Characters in games are usually portrayed the same as characters in movies, how many action movies have you seen where the main male character is physically tough person with a staunch personality.
Boy oh boy, it's been a long time hasn't it? I can't really remember the last time I fired up my writingtyping fingers but I'm glad I did, for I will educate the Gamespot masses about how to properly think about sexism in video game play thingys. However, before anything else, I would like to address that this blog is not something to be taken seriously, but I would really like it if you did because I mean every single last word of the following blog post.
SEXISM: AN INTRODUCTION
Sexism is something that has been around since the dawn of bra burning, when the first woman who was tired of sitting in the back of the bus climbed atop the blue line to Montgomery Ave. and declared all notions of gender differences moot; culminating in an event that scientists usually call "that crazy woman atop the bus waving around something on fire and making everyone really nervous." Later on, in the days of Jimmy Carter, sexism would evolve into looking back at Humphrey Bogart films and sneering at his suave, attractive demeanor, a practice that can still be observed to this day whenever Casablanca comes on public television.
Today, sexism is known as not really liking the a person who doesn't have the same dangly (or non-dangly...or kinda dangly?) parts as you, making it akin to racism but with dangly/non-dangly/halfway-dangly things (which will be grouped together as "doongleys" for the sake of convenience).
Doongley Hate and Video Games
Doongleys in video games have been something that has been discussed numerous times over the history of some YouTube videos and article comments, as this graph clearly shows:
The inclusion of lines is clearly indicative of their tendency to zigzag, showing how attitudes toward doongleys have changed over time; the top and bottom lines being an exercise in individual interpretation as to who is on top and who is on the bottom. Come to think of it, I think I kind of see strange images from the two lines, but that is clearly none of my concern as the most accurate interpretation of the graph's content comes from the fact that I'm dragging this on too long.
Video games and lady peoples are one of the hottest issues in sexism today (if you're into that kind of thing) with prime examples being Bayonetta, Master Chief and Q-Bert. Bayonetta, in terms of how she stands in the grand scheme of gender equality, is somehow seen as a detriment to the image of women because she never cuts her hair (making her get really bad gigantic dragon tangles that eat godzilla villians) when, in reality, she is clearly a misunderstood Jeanne d'Arc for her time, showing that she can be almost completely naked all the time and bouncing around with her sweet, round...
erm, where was I? Oh, right: Master Chief. Master Chief is seen as an additional detriment to the state of women in video games because he sets the standard for men to completely cover themselves up and still somehow make a lot of money off teenage boys, unlike Samus who needs to take her turtle shell suit off every once in a Team Ninja to sell some copies. Quite frankly, I don't see how this is sexist due to the fact that it's more homophobic than anything, what with all the homosexual epithets hurled like candy in a parade when you go online. If there's any Sexism to be had in Halo 4: Never Showing Your Faceathon, it's that Cortana isn't completely stark naked with glowy things on her chest to make her look like Madonna covered in neon paint. On that note, I am forced to talk about my last subject: Q-Bert.
Q-Bert is the most disgusting example of sexism in the entire gaming universe (in fact, maybe in everything ever). Q-Bert, as everyone knows him, is a ball with legs who clearly resembles the male end of the doongley spectrum, hopping around like a territorial, testosterone-filled jerk who has to obsessively make sure that everything is the same color because he also happens to be a racist.
(not to mention the swearing)
How, in today's world, can something like Q-Bert be seen as acceptable, even making its way into beloved Disney movies like Wreck-it-Ralph? I, for one, was appalled at his inclusion in the film, showing that the industry simply wants a paycheck and doesn't care that they're pushing a racist, misogynistic, profanity-spewing sphere with legs onto newer generations of child persons. Indeed, the future looks bleak.
Sexism in the video game industry is something that will continue to persist whether you like it or not, given that there will always be somebody who will cry injustice on even the smallest of things. I mean sure, there's Dead or Alive with all the women having gigantic, heaving, oh...oh yea-erm what I mean yeah objectifying women is bad but hey, what can be done about it? I guess there would have to be an influx of women in the industry, but even that doesn't matter when most of the consumer base with the most money are those guys who keep yelling means things at me every time I go online to play one round of a game because, you know, I had a long day and need to relax, I don't need the same crap at the office happening to me when I get home, I mean come on.
Wait, where was I? Oh yeah, doongleys or something. Keep an eye on yours and don't hate other people for theirs.
Have a nice day or else I will be sad.
I can't tell if the people writing serious comments are actually serious or pulling my leg.
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It's sad to see the misogyny rife in the gaming community. No wonder we have so many games with horrible story-lines and non-existent character development; many of the people aren't developed. Until the gaming community proves it is mature and intelligent enough, gaming, at least for the most part, really shouldn't be taken that seriously.
@morgan_gibson87 I personally blame negative role models like Lara Croft, what with her Madonna pixel cone chest balloons and terrible controls.
@morgan_gibson87 So wait, misogyny is causing these horrible story lines and non-existent character development? Not the fact that we bought these games with crap stories and keep buying the games with crap stories, which encourages companies to keep making games with crap storylines?
These two things have no causation, and no correlation. There is no argument to be made there.
Ok that was a great blog lol. Filled with humor and kind of poking fun at the fact that its 2012 and people still cannot get over their own opinions and accept the fact that people out there just don't always feel the same way you do. We do not need rules and regulations to fulfill the need of a loud minority of people that in my opinion just live to complain about something. Mainly because their lives are miserable and they want to make sure every one else suffers too. I always stick to the same tired statement when it comes to things in the entertainment industry that we have the OPTION to watch, play, acquire, or be involved with: You don't like it, you don't have to be involved. Do something else with your time. However, don't you dare tell me what I can and cannot do in my own time because your narrow minded opinion. GET. OVER. YOURSELVES.
People complain about how women are portrayed in games. But look at the male characters. They're often potrayed in this unrealistic, "male power fantasy" way that makes the audience appear juvenile.
Just putting these hulking, alpha male protagonists (Kratos, Gears of War, CoD...) in most games is kinda' insulting to the male audience. It's as if the devs/publishers are saying, "We know you're feeble and insecure. So come get your egocentric, power fantasy!" Being 36 years old, and comfortable with myself, I'm put off by alot of it.
@nate1222 The game sells if the characters are BADASS
In other words: male power fantasy; adolescent insecurities.
@nate1222 Yeah but what can you do?Kids joining the rmy to become Captain Price or Soap MacTavish.
@nate1222 I for one hope we never see a sea of Hope's (FF13) and Shinji (Neon Genesis Evangaleon) as male game leads, that'd probably make me quit right there.
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We sure as Hell don't need whiny emo kids. I feel as though that has been to the detriment of Japanese RPGs since FFX.
Characters like FFVII's Cloud Strife or Max Payne are good ones. They're not some hulking, unstoppable, tough guy types. But they're not whiny, pent up bubble gummers either. Alan Wake and Leon Kenedy (RE2, RE4) are some other good ones.
this whole sexism thing in general is just nonsense...we could all complain about the sexist stereotyping of men in video games "why are all men portrayed as violent, filthy, drinking, brawley bustards.?" i lost a LOT of respect for those participating in this whole sexist bs on gamespot. really nonsense that i honestly think most women are beyond today...
@philMcCrevis Because women are disproportionately the ones exploited, marginalised and oppressed. Why the hell would you have a dialogue about the similar experiences of white men? For white men, there are not SYSTEMATIC issues at play...
In my opinion, the sudden upheaval about sexism is games is mostly political correct nonsense. Men en women are not the same and they never will be, we each have our pro's en con's. So if you would tailor games to always fit both tastes, you would end up with the same garbage they nowadays have for day time cartoons. In my younger days (read the 80ties) you had specific cartoon series for boys. With lots of violence and muscular role models. But Nooo! You would want to imprint any sexual difference on the young, so lets serve them responsible pedagogical crap like Totally Spies.
@Hastur You have confused treating women like people with being bad. There are good female characters in a great many games, movies, and television shows that do not suck. Examples range from Mass Effect to Aliens to Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood; women were even portrayed as useful for more than erections in Star Trek, and it has a huge nerd fanbase.
In your example of childrens' shows, you've assumed "political correctness" where audience expansion provides a more comprehensive understanding. By alienating young girls that haven't yet learned the glory of senseless bloodshed, the stations were basically leaving money on the table by telling them to go somewhere else for their drama or teen idol worship. The slightest understanding of business should let you fill in the rest.
You're being dismissive because it's easier than trying to understand; you're not the first and you won't be the last, but you should understand that you can't be taken seriously by anybody that doesn't consider intellectual lethargy a virtue.
Pedagogy doesn't mean what you think it means, unless Totally Spies really helped you to teach something.
"Uproar" is the word you were looking for; if an upheaval had taken place, you would be whining about something changed rather than something not-even-really-proposed.
My bad, but as English isn't my native tong, you have to forgive me for not knowing every detail about the language.
I'm from an intellectual background myself and have always found the so called intellectual virtues too snobbish for my taste. Unlike my parents, who both think that because they're walking encyclopaedias, they are smarter than other people. But true intellect in my opinion is not about knowledge, instead it's quite the contrary. The less information you have to sift through, the better you are at solving problems.
@Unstable_Fury Are you having a bad day?
"Sexism is something that has been around since the dawn of bra burning, when the first woman who was tired of sitting in the back of the bus climbed atop the blue line to Montgomery Ave. and declared all notions of gender differences moot; culminating in an event that scientists usually call "that crazy woman atop the bus waving around something on fire and making everyone really nervous." Later on, in the days of Jimmy Carter, sexism would evolve into looking back at Humphrey Bogart films and sneering at his suave, attractive demeanor, a practice that can still be observed to this day whenever Casablanca comes on public television."
I'd say any day somebody writes a paragraph like this and thinks its funny is a bad day.
You're attempting to go over people's heads with this humor. I can assure you that this is not the case.
People get it.
It isn't funny.
@THE_DRUGGIE I agree, I read your entire article and all your jokes were terrible and actually ruined the legitimacy of your point.
@E-i-N-e I had a point? OH erm, yeah I totally had a point yeah yes okay uhm er
@E-i-N-e @Unstable_Fury , Nah I thought it was pretty good and light hearted. E-i-N-e, with a name like THE_DRUGGIE and a cartoon depiction of Snake for an avatar plus the comic at the top of the blog, I think you missed the whole point of his post...That's like listening to 'One Direction' whilst trying to ponder particle physics and figuring out the validity of string theory.
A copy of the Cease & Desist Defamation letter you'll receive via certified mail:
Dear Mr. DRUGGIE:
This law firm represents beloved, vintage video game character Q*Bert von Doongley III. The article you have published on the website GameSpot.com, titled "Hey everyone, check out what I have to say about sexism!," is laden with scandalous and misconstrued information that portrays Mr. Doongley in a negative light. For the record, Mr. Doongley is not a racist with an intentional pottymouth, he is an obsessive compulsive with Tourette's syndrome.
We hereby demand that you immediately: (i) remove the Article and the accompanying picture of Mr. Doongley from the website; (ii) cease and desist from any further dissemination of this libelous Article; (iii) issue an apology in the way of a retraction in a conspicuous manner.
If you fail or refuse to comply with this demand, Mr. Doongley will pursue immediate legal action against you for all appropriate relief, including but not limited to 9,900 Mario coins, 50 Sonic rings, a Chaos Emerald, and punitive damages.
Phoenix Wright, Ace Attorney
It appears that I still got it from way back when on the Soap Crate thing, whatever that was.
Thanks for the feedback everyone!
My mind has expanded in ways that it never has before. Thank you for gracing us mere mortals with your presence, THE_DRUGGIE. Your beautiful, eloquent words are the mild sedative that the sexism discussion so desperately needs.
I wonder we all wanna play JUST PLAY and have FUN, why do we GAMERS put sexism in the middle ? u know guys this word coming from the female side not from us ..... this what happen when a girl start playing games (she will create a problem from nothing) and see here we go again and again .... By the way THE DRUGGIE very nice article and u have a prof. touch in writing GOOD WORK.
@dralutfi This sort of ignorant post is why we need a dialogue about sexism, misogyny and patriarchy.
Well as far as taking a stand against sexism depends on ones personal belief and if they feel comfortable supporting games that portray sexism. The consumer has the most control over the games that are put into the industry, because who else are the devs going to make the games for??? And if you do want to sit back and just let it be while buying games and supporting this sexism issue you should step back (as with anything) and think of your reasoning. With that said I think that women should be represented in video games how they should be representing(themselves) in todays society, above men. Does that mean we(males) should be on leashes and eating dog food while licking womens feet? No, that also doesn't mean we should be equal with women we should show them high respect because of who birthed you and the only people in todays society that can birth children and create future generations.
P.S, I use "male" and "female" to universalize instead of saying "Men/Boys" "Girls/Women".
@Blazeingdragin I don't think they should be treated above men, and certaintly not below. Yes, they are the ones who give birth. That doesn't make them superior...
Should they be treated with care, sure. If there's one thing I can't stand is men hitting in women. They are not invalid and might be able to defend themselves, but men's physiology dictates that we have the ability to achieve greater physical strength...
I'm sure the men who hit one women woudn't like to be in conflict with 2 or more men alone. So why hit on women, which is basically the same thing...
I honestly don't understand how women want to change the industry in the employment department. I mean, if they want to create games, do so, and if people like the games and the vision they have for games, they will surely succeed. If not, that shows that people don't like it. It's not agains women... What do they want? To begin changing the existing franchises? No thanks, if they're successful, it's because people like them how they are...
And I think the same should apply to games...
There might be games where women are portraiyed as objects, and though I don't share that view, there are people who do so, and those games are right for them... Instead of trying to change that, just create games where the roles are inverted, and make us, men, be portraiyed as objects or whatever you which. I seriously mean it. We couldn't care less...
I don't see how this could affect anyone, it's not you, the player, who's being portrayed... Unless we're talking about games like sports games, where there are actual real life people represented in the games... And even those, they don't give a sh*t about it...
Very fun way looking at it. Of course the tight asses will see it as you not taking the subject matter seriously. Then again you already stated that you weren't doing that. Great read.
Was Q-bert's anachronistic, so-not-progressive outburst of Neanderthalean furore before Santa's pink transgender elf lose a bet to the Danubian fairy elephant man, or after?
@rollerloller That entire situation sounds impossible but I think it was somewhere around the time when it was going on (might've been the days of the Bubonic plague or Y2K).
There is a God and he has sent one of his dear angles. Thanks for lightening things up. I should probably get people's minds off things and run around in my sheets, seeing as I'm from the South and all. Racism is just so.. racey,
@Falru There's a guy with a Mike Tyson avatar who liked this. I just wanted to point this out.
@Falru Cool Story Bro!
@Falru Was the baby trying to rob you? I have read that there is a gang of seemingly harmless babies decking their strollers out with spikes and firing bullets from bottles.
@THE_DRUGGIE Yes, it was one of hardcore street babies that rove around in gangs, usually with one mother attempting futile supervision.