Two reasons I’m hating humanity

So, I didn’t realize that it had been a whole week since my last post. Holy cow! It’s been a crazy week and time got away from me there. Anyhow, my slowitude (yes it’s a word, shut up) means that the things I’m going to be writing about might seem like old news. To those of you who think this is too little too late, I say – throw off the tyranny of internet time! I refuse to fall into the trap of feeling like I have to blog about something the very second it happens!

-ahem-

Also, I have some stuff to say about these two topics that I haven’t seen other people (quite) say. So bear with me.

Fail the first: Organizers have decided to ban women from a major Battlefield 3 launch LAN party (Via Kotaku)

A lot of people have already written about this and about the titanic amounts of fail the organizers have engaged in by deciding to ban women from their event. Tami B (who sometimes goes by cuppycake), in particular, had a great analysis over on the Border House. However, I had a few points of my own that I wanted to add to the general castigation of the organizers of this event:

Point the first: this perpetuates stereotypes and makes it easier for others to do so

Thank you so much for once again contributing to the stereotype that women don’t count as “real” gamers. Your decision has ensured that this will be a major gaming event in which no women participate, despite that Battlefield is an immensely popular titled that appeals to both men and women. But by making your event a male-only space, your reinforcing the idea that only men are “real” gamers. Even worse, you’re perpetuating the idea of gaming as a male space and actually making women less welcome at future such events. If your event is successful, other event organizers are sure to at least consider adopting your highly flawed model. It will set a precedent that other organizers may well choose to emulate. After all, why put up with the hassle of trying to make a safe space for female attendees when you can just ban them all together?

Point the second: this is cowardice

I will at least give the organizers props for acknowleging that harassment is a serious problem at large gaming events. But by deciding to avoid the unpleasantness by banning the victims of potential harassment, the organizers are taking the cowardly way out. They want this to be a fun and friendly space; standing up to your friends and calling them on their privilege/bad behavior is often uncomfortable, sometimes even downright terrifying. Rather than being courageous enough to implement a strong non-harassment policy, the event organizers are caving, giving in to those men who use harassment as a tool to drive women away from such events. Which leads into…

Point the third: They know what they’re doing is wrong

In the original version of their event FAQ, here’s how they justified their decision to exclude women from the event:

Nothing ruins a good LAN party like uncomfortable guests or lots of tension, both of which can result from mixing immature, misogynistic male-gamers with female counterparts

Naturally, they got a lot of flack for this and have since removed the above language. The above language was replaced with:

This event is a ‘gentlemen’s retreat’; as such we do not allow women to attend.

Afterward, they were kind enough to add the following clarification:

We actively discourage gamers from being the kind of mysogynistic jackwagons seen in the Reddit post, and such behaviour should not be tolerated. Frankly, we don’t like that kind of player either. So far as this event goes, it is an special event designed specifically for male gamers. Further, it is meant as a getaway designed to help said male contingent become better men both for themselves and for those who love us.

Now, a lot of smart people have written about why this is just the wrong approach to take, and given that the organizers were cognizant of the problem of potential harassment, these arguments can’t have gone completely over their heads. Rather than listening and saying ‘mea culpa, we shouldn’t exclude women’, they’ve changed the language to call this a “gentleman’s retreat”, making it clear that they have no interest in reexamining their decision to exclude women from the event.

This is, to me, the most damning fact of all – the fact that they understand that this exclusion is unjust, or at least they understand enough to change their public statement that precludes argument. Clearly, they know this is wrong and they don’t give a shit because they’re doing it anyway. So shame on you all. I hope your event is a flop, or at the very least that the backlash you receive convinces organizers of future such events that it’s in their interests to be inclusive of women.

Fail the second:“easy” trivia quiz with E3 booth babes

Someone (I forget who) sent me the link to this video that made the rounds about a month ago. In it, a total of 8 booth babes at E3 are asked five “easy” trivia questions:

What are the original three Pokemon?
What love interest are you forced to kill in the original Portal?
What video game is inspired by the Ayn Rand novel Atlas Shrugged?
What character introduced the gun stiletto?
What is the name of the main character in Zelda: Ocarina of time?

Predictably, the booth babes answered all of the questions incorrectly and were then mocked by male gamers for getting the answers to such easy questions wrong:

These aren’t trick questions. You know all of the answers, and they don’t. (Kotaku)

To be honest, they all sound very stupid, I’m sure they’d struggle with general knowledge, let alone that of video games. Who hasn’t even heard of Atlas Shrugged? *sigh* Hundreds of years of suffrage, and we’re still here. (Kotaku)

There is a reason they are [sic] both babes… brains is not it (G4tv.com forums)

Nice. Real nice. There’s one thing that you asswipes are forgetting – gaming trivia isn’t exactly general knowledge, is it? And honestly, can you really be surprised that booth babes at E3 turn out not to be gamers when they’re paid to be exposed to the very worst aspects of gaming culture? Would I be interested in a hobby that treated me like a piece of meat and largely turned a blind eye to incidents of harassment that happen on the job? No. No I wouldn’t. And I think that’s just human nature.

Secondly, some of these questions are just plain bad questions. Like the last question – we tend to be culturally conditioned to expect that if a media property (book, movie, game) names a character, that the named character will be the protagonist. After all, Hermione wasn’t the main character of Harry Potter, was she? Assuming that Zelda would be the main character is a logical assumption, kids.

Similarly, BioShock is a pretty niche game and I’m willing to bet there are a shitton of gamers who don’t know that BioShock is Atlas Shrugged plus a bazooka. And even if all gamers everywhere did know that, Ayn Rand is a shit author and I’d be happy to see her books drop off the list of what “educated” people should be expected to be conversant with. (But that’s just my opinion.)

The worst, though, is #2 – the question about portal. I’m sorry, but “love interest”?

Okay, now I know that there are people who really developed an attachment to the companion cube, and that some people felt having to destroy it very keenly. But I’m going to remind you that the companion cube IS A FUCKING BOX. Generally speaking, humans do not have romances with boxes, not even boxes with hearts on them. Putting a heart on something does not make it suddenly romance-able.

I realize I forgot to photoshop out her arm. D’oh! But I’m too lazy to care.

Not knowing the answers to these stupid questions doesn’t make these booth babes dumb. It makes them smart enough to not want to associate with a hobby that treats women like shit.

About wundergeek
In addition to being a cranky feminist blogger, I am an artist, photographer, and somewhat half-assed writer living in the wilds of Canada with a wonderful spouse and two slightly broken cats.

61 Responses to Two reasons I’m hating humanity

  1. Ian says:

    Oh, lets be fair. The “love interest” bit was funny, precisely BECAUSE it is so absurd.

    • Corteks says:

      Yeah pretty much.

      The Kotaku quotes are pretty disappointing(well they all are, but I actually read Kotaku). I usually find Kotaku provides good articles, but I guess I just tend to read the ones which are actually about proper gaming issues/games themselves rather than “LoL, booth babes have bewbs OMG!” Seriously if I wanna see things to do with girls dressed up as gaming characters or whatevs I’m gonna go to cosplay.com or something to check out people’s awesome costumery.

      Oh and the BF 3 LAN party thing just makes me go “wut?” It doesn’t seem like it’d be that hard to tell people that if they’re offensive douchenozzles they’ll be required to leave the premises. I mean even if they just have men there I’m sure there’ll be plenty of players who think calling someone a “fag” is the height of hilarity, so it’s not even a safe space for all men to play games.

      It makes no sense to decide it’s all too hard and just cater to the lowest common denominator. Not to mention it reinforces the shitty idea that all gamers are immature jerks :/

      As a gamer I actually really like seeing gaming become a widespread thing for everyone to join in on, so it really sucks to see counter intuitive stuff like this. I mean recently I introduced my partner to Halo (Reach, 3, ODST) and it was freaken’ awesome fun. Honestly I’d like to see more ladies get into it and attitudes like this so don’t help! It’s not like there isn’t plenty of smack talk that can be done without being filled with prejudice :P

  2. Retro Legion says:

    You know, I really don’t get it. I’ve been the only girl at LAN parties before, and I was treated with far more respect then the boys gave each other, that’s for sure, even if I sucked at whatever we were playing. It’s just really insulting, not only to female gamers, but also to the men. It’s sending the message of, “We don’t have enough faith in you to act appropriately if women are in the same room.”

    • Jeremy Mac Donald says:

      “I’ve been the only girl at LAN parties before, and I was treated with far more respect then the boys gave each other.”

      This element always interests me. I see it fairly often at my games table. The guys sit around dissing each other right and left and, because my game table is inclusive, the female players might laugh at particularly ingenious digs but stay out of the line of fire 95% of the time and are left alone roughly 95% of the time. Its as if there is an unwritten rule that says the women can only participate if they have comic gold – its actually really funny. Similarly they are mostly left alone with exceptions being real Grade A material. Not really sure how this dynamic developed.

  3. The fIrst:  Ugh.  Their logic fails on so many levels.

    The second:  Booth babes are hired for their looks, not their game savvy.  I do find it unlikely that they actively avoid the hobby…but that doesn’t make the opinions of anyone insulting their intelligence any more worthy of respect.

  4. Ikkin says:

    I’m kind of in two minds on the Bitmob thing.

    On the one hand, the comments that came out of it are utterly terrible and indefensible, and make me want to go hit my head against the glass or something.

    On the other hand, if the video itself is removed from its misogynist audience, it looks an awful lot like Jaywalking, Obsessive Gamer Edition. There’s a lot of interesting comments from the video’s creative team on Bitmob’s own site (look for comments by Sebastian Haley, Adam Dorsey, and Chloe Dykstra) — none of them seem very happy with the use of booth babes as eyecandy, and they make it clear that their problem is with the practice of hiring models as silent PR rather than the intelligence of the women themselves (which they seem to respect). They’re not very happy about the misogynistic comments, either.

    Which isn’t, of course, to say that it might not have been the best idea given the audience, but I’m rather inclined to assume they meant no harm when Bitmob’s editor says he’d love to do a Booth Hunk edition and the video’s director suggests that both the companies themselves and the industry as a whole would be better off if they stopped using booth babes and just offered free food instead.

    On the third, mutant hand, the questions really do seem too hard for an average mainstream gamer (of the sort who plays Call of Duty but doesn’t obsessively follow the gaming blogosphere). I’m inclined to think a very funny video could be produced using these same questions and the attendees at a fan gaming con (especially the Bioshock and Bayonetta ones).

    • Ivan says:

      Wundergeek is that you on Jaywalking at 1:05?

    • stephen says:

      I think the idea probably started out as they wanted to show how these big gaming companies hire people to represent their company on the floor purely on how they look. Its more than a bit weird hiring someone to represent your company who doesn’t understand the industry at all. That said the questionnaire was poorly put together. The questions were too specific. They should have asked more broad questions, like what genre the games they were representing were from, if they could name competitors in those genre and some defining characteristics of the genre. These sort of questions would be less about gaming trivia and more about the actual company the girl was representing.

      I don’t think it would be unreasonable to expect at least vaguely accurate answers to these questions, I mean the people they represent have to at least tell them what they are representing and why its good, right? Also one thing the video nevers gets across is that its not the girls fault they were hired. I mean sure they probably should of had some reservations about doing the job they do but its still a job someone offered them because they were attractive. Its the fault of the companies who hired them, not the girls. Its rare any of these videos target the people hiring the girls, probably since its easier to target the girls themselves.

  5. spinks says:

    I feel old now. I played the original pokemon and finished it but I don’t think I can remember the names of the original 3 pokies. You can tell a lot about the questioner by what they thought was easy gaming trivia.

    As for the LAN party – I have no words.

  6. QoT says:

    A totally random thought on the Kotaku comments re booth babes: could it be a case of protesting too much? Plenty of gamers simply don’t like to admit that booth babes exist because there’s a solid market of guys who will happily fork out money if a conventionally-attractive woman dressed like their favourite fap material encourages it. But criticising their existence in the context of “some guys really are just desperate unsocialised neckbeards” hits too close to home, so they go for the easy option of attacking the women themselves and venting their scorn that way. /rambling

  7. Dechion says:

    Point the first: The whole males only thing… just wow. It’s about three levels beyond flippin stupid. Enough said.

    Point the second: I have been a gamer since my first Atarti 2600, and have been bloggin about gaming for a good four years or so now on various sites. It turns out I only knew the answer to one of those trivia questions. (The last one, in case anyones curious)

    Myself, I fired off a letter thanking them for letting me know that thier products are intended for men only. Also noting that since I have several persons of the female persuasion living in my home I will refrain from buying their games. After I wouldnt want my wife or daughters to catch something.

    • Tara says:

      Same here. I’ve been gaming since the Atari 2600 and write for a fairly small gaming site, so I like to think I know a fair bit about gaming. But I can only answer 2 of those questions. The Zelda one and the Pokemon one.

      Oh, I might have gotten the Bayonetta one, but that’s only because I played the demo once while at a friend’s house and remember how ridiculous her gun-shoes were.

      So it’s silly for Kotaku to assume that every gamer should know the answer to these questions. Even the most game savvy woman might get those questions wrong if she hasn’t played them before.

  8. Lawrence says:

    Now, from what i understand this Texas Lan party is like place for 20-25 people organizators included, hardly a major gaming event. Now i agree that these 5 organizers dudes should be mocked for their sexism and wanting to have anothe 20 same dudes to play Battlefield 3 with them but i don’t think it’s anything major.

    • That implies that they don’t feel confident in finding 20 men who can behave around women, which makes it worse if anything.

    • Zaewen says:

      I dunno. If its that small of an event, that sounds to me like it would be friends of the organizers or friends of friends. Also, given the wording of the FAQ, it seems that they have had women attend in the past and there were issues. So put the two together and they’re essentially saying to their female friends that they’re not allowed to attend anymore because some of their male friends might verbally abuse or sexually harass them *again*… which is definitely not the right approach to take in that situation.

      • Lawrence says:

        Not argue on my part on this, just sying that in terms of Battlefield 3 launch ( EA probably aiming at record at day 1 sales or something like that ) calling this 25 people Lan party “a major gaming event” seems rather amusing exageration.

  9. > Putting a heart on something does not make it suddenly romance-able.

    It sounds like some of these people might not actually know that.

  10. Ralphomon says:

    I think that whole trivia issue is a case of cynical marketing rather than ‘hurr hurr dumb girls’. If you’re going to have booth babes (and I really would rather you didn’t) you should probably have girls that are enthusiastic about gaming in general and the product they’re advertising in particular. That said, you could probably replace the entire odious concept of booth babes with clearly enthusiastic and knowledgeable people, both male and female, who are able to show off the game’s features convincingly, rather than just stand around and have boobs. I’d find that much more compelling.

    That said, I’m not saying that there aren’t booth babes who work as such because they love games. I just think that it’s a bad thing that the PR companies have women use their bodies rather than their passion for the hobby to sell games. But it’s also conceivable that someone might like showing off their body to sell games! I don’t know, I’ve managed to tie my thoughts up into knots.

    But yes, back to your first hate reason: I totally get behind you on this. What they’re doing is penalising the potentially injured party and worsening the situation of misogyny in gaming by saying it’s OK as long as women aren’t around, rather than having the bravery to say, “don’t be dicks, women will be at the thing too, anyone being sexist will be unceremoniously thrown out”.

    Also: “Further, it is meant as a getaway designed to help said male contingent become better men both for themselves and for those who love us.” Urgh, what does that even mean?! Playing Battlefield 3 in a testosterone-soaked, no-girls-allowed, ‘gentlemen retreat’ makes you a better man?! I never knew my genetics and/or self-image needed constant injections of single-sex FPS tournaments to reassert themselves! Does playing paintball with the guys help? Has playing D&D with a mixed group of friends been undoing my manliness? Ugh.

    Sorry for the diatribe! I fully support this site and wanted to throw my (sometime hyperbolic) weight behind it.

  11. Ivan says:

    Point one, point two and point three for the battle field thing you got covered. One question though: any idea what were they on to be so disconnected from reality?

    In the second fail to the five questions my answer is: 1)Don’t know, don’t care. 2)There is a love interest in Portal? I did not know that. Who is it? 3)Bioshock (I know that one). 4) Huh? Wait, what? What is a gun stiletto? 5) I do not play nor am I interested in that series of video games.
    (Note: these are my answers as I would have given them had they asked me that survey)

    Also the pictures you used to illustrate your point are Jack from Mass Effect 2 (who you called an epic fail of the designer team in one of your previous posts) and the bath scene from Witcher 2 with Tris being substituted by a trash can (did you do that so it would fit better into the photo or is it your statement about Tris and/or the scene itself?). So were those pictures illustrations how something bad can be even worse if sprinkled with a dose of stupidity present in question number 2? Or were they something else? Because I can not tell what you wanted to tell with those two photos.

    • wundergeek says:

      I wanted to be silly. That’s all.

      • Ivan says:

        It worked. Made me crack a smile :).

        I do not like making short posts so here is a question I had with me since around your Terra post: Do you check your entire blog history for new comments? And do you read them all? And do you do that often or once in a while?

        • wundergeek says:

          Comments come up on the comments page in order of being placed, no matter how old the post is, so unless I get blitzed yes I see all comments. Sometimes I ignore comments directed at me if I’m very busy or if responding would take a lot of time/mental energy that I don’t feel like expending.

  12. Matt S says:

    Those were terrible questions, and the way the interviewer reacted to the wrong answers pissed me off. I’ve been the person in the room who didn’t know something “obvious”, and it always comes with self-consciousness and a little nausea. Laughing at myself and playing “dumb” just sort of kicks in as a defense mechanism.

    Anyway, as a 27 year old, male, lifelong gamer, let’s see how well I did on that quiz!
    What are the original three Pokemon? — I got this one. However, I don’t remember the names of the starters in SoulSilver or White, and I’ve played them more recently.

    What love interest are you forced to kill in the original Portal? — Had no effing clue what this question was talking about because I never developed an attachment to the companion cube. My response would have been, “Why is Glados considered a love interest? She was evil!” (plus awkward laughter)

    What video game is inspired by the Ayn Rand novel Atlas Shrugged? — The only reason I knew this is because I stumbled upon something that mentioned it a few weeks ago. I’ve never read Ayn Rand, and I haven’t played BioShock (yet!).

    What character introduced the gun stiletto? — No clue. Not interested in Bayonetta. Answer probably would have been “Q from James Bond” (plus awkward laughter)

    What is the name of the main character in Zelda: Ocarina of time? — One of my absolute favorite series’, so I knew this one.

    So… 3/5. One because of a chance reading. One wrong because the question is stupid.

    The questions don’t span very many genres. Where were the Mario questions? Final Fantasy? StarCraft? Sims? Tetris? Two of the questions were Nintendo franchises, and not all gamers play Nintendo games. Why were none of the other questions platform-specific? Because the people behind the video were only interested in making other people look stupid.

  13. anison says:

    Jack/Companion Cube is the funniest thing I’ve seen all week.

    I hate trivia as a measure of intelligence/geekiness/whatever. It creates an extremely exclusive, insular group with a steep, incredibly rigid hierarchy and a ready-made handwave of dismissal for anyone who dares to not have been interested in a particular hobby since it’s inception or earlier. The only point is to reinforce the in-group with a circle-jerk of smug superiority, as we see lovingly and elegantly summed up in that first Kotaku comment.

    • Hazmat Sam says:

      “extremely exclusive, insular group with a steep, incredibly rigid hierarchy”

      To be honest, I’d ideally prefer that, considering the alternative is listening to the Facebook masses. My problem is entirely that our “elites” in question are less like Louis XIV and more like Louis XVI.

  14. Cunzy1 1 says:

    What are the original three pokemon?

    Who phrased that question. It is awful. Bulbasaur, Ivysaur Venasaur are the first three in the pokedex. According to the canon palkia, dialga and arceus could be the original three ‘canon wise’. Original three could be the first three planned or revealed. I think they are asking about the three starters in the first generation? In which case they should ask that.

    • Ikkin says:

      The question asked for the “original three starter Pokemon” in the video, actually. Though it still probably would have been a better question if they just asked for the names of three Pokemon in general instead of the original starters, because of how old the original Pokemon games are nowadays.

    • Ryan says:

      The correct answer is, “I’m sorry, I don’t play Pokemans.”

    • Tara says:

      It probably doesn’t help that most people who know the Pokemon starters know them from the anime, not the games. Most of my friends could probably name the 3 starters and they haven’t touched a Pokemon game in their life. They just loved the Pokemon anime back in the 90s.

  15. Ronny Nunez says:

    “Nothing ruins a good LAN party like uncomfortable guests or lots of tension, both of which can result from mixing immature, misogynistic male-gamers with female counterparts”

    When I first read that in the original article I thought to myself “Great! Glad to see them getting rid of immature, misogynistic males” then I read the rest.

    I like to believe my reaction was the sane assumption, but these people are obviously insane. They basically turned this from inclusive into exclusive by making it an either/or situation. Either you have those types of males or you have women. They picked their side and basically admitted that those type of people are who they identify with.

  16. Joanna says:

    I could answer all those questions. Does that make me awesome?

  17. Hazmat Sam says:

    I know all these answers and I haven’t played more than two of those games. Anyone mildly interested in games should be able to ace this, which is the problem: These women are professional models, not gamers. That’s not a problem in general; modelling’s a tough demanding career, so I doubt they even have time to play. But nothing in this hobby has a goddamn thing to do with fitness or fashion so they shouldn’t be here and it’s a mockery of the hobby that they are.

    As to the Battlefield thing, I’m not American, but that looks like a corporate event, so is sex discrimination even legal in this case? It’s impressive that EA would risk a lawsuit rather than tell their pathetic fuckwit customers to go unfuck themselves.

    • depizan says:

      Anyone mildly interested in games should be able to ace this

      Why? Gaming is a hobby, not a school subject. I play MMOs and a few console games, which I’d say makes me more than mildly interested, but I have no idea what Pokemon people start with because I have no interest in Pokemon games and know no one who plays them. Likewise, this is the first I’d heard that Bioshock was inspired by Atlas Shrugged. (I’d heard about the moral question of whether or not to kill the Little Sisters and know it’s a first person shooter set in some type of post apocalyptic world, but the Ayn Rand connection has apparently flown over the head of everyone I’ve encountered who’s talked about it.)

      And do you really see the Companion Cube as a love interest? The only proper answer to that question is “Love interest!? WHAT love interest?”

      (I can guess that Bayonneta is the answer to the gun stilleto question, since that’d fit what I know of the game. And I’m pretty sure Link is the main character of Ocarina of Time. But, guess what, I haven’t played those games either. Or Portal, for that matter (though I’d like to). Guess I’m not mildly interested in games after all.)

      • Hazmat Sam says:

        “Why? Gaming is a hobby, not a school subject.”

        But see, these people I’m talking about are at E3, a gaming convention for the press and for industry professionals. They have to be held to actual standards.

        “Likewise, this is the first I’d heard that Bioshock was inspired by Atlas Shrugged.”

        Okay, I can sort of understand someone not getting Pokemon. Maybe you just weren’t gaming or watching TV or reading the news in the 90′s where that shit was everywhere. Maybe RPGs just aren’t your thing. But not knowing about Bioshock’s Objectivist shtick? That is literally the first thing anyone said about this game in any news article, preview or review about it, and no one in the industry has shut up about that series since. The bad guy’s name is Andrew Ryan, for fuck’s sake. People knew about this for a year before the game even came out, and the industry’s fixation (to almost Okami levels) means they talk about it constantly to this day

        “And do you really see the Companion Cube as a love interest?”

        Yes, everyone did. For years.. It’s a joke straight from the game that’s been run into the ground (second to only “the cake is a lie,” which, let me guess, you also haven’t heard of) just in case you didn’t get it the first time.

        ” And I’m pretty sure Link is the main character of Ocarina of Time. But, guess what, I haven’t played those games either. Or Portal, for that matter (though I’d like to). Guess I’m not mildly interested in games after all.”

        Oh my god, honestly? You said you play console games and are at least slightly uncertain to what one of the longest running acclaimed franchise in the medium’s history is about?

        I’m seriously wondering what magical place you are where people can discuss gaming completely oblivious to franchises that have been popular for literally decades, because it sounds heavenly.

        • depizan says:

          Wow, you really didn’t like having the idea that what you know is somehow required knowledge for everyone questioned, did you. Or you’re just an ass. I raised a valid question, I didn’t personally attack you. Well, until you decided to respond like an ass, that is, then I figured it was okay to call you what you’re acting like.

          Let me remind you of your statement. It was not “People at G3 should be able to answer all of those questions,” it was “Anyone mildly interested in games should be able to ace this.” So, my pointing out that it is a hobby is perfectly valid. (Had you actually said the first, I’d agree with you. You did not.)

          Actually, you know what. I was going to point out what was wrong with your attacks on me (I guess Kirk/Spock is canon in your world, along with Chell/Companion Cube.), but they’re so overblown that it really seems pointless. Let me just say this: no where is it required that one spend time reading news articles, previews, or reviews of games to play them. It may shock the hell out of you, but people don’t generally read articles, previews, or reviews of movies and books they’re not interested in either. Hell, lots of people don’t read them about ones they are interested in. Sometimes people just talk about their interests with friends and pick up whatever media looks good or like fun when they’re at the store or the library.

          • Hazmat Sam says:

            Oh god, yoou’re trying to seem serious, aren’t you? Fine, let me spell this out for you: The vast majority of these questions were stupid old memes. Even if you have never played these games or read, or watched anything about these games, the people who did would have repeated it endlessly. Now, I could maybe believe that you were just extraordinarily lucky to avoid the last decade of gaming history if you were an obsessive SHMUPer, but you said you were into MMOs. There is no goddamn way you missed companion cube jokes if you spent hours at a time daily on the Internet in a community of gamers any time during the last four years, and that’s the most obscure question.

            Little hint: Next time you troll, be a bit more subtle. Done now.

            • depizan says:

              I’m a troll? Seriously? You either have a reading comprehension problem or I bent your nose seriously out of shape by questioning your view of the world. Hint: Everyone is not a clone of you.

              Of course I’ve heard the Companion Cube jokes. That doesn’t mean that if I were asked about the love interest in Portal, my response wouldn’t be “Are you kidding me? You really think the Companion Cube is a love interest? Oooookay.” (You must think our host here is a troll, too, since that’s pretty much her response as well.)

              Of course Link is the hero of the Zelda games. *eyeroll* Perhaps I should’ve put it that way instead of being conversational in my first response. (Voice tone over the internet and all that.)

              For the last time, gaming is a HOBBY. It is something people do for fun, not something people study. What is your huge objection to that basic fact that you’d rather be an ass than admit that, no, people do not all obsessively study every game ever. (Even every popular game ever.)

    • Tara says:

      “I know all these answers and I haven’t played more than two of those games. Anyone mildly interested in games should be able to ace this”

      I’d argue this. It depends on what games you play. I’m not particularly interested in playing Bioshock and as a result of this, avoid news about the upcoming games. So I had no idea what the answer to the second question was.

      Does that make me any less of a gamer? Hell no! I’ve been playing games since the Atari 2600 and am active in multiple gaming communities for years. I just don’t keep up to date with games I’m not interested in.

      • Ikkin says:

        I’d argue this. It depends on what games you play. I’m not particularly interested in playing Bioshock and as a result of this, avoid news about the upcoming games. So I had no idea what the answer to the second question was.

        I think it’s less about what games you play and more about what circles you run in.

        The quiz seems to be perfectly designed as a test for a certain type of gaming netizen — the type who frequents the more intellectual sort of gaming blogs. The Bioshock-Ayn Rand connection is mentioned quite often on those sorts of blogs, the Bayonetta controversy was huge there, and they’re pretty big into the Companion Cube love (although it being a love interest seems to be a meme from elsewhere). Nostalgia is another big tenant of those kinds of places, hence the Zelda and original Pokemon questions.

        That doesn’t make the questions any better as general gaming trivia, but I think it does do a bit to explain where the quiz’s creators were coming from when they made it.

  18. Marie says:

    The first one just makes me so mad. Not only are they punishing the victims by giving the culprits what they want but a “gentleman’s lounge” in a gaming setting? Is there anyone who can see that as any more necessary than pouring water into the ocean?

    As for the sceond one, it’s not only myopic for gamers, but ethnocentric as well. I have no idea what Atlas Shrugged is about or what Ayn Rand stands for, and fiding out doesn’t get any more important just because someone says it is. Treating her as common knowlege in a globalized setting makes about as much sense as me going berserk over you not knowing who Villhelm Moberg was.

    • Hazmat Sam says:

      But see, there’s a difference:t Rand was not just an author, she was a (terrible) economic and political philosopher of vast influence. You should know about her because Ayn Rand had a massive influence on cold war to contemporary US policy and, more importantly, the evolution of modern US finance systems though her disciples like Alan Greenspan. You can trace the modern libertarian and Neo-Liberal economic schools straight back to Ran. So if you think this women was inconsequential outside the Anglo-Sphere, answer me this: Do you live in Asia or South America? If so, your country is either still trying to recover from the shit America’s Randians put it through or China.

      It’s not something that’ll be in elementary school history, but trying to comprehend world history from the 50′s on without Objectivism is like trying to comprehend the first half of that century without Futurism

      • Marie says:

        Objectivism, maybe, but not Rand herself. Now, I study social sciences, so my experiences in economics are tangential at best, but to my knowlege, she’s not considered as vital at a base academic level, at least. Greenspan I’ve heard of, as well as Keynes, John Stuart Mill and the other classical thinkers, but Rand? Only on the ‘net. Even if she is the base of Greenspan and his likes, the Neo liberalism itself is apparently more interesting than its roots. Than again, your comment may also hold the answer: I live and study in Europe, and even then most of my knowledge of economy is about the Third Path (bit of ethnocentricity on our end) or gained though Marx and his interpretation of it, so there you go.

        • Hazmat Sam says:

          You’re right, actually. Europe (which I never considered because “ethnocentrism” has never, to my knowledge, been used to say “you’re excluding the Europeans”) was never really subjected to the freaks how we got here. You guys actually lived next to commies, so it was harder to demonize them as much, thus you never got quite so desperate as to listen to this madwoman or her “intellectual” descendants. (At least not yet, but looking at Scandinavian importation of tea party bullshit and the austerity craze in general, it looks like you’re in for a demonstration) More importantly, Communism being right next door made America play nice with you, relatively speaking.

          But South America and Asia got the full treatment, and how it was formulated goes back to Objectivism. (Like, Ronald Reagan’s for example, if Greenspan isn’t enough) I know, not Rand specifically, but considering how Rand ran it as a personality cult and how that hasn’t changed since her death, there’s no functional difference. I think you’d have an easier time separating Christianity from Jesus, frankly.

          “the Neo liberalism itself is apparently more interesting than its roots”

          Well, that’s not something I can really argue with. I’m a philosopher and a history buff, so I think the genealogy of our ideals and values is interesting, important, and informative. But I suppose you wouldn’t have the same needs or interests.

  19. UnSubject says:

    My objection to the Rand / BioShock question is that BioShock was inspired by the philosophy of Objectivism rather than any single title written by Rand. So the question as written is incorrect.

  20. Pay-Ten says:

    Not only were 4 outta 5 of those questions worded terribly, what’s really bothering me is the last one. While the main character is referred to as Link, YOU CAN NAME HIM ANYTHING YOU WANT IN THE GAME. I would feel better if they said “what was the ORIGINAL name” or “what name is does the main character START WITH.” It just seems like they were making it a trick question, just to make it a trick question (more so then the they’ll-think-it’s-Zelda thing).

    PS- I’m a girl, a big gamer, and I only knew 3 answers. I don’t really blame the girls for not knowing them.

    • depizan says:

      I only knew 3 answers.

      Don’t admit that, you’ll get the wrath of Sam.

    • Cole92 says:

      Interesting. I didn’t know the player was able to assign him a different name, but then again, I’ve never played a Zelda game in my life, and really have no desire to. That being said, it doesn’t make me any less of a gamer than those who have. Did I miss one of those questions? Yes, the one about Ayn Rand and Atlas Shrugged. Then again I don’t play BioShock, and don’t really care about it. Gamers have personal preferences, and simply because they aren’t interested in the same games as you, it doesn’t mean they aren’t genuine gamers. I’m not ashamed to say that I missed one question, because I realize just how ridiculously unimportant that kind of trivia is.

    • chronicler says:

      Generally the default name is still considered the actual name. Among other things it just makes conversation easier. Other examples include Cloud Strife (alongside a multitude of Final Fantasy characters), who we can accept is named Cloud despite the option to name him anything we like, and Ness, who actually doesn’t have a default name at all. Ness is just the first thing that will pop up if you choose the option to have the game generate a name for you. After that it’s followed by Alec and Roger and all sorts of stuff. Ness is just the first on the list.

      The question is, who in their right frikkin mind would expect a non-gamer, a casual gamer, or a gamer who doesn’t game socially outside of an immediate social circle to know this? You can’t just casually drop something like that in as background information implicit in a question.

  21. Pingback: Gentlemen Exclude Women From Gaming For Their Own Protection | Vicarious Existence

  22. Jaclyn says:

    Battlefield: While I believe that people should be able to make their own rules when hosting their own LAN parties, this does make me cringe a bit. I don’t play FPS’ but I know some females who do, and aren’t the stereotypical whiners and “bads”, and who can dish it just as much as the males over voice chat. I think this rule was ill-advised and was bound to upset several people. Fine by me if some men want to host a more private LAN party for a game, but anything that’s a major event like that shouldn’t be exclusive to one gender. Though, would be interesting to gather a mob of female gamers, don’t even have to play Battlefield, have them dress in guy’s clothes, and show up at the event.

    E3: I linked this video on FB a while back after D20 linked it, also perpetuating the “scoff, they should know better!” attitude. I only knew two of those questions, but haven’t been big into video games for half a decade so the only ones I was able to answer were the Zelda and Pokemon ones. I also knew the Bayonetta one just out of pure guessluck. I, too, wasn’t amused. However, the sceney haired girl who claimed to work at Gamestop should have known her question…

    This quote, however:
    “Predictably, the booth babes answered all of the questions incorrectly and were then mocked by male gamers for getting the answers to such easy questions wrong:”
    I don’t understand. The interviewer was a female, and the place I originally got the link from was D20, which is populated by women mostly, who were also mocking them, and not every commenter on gaming sites is male. So I’m not quite sure where you got “male gamers” from.

    And this one:
    “It makes them smart enough to not want to associate with a hobby that treats women like shit.”
    Except they already are, and they seem to be perfectly okay with being one of the undeniable objectifications of women in game advertising. :p

  23. Dammit! Where the hell is all the other stuff?! I commented on a certain article and then after I posted, the article changed to something My post had nothing to do with! WTF?!!

  24. Pingback: Mountains of Misogyny « Popular Culture Gaming

  25. chronicler says:

    Sweet merciful crap. That trivia quiz was just plain enraging. So much of it was blatantly shit that you just plain wouldn’t know if you’d never played the games or weren’t at least part of a social circle that regularly discusses games.

    Then by question 3 we start delving into shit that even I wouldn’t have gotten right off the bat. “What video game is inspired by the Ayn Rand novel Atlus Shrugged?” Holy fuck. If I have to take a moment to think about it then we’re getting into shit that isn’t appropriate for who you’re quizzing right now.

    Not to mention the bountiful amounts of deceptive wording. You already pointed out that “Love interest” was at best a huge stretch. You can’t just talk about introducing the gun stiletto as if that’s a regularly recognized part of our culture now! As if the term “Gun Stiletto” has worked its way into the vernacular since that game was published! Has the device even been seen anywhere else since that game? Would the words “Gun Stiletto” ever be used outside the context of talking about Bayonetta? Holy fuck. I didn’t even realize what she was describing right off the bat.

    I wonder if they do that at dog shows? Ask the non-dog involved workers about the minutia of the Armenian Gampr Dog and mock them for not possessing such simple facts.

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