Remember when I talked about feminists who look for reasons to be offended? This is exactly what I was talking about.
It’s one thing to enjoy playing video games and happen by a scene which is genuinely fucked up (I mean chances are it was intended to be fucked up; it’s like people complaining about the violence and drug use in Far Cry games), but it’s entirely another thing to grind through something you don’t even enjoy for a demographic you evidently dislike playing content that you barely understand, removing context and information, just so you can have a reason to take offence. It’s pathetic.
Let me get this straight. she plays a game for 8 hours, looking to be offended, and is mad when she can’t find something.
Yep, you got it on point.
The problem I have with this post is that Anita is doing research when she does this. “capture a particular scene” refers to her work in Femfreq about criticizing certain tropes and whatnot.
She played a game that she didn’t enjoy for the sake of that show and for that research. I’d prefer her work to be well-researched than otherwise.
Also, unpleasant in this context can totally refer to a game that she finds issue with from a writing standpoint, or issue with from a gameplay standpoint. Without further clarification we don’t even know.
I still haven’t even gotten around to watching Femfreq, I don’t even know if I’ll agree with it. More than likely as with most videos that offer this opinion shenanigans I’ll agree and disagree throughout. But this post is criticizing her in a really dumb way considering what she does. Research, guys, I mean really. “Looking for things to be offended about” My gods.
I feel as though you and another user who has responded similarly do not fully understand how either Anita Sarkeesian or Feminist Frequency operates. The purpose of her web series is, as you said, to point out tropes in video games and possible misogynistic behaviour which (in their eyes) is either encouraged or at the very least not discouraged. The problem, though, is Anita does exactly what I described; she looks for reasons to be offended in video games, often, and has at times even ignored in-game prompts to prove her (moot) point.
A prime example that a couple other people brought up early on is her play-through of Hitman Absolution, which is summarized here. In it, she claims that players are encouraged to perform “misogynistic behaviour”, and that even though it isn’t mandatory, it’s “implicitly encouraged”.
What she fails to mention is that…fuck it, I’ll let the analysis do the talking:
Anita then shows a clip of Hitman Absolution, depicting the player character knocking out and dragging the bodies of female strippers around the floor.
While this is happening, the player score counter in the top corner of the screen is actually GOING DOWN.
Hitman Absolution doesn’t “implicitly encourage” killing or knocking out civilians, female or otherwise. It actuallydiscouragesthat kind of behavior, by activelypenalizingthe player for it.
So we end up with a case of Anita using video footage that proves wrong the very point she’s making at the time.
Furthermore, only an idiot player is going to interfere with the strippers anyway, as they’re incredibly easy to sneak past, and they only hurt your score if you try interacting with them in any way.
Not only this, but she suggests that the player “cannot help” but perform obscene acts on female NPCs.
The player cannot help but treat these female bodies as things to be acted upon,because they were designed, constructed and placed in the environment for that singular purpose. Players are meant to derive a perverse pleasure from desecrating the bodies of unsuspecting virtual female characters.
Once again using footage from Hitman Absolution.
What she DOESN’T show is thatyou can kill / knock out male characters, strip them of all their clothes, and leave them lying around in their underwear and/or dumped in a dumpster. Which is something you CANNOT do to female characters (take all their clothes, I mean), and is arguablyworsethan what you CAN do to female characters (kill them / knock them out, drag them around, — and not much else).
She’s done this with a number (and I say a number because she hasn’t even followed through with the rest of the videos she has promised) of her other femfreq videos; this isn’t an isolated incident in the slightest.
So when I and others interpret what she’s said as looking for reasons to be offended it’s based on knowing these things prior to coming to that conclusion; that is, knowing that she has at times intentionally ignored in-game prompts and completely disregarded context just so she would have a reason to be offended by some bullshit “trope” in a video game. It’s happened before, and so it’s no surprise that it could also be the case here.
It’s cherry picking. It’s the fact she is deliberately playing through a game, ignoring 8 hours of context or gameplay mechanics to pull one scene she knows exists (see: her public appeals for her fans to tell her about scenes or abilities in games she hasn’t yet played that support her argument prior to doing “research”) to get a brief clip outside of said context to prove a point.
Here’s a terrible half-assed analogy: Say I were to do a video series on problematic tropes women make in public to address and made an open call for people to give me examples that support the argument of the episode, such as saying “I need examples of women being gold diggers for my gold digger episode.” My inbox gets flooded by misogynistic manlets sending me links to shitty bait videos like this “Gold Digger Car Prank" and i proceed to make a video arguing that women are gold diggers with citations to examples like these. You can’t dispute these cherry picked videos exist and show women being lead into doing "problematic" or upsetting things - but the whole argument is loaded with exceptions to the rule, showing questionable examples that are constructed to produce positive results, otherwise rigged to prove a pre-established conclusion that disregards the fact that I’m using crude statistical outliers to argue the nature of a whole that simply is deceptive or often not true. Chances are, that gold digger videos required multiple takes and probably left out examples where the creators failed to lure subjects into their prank or where girls simply told them to fuck off with their shiny car and grow up. As a result, the manlets who watch my videos get erect on their confirmation bias and believe all women are gold diggers. Mission accomplished.
This is why I feel these videos are often concerning. You can tell me my comparison to a dumb “gold digger” series is false equivalence, but it’s the act of casting a net to find nothing but examples to support the argument, no matter how insignificant they are in incidence, to portray the whole of an industry as plagued by it that irritates me. It’s the act of disregarding research that potentially contradicts my argument to mislead and creating hysteria.
But that’s all I’ll have to say on that in regards to critical analysis. To it’s credit, it HAS made developers smarten up and be a bit more self aware of their game plot design, but I still get flank flustered at how the videos are constructed and how otherwise potholed and basic they are argued.