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Friday News: Smartphone adoption increasing; sexist problems in games bigger than...

I love buying things on my smartphone but I think that’s primarily because I never forget my phone whereas I’ve forgotten my wallet more than once. I don’t really know how that happens. BGR

Therein lies the crux of the problem. The Cracked staff put together a list of 6 sexist video game problems that go beyond the hypersexualized bodies of women appearing in video games. They include glorifying rape culture, making the women into submissive characters, allowing previously capable women to be reduced to girls who need saving (via the dad ex machina which is awesome) and so forth.

And the comments are filled with hate for Anita Sarkeesian, whom male gamers believe is the root of all evil, and mansplaining about why none of the examples are really that bad. It’s games after all! And if they can’t glorify rape culture or save competent women then what else do they have to live for?

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Leah
    Sep 20, 2013 @ 07:21:50

    The gaming community’s misogyny (and transphobia) had a nasty flare-up this week. Gamespot’s Carolyn Petit reviewed the new Grand Theft Auto V and gave it a 9/10, praising virtually every aspect of the game but calling out the sexist way women are portrayed. And the gaming community responded with hate, rape/death threats, transphobic rage (Petit is trans), and petitions for Petit to be fired.

    Because she dared to give the game a 9/10 and call out its sexism. Oh, and because her gender is ambiguous.

    This is the gaming community today, and it sucks. Petit, Sarkeesian, and the other feminists who are fighting this bullshit are absolute saints.

  2. Little Red
    Sep 20, 2013 @ 10:27:49

    Thanks for the link to the PS/IM photos. Love them both!

  3. library addict
    Sep 20, 2013 @ 10:46:44

    The gaming article was depressing so thanks for including the SPS/SIM gifs. They cheered me up.

  4. Sunny
    Sep 20, 2013 @ 12:39:03

    I work in the gaming industry and have for nearly a decade — while it is sort of a nightmare to have to deal with this everywhere, at the same time it is an amazing turn from being laughed at and ignored because EVERYONE is speaking up and dealing with this now. The Naughty Dog keynote for the IGDA was last week and that was one of the major topics — and it only crossed the CEO’s radar at first because he now has a daughter. That’s been a major factor in a lot of this, these once all-guy no-girls-allowed-club studios and companies are suddenly having to have women in their lives in an incredibly personal and in-ignorable way — it’s one thing to ignore what a random fan or even a friend says, but if someone you have a very personal involvement and emotional investment in is saying the same thing, it can cause a massive view shift.

    My husband has gone from “I don’t know any women who face any of these issues” to a very outspoken feminist ally over the time I have known him for exactly this reason — he never really KNEW any women, as friends or co-workers, so of course he never saw any of this. Now he has to tone it down when I don’t want to deal with the latest article proving Lewis’ Law (that any article about needing feminism is proved true by the comments on said article). I think he never had to experience women as people thanks to the way society speaks, and I have watched this same sharp right turn in a lot of men in the industry of women-as-objects to women-as-people and the sudden dissonance of games still treating them as objects, and nastily so.

    My umbrella company is a big one, and it is an absolute shame that our studio is considered way above industry standard to have 20% of employees be women, and 50% of leadership positions be filled by them. It’s an incredibly diverse and progressive staff, but we feel completely undermined when our booth goes up at E3 and it turns out our company hired booth babes instead of sending, y’know, ANY of the women that actually had developer roles in the project. But they sent a dozen men.

  5. Phillip
    Sep 20, 2013 @ 17:30:50

    In a world where quick fixes and speed rules, the smartphone will only continue to increase in popularity and dictate the way in which we consume information and conduct business.

  6. Junne
    Sep 21, 2013 @ 10:40:27

    I’m not a fan at all of Anita Sarkeesian. I think the subject she chose is worthy, but her way of dealing with things is not ( stealing other players’s let’s play videos, manipulating everyone’s opinion to appear like a victim – so intently taking the role of a damsel in distress- and gain thousands of dollars for her kickstarter).Also, “gaming as a male-dominated space”?? She tries to put the harassing she got as a conspiracy to prevent women from becoming gamers, which is just ridiculous as it’s mainly just trolls – granted, sexist and verbally abusive trolls- that flooded her kickstarter comments. There is no “organised boys club”: any woman can buy a game and play it, no one’s going to prevent her from doing that.Here’s a video that explains it better than me

  7. Estara Swanberg
    Sep 21, 2013 @ 12:13:35

    @Junne: Wow, the privilege is on show – “the topic is worthy, just shame about the presentation – because of that it’s below my standard to listen to” – that’s how your comment comes across to me.

    @Sunny: Thank you for pointing out that there is some light out there.

    Personally, I no longer game where I can’t be a significant character and I no longer read books where women are sidelined or fridged or trophied. I still have HUGE amounts of books to read and games to play ^^. I also understand that is just an avoidance of dealing with the problem directly – I get enough sexism in my workplace, my spare time is spent in safe spaces.

  8. Junne
    Sep 21, 2013 @ 13:24:29

    @Estara Swanberg:

    What privilege? I’m a woman too.

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