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Tags anita sarkeesian , sexism issues

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Old 14th February 2017, 10:00 AM   #1
Aepervius
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Sexist game do not generate sexism in user

I don't think that particular article was mentioned here, but the contention is by some groups (not backed by data), that sexism in video game make people go sexist in real life (Mrs Sarkeesan conteded so in one video about video trope and female).

This is on the same level as "video game cause violence" Thompson level.

And it seems there are studies now showing actually, no, there is not such an effect.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/...?dopt=Abstract

Quote:
Enlisting a 3 year longitudinal design, the present study assessed the relationship between video game use and sexist attitudes, using data from a representative sample of German players aged 14 and older (N=824). Controlling for age and education, it was found that sexist attitudes--measured with a brief scale assessing beliefs about gender roles in society--were not related to the amount of daily video game use or preference for specific genres for both female and male players.
I am all for diversity , reversing role and having the prince in distress, this makes for more stories, and open new horizons.

But at least it seem the "but it makes gamer sexist" can be put to sleep.


Edited by Loss Leader:  "Sexiam" in thread title changed to "Sexist" because I believe it's what the OP meant to write.

Last edited by Loss Leader; 19th February 2017 at 10:18 PM.
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Old 14th February 2017, 10:32 AM   #2
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I've never seen anyone say it makes people sexist. I've seen them say it reveals that they already were.
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Old 14th February 2017, 11:57 AM   #3
Aepervius
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Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
I've never seen anyone say it makes people sexist. I've seen them say it reveals that they already were.
Actualy it was was said in one Sarkeesan video. I don't recall which, and I have no lust to go through all of them again.

But let us take your viewpoint that it reflect the person's taste. Even that I would contend would fall down under the same problem as mentioned in the first post : you would expect that the same would follow for violence and other themes. And it does not, as people doing violent crime (among other teenager) there was no correlation found with violent video game usage (there are a few study about reckless behavior like fast driving and drinking alcohol but they are not very conclusive like the 2012 dartmouth study). Until there is a correlation proven and shown, then the claim is in the camp of those contending such link exists and so far null evidence has been provided. And the same hold between your contention of sexism and video game usage : there is no correlation study. Until one is provided , it is just a claim.
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Old 14th February 2017, 12:01 PM   #4
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The results here leave an important question unanswered. If the videos don't work, what's the best way to induce sexism in our young?

I trust the scholarly investigations continue? (Hopefully by men this time!)
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Old 14th February 2017, 01:28 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Aepervius View Post
But at least it seem the "but it makes gamer sexist" can be put to sleep.
Not necessarily! Maybe video games cause sexist attitudes, but--also!--so does everything else.
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Old 14th February 2017, 11:16 PM   #6
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I call ******** on this. I know first hand that video games cause rampant sexism. Speaking personally, for every alien I kill in Halo, my urge to objectify women grows stronger and stronger.
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Old 14th February 2017, 11:31 PM   #7
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At a fundamental level, the brain doesn't actually know the difference between a physical world observation and a 'mediated input.' There are studies where physiological responses are observed in subjects being show images, having sounds played in headphones, blindfolding them and wafting scents under their noses, etc.

Games are very often designed with operant conditioning (rewards and punishments).

We learn by observation and experience.

I don't really know if a study can properly control for the totally different life experiences we all have outside of time spent playing that might mitigate (or compound) the influence of the gaming. Plus it varies from game to game. Some have hypersexualized characters, some don't. Some games feature women throwing themselves at the perspective character with a few suggestive pick-up lines, some don't.
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Old 14th February 2017, 11:40 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Aepervius View Post
But at least it seem the "but it makes gamer sexist" can be put to sleep.
Wishful thinking, I'm afraid.

Regardless, a competitive, male-dominated environment is a perfect outlet for sexist behaviours, especially language. Online combat-oriented games such as CoD are an environment where such behaviour is at least tolerated.

Or so I'm told. Myself, I never game online so I don't know for sure. I'm pretty sure I'd be called gay within minutes if I did.
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Old 15th February 2017, 12:02 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Wishful thinking, I'm afraid.

Regardless, a competitive, male-dominated environment is a perfect outlet for sexist behaviours, especially language. Online combat-oriented games such as CoD are an environment where such behaviour is at least tolerated.

Or so I'm told. Myself, I never game online so I don't know for sure. I'm pretty sure I'd be called gay within minutes if I did.
The pre-1970s was a perfect environment for sexist behaviour. The 2010s not so much. People are more sensitive to sexism of course, particularly language, because overt sexist actions are not as common these days.
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Old 15th February 2017, 12:12 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
The pre-1970s was a perfect environment for sexist behaviour. The 2010s not so much. People are more sensitive to sexism of course, particularly language, because overt sexist actions are not as common these days.
True, but still, I hear things about what the online games are like.

I'd be pretty happy to be proved wrong.
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Old 15th February 2017, 12:25 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
True, but still, I hear things about what the online games are like.

I'd be pretty happy to be proved wrong.
There was a game ad I scrolled by the other day on FaceWaste with a typical 'sex sells' theme, so I indulged my Jerry Springer curiosity and popped open the comments. Lots of rationalizations being offered about why the zoom in on the female character's chest (which then grew to enormous proportions...and don't get me started on the, uh, interesting physics of movement).

"They are just showing how detailed the character customization is!"

So I shot back, "Okay, so is there a crotch bulge slider, too? Will it dance and flop around in an aesthetically pleasing manner?"

*crickets*
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Old 15th February 2017, 12:55 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Delphic Oracle View Post
There was a game ad I scrolled by the other day on FaceWaste with a typical 'sex sells' theme, so I indulged my Jerry Springer curiosity and popped open the comments. Lots of rationalizations being offered about why the zoom in on the female character's chest (which then grew to enormous proportions...and don't get me started on the, uh, interesting physics of movement).

"They are just showing how detailed the character customization is!"

So I shot back, "Okay, so is there a crotch bulge slider, too? Will it dance and flop around in an aesthetically pleasing manner?"

*crickets*
I'd play a game with a crotch bulge slider. They should make that a feature in every customize-able avatar game! Codpieces that'd make Henry VIII jealous.
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Old 15th February 2017, 01:13 AM   #13
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Just for reference...

6 Ridiculous Excuses Game Designers Gave For Sexist Costumes

It is arguable whether the sexism in the design is driving the sexism of the consumers, or the other way around. But there it is.

ETA: Of particular interest are the final couple of paragraphs:

Quote:
There's nothing wrong with sexiness. There's everything wrong with sexism. Those are different things! And a huge part of sexism is pretending that the one-sided, one-flavor, cis straight guy idea of sexiness is some kind of neutral normal. "Totally blatantly about staring at simulated tits" is absolutely fine if you're honest about it. In fact, that's the entire design document for Dead Or Alive Extreme 3. It's only a pity there isn't an equivalent game about burly lumberjacks and Greek statues of ballet dancers struggling on an island based on lumberjacking and working in a body oil factory. Yet. But there will be, and it will make money.

If developers would just admit they like looking at naked bodies, they might realize other people do too. Then add a few more options. And then they'd have even more fans, and everyone would be enjoying the sexiness together. Instead of insisting that straight male sexual preference is a fundamental force of the virtual world transmitted exclusively by hard-ons.
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Last edited by arthwollipot; 15th February 2017 at 01:16 AM. Reason: added quote
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Old 15th February 2017, 02:20 AM   #14
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I will never get tired of sharing this one:

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE


As a former MMO addict, I can attest to having heard these rationalizations delivered on countless occasions.
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Old 15th February 2017, 02:48 AM   #15
Aepervius
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Originally Posted by Delphic Oracle View Post
There was a game ad I scrolled by the other day on FaceWaste with a typical 'sex sells' theme, so I indulged my Jerry Springer curiosity and popped open the comments. Lots of rationalizations being offered about why the zoom in on the female character's chest (which then grew to enormous proportions...and don't get me started on the, uh, interesting physics of movement).

"They are just showing how detailed the character customization is!"

So I shot back, "Okay, so is there a crotch bulge slider, too? Will it dance and flop around in an aesthetically pleasing manner?"

*crickets*
You have not heard of age of conan : exile, right ? Because it just did that. And in spite of the game being not very good borderline bad, it is jumping high the chart of crotch bulger. and floppy dick.

So GIVEN the option, they just do what you said. Which partially belies that this is a problem.

And again a lot here are contending that game sexism generate gamer sexism. That study linked belies that too. In fact if game generated violence and sexism, study over years would show a trend toward more sexism and more violence. But it does not.

While there were studies showing immediate effect (like alcoholism and reckless driving) after gaming, none show long term effect.
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Old 15th February 2017, 02:55 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Delphic Oracle View Post
I will never get tired of sharing this one:

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE


As a former MMO addict, I can attest to having heard these rationalizations delivered on countless occasions.
I have seen countless time people saying that. But no proper study.

See the problem with the brain is we have bias. We have negative and positive bias , so when such comment come up we remember it. But we forget the 999's of comment which either do not find it good or don't speak about it at all.

That is why studies like the one in the first post are necessary to check what real effect there is, and no assumed effect.

Maybe it was due to me getting physically bullied (beat down) when I was a kid, but verbal harassment does not do me anything whatsoever, so I am biased. But : As for online game, nowadays in many sexist/racist/harassment is much less an issue as most have a "reporting harassment" which usually result in either checking logs and insta ban or similar process. Some go around that by removing even the possibility to communicate e.g. see hearthstone.

In my experience, unless you go to a chat/voice system external to the game, such harassment is nowadays far more rarer than it ever was.

There is still big progress to be done to stomp it for good , I will admit, but it is nowhere near the free-for-all-you-are-a-**** hayday of early online game where idiots could poison a game easily.
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Old 15th February 2017, 08:17 AM   #17
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This study is two years old, and here's what the researchers who carried out the study themselves have to say about their study and what it shows:

Quote:
A recent multi-year study of German gamers might cast doubt on the idea that sexist content in video games can affect sexist attitudes in gamers. But the researchers behind the study caution that their findings shouldn’t be oversimplified.

“There are often discrepancies between what a study actually found and how people interpret it,” the two lead researchers, Johannes Breuer and Rachel Kowert told me in an e-mail interview this week after I contacted them about their 824-person study which compared gamers’ and non-gamers’ responses to a trio of questions about women’s place in society over the course of two years.

“We found that the amount of overall video game use at time 1 was not predictive of sexist attitudes/beliefs about gender roles at time 2 (i.e., 2 years later) and that (sexist) beliefs about gender roles at time 1 were equally not predictive of video game use at time 2 (for sample of German players aged 14 and older).

“Some people seem to think that this is proof that sexism is not an issue in games and gaming culture, which is something that we neither found, nor say (nor examined, really) in our study.”

The researchers would go on to tell me that they think sexism in gaming is still a potential problem in terms of excluding female gamers, influencing thoughts about body image and other factors. They also suggested that people might overestimate the impact that games have on people while underestimating the impact that gamers may have on each other.

[...]

So what to make of this new study and how it fits into these arguments? I e-mailed Breuer and Kowert to get their take. This is what we discussed:

Stephen Totilo, Kotaku: What arguments would you say the study is debunking?

Rachel Kowert (Dept. of Communication, University of Munster) and Johannes Breuer (Dept of Psychology, University of Cologne): We would be careful in saying that the study debunks any arguments. It provides some evidence that there are no broad cultivation effects of games, meaning that video games alone do not make anyone (more) sexist (in terms of endorsing traditional gender roles; see also our comment about the quote above).

Totilo: What arguments is it not debunking?

Kowert and Breuer: Again, we would probably not say “debunk” here. However, we want to make clear that our study does not show that sexism is not an issue in/for games and gaming culture. There are many content analyses of popular games that show that female characters are underrepresented or presented in an overly sexualized manner and there is also ample evidence that many players, particularly female, have experienced sexism in their interactions with other players.

Totilo: What impact do you think sexism in games actually has on gamers?

Kowert and Breuer: At the very least, we would say that it can be off-putting to many players (especially female players) and, therefore, can cause exclusion. While sexist game content can sometimes just be ignored or players can choose to turn to other games, personal experiences with sexual harassment or strong (sexist) insults by other players can have a serious negative impact on players, such as emotional distress. Over time, it can also drive players away from certain games or gaming altogether.

Totilo: Maybe even more fundamentally, what actually do you even consider to be examples of sexism in games?

Kowert and Breuer: As we said before, there are two main levels on which sexism can happen: in the content of a game (e.g., hypersexualized representations of female characters, such as the infamous “jiggle physics” in Ninja Gaiden) and in the interactions with other players. The latter can be expressed in various ways, such as exclusion, active discrimination, and/or active harassment (such as those documented on the aforementioned websites; e.g., Fat, Ugly, & Slutty)

Totilo: What do you make of people who are comparing both the arguments and studies regarding the impact of video game violence on gamers to research about the depiction of women in video games on gamers? Are they the same thing? Fundamentally different?

Kowert and Breuer: We would say that there are parallels here: In both cases, people seem to overestimate the effects of video game content. There are other, much more influential factors that impact aggression and sexism - most notably, family and peer influences.

We would also say that for any kind of media effects research (e.g., sexism, violence/aggression, etc) we should be starting to focus on the interactions between players rather than the content of the games themselves. That is something that has already begun for research on aggression with studies, e.g., looking at differences between cooperative and competitive play (there is a really good article by ICA Game Studies Interest Group Chair James D. Ivory (Virginia Tech) about the need to focus more on interactions between players).

Totilo: Do you plan to do more research on this topic? And, if so, what are you planning?

Kowert and Breuer: This article came out of a larger panel study on the uses and effects of digital games in Germany, which ended in December 2014. Since then, the members of the team have moved on to new projects and jobs. As such, there is not much more that can be done in terms of this particular dataset and sample. Although, we have composed a theoretical article discussing the potential cyclical nature of sexism and exclusion in video games content and culture, which should be published in an edited volume later this year/early next year.

We are also currently running a somewhat related project - a cross-cultural experimental study with partners from the US, Germany, and the Netherlands, assessing players’ evaluation of “problematic” content in games (namely, violent and sexual content). The assumption here is that there are cultural differences in how violent and sexual content are perceived and evaluated and that personal moral views also play an important role in this process.
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Old 15th February 2017, 11:00 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Aepervius View Post
You have not heard of age of conan : exile, right ? Because it just did that. And in spite of the game being not very good borderline bad, it is jumping high the chart of crotch bulger. and floppy dick.

So GIVEN the option, they just do what you said. Which partially belies that this is a problem.
One example does not a trend make.

Quote:
And again a lot here are contending that game sexism generate gamer sexism. That study linked belies that too. In fact if game generated violence and sexism, study over years would show a trend toward more sexism and more violence. But it does not.

While there were studies showing immediate effect (like alcoholism and reckless driving) after gaming, none show long term effect.
Unless you literally lock people away from society for 2 years and give one group Mario Kart and another group Leisure Suit Larry and then check for differences in attitudes, it's not really definitive.

Did this 'study' even have a control group at all? Were the selected participants completely new to gaming at the start of the study to establish a baseline or were they already gamers (how do you determine the delta if their habits didn't change?).

I'm not ruling one way or the other, I'm saying this is hardly conclusive (and A'isha drives that point home with her post, as well). My, admittedly anecdotal, experience has been there's a lot more juvenile misogynist behavior in game settings than what I see/hear in meatspace. That could also just as easily be explained by the anonymity factor and the real world behavior could actually be people suppressing their tendencies in public.

I wasn't even an FPS gamer, so I can't really speak to voice chat harassment in that setting. Though I can say that 'reporting' rarely ever got anything done. Maybe for overt assault/death threats, otherwise it was 'we suggest putting the user on ignore if it is negatively affecting your gaming experience' weaksauce boiler plate legal disclaimers. But my gaming was mostly subscription-based, so there's a revenue issue for the company to worry about.

I was big in MMOs and in roleplay communities, at that. Most of them I actually gender-bent since even those communities tended to be dominated by a more subtle dick-waving match of who's the most badass evil cut-throat uber-villain. I kept my cover (even out of character) for a long time since I saw what would happen if people were 'discovered' doing so. Attitudes (at least in RP communities) did soften on that over the years since there is, in fact, a huge disparity in men and women gaming and how else would you explain the seemingly equal proportions of (in character) males and females? That and voice chat makes it hard to keep up the illusion, heh. But from that perspective, whoa did I get a (virtual) education on some of the things women have to put up with.

Last edited by Delphic Oracle; 15th February 2017 at 11:14 AM.
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Old 15th February 2017, 04:45 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Just for reference...

6 Ridiculous Excuses Game Designers Gave For Sexist Costumes

It is arguable whether the sexism in the design is driving the sexism of the consumers, or the other way around. But there it is.

ETA: Of particular interest are the final couple of paragraphs:
Good grief. Of the six, I have played Halo. Cortana is in no way a sex object. I am aware of metal gear though have no interest in it and the remaining 4 are obscure japanese hentai titles.

Hardly the claimed marauding hoard of misogynists, is it.
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Old 15th February 2017, 04:56 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Aepervius View Post
Actualy it was was said in one Sarkeesan video. I don't recall which, and I have no lust to go through all of them again.
...nearly every single claim about Anita Sarkeesian is a lie, a statement taken out of context, or a ridiculous exaggeration. As your thread is dependent on your claim that Sarkeesian said "sexism in video game make people go sexist in real life" then you either need to "go through them all again" to prove that she said this: or admit that perhaps your recollection may be faulty.
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Old 15th February 2017, 05:19 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
Good grief. Of the six, I have played Halo. Cortana is in no way a sex object.
...the article is about "ridiculous excuses for sexist costumes": not that Cortana is a "sex object." The article doesn't even use the word object.

Quote:
I am aware of metal gear though have no interest in it and the remaining 4 are obscure japanese hentai titles.
Obscure Japanese Hentai titles? Soul Calibur? Bayonetta? Are you being serious?

Quote:
Hardly the claimed marauding hoard of misogynists, is it.
And out comes the strawman.
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Old 15th February 2017, 11:20 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Aepervius View Post
Maybe it was due to me getting physically bullied (beat down) when I was a kid, but verbal harassment does not do me anything whatsoever, so I am biased.
On the other hand, I was never physically beaten up but I was extensively verbally harrassed all through my school years, so I have a tendency to be extremely sensitive to verbal bullying.

Emotional bullying can be just as bad as physical bullying. Worse, in fact, because bruises will go away in time. It's very rare for schoolkids to inflict injuries so severe that they affect you for life, but emotional scars don't go away.

Trust me - I know what I'm talking about.
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Old 24th February 2017, 11:50 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
On the other hand, I was never physically beaten up but I was extensively verbally harrassed all through my school years, so I have a tendency to be extremely sensitive to verbal bullying.

Emotional bullying can be just as bad as physical bullying. Worse, in fact, because bruises will go away in time. It's very rare for schoolkids to inflict injuries so severe that they affect you for life, but emotional scars don't go away.

Trust me - I know what I'm talking about.
I feel you on that one. It's just recently, in my late thirties, that I've started to realize how much I internalized the bullying I received in school. For a long time, I was able to effectively ignore those years, but my self esteem problems are definitely rooted there. The problem for me has not just been the bullying in my youth, but other stressors which helped reinforce those "lessons" I learned.
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Old 27th February 2017, 07:22 AM   #24
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It has been a while since I've read about this, so my answer will be tentative.

I'm not sure the problem ever was "sexism in games generates sexism". More that gaming as a subculture is very male-oriented nearly since its inception (remember the 'easter egg' for completing Metroid under a set amount of time?) and that gaming companies disproportionately pander to gamers who are males, with the expectation that they enjoy viewing partial nudity/sexualized females among their violence.

When women started to bump in, they found that the content was not created with a wide audience in mind and took umbrage. They, too, want to be represented in gaming as protagonists, meaningful characters - as more than merely something that is underdressed on a mid-european beach. And then there was gamergate.

As far as I understand it, nowadays it is easier to find more neutral games among indie-developers, but AAA-publishers still drift towards the traditional gaming themes, perhaps in fear of losing revenue.

Quote:
The researchers would go on to tell me that they think sexism in gaming is still a potential problem in terms of excluding female gamers, influencing thoughts about body image and other factors. They also suggested that people might overestimate the impact that games have on people while underestimating the impact that gamers may have on each other.
I agree that the general tone between gamers should be looked more in to. I'll check if some Goggling will reveal something to the effect, although some posters already have given indications as to what it is like.

Also, this:
Originally Posted by Kowert and Breuer
Again, we would probably not say “debunk” here. However, we want to make clear that our study does not show that sexism is not an issue in/for games and gaming culture. There are many content analyses of popular games that show that female characters are underrepresented or presented in an overly sexualized manner and there is also ample evidence that many players, particularly female, have experienced sexism in their interactions with other players.
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Old 27th February 2017, 08:57 AM   #25
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A rather bleak look from 2012:
adanewmedia(dot)org /2012/11/issue1-consalvo/
In short: sexism among gamers exists, but to what extent is yet to be determined.
Originally Posted by Mia Consalvo
Yet what I have just related is mostly anecdotal, relying on a cursory review of industry documents and forum flame wars. What we need is more in-depth, critical research examining how players understand and utilize such statements, and how they make sense of the wider game industry universe, how they conceptualize their choices, who is controlling those choices, and why they believe in zero-sum game outcomes. We also need to tie such analyses to industry-fueled rants such as Hecker’s, to see how players are linking as well as justifying their own beliefs and upset (as well as bad behavior) to what they see as sanctioned views.
Also found a book from 2014:
adrienneshaw(dot)com /research/gaming-at-the-edge/

From the page:
Quote:
It provides an in-depth look at not just how groups are represented in games, as some previous authors have done, but how audiences interact with these representations in ways that are unique to this particular medium. <snip> this book looks at people who play games (alone or with others) rather than people who play a particular game or on a particular platform. It addresses digital games as part of broader media consumption practices and identity work, looking at the ways games and concerns about representation in them are embedded within the everyday lives of players.
Has anyone read this one and if so, did it contain some points to bring to the discussion? Unfortunately my Goggeling skills are not sufficient to find anything more relevant.
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Old 27th February 2017, 11:41 AM   #26
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People, please, there could be children reading this thread! Impressionable little kids for whom this is their first moral panic, who weren't around for the other brouhahas over video games, or tv, or dungeons and dragons, or comic books, or penny dreadfuls. They could be given entirely the wrong idea about media consumption and influence!

Won't someone please think of the children?
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Old 27th February 2017, 12:32 PM   #27
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Young online players tend to behave crudely towards everybody, not just women. Play poker online sometime; it won't be long before the chat turns ugly. It's a largely anonymous environment, and so people vent freely and at times ridiculously.

It is a fact that most young men play video games more than most young women. And when your target market is young men, you are going to emphasize two things: sex and violence, because that is what draws their attention.

It's not as if video game marketers are the first to discover this. Look back fifty years ago to the lurid "Men's Adventures" magazines.
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Old 27th February 2017, 12:49 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Brainster
It is a fact that most young men play video games more than most young women. And when your target market is young men, you are going to emphasize two things: sex and violence, because that is what draws their attention.
Is it though? I direct you to the following:
Quote:
Gender in Gaming
48% of females play games
50% of males play games
75% of the games industry is male
Of the most frequent game purchasers, 41% are female and 59% are male
Taken from bigfishgames(dot)com/blog/2016-video-game-statistics-and-trends/

My guess is that it is because the industry is so male-heavy, and because that's 'what we've always done'.
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Old 27th February 2017, 03:20 PM   #29
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I've come to terms with the fact that I am actually a feminist. In the old-school sense of the word.

But I have a tough time when it comes to video games. It's the same underlying thing that goes on in movies, TV shows, advertisements, etc. I am not all that convinced that it is sexism, so much as it is sexualization. Those two aren't the same thing.

Are women in video games often hyper-sexualized, with exaggerated and unrealistic breasts, hips, buttocks, thighs, and faces? Absolutely. So are the men, if you pay attention. Leisure Suit Larry aside, when was the last time you saw a video game featuring a fat, sloppy, balding man with a missing tooth as the main character, or even a supporting character? Bad guys, sure, maybe the evil monster in Dark Souls or Diablo is a hunk of flab and grossness... but the hero? Even the average citizen of the world? Almost never.

The supporting women in Witcher are definitely sexualized... but have you seen Geralt? OMG he's a sexy pile of white-haired century-old man. The boobs & butt on Miranda in Mass Effect 2 are definitely exaggerated... but seriously, Jacob? Steve Cortez? Kaidan? People, have you seen some of the tumblr stuff out there devoted to the men in those games? Rule 34 doesn't apply only to stuff men like

Sex is a thing that most humans like. Sex sells. Things that are sexy capture our attention, increase our heart rate and our concentration, and IIRC trigger releases of seratonin. Sexual orgasm releases oxytocin that makes us happy with our lives and devoted to the focus of our attention during orgasm.

Video games sexualize the characters. There's no way around that. But I don't personally think that most video games are sexist. There are undoubtedly a few. But I don't think that the majority of them either reflect or foster any sort of sexist sentiment.

My Opinion, YMMV.
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Old 27th February 2017, 03:44 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Emily's Cat
The supporting women in Witcher are definitely sexualized... but have you seen Geralt? OMG he's a sexy pile of white-haired century-old man. The boobs & butt on Miranda in Mass Effect 2 are definitely exaggerated... but seriously, Jacob? Steve Cortez? Kaidan? People, have you seen some of the tumblr stuff out there devoted to the men in those games? Rule 34 doesn't apply only to stuff men like
I've encountered this before, and it has given me pause. The answer from critics, as far as I can tell, is that yes, Geralt is a hunk of meat, but that is not all he is. He is able, knowledgeable, a protagonist of his own story. Whereas the roles given to women seem to reduce them to their physical appearance and the pleasing to a male-gaze thereof. They are given supporting roles, they follow the male protagonist or work as a prize for him. Women also have a history of being sub-servient to males which reflects the criticism levelled at some characters.

But honestly? I am not nearly as well versed in media criticism or in feminist thought as I should be to take a stance. I can only air my opinions and thoughts and hope someday it will make sense.

Also I would like to add that rule 34 doesn't necessarily reflect widely held societal roles and opinions. If it did, tumblr would be that much less interesting
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Old 27th February 2017, 03:52 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Manigoldo View Post
I've encountered this before, and it has given me pause. The answer from critics, as far as I can tell, is that yes, Geralt is a hunk of meat, but that is not all he is. He is able, knowledgeable, a protagonist of his own story. Whereas the roles given to women seem to reduce them to their physical appearance and the pleasing to a male-gaze thereof. They are given supporting roles, they follow the male protagonist or work as a prize for him. Women also have a history of being sub-servient to males which reflects the criticism levelled at some characters.
With respect to Witcher, I don't think this is true. Sure, the main character is male, and the main females are supporting roles. But the majority of the major supporting roles are women, and they're nearly all experts in their fields and quite formidable.

Originally Posted by Manigoldo View Post
But honestly? I am not nearly as well versed in media criticism or in feminist thought as I should be to take a stance. I can only air my opinions and thoughts and hope someday it will make sense.

Also I would like to add that rule 34 doesn't necessarily reflect widely held societal roles and opinions. If it did, tumblr would be that much less interesting
No kidding. I'm constantly amazed.
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Old 27th February 2017, 04:09 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Emily's Cat
With respect to Witcher, I don't think this is true. Sure, the main character is male, and the main females are supporting roles. But the majority of the major supporting roles are women, and they're nearly all experts in their fields and quite formidable.
My answer really was the stock one which I've read, which obviously generalizes a lot. In respect to the Witcher, I defer to your opinion since that is something I have little experience in - aside from being familiar with Geralt (I'm assuming you're speaking of the third installation, which would be the one I have not played).

Edit: The Witcher 1 certainly had it's moments... like the collectible cards for sleeping with women. And I recall from the Witcher 2 multiple brothels, which could qualify (I saw one of the animations in Youtube and it was... awkward, to say the least, but in my opinion, an example of the kind of pandering I was referring to), as well as a female who offered sex for helping her.

Last edited by Manigoldo; 27th February 2017 at 04:18 PM. Reason: Left out a portion
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Old 27th February 2017, 05:47 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Manigoldo View Post
My answer really was the stock one which I've read, which obviously generalizes a lot. In respect to the Witcher, I defer to your opinion since that is something I have little experience in - aside from being familiar with Geralt (I'm assuming you're speaking of the third installation, which would be the one I have not played).

Edit: The Witcher 1 certainly had it's moments... like the collectible cards for sleeping with women. And I recall from the Witcher 2 multiple brothels, which could qualify (I saw one of the animations in Youtube and it was... awkward, to say the least, but in my opinion, an example of the kind of pandering I was referring to), as well as a female who offered sex for helping her.
I haven't played the first two, only the third. There's still a brothel. Dragon Age had brothels too... but there were both male and female prostitutes available.
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Old 27th February 2017, 08:13 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Emily's Cat View Post
I've come to terms with the fact that I am actually a feminist. In the old-school sense of the word.
Almost everyone is. It gets lumped into "not being a dick" these days.
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Old 27th February 2017, 08:38 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Manigoldo View Post
Is it though? I direct you to the following:

Taken from bigfishgames(dot)com/blog/2016-video-game-statistics-and-trends/

My guess is that it is because the industry is so male-heavy, and because that's 'what we've always done'.
Eh, I don't think those statistics are elucidating, because men and women can play different games. Mass Effect is a game series that let players choose the gender of the protagonist and romances, but the vast majority were still male main characters romancing female characters according to official stats.

Since diving into the world of Otome games (Japanese female oriented romance games) and Yaoi games (Japanese game by straight women for straight women about male homosexual relationships), I've become much less bothered by "undue" "objectification" or "sexualisation" for hets. Different media have different target demographics, and that is great.

Does anyone remember that the first Witcher game had collectable images of the sexual conquests you could have? Totally sexist, no? But collectable CGs are a staple mechanic in romance games for all genders/orientations. Bayonetta? I cringed so hard when I saw that game. Designed by a woman, who fought for have her sexy power fantasy so ridiculously sexed out.
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Old 27th February 2017, 11:40 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Emily's Cat View Post
I've come to terms with the fact that I am actually a feminist. In the old-school sense of the word.

But I have a tough time when it comes to video games. It's the same underlying thing that goes on in movies, TV shows, advertisements, etc. I am not all that convinced that it is sexism, so much as it is sexualization. Those two aren't the same thing.

Are women in video games often hyper-sexualized, with exaggerated and unrealistic breasts, hips, buttocks, thighs, and faces? Absolutely. So are the men, if you pay attention. Leisure Suit Larry aside, when was the last time you saw a video game featuring a fat, sloppy, balding man with a missing tooth as the main character, or even a supporting character? Bad guys, sure, maybe the evil monster in Dark Souls or Diablo is a hunk of flab and grossness... but the hero? Even the average citizen of the world? Almost never.

The supporting women in Witcher are definitely sexualized... but have you seen Geralt? OMG he's a sexy pile of white-haired century-old man. The boobs & butt on Miranda in Mass Effect 2 are definitely exaggerated... but seriously, Jacob? Steve Cortez? Kaidan? People, have you seen some of the tumblr stuff out there devoted to the men in those games? Rule 34 doesn't apply only to stuff men like

Sex is a thing that most humans like. Sex sells. Things that are sexy capture our attention, increase our heart rate and our concentration, and IIRC trigger releases of seratonin. Sexual orgasm releases oxytocin that makes us happy with our lives and devoted to the focus of our attention during orgasm.

Video games sexualize the characters. There's no way around that. But I don't personally think that most video games are sexist. There are undoubtedly a few. But I don't think that the majority of them either reflect or foster any sort of sexist sentiment.

My Opinion, YMMV.
While not intending to minimise or dismiss your experience, I'm not sure that it's like that for most other people.

The sexualisation of video game characters does not seem to be symmetric. The representation of women in video games tends to exaggerate their sexual characteristics. The representation of men tends to exaggerate their power characteristics. Women are sexy, men are strong. Women have big breasts and butts and wear revealing clothing, men have huge rippling muscles and a triangular form. If a particular female (or gay male) gamer happens to be into rippling muscles, that's good for them, I guess, but I get the distinct impression that a lot of women aren't into that.

See this article and this thesis summary.

YMM, indeed, V.
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Old 28th February 2017, 05:32 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by Tsukasa Buddha View Post
Eh, I don't think those statistics are elucidating, because men and women can play different games. Mass Effect is a game series that let players choose the gender of the protagonist and romances, but the vast majority were still male main characters romancing female characters according to official stats.

Since diving into the world of Otome games (Japanese female oriented romance games) and Yaoi games (Japanese game by straight women for straight women about male homosexual relationships), I've become much less bothered by "undue" "objectification" or "sexualisation" for hets. Different media have different target demographics, and that is great.<snippety snap>
Women and men certainly can play different games, but there's a discussion to be had in whether it is because females actually prefer different gaming mechanics or whether the current content in console and pc -gaming is off-putting to them. What I noticed was that almost half (41%) of game purchases was by females. That might be an indication that more and more are coming to 'traditional' gaming.

Are there western counterparts to yaoi -games? Just asking out of sheer curiosity. I'm not necessarily bothered by there being games that have sex or sexualized characters in them. It only becomes a problem if a certain segment of the population is sexualized in a trivializing or minimizing fashion over and over again.

Originally Posted by arthwollipot
See this article and this thesis summary.
Interesting reads. The first one puts more succinctly what I was trying to describe earlier in post #30
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Old 28th February 2017, 09:40 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by Beelzebuddy View Post
Almost everyone is. It gets lumped into "not being a dick" these days.
You'd think so, but I'm often surprised at the volume of "feminazi" and "man hater" sorts of accusations leveled when I try to discuss issues of institutional bias and disparate social expectations of behavior that disadvantage women (and men in some circumstances).
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Old 28th February 2017, 09:43 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
While not intending to minimise or dismiss your experience, I'm not sure that it's like that for most other people.

The sexualisation of video game characters does not seem to be symmetric. The representation of women in video games tends to exaggerate their sexual characteristics. The representation of men tends to exaggerate their power characteristics. Women are sexy, men are strong. Women have big breasts and butts and wear revealing clothing, men have huge rippling muscles and a triangular form. If a particular female (or gay male) gamer happens to be into rippling muscles, that's good for them, I guess, but I get the distinct impression that a lot of women aren't into that.

See this article and this thesis summary.

YMM, indeed, V.
Speaking as a predominantly straight female... rippling muscles and triangular form is sexy in men. That is sexualization of males. For most women, sexualization of a guy has little to do with his penis, it has to do with muscles and shape and OMG shoulders *drool*. Sexualization of women, for most men, has to do with secondary sexual characteristics as well - breasts and butts. Very little of the sexualization of women in media (including video games) has to do with vaginas (with the exception a handful of games that are explicitly intended as pornography).

ETA: Interesting thesis summary, but I still think it has missed the mark. Generally speaking, women and men seek different types of characteristics in men. They're less dramatically distinguished as we've attained a higher degree of equity within society, but it takes a really long time to change biology. At the end of the day, there's still some degree of men being attracted to women who seem healthy and fruitful - large breasts, ample derrier, solid hips, youthful, etc. These are all things indicating their likelihood to bear children that will survive to adulthood. Women still have some degree of being attracted to men who seem healthy, physically strong, and aggressive to some degree. These are all things indicating their likelihood to be able to provide for and protect those children to adulthood.

If you're talking about sexualization of men for men (in a homosexual perspective), then there may be more focus on more overt genitalia, buttocks, etc. If you're talking about sexualization of men for women (in a heterosexual perspective), we don't *usually* get all worked up over the bulge in a guy's pants . We might be attracted to a nice butt, but more women are more attracted by broad shoulders than hefty packages. Even more attracted to humor and success than shoulders.
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Old 28th February 2017, 09:59 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by Manigoldo View Post
Are there western counterparts to yaoi -games? Just asking out of sheer curiosity. I'm not necessarily bothered by there being games that have sex or sexualized characters in them. It only becomes a problem if a certain segment of the population is sexualized in a trivializing or minimizing fashion over and over again.
I'm not an expert by any means. I play a lot of video games, but in a fairly narrow genre. Bethesda's games might be about the closest, if I understand the term yaoi correctly - it's media designed for women, but featuring homosexual relationships, correct? Dragon Age and Mass Effect might be marginally close, they both allow one to play a male character and have a homosexual relationship with a fellow male character (same for female-female pairings). There may be others out there, just not ones I'm familiar with.
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