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Op Ed

GameFront - ‘Political Correctness’ Isn’t Ruining Games — Bad Ideas Are.
In the case of Smite, the game features, in particular, the sexualized depiction of the goddess Kali; with Six Days, it was the fact that the game depicted an on-going war with real casualties as a game. In both cases, there’s more than enough reason for a person to be offended, really, and the very least you can do is listen to the reasons those people have for their criticism. And then you can ask yourself, why does Smite need to use religious figures for its characters? Why does Fallujah need to turn an on-going conflict in which many people have been killed into a game?

Gaming Illustrated - I Suck at Gaming... Because I'm a Woman?
But like the question of the chicken or the egg, is it the lack of representation in the industry’s workforce that is facilitating games that encourage unrealistic views of women? Or is it the games that are encouraging misrepresentation in the industry?

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15. Re: Op Ed Jul 29, 2012, 17:47 Ant
 
Cutter wrote on Jul 20, 2012, 20:29:
Personally I'm a big fan of women who suck.

Crowngrin
I lost my sucking in 1998.
 
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Ant @ The Ant Farm: http://antfarm.ma.cx and Ant's Quality Foraged Links: http://aqfl.net ...
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14. Re: Op Ed Jul 21, 2012, 01:24 Jerykk
 
PHJF wrote on Jul 20, 2012, 19:31:
Video game writers want to tackle adult themes, but their audience isn't mature enough to handle anything even approaching anything beyond what they've already seen and are familiar and comfortable with. They automatically reject anything adult by writing it off as tropes and stereotyping, like you did with a game you haven't played and a script you haven't seen by writing it off as adolescent fantasy.

That's horse shit. Heavy Rain is like the only "mature" game in recent memory, and it did pretty damn well... gratuitous nudity of buxom babe notwithstanding.

Fact is "video game writers" don't exist. Games are invariably created and some kind of plot is shoehorned in after the fact. When's the last time you met a "writer" who wrote anything for a video game? That's like calling me a doctor because I gave you aspirin for your headache.

I'm pretty sure Chris Avellone has done the writing for quite a few classic games, including Planescape: Torment.
 
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13. Re: Op Ed Jul 20, 2012, 22:20 Eirikrautha
 
Asmodai wrote on Jul 20, 2012, 20:45:
Draugr wrote on Jul 20, 2012, 15:52:
Well, to be fair, when they discussed that scene in tomb raider, it was certainly presented in that fashion you see the attempted rape (which they refuse to call it now) is in there so she can 'evolve' as a character, and that's where the silly trope pops up in that situation. They couldn't have presented a more stale and unimaginative story, that relies on the classic trope of women becoming empowered through sexual means. Its the same lazy shorthand that some tend to use when eriting, The onyl reason the scene is included is to emphasise her vulerability at the time/the evilness of the antagonist. - Seems to me like murder would be just as effective in that case. - The scene in question has been available at conventions, etc.

When Ron Rosenberg is talking about how they want to make it so the Players 'want to protect lara'(implication; because shes female) or 'root for her in a way that you might not root for a male character' seems to me like they are doing it all wrong, and are guilty of this bad writing we were talking about.

Women aren't empowered by sexual means, they are empowered by overcoming someone trying to dominate them because of their sex.

Rape isn't about sex, it's about power, that's the first thing you learn about it. Whether it's a sexual assault or a sleazy male boss, the woman is placed at a disadvantage. How she overcomes that disadvantage and how she copes with it afterward are growth opportunities for a character in a story (see: The Brave One for example).

You suggest murder as an alternate trope, whoop de fucking doo, that's even older than rape. And there is still the sexual undercurrent, a big brawny man is going to kill the helpless woman, oh, she kills him, yay!

And why does it matter if players want to protect her, that adds a certain desperation to the piece (ie. can this young girl, inexperienced in life, uncertain of her abilities and facing taking a life for the first time, overcome a powerful attacker?). And guess what, she does.

How the fuck is that NOT empowering?

This sort of PC reaction to certain things (rape, child killing, prostitution etc) is exactly why the author of the article is wrong. Yes, there should be war games where innocent civilians get caught in the line of fire. I liked the No Russian airport massacre in MW purely for this reason, it's punchy. Similarly finding the corpse pits and having to hide in them in Homefront (crappy game but the punchy feel of being on home soil and witnessing atrocity was effective) was an effective way to install horror and anger at the invaders. There should be games where you have the moral choice to make of whether to kill a child or not (Fallout 1&2 for example), and then deal with the ramifications.

Instead we find games with bulletproof children/bystanders, villains who are never quite despicable enough to consider raping their captives (although torture often pops up) and wars where the only people who get hurt are your unfortunate squad mates and the 40 bazillion Durkadurkastanis funneled towards you continuously...

It's sanitised so as not to offend people and it's not real.

QFT!
 
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12. Re: Op Ed Jul 20, 2012, 20:45 Asmodai
 
Draugr wrote on Jul 20, 2012, 15:52:
Well, to be fair, when they discussed that scene in tomb raider, it was certainly presented in that fashion you see the attempted rape (which they refuse to call it now) is in there so she can 'evolve' as a character, and that's where the silly trope pops up in that situation. They couldn't have presented a more stale and unimaginative story, that relies on the classic trope of women becoming empowered through sexual means. Its the same lazy shorthand that some tend to use when eriting, The onyl reason the scene is included is to emphasise her vulerability at the time/the evilness of the antagonist. - Seems to me like murder would be just as effective in that case. - The scene in question has been available at conventions, etc.

When Ron Rosenberg is talking about how they want to make it so the Players 'want to protect lara'(implication; because shes female) or 'root for her in a way that you might not root for a male character' seems to me like they are doing it all wrong, and are guilty of this bad writing we were talking about.

Women aren't empowered by sexual means, they are empowered by overcoming someone trying to dominate them because of their sex.

Rape isn't about sex, it's about power, that's the first thing you learn about it. Whether it's a sexual assault or a sleazy male boss, the woman is placed at a disadvantage. How she overcomes that disadvantage and how she copes with it afterward are growth opportunities for a character in a story (see: The Brave One for example).

You suggest murder as an alternate trope, whoop de fucking doo, that's even older than rape. And there is still the sexual undercurrent, a big brawny man is going to kill the helpless woman, oh, she kills him, yay!

And why does it matter if players want to protect her, that adds a certain desperation to the piece (ie. can this young girl, inexperienced in life, uncertain of her abilities and facing taking a life for the first time, overcome a powerful attacker?). And guess what, she does.

How the fuck is that NOT empowering?

This sort of PC reaction to certain things (rape, child killing, prostitution etc) is exactly why the author of the article is wrong. Yes, there should be war games where innocent civilians get caught in the line of fire. I liked the No Russian airport massacre in MW purely for this reason, it's punchy. Similarly finding the corpse pits and having to hide in them in Homefront (crappy game but the punchy feel of being on home soil and witnessing atrocity was effective) was an effective way to install horror and anger at the invaders. There should be games where you have the moral choice to make of whether to kill a child or not (Fallout 1&2 for example), and then deal with the ramifications.

Instead we find games with bulletproof children/bystanders, villains who are never quite despicable enough to consider raping their captives (although torture often pops up) and wars where the only people who get hurt are your unfortunate squad mates and the 40 bazillion Durkadurkastanis funneled towards you continuously...

It's sanitised so as not to offend people and it's not real.
 
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11. Re: Op Ed Jul 20, 2012, 20:29 Cutter
 
Personally I'm a big fan of women who suck.

Crowngrin
 
Avatar 25394
 
James Woods: Oh that's fun. That sounds like you had a fun time. Where would I fit in with the fun time, huh? Where does James Woods fit into the fun?
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10. Re: Op Ed Jul 20, 2012, 19:31 PHJF
 
Video game writers want to tackle adult themes, but their audience isn't mature enough to handle anything even approaching anything beyond what they've already seen and are familiar and comfortable with. They automatically reject anything adult by writing it off as tropes and stereotyping, like you did with a game you haven't played and a script you haven't seen by writing it off as adolescent fantasy.

That's horse shit. Heavy Rain is like the only "mature" game in recent memory, and it did pretty damn well... gratuitous nudity of buxom babe notwithstanding.

Fact is "video game writers" don't exist. Games are invariably created and some kind of plot is shoehorned in after the fact. When's the last time you met a "writer" who wrote anything for a video game? That's like calling me a doctor because I gave you aspirin for your headache.
 
Avatar 17251
 
Steam + PSN: PHJF
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9. Re: Op Ed Jul 20, 2012, 17:00 Eirikrautha
 
Draugr wrote on Jul 20, 2012, 15:52:
PropheT wrote on Jul 20, 2012, 15:13:
Silicon Avatar wrote on Jul 20, 2012, 12:52:
Good writing directs the flow of conversation to a point so that people who "get it" can have a discussion. Bad writing just makes people mad. "A Clockwork Orange" used violence and rape as a means to convey a message that could be discussed (whether you agree with the message or not). Tomb Raider uses violence and rape as a means to seem grown up even though its still an action-hero adolescent fantasy.

So... It's not bad ideas - it's bad writing.


How the hell would you know, really? The game isn't even out yet. You don't even know what the story is, the context of it is, the events around it, or anything else.

Video game writers want to tackle adult themes, but their audience isn't mature enough to handle anything even approaching anything beyond what they've already seen and are familiar and comfortable with. They automatically reject anything adult by writing it off as tropes and stereotyping, like you did with a game you haven't played and a script you haven't seen by writing it off as adolescent fantasy.

Well, to be fair, when they discussed that scene in tomb raider, it was certainly presented in that fashion you see the attempted rape (which they refuse to call it now) is in there so she can 'evolve' as a character, and that's where the silly trope pops up in that situation. They couldn't have presented a more stale and unimaginative story, that relies on the classic trope of women becoming empowered through sexual means. Its the same lazy shorthand that some tend to use when eriting, The onyl reason the scene is included is to emphasise her vulerability at the time/the evilness of the antagonist. - Seems to me like murder would be just as effective in that case. - The scene in question has been available at conventions, etc.

When Ron Rosenberg is talking about how they want to make it so the Players 'want to protect lara'(implication; because shes female) or 'root for her in a way that you might not root for a male character' seems to me like they are doing it all wrong, and are guilty of this bad writing we were talking about.

Ok. But the problem is that many ideas are "tropes" because they are common human occurrences that many, if not most, members of a culture can understand. I actually know two women who did become personally "empowered" because of violence (and, conversely, one who suffered years of psychological and social issues leaving her permanently scarred). In fact, one of these women became somewhat of a gun-enthusiast based on her desire to never be struck by another man again (abusive boyfriend).

The problem with decrying cliches and stereotypes is that they would have no power or attraction if they didn't actually speak to a portion of the population. Now, some of them are probably so negative or unfounded that they should not be referenced or repeated. But I don't see anyone making that argument here... especially since no one has played the game yet. Are you telling me that no woman has turned a moment that exposed a personal vulnerability into a means to empower herself? Even to the point of being unhealthy or extreme about it? Really?

If you want to argue that Croft's experience in the game is not "realistic" or "believable," then, by all means, do so. I think that might be a valid criticism, if you can support it. But to simply say that a woman hardened by having to overcome a situation where a man attempts to use force to assault her is a "trope," without recognizing that it is also a reality for many, is a hollow argument.
 
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8. Re: Op Ed Jul 20, 2012, 15:52 Draugr
 
PropheT wrote on Jul 20, 2012, 15:13:
Silicon Avatar wrote on Jul 20, 2012, 12:52:
Good writing directs the flow of conversation to a point so that people who "get it" can have a discussion. Bad writing just makes people mad. "A Clockwork Orange" used violence and rape as a means to convey a message that could be discussed (whether you agree with the message or not). Tomb Raider uses violence and rape as a means to seem grown up even though its still an action-hero adolescent fantasy.

So... It's not bad ideas - it's bad writing.


How the hell would you know, really? The game isn't even out yet. You don't even know what the story is, the context of it is, the events around it, or anything else.

Video game writers want to tackle adult themes, but their audience isn't mature enough to handle anything even approaching anything beyond what they've already seen and are familiar and comfortable with. They automatically reject anything adult by writing it off as tropes and stereotyping, like you did with a game you haven't played and a script you haven't seen by writing it off as adolescent fantasy.

Well, to be fair, when they discussed that scene in tomb raider, it was certainly presented in that fashion you see the attempted rape (which they refuse to call it now) is in there so she can 'evolve' as a character, and that's where the silly trope pops up in that situation. They couldn't have presented a more stale and unimaginative story, that relies on the classic trope of women becoming empowered through sexual means. Its the same lazy shorthand that some tend to use when eriting, The onyl reason the scene is included is to emphasise her vulerability at the time/the evilness of the antagonist. - Seems to me like murder would be just as effective in that case. - The scene in question has been available at conventions, etc.

When Ron Rosenberg is talking about how they want to make it so the Players 'want to protect lara'(implication; because shes female) or 'root for her in a way that you might not root for a male character' seems to me like they are doing it all wrong, and are guilty of this bad writing we were talking about.
 
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7. Re: Op Ed Jul 20, 2012, 15:13 PropheT
 
Silicon Avatar wrote on Jul 20, 2012, 12:52:
Good writing directs the flow of conversation to a point so that people who "get it" can have a discussion. Bad writing just makes people mad. "A Clockwork Orange" used violence and rape as a means to convey a message that could be discussed (whether you agree with the message or not). Tomb Raider uses violence and rape as a means to seem grown up even though its still an action-hero adolescent fantasy.

So... It's not bad ideas - it's bad writing.


How the hell would you know, really? The game isn't even out yet. You don't even know what the story is, the context of it is, the events around it, or anything else.

Video game writers want to tackle adult themes, but their audience isn't mature enough to handle anything even approaching anything beyond what they've already seen and are familiar and comfortable with. They automatically reject anything adult by writing it off as tropes and stereotyping, like you did with a game you haven't played and a script you haven't seen by writing it off as adolescent fantasy.


If you want to be offended by something, you will be. Anyone can find flaws in something and be pissed off by it if that's what they go into it trying to do.
 
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6. El Primo De Los Matadors Jul 20, 2012, 15:08 space captain
 
eRe4s3r wrote on Jul 20, 2012, 14:59:
And you would only have yourself to blame if you cared what other people think. Never compromise your message to cater to an audience.

Yeh, as long as they are paying attention, it doesnt really matter what they think. The transaction has already been completed at that point.
 
Go forth, and kill!
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5. Re: Political Correctness Jul 20, 2012, 14:59 eRe4s3r
 
And you would only have yourself to blame if you cared what other people think. Never compromise your message to cater to an audience.  
Avatar 54727
 
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4. Re: Political Correctness Jul 20, 2012, 13:47 RollinThundr
 
MajorD wrote on Jul 20, 2012, 12:09:
Political Correctness has its place, but has become so absurd due to taking it to the extreme. Pretty much like the so called ‘Social Networking’ (texting, Twitter, and Facebook”), which has rendered both it into an oxymoron.


Political Correctness ruins everything it touches. You can't so much as sneeze these days without someone getting their panties in a bunch over it.
 
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3. not really "correct" at all Jul 20, 2012, 13:31 space captain
 
in particular, the sexualized depiction of the goddess Kali;


'Kali is portrayed mostly in two forms: the popular four-armed form and the ten-armed Mahakali form. In both of her forms, she is described as being black in color but is most often depicted as blue in popular Indian art. Her eyes are described as red with intoxication, and in absolute rage, her hair is shown disheveled, small fangs sometimes protrude out of her mouth, and her tongue is lolling. She is often shown naked or just wearing a skirt made of human arms and a garland of human heads. She is also accompanied by serpents and a jackal while standing on a seemingly dead Shiva, usually right foot forward to symbolize the more popular Dakshinamarga or right-handed path, as opposed to the more infamous and transgressive Vamamarga or left-handed path. Various Shakta Hindu cosmologies, as well as Shakta Tantric beliefs, worship her as the ultimate reality or Brahman.'

At the dissolution of things, it is Kala [Time] Who will devour all, and by reason of this He is called Mahakala [an epithet of Lord Shiva], and since Thou devourest Mahakala Himself, it is Thou who art the Supreme Primordial Kalika. Because Thou devourest Kala, Thou art Kali, the original form of all things, and because Thou art the Origin of and devourest all things Thou art called the Adya [the Primordial One]. Re-assuming after Dissolution Thine own form, dark and formless, Thou alone remainest as One ineffable and inconceivable. Though having a form, yet art Thou formless; though Thyself without beginning, multiform by the power of Maya, Thou art the Beginning of all, Creatrix, Protectress, and Destructress that Thou art.

- Mahanirvana-tantra



"All languages do, of course, have nouns for aspects of time, but in early Sanskrit these words concern time as a measuring stick or time as a quantity, not the abstract concept of time. The words for day, night, and month as quantities have already been mentioned, but one designation for time, the word 'kala', in particular attained special significance in the early religion and this word subsequently underwent a special development in the emerging religions of India. This Sanskrit word for time, 'kala' masc. 'specific point in time', is of a similiar origin as the (Vedic) word 'kala' fem. 'a small part of the whole, one sixteenth, a bit' both derived from the root kal- 'to calculate, or count'. Kala gives what is essentially a quantitative definition of time which, as Hindu thought later develops, is extended from this essentially limiting definition to the new meanings which still follow much within the boundaries set by the original meaning of the word. That is to say that the semantic field in the expanded meaning still very much keeps to a quantitative definition of time.

Deriving from this semantic nucleus of a 'time within which' comes a far more significant extension of the meaning of fixed or limited time to the sense of the final time or limit of life, i.e. kala- 'death by age, destiny, fate' and from this new semantic nucleus come compound words containing this basic meaning of death, e.g. kalam kr- 'to die'; kalagata 'dead, literally "time-gone"'.

- W. H. Snyder"
 
Go forth, and kill!
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2. Re: Op Ed Jul 20, 2012, 12:52 Silicon Avatar
 
Video game developers want to tackle adult themes but they write adolescent stories and with undeveloped characters so they end up relying on tropes and stereotypes which are typically offensive.

Good writing directs the flow of conversation to a point so that people who "get it" can have a discussion. Bad writing just makes people mad. "A Clockwork Orange" used violence and rape as a means to convey a message that could be discussed (whether you agree with the message or not). Tomb Raider uses violence and rape as a means to seem grown up even though its still an action-hero adolescent fantasy.

So... It's not bad ideas - it's bad writing.

 
Avatar 18037
 
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1. Re: Political Correctness Jul 20, 2012, 12:09 MajorD
 

Political Correctness has its place, but has become so absurd due to taking it to the extreme. Pretty much like the so called ‘Social Networking’ (texting, Twitter, and Facebook”), which has rendered both it into an oxymoron.

 
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