Violence in Games

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Violence in Games

PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2013 9:55 pm

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Kon
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The second episode of "Tropes vs. Women in Video Games" came out a few days ago. This one is much better than the first. If you haven't seen that, take a look here. The new episode deals mainly with recent games and the growing trend of violence against women used as a plot device. A lot of the games she mentions are very high profile AAA titles, and although I overlooked most of them, I know they have fans here.



Many of the images are pretty disturbing, and when I look at this shit I think it makes more sense as to why I've been playing far less games in recent years aside from strategy and open-world RPGs.

She even talks specifically about how it harms men by limiting options to deal with emotional situations, and how violence is often the only form of expression. I can definitely relate to that. Often when I'm playing these action games, I wish that there were other ways I could deal with situations. I mainly try to play stealth wherever possible, but when caught, violence is the only solution.

I think Bloodlines was one of the best games in this regard. You could sneak around, hack computers to unlock alternative routes, and when caught, you could still use different persuasion arts to bring guards around to your point of view. Just thinking about it is making me want to reinstall and play through the whole thing again, even when I got burned out on The Witcher and New Vegas, which are still unfinished.

I recently tried to revisit New Vegas recently, and when I looked at my active quest log, I realized every quest involved me going to some location and killing people or things. I then swiftly logged out. I enjoyed the story of these RPGs, but I just get tired of having no way to interact with the game world outside of violence.

In this sense, I think Anita calls attention to a problem that alienates not only female gamers, but men as well. I agree with her when she said that interactive entertainment has so much more potential. I just hope that developers can wake up and realize that potential soon. The last generation saw the industry take a turn towards more generic, more limited, more violent, more disgusting games, and it's at the point now where I've become increasingly uninterested in what AAA titles have to offer.
"We are the facilitators of our own creative evolution."

Re: Violence in Games

PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 1:24 am

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M.Steiner
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I suppose she makes some good points when you see some of the examples but I can't say it has ever really bothered me tbh, or any violence in games for that matter. In a way it's kinda lazy of the developers (as for the damsel in distress) to keep using the same plot hook so often though I will admit.

Also going with what you talk about with options and dealing with different situations in games, this is one of the reasons I loved Dishonored so much.
She actually uses Dishonored as one of her examples at one point (due to spending parts of the game rescuing Emily) but one thing which Dishonored allows which many games do not is this exact level of freedom. You can play the game as violently as you like and kill every single guard, civilian and target in sight and doing so will change the gameworld and outcomes to match. But when playing it stealthed (which was my favourite playthrough) you can also play this completely non-lethal too. Most importantly though and unlike DE:HR which forced you into boss fights regardless of whether you were playing non-lethal or not, this includes your main targets. So it's not just certain points in the game where you get to make a choice like an RPG or something, you can literally play the entire game without killing a single soul, there is even an achievement for it.

I can't think of many games which give you that choice tbh and as I say that's one of the things I loved most about Dishonored. I'd welcome more games like it :)

(Also just to note there are quite a lot of video game spoilers in that video of hers, even tells you how some of them end.
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Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
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Re: Violence in Games

PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 6:09 am

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Stracius
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I couldn't get more than 2 minutes into it. I respect people that will point out inequalities and injustices and try to make the world a better place, but when I smell an agenda I stop paying attention.

I'm sure good points were made, but I couldn't watch it.
hoott19 wrote:There are many drinks that are drunk by the people.So, the mostly, person like to have beer. They like because of it's benifit. The benifiti is that it hepls to reduce fat from the body and make the mental calm.
[WoW] This type of games should be up dated as soon as possible. Because there are many people that ere very found of such games. As these are very help full for make the brain power full and strong. So, mentaly strongness is the need of this presant era.

Re: Violence in Games

PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 1:40 pm

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Stracius
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Happened across this. It's a video response to the one posted above. It managed to both address what I was finding aggravating about her presentation while giving a critical analysis on the same subject (and doing a hell of a better job in the process). Hell, it's twice as long and I'm finding it more capable of holding my attention.

.



There are definitely inequalities within games, and sexism is undeniably rampant - not to mention violence as an expected game play. I do think this can be, and currently is being, improved. I don't agree with Anita's method of addressing the issue. Drawing attention to a problem brings value, but I think she's actually making it worse by not doing any actual research and presenting opinions as fact. Quite the disservice to anyone who plays a game, much less female gamers.
hoott19 wrote:There are many drinks that are drunk by the people.So, the mostly, person like to have beer. They like because of it's benifit. The benifiti is that it hepls to reduce fat from the body and make the mental calm.
[WoW] This type of games should be up dated as soon as possible. Because there are many people that ere very found of such games. As these are very help full for make the brain power full and strong. So, mentaly strongness is the need of this presant era.

Re: Violence in Games

PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2013 2:36 pm

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Kon
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Dishonored is on my to-play list, and I've been spending most of my gaming time over the past year with adventure games. Last year I played through numerous classics, but I'm trying to get into some of the more recent ones now. Recently picked up Dear Esther, and Stacking from Humble Bundle, as well as Walking Dead and Alan Wake. Several indie games have caught my eye as well, including anything by Thatgamecompany (Flow, Journey), and Kentucky Route Zero.

***

Strac, I watched 16 minutes of that video you linked, and much of it comes off as baseless nerdrage, for lack of a better word. I am not a strong supporter of Anita, because I believe she doesn't even really do that great of a feminist analysis, but this man's response video is nothing but a load of sexist hogwash and denial.

The first thing he does is accuse Anita of having done no research. He claims his video offers a more scientific approach, but I don't see him citing any sources. If anyone is spouting opinion as fact, it is him. Anita has at least played through the games she discusses, and gives us her own analysis of the content. That is what "analytical approach" means. By this man's criteria, all social science would be nothing but "opinion."

After spending 5 minutes laying out his army of strawmen, he goes on a tear about St. George and the dragon, and how old stories are all about God, not patriarchy. I'm an atheist myself, but his opening argument seems like an off-topic rant. If it's trying to lay the blame for patriarchy on Christianity, that is just silly, since patriarchy exists in many non-Christian areas.

He accuses her of only studying retro arcade games, when this is entirely false. Most of her analysis was directed at games from the last 10 years.

He argues that it is unfair of Anita to exclude party games from her analysis, as Peach and Zelda are equals to men in Mario Party, Mario Kart, and Super Smash. The problem here is that these games have no characterization whatsoever. The characters are nothing more than meaningless avatars. There's no analysis to be made here because there is literally no substance. The Peach character in Mario Party may as well have been Clifford the Big Red Dog.

He attempts to dispute the "damsel as men's property" argument by noting that Zelda is the key to Hyrule's happiness. If Link cannot get her back from Ganondorf, the Kingdom will fall into darkness. He doesn't seem to realize that he just proved Anita's point. The key to Ganon's plan is to take possession of Zelda, and the only way to save the kingdom is for Link to take her back.

Exhibiting a clear lack of brain-power, the guy moves into his main argument about how games are "only for entertainment," and not meant to "teach a lesson." As if thinking he wasn't being silly enough, he then says that "most people just play for the gameplay anyway," arguing that people don't even pay attention to story.

The entire idea of media analysis is based around the idea that all expression, even entertainment, is ideologically informed, and that even pop culture can tell us something about the underlying ideas which are the established norms in our society. I guess if you believe video games are "pure" and not created by a large team of human beings, living in society, driven by their own motives, then yes, Anita's logic falls apart.

I quit watching when he started talking about Alien 3: The Game, and said of the aliens' famous chest-births, "if that's not a strong metaphor of female retribution, I don't know what is!"
"We are the facilitators of our own creative evolution."


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