ALEX WHAT ARE YOU DOING STOP THAT
I like this lady c:
Most of the points are pretty straight here. There’s still some issues that she doesn’t really touch on, such as on representation and characters (which also require some understanding of how to write for game development), but it does call to light that the approach that a lot of critics of gender in video games are taking a totally wrong approach. Plus I feel like there’s people who are actually active in in the communities who can better address those issues more directly (like Extra Credits).
She admits she’s not a gamer and isn’t heavily involved with games, so I don’t think she can give a 100% complete assessment, but she does point out some glaring issues.
Oh good, another condescending video from the American Enterprise Institute. I’ve debunked these guys before regarding gender representation in the science and technology fields so I’m not going to spend too much time pointing out the flaws of listening to these guys. Point is the AEI doesn’t have your best interests at heart. They are an institution dedicated to protecting businesses and are either trying to sell you something or throwing up smokescreens to hide bad business practices.
I’ll make my counterpoints in the order they come up in the video to keep things simple.
I’m going to point out a few things about the introduction because they become important later. The key phrases here are “perpetuate a culture of sexism and misogyny” and “are games rife with sexism?” This is how the presenter frames the debate. These are her own questions. Just keep that in mind.
So we start with the tired old argument of “women mostly play casual games.” How this is in any way important to the question of sexism in gaming is left unanswered. The presenter hides this little hiccup by using another tired argument of “this is great, but.” Of course, the idea that women are not important in the gaming industry has often relied on the argument that women only or mostly play “casual” games. The presenter tries to back this up by rolling off some statistics about “hard-core” vs. “casual” gamers, and how the former is dominated by men. This statistic is presented as if it’s a fact written in stone. Never mind the societal context in which these statistics exist. Should we not ask why this disparity exists? Could it be that competitive gaming tends to be a sausage-fest that may be, consciously or unconsciously, unwelcoming to women? If it’s not sexism, what is it? Furthermore, what about the 1 in 7 “hard-core” gamers who are women? Are we just supposed to accept the fact that they are thrown under the bus?
I mean, let’s just do a simple comparison. The number of LGBT people in the US averages about 3-5% of the population, depending on the study you’re looking at. (This percentage is in actuality probably higher due to the fact that for a lot of people it’s hard to “come-out,” but that’s a different discussion.) One in seven people is 14%. Fourteen percent! Now I would doubt that any progressively minded person would claim that LGBT issues are not important since they represent such a small part of the population. So what should we buy that argument when it comes to games and “gaming culture?” And as I’ve said, maybe this percentage would be more even if with addressed the sexist issues in the video gaming industry.
The next section starts with the question “do they promote a culture of sexism and violence?” Two points here. First is the subtle shift from perpetuate to promote. Remember the question at the beginning that asked whether games perpetuate sexism? I realize this may seem pedantic but in the realm of social science and media this distinction is extremely important. Media and society exist in an interesting feedback loop. It’s not clear if media is the progenitor of certain cultural trends or a reflection thereof. Most of the time it’s both, the media justifying itself by arguing that it’s just reflecting societal norms while some people justifying their actions by claiming that’s what they saw or heard on the media. It’s interesting that this argument would come up in the middle of a new media conflict over the proper way to present race in regards to police violence and brutality, in particular the portrayal of the black community. Society and media are intricately intertwined and saying that one thing causes another is a pointless question. Rather, perpetuation is what is important and I would argue that the continued objectification of women is being perpetuated in the video game industry, and that, by definition, is misogynistic.
Second, when this video become about violence? I thought we were talking about sexism and misogyny? Of course, violence can be an important aspect of misogyny (i.e. rape, death threats), but I feel this is an attempt by the presenter to derail the conversation by bringing up a scapegoat. The idea that video games cause violent behavior has been debunked, for sure. But what isn’t brought up is that violent video games can exacerbate violent tendency in those who already have those problems. Is it really that much of a leap to say that the same could be true of sexism? We know about the tendency of people to gather to like-minded people. It is all the easier today to find echo-chambers that help to reinforce our pre-conceived notions about society and the world. Again, this is an issue of perpetuation versus promotion. By continuing to present women the way they do, the video game industry perpetuates the objectification and commodification of women, justifying in the minds of some, however unconsciously, the gender roles women are supposedly supposed to have.
(Also, I’d bet that some of the “researchers” the presenter is trying to scapegoat includes some affiliated with AEI.)
So after the section trying to distract us with the dead violence debate, the video quickly descends into condescension, which, let’s be honest, should send up a ton of red flags. “Gender activists and, I don’t know, hipsters with degrees in cultural studies.” Really? This is how you present your good-faith and open-minded argument. By demeaning those brining up this points in the first place? Which is ironic given that one of the main criticisms of Ms. Sarkeesian is her lack of expertise. Think about it, if she’s enough to get some people up in arms, I can’t imagine what would happen if an actual literary critic got a hand on some of the video games out there. To fair, the presenter almost had me with the true tidbit admitting that games have become more diverse, but immediately destroys her argument by diving into conspiratorial territory. “Gender police?” Cute. I feel like I should be listing all the buzz words and phrases that are used in this video to demean people who bring up the issue of sexism in gaming (some of whom are actually rather prominent members of the video games industry). Way to be the fair-minded and balanced side of the argument there.
I find it interesting at this point that the arguments the presenter is making centers entirely on the male demographic. Could it be any more obviously sexist? Could it be any more obvious that women’s views and women experiences are being pushed aside and ignored? Really, I think the problems here speak for themselves. (“privileging the female perspective,” are you serious with this!? Cause, you know, why isn’t there a white entertainment channel? Also, never mind the fact that many of those magazines are probably run by men and produce sexist material.)
And here we get to the point that has been bugging me the most about all this. Two prominent female critics of video games and the industry receive rape and death threats for the audacity of bringing up these issues. Rape and death threats. And the best response to this is to be dismissive, and say that millions of gamers are a-okay. Right, sure, “not-all-gamers” indeed. It really is revealing that so many would buy this argument and then claim to be the fair-minded ones. Never mind the fact that just brining up these issues can get a women threatened with rape and death in an attempt to shut them up. Never mind that this tends to be a tried and true tactic by some to narrow the scale of debate and chastise those that would challenge the “natural order.” How is anybody supposed to take any other supposedly rational argument seriously if, just by bringing it up, women are threatened with their lives? If, perhaps, the millions of gamers out there turned around and fully and completely chastised these jerks for the pos that they are I would understand this argument more. As it stands is just more hand-waving and excuses that puts the responsibility on the victims to power through the abuse in order to be heard. I’m not convinced.
I just… I don’t even know what to say. There are just so many things wrong with this argument, that it would take days to point them all out.
The irrelevant points, the ignorance …ow.
fuck, I need an aspirin after reading this.
Why isn’t anyone talking about this?
Watch non black cosplayers and lovers of cosplay stay silent on this.
Man what in the FUCK
I WANT MORE MUPPETS ON MY DASH
I WANT LESS BEN STEIN IN MY MUPPETS
especially in relation with science.
First person to buy an iPhone 6 in Perth immediately drops it during TV interview
Things have to change.
Two Steps From Hell - All Is Hell That Ends Well
From their album SkyWorld
If I smoked I’d need a cigarette.
Love how all the POC look 1000% done with this shit.
Halloween is coming up, yall
Oh, hey! Some great costume ideas for Halloween, everyone :D
I like this video. It’s nice to hear a view that’s different than what most people seem to think these days.
Thank you for a balanced and factual view on a subject, that has been misrepresented by so many sources.
Could we just send the money Anita got to this group instead, so they can make more videos about properly researched and represented subjects?
Also, I find it kind of scary how much it surprised me to see a non-biased video from a feminist source. This shouldn’t be so.