The Philosophy, Art, and Social Influence of games
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J T
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Re: Interesting Research: "Sexist Games=Sexist Gamers?"

by J T Tue Apr 07, 2015 2:50 pm

My own belief is that the relationship of sexism in games and culture is circular. Sexism in games is both a product of larger sexism in the general culture, but also contributes to that culture by helping maintain the status quo. I think gamergate has only made that all the more apparent as many gamers continue to take umbrage against feminist challenges to the status quo of videogames and gamer culture. At the same time, it has been nice to see the industry has started to take the issue more seriously, at least in some circles, as a result of the debate.
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Re: Interesting Research: "Sexist Games=Sexist Gamers?"

by Gunstar Green Tue Apr 07, 2015 2:51 pm

TSTR wrote:For a sec, I totally thought this was an article about the sexiest games and gamers.


Sexy games = sexy gamers?

If only.

J T wrote:My own belief is that the relationship of sexism in games and culture is circular. Sexism in games is both a product of larger sexism in the general culture, but also contributes to that culture by helping maintain the status quo. I think gamergate has only made that all the more apparent as many gamers continue to take umbrage against feminist challenges to the status quo of videogames and gamer culture. At the same time, it has been nice to see the industry has started to take the issue more seriously, at least in some circles.


This reflects my own belief on the matter.
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Re: Interesting Research: "Sexist Games=Sexist Gamers?"

by Ack Tue Apr 07, 2015 3:05 pm

J T wrote:I think gamergate has only made that all the more apparent as many gamers continue to take umbrage against feminist challenges to the status quo of videogames and gamer culture.


Yes and no, mainly because wasn't gamergate mainly fueled by comments and online reaction?

Seth Godin wrote in the mid-2000s that all evidence he had seen pointed to only about 1 in 100 people who read articles online ever taking the time to comment, most often because these individuals felt they had something to say and held more extreme views than others. With forums and message boards, the percentage participating in conversations may increase but still never approaches 100% of all viewers and likely never exceeds to an actual majority of visitors. Case in point, this thread has roughly 12 replies and 130 views at the time of this posting, and several of those replies are from the same handful of people.

Applying that same logic to gamergate and online comment sections in general, you're always only looking at a small percentage of any given set of readers, and you're generally looking at those with more extreme viewpoints on the subject who felt they needed to say something. So the extreme bile vomited forth that you saw in relation to gamergate was potentially the worst of the worst and not really a solid representation of gaming culture as a whole. It may still paint a disturbing picture of an extreme minority within gaming culture, but it is not really representative of all of us.

I suppose I should add that what I wrote is about online comments sections, not sexism and video games. I'm all for more studies both larger and over a longer time span to study this phenomenon.
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Re: Interesting Research: "Sexist Games=Sexist Gamers?"

by Exhuminator Tue Apr 07, 2015 3:17 pm

Ack wrote:Yes and no, mainly because wasn't gamergate mainly fueled by comments and online reaction?

As opposed to deep-seated gender perspective research in tandem with analysis of cross populace gamer sampling in accordance with generational demographic propensity? Are you high? Games hate women and make you shoot people, ask anybody.
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J T
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Re: Interesting Research: "Sexist Games=Sexist Gamers?"

by J T Tue Apr 07, 2015 4:08 pm

Exhuminator wrote:Games hate women and make you shoot people, ask anybody.


Give em hell.

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Re: Interesting Research: "Sexist Games=Sexist Gamers?"

by BoringSupreez Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:07 am

J T wrote:I also want to highlight, that whether sexist video games lead to sexist beliefs or not, that still doesn't detract from the basic argument that there is room for more female-inclusive games, which for some reason is a controversial topic.

I have nothing against women playing games, or games made with women in mind. What bugs me is the notion put forth by a vocal minority that all games should appeal to both genders and all demographics. There's nothing morally wrong with a game that makes no effort to appeal to women, or vice versa. I don't care to ever play the Kim Kardashian game, so I don't care that the developer didn't include a Kanye West mode. The game was not made for me.

I don't think "token" characters do anything for a game's overall quality, or even anything to make a game more inclusive. Inclusiveness is more reliant on the subject matter and content than having the right genders and skin colors. So to include more female gamers, I think the best track to take is to make more games that pander to them by nature rather than adding female characters to obviously male-oriented games.

Specilization, IMO, is one of the best ways to pursue quality for your specific audience. For example, Dr. Who tacks heavily towards a female audience (in recent years) and, in my personal experience, they love it. The only guys I've known who like modern Dr. Who are ones I'd describe as effeminate. The Dark Knight Returns and The Watchmen were more male-oriented, and they are, as we know, some of the best graphic novels of all time. Whereas Marvel flicks, trying to appeal to both, are dreck (please no flame). They make more money, I'll certainly give you that, but as far as objective quality goes (to the extent that there is such a thing) franchises that try to specialize their audiences a bit instead of trying to appeal to the masses tend to be better. I'll even throw in a gaming example: look at The Elder Scrolls back when they tried to appeal primarily to the RPG gaming crowd, vs Skyrim which tried to go after the biggest crowd they could.

To boil down my point: I think that just as trying to appeal to the biggest cross-genre audience as possible waters down a game, trying to appeal to both genders as much as possible has the same effect. I don't think females should be unrepresented, they should just have games that are made for them vs sticking female characters into male-oriented games so as to look inclusive.

And of course, if there's really so many underrepresented female gamers out there they need to be rewarding developers that do cater to them by buying those games, lol.
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Re: Interesting Research: "Sexist Games=Sexist Gamers?"

by marurun Wed Apr 08, 2015 7:56 pm

BoringSupreez wrote:What bugs me is the notion put forth by a vocal minority that all games should appeal to both genders and all demographics.


I don't think I have seen anyone argue for this, ever, and I have read quite a bit on this topic.
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Re: Interesting Research: "Sexist Games=Sexist Gamers?"

by dsheinem Wed Apr 08, 2015 7:58 pm

marurun wrote:
BoringSupreez wrote:What bugs me is the notion put forth by a vocal minority that all games should appeal to both genders and all demographics.


I don't think I have seen anyone argue for this, ever, and I have read quite a bit on this topic.


It's a very, very, very, very small minority.
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Re: Interesting Research: "Sexist Games=Sexist Gamers?"

by marurun Wed Apr 08, 2015 8:35 pm

dsheinem wrote:
marurun wrote:
BoringSupreez wrote:What bugs me is the notion put forth by a vocal minority that all games should appeal to both genders and all demographics.


I don't think I have seen anyone argue for this, ever, and I have read quite a bit on this topic.


It's a very, very, very, very small minority.


Small enough, I would argue, that it doesn't even really factor into the discussion. It's an argument that creates a bogey man that, for practical purposes, doesn't exist. They have a term for that, don't they? What is it? Oh yeah, a straw man argument.
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Re: Interesting Research: "Sexist Games=Sexist Gamers?"

by BoringSupreez Thu Apr 09, 2015 2:18 am

marurun wrote:
dsheinem wrote:
marurun wrote:I don't think I have seen anyone argue for this, ever, and I have read quite a bit on this topic.


It's a very, very, very, very small minority.


Small enough, I would argue, that it doesn't even really factor into the discussion. It's an argument that creates a bogey man that, for practical purposes, doesn't exist. They have a term for that, don't they? What is it? Oh yeah, a straw man argument.

Yeah it's not too many people that seriously want that, and I mostly (entirely?) see it on mainstream gaming sites.
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