Amateur game invites player to beat up woman

When Anita Sarkeesian kickstarted a research project into female videogame tropes, you might have expected some nasty remarks from game culture's contingent of adolescent boys.

But Sarkeesian's been subjected to much more: attempts to hack her website, comics depicting her being raped, and even a video game where the player pounds her face into a bloodied pulp.

The game's creator, Ben Spurr, explains: he just wanted to make her listen.


  1. If there’s one surefire way to win arguments with feminists, it’s threatening them with violence. :-|

    1.  To be fair, arguing from the axiom “women should have equal rights” in general means it is pretty tough to argue with feminism.  It is a really strong thesis.

      1. Perhaps it is his inability to argue with a fairly self-evident philosophy that is frustrating him and not some dark, embarrassing, secret sexual problem.

        Next he will take on the eco-activists by severing a pipeline and spoiling pristine wilderness.

      2.  Ah, but that’s not what feminists really think! Really, they think all men should be castrated, then killed, and then have their porn and video games all taken away. Just out of spite!  It all becomes clear once you learn to ignore what they’re, you know, saying out loud.

        1.  The sad thing is that there are some guys out there stupid enough to think this is true. You should be careful how you joke.

          1.  That’s terrible! After I went to all the expense and trouble to import them from Africa! The clip-clop of their dear little hooves is such a joy to me, and you would take them awa–

            What’s that? You say you just want to take my guns away? Oh, that’s fine.

            Never mind!

    2. Is she still accepting funding?  I think it’s important that as many of us support her as possible, even more so in light of this terrible news.  I’m not much of a feminist myself (Hell, I’ll admit I’m a bit lecherous on my best day), but nobody deserves this.

        1. Excellent.  I’m going to give her some money now and an apology on behalf of people who aren’t pond scum.  I’m really sorry she got subjected to this.

      1. The simple fact that you are doing this shows that you consider her a human being first and foremost – and that’s basically the one thing that matters most. You don’t have to be an activist to be a feminist. You don’t even have to be perfect – you’re allowed to make mistakes. Just treat women as human beings :)

        1. Many thanks.  Of course women deserve to be treated as human beings. While none of us are perfect, women tend to be pretty wonderful.  We guys have our moments, too. :D

        2.  I disagree. He’s White Knighting, just like all the other men did a few weeks back.

          1. Bullshit. 

            ‘White Knights’ don’t exist, they’re just a way of devaluing anything said by someone who isn’t a douchebag.

            “Actually caring about someone on the internet?  *Obviouisly* you’re doing it for sex.  There’s no other possible reason you’d do that, because i’m a douchebag and I’m convinced everyone else secretly is, too “

  2. When someone’s misogyny and virulent sexism is so deeply rooted that they can’t even see it when it’s calmly, logically pointed out, they need help.

    Side note: never was an ad for “Absolut PUNCH” more unfortunately placed.

    1. I have never, ever, witnessed an instance of someone in possession of misogyny and virulent sexism, seeing it, after its being calmly and logically pointed out.

      For one thing, those are extremely difficult things to calmly and logically point out – they’re infuriating.  Even the most well-meaning and patient person will get angry in pointing them out.

      Secondly, they are extremely difficult things to quickly accept about oneself.  At the very best, a remarkably self-aware misogynist bigot might react defensively, go away for a few hours of hard soul-searching, and eventually acknowledge the point.

  3. Male gamers are enraged by the thought that they harass women and to prove that they don’t, they wage a harassment campaign against woman who said that male gamers harass women. Logic, how does it work?

    1.  They’re also enraged that anyone would hear her opinions and be convinced… so they’re doing everything they can to make her famous and sympathetic.

    2. Typical reaction from someone who has run out of arguments and lacks self control.

    3. SOME male gamers.  I condemn what happened unequivocally, and believe every person should have equal rights, regardless of appearance or background.  But yes, I think you’ve hit the nail on the head.

      What are your thoughts on the female characters in “Gears of War” and “Halo” (particularly the contrast between the female armored troopers in “Halo” versus Cortana)?

      1.  It’s everywhere. I got _Civilization_ for the iPad the other day – surely the sort of slow paced, even tempered game where primal appeals to sex, violence and mass junk food consumption wouldn’t apply, but…

        At the start of the game you choose which of history’s great leaders you want to be – Ghandi, Abe Lincoln, Catherine the Great, etc. In their portraits all the male characters are looking statesmanlike and all the female characters are vamping a bit and looking a bit… booby.

        It’s not much – it’s pretty minor really – but I thought it showed just where the background radiation level was, that an artist or art director would choose these depictions automatically, even in as dry a context as _Civilization_.

        Like I say, it’s not much by itself – but it’s one more ant in an ant plague.

    4.  He’s not trying to prove that they don’t, he just sees her as an inferior stepping out of line and is trying to put her back in her place, so to speak.

    1. Well, on the upside, if he tries to get a job in the software industry this story will be pretty easy for potential employers to find via google. I can’t imagine companies will be lining up around the block to hire him once he gets a reputation as a misogynist who implicitly encourages the beating of women (or, at least, a specific woman who he feels has wronged him which could end up being any one of his female co-workers if they “don’t respond” satisfactorily when he speaks to them).

      1. What a wonderfully painful question that would be to ask as the interviewer: “So, tell me about the violent game you created to harass a woman you’ve never met.” 

        I think I’d put it up on the projector. 

        1. So what you’re saying is we could punish Ben Spurr AND Zynga? I like where this is going!

    2. If you really want to hurt him logon to his Warcraft server and ninja his raid loot.  That’ll REALLY burn him up.

    3. See, now you’re advocating violence against the poor man!

      I really hope this comes back and slaps him on the ass. And tells him what a good job he’s doing, and could you refill my coffee, please?

    1. That would be different. They don’t “deserve it” after all. 

      God I have too much insight into people like this. 

        1. True, Ben Spurr may think they “deserve it”, but I first parsed your statement to mean that those women might deserve it after all, something we all agree is wrong. No one deserves it.

          But you are correct, we would be foolish to underestimate his sociopathy, even if we are willing to be charitable otherwise.

    2. See, those are “his” women. Therefore, it’d be offensive to him. “Somebody else’s” woman is fair game.

      Same reason that’s not a good argument against rape. These men don’t view women as people equal to men but as possessions.

  4. FTA: “the use of hate speech, threats and bullying to terrify and intimidate people into silence or away from certain topics is a far bigger threat to free speech than any legal sanction.” <– THIS, AMERICA. THIS.

    1. If there was a “love” button, I would totally click it for this comment!

      It’s frustrating, because any time someone tries to open a mature dialogue about issues in the gaming world it’s as if they are immediately drowned out by a horde of angry howler monkeys drunk on hate.  

      To add to your point, all the nastiness makes me feel unwelcome in a culture which I love. It’s gotten to the point that I read very few gaming/comics/geek-focused blogs because of all the bigotry and drama in most places on the web. I’ve got enough shit in my life without having to deal with that, and I know many people of colour, women and GLBT folk of a geeky persuasion who feel the same frustrations. I want to engage with a community about something I’m passionate about, and I know there are always going to be haters so you have to have a thick skin, but there comes a point where all the negativity becomes exhausting and you simply can’t be fucked anymore. 

      Can’t people just not be douches? It’s simple: all it entails is not being a douche.

      1. You know they just do that crap to drive away people they don’t like, right? And that by going away you’re giving them what they want.

        1. Why should Visceral Vixen or other women have to risk their mental well-being just to prove a point? Fuck that shit.

          1. Who said anything about risking her well-being? She’s talking about not reading gaming blogs and the like. That’s just stupid. If you’re not willing to stand and confront stupid bullshit when it happens you’re helping it succeed.

  5. Before I read the article, I initially thought that she had made the game as a kind of “art piece” to get her point across.

    I find it kind of ironic that the source of such a tasteless game completely changes its meaning.

    1. Ironic but not uncommon. If I use the ‘N’ word it would carry a very different meaning than when Eddie Murphy uses it.

    2. That’s what I thought, too, when the link popped up on my facebook feed- after all, there was this:

  6. On the upside, all future employers will find this first when they search his name. May as well tattoo “future cause of a hostile work environment lawsuit” on your forehead, Ben Spurr.

      1. Yeah… the more I have thought about how he expressed himself, the more my warning bells are moving from “creep” to “potential spouse beater”. If he had just done it for the lulz, sure… creep. But his defense was that she wouldn’t listen. Isn’t that what spouse beaters claim, if his or her spouse wouldn’t have… then he or she wouldn’t have had to…

    1. His real name appears to be “Benjamin Daniel.”  Let’s make sure the right person is facing the consequences of his misogynistic idiocy.  Based on his lack of skill, I think getting a job in the industry will be unlikely regardless of his recent actions, however.  Clearly it was his own inadequacy that made him lash out at Sarkeesian’s Kickstarter success.

      1. This is especially important as his pseudonym “Ben Spurr” is also the name of a reputable Canadian journalist, in Toronto, near to where the fake “Ben Spurr” aka Benjamin Daniel is, in terms of distance relative to Canada, northern Ontario is “near” to Toronto.

        edit – his name is Benjamin Daniel Spurr actually, so not a psuedonym. good.

  7. If you’re male and you have an XBOX with a Live account try this, start a game and then give the headset to a female. Have them talk about the gameplay. Pretty soon you’ll realize that this sexist gamer minority is a myth. You’ll learn pretty quick.

    1. And god forbid you offer your husband a sandwich while his mic is live in a multiplayer game of Halo.

    2. Pretty soon you’ll realize that this sexist gamer minority is a myth.

      I’m having a bit of trouble parsing that (and that “Minority” is your handle doesn’t make it any easier) but I believe what you’re trying to say is that most gamers are sexist?

      That’s not really what your experiment proves.  It proves that it’s really, really easy to find a sexist gamer, but that’s not the same thing as saying they’re the majority.  It’s not even the same thing as saying they’re the majority of people on Xbox Live.

      Loud minorities are still minorities.

      That said, yeah this is one of several reasons I don’t do the online multiplayer thing.

  8. Listen? 

    I don’t think that’s how you make people listen.  That’s how you act when you refuse to listen, yourself.

  9. If your method of opening a dialogue with them is to “invoke strong emotions in hopes of getting their attention”, you’re already on shaky ground. That it was through violence, simulated or not? Yeah, you want infamy, not attention. You want to be the big man amongst the crowd, heralded by a group who are vocal.

    And when you court a group like that? Well, at least this was a flash game. You could argue Breivik was after a similar goal.

  10. Spurr’s in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. I’d be very interested to know whether his actions violate any Canadian laws.

    1. Yes.  Hate speech is not protected under our Free Speech act.  Also it is definitely harassment under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  It would be hard to prosecute him, though, because the target is American and there would be a lot of red tape for her to press international charges; but it could be done, in theory.  Let’s hope.

      1. If a Canadian or group of Canadians took umbrage with the message of his game, despite not being the subject they can seek sanction against him via Hate Speech legislation. An indirect threat is a threat indirectly after all. 

        After all, the legislation is intended to protect individuals as members of a group more than it is intended to protect named individuals. He’s promoting violence against women, despite his ludicrous claims to the contrary.

  11. The third link in the article is garbled. It sticks the address of the game on Newgrounds (well, former address, it’s been blammed by users) and the address of an interesting blog post on the issue.

    As for my opinion on the issue… I can’t, I just… can’t. It hurts me just thinking about it.

  12. > The game’s creator, Ben Spurr, explains: he just wanted to make her listen.

    Oh, and make him a sammich. And shut her damn mouth. And move faster when he tells her to do something.

    1. “make her listen”…
      I imagine that statement alone makes women who’ve live/d in abusive relationships quake with fear. 

  13. He hates her because she’s pretty AND smart and he knows he will never be able to have an intelligent conversation with her. He hates her because she knows more about what he does than even he knows. He’s a coward offline,  and a bully online. 

      1.  Oh, this is the guy with the failed “MISANDRY IN VIDEOGAMES LET ME SHOW YOU IT (no really it’s here, I swear it is)” crowdfunded thing. Suddenly it becomes even clearer.

        The pity is that there are interesting things to be considered and discussed about the ways that the patriarchy/kyriarchy harms men too. But this attitude of  “there is no misogyny and if you think there is you’re an ignorant bitch who deserves to get smacked around” is really not the way to get at it.

        1. The Misandy in Videogames project looks somewhat interesting. Scroll down to get to:

          Addendum #1:

          This project does not constitute an attack on Anita Sarkeesian, nor should it be seen as a response to her work! Anita has done an amazing job, and it’s really incredible to see so many people stand up for more diverse video games.

          While our campaign may tread upon similar lines, we have no intention of encroaching upon Feminist Frequency’s work, and urge you all whole-heartedly to head on over to to find out more. To Anita and her supporters we’d like to extend our warmest congratulations for smashing targets in such fantastic style, and we can’t wait to see her upcoming work!


          Here are some examples of what [our] topics may involve: (this is an incomplete and non-final list, as research is still ongoing!)

          The Musclebeast: Why are all men 7 foot roided up killing machines?
          Mr Emotionless McStonefaced
          Cannon Fodder
          The Fat Comedic Sidekick
          Men Are Always The Heroic Ones: Pressuring modern day men into being heroic alpha males. This potentially sets a standard men can’t obtain.
          The “Average Joe” As The Bad Guy, And The “Macho Man” As The Hero. (Granted a less harmful industry standard, but the alternatives could be extremely interesting.)
          Men As Sex Symbols
          Double Standards – Why is it okay to see women killing men, yet the other way around is met with criticism?
          Sexuality Stereotypes or “All Gay Men Are Flamboyant” – Or a gay man’s sexuality is his entire character!: At the risk of opening a whole new can of worms, it’d be nice to see sexuality expressed in a more natural, less forced manner.

          Now of course, several of these apply just as equally to female characters, but as stated before we’ll leave the bulk of the female perspective to dedicated people such as Anita Sarkeesian, so be sure to check out her work!

          And by NO MEANS are we decrying stereotypes as harmful on their own merit. After all, a huge number of great, genre-defining games rely on them, and are indeed made great BECAUSE of the use of over-the-top clichés. (And with games being fantasy, rightly so!) The biggest problem lies with over-use of such tropes, and the resultant lack of imagination in a medium that is all about exciting, unique ideas.

      2. Um, I might be wrong, but I don’t think this is the same guy.
        Your link directs us to someone named “Benjamin Daniel” who has “Favorited” but not backed a misandry-related project. Is there a better connection?

      3. Yup, tried to make a SNES-style RPG and failed miserably. He then backed the misandry project seemingly out of spite.

  14.  this attack on the project and the head of the project shows absolute stupidity. The statement that he “wants to make her listen” through showing her being beaten up show Ben Spurr as a social retard with no understanding of cause and effect. Probably misogynistic and not functioning on all cylinders (make someone listen to your argument by virtually beating them up? Seriously?).

    Now, we can discuss feminist theories, and compare theory to practice (we all know that they may not fully overlap and sometimes the practice may be seriously counterproductive to proper equality as it is really hard to foresee complex chains of effect when making new laws or campaigns), but attacking someone in this way only shows that he brings nothing to the discussion and understands none of the important matters that are being discussed.

    These asinine attacks just make me sad that it’s too late to donate (..they don’t really seem to need more money as they got just a little over their goal, but still).

    1. Great point, we are doing her a disservice by not discussing her thesis. 

      I can only talk about what I know. In our dimension, strong women in the entertainment industry, like Cher, Madonna, Lady Gaga and the like, have dressed much worse than any R.P.G character I’ve seen. But, I’ve never played within a MMO or MMORPG gaming environment, so I’ve never seen how female characters are treated. Also, the puppet master driving the character may not be female. It’s all very strange and my 48 year old brain can’t seem to wrap itself around the gaming mind. Thank god. 

      Finally, devils advocate: He’s not approaching her any worse than I’ve seen portrayed on Family Guy, misogamy and abuse is the driving force behind that writing team.

  15. Yeah, nobody was hurt. But would you be as willing to write this off as overreacting  if it was a game featuring your wife or daughter getting her face smashed in? Sorry but words DO hurt people. Bruises and cuts will eventually heal, but stuff like this feeds into a larger culture of misogyny. Have you looked at the comments sections of gaming websites? Sorry, maybe I’m biased, given that I have been a victim of violence at male hands, but stuff like this simply makes a mockery of every survivor anywhere, and only serves to encourage an attitude of apathy towards violence against women. 

    Sorry but the dude needs to do some community service in a women’s shelter or something similar before I’d be willing to employ him…

    EDIT: Oh yeah, and this was meant to be a reply to a dude somewhere above wringing his hands that this hateful pustule on the face of humanity might not be able to find future employment, but BB didn’t want me to reply, obviously. :p

    1. I wouldn’t let him into a women’s shelter if I were running it. The women therein have had rough-enough lives and don’t need to serve as object lessons to that douchebag.

    2. It’s kinda sad seeing the “wife, daughter or sister” argument being used so much… I understand its point, of course, but how far are we from equality if the only women that men can possibly sympathise with (or are emotionally tied to) are their direct relatives?

      I’m not blaming you for using it, of course. It just goes to show how fucked up the situation is.

      1. This. Way too many men still think that treating women like their possessions is the definition of being a protective, nurturing boyfriend, brother, or son. The scariest part happens after a breakup- where the man still feels he has some claims to the woman, and will get angry when other men approach her, but he’ll call her an ugly fat bitch at the same time, just to assure himself that he’s better off without her.

        Parents, please stop raising your boys to think they’re the Masters of the Cave.

  16. In an ironic way, this guy was responsible for the huge funding results directed her way.  Perhaps he should be applauded.  There’s nothing like pissing off a lot of people to create social change.

  17. I’m normally more sympathetic to arguments about how we should give people second chances and not condemn them forever for past sins…but that’s usually in reference to things done far in the past. And in my experience, it’s usually one person suggesting forgiveness and a 100 saying they’re getting what they deserve (and maybe saying they’ve gotten off easy).

    Except when it involves violence against women and/or  misogyny. Any time the deed  in question is one against women, everyone jumps out of the woodwork to bemoan the ruined life of the perpetrator, and to argue for forgiveness, even when it’s an extremely recent act, even when the person hasn’t shown the least little remorse.

    That’s kind of fucked up, wouldn’t you say?

    1. Ugh. Check out the thread above with someone clutching their pearls over whether this incident will affect his future employment prospects. 
      Like receiving endless death threats and having a game featuring yourself getting beaten graphically to a pulp isn’t going to affect your mental state for the rest of your life??! 

      1. Or your employment. Being seen as a victim of harassment is often considered “problematic” and a lot of people tend to think “she must be one of those women who brings that on herself” and leave it at that.

        Sad but true. This will follow her too, and it was intended to. 

  18. The guy might as well have stood up in Yankee Stadium at the first game of the World Series and, just before the singing of the National Anthem, run onto the field, grabbed the mike and done a standup routine combining the worst of Corey Holcomb and Andrew Dice Clay.

    Lotta potential employers sitting in the good seats.

    Of course showing one’s ass in public shouldn’t have lifetime consequences. I look forward to seeing when or whether Spurr lives this down.

    Whoever wrote the “insight” is a hater aspiring to be a concern troll. Ms. Sarkeesian’s actions were okay until she *got too big for her boots* by trying to raise the whopping $6000 that would put her on easy street, what with all that YouTube ad money raining from the sky. Not being “big” enough to laugh off crowds of lunatics who could easily find out where she lives. Appealing to her audience when she should have just faced the bullies alone, because it’s really just between her and them. Mr. (and it s a guy) Insightful must want to help Spurr off the hook, just a little bit, because that’s where his arguments are directed.

  19. They’re just mad because a woman whom they think doesn’t know anything about video games, has accumulated so much cash on a subject they think they know something about. 

    Tissue, bros? 

    If they have such a huge problem they should just start their own KS to research men’s roles in video games.

  20. You do know what “criticism” means, right? I mean, I think you could benefit from taking a few media studies classes.

  21. Looks like a mod finally got tired of Hobobro’s incessant and misdirected concern trolling. Buhbye!

    Seriously though, when is this stupid sexist shit going to stop? I was hoping that the massive cognitive dissonance needed to use misogynistic attacks on a woman studying sexism in games to prove there isn’t a problem would have burned out the peanuts most of these slime balls use for brains, but they just keep going!

  22. I am seriously having a Facebook argument about this very thing. Like who wins those? No one. All my friends are gamers, and two different men decided to jump in about how she was asking for it by posting feminist videos, and is a misandryst, and whatever other tired old crap they are dishing. Apparently to both of them, if you complain about how women are treated in media you deserve everything you get, no matter if they be threats of violence and rape, or violent video games of them. 

    One has been ostracized from my friends group, and I think the second is working on it with vigor. 

  23. Uh, are you there Canada? I wonder if Canada is on the internet Today and this weekend?

    I heard there was a virus that would affect maybe 9000 computers in Canada today, maybe that closed things down? Do we have 9000 computers plus two or is mine the only mac?

    I’m asking because this guy is Canadian and there hasn’t been a peep about it on Canadian media outlets.

    I think that there has been a national disaster because normally when a Canadian get attention there is a massive pile-on of Canadian media, eager to say “Canadian” again and again until we turn off our media.

    So, I’m in a rural, did Canada implode elsewhere, or are we not claiming this one?

    I noticed because “Ben Spurr” is a reputable journalist in Toronto, at NOW magazine, and this “Ben Spurr” that made the punch-her game is not the same one. The punch-her game person is Benjamin Daniel, and honestly he now owes Ben Spurr (real) an apology too.

    Edit : The punch-her game author is Benjamin Daniel Spurr of Sault Ste Marie and is still not Ben Spurr of Toronto.

  24. Come on, don’t worry about this loser. Now, in his mind he has all the excuses he needs for when shit goes bad for him in the future, as it would have gone without this, anyway. You know, it’s not his fault, it’s just that bitch and her army of brainwashed morons who will be guilty of every single failure in his life, from now on. 

    I wish I had someone to blame when my life goes bad and I make mistakes. Now this jerk has one, and I do not think he is letting that excuse go away. Apologize? Repent? Yeah right, he’s gonna be smug and righteous, because he, poor persecuted male against the whole universe, is the one who has been abused.

  25. Gamers who sit back and let harassment happen in their games and say nothing are almost as bad as the harassers. The majority of male gamers might not be sexist dickheads, but if we say nothing about this kind of crap it means we’re also varying degrees of apathetic and cowardly. 

  26.  I”m probably going to get criticized pretty heavily for saying this and I’m really sorry for the all the hate she’s been getting.  And count me among the males who think this behavior is vile to the nth degree.

    BUTttttt…on another part of the discussion….

    Don’t we all KNOW what the outcome of her research is going to be?   Did she really even need $6,000 when we all KNOW the end product here?    Video Games and the industry is sexist toward women.  The end.  That’s where this is headed and we know it.   Is there any possibility that her research will show that there is not sexism and misogyny in video games?  Seems like her point is pre-determined and she just needs some cash to film it.

    So what’s the point here?   Does she want feminist training for video game writers?  Is this “research” really going to change anything or anyone’s mind?   Is this just a backdoor attempt to censor video game writers and artists?   (I thought I’d throw artists in there because you know… their the ones drawing the big boobs!).

    One other unrelated point.  I’d like to see more of the statistics about women being “gamers”.  True, they may identify themselves as “gamers” in a poll.   In my humble opinion if we start adding up the hours played and the dollars spent and I think you’ll find the video game consumer (as opposed to self identified video game user in a survey) is a very male demographic.

    1. We also “know” that something must account for mass, eh?  So why bother at all?

      We “know” that there is a world around us, so why bother? What’s the point. You’ll end up dead anyway.

      Buddy if you don’t understand how acquired knowledge may be applied, but a lack of same prevents application I guess you can “know” that water is wet with a bucket and your head.

      “Sociology is a waste of time, you can’t change people.” – Abraham Lincoln*

      * Abraham Lincoln never said this

    2. “Is this just a backdoor attempt to censor video game writers and artists?” 

      Interesting question. Could you explain what, specifically, makes you think this is a possibility?

    3. Some points, 

      1. If  “Video Games and the industry is sexist toward women. The end.” Then I’m glad to see $160,000 going to publicizing that fact. 

      2. “Feminist training”? The hell is that? If treating people with the respect due any fellow human being regardless of gender must be called ‘”feminist training,” then, yeah, bring on the feminist training. 

      3. That the majority of people who meet the unspecified number of hours played and money spent to qualify for you definition of “gamer” are probably male means what exactly? That the majority of gamers are male doesn’t justify shit treatment of female gamers by male gamers. It doesn’t make an industry largely ignoring fifty percent of its potential market any less idiotic. What is the point of that last paragraph?

      1. The hope is that it will actually go:

        “Video Games and the industry is sexist towards women. Now, for a new beginning.”

    4. Don’t we all KNOW what the outcome of her research is going to be?

      I felt that way about the Miasma Theory.

    5. To your other point, .. I consider myself a gamer. I have been a ‘gamer’ since 1995. When I pressed Multiplayer on Diablo in 1996, I became an addict. I am female. I met my husband 10 years ago Diablo II. 
      I’ve probably spent a small fortune on games, and on my rig to support said games. I play more than my husband does (who dislikes most of the games I play, and then I have to talk him into playing some of the others; tldr. he doesn’t play MMO’s). For a few years I was a raid leader and a guild leader in wow, until I got pregnant with my last child and decided to tone down my playing a bit. Currently.. I play.. Wow, Diablo, Rift, League of Legends, Minecraft (Am about to release my own texture pack), Sims, Vindictus, Diablo 3, Terraria, Aion, and am eagerly awaiting Guild wars 2, and Secret World.  Don’t let that fool you into thinking that I only play computer games. We have a Wii, and it’s very hard to let my son beat me in Mario Kart, or Skylanders, or any of the other games we have, or on the PS2, and 3, or the gameboys we have around the house.. 
      While I suppose I am in the minority, I do consider myself a gamer, and a hardcore one at that. I know a few other ladies like me, that play just as hard as I do, and while I suppose the demographic is male, females do exist and are largely there most of us know not to call attention to the fact we’re ladies, and just go about playing, as it should be, regardless of gender (Though we do crack up quite a bit on the sheer will it must take for this gals to wear the armor they do, the only game that gives females awesome armor in my opinion is Vindictus, where everything is covered up, but it’s a Korean game).  

      And sometimes it is rough playing with ‘the boys’. I’ve been given everything from death threats to being told that I must be on my husband, brother, son’s, uncle, dad’s account, to get into the kitchen, to I must be ugly. I had one guy treat me with a great deal of respect when leading a raid, telling me that I was one of the best players he met, then upon hearing my voice he started to whisper me giving me hints and tips on how to play, in that split second I was an awesome player then turned into someone needing help.  I’ve had men tell me “What, I am not listening to a girl”, and leave, to some males stalking me in the game when I did not entertain their company. I do understand that shouldn’t exist, but it does, however it is nice to see someone calling attention to the fact (though that seems to be a trend every few years). 

      I don’t really think that gender should have anything to do with treatment, or skill. I largely treat others how they treat me, and if you play well, great, but if you don’t, are not willing to learn, and waste my time, then you have no business playing with me,  again regardless of your gender. 

      1.  To your credit you are much more of a gamer than I.   And your treatment at the hands of of other male on-line players is unacceptable.   But that is a little different than this person’s kickstarter project.   She is intending a condemnation of the way women are depicted IN games, rather than the way female gamers are treated playing the games.

        But I think you may be referring to my earlier, and I admit, rather humble opinion that there aren’t many female gamers.   There seemed to be a few posters above who stated that 40% of “gamers” are women.  (I’m paraphrasing)  I’m kind of old school and remember when you had to pump quarters to play video games.   I’m sorry but females at the arcade was a rarity, and I mean REALLY rare.   (Yes yes, I know that was a long time ago…)

        I’d just like to know how accurate those statistics are.   I just don’t think the game makers cater to women as they are just not buying and/or playing the games.   (I know you are the exception to that statement).

           When they did the poll to see the percentage of  women “gamers” was person “A” you, and so you rightfully answered yes.  Did person “B” play wii tennis at a friends house, loved it, and also answered yes?  Do both of these people qualify as gamers?   That’s why I suggested above a definition of gamers that includes money spent and hours spent playing games.   And my humbly presented opinion is thata survey of gamers that requires some amount of actually playing the games would show that the percentage of women gamers is much lower than we all thought.

        1. Do you feel threatened by women playing games? Because that’s what it seems like. It seems like you want to keep it a “boys only” zone by denying the numbers. Oh… and it wasn’t a “boys only” zone back in the days, either… I started out with a Pong box. For instance… how welcoming were you to the girls that did show up in the arcade?

          There are several studies, and yes, they more or less all show the same thing. And yes, they measure the time spent playing. The way women and men play is different. FPS is pretty dominated by males… doesn’t mean females don’t play. Women  tend to favor games that they can play in short bursts when they have time, men more often play in longer sessions. Women gamers tend to be loyal gamers, when they play a game they tend to stick with it and play it seriously. Men run more after the latest new game or what their friends play. But that doesn’t mean that you can define a “male” gamer and a “female” gamer… there isn’t such a thing. Just pick up google… it should be easy to find some surveys to dig into.

          Here is for instance one I read the other day for mobile games, with the demographic data starting on slide 16:

          Or for World of Warcraft for 2012 survey:
          Women playing on 
          US servers: 39%
          EU servers: 29%

          1. Considering that FPS games and people running after the latest new game is where most of the big money is, that’s an argument for females not being as big of a influence as males overall. 

            That it’s a different story in mobile is no surprise either… most mobile games are very friendly and not teen-male-centric, which is a very good thing, but not an argument against the reality of the video game market as a whole.

            I think you’re missing mattmc13’s point – which is not anti-female-gamers in any way – and your numbers are not that strong of an argument.

            I stopped regularly playing online games years ago because most players are assholes, and I’m male. I don’t want to have to deal with that crap and it should be no surprise that females don’t either, especially when it’s targeted at them. As I said in another comment it’s a chicken/egg or catch-22 problem but not looking at the situation realistically and cherry-picking statistics doesn’t help.

          2.  CH: “Women  tend to favor games that they can play in short bursts when they have time” — because we’re the ones who are still stuck with most of the childcare and housework, while we’re earning less money per hour at our jobs than men do. Plus, our leisure time is considered interruptable. There’s no “woman cave” because women’s hobbies aren’t considered sacred.

            Matt: “The first sentence of your post seems intent on intimidating me on a personal level.” Cry harder. You may think you’ve been polite throughout this discussion. JAQing off isn’t polite.

        2. “I’m kind of old school and remember when you had to pump quarters to play video games.”

          So what? You don’t get to define what’s a game and what isn’t based on your personal experiences. Or preferences.

          “I’m sorry but females at the arcade was a rarity, and I mean REALLY rare.”

          First of all, don’t call us “females.” That’s dehumanizing. The correct term is “woman” if she’s 18 or older, “girl” if younger.

          Second, I can’t imagine why a woman or girl wouldn’t want to physically hang around a bunch of men and boys who’d consider her to be “intruding” on “their” territory, as the internet misogynists consider Sarkeesian to be “intruding” on “theirs.”

    6. I’ve been harping on this throughout the comment section. This is not scientific research. She’s not setting out to test the hypothesis “games are misogynist” and empirically confirm or debunk it. 

      Its media criticism. The idea is to analyze and compare different works of art to arrive at a SUBJECTIVE interpretation of its meanings and methods. This particular type of criticism tends to lend an eye to its societal effects as well. There’s no point to be proven, or testing to be done. There’s no peer reviewed publication or ethical standards. And no expectation of an immediate practical result. So no it doesn’t have a “point”, and doesn’t need one. It has value in its own right. Because critical analysis of art helps us to understand what art is saying, why its saying it, how it goes about saying it. It shows us how to go about saying similar things, or avoid saying similar things, or why we should avoid saying them, how to tweak them, mock them, parody them. And generally go about creating art with interesting well expressed intent behind it. 

    7. First of all: No, “we” (whoever that we is) don’t know the outcome. That’s what good research is about: Finding the answer, NOT giving it.
      If you’d read the kickstarter page about her project you would know that she doesn’t want to show that video games are … – you know what? Just read Antinous comment!
      “What if it is unfounded…” Really now? Do you know how research works?

      Why would her project be a backdoor attempt at something that is already done? Games are often cut (or “censored” – if that is what you want to call it) by their companies to get certain age ratings in certain countries. Some even cut whole missions or blackout certain words or symbols. And that is just one example of what they officially do. If you would do more than huff and puff and start looking, you’d see that censoring is already going on in the game developing industry.

      On the so called unrelated point: Before we can talk about that please do give me a list of universal criteria of what a so called gamer is. Obviously you think it has something to do with hours and dollars (what about Yen, Euros and the rest?).

      And about your last sentence…. Did you read it before posting it? Really read it? So you think that people who are “gamers” (according to your as of now undisclosed criteria list) are most often male. And why did you think this important enough to mention in a post relating to a boing boing entry that is about a game inviting people to hit a real world women? If I’d do some (very minor) mental aerobics and start interpreting, I had to start wondering if you think this behaviour is okay in an all male environment.

    8. Step 1: Visit Kickstarter site.

      Step 2: Use mouse to select “play” button on video.

      Step 3: Be enlightened. 

      Step 4: Acknowledge others’ criticism comes from your own lack of effort.

      (Source, +1 female gamer)

    9.  You want an actual dollar for dollar breakdown?

      Sigh. So it only matters how human beings are portrayed if they are spending enough MONEY on games to reach a threshold you deem acceptable? Do you even hear yourself? Sexism and objectification of human beings is harmful to human beings, regardless of which gender is the primary consumer of the objectification.

      But in any case, in our house, I’m actually more of a gamer than my husband. I am the one who talked him into playing World of Warcraft because I like it. I have more mounts, better gear, and more achievements than he does. Yeah, I said it, I’m better at WoW than he is. He’s better at console games than I am. He grew up playing Sega and Nintendo, while I grew up with two computer programmer parents.

      Guess who bought the collector’s edition and who bought the regular edition of the first expansion we played? I got the CE, which is about $30 more than the regular.  The plural of anecdote is not data, but I am positive our household cannot be the ONLY one where the female gamer partner directs how much of the household budget goes to game-related purchases.

    10. Why would having a very male demographic make it OK to be sexist toward women? Are you saying the gaming industry should kowtow to sexists but not to anyone else?

    11. ” I”m probably going to get criticized pretty heavily for saying this”…. oooh, you’re such a brave truthteller, aren’t you? So concerned about censorship!! /snork

      As for “hours played,” maybe if women didn’t have to still do most of the childcare and housework, and maybe if we didn’t still lag men in lifelong earnings, we’d have more spare time to play games.

  27. I watched her Youtube video series about the stereotypical tropes that women are subjected to in movies, tv shows, and comic books.    Really eye opening stuff. 

    I always considered myself to be supportive of women’s rights, but I was blind to much of the systemic typecasting that these videos brought to light.

    Although,  for 160,000 dollars, I would let someone punch me right in my actual, non-virtual, middle-class-guy-who-would-love-to-pay-off-his-mortgage-tommorrow face.

    (Unless, of course, the puncher is crazy strong and kills me.  That would put a dampener on things.)

    1. “I was blind to much of the systemic typecasting that these videos brought to light.”

      A lot of people still are. I know I keep discovering new, insane things every day. And I think- I’m a woman myself, how did I not notice that I was being put down? Well, turns out it’s not so easy to notice something’s wrong when most of society insists that it’s right. It’s even harder to question tradition- and a lot of misogynist behaviour is accepted because it has been repeated for centuries. 

      I mean, even gamers will argue that ‘that’s just the genre, get over it’. Well, the point is that the genre is not good enough and needs to change!

  28. This seems to be a recurring theme. It’s as though there is a very particular and sensitive group that reacts whenever someone from the outside criticizes videogames. This phenomenon happened when Ebert made some scathing remarks about the game industry as well, so I don’t think you have to be a woman to be on the receiving end of it, although I’m sure it helps.

    I think instead of writing it off as, “Oh its just the scum of the earth again, when will they learn?”, we should respond with compassion and a desire to try and understand the situation. The behavior on display is abhorrent, but to write them off as jerks and insult their penis size is just as ignorant as what they do.

    In my opinion, the issue is much larger than video games, sexism, tropes, what have you. Its societal, and its American. I’ve spent time on 4chan and essentially, it’s a huge group of social outcasts. Many of these people have been systematically rejected by society. Often it’s of no fault of their own. Most of them are male.

    They’re raised by often racist and sexist parents in red states all across the US. Frequently they’re victims of domestic or sexual abuse. They’re bullied and beaten and humiliated at school. Routinely rejected by every female they come in contact with. All they have is each other. What they have in common, is videogames.

    The male power fantasy game is immensely appealing to them for very obvious reasons. When someone who isn’t one of them criticizes the games that they love they construe it as an attack on the last thing they have. If they lose their bastion of xbox live trash talking, they have nowhere else to go. It’s the last social interaction that they enjoy. Essentially they’re cornered animals, hence the knee-jerk and violent reactions.

    How can these boys show basic human respect, when they’ve never been shown that respect themselves? What needs to be done is to promote a culture of respect and tolerance for each other just for being human.

    1. For color Ebert’s comments were specifically about whether games qualified as art or not. Ebert’s in the no camp. While the core group of extremely vocal “gamers” that seem to drive these sort of explosions insists that games absolutely do. That same group seems to lack understanding of what that entails though. 


      Please. They’re white, they’re male, they’re mostly straight and cisgendered, they’re mostly able-bodied. If being at the supposed bottom of the social totem pole in high school didn’t teach them empathy, they can go fuck themselves.

      BTW, they certainly weren’t the only ones bullied at school. And if “females” (ugh) reject them, maybe they should, you know, examine the common denominator in each of those interactions. (If a woman were being rejected by every man she met, I suspect your advice to her would be to “fix herself” in some way.)

  29. ok, this topic is endless, I’ll just ask this, if the title of the article were:  
    Amateur game invites player to beat up man 
    would you even stop scrolling? 

    1. I think it is crass, gross, and wrong whichever gender or person is targeted, but you also can’t just throw away context. I’m a trans lesbian gamer, so I see all too much of the hate towards me in my chosen demographic for just about ever aspect of who I am. And the fact remains that while you might not blink if it was done to a man, the odds are much higher of it being a woman or minority. Far, far more likely, and especially if it is someone who steps out of their prescribed ‘acceptable path’ and says ‘Hey, this isn’t cool’. Often then blown off by people who are unlikely to ever be the subject of it saying ‘But if it was “the majority group who has treated the minority group badly for a long tiome” noone would care’. 

      (Edited for unwise use of symbols)

    2. WAHT ABOUT TEH MENZ!?!?!?!?!?

      As Mistwolf said, fucking context, how does it work?

    1. Holy… effing…!!! I would like a “name and shame” of that company! Yea, I know that that happens… but… that… I have never heard of anything quite as blatant.

      I think the kettle has been on the fire long enough for it to start boiling over. Women in IT are starting to stand up and say “Enough of this sh*t!!!”.

      I have been lucky enough in my career that I have never ever encountered any sort of negativity due to my gender. So yea… name and shame asshat companies like the one in that story (so nobody ends up working there by mistake… who would want to work there, anyway???), and go work instead for good companies that are welcoming… there are plenty of those around! If enough people did this the asshat ones would just die off.

  30.  Benjamin Daniel Spurr, it’s not too late, re-write the game, so that we can beat you up online instead. 

  31. Wow.

    What could probably have stopped some of this madness would be the explanation that a lot of people missed out on just by not watching the video associated with the Kickstarter campaign.

    It’s pretty simple: This isn’t Sarkeesian’s first “Tropes vs. Women” video series. The first six-part series is already up and viewable on YouTube and covers female Tropes in TV and Movies. No one threatened her for explaining the Smurfette Syndrome.

    She’s not attacking the gaming industry, or singling it out as being more sexist than other industries. That’s not even the point. What she’s discussing is the hazard of tropes in various forms of media. Video games are just the most recent form, and she actually has a point. 

    The gaming industry has long ignored women both as developers and consumers. Even though we’ve been there, we’ve been invisible, but things have been changing. Enough girls are playing and working in the gaming industry that we really can’t be ignored anymore, and there’s plenty of evidence. One trope Sarkeesian intends to examine is Zelda, the princess who does nothing while a boy comes to rescue her. That’s not good enough for today’s gaming girl. Now if you go shopping online, you can find advertisements for teen-sized tshirts that say “This Princess SAVES HERSELF!” At least in the eyes of girl gamers, it’s not enough to wait in a castle anymore. For them, that trope is dead.

    1.  I agree that throughout much of the gaming industry’s history women have been invisible, even as the portrayal of women has been objectifying. A lot of the kickback against women recently I think is directly related to women in gaming beginning to have a voice and advocating change- which scares and angers a far too large segment of the gaming public.

  32. True, but a vocal minority, and when people (other males included) begin to speak out against this minority it they’re told “don’t feed the trolls”, leaving only the voices of the trolls to be heard.

    We’re letting ourselves be stereotyped by not speaking out against this crap in a loud voice.

  33. Probably the same gamers who pepper their online conversations with the words “n****r” and “f*g” constantly.

  34. Ok then, if they’re a minority, that should make it easier for the majority who are decent guys to stand up and tell them this shit is NOT. FUCKING. COOL. But that doesn’t seem to be happening. 

    It would also be good for once t0 see respected game developers and men with power in the industry actually exercise it for once and stand up for ALL their consumers. Though that is probably wishful thinking. 

  35.  I think there’s a legitimate issue in there, in that youthful indiscretions can now haunt someone indefinitely and far out of proportion to the actual severity of that indiscretion, but in this case…not so much.  Anyone who takes the time and effort to make a video game of beating the hell out of someone because of a kickstarter campaign probably deserves to be haunted by it.  The things that I value when I look at job applicants–intelligence, ability to work with others, and ability to disagree with others in a constructive way–are all displayed in their exact opposite forms here.

  36. It means the phrase we learned was an empty threat at age 10, “young {man, lady}, this will go on your permanent record!” is back. With teeth.

  37.  I think the solution is  public apology. Had Ben come out and said “Wow I read many of the responses written to me and I’ve come to conclusion that I didn’t understand what feminism was and that I’m an insensitive idiot for making that game. I felt my gender was under attack when instead I was attacking a gender. I’m sorry and I will do my best to educate myself in order to avoid a serious breach such as this one in the future. Please forgive me, I need time to re-evaluate my situation. Thank you.”

  38. Being publicly wrong is fine. Being publicly wrong combined with being publicly stubborn, hostile, and hateful – that’s the ticket. That’s why Carreon is infamous, and while it may not be perfectly fair, it doesn’t seem the kind of thing that we’re all innocently in danger of. I get your sentiment, though.

  39. Would _you_ hire him?

    It’s one thing to be publicly wrong. This guy more than showed his true colors. He doesn’t seem to have one tiny bit of a clue why doing that game in response to not getting a response to two posts he had made might, by some, be seen as being a total asshat. If he had instead responded with “Oops,  I screwed up. That was totally inappropriate, I’m really sorry!” then that would totally be different (well, still a very stupid thing to have done, but it would reflect less of him as a person).

  40. If he’s gotten this far into adulthood without realizing that’s an awful thing to be doing, something already is ruined.  Even still he’s doubling down on thinking it’s a good thing to do.  He has every opportunity to publicly apologize and make amends.  Choosing to be the “It’s really fun to fantasize beating up women” poster child is his choice.  I’d encourage him to take different choices in the future.  Would you hire him now, knowing he’s made apallingly bad decisions in the past, and might someday make similar choices that reflect badly on your company?  Would you want someone else to hire him working alongside your sister, mother daughter?

  41. It’s not some goofy video or drunken rant that got posted and got people riled up – he put a lot of work into threatening someone publicly. If you go out of your way to be a public asshole, like this guy or that Carreon weasel, I’d be disappointed if there weren’t consequences. I doubt he’d never work again, actually he’ll probably get hired to make a new Duke Nukem game.

  42. Sure, let his future potential employer also find his heartfelt apology and his tireless dedication to educating people about harassment after his 15 minutes of infamy.

  43. It’s a good question. People can change. If you have any optimism in you at all, you probably accept that. It is entirely possible that this experience and others will culminate in a sort of epiphany for him. But he faces two problems: 1) He was wrong to make this game. 2) He was doubly wrong for publicly and stubbornly defending it in the face of reasoned criticism.

    So he has two lessons to learn. The first is about the obvious issues of sexism, misogyny and basic humanity. The second is about recognizing your own mistakes and being capable of owning up to them before you go on a maniacal tirade trying to deny you ever screwed up in the first place. I wouldn’t hire someone who hasn’t figured out one of those lessons, yet alone someone who hasn’t figured out both. He is going to have to do something to demonstrate that he has internalized both of those lessons before anyone outside of a neo-nazi FPS game studio will hire him, and I really don’t know how he could pull that off. It’s possible he never will. I bet the Westboro Baptist folks would hire him for an app if they ever wanted to make one. There are people out there who make products like this (and worse), and he could find employment with them, sadly enough.

    Still it’s frightening to think of adolescent mistakes following people to their graves. One can only hope that when everyone’s dirty laundry is out there, we’ll all have a more realistic set of expectations for what people did during their younger years and some methods of telling when someone has grown out of their mistakes. This guy still has a lot of explaining to do though if he ever does realize what he actually did.

  44.  “At worst, a misogynist.” Yeah, hating women and wanting to see them beaten for demanding equality is NO BIG DEAL, BROSEPH!!!

  45. I think there’s a big difference between a generically shameful comment uttered publicly, and a clear personal attack depicting someone being brutally beaten.

  46. If I was a potential employer for this fellow, I’d have to give this guy a few years before I was willing to overlook such a distasteful act. And during the interview I’d have to ask him about this and I’d have to ask him what feminism means and if he’s still against it. If he was still against it I’d count that against him unless he agreed in equality for women and had defined feminism far beyond that as some imaginary beast.

    I don’t want a brogrammer and I don’t want my staff to be harassed by someone like this, but if his skills were good and he say publicly apologized in the future (e.g. Zed Shaw apologized for community bashing) then I could perhaps forgive.

  47.  Sadly I think there are some employers out there who would see this and go “hmm… you’re just the guy we need.”

  48.  How old is this guy? If he’s sub 25, I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt that he has not sufficiently developed any real sense of empathy and once he does he will reel in horror at his actions. If he’s above 25, then he’s probably got all the empathy he’s ever had and I doubt he will change and I’d be really concerned about being associated with him.

  49. Because of course the usual research strategy is to look for evidence about some unrelated topic that you have no interest in.

    Evidence is evidence; that’s what the word means.  It doesn’t matter why you looked for it, only what you do with it.  Good research requires you to consider the evidence in your opinion, not to be too stupid to form one.  (Especially in something this clear-cut – although if she were claiming to be a scientist, as opposed to a maker of documentaries, your point would be more convincing.)

    Of course Sarkeesian’s looking to bolster her theories.  The measure of a reasearcher is – would she still publish if the evidence she gathered proved her wrong?  I think she would.  But on this occasion it’s a moot question, because the evidence that she’s right is really easy to find. Because she is.

    (In keeping with my counseller’s instructions to cut down on the sarcasm, I apologise for my first sentence here.  But I haven’t edited it out, because I’m also trying to own the problem.  Sorry for the unrelated.)

  50. Ahh… eeh… you might want to rewrite that “hardly” into something else. Any modifier makes it sound like there actually is something that would excuse this kind of intimidation.

  51. That might be because its not a scientific research project. Its a media criticism research project. I doubt you’d be  trying apply ethical research standards from the science world on some one analyzing Shakespeare.

  52. Sarkeesian makes youtube videos that she posts on her blog, not peer reviewed scholarly articles on antropology. Of course it’s all opinon. She has never claimed to be scientific. If that’s the most valid criticism they can come up with, then it sounds more like an excuse to harass someone.

  53. Yeah, how dare Sarkeesian seek to prove her point. Are you going to start blithering now about feminism being some kind of “ideology” with no basis in reality?

  54. When I first saw this topic, I went to her website to see what started all this.  There’s no way I would contribute to her Kickstarter campaign, because I think it’s silly and shallow.  You think women are only seen as a handful of types in video games, and you want more options?  What about the guys? How many different types are THEY given?  It’s very much like comic books:  all the guys are super-buff heroes, and all the women are buxom blonde sex kittens.  That’s the genre.

    It’s not like she’s looking into violence against women in video games for her research.  She just wants “more interesting, engaging and complex female characters, that avoid the standard boring cliches.”  She could be going so much deeper, looking for social issues at work.  But, she’s just tired of the boring female character options, and wants more.  How on earth did this petty bit of “research” rile this guy up so much?

    But, just like comic books, who do you think creates them?  And, who reads or plays them?  Guys.  What woman actually thinks that 20-year-old guys understand them?  None.  You’re not going to get them to.  Yet, they are the ones who are writing the games.  If you want to see something different, you have to write the games yourself.  And, with what she’s made in her Kickstarter program so far, she could send herself to college to learn how to program, and write her OWN game.

  55. DAmn Stephen, it’s understandable your avoidance of nests that land on your head like that. But guess what, they aren’t hornets until you poke them with the stupid stick.

    As some pointed out, the kickstarter is for what she said it is for, not what you said it is for, and everyone that kicked in was aware of what she said it was for, rather than what you think it should be for.

    “Of course” I must reply when you write that, because when you see the point of those complaining when the wealth of evidence demonstrates the baselessness of those complaints while denuding the speaker down to their actual motivation, you are not excusing this kind of intimidation, you are justifying it within. 

    They had no point, thereby are you exonerated, because you can’t see what isn’t there.

  56. I’m a woman in IT.  I’m aware there are many dicks in this world. And I won’t accept a job at some places, no matter they are the largest in my particular industry and pay a staggering amount. Because of some of the people who work there – MAYBE good programmers, but they leave my hands shaking just talking to me for a while with utter disrespect (I was a contractor, wasn’t in position to give back as good as I got through their boss).

  57. I wouldn’t hire an employee prone to making terrible public decisions just because they’re good at something. They have to try to work well with others, LIKE AN ADULT, or they will just drive other employees away and hurt the business.

  58. He’s a programmer who could have chosen anything in the world to do, and decided to make a game about beating up a woman, and then distributed it to the world.  That’s a pretty fucking bad programmer.  His still not seeing that others might find this wrong suggests something is very, very wrong in this guy, so yeah, he makes really bad decisions in his programming. 
    “works well with others” is a desired trait in  employees.   No sane employer wants a toxic person who’s hobby is glorifying violence against someone for an imagined slight.  As I said, I’d encourage him to make different decisions and demonstrate that he’s not a bad person.  I believe people can change their ways and demonstrate remorse, it’d be good if he did so ASAP. 

  59. Wow. Same mentality as a rape apologist. “My sister, mother or daughter know that some men in the world are dangerous and so they don’t go out after a certain hour in a short skirt.”

  60. Hobozombie, this guy is a client killer, a disaster waiting to happen, a black hole of stupid waiting for it’s next meal.

    Anyone that wants his marginal skill representing their company,  despite his clear and present risk factors, is a fool. 

    In 5-10 years that may not be the case, but he should answer for his actions for as long as anyone cares to ask, given the disgusting nature of his act.

  61. Hobozombie: Even though I am male, as a programmer I would in no way want to share a desk with this guy.

    Therefore, I would certainly appreciate it if my employers checked this guy out before they decided to hire him, and hope that they’d realize that this person would not work well in our (or any) office. (And they absolutely would.)

    I’m not sure exactly what it is that you’re complaining about. If this person went out in the public park and shouted that he enjoys pretending to beat up women, would you blame the 50 people who saw him if they didn’t want to hire him? If he put himself on TV and said that he enjoys pretending to beat up women, would you blame the 50,000 people who saw him if they didn’t want to hire him?

    So if he puts himself on the web where hundreds of thousands of employers can see him, should you blame them if they decide they don’t want to hire him? Are you saying that should be forced to over look this? What are you saying, exactly?

  62.  Then he apologizes doesn’t he. If you’re fishing for a certain kind of response you have to be more clear what you’re looking for.

    Since I can’t respond to your comment above, it’s not me who’s condemned him, its himself who has done it, all on his own. Just because you feel some way doesn’t mean I’m going to waste my hiring budget on this guy when there are plenty of other candidates who can program and have not made such a lapse in judgment. Also judging by your previous comment I think you’re being overly lenient. There’s a public record of his tweets, it is pretty clear what is going on.

    What he did was incredibly bad taste, and it will be future employers who don’t hire him because of it. We’re not stupid, and we can use google.

  63. he’s still going to have to deal with the consequences of his action. just because someone apologizes, doesn’t mean we have to immediately forgive. but he’s a big boy, i’m sure he’ll live.

  64. A body, not me, could demonstrate a formula for that. Something along the lines of 

    He wrote the game and showed it to his mom, then apologized and destroyed it = No outward repercussion

    He wrote the game and put it online, then within an hour took it down and publicly apologized = Some public shaming, possible lawsuits to settle, possible criminal charges resulting in pleas = community service.

    He wrote the game and put it online, then defended it with ignorance and a bastardized form of freedom of expression = Much public shaming, infamy resulting in poor job prospects and all personal relationships jeopardized or damaged, possible lawsuits harder to settle or result in judgements & liens, possible criminal charges resulting in conviction and a record. 


    Apology in + 1 month = x worse
    Apology in + 2 months =  x worse

    Waiting is stupid, the longer he stays stupid, the stupider he seems for taking so long to figure the how and why of his wrong.

  65. Although not the moral high ground per se, public shaming and ridicule also sound like good ways to win against people like Ben Spurr.

  66. I can understand what you’re saying, and strongly agree with the idea of forgiving someone once they have understood why their decision was wrong and work to make things right. 

    However, the decisions we make have consequences. Part of understanding the nature of a bad decision is knowing that once it has been done, it sets other events in motion – some of which can not be stopped by apologies or change.  Sometimes the backlash against bad behavior is much worse than the original behavior was. This may not always be fair, but it is true.

    When a person decides to ‘make a statement’ through harassment, and then chooses their vocation to express that harassment, and then chooses to place that ‘statement’ on the internet (which tends not to forget anything, ever) – there will most likely be a consequence to their employment options at some point. 

    How could any employer completely dismiss such terrible judgement, forethought, and conflict resolution skills? And since, to some degree, an employer is held responsible for the quality of people they hire- why should they dismiss such serious concerns?

    As this kind of situation repeats itself over the next few years, maybe it will serve as a good caution tale for internet behavior. And if it results in some people thinking before posting or sharing, then at least some good can come of it.

  67. Who are we to judge? I’m a woman who doesn’t want to work with such a shitstain. And you sound like another bro who doesn’t give a fuck about women who have to deal with misogyny.

  68. This is not an indiscretion: an indiscretion is when you accidentally walk into the other sex’s toilets and apologize profusely and walk out in embarrassment. This is a whole different kettle of hate. 

    And yeah, as responsible decent human beings who think championing violence against women is fucked up we can absolutely judge this guy.

    But I guess raging, violent misogyny is just a tiny indiscretion, isn’t it? 

  69. We are rationale people and have it in our power to judge for ourselves. “Who are we to judge?” indeed. 

    Judging people is totally legit and entirely inescapable. If he is denied something by someone within their rights to deny it based only on their dislike of him for this action, that judgement and act are as sacrosanct as his right to make a misogynist game for assholes.

  70. It stopped being a “single action” (if you can call creating and posting a game a “single action”) when he went on Twitter to defend it.
    But yes, perhaps at some point he’ll grow up to be a decent, thoughtful, intelligent human being (since he’s demonstrated he’s none of these things right now).  The onus will be on him to prove it, however. A single apology won’t remotely do it (at best that’ll just mean he’s just a contrite idiot).

  71. @twitter-601455661:disqus I don’t see how accidentally walking into the wrong restroom is an indiscretion.  DELIBERATELY walking into the wrong restroom might be, depending on the circumstances.

    That said, I see your point that “indiscretion” is a bit too soft a word.

    Still and all, if the guy learns better in the coming years and is legitimately contrite, then it would be a pity if it were something that continued to haunt him instead of something he could point to and say “I was wrong.”

    Not that I’m holding my breath for that to happen or anything.  But it could, hypothetically.

  72. Frankly, some one who behaves like this over disagreement is some one I would not want on my team ever. Period.  

    And… at worst a misogynist? Um… at worst a racist. At worst a raging homophobe. Why are these things not so bad? Honestly, screw bigots like that. They don’t help anyone much except for other bigots who agree with them. That’s some one who can’t ever be a team player because they can’t work with anyone who doesn’t agree with them. The guy resorts to threats of violence and public humiliation to try to shut some one up just for researching something he doesn’t think they should be allowed to.

    Who does he think he is?

    That’s also not some one who is likely to be anything but trouble as an employee.

    Not good material to work with unless you already live in KKK land or something and you’ve ensured your whole team is just like you and Mr. Spur.

  73. Not a jobless life Hobozombie, just a successful life in his chosen field could be denied.

    He could work at Chick-Fil-A breading the breasts. I’m sure he could find some crude jokes to make while doing so.

    If he has half a brain, which is debatable, he’ll get some counseling because he appears to have completely failed to understand the general reaction, then perhaps change his name and start again. 

    Let’s look at what happened here. An asshole widely perpetuated an attitude that does result in death and injury on a world wide scale and he did it in a medium that will guarantee a continuous perpetuation of his work by the few that agree.

  74. @Hobozombie:disqus : I disagree with you re: “no one was injured”. Harassment and stalking and threats of violence cause injuries.

    But more importantly re: “is he or is he anti-feminist”, that has already been addressed by himself. See here:

    On his Steam profile, he’s set forth his basic philosophy of life, video games, and how much women suck:

    “I think it’s just adorable how absolutely no girls are any good at video games, just like how no woman has ever written a good novel. They are nothing but talk and no action, probably because girls are such emotional creatures and base everything they do on their current feelings and then try to rationalize their actions later. How pathetic.You know what’s priceless? When a gamer girl posts a pic of herself looking as slutty as possible and then throws a fake fit when people talk to her like she’s a whore. What did you think was going to happen, you dumb broad? Lose thirty pounds.”On Anita:”She claims to want gender equality in video games, but in reality, she just wants to use the fact that she was born with a vagina to get free money”

  75. kdlmn: (Sorry, too long thread to be able to reply directly.)

    Wow… just… wow! That… seriously… I don’t know what to say… just… wow!

    Yeah, that game he made seems to be just up his alley.

  76. What can you really do about it though? If someone is publicly wrong in a way that could harm their future employment prospects, well…they sort of brought it on themselves. You can’t ban employers from searching job candidates names on Google.

    In my opinion, I think it’s unlikely this will come up in a job interview, unless he’s applying to work at a women’s shelter or something. Or he does something stupid like put this flash game in his portfolio.

  77. Is this something that you only now realized? Seriously?

    This is not something new. Do something stupid in a small town, and you will be known for it… for a long, long time. Heck… you didn’t really have to do anything, just have some gossip about you. That small town is now called “The Internet”, and it has a long memory.

    I would say the “terrifying and wrong” is the part when you didn’t actually do anything. When you posted just a picture or video, and somebody else picks it up, perhaps modifies it a bit… and it goes viral and suddenly you are “the laser sword guy” or the “asshat” dude. Forever… well, at least until next meme hits.

    But seriously… you never thought about this before?

  78. I think it’s fucking terrifying and wrong that you have more compassion for poor ickle Benny than for all the women out there who have to deal with assholes like him driving them out of public spaces.

  79.  In all honesty, though, this is the price we pay for the social network that is the internet.  It’s a global network.  One that anyone can tap into.  And, it’s a giant database of info.  It’s a lot like doing something very public, in a very public setting, and being upset that other people will know it happened and judge you by it.  If you weren’t doing it for the attention, pray tell, what WERE you doing it for? 

    The internet is not private.  Once you put something out there, you can’t take it back.  So, you have to consider the potential consequences BEFORE you do something. 

    And, before anyone gets sympathetic for this idiot, and think he’ll be jobless because of this stunt, sadly, there are likely plenty of employers who would never bother to look up backgrounds.  Or, even, others who would welcome his bigotry.  I’m always amazed that there’s a place for everyone.  Even the asshats. 

  80.  I disagree. His actions are much more despicable than of what a large percentage of Black incarcerated teenagers did. Just cause he’s a White kid bullying shouldn’t be okay. I’m cool with him should he ever understand why his actions were wrong and horrible and damaging- but I doubt that day will ever come.

  81.  @dejadee:disqus I think it’s unlikely to come up in job interviews because he’s not going to GET an interview with anyone who Googles his name and sees a picture of a woman being punched in the face as the top result.

    I once had an interviewer ask my opinion on DRM, citing something I’d written on an open FTC thread years ago and forgotten about.  The difference is I could look him in the eye and reaffirm my position, with pride.

    Still didn’t get the job, though.

    Anyway, per the “What can you really do about it though?” question — twenty years from now we’re going to live in a job market where EVERYBODY has some embarrassing picture/comment/what-have-you readily available on the Internet.  It will become generally accepted that everybody has that kind of stuff in their background, and it will become much less of a barrier to getting hired than it is today.

    That said, I think “I made a game where you punch a woman in the face and bruises appear” will be the sort of thing that continues to set off some pretty serious red flags.

  82. That does not provide insight.  It accuses her of fraud based on very little evidence.  Nothing there explains “why people got so out of control and pissed.”  She used Kickstarter to fund a youtibe project.  People threatened to rape her.


  83. Um, interesting, but nothing there really explained anything about the “why people got so out of control and pissed”. Well, other than “waah, waah, a woman got a lot of money from kickstart”. So… where’s the waah, waah about the games that got way more pledges than what they set out to get? Or was it because it was “that woman” (as the summary said)?

    Oh, and nice ending… yeah, do support the local Woman’s Shelter! But don’t put it like that in an argument/article. It is always used when the real point is “don’t put your money in what I just ranted about, I’m instead going to pull this worthy cause out of the hat to make it sound like I’m really just thinking about the good of all.”. So, why cannot one do both? And have you (the writer) done anything for the good cause you just summoned? (I just automatically assume that the answer is “no”.)

  84.  A “summary” would provide a relatively unbiased account of what happened. The screed you posted blatantly editorializes.

  85. The only “insight” it provides is that a lot of men are misogynist assholes who get offended when women have the nerve to assert our equality.

  86. Several problems with this thesis. First, we have no idea how much she’ll make from youtube ad revenue. Second, donors probably do this without any expectation of a financial return. Third, if she earns enough to continue production, feed herself and live comfortably, I’d say good on her. It usually doesn’t pay to stand up for the little guy.

    Next, she’s accused of not being big and turning the other cheek. Why should someone ignore the misogyny directed at them? If misogyny isn’t okay in public, why is it okay on the internet? Then she’s accused of putting herself at the center of attention and away from her original plan. Yet the harassment she received underscores the points she tries to make in her videos – doesn’t that validate her actions?

    Kickstarter is perfectly entitled to ignore their terms of use if they want, but as far as I can tell the plan is still to use every penny to fund her videos. So it can’t really be called charity. Even if it’s not, do they really believe Kickstarter will just hand over 150 K and let her live large with it?

  87. That summary doesn’t explain why people got pissed, it merely assumes it as a default state of online experience: “The internet is a terrible, cathartic place.” The summary claims that the flood of abuse Sarkeesian received was some sort of inevitable fact of nature, and blames her for not ignoring it. 

    Or maybe it does provide an explanation for the anger and abuse: “There was never a point in this matter where [Sarkeesian] did not possess all the power.” Yeah, there are unfortunately a lot of guys who just can’t stand that.

  88. This is total trash, full of lies. the insight is there, you can get insight as to how a fool rationalizes hateful and harmful behaviour. This is a piece of misinformation, poorly executed and clearly intended for like-minded trolls.

    Femfreq is not a charity. Besides which, individuals and orgs that engage in charitable activity are not restricted from Kickstarter by that criteria, only charity fundraising (direct/primary solicitation) is restricted. You can be a charity and have a project on kickstarter so long as you are producing something as a result beyond raising money and that the money solicited/raised is for that project. But again, not a charity. Deliberate misinformation is the most likely culprit here IMO.

    If going 6x her stretch goal means she can focus on Femfreq for a living or expand on the original goal, then everyone who gave kickstarter support is vindicated by their action in giving. A better funded org may be able to produce better results, results that expand the knowledge base, reach and potency of what Femfreq exists for, which is more than making videos, it is also for causing people to watch those videos and consider the subject matter.

    Your summary is simplistic garbage.

  89. Nice summary. In short:

    -Someone dared to use crowdsourcing to fund a movie production. People were upset.

    -She then dared to mention that people were upset and that she was facing constant harassment. People were… outraged over what would, in the real world be considered: “telling it like it is.”

    -Upon mentioning it, other people DARED to support her kickstarter despite not really being that enthused about it initially, mostly because they realized her detractors were fuckwitted morons, therefore maybe she had a point.

    -Now legions of butthurt “gamers” who clearly don’t have a clue what Kickstarter is or what’s going on except that a woman dared express a contrary opinion on the internet are going as far as they can to hurt her and will continue to do so until arrested. (and yes, some of what people have done is probably enough to get them arrested)

  90. Nah, you know what? Plenty of men learn empathy and compassion, even for women (snark), before age 25.

  91. Sorry, dude. I knew this kind of thing was not only wrong, but WRONG by the time I was 12. Age is not an excuse for this, by any means.

  92. Some of us can’t read minds. We have to make do with compassion and sympathy and plain old caring because we lack empathy. Our lack of empathy doesn’t make us assholes.

    Con men need exceptional empathy, to read people, and they pretty much need to be assholes, don’t they?

    This guy could have empathy and be an asshole.

  93. Uh, hating a woman for demanding respect is pretty much hating all women. 

    And saying a guy who makes a video where you can batter a woman is not misogynist is like saying someone calling Obama racial slurs is not racist…

  94. “it was for ignoring his comments on her videos”
    That’s his justification, not his reason.  He clearly has issues, and I’m not sure, as a reason that’s any less “evil.”

  95. In reply to your comment below:
    Dude what are you talking about that is COMPLETELY different. This is a game where you get to beat up a woman, in Skyrim – and many other games for that matter you’re simply fighting a female enemy. Take a look at his Steam profile. Seriously, stop. STOP defending this dude. If you want to fight for someone, there are plenty more people worthy of your compassion. Like, oh, y’know, the millions of women who are victims of domestic abuse in the world right now? (though I suppose now I’m going to get yelled at about how many men also suffer violence at the hands of women…)

    And yes I did in fact have a problem with the gendered slurs against Bachman and Palin. When you have a problem with someone, you play the ball, not the man. This? This is the extreme opposite of that.

  96.  Criticizing her “research” is not at all the same as saying it excuses her being harassed.  It doesn’t.  But, the fact that she’s being harassed also doesn’t automatically give her research any integrity.

  97. Ok then, if they’re a minority, that should make it easier for the majority who are decent guys to stand up and tell them this shit is NOT. FUCKING. COOL. But that doesn’t seem to be happening.

    Do you think the $160K she got in Kickstarter donations was a coincidence?

    I prefer to see it as an example of decent people (of both sexes, gamers or not) making it very clear that they don’t think the harrassment is cool, and doing it in a much more constructive way than just arguing with people in a comments section.

    It would also be good for once t0 see respected game developers and men with power in the industry actually exercise it for once and stand up for ALL their consumers. Though that is probably wishful thinking.

    Now I’ll agree that THAT much doesn’t appear to have happened yet.  But stuff like this snowballs over time.

  98.  Every time an article comes across BB about cops misbehaving, we get the authoritarian apologists coming out and claiming “It’s just a few bad apples!” And BB rightly repsonds that the rest of the cops holding the Thin Blue Line and protecting said Bad Apples means that the whole orchard is spoiled.

    Same thing here; if you’re a gamer who disagrees with this sort of thing and you’re ignoring it, the bad apples think you approve and keep doing the stupid hateful crap. And everyone else thinks gamers as a whole are into that sort of thing.

  99.  She hasn’t published anything yet. So no. Please shut up until you have actually seen any of her findings… when you know… she has actually finished her project. The idea that there have to be “good tropes” is … odd. Tropes are likely rarely ‘good’.

  100. So as long as Sarkeesian starts her video by saying “I’m going to look at some sexist and misogynist tropes in video games; but of course not every trope in videogaming is like this,” you’ll be satisfied, I take it?

  101. Um… and in what way would it possibly have a negative impact on video games? I’m asking this as a long time gamer.

    And how can a character represent every trope? And… um… please give an example of a good trope concerning female characters. I cannot personally come up with any.

    On the contrary, I really think this is a good subject to study. There are very few female main characters in games, and most of them end up being loaded with stereotypes…. and big boobs… and impossibly long waists… and more or less no clothing (and yes, male characters have their equivalent stereotypes). Perhaps she could go further, with the extra funding, and lift up new ideas, ways to bring more interesting female characters forward.

  102. Why is it so hard to understand that the point with this kind of thing isn’t to collate everything ever and come up with some sort of definitive statement or condemnation?

    Ignoring positive portrayals isn’t doing bad research, because it isn’t that kind of research. She’s not looking for something objective and attempting to prove it. She’s looking AT some thing that exists and discussing its sources, methods, and effects. She’s necessarily selected a particular thing (gender) to discuss in a particular context (games). 

    Alyx Vance isn’t any sort of refutation of the idea that women are subject to negative depictions in games. Why? Because Lara Croft exists, a negative depiction of a woman in a game. So we discuss the differences. That kind of discussion is interesting and important in its own right. 

    Fox and Answers in Genesis claim to be organizations that deal with objective truth. A news org and a science advocacy group respectively. So they are subject to those fields methods and standards of proof (journalism and science differ hugely in this regard). Media criticism isn’t about objective truth, it has no interest in objective truth. Its entirely about subjective interpretation of a work of art/media. 

  103. “The reason she got all kinds of threats is because 4chan got a whiff of it.”
    I don’t really buy this. Video games get a lot of criticism, much of it unfair. Sarkeesian is clearly being singled out for harassment above and beyond what ordinary critics can and do receive.
    It is difficult to come to any other conclusion other than that misogyny is the key here.

  104. Your misunderstanding the use of research here. She’s not a scientist. This is not science. Its not intended to be. Its media criticism.  There is no attempt to “prove” anything, no search for objective truth. The research in question is the playing of the games to be criticized, the collection of related historical/biographical info, searching for and reading existing criticism, and related media theory/analysis. 

    She isn’t going to count a bunch of shit up, run some statistical magic on it and “prove” games are misogynist. She’s going to discus common depictions of women, subtext, symbolism, plot and all sorts of other standard features of art under the context of gender.
    This is how the academic study of literature, film, theater, painting and sculpture operates. Just like people write page after page about what Rosebud means symbolically in Citizen Kane. Or endlessly discuss just exactly what Shakespeare was on about.

  105. Congratulations. You just filled out at least two squares on the “sexism in videogames” bingo. Please don’t repeat tired old arguments that we’ve all heard over and over again in IGN or Kotaku comments sections  –  Boing Boing has higher standards of discussion than that.  

    For all we know she may have been going to look at how male power fantasies affect the portrayal of men, but instead it just got drowned out in a sea of haterade. **shrug**

    And to your last point, really? Do you know much about the gaming industry? You do realise that 40% of gamers are women, don’t you? It’s not unreasonable to want to be represented in games – would you say the same thing to a person of colour who finds themselves under-represented in games or comics or any medium? Consumers are all races and preferences. it’s only fair and sensible business practice that they are marketed to. 
    But that’s a moot point, because like it or not the world of gaming is evolving and becoming more diverse as the medium grows up. Angry manchildren like the producer of this charming game kicking up a fuss is a sign that things are changing. People like him, are just going to be left behind…

  106. This is a standard and completely hollow dodge that’s almost always offered in response to this sort of criticism. Gender depiction in media is fucked across the board. Men or women, tv or games. Its problematic where ever you look, and whoever the target audience is. (btw Have you seen the shit that’s actually targeted at women?)

    The sort of criticism Sarkeesian does is part of the base way in which art and society operate, particularly at the academic level. Creating something new takes a great deal of though about whats been done before. How its been done, and why its been done, and exactly how it accomplished what it did. For things to change the discussion has to be had, whether she makes her own game is besides the point. 

    It’s incredibly aggravating that the same gaming community that rabidly defends games as art can’t even muster a base understanding of what that concept entails, or how art/media analysis works.

  107. “But, just like comic books, who do you think creates them? And, who reads or plays them?”
    Um… have you seen any statistics about the male/female demographic in games? It’s starting to slowly creep up to be 50/50. And no, the typical gamer is not 20-or-under.

    Sure wouldn’t be able to see that from the games. And that’s kind of the point, isn’t it?

    Oh… and for your question. I’m a long time gamer, and I work in the game industry… and I’m a woman. So… your point was?

  108. I just saw your post. Missed it on my first read through, and it deserves a response. Sorry! Here’s the thing: I think that you (like others who seem to miss Sarkeesian’s point) probably read the blurb, but failed to watch the attached video. That would really have helped your understanding.

    First of all, you would have known that this is the second series of “trope” videos to be produced by Sarkeesian. The first series focused on tropes about women in movies and TV. It’s viewable for free on YouTube (and easily searched for). She intends to make this series available for free on YouTube as well. The intent really is to inform – not about the evils of the video game industry, but about the problem with tropes. That’s why BOTH series are titled “Tropes vs. Women”.

    Second bit: Women work in film, TV, and the video game industries (and consume material from all three). When speaking about gaming specifically, to assume only men are involved in the process means you probably have little knowledge about their development. Kim Swift, one of the designers of Portal, would be disappointed to learn you think that women don’t design and develop games. They’ve been around since the beginning. It was a woman, Carol Shaw, who designed  3D Tic-Tac-Toe for the Atari 2600 way back in 1978! 

    The fact is, video games look the way they do because they’ve always mainly been marketed to boys. Over time as demand has changed, design has changed to be better balanced, so better examples of women are beginning to exist in gaming for young girls to be exposed to, and girls ARE looking for them. Zelda (the captured princess) is one of the tropes that Sarkeesian wants to explore. She’s the princess who just sits around waiting to be saved. If you don’t believe attitudes from female gamers have impacted anyone, why has her long running plight now resulted in t-shirts bearing the slogan “This Princess SAVES HERSELF” for teens?

  109. LoL, though it may be deduced as deliberately obtuse on the part of that poster, the poster “Hobozombie” is rationalizing their repetition of the same rehashed argument by claiming to be playing “devil’s advocate”.

    Hey Hobo, ya know that saying “Yeah, but” and then repeating yourself using different words is being a crappy advocate, right? You are making the Devil look bad.

  110. And yes I did in fact have a problem with the gendered slurs against Bachman and Palin.

    Which we routinely moderate out.

  111. Thank you for posting this link. I am not a gamer and even I know the latest stats, so I call bull on these continued denials of who gamers actually are.

  112. I know that there are women who play, I just had no idea that it was that high of a number.

    I’ve tried . . . many times . . . to play some of the video games.  I used to end up getting frustrated by the obvious bias.  Later, I just mocked them mercilessly.  Then, I stopped playing altogether.  I guess I just couldn’t figure out why there would be so many women playing.  Just like I still can’t figure out why women would vote Republican. 

    But, I still don’t understand, if you don’t like the games, or the obvious bigotry, why play?  Why not go elsewhere or make your own? 

  113. So what does she want?

    The answer to that and many other exciting questions can be found by reading what she writes instead of pressing the back of your hand to your forehead, leaning your head back and loudly sighing.

  114. WTH? You think behavioral stuff ain’t attacked in the same manner, putting aside that you mischaracterize her work while acknowledgin igno of same?

    What you mean what she want? meh, Antinous beat me to that.

    Loaded Question

    Loaded Question

    that kind of higher learning is multi-applicable. Just like my partner isn’t a psychologist despite having a degree in that field, like my CA also has a law degree, like my neighbour raises horses though he is an engineer, like my grocer owns his grocery even though he studied history. You giving people a hard time because you have no idea what they all ended up doing is a line of bull, admit it.

    Imma goto bed now and leave you this,
    with the friendly understanding that everyone screws up on those occasionally, especially me but all your posts here to date have several in many categories. You can do better than that if you have any higher learnin as you allude to havin.

  115. Not true, they are available, they are just not picked out of  the line up. But I’m glad you brought this up, I hope she’s able to procure those numbers, I would be very interested in the ratio of female to male in character choice or team building. I tend to pick female characters.

  116. Con men need exceptional empathy, to read people

    That’s not empathy. Sociopaths have no empathy and they can often read people very well.

  117. So, apparently, you have no specific reason to think this hypothetical censorship is a real possibility, or that Sarkeesian intends such. Just a lot of what-ifs. 

  118. So you’re saying her opinions are dangerous because they challenge the status quo, and it’s a “slippery slope” to full-blown censorship? So our safest bet is to not think about it at all? Interesting…

    And what if, as a result of her research and the abuse she’s been subjected to just for proposing it, there is a sea-change in attitudes of video game makers, resulting in thoughtful treatments of women as characters and more women protagonists in games, drawing in more females to the business and expanding sales? Tell me what’s terrible about that?  

  119. What if it is founded, and a vocal majority does nothing for years and years on end, and pounces on anyone who tries to even shine a light, let alone CHANGE anything?

    Oh, wait. We get a mess like this.

  120. Dude… stop wringing your hands! Do you think she is the only one thinking about issues like these? There is a lot of similar things is happening in the industry. And really, this is what _a good_ game writer thinks about, how to create believable characters without them ending up as tropes or cliches. So her work can really help game developers!

    A much better criticism would be that there is a lot of similar stuff going on already, and that perhaps the optimal thing would be to find some way to work together to create something truly ground breaking work, than just have a little bit here and a little bit there work done.

    But what I’m really seeing you saying is that “Some of the other guys on the Internet said I should be worried, because some evol feminazi is threatening to step on our ballz and we really should be worried, so I’m now worried… because… um… it could be bad?”.

  121. Potential, hypothetical censorship: A BIG DEAL to Li’l Matty.

    Massive outpouring of misogyny on the internet? “Well, of course I don’t support that, but MAH HYPOTHETICAL SITCH-UU-ASHUN IS WHAT’S IMPORTANT!!”

  122. Why is Lara Croft a “negative depiction?”  I‘ll grant that she‘s hypersexualized, and I understand the problems  attendant to that, but an ass-kicking female character who holds her own against all and sundry rather than being a damsel in distress is hardly “negative.”  I‘d complain more about Princess Peach than Lara.

  123. Honestly I was just repeating the examples used in the now deleted original post.

    Doesn’t really matter, since the point isn’t in proving something is universal. As long as there is even one example of negative female depiction its pertinent to discus. To compare on contrast the good with the bad.

  124. To an extent, everyone self-censors. That’s not a bad thing, it’s a product of evolving thought processes. Watch old American movies to see how minorities were portrayed (prime examples: Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Gone With The Wind and any movie involving white actors in blackface) versus their modern portrayals. A lot of us remember those things, but no one acts them out anymore because, as a community, we’re better than that now.

    Are you disappointed that your character in GTA XXII won’t be able to smear black shoe polish all over his face and go put on a minstrel show? Censorship!

    Likewise, our approach to gender relations is constantly evolving and as we draw nearer to full equality (in more than words only!), we’re going to continue finding boundaries that should not be crossed. We’ll all be better for it, as a whole.

  125.  “If you don’t like the segregated drinking fountains, why  live in the South?”

    In other words, you’ve got the entire question backwards. It’s really “Why do these games have to be this way?” And the answer is they don’t.

  126. And we can’t just blindly assume that all men are happy with the presentations, either. Even if it wasn’t approaching equality in participation, I know plenty of men who for decades have been tired of the maiden/mother/whore base three archtypes of women, and who would like to see women presented in a more realistic and less objectified way. Likewise, plenty of women and men I know are tired of the hyper masculine uber-muscled, chiseled-chin protaganist that seems to be the standard. I’ve seen a lot of comments of ‘It’s ok because men aren’t realistic either’, which I think is bogus. I don’t have to choose which I want to be more objectified, I don’t think either has to be ubiquitously so. I think we can do better for both. But that said, the way women are treated IS far worse than how men are treated. Women are toys, trophies, things to abuse. Men aren’t to anywhere near the same extent.

  127. Because we want to be able to play games too and because we shouldn’t have to be driven away from things we want to participate in?

  128. The comment can stand the way it does, she has produced other videos on the same subject. Otherwise, she wouldn’t have been able to post on Kickstarter.

  129. I’m not particularly surprised that people are missing your point and making angry replies, and that few are joining/defending your argument. It would help if those attacking you actually understood what you were saying and I applaud you for coming back and replying to everyone!

    FWIW I do understand your arguments and (mostly) agree with you. I don’t doubt though that the attention this is getting (and the attention that the resulting new videos might get) will do some good at bringing the seemingly obvious problems here to broader light. It’s a decent step toward improving the situation, and who knows, with that much money hopefully she’ll be able to do a lot more than she initially intended.

    And unlike the others, I know that you’re not saying there’s nothing that needs to be improved even if you’re right that there aren’t as many female gamers as people say. I really don’t know how anyone can be so fervent in saying that there really is a near-50/50 mix because there’s no way that’s true.

    Of course, one of the obvious reasons that it isn’t true is because misogyny is still rampant in the games themselves and in the other players of the games, which creates a very hostile environment (it is slightly better in certain games where there is actually a high percentage of female players, including WoW which I’ve never played). I’m not sure what it will take to change this… it’s a chicken/egg or catch-22 type of problem.

  130. No, he can’t be able to avoid the consequences of his actions by apologizing, nor should anyone be expected to forgive, tolerate, or accept his presence at any point in time out of consideration for him. We matter, he does not.

  131. Let me guess, you’re also the sort who bawwws that your workplace’s policy against sexual harassment won’t let you tell all those “funny” jokes about “chicks” and “coloreds” anymore, right?

  132. I wonder if concern trolls like you ever hold misogynist douchestains to the same level of “academic” stringency?

  133. People aren’t misunderstanding him. They’re responding to the sentiment behind his extensive concern trolling, tone trolling, and JAQing off.

  134. It seems that you failed to follow steps 1-3 or you might agree with 4.

    Her Kickstarter Project is an extension of an earlier project, one that already exists as six videos about tropes in movies and TV. Both projects are called “Tropes vs. Women” because the argument isn’t that one industry is more sexist than another, but that tropes in general are a bad thing, and exist far too often. You clearly don’t know this part. You didn’t watch the video. 

    You’re being criticized because even though you have the link to the video, and understand what kind of turmoil has come about from this topic, you haven’t bothered to take the time to inform yourself before getting heavily involved in the discussion. Not only that, you’re making claims about the outcome of a project you don’t understand. So you don’t know what you’re talking about, but you’re talking just the same. 

    From your own discussion: “Video Games and the industry is sexist toward women.  The end.”  

    That’s plenty to tell me (and anyone else who actually watched the video, and understood the project) that you are in the dark. The project isn’t specifically about sexism in just the gaming industry. It’s about tropes, and they pop up all over the place. Here’s one of the existing videos #1 Manic Pixie Dream Girl.  

    Don’t believe it’s a trope? Don’t believe it’s gone too far? Enjoy a visit to the State Home for Manic Pixie Dream Girls.  

    There’s a very big difference between attacking tropes and attacking gaming. I’ve posted twice (and hope those in charge at bb will bear with me as I once more post) the link to the Zelda shirt that proudly proclaims, “This Princess SAVES HERSELF”. Zelda is an example of a gaming trope that’s not doing too well these days. With lots of teen girls actively gaming, they don’t want to be a princess who sits in a tower waiting for a boy to rescue her. They want a part of the action, too. It doesn’t ever kill an industry to expand (or at least acknowledge) its fan base.

  135. Oh, I agree that there’s no small measure of concern trolling etc. and I don’t mean to defend that (although I realize that I did). And the arguments that I thought had some validity are really out of context for this particular discussion, anyway.

    But that doesn’t change that people were attacking him not for what he actually said and was arguing, but the sentiment behind it (as you say) and it’s that sentiment that I think was being misunderstood. He tried to explain it himself, unsuccessfully, by pointing out that he has two daughters who he hopes will enjoy video games.

    I had to look up JAQing off, I like that. It’s appropriate here because the discussion he was trying to raise is inappropriate for this particular conversation, though, not because those questions should not be raised at all.

    To clarify my own position for posterity: I wish that misogyny and any deep-seated or even subconscious anti-female sentiment in games, and in the people who play games, would die off fifteen years ago. Not to mention the rampant general assholeism among gamers. Among more important things, this would make gaming more pleasant for everyone, non-asshole males included, so this should be high on the agenda for anyone interested in gaming.

  136.  What’s even more frightening is that there are people arguing “WELL WHAT ABOUT HIM?” when he’s not the victim here, the woman he harassed is.

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