So, it's Halloween. Anyone talked to Calendar Man yet? I'm kind of stuck in a mission in Joker territory so I need to put some time in tonight and finish that up before I can access the overworld, but I'm wondering if anything actually happens.
(Remember to use Spoiler tags as appropriate. Sorry if this is in the Spoiler thread, but I'm avoiding that still.)
My biggest complaint thus far (save the AR challenges) is that I feel like there is a misogynistic undertone in the game, primarily in the background dialogue, that makes me uncomfortable.
Have you read the essay? It addresses movies and TV, with specific examples. It's about context.
Finished the essay. Same statements everyone else makes. What about the children
There is a spoiler in here for the mention of a supporting character. If it helps, this character did have his/her own trailer.
My wife was the first to say something. "I'd forgotten how jarring and threatening it can be to hear a guy call a girl a 'bitch' with that much anger and venom behind it."
The background chatter in the game is very off-putting (when it's not Batman beating up Nathan Drake from Uncharted, because that's funny). There are many separate instances where violence toward women is talked about. If they're not being called bitches, they're being menaced and "the things I'll do to you" and stuff like that is being said. It's not just the constant threats of violence, it's the constant threats of sexual violence. Every woman that shows up is sexualized or trivialized, including Nora Fries ("I'm just saying I don't mind if they're a little cold, you know?").
It makes me uncomfortable. It made me uncomfortable immediately, and I get around it while playing by quipping constantly, turning Batman into a weird amalgam of Spider-Man and random characters from Xenoblade, because I'm trying to distract myself from the fact that in the world of Arkham City all of the women are lesbians, hookers, bitches, or targets, and I don't want to be a part of that world.
It seems like pretty standard "Look, I'm a bad guy and I'm saying things to help you enjoy beating me up. I treat women with disrespect and never use my blinker." If they were being held up as role models then there might be a problem. I can understand how the environment would make some people uncomfortable, but I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with it because of that.
I read part of that rant, but I can't agree with him. He's upset because Batman enjoyed throwing Harley to the floor. Batman enjoys throwing all villains to the floor.
I do really like the game a lot, but that part of it does really bother me to the extent that I won't play it around my wife.
e: Also, I have seen all the Batman movies and most of the Batman cartoon series, and I don't recall rape coming up at all in any of those. Not even the new "Dark Knight" take on the series involves sexual violence of any kind, as far as I remember. And both the cartoon and many of the movies are very effective and adequately convey the scumminess of the bad guys and the darkness of the setting.
Last edited by AlanQ; 10-31-2011 at 10:13 AM.
Exactly. Aside from being offensive, it's also just lazy, bad writing.
I think the answer is clearly in the latter category, since while the game has some interesting brushes with depth when it comes to some characters and ideas they obviously erred on the side of T&A and poorly written cock-talk when it comes to the female characters generally. Personally, I would think that and some other factors should escalate it to an M rating so parents who care about these things at least have some awareness of what they are getting into.
But that's not really where the feedback is directed, since I think subtlety is not the ESRB's strong suit. The point is to have this conversation so that Rocksteady has to think about something that may have been a no-brainer in the current iteration, and either have them make a case for it or evolve past it. Ideally, the same would occur with the fans, but that's a more nebulous goal.
I think TV and movies should be held to the same standard, which does not any point involve the suggestion of censorship on my part. But if you make the choice to transgress good taste or basic decency, it ought to be a purposeful one or at least one that is properly presented as deviating from the norm if it is going to be directed at younger or less mature audiences who might not be ready to handle this kind of thing critically, or could at least use a heads up.
"What about the children", in contrast, is empty-headed handwringing based on the assumption that x content should be proscribed and censored away, ideally from all audiences, on the off chance that children might be exposed to something controversial. It is not where I think most of the criticism I've seen comes from, and there really isn't much of a Fox News bandwagon market for misogyny so I don't expect much to turn up.
Last edited by Lizard_King; 10-31-2011 at 10:37 AM.
Which is a small part of a pretty nuanced take on the subject. He's not arguing for censorship for all audiences nor is he arguing against the inclusion of x content because x is too vile for the medium. He's saying if you have purposeless misogyny in your game, and you market it to young teens and kids, you should be ashamed of yourself.MORE IMPORTANTLY THERE WERE, AT MIDNIGHT MIND YOU, ABOUT THIRTY CHILDREN AGED 9-12 ALL WITH THEIR MOMS. ALL JOYFULLY WALKING OUT WITH THEIR NEW BATMAN GAME ALL WITH A BEVY OF UNSUSPECTING PARENTS AS TO WHAT THEY JUST BOUGHT AND WHAT THE FIRST HOUR WILL UNVEIL.(2)
DON’T THINK FOR A SECOND THIS ISN’T HOW THEY’RE LEARNING MODES OF SOCIALIZATION. HELL, THEIR SEXUALITY IS LITERALLY BEING FORMED AS WE SPEAK. SO HULK ARGUE THIS WEIRD, ADULT AND ALL-TOGETHER SEXIST TURN FOR THE BATMAN GAME IS VERY MUCH UNCALLED FOR.
:MRS. LOVEJOY "PLEASE, WON'T SOMEONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN!"
AND HERE WE GO WITH THE MORALIZING AND GOD HULK REALLY HATES DOING IT, BUT WHOEVER WROTE THIS SHIT IN ARKHAM CITY AND WHOEVER APPROVED IT SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF THEMSELVES. SERIOUSLY, HULK SOMEHOW HOPES THIS MESSAGE IF LIFTED UP OVER ROOFTOPS AND INTO THE SKY AND IS HEARD, BECAUSE IT’S NOT OKAY. AND IF THEY’RE NOT ASHAMED OF THEMSELVES, WELL THEN THEY HAVE THEIR OWN ISSUES TO WORK THROUGH. HULK GUESS THEY MIGHT HAVE THIS IDEA THAT PEOPLE WHO COMPLAIN ABOUT SEXISM ARE ALWAYS COLLEGE AGE WOMEN’S STUDIES MAJORS / LESBIANS (THE NON-SEXY KIND OF COURSE!) WHO WILL OBJECT TO THEIR EVERY ACTION AND “HARMLESS” JOKE SOLELY BASED ON THE FACT THAT THEY HAVE PENISES.
AND MAYBE, LIKE ALL THINGS, IT’S A LITTLE MORE GRAY THAN THAT, BUT THE POINT IS THAT THEY DON’T GET IT.
That is not the same as what, for instance, Clinton tried to build out of Hot Coffee or that idiot in California tries to do periodically, which is argue from a position with legal enforcement capabilities that the government has an obligation to put uniquely high barriers between videogame content and consumers generally on the basis that it might impact a child in some way in some form even if it is an M-rated game or whatever is controversial is part of a coherent, intelligently wrought idea, as distinct from the zero barriers to comparable content in books, tv, and movies.
If any argument that brings up children is a fallacy, then you've achieved a marvel of reductivism that is logically questionable.
Two more weeks until PC release, bitches.
LK, as usual, puts it all much better than I ever could. Thank you.
What a touchy-feelie, actively-looking-to-be-offended society we've become when scum-of-the-earth villains can't be, you know, awful people, in our fiction-related passtimes. Particularly violent offender criminals inside of a prison. It may be a cliche based on lots of prison movies, but a bunch of thuggish lowlifes mulling over violent psychosexual behaviors seems to be the norm for prisoner archetypes.
They also spend lots of time remarking on how they are going to cut, burn, and shoot the shit out of people, including but not limited to Batman. Ever hung around one of the "political prisoner" sites?"Criminal scum" don't actually tend to stand around talking about raping people. It's not realistic. And if you wanted to build an over-the-top threatening setting, there are lots of other ways to do that without a constant drum-beat of sexual violence.
Last edited by scharmers; 10-31-2011 at 11:56 AM.
It's also notable that the thugs don't say a lot of other things that would be offensive. They don't call Batman a faggot or use racial slurs, even though that might well be in character for scum-of-the-earth villains (though in my experience, people in prison do not actually sit around calling each other names and discussing the women they would like to rape).
Anyways, this is my fiction-related pass-time too, and sexual violence for the sake of titillation is not enjoyable for me, especially when it's so pointless. From my perspective, it was distracting and embarrassing, and added nothing positive to the experience.
They don't use racial slurs because that would be offensive, and if you find sexist slurs equally offensive it's because you're being touchy-feelie and just looking for something to be offended about.
I think it's clear that Hugo Strange's group therapy and rehabilitation sessions made the prisoners more circumspect about racism and homophobia (those sessions were covered in Protocol 7 and 8, respectively), but Batman threw a wrench in things before they could get to the planned workshops about sexism (which would have been Protocol 9, but that one got skipped).
Should every game with female characters and male villains have the male villains threaten them sexually? Is implied rape and sexual violence okay because Batman's just going to punch them in a minute anyway? Especially from a combination of genres not known for their evenhanded depictions of women? Comic books and video games alike have a history of hostility toward women, should we just allow it because it serves the story?
I don't think it serves the story. It's crass, it's cheap, and it's poor writing. It's reducing women to sex objects to be used and tossed aside, and that should not be acceptable.