Some gaming news WTF: Eternal Light trailer; Duke Nukem Forever not sexist?

Hi, folks. I’m working on a series of posts about Magic that is proving to be more time consuming than I thought. So I thought I’d post a bit of WTF that I stumbled across on various gaming news sites just to tide you folks over while I continue to pull together research for the posts about Magic. Hopefully I’ll be able to get the first Magic post up tomorrow.

WTF the first: Duke Nukem Forever

Okay. I’ll admit that I’ve avoided dealing with Duke Nukem Forever, mostly because it just seemed too easy. I mean, pointing out how DNF is sexist is pretty much like shooting fish in a barrel. I mean, first we have the cover:

Now I have to admit that I do love that we get an angle of Duke that is almost exclusively used with female characters (I tend to think of it as “boob perspective”) – it’s a nice example of sexualization that male characters don’t usually get, even if Duke is pretty covered. But check out the manicured female hand. They are LITERALLY using a female body part to imply sexual gratification. It’s like they thought, well why bother showing the whole woman when all you really need is the hand? Ugh. And then you have the fact that half of the preview screens that are being released are of strippers, or lesbians, or lesbian strippers, or strippers with dildos…

… you get the picture.

Add to all of this the recent kerfuffle about the “Capture the Babe” mode and it seems mind-boggling that anyone could possibly argue against Duke Nukem being blatantly and horrifically sexist. I mean, Christ. In “Capture the Babe”, women are LITERALLY objects to be fought over. They are things, not people. It doesn’t get more clear cut than that.

So it should come as no surprise that Jim Sterling, that bastion of feminist advocacy, is arguing that we shouldn’t care if Duke Nukem Forever is sexist. Because, after all:

Does it really f*cking matter? When it comes to fictional people doing fictional things to each other in a fictional world, does it really affect you? No, it doesn’t, no matter how much you pretend a game like DNF could influence society with the “messages” you’ve projected onto it.

Seriously, how does it send the message that violence against women is normal? What’s normal about spanking women while people shoot at you with a shrink ray?

Oh, Jim Sterling. Thank you for helping me to keep sight of the big picture. Silly me! Why should I care about how women are portrayed in video games? After all, we all know that real people are never influenced by the media they consume. At all. Full stop.

Jim also did another post lampooning an article about DNF on the Fox News website about DNF’s sexism and harmful portrayals of women. And here’s the thing – I loathe Fox with every fiber of my being, but I think it was a pretty good article. I was pretty surprised, especially after the “video games cause rape” story that came out of Fox, that they were capable of producing a piece that limited itself to attacking DNF and not gaming in general. Certainly it was better than Jim’s, who couldn’t resist ending his feature on the Fox article with yet another rape joke. (Because we know how much Jim loves to joke about rape…)

Of course, Jim doesn’t get credit for the ONLY game news fail regarding DNF. I also found this feature on IGN making similar claims that Duke Nukem Forever is not sexist. In the feature, Editor Tristan Ogilvie writes about his experience as being the only gamer on a recent panel about gaming. Naturally the subject of DNF came up as a point against gaming. And here’s the thing, I think Tristan would have made a much better defense of gaming as not being a deviant hobby by coming and saying “sure, Duke Nukem Forever is sexist – but don’t judge all of gaming by one title” than by using weak-sauce arguments like:

…Similarly, if I play Duke Nukem Forever’s ‘Capture the Babe’ mode in all its bottom-slapping glory, I’m not suddenly going to start smacking women on the backside and calling them “sugartits” as though I’ve been thawed out from a state of suspended animation since the 1960s like Austin Powers (or nearing the end of a 12-hour bender like modern day Mel Gibson), because I’m well aware that to commit such acts wouldn’t be acceptable social behaviour by society’s standards…

Not very convincing, Tristan. Not very convincing at all.

Eternal Light Trailer

While browsing through the headlines on the IGN website, I stumbled across this trailer for the upcoming game Eternal Light (a game I’d previously never heard of). What caught my eye was the subtitle: “These monster-slaying, near-naked battle witches enjoy killing dragons. And breathing heavily.”

Curious, I fired up the trailer and discovered they weren’t kidding. Check out these screens:

The first thirty seconds features a slow camera pan around a mostly naked woman wearing a chainmail bikini… while she breathes heavily. Like, having sex heavily. Real subtle, guys. The rest of the trailer features in game combat shots that feature a lot of ridiculous camera angles where you can aaaaaalmost see ladybits but not quite. Frankly, it looks like a fanservice engine to me.

And of course the comments are pretty predictable:

I’m about as shallow as can be. I see boobs and I’m in. Don’t judge me.

i want to agree with all the haters but, boobs, 6 boobs goddamn
Like RedXIII i see 6 good arguments to buy this game, count me in!
Did someone say something about there being a dragon in this video…? All I saw was boobs.
…they go downhill from there. And people wonder why the stereotype of gamers is mouth-breathing male nerds living in their mom’s basement. Real classy, guys.

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.

276 Responses to Some gaming news WTF: Eternal Light trailer; Duke Nukem Forever not sexist?

  1. Kaonashi says:

    Isn’t there a serious point to be made about DNF and its influence on gamers though? I’m thinking about it in comparison with the effects of violence in games that people have been trying to find evidence of for so long now. There’s very weak of evidence of any connection at all, and if there is one it’s so overshadowed by other social factors that it’s almost silly to discuss it as long as there’s poverty, drugs, bad parenting, etc. I think it’s not unfair to expect a similar connection between in-game and real sexism.

    I don’t mean that this elevates DNF above all criticism. Far from it. But I think we as gamers might want to be careful with how we discuss these things, or it might be used against us. Also, the idea that playing DNF turns you sexist is an easily dismissed caricature of an argument that I think confuses any discussion of real but more subtle effects, which I believe Tristan’s comment shows all too well.

    • wundergeek says:

      Dude. At no point have I said that playing DNF makes you sexist. It is possible play DNF and not be sexist, but that doesn’t change the fact that DNF is a very sexist game. I’m not attacking the players. I’m attacking the devs and the “journalists” who are trying to say that a game that treats women like property and sex toys is some how not sexist.

      Also, I can care about more than one thing at once. Just because poverty exists doesn’t mean I shouldn’t care about sexism in gaming too. This sort of sexism perpetuates the attitudes that cause gaming men to sexually harass women on Xbox Live, or in StarCraft II, or in WoW, etc etc.

      • Kaonashi says:

        I’m sorry, I interpreted this as sarcastic:

        After all, we all know that real people are never influenced by the media they consume. At all.

        …as in that the gamers are negatively affected by the game. I guess I read too much into it.

  2. Mirasiel says:

    Nngh, I’ve been waiting for this and I was really hoping you’d just pass off DNF as a waste of time given that the entire game is pretty much a parody of the entire FPS macho, sexist, mysoginistic action-man culture..that as you almost said…its like pointing out water is wet…thats the point of it.

    It’s meant to be an over the top, caricature of everything that is right, wrong, awesome and cheesy about action games/movies harking back to the 80′s and amped up to the nth degree. Tilting at windmills was the phrase that came to mind when I read this, sorry.

    • Tony says:

      This.

      I remember someone once said Duke Nukem is the video game equivalent of McBain from the Simpsons, to be honest, its a good description. Duke is basically a parody of every over the top, macho, woman-lovin action hero of yesteryear. Hell, most of Duke’s most well-known quotes are ripped directly from 80s and 90s action flicks.

      • KevRyan says:

        Who was expecting anything else out of Duke Nukem, he has been around a long time now and the gaming industry, unlike himself, has changed considerably since his first appearance.
        Frankly I’m surprised and irritated that people are getting offended when taking offence at something so blatantly silly just hurts the reputation of whoever the offended claims to be representing. This is one of those situations where really I’m just wasting effort typing, since the clue is in the title of the game. It’s called Duke Nukem! It’s not exactly going to be high brow in any respects, although I’m hoping it’s going to be a heck of a lot of fun.
        I’m looking forward to switching off the head and having a go of it.

        • LilithXIV says:

          ‘Hurts the reputation’. Yeah, yeah, because all those other claims of sexism in gaming go over so very well. Complaining about this will /surely/ be a devastating blow. Anyway, if anything the game is woman-hating. The whole women as sex objects thing has nothing to do with love. And people have yet to explain how something being parody matters at all? It’s still glorifying it.

  3. Nymeria says:

    It’s MEANT to be over the top with the misogyny, so it’s IRONIC is not an argument.

    The developers have shown themselves to be sexist douchebros various times too, so it’s also annoying to see people act like they’re just making a parody.

    IRONIC sexism doesn’t make it not, you know, sexism. The “SHUT UP IT’S A PARODY AND YOU JUST DONT GET IT” argument is tired. Very fucking tired.

    • Mirasiel says:

      well which devs are you talking about Nymeria, Gearbox or the previous (and various) 3Drealms teams? or are they all sexist douchebros?

      A lot of parody is made by people who are total fucking assholes, that doesnt stop it being a parody.

      As I said, trying to criticise DNF for being sexist and crass* is just tilting at windmills and I am confused as to why WG dedicated so much to what is basically a known OTT franchise instead of the shagtastic piece of shit she has plonked at the bottom of the article.

      *and I think that may go double for Jim Stirling but I at least get that shining a spot light on the trolls has some sort of effect/purpose.

      • LilithXIV says:

        Gearbox, mostly, from what I’ve seen. Also, if it’s supposedly a parody I think they failed spectacularly with it, which on them for not making it very good and not the audience. Because it’s really hard to tell it a part from a simple send-up of all that gross stuff, a glorification of it and reveling in it. Especially since they had booth babes at PAX too in the ‘naughty schoolgirl’ outfits.

        You don’t really have to try criticizing it, it’s right there. It doesn’t matter if it’s over the top, it’s still Bad and it’s still sexist. And honestly, I don’t really think we need more games like this when all that ‘crass’ and sexist stuff continues to get produced in gaming and marked as acceptable.

        • LilithXIV says:

          “A lot of parody is made by people who are total fucking assholes, that doesnt stop it being a parody.”

          Also.. yeah it totally does. Cause if you’re a /sexist/ asshole then that makes it even more unlikely you’re really making a parody of it (if anything, it’d be /affectionate/ parody) and not just a send-up. The idea that it’s not sexist because it’s /deliberate/ just becomes even more hollow and easy to disbelieve.

        • Amiz says:

          I’d argue that we should see MORE games like Duke Nukem that are SELF AWARE. Duke Nukem knows its sexist – that’s a part of the joke. But the whole thing is supposed to be taken tongue-in-cheek. We’re supposed to laugh AT Duke and his ridiculous over the top machoness. He’s a silly character living in a silly world where all women are babes and all men are pigs (literally).

          The problem is, the majority of other games just use women as a vehicle for tittilation with no satire or self awareness at all. They’re scantily clad because they’re women and women are supposed to be sexy for TEH MENZ. Sadly, that seems to be how most developers think, anyway.

          At least Duke Nukem knows its silly and plays up on it.

          • LilithXIV says:

            Playing it up is not the same thing as being self aware of how sexism is actually wrong. And if Duke is supposed to be the Butt Monkey of the game I’d sure love to see how. What makes it satire? That it’s so over the top? One could easily make the argument that it’s just reveling in it instead. Like I said before.. if it’s satire it’s really bad satire to the point of looking like it’s not even there.

            This kind of ‘joke’ doesn’t work in this context, and in the context of larger gaming culture, especially when making a joke of something is just another way to normalize it and make it more acceptable.

            • Amiz says:

              The developers released a video only yesterday that shows one of Duke’s weapons is shit. He can pick up shit in the

              In what way ISN’T this game self-aware? It knows it’s fucking ridiculous. The devs are putting as much stupid shit they can get away with, no matter how juvenile. It’s all just one big joke to them. A tribute to the original Duke Nukem titles, if you will.

              I didn’t mean to say that Duke is the ‘butt monkey’ or the game because tbh everything is supposed to be laughed at. Duke’s ridiculous, the female characters are ridiculous, the one-liners are ridiculous, it’s all just one big laugh-fest at the game’s ridiculousness.

              And tbh, Duke Nukem has been around for almost tewnty years and his ‘style’ of games didn’t have a sudden burst of popularity in the 90s and don’t seem to be doing the same now in the 2000s.

              Like I said above, I’d still argue that games like Duke Nukem are better than the countless games that portray men as the heroes and women as nothing more than sex objects. At least Duke himself is just as laughable and ridiculous as everything else in the game. I’d rather play a tongue-in-cheek game than one that genuinely wants me to take their female characters seriously, even though she’s just tits on legs.

              • LilithXIV says:

                I’d rather have respect, myself. And people not defending sexist things to their last breath x.x

      • wundergeek says:

        See, the thing is in order for something to qualify as satire it has to show the fallacy inherent in the thing that is being satirized. Does DNF do that? Um. No. He watches strippers and lesbians making out. Does that ever bite him in the ass? No. SO. NOT. SATIRE. Just as you can’t excuse making racist jokes by calling it “satire”, you can’t make a game that is crammed from end to end with sexism and misogyny and then claim it’s not sexist because it’s “a parody”. PARODY DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY.

        Here’s the thing. I could have written something way, way longer about the evils of DNF. I didn’t bother because it’s pretty self-evident. However, what did deserve a mention is all these people trying to claim with a straight face that DNF is somehow “not sexist” – especially game journalists! They should have the balls to say “you know what, this is pretty sexist. And I’m going to play it anyway”. For me it’s not the game that’s newsworthy so much as the double-standard.

        • wundergeek says:

          Oh, also. One of Gearbox’s official DNF preview events was held in a fucking strip club. An honest to god strip club. In which universe is that anything approaching not being sexist? Srsly.

        • bhlaab says:

          Parody certainly can work that way. There’s no rule that the target of a satire needs to suffer for it or get some limply symbolic pie to the face. Oftentimes the point lies in how the target does not suffer or even succeeds.

          • LilithXIV says:

            Then it’s an affectionate parody and it’s sexist. Glad we got back to same exact spot we just were.

            • bhlaab says:

              Yeah, if you take my point and then make it the exact opposite of what I said we’re right back where we started.

              • LilithXIV says:

                Which I didn’t do. You frame it as an affectionate parody. It doesn’t nothing to call it out or make fun of it, it glorifies it and has fun with it. Again I say, over the top sexism is still just sexism. None of it is harmless.

              • bhlaab says:

                What part of “the protagonist is an uncool, sociopathic 14 year old in an adult’s body that has been placed into a world that ironically doesn’t know any better than to gratify him” makes you think my framing is affectionate?

              • LilithXIV says:

                “Parody certainly can work that way. There’s no rule that the target of a satire needs to suffer for it or get some limply symbolic pie to the face. Oftentimes the point lies in how the target does not suffer or even succeeds.”

                That part. If it’s not a parody that attacks or even attempts it, it’s an affectionate one if it is indeed a parody. I was speaking to that general statement, not what you personally see Duke Nukem as. The developers don’t seem to agree with you.

  4. bhlaab says:

    While I do think that the Capture the Babe minigame has a creepy subtext of dominance that crosses a line into straight-up poor taste, I think it’s important to note that as a whole Duke Nukem is a satire.

    The gag is that the protagonist is an uncool, sociopathic 14 year old in an adult’s body that has been placed into a world that ironically doesn’t know any better than to gratify him. This protagonist also happens to be the cipher for the target demographic’s latent hormonal desires, which is obviously no accident. Personally I consider it a fairly decent deconstruction of adolescent entertainment and the misogynistic trends in video games in particular.

    Of course, one could argue that 90% of the intended audience will miss the point entirely, but that doesn’t mean it’s not there. There are still people who are convinced that Beavis and Butthead were built to be role models…

    • LilithXIV says:

      If 90 percent of an audience doesn’t get it then that might be a problem with the game itself. And if they don’t get it and take it seriously then, hey, it just helped once again reinforce the sexist atmosphere. That’s still actually on the game designers, and poor parody is not the fault of the women who find this disgusting. How long can one really use the parody/satire/camp excuse before it runs dry? I think many people will need more than that to be convinced.

      • Hazmat Sam says:

        Okay, I agree with you that “Hey look, we’re conciously and deliberately being sexist” doesn’t excuse any sexism, and Duke Nukem is obviously ironic sexism rather than parody. It could be failed sexism, I’m not a mind reader, but that’s what you get for trying to satirize something in a videogame: either terrible games or characters in good games people agree with as a Pavlovian response to having fun. No More heroes for the former and Metal Wolf Chaos for the latter, for example. Either way, the devs should’ve seen it coming.

        That said, I’m a bit leery about your ’90% of people is a problem of the game’ thing. Remember that there are still conservatives that think The Colbert Report is a parody of liberal parodies. Neo-Nazi parties that recommend watching American History X. The majority of readers thought A Modest Proposal was serious. And so on. People will find a way to make you agree with them regardless of what is said because confirmation bias is the most powerful force in the universe.

        • Hazmat Sam says:

          EDIT: Failed satire note failed sexism. God, I’m tired.

        • bhlaab says:

          Games nowadays reverse the expectations of “fun” all the time. Would it be fair to call the forced execution at the end of MGS3 a pavlovian trigger meant to evoke fun, even though it’s the same central verb (“press square to shoot”) you’ve been using throughout the game as a means for fun?

          Obviously I doubt Duke will be exploring the protagonist’s deep emotional scars. I’m just pointing out that it is possible for a game to say one thing but mean another.

          • wundergeek says:

            If that’s the case, then DNF has failed utterly and entirely at any attempt to convey an anti-sexist message.

            • LilithXIV says:

              Right, what Wundergeek said. And in that failing, it only reinforces it. Also, yeah, Gear Box’s actions make it /really/ hard to believe it’s all ‘okay because it’s just a joke’ x.x

          • Hazmat Sam says:

            Fun is a property of playing, not of watching. You do something fun. You are entertained by something. The vast majority of MGS can’t really be considered fun or unfun for that reason, and I would strongly question whether it was entertaining. (Even peop;e who haven’t been to PoliSci 101 probably got tired of it being repeated for 500 hours straight. Not Kojima’s fault, it was a franchise zombie, but the point remains)

            And the tragic parts in games are enjoyable in the same way all tragedy is: as voyeuristic masochism.

            • bhlaab says:

              But the execution is one of the things you do in MGS3. The game disables all controls except for the shoot button and forces the player to comply. The excessive cutscenes have little to do with that specific moment (aside from context)

              “Tragedy is voeyeuristic masochism”? Jesus, you make Romeo & Juliet sound like a sick experiment for a sinister clinical trial.

              • Hazmat Sam says:

                “But the execution is one of the things you do in MGS3. The game disables all controls except for the shoot button and forces the player to comply. The excessive cutscenes have little to do with that specific moment (aside from context)”

                So wait, how is this different from a visual novel where someone dies on the next line when I press the space bar? You’ve described no interaction or choice here, so there’s no immersion. I’m still watching it happen instead of doing it myself. As such, that’s a QTE, that is to say: the worst kind of cutscene, rather than actual play.

                “Jesus, you make Romeo & Juliet sound like a sick experiment for a sinister clinical trial.”

                That’s just a bit of academic shorthand. Here’s what I mean, using your example: Given that the play is about the suffering of the protagonists, There are two ways to enjoy Romeo and Juliet: Empathizing (Empathy defined as: Convincing yourself that you feel what they feel: that is to say, that you are that person temporarily) with their suffering and enjoying it (the masochism) or not empathizing with their suffering and enjoying it (sadism or schadenfreude, depending on exactly how). Since it’s got nowhere near the sadist potential of Titus Andronicus, I think masochism would be the proper way to have fun with it. And since you are not, strictly speaking, causing nor receiving suffering, it’s voyeuristic. Joy is a subjective property of an experience, not an experience in-and-of-itself, so you can still enjoy something that makes you cry. Real-life masochists do it all the time.

              • Ikkin says:

                So wait, how is this different from a visual novel where someone dies on the next line when I press the space bar? You’ve described no interaction or choice here, so there’s no immersion. I’m still watching it happen instead of doing it myself. As such, that’s a QTE, that is to say: the worst kind of cutscene, rather than actual play.

                The difference here is, you’re inhabiting the character in the same way as you’ve done throughout the rest of the game. Pressing the spacebar to advance the story is a meta-action: you’re not controlling a character at all, so you’re not responsible for what that character does. Activating a QTE is a break in immersion: there’s a significant disconnect between your button press and what the character does, because the button press means “activate QTE” rather than “shoot,” and that makes it much more difficult to feel responsible for what the character does as a result. MGS3 retains the same shooting mechanics as the rest of the game, so there’s no reason to lose the connection between yourself and Snake.

                The best way to demonstrate the difference, I think, is to consider how someone would describe what happened if they were explaining the game to you. If it were a visual novel or a QTE, they’d probably say “Snake shot the boss.” The way MGS3 does it, virtually everyone says “I shot the boss” — and the feeling behind that is completely different.

                (In fact, I believe that feeling of responsibility is exactly why videogames make an interesting storytelling medium, but that’s rather off-topic)

  5. Nymeria says:

    I’m talking about Gearbox, mainly. http://borderhouseblog.com/?p=4375 (I’m not sure if this has everything. There’s been a lot of stuff they’ve said in interviews that’s pretty shitty, too.)

    Wouldn’t you say their behavior kind of hints that this game that’s a “parody” just uses that as an excuse to play sexist tropes without being called out for it? “Oh that series has always been loaded with misogyny so let’s not discuss it” is weak.

  6. Chaltab says:

    The sad thing is, this arena combat game starring all women could be a cool idea and something unique within the gaming industry if it weren’t such in such over-the-top titillation mode. Do they just think no dudes will buy it if they don’t put all the women in plate bikinis?

    • Hazmat Sam says:

      That would be a baffling assumption, given the cult acclaim of the No One Lives Forever series. Honestly, the reasoning is probably “Sex sells (to men) and if it’s a good game, women will just hold their nose and play it anyway, like they do with World of Warcraft.”

      The closest we’ve got to what you’re talking about is Team Fortress 2 really, in that it appeals to mainstream women’s sexuality specifically. (Some people have trouble believing this. To them, I say “Go to tf2chan) Perhaps because of this, TF2 has some of the only properly-clothed female character mods I’ve ever seen.

      • LilithXIV says:

        So it’s sexist reasoning nonetheless then, and a reasoning I really wish would end. And those skins were made for TF2 because it has no women whatsoever on it’s roster (with only one of them being arguable even then). Just because it somehow appealed to women in some way or form doesn’t mean that’s what it meant to do and having an entire game like that without women present pretty much at all among the main character roster seems pretty exclusionary to me.

        • Hazmat Sam says:

          Oh, no argument from me. Honestly, the main issue is that men make purchases based on irrelevant sexuality to a stupid degree. (Like seriously, remember those GoDaddy insurance commercials? You think that sort of shit would work on women?). Women putting up with that shit is the minor issue in comparison, especially in a place like this.

          Two small things though:

          “Just because it somehow appealed to women in some way or form doesn’t mean that’s what it meant to do”

          Why does intention matter here any more than it matters in the case of sexism? You know, I’ve stopped demanding academic rigour here, but can you at least spare me some intellectual consistency?

          “having an entire game like that without women present pretty much at all among the main character roster seems pretty exclusionary to me.”

          Well, by that logic, Dead or Alive Volleyball excludes men. I think that’s silly logic.

          • Ikkin says:

            Why does intention matter here any more than it matters in the case of sexism? You know, I’ve stopped demanding academic rigour here, but can you at least spare me some intellectual consistency?

            Probably because, ironically enough, the intention behind saying “intention doesn’t matter” usually isn’t to make the strong moral claim about culpability that such a statement implies.

            It’s usually used, in my experience, as a stronger-sounding replacement for saying, “if someone tells you you’re hurting them, defensiveness is counterproductive” (which is a claim I’m far more comfortable with), because a lot of us are so used to seeing people say “I didn’t intend to hurt anyone” as an excuse to avoid changing behavior that hurts others.

            It’s still quite possibly counterproductive to use that particular phrase to say it, though.

            Well, by that logic, Dead or Alive Volleyball excludes men. I think that’s silly logic.

            Well, obviously, a character of a particular gender can be made for an opposite-gender audience (we wouldn’t really be here otherwise). And feeling excluded has more to do with the sense that the characters weren’t made for you than it does with whether the characters have the same genitalia — both men and women tend to feel very welcome when offered an entire world filled with characters designed to appeal to their baser instincts.

            But I don’t think you’d have an easy time arguing that the Team Fortress 2 guys were in any way made for women, even as a secondary consideration. And it’s that lack of thought, not the characters’ genders, that makes casts like that seem exclusive.

            • Hazmat Sam says:

              “the intention behind saying “intention doesn’t matter” usually isn’t to make the strong moral claim about culpability that such a statement implies.”

              Well, sorry about the mis-communication. I’m a bit new to all this, and I apparently don’t have a handle on all the code words used here.

              “feeling excluded has more to do with the sense that the characters weren’t made for you [...] And it’s that lack of thought, not the characters’ genders, that makes casts like that seem exclusive. ”

              It’s an instinct then? Well, I approve. So much of what I do for a living is putting those into words, after all. It’s not something I could argue even if I wanted to.

          • LilithXIV says:

            “Why does intention matter here any more than it matters in the case of sexism?”

            Because pretending TF2 was made to appeal to women when it clearly wasn’t is dishonest?

            “Well, by that logic, Dead or Alive Volleyball excludes men. I think that’s silly logic.

            Did you seriously just compare DoA to TF2? Yeah, they do the exact same sexualizing of both genders, with the same exact pandering to the opposite sex. Obviously the TF2 guys go walking around in banana hammocks with their junk swinging around with oiled chests. Totally rite? Gimme a break, Sam. And how are men being excluded even the same thing? Because men get excluded from these things as much as women do? Please, not even close.

            • Ikkin says:

              Did you seriously just compare DoA to TF2? Yeah, they do the exact same sexualizing of both genders, with the same exact pandering to the opposite sex. Obviously the TF2 guys go walking around in banana hammocks with their junk swinging around with oiled chests. Totally rite? Gimme a break, Sam. And how are men being excluded even the same thing? Because men get excluded from these things as much as women do? Please, not even close.

              As far as I can tell, Sam will always respond to the letter rather than the spirit of whatever argument they’re presented with and use uncomfortable comparisons to attack overgeneralizations whether or not they would agree with the more specific point that’s intended (it’s probably a philosopher thing).

              In a space that’s intended to be open to those who don’t have much experience with feminism, I think there are definitely some advantages to being more specific about what’s problematic — it’s harder for a troll to convince someone who might otherwise listen that you’re inconsistent, for one. On the other hand, I think Sam’s way of cutting down generalizations has some problems of its own. In general, though, we’d all probably be better off if we could figure out how to stop talking past each other (which is, unfortunately, easier said than done on the internet). =/

              • Hazmat Sam says:

                “As far as I can tell, Sam will always respond to the letter rather than the spirit of whatever argument they’re presented with”

                This is because no one knows the ‘spirit’ of something except the one who said it because the rest of us aren’t mind readers. Sure, I could assume the consensus understanding, but the consensus is “there’s nothing wrong with women in games” in the first place. We’re not talking the same way the average people are. Hence the need for semantic rigour.

                ” and use uncomfortable comparisons to attack overgeneralizations whether or not they would agree with the more specific point that’s intended (it’s probably a philosopher thing).”

                Guilty as charged.

                You know, we’d be able to understand each other a lot more if we held each other to rigorous semantic standards.

                “In a space that’s intended to be open to those who don’t have much experience with feminism, I think there are definitely some advantages to being more specific about what’s problematic ”

                Any discussion of feminism must do this, because “feminist” is a word with no defined meaning, policy, or predictive power. (Would a feminist ban porn? Depends on the feminist. Would a feminist support the Libyan intervention? Depends on the feminist. Would a feminist support enforcing college anti-misogynist speech codes? Depends on the feminist. And so on ad nauseum.)

                “On the other hand, I think Sam’s way of cutting down generalizations has some problems of its own. ”

                I will admit that I make use of Reductio ad absurdum more often than strictly necessary.

                “In general, though, we’d all probably be better off if we could figure out how to stop talking past each other”

                Wait a minute here, it was you guys, and you specifically, Ikkin, that said you wanted a ‘casual’ and ‘broad’ conversation. We can either have that, or we can have words that mean things and hold each other to the meaning of what we say.

                You can’t complain about people not understanding you if you were specifically against scientific use of language.

              • LilithXIV says:

                “In a space that’s intended to be open to those who don’t have much experience with feminism, I think there are definitely some advantages to being more specific about what’s problematic”

                Mm, that’s a good point. I don’t entirely take this into account all the time, the open space nature of this particular blog.

                “In general, though, we’d all probably be better off if we could figure out how to stop talking past each other.”

                Well yes, that would be nice to figure out, because I’m still having kind of a difficult time with that it seems x.x

              • Ikkin says:

                Hazmat Sam:
                Wait a minute here, it was you guys, and you specifically, Ikkin, that said you wanted a ‘casual’ and ‘broad’ conversation. We can either have that, or we can have words that mean things and hold each other to the meaning of what we say.

                You can’t complain about people not understanding you if you were specifically against scientific use of language.

                I don’t think that the use of layman’s language and the ability to communicate one’s thoughts are mutually exclusive. In fact, I think that layman’s language can vastly benefit one’s communicative ability, if speaking to an audience not used to the expectation of scientific precision.

                Laymen’s terms might be technically incorrect, but they do have commonly-held definitions that mean things and to which people can be held. Or, at least, I would hope they do, because you’re certainly not going to get very far communicating with an internet audience if you expect everyone to converse according to the standards of academia.

                LilithXIV:
                Mm, that’s a good point. I don’t entirely take this into account all the time, the open space nature of this particular blog.

                Yeah, it’s definitely something that’s easy to overlook, because most feminist blogs prefer to make safe space communities, but a lot of the rules of a safe space can’t be applied to an open space that welcomes people who are still figuring it out. We can’t really assume that stock arguments are disruptive or that our tone is irrelevant if our intention is to teach those who don’t have much experience with feminism, rather than create a space where we can speak with others with a similar level of familiarity and avoid the frustration of lower-level discussion.

                Well yes, that would be nice to figure out, because I’m still having kind of a difficult time with that it seems x.x

                Honestly, it seems to be difficult for everyone. The internet’s always been a breeding ground for problems with communication. =/

              • Hazmat Sam says:

                “I don’t think that the use of layman’s language and the ability to communicate one’s thoughts are mutually exclusive. In fact, I think that layman’s language can vastly benefit one’s communicative ability, if speaking to an audience not used to the expectation of scientific precision.”

                Then they should become used to it and we should help them. Jargon exists because advanced problems don’t get solved with basic thinking.

                “Laymen’s terms might be technically incorrect, but they do have commonly-held definitions that mean things and to which people can be held.”

                Yes, but those commonly-held definitions are either vaguely explained, incongruous, equivocal, or outright wrong. The entire first half of the 20th century of philosophical thought, whether logical positivist or existentialist, was concerned with unfucking language that laymen had fucked up to avoid pseudo-problems. You can’t make valid arguments with flawed language.

                ” Or, at least, I would hope they do, because you’re certainly not going to get very far communicating with an internet audience if you expect everyone to converse according to the standards of academia.”

                I don’t expect everyone to have thought and critically reasoned their positions. They’re not paid for it like I am. That’s why I’ve been very patient here explaining things that need explaining, and I’m not even going into the maths that I use every day to prove the logic. You say I’m not going to get far communicating this way? How far are we getting now?

                So, once again, I’m not demanding that everyone understand what a being-in-itself is or whatever. I’m just telling you not to expect great things from the class of stoners arguing over who’s seeing the ‘real’ colour blue. (Another layman mistake: the term ‘real’ is non-cognitive) You either let that continue, or you start having standards. I don’t care either way because Wundergeek seems effective at advocating against bad art regardless and these deliberately shallow conversations are hilarious.

              • Ikkin says:

                Then they should become used to it and we should help them. Jargon exists because advanced problems don’t get solved with basic thinking.

                But that goes against Wundergeek’s intended purpose for this blog — talking to people who aren’t already familiar with this stuff.

                Jargon might be useful, but using it is just about the best way to scare off anyone who isn’t willing to put tons of time into learning. =/

                Yes, but those commonly-held definitions are either vaguely explained, incongruous, equivocal, or outright wrong.

                Well, then, we should take some time to make sure everyone’s using the same definition before we start disagreeing with each other. But that can be done without using jargon.

                You say I’m not going to get far communicating this way? How far are we getting now?

                Heh, the level of conversation you’re having with me definitely isn’t representative of… anything, really. I’m a philosophy major; I can keep up with jargon.

                You can’t really expect that out of any significant majority of internet visitors, though. And that “significant majority of visitors” is who we want to be able to understand and participate in the discussion (if they so choose).

              • Hazmat Sam says:

                I think that expecting ignorance from readers is a self-fulfilling prophecy, and I’ll leave it at that.

  7. Tom says:

    Heh, it’s not really a nerd thing, those sorts of comments you’re seeing. At least the way I see it, when guys think only other guys are listening, they’ll make comments like that. In real life or on the internet.

    • LilithXIV says:

      Is that really the point? I thought it was that you should just.. Stop Doing It. Also, don’t generalize all ‘guys’ if you please, some of them actually seem to respect women, it’s not actually impossible.

      • Tom says:

        I’m not. I’m just saying it’s more of a ‘guy’ thing than it is a ‘geek’ thing.

  8. unpetitfauve says:

    Obviously DNF is satire, but what complicates this is the fact that the player is actively participating in the sexism just by playing the game, that is, by stepping into the role of the protagonist. And just because it attempts to be satirical doesn’t mean it is successful in its attempt.

    My boyfriend introduced me to your blog and I’d just like to say I love it, and thank you for writing such excellent posts!

    • bhlaab says:

      Right, but the lack of success doesn’t necessarily undermine the initial attempt.

      Of course the game isn’t out yet, so it’s too early to say how the game actually plays out, but I don’t feel it is necessarily true that controlling the protagonist in any game automatically translates into compliance.

  9. Hazmat Sam says:

    I cannot think of a single person that takes Duke Nukem it seriously at all. Maybe that’s the problem.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Sexism in DNF is NOT satirical or a parody. It’s simple indulgence in the sheer ridiculousness of it all. A refugee in audacity.
    Duke and his actions are not presented in a serious manner nor as a role model. I don’t know if this makes it okay in your book or not, but at the end of the day it doesn’t really matter.
    This kind of manchildish indulgence is bound to offend some people but there is an audience for it. Simple as that.

    • Tom says:

      In other words it’s like getting mad at jokes from Family Guy or South Park, yeah it’s a little silly.

      • LilithXIV says:

        Yeah, the rape jokes on Family Guy are totes hilarious. Why wouuld anyone get mad at /those/? Again, the reason why you can so casually dismiss it as silly is because you’re not the one being constantly presented as a masturbation aid. And it’s not really a refuge in audacity, duke nukem is just puking up the same shit but in a different wrapper. And if there’s an audience for it, it’s a sexist audience for it. Simple as that. I really don’t give a damn if something is ‘over the top’, that doesn’t suddenly make it okay.

        • Anonymous says:

          Then apply that same standards to myriads of other things in the media.
          Females aren’t the only “underrepresented” in the media, and they are hardly a minority.
          Why is killing Nazis in video games okay?
          Why are certain groups are acceptable targets and others not?
          Why are games like “Homefront” allowed to demonize the entire population of a nation just for a shallow nationalistic/jingoistic zeal?
          Where’s the outrage from Korean Americans?
          What are your standards? For real.

          • LilithXIV says:

            ‘Females’ – Yeah, nice dehumanizing use of the word there. And honestly, who are you? And this is the sense of, who are you tell me what I am or am not doing? What’s with the ‘look a monkey!’ distraction derailing tactic? I don’t play Oppression Olympics here, mainly because I’m not a jackass.

            What are /you/ doing to make things better for others? And who are you say women aren’t badly represented in media? Seriously, please tell me. Because I’m having a really hard time answering your questions when you’re making it pretty clear that you’re just going to casually dismiss any issues that surround women so you can pretend /I’m/ not doing enough to address other problems. You don’t have a leg to stand on, and clearly your standards aren’t too high when you suggested people is just ‘oh well, audience for it, that’s the way it is’. Bravo for mindless conforming.

            • Anonymous says:

              I don’t care if you are doing a lot to improve things in the world or not.
              That wasn’t even part of my argument. What are you babbling about?
              Since when the word “FEMALES” is dehumanizing? Good god, aren’t you a sensitive little flower.

              Yeah, mindless conforming. Sure, resort to insults when you can’t even explain your arbitrary bullshit standards of what is okay and what is not.

              • LilithXIV says:

                It’s been dehumanizing for a while but if you need an explanation – http://blog.shrub.com/archives/tekanji/2006-09-25_395

                Girls/women. See how simple that was? Is it really that hard to use the word that keeps with the actual humanity?

                If calling your words mindless conforming is an insult than you’ve already resorted to them yourself. And yes, you are encouraging thoughtless conforming. And I know you don’t really care, you never cared in the first place about any of those subjects you brought up.. except as a means to derail and change the subject away from women because apparently they don’t matter much to you.

              • Anonymous says:

                “It’s been dehumanizing for a while but if you need an explanation”
                One random blog post of a contrived argument about why it is dehumanizing off the internet isn’t going to convince people, the least of which is me.
                In linguistics the current usage of the word and how the contemporary people interpret it is just as, if not more, important as its roots and origin.
                It doesn’t just suddenly become a sexist word because you say so when many, many people are using it without any sexist sub-context.

                “a means to derail and change the subject away”
                No, really, I am the one deflecting?
                You are the one who hasn’t explained a single thing about your standards of what is okay or not, and instead insists upon nitpicking on my statements. You think I am derailing and changing the subject?
                Sure, keep telling yourself that.

                “because apparently they don’t matter much to you.”
                Projecting again, hmm?

              • LilithXIV says:

                So as one random, anonymous, person on the internet such as yourself I guess your words don’t matter either right? Also, you should stop talking for others, it convinced me plenty. But I happen to /respect/ women.

                And again, I honestly wonder why you think you can question me or accuse me of deflecting when you’re the one who tried to derail first from the actual subject and discussion and casually dismissed the sexist issues as you have been.

                So it’s rather funny you’re talking about pseudo-intellectual bullshit when you’re having a heaping helping of it yourself by throwing out the projection label and hoping it’ll stick to the wall. Again, I wasn’t the one who so casually dismissed the subject, I wasn’t teh one who told everyone to ‘get over it’ and ‘let it be’. You were. Because it doesn’t matter to you. No projection here.

        • Ikkin says:

          I think the comparison to South Park-type “humor” is apt, not because being over the top makes it any less problematic, but because it’s essentially the monetization of trolling.

          And because of that, going after Duke Nukem itself isn’t all too productive — it knows its offensive, and basically just wants to get a rise out of people (while cashing in on those who feel they’re superior because they’re not so easily offended). Sure, you can call it out for being offensive, but you’d be basically playing right into its hand.

          I think Wundergeek has the right idea about where the real effort needs to go — towards the game press who are somehow deluded into thinking that Duke Nukem is not offensive, rather than towards the developers who have already stated right out that they want us to be offended.

  11. Sabrina says:

    I’m so tired of this “It’s just satire! Don’t ya geddit? It’s ironic!” durrhurr… With DNF it’s just plain old hipster humour at work and everyone involved is happily patting each other’s back on how edgy and cool they are. ugh.

    Hipster sexism isn’t funny. It’s not edgy. It’s not transgressive. It doesn’t push social boundaries. Hipster sexism isn’t even particularly clever. It’s just repeating the same old sexist stereotypes and adding a wink to make the audience believe it’s some kind of in-joke. And since it’s all “just in good fun!” everything’s allright and no one has the right to complain. Seriously ladies, don’t you dare to complain ever! Because that means that you just don’t get it! durr hurr

    Anita Sarkeesian sums it up pretty nicely: http://www.feministfrequency.com/2010/09/retro-sexism-uber-ironic-advertising/

    Seriously, even if DNF is some uber-ironic game and it’s all meant in “good fun” that doesn’t change the fact that it’s still sexist. And just because it’s meant to be satire or something doesn’t mean that it can’t be criticized for its content or that the sexism can’t be analysed.

    This of course doesn’t mean that DNF is “causing” sexism – it just perpetuates it (something that lots of people seem to confuse when reading criticism). So I personally don’t think that male gamers all of a sudden become sexist pigs and start spanking women. If a decent guy is playing DNF he’ll probably just roll his eyes at the stupidity and maybe chuckle a bit and move on. That said, there is a problem with sexism in the gaming community and games like DNF certainly won’t help to improve the situation. If a douchebag is playing DNF he’ll probably see his sexist views enforced rather than ridiculed – because that’s what hipster humour is doing. And I’m pretty sure those are also the guys who start posting this “You just don’t geddit!!11″ and continue with posting even more sexist crap in the comments of gaming blogs/forum discussions.

    Accidental sexism is bad enough. I don’t see how intentional sexism is any better – ironic or not. It’s just the same old shit.

    • wundergeek says:

      This. OH MY GOD, THIS.

      Ironic sexism is not any less sexist than straight up vanilla sexism, peeps.

      • DNFFan says:

        Going by that logic, shouldn’t we ban all shooters and war-games because “killing people is bad?”

        The relevance in the game being a parody is that it is NOT FOR REAL.

        • Cole92 says:

          Why is it that every time a game is called out for being sexist someone assumes we want it banned entirely? Honestly people, come on… -_-

          • Mirasiel says:

            @Cole92:
            “Why is it that every time a game is called out for being sexist someone assumes we want it banned entirely? Honestly people, come on… -_-”

            Perhaps because at the same time they see certain sections of feminism calling for it be banned from certain stores?

            Exagerating ‘capture the babe’ to domestic abuse and gang rape probably doesnt help either.

            And its well known that feminism operates on a hive mind basis actually scratch that and make it: and its well know that any large scale movement that is disliked operates on a hive mind basis.

            is DNF sexist? Possibly(I have yet to play it)

            Does DNF contain sexist imagery? Yes (both ways).

            Is the imagery/ideas in DNF problematic compared to more subtle (insidious) examples? Not sure, tending to no, just because its so clearly not intended to be serious.

            Do I think that DNF and both its dev teams deserve the almost rabid hatred they are garnering from certain sections of the internet? No. I’m not sure anyone does.

            Is casual hatred and abuse on the internet (and gaming culture) by people against other people cool, funny or witty? No but it is popular because the ‘internet is not real’ .

            • Cole92 says:

              “Perhaps because at the same time they see certain sections of feminism calling for it be banned from certain stores?”

              But none of us here have advocated that these games be banned, so they are still incorrect in their assumptions, no?

              “Exagerating ‘capture the babe’ to domestic abuse and gang rape probably doesnt help either.”

              How is saying that chasing down women at gunpoint and spanking their asses in order to “calm them down” is sexist an exaggeration?

              “And its well known that feminism operates on a hive mind basis actually scratch that and make it: and its well know that any large scale movement that is disliked operates on a hive mind basis.”

              This sentence makes no grammatical sense.

              Anyway, I probably shouldn’t respond to the rest of your post, as it is unrelated to the comment I made that prompted you to respond in the first place, and as it has already been discussed by multiple people on this blog.

            • wundergeek says:

              And its well known that feminism operates on a hive mind basis actually scratch that and make it: and its well know that any large scale movement that is disliked operates on a hive mind basis.

              Please tell me this is sarcasm. I am a feminist. I do not think DNF should be banned. There are some feminists who agree with me. There are others who don’t. So that’s being a “hive mind”… how?

        • LilithXIV says:

          ‘Going by that logic’? You’re not even following along with it though. Who said anything about banning something? You’re just getting defensive. Also, what.. if any.. relevance do shooters have to this conversation? None. When gamers start waging wars on the countries of the world then maybe we’ll get back to that but since they’re not what point is there to you mentioning shooters?

          One more time: Games like Duke Nukem don’t have to be real to reinforce the sexist atmosphere of the gaming culture, an atmosphere that reinforces the same tired idea of women as mainly there to be sexually appealing for men (or say, their objects as in this game and many others). An atmosphere that still treats women badly and continues to treat them as if they are there /for men/ (to the point that they have to apparently wear thong armor/painted-on clothes/etc to apparently even be allowed in a lot of games) and not there for themselves and deserve just as much respect and value as everyone else. It’s about the subtle effect, it’s about that this further normalizes it and makes it out to be acceptable and just ‘good fun’. Not the silly strawman that ‘playing a violent game will make you into a serial killer’.

          • dufric88 says:

            All arguers should read this before coming to a debate in any medium.

            “Going by that logic, shouldn’t we ban all shooters…”
            lol it literally follows that formula

  12. Ikkin says:

    Kind of off-topic, but it does seem like something that could be included here:
    Apparently, they’re offering free 3d pin-up photos on the 3DS.

    Seriously, Nintendo? I thought you had more class than that. =/

  13. Sveznajko says:

    I honestly don’t know the exact chain of events that led to this but it’s a well known fact :
    Sex Sells .
    Nowadays the main consumers of games are males , and the “sexualization” of female characters apeals to them, well most of them anyway. Don’t blame men , blame the consumer society. What , like game companies with women CEO’s never launch titles in which women are reduced to sex objects? Srsly ?

    I mean , just take a look at covers of magazines .
    (Stereotyped) Men magazines portray girls in bikini/underwear , whereas (stereotyped) women magazines do more or less the same.

  14. redFF says:

    Jesus christ, Duke Nukem is a fucking joke, it’s a parody, it recognizes that is not a serious game and everything within it is a joke. Get the fuck over yourself.

  15. DNFFan says:

    Please don’t hate on Duke, he’s awesome, and the game looks really fun tot. “Fun,” ever heard about it?

    • LilithXIV says:

      Fun for people who are okay with sexism* But for all those women complaining about the idea of, for example, smacking a ‘hysterical’ woman to quiet her down (in any place) and slinging her around like a trophy? Apparently it doesn’t matter! Fun amirite?!

      I guess only your fun matters.

      • DNFFan says:

        Seriously, there’s no one forcing you to play Duke Nukem Forever. Why don’t you just play one of the hundreds of games that are not Duke Nukem and let us have our fun? In no way does Duke Nukem affect you. Or do you honestly think that we can’t tell game from reality and that after slapping a babe on the butt in-game we’ll go out and do so IRL?

        • LilithXIV says:

          There’s no one forcing me to play a lot of these games. That doesn’t mean I don’t get to criticize the fact that they still treat women like shit all the damn time (yes, the majority). Telling women to ‘go away’ if they’re offended is just reinforcing that boys club idea of gaming culture. That’s just ‘tolerate the sexism or gtfo’.

          Don’t tell me what affects me bro, exclusion can have plenty of an effect. And again, the strawman of ‘I’m going to slap a woman irl’ is getting tiresome, you’re clearly not going to treat women better after enjoying the idea of slinging them around like trophies and slapping them to keep them quiet. Your ‘fun’ is at the expense of other people, and clearly they’re telling you this over and over again but you continue to shut it out. But I guess it’s All About You and your fun right? Truly, I guess there’s no other way to have fun.

  16. Elton says:

    From the Eternal Light trailer section – “And people wonder why the stereotype of gamers is mouth-breathing male nerds living in their mom’s basement.”

    I think this illustrates the basic problem of the videogame argument. People gravitate toward what catches their eye, and applies that to everything else. That goes for both sides of the argument. Sure sexism is prevalent in certain types of games, but there is an entire platform (wii), where that’s in the vast minority. Then there’s the other games on the other platforms that don’t include sexism. So it appears that a minority of games that utilize sexism, are applied to the entire industry. I hear pornography also utilizes sexism and has a huge male audience. I don’t force people to play or watch anything and would expect the same level of respect. There’s an audience for this stuff so it will always exist, but in that vein, it will also remain in the minority and should never be used to support an argument on either side.

    • wundergeek says:

      48 million women play FarmVille. So please explain to me why it makes sense from a business standpoint for game companies to aim all of their games at the young horny male demographic? If games companies could tap even a small fraction of the “women who play FarmVille” market, they could make OBSCENE SHIT-TONS OF MONEY. So please don’t toss out the tired “sex sells” argument here, because I ain’t buyin’ it.

        • Hazmat Sam says:

          Gah, goddamn html.

        • LilithXIV says:

          Um, I don’t really think I’m comfortable with the idea of people designating what ‘real games’ are and what ‘real gamers are’. Because in that I think you are crossing into elitism.

          • Hazmat Sam says:

            “Um, I don’t really think I’m comfortable with the idea of people designating what ‘real games’ are and what ‘real gamers are’. ”

            Just as we have a philosophy of science to determine, in part, what is and what isn’t science, we have a philosophy of games to determine, in part, what is and what isn’t a game. I’m sure that homeopaths, creationists and psychoanalysts are uncomfortable with people designating what science is or isn’t as well. The only difference here is subject matter.

            “Because in that I think you are crossing into elitism.”

            Why is this bad? I’m serious. When Roger Ebert says that Transformers 2 is a terrible movie against the feelings of millions of viewers, that’s elitism. When Stephen King says that Stephanie Meyer can’t write, that’s elitism. The the entire point of this blog is to say “your art is bad and you should feel bad”. That’s the essence of criticism: elitism. You are an elitist. As am I.

            Why is this bad?

            • LilithXIV says:

              People who play games are gamers. Period. I’m not where you were going with comparing science to gaming, your comparisons of things that have nothing to do with each other is weird. I didn’t know we had council that decided if something reached the gaming standard. It’s bad because that kind of elitism to other gamers is just being a snob for no really good reason. While I /think/I sort of has a better defensible reason for why I’m saying your art is bad (it harms and excludes other people) than that. Why do I need to point this out?

              In the end though, it’s your very (ridiculous) opinion that Farmville isn’t a game so you can have it if you want. It’s just a really bad one.

              • LilithXIV says:

                Also, I can’t say I care about such a useless philosophy. Again, snobbery x.x

              • Hazmat Sam says:

                “People who play games are gamers.”

                That’s true! The problem is that sentence means nothing without defining “game”. How should do it? Regular people, of whom the majority believe in astrology and angels? Or specialists who have dedicated decades of research and study into the question?

                “I’m not where you were going with comparing science to gaming, your comparisons of things that have nothing to do with each other is weird.”

                Science cannot “have nothing to do with” anything because science is a way of thinking. By all means, if you can find a game that is literally mindless, I’ll concede the point.

                “I didn’t know we had council that decided if something reached the gaming standard.”

                My dear Lilith, if we held majority opinion as the epistemology of choice then there’s nothing wrong with game women because the majority is fine with it. Either majority determines truth or it doesn’t. Which is it?

                “It’s bad because that kind of elitism to other gamers is just being a snob for no really good reason.”

                It’s no more snobbish than someone that calls a particular casino device a “slot machine” instead of a “slot game”. It’s simple honesty.

                “While I /think/I sort of has a better defensible reason for why I’m saying your art is bad (it harms and excludes other people) than that.”

                Any possible action causes harm to some one. The only difference, the only reason all actions are not equal, is that different people get harmed by different actions, and some of these people are more acceptable targets to particular people than others. Any one who becomes aware of this becomes a much more effective advocate. You are aware, even if you are not conscious of this awareness, and thus you realize that since you are causing pain anyway, you might as well be effective. Hence your constant, and justified!, ad homs, like:

                “In the end though, it’s your very (ridiculous) opinion that Farmville isn’t a game so you can have it if you want. It’s just a really bad one.”

                Sublime.

              • Ikkin says:

                Hazmat Sam:
                That’s true! The problem is that sentence means nothing without defining “game”. How should do it? Regular people, of whom the majority believe in astrology and angels? Or specialists who have dedicated decades of research and study into the question?

                Well, even if we agree that it should be defined by specialists… who gets to determine which specialists we should listen to? There’s not exactly a consensus stating that specialists in traditional games are the authority for videogames as well.

                My dear Lilith, if we held majority opinion as the epistemology of choice then there’s nothing wrong with game women because the majority is fine with it. Either majority determines truth or it doesn’t. Which is it?

                Game women are bad because their existence harms real women. Majority consensus doesn’t really figure into that at all.

                On the other hand, the word “game” is a linguistic construct that only exists to facilitate conversation, which makes consensus much more relevant. If everyone agreed that “game” meant “turkey,” that’s what it would mean, and no amount of philosophy could prove otherwise.

                It’s no more snobbish than someone that calls a particular casino device a “slot machine” instead of a “slot game”. It’s simple honesty.

                …but calling the device a “slot machine” has nothing to do with whether people think it’s a game. We refer to “pinball machines” as such despite the fact that pinball is clearly a game.

                And in any case, slot machines are games. They’re games of chance, and they’re rather pathetic as a form of entertainment, but that doesn’t make them non-games. (I’m actually starting to wonder what you actually consider “game” to mean)

                Any possible action causes harm to some one. The only difference, the only reason all actions are not equal, is that different people get harmed by different actions, and some of these people are more acceptable targets to particular people than others. Any one who becomes aware of this becomes a much more effective advocate.

                That’s not true. The world might be far too interconnected for me to propose an action that does not indirectly affect anything negatively, but your reason for actions not being equal is clearly incorrect.

                We don’t distinguish between actions based solely on which people they hurt (in fact, we shouldn’t do that at all). We distinguish between actions based on how much damage they do in comparison to how much good they do, the circumstances under which they’re done, whether it’s a good precedent to set, and a whole bunch of other things that have nothing to do with whether the people hurt are “acceptable targets.”

                Understanding that nothing comes without a price is important. But you seem to be overreaching to suggest that the right way to deal with that is to accept that intentionally hurting others is effective. (The right way to deal with it, of course, is to attempt to mitigate the damage to others to the best of your ability)

            • Ikkin says:

              Just as we have a philosophy of science to determine, in part, what is and what isn’t science, we have a philosophy of games to determine, in part, what is and what isn’t a game.

              The problem with the philosophy of videogames is that, unlike philosophy of science, there isn’t much of a consensus as to what a videogame is. There isn’t even a consensus on whether the philosophy of videogames should be more influenced by its game influences or its narrative influences.

              And, as there isn’t a consensus and this isn’t a space to discuss the philosophy of games, saying “Farmville isn’t a game” is an imposition of your interpretation on people who don’t necessarily agree and feel they can’t respond without derailing the conversation.

              • Hazmat Sam says:

                “The problem with the philosophy of videogames is that, unlike philosophy of science, there isn’t much of a consensus as to what a videogame is. ”

                Wait, you actually think that there’s a consensus on the definition of “science”? Goddamn, man. Goddamn.

                “There isn’t even a consensus on whether the philosophy of videogames should be more influenced by its game influences or its narrative influences.”

                Well, actually, there is. My side won. The problem is that everyone uses “game” as a shorthand for everything from basketball to Final Fantasy. Pretty much everyone that wants something to play instead of something to experience prefers the whole “game” thing. Dues Ex is regarded by both popular and critical opinion as the greatest game yet, and comes down hard on the “game” side. (God knows the story is miles worse than, say Planescape Torment’s) That should say something. There’s nothing wrong with wanting spiffy visual novels or choose your own adventure movies, understand. But, to use an analogy, It’s like when Story Games split off from Role Playing Games after a decade of arguing over whether narrative control and setting stakes was roleplaying. It wasn’t. That didn’t make it any less fun or authentic, just different.

                “And, as there isn’t a consensus and this isn’t a space to discuss the philosophy of games, saying “Farmville isn’t a game” is an imposition of your interpretation on people who don’t necessarily agree and feel they can’t respond without derailing the conversation.”

                Okay, let’s pretend things like “you have to be able to lose” and “player interaction changes the outcome” aren’t essential to the concept of “game”. Let’s humour you. How do we come to consensus without stating these things then? Are scientists not allowed to propose hypotheses because they aren’t already proven yet? Well, by debating over it, duh. A better argument “imposes” itself over the weaker ones, as you put it. That’s a good thing. IF your arguments are better, then you can argue back. If you don’t want to talk about it, well, there’s infinite threads on this post.

                Note how no one has argued against the articles, I presume because you can’t, only against my elitism (God, only Americans would use that as an insult!) for bringing them up.

                But yes, you’ve made it very clear that this is a losing battle. I’ve tried very hard not to be intellectual on here, but it’s hard to know where the line is, exactly.

              • Ikkin says:

                Hazmat Sam:
                Wait, you actually think that there’s a consensus on the definition of “science”?

                In the context of philosophy? Of course not!

                In the context of general knowledge? I think there’s good reason to believe that there is — at the very least, I’ve never heard about anyone complaining that the definition taught in science classrooms was wrong. And that puts it a step above videogames, where even “layperson” gamers can’t agree on what a videogame is.

                Well, actually, there is. My side won.

                According to who, exactly? Because I certainly haven’t seen that happen.

                The problem is that everyone uses “game” as a shorthand for everything from basketball to Final Fantasy.

                Well, that is a problem, but that’s more of a reason to divorce “videogames” from the word “game” than anything else.

                Pretty much everyone that wants something to play instead of something to experience prefers the whole “game” thing. Dues Ex is regarded by both popular and critical opinion as the greatest game yet, and comes down hard on the “game” side. (God knows the story is miles worse than, say Planescape Torment’s) That should say something.

                What were you saying upthread about appealing to common consensus? ;)

                Seriously, “popular and critical opinion says X is the best game ever” is a horrible argument and you should feel bad for making it considering your background — particularly because I’m pretty sure it’s not even true. I know I’ve seen Planescape: Torment referenced at least as much as Deus Ex, along with stuff like Fumito Ueda’s works (which are universally acclaimed as experiences rather than games).

                There’s nothing wrong with wanting spiffy visual novels or choose your own adventure movies, understand. But, to use an analogy, It’s like when Story Games split off from Role Playing Games after a decade of arguing over whether narrative control and setting stakes was roleplaying. It wasn’t. That didn’t make it any less fun or authentic, just different.

                I’m not really sure what you’re arguing anymore, but I don’t think I disagree about JRPGs versus WRPGs… apart from the fact that JRPGs have never actually conceded the genre name “RPG.”

                Okay, let’s pretend things like “you have to be able to lose” and “player interaction changes the outcome” aren’t essential to the concept of “game”. Let’s humour you. How do we come to consensus without stating these things then? Are scientists not allowed to propose hypotheses because they aren’t already proven yet? Well, by debating over it, duh. A better argument “imposes” itself over the weaker ones, as you put it. That’s a good thing. IF your arguments are better, then you can argue back. If you don’t want to talk about it, well, there’s infinite threads on this post.

                Note how no one has argued against the articles, I presume because you can’t, only against my elitism (God, only Americans would use that as an insult!) for bringing them up.

                I haven’t argued against the articles because I’d assumed (wrongly so, in the first case) that they fell under the category of articles written by gamers who were resistant to the growth of the videogame medium due to the urls.

                However, I’ve read them now, so I feel I need to make a few clarifications as to what I’m arguing.

                I’m completely open to the idea that Farmville is not a traditional game. I’m very resistant to the idea that it’s not a videogame, or that it can’t be used as an example of women being willing to play videogames if they feel welcome (because your average female Farmville player certainly wouldn’t argue that they’re not playing a game).

                On the other hand, I don’t find the arguments you’ve cited particularly compelling, at least in the context of videogames. Delayed progress has almost universally replaced true failure in videogames, so I don’t think Farmville is unusual in that regard (the first article mentioned that if you don’t harvest your crops in time, you lose them, which isn’t all that different from having to restart from your last save point if you lose all your HP in an RPG), and it’s anything but clear that player interaction doesn’t change anything in Farmville in a meaningful sense that isn’t shared by every videogame with a goal of completion (because failure in anything but Roguelikes nowadays has little effect on one’s ability to eventually reach the goal as long as one is willing to keep trying until they succeed).

                I mean, I could concede that Farmville isn’t a game, but then you’d have to concede that most videogames aren’t games and that therefore the medium is its own unique thing.

                As for coming to a consensus… of course you should be able to propose your own views about whatever you’re talking about. But claiming there’s a consensus when there isn’t is intellectually dishonest and stifles debate rather than fostering it.

              • Cole92 says:

                “…I presume because you can’t, only against my elitism (God, only Americans would use that as an insult!) for bringing them up.”

                Hazmat Sam, that statement was greatly uncalled for. You would honestly insult an entire population because a handful of commenters on this blog used “elitist” as an insult? While I agree with you on how silly that is, that was a very disrespectful thing to do. As an American myself, I see other citizens attack intelligence quite often(mostly because they don’t like to accept that they aren’t very educated themselves), but I know better than to say that all Americans are like that.

            • wundergeek says:

              A couple million people think that FarmVille is a game. That’s good enough for me. Similarly, several million people think that Korean MMOs that don’t even attempt to disguise the tedious treadmill are also games. I would never play FarmVille or a k-MMO, but I can still accept that they are games. Just not games I want to play.

              • Hazmat Sam says:

                Fair enough. I do hope you see that “Women like Farmville” is more of an argument against women in games to anyone with passion for the hobby, or hell, anyone that has the misfortune to have a friend play it on Facebook.

    • LilithXIV says:

      So.. sexism is prevalent but that’s okay because oh well? Productive. Honestly, how hard is respecting women? And why do that tired argument of ‘sex sells’ keep being brought up like it’s some kind of rational and neutral and objective thing despite the message that it gives. The message is: It’s okay to throw women under the bus as long as it’s in the interests of men. That’s not respect and you don’t deserve any kind of respect for treating people badly because you think your sex drive matters more. You want to have your fun at the expense of other people. You’re not forcing them to do it but you sure are telling them same damn shit as before, ‘tits or gtfo’.

      And a ‘minority’ of games? Yeah, sure, would love to see you back that up. Because it’s just as easy for me to say ‘actually it’s a majority’.

      • Elton says:

        Good point with the ‘give me the respect to disrespect you’.

        Yes, sexism is bad. The thing is though, is that nobody is perfect. Everyone does something they *shouldn’t* do. So why rob me of my vice when you get to keep yours?

        And to address the minority of games point, these types of games don’t include sexism (there are of course exceptions): 1. Wii games; 2. Fitness games; 3. Platformers (not M rated); 4. Puzzle games; 5. Shooters (war games); 6. Racing games; 7. Facebook games; 8. iPhone games; 9. Sports games; 10. Xbox live arcade games

        These include sexism: 1. Shooters (non-war); 2. Role Playing games; Platformers (M rated); 4. Fighting games

        That gives the appearance that the sexist games are in the minority.

        • LilithXIV says:

          My point what you said you expected respect.. even though you can’t even be bothered to give it to women because . You shouldn’t expect respect when you can’t even consider that, when women actually do even get to be included in these games, they have to constantly be objectified in one way or another and then telling said women to ‘get over it, just good fun’ basically is fucked up. Women do not exist to be sexualized for men but in these gaming worlds they apparently do, largely they only get to even exist if they do because apparently respecting women isn’t as ‘valuable’ as exploiting them (aka sex sells)? Kind of a messed up message.

          ‘No one is perfect’ and so we should never try to be better because oh well? Again, productive. Who was asking for perfection? I fuck up all the time, I still try. What vice am I keeping? And Uh, as an example, do all the shooters you’re thinking of as not sexist have only or mostly only male combatants? Sexism and exclusion. I know what you’re gonna say ‘history games!’, but there are plenty that aren’t history that do it too. The same with the others, I think that you think that sexism = sexual objectification only. Sexism is actually wider than that. Not the same thing.) And again, it still sounds like the same thing to me: It’s okay to throw women under the bus as long as it’s in the interests of men.

          • Elton says:

            I’d like to hear your opinion on the sexism in media, being in the minority. I listed twice as many games that do not include sexism as those that do (there are exceptions of course, on both sides).

            And expanding on insulting video games… there are many games that utilize negative racial stereotypes. I avoid and don’t play those games because I feel they insult me. If other people think the game is fun, good for them. I don’t feel a need to impose my set of morals on them.

            • Ikkin says:

              Here’s your list of “non-sexist” games:

              1. Wii games; 2. Fitness games; 3. Platformers (not M rated); 4. Puzzle games; 5. Shooters (war games); 6. Racing games; 7. Facebook games; 8. iPhone games; 9. Sports games; 10. Xbox live arcade games

              1. is way too general and includes both sexist and non-sexist games, unless you’re just talking about Nintendo’s Wii [whatever] games, of which there aren’t all too many (though they do seem to be completely equal, due to the use of Miis).

              2. is not necessarily true. I’m not all that familiar with them, but I’m sure it’s not uncommon for them to advertise as “a way to get thin for your boyfriend/husband.”

              3. is not true. The biggest platformer is Mario, which is a “save the princess” game. There’s also stuff like Ratchet and Clank, which seems to follow the “all female aliens are attractive” model.

              4. is trivially true due to a general tendency to avoid human characters.

              5. is definitely untrue. Even if you’re talking pure historical shooters, there’s still a lack of women that’s not equal.

              6. is untrue, because racing games like to follow the car industry’s lead by sticking random gorgeous women in poses with cars/at the finish line waving the flag/whatever.

              7. and 8. are too broad, though they’re probably more equal overall than console games. A lot of them fall under the puzzle game category, though.

              9. often only include men, which isn’t equal.

              10. I’m not familiar with, but I don’t think they’re particularly good about being equal (at least in terms of non-puzzle games).

              So, no, I don’t think you listed “twice as many games” that are gender-equal.

            • LilithXIV says:

              I’ll just say I agree with Ikkin’s post about the examples of games given. It’s more well-written than anything I could’ve responded with honestly.

              “If other people think the game is fun, good for them. I don’t feel a need to impose my set of morals on them.”

              Then I guess that’s fine for you. It’s not for me, and it shouldn’t be in general. Because it’s not the same thing as ‘live and let live’, those sorts of games are constantly imposing on the groups that are discriminated against and marginalized. It’s not always so easy to just let it go when you are the target constantly being dehumanized and degraded so casually because someone thought less of you than their own sense of fun. Those kind of depictions can be seen to be attacks against those groups that reinforce harmful ideas, that should be challenged, not ignored.

              It’s not about just feeling insulted, it’s partly about a huge big neon sign being put up in a lot of gaming that ‘you don’t belong here -insert discriminated against group here-’.

              • Elton says:

                I feel like I should thank you for keeping this civilized. I enjoy making fun of others and myself included, to what you would probably think is an extreme degree. We couldn’t come to an agreement but that’s life :) So, thanks for the civilized discussion.

  17. An Onymous says:

    1) While Duke Nukem is exaggerated, the reality is that women willingly line up to join the harems of men like him in real life. Men like him are popular with women in real life. Instead of complaining about that, you attack a video game that simply reflects reality in a comedic, exaggerated fashion.

    2) Capture the Babe is just a slightly more literal version of Twilight and Harlequin novels (except it’s not mean to be taken seriously).

    3) The notion that Capture the Babe is going to turn men into misogynist rapists or kidnappers or whatever is laugh-out-loud ridiculous, which is why your only response to Sterling’s post is the typical snarky sarcasm that feminists always employ when they can’t think of anything better to say.

    • Pai says:

      “The notion that Capture the Babe is going to turn men into misogynist rapists or kidnappers or whatever is laugh-out-loud ridiculous”

      Yeah, and nobody anywhere is actually claiming that.

    • TansyJ says:

      2) Capture the Babe is just a slightly more literal version of Twilight and Harlequin novels (except it’s not mean to be taken seriously).

      Yes, and no feminist EVER said anything about misogyny in romance novels, oh heavens no.

      Did you by chance see the line, under the title of the blog?

      “How not to sell games to women”

      I think that’s a thing that a lot of you geekbros miss. I don’t care how you rationalize your descent into the glorification of objectification of women, but as a woman, DNF is not something that I would ever play.

      And if geekbros really do want video games to succeed, as a form of media, then you have to accept that they will be critiqued as one.

      There seems to be a disconnect, where, geekbros will go on and on about video games as Important, as an Art Form as a New Exciting Way of Telling Stories

      But when other geeks start questioning the art, start looking deeper at the stories that are being told, it’s all “oh they aren’t important, they don’t communicate anything, why are you all getting up in arms over a stupid video game?”

      If games are an art form, if they can communicate, then the flip side of that coin is that they can communicate, and even glorify some pretty ugly messages.

      And also, all geekbros saying essentially “turn off your brain and have fun?”

      It’s difficult for me to turn off my brain and have fun when I’m being reminded that to many people (mostly dudes) I am little more than a pair of boobs with a life-support system. Strippers in games -force me out of the game- instead of having fun, I’m remembering the 20 something stalker who followed me around my old neighborhood when I was 13! 13! 13! THIRFUCKINGTEEN!!!
      asking where I lived and for my phone number and when I told him I was 13 he insisted that I couldn’t be, because I “looked much older” said while staring directly at my breasts.

      Okay?

      • Mirasiel says:

        @TansyJ
        “DNF is not something that I would ever play.”

        I cannot believe I am saying this but…yes sometimes women are *not* the target market for something and I think this is one of those things…not all games…not the majority of games but *some* games are not made with women in mind.

        I think DNF is one of them and I cannot see a problem with that, sorry.

        As for your last part, I’m not going to touch that with a large pole simply because that is not an issue with a game itself but with your personal reality as a whole and that aint my area.

        • LilithXIV says:

          But the unfortunate context, Mirasiel, is that the majority are not made with women in mind at all (to the point of, in apathy, treating them badly in various ways because of it. You don’t necessarily have to be malicious to cause harm). I would actually agree with you if there was any semblance of balance but there isn’t, the scales are heavily tipped and this is just yet another one added to the pile.

          • Mirasiel says:

            @LilithXIV

            I know, I know…the industry sucks right now.

            I’m probably responding to things that are not here but I sometimes get a definite vibe that any activity that dares pander to male desires* is automatically bad because it excludes women and it irks me because I feel that it should be ok for somethings to be exclusive to certain people.

            *maybe my idea of balance it that both men and women get their time under the bus wheels somedays, at least in the realm of fiction

      • An Onymous says:

        “I think that’s a thing that a lot of you geekbros miss.”

        I’m neither a geek nor a bro, let alone a geekbro. Whatever that even is.

        “I don’t care how you rationalize your descent into the glorification of objectification of women…”

        Where have I glorified the objectification of women?

        The rest of your stream-of-consciousness post has nothing to do with what I said.

  18. Dorian says:

    While I can’t possibly comment on the litany of responses this has garnered, I think perhaps I can shift the perception just a bit by acknowledging that, yes, DNF is not satire or irony in any sense and, even if it were, it is still an extremely sexist game. However, I don’t think the developers ever intended it to be satire or irony, but instead intended it to be such a gross exaggeration as to not be taken seriously; that was the real intent.

    I would liken DNF to the extreme violence in MadWorld. In that game, you are able to commit probably the most heinous and violent acts ever committed to bits and bytes in videogame form… but while the violence is sensationalist and one ‘could’ take that to mean that the game glorifies violence, I would instead argue that it does the opposite, but using so much violence so as to make it laughable and ridiculous to the Nth degree. I think MadWorld no more endorses violence than DNF endorses sexism, it’s just that people are more comfortable and practiced at separating extreme violence from reality than they are separating extreme sexism, and the problem occurs when the developers know that reality and use it to sell to what we all recognize are the basest emotions in the “guy gamer”.

    Keep in mind, I agree with your basic premise and generally with your commentary on the journalist’s double-standards and failures to call out the game for what it is, a very sexist game. But leaving ridicule or ridiculousness out of the discussion fails to recognize an important part of the sociological and psychological implications that a game like Duke Nukem Forever brings.

    • Anonymous says:

      Right on point.
      If this game offends you, it is not made for you. No one is shoving this game down people`s throats. This isn`t satire nor a parody. It`s immature entertainment, nothing more.
      If this kind of manchildish indulgence isn`t your cup of tea, please just don`t play it and leave it be. Nobody is insinuating that the sexism depicted in the game is acceptable or encouraged.
      This is the same thing as complaining about how `pornography objectifies women` and `video games make kids violent`. While the sociological impact of the media is a real thing, this shouldn`t be the way to frame that argument.

      • LilithXIV says:

        “Nobody is insinuating that the sexism depicted in the game is acceptable or encouraged.”

        You are saying it’s acceptable and is encouraged by your tacit approval. That’s how discrimination works, if you don’t challenge it where it stands then you’ve just let it go on. You simply say ‘let it be’ and therefore let it keep going without word and no matter how degrading and toxic it is in it’s depictions. No matter how many it affects, they apparently should just stop being affected, become emotionally stunted and just ‘get over it’. Silence themselves. All for the sake of what? Your fun?

        You throw out strawmen (violence/killers blah blah blah) to silence and you don’t say really anything productive. The cycle continues and you do nothing to stop it. So yes you are helping it and you are marking it as acceptable

        • Anonymous says:

          “You are not doing anything to stop it, therefore you are approving it”

          That’s such a backwards-ass logic that I can’t even reply without laughing out loud.

          How is my argument a strawman?
          If ‘sexism’ depicted in the media encourages people to become ‘sexist’, why is ‘violence’ depicted in the media not making people ‘violent’?
          That’s not a strawman. That really is essentially your argument.

          I guess it sounds ridiculous when I put it in a direct way without peppering it with pseudo-intellectual bullshit words like most fake feminists do.

          A porn film does more to harm feminism than this one game ever can. Stop fretting over DNF. It goes nowhere and will simply cause the already anti-feminist crowds to use this as an example to hurt and oppress real feminism.

          • Cole92 says:

            “I guess it sounds ridiculous when I put it in a direct way without peppering it with pseudo-intellectual bullshit words like most fake feminists do.”

            Pseudo-intellectual bullshit words? Which words would those be Anonymous, because I’m curious to know. Also, what is your definition of “fake feminism” as opposed to “real feminism”?

            “A porn film does more to harm feminism than this one game ever can.”

            That is debatable. Even if it were true, that doesn’t erase the fact that ANY sexism, be it subtle or blatant, is wrong.

            “Stop fretting over DNF.”

            Ah yes, another person telling me to stop whining and accept oppression. No thank you.

            “It goes nowhere and will simply cause the already anti-feminist crowds to use this as an example to hurt and oppress real feminism.”

            It only goes nowhere when you have people such as yourself telling those who challenge sexism to “shut the fuck up and get over it”. I’m curious to know how condemning sexism actually hurts and oppresses “real” feminism. Is “real” feminism to you supporting and/or ignoring sexism in any form? If so, you may need to take a refresher course on what feminism.

            • Anonymous says:

              “Which words would those be”
              I don’t know, like “oppression”, “dehumanizing” and “discrimination” and so on. I could go on.

              “That is debatable. Even if it were true, that doesn’t erase the fact that ANY sexism, be it subtle or blatant, is wrong.”
              I could also argue that ANY violence, be it subtle or blatant, is wrong, yet here we are with myriads of fictional works with all sorts of varying degree of violence and gore.

              “Ah yes, another person telling me to stop whining and accept oppression.”
              Oppression? Really? Do you see males fighting over ‘Twilight’ about how it is objectifying men as some sort of eternal devoted creepy stalker type?
              Should I complain about how porn films with dominatrices treating men like slaves is objectifying men?
              No, and do you know why? Because they are FICTION and they are not presented in such a manner that the audience would interpret them as moral guidelines for what is socially acceptable.
              Oh and don’t make excuses like “Males are the current privileged/majority so discrimination against them is okay” because sexism isn’t a one way street.

              “Is “real” feminism to you supporting and/or ignoring sexism?”
              No, real feminism is about equal rights and treatment of women in the general society.
              Whining about works of fiction depicting sexism does nothing to accomplish any of that.
              Depicting sexism is not the same thing as encouraging it. Until you can see that, this discussion will be entirely pointless.
              You want more female representation? Make more female friendly content. Encourage the content developers to cater to a uni-sexual audience. Whining about already pre-existing supposedly sexist content does nothing to better the treatment of women in society.

              • Ikkin says:

                I could also argue that ANY violence, be it subtle or blatant, is wrong, yet here we are with myriads of fictional works with all sorts of varying degree of violence and gore.

                Do you really want to make that argument? Really? Because I’d love to see you argue that violence in defense of self or others (which comprises something on the order of 90% of videogame violence) is morally wrong.

                Of course, even if every videogame was Grand Theft Auto, there would still be a significant difference between violence and sexism, in that violence is targeted at an individual while sexism is targeted at a group. Because of that, videogame violence is essentially targeted at no one, because the individual being targeted does not exist; videogame sexism, on the other hand is still targeted at women as a whole even though the particular woman being attacked isn’t real.

              • Cole92 says:

                “‘Which words would those be’
                I don’t know, like ‘oppression’, ‘dehumanizing’ and ‘discrimination’ and so on. I could go on.”

                You should go on, because all you’ve done is say “the words ‘oppression’, dehumanizing’, and ‘discrimination’ are pseudo-intellectual bullshit words”, without actually backing up that claim by giving an explanation as to why.

                “Oppression? Really? Do you see males fighting over ‘Twilight’ about how it is objectifying men as some sort of eternal devoted creepy stalker type?”

                No, I have not seen men claiming that Twilight objectifies men by painting them as “creepy stalker types”, but if they did, I would certainly listen to why the felt that way, and wouldn’t dismiss their concerns and frustrations by telling them to “get over it”.

                “Should I complain about how porn films with dominatrices treating men like slaves is objectifying men?”

                Men have complained about it and they have good reason to.

                “No, and do you know why? Because they are FICTION and they are not presented in such a manner that the audience would interpret them as moral guidelines for what is socially acceptable.”

                Saying that the audience would interpret them as moral guidelines is quite a stretch, but pornography, just like any other form of entertainment, does influence a large number of people, especially when it comes to how one treats a member of the opposite sex, and how one behaves in a sexual situation.

                “Oh and don’t make excuses like ‘Males are the current privileged/majority so discrimination against them is okay’ because sexism isn’t a one way street.”

                I wasn’t going to say anything about the privilege of males in our society, because there was no need to. It isn’t an excuse, it’s a fact, but that does not mean that any of us here think that sexism against men is alright. You are completely right, sexism is not a one way street and men face oppression as well. However that is not an excuse to ignore or dismiss the mistreatment of women.

                “‘Is ‘real’ feminism to you supporting and/or ignoring sexism?’
                No, real feminism is about equal rights and treatment of women in the general society.
                Whining about works of fiction depicting sexism does nothing to accomplish any of that.”

                Actually, it does help to establish equality of both sexes. If sexism of ANY form is not challenged and criticized, nothing will change. However, if it is challenged, it raises awareness about the problems and sends a message to those creating and producing the sexism that it is not okay. That’s how it works with things like sexism, racism, or clasism. The more you challenge discrimination, the more likely it is to change.

                “Depicting sexism is not the same thing as encouraging it.”

                It enforces sexism, regardless of how much you wish to think otherwise.

                “Until you can see that, this discussion will be entirely pointless.”

                Likewise, I suppose.

                “Whining about already pre-existing supposedly sexist content does nothing to better the treatment of women in society.”

                Whining about people criticizing genuinely sexist content does nothing better for the treatment of women in society.

              • Anonymous says:

                “violence is targeted at an individual while sexism is targeted at a group”
                Violence CAN ALSO be targeted at a specific group. See controversy surrounding ‘Resident Evil 5′ and many other games.

                “videogame violence is essentially targeted at no one, because the individual being targeted does not exist;”
                So all those Russian civilians as a group, dying in ‘Modern Warfare 2′ does not actually exist in real life? There are no such thing as ‘Russian civilians’ in real life, huh?
                ‘Homefront’ didn’t actually target North Koreans specifically to appeal for shallow and cheap patriotism and jingoism?
                Your argument is bullshit.

                “videogame sexism, on the other hand is still targeted at women as a whole”
                There ARE games where the sexism is targeted at men as a whole. Sexism is not a one way street.

                So in conclusion, your argument is that even though these ‘women’ are fictional, it is not okay to depict them in anything other then a positive empowering light because somehow sexism is inclusive/representative of ALL females in the world yet violence is not?
                You’ve got to be kidding me.

              • Anonymous says:

                “without actually backing up that claim by giving an explanation as to why.”
                See below.

                “I would certainly listen to why the felt that way, and wouldn’t dismiss their concerns and frustrations by telling them to “get over it”.”
                I would. Because that argument is as ridiculous as yours. It’s fiction. There is a reason why there are no such complaints.

                “Men have complained about it and they have good reason to.”
                They don’t. Because that porn film isn’t somehow going to reinforce the notion of male as slaves. It’s FICTION for the express purpose of self-gratification.

                “Actually, it does help to establish equality of both sexes.”
                Elaborate. How does it accomplish any of your claims?

                “It enforces sexism, regardless of how much you wish to think otherwise.”
                So if I write a sexist character clearly as a villain to be despised in a work of fiction, I am still reinforcing sexism against women according to your definition because it depicts some form of sexism.
                Didn’t I mention “HOW” it is depicted is the most important factor?

                “However that is not an excuse to ignore or dismiss the mistreatment of women.”
                When did I ever use that as a reason to dismiss mistreatment of women?
                My argument is that DNF is NOT a mistreatment against womenkind. It does not ‘reinforce’ sexism.

                “Whining about people criticizing genuinely sexist content does nothing better for the treatment of women in society.”
                I KNOW it doesn’t. The difference is that you think what you are doing is actually helping some sort of a cause while I am participating in this discussion for the simple reason of personal fancy.

              • Ikkin says:

                Anonymous:

                “violence is targeted at an individual while sexism is targeted at a group”
                Violence CAN ALSO be targeted at a specific group. See controversy surrounding ‘Resident Evil 5′ and many other games.

                Violence targeted at a group is almost inherently an -ism of some form or other. See controversy surrounding Resident Evil 5 saying that the game is racist. =P

                “videogame violence is essentially targeted at no one, because the individual being targeted does not exist;”
                So all those Russian civilians as a group, dying in ‘Modern Warfare 2′ does not actually exist in real life? There are no such thing as ‘Russian civilians’ in real life, huh?
                ‘Homefront’ didn’t actually target North Koreans specifically to appeal for shallow and cheap patriotism and jingoism?

                You’re intentionally misinterpreting my claim.

                An act of violence, in and of itself, is an act that causes physical harm to a discrete individual or set of individuals. In a videogame, the beings who are physically harmed do not exist.

                Acts of violence may, of course, be used to attack individuals as representatives of a group — which is obviously problematic if it requires discrimination based on anything other than “is that group at war with/trying to kill us?” — but there’s a whole other layer of stuff going on there that’s not inherent to the use of violence overall and therefore doesn’t apply to a lot of violent videogames.

                So in conclusion, your argument is that even though these ‘women’ are fictional, it is not okay to depict them in anything other then a positive empowering light because somehow sexism is inclusive/representative of ALL females in the world yet violence is not?
                You’ve got to be kidding me.

                Umm, no. I’m saying that sexism is a problem whether the person/people behaving in a sexist way are real or not.

                There’s nothing inherently sexist about portraying a woman who isn’t “positive” or “empowering,” in any case, depending on the context. What’s sexist is consistently portraying women as helpless, degraded tools for male gratification, instead of giving women the chance to fulfill roles of every sort — or forcing women to take roles that men aren’t expected to take, even if they are allowed all of the male roles as well.

              • Anonymous says:

                @Ikkin
                “Violence targeted at a group is almost inherently an -ism of some form or other.”
                Because violence is an action, where as -isms are ideological, an abstract concept. This doesn’t make violence any morally less relevant to the argument at hand.

                “An act of violence, in and of itself, is an act that causes physical harm to a discrete individual or set of individuals. In a videogame, the beings who are physically harmed do not exist.”
                An act of sexist treatment, in and of itself, is an act that causes possible psychological/physical harm to a discrete individual or set of individuals. In a videogame, the beings who are discriminated against do not exist.

                “but there’s a whole other layer of stuff going on there that’s not inherent to the use of violence overall and therefore doesn’t apply to a lot of violent videogames.”
                That doesn’t handwave the issue away. The desensitization of violence due to the media is as important and as prevalent as sexism in the media. My contention that you should hold violence in media to the same standards you use for sexism still holds.

                “What’s sexist is consistently portraying women as helpless, degraded tools for male gratification”
                If the vast majority of the games currently being released is like DNF, then I would agree with you, but it isn’t.
                Since all the “feminists” in here does not seem to advocate censorship(thankfully) unlike those idiots with the petition to ban DNF, I’d like to reiterate a simple point I made earlier.
                Whining about pre-existing sexist(genuinely or supposedly) media accomplishes NOTHING(since you are not taking them down either way). If you want to do your part for feminism, encourage content developers to cater to a uni-sexual audience. Show them such things can and will sell, as in profitable.
                If you are a part of the creative industry, CREATE SOME CONTENT.
                Lauren Faust making “My Little Pony” appealing to an old male audience does much more for feminism than the sum total of all these pathetic arguments about ‘whether DNF is sexist or not’ ever can.

              • Ikkin says:

                Anonymous: An act of sexist treatment, in and of itself, is an act that causes possible psychological/physical harm to a discrete individual or set of individuals. In a videogame, the beings who are discriminated against do not exist.

                You’re changing the terms of discussion.

                And in any case, that doesn’t even work. “An act of violence” and “an act that causes physical harm to a discrete individual/set of individuals” are definitionally identical — you can’t cause physical harm to someone without doing violence to them, and anything that doesn’t do such harm cannot be described as an act of violence. However, it’s very, very, very, very easy to cause psychological harm to someone without being sexist, and it’s certainly possible to be sexist without causing any direct psychological harm to any particular individual (like, say, if you made a sexist remark in a room full of sexist men).

                That doesn’t handwave the issue away. The desensitization of violence due to the media is as important and as prevalent as sexism in the media. My contention that you should hold violence in media to the same standards you use for sexism still holds.

                You still haven’t dealt with the fact that violence is categorically different than sexism in some highly relevant ways.

                For one thing, almost everyone agrees that whether an act of violence is immoral depends upon the context in which it was committed (which does not hold true for sexism). There aren’t too many people who would argue that hunting or fishing would desensitize someone to violence.

                For another, any act of violence that’s not also an act of [insert group]ism only causes harm to those who are affected by (or, at the very least, aware of) the injury or death of the targeted individual(s), which is not true for sexism.

                If you want to do your part for feminism, encourage content developers to cater to a uni-sexual audience.

                Doesn’t telling developers “you’re excluding us by doing this” count as encouraging content developes to cater for a uni-sex audience?

                There are, unfortunately, a set number of potential developers in the world. If we ever want things to be anywhere near equal, some of the developers who are currently creating videogames that clearly exclude women are going to have to start creating videogames that don’t exclude women.

                And there’s also, unfortunately, a significant cost to creating new content of the sort that AAA developers would actually notice. There’s plenty of Flash/iOS/Android type games that avoid the stuff we complain about and sell decently because of it, but console developers don’t actually pay attention to that type of stuff. And creating something that they would notice would cost way more than we could afford. =P (And that’s assuming that it’s actually possible to lead by example — the videogame industry is infamously bad at actually understanding what people who aren’t already core gamers want to see)

              • LilithXIV says:

                Shorter Anonymous: ‘Let me tell you little ladies how to do proper feminism.’ The off-the-subject derail of how important violence is to tackle, which once again serves only to distract instead of being on point. Speaking in caps also doesn’t validate your words anymore either.

                It’s pathetic for someone to come over to a blog such as this and talk about how meaningless the criticisms are.. if they’re so meaningless and ‘pathetic’ and if it’s ‘just whining’ (nice dismissal) then why are you still here? Clearly they’re not really meaningless, maybe you’re afraid of something or hate it’s even being challenged.

                You’re not fooling anyone. I will not entertain the thoughts of a sexist telling me how to better reach equality when he just pretends problems don’t exist because they aren’t big enough for him.

              • Anonymous says:

                @Ikkin
                Fair enough. I will drop the violence comparison.
                This still does not excuse the fact that Lilith here hasn’t even bothered to explain her arbitrary standards of what is okay to depict in the media or not.

                “Doesn’t telling developers “you’re excluding us by doing this” count as encouraging content developes to cater for a uni-sex audience?”
                No, it doesn’t when the developers CLEARLY know that the game is sexist and specifically designed it to appeal to a certain audience who finds this juvenile crass humor to be fun.

                DNF’s sexism isn’t subtle. It is not satirical. It is not a parody. It’s indulgence. Pointing about how sexist it is when the developer clearly aimed for it does nothing to affect other potential future developers.

                “the developers who are currently creating videogames that clearly exclude women are going to have to start creating videogames that don’t exclude women.”
                They are not going to, unless you can demonstrate that it is profitable. This is a business after all.

                @Lilith
                Either actually address the points I made, or stop nagging on about how I am “derailing” and a secret sexist trying to push an agenda.
                Your entire post was nothing but ad hominem.

              • Ikkin says:

                Anonymous:
                Fair enough. I will drop the violence comparison.
                This still does not excuse the fact that Lilith here hasn’t even bothered to explain her arbitrary standards of what is okay to depict in the media or not.

                Okay, that works. I’ll stop assuming you’re unwilling to concede any points now, though I’d prefer not to continue dragging Lilith into our continued discussion.

                “Doesn’t telling developers “you’re excluding us by doing this” count as encouraging content developes to cater for a uni-sex audience?”
                No, it doesn’t when the developers CLEARLY know that the game is sexist and specifically designed it to appeal to a certain audience who finds this juvenile crass humor to be fun.

                DNF’s sexism isn’t subtle. It is not satirical. It is not a parody. It’s indulgence. Pointing about how sexist it is when the developer clearly aimed for it does nothing to affect other potential future developers.

                Well, I’ll agree that DNF’s developers really can’t be affected by us saying that DNF is sexist, because they know exactly what they’re doing.

                It’s other developers and the game media who would be the ones who could learn something from seeing DNF torn down. (It’s kind of like sporking a troll fanfic — sure, the author herself won’t learn anything from it, but it could be instructive for other writers) In fact, DNF’s developers actually said they hoped it could be used that way. XD

                “the developers who are currently creating videogames that clearly exclude women are going to have to start creating videogames that don’t exclude women.”
                They are not going to, unless you can demonstrate that it is profitable. This is a business after all.

                Well, yeah, that’s true.

                My only point with that quote was that it wouldn’t be possible to equalize gender representations in games without existing developers changing, no matter how much we pushed new content.

          • LilithXIV says:

            “That’s such a backwards-ass logic that I can’t even reply without laughing out loud.”

            In other words, you have no substantial reply. Alright then, that’s all you had to say. I never said it made people ‘become’ sexist, just like people don’t suddenly hulk out and turn into killers from watching some violence or playing a violent game. Again, that is a strawman. The sexism already present in our media culture is presented as more acceptable and encouraged, it’s reinforced by your tacit approval and call for others to not challenge it (‘leave it be, all good fun’). The atmosphere is already there, you’re just adding to it.

            Cole pretty much summed up the rest of my feelings on your post there Anonymous.

            • Anonymous says:

              My argument isn’t “Leave it be, all good fun”.
              This IS a childish immature entertainment. It’s crass, not classy and frankly juvenile. BUT, much like pornography, it has it’s own place.

              If that argument I presented above was not your argument, then WHAT WAS IT?
              If this game is not making people more sexist and sexism more acceptable, then what is the problem? Where is your argument?

              “In other words, you have no substantial reply. ”

              If you seriously think “You are not doing anything to stop it, therefore you are approving it” statement holds any water, you are quite delusional.
              I am not actively doing anything substantial to help the starving people in the world. Does that automatically mean I approve of the growing income disparity and people dieing of starvation? I could go on, but it seems rather pointless.

            • LilithXIV says:

              “If this game is not making people more sexist and sexism more acceptable, then what is the problem? Where is your argument?”

              The sexism already present in our media culture is presented as more acceptable and encouraged, it’s reinforced by your tacit approval and call for others to not challenge it (‘leave it be, all good fun’). The atmosphere is already there, you’re just adding to it.

              Do I need to bold it or something? Are you having a hard time reading it? My argument is right there. I said it didn’t make people /become/ sexist as if they suddenly sprouted into it, it reinforces the sexism already there and encourages it. It is making it more acceptable, as are you by saying it should be ‘left alone’ and ‘that it’s not for you so leave it be’. If you’re having a hard time tracking the thread, I said almost exactly the same thing to your first reply to Dorian.

              Note your personal attack of calling me ‘delusional’. For someone so harmed by my ‘personal insult’ you sure resort to them just as easily. You are not actively doing anything to challenge or stop the sexism and you tell people ‘it’s not for you’ so ‘leave it be’, you encourage others to just silence themselves and let it go because ‘it has it’s place’ (in the majority of gaming culture is it’s place?). Those are the two things together that make you compliant in the sexist culture. Yes, you are only adding to the pile, if in your own little way. You just seem to want to dodge any responsibility for it.

              • Anonymous says:

                “The sexism already present in our media culture is presented as more acceptable and encouraged”
                Seriously, how does DNF make sexism more accepted? You saying “because it does” proves absolutely nothing.

                “Do I need to bold it or something? Are you having a hard time reading it?”
                Actually providing details on HOW DNF accomplishes this magical feat of suddenly making sexism more accepted in the general society would be helpful.
                Does the release of DNF suddenly make people think “Well, Duke spanked some bitches and got all the pussy he wanted, so surely I can be like him in real life and people will accept it”?
                Do womenfolk think “Well Duke seems to spank all those women and they are okay with it. I guess when a guy spanks my ass it’s okay now.”?

                “For someone so harmed by my ‘personal insult’ you sure resort to them just as easily.”
                Of course, but unlike you I actually have a point to be said besides the personal insults.

                “Yes, you are only adding to the pile, if in your own little way. You just seem to want to dodge any responsibility for it.”
                I don’t give a flying fuck about whether a random angry person on the internet thinks of me as a raging sexist scum.
                Your words literally mean absolutely nothing unless you can back it up with evidence and facts. How does DNF reinforce sexism?
                If a non-sexist male played DNF, would he think less of the womenfolk then he did before? If yes, then how and why?

              • LilithXIV says:

                “I don’t give a flying fuck about whether a random angry person on the internet thinks of me as a raging sexist scum.”

                Clearly you do. You’re still responding to me. And raging sexist scum? You sure seem to love adding stuff like that. Maybe you’re the angry person here. Anyway, I just think you’re sexist, which doesn’t require one to wear a black hat or twirl a dastardly mustache. Your general apathy and attempt to silence by telling anyone upset by it to ‘leave it be’ and get over it is can be just as bad outright maliciousness, so you’re still a sexist. I do not have the time nor the desire to educate you on why generally respecting women as human beings over fap toys, even in your fictional worlds (see, you struggle so much to just stop being sexist even here? How well will you handle it in the real world if even in fiction you can’t let go of your privilege and stop to think about other people for a change?), is a good thing to do beyond what I and many others have already stated.

                I shouldn’t really have to. ‘Women. Human Beings. Not solely existing for the sexual gratification of men’. I mean you don’t even get context. It’s not just DNF, it’s part of a problem, but adding to a problem is just as bad. It’s this game and the other game in this post and that official art gallery and that thong bikini equipment and on and on. Especially not when I’ve gone over it so many times and WG has too, but you can’t even bothered to read past posts. But you’ve already stated this means nothing to you, so your words mean less than nothing really.

              • Anonymous says:

                “Clearly you do. You’re still responding to me.”
                I do it because it fancies me, as in “I am essentially a troll”. I am here for responses like yours. Nothing more.

                “You are sexist”
                You declaring me to be one doesn’t make it so. Sorry.

                “I do not have the time nor the desire to educate you”
                Code for “I can’t really back up my arguments on how DNF reinforces sexism so here’s some general bullshit about why I am right and that guy is wrong”.
                Great job on STILL dodging explaining what exactly your standards are and how DNF reinforces sexism in general society. That will certainly prove you right!

                “Especially not when I’ve gone over it so many times and WG has too, but you can’t even bothered to read past posts.”
                Except I’ve read every single post in this blog and am a regular reader. I don’t agree with every single post WG writes.
                As an amateur game designer I have a special disdain for games that use boobs/ass for marketing and other non-sense.
                I personally got too pissed about Metroid : Other M’s characterization of Samus Aran as well, but of course, your almighty majesty has declared me to be a dirty sexist peasant, so I guess whatever I say is automatically worthless.

              • LilithXIV says:

                I do it because it fancies me, as in “I am essentially a troll”.

                You’re the one who declared yourself a troll. That is actually what makes you automatically worthless. (And again with the ‘dirty’ and ‘peasant’. I’m not the angry one here, it sounds like you are because you keep putting colorful words on sexist. Nah dude, you’re just sexist. And hey, you still can’t prove you’re not. I’ve already explained why you are above.). O.o Anyway, we’re done here. Her Majesty dismisses you.

              • Anonymous says:

                “You’re the one who declared yourself a troll. That is actually what makes you automatically worthless.”
                Yeah, because my points suddenly become entirely invalid and worthless when I declare my intentions, right?
                Oh wait! That’s actually a logical fallacy! Who knew?

                “Angry”
                No one is really angry during an internet argument. Y0u are not angry and I am not angry. Frankly who would actually get angry over a random comment on the internet, hm?

                “Nah dude, you’re just sexist. And hey, you still can’t prove you’re not.”
                I probably shouldn’t bother with actual intellectual concepts like “There is no such thing as proof-negative” or “the burden of proof is on you” since you are doing so well without them already.

                Oh, and you still haven’t bothered to explain your claims or your standards, so there’s that too.

              • Ikkin says:

                Anonymous:
                Yeah, because my points suddenly become entirely invalid and worthless when I declare my intentions, right?
                Oh wait! That’s actually a logical fallacy! Who knew?

                Being a troll might not automatically disprove your points, but it does destroy your position in a debate and make others feel it isn’t worth arguing with you. You basically admitted to arguing in bad faith, which a lot of people feel is grounds for dismissal (because it’s impossible to get someone who’s arguing in bad faith to concede any point).

                I probably shouldn’t bother with actual intellectual concepts like “There is no such thing as proof-negative” or “the burden of proof is on you” since you are doing so well without them already.

                Dude, she’s not saying “you’re a sexist unless you can prove otherwise.” She’s saying “you’ve already acted sexist several times, so you’re sexist unless you can prove why you’re not.” And it’s not a criminal trial here — burden of proof is way different for thinking someone’s a jerk than it is for thinking someone deserves prison time. =P

              • Anonymous says:

                “You basically admitted to arguing in bad faith, which a lot of people feel is grounds for dismissal (because it’s impossible to get someone who’s arguing in bad faith to concede any point).”
                What in the world is ‘arguing in bad faith’? Argument is an argument. Nothing more. The intention has no place in it.
                If you don’t be debate me, don’t reply. It’s simple as that.
                I remained civil throughout the discussion.
                I can concede a point if Lilith actually bothered to bring up a point and continue the discussion instead of obsessing on how I am such a bad sexist and how that makes my points invalid.

                “Dude, she’s not saying “you’re a sexist unless you can prove otherwise.” She’s saying “you’ve already acted sexist several times, so you’re sexist unless you can prove why you’re not.””
                And I am saying her declaring me to be so doesn’t make it so unless she can back her accusation with actual facts/points/evidence.

                “And it’s not a criminal trial here — burden of proof is way different for thinking someone’s a jerk than it is for thinking someone deserves prison time. =P”
                She is fully entitled to her opinion on how much of jerk/sexist I am. That is still not relevant to the discussion, nor is it a fact. It’s her opinion, nothing more, nothing less.

              • Ikkin says:

                Anonymous:
                What in the world is ‘arguing in bad faith’? Argument is an argument. Nothing more. The intention has no place in it.
                If you don’t be debate me, don’t reply. It’s simple as that.
                I remained civil throughout the discussion.
                I can concede a point if Lilith actually bothered to bring up a point and continue the discussion instead of obsessing on how I am such a bad sexist and how that makes my points invalid.

                “Arguing in bad faith” means that you’re not interested in a constructive, two-way discussion — you’re more interested in self-gratification by “winning”/making your opponent look bad/silencing your opponent than you are in furthering discourse.

                When you said “I’m a troll,” that’s what I assumed you meant — “I’m here to get my jollies, and I don’t care what happens as long as I win.”

                Though I’m not sure that’s what you are anymore, which is why I’m not giving up on you yet.

                She is fully entitled to her opinion on how much of jerk/sexist I am. That is still not relevant to the discussion, nor is it a fact. It’s her opinion, nothing more, nothing less.

                The thing is, whether you’re sexist is relevent to any discussion regarding what to do about sexism. A sexist wouldn’t want to give a feminist any suggestions he thought would help her, so being a sexist would be fair grounds for having one’s suggestions dismissed.

                I’ll step back from saying you’re a sexist for now, though.

              • Anonymous says:

                “you’re more interested in self-gratification by “winning”/making your opponent look bad/silencing your opponent than you are in furthering discourse.”
                I probably shouldn’t have used that “troll” comment, and now I regret making it.
                Apparently people on the internet are very quick to judge based on the word “troll”.
                As I’ve elaborated way down there, I am not interested in ‘winning’ any arguments here. That doesn’t accomplish anything. I am not shallow enough to wallow in a false sense of intellectual superiority. What I am interested in, however, is having a discussion.

                “When you said “I’m a troll,” that’s what I assumed you meant — “I’m here to get my jollies, and I don’t care what happens as long as I win.””
                My ‘jollies’ would be giving out my opinion on the matter and seeing how people react to it. Apparently my “troll” comment is unintentionally destroying my own validity. Oh well.

                “A sexist wouldn’t want to give a feminist any suggestions he thought would help her, so being a sexist would be fair grounds for having one’s suggestions dismissed.”
                That’s a fallacious reasoning. See “Appeal to motive”.

              • Ikkin says:

                Anonymous:
                I probably shouldn’t have used that “troll” comment, and now I regret making it.
                Apparently people on the internet are very quick to judge based on the word “troll”.
                As I’ve elaborated way down there, I am not interested in ‘winning’ any arguments here. That doesn’t accomplish anything. I am not shallow enough to wallow in a false sense of intellectual superiority. What I am interested in, however, is having a discussion.

                Yeah, “troll” is a word with some very specific connotations on the internet, most of which imply a lack of useful content in one’s comments. I’ll accept you backing away from it, though.

                My ‘jollies’ would be giving out my opinion on the matter and seeing how people react to it. Apparently my “troll” comment is unintentionally destroying my own validity. Oh well.

                I’m kind of surprised that you didn’t realize it would do that, heh. But your stated purpose seems fair enough, as long as you stick to it.

                “A sexist wouldn’t want to give a feminist any suggestions he thought would help her, so being a sexist would be fair grounds for having one’s suggestions dismissed.”
                That’s a fallacious reasoning. See “Appeal to motive”.

                Well, Appeal to Motive is an Ad Hominem Circumstantial argument, and there are some qualifications that can make it irrelevant in certain circumstances. From Wikipedia:

                “The circumstantial fallacy only applies where the source taking a position is only making a logical argument from premises that are generally accepted. Where the source seeks to convince an audience of the truth of a premise by a claim of authority or by personal observation, observation of their circumstances may reduce the evidentiary weight of the claims, sometimes to zero.”

                Claims about sexism aren’t necessarily false merely because they’re spoken by a sexist. However, claims made by a sexist may be dismissed due to their sexism, if they’re not arguing from mutually-accepted premises or making externally-verifiable claims (essentially, a sexist’s personal observations and generalizations still have no weight, even if “you’re sexist” can’t refute everything he says).

    • An Onymous says:

      “It is still an extremely sexist game.”

      In what way?

      • Dorian says:

        I can only hope you are joking, correct? See entirety of the comments to this post or original post… or just see the objectification of women in every still picture posted online or even the ad campaign. That would be a good start…

        • An Onymous says:

          Women willingly and proudly objectify themselves and throw themselves at men like Duke. So where’s the “sexism”?

          • bhlaab says:

            See, that’s the kind of skewed vision of reality that sexist media reinforces and why it isn’t as simple as “playing duke nukem won’t make me start capturing babes irl!!” it’s more subtle than that.

            • Mirasiel says:

              you’re really going to use a known troll on this blog as an example of the medias influence?

            • An Onymous says:

              Oh look, a feminist is shifting responsibility and blaming some vague entity like “the media” because the idea that women are responsible for their own behavior is just too frightening to even contemplate. Truly I have never seen this happen before.

              • LilithXIV says:

                See, this is the problem with trolls like Anonymous. They’ll be sure to blame women for all the horrible things that befall men and talk about how men can have their behavior influenced by women (turning them into ‘bad boys’ for example).. but the minute someone talks about how things like our popular media.. which happens to seep in everywhere in our society and largely are the things we grow up with.. may influence people he’ll talk about how they have /no effect whatsoever/.

                Stop contradicting yourself.

              • An Onymous says:

                The apparent contradictions vanish as soon as you realize that not everything works the same way. Not that you will ever realize this.

                Also, you don’t know what a troll is.

              • bhlaab says:

                I didn’t say “the media” I was referring to pieces of sexist media. Conglomorating the media into a singly monolithic ideaological identity is indeed silly, but saying that no media exists which upholds a widespread social construct exists is just nuts.

              • An Onymous says:

                You just can’t accept that women are responsible for their own behavior, that they are freely and voluntarily slutting it up and calling it empowerment or whatever the buzzword of the week is.

                Feminists want only freedoms and privileges. Never responsibility.

              • LilithXIV says:

                And there it is. ‘Slutting it up’. The simplistic black and white approach to social influence, the dodging of any responsibility while accusing others of dodging responsibility, the virgin whore dichotomy. You are truly hopeless, trollface An Onymous. I pity you.

              • An Onymous says:

                And what responsibility am I dodging, exactly?

                Also, you still don’t know what troll means.

          • LilithXIV says:

            The imaginary women in his head.

    • wundergeek says:

      Dude, here’s the deal. If you want to play DNF – I don’t give a shit. Let me repeat – I DON’T GIVE A SHIT IF YOU WANT TO PLAY DNF. Just, seriously. Don’t have the balls to try and claim its somehow not sexist. That’s all I’m asking. I can be okay with people buying and playing DNF. Hell, I own and play a copy of Soul Calibur II, and how much have I bitched here about Ivy?

      • bhlaab says:

        I agree 100%!

        I think conversations about this sort of thing can be much more open and honest if people would get over ideas like “If RE5 is racist… and I think RE5 is fun… does that mean I’m a racist?!” Well, no, not necessarily. But plugging your ears and going ‘la la la no racism here’ means you might as well be.

        The articles you quoted about DNF were very much the sort of guilty handwringing that helps no one.

  19. Shama says:

    Yes, it is a parody – whatever – But that is not the problem. The problem is that the people getting this game are not getting it because of its burlesque story, they’re getting it to see animated girl-on-girl action.

    I promise to you that the buyers of this game are not going to analyze the game’s satirical content and write a thesis on it, they’re getting it for the sake of their own debauchery.

    • An Onymous says:

      You’re just projecting. Back when DN3D came out I was about twelve years old, and I didn’t play it because of the strippers, I played it because it was an excellent game. Nobody is going to buy DNF because of the “animated girl-on-girl action.”

      • Dorian says:

        However, in response to Mr. An Onymous, I think your argument – while it may have been arguable 15 years ago – does not hold water now. Previews of DNF, on the whole, have seemed to find that the underlying game lags behind other contemporary games as far as gameplay is concerned, meaning that DNF is relying on ‘atmosphere’ and ‘other content’ to sell. Since the gameplay is lagging and the graphics appear to be no better – if not worse – than many contemporaries (Killzone 3, Gears of War 1 or 2, Call of Duty:[insert subtitle here]), that means that DNF will almost certainly rely on the shocks, ‘humor’, and sexuality to sell.

        • An Onymous says:

          You assume that the gameplay of first person shooters has improved, or that change is always for the best, and thefore any game that goes back to an older standard must be bad.

          Even if we assume that DNF is a bad game, nobody’s still going to buy it because of digital tits. Porn is easily and widely available on the Internet at no cost.

          • Dorian says:

            Yes, it’s a fairly easy assumption to make that things tend to improve with time. If not, you would just still be playing Duke Nukem 3D, the original Doom, or Wolfenstein 3D… but you’re (presumably) not, so there must be some reasonable improvement that has been made. In addition, if you just want to play older style shooters, there’s plenty of others to spend your time with (Serious Sam series comes to mind). In addition, old does not equate bad (see many classics on older systems; the term ‘classic’ implies continued greatness or at least appreciation of the greatness).

            Further, yes, people WILL buy it for ‘digital tits’ and the other titillating aspects of the game… that’s the very thing that is causing so much concern. The fact is, many games put these ‘themes’ or ‘gameplay scenarios’ in for the very reason that they sell. Why would the developers use these types of scenarios if not to sell them to those who would consume them? The answer is: they wouldn’t. You mention the free pornography around the internet, but put simply, variety is the spice of life, and the reason that developers put digital breasts or other titillating imagery into a game is because it is just another way for people to be entertained.

            So yes, if you still don’t understand, the sexism involves the very objectification of women – the ‘digital tits’ you referred to – that has been discussed ad naseum in this post. If you don’t understand by now then, well, you probably just don’t get it and it’s time to move on to other things.

            • An Onymous says:

              “Yes, it’s a fairly easy assumption to make that things tend to improve with time.”

              Except video games have actually gone downhill in many ways.

              “If not, you would just still be playing Duke Nukem 3D, the original Doom, or Wolfenstein 3D… but you’re (presumably) not, so there must be some reasonable improvement that has been made.”

              The reason why I’m no longer playing DN3D is because I’ve already played it to death.

              “In addition, old does not equate bad.”

              You’re telling me like I don’t know, when it was YOU who implied that old equals bad.

              “Further, yes, people WILL buy it for ‘digital tits’ and the other titillating aspects of the game… ”

              No.

              “So yes, if you still don’t understand, the sexism involves the very objectification of women.”

              This argument does not work as long as women willingly and proudly objectify themselves in real life.

              • LilithXIV says:

                Dorian, I wouldn’t bother replying to this one. It’s really a dead-end. He doesn’t even know what objectification means (in any context) and he makes blanket statements like ‘women /willingly/ do this /all the time/, which is the same thing as a fictional character doing it’ which assumes he’s psychic. Most of his comments will eventually degrade into ‘nuh uh’ (actually it looks like he’s already started).

              • An Onymous says:

                Lilith is just panicking because somebody is questioning feminism and she can’t do anything to stop it.

              • LilithXIV says:

                See how he couldn’t actually explain anything or back up his statements? They’re just these black and white ‘this is how things are’. He once told a commenter here that ‘voltaire said so is not an argument’ and yet he can’t actually see that those words negate everything he says. Because it all amounts to ‘Anonymous says so’. He can’t actually make an argument.

              • An Onymous says:

                “See how he couldn’t actually explain anything or back up his statements?”

                You’re projecting.

        • Annonymous says:

          This is a pet peeve of mine but I REALLY need to get it off my chest. Those “previewers” are full of shit, the only reason DNF is “behind the curve” is because it has something more to the gameplay than “get to point A, shooting all the way” like COD, KZ, etc. Don’t let the shitty stories in those games fool you, even Wolf3D and Doom have more sophisticated gameplay. These gaming journalists want all games to be like that, which is completely assbackwards, so fuck them.

          • Annonymous says:

            Edit: Disregard that post, I hadn’t read the entire thread when I made it. Sorry about that.

    • Dorian says:

      Granted, but now you are talking less about the game itself and more about the morality of the citizenry and/or consumers and presuming (quite reasonably) that the purchase is made for the titillating nature of the content. This speaks to the comments earlier about how many other factors contribute to the pervasive sexism and the desire of many consumers to consume this sexism in the virtual medium. However, that does not really address the topic raised by either the original author nor my comment, which seem to focus on the content itself and those who produce the content. I think a response by the developer to you would simply be “yes, that is correct, people want things that titillate them and we are providing that content,” but that would still fail to address the concern that either such images and content are further sexist imagery in our culture, or that those so-called journalists that cover games such as these are effectively talking out of both sides of their mouth by enjoying the sexist comment while denying that the content is sexist in and of itself.

    • bhlaab says:

      Of course SOME (emphasis) people will buy the game simply because of that, but it’s not really the game’s problem if people don’t get it. They could make it more overtly critical, but they are under no obligation to.

      Plenty of people do examine the entertainment they consume. That’s the reason I read this blog, and the reason why this blog exists to begin with.

      • LilithXIV says:

        If they are under no obligation to then I suppose people can criticize it as sexist hogwash as much as they please right? Sorry, it doesn’t work that way. If they can’t get the supposed ‘real’ message across, that’s on them.

        • bhlaab says:

          “If they are under no obligation to then I suppose people can criticize it as sexist hogwash as much as they please right? Sorry, it doesn’t work that way.”

          That… sounds fine to me?

          • LilithXIV says:

            Then that begs of the question of why you defended it as you did above as ‘parody’/deconstruction/rubber-chicken and that this somehow made it not as bad. Instead of just what it is, over the top sexism with no point but glorification.

            • bhlaab says:

              Because that is what I think and it is okay if you think something differently than me?

              • LilithXIV says:

                So then you just want to agree to disagree. Alright, then.

              • bhlaab says:

                Whatever makes you feel like you’ve “won”, sure.

              • LilithXIV says:

                Agreeing to disagree is… agreeing that we both disagree with each other but respect the opposite ideas we have. What is wrong with you?

    • Mirasiel says:

      @Shama
      ‘they’re getting it to see animated girl-on-girl action. ‘ + ‘they’re getting it for the sake of their own debauchery.’

      Sorry but bull-fucking shit…thats some major assuming about the intentions of people you do not know and handily ignores the fact that this game has attained near mythical proportions A DECADE before this recent shit storm began, the folk with preorder stubs so old the inks fucking decayed on the paper,.

      Y’know annon is a cock and irritates me but your post is the first one here that actually angered me, congratulations, have a cookie, you did what the professional troll failed to do :)

  20. Great job. says:

    Congrats on the IGN article!

  21. dufric88 says:

    I definitely agree with your plight, even I’ve gotten sick of seeing cleavage and crotch shots where they’re not necessary. I’ve read the both of the IGN articles by Nick Kolan that referred me here and did a bit of my own reading and research on the subject. I recognize the difference between the varied positive stereotypes male’s are typically portrayed as and the single-track, and frequently degrading, ones females are represented by. Kudos for standing out with your opinion, I admire what you’re trying to accomplish.

    I don’t really get your approach though. I get that you want to reinforce your point with current examples of games using gender-typing, but it’s so needlessly dripping with ironic/sarcastic rhetoric it’s hard to get through. Honestly, you top Daniel Tosh in the facetious remarks department and the content isn’t even humorous. It just comes off as spiteful. They say the only way to take power away from somebody/something is to turn it into a joke. But your posts would have to make me laugh for that to work, and instead it just makes me sad.

    The blog in general is very one-note and I really hope you have another front of attack for getting this concept out there because I honestly agree with you. I want to see more female gamers comfortable with playing games and for the age of the respectable female protagonist to come. And I’m not just saying that because I have a dick.

    • Cole92 says:

      “I get that you want to reinforce your point with current examples of games using gender-typing, but it’s so needlessly dripping with ironic/sarcastic rhetoric it’s hard to get through.”

      Perhaps you could give a suggestion as to how she could improve, instead of leaving your statement so open-ended? Examples of how her approach is “needlessly dripping with ironic/sarcastic rhetoric that it is so hard to get through” would be nice.

      “Honestly, you top Daniel Tosh in the facetious remarks department and the content isn’t even humorous.”

      Except Daniel Tosh uses racism and sexism as the base for his “humorous” content…

      “It just comes off as spiteful.”

      A lot of us try to be gentle when dealing with misogynists and outright assholes, but after a while it gets old trying to be polite to people who go out of their way just to offend and berate you. That’s probably why Wundergeek’s work may come off as being spiteful (she, hell, a lot of us, have good reason to do so).

      “They say the only way to take power away from somebody/something is to turn it into a joke. But your posts would have to make me laugh for that to work, and instead it just makes me sad.”

      I highly doubt that Wundergeek’s intention is to make a joke out of the sexism she encounters in the gaming industry. As can be seen with DNF, turning things into a joke just doesn’t cut it. This blog isn’t here for us to laugh at the everyday misogyny we see in gaming, it’s to raise awareness of the problem and analyze its causes and consequences.

      The blog in general is very one-note and I really hope you have another front of attack for getting this concept out there because I honestly agree with you.”

      Please be more specific. Explain what exactly is wrong with her approach currently and how she can improve on it (I’m genuinely interested in hearing about what you think is the problem).

      “I want to see more female gamers comfortable with playing games and for the age of the respectable female protagonist to come.”

      I don’t see your purpose for writing this. Do you think that women aren’t already comfortable playing video games? If so, could you please elaborate on why you believe women are not comfortable doing so? I am a gamer (who just happens to be female), and I am perfectly comfortable playing video games. I guess I simply do not understand what it is you mean by that particular comment, because it seems an extremely odd one.

      “And I’m not just saying that because I have a dick.”

      Don’t worry we won’t hold it against you. And I’m not just saying that because I have a vagina.

      • effyr says:

        Cole92, it looks like you would fight to the death to defend point of view of this blog, and while dufric88 says:
        “I want to see more female gamers comfortable with playing games and for the age of the respectable female protagonist to come.”
        you see it “odd”, because you are:
        “perfectly comfortable playing video games”
        and you seems to be surprised with your:
        “Do you think that women aren’t already comfortable playing video games?”
        I just read maybe few articles here, but as far as i can tell, the author is writing this because she is not comfortable while playing games because of sexism included.
        I just dont get you here Cole92.

        About DNF, Im not sure what to think at the moment. If I consider just myself, I dont see a problem here. Yes, Duke is sexist but this is on purpose and its so ridiculous, straight and simple, that its hard for me to think of it in some very serious ways. But as I see here and in some few other places where this problem is shown, it looks that it might not be as harmless for everyone as I thought.
        Still I think that most of other articles I read here are far better and more important, because DNF isnt hiding anything, its straight about it, we know what we play, while majority of the sexist titles are not sreaming: “We are sexist as hell!” while really being so. Sexism is so often used in games that I stoped to notice girls in bikini chainmails being weird, because they are almost never pictured otherwise. Its nice that someone is pointing it out. I also think that games would be improved if women would look more like a women in games and less like some walking extreme male sexual fantasy.

        But still, Duke is Duke, if you remove this big macho part he will stop exist, so you will actually ban this game. Duke was born 20 years ago in times when strong macho heroes played by Stallone, Willis, Arnie etc. were saving world after world and woman after woman, with sleeping with almost every woman they were saving. DNF was in the making in 90′s already, for me it looks like kind of tribute to that time.
        But ofcourse if you see problem with that, you have the rights to point it.

        I dont mind having addictional label on game covers with warning about sexism included, but I think that DNF doesnt need one, it screems it from the cover already, I would be more worried, about majority of the other sexist titles.

        Anyway I think that every game dont have to be made for everyone, DNF seems to be made clearly for male audience, male audience with some basic sense of humor. And actually it looks that this game kind of help point that sexism exist in games. Before it, this problem seems to be marginal, people were talking about it usually on some blogs, but now sexism in games is talked more often more widely on some main portals nad tv. Lets hope that it will bring something good to the whole industry, that publishers and developers will get the messege and in near future we will get more mature games with more mature and real women portrayed in them.

        Good work wundergeek! Keep it going!

        • Cole92 says:

          “Cole92, it looks like you would fight to the death to defend point of view of this blog,”

          Death is hardly what I‘d choose. ;) I wasn’t defending this blog’s viewpoint, I was asking duric88 to elaborate on what Wundergeek could do better, and how she could do that. Perhaps he had a valid point and could help to improve this blog. However, we won’t know unless he is more specific.

          “I just read maybe few articles here, but as far as i can tell, the author is writing this because she is not comfortable while playing games because of sexism included.”

          The reason why I was confused by dufric88’s statement is because it really wasn’t specific. Saying women are not comfortable playing video games is incorrect. We are perfectly comfortable “playing” video games. What we are not comfortable with is the sexism within the games. When duric88 made that statement it sounded like he thought that women are just generally uncomfortable when playing video games. I’m sure that wasn’t what he meant, but I asked for an explanation.

          “I just dont get you here Cole92.”

          Now that is a strange statement. May I ask, why are you here, effyr?

          “I also think that games would be improved if women would look more like a women in games and less like some walking extreme male sexual fantasy.”

          Agreed.

          “But still, Duke is Duke, if you remove this big macho part he will stop exist, so you will actually ban this game.”

          One, we here cannot remove Duke from DNF. Two, we did not advocate his removal from his franchise. We do not want the game banned.

          “DNF seems to be made clearly for male audience, male audience with some basic sense of humor.”

          Are you insinuating that all men like this type of game, and that men who abhor sexism, particularly sexism in video games, have no sense of humor? Really now, that’s quite a stretch.

          “And actually it looks that this game kind of help point that sexism exist in games.”

          It may in some cases, but as we have seen here, there are many people who either deny that it is sexist, or acknowledge the sexism but think it is ok.

          “Lets hope that it will bring something good to the whole industry, that publishers and developers will get the messege and in near future we will get more mature games with more mature and real women portrayed in them.”

          Hear hear.

      • dufric88 says:

        Thanks for the reply. Yes I was in a bit of a hurry when I first posted so I didn’t elaborate where I should have.

        I didn’t really feel like I needed to point out examples of sarcasm because it’s basically a running theme. I mean the background is all shots of virtual A&T but it’s a feminist blog lol. The writer even replied later that she uses sarcasm to avoid sounding like one of the many feminist advocates that end up sounding a bit crazy. It’s certainly one way to do it. I do enjoy sarcastic humor (apparently I’m pretty dry myself) but not when it’s about something I take seriously. I’ve never found sarcasm to be an effective way of getting my point across. That’s just one opinion though.

        I shouldn’t get started on Tosh here lol, that’s another huge mental conflict I’m having (it’s funny VS it’s SO awful).

        I guess that sounding spiteful is a logical result of dealing with real misogynists on a regular basis. When you put it that way I can see why some of the resentment shows through. It’s still a surreal concept for me to think that there really are people that don’t think sexism is a big deal/don’t think it exists. I guess because I was brought up to respect women as equals to men and are not to be idolized, I still feel that way and can’t imagine thinking otherwise.

        By “one-note” I meant that every article seems to be of a similar formula: point out examples of overtly sexualized females. I would be genuinely interested in seeing some examples of chances for activism: chances for viewers to answer surveys about games, where to make reports of offensive content, developer blogs for us to fill with our opinions. And sure enough wundergeek already provided two new sites to check out, which is great. While it’s likely some developers check out gamer blogs to see how they’re doing with content, it’s probably more effective to bring the criticism to them. And since not all readers can/should be bloggers too, a great way to get already-interested readers involved is to tell them how.

        “I want to see more female gamers comfortable with playing games and for the age of the respectable female protagonist to come.”

        Ok, clearly women are comfortable playing games, otherwise this blog wouldn’t even be around since none of them would be playing. What I think, no what I know, is that they’re not perfectly fine with (a good portion of them at least) is the lack of positive female representation. For example, when I play Resident Evil 4, one of my all time favorite games, even I get queezy when Ashley opens her mouth. They made her so idiotic and ditsy I’d be shocked if there was a single female that doesn’t cringe at her every word/move. Especially during the Ashley “ass-cam” scene, crawling through the tunnels in the castle. That’s what I meant, I don’t think anybody should feel uneasy/disappointed with the content of otherwise good games.

        The content in games is what drive people to play, so if the content is directed towards males then a good portion of females aren’t going to play. Just from personal experience, many of the women I know love playing games, but they tend to stick to ones where the content isn’t directed towards one sex or the other (Sims, Mario Kart, De Blob, Mario, Pokemon, etc).

        I don’t play games for animated ass (I don’t see why anyone would) so I’d much rather see covered up and strong-characters like Joanna Dark, Samus, or Faith (Mirror’s Edge) before I see an Ashley, Ivy, or any of the girls from DOA.

        And I honestly never enjoyed Duke Nuke’m so I think the whole game is unnecessary, but that’s just personal opinion lol.

        • Cole92 says:

          “I didn’t really feel like I needed to point out examples of sarcasm because it’s basically a running theme. I mean the background is all shots of virtual A&T but it’s a feminist blog lol.”

          Yes there is a lotof sarcasm in this blog, it’s actually a perfect example of a parody that works (glares at DNF). The only issue I saw with what you originally posted was that you implied that humor was the point of this blog, which it isn’t. Thank you for clarifying.

          “I shouldn’t get started on Tosh here lol, that’s another huge mental conflict I’m having (it’s funny VS it’s SO awful).”

          While some (and I do stress “some”) of Tosh’s material is humorous, the majority of it is just immature and offensive to so many groups of people, so I simply refuse to watch it. I’d rather give my ratings to comedians who can make people laugh without having to resort to sexism/racism.

          “I guess that sounding spiteful is a logical result of dealing with real misogynists on a regular basis. When you put it that way I can see why some of the resentment shows through.”

          It’s a double-edged sword. It helps me focus on the argument, but I know I often go off on people who are simply uneducated when it comes to the issues, and can be a real jerk. I don’t want to do that, but it really can be hard to turn off that kind of defense mechanism.

          “It’s still a surreal concept for me to think that there really are people that don’t think sexism is a big deal/don’t think it exists.”

          I hear ya…

          “I would be genuinely interested in seeing some examples of chances for activism: chances for viewers to answer surveys about games, where to make reports of offensive content, developer blogs for us to fill with our opinions.”

          I would like to see these kinds of things as well, but as of right now, not too many devs are interested in hearing our ideas, let alone criticisms. *Sigh*

          “That’s what I meant, I don’t think anybody should feel uneasy/disappointed with the content of otherwise good games.”

          That was the clarification I was looking for, thank you. I agree 100% with what you’re saying. As a female gamer, I absolutely love playing games (I can get VERY caught up in them at times, like any other gamer, of course), but whenever I come across sexism while playing, I am completely turned off by it.

          “Just from personal experience, many of the women I know love playing games, but they tend to stick to ones where the content isn’t directed towards one sex or the other (Sims, Mario Kart, De Blob, Mario, Pokemon, etc).”

          I understand why they would do that. I tend to do the same, although I am a little more varied when it comes to which games I play: pretty much anything [developed] by Bethesda (Fallout 3, TES), the Sims franchise, ME 1&2, DAO & DA2, SSBB, the Tekken franchise (still bothered by the “jiggle physics” though…), COD (other than the lack of playable female characters it’s alright) and Halo, etc.

          “And I honestly never enjoyed Duke Nuke’m so I think the whole game is unnecessary, but that’s just personal opinion lol.”

          Same.

          • dufric88 says:

            “I understand why they would do that. I tend to do the same, although I am a little more varied when it comes to which games I play: pretty much anything [developed] by Bethesda (Fallout 3, TES), the Sims franchise, ME 1&2, DAO & DA2, SSBB, the Tekken franchise (still bothered by the “jiggle physics” though…), COD (other than the lack of playable female characters it’s alright) and Halo, etc.”

            Now those are some games I can definitely get down to. But I find it interested that you didn’t point out any of the follie’s of ME. It has to be my favorite, or maybe 2nd favorite PC game of all time, and my first play-through I thought it was completely flawless on all levels. But I reconsidered after reading this IGN article as well as one other one I’m having trouble finding =/

            The only saving argument that shows the game is different from others where your character forms romantic relationships, is the one that points out that you have a choice of which way to go. Paragon or renegade, Tali or Jack, male or female Shepard. So at least you don’t have to get it on with some freaky alien tail right?

            It just seemed too weird that the pinnacle of your relationship with any of your crew members was the sex scene. As if that’s what your goal of talking to them is, to screw their alien brains out. It might not have been the intended goal, but if you put cheese at the end of a maze it sure seems like a goal. I was so relieved that Tali’s final scene in ME2 was at least somewhat dignified.

            • Cole92 says:

              “But I find it interested that you didn’t point out any of the follie’s of ME.”

              I didn’t mention the problems in ME because I figured that wasn’t relevant to what I was saying at the time, but yes you’re totally right there were many (regardless of how amazing the game is overall). If you would like for me to do that, I surely can.

              “So at least you don’t have to get it on with some freaky alien tail right?”

              The whole asari gender neutrality thing was a sorry excuse for a “homosexual” relationship. I do like how open Me is when it comes to the choices you make, but they could certainly improve. Take Dragon Age 2, for example. They made nearly all companions a romance option, all but one of those romance options were open to players of either gender. Kudos to BioWare for that.

              “It just seemed too weird that the pinnacle of your relationship with any of your crew members was the sex scene. As if that’s what your goal of talking to them is, to screw their alien brains out. It might not have been the intended goal, but if you put cheese at the end of a maze it sure seems like a goal.”

              Yes, BioWare definitely has a problem making relationships that go beyond the physical aspect. I certainly felt that the aim of the relationship was to get your love interest into bed, although I can say that I too don’t know whether or not that was intentional. However, I liked what BioWare did with DA2. They made the relationships feel more realistic, and I not once felt like the goal was sex (romanced Fenris, so I can’t speak for other romance options).

              “I was so relieved that Tali’s final scene in ME2 was at least somewhat dignified.”

              Can’t say the same for Miranda’s… -_-

    • wundergeek says:

      My blog is very sarcastic, because I’m a very sarcastic person. And here’s the deal, I resort to humor as a way of keeping myself from devolving into crazed, foaming-at-the-mouth tirades that no one would want to read. If you find my blog “one note” or not useful, cool. There’s, like, TONS of feminist gaming blogs out there. I encourage you to check out The Border House or GeekFeminism.org.

  22. Great post. Thanks for taking the time to put this together and post it.

  23. FarisScherwiz says:

    Everyone who is trying to say this isn’t sexist must just be trying to cover their own asses or something. I mean, it’s SO blatant, that there’s just no way that people are actually missing it. It kind of reminds me of when there were people saying that Resident Evil 5 wasn’t racist (or didn’t have racist elements, whatever).

    If anyone wants to play DNF, they can go right ahead, but they should at least acknowledge the sexism in it. I’ve played (and enjoyed) games with problematic elements like sexism in it. I’ll readily admit to playing WoW for ages, but I knew there was sexist and racist stuff in that and despite enjoying the game in general, I have no problem pointing out and criticizing those elements.

    Although in this case, I won’t be buying DNF because it’s just way too much for me. I did hear a rumour that Gearbox might be removing the butt-slapping in capture the babe mode, but I don’t know if it’s true. Even so, definitely a pass for me.

    • Cole92 says:

      “If anyone wants to play DNF, they can go right ahead, but they should at least acknowledge the sexism in it.”

      Thank you. It doesn’t seem like such a hard thing to do, acknowledging sexism, but when it just comes down to it, those who refuse to acknowledge it are doing so because they truly believe that it is acceptable. In other words, they are covering up their own asses, because they themselves are sexist and acknowledging that they are doing something wrong (i.e. systematically discriminating against and oppressing half of the world’s population) would be out of the question.

      • An Onymous says:

        “…those who refuse to acknowledge it are doing so because they truly believe that it is acceptable.”

        Or because the game isn’t actually sexist.

        • Cole92 says:

          “Or because the game isn’t actually sexist.”

          I would love for you to actually find something to validate that claim with. Please, do try it. Oh, but don’t use “you do not know what sexism is” or “you are projecting”, because we all know that those are not actual arguments.

      • LilithXIV says:

        To Both Faris and Cole’s posts: Yes and agreed to all of those words.

      • Anonymous says:

        Watching a fictional character in a ridiculously over-the-top setting treating women like shit is a FAR, FAR cry from “systematically discriminating against and oppressing half of the world’s population”.
        This is what I meant about pseudo-intellectual bullshit.

        Does a man with masochistic fetish watching a porn film where in which a dominatrix treats a man like a slave, contribute to “systematically discriminating against and oppressing half of the world’s population”?

        Does a 14 year old whose idea of maturity is swear words and ultra-hyper violence who plays a game where in which you can murder the entire population of an African country, contribute to “systematically discriminating against and oppressing the world’s African population”?

        • Cole92 says:

          “Watching a fictional character in a ridiculously over-the-top setting treating women like shit is a FAR, FAR cry from ‘systematically discriminating against and oppressing half of the world’s population’.”

          No, it isn’t actually.

          “This is what I meant about pseudo-intellectual bullshit.”

          I’m sorry, did you somehow explain how it was pseudo-intellectual bullshit? No, you didn’t. I’m still interested in hearing what words you think fall into this category you’ve created, and why.

          “Does a man with masochistic fetish watching a porn film where in which a dominatrix treats a man like a slave, contribute to ‘systematically discriminating against and oppressing half of the world’s population’?”

          Well, since men are not “systematically” oppressed, no it does not contribute to the “systematic oppression” of half of the world’s population. You’ve got the wrong gender there. It is, however, sexism, as the man is dominated by a woman, and treated like a slave. It is still wrong.

          “Does a 14 year old whose idea of maturity is swear words and ultra-hyper violence who plays a game where in which you can murder the entire population of an African country, contribute to ‘systematically discriminating against and oppressing the world’s African population’?”

          Let me guess, you don’t think it does? Well, yes, racism against African Americans in any form actually does contribute to the systematic oppression of African Americans, believe it or not.

          • Anonymous says:

            “how it was pseudo-intellectual bullshit?”
            Oh I don’t know, you throwing around serious words like “systematic discrimination”, “oppression” and so on and framing a simple issue like an offensive fictional works into actually important arguments about discrimination in real life, would qualify as “pseudo-intellectual bullshit”.

            Here, what I said above.
            “Depicting sexism is not the same thing as encouraging it. Until you can see that, this discussion will be entirely pointless.”
            Looks like you still don’t get it.

            “It is, however, sexism, as the man is dominated by a woman, and treated like a slave. It is still wrong.”
            So, then, what are you advocating? That we should never depict anything that even remotely get close to being offensive whatsoever in all works of fiction? When I ask this question many backpedal into saying “No, I am not advocating censorship”. Hopefully you won’t. Clarify your position please.

            “Well, yes, racism against African Americans in any form actually does contribute to the systematic oppression of African Americans, believe it or not.”
            So ‘Far Cry 2′ is racist against Blacks, ‘Homefront’, ‘Crysis’ against Asians, ‘Resident Evil 4′ against Spaniards, ‘Call Of Duty’ series against Germans, Russians, Latin Americans, Muslims, according to your logic because you get to murder scores of them without prejudice in these games.

            You seem to be unable to understand the importance of “HOW” it is depicted in the works of fiction actually determines whether the work is actually contributing to all sorts of discrimination in real life.

            • Cole92 says:

              Oh I don’t know, you throwing around serious words like ‘systematic discrimination‘, ‘oppression’ and so on and framing a simple issue like an offensive fictional works into actually important arguments about discrimination in real life, would qualify as ‘pseudo-intellectual bullshit‘.”

              You still have yet to explain how these “serious” words are actually pseudo-intellectual. Also, discrimination in fictional works is discrimination in “real life”.

              “So, then, what are you advocating? That we should never depict anything that even remotely get close to being offensive whatsoever in all works of fiction? “

              No, I am advocating that we be responsible enough to acknowledge that certain things really are sexist, and that sexism is harmful and destructive for both men and women, regardless of how small it may be.

              “When I ask this question many backpedal into saying “No, I am not advocating censorship”. Hopefully you won’t. Clarify your position please.”

              It wouldn’t be backpedaling if they weren’t advocating censorship to begin with, now would it? To grant your request (and to reiterate what I and many others have already said), no, I am not advocating censorship.

              “So ‘Far Cry 2′ is racist against Blacks, ‘Homefront’, ‘Crysis’ against Asians, ‘Resident Evil 4′ against Spaniards, ‘Call Of Duty’ series against Germans, Russians, Latin Americans, Muslims, according to your logic because you get to murder scores of them without prejudice in these games.”

              When it comes down to it, yes.

              “You seem to be unable to understand the importance of “HOW” it is depicted in the works of fiction actually determines whether the work is actually contributing to all sorts of discrimination in real life.”

              Yet it is you who are claiming that the way that women in DNF are depicted is not sexist. Should we just go by what you personally deem a proper depiction of sexism/rasim in fictional works? I think not.

              • Anonymous says:

                “You still have yet to explain how these “serious” words are actually pseudo-intellectual. Also, discrimination in fictional works is discrimination in “real life”.”
                The words themselves are not inherently pseudo-intellectual.
                It is your usage of the words that I deem to be pseudo-intellectual.

                “No, I am advocating that we be responsible enough to acknowledge that certain things really are sexist, and that sexism is harmful and destructive for both men and women, regardless of how small it may be. ”
                So basically, do nothing about it other than pointing fingers and telling people “hey guys, did you know that DNF is sexist?!”. How does that help anybody again?

                “no, I am not advocating censorship.”
                Good for you.

                “When it comes down to it, yes.”
                So practically ALL games which take place in anything close to our reality is inherently offensive by your logic, eh?
                I guess we can only play games like Mario bros., Kirby and etc. games that take place in a completely fictional world detached from our own, in your utopian land. Especially since we shouldn’t DARE to depict ANY groups of real life in any works of fiction.
                Am I getting it right?

                “Yet it is you who are claiming that the way that women in DNF are depicted is not sexist. Should we just go by what you personally deem a proper depiction of sexism/rasim in fictional works? I think not.”
                Did you not read my post? DNF IS sexist in a sense that women in DNF’s universe is treated as property. ANYONE can see that.
                My entire argument was that works of fiction like DNF does not reinforce sexism in real life because of the way it is depicted. DNF is neither satirical nor a parody. Read what I wrote above again.

              • LilithXIV says:

                So your entire argument is that ‘it’s just a game get over it’. Yeah, I think you’re the only pseudo-intellectual one here. You’re just some faux progressive who talks of ‘real’ feminism and equality but doesn’t actually do anything productive or talk of how things can be changed for the better. Instead you silence others who actually challenge these things that reinforce it and urge them to talk of ‘more important issues’ (which just happen to never be women), derailing the discussion until the point is lost. Let us not forget the strawman fallacies.

                The very idea that you think something like DNF is just harmless fun is what shows how sexist you are. It doesn’t affect you, so surely it can’t affect anyone else.

              • Anonymous says:

                “So your entire argument is that ‘it’s just a game get over it’. ”
                I am fairly sure I wrote a very long and elaborate post that contains much more points than that, but if your eyes can only see ‘it’s just a game get over it’ then I have no hopes for changing your already made-up mind.

                “You’re just some faux progressive who talks of ‘real’ feminism and equality but doesn’t actually do anything productive”
                Unlike you, I don’t identify myself as a feminist. I am not a progressive either. As a male “privileged” individual, I have no personal interest in improving women’s treatment in society. I am simply pointing out that nagging fingers at DNF and calling it “sexist garbage” rationally does NOTHING to accomplish your supposed goal of feminism.
                If you think it does, provide proof.

                “talk of ‘more important issues’ (which just happen to never be women)”
                Actually I thought domestic abuse, treatment of women in religiously fundamental countries and so on to be much more important issues than some juvenile game about spanking women’s asses, but if you beg to differ, sure why not.

                “derailing the discussion”
                Stop accusing me of derailing when you haven’t explained A SINGLE THING about your arbitrary standards of what makes things okay to depict in works of fiction.
                All you’ve been doing so far is “you don’t agree with me, therefore you must be sexist scum” and other contrived bullshit.

                “The very idea that you think something like DNF is just harmless fun is what shows how sexist you are.”
                Accusing me of being sexist accomplishes nothing on your end. It doesn’t make your point suddenly more valid. It’s a rather pathetic ad hominem argument at best.
                Also I already made it clear that I personally find DNF to be juvenile and stupid, and not really that much fun to begin with. That doesn’t mean I can’t accept the fact that there are plenty of people out there who may enjoy this kind of indulgence, because I can be open-minded.

                “It doesn’t affect you, so surely it can’t affect anyone else.”
                It offends you, so surely it must affect EVERYONE else as well, right?

              • LilithXIV says:

                Oh, BTW, thanks so much for the vague ‘it’s /How/ it’s depicted that matters!’ with no further explanation on how somehow depicting women as sex objects is ‘not so bad’ depending on the circumstances you set up. Gee, let me guess, you’re the one who gets to decide which depictions are ‘good’ and ‘bad’ right?

                No matter how marginalizing, degrading, and exclusionary it is.. it’s not a big deal until Anonymous says so. It is amazing that you feel you’re the one who gets to question people on how productive they’re being when you are literally a dead-end in each of these conversations.

              • LilithXIV says:

                For someone who knows nothing of the goal of feminism and has nothing to do with it, you really have no place wagging your finger at me for not accomplishing it ‘the right way’. That’s privilege right there, pretending you’re the objective arbiter even though you really know nothing of the thing you speak of. You are ignorant and yet you go on as if you impart wisdom. Pull your head out.

                You never talked of any of those issues affecting women until just now. But just to clarify, all of it matters and hey feminists can actually multi-task too! It’s probably difficult for you, but other people actually can. The subtle and the obvious, the small things help build into the larger things, your ignorance does not negate this. And if you surely think those issues are so very important, I’m sure there are blogs focusing on that instead of derailing a subject that has nothing to do with them. That’s basic etiquette. But that’s the point, you’re here. You’re clearly not doing anything to help, yet you continue to wag your finger. Again. Pull Your Head Out. You’re just here to silence and control and pretend you are ‘concerned’ of ‘real goals’ and ‘real effects’ when you’re not. I want rampant objectification, I want people like to stop trying to attempt to silence and dismiss people who speak out against it, I want women to be respected and not immediately thrown under a bus to serve men’s interests every freaking time.

                Those are only a few things I want, but it’s rather laughable for you to demand things of me when you have no goal here yourself except.. dead-end conversations.

                “All you’ve been doing so far is “you don’t agree with me, therefore you must be sexist scum” and other contrived bullshit.” – Strawman again. But you are sexist, because you want to be ‘open-minded’ (complacent). Because, hey, if it’s at the expense of other people, who cares. As long as /someone/ (men) are having fun right? You treat women, even being treated like fap toy objects, as if they are not quite as a valuable as the ‘fun’ to be had by DNF. Yes, of course that’s a sexist mindset. How could it not be?

                It obviously affects the ones replying to you. It obviously affects WG, given all the posts she’s written. It obviously affects a bunch of geek feminists and the countless women who criticize these kinds of things and other media. They’re not the ones supporting the (further) marginalization of oppressed groups of people, that’s you. And because you dismiss it as ‘not that big of a deal’, it suddenly isn’t?

              • LilithXIV says:

                Damn typos. I want rampant objectification to stop* Naturally. I need to slow down when I type sometimes.

              • Anonymous says:

                “Oh, BTW, thanks so much for the vague ‘it’s /How/ it’s depicted that matters!’ with no further explanation”
                You want further explanations? Really?

                In Fallout : New Vegas, it depicts a faction of Rome-inspired of legionaries who literally enslave women and treat them like property.
                The faction is NOT presented as a clear villain, but rather a shade of gray. The virtual inhabitants of New Vegas are mostly against the faction but some do support it.
                Your player character is clearly rewarded for helping out this faction and indeed can also kill the enslaved women with no real consequences or actually help the faction to take over the land and enslave even more women.

                According you, “how” it is depicted doesn’t really matter, so I guess Fallout : New Vegas now joins the long line of ‘sexist’ games that reinforces the idea of women as slaves.

                “Gee, let me guess, you’re the one who gets to decide which depictions are ‘good’ and ‘bad’ right?”
                Gee, I wonder if I ever said that. Oh wait, no, I never did.
                I am a judge on what is offensive and morally wrong as much as you are. My opinion on the matter isn’t superior or inferior to yours. They are just opinions.

                “It is amazing that you feel you’re the one who gets to question people on how productive they’re being when you are literally a dead-end in each of these conversations.”
                And there goes your long winded ad hominem double packed with strawman fallacy.

              • LilithXIV says:

                “And there goes your long winded ad hominem double packed with strawman fallacy.”

                That describes you and most of your posts kind of perfectly.

              • Anonymous says:

                “wagging your finger at me for not accomplishing it ‘the right way’.”
                Again, I am simply pointing out that calling this game ‘sexist’ does absolutely nothing to enrich the lives of women in the real world. I don’t really care how you go about to achieve the goal of improving women’s lives. I am just telling you this doesn’t accomplish it. At all.
                Provide counter-proof if you want to challenge the claim.

                “You are ignorant and yet you go on as if you impart wisdom. Pull your head out.”
                Did I take a condescending tone? Are you seriously that insecure in your validity as a feminist to block out any and all criticisms as “ignorant babble”?

                “You never talked of any of those issues~

                ~But that’s the point, you’re here. ”
                Good job on not really making any worthwhile points to support your argument.

                “You’re clearly not doing anything to help.”
                I told you, unlike you, I don’t identify myself as a feminist. I have no personal interest in helping out womenfolk. I am simply telling you what you are doing doesn’t accomplish what you think it does. Is that such a hard concept to understand?

                “You’re just here to silence and control and pretend you are ‘concerned’ of ‘real goals’ and ‘real effects’ when you’re not.”
                Again, I am not concerned about what womenfolk go through. I DO NOT CARE. I don’t pretend to care. I am simply telling you what you are doing doesn’t accomplish what you think it does. If that equates to ‘control and silencing’ then you have a serious persecution complex.

                “I want women to be respected and not immediately thrown under a bus to serve men’s interests every freaking time.”
                This certainly isn’t the best way to go about to accomplish your goal.

                “it’s rather laughable for you to demand things of me”
                Demand? When did I “demand” anything out of you?
                When I said I was here for the simple reason of personal fancy, that was a polite and fancy way of saying “I am essentially a troll”.
                Whether you take my criticisms into account or not, it doesn’t really matter.

                “But you are sexist, because you want to be ‘open-minded’ (complacent). Because, hey, if it’s at the expense of other people, who cares.”
                Any and ALL jokes/fun/etc. are had and SOMEONE’s expense. That’s a very simple truth.
                Me typing at a cheaply manufactured computer is accomplished at the expense of thousands of poorly paid Chinese factory workers.

                “You treat women, even being treated like fap toy objects.”
                So being able to masturbate at a footage of a paid porn actor doing sexual acts is now somehow the same thing as beating/raping a real life women?

                “And because you dismiss it as ‘not that big of a deal’, it suddenly isn’t?”
                How many times do I have to say it? I am simply telling you what you are doing doesn’t accomplish what you think it does.
                I am not belittling your attempt nor am I dismissing the notion of sociological impact of the media.

              • Anonymous says:

                “That describes you and most of your posts kind of perfectly.”
                And of course ignoring all the valid points I made about Fallout : New Vegas and jumping straight into the fallacies again.
                Great job. You are doing a wondrous job of representing ‘feminism’.

              • LilithXIV says:

                Great job. You are doing a wondrous job of representing ‘feminism’.

                I didn’t know I was the official be-all end-all representative of Feminism. Thank you for the promotion I guess.

              • Ikkin says:

                Anonymous:
                Again, I am not concerned about what womenfolk go through. I DO NOT CARE.

                So why are you here, then?

                The internet is a pretty big place. I’m sure you can find a site talking about things you actually care about if you take two seconds and type one of your interests into Google. So why waste your time commenting on a site whose content you’re not interested in?

              • Anonymous says:

                @LilithXIV
                You are still not responding to the points I raised in my previous posts, so I take it that you are not really interested in an actual discussion but instead just general nitpicking and snark.
                Suit yourself then.

                @Ikkin
                “So why are you here, then?”
                Do I need any other reason than wanting to have a discussion and voice my opinion?

                “The internet is a pretty big place. I’m sure you can find a site talking about things you actually care about”
                Because contrary to what you may think, I am actually interested in the content of this blog and regularly read it. Was that a surprise to you?

              • LilithXIV says:

                “You are still not responding to the points I raised in my previous posts, so I take it that you are not really interested in an actual discussion but instead just general nitpicking and snark.
                Suit yourself then.”

                You’re right, I’m not. You do not deserve anymore of my time or further responses. You do not care about women as you said in caps. That’s sort of a big middle finger there to a bunch of women dontcha know. It means you’re worthless for any kind of discussion here, steeped in your complacency. And if by nitpicking you mean criticizing your posts and pointing out the general dismissiveness and excuses embedded throughout them.. then yes I do that. Your admitted apathy makes any ‘advice’ you can give meaningless. ‘Everything is at someone’s expense’. You’ve accepted that as truth because you do not care to ever find another. If you never do anything to change, of course things will always be that way. That’s just stagnation, that’s acceptance. But hey, as long as you’re not the one being excluded I guess. You don’t care, it doesn’t matter to you.

                “Because contrary to what you may think, I am actually interested in the content of this blog”

                This is a lie, you have proven it so already with your words above. You do not care what ‘womenfolk’ go through, WG does. That’s really all I needed to know from you. Bye.

              • Anonymous says:

                “You do not care about women as you said in caps. That’s sort of a big middle finger there to a bunch of women dontcha know.”
                You don’t seem to understand the concept of “not giving a shit”.
                Me not bothering to actively do anything substantial does not automatically mean I support the opposite.
                I don’t like seeing women being discriminated, but I also have priorities. As a man, improving the standards of living for women is not that high on my list.
                Not pursing that goal actively does not suddenly make me a misogynist.

                “You do not deserve anymore of my time or further responses.”
                Then why the hell are you writing a long post whining about how I am such a meany pants sexist guy instead of, say I don’t know, ACTUALLY ELABORATING ON YOUR STANDARDS AND SUPPORTING YOUR ARGUMENTS?

                “Your admitted apathy makes any ‘advice’ you can give meaningless.”
                I don’t need a vested interest in your cause in order to make a valid criticism, just as WG here doesn’t need to be a Ph.D in Women studies and a video game developer to make a valid point.
                I gave you my position and supported it with arguments and examples. You addressed none of them and instead opted to go into petty word games and insults.

                “That’s just stagnation, that’s acceptance. But hey, as long as you’re not the one being excluded I guess.”
                Admitting the fact that ALL things will come at someone’s expense is not the same thing as advocating stagnation or Nihilism. It’s stating a fact.

                “This is a lie, you have proven it so already with your words above. You do not care what ‘womenfolk’ go through, WG does. That’s really all I needed to know from you. Bye.”
                Keep being stuck up and ignoring the words of others because they don’t blindly agree with your own version of a philosophy.
                I am so sure that such open-mindedness will get you ahead in life.

              • Ikkin says:

                Anonymous:
                Me not bothering to actively do anything substantial does not automatically mean I support the opposite.
                I don’t like seeing women being discriminated, but I also have priorities. As a man, improving the standards of living for women is not that high on my list.
                Not pursing that goal actively does not suddenly make me a misogynist.

                You don’t seem to understand there’s a difference between not actively working to fix an injustice and telling people in a community dedicated to fixing that injustice that you don’t care about it.

                The former is standard human apathy; the latter is, at the very least, highly insensitive. To use a different kind of example, it’s the difference between not donating to the tsunami relief efforts and standing in the middle of a Red Cross saying “I don’t care about tsunami victims.”

                Then why the hell are you writing a long post whining about how I am such a meany pants sexist guy instead of, say I don’t know, ACTUALLY ELABORATING ON YOUR STANDARDS AND SUPPORTING YOUR ARGUMENTS?

                Because she’s already done that, and you took nothing from it.

                I don’t need a vested interest in your cause in order to make a valid criticism, just as WG here doesn’t need to be a Ph.D in Women studies and a video game developer to make a valid point.

                That isn’t really a fair comparison.

                WG has the relevant knowledge she needs to make her point — she’s personally affected by the existence of the characters she features, she has enough life experience to know when characters are being reduced to sex objects, and she does tons of research into this stuff to write her articles.

                You, on the other hand, don’t. By your own admission, you don’t have the empathy that informs any argument about social justice, and your lack of caring about the subject suggests that you probably didn’t spend much time learning about how it works.

                You’re not in a very good position to give an informed opinion at all. WG is.

              • Anonymous says:

                @Ikkin
                “The former is standard human apathy; the latter is, at the very least, highly insensitive. To use a different kind of example, it’s the difference between not donating to the tsunami relief efforts and standing in the middle of a Red Cross saying “I don’t care about tsunami victims.””
                Except I am not here to boast about how much I don’t care, instead I am here to tell you that this does nothing to accomplish what everyone here thinks it does. Boasting about my apathy would be a ‘dick’ move. Me admitting it honestly isn’t. Again, me declaring my apathy does nothing to affect the validity of my arguments.

                “Because she’s already done that, and you took nothing from it.”
                Where? Point me to it. I must have missed it.
                I gave LilithXIV an example on Fallout : New Vegas. She/he ignored it.
                I asked her/him to elaborate on her/his standards of what is okay to depict in the media. She/he ignored it.
                I asked her/him to explain how DNF as a game makes sexism more acceptable in the general society. Guess what? She/he ignored it.
                I think you can see a pattern here.

                “That isn’t really a fair comparison.”
                How so?

                “WG has the relevant knowledge she needs to make her point”
                What makes you think that I lack that “relevant” knowledge?

                “she’s personally affected”
                Again, I don’t need to be ‘personally affected’ by the issue to raise a valid point/criticism. That’s logic 101.

                “and she does tons of research into this stuff to write her articles. You, on the other hand, don’t.”
                So I suppose all the examples and arguments I gave are all meaningless because of the simple reason of you saying so? Either actually start bringing up a point or stop telling me how much my points are moot and invalid because you disapprove them.

                “By your own admission, you don’t have the empathy that informs any argument about social justice, and your lack of caring about the subject suggests that you probably didn’t spend much time learning about how it works.”
                Did I at any point, dismiss the real sociological impact of the media?
                My lack of empathy may ‘suggest’ that I don’t know much about the topic at hand, yet even you much like Lilith, refuse to actually address any of the points I brought up, instead resorting to simply attacking the validity of my opinions and arguments. I am a random stranger on the internet. So are you.

                “You’re not in a very good position to give an informed opinion at all. WG is.”
                By what standards? Because WG is a female?

                I think you need to learn to attack the argument instead of the arguer.

              • Ikkin says:

                Anonymous:
                Except I am not here to boast about how much I don’t care, instead I am here to tell you that this does nothing to accomplish what everyone here thinks it does. Boasting about my apathy would be a ‘dick’ move. Me admitting it honestly isn’t. Again, me declaring my apathy does nothing to affect the validity of my arguments.

                Okay, that’s fair enough. It’s more like going into the Red Cross and saying “I don’t care about tsunami victims, but you should stop donating because half of your money is going straight into the CEO’s pockets.” Still a jerk move.

                And it does affect the validity of your arguments, because sexism is such an experiential problem. But I’ll explain that below.

                “WG has the relevant knowledge she needs to make her point”
                What makes you think that I lack that “relevant” knowledge?

                “she’s personally affected”
                Again, I don’t need to be ‘personally affected’ by the issue to raise a valid point/criticism. That’s logic 101.

                Okay, I’ll try to explain this to you.

                Some types of knowledge are purely objective, like math. Objective knowledge is obviously unaffected by the personal feelings of anyone involved, so anyone can raise a valid point or criticism whether they care or not.

                On the other hand, there’s another realm of knowledge that’s completely subjective — and that’s where knowledge about sexism falls. The only way to know how it feels to be discriminated against is to either be discriminated against, or read about and empathize with accounts written by/about people who are.

                Virtually everything to do with sexism is informed by that subjective knowledge. And, because of that, “not caring” about women’s issues becomes very important to one’s ability to make a valid point — because you’ve essentially admitted to ignoring the subjective knowledge that makes up the vast majority of total knowledge about sexism, which reduces your credibility.

                And, because your claims are unverifiable, that lack of credibility tends to lead to people disregarding what you’re saying as irrelevant.

                My lack of empathy may ‘suggest’ that I don’t know much about the topic at hand, yet even you much like Lilith, refuse to actually address any of the points I brought up, instead resorting to simply attacking the validity of my opinions and arguments. I am a random stranger on the internet. So are you.

                I have addressed points of yours, and you know it. You’ve even conceded one of them.

                I just started this particular line of conversation after you stopped arguing anything in particular. But, if you want me to address your previous points:

                Re: Fallout New Vegas, that Rome-inspired group you’re referring to is the group that crucified people who didn’t believe them, isn’t it? I think it’s pretty clear that the game didn’t encourage people to accept their beliefs as anything other than an example of how much of a moral wasteland Fallout’s world is.

                And, no, I don’t think depicting sexism is, in itself, sexist. Depicting it as nostalgic or fun, as DNF does, is something different.

                Re: Proving that criticism of DNF is useful, it’s obviously going to be nearly impossible to prove one way or another. However, there’s at least one benefit that’s unarguable — it’s a good way to vent frustration. ;) (In any case, it’s always been more of a “food for thought” thing for gamers/game developers/game writers who aren’t already set in their ways than a way of directly changing anyone’s behavior)

              • Anonymous says:

                “Still a jerk move.”
                I’d rather be an honest jerk than a pretentious liar with ulterior motives.

                “And it does affect the validity of your arguments, because sexism is such an experiential problem.”
                I agree with some of what you said.
                As a natural born male, I will never ever be able to understand what it is like to be a female.
                I’ll never be able to feel the same feeling womenfolk go through when they see all these hyper-sexualized/sexist elements of the gaming culture and medium.
                That much I already know, and I’ve never pretended to know how they would feel like.
                That said, I am not “ignoring” the ‘subjective knowledge’(as you put it) of women and others in this issue. I can understand that many people are upset and offended.

                Regarding credibility, I am a random anonymous person on the internet. I don’t have any credibility to begin with. I must earn it through supporting my arguments and giving out examples. If my way of presenting my argument is not convincing enough for people to respond to, that I suppose I must work to improve the delivery.

                “I have addressed points of yours, and you know it. You’ve even conceded one of them.”
                The comment you were replying to was made before when I responded to one of your other comments way up there. And yes, I did concede.

                “Rome-inspired group you’re referring to is the group that crucified people who didn’t believe them, isn’t it?”
                Yes, it’s the Caesar’s Legion.

                “I think it’s pretty clear that the game didn’t encourage people to accept their beliefs as anything other than an example of how much of a moral wasteland Fallout’s world is.

                And, no, I don’t think depicting sexism is, in itself, sexist.”
                Then you are agreeing with me that the “how it is depicted” is the most important factor of judging whether a work is sexist or not.
                That example was actually directed at Lilith by the way.

                “Depicting it as nostalgic or fun, as DNF does, is something different.”
                I told others before. I don’t approve of how DNF is using crass sexist humor to sell their games. It means the game can’t stand on its own gameplay merits and they had to resort to this kind of garbage tactic to sell it.
                Even the original Duke Nukem 3D wasn’t as sexist as many people retroactively think it was. At worst it had a strip club level where you can tip the strippers and they would show off their body.

                “However, there’s at least one benefit that’s unarguable — it’s a good way to vent frustration. ;)”
                I am not arguing that. It is just how obvious(as WG herself admits) DNF is in wallowing in sexist humor.
                Pointing it out would probably provoke “No duh” from most people and other knee-jerk “I ENJOY THIS GAME AND I AM NOT SEXIST, SO THIS GAME ISN’T SEXIST” reactions.
                That was my point.

              • Ikkin says:

                Anonymous:
                I’d rather be an honest jerk than a pretentious liar with ulterior motives.

                Okay, that’s fair enough.

                I agree with some of what you said.
                As a natural born male, I will never ever be able to understand what it is like to be a female.
                I’ll never be able to feel the same feeling womenfolk go through when they see all these hyper-sexualized/sexist elements of the gaming culture and medium.
                That much I already know, and I’ve never pretended to know how they would feel like.
                That said, I am not “ignoring” the ‘subjective knowledge’(as you put it) of women and others in this issue. I can understand that many people are upset and offended.

                Well, when you say “I don’t care,” that’s what it tends to sound like. =/ Though I’ll accept it as a bad choice of words.

                Regarding credibility, I am a random anonymous person on the internet. I don’t have any credibility to begin with. I must earn it through supporting my arguments and giving out examples. If my way of presenting my argument is not convincing enough for people to respond to, that I suppose I must work to improve the delivery.

                I guess this is where I disagree — I don’t see any particular reason to treat internet debates any differently from in-person debates, so I do consider there to be a certain amount of credibility that can be lost, as well as credibility to be gained.

                But, yeah, delivery is very important on the internet, because it’s the difference between being taken seriously and being considered an annoyance. And it’s even harder than in real life, because we’re so used to non-verbal cues — which is all the more reason to work on it.

                Then you are agreeing with me that the “how it is depicted” is the most important factor of judging whether a work is sexist or not.
                That example was actually directed at Lilith by the way.

                Yeah, basically. I took a bit of issue with the way you used that example (which I thought was a comparison to DNF) and the implications it appeared to have in context, but the example itself isn’t problematic.

                I told others before. I don’t approve of how DNF is using crass sexist humor to sell their games. It means the game can’t stand on its own gameplay merits and they had to resort to this kind of garbage tactic to sell it.
                Even the original Duke Nukem 3D wasn’t as sexist as many people retroactively think it was. At worst it had a strip club level where you can tip the strippers and they would show off their body.

                Okay, that works.

                I don’t really know anything about the original DN3D, so I wouldn’t want to get into an argument over it. But I think the problem with Duke has always had more to do with the overall impression rather than the details.

                I am not arguing that. It is just how obvious(as WG herself admits) DNF is in wallowing in sexist humor.
                Pointing it out would probably provoke “No duh” from most people and other knee-jerk “I ENJOY THIS GAME AND I AM NOT SEXIST, SO THIS GAME ISN’T SEXIST” reactions.
                That was my point.

                That’s true.

                But I think there can still be a point to using it — it can be a starting point for discussion with people who agree that it’s sexist but have trouble seeing the sexism in lesser cases, for example.

                And there’s definitely a point in calling out the “I ENJOY THIS GAME AND I AM NOT SEXIST” arguments when they come from game writers who have a certain amount of credibility in the videogame community, because they have that credibility.

            • Annonymous says:

              To the other Anonymous……let me ask you a very direct question. What brought you here and why do you continue post here? Your argument with Lilith is not productive for you or for her so why persist? Neither side is convincing the other side of anything, so why continue?

              And about the issue of “everything coming at the expense of someone”……what about things that are mutually beneficial? Ever think of that?

              • Anonymous says:

                “What brought you here and why do you continue post here? ”
                Pretty sure I already said multiple times, “I am essentially a troll”.
                I don’t really care if anyone is convinced by my argument or not. I am here for a discussion. If none of you have no desire to continue the discussion at hand, just simply stop replying to me.

                “what about things that are mutually beneficial?”
                Except even those has to be ‘earned’. Someone must work, and sacrifice their own time and effort to achieve them. Nothing is ‘free’ in this world. “Expense” doesn’t mean “harm”.

              • Annonymous says:

                Prior to responding to you I hadn’t seen that you had openly declared yourself a troll. I gotta say, that boggles my mind. Maybe I should have clarified that like you I am not a feminist. In fact I am rather attached to the some of the sexy characters that she criticizes. So I’m pretty far away from agreeing with Wundergeek.

                I was hoping to create a more productive discussion, but if you are a troll I guess that’s a waste of time.

              • Anonymous says:

                “I was hoping to create a more productive discussion, but if you are a troll I guess that’s a waste of time.”
                If you feel that talking to me is a waste of time, feel free to not talk to me. It doesn’t really matter.

                By the way, I clarified what I meant by the “troll” comment below. Read it if you care.

        • dufric88 says:

          I think what Cole here and most of the proponents of this blog are trying to get at is that the more you see of ANYTHING in popular places (be it games, news, music, movies, etc.) the more it gets in your head. And that the effect isn’t always as linear as monkey see, monkey do. It’s something that merely borders your consciousness initially, subtly influencing thought patterns. For example “wouldn’t it be kinda funny if there was an irl Capture-the-Babe mode” – a joke you might make to just yourself or some buddies but don’t take seriously at all. But after enough time and exposure, and lack of mental filters that come with maturity, ideas do creep into your conscious thoughts and influence real decisions. But by “pointing fingers,” also known as bringing an issue to the surface, it serves to install those necessary filters into people’s heads. So you could, and SHOULD, play awesome games like Soul Caliber, but only if you’re mature enough to stop yourself before thinking “damn Ivy is hot, I wish all girls dressed like that.” Know that not everybody is as mature as you are (especially kids), and it will influence how they think long term. It’s not the mature people we’re worried about, it’s the ones who are still finding their way.

          • Anonymous says:

            FINALLY! Thank you for actually raising a bloody point instead of ranting about how sexist I am.

            “ANYTHING in popular places (be it games, news, music, movies, etc.) the more it gets in your head.”
            That is very true and I do agree with that assessment. However, pointing out how ‘sexist’ DNF is does nothing to curb its potential effect of sub-consciously reinforcing negative stereotypes about women.
            You can try to take DNF down, but that will cause a huge knee-jerk reaction from the general community, making them scream about “Feminists advocating censorship!” and other contrived strawman, and from the already anti-feminist crowd something along the lines of “See? This is how ridiculous feminists are. Now our position as anti-feminists is more validated because WE fight against censorship and political correctness gone mad!”.

            The sheer number of people saying “if this game gets banned, I am gonna buy it just to make a point” on various forums seems to support my contention.

            Like I said before, the best course of action would be ‘damage control’. Move on from DNF. It is already made and will be released and there’s nothing anyone can do to stop that.
            Instead focus on encouraging the future developers to cater to a uni-sexual audience. Show them that it sells. Heck, even make some content of your own if you can.
            Anything does more to help feminism than this pointless diatribe of nagging about how DNF is sexist.

            Like I said earlier, “Lauren Faust making “My Little Pony” appealing to an older male audience does much more for feminism than the sum total of all these pathetic arguments about ‘whether DNF is sexist or not’ ever can.”

            “Know that not everybody is as mature as you are (especially kids)”
            I would like to point out that DNF is primarily aimed at adult audience(90′s nostalgia crowd). I think adults can handle games like DNF if they can handle pornography.
            I do understand that kids will probably get their hands on it, but they’ve done so for thousands of porn and otherwise offensive media as well in the past. I think people can handle it.

            See? Now that was an actual discussion!

            That wasn’t too hard, was it?

            • dufric88 says:

              The fact that there is even a label for “one who believes women are equals with men” makes it easy to believe that there will be people who will counter whether they believe themselves or not, or even have a damn clue what they’re talking about. It’s so much easier to define your enemy when they have a name. That knee-jerk reaction you speak of is a very real side effect best exemplified through this:
              Q1: “Are you an anti-feminist?”
              A: “Yes definitely, they want censorship and want men’s rights taken away for theirs.”

              Q2: “How do you feel about women – are they objects to be sought after and idolized, or are they to be respected?”
              A: “Well, of course I’d be silly to say they aren’t people too. I respect women…”

              It’s so much easier to pick sides when each side has a name. It’s also easy to pick sides when you don’t do a damn lick of research as to why each side feels the way they do. In the US we’re taught to be opinionated, strong-minded, and black-and-white, but not so much effort is put into learning how to form an opinion. So in that sense, your right, you can’t fight blind ignorance head on; it’s a waste of time, energy, and the resilience of the springs in your keyboard.

              I do create my own content, or at least I’m working towards that point. Getting my degree in CS is my first step. Other than that I involve myself in Minecraft (modding, texture design, and server running) where very few people care whether the players are female or male. It’s generally agreed in that community that the vector of women’s contribution is the equal that males. It’s a really positive environment. The only sexist thing about that game is that the character seems to only make masculine grunts when getting hurt, but there’s a mod for that I’m sure.

              ANYWAYS, I posted earlier that I’m interested in ways of contacting the people who give us our games should the opportunity arise. But discussion here, (your “pointless diatribes” or “pathetic arguments”) does serve a purpose that you aren’t seeing and that is simply to learn. This one post alone peaked just enough interest for each of us to come post here. What started as a feeling that “misogyny in games feels wrong”, became the opinion “women are definitely being discriminated against in games,” and from there becomes a well molded argument, but it all happens through more argument. When I first played Mass Effect 2, it felt a little odd to me that there Miranda trounces about the universe wearing a painted on uniform. But through asking questions of others and making what I felt at the time were valid arguments, and having my ideas were both supported and crushed by others, I realized that it definitely is sexist to say she is literally “the perfect woman” while her camel toe is poking through.

              If I can practice my argument in a medium with less threatening consequences like this blog, then when an opportunity arises for me to make a case to developers (be it a survey or blog) I will already know exactly what to say and how to trounce opposing arguments without setting up straw-men because I practiced it here and got criticism.

              And yeah DNF is a perfect example of a game that’s not lying about itself. It’s not even being ironic, it just is sexist. It’s aimed at the males from the 90′s who played the original and those adults can either handle it without thinking that misogyny is ok, or it reinforces they’re already sexist views. Playing it would make me particularly uncomfortable, because I never played the original so I’d be diving into a game I have no sentimental attachment to but have to endure ultra sexist content.

              And, finally, no, it wasn’t hard. I’ve found that if you show respect, validate the opponents views on some level (that isn’t made of straw), then make your compromise you’re more likely to gain something in the end.

              • Anonymous says:

                @dufric88
                Great post overall.

                DNF is sexist. I can’t make this any clearer.
                It is clearly designed to fulfill the male indulgent fantasy of being the cheesy/dominating 80′s action hero and ‘getting all the pussy I want’.
                DNF is essentially a porn without the explicit content.

                It’s relatively similar to the ‘Twilight’ franchise which appeals to the female(though I dread to say it, lest Lilith accuse me of being sexist yet again) indulgent fantasy of an eternally devoted other-worldly guardian.

                I think when it comes down to why people are defending it as ‘not sexist’ there are 3 crowds of reasoning.

                1)Anti-feminist crowd who clearly has an agenda to push and will use any excuse they can to justify their position.

                2)Male gamers who are not really sexist but don’t want to be branded as one by extension of actually liking and enjoying this game.

                3)”Troll” crowd who just wants to see angry reactions from people.

                I don’t think any one of them genuinely think DNF is not sexist.

                The only thing I can say is that liking and enjoying this game DOES NOT make you a sexist for the same reason that millions of people who are enjoying pornography does not actually objectify women as ‘faptoys’(as Lilith tastefully puts it).

                As offended as all you can be, I insist that games like DNF still have a place in this society.

            • LilithXIV says:

              Worthless (self-admitted) trolls such as yourself do not deserve any kind of further discussion. Though I do appreciate dufric88 making good points, I do not feel dufric should have had to make them to one such as you. You don’t deserve it, Anonymous. Stop giving advice, troll, it’s as worthless, ignorant, and naive as you are :\ Your wisdom is the same regurgitated crap, excuses in a shiny wrapper, that’s been said time and time again but you think it’s gold wisdom or something (you are a bingo board basically). You’re clueless, but your arrogance makes you think you’re dispensing wise words. You seem like an anti-feminist yourself so I guess you’d know how they think.

              I find it funny you want to be taken seriously while also calling yourself a troll. You put sexist in scare quotes for goodness sakes, stop pretending you’re giving anything worthwhile.

              • dufric88 says:

                That’s some tasty troll food there =/ Maybe you could just reply to my post?

              • Anonymous says:

                Great job on demonstrating that you are only capable of knee-jerk reactions and logical fallacies.

                “stop pretending you’re giving anything worthwhile.”
                Funny, all you’ve been doing so far is shooting down my arguments and generally being unproductive.

              • dufric88 says:

                Right there, that’s just it…that kind of response is what ends up pissing ppl off. I get that in general you probably don’t care what people think of you, which is a good strategy for keeping true to yourself. But if you truly want to have an intelligent conversation, WHETHER OR NOT you believe your opponents are capable of such, you have to treat them with dignity. This applies to the yellow Anonymous, Lilith, and anybody ever. And no, you can’t just use snide remarks as a way to mask your frustration with them.

              • Anonymous says:

                @dufric88
                You are right. If I was talking to her face to face in real life I would be much more polite and conscious of how my words would affect her and word them carefully.

                However, I am talking to a faceless random stranger on the internet over a controversial topic. It’s difficult for me to treat her with ‘dignity’ when all she does is to accuse me of being sexist and how “worthless” my arguments are without actually addressing them.

                To reiterate my previous point:
                “She is fully entitled to her opinion on how much of jerk/sexist I am. That is still not relevant to the discussion, nor is it a fact. It’s her opinion, nothing more, nothing less.”

                And another :
                “I gave LilithXIV an example on Fallout : New Vegas. She ignored it.
                I asked her to elaborate on her standards of what is okay to depict in the media. She ignored it.
                I asked her to explain how DNF as a game makes sexism more acceptable in the general society. Guess what? She ignored it.
                I think you can see a pattern here.”

                She is more of a “troll” than I ever was in here. Constantly repeating the same tired accusations, deflecting questions, and not bothering to concede a single point.

              • LilithXIV says:

                But he called himself a troll up-thread, Dufric. If someone would be so quick as to admit this do they really deserve such consideration? And no, I don’t think I’m ‘more’ of a troll than the person who actually admitted to it and then was shocked when he got treated badly and refused to actually be given a discussion he didn’t deserve :\

                On deflections, you started doing that first up-thread, Anonymous. It’s just weird, it’s like you don’t see your own hypocrisy. You trivialized things first ‘nagging, whining, pathetic, I’ll tell you how to do /real/ feminism’, you called out ‘fake feminism’ as if criticizing your excuses for sexist stuff was somehow not ‘real’ feminism. You threw out strawman fallacies and derailed into violence as if it was relevant (it wasn’t). You’re the one who used silencing language and told people to leave it be and not criticize it, as if you ever had the right anyway. You recently said point blank in caps that you don’t actually care about women or what they go through. You’ve been insulting from the get go, where have you been? You expect the utmost respect and demand explanations but you yourself are really bad at it and pretend you didn’t say something you totally did.

                Just because you couldn’t comprehend my points of why you’re sexist doesn’t mean it’s not there. Stop expecting polite conversation when you were the one who barreled in and put his foot in his mouth.

                You’re not ignored because I can’t give you an answer, you’re ignored because I won’t. I consider it a waste of energy to do so. But I’ll leave this particular conversation thread alone, Dufric, and take the ‘if you can’t say anything nice..’ route. I’ve pretty much said my piece anyway.

              • Anonymous says:

                @LilithXIV
                My entire argument boils down to simple “This doesn’t do what you guys think it does”.
                I’ve never tried to “silence” anyone. There’s a big difference between pointing out an inefficiency and telling people to stop voicing their opinion.
                I am not telling people what to do. If they want to talk about how sexist DNF is, they are more than welcome to. It just doesn’t accomplish what you think it does.

                The whole “troll” comment was meant to convey the sense that I am here for a discussion.
                I said I was “essentially” a troll, because I am here for the sole reason of personal fancy. I have no real agenda other than pitching my opinion in and seeing how people think of it.
                I am not here typing these long posts just for ‘lol delicious internet dramaz’. If I wanted that, “An Onymous” does a much better job of squeezing angry reactions out of you with much less words and effort.

                I actually do give two shits about what you and others here may say about the matter.
                If you are offended by my use of the language and felt that I belittled you as a person and your philosophy, you are more than welcome to stop the discussion at hand.
                This is a voluntary discussion after all. I am not here to ‘win’ any arguments.

                Good luck with your other endeavors in life.

  24. Leebmx says:

    To the people who don’t believe DNF is sexist, could I ask what would be their definition of a sexist game? I don’t see how a game which shows women so constantly as only useful for one thing – male satisfaction, could be seen as anything else. Maybe the game will prove me wrong when it comes out but i’d be surprised.
    If you enjoy the game just say “It’s sexist but I like it.” 6 easy words and I can take you seriously.
    On the parody question it will be interesting to see how the game frames it because we are all talking about DNF as if we have already played it. I think for the “It’s all parody,” argument to hold, the game will have to show Duke as someone to be laughed at rather than with, and as a fool more than the alpha-male hero we expect. (I think the series maybe started with this ambition but it has been lost by now.) However for DNF to be true satire or parody the marketing of this game will have to be looked back on as just an attempt to garner sales from the horny male demographic by over-emphasising the titillation as there has been no hint of anything more sophisticated underlying the usual T&A so far.

    • An Onymous says:

      As long as real life women are slutting it up and chasing after men like Duke in large numbers, they don’t get to complain about sexism in DNF. Clean up your own act before pointing fingers elsewhere.

      Oh, and Capture the Babe? Only a slightly more literal interpretation of romance novels and Twilight.

    • LilithXIV says:

      ‘They don’t get to complain’. So says the impotent fathead!

      • An Onymous says:

        This here is yet another good illustration of how worthless feminists are at arguing.

        • LilithXIV says:

          Says the person who can only respond with ‘nuh uh’ half the time or make ridiculous claims that women are who are ‘slutty’ (by your repressed standards) don’t get to have any voice. You’re an Internet Tough Guy, not a person to have an actual discussion with.

          • FarisScherwiz says:

            I think I got bingo like 10 times during this whole thing.

            I’m also totally lolling about how much he says he “doesn’t care” and yet was sticking around to comment on this post for HOURS.

            DNF is sexist, deal with it. The end.

            • dufric88 says:

              “I’m also totally lolling about how much he says he “doesn’t care” and yet was sticking around to comment on this post for HOURS.”

              Guys/girls, these are the familiar symptoms of a troll, you have been trolled.

              The more popular a blog gets the more assholes are going to try and coax ignorance out of you for their enjoyment. But you’re far less likely to respond with a simple insult like “impotent fathead” (which feeds the troll) when you say nothing. This is the internet, not a face-2-face confrontation and you don’t have to answer every person’s statement. The brilliant thing about not responding is that you hold the cards. It doesn’t make anybody look weaker, it just makes it obvious that nobody gave a shit about the troll’s asinine post.

              So save your counter-arguments for well organized posts and people who don’t bait with statements like “they don’t get to complain.”

              • An Onymous says:

                “Guys/girls, these are the familiar symptoms of a troll, you have been trolled.”

                You either don’t know what this word means or you’re intentionally misusing it. In the first case you’re stupid and uneducated for using words without understanding their meaning, and in the second case you’re a liar.

                It’s very telling that nobody can offer a counter-argument to what I said. They can only accuse me of “trolling.”

              • LilithXIV says:

                @Dufric: Yeah, WG has talked about dismissing trolls and letting that stuff go too, though it seems I’m still struggling with it x.x. Mm, you make good points, can’t really argue with them honestly. I should just keep telling myself it’s wasting energy before I post to these sorts next time. I’ll stop replying to both of these Anonymous then (though I left a recent one to that other one I’ll just stop with that as the last one).

              • LilithXIV says:

                Er, just to clarify, I meant the An Onymous and the one with the yellow icon next to their name. Not the other Anonymous people! Sorry if it came across otherwise!

              • FarisScherwiz says:

                Uh, no doy? I know what a troll is. Hence why I replied to lilith and lolled about bingo and him trying way hard.

                Gosh, next time I’ll write it with really obvious sarcasm quotes.

            • An Onymous says:

              It is not sexist. As I just said:

              As long as real life women are slutting it up and chasing after men like Duke in large numbers, they don’t get to complain about sexism in DNF. Clean up your own act before pointing fingers elsewhere.

              Oh, and Capture the Babe? Only a slightly more literal interpretation of romance novels and Twilight.

          • An Onymous says:

            Yes yes, you have already extensively demonstrated your inability to argue. No need to keep repeating yourself.

  25. Dullshiv says:

    Dear God, what a huge number of comments! I can’t believe so many people would want to defend such a shit game, quite apart from the blatant sexism, it has literally no interesting or initiative game features. As to the parody argument – if the people you’re attempting to parody like your work, you’ve totally failed. Indeed the way to parody isn’t to create a world of such huge exaggerations as it makes it totally worthless as a social commentary. Also, what’s with the people saying “sex sells” yeah, no shit but it shouldn’t – I have a feeling that’s one of the things many of the people here, and indeed the author of the blog objects to. A market driven society will of course exploit anyone or anything if it sells, the fact so many games overtly sell games is not justification. (Apologies for rehashing points other people have made here). Honestly I can’t see the point in explaining why this game is sexist, wundergirl did so very well and as they said – it’s really really obvious.

    Anyway, I’m mainly commenting because I found your blog referenced in an IGN article, really good read I will add it to my procrastination list! I just got distracted by the comments of the ever charming An Onymous.

    • An Onymous says:

      “I can’t believe so many people would want to defend such a shit game, quite apart from the blatant sexism, it has literally no interesting or initiative game features.”

      It isn’t sexist, and what are these “interesting” features it won’t have? Cutscenes every five minutes?

  26. Dullshiv says:

    Bleh, should probably learn to read/write – sorry wundergeek.

  27. OUT51D3R says:

    Somebody made a comparison to Twilight upthread, and while I don’t agree entirely with that comparison, I get where the poster is going with it.

    The problem isn’t the existence of games designed to titillate men. Romance novels are basically the same thing for women, and nobody(or relatively few) are calling for the end of romance novels.

    However, would you want to live in a world where every/most books are written for the sexual titillation of women? Should every single book ever written have a picture of Fabio with his shirt open on the cover? The focus on male sexual titillation is holding back video games as an artform, and excluding a large potential audience.

    That being said, I don’t think an obvious parody such as Duke is the problem. The problem is 90% of games treating the objectification of women as the perfectly normal and acceptable state of affairs. Nothing about Duke Nukem is perfectly normal or acceptable, and that’s kinda the point.

    • Ikkin says:

      I think the comparisons to Twilight have less to do with using it as an example of male objectification and more to do with Twilight being awful, sexist tripe that’s popular with women in spite of the way it treats its female characters. Which is a bit of a different problem. =/

    • Anonymous says:

      Me likening DNF to Twilight was to illustrate that both works of fiction are indulgent fantasies designed for a very specific niche audience;
      DNF for males with fantasies about being a kick-ass action movie hero who gets all the women he wants and Twilight for females longing for an other worldly guardian/romance figure that does not age or falter and forever faithful.
      Obviously I am not saying that all males/females like such fantasies.
      It was to show that DNF/Twilight both are utterly unappealing/downright offensive to the non-targeted audience.

      • OUT51D3R says:

        “It was to show that DNF/Twilight both are utterly unappealing/downright offensive to the non-targeted audience.”

        Right, and I agree with this, for the most part.

  28. PlusSizedGamerWoman says:

    The game is quite sexist, and I won’t be buying. Really? Slapping a screaming woman to “shut her up” as she is being essentially kidnapped against her will isn’t sexist? Well I’ll be damned….

  29. Pingback: Rape culture, how original! « Listen to Meeeee!

  30. NinJasmine says:

    Wow, after reading several comments of several postings, i just HAVE to say this. Lilith for a regular reader/poster/feminist, you’re the biggest troll on the site. You only agree to people who seem to agree with you, and never have any counter posts yourself except if its to put people down(Regardless of what your friend Ikkia may say). Any intelligent posts are quickly(and ignorantly) rebutted with, ‘omg you worthless; must be sexist; how dares you not agree with WG!’ Seriously, it’s called a discussion, learn how to partake in it in a civil manner.

    Also, any response to this message is futile, it’s only gonna prove my point, AND i won’t be back to read it. Win win for me. ^^

    • LilithXIV says:

      So unless I agree with your completely unfounded accusations about me I somehow prove your point. Yeah, you’re so much better than me by acting in the same exact manner you just accused me of, you should /totally/ be the one lecturing me (It’s also funny, you’re the one who gets to decide which posts are ‘intelligent’, while also being entirely vague about it). The cowardly one-off poster who also happens to be a hypocrite, joy. Truly, everyone can learn from your wisdom. x.x

      Nice tone argument by the way, so sorry I didn’t reply to ‘it’s /just/ sexism, what’s the big deal’ nicely. And for one who calls /me/ a troll, you sure are quick to stir things up months later.

  31. Pingback: Happy Birthday! Looking back at a year of GMMaS. | Go Make Me a Sandwich

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