Brontoforumus Archive

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:


This board has been fossilized.
You are reading an archive of Brontoforumus, a.k.a. The Worst Forums Ever, from 2008 to early 2014.  Registration and posting (for most members) has been disabled here to discourage spambots from taking over.  Old members can still log in to view boards, PMs, etc.

The new message board is at http://brontoforum.us.

Pages: 1 2 [3] 4 5 6 7 8 ... 24

Author Topic: Social Issues in Games  (Read 11874 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Mongrel

  • Emoticon Knight-Errant
  • kodePunc Team
  • Tested
  • *
  • Karma: -65340
  • Posts: 17029
    • View Profile
Re: Social Issues in Games
« Reply #40 on: March 10, 2013, 04:21:23 AM »

Wait, that actually happened? I thought DestyNova was just kidding.
Logged

Beat Bandit

  • be entranced by my sexy rhythm
  • High-Bullshit
  • Tested
  • Karma: -65418
  • Posts: 4293
    • View Profile
Re: Social Issues in Games
« Reply #41 on: March 10, 2013, 06:11:32 AM »

It was about as realistic as this one. People were literally feeding trolls with that money and suddenly they're surprised nothing good comes of it.
Logged

Ted Belmont

  • Tested
  • Karma: 50
  • Posts: 3447
    • View Profile
Re: Social Issues in Games
« Reply #42 on: March 10, 2013, 10:27:04 AM »

More info here.
Logged

Classic

  • Happens more often than you'd think.
  • Tested
  • Karma: -58471
  • Posts: 7501
    • View Profile
Re: Re: Videodrome
« Reply #43 on: March 10, 2013, 11:29:24 AM »

EDIT: I feel like maybe I'm getting too tangent and need this threadsplit somehow. Urgh. It's mostly retreading stuff about how FF6 has some weird sticky points that have probably been written elsewhere.


I kind of give the intros for Terra and Celes a pass, because I felt they'd work just as well happening to Leo (excepting gender specific pronouns, etc. etc.) and also probably because I hadn't noticed some of the more odious tropes they brush against.

I mean, reviewing it, there's a disconcerting pattern, even if the individual decisions are justifiable.
By "justifiable" I mean, Terra's slave crown whatever gives us a justification for amnesia, introduces the empire as technologically advanced douchebags (as if we didn't get that from the opening scene), and makes it clear that Terra is an unstoppable engine of death. Sure, she's insecure and somewhat emotional but it all makes sense. I mean, outside of revenge, she doesn't have any stakes in the Empire/Returner's struggle as both sides are keen to weaponize her.

But when I think about how each character is introduced:

  • Terra- Above, rescued by Esper.
  • Locke- Rescuing Terra with the help of moogles.
  • Mog- Aiding Locke in rescuing Terra; Or needing rescue from Wolf.
  • Edgar- Playboy prince that hits on everything that moves and arranges for your first chocobo ride to make a big fuck you to the empire
  • Shadow- Encountered in a bar; Or helping Sabin out and waiving the fee.
  • Sabin- Saves the party from a battle they can't win in a neat duel to the death that shows off his special mechanics.
  • Cyan- Saved by party from "successfully completing" a suicide attack.
  • Gau- Met on Veldt; Guides party to the way to Narshe in exchange for jerky.
  • Celes- Rescued from torture and execution by Locke.
  • Setzer- Crazy airship owner who abducts an "opera star" for kicks and joins a rebellion he has no stakes in on a bet.
  • Strago- Rescues Relm from a burning building.
  • Relm- Being rescued from a burning building.

It seems like the characters who get rescued wind up being female. Is that something I should care about?
Logged

Classic

  • Happens more often than you'd think.
  • Tested
  • Karma: -58471
  • Posts: 7501
    • View Profile
Re: Re: Videodrome
« Reply #44 on: March 10, 2013, 11:46:32 AM »

The video series is of such hostility and nitpicking that it's going to focus on one or two small things to invalidate the character or game entirely.

I just did not see this hostility you mention (again, not willing to re-watch the video). I don't think Zelda for example is diminished by the titular character's many, many "damselized" incarnations and I don't think the video ever made intimations of that. Sarkeesian didn't even reach for her "preferring 'masculine' traits is systemic, societal sexism" card in this one.
Logged

  • Magic Gunner Miss Blue
  • Tested
  • Karma: -65461
  • Posts: 4300
    • View Profile
Re: Re: Videodrome
« Reply #45 on: March 10, 2013, 12:09:56 PM »

She admits Zelda is sometimes shown more capable, and labels it with basically "Damsel that helps" which reads to me "It still counts as DiD, no matter what happens."
Logged

  • Magic Gunner Miss Blue
  • Tested
  • Karma: -65461
  • Posts: 4300
    • View Profile
Re: Re: Videodrome
« Reply #46 on: March 10, 2013, 12:24:29 PM »

She continues to speak of games and those who play them as if they suddenly pop into existence hating women. When she mentions Double Dragon, she says the name with the same amount of bile and venom you'd say the name of an STD, and then devotes a bit to how horrible it is that retro games with HD makeovers are coming back, treating the world to "this regressive crap all over again" , as if seeing Double Dragon Neon is going to make a 32 year old man suddenly walk up to a woman and punch her in the stomach, going "BIDEO JAMES SAID I COULD"

In regards to the hostility. There's also zero attempt to show how to attempt to fight it or do better, beyond "Make female heroes more!" which as the above post for a Japanese game illustrated, uh, isn't a magic salve.
Logged

Classic

  • Happens more often than you'd think.
  • Tested
  • Karma: -58471
  • Posts: 7501
    • View Profile
Re: Re: Videodrome
« Reply #47 on: March 10, 2013, 01:12:00 PM »

She admits Zelda is sometimes shown more capable, and labels it with basically "Damsel that helps" which reads to me "It still counts as DiD, no matter what happens."
OK. I re-watched some of it. Although immediately prior to the "helpful damsel" comment (would Link be a helpful damsel in Twilight Princess?) she does mention that Damsel in Distress is a trope that happens to characters, not (necessarily) the sum of a character's identity. Which seems to be confusing the issue, since it implies that a "helpful damsel" isn't somehow the architect of their escape because they use some outside assistance.
Muddy, but not yet hostile.

I re-watched the Double Dragon thing and, yeah, that was (a tiny bit) hostile (as in, she got slightly angry after showing signs of exasperation with the trope in games outside of her big two). Especially considering the other weird gender politics at play in Double Dragon that are arguably more offensive. I guess using violence to dis-empower a woman is a personal gripe of hers?

It's just... When I compare this video to say... the Heavens to Metroid videos that Movie Bob did, his default tone seems more hostile (or maybe the right word is combative or contentious) than even that pique.

There's also zero attempt to show how to attempt to fight it or do better
Does there have to be one? The express purpose of the video is to say, "This is a trope. This is why I don't like it and think it's harmful." I don't think she even suggests that female characters should be player characters more often. The ambition of the video ends at presenting the trope as both pervasive and demeaning to women. This isn't a topic of discussion where the suggestion of an alternative is necessary (hell, it might be counter-productive).

EDIT:
OK, she suggests that female characters have their own adventures. Which isn't exactly being a PC but certainly implies it.
Logged

Mongrel

  • Emoticon Knight-Errant
  • kodePunc Team
  • Tested
  • *
  • Karma: -65340
  • Posts: 17029
    • View Profile
Re: Re: Videodrome
« Reply #48 on: March 10, 2013, 01:54:40 PM »

Okay, so I'm genuinely curious what you guys think about something that isn't really video game related, but still involves women as created by Japanese artists.

Specifically I’ve always wondered about the female protagonists of Masmune Shirow's work (note: I am only speaking of the actual Manga. Adaptations generally ruin the characters pretty badly).

Now, on one level, it's pretty clear that Shirow is just masturbating furiously as he panders to his own fetishes. God knows that if we talk about the images rather than the writing, this argument is over before it even begins. Shirow’s drawing style is hopelessly sexist, if not downright raunchy.

But does that invalidate the characters he creates?

First off, they're the product of harsh environments (military service in wartime or during periods of great social instability), but neither rape nor torture have been used as a shorthand for character building. On the flip side, their pasts are usually not referred to in any great detail, making them something of a cipher. Most crucially, they tend to be particularly talented. Their rise to rank is sort of implied by those talents, but this generally not stated explicitly (it is stated outright in GitS, though only briefly, in an offhand way).

Shirow’s female leads are shown as being pretty unique in their maturity and skill. Most ancillary depictions of women have them as more traditional stereotypes, but I’m not sure that’s as negative as it seems, because it’s showing valid differentiation between individuals and also more crucially because not all the minor female characters come off poorly. Several minor characters like the Russian Ambassador in GitS or Asada seem like equally strong or at least responsible figures.

The second Dominion book is especially interesting in this this, as most of the other women come off as are catty or ditzes. Yet if you scrape the surface most of them have some positive traits. Asada is depicted as eager and young without being stupid or crazy (in fact she seems much more reasonable than her squad commander, Leona), the puma sisters (yeah, I went there) are the product of an incredibly bizarre origin (basically, combat sex toys for Buaku’s gang in the original book) and are in fact willing and eager to learn; they’re written much more like children rescued from a war zone. Even the parking patrol girls are demonstrated to be “dizzy dames” not because of any inherent failing, but because they been put (allowed themselves to be put?) on fairly rigid career and life rails, with one of them maybe growing a little by the end of the book (debatable).

Deunan and Motoko tend towards a stern professionalism that dominates their other personality traits and this could arguably make them somewhat one-dimensional, but that also fits someone who is pretty hardcore career military/police. Some traditionally female traits do come out as a sort of motherliness that creeps into their command style, and distinguishes them (slightly) from some of their male colleagues and we do see small personal moments with friends or old acquaintances here and there.

The characters are not all interchangeable clones of one another, though they are certain done in a similar style. In Motoko’s case, her relationship with her command is a little more collegial (outside of Togusa, as her squad members are from very similar elite forces backgrounds. There the critical determinant of respect is skill, where Togusa is much more on the outs than anyone else.

Deunan of course is the only major character in any sort of romance that’s a core book relationship (Motoko’s relationship is little more than a plot hook, and of course, Al’s love for Leona is wholly unrequited). Romance isn’t Shirow’s strong point by any means, but he does a reasonably credible job of portraying a relationship that’s sometimes distant or strained because its principals are both two high-flying professionals at the same workplace. We also get more backstory for Deunan than anyone else, such as her father’s work and the racism her mother endured. Deunan is probably the most tempered and “whole” person out of Shirow’s female leads.

Even Leona - a character much closer to the traditional "loopy dame" begins to pick up some of Motoko/Deunan’s stern parental command style in the second dominion book, becoming much more responsible with her squad and losing a significant portion of her loopiness (though it still comes in frequent outbursts).

I haven’t mentioned Seska from Orion yet, so it’s worth bringing her up.  Seska is way closer to the traditional “One-dimensional Crazy Broad Protagonist” that features often enough in Anime/Manga. Certainly she’s no argument for feminism of any kind (unless you think that untempered aggression is somehow feminist). I guess you could argue that Orion shows that the character of his other female leads is more of a deliberate choice, rather than a rote habit?

It also bears mentioning that in a fun display of turnabout, many of the men are portrayed as softer-hearted, more gullible, or more domesticated than the female protagonist, sometimes to the point of their displaying far more feminity than the woman (though the last part’s usually played for gags).

So I don’t know, I think there’s actually something in all that. It’s a complex picture, not without its flaws, but maybe a positive one overall?

:tldr:

What I'm saying is that in spite of the hilariously misogynist visual window dressing that completely saturates Shirow’s work, I've always wanted to give him credit for the way he actually writes his characters, especially considering the fact that he's Japanese.  But I've also wondered whether I was in the minority there.
Logged

Mongrel

  • Emoticon Knight-Errant
  • kodePunc Team
  • Tested
  • *
  • Karma: -65340
  • Posts: 17029
    • View Profile
Re: Re: Videodrome
« Reply #49 on: March 10, 2013, 02:02:12 PM »

Also, yeah, Threadsplit/merge time. Maybe the "What's wrong with being sexy?" thread? Or maybe an entirely new one.
Logged

patito

  • kodePunc Team
  • Tested
  • *
  • Karma: 14
  • Posts: 1181
    • View Profile
Re: Re: Videodrome
« Reply #50 on: March 10, 2013, 02:05:21 PM »

Specifically I’ve always wondered about the female protagonists of Masmune Shirow's work (note: I am only speaking of the actual Manga. Adaptations generally ruin the characters pretty badly).

Stand Alone Complet is way better than the manga, just saying.
Logged

  • Magic Gunner Miss Blue
  • Tested
  • Karma: -65461
  • Posts: 4300
    • View Profile
Re: Re: Videodrome
« Reply #51 on: March 10, 2013, 02:08:24 PM »

There's a bit in 2nd GiG, where (I think) the female prime minister gets sent a box of thumbs, and everyone tells her to not look. Her response is "Undue concern for women leads to contempt of them."
Logged

Beat Bandit

  • be entranced by my sexy rhythm
  • High-Bullshit
  • Tested
  • Karma: -65418
  • Posts: 4293
    • View Profile
Re: Social Issues in Games
« Reply #52 on: March 10, 2013, 02:19:34 PM »

STOP MOVING THIS THREAD AROUND WHILE I'M RESPONDING

as if seeing Double Dragon Neon is going to make a 32 year old man suddenly walk up to a woman and punch her in the stomach, going "BIDEO JAMES SAID I COULD"
The thing that was most annoying about the specific mention of Double Dragon Neon is that Marian gets the trope of good girl turned villain, light arrows (gives you the power to beat the last boss) and even [spoiler]actually gets the last hit on the final boss[/spoiler].

But you know, those things aren't mentioned on the wikipedia page for the game so it's not her fault for not knowing to delve further.
Logged

Classic

  • Happens more often than you'd think.
  • Tested
  • Karma: -58471
  • Posts: 7501
    • View Profile
Re: Social Issues in Games
« Reply #53 on: March 10, 2013, 02:38:22 PM »

I've always wanted to give him credit for the way he actually writes his characters, especially considering the fact that he's Japanese.
Derailing, yeah, but when you make something especially considering something you're saying "for an x." That's like saying the Tropes Vs. Series is intelligent and composed for a woman.

I'm not trying to deny that Japan's gender politics are different than the US's (and are in some ways more regressive) but it will read as ethnocentric unless done very carefully. I mean, in America, we still have artists whose "thing" is "Strong Female Characters" just like in Japan.

But yeah, basically in all of the comic books I read, every so often I have a moment where I say to myself, "WTF is up with this omnipresent pandering bullshit?" that makes whatever it is I'm reading into a guilty pleasure.
Logged

Mongrel

  • Emoticon Knight-Errant
  • kodePunc Team
  • Tested
  • *
  • Karma: -65340
  • Posts: 17029
    • View Profile
Re: Social Issues in Games
« Reply #54 on: March 10, 2013, 02:50:56 PM »

Specifically I’ve always wondered about the female protagonists of Masmune Shirow's work (note: I am only speaking of the actual Manga. Adaptations generally ruin the characters pretty badly).

Stand Alone Complet is way better than the manga, just saying.

Well, if I'm being less glib, I'd say that I want to deal with the original source material as opposed to an adaption.

Funny enough, as a result of all those adaptations, Shirow may be turn out to be one of the biggest promoters of serious female protagonists in Japan. I'd also give Miyazaki a lot of credit there and a probably a few other creators as well.
Logged

Classic

  • Happens more often than you'd think.
  • Tested
  • Karma: -58471
  • Posts: 7501
    • View Profile
Re: Social Issues in Games
« Reply #55 on: March 10, 2013, 02:55:32 PM »

Miyazaki is basically part 1 of my two part "JAPAN SO MUCH MORE SEXIST THAN US" sentiment rebuttal.
Part 2 is Joss Whedon's, glib little, I'll keep being the guy who writes "strong female characters" until people stop asking me why I write strong female characters.

Of course, you know, I know a handful of Japanese expats who sincerely and earnestly prefer the US's gender politics to Japan's.

EDIT:
Added the word "rebuttal".
The Joss Whedon thing is a reference to this: http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/512752-q-so-why-do-you-write-these-strong-female-characters

EDIT EDIT:
But actually, http://www.themarysue.com/reconsidering-the-feminism-of-joss-whedon/ maybe makes my point about Whedon better than that quote does. i.e., America isn't exactly a haven of gender equality either.
Logged

Mongrel

  • Emoticon Knight-Errant
  • kodePunc Team
  • Tested
  • *
  • Karma: -65340
  • Posts: 17029
    • View Profile
Re: Social Issues in Games
« Reply #56 on: March 10, 2013, 02:59:46 PM »

I thought Joss Whedon was actually pretty open about the source for all his Strong Female Characters, in that his mother is/was a really outspoken feminist and raised him that way?

Miyazaki is basically part 1 of my two part "JAPAN SO MUCH MORE SEXIST THAN US" sentiment.

Buhwuh? Are you saying Myazaki's characters are sexist or encourage sexism? Or that they demonstrate particularly Japanese aspects of sexism?

Logged

Mongrel

  • Emoticon Knight-Errant
  • kodePunc Team
  • Tested
  • *
  • Karma: -65340
  • Posts: 17029
    • View Profile
Re: Social Issues in Games
« Reply #57 on: March 10, 2013, 03:06:22 PM »

I will piss any number of people off though when I say I don't really like Joss Whedon's characters at all. Very few of them seem like real people to me and are much more like IMPORTANT! IMPORTANT! JOSS WHEDON HAS SOMETHING TO SAY AND WANTS TO MAKE SURE YOU KNOW THAT HE HAS SOMETHING TO SAY! 

I wouldn't call him a white knight, because he seems to come by the desire to write strong female characters honestly. It's just that he can't. They're staid and formulaic (though he at least manages to make them feel like formulas he created himself).

I guess I like some of the the male characters from what I've seen of Firefly? I dunno guys. Maybe it's one of those instances of someone trying too hard and accidentally squeezing the life out of their creations as a result
Logged

Mongrel

  • Emoticon Knight-Errant
  • kodePunc Team
  • Tested
  • *
  • Karma: -65340
  • Posts: 17029
    • View Profile
Re: Social Issues in Games
« Reply #58 on: March 10, 2013, 03:09:20 PM »

Okay, that makes a lot more sense. Miyazaki's women are really excellent characters. Also, the sky is blue, etc. 
Logged

  • Magic Gunner Miss Blue
  • Tested
  • Karma: -65461
  • Posts: 4300
    • View Profile
Re: Social Issues in Games
« Reply #59 on: March 10, 2013, 03:19:16 PM »

Miyazaki is very big on gender equality - he's spoken out very harshly of the entire moe movement -

Quote from: Spake the Wiki, Nevermore
In response to the growing otaku fetishization of cute female characters in anime and manga, Japanese animator and self-avowed feminist Hayao Miyazaki has stated:

    It's difficult. They immediately become the subjects of lolicon fetishism. In a sense, if we want to depict someone who is affirmative to us, we have no choice but to make them as lovely as possible. But now, there are too many people who shamelessly depict [such heroines] as if they just want [such girls] as pets, and things are escalating more and more.
    —Hayao Miyazaki, From "Why heroines in Miyazaki works: A collection of short excerpts"
Logged
Pages: 1 2 [3] 4 5 6 7 8 ... 24