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PurpleTentacle

Political correctness and feminism

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Well, John Walker isn't the best of writers.

 

Obviously, or else he wouldn't have ended up in video game "journalism".

 

Wouldn't judge him to be a PC clown.

 

He certainly did his best trying to come off as one. "Moebius appears to hold contempt for both men and women, which it exhibits in alternating sequences of patronising sexism." The guy certainly knows how to talk the talk.

 

On a related note, here's a recent article written by Jane Jensen on the subject of why she likes to use hot males as her protagonists (only to be accused of - the pinnacle of stupidity - trans-phobia in the comment section).

 

Why can't I - a caucasian male - ever randomly pull the victim card like that? Being excluded like that causes me hurt and upset! Oh, well... at least I still have this picture of patronising sexism from Moebius to cheer me up:

 

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Why can't I - a caucasian male - ever randomly pull the victim card like that? Being excluded like that causes me hurt and upset!

Because you are rarely, if ever, excluded from power in society because of your masculinity or your whiteness. Non-white, non-male people are put in those positions far more often.

 

There might be a number of other issues fucking you over, though. The focus on the perfect body; class; the pressure men put on other men to behave like "real" men; and so on.

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Actually, I was trying to mock the tone of faux outrage the SJWs so love to adopt. Since I utterly failed to implicitly get my point across, I‘ll just quote a comment I read on Cracked the other day, which sums up my sentiments perfectly:

 

I'm sick of seeing how every group thinks their own injustices are the worst. No one wants to help out anyone else, because we're all too busy arguing over who's the biggest victim.

 

I'll also leave this video of Stephen Fry going toe to toe with some fundamentalist fuckwit who is apparently responsible for the introduction of the recent anti-gay legislature in Russia. Now, there's an example to follow! Why don't the virtual do-gooders get off their blogging asses and antagonise the actual bad guys, instead of whining over percieved "patronising sexism" in freaking Moebius (to name just one example)? And that is a real question this time.

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Because it's all bad. I agree, the majority of the bile should be focused on those who are committing active hatred against minority groups (and people like Fry and Tatchell do an excellent job). But you can't use the excuse that "oh, they're worse" to excuse bad behaviour that, as a whole, is damaging to a society. The more insidious forms of discrimination we have in society are still very damaging. And from time to time people need reminding of that.

 

I get why people get annoyed at protesters. But what I don't understand is why people are so quick to get hyper-defensively angry whenever someone points out something about their behaviour or beliefs that is discriminatory.

 

Another scene in another game/movie/tv programme in which a woman is threatned with violence. As a one off, it can easily be defended as an editorial choice, no doubt. But why must so many forms of art fall back on that lazy trope? The one that puts women as victims in the story? I'm not saying this game is sexist. I haven't played it, don't know the context, and am happy to defer to others. What I would say, however, is that this trope/meme/cliché, repeated ad infinitum, is problematic. And maybe we should be trying to find alternative ways of writing stories? Maybe? Or is that censorship?

 

So, while we shouldn't have groups thinking their injustices are the worst, all people should come together to fight all injustice, rather than simply arguing "meh, there's only so much equality of opportunity that we can spare right now... come back once the gays aren't being hanged in Uganda."

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Someone mentioned Roseanne in another thread, and it made me think of this:

http://twitchy.com/2014/04/21/neuter-boys-at-birth-humanitarian-roseanne-imparts-more-wisdom-on-the-masses/

 

Wanted to mention it there, but it was suggested that related posts be included here.

 

Not gaming-related, but relevant to what had been discussed there.

 

Imagine if a celebrity had advocated all baby girls undergo female genital mutilation. I believe there would have been a greater response.

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And this is exactly why I'd prefer it if all the feminists that aren't batshit insane (again, I know lots who aren't) would unite under a different name than people such as Roseanne. Who obviously does seem to be affected by that particular affliction.

 

It is, of course, quite comforting that Roseanne isn't really in the limelight anymore. And I personally think part of the lack of an outcry can be attributed to that rather than just her gender. She's a bit of a nobody. And again, I think Gareth made an excellent point in that a person being an asshole has (and should have) nothing to do with gender. Roseanne is just an idiot and her views on men are idiotic.

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Regarding the politically correct hierarchy and where different groups rank, this new video (not satire) helpfully explains which group belongs at the bottom, where this group of people is expected wallow in supposed deserved guilt:

http://youtu.be/2HruwVGO-20

 

Racist, anti-male propaganda, you say? Goodness, no. It's really about "equality."

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This is probably the dumbest thing I've read today; pardon my bluntness. Are you actually suggesting that we shouldn't care about racism, sexism, bigotry or homophobia? To me, writing "big four of BS" about these topics is just self-servingly ignorant.

 

Don't get me wrong. I'm not intent on upholding some PC standard for behavior or to encourage self-censorship in any way. I'm just going to reiterate the point that I already quoted Carlin on in the "damsel in distress" post, which is that it's the intent behind a statement that's offensive, not the words or wordings themselves. Your "intent" here, however, seems to be that anyone who decries racism, sexism, bigotry or homophobia is by default trying to control your thoughts and force you to conform to a certain world view.

 

No, actually, it's extremely valid and I'll tell you precisely why. I don't know if you live in 'murica, but the last twenty years or so, three of the "big four of BS" started to be used with incredibly reckless abandon. During the 1992 L.A. Riots, people who referred to the rioters as "thugs" were labeled as racist. The fourth one, "homophobe" has been catching a lot of fire in the last six or seven years. Either way, it's reminiscent of the boy who cried wolf.

 

You brought up this topic at a great time. Did you know this week is the 40th anniversary of the movie Blazing Saddles? Mel Brooks got permission from Richard Pryor to use a particular ethnic slur a total of 14 times during the movie. was the movie racist? In the end, it turns out that the black sheriff was the best thing to happen to the city, even though he didn't get a warm welcome coming in. Nowadays, you'd never get a film like that made, even though the movie got its point across rather well.

 

He came up with a quote celebrating this topic that I'd like to share with you and this pretty much puts it in perspective: "You've got to really examine these things and see what's right and what's wrong. Politically correct is absolutely wrong. Because it inhibits the freedom of thought."

 

The reason I call these the "Big 4 of BS" is because in the overwhelming majority of cases, the people who shout these terms the loudest:

1) Do not have a valid argument so instead they resort to these name-calling put downs, and

2) Are nowhere near free of the accusations they accuse the other person of, in fact in many cases they'll use homophobic terminology to describe a person they believe is homophobic or use racist terminology to try and prove they're not racist.

 

Some people who used to follow me on the Replay Games board may be familiar with a quote that I came up with about 3 years ago. "This post brought to you by the Progressive Equality Fairness Coalition. We'll find a bigoted post in whatever you write, whether it's there or not!"

 

This came because certain people in America use the terms "progressive", "equality" and "fairness" without even one iota of an inkling of an idea what these words really mean. They butcher the meaning to conform to their own agenda and if you don't follow it to the letter, you might as well don the 21st Century equivalent of The Scarlet Letter.

 

I could give you tons of recent examples of where these words were used for opposition to ideas that are borderline insane. There were people in the media who said if we referred to Barack Obama as from Chicago, that the word Chicago was racist. My favorite was when a teacher made kindergarten students march in a gay pride parade in the name of "diversity". As a result of this, some teachers were outraged (gee, I wonder why they wouldn't want a five-year old marching next to a guy in his underwear with glitter all over his body and kissing a pink phallic object) and called the parents who objected "homophobes".

 

If we embraced true equality at all, that means that things like gay pride parades and Miss Black Teen USA would be things of the past, terms like homophobia would disappear completely because duh, if you kill someone, that's it's own version of a hate crime. It's pretty much a given you don't kill someone you love.

 

 

 

Not so. You can tell me a racist joke if you're not racist, because I know it's not coming from a prejudiced mind. You can tell me a sexist joke or a gay joke, too, if you fundamentally believe in gender equality or gay rights. If you don't, however, and tell me a joke on either of these anyway, I'm going to assume that you're just a bigoted a-hole who thinks it's funny to pick on people different than yourself. That's the fundamental difference between being PC and being able to joke about things.

 

I've argued for a long time that political correctness has castrated the sitcom. Archie Bunker was a bigot who often expounded his beliefs from his mouth and you knew he was going to get it in the end. Yet in this day and age, very few sitcoms do anything more than bodily function humor and kicking a guy in the jimmy. (please note again that guys can be the butt of getting kicked in the jimmy, which is horribly painful, but only guys.) Sometime during the 1990s, we all got our underwear in a bunch and came up with sitcoms that were drab (Everybody Loves Raymond, King of Queens, etc.) -- only recently has The Big Bang Theory sort of bucked that trend, as it's probably the closest thing you have to old style sitcoms there are.

 

 

It's not self-censorship. It's not about giving up your freedom to say what you want. It's about having values that don't demean or belittle other human beings.

 

I pointed out that Beatrice is not nice to Roger and Stellar is nicer, at least she's willing to put up with him. I'm not putting all women back in the kitchen in the 1950s, FFS. But this brings up an interesting point. Take a few of the series that were successful in the past, including but not limited to Space Quest and Leisure Suit Larry. Part of the "humor" of the game comes from demeaning the protagonist of the game. Why do we tolerate that more? It's clearly obvious that the announcer openly detests both Roger and Larry.

 

To some extent, your agenda of not demeaning or belittling other people would pretty much erase some of the humor of the game, would it not? Or does it not apply because we're dealing with Caucasian males? either it's okay for everyone or it's okay for no one.

 

          Wow, is this about to tie into what I'm about to say. Part of the humor of why people put up with women being psychotic like Beatrice is because they're demeaning what you call "other human beings". Most guys cannot even come close to that kind of petty vindictiveness because they would be labeled with the afore-mentioned seven letter word starting with A and ending with E. To be fair, yes, I believe Roger should be abused to some extent, but do keep in mind you're drawing some of that humor from, as you like to say "demeaning or belittling other human beings".

 

Also, some one of these days, I'm going to learn how to properly break up a quote without putting my entire damn post in a quote. (well, this one technically worked but I inadvertently erased Troels's time stamp. Well, it's a start. 100 apologies for not quoting the date and time you said these things.)

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I think my main problem with your arguments is right now is that you're completely black and white. In your world, it is, apparently, not possible to consider what you say without being a fanatic who will unashamedly put a video on YouTube where you apologise for the colour of your skin and your chromosomes on everyone's behalf. You keep pulling out these extreme examples as if to go "Look! Look at yourselves, you imbeciles!", seemingly oblivious to the fact that most people here will agree with you that extremism is prevalent in both camps and that the above video is treating the issue in a very problematic manner. And again, as is Roseanne. 

 

Were I to play that game, I would post a photo of Anders Breivik or somesuch and go "Look! This is what your love of bigotry has created! You're exactly like this!". It might make you shut up since it's a very uncomfortable attack to attempt to refute, killing off the discussion and (mistakenly) leading me to believe I "won", but we'd be no closer to understanding one another. Just saying. If this discussion appears one-sided and near-dead, it may be because it's becoming extremely tiring to be accused of sympathising with women who want to castrate all men or whatever.

 

When exactly did we get to this? All the "PC Police" here has suggested is that maybe - just maybe - there are alternatives to putting other people down by being an asshole. By yourself, in a group, in art, etc.

 

EDIT: This was originally written in response to PurpleTentacle.

Edited by Frede

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You brought up this topic at a great time. Did you know this week is the 40th anniversary of the movie Blazing Saddles? Mel Brooks got permission from Richard Pryor to use a particular ethnic slur a total of 14 times during the movie. was the movie racist? In the end, it turns out that the black sheriff was the best thing to happen to the city, even though he didn't get a warm welcome coming in. Nowadays, you'd never get a film like that made, even though the movie got its point across rather well.

 

He came up with a quote celebrating this topic that I'd like to share with you and this pretty much puts it in perspective: "You've got to really examine these things and see what's right and what's wrong. Politically correct is absolutely wrong. Because it inhibits the freedom of thought."

Blazing Saddles (like The Producers) works because it sends up the racists - it uses racist language and images to show just how fucked up we are as a species, and how idiotic humanity is. It is a diatribe against racism, and this is why it works. It isn't politically correct, and is one of the reasons why I would also not consider myself as part of this caricature of "the PC police". I love things like South Park and Mel Brooks' works that attack our idiocy through exposing it in parody. If a piece of art, a computer game, a movie, or whatever else can do that and make a legitimate point, then it is doing exactly what all good art should do. If it's just using racist, sexist or generally stereotypical tropes as a lazy device to avoid story telling, then it's a damaging. It simply reinforces latent prejudice. That's why people like me ask people to have a quick think before they act. That's it. Critique is not censorship. And critique does not immediately lead to calls for certain thoughts to be banned.

 

The reason I call these the "Big 4 of BS" is because in the overwhelming majority of cases, the people who shout these terms the loudest:

1) Do not have a valid argument so instead they resort to these name-calling put downs, and

2) Are nowhere near free of the accusations they accuse the other person of, in fact in many cases they'll use homophobic terminology to describe a person they believe is homophobic or use racist terminology to try and prove they're not racist.

You do realise the superb irony that you're doing EXACTLY this by using the term "political correctness", don't you? I think the people who have made rational arguments in this thread have moved beyond name-calling, and explained why something might be construed as offensive.

 

We're all hypocrites, brother. It's about being self-reflexive enough to see it. I'd like to think I have been. If not, do feel free to show me where I'm wrong. That's what this whole thing is supposed to be about.

 

If we embraced true equality at all, that means that things like gay pride parades and Miss Black Teen USA would be things of the past, terms like homophobia would disappear completely because duh, if you kill someone, that's it's own version of a hate crime. It's pretty much a given you don't kill someone you love.

Indeed. But the problem is we don't have equality, do we? And while we don't, those people who have disproportionately more power need to be a little mindful of how they act and think. It won't be solved over night, but it will be solved if, as a species, we learn to respect difference. Equality isn't about treating everyone the same - it's about giving everyone equality of opportunity by ensuring that people can be who they want to be without fear of insults, denial of opportunity and outright discrimination.

 

As Frede put it brilliantly, you cannot see every single criticism as the worst excessive caricature of feminism. Those idiotic feminists calling for castration, or some sort of punishment for men based on their Y chromosome are arseholes (I'd say dick, but that would be sexist. ;)). But engaging in a debate needn't be that stupid. In a lot of cases it isn't. Just like calling for the de-criminalisation in homosexuality didn't lead to baby rape and bestiality (and, yes, when we had this debate in England in the 60s, people genuinely thought this would happen).

 

 

I've argued for a long time that political correctness has castrated the sitcom. Archie Bunker was a bigot who often expounded his beliefs from his mouth and you knew he was going to get it in the end. Yet in this day and age, very few sitcoms do anything more than bodily function humor and kicking a guy in the jimmy. (please note again that guys can be the butt of getting kicked in the jimmy, which is horribly painful, but only guys.) Sometime during the 1990s, we all got our underwear in a bunch and came up with sitcoms that were drab (Everybody Loves Raymond, King of Queens, etc.) -- only recently has The Big Bang Theory sort of bucked that trend, as it's probably the closest thing you have to old style sitcoms there are.

South Park? Family Guy? Modern Family? Will and Grace? Coupling (UK version)? The Office? Men Behaving Badly (UK)?

 

Two things happened. One, sitcoms were told that resting on lazy ethnic and gender tropes was unacceptable. (We had loads of shows cancelled here on the same basis). It took a few years for TV to work out what was and wasn't acceptable. And in the mean time, other types of show became popular, relegating the sitcom even lower. Things change. As a historian I don't believe in absolute progress, but I do believe we gain and lose in the process. Hopefully, it's a better world today for black lesbians than it was in 1975.

 

 

 

In the end, abusive humour is fine PROVIDING THERE'S A POINT TO IT. Providing it doesn't simply take away someone's humanity for the sake of it. What is the deeper point? "We'll give land to the niggers and the chinks, but I'll be damned if we'll give it to the Irish" is, out of context, incredibly offensive. But it works in the context of the film - a film written by a Jew, not long after the second world war, showing us all how barbaric and intolerant we are as a species. And how arbitrary some of our grudges are. I'll raise a glass to Mel Brooks, and hope the film is still going for another 30 years.

 

Cheers!

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Sometime during the 1990s, we all got our underwear in a bunch and came up with sitcoms that were drab (Everybody Loves Raymond, King of Queens, etc.) -- only recently has The Big Bang Theory sort of bucked that trend, as it's probably the closest thing you have to old style sitcoms there are.

I agree, sitcoms are usually stale and formulaic to the point where they're vomit-inducing. And they always have been. The old 60's sitcoms are offensively stupid, but they're a product of their time. They weren't castrated; we just discovered that they weren't funny anymore.

 

Big Bang Theory is just as offensively stupid, but not because it bucks sexist/racist stereotypes (which, by the way, it doesn't; at least not with any aplomb or finesse). It's just transferring the stereotypes we usually pick on -- race, disabilities, gender -- and turning it onto nerds and social classes. And my beef with BBT goes even deeper, but I'm not going to let myself be derailed. I'll gladly espouse why I hate this piece of shit another time.

 

However, I have been watching a fair bit of 30 Rock lately -- yes, much later than everyone else; that's how I roll; I didn't get into Seinfeld until way into the 2000's -- and 30 Rock brilliantly holds no prisoners. It's written and created by a self-proclaimed feminist (Tina Fey), but she is more than willing to poke as much fun at her own beliefs as anyone else's. You could call it cynicism for laughs, but to me, it just captures our failings at upholding our own ideals when faced with real-life situations exceptionally well. Her character on the show claims to be a feminist as well, but is easily swayed by money and she liberally takes advice from her overtly sexist, conservative boss (Alec Baldwin). And female characters on the show get hit in the crotch just as often as male characters.

 

My point with bringing up 30 Rock is that we can argue about how we all should think until the cows come home. Forcing kids to attend a gay pride parade in the name of equality? Stupid. Arguing that women are better than men, or the other way around? Stupid. This is why we have ideals. Ideals are not reality. They are what we would strive for, if we were somehow perfect creatures. But we're not.

 

(Edit: Here's a great article about "Liz Lemonism" and how feminists erroneously lambast it for failing to live up to their ideals: http://www.genders.org/g55/g55_mizejewski.html)

 

That said, your idea of "the four big B.S." can still fuck right off. Gareth said it absolutely right: You are clearly oblivious to how ironic you sound when you call us the "P.C. police" (a misnomer if ever there was one). If we're going to play that game, it should at least be "the five big B.S.".

 

And I can't speak for Gareth or Frederik, but I definitely don't consider myself politically correct. I consider myself a humanist. But I am also a cynic and I think there is truth to Carlin's words that we will never attain our ideals. The peaceful world of Star Trek where everyone is united in peace with no money and a military hierarchy that somehow works will never happen. We're too far gone; we've already fucked it up for ourselves beyond repair -- there has to be a cataclysmic event where we nuke the site from orbit, final-scene-from-Fight-Club style, just like a drug addict has to hit rock bottom, before we're going to get anywhere.

 

Which is why I think everyone and everything is fair game for lampooning, satire, comedy and cynical remarks. I might even get thrown out of Frederik's apartment for telling an obviously racist joke, however ironically I might be telling it. I also think everyone deserves the right to live their life however they want to. Yes, even homophobic racist dickwads -- go ahead, live that way if you choose, but I think those people are wrong, they are sad and wretched, and I reserve the right to call them out on just what a homophobic racist dickwad they are.

 

And I also reserve the right to call you out for being full of shit with regards to your accusations of wolf-crying, because you're doing exactly the same yourself.

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Just popping in here. I havent been following this thread closely (like I probably should). We let a lot of things fly on this forum, but I think the main thing is that we keep from offending eachother. I can see that borderline happening here with the bit of loose terminology being thrown around (PC Police) which is obviously not something any of us seem to be.

 

I don't want to lock the thread (yet, unless it gets too heated) as it's an interesting topic and a lot of good points are being made here. On both sides. As long as we can keep it civil and appropriate I'd like to see discussion continue. If we can't then we may have to lock it up.

 

Remember we're all SQ fans here! We may disagree on things (in fact it's guaranteed), but we all have common ground there. Let's remember that. The key to community is diversity AND mutual respect. Let's refrain from generalizing and using broad-sweeping terms for eachother, shall we?

 

I'm out.

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This kinda belongs in the political correctness debate thread, but whatevs: No, it‘s not just Moebius, it‘s become a fad in gaming "journalism" to jump on the being-professionally-offended bandwagon and take a holier-than-thou stance whenever the opportunity arises. Adventure games seem particularly vulnerable to bullshit criticisms since a lot of these games don‘t have a huge (marketing) budget to spend, so reviewers can feel free to tear into them at their heart‘s content for additional totally-not-corrupt-professional-reviewer street cred.

 

I‘m not saying that GK20 will cause some kind of hitherto unseen cataclysmic shitstorm (After all, why go after the little guys when complaining about a lack of female/coloured/LGBT avatars in Assassin‘s Creed makes for that much better clickbait), but faux outrage is bound to happen to some extent. In an atmosphere that brings forth gems such as this, anything is possible.

So experimenting with the storytelling the adventure genre is arguably all about is... bad.

 

Semi-offensive plot points, however, are must-haves for us to keep our freedom. And if anyone dares argue they're getting more than they bargained for when the player character threatens a woman at knife point, do not attempt to understand their arguments, for they are politically correct and WRONG.

 

You and I must play these games for wildly different reasons. And yes, I am probably largely on the offensive here because I can tell you're going to rag on "Serena" as well, and my involvement with that puts me in a position where I happen to know that devs like that don't sit down and go "Let's get pretentious!"

 

That, and it makes me skin crawl when someone calls for the dumbing down of something like the adventure genre because there's something in a game that made them mad and... oh my word, what have we here? ;)

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Damn, forgot to put "award bait" into the title of my previous post! Anyway...

 

So experimenting with the storytelling the adventure genre is arguably all about is... bad.
 

No, it‘s not. Why do you think I bought these games in the first place?

 

Semi-offensive plot points, however, are must-haves for us to keep our freedom. And if anyone dares argue they're getting more than they bargained for when the player character threatens a woman at knife point, do not attempt to understand their arguments, for they are politically correct and WRONG.

"An idea which can not be called dangerous, does not deserve that title" - Oscar Wilde

Besides, I‘m just an asshole on an obscure forum who‘s having a bit of mischievous fun by mocking a bunch of games over the observation that their devs seem to think that a complex story/message is inherently at odds with gameplay complexity, not a professional game journalist who tears into competently made games because he feels he‘s on a mission to save the world by cleansing video games of everything the tumblr crowd might deem objectionable. And I don't need to attempt to understand the arguments of the latter either, I understand perfectly well and and even sympathise with the basic ideology (as long as it comes from a place of sincerity, rather than blatant ego-boosting). It's the methods I don't agree with. You won't bring about change by bullying video game designers into conforming to your worldview.

 

oh my word, what have we here? ;)

I dunno, what do we have here? Funny you should mention dumbing down though, since gameplay wise, these games have been dumbed down to a point where further dumbing down might be a hard thing to accomplish. Experimenting with the medium is all fine and dandy. But experiments can fail and none of these games advance the medium in any meaningful way. That alone doesn‘t necessarily mean that they‘re bad (Gone Home and The Novelist certainly aren‘t), they‘re just not very good either.

 

I can tell you're going to rag on "Serena" as well

Well, you're WRONG! (and politically correct, but that's beside the point) I actually found Serena quite enjoyable. The writing certainly is a hell of a lot better than Dear Esther‘s. Now, if Augustin had decided to sell Serena on Steam for 20 bucks a piece, that probably might have had an adverse effect on my perception of the game and I would've felt free to rip and tear into the game to my heart's content. Rip and tear! RIIIP AND TEEAAAAR!!!

 

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Semi-offensive plot points, however, are must-haves for us to keep our freedom. And if anyone dares argue they're getting more than they bargained for when the player character threatens a woman at knife point, do not attempt to understand their arguments, for they are politically correct and WRONG.

But it's FAUX outrage, Frede! Stop being so fucking obtuse! People find things to get pissy about for the sake of it. It's impossible to have a sincere thought on the internet.

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That small knife episode never did bother me on Moebius and I do find it a bit funny that so many people did seem to snort a pea in their nostril because of it. Me disliking the game stems from entirely different things. Hell, I didn't even find it particulary sexist, just stupid where people did cry sexism (like the librararian deduction bit).

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Hell, I didn't even find it particulary sexist

Malachi isn't sexist, he hates everybody equally.

 

...

Strawman season, anyone? I don‘t even know what the fuck you guys are trying to argue here. That I‘m just an evil old oppressor and that therefore Dear Esther is in fact the Citizen Kane of video games? Come off it!

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Strawman season, anyone? I don‘t even know what the fuck you guys are trying to argue here. That I‘m just an evil old oppressor and that therefore Dear Esther is in fact the Citizen Kane of video games? Come off it!

No, not really. Not played the game, don't care either way. Don't care if you don't find Mobius sexist, don't care if you don't find anything sexist quite frankly.

 

Simply a bit bored of the idea that those who DO find such things problematic are immediately dismissed as "faux". Criticise them for being hyper douchebags all you want, but I just don't understand why you can't understand how they might sincerely hold those beliefs.

 

I think the clear answer to all these problems is just to ban opinions. They do nobody any good, and it makes it very hard for those in charge to do their jobs if we keep insisting on questioning the world around is. That way nobody can (pretend to) get offended, and nobody has to react to them.

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Now that I've managed to set everything on fire, I just want to pop in and say that I personally didn't find Moebius sexist, but I do find it a bit lazy, dramaturgically, that every woman in the game is so moist for Malachi Rector that flood warnings have been issued on a regular basis since the game came out.

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... don't care either way. Don't care ... don't care...

Something about your post gives me the weird impression that you never read my (lenghty) original reply to Frede. So anyway, here‘s my standpoint on outrage over video games (faux or otherwise):

 

I [...] even sympathise with the basic ideology (as long as it comes from a place of sincerity, rather than blatant ego-boosting). It's the methods I don't agree with. You won't bring about change by bullying video game designers into conforming to your worldview.

In other words: Feel free to replace the word „faux“ with „misguided“ in every post I made on the matter. That way nobody needs to feel unfairly marginalized.

 

I think the clear answer to all these problems is just to ban opinions. They do nobody any good, and it makes it very hard for those in charge to do their jobs if we keep insisting on questioning the world around is. That way nobody can (pretend to) get offended, and nobody has to react to them.

Better solution: Get rid of those in charge. PROTIP: It‘s not gonna happen if your focus is on promoting social justice in video games and rattling off inane rants on tumblr. THE MAN KEEPING YOU DOWN doesn‘t care about either.

 

I liked Gone Home myself. It's a neat little piece of interactive fiction, but Dear Esther I find pretentious and overly melodramatic.

I thought pretty much the same way about both games and I feel that my silly little arbitrary ratings reflect that. For a 1.5 hour game that offers near-zero replay value, a 6/10 rating is actually really, really good.

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Nobody with half a brain thinks that they'll change the world by criticising computer games. What they do believe is that if discrimination is challenged in video games, tv, film, art, politics, the work place, etc. etc., that winning small battles over time will cause more widespread and more meaningful change.

 

Because the point is there is no "the" man. It's a cultural thing we're all a part of. However, some benefit more from that status quo than others, and have a vested interest in conserving that world.

 

But that's by the by. I'm a little confused by what you think "political correctness" is, the methods employed, or the goals in mind.

 

So let's get down to the nub of why this seems to get you so angry. Because I genuinely want to understand it. As I see it, there's two things at play.

 

If I understand you correctly, the first is, you want to defend the right of games makers to take risks, and you're worried if people listen too much to criticism they will be unwilling to take those risks. On this front, I agree with the initial principle. The fear of litigation or bad publicity has forced so many areas of public life into lockdown. Everything requires a safety label, nobody will say or do something out of the ordinary. The blame for that isn't with individuals fighting for employment rights, health and safety and gender equality, though. It's public and private institutions and their lawyers refusing to do anything on the theoretical possibility of being sued - an issue for which they have a much lower risk tolerance than they did 40 years ago.

 

So, while this seems like a fair enough suggestion, it doesn't seem to be what's actually going on. The arts continue to take risk, and clearly, there are still plenty of games being made which are "edgy" enough to wind people up. And by the same token, there is plenty of art in all media that continues to be "edgy" and gets a very good reception. The multi-award winning Book of Mormon, for example, is set in an African village, involves jokes about child rape, religion, sex, female genital mutilation and AIDS. In no way PC - but so brilliantly done that it's come in for almost universal acclaim.

 

Actually, a clarification - the GOOD ART continues to take risks. The stuff that gets criticised is actually the games that lean on pathetic stereotypes at the expense of actually developing a plot or a nuanced story arc. That's true for those that lean on lazy race or gender tropes as much as it is lazy revenge/romance/horror/etc. tropes. Stories that have been done a thousand times are just dull. I think this is why adventure games seem unusually targeted for this - because any game where the USP is the story, it ought to be something good. When you've stopped creating good puzzles or engaging game play, expect to be critiqued just like a piece of literature or film. Especially when a growing proportion of your audience is female.

 

The reason gender and race get picked out is the belief - which you can of course challenge - that these tropes are more damaging because they re-enforce the power of established groups. Because these tropes are so omnipresent (and are so rarely challenged), black people see that they can never be the heroes, and women see they can only ever be the wife, never the protagonist. That perhaps this isn't a good message to send out. And people, for whatever reason, feel like they should articulate that opinion.

 

So, the second thing is you want to defend the right for games makers to rely on common tropes. Which again, is fine. Just don't expect people to be silent about it. Again, no campaigner worth their salt would ever deny the legal right to do those things. Just so long as they're willing to be called out for it.

 

I find it quite amusing, actually. The typical argument by the supposed "anti-censorship" brigade is "let the market decide". Which is weird. Because if the market starts articulating its opinion (necessary in any market to ensure reputation and to protect consumers from buying products they don't want/need), it's accused of "bullying". Given that these games keep getting made, the bullies are doing a TERRIBLE job.

 

So... I just don't really know what the issue is here, really. I don't understand why "the PC brigade" gets you so riled up. I mean, I don't even really see how your caricature of "the PC brigade" gets you so riled up.

 

Well, I sort of do. It's typical conservatism. That is, the desire to resist change. Which is a legitimate position. Just explain to me what's so great about the world you're defending.

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You're throwing so many balls in the air that I'm at a loss at how to catch them all. You'll have to give me some time to draw up a compelling response, especially since you largely base your point on assumptions (including some dead wrong assumptions about my own personal beliefs).

In the meantime, I just have two simple questions for you (or indeed anyone who wishes to comment on these):

- Assuming you played Gabriel Knight 1: If a member of the gaming press calls its content racist and sexist and people in the comment section reply with statements along the line of "Wow, I never played this game, but this sounds absolutely appaling! Won't be playing this dross!" In your opinion, is that a helpful or a harmful situation?

- Please read this article (FYI, this is the very piece of writing that tipped my opinion towards the SJW crowd from one of indifference to one of hostility). My question: What the fuck gives Cara Ellison the right to air herself as the spokesperson of rape victims?

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