Why is casual racism/sexism more accepted in video games than other forms of media (these days)?

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okay lol @ Mario being so mainstreamed that all of the "MAMA MIA" and "IT'SA ME, MARIO!" interjections don't even register as caricature anymore

God, Music and Romeo and Juliet (DJP), Wednesday, 4 April 2012 20:57 (2 years ago) Permalink

i disagree w/ ZS's assertion esp bc i think the most racist/sexist behavior re video games happens in their most collective experience (multiplayer)

Mordy, Wednesday, 4 April 2012 20:57 (2 years ago) Permalink

Yeah I think this is pretty easily chalked up to creators pandering to (and being born of) the overwhelmingly 15-35 male demographics of AAA game buyers. The women and men who like and play AAA games but don't like sexualized representations of women in these games (and also comic books) make their voices heard but the majority of the audience would be bummed if you took away their lizardwoman tits.

raw feel vegan (silby), Wednesday, 4 April 2012 20:57 (2 years ago) Permalink

duh DJP you cant be racist against italians anymore, the godfather fixed that forever

sfdgafhtehw (jjjusten), Wednesday, 4 April 2012 20:58 (2 years ago) Permalink

it's well documented that gaming community demographics are a) incredibly skewed towards white males and b) fairly skewed towards people with poor social skills, which seems like a believable cause of misogyny and just general misanthropy all around

ciderpress, Wednesday, 4 April 2012 20:59 (2 years ago) Permalink

did Mario ever say those lines or are we forcing racism on the poor guy? are we blaming his video game char for his cartoon version? important issues in my work day

bnw, Wednesday, 4 April 2012 21:00 (2 years ago) Permalink

"it's a-me, Mario!" the sound of booting up Super Mario 64 iirc.

raw feel vegan (silby), Wednesday, 4 April 2012 21:01 (2 years ago) Permalink

haha

God, Music and Romeo and Juliet (DJP), Wednesday, 4 April 2012 21:02 (2 years ago) Permalink

lol gg then

bnw, Wednesday, 4 April 2012 21:02 (2 years ago) Permalink

fyi listening to that may drive you crazy

God, Music and Romeo and Juliet (DJP), Wednesday, 4 April 2012 21:03 (2 years ago) Permalink

the Mario Kart one is also insane

God, Music and Romeo and Juliet (DJP), Wednesday, 4 April 2012 21:05 (2 years ago) Permalink

"So long, gay Bowser!"

beanz meanz lulz (snoball), Wednesday, 4 April 2012 21:05 (2 years ago) Permalink

Alot of this sounds like hes sleeping with someone. *barfs*
PeachyzeldagirlXD 3 weeks ago

og (admrl), Wednesday, 4 April 2012 21:06 (2 years ago) Permalink

Do u say "ravioli!" when u fuckin?

og (admrl), Wednesday, 4 April 2012 21:07 (2 years ago) Permalink

did they really get roberto benigni to do the voices?

Philip Nunez, Wednesday, 4 April 2012 21:07 (2 years ago) Permalink

Everybody knows that Mario's wet dreams involve pasta and Bowser.

beanz meanz lulz (snoball), Wednesday, 4 April 2012 21:08 (2 years ago) Permalink

it's well documented that gaming community demographics are a) incredibly skewed towards white males and b) fairly skewed towards people with poor social skills, which seems like a believable cause of misogyny and just general misanthropy all around

I worked at a gaming geek/comic book store for a couple years and this kind of stuff is everywhere. the idea that females without massive bobs existed at some point is lost on these people

Estimate the percent chance that a whale has ever been to the moon? (frogbs), Wednesday, 4 April 2012 21:11 (2 years ago) Permalink

haha awesome typo

"I like the writer but does the artist have to make every female character's hair so big?"

God, Music and Romeo and Juliet (DJP), Wednesday, 4 April 2012 21:12 (2 years ago) Permalink

i'ma luigi. nambar wan.

goole, Wednesday, 4 April 2012 21:14 (2 years ago) Permalink

oh man my old college roommate used to say "yeah, peach has got it" in a squeaky ass voice all the time. mad nostalgia.

goole, Wednesday, 4 April 2012 21:15 (2 years ago) Permalink

og (admrl), Wednesday, 4 April 2012 21:15 (2 years ago) Permalink

I never played the Horde side of WoW with any regularity so I didn't realize that the trolls were all Jamaican until way way late in the game when I started a troll character because I was bored. Reading the quest text for most of the starter area was PAINFUL.

God, Music and Romeo and Juliet (DJP), Wednesday, 4 April 2012 21:16 (2 years ago) Permalink

there's a ton of gender normalization in movies too, yeah?

dayo, Wednesday, 4 April 2012 21:16 (2 years ago) Permalink

im def not saying that movies are immune but i dont think you can make the argument that movies even approach the overt O_O aspects of video games wrt either of these

sfdgafhtehw (jjjusten), Wednesday, 4 April 2012 21:18 (2 years ago) Permalink

(I also used to play WoW with the sound off and either Vent or iTunes going, so I missed a good chunk of the voice acting)

God, Music and Romeo and Juliet (DJP), Wednesday, 4 April 2012 21:19 (2 years ago) Permalink

oh yeah for sure, and movies as a genre are much more mature. but it seems to me that anytime you throw a lot of money at a project (either a blockbuster movie or a blockbuster game) you're gonna end up w/ some pretty unreasonable gender representations

dayo, Wednesday, 4 April 2012 21:20 (2 years ago) Permalink

re: relative badness of video games to movies, for that to be true then the racism/sexism would have to be toned down in game-to-movie adaptations, and it seems like in most cases it just got worse.

Philip Nunez, Wednesday, 4 April 2012 21:21 (2 years ago) Permalink

also feel like games HAVE to make gamers empathize w/ the game in a way that movies do not - movies can take more risks that way

dayo, Wednesday, 4 April 2012 21:21 (2 years ago) Permalink

Todd Solondz presents: Happiness, the Video Game

dayo, Wednesday, 4 April 2012 21:22 (2 years ago) Permalink

I always thought Tomb Raider the movie was made just to quiet all the feminist groups that complained about the video game, saying things like "no REAL woman could possibly look like that", well, lo and behold

Estimate the percent chance that a whale has ever been to the moon? (frogbs), Wednesday, 4 April 2012 21:24 (2 years ago) Permalink

also in movies you actually have real actresses whereas if you're making a game you can just crank up the boob slider

ciderpress, Wednesday, 4 April 2012 21:24 (2 years ago) Permalink

re: relative badness of video games to movies, for that to be true then the racism/sexism would have to be toned down in game-to-movie adaptations, and it seems like in most cases it just got worse.

Can you give an example of this? I think in many cases, it's more the medium of being presented something as a movie rather than a game making it easier to notice the source material's dodgier aspects.

God, Music and Romeo and Juliet (DJP), Wednesday, 4 April 2012 21:24 (2 years ago) Permalink

i know i am probably missing some counterexamples here but it seems like the new fallout stuff has actually done a pretty good job of avoiding these pitfalls considering what a massive game francise its been

sfdgafhtehw (jjjusten), Wednesday, 4 April 2012 21:25 (2 years ago) Permalink

oh man I remember reading an interview with the creators of the first Tomb Raider game where the art director almost verbatim said "you're spending 20 hours staring at this character's bum so it might as well be a nice one"

God, Music and Romeo and Juliet (DJP), Wednesday, 4 April 2012 21:26 (2 years ago) Permalink

also in movies you actually have real actresses whereas if you're making a game you can just crank up the boob slider

there are a few real actresses I'd like to introduce you to

Estimate the percent chance that a whale has ever been to the moon? (frogbs), Wednesday, 4 April 2012 21:26 (2 years ago) Permalink

casual sexism is pretty accepted in rap music, along with casual homophobia and racism in the form of anti-semitism

congratulations (n/a), Wednesday, 4 April 2012 21:27 (2 years ago) Permalink

I remember an interview with the creators of Tomb Raider, a few months before it came out, where they were like "if you're gonna spend the whole game looking at a butt it may as well be a really nice ass, high five broooooooseph *jumping chestbump*"

1986 tallest hair contest (Z S), Wednesday, 4 April 2012 21:27 (2 years ago) Permalink

WTF??? Xpost

1986 tallest hair contest (Z S), Wednesday, 4 April 2012 21:27 (2 years ago) Permalink

hahahaha

God, Music and Romeo and Juliet (DJP), Wednesday, 4 April 2012 21:28 (2 years ago) Permalink

ha there is probably something to the idea that the minute graphics got past the 8-bit stage the next logical progression was for game designers to think "oh shit now we can model T&A far more accurately"

sfdgafhtehw (jjjusten), Wednesday, 4 April 2012 21:28 (2 years ago) Permalink

has anybody ever seen Z S and DJP in a room at the same time before

dayo, Wednesday, 4 April 2012 21:28 (2 years ago) Permalink

boob slider:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dead_or_Alive_Xtreme_Beach_Volleyball

dayo, Wednesday, 4 April 2012 21:28 (2 years ago) Permalink

also in movies you actually have real actresses whereas if you're making a game you can just crank up the boob slider

... why does my lizard lady have tits.

This thread is comedy username gold

og (admrl), Wednesday, 4 April 2012 21:29 (2 years ago) Permalink

wd play all the games with massive shadebobs

http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=shadebobs&tbm=isch

instant coffee happening between us (a passing spacecadet), Wednesday, 4 April 2012 21:29 (2 years ago) Permalink

Seriously didn't see that since I'm Zinging it and I'm slow. that interview was apparently very influential for us!

1986 tallest hair contest (Z S), Wednesday, 4 April 2012 21:29 (2 years ago) Permalink

The Dead or Alive series spent an inordinate amount of time working on a super accurate physics engine just so they could claim to be the fighting game with the most realistic breast bounces

lol this was xposted by dayo

God, Music and Romeo and Juliet (DJP), Wednesday, 4 April 2012 21:30 (2 years ago) Permalink

there's something to the argument that the fleshing-out of things is responsible, and that more sophisticated graphics/sound enables greater racism/sexism, but the dodgier aspects of movies are made dodgier by the movie. it's not as if it somehow revealed ugliness lurking beneath, e.g. casting leguizamo as luigi in super mario movie.

Philip Nunez, Wednesday, 4 April 2012 21:31 (2 years ago) Permalink

They didn't really say broseph - it was a more innocent time.

Andrew Farrell, Wednesday, 4 April 2012 21:31 (2 years ago) Permalink

there's some interview w/ the doa creator where he says he cares about the physics so much because he considers all the female characters his daughters or something

puff puff post (uh oh I'm having a fantasy), Wednesday, 4 April 2012 21:32 (2 years ago) Permalink

wait, why is Leguizamo worthy of mention but BOB HOSKINS isn't

God, Music and Romeo and Juliet (DJP), Wednesday, 4 April 2012 21:33 (2 years ago) Permalink

http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/224400/Gamers_dont_have_to_be_your_audience_Gamers_are_over.php
not always a fan of alexander's writing or pov but this is pretty much otm

the other song about butts in the top 5 (forksclovetofu), Sunday, 31 August 2014 22:02 (2 days ago) Permalink

^^I really like that post
All the games I like best have this quality: "We make and play fewer linear games about one person saving the world."
I tried watching Sarkeesian's latest video and I could not get v far into it – youtube started buffering at 3 minutes and I just took it as a sign to quit. Like, I don't need evidence of a bunch of games I don't play showing that women are great to be objects for looking sexy or chopping up.
At least Minecraft is really big!

when you call my name it's like a prickly pear (Crabbits), Sunday, 31 August 2014 22:31 (2 days ago) Permalink

Yeah, that's good. I think this deserves further investigation and unpacking (which I'm sure others are doing, in response or in parallel):

If our medium is designed for people to stay secluded for dozens of hours while having their egos stroked, then we reap what we sow in terms of the kinds of people who emerge from this pastime. We need to consider the very real possibility that the offensive behavior displayed by gamers in recent weeks is not unrelated to the artifacts they rally around (which I doubt are especially obscure). These people didn’t come from nowhere to fight about nothing. They came from games to fight about games. They’re organic results of the medium we’ve all played a role in cultivating, and they won’t go away if the medium doesn’t change significantly.

Was thinking about this earlier with regard to the kind of forum-responses discussions of any of the recent shameful events seem to get. There's a very consistent tone to the sniffing, know-it-all but user of "cool" profanity gamer-as-judge. There's a sort of character or posting style or actual personality that just appears everywhere on the Internet where 'gamer' types are too be found, and at a certain point you have to wonder: are games attractive to people who see the world like this, or do people see the world like this because they play a lot of games? (Or because they hang out on a lot of gaming internet sites.) Obviously there are billions of other factors here, not least race, class, and ahem gender. And I can't really articulate this that well, but there's something in the way these folks talk that overlaps and reinforces what they're saying. It would be really interesting to do a video series unpacking game scenes that encourage just generally being a bad listener, shutting your ears to critique of privilege, blaming victims...

I guess what I mean is that (loud, forum-posting type) gamers seem, versus others of presumably similar station in life, to be much more aggressive in pursuing and defending rationalizations like this nonsense about Zoe Quinn. I don't think it's enough to say that the "journalistic integrity" objection is a smokescreen for sexism, or that it all just stems from the attitudes of frustrated shut-in males who make up some subset of the gaming population but can't account for how widespread these kinds of statements are. Falling onto the "journalistic integrity" smokescreen is a key rhetorical act of sexism in this instance, and somewhere along the line, these guys are learning, from games or from each other or someplace else, that this kind of rhetorical act is fair play, makes them righteous and just and wise judges, makes them super-smart, lets them fold their arms in self-satisfaction and gaze down at the fools, women-fools, anti-gamer fools, feminist-fools, that peep and blunder beneath their lofty perches. Can can someone start making games that short-circuit that?

Doctor Casino, Sunday, 31 August 2014 22:35 (2 days ago) Permalink

Isn't this fanboy rather than gaming-specific ugliness? (I just recently heard about the death threats for tepid batman and guardians of galaxy reviews.)

Philip Nunez, Sunday, 31 August 2014 22:50 (2 days ago) Permalink

Well it's all under the hateful bankrupt "nerd culture" umbrella but but gamers are worse & these type of threats have happened for a long time and to women I've worked with

ra's al goole (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Sunday, 31 August 2014 22:57 (2 days ago) Permalink

One maybe more specific thing that doesn't map out super easily is how "don't feed the troll," standard internet wisdom, breaks down completely when employed to discuss real-life harassment, in ways that obviously turn it into advice to silence victims and suppress criticism. You'd think it would be really obvious that what's involved is not "trolling," but something else, and yet there's a great willingness to accept that it is and treat it as such. Is this just because the sexist and misogynist reading of the situation as a whole makes reaching for that excuse an easy out, or is there something about "don't feed the troll" that itself needs to be problematized at the root? (e.g.: trolls are innately harmless and annoying if left alone, and/or: trolling is a phase, something immature gamers do on their way to being the people now posting "don't feed the troll." Or: Consensus about what is a 'troll' is maintained by hegemonic groups that know how to mark insider/outsider opinions as fundamentally valid/invalid - and in correlation, anyone unable to recognize the supposed troll is the one really at fault....)

re: fanboy/nerd vs. gamer: would totally agree that this is a general problem, although of course many of your comics nerds (for example) are also gamers and vice versa. I'm just speculating, very idly and without much evidence, that it would be interesting to figure out if there are particular tropes or figures in gaming, or in games journalism, or whatever, that foster and normalize this kind of fanboy ugliness. I like the point in the article linked above about the lone hero on an epic quest - spend most of your time being that character and maybe it does things to you. I wouldn't be the first to harp on the popularity of libertarianism among gamers, for example. So I guess even more than games lowering male gamers' general respect for women or consideration of them as humans, I wonder if there are places where gamers learn the specific rhetorical strategies and tones that are used a LOT by sexist fanboys and not quite as much by other sexists.

Doctor Casino, Sunday, 31 August 2014 23:05 (2 days ago) Permalink

so much crossover with "mens rights" people, especially in language and how they argue, like those red pill creeps. ugh.

( X '____' )/ (zappi), Sunday, 31 August 2014 23:08 (2 days ago) Permalink

And just zero language for talking about rights or privilege that isn't straight out of a Republican handbook or something - and this is in a group which I imagine (?) to be statistically more educated than the median. I'm thinking now of my students in the world of architecture, many of whom have not (due to the studio-intensive curricula in undergrad architecture programs) pursued many or any liberal-arts electives to speak of, and who are just very ill-equipped to talk with nuance about anything not strictly "architectural." Which is a problem first of all for architecture (since it turns out very few meaningful architectural problems are strictly architectural) but also for them as people: they're losing the chance to take advantage of their academic institutions' offerings that would make them more well-rounded and engaged interrogators of the world in general. I wonder how much of this might obtain in gamer-land.

Of course, it may be that the worst offenders really are just 13-year-olds modeling behavior they see in others (or in the games) as part of fitting in. But that too would be a whole nother area to investigate and push back against, and the feeling I get from reading any comments on any of these articles is that nobody wants to hear it, at all. I can totally understand the impulse for people who write on this stuff to just say fuck it, these people are not the core audience, can we just write them off as dinosaurs out of step with the mainstream now, please? It would be so great if the industry just pivoted towards better behavior and left the "hardcore" sexist gamers shrieking behind them. I don't really see that happening soon though.

Doctor Casino, Sunday, 31 August 2014 23:47 (2 days ago) Permalink

that devin wilson post was good

Nhex, Monday, 1 September 2014 00:05 (Yesterday) Permalink

btw doc all your posts otm

Nhex, Monday, 1 September 2014 00:05 (Yesterday) Permalink

aw thanks, i kinda feel like i'm groping/speculating since I don't really hang out on these sites and haven't been a "gamer" of any stripe in over a decade except for the odd freebie browser game or w/e.

Doctor Casino, Monday, 1 September 2014 00:16 (Yesterday) Permalink

gameing is going to go extinct because of social justice warriors

lag∞n, Monday, 1 September 2014 00:45 (Yesterday) Permalink

its sad it was an art

lag∞n, Monday, 1 September 2014 00:45 (Yesterday) Permalink

If our medium is designed for people to stay secluded for dozens of hours while having their egos stroked, then we reap what we sow in terms of the kinds of people who emerge from this pastime

this is interesting for sure

the ugliness of multiplayer gaming, the omnipresence of it, the rise of/mainstream acceptance of genres associated with it (that I gotta say, I personally dislike)... this is the stuff that really made me recede into a v specialized genre bubble. I'm skeptical that making games more 'social' is what's needed and that doesn't seem to be what wilson is getting at anyway... but like w/books, I actually really like the idea of enjoying games in isolation for long stretches of time and then thinking about what you got out of the experience or maybe discussing it w/ some friends. I don't necessarily think isolation is the problem here, but then again, I am an introvert...

(⊙_⊙?) (Alan N), Monday, 1 September 2014 02:37 (Yesterday) Permalink

Yeah, I agree that that's not what the piece is getting at - particularly, the "having their egos stroked" and maybe also the "dozens of hours" - my sense is that the daily time commitment for some of these games is really different in quantity and maybe in quality from the kind we might give a good book. If nothing else: it's okay to set the book down during some of that, shake off the cobwebs, remember that it's only a book, mentally argue back with the author, etc. The sense I get is that MMOs and multiplayer shooters are more demanding than that - look away for a minute and it's all over. But I could be totally wrong, I guess the players are also alt-tabbing to other windows to argue in forums and stuff. Maybe I'm just being crotchety and old - I really don't want this to just sound like some Concerned Parent Group worrying about what The Games are doing to The Kids. It's just, when I get hooked on a game, I totally get hooked - forget to eat, click again and again for one more round, the whole deal. And this is me playing brightly-colored solitaire puzzle games or whatever. If games that are primarily about ego-stroking, dominance and squawking sexual abuse to other players over a headset have that same power, I do think there's something to be said in wondering what kind of people will emerge from that.

Doctor Casino, Monday, 1 September 2014 03:05 (Yesterday) Permalink

The funny thing (as a fellow introvert, Alan) these MMOs actually appeal really strongly to introverts, I suspect! My MMO experience isn't that deep (spent a couple years on some stuff pre-WOW, enough to know it's dangerous for me) but as someone who's spent also spent a crazy amount of time - seriously, thousands of hours at a mininum - on competitive games (particularly FPS and fighting games), it's something that gives the barest semblance of social interaction wrapped up in an activity you already love compulsively solo, but with an infinite variation due to human opponents. Even games that aren't competitive, like Diablo or Borderlands, can be all-consuming as drilling up numbers is even more addictive when you have others to enable and encourage your habit, also buried in the same realm.

Nhex, Monday, 1 September 2014 03:25 (Yesterday) Permalink

Having interviewed some pros, to be good at a competitive level is a fulltime job at least 6-8 intense hours a day everyday.... A friend of mine had spent one of the last 3 years logged into wow (back at the peak of that game)

ra's al goole (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Monday, 1 September 2014 13:16 (Yesterday) Permalink

these MMOs actually appeal really strongly to introverts

yeah, that follows. the 'infinite variation' thing does seem to be the emphasis, not anything truly social. good call.

particularly, the "having their egos stroked" and maybe also the "dozens of hours"

yep. and the endless un-critical consumption of things that are ultimately kind of hateful. and not even like nihilistic horror movies where you the viewer are being brutalized too and there's a weird catharsis there. it's more sanitized, you're in control, and you win.

(⊙_⊙?) (Alan N), Monday, 1 September 2014 16:20 (Yesterday) Permalink

This hobby & industry is a cesspool

― ra's al goole (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Sunday, August 31, 2014 1:58 PM (Yesterday) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

LIKE If you are against racism (omar little), Monday, 1 September 2014 16:36 (Yesterday) Permalink

http://quinnspiracy.com/godot.html

jmm, Monday, 1 September 2014 17:09 (Yesterday) Permalink

pffthehehe

Spirit of Match Game '76 (silby), Monday, 1 September 2014 17:26 (Yesterday) Permalink

I have an idea that so much video game discourse taking the form of Nintendo vs Sony vs Microsoft console wars sets gamers up for a combative approach too. It goes alongside the well-noted game aspects in that Devin Wilson post and fits in with his point seven on protecting value of investments. It might just be the communities I've happened to see, but I feel that mode gives a top down pervasive aggression that is in the interests of some of the most powerful companies in the business, in a way that you don't really get for any other media (it's more like sports, I guess? Comics which I know less about has two big mainstream companies, but less barrier to entry between the two of them?).

Iain Mew (if), Monday, 1 September 2014 17:37 (Yesterday) Permalink

An interesting comparison would be to Mac vs. PC which also involves a big sunk investment where people really are unlikely to do both. There's definitely a rivalry there but I don't think it gets as aggressive. OTOH there are probably more gamers who have two or more current-generation systems than there are casual computer users who own both a Mac and a PC. Generally I think sports is probably about right, and similarly I think anybody challenged on this would say, hey, it's all in fun, we play up the ridiculousness of the rivalry just 'cause. But more generally the tendency to be in "camps" probably does things that we can't exactly chart out.

Doctor Casino, Monday, 1 September 2014 19:11 (Yesterday) Permalink


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