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Cyberpunk Cop Killah (aka The Last Night)

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Yeah, I could link to some tweets, but I'm too lazy to make a storify and they are not all connected in a reply chain. https://twitter.com/timsoret is the twitter. He is retweeting gamergate stuff as well.

 

I think he is not anti-feminist, but he is probably very confused about some things.

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Yeah, I could link to some tweets, but I'm too lazy to make a storify and they are not all connected in a reply chain. https://twitter.com/timsoret is the twitter. He is retweeting gamergate stuff as well.

 

I think he is not anti-feminist, but he is probably very confused about some things.

 

Looking through the past couple weeks, he retweeted Christina Sommers, the anti-bullying stuff from Adobe, and a few testimonials from female-coded Twitters about how friendly and inclusive gamers are for women. It sounds like someone who's naive rather than malicious, although who knows. I can't really tell how serious their "two young brothers who create games" shtick is.

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Unfortunately the developer is a gamergater or at least supporter.

 

Gross and saddening, I won't be supporting this guy's work.

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Hmmm. I wonder if this should bug me at all? I mostly made my video because Danielle is absolutely hilarious. I did love the stylishness of The Last Night though and it was very cool. Maybe Tim Soret will change his tune at some point?

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Hello everybody.

First, thanks for posting my game.

I registered to clarify my position, which is very clear and moderate by the way:

 

• I am for a better representation of women in video games. I want more female characters, written to be interesting & less cliché, and I also want more female developers in the industry. We are 6 in our team. These talents came to us since more than a year. Among them and the hundred of emails from people that want to work on our game, no women at all. I have no idea why, so yes I want it to change. As many gamers, I absolutely adored playing Ellie in The Last of Us, or Clementine in Walking Dead, or Ripley in Alien Isolation, and The Boss is my favorite character in all the Metal Gear Solid saga. It proves that video games are not as terrible as I've been reading lately. However, I deeply agree that we need more characters like that, and I think gamers, contrary to what is told in medias these days, are really happy to play with such fascinating characters. I don't know anyone that was angry to play Ellie just because she was a girl. And just like critics, I'm bored as hell to see the sexy elf armor syndrome, to see Kerrigan being sexualized in Starcraft, and this kind of terrible art direction. I make games partly because I want to create something different & avoid clichés. Our main character in The Last Night is bisexual. And our other long term project, Behind Nowhere, features a 15 years-old strong, independent girl that grew up by herself. I think I'm definitely taking a step in the right direction to offer more diversity to gamers.

 

• However, I think Sarkeesian is cherry picking and painting the whole video game culture as something very negative, which, as a gamer since I'm 4 (hello Ecco the Dolphin & Flashback), I can't accept. Video games have been incredibly diverse to me, playing all kind of animals & characters in all kind of countries & imaginary worlds. I've killed 10 times more aliens, nazis, soldiers, and innocent male characters than women in video games. So when I see Sarkeesian saying video game culture is tainted with violence against women, I say no. Video game culture is tainted with violence toward everyone. And, just like gamers used to deflect conservative when they told violence in video games makes you violent in real life, sexism in video games do not make you sexist in real life. This is a gross assumption, and this is why I disagree with her conclusions while I totally agree on some parts of her work. Oh, and also, when I read that "Ico is sexist", I just can't accept any more stuff from her. I think she's toxic & she's spreading conflict instead of encouraging change. That is my opinion, and you have the right to disagree and like her work.

 

• I also don't buy the patriarchy stuff. Maybe it applies in the USA, but I live in Paris, and here in France, virility is not encouraged at all, sensitive men and intelligence are a lot more appreciated than "being a tough guy" and muscles. Most masculine behaviors are totally prohibited and are considered very macho here.

 

• When I saw the 14 articles the exact same day on several websites to say "Gamers are over" or "Gamers are dead", I couldn't accept it. I can't accept to see medias & journalists on Twitter paint "gamers" as misogynistic, white trash, neckbeard, while we are a very diverse culture, with gamers from all countries of the world, all sex, all age. I really can't see how medias can make such generalisation from the terrible actions of a few irrational people.

 

• I am, of course, against any form of harassment. I've been harassed quite a lot lately myself.

 

• Personally, I'm interested in the actual work of artists, not their personal opinions.

Otherwise, I would miss so many classic movies, books, and music, just because I disagree with the artist.

If you like our game (which is very progressive), you shouldn't change your mind because I have different opinions than yours.

 

I hope you understand my position better now, and you can see I'm not the terrible human being you might have thought.

I go back to work now! See you soon for those who are still interested.

Oh and thank you Danielle you were awesome in the podcast, and syntheticgerbil, it was incredible for my brother & I to see this video!

By the way, I hope that you all saw the first official screenshot here. More infos on oddtales.net

 

tln_screen.jpg

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Tim, thanks for jumping in, we all obviously have a fondness for The Last Night thanks to Danielle.  I don't know that I have time to address all your points, but perhaps I can help explain the reaction several of us had. First this point:

 

• Personally, I'm interested in the actual work of artists, not their personal opinions.

Otherwise, I would miss so many classic movies, books, and music, just because I disagree with the artist. If you like our game (which is very progressive), you shouldn't change your mind because I have different opinions than yours.

 

This is something that we've discussed in these forums quite a few times, and people here have a range of reactions. Some people agree with you. Some people think that the creators opinions matter a lot, because any work of art is a kind of relationship between consumer and artist, and you can't separate personal views and emotional reactions from that. For me, there are some issues I have much more powerful emotional reactions about (feminism being one of them), and I'm more likely to take a creator's views on those subjects into account than I am if they have views I disagree with but don't have a strong emotional connection to.

 

Now, looking up at the tweets of yours I posted, there are several that seem to show pretty problematic opinions, and those are what caused us to have the reaction many of us did.

With Sarkeesian, claiming that she says that games are making people sexist is a twisted interpretation of what she actually says, and it's a common misinterpretation used to try and discount her views. Her point is that we live in a sexist society, are born and raised into it. All of us are sexist to some extent. Video games are just one cultural reinforcer of certain sexist ideas, and if you're not aware that our media can affect our beliefs, then you are actually more likely to be more strongly affected by media shaping your beliefs.

As an example, someone recently looked at the gender representation of the top 1000 video games (determined by a mix of sales and review scores). Among other things, they found that male characters outnumbered female characters 4 to 1.

I feel like what I'm seeing out of your comments about Sarkeesian is that maybe you take criticism as condemnation? The series of videos is about women and tropes, of course it's mostly going to focus on the negative aspects of that. I've never once watched one of her videos and felt like she was condemning games or painting the culture as negative (I've been gaming for 30+ years, fwiw). I think she's highlighting the ways that games handle gender in shitty ways. Because games often do. Is every example perfect? Maybe not, but that doesn't undermine the overall message. And if you take just one or two examples, and decide that the rest of her data or arguments are invalid, haven't you cherry picked examples out of her work in order to judge it?

Then there were you tweets about culture being a free market. I don't see culture as working that way. Our culture is dominated by mass media, and the mass media is in turn mostly controlled by middle aged or old white guys. Our modern culture doesn't reflect what people want, it reflects what corporations thing will be most profitable. It's a market in which being an established power, or having lots of money, controls how much influence your voice has. The internet has made things somewhat better, and crowdfunding is helping even more. Except we see what happens when voices the status quo doesn't like suddenly get some attention. Sarkeesian's high visibility is, in many ways, thanks to her unexpectedly huge Kickstarter. Fuck yeah! That's the market at work, people found a voice they thought was interesting, funded her and promoted her. And since then she's been literally demonized by elements of gaming culture. She's the boogeyman for some folks. One of the primary counters to her that appeared is a documentary project run by a couple of racists and misogynists (having actually watched and read some of their work, I'm pretty comfortable labeling that). Take a look at some of her biggest critics, and ask yourself if those people are natural allies for you. I'm really hoping they aren't.

Okay, I gotta get some work done. Thanks again for dropping and best of luck with your work.

Edited to add: I'm obviously speaking from a very American viewpoint, and can't speak for what the experience in other cultures is.

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Hi Tim, thanks for coming by! I'm glad you explained yourself some more as I'm terrible at searching Twitter.

 

• However, I think Sarkeesian is cherry picking and painting the whole video game culture as something very negative... This is a gross assumption, and this is why I disagree with her conclusions while I totally agree on some parts of her work.

 

I agree with this part. I'm often very frustrated with many of the examples in Anita's videos and often feel this claustrophobic blanket of criticism when I'm done (although not one every video) that I don't think any narratives are ever going to properly stack up against.

 

Oh, and also, when I read that "Ico is sexist", I just can't accept any more stuff from her. I think she's toxic & she's spreading conflict instead of encouraging change. That is my opinion, and you have the right to disagree and like her work.

 

However I guess this is the part that concerns me. I think ultimately her work is for the better for all games and this kind of critical analysis in very easy to consume videos is very important and she's not intentionally causing any toxicity. But I think maybe I considered you full of Gamergate because of the choice quotes and my inability to deal with reading anything on Twitter. Sorry about that.

I guess this has all become a really bad time to engage in any of this lately, at least for me.

And, yes those early screenshots are awesome. I was also really excited about the bump in resolution, it looks even more awesome that way. :)

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You don't understand what the concept of patriarchy is. You should study up on it, at least in order to not utter complete non sequiturs when talking about it.

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Hi Tim, thanks for coming in to engage. I wanted to point to one thing you said.

 

I've killed 10 times more aliens, nazis, soldiers, and innocent male characters than women in video games.

 

The actual number doesn't matter that much, it's about the percentage. There are much MUCH fewer women in games. I'm talking about in terms of characters and generic NPCs. Most of the time, a character will only be a woman if there's a special reason to be, otherwise the creator defaults to making a man. So even though you have probably killed a lot more men since the majority of NPC enemies and villains are men, the idea is that almost always will a woman be a target of violence or can be a target of violence. When men are usually agents of violence themselves, not just a target.

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When I saw the 14 articles the exact same day on several websites to say "Gamers are over" or "Gamers are dead", I couldn't accept it.

 

That number just keeps growing, doesn't it?

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However, I think Sarkeesian is cherry picking and painting the whole video game culture as something very negative, which, as a gamer since I'm 4 (hello Ecco the Dolphin & Flashback), I can't accept. Video games have been incredibly diverse to me, playing all kind of animals & characters in all kind of countries & imaginary worlds. I've killed 10 times more aliens, nazis, soldiers, and innocent male characters than women in video games. So when I see Sarkeesian saying video game culture is tainted with violence against women, I say no. Video game culture is tainted with violence toward everyone. And, just like gamers used to deflect conservative when they told violence in video games makes you violent in real life, sexism in video games do not make you sexist in real life. This is a gross assumption, and this is why I disagree with her conclusions while I totally agree on some parts of her work. Oh, and also, when I read that "Ico is sexist", I just can't accept any more stuff from her. I think she's toxic & she's spreading conflict instead of encouraging change. That is my opinion, and you have the right to disagree and like her work.

Ughhh have you ever actually listened to the words coming out of her mouth, or do you just hear "sexism" and "[insert game title here]" and assume the worst? She never said games are making people sexist. She never said everything in games is sexist. In fact, she explicitly says those things are NOT true. Games aren't making people sexist. Rather, these problems she points out reinforce the prevailing sexism that is everywhere in society, not just games. If you aren't sexist at all, then these games won't make you sexist. But if you already believe that women are naturally damsel-like, then fuck yeah playing nothing but games where women are damsels is going to continue to reinforce that stereotype. THAT is her message.

She also explicitly says that, even though she can recognize the issues in these games, she still likes some of them anyway. That's allowed! Are you going to tell me you've never disliked, I don't know, a turret sequence in a video game, but still loved the rest of the game despite that? It's the same fucking thing, except this is more important, because it's not a quibble with a mechanic, it's a quibble with a problem endemic to society. You need to take some time and realize that having problems with one element of a piece of entertainment or art or whatever you prefer to call it is not a condemnation of the entire product or medium.

You beg us to separate the artist from the work, so that we'll buy your game? Maybe you should consider doing the same thing when it comes to Anita. It's okay to have problems with a few specific examples. I do! But to condemn everything she says based on that? You're wrong! Sorry! She's not "cherry-picking" exampels. She's pointing out a few problems that are common. If she gets a few specific examples wrong - and these next three words are important - in your opinion, who cares? It doesn't mean her message is inherently broken. It just means that you disagree with some examples.

And you know what? Fine. You think she's really bad at what she's doing. So go find some better examples. You know you can. You already mentioned a few in your first paragraph. Do a better job than her of pointing out the sexism in games if you really, truly think she's a problem. Show her up. But don't shoot her down, because her message is a good one.

I also don't buy the patriarchy stuff. Maybe it applies in the USA, but I live in Paris, and here in France, virility is not encouraged at all, sensitive men and intelligence are a lot more appreciated than "being a tough guy" and muscles. Most masculine behaviors are totally prohibited and are considered very macho here.

That's cool that you think sexism doesn't exist in France, but clearly women disagree. A simple Google search for "sexism france" returns a number of interesting results that counter your idea that it doesn't exist there. It's not just about masculine behavior.

That said, let's briefly pretend you're correct, and sexism is completely absent in France. Why does that matter? It obviously, definitely exists elsewhere, or this shit with GamerGate wouldn't be happening. You say you "don't buy the patriarchy stuff". That's cool, that's your privilege, because you are part of it. By denying it, you are literally exercising your power to ignore the things women say when they talk about the patriarchy. Here's a hard truth that it took me a long time to accept: Your opinion doesn't matter. I know it's harsh and it's hard to believe, but it's true. If women consistently complain about sexism in the industry (and in other industries and in every day life), you don't get to tell them it's not a real problem. You CAN, of course, and right now you ARE, but your opinion holds no weight compared to theirs. Women are the ones experiencing these things. Not you.

And, yes, of course, sexism can and does definitely exist against men sometimes. But don't even fucking pretend we're on even terms here. We're not.

When I saw the 14 articles the exact same day on several websites to say "Gamers are over" or "Gamers are dead", I couldn't accept it. I can't accept to see medias & journalists on Twitter paint "gamers" as misogynistic, white trash, neckbeard, while we are a very diverse culture, with gamers from all countries of the world, all sex, all age. I really can't see how medias can make such generalisation from the terrible actions of a few irrational people.

Those articles wouldn't exist if self-proclaimed gamers like yourself didn't harass women for themselves trying to be a part of the games industry. Sure, you'll say you don't support harassment, but go back and read those screenshots of your Twitter conversations. You're one step away from telling feminists that their opinions don't fucking matter. You basically do it several times, but not in such plain language.

Now consider the part of the group you've aligned yourself with. The GamerGate movement was FOUNDED ENTIRELY ON THE PRINCIPLE OF ATTACKING ONE SPECIFIC WOMAN. This is an undeniable FACT. This is HISTORY. You can't be a "moderate" if you consider yourself a gater because by including yourself with that group, you are implicitly supporting the actions of those who continue to harass women on a daily basis.

To cap this off: I call myself a gamer and I do so very vehemently and passionately. Games are core to my identity. I would not be who I am without games. Maybe that makes some people look down on me, but I don't fucking give a shit. I would not be who I am today without games. I live and breathe them. I make them for a living. I play them in my free time. I am a gamer. That doesn't mean I have to fucking get up in arms when a bunch of whiny man-children harass a woman so much that it drives another woman to write an article about the typical environment surrounding games and how it needs to die. Get over yourself. You're more than a gamer. You're a human being. Have some empathy.

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To cap this off: I call myself a gamer and I do so very vehemently and passionately. Games are core to my identity. I would not be who I am without games. Maybe that makes some people look down on me, but I don't fucking give a shit. I would not be who I am today without games. I live and breathe them. I make them for a living. I play them in my free time. I am a gamer. That doesn't mean I have to fucking get up in arms when a bunch of whiny man-children harass a woman so much that it drives another woman to write an article about the typical environment surrounding games and how it needs to die. Get over yourself. You're more than a gamer. You're a human being. Have some empathy.

 

Counterpoint, it's entirely possible to play a lot of games, attach a great deal of importance to them, even make them as your vocation while also choosing not to attach this 'gamer' label to yourself. It's just a word; if its meaning has been tainted by a bunch of misogynists, why cling to it?

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Counterpoint, it's entirely possible to play a lot of games, attach a great deal of importance to them, even make them as your vocation while also choosing not to attach this 'gamer' label to yourself. It's just a word; if its meaning has been tainted by a bunch of misogynists, why cling to it?

 

Countercounterpoint, it's entirely possible to believe in equality for women and see it as necessary to fight for that right while also choosing not to attach this 'feminist' label to yourself. It's just a word; if its meaning has been tained by a bunch of unethical video game journalists, why cling to it?

 

(Because if there's a label you like to self-identify with then you want it to have a positive perception, especially when there is a pushback by a mainstream that you see as unjust. This is why Gamergate is not extinguishing despite being much less defensible than just 'gamer' as a label. It's also not so easy to create a new label that may be more marketable without discarding a history that you may care about, e.g. the history of feminism and the context in which gender equality is being fought for.)

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Counterpoint, it's entirely possible to play a lot of games, attach a great deal of importance to them, even make them as your vocation while also choosing not to attach this 'gamer' label to yourself. It's just a word; if its meaning has been tainted by a bunch of misogynists, why cling to it?

I don't care if you don't want to do it. I'm not going to let people like these gaters ruin my word.

 

But my point was that while I understand where he's coming from when he gets upset about people quote-unquote attacking gamers, that is no excuse to align yourself with those who are attacking women who would otherwise be gamers (or not, should they choose not to call themselves such). The last thing I want to do is get into another argument on these forums where people look down on me for choosing to call myself a gamer.

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