Monday, 6 June 2016

Moral Panics! Naked Bodies and Comics and Games

For fans of Internet Stupidity, there's only one game in town: the fallout from Gamergate. Connoisseurs of shouting men will know that this is old news, but the continued ranting of Men's Rights Activists has provided some of the best examples of how rationalism is slowly evolving into just another hysterical religion.

There are many well-reasoned arguments about how contemporary games, through the use of lazy and exploitative tropes, are representing a perception of reality that is sexist, even misogynistic. Feminist Frequency, for example, says nothing new, only identifies certain tropes as demeaning to women.

Frankly, the victory would go to the feminists (known as 'cultural Marxists') if they didn't, now and again, make 'alternative' video games, like Depression Quest. Plenty of shouters can explain why these games contradict their own assumptions (Depression Quest removes agency from the depressed individual, for example). However, the low quality of the 'alternative games' plays into the hands of the MRAs. 

Of course, both sides are wrong. The MRAs don't get how the representations of women in bikini combat gear are exploitative. The feminists fail to read the games as reflections of a social subtext, but see them as a cause of misogyny. And while they have the high-ground, the moral panic about video games is another episode in a series of moral panics that go back to... oh, they probably go back to Babylon and The Bible... but in 1954 led to the effective banning of horror comics in the USA. 

No comments :

Post a Comment