VIDEO: Are video games sexist?

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Yes, she went there. As a female internet reviewer, apparently Sofie needs to have a opinion about this, so here it is.

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  • Jonathan Campbell

    When you say that you haven’t really heard the question “are games really the biggest offender of this” asked or talked about…

    Er, really?

    Because I’ve heard it talked about A LOT.

    I don’t think anyone is saying that games are the biggest offender. What happened in the last few months is just that the finger was pointed at games for the first time (or the first time in a while, anyway). People have been complaining about sexism in movies and books and television and comics and radio and everything else since…forever. YOU have talked about it, even.

    Main reason its such a public thing now is because of Gamer-Gate, which is kind of ironic since the GG crowd wanted to either a) push feminism out of the gaming community, or b) complain that feminism was being used as a front by gaming journalists to deflect attention from the problems in gaming journalism, depending on the Gamer-Gater in question. The argument existed before that (its probably always been there) but its because of Gamer-Gate that its become such a big issue now.

    Also, I think there was a fly in your room.

    • Sofie Liv

      Well recently when talking about games specifically, it has been pointed to as that medium being a specific offender and many gamers have felt like they’ve been targeted specifically.

      Though as I first pointed out in this video, that is obviously not true, ALL popular media is under the fire, all the freaking time, it’s not just games.
      The fact that gaming is even given so much attention today just means it’s actually one of the big boys now.
      Which also means…. Gaming is a big boy, it can handle itself.
      There’s still a lot of growing and learning to do, gaming journalism in genneral has A LOT of problems that has nothing to do with genderoles, but it is a bigger thing now, it’s not just a tiny niche thing.

      It has though been the genneral attitude that games has been targeted specifically and that games now are the biggest offender of things that really is just a common flaw in ALL big medias, and yet we seem to lack the ability to just step back and look at the larger picture and realise this.

      Look, I was asked about this all the freaking time, so I gave in and handed out my opinion… it’s probably just opening myself to even more fire and questioning but now it’s out there, it’s my opinion.

      • Jonathan Campbell

        “It has though been the genneral attitude that games has been targeted specifically and that games now are the biggest offender of things that really is just a common flaw in ALL big medias, and yet we seem to lack the ability to just step back and look at the larger picture and realise this.”

        I don’t think its the general attitude though, I think its just a vocal minority. Most people who play games casually (the majority) are probably barely even aware that this debate is going on; most who play games seriously either don’t notice, don’t care, or agree that the problem exists.

        Even many in the pro-Gamer Gate crowd agree that sexism in games- and in media- is a thing; those ones just feel that what they are arguing about is corruption in gaming journalism and so thin being labelled as misogynists is unfair, because (as far as they were concerned, at least) that wasn’t what they were supposed to be arguing about.

        Its only a minority of people who probably feel that they gaming is under attack by feminists, and its only a minority of that minority that make such a big deal about it (and that isn’t counting the ones who are just malicious trolls).

        I think its more about the gaming community (or parts thereof) than gaming itself that feels like its being targeted; specifically, the male half, and only part of them as well (no matter how big a part). Probably to do with a lot of the language being used by both the pro- and anti-GG crowd as well, and the (if unintended) implication that if you like this game or don’t like that game, then you are pro-feminist / anti-feminist. Along with the general perception of what feminism is or means amongst different people.

        I think most people who feel threatened or offended by this stuff don’t think that its “just” games that are under attack; I think its more like they HAVE seen feminist critiques of all that other stuff and thought that their games were “safe” from that debate, and they are angry that they were wrong. Or, again, they think its just being used as an excuse to vilify them.

        Basically, no matter how big this argument seems or what the perception is…its really just the tip of the iceberg. It might LOOK like there is a general attitude that games are being targeted by feminists, but the truth is, most people either don’t care or don’t think much about it, and the Gamer-Gate thing was more of a phase.

        Gamer Gate might have recruited a lot of people who were angry about video game journalism or wanted to defend their games from feminist attacks, but the core of it were people who were angry about feminism already; gaming was just another factor at best, and an excuse at worst.

        • Sofie Liv

          A genneral attitude in the centre of the discussion these days, the view point being let out, the thing feeding the trolls.
          I’m not saying it’s the truth! I never ever said that, I even said I didn’t think it was and pointed to other example in the very beginning of the video! I just said that’s the loud attitude coming from this at the moment drowning out everything else!
          Which does shows an inability to step back and look at the larger picture at all, it does become increasingly more and more difficult the more this is going on.

          I am not defending those people, i’m just saying that has been their vocal attitude and the focus recently.

          I am talking about the HUNDREDS of articles that has been send my way on my facebook news feed, the links and interviews people have send me asking me my opinion upon. I am just telling what I have been seeing and giving my thoughts on it… as you can see I am already burned out in this though I have barely been part of the discussion… It’s making me tired and exhausted just talking about it.

          And as you can see, if you watched my video, my genneral answer was… no I don’t think games are sexiest…
          Sometimes there’s problems sure, but it deeply depends on the game and when it does happen it often has more to do with even older tropes than just games, thus the problem does not even lie with games, but somewhere else, somewhere in society.
          And on top of that, I feel like fictional medias should be allowed to go overboard with the fanservice if that is what they want, as long as we don’t pretend it is anything else than what it is when it does happen, and sepperate it from those whom wishes to do other things. It CAN co exist just fine, if we let it.
          Each thing has their place and should be allowed to be there is all that I am saying.

          And I am starting to get tired of people on BOTH sides getting but hurt over the tiniest little thing, it’s impossible to say ANYTHING these days without offending someone. It’s a nightmare!

          • Jonathan Campbell

            Hm. Okay then.

          • Sofie Liv

            I even said that… IN THE VIDEO.
            As one of the last things in my ending quotes, that those people are a minority and the larger picture is so much bigger than that! It’s there! I said it! I debunked my own words in my video -_-;

          • Jonathan Campbell

            Yes, yes you did.

          • Sofie Liv

            Sorry….
            As you can see, i’m just a bit worn out in this. It’s making me kind of touchy I guess, though i don’t want to be.

            And I know you by now, you do like to argue for the sake of arguing… I do to so we are both to blame, but we end up talking past each other so often on subjects we actually agree on and… gosh not now please.
            I’m sure there’ll be plenty of people to attack me in *Looks at watch* ….

            Well, that’s what I build my pillow ford for! COME AT ME ENTERNET I HAVE PILLOWS! ….. And oreos! Surely this can last me for days!

          • Jonathan Campbell

            You’re going to be SO disappointed if people watch this video and just shrug their shoulders and say “yes, I agree”, aren’t you?

            Waste of a perfectly good pillow fort.

          • danbreunig

            What if I shrug and say “yes, I agree”–because I really do–but want to see you guys pillow fight anyway?

          • Sofie Liv

            A GOOD PILLOW FORD IS NEVER A WASTE!

            I’m having tea and oreos in here, and it’s delightful!

          • danbreunig

            I *think* you meant that for Jonathan, right? But yeah, don’t waste a good pillow fort. Good for the winter warmth and keeping the monsters out. And tea parties with Mr. Drippy.

          • Sofie Liv

            Oh yes most definetely, Mr. Drippy appreciates a good tea party more than anyone else I know.
            He’s a good tea buddie.

          • Jonathan Campbell

            I think Sofie meant she was going to have a pillow fight with people attacking her video, not with me.

            (because she would never, ever win a pillow fight with me; I don’t care how big that fort is).

          • danbreunig

            Here you go [offers a glass of milk for the cookies].
            On second thought, [leaves the whole crate].

  • MichaelANovelli

    Looking at it as a genre instead of a medium?

    It’s the whole anime controversy, all over again!

    • But everyone knows that games like Candy Crush, COD and GTAV are sooo interchangeable, heck Farmville is the ultimate hip-pocket murder simulator as it has committed numerous bouts of creditcide over the years.

      • Sofie Liv

        yeah I just spend the last few days playing Pokemon Omega Ruby….. Damn sexiest game having every single nurse and police officer being female, a good number of the gym leaders women, female Team Magma goons and the possibility of me choosing my own gender.

        Die game, die! ….. Come visit my secret base :3

        And yeah, seems to be a genneral problem with a lot of things, comic books are having the same issues as well meaning.
        When people say they want to get into comic books… what they are actually saying is they want to get into DC and Marvel shared univers.
        Because comic books…. That’s a whole different things, the titles I grew up with were things such as Donald Duck, Elf Quest, Asterix, Tintin, Prince Valiant, Valhalla and numerous others… which are not superhero comic books… at all… But still comic books! Because that’s also a platform not a genre…

        • I must get myself one of those 3DS thingies one of these days so I can play the newest Pokemons.

          • Sofie Liv

            If you like Classic nintendo titles and just sitting down with relaxing games, it’s a fine investment.
            I love my 3DS, I originally bought it just for Professor Layton, but I already own a TON of games, because well… there really are loads of games for it that appeals hugely to me.

      • MichaelANovelli

        It kills the hip-pockets with its hip-shot percussion!

        • danbreunig

          Dropping the beats while stomping the feets!

    • CaptainCalvinCat

      Hmmm, strange. For me it was clear – even 10 years ago – that mangas / comics / video games are their own individual beasts, that there are mangas / video games / comics for every genre and that those are just as much as “serious” sources of entertainment as movies, books or TV-Shows.

  • John Wilson

    I say people just be stressin about almost everything now a day(maybe even before then). I be like, why stress. Just create and learn, have fun.

    • Sofie Liv

      Yeah pretty much….

  • I’m biased in favour of more female characters in games cos I have been a cross player since Chun Li was an option in Street Fighter 2 a quarter of a century ago.

    • Sofie Liv

      Hah, more power to you. That’s what games are there for, you should be allowed to do what you want to.
      I admit it, I often go for the female characters whenever possible, but maybe that’s because of some sense of pride or I don’t know…. Though as I played Hyrule warriors I was quickly settled on Link as my favourite.
      Midna I love you and all, but our relationship in that game… it just didn’t work.

      • My favourite fighting character has got to be Charlotte from Samurai Shodown, her fencing moves were quite spiffy and she even had a nifty ranged attack, heck even her armour was classy in a practical, non-painted on way. http://youtu.be/CgNAimfQ6-A?t=34s

  • Yes, make believe things that don’t harm anyone are sexist, get your pitchforks… oh wait sorry too much work… get your hashtags on twitter where you can whine how oppressed you are…

    • Sofie Liv

      Clearly they must be exstremely opressed when actually having all that time and dedication it even takes to make such a fuss….

      Here I thought games and movies and so on was something that existed to allow us room and escape from our regular everyday problems, because lord knows, it can be so tough out there and everybody needs a break, that break time is precious… or at least I thought so.

      Whups, sorry, my bad… Break time totally needs to be another time of wining and spanking -_-;

  • mamba

    Are Video Games sexist?

    Yes…yes they are. They represent the world view, and the world is sexist. Nothing they can do will ever undo the sexism sufficiently to counter it, and even if they did, eventually another group will jump in and claim misrepresentation. Inuit maybe…you never see inuit games that aren’t stereotypical.

    Well that was easy…like announcing that racism exists and that many people like boobs. Lazy, but easy.

    So now what? That’s the only relevant question, and every answer leads to more problems.

    Here’s my counter-question: Are people allowed to ENJOY the appearance and sexiness of another person in film or video games? This is seriously asked, becasue literally every example I’ve ever seen of anyone in a game/movie male OR female showing even the slightest hit of acknowledging that sex and sex-related body parts even exists is instantly branded “sexist” and to me, that’s unfair. As an example, even if a woman character is well rounded and otherwise sexless, the MOMENT the breasts are made to be a C size rather than a B size, it’s instant sexism. The second a male character is appreciated for well-drawn abs, it’s “sexist pandering”. Heck, the moment someone complements the drawer on their taste in women’s HAIR, it’s sexist apparently. The term is being stripped of meaning.

    So I ask again…do we have to remove all sex reference from all games ever and draw everyone overweight and ugly to counter this, or can people just get over the fact that we’re all mutually attracted to each other i some fashion? Because obviously there is no such thing as a middle ground, and it seems pointless to even waste the effort to try and achieve it, as absolutely nothing will ever be good enough for a sexist-seeker. ™

    Personally I don’t care about the sex of the character in any way, nor the race, nor anything meaningless like that, and focus on the game or movie itself. As a straight male I enjoy looking at beautiful women and since it’s 100% hormonal and 100% out of my control, I can’t apologize for it either, yet like many, I constantly feel like I’m being asked to do exactly that by sexist women. I’ll be shown an average or above-average women in a game and told I must ignore her appearance at all costs under threat of the “sexist” label. That’s not only wrong, it’s impossible. (Note though this doesn’t give the right to act like a total frat-boy ass over it either, we;re still social creatures with respect and decency, but a compliment is not harassment if done tastefully, and appreciating a good looking character in a game is not wrong.)

    Counting the number of females characters in a game and the like in order to try and complain about the entirety of society however is more OCD. 🙂

    • CaptainCalvinCat

      I’m a straight male, too – and yet I can choose not to look or stare at a beautiful woman. I mean – the reasoning “it’s hormonal and out of my control” sounds like “I’m just a slave to my hormons”.

      Besides that – of course we as a society can look at beautiful people. No one is disputing that, I would go that far and say “Not even the feminists”. What – at least I as a feminist – see as worrying, would not be a sexy woman, but the question, how this picture of this sexy woman would (or could) influence the world view of young (adult) girls.

      Perfect examples: Princess Jasmine, Seven of Nine, Sam Carter, Deanna Troi, Number Six (BSG reimagined), Wonder Woman, Kenzi (Lost GIrl)
      to me – as a straight male – not (only) interesting, because look a certain way – mostly, because the character is interesting. Jasmine is a quick learner and can handle herself in battle situations, Seven is a walking library, Sam Carter is brain and brawl, Deanna has empathy, Number Six has the potential of being a great leader, Wonder Woman is a walking can of whoop-ass and Kenzi is just loyal to no end.

      What should young (adult) woman take from those characters? the outward appearance? Well, if they look that way, okay, but they should not go crazy, because they would be not looking like that. The personal traits? Most definitely.

      Of course it would be even better, if women would not care, if they are meeting the current “requirements of being viewed as pretty” and should do their own thing, but if they want to take something from fictional characters, it should be an extrapolation of the character traits.

      Concerning video games – as long as the players realize, that there is a difference between game and real life, I don’t see a big problem there.

      • mamba

        I can choose not to stare and look too as well, and do. I was saying the DESIRE is hormonal and out of control. You can’t shut off your feelings, but you CAN choose to not act on them. We agree, just want to make sure I’m not sounding like that idiot you dissected a few months ago (“faulkner” or something like that) 🙂

        I like your examples BTW, but my question seems to still stand. for example, I’ve heard people complain that Wonder woman is “too beautiful” to be taken seriously. THAT comment I have a hard time taking seriously, but there is a point…are sexist people really that distracted by a character’s beauty that they literally ignore everything else, to the point where writers have to purposely make her not-beautiful just to make them happy?

        Of course everyone has an example of a person beautiful on the outside, but totally ugly on the inside. Or just look at disney movies (everyone evil is ugly, everyone good is beautiful, no known exceptions )

        It just makes no sense, but sexist people see it all the time. And yes, I use the term “sexist” in both ways…people who see sexism in everything, AND people who are overt in drawing attention to sex regardless of circumstance, because to me they are both the same thing. Dividing people into “male” and “female” at all costs, rather then trying to get past it and unite as just “people”.

        (if anyone’s having a hard time with this point, just ask yourself “as an example, is it more racist for a black person to constantly remind people that they are black and hence oppressed, than for a white person to criticize the “black culture” of victimhood? Or should BOTH sides forget the other’s race completely and just treat each other as “someone else”. The first 2 methods divide the races untimately, no matter how just it might be, while the latter has the endpoint of unification.)

        Thing is though, and is my main point, I promise you no matter what example you can come up with for a perfect character, no matter how balanced and non-sexist they are, someone will complain about them, so why even bother?

        • CaptainCalvinCat

          The MRA-troll, who wassaying, that men would need sex in order to survive? Jepp, that was Faulkner.

          And no worries, I only thought, that the reasoning “it’s hormonal and out
          of control” does a lot sound like “I’m a slave to my hormones”
          which I honestly don’t feel like.

          Let’s stay with the Wonder Woman Example – from all criticisms you could use (too bland, too much of a warrior, too revealing in her clothing style) and from all that little to no sense those criticisms could make – I’d say “too beautiful to be taken seriously” would be taking the cake of the most stupid reason ever to
          dislike a character. Yeah, there are a lots of idiots out there, apparently. ^^

          You’re right, this style of argumentation doesn’t make any kind of sense. And of course you’re right that “haters gonna hate”. But on the other hand – I nevertheless think, that we as a society at least should listen to the criticisms, THEN we can dismiss them – well, except the “Wonder Woman is too beautiful to be taken seriously”-criticism, because that’s a strange one.

          • Sofie Liv

            It’s a very tough issue for sure and not all that simple really.

            On one hand, we, the women, are indeed people with our own wants, desires and needs. And we wish to have a great variety of female role models to idolise and identify with.
            I get excited every single time I see a female character that just stands out to me and is, somewhat different, not to perfect but have personality.

            Yet on the other hand, we don’t want to suddenly backhand womens freedom and suddenly demand that no one can bear sexy clothes ever, thus taking ownership of the female body and saying it must not be celebrated…. and if we must not celebrate it, is it then wrong? are we supposed to hide it away and be ashamed of ourselves?

            If someone walked up to me and told me I could not walk in a low cut dress and high heels if I wanted to… I would be pissed off, I would get angry.
            I like being pretty! I like feeling pretty! I got fantasies about walking around in a sexy outfitt and be admired by people around me.
            But I don’t want to be looked at as only that, I want to be acknowledged as a person and I want to be taken seriously not for my gender but for my knowledge.

            Ones again my only answer is… don’t get rid of the women we have, just bring in MORE! More different varities and colours, let people have an option of choice!

            That’s all I personally want and is asking for, the ability to choose! Have the sexy fan service ladies, let Catwoman be catwoman, by all means, just… Also have others, let them not be the ONLY one.

            Women are people, we come in all kinds of different shapes, siezes and personalities….. it would be nice with a fictional world that reflects that to instead of only having that single one female personality type which is pretty boring for the most part, and nothing else.

            And no.. Games are not inheriently sexiest…
            I have a hard time finding how “Journey.” “Bioshock infinete.” “Dragon Age.” “Ping Pong.” “Pack Man.” “Fantasy Life.” “Flower.” “flow.” “Leaf Crossing.” “Pokemon.” …. is in any way sexiest… they can become sexiest if the developers goes in that direction, but they are not inheriently so.

            And when it DOES happen, it has less to do with what gaming is as a platform (And interactive media where you as a player control the screen.) And more to do with an older deeper problem in society, where from such games are a product NOT the cause.

          • CaptainCalvinCat

            Of course, the whole problem is so complicated, that there is no really simple solution.
            I mean, normally, I would basically say “Do what you want – if you want to wear a low cut dress and high heels, do so. Why not?”
            But then, I’m really simple in my mind – I think “Does it hurt anyone, if women are wearing what they want to wear?” and in my mind, the answer is “No.”
            Wear what you want – but ONLY, if you really want it.

            And I really don’t think that “being pro womens rights” and “wearing sexy dresses” would not be going together. If the woman wants to wear that – and ONLY, if she wants it, because she feels comfortable in it, not just in order to impress some persons – then she can wear that.

          • Sofie Liv

            Sure, that’s how I feel to. If you wanna dress up nicely in a low cut, do it!
            It feels so great, and yeah… even liberating in some ways. Don’t need to do it all the freaking time, but well, dressing up ones in a while to special occasions is. *Blush* a lot of fun!

            However! It’s another discussion entirely when we come to fictional medias. The question then is, how to represent fictional women in fictional media.

            Women whom are created, to be seen and followed by viewers, yet ultimately just do what ever the writer/Creator wants her to do, and when creating an entire univers with men and women in it, meant to be played through… how to approach that?

            Real life girl and women are suffering under big problems these days, the pressuring on women and girls to be perfect is ENOURMUS, and there’s an overall sense that we fail as human beings and women if we aren’t thin enough, young enough, pretty enough… It’s giving real life people real life depression, eating disturbances and loads of other stuff.
            And when we turn to the fictional media for a escape, all we get is one or two women pr movie rubbed into our faces whom are also perfect, and gives out the sense that that’s the only way to be a woman.

            Yeah sure, Chris Evans has a ridicoules physic in Captain America, BUT, he is not the only guy there, there are a number of other men playing scientists, and soldiers and what ever whom doesn’t look like super models.
            And then there is… one single woman whom has a name, and she’s gorgeous (While not even looking like a slut in any circumstance.) And a bunch of photomodels…
            I am not calling Captain America sexist, I love that movie and I love Peggy Carter… I am just pointing to the overall problem here that the numbers don’t add up, and the few women whom ARE there, all look damn perfect, so there’s not even any variety.
            In hollywood movies. women also seem to just seize to exsist ones they hit 30…. in that world, a woman whom is 30 is ancient and it’s over which is… really freaking terrrible if you think about it.
            And that carries over to games to where we got a good number of male protagonists whom are still capable and kicking when being old, but women must be young and perfect, no other options.

            That’s kind of the core problem in my eyes… big lack of variety with women and the numbers doesn’t add up…
            How ever, it is turning around, it’s not as bad as it used to be, we are getting more and more different women… we are heading in the right direction, we just need to.. keep going.

          • CaptainCalvinCat

            > Sure, that’s how I feel to. If you wanna dress up nicely in a low cut, do it!
            It feels so great, and yeah… even liberating in some ways. Don’t need to do
            it all the freaking time, but well, dressing up ones in a while to special
            occasions is. *Blush* a lot of fun!

            Which is, what I would encourage every woman to do – want to run around in your favourite clothes, then do so. And if people would be looking at you in a strange way – they can go fuck themselves!

            > Women whom are created, to be seen and followed by viewers, yet ultimately just do what ever the writer/Creator wants her to do, and when creating an entire univers with men and women in it, meant to be played through… how to approach that?

            Well, in media – as someone, whom you could call an “author” (even though it is just fanfics), I’d say “bring in the girls”. Don’t just write in one, but
            more. Use the Bechdel-Test, even if it has its origins in a joke – but, to me
            it works. In my fanfics, I have more than just one woman in there, they do talk
            to each other and the Do talk about a lot more than just about boys – and they
            kick ass and take names.

            >Real life girl and women are suffering under big problems these days, the pressuring on women and girls to be perfect is ENOURMUS, and there’s an overall sense that we fail as human beings and women if we aren’t thin enough, young enough, pretty enough… It’s giving real life people real life depression, eating disturbances and loads of other stuff. And when we turn to the fictional media for a escape, all we get is one or two women pr movie rubbed into our faces whom are also perfect, and gives out the sense that that’s the only way to be a woman.

            Well, to be fair – entertainment media are the ones used for escapism and I kinda prefer the happy-bubbly-Full-House-everything-is-perfect-and-can-be-solved-with-a-hug-way of entertainment, because – let’s be honest – the real world is kinda shit.

            Just have a look at news-footage.
            People, who want to help, are beaten to death, it is likely, that the killer
            will be getting a relatively harmless punishment, there was an incident in a
            nuclear power plant in the Ukraine, in the little city of Bochum, Opel (a car
            manufacturer) is now completely shut down, our government seems to have little
            to no idea how to actually deal with refugees, is putting them away and
            apparently is hoping, that the problem will take care of its own, and so on and
            so on.

            Concerning the real-life-pressure on women and girls: like I said – bring in the girls in the writings. Bring them in all facets and all variants.
            And show, that even those girls, who are supposed to be perfect, have their moments of failure. I try to incorporate this in my fanfics – so even if the redheaded XO is more competent as her boyfriend, the stupid captain, she still can screw up. She has moments, in which she doesn’t know, if she can carry on, in which she doubts herself.

            > How ever, it is turning around, it’s not as bad as it used to be, we are getting more and more different women… we are heading in the right direction, we just need to.. keep going.

            You’re right, that what I think, too – same with feminism. We’ve come a long way, from a society, in which only men were allowed to work and vote (and the woman had to stay at home and to shut up), to a world in which women (at least in some
            parts of the world) are allowed to go to work and vote and even can be head of
            states (and with that, proving once and for all, that women are equal to men,
            because even a female had of state can bring a country to a screeching halt.

            Take Germany for example – there is no difference, if the chancellor would’ve been Peer Steinbrück or is Angela Merkel – this country IS not progressing.).

            But we – and I agree with you there – we need to keep going, need to do more and more, because, even if we have reached something, “da ist noch Luft nach
            oben” as we would say in Germany (there is still room for improvement.).

          • mamba

            True, but let me show you how east it is for a sexist mentality to blossom: (note this is purposefully out to lunch, ok? Just showing a point)

            Pokemon: most of the characters are male, so the balance is off, clearly showing a male-dominated world, and the combat aspect is always primary as a binding force for the characters…a male attribute.

            Fantasy life: all the strong jobs are male, women are wizards, cooks, or paladins, etc…like a woman can’t work a farm or be a carpenter.

            Pac-man, there is ONE female character, ms pac-man, and aside from the bow, she’s the same so clearly pandering. All ghosts and supporting cast are male, even the guiding wizard in her “maze madness” adventure. (N64)

            Bioshock infinite: (can’t reveal spoilers) Again a male character leading the action…

            See? NO matter WHAT is done, a sexist eye can always be cast if someone is looking for it. and note that this is without the developer even thinking about a bias presumably. In order to please sexist people, every game would have to have either 100% genderless people (and no races of course), or include literally everyone who ever existed in exactly the same proportions or out will come the cries of sexism.

            Reminds me of the time I was holding the door for a girl, as I would for literally anyone else be it a child, male adult, or a dog. I was accused of being sexist as “I can hold my own door, THANK you… “. So even just basic niceness can be seen as sexist by the occasional nut. How do you beat that???

            Or using your example. If you choose to wear a low-cut top because you want to look nice and feel nice, and someone notices said low top, how is that sexist when that was the desired result? I’m sure YOU’RE smart enough to see the difference between a genuine complement and a snide pig-like remark, but sadly it seems that many people would just take the complement and lump it in as “damn men pigs” mentality, and that’s a shame.

          • Sofie Liv

            You know, there’s a fine line between being concern about genuine objefication and just being butt hurt not allowing anyone ANYTHING!

            Yes, if you really want to you can turn ANYTHING around, to make it seem sexiest towards women.
            You can in fact also turn ANYTHING around to make it seem sexiest towards men.
            But really…. sometimes, it’s just…. being so touchy!

            Fantasy life… erh.. Wizard of Paladins being a weak job? ….. If that’s a weak job then.. what ever the hell is better than that?
            Beside, it’s not true, I actually played through fantasy life, every job is available to ANY gender and have representatives from multiple characters of all genders.
            The life master of the hunters is a woman, the life master of the Paladin is a male but there’s like a whole dosin of women helping you with that job.

            And well, you could totally make the argue that pokemon is sexiest towards men because men aren’t allowed to be nurses… shesus… seriously… shesus.

            And in Bioshock infinite we could make the argue that the man is depictured as the source of all evil and manipulation of the people, and the woman is the innocent being captured by evil man and enslaved to him so we should break free!
            Though i dare say if there is any first person shooter game that doesn’t discriminate it’s the bioshock series, there are few other places I can think of where you get to blast down hordes of women alongside the men….

            What? … no I find that to be a sign that all are equals in that game! Everybody get to get their head blown off in equal gory measure! That’s a step forward!

            … Oh stop looking at me like that and stop being butt hurt, you know whom i’m talking about!

            If there’s something I learned playing the first bioshock it’s…. don’t do plastic surgery…. just… no…

          • mamba

            (giggle) I’m glad you get it, so you see that the fine line of objectivism can really swing anywhere from 0% (a sexist pig would find nothing wrong at all with DOA Beach Volleyball) or 100% (the ridiculous examples I gave). Though you’d hope that even they would just admit when porn is porn in the outfits.

            Amazing when equality for women means getting slaughtered in the same fashion, but ironically, this is actually progress. In a disturbing way…creepy.

            Here’s hoping for the middle, even if “making everyone happy” is an impossible goal for someone, it’s still a noble one. 🙂

          • Sofie Liv

            Well, a few guidelines if you don’t want to be slaughtered as a woman in the bioshock games.

            Don’t go under the knife, plastic surgery is bad for you anyway.
            Don’t let some raving mad man genetically enhance you, it’s unatural.
            And don’t join an extremist cult of religious nuts or an equally exstremist violent uprising against such religions nuts.

            Don’t do that, and you’ll be fine!

  • Gallen_Dugall

    And don’t forget that “heroic poetry” getting blamed for inciting violence among the youth of ancient Athens.
    Now I rant.
    As with everything in the modern world the real issue is being dressed up an elaborate hat to distract from the fact that the real issue under the hat has nothing to do with the hat it is wearing.
    First we define the hat; a hat that has lots of volume and no substance.
    Are video games frequently, excessively and unnecessarily immature? Yes.
    Is it something many gamers find deeply embarrassing, but which is in reality mostly harmless? Yes.
    Isn’t every other medium of story telling also guilty of this? Yes. Actually TV and film (don’t even get me started on “romance novels”) are worse… much, much worse.
    Who broke out this hat? Arrogant authoritarian narcissistic hypocritical self proclaimed SJWs prostituting yet another important issue as a justification for bullying rabble rousing in order to win favors with mainstream journalism so as to advance themselves financially. That the main actors in this inquisition have landed themselves cushy gigs as “content sensitivity consultants” at major games publishers and journalism outlets should escape no one’s notice.
    What issue is this hat disguising? Organized, institutionalized corruption and collusion within journalism. Games journalists can apparently not only walk into an indy game development conference and announce, “A blowjob gets you a review, a great blowjob gets you a great review!” but concern over this sort of behavior is met with an eye rolling hand wavy acknowledgement by the rest of the media industry around the world. Apparently coercing sex, money and other favors in return for media coverage is so commonplace throughout the industry we are told it is not only not worth discussing, but it is something they are eager to defend with every fiber of their being or at least turn a blind eye to.
    Seems like that might be a much more serious issue to me.

    • tcorp

      Ah, the GamerGate party line. Next up, something about how Anita Sarkeesian is the Wicked Witch of the West.

  • SithSmurf

    This was definitely one of the better things I’ve heard about this. Thank you.

    Two points I want to make. One, thank you for not ranting about the death threats and rape threats. Not that one cannot rant about them — they are obviously terrible things. But I cannot see them as representative of gamers. There have been (I recently found out) death threats against one of the writers of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic because some people didn’t like the portrayal of Pinkie Pie in one episode. Seriously. I think what I take away from all this is (1) a lot of gamers are on-line and (2) being on-line turns a lot of people into complete assholes. Something I suspect men might be more prone to, generally, though of course note exclusively.

    Second, I’m not a feminist, not especially sensitive to it, and even I want more female-friendly gaming. I think gaming is more male-oriented nowadays is in part because a game where you shoot / zap / hit someone / something enough times to accomplish your goal is easier to design, and trying to get more women playing might lead to some more creative efforts, such as some of the games you’ve showcased. And there are a *lot* of women playing video games, and offering them something they’re more comfortable with (from different game themes to just including more playable female characters) seems to just be good business sense.

    • Sofie Liv

      Thank you very much.

      Well I think if the comment section here showcases anything it is that, I don’t need to point to any of that!
      Those involved already knows about it, and those whom are not psykopaths knows it’s bad. When I said. “Those people.” in my video… I didn’t need to say anymore, people already know exactly what i’m talking about.
      And wht they succeeded in, which is bad in my mind, is to distract from any actual points and just load bullshit untop of more bullshit creating nothing, getting nowhere, just making a malestrome of…. well bullshit. And nothing good will come out of indulging that or even acknowledge them unless I have to.

      Feminism…. gosh that’s another really difficult topic for me, I have never ever, EVER called myself a feminist. Yet, other people call me it and say I am, because well… I’m a woman and I think raping anyone is bad, and I also like to call myself a frustrated actress.
      My first obsession about gender representation started when I was a kid and wanted to be an actress, then were deeply dissapointed that all the parts that looked the most interesting to me was always written for men AND there were usually always a lot more male parts available then female… that sucked to me then and it sucks to me now :C

      As someone whom is also a cosplayer and sew my own cosplays, I also very often run into the problem that the characters whom appeals the most to me… are usually male.
      Then of course I merely cosplay as a male character, no problem i’ve done that a few times, I did Usopp from One Piece and Link from legend of Zelda…. it still kind of bugs me though, that when it comes to interesting characters appealing the most to me, I usually end up with males.
      I so want to cosplay Varrick from Legend of Korra, I am in love with his character <_<

      But purely political in regard to feminism. I am from a culture, i'm Danish you know, where… We don't use that word in the same way at all, if at all.

      Which is kind of why when I first started to go on the enternet and the word became a thing a few years back, it mostly confused the snot out of me, I had no idea what it was meant to do or what the hell I was supposed to do with it. and it STILL confuses the snot out of me. I wont lie about that.

      To me these sorts of things are just… common sense, and I don't see why I need to label myself as anything to say. "Well, duh of course you shouldn't deny people with the same abilities job uppertunities because of race or gender." "Duh of course beating someone is bad, regardless of gender." "Duh of course we should treat everybody as… I don't know, human beings! regardless of age, gender, sexual orintation, nationality, religion, What ever!"

      I don't get why this is so difficult for some people.
      Then again i guess i'm lucky, I grew up in a nationality and culture where these things weren't a issue in the same way, because for us… it's just plain common sense.

      • Jonathan Campbell

        Well, a lot of feminists would say, if you want equality between the sexes, you are a Feminist by default, because thats what Feminism (is supposed to) mean. Its a relevant term in countries and cultures- and sub-cultures- where equal rights is still an issue.

        (also, read my article; read my article; read my article).

        http://www.agonybooth.com/agonizer/Are_Superheroes_Fascist.aspx

        • danbreunig

          I checked it out as soon as I saw it posted, and I gotta say:

          Very nice debut for the Booth, Jonathan. A decent approach to a subject on par with what’s already available (especially in article form). Plus I haven’t been reading comic books / graphic novels for years now, so I didn’t even consider the subject until I read it, despite there being hoards of folks already talking about for years online. Good stuff, Maynard. Hope you do well here on out.

          And not to take away from your video subject here, Sofie. I enjoy and appreciate you giving your own honest and in-depth opinion without caving in to those of others, regardless of their perspectives or moral compasses. Like what you like for why-ever you like it.

        • Sofie Liv

          I don’t know Jonathan, I don’t know.
          Right now it seems like people are just taking the word turning it into what ever they want it to mean, which compleately derails from any common cause it was meant to have.

          Someone called it the new “Hipster.” movement, where people in our new spoiled rich world kind of use it as a term to justify themselves and be cool and in the know how, and important or whatever… and I couldn’t help but go. “Yeah…”

          Of course the cause of gender equality is an important one, and needs to be fought A LOT of places, but to me it feels like whenever we use the word, it compleately derails away from what ever point you were trying to make, and by the end of the day, it doesn’t mean anything, it is just a label.
          If you can’t form an argument why men and women should be treated as equals, or what the specific problem is, without consorting to label words… you are doing it wrong.
          Please make a rewrite and try again… you don’t know smartsy fancy pants words, you just need facts and examples to form a solid argument.

          I don’t care a lot for spin doctory, and I don’t care for people using words that sounds smart, though they have no idea what the word actually means, to make themselves sound smarter.
          Also the thing about that tactic it, it can only take you so far, it might work on dumb people because they are just going to nod, but if you are trying to do that to a smart person… that person will see straight through you.

          • Jonathan Campbell

            “I don’t know Jonathan, I don’t know.
            Right now it seems like people are just taking the word turning it into what ever they want it to mean, which compleately derails from any common cause it was meant to have.”

            While that’s true, its not a new thing. Pretty much every label and term can have good or bad connotations depending on the context and situation, and on who is using the term and how they understand it.

            The word “retarded” for instance, is seen today as an offensive term for the mentally disabled, but originally it was just a medical term. The reason it became offensive was that people started using it as an insult against people they thought were dumb (like if I called someone “autistic” as an insult, even if they weren’t); and it got used so much that nowadays people think it is and ALWAYS was an insulting term for the mentally disabled.

            Feminism has always had this problem, as has every other social and political identity ever. But its the word that caught on, so its the word everyone uses.

            “If you can’t form an argument why men and women should be treated as equals, or what the specific problem is, without consorting to label words… you are doing it wrong.”

            Label words are inevitable, because people- especially people who feel they are being oppressed (one way or the other) want and arguably NEED a label to identify friend and foe. If a label is no longer being used, then the issue has disappeared (or has widely been seen to, at least).

            Words have power, and giving something a name gives you something to fight for, or against.

            “I don’t care a lot for spin doctory, and I don’t care for people using words that sounds smart, though they have no idea what the word actually means, to make themselves sound smarter.”

            The most successful spin-doctory is the stuff you can’t see, the stuff that is so widespread and common that you just accept it as normal or fact.
            Its not that people have no idea what a word actually means, because the meanings of words change all the time as they are used by different people. I don’t think its fair to say that people use these words to sound smarter; they use them because they are convenient and quickly sum up an issue.

            “Also the thing about that tactic it, it can only take you so far, it might work on dumb people because they are just going to nod, but if you are trying to do that to a smart person… that person will see straight through you.”

            I think you’ll find a lot of smart people are happy to use labels like these regardless of what side of the argument they are on.

            And a lot of “smart” people can be very, very gullible, because there are really just different kinds of “smart”. Smart isn’t all its cracked up to be.

            “Feminism” is shorthand for “gender equality” amongst Feminists, and shorthand for “Femi-Nazi’s” amongst misogynists. Its shorthand for a bunch of different other things in a bunch of different other circumstances too.

            Most Feminists use the term to sum up their position quickly; they don’t use it because they don’t have other arguments to use; same with the anti-Feminist crowd and everyone in-between.

            Its like- do you call yourself a cosplayer, or do you call yourself “I’m a person who dresses up in costumes of characters from various movies, cartoons, games, comics, television shows and other forms of media for the purposes of entertaining myself and others”. Obviously you call yourself a cosplayer, because that’s just easier to say.

            The reason Feminism is different from “cosplayer” is that Feminism is a social and political issue which people have very strong feelings about one way or the other.

            Yes, there are those who use the term in a “hipster” way without really understanding the issues, but they are only one dimension of a much larger and much more complicated movement.

            The problem is not the term Feminism, its the many, many, many different things that Feminism represents to different people. Use a different label, or use no label, and you’ll still have these problems.

            Not saying the word “Feminism” is perfect mind you, but the problem is not that its a name or a label.

          • Sofie Liv

            Again, i’m from a different culture.
            I think it would be foolish to think we can just align our thought patterns on this.

            The word confused the snot out of me when I first encountered it on the entnernet, no more than what? Four years ago.
            And as time has gone on, it has just confused the snot out of me even more.

            I don’t know what i’m supposed to do with that personally, so I decided to not just use it and just form my opinions around my actual feelings.

            People HAVE been calling me a feminist because of stuff i’ve said or done, and I cannot stop them, beside it’s pointless to stop them, ones I release something, it is litterately out of my hands and sometimes people makes things out of it.
            All I can do is just, keep saying what I honestly think and feel and stay true to myself and my own beliefs while trying to listening and learning.
            I always try to put afford into see things from all ankles, but this is a case that’s just beyond me… The more feminism becomes a thing on the enternet, the more confused I get about it.

            I can’t stop other people calling themselves feminist…. though sometimes I can’t help I think.
            “Oh you think that women and men should be treated as equals, and that raping is bad… well congrats you’re not a psykopath….. what do you want? A cookie?”

            It seems so weird to me, people stating loudly. “I AM A FEMINIST!”
            Really that behaviour is just… odd to me… it’s just… and?
            Why not go on with the actual argument you were going to do?

            I guess what i’m saying is that I don’t get this kind of behaviour and don’t find it very profesional, nor is it something I would encounter in my own culture.
            In this country… it’s considered pretty rude to start announcing things like that off the bat. Nobody in Denmark would ever go. “As a Christian!” “As a left wing man!” “As a feminist!” “As a what-ever.”
            We find that sort of behaviour very rude, because saying stuff like that is rubbing your own status in other peoples faces, and at one demolish any attempt on conversation.
            In our culture, you just don’t state those things unless they came up in conversation already and you are being asked about it… because many of these things are considered private matters people should be allowed to have on their own and don’t rub in other peoples faces.

            …. yeah sometimes culture does make all the difference… it’s that phone thing all over again.

            This really happened, when I first started going on facebook and gaining friends from all over the world, when they send me a PM or something and started out with. “How are you?”
            I would start on this looooong wall of text about what I was doing and how I was doing because… WELL THEY ASKED!
            First later did I realise that that is just how you are supposed to greet people in England and in the US when calling, and you are supposed to answer. “I’m good.”
            ….. yeah we don’t do that in Denmark, if someone asks me how I am, I assume it’s because they actually genuinely want to know!

            I am not kidding, I genuinely am from another culture entirely!

          • danbreunig

            Hm, that’s a rather interesting case of culture shock.

            “How are you, how’s it going?” is very common small talk and just used as a casual introduction. But I’m not so sure it’s just limited to English-speaking countries like the U.S. and U.K. From what I understand that happens all the time in Germany with “Wie geht’s?” and “was ist los?” (literally, what is loose, meaning “what’s wrong?”–but it’s very casual in a friendly context). That in Danish it’s considered a literal personal question–I never knew that till today.

            Funny I’d talk about that one detail. I guess in the midst of all the internet bullshit about people abusing word choices and labels, and consequently each other, it’s neat to get a little cultural spark of light like that.

          • CaptainCalvinCat

            German comedian Jürgen von der Lippe said concerning the “Wie geht’s?”-question: “The guy, who is asking that, is not expecting an en-detail-answer – so, if I get ask “How are you?” is say: “Uff, I have to tell you: Prostate ain’t doing it that hot, we needed to put the dog down, the car is totally wrecked, the tax-inspectors are breathing down my neck – and your wife is annoying me in bed to no end.” That’s leaving room to breath.” ^^

            But on the other hand, when I ask people, how they are, I really mean “Tell me how you are?”. ^^

          • Sofie Liv

            “Wie Geht’s.” “Danke gutt.” is how you commonly greet each other in Germany, I know that much, but it isn’t in Denmark. We skip all of that our phone conversations usually go like this.

            “Hallo this is Sofie?”

            “This is Bob – (Then what ever he says next is what he want.) Are you doing something today?/ I’m calling about your financiel status/ Oh how are you! Just wanted to ask how you’re doing!”

          • Jonathan Campbell

            “In our culture, you just don’t state those things unless they came up in conversation already and you are being asked about it… because many of these things are considered private matters people should be allowed to have on their own and don’t rub in other peoples faces.”

            I’m not sure its a culture thing; I think its more an Internet thing. Especially this part of the Internet (video reviews and stuff) where those topics come up a lot.

            I don’t think there are many countries where going around proclaiming yourself to be this or that for no reason is normal unless it is relevant…its just, since you are a female Internet reviewer, you’ve just wandered into a world where people talk about Feminism a lot.

            Not saying culture is totally irrelevant, but maybe its more that Denmark doesn’t have quite as big a problem with equal gender rights as other countries like Britain or America do, rather than anything else.

            Plus, a lot of people who are interested and watch these kind of video reviews tend to get VERY passionate about causes they believe in.

            Also, you did those “Women and Geek Culture” panels and talk about female representation in the media and stuff, so…yeah, I’d call you a feminist. Its like someone who doesn’t eat meat and things eating meat is wrong not wanting to be called a vegetarian because they don’t like the label- its like, “well fine, but you are still technically a vegetarian”. Or maybe if you decide you don’t want to be called Danish anymore, even though you are Denmark born and raised.

            I mean, I get why it feels weird to call yourself a feminist…but I can see why people would call you a feminist.

            Another thing to keep in mind is that Feminism is what’s called a Single-Issue cause; meaning, the only reason it exists is because gender inequality is still an issue in many parts of the world. The day Feminism wins is the day it dies, because then it isn’t needed.

  • Moppet

    The beginning of the video made me wonder if everyone that talks about this stuff, from any angle or side, does what Sophie does with the, “No, I don’t want to” thing. I’ll admit, there’s a part of me that hopes so.

    I actually agree with Sophie here though. Sometimes yes. Sometimes no. Sometimes they can be really good about how they handle female characters. I love that some games let me pick customized characters, and some even let you choose your sexuality. I think games are a lot of things, and handle many subjects in countless ways. Many many many many many many many things handled in many many many many many many many different ways.

    I don’t like some of them. I don’t want those things gone. Variety is the spice of life, even if it isn’t my thing. More of everything please, even if it’s not for me, because there’s stuff out there for me too. Not every male or female in games needs to be a role model, so the bad characters, object characters, plot device characters and even the disgusting or offensive characters and more are all fine, in combination with all the other characters, including the good characters.

    I’ve seen nasty people on many sides of this debate. That’s all they are. Nasty people. A minority of nasty people. There are level headed people worth talking to on all sides, and, more importantly, tons more people in the middle that were just caught in the crossfire who have great moderate ideas for everyone, not one side or another or another, but for everyone.

    I like games, not all games, but I don’t have to like all games. I’m fine just liking the ones I like. The other stuff? Keep making that too. Something for everyone. A place for every thing and everything, and a person in that place that will inevitably enjoy it regardless of whether I do or not.

    Thank you for the video Sophie. I knew there was a voice of sanity out there. Thank you.

    • Sofie Liv

      Thank you for taking the time to listen and being so supportive.

      yes exactly, nobody said everybody had to like EVERYTHING, sometimes its a matter of taste.
      Heck, sometimes it’s vastly different what people are looking for in a game.

      For instance, take me and my sisters boyfriend, we both like games, but when we discuss them.
      He is all about gameplay, and difficulty level, and challenge in jumping. He thinks that Bioshock infinite is a step down from the other bioshock games because it’s not as challenging in the game play… I call it being more user friendly to newbies, not all are as hardcore as he is.

      I on the other hand? I am a sucker for atmopshere, good story telling, characters.
      My favourite game is Ni No Kuni Wrath of the white witch, because it just plays to my inner child, making me a child again with all its bright colours and wonders, fantastic story telling, atmopshere and characters.
      my sisters boyfriend wrinkled his nose at me when he said it, in his mind that game isn’t that noteworthy because it’s just not what he is looking after in a good game.

      In that way, gaming is actually more diverse than movies or books as you can be looking for either gameplay or story or well, hopefully both on the same time.
      While in a book… story is all you have to go after.

      And even with books, not all books are for everyone.
      I love the disc world series, but I wouldn’t dream of forcing everybody else to read it, I know it’s not a book for everyone. My mom is a smart woman whom also read a lot of books, yet I wouldn’t give it to her. Why? Because I already know it’s not to her taste and that’s fine, it really is that simple. She read the bridget jones books, and i’m sure they are just fine…. but they are not for me, I know that already.
      Ones again…. it really is that simple! And everybody should be allowed to enjoy what ever they wanna when taking a break from the really tough everyday life.

      Every day life IS freaking tough, the break time we have from that is precious, we should spend it on things that makes us happy and we can enjoy. Without it being filled up with crap because some people on the enternet got butthurt and apparently doesn’t have anything more important to worrie about.
      I love books! I love video games! I love movies, I get as sad as anyone when stuff I love gets mistreated but… I do have other things to worrie about to. And my webshow was always about celebrating these things not being butthurt over it.
      I mean, how amazing is it that all of these things even exist in the first place?! That’s just… mind blowing if you think about it, it’s amazing there’s such a big open world to explore!
      And making these videos has become like an exploration journey for me, I love it because it brings me places I wouldn’t have gone to if it wasn’t for these videos… sorry for rambling. Haha!
      Thank you for the interest X)

      • Moppet

        But the rambling is good! Anyways, you ramble, I spell your name wrong, it all evens out.

  • Sofie Liv

    OH MY GOD!
    Guys! We are so good! This video has now officially been up for over 48 hours, and we all managed to merely have civilised conversations about the actual subject!

    You guys are so great! You’re the greatest! COOKIES TO EVERYONE!

    • Jonathan Campbell

      Told you.

      Didn’t need that pillow fort.

      • Sofie Liv

        A GOOD PILLOW FORT IS NEVER A WASTE!

        • MichaelANovelli

          Aye! A proper pillow fort is the cornerstone of any nutritious breakfast!

    • SithSmurf

      Congratulations to you for giving it such a well-grounded start.

      But if it ever gets a similar reaction on YouTube, it’s the end times.

    • danbreunig

      I knew that whole crate of milk would come in handy. [munches on cookies]

      We get cookies for our good behavior, and you (if things in my December go well) may get a fan art(s)–which oddly enough, touches on exactly what was discussed here about more varied women characters–for your authentic presentation.

      Hurray for communal decency!

  • Gallen_Dugall

    Put another way the answer to the question are video games (as a story telling medium) sexist the answer is yes, but not nearly as much as any other medium. Largely this has to do with the egalitarian attitude of gamers. Ability and performance usually outweigh the arbitrary social constraints of identity politics. Not that gamers are some sort of ideal to strive towards, griefing is still an accepted and horrid part of that community, and we shall not speak of SWATing.

    I Am Bread, where the player takes the role of a slice of bread, has no gender connotations at all. I don’t doubt people could be offended by this but I find that amusing.

    Witcher 2, where the game was marketed with a “Playboy Photo Shoot” of one of the many female characters that are available in game for casual soft core porn style sex, is grossly immature and because of that it is sexist. It didn’t get made to be that, it’s just a side effect of the lowest common denominator goal that it strives for. Also the gameplay is awful. It makes me hate games, but at least I’m not alone in my opinion in spite of the franchise’s massive following.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v52ueRrfMSw

    • Gallen_Dugall

      …I do enjoy the soundtrack for Witcher 2 though…

  • E-Bon

    Thank you so much for this video! It basically mirrors my feelings on the subject, if I was able to better express myself.

    • Sofie Liv

      Thank you so much for taking the time to listen 🙂

  • Dusty Ayres

    With regards to Sarkesian & Co. complaining about women in video games, why can’t a group of women get together and create their own video game company, similar to this famous legendary record company of the ’70’s?

    • Moppet

      I don’t know the why or why not of it, I’m not even sure of the costs of indie game development, but I’m assuming at some point that’s exactly what will happen. Hopefully it will be interesting to see the results of.
      The closest thing I’ve seen so far is I remember watching an episode of Gamescenter CX where they were talking about Koei (I think? I could be misremembering the company in question) where they talked about forming an internal team of female developers with the specific goal of creating games that were conceived of by women, made for women and marketed to women. Obviously this was a team within a larger company, but it’s the only existing example I could recall off hand.

      Not to say there aren’t other existing examples, or not, there may even be existing and better examples out there, nothing is coming to mind at the moment.

      Still, it’s been a long time since I watched that episode of Gamescenter CX so I doubt I remember everything, and I’d not even assume I remembered everything correctly amongst the things I think I remember.

      I know in older games, especially during Sierra’s Golden Age of
      adventure gaming there were female writers and developers that had a lot
      of place and say in some of those great games. Lori and Corey Cole
      were a male/female married tag team of humor and
      great ideas in the quest for glory series, and Roberta Williams played an important role in early Sierra and had a serious hand shaping adventure games, and their directions, with her work in the iconic King’s Quest series (and other projects). Let’s not forget the Laura Bow mystery games!

      Sierra had great developers in general, in its golden age, but its development teams had stand out women in them, while its games had some great female characters that still hold up today.

      • Dusty Ayres

        If you believe that, I’ve got something to show you: The Myth Of Independence

        • Moppet

          I don’t really know what that’s in response to? Sorry.

          • Dusty Ayres

            Most of the nonsense of the lat three years concerning video games.

          • Moppet

            I still don’t know why “if you believe that” is in response to in my post, not what the Myth of Independence has to do with my post. I am sorry if I’m coming off as dense, but I really don’t know why you responded to my post with that, so I’m quite confused.

    • Sofie Liv

      Well… There ARE a good number of women making computer games all the time.
      At the Danish animation school there’s like a ton of women working to becoming animators whom make indie games in their spare time… not to make a point or anything, they just like making video games.

      People are just looking the wrong direction, if you go to the indie scene there’s plenty of stuff like that.

      • Dusty Ayres

        I’m talking about a group of like-minded women who get together and create their own video game company and to make a profit doing so, so that they can create other video games with women in them made the way women like Sarkesian want to see women depicted. That’s what the ladies behind the aforementioned famous legendary record company did; they saw a need, and they fulfilled a need, and it became something of a success. Heck, even the company Her Interactive (makers of the Nancy Drew video games that she didn’t even mention [didn’t fit the narrative]) are doing that now with those games.

        Making games in your spare time is okay, but as Gandhi said, ‘be the change that you want to see in the world.’ What Sarkesian’s doing is nothing but a big, fraudulent waste of money (imagine how many women around the world facing real life REALISTIC problems could have been helped with the monies she raised!) Instead, Sarkesian and the people supporting her are saying, ‘What’s plaguing you isn’t as important as what’s plaguing me.’ And all for video games she knows nothing about and is misinterpreting.

        • Sofie Liv

          I know this may be a shock to some people but…. if that happened… I would care so very very little.
          I wouldn’t care, at all… I don’t care.

          I don’t really care for that being the main reasoning for doing something creative.
          If a bunch of people go together because they have the idea for a video game they really wanna make, and they passionetely go to work creating their vision, and all those people just happen to be women by coincidence… Then i’m all for it.

          I don’t like people doing stuff because that’s what they believe society wants, I just want people to create stuff because they have a passion for it and that is what THEY want.
          I don’t care for things being created to be deliberately better knowing examples that’s…. Pretty arrogant in my mind, and no matter the course it’s kind of the attitude or making propaganda isn’t it?

          I have my frustrations with female representation sure, and it was the first spark that made me start just writing my own stuff and create my own plays… Just playing what ever character I liked in what ever way I liked it.
          But to me, it’s also just because I enjoy it. I was sad because I felt like the characters available to me wasn’t what I wanted, so I began writing the characters that I wanted, characters I wanted to exist and now they do.
          Not being extremely popular or a phenomena or anything, but they are there, I have the freedom to create them, I don’t need to be told what to do or what rules I need to play by, I just do what I want because I want it.

          That is honestly the attitude that gets to me the most, people telling me what I need to do and what the “Correct” answer is…. It kind of pisses me off.

          The idea that women should make a big push and just reverse the gender roles is NOT a new idea.
          The most famouse example of people actually doing this is when Wonder Woman was created back in time, and since we had such titles as Metroid and Tom Raider and so on trying to do the exact same thing.

          Problem just is, that idea of just reversing the roles is not building a character… It’s a concept, but it’s not a character and thusly we the good intention is leaving us with very little and after the initial introduction phase of said female protagonist, no one knows what to freaking hell do with her, because she’s just all concept no character…
          Not only that, it’s the same none character character, over and over and over and over and over.

          What I wish for is a MUCH larger variety of women, of all kinds from all places, not just the same character over and over and over…. We’ve seen the quote on quote badass women so many times, she’s been done to death.. from Maria in Indiana Jones to Black Widow in the avengers…. Introduced to be more badass than the male but beyond that has little to her… We’ve seen it, they already are there… Can we please move on and do actual characters? Maybe?

          Really people creating things should stop basing their ideas around what they THINK other people want and just do what they honestly want to see themselves and find interesting.
          Nothing interesting ever comes out of just doing what you think other people want or need… It’s boring at the best of times.

          • Dusty Ayres

            Then don’t play video games, or as I said before, stop whining and create the ones you want to see. But don’t expect them to be snapped up so readily.

          • CaptainCalvinCat

            I don’t know, Dusty – isn’t “talking about something, bringing it to other peoples attention, so that those other people think about it, agree and create content, that they (and you) want to see)” something, that would be working, too?

          • Dusty Ayres

            Forcing companies to make bullshit `games`that arent`t so, and that nobody will play just to suit a shit disturber that never played any video games herself (but who wants to be a backseat creator dictating how games will be made and what games are to be made) isn`t criticism, constructive or otherwise.

            Somebody`s hit the nail on the head about all of this, and has hit it well: http://insomnia.ac/commentary

          • CaptainCalvinCat

            “Bullshit games”? Would you care to elaborate? What kind of “Bullshit games” are you talking about?
            Talking on the internet about the role of women in video games however – in order to make people think about said role and maybe change it – is something, that cannot be done enough, if you ask me.

            By the way, the link, you gave us, leads to a directory – which commentary do you want me to look at? Or do you want me to look at all of them?

          • Sofie Liv

            I already wrote my a facebook post about my feelings about this, let me just allow me to quote myself on my own facebook page done a week ago without any such input. Ahem.

            My thoughts about that whole Anita Sarkeesian potentially being a
            consult for video game developers being invited inside to give her
            opinion and stuff.

            No… I don’t think it’s a good idea!

            I mean, ask a woman when you want to write women and include them, that’s a brilliant idea! Sure!

            I had an interview with a great comic book writer who’s writing a
            fantastic comic book with a female protagonist, and when I asked if that
            was hard for him, he told me when he was in doubt he just kind of
            tended to ask the women around him.
            Herp derp! Great idea! That’s how EVERYBODY should go around.

            But you know, if you want to consult a woman about writing. You can ask
            J.k. Rowling or Stephanie Meyers…. Merely being a woman doesn’t
            automatically make you a genius.

            And I know a shit ton of women,
            so many women whom has been working so hard to do creative things,
            learning about it, i’ve talked to women whom is on a animation education
            spending their spare time making video games, they would all LOVE such a
            golden uppertunity as to be consulted and meet video game creators,
            they care, they study, their knowledge go further than being skin deep.
            They actually have ideas and wishes and that they should be denied such
            an uppertunity so a hack whom doesn’t even really care that much can
            have it, is cringe worthy.

            And before anyone comes with. “Oh but she did come up with a game idea, reversing the gender tropes.”

            …. Really? That’s her grant creative input? Just reversing the gender tropes?

            You don’t think that hasn’t been done a million times before already?
            The most infamouse figure being a little super hero you might have heard
            of, called “Wonder Woman.” and her love interest Steven Trevor still
            remains the most profilic man in distress out there. THE CHARACTER WAS
            ALREADY MADE BACK IN THE FOURTISH you idiot.

            But here also comes
            the problem! That’s a concept not a character, so there is no lasting
            effectivity and people has no idea what to do with it, so we end up with
            the mess we are in today.

            Also… every single fucking
            Hollywood movie coming out today seems like that is what they think they
            are doing, introducing bad ass strong female character, introduced to
            being able to handle herself, but then end up being rescued anyway.

            It’s a stock character, it’s boring, it never works! It’s not even a
            character it’s a concept and it’s been done to death already. I want
            characters god dammit. This is not very hard is it? At least it
            shouldn’t be.”

            I still stand by that sentiment.
            And as for the Goyer thing, i’m trying to find some material from you… It’s just all kind of burried over all the movie promotion interviews he’s done, where he OF COURSE sounds positive.
            That’s his bloody job, if he says anything negative about his work, at all, it will reflect badly on the movie and he’ll loose his job, that’s how hollywood works, so you really need to take that kind of publishment interviews with a grant of salt, they are praising their movie with the express purpose of selling it.

          • Jonathan Campbell
          • Moppet

            I’m glad you shared this, I don’t really use facebook so I’d never seen this before. It is a really interesting read, and I have to agree with a lot of it. Thank you!

            Actually a writer I’d want consulted about writing characters in general, not just female characters, is Celia S. Friedman who has written some of my favorite works and characters. I don’t know if they’re great role model characters, but they’re interesting and intriguing characters that make me think and that I enjoy spending time with. This Alien Shore is still one of my favorites to this day, I have a pristine hardback of it, a hardback copy that I actually read and paperback version for when I can’t lug the big hardback around with me.

            Erm, maybe I own too many copies of that one book. 😛

          • Sofie Liv

            Sounds to me like that’s a woman writing good characters whom also just happens to be female.
            That’s exactly what i’m looking for! So yes! Yes go for it!

            I don’t see why every single female character out there HAS to be a good role model.
            I mean sure if you are writing a classic fantasy story or a superhero whom is meant to be the good guy… girl… what ever. Then you need to give that main character good qualities, but also some flaws to overcome.

            But to go further than that, we also need to have multiple different characters in the univers. Good guys, bad guys, guys whom are neither and each group should have both genders in them. There is litterately no society on earth where there aren’t women there, simply because we actually make out more than fifthy percent of the world population by default. (Yeah there are actually in genneral born more women than men, which purely biologically speaking makes sense as you only need one man to reproduce with a number of women.)

            The issue is not to try and have one single female main present, we are already there, we already do that.
            The issue is to integrate far more women into the background and the world of fictional created worlds.
            The boss, hench man, computer hacker, salesman, doctor ext whom pops up might also just as well be a woman. And that’s where we need to integrate them, by building worlds better at reflecting real life where women of all shapes, seizes and belifes walks among us in the background and interact with the main characters casually.

          • Moppet

            Makes a lot sense to me, especially when put like that.

          • Sofie Liv

            That mostly just sounds like creative stagnation to me honestly, and sounds extremely limiting to the creative process instead of asking for freedom of creators.

            Yes! Listening to feed back and trying to always learn and explore is VITAL to the creative process.
            I have a thumb rule for my own work, when I work more seriously I usually always show it to a bunch of people of course so they can give me feedback and perhaps point things out to me I didn’t even notice at first… that’s also the wonderful thing of collaboration, one person being able to point out what the other can’t see.
            My thumb rule though is; if one single person is coming with a critism, then it’s a opinion… If three people says the exact same thing without even standing together in the same room, then it’s definetely worth reconsidering as a problem! If it’s a whole bunch of people is saying it and you refuse to look at it again, then you are a moron.

            I still maintain creating something for the sole reasoning that that is what others want will at the very best only bring boring things to the table, and at the worst end up being down right condecending towards the people it was meant to be geared towards.
            It when someone else jumps in over it, takes the medi ocre idea and put a spin on it they actually care for you can turn it into something good.

            I also find that’s the big difference between the DC and the Marvel Cinematic movies these days.

            The DC makes what they THINK their audiences want, mature dark stuff, reinventing the old mythos never celebrating it, but no one in the studio actually cares, and it ends up being a dry boring exsperience sucking out the life and joy we actually like about the DC univers.

            Marvel has an absolut party making movies, going in with enthusiasm making the movies they WANT to make, celebrating all the good stuff Marvel comics has stood for for a very long time.

            I just watched “Hugo.” the other day, that’s definetely a movie Martin Scorsese WANTED to make, it was a huge passion project for him which shows on the screen and soaks you in.

            While the new Dracula movie is a movie made because the studio thought that was what the audience wanted, not because they wanted to make it… And it’s a medi ocre fest.

            I am not saying. “Don’t listen to feed back.” but well… I’m saying walk in as an artist, writer, director, what ever… And do the thing you earnestly wished excisted.

            I’ve written a bunch of fantasy stories and got hugely positive feed back on them and my female protagonists.
            When i’m asked what my secret is, I just them as it is… I wrote the character that I myself found likeable and interesting.. But her on the journey I myself would want to read about if I picked up a book. I actually deeply enjoy reading my own stories because well, I wrote them that way, containing the stuff I like and miss. Which I always felt like I missed in stories.

            I wrote a female protagonist whom was clearly just a female version of Zorro, because I love Zorro and his entire attitude, but also the looser part of him when he trips and fails.

            I am currently writing a woman whom is a book keeper and her super power is paper work! She lifes in a fanasy univers where there’s lot of danger, but she’s never actually learning to fight. She is after all, a book keeper, and damn proud if it, and I love writing her.
            Also she hit a dark wizard over the head with a book thusly saving the kingdom and earning her special place as special book keeper… What else was she supposed to do?! Her books were in danger! X)

            I’m actually really sad, that people entering this field of creative writing today, all has to be that scared about doing wrong, and feels like they have to follow specific guidelins to do anything… It’s really creative stagnation and is largely holding us back not pushing us forward.

            Writing… Is a craft… It’s not something you can just do well in a instant. It takes time to learn and there are tools to use and learn how to use.
            To learn how to write and use these writing tools, it’s deeply necesary to listen around, observe and analyse other peoples work. What do you like it in, what don’t you like in it? What do you think could be interesting to develop further upon? What should just go ahead and die? And it’s an explorations process, it takes time to figure out for sure.
            Though step one… Walk in because you yourself want to, because you want to make something good one day and because you love good writing work, good characters, entertaining intelligent stuff, and then make what you want so you are contributing the exact thing only you and no one else can contribute!
            If you don’t do that… Then what the hell is the point anyway?

            There’s a real difference between passion projects and money projects.
            Money projects doesn’t have to be bad, if the writer involved is any kind of good and has passion he or she will MAKE something out of it somehow.
            But if there is no passion… Then it’s the same as saying there is no caring… And if you don’t care for what you do, well… That’s how we end up with crap.

          • Jonathan Campbell

            (I’m going to just assume this was for me and not Dusty.)

            I don’t think that’s fair on Marvel OR DC to say that Marvel did it because they wanted to while DC did it because they were thinking about what they’re audiences wanted. Man of Steel was a film David Goyer WANTED to make, and conceived it as such, while Thor 2 was something that director was hired to do.

            Christopher Nolan isn’t a big Batman fan but he used those films to explore techniques and ideas he was interested in, while Jon Favreau IS a big comic book fan but gave us Iron Man 2- don’t know how YOU feel about IM2, but the general consensus is that it was a disappointment. I’d say Marvel definitively kept an eye on what it THOUGHT audiences wanted too- hence, for instance, the lack of magic in the MCU (because they thought audiences wanted things to be grounded). The motives of people involve don’t depend on the studio; they depend on the people.

            I don’t think the differences between a passion project and a money project are as clear cut as you think, and most movies have a mixture of such motives. A lot of bad movies come about not because they are being driven by money, but because someone in charge is so passionate about what THEY want to do that they are blind to what everyone else wants or thinks, or nobody tells them (looking at you, George Lucas).

            Basically, you need passion, you need concern with what other people want and think…and you need to talent, that kind of matters too.

            (And marketing, but that’s more about being successful rather than being “good”.)

            (and, I take it these books are in Danish?)

          • Sofie Liv

            I know it’s a lot more complicated than that.

            I am more just talking about the genneral creative process going in and the mentality behind sitting down and writing something.

            “Alright, i’m a writer sitting down writing about this superhero I know nothing about… Should I go solely for what I think my audience want, or do I make the movie i’ll think would be kick ass based on the ideas I get from exploring the source material?!?”

            And just the mentality of people sitting down to do something new in genneral…

            yes, it’s not that simple… Yes there are plenty of hacks out there whom can’t write for shit yet think they are the golden writing gods. (Looking at you Kurtsman and Orczi.)

            But well, from a beginner stand point, from the stepping in the first time stand point..
            How can you even exspect other people to like your work if YOU don’t like it yourself?

            So as a thumb rule, think about about and ask yourself, is this a story YOU will like to pick up and read, is this a character, male or female YOU as the writer, would be interested and invested in, and is this a movie YOU the movie creator, would sit down to watch.

            If the answer is no not really…. Then you really suck at your job from level one.
            And thusly, that’s also how female characters should be approached like with all other creativity… Ask yourself, what would YOU, the creator, the writer, find really interesting to explore and write… Then do it.
            See where it leads, use the medium to explore this… maybe it’ll fail, maybe i’ll leave you to know exciting places no one thought about before, who knows.
            That’s the wonderful thing about the creative process, only your imagination is the limit 😉

            Also Man of Steel wasn’t exactly the movie Zack Snyder wanted to make… He had to fight with David Goyer ALL the freaking time, the two HATED each other and each others visions.
            And David Goyer didn’t even like being associated with superhero movies in the first place, no no… He’s to smart to super hero movies, he’s one of those. “If I write this other people will think me smart.” kind of people -_-;

          • Jonathan Campbell

            “And David Goyer didn’t even like being associated with superhero movies in the first place, no no… He’s to smart to super hero movies, he’s one of those. “If I write this other people will think me smart.” kind of people -_-;”

            I don’t know where you get that idea from; David Goyer seems to write nothing BUT superhero movies. He did the Blade films, wrote the script Ghost Rider 2 was based on, co-wrote all three Dark Knight films, pitched the idea for Man of Steel because he always wanted to explore the idea of Superman finding his powers a burden, has writing credits for unused scripts for The Flash and Dr Strange, actually wrote multiple comic books including a run as writer of Justice Society of America…

            Yes, yes he does like being associated with comic book movies. He is in fact a big comic book fan, even if he has his own…particular interpretation of certain comic book characters. He has built his entire career around comic book movies.

            And he certainly doesn’t do anything because he thinks other people will like it; he is on record as saying he likes to give people “what they don’t even know they want”, and that he doesn’t pay too much attention to what comic book fans say. He is the very definition of a writer who is writing what HE wants to write, not for anyone else, for better or worse.

            As for him and Zack Snyder hating each other and fighting all the time…not saying you’re wrong, but that’s news to me. Never heard that before.

            As for the rest…just another thing we can argue about despite agreeing on, really.
            (also, its “rule of thumb”, not “thumb rule”- yes, I am a grammar Nazi; this bugs me even though it shouldn’t).

          • Sofie Liv

            Eh… Some times the fact that i’m actually you know… Bi languet should excuse some of it.

            Seriously you just need to read some of David Goyers interviews and personal attitudes to see that his attitude towards comic books aren’t that favourable and he ended up in it largely by chance then kind of just got stuck in it.
            And yes, they did fight a lot, you can even feel it in the movie as their two different visions kept clashing and worked against each other not with each other.

            Believe me, i’ve worked with writers whom couldn’t write for shit and would not believe they couldn’t, in theatre places and so on.

            That’s why I call writing. “A craftman ship.” which like all other craft man ships must be learned and perfected and takes a long long time to learn!

            But I also know from personal exsperience, from writing myself, a good number of stories that recieved overall good feedback and merely talking with a ton of writers whom is passionate and whom isn’t.

            God, i’ve talked to those types, whom does it not because they care for writing as a medium… But because they think there’s social prestige in it. Those guys are usually arrogant assholes enlarge and treats the rest of us as stupid minions.

            I did talk to a dude whom had published a book and thusly thought he was better than everyone else at our Story Slam seminar… As it happened though, as the time finally did come to actually make the damn story slam.. No one particularly cared for his work.

            Ones again, it’s a craftman ship! It’s a bit more of a tricky craftman ship because it’s not as easy to recognise as being bad or good as for instance… a drawing, where you only have to look at it to know.
            While with writing you actually have to know what you’re talking about and take the time to read it.

            But to develop upon it, it is incredible stagnating just to do what you assume people want, that’s how we end up with all those compleately identical, shit boring, supposedly “Kick ass” female leads… whom are clones.
            They’ve been lead to beiieve that’s what people want… Some people even think that’s what they want… But it’s been done to death and it’s boring as shit.

            I want characters darn it! Interesting, new, unique, characters! You actually have to use your own imagination to come up with those.

            No one can tell you how to make a brand new interesting unique character, you have to come up with it from scratch… using your imagination…. That’s kind of the pilar of the creative process.

            I get as pissed as anyone when some douch bag whom never even took the time to study writing claims he is a master at it because of one douchy novel that wasn’t even that good….. That’s because of the arrogant attitude.

            I don’t like ANYONE in any artform approaching it with an arrogant attitude suggesting they are thinking that they are better than everyone else and don’t need to listen to others, then you already know what ever they are going to do is gonna suck. They got no earth connection what so ever, and ALL art forms suffer from having pricks like that running around somewhere destroying the fun for all the others.

            But there’s a different between those air heads and people actually interested in writing, but afraid to express themselves because. “oh no, don’t wanna offend any body.”
            Which is not even possible nowadays not to do…. Kids… Go out… have fun.. As long as it’s not your job and you’re not making any money out of it… It’s no ones fucking buisnes what you choose to write and explore through your writing.

            If you then decide to persue it profesionally, remember to study it, remember to read A TON of books! Figure what you either like or dislike about those books, talk about them as much as you can, wonder and analyse. Listen to those whom knows what they are talking about, try and explore with a sense of wonder for the possibilities NOT the limitations and have fun.

            A profesional writer ones told me… If you want to be good at lifting weights, lift a lot of weights! If you want to be good at writing… Write a lot!

            Of course the first few ones are going to be stinkers… Writing is an artform as an craftman ship, but with so many other things, to only real way to learn it… Is to do it.

            That’s how I learned, I should imagine that’s how anyone learned it.

          • Jonathan Campbell

            “Eh… Some times the fact that i’m actually you know… Bi languet should excuse some of it.”

            It does but…I’m judging you anyway.

            Everyone who has not completely mastered the English language inside-out should be judged for it. That’s my philosophy.

            “Seriously you just need to read some of David Goyers interviews and personal attitudes to see that his attitude towards comic books aren’t that favourable and he ended up in it largely by chance then kind of just got stuck in it.

            And yes, they did fight a lot, you can even feel it in the movie as their two different visions kept clashing and worked against each other not with each other.”

            Hmmm…Could you link me to those interviews?

            Its just…not the impression I’ve had of Goyer at all. Though I admit I’ve only got a limited knowledge of him.

            Also, could you elaborate on the Goyer / Snyder clashing thing?

          • CaptainCalvinCat

            > Everyone who has not completely mastered the English language inside-out should be judged for it. That’s my philosophy.

            Are you from the American branch of the CSU? http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-30380970

          • Jonathan Campbell

            I’m Scottish, remember?

            EDIT: Actually, that means I have to retract my statement. As a Scottish person, I am legally obliged to be against all things English.

            So…yes, I’ll give Sofie a pass.

          • CaptainCalvinCat

            I have to admit, that – from all those movies, I watched from Kurzman/Orci, I can’t name one, that I didn’t like. Star Trek (2009), Into Darkness, Transformers 1 – 3 , heck even their TV-shows (Alias / Hawaii Five-oh) were – at least to me – extremely enjoyable.
            Sure, there’s a hick-up every now and then, but who can say of himself, that he has written a story, that was all the way perfect?
            No one. Not even those, who are doing “masterpieces” – if you want to find a mistake, you’ll find it.

            I – as a fanfic-author – do write, what I would like to read (well, most of the time…. normally I’m a Ziva/Mc-Gee-Shipper, but in my fanfic I use Tony/Ziva… on the other hand, I use the pairing of Sam Carter / Daniel Jackson, which is my favourite pairing in SG-1).

            Writing something new? Not only do I see it as extremely difficult – I see it as downright impossible. After all, we’re living in the year 2014, soon 2015. That means, that art is…. old. Very old. A couple of millenia old. And during that time, everything has already been done.

          • Sofie Liv

            You know… There’s just no denying that all those movies just has awful
            awfull scripts, and what ever did work in those movies worke IN SPITE
            of the scripts not because of them.

            If we are going to actually dwell into those movies on a purely interlectual level… Then it looks bad.
            It’s okay you enjoy them! Feel free to have fun and enjoy, i’m glad for you… But ones you try to claim them to be some kind of writing master pieces… Then you are getting into serious trouble.

            And yes, of course you can! It will always be inspired something else and take hints from other works, but there is always new directions and new ways to explore these things.

            You just need to indulge and have fun with it, if you think there’s nothing new to do, then it’s because you aren’t questioning or wondering enough or asking enough questions about. “What if this happened?” “Or what if that character went in that direction.”
            There is always something only you can do, the way only you would do it, that’s the creative process.

            It’s a journey, it’s a devolopment, it’s a process… taking something old you loved and turn it into something brand new doing it the way only you can do it.

            Have fun with it!

            Don’t deny yourself or stagnate your own imagination, GO NUTS! have fun, and make something new and wonderful ^^

          • danbreunig

            It’s what Jill herself talked about in one of her own commentaries: the benefit about making unofficial work is that there is far less restraint to creativity. Since you don’t have to worry about making your writing and art perfect, or according to someone else’s notion of what perfect means (not for a job to keep your paycheck, not for school to keep your grades)–that’s where you can really go nuts. The only down is that they’re not your characters, they’re your own interpretations of those characters.

            But wow, what interpretations you can possibly make, especially when you find a character aspect the original maker didn’t explore originally. You can also afford to stay humble when you explore with fan-stuff, because you have far more freedom for mistakes and learning than you would with making an official (i.e. job or school) work.

            It’s indeed challenging to create an “original” character because nearly all characters stem from from a predecessor character or trope, or inversion thereof.
            So fanfic and fanart–Yes.

            As to your earlier post:
            “What I wish for is a MUCH larger variety of women, of all kinds from all places, not just the same character over and over and over…Can we please move on and do actual characters? Maybe?”

            Just fan stuff (interpretations like I said), but…stay tuned.

          • Sofie Liv

            Oh yeah absolutely, no lie, I learned most about writing, by writing fanfic.
            And my earliest works were of course SHIT. I mean really, it was bad.

            But I learned so much over time, also I have this thing about my own fanfiction, the way I write it.
            I always, try to stay as true as humanly possible to the source material! Every book, movie, comic book what ever will have this certain feel to it, which is unique to it, and will always be trying to recreate that exact same feel by trying to capture the same kind of humour, stay true to the characters and stick to the themes of each given source material.

            Which also mean I have to go back and really analyze the source material to gain big enough of an understanding of the themes its trying to convey to transplant it into my fanfiction.

            The one single story I wrote that taught me the most about writing, and that damn thing is a novel! It’s over 300,000 words long!
            It was a harry potter fiction, first it was just a guilty pleasure because some one else had written the same plot and I liked the idea but hated the executed so I started to write it the way I wanted to.

            Slowly the work transformed and mutated into something else, something with actual structure, I went back to the harry potter books I loved so much and analyzed them to pieces, figuring the themes and rules of the world, trying to recreate the feeling of a genuine harry potter book in my thick.
            Of course it’s not a hundred percet success in that regard, there’s many things in it which are uniquely connected to how I write, but it really did teach me a thing or to.

            And now that’s mostly how I write fanfictions.

            I watched Ponyo and was fascinated by Fujimoto, wondered what his story was, I researched the themes of the movie and found out the intend was to portray how over protecting parents pushes away their children.
            So I wrote a story about how Fujimoto decided to leave human kind behind, basing it on those themes in the Ponyo movie, letting him be a reflection of what is going to happen later as his own over protective family pushes him away because they are over protective.
            I think it’s a good piece, i’m pretty proud of it, people has responded to it very positively.
            Of course it’s not really my best piece when it comes to female representation because there’s only one in the entire story… Grenmammare… usually I fit women in in various roles when ever I can, this time around how ever… I just couldn’t fit any in there, and a key role about writing is to keep it focused so well… I wanted the centre of the conflict to be between Fujimoto, his father and his two brothers and thusly I kept it there without straying to much. *Shrug*

            And right now i’m working on a story largely based on the Ni No Kuni univers, the theme in that story largely revolves around the idea of heart break being kind of the same as depression, and people being caught up in their individual depression stops them from seeing the larger picture and thusly stops them from ever standing together or help it each other.
            So only by heal people and mend their broken heart can you move further and as you go from person to person helping them and healing them, the world itself grows a little closer together as people starts reaching out and helping each other.
            The theme of the that story is all about despair/Depression and over coming that despair to reach even further and gain even more, so that’s the themes i’m basing the story about.

            I’m just taking what the source material is giving me and go with it! And I love every moment of it.
            I’m writing purely for my own benefit these days, mostly because I can’t stop myself! And I think this is how any writer should at least start out, if you havn’t felt this joy writing and just can’t stop yourself…. You’re doing something wrong.

          • Jonathan Campbell

            That whole post made me feel bad that I’m not writing more.

            I hope you are happy.

          • Jonathan Campbell

            Oh and, 100th comment.

            Congratulations Sofie for reaching 100 comments.

            Congratulations me for posting the 100th comment. I’m so proud of myself.

          • danbreunig

            If these forum posts are any indication, you do indeed write whole books. 😛

            Was that the “Second Chances” book you talked about before? Didn’t know it was a Potterverse fanfic.

            It’s kinda strange, the way you talk about approaching fanfics is kind of how I approach fanarts, conceiving an image and then, if it’s interesting and full enough, running with it. Except my thinking about them tends to be more broad than deep. So my thinking isn’t so much about how present characters behave in certain situations, but rather how did these situations even happen!?

            Usually those arts are glorified one-off gag cartoons, all done poor-man’s style with pencil on paper, and I’m still learning or at least trying not to forget the basics (“wait, why aren’t there shadows underneath those guys? How did I miss that?!”). As for starting off shitty and improving from there through practice, well that’s as necessary as eating healthy during your teen years so you won’t hurt your growth. But it can still be daunting to see exactly where you progressed from at the start, especially when you’re flooded with non-stop ideas. So an art image for me is less about exploring possibilities in behaviors and more about possibilities in… possibilities.

            Can I dig into how Hans Giebenrath interprets his first kiss? No.

            Can I theorize why Robur the Conqueror slipped into megalomania? Not to a concrete conclusion, so effectively no.

            Can I conceive an alternate history to anyone in the Silmarillion? No, and best not to strain myself mentally trying it. But…

            Can I picture the Agony Anarchists performing as a hard metal power trio? Heck yeah, no problem. Bam, an fanart is born and completed. Or how about Holmes and Watson (of Baker Street Adventures fame) in a Phantasm scene? Done. Or Jane Austen posing as Jugulator? On the back burner at the moment.

            I don’t mind if these images I think are crazy, silly, insane, weird, stupid, out-there, confusing–as long as they’re not worthless. And they’re not worthless to me if they can bring a smile or get a laugh, or in more serious cases cause a little tug at the heart. The greatest progress I’ve had with this process was when one such image, or many similar fleeting images, lengthened into a full-fledged story I’m trying (emphasis TRYING) to write, and became a real story with a plot involving characters misunderstanding each other, reacting in each their character’s own way, unintentionally hurting each other, seeing a common ground, and ultimately finding a truce and friendship at its end. The original plot was much more linear and built on a steady stream of comedy mishaps, but in its current form the situation and characters are far deeper than when I started–what was just a crazy situation became a comedy (still) with some hopefully true touching moments that many of us may relate to. And all this from one silly crazy picture in the beginning…

            Jeez, now I’m the one writing a book on here…

          • Sofie Liv

            It’s still the same idea isn’t it?
            Something you saw or exsperiences inspired a spark inside of your brain and that spark is then being translated into something new you do.

            That’s also how most of my music work, sometimes I wrote…. Fan music? I guess you can call it.
            Which is deeply inspired from the fictional character I write for.
            You know of dearest Madman, which i of course deeply inspired by my own personal fantasy I am thinking a lot shares with me when watching stuff like Doctor who.

            Then I wrote. “My Pudding and me!” A song Harley Quinn sings about her dear dear pudding, which is meant as a funny joke song writting in a upbeat jazzy way inspired from Harleys mannerisms… And always she was what I had in my head as I wrote it.
            And I fully intend to perform with it at some point to a cosplay show so yeah, there’s some female exsposure in geek culture already there, just because I did what I felt like doing.

            I’m also writing a song for One Piece, I wrote some lyrics to fit with the melody “Mercedes Lullaby.” From Panths Labyrinth, which are of course inspired by the movie itself and yeah…

            Things that I love and adore is the main driving force inspiring me to make a ton of new things, and I love doing it! It’s great!

            Haha, I also remember a few years back I had joined an enternet secret santa thing, and then I was handed a person whom I could figure out nothing about, except she had drawn Phineas and Ferb fanart.
            So I went ahead and wrote a Christmas Carol parody with Doofensmirt as Scrooge but with a twist. I think it turned out a pretty funny piece… very small and innocent, but fun enough.

          • danbreunig

            Nerd properties = lyrics goldmine. Interesting thing about all these projects you bring up, is that I’m in a similar boat, if not as productive. Another lifetime dream I have besides cartooning and comedy is making music. As in writing original songs and recording and performing them, hopefully in a band setting (hasn’t happened yet :,( ). Writing lyrically, I’d rather not do umpteen more songs about the human condition and relationship matters, and more about fictional subjects and relatable life experiences through existing characters and their worlds.

            Like this example: you know that Agony Anarchists Band picture? Not only was that a silly enjoyable image for me to draw–I’m serious about also someday writing and recording a fun song(s) in that same power rock trio format you see in the pic–even more so if I could imitate everyone’s voices correctly. And there are other ideas I have besides that one subject–but how I wish to make it happen and finally get it out there.

            And with limitless nerd properties come limitless conceptual possibilities, especially if writing a song or fic about one character many may not know but few know perfectly inside and out. I didn’t make any association with Harley Quinn and pudding until you said those very words now, which blew my mind a little because I’m not that familiar with her (didn’t watch Batman TAS), but by the same token I could hypothetically do the same with Robur. One of us thinks “Cool!” while the other thinks “Huh?”

            Plus, think of the encouraging effects of fanwork. Doctor Who was around, inspired you with a dream situation, and got you to write a song about that event, which in turn inspired me to physically draw that same event in my own twisted but sweet manner–and in turn may have inspired someone else to want to make a fanart of his own, if I read the comments right. What a fortunate chain of events!

          • CaptainCalvinCat

            Oh, I didn’t say, that I don’t go nuts and don’t use my imagination. In my latest Fanfic we have the crew of a Starfleet ship crashlanded in Agrabah and then the Goa’Uld appear.
            And fanfiction – wise, there is a whole universe out there, to explore.
            I can write a story, in which the universes of BSG, Star Trek and SG 1 clash, collide, intermingle, in which we can have Starbuck, Sam Carter and Seven of Nine fight side by side against waves and waves of Cylons, Borg and Goa’Uld – as long as I set up rules and stick to them in order to explain everything relatively logical.
            I can write a story, in which my character I’m always using ends up in St. Canard and trying to deal with Darkwing Duck.
            I can write a story, in which the Peter Capaldi Doctor walks through Leipzig, gets in an accident and is whisked away in the Sachsenklinik (TV Series: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_aller_Freundschaft) and is dying there, regenerating in a new form. Or I can write that completely from the Sachsenklinik’s personell point of view, maybe Dr. Heilmann, who is fighting to keep the strange man alive, just to fail and see him regenerate on the operating table (therefore ripping off “Doctor Who – The Movie”.^^). It could work as a piece of opinion concerning this dreadful Pegida-Moviement.
            That all is possible – entirely. As a fanfic author, you have the world at your fingertips.

            You can write TIVA, you can write Sam/Janet, you can write John/lock (not to be confused with John Locke).
            It is like Dan Breunig said, and what Jill said: unofficial work – it’s your playground.
            But – if you want to become an author, a published one, one, whos novels are actually in bookshelves… at least I see little problems there.
            Take – I don’t know – the Inheritance-Books (Eragon). Yes, it ripped off Star Wars and the like, but – as I said – REALLY new stuff is relatively difficult to come up.

          • Jonathan Campbell

            “Nothing interesting ever comes out of just doing what you think other people want or need… It’s boring at the best of times.”

            You’d be surprised. A lot of the greatest characters and works of fiction came about because somebody wanted to get paid, or was just being lazy. Sometimes the story didn’t pick up until later.

            Passion isn’t really a requirement when it comes to creating something; passion is what’s needed when you want to STICK with it. But even that might not be enough in the long-term if you simply aren’t good enough or if you aren’t listening to other people.

            I don’t think it has to be one or the other- you absolutely SHOULD pay attention to what other people want and yes, it can and often is interesting for them. But its really about finding the balance between what other people want (which sometimes can be better for the story) and what YOU want. Its fine to start with a concept and THEN build a character from it. Also, being aware of what other people want, and what the clichés are, can help you to avoid making the same mistakes over and over again.

            As far as reversing the gender roles goes…I think that happens because most stock characters are male and there aren’t that many- if any- truly original characters left to be made. The problem with characters like Marian or Lara Croft or Black Widow (and all who come after them) is that they are ultimately the token female- most characters in their stories (even if its just mooks) are men, and they are the only or one of the very few women (as far as Wonder Woman goes, .

            Wonder Woman has the problem too, since she is better known as a member of the Justice League and she plays second fiddle to Batman and Superman, and usually there are more male members of the League than female ones. Her villains and supporting characters are less important and less impressive too, so her world isn’t explored too much. And I definitely think that WW’s creator had passion for the character he created, as do many who work on her- again, its about finding the right balance.

            Basically, ever character you make- male or female- is inevitably going to be similar or based off of another character or character archetype, whether you meant it or not, and most character archetypes are male. So…if you want more female representation, you might actually NEED to do that, or it might be unavoidable. What REALLY needs to be done is to cram as many female characters into your story until you have a roughly gender-equal cast, and give them equal levels of importance and character development.

            If you have a choice between writing a story or character you are passionate about versus doing something you think society wants (or in this case, needs), you don’t have to choose one or the other. And sometimes you need to create something deliberately better if you want things to change- but that doesn’t mean you can’t be passionate about it, or that other people won’t build on what you do.

            In other words, sometimes why you start something isn’t the most important thing.
            And it doesn’t have to be the reason you stay with it. You can be very passionate about something at first then get bored with it; or, you can be make something because you feel you have to but later on become more and more in love with what you are doing, and start playing around with it from there.

            Its not just about doing what society wants; it can be about standing up for what you believe in.