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Monday, July 9, 2012

Man Disagrees with Woman's Kickstarter Campaign, Creates Game About Punching Her in the Face

Posted by on Mon, Jul 9, 2012 at 11:36 AM

Ever since feminist blogger Anita Sarkeesian committed the grave internet faux paus of launching a Kickstarter campaign to research how women are portrayed in video games, she's been the recipient of rape threats, death threats, and racist tirades by male gamer nerds who are apparently very enraged by the thought of a woman rootin' out misogyny in the high plains of Azeroth or whatever the fuck.

And instead of simmering down since Sarkeesian launched her May 17 Kickstarter (which skyrocketed past its $6,000 goal in less than 24 hours), the violence directed at her continues to escalate—most recently at the hands of a pathetic, whiny little man named Ben Spurr, who created a brutal video game starring Sarkeesian. Apparently, the sole point of the game is to beat the shit out of her.

What the fuck, you ask?

Spurr says that he created the domestic violence video game because he objects to Sarkeesian's Kickstarter campaign and when he tried to contact Sarkeesian with his objections, she ignored him. (The nerve of that bitch!) Here's Spurr's explanation of why Sarkeesian deserves to be taken down a notch, via She Was Disarming, which does a thorough job of succinctly slapping down each branch of his idiot logic:

Anita Sarkeesian has not only scammed thousands of people out of over $160,000, but also uses the excuse that she is a woman to get away with whatever she damn well pleases. Any form of constructive criticism, even from fellow women, is either ignored or labelled to be sexist against her.

She claims to want gender equality in video games, but in reality, she just wants to use the fact that she was born with a vagina to get free money and sympathy from everyone who crosses her path.

Shorter version: I am a gamer dude who disagrees with a thing this woman is doing (misogyny in video games doesn't exist!), so I am constructively criticizing her by role-playing beating the shit out of her. And if you have a problem with this, it's probably because you have a vagina that is constantly whining for sympathy.

Go read the whole thing.

 

Comments (121) RSS

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Sir Vic 1
If her name is used with direct calls for violence, that would seem legally actionable.
Posted by Sir Vic on July 9, 2012 at 11:41 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 2
"It isn’t terribly often that an entire group of people on the Internet band together to harass someone to this degree."

With that line, it became meaningless to read the rest of the linked article, because the writer clearly did not know what they were talking about.

The victim complex oozing out of the article is way to thick for me.
Posted by Theodore Gorath on July 9, 2012 at 11:47 AM · Report this
Reverse Polarity 3
Ugh. This is one of the main reasons I don't play MMORPGs. Too many guys with the mentality of privileged 13-year-olds.
Posted by Reverse Polarity on July 9, 2012 at 11:47 AM · Report this
4
Wow, what an ass.

That said, is the whole 160k that she raised really going to go towards researching "tropes vs women in videogames," as she promised it would? Because if suddenly she's cruising in a new BMW, there would be some issues there. I mean, that's basically funding three researchers full time for a year, or a nearly endless number of undergrads.
Posted by doceb on July 9, 2012 at 11:49 AM · Report this
5
And with that, I'm sure this a-hole became the main attraction in her documentary. I can only hope any woman who would consider having sex with him bothers Googling his name first.
Posted by UNPAID COMMENTER on July 9, 2012 at 11:51 AM · Report this
Lissa 6
Lordy stuff like this makes me so tired. But no, there's no war on women. Oh no! It's just that we won't LISTEN, you see.
Sigh.
Posted by Lissa on July 9, 2012 at 11:53 AM · Report this
pfffter 7
Nice high horse, Cienna -- the reporter who wanted to send Jan Brewer her notarized death certificate. But I'm sure you didn't mean anything by that either.

Shorter version: I am a self-righteous reporter who disagrees with a thing this woman is doing, so I am constructively criticizing her by asking that her death certificate be sent to her. You know, in a nice non-threatening way.

Hypocrite.
Posted by pfffter on July 9, 2012 at 11:53 AM · Report this
Lissa 8
@7: What on earth are you talking about and how does it even remotely have anything to do with the topic at hand?
Posted by Lissa on July 9, 2012 at 12:02 PM · Report this
9
@2: When was the last time, some (virtually) unknown got face-punching games made in her honor, for threatening to have an opinion about something she likes at some point in the future? Yeah no, doesn't really happen that much. People get hated on a lot online, but they are usually wayyy more high profile to begin with. This is really pretty extraordinary levels of suckitude on display here.
Posted by Andreas on July 9, 2012 at 12:09 PM · Report this
Asparagus! 10
I am so befuddled by the reaction to this project. There are a lot of times that feminism can be really confrontational (not a criticism of that), so that I can at least comprehend how someone might have a huge misogynistic meltdown as a reaction to it (still an inappropriate reaction). But this project is so, I don't know, unconfrontational. I don't get it.

I mean, I get that dudes be hating women, but why this became such a focus of their ire...
Posted by Asparagus! on July 9, 2012 at 12:10 PM · Report this
seatackled 11
@8
Look at #7's picture, assume it's really him, and you have your answer.
Posted by seatackled on July 9, 2012 at 12:10 PM · Report this
12
On the bright side, this guy will never get a job again with any potential employer who bothers to google his name.
Posted by MR M on July 9, 2012 at 12:14 PM · Report this
13
The mindset that leads to this kind of behavior is really quite fascinating... it boils down to: "I'm pissed a woman thinks I'm misogynistic, so I'll be misogynistic in protest." Um, what?
Posted by UNPAID COMMENTER on July 9, 2012 at 12:17 PM · Report this
Scalpel 14
It's sad that "feminist" has been re-defined in the same way that "liberal" has. It used to be about working toward equality for both genders, and now it's been somehow twisted into meaning "bitchy women who hate men". It's depressing that the most ignorant among us are the people who now decide what words mean.
Posted by Scalpel on July 9, 2012 at 12:29 PM · Report this
sikandro 15
The problem with this conversation is 95% of it will be dialogue between those who care about gaming but not about the representation of women, and those who care about the representation of women but not about gaming. Which means 95% of it will be a total waste of time.
Posted by sikandro on July 9, 2012 at 12:30 PM · Report this
stirwise 16
@13: It's more "how dare this worthless female call me a misogynist! I'll prove her wrong by beating the shit out of her, because women who don't respect my superiority deserve to be beaten!" See, no logic here. Just a guy who hates women hating a woman for being a woman.
Posted by stirwise on July 9, 2012 at 12:31 PM · Report this
balderdash 17
@2, it must be so nice to be privileged enough to not give a shit.

"Welp, THAT sentence wasn't phrased in the way I would have put it. Guess this is total bullshit! My work here is done. Sorry, ladies, but if you can't slant your hyperbole to suit me in your blog posts, you deserve to be abused."
Posted by balderdash http://introverse.blogspot.com on July 9, 2012 at 12:45 PM · Report this
T 18
Gamers are some of the dumbest cretins on this planet. Any time the subjects of misogyny, racism, or homophobia come up, they prove themselves to be misogynistic, racist, homophobic jackasses.
Posted by T on July 9, 2012 at 12:58 PM · Report this
reverend dr dj riz 19
@2 yeah...it used to be simple to point out the connection between fantasy violence and real violence towards women because women were so constantly beaten, abused, and killed it was a 'no brainer' criticism. but now that women are TOTALLY safe from any real harm or damage why should men give a shit ? it's just a game and gaming right ?
Posted by reverend dr dj riz on July 9, 2012 at 12:59 PM · Report this
Posted by pfffter on July 9, 2012 at 12:59 PM · Report this
Rillion 21
"That said, is the whole 160k that she raised really going to go towards researching "tropes vs women in videogames," as she promised it would?"

Uh, she made no such promise. Kickstarter is a site that allows people to set a certain goal for how much money they need to accomplish a project, and in Sarkeesian's case it was $6,000. It's not her fault that people donated way, way more than that, she didn't ask them to donate that much, and she's under no obligation (legally or morally) to use that money in any way other than what she deems fit.
Posted by Rillion http://cheapsignals.blogspot.com/ on July 9, 2012 at 1:03 PM · Report this
Zebes 22
I pitched in to the kickstarter campaign and look forward to the results. Haters gonna hate.
Posted by Zebes http://www.badrap.org/rescue/index.html on July 9, 2012 at 1:05 PM · Report this
Asparagus! 23
@7,@20

So what you're say is: due to the fact Cienna maybe said something potentially dumb once, no opinion with which she agrees with is ever valid ever again?

Fascinating.

Tell me; how does this reasoning apply to your opinions?
Posted by Asparagus! on July 9, 2012 at 1:12 PM · Report this
Asparagus! 24
Yeah, what @21 said exactly.

As the project gained funding, she added a bunch of extra stuff she was going to do.

Also, wrt the 160k thing, it's been hilarious to watch a bunch of RONPAUL™ e-supporters cry about someone potentially personally profiting off their efforts. (I guess that's another thing women aren't allowed to do).
Posted by Asparagus! on July 9, 2012 at 1:15 PM · Report this
25
So does this guy go to parties where he is ignored by women that he later writes "games" about punching their faces?

Dude, do you really think that public displays like that are acceptable forms of anger management? And does being ignored by a woman really make you that angry?
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on July 9, 2012 at 1:19 PM · Report this
Lissa 26
@20: And? Cienna wrote a hyperbolic post pointing out the absurdity of a law declaring women pregnant two weeks before they have thier periods. Because, and stay with me here, declaring someone dead in advance is just as stupid. How does that compare to this young man creating a game in which he could punch a woman in the face because she did not deign to reply to his email, and invite others to play as well?

Also, what 23 said.
Posted by Lissa on July 9, 2012 at 1:21 PM · Report this
Irena 27
@4: Huh? She's going to pour this money into her research, most likely. That's what public intellectuals and feminist/social critics do. I'm flummoxed by your idea that she might look at this funding and -- rather than thinking "Holy crap just think of the work I can do with this!" -- she'd think, "All riiight! Fuck my research and my professional reputation! Finally I get to buy that hot sports car I really wanted!"
Posted by Irena on July 9, 2012 at 1:48 PM · Report this
TortoiseTurtle 28
How is this a 'domestic violence video game?' Are you roll-playing as her spouse or roommate or something? Or are you trying to attach a relatively innocuous game to a larger problem in order to make it seem worse than it is?
Posted by TortoiseTurtle http://slog.thestranger.com on July 9, 2012 at 1:50 PM · Report this
29
@21, 24:
Speaking of incendiary gamers:
http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2011/0…

I think there are plenty of good uses for $160,000 along the lines of what she promised, and hopefully it's used towards that. But I don't think it's universally agreed upon that any money above what the person was asking for could ethically be used for whatever that person wants. Anyway, it's complete conjecture on my part that the money isn't going to what people might expect it to.

And I don't have a problem with the idea of her making a profit off of this - I didn't donate. I don't think it's unreasonable, though, for people to question what their money is actually being put towards when they donate to a cause.
Posted by doceb on July 9, 2012 at 1:58 PM · Report this
30
@27: Because misappropriation of funds when there's a lot of money flying around is never a problem at organizations, ever, right? See @21 for an example of a person who would have no problem doing that.
Posted by doceb on July 9, 2012 at 2:00 PM · Report this
Lissa 31
@28: "relatively innocuous"? Are serious? It's a game in which one gets to punch an image of this specific woman in the face creating visible bruises. Because she wouldn't answer his emails.
Please explain how that is innocuous.
Posted by Lissa on July 9, 2012 at 2:01 PM · Report this
TortoiseTurtle 32
@31, Yes, am serious.
It's fuckin' satire. It's like making a 'dress Pat Robertson in Drag' video game. You're taking the thing they're complaining about and delivering it back to them in spades. It's clearly trolling, and it worked very, very well.

He wanted to see how many prudes clutch their pearls, and you bought right into it. Though he was pretty dumb to stick his name on it.
Posted by TortoiseTurtle http://slog.thestranger.com on July 9, 2012 at 2:10 PM · Report this
Asparagus! 33
Shorter @28

"I dumped that bitch before I hit her, so it's cool."
Posted by Asparagus! on July 9, 2012 at 2:11 PM · Report this
TortoiseTurtle 34
@33, you gotta work on your reading comprehension.
Posted by TortoiseTurtle http://slog.thestranger.com on July 9, 2012 at 2:16 PM · Report this
Asparagus! 35
No way dude. I'm just trolling, so whatever I say is automatically ok, and you're just the dumb one for questioning it.
Posted by Asparagus! on July 9, 2012 at 2:19 PM · Report this
TortoiseTurtle 36
Touche
Posted by TortoiseTurtle http://slog.thestranger.com on July 9, 2012 at 2:22 PM · Report this
37
@34: After a couple of discussions about people being jackass trolls, you'll learn that people on either side of these types of debates are never happy with that explanation. It's a very "you're either 100% with us or against us" crowd.
Posted by doceb on July 9, 2012 at 2:23 PM · Report this
Rillion 38
doceb @29 and @30

It isn't misappropriation of funds if there is absolutely no indication by anyone that funds received beyond the project's target goal will be spent on the project, genius. I don't appreciate being accused of "having no problem with" something that is absolutely *not* what is going on here, and not what I described.
Posted by Rillion http://cheapsignals.blogspot.com/ on July 9, 2012 at 2:24 PM · Report this
39
@32 You know what makes a good satire? One which chooses a subject that is worthy of ridicule- So in your example, a game about a cross dressing homophobe makes for excellent satire. A game making fun of someone for being opposed to domestic violence? Yeah... not so much.
Posted by UNPAID COMMENTER on July 9, 2012 at 2:24 PM · Report this
Irena 40
@29, 30: Where are you getting the idea that she has any intention of hiding or misappropriating these funds? What is your point in steering the conversation away from the clear wrong done, and toward some baseless conjecture about the morality of the person harmed? Because it sounds an awful lot like you actually believe this:
She claims to want gender equality in video games, but in reality, she just wants to use the fact that she was born with a vagina to get free money and sympathy from everyone who crosses her path.

You realize how fucked-up and utterly groundless that statement is, don't you?
Posted by Irena on July 9, 2012 at 2:27 PM · Report this
41
@38 That's fine (again, none of it is my money - I don't much care whose pocket it's in), but just recognize that you're saying that the scenario that @27 described described is just fine. I don't know why you're debating me; if anyone, you should be debating Irena.
Posted by doceb on July 9, 2012 at 2:28 PM · Report this
Rillion 42
Side note: You know Karen Klein, the 68 year old bus monitor who was caught on video being bullied by middle school students? Her Indiegogo fund was set to raise $5k and is now at $680,044 with no promise to produce jack squat. I suppose doceb will accuse her of misappropriation of funds if she doesn't take a sufficiently lavish vacation with the money. http://www.indiegogo.com/loveforkarenhkl
Posted by Rillion http://cheapsignals.blogspot.com/ on July 9, 2012 at 2:31 PM · Report this
43
@40 - Is there any real value in debating how much of a jackass this guy is? I mean, I think it's pretty well agreed upon in here that he's a jerk and a troll.

Is there something else of value to add to the conversation on that subject? I mean, his actions speak for themselves.
Posted by doceb on July 9, 2012 at 2:31 PM · Report this
44
@32
"It's fuckin' satire."

I don't think that word means what you think it does. How, exactly, is it "satire"?

"It's like making a 'dress Pat Robertson in Drag' video game."

Would that be because Pat Robertson has publicly stated that homosexuals should not have the same rights as heterosexuals?

So what you're saying is that you support the right to punch women in the face?

Because there has got to be two sides to that in order for that analogy to work.

Gays = okay
vs
Gays not okay

Punching a woman in the face = okay
vs
Punching a woman in the face not okay
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on July 9, 2012 at 2:33 PM · Report this
45
By the way - 40 is a perfect example of what I wrote @37:
"Because it sounds an awful lot like you actually believe this:
[...]
You realize how fucked-up and utterly groundless that statement is, don't you?"

If you aren't in lock-step with the circlejerk, you must totally agree with whatever jerk started the flamewar. Because that's how things work. For us or against us.
Posted by doceb on July 9, 2012 at 2:34 PM · Report this
TortoiseTurtle 46
@39, this isn't about domestic violence. It's about 'portrayal of women in video games.' It's like doing a study on the portrayal of teen boys in Tiger Beat Magazine. Or the portrayal of women in rap music. Or the portrayal of men in romance novels. We all know where it's going, and we've heard it all before.

OMFG stereotypes, ideals, and gross oversimplification of a subset of society in an art form! Stop. the. fucking. presses!
Posted by TortoiseTurtle http://slog.thestranger.com on July 9, 2012 at 2:41 PM · Report this
Rillion 47
"but just recognize that you're saying that the scenario that @27 described described is just fine."

Of course I'm fine with it. Again-- how she spends the money is her decision. You don't have to spend a single cent of the money you make on Kickstarter producing something for the people you donate-- all you have to do is deliver the rewards you promise to them for donating a certain amount.

"I don't know why you're debating me"

Because you said something false and dumb, and when it was pointed out to you, you doubled down rather than saying "Oops, I didn't know what I was talking about. My bad."
Posted by Rillion http://cheapsignals.blogspot.com/ on July 9, 2012 at 2:42 PM · Report this
34x42 48
yawn. who gives a fuck?
Posted by 34x42 on July 9, 2012 at 2:48 PM · Report this
Irena 49
doceb @45, I'm calling you out on blaming the victim. Just own it.

Posted by Irena on July 9, 2012 at 2:49 PM · Report this
TortoiseTurtle 50
@44
I'm just saying it's not something to get the vapors over. Clearly you're too busy enjoying your self-righteous indignation to actually consider that fact.

Bear in mind, this is just simulating punching someone in the face. A pretty goddamned tame act in a video game.

"So what you're saying is that you support the right to punch women in the face?"

Oh please, if that's the best you can come up with, then I have no reason to communicate with you.

wikipedia-satire: 'Satirical works often contain "straight" humour, usually to give relief from what might otherwise be relentless preaching.'

I could list many, many more examples that support this as satire.
Posted by TortoiseTurtle http://slog.thestranger.com on July 9, 2012 at 2:50 PM · Report this
51
@46 Sorry- switch "domestic violence" with "violence against women". The argument still stands, and the issue is very much real. Just because you're apathetic to it won't make it go away.
Posted by UNPAID COMMENTER on July 9, 2012 at 2:51 PM · Report this
52
Cienna, I suggest reading Cryptonomicon if you want to understand why nerd culture and academic feminism will always be at odds with each other.
Posted by Stephen Nealson on July 9, 2012 at 2:53 PM · Report this
53
@47:
"Of course I'm fine with it. Again-- how she spends the money is her decision. You don't have to spend a single cent of the money you make on Kickstarter producing something for the people you donate-- all you have to do is deliver the rewards you promise to them for donating a certain amount."

I agree that those are the terms of Kickstarter. And so long as those who donated aren't under the impression that she has any obligations outside of those, I don't see any ethical issues with it, either. I think, though, that a large number of people donated because they agreed with her cause - not because they wanted to personally give her money. I could be incredibly wrong, and I'm sure you'll advise me that I am.

Anyway, good on her for raising as much for her cause as she did, and I'm looking forward to seeing her achieve great results from this boon.
Posted by doceb on July 9, 2012 at 2:54 PM · Report this
Rillion 54
"Bear in mind, this is just simulating punching someone in the face. A pretty goddamned tame act in a video game."

Not "someone." A specific, real life person who did nothing worse than propose a video series discussing sexism in video games.

Comparison utter fail.
Posted by Rillion http://cheapsignals.blogspot.com/ on July 9, 2012 at 2:55 PM · Report this
55
@49: fair enough. Just please take note that the first words I posted in this thread were "wow, what an ass," clearly referring to Spurr.
Posted by doceb on July 9, 2012 at 2:58 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 56
@46,

So if you've heard it all before, then don't listen. No one's forcing you to. But your overt hostility to the very *idea* of Sarkeesian's project belies something else, either opposition to examining sexism in video games (for some reason that's totally reasonable and not hateful) or, more likely, given your response to Spurr's game, hostility to *women*.

Female gamers are surpassing male gamers in purchasing and playing video games. If you don't care that the gaming industry ignores the interests and preferences of the majority of its consumers, that's YOUR fucking problem. Other people obviously do care.
Posted by keshmeshi on July 9, 2012 at 2:59 PM · Report this
57
@50
"I'm just saying it's not something to get the vapors over."

Well that's good. As long as it isn't something that you're concerned about.

"Bear in mind, this is just simulating punching someone in the face. A pretty goddamned tame act in a video game."

And yet you, somehow, missed the entire point.
That is the ONLY item in that video game.
And it is against a specific person.

But it's cool because it doesn't bother you.
Hey! What do you tell a woman with two black eyes?
Nothing you haven't told her twice already! Ha ha ha! Amirite guys!

"Oh please, if that's the best you can come up with, then I have no reason to communicate with you."

In order for your analogy to work, there has to be SOMEONE who thinks that punching a woman in the face is an acceptable act.

Is that someone you?
If not, then who? Name names, okay?

"I could list many, many more examples that support this as satire."

Except you haven't listed one yet.

You're position depends upon violence against women being funny as the sole "punchline" in the joke (that you claim is "satire").
As opposed to it being offensive.
But violence against women isn't something that you'd "get the vapors over".
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on July 9, 2012 at 3:00 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 58
He wanted to see how many prudes clutch their pearls, and you bought right into it. Though he was pretty dumb to stick his name on it.


He wanted to get Sarkeesian's attention by physically threatening her. Nothing new there, nothing defensible. So why are you making excuses for him?
Posted by keshmeshi on July 9, 2012 at 3:02 PM · Report this
59
@56:
I'd also say that because sexism is games and other media is so popularly viewed as simply being a permanent and immutable fixture, it's even more worthy of research. There is enough ground to cover in that field that the $160,000 that she raised isn't an excessive amount to spend on it, provided that it's well-planned and doesn't just finish up with "yep, there's some sexism here," which is what I think TortoiseTurtle is talking about.
Posted by doceb on July 9, 2012 at 3:07 PM · Report this
Lissa 60
@50: As Rillion just said, not "someone" a specific person. And the reason he created this game was "to get her attention" because she had the gall not to respond to his emails. His behavior brings to mind not so much satire as that famous scene in Fatal Attraction. To wit: Mr. Spurr WILL NOT BE IGNORED 11!!1eleventyone!
Posted by Lissa on July 9, 2012 at 3:07 PM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 61
Really? $160k to research sexism in video games? REALLY?!

Maybe I should start a Kickstarter to research the dovetail of homoeroticism and homophobia in sports. *hrm*

Beyond the fact that this is a silly Kickstarter (and if people want to fund it by throwing good money at it, then that's their loss and Anita's gain), this dude's reaction is entirely representative of the gamer community's tendency to reinforce the white male privilege that is exerted by most games.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on July 9, 2012 at 3:09 PM · Report this
62
Here's something to think about- The whole point of his "game" was to shock her into a response to his original query regarding her kickstarter campaign. (He says as much on Twitter if you read the linked article) So in that regard, he's basically become the adult version of the grade school boy who punches a girl to get her attention. It's actually really pretty sad and pathetic if you think about it.
Posted by UNPAID COMMENTER on July 9, 2012 at 3:10 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 63
@59,

Your giving TortoiseTurtle way too much credit. He's claiming that the issue isn't worth exploring at all and that anyone who wants to explore the issue deserves the treatment Spurr and others* are dishing out.

*Spurr is not the only shit-head in this story. Sarkeesian has received death threats.
Posted by keshmeshi on July 9, 2012 at 3:11 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 64
@63,

*You're giving*
Posted by keshmeshi on July 9, 2012 at 3:12 PM · Report this
Rillion 65
@61

"Really? $160k to research sexism in video games? REALLY?!"

No, not really. Most likely a small fraction of that to research sexism in video games, another chunk to receive an actual product (the video series on sexism in video games), and still more donations out of sympathy and encouragement.

"Maybe I should start a Kickstarter to research the dovetail of homoeroticism and homophobia in sports. *hrm*""

Sounds like a good premise in terms of appealing to a sympathetic audience that is likely to be altruistically aroused by a backlash from a large number of technologically proficient haters. However it would help to get an MA in researching depiction of homosexuality in media and producing a Youtube series on the topic entirely for free beforehand, so everyone can see your chops.
Posted by Rillion http://cheapsignals.blogspot.com/ on July 9, 2012 at 3:14 PM · Report this
66
@63: The general gist of his posts here is much more along the lines of "trolls gonna troll," but yeah, it could be the case that I misread a couple of posts in a forgiving way.
Posted by doceb on July 9, 2012 at 3:14 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 67
@61,

The thing is, Sarkeesian has gotten that many donations in large part thanks to the shit-storm that misogynists have stirred up over it. Had Spurr and others not gone ape shit, few people would have heard about the project and she likely would have gotten only as much money as she was asking for (or less).

So, if you want to get donations for your homophobia/homoeroticism project, try to get the attention of well-known homophobes.
Posted by keshmeshi on July 9, 2012 at 3:14 PM · Report this
68
@67/61:
If you're just looking to fleece some group, may I suggest going the other direction with it, and trying to outrage gay rights groups in order to elicit donations from people who strongly align themselves with anti-gay, conservative organizations? I'll bet they have deep pockets, too. Or you can take one, I'll take the other, and we'll both do well off of co-outrage.
Posted by doceb on July 9, 2012 at 3:20 PM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 69
Although, why is Video #11 the first video for Positive Female Characters?! I think that by it being the last and final video (as well as one of the ones in the "stretch" series) shows that her intentions is to prove the cliches instead of any attempt at a balanced look at females in video games.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on July 9, 2012 at 3:23 PM · Report this
70
@69:
I dunno, 1 out of 11 seems like a pretty balanced look at how often positive female characters are in video games.
Posted by doceb on July 9, 2012 at 3:31 PM · Report this
Lissa 71
@69: Well we'll just have to wait until she publishes her research won't we? In the meantime, if you're interested, there do appear to be a number of studies covering your proposed area of inquiry. I just googled “homoeroticism and homophobia in sports” and got quite a few hits. Could be some exciting research to be done there if you wanted to give it ago.

Posted by Lissa on July 9, 2012 at 3:38 PM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 72
@70 It's not that it's only one video out of 11. But that it is the last video out of 11, and it wasn't in the initial offering that bugs me. Not that I think she'll even have much fodder for it if she's going to harp on even women as men, meaning that they can't be doing masculine things.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on July 9, 2012 at 3:46 PM · Report this
73
@72 - just a joke. At least have a wait-and-see attitude about it. Her other videos are good.
Posted by doceb on July 9, 2012 at 3:49 PM · Report this
Zebes 74
I'm going to start a Kickstarter project to investigate ways to prevent people from flipping their shit when you suggest they come from a privileged background.

Maybe then, when someone makes a game about brutalizing someone he disagrees with, the reaction will be, "Yeah, that's a dick move," not a raft of excuses and explanations and justifications on why hey, maybe the bitch deserved it.
Posted by Zebes http://www.badrap.org/rescue/index.html on July 9, 2012 at 4:01 PM · Report this
Ipso Facto 75
It looks like the game, titled "Beat Up Anita Sarkeesian", has been pulled from where it was being hosted (a site called newgrounds.com) with a note saying "This entry was BLAMMED by our users".

Here is a purported screenshot from the game depicting Sarkeesian as she might look after being brutally beaten -- both eyes blackened and swollen, nose broken and bleeding lips swollen and bruised.

This is an appalling allusion to physical violence inflicted on those with whom one disagrees. It is made all the more horrendous by the fact that it depicts violence against a woman. In human history, there have been many instances of a man beating up a woman. There have been relatively few instances of a woman beating up a man. In general, men have held physical hegemony over women, and countless men (individuals, not the gender as a whole) have wielded that power abusively. It is ignoble to make light of that history of abuse and oppression.

To present the vicarious experience of "beating up" (in Ben Spurr's own words) a woman is beyond despicable.

It should come as no surprise that the likes of Teddy Gorath (@2) would defend such abhorrent actions by Spurr. (WTF is a "victim complex"?)
Posted by Ipso Facto http://therealnews.com on July 9, 2012 at 4:05 PM · Report this
76
Is marginalizing how horrible something is, necessarily the same thing as defending it as an okay thing to do? I'm guessing the overall opinion here is that it is. They're certainly related, or commonly perceived as such. I remember when that whole Dawkins/Skepchick thing went down, and my reaction was "Dawkins was being an out-of-line ass, but that doesn't mean that any and all reactions to it are valid," and I got crucified on facebook for being a "rape apologist" (yes, that's what it came to), and it was outright stated that I must have thought that "sexual assaults" were just dandy. By suggesting that a measured response was a reasonable one, it was perceived that I was claiming that what Dawkins said was okay, even though I'd explicitly stated the opposite. Every time one of these things happens, the same reactions come out of it.

Lesson learned from that: if you think you're going to win friends by participating in these conversations, you'd better be in lock-step with what everyone else is saying.

Also, should that comma be in that fist sentence? Probably not, is my guess.
Posted by doceb on July 9, 2012 at 4:21 PM · Report this
Rillion 77
"(WTF is a "victim complex"?)"

The attempt to lay claim to victim status by people who are actually perpetrators. See, for example, douchebags like Spurr who whines about a woman not wanting to engage in dialogue with him after creating a game about beating the shit out of her.
Posted by Rillion http://cheapsignals.blogspot.com/ on July 9, 2012 at 4:23 PM · Report this
78
@4, @61, etc: Jesus, do half of you even understand how Kickstarter campaigns work/have any of you actually LOOKED at her campaign/done any research on this at all before airing your opinion? To break down for you a bit more of background (most of which you can find by Googling "Kickstarter + Anita Sarkeesian"):

Anita Sarkeesian is a pretty well-known feminist analyst who produced a similar series on tropes v women in movies/tv last year. Her Feminist Frequency videos are well known in feminist/media critique circles, and have been used in high school & college curriculum. She's an avid gamer and started a Kickstarter campaign to raise $6,000 to start a new series on tropes v. women in video games. Taken directly from the Kickstarter website: "Creating these videos take a lot of time and money to produce. I will be researching and playing hundreds of titles from across the gaming industry (including some truly awful games that I wouldn’t wish upon anyone!). Your support will go towards production costs, equipment, games and downloadable content."

She originally wanted to create 5 videos, but once her campaign got a metric fuckton of attention from misogynists and trolls and people started giving wayyyy more money than she anticipated, she kept upping what she would make, as well as the production quality and available rewards. She will now be developing 12 games at a higher production quality than she could originally afford, and will be writing an entire classroom curriculum on the subject.

People give to Kickstarter voluntarily. If they were concerned that Sarkeesian was going to mismanage their funds, they wouldn't have given her the money. Period, the end. Not to mention that this campaign is now just sorta-kinda in the public eye now, so do you seriously think that she would just start rolling around in a beemer and then not deliver on what she promised, cause she thinks no one would notice? Come the fuck on.
More...
Posted by analemma on July 9, 2012 at 4:35 PM · Report this
79
@78: I'm nothing but thrilled at the prospect of her using all of the money that she was given to achieve the goals that she outlined on her kickstarter page.

But at the same time, there are people who say things like in these responses to my original comment, which did nothing but reinforce my concern over people giving to kickstarter thinking that they're giving to a "cause" and not simply entering into a "pay me x for y reward" type of relationship:

"Kickstarter is a site that allows people to set a certain goal for how much money they need to accomplish a project, and in Sarkeesian's case it was $6,000. It's not her fault that people donated way, way more than that, she didn't ask them to donate that much, and she's under no obligation (legally or morally) to use that money in any way other than what she deems fit."

"Again-- how she spends the money is her decision. You don't have to spend a single cent of the money you make on Kickstarter producing something for the people you donate-- all you have to do is deliver the rewards you promise to them for donating a certain amount."

That said, I may be greatly overstepping when I make guesses about the motives of people who donated to this project.
Posted by doceb on July 9, 2012 at 5:09 PM · Report this
Rillion 80
doceb,

Why do you have this "concern" which apparently entails assuming people are stupid? People know they're giving money to a person-- not a cause. They know that if the Kickstarter has reached its goal, and they donate anyway, they're just giving money to the person. If they give enough money, they're also buying whatever reward is promised for that amount. They might hope that Sarkeesian uses most or all of the money for further research, but she has no obligation to do so.
Posted by Rillion http://cheapsignals.blogspot.com/ on July 9, 2012 at 5:28 PM · Report this
81
"Why do you have this "concern" which apparently entails assuming people are stupid?"
Seriously?

"but she has no obligation to do so."
Agreed.
Posted by doceb on July 9, 2012 at 5:30 PM · Report this
82
Ugh. I launched a Kickstarter about a month ago and it ends tonight. I'm really excited, but not because of the reason you'd think (getting money). So many a-holes have sent me really awful remarks to 'get my own job' or that I was being inconsiderate to ask for money during this economy. It made me so furious--why would anyone go out of their way to do these things?
After reading this, I feel really badly that hers is this serious and mine just comprises of douchebags who have too much time and too little talent. I don't really think that people understand that all of this is COMPLETELY VOLUNTARY.
Posted by erasedk on July 9, 2012 at 6:26 PM · Report this
83
@61 "Maybe I should start a Kickstarter to research the dovetail of homoeroticism and homophobia in sports."

You absolutely should! MORE commentary is good.
Posted by kersy on July 9, 2012 at 7:07 PM · Report this
84
@14 - Many men aren't interested in equality because they regard the idea of being equal with women as a step down for them. They think that promoting the value and experience of women means the demotion of maleness as the cultural norm.
Posted by ignatz ratzkywatzky on July 9, 2012 at 7:22 PM · Report this
85
#18: That has nothing to do with them being gamers. That has to do with them being people.
Posted by I'm a stranger on July 9, 2012 at 9:36 PM · Report this
delirian 86
What a loathsome human being. Apparently the creator of this, I don't know what you would call it, maybe 'intimidation' software, is a Canadian. I can only hope that Canada doesn't consider this to be protected speech. I wouldn't consider it to be protected speech in the US. It appears that it was designed to make her fear for her safety. Considering that she has already received death threats and rape threats, this needs to be taken seriously. Ben Spurr needs to spend a little time in jail to make him rethink the idea that it is okay to threaten to hurt a woman.
Posted by delirian on July 9, 2012 at 10:55 PM · Report this
delirian 87
@TortoiseTurtle: Try this thought experiment. First imagine that Anita Sarkeesian is a human fucking being. No really, you have to do this or the rest of the thought experiment doesn't work. Next imagine that she gets death threats and rape threats for her Kickstarter. Then imagine that someone creates a game to show how to brutally beat her. Finally, put yourself in her fucking shoes.

It is not art, it is not satire, nor is it overblown. It is the threatening of another human being because of her thoughts. It is a crime.
Posted by delirian on July 9, 2012 at 11:19 PM · Report this
88
"She originally wanted to create 5 videos, but once her campaign got a metric fuckton of attention from misogynists and trolls and people started giving wayyyy more money than she anticipated, she kept upping what she would make, as well as the production quality and available rewards. She will now be developing 12 games at a higher production quality than she could originally afford, and will be writing an entire classroom curriculum on the subject."

I really hope the word I bolded isn't a mistake. There's no shortage of academic data showing that if you look for misogyny in games, you'll find misogyny in games. What we really need is for someone to put their money where their mouth is, make a game that lives up to the feminist principles they espouse, and actually test how well it does on the open market.
Posted by ChiTodd on July 10, 2012 at 2:58 AM · Report this
89
@18, 75:
It's worth noting, I think, that the entry being "Blammed" on NG means that the people who pay games on NG voted it down so much it got removed (barring a population who doesn't ordinarily play games visiting the site specifically to vote it down, which I concede is very possible).

Please keep in mind that sometimes the most vocal members of a group do not necessarily reflect the beliefs of all, or even the beliefs of a majority. That being said, I can't deny that there's a lot of gamers out there who say terrible things from their (relatively) anonymous sanctums. I would argue, however, that demographics play at least some role in this.

@88:
"No shortage of academic data..."
- Show some, please. Otherwise this sounds like the trope of "Oh, you'll find x in anything of you look hard enough." Does that mean we don't look at the places where misogyny exists? Speaking as an academic, I hope not.

"...actually test how well it does on the open market."
- Why? Is financial success the same as the overall success of a game? In fact, is financial success how we measure success in every medium? If so, that "academic data" you mentioned earlier is probably not real successful, since it probably didn't sell a whole lot of anything.

Games can be successful if they sell well, sure, but they can also be successful if they communicate a certain message, or are enjoyed by people, or if they bring a sense of success to the author, or any number of other reasons. Games are art. If art is *only* successful through financial success, then a lot of artists are going to be disappointed.

Not to belabor the point, but here's a thought experiment: what if I make a flash game about not paying for art, and distribute it for free? How will we measure it's success? How about if that game is about some other social commentary?

m!
More...
Posted by make dir on July 10, 2012 at 4:48 AM · Report this
90
Don't paint all gamers with the same brush. Most of the gamers I know are thoughtful, intelligent folks, some of whom are very comfortable taking ON female roles, and are open about it. They would be the first to tell you that they would LOVE more positive and powerful female roles. Let's put it this way; if the video games have more female-friendly roles and images, that will attract more females, and make it less of a total sausage fest.
Posted by MinnySota on July 10, 2012 at 5:36 AM · Report this
91
@89: "Otherwise this sounds like the trope of "Oh, you'll find x in anything of you look hard enough.""

Which is exactly what I'm saying.

Posted by ChiTodd on July 10, 2012 at 7:45 AM · Report this
Lissa 92
Personally, I'd like to see more female characters that weren't DDD Cups. It'd be nice if their armor actually covered their vital organs too. Just sayin'
Posted by Lissa on July 10, 2012 at 9:17 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 93
Ha, I usually do not come back to old articles, but I had to see how this one had gotten to almost 100 comments.

In response to a couple comments, my comment @2 was really just a critique of what I saw to be a hackneyed, poorly researched and poorly written article. Any extrapolations apart from that come from within yourselves.

I think Spurr is clearly very emotionally immature, but I am unsure why a lone doof making flash games has gotten so much attention when there are actually people trying to take basic rights away from women. Focus on what actually matters, because you can not change the minds of lone morons.

@92: http://funnycontainer.thefunnypicspage.c…

I typically play a female character when I play RPGs, and has always pissed me off. At least the Elder Scrolls series has realistic armor/body shapes for women. I think it is a holdover from comic books, which offend worse regarding this than any medium.
Posted by Theodore Gorath on July 10, 2012 at 10:48 AM · Report this
94
@90 (MinnySota): Ah, but there you get into the same dynamics as porn and other kinds of entertainment: there's always a subset of people who want to change X or police X without participating in X. "I hate porn! But I want all porn to conform to my idea of gender roles! I don't buy video games but I want them to reflect my worldview!" There is an inverse and similar subset of folks who will infuriate those who do want to participate and indecently piss in their own otherwise profitable milk. See for example http://www.shortpacked.com/comics/2011-0…. If we are going to oversimplify and compare academic feminism with the gaming community then I'd say feminism often has the first kind of problem, and gaming frequently has the second, with the emotional (and in Spurr's case disgusting and potentially criminal) overreaction stoked by the fact that the gamers just want to be left the f* alone to play their games.

That said, I am baffled about the discussion overlap between what this man did and what this woman is doing. You don't have to agree with the latter (and I don't, I think it's money down a tedious and preachy ideological hole for yet another yawnerific studies of studies that will sit on a shelf after papering somebody's PhD thesis) to realize the obvious about the former: that the punch-her-in-the-face reaction is that of a vicious, creepy, twisted little mind who should be but isn't thoroughly ashamed of himself, and who should be shunned from decent company. People have commented on the google effect and that may be one of the best punishments: I sure as hell wouldn't.
Posted by seeker6079 on July 10, 2012 at 11:05 AM · Report this
95
typo correction:
I sure as hell wouldn't hire him. I wouldn't even want to be near him.
Posted by seeker6079 on July 10, 2012 at 11:09 AM · Report this
96
And, just one point and a quick question:
Point: it took almost no time at all for this creepy little flash game to be blammed out of digital existence.
Question: Does that blamming not better describe the gaming community's attitude towards this sort of slimy attitude than does the flash game? It's a bit like being black and having a meal in a new town: some guy uses the n-word, and is promptly thrown out of the restaurant by enraged fellow diners. Isn't the angry crowd more reflective of the town than the mouth-breathing bigot?
Posted by seeker6079 on July 10, 2012 at 11:13 AM · Report this
97
@93
"I think Spurr is clearly very emotionally immature, but I am unsure why a lone doof making flash games has gotten so much attention when there are actually people trying to take basic rights away from women."

Who says that he is not part of that group?

If nothing else, both him and them share a similar outlook towards women who do not conform to their preconceived image of "correct behavior for women". Including how it is reasonable to portray women who do not conform.
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on July 10, 2012 at 12:24 PM · Report this
Irena 98
@93, had you actually read the article and followed a couple of the links, you'd be aware that the problem is much more widespread than one "lone doof". It is dismissive and condescending to tell the people, mostly women, who want to analyze and discuss this phenomenon of misogyny in the gaming world -- where close to half of all participants are women -- to ignore it and "focus on what actually matters". Please note: the reason this issue is getting so much attention is because women think it actually matters. Women who know a lot more about what sexism looks like on the ground than you do. Perhaps you could take a moment away from enjoying the sound of your own voice to listen to them?

You could start by taking a peek at Sarkeesian's website, where you'll see that the story has, in fact, made quite an impact. It's been picked up by the CBC, the Guardian, Forbes, Wired, MacLean's, the Globe and Mail, Slate, and Salon among others.
Posted by Irena on July 10, 2012 at 1:26 PM · Report this
Pick1 99
Jesus Christ people! Stop saying she brings NOTHING new to the table. She hasn't even freaking produced the series yet.

2 important points to think about before complaining:

1. She might very well bring new items to the table. These videos will likely touch base on the basics, but you don't know how it will turn out until she produces the series. Only then should she have to answer to the critics..

2. "Rehashing" = Bad? "All the valid points about misogyny have been made! JUST SHUT UP ABOUT THEM ALREADY" is a terrible sentiment because misogyny is still dominating the video games industry. Apparently the point hasn't come across yet. Maybe--just maybe--the turmoil surrounding this kickstarter might get people to LISTEN to all these valid points.

As far as raising a ton more money than she was asking for, I honestly don't know what she will do with it, but neither do you. Kickstarter doesn't have a way to say "Woah guys, this is too much! STOP IT!" so you cannot blame her for raising nearly %2000 of her goal. It just puts an air of validity to her claims because people apparently want to hear what she has to say.

Money = Speech in this country, remember?
Posted by Pick1 on July 10, 2012 at 2:59 PM · Report this
100
@88, unfortunately it was a typo! Thanks for catching it. I agree that it would be great if more people created new video games but that's not Sarkeesian's goal.
Posted by analemma on July 10, 2012 at 4:40 PM · Report this
101
#91: Then get around to *proving* it, as was requested of you. Ms. Sarkeesian has a reputation in academic circles as a rigorous researcher. It's easy for you to say that she's just going to be confirming her own biases, but until you demonstrate otherwise, I'm going to bet that you have no basis for saying that.
Posted by I'm a stranger on July 10, 2012 at 7:22 PM · Report this
srslywut 102
He did, however, favorite a project on IndieGoGo researching misandry in video game media. http://www.indiegogo.com/individuals/576…

Yes, the man-hating portrayal of men in video games is certainly a huuuuuuuge problem.
Posted by srslywut on July 10, 2012 at 8:53 PM · Report this
103
That "misandry" project has some pretty harsh things to say about Ms. Sarkeesian:
This project does not constitute an attack on Anita Sarkeesian, nor should it be seen as a response to her work! Anita has done an amazing job, and it's really incredible to see so many people stand up for more diverse video games.

While our campaign may tread upon similar lines, we have no intention of encroaching upon Feminist Frequency's work, and urge you all whole-heartedly to head on over to http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/5664… to find out more. To Anita and her supporters we'd like to extend our warmest congratulations for smashing targets in such fantastic style, and we can't wait to see her upcoming work!
Posted by seeker6079 on July 11, 2012 at 5:20 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 104
@98: When did I say Sarkeesian's project was a waste of time, or that the media was not covering it?

The point is that like all forms of expression, games cover a wide variety of social ideas, and are an expression of the culture that produced them. So demonizing one person, the subject of the article, for making a Flash game (which was almost instantly voted on so poorly it was removed, which is honestly a better expression of a gaming community than the one creator) is a waste of time. You need to be looking at developers and the wider audience to get to the bottom of the issue, not one outlying data point who happens to be really loud. Cutting one leaf off the plant does nothing...people like Jan Brewer are a real threat to women, cowards like Spurr are not.

I suppose it is a matter of opinion, but I do feel that half the government trying to take away women's rights to their bodies and very futures is a more important issue than portrayal in video games, but that is just me I guess. The root of misogyny comes from the power structure, portrayal in the arts is a by-product of that.

As a sidenote, you should probably know that I am quite well-versed in American feminist literature and philosophy, and have had several articles published in literary journals on the history of feminism in this country. I am not saying that this means I know what it is like to be a woman or a victim of rank sexism, but you should know that I am not the ignorant misogynist you want to see me as. I am talking about the narrow focus of the article, not the wide scope of the project itself, and I am not your enemy, disagreements on minor issues aside.
Posted by Theodore Gorath on July 11, 2012 at 6:33 AM · Report this
105
@3: or anything that involves getting onto a headset and talking to other people. Yeah, I love being screamed at by 12-year-olds who are hyped up on Mountain Dew. So much fun.
Posted by suddenlyorcas on July 11, 2012 at 8:38 AM · Report this
106
Looooove the mansplaining and concern-trolling in this thread. Top notch stuff from a bunch of supposed liberals
Posted by johnjjeeves on July 11, 2012 at 11:04 AM · Report this
Irena 107
@104: Goodness, you're arrogant. Bragging that you've published a few articles doesn't help your argument at all. In fact it comes across as a rather presumptuous appeal to authority. Plenty of us on Slog, and plenty of people who think this issue matters enough to discuss, have fancy educations. I'll be perfectly straight with you: your dismissive attitude comes across as paternalistic. The fact that you've got some knowledge of feminism and still presume to tell women that issues directly affecting them "don't matter," and that you know better where they should focus, suggests that you've still got a lot to learn.

Your argument that "half the government trying to take away women's rights to their bodies and very futures is a more important issue than portrayal in video games" implies that this is a zero-sum game. It is not. We can, and should, be concerned with discrimination across the spectrum. I should not have to explain why. You say "The root of misogyny comes from the power structure, portrayal in the arts is a by-product of that" -- therefore, we should not bother critiquing the portrayal of anything in the arts? Nonsense.

Your comments on this thread show a surprising lack of curiosity for one who is purportedly so interested in the welfare of women. They also reveal your inability to view the Spurr story as representative of a wider problem that many people previously knew nothing about, and are very interested in learning more about. Here, right here, is an invitation to inform ourselves about the problem and discuss it if we choose. But instead of asking questions, you hand us a condescending judgment of one blogger's writing and research skills, and a cavalier response to your critics. I'm a teacher and a scholar too, btw, and I'm telling you -- you missed the point.

I'll say one more thing: I wouldn't be wasting my time with this if I thought you were stupid and ignorant. I think you're smart, and I generally enjoy and appreciate your comments. I just see too clearly how badly you misfired on this one.

You want an example of an intelligent, compassionate, ego-free response? Right here:
http://vimeo.com/44117178#
More...
Posted by Irena on July 11, 2012 at 11:48 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 108
@107: Unsure why you think I have an inability to see the Spurr story as a large issue, when a large chunk of my last comment was about how it is a broader issue, and focusing individually on Spurr is fairly pointless. I fully understand why misogyny is an issue in the arts, and why it is harmful to women, I simply think that Spurr is not a real problem, and is simply another in a parade of immature dumbasses who will soon be forgotten.

Also, your suggestion that my statement meant we should not critique any form of art is grossly reductionist. The meaning behind that statement is that until you are actually engaging with the power structure that sets the foundation for such misogyny, you are merely chopping off another of the Hydra's many heads. I have no problem with any intellectual endeavor, and I never once said that this project or discussion of it was a bad thing .

I simply think that we should be more concerned with WHY these portrayals exist rather than the fact that they do exist. Because they have existed and been much worse before video games came around. Hell, if you really want to focus on media that harms women, you should be marching on the publishers of Cosmo, torches in hand. I would join you.

I really can not believe simply suggesting that one article, completely unconnected to the actual project at hand was poorly written, gets me labeled as supporting Spurr or hating on women. Thinking one article was poorly done does not mean I do not understand what misogyny is or fail to grasp the issue at hand. The fact that such images exist is deeply tied to the history and marketing of video games, and the article completely misses this mark. This is a much bigger factor than the actions of Spurr, or gamers themselves.

Finally, elucidating my academic background was not in order to suggest I should be taken as truth, but merely because you accused me of loving myself so much that I have never heard anything said by a woman. I wanted you to realize that this was untrue, and I have spent many hours deeply engaged in the words and ideas of many women who are smarter than you, and smarter than me.
More...
Posted by Theodore Gorath on July 11, 2012 at 1:03 PM · Report this
109
@100: I guess that, having an amazing opportunity dropped in her lap, it'd be nicer to see something proactive done than something reactive. I'm pretty sure female gamers would prefer a high quality female-friendly game put on the market more than they'd like a deconstruction of the market with no actual change.

Then again, if you could point me to a group of aspiring feminist flash game developers or the like, I'd be very appreciative. Something with less focus on deconstructing what everybody else does (with the implied message that fixing things is everybody else's job), more trying to proactively push out positive messages on their own.
Posted by ChiTodd on July 11, 2012 at 1:55 PM · Report this
Pick1 110
@109 it would be nice, yes, but is that really a reasonable request of this particular circumstance?

We have a female gamer who likes games but dislikes the portrayal of females in the game industry. She also has a skillset that lets her create documentaries...so why shouldn't she combine them.

The problem with someone in the game developer industry making a game based solely on the idea of misogyny would be that it would likely tank and be a career killer. The industry as a whole is still hard for women to break into. For them to take the risk without the support of the community (support created hopefully by documentaries like these) it would be incredibly difficult.

Also, to solve the issue, developers don't need to create a game entirely based off the idea, and a game based on the idea likely wouldn't be good (central theme should still revolve around gameplay and story equally). They just need to realize that when they place a female character in the game, she doesn't have to be a 1-Dimensional set of eye candy.
Posted by Pick1 on July 11, 2012 at 2:55 PM · Report this
bhowie 111
Good god people. That there is ANY debate about this AT ALL gives me little hope for the survival of humanity.

106 is right; read your comments out loud and pretend someone else is saying it. Do you hear what you sound like?
Posted by bhowie on July 11, 2012 at 3:28 PM · Report this
Irena 112
@108, I did not say you were supporting Spurr or hating on women. I said you were being paternalistic. Oh my god will you just own it?

I am unsure why a lone doof making flash games has gotten so much attention when there are actually people trying to take basic rights away from women. Focus on what actually matters

No, you did not say the project or discussion of it was "a bad thing." But the fact that this guy did what he did, and bloggers have been reporting on it, is the reason there is any discussion at all. Yet you said, very clearly albeit indirectly, that it didn't matter, that it was "pointless," and this blogger (and by extension Cienna, for posting it) should be focusing on something else. Meanwhile, the story has taken off -- it was on CBC, for Christ's sake. Everyone and their dog has heard that there's a backlash against girl gamers online, there's a new, fucked-up space where misogyny is festering and should not go unchallenged. And you're saying, oh, ignore that; you should be posting about Jan Brewer, or Republican policymakers, or other stuff that I deem worthy. And I'm saying, that's paternalistic, it's not helpful, and it's a reason why you're not getting a positive response on this thread. The issue of threats of violence against women online matters, because it affects a lot of women online (i.e., it's not just about one "lone doof"). Death threats, rape threats, posting contact info, trashing your website and wiki... these things fucking matter. You should be encouraging -- or at the very least, not disparaging -- when women (and men) want to talk about it.
Posted by Irena on July 11, 2012 at 5:42 PM · Report this
samktg 113
Theodore, listen to Irena, you've utterly missed the point.
Posted by samktg on July 12, 2012 at 12:25 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 114
@112: I certainly agree that violence against women, rape, threats etc., is a problem, and I do not begrudge communication on any matter, but Spurr is just a troll, really. A hugely successful troll, as you certainly have shown with your examples of media coverage. He admitted to being a troll, as he stated that his reasoning for making the game was to get a reaction from Sarkeesian.

I understand why he is a bad person, I just do not understand why he is being singled out as this great threat/problem (other than the fact that the story has legs I guess). He is just another troll, like the ones everyone is supposed to ignore because they are clearly just full of shit.

My point is, conversations about these issues is ongoing and Spurr was no threat to their continued existence, as is easily seen with Sarkeesian's success. If one is going to single out Spurr, one may as well attempt to track down everyone on Xbox live or Twitter that makes a misogynistic comment. This is what I mean when I say that Spurr himself does not matter...the fact that many people share his sentiments matters greatly, but demonizing him as an individual really does not advance the debate, or get anyone anywhere, aside from maybe some needed catharsis.

There are people in every debate who exist simply to drag everyone's feet (the religious right regarding marriage equality for instance) and slow progress, and focusing on their warped ideas is a distraction more than anything, because they are designed to be a distraction, designed to halt communication. They succeed when the conversation stops to focus on their insanity.

Discussion about any women's issue is great, discussion about Spurr's individual actions is not very fruitful, as there is really nowhere for it to go after "well that guy is an asshole who I hope does not breed, now how can we stop other people from thinking this way."

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Posted by Theodore Gorath on July 12, 2012 at 6:42 AM · Report this
115
Geeks live by the "all's fair in love and war" motto, and this guy has achieved everything he set out to do. He's gotten her attention and completely diverted the public from her original issue of concern (with an ironic hyperbole of the very same issue). It's a masterful stroke by a very bright man who is also probably a pretty awful guy.
Posted by Yeek on July 12, 2012 at 9:04 AM · Report this
116
I'm not advocating or defending any position, but it is true that both women and men that write for the Stranger have done similar "joking" calls for people to be beaten or killed, so I guess I don't understand why what is good for the goose, is not good for the gander...

If we are truly feminists, we will treat each other equally and abandon any special privilege ideology, frankly, from my years of boxing, a few of the most painful punches I received were from the fist of a woman sparring partner, therefore, I don't think it particularly more damning to threaten the beating or death of a man, or a woman. It is simply impolite at the least, and just wrong and criminal at the worst. I'm a feminist, so I believe that the woman in question should just go punch the man that made the game. I bet he'd not think it funny any longer. I encourage her to fist fight, for her honor, and for feminists everywhere, myself included.
Posted by scratchmaster joe on July 12, 2012 at 12:08 PM · Report this
Irena 117
@115: WTF? He's not a bright man. Look at his tweets, for God's sake. "masterful stroke"? Your kidding, right? BTW, he never succeeded in getting what he wanted from Sarkeesian, which was a conversation (!). As for diverting the public's attention from her original issue -- uh, maybe you missed the part where he inadvertently brought a ton of public attention and funding to that very issue?

I'm getting tired of giving my own attention to the stupid on this thread, when so many men and women get it. doceb @55, I gotta tell you I appreciate that "fair enough." I consider that progress.
Posted by Irena on July 12, 2012 at 12:51 PM · Report this
Irena 118
@114: Theodore, I'll lay it down. I think you're speaking from a place of entitlement, where you have the luxury of regarding this problem as academic, as an abstract debate, and not as a reality of many women's lives. I also think you're being obtuse, for example by implying that Spurr succeeded in getting the reaction he wanted from Sarkeesian, when in fact he didn't. He wanted, and I quote, "A direct response from Sarkeesian. I was hoping this would be enough to start a conversation with her." He didn't get it. You got this wrong because you didn't bother to actually finish that article you dismissed so thoroughly in your first comment, and you're continuing to get things wrong because you are dismissing everything I, and all the other more succinct commenters who object to you, say. Your argument that we should not bother demonizing this guy is an argument to allow his behaviour to become normalized, an argument that feminists rejected from the get-go (check your notes on the history of women's lib in America). Having a voice and calling out hateful behaviour in whatever form it takes is a hallmark of feminism and a hallmark of resistance in any rights movement.

Also, that you think giving attention to the religious right's efforts against marriage equality is a distraction that halts communication and slows progress leads me to believe that you simply have no idea what's going on with these movements you say you support. It also leads me to wonder why the hell you come on Slog, since by your definition, Dan Savage is actually working against the progress of gay rights by calling attention to this crap. This, despite the fact that he's become an well-known and influential activist for gay rights precisely because he speaks up and speaks loudly.

A couple more things. You said,
"My point is, conversations about these issues is ongoing and Spurr was no threat to their continued existence, as is easily seen with Sarkeesian's success."
Of course Spurr wasn't a threat to the conversation's existence. The wider discussion, and Sarkeesian's success, happened because people started blogging and talking about him. He inadvertently offered them a perfect noisy, ugly, attention-getting tool to push the discussion into the mainstream. How are you not getting this?

And:
"If one is going to single out Spurr, one may as well attempt to track down everyone on Xbox live or Twitter that makes a misogynistic comment."
Yes! Yes, that's exactly what we are being encouraged to do -- to call it out every time it happens, just like we should do with any other kind of bullying, racist, homophobic, what have you. What you are advocating is that the people affected by this stuff, the bullied as well as the bystanders, stay silent. You are wrong, and you are wrong because you don't really have any clue what it's like to be a member of a bullied group, and you refuse to listen to people who do.

So you really need to stop pretending that you're some sort of authority on this matter, and you really, really need to stop telling people how they should deal with prejudice when you've never been subjected to it and you aren't particularly interested in listening to those who have.

By the way, I hope you got delightful compliments on those articles you published. Nice to have that feather in your cap.
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Posted by Irena on July 12, 2012 at 12:55 PM · Report this
samktg 119
@Theodore, I don't quite get why you're being so obtuse, read what Irena is saying, not what you think she is saying. You seem to have this idea that this has all been about trashing Spurr. If you had read the article a little more carefully, you'd see that this is not the case. The author comments:

A lot of people have expressed feeling bad about this pile on, and I’m sure countless others are wondering why I took the time to document such a basic example of standard ignorance/misogyny. The answer is that these beliefs are so prevalent that I cannot ignore them. Spurr isn’t the only person who thinks threatening violence—even virtual—is an appropriate response to someone ignoring him. In fact, there are a lot of men who feel entitled to all kinds of things because they grew up in a culture that tells them that’s the way it is.


It ain't about Spurr, all along it has been about the wider problem Spurr represents and has brought to the fore with his asshattery.

Also, it's incredibly obnoxious to dictate how you think women should go about Feminism. If you are as knowledgeable about Feminism as you claim (and I don't doubt your claim), you should be able to take a step back, read what you've written, and acknowledge the entitlement and condescension in your words. Clearly you are intelligent and educated. Act it.
Posted by samktg on July 12, 2012 at 2:41 PM · Report this
balderdash 120
Before this disappears off the "Top Commented" list I just want to say that if you are mad about Feminist Frequency or this kickstarter, or if you are defending this "game" or Ben Spurr you really need to take a few days off, go on a little personal retreat, and deeply examine your motivations.
Posted by balderdash http://introverse.blogspot.com on July 12, 2012 at 11:41 PM · Report this
121
114,
I think you're an idiotic feminist scumbag and I don't give a flying fuck about your opinions or thoughts are. They don't matter and you don't matter. So why not try keeping your fat mouth shut? No one want's to hear you come on here spewing out your fucking idiotic feminist nonsense.
---"I'm getting tired of giving my own attention to the stupid on this thread, when so many men and women get it"---
If you can't handle the argument or tired of arguing, kindly STFU! You're the one who kept it going, you moron. Take a cue from Sarkeesian and don't respond.
You wanna talk entitlements? Women are by far the most entitled gender to ever walk the face of the earth. That is a FACT! I can give so many examples of this, it's not even funny! It's truly hilarious when you feminists try to turn the tables on the subject of who's entitled. Look in your own mirror, you wench: That's who thinks they're entitled.
---"Your argument that we should not bother demonizing this guy is an argument to allow his behaviour to become normalized..."---
So then it's okay to bully him? You just totally lost all credibility with me with that statement. No one wants to work with some intransigent cunt, like you. Who are you to take anyone to task? You should practice what you preach, bitch.

---"check your notes on the history of women's lib in America"---
You're a dumbass. You have no idea how the Women's Lib movement began or what purpose it truly serves and who's really behind it. Irena- you're what they call a ***USEFUL IDIOT!***
---"Having a voice and calling out hateful behaviour in whatever form it takes is a hallmark of feminism and a hallmark of resistance in any rights movement."---
I mean, again, you're a dumbass. I have to say that right off the bat to just about every single thing you say. I have to say that over and over and over again to you. You're also one sick and twisted dumbass too because on another article/video- I kid you not everyone- this sick monster Irena literally said that a mother kissing her baby boys' penis is a "very sweet" thing!! WHAT??!! You are one sick fucking piece of shit, madam. And I would say that in your fuckin face, bitch! (yeah, I'm willing to take this off the internet because you are A SICKO). That's called CHILD MOLESTATION! You should hang your head in shame, and not be allowed to teach, you pedophiliac piece of human trash. You should be locked up in a prison some where and have the key thrown away. You're just the type of evil scum we have coming up to rule the world. Real scary.. The kind that thinks it's okay to harm our children. You're a monster.... (Note: I kid you not, this is the umpteenth feminist that I've heard making disturbing statements and claims in which they've basically marginalized or almost CONDONED child abuse against young boys! Sick Fucks is what they are).
And if you feminists truly decry hateful behavior, why are feminists the most hateful group of people I've EVER encountered? WHY IS THAT?! And this is long before I actually discover that they're actually feminists too.
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Posted by Drew_Griffin on September 3, 2012 at 3:05 PM · Report this

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