Zaewen

Feminist gaming blog with a heaping dash of science and politics

So I get comments on two year old posts…

Ethergeist June 12, 2013 at 8:41 am

I cannot understand why there is always a complaint about how there is a lack of female protagonists – Here’s why: When game companies make female protagonists (as evidenced by your article above) there are complaints about how “sexist” or “scantily-clad” they are – are you “slut shaming?” – I doubt it – my point is this: EVEN MALE PROTAGONISTS look NOTHING like the males who play the games – their “best features” are also exaggerated – If we wanted to see things in video games that mirrored real life, we just wouldn’t play them. So, get over it, and if you think that there are not enough female protagonists, or that they are “over-sexualized” or whatever – Make some games with female protagonists that you want to see – it is easier, and more possible today than ever before. And above all, stop complaining.

*slow clap*

Well done, Ethergeist, well done. You sure told me. And on a two year old post, too! Woo boy, let me tell you, past-me is so getting over it right now. Hot damn.

In all seriousness though, who got your boxers all in a bunch? Was it this tweet by Feminist Frequency? I bet it was. Otherwise it’s kinda hard to imagine that someone of your estimable critical thinking skills would google “lack of female representation at E3” or the more likely and ever so classy “women bitching about bitches at E3” and go back the however many pages it took to get to my lil corner of the backlog woods.

But ya know what, I’ve been itching to write again and you just brought a whole bunch of what I’m going to call sexist asshattery to my blog. So here is why you are wrong in bullet points:

  • Bullet point 1: There’s a big difference between slut-shaming characters and critiquing a character’s design. Namely that a) I didn’t insinuate anything about their persons based on their clothing and b) those characters DID NOT CHOOSE THEIR CLOTHING, or their body types, or their poses, or their proclivity to shove their staff up their ass (in the case of Dragon’s Crown). You know who did? The game designers, who are almost certainly made of up of mostly men. In this case sexist straight, white, cis-men who are only thinking about what other sexist straight, white, cis-men want to see in the games they play. They don’t care about any other demographic (except for maybe straight, white cis-women who have bought into the sexist narrative that their only worth is through their tits).
  • Bullet point 2: If we didn’t want to see video games that mirrored real life why would we have physics engines for water particles or for the way dead bodies fall down, or tech demos that showcase our ability to make people look more realistic and less like citizens of the uncanny valley, or Battleduty 10 that puts you right there in the action of Afganaraq shooting terrorists. We want fantasy and escapism in our games, but we obviously want our fantasy and escapism to feel as real as possible when we’re shooting brown people or swimming through a jungle or kicking a ball through a net. The only times gamers don’t really seem to care about reality is when it comes to women’s tits and ass and personalities (or the complete lack thereof).
  • Bullet points 3 through 7: You’re totally right male protagonists are all exaggerated walking penises – oh wait, they’re not. Their ‘exaggerated features’ are strength, bravery, athletic ability, intelligence, etc. None of these things are sexualized body parts or are shown through sexualized body parts. And here’s the kicker: Kratos may have huge biceps and a tiny waist, something that might traipse into the realm of sexy, but Mario is literally the exact opposite with tiny biceps and a large waist. Male protagonists in games get to be varied, they can be large or small, lanky or bulky, wiry or ripped or even completely unmuscled. And for the vast majority, completely clothed. If they were treated the same as the Sorceress up there they’d have a ball sack that drug on the ground behind them barely contained by a tiny strip of loin cloth. And he’s pose by holding it up and making a skull make kissy faces with it. That’s how absurd female portrayal in video games is. And if you don’t believe me: believe all of these people and their wise, wise words.
  • Bullet point 8: Women, and non-sexist men, ARE trying to make their own games. But they have to go the indie or kickstarter route because, SURPRISE, the mainstream, male-dominated gaming industry thinks pretty much like you do. That women, or at least non-sex object women, aren’t a part of gaming. And that’s despite the proven fact that 47% of gamers are women and that more women over 18 are playing than teenage boys. These attitudes don’t just stay in the virtual world, they bleed over into our world and make it hard, if not impossible, for women to break into main stream game companies. And when they do they face belittlement, harassment, silencing, stalking, and rape and death threats.
  • Bullet point 9: And last but not least, don’t tell me to stop complaining. I’m not complaining, I’m criticizing. I’m one of many that are shining a light on the dark side of the gaming community. What you are doing, when you so handily dismiss me and yell at me to shut up, is that you are attempting to silence me, to make me go away with stupid arguments and spitefulness. The real question here is why. Why do you feel so threatened by women wanting to have the same fun that men do? Why are you so threatened by women sharing your space and your toys? Why are you so threatened by the idea of change and progress? I think you know why, and I think it has more than a little bit do with how you view women and how you wish the women in your life would act. Here’s a protip for you though, the vast majority of real women will not act like the Sorceress up there. Some may genuinely have her body type, and maybe even dress that way (albeit with the help of double sided tape), but ain’t none of them going to act that way because they’re actual people with actual wants and needs and likes and dislikes and personalities.

And that’s the rub for you and people like you who complain when women want to have decent representation in video games. You hate when women act like people instead of objects and you demand that video games give you that escapist, sexist as fuck fantasy because you can’t deal with the real world and the real people in it.

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