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Thread: Video Tropes vs Women in Video Games

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jb View Post
    You know the same can be said for Blue, and Lance. Hell, even Steven.
    That's true it could be said for them. But Blue's contribution to the player came mostly when he was a rival after he became champion you only had to beat him that was it. Him as champion didn't help the player out. Steven I don't think was introduced as champion and when we discovered he was champion he still didn't play a big role against the bad guys than other champions have. Lance while he did help the player out a lot still wasn't there for the final bit against the evil team unlike Cynthia. Of course all their contribution can be debated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blazekickblaziken View Post
    Are you really going to argue semantics? Fine, if you don't like the word "normalize" replace it with "reinforce". You seem to be missing the bigger point that it is normalizing/reinforcing problematic aspects of society. Which is bad.
    Normalization and reinforcement are seperate nd distinct terms. Displaying in game what is the status quo in reality is a null position. My argument is that accidental "sexism" (or, to be realistic, clearly depicting men and women with their unique traits as is in reality) doesn't exist, because a game with no position that makes a world based on the status quo cannot possibly be sexist.

    Also I never said Pokemon was sexist, I stated the contrary.
    Good, I never suggested you thought the entire game was sexist either. Glad to clear that up.

    But that does not mean it doesn't have sexist aspects. And I reffered to three of them specifically. As a matter of fact, I'm even willing to forgive my whole complaint about Bianca (for those just tuning in, it has to do with power dynamics), since her storyline wasn't sexist per se, I'm just annoyed the first true female rival got that storyline. If you took out the other things I mentioned you'd have
    1) A prrof. Juniper without a dad (Like all the proffessors before her)
    2) and more varied body types for female trainers.
    That is literally all.
    The Juniper issue is a clear nitpick and the body types of female characters are all justified and understandable. Which sprites specifically are you talking about, compared to which male sprites? Having played every single Pokemon game ever released, I know pretty well that females and males don't have any visible gap in "sexiness". Back to Juniper for a second so I don't just dismiss it, what was your reasoning regarding Juniper's disempowerment(?)?
    Last edited by The Federation; 28th August 2013 at 2:16 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Federation View Post
    Back to Juniper for a second so I don't just dismiss it, what was your reasoning regarding Juniper's disempowerment(?)?
    I think his reasoning for it was that she had to share the spotlight as Prof with her father who is also called Prof Juniper. It goes on the idea that since she is a female Prof forced to share the spotlight with a male Prof she is dis-empowered since it takes attention away from her. As I already pointed out other Prof's had also suffered from this and them being male didn't change that fact in the slightest.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jb View Post
    You know the same can be said for Blue, and Lance. Hell, even Steven.
    Lance only helped with the Lake of Rage incident.

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt0044 View Post
    Lance only helped with the Lake of Rage incident.
    What's you point?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jb View Post
    What's you point?
    I'm just pointing that tidbit out.

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    no, pokemon does have sexism. just because you like it doesn't mean it isn't sexist. stop
    OK so who was the one who gave this to me as rep? Why not just say it on this topic and explain why it has sexism instead of just giving a half heart message. If you really cared about the subject you would be more than willing to talk about it on this topic instead of just sending a rep. And why should I stop? Clearly you don't like what I'm saying but don't want to explain yourself so your hiding behind rep.

    Going on from this Pokemon does not have sexism. The only way there is sexism is in Pokemon is founded by people who are desperate to prove that it exists in Pokemon. By looking at the smallest of things and ignoring how other characters are treated and then blowing it out of proportion it is possible to make it exist in Pokemon. As I already explained the female characters don't get treated any differently than their male counter-parts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmareisalive View Post
    OK so who was the one who gave this to me as rep?
    Shhh... If someone gives you petty, logic-devoid rep you have to sit there, shut your mouth, and take it. If you say it out loud, that's against the rules. Wouldn't want to hurt the feelings of the brainless, spineless rep giver, yeah? Being able to hide and avoid all criticism is the point of the system. That's what people use it for, anyway.

    Maybe the fact that I want to be able to discuss an issue rather than receive baseless criticism which I cannot respond to is a fault in my own character, though.

    As I already explained the female characters don't get treated any differently than their male counter-parts.
    The fact that people are willing to argue that there is sexism in a game developed, marketed, and sold with E for Everyone in mind is a sign that the claimant is willing to argue anything to prove sexism is an issue. If anyone on this site or anywhere can show gaming to have a specific role in female discriminatory gender stereotypes, I would love to see it. Until them, Sarkeesian is just whining because she knows it makes her money.
    Last edited by The Federation; 29th August 2013 at 7:41 AM.
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    Shhh... If someone gives you petty, logic-devoid rep you have to sit there, shut your mouth, and take it. If you say it out loud, that's against the rules. Wouldn't want to hurt the feelings of the brainless, spineless rep giver, yeah? Being able to hide and avoid all criticism is the point of the system. That's what people use it for, anyway.

    Maybe the fact that I want to be able to discuss an issue rather than receive baseless criticism which I cannot respond to is a fault in my own character, though.
    Or you could read the first post of the trial rep system thread and realise that if there's a dumb rep, you can always report it to a mod which goes against your claim that the system is made to allow people to hide behind their words. (And after all, it's a trial.) Or if it isn't report worthy but you don't like getting negative rep, you could disable the system and/or just not care about a reputation system on a Pokemon forum.

    But that's another topic. =p

    I personally think that if there is any sexism in Pokemon it's mild at best - I'm struggling to see why points that are already made about it being there are very solid, and without any negatives in stereotypes or whatnot to male characters too in applying the same level of scrutiny. For instance I don't really feel that Juniper's father really took much away from her at all, and certainly not to the same extent as that glory-hogging Oak. Then again, compare Oak to say Birch or Elm...

    And the Gym Leaders/E4 members always had relatively healthy numbers of female trainers (going off memory, Kanto has 3/4 leaders depending on the gen, Johto has 3 [maybe plus Bugsy =p], Hoenn with 4 (twins counted as one), Sinnoh with 4, Unova with 3/4 (with one becoming the Champion later on). As for the E4 there's at least one, usually 2 ignoring the champion. It's slightly skewered to males overall, but not by a significant margin.

    I'd also say that Cynthia is the most 'represented' champion out of them all (in DP, much more in Platinum in a role, appears in a special event in HGSS, and even gets special appearances in the following gen), although a few others (Lance, Alder) are not too far behind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobandbill View Post
    Or you could read the first post of the trial rep system thread and realise that if there's a dumb rep, you can always report it to a mod which goes against your claim that the system is made to allow people to hide behind their words. (And after all, it's a trial.) Or if it isn't report worthy but you don't like getting negative rep, you could disable the system and/or just not care about a reputation system on a Pokemon forum.
    Or maybe I have read the first post and understand that rep doesn't have to be against the rules to be stupid and a detractor from discussion. Trial or not, why is my criticism not valid? It's human nature to care about being insulted, even if its dumb or menial in nature, and I have already turned off rep. The fact is, it's easy to disagree with someone, bud hard to explain why and weather criticism, and rep gives you an anonymous out so you don't have to actually understand the issue you tell others they are wrong about.

    But that's another topic. =p
    Another topic that people would baselessly criticize you for without posting their PoV. Thanks for actually doing so, by the way.

    I personally think that if there is any sexism in Pokemon it's mild at best - I'm struggling to see why points that are already made about it being there are very solid, and without any negatives in stereotypes or whatnot to male characters too in applying the same level of scrutiny.
    Sexism in video games is a first world issue in general. If your main quarrel with society is video games and movies, you don't have a problem worth talking about. Unless you convince thousands of others how much of a victim they are and they parrot you for all they're worth...
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Federation View Post
    Shhh... If someone gives you petty, logic-devoid rep you have to sit there, shut your mouth, and take it. If you say it out loud, that's against the rules. Wouldn't want to hurt the feelings of the brainless, spineless rep giver, yeah? Being able to hide and avoid all criticism is the point of the system. That's what people use it for, anyway.

    Maybe the fact that I want to be able to discuss an issue rather than receive baseless criticism which I cannot respond to is a fault in my own character, though.
    I am similar to you in that way. I would rather discuss something than actually listen to baseless criticism which I can't respond to. It helps no one out and makes people on the other side sound foolish if they aren't willing to actually talk about the subject. The only problem I had with it was they told me to stop. Again no reason given and I just can't help but fathom what person would tell someone to stop debating about a subject while at the same time give nothing to the subject.

    The fact that people are willing to argue that there is sexism in a game developed, marketed, and sold with E for Everyone in mind is a sign that the claimant is willing to argue anything to prove sexism is an issue. If anyone on this site or anywhere can show gaming to have a specific role in female discriminatory gender stereotypes, I would love to see it. Until them, Sarkeesian is just whining because she knows it makes her money.
    My only problem with people who point out sexism in video games is that they are attempting to find it in every little game they see. I'm glad they point it out when it is there for all the world to see in a game but when you start nitpicking about the subject it feels like they have run out to things to talk about or that the problem is not as big as they made it seem if they have to try to twist things around to make it sexist. I don't think the whole gaming industry is out to dis-empower women but that they are just being lazy with games and following the ideas that sell. You can't complain about that not when the gaming industry is just that an industry which aims to make money. You can complain though when they have a game that will sell no matter what and still go along with the same ideas. They will still make a profit so they should be more willing to try something different.
    Last edited by Nightmareisalive; 29th August 2013 at 2:37 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmareisalive View Post
    Well any attempts on saying Pokemon is sexist is very naive and falls flat on its face anytime it is brought up.

    1) Prof Juniper while may have to share the spotlight with her dad doesn't mean Pokemon is sexist towards female Prof. At least twice before that Prof Oak has either taken or shared in the spotlight with other gen Profs. In gen 2 you can talk to Oak before you even get your first badge and throughout the story-line you can hear Oak more than that gen Prof. Prof Elm had a lot of his attention taken away by Oak and once the player enters Kanto becomes replaced by Oak. Prof Rowan also suffered this when after the main story-line is done Oak pretty much takes over and it is him you have to go to to show how many Pokemon you caught and also get access to the bird trio. Was it necessary for Oak to appear and take attention away from the other Profs? No it wasn't but it happened anyway. Even though Prof Juniper had to share the spotlight with her dad she still played a big part in the story so if Pokemon was going to be sexist to her as soon as they introduced her father she would of hardly got a mention but that didn't happen.

    2) Pokemon is pretty much has stereotypes for its character design. Look at each trainer class and you will see it does it for each different trainer. The miner class for example looks what people see a miner as which is also same for the Ace trainer class. Both the girl and boy Ace trainer are good looking and since ace is usually seen as the Ace (to be good looking and cool) by people of course they are going to be good looking. Also look outside other female trainer class and you will see they do have a variety of body types for the female trainer.

    3) Bianca still has a big part in the in game story line. She teaches the player how to catch Pokemon and does help them out along the way. Her path was decided on her personilty and what she decided to do at the end of Black/White. Also being an Ad to a Prof can be seen just as big an honour as being a Gym Leader or even bigger since it means they can also become Profs who are highly respected in the Pokemon world.

    Pokemon also gives a lot of respect to its female trainers. For example Cynthia is most fan's favorite, has the toughest team and biggest contribution to the story than other Champions. Her role in the game is bigger than other champions and interacts with the player more so throughout the game than other Champions have. Without her it would be impossible to complete the game without her help. More so than other Champions who while they may interact with the player doesn't help them that much.
    1) You make a very good point. I don't have anything else to say.

    2)I'm not sure what you mean by looking out side the trainer class to find more varied sprites. Do you mean look at overworld sprite, because I'm reffering to the battle sprites. Now it's a bit difficult to explain, because the pokemon graphics are generally cute. But you can kinda tell which sprites are... made with out paying attention to how cute they are.

    For females we have:
    pokefan (female)
    The older rich lady class (is it called socialite? )
    Baker class

    For Males we have:
    Pokefan. (Male)
    Socialite (Male)
    Biker
    Hooligan
    Janitor
    Painter
    Miner
    The guard/cop
    The factory worker (guy in blue)

    Maybe the fisherman
    Maybe the swimmer male (who has a decidedly differen visual esthetic than swimmer female)

    Clearly there isn't much variety for females, especially when compared to males.

    3) I'm don't think Bianca's role wasn't important. I just wish the plot hadn't revolved so much on how she wasn't as competent as the other trainers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blazekickblaziken View Post

    2)I'm not sure what you mean by looking out side the trainer class to find more varied sprites. Do you mean look at overworld sprite, because I'm reffering to the battle sprites. Now it's a bit difficult to explain, because the pokemon graphics are generally cute. But you can kinda tell which sprites are... made with out paying attention to how cute they are.

    For females we have:
    pokefan (female)
    The older rich lady class (is it called socialite? )
    Baker class

    For Males we have:
    Pokefan. (Male)
    Socialite (Male)
    Biker
    Hooligan
    Janitor
    Painter
    Miner
    The guard/cop
    The factory worker (guy in blue)

    Maybe the fisherman
    Maybe the swimmer male (who has a decidedly differen visual esthetic than swimmer female)

    Clearly there isn't much variety for females, especially when compared to males.
    Well there is also bike female trainers and teachers so far have only been female. They both also share nurses. I'm going to have to think that one over atm. I can't really remember all the trainer classes the there has been in each game. Generally though Game Freak make trainer class sprites look like what people think those type of people generally are in real life. The vast majority of fishers and miners are male while the majority of teachers are females. Game Freak just copy what real life is like. If things in real life change then I'm sure Game Freak would change their trainers classes as well.

    3) I'm don't think Bianca's role wasn't important. I just wish the plot hadn't revolved so much on how she wasn't as competent as the other trainers.
    Wasn't the fourth gen rival also not as competent as other trainers? He usually rushed around and often left things behind or not listen to the full story. That is incompetent since he's not doing things right. Again I don't see anything wrong. If Game Freak had it each gen to have two rivals one of each sex where the male was shown to be powerful and wanted to be a gym leader while the female was always incompetent and wanted to be an ad to the prof then yes that would be sexist but we have never had that and Game Freak usually change things up for each gen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blazekickblaziken View Post
    But you can kinda tell which sprites are... made with out paying attention to how cute they are.

    For females we have:
    pokefan (female)
    The older rich lady class (is it called socialite? )
    Baker class

    For Males we have:
    Pokefan. (Male)
    Socialite (Male)
    Biker
    Hooligan
    Janitor
    Painter
    Miner
    The guard/cop
    The factory worker (guy in blue)

    Maybe the fisherman
    Maybe the swimmer male (who has a decidedly differen visual esthetic than swimmer female)

    Clearly there isn't much variety for females, especially when compared to males.
    If you are basing this completely on your opinion on what is "cute" and what isn't, you aren't doing a very good job at all of making an objective argument for a lack of varied trainer classes based on gender. You are going to need a more complex system than "Well, I think females seem more cute than males overall..." because females do seem more cute than males. This isn't sexism, this is realism. Calling a girl cute, unless she's a feminazi, is a compliment.
    EDIT: You can change "feminazi" to "hyper-sensitive ignorant feminist" if you need to.

    The girls in Pokémon are for the most part balanced for their roles and have individual sprites. It might be different if there were 38 male sprites and 5 female sprites, but theres 5 male and 29 female, not counting gym leaders/elite four/champ in Pokmn B2/W2, by my count. That's not a big deal at all.
    Last edited by The Federation; 30th August 2013 at 5:45 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmareisalive View Post
    Well there is also bike female trainers and teachers so far have only been female. They both also share nurses. I'm going to have to think that one over atm. I can't really remember all the trainer classes the there has been in each game. Generally though Game Freak make trainer class sprites look like what people think those type of people generally are in real life. The vast majority of fishers and miners are male while the majority of teachers are females. Game Freak just copy what real life is like. If things in real life change then I'm sure Game Freak would change their trainers classes as well.
    I have to say I have no idea what you're talking about. The list I made wasn't a comprehesive list of male & female trainers, or how many trainers don't have opposite gender counter parts. When refering to biker trainers, I'm not talking about bycicles, but the trainers on motorcycles, which there are only male. But once again, the point is not that X trainer class is a specific gender. The point is that only 3 female trainers aren't "conventionally attractive" while 9-14 (I forgot to add the clown trainer and the Hiker) male trainers aren't "conventionally attractive."

    @ TheFederation

    What is and isn't conventionally attractive isn't as subjective as you think. Certain features, postures, and clothes are perceived as more attractive, pretty much by everyone. Also, stating that women are cuter than men is 100% subjective and heteronormative. As a gay man I can tell you that I think men are cuter than women.

    Also, calling a woman "cute" can be very offensive depending on the social context. For example, on one extreme: meeting a close friend in a social gathering and commenting that she looks cute (especially when it's noticeable that she put a lot of effort into her appearance) is A-OK. On the other extreme: meeting a woman for the first time in a business meeting (or any other professional context) and telling her she looks cute, isn't a compliment. It's rude and can even be seen as demeaning. She is there for business, not for you to appreciate how attractive she is.

    One last "Also", Feminazi's aren't really a thing. They're an extremist faction of a social movement. And a small one at that. Please be aware that, while yes, however small they are, they are still a faction, many people fling around that term whenever they try to discredit the feminism movement. It's a very charged and polarizing term which when used in a discussion, only serves to detract from the speaker's argument.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blazekickblaziken View Post
    What is and isn't conventionally attractive isn't as subjective as you think. Certain features, postures, and clothes are perceived as more attractive, pretty much by everyone. Also, stating that women are cuter than men is 100% subjective and heteronormative. As a gay man I can tell you that I think men are cuter than women.
    Which is it? Is "cuteness" subjective or objective? You can't have it both ways. I used "cute" as interchangeable with "attractive" as per its use in the original statement.

    Also, calling a woman "cute" can be very offensive depending on the social context. For example, on one extreme: meeting a close friend in a social gathering and commenting that she looks cute (especially when it's noticeable that she put a lot of effort into her appearance) is A-OK. On the other extreme: meeting a woman for the first time in a business meeting (or any other professional context) and telling her she looks cute, isn't a compliment. It's rude and can even be seen as demeaning. She is there for business, not for you to appreciate how attractive she is.
    We're talking about the context of a Pokémon game, not a business meeting. The more serious female sprites are portrayed as they should be, and to the serious male sprites the same. If you are forced to attack this aspect of the game, calling it sexist, you are going to need a lot more than personal opinion. Not just that, you need to show how it hurts females, how it is an issue at all, and most importantly, that what you are claiming (female sprites are more traditionally "cute" than male sprites) is even true.

    One last "Also", Feminazi's aren't really a thing. They're an extremist faction of a social movement. And a small one at that. Please be aware that, while yes, however small they are, they are still a faction, many people fling around that term whenever they try to discredit the feminism movement. It's a very charged and polarizing term which when used in a discussion, only serves to detract from the speaker's argument.
    [/quote]
    I went ahead and edited that to mean what I think it should mean, or at least what I meant when I said it. FYI, I don't typically fling that term around, it just came to mind when I was thinking about the scenario where calling a girl cute might seem rude.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Federation View Post
    Which is it? Is "cuteness" subjective or objective? You can't have it both ways. I used "cute" as interchangeable with "attractive" as per its use in the original statement.
    "What is and isn't conventionally attractive isn't as subjective as you think. Certain features, postures, and clothes are perceived as more attractive, pretty much by everyone."

    I was very specific about what things are generally agreed upon. Gender/sex however was not in that list. There's a world of difference between what I said and stating that "women are cuter than men".

    The reason why I am a bit insistent on this point is because: There is sort of an unspoken short hand on how to visually represent an evil character. For example a pale character with black clothing, white hair, and red eyes. We are presented this character and, although that may be all we know about the character, we understand that the designer intended the character to be evil. Similarly, there is a visual short hand about what characters are supposed to be attractive. It is definitely much more subtle and open to interpretation, but you can usually distinguish which characters are supposed to be attractive (or, in a game like pokemon, "not attractive") with out too much effort.

    I also believe I've been a bit careful about not saying that this is sexist, so much as it is problematic. By that I mean that this kinda wanders into (as tvtropes would call it) "Unfortunate Implications" territory. Its not really sexist, so much as reflective of certain, internalized, sexist attitudes.

    There's this thing called "Prototype Theory" ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prototype_theory ) long story short, we have internal prototypes of how certain categories look, behave, or function. This applies to other people as well. In our mind we have our own proto-man and proto-woman. Depending on how rigid this prototype is, this migh not mean that anything that doesn't fit into that perception isn't a man or a woman, it might just mean that it's a man/woman with a few modifiers thrown in. (i.e. a tall man, a short-haired woman) If however this prototype is very rigid, then it might make the subject be seen as less of a man/woman. This does translate into the media because when people create characters they start out with this prototype and throw in modifiers to stylize it. The problem is, with women, their physical appearance is much more intricately linked to the prototype than for men. These female characters, then don't have much significant variation in body shape. This then leads to their depiction further normalizing/ reinforcing/ perpetuating this proto-woman.
    Last edited by Blazekickblaziken; 30th August 2013 at 6:53 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blazekickblaziken View Post
    I was very specific about what things are generally agreed upon. Gender/sex however was not in that list. There's a world of difference between what I said and stating that "women are cuter than men".
    I may have been thrown off because the example you provided was a strictly gender-oriented differentiation, and I had been using "cute" as interchangeable for "attractive". Shows how important definitions are in discussion, huh? From now on, "attractive" should be used in a loose sense, as in how socially acceptable a given character would be in reality. Will that work?


    Similarly, there is a visual short hand about what characters are supposed to be attractive. It is definitely much more subtle and open to interpretation, but you can usually distinguish which characters are supposed to be attractive (or, in a game like pokemon, "not attractive") with out too much effort.
    It's a complex discussion, gender-based attractiveness, because you are equating what's attractive to what the majority of people would agree is attractive. I don't agree that there is little to no effort in determining whether a female is being slipped into stereotype, because there are a large number of factors you aren't taking into account: social norm, reality, and basis in reality are issues I feel aren't addressed well enough in an undetailed look at female discrimination.

    I also believe I've been a bit careful about not saying that this is sexist, so much as it is problematic. By that I mean that this kinda wanders into (as tvtropes would call it) "Unfortunate Implications" territory. Its not really sexist, so much as reflective of certain, internalized, sexist attitudes.
    Maybe not this issue, but I believe you have said in other issues certain portrayals of women were sexist, and I just assumed you were swapping the judgment over. Sorry, didn't mean to strawman you.

    The problem is, with women, their physical appearance is much more intricately linked to the prototype than for men. These female characters, then don't have much significant variation in body shape. This then leads to their depiction further normalizing/ reinforcing/ perpetuating this proto-woman.
    And this is where we really differ. The issue for you is that similarities in female body structure leads to less modifiers being thrown in, which is false. We see the same body type in most of the male characters, whose roles and modifications are varied. It's the same with female characters.

    I could argue theory all day, but in the end, what does your criticism amount to even if you are correct? Is there a harm that can be drawn from the game to reality, and if there is, what is it? Where is the concrete evidence that shows the issue is really and issue people should take notice of and correct, because right or wrong, there is no impact on the players or the society they live in. It's another case of "what's more of an issue", where we are targeting the issue as it is seen in video games but not as it appears in reality. I don't see a problem in reality, either, because even Sarkeesian plucks her eyebrows and does her hair, and she is supposed to be a super-duper feminist.

    Why are we talking about video games when you could address reality? A disussion on gaming is not productive in the slightest.
    Last edited by The Federation; 31st August 2013 at 1:52 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Federation View Post
    I may have been thrown off because the example you provided was a strictly gender-oriented differentiation, and I had been using "cute" as interchangeable for "attractive". Shows how important definitions are in discussion, huh? From now on, "attractive" should be used in a loose sense, as in how socially acceptable a given character would be in reality. Will that work?
    That's fine. Maybe the confusion arose because I referred to pokemon's art as "generally cute". *shrug.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Federation View Post
    It's a complex discussion, gender-based attractiveness, because you are equating what's attractive to what the majority of people would agree is attractive. I don't agree that there is little to no effort in determining whether a female is being slipped into stereotype, because there are a large number of factors you aren't taking into account: social norm, reality, and basis in reality are issues I feel aren't addressed well enough in an undetailed look at female discrimination.
    Depending on how heavy handed or subtle they are, you can usually tell. For example, whether or not you find Bayonetta attractive, you are aware that she is SUPPOSED to be attractive. Or for a pokemon example, think tank-top & shorts Misty from the anime vs HG&SS Misty.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Federation View Post
    I could argue theory all day, but in the end, what does your criticism amount to even if you are correct? Is there a harm that can be drawn from the game to reality, and if there is, what is it? Where is the concrete evidence that shows the issue is really and issue people should take notice of and correct, because right or wrong, there is no impact on the players or the society they live in. It's another case of "what's more of an issue", where we are targeting the issue as it is seen in video games but not as it appears in reality. I don't see a problem in reality, either, because even Sarkeesian plucks her eyebrows and does her hair, and she is supposed to be a super-duper feminist.

    Why is talking about video games when you could directly address reality productive in the slightest?
    Well, it depends, are we talking about pokemon in specific, or media(including video games) in general? Regarding pokemon in specific it's effect is probably minimal. At it's worst it has a very slight, possibly negligible, effect perpetuating pretty as the female standard. At it's best, it has no effect at all. It's still a reflection of todays society and plays part in the feedback loop, how ever.

    If we're talking about media in general, then we have to take into account that not all media are as tame or progressive as pokemon. Here's an article about page 3 of The Sun, a paper from the UK. http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/laur...b_3794513.html (For context page 3 of the sun shows pictures of topless women) Now clearly what is being talked in the article is a very extreme thing. But all media has similar effects. And when you get game after game after game after game throwing you scantily clad women at you... well the effect becomes cumulative. Also, men designing pretty women because they want to look at a scantily clad woman with ample bosoms is NOT the same thing as a woman wearing make up and plucking her eyebrows and doing her hair because she wants to feel attractive (Also this does not mean she is dressing "attactively" for you, she is doing it for herself). It's similar to the difference between someone coming into your room and decorating it how they see fit and you decorating your room how you see fit. Furthermore, you're allowed to care about your appearance and still be a feminist.

    I assume your last sentence is supposed to read:
    How is talking about video games, when you could be directly addressing reality, productive in the slightest?

    Because an open and honest discussion is the best way to resolve problems. Theoretically this discussion exists to help people become more aware of the larger social implications of abusing these seemingly harmless tropes. If people learn and become aware then they actively avoid these problems. Because these problems don't go away on their own, they take conscious effort to... I don't want to say "overcome" because it sounds overly dramatic, but it's the only word I can think of at the moment.
    Last edited by Blazekickblaziken; 30th August 2013 at 11:21 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blazekickblaziken View Post
    That's fine. Maybe the confusion arose because I referred to pokemon's art as "generally cute". *shrug.
    Not a big deal. We have a workable definition now.

    Depending on how heavy handed or subtle they are, you can usually tell. For example, whether or not you find Bayonetta attractive, you are aware that she is SUPPOSED to be attractive. Or for a pokemon example, think tank-top & shorts Misty from the anime vs HG&SS Misty.
    Ehhngh... I don't know so much about the Bayonetta example, because she was made and marketed with that goal in mind. We don't design and market individual sprites so any feature. Misty's design is based on a more of a on-the-beach-at-summer type person, so it's understandable she looks like she does. Her design isn't arbitrary and therefore descriptive of your suggestion as you believe.

    Well, it depends, are we talking about pokemon in specific, or media(including video games) in general? Regarding pokemon in specific it's effect is probably minimal. At it's worst it has a very slight, possibly negligible, effect perpetuating pretty as the female standard. At it's best, it has no effect at all. It's still a reflection of todays society and plays part in the feedback loop, how ever.
    Video games, and just Pokemon. Not so much all media. I left it open for you to answer, because I wanted both but would settle only for Pokemon. The only way "pretty" could be a bad label is if it was the insistent, make-up and exposed-limb type, which it isn't in most cases. In cases where this is true, most of the sprites who have these issues are justified because they have to (i.e. Misty, swimmers, etc).

    Even if I gave you your argument that "pretty" (attractive) is a bad standard for women, you still need to prove that sprites in a video game about magic monsters effects the psyche of people viewing it.

    If we're talking about media in general, then we have to take into account that not all media are as tame or progressive as pokemon.
    Like I said, not so much media but gaming in specific. My opinion on media when it comes to sexism or near sexism isn't as educated.

    Also, men designing pretty women because they want to look at a scantily clad woman with ample bosoms is NOT the same thing as a woman wearing make up and plucking her eyebrows and doing her hair because she wants to feel attractive (Also this does not mean she is dressing "attactively" for you, she is doing it for herself). It's similar to the difference between someone coming into your room and decorating it how they see fit and you decorating your room how you see fit. Furthermore, you're allowed to care about your appearance and still be a feminist.
    Many things wrong here. First, designed, in-game women aren't the same as real women, so I don't understand why you make a direct comparison; I thought your argument was effectual in nature. You said that "pretty" is a bad standard in reality, and isn't something you should think you need to live up to. You contradict yourself when you say that Sark's "prettification" routines are totally fine, and are for her and not others. You realize that women dressing in a way that makes them feel attractive is, in the end, doing something for the males? After all,she isn't dressing fashionably for the Vikings or the late 18th century men, they are dressing for 21st century guys. Not to say it's their goal, no, but the fact is that they are doing something they want to do not as a consequence of sexism but as a result of their own choice.

    If the problem with tropes conveying a need for females to be attractive is wrong, why is it ok for Sarkeesian? Why is it ok for beachgoers to wear bikinis? Shouldn't they fight against the oppression and wear a one piece? They don't because gaming doesn't effect what they wear, and even if it did they would wear it anyway. Show me how gaming makes people remark about others looks, then I'll understand.


    Theoretically this discussion exists to help people become more aware of the larger social implications of abusing these seemingly harmless tropes. If people learn and become aware then they actively avoid these problems. Because these problems don't go away on their own, they take conscious effort to... I don't want to say "overcome" because it sounds overly dramatic, but it's the only word I can think of at the moment.
    I guess what I meant is why talk about gaming when we could be talking about the issues in reality? If you think anything in gaming hurts females at all, you are going to have to prove it. There is no evidence supporting the claim, and I doubt there ever will be.
    Last edited by The Federation; 31st August 2013 at 2:07 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Federation View Post
    Ehhngh... I don't know so much about the Bayonetta example, because she was made and marketed with that goal in mind.
    Which is my point. You may or may not think that Bayonetta is attractive. But regardless, you understand that she is supposed to be (at least in-universe) considered attractive. Notice the distinction I'm making.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Federation View Post
    Like I said, not so much media but gaming in specific. My opinion on media when it comes to sexism or near sexism isn't as educated.
    The thing is, if we're simply talking about portrayal of women, then it doesn't matter if we're talking about video games or newspaper or television. The effect is the same. If anything it can be amplified by videogames due to their interactive nature (although that would be in very specific cases.)

    Quote Originally Posted by The Federation View Post
    First, designed, in-game women aren't the same as real women, so I don't understand why you make a direct comparison
    Because these fictional women are made by real men with real expectations of what women should look like. If it was one, two, even only five specific cases of women designed like this, it wouldn't be a problem at all. The problem is the oversaturation of Lara Croft type women in video games. This has an effect on what people's expectations for what women should look like are. Even if it's just a teeny-tiny little bit, it has an effect on expectations. It's fact. That's why I make the comparison.

    Also there's a difference between saying that pretty being the standard for women is bad and just plain saying that pretty is bad. If a woman wants to look pretty and use makeup, well that's her business. But she shouldn't be required to do that to be considered acceptable. I get where this is coming from, since when people hate one extreme, the solution people often take is to jump to the other extreme. This is a mistake many feminists themselves make, thinking that using make-up is conforming to "the man". Really it's all about choice(and REAL choice, not the whole well you chose to go out dressed like that so you chose to get mocked, kinda "choice"). Regarding this specific issue, the choice to wear make up or not with out being judged either way.

    Also, yes I get that if a woman dresses attractively, guys are going to notice. That does not mean that they are doing it FOR YOU (you general, not specifically you). People like to dress up to look pretty for themselve. I personally enjoy dressing up nicely even if it is just to stay at home sometimes. There are actually women who ENJOY using make up (I personally don't get the appeal, but whatevs.) just like there are plenty of women who don't.

    Also while this topic is specifically about video games, it doesn't mean that video games are the sole reason for sexism,they are merely one more piece to the puzzle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blazekickblaziken View Post
    Which is my point. You may or may not think that Bayonetta is attractive. But regardless, you understand that she is supposed to be (at least in-universe) considered attractive. Notice the distinction I'm making.
    My point was that the comparison is indistinct due to the nature of Bayonetta being fundamentally different than any female sprite in Pokémon. Bayonetta was specifically designed with the goal of attractiveness in mind, and was marketed that way. Not female sprite can say the same.

    The thing is, if we're simply talking about portrayal of women, then it doesn't matter if we're talking about video games or newspaper or television. The effect is the same. If anything it can be amplified by videogames due to their interactive nature (although that would be in very specific cases.)
    Gaming as a form of media is fundamentally different than TV or radio or newspaper, because it isn't bound by reality and is interactive. The fact that it is interactive serves the player in immersion, but the player understands it to be a fantasy. The effect of normalization of negative gender roles on TV and the like is much more powerful than gaming, or it seems it should be.

    Because these fictional women are made by real men with real expectations of what women should look like. If it was one, two, even only five specific cases of women designed like this, it wouldn't be a problem at all. The problem is the oversaturation of Lara Croft type women in video games. This has an effect on what people's expectations for what women should look like are.
    What? Have you kept up with Lara Croft? If anything she was one of the bigger female champions in gaming until the rape scene from one of her most recent games, but that's a different issue than appearance. She is one of the few females whose chest got smaller rather than bigger, as well. As I have said before, though, why would women think dressing like a Tomb Raider is suitable for them? Bar the fiction factor, why is looking good a bad thing?

    Also there's a difference between saying that pretty being the standard for women is bad and just plain saying that pretty is bad. If a woman wants to look pretty and use makeup, well that's her business. But she shouldn't be required to do that to be considered acceptable.
    Sure, but your whole argument rests on the contention that forced conformation is bad. How do we know whether or not women are conforming to look attractive as opposed to for others in society? We really can't. If setting the standard is bad but expressing the standard isn't, what is the problem? If the standard for me is to go out every day smelling nice and wearing attractive clothing, I am not going to complain because it isn't out of the ordinary. Being "forced" into doing something that is important for every society like hygiene, attire, and demeanor is not a negative aspect, but, I would argue, is positive if anything at all.

    Also, yes I get that if a woman dresses attractively, guys are going to notice. That does not mean that they are doing it FOR YOU (you general, not specifically you).
    My point with this is that we can't distinguish whether or not they are doing it FOR US or if they just happen to feel that being pretty, which is their prerogative, is an issue for them. The fact is, if they are willing to do it for themselves with no qualms and even go out of their way to dress up and the like, why is a social stigma towards this idea wrong?

    Also while this topic is specifically about video games, it doesn't mean that video games are the sole reason for sexism,they are merely one more piece to the puzzle.
    You still haven't shown a video game to be a source of a single issue that feminism complains of. No studies, no research, and no -and I would readily accept this- analytical evidence that suggests gaming is even a minor source of sexism and misogyny. None of Sark's videos are able to show reasoning behind their criticisms, so if you can you beat her in one regard.
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    http://www.academia.edu/1865189/The_...e_Self-Concept

    Here's a link. It's about: The present study experimentally investigates the short term effects of exposure to sexualized female video game characters on gender stereotyping and female self-concept among U.S. college students.

    Here's a relevant quote. I took out all the numbers and variables to make it more read-able.

    Hypothesis 1bHypothesis 1b stated that playing the sexualized femalecharacter would result in lower self-efficacy in women.This hypothesis was supported. Specifically, Tukey pairwise comparisons indicated that playing the sexualized character versus playing no video game resulted in lower self-efficacy for female participants. In other words, playing a sexualized female video game character negatively affected feelings of self-efficacy in women, compared to playing no video game character.

    Hypothesis 2(a – d) proposed that condition would predict attitudes and beliefs about gender among both male and female participants. Some support was found for thisrelationship. Video game condition was found to have asignificant main effect on subsequent beliefs about gender-related capabilities, Specifically, participants who played the sexualized character reported less favorable attitudes toward women’s cognitive capabilities than did participants who did not play a video game. There were no significant differences involving the non-sexualized character condition. No significant differences were found for gender attitudes and beliefs about career/domestic roles, appearance, or physical capability.
    Now, this is a short term study, but it does show that video games DO have an effect on gamers. Which is unsurprising because the media has a socializing influence on people. Regardless of what specific media outlet it is.
    Last edited by Blazekickblaziken; 31st August 2013 at 3:10 PM.

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    I can't seem to get into the whole paper. Could you PM me it in it's entirety, or PM me for my email so you can send it as a file? I won't know the context of the study and a whole host of other important issues without the full paper.
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    Part 1 of Women as Background Decoration has now been released! Begin discussing!

    Please don't ban me for reviving this topic. It's not my fault that she has such a slow schedule.
    Jackpot!

    I have a theory that the Pokémon world and the Mother world are one in the same. I won't go into spoilers for Mother 3, but think of Black and White's story of the dragon and the twins. Also, chimeras are kind of like Pokémon.

    Werster is without a doubt the Pokémon Master.

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