I recently found on twitter thanks to Moviebob (a person who I do admire and respect) this kickstarter video. While I agree with Feminist Frequency on many topics and the portrayal of women (and in many cases men, though the portrayal is different, I don’t feel it makes it ‘less wrong.’) My biggest concern is that this isn’t the proper way to address the issues she and many others, wishes to address.
Video games are a very infantile medium. Despite it’s explosion of popularity, many of the games produced today focus on the more competitive, violent, and adrenaline pumping end of the emotional spectrum. The stories in general are power fantasies for men and children, and women portrayal is literally what you get walking through the pink toy aisle in Wal-Mart (you know which I mean.) I understand there’s a certain stereotype associated with say the Chun-Li’s of video gaming, and while infantile, stereotpyical, and in some ways degrading to women, it isn’t the biggest issue.
When you’re shooting at a deer, you don’t aim for the tail. The bigger issue I feel is the acceptance of sexist and racist stereotypes and slander among the ‘gaming community’ (as extremely loosely as that term can apply.) I don’t think videos discussing the childish stereotypes in childish games is where to go.
The other thing is reaching out to larger (or even smaller) communities and asking them to tighten down on these sort of offences, writing Microsoft asking for more severe punishments for sexist and racist behavior, more options for reporting them. Stricter punishments and more reporting options for Steam, people willing to work on the issue on a grander scale. Discussions with MLG, and major gaming news networks like IGN, Gamespot, etc. . . reaching out to Youtube.
Youtube alone needs more enforcement of comments, perhaps temporarily banning people from commenting? Auto-flagging people’s comments as spam if they reach a certain threshhold in a certain amount of time? Making comments pend approval of lower rated users? It’s not an ideal system but bigger repercussions for these sort of actions I feel is the best way to treat the ailment many female gamers suffer from.
That’s where the issue needs to be addressed moreso, and where the larger offences are coming from. Looking at the comments on the Kickstarter video alone shows the issue there is far larger than the way Catwoman is portrayed in Arkham City.
Picking battles wisely is what wins wars, and while I applaud her effort, I have to question if it’s a good use of resources. That being said, I’m unsure whether being a transwoman my opinions and visions on the issue are skewed. I’m no stranger to controversy, though perhaps my status influences how I see the issue to the point that my opinion is considered ‘invalid’ by other women, I’d like to think not and that I’m making this post objectively and reasonably.
See ya later gamers,