Union Jack

The Riptide controversy

The short version of the background is this: Deep Silver, a video game company, released a special edition of Dead Island: Riptide called “Zombie Bait”, and for this special edition, they decided to pack in a statue. The statue in question, the titular zombie bait, is of a female torso, minus the arms and head, and with gory detail. Deep Silver claimed the statue was “meant to signify a “grotesque take” on the Roman marble sculptures of the second and third centuries” and indeed, the link in the Gamespot article [1] is to such as statue, which features a nude male torso, missing the head and arms (though, without the blood and gore).

Perhaps Deep Silver really wanted to do a parody of ancient sculpture, or perhaps it was just for shock value, and happened to resemble the statue, or perhaps a bit of both. Either way, hackles were raised, goats were gotten, and dander was upped, pretty much all about perceived “objectification of women”, “violence against women”, and general “misogyny.” These are the same buzzwords many in the Men’s Human Rights’ movement are very familiar with.

Rhianna Pratchett, credited as a “Games writer” said “It’s not surprising to see games marketing aimed at men, but it’s not often quite so blatant i.e. (sic) ‘Look, tits!’ It is perfectly possible to keep the creative integrity of a franchise without resorting to one-gender marketing tactics.” Pratchett seems to be under the impression that any time something female is used in marketing, it’s automatically “aimed at men”, because nothing is sexier than a dismembered and bloody torso. As long as there are breasts involved, it’ll get ‘em hard. According to her, men are like finches, copulating with freeze dried females so scientists can collect sperm (except the female birds were kept intact).

While her statements that men have a Pavlovian reaction to depictions of breasts, even on a mutilated torso, is as misandrist as it is ridiculous, it gets better (or worse, depending on how you look at it). She then went on about a promotion used for The Walking Dead. “It’s a male zombie head with a screwdriver through its eyes. Nasty, sure. Gross, a little. In keeping, definitely. Offensive, no.” She doesn’t bother to explain why it’s not offensive, but she does make a point to mention that the acceptable promotion uses a male with a screwdriver through “its” eyes. While the misandry is blatant, what is unclear is if Pratchett actually is aware of her own misandry. She doesn’t bother to hide it, so either it’s too ingrained to be noticed, or she does realize it, and also realizes that feminism is so dominate, that there’s no need to be coy about anti-male hatred.

While the next commenter, Nels Anderson (developer for Klei Entertainment), only criticized the use of blood and gore to sell, the next to weigh in, Brian Moriarty relished in showing how shiny his armor is when he plays the white knight. He relates how he was teaching a college course called “Social Issues In Interactive Media And Games” (Why yes, he is a professor with feminist leanings. I’m as shocked as you are). During his class, he showed the picture of the torso.

Unfortunately, his male and female students didn’t achieve the desired level of feminist bile. According to him, “The general reaction could be characterized by one word: “Whatever”. This would not stand, and so he ramped it up, dropping questions loaded for bear. “So I asked my students, does this zombie-kitsch Dead Island torso objectify and degrade women or not? Does it contribute to the popular image of video games as violent, sexist and depraved? Do game companies bear any responsibilities to society beyond their mandate to make money? Would you work for a company that resorted to marketing gimmicks like this?”

He then noted how the students stared, silent and fidgeting. This is something pretty familiar to any student in a class with an unabashed ideologue. When you know your professor has an agenda, and when that professor (who has control over your grades) makes it clear what you’re supposed to believe, you’re more than a bit apprehensive to answer, lest you risk engaging in dialogue (you’re there to be talked to, not talked with), or worse, say the wrong thing and get immediately on the professor’s “Do not pass” list.

There was no mention in any of the articles about how the mutilated males objectify or degrade men, or that there is an image of video games as “violent, sexist and depraved” when the corpse has a penis. Only when there is a pair of breasts is it time to get outraged. However, more on that in the conclusion.

Ian Bogost, another professor, as well as video game designer and critic, also chimed on how the figure was offensive, but kicked it up a notch. Not only is it “offensive”, but “Dead Island Riptide now looks like a depraved rape joke.” I guess he noticed lack of feminist mention of rape with regard to this game, and felt it would not stand. Rape culture and rape apology were a bit overplayed cliches, but there’s always “rape joke”. Congratulations to Bogost for being the first to tie a mutilated torso to rape.

Jack Edwards, of Gaming Bolt [2], joins in the accusations of misogyny, and also tries to tie the dismembered torso into an accusation of sexualization. I guess I must have something wrong with my libido to not be turned on by mutilated remains, since so many people point out how dead sexy (see what I did there?) it must be. Though, he fails to drop the R-bomb. Nice try, but you’ll never make it to the higher levels of white knighthood without accusing someone of rape in some form or another.

Edwards also notes that, “As well as from typical groups, disapproval has also poured in from the gaming community en masse,” indicating that the disapproval is beyond just the gaming news sites.

And here is were I’d like to discuss what we can take from this. As mentioned above, the outrage is largely not from the depiction of violence. It’s from the depiction of violence against women (represented by this bloody women’s torso). This isn’t something that should come as a shock to many MRAs, but worth mentioning at least for the benefit of showing more examples. Violence against men occurs in video games far more often than against women (much like in real life), but never registers as such. At best, it’s an example of violence, but never does it indicate violence against men as a group. Only when women are the victims is it a gendered issue.

The same happens with sexualization. Duke Nukem, Doomguy, the titular Prince of Persia, Johnny Cage, Ryu, and the unnamed Two Worlds hero dude (to give just a few examples) all are the height of physical fitness and attractiveness, with many of the above mentioned appearing, or having the possibility of appearing, shirtless and/or showing off their manly physique. I’m sure  feminists are just working on the final drafts of indignation-filled articles about how objectified Jax was, when his ripped torso and bulging muscles first graced Mortal Kombat II.

As for rape, a topic feminists love to bring out when they want to shut up the other side, the Tomb Raider franchise was criticized recently for a scene where Laura Croft would be almost raped by the villain. The scene was meant to be shocking and disturbing, and garner sympathy for the heroine. Of course, it had the rape of a woman by a man (even if only attempted), and so became a target. However, Alpha Protocol had an actual achievement where the main male character got raped by a woman. No, that’s not a misread. Allowing your male protagonist to get raped was encouraged to the point of the game rewarding you for it.

You never heard of it? Don’t worry. Neither did I until I looked through some of the comments on the Dead Island controversy, and did a quick search for the “Savage Love” achievement [3]. While a game that literally rewards players for getting their male character raped by a woman went unnoticed, we don’t have to guess what would happen if the sexes were reversed.

From this story we can also take a lesson on chivalry, something that is, again, not exactly new to the MRA, but worth looking at as an example. The denouncing of Deep Silver for this publicity stunt is part of a trend in the video game community, especially among video game journalists. IGN, X-Play, Gamespot, and pretty much every other major tech news site/organization has at one time or another covered the “Women in video games” topic, usually with the conclusion that there’s all this horrible, horrible misogyny about, and game companies should be ashamed of themselves for teaching boys to rape and abuse women.

Something to note is the amount of fervor and competition to be the strongest voice of denouncement against this horrible, horrible practice. If your colleague is saddened that something could be offensive to women, you need to be dismayed at the misogyny. Of course, the next guy will claim to be shocked, truly shocked, at the rampant anti-woman hostility in the industry. You can only top that by being disgusted at how video games make boys rape. It becomes a white knight lance measuring contest. After all, if you’re seen as too soft on patriarchy, you’ll not get your coveted pat on the back by feminists. If you’re lucky, there’ll be some people (hopefully male) who disagree, and want to look at the situation objectively.

They’ll wonder why only violence against women, or sexualization of women, ever gets a mention, and maybe point to one of the many cases where men are killed, or have their bodies put on display. You can then accuse them of contributing to rape culture, or demeaning women with such complaints (no, you need not worry about explaining how that works) to boost your feminist score.

A large part of this whole issue is the way the anti-woman boogieman (or should that be “person of boogie”?) is built up, and maintained. We have to be told that this is offensive to women. Notice the authority in the articles. The authors outright tell you to be offended. If you’re not then you’re a horrible rapeiculturist. The flimsiest of explanations can be made. There are breasts, ergo, it’s objectifying women (you could point out that Duke Nukem has a penis, and therefore is also objectified, but no fair bringing logic into this sort of thing).

The torso is of a woman, so therefore, it’s violence against women. While that same reasoning could be used to show violence against men due to the numerous mutilated male corpses, double standards make sure that doesn’t happen. This isn’t just an offensive add campaign (which you’re told it is). It’s an indication of an anti-woman culture in the video game industry.

White knights and feminists (not necessarily mutually exclusive terms) both have it in their interests to maintain the all-powerful narrative. Tilting at windmills makes you look ridiculous, but fighting giants, misogynist giants, is a noble cause. For feminists, every victim needs a perpetrator, and if the public believes that the video game industry is just a seething cesspool of rape, violence against women, rape, objectification, rape, and possibly rape, then it just strengthens the victimhood identity.

The feminist firestorms that erupt result in more than just talk and blog filling. The company which created this promotion has released a mea culpa letter, promising never to do it again, and that everyone has learned their lesson. More than that, companies are listening to feminists tell them how to make games. For example, Anita Sarkeesian was invited to Bungie studios [4] for the purpose of lecturing them on female characters in games. Yes… Bungie, a large company responsible for the widely popular Halo series, invited Anita Sarkeesian, a feminist who has turned being offended into a lucrative career, to talk to them about how they can better serve feminists.

Even outside of actual visits by ideologues, we can see feminist influence. The Tomb Raider series was under attack for having a female protagonist with large breasts, and so the company has made sure to tweak the game to what makes feminists happy. Companies now know that when they release a game, they’ll be scrutinized for if it is feminist approved. Valve, for example, has gotten a seal of approval (more or less. Feminists are careful never to completely approve, lest they cut off the opportunity to criticize later, and claim misogyny) for making strong female characters in the Half Life, Portal, and Left 4 Dead series (feminists likely also were pleased with Half Life having all the enemies the player happily slaughters be male).

Consider the case of Duke Nukem Forever, which received quite a few negative reviews. For example, Ars Technica [5], Ben Kuchera, mentions several times in the write up that a flaw with the game is that it hates woman (exactly how the game hates women is never really clear, but the fun thing about feminist thought is not having to back up your claims).  the negative review from Joystiq [6] also brings up misogyny as a claim of “objectification of women” (again, not explaining, nor backing up the claim). IGN [7] also tosses out “objectifying women” as a criticism without explaining.

While complaints about perceived misogyny weren’t the only ones about the game, they were quite noticeable, and the comments indicated that the consumers cared about the sexism in the game, real or imagined, and the toxicity of the misogyny label has caused reviewers to recommend not buying the game, which in turn affected sales. Video games are obviously not movies, but just as movie studios are careful not to release movies that would offend feminist sensibilities, which would ultimately result in lowered ticket sales, we’re seeing video game companies taking into consideration how offending feminists can harm their sales.

Most game makers (programmers, writers, designers, directors, etc.) are male. However, women can essentially force them to change the way they make games. While game makers are free to create whatever they choose, games that ruffle feminist feathers are excoriated, and companies know that being labeled “misogynist” is enough cause harm to sales. Feminists can also call upon white knight to help out, with males spreading the word that a title is anti-woman, and therefore shouldn’t be bought, besides simply not supporting companies that feminists tell them to shun. Women do have power and influence on the industry.

It is subtle and indirect, but power nonetheless, and a benefit of the subtlety is how female feminists can influence the industry (as Sarkeesian is doing) while bemoaning lack of women in the industry. They can demand changes from the comfort of their own keyboards, and still point to the lack of women game designers as proof of patriarchy. There is no need to go through the work to actually make the games they want to play. Basically, feminists are able to have their cake, eat it too, and then claim that the patriarchy doesn’t allow them to have cake (there is a cake comment in there related to video games, but I have the restraint not to make it).

I don’t want to just end on a sour note, pointing out misandry and leaving it at that, if I can help it. This is a bad situation for men, and it’s not going to get better on its own. Feminist influence in the video game industry, white knighting by journalists, and consumers voting with their dollar in the way feminists want them to (for games that are feminist approved, and opposed to those which raise feminist ire) are all trends that show no sign of even slowing down.

However, that doesn’t mean nothing can be done. There are ways MHRAs can fight back. Those of us who are connected to tech journalism, and specifically video game journalism, can write articles about the topic, reaching people beyond readers of men’s rights websites. Right now, articles about gender and sex in video games is pretty much exclusively from a pro-feminist side, and feminists are unchallenged in promoting their views. MHRAs have done well in the comment section of online news articles that are misandrist in nature. The same energy put into exposing bias and sexism in Guardian or Huffington Post misandry could be put to use in articles such as the ones mentioned above. Especially at this point, it’s important for us to get people aware of the issue.

[1] http://www.gamespot.com/features/dead-island-riptide-and-the-problem-with-video-game-marketing-6402693/

[2] http://gamingbolt.com/dead-island-riptide-when-sex-doesnt-sell

[3] http://x360.cheatfreak.com/Alpha-Protocol-cheat-tipsandtricks-Earning-the-Savage-Love-Achievement/120-41182-38387.html

[4] http://www.gamespot.com/features/from-samus-to-lara-an-interview-with-anita-sarkeesian-of-feminist-frequency-6382189/

[5] http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2011/06/duke-nukem-forever-review-barely-playable-unfunny-and-rampantly-offensive/

[6] http://www.joystiq.com/2011/06/10/duke-nukem-forever-review-fail-to-the-king-baby

[7] http://www.ign.com/articles/2011/06/14/duke-nukem-forever-review

About Mateusz Wacek

Mateusz Wacek, with an interest in gender rights, human rights, and animal rights, has an overdeveloped sense of equality. He isn't a political or gender expert, but he plays one on the Internet.

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  • Booyah

    Since men are an overwhelming majority in the video game community it would seem to be that “annoyed feminists” should be worn like a badge of honour on the cover in much the same way as “explicit lyrics – parental advisory” is on rap music covers.

    It would seem that only the female slice of the gamer market is not in an uproar over the feminist invasion. So if your marketing a product at men then give them the finger and tell them to look into womens games. They’re FEMINists after all and in their 50 year history of utter domination of the issues they choose they have never ever even once shown the slightest concern for any issue men face. So tell them to go to hell and trust your audience to make their own decision.

    I would say that Duke Nukem Forever failed to live up to expectations after such an extraordinarily long wait and that would have a lot more to do with low sales than feminist objection. Fans of that particular franchise would be unlikely to care what feminists thought.

    Gamers should ignore feminist condemnation of any or all titles for 2 reasons.

    1. The feminists are just totally out of control. Real women no longer face any significant issues. What other reason would be there for such pernacious incursions into what is ultimately a fantasy realm? If pixelated entertainment is the worst thing facing women on this planet then they are really long overdue to look at some mens issues. Anyone see a single feminist crying out about the video game “Angry Wife” where you hurt your husband for fun? Cue up the sound of crickets…

    2. If the feminists have their way every game will be a clone of every other game without any personality or originality. If you think that’s far fetched look at the movie industry and what is becoming such a rapid cliche in the action genre. The 5’0″ blonde 100 pound waif that throws around 6’6″ 200 pound muscle bound man like hes cotton candy. Of course these muscular giants never actually manage to hurt her, that would be violence against women! This makes for predictable unentertaining and ultimately unbelievable movies which require a full frontal lobotomy or heavy substance- alcohol abuse to even suspend ones sense of disbelief enough to make them watchable.

    Giving into feminism will result in generic uninspired titles that are utterly boring due to feminists being unable to percieve the difference between fantasy and reality. The price for this inability to perceive what is an extraordinarily simple concept is far too high for the rest of us who can. Rebel fight and reward developers who show that they have enough spine to challenge this lunacy!

    • droobles

      Completely agree! A good example for bullshit action movie was Salt, with Angelina Jolie!

      However, I must point out the Kick Ass franchise, while still very unrealistic, they have no qualms about female characters getting their ass kicked (even more so in the comics), so there is hope in the action movies.

      • Iconoclast Dynamite

        I’m afraid I’ve got to disagree with that assessment of Kick Ass, droobles. While the film had no qualms about depicting Hit Girl getting, er, hit, it refused to show her murdering the one and only female enemy in the entire movie; opting instead to show two bloody blades puncturing a wall:

        [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfyJbz2kGbI&w=560&h=315

        Naturally, the violence perpetrated against the men in the film was shown in gory detail.

        • Ken99

          I remember reading some Kick Ass reviews after the film came out.

          A number of reviewers mentioned that one woman who’s killed by Hit Girl. Not because she stood out as being less graphically dispatched than all the men, but because that’s the point when some reviewers thought that she film had gone too far.

          I remember one writer who dedicated a whole paragraph to how that had make Hit Girl unlikeable and tainted the whole film. He didn’t have a problem with Hit Girl slaughtering dozens of men, but she should have let the one woman go unharmed.

          Feminists were more concerned about whether Hit Girl was “sexualised”, or whether her use of the word “cunt” damaged her status as a feminist icon.

          For example: http://www.thefword.org.uk/features/2010/05/okay_so_i_had_t

          • Iconoclast Dynamite

            I recall that most reviewers – feminists and otherwise – focused on Hit Girl and the “appropriateness” of her character, but I wasn’t aware there were numbskulls out there who applied the male disposability double standard to that lone female adversary. Quite pathetic.

            Speaking of which, that linked article contained one of the flimsiest theories I’ve ever read about Kick Ass; namely, the claim that Hit Girl is a “sexualised” character because someone, somewhere might get off on her. Utterly ridiculous.

  • UKMan

    I was in the video games industry for over 20 years, and In my entire career I probably met about three female programmers and a small handful of female games designers and artists.

    As far as an environment for women, the industry is full of talented and affable geeks who like sci-fi and pizzas. Hardly macho spit-and-sawdust, bottom-pinching, mining or oil-drilling. The women I met in the industry seemed perfectly happy and comfortable in their professional environment.

    It’s a hugely risky, expensive, competitive and stressful industry that demands tight schedules with no hiding places for under performers. I’m guessing it’s still the same scenario where the handful of blockbuster games pay for all the failures that nobody hears about.

    It has the most fussy and critical customers on the planet, and I believe feminist influence will be accommodated in a token manner to keep the peace and nothing more. Is a games developer really going to risk the success of their next blockbuster by radically altering the content to keep a bunch of feminist bloggers happy? I doubt it.

    I’d love to hear people’s opinion (especially feminists) as to why in the tablet and mobile market (iOS/Android) we don’t have huge numbers of female-run development companies springing up and creating hit games?

    Spend about $2,000 on equipment (most of which you probably have already) and gather together a quartet of talented female programmers and artists, and there’s no reason not to write the next Angry Birds. There’s no ‘patriarchy’ to stop you as the games are self-published. Ultimately, your fate will be decided by the market.

    Any decent female-created game would also benefit from a disproportionate amount of free exposure in the MSM.

    What’s the excuse then? I can only assume lack of interest and talent until someone can show otherwise.

    • DW

      “It’s a hugely risky, expensive, competitive and stressful industry that demands tight schedules with no hiding places for under performers.”

      An understatement. During ‘crunch time’ you have tales of people working 20 hour days, 7 days a week, and sleeping at the office. And a developer with several million dollars on the line isn’t going to give a damn about someones precious ‘feelings’.

      “Is a games developer really going to risk the success of their next blockbuster by radically altering the content to keep a bunch of feminist bloggers happy? I doubt it.”

      Bioware – look at the whole Hepler/Dragon Age 2 saga. And now the division is going down the toilet faster than a dodgy curry.

    • Mateusz Wacek

      That’s actually a very good point. Indie game studios, which often make the iOS games, or other digital distribution, have a very low barrier to entry.

      Small companies pop up all the time, and being independent, even if the major tech companies were vipers’ nests of patriarchal women hating, it wouldn’t matter, since they have nothing to do with a few friends programming out of an apartment.

  • fumingtortoise

    This article here is a clear representation of the crap that makes me livid; put, as the examples above say, a mutilated man on a poster or cover and it’s fine. The other thing is a male that would be considered sexy, for example I’m playing Ninja Gaiden Razor’s Edge, Ryu’s new outfit accentuates his glutes and his groin area a lot more, but his outfits have always been form fitting.

    Now, do the exact same thing to women, for me, I’m pretty indifferent, whether an artist does something for shock value, or something eye catching I’m fine. Back to Ninja Gaiden, the female characters wear sexy outfits, and the same characters on DOA are all sexy and attractive regardless of their gender.

    So here’s the problem, the feminist blind spot, I believe there was an article about that not to long ago, let’s see, here it is:

    http://www.avoiceformen.com/feminism/feminist-governance-feminism/feminism-and-the-blind-spot/

    I can’t stand how not only feminists and their white knight/mangina subordinates but society at large seems to feel the need to go into defcon 7 when something like this comes up.

    But severed male body parts are fine, as a matter of fact, it’s much more hilarious when it’s his penis, we’re all laughing.

    Being around feminists, or even “normal” people, and hearing their hypocritical logic is the equivilent of being the only sane person in a mental institution.

  • Talby

    The most offensive thing about this whole situation is that a crappy game like Dead Island is getting a sequel.

    • http://gloriusbastard.com/ JJ

      Yeah, and it would have been better if they had drawn the the the headless corpse with the boobs eaten off; as we all know that is what zombies would have done. Too much valuable meat located there to waste!

      I’m pretty sure they would have gotten it worse then. Hopefully that is what they do, redraw it with eaten boobs.

      The feminist reaction would be hysterical; and hilarious.

      Not to mention equal in my mind with the dead corpse head with screwdrivers through its eyes.

  • Falcor

    You know, from the other side of the fence, why don’t feminists ever complain that there are no sports games (besides Dead or Alive Volleyball I guess) that feature women playing the sport?

  • http://www.imnotamensrightsactivistbut.wordpress.com ImNotMraBut…

    There is a very good expose of the differences in sexual response between men and women available from Channel4.com – “The Sex Researchers” – Available on YouTube – http://youtu.be/rl-pLRxcbuk – the Firts Five Minutes crams it all in, with a nice sense of comedic irony.

    I recommend it to anyone dealing with any claims being made about Male sexuality Vs Female sexuality.

    I have found so much research into sex and sexual arousal to be fascinating. Men get aroused by specific objects and sexual situations – women get aroused by .. well… Anything…..that’s right ANYTHING with a sexual content… Porn – Straight Porn – Lesbian Porn – Gay Male Porn and even Bonking Bonobo Chimpanzees.

    Most interesting is that subjects tested were asking to state in they found what they were seeing as arousing. There was a very high correlation in men – when men said no they meant no (Those Bonking Chimps just didn’t get the blood flowing) – and when they said yes it correlated with a stiffy.

    In women there was a massive disparity. Women said they were not interested/aroused etc, but all the physical tests including In Vagina Photoplethysmograph told a very different story. it’s been a standard tool and research aide for over 20 years

    Yup – people such as scientists have been measuring female sexual arousal and to what for over 20 years. So if a women claims those Bonking Chimps are not a turn on – and yet she is self lubing and pumping all the blood in expectation of personal satisfaction…. can one accept with any degree of certainty any claim made by a woman concerning sexual responses, objectification and what turns anyone on?

    If women find anything with a sexual content arousing and stimulating and men do not – who is most likely to be turned on by a female headless torse … with Big Tits?

    When you get rabid feminists screaming that a female headless corpse is Objectifying and about male sexual pleasure … and they start to imply that men are sexually aroused by this and into necrophilia …. I just remember that it’s actually females who are the one’s who are most likely to find any such image arousing and sexual…. even Bonking Monkey Porn gets them aroused (even if they say No way … not My Vagina … I’m a Good Girl and I have no bestiality tendencies.. none at all).

    After that, I just consider Hamlet, Act III, scene II – “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”.

    Each time I see any women (and especially any form of frothing mouthed feminist) pontificating on male sexuality and arousal, I just consider who is more likely to find that Rape Porn more of a turn on … and who has the hard wired biology to find it arousing!

    Why do feminists complain so much about any image they claim is sexualised about women? It’s cos they have a response down below that they are just not willing to own!

    Why don’t they Bitch when the equivalent image is of a male? Well – we all have our guilty secrets… don’t we. … them necrophiliacs are odd people, and oddly women have the Hard wired Biology which makes them more likely to be necrophiliac – not men.

    • TigerMan

      Excellent comment – more of an article in itself in my (not so humble) opinion :)

      • http://www.imnotamensrightsactivistbut.wordpress.com ImNotMraBut…

        TigerMan – If it was only that simple. When you start contrasting high quality, repeatable, gender neutral, fully peer reviewed “Science” against what is presented as Feminist Proof (Often nothing more than Wish Fulfilling Propaganda and Rhetoric) – you don’t end up with an article …. just an encyclopaedia the size of Britannica!

        It’s like the Dimorphic nature of rheumatological disease – RH positive/Sero positive is predominately female, and RH negative/Sero negative arthropathies male – it’s chromosomal.

        Medical practice and education have become so skewed and gender biased that there is massive and growing inequality in Diagnosis and Treatment of male biased Arthropathies. Female biased disease can be diagnosed by blood testing – male disease can’t and it requires the Health Professional to expand both time and expertise in assessing multiple parts of Syndromic Conditions. Male based disease requires more time in the consulting room. Where are the calls for gender appropriate consultation lengths which would favour men? (Can you imagine the reaction if it was made known that men should have standard consultations which are twice as long as for women?)

        One significant form of male biased disease is Reiter’s Disease, which is triggered by infection – the most significant of which is Chlamydia. Who want’s damaged joints, potential blindness, cardiovascular disease and even premature death? It’s all so minor isn’t it!

        Also as antibiotic resistance grows globally there are indications of more disease and not less, coupled with lower capacity to treat triggering infections such as Chlamydia. There is a growing subclass of disabled males.

        Odd that when to comes to education around even Chlamydia it’s the female fertility angel that is pushed and the male Illness and or Disability aspects are ignored. Some can be very visual too, such as Keratoderma… which is even Diagnostic but which only 1% of health professionals recognise upon sight. It’s a lottery against men.

        Ask medical professionals which are the 10 most significant health issues in men, and they will not give you an answer that is anywhere near correct – but they may remember that only men have a prostate. Some may also mention male suicide rates. Prostate disease (including cancer) and suicide combined have a lower rate than Rheuamtological disease, which can often start in adolescence and last until and cause death.

        Ask the same questions for women and you will have Breasts, Cervixes, Uteruses and Ovaries all brimming with cancer … as well as menopause and female stress, anxiety, heart disease … it’s an impressive and wrong list!

        I could accept the imbalance if Reiter’s Disease and male Arthropathy in general was unknown to medical practitioners, but it is in fact the focus of medical teaching and training as it is the longest standing and most well documented “Syndromic Disease” with established medical history and knowledge stretching all the way back to the Crimean War of 1853-56. It’s a basic part of every medical school curriculum in the English speaking world.

        Most disturbing is the increasing evidence of cardio-vascular disease which is simply not diagnosed is men – and how that correlates with the increased mortality rates of men from heart attack. The most common secondary issue to male arthropathy is heart damage. It remains undiagnosed in life, and it’s cause (Undiagnosed and untreated arthropathy) is not diagnosed post mortem, leaving massive statistical gaps which would show how better male health provision could be achieved just in one field of medicine.

        The health disparity in just Rheumatoid medicine and beyond with increased Morbidity and Mortality for men is shocking. … and then you have so many other fields of medicine to look at. Even dealing with rehabilitation services is amazing, with women getting preferential access to services and even raised toilet seats whilst men are ignored and left dealing with pain and decreased mobility. I see no coincidence in the gender imbalance in the number of women employed in Rehab services.

        Now how about other areas of science and social interaction …. from Transport to Plumbing and Hydraulics? Criminology is fascinating due to the gender bias against men and for women which causes female criminality to be ignored.

        See what I mean about an Encyclopaedia? There is so much that exists …and I’m just scratching the surface.

        PS if you look up Reiter’s Disease you are likely to see reference to genital and skin lesions – and before you look at them do make sure you have the ability to cope with graphic biological images which can be disturbing. I do wonder of it was women dealing with such lesions if there would be passive ignorance and acceptance or cries of outrage and a need for cosmetic attention?

        • Maleman

          Wow…. I just has to reply….. two wonderful comments……. the earth just precessed a little as thousands of male practitioners just leapt from their chairs and ran around the room cheering. Unbelievable how it could be like this isn’t it? I totally agree with you about the encyclopaedia, its overwhelming. It’s hard to know where to start. But you described it beautifully when you took just one tiny area of male disease, Reiter’s and pointed out the ignorance and disgraceful double standards of this long standing male condition. You picked a good one as I don’t think many people ever think about Reiter’s as everyone just thinks well he’s a man he’ll get over it and so don’t even look for it. Yet as you suggest Reiter’s is actually a serious sequela of a STD but nobody cares, yet feminists want to vaccinate boys to protect women from HPV. There’s something very wrong.

          As for your first comment, wow again, is it possible that feminists note their own perverted ‘turn-on’s’ and then automatically assume that men must be worse? Fascinating!!! Is it possible that much of their vehemence is powered by their own perversions? Is it possible that the most vehement of feminists might have the highest levels of arousal, recognise the danger and by transference righteously be driven by a great need to stop men? Little realising that it is them who are the most likely aroused, the most likely necrophiliacs, the most likely danger to the public. Is it possible that bare-chested men and the Bonking Chimps might be contributing to female violence and perhaps even female violence towards children? This definitely needs more research. In one of the F.E.A.R. games there is also a rape scene. The female villain unambiguously rapes the male protagonist. It was shocking and I was shocked. But it was not a turn-on, I was not terribly concerned and I don’t remember any outrage about this. But it would be very interesting to know if women are aroused by male rape in video games and your comments about the research, despite their protestations, suggests most definitely yes. One need only peruse the scenarios in female porn to get some idea. (I hope some of the psychologists will throw in their two cents).
          Perhaps their feelings of oppression are actually derived from cultural sexual control which they then attribute to patriarchy. One of the most popular movies of all time, and extremely popular with women is “Gone With the Wind” in which Rhett rapes Scarlett in a scene extremely popular with women. However it’s not about the rape but about the woman’s total release from responsibility. Release from cultural sexual control. Perhaps women have just been unbelievably restrained all these years. Fascinating. If there is good research or good books on this can someone please direct me?
          As men, we look, find nothing sexual and then wonder what all the fuss is about. (Phallic symbols are an example, Marge Simpson noticed the Washington Monument but Homer thought that just silly). However we are aware of the great diversity that is the group of men and so are willing to accept that there might be some men who are aroused and so go along with any censorship imposed.

          I used the word ‘perversion’ loosely and deliberately as it is a word that is often thrown at men. Actually if the majority of women are aroused by ‘almost anything’ then by definition it is of course normal biological behaviour and should be accepted as such. There is no perversion at all. But it’s still fascinating and the pot shouldn’t call the kettle black.

          Yes I know ImNotMraBut…, you used the word ‘fascinating’ first and its perfect and you were right. Just thought it was so worth repeating. You certainly made a lot of questions rush through my head. Unfortunately ImNotMraBut… the video is not available in my country, I would have liked to have seen it. But thank you……..and great article Mateusz.

  • http://gloriusbastard.com/ JJ

    I think dalrock did a thing on this last year that hits this out of the park:

    http://dalrock.wordpress.com/2012/07/10/feminist-territory-marking/

    This was about the Augusta take over by feminists when they demanded women be allowed membership back in July.

  • Justice

    A good article…

    See this excellent video about the true nature of feminism.

  • Steveyp333

    I have two things to say

    1) the ‘out of ten’ scores on major gaming websites pretty much make or break big games. I doubt *severely* whether consumers themselves care that Duke Nukem made a tits joke, rather they saw that Gamespot knocked two points off the score and decided not to buy it as a result

    2) The real issue behind this is that men are spending their free time on video games and not trying to woo ladies with romantic dates. Women are butthurt so they’re trying to poke their stupid noses in and make games as unappealing as possible by removing all the nice breasts

    • Mateusz Wacek

      Even if the consumers don’t care about how Duke Nukem portrays women, reviewers do, and they give the “out of ten” scores that take into account the interests of feminists. Gamespot knocked off the points because it would give them feminist approval.

  • http://thefeministmra.wordpress.com/ thefeministmra

    This controversy nearly pushed me over the edge when it first came out. The first thing I thought when I saw the image was a zombified Venus Di Milo. Perhaps it was because I have an appreciation for classical art, but it irritated me how easily people were swayed into believing this was misogyny over what could be considered a poor marketing choice. Regardless of the alternative explanations, people jumped on the bandwagon and another white knight crusade had begun.

    Considering classical artwork for a moment, if radical Feminism had existed back in the day, I’m 100% positive there would have been people protesting against Venus Di Milo, but no one would have batted an eye at Michelangelo’s David. What’s the difference between the two? Sex; that’s it.

    If anyone has studied art you would learn that there is a difference between “nude” and “naked”. The former is what we see in the two famous pieces. The later is what you see in modern media; and porn. This nearly disemboweled statue is neither. One features the human form in a raw and realistic fashion; while the other demonstrates the social perceptions of the piece through character reaction.

    But any discussion on classical art and it’s influence in modern times eventually leads to the radical Feminists theory regarding the male gaze; where it’s impossible to create artwork of any kind featuring a female as the primary subject matter do to the Patriarchy and it’s inherent objectification of the female form.

    But if females were no longer made the primary subject matter of artwork work, we would hear complaints regarding how we should embrace the inherent beauty of the female body, promoting appreciation of women and their desirability. Evident in the gaming industry with the utter lack of “good” female protagonists; no doubt one’s without actual flaws that only promote positive influences on women.

    I recall the discussion surrounding the last Borderlands, where people claimed a misogynist take regarding the objectification of the primary female characters. It was utterly pathetic and a non issue considering the several other females characters used; including an incredibly fat female who continued to drop sexual innuendo after sexual innuendo.

    It goes to show that no matter what you do, how you do it, or your intentions behind it; whether a marketing stunt, creating what you think is a good female character, a progressive take on gender issues… some tightly wrapped radical Feminist will still interpret it in the worst way possible and make a shit storm for you to deal with.

    The best thing you can do is create what you want, and enjoy the free publicity out of it. Because while they may try to harm your sales, putting the word out does the opposite. Silly radical Feminists.

    • Steveyp333

      “If anyone has studied art you would learn that there is a difference between “nude” and “naked”.”

      LOL the pretentious… it hurts my eyes!

      • cvar

        It’s an actual distinction, nudes are non sexual studies of the human form. If I sketch up two people fucking, it’s not a nude. But a dude standing there with his dick hanging out? It’s a nude. Yea, he’s naked, but that’s because clothing would interfere with drawing the form.

        That’s about as pretentious as saying that oils and watercolors are different things. Reign yourself in next time.

        • Steveyp333

          if ya say so buddy. I guess I just haven’t studied art long enough to notice such fine distinctions

          lololol

        • Steveyp333

          if ya say so buddy. I guess I just haven’t studied art long enough to notice such fine distinctions. I’m just not a sophisticated gentleman :(

          lololol

          • http://thefeministmra.wordpress.com/ thefeministmra

            Step 1. Buy monocle.
            Step 2. Wear monocle.

            You are now a sophisticated gentlemen.

            Top hat and cane optional. Highly suggested though.

  • herman melville

    This is obviously AVfM’s next big money-making scheme – a video game in which contestants get points for being the most extreme and illogical in finding “rape culture” where there is none. The possibilities are endless.

  • http://themalesofgames.blogspot.co.uk TheMalesOfGames

    Rhianna Pratchett has a … baffling contradictory history when it comes to talking about men in video games. I actually took the above to mean that she thought men shouldn’t be talked down to with statuettes such as the Dead Island torso. She also criticised the games industry for placing men in generic hero roles.

    However, she also took part in #1ReasonWhy last year and, if you want to play one game that demonstrates Rhianna’s “skills” as a writer, play Heavenly Sword. Possibly the most misandric game I’ve ever played and Pratchett was the writer.

    As for the Dead Island statuette, I found it quite moronic that the developer featured a “features content that may offend” message on the advertisement for it but still put out an apology when it did. How was it their fault? They warned people.

  • TigerMan

    I was going to say “if this was a bloodied male torso we wouldn’t hear a peep about this…” but it’s already been said and far better than I by many in this thread already so I won’t say it. ;)

  • Clarence

    It’s a game about ZOMBIES!
    Headless male and female corpses abound all throughout the game.
    This is just another tempest in a teapot , solely pushed for some feminist gender ideologues gain.
    Seriously, our opponents no longer can attract people by reasonable argument so they have to censor :
    http://therightsofman.typepad.co.uk/the_rights_of_man/2013/02/the-48-mens-human-rights-sites-feminists-seek-to-censor.html
    and out and out LIE to get people to believe their schpiel.

    Anyway, this is a good blog for taking some of the Feminist Frequency crap apart:
    http://themalesofgames.blogspot.com/

  • Kimski

    If I were the producer of that video game, I’d do it all over again, given the choice.

    The feminists just provided the producer with the best marketing you could possibly hope for, and I’m sure the sales are going through the roof at the moment.

    I’m seriously considering adding something that I know will piss them off, in the packages of my own product, after reading this.

    And I’ll be laughing my ass off, all the way down to the bank, when their hissy fits starts.

  • http://none universe

    Very well written article. Many points made to consider. One in particular:

    “However, that doesn’t mean nothing can be done. There are ways MHRAs can fight back. Those of us who are connected to tech journalism, and specifically video game journalism, can write articles about the topic, reaching people beyond readers of men’s rights websites.”
    – And you just did Mateusz (“write articles about the topic”, geared toward “video game journalism” as many gamers already read men’s sites). And a very good one at that. Hope it gets circulated in those gaming journals. If not, articles critical of dummy feminism can still find a home in the man-o-sphere, which will eventually reach the greater gaming society anyway.

    • Mateusz Wacek

      Many thanks! I just hope there’ll be enough attention raised about the white knighting and double standards in tech journalism.

  • Fredrik

    Please delete this comment once it has served its purpose.

    “offensive add campaign”

    add -> ad

    “articles about gender and sex in video games is”

    is -> are

  • The Real Peterman

    “How dare anyone use a woman’s body to get cheap publicity! Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to dress like a hooker and parade up and down the street at the local Slutwalk.”

  • Demosthenes XXI

    It’s slowly reaching that point where nobody will be able to create any sort of fiction-based media where harm befalls a female/woman without accusations of misogyny. Soon, you’ll see horror games, movies, and novels where the only victims of violence are men and the women are conspicuously absent when the killing starts.

    And then all will be right with the world…oh wait….

  • https://de.gravatar.com/youngzer0 YoungZer0

    Puh, where to start?

    Is this a good time to ask if you swear on this website? o:

    I’m pretty much what people would consider a ‘gamer’. I play games regularly and I like it.

    Since I am a ‘gamer’ I spend a lot of my time on gaming sites. And this is where the rage starts.

    Game Journalism is the problem. So called Game Journalists will report about freaking everything. Fake outrage whenever possible. It doesn’t matter if it’s accurate, get while its hot!

    “RAPE! RAPE!” a Journalist screamed when he wrote a piece about a certain scene in Tomb Raider where Lara is supposedly going to be raped. Suddenly everyone was reporting on it, doesn’t matter if its the case or not, they needed something to push their messed-up feminist-agenda forward.

    For some reason they thought that the new Tomb Raider would be just like ‘I Spit on Your Grave’. And movies that show a woman surviving rape and not crawling under the bed, but either taking revenge or moving on are terrible for some reason. Of course they could only mention terrible C-Movie Horror movies. Nobody mentioned the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

    Then the game came out. Turns out, whoops, no rape scene in the game. None at all.

    The mentioned scene is a QTE – A Quick Time Event. It’s like watching a movie, but you have to push a button at certain scenes to do something. In this case, you push a button to get the attacker off you and eventually kill him. His death is rather gruesome, but it was supposed to be, it was her first (of many kills).

    But what happens if you fail? Is he going to rape you? Nope, he chokes you to death. The end. Keep in mind people have been talking for months about the whole scene before they even saw it.

    Scene in question: http://youtu.be/MIxFRNcqgUo

    I find it rather ironic that Rhianna Pratchett was the one to speak out against the breast-zombie-torso. She wrote the script for new Tomb Raider. The game does not feature any female enemies. There’s only men. Lara only kills men. And if you kill 40 of them, you’ll get the achievement/trophy “Widow Maker”.

    Recently we had the God of War Ascension Trophy controversy.

    For those of you who don’t know: God of War is fantasy action adventure set in mythological ancient Greece. You play Kratos, demigod, son of Zeus (who isn’t?). There are 4 major games and 2 Handheld games, all of them are known for their extreme depiction of violence.

    And when I say Extreme, I mean EXTREME, here’s how he deals with Poseidon and Hermes (SPOILERS for God of War 3):

    http://youtu.be/VsTY5EL6OUc?t=4m35s
    http://youtu.be/DwjEh1B10xg?t=1m22s

    Anyway, Kratos is no sexist at all. In fact there is nothing he hasn’t killed. If it exists, Kratos has killed it. He’s angry all the time and everyone standing in his way gets all of his rage (kind of like a feminists, if you think about it).

    Ascension is the newest entry in the series and for some reason it sparked a lot of outraged for one of the trophies you get in the game. The trophy in question is called “Bros before Hoes”. Stupid, yes. Is it worth the outrage? Not at all.

    Adam Sessler’s (Rev3Games) review, I think, was one of the first to mention that. In his review he talks about how Violence Against Women is oh-so-fucking-wrong and how the trophy is absolutely misogynistic, blah, blah, blah.

    Here’s the review:

    http://youtu.be/XjIpPUE8epA

    And here is the scene itself:

    http://youtu.be/i3L2de3ucLg

    First of all, as some of you have probably see in the other videos, Kratos has been far more violent to his male enemies. Hercules for example lost his head to Kratos fists. He literally beat his head into mud. There was nothing left.

    Yet that never sparked an outrage. Neither was Mr. Sessler mad about the ‘Widow Maker’ trophy from Tomb Raider. What’s even weirder, the woman isn’t even a woman, she’s a Fury, a monster. Kratos has killed a lot of female monsters in the previous games and very violent as well.

    And second, you don’t get the trophy for stomping her head. You get the trophy because a guy helps you out, so the phrase, however stupid it may be, makes sense in the that context. The name for the trophy was the Idea of a woman. Most of the reviewer who complained about it where white knights.

    The result of the outcry? Sony changed the name of the trophy “Bros before Foes”.

    Sony should’ve shown some backbone here, but the fact remains that there shouldn’t have been an outcry in the first place.

  • Iconoclast Dynamite

    An excellent article that adds more weight to Colonel Absconder’s hypothesized domination of the video game industry by the Femistasi. I just may have to eat my previous words on this topic…unfortunately.

  • http://mrafront.blogspot.com/ MRA.

    Pretty mush anything is offensive to feminists in games because is a male dominated market:

    Biochok Infinity: The big breast of the female character Elizabeth

    http://www.ign.com/articles/2012/01/12/opinion-boobs-bad-games-and-misogyny

    Hitman Absolution: Hitman killing nuns…… that were there to murder him.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXs5v-t9NwI

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/technology-science/technology/hitman-why-the-video-game-trailer-is-a-shameless-855466

    Avoiding the FACT that a hitman murders people not matter age or sex.

    God Of war Ascension: He already kill countless of males character but they (developers) were pushed to reduce the violence against women, because THAT IS BAD.
    http://www.ign.com/articles/2012/07/19/where-god-of-war-ascension-draws-the-line-on-violence

    The list could go on, what happens to VG right now is a example of how they control the narrative, gamers murder and mutilated males character for decades BUT when a female character is given the same treatment is hating of women, EA also hired Anita to work as adviser but what happening to EA right now? they were so focused into please feminists that they forgot their target demographic, the SimCity disaster was a clear prove of what happen to those companies that fallow feminism doctrine.

    • Booyah

      The funniest part about Elizabeth is how much they brag about the AI in her for Bioshock Infinite and how much she interacts with the world around her and how much you depend on her in the quest. She’s a very active and involved female character and I’m wondering pre-release whether this obsession with that will in fact result in a lesser quality game due to such a large amount of what would be finite resources being spent on what ultimately boils down to a NPC. As the game hasn’t been released who knows? History speaks well in Irrationals favour in this regard at least.

      Heres an article and video on Elizabeth and the effort to make her more than a token character, yet feminists still complain of course. ;)

      http://au.ign.com/videos/2013/03/01/bioshock-infinite-the-revolutionary-ai-behind-elizabeth

      @ the 11 minute mark developer remarks on wife punching him in the arm over choosing jewelry for Elizabeth. Everyone laughs…. Same old same old. Real life violence against men is less important than pixelated images of rendered and ultimately unreal women. (yawns)

  • donzaloog

    I’m extremely disappointed to hear that the video game industry is bowing to these feminists. I would ask those offended by that Dead Island poster, “What about all of the male zombies killed in the game?” If there answer is not sufficient or some rehashed feminist bullshit. “Until you value a man’s life as much as you value a woman’s I don’t want to hear anything from you.”

    Dark times are ahead for the gaming industry. Not even the most innocent company, with the most family friendly games (Nintendo) is safe.

    • https://de.gravatar.com/youngzer0 YoungZer0

      Naw, don’t worry … or worry more.

      Most videogame developer pretty much bow down to everyone who screams long and loud enough. So called “Fans” don’t seem to respect the artistic integrity of some developers and think they know better. We don’t really know who gives in, either it’s the publisher or the developer, but in most cases they try pandering to the fans.

      Of course there are exceptions, like the ending of Mass Effect 3, which really was a huge disappointment, contradicted previous statements by the developer and even contradicted the established lore. So they definitely needed an ending that makes sense.

      But then there are cases like DmC: Devil may Cry or inFamous 2, where the “Fans” try to pressure the developer into changing parts of the game they don’t like.

      SuckerPunch gave in and changed the appearance of Cole, main character of inFamous 2. Ninja Theory, who were responsible for the reboot of the DmC franchise didn’t. They kept the character-design, story and gameplay. The game payed the price with low sales (although, I’d argue that 1 Mil. is pretty high for a game that received that much hatred).

      At some point you gotta say “STOP!”

      The more developers give in, the more “Fans” will ask for changes.

      • donzaloog

        Yeah, it sets a bad precedent. My big issue is that a video games are basically someone’s artistic vision. Trying to police that is stifling freedom of thought and expression. If you want more strong female leads, make your own, don’t shove your shit down others throat.

        Games are fantasy, stop dragging them down with them down with real world bullshit.

        • https://de.gravatar.com/youngzer0 YoungZer0

          Indeed it does, but that’s one of the reasons why I don’t have much respect for certain game developers. They don’t fight for their vision.

          Here’s the thing feminists don’t seem to get, especially the likes of Anita Whatsherface:

          If you have not payed for it, you have no voice.

          Feminists want games to suit their need, but have not spend a single dime on it.

          That’s like demanding free food in a restaurant.

          Anita Whatsherface (I’m really to lazy too Google her name now) should have enough money to hire some ideologues to create the Feminist game she wants. Even if it’s some kind of RPG with 2D sprites. But she won’t do that, because that would require some actually work.

          • donzaloog

            That’s exactly right. All she can do is criticize, she can’t create a damn thing except confusion.

  • Suburban Fieldsman

    Feminist robots simply go about doing the bidding of higher level feminists. Ultimately they would like to parley their approval and sanction of just about everything. I say, ignore them, never, but never, make any attempt to gain their approval, never give the slightest indication that their cult opinion on any matter they alight upon is of the least importance what so ever. Sorry gamer companies are falling for such a bunch of nothing, it’s really too bad for them. I say patronize companies that don’t. There always will be companies that don’t, and their success will overcome the tide of those who attempt the kowtow to the cows in order to increase their sales. In the long run, it won’t work, feminists are one dimensional fools, gaming will leave them behind, just the way it is.

  • tamerlame

    Feminists go on about controlling men, but men/boys are not even allowed to enjoy their hobby in peace?

    Video games used to be my escape from an hysterical, abusive, and controlling bitch of a mother.

    Feminists should bugger off, and let us enjoy our male space. Woman want to even invade our imaginations!

  • Greyfeld

    The feminist catch-phrase of the day is, “Male Power Fantasy.”

    Anything that can’t be explained away with sexism, bigotry, or patriarchy can be whisked away by those three little words.

    This becomes especially disgusting when you try to draw symmetry between the “objectified” sexy female characters, and the male characters who are equally chiseled, buff, and unrealistically attractive. These two situations are obviously completely different, because sexy women are objectified, while sexy men are… you guessed it… a “male power fantasy.”

    Makes me fucking sick to my stomach.