Anita Sarkeesian's new video is about what games do right

Haven’t watched the vid yet, but must say I’m happy to hear ms. Sarkeesian going through positive things. I found her old vids quite negative and chock full of things that were wrong and skimming past any positive aspects. Made them a chore and a half to watch.

Sarkeesian raised almost 160,000 dollars, three years ago, for her Troupes Vs Women In Video Games. How many videos did she complete?

Three.

Three Videos in three years. While there is nothing wrong with this video, it’s great that she show casing an Indie game that is about exploration, she is shirking her responsibility to her backers. Are people going to admit to themselves that she is a fraud.

Three videos out of twelve that she promised back in 2012.

That’s interesting, because I’ve felt quite critical of Buffy specifically because I didn’t feel that her femininity was well integrated with the character. It felt more like ‘warrior’ and ‘girl’ had been conceived separately, like two balls of plasticine, and then squashed together without blending. Also her moments of weakness closely correlated with her desire for ‘normal girl stuff’ (like in every series) which, aside from the fact that every series ran the same damn story arc, is an unhealthy association in my opinion. Obviously as a work of entertainment there are multiple interpretations, but my impression was that the femininity she craved was presented as inherently weak, which I find a restrictive understanding of femininity.

Generally I don’t think Joss Whedon is as great an ally as he thinks he is. I love his work as entertainment, but I find that some of the things suggested as pro-feminist commentary within his stories are creepy as hell. For intance when I heard about the suggested future plot development ‘Inarra Serra raped by Reavers, they all die because of magic vagina woo’ I was almost glad that the series got cancelled. Almost.

Back on track, I thought the video was good. I don’t understand the hostility towards women in games or gaming. I mean, I think I understand the mentality that it comes from but I don’t understand the sense of threat - I guess that they feel that if they concede that some games should feature non-stereotyped females, then the next step will be the suppression of the stereotyped male characters that they love so much? I dunno. I think Anita hit the nail on the head when she commented that women are expected to be happy identifying with male characters, but men are considered incapable of identifying with female characters - which is a pretty sad indictment of the male gamer if that’s what developers think.

I actually hate the amount of fan-service that goes on in games aimed at the ‘true gamer’ geek core demographic (presumed to be male). Half Life 2 is the most egregious example that comes to mind. You can barely play for 5 minutes at a time without some brown-nosing NPC idiot gushing “Oh Gordon, I’m so glad you are here! You are so smart and brave and handsome!” Then there’s Alyx, who starts off as usual presenting this strong-willed, independent facade but over the course of the game melts into a gushy, simpering, obvious pseudo-girlfriend type. The whole thing stinks of a massive effort to draw a certain type of player in by heaping the validation that they crave (and presumably lack from elsewhere) upon them.

7 Likes

This is the sixth video in that series. The initial kickstarter was only for five 10-minute videos, so if you kicked in five bucks you would already received more than you were promised by now. She wasn’t under any obligation to increase the number or length of the videos just because people kept throwing money at her, so the total amount raised is irrelevant. As a contributor of $0.00, I for one am extremely happy with what I’ve received so far, and am looking forward to another six great videos.

11 Likes

Wow, Gamergaters [1] suck at math.

9 Likes

I read that as “toupees vs women”, and pictured a Captain Kirk supercut full of 60’s machismo, go-go boots, and blue women. Which, in discussions on this topic, was a nice bit of (unintentional) levity. That you for your glorious typo.

On topic: she’s made more than 3 videos. Her Kickstarter does raise some, potentially ill-founded, suspicions, but no more than most Kickstarters. Kickstarter is an ethically grey area, and without any transparency or accounting there is no way to actually know what your money went to. Nor are any backers actually obligated to anything. Basically the value of Kickstarter wholly exists in the opinions of the backers; if her backers feel like they got their monies worth, then Sarkeesian did her job.

Also, bringing up the value, honesty, or whatnot of her Kickstarter doesn’t really have anything to do with anything. It doesn’t effect her message, or content in anyway. You have to evaluate her merits on her statements, not on the ethics (or lack of) of her funding.

7 Likes

I haven’t actually figured out if Whedon is a feminist, or a creep. He does love strong female characters, but to the point of it being fetishistic. He also loves leather pants.

I don’t see that as a problem, if handled well. I’m a guy, and not a famle, super-powered, kung-fu, supernatural vampire killing machine, but I can see where the tension would lie in my mundane life. The dissonance between who you are, and who you “should” be (ala social norms). There is a comfort in norms, and further, there is an expectation in them. Also, Buffy didn’t want to be transgressive, she just was; this caused conflict. Remember the movie, she was a social standard “girly girl”, who was basically forced to become strong and independent, her fate broke her comfortable norms which caused tension.

1 Like

4 Likes

How can you complain that someone you don’t like hasn’t released enough videos that you didn’t pay for, that you hate, without looking like an utter tool?

And how do you reconcile your complaints with the fact that the people who did crowdfund them are very happy with what she’s produced?

7 Likes

Does Kill Bill count as one movie, or two?

Is there only one Star Wars film? It’s divided into parts; must be one?

Math is hard, let’s ask questions?

6 Likes

Here’s her budget for FF for the Kickstarter Skeptics.

5 Likes

I mean, there’s nothing wrong with having a fetish for strong women. But in Whedon’s case, he’s not only interested in the strength but also exposing vulnerability, and for that reason I think the result is some really mixed messages about strong women. I think that although he consciously intends to do otherwise, in reality he falls into many of the traditional patterns of film and TV in his portrayal of strong women and the ways that they are punished for it.

Again, I don’t consider my view on it to be a universal truth or anything, but I think that the ‘but I just want to be one of the popular girls’ theme would really have sufficed for the movie, and OK, maybe the first series since it was a lot later and many people hadn’t seen the film. Continually returning to it was boring, but it also tells transgressive viewers (or those that feel they are transgressive) that actually, really there isn’t any adjustment or adaptation or other way; really you should just be unhappy about not fitting in, because there’s no substitute for just being normal.

1 Like

I see your point. But I think if the conflict between transgression and “normality” is done well and intentionally it can also be a very strong storytelling. I think that most of us, even on the normal end of the spectrum feel that conflict from time to time, so it is somewhat universal. To over-analyze; doing what we’re “supposed” to do is a psychologically comforting thought because this is what society tells us to do. We’re trained to see this as the path of least resistance. To overestimate Buffy, she had a conflict between normative behavior and her transgressiveness, but ultimately she didn’t need the normative behavior and could find solace in her being her, and the other “misfits” drawn to her. Basically “You can’t be a materialistic girly cheerleader, but that’s okay”. I suppose, in watching the show the audience would rather be in her group of misfits, than in the normative group. The main normative character (Cordelia) wasn’t portrayed as happy or whole until she learned to transgress.

I’m not going to say I’m right, I’m probably not; or that this was the intentional message in Buffy, it probably wasn’t since that show went off the rails in later seasons.

1 Like

Hah, I was on another computer and usually log in with another account I created long before the move to this commenting board :smiley:

With all the Redpill rants about / participation in “false flag” lunacy, I don’t blame you for any paranoia about a new account posting in these threads!

1 Like

…just observations, not arguments…

Joss and his portrayal of people is initially simple but complex as the layers are examined. He uses entertaining, accessible tropes to expose people to hard ideas.

I believe his work has made the world better more than it has detracted from it. (Wish I could say the same for myself)

1 Like

“Terrible food here.”

“And the portions are so small!”

7 Likes

I like Sarkessian’s videos. I like the way she discusses issues, and I like that people gave her money. I still find her output to be low compared to her revenue, but explicably so. I don’t think it’s an issue that Gators should be bringing up, because it doesn’t actually affect them or change the substance of any of the arguments. I’m personally not suspicious of Sarkeesian, given that with Kickstarter, people got what they were willing to pay for. I think people couldn’t reconcile how the video costs and the money match together unless Sarkeesian was paying herself a salary. Which is totally okay. It’s not unethical to sink hours and hours of work into something and pay yourself from the funds people gave you to do the work. Also, startup costs for equipment are huge. What’s a professional Adobe Lightroom license going for these days? You can’t make these with Windows Movie Maker.

That being said, and she’s probably not reading this, I’m going to offer her a tip I learned from radio broadcasting: ACT!

Video and audio tend to dilute your personality. She ends up sounding monotone. Just as real acting is to some extent over-acting, presenting is over-presenting. I found myself on radio (just a community radio station, I’m no big-shot DJ) sounding like a monotone jackhole. I learned that you have to inject a certain amount of manufactured enthusiasm into your presentation to come across as normal. It feels unnatural at first. In the recording booth it sounds over-the-top, but the result in editing is someone who sounds merely normal and conversational.

2 Likes

That’s the biggest and most important criticism to Anita Sarkeesian to date.

2 Likes

I’m a bit late, but while the feminist aspects are nice (although they do sort of fall into the “it’s a traditionally male hero, only a girl” valley, which is fine if it’s part of a broad spectrum of female leading characters in society but a bit of a trap if that’s all that happens), I was most impressed with the idea that the hero loses power as the quest goes on. Most games ramp up the difficulty by making the enemies more powerful/faster, and the hero as well (and often mostly keeping pace with the enemies), it’s kind of interesting to see a game where the difficulty increases because the hero gets less healthy, less strong, loses, say, the magic sword and has to make do with a normal one.

I’m sure it’s not the first game to do it like this, but I like it nonetheless.

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.