Archive for the ‘sexism’ tag

Geek culture and male privilege

The idea that perhaps the way women are portrayed in fandom is aleetle sexist is regularly met with denials, justifications and outright dismissal of the issue. […] Part of the notion of male privilege in fandom is that nothing is wrong with fandom and that suggestions that it might benefit from some diversity is treated as a threat.

Harris O’Malley, who usually writes over on Paging Dr. NerdLove, allowed Kotaku – yes, Kotaku – to repost his article on nerds and male privilege. It’s absolutely worth a read and he does ask an interesting question about how criticism like this is often seen a threat. If you doubt that, you don’t have to look further than the comments.

Posted on December 17th, 2011 in Games 

Sexism and the myth of the negligent critic


I’ve had a pretty lousy day today, so I’m not sure I have the brain capacity to actually write something clever. The great thing is that other people have that capacity! Two different texts turned up on Twitter as I settled in for some brainless skirmish-running in Lord of the Rings Online – two texts that I think you should read.

‘Ooh, if you can’t take it, get off the internet’ comes the call from over clutched handbag. Well if you can’t speak to a woman without resorting to wholly unimaginative sexist copypasta, how about you get off the internet? He who repeats sexist tropes wins? I think not. Sexism can be funny, same as racism, homophobia and so on. But only when it’s used to actually say something.

Mark Sorrell takes on sexism in the games industry, looking mostly at the comment-sections of sites like IGN. The piece by Emma Boyes linked in his text is awesome (I felt similar about Saints Row 2), yet the comments make me want to curl up in my sofa and never talk to another living human being again (you have been warned). They are not only filled with sexist bullshit, they are also filled with blatant anti-intellectualism. Something the world, and the US, doesn’t need right now.

And speaking of comments…

One of the common comments I frequently find beneath game reviews I’ve written goes something like this: “You forgot to mention x, y and z!” with x, y and z equaling whatever pet peeves or mandatory videogame features that a particular gamer holds near to his or her heart. […] I didn’t mention x, y and z in my review because I don’t care about x, y and z. The fact that I don’t give a squirt about frame rate or the ability to invert the y axis doesn’t make me a negligent critic. It just makes me a critic with way different concerns than you.

Gus Mastrapa looks at one of the most annoying comments you can get when you publish a review of a game. We’ve all been there. I am amazed that we still, after so many years, have to point out that reviews are subjective. That you and me, as reader and writer, probably won’t feel exactly the same about a given game. “Find a critic that is after precisely the same thing you’re after and you’re set for life,” Gus writes. “Just don’t get your hopes up.” That’s something many of us have been saying for years. But it’s worth saying again and Gus puts it eloquently. Bookmarked and saved for future linking.

Posted on December 12th, 2011 in Games 

That Liara statue

No. No, no, no.

I am not sure I can say anything about the Liara T’Soni statue that Wundergeek hasn’t already said. I am utterly shocked by it and in no way does it remotely represent anything we’ve seen of the character in the Mass Effect games.

I admit, Liara was my blue lesbian lover in Mass Effect 1 (who I did stay true to during ME2, which means no relationship achievement for me) and the dialogue you had to go through to reach that point was cringe-worthy to say the least. Yet when I replayed Mass Effect, which shaped my Shepard for ME2, I still chose go down the same route since I really dig Liara.

She was incredible in her role as information broker in Mass Effect 2, and Lair of the Shadow Broker was amazing. While being presented as pretty weak in the first game, her transformation after the death of Shepard (oh shush, it happens during the first five minutes of ME2) turned her into what is probably my favorite character in the series (together with FemShep and Tali’Zorah). Finding out how her and Shepard’s relationship will evolve during Mass Effect 3 is a big reason why I look forward to it.

But that statue? No. A thousand times no. Please Bioware, step in and end the madness. Show that you have some form of pride when it comes to the brilliant characters your writers have created.

Posted on September 9th, 2011 in Games