Trev joined on Jul 25th, 2011, since that has made 758 posts that are still accessible today, 52 of which are threads. Helping shape the community, Trev has given 907 upvotes, and was last online on Nov 25th, 2015.
I guess the most simple way to put my actual feelings on the matter as opposed to my debate stance on the matter is -- it's great that Sarkeesian wants to put together these videos. It's good that people are willing to give her money to do it.
Now, I feel like you have straw-manned me on at least one point. I did not argue that the problem is the demographic; rather the problem is the writers. The demographic only further the problem via supply and demand. I suppose it is, in a practical world, too much to ask that every single video game writer stand on principle because the one guy who is still making airheaded gunslingers with double-H cup breasts in all of his games will gain audience. You can fix writers, but it's going to take a lot more to fix manchildren, and the next titties-and-guns video game writer to come along will just scrape up the market share.
That doesn't make me feel like it's any less wrong, because it is still socially unjust. But I, for one, can't craft a solution for it.
Secondly, about the idea of chivalry: we seem to have been referring to different things using this word, so let us discard it. This confusion does not serve this discussion well. I will continue to speak about the many contradictions of the "aggregate ideal." And I don't think you can shoulder the blame for the "aggregate ideal" entirely on men, nor can you say it would be as simple for men to stop posturing and let it all go away.
Society at large, both male and female, shuns the unmanly man. Educated society shuns the man who is too masculine. And stories and tropes reinforce the idea of the aggressive, athletic, posturing, brave, stubborn man, at the same time that scholarly thought has created an ideal of an egalitarian, well-read and well-spoken, studious and liberal gentleman. Women also have to deal with the contradictions between the "ideal wife material" and the "enlightened human". The sad business is that both men and women in 2012 have to deal with both sets of contradictory expectations.
I could wax at length on the dichotomy between the human "alpha male" and a reasonably enlightened male human being, but I don't think that's germane. To my next point.
It has been discussed before, and most people are probably aware that portrayals of females in video games are caricatured. Then again, so are portrayals of men. That doesn't make "portrayals of women" any less valid of a discussion point.
However, it's not somehow bad to look at things from the other perspective too. The fact that you personally don't believe it's as big of an issue doesn't make it any less valid of an inquiry, scientifically speaking, to discuss how society's (and, by extension, women's) expectations for what a man should be shape the young male psyche through media.
I do not feel like either of these series will be an inquiry, though. They both seem like prime soapboxing opportunities to reaffirm either party's agenda, and the Amens in the form of dollars keep pouring in.
Now here is the biggest itch to scratch. I am not so much worried about the principles at stake here. I am an egalitarian and believe all men should be treated equally until scientific evidence proves otherwise. If this film stands to advance that, I am not opposed. If it through some machination or perversion of the message does not stand to advance that, I am opposed. But one thing I am opposed to is dishonest money-grubbing, and I will be EXTREMELY disappointed if the production value of these films does not reflect their price tag.
Who stands to gain? Sarkeesian. She's not "rolling in money" but she definitely stands to gain. She may gain far more than she advances human knowledge and the actual discussion at stake. And I think, more than the proper issue being discussed, that's what has upset people.
@Paratoxical: none other than that they must be marked NSFW.
I'd like to formally introduce you all to Zeon Federated's new project, Artists&Clients. It is a sales platform for art commissions. We are very proud of how well-rounded and functional it's become.
Comments and questions welcome!
@DarkChaplain: aww yeah!
Anyway, I don't really care for Kotaku, but Kirk Hamilton makes a great point here about how Morrowind really set the bar for action RPG soundtracks.
But if you don't want to give Kotaku your money, that's fine. I'll repost the music he linked to right here.www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=mtDYUV-UMtQ www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=VPw1nJxMvS0 www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=wZjnnEApRTE
and another iconic song, but sadly one almost never listened to all the way through in this particular incarnation:www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNqDE3im8fg
Though as far as the Elder Scrolls theme goes, I like all three versions.
@DarkChaplain: as long as you pick at least one track from Total Annihilation too, you've got yourself a deal
I am a huge fan of Jeremy Soule's music from the Elder Scrolls series. I'd just like to share two of my favorite ambient tracks with you.
This one "Wind Guide You" is a newer version of "Minstrel's Lament" from Oblivion that is used on the Skyrim soundtrack.www.youtube.com/watch?v=tP4VtM-bTXQ
And this one "The Jerall Mountains" is the adventure theme from Morrowind, also used in Skyrim. Oh, the nostalgia ;_;
So guys, feel free to find your favorite songs from the series (or just any music from Jeremy Soule) and post them here.
Well, you see. Representations of women in video games are often sexist and caricatured because the primary audience of many action and RPG games is young men 13 to 25 years of age, and the writers of those games are usually that same audience but up to a generation older. It's a kind of targeted immaturity.
It's the same targeted immaturity and suspension of disbelief that creates the exaggerated male characters, too. It would be a disservice to say that the feminist complaint is unjust, because realistically, it is a very valid complaint. But it is also inappropriate contextualization to say that (or act as if) the problem only applies to female characterizations. The problem is poorly-written and simplistic characters; sexism is one of many contributing factors.
It is, in my opinion, intellectually dishonest to use this issue as a soapbox for a slanted documentary and worse yet to use the self-aggrandizement of fringe groups as a means to a paycheck. Whether the author is simply exploiting the issue or is genuinely convinced that this is a social ill that needs redress, I cannot say.
In retrospect, that sounds like the video's argument, but in much less condescending terms.
Furthermore, one thing that you and I wholeheartedly agree on is the need for people to educate themselves on gender and sexuality issues. It would make people more considerate, and that is never a bad thing. Where we might differ is my emphasis on asking "Who stands to gain?" any time one is presented with unsolicited information.
Additionally, I'm not following your comparison to The White Man's Burden. Is there a fair comparison between a jingoistic and juvenile poem written at the end of the 19th century and modern dissatisfaction with the aggregate ideal of masculine perfection? I can't quite tell what sort of comparison you're trying to draw, or if you're merely invoking a left-handed insult.
Why is it not okay to take an egalitarian approach and reverse the genders? What makes men taking notes on misandrist tropes in media a bad thing, and women taking notes on misogynist tropes in media a good thing?
It's probably not as important to your worldview. But I feel like the conflicting images that the media presents about what a "real man" is, and their portrayal of what women expect from a man deserve some serious scrutiny, too. I am -not- happy with society's contradictory expectations for men, and I am not happy with women (or female characters written by any gender) who reinforce them. It's not any less legitimate just because you perceive it as a lesser cause.
How would you feel if -- let's not say your gender, let's say your race or your family, or any other group you belong to -- were constantly portrayed as being anti-intellectual, violent, stubborn, and lascivious? That would sure seem unjust if you took a minute to think about it. And yet that same machismo is the High Fructose Corn Syrup of young adult entertainment. It's pervasive and it's unhealthy. And simultaneously those same men are expected to be worldly, wealthy, chivalrous, clever, brave, practical, rough around the edges, well dressed, careful and careless simultaneously.
There's nothing wrong with putting the shoe on the other foot. Equality is equality, and it goes both ways.
So, what I'm gathering from your argument is that you don't believe that the trope reversal is as bad as the trope, correct? Could you explain in more detail what makes skylighting stereotypically masculine behavior (as harmful or ineffective behavior) an acceptable trope in media?
@Ecstasy I used to think that it worked like that. It turns out that people are so different and so fickle, that there's no way to cheater-proof yourself except to not pick cheaters.