Last time, I talked about some of my favorite television programs and that got me thinking about wrestling and how “anti-female” it can be. Surprisingly, I’m pretty okay with it but I do have my reasons… which I’m going to detail now!
So, one thing that’s confused me somewhat is feminism. I know the basic deal: pro-woman movement, girl power and all that. But what confuses me is how really hardcore feminists seem to disagree with each other and I think that’s a crying shame.
First, I gotta talk about Anita Sarkeesian and her Feminist Frequency Channel on YouTube. She’s one of the reasons why I thought about writing this at this time (so blame her). Anyway, her channel is about her views on feminism and the general misogyny of the world. One thing that really struck me was her series called “Tropes vs. Women in Video Games” and all the hoopla it caused.
Just to summarize her 3-part series, Anita’s goal was to show how the treatment of women in video games are pretty misogynistic. They appear to be used to as a goal for the hero (a man) to rescue. She also mentions that women was usually just there are eye candy and don’t really have any deep personality than the “save me!” screams. Sometimes, they get killed off (or worse) so that the hero can have the proper justification to kill all baddies.
Now, obviously, this caused a massive outpouring of outrage from the gaming population. There are now literally (as in there are really more than 100 videos) decrying the series, attempting to prove Anita wrong and/or discredit her. And guess who made most of these videos? The male populous, of course! While some of them try to be cordial and intelligent by discussing the points she brought up, there are a lot of them that seem to prove her point since there are videos that are just attacking Anita for being a girl making bad comments about video games!
But what about other feminists? What do they think about Anita’s claims about the video game industry? Well, some do applaud her for bringing her observations up. Others think she went too overboard with her observations. And most of them are a mix of both. But what struck me is how they all had different opinions on the topic… yet they claim to be really hardcore feminists! So, that got me thinking, if they have they can’t really agree on what feminism is about, that just means I’m free to form my own opinions on video game feminism (or the lack thereof).
My honest thoughts if video games are generally sexist? Well, yeah. In a way but, honestly, it kind of has to be right now. What’s the general target audiences of video games? I’m not talking about the casual market (no Angry Birds or Temple Run here) where you can run them on a phone. No, I’m talking about games with mind-blowing graphics, finger twisting on the controller controls, stories where you essentially need a flowchart kinds of video games! Or, to most people, real video games!
Yes, I know a lot of girls that love these cute games from the casual market… but they love them because, well, they are cute games! I don’t even really play video games since the controls seem pretty intimidating! Think of the most popular game right now… Grand Theft Auto V. When you’re walking around, you can switch weapons on the fly, run from the popo when necessary and a myriad of other button presses and controls you have to remember just to move around normally! And then you get into a car… and the controls change! That can be pretty intimidating for someone who’s used to just flinging birds at green pigs using a slingshot!
Also, I’m sorry to say thing, girls don’t really feel welcome in the gaming scene… and it’s not really because of the games. Take SherryJenix for example. She’s a pretty good Street Fighter player and could beat a lot of guys out there in the game. But the instant that she got sponsored by GamesterGear, a lot of male players felt slighted that she got the deal and not another male player! Not only that, a lot of them accused GamesterGear of picking her because she’s a pretty good looking girl and not because of her skill.
While I cannot really say why she got the sponsorship, I think it’s pretty unfair to say she got it because she looks pretty. Like I said, she’s still a pretty good player and I thought it was great that she got it. But, instead of congratulating her, a lot of the fighting game community just gave her grief. Honestly, that’s not fair.
So, like I said, I understand why games only seem to feature hot women or, if there are any ugly women in them, they’re just comedy relief. I mean, the target audience is predominated by males! And, honestly, I don’t mind it that much. I don’t get upset if I find out a guy likes My Little Pony, do I? I mean, it’s a cartoon that’s supposed to cater to the wishful thinking of little girls, right? But there are hardcore Bronies! Guys who are diehard My Little Pony lovers!
I do like video games and, while it may seem like I’m not really supposed to like them, I honestly love watching the complex stories, looking at the graphics and just getting involved in the atmosphere. I may not be a feminist but I do disagree with Anita Sarkeesian when she says the video game industry need to drastically change how they portray women. Like My Little Pony, more girls need to like video games for what it is now. If the industry blindly changes, it loses it’s core audiences and we all lose video games.
Baby steps, Anita. Baby steps.
Well, how feminists seem to disagree with each other reminds me of another group of people who can’t seem to agree with each other… Star Wars fans and Star Trek fans! And I’ll talk about that… next time!
What are your thoughts on Anita Sarkeesian’s Tropes vs. Women in Video Games series? What are your overall thoughts on how women are treated in video games in general? Please leave your comments in the comments section below!