>Apologetic linkspam: Have some WTF, and also some win


Okay, folks. As promised, here’s a bit of extra WTF to carry you through the weekend. I resolve to fail less starting next week, but as I’ve discovered I need my weekends. Those two days to detox from all the icky shit I look at during the week in the name of research for this blog are important. Srsly. You don’t even want to know some of the shit I stumbled across by accident while researching “clothing damage”. Brr.

Anyway. Here’s some WTF to console yourself with.

WTF the first: yet more creepy shit from Japan

So. There’s this thing in Japan called a hostess club, where lonely young men go to spend time with women who are employed by the club, and by spend time I mean just that. Some of them will have board games, others will just have coffee… whatever. Anyhow, I stumbled across this article about a Japanese romance game centering around young women who work at a particular hostess club.

…yeah. Because stalking women home from work is totally romantic.

Anyway. No idea on if it’s being translated – these screens are all in Japanese. But here’s a taste:

If you want to see more, you can see the full article with lots, and lots, and LOTS of creeptastic screens here. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you. (And don’t get caught reading it at work.)

WTF the second: dear Nukezilla, I heart you

Okay, this isn’t so much WTF as an awesome repudiation of WTF. So remember the fail-tastic IGN Gamer Girl Christmas Gift Guide? If you haven’t seen it, please do go glance through it. Don’t bother reading the text if you’re in a hurry – just check out the photos. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

… yuck, right? I mean, I’m pretty sure anyone who would attach a photo like this to an article supposedly about gifts for “girl gamers”…

Okay, why is she making Seductive Face at SACKBOY? That’s just creeping me out.
…has never really talked to a woman that games. (And yelling ‘tits or GTFO’ over XBox Live doesn’t count, fellas. Neither does sending ASCII penises in chat.)Anyway. John Kershaw over at NukeZilla wrote this amazing rant about how horrific that feature was. It starts off with “girls, meat, what’s the difference?” and gets better from there.

John Kershaw, I don’t know you, but you are my new hero.

WTF the third: The Bayonetta creator said something misogynist? NO! SAY IT ISN’T SO!

So everyone is familiar with Bayonetta, right? I have to say that she’s hands down one of the best female characters to come out of the gaming industry in the last few years. She’s strong, well rounded, not sexualized and… okay even I can’t maintain the sarcasm.

Anyway. She’s inspired a fair amount of controversy, which isn’t too surprising since one of her main attacks involves spreading her impossibly long legs to kill things with her ladybits sword.

Bayonetta. Feminist icon and role model.
Anyway, Hideki Kamiya – the creator of Bayonetta – apparently thinks that all women view each other as enemies. Which begs the question… He designed a title with a female lead… why?Oh right! The tits. I mean, sorry – the ass. Almost forgot. Kamiya is clearly an ass man.

…okay, that’s enough fail. So here, have some win:

Troll data analysis

Blogger Kirbybits got involved in that whole Penny Arcade internets fiasco and got a lot of internet traffic to her blog. Interestingly, she decided to analyze comments to see what sort of trends troll comments display. The results are super-interesting! You can read the post here, but be warned there’s lots of super-graphic language involving threats of rape.

And that’s all I have time for today. I’ll check in a few times this weekend just to make sure people aren’t setting themselves (or each other) on fire in the comment threads, but otherwise I’ll see you Monday!

18 thoughts on “>Apologetic linkspam: Have some WTF, and also some win

  1. >I remember the IGN business, it was truly ridiculous. And Nukezilla's rebuttal was very nice.It makes me so sad that the gaming industry sells itself to the lowest common denominator of 13 year old boys when demographics clearly state this is ridiculous.Is it so difficult for men NOT to view women as sex objects?

  2. >Okay, here's the somewhat short version, after now several attempts to break down my thoughts on men viewing women as sex objects.Basically, it comes down to the fact that, well, we want sex. Blame whatever you like, we want it, we all do, really. It's just that it's hard to get past the preconceptions laid out for us by society. You know, that no matter who we are or what we look like, we can get supermodels to do naughty things with us. Throw in a lack of social connection to women we feel attracted to and you have the makings for some nasty stuff. If we can't interact well with women, we get rejected and one of two basic options are before us, blame them, or blame ourselves. How many people do you know take personal responsibility for things?The ones that do tend to grow as individuals, finding their flaws and trying to adjust themselves so they are happier. Do it too much and you're a self-conscious wreck. Do it too little and you're a self-centered egomaniac. There's a balance, and it's hard to find. The desire for sex, of course, makes a lot of things "someone else's" fault for a lot of guys, especially ones who expect the opposite gender to be loose. There's a lot more to it than I can say in this comment box, but suffice to say some guys never learn that it's their behavior, actions, or prejudices that scare people away and just assume that the problem is with everyone else, or just stop caring, give up all hope, and cycle into bitterness and depression.The big problem for the entertainment industry is that they follow what has worked in the past. They won't dare try something new until it's proven or they are forced to by a developer that has enough pull to get what they want. Indie games help, but it's going to be a while, I think. The best thing we can do is support projects that embrace the changes we like, but those are sort of few and far between, and they don't always have good gameplay (like I said, it's complicated).It's a cycle that needs to be broken, but there's no magic bullet to do so. Education, familiarity, and discussion, however, do help, at least it helps those that are willing enough to listen.

  3. >"The best thing we can do is support projects that embrace the changes we like, but those are sort of few and far between, and they don't always have good gameplay (like I said, it's complicated)."I don't really think, in most cases anyway, that there an idea of a 'best way'. The way you propose is certainly important but there are a lot of other ways to change things. You don't necessarily have to use one. Like for example calling out the 'sex sells' mindset for what it inherently is.. woman-hating.

  4. >Well, you're right in that there isn't really a "best way" per se, there's a lot of things that need to be done on a lot of fronts, and calling attention to stupid crap is a big one.However, the problem is that it's easy to point at some of the stuff out there and say "that's offensive" and most sensible people will agree with you. Metroid Other M, comes to mind.But what about the less offensive stuff? Sex sells, and it goes both ways, even if it is hugely lopsided. When you say it's woman-hating, you're implying that, really, sex itself is something harmful to women, or at least that's what many people often take away from it.This is why there needs to be discussion, there needs to be understanding, and there needs to be unfiltered experiences from people so others can understand what the other side experiences. Virtually no man can understand what it's like to be a woman in today's society, so quite often strong reactions to things that are perceived as mild aren't understood.Most guys will say, "Hey, wait a minute. I like the female form, and I enjoy seeing it in my entertainment. That's just natural, I like women!"And that, in itself, is not a wrong thing. Human sexuality can be, and is, a wonderful thing.But how entertainment and our society portrays such things is out of whack, coming from a huge number of other issues. It's not being done out of malicious intent by most people, so it does no good to focus hate on them, that just shuts them down and turns them against you. Look at the Religion vs. Science debate in the United States.I agree that the worst examples need to be called out for the exploitative garbage they are, and the reasons why need to be explained so that we can all come to a collective agreement as to what the line should be, properly.You and I may well have different lines of what's acceptable and what's not, and I'm sure there's room for discussion on the area between, and we need to get people involved in the conversation, and to do that we need to get them on the same page. Education and familiarity with the subject at hand, hitting close to home, that's what ultimately gets change to happen. How that's best done, well, there's lots of ways. This blog is fantastic at opening eyes to problems, and more so doing it in a way that doesn't attack the guys who might otherwise see this stuff and not think twice about it. The second someone feels like they're being attacked, they tend to rear up and draw a line in the sand, and at that point discussion gets to be nearly impossible because each side misses the forest for the trees and are shouting each other down and increasing ignorance over understanding.Bah, I've gone on too long again and rambled. Sorry for these massive responses. I'm enjoying the discussion though.

  5. >Well no, sex itself isn't bad. The idea that women /are/ sex, that it is their primary or sole purpose, that it is the only price of admission they can apparently pay to say.. be allowed into gaming culture is the bad thing. The idea of 'sex sells' is inherently woman-hating because of context it's used. The context people normally frame 'sex sells' in is 'women's bodies sell, sexually objectifying women sells, the exploitation of women sells'… with the conclusion of.. 'so it's okay' or it's 'necessary'. That really can't be anything but contempt for women, because it basically says 'screw you, my sexual drive matters more than you or your feelings, tits or GTFO' to them. And who wouldn't get mad at a message like that getting beamed at you constantly?In general, I think people are far too quick to automatically judge criticism as hatred. The idea of sex sells I proposed needs to be criticized, but it doesn't necessarily mean I'm damning everyone who takes part in it with a label of hating women. But I want people to be better. I just don't want it to be minimalized into something that's 'not that big of a deal' or that anyone calling it out is 'overreacting'. The idea itself is the woman-hating part, and I'm more trying to say 'let's stop associating with this inherently misogynistic idea if we want to be decent human beings, eh?'.Though I'm not one to hide that trying to justify or excuse that kind of stuff in the massive imbalance it's in right now comes off pretty bad to me. I still don't really know if I even agree if it really /does/ sell or how much effect it really has compared to everything else about the product. Especially with all the free sex-related stuff out there nowadays. I just don't see it as some kind of unassailable truth.Even some of the less obvious stuff needs to be called out though, really. Because the normalized and accepted stuff builds up into the bigger stuff, it always has. Naturally, people must be careful in which things they pick out, but I think small things are important too.Sometimes you need to be harsh, and sometimes women are, understandably I think, mad about the way they're treated over and over again. I don't think it should always be about women being nice to get the point across.. but men not holding expectations of women being nice ehough and instead focusing on the truth of their statements and the clear fact that this is greatly bothering them. I don't think, to a certain point, a tone should matter more than the substance of the statement.

  6. >I❤ you Lilith. Just sayin'.But the IGN rant was amazing, until I scrolled through the comments. It must have gotten leaked to the "advanced" set at 4chan because I saw a lot of "chan"-esque comments, and it kind of brought my "hell yeah!" response down a little.The whole idea that "we wouldn't treat women like sex objects if they didn't dress like them " is just plain stupid. "I wouldn't breath if air weren't so BREATHABLE."

  7. >I agree completely that the small stuff needs to be looked at too, but here's my point, and this is one that holds true for any major issue of our time, from dealing with sexism, to the debate between creationism and evolution, to the discussion of gay marriage.If one side feels you are blowing something out of proportion, they can safely marginalize you. They can, rightly or wrongly, use the argument to make a side seem irrational, thus blocking off hope for reasonable discussion. Now often times it doesn't matter what you say, it will get twisted by die hard opponents. For example, "See! They say we came from monkeys! I don't speak monkey, do you?" or "Look! This one part of the Bible is factually wrong, thus all faith is a lie!" Those are extreme examples, but the basic idea is there. The average person (or at least most of the people I know) understand sex sells in a different context, they're working from a different dictionary. They see it as "people will buy things that play to their desires", regardless of gender or orientation, not "women are objectified to tweak men's desire to buy something". That's the concept that needs to be explained first, because otherwise when you say that the "sex-sells" mentality is woman-hating, you'll run into a basic translation problem that immediately runs counter to their understanding of the world. Remember, people aren't just wholly logical beings, and as a whole we suck at statistics. If we see a handful of things catering to women's desires, we figure it balances out all of the other stuff.That's why I stress communication and education. Once we're all working from the same phrasebook, so to speak, we can more meaningfully have the discussion about what specifically is wrong.Remember, one of the biggest problems is that this is endemic in our society and so most people don't understand what the problem is. If the first introduction they have is someone they don't know telling them that they hate women and citing little things as huge deals, they're going to shut down and react poorly to what you say from then on in. This is a general rule of people, not just men or women.Should the message matter more than the tone? Absolutely. But we are not computers, we are all human beings, with all the flaws and issues that come with it. If the message, the truth, were all that mattered, then getting social change done would be easy, but it's not, and so hard work has to be done. It's hard, it's frustrating, but that's the way of the world.

  8. >And, not to belabor the point or seem like I'm spamming, but ThePredation's post is an example of what I'm talking about. The point I was trying to make in my previous post struck you as ridiculous, and yeah, taken the way you've taken it, it certainly does. Now, that's not the way I intended that to be, but I don't really have any control over how anyone else takes it, I can only try to explain myself as best I can. I hope, ThePredation, that I have explained myself a little better and that you can see my point, but if not, well, that's why we're having a discussion.🙂

  9. >John Kershaw is wardrox, the EIC of Nukezilla. @wundergeek — the gender gap isn't just a games-wide issue, it's a tech sector thing. There was a NY Times article recently about Wikipedia and the Gender Gap that really kicked off the discussion at a high level — hopefully there will be some positive results.

  10. >Aren't most Wikipedia editors ungendered? (in that they only give a username?) You can only say with certainty the number of people that disclose these things. I'm not sure if "more women hide their gender on the Internet" is any better, though.Now, the hostess club thing is something different than the average sexism. There are host clubs as well for women to find men at, and the numbers of each are very close to parity. Japan, if you will recall, has some severe issues about sex in general, most pressing being that they don't actually have it: Their birth rate is the lowest negative in the developed world and their xenophobia keep them from grabbing immigrants to compensate like England and Canada have done. There's been studies that say something like 30-40% of both male and female Japanese teenagers describe sex as a "hassle" or a "chore". (the astronomical voluntary teenage prostitution rate might have something to do with this) Sex is increasingly unreal over there, and it's not just a guy thing.Also:"Anyway, Hideki Kamiya – the creator of Bayonetta – apparently thinks that all women view each other as enemies. Which begs the question… He designed a title with a female lead… why?"Because the game is about fighting stuff? But seriously, that seems like an odd statement. I recall that your ending had Jeanne, the other witch you've been fighting the entire game, have to save your sorry ass so you could punch God(ess) into the Sun. (she was brainwashed till then. So were you.) God knows this isn't a feminist game, but that comment is directly contradicted by the game itself. I wonder if there was a mistranslation? This wouldn't be the first time people misunderstood Kamiya. (turns out that he was angry at rule 34 that put Bayonetta on the S side of DS for being OOC, not rule 34 of Bayonetta in general.) Still, it wouldn't surprise me if it was legit and he was completely schizoid. You don't make games like DMC and Bayonetta without a touch of madness.

  11. >Er actually my comment was made in general in response to the nonsense I read on the IGN crap, and not directed at anyone in particular. I made the comment about Lilith based on current and previous comments that have been well written and humorous as well as informative, but your discussion qualifies as all of the above. I enjoyed both of your commenting, and if it seemed like I was taking a side, I apologize!

  12. >I prefer to think of it as illustrating the difficulty of the matter, even if I must use myself as an example. Text, after all, does not always explain what face to face communication does.To that end, ThePredation, I do apologize. It was late and I had assumed that your response was in some what directed towards me. In other words, "my bad".

  13. >@Hotfoot: Mm, good points. I think I mostly agree with you, though I don't necessarily think that one must pick between gentle and harsh. There's always that medium option or a combination of both, and while it's certainly possible to be too harsh.. I think there also should be a warning against being too gentle as to gloss over things or mistakenly obscure the truth. You have to be willing to call out things and make it clear they're not acceptable. Like silencing/derailing tactics, defensiveness, and rationalizations that only seek to dodge responsibility or people who dismiss it as 'nothing to do with me'. Education can't get anywhere if the person isn't willing to acknowledge some things.So I guess I would say that a gentle hand is good perhaps to lead but that it won't always be sufficient. Education is fine but criticism stops complacency. Though it doesn't work in all cases, I think calling an /idea/ out as hateful or oppressive (and yes that'd probably involve breaking down how) can be a good medium as opposed to labeling a person unknowingly perpetuating the idea.

  14. >Lilith & Hotfoot: Thank you for having a civil discussion that was interesting to read. Carry on!Sam: Can you please refrain from hurling personal insults here? If you disagree with someone, fine. But please don't start attacking them personally.

  15. >I'm glad other people are enjoying this, even though I did manage to get a bit of egg on my face.Lilith, I can't really say I disagree with you on any major point as of right now. I mean, half the reason I love reading this blog is that it mixes the informative with the provocative in a really nice way. Sure, there's always going to be the odd knuckle dragger who comes in spouting nonsense, and, well, internet trolls are internet trolls, but for an example, the gender swap pictures are a perfect starting point for people who might otherwise not see a problem.Anyway, I'm glad we got to have this discussion.Heck, maybe I'll even retool and update my blog more often, who knows?

  16. >I'm not insulting anyone. I'm just thanking whatever divinity there is that I have a perfect example to demonstrate the actual meaning of the word "irony".

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