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Posts posted by Waveybish

  1. @Jackalgirl Thanks for your thoughts Jackalgirl. I think you raise some excellent points here, the best of which I believe was to remind me that, of course, my argument is based entirely on my own interpretation of what I believe to be a message delivered by the game, which was filtered through my own subjective experience and that I may be (and in fact, likely am) projecting my own meaning onto it and subsequently misinterpreting the actual themes that were intended to be discussed by the script authors. It is a salient point to raise and I appreciate you making it in such a polite way. It would of course be extremely valuable to collate the actual opinions and motives that the writers expressed specifically surrounding the topic of the TOW script which is something that, evidently, I haven't done haha.


  2. On 3/20/2021 at 6:09 PM, Tagaziel said:

    You could just say "game bad, feminazis", you know. A good post ends up being sunk by a comparison that's incredibly on the nose and about as subtle as a primal in heat.

    Seriously though, is it bad that the game doesn't specifically cater to the one gamer type who is catered to in virtually every other type of media, by being taken as the default character? It specifically doesn't feature much in the way of the hyper-masculine caricatures who define themselves through violence and violence only, and that's compensated by a much greater variety of characters, including men. I'm surprised that anyone would consider Reed to be someone to look up to, though, when you have the ED secretary, Phineas, Vicar DeSoto (especially after he gets mellow), Felix, Sedrick Kincannon (a lovable, dashing rogue, if there ever was one), and a slew of other characters who can just as easy be followed/looked up to. 😛


    I think you have missed the point of my argument (which is somewhat ironic given that in your reply you express that my comparison lacked nuance but there we go haha, jkjk). 

    The point that I was making was as follows; similarly to the audience *in* Inglorious and by extension the audience *of* inglorious, TOW seems to revel in the defeat of an enemy. In the case of inglorious, the enemy for the audience inside the film were the allies, the enemy of the audience of the film were the axis powers or specifically the Nazi's (it could have been any enemy for all I care, but this is the only film that I can think of that actually attempts to deliver this message), and the enemy of TOW seems to be men (though I think they were aiming at patriarchal power structures but missed the mark and ended up attacking, in my opinion, men in general, but that's just by the by and the message probably just got mashed as the script was transformed into a game, that's not even really the half of my argument here).

    I was not intending to directly compare any of the writers of TOW with nazi's for the sake of fulfilling Godwins law, indeed I didn't ever compare them with real life nazis at all, rather the portrayal of nazis inside of a fictional universe. Further, I was attempting to point out that it is rather dehumanising to revel in the defeat of an enemy inside of a fictitious space, which I believe was one of the messages of inglorious. I think another message to be learned from inglorious is that in order to understand how something unjust can occur and be accepted as normality inside a society it is important not to dehumanise the people who found it normal, but to attempt to relate to those people in order to learn why that unjust system became normalised in the first place. Just like it would be incredibly vapid and weak to say "oh, in general nazi's and their supporters must have been evil", which teaches you absolutely jack about ****, it is also vapid and weak to say "oh, in general, men in positions of power in a patriarchy, or people who supported the power structure of a patriarchy were greedy and/or incompetent and/or ignorant", it teaches you nothing about how or why a patriarchal power structure existed in human history and it certainly sheds absolutely no light on how to prevent the formation of unfair power structures in the future, so any point being made along these lines is basically a massive vapid non-point that just highlights the ignorance of the person making it. 

    The difference between inglorious and TOW is that inglorious had a "mirror" in that the actions on-screen physically mirrored the reality of the audience watching the film, the audience of inglorious were, for a brief instant, forced to relate to the nazi's on screen and so may concede that perhaps the vast difference in morality or mindset that must exist between themselves and the average german citizen/nazi voter during WW2 may not actually exist at all. Spooky.

    Having said that, I did consider that perhaps I was misinterpreting the message and that TOW is somehow posing this exact challenge to the player in some meta way, but having played through the game again I could not find any device that seems like it was intended to deliver this message. I could be wrong but I kind of doubt it.

  3. I would like to preface this post by pointing out that I'm a woman and I'd prefer if we could keep the personal attacks and character assumptions to an absolute minimum here.

    So this is my first time playing through TOW and to begin with I found the balance of male to female leading roles refreshing. I was surprised to find a number of matriarchal characters present in the universe and for there to be a healthy depiction of female relationships throughout the dialogue and broader narrative in the game. I still find this a refreshing aspect of the narrative of this unique and fun game however, I have also found that something was sacrificed to bring this about, the male image.

    Lets be frank. Throughout the narrative the player is essentially tasked with deposing men from positions of authority and replacing them with women. The depiction of authorative male characters in this game is of greedy, short sighted or otherwise incompetant leaders who constantly battle against women instead of working with their community and in the scenarios where you encounter greedy women you aren't tasked with replacing them or in any way reducing their status.

    Let me list some examples where the player is greatly rewarded for deposing men or for improving the position of power for a woman:
    - You replace the male owner of the boarworst factory on the greedy whims of a female. You can choose not to do this but for a completionist or somebody who wants to experience the full content of the game you essentially lose as a player if you don't take this mission up out of some sense of ethics. There is no alternative to expose the female character for doing something massively illegal for her own greed, the only option to experience more content as a player is to take the path where you depose the male character of all of his power

    - You replace leader of Edgewater for a female if you want the "good" ending, where essentially everybody is happier, safer and more prosperous except for the single male who was deposed

    - You fight a power struggle for either zora or graham, with graham disregarding the wellbeing of his people and zora begging him to think of the humanitarian crisis he is facing. Essentially if you want to back a humanitarian position you back the woman, as always in this fictional universe

    - Every romantic relationship you are given the option to advance is done so on a womans terms. Every romantic advance made by a man is essentially painted as unwanted or as borderline sexual assault with the prevelant use of aphrodesiacs being demonstrated to be an exclusively male pattern of behaviour

    Meanwhile, situations where you encounter corrupt women of power you are simply encouraged to play ball with them or there is some caveat that shows the woman as being in the right all along. The most obvious example I can find for this being the saltuna cannery line manager on terra 1. She's found to be embezzling while reducing worker pay and yet the player still has to [threaten] her in order to progress the narrative to award better pay for her workers. In this case if you want to proceed down a humanitarian path you essentially have to perform an action that makes the path seem far less benevolent. In my opinion this runs counter the the narrative of the rest of the game and the only factor that I can see is different is that its a woman whose power you are attempting to diminish.

    99% of the villains in this game are men. You receive rewards for exposing men, reducing their power and improving the power of women consistently throughout the narrative. You are essentially told between the lines that the only way this colony can function is as a matriarchy and that male leadership is toxic and breeds dysfunction and corruption.

    Look, there's a big difference between creating a matriarchal universe for a player to explore and setting the player up to be rewarded for creating a matriarchy. I found it extremally interesting at first and I found that my intrigue in the fairly balanced power structure of this universe kept me highly engaged in the narrative, however as it became more and more clear that the overarching narrative was to pin the problems of this colony entirely on men I found it extremally off putting and I found myself making bad ethical choices just to stick a big middle finger up at the writers.

    Honestly this was close to being something of an egalitarian masterpiece. A story that everyone could enjoy and with characters all parties could relate to, where female players could finally find a game that unabashadly did not conform the the sexism found rampant in the industry. In the end however it just has to take that narrative and mar it by pushing the pendulum to the other side.

    This may seem a little off topic, but do you know what narrative Quentin Tarantino intended to express in his film Inglorious Basterds? Throughout the film you are exposed to characters who are part of the Nazi regime. Through dialogue and action you are shown that some of these nazis are evil to their core, some are just troops waiting to go home to their families and some are real men of honour who just so happen to be on the wrong side of the war. The film then shows how in German cinemas of the era,  people would go to watch a film that shows a nazi soldier gunning down hundreds and hundreds of allied troops, really showing how the nazi politicians and dignitaries (non combatants) at the time were being desensitised to death and how they were taught to revel in the death of the enemy through cinema, then minutes later a mirror is held up to the real audience in the cinema watching Inglorious Basterds, as they find themselves revelling in a scene of gore as a cinema of german civillians and nazi dignitaries burns on the screen in front of them as allied spies gun them all down with abandon. The audience subliminally compares their actions to the actions of brainwashed fictional audience, they compare the actions and attitudes of their own nations troops in WW2 with the average nazi soldier. Barriers are broken and the audience is left staring into the mirror to see their own indoctrination (if they have half a brain anyway). A poignant message about indoctrination and group identity is made.

    Why did I bring this up? Because in my opinion the narrative of this game revels in the deposition of men from power just as those german civilians and nazi dignitaries revel in the death of the enemy displayed in that cinematic medium on our screens in Inglorious Basterds. I just wanted to be the mirror.


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