Friday, June 8, 2012

Is Sexism Claims in Games Becoming Crying Wolf?

In this classic story a boy, tasked in watching its family herd, is bored. So, in order to have some fun, the boy start crying to the village about a wolf attacking his animals. The village men run for help to discover they were fooled and go back to their chores. The boy, having found something to amuse himself, do it two other times, and the men go to help to discover they were fooled again. The men warn the boy to stop, or they will not appear again if something help. next day, the herd is attacked by a real wolf, and the boy cry for help. The men don't appear this time, and when the boy (depending on the version, he is also killed by the wolf) finally got to the village, covered in blood of the dead animals, the men remember him that it was his fault, for crying wolf when there was none.

The moral of the lesson was probably about not lying to others, over the risk of people not believing in you in the future. But also become a warning about not putting things that aren't there in order to fit your own interests or running the risk of making it harder when you really need to rise a concern about the subject. i feel that we are running this risk with sexism in games by how the subject is being handled around those days.

And boy, there is sexism in games!
Sexism in games is a matter that is real, it must be discussed (maybe not in internet forums and comment sections of websites, but between real people). There is many games who use women just as marketing tools, trying to get in the juvenile fantasies of many gamers. But there is many games today that are trying to get away of this image and trying to portray women not only more realistically physically, but also more interesting as characters, with deeper background stories, motivations and psychology.

Tomb Raider, the new one, is an example to me of this tendency. It shows not the Lara Croft who was basically an Indiana Jones with boobs, who acted and talked like the most badass man in games. She is young, inexperienced, going through one of the most difficulty situations ever, trying to survive in an hostile environment. She is not the badass we know yet. She suffers pain and don't hide it. She have to fight for survival and that is great at my eyes.

But what the people claiming this game to be sexist see is a poor woman being beaten and hurt to cater at some weird people who find seeing women bleeding and getting hurt sexually arousing. That Lara Croft as she is in this new game is a weak woman who cannot do anything besides getting hurt, instead of the strong woman we know. That she pass a lot of time running and crying without fighting back.

This people apparently have not seem much of this game. If you what the 2012 E3 gameplay trailers, you will see her fighting back, a lot. She will use her bow (year of the bow, 2012), guns, fists and the environment itself to fight baddies. She is scared and she is not the super human characters we have that can fall from impossible heights or getting shot without even blinking. She is human. Even if she was a man, in the situation she found herself, she would be suffering, scared and in pain.

She is far from weak, she is just not that 80s action movie heroine who can shrug being run over a car as nothing. She is way more realistic than many Nathan Drakes or Solid Snakes that populate games. But she is not the defenseless little girl neither. She can and will use her skills to fight back. When a man try to sexually abuse her, she fights back. She is scared, but she fights back.

Hint: He dies.
And yet, we see many people (funny enough, most men) crying sexism against this game. Trying very hard to put sexism views in a game who hardly have anything in this way. Those people are the people saying the game is like torture porn (which make you wonder how they can be so sure), despite we having games who are blatantly sexist, they decided to get on the one who aren't and read some sexism in it.

This weakens the debate. It make it seem that it is all over reacting about the whole debate, that even games who really are sexist are not as bad as it seems because they exaggerated so much over Tomb Raider that they must being exaggerating over everything. And that weakens their side of the debate.

The constant complains against every single game that they believe to have even the slightest sexism is tiresome. Many people don't want to even start this discussion anymore because they already see many of the complainers as delusional people who find sexism in everything. People who have real issues to talk about get lost in the mindless complaints made for people who just want to be seem as modern and intelligent and pro-women, while being nothing of that.

Here Lara being badass, just to show.
There is legitimate complains to be made about sexism in videogames. It is a real problem that we must be aware of. But if people keep crying wolf at anything, even when there is none, we will all became the village men. We will not trust the complains even when they are real.

So, think very carefully before crying wolf over sexism in games, or you will make more damage than you may believe.

1 comment:

  1. Don't forget that these same feminazi idiots also cry "Sexism" in animes and comic books as well.


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