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AMCrenshaw
04-06-2009, 05:17 AM
Here I think are examples of sexualized violence in descending order of subtlety:

Soul Calibur 4 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1l-xaxbp8pk&feature=related) -- notice that when women are hurt, they don't sound hurt.
Soul Calibur 4 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHRXPjvwKJs&feature=related) -- What the hell


Grand Theft Auto, an easy target (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Theft_Auto_%28series%29#Sex_.28Grand_Theft_A uto:_San_Andreas.29) -- A mod in which your avatar can have sex with his video game girlfriends. And you get to watch.


Rape simulation? (http://www.somethingawful.com/d/hentai-game-reviews/rapelay.php)

A response (http://feministphilosophers.wordpress.com/2009/02/23/what-happened-on-video-games-and-sexualized-violence/)

At what point do these video games become pornography? What influence do these games have on shaping young teenagers' mindsets, specifically concerning the sexual objectification of women? Through this influence, do these video games, enjoyed by impressionable minds, infringe on women's rights indirectly?

AMC

William Haskins
04-06-2009, 05:24 AM
unless in violation of an existing law, let the market decide.

Bartholomew
04-06-2009, 05:24 AM
You lost me with the mods. That's akin to reading a Harry Potter fanfic about Hermione giving Dumbledore a blowjob, and then demanding that all Harry Potter books be banned.

Cyia
04-06-2009, 05:30 AM
I'm not familiar with the games, but if any of the characters are underage, then it's illegal. Otherwise, it's disgusting, but legal.

AMCrenshaw
04-06-2009, 05:37 AM
That's akin to reading a Harry Potter fanfic about Hermione giving Dumbledore a blowjob, and then demanding that all Harry Potter books be banned.

The mod was made by the creators of the game. I'm not talking about banning anything, please note. Neither does Harry Potter include or endorse sexualized violence. The question also includes or should include-- what message does this send to children?

I am, to be sure, all about freedom of expression. But is this "freedom" oppressive?

AMC

AMCrenshaw
04-06-2009, 05:39 AM
unless in violation of an existing law, let the market decide.

I agree. And I don't think laws would prevent it anyway. It would merely become a new kind of market, after all.

AMC

Don
04-06-2009, 05:52 AM
When porn is outlawed, only outlaws will have porn.

Let's give the underground another illicit product to sell so we can start a War on Porn.

Bird of Prey
04-06-2009, 05:55 AM
I agree. And I don't think laws would prevent it anyway. It would merely become a new kind of market, after all.

AMC

As soon as it comes to exploitation or demonstrated violence toward women, we never need laws, the justification being that the black market would undermine any deterrent.

But of course, over half the country doesn't say that about heroin. . . or for that matter, all those male sired minors.

I've been through this so many times. It's all so hypocritical to me. Big free speech advocates that can't hold their end up in their personal lives, but there they are: when it comes to violence toward women, suddenly it's a first amendment issue, and oh well: it's just women after all. But these same people have no problem with abortion: it's horrible; they hate it. But if half those babies wind up women with the tacit O.K. that they're raped - well, no law against that. What a joke.

whistlelock
04-06-2009, 06:02 AM
At what point do these video games become pornography? What influence do these games have on shaping young teenagers' mindsets, specifically concerning the sexual objectification of women? Through this influence, do these video games, enjoyed by impressionable minds, infringe on women's rights indirectly?

AMC

At the same point that, you know, books, television shows, movies, or any form of entertainment created by humans for other humans.

You also may want to gain some education on the average age of a gamer (http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/2004-05-12-gamer-demographics_x.htm)- according to the usa article on the E3 findings, it's 29.

Clearly not the impressionable youth you had imagined.

The truth is video games are no more or less of a social demon than hip hop, comic books, movies, books, or anything else.

backslashbaby
04-06-2009, 06:07 AM
How many males create the demand for it is the most startling part of the equation. If it were all black market, the effect of that thought on a girl's psyche is almost the same.

That Rapelay game is especially stomach-turning. I didn't see it mentioned whether it's illegal in the US, etc, but with the two little girls, I'd assume so. I wonder if it's also illegal in Japan (it's Japanese)?

If we're talking illegal disturbing things on the internet, you haven't seen anything yet.
What people enjoy out there disturbs me terribly, yes.

William Haskins
04-06-2009, 06:38 AM
The truth is video games are no more or less of a social demon than hip hop, comic books, movies, books, or anything else.

or the evening news. precisely.

Zoombie
04-06-2009, 06:41 AM
Okay, I'll level with you guys. This is going to be...a bit of a rant about sexuality and video games and violence! Suitably warned, head on.



I have done some weirdass shit on the internet. I've written bizarre sexual stories. I've looked at pictures, watched movies, played games. I've been doing this since I was 16, gradually getting deeper and deeper into the various communities of the fetishistic on the internet.

I've played non-sexual video games since I was 14.

My brother has played games since he was 14.

So have THOUSANDS of other people.

And to those who think MODERN games are any more violent, sexual, or adult than previous games...hahahahahahahaha, you really need to learn your video game history.

For example...

Fallout is considered by many to be one of the best games of all time. Its got gore, cussing, violence, and sexuality coming out of its ears. Fallout 2 has even MORE. But ask any gamer what they remember most about the games, its NOT going to be the fact that when you shoot someone with a plasma cannon, their skin melts off.

Its going to be the story, the characters, and the amazingly atmospheric gameplay. Its gonna be Dogmeat, or the time that I played a character with 1 luck and the Jinxed special ability (made battles more similar to Three Stooges movies than anything else.)

Now, going away from violence and back to the sex...

As I have said, I have played, watched, read, written and talked about a LOT of perverted stuff. And guess what?

I'm one of the nicest, most gentlemanly people out there, if I do say so myself. And some of the nicest people I've met on the internet are people out there looking for porn.

Do you want to know why?

BECAUSE ITS NOT REAL!

That's something a lot of people seem to forget: 99% of everyone on this planet has a very VERY well defined line between reality and non-reality.

Kids are not STUPID! They know a difference between a bunch of polygons and their girlfriends. And if they DON'T, then I'm going to suggest that there is something wrong somewhere in the parenting.

My parents were very firm about how to treat women and men. How to be polite. How to not objectify people. How there is a DIFFERENCE BETWEEN REALITY AND FANTASY!

I have gotten some heat before for admitting that, yes, I have rape fantasies. But that's cause people seem to get stuck up on the "rape" part and fail to remember the second word "Fantasy"

And actually, I only have them *occasionally*, when I'm in a dark, non-romantic mood. Most of my porn is, ya know, romantic porn. Why? Cause, MOST people like to see two people in love doing things what people in love do...just some people like the two people to have cat ears or tentacles.

And you know what? That's fine.

What other people do in their spare time is not our business, and we have no moral grounds to think less of them.

So, speaking as a bisexual crossdressing sub/dom furry transexual, take your moral high horse and shove it up your ass.

Bartholomew
04-06-2009, 06:42 AM
The mod was made by the creators of the game. I'm not talking about banning anything, please note. Neither does Harry Potter include or endorse sexualized violence. The question also includes or should include-- what message does this send to children?

I am, to be sure, all about freedom of expression. But is this "freedom" oppressive?

AMC

You're talking about a certain topic being too bad for society as a whole -- too oppressive. Where else would you be going with it?

Zoombie
04-06-2009, 06:44 AM
And also, GRAND THEFT AUTO IS NOT FOR IMMATURE MINDS!

My mom only let me play games when I was old enough to play them. No, not old enough...mature enough.

Cause I have met some kids who are totally ready to 'handle' more adult games...and I've met some adults who woulden't know mature storytelling if it came up AND BIT THEM IN THE ASS!

Cyia
04-06-2009, 06:48 AM
I don't think it's the 99% of people who know these things are fake that are the ones causing the problem. It's that 1% who thinks the tiny men on the TV are giving them their day's itenerary. Or the ones who get obsessed to the point that they can't tell their real lives from their gaming lives. Just like it's not the majority of society who breaks the law in violent depraved ways.

But, you have to take into consideration that simulation is a standard method of training in most military organizations for a reason. Just like simulation comes before the real thing in taking flying lessons. People are creatures of habit and they function off learned behaviors. If a person does nothing but sit in front of a screen and play violent games, then they can develop a more violent personality because it's what they're used to. (I don't mean someone who spends an hour or two with his buddies, I mean the people who nothing else.)

Bird of Prey
04-06-2009, 06:48 AM
What other people do in their spare time is not our business, and we have no moral grounds to think less of them.

So, speaking as a bisexual crossdressing sub/dom furry transexual, take your moral high horse and shove it up your ass.

Well, O.K. Unless somebody like you has a - um - fantasy and a few drinks, and for reasons maybe only you can explain, shoves it up yours.

Zoombie
04-06-2009, 06:50 AM
But, you have to take into consideration that simulation is a standard method of training in most military organizations for a reason. Just like simulation comes before the real thing in taking flying lessons. People are creatures of habit and they function off learned behaviors. If a person does nothing but sit in front of a screen and play violent games, then they can develop a more violent personality because it's what they're used to. (I don't mean someone who spends an hour or two with his buddies, I mean the people who nothing else.)

Playing Quake will prepare you for violence as effectively as looking at water will teach you how to pilot a naval vessel.

Mr. Chuckletrousers
04-06-2009, 06:53 AM
At what point do these video games become pornography?
When someone jacks off to them.


Through this influence, do these video games, enjoyed by impressionable minds, infringe on women's rights indirectly?
Which woman's rights in particular do these video games infringe upon?

Zoombie
04-06-2009, 06:58 AM
Also, I'd like to point out that some of the BEST written and most multidimensional female characters are to be found in the video game market.

Alyx, from Half Life 2. Annah from Planescape Torment. Pretty much every single female member of your party in Baulder's Gate. And, lets not forget, GlaDOS and Chell from Portal.

To a lesser extent, one would say that Ash Williams from Mass Effect is a multidimensional female character, or Alex D. from Deus Ex: Invisible War.

Bird of Prey
04-06-2009, 07:01 AM
When someone jacks off to them.

Which woman's rights in particular do these video games infringe upon?


Equal rights??

Mr. Chuckletrousers
04-06-2009, 07:03 AM
Equal rights??
No, I meant which woman had her rights infringed upon? Also, how are her equal rights infringed upon by this?

Bird of Prey
04-06-2009, 07:05 AM
No, I meant which woman had her rights infringed upon? Also, how are her equal rights infringed upon by this?


I don't know. If there's a video game with a fantasy lynching, ask a black guy if it infringes on his rights, you know, to walk down the street without watching his back.

MacAllister
04-06-2009, 07:18 AM
I'm going to give you both a few days off to think about ways to debate emotionally-volatile subjects with both passion AND civility, unless you can calm the hell down and stop with the insults.

Mr. Chuckletrousers
04-06-2009, 07:19 AM
I don't know. If there's a video game with a fantasy lynching, ask a black guy if it infringes on his rights, you know, to walk down the street without watching his back.
It wouldn't infringe on any of his rights, unless somehow he in particular were depicted as being the lynched person.

No one has the right to walk down the street without having to watch their back.

Cyia
04-06-2009, 07:30 AM
It wouldn't infringe on any of his rights, unless somehow he in particular were depicted as being the lynched person.

No one has the right to walk down the street without having to watch their back.

Don't you mean everyone has a right to walk down the street without having to watch their back? The right to live in society without fear is a basic one, and one laws are *supposed* to back-up.

But you're right, gross depictions in video games don't infringe a person's rights anymore than satire does, though both can be disturbing. A character in a video game doesn't keep me from being able to exercise any of my legal rights no matter how heinous I find it.

AMCrenshaw
04-06-2009, 07:34 AM
I'm not against video games, exclusively. It's also important I note that banning something and trying to illuminate immoralities that nonetheless affect impressionable youth-- 29 year olds have children, don't they?-- are two different things. The degree to which its happening to them is half the point. The other is that it is in fact happening.

Ideologies shift-- and morality and ethics can progress. It needn't happen through banning for it to end. Parenting, education and socialization help form a child's conscience. But our friends, social circles, the books we read, the films we watch, the video games we play help shape that conscience as well. If we teach them that the messages these games send are unethical, early, leading by examples, then perhaps no ban will ever be necessary.

Again, I'm not against people playing video games, by any means. But the degree of subtlety in Soul Calibur 4 (something an adult would understand and be able to think critically about, but a child would not) frightens me a bit. Children soak it in, which is one of video games' greatest strengths: lighting up the imagination. But, on the other hand, are children, without realizing, learning that a women, when hit, makes a sex-noise? Oh I hope not.

I think bans would only heighten its demand. The more you deny it, the more you affirm it.

Anyway. A general shift in the mind of times is a better route (for instance, one in which women are not scripted as sex bots or submissive prostitutes-- for male pleasure). As a country we've proven that a once-oppressed people (race, class, gender, nationality) can rise toward equality and eventually achieve it. We have to be able to recognize forms of oppression when we see them. I don't see any good reason to stay in the way of actual equality.

AMC

Mr. Chuckletrousers
04-06-2009, 07:38 AM
Don't you mean everyone has a right to walk down the street without having to watch their back? The right to live in society without fear is a basic one, and one laws are *supposed* to back-up.
This, perhaps unfortunately, is not a right. Leastways not the kind of right that the law recognizes and enforces. You do not, for example, have the right to police protection. You do not have the right to live without fear (though you do have specific rights which partially overlap this, such as the right not to be physically threatened or assaulted).


But you're right, gross depictions in video games don't infringe a person's rights anymore than satire does, though both can be disturbing. A character in a video game doesn't keep me from being able to exercise any of my legal rights no matter how heinous I find it.
Indeed. One can only hope that a sufficiently grotesque video game (such as one with lynchings) would simply not be profitable due to poor sales.

Zoombie
04-06-2009, 07:41 AM
Games are like books, movies, music, and so on. Some are good, some are bad. Don't paint the whole medium with a "evil" brush just because you find one or two examples within it distasteful.

AMCrenshaw
04-06-2009, 07:43 AM
One can only hope that a sufficiently grotesque video game (such as one with lynchings) would simply not be profitable due to poor sales.

Exactly and I think that some of these games reinforce analogous, detrimental relationships and gender roles. I hope that these games fall out of favor, popularity, etc. and that no one wants to buy them.


I think I'm going to agree and say that video games don't infringe upon another's rights, but I think that certain ones provide a context for rights violations to occur.

AMC

Zoombie
04-06-2009, 07:50 AM
Well, ironically, the moral furor over Hot Coffee (which was really tame...I mean, he has sex with his girlfriend, just like...oh, I don't know, a whole lot of people do when they're romantically linked) actually increased sales of the game! Free publicity and all that.

And, even more ironically, the game's PLOT LINE is more about a young man trying to get crack off the streets while being forced to work for various gangs despite his attempts to escape.

Its not a story that is suitable for kids, but it sure as heck is suitable for adults, which is what it was rated for (rated M for mature), marketed too, and made for!

AMCrenshaw
04-06-2009, 07:56 AM
Its not a story that is suitable for kids, but it sure as heck is suitable for adults, which is what it was rated for (rated M for mature), marketed too, and made for!

How strict are people with these laws? Many of my friends owned "mature" games their whole lives? What's to stop a parent from giving the game to their children? Then, of course, the game plays no part in it anymore since ...the parent was slightly irresponsible?

While my personal opinion is that games which glorify sexualized violence are unethical, disgusting, etc. I think it takes an adult with critical thinking capabilities to reason why. It takes responsible parents to teach children why it's unethical, to teach whom it harms and how. Those children will become parents themselves some day.

AMC

Zoombie
04-06-2009, 08:01 AM
The ESRB (who rates video games) makes it VERY clear whats in games.

For example

Empire: Total War is rated T for Teen

Next to the T for teen, it is listed as: Alcohol and Tobacco Reference, Blood, Language, Violence

There actually is only blood in one or two moments in the game involving the guillotine (it has a bit about the French Revolution) and the violence is that of the period: Muskets, cannons, sabers...all that 17th century stuff.


Meanwhile...

Dawn of War 2 is rated M: Blood and Gore, Violence

Now, the GORE means that when someone is hit by a tank shell, they explode into little giblits, as opposed in Total War, where cannon balls just knock people over.

Then there are games that are rated E for Everyone, or AO for Adults Only.


If you don't want your kids playing these games: Don't. Buy. Them.

Also, I'm thinking hard and I can't think of many games that actually glorify violence. There are games that HAVE violence, but most of them, if a bit hamhandedly, manage to get across the idea that "war is bad" fairly effectively.

Mega popular video game, Call of Duty 4, managed to present a compelling modern day story that did have a surprising amount of depth and realism, and actually does make you think about the military and how it acts in the modern world, without being preachy or in your face. But it surely does NOT make you want to ever join the military.

But, then again, maybe I'm using the wrong idea of "glorifies". I think of glorification would be going, "Hey, look at how awesome this is, and you should do it constantly!".

But if you think basing a game off of violence and making it fun to play is glorification, then, well, you're going to think otherwise. But, even though these games ARE fun (or else we would not play them), I must ask...does every book that has violence within glorify said violence?

No, I'm fairly sure it does not.

But the violence is often entertaining. Wars, for some profoundly screwed up reason, are really exciting to us.

So, we make the games and we write the books and film the movies...

Aaand maybe I'm playing the wrong games, but I've never seen a glorification of sexual violence beyond some bizarre games from Japan.

AMCrenshaw
04-06-2009, 08:33 AM
I must ask...does every book that has violence within glorify said violence

Let's not be silly. It isn't violence as a content or subject that I find offensive or sickening. It's the linking control, sex, and violence all together in teenagers' minds that disgusts me. It's certain character models (women who are strong wear less clothing and the clothing left is meant to arouse men; women whose eyes are disproportionately large, like children's eyes; women with milk-gallon sized breasts and 12 year old faces and voices) that sicken me. That it's available and has demand is a problem. A worse problem is that adults aren't often as responsible as they can be concerning video games, which are just entertainment.

Not all video games are potentially damaging to one's conscience as some of these are. They are a mixed medium-- a hyper-text choose-your-own, sometimes with detailed, engaging stories. But I support near-pornographic, smutty kinds of video games the same as I support hate music: not at all.

AMC

Bartholomew
04-06-2009, 08:40 AM
I'm not against video games, exclusively. It's also important I note that banning something and trying to illuminate immoralities that nonetheless affect impressionable youth-- 29 year olds have children, don't they?-- are two different things. The degree to which its happening to them is half the point. The other is that it is in fact happening.

Ideologies shift-- and morality and ethics can progress. It needn't happen through banning for it to end. Parenting, education and socialization help form a child's conscience. But our friends, social circles, the books we read, the films we watch, the video games we play help shape that conscience as well. If we teach them that the messages these games send are unethical, early, leading by examples, then perhaps no ban will ever be necessary.

Again, I'm not against people playing video games, by any means. But the degree of subtlety in Soul Calibur 4 (something an adult would understand and be able to think critically about, but a child would not) frightens me a bit. Children soak it in, which is one of video games' greatest strengths: lighting up the imagination. But, on the other hand, are children, without realizing, learning that a women, when hit, makes a sex-noise? Oh I hope not.

I think bans would only heighten its demand. The more you deny it, the more you affirm it.

Anyway. A general shift in the mind of times is a better route (for instance, one in which women are not scripted as sex bots or submissive prostitutes-- for male pleasure). As a country we've proven that a once-oppressed people (race, class, gender, nationality) can rise toward equality and eventually achieve it. We have to be able to recognize forms of oppression when we see them. I don't see any good reason to stay in the way of actual equality.

AMC

I'm really glad you're going deeper with this than I previously suspected. I need to stop underestimating your posts. To be fair, though, I wish you had included these ideas in the initial posts. I'm a bit sick of defending video games, particularly since they seem to get more scrutiny than other, similar forms of diversion.


But, on the other hand, are children, without realizing, learning that a women, when hit, makes a sex-noise? Oh I hope not.

I doubt it. You're removing the sound from context - it isn't just any woman, at any time. It's a particular type of woman in a VERY particular setting. And there are a lot of examples that go against this model; strong female protagonists are in lately, and they get hit a lot. The sex-noise (and let's be honest, that's your opinion. She sounded like an actress in a sound studio, to me.) phenomena will probably end up seeming like an anomaly to most well-rounded people.


We have to be able to recognize forms of oppression when we see them. I don't see any good reason to stay in the way of actual equality.

Yes, we do. And one form of oppression is judging various exercises of free speech by moral standards.

Women are not oppressed in the video-gaming world. If anything, they're worshiped. Sometimes a game portrays women in a way that people dislike, but despite the popularity of GTA, this sort of phenomena is relatively rare.

Bartholomew
04-06-2009, 08:49 AM
It's certain character models (women who are strong wear less clothing and the clothing left is meant to arouse men; women whose eyes are disproportionately large, like children's eyes; women with milk-gallon sized breasts and 12 year old faces and voices) that sicken me. That it's available and has demand is a problem. A worse problem is that adults aren't often as responsible as they can be concerning video games, which are just entertainment.


That's an artifact of Japanese culture, not US culture. What games are you playing?

Regardless, check out the females of Mass Effect, Halo, Oblivion, Warcraft, Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale -- even some Japanese titles that don't have manga-style art, like Resident Evil.

Question: Does Sailor Moon bother you, as well? I imagine it would, since it fits all the criteria above, but I'd like to emphasize that this artistic style comes from a completely different culture than ours. It is little wonder that you would find it offensive, since it's a completely foreign way of viewing women.

I mention this because the Rape Simulation game you linked to isn't available in the US unless you import it. And then, it won't work on a US game system, unless you modify it. So the odds of someone very young seeing it on this side of the pond is extremely low.

AMCrenshaw
04-06-2009, 08:59 AM
I mention this because the Rape Simulation game you linked to isn't available in the US unless you import it. And then, it won't work on a US game system, unless you modify it. So the odds of someone very young seeing it on this side of the pond is extremely low.

I'm not concerned about U.S. culture alone. Japanese games are played here. The game I referenced at the start was Soul Calibur 4; I encountered it only recently. The voices of some of those females really sound like children, even when their bodies look "adult". This "artistic" style is entertaining?

AMC



ETA: I don't play as many video games as I used to. I liked RPGs (BG, for example) and sports games. Now I play Madden football when I have nothing else to do. But that doesn't mean I don't see others play games; nor am I blind or deaf to pop-culture. :)



To be fair, though, I wish you had included these ideas in the initial posts. I'm a bit sick of defending video games, particularly since they seem to get more scrutiny than other, similar forms of diversion.

Patience is a virtue, in my opinion. It's very easy to assume things, but discussion forums (if learning and sharing are to take place) demand openness -- considering the many sides of the die is a logical process as well as useful in avoiding mis-communications.

Zoombie
04-06-2009, 09:11 AM
I do have to say...

Soul Caliber 4 is from Japan.

And Japan is, to put it frank...weird as shit.

And, really, I agree with a lot of what AMC is saying. There are some games that are sexist (not all of them from Japan).

Vote with your wallet: Don't buy the games.

They'll catch on, eventually.

Hopefully.

AMCrenshaw
04-06-2009, 09:16 AM
Women are not oppressed in the video-gaming world. If anything, they're worshiped. Sometimes a game portrays women in a way that people dislike, but despite the popularity of GTA, this sort of phenomena is relatively rare.


You must keep in mind that I'm not criticizing all video games that have women and violence in them. So OK fair enough; they're not on the whole oppressed by video games. But consider what the popularity of GTA signifies for gender roles. Do these specific kinds of video games reinforce oppressive frameworks? Do video games teach nothing about behavior? We have to be realistic. One study I'd like to see is a modified version of the bobo doll: instead of children monkey-see monkey do their parents beating up a bobo doll, they watch a video game simulation of a "hero" beating up a bobo doll. Then they get to play with a real one. I'd really be curious to see if children imitate that kind of behavior. Throw in parental tips, discipline, and talking to-- see if it changes anything.

AMC

Bartholomew
04-06-2009, 09:16 AM
I'm not concerned about U.S. culture alone. Japanese games are played here. The game I referenced at the start was Soul Calibur 4; I encountered it only recently. The voices of some of those females really sound like children, even when their bodies look "adult". This "artistic" style is entertaining?

AMC

ETA: I don't play as many video games as I used to. I liked RPGs (BG, for example) and sports games. Now I play Madden football when I have nothing else to do. But that doesn't mean I don't see others play games; nor am I blind or deaf to pop-culture. :)

Japanese games are played here, but the rape simulator doesn't have an English translation; it was never marketed at a US audience. Soul Calibur WAS translated, and it had a fairly hefty marketing campaign. Failing to mention this strikes me as a tad unfair.

And while I think it is very good to be concerned about the effects that garbage can have on the very young in any culture, we have no idea if video games are distributed to children in the same lackadaisical manner in which they are here. That game looks as if it is marketed exclusively towards adults - in fact, as some of the other posters have pointed out, a LOT of these games have been marketed specifically at adults.

When is the critical point in a child's development where outside images stop having massive effects? Introduce the bible repeatedly to a very young child, and you'll have a life-long Christian. Introduce it to a 16 year old who's developed different metaphysical ideas, and the outcome is much less certain.

We recognize this critical point; we just don't seem to want to give it an age-range. The belief that violent entertainment can radically change an adult's behavior is, at best, dubious, which is another reason that I question the value of any discussion that seeks to modify popular culture.


The voices of some of those females really sound like children, even when their bodies look "adult". This "artistic" style is entertaining?

What ethnicity are the actresses? My first serious girlfriend was from Japan. The first time I talked to her on the phone, I thought I'd gotten her little sister, or something. It might be a cultural misinterpretation of age, rather than a deliberate attempt to make twelve year olds seem sexy. (Ew.) I wouldn't know good search fields to use to find studies on this, though. My college databases are already too damn finicky.


I liked RPGs (BG, for example)

BG was an awesome series. If you ever get a shot, find a copy of Icewind Dale II -- the first one was merely OK, but the second one was an experience that no fantasy fan should go with out.

AMCrenshaw
04-06-2009, 09:17 AM
And Japan is, to put it frank...weird as shit.

Be that as it may, I wasn't in Japan at the time I saw Soul Calibur 4. I was in Pennsylvania.


AMC

Zoombie
04-06-2009, 09:20 AM
Icewind Dale 2, I've heard amazing things about, but a REALLY underlooked gem of RPG history is Planescape Torment.

Just...saying is all...

Albedo
04-06-2009, 09:20 AM
Australia has long banned sex in games and don't tell me women are less objectified here. Blame the art on the society that produces it, not vice versa.

Bartholomew
04-06-2009, 09:21 AM
You must keep in mind that I'm not criticizing all video games that have women and violence in them. So OK fair enough; they're not on the whole oppressed video games. But consider what the popularity of GTA signifies for gender roles. Do these specific kinds of video games reinforce oppressive frameworks? Do video games teach nothing about behavior? We have to be realistic. One study I'd like to see is a modified version of the bobo doll: instead of children monkey-see monkey do their parents beating up a bobo doll, they watch a video game simulation of a "hero" beating up a bobo doll. Then they get to play with a real one. I'd really be curious to see if children imitate that kind of behavior. Throw in parental tips, discipline, and talking to-- see if it changes anything.

AMC

The bobo experiment was with children under the age of ten, if memory serves. GTA is marketed at mature adults.

Expose a child to a video game where someone shoots cops, fucks whores, and steals cars, and YES, the child will try to roleplay these activities. That's where parents are supposed to come in, either by correcting the undesired behavior, or by censoring their child's entertainment.

AMCrenshaw
04-06-2009, 09:23 AM
It might be a cultural misinterpretation of age, rather than a deliberate attempt to make twelve year olds seem sexy.

The character avatar was white with blond hair (another Asian fetish and LA-must); her voice-actor was likely a Japanese woman, but the combination, thus, is short-sighted as it is, yes, disgusting.



That game looks as if it is marketed exclusively towards adults - in fact, as some of the other posters have pointed out, a LOT of these games have been marketed specifically at adults.

I don't doubt that at all. But I doubt daddy's locking up the video game so his kid can't get into it. I have no evidence (validity) for that except subjective experience, however.

Besides that, kids know about sex at quite a young age these days. I don't put it beyond them to find "hentai" through online, googled "manga," particularly when parents are either too hands-off or too hands-on.

AMC

Bartholomew
04-06-2009, 09:24 AM
Australia has long banned sex in games and don't tell me women are less objectified here. Blame the art on the society that produces it, not vice versa.

I'm not sure banning is what he's after. Remember, the OP presented what he sees to be a problem.

He hasn't posited any solutions yet.

AMCrenshaw
04-06-2009, 09:26 AM
Blame the art on the society that produces it, not vice versa.

I said something to that effect in # 26 (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=3464747&postcount=26).

The culture that does not desire it will not produce it.


AMC

Bartholomew
04-06-2009, 09:28 AM
The character avatar was white with blond hair (another Asian fetish and LA-must); her voice-actor was likely a Japanese woman, but the combination, thus, is short-sighted as it is, yes, disgusting.



I don't doubt that at all. But I doubt daddy's locking up the video game so his kid can't get into it. I have no evidence (validity) for that except subjective experience, however.

Besides that, kids know about sex at quite a young age these days. I don't put it beyond them to find "hentai" through online, googled "manga," particularly when parents are either too hands-off or too hands-on.

AMC

When I was a kid, there was a sexual RPG called Leisure Suit Larry. My father never let me near it, even though he owned it. I have a feeling that good parenting is a 50/50 thing.

I wonder if parents granting access to such material could be declared statistically trivial in a study that gauged childrens' sentiments, reactions, and ideas about (or based on) these adult titles.

Bartholomew
04-06-2009, 09:29 AM
I said something to that effect in # 26 (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=3464747&postcount=26).

The culture that does not desire it will not produce it.


AMC

Or, at the very least, will not embrace it. Some of the garbage on the market... X_x

AMCrenshaw
04-06-2009, 09:31 AM
I wonder if parents granting access to such material could be declared statistically trivial in a study that gauged childrens' sentiments, reactions, and ideas about (or based on) these adult titles.

Well another one of the concerns I expressed is that for children, a lot goes above or beneath their radar. They're experiencing certain things they don't understand and can't think critically about. But the images go to memory, nonetheless.

AMC

AMCrenshaw
04-06-2009, 09:35 AM
It's a particular type of woman in a VERY particular setting.

I'm trying to find a study about the game Second Life in which people supposedly identified with their avatar in seconds. Bear with me.


AMC

AMCrenshaw
04-06-2009, 09:41 AM
Vote with your wallet: Don't buy the games.

This is I think one call-to-action I might posit. One part of the solution. We tell our children a lot by the things we buy, and, incidentally, support.



AMC

Zoombie
04-06-2009, 09:42 AM
Hey, in the past teens were either

A) already having sex
B) fighting in one of the many many wars that constantly seethed across our world
C) Doing this stuff while listening to incredibly bawdy songs

Also, just so you know, there are new and better ways for parents to control what their kids play. X-Box 360s have settings Parents can turn on and off that mean it will not let anyone without the password play mature video games.

Parenting, I say, is a big and important part of this thing.

AMCrenshaw
04-06-2009, 09:47 AM
Nor do I condone sheltering children, if I haven't been clear. It's best I think to find a balance, where we are able to reveal the world to them in chunks they can chew, giving them the tools to think critically and ethically when the time arises, as it almost always does.


AMC

Zoombie
04-06-2009, 09:53 AM
Balance is all what its abouut.

Balance between reality and fantasy is very important now a days. Our fantasies are easier to get too, more realistic, more prevalent, and more diverse than ever.

In one way, this is awesome!

If you like furries, you can find a subculture devoted to it.

Want to learn more about BDSM? There are people who will tell you about it.

Want to find out more about the 18th century? There are video games, movies, the internet. Forums!

Its an information age, and with this information, one can create a lot of fantasies.

So, really, the most important thing to teach our kids would be *critical thinking* so that they can figure out their own place in our extremely varied world.

Bartholomew
04-06-2009, 03:29 PM
I'm trying to find a study about the game Second Life in which people supposedly identified with their avatar in seconds. Bear with me.


AMC

Even if you do, that avatar is something you're meant to keep. In SC, you change characters every few minutes. The person you're beating up initially is the person you're winning with a few rounds later. They're really not comparable.

Cyia
04-06-2009, 04:45 PM
Balance is all what its about.

Balance between reality and fantasy is very important now a days. Our fantasies are easier to get too, more realistic, more prevalent, and more diverse than ever.


Exactly, this is why I said it wasn't the 99% that were the problem. It's that 1% that was born without a set of scales (or had theirs damaged at some point in their lives).

A lot of it has to do with a person's goal in playing a game, too. If someone plays a video game in order to win, they're playing a game and they know it. If someone's playing a game to see what happens next, they're immersed in a storyline, and they know it. But, if someone sits down with the express purpose of mowing through a bunch of people because they like the rush they get when killing or maiming someone, then it might be time to turn off the TV or computer.

James81
04-06-2009, 05:03 PM
At what point do these video games become pornography?

I'd say the moment that a man inserts his penis into a vagina (hardcore). Or the moment that a character becomes completely naked (softcore).


What influence do these games have on shaping young teenagers' mindsets, specifically concerning the sexual objectification of women?

Not as much as you'd think. And I'd worry LESS about the objectification of women in this country and worry MORE about the dumbing down of men, specifically by TV shows and movies.


Through this influence, do these video games, enjoyed by impressionable minds, infringe on women's rights indirectly?

AMC

Are these video games keeping women from voting? From owning land? From having the right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness"? From bearing arms?

No.

Contemplative
04-06-2009, 07:02 PM
You obviously aren't up on the way feminism defines "women's rights".

It now includes the right to suppress anything which offends you, and to shape and control the media for the sake of social engineering. If I ever say or publish anything that makes women uncomfortable or hurts their self-esteem, I've violated their rights. Isn't that obvious?

Sure, some women might disagree with this, but they've just "internalized their oppression". We have to discount what they say -- for their own good, of course.

It's all in the name of equal rights. I mean, sexism is EVIL. Don't people understand that? Don't people understand that bigotry is the one great defining evil, the absolute so powerful that surely it's worthwhile to sacrifice some minor, trivial civil rights for? I mean, the only people using those rights were misogynistic perverts, anyway.

AMCrenshaw
04-06-2009, 07:09 PM
And I'd worry LESS about the objectification of women in this country and worry MORE about the dumbing down of men, specifically by TV shows and movies.

What? Think real carefully about what you're saying.



The person you're beating up initially is the person you're winning with a few rounds later. They're really not comparable.

But it might be more comparable for GTA, which has a roaming, RPG feel to it at certain points. You are certainly "free" to do as you feel, aren't you?



But, if someone sits down with the express purpose of mowing through a bunch of people because they like the rush they get when killing or maiming someone, then it might be time to turn off the TV or computer.

With children, I have to note that I don't believe this is something they're aware of. I don't believe they're thinking about a rush and I doubt many of them get a real one. Do they? Anyone have stats on that?


I should say now I don't believe women have equal rights in this country-- and I think it's revealed in our entertainment, if we decide to look nowhere else.

AMC

James81
04-06-2009, 07:29 PM
What? Think real carefully about what you're saying.


I have thought about it carefully.

Examples of men being made to look like bumbling idiots:

Friends, Everybody Loves Raymond, Home Improvement, The King of Queens, Sex and the City, Full House, Family Matters, etc.

The list goes on.

And that's just TV sitcoms. I can compile another list for movies and reality TV.


I should say now I don't believe women have equal rights in this country-- and I think it's revealed in our entertainment, if we decide to look nowhere else.

AMC

I'll agree with this. I think they actually have MORE rights than men at the current time.

But I chaulk that up to the "swing of the pendullum." I imagine that in time things will swing back into balance.

AMCrenshaw
04-06-2009, 07:45 PM
like bumbling idiots:

Friends, Everybody Loves Raymond, Home Improvement, The King of Queens, Sex and the City, Full House, Family Matters, etc.


Most of the time they look like idiots is when it comes to how they act as husbands and treat women. We are supposed to laugh with them-- and when we identify with them, it's supposed to be the lessons we learn from their bad behavior.


I'll agree with this. I think they actually have MORE rights than men at the current time.

Wow. That's all I have to say to you right now; I'd probably just get really pissed off otherwise.


AMC

James81
04-06-2009, 07:51 PM
Most of the time they look like idiots is when it comes to how they act as husbands and treat women. We are supposed to laugh with them-- and when we identify with them, it's supposed to be the lessons we learn from their bad behavior.

Why is my TV trying to teach me life lessons? I don't watch TV shows to learn how to be a better husband. I watch TV to be entertained.

And, more importantly, why are the MEN supposed to be learning from these bumbling idiots but not women (who are rarely the ones in these shows to "screw up"....it happens, but not very often or as often as the men do it).


Wow. That's all I have to say to you.


AMC

Maybe since you made the assertion, you could back up what you said with some examples of where you think women don't have equal rights today?

veinglory
04-06-2009, 07:56 PM
I don't think feminism or "women's rights" has any set dogma other than that men and women should be treated equally. And in my opinion men and women are similarly objectified in most of the these games. So if you are into objectification (of totally fictional bodies) it is available for you.

AMCrenshaw
04-06-2009, 07:57 PM
Why is my TV trying to teach me life lessons? I don't watch TV shows to learn how to be a better husband. I watch TV to be entertained.

The shows you cited are, half of them, watched by families. Shouldn't they have some sort of educational value as well as be entertaining? Oh I guess not. Gods be damned someone might learn something in front of a TV.



And, more importantly, why are the MEN supposed to be learning from these bumbling idiots but not women (who are rarely the ones in these shows to "screw up"....it happens, but not very often or as often as the men do it).


Well, as a nonviolence activist in a violent city, where women are much more likely to be victims, I will tell you (I can find you the stats, but I'd need permission) men are the ones who (99% of the time) commit intimate violence, who threaten, who bully, who intimidate, who degrade, who don't share their feelings, who don't communicate or want to, who don't commit as easily to relationships, who feel that the whole of the family rests on their shoulders, who don't think of women as a) being workers or b) house-work as being work.



Maybe since you made the assertion, you could back up what you said with some examples of where you think women don't have equal rights today?

If women made the same amount of money as men in the workplace, the poverty rate would be cut in half.

AMC

AMCrenshaw
04-06-2009, 08:00 PM
I don't think feminism or "women's rights" has any set dogma other than that men and women should be treated equally. And in my opinion men and women are similarly objectified in most of the these games. So if you are into objectification (of totally fictional bodies) it is available for you.

Right, but the key thing to remember is that in these video games, men are more frequently the ones playing them! It's the male gaze (not the female's) these video games gear to.


Of course I agree men are scripted into tough, muscular, brainless warriors of some kind or another (up to and including sports games, mind you). It's no better... but in a lot of ways this stereotype of men is chillingly accurate. When it comes to domestic violence, for example, men are 95% of the time the ones beating their wives or children, none of whom have the resources to up and leave without fear of being killed. Men will have to be the ones to change the most, I predict, and the mold they'll have to break out of is the one they created.

Women, on the other hand, have to break molds that were created by others.

AMC

veinglory
04-06-2009, 09:09 PM
Right, but the key thing to remember is that in these video games, men are more frequently the ones playing them! It's the male gaze (not the female's) these video games gear to.


Of course I agree men are scripted into tough, muscular, brainless warriors of some kind or another (up to and including sports games, mind you). It's no better... but in a lot of ways this stereotype of men is chillingly accurate. When it comes to domestic violence, for example, men are 95% of the time the ones beating their wives or children, none of whom have the resources to up and leave without fear of being killed. Men will have to be the ones to change the most, I predict, and the mold they'll have to break out of is the one they created.

Women, on the other hand, have to break molds that were created by others.

AMC

The evidence is that social video games (WoW etc) are about 50% female. But let's looks at this closely.

So if games objectify regardless of gender, this issue is objectifcation per se?

The game figure is literally an object. I would argue it is not incorrect to objectify it. I question the assumption that what is done in the game is generalised to real life. This is often said and assumed but the data (e.g. about the effect of TV violence on children) is week and the arguments predominantly based on "moral panic".

Will the panic about video games be seen as ridiculous like the panic over wearing shirts without petticoats (allowing the fabric to reveal the shape of the leg underneath), or the panic about rock and roll music? And if not, why not?

If it is wrong to objectify an avatar, are physical dolls also to be discouraged? What about picture books? What about novels and fine art? Should all fiction only allow actions considered non-deviant? Who decides what non-deviance is?

Objectification and its opposite (antropomorphism) is not bad or good across the board. It needs to be shown that the objectification creates negative developments in cognition, conditions negative association of emotion and/or increases negative behaviors. Then those effects need to be common and severe enough to outweigh freedom of expression and the role of the arts and entertainments in our culture.

And while video games have become more and more popular, society in western nations has--on the whole--become less violent and domestic violence against women while still far too common is included in that reaction once you take into account that it is now more frequently reported and successfully prosecuted (based on my reading of a summary in Time magazine and the underlying research in J Counselling Psychology)

On the anecdotal level I smash hell out of "people" online, while in my real life I have struck a person only once, when attacked by a girl and cornered at the age of about 14. I do not "feel" the correlation between violent games and real violence any more than I see it in the literature.

p.s. actual rates of violent spousal assault are about even by gender, but men do more damage and create more victims in that sense. However, the male victim of spousal abuse suffers both the abuse and ridicule when he reports it.

You might think I am not a woman, or not a feminist based on this, but in fact I am both. I am also however a scientist and social activist more committed to good change and "feel good" messages. Solutions have to be based on accurate understandings and inclussive messages. We can't "fix" men and their world by villifying them en masse.

robeiae
04-06-2009, 09:17 PM
I enjoy the heck out of Soul Calibur 4. I'm not very good at it, but I still enjoy it (shut-up, those of you in the peanut gallery).

But you know, it's a video game. It's not real. I think that more people understand this than is often imagined by those that see "problems" in video games, with regard to violence, objectification, or what have you.

Now Dancing With The Stars, that's another issue, altogether...who dresses those people?!?!

James81
04-06-2009, 09:20 PM
The shows you cited are, half of them, watched by families. Shouldn't they have some sort of educational value as well as be entertaining? Oh I guess not. Gods be damned someone might learn something in front of a TV.

Telling people how to perform their duties in their household isn't "education." Teach people to balance their checkbook, how to cook food, about the Civil War, etc. THAT is education.

Family dynamics is a pretty hard issue to jam into just one mold and has no place being taught in a half hour show on TV. And for that matter, can you please take the crap off the radio too? I don't give a flying rats ass that my radio says drugs are bad, that I need to talk to my kids about alcholism before they start drinking, etc. When that shit comes on, I change the station.

Those types of things are best taught within the community, through REAL LIVE EXAMPLES and not some fictionalized Disney princess fantasy of what life should be like.


Well, as a nonviolence activist in a violent city, where women are much more likely to be victims, I will tell you (I can find you the stats, but I'd need permission) men are the ones who (99% of the time) commit intimate violence, who threaten, who bully, who intimidate, who degrade, who don't share their feelings, who don't communicate or want to, who don't commit as easily to relationships, who feel that the whole of the family rests on their shoulders, who don't think of women as a) being workers or b) house-work as being work.

Perhaps that's because a fundamental difference between men and women (am I allowed to believe that men and women are fundamentally different anymore?) is that men are fueled by ACTION, muscle, and the tangible and that women are fueled by EMOTION, thought, and the intangible. (lol here comes the generalization nazis to prove me wrong)

So while your statistics tell us that men are the most physically violent, would your statistics also tell us that women are the most emotionally or mentally "violent"? How could you produce a statistic like that anyway?

Or, as Dane Cook (comedian) says, women are "mental terrorists." (:roll:) Whereas a man will use physical means to express himself (whether it be positively...such as sports....or negatively....such as violence), a women will use mental and emotional ways to express herself (in the same ways). But you don't hear about emotional outbursts or emotional abuse on the evening news.

My point is this...women are no better than men in these terms. They just express themselves differently and in different ways.


If women made the same amount of money as men in the workplace, the poverty rate would be cut in half.

AMC

Last I checked, a woman and a man doing the same job in the workplace are supposed to be making the same wage, or suffer MASSIVE consequences.

AMCrenshaw
04-06-2009, 09:22 PM
The evidence is that social video games (WoW etc) are about 50% female. But let's looks at this closely.

If you can, find a source for that information; I hadn't heard it before. And which social video games have stock men and women? You create your own-- that's the point, right? Besides that, on a personal level, the women I know get sick of playing video games in which as their Armor Class or whatever goes up, the amount of armor their character is actually wearing goes down.


Will the panic about video games be seen as ridiculous like the panic over wearing shirts without petticoats (allowing the fabric to reveal the shape of the leg underneath), or the panic about rock and roll music? And if not, why not?


OK OK. Can we get this straight? I am not blaming video games anymore than I would blame Marilyn Manson for Columbine.


Objectification and its oppotive (antropomorphism) is not bad or good across the board.

Sexual objectification is bad across the board, especially when it's linked to violence and glorified. C'mon.


It needs to be shown that the objectification creates negative developments in cognition,


Fair enough. This is all in-theory except that domestic violence has not decreased (although you're right, its prosecution has) and intimate violence of "smaller" scales or lesser degrees is even more prevalent.

I'm looking at video games as part and parcel of a larger problem. It's not just the video games, music, media, etc. It's a lot of them combined. What I see in Soul Calibur 4 is what the Japanese think will sell in America. And what does sell in America. Male's taste for sex sells.

AMC

AMCrenshaw
04-06-2009, 09:24 PM
I enjoy the heck out of Soul Calibur 4. I'm not very good at it, but I still enjoy it (shut-up, those of you in the peanut gallery).

But you know, it's a video game. It's not real. I think that more people understand this than is often imagined by those that see "problems" in video games, with regard to violence, objectification, or what have you.

Video games are real. You play them, interact with them. They're just not reality. Anyway, you are an adult who can think rationally and critically about what you consume. End point.

AMC

Feiss
04-06-2009, 09:27 PM
AMC - I think you're trying to say that we should be changing the mentality of our culture, that we should try to "cure" whatever causes rape rpgs etc to come out of our cultural subconscious and into the light, where it can be passed on to the next generations. This begs the questions "are people naturally perverse"? I belive the answer is yes, censor the video games, internet, etc, people will find other way to get their kinks out. The only solution is to elevate people as a whole, which I don't think is possible, it's the human spectrum, there are sickos and there are saints. Removing the sickos would make the saints seem less saintly.

Also, I try to look at it this way, and this might strike some of you as very wrong, but, what if these games that contain violence and rape actually serve as an outlet for people to focus their anger, or even their kinks? They might be an acceptable outlet for actions that are otherwise unacceptable.

On the other hand, there's the danger of the person with rape fantasies taking it to the next level and moving into reality.

robeiae
04-06-2009, 09:27 PM
.

I'm looking at video games as part and parcel of a larger problem. It's not just the video games, music, media, etc. It's a lot of them combined. What I see in Soul Calibur 4 is what the Japanese think will sell in America. And what does sell in America. Male's taste for sex sells.

AMC
I disagree. The Soul Calibur paradigm--attractive, muscular people with swords--is the paradigm of fantasy literature, in general. Look at any successful fantasy series. Look at the covers. Look at the content. It's a forgone conclusion that there would be mass appeal. It has nothing to do with Japanese tastes or assumptions, at all.

All that matteres was how well the game worked and how well it was marketed.

AMCrenshaw
04-06-2009, 09:29 PM
Last I checked, a woman and a man doing the same job in the workplace are supposed to be making the same wage, or suffer MASSIVE consequences.

Is your head in a hole, James? Of course they're supposed to be making the same wage but that doesn't mean that's what's actually happening. The stat I cited just then was as of 2008.


So while your statistics tell us that men are the most physically violent, would your statistics also tell us that women are the most emotionally or mentally "violent"? How could you produce a statistic like that anyway?

No, men are more likely to yell, scream, intimidate, manipulate, degrade, etc. This is intimate violence, James. Women do it, of course. But men are still many, many times as likely to do it as women.



Telling people how to perform their duties in their household isn't "education." Teach people to balance their checkbook, how to cook food, about the Civil War, etc. THAT is education.


I agree. But don't underestimate the educative capabilities of television. I'm entertained by the History channel, you know. :) What these shows also do is dramatize familial interaction. They do, whether or not you like to believe it, impart values. Period.




Those types of things are best taught within the community, through REAL LIVE EXAMPLES and not some fictionalized Disney princess fantasy of what life should be like.

Of course that's true! But so much of young children's minds are engage in video games, movies, and music for us to ignore the message each sends to them.



AMC

robeiae
04-06-2009, 09:29 PM
Video games are real. You play them, interact with them. They're just not reality. Anyway, you are an adult who can think rationally and critically about what you consume. End point.

AMC
Once upon a time I was a kid that devoured the X-Men comic books, largely because of the presentation of Storm and others. And I'm sure I imagined things...plenty of things...just like most children do and did.

Cyia
04-06-2009, 09:32 PM
Video games are real.

No they aren't. They're puppets either controlled by the gamer or the game itself.


And as far as TV teaching lessons -- maybe in a "lesson of the week" type scenario, but in most cases they're over-dramatized, or over-simplified (for comedy). That's the point. People want to be entertained, not taught, and if they had only choices that mimicked their everyday lives to watch, TV wouldn't exist as a viable medium.

The men and women on TV do the things that real people aren't allowed to do in real life. They're allowed to inflict pain back when someone hurts them or their loved ones. There's no legal ramifications for "justified" violence in most cases.

AMCrenshaw
04-06-2009, 09:32 PM
I belive the answer is yes, censor the video games, internet, etc, people will find other way to get their kinks out. The only solution is to elevate people as a whole, which I don't think is possible, it's the human spectrum, there are sickos and there are saints. Removing the sickos would make the saints seem less saintly.

No moral progress whatsoever, Feiss?



I disagree. The Soul Calibur paradigm--attractive, muscular people with swords--is the paradigm of fantasy literature, in general.


Don't get me started! :)


It has nothing to do with Japanese tastes or assumptions, at all.

It's what Japanese think will sell in America-- so that would be, uhm, American tastes....


All that matteres was how well the game worked and how well it was marketed.

Clearly that's not all that matters to everyone.


AMC

AMCrenshaw
04-06-2009, 09:33 PM
No they aren't.

So what the hell are these people buying at the store, then?


AMC

AMCrenshaw
04-06-2009, 09:35 PM
Once upon a time I was a kid that devoured the X-Men comic books, largely because of the presentation of Storm and others. And I'm sure I imagined things...plenty of things...just like most children do and did.

And should, with guidance from parents and education systems. I'm not some Puritan, folks. Children should be able to individuate, discover their sexuality without strict roles being imposed upon them by films, video games, books sacred or profane, etc.

AMC

robeiae
04-06-2009, 09:37 PM
It's what Japanese think will sell in America-- so that would be, uhm, American tastes....

But again, it has nothing to do with the "Japanese," at all. It's what WILL sell in America. And plenty of other places--if not everywhere--as well. So I'm unsure of why what the Japanese think is relevant, here.

AMCrenshaw
04-06-2009, 09:39 PM
It's what WILL sell in America.

Yeah and I think it's a problem that people enjoy games like GTA, particularly the HCM.


So I'm unsure of why what the Japanese think is relevant, here.

They made the game, sorry.




AMC

James81
04-06-2009, 09:40 PM
Is your head in a hole, James? Of course they're supposed to be making the same wage but that doesn't mean that's what's actually happening. The stat I cited just then was as of 2008.

Well, all the necessary laws are in place to stop this. All you need to do is:

1. Report it
2. Enforce it


No, men are more likely to yell, scream, intimidate, manipulate, degrade, etc. This is intimate violence, James. Women do it, of course. But men are still many, many times as likely to do it as women.

More likely to...or is it more likely to be reported by a woman than a man because a man is just being a "pussy" if he can't handle that kind of thing and will be ridiculed?

I went through emotional HELL in my marriage at the hands of my ex-wife. I never reported any of it (she even hit me a few times), mainly because I didn't want to get laughed out of the police station.


I agree. But don't underestimate the educative capabilities of television. I'm entertained by the History channel, you know. :) What these shows also do is dramatize familial interaction. They do, whether or not you like to believe it, impart values. Period.

Some values are good. And some are bad. Which was my original point.


Of course that's true! But so much of young children's minds are engage in video games, movies, and music for us to ignore the message each sends to them.


In the words of Eminem:

"They say music can alter moods and talk to you. But can it load a gun for you and caulk it too?"

robeiae
04-06-2009, 09:45 PM
They made the game, sorry.
Well, no. Some people made the game. They happen to be Japanese. But for some reason, you seem to be citing this as demonstrative of something else. And that's what I don't understand. What difference does it make where the game came from? Are you suggesting a link between the source and the elements in the game? Again, as I noted, the paradigm is already in place in fantasy literature and comic books, and it is unrelated to Japan.

AMCrenshaw
04-06-2009, 09:51 PM
Are you suggesting a link between the source and the elements in the game?

Japanese are not Americans. So their video games is based off of perceived wants/needs of American culture (or wherever they sell the game) as much as their own.


Again, as I noted, the paradigm is already in place in fantasy literature and comic books, and it is unrelated to Japan.

Neither fantasy literature nor comic books link bodies to audio voices. They can't link vaguely sexual sounds with pain, either. I don't want to say too much about fantasy literature or comic books-- the two aren't as comparable to video games as we'd like to believe. One has to do with the difference between motor participation (clicking buttons) and mental participation. Granted, certain video games challenge the mind. But not SC 4.

AMC

AMCrenshaw
04-06-2009, 09:56 PM
Some values are good. And some are bad. Which was my original point.


And not against my own point.


More likely to...or is it more likely to be reported by a woman than a man because a man is just being a "pussy" if he can't handle that kind of thing and will be ridiculed?


No, simply more likely to happen.


I went through emotional HELL in my marriage at the hands of my ex-wife. I never reported any of it (she even hit me a few times), mainly because I didn't want to get laughed out of the police station.

You're using yourself as an example, but how do you know your case (sorry to hear about it) is not an outlier, statistically? Well as of now, I'd have to assert that men are not as frequently the victims of intimate violence as women are. Just because something is unlikely or improbable doesn't mean it can't or doesn't happen. I never said contrary.

Research "intimate relationships" in general and you will learn a lot of surprising, recent data, often in U.S. context.

AMC

ETA: Eminem has a point. I wonder, was he an abusive parent?

robeiae
04-06-2009, 10:04 PM
Japanese are not Americans. So their video games is based off of perceived wants/needs of American culture (or wherever they sell the game) as much as their own.
They are people, however. And btw, not everyone involved in the production of these games is Japanese. Far from it. The legacy here is really Mortal Kombat--designed by two non-Japanese (Americans, actually).

Regardless, there are superior animators in Japanese companies and the video game industry really broke out under Japanese electronics companies. There is a large tale to be told, here.

Imo, the source is insignificant. It just happens to be Japanese in this instance. The paradigm in question is not America-specific. Not even close.




Neither fantasy literature nor comic books link bodies to audio voices. They can't link vaguely sexual sounds with pain, either. I don't want to say too much about fantasy literature or comic books-- the two aren't as comparable to video games as we'd like to believe. One has to do with the difference between motor participation (clicking buttons) and mental participation. Granted, certain video games challenge the mind. But not SC 4.
Well, this isn't a new thing, as my reference to Mortal Kombat indicates. And as you say, it's "vaguely" sexual. Hardly much of a standard. Perceptions vary.

As to "challenging the mind," I'd disagree with respect to SC 4. As I said, I'm not very good at it, and that has to do with me not understanding how to perform certain attacks and/or when to perform them. Things usually are what you make of them.

AMCrenshaw
04-06-2009, 10:06 PM
They are people, however. And btw, not everyone involved in the production of these games is Japanese. Far from it. The legacy here is really Mortal Kombat--designed by two non-Japanese (Americans, actually).

Interesting. I wonder if Mortal Kombat sexualizes violence.


Regardless, there are superior animators in Japanese companies and the video game industry really broke out under Japanese electronics companies. There is a large tale to be told, here.


OK.


Imo, the source is insignificant. It just happens to be Japanese in this instance. The paradigm in question is not America-specific. Not even close.


Well that it's not America is the significance. It's a perception from the outside that I found interesting and that I find significant.


Well, this isn't a new thing, as my reference to Mortal Kombat indicates. And as you say, it's "vaguely" sexual. Hardly much of a standard. Perceptions vary.


In my first post, I noted that the games were in order of descending subtlety and my concern was for children who aren't able to think about these things as critically as we can.


As to "challenging the mind," I'd disagree with respect to SC 4. As I said, I'm not very good at it, and that has to do with me not understanding how to perform certain attacks and/or when to perform them.


I'm not good at weight-lifting either. But it doesn't challenge my mind, either. As for how to perform certain attacks/when to perform them: all you need is a good memory and good mind-eye coordination. Not a lot of thinking involved, but it's also true video games are to an extent what you make of them.

AMC

Don
04-06-2009, 10:08 PM
The shows you cited are, half of them, watched by families. Shouldn't they have some sort of educational value as well as be entertaining? Oh I guess not. Gods be damned someone might learn something in front of a TV.

Then for Dog's sake, get Bart Simpson and Peg Bundy off the air. The last thing I'd ever want would be a son like Bart or a wife like Peg.

I run across enough Bart Simpsons that I'm thoroughly convinced that kids take their role models from television. The worst I could have turned out was Eddie Haskell. :D

AMCrenshaw
04-06-2009, 10:14 PM
Then for Dog's sake, get Bart Simpson and Peg Bundy off the air. The last thing I'd ever want would be a son like Bart or a wife like Peg.


It's interesting you say that since the Simpsons is considered a family television show, too. It often breaks into cheesy moments in which someone learns a lesson. Where are the parents? With the Simpsons it'd be relatively easier to isolate behaviors since they are encoded in characters and situations which mime and satire real life. What does SC 4 mime?


I run across enough Bart Simpsons that I'm thoroughly convinced that kids take their role models from television. The worst I could have turned out was Eddie Haskell.

Kids do, yeah. And it's really up to parents, educators, and eventually the children to be able to laugh at something without identifying completely with it.

AMC

Contemplative
04-06-2009, 10:15 PM
People have a right to produce and enjoy escapist entertainment, even if that entertainment doesn't support the values that minority activists want to push -- or even if it offends minorities. I like my sexual fantasies. I want to enjoy them, and reflections of them, in the entertainment I watch. Many women feel the same way.

Nobody's sexual imagination or escapist dreams are totally PC. We aren't wired that way. Lots of men, as Zoombie noted, have rape fantasies or other fantasies that, if assumed to be a statement of ideology rather than an escapist fantasy, would be called sexist or degrading. Lots of women do, too. There's some romance or women's erotica writers who try to take a feminist perspective, but there's also lots and lots of writers who still play on the alpha male, woman in distress, questionable consent scenarios because it sells to women readers. Look at Anne Rice -- Lestat is basically a sexy serial killer, after all, and despite all the homoeroticism in her books, he kills lots and lots of women. And it sells. And that's fine. More than fine, it's a very human and natural expression of sexuality, and should be lauded.

Feminists like AMCrenshaw want to control the media so that it reflects their values, so that they can use it as a tool for social engineering. They believe that escapist fantasy is corruptive, that it is a cause of social ills like real-life violence against women -- but the actual research here is very spotty. There's no proof of a causal link, and only some studies done with very questionable methods saying that escapist fantasy is harmful, and a lot of opposing studies saying there's no link between fictional violence against women and real-life occurances.

Saying you don't want to censor, you just want to raise up social stigma against people who express un-PC escapist fantasies is repellent. It's trying to turn society back to a stifling Victorian attitude, merely replacing the ideology is Christianity with feminism. It's also semantics, trying to weasel what they want to do around the edges of the definition of censorship.

I want people like AMCrenshaw to realize that it is specifically because of their perspective here, and because of the extent to which it is tolerated and enabled by the mainstream feminist movement, that I do not support feminism or feminist organizations like NOW -- and indeed, will devote active effort to cause them harm or erode their influence. I know that, like me, they support reproductive rights and contraception and a number of other causes I believe in. Too damn bad. I draw the line at this attempted censorship, or attempts to engender social stigma, or whathaveyou, and because of it I will keep attacking the entire movement until the movement as a whole realizes that people will not tolerate media control, even if it's being done to fight sexism or racism or some other evil boogeyman used to scare us.

Many people feel this way. It's dangerous in our current political climate to speak this way, to criticize feminism, so you don't hear it as much (on the left, at least) -- but many people are very, very angry about feminist (and other activist) efforts to curb free expression, stigmatize escapist fantasy and control the media. We want to hurt the controllers and the people waging the intimidation game -- very, very badly. I, myself, would be willing to take human life to oppose media control activism. (It's unlikely, of course, that I'd ever find myself in a situation where it would be productive to do so -- no point making martyrs, after all -- and I'm not arguing for vigilantism here. But I'm trying to express that there's a depth of conviction here that I don't think people trying to censor things really see.)

So go ahead and do your best to raise up fear and anger at these video games that so offend you. It's all very deniable -- you don't support censorship, you just want to "raise awareness" -- and you just talk about how bad things are without ever saying what you think should be done, so you aren't accountable when it finally gets done.

People like me are more numerous than you expect, and we are sorely tired of being bullied by activists. We will attack you personally -- since you are trying to prevent us from expressing ourselves freely, we will happily try to do as much harm to your lives as we can in response. And we will attack the entire feminist movement for its complicity in your efforts to engender social stigma, until the movement as a whole realizes that it's just not worthwhile to go there because doing so endangers the legitimate causes it has.

Ultimately, there is very little I will not do to defend a free and open media -- and I mean free from engineered social stigma as well as from official state censorship.

robeiae
04-06-2009, 10:18 PM
Interesting. I wonder if Mortal Kombat sexualizes violence.
Under the rubric of this conversation, I believe you would say "yes." And--in fact--Mortal Kombat was far bloodier, as well.

Contemplative
04-06-2009, 10:18 PM
Research "intimate relationships" in general and you will learn a lot of surprising, recent data, often in U.S. context.

You might want to research the feminist movement's history with statistics first, however. And if you do, check your sources and who's funding them.

Feminism is a major industry in the US. It can afford to sponsor a lot of studies and manipulate a lot of numbers, and it has a history of doing so.

James81
04-06-2009, 10:33 PM
People have a right to produce and enjoy escapist entertainment, even if that entertainment doesn't support the values that minority activists want to push -- or even if it offends minorities. I like my sexual fantasies. I want to enjoy them, and reflections of them, in the entertainment I watch. Many women feel the same way.

Nobody's sexual imagination or escapist dreams are totally PC. We aren't wired that way. Lots of men, as Zoombie noted, have rape fantasies or other fantasies that, if assumed to be a statement of ideology rather than an escapist fantasy, would be called sexist or degrading. Lots of women do, too. There's some romance or women's erotica writers who try to take a feminist perspective, but there's also lots and lots of writers who still play on the alpha male, woman in distress, questionable consent scenarios because it sells to women readers. Look at Anne Rice -- Lestat is basically a sexy serial killer, after all, and despite all the homoeroticism in her books, he kills lots and lots of women. And it sells. And that's fine. More than fine, it's a very human and natural expression of sexuality, and should be lauded.

Feminists like AMCrenshaw want to control the media so that it reflects their values, so that they can use it as a tool for social engineering. They believe that escapist fantasy is corruptive, that it is a cause of social ills like real-life violence against women -- but the actual research here is very spotty. There's no proof of a causal link, and only some studies done with very questionable methods saying that escapist fantasy is harmful, and a lot of opposing studies saying there's no link between fictional violence against women and real-life occurances.

Saying you don't want to censor, you just want to raise up social stigma against people who express un-PC escapist fantasies is repellent. It's trying to turn society back to a stifling Victorian attitude, merely replacing the ideology is Christianity with feminism. It's also semantics, trying to weasel what they want to do around the edges of the definition of censorship.

I want people like AMCrenshaw to realize that it is specifically because of their perspective here, and because of the extent to which it is tolerated and enabled by the mainstream feminist movement, that I do not support feminism or feminist organizations like NOW -- and indeed, will devote active effort to cause them harm or erode their influence. I know that, like me, they support reproductive rights and contraception and a number of other causes I believe in. Too damn bad. I draw the line at this attempted censorship, or attempts to engender social stigma, or whathaveyou, and because of it I will keep attacking the entire movement until the movement as a whole realizes that people will not tolerate media control, even if it's being done to fight sexism or racism or some other evil boogeyman used to scare us.

Many people feel this way. It's dangerous in our current political climate to speak this way, to criticize feminism, so you don't hear it as much (on the left, at least) -- but many people are very, very angry about feminist (and other activist) efforts to curb free expression, stigmatize escapist fantasy and control the media. We want to hurt the controllers and the people waging the intimidation game -- very, very badly. I, myself, would be willing to take human life to oppose media control activism. (It's unlikely, of course, that I'd ever find myself in a situation where it would be productive to do so -- no point making martyrs, after all -- and I'm not arguing for vigilantism here. But I'm trying to express that there's a depth of conviction here that I don't think people trying to censor things really see.)

So go ahead and do your best to raise up fear and anger at these video games that so offend you. It's all very deniable -- you don't support censorship, you just want to "raise awareness" -- and you just talk about how bad things are without ever saying what you think should be done, so you aren't accountable when it finally gets done.

People like me are more numerous than you expect, and we are sorely tired of being bullied by activists. We will attack you personally -- since you are trying to prevent us from expressing ourselves freely, we will happily try to do as much harm to your lives as we can in response. And we will attack the entire feminist movement for its complicity in your efforts to engender social stigma, until the movement as a whole realizes that it's just not worthwhile to go there because doing so endangers the legitimate causes it has.

Ultimately, there is very little I will not do to defend a free and open media -- and I mean free from engineered social stigma as well as from official state censorship.

There are parts of your post that I don't really agree with, but for the most part, this is an excellent post and I agree.

veinglory
04-06-2009, 10:45 PM
If you can, find a source for that information; I hadn't heard it before.

"Of the 117 million active gamers in the U.S., 56 percent play games online. Sixty-four percent of those online gamers are female (http://news.cnet.com/Explaining-disconnect-between-women%2C-video-games/2100-1043_3-6082459.html), according to results of the survey, released by Nielsen Entertainment on Thursday."
http://news.cnet.com/2100-1043_3-6123172.html

"When it comes to online gaming, there's a new champion in town. Of those who play games on the Web, women over 40 play most often and spend the greatest number of hours per week doing so, beating out both men and teens"
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0EIN/is_2004_Feb_11/ai_113137020/

Sexual objectification is bad across the board, especially when it's linked to violence and glorified. C'mon.

I genuinely disagree. I think objectification of real people is bad. I think objectification of non-sentient art and entertainment objects is generally normal and healthy. I have recently been doing a meta-analysis of "Link" arguments and do not agree that that particular link is supported (although others certainly are).

Fair enough. This is all in-theory except that domestic violence has not decreased (although you're right, its prosecution has)

I disagree here also, but it depends a lot on what the assumed "undetected" proportion is.

I'm looking at video games as part and parcel of a larger problem. It's not just the video games, music, media, etc. It's a lot of them combined.

And I don't see these things as a problem. I see them as a phenonmenon with good and bad aspects. "problemising" a form of expression seems unproductive to me. Especially when the data is not there to support it.

p.s. re: abuse rates this is one paper on my desk right now: "A review of the statistical evidence for husband abuse encompasses police reports, hospital surveys, a military survey, shelter surveys, and general population and national surveys. Based on this evidence, the author estimates that two million men a year in the United States are seriously assaulted by their mates, as are 1.8 million women. In other words, 3.8 percent of American husbands, or 1 out of 26, severely attack their wives, and 4.6 percent of wives, or 1 out of 22, severely attack their husbands..."

I continue to ask how can we say video games are a real huge threat when it seems lack of petticoats wasn't? How is a moral panic to be reliably separated from a real threat?

AMCrenshaw
04-06-2009, 10:55 PM
You might want to research the feminist movement's history with statistics first, however. And if you do, check your sources and who's funding them.

Feminism is a major industry in the US. It can afford to sponsor a lot of studies and manipulate a lot of numbers, and it has a history of doing so.

Hey, thanks. I imagine this would help me. I have studied feminism (theory, history, praxis, philosophy). I've also studied liberation theology, gender roles in America, statistics, and intimate relationships, been to Japan, England, France, studied in each country. I've been to numerous conferences across this country; I don't think my point of view is due to a lack of education, at any rate.

Now, I've never stated I'm against escapist entertainment or fantasy. Nor did I say it's a cause in and of itself. Rather it reflects the corruption and reinforces it.


So go ahead and do your best to raise up fear and anger at these video games that so offend you. It's all very deniable -- you don't support censorship, you just want to "raise awareness" -- and you just talk about how bad things are without ever saying what you think should be done, so you aren't accountable when it finally gets done.


Parents should be close to their children and close to what their children are doing. They should be able to introduce things to them in sizes they can think critically about. Parents should be able to think critically about video games. People play video games without becoming zombies. And I don't think there's any direct cause-effect relationship. Please don't generalize me or lump me in with a people you understand when I'm one you don't.

Again I do not advocate media control. I advocate good education, close parenting, and critical thinking. It's alarming, on the other side of the coin, how many people jump to defend what is essentially garbage.


Saying you don't want to censor, you just want to raise up social stigma against people who express un-PC escapist fantasies is repellent. It's trying to turn society back to a stifling Victorian attitude, merely replacing the ideology is Christianity with feminism. It's also semantics, trying to weasel what they want to do around the edges of the definition of censorship.


Well, you apparently didn't read all of what I wrote and I'm not surprised. Where did I say we have to raise social stigma? Are you denying that we should move towards a more equal society? One in which women are not sexual objects? Having fantasies about sex is different than reducing their whole person to sexual objects.


AMC

AMCrenshaw
04-06-2009, 11:03 PM
So it's more than 50% for online gamers. I didn't know.


And I don't see these things as a problem. I see them as a phenonmenon with good and bad aspects. "problemising" a form of expression seems unproductive to me. Especially when the data is not there to support it.


I misspoke: I'll repeat for clarity. They reveal problems and reinforce them.


p.s. re: abuse rates this is one paper on my desk right now: "A review of the statistical evidence for husband abuse encompasses police reports, hospital surveys, a military survey, shelter surveys, and general population and national surveys. Based on this evidence, the author estimates that two million men a year in the United States are seriously assaulted by their mates, as are 1.8 million women. In other words, 3.8 percent of American husbands, or 1 out of 26, severely attack their wives, and 4.6 percent of wives, or 1 out of 22, severely attack their husbands..."


Remember also that I'm talking about the links between sex and violence (from wiki):


In the United States males experienced higher victimization rates than females for all types of violent crime except rape and other sexual assault; but 20 percent of all violent crimes experienced by women in the U.S. are cases of intimate partner violence, compared to 3 percent of violent crime experienced by men.[20] According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, "in 1994 for every 5 violent victimizations of a female by an intimate, there was 1 of a male. Intimates committed over 900,000 victimizations of females and about 167,000 victimizations of males."[21]


A bit that supports what you were saying, Veinglory:


According to a July 2000 Centers for Disease Control report, data from the Bureau of Justice, National Crime Victimization Survey consistently show that women are at significantly greater risk of intimate partner violence than are men, while data from the National Family Violence Survey contradict these data and consistently show that men and women are equally likely to be physically assaulted by an intimate partner.



AMC

Contemplative
04-06-2009, 11:54 PM
I have studied feminism (theory, history, praxis, philosophy). I've also studied liberation theology, gender roles in America, statistics, and intimate relationships, been to Japan, England, France, studied in each country. I've been to numerous conferences across this country; I don't think my point of view is due to a lack of education, at any rate.

I think your point of view is due to an educational bubble community -- "Women's Studies" -- designed to reinforce certain views and denigrate others.

Education doesn't impress me when it comes from an ideologically charged community actively attempting to hedge itself into "transgressive spaces" to avoid analysis and peer review by mainstream culture. Just the opposite, in fact.

But I wasn't actually talking to you -- I was talking to the people you were suggesting do research, so they get both sides.


Parents should be close to their children and close to what their children are doing.

Is this about what games children should play, or adults? Because if a child has access to "Rapelay" or the Hot Coffee patch, that's parental failure, not the responsibility of the game creators.

I am talking, here, about games adults play, and the media that adults should be free to produce and consume -- not children.

I actually think healthy (i.e., egalitarian) gender roles are good for media aimed at children.


Again I do not advocate media control.

Yes, you are. You made a moral panic "fear for the children" post about a group of products aimed exclusively at adults, and implied the material was improper in the abstract.

In short, you are agitating. You are speaking in a manner that you know will provoke people to desire a specific thing (media control), without admitting you want that thing. I've seen it before -- it's quite common among feminist censors who want to think of themselves as people who believe in free speech or an open society.

I don't care whether you say you are advocating media control. You are advocating media control. You may want to achieve that media control through social stigma rather than state censorship, but it's still control.


Are you denying that we should move towards a more equal society?

Define "equal". I believe people should never be forced into gender roles by law, economics or social stigma. I do not believe that pursuit of this ideal justifies media control. I also do not believe in the destruction of gender roles, and believe in gender essentialism to a degree. (I do think there's room to build a more nuanced default gender role for women, and that patriarchalism has distorted the natural female gender role -- but I sure as hell don't trust feminists to fix it!)

I also think that men choose to consume sexualized media of all sorts in greater quantities than women, largely because it's much harder to create erotic imagery that "works" for women than for men -- and that's fine, and because the imbalance of sexualization originates from choices both genders are making it is simply a gender difference and not a social problem.

I certainly don't think that liking sexualized media shows men to be in any way defective or ignorant compared to women. If anything, the ratio will even out somewhat (though I doubt it will ever be equal, nor is there any reason it should) as social stigma around women expressing their fantasies fades (even more than it already has, I mean).


One in which women are not sexual objects?

Well, if I see an attractive woman in a tight tank top walking down the street, I'm going to view her as a sex object. Sure. There's nothing wrong with that. I don't know enough about her to view her as anything else, and she's hot.

That doesn't mean I'm going to treat her like a commodity -- I honestly don't do that -- or that I assume she's less skilled, or needs protection, or whatever. But if the only thing I know about her is that she has nice breasts... yeah, sex object.

Sexism is not defined by viewing a woman as a sex object, but by being unable to view her as anything else, or by treating her as a sex object in a context when she's not presenting herself as one, or treating her solely as a sex object when she's not presenting herself solely as one.

Look, people treat each other as objects of various sorts all the time without doing any harm. The cashier at McDonalds might as well be an automated teller -- it wouldn't change how I interact with him. Sure, I try to show some sensitivity because I know minimum wage jobs are hard, but it's not a moral requisite, and even in politeness and respect I'm not engaging with said cashier on any human level.

Essentially, I think the whole feminist concept of "sexual objectification" is a massive mess from the ground up, conflating hugely divergent cases:
* objectification of fictional people
* consensual objectification of women who choose to present themselves as sex objects (and, often, gain fulfillement through vanity from doing so)
* men expressing their sexual desire for women in the abstract, and vice versa
* obnoxious men who continue to regard women as only sex objects in contexts when they're ignorant for doing so
* cases where regarding a woman as a sex object provides a motive to actually violate her rights (i.e., groping a woman against her will).

I think this conflation is very intentional on the part of feminist speakers, because it serves their ideological goals to be able to blur the lines. I see absolutely no problem with the first three cases, and in fact view them as signs of a open and sexually healthy society.

Look, women can't be sexual objects. That's not a social issue; it's a physical (or semantic) law derived from the fact that they're sapient. They can only be seen as or be treated as sexual objects. The former is not a violation of anyone's rights. The latter may or may not be, based on context, circumstances and consent.

Feminists desperately want to make sexualized media into a social problem, because doing so allows them to tap into the political power that humanity's discomfort with sexuality can grant. In liberal and progressive parts of the West, the power Christianity derives from sexual anxiety and fear is fading. Feminists want to take that niche for themselves, and use it to gain power for their movement. There's always going to be people who hate and fear sex, and need an ideology suitable for bashing it. Now that Christianity is fading in that sphere, feminism moves in to take up the slack.

Zoombie
04-07-2009, 12:00 AM
...men can be sexual objects too!

I oggle hot guys in the street all the time.

They're sexy!

Bartholomew
04-07-2009, 12:11 AM
It's what Japanese think will sell in America-- so that would be, uhm, American tastes....


These games do well in spite of the cultural differences, and rarely because of them; the differences between the Japanese release of a game and the American release are often vast. And half the time, they've completely mis-evaluated their stateside audience (Example: dumbing down the difficulty of Final Fantasy II (FF 4 in Japan) because they believed American gamers weren't as competent).

There's a reason manga is a niche; if you're not into Japanese culture to some extent, it probably won't appeal to you.

Zoombie
04-07-2009, 12:13 AM
Japanese artists make anime, maga and video games for Japanese markets first, then export later.

Same is true for America, actually.

That argument, AMC, does not hold water.

AMCrenshaw
04-07-2009, 12:17 AM
I'm also no more a feminist than a humanitarian in general.


(I do think there's room to build a more nuanced default gender role for women, and that patriarchalism has distorted the natural female gender role -- but I sure as hell don't trust feminists to fix it!)


Then who? I hope you don't believe that all feminists are man-haters :tongue.


I don't care whether you say you are advocating media control. You are advocating media control. You may want to achieve that media control through social stigma rather than state censorship, but it's still control.


Oh. OK. *Sigh* I wish you wouldn't do that. I'll say again: good parenting, education, critical thinking, socialization. These things control the impact of video games or any media, no matter how disgusting or terrible they are. It's not that they shouldn't be produced (I say that for practical purposes too). But I think it's best our children learn what they're watching and what they're playing.



That doesn't mean I'm going to treat her like a commodity -- I honestly don't do that -- or that I assume she's less skilled, or needs protection, or whatever. But if the only thing I know about her is that she has nice breasts... yeah, sex object.


As I said earlier, the commodity part is impossible without the objectification. I do have a problem with sexual objectification as well, but yeah, it can be harmless. I imagine you are an adult with critical thinking capabilities and a moral compass. I would hope also that you impart these values upon your children (if you have them). That's the best we can hope for.


Sexism is not defined by viewing a woman as a sex object, but by being unable to view her as anything else, or by treating her as a sex object in a context when she's not presenting herself as one, or treating her solely as a sex object when she's not presenting herself solely as one.

EXACTLY! And it takes critical thinking (or an unreal degree of innocence/sheltering which I don't advocate) to overcome that. I pointed out video games which, while marketed to adults, were in the hands of children. That's a problem. It's a problem with the parenting. And the problems prevalent in our society are also expressed in these video games-- my issue is that they seem to glorify and reinforce them.



Define "equal"

In law, in the work place, in the home. Women are respected and esteemed the same as men.

You have a good point about the sexual objectification of men. Are there a lot of pornography/erotic stores with videos made by women for women's pleasure?


Feminists desperately want to make sexualized media into a social problem, because doing so allows them to tap into the political power that humanity's discomfort with sexuality can grant.

It's not that sexualized media is a social problem, but that we can see the social problems reflected in the media-- and I find it a shame when it also reinforces social problems.

AMC

AMCrenshaw
04-07-2009, 12:21 AM
That argument, AMC, does not hold water.

You'll tell me in all honesty that Japanese people ignore the demands in America? With anime, manga, etc. Japanese created the market; they created the taste and Americans took to it. We don't have anime, really, except by the Japanese (Wait, is this accurate? I really don't know much about anime.). Some would say the same of video games.

The fact remains anyway that these games are successful here and that speaks volumes about what we find entertaining. Still.

AMC

Zoombie
04-07-2009, 12:26 AM
They don't ignore the demands of America, they just don't think of it first.

They are more interested in, ya know, their own markets. As for what our interest in their games say about our society...well, not EVERY thing that comes out of Japan is, to put it simply, "weird ass shit".

I'm not a big fan of JRPGs, but I know that a lot of them have deep, involved plots with well done characters...

Bartholomew
04-07-2009, 12:27 AM
You'll tell me in all honesty that Japanese people ignore the demands in America? With anime, manga, etc. Japanese created the market; they created the taste and Americans took to it. We don't have anime, really, except by the Japanese (Wait, is this accurate? I really don't know much about anime.). Some would say the same of video games.

The fact remains anyway that these games are successful here and that speaks volumes about what we find entertaining. Still.

AMC

Most of them really AREN'T that successful here, actually. Soul Calibur is an exception because it handles 3D fighting really, really well. Japanese games that do well over here, like the Final Fantasy series, don't have a lot of manga style art. I think the giant eyes and deformed bodies freak a lot of Americans out.

BTW, I like the way you edit with the Strike feature. Very honest.

AMCrenshaw
04-07-2009, 12:41 AM
BTW, I like the way you edit with the Strike feature. Very honest.

Yeah, I realized I was saying something off-the-cuff, not that I necessarily meant or knew what the f I was talking about.

AMC

Contemplative
04-07-2009, 12:49 AM
Oh. OK. *Sigh* I wish you wouldn't do that. I'll say again: good parenting, education, critical thinking, socialization. These things control the impact of video games or any media, no matter how disgusting or terrible they are. It's not that they shouldn't be produced (I say that for practical purposes too). But I think it's best our children learn what they're watching and what they're playing.

If children are playing Grand Theft Auto, "have sex with your girlfriend" is fairly low on the list of things I worry about them picking up.


In law, in the work place, in the home. Women are respected and esteemed the same as men.


You have a good point about the sexual objectification of men. Are there a lot of pornography/erotic stores with videos made by women for women's pleasure?

Some, certainly. Moreso than there used to be, and that's a good thing.

Yet the video output of porn sexualizing men producing by and for gay men still dwarfs that produced by women, despite gay men being 5% of the population to straight women's 45% -- and possessing less social agency per capita then women.

But mostly, women have explicit romance novels rather than video porn, because women think about, and relate to, sexuality differently then men. In general, I would say it is harder to produce a work that will arouse women (straight or lesbian) than one that will arose men (straight or gay).

There's no 30-second equivalent of a tit shot you can put into a movie that will fill as many theater seats as the tit shot will for guys. Which isn't to say that women don't want media that arouses them; it's just that it's more nebulous and personal. Isn't it telling that for men sexual frustration usually means "not able to get laid" whereas for women it means "not able to enjoy getting laid"?

Generalizations, of course. I know some men aren't turned on by visual porn, and some women are, and people of both genders have fetishes, etc. etc. But the point I'm making is that you can't assume that sexism is the cause behind women being more sexualized (or more blatantly sexualized) than men in media.


It's not that sexualized media is a social problem, but that we can see the social problems reflected in the media-- and I find it a shame when it also reinforces social problems.

I don't agree that the media you posted either reflects nor reinforces social problems. I think that in a 100% egalitarian, non-oppressive society, people (of both genders) would still have rape fantasies, and games like Rapelay would get made.

As for reinforcing them, I hold to the philosophy that media can only reinforce problems or serve as effective propaganda when it is uniform in a given perspective. As long as there is a notable amount of media depicting a nuanced view of women, people will learn to view women in a nuanced manner in spite of the existance of proportionally more mastubatory fantasy women. Once exposed to an idea and its counterpoint, the vast majority of people are able to employ critical thinking to discern the real from the fantasy.

It is media uniformity caused by media control that is truly dangerous to egalitarianism, rather than "objectification" or media with objectionable elements.

AMCrenshaw
04-07-2009, 01:04 AM
If children are playing Grand Theft Auto, "have sex with your girlfriend" is fairly low on the list of things I worry about them picking up.


Oh for sure-- beating up prostitutes for one thing. Shooting cops for another.


I think that in a 100% egalitarian, non-oppressive society, people (of both genders) would still have rape fantasies, and games like Rapelay would get made.


I guess that I can't ignore that we're not in a 100% egalitarian, non-oppressive society. And so perhaps it's just all too easy for me to connect what I see as unethical societal practices with unethical representations of women in specific cases.

AMC

Bartholomew
04-07-2009, 01:20 AM
Oh for sure-- beating up prostitutes for one thing. Shooting cops for another.

I guess that I can't ignore that we're not in a 100% egalitarian, non-oppressive society. And so perhaps it's just all too easy for me to connect what I see as unethical societal practices with unethical representations of women in specific cases.

AMC

But why video games, specifically? Why not violent comic books, or violent movies?

Contemplative
04-07-2009, 01:21 AM
Oh for sure-- beating up prostitutes for one thing. Shooting cops for another.

I guess that I can't ignore that we're not in a 100% egalitarian, non-oppressive society. And so perhaps it's just all too easy for me to connect what I see as unethical societal practices with unethical representations of women in specific cases.


I don't think there's any such thing as "unethical representations of women", unless the representation is defamatory to an individual.

I want the same egalitarian society you do. I just don't think we can take an ends-justify-means approach to getting there, both because it's wrong and because it won't work.

AMCrenshaw
04-07-2009, 01:26 AM
But why video games, specifically? Why not violent comic books, or violent movies?

I started this topic because I (not a real video game player; my PS2 is from 1999) encountered Soul Calibur 4 recently, found it oddly disgusting, and wanted to talk about it.

Really, we could have been talking about any form of media here and came up with similar ideas. Just so happened I was surprised recently by what I perceived as latent sexuality* (I had also talked to a few colleagues of mine, showed them the game, and asked if I was just being silly). :)



AMC

*one in which a message seemed to be: beat me, I like it!

AMCrenshaw
04-07-2009, 01:33 AM
I want the same egalitarian society you do. I just don't think we can take an ends-justify-means approach to getting there, both because it's wrong and because it won't work.

And I won't be moving to ban any form of media. So I agree with you. Perhaps I had exhibited moral panic earlier, but I think it was my own shock at what I'd seen and heard. Nothing would delight me more than to find out that these video games aren't reflecting problems we have or reinforcing them. But at this point I'm not convinced they aren't.

As far as representations go, I think on the other end, when it's degrading to an entire gender, it's pretty bad as well-- I find the pervading macho marlboro man quite offensive as well, for example.

AMC

backslashbaby
04-07-2009, 01:50 AM
I don't agree that the media you posted either reflects nor reinforces social problems. I think that in a 100% egalitarian, non-oppressive society, people (of both genders) would still have rape fantasies, and games like Rapelay would get made.



Shudder. While I agree wholeheartedly with the fact that many rape fantasies are entirely normal and innocuous, for both genders, I wonder about your statement with regards to the 'breaking' of the little girls, the tears in their eyes, the feature of gang-raping children and single mothers you see on a train platform. Different strokes, I guess.

This entire discussion has too many bizarre points to address. Simply put, I see a hypocrisy in taking any discussion with 'feminist' undertones and citing the fears of having men villianized and media controlled by feminazi agendas as reasons to discount the other side's concerns as some sort of insidious 'social stigmatizing'.

I loathe 'feminazi' rantings that portray sex as innately misogynist, etc etc, but if I see behavior and entertainment blatantly reek of parallels to racism, for example, I will not be dissuaded from my opinion because of the existence of a rabid set of feminist activists. The fact that they are wrong does not make the exact opposite right.

There are things wrong with the sexual objectification of women and girls, in many cases, and there is too much of it. Too much does not mean every case is a problem, and that fact does not invalidate the original point. Men get treated badly, too; that does not invalidate the original point. Feminazis are bizarre; that does not invalidate the original point.

I will socially stigmatize games as blatantly misogynistic as RapeLay with abandon, but that does not make me some rabid feminist or mean that I've never had a rape fantasy or that I hate men.

It is not inherantly political or wrong to wonder what causes the unbelievable misogyny + violence that really does happen too often, and to think that the problem is worthy of being addressed somehow.

Do you 'on the other side' of this issue believe that too much misogyny or too much misogyny + violence exists? Or do you think it's some sort of statitistics-manipulation and feminazi agenda in total?

Contemplative
04-07-2009, 01:53 AM
I get squicked by many things at times too. I mean, I like erotica and I've tried Japanese Hentai games to see if they "work for me" -- and they don't, at all. It's not even the rape (which I'm also not into), but the way the women are portrayed in terms of personality. But I don't extend my personal discomfort into a moral judgment.

I'm not sure a purely escapist work can be "degrading to an entire gender", because a whole gender is so diverse. I mean, no matter how violent, misogynistic and hateful a given work of porn might be, there's probably at least one lesbian in the world who gets turned on by it, and at least a few women who find it hilarious and entertaining just for its outre shock value.

This sense of communal pride in a gender/ethnicity/orientation/whatever is disturbing to me, because it implies that there's some commonality shared by all members, and the commonality is more important than the differences. It also implies that the group can have ethical rights and personal values ("women find this degrading") separate from the individuals that compose it. It reinforces the us/them barriers that feminism thrives upon, and in terms of the psychological appeal it's not so very far different from nationalism, IMO.

And nationalism does not lead to good places.

Contemplative
04-07-2009, 02:03 AM
Shudder. While I agree wholeheartedly with the fact that many rape fantasies are entirely normal and innocuous, for both genders, I wonder about your statement with regards to the 'breaking' of the little girls, the tears in their eyes, the feature of gang-raping children and single mothers you see on a train platform. Different strokes, I guess.

I will admit to not having clicked the game link, being at work. I just knew it was a "rape simulator", though now I remember hearing about the more sadistic bits, too. I've already admit I find most H-Games personally distasteful, though I refuse to generalize my personal feelings into a moral axiom.

I think it's interesting that we now also have a person drawing the line past rape fantasy in general, but before a sadistic rape fantasy like RapeLay.

I don't think the line can be drawn. I also think that if you work to stigmatize one game, people more radical than you can use your work to further stigmatize other games.

I don't want the media to be controlled by any group, even a hypothetical one that I have a perfect ideological symmetry with.

Any amount of real misogyny is too much misogyny, of course. But I'm not sure real-life opinions are the only reason a person might enjoy a sadistic power fantasy.

backslashbaby
04-07-2009, 02:24 AM
I try to do the mental math on what I don't get, btw:

S&M, etc I don't get. But I get the rape fantasy thing in general (for psychological reasons that are common and normal). I understand that S&M fantasies go along the same lines as the rape ones. Cool.

Add 'visual' outlets to the normal fantasies, and you have porn. For adults. Cool. Add video games to simulate the fantasy. But still a fantasy in the sense of never wanting it to really happen. Cool.

No problem (ummm, keep it away from the kids simply because they are too young to have a sexually mature mindset yet. When forming a sexual mindset, don't freak them out, you know? There really are problems in this arena.)

OTOH, you have a real and true problem of folks wanting these things to really happen. To women (girls), most often.

I'm not proposing a solution. I do think it might be dangerous to define everything as lovely because of free speech and because the fantasies can happen with innocuous people. If we had a culture that hinted at pedophilia very often, for instance, it is easier to see because most people define those sorts of fantasies as abnormal and dangerous. We'd stigmatize it, and most folks would agree that that's a good thing.

Or lynching Black people fantasies. Easy enough to see the problem there.

The sexualization of women is too complex compared to these situations and can't be handled the same way, imho. But I can say that there are too many people who want the fantasies to be real, so a certain amount of stigmatization of that sort of thinking is important, as it was to end lynching, etc. Tell the kids that it is wrong, and the sexually mature will know when their normal fantasies aren't coming from the same insidious place when they are older, imho.

2old2pb
04-07-2009, 04:50 AM
Does anyone know where these behaviors come from? Was there a valid reason for these behaviors instinctually? Was it good for the species to have these instincts to survive 200,000 years ago? And I mean the behaviors of nonconsensual sex, physical domination of both sexes and intimidation of both sexes.

If it was good for the species do you think we can will it away in 100, 1,000 or 10,000 years? Best guess is that we've been talking for 50,000 years and we've only discussed this problem, as a whole, for 100 years. I'm not saying we shouldn't try to change but know what you're up against.

I find it incredibly arrogant that someone thinks their willpower can fight 200,000 years of evolution. And even if we did ‘evolve out’ these behaviors would it be good for the species?

I personally don't care if people have these 'bad' thoughts. I care if they act upon them.

Phoebe H
04-07-2009, 05:16 AM
Japanese are not Americans. So their video games is based off of perceived wants/needs of American culture (or wherever they sell the game) as much as their own.

Actually, generally speaking, they are making their game for the Japanese market, which is roughly the same size as the American market. Then they port the game to the US. They make a few changes for the needs of the US market, but those are generally plot points. They aren't going to redo art or non-language audio if they don't have to, because that costs them money.

Their concept of the American market doesn't come into it that much at all.

Zoombie
04-07-2009, 05:20 AM
I personally don't care if people have these 'bad' thoughts. I care if they act upon them.

And, personally, I don't find thoughts of BDSM to be "bad". Some people like being tied up. Some people like tying others up.

If two people enjoy it, and it does not hurt one another...who are we to say that it is bad?

Now, rape is bad. Fantasy rape or "play" rape between two willing people can be lots of fun. But that's dancing close to the "bad" thoughts...

I personally don't think that there is such a thing as a bad thought. There are unhealthy thoughts and bad actions, but no thoughts that are inherently "bad" or "evil".

Bartholomew
04-07-2009, 07:31 AM
*one in which a message seemed to be: beat me, I like it!

I am just assuming you know this, but since you keep professing ignorance about videogames, maybe it needs pointed out to you. No offense intended at all, but you do realize that the female characters in Soul Calibur do fight back, yes? That sends a completely different message.

AMCrenshaw
04-07-2009, 08:17 AM
I am just assuming you know this, but since you keep professing ignorance about videogames, maybe it needs pointed out to you. No offense intended at all, but you do realize that the female characters in Soul Calibur do fight back, yes? That sends a completely different message.

It still links sexual experience to violence. Another point is that it doesn't matter if the female character can fight back, it's when she's hurt she makes pornographic sounds that strikes me as so odd.

AMC

Ali B
04-07-2009, 08:47 AM
Originally Posted by AMCrenshaw View Post
*one in which a message seemed to be: beat me, I like it!

Well, some people do like to be beaten, its called S&M. Your point? The fact that you think the women make sexual noises made me lol. Maybe YOU think they sound sexual, but isn't that your own personal opinion and not fact? You act like it is a fact. It's not. I personally play the game all the time (I'm one of those 29-year-old females) and I didn't think it sounded sexual.

You confessed you are not a gamer and that you only saw the game once. Did you actually find out what it was all about or did you just go by the few minutes you saw? It is important not to judge what you have not studied. The females in SC 4 are just as strong and powerful as the male characters. How is this degradation? Because they wear skimpy clothing? Umm... a lot of the men do, too.

Another thing you may not have considered: A lot of us female gamers like to play female characters that are beautiful, well endowed and can still kick butt. I do. All the women gamers I know (a lot) do. You know why? Cause we like the fantasy. We may not be gorgeous, or have large breasts or be able to kick butt in real life, but we can switch on the game and pretend to be that way for a while. Its a nice fantasy.

Oh, and my daughters play SC 4, too. Oh, don't start calling me a bad parent! That's your opinion and not necessarily fact. My kids play with my husband and I. Why do I see fit to let them play? Because it offers me a chance to say, "This is fantasy, a game. We don't do this in real life." My girls understand this.

Playing video games can be empowering, as well. My girls see that a female can be just as strong and powerful as a man. They see this in real life, but I like that they can see it in play, as well.

So, that's 2 cents from a female gamer perspective. :)

MacAllister
04-07-2009, 08:51 AM
Here's a random question, while we've got so many gamers in one thread: do we need a gaming/writing for games forum?

Bravo
04-07-2009, 08:55 AM
no.

Ali B
04-07-2009, 08:59 AM
I think it would be interesting, Mac.

Bravo
04-07-2009, 09:22 AM
don't be an enabler, alina.

Medievalist
04-07-2009, 09:24 AM
I vote yes.

Zoombie
04-07-2009, 09:36 AM
Oooh, I'd have somewhere to put my threads!

YES!

Phoebe H
04-07-2009, 09:37 AM
There are getting to be enough jobs in video game writing, that it's probably a good idea.

I came *very* close to making a career switch to video-game writing. The only reason I didn't was because it became clear I was going to be moving.

Dawnstorm
04-07-2009, 10:57 AM
Here's a random question, while we've got so many gamers in one thread: do we need a gaming/writing for games forum?

"Writing for games" sounds interesting. Whenever hypertext fiction comes up, for example, I have to think of games. These often involve alternate endings, or - even more comples - alternate scripting that are supposed to lead to the same ending. Sometimes events are non-linear; you don't know when exactly they take place, so you'll have to sculpt your references very carefully. (I recently got a handed-down order from a deceased character in a video game; apparently I was slower with that particular event than the programmers anticipated. Oops.)

Then there's iconicity: reusing the same set of pictures for the same emotions...

***


Well, some people do like to be beaten, its called S&M. Your point? The fact that you think the women make sexual noises made me lol. Maybe YOU think they sound sexual, but isn't that your own personal opinion and not fact? You act like it is a fact. It's not. I personally play the game all the time (I'm one of those 29-year-old females) and I didn't think it sounded sexual.

Pretty much the same for me. I've always associated these noises with what you hear in marital arts movies. Not so far fetched, I think, considering the genre.

Example (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9OxQ-2gR1DU)

SPMiller
04-07-2009, 12:18 PM
I did no small amount of work in university toward creating a dynamic story system to help game writers generate content that changes based on player choices. After seeing dozens of shoddy in-house tools that required tedious kludges to simulate branching storylines, well, the demand for such a product seemed clear at the time...

But my point is, writing for games is like nothing else.

Don
04-07-2009, 01:10 PM
Here's a random question, while we've got so many gamers in one thread: do we need a gaming/writing for games forum?


Oooh, I'd have somewhere to put my threads!

YES!
Uh, Mac, you do realize if you give Zoombie somewhere to put his threads, you're gonna have a naked Zoombie running all over the AW forums.

Of course, Zoombie will argue that as a person of the bi persuasion, he has a right to a closet, if for no other reason than to come out. :roll:

Zoombie
04-07-2009, 01:22 PM
My parents were way too nice and accepting. I feel gyped...my coming out of the closet experience was nearly free of parents grounding me, sending me to indoctrinational, brainwashing. concentration, SUMMER camp, and turning me into a religiodrone!

robeiae
04-07-2009, 04:10 PM
It still links sexual experience to violence. Another point is that it doesn't matter if the female character can fight back, it's when she's hurt she makes pornographic sounds that strikes me as so odd.

AMC
As you noted upthread, the sounds are "vaguely" sexual. To you. Personally. I don't find them as sexual, per se. And I certainly don't hear them as pornographic. The male characters make the same kinds of sounds, just in different voices.

AMCrenshaw
04-07-2009, 05:59 PM
It wasn't just to me or I probably would have been too nervous about posting. I had known of GTA since it came out and never knew what became of it. I learned that rape-simulators existed a couple of years ago and it only took me a few seconds to find this one on the webz.


AMC

Bartholomew
04-07-2009, 06:44 PM
Here's a random question, while we've got so many gamers in one thread: do we need a gaming/writing for games forum?

I'm all for it. We're a disorganized bunch; it'd be nice to have a place to talk shop. I play games, study game-story techniques, and write for games -- so I'd make use of it.

Contemplative
04-07-2009, 06:45 PM
I think that it's very easy to sexualize scantily clad attractive people of either gender fighting. Fighting, like sex, is somewhat primal, passionate and focuses on the body (and offers excuses for clothing to be torn away or odd camera angles, etc.) so it becomes obvious fetish fuel. Two women fighting especially is a common male fantasy, and there are far more fetish groups on the internet devoted to sexualized "catfights" than to rape.

So sure, I think fighting games deliberately sexualize the fighting a bit. Nothing wrong with that, as far as I can see.

I am not sure sexualized fighting between sexualized trained fighters should be equated with "violence" in the sense of violence-as-social-problem or rape, though. Fighting games, even the gory ones, are very very stylized, and present martial arts fighting among people who are equals and consent to fight. It's really an utterly different context from domestic violence, or any other situation where fighting is nonconsensual and very much about victimization.

I don't think even pacifists view the existance of martial arts tournaments or boxing as a social problem, and that -- fighting as sport -- is much more in the "spirit" of these games than domestic violence, even if the sci-fi plotlines have people getting killed for whatever reason.

As long as there's no victimization/hate violence aspect, I wouldn't hesitate to let teens (13+) play a "sexy" fighting game (like, say, Tomb Raider -- famous for the size of the main character's breasts and the detail in which they were animated). I don't know enough about Soul Calibur to say if it qualifies, but it sounds like it would.

I know that sexual fantasy, and entertainment which fed such, was one of the few things in that period of my life which wasn't bleak and depressing but instead life-affirming, and I'm really glad I had that kind of outlet available.

AMCrenshaw
04-07-2009, 07:19 PM
It's really an utterly different context from domestic violence, or any other situation where fighting is nonconsensual and very much about victimization.


If anything, I think this provides the best "defense" for games like Soul Calibur 4.


As long as there's no victimization/hate violence aspect, I wouldn't hesitate to let teens (13+) play a "sexy" fighting game

I don't think I would either. But the thought behind this idea shows more involvement than some parents I knew growing up, some parents I know now. Children these days are well-informed about things-- I'd agree that at 13, they'll know something about sex and sexiness even if we don't want them to. Not letting them play would be needless sheltering. So long as parents are able to differentiate between a "sexy" fighting game and a game with hate violence/victimization, I think what you say here is pretty damn good. Roger Ebert said once, about The Believer: "If the wrong people get the wrong message--well, there has never been any shortage of wrong messages. Or wrong people."

But then, what about GTA? That one's tough because it's open. Children who "do bad things" in those video games choose to do so-- it isn't necessarily the fault of the game (except that beating prostitutes over and over or murdering cops is actually an option).


One question I have left is (inspired by a religious topic): Are video games a form of art? As such, can it change people's lives? In what ways?

AMC

Contemplative
04-07-2009, 08:14 PM
But then, what about GTA? That one's tough because it's open. Children who "do bad things" in those video games choose to do so-- it isn't necessarily the fault of the game (except that beating prostitutes over and over or murdering cops is actually an option).

GTA is definitely an adults-only game in my eyes. Fine for adults, sure. Not fine for anyone under 18. I'd be much more comfortable with a teenage boy having a Playboy DVD, or even a Vivid DVD, than GTA. I think that our current laws about what's "adults-only" are shaped by conservative and feminist sensibilities rather than by any more progressive outlook, which is why it's a crime to give a kid an XXX porn video (even a gentle, tender one like something from Viv Thomas), but "parent's judgment" on gangsta rap and GTA.

My contention was not that GTA is okay for kids, it was that the Hot Coffee patch doesn't make it any worse. It's the violence against prostitutes that really gets me there, since they get it on both sides -- hated by patriarchal and conservative culture as a sign of moral decay, and stereotyped as mentally ill abuse victims unfit to make their own decisions by feminism. They have very little social agency, and too many people still view violence against them as excusable.

And yet, kids will play GTA, and watch the gangsta rap music videos that inspired that particular subculture -- in large part because the liberal ethos is very uncomfortable criticizing the media expression of minorities, but primarily because we live in a society where the flow of information is very, very, very hard to police. And honestly that's a good thing.

So yeah, kids will end up playing GTA. I don't by any means think this is good, but ultimately I do think it is a price worth paying to live in a society where infomation is truly free and the media is open.

Ultimately, a caring parent, a competent and insightful student counselor or a mature and wise same-age classmate-friend could each undo any hypothetical damage GTA could do to a child. It's only when a child is in an environment devoid of these kinds of influences that something like GTA can have a truly malign effect -- and in that case, it's only exacerbating issues that are already present.

EDIT: One thing I want to add is that it's very natural from a game-player perspective to explore every option a video game presents, even if its something not natural to the player's real-life ethics. If a game lets you beat up prostitutes, 95% of players will do so at some point or another, if only out of curiosity as to how it will alter the game's plotline and a desire to see all the game's content. So if beating up a hooker is possible in the game, it's not an "option", but part of the game experience. This isn't a moral judgment, just a statement of how games are played in practice.

willietheshakes
04-07-2009, 08:15 PM
Introduce the bible repeatedly to a very young child, and you'll have a life-long Christian. .

Ummm... no.

Higgins
04-07-2009, 08:26 PM
One question I have left is (inspired by a religious topic): Are video games a form of art? As such, can it change people's lives? In what ways?

AMC

I don't know about video games, but there have been a lot of religious moments for me playing games on computers. Back before commercial games, you could get game code in magazines and make your own simulations. One of these featured little hierarchies of tiny critters eating each other and mutating. Somehow I got the sounds and the colors just right and it began generating a kind of deep sea cosmic music as the little blobs moved like little galaxies around a big blue bathtub of primordial darkness. I was so happy that I fell asleep and dreamed I was an Aztec Sun God.

AMCrenshaw
04-07-2009, 08:27 PM
Ultimately, a caring parent, a competent and insightful student counselor or a mature and wise same-age classmate-friend could each undo any hypothetical damage GTA could do to a child. It's only when a child is in an environment devoid of these kinds of influences that something like GTA can have a truly malign effect -- and in that case, it's only exacerbating issues that are already present.


Agreed.



AMC

Higgins
04-07-2009, 08:59 PM
Agreed.



AMC

I think all games with story lines are evil. I prefer things to be as open-ended as possible.

But speaking of religious game experiences, I was playing some rather ambitious mod of the Kingdoms version of Medieval total war and I was hiding (in camera view and sympathy if not in full avatarial Sun God splendor) in a rainforest with a bunch of Aztec archers. Everybody was crouched down in the obligatory hiding posture. We had been chasing some Chichimecs
but it was a foggy day and the battle seemed to be going on forever. My Divine Camera happened across the archers and I joined them cuz sometimes the little dudes can sense things that the Divine Camera misses.
Sure enough as I watched they all stood as one man and seemed to sniff the air. They all nocked an arrow, pivoted drew and loosed about 400 arrows. the last Chichimec was slain and the battle ended.

Celia Cyanide
04-07-2009, 10:55 PM
Kids are not STUPID!

That's like saying "people are not stupid."

Some of them are. VERY stupid.

Contemplative
04-08-2009, 12:07 AM
That's like saying "people are not stupid."

Some of them are. VERY stupid.

Sure, but one of the axioms of a free society is that we treat people as though they're capable of maturity and responsibility, even if sometimes they aren't. If you dismiss (or "moderate") that axiom, you very quickly lose the benefits of a free society, and it starts looking acceptable to curtail a lot of things we consider fundamental rights.

We could trade freedom for safety and stability. We choose not to do so, because we value freedom.

Bartholomew
04-08-2009, 12:23 AM
But then, what about GTA? That one's tough because it's open. Children who "do bad things" in those video games choose to do so-- it isn't necessarily the fault of the game (except that beating prostitutes over and over or murdering cops is actually an option).


But it isn't really open. The police are always your enemy in GTA. You're rewarded for being a criminal prick. You're not rewarded for being a model citizen; the story won't advance.

The game actually does force the player to simulate illegal activity.

That might be a point for your side of the argument. :)

Celia Cyanide
04-08-2009, 12:57 AM
Sure, but one of the axioms of a free society is that we treat people as though they're capable of maturity and responsibility, even if sometimes they aren't. If you dismiss (or "moderate") that axiom, you very quickly lose the benefits of a free society, and it starts looking acceptable to curtail a lot of things we consider fundamental rights.

I said nothing about curtailing fundemental rights. I'm just not going to accept the argument that everyone is smart, when I know they're not.

AMCrenshaw
04-08-2009, 01:37 AM
That might be a point for your side of the argument.

It is in that it represents a problem (in my opinion) with our society: history reminds us that criminal activity begets criminal activity. Lack of choice gives us either linearity or it ceases movement. Perhaps I'm reading too much into it. It's happened before.

AMC

robeiae
04-08-2009, 01:42 AM
I don't know. There has always been criminal activity. But it's very difficult to accurately assess changing levels of such, because:

1) Laws change
2) Demographics change
3) The Dark Figure remains an indeterminate

So, saying "criminal activity begets criminal activity" is not really a given, at all.

AMCrenshaw
04-08-2009, 01:45 AM
So, saying "criminal activity begets criminal activity" is not really a given, at all.

But according to history and statistics, at least, it's highly probable. Conversely, it's highly improbable that criminal activity itself will beget success to a legal society's definition.



AMC

robeiae
04-08-2009, 01:49 AM
But according to history and statistics, at least, it's highly probable. Conversely, it's highly improbable that criminal activity itself will beget success to a legal society's definition.



AMCThose three items I listed means the "history and statistics" are suspect, at best. That's my point.

If the third isn't clear, the "dark figure" refers to all the criminal activity that is not in statistics or in history, due to lack of reporting, lack of knowledge, etc. And that figure is not a constant. So, it can throw off any statistically derived conclusion with regard to the extent of any criminal activity. Ditto for any historically derived conclusion on the same.

The other two points do the same.

Contemplative
04-08-2009, 01:57 AM
I said nothing about curtailing fundemental rights.

I apologize if my post implied otherwise; I was speaking in the general case.

Bartholomew
04-08-2009, 01:57 AM
It is in that it represents a problem (in my opinion) with our society: history reminds us that criminal activity begets criminal activity. Lack of choice gives us either linearity or it ceases movement. Perhaps I'm reading too much into it. It's happened before.

AMC

My father did all manner of illegal things. I've never done any of them.

Also, I've played GTA, and I've never gone out and shot at cops. In fact, it is partially because I recognize that a GTA-type scenerio could occur that I respect police officers as deeply as I do. (Though, admittedly, some of this respect stems from fear.)

I could easily follow the idea that GTA could give children bad ideas. I am far less inclined to believe that telling stories about really nasty criminals is going to inspire people to go out and break the law. If anything, I suspect that such narratives help prevent crime by giving people an outlette for their frustration.

Contemplative
04-08-2009, 01:59 AM
The police are always your enemy in GTA. You're rewarded for being a criminal prick.:)

I think this is the fundamental appeal of GTA, and you couldn't remove it without ruining the game. It's a vicarious id-fantasy.

Contemplative
04-08-2009, 02:00 AM
If anything, I suspect that such narratives help prevent crime by giving people an outlette for their frustration.

Agreed. We are a highly stressed society, and we need our vicarious release.

robeiae
04-08-2009, 02:01 AM
I think this is the fundamental appeal of GTA, and you couldn't remove it without ruining the game. It's a vicarious id-fantasy.
Kinda like being Dungeon Master.

Or so I've heard...

AMCrenshaw
04-08-2009, 02:32 AM
My father did all manner of illegal things. I've never done any of them.


Improbable doesn't mean impossible. Plus there are other factors at work we needn't discuss here.


If anything, I suspect that such narratives help prevent crime by giving people an outlette for their frustration.

That's an interesting idea, but I don't see how this helps your argument entirely; it just defines the positive side. The negative side is that if people do in fact think simulated crime can replace real criminal activity as a way of acting out frustration. If it's not linked to actual criminal activity (what we'd consider criminal-- assault, murder, theft, etc.), what is it linked to? What does the frustration translate to? Playing a video game-- if so, why specifically a game like GTA? What about GTA makes it a good outlet for frustration (or aggression) in particular? Is it just because it's entertainment?

My concern, obviously, is whether or not elements of criminality specifically make GTA entertaining-- and I'd rather know why and how, at this point, than make assumptions.


AMC

Zoombie
04-08-2009, 03:19 AM
I said nothing about curtailing fundemental rights. I'm just not going to accept the argument that everyone is smart, when I know they're not.

Most people are smart, if you give them half a chance. There may be wide spread ignorance, but just because you don't KNOW something does not mean you don't have the capacity to LEARN.

Though there is a minority that has the terrifying combination of the lack of knowledge and the desire to not learn as much as possible.

These people are what I call "dicks", and I try to avoid them. But there are less dicks in the world than there are nice, smart, honest people.

We just notice the dicks more, cause tis fun to bitch about that asshole who did this and that assholish thing.

Either that oooooooor I'm an incurable optimist. Either one.


Also, as a completely anecdotal bit of thought, I know that when I'm stressed or angry, playing a game helps calm me down.

jodiodi
04-08-2009, 04:52 AM
I would also like to add my vote for a game thread.

I never played video games until my husband and I got married. On our honeymoon we visited his family and I played my first console game: Silent Hill. I was hooked on the game series after that. I've tried playing GTA games, but got bored quickly. I played all the Silent Hills, Kuon, the Fatal Frames, Alone in the Dark, Obscure, pretty much any 'scarey' game. I also played Manhunt and The Suffering, which were too violent for my husband. I enjoyed the Onimusha games (hot Asian guys!). My stepkids play Guitar Hero, Dogs Life, Sports games--They find my games too scarey to play.

I'd love a game forum. Some of the games I've played tell better stories than many of the books and movies I've experienced.

AMCrenshaw
04-08-2009, 06:20 AM
I know that when I'm stressed or angry, playing a game helps calm me down.

Do you know how or why? What about it is calming or calms you-- the act of doing very little while concentrating on one thing? Or is there a commonality between simulation and reality in the way people act. If this is a form of media, it has ideological influence. Video games may very well be minor-to-insignificant influences-- I can't say for sure.


AMC

Bartholomew
04-08-2009, 08:02 AM
Improbable doesn't mean impossible. Plus there are other factors at work we needn't discuss here.



That's an interesting idea, but I don't see how this helps your argument entirely; it just defines the positive side. The negative side is that if people do in fact think simulated crime can replace real criminal activity as a way of acting out frustration. If it's not linked to actual criminal activity (what we'd consider criminal-- assault, murder, theft, etc.), what is it linked to? What does the frustration translate to? Playing a video game-- if so, why specifically a game like GTA? What about GTA makes it a good outlet for frustration (or aggression) in particular? Is it just because it's entertainment?

My concern, obviously, is whether or not elements of criminality specifically make GTA entertaining-- and I'd rather know why and how, at this point, than make assumptions.


AMC

I don't really have an argument, aside from "Don't censor anyone." I'm just throwing ideas around because its a fun topic, and we don't see a lot of those anymore.

That said, a lot of gamers don't just sit and play games. They shout when they score a kill, they cheer when they achieve a goal, and then they brag about what they did and share funny stories about the games they play online. That's stress relief in a very big way, regardless of the title.

You won't find me defending GTA a lot. I don't like the genre.

Start picking on Freelancer or Civ IV and you'll have me in a tizzy.

Bartholomew
04-08-2009, 08:07 AM
Do you know how or why? What about it is calming or calms you-- the act of doing very little while concentrating on one thing? Or is there a commonality between simulation and reality in the way people act. If this is a form of media, it has ideological influence. Video games may very well be minor-to-insignificant influences-- I can't say for sure.


AMC

Video games de-stress me mostly because they're not as challenging as real life, and because I can always retry. Spend a few hours succeeding at something after a crappy day, and it really takes the edge off.

That's why I love games with insane difficulty modes; after I beat something on normal and hard, its TOO easy and I don't feel like I'm succeeding anymore, so I focus on trying to beat a mode that has deliberately been made impossible.

I loathe first person shooters, with the exception of Halo. On Halo 3, I crank the difficulty to legendary, and I enable all of the skulls (difficulty modifiers that you have to find to unlock) that make the enemies harder.

Zoombie
04-08-2009, 09:25 AM
Do you know how or why? What about it is calming or calms you-- the act of doing very little while concentrating on one thing? Or is there a commonality between simulation and reality in the way people act. If this is a form of media, it has ideological influence. Video games may very well be minor-to-insignificant influences-- I can't say for sure.


AMC


I know a very simple reason!

Because...they...are...FUN!

whistlelock
04-08-2009, 09:27 AM
I'd love a game forum. Some of the games I've played tell better stories than many of the books and movies I've experienced. You should play Mass Effect.

Zoombie
04-08-2009, 09:32 AM
Or Baulder's Gate.

Heck, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic had a better plot than all three of the new Star Wars movies added together...

And it was more fun to play.

And the characters were infinitely more likable.

MacAllister
04-08-2009, 09:55 AM
Welcome to your new Games forum.

Please don't hesitate (hah -- As if!) to PM with suggestions, and feel free to run wild with the gaming-related threads you've always wanted to see here.

If you have resources, markets, or have written for games, take a strong lead here, please. I don't know the first friggin' thing about it, beyond the summer I spent compulsively playing KOL because I was working graveyards and could neither sleep nor concentrate the rest of the time between shifts.

Bartholomew
04-08-2009, 10:26 AM
Welcome to your new Games forum.

Please don't hesitate (hah -- As if!) to PM with suggestions, and feel free to run wild with the gaming-related threads you've always wanted to see here.

If you have resources, markets, or have written for games, take a strong lead here, please. I don't know the first friggin' thing about it, beyond the summer I spent compulsively playing KOL because I was working graveyards and could neither sleep nor concentrate the rest of the time between shifts.

Eek! We's been moved! X_X

AMCrenshaw
04-08-2009, 07:00 PM
I loathe first person shooters, with the exception of Halo. On Halo 3, I crank the difficulty to legendary, and I enable all of the skulls (difficulty modifiers that you have to find to unlock) that make the enemies harder.

First person shooters, especially online ones, are too addictive for me (I sometimes play Call of Duty 1, and on PS2 I like Red Faction II). If I play one round, I have to play five. I like RTS and RPGs the most. Played BG, played Icewind Dale I and II, NWN 1, and AoE II a long time ago. I have Oblivion installed on my computer but rarely play it.

I have little respect for GTA and the genre -- I played a Western game "Gun" which was essentially GTA in the old West. I beat it. Now that I think back, I bet my play could have devolved into shooting prostitutes and starting posse riots.


AMC

AMCrenshaw
04-08-2009, 07:00 PM
Honestly, video games de-stress me because I don't think about anything while I play them. Empty brain for about an hour.


AMC

jodiodi
04-08-2009, 08:04 PM
I've played the GTA games and enjoyed them, but I never played to win. I just enjoyed exploring the environments, finding stuff, driving like a maniac.

Now one game that has no redeeming characters is Manhunt. I enjoyed playing it, however, because it was easy to take out frustrations playing the game. I have no idea what the ultimate goal is in the game. I haven't played it in a long time. I just recall you get points for style.

Another bloody game, but fun, was The Suffering. The ending you got was based on how you treated people in the game. If you were a kill'em'all type, your 'karma' was bad. If you tried to avoid killing people, protected the guards and helpless, you got good 'karma' points. I'm always trying to help characters in games. Unless they're the evil minions, I try to avoid collateral damage.