Posted: Nov 02, 2014 4:49 pm
by Thommo
I don't understand why people even call Anita Sarkeesian a critic, she's not.

A critic is a person (usually a fan of a form of media), who in a professional or nonprofessional manner experiences a work of art, explores its dimensions and then writes about it, analysing it in terms of culture, background, technical mastery, themes and execution.

What Anita does is more a form of polemics, running on confirmation bias. She decides that video games are "vs women" and goes hunting for examples, which she then holds up saying "see!". Since she goes back and uses examples from up to twenty years ago this isn't informative as criticism, no game is analysed deeply and the samples are completely non-representative so no legitimate inference about the state of video games as a whole can be drawn. The number of examples is so low you could (if sufficiently bored) come up with examples featuring a man in the negative role to match each and every example cited by Anita - we are only talking about a few dozen examples out of literally tens of millions of video games made over the last couple of decades.

This doesn't of course mean that Anita is wrong, although as I've pointed out before her claims certainly don't match my experience - around 7/10 games featuring a protagonist in my collection allow me to play as a female character, it's not remotely uncommon unless you arbitrarily exclude huge numbers of games for also allowing choice of a male one.

I also wonder why so many people talk about objectification of women in games without ever realising that games don't actually feature women, they feature depictions of women that require anthropomorphisation. If I stare at some drawing of an imaginary woman, admiring her curves and drooling there's never any objectification, she has no feelings, dreams, hopes and fears for me to ignore, I can't treat her "like" an object she "is" an object. This is in stark contrast to real and damaging objectification where a woman, a person in her own right is treated is less than human. Frankly if teenage boys are going to get het up over pictures it's hard to see where the harm in those pictures being fantasies, drawn for that express purpose actually is.