That assessment of killing prostitutes is fairly simplistic and without much context in regard to the game. Grand Theft Auto as a franchise has continually employed this “shock” technique in order to gain attention and promote their supposed realism. Rockstar is very much aware of how this comes across and has been told much in regard to how this portrays women. The company has decided to take a freedom of speech and art excuse for their continued use of this, now cliché, mechanic. Their only adjustment, as was pointed out much earlier in this discussion, was they removed an active incentive to kill the women by getting the money back spent on them. To say though there is no encouragement is not necessarily true as young men, the target audience, are going to be drawn toward scantily clad imagery. That these images are then able to be killed in a violent method indulges the other part of this activity, as the game is after all played for its violence. Nobody plays GTA for the diplomacy options if there are even any.
Excuse me but... What?
The whole game is a shooting gallery. You can practically kill anyone. Prostitution is a line of work. Banker is a line of work. Does that mean that I should be punished less if I shot the banker instead of the prostitute? Because really, what you are saying here is a bit... Silly. The game doesn't promote that you kill the prostitutes, but they are there, yes. You can shoot them, and they can have money. However, if you shoot anyone else on the street, they can have money too. Granted, the games have gone a bit far when in GTA San Andreas there was a separate category for leveling called "Sexuality", however it has been cut away. Maybe it was promoting back then, but that game is old now, and we can't change the old games, but we can change the new.
So Rockstar puts forward a scantily clad image with a seductive voice to lure a player’s attention and then allows that player to carry out violence on the image. Now because these are prostitutes and in the real world are a vulnerable population, Rockstar does not give as much consequence as say driving up and killing a rich, white business man. Certainly this could be done, but Rockstar is very clear about who the victims are to be here. Much as Hitman setup, scantily clad woman in a bikini at a strip club is an easy kill while the rich, white man in a suit is the hard kill. Let us be clear then in acknowledging that the path of victimization there is clearly set and encouraged.
You do know that the majority of the characters and such displayed in the loading screens were main characters and police, right? If anything, it promotes violence towards police far more than it does to women. You are punished more or less equally when killing either in the GTA franchise, the difference is that the likelihood of someone seeing you killing the prostitute is a fair bit lower than if you walk up to someone on the street and put a gun in their mouth. Your arguments imply that you haven't played the games much.
Also, Anita does not call people that play these video games misogynistic. Certainly she highlights there are misogynistic players in these groups and these players do make up a vocal group within the gamer communities. Still she does go out of her way to avoid labeling all video game players misogynistic and even states in various points that she does not view video game manufacturers as desiring to promote misogyny. Honestly she blames much of this on laziness of the writers and developers.
You see... There is this thing, it's called "They need to sell it". The video game market is currently dominated by males, and the actions that the game producers take are done because, well, they need to sell it. It's the gamers that set the guidelines for how games should be produced, not the game producers. Blaming it on the ones that make the stuff is stupid, blame it on the ones who demand it. A writer writes what he's paid to write, a 3D-modeller models what he's paid to model. They are told to write it by a creative committee that decide this based on what the gamers want. GTA5 was such a gigantic success because it gave the gamers exactly what they wanted - Violence, car chases, attractive women and pop-culture references, something of which they got. Movie franchises like Fast and the Furious are no better you know.
As for story development, certainly there will be an increase in the quality and differences. Men and women do have different perspectives and a story told from a different perspective is a different story. So there may indeed be better story telling quality if the demand and expectation are there. Anita does speak to that desire in her work. Indeed the “7 second” intro of Double Dragons would not exist if people expected more context than woman hit by man, man rushes out from garage to save woman.
As I said earlier, the producers need to sell their produce, and they will make their produce on what they know will sell. Female protagonists have a tendency of selling less than male protagonists. Every rule has its exceptions, but we have seen this over and over and over and over and over. The audience wants male main characters, so it gives them as well.
The age of the characters is referenced because these are coming on the heels of an effort to see more women in gaming. The Kickstarter for these videos was started around 2012 with a massive influx of money, showing a public interest in the critique. People were looking at the video game industry already as a boy’s club before these videos were even produced; she merely added a popular spin to them and used her social media access to distribute. That three of those four characters were released during a time of such upheaval and public interest only shows that her videos have helped cause a healthy conversation and did produce something.
Thing is... Sure, it might have been a boy-club, but females are not told to leave because of this. In many cases, women that play video games is considered another attractive feature about them. Just because the industry is led by male gamers, it never kicks females away. When you go to a game store, the clerks never tell you to leave or frown at you, they will just treat you like any other customer, which is how it should be. I can't really say that her videos have contributed to healthy
conversations though... I mean really... The whole GamerGate thing was anything but healthy... At this point, it feels more like "which side can pour the most gasoline on the fire". I mean we are discussing it here, and up until starcry posted, from what I saw, it was for the most part a one-sided slaughter.
Scandal shows the sensitive nature of there being these strong women coming forward in these storylines and indeed showing that there is a problem. Did anyone leak a nude shower scene of a male protagonist? Did I somehow miss a hot scene with a man in this video game? No? Seems to me the point is simply made. As for Lara Croft, I will admit my information comes from a PC Gamer magazine I browsed over before the release of Tomb Raider. The article was an editorial piece written by a male employee at the company who was amazed at the backlash a female colleague that handles their message board received. Though I can direct you toward the multiple threads on Lara’s breast size and their seeming reduction.
I'm done. Play the game and come back. If you want to participate in an argument, have sufficient material to back your cause.
So that said, just look at the imagery posted here for Bayonetta and Dante. First image, Dante is holding her wrist that has a gun in a rather twisted maneuver to angle the gun away from him. He also has a gun pointed to her head and she to, what might be a shot to his…arm? Side? So obviously he is the dominate force in the image. Her breasts are prominent, eyes are on him but his eyes are on the viewer. She looks worried and he is smirking. Seriously…this is the image to highlight her badassness?
First of all, I would like to clarify, the top picture is fan art, not official art. It's not something that a producer from either game has made.
Next image..Dante and Bayonetta side-by-side comparison. Dante standing full front, broad shoulders and full dressed. Confident with palms lifted upward and a smirk. He is wearing jeans, chaps and a characteristic red leather jacket. Bayonetta is turned sideways in a classic female stance with obvious exaggeration of leg and bottom. High heels, skin tight outfit, flashy boots and guns out and pointed around. Lots of flashy jewelry and so forth. So here we have jeans and jacket with a sword sheathed looking all cocky, whereas over here are exaggerated legs and bottom with a wink and guns flashing around. These images honestly highlight the problem, not support a revolution of women.
Pardon me, but if you go out to a party, what do you see? Women in tight outfits standing sideways to display their sexuality and males dressed in looser clothes standing up front to look tough. I will agree that Bayonetta's figure is rather silly and doesn't help on the ongoing discussion of beauty standards, but let's not bring that in here. And why do you refer to it as the "revolution of women"? That's just stupid, call it the "revolution of equality" or something. The aim shouldn't be to make women more prominent than males in video games, but to put them more so on par with the males, a cause that I would support if Anita's arguments weren't so one-sided.
As for personality, isn’t the sex to move up and have fun a bit cliché by now for women? The idea that a woman uses her body to get into places whereas the man uses charm or strength to get into those same places seems a bit overplayed. I am not debating that Bayonetta might be a fun character to play, but I can certainly see where someone might say she is a “fuck doll” due to her drawing and the description of her personality given. Now do I think it’s fair that a woman is called a “fuck doll” because she wants to enjoy sex and her body, certainly not. At the same time, I doubt the person that draw those two images of her above was thinking about advancing the place of women in gaming when they were made.
Another classic example of "Play the fucking game". The Bayonetta gameplay is far more ridiculous and extravagant than the gritty and darker gameplay of Devil May Cry. Bayonetta is the incarnation of "Strength". Really, what other games can you fight on top of a falling plane? She is overall a strong character, though of course, if you haven't played the games or even spent the time to look it up, I can't expect you to know.
Arguments like these is why I refer to feminism as a big fat joke. Feminism, if anyone actually bothered to look it up, is the pursuit for equality, not the pursuit to make up for all the years of oppression. The goal isn't to make men weak, it's the pursuit of getting on par with men.