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Real Name Slash   
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Nickname Slashman
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Signed On Aug 1, 2008, 12:28
Total Comments 2395 (Senior)
User ID 52205
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News Comments > Op Ed
37. Re: Op Ed Sep 1, 2014, 10:25 Slashman
jdreyer wrote on Sep 1, 2014, 03:28:
It's much cheaper to educate yourselves. My feeling is that most devs are not sexist, they just use tropes without really thinking about it. And I think that's what a lot of this is all about.

Exactly. There is also the reality that many game companies aren't on the same footing. Some companies barely have the resources to finish the game they started without going bankrupt, much less combing through their content for anything that might be offensive to some people.

Also, cultural differences exist in different countries where one thing may be perfectly acceptable to have in a game/movie/tv show that is frowned on by people in another country.

It isn't a simple matter of 'remove the tropes' and 'write better characters'. There is no simple, universal fix. That's even assuming you can get people to agree on the exact things that need fixing. And judging by several of the bad examples given by those championing the cause, that's a task all on it's own.

This comment was edited on Sep 1, 2014, 10:34.
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News Comments > Op Ed
24. Re: Op Ed Sep 1, 2014, 00:52 Slashman
Squirmer wrote on Aug 31, 2014, 19:29:
That's really simplistic. Assuming there's some truth to the claim that those games are more appealing to men due to their design rather than content (and there might be truth to that, I don't think anyone knows for sure), the fact remains that plenty of women do still play those kinds of games. You can't use a simple percentage stat as an argument for treating female characters like shit.

First, that's based on years of observation from both being a PC tech and network admin and working at companies which do a lot of home PC repairs. Also from years of hosting and being involved in local LAN tournaments and gaming in general.

I have yet to find a truly significant number of women who are dedicated players of games like GTA or Just Cause 2. Sims? Sure. Casual social games? Sure. MMOs? Sure.

With regards to treating female characters like shit: Sometimes...even most times. Game story writers are not all that great at writing characters. And most of the time a badly written female character is a reflection of poor character writing skills period. It's not some attempt trivialize women.

Take The Last of Us: I don't have raw numbers, but I get the impression that plenty of women played that and really enjoyed it, including because the female characters in that game were treated comparatively respectfully. And the game still had tons of violence and killing. Overall, I'm sure more men than women played it. But is that because it has a lot of violence, is it because more men own PS3s than women, is it because all games have more male than female players, is it due to the cultural-historical reason that games have always been aimed at men and not women and so that's how the audience has been built, is it for some other reason?

The Last of Us, like The Walking Dead games, is a story-driven game. Women do like story driven games. Action driven games, much less so.

As to why game studios wouldn't make better female characters, money may have something to do with it. If you need to bring in a professional writer every time you make an action game just to 'nice up the female characters' in it, who is paying for that? And what kind of financial gain is to be had from it? Last time I checked, patting yourself on the back doesn't balance books.

You can also ask most developers, characters and story pretty much take a back seat in most games because they get fit in after the major framework of the game is done. So unless someone is writing a story or character driven game, those things are going to be secondary.

"Women don't like those kinds of games" seems really reductionist and lacks any evidence.

Feel free to go out and gather evidence you think is relevant and let me know what you find.

Also, I have no idea why it is a crime for women to be attracted to different game types than men. Someone probably wrote that rule while I wasn't looking.
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News Comments > Steam Top 10
11. Re: Steam Top 10 Aug 31, 2014, 22:20 Slashman
Cutter wrote on Aug 31, 2014, 22:16:
BIGtrouble77 wrote on Aug 31, 2014, 18:28:
I don't understand the logic behind pre-ordering a digital download either.

I think civ V is the last civ game I'm likely to buy... I've gotten way more enjoyment out of victoria II/crusader Kings 2/EU 4 to the point where I haven't even considered any of the civ V DLCs. Compressing the timeline (like eu4 does) makes the game so much more immersive.

I did contracting work on civIII so that nostalgia is still there, but I just don't find the games fun anymore.

The DLC really makes Civ V what it should have been from the get go. Anyway, I'm amped for Beyond Earth!

I feel slightly more amped for Endless Legend for some reason.
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News Comments > Steam Top 10
8. Re: Steam Top 10 Aug 31, 2014, 19:17 Slashman
Frijoles wrote on Aug 31, 2014, 14:41:
Slashman wrote on Aug 31, 2014, 13:59:
Really surprised that Lichdom:Battlemage isn't up there. It's not a bad game at all.

I've been really tempted to buy that one, but if you click anywhere in a Let's Play video, you'll see the same gameplay and monsters. The player is moving backwards in a long corridor while they throw fireballs of different colors at the enemies to kite them. It just doesn't look like there's much else to the game. Looks fun for an hour or two, but I'm afraid I'd lose interest after that. I'll probably grab it at 50% off.

I'd say that's more people choosing to play a certain way than that being all there is to the game. It is one of those gamesw where if you are lazy and don't like to read descriptions of things, you get stuck in a pattern.

For instance, you can go toe-to-toe with almost anything in the game if you craft the right spells and shields. 2 of the 3 shield types in the game allow you to use a timed block to negate any attack while triggering a nova of varying effects depending on the type of spell you have equipped. For me, beating the first boss required me to unlearn the whole running away thing and press the attack.

Most of the people complaining about repetition aren't crafting new spell types or using the synthesis options fully.

There is an extensive in-game journal telling you exactly what does what but people insist on not reading it I guess.
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News Comments > Op Ed
3. Re: Op Ed Aug 31, 2014, 14:10 Slashman
Silicon Avatar wrote on Aug 31, 2014, 13:53:
Stop treating women in games, which are at least half the paying audience, like stripper poles.

That's just it. Women are NOT half the audience for most of the games people are discussing and arguing about with regards to sexism. They are likely less than 5%

Women have much higher percentage of the audience for games in the casual and social category. And perhaps MMOs.

If you niced up GTA 5 so that women were 'treated better' in it. You likely wouldn't sell one copy more because most women don't want to play a game like GTA 5 or Quake or Unreal Tournament or Far Cry 3 or Sleeping Dogs.

That's what's so funny about all of this. Women for the most part aren't playing these games for the same reasons they haven't been all along. They aren't into them.
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News Comments > Steam Top 10
3. Re: Steam Top 10 Aug 31, 2014, 13:59 Slashman
Really surprised that Lichdom:Battlemage isn't up there. It's not a bad game at all.

I posted to Blue about the release but haven't seen a post for it come up yet.
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News Comments > Saturday Previews
15. Re: Saturday Previews Aug 31, 2014, 10:18 Slashman
I'm not in on the beta but I'll likely be picking this up as soon as it comes out.  
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News Comments > Op Ed
205. Re: Op Ed Aug 30, 2014, 23:20 Slashman
Sho wrote on Aug 30, 2014, 19:38:
The Walking Dead is actually one of the most violent games I can readily think of, because a lot of its more violent moments are made a point of and they happen directly at the hand of the player character. Few games have went to such lengths to point out to me I'm currently bashing someone's head in or hacking their limbs off. But the violence is also usually integral to the story, with the aftermath of violence often getting into themes about responsibility, do-ends-justify-means, revenge, etc. (But not in a ham-fisted, black-and-white way, either. It's well-written, plus multiple-choice dialogs allow player expression.)

Well first, The Walking Dead is an extremely popular show with men and women alike. Second, I'm not familiar with the gameplay in the games, but I'm thinking it's not like a FPS or 3rd person melee/shooter right? Third, it is a story driven game. Not every game can work as a story driven game. This is especially true for games that allow a wide range of freedom like open world action games ala Just Cause 2, Sleeping Dogs and GTA. Those games depend a great deal more on the player to tell their own story and are much more action-driven. The story elements are just there to flesh out the world.

I have a friend who got his wife playing Diablo 1 and 2. She would play for hours. I recently built them a new PC and they have some recent games. She now happily prefers to play Bubble Witch Saga or whatever mix and match game she can find, Farmville clones etc. Needless to say my friend isn't happy with that change in her gaming habits but nothing seems to make her want to play anything more substantial.

I've worked as a PC tech and network admin for over 17 years and I can pretty much tell you that I've seen thousands of PCs from men and women alike. I have yet to work on more than 1 or 2 PCs from any female which contained FPS/3rd person action games or even RTS games to any great degree. The interest, in general, is just not there. And it really has nothing to do with sexism and misogyny in the games themselves.
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News Comments > Op Ed
191. Re: Op Ed Aug 30, 2014, 18:40 Slashman
jdreyer wrote on Aug 30, 2014, 16:33:
Right, it's a good point, and a further argument for more women in gaming. The women in Uncharted were well-written, and surprise! it was written by a woman. Also note how having strong, well-written female characters didn't affect sales at all.

I don't think anyone would argue that better written female characters would affect sales negatively.

The question is: 'Would better written female characters significantly increase sales or even significantly increase sales to women?'

That's a different kettle of fish. Would having better written female characters make women flock to play the GTA series? I highly doubt it. Most women I have ever talked to about violent games are turned off by the violence period.

An old girlfriend of mine once said something to me like: 'You play computer games right? Think you could get me some to play?'

My brief period of elation ended when she followed that up with: 'None of that violent shit either!' She didn't say 'none with violence to women' or 'no damsel in distress stories.'

This comment was edited on Aug 30, 2014, 19:11.
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News Comments > Op Ed
185. Re: Op Ed Aug 30, 2014, 14:17 Slashman
Sho wrote on Aug 30, 2014, 13:48:
On that note, I really enjoy the Extra Credits video series on more general game design and game writing topics. I suspect it might come across as a bit too preachy for some here as well, but it often raises interesting points.

I've never watched it. I'll take a look if it's still available.
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News Comments > Op Ed
182. Re: Op Ed Aug 30, 2014, 13:39 Slashman
Sho wrote on Aug 30, 2014, 11:43:
I take no issue with this (or most of the rest of your comment; I think you make some good points), but I'm not sure where trust enters the picture in the first place. Why do we need to trust Sarkeesian? She needs to be critically evaluated, that's all. It's not about her being a leader of anything.

Really one of the biggest dangers in general is group-think, towards any position.

I'm fine replacing trust with 'take seriously' or 'give merit to'.

I wasn't implying the type of trust from a character POV but rather from being able to safely accept the validity of the source.

I'll also add that there is a lot of poor writing in games both today and in the past. I have to to stop and ask myself though, if a gamer writer creates a poorly represented female character, is he being sexist or a misogynist or just poorly writing a female character because he has trouble relating to how a female might actually act in a given situation? That same poor writer is also likely to poorly write male characters but his portrayal of male characters will likely be OK by the standards of male gamers.

Now if Sarkeesian wants better writing in games across the board, I can get behind that. I do have more trouble getting behind the idea that women in games are the only or more urgent victims of bad writing.

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News Comments > Op Ed
179. Re: Op Ed Aug 30, 2014, 11:24 Slashman
My take on this remains that you cannot expect people to trust your opinion when you're holding up games that aren't guilty of your accusations.

Further, if the examples you hold up are bad examples, then where do the actual problems you are trying to fix reside? Jerykk pointed out exactly how flawed her argument about Hitman was and I pointed out the same thing with regard to her arguments about The Witcher series.

If the aim is to make these games more attractive to women, then I must disagree that removing or censoring violence to women will make more women play them. Most women are not interested in the mainstream action blockbusters that studios put out each year. Women do not comb through info on a game looking for content that may be offensive to women before deciding to buy it. I have certainly never seen a woman lament the 'damsel in distress' trope as a reason for not playing any game.

So now that brings us to the whole 'message sent to society' angle. Games are not the same medium as movies or tv. TV and Movies do not empower their audience to affect the game world. As such, it is crazy to want to shoehorn in more restrictions in games. Whether that means actively trying to get studios to change game content or 'suggesting' that they do because we don't want to send the wrong message and desensitize the audience to violence against women. It is not a game developer's responsibility to teach morals to players. Games are purely entertainment. If you want to teach people to properly respect women, I suggest you start by teaching people how to be responsible parents. I'm fairly sure that most of the injustices done to women in our society did not stem from, and are not fed by video games.

All the people who sent horrible messages and threats to Sarkeesian didn't get that behaviour from games. They got that way because they were poorly taught decency or respect growing up. I'm tired of people pointing to them and saying that because some people reacted like that, it must obviously mean that the gaming community is horribly infested with sexism and misogyny. No. It means that you can find sexism and misogyny anywhere if you look hard enough. I can even find it in my workplace and I'm the only real gamer there.
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News Comments > Op Ed
41. Re: Op Ed Aug 28, 2014, 22:48 Slashman
Beamer wrote on Aug 28, 2014, 21:44:

I'm not saying she's perfect.
But she also isn't saying every trop applies to every game.

But she IS saying that tropes not present in several games are present. If you don't find that disturbing from someone who is supposed to be championing a cause to make games better, then I don't know what to say to you.

We aren't pretending that pimps and prostitutes don't exist, but are you going to pretend that they're as common in real life as they are in games?

Are you serious? Prostitutes abound in the real world. There are whole cities and countries where they are a major part of the freaking economy.

If a game has a scene set in a strip club, who do you expect to see in the club? Because I'd wager that strippers would be the first thing to come to mind. Same for a brothel. I'd expect to see hookers.

As for GTAV, name one female character in that game. I'd be surprised if you could. Now, name one female character that wasn't entirely heinous and awful.

That's great and actually what I said except SHE didn't in her video. Again that is my point. She instead takes a scene that doesn't argue her point well and leaves out the glaring faults in the game that you just named.

I can do it pretty easily for Saints Row. That game had pimps. It had prostitutes. It also had female characters that existed as characters.

Ironically, so did the Witcher 2. It still ended up on her hit list. Wonder how THAT happened?
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News Comments > Op Ed
38. Re: Op Ed Aug 28, 2014, 21:33 Slashman
Beamer wrote on Aug 28, 2014, 19:59:
And of course they aren't discussing what doesn't fit their narrative. Because they aren't discussing the current state of games, they're discussing the patterns against women.

The problem a lot of us have is that she keeps choosing games that aren't actually doing what she says they are.

The Witcher 2 had a lot of strong female characters. Several of them more powerful than the male protagonist. But it is set in a world similar to our medieval earth. It wasn't a pleasant place and that is reflected by the sexual unpleasantness and violence that are prevalent in the game.

I don't expect that someone who is arguing for a cause they supposedly feel passionate about is going to be so uninformed. Especially not to the point that they can't produce good examples of what they are arguing about.

And that is exactly what most of us here are angered about. Not just accusations about us, but about the fact that she obviously doesn't even care enough to properly do her homework.

She talks about a scene in grand theft auto where a woman is helpless and at the mercy of two thugs instead of talking about the GTA franchise not having female lead character choices. It's a game about bad people doing bad things. Does she want it censored so only bad things are done to men?

And while I'm at it. Let me address this whole women as helpless objects and prizes for male characters thing. At some point in time, we're all going to have to realize that on average, female humans are physically weaker than male humans. It's genetics and we're not the only species on the planet where one sex is stronger than the other. It kind of stands to reason that if you're portraying evil and twisted men, that these men would take advantage of women because they are physically more powerful than women.

Are we going to pretend that pimps and prostitutes don't exist now as well? Is she arguing that misrepresenting the setting of the gameworld is OK so as not to offend women? In Far Cry 3 a male pimp beats a female prostitute. That's ghastly because it obviously doesn't ever happen in real life right?
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News Comments > Op Ed
8. Re: Op Ed Aug 28, 2014, 00:21 Slashman
Realistically speaking,

The world is now and has been before full of violence against women by evil/corrupt men. How does portraying that in a game make it sexist?

Most of that isn't just something that the evil game designer made up in his head. In the era of game settings like Assassin's Creed, there were indeed atrocities done to women and women were victimized.

If I made a movie set in the year 1805 in America and it contained depictions of slavery, does that mean that I'm trying to attract a white audience with slave-related content?

Some games do have too much gratuitous violence against women. Some games simply use reality to portray how ugly the world is. I can't accept that stance that every time violence is done to a woman in a game or a woman is portrayed sexually, that it is a horrible wrong if it fits with the actual setting of the game world.

There is no individual examination of the game as a whole to see if what is shown is really something that only exists to cater to male power trips. How do you portray the environment in a strip club or brothel without sexually evocative images of women? "Well we happened to wander into the brothel when it was closed for renovations so there were no whores there."
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News Comments > Borderlands 2 Free Weekend; Pre-Sequel Pre-Purchases
17. Re: Borderlands 2 Free Weekend; Pre-Sequel Pre-Purchases Aug 20, 2014, 22:30 Slashman
LittleMe wrote on Aug 20, 2014, 18:36:
It's a great FPS. I just found the inventory gamepad centered UI to be very frustrating. That said I don't understand most of the hate for the game. They did a great job with BL2. It was a big improvement over BL1 I thought. So what it's not a graphical wonder. It's fun and they got so much else right with the genre.

I don't recall a lot of hate for BL 2. More hate for the publisher and developer I think.
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News Comments > Gwent: Witcher 3's Embedded Card Game
9. Re: Gwent: Witcher 3's Embedded Card Game Aug 16, 2014, 21:27 Slashman
Icewind wrote on Aug 16, 2014, 17:00:
MS is desperate. They're losing to the PS4 and they are doing whatever they can to claw back.

Yeah I wonder who is to blame for that... Thinking
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News Comments > Galactic Civilizations III Beta Underway
35. Re: Galactic Civilizations III Beta Underway Aug 15, 2014, 17:37 Slashman
Island Dog wrote on Aug 15, 2014, 17:01:
Creston wrote on Aug 14, 2014, 22:34:
Slashman wrote on Aug 14, 2014, 20:42:
The combat in this better not be crap like GalCiv 2.

It worries me that no one is actually talking about it. Worried

I honestly can't remember if they said you'd have control over it this time or not...

There's not going to be tactical combat, but the fleet battles will be greatly improved over GC2. They are also looking at ways to have more user interaction during battles.

I'm OK with having no direct control over individual ships. But I very much do not want a boring cinematic scenario. I'd like at least some formation orders and maybe set attack/defense priorities. Something that lets me feel like I have a say in the outcome of the battle.
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News Comments > Total War: Rome 2 Free & Paid DLC Today
2. Re: Total War: Rome 2 Free & Paid DLC Today Aug 15, 2014, 11:24 Slashman
Simon Says wrote on Aug 15, 2014, 10:59:
Cool, but now... How about actually fixing the game already? No?

Didn't the last patch address siege AI properly? What is still missing?
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News Comments > Galactic Civilizations III Beta Underway
32. Re: Galactic Civilizations III Beta Underway Aug 14, 2014, 20:42 Slashman
The combat in this better not be crap like GalCiv 2.

It worries me that no one is actually talking about it. Worried
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