Diecast #49: Broken Age, OOPS FEMINISM, Dark Souls

  By Shamus   Mar 18, 2014   364 comments

So let’s have a nice, calm, non-controversial week talking abo- aw damn it someone mentioned feminism again, didn’t they? Let me get my crash helmet on.


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Hosts: Rutskarn, Mumbles, Josh, Chris, and Shamus.

Show notes:

4:00 Mumbles completed Broken Age.

Mild spoilers.

12:00 OOPS FEMINISM

It’s hard to stop talking about this subject once you get started. For me the compelling thing is the completely anarchic and asymmetrical nature of the debate. This isn’t a two-sided war between people who want female protagonists and people who don’t. This is a multi-faceted debate where extremists tend to get the most attention. There are a lot of different types of “feminists” (who might not even self-identify as feministsI don’t self-identify as one, but I’ve been called one. Labels are dangerous things and the LAST thing I want is another argument over what the word “feminist” means.) who just want more female protagonists. Then there are angry people who think that sexy characters are inherently destructive and that enjoying some T&A makes you a horrible person. Then the other side fails to draw a distinction between these two positions and hilarity ensues. Add in a handful of really ugly, Angry Young Men who spew hate and threats. Then have the feminist sideAnd remember, this side is actually several sides that don’t all self-identify as feminist. paint all of the opposition as if they were in league with – and sympathetic to – the Angry Young Men. Add in a couple of layers of counter-backlash to either side and suddenly it’s really hard to understand how such a simple idea can generate so much outrage.

This complete mayhem creates a desire from people like me to clear up this confusion. Maybe I can’t settle the debate, but maybe I can at least help the various sides understand the complexity of the conflict? But no. My efforts never help and I just end up being yet another idealistic idiot shouting into the storm. And so it goes.

Rutskarn mentioned this post from Susan Arendt on the Titanfall trailer.

We also talk about women being integrated into the US Navy. This is such a sad topic for me. There are a lot more anecdotes like the one I told. The problem is that the whole subject is dripping with politics, and even people doing the right things are often doing them in the wrong way and for the wrong reasons. For reference, these events happened around 1991 through 1993. (My brother was in boot camp when the Tailhook scandal took place.) I don’t know how the Navy is doing these days, but the early days of co-ed service were a complete mess. I could fill several pages with stories about how completely dysfunctional the service was and about how ugly and unfair (to both genders) integration was.

36:00 Rutskarn is working on Unrest and playing Alpha Protocol.

39:30 Chris is prepping for GDC and playing Titanfall

48:00 Shamus is playing Borderlands 2 again, and also playing Path of Exile.

Also we briefly discuss Race the Sun.

55:30 Josh has begun playing The Walking Dead Season 2.

56:00 Josh is playing Dark Souls.

Here is the Dark Souls Critical Close-up Chris mentioned.

1:05:00 MAIL TIME!


A Hundred!A Hundred!A Hundred!2020204364 comments. But who's counting?


  1. Daemian Lucifer says:

    What?!Oh god,how could you?!That topic will fuel such a huge flame war now!Why did you have to put it in?!You guys skillfully managed to avoid mailbag for so long,but you just had to cave in and bring it up,didnt you?Oh the humanity!

    Yes,I know that there was mailbag last few times as well,but its a joke,so stop your nitpicking.

    • DIN aDN says:

      I know, right? It’s like, I used to come to this site for a little peace and quiet listening to the soothing and mellow tones of The Diecast, and suddenly BOOM!
      Mailbag.
      My life is completely and irreparably ruined :P

  2. AncientSpark says:

    The PoE microtransactions are all cosmetics and, the closest thing to buying power in PoE, is stash tabs. They’re not strictly necessary, but as you approach higher level play and later in the league, inventory management becomes a real issue. ESPECIALLY because the only way to farm the most common currency, Chaos Orbs, requires a specific recipe of selling a full set of equipment (jewelry, weapons, and armor), all rare, and you can run into a lot of extra gear before you can fill in a whole set. And because people like me are obsessive and will pick up every skill gem ever.

    Speaking of which, I’m surprised nothing was said about the PoE economy; it’s easily one of the most interesting facets of the game, being both an awesome idea, but also bringing a lot of subtle problems to the game that aren’t apparent until higher level play gets run into. Namely, there is no gold; there are instead currency items that also have inherent effects to items, ranging from the lowly identify items, to modifying magic items, to the ultimate currencies like duplicating items or adding properties to rares. It’s effectively a barter system where the base currency items always hold some value due to their abilities.

    The problem is that, unlike gold, there is no guarantee that you can reach a certain tier of currency. Like, very late into the game, 5 or 6 link armors become incredibly crucial to so many builds in the game, but they generally require Chaos Orbs or Exalted Orbs, the most common player traded currencies. Actually finding enough Chaos Orbs is near impossible, though, and out of all the 100+ hours I’ve sunk into PoE, I’ve seen exactly one Exalted Orb. I mean, god forbid, you get into mapping (the end game system) and you require uniques that cost 10-20 Exalteds, cause you ain’t finding that currency on your own, you gotta hope to god your Magic Find gods are with you and that you can combine it with a ton of player trading. Which is a real problem because PoE’s trading system suuuuuuuucks to high heaven.

    Also, unlike in Diablo, there are multiple leagues and the “main leagues” that people play only last 4 months, which means the economy effectively resets, which is awesome for preventing from things getting stale, but terrible because price fluctuates wildly at the beginning of a league. Or you can go into the eternal leagues which don’t reset and the price of everything is horribly depressed and there’s not much of a middle ground. :(

  3. Infinitron says:

    Good on you for linking to that Dark Souls video. Super Bunny Hop is an excellent channel.

  4. jeffwik says:

    Then there are angry people who think that sexy characters are inherently destructive and that enjoying some T&A makes you a horrible person.

    Are there? For serious, most online discussion I’ve seen goes very very roughly like this:

    A: It would be nice if there were more female characters and less cheesecake.
    B: How dare you call me evil for enjoying cheesecake!
    C: What B said! Also, women are subhuman animals!
    D: Let’s all be reasonable. A was wrong to call B evil, and C is wrong for saying women are subhuman animals.

    and sometimes
    D (continued): The reasonable thing for A and C to do now would be apologize, and admit they are equally wrong and both sides are at fault.

    I would, and this is me being serious, really appreciate a link to someplace where somebody over the age of fourteen is unironically asserting that liking some T&A makes you a horrible person. I have never seen it, but it’s very possible I’m looking in the wrong place. Meanwhile, the converse seems to appear in every comments thread wherever the subject is broached.

    • There will always be evidence of people taking stances of all kinds thanks to the scale of discussion saved online for Google to surface. I’d like to see frequency data for when this kind of discussion comes up; as you say that one element is something I’ve only rarely read.

      There are plenty of good articles on why objectification is a bad thing and how to tell the difference, to the point where I wouldn’t even say there is much reason to not have already read something about the topic (even if only specifically looking for commentary that references only video games) unless you’re avoiding exploring the issue (and the ‘lalala, not listening’ stance never makes for much of a side of any debate).

      As this Diecast was posted, this (2) is coming out of GDC (where presumably the question comes from a developer whose company paid a reasonably large fee and expenses to get him to the room to ask the question).

      It seemed particularly apropos (disclaimer: I’m yet to listen to the just posted audio). Anyway, looking forward to listening to what the hosts had to say.

    • Shamus says:

      I’m not going to go link-hunting for you, but the effect I’m talking is when people point at some sexy screenshots and claim that “This contributes to rape culture.” Or it contributes to the system that holds women back economically, or de-values women who don’t conform to the ideal, or whatever. They take a practical argument (this market isn’t meeting my needs) and turn it into a moral one (this market contributes to rape, repression, inequality, and unhealthy body images.) That pretty much makes villains of the opposition.

      The accusation of being a “horrible person” isn’t made directly, but it’s extrapolated by the other side. Which feeds back into what I was talking about where the two sides can’t communicate.

      • jeffwik says:

        I appreciate the clarification, thanks.

        (IMO “Rape culture” is a pretty stupid name (in that it starts pointless arguments) for a thing that does exist and is more bad than good, yadda yadda yadda it’s not worth going into.)

        • syal says:

          I always call it “aggression apathy”.

          • BenD says:

            I would say rape culture is a subset of the larger problem, and “aggression apathy” is easily the BEST term I have ever heard for that larger problem!

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          Except that its not even a name for the problem,but a stupid shock tactics used to overblow a problem,and usually ends up hurting the cause more than helping it.Like equating piracy with stealing(when it is actually bootlegging).

          • Raygereio says:

            Oh lord. The term rape culture is not the same as calling software piracy stealing. Nor is it some “shock tactic used to overblow a problem”.
            I don’t want to get too deep into this because I doubt Shamus will apreciate me posting a giant wall of text about the topic (and this type of topic tends to draw the MRA types from underneath their rocks and make them start shitposting), but I’d urge you to look up what that term means.

            • Forli says:

              Why is “MRA” used so often as a way to discredit someone? Is the idea that men should also have rights really so unacceptable?
              Seriously, in my experience MRAs tend to be a lot more civil than feminists.

              • guy says:

                Us men have rights. I mean, there are some edge-case issues involving divorces and such, but in general there’s not really a substantial call for an actual rights movement at the moment and people who use the term to describe themselves are less than successful at activism in the percentage of cases where it’s actually necessary.

                Also, the MRA’s I’ve read manage to horribly insult both of my parents, which makes me less inclined to listen to them.

              • Neil O.Dio says:

                I dont know how can people discredit people that fight for the equal right of women, so they can be judged by the law in the same light as men.

              • False Prophet says:

                Because we’re not talking about semantics. We’re talking about a social movement that adopted that term as a label for itself. Thus, it should not be surprising when the movement as a whole is judged by the behaviour of its most visible and vocal members. The handful of salient issues they have (e.g., unfairness in child custody arrangements) are buried under the tirade of obnoxious and uninformed rants trying to claim that men as a whole have it worse off than women as a whole.

                E.g., there may very well be members of the Hell’s Angels who are only there for the camaraderie and celebration of the motorcycling subculture. But if the organization as a whole has a reputation for criminal activity, the members are going to be seen as criminals.

                • Neil O.Dio says:

                  “..uninformed rants trying to claim that men as a whole have it worse off than women as a whole.”

                  Trying? how hard is to do a Google search?

                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POa20i8Cm_E
                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ncjGFIFPJI&list=UUPIBMVkTmj5GjIpzAYDhYKQ

                  • Shamus says:

                    You’re being really provocative and inflammatory.

                    “How hard is it to do a Google search?”

                    That’s obnoxious and you keep doing it. Google searching can turn up ALL KINDS of things from BOTH sides. The fact that the other party is working with a different set of information is one of the reasons the debate exists. If you’ve got a point to make, then make it. Stop acting like people are lazy because they haven’t watched a bunch of YouTube videos.

                    Looks like this is your first time really participating in a conversation around here. This is not an optimal way to introduce yourself to the group, by jumping right into a hot fight about something that you obviously feel strongly about. Be cool. Slow down.

                    • Neil O.Dio says:

                      “Stop acting like people are lazy because they haven’t watched a bunch of YouTube videos.”

                      Considering that happiness lies in simplicity, the fact that they make the exact points without me screwing it up in translation or reduction (kinda like how “Art is irreducible” by MrBTongue), and the fact that the description boxes contain links to evidence and facts, how can i NOT post those links? They are not JUST a bunch of videos on YT.

                      “The fact that the other party is working with a different set of information is one of the reasons the debate exists.”

                      No, the debate exist because people cannot tell the difference between “information” and “facts”. And even WHEN they have the facts, they do not actually read them fully, they just cherry pick what their Confirmation Bias tells them to pick, leading to people posting things that actually contradict what they are saying.

                      And lets not forget that the debate would have ended much more sooner if the human body wasn’t a complete clusterfuck that puts the “intelligent design” into question (there aren’t enough quotes on that sentence. We will need a Googolplex)
                      http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2010/07/11/how_facts_backfire/?page=full

                      You know? maybe that is why the Reapers wanted to kill us all in ME1, because we are so broken that we may as well be vaporized for our own good. You see? they are doing us a favor. How do we ever doubt those Space Nazi Cuttlefishes?

                      “something that you obviously feel strongly about”
                      I cannot feel strong about something i know its not going to work.

                      Consider me as a Bot that just post links to something when it recognizes a pattern of words. Just doing what i am programed to do, even if it is not going to do anything for the world because Biological Determinism is king.

                      http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheFatalist


                      There are no choices. Nothing but a straight line. The illusion comes afterwards, when you ask “Why me?” and “What if?”. When you look back and see the branches, like a pruned bonsai tree, or forked lightning. If you had done something differently, it wouldn’t be you, it would be someone else looking back, asking a different set of questions.
                      — Max Payne

                    • Shamus says:

                      I don’t care about your cause, your politics, or whatever else you think makes you exempt from my rules. I’m not going to treat you like a bot. I’m going to treat you like a human being who can either behave or leave.

                      Last chance. Straighten up or take your show elsewhere.

                    • Tse says:

                      @Neil O.Dio
                      Seriously, if you want people to listen to you, you shouldn’t attack them or spew huge blocks of text full of links. Be more polite, stop attacking, just converse with others normally if you want to change their opinion. People are reasonable on this site, but nobody will listen to you if you continue to act this way.

                • Abnaxis says:

                  wrong spot, sorry

              • Cineris says:

                Some Feminists see MRA as a threat presumably, or dislike that their worldview is challenged by contrary evidence and perspectives.

                If I were Shamus I would immediately have nuked Raygereio’s post up there. Basically suggesting anyone who disagrees with him/her is ‘shitposting,’ whatever that is. But then at the very least that type of expression lets me know who it’s best to ignore.

                • Neil O.Dio says:

                  “..or dislike that their worldview is challenged by contrary evidence and perspectives.”

                  You have NO idea. Seriously, i feel bad for the Nordic people. Here is a little something that you NEED a translation in order to understand, and would have been hard for you to know even with Google. So let me help on that:
                  http://translate.google.no/translate?sl=sv&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=no&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.friatider.se%2Fforslag-gor-det-straffbart-kritisera-feminism

                  • Abnaxis says:

                    I’ve personally seen both the problems men face and the problems women face. I am one of those rare snowflakes who grew up with divorced parents, yet it was actually my father who had custody. I saw the strange looks and the burden that came from this, and things like child support and other constructs put in place to force parents to take responsibility for their children were all but laughed out of court when my mother didn’t keep her end of the deal.

                    At the same time, the whole reason my father got custody to begin with is because my mother was a complete mess. She was sexually exploited as a child. She was still a minor when I (not her first child) was born, and was generally in no condition to be raising me.

                    So, speaking as a bystander whose life has been affected by gender disparity against both men and women, let me say that these two issues have no place in the same discussion. Acknowledging that my father was mistreated by the legal system in no way invalidates the fact that my mother was a victim of exploitation.

                    Two wrongs do not make a right. Men do get the short end of the stick in many cases, especially in the Unites States legal system. Women are oversexualized do face bias in business, in pop culture, and in STEM fields. These are problems that exist, and they aren’t at all served by grandstanding to prove who has the bigger problem in an effort to censor uncomfortable complaints.

                    • Daemian Lucifer says:

                      Actually,those two are two sides of the same problem:gender discrimination.It is expected,from both men and women,to behave,dress,work,…in certain ways,and if you dont fit neatly into those niches(and many people dont),you will get flak for it.

                      The problem is further complicated by many people fighting for equal rights concentrating just on their group,sometimes to the detriment of others.

                    • Abnaxis says:

                      Absolutely, positively no. While both problems can fit under a wide umbrella that is “gender discrimination,” all similarities end there. The two are driven by different mechanisms, they exist in different historical contexts and the solutions for each problem have little overlap with one another.

                      Putting discrimination against men in the same bucket as discrimination against women is like putting discrimination against mestizos in with discrimination against blacks. They’re apples to oranges. If your end goal is to alleviate racial tensions, any solution involving mestizos HAS to include figuring out immigration issues as a society, whereas any solution with blacks HAS to deal with historical slavery. And those are just two obvious examples where the nuance differs.

                      It is the same with discrimination against males versus discrimination against females. Sex is a very real part of discrimination against women, whereas the societal expectations men face are largely unique to men. The paths for ending discrimination wildly differ from one another.

                      Incidentally, that why there are so many separate groups fighting for equal rights. Each faction has its own problems to deal with, its own skillset needed to wrangle those problems, and its own support structure needed to bring its people to bear. It’s not that people are jerks and only care about their own problems, it’s that you can’t just take one solution and transplant it to another group.

                      It would certainly be nice if people could just stand on a soapbox and say “Be excellent to each other” and all our problems are solved, but the issues themselves are much, much too nuanced for that.

                    • syal says:

                      All the issues stem from the cultural ideal of personal importance. It’s important to be more important than other people, and most discrimination is either in service of gathering influence/reducing other people’s influence, or a reaction to not having enough personal influence and looking for something to take it out on. Some people get it a lot worse than others, but if you eliminate that idea that personal power equals victory, most of the issues will clear up, regardless of details.

                      Most rights groups try to fix a symptom, but it ends up being a battle of which group can wield the most influence; it treats the symptom but reinforces the cause. Which is understandable, as the cause is a really hard, nebulous thing to fight.

                    • MadHiro says:

                      What you have to say is interesting, and you say it well and without comig across as a jerk. Good job, and keep on communicating. Thanks.

                    • Neil O.Dio says:

                      “Women are oversexualized do face bias in business”
                      Dont you mean:
                      “Women who are oversexualized do face bias in business”

                      You mean the fact that slutty women DO NOT get promotions, unlike what Fiction likes to show us?

                      Women who send flirtatious e-mail, wear short skirts or massage a man’s shoulders at work win fewer pay raises and promotions, according to a Tulane University study to be presented Monday at the Academy of Management annual meeting in Honolulu.

                      http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/money/workplace/2005-08-04-sex-usat_x.htm

                      The lack of women promotion is rooted on their lack of just asking for it. How can the bosses know you want it if you never tell them?. Doing so shows confidence in telling them straight faced how good you are and how you deserve that promotion:
                      http://www.forbes.com/2009/12/11/women-job-promotion-leadership-careers-rein.html

                      In the business world, women who are aggressive, assertive, and confident but who can turn these traits on and off, depending on the social circumstances, get more promotions than either men or other women, according to a recent study coming out of the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

                      http://www.stanford.edu/group/knowledgebase/cgi-bin/2011/03/08/women-who-display-masculine-traits-and-know-when-not-to-get-more-promotions-than-men/

                      “These are problems that exist, and they aren’t at all served by grandstanding to prove who has the bigger problem in an effort to censor uncomfortable complaints.”

                      We wouldn’t be doing this “who has the bigger problem” if the Feminist didn’t conceal info about men having bad if not worse than women JUST so they can get a political edge.

                      Its not about who has the bigger problem, its about calling out the bullshit for what it is. Harming innocents lives to advance one’s agenda is an injustice regardless of gender.

                    • Daemian Lucifer says:

                      @Abnaxis

                      The stuff you mentioned about race are just two separate symptoms of the same issue in one country.If there was no racism(all races would get equal immigration,job,etc opportunities),both symptoms would be solved with one stroke.But,if you give one group equal immigration opportunities(but not to the other group),and the other group equal job opportunities(but not to the first group)you would technically solve both symptoms,but only for a short period of time until both groups recognize that they are still treated differently,with unequal rights.

                      Same goes for gender.Yes,the discrimination towards women is different and more pronounced,but the solution for it is the same as the solution for men.But if you focus only on one of those,even if you fix it,you wont fix the problem in its entirety.At best,you would fix part of the problem,at worst you would reverse it with overcompensation.

                    • Abnaxis says:

                      Yeesh. Wall of text below, because this is three long replies in one long post…

                      @syal: What you’re talking about sounds a lot like what’s called Conflict Theory in sociology. It’s an interesting idea, but while there is very strong evidence for the theory in both quantitative and qualitative research, there are also many situations under which inter-group competition is not necessarily a dominant factor in discrimination.

                      Further, I think you are over-specifying when you say it’s all about “personal” importance. While individual prestige certainly factors in, there’s a significant consideration for the advancement of “people like me” that I think you are leaving out.

                      Finally, you should realize that you are opening a huge can of worms with your trivial use of the word “important.” Many different things can be “important” to different people in different contexts. Family might be the most “important” thing to one person, Money might be the most “important” to another, and Professional Prestige might be the most “important” thing to yet another.

                      The process of leveraging each individuals’ ego to make them more accepting of people outside of their group will differ wildly from individual to individual and from sub-group to sub-group. Even if I were to agree with the notion that the only reason discrimination exists is from inflated self-importance, that doesn’t really simplify the issue all that much.

                      @Neil: I get the sense that you are just looking for a fight, because you’re railing off on a tangent that is only marginally related to what I was talking about. However, there a few things I need to say.

                      First, if you want me to take you seriously and you insist on linking references, use sources that let me actually see the methodology used to reach conclusions, not digested write-ups done for click-bait or YouTube videos recorded for hits. I might as well print those articles out and wipe my butt with them, for all they’re worth.

                      Second, you’re leaning quite heavily on strawmen in your post. Yes, there are extremists in favor of Feminist ideals, just like there are extremists in the Mens’ Rights camp. They have both damaged the discussion in their own flawed ways, and neither one is wholly to blame for the cluster-farg that has bloomed out of it.

                      Fundamentally, what you call “calling out the bullshit” is coming across as you trying to aggressively cull the discussion down to the points you find acceptable. If you want to debate, then fine–when someone makes a point you disagree with, respectfully tell them you disagree (without hyperbole) and provide justification for your position, with about 3 notches less intensity if you want anyone to take you halfway seriously.

                      Also, I stand by my assertion that mens’ rights have no bearing on a discussion about womens’ rights, and vice-versa. I don’t care who brought what crap up in which message board to try to shut down the discussion (spoiler: advocates from both groups have done it), it was wrong of them to do so.

                      @Daemian: Are you from the US? I’m not trying to be ethnocentric or anything, but I’m sensing a cultural disconnect here.

                      If not, let me clarify, as diplomatically as I can. DISCLAIMER: I’m trying to summarize the attitudes of people who you may or may-not be seen as misguided, and I am trying to summarize a complicated issue as concisely as I can and I’m going to leave out a lot of important details. Please don’t get too mad at me.

                      That out of the way, Latin America is to the south of the United States. Now, there is plenty of racial diversity in that part of the world, but there is one racial subgroup–mestizos–that are somewhat unique to the region. There are also a lot of Latin American countries that aren’t doing so great, and thus the people immigrate from those countries to the United States, at times without going through the bureaucracy to do so legally.

                      This has created tension between anyone who looks like they are mestizo and many members of the dominant culture in the Unites States, because the dominant culture sees the immigrants as taking up important resources and not reciprocating, and they assume anyone who is mestizo is an immigrant.

                      Now, with all of that out of the way, can you see why racism against mestizos–who are often assumed to be illegal immigrants in the absence of evidence to the contrary–might be different than racism against (say) blacks–who by and large are not discriminated against for being unwelcome foreigners (for the most part, though there are exceptions)?

                      There are different political and cultural forces at work here, and this is true for ALL prejudice, I’m just trying to give an easily identifiable example. Improving prejudice against mestizos HAS to involve dealing with attitudes on immigration in one way or another.

                      Similarly, dealing with gender discrimination carries different requirements from men than it does for women. Dealing with disparity against women HAS to involve the way child rearing responsibility is distributed in a family. Dealing with disparity against men HAS to involve analysis about what it means to be “a real man.” These are salient issues that don’t transfer from one context to another, and they belong in different conversations.

                      The two are somewhat connected yes–I mean, asserting (for example, please don’t argue with this I’m being rhetorical) that men need to take more responsibility for child rearing in a discussion about womens’ equity obviously impacts gender stereotyping of men. However, I would still never want to be having that discussion while talking about prejudice against men in family courts. Both issues involve parental roles and both issues affect men and women alike, and both issues are even inter-related with one-another, but each issue should be considered on its own merits.

                    • Neil O.Dio says:

                      @Abnaxis
                      “First, if you want me to take you seriously and you insist on linking references, use sources that let me actually see the methodology used to reach conclusions”

                      Here is the same article but with the sources listed:
                      http://www.gsb.stanford.edu/news/research/womencareerresearchbyoreilly.html

                      “Overcoming the Backlash Effect: Self?Monitoring and Women’s Promotions,” Olivia A. O’Neill and Charles A. O’Reilly III, Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 2011.

                      “Careers as Tournaments: The Impact of Sex and Gendered Organizational Culture Preferences on MBAs’ Income Attainment,” Olivia A. O’Neill and Charles A. O’Reilly, Journal of Organizational Behavior, 2010.

                      “Backlash Effects for Discon?rming Gender Stereotypes in Organizations,” Laurie A. Rudman and Julie E. Phelan, Research in Organizational Behavior, 2008.

                      Even the “Study says flirtatious women get fewer raises, promotions” one had on the same page the question they used listed there as follows:

                      The Tulane study asked 164 female MBA grads to respond to these statements:
                      I wear a skirt or something more revealing than usual around clients or supervisors to get attention.
                      I flirt with people at work.
                      I draw attention to my legs by crossing them provocatively when in meetings or sitting with a group of men at work.
                      I hint or imply that I am attracted to a man (men) at work even if I am not.
                      I purposely let men sneak a look down my shirt when I lean over a table.
                      I massage a man’s shoulders or back while at work.
                      I sent flirty or risqué e-mails to male co-workers.
                      I tell male co-workers or clients they look sexy or “hot.”
                      I allow men to linger at certain places of my body while hugging them.
                      I emphasize my sexuality while at work by the way I dress, speak, and act.

                      But you would know that if you read them, which you didnt. Nice try.

                      “Second, you’re leaning quite heavily on strawmen in your post. Yes, there are extremists in favor of Feminist ideals, just like there are extremists in the Mens’ Rights camp. “

                      Ah yes, the good old “NAFALT” argument. (Not All Feminist Are Like That). Actually, it is demonstrable that Feminist have crossed the line between being extremist AND being the majority.

                      What you and Shamus did when he mentioned it on the podcast is basically this trope in affect:
                      “Satire doesn’t stand a chance against reality anymore.”
                      http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/PoesLaw

                      You both think that i am strawmaning because no one could possibly be that stupid or destructive. That such monumental act of intellectual dishonesty HAS to be unreal and made up by-actually they are real.

                      http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/FreakierThanFiction

                      However, since i have to transcript that into text because you are not going to see the videos (why would you), i will just leave the 2 links (who have sources in their respective description boxes, so they can stand on their own) because i am running out of time and have to do it later.

                      So after this, i will return with the full text. In the meantime a very small sunmmary:

                      The first video is Karen quoting mainstream feminists (not radical by the standards of their members…somehow) and remarking how they sound awfully ALOT like a radical extremist would say.
                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQWoNhrY_fM

                      And the next video observes how Feminists have managed to convince people that hating men and masculinity is morally justifiable, to the point that death threats, intellectual dishonesty, fact warping, blacklisting and violence are fair game in order to dissent opinions and facts opposition Feminism. Just ask victims like Erin Pizzey, whose crime worth all the death threats was just pointing out with evidence that most domestic violence is reciprocal, and that women are equally as capable of violence as men.
                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erin_Pizzey

                      As Robin Morgan said it herself: Man-hating is an honorable and viable political act–the oppressed have a right to class hatred against the class that is oppressing them.
                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDYAVROaIcs

                      “Also, I stand by my assertion that mens’ rights have no bearing on a discussion about womens’ rights, and vice-versa.”

                      Have they damaged the conversation? how? by posting anonymous comment on the net that you cant prove they belong to an actual MRA/Feminist? unlike you, Karen cited mainstream feminists and not some user pretending to be a Feminist/MRA. It is clear by the fact that the MRA is a humanistic movement supposed to make sure that women HAVE the right and are seen and judged equally by the law (no bias in their favor or anything), that they are doing more for equality than Feminism does lately. (This was also addressed in the second video i posted here)

                      They ARE fighting for equal rights, so of course they are going to join in. But you probably think the MRA are all the same since you probably meet a…. a…. what’s the name i am looking for?

                    • Heaven Smile says:

                      “But you probably think the MRA are all the same since you probably meet a…. a…. what’s the name i am looking for?”

                      A sock puppet?
                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Sock_puppetry

                    • Neil O.Dio says:

                      “Sock puppet?”

                      Why thank you random person who is not related to me in ANY way whatsoever, and that clearly doesn’t exist as a self demonstrating example of a concept that everyone and their mom should know by now in the Age of The Internet, AND that everyone can be easily manipulated by sheer power of their laziness and lack of critical thinking.

                      What would i do without you?

                      And given the fact that i CAN demonstrate that actual people that identify as Feminist DO use dirty tactics, i guess there wont be any ambiguity brought by the power of Anonymity.

                    • Shamus says:

                      You’ve also proved that I was wrong to not ban you. Both times. Now I discover that the two most obnoxious, difficult, inflammatory, insulting, and problematic visitors are the same guy. You’re the source of 90% of the “nasty-ness” in this (and MANY other) threads. I’ve told you repeatedly how to behave, and the only reason I put up with your bullshit this long is that I didn’t want to crush a dissenting opinion. For all of your bitching about feminists, none of them have ever behaved so disgracefully towards me or my house. The MRA side deserves better than you.

                      Get the fuck out of here.

                      Asshole.

                    • syal says:

                      @Abnaxis: Thanks for that link; I agree with everything about the theory, except maybe the superordinate bit at the end, as it seems to imply you can’t convince people the game isn’t zero-sum without a level of forced integration. Interested in seeing the non-competitive discrimination examples, if you’ve got another link.

                      With regard to “importance”, I was talking about the cultural ideal of personal importance, roughly “the most important thing is what other people think you can do, and how many people think it.” (Probably off by a bit, I didn’t specify it the first time because I’m having trouble defining it any more accurately.) The individual’s idea of personal importance can be different, but if it is, I don’t think that individual is likely to engage in discrimination except through lack of awareness or accident, like the schoolteacher example in the podcast.

                      Building up “people like me” is close enough to building up “me” that I don’t think it warrants separating. If you strengthen people who agree with you, or are otherwise like you, you strengthen those qualities of yourself within the larger group and thus you personally become stronger in the larger group.

                      (I never said it would simplify anything; if anything it adds a bigger problem on top of the other ones.)

                    • Abnaxis says:

                      @syal: Drat. You would call me out on that :P

                      Okay, full disclosure time. I myself am not a sociologist. I’m married to one, and I have been a study-buddy and a computer consultant for her enough that a good deal of it has rubbed off. I do my best to bring the stuff I’ve learned from her into these discussions, but I definitely don’t have exhaustive knowledge about it. Especially in cases like this, where researchers try to find the cause of discrimination–a field that is much more on the qualitative side of research than I am familiar with.

                      That said, there’s also Social Identity Theory, which after I stop and think about, actually matches your perception of discrimination a lot better than social conflict theory, but I didn’t think of it before. I had a hammer I made a nail, etc.

                      It’s a subtle difference, but the central tenet behind social identity theory is that people are working hard to elevate their own status, and part of that drive to betterment is self-identification with a prestigious sub-group, and subsequent maneuvering to further the elevate the chosen group’s social status. You might find it interesting.

                      As for other theory…a theory directly not about discrimination, but just about how people construct group ties that can be used to examine discrimination is Social Exchange Theory.

                      The idea behind exchange theory is that as people interact with one another, they form bonds of various types and various strengths. This creates a social mesh, and many cultural phenomenon we observe are an expression of emergent behavior from that mesh. It’s like the Big Data of sociology, except Blau (the first author I would suggest buying a book to read about) did most of the refining of the theory back in the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s before big data was a Thing.

                      Exchange theory is a fundamental basis for modern conceptualizations of the Contact Hypothesis, which supposes that inter-group discrimination depends on the number and the nature of inter-group contacts. Positive contacts lead to less conflict, while negative contacts lead to more conflict.

                      A logical, mathematical argument (backed up by a decent amount of data) shows that the fewer bonds present, the less contact occurs, and the less contact occurs, the less likely the contact is to be positive. Therefore, when you have two distinct social meshes that have relatively few inter-group bonds friction will occur. Interestingly, this accounts both for two groups that are self-segregating, as well as groups where they aren’t strictly segregated but one group has a much smaller population than the other–the smaller subgroup has fewer nodes which can form bonds with the larger subgroup, and the reduction in bonds results in conflict.

                      The really fun part of all these theories is that they all have strong evidence supporting them, but they often yield conflicting conclusions. It’s all very interesting, and I had even more text below with some examples, but this is probably enough…

                    • syal says:

                      Well, I guess I should join the disclosure wagon and say that the vast majority of what I say, in any context at all, is unresearched extrapolation. I took a Soc 101 class years ago, that’s about it.

                      I can see the Contact Hypothesis being true. The two reasons I can think of for cultures to have little contact naturally (apart from environmental barriers which I don’t think would have much social effect on people who did get past) are a focus on internal social status, or a culture of isolationism, both of which would lend themselves to all outside contact being negative (the one is a new competitor, the other is a cultural anomaly and possibly dangerous). The first is the one I’m talking about, as I think any discrimination the second culture would have would be generally harmless; they’d just stay away, which they would do anyway.

                • Raygereio says:

                  Basically suggesting anyone who disagrees with him/her is ‘shitposting,’ whatever that is.

                  I’m not going to engage you in any significant way because I doubt that will lead to anything constructive, but I will defend myself from people putting words in my mouth.
                  I did not suggest that. What I did was clarrify why I wasn’t going to make an effort post detailing what the term rape culture means.

                  Oh and shitposting is internetslang that describes a whole range of posting behaviour which doesn’t add anything of value to the discussion and generally has the intention of derailing the topic.

                  • Tse says:

                    People accepting prison rape (both genders) as part of the punishment is rape culture and feminists overlook it.
                    Expecting rape, like any other serious crime, to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, isn’t rape culture, but feminists say it is when the supposed victim is a woman.
                    Sorry I got political there.

                    • wererogue says:

                      No, we don’t – not as a rule. Prison rape is part of the normalization of rape, and for the most part feminists are happy to acknowledge that it’s a serious problem. I won’t say there aren’t any that disagree with me, because that’s never the case, but as a whole it’s not been my experience that feminists overlook prison rape.

                      What I have seen happen quite often is that somebody makes a post able rape against women, and gets their comment thread derailed by “WHAT ABOUT RAPE AGAINST MEN?! WHAT ABOUT PRISON RAPE!” which is derailing and, over time, adds up to become infuriating.

                      Prison rape is a separate and serious topic that needs investigating and illuminating separately from the pervasive current of rape on women throughout all levels of society.

                    • Tse says:

                      OK, but feminist organizations usually talk about the other thing- how trying to teach people to be careful is wrong and that we should teach men (not rapists, even though even feminist statistics put the perpetrators at 3% of all men) not to rape, because “apparently”, we don’t already know that. Look at the Don’t Be That Guy campaign in Canada, for example. It was a very hateful message targeted at all men.
                      There are a lot of government funded organizations that support female victims and when there is an accusation, it’s always taken seriously. So seriously, that there have been innocent victims of vigilantes, people who were falsely accused and whose accuser was not even punished.
                      Some cases here, if you’re interested:
                      http://www.cotwa.info/2013/10/the-horrific-consequences-of-false-rape.html
                      Now, I just cannot see any evidence of a rape culture targeting women. Prove me wrong.

            • syal says:

              From the wikipedia article: “Research identifies correlation between rape myths, victim blaming and trivialization of rape with increased incidence of racism, homophobia, ageism, classism, religious intolerance and other forms of discrimination.”

              I’m going to agree with it being a shock tactic, one that focuses on one prominent symptom of a deeper and wider problem. Maybe it helped the feminist movement get a jumpstart in the 70’s, in which case it would have some merit, but either way the movement doesn’t need a jumpstart anymore, and the longer the term is around the more damage it’ll do to its own cause.

        • straymute says:

          It’s a good term that was distorted over time. Rape culture originally referred to the larger phenomenon of the “bitch” in American prisons. As American prisons are one of the only places in the world where it can be considered culturally acceptable to rape someone it was appropriate to call the culture there “rape culture”.

          It was never meant to be a kind of blanket term for everything in a given society that contributes to rape like it is now.

      • Raygereio says:

        That pretty much makes villains of the opposition.

        It’s sadly quite common for people to be more interesting in shaming the opposition by condeming them as racist/misogynistic/whatever, then in educating said opposition as to why what they’re doing is racist/misogynistic/whatever.
        This behaviour allows people to bask in their own moral superiority, but the problem with it is that the only result of it is the opposition collectively digging their heels into the sand.

      • Abnaxis says:

        My issue is, that “this contributes to rape culture/devaluing/disparity/yadda yaddda” are actually factually proven statements, insofar as anything in science is factual (i.e. it has been studied to death and the overwhelming majority of evidence shows it to be true). They are germane to the discussion, and it’s frustrating to be unable to bring them up for fear of striking a nerve.

        The problems here–and science has had this problem a lot lately–is that as soon as these facts are made apparent, they are interpreted in an inappropriate context. That’s because it shouldn’t be the job of scientists to supply interpretation (that leads to bias, after all) but in the vacuum that leaves spin and the result is unfortunate.

        It doesn’t have to be that way though. People don’t have to feel bad every time they see evidence of a problem that involves them. It just has to be presented within a different context. It takes a lot more words, and is a lot more open to debate since it’s not just spouting facts, but it leads to a healthier discussion.

        For example, yes, the overwhelming objectification and disenfranchisement of women in media (ALL media, though it is especially bad in games) is a significant contributor to rape culture and to the devaluing of women in general. An overwhelming library of evidence supports these facts.

        HOWEVER, that doesn’t make you a bad person for enjoying a little T&A in your media. It’s a natural urge, and one that will be expressed by a large number of people in society with or without any particular individual’s input.

        At the same time, rape culture and dehumanization of women are both real, demonstrable problems that exist out there in society, and anything you could do to help change that would be golden. That doesn’t mean you have to swear off of sex or be a horrible person. Just recognizing that the problems exist is a step in the right direction. Seeing T&A for what it is helps. Heck, just taking three seconds to consider your position before you post on forums helps, even if you still vocally disagree with the “feminists” (lord, I hate that label too) in the end.

        Just understand that all of the crap people are pointing out–rape culture, income disparity, image issues–are actual salient problems in our culture, not just abstract ideas. It would be good for everyone involved, men and women alike, if the situation could be improved.

        • krellen says:

          Until “rape” stops being a thing men do to women (the law has only very recently changed on that, and still makes it impossible for a woman to be a rapist without mechanical assistance; culture has yet to catch up), the use of the term “rape culture” is going to continue being my trauma trigger, with the implicit understanding that, as a man, I am in some way responsible for my own assault.

          It’s a bad term for a real thing, and word use is important.

          • Abnaxis says:

            Let me preface this by saying that while I know every situation is different, I intimately understand the self-blaming that goes hand-in-hand with being a male victim of abuse. However, I would like to offer my perspective on this issue, since I think it might be relevant. If I’m picking at a fresh wound I’m sorry, but in my own personal experience doing these sorts of analyses help when I do them in my head, so…

            From what I’ve in talking about the issue and observing how others talk about the issue, most people use a general definition for “rape” of “having sexual contact with someone with someone incapable of disengaging said contact.” Where people differ is in the definition of the individual components of that definition. For example, when considering “sexual contact,” many people don’t consider fondling as really being sexual contact, and thus forced fondling isn’t really “rape.”

            From what I’ve seen, people think of rape as a thing men do to women because of a widely held belief that men are always capable of backing out of a sexual encounter, thus the “incapable” component of the definition cannot be met. The disparity comes from a de facto interpretation of the term “rape,” not because rape is defined as a man forcing himself on a woman. If people could be convinced that men, in fact, can be forced into sexual intercourse, they wouldn’t want to come up for a new term for it, they would just be willing to apply the “rape” label to it. I think convincing people of this is possible, but it requires breaking through a not-insignificant layer of victim-blaming to do so.

            In my mind, it’s a difference in semantics, but I can see how the precise terminology matters.

            As far as actual legal definitions go…frankly, I tend to not pay any attention to legal definitions in this area, because it’s too discouraging. Legal terminology tends to reflect the dominant attitudes from the time the law was written. Even if you manage to change peoples’ minds today, you’re not likely to see that change reflected in writing for a long time.

            For what it’s worth, while this discussion has centered around a female-victim-centric definition of the term “rape,” that is only because this is a discussion about women’s equality issues. While the popular perception of “rape” and “rape culture” don’t tend to extend beyond that, I most certainly include victims and assailants of both sexes when I personally conceptualize the terms.

            • krellen says:

              I don’t have any self-blame issues. Let me be clear on that: I in no way whatsoever feel I am at all to blame for what happened to me. But the overwhelming feminist narrative on the topic of “rape culture” says I am (as a male), and also says that now that I have been assaulted, I am now more likely to be part of the problem rather than the solution (a statistical truth that belies the fact that the vast majority of victims remain on the path of not being assaulters).

              I have been explicitly told my experience is unimportant because more women are assaulted (despite continued claims that most assaults are unreported, which is a huge asterisk on any such figures; not to mention all such research seems to ignore the societal pressure is much greater on men than women to not report) than men.

              FWIW, I no longer associate with the community in which that statement was made (my accuser was overwhelmingly supported).

              On the topic of legal definitions, the reason they are important – vitally important – is that the legal definition of rape shapes so much of the data and understanding on the topic. Reports on rape statistics cannot be trusted so long as the legal definition of rape does not allow a woman forcing a man to penetrate her to be called a rapist (and note that until 2012, it was literally impossible for a man to ever legally be raped; the definition explicitly set it as a crime done to women), and I’ve yet to see any real discussion on “rape culture” that did not bring up statistics. In fact, the statistics are often cited as part of the defining nature of “rape culture”.

              The whole idea is flawed and harmful. No one is helped by the term “rape culture”.

              • Abnaxis says:

                I don’t know. Maybe it’s because I’ve spent more time with academic literature than I have in forums or on news articles, but I see merit in the idea of cultural mechanisms that discourage reporting and shame victims of sexual assault. In fact, I would categorize your own experience of being written off as one more facet of that phenomenon.

                While I can see how the treatment of the term has been mishandled, however, what else should it be called? The phenomenon is a thing that exists and merits discussion. While the term has been improperly framed, in my mind it is concise and to the point. At issue is only the perception of “rape,” which if corrected would solve any underlying issue with “rape culture.”

                While I agree that legal definitions have a profound influence on cultural attitudes toward rape, I think the legal definition only changes after cultural attitudes have already shifted, and thus it only serves to reinforce dominant attitudes. So, while the definitions are certainly important, to me they’re just one of the last steps in a long walk. By the time the laws change, the majority has to already at least acquiesce to the ideas they represent.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          Id really like to see those “facts” you mention.Because the countries that do have actual rape culture(meaning laws that actually force women to marry the rapist,or something similar)are also countries with less access to entertainment media full of objectified women.Or,like Tse pointed out above,prisons have actual rape culture,despite every effort to restrict access to such media,especially in the case of inmates who are convicted for rape.

          And your post is precisely the reason why I say the term is used as a cheap shock tactics.If you wrote “My issue is, that “this contributes to discrimination/devaluing/disparity/yadda yaddda” are actually factually proven statements, insofar as anything in science is factual….”,your post wouldnt change the meaning,yet would be much more honest and accessible.

          • Abnaxis says:

            Okay, give me a second and step back, and try and see if we can stop talking across one another.

            Please bear in mind that, for the most part, I have not touched any online debate of this issue. By and large, I just don’t feel comfortable talking about it on the net, where melodrama rules supreme and people are all to happy to burn bridges while they are still standing on them. I think it’s a credit to the way Shamus runs the blog that I’m OK with jumping into the fray here.

            So, with that in mind, note that when I’m talking about “rape culture,” I’m talking about any of a host of social machinations that increase the incidence of rape in a statistically measurable way, including (but not limited to) institutionalized shaming of victims and failure to recognize or punish transgressors. If you need me to provide literature that shows where and how these things occur, I will see if I can find something that’s freely available to share with you. It’s been a while since I’ve read up, but I can all but guarantee it will be dense and nap-worthy.

            I’m sorry the term has put and so many other people on the defensive, but please realize that the thing I am describing is a thing that exists. I’m sorry you see the use of the term as a shock tactic, and I recognize that it can largely be credited to misuse by a few misguided individuals, but when the whole discussion started, the above definition of “rape culture” is all I was bringing to the discussion.

            • Daemian Lucifer says:

              “I’m talking about any of a host of social machinations that increase the incidence of rape in a statistically measurable way, including (but not limited to) institutionalized shaming of victims and failure to recognize or punish transgressors.”

              You mean stuff like forcing the rape victim to marry their attacker,forcing the rape victim to give birth to the rape child,and expecting everyone that goes to prison to be raped as punishment?Yes,those are all clearly rape culture.

              What is NOT rape culture,is the following:
              Singing about “Bitches I bang then never call back”
              Having more barely dressed women than men in your visual media
              Dirty jokes about dumb blonds
              Etc.

              Those are all cases of discrimination,yes,but those are not rape culture.Because if you check the countries where those stuff are prevalent,you will still see rapists being condemned on tv shows,movies,and in actual trials.And the fact that rape is being condemned more these days than in the past is a clear sign that there is no rape culture.

              And(because its the easiest way to explain something),a few more analogies:You will still see a bunch of idiots that think blacks should be enslaved again,because they are subhuman.Does that mean there is a slaver culture?Does the fact that a black man can be shot in the middle of the street and his killer found not guilty in a trial prove that there is a lynching culture?Is there also a stealing culture,because many of the robberies are never solved?Is there also a shooting spree culture because those cases also happen disturbingly often?

              Rape is disturbingly common,to be sure,but that doesnt mean general populace or the law approves of it(in most of the countries,at least).We see it as an aberration,and we try to fight it,and that is why I think the term should not be applied when talking about discrimination.Because if you apply rape culture to all cases of gender discrimination,then what will you call laws and populace that actually condone rape of women?In the end,making such exaggerations is just detrimental to both victims living in actual rape cultures and to people fighting against discrimination in other places.

              • Abnaxis says:

                We’re still talking across each other. You keep bringing up specific examples of specific works and specific laws. It’s not all that productive to talk about the issue in these terms. So in that sense, you are correct that “singing about Bangin’ bitches” is not rape culture. Conversely, neither is a law requires women to marry men who rape them without any sort of context.

                What I am talking about are Insitutions. Law is one institution–and the one to which you are assigning so much weight. Church is another institution. Media is yet another. These are the things that restrict our behaviors and define our roles in society–and they are most certainly not limited to the legal structure of our society.

                I was very careful to define “rape culture” in terms of institutionalized problems for a reason. It doesn’t make sense to look at a single work of art and say “this thing encourages rape.” While a single work of art certainly has an effect on the institution of Art as a whole, it is not solely responsible for the way Art influences society. You can’t generalize from the specific, you have to look at the aggregate effect.

                To take your law example again, it makes no sense to look at the mere existence of the forced marriage law by itself. Is the law enforced, or is it ignored? How vehemently do the police search for victimized women, to make sure they marry? If a citizen witnesses a rape, are they required to report it to authorities? What is the punishment for non-compliance? What significance does the forced marriage hold? Is the woman forced to give intercourse as a result of the marriage? Is the man forced to give financial support for the woman and child as a result of the marriage? What about the family of the mother and father–where do they factor into this equation? What if the woman is already married?

                I don’t really care what the answers to all of these questions are–the point I’m making, is that you have to involve a sizable chunk of police law, civil law, and criminal law to even come close to defining what exactly a “law requiring a woman to marry her attacker” means to the way society at large views rape. Cultural phenomenon lose focus when you try to break them down too much.

                (And before it comes up: Yes, I know people throw accusations at specific works of art constantly. I’m not one of those people. I would prefer if people didn’t do that)

                EDIT: Oh yeah, my point o.O

                The point of all this is, even if specific laws and artists and media don’t explicitly condone rape, institutional structures are still in place which stigmatize and shame victims and provide rationalization for aggressors. No particular source is to blame, but this is a thing that is happening. One of the frustrating things about the whole ordeal is that there is no one single commandment to follow to make the problem go away–the problem only exists in the aggregate, and the aggregate is painstakingly difficult to understand, let alone modify.

                And for one final point: I really don’t care if other cultures have it worse, or if historically we’re doing better than before. Just because the mortality rate is historically low, doesn’t mean you stop sending people to the doctor. I never made the claim that we are the Worst Society Ever, nor would I ever care to make that claim.

                • Abnaxis says:

                  Ugh, I fail at proofreading

                • Daemian Lucifer says:

                  And that is precisely why I never mentioned law alone,but said “law and general populace”.And precisely why I mentioned prison rape,because it is not allowed by law,but is not only not condemned by general populace,but even expected.

                  What you are talking about,at least in first world countries,is an aberration,not the rule.General populace will stand by the victim.And,paradoxically,general populace will also call for rape of the attacker.

                  Yes,the victim does feel ashamed themselves,and afraid to report it,but that is due to the nature of the crime.A single “Yeah you wanted it” is enough to destroy a thousand “Stay strong,it wasnt your fault”.Its a psychological problem,not a sociological one.

                  “And for one final point: I really don’t care if other cultures have it worse, or if historically we’re doing better than before. Just because the mortality rate is historically low, doesn’t mean you stop sending people to the doctor.”

                  Well yes,but if you cry “Oh my god,its the plague!” every flu season,you are just an idiot causing unnecessary panic.

                  • Abnaxis says:

                    My criticism wasn’t that you were only talking about law, my criticism is that you are focusing in too much on specific laws, specific songs, and specific practices when what’s really at issue is how the (capital-I) Institutions are shaping society at large.

                    I feel like you’re moving a bit into Unsubstantiated Land with the claims you’re making, and I would caution that you don’t have to be a majority to be highly influential in discourse. However, I can grant that, by and large, rape (in this context) is considered an abomination by the vast majority of the population, and I’ll even go so far as to grant that the “Yeah, you wanted it” sector of the populace is a just a vocal minority and not representative of the populace as a whole.

                    However, that doesn’t stop the problem from carrying wider sociological implications. As a counterpoint, I should note that in virtually every instance in history of humans from one group of people being assholes to outsiders–even in cases where the assholes were part of the majority group–the dickery was performed by a relatively small minority. Even the worst, most heinous, monstrous acts performed by one self-selected group of people on another (which I won’t specify to avoid Godwin-izing the discussion) were generally performed by a less-than-majority percentage of the group that is associated with the acts.

                    The thing is, even if it’s only one out of every hundred people blaming victims, our institutions are currently set up in a way that–for wherever reason–the people who blame the victim have a lot of influence. Some of that is because the victim will naturally be sensitive (though it makes me uneasy to lean to heavily on this justification, it can come out like blaming the victim for being sensitive to others blaming them). It’s also partly because the internet makes it much easier for the blamers to be heard. It’s also partly because women face social pressure to put out. And so on, and so on…

                    The cause is actually a host of issues that may or may not be able to be helped, that are all interacting with one another, and that are inherent to the institutions that make up society. Even if the prevailing culture abhors rape, the complex interaction of all these systems still results in microcosms of culture where rapists face less criticism and victims face more criticism.

                    In a way, it would almost be great if there was something more wrong with the prevailing attitudes about rape (all else being equal), because that would make it much easier to pick out what things need changed and what things don’t. That’s just not the reality however, and (I suspect) a lot of the perceived negative contribution from the “feminist” side of the issue stems from people who desperately want to fix the problem and hone in on any change that looks like it might help.

        • Shamus says:

          “An overwhelming library of evidence supports these facts.”

          I see this a lot. And also this:

          “For example, yes, the overwhelming objectification and disenfranchisement of women in media (ALL media, though it is especially bad in games) is a significant contributor to rape culture and to the devaluing of women in general. ”

          Here we’ve linked one nebulous thing of dubious harm (objectification) with an insidious thing or clear harm (disenfranchisement) and now we’re claiming they both lead to devaluing of women. That’s like me saying cell phones and airplane crashes kill over a thousand air travelers a year. Then if you argue I’ll show you the data that shows 1,000 people die in plane crashes every year and claim you’re denying scientific evidence.

          “HOWEVER, that doesn’t make you a bad person for enjoying a little T&A in your media.”

          So where do we draw the line? Let’s say I agree with you and I want to avoid objectifying women in the future. How do I know I’m doing it? What’s the difference between “enjoying a little T&A” and “dehumanizing a woman by seeing her as sexual object”? How do we know other people are doing it? We can’t see into people’s hearts. I’ve seen people point at a piece of media and claim that “this objectifies women”. How can some art objectify and other art be harmless cheesecake? This is extremely subjective, to the point of meaninglessness.

          Now, I’m TOTALLY on board with the idea that some guys don’t respect women. What doesn’t make sense is the idea that this is caused by looking at them. It’s always presented as a causal relationship. “Men look at women like sexual objects, therefore they stop treating them like human beings, then they rape them.” I think they are simply correlated: “Guys who are basically lacking in morality and empathy are more likely to oogle women, and also more likely to commit rape.”

          “Just understand that all of the crap people are pointing out–rape culture, income disparity, image issues–are actual salient problems in our culture, not just abstract ideas. It would be good for everyone involved, men and women alike, if the situation could be improved.”

          I’m with you there. The problem I have is that instead of attacking the harm done to human beings, we’re going after a nebulously defined and difficult-to-observe behavior and saying it leads to these harmful things for women. And since the vast majority of hetero men enjoy looking at women, this puts a lot of people on the defensive.

          So basically:

          1) Since most hetro men enjoy looking at women, most hetero men are going to feel accused and defensive when we complain about objectification.
          2) Objectification is hard – perhaps impossible – to differentiate from “just looking”.
          3) We have lots of data showing women are harmed, but it’s very difficult to justify a causal link between objectification and the harm.

          It’s a weak argument based on nebulous definitions and questionable data that inflames the discussion without helping us understand the problem. I couldn’t have articulated this in my 20’s, but it was a big part of why I gave feminism a big eye-roll back then.

          • wumpus says:

            A minor nitpick that I think explains a lot of the heat this issue generates: The problem is not seeing or treating women as sex objects. Women are sex objects…when they are having sex. The problem is seeing or treating women as if they were ONLY sex objects.

            (Feel free to add ‘and men’ after each incidence of the word ‘women’ above; culturally, sexual objectification of men is nowhere near the problem that sexual objectification of women is.)

            Which is to say that the problem is complex, as Shamus noted. ‘A little T&A’ is not a problem, as long as that is not that totality of the consumer’s experience of and expectation from women. The T&A isn’t the problem – it’s the lack of anything beyond T&A. Which can be a problem with either the media’s portrayal of women OR the consumer’s selection of media (or both).

            • Kana says:

              Yeah, I think this a big part of the problem. Where you have a character that is T&A and nothing else. What are her goals or aspirations? What does she want from life? Why is she dressed as she is?

              When the answer boils down to “Who cares? Ass!”, it’s hit a problem. She’s just a shallow character who is a sexual object, because that’s all to the character. Having someone sexy isn’t bad, as long as there is a believable character behind it, ya know?

            • wererogue says:

              I don’t agree with you that women are sex object when they’re having sex. People who are having sex are sex partners – the idea that they become an object whose function is to be used for sex at any point, rather than a willing participant who is engaging in an activity is very unsettling to me.

              Do you become a gaming object when you pick up a controller? Or a gamer?

              • wumpus says:

                I’m not sure the word ‘object’ implies ‘thing without individuality or will’, but I’ll agree that I should have been more careful about that. I’d substitute ‘being’ instead, then. Part of most women’s (and men’s) identity is sexual. Part. That was the important point I was making, which is the opposite of ‘that they become an object whose function is to be used for sex at any point’, so if that’s how you read it, I’m sorry, as it’s not what I intended.

          • Abnaxis says:

            Who, lots of replies.

            OK, Shamus first, since it’s the most structured…

            Here we’ve linked one nebulous thing of dubious harm (objectification) with an insidious thing or clear harm (disenfranchisement) and now we’re claiming they both lead to devaluing of women. That’s like me saying cell phones and airplane crashes kill over a thousand air travelers a year. Then if you argue I’ll show you the data that shows 1,000 people die in plane crashes every year and claim you’re denying scientific evidence.

            I know I’m unclear, but when I said “disenfranchisement” I was trying to find a concise way to describe the “women in refrigerators” phenomenon in media. I wasn’t talking about disenfranchisement in real life, I was talking about the noticeable lack of strong female leads. I *think* you might still have issue with that statement, but I don’t want to reply to what you’ve come back with since a lot of the problem there was miscommunication on my part.

            However, at no point did I try to claim that you or anyone was denying scientific evidence. I claimed that you were railing against using scientific evidence because it pisses people off. It’s frustrating to not be able to bring up evidence for fear of driving people off the rails.

            So where do we draw the line? Let’s say I agree with you and I want to avoid objectifying women in the future. How do I know I’m doing it? What’s the difference between “enjoying a little T&A” and “dehumanizing a woman by seeing her as sexual object”? How do we know other people are doing it? We can’t see into people’s hearts. I’ve seen people point at a piece of media and claim that “this objectifies women”. How can some art objectify and other art be harmless cheesecake? This is extremely subjective, to the point of meaninglessness.

            I think we’re approaching this idea from vastly different angles. I understand where you are coming from and I acknowledge that people do point at art and call it Objectifying. However, I do not do that and I do not condone it. I’m trying to present an argument, whereby one can talk about the greater societal problems that have been documented without being accusatory. If I’m starting off by pigeonholing people and works into the “good ones” and the “bad ones,” that’s a fail.

            That said, if someone wants to evaluate themselves to see if they’re objectifying or not, I would say the line is “do you recognize fantasy for what it is?” It’s like the brain-dead arguments against video game violence–any well adjusted individual can tell the different between shooting bad guys in a video game and shooting people in real life. Shooters are clearly power fantasy and don’t turn mewling pacifists into psychopaths. The problem with objectification is, a sex fantasy is much less far-fetched than a murder-empowerment fantasy, and thus has a much greater tendency to get blurred with day-to-day perception. I think wumpus put it well–women are sex objects when they’re having sex, but it shouldn’t go so far beyond that as it often can.

            Incidentally, this is why I was careful to say “overwhelming objectification” in my post, and why I’m not a fan of picking on a work by itself as being objectifying. Fan service and Refrigerators in moderation in its niche is harmless. Fan service and Refrigerators that’s so pervasive it’s considered novel if it’s ever departed from blurs the lines between fantasy and real life even worse than it already is.

            It’s a weak argument based on nebulous definitions and questionable data that inflames the discussion without helping us understand the problem. I couldn’t have articulated this in my 20′s, but it was a big part of why I gave feminism a big eye-roll back then.

            But it doesn’t have to be that way. Yes, people who don’t aren’t good data consumers post questionable source (there are plenty of legit sources, but I don’t feel like posting a bibliography) and virtually any time someone wants to bring evidence to a discussion they want to wield it like a stick to beat the ignorant with. But relevant data and recognition of dominant cultural trends can most certainly add to the discussion and it’s infuriating to see it written off as too incendiary.

            • Shamus says:

              “I think we’re approaching this idea from vastly different angles. ”

              I think you’re right. I’m often looking at the argument from the POV of the unconvinced and asking myself, “What’s really important here? And what evidence would 20-something Shamus find compelling.”

              I think we’re pretty much in agreement when it comes to the broad ideas. I’m still in favor of improving how women are treated and portrayed.

              • wererogue says:

                Shamus, you asked a couple of times for evidence of rape culture and things that would persude you. I can’t guarantee that I have what you’re looking for, but I can tell you that 20-something me was won around completely by this piece:

                http://yesmeansyesblog.wordpress.com/2009/11/12/meet-the-predators/

                Everything since then has been reinforcement.

                • Shamus says:

                  Thanks. Just to be clear: I never claimed that there was no such thing. (Or if I did, then I must have butchered whatever I was actually trying to say.) My complaint about “rape culture” is that the term is used carelessly. The term itself is something of a firebomb, but I can’t really complain about that. (The subject itself is a firebomb, and when someone is a victim of rape then asking them to use “less shocking and provocative” language is probably not very smart or helpful.) But saying “This causes rape culture” among feminists is very different than pointing at a Bayonetta (or whatever) screenshot and saying “”This causes rape culture”. The average gamer parses that claim as “this causes rape”, concludes you’re a hysterical idiot, and writes you off.

                  You can say “people should educate themselves more”. I suppose that would be nice, but that’s not how people work and anyone arguing for cultural change has to keep their audience in mind. If I’m arguing for (say) net neutrality, then drowning the audience in technical lingo doesn’t help.

                  This debate is a mess. I don’t mean here on my blog. (Although this is a little bumpy compared to usual, and I can tell a few people are really uncomfortable. I don’t think we’ll be doing this one again any time soon.) We’ve got a serious problem that doesn’t get enough attention. So some people take up the cause to educate the public. When the public doesn’t move fast enough (because cultural change is slow) the advocates crank up the hyperbole and begin exaggerating the problem (the statistic of “one-in-four women is a rape victim” is a good example) to try and get people to CARE. But the accusatory language and statistical shenanigans leaves an opening for ugly backlash. Then we end up with a polarizing debate where you’re either with the “rapists” or the “man-haters”. Ugh.

                  It makes me sad. I grieve for people who are hurt and are then blamed or ignored. I wish this discussion didn’t get so messy. I don’t know how to fix it.

                • krellen says:

                  What that author describes as “rape culture” doesn’t fit any model of interaction I have ever had in my entire life, and I have been friends with “bros”. If that’s “rape culture”, I don’t believe it actually is the dominant culture of our society, and really needs to stop being addressed as if it were.

                  I also note that the author was careful to point out that using the word “rape” was a bad idea, because it caused people to close ranks instead of addressing the problem.

                  (She also included a note that the studies did specifically assume male-on-female rape and allowed that other scenarios existed, which I really appreciate.)

                  • Abnaxis says:

                    I also note that the author was careful to point out that using the word “rape” was a bad idea, because it caused people to close ranks instead of addressing the problem.

                    That’s an interesting way to look at that which I hadn’t really considered. I mean, it’s an important trick in survey design to use these sorts of tricks to understand peoples’ attitudes. For example, surveyors learned a long time ago that asking “are you in favor of government subsidies to assist low-income Americans in buying food?” yields vastly different results than asking “do you support food stamps?” I just never thought of that same issue in the context of using those terms in the wider discussion.

                    I’m still conflicted about what this means for the word “rape,” though. I mean, relabeling “food stamps” as “SNAP” doesn’t seem like it had all that much effect on the discourse surrounding the controversy. The underlying issues are still there, and people are still going to be passionate about them. Calling it something different doesn’t seem like it would solve this underlying problem.

                    EDIT: Also, the article seems to indulge in a mistake I often see when people find a problem somewhere, which is to frame necessary conditions as also being sufficient for causing the problem. In other words, “a majority of habitual rapists are accepted by their own local ‘bro’ culture, therefore all ‘bro’ cultures produce rapists.”

                    It’s like saying “nearly all road fatalities occur due to high speed collisions, therefore everyone driving fast on the interstate is going to DIE.” it’s a common mistake, like a statistical version of a Converse Accident and a classic case where it would help to know that correlation does not mean causation. Unfortunately, too many people make this mistake all the friggin’ time

        • Deoxy says:

          For example, yes, the overwhelming objectification and disenfranchisement of women in media (ALL media, though it is especially bad in games) is a significant contributor to rape culture and to the devaluing of women in general. An overwhelming library of evidence supports these facts.

          That’s why the rape rate in this country is pretty much at an all time low, since there’s so much media, etc. Right?

          Seriously, this is the least rape-y culture in the history of man. If that’s what you call “an overwhelming library of evidence”, then you need help getting back to reality.

          (Yes, rape is bad. I live with the consequences of it in my marriage to a woman who was raped more than 20 years ago, before I met her, so don’t bother lecturing me or assuming I don’t think it’s a problem.)

          The term “rape culture” is almost exclusively a political tool to get men to shut up and give certain women more stuff and more power. If it were otherwise, those claiming it exists would have VERY VERY VERY different targets than the ones they expend ammo on.

          It’s in the same political family as the 1-in-4 claims (which are so ridiculous that only the innumerate can believe them) and the $.77 claim (by their own metrics, women who have no children earn MORE for the same job than men – honest feminists place the number at about $.96 and admit that even that 4 cents may come from career choices) – lying for political gain.

          • Cineris says:

            Thank you. It’s hard to take these perspectives seriously when they are so disconnected from empirical facts.
            For what it’s worth, I’m open to being convinced that they actually are supported by empirical facts, but that’s a connection that must be convincingly demonstrated, rather than expecting emotionalized appeals substitute for said demonstration.

        • Neil O.Dio says:

          “For example, yes, the overwhelming objectification and disenfranchisement of women in media (ALL media, though it is especially bad in games)”

          As opposed to the objectification of males, obviously.

          Here is a video of Laci Green audio talking about Objectification while ironic images of male objectification (who she says claims it doesn’t happen since somehow men are seen as people all the time but women dont) are shown on the screen. If there are gay people in this comment section then you may enjoy the following bit of info: Painted Pants

          Enjoy.
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wbTX49padE

          “is a significant contributor to rape culture and to the devaluing of women in general. An overwhelming library of evidence supports these facts.”

          Evidence that WILL be tested and observed to see if they have academic merit and some basis in reality. Because if you haven’t noticed, its not the first time Feminist have manipulated facts and research in order to favor women as the victims, by making the rape of men to be fundamentally different to rape of woman.
          http://www.genderratic.com/p/4057/mens-rights-vs-feminist-rape-culture-explained-using-puzzle-pieces/

          People have to take the “overwhelming evidence” with a grain of salt thanks to such display of intellectual dishonesty that would shatter ANYONE’S trust.

          The Patriarchy theory is no more, thanks to the Gender Equality Paradox Documentary.

          As for this system or culture that oppresses women, how can there be a rape culture when rape is ALWAYS seen as a heinous crime done to women? You didn’t need feminism to have that happen, it was already seen as horrible.

          The common wisdom is that rape is “overwhelmingly perpetrated by men on women.” But one huge, cross-cultural study on sexual coercion in relationships found, again, roughly equal numbers of victims and perpetrators between genders within heterosexual relationships. Men were just as likely to be forced or verbally coerced into sexual intercourse by their female partners as women were by their male partners.

          Moreover, the CDC’s most recent report on sexual victimization–if one goes to the bother of amalgamating all the categories into two pools of “non-consensual sexual intercourse” perpetrated on men and women… even this report shows parity in the numbers of male and female previous-year victims. Yet how aware are we, as a society, of sexual violence against men? Or boys, for that matter?

          Sexual violence and exploitation of underage males by adult women is almost never characterized as rape in the media. The preferred language titillates rather than evoking outrage: “teacher seduces male student,” “forbidden love,” “teacher’s dirty little secret fling,” “hot for teacher.” It actually seems to me that the only way a boy will even be seen as a real victim within the public consciousness is if the perpetrator is an adult male, at which point pervasive and lingering homophobia overrides our view of the kinds of sexual violence against males that are acceptable in our culture.

          While we’re justifiably appalled at the idea of a barely pubescent girl married off to an adult man in Afghanistan, how aware are we that adolescent and preadolescent boys are bought and sold there–often in order to support female family members–when the authorities in that country choose to look the other way?

          When we look at some real numbers, we find that sexual victimization of children is not really a gendered problem. Victims are both male and female. Perpetrators are also male and female, with larger percentages of female perpetrators coming to light all the time, as we start asking less biased questions on surveys.

          Yet, at the same time, one recent study done by a children’s charity showed that 80% of sexually abused children who disclosed victimization by a woman were not believed by the first person they told, even though the majority of them disclosed to people whose job it is to keep kids safe–police, crisis lines, counsellors, teachers. And adult men who report sexual victimization by women, even in informal settings? The first question asked is usually, “Well, was she hot?” Followed by something along the lines of, “wish I could get raped by some hot chick.”

          It seems clear to me that interpersonal violence–sexual or otherwise–perpetrated against women and girls is strongly condemned by both society and the system, while that perpetrated against men and boys is largely minimized or ignored.

          http://www.csulb.edu/~mfiebert/assault.htm

          http://www.mediaradar.org/docs/Dutton_GenderParadigmInDV-Pt1.pdf

          http://lab.drdondutton.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Dutton-D.G.-Corvo-K.-2007-The-Duluth-Program_-A-flawed-and-data-impervious-paradigm.pdf

          http://pubpages.unh.edu/~mas2/ID45-PR45.pdf

          http://www.kidscape.org.uk/assets/downloads/Femalesexualabuseofchildren.pdf

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oua2y11BMxw
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1Iawx1sRrw

          • Deoxy says:

            It seems clear to me that interpersonal violence–sexual or otherwise–perpetrated against women and girls is strongly condemned by both society and the system, while that perpetrated against men and boys is largely minimized or ignored.

            Or even legally sanctioned, at least from a monetary point of view. There are multiple documented cases of statutory rape victims paying child support to the woman that raped them, for instance. There is no claim that the courts recognize as sufficient to escape child support (for a man, anyway) – even rape.

      • wererogue says:

        This seems like the best point to jump in on the problem or non-problem of T&A.

        I don’t know that T&A itself is the problem, but if you accept the concept of rape culture then the massive skew in portrayal of women towards T&A and the deformed depictions of women that it usually involves seem like a factor.

        It’s been defunct for a while, but Less Tits And Ass, More Kicking Ass did a great job of showing art that I used to think of as normal or even good, and fixing it with realistic anatomy and action poses to both show realistic women and convey believable action, and since I read it I find broken anatomy very uncomfortable to look at.

        (I linked to the first post, because the tail of the blog is mostly reblogs of things that aren’t redraws, so I suggest starting at the front and moving forward)

        For me, it’s the normalization of that kind of depiction that makes it a notable factor, in the same way that sexy dolls and halloween costumes for kids being normal gives off some very odd messages. There is definitely media that does a great job of portraying women both in the art and in the writing – I just think that there needs to be a lot more, and that contributing to the imbalance is a shame.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      You didnt hear about that woman that got a guy fired because he told a sexy joke to a friend of his in a con?

      Militant feminists may not be as numerous as militant atheist and militant vegans,but they do exist.

      • Was that the person who broke the code of conduct at PyCon, making other attendants at a professional event uncomfortable with their crass language, and then the marketplace of ideas meant their boss decided their company (who had paid for the person to be there) no longer wanted to be associated with that person (who could not differentiate between a dirty joke down the pub and a professional conference) and so terminated their contract? Did you know she also got fired for raising the incident in public and making her company a target from MRA abuse?

        What about the not uncommon reports of sexual assault (and the rape culture excuses) at these professional events combined with the terrible gender balance? Do you not see the bigger issue here being that the best and brightest coders/STEM candidates are being culled from the workforce by the view forward at 16 showing an unwelcoming sector?

        • Tse says:

          Wasn’t what she did abuse? She didn’t tell them she was offended, she didn’t tell the organizers, she posted their picture online, making them a target for feminist hate. I won’t talk more about MRAs and feminists, because this is getting political. I’d love to elaborate, but not on this comment thread.

        • Just Passing Through says:

          You’re one of the people they’re talking about, making the discussion a million times more difficult by jumping down peoples throat with overly elaborate and preachy responses and using incidents as excuses to proselytize. You are coming off as confrontational and passive aggressive, and it’s stuff like this on both sides that makes this discussion so toxic and drives away normal people. You are not helping your cause, you aren’t convincing people with those links, you’re just making yourself look smug.

          • I took a pithy misrepresentation of the event I suspect was being alluded to and furnished it with links to the facts of the matter.

            I then did a quick intro with some cursory links into the wider culture in which this specific incident happened to provide additional context.

            Finally I ended with a great little interview on where there is a blockage in the path to good candidates in my chosen field which is not being helped by the aforementioned culture.

            I was never going to be able to convince someone who had already made up their mind, but I thought we might spread some factual information around. Get a bit dirty with the reality of the situation. It’s unfortunate that you take that as being preachy, jumping down throats with a smug attitude. I’m comfortable with what I wrote, I meant no descent into verbotten discussion of politics, simply providing some facts for those interested in reading them.

            • Just Passing Through says:

              I might have believed you if you hadn’t immediately turned around and quoted me on twitter. Thanks for proving my point.

              • Because it’s hilarious and deserves to be shared. Thanks for taking the link to my Twitter to read more of my opinions and light-hearted musing. Hope you followed me :)

                • syal says:

                  Your rebuttal starts with a long-winded rewording of the original statement designed to spin it in your favor. If you were interested in factual discussion, you could have just added the point that she was also fired and dropped the first half entirely. And the entire second paragraph is the “shotgun approach” to argument, throw out several topics at once in an attempt to overwhelm people.

                  And nobody uses ‘pithy’ when they’re trying to be civil.

                  I’m with Just Passing Through here, you’re an ass.

                  • Shamus says:

                    Well, that escalated quickly.

                    THIS IS NOT OKAY. You can be annoyed, but do not make it personal.

                    Thank you.

                    • syal says:

                      I have no opinion on the topic itself. My problem is on the communication side of things. The reason things get murky is because people use tone tricks and other people don’t notice them, and then both sides blame the other when things get heavier.

                      There might be a nicer way to point it out, but I don’t know it.

          • MadHiro says:

            Your post is not without toxicity itself. The fact that someone is verbose is not a negative, and the entire tl;dr mindset that revolves around that is connected to all sorts of anti-intellectualism. You essentially ignored the content of the post you were attempting to respond to by attacking it trope by trope. The GGP was trying to support the idea of insane feminists by inaccurately referencing an anecdote; thus the GP’s reference of specific incidents was an attempt at straightening DL’s crooked information. You even used contradictory buzzwords; confrontational and passive aggressive are opposites. You cannot aggressively be passive aggressive.

            This looks like its an infinite recursion problem developing.

            I thought Geoff showed remarkable restraint in replying to DL; if I were the first one on the scene, I would probably have written a rather longer screed rebutting his ‘militant leftist’ nonsense.

            As to the consumption of T&A in the moral spectrum, it boils down much the same as the other moral questions of ‘our’ hobby, the violence and the crime and what-not. If you consume media in a way that is self-aware and critical, you’re probably not being evil. If you’re buying directly into it without that awareness, problems develop. That objectification of anyone is a moral wrong is hard to argue with.

            • Sleepyfoo says:

              “If you consume media in a way that is self-aware and critical, you’re probably not being evil. If you’re buying directly into it without that awareness, problems develop. That objectification of anyone is a moral wrong is hard to argue with.”

              This is one of the reasons I loved The Man Show when it was hosted by Adam Corolla and Jimmy Kimmel, but was made uncomfortable and squicked out by the hosts they got to replace them. Adam and Jimmy were making fun of themselves (and the audience) as much as they were playing into and pandering to the Stereotypes. The new hosts didn’t seem to get that and it became uncomfortable very fast.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          Wait,you were actually being serious with that introduction?And you actually posted a link that has derailment as one of the commonly used disingenuous tactics,while still being serious?

        • Hal says:

          It’s funny to me that the article you linked on women being underrepresented in STEM fields shows what appear to be biologists, given that biosciences have the best gender balance of all the STEM fields.

          My preference would be that people spend more time working out the kinks that make careers in the STEM fields so unwieldy rather than worrying so much about gender participation, but everyone has their focus. It just feels like fighting over how to cut up the pie instead of making more pies.

        • Heaven Smile says:

          How can ANYONE expect to find the truth when even the journalists cant get this shit straight?

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uqqLUBVALVw

          At least we have her, i suppose:
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jhGRuSvWOc

        • Deoxy says:

          Do you not see the bigger issue here being that the best and brightest coders/STEM candidates are being culled from the workforce by the view forward at 16 showing an unwelcoming sector?

          The most sex-segregated field in the country is elementary teaching. If you actually care about gender equity, and segregated fields are a bad thing, this should be your primary concern. Even if you DON’T agree with either of those, the science on roles for children suggest that a massively segregated field that raises the children would be bad thing.

          But somehow, it’s only fields where men dominate (and aren’t too sweaty or dangerous) that are the problems. Typical.

          • krellen says:

            If a woman wants to be around young children, she is seen as caring and nurturing.

            If a man wants to be around young children, he is seen as a dangerous predator.

            The assumption that one is a caregiver is vastly less damaging than the assumption that one is a predator.

          • guy says:

            The thing is, Elementary School Teacher is actually kind of a terrible job. The pay is low, the hours are long, the bureaucracy is infuriating, and it involves spending a lot of time in a room with thirty or more young children who want to be anywhere else. Being shut out of STEM fields is a more serious problem than being shut out of elementary school teaching, because the job quality is better.

            Also, I actually had more male elementary school teachers than female ones. I’d guess maybe a quarter of the teachers in my elementary schools were male, actually. Never seemed to be an issue; they were great and everyone liked them. Got along with the kids, impressed the parents enough people specifically requested being placed in their classes, taught the material effectively, spent the first half-hour of every year speaking entirely in the language of a landlocked african mountain country and maintained a running narrative involving adventuring with pirate lemurs through their vocab tests. I am serious; one of them actually did those last two things. He was very well-liked by students and parents.

            • krellen says:

              “I had more” … “a quarter were” …

              Those two statements do not line up.

              • guy says:

                They’re subsections of distinct groups. My grade would generally have about eight teachers and somewhere around 250 kids, but I had only one or two primary teachers each year.

              • Alexander The 1st says:

                From what I understood of the statements, he said he had more male teachers teach his classes, and guessed that the entire teaching population of his school including the ones he wasn’t taught by was a quarter.

            • Deoxy says:

              The thing is, Elementary School Teacher is actually kind of a terrible job.

              The most segregated jobs for men aren’t STEM, they’re high-risk jobs – go look at the stats on who DIES on the job, and you’ll find that it’s essentially 100% male. Some years, it’s actually 100% male. Many of those jobs actually don’t pay all that well either.

              Again, you aren’t addressing the issue from a gender-neutral perspective AT ALL – you have your conclusion, and you cherry pick what you want to see to get it.

              Also, I actually had more male elementary school teachers than female ones. I’d guess maybe a quarter of the teachers in my elementary schools were male, actually

              Your examples make my point – men CAN be great teachers, just as women can. But your school would be a freakish outlier, statistically speaking – you clearly believe was beneficial to you, clearly, and it would likely be beneficial to a great many children, but almost none get to experience it.

              One anecdote does not a statistically significant piece of data make.

              • guy says:

                For some reason, people place a higher priority on being able to do things they want to do than being able to do things they don’t want to do. Referring to the gender disparity in low-quality jobs of various types is a red herring when it comes to discussing gender disparities in high-quality jobs. I mean, I wouldn’t say men and women should be banned from any job, but women not being able to get low-paying and dangerous jobs and men not being able to get jobs teaching elementary schools are both less important problems than women not being able to get high quality jobs.

                Also, if women only want to join male-dominated fields when they aren’t too dirty/dangerous, why are they so insistent on being able to join the military and particularly the combat arms? Whatever stats you might cite about lower standards, women still perform carrier landings and get deployed to places where they get shot at.

                • Cineris says:

                  The reason why the women-on-the-front-lines thing is an issue is because of promotions. Basically, that the military has a culture of promoting the people who have literally risked their lives in its service. Without that piece of the pie there would probably be no controversy whatsoever.

    • RandomInternetMan says:

      jeffwik: http://www.rockpapershotgun.com

      Their comment section is filled with those angry people Shamus mentions. At least one of their writers fits the bill as well.

      Scary place. I used to go there for gaming news because the writing is well above average, but there’s an offputting amount of hatemongering.

    • straymute says:

      We can’t deny that the radical feminist exist or that there is and always has been a very negative side to the movement. Truth is the movement itself is often problematic, from feminist heroes like Susan B Anthony saying black people weren’t worthy of the vote to some modern day feminist launching hate campaigns against transgendered people.

  5. Veloxyll says:

    This is going to be the hardest murder mystery – everyone’s got a motive.

    Man, now I wanna play Broken Age. Is it Grim Fandango tier of Adventure game, or does it get sneaky and slip towards Gabriel Knight 3 tier?

    • Veloxyll says:

      Edit: Shamus – are you saying that men on the internet can’t talk to GIRLS?
      (I know, I know – you mention that both parties can’t talk to each other. That’s way less funny though :( )

    • Humanoid says:

      I played for an hour or so on release but then decided to wait ’til act two was available to play them as a block. If I were to pick one word to describe the game though, I’d pick ‘charming’. It’s a good illustration of what a beautiful game is, versus one with high graphical fidelity which is an overrated quality.

      I know the most common criticism of the game is how simple the puzzles are, but honestly I’ve never really cared about challenge in most game genres – anything but strategy really.

      P.S. Veloxyll from Missy’s and various other Black Isle descendant forums?

      • Veloxyll says:

        The one and only. Though you may not notice this because there is a giant blob of text above it. Which contains a bunch of madness.

        Then again, that was ye olde political forums in a nutshell, so the possibility exists that you’ll read it anyhow.

    • Kana says:

      Nah, it’s going to be hard to narrow down. Shamus can’t be one that kills him, Josh has been playing Dark Souls. He’s probably used to dealing with Torch Hollows now.

      My money is on Rutskarn with a paperback, though.

      (Broken Age does seem kinda fun.)

    • harborpirate says:

      I’ve played through all of a Act I. There are no puzzles that only make sense by Adventure Game Logic. So, if you’re worried about “make a fake moustache to impersonate someone who does not have a moustache” type puzzles, rest easy.

      The characters mostly stay within the story; there’s definitely less fourth wall breaking and genre lampooning than something like, say, Monkey Island.

      That said, even though it doesn’t get laugh out loud funny too often, there are definitely a number of good wisecracks and oddball characters.

      I’m 100% with Mumbles here. If you like point and click adventure games, you should definitely pick it up. If you dislike them, well, there’s nothing there that’s going to change your mind.

  6. Tse says:

    As an egalitarian I agree completely that it would be good to have equal representation in games, with both the protagonists and enemies having a close to even representation of both sexes. The fantasy and sci-fi genres are well ahead of the others in this, it’s not even a problem in a lot of games. Of course, an author should have the right to do whatever they like with their stories, especially if a certain inequality is part of the story.
    What I don’t agree with is people pushing for female protagonists while condemning anyone making female antagonists/enemies. I have no problem with a game with a female protagonist and all-male enemies (Tomb Raider), because again, an author should have the right to do whatever they like with their stories. I’m just against this type of outside influence.

    • Paul Spooner says:

      Egalitarianism is straying too near religion for fair discussion in this context. It seems you are promoting the idea that, with equality of opportunity, will naturally arise equality of outcome; But then that’s too close to politics.

      But, if you’re willing to grant creators freedom to make whatever they want, why not grant the audience freedom to like or dislike whatever they want? Why can’t people object to female antagonists, and praise female protagonists? Wouldn’t the ideal be: for everyone to be free to produce and praise (or the inverse) whatever games they choose?

      I guess my observation at this point is:
      Game creators and game consumers are already about as free as we could hope to praise and create whatever they want. Are you proposing less openness and honesty? Or, are you saying that people would be happier if they were more accepting of experiences they weren’t looking for?

      • Tse says:

        Hm, I don’t think equal opportunity would lead to equal outcomes, that’s just silly. I’m just not against the unequal outcome of said opportunity.
        About the main question, well, it’s more like this:
        I would never want imposed restrictions, but if enough people ask for something, the author might just give it to them. I can ask for something while not condemning authors if they do something else. People should be able to voice their opinions and champion for equal representation, but I find wanting a certain gender to more often be the hero while never being the villain unfair.

        • Paul Spooner says:

          I’m largely in agreement with you, but I still find it odd that you support people asking for “equal representation” while excluding those who oppose equality as being “unfair” by expressing their opinions.

          Perhaps I misunderstand… If “people should be able to voice their opinions”, then won’t some of them inevitably ask for inequality? To deny this portion of the populace a voice in the name of equality seems fundamentally contradictory.

          • Tse says:

            It’s more about who I agree and disagree with. I agree with some people, disagree with others. Doesn’t mean I want to silence anyone. I say my piece and hope to change someone’s opinion, that’s it.

      • Neil O.Dio says:

        “Why can’t people object to female antagonists, and praise female protagonists?”

        Because that would be unequal.

        Men are heroes and villains. If women are equal to men, then women should be heroes AND villains as well.

        Not accepting this means that you find women more…innocent than men, and therefore unequal.

        Cant blame you really. Studies show that women are liked more by women and men, than men are liked by men and women.
        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15491274

        And another study showing women being seen as “less” violent:
        http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100525090554.htm

        Of course you would think that female villains is not right, yet male villains is just a day at the office. Facts shows our bias in favor of women.

        • Paul Spooner says:

          One problem (and not the only one by any means) with unlimited equality is that it is inherently paradoxical. It is the logical equivalent of stating “All statements are true.”

          Applied to this particular case, one could summarize the stance of equality as saying “all persons’ preferences are equally valid.” I am attempting to point out that the preference “men are terrible” or “women are terrible” or “men and women are equal” are all equally admissible under these criteria. Unbounded equality admits everything, excludes nothing, and thus becomes less than useful.

          • Heaven Smile says:

            Then i guess its not that good, isn’t it? i guess they should have been more specific with what “wanting equality” or “equality” means.

            Are men and women equal in their display of Free Will? then logically they are both capable of reaching a conclusion or a situation in life where they are heroes or villains. Its downright strange and bizarre for people who believe in equality to ALSO forbid displays of women being evil in a constant basis. See also the “Incorruptible Pure Pureness” issue here:
            http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/FeministFrequency

            Are they equal in physical display of strength? then there is an equal chance they both can be domestic abusers, assuming they chose to abuse their strength. (And according to statistics they are 50/50 on the domestic abuse issue). There should be no reason for people to tip the balance in favor of women, like if they are less responsible for their agency or more “innocent” (as stated before).
            http://www.genderratic.com/p/398/the-gendered-lens-inflatablefem/

            If they are not equal but would be nice to have the opportunity to do the same thing as men, that still leaves women in the dust since as i explained with my mention of the “Gender Equality Paradox” Documentary, women simply do what they want WHEN given the opportunity to chose a wide arrange of options. And what they want is simple jobs, not anything complex. Only when there is no option for their survival is that they choose what they can get.

            • guy says:

              The CDC does not agree that domestic violence is split 50/50, with 24% percent of women and 14% of men experiencing physical violence from an intimate partner.

              And what they want is simple jobs, not anything complex. Only when there is no option for their survival is that they choose what they can get.

              That is blatantly nonsense. Women get medical doctorates, and those aren’t a “take what you can get” sort of thing.

              • krellen says:

                Men report being assaulted less frequently than women, because being a victim is unacceptable behaviour for men. Non-official, blind, self-reporting studies that carry no risk of exposure or legal repercussion indicate that men and women are roughly equal in instigating physical abuse in relationships (women are actually statistically slightly more like to instigate).

                Women are actually more likely to utilise physical abuse, while men are more likely to utilise verbal/psychological abuse (in a great irony from cultural expectations).

                • guy says:

                  Men report being assaulted less frequently than women, because being a victim is unacceptable behaviour for men. Non-official, blind, self-reporting studies that carry no risk of exposure or legal repercussion indicate that men and women are roughly equal in instigating physical abuse in relationships

                  There’s a reason serious scientific and medical studies usually aren’t self-reporting: it skews the sample. Government surveys of this type generally do not store names and do not carry legal repercussions for precisely the reason you mention. My high school did scantron booklet surveys like this and I’m pretty sure we didn’t put our names on them at all. Several questions asked if we’d committed crimes and there was no punishment for answering those.

                  • krellen says:

                    That’s what I mean by self-reporting: asking if the respondent has engaged in said activity.

                    Government statistics do not use these figures; they use “official” reports.

                    • guy says:

                      Let me quote from the methedology portion of the CDC report I have been referring to.

                      Data for this report are from the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS), which was launched by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) National Center for Injury Prevention and Control in 2010. NISVS is an ongoing, national random digit dial telephone survey of the non-institutionalized English- and/or Spanish-speaking U.S. population aged 18 or older.

                    • krellen says:

                      How about you link the report you’re referring to? You failed to above (as in, unsuccessfully attempted, not as in did not even try).

                    • guy says:

                      http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/nisvs/index.html <— the general index

                      http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/cdc_nisvs_ipv_report_2013_v17_single_a.pdf <— the specific report

                      Admittedly, the report only concerns crimes committed by romantic partners, because the original point of contention was domestic violence, which is not actually the same thing.

                      Now, you are correct that this one doesn't count "forced to penetrate" as rape, but it appears as a line item directly below and the definition includes use of drugs and attempts, so you have a rate of 2.2% for men vs. 9.4% for women. Now, the generalized rates of domestic abuse are similar, but if you look at the breakdowns they show it being generally more severe for women, particularly with severe physical violence.

                    • krellen says:

                      I’ll accept the premise that “women are hurt more, and hurt more severely, by domestic violence”, but that wasn’t the premise I got from your original post. That premise largely boils down to the fact that men are, on average, stronger than women.

                      Your original post seemed to state that “men perpetrate more domestic violence than women”, which is both untrue and a prime example of one of the most harmful male stereotypes in our culture (that men are violent and dangerous).

              • Neil O.Dio says:

                “The CDC does not agree that domestic violence is split 50/50″

                Cute, since i already debunked it here in this very page. That was the research that Mary Koss manipulated by making rape on men be fundamentally different to rape on women. How you ask?

                On her efforts to correct to correct the problem of too many men saying “yes” to “have you been physically forced to have sex” Mary Koss says:

                We worked diligently to develop item wording that captured men’s sense of pressure to have sex and draw their responses into an appropriate category of coercion instead of rape.

                Based on Mary Koss’s advice the Center of Disease control decided to separate “physically forced sex” into two categories in their nation wide US study of sexual and domestic violence:

                Men raping women is rape
                Women raping men is “made to penetrate”.

                And it goes downhill from there. Behold the rest of the damage here, if you are willing to admit that this trope is in full effect:
                http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/LiesDamnedLiesAndStatistics

                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ncjGFIFPJI&list=UUPIBMVkTmj5GjIpzAYDhYKQ

                “Women get medical doctorates, and those aren’t a “take what you can get” sort of thing.”

                Nor is tech engineering, yet as evidenced on the end of the documentary, women WILL study and work for the only thing they have available to survive and pay the bills in less egalitarian countries.

                And even if a few women choose an high end field, even when she could have fallen to the temptation of choosing something else, it is still a minority. Remember that the things that dictate what you like are written when you are born, and long before any cultural or political brainwash gets to you. These few women are fighting to what is basically Biological Determinism.

                To surpass the will of the body you need a strong will yourself, and not many people can do that. The fact that the numbers have been stable since 1986 to 2006 shows how strong is Nature over Nurture.

                • guy says:

                  Firstly, domestic violence and rape are actually separate things, and I was discussing the category of “severe physical violence”. Secondly, if you compare the categories they get broken into instead of declaring that breaking it into categories makes the numbers meaningless, the split is 75%/25%, with women also experiencing a higher rate of sexual coercion, which around here is also considered rape.

    • Bubble181 says:

      I’m all in favor of equal and honest representation. However, I’m horribly annoyed by games (and movies, and series) claiming to historically accurate (or to be “real history”), while shoehorning in female protagonists (or even characters, in some cases) in places where, historically, they simply weren’t around. Female soldiers in the Roman Imperial Legion? Female soldiers in WWI? Female generals in Medieval Times? Sorry, but nope. There’s a *reason* someone like Joan of Arc or Florence Nightingale is such a role model – they went completely against the then-valid “order of things”.

      As far as fantasy or science fiction goes, I’m all in favor of men, women, all possible variations in between and outside, whatever you want. Forcing female (or black, or white in some rarer cases, or atheist, or…) characters in times and places they didn’t exist is historical falsification, and white-washing history. If we are to learn from where we came from, we need to accept their failings along with their positive sides.

  7. Abnaxis says:

    So….Titanfall…

    Apparently, I made an Origin account a LOOOONG time ago. I know this because my name is used up, and it is NEVER taken. This gives me a fear in the pit of my stomach, that there’s some games I own that I will never see again.

    I go into tech support, and after a 30-minute wait, I get to talk to a rather patient support person. I say “patient” becuase it took damn near an hour and a half, for me to dig through all my library and all my games and painstakingly determine that I have no games active on Origin. Also, my user-name is irrecoverable.

    So great, now I just slap some numbers on my name, make sure my password is archived in my password archiver, and download the game….

    Except the support tech also gave me a 15% discount code, that can’t be used on any game within a month of release.

    Now, realize there is a REASON I don’t have Origin. I don’t like it, I don’t want it if I don’t need it. Titanfall looks mega super awesome and is compelling enough to make me swallow that pill, but as soon as I get bored with Titanfall the Origin client is toast. Heck, if they crack Titanfall, the Origin client is toast.

    So…now what the heck do I do with the 15% code? that’s ten bucks off the full game or twelve off the deluxe edition. Heck, that’ll let me get the deluxe edition for only slightly more than I was willing to pay for the original.

    I have to wait a month first though, and I HATE waiting for something after I’ve decided I’m going to get it. All my self-control psychology takes place BEFORE I decide to buy something, when I do research and look through my accounting to make sure I’m willing to afford it. Having to wait after I do all that is a conundrum in my lizard brain…

    • Daniel says:

      If that’s true of you, then you’re very unusual (which would be neat). Most people get a lot more enjoyment out of things when they have to anticipate them for a bit. For example people made to wait 30 minutes before being given chocolat enjoy it much more than those given it right away. See The Effect of a Delay between Choice and Consumption on Consumption Enjoyment. For most people, waiting/anticipating something cool adds flavor.

      So maybe waiting will make Titanfall even better!

      • Abnaxis says:

        I don’ think I’m that weird–well, somewhat weird in that I’m fully aware of anticipation excitement and use it to manipulate myself on a regular basis (I’m an adult, yet I still force myself to eat the things I don’t like on the plate before I eat the things I like)–but my problem here is dread. I’m pretty good at making myself anxious over extraneous spending, and since I haven’t actually bought the game yet the buyer’s guilt overtakes the excitement.

        EDIT: Y’know what. Screw it. I already budgeted it, I’m buying the game.

      • Trix2000 says:

        People might enjoy things better after waiting more, but that doesn’t mean that they’re willing to wait in the first place. The key difference here is that nothing is MAKING him wait to buy the game.

        If anything, I’d say it’s at least slightly more unusual to be patient in this situation. Sure, the results of doing so may be theoretically good, but is it enough to beat out OMG I WANT TO PLAY IT NOW.

    • ET says:

      I’m just hoping that Valve has a contract with EA, to get the game onto their store as well, since the game is using their engine.
      From what I’ve heard about Origin, it’s usable, and at worst is kind of just a boring product, not actively horrible and broken like (what I’ve heard) GFWL was.
      But I refuse to create another gosh-darned user name and password pair, for a single game that I want, for a system which is simply “not broken” (aka Origin) when I want something “really good” (aka Steam).

      • Humanoid says:

        You’d just end up with an Ubisoft-type situation where you end up having to run both pieces of software simultaneously. A multiplicative effect of brokenness!

        N.B. In all seriousnessm I’d classify none of those three platforms as truly broken, just different levels of undesirable.

  8. Paul Spooner says:

    I find the “it’s not what our audience wants” argument is pretty convincing, as long as it’s both honest, and commercial (as opposed to artistic). I suspect, though, that it’s often used to equivocate, in spite of and against both premises.

    It is used to mask dishonesty because the “audience” is very often defined by behavioristic criteria, which turns “what our audience wants” into a tautology. Of course “it’s not what our audience wants”, if the audience is strictly defined by their sundry desires! The suggestion that variety would increase sales is implying that parties outside the intended customer profile would be willing to buy the game. It’s a challenge to the definition of the target audience itself.

    And, far from being a strictly commercial rebuttal, this argument is often used in combination with the opposite statement along the lines of an “artistic vision” which must be preserved. The appeal to the target audience’s desires means that you want your customers to be happy with your work before experiencing it. The appeal to art implies a desire to change the audience, that they need to experience the product to become better people, and perhaps won’t like it until after the experience has transformed them. I find these two tacks highly incompatible. Either one is valuable by itself, but (in the vast majority of cases) the choice needs to be made between artistic expression and sales optimization.

    • Veloxyll says:

      They can even literally have both worlds with multi-character games. Sure, have your big boobed sorceress harkening back to those days. But why not also have a reasonably dressed lady character? Or let boobplate be one costume option but have full body outfits with non-fantasy proportions.

      • Paul Spooner says:

        Or go even further and hook character proportions and costumes to global setting sliders in the display menu. The problem is the marginal cost of producing this extra content/configurability, and the expected return to be gained with it. The former can be addressed by lowering the production values (which is a common theme on this site). The latter can be addressed by broadening the definition of the “target audience”.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        You mean like how saints row does it,by allowing you to customize both boob and package sizes,dress classy or streak naked,and then just go to a plastic surgeon and readjust everything?

      • Hal says:

        Eh, the problem in those cases is that those choices aren’t really meaningful. You can play anywhere on a four-point spectrum between male/female and saint/whore, but if the game doesn’t acknowledge your choice in any way whatsoever, I just don’t see the point.

        • Ciennas says:

          Games are a chance for people to live out their fantasies. Check the mod sites for any mod friendly game, and you’ll see what I mean.

          It really doesn’t matter too much if the characters acknowledge it- the player has the freedom to choose to be a barbarian/stripper or a monk/businesswoman.

          And that can make all the difference in the world. People find it grating to be forced into playing Booberella, as much as it can be found grating that everyone is on the docket for chastity awards.

          I personally like the idea of them asking the player before the game starts, to choose how they want the characters to be displayed.

          It would make a job of creating three outfits around a base design, but people could tailor the experience to what they want.

          • Trix2000 says:

            Very much agreed. It’s part of why cosmetic items can be a popular and effective means of charging money in a free-to-play game, for example. They don’t affect balance or gameplay (quieting the ‘pay2win’ accusations) but plenty of people value them all the same.

    • Viktor says:

      The audience for video games is 45% female. Do you really think “But our audience wants chainmail bikinis on girls who make models look fat” is at all accurate or honest?

      • AncientSpark says:

        I dunno, depends on the game in question. An example off the type of my head is Super Robot Wars, which is essentially a giant mecha anime crossover game. Thus, the SRW crowd of fans is mostly young men (the anime shounen crowd) and thus, all the bouncing boobs in that game aren’t really all that surprising, although incredibly stupid.

        It IS used an excuse a lot of the time, but it’s hard to say whether it’s true or not in some circumstances.

      • Neil O.Dio says:

        “The audience for video games is 45% female”

        That statistic is misleading and YOU know it:
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4yH2r2uzDI&list=UUjHP29jHfWiegejKr-cwPjw

        Playing Solitaire doesn’t mean you are a gamer.

        Also, gamers like Lauren Bleszinski (the wife of Cliffy B, developer of Gears of War) find the idea of sexy characters empowering since they are supposed to be a fantasy, an escapism from reality. What woman WOULDN’T want to play as a sexier self?
        http://www.l337lauren.com/gamemusings/2010/10/8/sexy-girl-characters-dont-offend-me.html

        Not to mention the Feminists that find a game like Bayonetta to fit into The Bechdel Test*, but also empowering since you kill a church-like organization that is full of oppressive misogynists:
        http://obligatoryspiderqueen.wordpress.com/2012/06/26/b-i-t-c-h-bayonetta-in-total-control-of-herself/

        *None of the on-screen female characters talk about romance or even male characters (beyond addressing the Lumen Sages as a group): Jeanne and Bayonetta interact as any rivals/enemies interact, while Bayonetta and Cereza is a maternal relationship. Then again, the test is not a measure of quality, since a film like “Manos The Hands Of Fate” and “Only God Forgives” also pass.

        • Viktor says:

          38% of Xbox users are female. 50% of Nintendo users. Given that gaming is trying to drive away women, that’s quite an accomplishment. (No, I didn’t follow your link, it’s YouTube and I’m on mobile. Post your own arguments)

          And true, some women find the uber-sexy characters empowering. Others find them ridiculous. Think about it, would you rather play a game looking like Jacob from Twilight wearing a speedo, or as Vin Diesel in body armor with a massive sword?

          • Neil O.Dio says:

            “38% of Xbox users are female. 50% of Nintendo users.”
            So it isn’t the ESA Esential “Facts” % that people keep regurgitating? its hard to tell without a source.

            “Post your own arguments”
            The video IS the argument. Why i am being punished for simplicity and pragmatism? Do you want a wall of text here?

            Hell, what if it is my own video? more reason to say that it IS my argument.

            “Think about it, would you rather play a game looking like Jacob from Twilight wearing a speedo, or as Vin Diesel in body armor with a massive sword?”

            Its there a difference? does the abs of Jacob give +2 to strenght? does using a Vin Diesel avatar gives +3 in Charisma? if the answer is no then why should i care? they are all the same. You know, like any other bloody character in gaming history.

            I dont even NEED to point out a game like Skyrim where your race and looks are cosmetic and do NOT affect the outcome of the game, do i?

            It doesn’t matter if the “Legendary Sword of Legendariness™” has lore saying that its the most awesome thing ever, or has a tragic story behind it that makes Hamlet look like The Oogieloves, if the damage it does its WORSE than my “Wooden Sword of Lameness™” then i am OBVIOUSLY going to use the latter. And this is because, and this may be a shock to you, i am a GAMER! I care for the gamey aspects of a game. I know, weird huh? that its….like… a movie critic judging a movie by seeing how well of a movie in its use of visuals. You know, they thing that makes a movie BE a movie, a visual medium.

            Do you think that people care that 3 of “The Four Gods” in Marvel Vs Capcom 2 is a robot (Sentinel), a mutant woman (Storm) and a mutant old man (Magneto)? HELL NAH. If those are the best characters then people ARE going to use them to win the game. Because winning its all that matters and it doesn’t matter how they achieve it.

            I didn’t win Battletoads by plain fair, nor anyone else in the gaming world.

            EDIT: Do i really need to bring up the blog that Campster commented on Diecast 8, on how roleplaying the player character is a dead Art and that people just min max the system?
            http://www.whatgamesare.com/2012/07/on-player-characters-and-self-expression-game-design.html

            • LadyTL says:

              AS a woman (at least the last time I checked), while I don’t mind T&A in fighting games because that is halfway to being a traditional thing, I do actually kind of get irritated if it shows up in RPGs. I don’t feel empowered by my character wearing boob armor because it’s stupid and demeaning to how I play my characters.

              An example is the Dragon age series. Dragon Age one had reasonable armor for female characters. If you really wanted you could even put covering armor or robes on Morrigan so she didn’t run around in her underwear the whole time. I enjoyed that. But yet in Dragon Age 2, they went full boob armor including making a live action short of a cheesecake character.

              From Bioware again Mass Effect 1 and 2 had similar dissonance. Female characters were dressed and viewed as people first and it shows. Mass Effect 2 was filled with ass shots and cheesecake. EA has a culture of deciding women have to look a certain way in their games regardless of if it makes sense for the story.

              Also I do role play my character in video games. You know what my character looks like in Skyrim? A bulky (as possible anyway) woman who dressed covered from head to toe. I don’t go around in bikini mail because being run through because of bad armor is not sexy or empowering. At least not to me and Skyrim does kind of reinforce that.

              For the TLDR: Women are not all the same, some do not find bikini mail empowering. Some companies do have a culture of demeaning women. Also not everyone gets out of video games the same thing because not all video games are the same. Not everyone treats a fighting game the same as an RPG.

              • Neil O.Dio says:

                “But yet in Dragon Age 2, they went full boob armor including making a live action short of a cheesecake character.”

                Which i believe were written by second writer in command (in relation to David Gaider) Jennifer Hepler. A person know for its fanfictiony lvl of writing. Just read “M.I.T.H: Operation Smoking Jaguar” and you will be just as traumatized.

                http://dragonage.wikia.com/wiki/Jennifer_Hepler

                But of course, if i point that out i get called a misogynist. Because i was OBVIOUSLY talking about her as a woman and not as a bad writer, right? Well, the journalists dont care about such details.
                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0QLz0CqtMVc

                But its interesting how a single woman in charge of the writing practically derails all other fictional women into sluts. Why is this important? well..

                “EA has a culture of deciding women have to look a certain way in their games regardless of if it makes sense for the story.”

                ..because EA is not responsible for DA2, ME2 nor ME3 disasters. Aren’t you up with the news?
                http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/123200-EA-Gave-BioWare-Complete-Creative-Control

                EA didn’t make this trash, Bioware did. Both their male and female writers contributed to such crap. Maybe they wanted more money and wanted to appeal to a wider audience? who knows.

                Not that EA is 100% innocent, mind you. They are still responsible for listening to the casual filthy of dudebros that made the majority of its audience, and are willing to re-use that same audience to test games that have shit to do with COD, in order to make them more like COD.
                https://twitter.com/WeNeedGamers/status/412630524440502274
                http://www.siliconera.com/2011/03/28/nanashi-no-game-was-considered-for-north-america-focus-groups-killed-it/

                After all, dudebros know shit about quality, so of course they are the best subjects for Focus Groups, right?

                We could have stopped the rise of those idiots if we were more exclusive and kicked them out of the way (you know, like Moviebob suggested http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A0mP1kEMF5E&t=12m35s). But since they are a majority now, i guess there is nothing we can do about it. The gamer that wants details, story, and something as basic quality in the GAMEPLAY are just a niche audience now.

                And EA is still responsible for listening to whoever gives them the “facts” about their audience taste. I mean, who is in charge of that? Marketing? Can we get an insider to know where do they pull that info out of their asses and how reliable it is? These things take money by the millions, so they MUST have at least some safe way to measure where the money will be safely invested.

                If they dont have one, i guess they only guess what the audience want? they will have to use their own preconceived notions of what the audience wants.

                Otherwise i just have this guy telling me where do they get the ideas, and that is not good enough:
                http://metagearsolid.org/2011/07/video-games-in-the-master-plan/

                “Also I do role play my character in video games.”

                Congratulations! you are an even nichier audience than us.

                Not that being a minority is a bad thing. Black people didn’t get equal rights by having more babies than white people and being the majority, they got it because they deserve it.

                I however, i am trying to know why aesthetics is relevant when:

                1)Pragmatism DEMANDS for one to ignore such silly things. Imagine a real life scenario where a soldier is worries that he might look “gay” doing Feminine things in the middle of a war. Either it is wrong priorities or the bullets already erased 99% of his brain.

                2)Observing most of the works in an objective manner shows that men and women are equal in Fictional games. As in, their gender doesn’t seem to suggest that it was a factor in winning the game, and therefore it was never a relevant detail in the first place. After all:
                http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheLawOfConservationOfDetail

                3)If they are equal and bland in every way possible, how can one make the distinction between one another? You could literally swap the skins by editing the files and nothing would change. Hell, you could make a story where the big twist is that the protagonist is a transgender person (You choose a male, turns out to had been a woman. Choose woman, turns out to had been a man), but since they are equal in EVERY WAY and there are not Masculine or Feminine traits that could have foreshadow such reveal, since real human beings adopt those values at random via the complexity of their own Free Will, its downright impossible to say this is an effective reveal, is it?

                They are as equal as they can get, yet people somehow find the need for aesthetics. Why?


                “You know what my character looks like in Skyrim? A bulky (as possible anyway) woman who dressed covered from head to toe.”

                You reminded me that Skyrim doesn’t have a proper configuration to make women look like very very old ladies. I shall boycott the game for its “Ageism”, just like i did for The Smurfs for having only ONE old person.

                That may or may not be a joke.

                “I don’t go around in bikini mail because being run through because of bad armor is not sexy or empowering.”

                You would just like everyone else if it gives the best stats and increased chances to win. Remember, min maxing is king, and if i have to use a spell named Cream Pie in “Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin” in order to easily win a battle that its supposed to be fought in a more dramatic way, then i AM going to use it:
                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XnVtN4wReiA
                http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/GameBreaker

                Why do you think that Horror Games are only good horror games when you have shitty combat? because if it HAD good combat then the gamers will abuse the system to ensure they never lose because that its their first instinct to do so. The only moment when there is true horror is when we are FORCED to behave with a system that they cant control nor abuse, and the games are better for it.

                To quote Jon Tron “You see, there is this thing in Game Theory called “Dominant Strategy”, it tells if you give an ultimate method of disposing obstacles in the game then you are always going to use it. Why make a complex combo system when you can button smash your way to victory?”
                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nohsA4R_1HU&t=6m51s

                Now you know why games have a hard time being Art and all BTW. Because gamers will derail everything the artist planned in order min max the system and win.

                Again, Roleplayers are a minority. Gameplay is what people care most, and everything else is flavor. The only way those people would care about Lore, Story, or whatever is when it affects the gameplay and their ability to play effectively:
                http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/GameplayAndStorySegregation?from=Main.GameplayAndStoryIntegration

                And minorities or exceptions do not make the rule. That is why, for example, if there is a minority of douchebags in the community doesn’t mean the WHOLE community has to be punished.

                Just like liking Bayonetta as a power fantasy against misogynists is ALSO a small minority:
                http://obligatoryspiderqueen.wordpress.com/2012/06/26/b-i-t-c-h-bayonetta-in-total-control-of-herself/

                “Some companies do have a culture of demeaning women.”
                Or they are just stupid and oppressive to everyone. How is having women in skimpy outfits more damaging than the sheer amount of men we gun down by the millions? Borderlands 2 even makes fun of this in its own way with Face McShooty.

                Its a quest about shooting a guy in the face. That is it.

                ….

                No really, that is ALL there is. We do that on a daily basis and through all gaming history, but this one in particular has NO pretense, no delusions of a grander scheme to be achieved by completing this quest, no context, no anything. Its just a guy screaming at the top of his lungs that wants to be shoot…in the face. He is literally “asking for it”:
                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMPEB0bNlIs

                And another day goes by and another dude i shoot in the face hits the ground. Why i dont hear mysandry again? oh yeah, because we are wired to like women more.
                http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15491274
                http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/MenAreTheExpendableGender

                And since men are obviously more violent, you will be far more willing to pull that trigger over him than over an innocent woman.
                http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100525090554.htm

                And now, for the people that do not fully grasping how far goes the Male Disposability, and because you ALL asked me to not use videos and just write this down: WISH.FUCKING.GRANTED.

                No hard feelings, right?
                http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor

                Going to put it on spoiler tag if you do not want to read it (most people do that), and its going to be my next comment and not here.

                “At least not to me and Skyrim does kind of reinforce that.”

                This may be shocking to you and everyone here but here is an spoiler: Fiction downright SUCKS at convincing people or influencing them. Its the worst way possible you can ever think off.

                Why do you think the most celebrated stories are tragedies (Hamlet / Planescape Torment)? Why do you think only movies about Jews suffering in concentration camps like in “Schindler List” get awards and not something more upbeat (when it applies) like “Indiana Jones” (both by Spielberg)? because you literally dont give a shit about them and their fictional lives unless they suffer the most in a way you couldn’t never suffer in your lifetime.

                We KNOW Fiction its fake right from the start, so they have to work really hard to reach us. You have to traumatize the character in order to make you even BEGIN to give 2 fucks about it. Even comedies (and tragicomedies) get this right:

                Robin Hood: Blinkin, listen to me. They’ve taken the castle!
                Blinkin: I thought it felt a bit drafty. Cor, this never would have happened if your father was alive.
                Robin Hood: He’s dead?
                Blinkin: Yes.
                Robin Hood: And my mother?
                Blinkin: She died of pneumonia while… oh, you were away…
                Robin Hood: My brothers?
                Blinkin: They were all killed by the plague.
                Robin Hood: [sounding a little sadder] My dog, Pongo?
                Blinkin: Run over by a carriage.
                Robin Hood: [sounding a little more hopeful] My goldfish, Goldie?
                Blinkin: Eaten by the cat.
                Robin Hood: [on the verge of tears] My cat?
                Blinkin: Choked on the goldfish.
                [beat]
                Blinkin: Oh, it’s good to be home, ain’t it, Master Robin?

                -From “Robin Hood: Men In Thighs”

                You laughed, didn’t you? Suffering is truly effective to get a reaction out of you.

                Lets not forget that Fiction is pathetic compared to what Real Life™ can do to you, since its waaaaay more effective:
                http://www.livescience.com/26740-peers-girls-body-image.html
                http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/31/body-image-issues-for-you_n_2590719.html

                So i am truly wondering how is it even remotely possible for this to even affect you in the slightest. Maybe you have to, i dont know, do something similar to Willing Suspension of Disbelief? As in, you have to be WILLING to have this remotely affect you? Everything works on a Nature OVER Nurture basis. Society can only influence what its already there. So obviously something as Fiction can only affect you if you were already affected by things outside the power of the work itself.

                It isn’t too hard to do the opposite. You know, letting it not affect you, since we certainly dont care how our fellow men die by our hand constantly, and since i assume since you are an equal to men that you can do that just fine just like we do since forever.

                Just like we didn’t gave a shit when Fear 2 had that rape scene where the male character is raped by its own mother and gets pregnant: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nG7nJgetiSo

                Isn’t equality wonderful?

                • Trix2000 says:

                  Wow. Talk about not understanding anything outside your own worldview.

                  Okay seriously, a bunch of links to random articles and Youtube videos is NOT the way to prove an argument. Not to mention that you seem to like making grand statements about what everyone who might call themselves a gamer thinks.

                  If I may take a page from your comparison – if our style of play (roleplaying) could be compared to a racial minority, your post really comes across like… well… racism. That’s not cool.

                  …I feel bad for having to respond this way, but you are really not making for good discussion here and I’ve had enough. Please don’t take it personally, but this kind of thing needs to stop.

                  • Neil O.Dio says:

                    I just noticed i missed up the bold format. Also it seems the old version of my comment that eventually was supposed to be upgraded to the later comment still somehow remained even after the system told me that it was already under “wanting approval”. If i edited it one more time, the system marks its as spam and its lost forever, so i had no choice but to leave it there.

                    That is a shame.

            • Trix2000 says:

              I think your definition of ‘gamer’ might be a bit narrow. Not all of us focus solely on ‘more pluses’.

              I mean, approaching it from an entirely pragmatic view… you’re right. Why bother with weapons that don’t do as much damage? What value is armor that doesn’t provide as much defense? If what a person wants most is to succeed at a game, then those questions have easy answers.

              But what if you also place value in other things, like appearance? An example I have from Skyrim – I rarely if ever consider the specific stats of the equipment there. Usually, I pick a set of armor and a weapon that looks good to me and roll with it the rest of the game. Sure, there’s better/easier ways to play, but I wanted my gold-clad paladin Khajit (without helmet). That’s not to say that I’d ignore the mechanics either – heck, most of my earlygame was spent working on smithing to ensure my gear was effective enough to use regardless. I think I used improved Iron/Steel weapons almost exclusively just because I liked the look some of them had.

              So the answer to “why should I care about my appearance?” isn’t just going to be about gameplay bonuses. And while I don’t want to make any real assumptions, I like to think there is a large proportion – if not a majority – of gamers who do value it for other reasons. Please don’t assume everyone is just gaming to win/beat the system.

              • Neil O.Dio says:

                “I think your definition of ‘gamer’ might be a bit narrow. Not all of us focus solely on ‘more pluses’.”
                I like to think there is a large proportion – if not a majority – of gamers who do value it for other reasons. Please don’t assume everyone is just gaming to win/beat the system.”

                Prove it. I got “The Video Game Theory Reader” and “On Player Characters and Self Expression” by What Games Are.
                http://www.whatgamesare.com/2012/07/on-player-characters-and-self-expression-game-design.html

                Not everyone but the VAST majority. Which mas as well BE everyone.

                Also i put emphasis on “I like to think” since one thing is wishing for reality to be one way, and another seeing it for what it is.


                But what if you also place value in other things, like appearance?

                Then you place importance on things that are not addressed nor are important in the first place, as observed on the work itself.

                I am trying to know why aesthetics is relevant when:

                1)Pragmatism DEMANDS for one to ignore such silly things. Imagine a real life scenario where a soldier is worried that he might look “gay” doing Feminine things in the middle of a war. Either it is wrong priorities or the bullets already erased 99% of his brain.

                2)Observing most of the works in an objective manner shows that men and women are equal in Fictional games. As in, their gender doesn’t seem to suggest that it was a factor in winning the game, and therefore it was never a relevant detail in the first place. After all:
                http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheLawOfConservationOfDetail

                There is this mystical thing that not many people have seen. A strange force that it was once know as…..“Good Writing™”.

                Good Writing™ allowed people to make the most insignificant detail to be important, including something as gender. If it is there it MUST be important, right? Weeeeeeeeeeell not anymore since its such a rare thing nowadays. So with that in mind, why dont you count the number of works that you can easily change things and the plot integrity wouldn’t suffer? change the skin, or the race, or the hair, or the gender, and see if the story is broken by these changes. Does the super weapon wielded by out Hero capable of firing projectiles only if it is equipped by someone of an specific Chromosome? Is the race you changed the Hero prevents it from using magic that it is supposed to use for the final fight or something?

                If the answer is no to most of them, then i guess it wasn’t relevant, is it? And games are no exception to this. For an Artform to be recognized as such, it NEEDS to do something masterfully with the thing the medium is identified with. Citizen Kane isn’t an example of Visual Media as an Artform because of the plot that could just easily be on a book (the plot is in fact simple and nothing too complex), it is Art because it used the medium at its full extent, using innovative and unique visuals in a medium that is ABOUT visuals.

                So games have this problem where they got lore, story, and all sorts of other stuff saying that my sword rocks, but the GAMEPLAY (you know, the thing that makes the medium be what it is and the thing i am supposed to pay attention to) says otherwise.

                The gameplay is at odds with everything else. The details from the other stuff is being discarded and overshadowed by the fact that the most important aspect of the medium is giving them the finger. Lets use 2 examples of this: Quake 3 Arena and the Starcraft series. Why those old games? because Art is supposed to be relevant, and they are the most videogamey things you can find that have survived the test of time by having people STILL playing them as a testament of their quality (even Notch from Minecraft plays it). Not to mention the fact that Starcraft is THE NATIONAL SPORT FROM SOUTH KOREA.

                So how does Quake 3 Arena represent women, males, robots or anything? by not doing so, because they are irrelevant. How irrelevant? lets see, we have an “armored in every way possible” guy, an cyberpunk amazonian woman that has tribal clothes (not armor) for protection, and a LITERAL animated human skeleton that looks like any other skeleton ever and has no visible protections, and a cyborg who is obviously made of all metal. That is how their character models look. Guess how much damage they take from the same source, lets say, a rocket launcher right in the center of mass? the same.

                How is this possible, you ask? how can the armored guy, who by all means should take LESS damage than the skeleton by the simple fact that, visibly, he looks way more protected? because its just a skin model. It LOOKS that way but doesn’t ACT that way. Stripped of this cosmetic feature, “he” is just as durable as a cyborg, a naked woman, and a skeleton. Because the game is like a sport, and sports are made to be balanced for ALL participants, so they can ALL have a chance to win.

                I know what you are going to say:
                “What about the intense military training the Sarge character has in the backstory?”

                Me: If it doesn’t affect the gameplay, or allows the player to win in a different way, then it is irrelevant.

                You: “What about the shaman who communicates with the spirits from beyond?”

                Me: If the spirits dont allow the player to know where the enemies are, or do something useful, then it is irrelevant.

                You: “What about the cyborg with its machine-like precision and reflexes? surely it will make some sort of difference when aiming and firing a gun, right?”

                Me: If the gun bullets just go everyone because of the recoil, in the same way it would happen to any non-cyborg, and the trigger and reloading of a gun happen in the same timeframe a non-cyborg without the reflexes does, then i guess that is also irrelevant, isn’t it?

                What is happening here by objectively observing and analyzing the game is what you people call “Nihilism”. When you get down to it, these “characters”, these “humans, robots, males, females” are nothing more than just meaningless cosmetic features, which are dwarfed by the main reason why they are meaningless: Balance and Fairness. In the eternal arena, everyone has equal chance to win. They have the same HP, max ammo count, same number of weapons, same running speed, etc, regardless of who and what they are. Because its a Sport.

                Trying to think about the game in a context outside a Sport will be impossible, since conventional logic doesn’t work here. There is no way or reason in the Real World™ for a normal skeleton to survive a missile in the same way an armored dude would…but it does here. It also inexplicably allows this skeleton to explode into gibs and blood when it dies, just like everyone else. But that is the subtext we get from putting the games under critical analysis: Meritocracy is the way to go. No one has privilege over the other, they ALL have the same opportunity to win because they are all the same, because what they are doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things and the eternal arena.

                That is the subtext of that game, the majority of games that try to be competitive, and that are going to be played by lots of lots people. If there is anything the masses are going to learn about life or Gender Representation, then this is it: “You dont matter. Your experiences, your position in the social ladder, your reputation, your muscles, gender, identity, the matter you are made off and everything else have NO place in here. You are ALL equal because all of you are the same when you get at the root of things. If you want to prove your worth then you have to bring results into the table. But it might not prove that your “unique” physiology or character might be the reason of why you are winning, but might prove your intrinsic value.”

                The only game so far that tried to have story, characters and balanced gameplay at the same time was Starcraft 2….when it was on Beta.

                http://www.metagearsolid.org/reports_sc2_evolution.html

                But in the end, for all their personality, even the Zerg (or Undead from Warcraft 3) who are supposed to be unstoppable and ever evolving, they are still nerfed for Competitive Balance™ and their evolution and adaptation ability is limited for fairness as well. Not that people care though. Its this balance and fairness mentality (as well having top notch gameplay for a GAME, which is all it needs to be) which allowed both games to become national sports in Korea, and be used in tournaments in a regular basis TO THIS DAY.

                This is the reason games are having trouble being Art, because instead of having all its elements working together they instead bite each other asses and are in conflict. The story gets nailed in the head by the gameplay (how can you make a game that gives you unlimited evolution and adaptability?), and the story gets nailed AGAIN by the competitive balance. I am sorry Zergs, but you are not so powerful anymore. The gameplay tells me you are not, and you are not so unique either.

                3)If men and women are equal and bland in every way possible, how can one make the distinction between one another? You could literally swap the skins by editing the files and nothing would change. Hell, you could make a story where the big twist is that the protagonist is a transgender person (You choose a male, turns out to had been a woman. Choose woman, turns out to had been a man), but since they are equal in EVERY WAY and there are not Masculine or Feminine traits that could have foreshadow such reveal, since real human beings adopt those values at random via the complexity of their own Free Will, its downright impossible to say this is an effective reveal, is it?

                They are as equal as they can get, yet people somehow find the need for aesthetics even when those are easily deceiving and useless. Why? The only logical conclusion i can make is that you are putting your own worldview on the games, but the games themselves are innocent of this. They do not promote such ideas, the audience itself its projecting them.

                And if the games get mangled by the audience regardless of what they ACTUALLY say, then what does changing them accomplish if it keeps happening?

                If i didn’t manage to get this reaction out of you after reading all of this, then i did something wrong:
                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1dnqKGuezo&t=0m4s

                • guy says:

                  If you don’t care about aesthetics in games, there is no reason for you to participate in this conversation. Clearly, since anyone at all is arguing about this, some people do care. Since people have demanded aesthetic changes involving female characters and have not received them, clearly there are people on the opposite side who care about aesthetics. As you have stated you don’t care about aesthetics, it does not matter to you who wins the argument.

                  Also, alternate skin packs actually sell pretty well, and there are a lot of mods to change visuals in games, so clearly a lot of people do care. Personally, I do play in mechanically suboptimal ways for aesthetic reasons, as do all the Diecast hosts.

                • Trix2000 says:

                  I wasn’t trying at PROVE anything. Just to make a point that not everyone thinks your way.

                  And if you really want proof, how about the fact that entire genres of games exist to cater to those who like story, immersion, rpgs, etc? If things you say didn’t matter actually didn’t for most people, they wouldn’t be commercially feasible.

                  I also have to agree with what guy says – if aesthetics is not your thing, I don’t see why you feel the need to participate in a site where such things are readily (and often) discussed.

                  In any case, I’m done here. There’s no point in discussing with someone who won’t listen.

                  • Bartendelous says:

                    “If things you say didn’t matter actually didn’t for most people, they wouldn’t be commercially feasible.”

                    But they dont, you know why? the title of the Diecast is a clue of that: “Broken Age”

                    Think about it, why was Broken Age, a game by Tim Schafer such a big deal?

          • Neil O.Dio says:

            “Jacob from Twilight wearing a speedo”

            I should have mentioned that we already HAVE that in gaming. We call them “Muscle March” and “Cho Aniki”.
            http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/choaniki/choaniki3.htm

            Not sure what is the problem since they seem to sell well.

            And as a brief tangent, if you are trying to pull the “the character is too ridiculous or dressing inadequately for combat” it doesn’t work when we have people like Tidus from FFX dressing like bizarro Hot Topic incarnate. You know, TOTALLY not for combat. But hey, the gameplay is top notch (except FFXIII) so who is complaining? i dont get -20 armor nor there is a “Fashion” meter that i need to fill in order to not suffer the status effect of “Shame” while being dressed like Kefka while not BEING Kefka oneself.

            And lets not forget that ridiculous means nothing if you end up being the strongest character. Just ask Aero Fighters and the pilot “Dolphin”: http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lsmhcxrLXf1r0ralmo1_500.gif

            Not entirely sure what is your argument here.

      • Paul Spooner says:

        It seems you only read the first sentence of my comment? In any case, I answered your objection in the second sentence of my post, and went on to elaborate how I agree with your implication in the next two paragraphs.

        I say again, it depends on how one defines “audience”. That it may be poorly defined is a given. But simply stating “The audience is this or that” does not address this terminological dissonance.

      • Deoxy says:

        The audience for video games is 45% female.

        There was a comedian (I forget which one) that pointed out that men’s magazines are filled with beautiful women, and women’s magazines are filled with … beautiful women. Then he said something like, “This is because the female body is a wonder to behold, while the male body is dirty, hairy, bumpy, and generally should not be viewed by the light of day.”

        Yes, it was meant for comedy, but the best comedy is built on truth… and yes, magazines that can be sold at the grocery store primarily have pictures of women, whichever gender the target audience.

  9. Judy says:

    And then there are the people that flinch away from discussions about feminism because, gosh, does it hurt sometimes. Or always. I feel that in real life and online, the discussion can never go well and that sucks. But thanks guys for bringing it up… We all should always have the ability to discuss such things and one day I hope to discuss it without fear haha. Well fear may be a strong word, maybe something more like anxiety…

    Anyway, as a consumer, I definitely drift more towards games that have the option of picking a female character. Unfortunately, I do not feel like the targeted demographic at all, haha! Go figure. I wonder if one day there will be a Flappy Bird-esque Renaissance were suddenly, there is that ONE game that has an awesome female protagonist who has an awesome background story with great game mechanics and it’s an all around great game and everyone wants to copy that female protagonist game. I’M LOOKING AT YOU ASSASSIN’S CREED LIBERATION YOU COULD HAVE BEEN GREAT! ;_;

  10. sdfq says:

    If you wanna enjoy Alpha Protocol’ miriad different outcomes without having to play through it again, Bobbin threadbare did an LP with 2 simultaneous characters – professional nice guy and MurderDeathKill Mcasshole.

    No Orphans Harmed
    Slaugherfest 2012.

    Complete Playlist

    For all your Compare/Contrast needs.

  11. rofltehcat says:

    Something rather unrelated:
    Shamus, have you played (or are you playing bc. released today) Luftrausers (or its free predecessor Luftrauser)?

    Just wondering what you think about it. It seems different from what little I know about Good Robot but I guess they could be compared (same genre?).

    Personally, I’m liking it although I can only play a few rounds at a time because it is rather exhausting.

    • ET says:

      Ooh, that game looks cool!
      They are definitely both SHMUPs, but to be honest, Luftrausers looks like it has a couple fewer mechanics built into it.
      Like, Good Robot has a levelling system…maybe that’s it. :P
      Also, Luftrausers looks* like it’s more about chaining kills/combos to get a high score, whereas Good Robot is more about leveling up, and finishing a story.
      Also, it has big, shiny-spectacle bosses. :)

      * From the one video that would actuallly play for me, out of three. :|

  12. Decius says:

    Yeah, the U.S. Navy doesn’t need females in order to have a problem with sexual assault and harassment. It’s just that they silence the male-male cases more effectively (less so now with the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, but threatening the victim for reporting still happens).

    I think it’s due to a culture of dominance that prevails across all the services, where people with a higher position think that it’s their job to make their subordinates’ lives hell, and the people who survive to reach higher positions have internalized that culture enough to pass it on.

  13. modus0 says:

    I’d like to clarify for Navy terminology Shamus mentioned.

    Everyone on a ship is a potential Firefighter out of necessity.

    A Fireman is an engineering-rated beginning ranking designation. An Airman is an aircraft-related beginning ranking designation. A Seaman is (more or less) a non-engineering-, non-aircraft-related beginning ranking designation.

    And in regards to firehoses, the event Shamus describes sounds possible, if not very likely (It sounds like the guy in front hadn’t properly braced himself before opening up the nozzle – which I might add you do not want to get hit with). The water in the piping supplying those hoses is under over 100 PSI pressure. A fully charged hose is also extremely difficult to maneuver, both due to weight and rigidity of the water.

    • Decius says:

      Yeah, a firehose with an open nozzle and nobody holding it differs from an antipersonnel weapon only in that most weapons can in theory be aimed to some degree. There’s supposed to be four or so people near the nozzle (nozzlemen) to help control it and one at the valve (plugman) ready to cut off the water if they lose control. Sometimes the plugman is not paying enough attention, or the hose goes around a corner.

      Ships are really dangerous places to be, and sometimes not paying attention or just being incompetent can get you and/or someone else seriously injured or killed in surprising ways.

    • BenD says:

      I thought it was very odd that this situation would be permitted. Even if it was exactly as Shamus told, I would think the officers would have the approximate weights of the three seamen (man and two women) and the force of the open hose in an equation long before beginning the activity, and would have long beforehand told the women: You need a third partner to perform this task. If you’re in an emergency scenario, grab a third partner or do not attempt.

      But that’s just my logic, I am not a naval officer, I have no idea!

      Edit: Oh, that was in the early 90s. Well, they should have been weight classing for a weight-dependent task before adding women to the service, so this still shouldn’t have been a thing, but the chaos of integrating the services without sufficient officer prep might have had something to do with whatever planning/communication breakdown probably set up the situation.

    • Deoxy says:

      I didn’t listen to the recording, but if you’re ever on a Navy ship that takes enemy fire or otherwise becomes badly damaged, you’d better hope it’s mostly men: the actual stats on women’s damage control tests are downright frightening. Not politically correct to mention, but completely factual nonetheless, which ought to matter when lives are at stake.

      One test in particular was really bad – it had the highest failure rate for both men and women… but MOST men passed, and *NO* women passed. Ouch.

  14. Very offtopic, but hey no Skyrim stuff here recently so why not…
    Anybody seen these? http://deadendthrills.com/gallery/?gid=73

    I never thought video game photographer could be a thing, but after seeing what this guy does I totally believe it, Duncan Harris truly is a master of his art.

    He’s done a lot of other games too http://deadendthrills.com/index/
    And as he states on http://deadendthrills.com/about/ there is no photoshopping besides a possible gamma correction.

    This has a drawback though, as this is all rendered by the game engine one might wonder what the heck developers are doing at times if the game engines are this capable.

    • Raygereio says:

      one might wonder what the heck developers are doing at times if the game engines are this capable.

      Rendering a single really pretty picture is not the same as rendering a whole lot of pretty pictures so that you have a stable, non-crappy framerate.

      • I guess you didn’t read what I wrote, he uses the game’s own engine and taking a screenshot.

        Although admittedly that guy knows how to squeeze blood from those engines so it’s not the same as taking a game out of the box and hitting the “Print Screen” key.

        As to “stable, non-crappy framerate” I’ve yet to see a game that is smooth, if it’s not the engine then it’s the graphics card, if not the graphics card then it’s the monitor, sideways panning looks choppy with or without vsync.

        What is amusing is that screenshots like that is what you see in marketing materials for games before the launch of games, even more ironic is that this guy is often hired to take those shots for the marketing guys for those games.

        But as I said, this guy is a video game photographer and I’m sure he would be able to even make a Commodore 64 screenshot of a game look awesome.

        Then again I’ll also repeat my stance that I wonder what the game devs are doing, considering that a lot of the PC games are simply console ports/uses the same engine maybe with higher res textures if you are lucky and then this guy manages to squeeze this stuff out, imagine if the games was more optimized for the PC? Multi-platform game engines are great but very limiting at the same time.

        Then again it can go sometimes go too far in the other direction like with Metro 2033 not breaking past 60FPS on a 4K 30Hz screen (vsync off), despite 4 Titan cards being used (I think it was the Anandtech guys testing that).

        Also keep in mind that Shamus’ nifty robot game looks awesome in pretty much every screenshot taken and those where taken during play (AFAIK).
        Things can actually be made to look awesome and play well.

        • Raygereio says:

          he uses the game’s own engine and taking a screenshot.

          So what? Framerate is an issue. If the graphics engine has to spend minutes slaving over a single frame, then you don’t have a playable game. And while he may not be using photoshop to touch up the screenshots afterwards, the guy is using mods: In those Skyrim screenhots he’s using high-res textures, lighting overhauls and ENB. Especially ENB – depending on how you set it up – can massively impact the game’s performance to the point where you’ll need a magic space computer just to run the game with more then 1 frame per hour.

          Also something else to concider is that something that looks really impressive in a still picture, does not necesarily look equally impressive when in motion, or during gameplay. Yeah, those screenshots look quite pretty. But I would find the lighting in some of them really distracting and obnoxious if the camera was moving around. And the removal of ambient lighting to create the stark shadows and the ambience from light sources makes the game quite annoying to play in my experience.

          Then again it can go sometimes go too far in the other direction like with Metro 2033 not breaking past 60FPS on a 4K 30Hz screen (vsync off), despite 4 Titan cards being used (I think it was the Anandtech guys testing that).

          This is only if you turn all that game’s graphical whatsists to max. I played Metro 2033 on an old HD3800 and had a silky smooth FPS. Sure, I had to turn down a lot of the game’s graphical settings, but guess what: it still looked good. Why? Because Metro2033 has competent art direction.
          And that’s the important thing. A lot of gamers tend to think that if you just throw more processing power at an engine, it will magically make prettier pictures. It doesn’t work like that. A graphics engine is a tool. Sure, if the graphics engine is designed to advantage of the latest hardware that tool it is more powerful then one that’s designed to run on hardware that’s 8 year old. But that increase in power means nothing if it’s not used intelligently.

        • Wide And Nerdy says:

          As someone who has upgraded his video card multiple times since Skyrim came out, yeah its the hardware. I used to have a GTX570 and could barely run Skyrim with any kind of ENB for more than a few minutes before the framerate went from bad to slideshow and then crashed, though that card helped a lot with other graphical improvements. I now have a GTX760 with 4GB GDDR5 (factor in 12GB of RAM, core i7 processor and SSD and its still above next gen spec) now and can finally run most ENB comfortably (I can still crash the game with things like the Dense Grass mod which just spawns too much stuff for my hardware, this might be the one place where PS4 with its 8GB of GDDR5 might beat my rig).

    • ET says:

      Wait!
      Skyrim is capable of THAT?!?
      Man, maybe I should stop playing games on a laptop, and get back into desktop-PC gaming… ^^;

      • Wide And Nerdy says:

        See my above post. You’ll probably be dropping at least 400 on the video card alone to get it to run like that.

        EDIT: But its SOOO Worth it if you can. Especially for a game like Skyrim. Just constant beauty and joygasms. Makes Frostfall with Realistic Needs and no fast travel a must because the game is so cozy that way.

  15. Smejki says:

    I think that one of the main reasons why there is no big press buzz about Broken Age is the fact that Double Fine decided to release a lot of info on the backer-exclusive forum and for some weird reason they stuck with it the whole dev time. Their press-PR was really was really minimal considering the significance of this project.

    Also female soldiers. For me it would feel a bit off to mix in female sodiers into military games in the “usual” way (bunch of guys in the unit a and one or a few women with them). As far as I know females mostly create female only units because it’s known that this is how each unit (male and female) are most effective. For the simple reason that a some males even in fighting conditions are able to play the white knight and try support women (and vice versa) in a not desired way from the mission POV. So I think it would be really cool if you as CoD-type-soldier with your cool bro unit with hoodies, bandanas, skull masks and golden dual DEagles somehow meet a female only unit (not portrayed as Amazons) and interact and cooperate with them. Of course separate females are ok with me (like a female helipilot on the radio).

    • harborpirate says:

      Double Fine has acknowledged that keeping most of the updates “backers only” was a mistake, and limited the public exposure that the game had. Problem was, they’d promised it as an exclusive perk of being a backer up front during the kickstarter campaign and couldn’t go back on it without starting a giant crapstorm of bad PR.

      Its clear from their more recent projects (Massive Chalice, Spacebase DF-9), that they’re going to be keeping those type of updates much more open going forward.

    • wererogue says:

      I think it’s because the game’s not out yet, in their minds. It’s a full steam release, but they started the two parts idea by talking about early access, and they really only wanted to rake in enough to fund the second part.

      I suspect the marketing drive will be much stronger when they plug in part 2, and start looking to make enough profit for a new project.

  16. Rob says:

    I loved From Software’s earlier series Kings Field (the Souls games are basically third-person KF games, even down to recurring characters and items), so Dark Souls was right up my alley. It’s possibly my favorite game of all time and I disagree with Josh’s statement that it’s unfair. Punishing, yes. Unfair, no. It’s probably the most fair game I’ve ever played.

    Every death (save for when you first meet Seath the Scaleless) is avoidable, and it’s always your own fault when you fail. Go slow, keep your shield up, hang back and learn enemy attack patterns, and most importantly don’t get greedy. Follow those tenets and you’ll survive just fine. Most deaths are caused by treating the game as a normal action title and wading into fights blindly.

    There are a few environmental ‘screw you’ moments, but most of them are easily visible if you’re paying attention and are first introduced either by themselves or close to a bonfire. The first Mimic you face is the only exception I can think of, and even that is justified as it will ensure you’ll be properly paranoid about opening chests for the rest of the game.

    According to darksoulsdeaths.com my first character died 67 times during a ~50 hour playthrough, so I think I can safely say that the difficulty of Dark Souls is vastly overstated.

    • Vipermagi says:

      re Mimics: the first mimic you find is at an odd angle in the middle of the room, in a place that has three times more traps than corridors. It’s inherently suspect due to its place in the world.

      Still really easy to get munched on though :)

      • Rob says:

        I had forgotten about the odd angle, that’s a good point. I only remembered that both exits had deathtraps (it’s the room with the spiked elevator ceiling and the rolling stones outside, right?), which made fleeing from the now-angry Mimic difficult. And Mimics have that swallow move, so if you’re used to blocking until you’ve learned an enemy’s attacks you’re going to die at least once.

    • IFS says:

      Even Seath the Scaleless’s seemingly mandatory death can be averted, though its the sort of thing you’d have to know about going in so still not as fair as the rest of the game. Its the one boss room you can leave after entering, and if you do so the required shortcuts in the level open up as they do when you die.

      I wholeheartedly agree that the game is overall extremely fair, its consistent with all of its systems and once you understand what you’re doing its not even that hard. It just plays so differently from a lot of modern games in that it requires patience, caution, and frequently preparation to be successful. There are a few unfair spots like the bed of chaos and the infamous Anor Londo archers, but overall it does a fantastic job of being fair.

      Also I’ve heard a lot of interesting things about the king’s field series but haven’t been able to play them myself. Do you know of anywhere I could get a copy of the games to try out?

      • Rob says:

        I had somehow forgotten about those archers. Blocked it out of my memory, perhaps. I completely agree that that’s an unfair spot, especially when you finally make it to the top and need a few tries to figure out exactly how to deal with one archer without the other shooting you in the back.

        Regarding Kings Field: I’ve only played the PS1 titles (mostly 1, a bit of 2) and I’d say it’s well worth buying a copy if you have a PS1/2 and can find the game cheap online. I’ve heard there’s a game on the PSP, but I don’t know if it’s any good. As far as I know none of the series is on the Playstation Network.

        Kings Field is to Dark Souls what D&D’s second edition is to 3.5. The gameplay is significantly different and there are a lot of rough spots in Kings Field that modern game design would have covered, but you can easily tell that the latter is a successor to the former. Both are bleak open-world action-RPGs that use environmental storytelling (though far less of it in KF due to technical limitations). The story is understated and hard to follow unless you talk to everyone and examine everything. The gameplay rewards careful exploration and mastery of enemy abilities. Even the bonfires and Estus Flasks have their equivalent in the fountains and crystal flasks.

        Just keep in mind that these games are brutally difficult, far more so than the Souls games, and the beginning is the worst part. I’m talking things like beginning with 30 mana and no way to replenish that until hours into the game, with no indication that this is so. Or having incredibly long loading times for saves and no respawn mechanic for several hours. Or starting the game mere meters from a mid-game boss (hope you don’t turn left!). Of course if you run past that boss and kill the two skeletons behind the waterfall you can find a very decent early-game sword. The trend of rewarding high-skill play started early for From Software.

      • burningdragoon says:

        The rest of the level opens up if you exit Seath’s boss room!? Learn something new everyday.

    • Nordicus says:

      With 67 deaths, you might’ve stumbled on some really sweet-ass build by accident on your first playthrough, because the global average is 10x that, and even my second character died 180 times before I finished a playthrough with it.

      I blame my tendency of never putting points into Vitality. Unsurprisingly, glass cannons can’t make many mistakes.

      But anyway, I absolutely agree that calling Dark Souls unfair is, in itself, unfair. Dark Souls just holds no punches, like a Contra or old school Castlevania game. It gets sneaky at times, but you will soon start to grow a “better the devil you know” attitude about it. The difficulty is carefully managed and maintained, hardly ever is there a controller-smashing spike

      • Rob says:

        While that was my first run it was not fully blind; I had watched about half of Kazamieras’ Soul Level 1 playthrough a few weeks prior to playing (it’s what made me buy the game). Plus the instincts you need to succeed in Dark Souls are very similar to those you need to play Kings Field, and I think Dark Souls is actually a step down in difficulty from that series. I’m sure my death count would have been much higher otherwise.

        My build wasn’t that great, actually. I went with a high-dexterity pyromancer, then made that stat mostly useless by using elemental weapons and rarely casting pyromancies. I lucked out on a Black Knight shield drop in Undead Burg (later upgraded to a Silver Knight shield), so I built my character around light armor and high-stability shields. Armor-wise I think I ended up with the Elite Knight chestpiece and a combination of basic pyromancer gear and the Gold-Hemmed Black Set to boost various elemental resistances.

        For weapons I swapped between a lightning claymore and Quelaag’s Furysword based on what I was facing. I did cheese the game somewhat by using a bow to take on most encounters one enemy at a time, but I think that’s pretty universal.

        I think most of the trouble I had in the game was in two early spots:
        – A huge chunk of my deaths would be to fighting Havel the Rock in Undead Burg using the Master Key. He’s not intended to be faced until much later in the game (and I love that the game lets you choose to fight him earlier), and he will one-hit-kill any character build at this point. He’s also one of the few enemies in the game who can change attack directions mid-swing. This makes dodging extremely tricky. I had more trouble with Havel than any actual boss in the game, but his drop did let me avoid spending a ton of points in Endurance.
        – The Capra Demon was responsible for several more deaths. Or more accurately, his two stun-locking dogs and the terrible camera controls in an enclosed space were responsible for those deaths. This fight did teach me the important of the poise stat to avoid stun-locks, though.

        Another probable contributor to my low death count: I played ‘vacation style’, or in massive chunks over a period of a few days. That meant I never had a chance to lose the muscle memory I was building up. It’s been a few months now since I last played, and I’m sure I’d do miserably if I tried to jump in again.

        • Tse says:

          Yeah, luck has a lot to do with it. I also have under 100 deaths, but I got a Black Knight Sword in undead burg. That thing killed the Capra Demon in one combo. It was easy mode for half of the game.

          • Naota says:

            Yeah, that Black Knight Sword really is a wildcard. I got one off the first knight in the burg with a level 4 warrior, used that to slaughter my way all the way through to the Parish, climbed the tower and killed the other black knight in one backstab…only to see him drop a Black Knight Greatsword.

            I killed the Capra Demon in two swings of that (it was +3 because some crystal lizards randomly dropped about 8 Twinkling Titanite and two slabs), then on my way to the Hydra I stopped to casually off the halberd black knight for a corresponding Black Knight Shield.

            I like to think this was the karmic balance for my having to get out of Blighttown twice in a row while cursed due to terrible luck and misused homeward bones.

        • Nordicus says:

          Have you played through the DLC by any chance? Around half my deaths came there since I was playing it for the first time as opposed to 2nd or more in the vanilla game areas.

          It has at least 2 of the hardest bosses in the game, and many of them have very high magic resist, which made my Faith scaling weapons extremely ineffective, even Crescent Axe, which I consider really decent otherwise.

          • Rob says:

            No, I haven’t done the DLC yet. I also skipped the Painted World of Ariamis. I’ve heard Artorias is one hell of a fight, though.

            • Ryan says:

              Best fight in the game, honestly. 100% fair- large, open arena, 1v1, no exploits, no tricks. Learn the moveset, dodge, wait for openings and see if you’re good enough.

              • Nordicus says:

                I can absolutely second this. Artorias is a *super* fun fight since his moveset is rather straight-forward and without (m)any gimmicks, he doesn’t let himself get attacked easily but rolls away, and there’s no BS camera, hitbox or vague telegraph shenanigans.

                I beat him on my sixth try, while the other DLC bosses took over double or triple that. One of them would have admittedly been much easier if I wasn’t so dependant on elemental damage weapons.

                This one boss called Kalameet was an absolute nightmare though. So cheap

                • burningdragoon says:

                  I liked the fight with Kalameet. Maybe it’s a little too far on the hard side of things, but it was way more fun, interesting, and satisfying than any other dragon fight elsewhere in the Souls games or any action-oriented rpg that I’ve played.

        • kanodin says:

          I dunno man it seems a little unreasonable to say dark souls isn’t that hard when you’ve A. already played it’s progenitor which is apparently harder and B. watched half a playthrough and saw good general fighting tactics in it. Like I haven’t had much trouble with Dark souls 2 but I can accept I’m probably just used to the games by now instead of it being easier than 1.

          Also I’m curious did you ever play demon’s souls? I’ve watched a let’s play and the guy said it was a lot closer to the king’s field games than dark souls.

          • Rob says:

            My point was that Dark Souls is almost never unfair with its difficulty. You will very rarely die once you know what you’re doing, and even before then the game’s very good about foreshadowing threats, either through the environment or the bloodstain/messaging system (although that’s only present if you’re playing online).

            All of those deaths in my playthrough were avoidable: if I had been more careful, if I had paid attention to the environment (“hey, why is there a dead body here?”), if I had taken the time to learn an enemy’s moveset, if I hadn’t gotten greedy (“I know I can safely hit this enemy twice in a row during its recovery animation, but I’m sure I could manage three”, or “he’s at 10% health, I’ll just run in for an easy final hit instead of waiting for an opening”), if I hadn’t reflexively rolled away from an enemy while on a narrow ledge, if I hadn’t been cocky and tried to parry a minor enemy while I was low on health… every one of those deaths were my own fault, and I absolutely love that about the game.

            If I had one complaint it would be that the game extends its barebones structure to the tutorial, which (barely) explains the basic mechanics through messages so short they wouldn’t be out of place on Twitter.

            I haven’t played Demon’s Souls, but from what I’ve heard King’s Field is actually closer to Dark Souls. Demon’s Souls has discrete levels whereas King’s Field is an open-world exploration game like Dark Souls. And Dark Souls’ bonfire/estus flasks system is clearly taken from the fountains/crystal flask system in King’s Field (although if I remember correctly there’s only one fountain you’ll respawn from in KF and it’s fairly far into the game, before that you’ll need to rely on the rare save points).

            The gameplay’s vastly different across series, of course. There’s no blocking or parrying in King’s Field; combat is about timing your hits while moving towards a foe so the damage frame happens the exact moment you come into range of their hitbox, then immediately retreating to minimize the chance that they will be able to strike back. You also want to circle-strafe around slower enemies so you’re not in range of their main attacks, but unlike the Souls games I don’t recall backstabs doing more damage than regular attack.

            It has the horrible tank controls that were common back in the day, but once you get the hang of it it’s quite enjoyable. You’re constantly moving during a fight, almost like a dance. The Souls games are similar in that respect. It’s a refreshing change from the vast majority of RPGs where you just stand in place and swing your sword at your opponent until one of you falls over.

    • Naota says:

      Huh… looks like my initial character died 260 times, though to be fair he did a good bit of PvP and New Game+ afterward.

      More interestingly, of the nine other slots I’ve only got one other over 100 and three of the latest within a death or two of 25. That’s a pretty good endorsement of the planning-driven nature of the game, as well as a reasonably foolproof indicator of how much those first environmental gotchas contribute to your death count.

      Weirdly enough, my Hollow Thief character has the lowest death count of them all, despite my insistence on being absolutely moronic for dramatic(?) effect.

      • Rob says:

        Wow, experimenting in Blighttown. You are a brave man.

        I’ve found it much easier on subsequent playthroughs as well. My three alts all got to the Capra Demon with no deaths outside of suicide runs. And no, that’s not an arbitrary location. Four Kings, Smough and Ornstein, Bed of Chaos? I’ve never really had a problem with any of them. But the Capra Demon is the bane of existence for all of my characters and I always die at least once against it.

        I’d be interested to know what enemies and bosses other people liked/hated and why. The list seems to differ a great deal between players.

        Favorite enemy: Darkwraiths, for the simple reason that they are fun to fight and have many different attacks. That they drop Titanite Slabs doesn’t hurt.
        Favorite mini-boss: Hydras. They are a lot like the Capra Demon in that once you set up the battle properly you’re unlikely to die outside of freak accidents, but it’s just so epic to huddle behind a shield as several gaping maws come flying at your character.
        Favorite boss: a tie between Gaping Dragon and Sif. Neither are particularly fun to fight, but both hit the same ‘this is awesome’ vibe that the Hydra does.

        Least favorite enemy: basilisks. You know why. Also, ghosts. Neither are fun opponents, and both are terrifying for all the wrong reasons.
        Least favorite mini-boss: probably either Titanite Demons or those giant cats in Darkroot Garden.
        Least favorite boss: Capra Demon. Duh. :)

        • burningdragoon says:

          I think what makes the Capra Demon particularly hard is not just it’s cramped space, but that it has big spike in difficulty as soon as you step in. Every other boss fight you have some freedom to observe/prepare/move around.

          My least favorite boss is actually Sif but not because he’s any difficult, but because he’s the only truly Good (as in alignment) character that you have to kill and it makes me sad. Even sadder if you play the Artorias DLC.

          My favorite boss (outside of the DLC, because Artorias and Kalameet are just super rad) is probably Snorlax and Pikachu even though I have trouble beating them sometimes.

        • Naota says:

          I’ll bite.

          Favorite enemy: Hostile Vagrants. Long after you’ve memorized every other aspect of the game, these guys will still find ways to scare the bejesus out of you at the least opportune moment. My “favourite” encounter had to be while running up the buttress towards the Anor Londo snipers. Halfway up, just as I rounded the curve thinking “Hah, I’ve got this section licked!”, I run right into an angry red ghost crab squarely in my way that shoots a battery of lighting missiles. Oh. Oh jeez.

          Favorite mini-boss: Seath’s Crystal Knight. This guy is so damn cool. You fight him only once in the entire game, in narrow quarters where his shortened greatsword is at an advantage, and will happily parry you if you press the attack. I love his flat, expressionless mask, weirdly elaborate set of armour with its vaguely mayan influences, and the huge crystal growths coming out of him every which way. I made him as a character. Then I cast Crystal Magic Weapon on my Crystal Magic Weapon.

          Favourite Boss: Quelaag. It’s not the lady part; it’s the spider lady part. That, and her sister is super nice.

          Least favorite enemy: Giant skeletons in close quarters. STOP STEPPING ON MY FACE IN THE DARK. Alternately, drakes. I’ve seen them do the flying strafe attack three times in a row, staying unhittable for nearly 30 seconds straight.

          Least favorite mini-boss: Titanite Demons. Why is every attack a 270-degree sweep with a tail flailing around in the other direction? Why are they always placed in areas almost too small to fit them inside? Why do they have a grab that almost always kills you, and a jump that puts them in grabbing range?

          Least favorite boss: This’ll seem weird, but those damnable gargoyles. Most character builds will get by without too much trouble – warriors with pure damage to end the fight quick, knights with poise, health, and a great shield, ranged attackers with their ability to hit from safety. But thieves? Thieves like my first character are screwed. No DPS, no poise, no health, awful shield, no ability to backstab or roll (fire breath!).

          You can try to summon help, but the Parish is like the second-most invaded area in the game, and always by cheaters or exploiters. Then there’s the extra gargoyle that comes out of nowhere just as they both start breathing fire, covering each other’s downtime. For a guy with just a knife that’s downright unreasonable.

    • krellen says:

      I can’t speak for where exactly Shamus’s tolerance falls on the scale, but for me, more than one death an hour would be excruciating. I overcome challenges every day by getting up and dealing with people. I don’t play video games to overcome extreme challenges, I play them to get the feeling of power and success I don’t get out of real life.

      67 deaths in 50 hours would still merit Dark Souls’s reputation to me.

      • Naota says:

        Aren’t the context and mechanics of the deaths equally important, though? 67 deaths in Hotline Miami is maybe two levels clocking in at under 12 minutes total. Because the gameplay cycle is built around the presupposed eventuality that you will die, however, when that happens you’re instantly given another shot at the last 10-15 seconds of what killed you. In other words, the entire game is one giant Dagger of Time.

        Now obviously Dark Souls doesn’t do this – in fact its play-die-learn-utilize knowledge cycle can be very protracted depending on where you die – but I think the point stands. A video game death is only what the video game makes of it.

        It’s not the dying but the reset time that sours some people on Dark Souls, yet similar to a roguelike the reset time lends itself to the game’s mechanics and presentation, encouraging care, ingenuity, and deliberation by punishing recklessness and inflexibility.

      • Rob says:

        Different strokes for different folks. It’s definitely a game about overcoming seemingly impossible odds. If you’re not the sort who enjoys that level of challenge (and the massive rush after finally succeeding), I wouldn’t recommend Dark Souls.

        I will say that it’s not as frustrating as you might think. Death is a part of the gameplay and only a minor inconvenience in Dark Souls. You have to die twice in a row without reaching the location of your first death for it to be more than a slap on the wrist, and the bloodstain you have to touch to regain what you lost is actually a few seconds behind where you died, meaning stupid deaths like falls or entering a crowded room of enemies without a shield up are easy to recover from.

      • straymute says:

        I don’t mind challenges, but I have to say most of the difficulty in Dark Souls is simply a result of it retarding the learning process with the placement of checkpoints and filler enemies. For every real fight that you actually need to learn from you have to wade through countless meaningless ones. Whereas in a game like Ninja Gaiden or Devil May Cry the game generally doesn’t do anything to prevent a player from learning the necessary attack pattern and tactics to fight enemies they are actually struggling with.

        I think the thing that gets most people is not the difficulty of the fight that kills them, but the tedium of returning to that fight.

        • kanodin says:

          I think Dark Souls 2 mostly alleviates this, outside some notable exceptions. To start it actually has a coherent and useful tutorial instead of just dumping you in. In addition most bosses are fairly close to a bonfire rather than having you wade through the entire level yet again. Finally enemies stop respawning after they have died approximately 15 times, so even the ones that do require wading through eventually become a matter of learning the boss itself.

          That all sounds like it’s making the game easier, but if anything I found it instead enabled them to make harder and more interesting bosses since the level isn’t necessarily part of their difficulty anymore.

  17. Forli says:

    First of all sorry for my bad English, I don’t usually comment on English sites, but what you said about the dragon’s crown controversy was so different from what I actually saw that I feel like I need to say something about it.

    What I know is that some developer was working on a small game, not wanting to start a fight with anyone, when all of a sudden a bunch of “journalists” and feminists started to call the art of the game “juvenile”, “sexist” and “problematic” among other insults (and no, just because they are not swear words does not mean they are not insults), and that seemed to be everywhere on the internet, I really don’t know how that can be seen as anything other than bullying.

    I also don’t understand what some people sending hate mail have to do with this, even if we ignore that feminism is one of the most socially idolized movements out there (you can’t disagree with even the most nonsensical thing a feminist says without being dismissed as a sexist pig) and assume that anti-feminism is the “stronger” side when it comes to gaming, that has nothing to do with these people being bullies. If a small kid picks on a big kid until the big kid gets angry and smacks him, the fact that the small kid is weaker does not mean that he is not the bully.

    Also, I don’t get angry about people “not liking the games that I like” I get angry when people say that liking the games that I like is morally wrong. You talk a lot about not being hateful, but that condescending tone you keep using is just as bad, I have actually tried really hard to understand feminism and the more I learn about it the more negative my opinion becomes, from my point of view you are the ones that have no idea of what you are talking about.

    • You write better English than most native English speakers I’ve seen, so no worries there!

      And I agree, most of the time the issue is intolerance (rather than racism, feminism, male-chauvinism, gender-ism, hate, and more).
      If people could just tolerate that others are different then the world would be a better place (a certain historical figure from a popular book is said to have often spoken of the tolerance of others).

      As to a game being called juvenile or sexist, I do not see the issue myself, after all a game is not real. Games are escapism. Does this mean all games should be sexist? Of-course not, that would get boring quickly. Diversity is the key.

      If people try to get rid of sexist (or just niche) games then you loose diversity. We’ve seen the fallout of this over the last few years, AAA budget games that is mostly just regurgitation of last years games.
      They are afraid to try new things, or dare not test if there is a lucrative niche, out of fear for negative backlash or that some people will not tolerate it. Heck, even tasteless games have a place in the market.

      As I said “intolerance” is the problem.

      Even I fall prey to it at times. Intolerance is a uniquely human problem and does not exist otherwise in nature, the closets similarity could perhaps be territorial protective instincts, which is really weird considering that games are intangible.

  18. Steve C says:

    Rutskarn talked about women in combat for a while. This is an issue in the USA but it’s really not much of an issue elsewhere. In some countries it’s No Women with no calls for that to change and therefor no debate. In other countries (mainly NATO countries) women are soldiers like any other and there aren’t restrictions on women serving and haven’t been for decade(s). Statements like they don’t do as well etc are not supported by results in other countries.

    Debate in the USA seems to come down to belief in what results will be for various issues instead of studying results and data from other countries that have already implemented various things. I never understand why the US wants to trailblaze paths that have already been walked by others. Go down it or not, and the merits of each- that I understand. Trailblazing a path already walked? That just leaves me scratching my head.

    Here’s a list of the countries that allow women in front-line combat positions. In Europe: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania and Sweden. Elsewhere: Australia, Canada and New Zealand in the Anglosphere; plus Eritrea, Israel, and North Korea. Map and source.

    • Women in Combat is the least of worries considering that there are still nations in the world that forbid women from driving (not gonna mention the nation here though).

      A small note on Norway though, unless it’s changed in the last decade or so, women have to volunteer to serve (in the first time service, which is obligatory for males) so gender equality is not truly there yet. And there are also some gender quotas enforced some places. I never liked such as it causes opposite gender un-equality (a skilled individual may not get a job because of their gender being male rather than evaluated based on their skills), damned if you do, damned if you don’t I guess.

      But getting sidetracker here, AFAIK among volunteers (male and female) that enlist for a long duty career there is equality, while I did my first time service several of my commanding officers where female, and that was many years ago.

      There is still salary un-equality here though, and some jobs are considered male or female (despite having no legal restrictions on such that certain positions may require), so Norway still has some ways to go.

  19. guy says:

    You know, I’ve actually watched some anime series where virtually all the main characters are female for no particular reason but no one ever comments on it. They’re… not really that different, aside from the mid-season moment of disorientation where you realize that there’s maybe three named male characters in a double-digit cast and they barely matter.

    You might argue that it seems mostly unchanged because they’re in female-focused genres to begin with. Allow me to present a visual counterargument

    • ET says:

      What anime(s) are those screenshots from?
      They look cool! :)

    • Well, Japan is weird (I’m saying that in a positive way). I believe they still have different “languages” for boys, girls, women, men. And if you use one of those 4 different ways to speak and it’s wrong you will probably get odd looks, actually being non-Japanese will probably get you a few discreet glances regardless.

      And the manga/anime in Japan is AFAIK divided into boys, girls, teenage boys, teenage girls, men, women, there is possibly a age group I missed as well. And then there are the fetish/obscure/niche stuff.

      The way they speak and the magazines and cartoons they watch enforces their gender identity and age group, this is not unique to Japan though, it is also present in Europe and USA but it’s just more distinctive in Japan, possibly even a form of gender and age pride.

      Gender equality in law I have not heard of being an issue in Japan (correct me if I’m wrong), now social gender equality on the other hand is rooted in hundreds of years of traditions, as it is in many other nations.

      • guy says:

        I’m pretty sure that’s a shounen anime, actually. The other one fitting that description that I’ve watched, Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha, was specifically targeted at the 18-30 male demographic. Partly because it’s the product of an extremely bizarre game of telephone that started with a dating sim where a minor character was a cheerful elementary school girl, continued into a side-story about her going on a world-saving adventure, which then led to an anime, and then one of the production staff joked that her outfit looked kind of like a gundam, and thus began something wonderful.

        • Kana says:

          Have you ever seen Puella Magi Madoka Magica? All of the main characters are female and it slots in to a pretty adult viewership, since it brutally deconstructs the whole ‘Magical Girl’ genre. As far as I can remember it’s never played for any kind of fan service, just a few characters that happen to be girls, but that isn’t their only defining feature.

          Also, bringing up that show. Now I have to go listen to Only My Railgun again.

      • kdansky says:

        The language thing is much more complex than that. There are not four different languages, but rather specific phrases, words and expressions which have many highly nuanced synonyms. There are literally dozens of ways of saying a simple thing like “You there, come over here!”

        Many of these variants include two levels of rank (mine and yours, in relation to the average), a power-level (order vs suggestion) and often a bit of slang that you could describe as tribal: You can basically declare what group of people you want to belong to by choosing your words, and you can even make up stuff if you want to declare your own group (such as Naruto does with his “dattebayo” which isn’t really an accepted word, but crafted from “datte” [“well yeah”] and “yo” [exclamation mark] connected with a “ba” to make it roll off the tongue more easily).

        There are however, two kinds of standard speak (business and casual) which everyone can use in any situation. It comes down to: You can declare for a tribe by means of your language, but you don’t have to. Although not declaring can be a declaration in itself, of course. If you stick to business Japanese when everyone around you is talking in Nerdspeak, you still stick out, but isn’t that true in English too? ;)

    • Naota says:

      I find that anime actually does this a lot, and as a writer and developer of games who actively tries to keep an even keel in terms of gender bias in my creative works, I’d credit the anime series I watched growing up for a large portion of it. Video games and western kids’ media certainly weren’t paragons of depicted equality in the 90’s.

      Now, to say that anime is devoid of sexism is just plain silly. There are some really awful tropes and tendencies on both sides of the fence that show up every season, without fail. There’s a lot of “You’re a girl so…” or “Men are all…” bandied about without much thought put into how ludicrous these statements sound.

      On the other hand though, anime is absolutely not afraid to put a female character in the leading role with no strings attached, which cannot be said even of most big movies here in the west. Recently we’ve also got series like Kill la Kill doing the Saint’s Row thing and laying on the skimpiness in at least equal measure from both genders, whatever your stance on the matter.

      More curiously, if you are a man and have ever wanted some approximation of what it probably feels like for women to see women as they’re often depicted in games, watch some of the unabashedly terrible anime adaptations of otome games. You will laugh, you will cry, you will cringe and shiver and throw up your arms in incredulity.

      Then you will learn that these awful things outsold a hefty portion of the anime running during their respective seasons. Suddenly the shoe is on the other foot; those creepy harems and soulless self-insert protagonists don’t look quite so tame or harmless from this side of the fence.

      • guy says:

        Oh, I am hardly arguing that there’s no sexism in anime. I must embarrassedly admit that I actually rather like watching harem comedies, though I would point out that usually the joke is that the male main character is an idiot.

        Also, something of a funny story; A Certain Scientific Railgun is actually a spin-off of A Certain Magical Index, which is an action/harem comedy series. Mikoto, the protagonist of Railgun, is one of the characters with a crush on Touma, the protagonist of Index.

        However, she quite successfully anchors her spinoff without changing her characterization. I’ve actually heard it outsells the original. Personally, I like them both, but my favorite parts of Index happen when Mikoto gets involved.

        Index herself frequently plays the MacGuffin because her only real skill is perfect memory and having memorized the Necronomicon and 102,999 similar books, but the cast has plenty of females of all sorts, with the only constant being that the straight ones wind up with a crush on Touma.

        • “harem comedies” are interesting in that anime/manga/games have both male and female harems so in that respect they are equally opportunistic I guess?
          And I must admit I like those (but being a heterosexual male chauvinistic pig I obviously like the female harem variant, but that is just my own bias).

  20. Neil O.Dio says:

    I can contribute and enlighten why this is such a problem to “idealistic idiots” like yourself Shamus (those are your own words). Problem is that its going to be quite long and full of links and cover most of the comment section here. Do you want me to make a Twitlong and put a single link here once i am finished? or do you want to keep the conversation here?

    • Ciennas says:

      My good sir.

      I don’t think linkspam will help you here. I’ve read your comments, and am still lost, partly because I’ve ignored your links entirely.

      Partly this was because I was on a mobile, and the other is that I hate going to videos. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone.

      (I’m serious. I’m not even sure what your stance is, other than your intense passion.)

      We’re a very easy going crowd here, and I can tell you are very intent on this. Could you please summarize your thoughts here? With no use of acronyms or links? Maybe place a link or two at the end if you must?

      Just remember to be calm and rational. We’re here to have fun, and learn.

      • Neil O.Dio says:

        “Partly this was because I was on a mobile, and the other is that I hate going to videos. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone.”

        Do you tell the same thing to Shamus when he does the same on his blogs? Posting videos to MrBTongue or something else? Hell, how do you even watch The Spoiler Warning Show?

        You do realize that the comment section is going to become nothing but my presence here if i describe everything in detail, correct?

        • Shamus says:

          Not everyone consumes all the content. Some people are only here for the text. Some are here for text and audio. Some are here for everything. Some only for things that can be consumed in less than 20 mins.

          The whole reason we have comments is so we can have a conversation with each other. Telling someone “Go watch this video it makes my point” is NOT having a conversation. It’s refusing to have a conversation. You want to convert others to your point of view and you’re not even willing to articulate your case.

          Even just giving a summary would help. Here is an example of how I’d bring GWW into the discussion:

          “You talk about the hatred of men against women, but compare how Sarkesian is treated to some of the statements that GirlWritesWhat offers. Sure, anonymous trolls make vile threats against a woman on the internet, and we revile them for it. On the other side, you’ve got women saying they think we should kill or castrate 90% of the males in society. And those women are given respectable university positions and paid speaking engagements. GWW offers a lot more examples of this double standard in her video [link] if you want to listen.”

          Note that I’m not trying to put words into your mouth personally. I’m just saying if I wanted to make my case using vids, this is how I’d do it. Give the other person an idea of where you’re coming from and give them a link where they can get more. And if they don’t want to watch the vid? Fine? Don’t engage them. You’re not obligated to debate each and every person on the internet that disagrees with you. Pick someone calm and reasonable who seems game, and exchange thoughts for as long as it’s interesting and fun.

          • Mike S. says:

            “You’re not obligated to debate each and every person on the internet that disagrees with you.”

            That belongs on a t-shirt. Or a button. Or possibly at the head of every comments thread.

            (And also, definitely, on a sign in large, prominent letters at the top of my monitor. xkcd’s “Someone is wrong on the Internet!” struck uncomfortably close to home.)

        • Ciennas says:

          “Do you tell the same thing to Shamus when he does the same on his blogs?”

          That doesn’t matter, honestly. You’re not Shamus. I accord him trust and respect based on what I know of him. You’re brand new, to my perspective. Please don’t misconstrue this, but I don’t know you well enough to trust any link you post.

          That said, it would help your case a great deal if YOU personally could make it. I’m sure you have many many links that are all very fascinating, but I only have one lifetime and set of eyeballs until the Singularity reaches us. As I’m sure you are very well read on this subject, perhaps you could share the most salient details?

          If nothing else, it would make it a discussion, with back and forth and presentation of arguments from differing points of view. Just linkspamming is rather like hurling pamphlets at people in a crowded street.

          That all said, I’ve gathered that you believe… do correct me if I’m wrong, but… You seem to be saying that mistreatment of women, the discrimination based on their sexual characteristics, is blown out of proportion?

          With the fewest links possible, why do you think this? And is there some nuance I’m missing from you?

          • Shamus says:

            I’ll do it. From what I’ve seen, the most important voice in this line of thought is a female YouTuber “GirlWritesWhat”, who has an expansive and detailed series of videos that set out to refute a lot of the foundational ideas of feminism.

            Bear in mind that I’m just condensing her thoughts to the best of my ability, and offer this without objection or endorsement:

            ——————————–
            Example:

            * The assertion that women have been universally oppressed by patriarchy throughout human history, treated as slaves and cattle in a system by men, for men.

            GWW points out that the most dangerous, brutal, painful, and unpleasant work was placed on men. War, mining, manual labor, hunting, etc. Women were frequently protected from violence and spared suffering at the expense of men. Women outlived men and had double the chance of passing on their genes.

            This is not to say that life was awesome in the middle ages, but that men were treated as disposable. Women were granted the right to vote as soon as a majority of them wanted it, and they weren’t conscripted into military service for the privilege of voting the way men were. The system supposedly “by men, for men” put men in the meatgrinder and gave rights to women when asked.
            ——————————

            Back to me:

            In a broad sense, I’d sum up what I’ve read from her so far as “Men are not the oppressive woman-hating rape-beasts that feminism makes them out to be.”

            That’s just a sample of her thoughts, which are long and detailed and hard to compress without diving deep into feminist theory, which I’m not at all qualified to do even if I wanted to. I’d check out more of her stuff, but her videos all consist of her reading her essay into a webcam.

            Reading. Text. Into a camera. To make a video. The mind reels.

            (Although now that I’ve sampled from this particular section of the YouTube pool, the “Suggested Videos” indicate this is a common approach to making content from all sorts of people. Frankly, I’d rather read the text.)

            So now you know.

            • Shamus says:

              I’ll add that we’ve gone pretty far off-track from the “Females in video games” talk this was supposed to be. I don’t mind a bit of overspill, but if you’re really looking to debate feminist theory in detail, there are plenty of better places to do that. Heck, check out GWW’s channel:

              https://www.youtube.com/user/girlwriteswhat

              I’m sure you’ll find some takers. (YouTube is actually pretty good at suggesting vids so you can watch ideologically opposed people duke it out.)

            • Bartendelous says:

              “So now you know.”

              And knowing is half the battle.
              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pele5vptVgc

              I had to say it. Dont judge me.

              “Reading. Text. Into a camera. To make a video. The mind reels.”

              Tv Tropes says that her very first video addresses the reason why she would bother to make videos in the first place instead of just text:

              Ad Hominem: Men’s rights activists are regularly dismissed as crazy, delusional, and misogynist simply by virtue of being men’s rights activists. She started making videos instead of writing, because she was being called a guy who’s mad at women because he can’t get laid; and/or a fat, ugly woman desperate to hold onto the only man that would be in a relationship with her by pandering to him.

              http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/WebVideo/GirlWritesWhat?from=Main.GirlWritesWhat

            • Bartendelous says:

              “That’s just a sample of her thoughts, which are long and detailed and hard to compress without diving deep into feminist theory, which I’m not at all qualified to do even if I wanted to.”

              I think you should be careful with that, because that more or less explains and agrees with people who linkspam and do not elaborate further. As you said, its “hard to compress without diving deep”, so any attempt to compress it will make the message more weak and unappealing. That is why they just post the links and be done with it, because the argument is perfect the way it is in its original form and trying to adapt it or do a vertical slice of it will end up in disaster.

              I dont know about you but this whole “Keep the message in its original form intact” reminds me of the whole Original Vs Remakes. As in: “The original is perfect so dont fuck it up with a remake that is a half baked message of the original”. Just a random though.

          • Bartendelous says:

            “I only have one lifetime and set of eyeballs until the Singularity reaches us.”

            I would read/see them all because there is nothing more damaging than an opinion that is not based in reality. What is the point of discussing something if you know nothing about it? would you rather waste time writing thousands of comments with the same uniformed opinion, or would you rather use that same time you waste to actually learn something and write one comment that can change the world?

            The power is yours! Captain Planet reference FTW!

            …Dont look at me like that, i liked it when i was a kid.

  21. Disc says:

    All cheap and bullshit tactics are the main reason I steer away from discussions involving any part of the population who feels like fighting something they perceive as oppression. It just pisses me off and makes me want to instinctively denounce the whole group involved and jump in with their opposition just to spite them. Not that I’ll ever do, as long as I can keep my head, but it’s hard not to hate people doing it. It’s one thing to fight for your beliefes, and I can respect that. But if bullshit is really all you’ve got left, then you’ve lost the right to use the victim card in my eyes.

    • Neil O.Dio says:

      “It’s one thing to fight for your beliefes, and I can respect that.”

      But how can one respect them when “belief” is basically ALL they got, and not actual facts in hand? These people defend the idea and not distinguish between the reality AND the idea. The reality being that the idea doesn’t work, or the people that supposedly support it or are more vocal about it have gone way too far beyond what the idea was about. But since they think the agressors refer to the idea and not the reality, they defend it with their ignorant and lazy lives.

      And yes, i call them lazy for not doing the proper research.

    • Forli says:

      I don’t think there are many feminists that actually belive that women are oppressed, but in order to maintain their public support they need to keep looking for things to complain about, and playing the victim card is the only way they can convince anybody that they are right (just look at anita sarkeesian).

      • guy says:

        You know what’s funny about Anita Sarkeesian? I thought the idea of a kickstarter for a show complaining about damsels in distress and the like was kind of silly, overblown, and stupid, but then the virulently hateful opposition successfully persuaded me that videogaming does have a serious sexism problem. Same with the Dragon’s Crown incident; my initial reaction was that the sorceress was a bit silly and tasteless, but not a big deal, but the people who rallied to its enraged defense convinced me that it was a symptom of a deeper and more serious problem.

      • Ciennas says:

        … Not oppressed? Do you mean just in your own country of origin, or the world at large? That’s a very… inflammatory statement, as it stands. Very vague.

        I believe it worth pointing out that very recently a fourteen year old girl was shot in the head, just because she felt that women should be educated.

        … Hm. I find myself at a loss for words. Maybe ‘oppressed’ isn’t the right word (Though I think it’s certainly a valid one here,) but they sure as hell are SOMETHING that no reasonable person would like to be in.

        (Shamus, if this crosses into the ‘political’ line, I apologize.)

        • Neil O.Dio says:

          “I believe it worth pointing out that very recently a fourteen year old girl was shot in the head, just because she felt that women should be educated.”

          Was she shoot specifically because of that or something else? if we dont have all the data we cant make a conclusion.

          And even if it happened, here is a solid counter argument. Trigger Warning by the way:

          Search this in Google: “Arizona Mother Rickesha Burns Pleads Not Guilty to Sexually Abusing Son with Vibrator” first result.

          I cant remember the other link to the article describing how the woman could get away with it since what it just happened up there is not “rape”, since the legal definition of rape was made in such a way that only count as rape when there is penetration by a man, rather than an object. I think it was all thanks to Mary Koss and manipulating facts in order to make women more of a victim at the expense of omitting facts on men being 50/50 with women on domestic abuse, and treating the rape of men as fundamentally different to women. Not the first time it happened.

          EDIT: I think it was this one: (Google it): “breaking the glasses blogspot The Feminist Advocacy “Research” Scam” first result. Aaaaaand this one article from Genderratic: “Mens’ Rights vs Feminist Rape Culture Explained Using Puzzle Pieces”

          But hey that is just me and my crazy inflammatory facts.

          And no, just because the majority of men are in power, thus giving the illusion of a Patriarchy with no women in charge, doesn’t mean they are actually working against women. It is actually the unique biology of women that its keeping them apart of the jobs, even if they have equal opportunity as men to take jobs.

          There is a documentary named “The Gender Equality Paradox” that presents a case that Nature is ALWAYS on top of Nurture. In a society of free individuals of both genders, where they have rights to do whatever they want, the women choose normal or not so high end jobs like nursery, teaching, and such, simply because that is what they WANT. This ends up creating a boy’s club in the jobs that women do not want to join in at all, simply because they don’t like it and who are we to force the women to work there if they just dont want to?. The only moment where a woman might work on a job that is very high end (like engineering or tech oriented) is when they have NO CHOICE in what other job to do. When they have no further rights to anything else (like in a country with less equality or job opportunities), that is when they choose to work with what is available to them to survive, even if they don’t like it. It also shows that men and women are attracted to different toys when they are kids, and this is written in your biology before you are even BORN. Thus, the idea of “socially constructed” bogeyman to keep women in “their place” is a myth, since the things that make women not accept a job that a man could do are ingrained in their nature and not forced by society. Nurture can only influence what its already there.

          But please, dont take my word for it, just Google “Brainwash – The Gender Equality Paradox” The Youtube video result.

          So where is your oppression beyond just a few hyperbolic statements and manipulated statistics to make it look like there is opresion?

          • guy says:

            Okay, so I guess Arizona has genuinely terribly laws. In, say, Ohio, where I presently am, that would most definitely be illegal. However, I wouldn’t necessarily say that’s even accidentally discriminatory, because women can be on the wrong end of overly narrow definitions as well. As for facts, the CDC finds that women experience notably higher rates of domestic violence.

            The only moment where a woman might work on a job that is very high end (like engineering or tech oriented) is when they have NO CHOICE in what other job to do.

            This is simply false. My mother started as an elementary school teacher, then decided to change careers and obtained a Bachelors in Computer Science. After my elder brother and I were born, she continued working full-time and also obtained a Masters degree. This was not actually necessary, because my father was also a computer scientist who worked full-time. She’s hardly the only one; Admiral Grace Hopper invented machine-independent programming languages and many of the personnel involved in creating and operating the primitive computer used to crack Enigma in WWII were women.

            Obtaining an advanced technical degree is a very difficult and lengthy process. I flatly do not believe that anyone capable of successfully completing it is unable to get any other job.

            • Neil O.Dio says:

              “Obtaining an advanced technical degree is a very difficult and lengthy process. I flatly do not believe that anyone capable of successfully completing it is unable to get any other job.”

              And what has that to do with what i said or was presented in the documentary? The reason the guy made the documentary is because of the numbers of women in a “equal rights” countries like Norway ended up not choosing an illustrious career when given the choice, which means they dont even WANT to study for the thing in the first place. The women that had no choice in what job to do studied about the job and THEN get the job ASAP because its the only job where they get to paid the bills and eat.

              What is not to understand here?

              • guy says:

                If you can get a doctorate in a science or engineering field, you don’t have “no choice” but to get that job. Even being able to enter a Computer Science doctoral program means you’re qualified for one of the highest-paying careers out there, and if you can succeed in the doctoral program that means you’re more successful than some of the people who actually get that career. My younger sister is just barely old enough to work legally, and she’s got her heart set on being a computer programmer or hardware engineer like her parents and brothers, and she’s voluntarily joined the robotics team doing both programming and mechanical work.

            • Bartendelous says:

              Didn’t Neil just told you that the CDC used questionable methods to obtain that info, and that in actuality there is 50/50 on domestic violence if it wasn’t for the hampering? The guy practically spammed links to prove that assertion.

              Also, where are my other posts? i recall posting to you after my “This is interesting. Let me catch up with what its has been said.” comment.

          • Ciennas says:

            … Yes? It totally happened. *sigh* I really am genuinely surprised you don’t know of this. It was all over the news last year.

            Her name is Malala. She’s from Pakistan. She got shot in 2012.

            This was an article about her health at the time.

            I also fail to see the relevance of this woman you mention. All I see from your story is a failure of the law to address that specific situation, but I imagine any particularly inclined judge could cite her under a generic child abuse or sexual abuse law.

            Oh! You’re mad that somebody twisted the law in their favor! And then others could follow in their footsteps!

            Me too. That’s very sad that specific law is broken. It’s even further sad that we walk the world with humans who do acts we could easily deem monstrous.

            I’m sorry, I’m just thinking we’re having two very different conversations here.

            If you’re point is that women can be evil and self serving… then yes, you are totally right. That is not solely their territory, you know. Men can be those things just as easily.

            Anyway, I’ll leave you to ponder this: Is there a problem where Women are oppressed, by culture, or law, or other means?

            If yes, Then it doesn’t matter what else you could say against it. That is still a valid problem, and it should be in our power to make a change so that everybody is truly equal.

            As far as men being unfairly treated? That too, is also a totally valid problem. But the suffering of one group does not negate the suffering of another.

            Do you have a suggestion on how to fix this so that we are all actually equal? Or are you just mad?

            Anyway, lemme know what you think.

            • Bartendelous says:

              I think everyone will have problems understanding your point with Malala simply because she is from Pakistan.

              To illustrate my point, here is my reaction after reading all this section of the thread:

              You: “very recently a fourteen year old girl was shot in the head, just because she felt that women should be educated.”

              Me: “OMG! REALLY? when did that happen?”

              You: “It happened back in 2012 in Pakistan and…”

              Me: “Oh…nevermind. False alarm.”

              You: “WHAT?” HOW CAN YOU SAY THAT?”

              Me: “Its Pakistan, duh! of course they are going to shoot people for stupid evil reasons. It is expected. It is in the same way i expect Satan to kick puppies, rape women, castrate men, and enjoy Jack & Jill and 50 Shades of Grey. Or in the same way i expect 4Chan to troll everything on sight regardless of who it is. They even troll themselves! In other words, villains do villians stuff and that is on par on the course for them.

              If those deeds were done by heroes then that would be a reason to be alarmed, wouldn’t it? It is unexpected and a clear signal that something is seriously wrong when the heroes do it. So, if sane members of OUR egalitarian society (or similar) shoot a 14 year old girl, then that would be truly shocking for people to silence her views with her death.

              When a minority of murderous assholes (who are not the bigger part of a healthy society) end up murdering someone, its hard for me to use them representatives for ALL people.

              Neil here failed to make the connection and say that the “trigger warning event” (i will leave it at that) he mentioned happened in OUR egalitarian society. You know, the society where men and women are “supposed” to be equal in the eyes of the law, but that obviously doesn’t happen.

              Actually, its surprising that with all the massive effort Neil went through in spamming the comment section, to forget to just mention a counter argument more suitable to yours. Which would be the following:

              You: “very recently a fourteen year old girl was shot in the head, just because she felt that women should be educated.”

              O.Dio: “Oh yeah*? well there is a woman who started one of the first women’s shelters in the modern world, and made studies that discovered that most domestic violence is reciprocal, and that women are equally as capable of violence as men. And what did she get for that? death threats (her dog was not spared), shaming, and boycots, to the point she had to leave the country.

              One girl almost gets shoot for suggesting to educate women, and the other almost gets her family killed for suggesting (and demonstrating) that women are just as guilty as men in the abuse.

              What conclusions can you get out of this?”

              *Should this be in ALL CAPS?

            • Bartendelous says:

              Wait a second, what has Malala to do with Feminism? She might have views that resemble Feminism but she wasn’t inspired by it. Her crusade started when her FATHER told her to go for it.

              Malala’s father inspired her actions as HE spoke about women’s rights as Malala was growing up. Her father, not feminism, inspired one of the greatest acts of bravery ever witnessed.

              http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/03/19/malala-yousafzai-pakistani-girl-shot-by-taliban-has-courage-cultivated-by-her-progressive-father/
              http://www.thestar.com/yourtoronto/education/2014/03/19/malalas_father_fighting_for_an_education_for_girls_worldwide.html

              Actually, i was going to use this video at the 3 minute mark for reference but it is unavailable: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJOf993Hf0M
              Thankfully, i can just post the link in Google and see what articles reference it.

              “Do you have a suggestion on how to fix this so that we are all actually equal?”
              May as well answer it myself cause the answer is not going to come anytime soon. It has been days and there is no answer.

              Short answer: Transhumanism. Make everyone equal in every single way so no one has any biological advantage that can bend the law and the public in their favor. I dont care how we do it as long it is done (Nanomachines, Life Fibers, Touched by Vorlons, whatever) I dont know what the female – male hybrid would look like but hey, all for equality right?

              Long Answer: MAKE EVERYONE INTO SOYLENT GREEN (OR TANG IF YOU SAW EVANGELION)! WE WILL ALL BE HAPPY AND EQUAL WHEN WE ARE ALL THE SAME INANIMATE SUBSTANCE! AND ANYONE WHO OBJECTS TO THIS IS AGAINST EQUALITY AND MUST BE PURGED FOR QUESTIONING OUR HOLY QUEST! MUHAHAHAHAH!

              .
              .
              .
              .

              I am not crazy.

        • Forli says:

          That’s not what we’re talking about, we’re talking about feminists complaining that women are oppressed by fictional characters with big boobs. Please do not use a tragedy like that to shock people into joining your cause.

          • Neil O.Dio says:

            As opposed to the fourteen year old girl was shot in the head, and that was brought up first, of course. At least people SAW the girl get shot, the baby in the other hand? if the mother was a little bit smarter she could have blamed someone more convenient and believable.

            To be fair, they think that their oppression is global, so of course the big boobs are oppressive as well.

          • Ciennas says:

            (How was I to know that? There’s no context in your post that clarifies such. I honestly thought you believed the problem does not exist, at all anywhere. But, now that you’ve clarified, I believe I can give a go at actually speaking with you.)

            Shock people to my cause. Oh, man. I assure you I have very few causes, and know very little about gender equality today, only to note it sure seems to be in the news a lot.

            I also rather strongly believe that your sexual identity and physiological make-up should matter very little or not at all, yet many people place a lot of stock on that.

            I used that particular incident to show that in the real world, right this instant, there are people who seem to have a problem with recognizing how we are all rather alike under the hood.

            (Incidentally, I’m glad to know you recognize it as a tragedy. That really means we heartily agree on that subject, at least.)

            As for female body issues… Hm. I dunno, I’m kinda still waiting for this question to get resolved with Barbie. That’s the oldest currently running debate on the issue.

            But let me give a specific example of the problem here.

            Check the Sword and the Stone, the Disney movie. While the two heroes are squirrel shaped, they get propositioned- Arthur by what is clearly supposed to be a pretty young girl, and Merlin by what is clearly supposed to be a much more heavy set middle aged woman.

            Merlin is repulsed instantly, and we’re supposed to side with him. I think a better way to handle that scene would have been for the woman to get some kind of negative quality that actually matters to serve as the repulsion point- say, she is of an incompatible personality, or only wants him for his body, or whatever.

            But nope! She’s fat, and that’s all we’ve got to work with.

            I think that that alone demonstrates a real problem with our society. And I see it in a lot of other forms today. Try and find a single toy anywhere that acknowledges a female form other than ‘extremely skinny’ to ‘cartoonishly stick/spaghetti limbed’.

            (Another example of the ‘big girl wants a man that finds her repellant’ is in Twilight Princess. That was made in 2006, so it shows this particular problem still has tread.)

            I can’t speak for anybody but myself. But I find it odd and disheartening that nobody in the mainstream anything has given a try in making all body types feel beautiful.

            Which is a shame, because there are more beautiful women than just the skinny ones.

            • Forli says:

              Well, these comments are supposed to be about gaming, so when you bring up such an extreme and completely unrelated incident it really looks like you’re going for the shock value. That is, after all, one of feminism’s favourite tactics.

              The reason gender issues (why do we call them gender issues when the only ones anyone cares about are women’s issues?) are on the news so much is because it gives them audience, people care more about bad things when they happen to women.

              As for the body issues thing… like it or not the majority of men find healthy-looking women more attractive, any attempt to make “big girls” feel beautiful can only really be done on a work with a more serious approach, if the situation is being played for laughs the most obvious reactions will be used because they are funnier.

              Also, keep in mind that trying to stop a trope from being used because it makes some people feel bad is the very definition of censorship. If a show that’s clearly not even trying to attack you makes you feel bad, you’re the one who has a problem, not the show.

              • Ciennas says:

                Censorship… Irrelevant. I’m saying that I find it wrong that nobody tries to make everybody feel good. But… Irrelevant to the discussion.

                Censorship is a whole different topic.

                (Short version, though? Bad writing, bad trope. We’re better than this as a species. We built extrasolar communication arrays and birth miniature stars and black holes for our amusement and to make with the animated cat pictures. We still need to grow up as a culture and a species, though. I’m hoping we can be better.)

                And fair enough, but the threading system lets everybody chime in in different subrooms. That’s how I’ve always read it, anyway. I’ll apologize for not automatically including ‘in gaming’ to your ‘female oppression is non existent’ statement. Still, my point was how vague your statement was. It still stands, by the way.

                As for why everybody cares… Because we think we should be better to women? That we as a society notice an inequality, and are now getting around to addressing it directly?

                Is it real? Enough people believe so, or there wouldn’t be a discussion.

                (And belief is key here.)

                In video games specifically? Yeah, a little bit. A lot of games are male-centric, and we still have the Damsel In Distress as a plot element, among other things.

                Then there are the rabid jerks who refuse to let girls into ‘their’ little electronic clubhouses, and then wonder why girls don’t want to hang out in their electronic clubhouses.

                As for the why it’s ‘only’ women… Perception. People think men already have commanding shares of power and control, or are more than capable of punching their way out of a problem. So that’s why.

                Don’t worry, the pendulum will swing the other way, and we’ll be over these topics again and again ad infinitum, arguing that men are great, arguing that women are great, etc.

                (And the body issues thing was… I suppose my examples were rather one sided, weren’t they? Is it not a problem? A sign of some foible with our reasoning? My point was merely that all body types ((And that goes across genders. It comes up for men, too.)) should be treated as equally beautiful, not as shorthand for ugly.

                Please, don’t go with ‘healthy’ as the justification for skinny. It stopped being a healthy fascination the exact moment drug abuse and starvation became necessary tools for a modeling career.)

                • Forli says:

                  I used the word “healthy” because it accurately describes what people find biologically attractive. The super-skinny type is actually not very attractive and I think the reason it’s so popular is because most women belive that that’s the ideal body type (remember that barbies and models are actually trying to sell to girls and women), but that’s another problem entirely.

                  And I don’t think that all body types should be treated as equally beautiful, first because they’re not (some have different tastes but those are exceptions), and second because being overweight or skinny is unhealthy and should not be encouraged. Of course those people can still be LOVED, but let’s not pretend they are physically attractive.

                  Yes, perception is indeed the problem, if the exact same bad thing that happens to a man happens to a woman people perceive it as being much worse, that’s what makes women be treated as victims and men as aggressors, that’s why damsels in distress are usually women, and feminists are constantly reinforcing that perception.

                  I have never seen anyone who does not let girls in their “little electronic clubhouses” just because they are girls (not that I doubt they exist), what I have seen a lot is girls trying to completely transform those “electronic clubhouses” to fit their needs and the people who actually built them being bothered by it. I think this whole discussion got way past the point of “noticing an inequality and getting around to addressing it” when people started to argue that giving a character big boobs promotes rape, any real problems you can find now are going to seem irrelevant when compared with the accusations being thrown around.

                  And how is censorship irrelevant? Censorship is inevitably what you are going to end up asking for if you think that a trope needs to go away for us to “grow as a species”.

                  • Ciennas says:

                    It’s irrelevant because I wasn’t endorsing such.

                    It’s irrelevant to the topic at hand.

                    It’s a fine discussion, but for another day.

                    I simply think it’s bad writing, for the same reason that making jokes at the expense of say, somebody with a gimpy leg constitutes bad writing.

                    (Sample joke: “Ha ha! Your legs don’t work properly!”)

                    And I agree with you on one front: Striving for a healthy body is certainly ideal- but there is more than one shape for healthy. And I find it odd that most of those shapes are outright ignored or mocked.

                    Hell, male bodies are allowed to occupy all ranges on tv- nobody gives any of them any flak for their shape. But imagine if only ‘Arnold Schwarzenegger in his Mr. Universe days’ was the only body that people accepted. How many Mr. Universes do we even have? It’s so disproportionate that it embodies madness.

                    At the very least, such a trend would have denied us the entire filmography of Jet Li and Jackie Chan.

                    As a counterpoint, other cultures love a lady with a bigger frame. I believe Africa has at least a few groups on that end of the spectrum.

                    And as a rejoinder: Exactly what happens when we make everybody feel beautiful? Why argue against a world where no one feels ugly for factors beyond their control?

                    (Yes, I challenge your unspoken assertion directly. Human frames have huge variance, and often genetics and environment sculpt you irrevocably.

                    To whit: If it doesn’t matter what you do, you still end up on the heavy side… It still doesn’t matter. You should be able to love yourself, and not deal with the mockery and scorn of a whole culture.

                    The counter applies too: Skinny people should be able to love themselves as well. Middling people should be happy with themselves. Regardless of shape and size, you can be beautiful.

                    Isn’t that a way better message than ‘you are horrid to behold for reasons you can’t change.’)

                    (Also, to clarify an earlier point: It is also percieved that women’s rights are a big deal because it is such a striking parallel to the earlier civil rights debates: It looks like everything is set up to favor one side arbitrarily ((In this case, men,)) and leave the other side fighting for whatever they can get disproportionate to what the favored side has to do.

                    The direct and most recent parallel was the Civil Rights Movement.

                    If it turns out that that’s not the case, then good on humanity. Then it’s all about debunking it and proving things are pretty good for everybody.)

                    • Forli says:

                      Why not tell everybody that they’re beautiful regardless of their shape? Because it’s not the truth, like it or not certain body types are more appealing that others and being dishonest doesn’t do anyone a favour. Let’s look at that example in the merlin movie, we have an attractive squirel and an ugly one trying to seduce some guys with their appearance, but in reality that tactic only works for attractive people, the joke is not that the squirel is ugly, the joke is that she doesn’t seem to realize it (if you only look at her, the focus of the joke is merlin having an awkward experience), you can see how that’s emphasized by her being much more forceful that the other one, despite it being obvious that merlin doesn’t like it. If you can accept that you are not physically attractive you can try to change it, or, if you can’t, use your other charms (and love yourself for them), you can do neither if you’re lied to. (And yes, I know that some people have different tastes, but like I said, those are rare exceptions and you should not assume that that’s going to be the case).

                      And PLEASE do not compare feminism with the actual civil right’s movement, if you were referring to feminists in some radical islamic country then it’s ok, but again, here we are talking about feminists in gaming and other media, and if you were referring to them… well, that would be just disgusting.

  22. stratigo says:

    http://www.npr.org/2013/12/27/257363943/marines-most-female-recruits-dont-meet-new-pullup-standard

    Here’s a link about women and training for combat roles. Specifically, as it stands now 55 percent of women fail one of the requirements (verse 1 percent of men). For women to have higher percentage of success, a lot more focus needs to be done on building upper body strength, but that comes at the cost of time and money.

    EG it’s a tough situation in reality.

    • guy says:

      That’s a stupid counterpoint. Okay, so 55% of female recruits fail the test initially. That implies that 45% of female recruits succeed at the test. Therefore, clearly it is not true that no women can meet the physical standards which have been set for men.

      Anecdotally, one of the female students in my high school AP physics C class was in Navy ROTC and despite how I am male and she is not she could benchpress 4-5 times as much as I could.

      • straymute says:

        It’s not as much a counterpoint as it is a look at the reality of integrating the armed forces. I think Rutskarn fell into the tendency of oversimplifying the issue and relying on anecdotes when there actually are a lot of technical issues with various roles and training regimes that need to be worked out as we go ahead with this. This isn’t a situation where things change like the flip of a switch because it would likely get people killed.

        • guy says:

          Eh, no, that’s actually fundamentally a very easy one to sort out. If women don’t meet the standards set for soldiers, they wash out of boot camp just like men who don’t meet the standards. Apparently they’re putting implementing that on hold because a number of female marines who have actually been doing just fine as it is don’t meet the official standards but can be made to do so with a focused physical training regime.

          Since they’ve apparently been working out all right, I guess that could be a sign that the army physical standards for men are unnecessarily high. Or it could be that they’re transferring roles. Given that the US military is presently all-volunteer, expending extra time and money to bring recruits up to par is a fairly reasonable thing to do because only a certain number of men and women are willing to volunteer to stand around in body armor in a desert, where it is reasonably likely someone will shoot at them.

          • straymute says:

            Again, you’re oversimplifying. The cost and training regimes for many roles have to be balanced out, especially with all the recent budget cuts. You don’t want to simply flunk all those women out because it is not efficient to have super high drop out rates for even the lowest roles. It’s a difficult position because the party that wants these changes most is also the party cutting the funding needed for the extra training you’re talking about.

            • guy says:

              We’re talking upper-body strength exercises here. It shouldn’t cost very much in materials or take up much time from anyone except the people in training. Also, over the longer term I expect a lot of future recruits will make like the girl I mentioned above and work to be able to complete three pull-ups before enlisting.

      • Cineris says:

        The 55% of women is out of a select group (e.g. volunteers) which is almost certainly significantly different from the average woman. The number of women [in the general population] who can pass the test is (being generous) 1%, whereas the number of men [in the general population] who can meet or exceed the test is >~50%.

        A lot more focus on upper body strength training can make women able to meet these basic standards, but they don’t counteract the biological reality that men and women are not the same. Men typically both have more muscle mass and an easier time building muscle mass due to hormonal differences and skeletal structure that is more suited to lifting heavy weights and participating in extended strenuous activity. Special training to get women able to meet minimum standards would be better used (if your goal is to optimize the fitness and effectiveness of the military) on training male soldiers.

        • guy says:

          Israel seems to think that training women is a worthwhile investment. Given their track record, I’m inclined to believe they’re on to something. Possibly having to do with increasing the size of the recruitment pool.

          Also, I completely fail to see a reason why the existence of women who can’t meet the standards implies that women who can meet the standards should be rejected.

          • Cineris says:

            If you start from bad assumptions, you don’t go anywhere useful.

            I never said anything about rejecting women who can meet the standards.

            The point about Israel’s integration of women into the armed forces is also overstated, but I guess it’s a good talking point? In either case, the argument from “Other people have done it” doesn’t seem to me to make a compelling case for or against a social policy. Is the military a proving ground for egalitarian idealism, or is it a force intended to ensure the security of the nation?

            • Mersadeon says:

              …Why not both?

              Seriously, why do we need to decide between “an efficient military to protect us” and “being equally fair to everyone”? I mean, really now, why can we not just take everyone who passes the test, no matter what gender they are? And your point about maximising the fitness of the military is moot in my eyes – because military training isn’t supposed to maximise it, it’s just supposed to bring everyone to the same, rough standard. It’s not like a woman has to work double as long as a male just to reach a certain point in fitness.
              Not to mention that most of the military isn’t even in combat roles anyway, almost all of it is just support.

              I think the point about Isreal was “Isreals army is known everywhere as particularly elite and badass, so if they do it, we should probably consider thinking about it”. Not saying I agree, just saying that’s probably what he meant.
              Although I do have to say that I don’t have any stake in any of this. I live in a country where the military is… let’s say carefully used and rarely has to intevene anywhere, and even then mostly to aid people more than fight.

              In the end though, I am more interested in how this debate on this site is going – normally the comments here are so incredibly civil (and compared to pretty much any other forum, they still are). I think Shamus’ writing just attracts people who can stay calm? I dunno, but I’ve always liked it.

            • guy says:

              The point about Israel’s integration of women into the armed forces is also overstated, but I guess it’s a good talking point? In either case, the argument from “Other people have done it” doesn’t seem to me to make a compelling case for or against a social policy.

              For reasons which are even more incendiary to discuss than feminism, Israel has been in a lot of wars for its entire existence. Israel generally won them, too. Therefore, it’s obviously possible to have a highly successful military that does things Israel does.

              Is the military a proving ground for egalitarian idealism, or is it a force intended to ensure the security of the nation?

              Obviously the latter. However, I do not agree that time spent training women to meet minimum standards would necessarily be better spent training men beyond the minimum standards.

              Firstly, expending extra effort training women increases the number of people who can meet the standards, thus allowing more total soldiers. Secondly, it’s not exactly a zero-sum game. If it takes twice as much of the woman’s time to reach the standards, that doesn’t mean it takes twice as much of everyone else’s time, because we’re talking simple physical exercise here. Thirdly, apparently a number of women currently in the marines don’t meet the standards, but nevertheless several of them have performed quite well in combat, indicating the standard might be unnecessarily high. Finally, once the standards adjustment settles out, women who want to join the military will know they need to work harder on upper-body strength before enlisting, so I expect more of the volunteers will meet the standards.

        • Adam says:

          I see your point, but if that 1% of women who can pass the unadjusted test want to serve in our military, why should we stop them?

        • “the number of men [in the general population] who can meet or exceed the test is >~50%” I highly doubt that, have you seen footage of the people walking around the streets in say New York or LA?

          Females do have less strength than males, that’s just evolution and biology, and I’d hate for women to look like bodybuilders as that is not attractive at all (at least to my eyes).

          Females however are lighter on their feet more slender and have smaller frame and this should be taken advantage of (a soldier’s abilities are their assets after all).

          For example when I served I had a a abdominal hernia operation, during bootcamp hat wound tore open and I had major issues having it heal, not exactly ideal when you are crawling through the wet muddy training grounds with full combat gear if you know what I mean, eventually I was ordered by the doctor to take it easy (and the officers informed of this obviously).

          I also collapsed during a 3000 meter run in combat gear and a fully equipped backpack and with just 100 meters to the finish line the exhaust from a nearby Sea-King helicopter almost knocked me out, a quick trip to the doc and grats I was diagnosed as having exhaustion asthma.

          Despite this I still finished training and I still served my duty. And I even had the joy of taking part of a NATO drill (my unit shot down the F16 attackers), I also assisted with logistics many years later at a recall, and that was a huge winter NATO exercise (Norwegian troops vs US troops, Norwegian troops won) I can’t recall the codename right now, anyway the purpose was to get the US troops some winter combat training, and to teach them proper wood and stove techniques so they did not burn down the tents during the night in the camp.

          What I’m saying is that despite having what probably was grounds for a discharge, I still served, and I served a purpose, and I totally sucked at pushups, now if I could serve then a fit female should not be turned away, that is just not logical nor right regardless of the number of pushups they can or can not do, any individual ads value to the whole.

          /rant.

    • kdansky says:

      Because our wars are still fought with swords and axes?

      The “great” thing about a gun is that nearly anyone can be just as deadly with some practise. These selection criteria are biased in favour of skills that men excel at (upper body strength).

      • Cineris says:

        We also live in a world where construction equipment is capable of moving much more than any man and the operator just needs a little practice. In both there are practical reasons why being stronger, in both absolute and relative terms, is valuable.

        • I can attest to that, during my service I was bouncing around in a “loader” (with no suspension) with 3 missiles each almost weighting a ton was dangling above my head (aprox. 3x700KG), and I could make that thing turn on a dime in a second easily.

          My job was basically this: http://fineartamerica.com/featured/1-an-mim-23b-hawk-surface-to-air-missile-stocktrek-images.html
          The guy seated in that driver seat of that tiny belt thingy is called a “loader driver” that was my job. (the launcher is seen to the right slightly out of frame). By the looks of it those guys are about to put them on the launcher, but they have bot removed the safety-straps yet (the light colored band slightly in-front of the wings).

          And the radar we used (dubbed the Mickey Mouse radar) was so powerful that if you held a stick up in-front of it with steelwool at the end, it caught fire. And the power and datacableds running from the radar to the launcher module and to the command center was frigging heavy and had to be deployed in a matter of seconds.
          We could move to an area, rig up, camouflage, fire at multiple targets and be out of there within half an hour easily.
          You needed some strength to run those cables, but 3-4 bodies could drag out those cables pretty quickly be they male or female.

          (Note! The systems mentioned are old systems no longer in use and are considered somewhat archaic now, especially the missile launcher and loader.)

          Anyway, sorry for rambling/reminiscing about the good’ol’days, just saying that there is a place for everyone as long as there is a need for their skills.

      • Ofermod says:

        I’m pretty sure every soldier is still equipped with a bayonet, and trained in hand-to-hand combat. And especially in an urban environment, there will be times when that upper body strength is necessary. For instance, picking up a wounded comrade, or pulling oneself up. The weight of all the gear soldiers carry only makes it more important.

        Is upper body strength as important as it would have been to a hoplite? Of course not. Is it still vital to modern infantry combat? Hell yes.

        • Ciennas says:

          I know this was a while ago, but I feel it worth mentioning for posterity: waot for powered armor and other personal force multiplier systems to become mainstream- the differences will become largely academic.

          It might even reverse, come to think of it.

  23. FutuTabetai says:

    Mumbles was talking about Virtual On and more specifically the Virtualoid “Fei Yen”.

  24. Neil O.Dio says:

    No Campster, the ending of AI wasn’t because Spielberg was getting old and wanted to make everything nice for his grandchildren or more entertaining for everyone in the family, it was because the ending is what Stanley Kubrick envisioned.

    Yes, THAT Kubrick, who was developing the movie before dying, wanted that particular ending (among other things). Spielberg just took over to honor the vision of his friend.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WnIEBkTGSCc&t=32m30s

    There should be a better example somewhere. Why not Crystal Skull? both Lucas and Spielberg made it.

    • Flock Of Panthers says:

      Or it could be because Kubrik was getting old and had children/grandchildren?
      Given how big a departure it is from how Kubrik normally writes/works, I think that’s a reasonable conclusion.

      Also, while I don’t know if Chris has seen the same Nostalgia Critic video we all know that from, he didn’t say “how Kubrik would have envisioned it” he said “how it obviously should have ended”, which I’d agree with.

      As a footnote. Spielberg did the good thing by doing right by his friend, but that movie was a tonal mess and the ending really hurt it.

  25. Tse says:

    Shamus, I saw a scam advertisement:
    preporachani.com
    It’s telling me I would die sooner if I snore and selling me overpriced nose clips. Please block when you have the time.

  26. Ryan says:

    Yeah, speaking as someone who loooooves me some Dark Souls, a season of Dark souls would basically be “Oh, this is an interesting level.” “Oh, I like the art direction.”

    FOUR WEEKS LATER

    “Hey, these levels are still interesting.”

    “I think this boss is kind of unfair.”

    EIGHT WEEKS LATER

    “Art direction?”

    “Still nice.”

    “I find the game’s presentation of women by-and-large to be troubling.”

    “There are women in this game?”

    • Tse says:

      Or, if Josh has played the game several times before:
      First week: Oh, Sen’s Tower is interesting.
      Second week: I like Anor Londo.
      Third week: So, that’s the game.

  27. Cybron says:

    Dark Souls’s storytelling really is incredible. I just beat the game this weekend, and I found it amazing. The moment where this really hit me: There’s a particular dungeon you have to visit which is run by a mad dragon. One of the NPCs offhandedly mentions that the dragon kidnaps people (alongside some other stuff). Okay, standard evil bad guy. Let’s go get ‘em.

    So later, in the dungeon, there’s a new type of enemy. Weird snake things with tentacle heads. So I’m sneaking up on them so I can kill them when I hear the sound of a woman sobbing (which startles the crap out of me). I look around, trying to see if there’s someone to save or whatever, and find nothing, so I just chalk it up to background noise. The sound keeps happening, though, and only when I’m near the (distinctly not remotely human looking) monsters.

    So I go in and start taking them out. One of the first few drops some Humanity. Huh, that’s a little weird, but rats drop it too, so why not? So I get back to it, and then they drop some spells. That’s REALLY weird, so I go and take a look at them.

    All the items have a short bit of flavor text, just a few sentences. The spells in question mention that the spells were taught to the priestess of a certain goddess in the next dungeon over. I then remember the fact that I had picked up a set of priestess clothes in one of dungeon’s cells, and hooooly crap.

    I dunno, I suppose looking back on it it’s not THAT special, but just the fact that they were able to convey this with zero explicit cues and with such disparate elements really made it hit me so much harder than if the game had shoved it in my face. If you had just run in there (instead of taking time to observe the environment and check the ‘flavor text’ on the items), you would never have realized any of that stuff. And I think that sort of ‘figure it out yourself’ lore is really key to the Dark Souls experience. As other people have said, it’s a game that respects your intelligence and your ability to piece things together, in both gameplay and story. Really incredible.

    Also, never try to play Dark Souls with a mouse and keyboard. Controller is the way to go, for sure.

    • Tse says:

      I’m in NG+, using only k&b, it’s not hard if you have a heavy build and block instead of jumping around. I still should learn to parry Gwyn, I doubt I’ll be able to trade blows as easily the second time I fight him. I might be wrong on that one, though. I’ve only been pumping Vitality in NG+, while adding none in NG.
      The four kings were much tougher in NG+, I even had a 5th and a 6th spawn, but as long as you stay glued to one enemy, the others don’t bother you.

  28. Adalore says:

    Ah titan fall gender choice, I got all my characters set up as female so I can use those super powerful hips to kick people to death. :D
    (ps, I use the smart pistol)

  29. Adam says:

    OK Shamus, the multiply-nested comment threads look really pretty with the new color scheme but I think this is turning irretrievably toxic. Might be time to shut the comment section down.

  30. BenD says:

    I just want to say that I think the feminism discussion in the podcast itself (not in the comments) went better this time, on the whole, than it did last time. Everyone managed to steer clear of silencing or negating people who speak with feminist views – especially well-done on Mumbles’ part, since it seems that a major point for her is that people with feminist views should express them more productively than what is seen on your average gamer forum and it is kind of hard to make that claim without silencing or negating. It’s difficult, in a subject that is so tied to freedom of expression being applied equally to everyone (rather than being a privilege of white men), for any voice to critique another while remaining constructive, and Mumbles did it well here – nice work.

    (Although, in fairness, almost everything expressed on your average gamer forum could probably be expressed more productively than it is!)

    So anyway, thank you, Diecasters. Nice job.

  31. Nick Pitino says:

    Oh wow, that went nuts quickly.

    Uh, Josh is playing The Walking Dead season 2?

    I hope you guys do that on Spoiler Warning eventually.

    Now I just need to finish it myself.

    I got about as far a Sam the dog.

    “Hmm, this is The Walking Dead, so that dog is going to DIE. It will die in the cruelest and most senseless way possible.”

    Even knowing that and trying to steel myself for it I still found myself going “SCREW YOU GAME!” five minutes later and haven’t played it for about a month now.

  32. TouToTheHouYo says:

    Wow… That was a lot of stuff about things.

    It looks like one heck of a fluster cluck up there so I’ll post my own thoughts down here, where there’s some breathing room. Hopefully anyone who makes it this far down will be of a more agreeable demeanor.

    “The ~isms” are ever a difficult topic of discussion on the internet. Throwing my own opinions into the mix here will likely amount to little, but for what it’s worth I can sympathize with your younger self Mr.Young. As a mid-twenties straight white man I find these conversations daunting and exhausting. So much contradiction and vitriol. You’re either preaching to the choir or screaming into the wind. Either side, rightly represented or not, seems inconsolable in their demands. They seem to want everything at the expense of everyone not themselves. This isn’t the truth, it isn’t what these movements are genuinely fighting for, but it rapidly becomes the most visible and audible aspect of their cause.

    What’s more, as I am, I feel my own opinions worthless and inherently ignored because I’m not of a recognizably oppressed minority. What does anything I have to say matter when I’m functionally the enemy in the situation? Again, this isn’t correct, not by the proper doctrines of many of these causes, but it is easy to feel as such when so much of what one encounters of these arguments further serves to enforce this sense of inadequacy. It rapidly becomes overwhelming, and since I’m in the fortunate position of not needing to care about such things, I quickly stop doing so. That is a monumental failure. Not so much on my part but that of the entire conversation. No one side should be purposefully driving others away in ignorance. They should both be educating and enlightening. Instead it’s mostly petty bickering.

    The state we’re in now, with regards to media in general, videogames in particular, isn’t great but it also isn’t horrible. We’ve come a long ways but still have a ways more to go. Ignorant as it may seem, I feel we don’t need less of what we presently have, instead we need more of something better. What exactly constitutes “better” is for the market, by way of society, to decide, but looking instead to diminish what we have now is little more than a form of censorship. Everything, in the form of artistic expression, however vile it may seem, has the right to exist. We then have the right to embrace, ignore, or reject it.

    No one need attack the existing paradigm. By producing that which empowers those believed disenfranchised one in turn fosters greater understanding of the problem and promotes more, similar products. It’s not at all an easy task but it is, with time, a surmountable one. If only more of this otherwise wasted energy were funneled into more productive, creative channels. With the indie scene booming as it has been for years, now is the perfect time to show the masses, or whatever subset of such who’s attention you can garner, that there’s something else out there beyond the same tired old archetypes. That’s already happening, though perhaps it isn’t happening swiftly enough.

    I don’t know how to change the course of “The Conversation.” So much of it is unnecessarily defensive, in absence of reason, driven by anonymity, fueled by misunderstanding. So long as the internet is “The Internet” then I doubt these topics will ever remain pleasant for long. Makes it all so very tiring, perpetually reiterating points, statements, and stances. makes it incredibly difficult to care.

    There’s room enough for just about everything. If only more people would realize that.

    • Daimbert says:

      My main suggestion and one that I’ve pushed for at least a year is: we need less focus on seeking out and criticizing the games and studios that DON’T put in female protagonists or strong female characters and spend more time seeking out and praising the games and studios that, in fact, have female protagonists and strong female characters. Susan’s article starts out a bit that way, but certainly ends up more as a backhanded criticism, with the tone seeming to be her being so thrilled that she could manage to find even ONE game that allows her to play as a female character — which might be true for FPSs, but isn’t as impressive for other genres — and her challenge of trying to find a game to play for Lent where you could play as someone other than a white male. Granted, my collection tends to be out of date, but in answer to the challenge:

      I just finished Persona 3 PSP … with the female protagonist. It was an incredible amount of work to add the female protagonist option for the handheld version, and it never gets mentioned by anyone in these debates … and while the Persona series might not be AAA, it’s not exactly obscure either.

      The game I moved onto from that was Dragon Age: Origins … with my female rogue.

      The other game I keep trying to find time to play is The Old Republic. Most of my characters are male (1 out of 8 are female or planned to be female, which is probably my lowest percentage of female characters in any MMO) but I could always play my Agent.

      And if I was really trying:

      I could play Fatal Frame again and finish the series of three. There’s one male playable character out of six in the first three games.

      I could play FFX-2, or I could play the one FF that has a female protagonist.

      Depending on how you count it, I could play Suikoden III again. You play as a female character for roughly a third of the first half of the game, and you can make the female character the main character for the last of it.

      And there are a couple of others. And I don’t go looking for female characters either. Sure, it’d be EASIER for me to find a game where I could play as a white male, but it’s not that hard either. So focusing more on “Hey, these are the game that do it right, so do what they do” recognizes the games that do it so that it doesn’t seem like quite so much of a desert, rewards those who do or try to do it so that they’re likely to try it again, and gives those who aren’t a reason to try to do it.

      But if you criticize any game that doesn’t, but also criticize games that try and get it wrong (too sexual, for example) and say nothing about the games that get it right, then it sets up a “No matter what we do, we can’t win, so let’s just not try”. That’s not what you want, and if gaming media is going to be an actual useful media then it needs to find and highlight these, even if others don’t. One of my big gripes with Sarkeesian’s work is that she tends to miss these. Her examples of “dude in distress” left out Fatal Frame completely, even though in the first game the whole driving force of the game is that Miku goes to this haunted old mansion just to find out what happened to her brother. A blogger can be excused for missing games outside of their own preferred genres, but not someone actually trying to do serious analysis/journalism.

      • guy says:

        True, Suikoden III’s Lady Chris really needs to be mentioned more in these debates. Though, actually, there are significant mechanical disincentives when it comes to making her the main character: her low magic stat doesn’t cooperate well with True Fire; you’ll never get access to the level 6 fire spell. True Water’s lower-end spells are much more useful with her magic stat. However, that’s a natural consequence of her character archetype.

        • Daimbert says:

          I think it’s more a consequence of the character backgrounds than mechanics, and the mechanics were worked out to aim at the ideal path given the backgrounds. Given the backgrounds, Huge should get True Fire, Chris True Water, and Geddoe True Lightning. But they let you make your own story anyway, and everything makes sense even if you don’t follow this path.

          For me, Fatal Frame and Persona 3 PSP are the ones that bug me the most. Fatal Frame’s Miku is EXACTLY the sort of female character/protagonist that everyone claims to want, and Team Persona did a TONNE of work fitting in the female protagonist. Sure, the game series aren’t famous, but they are well-known enough for people to have heard of them and thus to be able to talk about them.

          • guy says:

            Eh, it’s really mostly because Chris is a definite physical fighter/tank, befitting the captain of the knights, as opposed to a mage or jack-of-all-trades like the guys. She’s got a low magic stat and pretty limited access to magic-boosting skills, so she can’t cast many spells, can’t cast them all that quickly, and doesn’t do much damage with them. I mean, obviously at some point they decided she was going to be a knight-type character, but the way Suikoden does her character archetype meant she wasn’t going to be a good fit for True Fire.

            I gave it to her anyway.

            Also, I found it utterly hilarious how she wound up being the best choice for the traditional female role of party healer… because she’s such a focused melee platemailed bruiser.

            • Daimbert says:

              I don’t think we’re disagreeing much here, since this is a case where the mechanics and the overall story align. If you look at the story — and I apologize now for not spoilering this, but the game is old enough that it shouldn’t be a problem — Geddoe had the TL Rune originally, so he logically should get it back. The TF Rune was held by a champion of Grassland, so Hugo fits that better. And Chris should get TW because it was originally her father’s. That the mechanics also make them the best fit seems to me to be something that followed from the story and these elements, not something that drove the story to be how it ended up.

      • TouToTheHouYo says:

        I agree. Like I said, we need more of something better, which in turn will rise in popularity, profitability, and visibility, gradually balancing out with what we presently have. “The Conversation” shouldn’t be about degrading any one type of media or demoralizing those who enjoy it, it should be about extolling the virtues and singing the praises of that which represents your respective causes well.

        As a whole I find that games media, and media in general, depressingly enough, tend to accentuate the negative, which is easy because it’s simple. It takes very little to tear something down. I don’t advocate blind support, but it seems a good deal more productive to increase awareness of that which succeeds, providing a sort of guiding light for those who come after, than it does to so vehemently admonish that which fails.

        We need more strong, interesting, well rounded characters. Many of those should preferably be women. That doesn’t mean we can’t still have plenty of the usual male protagonist. Gotta make that bread’n butter somehow, eh?

  33. Adrian says:

    Hi there!

    I’m a big fan of this podcast and spoiler warning show, but this episode kinda rubbed me the wrong way. I understand that all of you are complex human beings with opinions on wide range of topics, but I was under the impression this was a gaming podcast.
    Regardless of your personal opinion, feminism is and has always been a political ideology. It’s great that Rutskarn has a political opinion and feels so passionate about politics (even if I personally disagree with it) and I understand that this subject does intersect with gaming, but discussing it here kinda opens the flood gates for flame wars and political debates. It’s a testimony to the quality of your listeners that the comment section didn’t already explode.
    What I’m trying to get at is that, as a listener, I’m not interested in your political views regardless if they coincide with my own or not. I’m interested in talks about gaming and if you guys are going to continue and change your formula, I may not be a fan anymore.

    • Paul Spooner says:

      While I agree with your objections to political discussion in a context where the general public is explicitly prohibited from discussing political topics, I think it’s pretty clear that this is not what anyone had in mind. The post is titled “OOPS FEMINISM” implying that it was an accident, and Shamus does his best to apologize for the digression. Perhaps the hosts could have done more to diffuse the dialogue and keep things on track, but I highly doubt “discuss highly charged political topics” was on the slate for this episode.

      So, as long as your request can be construed to mean “please try harder to exclude politics from the discussion” I’m behind your warning. I wouldn’t get too upset about it though, last week it was steak and hamburgers, this week it’s feminism. The Diecast isn’t so much trying to rile you up as it is rambling and ill disciplined. It’s probably always going to be the latter, so adjust your expectations if necessary. As “a big fan” I hope this won’t be so difficult to do.

      But, yes, I too am frustrated by the frequency of the discussion straying into politics and religion territory. Grin and bear it I guess. There are always double standards to endure.

      • Bartendelous says:

        I love how you say that the discussion is straying away from games, because it goes to show how apolitical games actually are. They dont have statements, they dont have anything relevant to say, so its easy to stray from that when politics and religion takes over.

        Not even games that try to be political, like Bioshock Infinite, manage to say anything of substance since they limit what they want to say out of laziness or fear. I think that Matthewmatosis and his critique of BI demonstrates how limited they were in going all the way to make a statement.

        He mentions that if the racism portrayed in the setting lacks nuance, then it will make it more appealing to live there because “it isn’t SO bad” despite the fact that its supposed to portrait a city with 1900’s values that obviously had racist values.
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VdNhwb7iuI4

        If games HAD relevance, then the topics of religion and politics (or people treating politics like their religion) could be fueled with ideas that the games brought up. Using the games as basis for the disccusion.

    • Bartendelous says:

      “I’m a big fan of this podcast”

      So is this the first time you ever wrote to them? I dont know, that kind of statement seems to be like the thing you say for the first time ever as opposed to someone who comments regularly.

      • Adrian says:

        I don’t comment regularly, I just listen. I’m more of a lurker than an active member, but I’m still a fan.
        This wasn’t actually my first comment btw

  34. Elle says:

    I don’t normally post here, and normally stay as far away from discussions of feminism on the internet, but I feel compelled to link to this Shakesville post which attempts to outline rape culture both for people who are skeptical of its existence and people who wish for a good source to link to.

    (This link comes with a huge TRIGGER WARNING for discussions of victim blaming and sexual assault in great detail.)

    It gives a definition of rape culture in the first few paragraphs, but the meat of the post from paragraph 6 onwards is about giving specific examples of what ideas and events are part of rape culture. Even if you object to the first few paragraphs, as I did when I first read it, you might find that by the end of the piece your opinion has changed.

    On the internet, discussions like this rarely change anyone’s mind, but I’m posting this link here anyway because of a large amount of people expressing confusion at or disbelief of rape culture. I feel that this piece does a better job of explaining rape culture than most others because it uses examples and goes into detail about its subject, to the point that it’s hard to disagree with if it is looked upon with intellectual honesty.

    Reading this post always sickens me because it brings together many horrific isolated ideas and events and shows a network of beliefs that really do justify such a strong term as rape culture.

    On a different note, I have to say that I have no problem with the podcast straying into this subject, although I’d rather avoid the flame war.

    For me, it’s interesting to hear the reasonable opinions of the Diecast crew on this subject, and on any subject on which they are knowledgeable about. The only reason I’d rather this didn’t happen again is to avoid the trouble for Shamus moderating all of this crap.

    I probably won’t check back on this post to see responses. For some reason.

  35. Peter H. Coffin says:

    Days late to the party, but at 29:00 Ruts his on a vital point that bears some thinking about: “They’re criticizing me; they’re criticizing the stiff I like, and the stuff I think will go away.” That last part is particularly telling because a good portion of the things that people absolutely crazy over in USian culture (not like “enthuiastic” kinds of crazy, “completely ’round the bend overreacting” kinds of crazy) is about a thing wot someone loves but *KNOWS* is ending, ending soon, and there’s an inevitability about the ending that leaves them without hope for it.

    • Paul Spooner says:

      Yes! It’s an excellent point.

      Seen in this light, the massive backlash is a kind of back-handed compliment. It is, in essence, saying to the opposition “I absolutely believe that you have the power to destroy this thing that I enjoy.” The fierce rhetoric is, at its core, a voice of insecurity in the self, and fear that “the foe” is on the cusp of a critical victory, from which there will be no recovery. It is, in the eyes of the defenders, a desperate and last-ditch stand against an almost impossibly powerful host whose goal is to eliminate beauty forever from the world.

      One of the problems is that both sides seem to see the conflict in this way. It’s a conflict blown out of all proportion, on both sides. Misunderstanding is inevitable because the dialogue is opened under false pretenses, and carried out under a not insignificant degree of self-delusion.

  36. Phantos says:

    It makes me so bitter, so angry when I think of how badly we’re still treating half of the population, all because a few powerful old rich jerks have convinced billions of people that that’s the way things have to be.

    It just destroys me. Because what Mumbles and Rutskarn said, about changing people minds? That’s impossible. People and ignorance are inseparable. They’re married to it. I’ve never heard anyone say “I was wrong”. I’ve never seen anyone look at new information they hadn’t considered and allow a change to happen. I’ve never seen anyone consider someone else’s feelings. No one wants to listen, and no one wants to be better, or do right by others.

    As long as it’s good business for people to be selfish, women are always going to be treated like an invasive species in video game culture. Only in a world as screwed up and evil as ours could something like PAX be a terrifying success. Funny how a medium built on empowerment fantasies can make me feel so helpless to fix anything.

    I think that makes me more of a misanthrope than a feminist, but whatever.

    • MadHiro says:

      Hope spot time!

      Two years ago I became a vegetarian. I read a book, and then did some research, and visited a factory ‘farm’. I went from a meat and potatoes and meat guy, to not at all, because I took in new data and said,” I was wrong.” It doesn’t always happen, and sometimes it might even be a change for the worse. But it’s not impossible.

      It’s just impossible on the Internet.

      • Ciennas says:

        Nope. Change is possible anywhere. We just get to keep our past states with us easier in the internet setting. (Our own past comments are always a click away, after all.)

        The problem with the internet in specific has always been the ‘hugbox’. That is, surrounded by people who will validate your opinions no matter what they are, to the point where it becomes very difficult to recognize if you’re even inaccurate, let alone completely wrong.

        And if we must confront being wrong (a state we fight against at all times, it seems,) we can always just let go of the identity we’ve built and assume another as easy as changing scarves.

        But it still happens.

        • Retsam says:

          I call it the “echo chamber” but same idea; and it’s certainly not just one side that does this. The natural tendency for the internet tends to be congregation with like-minded individuals, and then vigorous agreement between those individuals, affirming how right all of their opinions are and how wrong everyone else is.

          So when opposing viewpoints meet, they’re both so utterly convinced that their opponent is not simply wrong, but a moron (usually a dangerous one) to boot, the result is rarely productive discussion.

          That being said, I have found a number of good places for discussion, where you get a good diversity of opinion and much more maturity than flamers.

      • Phantos says:

        I used to think everyone had a specific combination of words you could say that would reach them. That would get them to stop and breathe and listen to the thoughts in their hearts. To posit how many people they had to step on to get to where they’re standing.

        I think because… I have that combination of words. Somewhere. I have been embarrassingly wrong about so many things. There is something you could say to me to get me to stop and think “What if I’m wrong?”. There are things I embrace now that I used to be firmly against, and I changed my mind when someone presented a carefully reasoned argument in its’ favour.

        I kind of just assumed everyone was like that.

        After years of trying and reasoning and hoping, and only being met with thick-skulled resistance to progress(or basic human equality), one example of someone changing their mind out of 7 billion doesn’t give me the hope it used to.

        The “WHERE’S WHITE HISTORY MONTH” nitwits have worn me down.

        • Retsam says:

          The contempt you seem to show for people you’re debating with suggests to me that perhaps you haven’t been approaching those discussions correctly. Or perhaps that you shouldn’t be approaching them at all.

          This is something of a personal theory of mine that I’ve been mulling over the past few days (after getting into several heated internet debates), so it’s a bit rough, but my thought is: If you can’t respect the opinion and the person you’re arguing against, you have no business debating them; you’ve got a insignificant chance of convincing them, and a much greater chance of hurting your own side.

          Mostly it comes down to I’ve never been convinced of anything (positive) by someone who didn’t respect me, combined with that you can’t really persuade someone if you don’t understand what they believe, and if you actually understood what they believed, you’d probably respect it.

          The obvious response is “what about obviously terrible positions, like cannibalism, would you respect those?” No, I simply wouldn’t debate them, I don’t need to. If it’s really so extreme that it can’t be respected, I don’t think it’s a significant danger to our culture. I don’t really lose sleep over “but what if cannibalism becomes popular?”.

          • Phantos says:

            I probably had more respect for other people’s opinions than they do for mine. For a long time people’s opinions mattered so much to me, because people mattered to me. Which I admit is bizarre, in a life punctuated by a consistent dismissal of everything I’ve ever meant. But I’m starting to realize that not every opinion deserves respect.

            There are certain view points I cannot respect. Specific causes and beliefs that pride themselves in the shame, manipulation and destruction of human beings. Just because they don’t match an archaic idea of “normal” or “right”.

            I can never respect a person who takes pride in hurting any group of people. Especially when they “punch down”. Or people who willingly ally with things they KNOW are terrible and hurtful, for selfish reasons. It never stops disappointing me how many people can’t admit that. Especially since every attempt to reason with someone about a disagreement is met with the same response:

            “I’m a Good Guy! I only do Good Things! I couldn’t have done a Bad Thing! Only BAD PEOPLE do BAD THINGS!”

            I will say I have a lot more respect for the opinions I see in Shamus’ comment section than I do most elsewhere. I’d comment more often, except every time I see all of the smart or funny things have already been said.

            • Forli says:

              If I didn’t know that’s not the case, I would think you were talking about feminists.

            • Retsam says:

              If you used to respect people’s in discussions, but you failed to convince them to change their opinions, and the conclusion you drew from that was that respecting other people’s opinions was your mistake, I’d suggest you drew the wrong conclusion from the whole experience.

              What I’m getting from this is “I just can’t respect opinions that are [characterization of opinion that virtually no one who holds that opinion would agree with]”. If you think most people who disagree with you enjoy “punching down” others, again, I don’t think you understand those people’s actual belief. Those people “can’t admit it” because they don’t believe it. Asking them to admit something they don’t believe, and being angry when they don’t, isn’t entirely reasonable in my book. If I can twist your words, I think you’re saying, in a sense “I’m right and they’re wrong, and it makes me angry that they don’t agree with me”.

              You’re looking at their opinion entirely from your perspective of their opinion, rather than trying to see their perspective of their own opinion. If you looked more at the second I think, you’d not only likely have more respect for them, but would actually be more effective in persuading them anyways. If you can’t do that, I don’t think any discussion is going to be productive, and not simply because of “their think skulled resistance to progress”.

              tl; dr (of my whole couple posts here)
              When there’s a failure to communicate over differing opinions, in the VAST majority of cases, it’s unrealistic and unfair to assign all of the blame for that failure solely on one side of that communication, as you seem to be doing.

          • Abnaxis says:

            For what it’s worth, I’ve adjusted my own stance on various issues in this very discussion, with regards to choosing words carefully to help promote healthy discussion. I wouldn’t say I’ve completely turned around, but I’ve moved to a neutral place where I would be happy to change my stance if someone showed me a compelling alternative to it.

    • Mumbles says:

      I say I’m wrong plenty! The best thing about being human is learning and changing your mind about stuff!

      • Bartendelous says:

        After reading the stuff related to biology, it seems that being human IS being stuck on a fixed idea and never let it go BY DESIGN.

        So logically being able to change is not normal and therefore not human.

        If you can actually do that then you are Super Human. You must be the Ubermench! The UberMumbles!

        • Abnaxis says:

          I always hate when people look at a study on biological predisposition and conclude that all people are predestined to behave in a certain fashion due to genetics.

          As far as I am aware, there has been no large scale, cross-sectional study of sufficient size to even come close to showing to what degree biology causes variations in behavior. All that has been shown is a correlation between various biological markers and certain behavioral patterns. The cause of those markers could just as much be attributed to environmental influence as it could be to genetics.

          The brain physiologically adapts to the world around it, just like any other organ or muscle. It’s a neat diagnostic tool to be able to gain insight into an individual’s psyche based on CAT scans, but people run way too far in assuming the implications of the science.

  37. Retsam says:

    Man, a couple days late to the diecast and it’s like I’m emerging out of the bunker after World War III.

    Hmm, well if anyone’s inclined to bring up religion on a future diecast, it’d be great if someone could let me know in advance, I wouldn’t want to miss World War IV.

  38. Forli says:

    You are nothing more than a hypocrite who can’t tolerate the idea that some people do not share your ideas and will silence anyone who calls you on it.

    Pheraps I should be disappointed, but I’m mostly sad at finally getting definitive proof that there’s not a single reasonable person among feminists.

    • Shamus says:

      1) I’m not a feminist. (Don’t self-identify as one, anyway.)
      2) You were banned for tone, not belief.

      You’ve never posted under this name before, and as your introduction to the blog you jump right into the comments in a hot fight in a hot topic. You’re not here for the community. You’re here because you’re mad about feminism and want to fight about it. You are not a reasonable person. You’re angry and you can’t make your argument without saying things like “there’s not a single reasonable person among feminists.”

      Related:

      http://www.shamusyoung.com/twentysidedtale/?p=19709

      • deda says:

        So you really banned me… Phantos’s comments where much worse that mine, so it’s clear that I got banned for belief, not tone.

        I’ve read that post you linked, so that’s what I am to you? A “completely batshit crazy moron asshole”?. Because let me tell you something, you have also revealed your character to me, you are a hypocrite, you talk a lot about reaching an understanding and then you silence anyone who disagrees with you as soon as you get the chance while letting those on your side say whatever they want (even if you say you don’t identify as a feminist, it’s clear that you are 100% on their side and assume that anyone who’s not is just “angry” or “misunderstanding”).

        You are not a reasonable person, you can’t make your argument without completely ignoring the other side.

        • MadHiro says:

          Lets try some formal logic; it is your assertion that you were silenced because Shamus bans anyone who disagrees with him. This is provably false. Many people post statements that are contrary to our host’s stated opinions. They are not banned. This shows that he does not ban people simply for disagreeing with him. Your attempted rebuttal to this is,” He says one thing, but secretly believes another,” which seems to be a common thread in your posts, echoing comments others have made about supposed false flag operations to generate controversy.

          By many objective, standard measurements your posts were more volitle, aggressive, and unpleasant than others posts. The most obvious is that you ( in posts now deleted ) were cussing, and not in any sort of jocular or high spirited fashion. My friends and I used to have an ad hoc rule in debate practice; first person to swear loses. In this case, loses the respect and patience of our host.

          And ultimately, that’s kind of the ticket. You’re in his house. If you were in my house, and talking to my friends and guests the way you are, you’d be lucky to only be shown the door. Civility is a mutual social contract.

          • deda says:

            Yeah, I guess he doesn’t ban everyone, but he did ban me and he let me no option but to assume it was because of my opinions.

            In his comment phantos said that I “treat half the population badly”, I’m “married to my ignorance”, I “don’t consider anyone’s feelings”, I’m selfish and I treat women as an invasive species, and all of that why? Because I disagree with feminists, yeah, I really got angry when I read that and I responded with a comment with a similar tone in which I didn’t swear. And then my comment was deleted, when someone’s opinions are silenced any pretense of having a reasonable conversation is lost and I’m going to react accordingly. If shamus really believed that something about my comment was exceptionally bad he could have told me, but he didn’t do that, he deleted my comment without any explanation, leaving me no option but to assume the worst, this is not how someone who keeps going on about understanding each other should act, that’s why I called him a hypocrite.

            And belive it or not I didn’t come here with the intention of causing trouble, I really just wanted to share my point of view on the things they discussed in the podcast (specifically what they said about the dragon’s crown incident, which was completely different from how I experienced it).

            So yeah, perhaps I’m just being too eager to assume the worst, perhaps phantos was just talking about some specific group of people that didn’t include me and shamus really thought that deleting my comment was going to make the conversation more civil. But if all it takes is one angry comment for the conversation to stop we are never going to get anywhere.

            • Abnaxis says:

              There’s more to it than just tone–and it’s certainly not about your position. Shamus put up with a lot of vitriol from more than a couple people who were vehemently anti-feminist, because he explicitly wanted to make sure that view was represented. However, in your case there’s a matter of trust as well.

              I can see how it can seem unfair from the eyes of a newcomer, but if your very first post is incendiary, you are treated differently than if you’ve been participating on the blog for a while and this is your first offense. In the former case, there’s no way to tell whether you are an extremist who wants to start a flame war, while in the former case it can be seen as an aberration to your clean record and you will normally get off with a warning. You can see examples of each of these approaches in a few places above.

              I know for a fact that Shamus uses his admin access to check post history before taking any disciplinary action. I’m sorry this discussion has you riled up and got you motivated to make your first post here, and that the post deletion has left a sour taste in your mouth. However, as your first impression you have to realize that any negativity in your post holds a lot more weight than it does for veterans.

              • deda says:

                Fair enough, but this was also my first impression of shamus as a moderator. I have no idea of how he usually deals with commenters, and deleting a comment without warning or explanation is one of the worst things that a moderator can do, especially the comment of a newcomer who probably doesn’t know what kind of comments are usually banned. From my point of view it really looked like the only thing that made my comment special was that shamus didn’t like my opinion.

                • krellen says:

                  I (occasionally) identify as a Men’s Rights Advocate (or, at the very least, an anti-feminist; feminist language and theory is, literally, my trauma trigger) and Shamus considers me not only a valid and respectful poster, but a friend as well. So no, it’s not your opinions that were the problem.

            • Shamus says:

              For the record: If it ever looks like I’m letting something really offensive slide, it’s okay to say, “Hey, you claimed X. That’s really offensive.”

              When I see responses like that I usually go back and re-read the offending comment. Maybe I skimmed it. Maybe I didn’t think about how it might sound to the other side. That kind of thing can happen when we’ve got one of these 300+ comment threads burning, since I’m the only mod.

              I’m not perfect, and I make plenty of mistakes. I can’t promise it will always be perfectly fair. But I do try.

              • deda says:

                Good, you finally said something that lets me believe that you are not completely biased (I still think you are a little bit biased, but probably not more than it’s normal for most people including me).

                So yeah… I’m glad that’s clear now, sorry for getting so angry.

              • Bartendelous says:

                Why are you the only mod now, when others pop up from time to time before? you would think that for this kind of topic the others should help a bit, or at least release the topic when everyone is available to handle it.

                Campster should had been around for this topic, since he already made a video about “Get Your Politics Out Of My Game”, so it would make sense for him to know what is the deal with Feminism and then explain it to you later.

                But then again its not too hard to explain. Its just: “People have problems with the Feminist people rather than the ideology (unless the ideology is somehow inherently broken or evil). Think of how people hate the Vatican and their face-palming decisions, and not the religion itself who is just about being nice (New Testament only)”

                Even Josh Whedom, the man that Feminist go as THE man that is in favor of Feminism because of his strong independent women, has an issue with it. More specifically, he has an issue with the “-ISM”:
                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDmzlKHuuoI

                • krellen says:

                  Shamus has always been the only mod. Josh, Campster, Mumbles, and Rutskarn have “admin” logins that they can use to get gold comments and occasionally post things, but this is Shamus’s blog, and he is and always has been its king.

                  No one else has ever moderated the comments.

                  • Bartendelous says:

                    Is not about having everyone moderate but participate. You would think that they would have joined the discussion since they brought it up, but since Shamus is the only one talking (and Mumbles is busy being Mumbles) everyone here ends up having intellectual blue balls.

                    This is the second time i have intellectual blue balls in recent memory since Bioshock Infinite. The game starts to talk about racism and JUST when it was about to get somewhere the game thinks its Quantum Leap season. If it wasn’t going to do anything meaningful with it, then why bother? why even bring it up?

                    Same thing here.

        • Bartendelous says:

          “Even if you say you don’t identify as a feminist, it’s clear that you are 100% on their side and assume that anyone who’s not is just “angry” or “misunderstanding””

          Well that is a False Dichotomy on your part since you assume that there is no such thing as a 3rd party involved. Not that Shamus is free from the trappings of FD since he though that some guy was a MRA just for linking material against Feminism that puts them in a VERY bad light that must be addressed by their members, and not some 3rd party like a truth seeker or even a Feminist himself since they kinda do that among themselves (but we get to take the blame by normal people since they think that there is only ONE kind of Feminism).

          Shamus is just an idealist. Think of Butters of South Park but cranked up to eleven on the “i am sure they didn’t mean for bad things to happen” department. Anyone who has Butters has a party member on Stick Of Truth, and then punches, abuses, and steal stuff knows exactly what i mean.

          • Shamus says:

            Calling someone an MRA just because they disagreed with feminists is indeed a blunder on my part. Didn’t even realize I’d done it until you pointed it out.

            So, sorry for that. (In my weak defense: It’s a big topic, lots of people are involved, and sometimes I lose the plot. Yeah, I shoulda scrolled back up and made sure I knew who was who and that I was using the right labels. Apologies.)

            • Bartendelous says:

              Then again, when the only people looking for true equality and have all the evidence and research is the MRA (because everyone else blindly follows Feminism “the idea”, not Feminism “the reality”), its easy to see anything as supportive or coming from the MRA.

              And cant blame anyone on the False Dichotomies either, since that is practically a natural thing for humans to do. To escape the immense quantity of variables that reign the world and reduce it to just Us Vs Them, Good Vs Evil, is basically what we have been doing since the Greeks. Just ask The Tasteful One MrBTongue and his Shadification video on Greeks:
              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvwlt4FqmS0

              2:10 onward.

              As he said, we KNOW the “Fate” thing is full of crap but we would like to think (and hoped for it) it is because, otherwise, we will have to accept that the world is a chaotic mess too great to quantify. So we impose order on this chaos even when we know there is some kind of order that we just cannot grasp.

              The way i see it, FD is a self mechanism of our minds to avoid becoming insane with too many details.

              And as long it exist, people will continuously miss the point of everything imaginable. Like Feminists thinking MRA oppose ALL women just for opposing them (as if they are representative of the will of all women). It is that mentality that brought us things like this Let’s Player into speculating that the french indie game 2007 “OFF” is actually a deconstruction of sexist power fantasies. That you “basically” played as a MRA fulfilling his woman hating duties (because again, anyone who opposes Feminism is clearly an enemy of ALL women ever because they hate women. Also, they are men. Obviously)

              http://lparchive.org/OFF/Update%2043/

        • Bartendelous says:

          Actually, tell you what. How about finding proof for that asertion. Like conveniently missing comments that could have been deleted by him. Is that too much to ask?

          And do not mistake them for comments that have yet to be approved.

    • MadHiro says:

      The idea that Shamus silences people who don’t agree with him is pretty absurd. I’m a socialist atheist feminist vegetarian who really enjoyed Fallout 3 (okay, that last one was a joke). I can’t say with any certainty what he does or doesn’t believe, and I’ve only been a reader for, you know, years and years and years, but I would say its safe bet that he and I don’t actually agree on very much outside the sphere of games. If he muted and banned people who said things he didn’t agree with, I would be one of the first to go. All I do is try to remain as civil as I can; which, really, I find super hard! I don’t even succeed all the time! I’m an angry person! My name is an accurate pseudonym. But its worth it, because it means that sometimes I can actually talk to people.

      And on that note, that’s one of the reasons I like seeing and hearing his beliefs. Its both useful and refreshing for me to see into the head and heart of someone who doesn’t agree with me and who isn’t crazy.

    • Retsam says:

      If you’ve definitively proven anything, it’s that if you’re rude and obnoxious long enough, you’ll eventually get on the nerves of anyone; even someone as reasonable and respectful of dissent as Shamus. So, congrats for that, I guess.

      • deda says:

        Reasonable and respectful of dissent? Are you kidding me? He deleted the FIRST mildly angry comment that I made, without reason or explanation, despite it being a response to a much more inflammatory comment that didn’t get any trouble.

        I know that he gives the APEARANCE of being respectful, that’s why I call him a hypocrite.

        • Retsam says:

          Ah, yes, he only pretends to be moderate and respectful in his every blog post and interaction on podcasts and lets plays, so that he can secretly persecute innocent anti-feminists like you when you post without us knowing about it.

          Not a single person here has chimed in to defend you; several people have chimed in to say that you need to stop. Do you really think that’s because we all are persecuting you for your beliefs? Or do you think, maybe, it’s because you’re actually out of line, like everyone’s been saying that you are? Are you really so arrogant to think that you’re being perfectly reasonable and that all of us are just feminist cronies?

          Look, just leave. Don’t come back. Blame it on us, tell yourself that twentysided.com is filled with hateful feminists who just can’t stand to hear dissenting opinion and ban anyone who disagrees with them. We’re beyond your saving, you’re really better focusing your noble efforts elsewhere. Just as long as you stop posting here.

          • deda says:

            I’m sure that for those who know him better it must seem impossible that shamus would do such things, but I was judging based on my experiences, not yours.

            And don’t tell me to leave, you guys are actually convincing me that I might have been wrong (something that shamus didn’t even try to do), but you are not going to accomplish that by kicking me out when that is the thing I was complaining about in the first place.

            • Retsam says:

              I’m telling you, the person who’s been constantly belligerent on this whole topic, to leave. If someone slightly less incendiary and less quick to assume that they’re being martyred were to join this site in the near future, either with the same username or a different one, I can’t say I’d see any problem with that.

              I will emphasize though, that my attempt to “kick you out” is based on your behavior, not based on your opinions, so it’s not “the thing you complained about in the first place”. The thing we are trying to accomplish is a place where dissenting opinions (occasionally even concerning video games) can be expressed without a flame war. Your actions so far have not contributed to that, in fact, quite the opposite, which is why you were banned. (As to “Shamus never tried to convince me I was wrong”; I don’t know what you call him repeatedly telling you you need to moderate your tone and linking you to the philosophy of moderation post)

              Perhaps you have the capability of being a perfectly reasonable individual and I was in the wrong asking you to leave, but I hadn’t seen that; I was judging based on my experiences, not yours.

              • Shamus says:

                Let’s give this a rest. I think we’ve all calmed down and this whole feminism thread is finally fizzling out. deda can stay or go as they like.

                Thanks.

              • deda says:

                Well, you sure as hell seem to be trying to start a new flamewar here.

                Shamus didn’t repeatedly tell me to moderate my tone, he only talked to me once, in the comment he made after banning me, the comment where he linked to a post where he described the people he bans as “completely batshit crazy moron assholes”, just after banning me, that’s literally all he said.

                This website has really given me a terrible first impression, and you really didn’t help to fix that. But now I’m tired of this, this is going to be my last comment (in this thread at least), you can think whatever you want about me, I really don’t care anymore.

  39. Phantos says:

    Krellen said he sometimes identified as a MRA. That made me stop and gag a little. But then I got to thinking:

    Is he saying “I’m a whiny white guy neckbeard fedora jerk who feels entitled to everything!”

    OR is he saying:

    “Equality does not mean treating men like garbage instead, retribution is not the noble path, two wrongs don’t make a right.”

    The second one I can understand, and even sympathize with. I guess the problem is most of my encounters with MRAs were in the former category.

    And I’m guessing a lot of people who hate feminism encountered similar scum among their ranks too. I was lucky enough to be introduced to cool people in one group, and introduced to scumbags in the second, so that kind of painted my perception of both groups. Maybe both of those philosophies would be more respected if it weren’t for jerks giving them a bad name by association.

    Goes to show you how important a first impression is. In any case, I’ll try not to jump to conclusions about a person’s morality based solely on their allegiances… well, unless it’s like the KKK or something.

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