Dr. Christina Hoff Sommers takes a look at video games


Video Games

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Orfamay Quest wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Leaving analogy and marketing behind, which sections are you talking about? Specifically, which division of the video game industry is catering to women?

As far as I can tell, relatively little of the design portions of the game industry are catering to women or to men, with the notable exception of children's games (e.g., Mermaid Barbie Adventure).

The marketing, of course, is catering to whoever bought the game that the designers ripped off to create the current me-too game. If you're selling a WoW clone, you sell to the people who bought (or are likely to have bought) WoW, and if you're selling a Farmville clone, you sell to the people who bought Farmville.

OK. Then we're in different worlds. Or we have entirely different ideas of what "catering to men" or "catering to women" means.

Is a franchise that doesn't even have the option of a female avatar, while offering plenty of customization other than that, really catering equally to men and women?

Is that not a design choice?


Orfamay Quest wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Leaving analogy and marketing behind, which sections are you talking about? Specifically, which division of the video game industry is catering to women?
As far as I can tell, relatively little of the design portions of the game industry are catering to women or to men, with the notable exception of children's games (e.g., Mermaid Barbie Adventure).

Big Fish Games has a huge customer base and specializes in casual titles with a significant portion of period mystery-themed games (you can't argue that that is not a dominantly female demographic). This is nothing against casual titles--hell, I've bought several hidden object games based on aesthetics alone--but their target audience is obvious despite efforts to maintain a gender-neutral image.


Here and Here are some somewhat relevant(and funny) to the conversation rants from Jim Sterling.

Shadow Lodge

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My thoughts on misogyny/sexism and video games: The actual gamers are far worse than the games themselves.


Breaking news: The main perpetrators of discrimination are people.


Rynjin wrote:
Breaking news: The main perpetrators of discrimination are people.

To summarize the summary of the summary: People are a problem.

More seriously, isn't the existence of discrimination more of an issue than who's doing it.

Who's doing it is important when it comes to figuring out how to stop it, but it's too often taken as an excuse either to lay blame or to take offense.

A study recently linked in one of the other threads showed that grad students with female names got less offers and lower paying ones than students with identical records and male names. On the surface this could be taken as yet another "blame the males" thing, but it also showed no significant difference based on the gender of the hiring professor.


On a related note: "‘Bad’ video game behavior increases players’ moral sensitivity"


thejeff wrote:
Rynjin wrote:
Breaking news: The main perpetrators of discrimination are people.
To summarize the summary of the summary: People are a problem.

No, people are people.

thejeff wrote:
More seriously, isn't the existence of discrimination more of an issue than who's doing it.

Considering that discrimination is a critical part of the decision making process, I'm gonna say no.

thejeff wrote:
Who's doing it is important when it comes to figuring out how to stop it, but it's too often taken as an excuse either to lay blame or to take offense.

It's most often taken as an excuse to take offense then lay blame. People don't like being excluded. More often than not, when someone gets excluded the first step is to assume malice.

thejeff wrote:
A study recently linked in one of the other threads showed that grad students with female names got less offers and lower paying ones than students with identical records and male names. On the surface this could be taken as yet another "blame the males" thing, but it also showed no significant difference based on the gender of the hiring professor.

So is it sexism if a female won't hire a female?


Simon Legrande wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Rynjin wrote:
Breaking news: The main perpetrators of discrimination are people.
To summarize the summary of the summary: People are a problem.

No, people are people.

thejeff wrote:
More seriously, isn't the existence of discrimination more of an issue than who's doing it.
Considering that discrimination is a critical part of the decision making process, I'm gonna say no.

Can we not go down the "In a completely different use of the word, "discrimination" is a good thing" sidetrack? Discrimination in the context of prejudice, racism or sexism, is not "a critical part of the decision making process".

Simon Legrande wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Who's doing it is important when it comes to figuring out how to stop it, but it's too often taken as an excuse either to lay blame or to take offense.

It's most often taken as an excuse to take offense then lay blame. People don't like being excluded. More often than not, when someone gets excluded the first step is to assume malice.

thejeff wrote:
A study recently linked in one of the other threads showed that grad students with female names got less offers and lower paying ones than students with identical records and male names. On the surface this could be taken as yet another "blame the males" thing, but it also showed no significant difference based on the gender of the hiring professor.
So is it sexism if a female won't hire a female?

When you're not looking at as an excuse to take offense or lay blame, but from the point of view of "What are the barriers to women wanting to be scientists and how do we overcome them".

It's the same, on a lesser scale, as a female teacher or mother telling little girls they need to grow up to mommies and not worry about a career.
Just because the person who's absorbed the cultural prejudice is also female, doesn't mean it's not sexism.

Because, contrary to some opinions it really isn't all about attacking men.


thejeff wrote:
Simon Legrande wrote:
thejeff wrote:
More seriously, isn't the existence of discrimination more of an issue than who's doing it.
Considering that discrimination is a critical part of the decision making process, I'm gonna say no.
Can we not go down the "In a completely different use of the word, "discrimination" is a good thing" sidetrack? Discrimination in the context of prejudice, racism or sexism, is not "a critical part of the decision making process".

That's the thing. No, you can't separate them. People need the ability to discriminate, it's how decisions get made. Wanting people to not discriminate in some cases while saying it's fine in other cases just makes it that much harder to follow. You're better off telling people to stop grouping themselves by color, gender, ethnicity, age, sexual preference, etc.

thejeff wrote:

When you're not looking at as an excuse to take offense or lay blame, but from the point of view of "What are the barriers to women wanting to be scientists and how do we overcome them".

It's the same, on a lesser scale, as a female teacher or mother telling little girls they need to grow up to mommies and not worry about a career.
Just because the person who's absorbed the cultural prejudice is also female, doesn't mean it's not sexism.

Because, contrary to some opinions it really isn't all about attacking men.

What makes you believe that women not wanting to be scientists is something that can be overcome? Or did you mean there are barriers to women who want to become scientists but ultimately don't because of said barriers? If the latter, what barriers would you say exist? Are they the same barriers that Marie Curie faced in the 1890s or Shirley Ann Jackson faced in the 1960s?

I can't imagine a single case of any older female telling any younger female that she needs to grow up to be a mommy and nothing else. I'll give you that it may happen, but cases where it does are extreme outliers these days. The fact is, in order for the human species to continue, women NEED to be mommies. That's got nothing to do with cultural prejudice and everything to do with basic biology. It also has nothing to do with them having a career on top of that. Are you ignoring the fact that there is more to the difference between men and women than which genitals they have?


Simon Legrande wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Simon Legrande wrote:
thejeff wrote:
More seriously, isn't the existence of discrimination more of an issue than who's doing it.
Considering that discrimination is a critical part of the decision making process, I'm gonna say no.
Can we not go down the "In a completely different use of the word, "discrimination" is a good thing" sidetrack? Discrimination in the context of prejudice, racism or sexism, is not "a critical part of the decision making process".
That's the thing. No, you can't separate them. People need the ability to discriminate, it's how decisions get made. Wanting people to not discriminate in some cases while saying it's fine in other cases just makes it that much harder to follow. You're better off telling people to stop grouping themselves by color, gender, ethnicity, age, sexual preference, etc.

No. Just because the word has two different meaning doesn't mean you can switch between them. Unless you're actually saying "prejudice is a critical part of the decision making process." In which case there's no point in continuing this discussion.

Simon Legrande wrote:
thejeff wrote:

When you're not looking at as an excuse to take offense or lay blame, but from the point of view of "What are the barriers to women wanting to be scientists and how do we overcome them".

It's the same, on a lesser scale, as a female teacher or mother telling little girls they need to grow up to mommies and not worry about a career.
Just because the person who's absorbed the cultural prejudice is also female, doesn't mean it's not sexism.

Because, contrary to some opinions it really isn't all about attacking men.

What makes you believe that women not wanting to be scientists is something that can be overcome? Or did you mean there are barriers to women who want to become scientists but ultimately don't because of said barriers? If the latter, what barriers would you say exist? Are they the same barriers that Marie Curie faced in the 1890s or Shirley Ann Jackson faced in the 1960s?

I can't imagine a single case of any older female telling any younger female that she needs to grow up to be a mommy and nothing else. I'll give you that it may happen, but cases where it does are extreme outliers these days. The fact is, in order for the human species to continue, women NEED to be mommies. That's got nothing to do with cultural prejudice and everything to do with basic biology. It also has nothing to do with them having a career on top of that. Are you ignoring the fact that there is more to the difference between men and women than which genitals they have?

I only used that example as a blatant if dated case of women reinforcing sexism. As for barriers to women in science, the study I mentioned shows them: equal resumes with the only difference being the name, women get fewer and lower offers.

Is that the same or as high a barrier as existed 50 or a hundred years ago? No, of course not. Is it still a barrier? Of course.

And basically the same argument has been used the entire time to justify whatever the current state of affairs was: It's moved from "Women aren't capable at all" to "Women are just naturally less interested in/capable of doing hard science", but either version just assumes that whatever the current state is happens to be the natural one. It obviously wasn't true back then. That makes me strongly suspicious it isn't true now.


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Quote:
So is it sexism if a female won't hire a female?

Yes.

There was a controversy here a few years ago when an older female business-owner declared that she would only be hiring women if they were incapable of bearing children, since as a small business owner she should not have to pay for maternity leave. This was regarded as sexist as it was denying potential employees work on the basis of an underlying fact of their gender they can do absolutely nothing about (i.e. all women can theoretically bear children up until medically they cannot, regardless of religion, sexuality or abstinance).

It's not commonplace, but it does happen that some women themselves perpetuate culture's acceptance of sexism.


Werthead wrote:
Quote:
So is it sexism if a female won't hire a female?

Yes.

There was a controversy here a few years ago when an older female business-owner declared that she would only be hiring women if they were incapable of bearing children, since as a small business owner she should not have to pay for maternity leave. This was regarded as sexist as it was denying potential employees work on the basis of an underlying fact of their gender they can do absolutely nothing about (i.e. all women can theoretically bear children up until medically they cannot, regardless of religion, sexuality or abstinance).

It's not commonplace, but it does happen that some women themselves perpetuate culture's acceptance of sexism.

Actually, I suspect it is pretty commonplace. Not on the blatantly misogynistic level or even on the open level you describe, but in the sense that women are vulnerable to absorbing societal prejudices and stereotypes about women, just like men are. A little less so perhaps, since they have themselves as a counterexample, but that doesn't mean they can't internalize the same attitudes.


thejeff wrote:
No. Just because the word has two different meaning doesn't mean you can switch between them. Unless you're actually saying "prejudice is a critical part of the decision making process." In which case there's no point in continuing this discussion.

No, the word doesn't have two different meanings. If you want to have a word that means the same thing as discrimination but ONLY applies to prejudicial decisions, then make up a new word. In fact, use one that already exists like prejudice, bigotry, or favoritism.

thejeff wrote:

I only used that example as a blatant if dated case of women reinforcing sexism. As for barriers to women in science, the study I mentioned shows them: equal resumes with the only difference being the name, women get fewer and lower offers.

Is that the same or as high a barrier as existed 50 or a hundred years ago? No, of course not. Is it still a barrier? Of course.

And basically the same argument has been used the entire time to justify whatever the current state of affairs was: It's moved from "Women aren't capable at all" to "Women are just naturally less interested in/capable of doing hard science", but either version just assumes that whatever the current state is happens to be the natural one. It obviously wasn't true back then. That makes me strongly suspicious it isn't true now.

So who do you want to blame? Because I know you want to blame someone. What have you done to encourage females to go into science? What if "Women are just naturally less interested in hard science" is actually true? Have there been studies by anyone to prove that women are just as interested in hard sciences as men are?


Simon Legrande wrote:
thejeff wrote:
No. Just because the word has two different meaning doesn't mean you can switch between them. Unless you're actually saying "prejudice is a critical part of the decision making process." In which case there's no point in continuing this discussion.
No, the word doesn't have two different meanings. If you want to have a word that means the same thing as discrimination but ONLY applies to prejudicial decisions, then make up a new word. In fact, use one that already exists like prejudice, bigotry, or favoritism.
Dictionary wrote:


discrimination
Noun
1. an act or instance of discriminating, or of making a distinction.
2. treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit:
racial and religious intolerance and discrimination.
3.
the power of making fine distinctions; discriminating judgment:
She chose the colors with great discrimination.
4.
Archaic. something that serves to differentiate.

The second definition is not "a critical part of the decision making process." It's a common part of the decision making process, but a lousy one.

Simon Legrande wrote:
thejeff wrote:

I only used that example as a blatant if dated case of women reinforcing sexism. As for barriers to women in science, the study I mentioned shows them: equal resumes with the only difference being the name, women get fewer and lower offers.

Is that the same or as high a barrier as existed 50 or a hundred years ago? No, of course not. Is it still a barrier? Of course.

And basically the same argument has been used the entire time to justify whatever the current state of affairs was: It's moved from "Women aren't capable at all" to "Women are just naturally less interested in/capable of doing hard science", but either version just assumes that whatever the current state is happens to be the natural one. It obviously wasn't true back then. That makes me strongly suspicious it isn't true now.

So who do you want to blame? Because I know you want to blame someone. What have you done to encourage females to go into science? What if "Women are just naturally less interested in hard science" is actually true? Have there been studies by anyone to prove that women are just as interested in hard sciences as men are?

Of course you know I want to blame someone. You know that despite me saying the opposite again and again.

If anything, I blame hundreds or thousands of years of cultural pressure, which we are slowly and gradually changing.

But go ahead. Just assume I want to blame all men or something. It's simpler and easier and then you can be mad at me for blaming you.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Simon Legrande wrote:


What makes you believe that women not wanting to be scientists is something that can be overcome? Or did you mean there are barriers to women who want to become scientists but ultimately don't because of said barriers? If the latter, what barriers would you say exist? Are they the same barriers that Marie Curie faced in the 1890s or Shirley Ann Jackson faced in the 1960s?

I can't imagine a single case of any older female telling any younger female that she needs to grow up to be a mommy and nothing else. I'll give you that it may happen, but cases where it does are extreme outliers these days....

The barriers might not be as bad as they were for Marie Curie, but they are there. As someone who was (and hopefully will soon again) involved in Academia, and has a lot of friends are female scientists, I can certainly attest it's a problem.

First, lets consider the academic environment, which is heavily focused on getting tenure, which in turn involves publishing a lot of papers and winning a lot of grants. This often involves 7 day of work a week, and often long evening hours on top of your normal work load. For men, this isn't an issue. A lot of male scientists I know in my field basically postpone starting a family until later in life (which if fine if you have a younger wife...it's not like you can't father children at 50). Alternatively, they have wives not in academia, and so a lot of the family stuff falls on the wife.

Now...what if you are a woman? By the time you land a position, you are probably in your thirties. What if you want to start a family? You can't postpone it another decade...peak child bearing years are likely to occur before tenure. Sure there is maternity leave, but faculty when judging tenure packages don't factor in child rearing. So you are probably going to have less papers and grant than your colleagues that are also up for tenure. Add in that a lot of colleagues often just don't get why you are spending time on this family stuff and not your NSF grant proposal

And all of that is assuming you have considerate spouse that supports your career. A LOT of men still have at least subconscious expectations that the woman in the relationship will still do a lot of the housework and child raising.

Than we get into the whole boy's club that is entrenched into academia, which is a sad reality we don't really like to think about. There are lots of researchers who don't think women should work on certain subjects, or do field work, or have their personal lives evaluated in a way that a man wouldn't.

I started typing out a bunch of anecdotes from my friend, but then realized that even in an anonymous manner I probably should probably not share them. Let's just say I have had friends that were:

forbidden by their male significant others from pursuing certain fellowships/opportunities,

been told they should just get married, and not do research by established researchers,

have been creeped out, hit on, and even sexually assaulted by male colleagues, advisors, and other researchers

Have had projects yanked out and given to male researchers with less senority and experience

Been prohibited from field work, or designated with menial tasks such as camp cook when allowed

Those are just off the top of my head. I am sure if I sat and thought about it more I could think of even more examples.


Can we get back to video games, please?

Two interesting little things I stumbled across today (old articles):

BGLT Characters in Video Games. Unfortunately there's only two bisexual and trans characters mentioned. It's a start. I've seen other representations of bisexual characters in games, but mostly for "convenience". I can't fault video games for this as we're generally invisible by default :\

"50 Greatest Heroines in Video Game History" Worst thing about this article? They forgot Alice from American Mcgee's Alice. I will now devote fifty head-to-desk impact connections, because there's not a slow motion facepalm long enough to cover that oversight.


On the meanings of words:
Definition of LITERALLY
1: in a literal sense or manner : actually <took the remark literally> <was literally insane>
2: in effect : virtually <will literally turn the world upside down to combat cruelty or injustice — Norman Cousins>

Because people can't be bothered to learn the correct word to use, this word has been given a new meaning which is the exact opposite of it's real meaning.

Sometimes people want to take a word, give it a negative connotation, then ONLY use it for that negative connotation. THEN claim that the negative connotation is the only correct way to use the word. Take carbon or discrimination for examples of this.

That's enough, I don't want kill Necromancer's main topic.


Most gamers are male

Males* are easy to please with computer programs. Scantily clad women check. Explosions? Check. Violence? Check. Be the big damned hero and save the world? Check. Add a cup holder for beer and thats all that is good in life. Computers do all of these things well and relatively easily (before you ask, the CD drive. Everything is downloaded nowadays anyway)

Visuals, timing, animations and explosions can all be programmed. Doing this sort of thing on a computer is better than doing it in real life:. jet packs don't exist yet, leaping off of buildings runs up your medical bills, and running around LA boosting cars and shooting people would put a crimp in your plans for the next 30 years to life.

If there's a computer game that can be programmed to be interesting enough for women to be camping outside of gamestop at 2 in the morning in a 7:1 ratio, no ones found it yet.

*:
This is a statement about a group. Please do not misread that as "all males" or "all females" or "all anything". If I'd wanted to say all, i would have said all. Stereotype, generalization, call it what you want, but its not practical to talk about a trend comparing 7 billion people. Yes by all means, there are women who love these games as much as anyone but they are a minority


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Necromancer wrote:
I can't fault video games for this as we're generally invisible by default :\

Think of it as highly advanced stealth camouflage.


MMCJawa wrote:
Simon Legrande wrote:


What makes you believe that women not wanting to be scientists is something that can be overcome? Or did you mean there are barriers to women who want to become scientists but ultimately don't because of said barriers? If the latter, what barriers would you say exist? Are they the same barriers that Marie Curie faced in the 1890s or Shirley Ann Jackson faced in the 1960s?

I can't imagine a single case of any older female telling any younger female that she needs to grow up to be a mommy and nothing else. I'll give you that it may happen, but cases where it does are extreme outliers these days....

The barriers might not be as bad as they were for Marie Curie, but they are there. As someone who was (and hopefully will soon again) involved in Academia, and has a lot of friends are female scientists, I can certainly attest it's a problem.

First, lets consider the academic environment, which is heavily focused on getting tenure, which in turn involves publishing a lot of papers and winning a lot of grants. This often involves 7 day of work a week, and often long evening hours on top of your normal work load. For men, this isn't an issue. A lot of male scientists I know in my field basically postpone starting a family until later in life (which if fine if you have a younger wife...it's not like you can't father children at 50). Alternatively, they have wives not in academia, and so a lot of the family stuff falls on the wife.

Now...what if you are a woman? By the time you land a position, you are probably in your thirties. What if you want to start a family? You can't postpone it another decade...peak child bearing years are likely to occur before tenure. Sure there is maternity leave, but faculty when judging tenure packages don't factor in child rearing. So you are probably going to have less papers and grant than your colleagues that are also up for tenure. Add in that a lot of colleagues often just don't get why you are spending time on this family stuff and...

Quite honestly, that seems more like a problem with the Grant/Tenure system than actual discrimination. It's not biased against women in particular, it's biased against people who have better things to do than write 50 pages on minutiae.

Simon Legrande wrote:

** spoiler omitted **

That's enough, I don't want kill Necromancer's main topic.

He's not saying that's the only definition, he's saying it's quite obvious that's the definition he was using in context.

Context is a very important part of any discussion, and ignoring said context so you can be pedantic just makes you look like a tool who thinks he's a lot smarter than he really is.


Rynjin wrote:
Context is a very important part of any discussion, and ignoring said context so you can be pedantic just makes you look like a tool who thinks he's a lot smarter than he really is.

Thanks, coming from you that means a lot to me.

Now, back to your regularly scheduled program.


Don't get me wrong, I enjoy being pedantic for the sake of it as much as the next guy. But this is kind of a touchy subject to be indulging in it.

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32

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I'm bothered by a good amount of what y'all are saying, but without calling anyone out specifically (because that would be time-intensive and potentially inflammatory even if I try really hard not to be mean), let me throw out some guidelines:
1. Do not assume that anything that is associated with any gender is inherent or universal. That includes everything from interests to biology.
2. When it comes to sexism, those not affected by it are less able to see it (an insidious and stealthy feature of all forms of widespread cultural discrimination). So when someone says that they are affected by a form of sexism, may I suggest that, instead of seeing it as an opportunity for debate, you just believe them unless presented with evidence to the contrary?

-----

Anyway, back to the topic:

One thing that annoys me is when a game offers avatar customization that allows you to choose your race and gender (I'd like to see more than just the binary male/female in the latter, but that's another point), but the marketing doesn't show that.

They wouldn't include this customization if they didn't want people to be able to make Queens of Albion in Fable III or badass women of color Shepherds in Mass Effect. But the covers and trailers and other non-textual advertising and representations of these games inevitably feature grizzled white guys as the protagonist. It took until Mass Effect 3 for The Real Shepherd (aka the Shepherd voiced by Jennifer Hale, not the male fakeshep) to be an option for the game's cover.

I've seen people praising the cover for the upcoming Dragon Age: Inquisition because the protagonist on the front is facing away from the viewer and therefore gender-neutral. And I think that's great, but I hate that this is noteworthy--because shouldn't games that have customizable heroes advertise that fact?


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Mechapoet wrote:
. So when someone says that they are affected by a form of sexism, may I suggest that, instead of seeing it as an opportunity for debate, you just believe them unless presented with evidence to the contrary?

No.

Equal treatment includes having your ideas treated just like anyone elses. That means people are going to ask you to demonstrate it, argue against it, dissect it, try to refute it. These serve to weed out false ideas and foster discussion. (The idea will also pedantically be ripped apart which doesn't).

Quote:
Do not assume that anything that is associated with any gender is inherent or universal.

No one has said they're universal.

I believe the evidence that they are largely inherent to a population is so overwhelming as to require epistemic nihilism to deny. A conclusion is not an assumption.

Quote:
I'm bothered by a good amount of what y'all are saying, but without calling anyone out specifically (because that would be time-intensive and potentially inflammatory even if I try really hard not to be mean)

This does not work.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Mechapoet wrote:
. So when someone says that they are affected by a form of sexism, may I suggest that, instead of seeing it as an opportunity for debate, you just believe them unless presented with evidence to the contrary?

No.

Equal treatment includes having your ideas treated just like anyone elses. That means people are going to ask you to demonstrate it, argue against it, dissect it, try to refute it. These serve to weed out false ideas and foster discussion. (The idea will also pedantically be ripped apart which doesn't).

Are you at least willing to concede "When it comes to sexism, those not affected by it are less able to see it (an insidious and stealthy feature of all forms of widespread cultural discrimination)"?

Or does it only exist when it's blatant enough to be obvious to the unaffected?


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thejeff wrote:
Are you at least willing to concede "When it comes to sexism, those not affected by it are less able to see it (an insidious and stealthy feature of all forms of widespread cultural discrimination)"?

Sure. But that doesn't give anyone carte blanche to declare "this is ______ism"


BigNorseWolf wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Are you at least willing to concede "When it comes to sexism, those not affected by it are less able to see it (an insidious and stealthy feature of all forms of widespread cultural discrimination)"?
Sure. But that doesn't give anyone carte blanche to declare "this is ______ism!

I give people a lot of credibility when describing their own experiences. Less so when it comes to large scale theorizing.

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32

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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Mechapoet wrote:
. So when someone says that they are affected by a form of sexism, may I suggest that, instead of seeing it as an opportunity for debate, you just believe them unless presented with evidence to the contrary?

No.

Equal treatment includes having your ideas treated just like anyone elses. That means people are going to ask you to demonstrate it, argue against it, dissect it, try to refute it. These serve to weed out false ideas and foster discussion. (The idea will also pedantically be ripped apart which doesn't).

Exceeeeeeeeeept, in the context of sexism, everyone's ideas are not treated equally. I would love for everyone to experience this mythical equal treatment, but there is an inherent imbalance in a conversation about a societal imbalance regarding sex and gender. Because discussing ideas occurs in a societal context, not some imaginary vacuum of pure logical argument.

People who suffer from social inequality experience a never-ending rain of scrutiny and demands for evidence and proof that those in more privileged groups do not encounter. And proof is given, and evidence cited, and there is always another person ready to ask for more proof.

So, maybe consider that you can't treat these "arguments" as if everyone has an equal say; because the disenfranchised are more often dismissed and the disenfranchising status quo is taken as a baseline, even though it achieves its status through stomping on others.


It also can be nicely self-reinforcing:

"Did you notice how everyone in the meeting ignored or dismissed my suggestions? I wonder if it was because I was the only woman there."

"No, I don't think they did and I'm sure that group isn't sexist."

Spoiler:
There's a decent amount of research suggesting this exact thing is common and that the men in the group usually don't even notice they're doing it.


thejeff wrote:


"No, I don't think they did and I'm sure that group isn't sexist."

Absent any other evidence the converse is just as likely: -The group dismissed my suggestions and is therefore sexist-


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mechaPoet wrote:


Exceeeeeeeeeept, in the context of sexism, everyone's ideas are not treated equally. I would love for everyone to experience this mythical equal treatment, but there is an inherent imbalance in a conversation about a societal imbalance regarding sex and gender.Because discussing ideas occurs in a societal context, not some imaginary vacuum of pure logical argument.

Two wrongs don't make a right and your personal feelings do not make facts. Charging people or an industry with a pernicious accusation like sexism takes a solid case.

Quote:
People who suffer from social inequality experience a never-ending rain of scrutiny and demands for evidence and proof that those in more privileged groups do not encounter. And proof is given, and evidence cited, and there is always another person ready to ask for more proof.

Which is different than any other discussion.. how?

Quote:
So, maybe consider that you can't treat these "arguments" as if everyone has an equal say; because the disenfranchised are more often dismissed and the disenfranchising status quo is taken as a baseline, even though it achieves its status through stomping on others.

Considered.

Rejected. If an idea cannot withstand honest scrutiny I don't want to trust it.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
thejeff wrote:


"No, I don't think they did and I'm sure that group isn't sexist."

Absent any other evidence the converse is just as likely: -The group dismissed my suggestions and is therefore sexist-

But there is other evidence. In this example, the guy responding was there and didn't notice it.

Which is, as I said, not uncommon.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Necromancer wrote:
I can't fault video games for this as we're generally invisible by default :\
Think of it as highly advanced stealth camouflage.

[tangent]

Just got flashbacks from an Eberron campaign where I tried out a changeling PC.
[/tangent]


BigNorseWolf wrote:
mechaPoet wrote:


Exceeeeeeeeeept, in the context of sexism, everyone's ideas are not treated equally. I would love for everyone to experience this mythical equal treatment, but there is an inherent imbalance in a conversation about a societal imbalance regarding sex and gender.Because discussing ideas occurs in a societal context, not some imaginary vacuum of pure logical argument.
Two wrongs don't make a right and your personal feelings do not make facts. Charging people or an industry with a pernicious accusation like sexism takes a solid case.

And that's a lot of the problem right there. It's not a "pernicious accusation" that hsa huge consequences and requires a solid case to prove. It's a common behaviour that sneaks up on any of us if we're not looking out for it.

Treating it as a horrible thing that only really nasty people do, might help shut down the worst cases, but makes it easier for subtler prejudice to slip right by.


thejeff wrote:

But there is other evidence. In this example, the guy responding was there and didn't notice it.

Which is, as I said, not uncommon.

That someone else didn't "notice it" is not evidence that it is sexism, because if it isn't sexism then there isn't sexism there to notice. You'd need to know how good the idea is.

Even if you could balance out the ideas, you have the issues of confidence, charisma, reputation, personal connection and leadership. Like this


BigNorseWolf wrote:
thejeff wrote:

But there is other evidence. In this example, the guy responding was there and didn't notice it.

Which is, as I said, not uncommon.

That someone else didn't "notice it" is not evidence that it is sexism, because if it isn't sexism then there isn't sexism there to notice. You'd need to know how good the idea is.

Even if you could balance out the ideas, you have the issues of confidence, charisma, reputation, personal connection and leadership. Like this

Wait, I missed something. The guy not noticing it is evidence against it being sexism, not for it.

With this

Quote:
Absent any other evidence the converse is just as likely: -The group dismissed my suggestions and is therefore sexist-

I thought you were saying the only evidence was that the group was sexist. The converse of what the guy dismissing it meant.

The details of the case aside, the point that seemed to go sailing by was that the guy casually dismissing her claim, is doing exactly what she claims happened.


TheJeff wrote:
The details of the case aside, the point that seemed to go sailing by was that the guy casually dismissing her claim, is doing exactly what she claims happened.

He's not. She hasn't made a good argument for her point. Dismissing her claim with the offered argument is a reasonable thing to do until a better case is made.

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32

Right, well, I can see this is going nowhere fast.

So, let's just go in a completely different direction that pertains to the topic at hand: instead of (or in addition to, whatever) watching Dr. Sommers' video about sexism in video games that doesn't really go into many specifics, why not watch Anita Sarkeesian's videos? They do a great job of pointing out and giving in-depth explanations of prevalent and pervasive sexism in video games.


mechaPoet wrote:

Right, well, I can see this is going nowhere fast.

So, let's just go in a completely different direction that pertains to the topic at hand: instead of (or in addition to, whatever) watching Dr. Sommers' video about sexism in video games that doesn't really go into many specifics, why not watch Anita Sarkeesian's videos? They do a great job of pointing out and giving in-depth explanations of prevalent and pervasive sexism in video games.

Could you post some links? (I wanna watch but I am terribly lazy, that's right, too lazy to google something!)


Linky


BigNorseWolf wrote:

Linky

Thanks buddy.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Linky

And here's some videos responding to each of the Tropes series.

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32

Feminist Frequency youtube channel Just take a look at the "videos" tab.

Lots of great feminist critiques of pop culture media. The most recent videos look at sexist tropes in video games specifically, namely the videos about the Damsel in Distress trope (3 parts), the Ms. Male Character trope (1 part), and the Women as Background Decoration Trope (2 parts so far, I don't know if there will be more or if she will move on to another issue in her next video).


mechaPoet wrote:

Feminist Frequency youtube channel Just take a look at the "videos" tab.

Lots of great feminist critiques of pop culture media. The most recent videos look at sexist tropes in video games specifically, namely the videos about the Damsel in Distress trope (3 parts), the Ms. Male Character trope (1 part), and the Women as Background Decoration Trope (2 parts so far, I don't know if there will be more or if she will move on to another issue in her next video).

Ah, excellent. Well organized for maximum laziness.

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32

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Necromancer wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Linky
And here's some videos responding to each of the Tropes series.

Without actually watching these, this list kind of points at what I was saying earlier:

These video titles, by calling themselves things like "Feminism versus FACTS" and "Why 'Feminism' Posions EVERYTHING," belie the fact that they're not interested in having an actual conversation, but in accusing Anita Sarkeesian of lying and insulting her as "poison." If they had actual points to argue, or were interested in having an actual conversation, they'd present and interpret their evidence without relying on this accusatory language. You'd have a hard time convincing me that these "responses" are little more than mean-spirited attacks.


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mechaPoet wrote:


These video titles, by calling themselves things like "Feminism versus FACTS" and "Why 'Feminism' Posions EVERYTHING," belie the fact that they're not interested in having an actual conversation

You could just as easily make the same case that by calling the original videos Tropes VS women that there's no interest in a conversation, because its assuming the sexism and that the tropes in video games are deliberately out to get women.

The only thing that matters to an argument is the argument.

The "pop culture critic" o vision was hillarious and spot on.


Well, I've got some video-time at work here, so I'll go through some of these Feminist Frequency videos. Are these the ones which that Gamergate thing is responding to?

-Matt

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32

BigNorseWolf wrote:
mechaPoet wrote:


These video titles, by calling themselves things like "Feminism versus FACTS" and "Why 'Feminism' Posions EVERYTHING," belie the fact that they're not interested in having an actual conversation

You could just as easily make the same case that by calling the original videos Tropes VS women that there's no interest in a conversation, because its assuming the sexism and that the tropes in video games are deliberately out to get women.

The only thing that matters to an argument is the argument.

The "pop culture critic" o vision was hillarious and spot on.

Nah. Sarkeesian's titles posit that there are sexist tropes in video games. What exactly is sexism if it's not "out to get women?"

The response video titles are blatant ad hominem attacks.

@ Matt: No, Gamergate is directed at game designer Zoe Quinn, creator of such games as Depression Quest. Basically her ex-boyfriend launched a vicious attack campaign against her, ostensibly in the name of "journalistic integrity." Because some time after they had a nasty break-up, Quinn apparently had a romantic relationship with a game reviewer (who never reviewed her game), and ex-boyfriend riled up the sexist parts of reddit and 4chan into attacking her for "sleeping her way to being a famous game designer." [exhausted sarcasm]Because, you know, obviously there's no way a woman could make a successful game without sexual bribery[/exhausted sarcasm].

Anita Sarkeesian has been and continues to be the target of a massive hate campaign that involves little in the way of genuine critique and plenty in the way of sexist insults with threats of death and rape, though! So it's a comparable kind of scum.


No, these videos don't have anything directly related to gamergate other than that some of Anita's critics are also commenting on gamergate.

They are probably necessary viewing anyway though, if you are going to talk about the general subject of video games and culture, since they are so widely discussed.

I'm not a fan of them because I believe the critique is too broad to be useful, and that you could use those critiques against anything. Anita doesn't point to any positive portrayals probably because she knows her arguments essentially work on anything. It's not terribly different from stage magician tricks like Cold Reading which work against the biases and lack of knowledge of the audience.

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