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The Sarkeesian, The Dice and The Mirror.


No I don’t want to be doing another of these, why must the gaming world keep giving me reason to write blogs on complete at utter insane decisions.

My reaction upon hearing the rumours and piecing together this article

Well as I’ve started I might as well carry on with this article about everyone's favourite company, EA. Yes not content with being one of the most hated companies around they’ve decided to hire one of the most controversial and hated (from both sides of the fence) people related to gaming, Anita Sarkeesian. So what is Ms Sarkeesian meant to be doing for EA ? Well EA thought it would be a great idea to set her to work “helping” the team making, possibly the only female lead game EA has really going still in, the Mirrors Edge series. 

Oh but wait this story gets batcrap crazy faster than EA hiring someone who is rather despised. According to sources it’s suggested her comments on Mirrors edge are to say the least worrying, both in terms of the game and because of the whole Feminist argument. “I can relate to a lot of fellow female gamers who did not get into this game due to its difficult controls”, that’s what she’s reported to have said. Now I played Mirrors Edge right through and while the controls weren’t perfect they weren’t difficult as such, just not immediately intuitive. So the first question is why is Ms Sarkeesian saying she can understand female gamers not buying it because of that ? Do Female gamers have more issues with controllers than male gamers ? Is this some implication that Female Gamers need easier controls than male gamers ? I’ve heard some really stupid crap before being said on behalf of female gamers, by people, but even as a dude I find it shocking that Ms Sarkeesian is saying that’s why female gamers wouldn’t pick up the game.

I saved the first bit, till last because it’s a really the icing on the madness cake of what was said “I really like video games like Mirror’s Edge because they show that women are as capable of being the hero as men”. Sounds fine right ? Well look back those of you who played Mirrors Edge, was Faith a good character ? Did she, say stick in your mind any more than Ruby from WET ?  The answer is probably not really, while the idea of Faith as a character is good for those who’ve played the game you’ll know other than in cutscenes she kind of comes off like Female Gordon Freeman. That’s not saying Gordon Freeman is bad but you can’t really say he is a character as pretty much Gordon Freeman is you, he is your window on the world, to put it best he’s the reason Vegas has no mirrors in Casinos. The idea is the player gets to be this person and you don’t have any indication you’re not the person as they don’t speak with someone else’s voice, the principal being in a Casino with no Mirrors everyone feels they are James Bond and to see themselves they’d know they weren’t.

An example of a character in another media who lacks character but in gaming if you're playing as said character its not an problem

Here’s where the cake is being put into a box and thrown into a canal, EA are forcing DICE to use her ideas. That’s right EA has hired Ms Sarkeesian sent her to present to DICE and then not let them decide but treated them like children, not being allowed to make up their own minds and said they are to use her ideas as it will “Help sell more units”. I never thought I’d be one to yell for EA’s blood as they aren’t the most evil company out there, if you think about it, but this is the most worrying show of almost ignorance yet. The worrying thing being EA thinks this will sell more units. If anything it will mean a lot of people won’t buy it simply because of Ms Sarkeesian’s involvement, even more so there will be people on the same page as me who would have bought Mirrors Edge 2 without question who will now be looking more carefully at reviews and information because they know a studio has had ideas forced on them that might not fit into the franchise. You wouldn’t for example want a sudden huge pair of breasts to appear while playing Sonic all Star Racing? Ok maybe some people would but it’s not why people who play that game will buy it.

Now to the really worryingly interesting bit in deconstructing Anita Sarkeesian’s comments further. My main point being her claiming she is now a gamer. No, just no. Anita Sarkeesian is using gaming to push her ideology and view onto people, a view EA is now forcing Dice to accept. 

For those who have looked more in depth into her ideology it doesn’t really match with some grand sexual equality ideology. With her original thesis charts she suggested many stereotype masculine characteristics as good for a male character, but many stereotypical female characteristics being bad for female character. To be a gamer you have to have an interest in the media and not simply be using / abusing it to make money and only playing games just for work and not really much else or beyond the level needed to finish the work. 

You know what Anita Sarkeesian is almost becoming a trope herself in that she’s now claiming to be a gamer, though it’s not really for attention anymore so much as to try and claim some level of legitimacy to her (ab)use of gaming to further her own ends.  Now you might feel this is just me rallying another anti Anita Sarkeesian thing, well it’s not. It’s me questioning why EA have brought in someone not really experienced in the gaming industry to not only give suggestions about their own area (in Anita Sarkeesian’s case supposedly positive gaming role models) but also to give suggestions about gaming mechanics and functionality. I can understand if it were someone in the industry but to have someone using the industry for their own means to now be telling a developer how to make their game, this isn’t some case of a gamer with a genuine interest rallying for change / complaining about issues this is someone who’s been hired in by EA.

You know this is kind of almost the ultimate combination of hatred, all EA needs to do now is announce they’ve hired Uwe Boll to make the film and the trinity of evil is complete.

For those after some confirmation of events (at least the fact the conference happened) I've been reliably informed that there are Tweets relating to this on the Femenist frequency Twitter account
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About Dwarvenhobbleone of us since 8:33 AM on 06.19.2012

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