Category Archives: gaming

Ladies of GTA Video – What the Fucking-Fuck?

I’m really fucking sick y’all. Like when I inhale it doesn’t feel like I get a full breath sick and so I hope you’ll excuse my inability to go into a full rant on this subject. I want to explicitly state it is not that I’m not outraged but simply that my body is weak and I will be spending the rest of my day doing my work and reading on my breaks to give myself a rest. So in brief –

There’s this video y’see.  (WARNING: Video May Be Triggering In The Extreme)

It’s an ad for the new Grand Theft Auto Video Game IV and it is called the Ladies of Liberty City and you get three guesses as to the only two things these woman are good for within the game. Fucking and Killing. The video is truly horrifying not only because the sex and sexual exploitation is so realistic but because of the intense misogyny laced through it. Women are sex objects who perform in thongs and spank each other for the characters pleasure. There’s some truly hideous imagery where sections of the video titled things like “A Quick Fix” involve the consistent murder of women. The women in the game who are actually sex workers have some pretty explicit car sex with the character and then leave the car only to be run down by the player.

This is all supposed to be funny and fun

There are a lot of issues here; misogyny, racism, sex shaming, validation of all three and encouragemnt of steretypes 

The prevalence of WOC as the sex objects and sex workers in a game that’s mostly marketed at white boys and men

The idea that it’s okay because those killed are sex workers and therefore “expendable”

The linking of violence/murder with sex

The killing of women as a fun activity 

Naming the video the Ladies of Liberty City which implies that that’s all that women are good for.

My breath is running out so I’m gonna leave it there but if you can stomach it I suggest you watch the video and see exactly how this game is being marketed as every homicidal misogynists dream.

If you want to rant on about how this is just a game and to just get over it, yeah I call bullshit (the media is a huge part of our everyday life), also I recommend you go read this post before stepping to me: Suggestions For Talking About Race and Video Games. I’m not saying we all don’t like things that are problematic (in the interest of complete brutal honesty I admit to playing some games in the GTA series before and enjoying them), I guess it’s all about how much your willing to accept along with your fun but for me the ad above goes way to far.

Plastic Surgery Children’s Book, More Talking about Race & Gaming and Hanes Apologizes for Those Ads

There’s been a lot of talk about the children’s book My Beautiful Mommy, it’s all about explaining to a child that mommy needs a tummy tuck and breast implants and after that she’s even more beautiful. Just typing that sentence made me want to throw up but I haven’t blogged about it because the book is coming from a vanity press and will sell approximately 0 – 10 copies, if that. Even knowing that though there’s something about the coverage that’s been bothering me and Laurie and Debbie over at Body Impolitic hit the nail on the head with their post on the subject. It’s not the book so much as the kind of coverage it has received and the validation that gives it.

Pat over at Token Minorities has written part two of his Suggestions for Talking about Race and Games and these are especially useful for those of us who get into heated discussions involving identity politics. Pat confronts us over the fact that you won’t convert most people, and talks about investing so much energy in these discussions. I’ve learned a lot of the lessons he talks about the hard way, now I’m more likely to engage someone a couple of times and then back away. For me it’s more about trying to show people (the person I’m arguing with as well as the people that may be watching) another way of thinking about something. Head over and read it Pat has some good points on why to engage and why not to.

So I have my issues with GLAAD (unsurprising they’re some of the same issues I have with the HRC and other mainstream GLBT organizations) but apparently they took notice of the Hanes ads and sent off a strongly worded email. It got an apology from Hanes who backpedaled as quickly as possible and stated that they had never actually approved the ads and they we offended too. I’m a little…not angry exactly but perturbed by excerpted part of the GLAAD letter: “The use of the f-word and other hateful slurs to sell products is reprehensible.” I’m just a little bothered that they summarized the two other ads with “hateful slurs”. Presumably they didn’t say n-word and p-word because they are a GLBT organization and that’s what they focus on but they failed to think that some GLBT people are People of Color as well. I don’t know maybe this is all informed by my issues with GLAAD, which I think only really represents the rights of rich, white, gay males but it just irks me.  


Gaming, Size & Awards!

Pat over at Token Minorities has an excellent post Suggestions for Talking about Race and Videos Games and while Pat is focused on video games this could be suggestions for discussing race when it comes to Science-Fiction, TV, Movies, Comics, anything where people simple want to write off the medium and consequently the racism in it, as trivial.  

One of my close friends, Bankuei has posted a Roleplaying 101guide for people interested in getting into RPG’s and such. I admit that I never played and RPG before I met Bankuei (the only roleplayers I knew in high school were crazy, I don’t just mean the kind of crazy we can all get when we like/are obssessed with something, I mean STRAIGHT UP KRAZY!!!) plus there are a lot of issues around exotification and appropriation in these games. But now that I’m getting into the more indie ones that don’t make me nauseous, I find a lot of fun in them and recommend people head over and read his 101 post if you’re interested even a bit in RPG’s. Bankuei’s been asking me to write up my early experiences with RPG’s and Roleplaying gamers for a while now and I hope to get around to that this week.

Resist Racism has a post up about The Last Acceptable Prejudice, where Resistance is specifically talking about fat prejudice. Now as a Person of Size and a Person of Color it’s angering to me to see fat prejudice called the last acceptable one, for exactly the reasons Resistance posits it plays too much into the Oppression Olympics for my taste. I have experienced racism and fat prejudice at different times in my life and think that both need to be combated. Stating any prejudice as the last acceptable one not only devalues all the other prejudices alive and well in our society but also ignores the systemic institutionalization of oppressions for the overt expressions of prejudice.

The Tiptree Award Winning Book has been announced, along with the works that were short listed. The Tiptree is presented at WisCon (which I’m attending again this year) and celebrates works of F/SF that work to explore and expand gender and our understanding of it. The Winner – The Carhullan Army (American Title: Daughters of the North) by Sarah Hall. Head over to Debbie N.’s post on it to read more about the Tiptree, the shortlist of nominees and to find out who the jurors were this year.

The Nominees for the Gaylactic Spectrum Award, which celebrates works of F/SF that include significant positive explorations of gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered characters, themes, or issues, have also been announced.

The list of nominees for the Japanese Seiun Awards have been announced, of course I can’t read the works of most of the nominees cause I don’t read Japanese but it’s always cool to see what’s going on in other places around the world. There are also two categories for foreign works that list nominees we in the west would be more familiar with, I would point out though that only two women are nominated, one in each of the categories.

Who Are The Hottest Men of Color in Gaming?

Pat over at Token Minoritesmade a recent post about the supposed 25 Hottest Men In Gaming pointing out what no one else did – that all the Men on the list were white, or rendered to look white (which is admittedly a standard practice in gaming, c’mon y’all remember Chun-Li don’t even try and act like you don’t). So Pat has decided to compose and alternate list of the 13 Hottest Men of Color in Gaming. So far we have:

13 – 10

9 – 6

Go check out the list, see if you agree or have better recommendations. Pat prefers the old-school 2D games like Street Fighter and Guilty Gear, that’s why the list is so slanted in that direction. For the most part going through the list is like a flash back to high school, ’cause I remember playing all those games.

Break from the world…

I’ve lost a lot of my faith in humanity in the last couple days so I’m escaping into the world of videogames for a bit. If you need me I’ll be a vampire or a whirling dervish.