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Kickstarter "Tropes vs Women in Videogames"

Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 9:55 am
by Erik_Twice
I'm kind of surprised this hasn't been posted here:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/566 ... ideo-games

There has been a controversy around this because there was a lot of sexist youtube comments:

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/vi ... nist-Horde

As of the time of writting, the kickstarter has amassed around 150K$ for her videos.




I'm personally dissapointed that this specific woman got so much support and money because I think she's really poor at handling the topic and her confrontative tone won't gain her many friends. One hundred fifty thousand is quite the money for a person who complains about how there aren't two women in Fight Club and makes too many "she's objectified because real women don't have big breasts" for my taste.

Thoughts?

Re: Kickstarter "Tropes vs Women in Videogames"

Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 9:59 am
by Flake
Nothing beyond my usual misgivings about kickstarter projects. If people want to throw away their money, there's not really any way to stop them.

Re: Kickstarter "Tropes vs Women in Videogames"

Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 10:03 am
by sabrage
That Escapist article is hilarious. "BREAKING NEWS: Youtube commenters the scum of the earth!" Tomorrow's headline: "Video games largely targeted at adolescent boys!"

Re: Kickstarter "Tropes vs Women in Videogames"

Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 11:55 am
by threetoed
sabrage wrote:That Escapist article is hilarious. "BREAKING NEWS: Youtube commenters the scum of the earth!" Tomorrow's headline: "Video games largely targeted at adolescent boys!"


Anti-violence crusaders: Video games are aimed at children and filled with gratuitous and graphic violence.

The Video Game Community: The average age of gamers is 27 (or whatever) because games are aimed at adults.

Roger Ebert: Games are a brainless toy for children.

The Video Game Community: Games are art; they're interactivity allows them to affect the emotion of the player in a stronger way than other media.

Feminist Critics: Since video games are art, we should examine their depictions of women.

The Video Game Community: Games are toys for children, you're over-thinking them!

Re: Kickstarter "Tropes vs Women in Videogames"

Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 2:20 pm
by Gamerforlife
threetoed wrote:
sabrage wrote:That Escapist article is hilarious. "BREAKING NEWS: Youtube commenters the scum of the earth!" Tomorrow's headline: "Video games largely targeted at adolescent boys!"


Anti-violence crusaders: Video games are aimed at children and filled with gratuitous and graphic violence.

The Video Game Community: The average age of gamers is 27 (or whatever) because games are aimed at adults.

Roger Ebert: Games are a brainless toy for children.

The Video Game Community: Games are art; they're interactivity allows them to affect the emotion of the player in a stronger way than other media.

Feminist Critics: Since video games are art, we should examine their depictions of women.

The Video Game Community: Games are toys for children, you're over-thinking them!


and the funny thing is, there's some truth to EACH of those arguments

One that I really disagree greatly with is number four. Not that I don't think games are art, because any idiot knows that they are. I just disagree that they affect the emotions of the players in a stronger way than other media.

I have played games with great, emotional stories certainly. They are capable of creating emotion in a player and telling good stories. However, if you asked me to name some of the greatest and most emotionally compelling stories I've every experienced - like a top 10 or 20 list - they would ALL come from other forms of media. Even the best gaming stories I can think of don't match the best stories I've seen in TV, novels, movies, comics, etc. Even as a fan of the gaming medium, I just find that games don't compete with other mediums for story telling. The best thing about games has and always will be the gameplay experience. The "fun" of doing whatever tasks or challenges the game presents, but I can't think of many games that truly match the best works of fiction in other mediums personally. I honestly can't. I can give you a list of top ten or twenty video game stories, but when you expand that list to include ALL entertainment mediums - there isn't a single game that I have ever played that would crack a top 10 or 20 list

Re: Kickstarter "Tropes vs Women in Videogames"

Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 2:29 pm
by dsheinem
Here's what I mentioned via PM to a member who asked me about this last week:

I will keep an eye on this, but, as I've said before, I think that FAR too often people focus on representation of in-game characters as the biggest or only problem with how women are treated by the games industry and game culture. it is of course a giant problem that shapes sexism in other areas of the industry/hobby, but I think that change needs to happen more at the level of equal inclusion in physical spaces (board rooms, developer meetings, conventions, etc.) and in non-game virtual spaces (messageboards, journalism, etc.) than it necessarily does at the level of the 3D model or box art. So while I applaud her efforts, as I am looking at the kick-starter it seems to address the "weed" and not the "root".

I will say, the fact that she raised $160K to make videos makes me want to consider if Kickstarter is a viable platform for funding future projects in cultural criticism :shock: I want a piece of that kind of cash pie :lol:

Re: Kickstarter "Tropes vs Women in Videogames"

Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 2:36 pm
by Gamerforlife
That's true. Games are a representation of their makers. We need women more involved in the gaming community, and a great diversity of them. It seems like too many woman who actually do make it in the gaming industry just end up conforming to whatever role they think guys expect of them. The kind of girl who thinks that all of the oversexualized women are cool, and spends all her time playing shooters like Call of Duty, cause that's what the guys do. Tomboy types, not that there is anything wrong with that, but that seems typical of a lot of girls in the gaming community. Certainly many of the ones I've seen

Re: Kickstarter "Tropes vs Women in Videogames"

Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 4:22 pm
by threetoed
Gamerforlife wrote:One that I really disagree greatly with is number four. Not that I don't think games are art, because any idiot knows that they are. I just disagree that they affect the emotions of the players in a stronger way than other media.


No, I agree, I just needed to put something there. I was just trying to get at the uniqueness of games as a medium because of their interactivity.

dsheinem wrote: it is of course a giant problem that shapes sexism in other areas of the industry/hobby, but I think that change needs to happen more at the level of equal inclusion in physical spaces (board rooms, developer meetings, conventions, etc.) and in non-game virtual spaces (messageboards, journalism, etc.) than it necessarily does at the level of the 3D model or box art. So while I applaud her efforts, as I am looking at the kick-starter it seems to address the "weed" and not the "root".


Those are, I think, 2 separate problems. You don't need to be a woman to realize that if the only women in your game are background decoration or prizes to be won, there is a problem. We need more women in those places because we are missing out on what they, as individuals, can bring to this hobby.

Gamerforlife wrote:The kind of girl who thinks that all of the oversexualized women are cool, and spends all her time playing shooters like Call of Duty, cause that's what the guys do. Tomboy types, not that there is anything wrong with that, but that seems typical of a lot of girls in the gaming community. Certainly many of the ones I've seen


Notice what you've done here though: guys play Call of Duty because they want to, but girls do it only to get guys. How welcome do you think women feel in gaming when the default idea about them is that they are just doing it to get guys? I mean, just going through a list of 1UP.com/EGM writers I can find plenty of female gamers who don't only play CoD.

Also, could it be that some of those girls don't object to, or who even embrace, oversexualized women in games, do so because if they do speak out, they are called confrontation, or their concerns are minimized, or worse (see the Escapist link)?

Re: Kickstarter "Tropes vs Women in Videogames"

Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 4:26 pm
by AppleQueso
lots and lots of sexism talk around here lately

i mean it's provoked some interesting discussion, but yeah... this is what, the third thread this week?

Re: Kickstarter "Tropes vs Women in Videogames"

Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 4:40 pm
by Erik_Twice
I really ,really agree dsheinem. There's more talk about Lar's boobs than about how shitty Xbox live really is or how about 99% of game designers are men.

As a whole, I find attacking the symptom instead of the cause to be the single most important problem moral movements have right now. There are too many "easy" complaints that are levelled without a willingness to dig and take the real dirt. This stuff never sounds good and if you are getting easy answers it's because someone is selling you them.

threetoed wrote:You don't need to be a woman to realize that if the only women in your game are background decoration or prizes to be won, there is a problem.

Not inherently, context is everything. The quite literal TV Babes of Smash TV come to mind.


@AppleQueso

I'm the one to blame. I haven't gamed much these days and my critical energy is being focused to articles so I don't have much to say about games themselves right now :lol: