12 angry linkspams (5 March 2013)

You can suggest links for future linkspams in comments here, or by using the “geekfeminism” tag on delicious or pinboard.in or the “#geekfeminism” tag on Twitter. Please note that we tend to stick to publishing recent links (from the last month or so).

Thanks to everyone who suggested links.

5 thoughts on “12 angry linkspams (5 March 2013)

  1. Alan

    The “BioShock Infinite, Tomb Raider and exploitation” really annoys me. I’m reminded of the post “My Little Homophobic, Racist, Smart-Shaming Pony“, in which someone takes a little bit of information, a bit of coverage and a small preview, and draws conclusions far beyond what the evidence supports. I can’t really speak to BioShock Infinite, it’s not a game I’m following terribly closely. But I have been following coverage of Tomb Raider 2013, and still eating oranges seems worrying out of touch with the situation. The author’s definition of moe includes “This is done by placing young girls or young-looking women in situations where they act like children: innocent; cutesy; vulnerable; helpless; ‘adorable’.” Is the author seeing the same coverage I am? I guess Lara can reasonably count as vulnerable, innocent in a stretch, but the rest is a complete miss; fundamentally she doesn’t “act like children.”

    As for the protectiveness of the player, I’m struck by reviews like Ben Kuchera’s, “After playing through the full game, the question of sexual assault, or whether the player will want to “protect” Lara Croft both feel silly. The scenes where Croft is in jeopardy make sense in the greater context of the game, and at no point did I feel protective of the character. She wasn’t a cowering thing, being guided by an unseen presence with a controller as much as she was the player’s avatar in a situation that offers an overwhelming sense of danger.”

    Rhianna Pratchett, Tomb Raider’s writer, said “I’m not going to say that no player is going to be protective towards Lara, but certainly some players, myself included, I feel like I am Lara. … There’s no one way of summing up the relationship between players and player characters, so I can see why some people would have problems with words like ‘protect,’ even though that was never linked to that one scene in the interview. People did link it, and I think players do, both male and female, do empathize as Lara and see themselves as Lara.”

    I find the argument that Tomb Raider 2013 represents moe deeply unconvincing. And left with one potential example, the argument that this represents the start of some sudden wellspring of western moe games goes from weak to non-existent.

  2. Daniel Martin

    For a future linkspam post: this year’s Google I/O event has a surprisingly well-written anti-harassment policy. It seems it was actually written before last year’s I/O, but I hadn’t seen it linked from official conference pages before. Quoting from the bottom of the policy:

    This policy is based on several other policies, including the Ohio LinuxFest anti-harassment policy, written by Esther Filderman and Beth Lynn Eicher, and the Con Anti-Harassment Project. Mary Gardiner, Valerie Aurora, Sarah Smith, and Donna Benjamin generalized the policies and added supporting material. Many members of LinuxChix, Geek Feminism and other groups contributed to this work.

  3. Science Chick

    “The West has consumed moe for years through imported, otaku-targeted anime, manga and video games; but we have not regurgitated it into our own culture. The video game industry is set to break that trend next month.”

    “Moe is a type of exploitation based on generating protective, nurturing instincts in men. This is done by placing young girls or young-looking women in situations where they act like children: innocent; cutesy; vulnerable; helpless; “adorable”. Often this is achieved simply through ditziness or physical clumsiness, but it is not uncommon for moe to use violence, injuries and disabilities as well.”

    Apparently Still Eating Oranges has never played Resident Evil 4. Ashley Graham anyone? And RE4 is at least 8 or 9 years old. In addition, you can’t judge games that haven’t been released yet. Neither Bioshock Infinite nor the Tomb Raider reboot were released at time of writing.

    1. Alan

      I also thought of Resident Evil 4, as well as Ico. I was going to call the author out on them, but… “The West has consumed moe for years through imported, otaku-targeted … video games; but we have not regurgitated it into our own culture.” I think it can be reasonably interpreted as “Western companies aren’t creating these games,” which is true for those two games. They were imported.

  4. Lisa

    I’m a bit late to this, but I cannot contain my frustration at these men who are so baffled why ‘geek culture’ is offputting to women.

    I’ve worked in tech fields for multiple decades, and I am often put off by workplaces and projects that have too strong a ‘geek culture’ element, not because I don’t appreciate Star Wars (I don’t, but that’s not why). But because I have to ask myself where all these adult men are finding the time to pursue their hobbies like that. The same often goes for other non-paid hobby work.

    Since I became an adult, I’ve had far too many adult responsibilities to take care of to find the time to play video games or pursue other non-essential hobbies. I’ve been busy with home maintenance and repair, raising a child, buying groceries, cooking, doing laundry, and all the other things that grownups do. And it is pretty odious to be working in a company with a strong ‘geek culture,’ and having a bunch of coworkers who, despite many being parents themselves, identify themselves and value others so strongly based on hobbies that I, as a functioning adult human being with adult responsibilities, don’t have time for. These men’s wives, even those with their own regular jobs, were consistently taking care of both their children, and the men themselves.

    I don’t hate geeks or hobbies, of course, by any stretch. Now that my child is raised, I have more time for my own hobbies too. Hooray! But there’s something very insular and honestly, very childish, about adults who embrace and overvalue ‘geek culture’ on the backs of those who are feeding and clothing and cleaning up after them.

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

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