The Big Bullshit Outrage of the Day
January 15, 2013 18 Comments
Something that I never realized until I started Indie Gamer Chick and started reading people on Twitter and Facebook and shit is, get this, video games can be sexist or misogynistic at times.
The hell you say!
I generally try to stay out of gaming politics, because you really can’t win. It’s just like real politics. If I was to go on here and say that I think Barack Obama is a socialist twat, I’ll have liberals mad as hornets. If I say I think Barack Obama is a moderate pussy with no backbone, it will piss off the moderates, who would then go so far as to rip their own backbones out of their body and raise them up triumphantly to say “see, we’re not like Obama, we have backbones.” And then they would die because you can’t live without a backbone, the fucking idiots. And if I say I support Comrade Obama and his socialist paradise, the conservatives would lock and load and ask me to present my birth certificate to prove I’m not a Cuban socialist who plans to enslave mankind with such evil acts as health care and healthy food. Like I said, you can’t win with this shit.
There’s been a few “games are anti-XX chromosome” controversies in the short time I’ve been writing this shit. One involved a girl who got some threats because she wanted to do a Kickstarter to raise funds to do a study on how women are portrayed in a sexist way in games or some such thing. People asked for my opinion on the matter. I honestly didn’t have one, except “you needed money to study this.. why?” She could have accomplished the same thing by being blindfolded, pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey style, turned loose in a Gamestop, and then have her pick any random game off the wall.
Here’s a thought: list every person you know that owns, say, a dedicated gaming console that belongs to them and nobody else, and has at least five games for it. Alright, how many of them are men? Write it down.
Now, how many of those people are women?
No, you don’t really know her. Has she ever said more than five words to you? No? Then don’t list her.
Hey you, I said gaming console, not cell phones.
Yea, I guess you can count PCs, but NO expansion packs. If she played the Sims for 10 years and only bought expansions for it, that’s one game, not 30.
Okay, got a number? Now subtract that from the number of men you know who fit the same category. Pretty big number, huh? And that is why gaming caters to men. It’s just smart business. Me? Not only am I very much a minority as far as gaming goes, but I don’t even feel I represent a demographic with the potential to own more than a 20% market share within the next ten years. (Edit: According to the ESA, 40% of all gamers are female. Doesn’t really sound right. I’m more curious how many of those are console gamers, but I’ll give that point up). I’m not looking to change the world here. All the economic and social studies show that gaming is a man’s world. That’s not very women’s lib, but it is reality.
The most successful “girl games” are really fairly gender-neutral stuff, while games that I would think cater 99.9% to guys do whatever is necessary to get sales, and often do get said sales. Not every idea is a winner, such as today’s Big Bullshit Outrage of the Day: a pair of plastic tits. Oh thank God, you mean guys are no longer okay with fake boobs? Well that’s a good thi.. oh. Oh this.
Seriously? This is what’s causing guys to flip the fuck out? And it typically is guys, because you know, the gaming industry caters to men as we previously established and thus girls are busy doing other things like, I dunno, watching awful romantic comedies starring Katherine Heigl or something and thus aren’t checking game sites for the latest Big Bullshit Outrage of the Day.
I don’t get it. I don’t get why anyone would want to own that God-awful piece of shit. I’m talking about Dead Island, not the bust, though I don’t know why anyone would want to own that either. Then again, I’m not really into having gaming clutter piling up. Some people are. Some people collect the shit. But, I also don’t get the outrage. What else are you going to have represent a game like Dead Island? The most fitting thing I could think of is a colostomy bag on account of it being a steaming slurry of liquified turd. But then people would probably be outraged at how anti-geriatric games have gotten.
So while it’s not my personal taste, I could see how a developer could figure that most gamers wouldn’t be offended by it. Look at what gamers are into. What are the three most popular shows among gamers? Well, going off the 700 or so people I follow on Twitter, 99.9% of which are men who play a shit load of games:
-Walking Dead. While my non-horror loving boyfriend was on vacation, his non-zombie loving girlfriend finally broke down and watched the pilot of the show. It was alright, but I would like to point out that the first thing that happens in the first five minutes of the first episode of the series is a little girl (can’t be older than 10) gets her head shot off by a police officer. Oh, but that doesn’t count, because she’s a zombie now. Well, whose to say that the chick in the torso wasn’t a zombie too? Or maybe the girl wasn’t a zombie, but just in really bad need of dental work. Ever been to the UK? That little girl would have blended in just fine there.
-Wrestling. Every fucking day with the wrestling on Twitter. And wrestling typically includes scantily clad women who stage play fights for the amusement of men. Where are the positive female role models there? What message does this send to young girls? You get ahead in life if you paint hand-prints on your tits and strut out naked in front of fifty thousand live people and millions watching at home?
-Mad Men. I’ve never seen it, but a critic from the Los Angeles Times wrote that, exact quote here, “the sexism, in particular, is almost suffocating, and not in the least fun to watch.“ Again, never seen it, don’t really think it would be my thing, have nothing against it at all, but it’s a very popular series among gamers. How come this form of sexism for entertainment is alright but gaming sexism for entertainment isn’t?
And that’s not counting other ultra-violent, blood and guts movies and television series. Because I have no life, I went through some of the twitter feeds of those who are bizarrely outraged by a plastic bust of a pair of boobs and saw fanboy gushing for such properties as Dexter, Saw, or gaming properties like Mortal Kombat. Mortal Kombat, where you can actively do this to a woman:
Jesus fucking Christ dude!! I mean, holy shit, that’s awful! Where was the outrage for that shit? Not that I was personally offended. I wasn’t. I wasn’t offended by that, or by the bust, or by Walking Dead, or by wrestling, or by Mad Men, or by Dexter, or by any other thing that people could be outraged by. I wasn’t even offended by the E3 footage of Lara Croft getting the full torture-porn treatment. Was it a little unnerving? Yea. Actually a lot unnerving. I’m not really sure I want to play that game. But I honestly don’t see the difference between that and a slasher movie. I don’t know what that says about me or society, that we’re that desensitized, but I’m not going to fake outrage that I don’t personally feel.
I started playing games when I was seven years old, but I only started writing about games within the last two years. And to be honest, I’m not sure I’ve ever truly been offended by a game. Alright, maybe the Houchi Play, which was a game where you played as a horny Japanese guy trying stalk and goose unsuspecting women. That was creepy and extraordinarily fucked up, and I truly believe anyone who could find it fun is probably a giant-sized creeper with a microscopic pecker.
I can’t explain why that makes my skin crawl, yet I don’t wince at the thought of guys laughing their asses off at blowing away hookers in Grand Theft Auto. I would like to say that, yea, it’s kind of disappointing that there aren’t more positive female characters in games, but you can’t say that the industry doesn’t cater to the right (IE profitable) demographics. Grand Theft Auto sells boatloads. So does Mortal Kombat. That next Tomb Raider game is going to make so much money they could build a fifty-foot tall statue of Lara getting impaled on a wooden post out of the stacks of cash it will earn. I’m not even interested in it (seriously Crystal Dynamics, that video was pretty fucked up), but I’m not offended by it. Do you know what offends me? It’s always guys who squeal the loudest and rush out to defend womankind when the Big Bullshit Outrage of the Day happens. As if we can’t speak for ourselves. That is so sexist.