Why I Actually Watched Anita Sarkeesian's Newest Video... And Liked It

Anita Sarkeesian may be wrapped and stuffed with drama, but she makes some decent points in her latest video.

Warning: The above video contains a ton of spoilers for a ton of games. She has listed these games in the information for her video, linked above.

I could write a short novel on the drama that is Anita Sarkeesian's Kickstarter project: Tropes vs. Women in Video Games.

No, really. You could. Between all the trolling, the hate, the victim-hood and the money, it's a hot mess.

Need a run down on what exactly I'm talking about? Check out her Wiki (don't worry; it's been updated with accurate information and no longer talks about murdering her and her children).

For those of us who actually understand how analysis works, this video is pretty interesting and brings up several good points that are worth exploring. Though the actual analysis doesn't start until around 18 minutes in, Sarkeesian covers an impressive array of games which use the Damsel in Distress device and the Woman in the Refrigerator. Or mixtures thereof.

I don't necessarily agree with everything said in the video (the part where she mentions Dead Space severely ruffled my feathers, but that's because that game is my baby), but it will absolutely encourage me to think about the games I purchase and play.

Considered an extremist at times, Sarkeesian has taken the time to actually improve on herself in this video, addressing not only the problem with portraying women as powerless, but bringing attention to way this can affect male players. She also disclaims in the beginning of the video that just because she's critical of video games doesn't mean she doesn't like them or enjoy playing them. Game developers aren't sitting there thinking of awful ways to write women into stories--most of the time, their messages are just not very well thought out.

Alright, so why does the Internet hate her?

The Internet hates everyone.

Honestly? There are people who can reasonably discuss why they don't agree with Sarkeesian. They can sit down, watch her video without giving themselves an aneurism via rage, and list out the fallacies in her arguments. That's the point of discussion--reaching a solution through the analysis of multiple parties.

As for the other breeds?

You're touching my games and I don't like it

Personally, I think it's this. After reading the /r/games thread on her newest video, it seems to me that people are upset that Sarkeesian is taking the time out of her day to pick on the things they like.

Think about it. Her mentioning of Dead Space ruffled my feathers. Why? Because I liked it. It was a game I enjoyed playing, and I don't like when people pick on things I like.

The hatred for Anita Sarkeesian sparks from her going against the grain and dismissing the hive mind. She's critical of things that people enjoy, and no one likes it. Nevermind that they could learn something from it. She definitely doesn't enjoy playing video games too. She hates fun.

At its core, I believe that it's also a case of the 'hardcore' gamer vs. the casual. Anita isn't viewed as a hardcore gamer, and that works against her. Many believe that the fact she hasn't played games her whole life discredits her--no matter how educated or insightful she is. Her Master's Degree in Social and Political Thought from York University means... little to nothing, obviously. No way she has any idea what she's talking about.

Let's Grow Up A Little

My challenge for you today is to watch this video, and in the comments, discuss why you disagree or like the things she says. Like adults. You know, who can discuss things without calling each other sluts and whores.

Yeah, I Mean Girls'd you. Sorry.

Published May. 29th 2013
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  • G Martinez
    There's been proof some of her videos are just stolen videos from other Youtubers. I honestly don't beleive she actually games but is using the gaming world to her own vices. I am positive in the long run it will show she is only doing all this to tug at heart strings and work peoples wallets. The fact is anytime a girl puts the controller in her hand and takes a picture you can believe the attention storm is coming. Also, to complain about misandry in video games when your not making them in the first place? Really? Anyone hear of indie developers? Developers should be able to make whatever they want. Why should they have to cater to anyone but their own inspirations. If the gaming world is really that bad then why haven't more people stepped in to make their own games. I don't why people feel so compelled to push their aspirations on someone else's creation. Far too often games with amazing female characters are forgotten already Golden Axe, Metroid, Mirrors Edge, and tons more. Is this really about righting or wrong, or just finding things to complain about for attention?
  • Jacob Listerud
    A lot of the things she said in the video were just... misandric. They seem to give off this notion of Anita thinking that men are bullies who just want to have dominance over women and it's just... wrong. And I disagree with everything Max Jay says and I just think he should stop seeing things in black and white and just grow up. I really feel disquieted by just how sexist her comments are. It's just... no. Just, no!
  • Will_2617
    Honestly, I refuse to watch the video, not because I don't like her, but because of her refusal to take any public debate. Obviously, she can't do anything about it on twitter, but the way she silences everyone on YouTube....I mean, I understand that there'll be THOSE people in the comments, and LOTS of them, but I'd truly just like to be able to state my opinion in the comments, rather than having to find some way around it, and attempt to convey my opinion in the limit amount of space a tweet has. I'd be happy to hear her opinion if she'd be happy to hear mine.
  • Jacob Listerud
    I don't think anybody should watch any of her videos, and I see no merit in listening to this misandric troll and her misandric hate speech.
  • Chaosmaker_9037
    "Many believe that the fact she hasn't played games her whole life discredits her--no matter how educated or insightful she is. Her Master's Degree in Social and Political Thought from York University means... little to nothing, obviously. No way she has any idea what she's talking about."

    Her Master's Degree in Social and Political Thought means precisely that she is an ideologue with a mission. She has zero experience of being a gamer. How many games did she buy in her life, and how many only after researching her thesis? She enters a community as an outsider with the "authority" of her title. I have a Master's Degree in Information Technology and have been a gamer for more than 25 years (I am 34). I daresay I know the subject better than Anita does.

    What she's doing is no different than a Marxist educated in marxism examining the level of communist ideology in a children's show. Of course any mention of capitalism would offend such a marxist.
  • fred_8694
    An in-depth conversation about the problems of anita.
  • Xarael
    Frankly, I don't see her analysis as very impressive. It doesn't really get to any root cause. It simply says X trope does Y thing. For me, the reference to Deadspace I felt was pathetic on her part because the whole story is literally about a man who is fragile mentally and physically. So, yeah the thought of his GF being dead would be a common thread and one that would be constantly tugged at by the writers. It's not sexist or misogynistic. It's simply good story telling. Similarly, the use of Ico as another example. I don't know what to say other than wow. How do you get "evil patriarchy" out of a deliberately simple game? And then the Zelda and Mario franchises which were deliberately designed to be simple in story as the developer was trying to focus on game features. So, I can't say she has a good argument anywhere except for titillation in videogames (The Dead or Alive series for example).

    Beyond that, she misses the entire essence of games: mechanics. The story for the most part is a slick finish we see put on to hit us in the human feelings department. And yes, they'll use archtypes from bygone eras, but no that doesn't suggest they perpetuate the narrative that violence towards women is okay. She herself in the second video goes on to admit that the average gamer is probably smart enough to notice this and ignore it (otherwise she'd be in Jack Thompson territory).

    And tbh, it's not surprising she misses the essence of videogames as she learn to criticize other media which has next to zero equivalence to games or videogames. In general, she should go back and revise/edit her series with this in mind. And most importantly, she needs to integrate a post-structuralist analysis to make this work imo otherwise she's coming off as a classic Marxist who hasn't been clued in on the Continental's work of the last fifty years.
    Last edited 3 years ago
  • dtor
    Googling the definition of insidious helps here:
    "1. Proceeding in a gradual, subtle way, but with harmful effects: "the insidious effects of stress".
    2.Treacherous; crafty: "an insidious alliance"."

    I had no problem with her use of it since I understood her to be using the first definition above. It requires no intentionality--something like a program of action can be insidious in its effects rather than intention.
  • CSLJames
    I have nothing against the project or the content within it, but I'm not sure she's the person to do it. I hate sourcing my information out to /v/, but here's a summation of one of the bigger viewpoints over there from a few months back.

    Disclaimer: I definitely don't take the same stance as every point made in the image.
    Last edited 3 years ago
  • Joseph Rowe
    Featured Columnist
    I am honestly surprised she posted the second video. There was such a long space between this and the first that I wondered if she just took the money and ran. I have to say, though, that I actually did enjoy this one.

    I feel like this one was a bit more insightful than her first on video games. That one felt like it was just way too basic, she got some information on the Star Fox game wrong, and it just felt kind of underwhelming.

    Furthermore, this felt a lot less sensationalist than most feminist discussions about video games that go on on the internet. Especially on certain unnamed gaming news sites.

    Like Max Jay pointed out, there was an element of sensationalism with her application of the word insidious, but ultimately, it was better than I expected. If she can maintain this level of quality in the rest of her series, I may end up just subscribing to her channel.
  • Katy Hollingsworth
    Former Staff Editor
    Some of her more interested followers were wondering the same thing. After doing a brief reddit search, some people were asking about it.

    I think she either a.) got enough backlash that she realized her original method wasn't effective, or b.) took some of the less threatening criticism to heart and worked on improving.

    Seriously though, I would really like to see her do a series on the alpha male stereotype that is so prevalent in games. Being that it's a core character mold in so many titles, it would be interesting to see that discussion happen.
    Last edited 3 years ago
  • Joseph Rowe
    Featured Columnist
    Hopefully she is reacting to some of the (well worded, non-threatening) criticism she got. It would be nice to have a voice for feminism in the gaming community that doesn't revolve around personal attacks or sensationalist writing.

    Also, I'd like to see an episode like that, as well. On a similar note, I'd like to see more discussion about LGBTQs in video games, because I feel like often times gay characters in video games are either walking stereotypes or are defined by their sexuality, not really realistic characters who also happen to be homosexual, trans, gender queer, etc.
  • TygerWDR
    Featured Contributor
    I had a long post here, I'll just tl/DR it.

    She's trollin'. Seriously, she's trollin'. Between the fake facepalming, the condescending voice, the literal looking down on me in the video, her script reading and choice of inflection.... yeah this video was designed to make somoene like me angry. She's trollin'.

    Why do I say this? She has a "media kit" on feministfrequency.com hyping herself up. There's also a page where she says "Want to bring me out to your school or organization to talk about feminist pop culture criticism, media literacy, online video production or video making workshops" This is a stepping stone. She wants to make a name for herself by going up to something bigger than herself, punching it in the nose, and then saying how unfair it is that they're mad at HER. She's attacking video gamers for her own ends while saying that she is the victim. How ironic.
    Last edited 3 years ago
  • Katy Hollingsworth
    Former Staff Editor
    That is a ton of bitterness towards a woman you've never met.

    I was reading through your previous post, and am glad you decided to go with this one instead. Tearing her down because of her looks really has no place in this discussion whatsoever.

    Her media kit and the offer to come talk to people about her ideas aren't new concepts, nor is it bad to want to "make a name for yourself." Showing people a different side of something is never a bad idea.

    She also isn't hyping herself up--several people and companies that aren't huge, booming entities offer media kits for articles just like this one.

    I can't point out a single instance in this video where she's attacking gamers. Can you give some examples?
    Last edited 3 years ago
  • TygerWDR
    Featured Contributor
    Well, I get torn down for my looks all the time. Welcome to the internet. You have no idea how many people dismiss my research because "OMG FATTY!" (assuming, naturally, they are all underwear models themselves) or "OMG Y U WEAR CAMO? NERD!" (Well, I *am* talking about paintball, so...) or my favorite, "FATTY NERD WHINY GEEK!" I'm not sure how to respond to that, I'm not pounding nails into my skull so I'm hardly a geek. But I don't turn around and cry about it saying they're picking on me because I'm male, white, overweight, shower daily or some other single aspect of my life. Anita has, from all I've seen, decided to hang a career on her femininity and how people pick on her because of it.

    I feel criticism on looks are in place because it's a mixed message. If you want full on this, well, she's wearing makeup, specifically lipstick, face powder and sharpened eyebrows, while wearing a flannel shirt reserved for more "ordinary folks". So she's trying to appear like a "normal person" while also trying to look like a news anchor / spokesmodel. I could also get into the reasons that women wear makeup in the first place. Lipstick to make the lips more "red" either to look younger or to appear in a state of sexual arousal. Ironic when the whole video it about how women are seen as "objects" and she makes herself up to look like an objectified woman.

    As far as the media kit, you're missing my point. Her "Media Kit" is something that is a symptom of a larger thing. The point is, and let me emphasize this, *ahem* SHE IS USING GAMERS TO MAKE A CAREER FOR HERSELF IN FEMINIST PUBLIC SPEAKING!

    "I can't point out a single instance in this video where she's attacking gamers." The WHOLE VIDEO is going after male gamers. What other audience is she trying to talk to, against, or go after? Never ONCE did she say directly "male gamers are sexist pigs", true. Hoever, her language tells all. She uses the term "victimization" so much that it may as well be a drinking game.

    You know what gets me. If I were to make a video like this talking about how men are so abused by women in video games, I'd get skinned alive. And it'd be pretty easy using her argument model. I could easily twist Mario into a henpecked victim of Princess Peach, where he's forced to rescue her because she refuses to stand up for herself. I could get into how Mrs. Pac Man is an oppressive force and one who terrorizes ghosts. Not modern enough? How about how female fighters in DoA beat up men? The male lead in Catherine is a helpless pawn being used by women? I could keep going here all day.

    It's cherry picking, plain and simple. If I start with a premise, and only find and report evidence to support it while ignoring the rest, it's not good fact finding. *sigh* There goes my reporter instincts again. I keep forgetting, on the internet it's not up to ME to prove my facts and findings, it's up to the audience to prove me wrong. How silly of me.

    So I'll cut and paste something from my original post : "If I were to start a kickstarter to make a video series about how "all fighting games glorify physical violence", then made videos talking about how fighting games did nothing but glorify and reward violent behavior without showing the long term effects (Football players suffering memory loss, Muhammad Ali's current condition)... yeah you better damn well believe I'd get my ass handed to me on a paper plate too. Now on top of that, if I made myself out to look like a VICTIM in all this by saying "all FGC people are SO MEAN! They're attacking me!!!!", I'd get fillet alive."

    But in a way, that is what she's doing here. The core message : "Women are misrepresented in video games", this has been covered before by people more qualified and with a much more deft hand at writing. Does she really need to use the terms "Victimization"? No. Thats an emotional term. Does she have to use the terms "male power fantasy"? No.

    She chose her language specifically to inflame, antagonize and attack a specific audience. This is pretty much the definition of "TROLLING". Her video was HARDLY objective, including the hastily tacked on ending where she says "well, not all games are like this".

    And while I'm at it, what's her end game? By pissing off the audience you're not going to make them change their ways. Hell, gamers are more likely to amp up the behavior now specifically to retaliate and don't try to tell me they wouldn't. She's successfully alienated ANYONE who she wishes to change. Or she may want to publicly SHAME the industry into change, and through experience I know that won't happen either. I'll tell you about the "bikini contests" held at paintball events some time, you'll find it enlightening.

    Unless, of course, her end goal is different. Like launching her OWN career through attacking video games. I for one will not be shocked if she releases the last video, then moves into another field to talk about how women are misrepresented there. No idea what she could do tho, possibly talk about how movies are male power fantasies by pointing out there's like no female robots in "Trasnformers" or something.

    And yeah, I'm gonna be "bitter" at this woman I've never met. Plenty of people hate me, and never met me. I basically HAVE met this woman, based on her video. Her introduction to me was spitting in my face, so I think we've gotten off on the right foot. I'm also bitter at several people who can make a living by going after other people and attacking them in public (tabloid news reporters, for example.) I am not required to like everyone I run across, especially those who play themselves as victims of a bear attack when they clubbed the bear with a 2x4 in the first place.
  • Katy Hollingsworth
    Former Staff Editor
    I don't feel like the "they do this to me, so I'll do it to them" argument is... mature. Which was the challenge. To discuss like adults.

    "I feel criticism on looks are in place because it's a mixed message. If you want full on this, well, she's wearing makeup, specifically lipstick, face powder and sharpened eyebrows, while wearing a flannel shirt reserved for more "ordinary folks". So she's trying to appear like a "normal person" while also trying to look like a news anchor / spokesmodel. I could also get into the reasons that women wear makeup in the first place. Lipstick to make the lips more "red" either to look younger or to appear in a state of sexual arousal. Ironic when the whole video it about how women are seen as "objects" and she makes herself up to look like an objectified woman."

    This doesn't even make sense to me. I'm a woman, I wear makeup, and this paragraph completely baffled me. I've read it over and over and am totally lost on why a man is explaining to me the reason I wear makeup. So I'll skip over it.

    There is a discussion to be had about how men are portrayed and how that message affects the male user base--but this isn't that discussion. Though I believe it is absolutely worth having. Or a discussion on why the gaming industry seems to rarely ever feature other races. However, this discussion is focused on women. Wars are won through battles, not all at once.

    Yes, she's going to find evidence to support her claim. It's not cherry-picking. It's finding evidence for your analysis--which is what all critical analysis is based on. Every person who has ever analyzed a book, movie, article, etc., will go through that medium and "cherry-pick" their examples.

    Your reporter instincts are misplaced. Reporting has nothing to do with critical analysis of a medium. Reporting is objective where analysis is not. Analysis is... well, it's an opinion. It's your opinion. It's the way a medium speaks to you and how you perceive it. That's the entire point of finding your evidence--you're trying to provide proof for the things you perceive.

    Her third video is going to be about games that break the mold and help move the industry forward in terms of treatment of women--which isn't "tacking it on at the end." It proves that she isn't looking to just shit on video games--she's bringing light to an issue that certainly isn't new.

    I certainly don't agree with everything stated in the video, but the fact that the gaming community is taking this analysis as a personal attack leads me to believe that the community itself isn't ready for gaming to be considered a serious art form. She's making the series for the purpose of educating people on a different perspective--one that isn't irrelevant or "insidious." It never hurts to shed some light on someone else's opinion.

    I think you imagine her having much more negative intentions than is fair.
  • TygerWDR
    Featured Contributor
    Apparently, my actual response is too long for comments. So, shaving it down. A LOT.

    Makeup : We used to call this "talking out of both sides of your mouth." You say one thing, then another conflicting thing. In this case, saying "Women should not be objectified" While wearing enough makeup to look like an objectified woman. Plus, you hit something interesting : you stated you were "totally lost on why a man is explaining to me the reason I wear makeup." By the same logic, why is a woman telling men the reason I play video games?

    Critical analysis : Are you familiar with the story of the three blind men and an elephant? Apparently there are several versions of the story, but the basics are that the three of them each touch a part of said creature, and conclude that an elephant is like a pillar, a rope and a paintbrush, then argue about who is right. Versions vary, but you get the idea.

    If all you analyze at is one thing, your final analysis is flawed. A related joke. Six blind elephants were discussing what men were like. After arguing they decided to find one and determine what it was like by direct experience. The first blind elephant felt the man and declared, 'Men are flat.' After the other blind elephants felt the man, they agreed.

    This is, in effect, what she's done. Started with the premise that "men are flat", and then goes about proving it by force, taking storylines and scenes WAY out of context to make her point stick.

    "Reporting is objective where analysis is not." I sincerely hope you do not watch Fox news. Analysis HAS to be objective! Or else it's just editorial, opinion, not ANALYSIS! This video was not analysis, it was a full on attack. SPEAKING of which...

    "Wars are won through battles, not all at once." Now I find this an interesting statement as well. I was unaware that there is a war going on here. Hell, lemme get out my kevlar and APC if that's the case. Good thing I keep the bug out bag by the door for just such an occasion.

    "the gaming community is taking this analysis as a personal attack leads me to believe that the community itself isn't ready for gaming to be considered a serious art form." No, this IS a personal attack. You also likened this to _WARFARE_, so it's not just "analysis", even in your mind. And here's that reporter instinct I was talking about. It's a little deeper than "some chick making an analysis", and that has to do with her motivation.

    I'm trying to wrap my head around where this came from, she's obviously not a gamer so it can't be a personal experience online. She's an academic who's master's thesis titled "I’ll Make a Man Out of You: Strong Women in Science Fiction and Fantasy Television" But, lemme look at her previous video titles from her channel : "Dollhouse Renewed? Why not Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles?" "Too Many Dicks" "Glee, GQ and the Sexualization of Young Girls " "No Girls Allowed: File Sharing Culture and BitTorrent" "Kanye West's Monster Misogyny " No, there's something more going on here.

    Actually, I'll give her the last one. Kanye.... Kinda going after low hanging fruit there but I digress.

    It would be wrong of me to guess WHAT that "thing" would be or to even speculate on it. All I can do is look at evidence and draw from that. And what I know is that this kind of video work is, for her, PROFITABLE. $160,000 profitable so far. But the "feminist" thing isn't just a theme to this video, it's a core element of her public body of work. This isn't just about video games, this FEELS personal. The language she chooses in her "analysis" is PERSONAL. This isn't the language of an analyst looking into a subject but a preacher going for emotional response. it's 'Trollin. There's something more here.

    But it's that reporter thing. It's not just about telling the story of what happened, it's finding out WHY it happens.

    And finally, if it's "just an opinion" then I have the right to counter it. She also should have thick enough skin to respond to all the "haters" with something more than crying to the media that she's being "cybermobbed".
  • Katy Hollingsworth
    Former Staff Editor
    I feel like this is careening way off the point of her series.

    Rather than argue fine, off-tune points like how the 'war is won with battles' was a metaphor for the progression of a tough situation that has multiple complications, I'll just say that I don't agree, but don't really understand your responses well enough to try and debate them with you in a way that contributes to the discussion I was trying to promote.
  • JediSange
    Featured Contributor
    My issue with her rambles is that they are assumptive -- at best. She will say things like "pseudo empowerment". What is wrong with a strong male role? She's vilifying the male protagonist without providing sufficient reasons. More over, there exist weak male roles in video games. The main character would be incomplete without his cast of beta males to support him.

    She makes a point that this trope paints a picture of a helpless woman being somehow more appealing in a romantic or sexual way. First, we tear down the logical fallacy that it has to do with her being a woman. Any person, regardless of gender, can be held captive. If anything, it's more of a Florence Nightingale effect (or a derivation there of -- a savior falling for the one they're saving).

    But beyond that, there is a construct there of the male role in a relationship being the "stronger" of the two (physically, I mean). There is absolutely nothing wrong with this. Should we go around telling everyone that's how it is? No. But tradition exists for a reason. Simply put, it's to make us happy. If I find a woman who enjoys that dynamic, and I do as well, then there is nothing wrong with that.

    And then she goes on to say that your significant other dying is somehow a bad plot device. That's ridiculous. She is upset because that person is a woman. Who cares? Writers don't sit down and say, "You know, I want to kill some women to empower men today." Not even once.

    If your main character is a male, it's likely you didn't arrive there aimlessly. More plainly, you created that character because you wanted them to embody some characteristics, one of which being a male. That being said, regardless of the gender of the main character, that's a strong motivating factor.

    The video goes on in much the same fashion with fallacious, outlandish comments that vilify men and attempt to make me feel guilty for good story telling.
    Last edited 3 years ago
  • Katy Hollingsworth
    Former Staff Editor
    I don't think that she's vilifying anyone--she even states that developers aren't doing this on purpose and most of it just comes from thoughtlessness. I agree that characters have a hard time developing just on their own, and that supporting roles are helpful.

    The discussion, however, is about women. So there's no logical fallacy in her talking only about situations that occur when women are taken/held captive--especially since that's the focus of her series. It's also not Florence Nightingale, given that the male characters are usually already involved in some sort of emotional relationship with the woman in question. Plus, that sort of situation occurs when a caregiver falls in love with someone under their care. Not really relevant to any of the games she offers as examples.

    "Should we go around telling everyone that's how it is? No. But tradition exists for a reason. Simply put, it's to make us happy. If I find a woman who enjoys that dynamic, and I do as well, then there is nothing wrong with that."

    No, there's nothing wrong with two consenting parties enjoying certain gender roles. But not everyone enjoys these types of situations and they shouldn't be ignored, or exempt from the discussion. Reaching a solution should include inputs from multiple perspectives.

    I wouldn't say it's a bad plot device, because it's not. It's one of the oldest, however, and is, in my opinion, fairly overused. And honestly, she brings up a point that these roles are rarely ever reversed. I would love to see the industry change that up. Tomb Raider could have done something along those lines--Lara is trying to escape the island she's on, finds all of her friends/her boyfriend/whatever dead, and seeks revenge.


    As a side note, though, Tomb Raider did actually try something new with the Damsel in Distress situation by placing Lara's best friend in the hands of the villain while Lara got to do all the rescuing.


    "She is upset because that person is a woman. Who cares? Writers don't sit down and say, "You know, I want to kill some women to empower men today." Not even once."

    Again, she goes out of her way to say that game developers aren't doing this on purpose. And obviously she cares, or she wouldn't be making the series. Just because this topic isn't terribly important to some doesn't mean it isn't interesting to others.

    I agree that male characters aren't just arbitrary. I think she does too. Her problem doesn't appear to be with male characters taking the stage--I think she's more critical of how some games portray women when they take supporting roles, however unintentionally.

    I think all in all, you actually committed much the same fallacies you claim she has--you oversimplified her argument, made statements about things she never said, and ultimately took this and turned it into something very negative.

    I think you watched the video with the mindset that it was going to be stupid, and thus came away with much the same conclusion.
  • JediSange
    Featured Contributor
    Fair points. I did go in expecting a rather "meh" experience. However, I think her motivation for the video is still assumptive. The statistics she stated in her video may very well be true (about the number of assaults on women). But what is she trying to segway to? Do these video game tropes contribute to that? Are we just not being sensitive enough?

    I guess I just don't see the point because the flip side of that coin is for every female "support" role that has been abused, there are easily just as many males that have filled that role (or pets, etc -- non-females). Perhaps it is the lack of female role in the spotlight she's not pleased with? I walked away really uncertain on what to think (again, perhaps since I was pretty checked out towards the end).

    That all being said, she specifically omitted number of assaults on men in the same period of time. She fails to cite any instances where a man is belittled, humiliated, or just over-all abused in the same role for "character development" (trust me -- there are many). It seemed like a very one-sided look at it.
  • JediSange
    Featured Contributor
    "Violence against women is a serious global epidemic; therefore, attempts to address the issue in fictional contexts demands a considerable degree of respect, subtlety and nuance. Women shouldn’t be mere disposable objects or symbolic pawns in stories about men and their own struggles with patriarchal expectations and inadequacies."

    So she wants people to filter themselves based on the state of the world? Sounds like "free speech" and a moral crusade -- at best. Beyond that, she says specifically that women shouldn't be disposable objects. Why just women? There are male roles that have filled that for years. You're going to have to get in line, honey.

    And lastly, the assumptive part about the inadequacies. Yeah. That's why the comments are turned off on her YouTube video. Just saying.
    Last edited 3 years ago
  • Katy Hollingsworth
    Former Staff Editor
    She says in the video that these things don't directly contribute, but that developers should think more about the messages they're sending when they create games that have these situations.

    I think that she's probably completely in favor of eliminating these problems for both genders, but her discussion--for the moment--is focused around women. It might be interesting to see her do a series on how these games can be harmful to the perception of men and the 'ideal, alpha male' guy.

    I don't think she wants people to filter themselves, but I think she wants the industry to take violence against women more seriously and not trivialize it within the context of the game.

    And her YouTube comments are turned off probably due to the threats, as you know.
    Last edited 3 years ago
  • Max Jay
    Featured Columnist
    So I watched this, and she's not wrong. I've been saying that women are misrepresented in video games for ages, and anyone with a kernel of insight can see it.

    I do have a problem with how she's confronting this issue though: the best example of which is the repeated use of the word "insidious."

    She claims that these plot devices are used to elicit essentially false emotion, but she uses this word for the exact same reason. I feel like she's baiting people into feeling guilty about something that is beyond the control of the average consumer, which would force any community to feel defensive and react in a combative way.

    I don't have a problem with what she's saying, because it really is something that needs to be examined on many levels, however her method via Fox News level bias is not breeding the understanding I think she's seeking.
  • Katy Hollingsworth
    Former Staff Editor
    I feel like her word of the day was 'insidious'.

    It's strange that she uses this word then goes on to say that developers aren't doing these things on purpose.

    Pretty contradictory. But I do agree, she could have put things in a more developer/company focused light rather than trying to guilt the consumer.
  • Max Jay
    Featured Columnist
    I agree. I did think it was big of her to say that developers were likely not doing this on purpose, but it seemed too little too late by that point.

    Maybe she's an evil genius and she's martyring herself just to get people to talk.
  • Katy Hollingsworth
    Former Staff Editor
    A strange way to go about it, but it's a discussion worth having. She certainly isn't the first person to say these things.
    Last edited 3 years ago
  • Max Jay
    Featured Columnist
    Absolutely. Maybe we'll see some story changes in the future so we don't always feel the same motivation in every other game.

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