Thursday, June 10, 2010

The "Battle of the Sexes" is not a First-Person Shooter.

A video game where you shoot men for making lewd catcalls is every bit the moral equivalent of a new fighting game called Bitch Had It Comin'.

The whole idea is made of wrong and fail.

36 comments:

Joanna said...

The whole idea is made of wrong and fail.

It also reinforces my theory that happiness is less about being an unstoppable force and more about being an immovable object. Shouting "Stop being mean right now!" is not how healthy, successful adults deal with adversity.

pax said...

The whole idea is made of wrong and fail.

Yes. Yes, it is.

pax

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

I'm glad it's not, as Tam would easily outshoot me.

Lissa said...

Crap. That probably means my Grand Theft Auto for Women is right out.

Anonymous said...

More proof that shooting games, like shooting shows, are not written/produced by shooters.

But as others have indicated in reviewing TopShot, I guess we're so desperate for attention from Mommie Dearest that we'll take a kick in the teeth rather than nothing at all.

AT

Don said...

Well . . . they're rare in America, but in Japan you can get video games like "Battle Raper," which is more or less what it sounds like.

Tam said...

"...I guess we're so desperate for attention from Mommie Dearest that we'll take a kick in the teeth rather than nothing at all."

That's an utterly bogus comparison on its face and is hardly worth a retort, but what the hey... ;)

I sincerely doubt the motives were at all similar except in the most general sense of "to make money".

Anonymous said...

Bogus?

"...the motives were...to make money."

Yes. Which neither the game or the show could do without the complicity of those being mocked, used, and abused. But they will.

Even as we in the responsible gun-rights promoting community hold ourselves out to be above the gullible common man...we, apparently, are them.

Talk about bogus.

AT

Tam said...

To expand:

One is a revenge fantasy, in which the presence of guns is merely incidental. It could as easily feature chainsaws or velociraptors.

The other is a game show. It is in the format of modern game shows, which may be distasteful to you or I, but perhaps so was The Price Is Right or Whose Line Is It Anyway? to our grandmothers. However, it presents shooters as regular people, no different or more bizarre or special than those on game shows about chefs or dancers or fashion designers or what-have-you. The format may bug you (and it does me) but that is more indicative of our being out of touch with pop culture than it is a desire to make shooters look like beasts.

Tam said...

Continued:

Do you want to see shooters portrayed as somehow better or more noble or special? Down that train of thought, maybe a shooter could own a casino or get elected President someday!

staghounds said...

And yet, and yet.

I'm not a small, weak woman, prevented by law from being able to effectively defend myself, living in a place where this sort of accosting is constant, and (pretty uniformly according to street robbery and rape victims) the usual prelude to much worse.

I've been in those places and seen it happen, and it snaps me right into condition orange. Every time.

So, and yet. Yes it's made of wrong and fail. But, I understand its appeal.

I'd rather see this stupid game played than GTA.

Will Brown said...

The "Battle of the Sexes" is not a First-Person Shooter.

It is in the clenches. :)

Tam said...

staghounds,

"Yes it's made of wrong and fail. But, I understand its appeal.

I'd rather see this stupid game played than GTA.
"

Yes and yes, and still, to the best of my knowledge, the ultimate and only aim of GTA is not to "kill hookers".

I have GTA: San Andreas around here someplace. I have not played it for more than the first five minutes or so, although I intend to. What enticed me about it was that allegedly it's very open-form. You can ignore the story line and wander about doing whatever. Not this other thing, though; the only character is you and the only "monsters" are The Evil Men.

og said...

Now, if they had a first person shooter called "insurrection".....

commoncents said...

Thank You for posting this! I love your blog!!

Steve
Common Cents
http://www.commoncts.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Oddly, "the presence of guns is merely incidental" could apply more to the show than to the game.

The biases of the game designers (and the entertainment industry in general) are obvious as they manipulate the observer into accepting a negative stereotype as factual representation...and in that the use of guns is not incidental at all, or else some of those catcallers would be getting their heads bashed in with baseball bats or their circumcisions enhanced with butcher knives; the portrayal of guns as the singular and sinister murder weapon of choice is a hidden manipulative device in my view.

But the show could still feature its primary device of reducing grown people to the level of bratty, plotting, vindictive adolescents even if the minimal "competition" were limited to blades, bows, blowguns, or bubble-blowing; if the show could go on without them, the presence of firearms does very much seem incidental.

And of the two, the show is more insidious; aside from the teen angst, the heart of this "reality" crap is a disingenuous "one of us" camaraderie that makes my paranoia and bullshit alarms go on alert.

I'm reminded of Merle Haggard and his band singing loud and strong and all earnest-like: "I'm proud to be an Okie from Muscogee", then laughing their asses off through clouds of reefer smoke at those gullible redneck hillbillies when they get back to the studio.

I think we're being mocked, and I hate that shit; there's nothing worse than an enemy that pretends to be your friend. But um, like I said, I might be a tad paranoid.

staghounds: remind me not to whistle at you or anything.

commoncents: she ain't trading links with you, man, give it up.

AT

Tam said...

"I think we're being mocked..."

I think you're being about as sensitive as the chick that made the man-shooting video game.

Anonymous said...

Man, you (skim) fast!

And I suspect that "chick" is a pimple-faced nerd is his momma's basement.

Nice of you to recognize my sensitivity, though. I'm a really good pretend-listener too.

AT

Tam said...

No, I read it quite thoroughly. :)

What I'll repeat though is this: That is the format of today's game show. It is the same whether the contestants are dancers, chefs, singers, or fat guys on an island. Why should shooters get a special format? Are we special?

Don Meaker said...

I remember "Custer's Revenge". Boy what an outrage that one caused.

Anonymous said...

Well, except in the broadest sense, those other uh, disciplines don't have their own special Constitutional Amendment protecting their unfettered access and execution, so...special? Yeah.

Special provisions, special responsibilities, certainly special attention from our enemies, so if we don't protect that special status from intentional denigration (not saying the show absolutely does that, just that it seems so to me), then we just might lose it.

AT

LabRat said...

What enticed me about it was that allegedly it's very open-form. You can ignore the story line and wander about doing whatever.

Oh, honey. Your sole introduction to the sandbox game has been or might be GTA? I have so much to show you...

Joanna said...

At least on Top Shot the contestants can form complete sentences without using the word "like" as anything other than a comparitive preposition. (I think it's a preposition?)

Seriously, AT, you're starting to sound like my brother-in-law -- so concerned with being taken seriously that a little light teasing sends you straight to "If this is how I'm going to be treated, then you can forget about me bringing the relish tray on Thanksgiving" territory.

And for what it's worth, Top Shot is at the mild, mild, miiiiiiiiild end of the "reality show emotional wrangling" scale.

Caleb said...

Yeah, in terms of "reality show princesses" Top Shot hits at about a 0.5 out of 10, with 10 being those queens on RuPaul's Drag Race.

Anonymous said...

Joanna, it's "comparative".

And I hate relish so yeah, I won't be bringin' it. But I do "relish" other, uh, stuff...so you may expect me to continue bringin' that...

You might want to pay more attention to bro-in-law, too...I'm guessing he's been around longer than you and knows some stuff you don't...like when serious threats couched in pop culture/humor should be taken...seriously.

And fwiw, after one episode you have no idea of the "emotional wrangling" that is ahead...and not for the participants -they are simple pawns- but far more importantly, for the viewers.

AT

Tam said...

AT,

Boy, you are really adamant about this.

"And fwiw, after one episode you have no idea of the "emotional wrangling" that is ahead..."

And neither do you. I'll point out that the one person in this comment thread who does know doesn't seem particularly concerned.

Joanna said...

You might want to pay more attention to bro-in-law, too...I'm guessing he's been around longer than you and knows some stuff you don't...like when serious threats couched in pop culture/humor should be taken...seriously.

Actually, my brother-in-law is two years younger than me and believes his role in life is to build a compound to house his friends and family during the coming Great Tribulation. He and my sister avoid family events because they don't want to be around such "unspiritual" people.

I wish I was joking.

As for threats in popular culture, my point is that it's possible for one's radar to be set too high, leading to perception of a threat where there is none. Common indicators include such phrasing as "You're just too blind to see it" and an inability to roll with less-than-absolutely-flattering portrayals of one's pet cause.

Joanna said...

*That should be two years older, sorry. But to hear him talk, you'd never know it.

Jason said...

I thought the GTA series was kind of silly. Great soundtracks, though. Combining GTA with "Dude, Where's My Car?" and "The Dukes of Hazzard" made for a great Star Wars campaign, though.

Caleb said...

So, I'll explain something about the "emotional wrangling" that we'll expect to see on Top Shot.

When asked on Cam & Co, I replied with "hey, people are people and when you jam 16 people that don't know each other in to a single house with no where to go for a month, sometimes people get a little frazzled."

HOLY COW GUN OWNERS ARE PEOPLE LIKE THE REST OF US.

Maybe the show might not portray an individual in a positive light, but I'd rather see someone who acts foolish get called out for it - because no one on Top Shot actually got shot despite any lost tempers or personality clashes. That's a good thing, because it can show that even when gun owners are angry or frustrated, we still act with class and dignity towards one another.

This is not some scam put on by the History where they're going to pull a rabbit out of their hat and be all "SURPRISE, WE SET YOU REDNECK GUN NUTS UP TO LOOK BAD AHAHAHAHAH" while stroking their villainous mustache, so chill out dude.

Tam said...

Caleb,

That's one thing I've tried to hammer home to people.

I have spent practically my entire adult life working in places where everybody open-carried a pistol on their hip. And of course we were all saints, right?

Wrong.

There was all the office politics and personal melodrama one could hope to find at the local hair salon, Kinko's, coffee house, or insurance agency, with shouted arguments, people all up in each other's faces, and even one desk overturned during a managerial ass-chewing, and yet nobody ever got shot because normal people don't go shooting other normal people!

The most significant thing about Top Shot is that it's the first program, other than Billy-Bob's Bambi-Blasting Hour at 3AM Sundays on ESPN9, that shows guns being handled by, not Navy SEALs or retired USMC honorary E-7's, but ordinary schmoes. And that's a big goddam step forward for the mass media culture, whether I like the Survivor format or not.

Anonymous said...

"...his role in life is to build a compound to house his friends and family during the coming Great Tribulation."

Well, he might be onto something there...it might not be what he's been told to expect, but hey, a GT's a GT and it'sa comin' alright; we'll hafta see how that plays out. OTOH, he'll be protecting some friends and family but not others because they're not spiritual enough? I guess he's not so Spiritual himself then, after all.

So, the consensus here, confirmed by a participant, is that gun folks are just folks; true enough. But if they are no different than the "folks" on shows purportedly about who dances the best, or survives the best, or diets the best, ad nauseum, but are actually all about exposing the lowest common denominators of the human condition and stripping away of human dignity...then maybe my opinions gleaned from 40 years of association with gunnie types, and exposure for the last few years to the opinions and insights of some pretty smart folks right here...are wrong. But you know what they say about opinions.

Ya'll can say I'm stubborn, and I won't disagree...but Tam asked if I think gunnies are "special", and not just because of their attraction to and protection of firearms per se but because of what that says about a person's general worldview and attitudes towards things like personal responsibility self-dependence, I said yeah, I do; those attitudes are rarer than you might think, as evidenced by our politics.

And I guess it pains me to think that so many (viewers) who are unfamiliar with how those things do set us apart from the herd, can now mock and belittle us just as we mock those who belittle themselves on those other ignorant shows, but hey, they acknowledged our existence, yay us! And it was all without even slingin' lead, yay us again, though I imagine that disappointed the producers somewhat...what a ratings booster that woulda been!

I think there's not a gnat's asshair of difference between the animated games/shows and these "real" ones. Both are scripted, and manipulative, and ultimately all about the money...and equally cancerous of the souls and minds of humans.

I'm not saying that the whole thing was a Snidely Whiplash setup, Caleb, I'm glad that someone we know and like is getting attention that could lead to career advancement, and of all the participants I'm expecting to see that you maintained an adult demeanor through it all. But rights and human dignity are degraded and defiled over time, incrementally and by attrition. And it seems to me that the attrition has been pretty effective, judging by the examples here. I think it's another sad line in a long-running commentary.

But that's just me. I'm done now.

AT

Tam said...

"And I guess it pains me to think that so many (viewers) who are unfamiliar with how those things do set us apart from the herd, can now mock and belittle us just as we mock those who belittle themselves on those other ignorant shows, but hey, they acknowledged our existence, yay us!"

Yes, but this assumes that there is some special distinction between "us" and "them".

I find "reality" style game shows tedious and silly, and you do too, but obviously lots of other people, many of whom are shooters, don't.

And that's the thing: Shooters aren't special people, their just people. Who happen to shoot.

Tam said...

"They're", dammit. :o

Anonymous said...

I love the comment protesting shooting the guy for saying "god bless you." ha ha! I hate when people are rude enough to shove religion on me. I like to reply, "may satan smile upon you." lol

reminds me of that time my coworker said "merry xmas" and i responded "happy holidays" and she got offended. rofl

Tam said...

Are you for real?