Women in Games: a rant.

I don’t really understand what the fuss is all about.

Today I read a refreshingly straightforward blog post about what women want in female protagonists. I highly recommend reading it for yourself, but what it boils down to is we want to be portrayed as humans with personalities like any male protagonist is. It really doesn’t seem like it should be a problem, but the comments … oh, the comments.

I eventually navigated to this post through a link that Deputy Editor of the New Staesman Helen Lewis retweeted about what women who are serving or have served in the armed forces think of modern FPS games. (Clicking on THAT link, I warn you, may lead to a tangential path of vaguely related but equally interesting blogs and articles.) Helen Lewis is pretty much a fantastic person all around, but to cover the basics: she’s a smart lady who plays video games and can write and is fortunate to have acquired a tough skin to deal with people who want to push her out of the video game world.

I mention her not just because she led me (somewhat … okay, entirely indirectly) to write this blog today but also because, through her writings, has a law of the internet in her name.

Lewis’ Law: The comments on any article about feminism justify feminism.

I think a large part of the reason that Anita Sarkeesian gets so much hate is because she’s not so great at articulating the things she means to say and she repeats a lot of phrases that come off as antagonistic to members of the boys’ club of which she speaks – she’s by no means wrong, and their comments serve as evidence to her cause, but I believe that her vocabulary rubs her audience wrong, including supporters of her cause.

But as a woman, and as a gamer, (and as an avid player and lover of The Longest Journey series, which everyone should play, featuring one of the richest plots and not one but SEVERAL strong female protagonists), I truly don’t believe that this movement is trying to change something that would negatively affect anyone. The first story I direct y’all to today iterates this point: There’s nothing wrong with sexy. There’s something wrong with immersion-breaking eroticism for the purpose of arousing guys in the hope of attracting more guys to buy the game.

In AP Microeconomics, we recently covered the Production Possibilities Curve model. Stick with me here for a minute. The PPC is a graphical representation of two resources any given business/economy/individual/constructive-in-some-way group can make, what’s efficient and inefficient, and what cannot be done. It shows how many products of X you can make when making none of Y, vice-versa, and every possibility in between. The only way to increase productivity from an efficient point on this graph is an increase in technology or the acquiring of more resources to use.

Female gamers do not want to decrease the quality of games. They don’t want to bring misery to the traditional male gamer. They want better technology and better resources – they want the quality of games to improve. A lot of people on both sides of the debate are throwing punches because they feel like they ought to, but what we’re really fighting for should only positively affect everyone involved. Almost any teenager-father pair who plays World of Warcraft can tell you that dads love playing chicks. While it doesn’t really apply to WoW, because WoW handles gender neutrality/irrelevance very well, that signifies that men could only benefit from more quality female prevalence in games.

And while that’s my strongest point and my English teacher last year would tell me to stop here, I’m going to go back for one more minute. Last Saturday, Helen Lewis wrote this for The Guardian (a prestigious place if there ever was one) defending Grand Theft Auto V for its quality and still stating that she wished it served women better. Even so, commenters continued to attack her for judging only on the women’s side of things what was obviously a “man’s game,” telling her she should have played the game for the game’s value rather than with a feminist eye … and completely ignoring all of the good things she said about it in the article. This is why this issue is an issue. One side doesn’t listen to the other and starts slinging mud, and then we’re all in a huge fight because we’re not even paying attention to the issue we’re fighting about.

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It’s not fair.

Today was such a great day. So many awesome things were done and I even was nice to Douche-Boyfriend, and then he goes and depresses my mom again. Can you please fucking stop it? We were having a perfectly great day.

Then he was shitty, and then later on our dryer broke, and I’m having a hell of a time trying to write this dumb paper. Everything is very frustrating. I wish it would do me a favor and stop.

 

We deserve happiness … why is it so hard to achieve for us?

 

I hope everyone out there is having a better weekend …

Too emotional, too oblivious.

If I even have any solid readers, it’s probably not news to any of you that I’m a hugely sensitive person. And if it is … well, you learn something new every day.

It’s probably also not news that I live in Connecticut and I don’t like it here, and although I’ve moved several times before, I’ve never had as much trouble making friends as I’ve had here.

I wrote a poem about this last year that kind of explained what I theorized was the majority of my take on the situation and where I delegated the BS factors of it all, but today I rediscovered another one and it sucks. And the thing is that by high school, most people already have close-knit friends and don’t really need any more. Even if you treat them like family, you do not come before their best friends. You just can’t edge your way in.

But that’s not really the thing, actually, that’s a specific tangent and I apologize. The thing is that people are completely unaware of the effects of the things they say to people and it can often hurt whether or not they seem to realize it. ._.

So, I realize that I’m a little more emotional than most, but the complete and total lack of consideration for people’s feelings that I get from some people is a reality check for me sometimes, like throwing a baseball at a window. (Accidentally, they all say.) Shards of glass hurt whether they’re intentionally falling or not, though.

In A Perfect World

I’d have parents who planned me, who today cared about my ambitions and my activities and the things I do.

I’d have a dad who today, despite the mileage, would make an effort to talk to me; who today, despite the political opinion disparity, discussed something else with me; who wasn’t a lazy fuck and who would want to spend time with me, instead of claiming to want to see me and to play single-player games the entire visit and claim to get their feelings hurt when I want to hang out with Grandma instead.

I’d have a mom who could put away her temporary boyfriend to see the value not only in me but in herself; who could differentiate the person who made her mad and me, and subsequently correctly channel those otherwise normal and natural feelings; who could have a similar temperament day-to-day, and not scare me into walking on glass each day and hoping for luck that I won’t upset her.

I’d be able to learn to drive and not pay $425, while my boyfriend got driver’s ed for free; I’d be able to make friends and not feel alone in Connecticut; I’d be unafraid to talk to people, in groups or individuals; I’d be better at managing my time; I’d not feel like a waste of air for not being anywhere near as high up in the class as some of my peers who treat me horribly; I’d not feel ashamed to ask my mom for lunch money because of the mini financial crisis we’re having; I’d not have to push myself to run the mile every year of high school for gym and feel breathless (not in a good way); I’d be better at comprehending math; I wouldn’t compare myself to everyone and feel like shit all the time; et cetera.

Kingdom Hearts wouldn’t try to ship its game on nine different platforms; the roleplay on World of Warcraft wouldn’t be limited to veterans who have been doing it for 5-7 years and are completely decked out in awesome, and instead be less intimidating for newcomers; Facebook would pick a decent layout and STICK WITH IT ….

The lists could go on. What would your perfect world be like?

People Are Actually Bitching About The Oscars.

twitterwtf

 

twitterwtf2

 

Listen. I consider myself a feminist. I believe in equal pay and all the good politics. I am in favor of video games that 1.) allow you to choose whether you’re a girl or a guy and 2.) video games that feature stronger female characters (and if you are too, and have some spare change, I highly recommend checking this out). I think the folks at Fat, Ugly or Slutty are completely justified in being appalled at the things that are sent in daily, and I think it’s sad that Anita Sarkeesian was sent death and rape threats because she wanted to make some videos.

I know that this has gone over a lot of peoples’ heads, but Seth MacFarlane is NOT:

  • sexist
  • racist
  • stupid
  • -insert X-ist slur here-
  • the worst Oscar’s host of all time

He’s actually very educated. The beauty of Family Guy, American Dad and the rest are that yes, they appear to (and do) appeal to the lowest common denominator of comedy on the surface – but if you are current on pop culture or worldly issues or history or art, et cetera, there’s a lot of intelligence written in. Not to mention musicals and movies. I am hoping with sincerity that the people who honestly believe he’s sexist have never seen Family Guy, because any viewers know that he makes fun of EVERYTHING.

Additionally, and I’d like to say this in my own words, but: The Advocate did a better job.

One more, small point, directly to the feminists everywhere who’re hating on Seth MacFarlane: do you really not have any more serious things to complain about? Are there no injustices in the world of women that demand more attention than this? And if the answer is no, then you should be happy. You should be fuckin’ rejoicing, throwing a big party.

Seriously, this kind of petty bitching is the reason that the majority of the United States thinks feminism is a joke. Stop making the rest of us look bad just ’cause you’re desperate for attention.

Talking About It Without Using “It”

I don’t usually post twice in one day, but this is a really great listen if you’ve got 8 minutes. Extra Credits is a wonderful show because they tackle topics that other people can’t do right, and always find a way to weasel in reason and compromise for every side of the story. Also addresses all sorts of other issues in video game culture that are not directly mentioned (also this episode is older than some bigger outbreaks of hatred) but is rather implicitly talked about.