Thursday, 19 June 2014

Crime Simulators

Anita Sarkeesian came out with another one of her videos about women in video games. Predictably everywhere it is discussed people have very mean things to say about her.

I watched the video and like the others in this series I thought it was fine but I didn't get a whole lot out of it. I did, on the other hand, participate at length discussing it in 172-and-counting post forum thread.

I think I can safely leave out most of the details, some of which are fairly gruesome. But one of the objections to her points was that many of the games she chose are crime simulators. Sure, you can have sex with prostitutes and kill them after to get your money back, but you are also running down the street shooting cop cars with rocket launchers. You kill nearly everyone you meet.

Several people pointed out that this objection misses the point a bit. Sure, you kill lots of people, but there is a limited set you use as sexual objects and then kill. The games definitely portray women as objects for the enjoyment of the players in a way that they don't do with men even if the majority of the men are just walking targets.

But we all know that no one listens to anyone and that trying to make a point is usually pointless. One particular commenter, though, explained it in what I feel is a very accessible way:
Then how come there aren't any open-world games that contain examples of the bad things that these bad chicks engage in?
Seriously, can't we have Aileen Wuornos and Valerie Solanis manqués in the same game as playable characters? Since we're talking about crime simulators. Let's do some crimes. Let's kill the other players who are objectifying the in-game prostitutes, let's shoot Andy Warhol. Let's get sushi and not pay.
So, I give you Crime Simulator. Enjoy.

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