Bear's Bikini for the Battlefield

By Patsy Anderson -
1

I had completely different ideas for my column today. I was planning on talking about music in gaming, in part of a followup to my news article regarding the class action lawsuit the Guild Wars 2 community is trying to put together against Jeremy Soule and DirectSong, but from a different angle. I already ranted on Soule enough about his horrible ethics and disgusting comments, so there's not much else to say about that particular issue directly, but it in itself can be a good jumping board onto something new. Then, my friend sent me a link to a mutual friend's new gig, telling me that he has a news tip for me. He follows it up by dropping this in chat after the link, “female in full armor. BOOM! yay - a game that thinks armor is there to protect.” I put together a game page for Crowfall late last night, after painstakingly blowing up their tiny logo to the size I needed and then making it not look like pixelated garbage. I had planned on writing about Crowfall's latest announcement today, in a completely different capacity, but then another friend posted a link to my Facebook page just moments ago. I guess the universe is telling me the soundtracks of our games can wait; it's time to talk about the chainmail bikini.

The link my friend gave me is to a Tumblr page called Bikini Armor Battle Damage. Below the hilarious image from STAR WARS: The Old Republic's update a couple of years back featuring Sexy Slave Armor for Him, we get to our very first image of bikini armor. Here we have a cover from Warlord of Mars featuring a lady in golden platemail that pretty much just covers her naughty bits. I mean, we've got to keep it decent for the children, right? I'm always being told we need to think of the children for anything we do these days. I mean, thank the Great Goat her areolas are covered, right? We can't have NFL nip slips in our fantasy. Since this is fantasy, I guess I could imagine that for some reason, she has this invisible enchantment to deflect arrows and whatnot. What I cannot imagine is that the archers behind the arrows in my imagination having aim to only hit the bikini areas. Maybe they'll just aim for her feet? Many of these outfits come equipped with plate boots that go up to the thighs, so those legs are far less vulnerable.

This hilariously terrible armor trend has been with us for decades and likely isn't going away anytime soon, unless we as a society can start talking about women as more than just pretty objects to appreciate when the mood suits us, and damn her for trying to be anything else. We see this all the time, and it's recently hit our community in a way that can't be ignored anymore. We now have public figures who refuse to remain silent, even when they get rape threats and enough personal information about them is released that they flee their homes in fear of their families. I've lost a few friends along the way, but I feel that they weren't really friends if they can't be bothered with an ounce of empathy. Instead, I had a converstation with two of the most privileged adult men I know, who would rather victim blame and #notallmen all over the place instead of realize that by saying they aren't the problem because they're not doing it, or they haven't personally experienced it directly, so it can't be that big of a deal. I pretty much unfriended AngryPrivilegedGuy after he posted the following image, which came shortly after the conversation below it. Bonus: swears. I swear a lot. If you think there are bad words, you probably don't want to read things below.


YourDancingDumbBear

13 hrs · Edited ·

So, I just found out that Twitter crazy man and Firefly alum Adam Baldwin is an avid gamer, and even tried to address the current issues surrounding women in gaming with the GamerGate hashtag. I was surprised that he would actually try to do something sane and rational, but like any good thing on Twitter, it never stays very good for long.

http://www.themarysue.com/gamergate-harms-women/

Female Game Journalists Quit Over Harassment, #GamerGate Harms Women

"Ethics of game journalism" my ass.

THEMARYSUE.COM

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LadyDeveloperFriend likes this.

LadyDeveloperFriend I don't even understand the internet anymore..

12 hrs · Unlike · 1

YourDancingDumbBear No more nice things. Ever.

11 hrs · Like · 2

AngryPrivilegedGuy I'm not even going to read it and just know in advance that Twitter is a way to speak before you think and/or correct typos.

11 hrs · Like

YourDancingDumbBear It's so much more than that, AngryPrivilegedGuy, and ignoring the article is ignoring the current problem as a whole. It's only escalating at this point.

10 hrs · Like

AngryPrivilegedGuy Okay, so people are mean on the internet.

E: Oh sweet Jesus, they used Matt Kerr to prove a point in that article. Nope, biased against it now.

10 hrs · Edited · Like

YourDancingDumbBear No this isn't about being mean. Do you even know what is going on or are you just intentionally being obtuse?

10 hrs · Like

AngryPrivilegedGuy I'm so aware I'm over it.

10 hrs · Like

#NotAllMenGuy Here are some other posts on the subject, which explain why I feel that articles like the one you've linked are counterproductive and do more harm than good: http://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1s70jhl

TwitLonger — When you talk too much for Twitter

www.twitlonger.com

TwitLonger is the easy way to post more than 140 characters to Twitter

9 hrs · Like · Remove Preview

YourDancingDumbBear That's a really shitty attitude to have toward women in gaming. This won't stop, especially if you're just going to sit around and be completely apathetic about it because it doesn't affect you.

9 hrs · Like

#NotAllMenGuy http://blueplz.blogspot.com/.../this-game-supports-more... [link to article he posted]

This game supports more than two players | [Blog Plz!]

blueplz.blogspot.com

9 hrs · Like · Remove Preview

YourDancingDumbBear Dude. It's not about Twitter. Twitter is only a small part of this entire fucking issue here. This is about women receiving fucking death threats to them, their families, and being forced out of jobs for daring to question the norm in games space. This isn't a safe environment for women, not that I'd expect a couple of guys to understand it at all.

9 hrs · Like

#NotAllMenGuy Or we could level vitriolic statements about gamers and shake our fists at them while standing on moral high ground, because that's a great way to get someone to listen to you without putting them on the defensive.

9 hrs · Like

YourDancingDumbBear Ignoring the problem doesn't help. You're both ignoring the issue. How the fuck am I supposed to react here? Whatever. Just hide my damn post if you don't agree like I do with yours and move on with your life.

9 hrs · Like

#NotAllMenGuy Those links are really worth reading. I actually read the entire article you linked, but you obviously didn't read what I linked. They're more about the tone of it all than the actual issue.

9 hrs · Like

YourDancingDumbBear You're claiming the issue here is about Twitter; it's not. Have you been following what has been happening lately? Anita Sarkeesian was forced out of her own home because people went too damn far.

8 hrs · Like

#NotAllMenGuy When you blame people for things, it puts them on the defensive. Pointing fingers is not a good way to get people to listen. The post you link is basically an attack on all gamers. Lumps all of us in together and blames everyone.

8 hrs · Like

#NotAllMenGuy I never said it was about twitter. That was AngryPrivilegedGuy.

8 hrs · Like

YourDancingDumbBear It does not lump everyone together. It says that the internet ruins good things. As batshit crazy as I think Baldwin is, he tried to do a good thing, which was twisted around into a bad thing. That's the point of the article. I'm responding aggressively because all week I've been told that it's not an issue or people just think they can ignore it and it will go away. It won't go away and it's getting worse. Women do not feel welcome in gaming. For too long we've let it cater to a culture that elevates misogyny, bigotry, homophobia and sexism. Gaming should be completely opening and welcoming to all, but the unfortunate truth is that it's the exact opposite.

8 hrs · Like

ThatOneAcquaintance Honestly as a girl seeing all of this i don't think the harrassment they are getting is even from being girl gamers it is actually from being too famous for their own good. These girls are getting the brunt of what most actors/actresses deal with often on a daily basis. Crazy people are crazy no matter what.

8 hrs · Like

#NotAllMenGuy Really though, when they get these threats, trolls, etc., they're responding to them and giving those trolls every ounce of attention they could possibly desire, which only encourages the trolls to endeavor harder to illicit a response. The best way to deal with trolls is to publicly ignore them, then silently take whatever actions one can to stay safe (involve the police with all serious threats), etc. This article passingly refers to TotalBiscuit in the statement about "youtube 'personalities'" (probably the most famous/subscribed youtuber that was involved in this discussion), but his response to this whole thing has been far more enlightening on the subject, far more useful, far more down to earth, and for the rest of us, it just feels like an attack, because it is an attack. It is being carried out in the least constructive way possible.

"It’s that a vocal minority of videogame fans who tend to congregate at sites like 4chan and Reddit, who blanket twitter and comment sections with hate and anger, and who adopt the exclusionary identity of “gamer” have united to intimidate and silence videogame fans, developers and writers who aren’t like them or don’t think like them. And the leaders of that movement, the ones who stir up the most resentment and convince their followers that it’s not about hate but ethics, the YouTube “personalities” and condescending Breitbart hacks and, uh, Firefly’s Adam Baldwin, are all well-established opponents of equality and social justice."

"Regardless, if you still thought the gaming community’s real skeleton in the closet was “transparency in game journalism” rather than misogyny..."

"This ongoing uproar in the gaming community is not about journalistic ethics, it’s not really about the gall of Social Justice Warriors (the fact that a moniker like #SJW is pejorative is profoundly f’ed); it’s about systematic misogyny and abuse, the ease with which harassment occurs online, and the fact that publishing an article calling for empathy could engender enough hate to make you want to quit writing forever."

18 hrs · Like

#NotAllMenGuy The thing is, that vocal minority is not silencing us, it's the fact that gamers like myself feel attacked by the people we support, because we get lumped in and fingers are being pointed at the community. There is still a social stigma with gaming, particularly with MMOs and the like. You can see this readily apparent among among my friends and family, but it's just something I do for entertainment. It's not a cause. Now this movement creates an us (women/SJW/feminists) versus them (the gaming community as a whole) scenario. That's the tone this conversation has taken and carried since the start... and trolls eat that shit up. Constructive discussions are not framed in this manner.

18 hrs · Like

#NotAllMenGuy All calls for ignoring the trolls and ending the finger pointing in order to have a sincere discussion are being ignored. The only voices being heard are SJWs blaming the gaming community for victimizing them and the trolls who thrive on suffering. They feed off of each other, and gamers like myself are simply not a part of the conversation because the SJWs lump us in with total shitheads. These were the main points in BOTH articles I linked. Neither one is calling for us to ignore the discussion, but to have a better quality discussion. Though I doubt this will ever come to be, since SJWs are convinced that everyone else is wrong, including all those who called for an end to finger pointing, ignoring the trolls, and a more sincere discussion without generalizing people into groups.

17 hrs · Like

RandomGuy My Experience in gaming (ps3/console) consists of various 12 year olds yelling "CUNT!" "FAGGOT!" and "COCKSUCKER" at each other over headsets.....not a pleasant experience for anyone and the reason I ALWAYS mute before a multiplayer match.....

12 hrs · Like

#NotAllMenGuy +1 for PC gaming over console gaming.

7 hrs · Like

FriendOfBear If you think people getting rape threats and death threats should not call these people out....you're part of the problem

If you think that people in the industry, and gamers receiving harassment in games, on forums, via mail isn't that big of a deal... you're part of the problem.

If you think that anyone who fears for their life because of an article, a quest, a post, a shared link that someone wanted to "troll" over should just be ignored because it gives the "trolls" power....you're part of the problem,

If you feel defensive over the use of the term "gamers" when any reasonable person understands that #notallgamers are assholes...You're part of the problem.

If you consider people who abuse, harass, stalk, threaten other with mental, or physical harm just "trolls".... you're part of the problem.

If you post long-winded rants, on facebook derailing the discussion from this sort of behavior to how YOU, personally... are "offended" (because who the fuck cares about death, rape, assault threats when you..personally are "offended").... then you, my friend, are part of the problem.

6 hrs · Unlike · 3

#NotAllMenGuy You're making my point for me. You're pointing your finger directly at me and blaming me for all this shit. Simply amazing.

6 hrs · Like

#NotAllMenGuy pasted some rant that I'm pretty sure wasn't his, because it had to do with music he's not into and nothing to deal with the conversation. While I was responding to his continue ranting that happened while I was sleeping, he went back through and removed all of his comments. I did not get a chance to copy this one.

YourDancingDumbBear My god are you still obsessed with this? Jesus. We don't agree with you. End of story. Quoting GBV isn't going to change how we feel. We have experiences you do not. Our experiences give us different ways to view life. Writing novel after novel after novel on my wall (especially days later) isn't going to change my actual experiences working in the gaming industry. Or FriendOfBear's experiences working in the gaming industry. Or LadyDeveloperFriend's experiences working in the gaming industry.

Also, I don't have a clue what this rant is about. It just seems like it's nothing but random name dropping with zero point to it.

2 mins · Edited · Like

YourDancingDumbBear Oh. You deleted your comment. And all of your others. OK #NotAllMenGuy. OK. Makes total sense. At least I got screen grabs of the other ones to use in my article. I didn't need some ranty makes-no-sense post about GBV and Ric Ocasek anyway.

2 mins · Like


#NotAllMenGuy posted some rant about Guided By Voices (the band – the rant had zero to do with the conversation at hand) and went back to delete all of his messages and then unfriend me. But don't worry, not every guy on my Facebook feed was a shitbag before my unfriending fury. Let's pat this guy on the back for being a decent human being:

I think one of the most dangerous points in this whole conversation, though, was the part where the one woman in this conversation who hasn't worked in the industry has the attitude of “well, it doesn't happen to me, so is it really an issue?” She states that the real root of the problem here is that the women being harassed are only experiencing this because they're “too famous for their own good.” How is that even possible?

ThatOneAcquaintance Honestly as a girl seeing all of this i don't think the harrassment they are getting is even from being girl gamers it is actually from being too famous for their own good. These girls are getting the brunt of what most actors/actresses deal with often on a daily basis. Crazy people are crazy no matter what.

Before you feel that I'm getting completely off topic here, there is a direct relation between how women, notable or not, are treated in our community and society as a whole and how they are displayed in the games we play. Men in games can be completely armored from head to toe, but women need to be sexy, for whatever reason. Do our heroes need to be sexy in order to be heroes? Can we be sexy without being mostly naked? I like it better when there's a choice; in World of Warcraft, my Druid looks like a clown car, while my priest is wearing standard Gnome gear – both are completely covered and that's my choice. My friend is pretty much wearing a thong with side leg flaps and that's her choice. We're able to have completely different styles of dress for our characters without being forced into a stereotype.

While I do not agree with the anti-hero movement in the community (mostly because I truly believe that if we don't play as heroes that we'll be playing a really boring game. However, I feel that we can be heroes while keeping our clothes on, and for that, I thank ArtCraft for creating a Templar who looks completely badass.

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About The Author

Patsy "Vendolyn" Anderson
Vendolyn's been playing MMOs since 1999, although Vendolyn in-game often becomes a long-term shelved alt. When she's not gaming, she's likely marathoning some questionable TV show or babbling about music to no end. She really likes goats.

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