Before you read any further
So the funny thing about people is that they change. Imagine that! At the time of writing these posts, I never could have imagined that Jim Sterling would have a change of heart, but he did indeed. He was actually gracious enough to let me interview him about how he’s reversed his stance and how that happened; you can read the interview here on Gaming as Women.
The internet being the internet – there’s no real point in taking this down. It’s out there forever. But I can at least put it in context.
Okay folks. I know I promised a post about Shelly Mazzanoble, but that’s going to take a fair bit of work and I already had this mostly put together. So that will be something I come back to down the line.
If you’ve been reading for more than a few months, you’ll probably know that I already did one of these in the wake of the whole Jim Sterling/Daphny dust-up on twitter back before I moved to WordPress. Well, since then Jim has restarted Podtoid over on Destructoid and he’s also gotten a new forum for the Jimquisition over on the Escapist. In his most recent Jimquisition, he actually made some reasonable points about the problems inherent in Duke Nukem not being portrayed ironically… until he veered right back into calling anyone who doesn’t understand that he’s joking when he makes misogynist comments a complete moron. (I’m paraphrasing.)
So since I’d been collecting material for a follow-up post, I thought now would be a good time to highlight some of the things us complete morons are too humorless to appreciate as “ironic humor”. All of the material seen here is new since my previous post in February. Also, the post is long because – as before – I want to make sure people understand that these aren’t just isolated comments.
This is not for the faint of heart
As before, trigger warnings for slut-shaming, jokes about abuse, and rampant misogyny. Quotes below are provided with links to the original article to prove that I’m not taking things out of context. Any emphasis made has been added by me and is not part of the original comment. Comments in brackets are my comments, not Jim. Lastly, comments have been loosely categorized for your reading convenience.
Okay. Let’s do this.
As everyone knows, all gamers are dudes
Atlus has announced a special edition version of Catherine, set to launch in North America on July 26. It’s been perfectly designed for rigid-cocked gamers, aching to burst their bags over drawings of girls. So, you’re all looking forward to it! (Behold the wanktastic Catherine ‘Love Is Over’ edition)
Ladies and gentlemen, we are proud to introduce you to the iPhone game that will single-handedly push the female rights movement back sixty years. … It’s called Pillowfight Girls and, while we’ve not been told exactly how it plays, we can posit a fairly confident guess. Basically, women with big tits and very little clothing will hit each other for the perverse amusement of desperate young men. Basically, it’s the kind of game that Destructoid readers would absolutely love. (Pillowfight Girls bringing sexy misogyny to iPhone)
[Wait – there’s a video game with sexist content? Shit! Why didn’t anyone tell me? Feminism is so fucked! Screw this. I might as well just shut down this whole blog!]
Massive jugs and rampant chauvinism. That’s what the iPhone was made for, folks! (Pillowfight Girls bringing sexy misogyny to iPhone)
[That’s funny. I thought it was for watching movies, listening to music, playing games, surfing the web, and making phonecalls. I mean, it has “phone” in the name of the product, after all.]
Breasts make everything better
The game looks gorgeous, has a more involved combat system, and it doesn’t skimp on the breasts — what’s not to love? Oh, and in case you think I’m being sexist, I’m talking about Geralt’s breasts. I’ve waited over a year for that man’s fine Witcher titties, and I’ll be damned if I don’t get ’em! (The Witcher 2 has gone gold!)
What’s that, sir? You’d like to order a new trailer for Duke Nukem Forever? You want it to have guns in? Aliens, too? Would you like some violence to go with that? Excellent choice, sir. Oh, and a double helping of NSFW breasts, while we’re at it. I think that can be arranged. (Blood and boobies: Duke Nukem Forever gives)
[Because, really, who cares about coverage of things like gameplay in hotly anticipated titles? Everyone knows the important topics that need covering – how many breasts will there be?]
I’m sure it’s clever and satirical and all that, but none of it matters right now because there are drawings of girls doing implied lesbian things. (The girls of Neptune get frisky in new artwork)
[There is nothing in this world more important than lesbians. Global hunger? Nope. Poverty? Nope. Global warming? Nope. Lesbians trump them all. LESBIANS.]
Right now it’s not clear whether or not the boobs will jiggle with motion controls, a’la Ninja Gaiden 2 Sigma, but we do know that you’ll be copping an eyeful of physics-defying mammaries. This is obviously a very important story that needs following, so we’ll be sure to keep you updated on the state of Dimensions’ massive swollen busters as when fresh information becomes available. … We’re talking about BIG FRIGGING MILKERS, PEOPLE! (3D breast wobbling confirmed in Dead or Alive Dimensions)
According to Japanese sources, Dead or Alive 3DS is not only going to feature massive, swollen, jiggling mammary milk tumors in 3D, but it will also allow those massive, swollen, jiggling mammary milk tumors to be manipulated with motion control as well. Oh Tecmo, YOU SO BREASTS! (Motion-controlled breasts coming to Dead or Alive 3DS?)
[Clearly this is an important story. So important that he felt it warranted not one, but two different stories devoted to the importance of motion-controlled digital breasts?]
All feminists are ugly, hurr hurr
There’s been a lot of talk of sexism in the videogame industry, as is inevitable in a male-dominated arena. It has come to my attention that sexism is a bad thing, and as such, it falls to leaders of social progress such as myself to right the course of this little boat we call civilization. (The Ultimate Female Role Models In Gaming)
[Oh, Jim! We poor wimminz are too stupid to solve this problem on our own! Save us, Jim! Save us!]
Recently, Gamer Limit wrote a disgustingly objectifying article on female videogame characters, implying with 100% seriousness that the only thing females have to offer the world are their firm, supple breasts and magnificent vaginal crevices. This is NOT true! (The Ultimate Female Role Models In Gaming)
[That bastard! I mean, come on. Couldn’t he have at least given a shout out to all the ass men out there?]
Metroid’s Mother Brain may look like a hideous, squirming mass of mutated grey matter, but she is a cold, calculating, inspiring role model for young women. She was created by the Chozo to act as their unwilling underling, but rebelled against their rule — an encouraging story to females who wish to break from the oppression of dominating male figures. (The Ultimate Female Role Models In Gaming)
Now, there is a touchy issue with the Berserker, in that the Locust tend to imprison them for mating purposes, and the human COG forces even speculate that they are sexually assaulted. However, the fact they’re a totally alien race notwithstanding, the very idea that Berserkers are so terrifyingly violent that the males can’t go near them without significant restraints and disproportionate force is pretty remarkable. Oh, and I’m sure a fair few male Locust end up with their heads battered into a gloopy, viscous paste before, during or after coitus. You go, girl! (The Ultimate Female Role Models In Gaming)
Vertigo is a blue snake with arms and legs, boasting hypnotic powers that she employs against fire-breathing, teleporting dinosaurs. Now if only we had a few more ladies like that in our so-called “modern” media, the world would be a fairer place. (The Ultimate Female Role Models In Gaming)
[Jim’s right! If I were really serious about my feminism, I’d try harder to be a shambling, drooling horror!]
So there you have it — a list of female role models in gaming that didn’t trot out Jade, Samus or Alyx Vance, nor rely on hot girls with big boobs. How about that? Of course, I don’t know what kind of point this made, if indeed it made any point at all, but isn’t that the eventual conclusion of any game-related discussion about sexism, racism, or other social issues? Nothing is learned, nothing changes, and we just regurgitate the same old rhetoric from emotionally charged positions with no interest in what anyone actually has to say. (The Ultimate Female Role Models In Gaming)
[Because everyone knows that there’s no point about talking about issues of social justice. If we all just ignore issues of inequality, everyone knows that they’ll go away. Come on, people.]
Not to sound like a date rapist or anything but let’s be honest here — she was asking for it. It’s not like Bayonetta has been presented as a morally upstanding game that promotes chastity and the Christian way of life. She’s a woman who frequently gets her clothes off and thrusts her bacon slice into the camera whenever she can. Hardly the classiest of games. (Bayonetta porn angers game creator)
Just strikes me as a little rich that Kamiya is trying to pull some high horse nonsense over this. Especially if he hasn’t seen the worst of the Bayonetta porn like I have… I mean, like I haven’t. Because I haven’t. (I have) (Bayonetta porn angers game creator)
[I’m pretty open about disliking Bayonetta, but no woman is ever “asking for it”, Jim.]
No matter what you say, rape, abuse, and murder are funny
How dare the ESRB expect parents to be parents? Don’t they know how many rapes and Ground Zero mosques will happen now!? (Predictable: FOX News attacks sexist Duke Nukem Forever)
Like always, the ESRB has gone through the violent and sexual content in clinical detail, revealing some hot details. There’s tons of violence, with blood spurts and “realistic” gunfights. Plenty of nudity as well, but perhaps not the best kind, considering it’s mostly mutilated murder victims with their clothes off. There is pubic hair on them, though … so I guess that’s it’s a trade-off. (ESRB: L.A. Noire has blood spurts, pubic hair, racism)
[A trade-off? Between what? Disturbed and even more disturbed?]
There’s no doubt that Duke Nukem Forever is going to upset some people. In a world where you can’t even make a joke that happens to have the word “rape” in it without someone throwing a hissy fit… (Feminist organizations welcome to use Duke)
If you say the word ‘rape’ within a joke, you’re basically a rapist too! (Jimquisition: Solving the sexism situation)
[I mean, honestly. So he told
a… some… a lot of jokes about rape. Somebody call the waaaaambulance.]
And as for Duke Nukem Forever, keep Capture The Babe, but add in a new mode for the ladies – Diddle the Juke, a game in which you fiddle with Duke Nukem’s balls while he cries and begs you to stop. (Jimquisition: Solving the sexism situation)
[I fail to see how that is either comparable or at all appealing to any female demographic ever. Srsly, yuck.]
Anyone who thinks I’m sexist is a humorless moron and an idiot
Here’s the thing. Duke Nukem Forever’s premise is pretty sexist, and one can’t really deny that. You know what though? 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? (Petition asks Walmart not to sell ‘sexist’ Duke Nukem)
[I think you already know each other but… Jim Sterling, this is Strawman. Strawman, Jim Sterling. I just thought a formal introduction was in order since you spend so much time together.]
I’m with Ken for sure. I think certain individuals within certain demographics want their fictional representatives to be 100% meritorious, possibly to salve their own insecurities and gain some sense of justification. Anything that deviates from this total pandering is blasted as bigotry, when it’s not that way at all. (BioWare writer accused of negatively portraying gay folk)
Personally, I think words like “misogynistic” are getting thrown around so much online that their true meanings are starting to get devalued. They get slapped on videogames, movies and individuals almost like a weapon, an insidious exploitation of emotionally-charged labels in an effort to bully people into keeping their mouths shut. It doesn’t matter if it’s a harmless joke or not, everything gets tarred with the same brush, and I think it makes a mockery of serious hate issues.
…That, to me, is more harmful than any fictional character doing imaginary things to a not-real woman. (Feminist organizations welcome to use Duke)
[Translation: everyone knows that feminists actually want to enslave men. All that nonsense about wanting equality is just pablum they spew to make men feel complacent enough to give them all the power. Only morons think that sexism is a serious situation that actually needs attention.]
In many cases, I think the issue of sexism is overblown and it’s very easy to get caught up in our inability to distinguish jokes from actual hatred. In fact, I don’t think we as a community even deserve to have these discussions if we’re still going to get up in arms about a simple little joke [unintelligible] … just to focus on the bit that we find particularly offensive. (Jimquisition: Solving the sexism situation)
[Translation: hate crimes don’t happen to women. True story.]
Here’s a simple truth. Men like to look at tits. I’m sorry if a few people find that offensive, but that’s simply the way we’re wired. I didn’t come up with the concept. It’s a little thing we call “fucking genetics”. And it’s the reason why the human species is here. Men like to, I guess, objectify women because that’s what they’ve evolved to do. (Jimquisition: Solving the sexism situation)
[What about ass men? Or leg men? For that matter, what about the ten percent (roughly) of the population that is gay? Are you willing to include lesbians who like looking at tits to offset the gay men who don’t care about them one way or the other?]
(some of) Jim Sterling’s twitter responses to criticism on the Escapist forums
Amusingly, it came to my attention that my previous post collecting Jim Sterling quotes was linked several times in the Escapist forums in response to Jim’s Solving the Sexism Situation episode of the Jimquisition. There were some people in the thread who stuck up for Sterling and said they liked the video, but the majority of people in the thread said that Jim was 1) not funny 2) stupid 3) and/or blatantly sexist.
Rather than attempt to converse with anyone about this on the forums, Jim posted a bunch of hyper-defensive tweets calling the Escapist forum users “elitist cunts”.
Are we taking about the same forum? I don’t need to generalize. Escapist forumers are angry people.
Ah, no. Dtoid forum guys are generally lovely folk.
[Right. These would be the ones who you said would love sexy misogyny and masturbating to virtual video game women?]
I see the Escapist forum folk are bagging on it before they’ve even watched it. Thus marks my stopping reading what they have to say.
Yep, pretty much. Their criticisms have become so insular and ridiculous that I’ve given up trying to appeal to them.
Haha, so the Escapist’s elite are saying I am a sexist for daring to suggest that men have evolved to find breasts attractive.
[Haha, so I’m mischaracterizing the response of the large number of people calling me sexist so that I don’t have to put serious thought into the fact that maybe they’re right.]
To be fair, a lot more of ’em are warming to me. Once the proper elitist cunts restrain themselves and stop watching, we can all be happy.
[Once the people who disagree with me go away, we can all enjoy ourselves in our nice sexist echo chamber. It’s such a drag that people persist in trying to point out our sexism. Don’t they know we don’t care?]
Yep, and I objectify men regularly. So really, how can that be sexist? Pretty equal opportunity!
Yep! With the irony being that they’re making themselves look like some proper ignorant cunts.
[I fail to see how anyone enlightened or rational can fail to agree with me. These people do not, therefore they are cunts. QED.]
My favorite tweet, however, was one that Jim re-tweeted in response to a tweet sent to him by @NintendoTweet:
@JimSterling nothing sexist about telling women to go back to the kitchen! Women belong there darn it (retweeted by JimSterling)
Nope! Nothing sexist to see here! No sirree!
So there you have it. Despite a twitter dust-up in which Jim Sterling actually managed to anger a few publishers with his misogynistic comments, Jim actually seems to have been working hard at continuing to make sure there is as much sexist commentary with his name on it out there as possible. All of these were collected in just four months. Impressive. Or, wait, did I mean disgusting? I get so confused, what with being a humorless moron and all.
75 thoughts on “Jim Sterling: expanding his audience while still unabashedly sexist”
[…] now a followup post with even more horror! If this isn't toe-curling enough for you, be sure to check out the sequel with even more […]
OK now I understand the I am a cranky feminist blogger comment about yourself, this guy really hits your rant buttons, on a side note as a Serbian I would recommend someone find the wet sock that hit Jim Sterling and hit him in the opposite direction, maybe he will snap out of it but I highly doubt that.
When this guy makes an effort to say that he is not not a sexist, he ends up being… well the only thing in my vocabulary is Shock Corridor stupid ,I know this is unfamiliar to anybody who has never been to the Balkans and to most people in the Balkans outside of people with insomnia, horror fans and/or political commentators from the 90’s but it is the only thing that would sum this guy up. In my opinion this guy can be summed up as equal parts Shock Corridor sexism and stupidity, and just so you know it was a TV show that was about both criticism and praise for the use of shocking scenes of any kind in movies to great effect or to horrible blunders.
Also what really burns me is his objectifying of characters and video games that were not objectified by their authors:
I mean Alyx Vance is not a sex toy female ally/love interest for Gordon Freeman, she is a living breathing woman that is independent and self-sufficient and saves your but at the beginning of Half-Life 2 and for most of the game acts like a capable living breathing person, not some ebony minx in jeans and a jacket.
And Witcher 1 or 2 is not about the sex cards and scenes of nudity, that is a blunder most people who’s comments I read make. The Witcher uses a specific storytelling template that is usually found only in books and comics (long ones: 100 pages), that has yet to be effectively and completely transferred into the video games medium as a RPG and Witcher is the only game out there that attempts that and the only thing they got wrong is the way they portrayed sexual encounters in-game, the journal entries for them (the infamous and poorly chosen method of the sex cards) being the worst of it in Witcher 1 (wish I could comment on this matter in Witcher 2 but I have not played it yet). The rest of the storytelling template had a good and effective transition that leaves me feeling like I am walking trough one of those books and making story-altering decisions that are filled with the gray morality that I love such books for.
Alright, this quote really got my blood boiling:
“Here’s the thing. Duke Nukem Forever’s premise is pretty sexist, and one can’t really deny that. You know what though? 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?”
When it comes to fictional people doing fictional things to each other in a fictional world, does it really affect you?
Ahh, Jim Sterling. The man who was willing to defend Rapelay on freedom of speech grounds. (http://unsubject.wordpress.com/2009/08/07/no-defending-or-condoning-unconsenting-virtual-sex-for-me/)
Firstly, let me thank you, wundergeek, for reading Jim Sterling so I don’t have to.
Secondly, I’m so glad Jim’s gone to all the trouble of mansplaining why things like rape jokes, near-constant imagery of women as sexual objects, continual belittling of female achievement and similar aren’t “important”, and how this culture of hatred and denigration of women is not the same as misogyny. I would never have figured this out on my own, but then, I’m only a woman, and I’ve only lived in and with this culture for the past forty years… what the merry hells would I know?
A repetition for the record: as a woman who has been playing computer games pretty much constantly for the past twenty years, can I point out that as the graphics have got better and the allowable story lines have become fewer, I’ve started feeling less and less welcomed in the (never particular welcoming) overall gamer culture. As I’ve said before, it’s getting bad when the only damn game I can play where my female avatar isn’t wearing armour which exposes entirely too much skin to be any use as protection is Angband. (For those who aren’t aware: Angband is a roguelike game which uses ASCII characters as the sole graphic format. The player character is represented by an “@”.)
Okay kindly elaborate the meaning of the word mansplaining.
Sarcasm about the ,,my lower brain is driving me” Jim is a waste of time unless you did it to make yourself feel better.
OK a game where your female avatar is not wearing skimpy clothes? Hm, League of Legends has a few female champions that do not wear skimpy or sexualised armor, but there are still a lot of female champions with skimpy and/or sexualised clothes. And……………………………………….. I honestly can not think of another game (have not played Fable 3 so I do not know if it has a female protagonist and how she wears her clothes) that offers you a female avatar without the skimpy clothing.
This isn’t a comprehensive definition of mansplaining, but it’s pretty good.
Thank you did not know the meaning of that word.
You obviously aren’t trying very hard (or at all) or you are just being childish if a game with ASCII characters for graphics is the only game that has an acceptable female avatar. It is exactly this kind of attitude that is wrong the sexism debate.
(To quote my dictionary: Hyperbole (how it’s said, which I can’t type properly because of accent marks) n. An exaggeration or overstatement intended to produce an effect without being taken literally, as: He was centuries old; She wept gallons of tears. [< L < Gk. hyperbole* a throwing beyond, excess < hyper-– over + ballein to throw]
*The E has a line over it
Google alerts are my friend. That way I don’t have to do much actual reading, thankfully.
Personally, I guess I’m lucky in that most of my friends in real life are gamers. As such, I can surround myself with gamers who aren’t complete dicks and mostly avoid the cesspool that is online gaming. Even when playing MMOs, I tend to play exclusively with friends. Still, I won’t say that there aren’t positive games to be had. But yeah, it does make me sad that I have to be so picky about the games I’m willing to play.
I still think what he is doing is satire. This belief is reinforced by the fact that he pretty much admits in the most recent Jimquisition that he is playing a character.
“Massive jugs and rampant chauvinism. That’s what the iPhone was made for, folks!”
The fact that he himself called it chauvinism suggests he -knows- it is wrong, as does his recent comment on Duke. IMHO, he’s deliberately trying to be disgusting, to highlight just how disgusting the current state of affairs is. When he talks about “milk tumors” in a game, I REALLY don’t think he’s praising it.
I could be wrong, of course. Maybe Sterling really does advocate decapitating women and fornicating with their necks. And maybe Swift really did believe that Irish babies would make a tasty meal.
See, I am a huge defender of satire, but I don’t think that Sterling is pulling a Stephen Colbert here. If he were he wouldn’t defend his position with such vehemence – he’d embrace the title of misogynist instead and play up the character to ridiculous proportions.
Sterling knows what he is doing is wrong, and he may ham it up, but the character he plays is in bad faith. He’s the kind of guy who makes a rape joke, sees no one is laughing and then says what he was actually doing was making a comment about how disgusting rape jokes are… and then when your back is turned, whines on twitter about how sad the world is that he can’t make hilarious rape jokes anymore.
OK I know one or two good rape jokes, but in them the punchline is that the rapist gets something really nasty instead of getting to rape.
“If he were he wouldn’t defend his position with such vehemence – he’d embrace the title of misogynist instead and play up the character to ridiculous proportions.”
Milk tumors? Decapitate women and have sex with their throats? Sterling is CLEARLY playing it up to ridiculous proportions. You can debate his motivations for doing so(I think I know why, it’s impossible to know really), but I don’t think you can argue against the fact that he’s playing it up to ridiculous proportions.
I think the problem with Sterling is that, while he’s obviously creating this giant bloated pig of an internet persona, he’s basically crossed the line three times. His humor is so confrontational and disgusting that most people who recognize it as satire feel uncomfortable with it, so he’s left pandering to the Misaimed Fandom that actually believes the vile things that spew from his keyboard.
Satire is a valid form of humor/commentary, of course, but if the only result it’s having is to fire up the people who it’s aimed to knock down, it’s in the satirist’s best interests to stop, or risk becoming the mask. If “A Modest Proposal” sold 80% of its copies to people who actually agreed that eating Irish babies was an awesome idea, I think Swift would be morally obligated to disown it with great prejudice. Sterling doesn’t do that, which makes him part of the problem, whether he believes what he’s saying or not.
THIS. This is one of the hugest problems with Sterling – there are so many people cheering him on. Even if his persona is satire (which it’s not), he has a moral responsibility to repudiate the more extreme things he’s said.
I don’t find it uncomfortable. I find it pretty hilarious actually.
Jim Sterling’s misogyny is NOT SATIRE. It’s not even bad satire. It’s just misogyny.
The whole purpose of satire is to illustrate the ridiculousness of a position or way of thinking in such a way as to make the reader laugh. Jim isn’t playing his misogyny for laughs, and he is not trying to poke holes in misogynist thinking by using humor to make people laugh at misogyny. What Sterling is doing is using humor to denigrate women, feminists, and feminism. He’s using his position as a notable personality to make people laugh at and trivialize rape and domestic abuse. And he’s reinforcing the culture of misogyny in the gaming world by NOT SPEAKING OUT against the people who cheer him on when he says these horrific and misogynist things.
Saying that something is satire doesn’t make it so. Jim can claim that he’s a satirist all he wants, but he is a misogynist plain and simple. The sheer volume of misogynist content that this man has generated speaks for itself. Furthermore, if we are prepared to say as a society that racist humor is not okay, then why is misogynist “humor” okay?
I’m not saying that Jim actually wants to have sex with decapitated people or anything, so please don’t think that I’m calling Sterling some sick sociopath. Neither am I saying that Jim hates women. But seriously, READ THE LITERARY DEFINITION OF SATIRE. Jim Sterling’s misogyny fits NONE of the hallmarks of “real” satire. Furthermore, by perpetuating stereotypes AND by refusing to speak out against those who cheer him on in his misogynist statements Jim Sterling is perpetuating the very system of privilege that feminists are seeking to dismantle in the first place. And you know what? That’s sexist.
Would it be fair to call him a caricature? Or maybe just a Poe? He’s not a satirist, because there’s really no point to his persona besides going as far over the line as he possibly can for the lulz, but the persona itself seems to be a construct to me (especially reading that surprisingly-reasonable Witcher 2 review).
Of course, he’s still definitely sexist, and I’m entirely convinced he believes the evopsych nonsense at the very least. And his persona is just way too awful to be funny — it’s like the personality equivalent of a joke in a movie that involves showing a guy spray explosive diarrhea over everyone for ten minutes straight (then again, I’m sure some people find that funny, too).
Ehhhh… I’m not sure. The thing is that Jim hasn’t done anything to convince me that these aren’t his views, so if he’s a caricature, I’d guess that he’s a caricature of himself if anything.
where to begin. the first half dozen quotes in your article came across as entirely sarcastic and mildly satirical. he seemed to be mocking the premise that what he was commenting on was a good thing.
personally i think sterling is a hideously annoying prick, who has nothing of worth to contribute to any kind of journalism, god only knows who’s cock he had to suck to get on “tv”.
that being said your comments on his statements seemed to have entirely missed the point? am i missing something? you seem bitter as fuck and just looking for things to be angry about. there’s plenty of shit to get mad about, so why bother with a joke like sterling?
i was actually agreeing with a lot of your articles until i came across the sterling post. now i wonder if you are just trying to find things to get angry at men about?
Nah, it’s just more and more people see that his video games journalism is utter garbage, even those that are not immediately appalled by sexism know by know that his pieces aren’t funny, clever, important and at all influential. So he just refers to sexism to have those who dwells on it to follow him (which unfortunately is vast number of video game fans).
Sterling is no ‘journalist’. I swear the gaming community at large has no idea what that word means. 90% of what is called ‘gaming journalism’ on the major ‘gaming news sites’ is nothing but amateurish opinion pieces/rants and paid advertising for game companies. Sterling is just a prime example of how low standards are.
And this is different from, say, CNN or Fox News how, exactly?
Game reviewers aren’t journalists, but I’m at a loss to think of anyone in our media that is. Certainly not any reviewer in print.
The fact that we still treat “news” as relevant at all is the problem. Honestly, we’d be better off without it. There are five people I trust as far as intelligent and honest review goes, and none of them are commercial. You simply can’t have the necessary cruelty to critique correctly if you’re beholden to your audience.
You’re completely overlooking NPR and PBS, which still have tight journalistic standards. Also, lets not forget that just because the AMERICAN news media sucks huge amounts of ass doesn’t mean that it sucks everywhere. Canadian news media is quite civilized. Between the BBC, CBC, and PBS I can get all reasonable news coverage I want without having to resort to blatantly biased media coverage.
I am Canadian, remember? I’m not sure about the others, as I don’t have a TV subscription, but let me tell you that CBS has, among other things, been handling Harper with kid gloves since forever.
But this isn’t relevant to our subject, so let’s put it aside.
So the only way to refer it, is constantly calling it “journalism” ? I see no point in doing so, I know it’s bad and amateurish generally but that’s how video game journalism is these days.
Now if only those fucks at the escapist would actually listen to the user base that expressed focal dislike and disdain for this ‘human being*’ but apparently he’s the new direction the escapist wants to go in.
Maybe its just because I’m more irritable lately but the level of outright, in your face mysogny on the actual forums seems to have shot through the fucking roof lately and I reckon that its because this ‘human being*’ is being portrayed as an example of acceptable behaviour, even though his own videos cant be posted on the forums because they would breach about 90% of the forums own rules.
*I could substitute many, many foul words for human being but I think WG wants some level of civility here 😀
I imagine that the people who already were civil are probably still mostly civil, and the increase in misogyny is a mixture between people who were already on the edge and an influx in Jim Sterling fans who were acting that way all along.
Why The Escapist would want Jim Sterling fans mucking up the place is beyond my comprehension, though. They’re no Kotaku or Destructoid — I thought having reasonably-intelligent writers and video-makers (ie. Extra Credits) was their thing. =/
@Ikkin: I really, really dont know, this question was asked and it seems that no answer was given beyond “because this is the direction we want to take now, he’s here to stay so suck it up ” .
The only thing I can possibly think is that they were tired of being thought of ‘those smart and classy guys n gals at the escapist’ or they want more ad revenue. Makes me glad I delayed in paying for a pubclub account, I dont want my money going to this ‘person’ , not a damn penny.
“Now if only those fucks at the escapist would actually listen to the user base”
I don’t enjoy Stirling’s attempts at humor, but he’s totally right that “Escapist forums hate me” is not an especially unique or critical situation. The Escapist user base hates everything.
Everyone on the internet hates something, somethings however deserve the hate.
or in Jims case, utter disdain and bewilderment at why he is on a site that seemed to be trying to be the opposite of what he represents.
My point is that if the Escapist admins took “our users hate this person” as a reason to sack them, the site would be empty in five minutes.
I mean, yes, one could make a reasonable critique of his videos, but the Escapist forums don’t do things like that.
Apart from the people who y’know, took pains to point out that he had a track record that conflicted with the escapists supposed values, that his own video was in breach of about %80 of the forum rules that users are expected to abide by and that his content was fairly NSFW.
But of course thats just the escapists being elitist cunts again, tisk tisk.
As an elitist myself, I resent being associated with Internet forumites.
If I were an admin there, I could almost see myself in the same position. After all, the audience complains about stupid things for stupid reasons all the time without ever actually getting angry enough to leave; why should I expect this complaint to be any different?
This is probably why I’m in education and not media.
I agree mostly with the above, except for the Bioware gay thing. People getting upset that gay characters “feel” antipathy towards people that reject them does seem to be a suspiciously stiflingly idealism.
In general though, Jim’s not very funny. I mean, he might have been maybe, but whatever jokes he has have been run straight into the ground. I mean, yes, I understand that the obsession on breasts developers have is ridiculous, but “Milk tumors,” like any dysphemism, is really only funny once, if that. The same goes for the rest of his toolbox.
But still, I can’t bring myself to write off Stirling. Things like his review of the Witcher 2 are priceless honesty in this media. It’s a lot easier to find a feminist than an honest person (these are not mutually exclusive, just so we’re clear here)
The most frustrating thing is that the rigid stubbornness that lets him stand by his opinion (seriously, it takes guts: the comments on that Witcher review included death threats before the mods got there) is also the same trait that means he never listens to criticism ever. (See also: Alex Kierkegaard, though the fact that Kierkegaard’s a philosopher and retired physicist whose work is used in university-level Game Studies means that attitude is a bit better justified.)
Um OK, the Witcher 2 review thing is in fact an answer to a question I had about this guy and that is how on earth did he get to be in the video game industry, he did offer his honest opinion (one I am not sure I agree or disagree) on Witcher 2 and it was written down in a way that makes me wonder how drunk and/or under the influence of drugs was he when he wrote all the post wundergeek found and is he on the verge of pulling the same stupidity Charlie Sheen did or not?
Now, now, there is nothing honest about his journalism, his reviews aren’t honest at all, and they are garbage, really. Maybe you have the same taste in games as Sterling, well I also like some games he praises but that don’t make his reviews even more bearable, sexism and misogyny aside, Sterling as a game critique is just terrible.
As much as it pains me to admit it, when it comes to reviews I have to actually laud Sterling’s approach – even if I often don’t share his personal tastes in games (or what he calls “humor”). You may or may not agree with his review of The Witcher 2. Whatever. The fact remains that it was a pretty hotly anticipated game, and that he gave it a 6/10 – which is pretty fucking unheard of in game journalism.
The thing is that unlike the rest of his so-called “journalism”, Jim’s reviews are actually decently written and do a pretty good job of covering pros and cons. So despite the fact that I’m angered by his misogyny, I’m actually going to stick up for his integrity as a reviewer.
The quality of his reviews is actually part of the problem, actually; his unwillingness to kowtow to publishers in exchange for ad revenue makes him pretty influential in several gaming circles. Which makes his misogyny even more problematic, considering that on the one hand he’s said some pretty compelling stuff arguing for the independence of game journalism from game producers while ALSO saying “no one should take my misogyny seriously because I’m just a garme jurnalist hurr hurr”.
OK I imagine that a cranky feminist like you does not have time or interest to follow Charlie Sheen’s escapades ,honestly neither do I, but this last mess he made sort of stuck out because it cost him a job he was good at: Two and a Half Men will be returning next season without Charlie because of all the crazy he let loose into the public eye these last few months.
Now this Jim Sterling strikes me as someone who was cut out of the same or similar mold as Charlie.
It is the as long as I am good at my job I can let loose my crazies/misogyny/stupidity/disturbia/etc. mold that seems to be one of the negative byproducts of the human society, and no I did not make a type-o and forget modern before society as the perception problem that gives rise to people like Charlie and Jim who vent their worse parts onto their societies is something that has existed for a while now.
Exactly. Don’t get me wrong, he’s an idiot, but so are the vast majority of the yes-men we call journalists today. Jim has genuine passion for games which more than offsets the stupid, at least in the reviews, and he’s uncompromising in his work, with all the good and bad that entails. I doubt we can change his mind if death threats can’t.
I’d prefer someone smarter to be a mainstream figure, but, as I said, the only smarter person of equal honesty I can find is a Non-Cognitivist that refers to modern living as a “slave society,” so I’m holding my breath on that one.
I disagree completely, when you wrote your first piece about Sterling I looked up for his reviews b/c you gave him praise for this and I was shocked to find out how bad they are, no matter if he gave good or bad score, or if I agree with him that given games were good, fantastic or terrible. His reviews are driven by his biases and ego to the point of trolling, that’s not integrity, not at all. He may be independent of industry influences but well that’s just starting point, he’s not independent of his abysmal personality and prejudices that drives his reviews and he’s not even trying
“His reviews are driven by his biases and ego”
That what a review is, thank you, and his unabashed (now this is where that word fits) acceptance of that makes him a far better reviewer than someone trying to “objectively” decide whether somersetting is fun or whether a character’s voice was annoying or some other nonsense. (because god knows no one actually talks about mechanics anymore)
I still think that’s not a way to critical approach, but if a reviewer of a game (book, movie ) put “I do/don’t like ( whatever he’s biased or apologetic of) “ upfront, at least there would be some kind of honesty in that.
Did we fall into an alternate universe? I’m agreeing with Sam again… 🙂
All reviewers write from a place of personal bias, no matter if they’re reviewing art, books, movies, or even games. What makes reviews useful is that established reviewers have fairly well-known biases that stay pretty consistent – meaning that you can know when you should pay attention to a criticism and when you should dismiss it because the reviewer’s bias is counter to your own.
This is why there are so many critics out there. People find it helpful to read reviews from critics whose views align closely with their own, which makes multiple points of view from different reviewers welcome.
tl;dr: All reviewers are biased. It’s part of the game.
Heh, in this case i’m in an alterante universe. Simply that’s not my game and i won’t accept it to be mine, if you are satisfied with it, that’s cool for you i guess… (more Sterlinglike grabage reviews will be coming i have no doubts… )
“Did we fall into an alternate universe? I’m agreeing with Sam again… ”
I admit that I love to play devil’s advocate (challenging people’s beliefs is the fundamental task of academia) but I’ve always deplored arguing for the sake of argument. You’ve been right many times and I’ve said so frequently.
But then, those conversations are so short. After “I agree” there’s nothing else to say, whereas a debate can last weeks.
Yes, reviews are personal opinion, but the problem with Jim’s reviews is that reading them does a lot to leave the reader with the impression that he doesn’t have much of an interest in rising above his preconceptions and reviewing games on their merits.
Besides, he tends to review on the low end of the spectrum with a frequency that can only lead one to question whether his reviews are genuine, or if he’s supposed to be the Armond White of videogame enthusiast blogging.
Hey, if it works for you then so be it, but Jim’s supposed honesty aside, his reviews are still crap. They’re just on the other end of the crap spectrum.
Ah, Jim Sterling.
The hysterical conservative unabashedly-bigoted political AM radio talk show host of video game-related media.
Take a deep breath and make that comment from a higher spot in the human existence then the one Jim made his from.
You know that he described gay marriage as “social progress” right? In fact, he said that in a positive manner. Do you really think that any conservative would use ‘progressive’ as a compliment? Conservatism isn’t just “things bad people think”. Maybe it’s different elsewhere, but in North America, “conservative” is a word with actual meaning, and it’s completely idiotic to ascribe it to Jim Sterling.
Also, “unabashedly-bigoted?” Unabhedly means “not embarrassed or ashamed about openly expressing strong feelings or opinions”. You cannot be “not embarrassed or ashamed about openly expressing strong feelings or opinions” constantly deny that you are bigoted.
Goddamnit, words mean things.
@sam “Maybe it’s different elsewhere, but in North America, “conservative” is a word with actual meaning, and it’s completely idiotic to ascribe it to Jim Sterling.”
Really, cos I’m on the outside looking in and I sense that the word conservative means what ever the fuck whoever saying wants it to mean at the time, in fact I think its like liberal (US usage) in the sense that any solid meaning the word once had is now gone and whats left is a handy pigeon hole/bludgeon (depending on the wielder) .
“I’m on the outside looking in”
Then I think you’ve missed the fact that party discipline here is greater than it was in communist Russia. Find me a national conservative party in this continent that actively endorses both “social progress” and homosexual marriage, and then you will have a case. Likewise, find me a national conservative party here that supports progressive taxation, abortion rights, or geopolitical isolationism. Good luck.
I can understand your thoughts on “Liberal” though. America doesn’t have a socialist party like we Canadians do, so their Democrat party is full of such a mishmash of ideologies that they can never agree on anything, so nothing ever gets done. Our Liberal party is similarly vague, but they have no similar excuse, so we’ve been slowly abolishing them for the last two decades.
But the real question is “if the word conservative means nothing, why am I defending people for using it?” Shouldn’t you be just as critical as I am?
Our Liberals are actually centrist/moderates and our (New) Democrats are actually socialists and not democrats at all. And until very recently, there was a “Progressive Conservative” party, which is an oxymoron. So it’s not like we’re using the terms correctly either.
Gee, golly willikers, he gave lip service to gay marriage. That must make him the most progressive person ever.
And actually, unabashed also means “Not concealed or disguised; obvious” He’s pretty obvious about his sexism and general woman-hating. Just because he screams denial every time someone actually calls him on it doesn’t mean he’s suddenly not obvious about it. O.o
You should try getting over yourself sometime, it might make you easier to stomach, Hazmat Sam.
And actually, Jim’s not above making homophobic jokes as well. I lost the link, but in one of his many, many, many “PSN is still down” stories, the headlining image was of two men kissing. And the comments were full of “hurr hurr the image is funny cuz Sony is teh ghey”. *eyeroll*
“Gee, golly willikers, he gave lip service to gay marriage. That must make him the most progressive person ever. ”
Oh, now here we go: Progressive! A meaningless word if I ever did see one! As though there are things that don’t progress!
“You should try getting over yourself sometime, it might make you easier to stomach, Hazmat Sam.”
And that’s where our crucial differences are. I would never hope for you to enlighten yourself. I’d be happy for you if you suddenly developed awareness, of course, but it would be such a waste. You have the wonderful talent of turning any discussion into an ersatz 4chan. That combination of wonderful rage and terrible, nonsensical rhetoric is practically nicotine.
Yes, I’m certainly the first and only person to /ever/ react to you in this way on this site. Oh wait.
Also, Sam engaged in a tone argument (who said I was angry, how would you know and why does it matter, does it somehow invalidate my words? You’ve given me and many others plenty of reasons to dislike you, Sam), so there’s that.
I am not sure how you even got through /half/ of this, Wundergeek. Not without ripping your hair out or something, he’s such a horrid person. x.x
One part in particular jumped out at me, mainly because it’s gender essentialism and the kind that is actually more man-hating than anything I’ve seen a feminist say.
“Here’s a simple truth. Men like to look at tits. I’m sorry if a few people find that offensive, but that’s simply the way we’re wired. I didn’t come up with the concept. It’s a little thing we call “fucking genetics”. And it’s the reason why the human species is here. Men like to, I guess, objectify women because that’s what they’ve evolved to do. (Jimquisition: Solving the sexism situation)”
Leaving behind the fact that he had the nerve to call this a solution when it’s literally ‘oh well, that’s the way it is, get over it’ (thanks for the /non-solution/, Jim), I’d like to take a look at this quote. It is inherently hateful of men, it is hateful of them because of the way it characterizes them. Not to mention it completely misses the point of women’s complaints. So here’s the thing: Certain men, as in heterosexual men, are attracted to women. That’s not really the bad part, that’s fine in fact. Really, I don’t want those guys to feel ashamed about being attracted to women. That’s not my beef.
My beef is the fact that this attraction is different from objectification. My beef is that reducing women to tits and ass, to sexual parts, is not necessary in the abundance it currently exists in gaming culture. It’s not simply an expression of attraction when it’s so widespread as to send the message that this is how you see women. It’s a reduction of their humanity and a huge middle finger to the women in the audience to keep presenting them as something there to sexually service so frequently (and there are plenty there, no matter how much people like jim sterling want to keep erasing their existence and pretending gaming is a completely male dominated thing).
It’s when you treat them like fap material as the primary thing, not characters worth focusing on as characters, but instead as pinups with everything else being secondary. That’s when you dehumanize them. Being attracted to women is not the same thing as not seeing them as quite human (valuing them as something to get you off over all else is not seeing them as people. If you can’t even be bothered to treat women as whole fictional characters the majority of the time, gaming culture, how do you expect that will reflect in real life?).
The sex drive is not some uncontrollable force, men are not brutes who can’t resist being manipulated by their second head. It’s insulting to men to suggest they are. Men are not wired to treat women like shit, like fap toys. I hate the narrative that basically sums up into ‘A Real Man Is A Misogynist’. You can respect women and still be attracted to them, these are not mutually exclusive things. It’s not a ‘simple truth’, it’s an excuse to cling to, it helps men like Jim rationalize their woman-hating to themselves, it serves as a limp justification that keeps him comfortable in his complacency. Jim Sterling was describing himself and the men like him, not every man. I wish he’d stomp lumping other men in with himself.
How about you actually go watch the video to get the full context. I’m not saying it a great video but his point is to objectify men just as much as women since we can’t seem to stop doing that.
Is it a great solution? No, but at least know what you’re talking about before ranting about it.
I do not care. His point is useless, it’s the same point that’s been suggested before but never acted upon. Useless lip service. And in the end, why is it so hard to just stop objectifying women so much? We can stop, /you just don’t want to/. It has nothing to do with genetics or how you’re wired, as I have already stated. You keep making excuses for it and people keep swallowing it like it’s acceptable. People like you and Jim Sterling don’t actually address the problem or look at the fact that this shit gets dehumanizing. You just gloss over it.
Maybe when you stop accepting it and start challenging it, instead of making excuses for it, it’ll stop. It’s not a solution at all, know what you’re talking about before you reply to me.
“And in the end, why is it so hard to just stop objectifying women so much? ”
I don’t know, ask society as that is what I meant when I said we.
It’s pretty ironic that after ranting about Jim lumping all men into his argument you turn around and do the exact same with me when I didn’t take any side. I just said get full context before ranting. I’m not surprised though. Based on your comment history you aren’t the most rational person that comments here.
You clearly do not know the meaning of irony.
How does: People like you and Jim Sterling don’t actually address the problem or look at the fact that this shit gets dehumanizing. You just gloss over it. = All men? You’re making excuses for it, you’re just like Sterling. I don’t need to watch the video five times over to know Jim didn’t offer any kind of valid solution and is still indulging in the same sexism as before.
You assumed I haven’t heard the same thing over and over again, I have. You assume I have no experience with Jim Sterling. I do. He’s a misogynist. I don’t need to give him a chance because he offered some empty words. And I don’t need you lecturing me about how I’m ‘not being fair’ to a sexist asshole. You’re obviously taking a side if you’re derailing, jackass.
But hey, you delude yourself into thinking you’re the rational one here or that you can decide who the ‘real’ rational people are. Good luck with that.
Dude, I watched the whole video, and it’s complete shit, and it’s absolutely nothing new for him.
I never said the video is good nor did I accuse you of not watching it. I assumed you did. If anything I agree that video isn’t very good. It’s actually the worst Jimquisition I’ve seen.
“Jim Sterling was describing himself and the men like him, not every man. I wish he’d stomp lumping other men in with himself.”
^This a thousand times this.
While you are indulging in reification, (in that one cannot objectify fictional beings, as there were never persons to begin with) I basically agree.
The silly thing about this is, as I’ve pointed out before, that tits weren’t actually a big thing until well into the 20th century. Anyone even shallowly familiar with the 1920’s will tell you that flat-chested women were the big ideal (Maidenform is named directly as an attack against this) and pregnant or postpartum women in previous times sometimes went so far as to breastfeed puppies in an attempt to keep their breasts from ‘swelling’. A casual look at classical art would show that breasts were never really all that important for the majority of human history, hence why they were never censored.
Hell, you don’t even have to go back further than the 40’s. Cracked once did an article where they posted some old-time comic adverts, and two aimed at women (Yes, women actually read comics until the Comics Code censorship essentially banned Romance, Horror, and every other genre they enjoyed) were ads for weight-gain supplements and books for “Helping Girls Become Pickup Artists,” as the author put it. Assuming that sexual tastes are evolutionary, that would give us around 10-30 years for preferences to completely invert from their historic default to this tacky tripe we have now.
Boy, evolution sure works fast, huh?
What a horrid little man.
You know, it’d actually be progressive if games WERE showing lesbians, for change. Yes, seriously. Look at the “lesbian” picture the article mentioned.
It’s actually tied up women squished against each other, looking at the viewer. That’s not “lesbian”, that’s “two women together to arouse a guy who then joins in”. In fact, I honestly can only name a single lesbian character in video games. There are games that advertized with women touching other women, but mysteriously, in EVERY SINGLE CASE, the creators made absolutely clear that the women were definitely totally not lesbian at all. Atlus did it with Izuna, Fear Effect did the same. That’s because the chauvi male audience actually hates lesbians. Lesbians imply women not needing men in any form.
Even Bioware doesn’t actually have lesbians. There were several bisexual women, sure, but all of those are available to men as well (which is surely better than not having any non-straight character, of course!)
Just saying, since I am lesbian, and I find it somewhat annoying that people keep pretending lesbians are everywhere in games and totally a successful marketing ploy when, in reality, there are even more gay male characters around, and lesbians are something game companies avoid like the bubonic plague. The marketing only works when everyone is sure that the “lesbian”‘d totally be up for a threesome with a guy.
Not defending Jim Sterling here, he’s a complete and utter douchebag, and even IF he somehow means it as satire, he’d be failing satire forever. It’s not funny when your “satire” is indistinguishable from the sexist bile everyone else is throwing around. Which, by the way, is why rape jokes are not funny. People say that stuff seriously.
I merely posted because the “lesbian” thing really, really bugs me.
OK you know what you are right about there being too few purely lesbian ,,I was never interested in guys nor will I ever be” characters in the animated medias, the only such lesbian I can think of is a side-character from Bleach whose name I do not even remember, but she is still in the cast even if she is a tertiary character, and I would very much like your opinion about her.
So, Sterling’s review of Duke Nukem is up. His verdict? 2/10. Also, he points out how disturbing/repugnant the treatment of women is in the game.
I completely disagree with almost everything I’ve read, heard or watched by him. It’s painful and I pray he never harms a little gamer girl who might stumble onto his rantings before she knows better. I hope he matures more as he ages and hopefully learns from his life experiences.
The Escapist announced his show right after I paid to become a member- I feel like I got ripped off. I am PAYING this guy now and it sickens me.
[…] not sexist it’s just code’. And Jim Sterling, that bastion of civil behavior and tireless supporter of feminism, responded (somewhat predictably) with: That’s definitely the kind of thing you want to make […]
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