Is It Nutpicking If They Jump Out’ the Bushes At You?

I can hardly afford to make fun of other peoples’ hobbies, but I believe this ‘Ben Spurr’ has qualified for a hearty “Not cool, bro.” Per Cienna Madrid at Seattle’s Stranger:

Ever since feminist blogger Anita Sarkeesian committed the grave internet faux paus of launching a Kickstarter campaign to research how women are portrayed in video games, she’s been the recipient of rape threats, death threats, and racist tirades by male gamer nerds who are apparently very enraged by the thought of a woman rootin’ out misogyny in the high plains of Azeroth or whatever the fuck.

And instead of simmering down since Sarkeesian launched her May 17 Kickstarter (which skyrocketed past its $6,000 goal in less than 24 hours), the violence directed at her continues to escalate—most recently at the hands of a pathetic, whiny little man named Ben Spurr, who created a brutal video game starring Sarkeesian. Apparently, the sole point of the game is to beat the shit out of her…

My weak google-fu further indicates that, as with all things on the internet, the progression from ‘out of hand‘ to ‘WTF‘ moves faster than Moore’s Law.

Seriously: Isn’t there somebody in Spurr’s gamerpod who could, for instance, let him know there’s a new, “HD”, Kickstarter-funded version of Leisure Suit Larry due out real soon now?

191 replies
  1. 1
    EvolutionaryDesign says:

    HEY!! Leisure Suit Larry NEVER beat women. He only beat off…

  2. 2
    El Cid says:

    I really detest these weirdo game freaks. Fucking treating fucking video games like it’s a hugely important part of their precious, sensitive life. Jackholes.

  3. 3
    Karmakin says:

    And El Cid proves that other people can act exactly the same way.

  4. 4
    freelancer says:

    This is gross. Spurr is a sad freak, and this has been reminiscent to me of what’s been going on in the Skeptical community since more and more women have been upfront about instances of harassment that have happened online and at conferences.
    Suddenly there is a vocal MRA faction of Skeptics and Humanists that concern troll about the possibility of false positives than actually addressing actual harassment. It’s kind of fucking sad.

  5. 5
    burnspbesq says:

    While we’re on the subject of appalling behavior:

    I don’t know whether this is a crime, under Israeli or any other potentially applicable law, but it surely is barbaric.

    http://www.haaretz.com/misc/ar.....2C2.227%2C

  6. 6
    MattR says:

    @El Cid:

    Fucking treating fucking video games like it’s a hugely important part of their precious, sensitive life.

    For a lot of them it is – which is really the root problem.

  7. 7
    El Cid says:

    @Karmakin: ? What? WTF does that mean?

  8. 8
    Karmakin says:

    @Freelancer: As someone who has been watching the whole thing, a lot of people are coming to the conclusion that this looks like a proxy war of sorts regarding Libertarianism vs. Progressivism in the “Skeptic” movement. I.E. some people picked a really shitty hill to die on, as anti-harassment policies are a no-brainer, as they don’t want the fight to shift to things they’re on the defensive about, so to speak, such as reality-based economic concepts or AGW.

  9. 9
    El Cid says:

    @MattR: There’s all kinds of stuff I love — whatever, movies, restaurants, etc. — but absolutely not one bit of it would justify me being weirdo stalker-y and some fucking antisocial ass.

  10. 10
    Karmakin says:

    El Cid:What it means is that you’re exactly like those people. Filled with blind contempt and hatred.

    In short, apologize or get off my internet.

    Edit: The unfortunate reality is that our society has taught people that bullying behavior like we see here (from both sides) is the way to achieve social power. They’re both sides of the same coin, and quite frankly I care for neither of it.

  11. 11
    Anne Laurie says:

    @EvolutionaryDesign: Back before the internets, when the Spousal Unit’s gamer friends had to congregate IRL, there were many jokes made about young Gamer Guys using the Larry games to learn the difference between smooovve and eeeeeewww when interacting with actual humans of the female classification. Since gamers revere their traditions, I kinda assumed these jokes are still being made… why else would people Kickstart more than $650,000 for a state-of-the-art remake?

  12. 12
    burnspbesq says:

    @El Cid:

    Matthew 7:1 was good advice when it was written, and it’s good advice almost 2,000 years later.

  13. 13
    MattR says:

    @burnspbesq: People are quoting me all over this blog tonight ;)

  14. 14
    burnspbesq says:

    Barbarism, Republican style:

    http://www.palmbeachpost.com/n.....ret/nPpLs/

  15. 15
    El Cid says:

    @Karmakin:

    El Cid:What it means is that you’re exactly like those people. Filled with blind contempt and hatred.

    Oh, Jesus fucking Christ. Are you serious? First of all, fuck your “get off my internet” bullshit. Grow the fuck up.

    Second, I’m not filled with ‘blind contempt and hatred’ unless you’re so fucked uppedly sensitive about your love for whatever your particular stupid cheap amusement is — videogames, whatever — that you get all weepy saddy when someone gets tired of seeing repeated nitwits get all exercised when their obliviousness of the ordinary shallowness of some chosen entertainment pursuit is mocked in come context in which obliviousness is truly harmful.

  16. 16
    Anne Laurie says:

    @El Cid:

    I really detest these weirdo game freaks.

    Seriously, I can’t judge. Apart from being married to an old-school Gamer Dork, I wrote fanfic back when the results were circulated via xerox. And when I’m not arguing about politics on the internet, I’m involved in the only aboveground nonsexual hobby group that takes more abuse than furry fandom.

    One noisy idiot with a bunch of me-too followers doesn’t discredit all gamers any more than the Redstate Strike Farce or FirebaggersDL discredits all political bloggers. But I sincerely hope it embarrasses the sane poriton of the gamer community!

  17. 17
    burnspbesq says:

    @MattR:

    You silver-tongued devil, you.

  18. 18
    El Cid says:

    @burnspbesq: Are you people fucking high on the bad weed?

    Would it be this confusing if it were some tribe of hateful nitwits based on their rage at those questioning the integrity of some particular sect of Star Trek fanfic novelizations?

    Would it be meriting of such pathos, such reverent fellow suffering if it were the burning cries of rage of the true enthusiasts of a local fantasy football league against a questioning outsider?

  19. 19
    The Red Pen says:

    A lot of video games have positive, or at least egalitarian status for female characters.. In Portal, the player character is female – – no choice given. Other games like Fallout and Skyrim allow you to be either gender (and Fallout: New Vegas allows you to choose a sexual orientation if you are paying attention to the options).

    I know that Grand Theft Auto is notorious for violence against women, but I think that there are also a lot of games like Quake Wars that have only male characters. I think that excluding women from the universe is also pretty weak.

  20. 20
    El Cid says:

    @Anne Laurie: I know plenty of gamers. They’re not who I was thinking of, but god-damn, let me not dare swing so close as to make them cry by sounding vaguely like I meant them.

    No, that’s right, the gamers I know would have a clue given the original post what types I might be discussing. And, of course, the ones who went around angry that someone somewhere might be sounding like they don’t like people who play videogames and on the verge of upset — I wouldn’t be having anything to do with such types in the first place.

  21. 21
    burnspbesq says:

    @El Cid:

    The first rule of holes is applicable here, and you’re the one who needs to realize where he is.

  22. 22
    Nemo_N says:

    @El Cid:
    TV shows are starting to create a similar breed among their viewership.

  23. 23
    El Cid says:

    @burnspbesq: I am perfectly happy with this entire community viewing me as a bad person who was judging, and generally harrumphing in my presence, since as you well know by plenty of experience, I don’t care.

  24. 24
    Karmakin says:

    El Cid: You do realize you’re justifying everything they’re saying, right?

  25. 25
    Halcyon says:

    @El Cid: You read a blog that makes a point of mocking Republican idiots on the internet, and you still haven’t figured out yet that the first response a person has to seeing any group they consider themselves a part of being attacked is blind tribalism? Jesus, are you so bad at recognizing a pattern that you’re still surprised every time Sully says a dumb thing too?

  26. 26
    EvolutionaryDesign says:

    @Anne Laurie: Oh, I’ll give you LSL is lewd as all hell, but it comes from a place of love – not violence :)

  27. 27
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    Almost two months of this shit? Goddamn. Are they trying to fulfill the stereotype about gamer nerds being obsessive shut-ins?

    I like a lot of nerdy things, but I’ve come to realize that there are a lot of dark places in the average nerd psyche, especially when it comes to relating to other people and realizing their opinions about the world aren’t the only legitimate ones.

    Thing is, I’m sorta sympathetic to ideas about changing how people are portrayed in media not being the best way to change their treatment in real life, that it’s all just fantasy, who cares, etc. If this whole thing was still on the ‘intellectual debate’ level, I might disagree with Sarkeesian’s ideas, but good goddamn-death threats? Rape threats? The fuck is the matter with these people?

  28. 28
    Ruckus says:

    @Karmakin:
    If you think disliking or even hating obsessive, misogynistic people who think that a game is more important than real life and people, you need to get a fucking clue. Cause you’re missing a big one.

  29. 29
    El Cid says:

    @Karmakin: I hope so, because I’ll now like to watch who comes out to play, because I’m curious to see the roster of exactly who thinks I’m being just like them. Them in this sense being some sort of people defined in the first post by their statements and actions with regard to a woman named Sarkeesian.

    I’m halfway tempted now to sound very serious in an attempt to understand why people are so angry at poor Spurr, because being so instantaneously opposed to and hateful and mocking at what he’s doing is being just like him.

    People like Spurr surely have all sorts of weaknesses inside, and by not understanding the more universal sources of such pain, why, this stuff writes itself.

    Obviously my next step will be to craft a videogame whose sole purpose will be to, er, have people angrily show up to say dismissive comments about, um, people who would obsess about an outsider threat to a closed obsessive vision of a particular interpretation of an amusement activity, or maybe that will just be the game within the game, but in any case I will demand to be taken seriously, else you will be just like them.

  30. 30
    rb says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: Except maybe it isn’t, right? Seems like they’re proving her point.

  31. 31
    TooManyJens says:

    @freelancer: I’ve been so discouraged by what’s been going on in the skeptical community wrt harassment. I mean, not all of it! There have been a lot of good conversations and men coming out in support of women, etc. But the skeptical/atheist community has a lot of white guys who think hating the religious right makes them enlightened, when in fact they’ve put very little thought into social justice issues and really resent that anyone’s asking them to. Fortunately, that group is becoming a smaller proportion of the movement as a whole (well, fortunately overall. They hate it, of course. Those fucking feminists coming in and ruining their movement…)

  32. 32

    @El Cid:

    I know plenty of gamers. They’re not who I was thinking of

    aka the “Some of my best friends are Black” response.

  33. 33
    Narcissus says:

    Kickstarter rocks. There’ve been all kinds of awesome kickstarter projects lately, especially in game genres that are no longer financial powerhouses
    (i.e. not another fuckin’ first person shooter). There’s a Tex Murphy kickstarter project. How awesome is that.

  34. 34
    rb says:

    @Karmakin: Really? This is the equivalence you want to draw? Cid made a flip comment, yeah, but it was no where near ‘exactly like’ issuing a death threat or creating a ‘beat this woman to a pulp’ video game.

    Maybe dial the sensitivity back just a tad, or, you know, grab some perspective.

  35. 35
    Ash Can says:

    @burnspbesq:
    @Karmakin:

    Bullshit. There are gamers who are able to keep their gaming, and their lives, in perspective — the vast majority of them — and then there are people like Ben Spurr, and all the others like him who are coming out of the woodwork to attack Sarkeesian, and also those who aren’t doing anything but silently supporting them, convinced these assholes are doing the right thing by going after her. El Cid wasn’t enormously artful in expressing it, but yes, there really, really is something wrong with people who get so caught up in their gaming world that someone finding fault with an aspect of it becomes some subhuman enemy that needs to be attacked and beaten to death. And to even begin to put El Cid’s admittedly harsh lambasting in the same category as a group of people launching an organized and undeniably violent-natured against someone raising issues of gender justice is just plain fucked up.

  36. 36
    TooManyJens says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    I might disagree with Sarkeesian’s ideas, but good goddamn-death threats? Rape threats? The fuck is the matter with these people?

    They’re just following the standard internet protocol for shutting up controversial women, unfortunately.

    And +1 to Ash Can’s comment above me.

  37. 37
    rb says:

    @TooManyJens: Haven’t you heard? Calling out misogynist white guys is the REAL sexracism ;)

  38. 38
    satanicpanic says:

    El Cid is being a dick about it, but people who treat their hobbies and/or as their own personal turf and beyond criticism annoy me as well. YMMV.

  39. 39
    rb says:

    @Ash Can: Precisely.

  40. 40
    Ash Can says:

    @Ash Can: “…an organized and violent-natured attack,” that is. FYWP.

  41. 41
    Desert Rat says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    OK. I’ll bite. What’s lower on the geek food chain than furry fandom. I didn’t think that was possible.

  42. 42
    El Cid says:

    @The prophet Nostradumbass: Really? Really? You’re going to pull that out in this context? Wow. That’s, like, awesome.

    I can tell you what. My black friends are actually black in real life, as opposed to simply occasionally feeling black if they’re playing a black or perhaps vaguely non-white character in a videogame.

    Funny, but I bet they’d see a difference.

    However, I don’t want to make too light of the situation, given the long history of suffering that our nation’s video-game playing citizens have had to endure, what with their not being allowed to vote, and their being denied jobs that are given to any unqualified non-gamer who steps up.

    Why, I’ll bet that if one of Mitt Romney’s kids were to come out as a gamer, the sort of misery and horror he’d have to endure would pale next to his skin.

  43. 43
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @rb:

    Yeah, I guess. It’s a hard distinction to make. In general, I think trying to tie art to political causes is bad for both art and politics. I’m also suspicious of trying to divine someone’s politics from what games and movies they like-it seems pretty simplistic and just as likely to be wrong as it is right. On the other hand…there’s a lot of shit out there that is just pure hatred, that happens to take an artistic medium. If it was something said on the news or at a political rally instead of in a video game, everyone could recognize it for what it was.

    I think it’s a question of degrees. In this example, video games that have some T&A cheesecake, don’t have strong female characters, maybe end with the female sidekick falling in love with the male hero-well, I don’t think those are inherently sexist and I don’t think you can safely call someone sexist for enjoying them. Games like Mr. Spurr’s here (and maybe the newest Duke Nukem in terms of stuff that matters to more people), that basically revolve around destroying and degrading women, and the player is intended to enjoy it, that stuff is just trash. Normal people wouldn’t even want to play that game-it’s pretty much a vehicle for woman-hating creeps to get their jollies, that happens to be a video game. Where you draw the line is different for every person, obviously.

  44. 44
    Desert Rat says:

    @EvolutionaryDesign:

    What Evolutionary Design said. Really, the Leisure Suit Larry series (at least the Al Lowe incarnation…I can’t speak for the more recent ones), was more about poking fun at the lead character, and making crude off-color jokes.

    Yeah, there was limited crude pixellated nudity in them, but there were a lot more fart jokes and jokes that the lead character was the butt of than anything.

    It’s heart was in the right place, and it’s tongue was planted pretty firmly in cheek.

  45. 45
    rb says:

    @TooManyJens: And I appreciate your pointing out that it’s not the whole community, but you needn’t bother. Honestly, the clueless privileged sexist white guy factor has just about ruined it for me, since the movement is just crawling with them, and I say this as a somewhat privileged but hopefully not too sexist white guy. On top of its just being garden variety gross and wrong, it’s a damned shame it’s ruining something so needed.

  46. 46
    Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason says:

    @TooManyJens: Wha? Being an atheist is a movement? I thought the whole point was that you didn’t join a bunch of people on Sunday who believed something that you didn’t.

    Do we have an atheism religion now? Why doesn’t anyone ever send me the memo!

    /whinge/

  47. 47
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Desert Rat: I have enough enemies here already. All I’ll say, it’s one of those things middle-aged women enjoy, ergo: silly & pathetic if not actually demented. But always always mockable.

    Videogamers, at least, are mostly male and mostly young, so they’ve got some social credibility.

  48. 48
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    Does it start with an ‘S’?

  49. 49
    Desert Rat says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    Oh, gad. You’re a closet Twilight fan?

  50. 50
    satanicpanic says:

    @Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason: I don’t want to go all SE Cupp, but I’d rather go to church than hang out with a bunch of people trying to one up each other on how rational they are. Especially since none of them is as rational as me.

  51. 51
    TooManyJens says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: I agree with what you say about not divining someone’s politics from their choice of (not completely psychotic) games, but I think that misses a point. Feminist gamers, in general, are critiquing not this game or that game, but the fact that the entire industry offers so little but cheesecake sex-object female characters. One critique is that this is an overly narrow view of women being reflected in these games, but another is that game companies act like the only target audience they give a shit about are young men. I’ve seen this in TV programming, too — shows that are highly-rated relative to their networks being cancelled because they were watched mostly by women, because that’s not the audience the networks wanted. And of course we all know the target demographic of your average summer blockbuster. Women would like to be considered valuable participants in the marketplace, and game companies, comics publishers, etc. often simply do not give a shit about attracting or retaining us if it requires them to do anything more than paint something pink.

  52. 52
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Desert Rat: I deliberately said “non-sexual”.

  53. 53
    TooManyJens says:

    @Anne Laurie: I’m guessing cosplay. I happen to think cosplay looks pretty cool, but apparently it weirds a lot of people out.

  54. 54
    Karmakin says:

    And there’s something really really wrong about people use use entirely unrelated generalities about groups to determine their value or not.

    Can’t you see that this is EXACTLY the same thing at the core?

    Edit: @TooManyJens For what it’s worth I agree with that criticism, however I find that generally speaking that people usually take it a few steps too far and make bad examples that undermine the whole thing.

    A good example is that say in World of Warcraft, there exists a few armors that are skimpier (and as such, popular with a subset of players) and as such then the whole thing is catering to them.

  55. 55
    Narcissus says:

    @Anne Laurie: Is it key parties?

    it’s key parties isn’t it

  56. 56
    scav says:

    @Karmakin: Threats of violence exactly equivalent to expressions of personal disdain. How do you manage to sleep on that lumpy mattress?

    And I think Anne-Laurie means baseball — possibly rugby.

  57. 57
    freelancer says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    It’s 50 Shades of Grey, isn’t it? Goddamn, that book is everywhere. It’s like the Magic Mike of Twilight fanfic S&M porn for women.

  58. 58
    rb says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: but (correct me if I’m wrong), she’s not making art. She is undertaking a scholarly study of art. It seems kind of strange to insist that games are art but that they should not be subject to textual analysis. And obviously it would be deeply problematic to insist that specific sorts of people must refrain from said analysis (not that you re arguing this.)

    Meanwhile, much of the greatest art is overtly political. ‘3rd of may,’ ‘guernica,’ ‘the crucible’ and on and on.

    Re sexism, you seem to be assuming what her work intends to investigate. You posit that most garden variety depictions of female characters are not sexist. If so, her work will bear this out. Seems like a worthwhile thing to explore, seeing as how games are a multi multi billion dollar business these days.

  59. 59
    NotMax says:

    @Anne Laurie

    A combination of quilting bee, cosplay and strip mah-jongg?

    Nah, that still wouldn’t get the abuse which is heaped on the furverts.

  60. 60
    TooManyJens says:

    @Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason: What the atheist movement is and whether there should be an atheist movement is a pretty contentious topic. Some people are trying to build social structures that parallel the community aspects of religion, because they consider those aspects valuable but want to divorce them from the actual religion part. Some people are just trying to raise the visibility of atheists and let people know that they’re not alone (atheists can feel very, very isolated, especially in certain areas), it’s OK to be an atheist and we’re not a bunch of depraved puppy-eaters. Others are politically active on church-state separation issues, that kind of thing.

  61. 61
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Narcissus: You have non-sexual key parties? Everybody goes home at the end of the evening and nags a new, different partner about how the floor is not a hamper and whether peanut butter should be stored in the frig?

  62. 62
    Yutsano says:

    @Anne Laurie: You’re enjoying this way too much. :)

  63. 63
    scav says:

    @TooManyJens: Do you at least get better coffee or do you have to huddle in basements with the weak stuff to replicate the bonding experience?

  64. 64
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @TooManyJens:

    Feminist gamers, in general, are critiquing not this game or that game, but the fact that the entire industry offers so little but cheesecake sex-object female characters.

    Yeah, I definitely get that. And it’s weird because the demographics for gamers skew older and more female than the average person would guess. (I can’t recall the exact numbers, or who is defined as a ‘gamer’, but still.) My best guess is the diversity is a recent phenomenon, and developers are still stuck in old habits regarding female characters.

    Or maybe it is inherent in the medium. Let’s put aside arcade games and say that 1985 is a good starting year for video games with plots and characters. That’s almost 30 years. Maybe it’s just me but it seems like movies and TV weren’t having quite so many problems with creating non-stereotypical characters by the time they turned 30 as video games are now.

    I think part of that is current trends-it seems to me that mainstream gaming these days is just about seeing whose dirty, gritty shooter game can outsell whose, and what the fanboys of those games care most about are graphics and testosterone. The plot is always the same-shoot things-and there doesn’t seem to be room there for developing interesting female characters if you wanted to. Stuff like Kickstarter bringing back the older, quirkier games I remember from my childhood and giving them a more egalitarian spirit that shows the gamer community has matured a little in the last 20 years seems to be the best bet for people who want a more inclusive kind of video game.

    I admit to not playing many games (mostly because I don’t really have the money, not because of snooty objections) but it seems to me like gaming’s at kind of a crucial point right now. It can move forward and become the next great storytelling medium or it can just keep doing what it’s doing and remain a more insular hobby.

  65. 65
    TooManyJens says:

    @scav: I wouldn’t know, I just read blogs while sipping tea. :)

  66. 66
    rb says:

    @Karmakin: It’s not. Yes, it’d be nice if we more casual gamers weren’t smeared with whatever stereotypes accrue to the ubernerds (though I’m sure my lack of caring about this grave insult to my character is shining through, so easy for me to say, right?.)

    But seriously, making fun of my tribe this way, even with harsh or derogatory language, is really nothing like issuing death or rape threats, and youd be on much firmer ground just protesting the stereotyping without taking the comparison to that absurd degree.

  67. 67
    Ash Can says:

    @Karmakin: What scav said. El Cid unleashed a profanity-laced two sentences that quite clearly, given the context, were directed at those gamers who are unable to accept criticism of their activity, and respond in a violent manner to that criticism. Said gamers, on the other hand, are rallying around and celebrating the idea of physically beating a woman who accuses their games of promoting sexism. No, it’s not the fucking same.

  68. 68
    freelancer says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    Your hypothetical is laughably ridiculous. Peanut Butter does NOT go in the fridge.

  69. 69
    NotMax says:

    Anne Laurie
    Aha!

    Mime.

    Gotta be mime.

    Full-on Marcel Marceauesque mime.

  70. 70
    Anne Laurie says:

    @TooManyJens:

    Women would like to be considered valuable participants in the marketplace, and game companies, comics publishers, etc. often simply do not give a shit about attracting or retaining us if it requires them to do anything more than paint something pink.

    Quoted for truth.

    And, of course, the only marketing status less desirable than “female” is “female over 30”. Marketeers can’t imagine what we might want to do with ourselves, apart from frantically shoring up the exostructure in an increasingly vain attempt to pretend we’re not past our sell-by date once strange men no longer try to pick us up in bars / elevators / public transport…

  71. 71
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @TooManyJens:

    Also, I’m part of the Adolescent Male target market, so I probably haven’t felt this the way you have. On the surface it seems ridiculous. Women are 50% of everyone, and it’s not like none of them have disposable income. I think the biggest culprit is simply that most of the entertainment executives with decision-making authority are men who grew up on pulp fiction, comic books, and the like, and they approve stuff which appeals to them more often than not. Get some women into those positions and things will probably change on their own.

  72. 72
    Pete Mack says:

    For the specific case: YHBT. Ben whoever is a classic troll who is getting way more attention than he ever dreamed of.
    For the general case: yeah, it’s pretty clear that the woodwork is pretty much vermin-infested with LUZ3RZ.

    As for sexism in video games: a working hypothesis is that they are marketed for losers like Ben WTF.

  73. 73
    Yutsano says:

    @freelancer: Actually…natural peanut butter should be refrigerated. Jif, however, lasts forever.

  74. 74
    Karmakin says:

    @scav: You may be right, but all the same I don’t think that the equivalence is that far off. Social violence (which is what some people advocate, that group X should be ostracized, be it gamers or feminists or whatever) is certainly bad enough that we should take it seriously.

    Maybe that sort of social force is justified in this case. I REALLY doubt it.

    I am both a gamer AND a feminist. To be honest, for what it’s worth I don’t see this particular thing going well for feminism at all. I hope I’m wrong! Don’t get me wrong. I’d love to see a fair and accurate view of sexist tropes in gaming, where they come from, how to best move past them (if we realistically can) and progress over the last few years. I’d love it. (For example, a comparison of skimpy clothing in gaming and comparison to modern “high fashion” would be very interesting and enlightening)

    But that’s something we rarely see.

  75. 75
    Anne Laurie says:

    @TooManyJens: @TooManyJens: There’s some overlap, if you can imagine old, mundane cosplayers.

  76. 76

    I thought El Cid put it very well in @this comment and very poorly in @this comment. Loving what you love does not excuse being an asshole when it’s questioned. And this is some high octane, pure and loathsome assholery. Yuck.

  77. 77
    TooManyJens says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    I think the biggest culprit is simply that most of the entertainment executives with decision-making authority are men who grew up on pulp fiction, comic books, and the like, and they approve stuff which appeals to them more often than not.

    I think this is absolutely true. And anyone asking them to do anything different is ZOMG RUINING IT!!1

    In the big-money industries, it’s not clear to me how much more women executives will help, because I wonder whether women will be able to get into those positions without buying into the prevailing culture. I think you’re right about Kickstarter bringing in some new voices, and about damn time.

  78. 78
    TooManyJens says:

    @Anne Laurie: I think I know where this is going.

    And holy shit, it’s almost 1am, so good night to you all!

  79. 79
    rb says:

    @scav: Rofl. And bingo and bake sales too.

  80. 80
    Lit3Bolt says:

    You are probably going to be a very successful computer person. But you’re going to go through life thinking that girls don’t like you because you’re a nerd. And I want you to know, from the bottom of my heart, that that won’t be true. It’ll be because you’re an asshole.

  81. 81
    Catsy says:

    @El Cid:

    What? WTF does that mean?

    What it means is that you’re acting like a judgmental jackass exhibiting a failure of empathy and perspective that’s not too far removed from the assholes you’re criticizing. The fact that your narrow-minded douchebaggery hasn’t graduated to threats doesn’t make it any less narrow-minded or douchey. To wit, this piece of brainless douchebaggery:

    Fucking treating fucking video games like it’s a hugely important part of their precious, sensitive life.

    To some people, video games are an important part of their lives, jobs or hobbies–and rightfully so, for a vast collection of reasons you might actually understand if you bothered to try.

    If you’d just said that you really don’t get gamers and can’t understand why some of them take things so seriously, you would’ve been fine. If you’d stuck to rolling your eyes at the shit behavior on display from the gamers in this story, we’d have no trouble. But instead you had to make it a condescending value judgment on all gamers, and in the process lost all credibility and moral high ground.

    Pro tip: first rule of holes. The second rule being to stick a cork in yours.

  82. 82
    MikeJ says:

    @TooManyJens:

    game companies, comics publishers, etc. often simply do not give a shit about attracting or retaining us if it requires them to do anything more than paint something pink.

    I worked on the early stages of a game based on a teen girl movie. The studio brought us in to make the game, but they were supposed to be the ones with the brilliant ideas of how the game should work. The major activity was pretty much playing paper dolls with all the clothes in the lead character’s closet.

    We wound up passing and the game never got made. I did get to stay at the Chateau Marmont for a week in the bungalow right off the pool/. So it wasn’t all bad.

  83. 83
    Arclite says:

    As a pretty heavy gamer for most of my life (starting at about 12, I’m now 42) I have to say this is really sad. Of course there is misogyny in games, definitely more so than other media sadly. It’s an immature medium in both it’s growth and attitudes, but it is improving.

    The industry in general usually pushes back against blatant misogyny and it’s much better than it was in the past:

    – Guild Wars 2 is getting complaints about too much skin on its female models.

    – There were a lot of complaints earlier this year against Tera Online’s Elin, a magical race of beings that coincidentally happened to look like 12 year old girls in their panties. The publisher ended up changing the design (for the Western market)

    – Rapelay, a Japanese date rape simulator, was universally condemned by the industry.

    Appealing to puerile interests is a cheap way to get attention and appeal to 16 year old boys, which comprised the bulk of gamers 20 years ago. Today however, women consume games in almost an equal amount to men. And the average age of the gamer today is 37, and they’re more interested in things like good game mechanics, story telling, production values, community and online play quality, and other things than digital boobs and pecs. Some habits die hard though.

  84. 84
    freelancer says:

    @Yutsano:

    natural peanut butter should be refrigerated. Jif, however, lasts forever.

    Yuts has outed himself as a not very Choosy Mom.

  85. 85
    MattR says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    And, of course, the only marketing status less desirable than “female” is “female over 30”. Marketeers can’t imagine what we might want to do with ourselves, apart from frantically shoring up the exostructure in an increasingly vain attempt to pretend we’re not past our sell-by date once strange men no longer try to pick us up in bars / elevators / public transport…

    Heh. I totally don’t mean to minimize the valid point you and TooManyHens are making, but at least when it comes to advertising, isn’t there something a little bit complementary that companies don’t think they can convince women to change their buying habits? When I was a younger male (and even still today), I found it a bit insulting that companies thought I would choose their beer or razor or car because of the quality or frequency of their commercials.

  86. 86
    Steve in DC says:

    Oh shit, as part of the gaming community, most complaints about sexism are actually racist as all fucking hell in nature.

    The main “sexist” community in gaming is the fighting game community… http://www.google.com/webhp?so......r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&biw=1920&bih=1019

    What gets lost is that the fighting game community is the only majority black community in gaming. And the “internal racism” is mostly minorities firing off jokes at each other and white guy bashing. This is because we grew in the arcades which was often the only place low income people could play. So we kinda have a history here of just being rats and jerks. Plus the entire “dat white bitch” style of posting and threads drew all sorts of condemnation and hilarity. Along with the all the porn star threads and other things.

    Now, does the fighting game community have a problem with sexism, yeah I’d say so, far more than most communities. But it’s also the most minority centered community out there and the only majority black community. So which is it, the sexism issue the black issue? Furthermore it’s the only community with multiple homosexual stars, and a pre (maybe post now I haven’t followed up Kayo Police in and where she stand yet) op transexual as a community icon, which is largely pegged on the fighting game communities supposed “yellow fever” seeing as fighting games originated in Asia and are still huge there and in western nations largely a black thing.

    Even still we get attacked over “in game portraits” of people. Yeah no shit but… Street Fighter has a woman that shows her ass and several men that do as well! It’s insane on all levels and no man or woman looks like that. In fact, every race and culture is wildly mocked (google zangief, balrog, and guile with street fighter if you want to see, toss in vega as well).

    This entire thing, and the kickstarter is part of it, has been a witch hunt on the fighting game community in particular.

    Does the fighting game community have a sexism problem, yeah probably. Is it worse than others, for sure. Are we also the only minority centric community outside of Asia, yes. Is this also a deliberate attack on black males, man in the community seem to think so.

    But then again, we are the only community that’s safe enough to put up transsexual/genders as community pillars and not worry about it.

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

  87. 87
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @rb:

    Well, I’ll admit that I was making a few assumptions that I probably shouldn’t have made, namely that I was assuming she’d come to the conclusions that video games were sexist more often that not and being pre-emptively defensive about it. Mea culpa.

    Absolutely, great art can be political. But I think there’s a certain mindset that tries to make non-political great art out to be political, which I object to. I also think that people can enjoy art that has a political message they disagree with, without being hypocrites.

    As for video games being art, I think it’s kind of tricky. I think it’s somewhere in the middle, between Art and activity/hobby/diversion. Film/books/comics/etc are all just different storytelling media, but video games seem fundamentally different: the player has to “complete” the artwork on his own by beating the game, which requires a certain amount of physical skill that other media don’t. I think that’s different enough from other media to be worth talking about.

  88. 88
    rb says:

    @Karmakin: “Social violence (which is what some people advocate, that group X should be ostracized, be it gamers or feminists or whatever) is certainly bad enough that we should take it seriously.”

    This statement is true but you are moving the goalposts. No one here argued or implied that gamers should be ostracized.

  89. 89
    Arclite says:

    @Anne Laurie: For someone who expresses not to know much about gaming, you sure seem pretty informed. =D

  90. 90
    MikeJ says:

    @rb:

    This statement is true but you are moving the goalposts. No one here argued or implied that gamers should be ostracized.

    Comment #2

    I really detest these weirdo game freaks. Fucking treating fucking video games like it’s a hugely important part of their precious, sensitive life. Jackholes.

  91. 91
    Steve in DC says:

    @Arclite:

    No, what brought this on was the Fighting Game Community and the on air sexual harrassment of a female gamer, who was pathetic, put on the show as eye candy, and then mocked because she couldn’t play and THEN it got sexual. Compounded with an effort to slander the fighting game community because of it’s overt sexuality (rap, porn, white girls, asian girls, black male stars, dating, and other threads) in it’s main forums.

    It all started on http://www.shoryuken.com

    The same community that you know, loves our trans people

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOcrbYRuHG4

    There is years of history and a specific six month fiasco that’s been fueling this. I’d hoped we could all put this aside after EVO 2012 (where not much happened) but Kotaku and others are still playing it up because of the entire “dat ass, white girlz, show me dem titties, it’s a trap” nonsense that’s been spewed on streams and chats, which nobody really supports outside of the entire “arcades were from the hood, and we still want that spirit” die hards out in NY and LA. We’ve been trying to deal with it and emulate Korean and Japanese gaming leagues, as well as some American ones and knock the crap off, but it’s not so simple.

    But at the end of the day, this isn’t helping. In fact it’s caused a double down on “show me dem titties” in official gatherings by people determined to keep it real and old school.

  92. 92
    rb says:

    @MikeJ: As said earlier, it’s an insensitive comment and would be better retracted. But it does not imply that gamers should be ostracized. Nor is it a comment on all gamers.

  93. 93
    freelancer says:

    @Steve in DC:

    I’ve read this twice now. I have no clue WTF your point is…

    Gaming is sexist. But it’s also reverse racist, but the reverse racists (black people) protect against the homophobes. And “this entire thing” on kickstarter is a witchhunt against the sexists. And we’re a minority, but gays are our future. And fighting games get shouted down, but they shouldn’t because gamers don’t like date rape, see?

    To quote Tracy Morgan, a black man who sometimes says sexist things:

    I don’t know what the fuck you just said, little kid. But you special, man.

  94. 94
    Ash Can says:

    @Pete Mack:

    As for sexism in video games: a working hypothesis is that they are marketed for losers like Ben WTF.

    And I disagree with this as well. Video games can be complex, educational, fascinating, artistic, challenging on many levels, and just plain good wholesome fun. Losers can be found everywhere; the ones in this case are latching onto and protecting an aspect of this activity that is obviously objectionable. Despite the clumsiness of his first comment, El Cid was pretty clearly not generalizing to all gamers (despite what a few people here are saying). I don’t think you should either.

  95. 95
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @TooManyJens:

    And anyone asking them to do anything different is ZOMG RUINING IT!!1

    Heh. That’s a bit of a quandary for me, myself. One particularly stupid thing I remember along these lines was the comic book companies doing some makeovers of their characters to make them, canonically speaking, of a different race of sexuality. Now, there’s nothing wrong with diverse superheroes. I’d say we definitely need more of that. But I can’t help but wonder, if you take Spiderman, who has been Peter Parker for 50 years, and make him Hispanic, well…what does that prove? And I’m just an observer. If I was someone who’d read Spiderman comics for decades on end, and one day they just decided to reboot it all, I’d be pretty pissed off on an emotional level, even if I had no problem with the idea of a Hispanic superhero.

    (Also, I’m not a part of any minority group, so maybe I don’t know how this works, but if I was Hispanic, and some comic book executive said to me, “Hey, we noticed there’s more Hispanic guys around these days, so we took this character we already had and changed his name from Parker to Munoz. That’s good enough for you, right?” I’d also be pissed. But maybe that’s just me.)

  96. 96
    rb says:

    @Steve in DC: “and then mocked because she couldn’t play and THEN it got sexual.”

    This whole line of defense seems weak. I agree that gaming communities that re heavily minority face outsize scrutiny; it is very reminiscent of the way hip-hop was/is scrutinized.

    But that’s no excuse for the sexism and it seems pointless to defend it or minimize it by just saying its part of the scenery or it only gets sexist after other mocking.

  97. 97
    rb says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: there are dozens of versions of superman or spiderman; if one more shatters someone emotionally then they’re a little too attached to physical features, especially as everything else is malleable.

    It’s nice when your a kid to have the characters look like you once in a while; it ‘proves’ that’s possible and you can be part of the adventure.

  98. 98
    MattR says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: Google “Donald Glover Spiderman” to see people’s reactions to the idea of a black actor playing the part. Granted it is a bit different when we are talking about a movie that is designed to stand on its own.

  99. 99
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Pete Mack:

    For the specific case: YHBT.

    Well, you know, that’s one of the root issues in feminism: There isn’t a woman alive who hasn’t worried, at some point in her life, about whether a man was going to take offense at something she said/did/represented and get physical about it. The lucky ones (like me) manage to arrange our lives so that it’s just one of those risks, like getting hit by a bus, that never actually happens to us. But we all know way too many other women who did get hit by that bus, and (to add insult to injury) random strangers don’t look at bus-collision victims and ask what they did to deserve it. So “joking” about hitting women, like “joking” about lynching African-Americans or beating up homosexuals or sending Jews to crematoriums, is never a good idea unless you have a very restricted audience that you’re absolutely sure won’t misunderstand your motives.

    That may be Sarkeesian’s point: Video games used to be a “safe space” for young, socially isolated males with authority issues. That’s changed as gaming, and our whole technologically dependent culture, has evolved. There are more & more women gamers (and gamers of color, and LGBT gamers) and there’s so much money to be made making & selling games that Big Media wants its piece. But there are still plenty of socially isolated males with authority issues — many of them no longer young — who fervently believe SHOW US UR TITZ is the height of comedic social interaction. If gaming-as-a-whole is going to be a “safe space” for everyone to enjoy, then Beavis & Butthead are going to have to find a different (more restricted, probably smaller) “safe space” where they can enjoy their own brand of fun.

  100. 100
    scav says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: Don’t underestimate how much art, books etc. do in fact, need to be “finished” or participated in by the audience. Easiest to see in books, especially if you reread the same ones at different times / circumstances in your life, you’ll pick up on different things in the good ones. Painting, Movies, music, well, practically everything actually, the more you know of other examples, common symbols, the artist, the contemporary history, the more you’ll find in the art, sometimes even stuff the artist may not have been aware of. It’s just communication, both sides participate even the overtly passive one. There likely will be thin video games (as well as crap ones) just as there are thin or crap novels or movies, but I can certainly see the good ones touching on important and interesting themes, especially as they can play more with the open ended , multiple threaded stores (rather more like sculpture, architecture and some of the installation types of art). Thread seems to have moved well past this end of the subject but oh well.

  101. 101
    Steve in DC says:

    @rb:

    Oh I’m not defending the sexism. But the entire thread here is without any context. And as a member of the fighting game community who’s watched what happened it’s been a bit odd.

    Thing is, from where I sit, this is a bunch of white women bullying the gaming community with the largest minority presence over intolerance. Is the FGC sexist, yes, but we are also majority minority and there are some cultural issues here being that it’s inner city centric. There are (granted less sexist) white or Asian majority communities people could have called out, and the calling out is what helped fuel this kick starter since CrossCounter was the start of that mess.

    And it’s also massively unfair and culturally insensitive to us. And yes the fighting game community does play the racism card here because in a way it IS ok for us. We are majority minority which should alone counter any sexism (their words not mine) and plus we’ve done more to clamp down on it. Including throwing people off the air, which caught us charges of racism because “dat ass” comments were only coming from one minority group. Tossed in with a whole fuck load of confusion because the Japanese (where these games are made) have an idea of sexuality that isn’t compatible at all with ours. For starters the gayer the male looks the stronger he is, and strong women are hot.

    It’s not a weak defense at all. It’s simple. We just had our 20th anniversery tournament this weekend and this is a whole mess that’s been boiling the entire time. The kickstarter used part of it to shamelessly draw money from it and make the situation worse. And if you haven’t been part of the fight for the past two decades you really don’t get the hurt feelings on all sides.

    It’s already turned into a race war internally, the last thing we need. And both sides are right! The fighting game community is the most sexist by far so calling them out on it is OK. It’s also the most black community in the gaming community (for the US) so calling it attacks on it as racist is also OK.

    This nonsense kick starter actually lead to an entire revival on porn threads, dem titties, white girl trashing, and harassing women on video streams. Not the result she wanted, but it’s out of the hands of those of us that tried to calm it down now. Sit back and reap the whirlwind, and the next time I see a white female on the stream, I’m going to “dat ass” it up as well, because it’s too late now.

  102. 102
    rb says:

    @Anne Laurie: Good comment. God,, if we were only talking Beavis and Butthead I could almost be sympathetic to the ‘lighten up, ladies’ argument. Almost.

    But of course, we’re talking a way more explicit and degrading culture, not to mention actual threats of violence, and it’s depressing to hear anything but condemnation of that, without all the caveats and ‘but look at this other thing over here.’

  103. 103
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @scav:

    Oh I don’t disagree with that, but that’s not exactly what I mean. Being able to get multiple meanings and perspectives from a work is part of what distinguishes great works from cheap crap, and intelligent readers/viewers from the crowd. I’m talking at a much more basic level. Even people who don’t comprehend the message a good movie is trying to send will be physically able to watch it the whole way through. Imagine a movie that stopped in the middle and said “You’re not doing a good enough job watching this. Come back when you’re better.” Movies (books, etc.) don’t do that, but video games do. If you can’t “beat” the game, you literally can’t see the whole “artwork” as it was intended to be seen.

  104. 104
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Arclite: Thanks to Wikipedia, which I checked to make sure the LSL reference would make sense to gamers born after 1980…

  105. 105
    Linnaeus says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    Cultural products like – works of art, video games, TV shows, etc – need not be overtly political to convey messages about social norms. They’re situated in a broader context and that context is also in part constructed by the meanings people themselves impart to the cultural products they see or use.

    I would guess that this is at least one aim of Sarkeesian’s project: to examine the particular cultural messages conveyed by video games in their representation of women, inclusion/exclusion of women, etc. What are these messages about women in video games and how is that connected to how our culture views women more generally?

  106. 106
    Steve in DC says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    You’re WRONG here.

    The most minority centric (most are black by a huge majority, then hispanic, than, asian, then white, than whatever) gaming community is also the most gay friend and yet the most sexist.

    The entire sexism issue came from black players, and got a lot of negative attention, then was punted to Aris shameful actions, at which point black SRK and the black FGC backed him. The Asians and sponsors involved in it tried to shut it down but it all came back to the old arcades, the hood, porn, rap stars, and “dat ass”.

    I WAS THERE THROUGH IT.

    You can’t compare yourself to AA’s here, because you’re on the damn other side. It was feminists who came in and tor up a majority black community and then wouldn’t let it go when we tried to fix things. So from where we sit, we had a majority minority community, totally OK with LGBT people, and then fucking women got upset at what black men were saying and white women kept kicking the pot over it.

    Sorry but, racism.

    Don’t bring up AAs here because the fighting game fiasco has firmly proven that women aren’t on the side of AAs or Asians at fucking all.

  107. 107
    rb says:

    @Steve in DC: See I hear you for a bit, but then you’re back to basically saying ‘we wouldn’t be harassing women if that bitch had kept her trap shut.’

    Sorry, I just can’t follow you down that rabbit hole. The kick starter didn’t ‘lead to’ women getting harassed and ‘trashed.’ The sexism in your community produced that.

  108. 108
    owlbear1 says:

    I really don’t care what skin color the person has, the shit being said about Sarkeesian is pathetic and cowardly.

  109. 109
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Linnaeus:

    Well, I’m using ‘political’ pretty broadly here, as in, anything that has an intentional message about ‘social norms’ can be seen as political. And sure, anything can be seen as unintentionally political, i.e. a product of its cultural milieu, and you can make valuable discoveries by pursuing that. I’m just saying if you go too far it gets a bit ridiculous, people reading in messages that nobody associated with the work remotely intended, or just straight up hijacking something for whatever message they have to convey.

  110. 110
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Steve in DC:

    the fighting game fiasco has firmly proven that women aren’t on the side of AAs or Asians at fucking all.

    Well. I guess it’s nice to have that settled.

    Sit back and reap the whirlwind, and the next time I see a white female on the stream, I’m going to “dat ass” it up as well, because it’s too late now.

    You know, Steve, I personally don’t disagree with everything you say, but by God, I could set my watch by your posts turning from a reasonable disagreement with the majority opinion into complete horseshit.

  111. 111
    MattR says:

    @Steve in DC:

    This nonsense kick starter actually lead to an entire revival on porn threads, dem titties, white girl trashing, and harassing women on video streams. Not the result she wanted, but it’s out of the hands of those of us that tried to calm it down now. Sit back and reap the whirlwind, and the next time I see a white female on the stream, I’m going to “dat ass” it up as well, because it’s too late now.

    That’s the spirit.

    I’ve read your comments. I’ve read the kickstarter project description. I’ve read articles about this. While it may appear to you and others in your group that this is part of a coordinated attack against you based on timing, etc., as an outside observer I just don’t see the connection. (EDIT: Part of the reason for that is the fact that Sarkeesian has previously taken a similar look at films and because the list of tropes she was interested in did not seem focused on or exclusive to fighting games)

  112. 112
    Steve in DC says:

    @rb: @rb:

    Let’s be exact about this, the plays off white gurlz from certain parts of our community triggered a back lash… from white girls. On a community that was continually a target because it was easy to attack because arcade gamers are majority minority and poor. The leadership tried to stop it and then someone cashed in on it.

    This was after multiple celeberties in our community and in gaming put a lid on it, then someone makes a cash grab… Romney would be proud.

    Now it’s out of our hands.

    And everybody here is ignoring the 20 years, in fact, one idiot equated the problem with “more women” to “more minorities and gays” that person is either a bold faced liar or doesn’t know what she is talking about. Since the assault on women came from a a majority black and gay community! So she obvious lacks any sort of history in the 20 years this has been building, and did no research at all (Brooks style!) on how this all happened.

    And as somebody that’s actively worked to combat this in Street Fighter, Marvel, and the problem fighting games, along with Quake on the less problematic side, I’m pretty damned offended. The lack of insight and research is fucking staggering here.

  113. 113
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Steve in DC:

    What gets lost is that the fighting game community is the only majority black community in gaming. And the “internal racism” is mostly minorities firing off jokes at each other and white guy bashing. This is because we grew in the arcades which was often the only place low income people could play. So we kinda have a history here of just being rats and jerks. Plus the entire “dat white bitch” style of posting and threads drew all sorts of condemnation and hilarity. Along with the all the porn star threads and other things.

    Interesting. So, is ‘Ben Spurr’ not just another white guy playing the “Which deserves Most Oppressive status, racism or sexism?” divide-and-conquer game that goes back at least as far as Frederick Douglass versus Susan B. Anthony?

  114. 114

    @Steve in DC:

    You can’t compare yourself to AA’s here, because you’re on the damn other side. It was feminists who came in and tor up a majority black community and then wouldn’t let it go when we tried to fix things. So from where we sit, we had a majority minority community, totally OK with LGBT people, and then fucking women got upset at what black men were saying and white women kept kicking the pot over it.
    Sorry but, racism.
    Don’t bring up AAs here because the fighting game fiasco has firmly proven that women aren’t on the side of AAs or Asians at fucking all.

    Sooo…ignore everything you ever have to say ever again. Got it.

    You’re as dated as a Scooby Doo villain: “Everything would have been perfect just the way it always was, if it weren’t for those meddling kids women!”

  115. 115
    scav says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: That’s just a part of the medium you’re working with. Every media has different limitations and strengths. Finishing the game may not mean you’ve understood it any more than finishing a movie or book means you’ve got it. Some books can be dipped into and read a bit at a time. Or they can be collections of short stories. And why not design a game so that are different themes or whatever that played with. Something like a fugue or variations on a theme in music maybe? The feedback that the audience ins’t ready for a story may not be as obvious as it is in a video game, but there are books I was clueless about or didn’t bother finishing until something happened later in my life and things clicked into place. (Actually, a little more haptic feedback from art when you’re completely missing critical tools might be rather handy.)

  116. 116
    Steve in DC says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    I’m part of the FGC, I can find a stream any night of the week. First white girl I see, I’m going to post dat ass on it, and I’ll ask to see her tits.

    Seriously, screw with us, oh well. Good to see the last 20 years we’ve worked on this thrown out the window by people, including in this thread, that don’t know their ass from their elbow and equate female issues in gaming as to minority and LGBT issues, while they fail to realize and never knew the group that started this was majority black and has the most LGBT community leaders of any gaming community.

    Sorry but, I side with the minority and LGBT guys with it… DAT ASSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

  117. 117
    scav says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    If you can’t “beat” the game, you literally can’t see the whole “artwork” as it was intended to be seen.

    Maybe think sculpture here. some is meant only to be seen from a certain angle and some works differently from different angles but all are meant (and meant to be explored).

  118. 118
    Jewish Steel says:

    I don’t know. That holodeck was more a source of mischief than anything. I say we just stop with the games while we’re ahead.

  119. 119
    Steve in DC says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    As a favor, and so you can get your facts and history straight because you obviously know jack about gaming…..

    http://shoryuken.com/forum/ind.....cussion.5/

    Spend some time there, then tell me this is a rebellion against “women, minorities, gays!” because it’s NOT. The minorities and gays lead the assault on you, you don’t get to claim co-victim status. This is strictly a feud between minorities and women that gays and others tried to shut the fuck down and have been for the past 20 years.

    Because until you can catch up on the past 20 years and realize that you’re full of shit (just how far back do you go in what gaming communities) you’re spreading lies and twisting facts.

    Since most of us consider racism or homophobia a bigger sin than sexism, guess which side we are going to come crashing down on?

  120. 120
    owlbear1 says:

    I always had a sinking suspicion that PVP fighting games were little more than fap fodder for their aficionados.

    Steve, you’ve really re-enforced that prejudice.

  121. 121
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Steve in DC:

    Sorry but, I side with the minority and LGBT guys with it…

    Just so we’re not ‘ignorant & uninformed’: Can we assume “Steve in DC”is not just another white guy playing the “Which deserves Most Oppressive status, racism or sexism?” divide-and-conquer game that goes back at least as far as Frederick Douglass versus Susan B. Anthony?

  122. 122
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Steve in DC:

    Since most of us consider racism or homophobia a bigger sin than sexism, guess which side we are going to come crashing down on?

    Ah. So, some of your best friends are nonwhite/nonstraight!

  123. 123

    @Steve in DC:

    So it’s you (a minority), and other minorities (a Majority minority) and “LGBT guys” against women who don’t know about gaming and you are lecturing a woman about how she can’t claim victim status while you are begging to be recognized as the affronted party (all men) by the tyrannical women feminists.

    Here’s a shovel while you’re down there Mr. King Shit of Fuck Mountain, you’re gonna need it to dig your way out from under all this projection.

  124. 124
    Steve in DC says:

    @owlbear1:

    PVP fighters are about winners and losers that’s it. Bullshit walks and skills talk. Half of that has always been trash talk and trying to mentally break whomever your playing at the time. Also walking from the arcade because some of your friends couldn’t afford to own games at home, smoking pot, and getting in physical fights was part of it. It’s a city thing, and if you weren’t in or going to a bad part of in the 90’s it just wouldn’t make sense.

    And while I’ve been part of the community since, heh, well karate champ, but Street Fighter 2 the start of the real one I know a bit about it.

    Honestly I prefer strategy RPGs now and a few old school NES games (contra, ninja gaiden, kid icarus), but I still keep up with the FGC and I host events and own a few arcade machines.

    I’m not exusing what our members did at all, but this stinks of racism, and all started after our issues, and the kick starter mentioned it. If she wants to play fast and loose with the facts, I have no qualms if people play fast and loose in how they deal with her and her supporters. Fight fire with fire, and bombs, and nukes, always win. You didn’t start it, so it’s on them when they get hurt.

  125. 125
    MattR says:

    @Steve in DC:

    First white girl I see, I’m going to post dat ass on it, and I’ll ask to see her tits.
    __
    Good to see the last 20 years we’ve worked on this thrown out the window by people, including in this thread, that don’t know their ass from their elbow and equate female issues in gaming as to minority and LGBT issues, while they fail to realize and never knew the group that started this was majority black and has the most LGBT community leaders of any gaming community.

    You are the one throwing it away with your decision to return to sexist behavior in order to teach those meddling women a message.

  126. 126
    Steve in DC says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    You’re the one that conflated more minorities, homosexuals, and women in gaming as some sort of equal assault on all. Probably because you are not a gamer and pulled a Romney and lied out your ass and missed the past 6 months of crazy when it’s been minorities and gays vs women and blamed it all on guys attacking all three.

    Because in this case Anne, you do not have any idea what you are talking about.

  127. 127
    Steve in DC says:

    never mind

  128. 128
    scav says:

    @MattR: Basically, exactly this. I was actually pretty neutral on the whole subject until SiDC went all impassioned sturm und drang on his right to be an unexamined alpha-male asshole in charge of reality and all interpretations thereof if it was his culture to do so. But he’s proud of it and it makes him all smug and cuddly with himself. Sort of a beltway lobbyist with a second home in the Hampsteads sort.

    ETA: Even he thought it best to pull down his last comment, the one that inspired the smug and cuddly reaction.

  129. 129
    owlbear1 says:

    Steve, I’ve been involved in ‘gaming’ since 1979. In all the MMOs and the FPSs I’ve played, it is amongst PVP players that I ‘ve seen the worst epeen syndrome. (Raiders a close second.) Their avatar’s ‘gear’ serving as the source of their egos.

    It isn’t heroic and it’s barely fucking competition.

    And all of that is beside the point because no matter how you try to justify or excuse it, what is being said about Anita Sarkeesian is pathetic and cowardly.

  130. 130

    @Steve in DC:

    Also, Anne is either a bold faced liar on some of what she’s said or she really knows nothing about gaming communities, what’s gone on in the past 6-12 months and lead up to this, and is thus posting out her ass without any research or information on it.
    —-

    It is possible that she doesn’t hang out on your particular forum community where you discuss who would win, subzero or Link from Melee or fanfic about making out with the blond chick from Virtua Fighter. And she doesn’t need to acquaint herself with your wretched hive of scum and misogyny to accurately opine that a woman that comments about sexism doesn’t deserve the barbaric response she has received. She might just play SimCity for fucks sake. It doesn’t make her wrong or what happened to Sarkeesian right.

    You are a dipshit.

  131. 131
    Steve in DC says:

    @scav:

    Actually I never liked the stuff from the get-go and tried to work to control it and roll it back. I’ll still call out accusations of sexism post FGC fiasco racist at core because it is.

    Anne, like most, obviously doesn’t know the major gaming communities at all. So she sounds like a Republican (Brooks at that) commenting on what Obama has done wrong, it’s all made up self prediction of how us “others” are. It’s comical, and it certainly does lay out more clearly who our real enemies are and what side and views aren’t worth talking to honestly if we want to fix it.

  132. 132
    Steve in DC says:

    @freelancer (iPhone):

    Since Link isn’t even in a fighting game I’m guessing you also are ignorant of what happened and thus pretending to have a clue some of the crap that fuels this kick starter.

    Are joo gwubsh? Because shit I’ve never seen so many people talk about gaming and it’s issues yet not know a damn thing about it!

  133. 133
    Yutsano says:

    @Steve in DC:

    Since most of us consider racism or homophobia a bigger sin than sexism, guess which side we are going to come crashing down on?

    The male privilege is strong in this one.

  134. 134
    Merryl says:

    I really, REALLY do not get Steve in DC’s point, if there is one that can be extracted from the rambling…the FGC is more minority-centric and LGBT-friendly than other gaming subcultures? Would you like a cookie?
    I’m not in any position to evaluate the truth of that statement, but IT DOESN’T MATTER. The point is that sexism and misogyny are issues for gaming as a whole, and calling it out wherever we see it is just the right thing to do. To say that certain amounts of misogyny/sexism are excusable in certain gaming subcultures based off of their demographics is just kind of a bizarre argument to make, and this charge of “denouncing sexism = racism against a certain gaming subculture” is just….what is this, I don’t even…

    Analyzing the stereotypes and tropes associated with female characters in games (as Sarkeesian is doing with her project) can really only lead to better gaming for everyone, through encouraging companies and consumers to demand better characterization in general (as well as for female characters specifically). I mean, hell, Bungie invited her in to talk to their staff about these issues and help get them thinking about them. If that’s something you’re willing to throw under the bus because someone, somewhere, made some comments about your sexism bona fides that hurt your precious feelings…I humbly suggest you try to decouple that shit.

  135. 135
    Steve in DC says:

    @Yutsano:

    Given my comment than yours sounds rather white straight woman to me! Or if not, says an interesting bit about your order of identification to me.

  136. 136

    @Steve in DC:

    If you knew fighting games the way you say, you would know Link is a character in such fighting games as Super Smash Bros., Super Smash Bros.: Melee, Super Smash Bros.: Brawl, and Soul Calibur II.

    Not to be a pedant, but I’m not the one crowing like Rufio through this entire fucking thread about my expertise about “FGC”.

  137. 137
    Steve in DC says:

    @Merryl:

    I would be game for doing that honestly… but that’s not what happened. This was a cash in attempt after a specific fiasco, with a specific gaming community, and only because of that. That’s wrong. It was also a largely white female backlash against black males in the online fiasco fueling it.

    So to jump on it NOW, is either full blown racist, or means you never really knew and still don’t jack shit about the gaming community. If you never knew then you are obviously a sucker and never researched your stance on this and pulled a full Romney.

  138. 138
    Steve in DC says:

    @freelancer (iPhone):

    Smash isn’t a fighting game. No top fighting game player will say that it is. that’s why it’s gone from EVO forever.

    SC special characters aren’t allowed in tourney play and thus not used, and SC II was never at any tournaments.

    Though you honestly think Smash is a fighter? That’s been a flame war with smash players saying yes and fighting game players saying no since the n64… you have no history here.

  139. 139
    Merryl says:

    Edit: Removing point about Link, since it was addressed. Smash “doesn’t count”, sure, I don’t have any particular dog in that fight. To anyone outside of the particular sub-culture, they’d probably view them as fighting games, but they don’t count for purists, sure. What does count, then? Are Guilty Gear and BlazBlue and Arcana Heart sufficiently hardcore?

    Second point: Why would anyone that doesn’t hang around your select few FGC forums assume, sight unseen, that they were the primary target of Sarkeesian’s analysis of sexism in gaming? When I first heard about the project, my mind naturally jumped to various egregious examples in my own gaming subculture (in this case, JRPGs). It sounds like your mind naturally jumped to discussions of sexism in YOUR gaming subculture. This is projection on both of our parts, but also serves to show that the issue of sexism is something that isn’t restricted to any single genre of gaming.

  140. 140

    @Steve in DC:

    Though you honestly think Smash is a fighter? That’s been a flame war with smash players saying yes and fighting game players saying no since the n64… you have no history here.

    Then by the logic you threw at Merryl, because I don’t concern myself with your subculture, I must be racist then.

    You are in point and laugh territory.

  141. 141
    Pseudonym says:

    @Steve in DC: Because minorities cannot be women, and women cannot be minorities, and neither women nor minorities can be gay. And in case you didn’t notice the words that precede every one of her comments, the name of the original poster is Anne Laurie. Oh, but do tell us more about all those LGBT guys you hang out with. You do know what the “L” stands for, don’t you?

    Dumbass.

  142. 142
    Steve in DC says:

    @Merryl:

    Smash isn’t a fighter in it’s structure, it’s a party game. Even the level layout shows that. Hardcore has squat to do with it. DOA is a fighting game but it’s far less hardcore than Smash which is a party game. GG BB and AH are hardcore… personally I prefer HNK (and I have an atomiswave with it and GG if anybody wants to play in the DC Area) just for the stupid, Roah mostly here.

    I jumped to “mine” well… I also play JRPGs and strat RPGs. Secret of Mana and Chrono Trigger are my gods, and FFVI was the best FF, fuck VII.

    But I also know what happened with the FGC that landed on fucking MSNBC as well! Which is what drove it.

  143. 143
    Merryl says:

    @Steve in DC: Well yeah, Smash isn’t something you’d want to put in a tournament line-up with something like Virtua Fighter or KOF or something, simply because it doesn’t really make any pretenses to being balanced.

    I’ve been in gaming practically my entire life (mowed lawns to get the funds to buy my SNES in 5th grade…SoM, CT, FF3/6, Lufia 2….good times), but I never heard anything about this blow-up in the FGC about sexism. Granted, I may go look it up now, just out of curiousity. But my point is, if people who HAVEN’T heard about something that was so huge and that you consider to be a (if not THE) central motivation for Sarkeesian’s project can still immediately think of multiple examples of sexism/sexist portrayals of female characters/sexism against female players within their own limited selection of gaming subcultures, doesn’t that just show that there is fertile ground for this kind of discussion, regardless of the original impetus?

  144. 144
    Groucho48 says:

    I’ve been out of the fan community for a quarter century, but, I’d guess Georgian Teas. Though, they seemed pretty well accepted back then.

    My main forum is an off-topic gaming forum. It’s been around for over a decade. Lots of the regulars got directed there by mods because they were very disruptive on the regular boards. I love the place. It is full of “entitled” white folks who scour the media looking for examples of racism and such against whites.

    So, why do I like it? Because they are also funny, intelligent, very aware of certain aspects of the world and will perfectly happily accept anyone who dishes it out as well as they can.

    It also has an about equal number of folks who are lefties and who give as good as we get. There really aren’t that many places like that. I think in large part it is due to the fact that, despite half the threads being political troll threads, we all share a love of gaming and that makes us part of a tribe.

    We may blister a guy in thread after thread after thread, but, a new game come out and we group up and we play the game and have a ball.

    I am trying to remember if there was a thread about this Kickstarter project on my forum. I don’t remember one, but, it would be exactly the kind of thing that would have the right wing trolls sharpening their keyboards. At least a three pager with many of us pushing the “unsocialized kid in the basement” argument at the worst offenders. I suspect one or two of the more fervent ones would have posted something incredibly misogynistic in the women’s forum, but, only if they thought it would get points for cleverness.

    I’m not condoning that and I wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of it, but, if she talked trash back and was good at it, they’d all be in love with her. Really. Some are that bad in the social skills area. They rarely have personal conversations with women. If she doesn’t fight back like a gamer would, she is “other” and she is kind of threatening (they’d see it that way) things about a big part of their life. So, they attack. That’s what gaming, especially PvP gaming, has taught them. Years of Albs mocking Mids and everyone mocking Hibs and it just becomes the normal way of socializing for a lot of people. Attack, attack, attack. Got to get that Relic back.

  145. 145
    Steve in DC says:

    @Merryl:

    Glad we agree on Smash and we seem to like the same JRPGs. Look up Seikendensatsu 2 (secret of mana 3) and bahamut lagoon and see if you can get an english rom version to emulate, amazing.

    I do agree that there is fertile ground for talk. However the fallout and the optics of it aren’t good. The fact that it took this, from this group, feels far more about who people were willing to use as the excuse over the actual core issue.

  146. 146
    Pseudonym says:

    @Anne Laurie: Scrapbooking? Knitting? Blogging?

  147. 147
    bago says:

    No FemShep?

  148. 148
    Merryl says:

    @Steve in DC: SD3 is a perennial favorite whenever I break out the emulator, but I haven’t tried BL since waaaaaay early on when translations were incomplete, and there are too many new games to play for me to see going back to it any time soon (P3P and Unchained Blades being the latest in my long-ass backlog). Vagrant Story remains one of my all-time favorite RPGs, just from a storytelling perspective.

    Anyway, back on topic: What I see you saying above is that “yeah, this discussion needs to be had, but the person it’s coming from makes me doubt the motivations”. Leaving aside whether or not that’s a valid criticism (I haven’t read the material referenced for that, so I’m punting on this one), the crux of the matter is that even people as into gaming as me are totally unaware of the additional context you’re citing, much less gamers that are more “casual” (and I use that term in the broadest possible sense). So if the majority of the potential viewers of Sarkeesian’s finished videos are going to watch them without the additional layer of context that you’re coming in with…I mean, I guess I’ll have to wait until I see the finished product, but my gut feeling is that the videos will seem like a complete, self-contained, quality analysis without that extra context. And that’s something that’s needed, and true, and useful, irrespective of your misgivings with the author.

    I suppose I’m just asking whether or not you feel your personal gripes with the events that led to the project outweigh the good that it’ll do for the gaming public at large (which is mostly ignorant of that series of events).

  149. 149
    Lancelot Link says:

    Gotta say, this entire thread makes me agree with El Cid @2.

  150. 150
    Robert says:

    @Steve in DC:

    Participating in a culturally diverse community does not make you immune from sexism or racism. Saying that you struggled to build a community does not mean that you are above abhorrent behavior. Saying you’re going to sexually objectify female gamers because racism, that’s why, is not a winning strategy.

  151. 151
    peggy says:

    @burnspbesq:
    Thanks for posting. It is very hard to read about Israeli behavior.

  152. 152
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @freelancer: Suddenly there is a vocal MRA faction of Skeptics and Humanists that concern troll about the possibility of false positives than actually addressing actual harassment. It’s kind of fucking sad.

    Bingo. And you wonder why so few women are out and involved in the skeptical and humanist communities.

  153. 153
    Another Halocene Human says:

    You ever notice how there’s this aggressive MRA/atheist/gamer/libertarian personality type that seems to hang around the internet? No empathy, no compassion, and think everyone else is an idiot or “sheep” for not agreeing with them.

    They’re the folks who give atheists a bad name. I wonder how many atheists pretend to be believers to avoid the impression that they’re cold, heartless, selfish pricks.

  154. 154
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @TooManyJens: Others are politically active on church-state separation issues, that kind of thing.

    And there are a lot of religionists involved in this too. Preserving religious tolerance (especially on a legal level) is very important especially for members of minority religions in this country. AU.org (Americans United for Separation of Church and State) has a pretty good blog nowadays. I encourage everyone to check it out.

  155. 155
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @TooManyJens:

    In the big-money industries, it’s not clear to me how much more women executives will help, because I wonder whether women will be able to get into those positions without buying into the prevailing culture. I think you’re right about Kickstarter bringing in some new voices, and about damn time.

    Look at how DC prospered when a woman was at the helm in the late 1990s, versus the rack and ruin since Dan Didio, neckbeard extraordinaire, has been in charge. I don’t know that Didio is an actual neckbeard, but he has neckbeard tastes, and he has completely run DC into the ground and triumphantly succeeded at making Marvel the #1 comic book company in the US.

  156. 156
    gnomedad says:

    By coincidence, I’m now reading Reality is Broken, an interesting treatise on how the significance and potential value of gaming transcends nerdly preoccupation. The author is a woman, BTW.

  157. 157
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Another Halocene Human:

    You ever notice how there’s this aggressive MRA/atheist/gamer/libertarian personality type that seems to hang around the internet? No empathy, no compassion, and think everyone else is an idiot or “sheep” for not agreeing with them.

    Not to play No True Scotsmen but a lot of them aren’t really atheists. I’ve been in a few go around with that type and they hold a surprising number of theistic views (sort of, I don’t believe in God, but Jesus is still my buddy) Basically they’ve been raised on computer games and all they know is from computer games.

  158. 158
    Baron Jrod of Keeblershire says:

    I’m only halfway down the thread, but I just had to chime in with this: When Steve in DC says that the fighting game community is “majority black” he’s straight up fucking lying. It’s not true and anyone remotely familiar with fighting tournaments knows that it’s not true.

    I know you work hard to be wrong about everything, but I’m honestly surprised to see this sort of fucktardery come from you. It’s an entirely new kind of wrong for this blog. I’m kind of impressed.

    Regarding the Cross Assault drama that Steve is claiming is some sort of anti-black racism being perpetrated by evil feminists, Steve is also full of shit. Surprise!

    What happened is that a pro player named Aris Bakhtanians, while on a Capcom sponsored show, sexually harassed another player regularly and on camera. This is what Aris had to say about the controversy: “The sexual harassment is part of the culture. If you remove that from the fighting game community, it’s not the fighting game community.” That was his defense.

    WOW THOSE SILLY FEMNISTS ARE JUST RACISTS TO GET MAD ABOUT THAT HERPY DERP

  159. 159
    Baron Jrod of Keeblershire says:

    @Steve in DC: And now I’ve stumbled across this fucking post. Holy mother of Jesu you’re a terrible person.

    Just… just fucking wow, man. You’re a piece of shit. I know I say that about a lot of people, but this time I really mean it.

  160. 160
    The Moar You Know says:

    Thank God for videogames – one of the few things that keep sexually frustrated beta males from shooting up shopping malls from coast to coast.

  161. 161
    chopper says:

    @Steve in DC:

    you guys really go out of your way to disprove el cid’s original post.

  162. 162
    Merryl says:

    @Baron Jrod of Keeblershire: Wow, seriously? I went straight to bed after my last post, with the intention of checking out whatever incident SiDC was referencing in the morning, but now I don’t have to, so thanks for that.

    “Sexism/Racism/Homophobia is part of our sub/culture and therefore isn’t wrong/can’t be criticized”…sorry, but no. Wrong is wrong no matter where we find it, and if degrading women is an integral part of your community’s identity, then your community deserves to burn.

  163. 163
    rb says:

    @Merryl: Would you like a cookie?

    Ha! Points for summing it up succinctly. That’s exactly it.

  164. 164
    Hypatia's Momma says:

    @Pseudonym:
    B & T are also not limited to white males.

    LGBT “guys”. Yeah.

  165. 165
    burnspbesq says:

    @Ash Can:

    And to even begin to put El Cid’s admittedly harsh lambasting in the same category as a group of people launching an organized and undeniably violent-natured against someone raising issues of gender justice is just plain fucked up.

    Say what, now? By what bizarre theory does that accurately describe anything I wrote in this thread?

  166. 166
    Sentient Puddle says:

    I’m not going to go entirely down the rabbit hole with Steve in DC, both because the rest of you have already covered it, and because holy hell. But there’s something way back at the start when there was still the pretense of reasonable discussion that I’d like to nip in the bud.

    @Steve in DC:

    This entire thing, and the kickstarter is part of it, has been a witch hunt on the fighting game community in particular.

    Not even close. The fighting game community might be the worst of the worst, and I’ll rely on your expertise here in recognizing it, even if you can’t recognize that it’s still wrong and deserves to be called out. But by no means is this behavior limited to that. Go on Xbox Live and put on a headset. Queue up for some randoms in WoW. Play some League of Legends without a pre-made team. You’ll find plenty of shit. For most people, probably enough that they’ll stop caring about which is worse.

    If the behavior of the gaming community is what egged on this Kickstarter (and I think that’s a dubious assertion given the subject matter), then there’s simply no way that she had just the fighting game community in mind. You don’t need to drill that deep.

  167. 167
    Hypatia's Momma says:

    @Ash Can:

    And to even begin to put El Cid’s admittedly harsh lambasting…

    I don’t think El Cid was all that harsh.

  168. 168
    Slightly_peeved says:

    @Hypatia’s Momma:

    I think the simplest explanation is that El Cid is a time traveller, and he read all of Steve in DC’s comments then went back in time to post.

    I think that if you are on a political blog, and you’re about to make an angry post about how Super Smash Brothers isn’t a real fighting game, maybe you should step back from the keyboard, take a deep breath, and have a bit of a think about whether there are better ways you could be spending your time. Like, Really think about it.

  169. 169
    Nutella says:

    We could always depend on Steve in DC making sexist and ignorant comments but he’s moved to a new level in this thread. The irrational hysteria is something to see.

    I particularly like his ‘white women are enemies of black men’ idea. Are there any black women in his world?

    And that he thinks announcing a Kickstarter to investigate something is an aggressive act.

  170. 170
    Merryl says:

    @Sentient Puddle: Go on Xbox Live and put on a headset. Queue up for some randoms in WoW. Play some League of Legends without a pre-made team.

    Absolutely true. This shit is endemic, and it has to be called out wherever we see it. If you’ve got the stomach for it, go listen to some of the Xbox Live clips archived at Not In The Kitchen Anymore. In the past I would’ve said that maybe it’s just the FPS or PvP communities that have the biggest problem, but after years of being a guild leader in a succession of MMOs? No, it’s everywhere, and any time we don’t call it out, we’re being part of the problem by creating an atmosphere where it’s okay to air misogynist, racist, and homophobic sentiments. That’s not what I want for my fellow gamers, and I don’t think it’s something any right-thinking person would support.

    That’s why I’m so excited by Ms. Sarkeesian’s project, since it’ll give me another tool to help educate bro-gamers I run across about why this matters. She’s had to put up with some incredibly vile shit just for proposing this project, and my hat is off to her for sticking with it.

  171. 171
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Sentient Puddle:

    Queue up for some randoms in WoW.

    Just listen to trade chat in any of the cities, particularly during “prime time” in the evening, or on Saturdays.

    There are a lot of very bad attitudes “that PUG (pick up group) I was in had a lot of Mexicans in it, the DPS (damage per second) sucked.” As an example. Some of the political views expressed are right out of the teatard playbook. A great deal of racism and sexism, all the time.

    Now, mind you, not everyone bothers to participate in trade chat. But it’s the public face of whatever server you’re playing on, and it’s invariably one that reflects poorly on not only the WoW community, but gamers in general.

  172. 172
    Sentient Puddle says:

    I also want to note that there’s a reason El Cid’s comment way up top got a strong reaction, even if the intent wasn’t to say all gamers. It’s because all too often, people do say things like that, and do mean all gamers.

    And even without the intent, it always seems to escalate anyway. To pick on one comment in this thread (there are others, but I don’t want to compile them)…

    @Lancelot Link:

    Gotta say, this entire thread makes me agree with El Cid @2.

    The way I read this, it’s saying “Steve in DC has said some ridiculous things, and because he’s identified as a gamer, he’s a good general representation of them.” Which…no.

    So yes, these kinds of things do trigger a defensive impulse in a lot of gamers.

  173. 173
    Hypatia's Momma says:

    @Slightly_peeved:
    I’ve read harsher comments directed at far larger groups of people and understood enough about the underlying anger and frustration of the “speaker” to not take it personally.

    Bursting into tears because someone said, “I detest weirdo game freaks” is bizarre. Going on to say that now you feel justified in harassing women on-line (women who had nothing to do with the post that hurt your feelings) is the abhorrent behaviour of a sexist asshole. And, um, proves the original point about “weirdo game freaks”.

  174. 174
    scav says:

    @Sentient Puddle: Understood, but could you do a little internal policing so you as a community provide less low-hanging fruitbats as your public face? Granted, I do somewhat think SiDC is a drifter without a real community so it’s not exactly all due to you (meaning y’all, not singular). SiDC: part of it performance art and part of it seems to really reflect a seriously twisted and vacant soul, more hedge fund than hood.

    ETA: and don’t excuse the defensive triggers on one side only.

  175. 175
    Slightly_peeved says:

    @Sentient Puddle:

    Well, I think you’ve given the sensible response to both big arguments on this thread. I wouldn’t necessarily assume everyone else is trying to be 100% sensible, though. Steve in DC couldn’t have done a much better job in illustrating the kind of attitude El Cid decries, even if he doesn’t represent the viewpoints of most gamers.

  176. 176
    The Moar You Know says:

    Going on to say that now you feel justified in harassing women on-line (women who had nothing to do with the post that hurt your feelings) is the abhorrent behaviour of a sexist asshole. And, um, proves the original point about “weirdo game freaks”.

    @Hypatia’s Momma: The poster in question is a well-known poster here, a self-identified Republican who has already shown that he has more issues than a magazine hoarder.

    I know the gamer community has issues but I’m not willing to accept that a guy as morally bankrupt as SteveinDC has presented himself to be over his tenure here is representative of all of them.

    He’s his own special breed of sick fuck, is what I’m trying to say.

  177. 177
    Slightly_peeved says:

    A final note: the term ‘gamer community’ is obsolete anyway. It’s like ‘tv watching community’. The issue is that a lot of 15-35 men like to be sexist online where they can get away with it. I think referring to a gamer community is an attempt to partition a problem which is fast becoming an issue for society as a whole.

  178. 178
    Sentient Puddle says:

    @scav:

    Understood, but could you do a little internal policing so you as a community provide less low-hanging fruitbats as your public face?

    Oh I absolutely agree that this is something we need to do. For my part, I don’t know of anything more effective than calling out the wrongs when I see them (though I’m open to suggestions, seeing as this feels like little more than a drop in the bucket).

    ETA: and don’t excuse the defensive triggers on one side only.

    Understood. That one just seemed to be a case of people talking past each other, and I just wanted to try to properly explain it from the side I sit on.

  179. 179
    scav says:

    @Sentient Puddle: Agreed. If I ever solve the problem of Loud American Tourists in Europe, I’ll get back to you with tips.

  180. 180
    RedKitten says:

    Since most of us consider racism or homophobia a bigger sin than sexism, guess which side we are going to come crashing down on?

    Well aren’t you just sweet? That right there just proves how fucking sexist “most of us” are, doesn’t it? After all, who cares how a bunch of them wimmenfolk are treated?

  181. 181
    McJulie says:

    I don’t know where it comes from, but there seems to be something in the psyche of many men that responds to any amount of what they perceive as social assertiveness on the part of women, with some form of sexual assault.

    Usually it stays verbal/symbolic, but its emotional intent is clearly violent. These guys give off the clear sense that they are taking righteous vengeance for something. And they get even worse when somebody points out they’re being assholes.

    It reminds me of once, when my husband and I were driving down the freeway, and some guy did an asshole thing and we honked at him — then he spent the next five miles driving like an absolute road-rage maniac. We pulled off the freeway because we were legitimately afraid this guy would literally run into our car just to prove whatever bizarre asshole point he thought he was making.

    Okay, I know what asshole point he thought he was making: his point was that he was the number one top alpha chimp and entitled to do whatever the hell he wanted, at any time, under any circumstances, and furthermore, he was never to be called on this behavior by any lesser chimps, which in his mind constituted all the rest of us.

    In a car, that crazy shit happened once. To women, it happens every damn day.

  182. 182
    Cerberus says:

    If there is one positive to all of this, it’s that an important amount of gamers are actually pushing back. The gaming press has been rather straight in reporting and hasn’t tried to cover for the misogynists. Which, if you combine that with the wide amount of condemnation the horrendous Metroid Other M got for being sexist and the praise Persona 4 has been getting for the inclusion of queer characters, we might be seeing the beginning of a motion on behalf of the gaming community to honestly address the dark underbelly of the community.

  183. 183
  184. 184
    Darkrose says:

    @Nutella: Black women gamers? Sorry, I’m a unicorn.

  185. 185
    Gex says:

    People really, really hate having privilege taken away. And they hate, hate, hate having to accept that they are of no greater status or importance than people like me.

    It is the weirdest thing. For most of American history SWCMs stereotyped every other group, dehumanized them, etc. As we progressed in correcting that, they coopt the argument. Now it is completely unfair to blame all the stuff that was built into the culture by SWCMs on SWCMs.

  186. 186
    Peregrinus says:

    @scav:

    Not gonna lie, this is one reason I stopped identifying as a gamer – I once wanted to be a game designer, and it’s still something that stays in the back of my head. I used to think I was safe because I played single-player RPGs, and then some idiots went and ruined that by attacking one of Bioware’s writers.

    I call it out when I see it, but I don’t really hang out with anyone over games anymore.

  187. 187
    Peregrinus says:

    @Gex:

    It actually makes plenty of sense – when you’re on top for that long, and stereotyping and dehumanizing everyone you consider beneath you, you never feel the sting of it against you. So when you get pushback, you react to it much more strongly than you would otherwise.

    I find this all the time with the few conservatives I regularly talk to. If you try to get at their most basic feelings on a subject, it’s usually them wondering why suddenly they’re under attack when (in their view) they were never one of the people doing all those horrible racist things. That’s usually where I am able to start working with them rather than arguing against them.

  188. 188
    twiffer says:

    @Ash Can: i am a gamer. my wife is a gamer. my son is on the path (paved with lego games).

    i say fuck these troglodyte assholes like spurr. fuck them with a rusty chainsaw. they are utter shitheads, cluttering up my hobby and the sooner they fuck off into oblivion (not TES IV, mind you, i still play that and their presence in even a SP game is offensive) the better.

    i have played video games my whole life (mostly console, so i’m sure some asshole would consider that disqualifies me as a true scotsman gamer). i consider the best of them to be art. there is much that one may consider defending about video games. misogyny is not one of those things, and fuck those assholes for trying.

    the support of her kickstarter alone should be enough for people to understand the community is behind her.

  189. 189
    Darkrose says:

    I have absolutely no clue what Steve in DC is talking about, and it’s making my head hurt. When I think “sexism in video games”, I think about what happened to Jennifer Hepler from Bioware, or the asshat on the Bioware boards who castigated the company for “catering to women and homosexuals” at the expense of straight white men, or the mindset behind the mods that get featured on Reasons I Hate Skyrim, designed to hypersexualize female characters because there’s not enough gratuitous sexism in the game as written.

    I’m not sure how “misogyny in video games” translates to “white women attacking black men.”

  190. 190
    El Cid says:

    @Catsy: Clearly, I should have italicized and bolded the these in “these weirdo game freaks“.

    And there’s a difference between the playing of video games being a big and enjoyable part of your life and the importance of the fictional world being portrayed in some particular video game itself.

    These weirdo game freaks are responding to a questioning of not the entirety of playing video games as an entertainment pursuit — and just like other hobby activities, that’s what it is — but the thematic content of whatever inane video game world is being questioned.

    These aren’t real worlds that have been created. Really, if I had come off of hours and hours of playing Angry Birds or Pong or Asteroids and someone questioned whether or not a bunch of weirdo game freaks who are so hypersensitive about their big macho world created in some game or games that they now spend time stalking and harassing and insulting one fucking woman who questioned or examined their big macho world as depicted (again, it’s not a real world) in some game or games, I wouldn’t think that he or she was talking about me.

    And no matter how many thousands of hours I may have played some or another video game, I never, ever, ever would have imagined that doing so would have scored me into some oppressed subgroup category.

  191. 191
    Groucho48 says:

    Interesting quote from Adam Smith. Just substitute “unsocialized males whom society rejects” for labor and workers and see if it doesn’t seem appropriate…

    (Slightly condensed)

    The man whose whole life is spent in performing a few simple operations, of which the effects are perhaps always the same, or very nearly the same, has no occasion to exert his understanding or to exercise his invention in finding out expedients for removing difficulties which never occur. He naturally loses, therefore, the habit of such exertion, and generally becomes as stupid and ignorant as it is possible for a human creature to become. The torpor of his mind renders him not only incapable of relishing or bearing a part in any rational conversation, but of conceiving any generous, noble, or tender sentiment, and consequently of forming any just judgment concerning many even of the ordinary duties of private life. The uniformity of his stationary life naturally corrupts the courage of his mind, and makes him regard with abhorrence the irregular, uncertain, and adventurous life of a soldier. It corrupts even the activity of his body, and renders him incapable of exerting his strength with vigour and perseverance in any other employment than that to which he has been bred. His dexterity at his own particular trade seems, in this manner, to be acquired at the expense of his intellectual, social, and martial virtues. But in every improved and civilised society this is the state into which the labouring poor, that is, the great body of the people, must necessarily fall, unless government takes some pains to prevent it.
    Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations

    He uses stronger language than I would, but, I do think that for a lot of young males gaming is not just everything, it is the only thing.

    My point, such as it is, is that, yes these guys say lots of hateful, nasty, demeaning threatening stuff, but, that doesn’t mean they are evil. It means they have few skills, they feel very threatened in the one area where they fit in and all because some outsider is saying mean things about them.

    So, they react in the only way their experience has taught them to react… aggressively, using whatever they think will work.

    Now, we can deal with this by just calling them hateful, nasty, demeaning and threatening, but, what good does that do? Except convince them even more that the mundane world is stupid and mean and doesn’t understand them.

    The great bulk of these folks, unlike, say, Republicans in Congress, are reachable and educable. But not if we treat them as sub-human aberrations.

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