Old Grandma Hardcore

This blog is the chronicle of my experiences with Grandma, the video-game playing queen of her age-bracket and weight class. She will beat any PS2, XBox, GameCube, etc., console game put in front of her, just like she always has. These are her stories. She is absolutely real. She lives in Cleveland.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Chris Crawford Responds... ...Sort Of

I'm not sure how many of you are still reading the comments section of our article regarding Chris Crawford's piece in The Escapist on "Women In Gaming." Anyway, here is the "witty banter" Chris and I have been volleying to each other for the past day or so:




  • At 2:12 AM, Anonymous said…
  • If they are that intested in the games I play as a Girl. Why don't they just fucking ask me, because that would be too simple....

  • At 12:59 PM, Chris Crawford said…

    I went through the many comments here and compiled some of the comments:

    In reference to me:

    "know it all"
    "major blow hard"
    "full of shit"
    "a hack and a moron"
    "go get fucked with a rusty spike"
    "rudimentary grasp of evolutionary psychology"
    "sad and childishly elementary"
    "stupid"
    "stupid"
    "racist"
    "idiot"
    "ignorant"
    "bullshit"

    It would seem to me that people are devoting a great deal of attention to my personal worthiness as a human being. Might I suggest that my personal merits are of little import? Who cares whether I'm a good guy or a bad guy? Why do you want to talk about such a meaningless topic when there's so much to discuss about the ideas I present?

    Next, I notice a great many straw men or caricatures of my assertions, such as:

    "Those who question evolutionary psychology are fucking morons."
    "Timothy St. Hilaire is a twit."
    "The games industry doesn't know anything about women. Chris Crawford does. Chris Crawford is The Ladies Man"
    "he portrayed the females something like rutting pregnant pigs."
    "women are helpless, trite social butterflies"

    These are distortions of my statements. If what I wrote is really so wrong, I'm sure you can devastate the actual statement without resorting to distortion.

    Then there is a class of complaints that I did not present the entire corpus of evolutionary psychology. This is true. As I pointed out in the article, I presented a simple overview of the basic points, and suggested that readers who are interested follow up on any of the books that I offered. ANY representation of ANY phenomenon can be castigated for failing to include the entirety of the truth, because the entirety of the truth of any phenomenon is infinite.

    There were a few substantive comments presented here. However, I do not see any substantive criticisms of the article here -- just a pile of vitriolic opinion. I will be happy to discuss issues raised by the article, but I do not have the time for dealing with childish name-calling. Please, if you have an issue to discuss, by all means present it.

  • At 1:42 PM, CtrlAltDelete said…

    Chris, maybe you didn't understand. I said "I toned the post in this way to illustrate a point." Strawman? Yes! name calling? Fuck yeah! Why do I need to resort to using argumentative fallacy to get my point across?

    Because I do not believe you notice that you do it also.

    "some twit"
    "dogmatic fools"
    "picky-picky natterers"

    Are these not set up devices for ridiculing those who would question your statements? If people disagree with you, even if they have valid arguments, have you not already dismissed them as stupid?

    Yes they are distortions, Chris. We put your words up on the page in blockquote form, and then followed them with our perceptions of your statements. It was "this is what he said, this is what I think he meant..." We also made you look silly. I think you should empathize more with readers who may possibly question your propositions, rather than declaring yourself master of theory.

    We're a bit vulgar here, I'll admit. (It's a way of reproducing a vernacular form of language including off-color or taboo words to establish a repor with the potential readers who similarly speak in such manner and build a sense of sincerity. We engineer every word with the psychology of the reader in mind, you see. Complete and utter manipulation on our part.)

    For an issue as important as gender representation in gaming you provided very little actual information, and set up the article with caveats to a final statement and called it "insight." If people are going to learn something about women in gaming, they should, oh I don't know, ask a woman, maybe?

    The Escapist has done that. They're recent update contradicts some of your assertions about women and FPS gaming.

    Do you honestly not see how someone could construe your article as pretentious or hostile and respond accordingly? The article was a lecture, my friend. It was a day on the syllabus of Chris Crawford that ended with understanding of the topic replaced by a bibliography.

    If you would like someone to respond to your arguments in a polite concise report, then you must understand how difficult it is for professors and TA's to do so when given a paper supposedly about The Battle of Waterloo that rambles on about the primitive notions of violence and the psychology of agression and ends with "and that's why Napoleon lost."

    It's frustrating.

    If you want us to take the time to respond to you, you must also take the time to better prepare your articles. At the moment your article seems less like a statement to form new discussions on women in gaming, and more like an attempt to establish some published stock in your conclusions of social reasoning so that one day, if the ball rolls right, you can stand up to be the man who had told everyone; the Galileo of female gaming. Is this incorrect?

    Otherwise, prepare for a mirrored attack on your words, using the same systems of argument you yourself utilize.

    Other than declaring the article bile, what about it's premise?

    See what I mean?

    -Timothy St. Hilaire

  • At 2:48 PM, Chris Crawford said…

    Ah, but you have not quoted the article properly. The correct quotes are:

    "...dogmatic fools who think evolutionary psychology amounts to some kind of genetic determinism"
    "...some twit who points out that there are some women who can run faster than some men"
    "... picky-picky natterers who will point out that there are some men who are better at social reasoning than some women"

    Notice that relative clause introduced by the pronoun "who". It appears in each of the three comments. Every one of my comments is directed at a defined group of people, not any particular person. If you think that evolutionary psychology amounts to some kind of genetic determinism, then, yes, I think it's fair to call you a dogmatic fool. Do you?

    If you respond to my argument about the female pelvis by pointing out there are some women who can run faster than some men, then, yes, I think it's fair to call you a twit. Do you?

    If you respond to my claims about social reasoning with the argument that some men are better at social reasoning than some women, then, yes, I think it fair to call you a picky-picky natterer. Do you?

    There's a huge difference between insulting a class of people defined by their undesirable actions and insulting an individual, don't you think?

    So, where is that straw man that you claim hides among my words?

    "If people disagree with you, even if they have valid arguments, have you not already dismissed them as stupid?"

    Again, re-read the sentences in question. Are you claiming that the arguments I deride are good arguments? I did not attack good arguments, I attacked arguments that are absurd.

    "I think you should empathize more with readers who may possibly question your propositions, rather than declaring yourself master of theory. "

    You seem to be laboring under the assumption that I should write to make people feel good. That is not my objective. I write to communicate ideas. If an idea I wish to communicate is painful to some people, that is not my concern; my concern is to be truthful. Perhaps the truth will be of benefit to them. When did you ever learn from something that merely confirms your existing set of ideas?

    "We engineer every word with the psychology of the reader in mind, you see."

    Indeed. Perhaps my failure to lather my writing with obscenities renders my participation here inappropriate. I just don't use the lingo.

    "For an issue as important as gender representation in gaming you provided very little actual information"

    I disagree. There's a lot of information in that article. Do you mean to say that the article lacks footnotes? That is would not work as a scholarly paper? Perhaps it had little information for those already familiar with evolutionary psychology. That's OK. I could write something terribly complex about Erasmus or physics, should you wish to read something that goes over readers' heads. But why write over people's heads? What is accomplished?

    "Do you honestly not see how someone could construe your article as pretentious or hostile and respond accordingly?"

    No, I honestly can't. Please provide a quote that demonstrates pretention.

    You seem to suggest that my article is beneath your intellect, and therefore you see no point in responding to it. Surely you could find one tiny little point that could be demolished in a few sentences -- couldn't you?

    Lastly, you seem to suggest that I slapped the article together with such haste that it does not deserve a response. How much time did I take preparing this article?

  • At 4:20 PM, m.R said…

    Uhm,

    damn i read this stuff, now my head hurts!

    Flame wars are lots of fun ... if you can understand what people are actually talking about.

    ... why don't you just skip the arguing part, you won't make it anyway and just jump to the name calling? You both seem to be very creative and I do need to improve my english cursing vocabulary.

    Would be very much appreciated.

    Thanks a million,

    m.R

  • At 5:29 PM, CtrlAltDelete said…

    Oh dear. How should I put this delicately...

    Alrighty, lets start from the top:

    "Ah, but you have not quoted the article properly..."

    Did you quote the comments against you properly? You compiled a big list of nasty words and concluded that everyone is against you, and not your words. (I can't really speak for everyone so I couldn't tell you their intentions.) So I did the same sort of list and threw it back at you. It was sneaky, but the message lies in the medium if you know what I mean.

    "There's a huge difference between insulting a class of people defined by their undesirable actions and insulting an individual, don't you think?"

    Nope. It's a conditional insult, Chris. "if one believes X, then one is ______" Replace "one" with "you" and it's the same remark. What are you saying, exactly? That if one person disagrees with a statement you make, then because they fall under the defined classification of all those who also oppose your arguments because of their disagreement, the person is not stupid, "they" are "collectively" stupid? I don't understand the relevance of your point.

    If it makes you feel better, I disagree with everyone in the world that takes the position that Chris Crawford's article was informative and relevant to the issues of women and gaming and find them to be poopy heads.

    Now it isn't a personal affront to you, just your "people."

    "If you think that evolutionary psychology amounts to some kind of genetic determinism, then, yes, I think it's fair to call you a dogmatic fool."

    Why?

    "Do you?"

    Not if they provide evidence to their arguments. To me a "dogmatic fool" is one who makes statements without providing evidence and preemptively insults those who may question the logic.

    Evo Psychology, in it's current form, has been used for both good and bad, I hope you know. Genetic determinism? How do you interpret that term? Would you see marking genders and races as inferior or superior based on the humble life struggle of their genetic ancestors thousands of years ago, so that accommodations can be made to suit the needs of their modern counterparts as genetic determinism?

    You mention in your article something about ..if we didn't teach people to fear snakes then they wouldn't fear them, this is bullshit, any rational person could examine the studies and conclude its bullshit...etc.,....

    See, this is pretentious. You don't provide any evidence that such a study is incorrect, only that it is.

    If you prefer an exact citation, here you go:

    "They claim fear of snakes is some sort of cultural artifact, and that if only our culture stopped teaching people that snakes are fearsome, nobody would be afraid of snakes. A careful, scholarly analysis of this claim, based on experimental evidence and thorough review of the literature - as well as common experience - forces us to only one conclusion: This claim is complete crap."

    See, I could try to define what it is to "teach" and "learn" to describe how the claim actually have some merit. I could point out observational learning is an integral part of psychology. I could point out that your next paragraph on "Human Choices" was outright laughed at by some of psychology department faculty members who read OGHC regularly who e-mailed us about your piece, but it wouldn't matter, because obviously the snake claim is complete "crap." (Watch your language, mister!) Such is the essence of pretension and self importance. You are an authority. You have read the books. you know what you're talking about. We, the readers, do not. Provide some evidence. It doesn't have to be a footnote, you don't have to right it out in APA format, but give us a HINT of what the hell you mean.

    "If you respond to my argument about the female pelvis by pointing out there are some women who can run faster than some men, then, yes, I think it's fair to call you a twit."

    Ah, so you are calling ME a twit, then yes? We come back to that conditional insult phase you like to use so much in the article.

    The reason this is such a ridiculous statement is its lack of relevancy to anything at all. It's like saying "If you respond to my argument that McDonalds food is unhealthy by saying the Queen of England enjoys skydiving, you are an IDIOT." I sure am! It was a jibe at myself, Chris. Learn to lighten up a bit! The fact that statistically men can run faster than women is sort of an half minded attempt to set up women as being the birth-giving home force of the tribe. Other than that, it was sort of a silly thing to add in your article. So I make fun of myself instead of debating it.

    "Do you?"

    Yup. I am a twit. You got me on that one, man. Men statistically run faster than women. That's why Grandma didn't like Resident Evil 4 when she played as Ashley; bitch didn't run fast enough.

    "If you respond to my claims about social reasoning with the argument that some men are better at social reasoning than some women, then, yes, I think it fair to call you a picky-picky natterer."

    I'm sorry, man. You are going to have to define "pick-picky natterer" before I can conclusively say it is what I am. I'll replace it with another term, say "daft cunt."

    You opened up a big ol' can of "what the shit?" when you mentioned social reasoning as a skill that women have come to possess through years of manipulation for security. Is it true? Who knows! It's difficult to judge such a thing. So difficult, in fact, that would you not agree it to be absurd to send in a woman rather than a man to judge someone's character abilities in a job interview? Do you think women do a better job than men identifying social inadequacies?

    If so, how do you explain all the black eyes in the women's line to the bathroom at NASCAR races? They made some dandy fine relationship choices now, didn't they? Or for that matter all the shiners and bruises on the men at a Nine Inch Nails concert?

    That was a joke, Chris.

    "I did not attack good arguments, I attacked arguments that are absurd."

    Why? Why not face good arguments with factual evidence debating their accuracy?

    "You seem to be laboring under the assumption that I should write to make people feel good. That is not my objective."

    I don't think you write to make people feel good. I don't think you write to make people feel shitty. I can't really say why I think you write what you do, because that wouldn't be very classy of me, and I'm a classy person. Although, so you know- it did make a lot of folks feel some positive emotions. My Grandma was laughing so hard she cried a little by page 5.

    "I write to communicate ideas. If an idea I wish to communicate is painful to some people, that is not my concern; my concern is to be truthful"

    It was painful for Grandma to learn she wasn't statistically a female.

    No, I know, that's understood, Chris. That's another reason we responded as we did; so that you get negative reaction from writing a certain way, alter your style to avoid such a response, and through a system of natural selection provide more solid arguments that receive a much more informative response from people far smarter than I. From what I've read on our e-mails, however, that time is a bit of a ways off on this particular article. Sorry.

    And look at you with your Pulp Fiction finesse! "If my answers upset you..." Man, you ARE Sam Jackson! Tell me again how you're not pretentious.

    "Indeed. Perhaps my failure to lather my writing with obscenities renders my participation here inappropriate. I just don't use the lingo."

    You should try it! It's very liberating to call zombies "cocksuckers." Go on, give it a whirl!

    "I disagree. There's a lot of information in that article. Do you mean to say that the article lacks footnotes? That is would not work as a scholarly paper? Perhaps it had little information for those already familiar with evolutionary psychology. That's OK. I could write something terribly complex about Erasmus or physics, should you wish to read something that goes over readers' heads. But why write over people's heads? What is accomplished?"

    Oh my... What are you saying about The Escapist? You underestimate the readers. You patronize them with a very elementary primer on evo psych and end it with a non-idea. I believe The Escapist is a bit more on the educated side of gaming journalism, I don't think you give folks enough credit.

    And I learned what I did of Evo Psych mostly in High School, Chris. Not college. You spoke of fundamentally debated principles of the theory like it was an issue of "BLAST!" and we were the fearful public. Thus, your ideas are not fresh, I'm afraid.

    You attempted a somewhat scholarly article, did you not? You expect a good debate about your contentions, yes? Then why not go the full monty and just publish a little evidence to back your claims?

    "Please provide a quote that demonstrates pretention."

    From the article or your comments or your website? Which would you prefer?

    "You seem to suggest that my article is beneath your intellect, and therefore you see no point in responding to it. Surely you could find one tiny little point that could be demolished in a few sentences -- couldn't you?"

    No, man! I'm an idiot, let me make that perfectly clear. Your article was not prepared in such a way to deserve a proper response from the right sort of people.

    That's why you're posting comments on an article on "Old Grandma Hardcore."

    "Lastly, you seem to suggest that I slapped the article together with such haste that it does not deserve a response. How much time did I take preparing this article?"

    Are you asking me? I don't know. What I do know is that if it took you longer than say, six hours- you should reexamine your editing methods, I think.

    I think it deserves a response, Chris. I tried to provide one for our readers, who, mostly female, were somewhat offended to learn they suck at Halo because of that extra X chomosome.


    Mr. R., I don't know many good insults, I was raised by Grandma :) We just call each other fuckers.

  • At 5:42 PM, Anonymous said…

    At this point I think it's important for Chris to know something about the blog, the author is transgendered.

    Tim might have been offended by your remarks at the beginning of the article that basically say that Ms. Pacman is a transsexual and not a "real" female.

    That might explain some of the hostility.


    Tim, I'll say this, it was a low blow. I don't agree with Chris Crawford's article at all, and your reponse was adequate enough to convince me of that, but if it really is because you're TG, he should at least know who he's talking to.

  • At 6:11 PM, ChristopherCrawford said…

    Anonymous, thanks for pointing out Tim's background, as it certainly explains the intense hostility. However, I concentrate on the facts and logic of the argument, not the people making the argument, so I really don't care about Tim's background.

    Tim, I must say, you have written such a pile of poor reasoning that I am at a loss to address all of it. I'll just take a few comments at random:

    You defend deliberate misquoting by blaming me of the same thing. Yet my compilation of insults was nothing more than that: a list. You impute conclusions that I did not draw.

    You seem to have a problem understanding subjunctive mood. Subjunctivity is quite different from indicativity. I won't bother belaboring the point.

    You insinuate that psychology faculty members hold my statements in low regard. If those statements are so far off-base, why do you have to provide non-quotes from unnamed sources? Shouldn't you be able to dismiss them with a few terse sentences?

    You suggest that I try using more obscenity in my writing. I don't think so -- I pride myself in the quality of my writing. Obscenity is useful only as a way of communicating intense emotion. You are obviously very emotional about this. That's fine -- you're young. I try very hard to concentrate on the facts and the logic, not the emotion, so I have no need for obscenity.

    Your examples of pretentious writing on my part aren't very convincing. If you were to apply those same standards to the many pejorative comments you have offered here, you would have to conclude that you are vastly more pretentious than I am -- and since I doubt that you would agree with that subjunctive, I must conclude that your claim disintegrates.

    Lastly, I will ask you, why are you so emotional about this? Why does an intellectual disagreement trigger such rivers of anger, such vituperation from you? If we were to disagree about the value of the 22nd decimal place in the value of Heisenberg's Constant, would you explode into a rage?

  • At 6:55 PM, CtrlAltDelete said…

    Anonymous, that's fair enough. I don't think I have been as hostile as Chris perceives me to be, though; and I NEVER claimed to know more about women and gaming because I have a perspective that transcends it- my friend I will not walk down that road.

    Chris, well...

    It seems it's all winding down now, yes? When we both resort to bashing each other's comments rather than the article at hand, there is little to add to a flame war.

    So I'm TG. Big deal. You responded that it explains the hostility, but you never confront the issue of Ms. Pacman. Shit, I didn't even bring it up; but an apology would have been nice. I won't hold my breath.

    So I'll say this: I don't see my writing as intense emotion, with vulgarity or otherwise. I tried to write a breakdown of why I think your article isn't very good. Perhaps you don't understand the purpose of our site. Perhaps you don't understand the humor.

    Perhaps you simply searched for your own name in the GameBlogs archives and only wish to keep the article alive just a bit longer after the mention in Slashdot, so you find this blog; this silly website about some college student who's grandmother plays video games, and you begin to read.

    I imagine it made you a bit angry to see your name and work slandered through the filtered perspective of some smart-ass kid who thinks they know a bit more about the subject than you do. Who is this kid to criticize? You see some flaws in the argument against you, you are insulted and frankly hurt by some of the comments left over from the downfall.

    You are motivated to post a response.

    Why? Is it because you believe you can win over some folks who read OGHC as they decide for themselves which side to accept? Is it because you think you could win any intellectual argument with this nobody, this industry non-entity, and someone needs to put them in their place?

    Or is it something else?

    Speculation is the tool of the damned, and I am certainly going to hell.

    You claim to concentrate on the facts and logic of arguments rather than the people making the argument. Chris, you realize these comments are archived; I won't begin a match of "yes you do -- no you don't," I'll let folks decide for themselves, if they even read this old post. I contemplated posting an update, "Chris Crawford Responds," but I'll leave that to you. Do you want the arguments you've presented here to get some more traffic? If you do- I'll post an update tonight. Otherwise, I'll let this die. Our readers are not so completely loyal to Grandma and I that they will dissmiss your claims out of spite, they're a pretty smart bunch- so it wouldn't be an entirely biased place for presentation.

    Chris, I fail to read anything that suggests I've "exploded into a rage."

    So I'll finish this comment with your words, to let people understand my frustration with your article, and why we shake our heads, as it were, in disbelief.

    "I pride myself in the quality of my writing."

  • At 7:22 PM, ChristopherCrawford said…

    Tim, I agree with you that it's time to wind this down. A few brief items:

    I re-read the section about Ms. Pac-Man and for the life of me, I can't see anything to apologize for.

    As to my reasons for doing this, your speculations are way off the mark. It is likely that I was coping with professional criticism before you were born, and after a while, one learns to take the adulation and the criticism as so much ephemera. I really don't care what other people think of me -- what matters is what *I* think of me. And I am by far my own harshest critic. The criticisms offered here are wild shots in the dark, complete misses that have no effect on me because they're so completely wrong. But I seek out good criticism. That's why I came here. I was hoping to see if anybody could offer anything substantial. Nobody did -- just a lot of hot air, verbal violence, chest beating, all signifying nothing. But I keep looking -- I might get lucky.

    My other reason for coming here was the desire to teach. I'm still a teacher at heart, and rationalism is the star I set my course by. So when I saw these grand irrational hyperboles, I realized that I had a great opportunity to teach an important lesson about rationalism. All that wild chest-beating came to a screeching halt after I posted. It's so easy to trash another person when they're not present, but when the reality of their presence thrusts itself forward, it can be quite a shock, can it not?

    I also wanted to show you a better way to handle disagreement. Despite several complaints that this is a flamewar, I know that none of the flames came from me. The best way to handle falsehood is to simply state the truth. That's what I did here.

    I realize that you're so angry with me that you won't immediately learn these lessons. But what I have done today is created some emotional jars that might shake some people into a more careful rationalism. And that's what I set out to do.

    Vaya con dios, my friend.

    Chris


More importantly is an e-mail I recieved from the Julianne Greer, Editor of The Escapist:



Hello Mr. St. Hilaire,

Thank you for writing in and posting about the piece on your blog.
I am glad to hear that you are still reading our magazine and are enjoying it.
And I did read what you wrote on your blog.

As far as a counter-point to Chris' arguments, we certainly have had several
in the form of letters to the editor, some of which we will certainly
publish in next week's issue. Additionally, people like yourself blogging
about their thoughts, outrage or ideas spawned by the article are providing
a wonderful rebutal to his arguments.

And this is part of my goal as an editor - spurring discussion of games
and the issues surrounding them. I like to make sure that we provide food
for thought, discussion and action. Yes, the article has found opposition
in many locations. But what I find heartening and very positive about all
of this is people are talking about, in very well-thought out discussions,
why more women are not involved in gaming. And THAT is a wonderful thing.

I hope that you and Granny continue to enjoy the magazine. Again,
thanks for
writing.

Best regards,

Julianne Greer
Executive Editor
The Escapist


I find this to be a wonderful response from the online magazine. It's true, her job as editor is to stimulate discussion, and so she has. It's also worth mentioning that the article was Slashdotted, so I'm sure she was flooded by responses about the piece. She didn't have to respond to us, but she did anyway. That was pretty good form.

I don't know what you folks think about all this, so let's hear it!

46 Comments:

  • At 8:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    A small point I would like to make. The 1st word in the evolution theory is "Evolution". Perhaps, the answer is simple - women and men have evolved into more than hunters and food gathers. They have become equal. Both parents are raising the children. Both parents are providing the home, the food, etc. And in many cases the mothers or fathers alone have full responsibility. Point made. We do not care about the roles. I know many women who enjoy 1st shooter and many men who enjoy a complex social game. The only concern, is it a good game.

     
  • At 9:38 PM, Anonymous John said…

    Wow, Chris Crawford really is an arrogant prick. Not once did he address the issues with his article. Tim brought up real issues in his original post, albeit with a sense of humor. Hey Chris, if you are going to flame someone, at least have the decency to admit that you do it. Take this from an Ivy League educated guy - not everyone who disagrees with you is a 13 year old kid full of hot air.

     
  • At 9:45 PM, Anonymous nikki said…

    Just an observation:

    Anyone else disturbed that the editor spelled "rebuttal" incorrectly?

    ("rebutal")

    Hee!

     
  • At 10:15 PM, Anonymous Shades of Steve said…

    Nice bit from the editor.

    Crawford on the other hand, can eat a bowl of dicks.

    Still not tired of that.

    Is it just me or did he come here looking for a stamp of some sort.
    [VALIDATED]
    Hope he feels better.

    At least when I fap one off into the "blogosphere". I realise I am doing just that and that any critism I might draw for coming off half-cocked might be warranted. I really wouldn't track down people to discuss it. Or, does that make me arrogant?

    Then again, maybe he just wants a date.

     
  • At 10:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Beautiful, Tim. You definately are more "professional" than Mr. Crawford. The underlying issue that Crawford seems to have is that he just doesn't seem to like women (hence, his expectations of women not liking his article). Who the hell was he writing this for? But on the other hand, I'm absolutely gleeful that so many people, specifically here on this blog, are passionate about women and gaming and refuse to swallow this sexist shit.

    Maybe we should all rally together and take it to the gaming industry...

    -natalie

     
  • At 11:49 PM, Anonymous nikki said…

    Caveat: (I've copied/edited parts of this response over from the original thread. I apologize for double-posting, but I didn't know how to edit/remove my response from the other thread.)
    ----------------------------------
    I find it ironic and amusing that Crawford claims my statements -- "rudimentary grasp of evolutionary psychology," and "sad and childishly elementary" -- were directed at him. Talk about quoting out of context. I aimed both of those statements at what he terms "the ideas" he "presents", not at him. To clarify, again: even this statement refers to C's comments, not him as a person. I don't know him, nor am I ever likely to do so. Seems like someone needs to correct his own logical fallacies before criticizing others'. And perhaps take a nap; he seems very cranky.

    As a side note to "anonymous," who keeps posting (in various, multiple threads) what may or may not be details of Tim's personal life: grow up. Your constant posts about Tim's personal life are completely inappropriate, and have no real bearing on the argument or the responses to it. Who cares if he is transgender? Can't he be offended at poor writing without it relating to his personal life? I'm not transgender; does that mean that my irritation with a crummy piece of writing is any more or less justified? I don't think so. (And again, I'd take G/L/B/T, hetero, animal, vegetable, mineral, whatever, over you anyday -- seeing as you're a cowardly troll who won't even sign his name to the crappy posts he writes.)

    On that particular note, I also found Crawford's response to Anonymous -- "thanks for pointing out Tim's background, as it certainly explains the intense hostility" -- to be as infinitely immature as the original post. If, as he claims, Crawford "concentrate[s] on the facts and logic of the argument, not the people making the argument," he wouldn't have even acknowledged Anonymous' post. As it was, Crawford had to get in his jab, even while immediately claiming to eschew those tactics. For someone who constantly draws attention to his own supposed adulthood ("you're young," "It is likely that I was coping with professional criticism before you were born"), Crawford also needs to grow up . . . or perhaps he's always been a misogynist bigot? As another aside, Crawford's comment that he's been coping with professional criticism since before Tim was born (20 years, at least?) suggests that his peers have certainly found much in his work to criticize.

    CC: "My other reason for coming here was the desire to teach . . . All that wild chest-beating came to a screeching halt after I posted . . . it can be quite a shock, can it not?"

    If Crawford ever reads this: my personal "wild chest-beating" didn't come to a stop because of the "shock" of your incessant posts. It came to a stop because I figured that someone as simultaneously pretentious and insecure as yourself (constantly referring to concepts like "Heisenberg's Constant" to prove your "intelligence"? Please.) would never admit the validity of an opposing argument.

    For the record, I don't believe one semi-successful game developed over twenty years ago, or the publication a few questionable how-to "texts," makes one a gaming expert. Neither does teaching a few classes at a community college or a high school. (And before you think of reprimanding me about discussing details of your life, let me note that I gathered that info with a quick, perfunctory Google search; it's info you've chosen to disseminate to the public.) Perhaps you should try current gaming, and current games, instead of dwelling in the past. Don't just act superior to current gamers, interact with them. While you're at it, play alongside some women, and actually talk to them instead of just making stereotypical assumptions.

     
  • At 7:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    "Please provide a quote that demonstrates pretention."

    Submitted for your approval - a little something I'm calling:

    The 12 Labors of Dorkules or " I won't bother belaboring the point."


    1. I did not attack good arguments, I attacked arguments that are absurd.

    2. If an idea I wish to communicate is painful to some people, that is not my concern; my concern is to be truthful. Perhaps the truth will be of benefit to them.

    3. My other reason for coming here was the desire to teach. I'm still a teacher at heart, and rationalism is the star I set my course by.

    4. However, I do not see any substantive criticisms of the article here -- just a pile of vitriolic opinion.

    5. ...after a while, one learns to take the adulation and the criticism as so much ephemera. I really don't care what other people think of me -- what matters is what *I* think of me. And I am by far my own harshest critic.

    6. Indeed. Perhaps my failure to lather my writing with obscenities renders my participation here inappropriate. I just don't use the lingo.

    7. Ah, but you have not quoted the article properly. The correct quotes are:

    8. Women have breasts and men don't.... they're the ones with the breast milk...If she couldn't make babies, why did she continue to live,... They're the grannies..From the woman's point of view, the problem was to manipulate the male into supporting her children, mostly by convincing him that the kids really were his..

    9. I could write something terribly complex about Erasmus or physics, should you wish to read something that goes over readers' heads.

    10. You seem to have a problem understanding subjunctive mood. Subjunctivity is quite different from indicativity. I won't bother belaboring the point.

    11. Why does an intellectual disagreement trigger such rivers of anger, such vituperation from you? If we were to disagree about the value of the 22nd decimal place in the value of Heisenberg's Constant, would you explode into a rage?

    12. At this point, I need to cover my butt against the picky-picky natterers...yes, I think it fair to call you a picky-picky natterer.


    I suppose one could argue that #12 is less an example of pretentiousness as it is an example of garden variety shitty writing. Now if, say, one were to write about the "'nattering nabobs of negativity", that would be an example of not-shitty writing. I half expected Mr. Crawford to quote Boethius or cry out to Fortuna since he seemed to be channeling Ignatius P. Reilly from "Confederacy of Dunces". I've italicized the telling points of pretentiousness via tone, or should I say 'tone-ay', like in 'forte'. Let's move the agenda and put it to a vote...raise your hands if you find 'for pretentiousness'...one..two..three..wow, fuck it, I'm calling it unanimous. Let the record show that Chris Crawford may now be identified as a 'pre-cum coated nut cluster.' Game on, indeed!

    -Bicoastal Eddie-

     
  • At 8:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I should have also confessed that the last 4 games that I played on PS2 were Fatal Frame II:The Crimson Butterfly, Alias, Jade Empire and Clock Tower 3 and I'm also currently canoodling through Nancy Drew: Last Train to Blue Moon Canyon on my PC. I just thought they were all cool games. I didn't realize I had an covert agenda.

    -Bicoastal Eddie-

     
  • At 9:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You are really transgendered?

     
  • At 10:23 AM, Anonymous Becky said…

    Well, I'd like to personally thank Chris Crawford for showing his true colours. People can be so funny when they "discover" evolutionary psychology/biology/anthropology/whateverology. Since it's obvious that Mr. Crawford has little respect for women or for people who disagree with him, I'm not going to bother with an extended rebuttal. I think Tim has done a great job, anyway. All I have to say is that if you bother to read the scholarly literature, you'll see a fascinating and lively debate about evolution and its effects on human behaviour and culture. There are few to no proven conclusions that have been drawn on the matter, but so far evolutionary theory has failed to properly predict human behaviour in any properly-controlled experiment I've heard of. Several experiments, in fact, have come to the opposite conculsion to the conculsions predicted by evolutionary theory. Take a look at Harry Harlow's monkey experiments for an example: http://www.boston.com/news/globe/ideas/articles/2004/03/21/monkey_love/. (Note: experiments like this are no longer allowed, for ethical reasons.)

    As a female gamer, the only thing the article did for me was cause me to research the games that Crawford is involved in designing, so I could avoid them, since they are obviously not designed for me. Not to worry, though: Crawford has not actually been involved in creating very many games! The only one I've ever played is SimEarth, which I thought was fun enough, but I was far more interested in the Ultima Series and various dungeon-crawler games at the time. :)

     
  • At 10:49 AM, Blogger HandOverFist said…

    Tim...I think I love you.

     
  • At 12:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I'm the one that posted Tim was transgendered, and I have to clarify some things and respond to nikki's comment:


    Tim, I don't care that your transgendered, it doesn't bother me at all, I'm gay. But I think it was worth mentioning because it illuminated the argument a bit. Chris did some nasty shit by saying Ms. Pacman was TG and not a real woman. Maybe he would have responded to that, but he didn't.


    To nikki, you're right. When I look back at what I wrote I wasn't really clear, so if I were you I would have interpreted it that way. I am NOT the person on other threads that calls Tim a faggot or a loser. I usually post with my name and a link to my blog, but on this subject I have to admit I fear a bit of backlash.

    This blog has been on CBS, MTV, Slashdot, MSNBC, BusinessWeek, Kotaku, Joystiq a bunch of times, it gets enough traffic where I would get CLOBBERED by folks who think I'm outing Tim or have something against TG people.

    I don't.

    I'm sorry Chris used it like he did, that wasn't my intention.

    Tim, I'm sorry most of all to you. I should have worded it better. You deserved an apology from Chris as well, but I guess he didn't see what he did wrong.

    I'm still a OGHC reader :)

     
  • At 2:08 PM, Blogger HandOverFist said…

    You can count on me
    To always be
    Beside you every day,
    To tell you it's okay,
    You were just born
    That way,
    And, as they say,
    It's in your DNA,
    YOU'RE GAY!
    -Avenue Q

    I'm the guy that cracks jokes at a funeral so if you find my light heartedness at what you may find a serious subject offensive, you can go "eat a bowl of dicks" as shades of steve would say. With fame comes the exposure of your personal life. Everyone has a secret and I think this one is COMPLETELY irrelevant to the topic at hand and shouldn't be discussed from this post on unless Tim actually wants to discuss his personal life and seeing how this isn't a blog about Tim but a blog about his gaming Grandma, I doubt Tim would want that. So anonymous, it was an understandable move but a bad one. I think this should be the last post to do with Tim's personal life and we should get back on track to the matter at hand, which is that fact that Chris Crawford is a shit eating dumbass and that's my clearly unbiased professional psychological analysis.

     
  • At 6:33 PM, Blogger CtrlAltDelete said…

    Okay, per the TG issue to answer your questions, yup- I'm TG. Not a big deal; going through the process; takes a while. But you're right, it doesn't matter when it comes to Chris Crawford and his whole non-response to the points made in our article. No apology necessary, anonymous. It's not important. It's all good.


    At this point I'm not really sure what Chris Crawford's intentions are. He claims he wants to teach us. He wants to teach us all how games should be designed, he wants to teach us all how to conduct arguments, he wants to deliver his lesson.

    But like all professors, all of his words may be questioned, analyzed, and interpreted differently.

    We've recieved QUITE a lot of e-mail about this article since we wrote our little "review" of it. Chris should not ask why it stirs so much "emotion" in my responses, he should ask himself why the article may be recieved poorly.

    According to Chris, the article was perfect. It was flawless. Nothing about my post, however, has any real merit. Of course he didn't say this, but in an opportunity to disclose to a whole slew of avid readers how the article could have been done better, or to clarify points, or expand on ideas, he refused.

    A good professor takes the time to have office hours, in a manner of speaking.


    Now, you folks have really helped to show this:

    "How am I pretentious?" You respond: "Here, this is how."

    "How is the article misleading or wrong?"
    "Here, this is how."

    You don't leave it our backs to do all the work :)


    I believe there is one word that scares Chris Crawford more than any other.

    Pariah.

     
  • At 7:54 PM, Blogger Thomas said…

    Tim, you rock. I wish my letter to the editors had been half as eloquent.

     
  • At 12:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    When I was reading Chris' posts earlier, I was struck by something. He is one of those people who everyone except for himself thinks he is a dick. Everybody knows one: a person who is so blind to their own faults that debating them is a waste of time. It would be funny if it wasn't so sad.

    His entire article can be summed up in a single sentence: women are different from men, and they want different games. The rest is a massive ego trip into rudimentary evolutionary psych. He didn't bring one fresh idea to the table on how a modern game could be designed differently. He also commits the cardinal sin of any scholar: he dismisses criticism of the theory without even attempting to address the criticism. This is an act of either supreme intellectual laziness or arrogance.

    He's basically a third-rate intellectual and a washed-up videogame maker clinging to the idea that he's hot shit. Even the thought that he's not terrifies him. He's so pretentious, I would mock him by saying he's the type of guy who would say "rationalism is the star I set my course by". But then he goes an actually says it. The man is a caricature of himself.

     
  • At 1:07 AM, Anonymous Blue said…

    I applaud you, Tim, for your patient and pointed correspondence with Chris, and showing him for the pompous and ignorant creep he is, who will not address any sort of comments or criticism because he believes it is 'beneath him.' It is humorous to me that for all his pomposity about not cursing ("not using the lingo," how lame is that?), you are exponentially more eloquent than him on even your very worst day.

    In short: thanks for talking to this asshat, and giving him even-tempered and thoughtful rebuttals, and exposing him for the small mind he is.

    (and is it evil of me to be kind of amused that he quoted my comment that he should be "fucked with a rusty spike"? I'm rather proud of that one. And as you well know, I'm particularly vicious towards those who seem to think that me having tits keeps me from throwing down properly in Halo)

    Be well, all the best, and GAME ON.

    -A!

     
  • At 9:35 AM, Blogger ivorynetsuke said…

    Once again, Blue beats me to it =)

    I know a few Chris Crawfords. They think they know everything, will not hesitate to let you know this, and can deftly sidestep any criticsm better than the hero in a wuxia pien. Nothing that you or anyone else can say will evoke a real, meaningful response. Unless you mention how much you adore their perfection and ask for permission to kiss their perfect puckered ass. But enough of that.

    Game on!

    Dana

     
  • At 11:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Gentle readers:

    After giving due consideration to the many thoughtful comments posted here, I have composed an apologia and posted it on my website at http://www.erasmatazz.com/library/Game%20Design/RabidReaders.html I trust that you will find it illuminating.

    Chris

     
  • At 12:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Dude Chris, I think it's time to move on.

    Love and kisses,
    natalie

     
  • At 6:52 PM, Anonymous m.R said…

    Oh my ...

    "...it's an exact replication of the trouble that Erasmus often got himself into with The Praise of Folly..."

    "...Another trait I share with Erasmus is my thin skin..."

    ... oh my, oh my, oh my.

    I think being called pretentious is seriously the least of Chris problems.

    Better not to comment further.

    Cheers,

    m.R

    PS: I still got headaches re-reading all that stuff :/

     
  • At 10:37 PM, Blogger Good Ol' WT said…

    Every day I return to this site to see what's going on, and every day I'm impressed by your intellect, humility and sense of humor. We all love Grandma, but you’re just as big a part of why I keep showing back up.

     
  • At 10:39 PM, Anonymous Blue said…

    HAH! He quoted me again! Only this time he made it sound all flowery. Although I didn't so much suggest mere insertion, I said FUCKING, and I meant it with all the true definitions of the word. I suggest as well that it might prove to be an illuminating experience for him.

    I chuckle as well that he imagines that since we do not speak as he does, thus we are ignorant. He has it right that knowing 10,000 words does not make you pretentious: however, seeking to use 10,000 words in a simple response IS. If there is anything my education and my path to a degree in English has taught me (and the patient editing of a very clever and dedicated professor), it's that indeed brevity of the soul of wit, and a 10,000 word vocabulary does not do you a birdshit's worth of good if you cannot use it properly. Shall we bow before his lyrical flourish and declare (as if in circa 16th century text) "O! A wyrd I doe not know! I bende mine knyee before thee sir, thou arte mye intellectuale supyerior!" Our wit is the scatalogical, the sexual, that which breaches intellectual debate into angered violation: we lack a flowery flourish of pretension (here presented in the satrical), but indeed, we know bullshit when we see it, no matter how ostentatious its packaging.

    Furthermore, we are not here to mince words with the likes of Mr. Crawford: it was Grandma and Tim we were speaking to, and although I am sure Mr. Crawford saw himself as bursting nobly into the room (in a virtual sense) to catch us shamefaced, our countenances shadowed with embarrassment... I think he found himself rather out of his depth in that we would say the same to his face. He attacks US, while it was never our intention to debate him - he ignores all the patient, well-crafted deconstruction Tim performed. Mr. Crawford said himself he attacks the 'ludicrous argument' - while Tim pointed out that in doing so, he did nothing... except ignore the well-thought-out one. Crawford came here imagining he was some kind of intellectual giant, that he would flex his muscles and awe us with some kind of academic power... only to reveal the smallness of his mind. We fear him not, and if he should be so bold to suggest this is because of issues such as age or education (as he has), we point out again that we are not 'snot-nosed kids' or those suffering from an excessive dose of youth. I am certain PhDs read this, doctors of all stripes: and those of ages even more advanced than Mr. Crawford (who, for all his jawing about the recklessness of youth, I would imagine would have to be quite venerable indeed!) And indeed: what might he say of Grandma's response? What, indeed, if he bothered to actually respond to any criticism, instead of presenting himself as some kind of martyred luminary?

    Bah upon him, this intellectual doormouse who imagines himself a titan, and those of his ilk.

    (...and just in case there are those who think that the tone of this writing means it isn't me, I say again to Mr. Crawford: fuck you + rusty spike. Dandy it up all you want. I love words, but they are not confetti: use them carelessly and they mean nothing. I, sir, meant everything I said.)

    GAME ON.

    -A!

     
  • At 10:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Chris Just because you think and Idea is'nt valid, doesn't make it invaild.

    as to your point of writing to comunicate and Idea. You should try to do a better job. I din't get anything out of that article except "women should play soup operas!"
    You base your ideas on something youknow nothing about. Are you a woman, i mean besides the vagina. You have no idea bout the female mind. You want to know the game my friends and I play? < all girls btw>

    Fable.
    Halo 1 + 2
    Grand turismo1-4
    Fainal Fantasy 4-x
    there you go those are our top 4. Do any of those look like soap operas or bodice rippers? No < I think not.


    Sicnevol@hotmail.com

     
  • At 11:13 PM, Blogger Good Ol' WT said…

    Also, I would like to point out that I would SO totally play a game based on All My Children. And in the event that you can't see the photo next to my name, I'm a man. Take THAT Chris!

     
  • At 4:04 AM, Anonymous nikki said…

    "I have composed an apologia and posted it on my website at http://www.erasmatazz.com/library/Game%20Design/RabidReaders.html"

    Awwwww . . . you guys, we should see this for what it truly is: a lonely little man's desperate attempt to get a little attention, and a little web traffic at his lonely little website. (Say that five times fast.) Otherwise, why would he keep returning, after he keeps saying he's "winding things down," etc.?

    He misses us! He just can't admit it! He can't find pretentious enough language to express his longing for our profane company!

    And he wishes he had the web traffic that Grandma does.

    I can just see him, sitting alone, under the harsh light of a bare bulb reflecting off his Formica desktop, thinking: "What is it? Why won't the other kids let me play any of their reindeer games? Why can't I be as cool as Grandma?!?"

    ::sniff, sniff::

    Somebody, pass me a Kleenex, please . . .

    (p.s. to the anonymous to whom I referred in my last post: If conclusions were hopscotch squares, I'd be jumping all over them, I guess. Sorry if I misunderstood the intention of your post!)

    Now I really need a Kleenex. Can we all join hands and sing Kumbaya?

    Hee! Later!

     
  • At 9:23 AM, Anonymous EvilBit said…

    Egad.

    Mr. Crawford's "apologia" is little more than an attempt to attack his critics, only now pulled out from a comment thread where someone may have the opportunity to reply.

    For those who don't want to slog through it, here's a summary:
    "I wrote a perfectly wonderful article and got crucified for it. Apparently all of my critics are idiots."

    Along with the usual needless ornamentation (e.g. "Their reactions were determined by testosterone and adrenaline, not serotonin and acetylcholine." -- Biochemist/Philosopher/Psychologist? What a Renaissance man!), he hypothesizes that the reason he was so bitterly contested must be either:
    1. He's too smart (i.e. his writing is literally too good for people),
    or
    2. He's too smart (i.e. his writing is too subtle for idiots like us to understand).

    I've never seen an apologia so heavily rely on the word "moron" in reference to its critics. How scholarly.

     
  • At 12:43 PM, Blogger Collin said…

    Wow.

    "All that wild chest-beating came to a screeching halt after I posted. It's so easy to trash another person when they're not present, but when the reality of their presence thrusts itself forward, it can be quite a shock, can it not?"

    Or, it's possible that the people who said what they did were done and hadn't anything new to add. Believe me, you suddenly being present to read what others have written about you would hardly discourage anyone interested in flaming you with or without reason. It's silly of you to imply that it would. How many message boards have you been on? Some people LIVE for that kind of conflict.

    In my original comment I avoided saying anything whatsoever about Chris as I don't know the man and I wasn't about to read five pages of his writing based off of the excerpts you provided. It just didn't interest me that much. However, having read all of his comments I have two observations.

    The first is that he does, at least to me, come across as exceptionally pretentious: "Vaya con dios, my friend." But hey, I do too at times. He seems happy in it at least.

    The other is that he seriously needs to develop a sense of humor. I'm not saying that he lacks any sense of humor, just that it appears to be rather anemic. I noticed that he took several things quite seriously that Tim obviously intended to be taken as funny. It's an important skill to be able to determine when someone is being sarcastic for the sake of humor. Perhaps Chris just isn't woman enough to manage it.

    Oh yeah, regarding the whole "Pac-Man bit" of Chris' article. I did go read it since it's been brought up a bit. First, I have never, in all my years of playing Pac-Man, seen his dick. Hell, even in the 3D version of Pac-Land and in the cartoon from the 80s he's awfully smooth in the crotch area. I feel that it's weak to imply that the only difference between the original Pac-Man and Ms Pac-Man was the addition of a bow. They also added eyeliner, lipstick and a beauty mark. Oh yeah, and they made the rest of the game better. Ultimately, the game IS the thing.

     
  • At 11:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    okay, I'm going to go and use a scientific method.

    Occam's razor is a logical principle attributed to the mediaeval philosopher William of Occam (or Ockham). The principle states that one should not make more assumptions than the minimum needed

    Lets apply this to the article.

    WAY TO MANY FREAKING ASSUMPTIONS.

    Now Chris, Or one who tries to write to the ganing Indusrty, this is very poorly writen. How many game developers have any background in Evolutionary Phyc?

    Not to many. I aslo am making the assumtion that you don't have a degree in it at all. THe main point is that we've evolved over millions of years and the Me Jane you Tarzan thing doesn;t work anymore. You want to know what girls want in a video game. The Exact same thing guys want. Good plots, interesting game play and interactive enviroments. I know this because I work at a video game store and watch what people buy. I also know this because I am a girl. This isn;t a very hard subject unless you make it one. I agree with the other anonymous's iin saying. JUST FUCKING ASK ME!

     
  • At 10:10 PM, Anonymous RemSaverem said…

    Just for random entertainment (Don't feel like spending the time to make the same points that everyone else has made already, in a more coherent fashion) I'll add in my $0.02.
    I thought the Chris Crawford article had some points in it (when taken in a certain context with a grain of salt), but mostly it didn't speak to me as a female gamer. When I read it, I pictured my mom, and she doesnt touch the "devil-machines." (just kidding, she doesn't really call them that, but she doesn't understand or particularly like them.) She does, however, read Danielle Steele novels (bodice-rippers), and has kept up on the ABC soap operas (all 3/4) since her high school years or so. Night and day, she and I.
    The Chris Crawford article as a whole, made me feel pretty much the same way the rest of the female gamers do/did - I'm not a "real woman". I may have these "breast" thingies, and this "vagina" thing, but it's all a farce, I'm really a "man". What a joke. Just because I prefer my computers and video games to bodice-rippers and soap-operas and makeup. Join the fuckin club, Chris. You're not the first person to insinuate there's something wrong with me because I don't fall neatly into prepackaged gender roles.
    I have another confession to make. I...I...hate the color pink. Yeah. There's no hope for me. I can never be a "real woman", so me and Pinocchio (who always wanted to be a "real boy") will sit back and lament how close we could have been to being "real."
    Yeah, I'm bein a bit sarcastic. It happens.

    And for a bonus $0.02, I'll add in a bit about my favorite games (no particular order).
    GTA 3
    GTA Vice City
    The Sims
    Final Fantasy Series
    Earthbound
    Shivers
    Phantasmagoria
    Indigo Prophecy

    Only two (Sims and Shivers) of those don't really include violence. For the record I dislike first person shooters (there may be hope for me to be "real" yet) but I like GTA. (oh nope, nevermind. no hope.) I'm a pacifist who does not like the idea of violence. I won't hit anyone. I don't like seeing people hurt. But at the same time, I watch violent films on occasion, and drive over people in GTA. I indulge fantasy violence, because I feel that it can be therapeutic in a way, allowing frustrations to be vented, without harm to real people. (Digital representations of people that don't really exist have rights too!!! kidding)
    And I sometimes fence my Sims in on the front lawn and watch them die. (not intently, that's just wierd)
    Mostly I play a game for the story. Give me an incredible, engaging story, something that keeps me thinking about it after I put the controller down, something that makes me want to pick the controller back up so I can find out what happens next, and I'm a happy camper.
    I also like simulations because I like tinkering with things to see how it works, see what I can do, see what I can get away with. Maybe a bit of a god complex in there, but who doesn't have a bit of a god complex? Who doesn't want to control something every now and then? Does that make me less of a woman? It seems so, by someones rules.
    I'll just cut it off there. Hope I amused someone. And no, it wasnt meant to be coherent.

     
  • At 5:44 AM, Blogger M. W. McMahon said…

    Chris' reply reminds me a bit of a line from Ender's Game. Something about how telling other people how smart you are only "proves the inaccuracy of the statement", or some such. Damn, I'm going to need to read that book again just so I can find it.

    Regardless, a smart person doesn't need to tell the world he is smart -- the insight of his observations speak for themselves. An articulate writer doesn't need to tell the world her prose is clear -- her writing stands as its own advocate. A sound argument isn't championed by insulting the people who criticize it -- rather its champion answers criticisms with relevant clarifications.

    The argument was made, this is what women want, Chris has said. Many have disagreed with his hypothesis, his methodology, and his conclusion. He responded by calling his critics idiots, fastening onto their "caricatures" while ignoring the flaws these caricatures were meant to illustrate. In the process, the elephant has been quietly sitting in the living room: how is evolutionary psychology going to help game developers make better games that appeal to women?

     
  • At 5:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I read Chris's article. As a female gamer, I honestly was not offended. I'm as liberal as anyone else but I think he makes a reasonable assertion. Women love social conflict and we are very good at wending the will of others to our own. I love to play games that involve guilds, or teams, for instance. I'm usually the subleader, and choose characters that play a strong support role: the healer, or the flag minder (all your eggs are in my basket baby. :)) Sometimes I fancy myself the mother of the group, because I take care of everyone (BTW, I absolutely hate kids -- haha!) And of course, the benefit of playing these kinds of roles means I'm very valuable in a group. Many people are too selfish to be these characters because you end up sacrificing a lot for your teammates. But in return, no one wants to be on your shit-list, and you're given a lot of control in the decision making process. And I like guild politics, to a degree. I usually am the mediator in conflicts and am good at keeping people calm(er). So yeah, I think Chris was pretty spot on when he described the kind of roles I like to play. I mean, I wouldn't play "Days of Our Lives: the video game," but in a MMORPG or MMOG there are PLENTY of little soap opera scenarios happening daily, all within guilds supposedly made up of guys who don't go for that kind of thing ;). Trust me though, boys can be the BIGGEST girls sometimes. :D

     
  • At 5:45 PM, Anonymous nikki said…

    I think the saddest part of the preceding post is the fact that when anonymous says,

    "Trust me though, boys can be the BIGGEST girls sometimes,"

    we're to assume (contextually) that the word "girl" in itself is an insult.

    That may not have been anon.'s intention, but it's just an example how gender stereotypes constantly insinuate themselves into our lives, including our gaming lives.

    ::sigh::

     
  • At 9:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I don't think I've seen anything as pathetic as this flamewar.
    Shame on this blog's owner as he/she did not show the tenth of the restraint a professionnal did in front of him.

    Oh wait, you said "fuck" and he didn't, so that means you're right.

     
  • At 7:57 AM, Anonymous Trotskasaurus said…

    May I bet ten dollars on the Anonymous poster of 9:00 AM turning out to be a fiendish doppelganger of the calm, restrained and modest signor Crawford?

     
  • At 3:42 PM, Anonymous Twisti said…

    To be honest, I got tired quickly of reading this 'flame war'. Tim simply doesn't seem to get Chris' point, although I can not see why.

    I stopped reading at the point where Tim explained that he didn't understand the article, did I miss out on anything good ?

     
  • At 3:49 PM, Blogger CtrlAltDelete said…

    twisti-

    What was Chris' point? That because games are not crafted to meet the innate social skills of the female by emulating soap operas, there aren't as many female gamers?

    Was that his point?

    Tell me if I got that wrong; we can talk about it. Otherwise.... say what now?

     
  • At 3:55 PM, Anonymous Twist said…

    You mix up multiple things there. His point was that there are less female gamers because games are tinkered toward males. I would frankly be surprised if you would disagree with that.

    The part about the innate social skill would be part of his explanation of how to design a game aimed at the female crowd.

     
  • At 3:58 PM, Anonymous Twisti said…

    When I say mix up I mean mix together.

     
  • At 6:03 PM, Blogger CtrlAltDelete said…

    twisti-

    That's fair enough. No, I understand what he's saying. You are right, games are tinkered towards the male crowd. That which with I disagree with Chris lies in three things- the suggestion that because of years of required manipulation to produce offspring, women are thus inherintly more perceptive to social and emotional stimuli. If women ARE indeed more socially capable them men, it is a matter of culture, not genetics. Second, Chris wrote a bad article. If he is to use the language of psychology and anthropology he should do so with taste, by providing evidence to his assertions, something all us college folks are punished severely for good reason if we forget. He expected a shoddy article to be taken seriously. Third, he never countered any of my points, or the points of our readers. If the games industry wishes to discover "what women want," they should ask some women, have women design games; find out which women buy games, and what they think of them- rather than taking Chris' cursory explanation of evo psych as a fundamental principal to be taken seriously whenever approaching the issue of women and games.

    I spoke to Chris the way I did not to be cruel, but to show home what sort of response is illicited by such an article. If he were to write a scholarly paper, with facts and references, or at least evidence, then I think we would have replied much differently.

    Needless to say, he never came back!

    Twisti, I am not against asking for opposing viewpoints and taking them seriously, no matter how much I disagree. If you want to discuss the issues of women and gaming with me, that's cool- we can do that :) But if Chris Crawford thinks that his article was to be taken seriously and debated with points and counterpoints, he had to first have a POINT. I think I understood what he was TRYING to say, but at such a complex issue, it's impossible to use his article as material for any citations.

    That's all! :)

     
  • At 8:13 PM, Anonymous Twisti said…

    I will try to answer your issues, even though you do not appear to me as the kind of person that would be open to accept that they are wrong. I might be mistaken on that one though, so here goes.

    About your three things:

    The first thing you said was that you don't believe the advantage woman have when it comes to social skills is a physical one, and argue that it is a cultural one. I don't know how else to put this, but you are wrong. That common belief has been disproven almost twenty years ago. The brain of a woman acts PHYSICALLY DIFFERENT than that of a man when it comes to talking, to watching a persons face for expression, etc. Culture can't do that (to an individual). Also, female babies can recognize faces and words weeks earlier than a male baby. There is no way culture could affect them that early.

    Second, you complain about his lack of evidence. To this I will say that you might have a point, if it was a dissertation or a scientific article. It was not. Furthermore, his 'theories' don't need further proof or evidence, as they have been accepted by the scientific community years ago. He's not stating anything new, he merely applies decade old knowledge to computer games, and I see little flaw in the way he does.

    Third, you say that to find out what women want, all he would have to do is ask them, or have them design games. I can't believe you are naieve enough to actually write that. The 'enjoyment' of things are seldomly based on the outspoken tastes and opinion, rather than on the subconscious. Things like big boobs, or long, phallic shaped guns (quake1 rocketlauncher anyone ?) would certainly not be named in a quiz by (many) male players, yet they are a dominant factor in designing games that men like. Just like you couldn't ask a random man and based on his opinion design a game perfect for males, you can't jst ask a woman and expect her opinion will turn into a perfect game for women.

    I don't have numbers, but I'm pretty certain that I, a man, could design a better game for women than the majority of women I know. Not because of my gender, but because I have a clue about what people actually like (contrary to what they claim they like). I could also design a better game than most MEN I know. Being of a specific gender doesn't mean you automaticly know whats right for your gender.

    I do agree with your remark about studies about which kind of women buy games and how they like them.

    Try not to take your grandma as a perfect example for women that play computer games. She is, in any sense of the word, a true exception to the norm.

     
  • At 9:26 PM, Blogger CtrlAltDelete said…

    Oh boy.

    "you do not appear to me as the kind of person that would be open to accept that they are wrong"

    So how should I answer? This makes it very difficult for me to counter any of your points, in that if I do so, it is because I cannot "accept" that I am wrong, rather than because I believe the contrary. I guess it depends on how you look at it.

    "I don't know how else to put this, but you are wrong. That common belief has been disproven almost twenty years ago."

    Has it? What books, journals, articles, papers, documents give a solid case that female behavior is only guided by physical makeup? I believe that culture and the way one is raised can change many things about one's personality.

    "The brain of a woman acts PHYSICALLY DIFFERENT than that of a man when it comes to talking, to watching a persons face for expression, etc. Culture can't do that (to an individual). Also, female babies can recognize faces and words weeks earlier than a male baby. There is no way culture could affect them that early."

    Some of this is very true. The size and shape of a woman's brain is different from a male's; hormonal differences alters emotion, etc., and so women are very different from men in many aspects, right? You mention the recognition of faces at earlier stages- I don't remember if this is true, I'll have to go back through my Developmental textbooks to be sure, but you're probably right. But then you say that there is no way culture can affect any of this.

    Is it not possible for a matriarchal society to raise girls into more aggressive women? Is it not possible for a society to teach boys that it is the man's place at home while the wife goes out to earn the money at work? Can a woman never be as good at shooting as a man because their brains were not wired correctly? What of "lady-like" behavior? What of the popularity of soap operas arising because of the stigma of being a working woman; for why else is daytime television geared towards the fairer sex? What of fashion? What of the valley-girl behavioral trend? What of religion? What of color association for gender? What of magazines perpetuating the "female image?" Etc.,...

    "The 'enjoyment' of things are seldomly based on the outspoken tastes and opinion, rather than on the subconscious."

    I agree; I don't think I've ever told the truth to a focus group myself. To find out what women would like different in games, one would have to ask them though, yes? And beyond that, they would have to observe their playing habits and purchasing habits to determine what is "enjoyed." Beyond THAT- a woman game designer probably wouldn't think outright "I will put this in the game, because I am a woman and I, representative of all women, would enjoy such a feature." If it is subconscious that you require, would it not be prudent to employ someone with such a subconscious to design the games, so all of their "hidden female elements" will be produced within the game?

    "To this I will say that you might have a point, if it was a dissertation or a scientific article. It was not."

    No, but it was an article. In a magazine. Isn't that journalism? Shouldn't a journalist provided sources, evidence, authorities, experts, SOMETHING to verify what is written other than a simple "this is as it is?"

    "Furthermore, his 'theories' don't need further proof or evidence, as they have been accepted by the scientific community years ago."

    This isn't entirely true. Evo Psych is still a hotly contested issue. It provides an excellent exercise for psych students in the teaching of the nature vs nurture "debate," because both sides are equally important. To say everything is innate is probably incorrect. To say everything is learned is also probably incorrect. It is most likey both!

    "he merely applies decade old knowledge to computer games, and I see little flaw in the way he does."

    One thing I have an issue with is the lack of application toward game design. He mentions very briefly his theories as to the success of FPS games in the male demographic, and then finishes the article with a non-idea about a soap-opera game. To me, at least, this is a big flaw. He could have elaborated, offered more examples, brought counterarguments and opposed them (what of RPG games? what of puzzle games? What of strategy games? Where do these fit in his dichotomy of FPS=boy, SoapOpera=girl?)

    "long, phallic shaped guns (quake1 rocketlauncher anyone ?) would certainly not be named in a quiz by (many) male players, yet they are a dominant factor in designing games that men like."

    I'm not sure I agree, but I'll have to ask all the game developers I know whether or not they choose to include penises in their game to better adjust to male player's needs. Now if you are suggesting that one reference the works of Freud and apply them to game design, I think you would be surprised then to find that Dr. Freud's theories are outwardly contradicted by most psychologists and psychologists educated after the 70's.

    "I'm pretty certain that I, a man, could design a better game for women than the majority of women I know. Not because of my gender, but because I have a clue about what people actually like (contrary to what they claim they like). I could also design a better game than most MEN I know. Being of a specific gender doesn't mean you automaticly know whats right for your gender."

    I agree with that last part, it's true, but perhaps a woman would have a BETTER understanding than a man about what women would like; or maybe you're right. Perhaps not at all; maybe it's whoever has done the best research; I simply do not think Chris Crawford has completed the necessary research to form a valid theory. As to the first part of your statement, I don't understand the relevancy of stating you could design games for women better than the women you know. How many women do you know? Is the sample large enough to induce a proper understanding of what the average woman wants? Other than that, I'm not sure what sort of game designer you are until I've played your game, or looked at its successes in the marketplace. I have no idea if you're a great game designer. You very well may be.

    "Try not to take your grandma as a perfect example for women that play computer games. She is, in any sense of the word, a true exception to the norm."

    There are a lot more elderly gamers than you think out there if that's what you mean, but I assume you're not mentioning that; You're saying that Granmda's enjoyment of FPS, RPG, Platform, Puzzle, etc., is abnormal. It isn't just Grandma. If I based all of my beliefs on the anecdotal evidence of one woman, it wouldn't be a sound argument in any case. My beliefs are based on the numerous gaming communities of women, and gaming groups of mixed genders that include women, and the opinions that I've read within those communities.

    That being said, it should be fairly obvious that this too is not enough to understand what women would like in games, so all of my personal beliefs are flawed. I don't know what women want in games, I don't know what women do not want in their games- but I do know that Chris Crawford's method of answering those questions is equally flawed.


    To get back to something you said earlier, about not reading after I said I didn't understand the article- well let me clarify: I understand more about the article and its flaws than I do about women and gaming. I know a fair deal about Evo Psych and I know enough about marketing trends to disagree with Chris Crawford. That statement too, can probably be disputed, if you would like to travel down the road that Chris did in the "flame war" (probably an accurate description): He would dispute statement after statement without actually addressing the issues I tried to bring up in the post about The Escapist article, and so- nothing was accomplished, either way.


    So... yeah. That doesn't mean I know I'm right; it's just what I happen to think... right now. I could be proven wrong one day! It's all about the fun of the discovery, don't you think?

     
  • At 1:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This is the Anon poster from 5:02 PM. I'm really surprised at how sensitive Nikki was to my post, to this whole thread really. I think you're all over reacting. When I said, "Boys can be the BIGGEST girls," I meant, yes, boys can be as petty as girls over the same things in the same social situations. Why do you find that offensive? I'm levelling the playing field here. Equating boys with girls. I can also go in reverse and say, "Girls can be the BIGGEST dick-waving pricks sometimes." But it's not true all the time, or even most of the time! Hence the "sometimes." Typically, the males I know distance themselves from any kind of social drama, and the females don't feel the need to dick-wave about every god damned little thing they do (equiptment/stats/kills/deaths...it never ends with you people does it?) Yes, its true. Both sexes have traits, good and bad, that are typical of them. Whether that's due to cultural factors or just plain evolution, I don't know. I don't really care. I'm happy playing for the side with boobs, but I can still admit that they aren't the best things in the world for long distance running. So everybody take a deep breath, and stop taking everything so seriously.

     
  • At 10:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    we're to assume (contextually) that the word "girl" in itself is an insult.
    --------------------------------

    i didnt take it that way at all. she was saying how many boys can get involved in the social structures/politics, even tho you wouldnt expect that behaviour from the stereotypical male.

    and that she and they were often
    surprisingly ALIKE, in that regard.
    and i dont think she was at all putting herself down or feeling bad about herself as a girl.

    i dont think she was suggesting that any aspect of feminity is in any way bad.

     
  • At 10:52 AM, Anonymous Chattanoo said…

    i thought maybe i could cast a different colored light on the subject. the thread i originally posted this to seemed to die, so i am copying it here.

    i don't think anyone has probably brought up this very simple factor for why there are fewer female gamers (of the non-"casual" variety).

    first let me clarify that i do not think it is the ONLY reason, as i recognize men and women are just plain different, and that does count for alot of the gap.
    but i think this reason is a HUGE additional factor.

    and its an ugly truth about our basest most primitive tendencies that influence us daily. even tho we are largely civilized and generally SOMEWHAT considerate of others.

    why is it usually a MAN controlling the remote control in mixed company who are all watching the same tv?

    why is it usually a man's voice heard the loudest and most often in a gathering of mixed company?

    why is it that men often get better jobs, better pay and more positions of power?

    men and women are alot more similar when it comes to tv and music, because just one source of that media can provide it equally to everyone in the vicinity.

    videogames require that generally only 1 person can have a controller and control the experience. and due to the interactive nature, games aren't as satisfying to watch as tv/movies, because tv & movies were DESIGNED for passive watching and games weren't. so non-players usually wander off to participate in something else rather than just watch and wait for their turn.

    sometimes you can have 2 to 4 players, but even then there is almost always people in the vicinity (or who WOULD be in the vicinity if they could actually PLAY) who would like to play but who have to exert themselves and struggle for the privilege.


    one huge and very simple reason there is such disparity between men & women is that men (often strictly on a subconscious level that they are not aware of) tend to use their physical size, strength & loud voice to dominate situations and seize control. leaving the more weak or meek males, & also the MAJORITY of potential female gamers to go find something else to do.
    rather than to get into any conflict over the privilege to be the/a player/controller.

    combined with the other obvious shortcomings of games to capture women's interest this can increase the male/female gap greatly (when compared to passive media).

    females just don't CARE to struggle for the controls in the first place since (even when they are competitive and socially dominant) they just aren't as inspired to play as the males to BEGIN with.

    i am male in case it matters.
    and i apologize for our caveman nature. 8)

    it is sad, but most of us would be alot nicer if we were aware of the subconscious thoughts and body/facial language that we SUBCONSCIOUSLY communicate to others in order to try to control situations to our advantage.

    yes there are plenty who are aware they are like that and don't care. but hopefully alot more than half of us just do it out of lack-of-self-awareness & lack-of-self-monitoring rather than being purposefully barbaric & mean-spirited.

    i long for the time when most games have multiplayer options, and the controllers/computers are plentiful enough that EVERY SINGLE PERSON has their own controls.
    so that potential conflicts or avoidance of conflicts would rarely be an issue.

     
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