and the Story of how a Mobile Game Reintroduced Him to Christ's Love

lmao

FactsAreUseless
Feb 16, 2011

Still totally okay with this situation.

It was around the third area that I began to realize how much Bastion was like the seminal Neutral Milk Hotel album "In The Aeroplane Over The Sea." Both were stories of survivors, coating the chocolate of their dark undertones with the bright candy of whimsy. Bastion, of course, is the about the survivor of the Calamity, a mysterious event that has turned the citizens of his world to ash. But the other is about a young girl caught up in the Holocaust, a much more real event that happened in World War II and turned the citizens of Poland and the Warsaw Ghetto to ash.

Fellis
Feb 14, 2012

Kid, don't threaten me. There are worse things than death, and uh, I can do all of them.


JESUS CHRIST IM A VIDEOGAME JOURNALIST!!!

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FactsAreUseless
Feb 16, 2011

Still totally okay with this situation.

Not everyone can be as lucky as the fictional townspeople of Animal Crossing. Their adorable town is free of violence, racism, and hate. Not true for Ferguson, Missouri, now the site of some not-so-adorable protests. I couldn't help but wish someone would distribute copies of Animal Crossing to the people, that they too could be whisked away to a land where the only thing that matters is the color of your couch, not the color of your skin.

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