Why do people get offended about gay scenes in games?

“And then there are also those who are going to care, because they think it’s an attempt to “SJWing” up the game. However you want to put it, people feel that this is an attempt to make their favorite pastime politically correct and some sort of activist political statement on diversity or what have you. It doesn’t mean that the people who feel this way disagree with the things that are being discussed or shown in this particular sequence. All it means is that people feel frustrated when something is clearly an attempted activism. They feel that that it’s fine, you can be an activist for things you believe in, but being an activist in something like gaming might not be the time or place for it and to be fair, I actually find this to be a perfectly reasonable feeling to have.”

I am glad somebody finally pointed this out. Though I think even in games people can and should make political statements if it is important to them (I’d try that too), since this is one of the reasons art exists. The problem lies with how it is done.

I think people are less “mad” about a gay character itself, but rather feel reminded of the obnoxious and whiny moron, who made a fuss because someone dared to use a word he randomly decided to not be “politically correct”.

Most people wouldn’t have a problem with a gay character here and there, but the way it is implemented often just feels weird and/or forced. They feel lectured and as Luke pointed out in his L.A. Noire critique, people don’t like to be lectured. SJWs have created a poisoned atmosphere and alienated people, who would otherwise be on their side. People who start seeing SJW-Agitation literally everywhere.

As I wrote in Racism and Sexism in Games, the controversy about Battlefield 5‘s cover is a good example of this: Female soldiers in WW2 were a rare exception, so it is an obvious reaction for most people to think of it as historically incorrect. And from there it is a small step to think that the reason it is done anyway, are some SJW’s trying to force their ideology upon on them.

Now, I don’t share this opinion. From a neutral perspective, I find it even intriguing seeing WW2 from a woman’s perspective. Also Left Behind is treating this topic absolutely right in my opinion. So too did Horizon Zero Dawn, because there is no special emphasis on Aloy being a woman and you’re just playing a strong, self-confident and determined individual, who just happens to be female. That’s why she doesn’t come across like one of those shallow and awkward quota-women: She is a real character with a justification of being there.

But I can understand when people feel the way they do about scenes like in Left Behind. It is just a counterreaction to the people constantly whining about “gender-equality” when e.g. a TV-Ad displays a disproportionate amount of men or women. It is not only people from “the right” who politicize insignificant nonsense and turn it into a “scandal”, people from “the left” are equally good at it.

Killerspiele – wie die Medien manipulierten (und es immer noch tun)

Dieses Maß an unverblümter Manipulation wundert mich mittlerweile nicht mehr, hat mich aber damals als Kind zutiefst schockiert. Vor allem, da es keinen Erwachsenen interessiert hat, weil es ja „die Richtigen“ getroffen hat…

Und trotzdem versuchen einem viele Leute immer noch zu erklären, dass wir einen öffentlichen Rundfunk für eine objektive Berichterstattung brauchen. Als wenn Staatsfunk, der sich durch Zwangsabgaben (= staatlichen Diebstahl) vom Wettbewerbsdruck unabhängig macht, irgendwie vertrauenswürdiger und besser wäre als private Sender, die auf die Gunst ihrer Kunden (Zuschauer) angewiesen sind. Letztere kommen nicht so leicht damit durch, ihre Zuschauer zu belügen.

Am unverschämtesten fand ich ja diese Tatsachenverdrehung bei Hitman. Das Spielziel ist buchstäblich den perfekten Kill zu landen und nur das Ziel auszuschalten.

Diese Menschen scheinen den Aspekt der Interaktivität und der damit einhergehenden Freiheit nicht zu begreifen, der Spiele auszeichnet und sie erst von anderen Kunstformen abhebt. Sie raffen es nicht, dass nicht alles, was man in einem Spiel machen kann auch das ist, was man machen muss.

Choices make videogames art

I too think that choice is the most important aspect that sets games apart from any other art form. And I think it’s exactly this aspect which non-gamers don’t understand. I remember a news report about „violent videogames“ after a school-shooting, where a scene from Hitman Contracts was shown in which the player was shooting the other patients/test-subjects. Then the moderator said „Pointless killing in the sanatorium is the goal of the game here.“

Of course that’s an insolent lie, but it also points out the misunderstanding many people have about games, namely that you don‘t have to do everything you can do.

Games give you – through their interactivity – the freedom to deviate from paths given to you by the designers. People, who are used to passively consume movies where your experience more or less stays the same no matter how often you watch it, seem to transfer this understanding to videogames and can’t understand that this freedom to choose your path, your narrative and your experience overall, are what makes games special and interesting.

Another aspect is storytelling through level design. The channel Game Makers Toolkit made an interesting video about this called The Last Guardian and the Language of Games.

Racism and Sexism in Games

„People don’t like to be lectured“

Exactly. But this „social justice“ nonsense is not only a problem in the gaming industry. Many people are over-compensating because they’re feeling guilty for the deeds of their ancestors and start seeing racism or sexism everywhere.

It are the people who are constantly outraged about alleged insensitivities towards minorities, women, black people etc., who are keeping this topic alive. They think that you have to tell people non-stop how awful and bad racism and sexism are and that they should feel guilty.

But the solution is simple, just listen to this interview with Morgan Freeman:

Interviewer: „How do we gonna get rid of racsim?“
Freeman: „Don’t talk about it!“

A game that, in my opinion, does this right for example is Horizon Zero Dawn. There is no special emphasis on Aloy, the protagonist, being a woman and her sexuality isn’t explored at all. Instead you’re just playing a strong, self-confident and determined individual, who just happens to be female. That’s why she doesn’t come across like one of those obnoxious quota-women.

Battlefield 5 on the other hand sparked a controversy, not because you can play as a female soldier in WW2 and there are so many sexist asshole-gamers, but because most people think that there were no female soldiers back then (I believed that too). Most people wouldn’t have a problem to be corrected in this believe, but because everything gets politicized, because the smallest, insignificant things get analyzed to death so they adhere to the gender-equality-madness, because “progressives” always make a fuss when a gender-quota isn’t exactly 50/50, all that is why many people who actually are for gender- or racial-equality, are so annoyed that they see SJW-agitation everywhere and feel lectured. That something so insignicant like a woman on a videogame-cover has such huge effects only shows how progressives/SJWs/leftists or whatever you wanna call them, are creating their own enemies.

Another reason people get furious about this whole topic are articles like this (emphasis mine):

The epic launch trailer for the latest shooter was derailed by an army of ignoramuses last week who objected to the arrival of women soldiers, which they wrongly claimed was historically inaccurate.

GENDER AGENDA Battlefield 5 women soldiers controversy continues as game boss defends ‘diversity’ in WW2 shooter
by Saqib Shah

The author doesn’t consider people actually being concerned about historical accuracy or thinking the portrayal of female soldiers at WW2’s frontlines feel kind of forced. Instead he calls the critics part of an army, which invokes the impression of a large, scary mass of mindless drones.

This is a relative harmless example, but it is this arrogant, self-righteous and aggressive propaganda of alleged “diversity” that has so many people offended.

How “BioShock” misrepresents Ayn Rand

When I first heard about Bioshock I was 14 and totally pissed off as a Halo fanboy, as Bioshock got nominated as game of the year. As I later borrowed it from a friend, I was fascinated. I wasn’t interested in politics (or any intellectual topic for that matter) yet, but even back then BioShock fascinated me due to its philosophical and society critical theme, which I never had seen or even cared about in a videogame.

Even years before I read Ayn Rands books and started to view myself as libertarian, I couldn’t help but agree with much Andrew Ryan says (not does!) in the game. Just remember for example this radio transmission in Arcadia:

“On the surface, I once bought a forest. The Parasites claimed that the land belonged to God, and demanded that I establish a public park there. Why? So the rabble could stand slack-jawed under the canopy and pretend that it was paradise earned. When Congress moved to nationalize my forest, I burnt it to the ground. God did not plant the seeds of this Arcadia; I did.”

Andrew Ryan radio message in the level “Arcadia – Farmer’s market”

The only thing I thought was „Rightly so!“.

Thanks to a blogger I frequently read, I later realized that Bioshock is based upon Rand and her ideas. Since then I’ve been more and more consciously informing myself about her philosophy. Even though I was neither interested nor informed about any of this stuff and Andrew Ryan, who is supposed to be a figure of virtue, is being portrayed as the villain as well as all of Rands ideas (free market, limited government, rational (!) self-interest) seem to be put in an intentionally bad light, Ryan’s/Rand’s ideas still managed to convince me for the most part. A good example of her view of how powerful and important ideas are.

And that’s the point where I need to clear out some common confusions, which the game unfortunately also seems to convey:

  1. When speaking of „selfishness“ or „egoism“ she does this always with the prefix „rational“, which is to show that she isn’t talking about a „murderous brute who tramples over piles of corpses to achieve his own ends, who cares for no living being and pursues nothing but the gratification of the mindless whims of any immediate moment.“ (The virtue of selfishness, p. 1), because she argues that this is not in a persons best (long-term) self-interest – only fair, honest trade with others is (trader principle). You could also just call it „Individualism“ and people are more likely to understand what you mean and probably agree with you. Why she insisted to use the word she used, I still don’t fully understand.
  2. Objectivism’s ethics are virtue ethics, which means it is more of a guideline to help people navigate through life and give them generalized instructions how to act in and evaluate certain situations. The „good“ is hereby what furthers your life and the „bad“ is what doesn’t. This means that when Rand calls something „evil“, an individual which has done „evil“ is not necessarily supposed to be ashamed and punished. She merely tries to say that this individual is hurting itself and should reconsider its values or course of action.
  3. Rand was a minarchist, not an anarchist. She saw the role of the state as limited to military, police and courts.

As far as I remember, Rapture had none of those, except a council of unelected members and cronies of Ryan. Also the speech at the beginning about „petty morality“ goes diametrically against objectivism’s ideas of a proper morality being a necessity for (a good) life.

Rapture is more anarchistic than minarchistic, since – and correct me if I’m wrong – it had no real law enforcement or other institutions other then the council and Ryan’s goons. Besides, Ryan eventually betrays all his principles and with each betrayal alienating the people of Rapture further and driving them into the arms of Atlas. The biggest betrayals being:

  1. the ignorance towards the enslavement of innocents in the Little Sister- and Big Daddy programs and the experiments done to them
  2. the nationalisation of his opponents company
  3. torture
  4. murder (e.g. the mother of Jack)
  5. ban on religion and ultimately
  6. robbing the people of their free will (how ever little was left of it)

And I bet there are much more examples. Somehow the game tries to show how Ryan’s ideas can’t work in reality while also showing at the same time what happens when he betrays those ideas, which just seems odd.

I do like the attempt to criticize the other (altruist-collectivist-)side in Bioshock 2 though. Naturally it can’t compete with the story of the first, but it’s still interesting. But I had and still have a big problem with the character of Sofia Lamb, because I find it very hard to believe that Ryan – a self-made billionaire with very strong political convictions – is such a bad judge of character and dumb enough not to realize what kind of person Lamb is. Just read in the novel how cautiously Ryan recruits people like Bill McDonagh and then tell me it isn’t odd that he recruits his arch-nemesis, just because he mistook some statements of her…

Regarding Jack I must say that I normally don’t like silent protagonists, but in this game it at least made some kind of sense. Though I wished he started talking or making his own decisions after being freed from Fontaine’s control. But instead you’ve basically traded Fontaine for Tannenbaum and followed her orders/instructions instead.

Luke, the uploader of the video, is also right about the moral choices regarding the little sisters. I think it doesn’t make a big difference in the long run. If you are a completionist and want every upgrade and plasmid, you have to rescue/heal the sisters to get all the necessary adam. But normal players will hardly notice any difference. Which is a shame, because this whole morality system could have so effectively shown the difference between the short-sighted recklessness normally associated with selfishness and the rational self-interest Rand was talking about, which has it’s eye on the long-term consequences.

BioShock is one of the best games ever made. The setting, the atmosphere, the gameplay and many, many other things make it a modern classic. And even though the philopsophical critique of Rand’s ideas is incoherent and distorting, it raises the players interest and, in my case, even make you admire the alleged villain or rather his philosophy.

DmC Retrospective

Never knew how much hatred Ninja Theory received. That’s horrible, because looking at Hellblade they’re obviously a very skilled studio.

I didn’t understand all the hate to the game either, especially regarding Dante’s hair (I’m apparently one of the few people who actually liked the wig scene).

But the game‘s take on trying to be cool is really sooo cringeworthy and cheesy. I mean sure: The originals were cheesy too, but the charming kind of cheesy, which apparently only the Japanese can pull off. Everything about DmC on the other hand just feels forced and infantile (e.g. the „Fuck you“ joke).

Aside from that you can see that it’s a western game in exactly this typically unoriginal evil-capitalists-want-to-take-over-the-world-and-everyone-is-blind-except-us cliche, which is not only, like Foxcade already said, boring because it has been done to death, but is also incredibly stupid and childish (capitalism is by definition the opposite of big government). The west hates itself and that’s what Capcom gets for wanting a „western approach“ to DmC.

Source: https://i.pinimg.com/originals/b7/5e/5a/b75e5aa11cbab6283b512a1cf5639073.jpgLady (aka Mary) in Devil May Cry 3

Regarding women, I liked Lady in DmC3 the most: Cute face and nice outfit. Not that I dislike her boobs in DmC4🤪, but it was little too much (plus you couldn’t see her beautiful heterochrome eyes due to the sunglasses). Trish is ok, but kind of boring.

Source: http://vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net/devilmaycry/images/e/ef/WAPWON.COM_Devil_May_Cry_4_Dante_Cool_Cutscenes_Movie_(Dante_Lady_Trish_Nero)_-_Final_-HD-_72750.jpg/revision/latest?cb%5Cx3d20160524050332Lady (aka Mary) in Devil May Cry 4

The worst female character for me though is Kyrie in DmC4 because she has no real character: 90% of the time she stands there whimpering and doing nothing, serving the old damsel in distress cliche. I’m anything but a SJW, but that character was just horrible.

All-in-all I too found Ninja Theory‘s take on DmC ok, but nothing more. Still have to play Devil May Cry 5, hope that’s a bit better.

Source: alphacoders.com

Deus Ex: Sarif Ending – Pro Augmentation

It’s in our Nature to want to rise above our limits. Think about it. We were cold, so we harnessed fire. We were weak, so we invented tools. Every time we met an obstacle, we used creativity and ingenuity to overcome it. The cycle is inevitable… but will the outcome always be good? I guess that will depend on how we approach it.

Adam Jensen, Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Found at: thyquotes.com/deus-ex/

I can full heartedly agree with everything he says. It is the essence of who we are to always grow, invent and improve ourselves and our lives. We not only can become gods, we should. It’s the logical next step.

Picture source: alphacoders.com