Monday, September 1, 2014

Misogyny at the extreme: 4 fun ppl vs women

You might heard of Anita Sarkeesian who has a video blog where she collects evidences of sexism in games. If you played games, you know she doesn't need to search hard. Her videos are mostly original footages from games with very little of her own opinion, making them hard to debate with. Well, "critics" don't bother with arguments. They are busy with death threats, wikipedia vandalism, countless hate comments, DoS attacks and such actions.

Of course such extreme (but not so rare) actions of women-hating are just the tip of the iceberg and done by a small minority. In our everyday internet usage we see the not scary, rather just annoying everyday misogyny that consist "show pix of ur tits", "go back to the kitchen", "let's rape those cunts [the opposing team of mostly males]", porn pictures (that show women in unnaturally submissive roles unlike from normal sex), "X has great balls" and so on. This is unfortunately not a small minority.

EVE Online is a game with no sexism or even sexuality programmed into it. The avatars of the players are spaceships and in the stations their humanoid avatars cannot interact. These humanoid avatars are rarely seen in the game and dressed decently. There is no way to remove their underwear, nudity is not present in the game. Yet only 5% of the players are women, due to its extremely misogynist community. Chats are often filled with disturbing or obnoxious material. This means that even completely sexism-free content can foster unbearable misogyny so it's not a response to some stimuli, it's coming from inside of the perpetrators.

Let me insert this prevalent in-game sexism into the "4 fun ppl" concept that says "those we consider trolls are people with honest intention to positively socialize, but their extremely low social skills cause them to post hurtful or annoying things instead."

For simple "jokes" and "funny small talk" this is obvious: the "4 fun ppl" are simply unable to understand that using "rape" as a term for video game victory is inappropriate or that women don't want to post nude pictures of themselves. But some statements can't be explained even by extreme lack of social skills: "no women allowed in this group" and "go back to the kitchen" are clear expressions of exclusion. They just don't want women around and clearly believe that feminism went way too far and it's now the oppression of men. Why? Let one of them answer:

"Tomorrow is the day of retribution, the day in which I will have my revenge against humanity, against all of you. For the last eight years of my life, ever since I hit puberty, I've been forced to endure an existence of loneliness, rejection and unfulfilled desires all because girls have never been attracted to me. Girls gave their affection, and sex and love to other men but never to me. I'm 22 years old and I'm still a virgin. I've never even kissed a girl. I've been through college for two and a half years, more than that actually, and I'm still a virgin. It has been very torturous. College is the time when everyone experiences those things such as sex and fun and pleasure. Within those years, I've had to rot in loneliness. It's not fair. You girls have never been attracted to me. I don't know why you girls aren't attracted to me, but I will punish you all for it. It's an injustice, a crime, because... I don't know what you don't see in me. I'm the perfect guy and yet you throw yourselves at these obnoxious men instead of me, the supreme gentleman." - wrote Elliot Rodger in his final message before killing 6 people, wounding 13 and committing suicide.

At first you must see how explicitly the "4 fun ppl" image existed in his head: "college is the time when everyone experiences those things such as sex and fun and pleasure." Anyone could tell that college is rather the place where everyone experiences disappointment, heartbreak, awkward social situations and lack of sleep. Of course most of us get over it, but that's not the point. He - like all basement dwellers - believed that "having fun" is the norm and everyone else is constantly having fun. So they must at least emulate it, at least over the internet.

The "for sex and fun and pleasure" people see women as a powerful group who control access to sex and fun. They believe that the "conspiracy of women" decides who is "cool" and excluded them for no reason. They use video games as their last resort for socialization, this is why they are so bad in them: they don't really care for the game, they just want some human connection. But they can't get it because of two things: the "elitists" want to play the game and those pesky women are invading this last refuge. The misogynists feel they have nothing else left and are fighting a bitter last stand against the "conspiracy of women" who excluded and rejected them, made their life miserable and lonely.

Of course the women aren't a cohesive group and the life of the basement dwellers is miserable and lonely because of their own lack of social skills and their unwillingness to focus on non-social ways of success. Since the amount of males and females in the population is roughly equal, for every lonely man, there is a lonely woman. For every "basement dweller" male there is a depressed female sitting in her darkened room front of a photoshopped picture of a lingerie model, thinking "I'm so ugly that no one will ever look at me". Sadly, these "female basement dwellers" can't meet with "male basement dwellers" over the internet, since the latter chase the former away with open misogyny. It would be pointless to tell the basement dwellers these and that internet communities would be great place for them to find introverted women. If they had the abilities to comprehend these, they wouldn't be basement dwellers at the first place.

The only solution is shattering the "4 fun peep" mask by banning all kind of sexualized talk (along with their other nonsense) from video game chats, forcing them to focus on skills they can improve. You know, the gaming skills that are good to have in a game. The removal of sexist crap would make this atmosphere non-repulsive for women, which wouldn't only be good for women, but would make the dream of basement dwellers come true: they could actually socialize with living women.


PS: read this collection of CCP Falcon quotes!

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't think women, on average, are interested in spreadsheets in space. Remember that the majority of players are levelling their ravens by ccps own stats, and interact with no one, yet still hardly any women in this group either.

Why push for women to play anyway? It's not like it's the boardroom or the army. I remember when I did social sciences in college and was only one of two males in the entire class,yet never heard anyone once say "how do we get more men into social science". Never happened even once.

Anonymous said...

First let me say I have flown in fleets where the host alliance was very intolerant to sexism. Granted some words seem to transcend sex. While never being a part of either I can tell you that Of Sound Mind and Severance both preach and stick to the idea of keep it classy. Thats not to say sexist jokes don't happen, but more often than not it is led by the women. I have heard over coms female pilots say "lets go rape (insert red alliance/corp)" I have even heard june on coms and she is not exactly the warm fuzzy a sexual person you seem to suggest. I have also flown with other coalitions/alliances where I flew only a few times before the jokes got to the point where I just wanted out.

JackTheManiac said...

Yeah, no, Anita Sarkeesian takes things out of context.

In Women as Decorations part 1, she killed the women in Hitman, then moved them around

But in the game, you're not supposed to kill them.

Also, things in game have a context fitting with the game world. She ignores that context.

For instance, blames games depicting historical facts and settings as sexist - but there is no other way to depict that time period or place realistically.

Also plenty of men as objects. Plenty of violence to men.
Men are also sexualized differently, not necessarily with skimpy clothing.

She's pretty much just bad.
She isn't getting that much hate, sure, some do, but a LOT of it is just her staging it, or sockpuppeting. Look at Zoey Quinn, faking her own doxx, and "harassment. There are videos.

Yeah, there are plenty of videos criticizing Sarkeesian, and debunking her video. Because she locks comments and prohibits ratings.

maxim said...

First of all, let's not pretend that there is only misogyny and no misandry in the world. Girls are not all fun-loving happy-lovey creatures either.

Discussions to the effect of "all men think about is sex" and "men are only good for semen" have their share of popularity in female communities.
Apparently, femitheism (don't confuse with feminism) is also becoming a thing - http://www.vice.com/read/is-reducing-the-male-population-by-90-percent-the-solution-to-all-our-problems

You are operating in a predominantly male-power environment, so it stands to reason that you rarely see examples of woman-power talk. Trust me when i say that sexist thought-roaches can just as easily thrive in girl head as they can in guy head.

----------

Your recent crusade against sex talk reminds me of the notion employed in monasteries that are serious regarding monk training. The notion goes that sex in general is wasteful (unless kids) and sexual temptations are the way devil coaxes energy out of humans so that they can't use it towards good.

Monasteries are different from games, though. People go there with explicit aim to change their behavior, which is not the case for games.

When it comes to working with people who don't have explicit aim to change their behaviour, I am of opinion that you can't really achieve anything by repressing sexual urges. What you need is provide people a way to sublimate these urges. However, you can't really do it if you ban it all.

Sports work as sublimation precisely because occasionally you get to both feel and express the feeling that is indeed best described as "rape those cunts".

----------

I have said so in comments to previous posts - so far all attempts at resolving toxic behavior through bans resulted not in a productive environment, but rather in a sterile one.

Thinking that bans will somehow purify gamer society is generally wishful thinking of those who ran out of ideas on how to make a game actually better.

Gevlon said...

@Anonymous: while serious players indeed use mathematics to plan their actions, most just fit as told and press F1. No other reason for lack of women in this group than unbearable language.

@JackTheManiac: do the game punishes senseless violence (like randomly killing women and moving them around)? If not, it supports objectification. Even if it does asexually (men can be killed too), it will be used for enforcing pre-existing misogynist tendencies (players will rather kill and rape women).

Also, banning ratings and moderating comments is just common sense.

@Maxim: misandry is irrelevant as women don't have the power to turn their words into actions. They are annoying at worse, but you can dismiss those idiots.

Sexual talk is prohibited in workplaces too. Games should operate on the way to provide different kind of fun. If the player is too busy clicking buttons and generally immersed into the game, he won't think of offtopic.

You ignore the fact that toxic gaming communities are chasing off lot of players. Sterilizing it from toxic behavior will allow these more productive people in and they will create the productive environment.

Anonymous said...

@Gevlon,

Today's multiplayer games tend to have a much broader socialization component. I was a WoW player and to me it was either solo (basically single player) or raiding (clear objectives to reach). Still many players I encountered were much more interested in the social aspects. Those players don't want an immersive or demanding experience, they want a fun framework to play around with other people, joke, prank, have mindless fun.

Toxic gaming communities might be chasing off lots of players, but you don't know whether the game would have ultimately more players after your "sterilization": it might be that you lose more players than you earn back. The main problem is that it's very difficult to ban toxic behavior without severely limiting social aspects altogether, and without these social aspects most multiplayer games would be basically dead.

I wonder why you don't try to "put your money where your mouth is" and start your own multiplayer game project. Today it's not something so irrealistic, there are very successful indie games made by very small teams or even one-man shows.

It would offer you the opportunity to actually implement your own ideas and if the idea is actually good you'd have the chance to demonstrate it to the world in an undeniable way: by being successful.

maxim said...

@Gevlon
[quote] "misandry is irrelevant" [ /quote]
I can agree that right now it is not all that strong. It has been steadily gaining power, however, and given the way things are going will become relevant in our lifetimes.
That is indeed far offtopic, though :)

The more on-topic part is that if the goal of lowering toxicity is to let more females in, then that goal may be self-defeating, because females can easily bring their own brand of toxicity with them.

[quote] "player too immersed in clicking buttons to think of sex" [/quote]
Erm, human is not a Turing automaton. Human has this thing called massively parallel associative thinking.

If a human finds himself in a situation that is best described as "we are raping those cunts", then the massively parallel associative thinking will provide all the necessary support to form a gestalt similar to sexual arousal - and in many cases do it without really interfering with button-pressing processes.

In fact, one can argue that the very reason we feel compelled to press buttons is to get these kinds surrogate sexual experiences. The theoretical framework for that argument has been around since Freud and haven't really been disproven in any way.

[quote]Toxic communities chasing off players, sterilizing communities will get those players back[/quote]
I don't find this notion to be supported by actual game design experience that we have accumulated so far.
People at large don't come to games because they expect a nice clean community. They come for excitement. Excitement is inherently messy and definitely not sterile.

The only situation when this is not true when a person is genuinely interested in the process that the specific game is simulating and wants to engage in learning with regard to this process.

In this case, however, the person brings his own excitement in what could have otherwise been a sterile environment.

Gevlon said...

@Maxim: there are awful lot of single-player games which are necessarily sterile of all kind of social interactions, yet millions of players pay billions of dollars for them.

The player generally want to play a game. Multi-player games allow to play it against really intelligent opponents instead of robotic opponents that can be learned once and defeat forever.

Blizzard Heartstone for example has no chat at all, you just play the game and that's it. Huge success, proving that multiplayer games can be sterilized of offtopic behavior.

Yes, you are right that it would be the best to only remove toxic behavior and allow positive social behavior, but that can only be done with extreme GM power, while removing all offtopic behavior can be automatized.

Lyxi said...

You're defending Sarky?

You should watch thunderf00t's video on youtube, concerning her blatant intellectual dishonesty in her latest video.

Then, for good measure, you should watch the Internet Aristocrat's last three videos exposing the weaknes in gaming 'journalism'.

Grouping everyone who is against such hamfisted approach is dishonest, and frankly, Gevlon, I expected better from you.

In any case, you should watch those videos. Perhaps they will change your mind, perhaps not. But it is extremely intellectually dishonest to group detractors under a label, then paint them as the worst ever.

-Lyxi

Anonymous said...

@Lyxi- Until those detractors prove to be more than whining man children, terrified that "those girls" are going to ruin the only thing they are able to self identify with there is no point in listening to them.

Anonymous said...

http://i.imgur.com/p6eaary.jpg?1

maybe there are good explanations, but there is also the possibility that threats where faked - which wouldn't be the first time that feminists do that to proof a point.

let me be clear - I'm not saying it didn't happen, hell I know stuff LIKE that happens every day - but usually the right reaction on such thing is to call the bloody police - but well, just calling the police doesn't do enough advertisement for the feminist frequency (her blog).

again, I'm not saying that stuff like that doesn't happen - it does, and i find it disgusting, and i agree that such behaviour shouldn't have any place (if related to gaming or not, as it happens to not only happen in gaming). But thats what laws against discrimination, laws against threats and laws against insults are for. Use them.

Anonymous said...

@Gevlon: @Maxim: misandry is irrelevant as women don't have the power to turn their words into actions. They are annoying at worse, but you can dismiss those idiots.

thats something extremly sexist to say, and frankly not true.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/thinking-man/10752232/Our-attitude-to-violence-against-men-is-out-of-date.html

Anonymous said...

there are awful lot of single-player games which are necessarily sterile of all kind of social interactions, yet millions of players pay billions of dollars for them.
Which are played for fun. They aren't competitive in any way.

Blizzard Heartstone for example has no chat at all, you just play the game and that's it. Huge success, proving that multiplayer games can be sterilized of offtopic behavior.
That's a pretty simplistic game that has no need for players to interact. That model wouldn't work for a real MMO.

Anonymous said...

Until those detractors prove to be more than whining man children, terrified that "those girls" are going to ruin the only thing they are able to self identify with there is no point in listening to them.
No matter what they say, they will never be treated any differently, they will never be given the benefit of the doubt. Legitimate criticism directed at Anita is rejected out of hand as being from "whining man children". That's the problem with prejudiced people with opinions, nothing that is said by others is valid in their eyes unless it entirely agrees with them.

Gevlon said...

Saying "women has no power" is the most feminist thing you can say.

Single player games are usually competitive, even if not against another player. For example the built in minesweeper of Windows makes you dead if you click on mine, and you won't get a honor points for participating.

@Lyxi: any links of relevant criticism?

Anonymous said...

and you won't get a honor points for participating.
And you won't get them for winning either. The game is for entertainment, no more, no less.

Anonymous said...

The reason there are so few girls in EVE is firstly because, girls first and for most(not all but most) are more attacted to casual games. This is why so many girls play, and Guildwar/Guildwars2. Like 40% of the people that play Guildwars2 currently are female, and this is because it's perhaps the most casual MMO ever made. WoW is another super casual MMO(like GW2) probably has/had a similar demographics of 30-40% female. Phanasystar Online is another hugly casual MMO that had large female demo.

Now look at MMO's like Lineage2, or Aion, both of which sported a 5-10% female demographic. Difference is..... both these games don't pander to the casual gamer. There are of course hardcore female gamers, there are just far fewer then males, and even fewer that also just happen to be into MMO specifically, and fewer again that just happen to be into the sci-fi genre.

Anonymous said...

http://www.giantbomb.com/forums/off-topic-31/genuine-criticism-against-anita-sarkeesian-tropes--554030/

For example.

Anonymous said...

I have to say, one thing that's always annoyed me about Sarkeesian, is that she read too far into everything, then presents it as if the only reason for whatever feature she is attacking was only designed to be used against women. Such as the ability in sleeping dogs to knock someone unconscious and throw them in the trunk. The thing is, this isn't something targeted at women, and to be honest, I don't think it ever needs to be done to women, but does need to be done to men to progress the story. So her issue is what? That games don't give unnatural and divine protection to female characters?

The other main issue is that she doesn't suggest a single solution. Basically if a game doesn't have a strong female lead and no female NPCs that can be in any way negatively interacted with or seen as decorative, then the game shouldn't exist.

Even other feminists have criticised her heavily.

Anonymous said...

The most feminist thing you can say is "women are oppressed and kept unequal to men by a system of hegemonic masculinity, and kept in that place by role distribution, sexual violence and the existence of the patriarchal dividends."

The core of feminist is the believe that in a fair society women would be seen as no different to (or for some fanatics even better than) men.

If you say a woman has not the power to do as she says, you deny that women are to be taken seriously.

And you also display Sexism against men as you marginalize 40% of domestic violence cases - the once by women against men.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2010/sep/05/men-victims-domestic-violence

Esteban said...

I dislike censorship. Direct harassment of an individual is one thing, and ought to be sanctioned ruthlessly (here's looking at you, Mittens) but sterilising chat to that extent would bother me in principle. I'd rather have the occasional kid act like an idiot in chat than have to suffer the chilling effect of corporate Big Brother watching at all times.

Apart from your usual asocial perspective (which is several deviations from the norm, itself) and unsavoury right-wing divagations ('some people are useless trash') this time you bring to the table a culturally parochial focus on sex talk. Certainly, 'lets rape those cunts' is undesirable in any language, but the boundaries of what is socially acceptable vary considerably between Southern and Eastern Europe, to say nothing of the puritannical anglos.

Anonymous said...

Okay, just ordered GW2 ^^

No seriously, I can think of no worse Chatchannels as EVE help Channel. In the corps I have been in so far, everybody knew how to behave on TS when girls were present. It is just a matter of letting sexism happen. If the CEO, the directors and even the corpmates intervene directly the sexist dumbass is shamed and does not feel like in a circle of equals but like the lowest cum and loser.
Such things only escalate when tolerated.
But how exactly or what exactly has sexism and being a socially unskilled jerk have especially anything to do with EVE?
I would like to read more about interesting topics, S&M surround me in RL aplenty...

Anonymous said...

We are very interested in sci-fi an several different forms, from drama to action. We do get involved in the CONs just like the guys do and love our shows/movies as much as they do. I personally live for Firefly, Dr Who and Torchwood for strong character development and story lines. While Star Wars and Star Trek are good, I tend to watch B-rated shows for pure action.

Unfortunatly, it is the community in Eve that pushes females into very small, closed groups. I belong to a channel where 13 of the 14 channel mods are female. The rules of the channel are real simple, don't be a jerk, respect each other by keeping your sexist/racist/anti-alternate lifestlye/political/religious comments to yourself. If you can't, we quickly remove you from the channel.

We have kept the channel up on and off for 6 years now and have a very large following because we actually HELP people learn to play the game, all without hand holding and creating more anti-social players.

Whats interesting about this blog is that I use to spend a lot of time slamming Greedy Goblin, but kept coming back; sometimes I am glad I did, other times he returns to that toxic community member and I regret it.

Lyxi said...

Thunderf00t criticism of Sarkeesian's portrayal of Hitman.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WuRSaLZidWI

InternetAristocrat's criticism of gaming journalism.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Km3DZQp0StE

It has a section on Sarkeesian's conflict of interests, and how her consulting firm directly benefits from well...being hired as a consultant on sexism in video games. IMO, this is especially damning, because sexism is such a loaded topic, so this smells like a protection racket.

"Pay us money for our consulting on sexism, or else something might ... happen ... to your game when reviewed by the 'independent' journalists with whom we are in contact."

(PS: The series is 3 videos long, and this is only the latest one. The other two are less relevant to Sarkeesian, though they are important to sexism in video games and 'sexism' in video games. Of particular interest to you might be the part where a reddit moderator on /r/gaming nuked a highly upvoted topic. Deleted. All gone. All 11000 comments. And then his subsequent personal link to the woman that started it. That shows two things: 1) Not everyone is as good at moderating comments as you, and 2) your postulate that 'women' are 'powerless' is patently not true, at least in this person's case. Some of them wield considerable media influence, and they're not afraid to swing it like a baseball bat.)

-Lyxi

maxim said...

@Gevlon
I feel that bringing single-player games in this is an invalid correlation.

Single-player games obviously have their own exellent ways in which they work, but the problem of "4 fun ppl vs women" doesn't exist in single player games because there are no two players that can be toxic to each other.

Toxicity only applies to multiplayer games. Saying "let's make games singleplayer and remove toxicity that way" defeats the entire purpose of having a multiplayer game to begin with.

---------

I don't see how you can impose strict restrictions on chat in MMORPG and keep it a MMORPG.

Games that are MMOs but without a significant RP part can get away with having very limited chat. Heartstone is a good example of that. However, RP part cannot really thrive if you restrict all the saucy stuff out of it.

Now, there is a sentiment that RP parts bring nothing to the game experience. This sentiment is false and is largely based on a very limited understanding on what RP aesthetics are and how they work.

II can see how someone playing a pure ISK game would be interested in a more Hearthstone-like gameplay experience in Eve, in which you only really interact with ISK-making mechanics, picking and matching them like one would a deck of cards.
However, in such a game, there would be no Goons that you can call evil and have tons of fun crusading against - providing yourself with purpose and drive to farm even more ISK. In a Hearthstone-like game this experience would be reduced to something on the level of hating on murloc decks :/

Eve is not that kind of game, though. Or rather, it can be that kind of game if you choose to limit yourself that way while playing it. But it can also be a very different kind of game, too.

Daniel Plain said...

Anita Sarkeesian is a professional victim. She has deliberately and repeatedly misrepresented facts to ignite antagonism among the less mature parts of the gaming community, so she could later turn around and point a finger at them and pretend to be persecuted. You, GG, as a somewhat notorious public personality should best understand how easy it is to provoke hateful idiots which are part of any community. The difference between you and Anita is that she is doing it on purpose and making serious amounts of money off of it. The only reason she gets away with it is her self-proclaimed status as feminist 'ambassador' to the gaming community. Political correctness prevents many people from speaking out against bullshit, if it is presented to them under the guise of feminism (which is ironically similar to what goes on in most religious circles).

Michelle Brixius-Kasich said...

As a woman in game, I can tell you that the issues you bring forward are just not as out of control as you might feel they are. Some corps are unwelcoming to women, but most are pretty easy going about it, although shocked the first time they hear you on TS.
Coming into a game that is mostly men you have to be willing to let some things slide, and to only recoil at things that really bother you. Some hard language should never be tolerated, but to go with a fleet that says they are "raping" another, it is usually enough to politely let them know it bothers you. You don't have to get all nasty, just let the people know you are flying with. Usually it will never come up again and if it does, one of the men will usually put a stop to it. I admit, I'm an unusual woman in space, my life experiences allow me to not be offended by men and most comments in general, but even to most conservative of women, not hitting the links in the fleet,letting the other pilots know you're there, or just letting them know politely your boundaries will lead to a pleasant gaming experience. Even while in fleets killing our enemy, CFC, where they have known I'm a women in one of their most hated alliances, Mordus Angels, I have never seen bad comments in local and once they know I'm there, the language will usually calm down even between the men.(Thank you CFC) In General most women don't play this kind of game. Not sure why, but they just don't. Now as for your last paragraph. I don't believe the men in game are basement dwelling, antisocial, virgins. They are just guys, who like to play video games. End of story.

Gevlon said...

@Daniel: even if it's true, that money is well earned. She puts her out into the fire of extremely obnoxious and dangerous idiouts to draw fire from those who can't fight for themselves. So it's completely normal that they pay her for it.

If you think she's overpaid, free market says: go and do better, take that money for yourself!

@Michelle: from the a-social viewpoint, you are completely right, they just say words that can't hurt you and you can just tell them to shut up. But most people are not only social but afraid of conflict and can't do what is obvious to you, tell them to shut up. If we want these people to subscribe games and give them a chance to improve their attitude, developers have to get rid of obnoxious people.

I've never said that male players are basement dwellers. I've said that the obnoxious minority are.

jstk said...

This is a really good topic but I have to disagree with a few things.

>only 5% of the players are women, due to its extremely misogynist community.

I know where you're getting to here. There is a lot of obnoxious fleet chat in large alliances, porn links here and there toguether with the typical 4chan sexist remarks but from personal experience most of the community isn't like that. Eve may have its fair share of detestable basement dwellers but for the most part people are mature.

The main reason you don't see girls in Eve is mostly related to the type of game and the kind of experience it provides. Basic game design makes a clear distinction in which games are more likely to appeal to men and women. Men almost always universally prefer a competitive environment, violence, action and mastery of complex subjects. On another hand, women tend to prefer building, casual experiences, roleplaying, dressing up and socialization. Guess which side Eve heavily favours.

Woody said...

Yup jstk and it's no surprise that WoW is more popular than EVE with female players.

I've always wondered why Blizzard seem to spend so much time on niche features for the small competitive hardcore of predominantly males as opposed to armour customisation options or a cosmetic armour shop.

Seems to me that they are ignoring a large part of the market and leaving money on the table.

They don't produce features that could earn them a lot of money from a sizeable female audience yet have the cheek to sign that smear campaign petition against gamers calling for less misogyny and more inclusion!

Gevlon said...

@Lyxi: I finally had time to watch the videos. I have no doubt that Hitman doesn't encourage killing women and Sarkeesian is wrong to suggest that.

However she is right that the game is very tolerant against any kind of wrongdoing which includes killing women.

I have an old post about this topic: http://greedygoblin.blogspot.hu/2013/06/damsel-in-distress.html

Woody said...

"However she is right that the game is very tolerant against any kind of wrongdoing which includes killing women."

The only difference I can see between EVE and Hitman in that respect is that the spaceships aren't wearing bikinis.

I mean both allow you to kill civilians who were just going about their business for the pure lols and are similarly tolerant of it.

EVE of course involves destroying the assets of real people and encouraging depressed people to commit suicide.

Granted you can kill women in bikinis in Hitman although only a small minority of female NPC's are dressed that way.

Given the low female participation and other issues I'm surprised that she hasn't touched EVE yet.

Gevlon said...

@Woody: in EVE there are no civilians. The ones you gank are players who has the means to defend themselves. Those women in Hitman are NPCs, therefore need to be defended by other NPCs (or themselves). But the game fails to defend them, placing them there only as decoration and an easy victim.

Woody said...

Perhaps IO interactive put them there to simulate and fulfil the role that M&S play in EVE?

Both the EVE M&S and the fictional female strippers could have taken steps to defend themselves but didn't. The women didn't keep a gun or CS spray in the dressing room or lock the door etc.

Therefore both provide an easy kill for a feeling of power/superiority and lols.

The women were just simulations of M&S in a single player game. Therefore they had to be designed to have demonstrated the same level of stupidity as M&S. They deserved to die just as the M&S deserve to die.

Most single player games have an M&S AI character class that exists for the purpose of easy pickings and filler to make the player feel powerful.

If all the AI in Halo were the Elites and those stupid little guys that run away in fear didn't exist then the game wouldn't be much fun.

In most games they are exclusively male (and almost exclusively in EVE). In Hitman they are equality-compliant and represent both sexes.

I think M&S should be making Youtube videos about their representation in video games as opposed to Anita banging on with false accusations of sexism!

Daniel Plain said...

"@Daniel: even if it's true, that money is well earned. She puts her out into the fire of extremely obnoxious and dangerous idiouts to draw fire from those who can't fight for themselves. So it's completely normal that they pay her for it.

If you think she's overpaid, free market says: go and do better, take that money for yourself!"

Are you honestly suggesting that lying and hatemongering is a normal and valuable profession? If so, does your tolerance extend to people other people in the same line of work, such as Rush Limbaugh, Jerry Falwell and Joseph McCarthy? Anita is the exact equivalent of the above mentioned, only her ideology of choice and the target of her propaganda happen to differ.

Anonymous said...

Hitman as a series punishes senseless violence and rewards clean, quiet jobs. Most of the targets are men, and the women who are targets are empowered, deadly killers. It's really a terrible example when there are thousands of better examples.

Chaos Engineer said...

The women were just simulations of M&S in a single player game. Therefore they had to be designed to have demonstrated the same level of stupidity as M&S. They deserved to die just as the M&S deserve to die.

Good work, it looks like you've almost got it!

Now there's only a few pieces of the puzzle left to fit into place: Why do you suppose the defenseless M&S characters are portrayed as strippers or prostitutes?

Why are they never old people in a retirement home, or children at a day care center, or puppies at the animal shelter? Those groups are even less able to defend themselves from assault than the average stripper, so they're more obvious choices to play the M&S role.

And, for that matter, why was the strip club chosen as the setting to begin with? That's been done in so many games already! If you need a site for criminal activity, why not use something a little different? Like maybe the crooked doctors at the retirement home (or the animal shelter) are selling prescription painkillers on the black market instead of giving them to the patients. You could go there to either arrest the evildoers or get a cut of the profits, and there could be a big shootout.

Anyway, once you've figured out the answer to those questions, you'll have a perfect understanding of what the "misogyny" debate is all about!

Let me know if you need hints.

Woody said...

Armed adult males make up the majority of M&S characters in gaming.

In Hitman there are as many or more male civvie fodder than females.

Sorry I don't get your point?

Woody said...

Sorry I should have added that a "Hitman" game is about the under world (no suprise).

I don't expect an animal shelter level.

The strip club was 4% of the game however. A tiny portion but still a perfectly reasonable trope in an under world based game.

Gevlon said...

@Woody: male cannon fodders weren't sexualized.

Anonymous said...

Hitman is targeted at the young male segment of the gamers population, that's why it cater to tropes which most young males want and doesn't care that some of tese might annoy female gamers: they are simply not the main target demographics.

Hitman is a very successful game so it's difficult to criticize its market placement choice. Basically the interesting question is: "would the game be more or less successful with a different target demographic, or by being more careful in not. annoying non-target demographics pkayers?".

Basically female sexualization is a game characteristic: if you don't like it buy a different game just like if you don't like violence you don't buy violent games. But since there are players wo do like these characteristic it's perfectly fine for software companies to target their products at them.

Woody said...

@Gevlon - most female civilians in Hitman aren't sexualised either.

As stated it is no more unreasonable to expect a Strip Club trope in an under world based game than it is to expect a casino in a James bond game.

It is perfectly reasonable to expect there to be strippers in the strip club and that they are by their very nature sexualised (voluntarily, unless there is a trafficking theme).

A seedy vibe is a perfectly reasonable trope in a gangsters strip club.

The club only makes up a tiny portion of the game so the trope is not used excessively/gratuitously.

The free market provides a wide range of games for all tastes. Those buying a "Hitman" game will buy the product with certain perfectly reasonable expectations of what is contained within a game of that genre.

They would not expect a level based in an animal shelter or a hostel for ethnic minority wheelchair bound transsexuals who have violent partners.

As an asexual I would never visit a strip club in real life and am baffled as to why men like having their levels of arrousal increased to such a level but with no release provided. Perhaps you can explain that to me?

I would however feel entitled to the strip club trope when handing over £50 for a game about the criminal underworld and that wouldn't be because I want to be aroused (because it won't have that effect on me). I'd be extremely annoyed if instead of classic underworld locations it instead turned into a social justice fantasy world based in animal shelters and charity shops.

Inappropriate sexualisation would be playing The Last of Us and upon reaching the Firefly labs discovering that the female scientists were all wearing sexualised "nurses outfits"(you know the ones) where as the male scientists wore regular lab coats.

I would be absolutely furious if that happened and would be blasting Naughty Dog and Sony on every forum I use.

Of course I'd have no complaint if someone made a game where all women (or men) were gratuitously sexualised so long as it was advertised as such from that start (that is just pornography right) . It's a free market and I just would not buy it.

Anonymous said...

here relevant response/critique from the gaming goose. He even so far to copy her fromat but with much more effort into research of the topic.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvJ7KQFVoms

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpYINU6VkGA


Ontopic.

I disable chat. and if not possible I resize chat. and if that is not possible the game has to be really good otherwise I will not play it. It's that simple. And I play over a decade with this in mind.

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