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Submitted by Anthotis 278d ago | opinion piece

Honey Badger Radio: Anita and the Scourge of the Girl Gamer

We've all had experience with this particular girl. You know the one, she has a passing interest in games and when she strides into a scene that's sprung up around men who have turned a love of games into a vibrant subculture… she says "now I get to make the rules. Because vagina."

It doesn't matter if there are already women in the subculture, enjoying it for its own sake, she's the self-appointed queen bee and all must bow to her pronouncements. "Because vagina. And also rape."

Anita is just the latest in a long line of girl interlopers who've decided they define the rules of gamer culture. Her bugbear? Damsels in Games. (Culture, Industry)

ifritAlkhemyst  +   278d ago
Female John Cryer. Just saying.
cgoodno  +   278d ago
I'm amazed at how people think one woman's opinion on gaming automatically makes them into "rules must change because I say so" people.

I complain about immature people in online FPS games. Doesn't mean the rules do or that they should change.

It's this extremist view that men have when one person shares their opinion that causes others to speak out in a like manner. Just accept her opinion or say you disagree and move on.
cyguration  +   278d ago
Only problem is that we can't just "accept" or "deny" her opinion and move on.

We now have her influencing games like Mirror's Edge 2, which I fear for greatly because I just wanted to have a fun parkour game IDENTICAL to the first one but bigger and more expansive. And based on her criticisms it sounded like she wanted something easier and more "female empowering" relating to the material and characters. In simple terms, I can deny her opinion but her opinion seems as if it's going to affect the games I like to buy and play.

It's very unfortunate, too, because she could have used that platform to promote ALLLLLLL the games out there starring females in different kind of roles and different kind of situations that weren't over-the-top AAA shooters.

Instead of helping promote female game developers and indie studios who do cater to female protagonist and female gamers (they're mostly niche, by the way) she decides to attack male culture in gaming. I have nothing against more females making an appearance in games but I do have a problem with someone trying to change the kind of games I love for being the way they've always been.

There's enough room on the playground that the boys shouldn't have to switch their G.I. Joes for Ken dolls dressed in fatigues.
#2.1 (Edited 278d ago ) | Agree(6) | Disagree(5) | Report | Reply
Hicken  +   277d ago
The problem, cgoodno, is that Anita, in particular IS one of those people. In her case, it's no longer possible for us to just disagree and move on, and for the very reasons cyguration explains.

In my opinion, Anita isn't all that interested in gaming or the culture. I know plenty of female gamers who just freaking game. They like gaming because it is exactly what it is. That doesn't mean they don't want improvements, but they're not pushing some agenda for the sake of it.

Anita's actions don't look to be for the benefit of gaming. They're not for the equality of women. I call it pseudo-feminism: rather than trying for equality, it's an attempt at turning perceived mistreatment into preferential treatment.

That's not something you can just ignore and think it'll go away: people with an agenda to push don't give up because nobody's paying attention to them.
cgoodno  +   277d ago
@cyguration:

***And based on her criticisms it sounded like she wanted something easier and more "female empowering" relating to the material and characters. In simple terms, I can deny her opinion but her opinion seems as if it's going to affect the games I like to buy and play.***

And this is any different than the opinion of many swaying other games how? How about people who want more accessible games causing more hard-core ones to become more accessible and for less of them to be created?

The reason her voice has so much power, as well, is because of the fanaticism to which people argue against it. If people would accept her opinion as it was and merely disagreed or not, it wouldn't have as much power. But, instead, you have people trolling and harassing her because of her opinion, giving her opinion more weight. The exact same thing this article does. While it attempts to discount her opinion, it in fact only empowers it by giving it the attention it is getting.

***Instead of helping promote female game developers and indie studios who do cater to female protagonist and female gamers (they're mostly niche, by the way) she decides to attack male culture in gaming.***

First, I don't see how this is any different than the majority of people on the Internet, known or not well known.

Second, I'm not sure sharing one's opinion is "attacking" anything.

Third, I'm not sure I'd call chauvinism and sexist behavior of which she speaks about as "male culture" in gaming in a good way. If it is male culture, then isn't she absolutely right?

***The problem, cgoodno, is that Anita, in particular IS one of those people. In her case, it's no longer possible for us to just disagree and move on, and for the very reasons cyguration explains.***

I disagree. I believe the fact that people have turned her into such an icon instead of accepting it as her opinion is why she has a voice. Anita isn't the reason why she has such power, it's how people have reacted to her that she has it.

So, essentially, the exact thing she complains about happened to her and strengthened her opinion and notability. Regardless if she is doing this as a "real" gamer or not. The reason she has any weight at all is because of the people who gave her that power by reacting the way they did.
#2.3 (Edited 277d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(2) | Report | Reply
Meep  +   277d ago
I completely agree. If people didn't harass her, she would not have blown up in popularity the way she did. She was a feminist with a kickstarter and her fans backed her, but then you have some people saying how horrible she is because she is firing shots in video games. It's just a person with an opinion. If the some developers change the story for their games because they were influenced by Anita, it is not Anitas' fault. The developer made a choice based on outside influence. so blame the developer for changing it, not Anita.

I do believe that women in video games are usually tropes and I do agree with her to an EXTENT, but that's for another conversation.
#2.4 (Edited 277d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(3) | Report | Reply
fsfsxii  +   278d ago
Who the hell is she anyway?? I see lots of people talking about her
Godmars290  +   277d ago
Basically a troll who's been well feed.

Someone who normally stands on her internet soapbox and talks at those of like mind, getting a few interviews now and then on regular news, but managed to strike gold when she decided to do special episodes of her Youtube show about gaming. Asked her flock for $6k to fund a project which probably cost her less than $100, and thanks to easily exploited hot-headed gamers who flamed her funding page got well over $100k. Plus wide recognition by the popular media.

At this point talking about her is just a lose-lose, but you really cannot talk about her.
Erudito87  +   277d ago
Well lets all get pissed off because apparently she isn't allowed to have any opinions.
Seriously wtf women in gaming get soo much shit over nothing. I remember hearing that after her kickstarter finished, she was sent pics of her being raped by different gaming characters. Which is obviously very messed up and it makes all guy gamers look bad. Why do female gamers have to prove that that they are gamers? I dont see that happen to any males? i see male reviewers play the games they review and they suck and nothing happens. Nothing should happen, people have a love of games and theres nothing wrong for asking for variety.
Blacktric  +   277d ago
"Why do female gamers have to prove that that they are gamers?"

They don't. It's nearly always "them" (as in a select few) trying pull such crap to enforce the idea that "gurlz like playing videogamez too!", eventhough nobody cares nor should care about such thing. And she attracted all that heat because of spewing dumb, baseless crap that damned men and the whole videogame industry as being sexist while getting 150k+ dollars on top thanks to whiteknights. Stop trying to stir up some controversy out of nothing.

Or go watch a couple of her "very well researched" videos before trying to defend some woman who's trying to abuse her 15 second fame as much as she can.

"so you're against anyone making a living off of giving their views on gaming or just against all the ones that differ from your own?"

At what point have I said such thing? Keep reaching. The problem isn't her sharing her opinions. It's that she scammed hundreds of thousands of dollars of cash from gullible idiots and then went on to make a couple of terribly researched 10+ minute long videos that's filled with ignorance while getting praises left and right for "being the woman that showed how sexist the industry is".
#4.1 (Edited 277d ago ) | Agree(5) | Disagree(3) | Report | Reply
Erudito87  +   277d ago
so you're against anyone making a living off of giving their views on gaming or just against all the ones that differ from your own?
Have you actually seen any of her videos or are you "spewing dumb baseless crap"?
just-joe  +   277d ago
She can say, many just acknowledge that most of what she says is specious. Seriously, there are countries where woman can be stoned to death for committing adultery or even going out in public without a man and THIS is considered a main priority with her.
Erudito87  +   277d ago
She discusses games, so ergo, she's going to discuss faults within games, no?
cgoodno  +   277d ago
By that logic, this site and all other gaming sites should be shut down until we have discussed and solved all the more serious issues affecting our world.
admiralvic  +   277d ago
"Well lets all get pissed off because apparently she isn't allowed to have any opinions. Seriously wtf women in gaming get soo much shit over nothing."

She is allowed to have an opinion, but the people who disagree are also entitled to one. I can't freely make comments in ANY public setting without opening myself up to criticism. Like if you don't agree with this post, then you'll most likely tell me why and your comment won't be motivated by sex, race, age, height, weight or intelligence.

"Why do female gamers have to prove that that they are gamers? I dont see that happen to any males?"

They don't, but it happens to both genders. Probably more often to males, since they make up a bigger part of these online communities.

"i see male reviewers play the games they review and they suck and nothing happens."

Read more reviews. Last week I saw a VK3 review mention how the game was sexist (since males were more powerful, I believe women were faster and there was a bust slider), which they got called out for. I saw several people call out The Wonderful 101 reviewers who sucked, plenty of people complained about Beyond: Two Souls reviewers that didn't "get it" and plenty more examples. I can't speak for how many of these reviews were done by women, but I sincerely doubt every reviewer that was called out was male.

Additionally, HCG and VG both have several active reviewers that are female and I've yet to see anyone call any of these girls out. However, I have seen my male buddy get called out for his Scribblenauts Unmasked review, since they thought it was better than he said it was.

"Have you actually seen any of her videos or are you "spewing dumb baseless crap""

So far she is just parroting well known examples and cherry picking problems. Sure, games from the 1980's that had maybe 500 words of dialog are going to have overly simple narratives, but the world has changed. For instance, original Zelda might have had the DiD trope, but Zelda was more than capable in the later title Ocarina of Time.

"She discusses games, so ergo, she's going to discuss faults within games, no?"

There are faults and then there are FAULTS. A real fault is something that will affect a lot of people and causes a real problem. Like the loading problems in Bayonetta. How many people are going to say pre patch Bayonetta on the PlayStation 3 didn't suffer from that fault? However, mentioning the breast size of the mage in Dragon's Crown is not a fault and really doesn't need to be mentioned.

By calling it a fault, you instantly impose your idea of what a "real" woman is. This then brings up the discussion of why your version is acceptable and that version isn't acceptable. Sadly, a few people felt the need to call out the artistic choices, which are great, but shouldn't affect whether or not it's a good game. Just like Mario's story (which was never once a selling point for the series) is the last thing people think of when you think of Mario.
DVAcme  +   277d ago | Interesting
This guy's response to the Feminist Frequency and Tropes Vs. Women thing is thoroughly disgusting.

Look, Anita Sarkeesian's show does have a very narrow, biased point of view, and she is quite dishonest in her claims about being a gamer, that is already proven. But to take the demonizing approach makes the other side of the argument look much worse.

One thing that's undeniable is that there IS sexism and misogyny in gaming, anyone who says otherwise is deluded and part of the problem. But another part of the problem is not recognizing that there HAS been progress, and that there ARE good female characters in games, and even powerful ones. I am, for example, quite amused at the fact that Sarkeesian hasn't said anything, as far as I can find online, about the Tomb Raider reboot after it was released, while she was VERY vocal on it before release about how Lara's been turned into a victim and damsel in distress, even while she acknowledged that her design itself was improved. Anyone who's played that game can testify that it is an AMAZING "hero's journey" type of story in which we see Lara going from a victim(which ANYONE in her situation would have been, regardless of gender) to a powerful protagonist that has enemies literally shaking in fear at facing her by game's end. The fact that Sarkeesian has not commented at all about it means that she found the game damaging to her argument about sexism in games, which means she was just looking for the shock value and not for the actual worth. She also uses Princess Peach as an example of a damsel in distress, when many games have featured Peach as a protagonist and she even had her OWN game in Super Princess Peach. And that's not even mentioning games like the Mass Effect series, Shantae, Mirror's Edge or Metroid.

I think it should also be noted that a lot of the sexism in gaming is very regional as well, as in Japan is RIDICULOUSLY sexist when compared to the West. A Japanese studio is also the one which turned Samus Aran, probably the most consistently strong female character in gaming history, and turned her into a dick-whipped scared little pissant. Hell, Japan's the country in which ACTUAL rape and molestation simulators not only get developed, but sell as well. But honestly, sexuality in Japan is a whole different beast that shouldn't even be tackled in the same context as gaming because it's such an ingrained, cultural thing there.

The fact is that the entire topic of sexism in gaming demands that people keep a cool head on all sides of the argument, and that there has to be honesty all around. And one thing that no one can deny about Anita Sarkeesian is this: even if you don't agree with her, even if you vehemently dislike her, the reaction to her has been massively excessive and hateful, and it's proof that sexism IS a problem in gaming, and quite a big one at that, both within the games and without the in the gaming culture itself. She may not be honest about her gaming background and her intentions with the show might be more selfish than she lets on, but she still tapped into a very important topic that deserves attention, even if she's not the proper person to represent said topic.
Vojkan   277d ago | Personal attack | show

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