Sexist portrayals of women in gaming goes back years and years and years. They’ve contributed to an exclusionary atmosphere that alienates a great deal of women from enjoying video games, which as an artistic medium should ideally be an open, welcoming creative space for people of all shapes and sizes to come together and play, compete, discuss, and all sorts of communicative acts.
In recent months games “journalism” has slowly started rising up and criticizing sexist portrayals of women in games. This has been a mixed bag, like in the recent article I recently reblogged, by Anjin Anhut, linked here.
When it’s convenient, games “journalists” pick on easy targets like Dead Island Riptide’s torso and the vomit inducing character designs of Dragon’s Crown. Criticizing the portrayals of women and non-white individuals in games like Bioshock: Infinite, Halo, and other cultural mainstays is nearly unheard of. However, even this minor, empty show of resistance against the cultural norms of inclusivity in games is still met with angry resistance.
Recently, Dragon’s Crown, an upcoming Playstation Network dungeon themed beat-em-up game came under fire from a number of critics for it’s representation of women in it’s games. The artist in charge, George Kamitani, responded on Facebook by essentially calling one critic gay.
So obviously, this artist has the emotional maturity of a child, and why the fuck even bother? Why would anyone take the side of a professional games artist who calls their critics homosexual, as if that’s some sort of insult?
Well a lot of dudes, apparently. This should have been an open and shut case, but apparently, the evil Feminiazi Regime is gonna censor our precious gross, awful, puke-in-my-fucking-mouth tasteless video games! This imagined nightmare world that nobody advocates has rallied journalists, gamers, and devs alike to come to the defense of the creative professional that calls his critics gay. I also would like to note someone in the Facebook comments from the link above, refers to the artist as his personal hero, which truly illustrates what is considered bravery in this day and age.
I feel a sense of duty to explain to men, who have typically grown up in an environment that’s taught them a sense of entitlement to every space, discussion, and opinion out there, that’s given them this ideal that regardless of who they are or what they say, their comment is immediately valuable and relevant to any discussion at hand.
The universe is a vast and infinite place, so that ideal does not hold muster. Yes, sometimes what you think is worth saying or commenting on has no need to space for your voice. So, when a woman speaks up and says “this portrayal of a woman in a video game is awful and offends me,” that isn’t some fucking invitation to show up and go “well I don’t see what the problem is, gosh, stop censoring art, you fascist emotional bitch!”
Let’s go over some of the defenses of Dragon’s Crown, shall we?
So you’re saying by covering it and calling it out, they’re only selling more copies, and by ignoring Dragon’s Crown it’d go away? Ah, the typical male excuse of “if you ignore it it’ll go away!” response that has never worked, ever.
Women are essentially stronger than men, then, because they put up with sexism multiple times a day. Yet the majority of the world’s nations have these precious, fragile little male leaders who can only take so much. How illogical!
”It’s all sexist” is also not an argument. Especially when you break down the art. I mean, let’s look at it, shall we? If it’s supposedly all ridiculous, then why are male characters still the typical, “giant knight in a full suit of armor” and “hyper-muscular orcs” present? Because those aren’t ridiculous at all.
Yet, the lady wizard has boobs bigger than her head, which in motion spin around like fucking whirlybirds, in some sort of bizarro, unfunny, just plain sleazy… I just feel greasy writing about it. It’s not erotic, it’s not sexy, and it’s not ridiculous in any sort of good way.
Again, comparing the typical muscle-bound dwarf to the thin, sexy, booty lady shaking her exposed butt like it ain’t no thang, as if those are both ridiculous and “awesome,” is totally missing the fucking point of the critics and heaping praise for the same old original tropes that have excluded women from wanting to take part in video games in the past.
When men get to be a wide range of characters, from wise old wizards to muscle-bound roidfreaks to walking metal death machines, while women are relegated to “naked butt shaker” and “rotating cleavage monstrosity,” as well as “fragile 14 year old waifu in booty shorts,” regards of how ridiculous or “grotesque” you think the art is, it’s still upholding the same old awful, oppressive stereotypes that make gaming a hostile space to women.
”Overt sexuality,” are you fucking drunk? People aren’t offended by sexuality, they’re offended by gross, pisspoor sleaziness. This ideal that overt sexuality isn’t real, human sexuality, but this trash with mystical rotating boobs, wizard staffs being used as phallic metaphors, and bikini booty babe barbarians. That’s not what overt sexuality should be defined by at all, and suggesting there’s nothing offensively embarrassing about it should be frowned upon.
What’s worse is using art from a time where women were legally considered property, as some sort of fucking defense. Can a man really understand just how fucking insulting that is?
To re-iterate, this is all in defense of the guy who calls his critics gay for voicing their discontent. When one sees an argument taking place on the Internet, it really helps to stop and see exactly whom is on which side. Because time after time in discussions like these, the line’s been drawn down pretty similar lines, for one reason or another.
People who resort to bigotry as a defense aren’t people to stand with. People who seek to reinforce sexist standards and stereotypes aren’t people to stand with. People who hide behind “art” as a defense from any and all criticism don’t appreciate art and certainly aren’t people to stand with. Men who talk down to women and harass, insult, and belittle their experiences aren’t people to stand with. Time and time again this line is drawn between the pervy desires of straight dudes covering it up with claims of “it’s art” and women sick and tired of the vast majority of women in games being portrayed as nothing more than sex objects with utterly disturbing anatomy.
This is really the crux of what dudes need to take home with them this week: your precious boner is not so important that it requires excluding women, time and time again, by making video games a hostile, outright gross, disgusting place that is upheld by bigotry and internet hysteria, this new age where the poor man and his precious, porny cartoon boobies are so oppressed by some sort of evil Feminist Office of Androgynous Enforcement, that somehow seeks to beat up all the nerds and take their lunch money.
Yeah, you dumb lady, you don’t like it you shut your mean mouth and don’t buy it! How dare you talk bad about videogames on the Internet!
If sticking up for a pervy boob-twirling game is more important than respecting a woman’s voice, then you’re probably opening your mouth for the wrong reasons. While Twitter and the rest of the Internet may provide a platform to instantly project ones thoughts, one has to truly consider the priceless luxury of resisting the urge to shout a woman down over the Internet.
If the past several years of Internet discourse have shown anything to be true, it’s that it’s almost never worth it. It’s a masturbatory, pointless action where dudes keep repeating the same lines, over and over, and time and time again they simply don’t help up to intellectual scrutiny.
Are motherfuckers ever gonna learn?