June 14, 2011

Rants of a Gamer Girl: Duke Nukem – Hail To The Queen

Trigger Warning: The following video contains nudity and sexual violence.
This is actual gameplay footage of Duke Nukem Forever.

Anyone who keeps up with my “Rants of a Gamer Girl” series/column, or simply scrolled through the front page, may have noticed the “popularity” of one of my recent posts “Duke Nukem: Smack My Chick Up

It’s garnered a bigger and more hateful response than anything I’ve written previously or since. There would be even more comments on the post if the threats of violence and classic anti-feminist name calling remarks hadn’t been deleted before they ever saw the light of day.

In fact, it garnered enough attention that Gearbox CEO, Randy Pitchford himself, stopped by the blog to respond. And despite the fact that I called his companys creation “misogynistic crap”, he managed to leave one of the most mature comments of them all.

Rather than respond to every comment individually (not to mention the waste of time it would be – I receive a new comment notification every day that spews the same bullshit) I decided to make a post. Something to sum up my feelings towards the response in a (sort of) brief summary.

So here goes:

Let’s start with the whole “I’m friends with a woman, therefore that makes me an expert on the matter/a feminist scholar/the decider on what constitutes misogyny”. Similar to the argument “I’m not racist, some of my best friends are black” a response such as this just makes you sound like you failed sociology 101. I challenge any commenter who claimed to know more than me about feminism and women’s studies to name a book title of Bell Hooks, quote Gloria Steinem, or even tell me who Kathleen Hanna is, without googling it.

Also – if your defense consists of calling me a: bitch, lesbian, cunt, whiny feminist, or tells me to shut the fuck up, congratulations, you just supported my argument, and failed at making your point by resorting to misogynistic name-calling.

If you think I don’t know what I’m talking about? Well, obviously you don’t read this blog very often. I’ve been a gamer for over twenty years, and occasionally write posts defending games. I’m not calling for censorship, never have, never plan on doing so. Gearbox Software has the right to make these games, and I have the right to call them on their bullshit. So, no…not like Jack Thompson.

And as for women having all the rights, getting free rides to college, and being treated so much better than men – women’s lives are so easy. Well, I could list hundreds of links here proving you wrong, or you could spend a whole 30 seconds of your time on google.

I almost won feminist gamer bingo.

So, feel free to continue to comment, even though not one of you has managed to make a compelling argument. In fact, thanks for the continued inspiration to write. You all make me realize how important my voice is in the echo chamber of gamers who’s philosophy tends to be something along the lines of “STFU BITCH”

With the game now on sale, and gamers uploading videos to YouTube, it turns out, I was right in my assertion that it was “misogynistic crap” all along.


  1. HA! I love the bingo board. Keep being epic. You know your doing something right when masses of people come to bitch about it. -HIGH FIVE- Power of respect.

    Comment by ULFRIC — June 16, 2011 @ 11:33 am

  2. Oh wow, some of those comments were gold. “DUKE NUKEM LOOOOOOVES WOMEN, HE DOESN’T HAVE MISOGYNISM!” XD

    Honestly, at this point, I’m of the mind that attempting to have reasonable discussions with boys like that is like peeing into the wind; it never ends well for you.

    Comment by Dee — June 16, 2011 @ 9:20 pm

  3. So, after reading this article and the previous one, I felt I should have words…

    While I agree with a lot of what was said in both of your posts, there were also comments against you I could sympathize with and I do have a few problems with the content you posted. Yeah, a lot of those comments make us men look bad, but amidst all of the offensive and mindless firebacks, there actually were compelling arguments. The first example that comes to mind when speaking about poorly worded compelling arguments, is comment number 10 made by Andrew D. Yeah, he may of said it like an imbecile, but there were many valid points within that post.

    The fact that you didn’t respond to any of the (slightly) intelligent posts and simply disregard and dismiss the whole as you have done here is childish and shows that your nonchalance isn’t fully legitimate (as odd as that sounds).

    There is a TV show I seen a few minutes of on Youtube (here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iqE0EK93nqw) in which a woman abuses a man (it is staged of course), and the response from other women are ridiculous, though not surprising. Yes, the woman and man acted that out. Yes, they were being extreme. No, that happening is not impossible. And the main attraction is how people responded.

    Andrew D mentioned how ‘sexist actions’ against women wouldn’t be seen as so against men, and this is true. If a man slaps a woman, he is wrong in everyone’s eyes. If a woman slaps a man, he is still wrong in most people’s eyes. Even men hold that mindset. Now to say no one made a compelling argument is simply dismissive and irresponsible. Because that is a valid one. Now jumping over to Duke Nukem Forever (terrible game btw), your not even slapping them across the face. Your slapping them on the butt. Call it sexual assault, but I have to say that many women in today’s society don’t mind being slapped on the ass. If it is some random guy coming along and slapping along, then yeah, they will care, but normally among groups of friends, and at parties, women themselves encourage such actions. Now, you could say “Duke is a stranger” or whatever, but really, Duke Nukem is simple. It’s not meant to be taken seriously or deeply and is one giant (bad) joke.

    You can pick up a turd and throw it at people. You can piss in an alien’s eye socket. The biggest flaw in your argument isn’t really you making it, but the overview of women in today’s society largely due to women themselves. Men may come up with the “sexist ideas” and the like, but women still take part in it. They empower it.

    And also, seriously with the italicized text above the video? Sexual violence? They fucking exploded, woman, is it sexual violence when you blow up a terrorist with a grenade in Call of Duty? -__-

    Like I said, you have many points to your posts, but a lot of the things you say are just so…off base that it’s angering. Now, i couldn’t get passed the first 30 minutes of Duke Nukem because it was so terrible, but the whole blow-job thing around the opening of the game was pushing the envelope a bit. While Duke Nukem objectifying the women really did bleed sexism, the blow job part, not so much. Women and men both actually do give blowjobs. It’s not fabricated. I also read something about a “wall of boobs”? *shrugs*

    The point is that Duke Nukem shouldn’t be taken so seriously. Its an M rated game, the audience should be old enough for the behavior in the game not to influence their actual behavior

    Comment by Jordan Dunnuck (bro) — June 20, 2011 @ 10:09 am

  4. Rachel!

    Thank you.

    Whether its misogynistic name-calling or psuedo-intellectual rationalizing like our bro friend here, these boys are FUCKING TERRIFIED of their male privilege being called into question.

    The craziest is when they tell you how stupid it is to be talking about sexism in gamer culture, yet they are posting a comment on a blog about it (!?). It’s like they are SO threatened they don’t even notice that they are taking part in the exact thing they are saying “doesn’t matter” or “shouldn’t be taken seriously,” because somehow it makes them feel better to invalidate your points however they possibly can.
    Your response was amazing, and what your doing is important. Hell yeah!


    Comment by Matt Canino — June 20, 2011 @ 7:37 pm

  5. Uh…what?

    The argument of “then why are you wasting your time here” is a classic one that ultimately never gets a response. But that sort of shoot back is idiotic. I’m here because I enjoy debate and I like expressing myself. That such a problem?

    And great job calling it false intelligence without any examples. *rolls eyes* And as for “making myself feel better”, I feel just fine. It’s almost funny how your response and backhanded mention of my comment implies a lot but actually SAYS very little.

    And terrified? Lmao! We aren’t terrified of anything! Duke Nukem is a bad game. Duke Nukem isn’t a symbol of anything. Rachel bashing the game doesn’t threaten anything of ours. The amount of ignorance in your comment is skull-bashingly evident in every word you write. Most of the world doesn’t CARE what she thinks, though it is a shame because I have read some of her other stuff and she does have good insight.

    And the “shouldn’t be taken seriously” is a very valid point, you idiot. Whether you realize it or not. You successfully ignored about 80% of my previous post in which i defended and explained my words. I mean, that is really elegant, “Matt”. Really elegant, bro.

    And let me touch up one last point: “The craziest is when they tell you how stupid it is to be talking about sexism in gamer culture, yet they are posting a comment on a blog about it (!?).”

    Uh..yeah, I am posting a comment on a blog post about it. So what? Whenever someone takes a side in an issue, the opposing force often makes their argument noted. Hell, I wouldn’t even say I am completely opposed to what Rachel is saying (you would probably know that if you did more than skim my comment). Your oversimplification of things is hilarious. I don’t know if your actually that stupid or just trying to make people think that.

    Comment by Jordan Dunnuck (bro) — June 22, 2011 @ 7:03 pm

  6. PS, Matt, by your wording in your post, I doubt your a male. these boys are FUCKING TERRIFIED of their male privilege being called into question.” specifically, the “these boys”. it feels more like a feminist trying to masquerade as a guy…hmm. I could be wrong of course *shrugs*. And what is that male privilege? Video games? Is that the “male privilege” so threatened by Rachel? Do you even know what it is you referenced or were you throwing together hazy implications strung together with pseudo-intelligence? heh. For real, you talk about things without even saying what they are.

    Comment by Jordan Dunnuck (bro) — June 22, 2011 @ 7:07 pm

  7. Read both of your articles.

    I believe you make three assumptions about men in general;
    1. You believe they identify with Duke Nukem
    2. You believe they are attracted to the content in DNF
    3. You believe they lack their own opinions

    I believe you are alienating your potential allies on this question, first by insulting them then pour salt in the wounds.

    Let’s go through your allies one by one.

    1. Men who do not identify with Duke Nukem but identify him as someone they hate.
    Most reviews I have read about the game, from major reviewsites or by players, do not call Duke an icon or a rolemodel. They call him a relic. Men who lived up during the 80-ies remember the often absurd action-heroes in movies and among toys (look at the evolution of the G.I. Joe toy, from a normally built man into a muscular hulk-like thing in the later editions). Mens relationship with Duke Nukem is not as a rolemodel, but the kind of man that a nerd LOATHE or HATE. They see Duke Nukem as a satire of the absurdity of the 80-ies/90-ies. And yes, these men see Duke Nukem as a narcissist, not a rolemodel.

    If you assume all or most men identify with Duke Nukem you are insulting them rather deeply as you say they look up to someone which they loathe or hate. Most nerds have even experienced abuse because they weren’t like Duke Nukem in school. They didn’t try because they didn’t want to, but were often told they didn’t do it because they are weak.

    2. Men who aren’t attracted to the content of DNF but think it’s too much.
    If you aren’t used to male pacifists, welcome to the University. Open your eyes. There are plenty of men who rather engage in a game of chess or prefer tactical or strategical games, or puzzles. Even if such games tend to be about warfare, the wish to conquerer aren’t the attraction, but rather the challenge of using your head to overcome challenges that doesn’t necessary need to include violence. Even among those who play games like DNF, the violence is not the attraction, but the challenge involving speed and accuracy. It may even be a sense of nostalgia since it’s prequel Duke Nukem 3d was a major step forward in how 3d-games worked and how 3d-games could tell a story in a virtual world.

    If you assume that these men are attracted to the content of DNF you are as blind to the market as the publishers. The deevolution of gaming have lead to plenty of genrés dying out. Adventure-games are no longer mainstream, strategic games are rare, tactical games have their tactical elements scaled down. Once, gaming was a nerd thing, which also means that gaming was something intellectuals did. This also means gaming usually had intellectual content that challenged the mind. Over time, publishers who really aren’t gamers, have tried to figure out what sells and then get the developers to make such games. The result is a scarce market that remind me about planned economies in communistic countries, where those in top decide what’s good for you.

    Gamers who like other content than mindless actiongames are insulted if you tell them that the content of DNF is appealing to them, when they usually spend alot of time arguing how dumbed down the gameworld have become.

    3. Males who have a mind of their own.
    You claim that this kind of content “promote” the abuse of women. This might actually be the most insulting thing you said, because in doing so you declare men in general as mindless drones who cannot think for themselves.

    Like I said above, there are males who both loathe men like Duke Nukem and loathe the action-oriented mindset of the publishers, and are really frustrated about it. But there are also plenty of men who have been downgraded and the target of abuse by men like Duke Nukem, reject such violence and see that these men also can be physically aggressive and downgrading against women. Now you are telling these men that games like DNF promote this behavior to them and they will not be able to see which is which. They can’t see the difference between the abuse they taken from these men and the abuse that such men did to others. Way to pour salt in the wounds.

    I see in your “bingo” that you get comments like;
    “Guys have put up with harrassment online too”
    “What about the violence against MEN in video games?”

    I think you should ponder about those two a bit. Chances are that you aren’t just attacking your allies on this topic, you insult them when they take offense.

    4. Males who have a sexuality different than the stereotype.
    Finally, where there are men who are attracted to the kind of women and how they are displayed in Duke Nukem Forever and the strip show it was promoted with, there are plenty of men who aren’t. Male sexuality DOESN’T mean attracted to everything of female nature. Men are attracted to different attributes in a partner, both when it comes to personality and physical attributes. Thus “Sex Icons” and “Sex Objects” usually aren’t. Some men will certainly find it both attractive and sexually arousing, but there are also plenty who do not and would find it rather insulting to be told that they do.

    There are men with a deep and complex relationship with women and sex, which is both emotional and sensitive that tries to balance their own dreams and wishes with whatever the culture around them think that they should be like (and assumptions about what they are like). Thus what you might see as a driven male sexuality, may actually be the will to adapt to social norms and demands, when the individual rather wouldn’t.

    Comment by JemyM — July 29, 2011 @ 1:52 am

  8. “There are men with a deep and complex relationship with women and sex, which is both emotional and sensitive that tries to balance their own dreams and wishes with whatever the culture around them think that they should be like (and assumptions about what they are like). Thus what you might see as a driven male sexuality, may actually be the will to adapt to social norms and demands, when the individual rather wouldn’t.”

    Men are about as complex as the games they chose to create and patron. In this case, Duke Nukem is a misogynistic wish fulfillment fantasy for males–anyone with more than half brain can tell that much. As such it deserves every ounce of criticism it gets.

    Comment by PrivilegeBingo — September 8, 2011 @ 2:23 pm

  9. […] to play Halo or Gears of War or any other formulaic testosterone-fuelled first-person shooter, but it’s kind of a turn-off when she wishes that videogame developers take a more unisex approach to design and marketing. Time […]

    Pingback by I Am a Female Nerd. Apparently. — The Good Men Project — October 22, 2011 @ 5:13 pm

  10. a new way to erotic fantasy in 2012 with the end of the world where it is possible to die with hard dick, without charge, or other prejudices

    Comment by ceacliu — January 20, 2012 @ 4:58 pm

  11. The bingo board is awesome. I love it. And the video was scared me. I have never heard this game. this game is totally disrespectful. this game sucks. people love to add porn in the game to attract more people. however, i think this is not a good way. people should protect women protect us.

    Comment by Lam Yan Yee — February 3, 2012 @ 6:47 pm

  12. I must admit.. the bingo board is hilarious and awesome. This actually isnt the first time women have been portrayed like this in video games. Im not that big of a gamer but I have played enough games that I’ve seen this and probably even more. Game producers use these scenarios and levels in games to attract male gamers into buying their game. Very disturbing but true.

    Comment by Gabriel Y. — February 5, 2012 @ 1:03 pm

  13. As a former gamer I used to play games like Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty. As a teenager playing a graphic game such as GTA due to its content, the way women were portrayed is how the media portrays women to a certain extent in today’s society. Additionally in this game the characters refer to women as “Bitches” and used to fulfill sexual desires. This has been going on for years. But there happens to be a low percentage of males that do not agree with this idea, however a large percentage of males do support the misogyny depicted in video games which is quite alarming.

    Comment by Eleazar Capuz — February 6, 2012 @ 5:45 pm

  14. Again, like the last blog, this article is great and informative, with even greater comments from its readers. I do agree with the blogger in that the game has some extrinsically sexist characteristics. I would not, however, go out to call it “misogynist crap”, though the game it self isn’t very good. The Problem with that statement is the word “misogynistic” , which implies that the game developers made the game to explicitly demonstrate their hatred towards women.

    Additionally, it is a bit concerning to see some of the reader’s posts which assume that all male are aspiring to be like Duke Nukem, or that in playing these games it would make us act in these ways towards women. There are some men (like myself), who find this game quite stupid and unplayable because of its explicit ‘over the top’ machismo.Also, the game is rated for audience over the age of 17, which, I hope is mature enough so that it does not have an effect on the player behavior.

    Comment by Elvis Rosales — April 25, 2012 @ 7:48 pm

  15. I don’t agree with the comments that all men are mindless idiots who are seeking to make themselves superior to women. There are plenty of boys/men out there who do not support games portraying women as inferior, such as duke nukem & Grand theft auto. The ones who do play these games are not all sexist pigs who look to violate helpless women figures in these games. Growing up as a boy, playing such games and conversing with my peers about these types of games, we focused more on killing the bad guy, driving the cool cars, finding secrets, and completing the mission. We never talked about the game play where you could hurt the girl character, or take advantage of her/them, therefore I think these games are not all created to teach its players to be women haters. On the other hand, I think there needs to be more games that can relate to both girls and boys, and not just one or the other. Yes there are far more male gamers then females, and most games that bring the most money are created for male interests. These games such as call of duty, assassins creed, halo, etc. all have leading male characters, which reinforces the belief that males can only be and be the best in military, be fearless, strong, and full of testosterone. If it wasn’t all about making more money for these companies, then I think we would see more equal gendered games.

    Comment by Wesley L. — April 29, 2012 @ 12:20 pm

  16. Duke Nukem is over the top, requiring people with a juvenile sense of humor to play and be amused by its crude and sexist humor. The memorable one-liners of the game don’t add much content, with the representations of women as mostly strippers. The ESRB rated the game M for mature meaning it’s not intended to be played by people under the age of 17, naturally kids younger will play it as is the nature of similarly rated games. But I believe that no one that chooses to play this game will stay just because some players may find the game’s humor witty, it came and it disappeared within a few short weeks once all the hype was found wasteful because it truly was just an awful game that no respected developed should have placed their grubby little hands on. The game can fairly be called misogynistic crap as the franchise does to tend to make women into commodities to be taunted and teased to players but I don’t believe that truly falls solely on the developers as they were sticking true to a very outdated franchise. Majority of gamers, myself included, stayed away from this game, my reasoning being I never had a spark of interest in playing it, I was aware how idiotic the game is by looking at previews towards it.

    Comment by Irving M — April 30, 2012 @ 5:36 pm

  17. Okay, with the title of this article and by the responses I am so lost. First watching the clip I really do not like how women were degraded, not saying that there aren’t any women like that out here but it just make us look bad as a whole. These new games are full of violence and sexual abuse. There are a lot of games where women are being looked at as “Bitches, Hoes, Sluts, Prostitutes, and all kinds of negative things” but it is never nothing positive. There are never negative things about guys, that is a big controversy. The guys steal, kill, rape, and do a lot of dangerous things but it never looked upon as bad as the women being abused. Although they do teach you a lot of positive life facts, you just won’t know until you play it. It teaches team work, survival techniques and confidence. Some people who play these games learn a lot of do’s and do not. If you look at it from the outer perspective it is very bad i have to agree. I am not taking up for this because it has very negative values, but if it did not then it would not sale as much as it sales now.

    Comment by Bri Davis — May 2, 2012 @ 8:04 pm

  18. Just like the other writings on Feminist Fatale, this is very interesting and informative. I learn so much and about things I am not familiar with. This one was great with the bingo board in particular. I agree in some aspects of the article and comments, and disagree with other aspects of it. Not all men are this way and there should be some way to distinguish between stereotypes.

    Comment by Jennifer — May 4, 2012 @ 7:29 pm

  19. There are men who are attracted to the kind of women and how they are displayed in Duke Nukem Forever and the strip show it was promoted with,however there many men who are not as well.Male sexuality does not always mean attracted to everything of female nature. Men can be attracted to different attributes in a partner in different ways.Such as when it comes to personality and physical attributes. Although, “Sex Icons” and “Sex Objects” usually aren’t. Some men will certainly find it both attractive and sexually arousing.

    Comment by Melissa Avitia — May 13, 2012 @ 9:49 pm

  20. It is true that many men do not find the slutty, easy women in video games attractive but a great deal do and it is threatening to the image of women. If there was variety with the way women are represented it would be less serious but women are always shown as sex objects that are abused and taken against their will. I hope that in the future there will be less video games promoting violence against women.

    Comment by Melody S. — May 27, 2012 @ 11:03 pm

  21. Swarm is a great new abstract satrtegy game. Easy to learn with only one piece like checkers, but different spaces allow you to stack and unstack your pieces for more power. Different boards will be available which will add different spaces and change the strategies. Like chess and checkers, no two games will be the same. Currently there are 2, 3, and 6 player boards available. More info can be found at the links given. There will be a Swarm tournament at the PentaCon convention in Fort Wayne IN on Nov 7th, and 8th.

    Comment by Terapia — November 16, 2012 @ 6:32 pm

  22. Your post… AMAZING. Many people tend to overlook this issue because they fear being called out on it. Everyone chooses to see this as simply being okay and acceptable because everyone has a right to do as they wish. It’s a free country, we get it. But that is not the point. The point here is that video games like these with sexist and misogynist traits are played by a large and very diverse crowd of individuals. Some can be mature enough to understand that the portrayal of women in such video games is completely inaccurate, disagree with it and get completely turned off to it. Such choices, decisions and opinions making them nothing less masculine. Yet other people can play these video games and see absolutely nothing wrong with. Believing that the way females are portrayed in such video games is the way women are in real life. How it is okay to be disrespected and mistreated. Or they feel it’s okay because men are treated the same. Hmmm, no. When was a man ever referred to as a bitch for giving birth to alien breed or when would we ever hear a man say he was going to lose weight for us so that we’d accept him. Uhh, never. Rachel you’re doing a great job publicizing your opinions. I’m sure you’ve shined some light on the matter for many people.

    Comment by RosaE — December 1, 2012 @ 1:15 pm

  23. When I read the last article I was a little worried that there wouldn’t be a response. The misogynistic views some of the commentators had was disturbing. To say that the game is rated mature and that only people old enough should be playing is naive. Kids would get this game and play it and see that a woman is an object there for viewing pleasures. It is a terrible game that reminds me of Dante’s Inferno, another crude game that also objectifies women.

    Comment by StephanieR. — December 4, 2012 @ 5:32 pm

  24. There are men who are attracted to the kind of women and how they are displayed in Duke Nukem Forever and the strip show it was promoted with,however there many men who are not as well.Male sexuality does not always mean attracted to everything of female nature. Men can be attracted to different attributes in a partner in different ways.Such as when it comes to personality and physical attributes. Although, “Sex Icons” and “Sex Objects” usually aren’t. Some men will certainly find it both attractive and sexually arousing.

    Comment by PanteaP — December 4, 2012 @ 9:26 pm

  25. What a shocking and offensive clip. The worst part of this shocking clip is the knowledge that this is only one in many scenes in other games that display such misogynist themes. Their last plea was that they’ll return to the standards of beauty expected from females–as if that last statement made all the difference to whether this “Duke” was to save them. The message this sends to the player is powerful. He was the one in control and these girls were pleading to him for their lives, and their reasoning were superficial and based on sex. Then when the girls are killed, through an uncontrollable cause, then the boys are to step in and exterminate whatever it is they cannot control. The messages being sent to male players is this blend between sex and violence. And if that had been a female player, she would’ve identified herself separately from these sexual women and attribute their demise to their sexual natures. This is detrimental to both genders as it does not allow the full extend of human expression in life, for either of them! Just in this scenario, without a question I would’ve preferred to be the male as he is still alive and has the means to control some elements of his existence.

    Comment by Sharon K. — December 5, 2012 @ 8:36 am

  26. I think that your post is very accurate. Many people who makes disrespectful and misogynistic comments always use the right to free speech excuse; however, they seem to forget that you have the same right to free speech. I think that you are right to raise the point about the misogyny within the video game culture. It’s a promotion of violence against women, the objectification of women, etc., that many people aren’t aware of. I dont necessarily think the problem is with it being there but rathet that people need to be aware of the effects that it produces. Making people aware of some of the blatant misogyny within the video game culture is the first step, in a series of many, to producing change.

    Comment by Matthew H. — December 6, 2012 @ 7:41 am

  27. Actually I played this game and I did not liked it even when I was not feminist. It was too violence and misogynistic to play so I quitted in the middle of game. CEO, Randy Pitchford’s response sounds really ignorant but sadly that’s how people defend themselves when they were asked if they are racist. This article reminds me a lot and made me think again.

    Comment by Chul Woo Park — July 23, 2013 @ 8:35 am

  28. I am not a gamer, but I hang with a lot of them. Mostly the poeple I hang around played grand theft auto once upon a time and still plays Call of Duty. I know a five year old boy who plays these game too well for his age. This five year old teaches my boyfriend all the triggers and buttons to push to do certain things. But come on, he’s five and the fact that he knows how to play a game so well is scary. Who knows how he’ll grow up, and hopefully it’s not crazy, wanting to kill and a misogynist. Im not against gamers or the games they play, it just increases the violence that encourages men to feel as if it is okay. Some people get so caught up in games that they start not to realize real life from the game that they are playing. That’s the danger of it.

    Comment by Ashley A — July 23, 2013 @ 6:25 pm

  29. As an occasional partaker of video games, I have become desensitized to the rampant misogyny I’ve observed in video games such as Duke Nukem and Grand Theft Auto. It wasn’t until I took a Women’s Studies course when I started noticing the sort of misogyny that is prevalent in all parts of society, and mainly in the media. It’s terrible that we’ve become so nonchalant towards content that targets our mothers and sisters and has potential to cause them grave harm. It is about time that we took steps to end the harmful potential of these images so we can create a world without hatred.

    Comment by Sepehr H — November 28, 2013 @ 3:58 pm

  30. As someone who enjoys playing videogames and talking about videogames. I often find it displeasing to find how much misogynic animosity circle the video game industry. It’s very hard to find female characters in video games that are not overly sexualized or dummied down. As well, women in the videogame industry are often bashed, de valued, and not taken seriously. Since males dominate the industry, often women are excluded from the discussion or only valued on their aesthetics rather then what they have to say. As a male I can only say so much, but I feel if women take courage in themselves, their actions, and their voice then not only will their be a shift in the misogynist animosity towards women but a genuine appreciation of what women have to say. Slowly, I seen more gamer girls coming out and with this slow demographic change, I hope to see a change in the discussion and image of women in video games and in the video game industry.

    Comment by Giovanni A — December 1, 2013 @ 11:57 pm

  31. My first encounter with a video game was back in 2004 in Russia. The game, called Miami Vice made quite an entry into the little city I lived and went to school in. My boyfriend at that time let me play the game. The point was to complete a mission that involved a lot of bloody and graphic killing of women and men on the streets of Miami and not to get caught or killed by police. I did not like the game at all, especially when I saw how my boyfriend with the digital power of the mouse was literally smashing somebody’s head. It is very scary to observe because you don’t know how this type of entertainment affects every person’s nervous system. We unconsciously adapt behavior and response through that which we repeatedly see through media, movies, and games. The popularity of games like this prove how sick and bloodthirsty our society is becoming. It promotes violence against women. I am not familiar with the particular game at all due to my past dramatic experience. In the video that starts with two women trapped and crying for help; I thought the guy was supposed to save them, but the girls die instead, and he is pretty okay with that. The girls in the game were portrayed as pretty messed up and stupid, mentioning the weight loss!??! That is crazy. It is messed up in the way that when the girls died, they turned into nasty bugs; and then the character smashed these bugs with joy while using inappropriate language. What should I learn from this game? That I am only a sex tool and punching bag? I think these types of games should not be created in the first place if we want to have a healthy society. This industry is like a predator; it hunts you down, feeds on your fears, creates confusion, and promotes violence. The less we allow this violence-promoting, money-making industry to affect and infect us, the more psychologically happy and healthy our society would be.

    Comment by Olga M — December 2, 2013 @ 2:17 am

  32. As an avid gamer and passionate feminist, I found myself confronted with to much shit like this. I play a lot military shooters, adventure, and even some platformers here and there, but, like Anita Sarkeesian and more importantly Rachel here, I have found myself shutting down. I love the medium but when the levels of misogyny and immaturity are so high, it is difficult to appreciate the game I’m playing. I recently purchased Grand Theft Auto 5 and I coudn’t lie to myself any more. I played the game and it was a technically fun game but the experience was ruined by the overt misogyny and sexism. I couldn’t support my purchase of the game and threw it away – I didn’t even try to sell it because that would mean someone else might play it. I totally understand your plight Rachel because when I go play online, these people become so aggressive that they start spewing out such hateful comments. As a male gamer, I don’t have to contend with the gender bias like you do but similarly when I call someone out for saying “Faggot”, “Pussy”, “Bitch”, “Cunt”, “Homo”, “Asshole”, etc, I just lose my shit. In that bingo card, I read the “just mute or block them” option as totally not viable. It is not our responsibility to alter our behavior, these gamers and developers have to grow up and become responsible for perpetuating sexist, misogynistic bullshit. Anyways, if we did mute or block them, the online space would be totally silent. That’s how bad it is…

    Comment by Albert A. — December 2, 2013 @ 8:09 am

  33. Quite honestly I know very little about the video game world and I hesitated to comment on this post because of it. My personal relationship with video games ended with “Tetris” on a “Game Boy” back in the 1990’s. Therefore I felt like “who am I to comment?” I sifted through the comments above to get a sense of the different arguments and then almost left the page to stay out of an area in which I felt like I had no business entering. Then I thought again. I do have an acute gut reaction to the video above and to the concept of games I hear about such as “Grand Theft Auto.” So therefore I will comment as someone from outside this world who hasn’t become desensitized and had the themes take on a somewhat normative existence. My reaction is “what the “f” is going on in this world that anyone that sees themselves as sane can think this kind of thing is OK?” This is not normal. This is OBSCENE to portray women like this. There is far too much violence in the real world against women globally that we should all be fighting against and be enraged about that to be actually making money and encouraging the desensitization of violence against women in the name of video games is a moral tragedy. The first time I even realized that a game like Grand Theft Auto existed was when my 12-year-old stepson was trying to have his unwitting Grandma buy it for him. My husband foiled his plan and I was made aware of what the game was. To someone on the outskirts, it is so incredibly shocking to know that a game like this exists when you are not a part of that world. To think of my stepson, who is a naturally good-hearted child, being socialized in that way along with his friends, who supposedly have the game already, is heart-breaking. Please don’t tell me that these images and concepts don’t have an effect on the minds of young gamers? Of course these games are not meant for underage kids but the corporations making money have to know that they make their way to them and whether they are teenagers or young adults, they are still young and impressionable. Do gamers really play these games, then turn them off and go out into the world knowing how to respect women, women’s bodies and their sexuality? On the one hand we are trying to fight domestic violence, rape, genital mutilation and human sex trafficking and then we are encouraging violence against women and men in the name of “recreation.” I cannot see how one can promote this sort of violence and then think it doesn’t have some negative effect on these social issues, even if it just means that a whole population remains apathetic to those causes. Taking away the notion that playing “causes” violence; it must have an affect on gamers’ brains and perceptions for our actions and our environments affect us all.

    Comment by Lucy T — May 27, 2014 @ 11:36 am

  34. This game along with many others definitely cross the line, or should just plain not be allowed by the amount of female violence. But the fact of the matter is that it sells and that’s all that matters. As much as people would love to argue that companies want the best game play, graphics, characters and so on, at the end of the day what matters is the money. Selling the product at any cost seems to be the idea that could be fueling on women’s violence, being that it has not stopped. One of my favorite games allows the character to truly do what he wants. Women are the easy targets in the game because they can’t defend themselves. This coincides with what happens behind closed doors all around the world. Abuse, violence, all which go unnoticed or simply ignored, because they are women. These games are only going to get worse, because people are going to continue to buy the chance to do “bad in a video game”.

    Comment by Kevin Monterroso — July 28, 2014 @ 11:39 pm

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