Gamergate

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Re: Gamergate

Postby KnightExemplar » Thu Nov 13, 2014 6:56 am UTC

Its pretty easy actually to prove the feminist undertones of Metroid (circa 80s / 90s). Every named character is either an Alien (of no specified gender), or is female (Queen Metroid, Mother Brain, Samus Aran). The first explicit male introduced into the series was Adam, Samus's long dead love interest in Metroid Fusion introduced in 2002, sixteen years after the first Metroid game.

Again, let me repeat. Metroid has no named male characters until 16 years after the series's introduction. The only male characters before Adam were two unnamed faceless scientists who were murdered about 5 minutes into "Super Metroid". The series is subtly feminist: it never gets "in your face" about some pretty clear feminist choices the developers made.

Spoiler:
Another game of this kind would be "Portal" (which also had no male characters in it until Portal 2). Characters are female, and no big deal is made one way or the other. Turrets are female AIs, Chell (the heroine) and GladOS (villain) are all female. Portal the best example of a 2nd-wave feminist video game I can think of. Chell's orange jump suit is quite non-sexual, and fanservice is completely nonexistant in the game.


As for what Samus wears under the Power Suit... there's a fair number of feminists who would rather have a character proud of their female figure than to hide is away in shame. Samus is a feminist figure who is proud of her sexuality. Sex-positive Feminism is a thing for 3rd wave Feminism. And its not like the low-res pixelated victory images are erotica or anything, they're just sorta there to prove that Samus is clearly a female under that armor. Lets face it: the leotard and bikini are both female symbols.

I'll recognize that maybe a 2nd wave feminist, who shies away from sexuality may be against Samus's victory poses... but even then I'd say its a bit of a stretch. The fact is that through the early years, Samus was not a sex symbol to sell the game. Her sexuality was hidden away for those who can manage a completion within 3 hours. Otherwise, you only get the standard victory pose.

Indeed, Samus's box art to "Super Metroid" and "Metroid II" are the following:
Spoiler:
Image

Image


Its not like "bouncing boobies" (NSFW) found elsewhere in the industry.

I mean... lets face it. Nintendo isn't really using Samus's sexuality to sell copies. And your standard complaints about "Bikini Armor Babes" (Cover art to "Valis") from the 80s (Athena's WonderLand) and 90s are basically subverted entirely with Samus's very practical full-body armor. From a marketing perspective, I'd say even the 2nd wave feminists, fearful of sexuality, would be happy with Samus's general appearance and marketing.

Except... for Other M of course.
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Re: Gamergate

Postby Joeldi » Thu Nov 13, 2014 10:20 am UTC

I'm not objecting to Metroid's aesthetic and marketing in general. You're right that for the most part it's a force for good. I'm just pointing out that it does have its flaws.

I'm also not objecting directly to the takes her clothes off part. I don't object to anyone's right to control their own sexuality. When takes her clothes off is combined with to reward the player though, it becomes textbook objectification. At that point of the game, Samus is not really a character anymore. It's not like we get a narrative reason for her stripping down, it's just "You win, have some boobs!" and the faster you complete the game, the more you see*

*by S/NES standards, which wasn't all that much, but the intent is the same.
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Re: Gamergate

Postby KnightExemplar » Thu Nov 13, 2014 2:38 pm UTC

I don't know about that. Samus takes her power armor off one other time in Super Metroid... when Samus dies.
Spoiler:
Image

Samus's Super Metroid Death Animation... in 16-pixelated glory


And btw, the game is hard. Players are going to see the death animation far far more often than the 3 hour completion time. Note that even the "helmet off" win screen is an accomplishment if you can finish the game within 10-hours. You're likely going to play the game several times before you get a 3-hour run done.

Unless you think Samus's death animation is also a "reward for the player" (hint, it isn't)
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Re: Gamergate

Postby Xeio » Fri Nov 14, 2014 3:05 pm UTC

Intel reinstated ads on Gamasutra.

The denial is quite strong in some parts of the internet right now...

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Re: Gamergate

Postby ahammel » Fri Nov 14, 2014 3:13 pm UTC

Xeio wrote:Intel reinstated ads on Gamasutra.

The denial is quite strong in some parts of the internet right now...
What did they do to annoy gg, exactly?
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Re: Gamergate

Postby KnightExemplar » Fri Nov 14, 2014 3:31 pm UTC

I think this is a fair article on the subject of Intel, Gamasutra, and their relationship with #Gamergate.

http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/10/i ... gamasutra/
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Re: Gamergate

Postby Xeio » Wed Nov 19, 2014 4:01 am UTC

Oh gods, I can't resist bumping this thread.

GamerGate is now praising Jack Thompson.

Yes, you heard that right, they're now praising a man who literally tried to get some video games banned, and then was disbarred. But you know, "meanieheads" are totally worse! Because uh... cricitism is worse than literal government censorship...?

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Re: Gamergate

Postby KnightExemplar » Wed Nov 19, 2014 5:19 am UTC

That is indeed pretty weird.

Its also very weird to see Jack Thompson talk about the 1st amendment so much in a youtube video in person. Maybe he's a changed man? Or maybe he's just a hypocrite.
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Re: Gamergate

Postby Derek » Wed Nov 19, 2014 5:50 am UTC

Xeio wrote:Oh gods, I can't resist bumping this thread.

GamerGate is now praising Jack Thompson.

Yes, you heard that right, they're now praising a man who literally tried to get some video games banned, and then was disbarred. But you know, "meanieheads" are totally worse! Because uh... cricitism is worse than literal government censorship...?

Except for the part where, you know, they're not.

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Re: Gamergate

Postby Felstaff » Wed Nov 19, 2014 10:32 am UTC

LOL. Gamergaters totes love Angry Christian Disbarred Lawyer JT.

Now I'm older, I realise that the baying mob that cyberlynched Jack Thompson and others were no less assholish than he was. I was part of that mob, I think. I tore down a few conservative commentators for not really understanding the topic they were talking about. I'm not sorry I did that. However, had I seen even a mere glimpse of the extreme end of the wedge that Thompson was subjected to, I wouldn't have sided with this group of gamers. I'd have called them assholes and told them to grow up and stop being so pathetic, then stood a good 10-foot-pole distance away from them. That's roughly 10 feet.

This time around, with gamergate, I've done just that.

After watching the video, it's obvious that Jack Thompson (and the video makers) rather simplistically misrepresented Anita Sarkeesian. They read '[sexist] advertising directed specifically at young people needs to stop' as 'I am calling for the censorship of advertising'. I don't need to explain how those two things are different, because you have to be at least 13 to be part of these forums, and I figured if you're older than 13, you can understand that there's a difference.

Derek wrote:Except for the part where, you know, they're not.


A comment on Reddit says they're not? [pause for gasping noise]. Well, I just saw two comments on this very forum saying they are. That outweighs your source by 100%.
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Re: Gamergate

Postby leady » Wed Nov 19, 2014 11:05 am UTC

Felstaff wrote:After watching the video, it's obvious that Jack Thompson (and the video makers) rather simplistically misrepresented Anita Sarkeesian. They read '[sexist] advertising directed specifically at young people needs to stop' as 'I am calling for the censorship of advertising'. I don't need to explain how those two things are different, because you have to be at least 13 to be part of these forums, and I figured if you're older than 13, you can understand that there's a difference.
.


As you get even older you'll come to realise that when something "needs to stop" that invariably it actually means "I want to censor" even if there is a symantic difference :)

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Re: Gamergate

Postby KnightExemplar » Wed Nov 19, 2014 11:47 am UTC

Felstaff wrote:
Derek wrote:Except for the part where, you know, they're not.


A comment on Reddit says they're not? [pause for gasping noise]. Well, I just saw two comments on this very forum saying they are. That outweighs your source by 100%.


I should note that all of my sources that indicate Jack Thompson support are from GamerGhazi (which represents anti-#GamerGate). Leady's post is from KotakuInAction, which represents the #GamerGate movement as a primary source. So... yeah.

In any case, Jack Thompson disagreed with Anita Sarkeesian, GamerGate disagrees with Sarkeesian. So in this case, #GamerGate is agreeing with Jack Thompson. So even as a technicality, #GamerGate is most definitely agreeing with Jack Thompson. Making this case amusing to say the least.
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Re: Gamergate

Postby The Great Hippo » Wed Nov 19, 2014 12:17 pm UTC

leady wrote:As you get even older you'll come to realise that when something "needs to stop" that invariably it actually means "I want to censor" even if there is a symantic difference :)
No, it doesn't.

Words actually have meanings, y'know. If you ever get confused, you can even look them up in a dictionary!

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Re: Gamergate

Postby firechicago » Wed Nov 19, 2014 12:27 pm UTC

leady wrote:As you get even older you'll come to realise that when something "needs to stop" that invariably it actually means "I want to censor" even if there is a symantic difference :)

That's as good a summary of the gamergate position as I've seen anywhere. Criticism == censorship, whereas harassment with intent to silence is just part of free discourse.

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Re: Gamergate

Postby The Great Hippo » Wed Nov 19, 2014 12:32 pm UTC

firechicago wrote:
leady wrote:As you get even older you'll come to realise that when something "needs to stop" that invariably it actually means "I want to censor" even if there is a symantic difference :)

That's as good a summary of the gamergate position as I've seen anywhere. Criticism == censorship, whereas harassment with intent to silence is just part of free discourse.
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Re: Gamergate

Postby leady » Wed Nov 19, 2014 1:42 pm UTC

the meaning of words is frequently superceded by intent

That's as good a summary of the gamergate position as I've seen anywhere. Criticism == censorship, whereas harassment with intent to silence is just part of free discourse.


and on the otherside you have criticism == hate speech - I struggle to see the difference outside of personal subjectivity

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Re: Gamergate

Postby Xeio » Wed Nov 19, 2014 2:25 pm UTC

I'll continue to laugh at "Based Jack Thompson" or "Based Dad" tweets regardless of some post on Reddit.

It's just more fun that for the last 2-3 months they've been constantly comparing Sarkeesian to Thompson, and in their minds Sarkeesian is worse.

Worse than a man who said this about video games: "Murder simulators are not constitutionally protected speech. They’re not even speech. They’re dangerous physical appliances that teach a kid how to kill efficiently and to love it"

So uh, did he massively backpedal all that since he was thrown out of the law industry all those years ago?

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Re: Gamergate

Postby KnightExemplar » Wed Nov 19, 2014 2:35 pm UTC

Xeio wrote:Worse than a man who said this about video games: "Murder simulators are not constitutionally protected speech. They’re not even speech. They’re dangerous physical appliances that teach a kid how to kill efficiently and to love it"

So uh, did he massively backpedal all that since he was thrown out of the law industry all those years ago?


He's not a politician. He's a debarred lawyer. I was probably part of that internet hate machine vs Jack Thompson back then. I remember him strongly. I also remember that it was May 1999... 15 years ago when he said that. Not that I'm really "defending" him, but at some point, there has to be a statue of limitations on how far back you can criticize someone. Especially when that ridiculous behavior of his basically got him permanently-fired from his day job.

He can never be a lawyer again. I think the man has suffered enough punishment, and he is basically harmless at this point, now that he can't bring up ridiculous court cases.
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Re: Gamergate

Postby KrytenKoro » Wed Nov 19, 2014 2:44 pm UTC


"Felicia Day/Brianna Wu/anyone-that-GG-has-piled-on-to-at-any-point-ever agreed with AGG on the single point of "please let's not harass each other"! Clearly she is a leading member of AGG and deserves to be doxxed!"

"Jack Thompson appeared in a video with GG members spouting the party line, and many GG members are expressing agreement with his position in the video comments! How dare you suggest that we agree with him or are allied with him in any way!"

Seriously.

Do they hear themselves? What a bunch of two-faced snakes.

Not that I'm really "defending" him, but at some point, there has to be a statue of limitations on how far back you can criticize someone.


(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

...I really wish Gamergate believed that, too.

Especially when that ridiculous behavior of his basically got him permanently-fired from his day job.

vs. chased from their house, sent death/bomb/shooting/rape threats, etc.

He can never be a lawyer again. I think the man has suffered enough punishment, and he is basically harmless at this point, now that he can't bring up ridiculous court cases.

Has he backpedaled on the stuff he said? I mean, that wouldn't mean so much, since as Milo showed it's pretty easy for people like that to say whatever they need to to get people on their side, but as he at least given the impression of no longer thinking video games are the devil?

"meaniehead"s wrote articles about how the demeaning stereotype of the "pathetic gamer" is now definitively, demonstrably untrue, and were claimed to be attacking gamers. And in GG's crusade to take out the people saying "no really, gaming's open to everybody and gamers aren't bad people", they side with some incredibly heinous people who love to say "oh, no, it's not and they're all terrible." WTH?
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Re: Gamergate

Postby Xeio » Wed Nov 19, 2014 3:05 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:He's not a politician. He's a debarred lawyer. I was probably part of that internet hate machine vs Jack Thompson back then. I remember him strongly. I also remember that it was May 1999... 15 years ago when he said that. Not that I'm really "defending" him, but at some point, there has to be a statue of limitations on how far back you can criticize someone. Especially when that ridiculous behavior of his basically got him permanently-fired from his day job.

He can never be a lawyer again. I think the man has suffered enough punishment, and he is basically harmless at this point, now that he can't bring up ridiculous court cases.
I think most of us would have been happy to never bring him up again... except #GG just decided to pass him the megaphone.

I dunno, maybe he's really changed his ways. Maybe he repented all the things he said while nobody was paying attention to him, but from the video it sounds like he's just claiming he never wanted to ban violent games at all. So...

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Re: Gamergate

Postby KnightExemplar » Wed Nov 19, 2014 4:08 pm UTC

I'd hate to go in circles over this, but I think it comes down to my "interpretation" of #GamerGate is basically KotakuInAction and 8chan. The majority of "Jack Thompson" stuff I'm seeing is on reddit/GamerGhazi and Twitter... and mostly as criticism against #GamerGate. I think you can make a point on Twitter #GamerGaters, but I still don't like the idea of using Twitter as a primary means of identifying a crowd. I don't know why, but its what bothers me about this issue over and over.

I fully understand that the "he said / she said" politiking is central to the issue. This is a giant messy flame war after all... but really? The best source of information of "he said" is from Twitter? :roll: :roll:

Even within the Jack Thompson video, the general comments are split. I don't see praise one way or the other. I have to dredge up Twitter crap before I see solid Jack Thompson support. The majority are all like "wtf you doing talking to Jack Thompson" ?? Any support is generally in the form of appreciating the journalism work to go out and actually interview this guy (neutral with regards to Jack Thompson. I think we can agree that the interview was interesting enough to make news).

There's some in the minority like "Bojan Milankovic" in the Youtube comments.
It's true. I recall reading some quotes of his a looong time ago that were perhaps disagreeable at the time, but upon reflection they're nothing compared to the stuff Anita spews.


But going through the comments, opinions like his are definitely in the minority. (And as abysmal as Youtube comments are, at least they're more than 140 characters... and are composed of complete sentences).

We've got the KotakuInAction link from Leady, to see what #GamerGate thinks over there. As for 8chan...

Spoiler:
Image


Yeah, they're not too hot about Jack Thompson either.
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Re: Gamergate

Postby The Great Hippo » Wed Nov 19, 2014 8:03 pm UTC

leady wrote:the meaning of words is frequently superceded by intent
So, do you know Anita Sarkeesian's intent? Better yet: Do you know my intent when I say that you need to stop thinking 'you need to stop this' == 'we need to censor this'?

Now that I've said this, is it your belief that I intend to try and censor you?

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Re: Gamergate

Postby firechicago » Thu Nov 20, 2014 12:28 am UTC

Just for the record, internet hate had nothing to do with Jack Thompson's disbarment. He was disbarred for filing frivolous lawsuits and engaging in bizarre behavior like attaching hardcore pornography to pleadings (and not in cases where pornography might be relevant). Asking whether he's been punished enough for his views is irrelevant, because his punishment had nothing to do with his views and everything to do with his professional actions. And disbarment is only partially intended as a punishment for the disbarred, equally important is protecting potential clients by weeding out lawyers who are demonstrably incompetent and/or insane.

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Re: Gamergate

Postby Puppyclaws » Thu Nov 20, 2014 6:49 am UTC

http://www.polygon.com/2014/11/17/72358 ... -they-live

I think this is my favorite metaphor so far for what GG is.

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Re: Gamergate

Postby Forest Goose » Thu Nov 20, 2014 8:42 am UTC

Puppyclaws wrote:http://www.polygon.com/2014/11/17/7235801/game-criticism-ideology-gamergate-and-they-live

I think this is my favorite metaphor so far for what GG is.


That's not a very impressive article, the author seems to be confusing subtext and critical content with the content having an effect on the viewer; those are very different things. I can read Tolkien all day, never denying the industrial subtext underpinning Saruman and his armies, and yet never be more receptive to green policies as a result. I'm not a gamergater - I'm not an anything - but denying that Call of Duty will make you more receptive to armed conflicts is not the same as denying that there is a subtext about war in the game, nor is it denying that that can be discussed; I don't know if gamergaters deny the latter, but denying the former certainly does not entail denying the latter.
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Re: Gamergate

Postby Zamfir » Thu Nov 20, 2014 9:10 am UTC

As your local pedant, I question the use of the word 'subtext' when it comes to warfare and the Call of Duty series. :?

In the same vein, Top Gear does not have a subtextual treatment of automobiles, nor my bank statements of money.

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Re: Gamergate

Postby The Great Hippo » Thu Nov 20, 2014 12:26 pm UTC

Forest Goose wrote:That's not a very impressive article, the author seems to be confusing subtext and critical content with the content having an effect on the viewer; those are very different things. I can read Tolkien all day, never denying the industrial subtext underpinning Saruman and his armies, and yet never be more receptive to green policies as a result. I'm not a gamergater - I'm not an anything - but denying that Call of Duty will make you more receptive to armed conflicts is not the same as denying that there is a subtext about war in the game, nor is it denying that that can be discussed; I don't know if gamergaters deny the latter, but denying the former certainly does not entail denying the latter.
My takeaway wasn't that you had to agree with the author about Call of Duty making you more receptive to war -- just that Call of Duty does have something to say about the way we as a culture perceive war.

So the claim, then, is that GG doesn't think we should be interested in what Call of Duty tells us about cultural tropes; we should treat it only as a fun video game.

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Re: Gamergate

Postby addams » Thu Nov 20, 2014 12:37 pm UTC

Puppyclaws wrote:http://www.polygon.com/2014/11/17/7235801/game-criticism-ideology-gamergate-and-they-live

I think this is my favorite metaphor so far for what GG is.

I read this stuff.
I listen to Real 3D People.

I think. Opinions form.
Like all other Internet people,
No idea is too stupid to post.

What I think at this moment:
The men and women that have exposed themselves to Violent Games over and over have done something to both their Brains and their Minds.

These men and women have crippled themselves.
Like Real Solders that have seen Real Action.

No one is left unaffected.
No one.

I can see a parallel between Violent Games and Alcohalism.
Loads of people drink alcohol every day, a little bit.

Many of those people might miss it, if they stopped.
They would not threaten, fight and kill for it.

There is a group, that often self identifies, that thinks of alcohol as a Big Damn Deal.
These Gamers are like a bunch of Alcoholics. Alcoholics that want stronger drink.

There is an Up Side.
If need arose these people would not be paralyzed by indecision in 3D in the Real World.
I'd fucking hesitate before killing or crippling another human being. Gamers are pre-trained.
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Re: Gamergate

Postby KrytenKoro » Thu Nov 20, 2014 2:39 pm UTC

I'm kinda confused about this constant insistance that media don't have an effect on how you view the world. Are most of them convincing enough to have you go in "rah rah, peace for the world!" and come out "shoot all the foreigners!"? No, not really. But come on, the entire point of the game is to be immersive. I mean, I read OSC's Ender's Game as a kid, and that philosophy of "do what you have to to not be in danger", if not actually becoming my main viewpoint, was still a facet of how I analyzed situations for a long time after. I read LotR, and the theme of "the brightness is leaving the world, never to return" stuck with me for a long time.

Even the studies discussed earlier -- no, they don't necessarily demonstrate that playing video games corralates with an increase in physical violence, but surely we're not claiming that the results were entirely faked? The audience is absolutely engaging with the viewpoint the game's espouse after playing with them -- whether that ends up redefining how they view the world is a completely separate matter, and would take studies over a period of years to determine.

The idea that, at best, media is a colorful way to dress up an argument, but isn't immersive or engaging at all...seems wildly unrealistic to recorded history, and makes it seem like you're saying art has no emotional impact at all. Depressing.
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Re: Gamergate

Postby ahammel » Thu Nov 20, 2014 2:48 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:My takeaway wasn't that you had to agree with the author about Call of Duty making you more receptive to war -- just that Call of Duty does have something to say about the way we as a culture perceive war.

So the claim, then, is that GG doesn't think we should be interested in what Call of Duty tells us about cultural tropes; we should treat it only as a fun video game.

This amounts to an insistence that video games not be taken seriously as an art form.

I mean, if people are going to treat video games like art, some of them are going to notice that some of them are quite shitty art. That's going to cause some push-back, especially among the kind of person who doesn't value that aspect of video games.
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Re: Gamergate

Postby KnightExemplar » Thu Nov 20, 2014 3:05 pm UTC

Continuing with this war metaphor then. Do people think GamerGaters are against games like "This War of Mine" ?? "This War of Mine" is an indie video game played similarly to "The Sims", except it takes place in a war-torn country. You manage survivors who need to dig through rubble to find other survivors, get raided by roaming gangs of thugs. Few people have weapon skills. The game itself is based on events that transpired in "Siege of Sarajevo". You win if you manage to survive till the end of the siege (within the game, the siege length is random, but somewhere between 40 and 60 days).

I've found threads on 4chan/v/ that discuss "This War of Mine" pretty deeply, at least from a gameplay perspective. So... once again, I'm kinda curious where people are getting this idea of what #GamerGaters are against. Or if this is just writers who are continuing the echochamber of GamerGhazi.

I will say that the Polygon article at least attempts to frame #GamerGate in a new way, but I'm still not convinced with its argument. #GamerGate can be against particular forms of criticism without being against criticism in general.
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Re: Gamergate

Postby natraj » Thu Nov 20, 2014 3:21 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:I've found threads on 4chan/v/ that discuss "This War of Mine" pretty deeply, at least from a gameplay perspective.


i do not think you quite understood the point. nobody at all is arguing that anybody is reluctant to delve very deeply into the gameplay merits of games. the article was discussing the backlash against the critical analysis of games from a point of view of analysing their artistic merit/meaning/cultural messages/etc. i do not think anyone at all is going to argue with you that gamergaters are 100% okay with very deep analysis of the gameplay of games.
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Re: Gamergate

Postby Puppyclaws » Thu Nov 20, 2014 3:26 pm UTC

Forest Goose wrote:
Puppyclaws wrote:http://www.polygon.com/2014/11/17/7235801/game-criticism-ideology-gamergate-and-they-live

I think this is my favorite metaphor so far for what GG is.


That's not a very impressive article, the author seems to be confusing subtext and critical content with the content having an effect on the viewer; those are very different things. I can read Tolkien all day, never denying the industrial subtext underpinning Saruman and his armies, and yet never be more receptive to green policies as a result. I'm not a gamergater - I'm not an anything - but denying that Call of Duty will make you more receptive to armed conflicts is not the same as denying that there is a subtext about war in the game, nor is it denying that that can be discussed; I don't know if gamergaters deny the latter, but denying the former certainly does not entail denying the latter.


1. Your first claim is arguable at best; you are saying there are not subtle influences. Most people say this (or they say something to the effect of sure, advertisements have an effect on people, but they don't affect me); scientific research says otherwise. Also, it is about subtext and context. CoD exists in a culture that broadly accepts war as necessary, and in which voices which oppose war in general are not taken seriously, and as the author points out in a world where his own children have never been alive at a time when the United States was not at war. This is very different from considering CoD in a vacuum (as GG wishes we would).

2. Gamergate is all about denying the existence of subtext and that this is something that can be discussed, which is the point. It is about denying the existence of any subtext at all. GG is constantly beating this drum. It is about not accepting the idea of critical analysis, and framing critical analysis as "corruption in journalism."

Zamfir wrote:As your local pedant, I question the use of the word 'subtext' when it comes to warfare and the Call of Duty series. :?

In the same vein, Top Gear does not have a subtextual treatment of automobiles, nor my bank statements of money.


Text: War happens; war is sometimes necessary.

Subtext: war is about good guys taking out bad guys; the United States are the good guys in the conflicts they are fighting/have fought; support our troops.

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Re: Gamergate

Postby Forest Goose » Thu Nov 20, 2014 6:10 pm UTC

@Puppyclaws

Gamergate can be about what ever it wants - if that is their opinion, then that's not a very good one - my point wasn't defending their points (supposing you are correct), but that the article seems to be confusing two separate things (at least that's how I'm seeing it). My problem isn't "Nuh uh, gamergaters are right", my problem is, "There's more than two sides to this, just because there's an extreme negative reaction to this specific group, we should still be critical of swallowing the opposite message in our rush to not stand for death threats and hatespeech and other nonsense". For a more extreme example: after 9/11 people were so quick to throw away freedom because they wanted to be anti-terrorist, there was a conflation of criticizing the new security measures and not being appalled at what happened - I get a subtle impression that disagreeing with several of the "opposed to gamergaters" group's views is becoming "supports gamergaters", I don't like that - in the same way that I've seen people assume that disagreeing with various feminist arguments is supporting the most stupid of MRA's, and other such. Just because a movement is in the wrong, doesn't make the opposition anymore correct by virtue of that alone, yet there seems to be some instinctual urge that it is so; I think both sides have some merit to some of their claims, but, honestly, there is a lot of bullshit coming from both ends, and the truths are, as usual, somewhere in the middle. (This isn't all aimed at you, or this thread, just a general trend in people arguing that I've noticed and is the reason I'm quick to complain - I don't bitch much about the gg'ers, because the areas they are stupid in are quite apparent already to anyone capable of being convinced).

My point isn't some strawman "Media never influences us ever", but "Media isn't controlling, it is persuasive and reflective". For example, I would argue that CoD exists because of our culture and its interest in war; not that CoD is going to make us more accepting of war by accepting it, but those that are accepting of its message, are so precisely because so many in our culture of accepting of our war that the viewer, probably, is too. And, moreover, that CoD arises from our cultures interest in war - in analogy: rap music doesn't inspire gangs, gangs inspire rap music.

I'm also not dismissing that media can have an effect on the viewer, but I am not accepting that that entails that that effect is a change in attitudes. If watching a movie of someone punching a dog raises my adrenaline level, that is an effect, my mood will be different immediately following viewing that; however, that does not mean that I will suddenly be more receptive to punching dogs, nor that I will want to punch dogs myself. Indeed, it may put me in the mood to want to punch dog punchers - and if it glorified it, it would probably do so all the more - for a few minutes, then I would go back to normal (and, no, I would not suddenly be inclined to violently seek out dog punchers either). Contrived analogy aside: our responses to media are going to include some immediate effect, that's why we watch, but that does not mean that it will shift our attitudes and beliefs, nor does it mean that we will all respond in sync with what is shown (glorified violence in movies doesn't make me think "I want to do that", it makes me think "How horrible that happened, I wish such things were never necessary"; other people may respond entirely differently, there's probably a whole spectrum - it doesn't appear media is persuading us to its depiction, but that it is making us think about our position on what is depicted and how.)

KrytenKoro wrote:I'm kinda confused about this constant insistance that media don't have an effect on how you view the world. Are most of them convincing enough to have you go in "rah rah, peace for the world!" and come out "shoot all the foreigners!"? No, not really. But come on, the entire point of the game is to be immersive. I mean, I read OSC's Ender's Game as a kid, and that philosophy of "do what you have to to not be in danger", if not actually becoming my main viewpoint, was still a facet of how I analyzed situations for a long time after. I read LotR, and the theme of "the brightness is leaving the world, never to return" stuck with me for a long time.


Something being persuasive and having impact are not the same as assuming that all media is somehow propaganda for its content. Being exposed to something will cause you to think, to reflect on it, etc. Of course it is going to have some impact, of course it is going to cause you to acquire new perspectives, that does not mean that it is capable of silently shifting you towards them. That LotR has a compelling theme is because it is compelling to the people reading it - I know plenty of people who plowed through the trilogy and walked away bored, or who thought it was a bunch of droning moralizing nonsense, or who thought it was racist and nationalistic,or thought etc. Everyone was affected differently, in a way that made sense to them; the work presents something, we respond to that something.

Media is unique in that it is both emotional and presenting an argument - and while it is suggestive of such, it is not necessarily the case that those things in tandem will cause us to accept messages we are not receptive towards already. If I spend a day reading Chic Tracts (and I have), I don't walk away suddenly more open to fundamentalist Christianity, I walked away less receptive, a little horrified, and an odd mix of both amused and bemused - put those in the hands of a different audience, and they're more hellfire and brimstone than ever. Did the work have an effect? Absolutely. Did it cause either opinion? Not in a sneaky way; in a direct way, it caused us to think about what we were seeing. It's the same way that subliminal messages don't actually work, but watching an ad can.
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Re: Gamergate

Postby leady » Thu Nov 20, 2014 6:13 pm UTC

Call of Duty makes people pro war? and more specifically pro "good guys" in war?

shit that means everyone who played counterstrike is a walking timebomb of terrorist intent or does the fact you are half good and half bad in that game balance out?

or is it that these subtle influences are so subtle as to be undetectable :)

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Re: Gamergate

Postby The Great Hippo » Thu Nov 20, 2014 6:34 pm UTC

leady wrote:Call of Duty makes people pro war? and more specifically pro "good guys" in war?

shit that means everyone who played counterstrike is a walking timebomb of terrorist intent or does the fact you are half good and half bad in that game balance out?

or is it that these subtle influences are so subtle as to be undetectable :)

If that's your takeaway from the linked article, then I think that this topic may be a bit over your head. ;)

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Re: Gamergate

Postby KrytenKoro » Thu Nov 20, 2014 11:20 pm UTC

Forest Goose wrote:My point isn't some strawman "Media never influences us ever", but "Media isn't controlling, it is persuasive and reflective". For example, I would argue that CoD exists because of our culture and its interest in war; not that CoD is going to make us more accepting of war by accepting it, but those that are accepting of its message, are so precisely because so many in our culture of accepting of our war that the viewer, probably, is too. And, moreover, that CoD arises from our cultures interest in war - in analogy: rap music doesn't inspire gangs, gangs inspire rap music.

This is simplistic and, sadly, unrealistic. Media absolutely has a feedback effect -- media that is too much in conflict with the zeitgeist will likely have a weak effect, but there is definitely an effect. Heck, while we're talking about gansters -- The Godfather had a well-known effect on gangsters, influencing them revise how they acted, and also being useful as a recruiting tool.

Being exposed to something will cause you to think, to reflect on it, etc. Of course it is going to have some impact, of course it is going to cause you to acquire new perspectives, that does not mean that it is capable of silently shifting you towards them.

I think you're arguing against what you see as a claim that media serves as highly effective propoganda to the point of zombifying even those vehemently opposed to its message.

I don't think we, or the article, are claiming that. But what we are claiming is that it definitely has a real, measurable effect -- smaller in some people, in rare circumstances in fact negative, but still real. And, put simply, history bears that out. Propoganda does, in fact, work. Is it straight up impossible-to-resist mind control? No, but I don't think even Jack Thompson was arguing that much.

I mean...memes exist. Teaching, as a concept, works. It is, in fact, possible to instill viewpoints or opinions in people by communicating with them -- and it is possible to manipulate those viewpoints and opinions through skillful control of what communication is recieved.

If I spend a day reading Chic Tracts (and I have), I don't walk away suddenly more open to fundamentalist Christianity, I walked away less receptive, a little horrified, and an odd mix of both amused and bemused - put those in the hands of a different audience, and they're more hellfire and brimstone than ever.

Very simply, where do you think your predispositions for or against Chic Tracts came from?
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Re: Gamergate

Postby leady » Fri Nov 21, 2014 11:18 am UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:
leady wrote:Call of Duty makes people pro war? and more specifically pro "good guys" in war?

shit that means everyone who played counterstrike is a walking timebomb of terrorist intent or does the fact you are half good and half bad in that game balance out?

or is it that these subtle influences are so subtle as to be undetectable :)

If that's your takeaway from the linked article, then I think that this topic may be a bit over your head. ;)


I think its a fair reflection of the assertion that media generates detectable effects in the real world and one that has persisted since the first bible ran off the printing press. Sure new concepts exposed through media can cause people to think, but I've never seen any plausible study that implies that for for example playing fps shooters makes people violent. The best I've seen is that constant exposure can desensitise the consumer (shrug) or generate a short term spike. The far more rigourous studies tend to show that actual exposure to media has a suppressive effect on the people that enact these things in meat space.

That is to say that that the stronger argument is for worse stuff in media, not their sanitisation - I never see that argument put forward though because the point is political not outcome based.

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Re: Gamergate

Postby jestingrabbit » Fri Nov 21, 2014 11:52 am UTC

I thought this article was quite interesting.

http://creativetimereports.org/2014/11/ ... gamergate/
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Re: Gamergate

Postby KnightExemplar » Fri Nov 21, 2014 2:13 pm UTC

I recognize sexism in MMOs, in particular that the majority of female avatars are controlled by male players, and "Bikini Armor" is often the only choice in armor for female avatars.

However, I did play "Guild Wars 2" for a few months, and there was at least one kick-ass commanders in the WvW Chat who were clearly female. You see, hardcore MMO players join Mumble or Teamspeak servers, because voice chat is much much quicker than typing things out. And when coordinating groups of 20 to 30 people, its best to have one person chosen as a commander. Inside of Guild Wars, a "Commander Tag" provides a point of organization. At the time, it cost 100 Gold (aka 1,000,000 Copper or roughly $50 real-world dollars) to become a commander (Though I hear the price has been raised to 300 Gold / $150 real world). Typically, commanders log into Teamspeak and command the group through voice.

There was at least one good female commander that I followed every now and then. As far as WvW goes, there were only about 6 or 7 "regular" commanders on the server who would log in. So I'd place the male:female ratio to be approximately 6:1. At least during commanding, I never noticed any negative behavior towards the one female commander. There are always stories about the female who logs into voice chat and gets immediately harassed by everyone else... I never really experienced that. We all just wanted to raid towers and keeps, control maps and so forth. But, as those stories exist, it makes it difficult to talk to anyone about sexism within a video game. Besides, you're all off trying to accomplish a goal. (Commander gotta command. And eating up valuable chat-time when the Commander is attempting to lead 20 to 30 others to talk about sexism is just... bad form)

There were a few other female commanders who focused on organizing PvE stuff, but I never was a big PvE player. I've also come across plenty of non-commander females in random parties / dungeons. I mostly played Guild Wars WvW. I will note that Guild Wars 2 is known for having a better community than WoW. So I can imagine that sexism can be better or worse depending on which game (and even which server within a game) you join.

---------

It may very well be the fact that certain video games (such as Guild Wars 2) attract females because the art-style projects a more accepting community. While "Bikini Armor" still exists in GW2, it is possible to play relatively well armored female characters without exposing virtual tits and ass all over the place. And indeed, the few females I have come across were Guardian Class. But... a LOT of people play Guardian class... because they're so fucking good in WvW. FYI, I was Male Guardian "Char" (lion-people).

As I played for months as a Guardian, I will note that there are "revealing armor" drops for Guardians. (Gladiator Armor in particular). But the particular armor is revealing for both male and female characters, so I consider this an "equal opportunity" dress in the great scheme of things. You can indeed run around as a "Heavy armor" class looking like a Chip-and-Dale male stripper if you so desire.

And even if you choose "Light Armor" classes (which for females starts off with a fair amount of skin), there are drops in the game that offer relatively modest dress if you so desire.

Elementalists deal the highest damage in the game, and also receive the most damage and have the lowest HP stat. They're the "Glass Cannon" of the game if you will. The majority of "Bikini Armor" I've seen is from Elementalists, which sorta makes sense actually. (less armor == receive more damage for once)
Last edited by KnightExemplar on Fri Nov 21, 2014 2:45 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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