Extra Curricular: Sexism in Gaming

This week we discuss sexism in the gaming community and to a limited degree touch upon sexuality too.

Sexism in Gaming
Podcast - Part 1:
Podcast - Part 2:
Show Notes:

Part 1: General Discussion and Episode Discussion.

Part 2: Main Topic Discussion.

This week's guest speakers are Xander, Midgear, kqbn & onReload.

Special thanks to Mr. Andrew Randall for cleaning up the audio and helping edit out all the little niggles.

Title cards made by our very own Terra Snover.

Available on iTunes:
iTunes
Download:
MP3 - Part 1
MP3 - Part 2

Recent Comments:

  • But even though JRPGs may not experiment with different varieties of combat like TPS and FPS, they do experiment a lot within the turn based system which often leads to innovation.

    There's only so much innovation you can achieve by sticking your feet in concrete shoes, right? The fact remains, whilst some developers are adamant to limit themselves in terms of how they approach innovation within their genre, those developers are going to be doing themselves a disservice.

    As such, I'd give them more credit as they are actually trying to change and evolve a system and not just blindly rip off a one from another genre without making any sort of modification.

    That would imply that the only useful output from western experimentation has been 'blindly ripping off other genres'. Which isn't the case. When I think of good examples of western experimentation, I think of cases where they've taken elements from other genres and styles and worked with them to make them fit fluidly into their game. Not just blatant rip offs.

    I know that you said that it doesn't count but I'd have to bring up Demon's Souls/Dark Souls again just because if you really think about it, it's combat system is sort of derived from the turn based system as well. You are are given the freedom to keep attacking an enemy as and when you feel like doing so am I right? Yet, the only way to succeed and not constantly die is to make a move and await an attack during which you are not dealing damage to the enemy but rather either blocking or dodging. (which is rather similar to a traditional turn based system where you have downtime)

    No, it really doesn't derive from turn based combat. They just both derive from the same roots. Combat in general.

    Turn-based and real-time combat both follow the same ebb and flow of any fight, but both are drastically different from one another mechanically. You attack, you defend, you evade, etc, in both, certainly, but just because they have similar elements does not mean one is in any way similar to the other. Turn-based combat is just that, turn based. You know precisely who will be taking an action at any given time, because it is determined by turn order. Demon's Souls/Dark Souls on the other hand is real-time, enemies have cues for when they're about to attack, certainly, but it is not determined by any kind of rigid mechanical turn ordering - whether an organic kind of 'turn taking' is an emergent part of the gameplay, does not make it turn-based or derivative of a turn-based system because they are fundamentally different at that mechanical level.
    It'd be like saying that all fighting games must derive from turn-based combat because there's that flow of attack, counter-attack, block, defend, etc. But that back and forth is just an organic part of it all. They are similar only in that they all try to emulate combat with their mechanics.

    You have national newspapers with topless "page 3 girls" that anyone can buy at a newsagents.

    I thought the page 3 girls had been pulled back to make way for the Sun to push more racist overtones than sexist ones?

    Then you have magazines like Nuts & Zoo...

    Ahhhh, Nuts and Zoo. Interesting factoid, I've known a number of women who read them too.
    But yes, they do perpetuate the problem to those kinds of people that this thinking already exists within the minds of. They're not truly a source of the problem, but they are endemic to it.

    When you get things like this is it no wonder that when children grow up seeing Women as objects.

    Yes, it is a wonder. You can't wholly blame the media, because good parenting and a more understanding and accepting society actually aid to reinforce how these kinds of stereotypes from the media are wrong - and over time we're starting to see them dissipate.

    And that's the thing. You can say that the way media is right now is the cause, or you can realise that it's merely a symptom of a society that still thinks this way on some level and actively try and change that.
    The more we do to promote acceptance the more it does change for the better - but I wouldn't say that media is the sole problem here.

    On the subject of homophobia it is again to do with the kinds of exposure that people are subjected to when both growing up an in life as well.

    I remember 10 or so years ago when I was in school there was never any mention of homosexuality in any form from teachers etc. who realistically should know about this to point children, who ask these questions, in the right direction for information.


    No, there really wasn't. And this is the aforementioned problem with society. It wasn't fully aware, nor did it yet fully accept things. It still isn't there fully at all, but it's getting significantly better.
    It didn't stop us from accepting who we are and being comfortable with it though. Teachers back in school - from my experience - didn't suddenly start siding with the bullies just because we were being picked on for sexuality, rather than something more common, etc. There wasn't as much awareness but there was definitely understanding when these things arose, and awareness rises from more and more cases cropping up in society.
    Now, not all the time, mind you... but most of the time. I still recall some moments of "Quit bullying... but you are a bit too much of a girl" style reactions. In those instances though it comes down to parental support, and having higher channels to complain about said attitudes towards you.
    10 years or so ago, it was up to me to educate people. Nowadays, it still is. I can't just expect it to happen without working towards it.

    rather than being mad I was actually happy that this was getting exposure in a national newspaper (Scottish) the way that it was. 10 years ago the only way this would have been in the same newspaper would have been as a derogatory article about how wrong it is.

    I'm happy to see these kinds of things being reported with a more understanding approach now too. Makes me very happy.
    I would say though, whilst I am fully aware that an incident like this would probably have been presented as a derogatory article, it's not like these things when they did happen back then were always met with a negative response from those actively involved. Same thing these days too.

    So, we can use media as a gauge for some degree of 'public reaction' to this, but I wouldn't use it as sole meter.

  • You have national newspapers with topless "page 3 girls" that anyone can buy at a newsagents.

    I thought the page 3 girls had been pulled back to make way for the Sun to push more racist overtones than sexist ones?

    From what I hear, they now come with right wing talking points rather than their personal asperations. Which apparently they used to, to help the reader get to know the models. That was... weird... to learn.

    I think the Daily Mail thing of 'condemning something as an excuse to put pictures of scantly clad women so people can pretend to disapprove of what they're enjoying' might be more problematic in it's hypocracy than the more... Honest objectivisation, I suppose... of the likes of the sun. But I couldn't be sure my feeling on that is correct.

    On the subject of homophobia it is again to do with the kinds of exposure that people are subjected to when both growing up an in life as well.

    I remember 10 or so years ago when I was in school there was never any mention of homosexuality in any form from teachers etc. who realistically should know about this to point children, who ask these questions, in the right direction for information.


    No, there really wasn't. And this is the aforementioned problem with society. It wasn't fully aware, nor did it yet fully accept things. It still isn't there fully at all, but it's getting significantly better.
    It didn't stop us from accepting who we are and being comfortable with it though. Teachers back in school - from my experience - didn't suddenly start siding with the bullies just because we were being picked on for sexuality, rather than something more common, etc. There wasn't as much awareness but there was definitely understanding when these things arose, and awareness rises from more and more cases cropping up in society.

    The law itself has changed to help there, with the repeal of Section 28 in 2003... Which, whatever it actually prevented - and there is some debate there - the repeal of at least allowed teachers to be more confident in what they were allowed to say.

  • Which apparently they used to, to help the reader get to know the models. That was... weird... to learn.

    You mean like how FHM actually has writing if you get past all the images?

    I think the Daily Mail thing of 'condemning something as an excuse to put pictures of scantly clad women so people can pretend to disapprove of what they're enjoying' might be more problematic in it's hypocracy than the more... Honest objectivisation, I suppose... of the likes of the sun. But I couldn't be sure my feeling on that is correct.

    I would back you up on that one - I mean, neither are good, by any stretch - but I value honesty over trying to be subversive about it.

    The law itself has changed to help there, with the repeal of Section 28 in 2003... Which, whatever it actually prevented - and there is some debate there - the repeal of at least allowed teachers to be more confident in what they were allowed to say.

    Yeah, I was done with school by that point but I definitely am glad the law is changing to help people in these circumstances.

  • Which apparently they used to, to help the reader get to know the models. That was... weird... to learn.

    You mean like how FHM actually has writing if you get past all the images?

    I can't say I'm familiar with FHM's editorial techniques, but http://www.bloggerheads.com/page-3/ has some details (Not safe for work, but closer to being such than you might expect)

  • Which apparently they used to, to help the reader get to know the models. That was... weird... to learn.

    You mean like how FHM actually has writing if you get past all the images?

    I can't say I'm familiar with FHM's editorial techniques, but http://www.bloggerheads.com/page-3/ has some details (Not safe for work, but closer to being such than you might expect)


    FHM usually had an interview of some form with their models, or some other similar style biography piece alongside the pictures. I recall reading the odd couple when friends would buy copies, etc. (Oddly enough, I think I have known more females who bought FHM, Nuts or Zoo than males. The number may be more like an even split, but I'm having trouble recalling.)

    Anyway, so this was written in 2004, and they started using Page 3 to deliver 'news' content? Wow... shows when I last bothered picking up a tabloid newspaper, huh? That's pretty... terrible though. I wonder a) if these were even their words, or b) how much baiting was needed to get the response they wanted if they are their words (it's hard to imagine The Sun not pushing an agenda in any of its content.)

    Weird.

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