Author Topic: Tropes vs Women in Video Games  (Read 97080 times)

Offline Numbers

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Re: Tropes vs Women in Video Games
« Reply #400 on: June 18, 2013, 07:29:26 PM »
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Offline GrahamRocks!

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Re: Tropes vs Women in Video Games
« Reply #401 on: June 18, 2013, 07:47:33 PM »
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Re: Tropes vs Women in Video Games
« Reply #402 on: June 19, 2013, 08:18:48 AM »
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Very gradually

No, no, no... That is when it happens.

How does it happen?
Read the rest of my response. The media you consume affects the way you think. People (especially children) identify with the characters and don't necessarily judge or analyze their thoughts and actions but rather accept them as "just the way things are."

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Offline Neonivek

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Re: Tropes vs Women in Video Games
« Reply #403 on: June 19, 2013, 02:15:20 PM »
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The media you consume affects the way you think

Ok so magic

Quote
People (especially children) identify with the characters and don't necessarily judge or analyze their thoughts and actions but rather accept them as "just the way things are."

And stupidity!

If this doesn't apply in most situations in media then it certainly needs a better explanation. Where the only mechanic here is that "Ohh these two stories have a male protagonist. I guess only men can be heroic" and that certainly has not become the case, there is an issue.

Offline darthkiwi

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Re: Tropes vs Women in Video Games
« Reply #404 on: June 19, 2013, 02:57:42 PM »
Quote
The media you consume affects the way you think

Ok so magic

Quote
People (especially children) identify with the characters and don't necessarily judge or analyze their thoughts and actions but rather accept them as "just the way things are."

And stupidity!

If this doesn't apply in most situations in media then it certainly needs a better explanation. Where the only mechanic here is that "Ohh these two stories have a male protagonist. I guess only men can be heroic" and that certainly has not become the case, there is an issue.

Neonivek, there are people whose job it is to analyse this stuff. They're called academics. People have known about this for decades, if not longer. It even has a wiki page. Not a very good one, but still.

You're very much in the minority here.
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Offline Deloria

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Re: Tropes vs Women in Video Games
« Reply #405 on: June 19, 2013, 04:18:46 PM »
Quote
The media you consume affects the way you think

Ok so magic

Quote
People (especially children) identify with the characters and don't necessarily judge or analyze their thoughts and actions but rather accept them as "just the way things are."

And stupidity!

If this doesn't apply in most situations in media then it certainly needs a better explanation. Where the only mechanic here is that "Ohh these two stories have a male protagonist. I guess only men can be heroic" and that certainly has not become the case, there is an issue.
Okay, so media uses very specific symbols that people associate certain things with. The specific symbols vary from culture to culture and time to time and depend on what the media in question is trying to turn you against, but every culture has them. This is something called propaganda. It has been partially responsible for many conflicts. Propaganda can be expressed in a variety of media including speeches, images, games and video.

These symbols are often stereotypes and play on the associations people already have with those symbols (often based on other media and social perceptions). If you look at propaganda out of context, you're likely not going to get it, so there is literature out there aimed at decoding these things for you if you know what to look for and you will have to be familiar with the background of the media and the culture it exists within if you hope to truly understand the internal conflicts depicted.

People who are influenced by media are not weak-minded or stupid; they just usually don't think critically about the media they're consuming. That's why this is dangerous. If you're interested in discussing this further, I'd urge you to find a caricature or some other type of media you think is objective and we can deconstruct it together here. :)
 
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Offline Neonivek

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Re: Tropes vs Women in Video Games
« Reply #406 on: June 19, 2013, 04:35:57 PM »
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This is something called propaganda.

Yes but we are not talking about propaganda. We are talking about...

You are a person who believes that bread is a terrible food. So you write a book where you write about another food in a similar way you write about bread as inspiration for your ooze.

The premise that I was being sent is that: "The fact that you dislike bread will pass through the writing and be known subconsciously by the reader who will over years start to dislike bread"

Sort of takes on an entirely different meaning when I actually state what I am talking against doesn't it?

"You're very much in the minority here"

No, I really don't think I am. If you cut away the fluff all that you are left with is the actual arguments.

People not knowing what they are arguing against does not, to me at least, constitute that it is their actual opinion.

Not unless the vast majority of women are against the vote because they didn't know what the word "Suffrage" meant.

I am not arguing against media influence as a whole but rather a very specific kind being argued here that upgrades media to outright mind control.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2013, 04:41:55 PM by Neonivek »

Offline Numbers

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Re: Tropes vs Women in Video Games
« Reply #407 on: June 19, 2013, 06:01:30 PM »

You are a person who believes that bread is a terrible food. So you write a book where you write about another food in a similar way you write about bread as inspiration for your ooze.


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Offline Lambonius

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Re: Tropes vs Women in Video Games
« Reply #408 on: June 19, 2013, 08:08:09 PM »

People who are influenced by media are not weak-minded or stupid; they just usually don't think critically about the media they're consuming.

Wouldn't a lack of critical thinking be part of what defines stupidity in a person?

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Re: Tropes vs Women in Video Games
« Reply #409 on: June 19, 2013, 11:31:05 PM »
Not analyzing everything doesn't mean you're stupid. If a professor writes a formula on a board, you're probably not going to spend too much time analyzing the derivation or trying to prove it mathematically if you're just trying to study for a test. It doesn't mean you're not capable of doing it, though.
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Re: Tropes vs Women in Video Games
« Reply #410 on: June 20, 2013, 06:35:49 AM »
Sorry for the long post. Have been busy/away. If TL;DR is an issue for you, consider it as two posts run together (b/c pulling in one post as a supporting argument exploded on me causing me to reply to it too).

I am not arguing against media influence as a whole but rather a very specific kind being argued here that upgrades media to outright mind control.
No one however is arguing that media equates to mind control, well, except for you in your interpretation of others.

Everyone has said that the effects are subtle and gradual. Mind control and systematic indoctrination are neither of those things.

Quote
The media you consume affects the way you think

Ok so magic

Quote
People (especially children) identify with the characters and don't necessarily judge or analyze their thoughts and actions but rather accept them as "just the way things are."

And stupidity!

If this doesn't apply in most situations in media then it certainly needs a better explanation. Where the only mechanic here is that "Ohh these two stories have a male protagonist. I guess only men can be heroic" and that certainly has not become the case, there is an issue.
Whoa, whoa, whoa, wait. Stop. Hold everything. You want to say that there WASN'T or was never a culture in which protagonists were predominantly male... on a KQ forum... KQ... the series which has garnered praise for having a female lead in its fourth installment at a time when most main/player characters were guys... ... ...

Back on point though, I only trotted out this post (initially) to point out that ascribing "magic" and "mind control" to "media" further points to the fundamental misunderstanding of how culture works and reinforces itself.

On yet another hand (so much to rip through and digest in just this one post), if you feel it is stupid to consume media without considering its internal portrayal of the status quo, what is your genuine complaint here? Everyone else is pretty much just saying "we should increase awareness of what we consume because it affects our thinking." Your complaint seems to be to say "nuh-uh" to their reason ("...because it affects our thinking"), so then why is it stupid not to be aware and what then is the motivation to be aware for you? Or is it that you think after one has developed so much or has such a level of intelligence one becomes immune to these cultural influences?

Quote
This is something called propaganda.

Yes but we are not talking about propaganda. We are talking about...
What we are talking about is "culture" and its messages. Your response (magic & mind control, etc.) implies to me that you assume that propaganda needs some animus or intention behind it. It doesn't. Propaganda can simply be the propagation of messages already present and endemic in the culture rather than the specific production of media to produce a change in the way society thinks.


You are a person who believes that bread is a terrible food. So you write a book where you write about another food in a similar way you write about bread as inspiration for your ooze.

The premise that I was being sent is that: "The fact that you dislike bread will pass through the writing and be known subconsciously by the reader who will over years start to dislike bread"
Except that isn't anything like what anyone has said here: "damsel in distress"--right, so we've got Princess Peach, right, and we have her kidnapped by Bowser, right, and then we show her with arms flailing in obvious distress, and then Mario saves her.

Damsel. In. Distress.

No one has put their bread in your shopping basket as you approached the till so that you suddenly find you've bought some bread. The bread was very obviously in your shopping the whole time and even shouted out for you to hear "HEY, YOU GOT SOME BREAD IN HERE!"

This is similarly true with Lovecraft and the split in socioeconomic status and origins and race of his protagonists and antagonists, though there if you want to find the arm flailing you have to look into his life.

I agree that Anita could have done better research and made better arguments, but I won't agree that blindly and blithely consuming media has no effect on subconscious thought or on shaping how we frame our own thoughts and messages.

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Offline Deloria

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Re: Tropes vs Women in Video Games
« Reply #411 on: June 20, 2013, 06:50:41 AM »
@Neonivek: Anything trying to promote an opinion is propaganda, this includes much media as it's impossible to read an unbiased article (i.e. one that isn't coloured by the writer's own social environment).

I actually think a lot of people are missing many of Anita's points by applying them only to males. I don't think she is approaching this project exclusively from a misandrist/androcentric point of view. These tropes are problematic *for females* and *for victims* as well. They're problematic for females because they tell them how to act and what is acceptable behaviour, and they're problematic for victims because they make it seem like the victims can't save themselves.


Quote
If women are raised being told by parents, teachers, media, peers, and all surrounding social strata that:

    it is not okay to set solid and distinct boundaries and reinforce them immediately and dramatically when crossed (“mean b****”)
    it is not okay to appear distraught or emotional (“crazy b****”)
    it is not okay to make personal decisions that the adults or other peers in your life do not agree with, and it is not okay to refuse to explain those decisions to others (“stuck-up b****”)
    it is not okay to refuse to agree with somebody, over and over and over again (“angry b****”)
    it is not okay to have (or express) conflicted, fluid, or experimental feelings about yourself, your body, your sexuality, your desires, and your needs (“b**** got daddy issues”)
    it is not okay to use your physical strength (if you have it) to set physical boundaries (“dyke b****”)
    it is not okay to raise your voice (“shrill b****”)
    it is not okay to completely and utterly shut down somebody who obviously likes you (“mean dyke/frigid b****”)
     
If we teach women that there are only certain ways they may acceptably behave, we should not be surprised when they behave in those ways.

And we should not be surprised when they behave these ways during attempted or completed rapes.

And these tropes perpetuate stereotypes that are harmful. And the propagandistic misogynistic media we internalise is a huge part of the reason we have a rape culture. And the propagandistic misogynistic media we internalise is also the reason many people don't think or believe we have a rape culture. But only in a society where females are often not considered people with rights over their own body would things like this and the three cases detailed here happen and keep happening because no one can stop things like this overnight because it's deeply entrenched in the way society thinks. You too are guilty of this if you've ever seen a girl or a woman get hit on repeatedly when she didn't want or like the attention and thought to yourself that she deserved it because of the way she looked.

My point is: there is misogyny in our society. It is deeply entrenched in it and it presents as the justice system fundamentally failing at recognising women as people with bodily autonomy. The media we consume feeds these conceptions of women. The media expresses itself in games as these tropes. 
 
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Offline Lambonius

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Re: Tropes vs Women in Video Games
« Reply #412 on: June 20, 2013, 08:35:16 AM »
Quote
If women are raised being told by parents, teachers, media, peers, and all surrounding social strata that:

    it is not okay to set solid and distinct boundaries and reinforce them immediately and dramatically when crossed (“mean b****”)
    it is not okay to appear distraught or emotional (“crazy b****”)
    it is not okay to make personal decisions that the adults or other peers in your life do not agree with, and it is not okay to refuse to explain those decisions to others (“stuck-up b****”)
    it is not okay to refuse to agree with somebody, over and over and over again (“angry b****”)
    it is not okay to have (or express) conflicted, fluid, or experimental feelings about yourself, your body, your sexuality, your desires, and your needs (“b**** got daddy issues”)
    it is not okay to use your physical strength (if you have it) to set physical boundaries (“dyke b****”)
    it is not okay to raise your voice (“shrill b****”)
    it is not okay to completely and utterly shut down somebody who obviously likes you (“mean dyke/frigid b****”)
     
If we teach women that there are only certain ways they may acceptably behave, we should not be surprised when they behave in those ways.

@Deloria:  So are you essentially saying that women behave this way because of reverse psychology??  That seems a bit of an oversimplification, doesn't it?

Also, several of the things on those list would be obnoxious and socially unacceptable coming from a man, too.  Does that mean we should be teaching our male children that it's okay to be an a******?


@Rosella: I wasn't referring to a lack of over-analysis of every little thing being a factor of stupidity (besides, that's not really what we mean by critical thinking, anyway.)  That would suggest that anyone on this forum who doesn't post unnecessary walls of text is stupid.  And I certainly don't believe that.  ;)  What I was thinking was more the inability to think critically when it is warranted.  One of the reasons we teach critical thinking in schools is because most people need to be able to do it on a day to day basis on order to be successful in this world.  That's not such an outlandish idea, is it?  :)
« Last Edit: June 20, 2013, 09:07:35 AM by Lambonius »

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Re: Tropes vs Women in Video Games
« Reply #413 on: June 20, 2013, 09:19:20 AM »
Quote
If women are raised being told by parents, teachers, media, peers, and all surrounding social strata that:

    it is not okay to set solid and distinct boundaries and reinforce them immediately and dramatically when crossed (“mean b****”)
    it is not okay to appear distraught or emotional (“crazy b****”)
    it is not okay to make personal decisions that the adults or other peers in your life do not agree with, and it is not okay to refuse to explain those decisions to others (“stuck-up b****”)
    it is not okay to refuse to agree with somebody, over and over and over again (“angry b****”)
    it is not okay to have (or express) conflicted, fluid, or experimental feelings about yourself, your body, your sexuality, your desires, and your needs (“b**** got daddy issues”)
    it is not okay to use your physical strength (if you have it) to set physical boundaries (“dyke b****”)
    it is not okay to raise your voice (“shrill b****”)
    it is not okay to completely and utterly shut down somebody who obviously likes you (“mean dyke/frigid b****”)
     
If we teach women that there are only certain ways they may acceptably behave, we should not be surprised when they behave in those ways.

@Deloria:  So are you essentially saying that women behave this way because of reverse psychology??  That seems a bit of an oversimplification, doesn't it?

Also, several of the things on those list would be obnoxious and socially unacceptable coming from a man, too.  Does that mean we should be teaching our male children that it's okay to be an a******?

@Rosella: I wasn't referring to a lack of over-analysis of every little thing being a factor of stupidity (besides, that's not really what we mean by critical thinking, anyway.)  That would suggest that anyone on this forum who doesn't post unnecessary walls of text is stupid.  And I certainly don't believe that.  ;)  What I was thinking was more the inability to think critically when it is warranted.  One of the reasons we teach critical thinking in schools is because most people need to be able to do it on a day to day basis on order to be successful in this world.  That's not such an outlandish idea, is it?  :)

Behave what way? The thesis of the article is that many women do not behave in those ways listed even when doing so would be an act of self-preservation and that they do not do so because they are told not to by all of their surrounding culture and authority figures. A thesis laid out in the very quote given: "If we teach women that there are only certain ways they may acceptably behave, we should not be surprised when they behave in those ways."

As for teaching sons to be jerks? Not really. The point is that making these things unbreakable laws of behavior promotes ongoing social victimization (since you brought guys into--yes, ongoing victimization of BOTH genders), and yes, that victimization contributes to rape culture because it provides another tool for victim blaming, for rape apologia, and for manipulating a situation or person so that rapists can engage in rape.

Those are all rules of "acceptable" social behavior that ONLY work in a context of mutuality of respect: when someone else breaks those rules, they no longer apply. That's not how they are culturally understood: instead they are used to enforce a perceived norm of dominant groups. For instance, "it is not okay to use your physical strength (if you have it) to set physical boundaries" what if someone else has physically violated your personal space, comfort, or person? Such as say, a streaker lewdly dancing in your presence and harassing you, specifically following you. I say keep moving to leave and when he keeps following you? Snap kick him in the groin. Now, let's apply a setting? Randomly out in public? People won't mind that you defended yourself; hell, they might applaud especially if the harassment had gone on for some time. At some frat party on a college campus? "You can't take a joke."

And that's what's wrong here.
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Offline Lambonius

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Re: Tropes vs Women in Video Games
« Reply #414 on: June 20, 2013, 09:40:44 AM »
Ah--yes, you're right.  I did misread the last sentence in that quote.  Though, to be fair, it could be more clearly worded.  I interpreted it to mean that we shouldn't be surprised if women behave in the ways we teach them NOT to behave.  Which is an argument I've definitely heard before, by the way.  :)

But the rest of my point, that certain behaviors are socially awkward/unacceptable regardless of genders still stands.  Some of those points are being misleadingly suggested only to apply to women, as though we wouldn't also consider a man who does those things to be a jerk.  For example, raising one's voice and acting over-dramatically in public--we'd find that obnoxious regardless of the gender of the person who is doing it.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2013, 09:43:37 AM by Lambonius »

Offline Neonivek

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Re: Tropes vs Women in Video Games
« Reply #415 on: June 20, 2013, 10:53:50 AM »
I am gone for one second and there is too much post to deal with... but let me deal with the most the fastest

Quote
Except that isn't anything like what anyone has said here

It is a few pages back but we certainly did.

Canada is interesting, it has most of the same media the United States has and yet their cultures are very distinct.

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No one however is arguing that media equates to mind control, well, except for you in your interpretation of others

Ok, that's it... Proving time.

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The problem is, how many people read Lovecraft, or other writers, and DON'T notice the racist undertones? When you're aware of these undertones they lose their power to influence you. (Mostly.) But if you don't notice them - if you get swept up in the story as we all want to be and you just accept the fact that the "primitive", "degenerate" "savages" are all Jews or black people or indigenous people BECAUSE YOU'RE ENJOYING THE STORY - then you'll internalise all the stuff he *implicitly* says about them. This isn't the best example because our views on race have changed a lot, but imagine you're someone from the 1930s. You're racist, sexist and believe whites are superior, because almost every white person believed these things back then, and I want to put you in the mind of the oppressive, culturally dominant group. And next time you see a Jew, you'll think "Oh, it's a Jew, like in that story I read." You won't just blindly assume this person is going to go and do a horrific Lovecraftian ritual, but you probably WILL think that they are secretive and have an inferior culture. Not because you've read Lovecraft and agree with him, but because you've read Lovecraft *and you never stopped to think about how he portrayed Jews*.


There you go.

Now that, that, wipes out 99% of all the criticism pointed at me... I guess I responded to everyone :D

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Re: Tropes vs Women in Video Games
« Reply #416 on: June 20, 2013, 01:01:10 PM »
I have to say, I admire the people in this thread to take the time to post their thoughts. One thing I feel I should mention is that critical thinking may have been taught in your schools, but mine? Nope. My education system never taught me how to use critical thinking. Never. All of my education was based on how quickly you could memorize a bunch of crap before you take a test, then purge it from your mind, never to use it again. I could memorize anything the teachers could throw at me, because they never relied on critical thinking to educate their students.

This left me completely unprepared for college, obviously. Thus, I could pretty much ace any memorization test...but if a teacher asked me to get up in front of the class and give a class discussion regarding the effects of propaganda in the media, my first reaction would be to think "well THIS is gonna suck." I am capable of critical thinking, of course, but hardly ever use it. If someone challenged me to a game of chess, I'd probably just sit there wondering what the hell I'm supposed to do. As such, I again think it's very impressive that everyone here is taking the time to discuss their views on what is really a pretty complicated issue.
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Offline Neonivek

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Re: Tropes vs Women in Video Games
« Reply #417 on: June 20, 2013, 01:08:09 PM »
I am the complete opposite... Memorization is where I am weakest, yet understanding the themes and intricacies of the topic as well as being able to unit all subjects into one is something I can do very well.

So I can read a novel for example and not remember everyone's names. Yet I'd be able to tell you a detailed analysis of the book, its themes, as well as the personality profiles of all the characters.

In fact I love to analyze things for fun. Which I guess is something Anita did, I mean I agree with most of what she says but not the way she says it, but I think I enjoyed picking her video apart into its individual elements more then actually watching it.

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Re: Tropes vs Women in Video Games
« Reply #418 on: June 20, 2013, 01:22:18 PM »
Ok. Darthkiwi's example was probably a bit over-simplified. A person's way of thinking may not be greatly affected by reading a single book (or even a single author), but when you consume content with a bias over a long period of time, it can affect you. I can't tell you how it works, but others have pointed you to information about that.

As far as analyzing what's important, I think it's common to specifically NOT analyze entertainment - it's just "for fun." Analyzing is work. I've found that people get exasperated when others over-analyze their favorite media.

Neonivek, it's great that you are good at and enjoy analysis - just keep in mind that not everybody is like that. In fact, I would guess it's somewhat of a rare trait (probably more common among academics and other highly educated people, though).

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Offline Lambonius

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Re: Tropes vs Women in Video Games
« Reply #419 on: June 20, 2013, 01:41:08 PM »
At it's heart, all critical thinking really is is the ability to decide for yourself whether or not a thing or set of things is true or false, the ability to decide whether or not it is that way in every situation, and the ability to explain why.  Anything beyond that is over-complicating the definition.  :)  Everyone has the basic capacity for critical thought.  But as with all things, practice makes you better at it.
 

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