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.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

O, Chris Crawford... We Shake Our Heads At Thee

Chris Crawford, the neo-scientology Tom Cruise of gaming, has published a piece in The Escapist about women and gaming. I hate the article; Grandma thinks its rubbish.

First, I like The Escapist. It has become a weekly ritual for us since its inception. Reading this article has not changed my opinion of the online magazine. Second, much of the information given in the article is correct, I don't dispute the major premises of Evolutionary Psychology theory.

I very much dispute with his attempted use of such theory.

Lets go through this thing:
"I have long since given up participating in discussions on women in gaming. The games industry is so out of touch, such discussions are a waste of perfectly good electrons."
Well thanks a million fot that one, Chris. Chris Crawford Contention #1: The Games Industry doesn't know anything about women. Chris Crawford does. Chris Crawford is The Ladies Man.
"I'm going to offer a fresh approach to the problem, coming at it from a completely different angle: evolutionary psychology. This field is about 20 years old, and much exciting progress has been made in the years since it was established."

Really?! You don't say! 20 years old? Hot damn! Educate us, Chris! Tell us all about it!!
"Unfortunately, the field is often attacked by dogmatic fools who think evolutionary psychology amounts to some kind of genetic determinism."

Chris Crawford Contention #2: Those who question evolutionary psychology findings are fucking morons. Because Chris Crawford is using evolutionary psychology in his "arguments," if you disagree with those positions, you are a fucking moron.
"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."

Well thanks for all your citations there, Chris. Thanks for a link to articles arguing both sides or at least a summary of what the hell you're talking about for all us un-eju-macated children out here in computer land. Are you speaking of the claim that simians born in captivity with no experience with snakes do not fear them until they observe the behaviors of a simian in the wild who shows a fearful reaction upon the display of a snake? Is that what you're talking about? So, that study is complete bullshit, right? Behaviors learned by observation do not exist, yes? Everything is innate? Okay. Thank you. I must have missed that part in Psych 101 where they talk about that study. Or again in Psychology of Learning and Memory. Or that other time they mentioned it in Behavioral Psychology. Or in Child Psychology. Or in Evolutionary Psychology. Dude, I must have slept a LOT!
"The biggest difference was men were hunters and women were gatherers. This gender specialization did not arise because of some male conspiracy to dominate women or some other nastiness. It was the natural, inevitable result of a basic physical difference between men and women: Women have breasts and men don't."

Thank you Chris. Thank you for pointing this out to us. There were no matriarchal societies in the past. Men dominated all of them. Because of survival. You have my attention...
"Another problem is women can't run as well as men. This has nothing to do with cultural upbringing and everything to do with the female pelvis. The male pelvis is well-structured for the efficient operation of the leg muscles. But the female pelvis has been subject to a more powerful selection effect: death in childbirth."

...okay. So that's why in Dance Dance Revolution, I kick my sister's ass. It all makes sense now! You were saying something about video games?
"At this point, there's always some twit who points out that there are some women who can run faster than some men. Indeed so, but noting an exception to a generalization does not disprove the generalization; it establishes only that the generalization is not an absolute law."

Chris Crawford Contention #3: Timothy St. Hilaire is a twit.
"The men would set out on long hunts. For most of human history, hunting was not carried out with bows and arrows or even spears; it was done with rocks. The hunter would creep up on his prey and hurl a rock at it."

Am I supposed to be taking notes? Will the T.A. look at me funny if I listen to my iPod during the PowerPoint part? What does this have to do with Sonic the Hedgehog's failure to capture the 11-15 year old girl market? Is there a PowerPoint part?

Holy Shit, there is.
"Let us now consider the specializations required of the hunter to succeed in his efforts. Three talents are needed:

1. The ability to throw rocks powerfully and with accuracy.
2. The ability to pursue the prey over long distances.
3. The wit to figure out where the prey went."


Okay, it should be noted that we are now on page 3 of Chris Crawford's grand thesis on women and video games. Let's get to the video game part now:
"If we were to whisk a young hunter-gatherer male out of the remote past into the present, dress him up in whatever the current uniform of youth happens to be and plunk him down in front of a videogame console, what kind of entertainment would he prefer? Something that he is optimized for, of course."

Looks like the dethawed time traveling primitive man market finally has someone who speaks for them.
"So, this evolutionary psychology stuff isn't total balderdash. It does a decent job of predicting the kind of play that young males would prefer. Our next problem is to figure out what kind of play females would prefer. To do this, we must identify the specializations forced upon ancestral women."

Oh dear God. You're not saying...
"Hunter-gatherer women did not succeed primarily because of their gathering skills. One of their primary tasks was raising children because, as I wrote earlier, they're the ones with the breast milk."

...Jesus. Stop now... please don't-
"If she couldn't make babies, why did she continue to live, consuming valuable resources that could be devoted to her descendants? Would this not comprise a selection effect against living beyond menopause? One answer, it turns out, was that older women play a vitally important part in the upbringing of children: They're the grannies. Mom could go off gathering nuts, roots and berries while granny took care of the kids. Granny might not be strong, but she could mind the kids adequately."

What are you saying about Ms. Pacman, Chris?
"A daycare center operated by grannies with one or two lactating mothers on hand could take care of the kids and leave all the healthy young mothers free to gather food."

I don't want to play Tomb Raider anymore. Chris Crawford, you ruin everything. EVERYTHING!
"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."

...well, yeah. Yeah, that's true. But Galaga! What about Galaga??
"Modern-day descendants of these women are highly skilled in sensing the subtle moods of others, calculating their motivations, and determining the best means of turning this understanding to their own advantage. The overall collection of skills is called "social reasoning," and that's what women excel in."

Um...
"At this point, I need to cover my butt against the picky-picky natterers who will point out that there are some men who are better at social reasoning than some women."

I don't even think he's trying anymore. We're on page 5, by the by.
"We should therefore expect that modern women might well want to exploit this talent in their entertainment. And in fact that turns out to be the case. The classic female mass entertainments are the soap opera and the bodice-ripper. In each of these, women face intense and intricate social conflicts requiring elevated social reasoning."

Okay, there is nothing really funny happening in this paragraph. Something has to be said. Chris, DO NOT blame the popularity of Soap Operas on the backs of Evolutionary Psychologists. The invention of the culture of the soap opera was not engineered with the benefits of the social perception skills women have obtained from thousands of years of manipulation in mind.
"All this leads to a suggestion for what might work for women in games: social reasoning. The ideal game for women, according to this simplified model, would be some sort of interactive soap opera or bodice ripper, presenting the player with complex social problems as she seeks the ideal mate."

...say what now?
"I close by reminding the reader that this is a greatly simplified representation of a complex subject. Human behavior is not reducible to linear equations, and we will never build a correct working model of human mental life."

This begins a list of caveats Chris Crawford uses to negate all of his arguments.
"I have offered a simplistic representation of some concepts from evolutionary psychology that can provide useful insight into the problems that game designers face in creating games for women. Insight, not solutions. Ideas, not answers."

So... that's it then. He gives us a lengthy primer on evolutionary psychology that only shows he doesn't understand the fundamental purpose of the theory, concludes with a short "non-idea" of a soap opera game, and calls the article "Women In Games." I'm sorry, Chris, but your article would not past the muster of the first draft of a short paper in a freshman psychology course.

Why the hostility, you ask? "Tim, why are you being so negative and childish towards Chris Crawford? Why do you hate baby Jesus?" I'll answer the first part last. I don't hate the baby Jesus. I toned the post in this way to illustrate a point. The sort of pretentious, know it all essays that Chris Crawford presents to game developers that scream "look how smart I am!" ad nauseum, I believe, are not created as a catalyst to discussion. I won't psychoanalyze Chris more than necessary, so I won't go into my theories as to "reasons."


Now for the proper response.

Chris, evolutionary psychology provides us with a guide, not a treatise. A developmental psychologist looks at a girl playing Mario Kart quite differently than an evolutionary psychologist than a behavioral psychologist than a cognitive psychologist and so on. All of them, however, will have an understanding of the importance of cooperative thought; to take each of their theories as to the purpose or foundation of a behavior into consideration. When you give us a simplistic approach to the complexities of the preferential action differences on gender lines, then finish your piece leaving the readers without the proper context to materialize any of your arguments into rational and logical manifestations within game development, does it accomplish your presumed goal of stimulating better gender representations in gaming?

Also, it is dangerous to use evolutionary psychology theories to justify designing a game to meet the presumed needs of the "universal female." Evolutionary psychologists try to explain aggressive behaviors, for instance, not condone them. We have come a long way from our ancestors in terms of observing our actions to better ourselves. If one were to design a game based on the principals of evolutionary psychology as a guide, it would be a game that would ignore the achievements of culture; it would ignore anthropology's conclusions of the causes and continuance of matriarchal societies and female empowerment; it would ignore the perpetuation of the blending of gender roles and behaviors.

In short, it would suck.

Metroid Prime and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic were not made with the primal psychological requirements of young men in mind, they were made to have good gameplay and excellent stories. What would games be like if they were made to feed on base desires? For men they would be Leisure Suit Larry and Playboy Mansion, right? Or, according to your essay, they would be games like Halo and SplinterCell, yes? Should one make games with the guarantee of high sales volume in the target demographic because of primal necessities unrecognized by the consumer? Do you imagine that a boy of 16 goes to GameStop or EB to pick up Gun or God of War because they think to themselves "man, I really want to dominate something today, or maybe just kill something to establish my authority and skill to the potential sex givers, the females, so that I may do my part to keep my species alive?" Perhaps all of this happens under the radar of their cognition, and they only imagine they are buying the games to be entertained. I think you also make males out to be much more simple beings than they are.

How many RPGs were sold last year? How many strategy games were sold in the last decade? Do these fit your theories of what makes a game sell, throwing rocks or shooting guns accurately? More importantly, how many women gamers are out there, and what do they play? Is the number so incredibly marginal that we must stand back and look at the mass failure of the industry to meet that elusive creature, the girl?

Perhaps the problems do not lie in the structural purpose of a game, perhaps they lie in the representation of female characters within the game and in advertisements. You begin to address this issue, but then proceed to let everyone know that you, Chris Crawford, know what women want, and demand that the industry give it to them.

There is so much more to be said about the inability of your article to achieve, well anything at all, but I'll leave the final word to Grandma:

"Gee, I wonder what Chris Crawford's vagina looks like. I don't think he quite got it."


If Chris Crawford has any interest of following up on this, I suggest he consult the following books before analyzing the issue any further:

Psychology [Sixth Ed.] Myers
Mass Media / Mass Culture [Fifth Ed.] Wilson
Sensation and Perception [Sixth Ed.] Goldstein
Learning and Memory: Basic Principles, Processes, and Procedures [Second Ed.] Terry

All are available from your local freshman psychology student at a university near you.

54 Comments:

  • At 7:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    What a major blow hard. It’s guys like him that get the gaming industry chasing their tails, trying to think of “games females will buy.” (Not like they spend much time on that, but anyway…)

    I’m female, have two teenaged daughters, and have lots of female friends in their 30’s and we all play all kinds of games. I take that back – none of us would think of touching the “Mary Kate and Ashley” or “Barbie” games foisted upon us. Bleh.

    Favorite games of all time? Super Mario/SNES, Mr. Driller/Dreamcast, Eternal Darkness/Gamecube, Baulder’s Gate 2/Playstation, River City Ransom/GBA, and Legend of Zelda – Windwaker. I kick my old man’s ass in “DOA 3.” None of these are “girl games.”

    Thank god for your Grandma and your blog. Maybe some of these old timey game guys will read it and get a clue.

    Take care,
    Donner

     
  • At 7:19 PM, Blogger ivorynetsuke said…

    Oh. my. god.

    All I can see in my head is a video game where you guide a pregnant, hormonal female around (heh, ever been around one of THOSE?), who must gather fruits, nuts, and breast milk in carefully marked cups. If I collect enough of this stuff, then I get my choice of a troll who then gets me pregnant AGAIN ... rinse and repeat. Extra features: collect missing pages to complete The Bodice Ripper, and immerse yourself in soap operas to regenerate health. Lactating Mother - The Game.

    I want to puke. Give me some plate mail, a zweihander, and a field full of baddies to hack my bloody way through. That's MY kind of feminine gaming!

    Dana

     
  • At 8:35 PM, Anonymous Blue said…

    I can't even SAY how full of shit this guy is - Tim and Grandma did it too well. The guy is a hack and a moron, and could stand to sit down and brush up on ANY psychology at all. Is it any goddammed wonder that a woman will hesitate to buy a game that has a chick on the box with tits big enough to have their own moon and a waist half the size of her head? The causes and problems with getting women into gaming and getting the games industry at large to wake the fuck up and start changing some shit are SO ENTIRELY OBVIOUS that is just makes me seethe to have Chris fucking Crawford come out and be all "wait, you guys, I got it: EVOLUTIONARY PSYCHOLOGY!"

    Go get fucked with a rusty spike, Mr. Crawford, and after you crawl away with a bleeding anus and get that tetanus shot you'll be needing, how about reading Sheri Graner Ray's Gender Inclusive Game Design? She'll teach you a goddammed thing or two.

    Grrrrrr... off to play some more Ratchet & Clank to cool down. Tim, Grandma, I love you guys. The Escapist better print your response, or there'll be hell to pay. Or something. ::hug::

    Take care, be well, and men and women, girls and boys, and people of all ages and genders and socioeconomic backgrounds and religions and sexual preferences and so on - GAME ON!

    -A!

     
  • At 9:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It would be interesting to see one of those personality quizzes based on which video games you prefer.

     
  • At 11:25 PM, Blogger Textual Harassment said…

    Tim, you should condense that rant into a concise letter and send it into the Escapist. Bet they'd print it.

    I'm also a little wary of evolutionary psychology. It seems to be an attempt to prove what we already "know" about gender and human behavior. But it does seem to explain those girls I know who hate shooters but love the Sims. Male and female brains are built differently, but that doesn't mean you can't learn to enjoy an activity at which you are not naturally adept. Frankly, you girls who are already gamers aren't the girls the industry wants to attract.

    There's a lot of theory and criticism here, but little in the way of useful suggestions. But that's Chris Crawford for you. If he ever gets his Erasmatron working, maybe that will be the silver bullet that brings women into gaming?

    Still, I liked his article better than Bonnie Ruberg's. I hate that kind of feminism-to-the-point-of-blatant-sexism crap. What's the difference between a male avatar and a female monster or avatar? There is none.

     
  • At 12:25 AM, Anonymous Blue said…

    I disagree with Text about the Ruberg article. I think she's way off on several things - such as certain points about female monsters - and I dislike the tone with which the article is written (it seems too much in line with an academic text on gender - which is okay in an academic setting, where by and large the people reading already staunchly agree or disagree with it - but not in line with an informative article for a site. I have this problem with the other article as well: they're academic "This IS how it is!" papers, not "let's examine this" articles). BUT. I think she does a good job initially outlining the tree categories of female characters, and she does have a point that there is yet to be a survival horror game where a female protagonist has to shepherd around a wimpy male NPC. Her points about the females as protagonists go a little astray - they're too much trying to find a cause, and not pointing out the figure and dress of some of them as a larger "well, this is part of how the majority of the game industry features females in its games, and this is how survival horror compares to the norm" - and she assumes too much about the motives of a male audience instead of the developer's intentions.

    Most saliently, I think that she's off in her evaluation of female monsters. YES, there are far more male enemies than females, and she has a point about "well, how serious do we want to be about presenting more female-type characters for players to kill?" - there is an issue here, and she does touch on it. And I do agree that across the board, there need to be more females IN the games themselves - good and evil. But she makes a presumption that 1) female monsters represent a kind of "unbridled sexuality," and 2) that sexuality is frightening to (male) gamers. Quite the contrary: I have rarely seen a female enemy that wasn't HYPER-sexualized. Where pretty much all of the female characters in God of War have perfect figures and huge bare boobs - so do the female monsters like Medusa and the Sirens. Where pretty much all of the female characters in Darkwatch have ridiculously disproportionate figures, the evil ones are even LESS clothed. And for the love of God, don't even START with me on Bloodrayne. ::rolls eyes:: Female characters are presented almost always with their sex as their major point - they're a love interest, or (if the protagonist) they have to HAVE a love interest - if they're evil, they slink around and look like they're ready to bang ANYTHING. Female characters only become scary - and really believable across the board - if they are presented as PEOPLE (or, if monsters, presented the exact same as the males - ravenous killers, or terrifying ghosts, or creatures with the same purpose). That is the point that I think Ruberg is somewhat trying to make, but she gets too tangled in concepts of "societal expectations" and what seems to be a lack of focus (i.e. if you're looking at a GENRE of games and not the ENTIRETY of games, compare it to the whole!)

    Also, she doesn't mention the girl from Silent Hill 3. What's that all about?

    Anyhow. Yapped too long. I think at the very least, we need more articles like Ruberg's and less like Crawford's. She's wrong on many points, but at least I think she's tackling it in a far better manner.

    -A!

     
  • At 1:18 AM, Anonymous Matt said…

    Man. I would have to disagree right off the bat too. Has Crawford actually asked any gamers about anything? From the way the article is written, I seriously doubt it. It's like the politicians trying to decide what's best for us without asking us in the first place.

     
  • At 2:01 AM, Anonymous nikki said…

    Meh.

    Though I have no problem with the pseudo-academic tone of either article, I find them both boring. (Calling them academic is a little insulting to those who actually write academic texts.)

    The two articles are mere retreads of theories that others have used to far better effect in the past.

    Ruberg, in particular, is shameless in her rip-off of the concept of the monstrous feminine. Granted, contemporary cultural theorists have more often discussed the monstrous feminine in terms of horror films instead of survival horror gaming, but you change a few names here and there, and we've all read her article before.

    (Oh, wait: I see she terms her concept the "Terrible Female" instead of the Monstrous Feminine. Of course! That's completely different. Sheesh.)

    Crawford's article is just cringeworthy. He doesn't even bother trying to rip off a decent essay; he just takes a rudimentary grasp of evolutionary psychology and tries to hammer it into a sad and childishly elementary rubric of his own creation.

    Random note: My biggest nitpick with much current pseudo-academic work? Writers who ask a string of questions they don't intend to even attempt to address, then "excuse" that lapse with a generalization like:

    "These issues, while important, remain relatively unexplored. Like many questions of gender equality, they have no easy answers."

    In the absence of these easy answers, they just veer off into another topic.

    Reminds me a lot of our current administration, as well.

    (But that's a whole other rant, from which I will spare everyone.)

     
  • At 2:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    my god this guy is stupid. "women can't hunt because they have breasts". he's a danger to himself and others, with his stupidity. (i think he's stupid, if you hadn't guessed)
    not being female, i wouldn't know much about why there apparently aren't as many female gamers (other than the obvious hyper-sexualised image of girls in games, that is... if that happened to guys, i doub't i'd be the rabid gamer that i am)and i have to say i haven't really noticed there being less female gamers than male ones...for example, i have to rush home to get on the ps2 before my sister tries to finish FFX for the third time...she actually plays more Final Fantasy than me, and i play pretty much nothing BUT RPG's.
    um...i had a point...OH YEAH! that guy's stupid :P seriously, even I think that girl's roles in games are over-sexualised, and i'm a 16-year-old boy...so you KNOW they're bad. i can't help but cringe every time Ivy in Soul Calibur 2 comes on screen in that tight leather outfit...or when Xiaoyu from Tekken appears in her schoolgirl outfit...or in any of the hundreds of other hyped-up sexual outfits they wear in those kinds of games. at least it isn't so bad in RPG's, which is why i play them a lot...well, except for Rikku in FFX-2, with her bikini and g-string and mini-skirt for the entire game...and the dresspheres invove less and less actual "dress" the further on in the game you get.
    Anyway, i'll shut up now, just thought you should know that the state of things is this bad. i mean, i'm 16 and male, and yet i still thiknk that these outfits girls in games are forced to wear are too small...and that forces girls away from the games, probably...anyway, i don't know much, i just thought i'd say my 2 cents...which turned ioto $1.23...

     
  • At 3:46 AM, Anonymous Shades of Steve said…

    A Little Knowledge Is a Dangerous Thing

     
  • At 4:56 AM, Anonymous Ross said…

    So, without sounding too stupid, why is it that so fewer women play computer games than men?

     
  • At 5:04 AM, Anonymous Anon said…

    Interesting...
    if you poke this from a different angle, I think it might be a case of what people want to get out of a game. I know I've played games before because (this might be tragic but I think there's a grain of truth in it) the stuff I'm doing makes me feel cool, or wise, powerful or sly... a game for whatever mood I'm in. For guys there are heaps of games with a strong male character that could resonably identified with/aspired to. He's strong, he's smart, he's handsome, powerful and attractive.

    Girls: wanna have really HUGE boobs and a moody expression as your main asset? wanna be valued purely for the shape of your body? Tomb Raider is the game for you! I'm a gay girl, and, while I definitely enjoy some of the computer eye-candy out there, that's all female character manage a lot of the time.
    Think of the coolest female character you've ever seen/read in any media. One that you'd like to have had a conversation with, one that you'd like to be more like.

    Find that for me in gaming. it's a tall order. This is what I'm waiting for, a female character worth playing.

     
  • At 5:04 AM, Blogger M. W. McMahon said…

    The first thing that struck me about Chris Crawford's essay was his emphasis on "wit" for the "male hunters" while he portrayed the females something like rutting pregnant pigs who didn't care what they gathered as long as they gathered enough of it.

    Given that human children rely almost 100% on learning instead of instinct, wouldn't it be more important for the stay at home gathering nuts and berry's and raising the kids female to be at least as intelligent as the me tough, me hunt, you watch kid and fix apetizar, male? Last I checked, raising a kid was a lot more intellectually challenging than hitting a boar with a rock.

    Second, I'm not sure I want to get into the various fallacies of his "fitness for hunting" idea and fixation on boobies. I will say he misses the mark by about a foot. A healthy womb was probably the single most precious resource in any primitive tribe. The tribes that made a habit of risking their women to stupid deaths chasing wild deer weren't able to reproduce fast enough to become our ancestors.

    Finally, as far as the supposed point of his essay? Evolutionary Psychology may offer insight into why many men find "the hunt" in even the shallowest FPS satisfying while many women do not. If all he wants to do is find a similar shallow game experience that will somehow appeal to women on an instinctive level, well, he may be on to something.

    Let's take his idea to it's logical conclusion: a game inspired by the sophistication of your average afternoon soap opera combined with the game play elements that a bodice ripper would imply. I only have one X chromosome, but even I can see the potential for a game where the female avatar gets forcibly taken by her best friend's husband's cousin's boyfriend's ex-girlfriend's father's aunt's nephew who went away to boarding school as a child but just returned as an adult hunk.

    It would horrify just about everyone.

     
  • At 5:25 AM, Anonymous rpm said…

    Ross,
    It's a 55/43 split according to the ESA. That's not that much less.

    More women over 18 play than boys under 17.

    http://www.theesa.com/facts/gamer_data.php

     
  • At 9:36 AM, Blogger prorata said…

    Your critique of his article is spot on. I weep when I think this idiot is involved in game development. I mean seriously

    "The ideal game for women, according to this simplified model, would be some sort of interactive soap opera or bodice ripper, presenting the player with complex social problems as she seeks the ideal mate."

    Hunting for a boyfriend. That's what I and other women are looking for when we play games. The stupidity, it BURNS.

     
  • At 9:48 AM, Anonymous Ross said…

    The statistics which RPM linked to astonish me, because they're so far from my experience - not that I'm trying to denounce them. Assuming they're true, sounds like we've nothing to worry about.

     
  • At 10:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Chris has really set the women's movement back, hasn't he? While a lot of what he said was historical fact, it is no longer relevant to today's society. I bet he's a racist as well. I am a female, I have been playing video games since I could sit up. I prefer games like resident evil and god of war and I excel at them. In fact, I tend to kick my male counterpart's ass! Would it surprise Chris as well that I've gone hunting and shot plenty of guns in my day? In fact, I don't many women who would agree with this article. The stereotypes he portrays in this article are disturbing given the fact that women have been trying to fight these stereotypes for so long.

     
  • At 10:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    What an idiot. Maybe I can throw a large rock at him...oh wait, I'm a girl, I should be gathering berries. How can you write a 5 page article that says nothing. And for the record, my tits have nothing to do with the fact that I like GTA:San Andreas, or Mortal Kombat.

     
  • At 11:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Thanks so much for bringing this up, Tim. Grandma's response is spot on.

    Reading his article was completely frustrating. The thing that gets me the most is that on Heroine Sheik, Bonnie's blog, he complainns "that most feminists regard evolutionary psychology as nothing more than intellectualized male chauvinism."

    I say yuck.

    -natalie

     
  • At 11:33 AM, Anonymous Victor Stillwater said…

    Er...

    Haven't slept yet, so I havent read the whole thing. Needless to say, I'll have a better comment as soon as I can.

    Just some questions: is this crawford fellow really a scientologist of some sort? and why is he being published exactly?

    If possible, maybe you can opt to reply on my LJ, in case I forget. :)

     
  • At 11:47 AM, Anonymous Jeremy said…

    It sounds like a lot of you women commenters are just ashamed to be female. You play Mortal Combat and Halo so you can be "one of the boys." I might be the only one here that agrees with Crawford.


    Found site via /.

     
  • At 11:56 AM, Blogger ivorynetsuke said…

    ROFL Jeremy, you are so funny!!!!

    "Ashamed to be female." What on earth do I have to be ashamed of so much that I'd want to be one of the boys? ::snickers::

    Put the pipe down, buddy ...

     
  • At 12:00 PM, Blogger Jess said…

    I don't know about anyone else but I play video games because I enjoy them not to "be one of the boys". You're letting your ignorance shine through and so is Crawford. I wonder where you came up with that idea? I'm not ashamed at all. I LOVE video games and always will and my choices in life have nothing to do with "men" or people like you who THINK they're men.

     
  • At 1:13 PM, Anonymous jeremy said…

    I was only being half sarcastic. I mean, men and women are different, physically and mentally, so what's wrong with designing for both separately?

     
  • At 1:46 PM, Anonymous Jess said…

    Men and women are different - but men and women are LESS different from each other than, say, a forty-five-year-old male banker from New York and a eighteen-year-old male ski instructor from Colorado are. Class, culture, education and ethnicity are hugely significant factors that create much bigger differences between us.

    (Of course, they're also much tougher topics to address, because you can't blame it all on TEH BOOB1EZZZZ.)

     
  • At 2:33 PM, Blogger ivorynetsuke said…

    Okay, this brings up a good observation. I won't disagree that men and women are different. They are - and I think it's one of the reasons why I absolutely abhor chess and mathematics!!!).

    I sincerely do not believe that this entire issue can be simply split into boy and girl differences. There are too many other factors - as Jess has pointed out - that determine who we are.

    My only suggestion to attracting more female gamers is this ... start making more characters BELIEVABLE. I don't think potential female gamers are turned away because of the cheesecake depictions of women, but simply because a lot of it just seems so IMMATURE, even downright STUPID.

    I'd love to see more female characters like Aya, the NYPD cop in Parasite Eve. Any of you other folks have a favorite non-cheesecake female game hero?

     
  • At 3:19 PM, Anonymous Blue said…

    Jade, from Beyond Good and Evil.

    But most of all, Samus Aran from the Metroid series - endgame shots aside, she's not out there to be cheesecake material, and she doesn't need a love interest or to BE anyone's love interest. She's the best at what she does, and she needs no social validation for it. She's a good person, but in a more mercenary role (bounty hunter). She has compassion, but not the syrupy kind of bullshit "oh, look but she's so COMPASSIONATE" bullshit that so many games have for their female characters as a kind of "replacement" for them being so goddammed useless.

    Jeremy, I honestly think you've got an issue with believing that women are some kind of weird alien species. We're not so different from men, especially when it comes to games. A great deal of the time, I think many budding female gamers are shooed away by the portrayal of women in games, NOT the fact that "OMG I no likey shooty things." In addition to this, the industry itself has complained about the lack of innovation and variety that's currently being offered, and many have said that the developer-publisher relationship and the focus on sales (which, ironically, has failed to expand to a female market because they are not putting any money into advertising for it) is helping kill much of the industry's creativity. In addition to this, the industry is trying to change its approach to marketing in general by attempting to appeal to the CASUAL gamer - the one thinking about purchasing their very first system - and NOT the hardcore one. This could bring in many women, IF the marketing and design staff pull their collective heads out of their collective asses and start creating and marketing games with believable female characters and unique gameplay.

    Seriously - pick up Sheri Graner Ray's Gender Inclusive Game Design and read that sucka. You can find it 4 CHEEP off of Amazon, shipping is superfast, and you can blaze through that thing in a fortnight. It's fantastic, well-written, amazingly interesting, and chock-full of excellent research. And take it from someone IN the industry: it's got a hell of a ways to go, but change is being made.

    GAME ON.

    -A!

     
  • At 3:46 PM, Anonymous Blue said…

    I think more problems than solutions come up when designing for each gender specifically, mostly because by and large, the game industry has no FUCKING CLUE how to design games "for women." They come up with Unicorn-riding-Mary Kate & Ashley-bodice-ripper-soap-opera-Barbie bullshit.

    Both men and women want GOOD GAMES with unique gameplay and believable characters. Sheri Graner Ray points out some studies (MODERN ones, not evolutionary psychology speculation) that have often shown that men are usually better at spotting a moving object in an uncluttered field and women are usually more skilled at spotting a stationary object in a very cluttered field. She then goes on to illustrate that there's a way to incorportate BOTH of these elements into any type of game to provide a new and exciting challenge for ALL players, regardless of gender. There is this - but by and large the barriers preventing many women from "getting into" games seem to be largely based on the content being inconsiderate of women (whether actively, with ridiculous models and trite character roles, or passively, with lack of female avatars/characters/enemies/etc.), the marketing excluding them (or being offensive), and the game industry by and large not actively trying to attract female workers - these play far more active roles than any sort of gender-based differentiation hampering either sex in regards to gameplay.

    Anyhow. My writing is becoming run-on, which is again a sign that I need my daily caffiene. But yeah. To rephrase the adage: it ain't the playa, it's the GAME. Or something.

    Peace out and game on!

    -A!

     
  • At 5:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I've been a regular reader of The Escapist, but today's issue is just making me irate. So far, the first article goes on about how women are helpless, trite social butterflies and need games that mirror soap operas. To make matters better, the second article goes on about how all women are victims and it is completely lose/lose for the industry (playing as a female lead is bad, not having a female lead is bad). As I was reading the comments my sister came in, unhooked my PS2, and took it downstairs to play DDR Extreme 2. Oh, by the way, my only sibling, 16, also enjoys playing Halo, Ico and Shadow, Soul Calibur, Katamari and We Love, Kingdom Hearts, Zelda, and a plethora of other games. She started watching me play video games on the SNES when she was under four and she learned some of her animals from Donkey Kong Country. I'm sure reading these articles would make her roll her eyes and mutter something about "asinine". And Jeremy, this may come as a shock, but she doesn't play video games to pretend she has a penis; she--get this--plays them because she thinks they're fun. You know, the same reason everyone runs out to grab the newest Harry Potter or catch the latest Spiderman movie: entertainment. Crazy concept, eh?

    On the subject of females being portrayed realistically in games, the first thing that pops to mind is my mother's only comment when she passed the TV where my sister and I were watching Advent Children: "Wow, she sure is...busty." However, there are games with "normal" (as far as the context of the game goes) portrayals of women; people are just being selective with what they pick to criticize. If more people would look away from the AAA titles and more towards the cult classics they'd find more examples than they'd care to admit.

     
  • At 5:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Oh, and sorry for the double-post, but as an afterthought: I cheered aloud when Tim make the post awile back about how people should stop trying to design games for demographics but instead just make good games. Such a simple concept yet it seems so lost on a good 95% of the execs.

     
  • At 8:03 AM, Anonymous shortstuff said…

    wooohoo!
    I say, stop trying to manipulate more people into buying shit games by devising cumming advertising plans... and put the money into the goddamn game! I don't wanna play a game with an amazing female character in a central role if the game sucks!
    this is one of the most interesting threads/boards I've ever come across! It just goes to show that if the people that made games would just ask us all, they'd be given the answers they're looking for in bullshit essays like Crawford's.
    The future is right here.

     
  • At 4:03 PM, Blogger Collin said…

    Well, let's see. I've been a gamer since my youth on the Atari 2600. I'm now 38. I'm male. I have two kids, a boy age 12 and a girl age 5. Neither child has ever been hampered in their gaming desires. Both of them love to game. I will note that my daughter prefers to game with someone and my son likes it any way he can get it, usually settling for solo gaming. I'm thinking the problem as to the lack of female gamers doesn't have quite as much to do with what is offered as it does basic interest levels. My daughter is growing up with the impression that gaming is the normal thing to do and she's taking to it. Other girls might not be raised that way. They might be told that video games are a boy thing like dolls are a girl thing and that sets into their minds. But what do I know? I'm not a game designer, nor a psychologist. I'm just a gaming parent.

     
  • At 2:12 AM, Anonymous 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, Blogger 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, Blogger 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, Blogger 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, Anonymous 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, Blogger 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 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, Anonymous 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, Blogger 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, Anonymous 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

     
  • At 9:27 PM, Anonymous nikki said…

    In particular, I find the fact that Crawford claims my statements -- "rudimentary grasp of evolutionary psychology," and "sad and childishly elementary" -- were directed at him to be ironically amusing. 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 what may or may not be circumstances of Tim's personal life, this is a personal attack: Grow up, you fucking jerk. I don't often resort to profanity, but your constant posts about Tim's personal life are completely inappropriate. Who cares if he is transgender? There's nothing wrong with it, and I'd take TG over you anyday -- seeing as you're a coward who won't even sign his name to the crappy posts he writes. Troll.

     
  • At 3:00 AM, Blogger Bi-coastal Eddie said…

    "Please provide a quote that demonstrates pretention." Where to begin? Where to begin?

    Submitted for your approval - little something I'd like to call

    The 12 Labors of Dorkules:

    1. "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."

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

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

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

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

    6. "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?"

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

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

    9. "...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."

    10. "I'm still a teacher at heart, and rationalism is the star I set my course by."

    11. "I realize that you're so angry with me that you won't immediately learn these lessons."

    12. "... then, yes, I think it fair to call you a picky-picky natterer."


    Truth to tell, #12 isn't so much an example of pretentiousness as it is plain ol' homegrown shitty writing. All comment #12 accomplishes is to remind me of Agnew's "nattering nabobs of negativity" - which I offer as an example of not-shitty writing.

    When I was reading the 'natterings' of Mssr. Crawford, I confess that I half expected him to quote Boethius or cry out to Fortuna, since he seemed to be channeling Ignatius P. Reilly from "Confederacy of Dunces". Certainly the list above is damning proof of the pretentiousness of Chris Crawford's tone, or perhaps I should say "tone-ay", you know like in "artiste" & "forte". In closing I think that I would like to call for a vote: Raise your hands if you think that Chris Crawford is a pretentious, snotty, olfactorily offensive pre-cum coated nut cluster. One... two... three...man, too many to count. Fuck it, let's call it unanimous, motion carried! Game on, indeed.

     
  • At 10:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Has this fucker Chriss ever played a game, ANY GAME (well aside from maybe Ms. Pacman) in his life?

     
  • At 12:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Now lets not all be too hard on Chris and start swearing. I'm sure his intentions are good, even if he has managed to write an article that a) slags off both men and women, reminding us that we are animals (and then deciding we should embrace our base instincts in games) b) doesn't actually tell us jack and c) ignores the fact that the best way to get more girls into games is to change the way they are marketed. Quite why we needed to go through all the shit about cavemen (most of which sounds like Chris just made it up) to get to the earth shattering conclusion that some women might appreciate games with interactive dialogue (hey, i'm a bloke, and I'd love more games to actually make dialogue part of the gameplay) I have no idea.

    Pride And Prejudice; THE GAME
    Coming 2006
    Features;
    - Interactive ballroom dancing
    - Witty dialogue simulator
    - Horse riding
    - "eloping" mini-games
    - Source-engine based graphics

     
  • At 1:44 PM, Anonymous Janine said…

    An interactive bodice ripper? If such a game were to be made and if it were to be as popular as Chris thinks, it would most certainly attract the attention of Jack Thompson... An interactive rape novel... Hmm, didn't SegaCD have something like that, that got banned at one point?

    Anyway, I'm a female, been gaming all my life. I don't know about other females, but in my opinion, what makes a game attractive to me is the option to play a female character. That's it... Just the option to play a female. I'll often go into a game that has only males and hack the ever loving crap out of it till the main character is a girl. Then I'll procede to laugh at the manly voice coming out of the female character but otherwise overlook it because hacking a game can only do so much.

    I bought Star Trek: Voyager - Elite Force because the main character could be either male or female. I refused to buy Star Trel: Voyager - Elite Force 2 because the main character could only be male even though it was the SAME male character from the original.

    Diablo and Diablo2 I like because you have the archer in Diablo and the amazon, sorceress and assassin in Diablo2. Sometimes I'll barbarian in Diablo2, but only because he's huge and properly equipped, can just rip right through anything.

    Enough ranting... Either a female lead or the choice to play a female lead is all I need to for a game. I will buy games with male only leads, but only if the game is good... Like Deus Ex for instance. But the option to play a female in Deus Ex 2 was the reason I chose that game over any others in the store.

     
  • At 1:57 PM, Anonymous Lucca said…

    "It was the natural, inevitable result of a basic physical difference between men and women: Women have breasts and men don't."

    I could be wrong, but it's my understanding that in the period of time he's talking about, early humans didn't have that big of a physical difference asside from slightly wider hips and different genitals. While there were breasts, they usually didn't develop until pregnancy. Let me stress that I do not know this for sure, but it's just how it was explained to me in literature I've read. The evolution of breasts as we know them now has more to do with the fact that if a male back then wanted a woman to bear his children, he would chose one that's already given birth, as she has demonstrated that she's capable. So after many millions of years, breasts developed on virgin females as a kind of mock showing of fertility.

    It's also my understanding (i could be wrong) that cultural taboos about crossdressing has to do with the fact that in some ancient cultures, clothing was the primary means of distinguishing between male and female. Clothing was used because the secondary sex characteristics we have these days weren't as obvious then as they are now.

    With that in mind, if we look at it from Chris's "evolutionary psychology" and go with the way i understand (and i could be wrong) the early humans: Rather than making an interactive soap opera or a rape fantasy novel, we make a game not much unlike what male gamers play. Then we take that game and give it a female character for the player to play. Either only a female character (No One Lives Forever series is very popular among the females in my family, including myself) or a choice between male and female (Elite Force). Give the female character intelligence and not be a complete bimbo or ditz. Basically have the character's personality so that it'd be believable as male OR female without going effeminate male or butch female. Then we'll cater to the "primal" instincts of youthful females AND males at the same time... Just an idea.

     
  • At 4:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    lmao come join us at http://www.gamingtrips.com/smf/index.php

     
  • At 1:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Okay, posting as anonymous as I am new here. First time on oghc via random link following. Dug into this as I game a bit and would more if I could persuade my better half into it. Waiting with baited breath therefore for Pride and Prejudice THE GAME... 2006 you said, right?
    Anyway, came in with no opinions... have some now. I am afraid that they are to your detriment Mr. Crawford. Here are some reasons why:-

    "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?"

    Just look to the four posts immediately above your own:-
    "people should stop trying to design games for demographics but instead just make good games. Such a simple concept yet it seems so lost on a good 95% of the execs"
    "put the money into the goddamn game! I don't wanna play a game with an amazing female character in a central role if the game sucks"
    "the lack of female gamers doesn't have quite as much to do with what is offered as it does basic interest levels. My daughter is growing up with the impression that gaming is the normal thing to do and she's taking to it."

    I would suggest that in reading the forum you concentrated on the personal insult rather than looking for the ideas and counter arguments provided.


    "I do not have the time for dealing with childish name-calling"
    "...I think it fair to call you a picky-picky natterer"

    Yes I know it is a selective quote and is preceded by a clause, but still. You don't see this as childish name calling? Even if directed at a class.


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

    Yes, but primarily on the premise that they were absurd. You provided little or no justification for that premise other than your own opinion.


    "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. Soon as you categorise an individual to that group the insult is personal. In fact insulting a group is, assuming the group is greater than one, worse. Simply because you are insulting more people.

    Glass houses and stones... if you are going to criticise others for their undesirable language then make sure your own is clean first. Crap may be a lesser form of the vernacular than cunt or fuck, but you still pontificate from an unstable platform.

    ""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."

    Well, I did think of something like Bi-costal Eddies list, but to be honest we need nothing other than:
    "You seem to have a problem understanding subjunctive mood. Subjunctivity is quite different from indicativity. I won't bother belaboring the point."

    Obviously the import in your article is its exquisite grammar. We should admire that rather than worry about all those troublesome ideas and concepts.


    "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?"

    Hmm... I know while reading the forum I was itching to comment, but wanted to watch the game for a while. Might I suggest that others were motivated by reasons not far removed from my own in their lack of posts? I am sure the vitriol following this little declaration of yours was enough to renew your flagging faith and assure you that the members of this forum were not so easily cowed.


    "Your examples of pretentious writing on my part aren't very convincing."
    "-- and since I doubt that you would agree with that subjunctive, I must conclude that your claim disintegrates."

    Wow, from the same paragraph... The juxtaposition of a kaleidoscopic array of incomprehensibilities, causing a disproportionableness approaching the zenzizenzizenzic of two, does not prevent the floccinaucinihilipilification of a work. (okay the mid bit was week, but it was difficult working in zenzizenzizenzic which is just too cool a word. Pity its meaning isn't so useful)


    Like I said at the start; this is my first time on this site. I know neither Chris, nor Tim, and have no prior experience of them. Reading the comments posted by both independently and without prejudice I would say that Chris is the one getting angry. His comments, as quoted above, are contradictory and slightly irrational. Chris seems to have taken an insult to heart and is riling against it. There is no attempt to teach only to preach. Tim seems to just be enjoying an opportunity to play with words. I think the TG comments did produce a spark of anger from Tim, but then, to slip to the base form of writing used within this forum, what the fuck has that got to do with anything here?

    Malc

     
  • At 5:47 PM, Anonymous Chattanoo said…

    i admit i have only read approximately %60 of this thread, but 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.

     
  • At 4:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The Swedish "innate fear of snakes" study that Mr. Crawford refers to is fatally flawed. It did not test children with no prior exposure to snakes or others' reactions to snakes to see if they displayed a fear response when shown a realistic rubber snake. Instead, it tested adults (as it was a university study, I suspect it used the most common guinea pig, undergraduates) on the time it took them to spot snakes or spiders in pictures compared to mushrooms and flowers. So they had a group of test subjects who were far from naive, discovered a statistically significant difference in their response times, and then announced that this "proved" their hypothesis. All it freaking proved is that their test population -- one which has been exposed to social "snakes & spiders = scary" attitudes -- can identify snakes in pictures faster than flowers. Yeah, and? I can probably identify game consoles faster than microwave ovens, too, so does that mean I have an innate terror of Xboxen?

    If you take a child young enough not to have been taught that these animals are scary (i.e., not seeing adults in a pet store going "ewww!" by the reptile cages, not seeing mommy freak out when a spider crawls on her, etc.) that child will react exactly the same way he or she does to any new object -- with distrust, or with interest, or by trying to put it in his or her mouth.

    Another point to consider is that snakes, and even more so spiders, were far less of a threat to our ancestors than large predators such as lions. If we accept that we're "innately" afraid of those things which posed a threat to our ancestors, then lions and tigers and bears should be terrifying, and even the common housecat should cause the same reactions that many people have to a cute, harmless pet snake. Yet there is no such reaction. Most of us grew up with teddy bears. (I'm weird, I also had a stuffed fuzzy snake) People see lion cubs as cute and cuddly, sometimes with fatal results. There is absolutely no trace of "innate" fear of these animals which were active predators on our ancestors, instead of very occasional hazards. Moreover, since our hypothetical primitive males hunting ranged further from the camp than females gathering, males would be more exposed to those potentially venomous snakes and spiders. It's human nature to eradicate threats from our immediate environment, and neither strength nor skill is needed to kill a spider or snake, so there would have been fewer of them around the camps and more out in the wild areas. If the fear of snakes and spiders is innate, a product of evolution, than it would stand to reason that the fears would be strongest in males, who were more threatened by the relevant creatures. Yet those fears are more common in females.

    In short, there is no general fear of the creatures which were the greatest threat to our ancestors, nor is the fear of snakes strongest in the sex which would have been most threatened by them. Plus, the study was not done by observing actual fear responses (or lack of them) in naive subjects, but rather testing a response time claimed to be fear-related (but with no proof of that relationship offered) of adults who had been exposed to an essentially uniform social concept of the fearsomeness of certain animals. I am astounded that a reputable journal actually printed a study with such flawed methodology.

    So, whether or not Mr. Crawford's contention that what I would really enjoy is a game of navigating complex social situations (ick!) in quest of the perfect mate (already have him, thanks) is correct or not, that horribly flawed study which came nowhere close to proving its hypothesis is not valid supporting material.

    What do I like to play? My favorite game genere is turn-based strategy; I'm currently playing Civ4. I'm also playing World of Warcraft (60 warrior on a PvP server, levelling up a rogue for ganking goodness now), various retro arcade games on my PS2 (mid-life crisis and nostalgia trip), GTA3 also on the PS2, and whatever else looks good at the time. I enjoy first person shooters but I don't have the reflexes to be good at them; I'm in my early 40's, and we just didn't have FPS's when my neural pathways were developing. My love of multi-player PvP games goes back about 25 years to MTREK on my college's VAX, which was also the target of my first game mod.

    Which leads to my own proposal about what my fellow female gamers, especially the ones who don't yet know they're gamers, would like: PvP.

    I can hear your "Huh????" from here. "Everyone knows", of course, that gurlz don't like PvP. But look at most non-computer games -- the cutthroat game of Scrabble I played the other day with my husband and my mother-in-law, for instance. They're absolutely PvP. Player versus player, one wins, the rest lose, and it's personal. We have no problem with beating another player into the ground. (any socialization against shooting up realistic representations of other people is quickly overcome upon experiencing the joy of fragging) PvP, though, has a more important function: It's fun in a way that PvE (in any game) is not. Take, say, StarCraft. Once you learn how the AI acts and reacts, you can win easily. If you can't, read the strat guide and it will tell you exactly what to do, where to go, how to win. Males seem to be more prize-oriented: they want the win, and will endure boredom to achieve it. Females, on the other hand, are more process-oriented: the gameplay is the important part, and if getting there isn't fun, no amount of fancy cut scenes or level rewards will make the game appealing. The levelling grind in any MMORPG is a perfect example: I hate it with a burning passion. But I can PvP all day. Why? Becuase PvP is always different. You're not just using a pre-planned set of moves on an AI, you're acting on and reacting to an opponent who is smart, skilled, and wants to win as much as you do. It's the process, not the reward, that's the fun. That's exactly what female gamers want.

    Once game designers, marketers, and buyers get over the "gurlz don't like PvP" idea, I think that is where the real hook for the female market will come from.

     
  • At 9:26 AM, Anonymous Mark said…

    Hi Tim,

    This is an ancient debate, I know, but I finally found your page and adore it and adore your work (and naturally Grandma too.) You're utterly on the side of the angels here, from my perspective: not only do you present the superior argument, you suffered a number of snide comments and one genuinely low blow--the suggestion that your being TG has anything to do with your alleged heat on this issue--with a great deal more character and calm than I would have. (Not to say you're a saint: your imagining of how Mr. Crawford found this discussion thread was very funny but very bad.) So bravo.

    The one thing I'd ask you to do in the future, however, is to take opportunities like this as a chance to elicit fewer counter-arguments--less of a bash-fest on Mr. Crawford's ideas and far less on Mr. Crawford, who after all only his stuffed shirt for defense--and more in the direction of constructive, alternative arguments. Just because Mr. Crawford is tired of discussing women in gaming doesn't mean that the rest of us are. It's an interesting topic, and I feel like you could have swung discussions away from a focus on bad ideas to the creation of different ones just by opening the floor with questions like, "What do YOU think about women in gaming?" and encouraging something a little more thoughtful than women testifying that they like Halo. Let me be clear: I know that being a public discussion forum is not the intention of this blog, and I think you achieve the blog's actual intention very well, but if you have the chance to foster an environment to make people think, I think you should at least make an effort.

    Anyway, a good deal of discussion happened without your explicitly encouraging it, and so I'm going to commit a web faux pas and see if I can't get the woman with the interesting idea who posted immediately before me to come back and answer some of my questions. I'm sorry to use your comments for talking to someone other than you, but there it is.

    So, anonymous: I feel you're venturing into intriguing territory with your PvP theory. I strongly feel that a lot of AI in games is an attempt to recreate that personal interaction, and the fruitlessness of that attempt needs to be more carefully examined. AI can do a lot, but it can't make me believe there's another person I'm playing against, and a lot of that has to do with the experiential community that gaming creates. Which gets to the reason I like games against people: I like to talk, and then I like to win. The mythos around Babe Ruth's called shot, or the whole trash-talking aesthetic of Michael Jordan, the ability to say exactly what you're going to do and then DO it, in despite of the wishes of your competition, is highly attractive to me. And maybe I'm confusing the cause with the effect; maybe I like trash-talking merely because it raises the stakes of the game, makes everyone care a little more, and so heightens the communal experience. But I'm not entirely convinced, and the sort of prehistoric chest-beating I'm engaging in seems to me to be a profoundly masculine activity. In the main I feel women are better at dealing with conflict than men, but men are better at creating it, and that men create the kind of communal hostility that trash-talking engenders more often and more happily than women do. (Hopefully this generality won't put me in the playpen with Mr. Crawford.) So I guess I'm asking for clarification: it's the process of mentally dissecting and analyzing your opponent to see their tendencies and how you can react against them (all the while knowing the non-determinism of your opponent's thought processes, as opposed to an AI) that appeals to you? Or is it the "personal" atmosphere that you mention in passing and is so important to my enjoyment of games? Or both? Or something else? As a game developer, I'm interested in discovering what aspects of the analog PvP experience are important to maintain in a game environment, at least from your perspective.

    Tim, thanks for letting me poach on your blog and thanks for your excellent work. All the best to everyone out there,

    Mark

     
  • At 12:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The actualcheap D3 items innovation of the lifestyle from the water and soap chrome has not been made while using advantages of the actual social belief skills females have from thousands of years regarding mind GW2 itemsgames in mind.

     

Post a Comment

<< Home