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

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High hopes for this turning out a smart and civil discussion like the horror films why not thread, deep fears that it will descend into madness fyi

sfdgafhtehw (jjjusten), Wednesday, 4 April 2012 20:32 (ten years ago) link

i think it's bc games are competitive experiences and competition brings out the worst in human beings

― Mordy, Wednesday, April 4, 2012 4:30 PM (3 minutes ago) Bookmark

Mordy, Wednesday, 4 April 2012 20:34 (ten years ago) link

idk i obv have some pretty strong concerns abt that wrt online FPS screaming idiots and the like, but i dont think that has as much to do with the games themselves (i mean obv its part of the experience but it isnt internalized content per se)

sfdgafhtehw (jjjusten), Wednesday, 4 April 2012 20:36 (ten years ago) link

some of it is cultural differences/lack of knowledge between Asia and the West.

bnw, Wednesday, 4 April 2012 20:39 (ten years ago) link

do you guys mean disgusting behavior in players or the games?

Philip Nunez, Wednesday, 4 April 2012 20:40 (ten years ago) link

i mean ive heard some commentary on this but a lot of the big arguments are a little facile and outsidery to me, like the idea that games are a juvenilized form of entertainment and thus more prone to juvenile thinking

xxpost yeah bnw that is def one of the things that i think factors in

sfdgafhtehw (jjjusten), Wednesday, 4 April 2012 20:41 (ten years ago) link

the sexism is definitely audience targeting. and it is depressingly dead on.

bnw, Wednesday, 4 April 2012 20:41 (ten years ago) link

i am talking abt the games, not the players, but obv there is going to be some reflection there wrt consumers influencing content etc

sfdgafhtehw (jjjusten), Wednesday, 4 April 2012 20:42 (ten years ago) link

it's not just that consumers influence the content, it's also that game creators are gamers themselves and exist in the gaming community. they play on the same multiplayer servers and their customers, they're influenced by the same games...

Mordy, Wednesday, 4 April 2012 20:43 (ten years ago) link

-demographics.
-the fact that computer games, for fairly obvious reasons, attract less sophisticated writers than other forms of media.

zverotic discourse (jim in glasgow), Wednesday, 4 April 2012 20:43 (ten years ago) link

was the new deus ex french? or french canadian? because thats def one of the weirdest examples of this - fairly thoughtful intellectual game and then whoa whats up with this homeless lady

sfdgafhtehw (jjjusten), Wednesday, 4 April 2012 20:44 (ten years ago) link

to be perjorative a bit, nerds' poor socialization extends to society broadly, not just socializing. and they get reeeaaally defensive when called on their shit.

combined with a post-rockstar "it's supposed to be funny!" attitude w/r/t this kind of shit and it's a toxic brew

goole, Wednesday, 4 April 2012 20:45 (ten years ago) link

A big hook for many games is "by gamers, for gamers"; this means almost by design that a good chunk of regressive content is going to be present in the games since they are operating in this feedback loop where the social environment these games are created in is normalized to be incredibly shitty in a lot of ways.

For all of the equality for things like, say, making your character be male or female is a cosmetic change that doesn't affect your stats, you have things like all of the female iterations of the WoW races being as close to "busty cutie-pie" as the baseline skin will allow them to be (the undead and dwarf races are particularly comical re: this, but even the frickin' minotaur race has "sexy" female forms with cow heads).

xposts basically covered all of this but I am inflicting the concept of sexy cows on y'all anyway

God, Music and Romeo and Juliet (DJP), Wednesday, 4 April 2012 20:46 (ten years ago) link

some of it is sort of legacy racism from the earlier forms of media that fed VGs? D&D, action movies, etc

xp oh god WoW haha

goole, Wednesday, 4 April 2012 20:47 (ten years ago) link

how do you guys rank sexism/racism by systems? nintendo (the most juvenile) should come out looking better I'd think.

Philip Nunez, Wednesday, 4 April 2012 20:48 (ten years ago) link

also, game content really not as important as ludic components (the best story can just barely redeem a game with terrible gameplay sometimes, while tons of beloved games have amazing gameplay and no story to speak of, or a really shitty story), so it's less important to designers to get stuff right with the content - which is where the racist/sexist stuff primarily exists

Mordy, Wednesday, 4 April 2012 20:49 (ten years ago) link

actually feel like WoW held back a lot compared to some other games.

bnw, Wednesday, 4 April 2012 20:50 (ten years ago) link

Skyrim has the same sort of issues. Like ... why does my lizard lady have tits.

polyphonic, Wednesday, 4 April 2012 20:51 (ten years ago) link

nintendo (the most juvenile) should come out looking better I'd think.

have you ever played a Mario game??? also Punchout lololol.

zappi, Wednesday, 4 April 2012 20:52 (ten years ago) link

theyre not?

Lamp, Wednesday, 4 April 2012 20:53 (ten years ago) link

mario racist against turtles?

Philip Nunez, Wednesday, 4 April 2012 20:53 (ten years ago) link

well sure, WoW isn't like Duke Nukem, but the point is more that the whole "moving comic book" medium that their art direction is based upon is super normalized in how the genders should be represented, to the point where even for races where it doesn't make sense for the males to be burly he-men and the women to be curvy sexpots, they still are

also, there's the female night elf dance (which is based on the famous Alizee clips that were zooming around the Internet in the early 00s):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=taPuNAaMZ5w

God, Music and Romeo and Juliet (DJP), Wednesday, 4 April 2012 20:56 (ten years ago) link

copying this over from the other thread because i thinks it a very interesting and good point to think abt

i wonder if part of it is because games are often a solo experience (though not always of course) whereas movies, at some point in their release cycle at least, are experienced collectively? in other words, because the casual racism is easier for people to swallow by themselves as opposed to in a group?

― 1986 tallest hair contest (Z S), Wednesday, April 4, 2012 8:29 PM (25 minutes ago)

sfdgafhtehw (jjjusten), Wednesday, 4 April 2012 20:56 (ten years ago) link

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 (ten years ago) link

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 (ten years ago) link

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 (ten years ago) link

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

sfdgafhtehw (jjjusten), Wednesday, 4 April 2012 20:58 (ten years ago) link

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 (ten years ago) link

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 (ten years ago) link

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

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

haha

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7jF8_badV4

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

lol gg then

bnw, Wednesday, 4 April 2012 21:02 (ten years ago) link

fyi listening to that may drive you crazy

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

the Mario Kart one is also insane

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zszjSeK_F5Q&feature=related

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

"So long, gay Bowser!"

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

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

og (admrl), Wednesday, 4 April 2012 21:06 (ten years ago) link

Do u say "ravioli!" when u fuckin?

og (admrl), Wednesday, 4 April 2012 21:07 (ten years ago) link

did they really get roberto benigni to do the voices?

Philip Nunez, Wednesday, 4 April 2012 21:07 (ten years ago) link

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

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

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

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 (ten years ago) link

i'ma luigi. nambar wan.

goole, Wednesday, 4 April 2012 21:14 (ten years ago) link

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 (ten years ago) link

http://images.wikia.com/logopedia/images/6/63/Bobs1.jpg

og (admrl), Wednesday, 4 April 2012 21:15 (ten years ago) link

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 (ten years ago) link

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

dayo, Wednesday, 4 April 2012 21:16 (ten years ago) link

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 (ten years ago) link

(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 (ten years ago) link

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 (ten years ago) link

it makes no sense to sue somebody who is telling the truth

It does when you have money to burn on lawyers, no? See Michael Jackson.

Melon Musk (Leee), Monday, 2 September 2019 16:02 (three years ago) link

Good post flamoyant goon tie, but why do I feel like you're sercretly shilling for TurboTax?

☮ (peace, man), Monday, 2 September 2019 16:03 (three years ago) link

I just think it's worth approaching this kind of thing from a position of "what good or harm am I doing by publicly applying my critical facilities?". Your chances of impacting the specific case in question are effectively zero, so no good is coming of it in that sense. But other victims who haven't yet told their stories are possibly (probably!) hearing you, and the message you're giving them is "if you want the truth of what happened to you to be known and don't just want to be victimised further, you'd better make sure you tell the story in such a way that you meet *my* critical standards", and all that can do is make it harder for people to feel they can identify predators, which of course is actively helpful to those predators.

Like, the full version of "believe the victim" should probably go "believe the victim and state publicly that you do, OR feel free to not believe them but if that's your position then at least keep quiet about it because really, how is your voice helping anything otherwise?".

And ok I get that the answer to the last question is probably "it's helping protect people who might be falsely accused now or in the future" but a) that's a much tinier group of people than the group of people who have been victims of sexual misconduct and b) it's already a much better protected group of people too, and worst of all c) if it's a group that you feel you're potentially a member of yourself then that slips into the "my self preservation is more important to me than my compassion for people who have had been through traumatic experiences" zone.

JimD, Tuesday, 3 September 2019 08:43 (three years ago) link

but I personally believe that all possible avenues of resolution should be explored before making public call-outs.

fwiw I do absolutely agree with you here, but I still can't bring myself to be critical of anyone who doesn't feel they can do that, and chooses the public callout route instead.

JimD, Tuesday, 3 September 2019 08:46 (three years ago) link

(Which isn't to say you *are* being critical of those people, I mean you've specifically stated you aren't being, so I guess "but" was just a bad choice wrong word in that sentence).

JimD, Tuesday, 3 September 2019 08:48 (three years ago) link

A good and powerful and grim post about the Night in the Woods developer: https://medium.com/@bombsfall/alec-2618dc1e23e

Andrew Farrell, Wednesday, 4 September 2019 10:28 (three years ago) link

he posted on reddit a few days ago, saying he would follow up with a detailed post - this was it. really sad, but very thoughtful and explains things pretty well

Nhex, Wednesday, 4 September 2019 13:24 (three years ago) link

Great essay.

☮ (peace, man), Wednesday, 4 September 2019 13:48 (three years ago) link

That's an exceptionally heavy essay and very well written and compassionate as well. I have learned (too late, in one instance) that it's very good practice to stay far away from people who seem to have nothing but negative shit to say about their exes, or their former close friends.

@ JimD, I could type all day about my thoughts on this, but I don't have much luck communicating effectively my thoughts on this topic in forums. It's more of a conversation. In general, though, you're right, I'm not generally critical of the people who engage in call-outs, I am critical of the mechanism itself. (I say this, too, as somebody who has engaged in a call out, and found the experience to be exhausting, professionally harmful, and ineffective.) I don't think "callouts" generally have a good track record for helping survivors heal, or holding the accused accountable. Certainly, on social media, it's become more of a circus-of-bullying than anything even tangentially related to social justice.

flamboyant goon tie included, Wednesday, 4 September 2019 21:42 (three years ago) link

Game publisher Nicalis, successful for smash hits like Cave Story and Binding of Isaac, has a dark side. A Kotaku investigation reveals employee exploitation, mismanagement, and a whole lot of workplace racism from founder Tyrone Rodriguez. My latest: https://t.co/S6U8RghwOO pic.twitter.com/btXZmWPPu8

— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) September 12, 2019

Evan, Thursday, 12 September 2019 16:25 (three years ago) link

yikes

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Thursday, 12 September 2019 16:35 (three years ago) link

"please enjoy the comedy racism of Tyrone Rodriguez"

brigadier pudding (DJP), Thursday, 12 September 2019 16:55 (three years ago) link

that guy & nicalis in general has always been extremely shady

ciderpress, Thursday, 12 September 2019 16:58 (three years ago) link

yeh not surprised that terribly run company is run by a terrible person

( X '____' )/ (zappi), Thursday, 12 September 2019 17:07 (three years ago) link

nine months pass...
two weeks pass...

https://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2020-07-10-interplay-silent-on-earthworm-jim-developers-racist-homophobic-remarks

No surprise that he's still a piece of garbage.

Nhex, Saturday, 11 July 2020 09:51 (two years ago) link

one of several original Earthworm Jim creators returning to work on a new exclusive entry in the series for the upcoming Intellivision Amico console


the what?

sound of scampo talk to me (El Tomboto), Saturday, 11 July 2020 11:37 (two years ago) link

huh.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4R2CRuQNBzk

peace, man, Saturday, 11 July 2020 11:42 (two years ago) link

Finally, cornhole the way YOU want it

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Saturday, 11 July 2020 15:03 (two years ago) link

surely GenXSys would've been the better name

Mein Skampf (Noodle Vague), Saturday, 11 July 2020 15:07 (two years ago) link

roid rage

fkknutter, Saturday, 18 July 2020 21:58 (two years ago) link

one month passes...

https://www.wired.com/story/retro-gaming-violent-tragedy-rudy-ferretti/

Nhex, Monday, 31 August 2020 04:28 (two years ago) link

https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2020-08-30-ubisoft-pulls-black-lives-matter-raised-fist-from-new-tom-clancy-game-following-backlash

Ubisoft pulls Black Lives Matter raised fist from new Tom Clancy game following backlash
Admits it was "insensitive and harmful"

オニモ (onimo), Tuesday, 1 September 2020 13:21 (two years ago) link

Doesn't explain why they chose to go with the harmful image in the first place. They really can't claim ignorance to the symbolism of a raised black fist.

オニモ (onimo), Tuesday, 1 September 2020 13:22 (two years ago) link

they can replace it with a facepalm

sound of scampo talk to me (El Tomboto), Tuesday, 1 September 2020 14:09 (two years ago) link

shocked that a Tom Clancy adaptation could even be insensitive or harmful, what has the world come to?

Anti-Cop Ponceortium (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Tuesday, 1 September 2020 14:14 (two years ago) link

one month passes...

this is. a real good thread pic.twitter.com/X0zcL7oTmE

— Nunki (@blodhundur) October 20, 2020

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Monday, 26 October 2020 19:31 (one year ago) link

three months pass...

She’s amazing!

JimD, Wednesday, 10 February 2021 09:56 (one year ago) link

If you need another reason to avoid anything related to Harry Potter: https://kotaku.com/hogwarts-legacy-lead-designer-used-to-run-anti-social-j-1846316222

RZA Minnelli (Leee), Sunday, 21 February 2021 20:24 (one year ago) link

one month passes...

this is just hands down the funniest image ive seen in a while. intel is making automated bleep software and im howling at the backend pic.twitter.com/w4fRq9qYIX

— bea (@beesmygod_) April 7, 2021

G.A.G.S. (Gophers Against Getting Stuffed) (forksclovetofu), Thursday, 8 April 2021 19:14 (one year ago) link

"Just some misogyny and a few slices of apple servant. Perfection."

G.A.G.S. (Gophers Against Getting Stuffed) (forksclovetofu), Thursday, 8 April 2021 19:15 (one year ago) link

yeah that is achingly stupid

rob, Thursday, 8 April 2021 19:17 (one year ago) link

I am wheezing

Dana Jel Pey (DJP), Thursday, 8 April 2021 20:15 (one year ago) link

two months pass...

https://www.polygon.com/22538276/five-nights-at-freddys-creator-retiring-scott-cawthon-fnaf-new-developer

I have no appreciation for Five Nights at Freddy's so... yep, don't let the door hit your ass on the way out.

Nhex, Thursday, 17 June 2021 14:21 (one year ago) link

Non-casual republicanism not accepted in video games

Clara Lemlich stan account (silby), Thursday, 17 June 2021 14:44 (one year ago) link

one month passes...

Hadn't seen this mentioned (the details of the case raised by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing can be pretty harrowing tbh)

https://kotaku.com/the-activision-blizzard-lawsuit-fallout-is-what-women-h-1847350882

The cherry on the cake is who put out the "nothing to see here" statement

*squints* wait the Bush-era torture lady is an exec at Activision? https://t.co/fiOJ8AnOIl

— 10,000 Motivated Rats (@bombsfall) July 23, 2021

Andrew Farrell, Sunday, 25 July 2021 16:18 (one year ago) link

https://kotaku.com/boyfriend-dungeon-is-being-subjected-to-tumblrs-messies-1847506425

there's a lot going on in this article, some of it tangential to this thread, i think, some of it not. some of it has to do with Fan Service stuff, and what Fans are entitled to. but also some of it is about how to respond to games where the professor has the hots for a student, or vice versa.

Karl Malone, Wednesday, 18 August 2021 16:13 (one year ago) link

I have a headache now

a gentle push against my Wonder Bread face (DJP), Wednesday, 18 August 2021 16:30 (one year ago) link

it's just another flavor of reactionary gamer harrassment campaign against women and queer creators, this time from people who claim to be progressive

ciderpress, Wednesday, 18 August 2021 16:32 (one year ago) link

xp

i know exactly what you mean lol

Karl Malone, Wednesday, 18 August 2021 16:41 (one year ago) link

i think where i come down on this is that i am

anti-anti-anti-anti-anti-anti-anti-anti-anti-anti-anti-anti-anti-anti-anti-anti-anti-anti-

Karl Malone, Wednesday, 18 August 2021 16:42 (one year ago) link

https://kotaku.com/boyfriend-dungeon-is-being-subjected-to-tumblrs-messies-1847506425

there's a lot going on in this article, some of it tangential to this thread, i think, some of it not. some of it has to do with Fan Service stuff, and what Fans are entitled to. but also some of it is about how to respond to games where the professor has the hots for a student, or vice versa.

― Karl Malone, Wednesday, 18 August 2021 16:13 (twenty-nine minutes ago) bookmarkflaglink

this seemed very much to be assuming a thing that is huge in all anglophone culture is actually a product of the specific corner of anglophone culture the writer grew up in to the point i decided to stop reading it before i also got a headache

the ghost of tom, choad (thomp), Wednesday, 18 August 2021 16:44 (one year ago) link

two months pass...

Just when you think that Activision/Blizzard can't be more of a cluster than it already is: https://kotaku.com/bobby-kotick-actually-wrote-fran-townsends-deranged-co-1848069983

Nelleee Hooper (Leee), Wednesday, 17 November 2021 02:04 (ten months ago) link

five months pass...

the classic 'try so hard to be woke you loop back around to phrenology'

ciderpress, Friday, 13 May 2022 23:41 (four months ago) link


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