Anita Sarkeesian on women's bodies as prizes in video games


#1

[Read the post]


#2

Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit bathing. Ugh, that was gross.


#3

I for one am shocked–Shocked!–that Gamestop would ever resort to questionable business practices.


#4

“This is the kind of serious, in-depth, knowledgable criticism that video games need”
This better be sattire.


#5

Welcome to BoingBoing!


#6

How dare she state the obvious? Unleash the trolls!


#7

You mean like Mario trying to rescue Princess Peach?


#8

[quote=“doctorow, post:1, topic:65641”]
Sarkeesian and co are national treasures.
[/quote] you have missed a hint that Cory is little biassed towards her…


#9

Brand new account in 3 posts! Not quite the record, but well played nonetheless.

Also, it’s probably taken as read now that anyone who plays the Dead or Alive series is a dedicated onanist. I’m honestly surprised Team Ninja hasn’t entered the hardware business by now, churning out one handed fighting stick controllers.


#10

Where did you come from and why did you choose to introduce yourself by replying on this topic in this way?


#11

Honestly?

OK, look. There are things she’s said that I don’t agree with, and she certainly faced (some would say) valid criticism for her

The bad thing about her, and it’s not at all her fault, is that she’s a polarizing figure. You either agree with her and defend her to the death, or you disagree completely and fight to the bitter end to prove that dat broad ain’t right.

I won’t go into the aspects I disagree with. Much of what I disagree with happens on Twitter, and as has been said in other threads by someone with admin rights, digging up her old tweets is the last thing she needs (odd for a public figure who critiques 30-year-old video games, but…them’s the rules.) What I’ll say instead is that even if you disagree with her, she’s at least made you think about it a little. What people actually need to do is think about it. A lot. And critically.

Because that’s the thing: just because you disagree, doesn’t mean you’re right. She’s right about one thing: a lot of AAA titles lean heavily on sexist stereotypes. And a lot of them are old and worn out. The creativity just isn’t there. My main criticism here is that I sometimes wonder whether she’s cherry-picking; it’s a tendency I’ve noticed in the liberal arts; studies that beg the question. In this case, I’ve noticed that Feminist Frequency’s game choices tend to be heavy on Japanese studio offerings, without a frank discussion on the treatment of women in Japanese society. But that’s my nitpick, Japanese offerings still tend to be popular in Western society.

The flipside of it is this: just because Anita Sarkeesian says it with gravitas, doesn’t necessarily mean she’s right. And you know what? You’ll find other feminist voices who disagree with her, who also have fairly sound reasons why. Sorry, fellow staight white dudes who will come rushing to her aid, but it’s true. If we were all right, all the time, the world would be homogenized. And boring.

So, I don’t think it’s satire, and I don’t think Cory Doctorow is entirely wrong. Let’s put aside the tendency of outlets like BoingBoing to give everything she says a pass, because she’s gotten death threats. Why? Because we have to. Serious discussion cannot be hobbled with that nonsense. Imagine if Donald Trump started publicizing all the death threats people are surely sending him! Instead, let’s have a serious discussion about it. And ignore anyone who rebuts, say, any claims that male characters are used as prizes, with something like, “Oh, gosh, it must be tough to be a straight white male!” And why do we need to ignore them? Because it’s the best policy for dealing with trolls. But if they come back with data showing that (as I suspect) women are used as prizes more often, we should give that person’s contribution serious thought. Even if they end up being ultimately wrong.

Anyway, I fugre I’m about to get torn apart, but I thought I’d throw that out there. The tl;dr is that while I disagree with Feminist Frequency on occasion, I don’t think that invalidates the claim that she offers serious criticism.


#12

Okay, so we have games that are essentially pornography light (or perhaps not so light, as the case may be).

Now, as a prude, I’m happy to see pornography banned or at least banished from mainstream society.

However, I suspect I’m in the minority here. In which case, I have to ask - how does one square the acceptance of pornography as a form of expression with the the obvious fact that as Ms. Sarkeesian pointed out, it inevitably entails the sexualization and objectification of women’s (and to a lesser extent, men’s) bodies.

How are these games harmful in a way that pornography is not? Is it simply that they sell more copies than Playboy?


#13


#14

And here’s where we go down the rabbit hole of liberal feminism vs. other forms…


#15

There is a small subset of porn that is “feminist porn”. I tend to be delighted by the small avenues available. It’s usually pay for, as those actors should get paid for their work. It’s consensual, clearly so. You can dig around for that. I’m queer though, so I think it’s easier to find if you are not straight.


#16

Mm hm. Do go on.


#17

Her videos have been getting better. I need to check this one out.

As of right now my only complaint about her videos are her release schedule which lags behind other “serious, in-depth, knowledgeable criticism” by a lot.


#18

I’ve found that she does have a point, there is quite a lot of sexism in games and gaming, I just think the methods she uses to bring her point across are poor. Cherry-picking tends to be quite heavy handed and good examples are few and far between.

An important person, yes. National treasure, no.

PS: I suspect if you called Team Ninja sexist to their face, they’d be happy you noticed.


#19

No, YOU had better be satire!


#21

I thought calling something a national treasure was an insult now…

Like, “I think they’re the equivalent of a late-career Nicolas Cage action movie.”