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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 75 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Re: What does role playing gaming accomplish?  (Read 45793 times)
Emily Care
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« Reply #120 on: December 08, 2002, 04:45:09 AM »

Quote from: thoth

The reason I ask is because i've always seen what seems like positive sexism when talking about females. Specifically, the notion that 'hack n slash' is not-so-good, females don't like 'hack n slash', so females are better role-players. It's not very heavy, I don't think, but its something I've always felt was present....
If someone was stereotyped (however lightly) with something that wasn't considered a bad thing (positive discrimination), but still stereotyped, does that somehow make it less wrong?



Hi Amos,

Basically makes it inaccurate. Sorry for perpetuating that one.  Hack'n'Slash is a derogatory term, shouldn't have used it.  

--Emily Care
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Black & Green Games
contracycle
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Posts: 2807


« Reply #121 on: December 08, 2002, 05:36:16 AM »

Quote from: MK Snyder

It may be a fairly accurate portrayal of some heterosexual men's homophobia, though. During the debate some years ago about the status of Gays in the US Armed Forces, I was quite impressed with how worried defenders of the "straight only" policy were that homosexual men would make unwanted advances on fellow soldiers.


Yes, I feel thats quite right.  I think the fear/feigned fear response that straight men often show to gay men is precisely because they anticipate the gay men will have the attitude towards them that they have toward women.
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"He who loves practice without theory is like the sailor who boards ship without a rudder and compass and never knows where he may cast."
- Leonardo da Vinci
Uncle Dark
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« Reply #122 on: December 08, 2002, 12:03:50 PM »

Daimon,

There are technical definitons of many -isms.  Moslty, they're used in the academy.  One of the important factors is that it isn't an -ism unless it is backed by and/or supports the current power structure.

And as far as "any accusation" being taken seriously, often they aren't taken seriously.  Unless the victim raises holy hell.  And one of the problems with discrimination cases is that juries are actually not likely to find in favor of victims of sublte discrimination and abuse.

If it were so easy to get justice for the problem, it wouldn't be such a problem.

Thoth,

"Positive sexism" is something of an oxymoron, since sexism is by definition bad.  Any stereotype, whether it appears superficially positive or not, is a handicap because it prevents people from seeing the whole person.

Back to an old point about the effects of sexism on men:
My main beef is having to pay the karmic/social bills for the actions of assholes.  That's why I devote time to things like this discussion.  Every little bit of the problem I can erode away is less stuff the next guy has to deal with.

Lon
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damion
Member

Posts: 198


« Reply #123 on: December 08, 2002, 12:48:21 PM »

Quote from: Uncle Dark
Daimon,

There are technical definitons of many -isms.  Moslty, they're used in the academy.  One of the important factors is that it isn't an -ism unless it is backed by and/or supports the current power structure.

And as far as "any accusation" being taken seriously, often they aren't taken seriously.  Unless the victim raises holy hell.  And one of the problems with discrimination cases is that juries are actually not likely to find in favor of victims of sublte discrimination and abuse.

If it were so easy to get justice for the problem, it wouldn't be such a problem.


Agreed.  I was speaking of theory rather than practice. Because, as you said an -ism is supported by the current power structure, an accusation must be taken seriously, because the tendency of the dominant power structure is to cover it up. This makes it difficult to to uphold both the rights of the victim and the accused, because it's hard to to tell the difference between subtle discrimination and false accusations.  You knew that though, so I'll give up.

Emily(et al):Do women actually want anything different in RPG's than men do?  (One of the strongest hack/slashers I ever met was female)
If they do, is it an actual difference or one imposed by society? (Yeah, that's probably not answerable. Nature vs Nurture, ect....)
Should the difference be taken into account? can it be taken into account?

Does it matter? The Sarah effect emily mentioned seems to be more of a GNS disfunction than a male-female thing. (Admittably the way it's protrayed could be considered sexist, the males hack and slash and sarah wants to negotiate, but anyway...)
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James
MK Snyder
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Posts: 116


« Reply #124 on: December 08, 2002, 01:35:05 PM »

I don't care for "positive sexism" either; because there are women who enjoy a good hack'n'slash. Me, for example.

Expanding the range of RPG's beyond designs that facilitate hack'n'slash is a good goal in itself, getting more players (both male and female) and also allowing RPG's to be played throughout life/moods/PMS cycles of individuals. Sometimes, you just want to kill things.

Sometimes, you don't.
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M. J. Young
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« Reply #125 on: December 08, 2002, 07:54:17 PM »

Quote from: thoth
There has been a lot of talk about negative sexism towards females, but what about positive sexism?

I guess I'm getting back into this discussion.

In one of the wonderful courses I had with Professor Robert Lipkin back in law school, he abruptly raised a question very much on point here. In college, he remembered, there was this tension about how to treat girls. If you held the door open for them, you were sexist; if you did not hold the door open for them, you were a heel. How could you navigate this treacherous situation, without ever giving offense either for holding or not holding doors?

I knew the answer immediately; it was the same answer I'd found when I was in college. (In fact, as soon as he asked the question he looked right at me and told me not to answer; he knew I knew.) But the answer seems rather obvious, if you step back from the question. I'll come back to it.

In regard to the question, whether there's positive sexism, I'd take a cue from libel law on this point. In its essence, a person has been libeled (or slandered if it is not in print) if a statement is made which is 1) false and 2) objectionable to the individual such that he regards it damaging to his reputation.


As an aside, it should be noted that there are higher standards for public persons; that is, if you have put yourself in the public eye, and someone makes a false and objectionable statement about you, you might have to prove that it was false, that it was damaging, and/or that the person making the statement knew it to be false or acted with wreckless disregard as to whether it was true. But for ordinary people, it is sufficient that the statement be false and objectionable.

This aspect of "objectionable" is extremely subjective, and is where the problem often lies. For example, someone might say of me that I was an Eagle Scout; in fact, I was not. Now, if I'm flattered that that mistake has been made, it's not a problem; but if I know a guy who became an Eagle Scout after urinating on a kid for no better reason than that nobody liked the kid (yeah, I do), and I don't want to be associated with that kind of person, I might feel that my reputation has been damaged. Similarly, the phrase "a good Christian" might be applied to someone who happens to be Jewish, and even though the writer meant it well it could be taken very badly. Those are cases in which what was meant as a compliment can wind up as a libel suit.

It becomes even more subjective than that, sometimes, as it can very much involve the identity of the speaker. In one of the Rush Hour movies, Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan enter a bar dominated by blacks. Tucker tells Chan "follow my lead, do what I do". He then starts talking to the patrons, saying "Hey, My Nigger," working his way through the crowd. No foul, no harm--they nod and accept the greeting. Chan then repeats the same greeting a few minutes later, and before he knows it, he's in a fight--because those same words in his mouth are offensive.

So there's really no such thing as "positive discrimination" except on an individual basis. A man telling a female coworker that she has beautiful eyes could be a compliment or grounds for a sexual harrassment suit, depending on how she thinks it was meant.

As to the doors problem, the answer is simpler than you thought: hold the door for everyone. That way you're neither being impolite to women nor treating them different. The solution to the problem is to treat everyone as equally special.

--M. J. Young
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thoth
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« Reply #126 on: December 08, 2002, 10:59:47 PM »

Quote from: M. J. Young
So there's really no such thing as "positive discrimination" except on an individual basis. A man telling a female coworker that she has beautiful eyes could be a compliment or grounds for a sexual harrassment suit, depending on how she thinks it was meant.

Positive discrimination is anything that benefits the discriminated, or is perceived as a good thing in general by the group the discriminated is in. Yes it's subjective. Yes it's still stereotyping. My intent wasn't to be bugged on the point of Positive Discrimination. My intent was to ask whether it's a less bad, or even good thing. Just needed to voice some irritation at that, but don't take it personally :)

I'm going to use a possibly crass  example. If someone said "All male RPG gamers have big penes". It's a stereotype, but how many males are going to be offended by it? I feel it would be positive discrimination because the general response would be more likely to be positive than negative.

Quote from: M. J. Young also
As to the doors problem, the answer is simpler than you thought: hold the door for everyone. That way you're neither being impolite to women nor treating them different. The solution to the problem is to treat everyone as equally special.

I've had women hold the door for me. Makes me wonder if the whole issue of holding the door and sex has become meaningless as it's gone from 'men should hold the door for women' to 'men should hold the door for everyone' to 'anyone should hold the door for everyone'. Although that may not be widespread, and is still going from B to C instead of 'gone'.

Which brings me to another question; how much, if any, discrimination do females take part in? Does it pale in comparison to male discrimination? Does it go hand in hand, maybe reinforcing each other?
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Amos Barrows
ManiSystem
Uncle Dark
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« Reply #127 on: December 09, 2002, 12:50:09 AM »

Amos,

Hurm.  I thought I'd been clear... what you're calling "positive sexism" may be less harmful, but I still think it's a bad thing.  No offense taken.

As far as women discriminating against men, yeah, it happens.  Sometimes it inspires men to discriminate back.  But the two discriminations are qualitatively different, because the way the past experiences of women (in general) bring them to feel it differently than (most) men would, given their pasts.

Think about it this way:
One person pokes another in the belly.  The other person pokes back.  Objectively, the same action.  But if one person has been repeatedly punched in the stomach, and still carries the bruises, then they'll react much differently than the one who hasn't been hit so hard or so often.  Are they unjustified in doing so?  Probably their friend did not mean to cause pain, but still did.
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Emily Care
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« Reply #128 on: December 09, 2002, 06:57:24 AM »

Quote from: damion
Do women actually want anything different in RPG's than men do?  (One of the strongest hack/slashers I ever met was female)


From the responses we've had here, looks like female gamers want a range of things, just as male gamers do.  

It's probably easier to say what might turn off female players, rather than to say "Women want X". It makes sense for game designers to be aware of sexism in their games, and avoid it. Let's see, we had a "do" list for gaming groups here, maybe a "do" or "don't" list for game design would be helpful as well.  "Do" include examples of male and female characters for different classes or types of characters, as appropriate for setting. And if at least provide female characters of substance to be played if there are limitations on what women can do in the setting. "Do" use both pronouns in examples of play when refering to players, gms and all game participants. (This one makes a difference for me when I read a game, at least.)  What else?

It seems to me that encouraging or at least giving examples of players playing characters of the opposite gender is another way to break down barriers, but I'm not sure if others would agree. A game that explicitly required all players to play an opposite gendered character might be an interesting exercise.  Roleplaying games actually represent an opportunity for folks to play with, explore and gain better insight about what gender differences mean or don't mean.

And most importantly, we should continue to design from the heart, or whatever--design games that we want to play, as folks have been talking about on other threads here.  Quality and variety are going to help bring in new gamers regardless of the gender.  

There's a Buffie the Vampire Slayer game out recently or soon. It will be interesting to see if this has a gender related response among consumers.

--Emily Care
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Black & Green Games
Clay
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« Reply #129 on: December 09, 2002, 08:34:59 AM »

I'm not sure that requiring (or even encouraging) people to play characters of an opposite gender is a desirable thing. Watching males get in touch with their feminine side via roleplaying is more than a little uncomfortable. I've seen it, and I didn't like it.
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Clay Dowling
RPG-Campaign.com - Online Campaign Planning and Management
Emily Care
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« Reply #130 on: December 09, 2002, 09:03:47 AM »

Quote from: Clay
Watching males get in touch with their feminine side via roleplaying is more than a little uncomfortable. I've seen it, and I didn't like it.


What was it like?
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Black & Green Games
damion
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Posts: 198


« Reply #131 on: December 09, 2002, 09:09:55 AM »

Quote from: Emily Care
Quote from: damion
A game that explicitly required all players to play an opposite gendered character might be an interesting exercise.  Roleplaying games actually represent an opportunity for folks to play with, explore and gain better insight about what gender differences mean or don't mean.


I'm just imagining each group playing it's stereotypes of the other. It would probably be pretty amusing, and educational.
I suppose this is the should RPG's be educational, or just fun, but that's a new thread. (I know, I know, learning should be fun. Not in the american school system though.)
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James
contracycle
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Posts: 2807


« Reply #132 on: December 09, 2002, 10:55:59 AM »

Quote from: Emily Care
Quote from: Clay
Watching males get in touch with their feminine side via roleplaying is more than a little uncomfortable. I've seen it, and I didn't like it.


What was it like?



Hmm... I seldom play female characters because I don't think I can really get the contextual experience; I don't think RP really works like that becuase there is nothing but your own expectations to work from, it all feels too recursive for me.  For this reason I am more comfortable with characters of my own gender.

But this does prompt a very specific DON'T on my part.  DON'T assume that female players should be prompted, encouraged, or expected of their own volition to choose healer/cleric/non-combatant characters.
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Impeach the bomber boys:
www.impeachblair.org
www.impeachbush.org

"He who loves practice without theory is like the sailor who boards ship without a rudder and compass and never knows where he may cast."
- Leonardo da Vinci
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #133 on: December 09, 2002, 11:04:30 AM »

Hello,

It's time for everyone to take a full 12 hours, as of individually reading this message, to lay off. It's time to stop reacting and start reflecting.

I doubt many will comply with this next point, but I suggest that if you want to continue, print the current thread out in its entirety, read it over, and isolate any major points you think have been made.

This topic is not closed, although I'd prefer that this thread be closed. Feel free to address any single one of the points as a new thread topic.

Please honor this post regarding the 12-hour off period.

Best,
Ron
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