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An Open Letter to Silence Criticism

#231GeitPosted 9/3/2014 2:08:17 PM
Asellus posted...
Her argument is that the Bangkok street prostitue (My, I did not think I'd be typing that phrase half so often when I woke up this morning) are disposable objects intended to titillate male players. She thinks that goes into worse territory when they're essentially-consequence free to have violence inflicted upon them and even seems to think there's a certain kind of audience they pander to do who get a kick out of seeing virtual Bangkok street prostitutes run in terror of violence. You're free to disagree with it (I do) but I'm not seeing anything that is clearly a lie.

But prostitutes are as disposable as every other NPCs. The games in fact discourage the player from abusing/killing prostitutes by inflicting penalties for killing innocent people. They're disposable? Of course they are they're NPCs. Unless they're important to the story or an invaluable vendor, all NPCs, male or female, are regarded as disposable. This isn't real life, this is a videogame. Violence against NPCs in videogames doesn't not turn into violence against real people. To think otherwise is is Jack Thompson levels of insane thinking.

If there's no sexism then it's not sexist. Like, what does Anita want then? For female NPCs to be regarded as children and rendered immortal by games?

You can beat up and kill female NPCs in Skyrim. You can beat up and kill male NPCs in Skyrim. But Anita seems to think the option to beat up and kill female NPCs in Skyrim is sexist, even though it can happen to both men and women. No, just because it can happen to women makes it sexist. So it should be impossible to beat up and kill female NPCs in Skyrim? You can only kill men now, and that's somehow supposed to no longer be sexist?

Such options aren't there as an act of sexism against women. They're included in order to keep immersion going for the player. It's the same as reducing invisible walls, waist-high fences, and unbreakable cardboard boxes. NPCs, both male and female, are still regarded as part of the game world and that world becomes really dumb when you render parts of it indestructible with no justification.
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#232GeitPosted 9/3/2014 2:13:31 PM
rockman202 posted...
SoporilBracelet posted...
rockman202 posted...
Hey Geit, mind if I copy and paste all those claims and refutations? If possible, would you be able to proved at least the specific videos, if not the time code, so I can show these every time that poorly researched drivel is brought up? I really don't want to rewatch all those videos again, I have already suffered once.


Please post them here. I have a feeling it might be valuable.

Of course these videos do not justify the harassment she has received.


That kind of goes without saying. I don't think anyone deserves harassment for expressing their opinion. They could be the Westboro Baptist Church, I ****ing hate them and despise them, but I don't think people should threaten them with violence. The same with Anita, I thing she is a poor researcher who is probably doing this only to get payed, but no one should harass her.

I'll go back later and get timestamps for everything she said.

There are other things Anita says that are baffling that I can't paraphrase into a simple sentence or two. For example, she criticizes that the interactions you have with female sex worker NPCs are nothing more than a business transaction and not an exploration of meaningful relationships (starts at 16:55 btw). However....that's the point of a sex worker.

Anita purposely states earlier in her video that she was only going to examine female sex worker NPCs, so she is ignoring all the games where you can have a female love interest and have both a meaningful relationship and sex. She complains about the lack of authentic, consensual intimacy but intentionally only looks at prostitutes? Has she never heard of a dating sim? Not even that, there are games that let you start romances that are completely optional like Persona 4 or Mass Effect.

It's like throwing out all of your Halloween candy that isn't chocolate and then complaining that all you have is chocolate.
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#233AsellusPosted 9/3/2014 2:15:42 PM
KillerTruffle posted...
^ Has Sarkesian ever actually said "this treatment of women in games encourages real-world violence against women?" Or is that just another of the dozens of ways people have twisted her words to come up with messages that aren't actually there?


Kind of, I'll quote the conclusion of Part 1 here.

So why does any of this matter? What’s the real harm in sexually objectifying women? Well, the negative impacts of sexual objectification have been studied extensively over the years and the effects on people of all genders are quite clear and very serious. Research has consistently found that exposure to these types of images negatively impacts perceptions and beliefs about real world women and reinforces harmful myths about sexual violence.

. . .

But the negative effects on men are just as alarming, albeit in slightly different ways. Studies have found, for example, that after having viewed sexually objectified female bodies, men in particular tend to view women as less intelligent, less competent and disturbingly express less concern for their physical well being or safety. Furthermore this perception is not limited only to sexualized women; in what’s called the “Spill Over Effect”, these sexist attitudes carry over to perceptions of all women, as a group, regardless of their attire, activities or professions.

Researchers have also found that after long-term exposure to hyper-sexualized images, people of all genders tend to be more tolerant of the sexual harassment of women and more readily accept rape myths, including the belief that sexually assaulted women were asking for it, deserved it or are the ones to blame for being victimized.

In other words, viewing media that frames women as objects or sexual playthings, profoundly impacts how real life women are perceived and treated in the world around us. And that is all without even taking into account how video games allow for the more participatory form of objectification that we’ve been discussing in this episode.

Compounding the problem is the widespread belief that, despite all the evidence, exposure to media has no real world impact. While it may be comforting to think we all have a personal force field protecting us from outside influences, this is simply not the case. Scholars sometimes refer to this type of denial as the “third person effect”, which is the tendency for people to believe that they are personally immune to media’s effects even if others may be influenced or manipulated. Paradoxically and somewhat ironically, those who most strongly believe that media is just harmless entertainment are also the ones most likely to uncritically internalize harmful media messages.
#234SoporilBraceletPosted 9/3/2014 2:17:54 PM
KillerTruffle posted...
SoporilBracelet posted...
Uses one side's harassment while completely ignoring the other. Overemphasizes the harassers of Quinn and Sarkeesian. Every community has its sexist and misogynist extremist bunch, and that's not okay, though it is the reality. Major corruption of gaming journalism, however, is just as an important issue, which is not covered by these major gaming sites. Acting like harassment, which is mutual, is the only important thing won't get anybody anywhere. Which is pretty much what these sites are doing.

But then again, by your standards, sleeping with a bunch of people influential in the industry is all right if you do it a few months after they write an article about you.


Sleeping around, cheating on your boyfriend, etc. isn't "all right" by any standards I hold, regardless of circumstances. That's a major perversion of what I've been saying all along, and you know it.

As for overemphasizing one side over the other, have Quinn and Sarkesian supporters actually made death threats, rape threats, or any other sort of threats against the gamers? Because if so, you're right - that's pretty one-sided. But I'm inclined to believe no instances of something *nearly* so severe exist in the other direction, which in itself pretty much excuses the fact that the article is unbalanced when talking about threats of violence - they've only gone one direction. If you have links or evidence to the contrary, of course...


By "all right", I meant "not corrupt", since you appeared to be saying that there was no conflict of interest (was that the term?) because all the infidelity happened long after the article was published.

Answer to bold:

I HAD a link.

http://gamergateharrassment.tumblr.com/

You see, this was a collection of people harassing GamerGate supporters on Twitter, and hashtags like "#Killallmen" were used. However, it seems down for me right now.

Well, given that nobody as popular as Sarkeesian or Quinn was on the gamers' (using the term as the supposedly derogatory way that slew of "gamer is dead" articles used) side, there wasn't a lot of threats all thrown towards a single person, but rather, individual death threats were made to people. Since there are not as many females on our side, rape threats are not 100% there. (What I mean is, there might not be any rape threats.)

If you mean the offensiveness of the comments, they are as hurtful as those that were directed towards Sarkeesian and Quinn.

TL; DR: Nobody as popular is on our side, so the same sort of hate is received by individual tweets. And IMHO, they matter too. They really matter.

Both sides have extremists, and while harassment directed towards Quinn and Sarkeesian might be somewhat more vocal since they are pretty much celebrities at this point, the same sort of hate and offense is communicated to gamers as well. I think any article that fails to mention the real cause of the outrage is the *alleged* (emphasis on alleged, hope that satisfies you) gaming journalism corruption and a more than significant amount of harassment is going on in both sides is misinformative and one-sided.

Sorry for the rant.
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#235KillerTrufflePosted 9/3/2014 2:22:43 PM
OK, "what you repeatedly are exposed to affects your perception"... I'll buy that, because there IS extensive research backing that up, and it's not an outrageous claim. Desensitization is a pretty widely known phenomenon. I would say it doesn't *encourage* violence against women, but I don't see her saying that specifically either. So again, what she's actually said appears to be accurate...

Are people just upset that she's not complaining about desensitization to sex and violence in general? Because she doesn't need to... I don't see her quite claiming it *causes* it or *encourages* it, just that it does change people's perceptions and makes them "less against" those things, for lack of a better term. And research does indeed back that up - not specifically regarding games, but repeated exposure to any media containing those sorts of situations.

Still not quite seeing the reason for threats against her and her family tho...
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#236SoporilBraceletPosted 9/3/2014 2:25:40 PM
KillerTruffle posted...

Still not quite seeing the reason for threats against her and her family tho...


Extremists are always there. Everytime and everywhere. Better if you don't try to comprehend them, for they think not with logic...
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TU FUI, EGO ERIS.
What you are, I was. What I am, you will be.
#237AsellusPosted 9/3/2014 2:31:14 PM
Geit posted...
Asellus posted...
Her argument is that the Bangkok street prostitue (My, I did not think I'd be typing that phrase half so often when I woke up this morning) are disposable objects intended to titillate male players. She thinks that goes into worse territory when they're essentially-consequence free to have violence inflicted upon them and even seems to think there's a certain kind of audience they pander to do who get a kick out of seeing virtual Bangkok street prostitutes run in terror of violence. You're free to disagree with it (I do) but I'm not seeing anything that is clearly a lie.

But prostitutes are as disposable as every other NPCs. The games in fact discourage the player from abusing/killing prostitutes by inflicting penalties for killing innocent people.


But those penalties are usually pretty meaningless, it's a case of gameplay overriding "believeability of the setting". It's not like the developers want the game to become unfun or unwinnable simply because you randomly went off and killed a half dozen people in broad daylight in front of a street full of witnesses. Most will just simply forget about it after a short amount of time has passed and even those that keep score will just have it influence what kind of random responses NPCs will give you when you walk by.

They're disposable? Of course they are they're NPCs. Unless they're important to the story or an invaluable vendor, all NPCs, male or female, are regarded as disposable. This isn't real life, this is a videogame. Violence against NPCs in videogames doesn't not turn into violence against real people. To think otherwise is is Jack Thompson levels of insane thinking. . .


I agree. But is this supposed to be about whether you agree or disagree with her or her being a pants-on-fire non-stop liar?
#238GeitPosted 9/3/2014 2:53:55 PM
Like I said, if it's happening both to men and women it's not sexism. Female NPCs are not given special treatment, yet Anita covers it as if it is only happening to them and not something that is done, equally, to male NPCs as well.

If the issue is the cheapness of death, that is not an issue concerning sexism or misogyny.

Anita lies and spins this as if it is. From what she has to say about Hitman during a mission that involves infiltrating a sex club:

Players are then invited to explore and exploit those situations during their playthrough. The player cannot help but treat these female bodies as things to be acted upon because they were designed and constructed and placed in the environment for that singular purpose. Players are meant to deride a perverse pleasure from desecrating the bodies of unsuspecting virtual female characters.

"cannot help" Wrong. The game actively discourages the player from attacking the women, and penalizes you if you do so. You lose points for civilian casualties.

The players aren't "meant" to do this at all. This is not their "singular purpose", their purpose is for you to sneak past them. Your mission is NOT to kill them.

This is like saying a toaster is meant to be a deadly weapon because you can take it and beat someone over the head with it. Even though it's meant to make toast, Anita's logic says the simple option that you can use it to hurt someone indicates that toasters are meant to be weapons. She is twisting the facts, using examples of violence against women as proof a game is sexist, nevermind that you can beat and kill men as well in every single game.
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"Every day I'm dead a little longer, Mister Conagher. I have seen the other side. There is nothing there."
#239AlleRacingPosted 9/3/2014 2:56:36 PM
Asellus posted...
Claim: Hitman: Absolution is sexist because in one mission the game entices players to kill some female strippers, not only that but the stripper were put in the game solely for that purpose, in order for the player to become sexually aroused.

Closest I can find to this is a mention that "Hitman: Absolution features a mission in which the player can create a diversion by picking up and dumping the dead body of an exotic dancer near police officers.". Which is technically true in that it might do the job inasfar as being how game mechanics work (guards will move to check out any dead bodies they see) but the game doesn't suggest it as a method to get by any particular patrol area (scorewise you're actually penalized for killing anyone other than your target) and anybody would work just the same (wouldn't even have to be dead).


You either didn't attempt to watch any of her videos at all, or you are blatantly lying here. She specifically mentions that the game encourages you to kill a pair of strippers on your way through a strip club, despite the fact that the game actively discourages the act.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZPSrwedvsg&t=22m17s

What also follows are several other examples that were posted, and yes, she did mention that it was specifically that they were female NPCs.
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#240arleasPosted 9/3/2014 3:28:20 PM(edited)
AlleRacing posted...
You either didn't attempt to watch any of her videos at all, or you are blatantly lying here. She specifically mentions that the game encourages you to kill a pair of strippers on your way through a strip club, despite the fact that the game actively discourages the act.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZPSrwedvsg&t=22m17s

What also follows are several other examples that were posted, and yes, she did mention that it was specifically that they were female NPCs.


If you watch the response to that video, Anita most likely made that footage herself dragging bodies around... everywhere else on youtube (supposedly) people are playing the game the way it's meant to be played by avoiding the strippers and/or not killing the innocents.

http://youtu.be/WuRSaLZidWI

Skip to about 3 minutes in if you can't wait to see it...
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