A response to MissRPGenius Re:Sonic Bedspreads, Boobs, and the Female Gamer
A response to MissRPGeniuse's new article on sexism in the gaming industry. I have taken several quotes from the comments on that page, and i will do all i can if i use one of yours to portray you in the same light as your comment. If you feel i misrepresented you, wish to be named as anonymous, or wish to have your quote entirely removed from the blog, leave a comment or message me so that i can make changes. In the event that that does happen, i am sorry. For that matter, MissRPGenius, if you feel i've misquoted you, let me know were and why. I am doing my absolute best to not twist your words. If i have misrepresented something, blame it on me misunderstanding the point rather than trying to use your words out of context against you.
The other day, G1 MissRPGenius released a blog entitled "Sonic Bedspreads, Boobs, and the Female Gamer" on the topic of sexism in the gaming industry. I would wager that most of you have seen this given that it has over 3000 views (insert RWJ reference here) but just in case you can view it here: http://www.screwattack.com/news/sonic-bedspreads-boobs-and-female-gamer
If any of you have checked, this blog has over 100 comments, and almost all of them are walls of text. It's very rare that you see this, so i thought this blog deserved a bit more. Which is how im coming to write this. I would like to preface this article with a few disclaimers. First off, i am not just writing this to flame MissRPGenius. If you read this MissRPGenius (and for that matter anyone who agreed with her article) and don't understand any of the points i make or why im making said point, leave a comment and i'll do my best to explain it. If the people who didn't agree e read this, and disagrees with or wants to add to any of the points im making, again, feel free to do so. Disclaimer 2: I am NOT writing this as a fanboy defending his idle. I have never been a fan of Kotaku mainly for tending to report rumors as fact, as well as stunts like this. Also, i am not a devoted viewer of Game Theory (sorry Mat). I have only started watching the series since it came on Screwattack, and while i enjoy watching it, i am by no means a fan as of yet. Disclaimer 3: I am a man. 'Nuff said for that.
So to address point one the Kotaku article. Her analysis of what the article itself implies is essentially sound. However, she overlooks one thing. Based on the response that the editor gives, she assumes that the mistake was not accounting for other audiences. She says that Kotaku is "catering to straight men at the expense of other groups." Except it wasn't just the "other groups" who were outraged at this article. There were plenty of straight men (myself included) who found the article in bad taste. But no need to listen to just me. The following are all quotes from the comments in response to the blog:
"that article by Kotaku was unbearable to read." -LousyTactician
"I thought the Kotaku article was disgusting" -Sidesmash
"the article on kotaku was over the line and borderline insulting " -KamenRiderAnt
"the Kotaku article and Totilo's response to it [are] just deplorable. That article had no place on Kotaku and Totilo COMPLETELY missed the point on why people were upset over it." -Caboose_-1
"That article on Kotaku was probably the worst thing I ever read on a popular site that wasn't just an open attack on someone(s)."-AsaiNeroTran
"Ugh, that Kotaku article is awful. The entire thing is just an egotistical masterstroke that isn't funny in the slightest. -Revulsive
And these aren't all of them. In fact, there wasn't a single comment that WAS in favor of the Kotaku article. So it seems we're all nicely in agreement here. Now on to the Game Theory Episode. This part was far more controversial than the Kotaku article, with people saying that MissRPGenius was absolutely right and they hated the episode, those that say that she took it too seriously and they loved the episode, and the last saying she took it to seriously, but still hated the episode. But i would argue that this episode falls exactly within the parameters for what Game Theory is supposed to be. Game Theory deals with the SCIENCE of games. And in case you didn't know, Biology is a science.
Now that i've got my opinion in, let me respond to what MissRPGenius said. In regards to the episode of Game Theory "the episode employed laughable pseudo-science to determine which in a series of animated women had augmented, as opposed to 'real,' breasts." Laughable perhaps, but pseudo? Not a chance. The episode of Game Theory may have been more than a trifle lewd, but it was absolutely accurate from a scientific point of view.
"The video began with a tongue-in-cheek disclaimer apologizing to female viewers for the content which followed. Despite its intended humor, the message it relayed was still clear: 'I recognize that this video objectifies and alienates a portion of my viewers, but that is less important than making the majority laugh.'" Contrary to what MissRPGenius believes, this is not saying what she, and a lot of the comments think it means. From what i could glean, they all translate this as "This video is not intended toward women". On the contrary, this is apologizing to the viewers (both guys and girls) who might be sensitive to such a lewd topic. When he is apologizing to the female viewers, he is merely saying sorry for portraying them in such an image. Not for making the episode at all. (If i am wrong and you meant something else Mat, please let me know).
"Most responses to the video support his assumption that the self-described “shameless” stunt would be applauded and rewarded. I get it; people like boobs. Does this excuse turning “are they real or not?” into a pseudo-intellectual debate riddled with demeaning imagery?" He didn't think it would be applauded, but he thought he would be rewarded, and he was most likely right. It's a well known fact that sex sells, and having an episode on such a topic would get a bunch more people to come see it, and more likely than not, go watch more of them.
Now for the worst part in my opinion: "Why bother slaving to make high-quality episodes when the popularity of fatty lumps of flesh will result in high view counts?" Im probably more annoyed with this than most as im a music producer, so i know how much work goes into these things. Something of this length done well probably takes around 20-40 hours of work. This makes me question if you even watched the episode past the initial warning. The episode was quite clearly of the same quality of all the other Game Theory video's. Yes, the subject may be objectionable, for the purpose of earning more views, but it doesn't change the fact that Mat put in the time and it shows. Ignoring the topic and paying attention to just content, the episode is really good.
And of course there's the really good point of why are you arguing against Game Theory when Screwattack has been openly Sexist in several of their top tens? With Screwattack, it's obviously all in good fun, so why isn't Game Theory the same way? This is a point i honestly don't understand, so if you or someone else can explain it to me it would be much appreciated.
I am abstaining from posting comments about this subject as they are so varied in opinions, and i want to avoid misrepresenting someone. In addition, it would serve little purpose as it would be biased to include only the one's that agree with me, but i've addressed most of the points in the one's that disagree anyway. There are some very well worded one's however, so if you go to the original blog link at the top, i would highly suggest reading through all the comments.
But to close off, i would like to include one of the comment walls from the original blog. G1 Shiva91 had probably the best phrased comment i've read, and quite honestly said it better than i could have said it myself.
"While this article raises a number of valid points about the objectification of women in gaming, its ire is entirely misdirected.
As a regular female viewer of GT, I wasn't offended by the last, "boobs-centric" episode, and I think it's important to voice the perspective of a female gamer who is fully grounded in reality on this issue.
The episode mentioned above focused on fictionalized characters that are largely viewed as hyperbolic, even within a medium riddled with disproportionate lady-parts. To not see this for the clear satire that it was shows a narrow perspective on our part as female gamers and an inability to laugh at a clearly ridiculous aspect of almost every modern release.
It's also hypocritical, ladies. As female gamers, we invest our time into playing games that misrepresent women ALL THE TIME. FFVII, anyone? One of my favorites, despite Tifa's total boobie dance at the end of every fight. Anyone play Mass Effect as a female character? Zero Suit Samus in Super Smash? If we're all so TOTALLY offended by misrepresentation of women in gaming, why are we playing the games? Sorry gals, but sex sells and if we really want to make an impact here, we should stop investing in the industry that's behind the trend. Or, we can take what we love from the games (the stories, the excitement, the strategy) and not sweat about rest. I'm not saying that one choice is better or more noble than the other here, but I'm saying we have to choose a side and stick to it. If we're supporting the gaming industry financially and complaining about it at the same time, we're talking out of two sides of our mouths. And that just makes us look stupid. Along the same lines, directing our anger at some perceived offense on a show like GT, which is possibly the most viewer-responsive show on Screwattack, makes us look fickle, not reactive.
As for the above article: Either state that you are going to withdraw your support from the gaming industry, which is where your reasonable discontent should be directed (in which case, you may have better things to do than post accusatory articles here) or get some self esteem, brush it off, and go enjoy some jiggle physics for yourself." (end quote)
(note to Shiva: this could turn into a great blog easily, so if you want me to take it down so that you can post it yourself, let me know)
As to why im writing this? One of the comments asked why so many people were getting up in arms over this. I point to this one part: "It disappoints me to see this message promoted by ScrewAttack." If you were just complaining about what was on Screwattack, then you should have just put this in an e-mail, and sent it off to Craig. But the fact you posted a blog about it opens it up to community review. Which i have now done. And that closing line? "Kris Kail and Mathew Patrick have made it clear that as I am not a part of their intended audience, they don’t care to have my respect. No worries, guys, you haven’t earned it. " Well, no comment. Which i believe implies more than almost any comment i could say.
That all being said, i mean absolutely no personal offense against you MissRPGenius. As i mentioned in the beginning, this is not meant to be something to flame you. This was too long too put as a comment, and i also want to see what other people have to say. Peace.
-Edit- You can go check out Mat's response here: www.screwattack.com/news/defense-game-theory-boobs
On a personal note, i have now completed my challenge for the charity fundraiser: Listen to the entire 10 hour version of Taking the Hobbits to Isengard. Doesn't sound hard? Listen to this for 10 minutes without going slightly insane. The longest time at once was 1.5 hours, but it was still dangerous for my sanity.