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Real Name Sho   
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Nickname Sho
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Homepage http://
Signed On May 26, 2002, 23:49
Total Comments 625 (Apprentice)
User ID 13167
 
User comment history
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News Comments > Op Ed
96. Re: Op Ed Aug 29, 2014, 18:07 Sho
 
Beamer wrote on Aug 29, 2014, 18:02:
In any case, the difference is that video games tend to be male power fantasies. So yes, the male characters tend to be more "ideal" than the average male, but they're ideal in the ways we want to be so that we want to slip in their shows and spend a few hours shaping their world. The female portrayals tend to not be female power fantasies but additional parts of male power fantasies. In other words, the men tend to be what men want to be, and the women tend to be what men want them to be rather than what women would have any interest at all in being.

Yeah, I mentioned the power fantasy as prevalent form of player engagement earlier in the thread. But you know, that's just one more thing such a video series could seriously examine. The archetypes of non-player males also deserve a serious look, though. I'm just saying: I could totally imagine something like this turning up something interesting. It's not really about competing with Sarkeesian's videos or with the examination of women in games. I think there's space for both, independent of the urgency of those issues. It would have the side-benefit of giving certain people one thing less to cry about, though.
 
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News Comments > Op Ed
88. Re: Op Ed Aug 29, 2014, 17:59 Sho
 
Slick wrote on Aug 29, 2014, 17:55:

there is a real discussion buried beneath all of this, but trying to have a frank discussion about any real issue with the gamer community is like trying to have tea with a rabid terrier.

Yeah. On a meta level, I keep wondering if someone shouldn't put in the effort and make a "Men vs. Tropes in Video Games" series. Not as direct counter to Sarkeesian's topics, but actually sitting down and thinking through male representation in video games. Aside from being just as interesting and worthwhile, it would also maybe help stopping this jealous guarding behavior from parts of the community. We should totally be talking about women and men in games.
 
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News Comments > Op Ed
82. Re: Op Ed Aug 29, 2014, 17:51 Sho
 
Julio wrote on Aug 29, 2014, 17:49:
Tell them they can take their man-hating products and shove 'em where the sun don't shine.

What's man-hating about any of this?
 
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News Comments > Op Ed
80. Re: Op Ed Aug 29, 2014, 17:49 Sho
 
Dmitri_M wrote on Aug 29, 2014, 17:42:
For get about her arguments.

Why? Your post provides no justification, just an order. Did you examine those arguments? Do you have an interesting perspective to offer on them? Why would you expect anyone to give a shit otherwise?


Dmitri_M wrote on Aug 29, 2014, 17:42:
Why doesn't she go after sports fans for watching cheerleaders? Films? Magazines with attractive woman on the covers? Because shouting about old media has been done to death and there's no press to get.

I think games are an interesting and relevant medium. You probably do, too, or at least you seem to imply it's at the forefront of interest in general. What would be surprising about someone else agreeing and choosing to examine it? What's evil about someone thinking they might be able to do something of relevance in that space? Heck, what's evil about wanting to make that your career, even? Do you also hate film critics? Music reviewers?
 
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News Comments > Op Ed
69. Re: Op Ed Aug 29, 2014, 17:16 Sho
 
jdreyer wrote on Aug 29, 2014, 16:54:
Even if this particular case was made up, Sarkeesian has received much more hate and death threats than she deserves. And the problem with such threats is that it makes impossible the legitimate criticism of her methods that could actually either sideline her or force her to improve. If ALL or even most threats against her were sockpuppets, I would agree, but that's not the case. Unfortunately, those attacks only validate her techniques and cause her to create more videos in a similar vein.

It's also just worth noting though that I'd guesstimate 95% of the comments related to Sarkeesian's videos on Blue's News aren't actually directly about the videos. Heck, that might be a generous estimate. I wouldn't be surprised if most people active in these threads never watched them (and a few would probably even proudly proclaim just so), or just the first one (I find the later ones more interesting because their topics are less well-covered than the damsel trope).

Let's just take her newest video. Watch it and try not to over-focus on details, like frame-stepping through every example. Just use her examples as a jumping-off point to reflect on your own gaming experiences and ask yourself if in your experience some of those patterns do occur (and to what extent - in popular games? in niche games?). Watch on to her conclusion and her opinion on the implications of this. Then try to form an opinion on that. Post it, I'd certainly like to hear it. If you even disagree with the patterns, post about why it's wrong. If you think the whole thing is beside the point, argue - argue, not just opine - why.

Sarkeesian's perspective on these matters is almost certainly not the only one worth hearing. She's certainly not uniquely qualified. Perhaps one of the others worth hearing is actually yours (generic you, sorry jdreyer). Mudflinging isn't the same as offering it.

Instead, remember what the Blue's News thread about that video actually stooped too? "Sarkeesian isn't credible because she puts on makeup, haha!"

Meanwhile, Sarkeesian has actually arguably taken a step towards her critics in that last video by covering a game she considers a positive example. (What I actually want her to do though is acknowledge the complexity of games and show off both positive and negative examples in the same game.)

This comment was edited on Aug 29, 2014, 17:28.
 
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News Comments > Op Ed
66. Re: Op Ed Aug 29, 2014, 16:36 Sho
 
Icewind wrote on Aug 29, 2014, 16:32:
It's hipsters. A bunch of liberal, lefty bleeding hearts that think the entire world has to be ponies and flowers. Liberalism is a disease and now you see what happens when an entire young generation grows up with lefty brainwashing.

Yeahyeah Yeah: ^ And this would be another perfect example of what I mean, FWIW.
 
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News Comments > Op Ed
65. Re: Op Ed Aug 29, 2014, 16:35 Sho
 
Yeahyeah Yeah wrote on Aug 29, 2014, 16:19:
And really, if the desire is 'even-handed, thoughtful discourse', I think there's an even bigger problem than Anita onhand: a journalist community that doesn't want a conversation. Or at least they want a conversation far closer to 'Sarkeesian/people like Sarkeesian are right. So now what?'

Side-step them? Blue posts direct links to Sarkeesian's videos. We're free to discuss them among ourselves, not a journalist's take on them. I don't consider journalists uniquely qualified in this area either.
 
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News Comments > Op Ed
61. Re: Op Ed Aug 29, 2014, 16:27 Sho
 
FWIW, I agree "games should stay away from this entirely" isn't the answer. Violence against women exists in the real world. Prostitution exists in the real world. Marginalization of people exists in the real world. Art needs to be allowed to depict, engage with and comment on the real world, and I think games are uniquely in a position to provide powerful experiences along those lines. I wouldn't want games restricted to being set in social utopia, that's hamstringing the potential of the medium.

Watching Sarkeesian's last two videos though, what bugs me the most about the patterns she highlights is perhaps a general point about game writing/design and not even gender-specific, although I do think it's perhaps slanted that way - non-player characters in games are rarely even close to being as capable or resourceful as the player is. Specifically about female characters, I've seen plenty of women get beaten or raped in games indeed, but rarely do I see any of them capable or even just bent on resistance or escape. Of course part of this is just because game designers are frequently too lazy to come up with anything more interesting then "make the player feel powerful!", not because they resent women. But the results are the results.

On the whole, I'd love to encounter and interact with more interesting female (and male) characters in games as a male player. Fortunately there's a whole bunch of well-written games that do provide that, but it's rarely in concert with AAA production value. I do think games could serve me better there. Most of all, we really need to demand better writing from games that claim storytelling as a selling point, IMHO.
 
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News Comments > Op Ed
54. Re: Op Ed Aug 29, 2014, 15:32 Sho
 
Yeahyeah Yeah wrote on Aug 29, 2014, 15:14:
Part of the problem here is - why do we have to treat Sarkeesian's work as deserving of serious critical examination anyway? Is she really the cream of the crop here, even in the sub-sub-subfield of 'tropes/women in video games'?

You make a good point here, certainly. I don't think we have to. But I think for better or worse her videos have kicked off large-scale discourse on an interesting topic, and it's a good idea to try and make the best of it and keep that discourse constructive. What else are we going to do? Clearly the topic isn't going away (and personally I don't think it should). It seems obvious to me that the best thing to do in our position is to take individual responsibility and behave like we want that discourse to look like. Our own behavior is the one thing definitely under our control.

And again, part of "constructive discourse" is of course also examining the worth of Sarkeesian's entries so we can move beyond her mistakes. I think that's more effectively done by staying on-issue than bleating on the web about how evil evil evil she is, tho.


Yeahyeah Yeah wrote on Aug 29, 2014, 15:14:
That may actually be relevant to the very question of 'Is Sarkeesian worth taking seriously'? There's a division between 'Sarkeesian as an expert' and 'Sarkeesian's arguments'. If they attack her arguments by discrediting her, there's a problem. If they're questioning whether she's even worth paying attention to to begin with, then saying things that discredit her may be legitimate. And sometimes, it seems to be.

I don't disagree. Basically I think she's worth paying attention to because the attention is already there, now. Trying to act as if those videos didn't exist and haven't been watched and don't resonate with anyone seems silly. If anything, a different reaction could build some real pressure for her to step up her game where/if needed.


Yeahyeah Yeah wrote on Aug 29, 2014, 15:14:
I'll point at the context again. Here we have people commenting in a thread where the lead-in are links being written in mainstream gaming press, bashing the hell out of them and their community, belittling them, etc. Frankly the tone in response to that is pretty fantastic, which speaks well of Bluesnews' resident critics.

This is certainly a cheap shot now, but you are writing that a few posts removed from a comment comparing Sarkeesian to Hitler and Stalin ;).
 
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News Comments > Op Ed
49. Re: Op Ed Aug 29, 2014, 15:09 Sho
 
Julio wrote on Aug 29, 2014, 15:02:
But frankly I have as much interest studying the value of her 'work' as much as I do the work of Hitler and Stalin.

Speaking as a German citizen, if a couple more people had paid attention and applied critical thought to Hitler, things might have turned out better, ya know. So while I assume we both know this whole tangent is silly, I'm not sure the volley goes in your favor.
 
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News Comments > Op Ed
48. Re: Op Ed Aug 29, 2014, 15:07 Sho
 
Regarding the cherry-picking (which I agree Sarkeesian does), this is sort of an age-old argument about whether feminist theory and masculinist theory should stay separate or a more holistic view is needed.

Sarkeesian's approach here is mostly in line with a tradition in her field that would point to the "Tropes v s. Women" banner as enough to specify where her focus lies, and enough to imply that just because she is exclusively concerned with women, it doesn't say anything about men in games.

Except of course Sarkeesian can't resist a few contrasting potshots here and there, which I would agree is a flaw in her work (but not necessarily a big enough flaw to bring the whole thing down).

I'm also amenable to the argument that a pop-science approach to the whole thing, which is what Sarkeesian's videos are, should be more holistic to be more generally useful. But for better or worse, that's the focus this particular author has chosen.
 
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News Comments > Op Ed
44. Re: Op Ed Aug 29, 2014, 14:55 Sho
 
Yeahyeah Yeah wrote on Aug 29, 2014, 14:31:
Then what's the problem with this one?

It was a general reflection after combing through yet another thread about the topic. Due to the community here being fairly tightly-knit and composed of many regulars (and while I don't post as frequently as a Cutter does, I've been doing it for more than a decade now, too) you'll find that the scope of context often extends to other recent threads - because many of the participants were the same in all of them. Discourse acquiring a memory has its pros and cons, of course. One of the cons can be pushing out new arrivals, which sucks. Welcome, BTW.


Yeahyeah Yeah wrote on Aug 29, 2014, 14:31:
I could be misunderstanding you - you haven't said much here, and I'm relatively new. But my worry is that "makes me feel uncomfortable" here is cashing out to "people are saying things I strongly disagree with" and that "deserves discussion" means "we should all be, at least broadly, on the same page". You say that Sarkeesian's work is unlikely to be the only valuable perspective - but what about people who don't think her perspective is particularly valuable after all?

No, I don't think we need to be on the same page. I'm saying I feel uncomfortable, and also surprised, whenever I see opinions on highly complex issues stated in ways that seems to leave no room for any doubt, or even just new data. I simply don't understand where that level of certainty comes from.

I turned 30 recently. I work in the tech industry, and you're more likely than not to have some code written by me on your box right now. So I'm no stranger to debates about gender representation in a traditonally male-dominated field, they've been big all my career. I've been playing video games for more than half my life now, too. I think I'm neither daft nor inexperienced, and have learned some valuable lessons along the way. Yet I wouldn't profess to have all the answers when it comes to gender representation in games. Call it arrogant, but I find it suspicious when someone claims to ... which also goes for Sarkeesian herself, which is why, again, critical examination of her work is generally welcome, and anyone who describes simply questioning Sarkeesian as misoginy is of course foolish (and my female colleagues would agree).


Yeahyeah Yeah wrote on Aug 29, 2014, 14:31:
but what about people who don't think her perspective is particularly valuable after all?

I'm interested in hearing their arguments. I've actually read some pretty good, dispassionate rebuttals to Sarkeesian that contrast what she's saying with metrics by researchers in the field, for example. Blue's News comments rarely climb to that level, though. At most you get a link to a YouTuber's polemic now and then. A lot of the comments aren't even on issue, but more concerned with discrediting the author.


Yeahyeah Yeah wrote on Aug 29, 2014, 14:31:
Let me ask you this. Do you think the articles that spawned these comments are welcoming? Should they make the people they talk about feel comfortable?

I think a lot of the articles covering the "Sarkeesian issue" are mostly concerned with quoting bad examples from the reactions to her, which contributes to escalating things, and isn't particularly interesting. I understand that some of the vitriol also in here probably comes from being frustrated and annoyed by that. But I think instead of adding another few rotations to that downward spiral we could probably do better than that in here.
 
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News Comments > Op Ed
41. Re: Op Ed Aug 29, 2014, 14:15 Sho
 
Yeahyeah Yeah wrote on Aug 29, 2014, 14:02:
How? It's largely thoughtful critiques and a small smattering of crude language. I mean, maybe if the standard is 'people have strong opinions' sure, but then what place that discusses topics like these is welcoming?

This is one of the better ones, but it's the n-th one in a matter of days and they're often worse. A lot of them are primarily filled with knee-jerk reactions decrying Sarkeesian as a fool or pushing some sort of personal agenda, which even if it was true (and I have no problem with discussing an author's qualifications or background in general in so much as might be relevant to their argument - but it often isn't), would just end up being preaching to the choir.

But it's actually the "people have strong opinions" that makes me uncomfortable actually, because it tends to make me suspicious and wary. I think gender representation in the media in general and in games specifically is a complex issue that deserves discussion. It's something I keep learning new things about personally, and want to stay open-minded about, so a good argument still has a chance to get through to me. I miss that inquiring spirit from these discussions ... when I encounter a simplistic and idiotic opinion here it's usually voiced with a conviction that precludes it.

That's not a defense of Sarkeesian, BTW. Her work is unlikely to be the only valuable perspective, and challenging any argument with tough questions is a good thing in my book. But it should be done without the grand-standing and vitriol.

That said, personally I find her videos pretty interesting. But I like thinking about games, so content like that tends to heighten my enjoyment of the medium.
 
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News Comments > Op Ed
39. Re: Op Ed Aug 29, 2014, 13:59 Sho
 
I gotta say, a lot of the stuff in comment threads related to Sarkeesian makes the site feel pretty unwelcoming.  
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News Comments > Ships Ahoy - Metro Redux
1. Re: Ships Ahoy - Metro Redux Aug 26, 2014, 11:35 Sho
 
Picked up the bundle. Looking forward to trying 2033 on Linux, hope the port is in good shape. Last Light was on Linux previously and apparently missing some things vs. the Windows version (though it generally ran well), but supposedly both games are at parity in Redux.  
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News Comments > Metro 2033/Redux Comparison
19. Re: Metro 2033/Redux Comparison Aug 21, 2014, 06:47 Sho
 
xXBatmanXx wrote on Aug 21, 2014, 03:34:
It is 2014, have a windows box already....sheesh.

I dual-boot to Win 8.1, but I haven't used it in quite a while now. Dunno, it's the age or something, I just get too lazy. And with all the Linux releases spoiling us these days it's not like I get starved for entertainment. So whether a game's on Linux really does end up affecting how I prioritize stuff, and it's not ideology or something.
 
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News Comments > Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth Preorder Bonus
1. Re: Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth Preorder Bonus Aug 20, 2014, 17:42 Sho
 
Cheaper at GMG with their 20% off voucher thingie. Went in on it. Shame there won't be Linux at launch, but then this isn't the kind of game that blows over in the first two weeks.  
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News Comments > Metro 2033/Redux Comparison
5. Re: Metro 2033/Redux Comparison Aug 20, 2014, 10:56 Sho
 
Task wrote on Aug 20, 2014, 10:40:
The point of the redux is that they changed the second game to have more of the horror/survival feel of metro2033 with a new "survival mode", instead of run and gun/easy time mode. The 'graphics' are just extra icing.

For me the point is that I can actually play the first game because it's on Linux now. Which means I can actually play the second game because that's what I was waiting on. So yeah, sweet.
 
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News Comments > 4A Games on Metro Redux Upgrades
20. Re: 4A Games on Metro Redux Upgrades Aug 10, 2014, 21:07 Sho
 
MajorD wrote on Aug 10, 2014, 21:01:
I like that they did the Redux, but still a BIG money grab in my opinion. They should only be charging $5.00 (Not $12.49) for each game for the people who already own them, like what Square Enix did with Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

And charging for 'Ranger Mode' via a DLC in Last Light was a total DICK move!

I really don't get the constant comparison to DXHR:DC. DXHR:DC:

* Had no new content, unless you count the dev commentary (which is cool, I'll admit).

* Didn't integrate any DLC at $5. The $5 discount was only for owners of Missing Link, otherwise it was $10 already. Redux packs DLC otherwise sold separately.

* Had only minor graphical improvements (IMHO it actually made it worse, I liked the orange-ish tone mapping aesthetically; the DC looks cold and bland in comparison).

* The second screen stuff was half-assed, and financed by the release of the Wii version anyway.

* Didn't put the game on any new PC OS's.

There is simply much more work/content in Redux than DXHR:DC. You can't call this a "money grab" by pointing to DXHR:DC. DXHR:DC is the best argument for why Redux should be more expensive if priced to scale.

On the other end of the scale: Wasn't Starbreeze' rework of Escape From Butcher Bay re-released full price with an add-on campaign?

This comment was edited on Aug 10, 2014, 21:44.
 
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News Comments > 4A Games on Metro Redux Upgrades
5. Re: 4A Games on Metro Redux Upgrades Aug 10, 2014, 13:05 Sho
 
You know what? I'm OK with their reasoning and will pick this up at launch, despite owning both titles already. For me Redux also means 2033 coming to Linux for the first time (Last Light was already there). There's enough work in this for the price, IMHO.  
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