Jun 16, 2014

She's Baaaaaaaack! with Background Decoration...

After Six Months and two days short of reaching the Seventh Month, the Infamous, Pop Culture Critic is Back. This is the Third Topic in her series. The First being Damsels in Distress, the Second being Distaff Counterpart under a sexist name. Now, It's Background decoration: Part I... Really, we need Multiple episodes for this? Also, WHEN is she doing the Fighting @#$%! toy!?

New Intro! New Plaid shirt!! Oh goodie! Your $159,000 at work... Assuming you donated to her kickstarter. As always, comments and ratings are disabled, because Patriarchy and trolls (who work for the Patriarchy!)

Replace Patriots with Patriarchy and you get the idea... A Few Warnings before I begin:

I am not a misogynist, I do not hate women and I believe that humans should be treated equally. With that said, I believe the person making these videos is a liar, a hypocrite, a rabble-rouser and a mouthpiece to a more sinister being. It's not that I dislike her as a person, my dislike of her comes from her work. Specifically speaking about  the piss poor analysis of her topics (especially after getting paid $160,000 for it), passing crap as fact, hypocrisy and media manipulation to play the "victim card". I HAVE NO ANIMOSITY TOWARDS HER PERSON. If her videos had better research, didn't rely on cheap jabs at other cultures, did not took things out of context and were "contextualized" as something completely different to prove a point and her process was more transparent; I'd be OK with her opinions (I may or may not have agreed with them) but as they stand right now, I can't agree with her opinions and cannot take her seriously, BECAUSE of the flaws in her analysis and lack of understanding in the matter.

Nearly $160,000 in money collected to talk about first world problems. Genital Mutilation of women... Psh! That's irrelevant! Talking about how oppressed Reiko Nagase is in Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiidge Racerrrrrrrrrrr! is where the real problems are!

Now that I got that out of the way; We must remember that it is both possible (and even necessary) to simultaneously enjoy her videos while also being critical of its more problematic or pernicious aspects. We have to remember that these videos do not exist in a vacuum, they are an increasingly influential part of our larger social and cultural ecosystem.

So, back to the main topic: New plaid shirt. She sounds a bit more stuffier than last time... She sounds almost like she's channeling her inner Ben Stein. Starting up she's close to making a point that actually makes sense. Advertisements for games often used women.
The most infamous one is the naked SEGA Saturn girl.  She says:
"In these promotional materials, advertisers are not just selling a product, they are also selling gaming as a lifestyle in which women predominantly exist as passive objects of heterosexual male desire."

But she misses the obvious part: These advertisements are inspired by the pin-up girls often seen in ads for cars and car parts.
Heck! in a way, the SEGA ad is MOCKING said vintage ads.

So, let's move on from the ads and continue with the video.
I define the Women as Background Decoration trope in video games as: The subset of largely insignificant non-playable female characters whose sexuality or victimhood is exploited as a way to infuse edgy, gritty or racy flavoring into game worlds. These sexually objectified female bodies are designed to function as environmental texture while titillating presumed straight male players. Sometimes they’re created to be glorified furniture but they are frequently programmed as minimally interactive sex objects to be used and abused.

Translation for the TL;DR crowd: Background characters can't be female.

With that "definition" that she gives us, I'm betting that she'll mention GTA, Red Dead Redemption, The Godfather, Scarface, and Duke Nukem among the games she'll demonize. Betcha' she'll mention the Red Dead Redemption prostitutes and the Dastardly Trophy. (That can be done with any non-important NPC woman in the game, not just prostitutes.)
Strippers, prostitutes will be targets. I wonder if the girls from the Threesome Mini game from God of War will make it. Not the girls I expected, but God of War made it...
Yup, She went straight after the Strippers and hookers from games... What, did she expect brothels full of nuns!? Hoo boy! Now I can see why this will take multiple videos.

"Unlike other NPCs that exist for purposes outside of their sexuality, Non-Playable Sex Objects have little to no individual personality or identity to speak of, and almost never get to be anything other than set dressing or props in someone else’s narrative."

MOST NPCs Have Little to no individual Personality, or identity to speak of, and almost never get to be anything other than set dressing or props in someone else’s narrative. Let's take MGS V: Ground Zeroes as an example. There's over 40 US Marines running about in Camp Omega. they are props for Big Boss to interrogate (to find item locations) kill or capture. Their importance to the main plot of the game is virtually non-existent. The only important NPCs are: Paz and Chico, and even then they're just glorified props in Big Boss' story. (Same can be said about Miller and Huey.) NPCs on bigger games, like say GTA games are pretty much a set of scripted witty lines, depending on the character's class. Expecting a fully fledged character out of Random NPC # 459 is ridiculous.

And she found a way to add racism to the mix...  Disappointed that she didn't use GTA 3 where we get a nod to the infamous quote from a certain movie.
wait... this is turning into an anti-prostitution video, disguised as a videogame video.
So, she whines that the characters in the hooker class are interchangeable and often have similar skins per game. Really? If a game has similar skins for one class, all the other classes of characters will have characters with skins similar to their individual class.

The reason for classes having a few sets of skins is mostly for a few reasons:
-It's less taxing on resources to have "clones" than multiple characters that are completely different from each other. (Hardware limitations)
-It helps the player Identify the character classes and plan accordingly (whether it's a harmless NPC  or an enemy NPC)

Since these women are just objects, there’s no need or reason for players to have any emotional engagement with them. Meaningful relationships or interactions are not even possible. Their programming simply does not allow for it.
No, just, no... ALL VIDEOGAME CHARACTERS ARE JUST OBJECTS... sprites/polygons and lines of code. THEY ARE NOT REAL. Just like Katniss Everdeen and Edward Cullen are lines of text.

And I love how she dismisses that what you can do to NPCs is not gender exclusive. She is painting a skewed picture as if it can ONLY be done to women...

She reached Red Dead Redemption...
No, you nincompoop! The Lasso can be used with ALL NPCs, not exclusively with Prostitutes. And she did mention the Dastardly trophy... Which again... DASTARDLY!! Obviously not GOOD!!

ALL NPCs ARE DISPOSABLE!! Both Male AND Female... 7 months, for this crap!? I still have ten more minutes to go... Shoot!

The Busted! (and Wasted!) status in GTA ARE the GAME OVER SCREENS, but instead of saying Game Over, they use Busted or Wasted. Losing some money and your items is the "punishment" for getting arrested or dying. Starting at the Police Station or Hospital is the equivalent of "using a Continue"...
The Violence is NOT EXCLUSIVE AGAINST WOMEN... You can beat up, shoot, explode, run over, etc. Male NPCs as well as Female NPCs!!

Basically, Women Background Characters should be invincible ninja nuns! With extensive background stories... even if you only see them on screen for 2 seconds.

Clever move,  with this quote you can wave away any criticism of your work.
Studies have found, for example, that after having viewed sexually objectified female bodies, men in particular tend to view women as less intelligent, less competent and disturbingly express less concern for their physical well being or safety. Furthermore this perception is not limited only to sexualized women; in what is called the “Spill Over Effect”, these sexist attitudes carry over to perceptions of all women, as a group, regardless of their attire, activities or professions.
 Since this time you didn't censor the virtual nudity... (You censored cutscenes on DiD 2, but not here... Clever move!!) you can argue that anyone calling you an idiot, a dumbass, etc. is doing it because of videogame boobs making them not think right.

(Rantviewing The Room was a lot easier than doing this... 9 of her topics to go...)

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