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If we got angry about this kind of thing we'd be angry all the time

Jimquisition’s Take on Sexism in Games: A Great Big Flat Joke

Literally one of the first things I did when The Mary Sue had a real posting backend to work with was make this category: If We Got Angry About This Kind of Thing We’d Be Angry All The Time. It was in intended to be used in two situations:

1. For all those times when you realize the subtle problems of the current fandom you’re experiencing, but you just can’t summon the energy to confront them, or you just want to keep playing World of Warcraft (in spite of jokingly effeminate male dragon bosses) or watching Battlestar Galactica (where a very culturally diverse, gender equal, and sexually liberated universe has exactly two gay people in it and then only if you watch the show’s supplemental material) and enjoying it. Because it’s your entertainment and we’re all human beings who just want to like the things that are presented to us.

2. For when what you just saw was actually truly wrongheaded through and through, but, as so often happens on the internet, getting angry about it will have little to no effect on anyone who was responsible for it, and, in fact, may actually encourage them do to more of the same thing.

I feel like Jim Sterling‘s recent vlog for The Escapist (brought to my attention by reader Sarah and another anonymous tipster) on sexism in gaming falls squarely in the second category.

I’d like to make it clear that I’m not making excuses for Jimquisition: Solving the Sexism Situation in this post, so it’s probably best if you read this whole article and imagine that my expression and tone matches with the Look of Disapproval up there. That said: when Jim Sterling self describes himself as “gaming’s biggest douchebag” and then posts a video about how to fix sexism in gaming, you should probably guess that you’re in for something poorly thought out.

And it is. I don’t think Sterling’s video is intended as anything other than trolling. He mentions two of the more recent controversial moments in gaming culture (Duke Nukem Forever‘s Capture the Babe, the Penny Arcade Dickwolves controversy) but completely sidesteps the actual problems that rational people had with them in order to posit a solution to sexism where we simply objectify and offend everyone. Of course: women are not looking for proper representation in games, we’re just looking to cockblock every man who finds females in chain-mail bikinis attractive. He also assumes that all women are attracted to men and all men are attracted to women throughout his argument.

Sterling trots out the evolutionary argument (games objectify women because men are hardwired to look at tits!) for sexism, and his evidence for “sex sells to women” is DeviantArt, which you can access for… free. This is not serioustimes, people.

This is “gaming’s biggest douchebag” looking to get a rise out of everybody.

I don’t even care whether Jim Sterling actually believes in his own message. If he’s smart enough to figure out that declaring the message will get him tons of traffic, comments, and views, he’s probably smart enough to know that what he’s saying isn’t rhetorically defensible. He’s also smart enough to know that regardless of the rhetorical coherence of his argument, a large portion of his audience will find that it aligns enough with the opinions they already hold that they will defend him to his detractors. As they already are, to his many detractors, in the comments on The Escapist.

If you would like to watch his video, and thereby unavoidably contribute to its success, you can find it here.


  • Sarah Wood

    Thank you guys so much for bringing this up, it really means a lot

  • Paul Birchenough

    Another example of a priviliged minority hating the fact that they are being asked to please let other people have a slice of their cake, even though it’s a magical cake that gets bigger and better the more people share it.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you for bringing it to our attention!

  • Kimberly

    I honestly wrote that particular rant off as one big joke. I noticed most of the commentary at escapism didn’t seem to be very in favor of it, though, like you said. There’s always going to be the fringe group who wants everything catered exclusively to them, no matter where you look. Like the people complaining about Dragon Age 2 because, oh god, if you play as a guy you get hit on by a guy exactly one time. Unless you encourage it, and.. well, I don’t have much to say to that. :)

  • Anonymous

    I’ll just leave this here:

  • Jrp

    Lisa Foiles is an interesting character on the Escapist; I’m not entirely sure what to make of her Top 5 videos. There is a substantial amount of them the focus on the attractiveness of characters, although there’s only one that focuses on men. I’m not sure that if there is or isn’t something wrong with her approach; my gut tells me its just silly fun and she just happens to focus on attractive women a lot, but she also focuses on other stuff like robots and crazy vehicles so…women and machines??

    On topic though, yeah, Jim Sterling. -_- Glad you guys are covering this though; its important.

  • trickfred

    I find it hard to comprehend this humourless critique of what was obviously a very tongue-in-cheek commentary.

    I’d hate to see what you thought of Jonathan Swift’s ‘A Modest Proposal’.

  • Redigan

    Femnazi slut.

  • Michael Prideaux

    I would just like to ask “He also assumes that all women are attracted to men” my only current guess is you are referring to homosexuals, surely homosexual men will enjoy the half nude males while homosexuals women will enjoy the already half nude females.

    That aside I get the feel your points made are highly hypocritical as you seem to be “sidestepping” your issues with him.

    He also refers to him self from my knowledge as gaming’s biggest douche bag because his satirical comedy has a cult following, a marmite theme if you will.

    I found his video enjoyable and their are women who don’t find his idea sexist at all (so I know its not a i’m male i’m wrong), he doesn’t propose a idea that is rainbows and sunshine, he has proposed a radical idea. He understands everyone wants to sell their game and “sex sells” its true otherwise we wouldn’t be stuck in this situation, so why not at least make it fair to you.

    I don’t fully understand how letting women have Duke Nukem for girls is bad?
    Don’t feminists want to be treated equally?

  • really_dude?

    Tongue-in-cheek requires wit. And how dare you compare Jim Sterling to Jonathan Swift; Mr. Swift’s name does not deserve to be sullied by some low-brow basement dweller.

  • Sarah Wood

    But it wasn’t really tongue in cheek. One has to actually be witty/insightful, to be tongue in cheek. Besides Jim Sterling is no Jonathan Swift, I doubt in 300 years, high school freshman will be watching Jim Sterling to learn about the fine art of satire

  • Not_being_sarcastic_at_all

    For the record, I am totally in favor of eating babies. Just putting that out there.

  • Pigmy Wurm

    I think Jim’s point was more on the fact that objectification is not inherently wrong. His point is not that he wants to offend people or to deny women good representation in games it is that people like looking at the types of people they are attracted to and that isn’t inherently wrong. Yeah I noticed that he didn’t bring up gay people, which I was actually a little surprised by, but In the end they are also served by the “why not make everyone sexy” solution.

    I don’t think Jim actually thinks that every character in every game should be walking fan service. But he is saying that developers shouldn’t be afraid to market fan service to female (and gay) consumers as well. I personally think that once both genders start getting objectified equally then their can be more of a distinction between characters who are meant to be overtly sexual, and characters who are meant to be 3 dimensional, and that distinction wont fall along gender lines.

    And at the end of the day most video games are going to be like Hollywood, everyone is going to be prettier than normal and I don’t think that is something that can or really has to change.

  • Sarah Wood

    Instead of objectifying everyone, how about we just don’t objectify anyone? That seems to be far more radical and agreeable than Jim Sterling’s. And just because some women don’t find his comments sexist, doesn’t mean his comments aren’t sexist, women are not a monolithic group there are varying opinions. Most of my male friends who game also find his comments really out of line, the vast majority of people on escapist who are saying he is inappropriate are men. It is not just women who think he was ignorant in his comments, people from so many different background find this guy just tasteless. Besides video games that objectify people generally suck, and just aren’t worth playing.

  • Michael Prideaux

    This is the problem he is pointing out which you didn’t seem to understand, sex sells it’s undeniable as we wouldn’t be stuck in this situation otherwise, this appeases all groups. Women get their sexy games so do men and the industry can make money off it. Using his proposed method means everyone gets treated equally and the media can carry on what they would do so as well.
    I never claimed that its definitely not sexist I was just attempting to express that I checked It wasn’t because I was male that I didn’t find them sexist. (on a side note which sections do you feel really are sexist and why)

    I haven’t noticed many if at all men or women claiming he is sexist, and the overall current problem on the Escapist is some don’t like it so they feel it should be removed which is unfair on users like me and others who enjoy his show for his opinion/ideas/humor. (second and third here)
    Personally I feel it a strange turn of events that such a open forum turned so negative, its unfair on many that we lose out on something we enjoy because they dislike it. There is plenty of drivel on the Escapist but I would never want it removed if some enjoyed it.

    “Besides video games that objectify people generally suck, and just aren’t worth playing.”
    I don’t know which games you have been playing to come by this opinion but the majority of played games and well regarded games do objectify people, such as Mario (winning the princess) and Zelda (same again)

    P.S Didn’t try to sound harsh sorry if it does in last statement but I found it tricky to write otherwise.

  • Michael Prideaux

    “And at the end of the day most video games are going to be like Hollywood, everyone is going to be prettier than normal and I don’t think that is something that can or really has to change.”
    To true, even games that are supposedly not so still don’t have that unattractive characters, they still from their culture background look good. Take Alex from half life 2 she looks good what can I say, the real life look a like (pc gamer article i think) was a very attractive women, a slight geeky tone but still bloody attractive. The main difference currently which Jim spoke about is women don’t have this in game form yet.

  • Sarah Wood

    What I specifically talking about is sexual objectification, which I’m not sure Zelda falls under (I’m not a huge fan of Mario). Last time I played OoT I’m pretty sure I Zelda wasn’t turned into a sexual object. Seriously though I can’t name one great game where women were treated as sexual objects. Lastly sex doesn’t sell video games, good action does

  • JoAnna Luffman

    As someone who IS a Conservative, I’m going to have to ask you to go back to Stormfront or 4chan, kthxbai.

  • WilliamRLBaker

    Except the vast majority of people saying it on escapist aren’t saying it because they truely feel that way they are saying it because they are elitests that believe that the rest of the site doesn’t work on the same shock value and some how has this high brow higher production value which couldn’t be further from the truth.

    And really no objectification at all?…next up why don’t we all just walk around wearing full black cloaks showing nothing. Objectification is a natural part of the human condition it often spurs things good or bad that push us along our evolutionary path objectification of sex, prowess in sports, intelligence…without objectification most people wouldn’t give a damn and we would have all died out back when the monkeys were swinging in the vines *evolution tip there* all humanity objectifies…otherwise we would never protect anything lack of a better term in my mind we would just stop caring.

  • WilliamRLBaker

    ahh so we get to the core of it…Its not because you dont like the content but who its being slung by…Bias anyone? *so much for your past comments of lets not objectify any one…someone whom truely believed that would have more problem with the content and not the person creating said content*

  • Dibidoolandas

    Good games don’t objectify women? Bayonetta? Ninja Gaiden (just google Ninja Gaiden Rachel if you never played)? How about the Metal Gear Solid games. Plenty of scenes where women are objectified in those games, and they’re possibly the greatest ever made.

  • Anonymous

    I feel like this discussion is talking about two different things. Having sexy characters that gamers enjoying watching, playing, and fantasizing about is one thing. Go for it, game designers. Make your sexy women, your sexy men, and work on your jiggle physics. Cool.

    But sexual objectification is “regarding a person as a commodity or as an object for use, with insufficient regard for a person’s personality or sentience.” This is not a good thing to have in games. Why? It’s shitty writing. Having shitty writing apply equally to men and women isn’t a solution.

  • Sarah Wood

    -_- the issue isn’t that Jim Sterling is Jim Sterling. The issue is that Jim Sterling isn’t witty and comparing him to Jonathan Swift, someone who IS witty, is both misleading and insulting. If Jim Sterling were witty then MAYBE his attempts at jokes wouldn’t fall flat and be plain old sexist, but he isn’t witty and his attempts at jokes DO fall flat and ARE plain old sexist. Its not that complicated.

  • mu

    I have to say, this is what I like about the Mary Sue, geek news and stories without the garnish of blatant misogyny.

  • Sarah Wood

    @Dibidoolandas good point those are pretty fun games

  • mu

    Sex appeal is not the same as objectification. There are a lot of ways to make a character sexy without degrading them, devaluing them as people, or reducing them to objects. Extending that kind of treatment to men doesn’t make it any less problematic. Although it can be entertaining ( ) and there are definitely a lot of consumers who would enjoy more fanservice of male characters, the only solution to the objectification of women is to treat women and female characters with respect. No amount of degradation applied to men is going to make up for that.

  • mu

    “tongue in cheek” is not a free pass to objectionable behavior.

    Who or what is being mocked, and to what ends?

    “A Modest Proposal” exaggerates the exploitation of the poor and working class to put emphasis on the apathy of the rich. i.e. how terrible can it be to eat children you would otherwise allow to starve in the streets?

    What’s the message in Mr. Sterling’s commentary?

  • Jrplette

    We aren’t saying it because we’re elitist, we’re saying it because we are offended. I don’t appreciate you discrediting my reaction and your assertion that we consider the Jimquisition (and particularly his most recent video) as “beneath” the rest of the site on the basis of its shock value. Its not the shock value we’re taking issue with: its the presentation. For something to be “tongue in cheek” it requires two things: wit and timing. Jim had neither in this video, and so his rant, which COULD have been tongue in cheek if he WAS witty and had good timing, was NOT tongue in cheek. It was merely sexist and full of heteronormative assumptions.

    And yes, really, no objectification at all. That would be preferable. Its not about NOT being sexy, its about NOT treating a person as an object that exists only for your gratification. Furthermore, objectification IS NOT the evolutionary mechanic by which the human race procreates and continues on; that is completely ridiculous. Libidos and pheromones do that well enough on their own; objectification is just the nasty byproduct of a set of cultural values that lead one group to desire to exercise power over another group. We shouldn’t be objectifying people on the basis of their prowesses, whatever they may be. We should praise them, sure; achievement is desirable to the furthering of mankind and the more we achieve the better.

    Upon rereading your argument I think I you are confusing emotional attachments with objectification. The thing is, objectification arises from a LACK of emotional attachment: if we don’t care about someone or something its easy to just use it for whatever and then throw it away. I think if we, as a society, cared MORE we’d see how when we objectify people we are hurting them and would want to stop that because hurting people helps no one.

  • Brendan Speers

    My thing with Jim is he doesn’t seem to GET satire. He says what he does is such, but he never exaggerates enough to make it an actual joke. Just saying something sexist isn’t satire, it’s just being sexist. I believe he means well, and he isn’t as pigheaded as he comes across, but he always seems to have this problem. It’s more an issue with tone and delivery, more than anything. If he WANTED to make fun of sexism and such like, it wouldn’t take all that much tweaking to do so, but he just doesn’t do it. At least for me. He seems to confuse being offensive and being witty, a mistake many people make.

    And I don’t think he’s really that big of a douchebag, he just… doesn’t get satire. Not in my opinion anyway.

  • Michael Prideaux

    But surely if we remove this then it will just be a shift of power to women, then we will have women with to much power and only have sexism againsnt men it would just switch places.
    Even if we then cater to the male side it which just be a contiuneus steps to becoming a culture that removed individuality from anything.

  • Michael Prideaux

    Objectification is an easy methord of conveying story, yer thats too true, however this doesnt stop games being good otherwise countless titles would stay afloat.
    Ninja gaiden, Mario, Zelda and other.

  • Michael Prideaux

    If he didnt deliver his videos with his vulgar and radical methord he wouldn’t be unquie, and therefor wouldn’t be worthwhile on the escapist.
    He has a cult following (marmite style) no one is in anyway forced to watch his videos.

  • Anonymous

    I must have missed the part in Mario where Princess Peach is scantily clad and makes a blow job face at the camera. She doesn’t have any agency in the game, that is true. That is often a symptom of poor writing, although in and of itself is not a determinant of poor writing. However, Princess Peach is not sexually objectified in any version I’ve ever seen. Neither is Zelda herself, AFAIK. They are not good examples for your argument.

  • Michael Prideaux

    He proposses that rather then just objectifing women or trying to remove objectification of women, he suggest to do the same for men. Which for me sounds fair, we both get the same treatment (equality) and the industry can go on with what they want to do (without problems like objectification which could be something they want to use)

  • Michael Prideaux

    In my opinion I enjoy his videos and find them witty, I enjoy his jokes.
    I still dont comprehend which of his jokes people find sexist.

  • Michael Prideaux

    can’t reply to the guy below so I will here.
    “We aren’t saying it because we’re elitist, we’re saying it because we are offended.”
    You cant catagorise yourself as the whole Escapist, plenty of posters JUST dislike his work and therefor want it removed, becuase they dont find it funny or intresting.
    I just feel this is unfair as then I lose out for nothing.

  • Michael Prideaux

    Objectification not sexual objectification.

  • Michael Prideaux

    Sorry not purely sexual objectification.
    Ninja gaiden is sexual, while Mario is just objectification.

  • Michael Prideaux

    Less are large portion of hate is due to him lacking a form of basic animation that ZP, EC and MB, which is kind of sad seeing as we should care about his ideas and his topics rather then his video quality. I don’t hate on shows like pokemon parody thing becuase of its poor production and animation I dislike the idea of it and also the humor. One things such as production values alone shouldn’t mean its removed, especially if people do enjoy it with no expence of other.

  • RevC

    Can you please explain this comment further?

  • MHemming

    I’m just putting it out there, that as a lesbian I find objectification of females in games as more distracting than useful and quite insulting at times, also that most of the women are only considered conventionally attractive, but I’d think that some of the women I’d find attractive other people would consider not to their standards, and would most likely attack them if they were included in games.

    Also I find some people much more attractive if they wear more clothes, rather than less. As an example: Girls in suits. Mmm. I could have also included that picture of Marlene Dietrich. Plus. If people want bikinis and tits in their games, there are mods which remove even more of the clothes added all of the time. Also for dicks!

  • MHemming

    Too many people seem to confuse being witty with being offensive. In a recent case in Canada where a lesbian couple were verbally attacked in a way that a comedian believed was just him being witty, and won damages for their case. The response from many comedians seemed “If we can’t attack people who are different to us and make fun of them in front of our audiences, then how are we supposed to amuse people?” I’d suggest they learn what comedy truly is, and how it can be done without offence. There’s a lot of comedy in self-degradation and observational comedy, which don’t have to be offensive, though they can use profanity, because that generally doesn’t seem to be the difference between good and bad comedy.

    I’d suggest at this point, (though it doesn’t contain any profanity from what I remember) people go and watch “A bit of fry and laurie” on youtube.

  • Michael Prideaux

    Im not saying its the best ending to objectification but its a fair one.
    Both groups are treated equal (more could be included) also its a more likely alternative then everyone doesnt get offended.
    We keep freedom of speech, dev can still make their games how they want, I can still play games which people find are objectifying and i can experiance the new games that are design at differnt demographics.
    In some ways it would be nice to have no objectification but at the same time it could progress to create a normality based culture killing creativity and freedom of mind.
    Finally you need to also consider that if this did occur women could just become more powerful then men, creating a hypocritical idology.
    I would like to add dont forget men suffer sexism as well, its differnt but we suffer from it all the same.

  • Michael Prideaux

    I still dont get which comments are offensive, which are?

  • Michael Prideaux

    I think he is refering to many of people who disagree with the current majority of the escapist opinions on jim. A Large portion think “I dont like it so it should be removed” but thats unfair on people who do like it like me and him i think. They are not forced to watch so why complain if they dislike it.
    And the cake idea i think he means it gets better because there is more videos.

  • Michael Prideaux

    When the first episode he read out what the heavy rain dev suggested words to use, he read one claiming Hollywood quality… I chuckled it was funny, his expression and tone told me this was ridiculous and silly and I agreed.
    His videos are the same reason why I like watching the David Mitchells Soapbox their rants about silly things that dont make sense, and his exsageration, examples, metaphors the only thing I dislike is the second picture of the duke useing MS paint and that is mostly due to the audio.

  • Michael Prideaux

    Comedy is interupted by one person it cannot claim one thing is better then another with any factual basis exsept the majority of people agree (which can never be accepted as true fact).
    I find jimmy carr funny it is comedy I enjoy. I have watched “A bit of fry and laurie” and didn’t find it funny, I do enjoy other comedy that doesn’t insult like some monty python and QI.
    From my guess you agree with the thread owner, which I would guess means your a femanist, I really think that as a femanist you should be open to the idea that people enjoy differnt comedy, implying that certain comedy is not becuase you don’t enjoy it only adds to the general sterotype.

  • MHemming

    Of course sexism can apply to everyone, but if you look in society, it just doesn’t tend to apply to males, and there will be a long, long time before the majority of sexism would ever apply to males. And remember to look at logical fallacies. You’re mentioning the slippery slope fallacy.

    “But if X, then Y is very soon behind, and eventually we’ll all be Z!” and what would you say is a “Normality based culture?” Personally I don’t believe anyone is “normal” most people have experiences which are considered abnormal, and showing them in games would be a wonderful idea. One example I’d say would be Joker in Mass Effect. You don’t see many disabled people in games.

    I’m not going to go into free speech as it stands, as I think that’s a different discussion.

  • MHemming

    I’ve not seen any at the moment, as I’ve not watched most of the above person’s videos, and I’ve not seen many offensive comments on this page. I’m just commenting on the general state of what some people consider comedy.

  • MHemming
  • MHemming

    As I say, each to their own. QI has been said to have insulted the Japanese at one point, which I believe was misinterpreted as poking fun at survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But each to their own on that, they apologised either way.

    Monty Python on the most is fantastic surrealism. Jimmy Carr is alright, but seems a bit too repetitive at times and on a good point does insult everyone equally, and none of it seemingly too far.

    And I am both a feminist and accept that people enjoy different comedy, but the problem is when it’s not comedy, and just insulting people. There are differences between sikipedia and uncyclopedia. Though I do admit to laughing at some jokes which are so bad they cross the line twice.

    And also, just so you know. Feminism is not about female supremacy, it’s about equality for all sexes, genders and races. “Feminazis” are generally female supremacists, much the same as you can get male supremacists who believe women should stay in the kitchen and do as they’re told.

  • Joanna Moylan

    I’m pretty sure this guy is taking the piss and doesn’t expect any of us to take him seriously.

  • Michael Prideaux

    Sorry one of your statment or gotten wavelengths crossesed with one of sarahs pokes at jim humor which she doesn’t seem to understand. Apart from that by normality I attemp to refer to this idea that we cant refer to other people differnces and such, the line that people dont like to be crossed get shorter and shorter stopping free speech in its tracks, so no one is possibly offended.

    So far the main reason I have been commenting heavily is because I cant seem to get a reply from why it is offensive, I have refernces to comedy and comment about the quality, but no reason for why its sexist.

    If you can write at least one way this is he is I would be happy.
    @Susana Polo I feel irritated at this topic due to many sections hinting at something they disagre with but sorry if I am simple but explain what you mean rather then hinting please.

  • Michael Prideaux

    “which don’t have to be offensive, though they can use profanity” I think this was the point which I miss interpreted.
    However I agree in full with the below statement.
    “and on a good point does insult everyone equally”

    For me personally my line for sexism agaisnt women is borderline make me a sandwich jokes (and I mean borderline) while jokes around women being the only sex to accept staying at home as worthwhile employment is an awful sexist joke in my books
    1:24 “”.

  • Michael Prideaux

    @MHemming Sorry my mind might be a bit frazzled from around 4 differnt heavy debate topics, and also extra ones on top of that else where XD

  • Michael Prideaux

    For some, Jim has a follow that like him and understand him, it is also the reason he refers to himself as a douche. He didnt kick start that phrase on himself, he earnt it from around the games industry from select groups.

  • Aja

    ,,,wow, thanks for the clarification, that makes me feel *much* better about his credentials for commenting on what is and isn’t sexist.

  • Martha Enderby

    So you’re saying that if we treat female characters as characters, rather than as sex objects, that will inevitably lead to the objectification of male characters? Lolwhut?

  • MHemming

    Your analysis of his comment doesn’t make sense. It seems more like the cake is referring to games? I’m still unsure though, I’d suggest it’s best to let the original commenter to explain his comment.

  • Paul Birchenough

    Gaming has been dominated by a small minority of the population, young straight males, now that women and other subsets of people want a slice of the cake, they are complaining.

    Gaming will be better if we include more things that different people find enjoyable. It doesn’t have to be in every game, you will always have some games that appeal to one audience over another, just like movies, but a wider range of styles, artwork and storylines will improve gaming.

    The cake gets bigger, and tastier, the more people share it.

  • MHemming

    The daily mail has been making that argument for yonks, and it’s still not happened.

    And people are different, so jokes will be made about that, but there’s a difference between harmless jokes and ones which are purposefully insulting to someone. The thing is jokes should be about celebrating our differences, not saying that anything outside the norm is bad. Such as good gay jokes can be found and bad ones can be found on most sites.

    And the video isn’t immensely offensive, it doesn’t need to be taken down or anything, just tiresomely sexist. In the way it assumes all men enjoy breasts, all women enjoy muscled men, and he’s just not that funny to many people. He’s funny in the same way Bernard Manning was. Except without the good timing or delivery. Half of what I’d seen him say was just dull, the bit about the “all women want is to see the men scantily clad too and if you put everyone in full armour you’re a prude!” seems somewhat offensive in an annoying way, but really he’s just tiresome. He’s somewhat offensive to everyone, with saying “All people are interested in is sex.” It really reduces people down to a base instinct, when most people are above that. Plus, he doesn’t seem to get the objectification is not just in clothing, it’s in the writing. I realise he’s doing it for some sort of satirical purpose, but it just doesn’t work.

    Also when he says “Oh you’re robbing jokes of any of their meaning by just focusing on the bit you find offensive.” It’s just silly to think that a joke /has/ to contain the offence. It can be non-offensive and still funny, or if you really have to offend someone, it’s probably not a good joke in the first instance.

    I’d really suggest you watched extra credits. It’s got a good look on quite a few topics.

    And I’m just commenting heavily because I’m a bit depressed and can’t think of much else to do at the moment.

  • MHemming This is funny because it’s swopping gender roles round. Either way it’s still an example of sexism in videogames, but it’s funny with girls being the sexist ones because it’s “humour from being in the wrong place” as people could put it. The girls are rude and abusive, and the originally rude and abusive guy is forced to be submissive.

  • Michael Prideaux

    no only in context of sexism

  • Michael Prideaux

    @MHemming Yes I am a fan of college humor as well, although I have a smiler problem with Jim as i am with some ch vids such as the restaurants series and the bad dad ones. I found the first funny but the second was just pushing a ended joke again.

  • MHemming

    Thanks, and yes, very true :)

    A lot of the media tends to be directed towards young straight males, and I long for the day when more movies and games are aimed towards all. Or at least have less token characters.

  • Bubblebob

    The problem with giving Jim Sterling a large forum is that he perpetuates that gaming is a safe space to express hateful misogyny because it’s a boy’s club and boys will be boys, “If you don’t like it, then you just don’t have a sense of humor! Haha!”, etc. Eyeroll. I don’t read sites like Destructoid because they perpetuate an Us vs Them mindset of Gamers vs Feminists (since they’re obviously conflicting interests).The comments thread here reinforces the whole “you need to accept my oh-so-tongue-in-cheek sexism if you ladies want to be gamers because we’re entitled to our jokes” attitude that Jim Sterling represents. No. Women shouldn’t have to put up with this crap. We call it out in other industries, gaming doesn’t get a free pass. And if you want to be funny about sexism, we can find someone who’s not actually sexist to do it. Even if he himself is just playing a character, it’s not an obvious parody and he absolutely encourages gamers and fans to emulate his alleged character’s views. If anyone wants a great compilation of the amazing things he’s said, they should read this:

    Thanks Mary Sue, you’re one of the few sites I can read anymore that doesn’t make me want to rage quit the internet.

  • Anonymous

    there are asexuals like myself. I don’t feel so much offended at objectification at times (though trust me there ARE situations where I am) as I just feel annoyed. If people wanna see boobs in their face there’s the internet’s endless supplies of places where you can get porn for free. At best a lot of fanservice in games is just an annoying distraction, at worst it’s just offensive. Not ALL objectification is bad, but a LOT of it in gaming goes to show that we have a long, LONG way to go until we can prove we’ve properly matured.

  • Anonymous

    ah Sterling, one of gaming journalism’s biggest hacks. After he embarrassed himself with bitching about a female DeviantArt member’s redesign of Dante he pretty much sold a big chunk of his credibility. I’m just wondering why the Escapist has him on their website since they already have FAR smarter (and just plain nicer) people like Moviebob and Lisa Foiles.

  • Kex

    And how is saying exactly what you mean in anyway similar to exaggerating something to put the spotlight on peoples apathy? I really have no patients to have a discussion with you about how treating people not as people but as objects promotes rape culture, but that would certainly not be solved by doing some games with naked men. Who would have thought.

  • mu

    If we remove what then what will be a shift of power?
    Fair treatment is by definition not “to much power”, and I specifically said that degrading men doesn’t help and that objectifying men isn’t less problematic.

  • mu

    Just checked on that and, Nope, not so much.

    His argument (Should start with a trigger warning for sexual violence, instead it) starts with a near Poe’s Law level (indistinguishable from parody) amalgam of sexist tropes from ‘men need sex because nature!’ (why this apparently can only happen when female characters are powerless, hollow, caricatures of secondary sex characteristics gets no explanation) to the common misrepresentation of the Penny Arcade Debacle (I know it’s fun to cry “oh no! censorships!!” but what actually happened was they got criticism From A Blog, and decided the right response was to mock people for having PTSD), hits up “it’s just a joke!” and tidies up with a dose of “I would be fine with it, so get over it”. All the classics.

    If that were exaggeration to mock sexists, then we might have something to talk about “tongue in cheek” wise.

    As is, the only reason he can joke that way about sexual assault of a male character (FYI, feminists are not ok with that) is because it isn’t possible to give men the treatment women get. Start with how far removed the scenario he describes is from the game he’s discussing, and work towards the disturbing way he interchanges sexual attraction and violent abuse.
    “Sex sells, therefor we should have torture porn games”
    (‘humorous or not) absolutely no one should be ok with that conclusion .

    Here’s a better idea: Portray sexual attraction in a way that is respectful and inclusive.

  • Natalie

    I honestly don’t get what peoples problem with Jim is. I mean when Yahzee acts like a douchebag It is a harty hazar! But when Jim does sudden;y when are gonna boycott escapest on modays….

    As much as I may disgree with some of his points and can’t help but think that people dislike him for some other reason, espicaly when Movie Bob get such a massive pass for the ellitest, condesending and down right sadistic tripe he spouts in his new show “The Big Picture”

    Maybe I’ve missing out on the really bad jimquistion stuff because i think this is really blown out of proportion.

  • Anonymous

    Love the Escapist. Tried to give Jim a chance. Turned that crap off halfway through.

  • Eric

    I’m just to sad see his name thrown aroud so much, you girls are playing right into his trolling.

    From having read his stuff and seeing some of his video, he actually sounds like he could go about intelligent subjects in a well thought-out manner… If he didn’t revel in being a sensationalist dick so much.

    A waste of potential, really. This video of his is not even the worst of the lot.

  • trickfred

    “And just because some women DO find his comments sexist, doesn’t mean
    his comments ARE sexist, women are not a monolithic group there are
    varying opinions”

    Fixed that for you.

  • cupcakesrcourage

    In many ways,
    I agree with Jimquisition. His assertion that men are hardwired to look at tits
    is easy enough to refute–many non-English speaking cultures don’t find female
    breasts sexually arousing–but his chain male bikini example raises an
    interesting point; one that the female community–including the female gaming
    community–needs to seriously consider.

    Is the root issue the
    rampant/unrealistic/often-times-offensive presentation of women, or is it that,
    as Jimquisition points out, the presentation of men is not equally as

    Let’s take this chain male couple: Given a choice, would you
    prefer to see both the male and female characters clad equally as scantily in
    “armor” only fit for pillow fights and the occasional feather tickle?
    Or would both characters clad in full on, historically accurate armor,
    head-to-toe, be more preferable?

    If you want to go with the second option, be prepared for a
    slew of comments with the general message, “Why don’t you take your
    Pamprin BEFORE you talk to me next time?”

    However, the former option not only lets the virile, robust
    male community have their cleavage-y fun, but also might literally strip them
    of their protective armor–the dominant, fairly represented, non-exploitative
    presentation of their sex in the digital world.

    I go back and forth, but sometimes I think that if we keep
    pushing for more non-sexual representation of women in games, all we’re going
    to get are Jimquisition videos like this one and self-proclaimed “douche
    bags” feeling like they can’t tell their dirty jokes and have their dirty
    fun; building upon the wedge between males and females in digital media.

    Taking women “up” to a level of representation
    similar to men (i.e., less nudity; fewer female-oriented sexual jokes;
    respectable (and geez…effing FUNCTIONAL attire), is, from a male perspective,
    ultimately a reductive move; reducing the representation of their
    “hard-wired” preferences.

    But what about bringing male representation “down”
    a notch? Do you think that supporters of bra-busting, booty-slapping female
    characters would feel totally cool about a gaming challenge featuring a
    helpless, nearly naked male being “jokingly” abused by strong female
    characters (see Jimquisition’s Duke Nukem example)? Most likely not. But, that
    momentary feeling (however fleeting) of being subjected to unfair
    representation or unrealistic standards might, at the very least, nurture a
    little bit of insight into how these types of unfair portrayals make women feel.

    I’m not necessarily advocating a “well why don’t we put
    your d*** on the chopping block and see how you like it” mindset, but…
    kind of.

    I wonder how the guys who hang around the booth babes at
    conferences would feel watching a horde of women crowd around a couple of
    brawny booth dudes.

    Not so funny now, is it?

    More equally representing sexual desires in video games (the
    chain male man-thong, for example) is at least an inclusive, rather than
    exclusive, tactic.

    I recognize that, even if this kind of thinking were
    something that women were on board with, it’s not something we can
    realistically ask of the male game designers, storywriters, programmers, etc.
    As with most other arenas, women will receive a fairer shot at equal
    representation the more they can get involved (insert shameless plug for how BA
    The Mary Sue is here). Playing games, attending conferences, making our voices
    heard, seeking out employment in related fields–these are musts.

    If chain male man-thongs aren’t appealing, and more male
    nudity/subjugation isn’t the answer, and what women REALLY want is video games
    that are NOT sexually oriented one way or the other, that might be a much
    bigger battle. Beyond video games, foes would then include: everything ever,
    except for ham sandwiches.

    That’s a gross exaggeration, but it brings me to another
    point that Jimquisition makes, without really meaning to make it, I don’t
    think. He asserts that men are “hard-wired” to look at boobs, and
    that men have evolved to objectify women. Depending on how one defines
    “hard-wired” and “evolved,” this is pretty much true.

    I’m dangerously close to nature v. nurture territory here,
    but I think it’s important to understand that, while men are not necessarily “hard-wired”
    to want women “this way” or “that way,” they are trained to want what they want.

    I recognize that this is a little bit of a “can’t-beat-‘em;
    join ‘em” take on sexuality in video games, but I will say that if anyone
    issues a game with a cast of hot male characters and lots of shirtless
    landscaping challenges, I’ll wait for the release with bated breath.

  • Ryan Whitehead

    I have to say it’s a little hypocritical to say that women are not a monolithic group and have differing opinions, but then go on to state his comments are outright sexist, despite the clearly notable side of women that don’t have an issue with his suggestions.

    And the thing is, people don’t seem to understand that his videos are literally satire, he makes a point of it in a later episode, considering he got some pretty bad press on his first two videos on the Escapist where few people knew him. Apparently most people on the Escapist don’t frequently visit DTOID and see his earlier videos of the series, along with his other series.

    You have also called every fighting game to contain a female character, almost every RPG, a number of FPS and TPS games and more bad, in saying that games that objectify people generally suck. It’s not the fact those games objectify women that makes them sell (Hell, look at actual porn games, they’re generally made on tiny budgets and sell for tiny amounts to a small audience), it’s the fact they’re good games. Linking gender objectification to a game’s worth is a bad move.