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11/01/2005

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matt

there really is a lot that can come out of this, i highly recommend everyone check out this issue of the escapist (a great 'zine, generally, anyway and worthy of your time).

it's very controversial on several topics, not the least of which is a discussion evolutionary psychology and how it relates to our little world. while i'm not a huge fan of evo. psych. i think there are some things to be learned from it, though it posesses the obvious danger of giving the male-dominance advocates (yes, they still exist) out there more fuel for the fire.

Brien Shrimp

Yeah, at The Independent Gaming Source Chris Crawford's article on evolutionary psychology generated quite a stink. Derek (the editor-in-chief) had a negative opinion of that piece of "writing" so we had people coming out of the wordwork to defend their idol. Silly, really.

BadmanX

I didn't have a huge problem with Crawford's article (though he didn't tell me anything I didn't already know; men like games where you blow things up and women like games where you build and decorate things).

But Bonnie Ruberg's article...first, I have no idea what point she was actually trying to make, and as a male I can't help but take offence at some of the things she says, especially "Men, as the ones most often holding the controllers, exercise control over playable female characters, redistributing the power balance in favor of the male...there's something innately sadistic about this interaction". Oh, so when I was playing Beyond Good & Evil, I wasn't just playing a great game with a female lead, I was somehow satisfying some deep-seated need to see WOMEN DIEEEEEE, even if it is just in a virtual setting? Is Bonnie saying that men shouldn't be allowed to play games that have female lead characters?

Malkyne

I think there are some interesting things that evolutionary psych has to say, but I also think that it's only useful when looking at normative groups. Moreover, there's more to it than just the story of hunters and gatherers.

I recommend going to a martial arts tournament, and watching the differences between the female matches and male matches, sometime. It's a common misconception in sundry fighting games that female fighters are skinny, squeaky, super-fast fighters, when they're really nothing of the sort. The ones I've seen are, if anything, rather slow. However, they're also solidly built, fierce, and relentless. They have more in common with a mother lion than they do with any of the women you'll see in a Mortal Kombat game.

Most women don't like the fight, but that doesn't mean they *can't*. Throughout the history of mankind, women were the last line of defense. Once the men were knocked down, the women were the only thing stopping the foe from killing the kids. If you give a woman something to defend -- something she cares about -- she can fight like a demon. Think of the scenes in Aliens, where Ripley is trucking around, fighting aliens, with Newt in tow. That's what I'm talking about. The reason the historical figure Boudicca was so stunningly relentless and fierce is because someone messed with her daughters.

"Boudicca was tall, terrible to look on and gifted with a powerful voice. A flood of bright red hair ran down to her knees; she wore a golden necklet made up of ornate pieces, a multi-coloured robe and over it a thick cloak held together by a brooch. She took up a long spear to cause dread in all who set eyes on her."
- Cassius

Joanna

Fantastic issue of the Escapist! Lots of important issues are addressed. Thanks very much for the link. ;)

KnightofHearts

See here's the thing, for the most part these articles are pure bolderdash. Look yes women are objectified in videogames, but so are men. The woman might have turned off her computer because the last boss was a ridiculous vision of women but she didn't do a thing when she saw the title character of Prince of Persia, who is a bit more muscular than most men. Its that sort of doublestandard that permeates all sorts of discussions that focus on objectifying women including but not limited to pornography, models, strippers, etc. It's not that its not a valid realm of discussion but it assumes that it only goes one way which is simply wrong. The best article was the gamespot girl, who was articulate and ironic about how both men and women further the streotypes about women gamers and gamers in general. In short

andy

there are some interesting things that evolutionary psych has to say...
mazda

outsider

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Allan

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Allan

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