Update #73: Narrative Design: A Day in the Life, Undead

Discussion in 'News Comments' started by Dark Elf, Feb 26, 2014.

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  1. Yuki

    Yuki Well-Known Member

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    My respect for Jojobobo - if at all there to begin with - is fading fast.
     
  2. Jojobobo

    Jojobobo Well-Known Member

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    Re: Re:

    Well that makes me very unhappy Yuki, my self-worth was only kept afloat by your opinion of me. I hope you can live with my bitter salty tears on your conscience.

    In seriousness, my own respect dries up very quickly for people who disapprove of what has been stated and yet don't substantiate why they disapprove - as they're only after an emotional reaction or at the very least they want the person who the comment is directed at to fish for why they are aggrieved. I don't care to go fishing.

    Are people really that impressionable though? I guess sure if you let mass media do your parenting for you then your kids are going to have a shitty view of the world, and not just in regards to sexism. Really the issue is if parents haven't impressed on their children good moral values in the first place, and if they haven't then the problem isn't with media at large it's with those people who get their kids any mature game they want or let them watch anything they want to shut them up and then they're surprised when their kids are messed up. I don't see why the media needs to be altered to accomodate for people who can't teach their children it's wrong to objectify women in the first place - by that dint you may as well cut out any violence in video games or tv shows because heaven forbid a child watch that and go shank his friend because his parents didn't explicitly tell him that stabbing buddies is wrong.

    Beyond that, everyone enjoys titillation, men or women - and I think entertainment media should be there to entertain and not to moralise.
     
  3. Jungle Japes

    Jungle Japes Well-Known Member

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    Interesting video, mildly related to the topic at hand:
    [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cO1ifNaNABY[/youtube]
     
  4. Ruda

    Ruda Active Member

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    Re: Re:

    Of course people are impressionable. If the average fellow was able to see through commercials and the like, of which we are constantly bombarded, it wouldn't really be worthwhile for various companies to invest in tv-time. And you don't have to be a bad parent just because you're unable to notice, let alone prevent, how your children's exposure to "improper" morals. While not exactly a case in point, you could take school and extracurricular activity as examples. For me, elementary school was a horrifyingly sexists environment (I believe the standard term for girl was "whore") which was effectively concealed from the "authorities". Most kids never told their parents who naturally knew and suspected nothing. I played hockey for awhile which was just as bad, even more so as sexism is more likely to fester in a non-female environment. What I'm trying to get at is, as was stated above, that no matter what you do as a parent your kid will play be exposed. While parenting is important, and parents letting their children play games (or watch movies, maybe even read books?) intended for adults are reprehensible, it'd be silly to think that any impressionable kid with skewed views to be the result of bad parenting.
    I really don't understand this. You agree that objectification is wrong, but you still want media to keep objectifying? As I've stated earlier, I don't think that portrayals of objectification within media is wrong in any way whatsoever (the same goes for violence) the issue is how and why it's being portrayed. Is it a gratuitous or an actual part of the story? As for the shanking business, I can't really tell if you're being serious or not. Obviously we have a larger problem with casual sexism than people casually being stabbed. I'd say that most people have a moral, I don't know what it's called, "barrier" maybe, that prevents them from hurting other people, a barrier that seems to be lacking regarding sexism. And in school bullying is fought much harder than "boys teasing girls".

    I agree with you on the final point though, although I'd hardly consider a lack of sexism to be moralizing.
     
  5. Jojobobo

    Jojobobo Well-Known Member

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    First of all Ruda, it's good that you continue to address contentious points and in a reasonable manner. Too many people either wimp out because they feel they'd get too heated, or they take the stance of "it's a forum it's not real life, why should I bother?" But you're seeing it through, and I would rather my opinions be challenged - it's not like they're set in stone or unchangeable.
    I guess this was not at all the situation with my elementary school, people treated girls as equals and they were never called names to belittle them as far as my experience shows. Maybe rural england isn't representative of overall culture, but I never encountered any sexist behavior in any of the males at my primary school and all the girls and boys hung around together. Plus my parents never even mentioned the need to treat girls with any different behaviour, I was taught to treat all people kindly and contentiously - there wasn't any point to make a distinction.

    Obviously, I'm sure I've mentioned that I didn't treat dickish peers at primary school kindly who had been dickish to me first place elsewhere (there's a thread, somewhere); but they were always male. Sexism, really, wasn't existent - that could be why I'm having a hard time seeing it as a pervasive issue and you're (perhaps) seeing it as anything but.

    In regards to bad parenting, yes I stand by this point. There was a case very recently in British media where a twelve year old boy had sex with his sister because he watched hardcore porn at his friend's house and so wanted to try it out for himself. Though I'm not seeking to dilute the issue here, as porn and sexualisation of women in the media are (somewhat) separate issues, I find it hard to believe if that kid hadn't been given a proper sex talk by his parents something sad and horrible may have been prevented from happening.

    The whole debacle about Wolf of Wall Street recently is that it somehow glamorises the sexism, drug taking and overall criminality which features. However, it seems like if someone thinks those are traits to be replicated, then they missed the point that this is a cautionary tale - and that those are not desirable traits to be had within a person. I bring this up as GTAV has pretty much all the same issues, and yet if a parent has raised their kid reasonably they're not going to try and replicate that. Ultimately, boiling down to the original issue, why should entertainment media change itself for masses - especially when most of the time responsible adults should be restricting their kids' access in the first place?

    You've articulated yourself well with sound arguments, and I applaud you for that.

    I guess first of all I'd like to point out I like liberal media, and I don't think media should be restricted according to people's desires. Of films I watch, I probably own around 150 (or getting up to that) horror films currently; and I'm sure you'll appreciate that's probably the most liberal and least politically correct genre of film. This is just to give you a better a scope of my stance really, not as a counterpoint.

    My point about violence was to what extent do you think is the logical extreme of portrayals of sexism in media? Worldwide rape and abuse? Violence, from it's portrayal it the media, would now cause widespread murders and assault. Logically, sexism should encourage abuse to women yet - if you draw the analogy to violent games - it doesn't. I'm not trying to be a dick here, I'm looking for a genuine counterpoint as to why media should be more restricted than it is - and if there's anything incorrect with drawing this comparison in the first place?

    As for objectification, what I oppose to is women being portrayed as being less capable in any way to men. Or different races or creeds being inferior. Any other role which men or women are placed in, as long as it fits that original criteria, is fine by me.
     
  6. Grossenschwamm

    Grossenschwamm Well-Known Member

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    Somewhat related to the argument at hand, I saw the picture of Cadegund and instantly wondered the same thing I did while playing Skyrim. Or really any other game that has women as playable characters and also shapes the armor to their features.

    The men's armor is arguably the more protective of the two, considering his breastplate (or cuirass) has no breast shapes. How is the armor supposed to deflect incoming blows from vital areas when it's got two globes guiding attacks right into the center of the chest?

    The player knows they've got a female character already; they don't need that affirmed by glowing red underboobs in daedric armor.

    Yes, it's a fantasy environment and I understand that magic exists. But if armor is used in these worlds for the same reason it was/is in this one, why do women get armor that's so severely flawed?
     
  7. Zanza

    Zanza Well-Known Member

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    I hope a new update happens soon.
     
  8. Jungle Japes

    Jungle Japes Well-Known Member

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    To be fair, breastplates molded in such a way as to exaggerate the features of the torso do have solid basis in ancient history. Granted, they were shaped for the male torso. But one could argue that the more sexist stance would be to say that not even in an alternate universe, where female warriors are the equals to their male counterparts, would a breastplate be crafted to amplify the female features. If you take some time to analyze the various armors worn through the ages, you'll have to agree that at times, function to a back seat to form. Why would this not hold true in an alternate universe?
     
  9. Ruda

    Ruda Active Member

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    Re: Re: Just noticed subjects. People actually use these?

    Yes, that's awful. However, I do believe that the boy had more issues than not having discussed birds and bees with his parents. While such talks might help kids in general to avoid unfortunate pregnancies, I doubt that they are intended to dissuade twelve-year-old-would-be rapists. A twelve year old is obviously very impressionable, but I doubt a porno would inspire him to rape his sister by itself. However, you're entirely right in that much can be blamed on the parents in these instances. According to the all-knowing Wikipedia ”sibling abusive incest is most prevalent in families where one or both parents are often absent or emotionally unavailable, with the abusive siblings using incest as a way to assert their power over a weaker sibling”. I know little of this particular case though.
    I agree with you entirely on Wolf of Wall Street. The situation is quite similar to American Psycho, which is largely criticism on shallow consumerism. The main character, Patrick Bateman's treatment of everything and everyone as commodities, combined with his excessive hedonism, results in him raping, killing, torturing and, if I recall correctly, eating people for kicks. Unfortunately, much like the Wolf of Wall Street, it was adored by the wrong people for the wrong reasons. Yuppies loved it as they adored Bateman's lifestyle, and while most critics praised it for what it was, a satire, others hated its portrayal of violence, objectification and sex (which I agree was quite nauseating at times) showing that they completely missed the point.

    It seems that we can reach some common ground here, as I think that I misunderstood you earlier. I'm not saying that media should lower it self in fear of being misinterpreted (and parents should definitely prevent their kids from seeing adult movies, playing adult games etc) but it shouldn't be used as an excuse either. While the sexual content and objectification serves their purposes in both Wolf of Wall Street and American Psycho, I can't always say the same for GTA. While it's definitely okay in dialogue (as it establishes the characters' views on women; I loved the first two cut scenes in GTA IV for example) I really don't see the reasons for the player being able to pick up prostitutes and visit strip clubs outside of missions. I get that a strip club might be the natural habitat for many criminals and that it can be used as quest hubs and the like, but to go there with your in-game buddies and pay for lap dances? I don't know. I recall a Vice City mission where you actually had to watch a bunch of pixels shake their arses for five minutes or something. Haven't played GTA V myself so I can't comment, but from what I've heard it's nothing but torture simulator...
    In main stream media (not including your horror flicks, you fetishist you!) violence, while excessively used, is often portrayed as something negative. The villain beats and kills people and is often defeated by the hero peacefully or through ”necessary” violence. This is not always the case, however, as we're sometimes give ”heroes” in our many cop shows that, while not shooting the villain on sight, usually ends up killing the poor schmuck. Some cops in these show have body counts that I'm sure ranges up to twenty or thirty often without any trauma. This isn't due to the show's creator wanting to comment on the tragic use of violence, it's just plain ignorance. I also believe that the polarized views people have on cops these days is a result from the causal violence in cop shows. Some think that cops are too lenient with ”criminal scum” (”Why don't you just shoot him like they do on telly?”) while others feel that they're too trigger happy (”All cops are as bad as the ones on telly!”). I could be pulling this out of my arse though...

    As for action films, I believe the issue is a bit different. Action films are often so bizarrely unrealistic that you can't take the use of violence seriously. Take James Bond or Die Hard or whatever. Few people actually kid themselves to believing that they're able to pull off the unrealistic levels of violence that the protagonists somehow manages to dish out. We're just watching because we get our kicks from the cool explosions, but we don't try to relive it by lighting up gas stations.

    When it comes to portrayals of sexism in media, however, it seldom comes off as unrealistic. It doesn't always involve matters as serious as rape (although gratuitous rape scenes are not uncommon), but are rather limited to ”innocent” pats on the back, which is much easier to accept and relate to, especially for the average, white, middle aged, male viewer. Naturally, as I have stated many times during these few posts, there are times where this ”mild” sexism is appropriate to the setting, where it isn't brushed off but treated as a part of the story.

    What I'm trying to get at is that while causal violence in action films is normally too unrealistic to inspire folks to act on it, causal sexism isn't.
    Very true. Breat-bulges are far too overused. The whole thing is, just as the chainmail bikini, silly and impractical.
    A somewhat fair point. But, the so-called muscle cuirasses should in that case work both ways, which they don't in Skyrim and other games, where male cuirasses are far more practical and protective. Also, muscle cuirasses were primarily used by commanders and were reserved for ceremonial purposes. They also went out of style quite fast, being primarily used during the time of Ancient Greece. PoE takes place in an alternative renaissance, where clothes were stylish and armour practical. Take a look at Cate Blanchet's Elisabeth. Her suit of armour is appropriately protective.
     
  10. Jojobobo

    Jojobobo Well-Known Member

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    Re: Re: Just noticed subjects. People actually use these?

    I'd argue it's necessary in GTA V too. The point is you're playing a villain - it would be stupid to allow murder, theft and all kinds of other crime and yet draw the line at chauvinism. Chauvinism is obviously unpleasant, so I think that is definitely appropriate in the given context.

    I guess you have a point, violence isn't treated casually - or if it is it's done for effect so that the perpetrator seems more detached from their humanity. Sexism is easier to brush off, especially along the lines of "boys will be boys".

    Thinking back, the point I'm trying to make here is I see nothing wrong - by itself - of sexualisation of women or men in the media. The trouble is sexualisation is often coupled to sexism, whereby it's seen as okay to dehumanise people - treating them solely as a means to get your rocks off - just because they're attractive; that to me is true objectification. Sexism itself in media, as you point out, is okay if it's serving a narrative purpose - i.e. it's thematically appropriate to the character, story or setting and is trying to say something more than women are sexy and should be used for sex, either that or there is some sort of comeuppance for the sexist behaviour.

    At the same time, you need to be careful as to what you target as inappropriately sexist - otherwise you start to verge on censorship. Sexist material should only really be targeted if it is sexism for the sake of sexism (i.e. there's nothing deeper to it, and the characters aren't punished in any way for their negative attitude) or if it is narratively appropriate sexism but it's being marketed at people who aren't mature enough to not let it colour their world view.

    I thought I'd clarify that in some contexts objectification is fine too, i.e. where you have two consenting parties and both are wanting to use each other for sex. Porn is a thornier issue, but I'd say that's fine as people just use it to scratch an itch and no one is being directly victimised - again it boils down to whether the person watching it is responsible enough to not let it impair how they treat the opposite sex. I'd even go as far to say that prostitution is okay where it is legal, as again no one is being victimised and no one is being tricked. The trouble is when a person thinks that everyone else is there just for their arousal, and there's nothing more to human interaction than that - this leads to the opposite sex suffering as a consequence.

    I guess I will say the only exception to "sexualisation is okay" is when pre-teens are encouraged to sexualise themselves, as no kid should be concerned with their image in that way. This is again a parenting factor though as most media goes out of it's way to not allow this to happen (children's tv presenters in the BBC have their appearance closely monitored for example).

    What should not be targeted as wrong is sexualisation in the absence of sexism, there's nothing wrong with people finding other people attractive or with people wanting to look attractive - male or female. This is why I took issue with the whole "OMG revealing fur zombie top" originally, it doesn't nothing to contribute to sexist behaviour. Not that this really pertains to the Pillars of Eternity example, but a society where people audit themselves for finding people attractive seems more backwards to me then a society that is accepting of that; that is my main point, and why it irks me when people decry any clothing that is moderately revealing as enormously sexist.

    The only real issue that you can pick here with Pillars of Eternity, as others have said, is that the clothing is stupidly impractical. It shouldn't have been raised as a sexist issue, it should be raised as a stupidity issue, which in Wolfsbane's original context it wasn't (the contrast between "Don't you think she'd be a bit chilly in that outfit" and "Look at her outfit, men are such pigs"). If the point was that men like women in clothing that appeals to them and will likely portray any woman in that clothing by default given the opportunity, then no shit - I doubt that's exclusive to men either. Does that inherently mean that the man who drew them as such sees women as meat and is actively advocating sexism? No, it does not.

    Now if you'll excuse me, Sunday morning is my Prostitute Orgy Morning. Those cheap skanky hookers aren't going to donkey punch themselves.
     
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