The (hopefully well reasoned and respectful) debates were always what I loved about the old forums, so let's see if we can make that happen here. A Facebook conversation is going on right now that I think applies here. I've edited everyone's names out but my own (kind of) though the posters can come forward if they please, of course. It's clear what I think, I guess, but I want to hear your opinion (both about Achaea and other games)!
I realize this will get me flamed, but complaining about misogyny in a game whose focus is being a serial murderer, carjacker, and general bad guy confuses me. Misogyny irl is not cool, but violence irl is a lot less cool. We as an industry are constantly going on the defensive to claim that violence in games doesn't beget violence in the rest of life. If that's so, why is misogyny in games so much more likely to beget misogyny irl than violence is likely to beget violence?
It just smells hypocritical to me, and self-motivated: Game developers have gotten used to accepting horrific in-game violence, accepting that genocide, mass murder, and serial killing are normal activities even for a so-called 'good guy' in games. Plus, those activities sell billions of dollars of games every year, and cutting them out of games would literally destroy the industry overnight.
By all means, we should not tolerate misogyny in games companies and in their employment practices. I personally won't tolerate overt misogyny in the games communities my company runs. Similarly, I won't tolerate threats or actual violence from my employees or the communities my company runs. In games on the other hand? They are, particularly in the case of roleplaying open-world games, a form of pure escapism to me, and therefore I'm not that interested in applying normal social mores to in-game behavior. Double that for single-player games where you are literally not hurting anyone by playing (or so I believe, insofar as I don't buy that violence or misogyny in video games begets it irl, and have never seen any reputable study showing definitively that they do.)
Well said! I actually had never really thought about this specifically (the violence part, yes, but not the misogyny) which kind of supports your point even more, since I've no doubt encountered misogyny in some form or fashion many times in my years playing Achaea, but it never occurred to me that what was happening to my character IG actually translated to how the player might treat me IRL (at least on the basis of being a woman alone) in the same way that them PKing me never meant that I thought I might need to fear for my life at the next Achaea meet.
If it were a case of Misogyny in a game singularly I would agree with you. But it is not singularly in a game, it permeates many games, and more importantly the culture far too many of the communities. Also, whenever the discussion comes up, it seems there are very loud very angry voices unwilling to consider the discussion.Or that many women feel they have to play gender neutral or as men to have a normal and fun experience with other players. That is what makes me take pause. It isn't as simple as saying all games are misogynistic- that is unfair. But until people are willing to have the discussion rationally I think that is the biggest indicator that there is a problem.
Here's the difference: A -player- yelling at you to "get back in the kitchen" on CoD and a -character- telling you women have no role in politics in a role-playing game. One is someone being an asshole, one is someone playing a role (and for the latter, you have the freedom to chop their head off for saying it because this is make-believe (You wouldn't do that in real life, would you? As a result, I won't judge you for doing it IG!)). I actually enjoyed the characters who bent social norms in Achaea because it made it a richer experience. If everyone just bowed and curtsied and loved everyone else, it wouldn't be nearly the rich and malleable experience it was for me. Some of the people playing assholes were assholes IRL, but many of them were enjoying playing a role much as an actor would or the way a novelist enjoys writing her villain. Albeit some of those people are crappy people IRL too, most of them are not at all what their characters are. As long as the misogyny, violence, and other socially unacceptable stuff stays IG, then I think it should be chalked up to the roleplay experience and nothing more.
Right, It sounds like you had a great experience in Achaea in which there was IRL ribbing that didn't interfere with game play- you still had a good experience and mods who would step up if necessary. I am in no way saying you are not having a great game experience as a girl, or that you are unwilling to take the same teasing everyone else gets. I am talking more about the the bigger wide spread issue- which includes other games and spaces where players did not just rib each other else why would http://fatuglyorslutty.com/ be a thing or Anita Sarkeesian have her safety threatened and her online identity ruined just because she wanted to do research about women and video games http://www.feministfrequency.com/.../ I absolutely agree that there are games that are great- and with misogynistic themes- I am just pointing out WHY it is an issue that people want to discuss and why it should not be dismissed.