Skyrim is weird and confusing?



  • Prepare to call me an idiot, for my Steam copy did not come with a manual! Nor is there one in the Steamapps folder, like sometimes you see!

    Skyrim's great, even if it runs a little jerky on my computer, but I have a couple issues I haven't been able to figure out which are plain weird. I'm level 5, BTW...

    1) There's no hand-to-hand skill. I Googled this one and pre-release, people thought that hand-to-hand would either be contained in 2-handed weapons or heavy armor-- it's in neither. Which means my brawler character gets no perks? Well... ok I guess... I prefer light armor anyway.

    EDIT: 1.5) Since hand-to-hand isn't a skill, you don't level-up from getting hand-to-hand kills. I've only been leveling from sneak, lockpick, and light armor due to that. Annoying.

    2) But then you get to the really weird part: there's no stats. AFAICT, you can't even increase your hand-to-hand by increasing strength because you can't increase strength? So between those two points, it seems like hand-to-hand would be a poor choice for a character, EXCEPT:

    3) The devs put a TON of time into hand-to-hand! They coded custom finishing moves (at least 4 I've seen), Khajit have a special 15-damage bonus to hand-to-hand attacks. You can even brawl as a persuade option! There's every indication in the rest of the game that the devs loved hand-to-hand.

    So... why no it get perks?

    Also, in another weird change, there's no acrobatics, or athletics. AFAICT, your max running speed and jumping height just doesn't change at all over the course of the game. Which I guess isn't so weird, considering that in Morrowind and Oblivion it was ridonkulous and by level 20 you were out-running your own horse and jumping from the ground onto second-story roofs. But still, it's a lot of change to have no tutorial, manual, in-game explanation, etc... so I feel kind of lost.

    Also, there are barely any Khajit or Argonians in the game, although considering the setting it's not that surprising. And you can still play as one yourself, so that's not a biggie. It's kind of a shame though, because the dinosaur-looking Argonians look awesome now-- whoever designed their character model went way above and beyond. (Khajit are still pretty blah-- it's 2011 and they didn't bother giving them a fur shader? Cripes, shitty Xbox games were doing that 8 years ago.)

    What are your guys' thoughts on Skyrim?

    Obligatory funny video.



  • Oh there's also an annoying bug, if you're doing hand-to-hand. The in-game hints tell you you can use left trigger to block (not sure what the keyboard equivalent is...), but you can't-- there's no blocking hand-to-hand. Left-trigger just does a "mirror image" attack, where you lead with your left hand instead of your right. Especially annoying since Oblivion and Morrowind let you block when using hand-to-hand.

    I spent like 2-3 minutes playing with the contoller, trying to figure out what button was block before I realized it doesn't exist. (Although I'm still not 100% sure on that-- again, no manual!)



  • Oh man I totally just found where Steam hides the manual! (Protip: it's on the STORE page, not anywhere in your library.) Reading and will report back...

    ... Aaaaand the Combat section of the manual doesn't even spend a single word on hand-to-hand. Not even mentioning that you can't block without a weapon. Hm. Oh well, back to playing.



  • Since when did games start coming with useful manuals again?



  • What's Steam?


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

     Why are you playing with both a controller and Steam? KEYBOARD AND MOUSE ARE THE ONE TRUE INPUT METHOD! DIE!

     

    Anyway, I haven't had meaningful amounts of time to play. I've succeeded in rolling my initial character (A scrawny little imperial girl-thief who will be built into a warioress/assassin hybrid off a thieftastic base) and playing through to the one dude's uncle's house in Riverville or whatever.

     

    My only complaints thus far are:

    -The keyboard/mouse menu UI is a fucking afterthought (DIE!), has no consistency and no hints or discoverability, and has at least one bug.

    -It is literally impossible to use the character builder to make a conventionally attractive female human. Instead I had to adjust my intended physical build and go for a more roguish sort of feel. (I only play female characters when the option exists - this is a form of protest against female protagonists not being given any sort of serious shot by most game developers, even when they'd make a much more compelling story than yet another fucking overmuscled space marine. Oddly enough, female protagonists still get a better deal than female side characters...)



  • @Weng said:

    Why are you playing with both a controller and Steam? KEYBOARD AND MOUSE ARE THE ONE TRUE INPUT METHOD! DIE!

    @Weng said:

    -The keyboard/mouse menu UI is a fucking afterthought (DIE!), has no consistency and no hints or discoverability, and has at least one bug.

    Hmm...

    But yeah I agree:
    1) I'd prefer to use a mouse, but
    2) the keyboard/mouse UI sucks ass right now

    If they fix it in a patch, I'll use it. Until then, the game is much more enjoyable with an Xbox controller.

    @Weng said:

    Anyway, I haven't had meaningful amounts of time to play. I've succeeded in rolling my initial character (A scrawny little imperial girl-thief who will be built into a warioress/assassin hybrid off a thieftastic base) and playing through to the one dude's uncle's house in Riverville or whatever.

    I might actually twist my character in a sword user, since the hand-to-hand stuff is so... weird. The thing is, he's not even bad at it, especially with the Khajit +15 damage bonus, but there's no way in hell this is going to scale as the levels go up.

    @Weng said:

    It is literally impossible to use the character builder to make a conventionally attractive female human.

    Fallout: New Vegas (on which this game is extremely obviously based) was even worse. Anyway, there are no humans in Elder Scrolls. Do you mean Imperials? Or Nords? Or Redguard? Those are the human-ish races.

    @Weng said:

    (I only play female characters when the option exists - this is a form of protest against female protagonists not being given any sort of serious shot by most game developers, even when they'd make a much more compelling story than yet another fucking overmuscled space marine.

    I don't buy the games anymore, because EA. But Bioware's Mass Effect was excellent in this regard, for whatever reason Female Shepard had by far one of the best voice actresses I've ever heard in a video game, while Male Shepard had Boring McMarbles-In-His-Mouth. Of course the sad part is that I'm sure this wasn't intentional...

    Anyway, you won't be disappointed with Skyrim. As always, Elder Scrolls has virtually no sexism and there are characters of every sex of every race doing every occupation. There's also an argonian with major cleavage, which is weird and confusing on its own.



  • I actually joined just now to hop in on this...

    it's funny you should say that there's no sexism in elder scrolls, because skyrim is absolutely rife with it.  I played it for the last two days and then got completely fed up with the f'ing blatant
    misogyny. you can make a god damn game "gritty" and "edgy" without
    alienating half the population in the process. what decade is
    this, again? there was NONE of this in morrowind or oblivion.  they were fantastic enough games to stand on their own without needing to try way too hard to shock.



    for the most recent example, I picked up a book, thinking okay, this'll be innocuous, it's called the CHILDREN'S ANNUAD, so it can't possibly find a
    way to piss me off, right? second page talks about a chick getting
    knocked up and beaten and then dying during childbirth. yeah, you know what, no. waste of $60. I make the time to play
    games for escapism, not to get pissed off every 30 seconds because the
    devs thought going for shock value was a sweet idea.

     

    and imo, compared to the others in the series, it's not even forgivably good enough gameplaywise to make me overlook this.  I'm just completely unable to understand all the overwhelmingly positive (bandwagon) reviews for such a deeply flawed and comically pretentious game, heh!

     

    (oh, and on a side note, some bare girltits or a dude ass would get everyone's panties in a bunch, but knocking up and beating a chick who then dies in childbirth is totally kosher.  right.  is this really acceptable to everyone else?)

     

    rant over :P



  • You have got to be shitting me.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @blakeyrat said:

    Anyway, there are no humans in Elder Scrolls. Do you mean Imperials? Or Nords? Or Redguard? Those are the human-ish races.
    Pedantic dickweedery. They may as well be called "English" "Scandinavian" and "Black".


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @omgriri said:

    Rant
    Dude. It's a quasi-medieval euro-fantasy setting. Of course the in-game flavor text is going to be misogynistic as hell.

    The societies themselves are actually remarkably progressive, though.



  • @Weng said:

    Pedantic dickweedery. They may as well be called "English" "Scandinavian" and "Black".

    Imperials are modelled after Romans, that is, Italians. Momma-mia! But, still, there are no humans in Elder Scrolls because the creator of Elder Scrolls decreed there were not. So there.

    Similarly, but oppositely, there are humans in Star Wars, even though it occurs in a galaxy far, far away because the creator of Star Wars is an untalented hack who got lucky once or twice.



  • @Weng said:

    @blakeyrat said:

    Anyway, there are no humans in Elder Scrolls. Do you mean Imperials? Or Nords? Or Redguard? Those are the human-ish races.
    Pedantic dickweedery. They may as well be called "English" "Scandinavian" and "Black".


    Time to for some more pedantic dickweedery. There is another human-ish race called the Brenton which have a closer parallel to the English than the Imperials.



  • @delta534 said:

    @Weng said:

    @blakeyrat said:

    Anyway, there are no humans in Elder Scrolls. Do you mean Imperials? Or Nords? Or Redguard? Those are the human-ish races.
    Pedantic dickweedery. They may as well be called "English" "Scandinavian" and "Black".


    Time to for some more pedantic dickweedery. There is another human-ish race called the Brenton which have a closer parallel to the English than the Imperials.

    The Bretons are elves, yes?



  • According to the lore, kind of. They are the result of an ancient human race breeding with an ancient elvish race, of which the elvish traits have been watered down from breeding with other human races. The are still treated as a human race.



  • preface: I've tried my best to keep this concise, even though it ended up becoming a damn essay, haha.  but I feel like I might as well throw down a legitimate voice of dissent, even if I'm the only person IN THE DAMN WORLD to feel this way, and if it even makes one person stop and think, then my time wasn't wasted, heh!

     

    unfortunately, I shit you not.  this is, of course, merely one
    negative opinion in an ocean of positive ones (which on its own is kind
    of unfortunate to begin with, that everyone else finds what's been irking me perfectly
    acceptable). and it's not like a "oops we didn't know better" thing
    either:

     

    "Howard considered that the player's choosing of a race and gender at the
    beginning of the game was a more important decision than it had been in
    previous Elder Scrolls games because the culture of Skyrim's world was rooted in racism and sexism."

     

    the
    thing is, no one's going to legitimately be offended by racism against
    their argonian, for instance.  because no one in real life gets shit on
    for being a fucking lizard person.   sexism, unfortunately, is still a very real part of our culture, and the devs should have been sensitive enough to that to avoid alienating half the population, and not only that, whatever percentage of male players aren't too socially inept to recognize it.

     

    and there really is no excuse for not recognizing it.  for instance, I'm decidedly not black, but if a character in the game called a redguard "boy" or a book made reference to beating redguards or joked about how they should be picking cotton in the field, I certainly wouldn't think it was okay.  and really, there would be a MASSIVE uproar, but sexism always gets a free pass no matter how real and damaging it is in the real world.  this kind of shit, no matter how innocuous it seems, normalizes and reinforces those stereotypes, and I'm really disappointed with bethesda for the massive step back from their previous games.

     

    @weng: you asked what I expected?  morrowind and oblivion featured similar settings without a TRACE of misogyny (and for that matter, so did the fable series).  they didn't need it because they weren't trying way too hard to be "gritty" and "edgy."  in this game, you can't go anywhere without overhearing disgusting implied propositions to serving girls, lewd comments about a city's female inhabitants collectively, and just a general unpleasant undertone to male/female interactions everywhere.  in short, it's NOT okay, it never was, and it's even less okay because it's a massive step backwards from what was once a progressive series.  color me thoroughly disappointed.



  • @omgriri said:

    "Howard considered that the player's choosing of a race and gender at the
    beginning of the game was a more important decision than it had been in
    previous Elder Scrolls games because the culture of Skyrim's world was rooted in racism and sexism."

    Yah that didn't really come through in the game, considering my Khajit PC has no problem entering cities when Khajit are "banned" from entering cities.

    @omgriri said:

    morrowind and oblivion featured similar settings without a TRACE of misogyny

    Did you play Morrowind? There was a quest, in the main quest line, where you herded women like cattle to find a wife for some local jerkass. Hell did you play Daggerfall? Where the spite for every female character looked like:

    The only difference between Skyrim and previous Elder Scrolls game is that women who are supposed to be attractive actually look attractive. Except the argonian thing, that's pure uncanny valley.

    You're either supremely ignorant of Elder Scrolls (and this is coming from the guy who thought Breton were elves), or the greatest troll in history.



  • I haven't played daggerfall, but I'm heartened slightly that you at least recognize that that sprite is absurd :P  I did play through the main quest in morrowind years ago, and I'm not sure which specific quest you're talking about.  the only quest I recall that was remotely similar to what you mentioned was some innocuous matchmaking side quest in the tribunal expansion.  I'll take your word for it though, and if that's the case, oblivion at least still contained absolutely NOTHING misogynistic, so why is skyrim a huge step backwards?

     

    and even if we're not comparing it to other games with overtones or undertones or isolated instances of "ugh, really?," it's still disappointing to see a new game so thoroughly out of touch with, well, progress, I guess one could say.  my point mainly is that it's just thoroughly tiresome and mostly inexcusable.

     

    side note: I'm quite sure that airing legitimate grievances about a game's alienating nature by no means constitutes the greatest act of trolling in history :P  and "supreme ignorance of elder scrolls" doesn't in any way negate my point in general anyway.



  • @omgriri said:

    oblivion at least still contained absolutely NOTHING misogynistic, so why is skyrim a huge step backwards?

    I move that it is not.

    @omgriri said:

    and even if we're not comparing it to other games with overtones or undertones or isolated instances of "ugh, really?," it's still disappointing to see a new game so thoroughly out of touch with, well, progress, I guess one could say.

    It would help if you gave some solid examples of what you're talking about. I have the feeling we might be talking past each other, because what you consider horribly sexist (say, the contents of an in-game book), I just consider part of the setting. Unless the in-game book is the only example you have.

    Edit: BTW, it's worth noting that that particular book is carried-forward from Oblivion, and may have been in Morrowind as well. So... if your complaint hinges on the book, then your statement that Oblivion had nothing misogynistic is plain wrong.

    Another edit: Actually I'm googling it and the previous edit might be untrue... either that or the list of books on the Elder Scrolls wiki is incomplete. Hm.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Edit: BTW, it's worth noting that that particular book is carried-forward from Oblivion, and may have been in Morrowind as well. So... if your complaint hinges on the book, then your statement that Oblivion had nothing misogynistic is plain wrong.
    the book is a carry over of Morrowind. In Oblivion you can find it in the first edition bookstore in the imperial city market district. Morrowind has a the same book under a different title, The Annotated Anuad.




  • I don't know anything about any of these games except what I've read here. To a certain extent, it reminds me of the dialog that comes up every few years when someone decides that The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn should be edited. There are obvious differences, of course, especially the fact the the games are modern products.

    I think there are multiple legitimate reasons to make a game with "misogynistic" themes. Firstly, as this is a medieval fantasy sort of game, those sorts of things are more similar to our perceptions of similar times in our history. Making a game like that "progressive" (man, how I hate that doublespeak word) might satisfy those sensitive to similar issues, but could also throw off the feeling of authenticity of the game. You can also look to legends and myths to see similar motifs (Zeus, Helen of Troy, etc).

    There's also the fact that these guys are in business to sell games, not effect any sort of social change. Obviously, if you're offended by the game, it's your right to speak out against it and not buy it. But others are equally OK in enjoying for what it is and ignoring those who are offended.



  • it's kind of hard to explain, it's more of a context/tone thing than anything.  bear also in mind that in order to illustrate my point I'll have to cherry pick examples, to some degree, which will make me less than objective, but I'll do my best.

     

    since we're on the topic of books: the lusty argonian maid, featured in the previous games.  loved it.  naming the argonian maid "lifts-her-tail," referring to "polishing his spear," etc.?  hilarious and light-hearted, in my opinion.  always kept that book when I found it.  inappropriate, maybe, but entirely fine by me.

     

    contrast this with skyrim.  the first example to pop to mind is a scene in the thalmor embassy where a serving girl brings a wealthy nord a drink.  he tells her to stop so he can look her over, appraises her like a piece of meat, and tells her to not go far because "he may need something more later."  completely unnecessary, disgusting, and alienating.  I understand fully that you're not SUPPOSED to like the character, but why use the girl and a deeply rooted, very real societal ill as props to illustrate how unlikable he is?  very much not okay, in my opinion.  (and I'd honestly prefer finding a wife for some idiot in morrowind over witnessing something that thoroughly revolting.)

     

    am I making any more sense here?   like I said, the examples are cherry picked to all hell, and I'm sure even the example I cited that I felt was innocuous would offend someone somewhere.  to some degree it can be said that someone somewhere would be offended by everything, but there's still a fairly clearly defined line that separates "eh, okay I guess" from "too much," and I really feel like this game is crossing it too often for comfort.

     

    (side note: I was aware of books being carried over, but I didn't recall having seen a book titled "children's anuad" before.  I just did some cursory googling and found out the text was in morrowind as "the annotated anuad," making it merely a carry-over from that game.  which still MOSTLY absolves oblivion :P  mostly!)



  • @boomzilla: as much as I appreciate your measured response, the realism/authenticity/immersion argument goes out the window when you're talking about a game that contains, say, dragons that speak to the player in english.  when weighing a game's realism, I'd much prefer "unrealistically" respectful treatment of female characters to talking dragons.  even if you want to call both unrealistic, talking dragons aren't inherently offensive simply because a person happened to have been born with a uterus.

     

    (and I'm really trying my best to write this without snark, because, DAMN.  that dragon scene literally made me drop the controller and laugh.)



  • @omgriri said:

    @boomzilla: as much as I appreciate your measured response, the realism/authenticity/immersion argument goes out the window when you're talking about a game that contains, say, dragons that speak to the player in english.  when weighing a game's realism, I'd much prefer "unrealistically" respectful treatment of female characters to talking dragons.  even if you want to call both unrealistic, talking dragons aren't inherently offensive simply because a person happened to have been born with a uterus.

    Well, your example of something offensive sounded pretty tame to me. You see that sort of thing from villains all over the place in TV or movies. My response was more about the book stuff you quoted, which apparently has actually been around since the other games.

    I don't think the fantasy aspect makes any of the other stuff go out the window at all. It's still a medieval like setting, no matter what sort of language the dragons use. Especially since there are plenty of western myths and stories about dragons from medieval sort of times (I assume that the dragons in the game are of the western, not the eastern genre). It sounds like you had a poor first impression, maybe in part due to something external to the game, and that's colored your impression since.



  • "You see that sort of thing from villains all over the place in TV or movies. "

     

    your argument is mildly off-topic, but I'll reply anyway.  I choose not to watch many shows or movies because they're incredibly tiresome, and I only like a small handful of games, which I play occasionally for a bit of escapism when I'm not working; I do not play them to be reminded of what makes the real world a fucked up place to begin with.  ubiquity doesn't make any kind of "ism" acceptable, and that attitude of tacit acceptance is a large part of the issue.  the mild obliviousness of your responses suggests you've never personally faced gender based discrimination, so the sentiment appears to be, simply, why should it be your problem?  but I'd prefer to keep this on-topic and impersonal.

     

    "It sounds like you had a poor first impression, maybe in part due to
    something external to the game, and that's colored your impression
    since."

     

    I wasn't sure if this was poorly executed satire.  is this not obvious?  yes, real life has "colored my impression."  if you really don't get it, you should probably sit down and have a chat with some female acquaintances in your life.  let's leave it at that.

     

    in the meantime, this may be a good start, and it's on topic, to boot: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portrayal_of_women_in_video_games 



  • @omgriri said:

    "You see that sort of thing from villains all over the place in TV or movies. "

    your argument is mildly off-topic, but I'll reply anyway.  I choose not to watch many shows or movies because they're incredibly tiresome, and I only like a small handful of games, which I play occasionally for a bit of escapism when I'm not working; I do not play them to be reminded of what makes the real world a fucked up place to begin with.  ubiquity doesn't make any kind of "ism" acceptable, and that attitude of tacit acceptance is a large part of the issue.  the mild obliviousness of your responses suggests you've never personally faced gender based discrimination, so the sentiment appears to be, simply, why should it be your problem?  but I'd prefer to keep this on-topic and impersonal.

    If that was off topic, then only because I looked beyond the world of video games. Well, there are a lot of bad things in the world. Given blakey's talk about fighting, it sounds like there's a lot of killing that goes on in the game. If you think sexism is more fucked up than killing, then that's TRWTF.

    Actually, there is one form of gender discrimination that drives me nuts and causes things like yelling at the TV. It's when the topic of abortion comes up, and someone asserts that men have no part to play in decisions about particular abortions or the general legality / morality of abortions. So I know what it's like to be offended by some piece of entertainment. That doesn't necessarily prevent me from otherwise enjoying the show or whatever, but sometimes I simply can't overlook something and stop watching or reading or whatever. It's an individual value judgment.

    @omgriri said:

    "It sounds like you had a poor first impression, maybe in part due to something external to the game, and that's colored your impression since."

    I wasn't sure if this was poorly executed satire.  is this not obvious?  yes, real life has "colored my impression."  if you really don't get it, you should probably sit down and have a chat with some female acquaintances in your life.  let's leave it at that.

    It wasn't satire at all. It was a reference to the way human decision making and rationalization operate. We tend to make up our minds and then come up with the reasoning afterwards. So, suppose you had a headache, or something else distasteful or uncomfortable was going on when you first encountered the game. That could easily influence your first impression, and cause things you might otherwise overlook to be major issues. Or, you're an easily offended over sensitized crazy feminist. Or somewhere in between. I don't know you, so I couldn't really say. But since you basically gave a pass to some earlier games that others believe aren't much different in tone than this one, that might explain why you singled out this game instead of the others.



  • @omgriri said:

    since we're on the topic of books: the lusty argonian maid, featured in the previous games.  loved it.  naming the argonian maid "lifts-her-tail," referring to "polishing his spear," etc.?  hilarious and light-hearted, in my opinion.  always kept that book when I found it.  inappropriate, maybe, but entirely fine by me.

    First time I read the Lusty Argonian Maid in Morrowind, I laughed for... round about a solid week, I think.

    @omgriri said:

    contrast this with skyrim. the first example to pop to mind is a scene in the thalmor embassy where a serving girl brings a wealthy nord a drink. he tells her to stop so he can look her over, appraises her like a piece of meat, and tells her to not go far because "he may need something more later." completely unnecessary, disgusting, and alienating.

    Ok well I haven't done the Thalmors yet, but... that's... that's it? The Thalmor are evil in the game, right? They're the bad guys. The guys you're supposed to hate. So you're objecting that the bad guys have some behaviors that are bad. Is that an accurate sum-up?

    @omgriri said:

    I understand fully that you're not SUPPOSED to like the character,

    ... oh you do? So... negating your own example, 'kay.

    @omgriri said:

    but why use the girl and a deeply rooted, very real societal ill as props to illustrate how unlikable he is?

    What do you recommend they do instead? Frankly, treating a woman like a slave (in the Elder Scrolls universe) is actually more objectionable than murdering people, considering how many thousands of people get murdered every day in that fucked-up little fantasy world. Or, at least, it's more distinctive and thus more memorable, if not more objectionable.

    I think we might just have to agree to disagree on this one. But let's be frank: what's more likely here, that Bethestha has done so much incredibly better than feminism and is now backsliding? Or that you played Morrowind and Oblivion before you learned all you now know about feminism, and thus the thing that changed was you and not the games? Because frankly, I think option 2 is a lot more likely.

    And BTW, you also need to remember this feminist way of thinking is entirely opaque to anybody who went to college, say, more than 10 years ago before they started teaching "anti-oppression" concepts like, "calling out", "privilege", "derailing" etc. I went through my entire academic career not knowing that "ableism" was a word. A lot of us would say most of these concepts are complete crap (especially "privilege", which I think is not only a stupid idea, but goes against everything I believe about equality), but, hey, I try to give it a fair shot and the benefit-of-the-doubt. Honestly. But be patient with us old folk, we weren't exposed to these concepts, and we likely don't speak your language.

    For the record, what RPGs do you recommend from a feminism stand-point?

    @omgriri said:

    (and I'm really trying my best to write this without snark, because, DAMN. that dragon scene literally made me drop the controller and laugh.)

    If you have full subtitles turned on (and you should for God's sake), all the dragon-speak is subtitled. Which is awesome. Even the dragon in the game's introduction goes, "yol... toor... shul!" for fire-breath, it's some epic epicness.

    However, the scene where the dragon starts speaking English? Yeah, that was pure cheese. They really should have had the dragon say the exact same thing, but in dragon-ese, and then had you later have the Grey Beards translate it, that would have made more sense and they wouldn't have been giving away so much epic.



  • @omgriri said:

    in the meantime, this may be a good start, and it's on topic, to boot: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portrayal_of_women_in_video_games

    You know, I created this thread, and I'm pretty sure the topic was the weird way Skyrim handled hand-to-hand combat...? (Just kidding, we're all off-topic here, all the time.)

    @boomzilla said:

    If that was off topic, then only because I looked beyond the world of video games. Well, there are a lot of bad things in the world. Given blakey's talk about fighting, it sounds like there's a lot of killing that goes on in the game. If you think sexism is more fucked up than killing, then that's TRWTF.

    omgriri's coming from the recent feminist teachings, I can tell from his/her use of the term "tone", which is one of the terms they use. If you're like me, you've had barely any exposure to it, and would need a primer before understanding the concepts.

    For people who are obsessed with that that way of thinking, yes, "-isms" are worse than murder. If you want to see this phenom in action, log on to Scans_Daily and post a message saying that a female character needs to get back in the kitchen. You'll get many, many death threats-- and frankly, I believe they're serious. (Most people obsessed with that way of thinking are also completely humorless, but so far omgriri's doing ok on the humor thing.)

    @boomzilla said:

    It wasn't satire at all. It was a reference to the way human decision making and rationalization operate. We tend to make up our minds and then come up with the reasoning afterwards. So, suppose you had a headache, or something else distasteful or uncomfortable was going on when you first encountered the game. That could easily influence your first impression, and cause things you might otherwise overlook to be major issues. Or, you're an easily offended over sensitized crazy feminist. Or somewhere in between. I don't know you, so I couldn't really say. But since you basically gave a pass to some earlier games that others believe aren't much different in tone than this one, that might explain why you singled out this game instead of the others.

    I think your hammer is close to hitting it on the head there, as I posted in my last reply. It's much more likely that omgriri's opinions changed than it is Bethestha's game designers did.



  • okay, okay, I'll admit that I'm currently in the throes of giving the game a second chance :P  as long as I stay away from the lowlifey nord towns and just walk around killing things with lydia and the blades, it's an enjoyable game, haha.

     

    as much as I prefer to keep things impersonal, I'll address something briefly: I'm not sure why it's assumed that one day I woke up "knowing" about feminism like it's something I was taught in college. :P  I even think the term is misleading and too easy to corrupt into a dirty word (if you mean equality, why call it feminism?).  whatever you want to call me, I've ranted about double standards in media since I was probably four years old, before I really even understood the complexity of it, and yes, about all stereotypes, not just female.  it's not like someone told me how to feel one day (in fact, many have tried and none have succeeded :P).

     

    that said, I played the previous two games in the series on and off and did some guild stuff and some side quests for years and then finally, probably in 09 or so, went on an elder scrolls bender when I had a bunch of free time and played through the main quests of both games back to back.  while it's true that everyone's perception of the world around them is constantly evolving, and mine definitely has, my basic principles haven't changed since I was four, much less since I played through the previous two games.  of course there were a few points in morrowind that made me roll my eyes; can't recall any in oblivion, but it's more than possible I forgot or never encountered anything.

     

    but when I'm in a town in skyrim, and I can't buy some damn arrows from the fletcher without him making lewd comments about the local women?  that's just alienating, and I think it's just one of those things where, if you haven't actually experienced it firsthand, it seems totally trivial.  now, if he made these comments about the townspeople as a whole, I'd be fine with it.  hell, if I heard even one single comment about the menfolk?  I'd immediately be fine with it.  it's the one sidedness of it that I'm mainly objecting to.  (I'm still waiting to hear something lewd about dudes from someone in the game - if I do, I'll make sure to follow up after the obligatory small giggle fits have passed. :P)

     

    regarding games that I appreciate from a "feminist" perspective?"  fable 2 and 3 were fabulous in that regard.  I wasn't a fan of the actual games themselves so much (I LOVED the first fable but found the second lacking and didn't bother finishing the third), but from a "does this game piss me off with stupid double standards" standpoint, they were completely fine.  hell, in fable 3, on the character select screen, the male hero wasn't even default - instead of moving a cursor to select, it was simply a different button to select either.  I'm not quite sure how I can express the symbolism of that, but I appreciated it.

     

    and while perhaps not a traditional rpg, I personally felt borderlands was (aside from being an absolute masterpiece in every conceivable way fankid) an extremely nonstereotypical game.  I recall exactly four trivial eyeroll moments from it :P  the game featured an even mix of strong and likeable female and male characters without any stereotypical power dynamics between them.  even mad moxxi, while obviously presented in a highly sexualized way, still gave off the impression of being unabashedly in control of her own presentation, so to speak, in addition to controlling the whole arena.

     

    and with that said, I think I've just figured it out - I'm just disgusted by general implied lack of power and objectification of a specific group since it hits a little too close to home.  I think even though it was thematically similar, morrowind was still too cartoony a game to have been able to pull off vulgarity the way skyrim does.  somehow watching a revolting scene like the one with the nord and serving girl play out in front of you, actually having to hear the drunken bastard slurring at the girl, is just so much worse than reading the dialogue box and watching the polygon dude stand there awkwardly.  it's the realism along with the ugly content, that's what kicks it up from "eh, poor taste" to "the FUCK?"

     

    hm..  interesting food for thought.  I've got my boy and my best friend over here and we've all been sort of bitching back and forth watching each other play, but it's interesting, the extra bits of insight that start to pop out when discussing it with neutral/differing viewpoints.  I appreciate the sounding board.

     

    (side note: I don't buy into most of the "isms" being bandied about and find most of them a little bit laughable - ageism?  ableism?  fatism?  I'm all for equality and ending prejudice, but the overly PC stuff is just, em, a bit much for me. :P)



  • @omgriri said:

    as long as I stay away from the lowlifey nord towns and just walk around killing things with lydia and the blades, it's an enjoyable game, haha.

    My Lydia disappeared, and I can't find any way of resetting her to Dragonsreach, even after taking and dismissing different new companions. :( I know she's not dead, last I saw her she was stuck in a little lake in a cave, apparently once a NPC is stuck the game can't unstick them even if they're off-screen for days.

    Edit: the worst part? I'd just finished equipping her with expensive dwarven armor.

    EDIT: OMG it turns out after you buy a house, she resets there instead of Dragonsreach. WELL SHIT. I wasted like a week of in-game time just waiting for her to show up, turns out she's in my house munching some bread. Lydia you scamp!



  •  baahahaha, the munching some bread part actually made me laugh out loud :D

     

    AAAHHH I just found out you can make lydia a blade.  she still follows you around only now she's wearing a sweet set of blades armor and a katana.  may or may not have flapped around a little bit; boy and I caught ourselves just sitting there looking at my screen like ":D."  I do very much love when a game can make us do that :P

     

    also I just noticed that delphine is still grandmaster of the blades even after you find esbern, the old guy.  granted, they're the only two left, but still, I'm unexpectedly impressed; guess that negates a bit of my previous pissing and moaning ;)



  • GAAAAH spoilers!!! SPOILER WARNING!

    Now I loathe you. I'm unsubscribing from this thread. I do not want spoilers!



  • !!  I'm SO sorry!  I hate when people do that.  I kind of figured you'd have played the game more extensively than I had by the way you were talking about it.  (and maybe it's possible there are more instances like I was talking about than you'd thought, then :P)



  • @omgriri said:

    !!  I'm SO sorry!  I hate when people do that.  I kind of figured you'd have played the game more extensively than I had by the way you were talking about it.  (and maybe it's possible there are more instances like I was talking about than you'd thought, then :P)
     

    Hey, some people play very slowly. I enjoy my relaxed pace, but I realize that it's really goddamn sluggish compared to how pretty much everybody else plays any other game. I took a year to be done with Fallout 3. My cousin finished the main quest in a few weeks.

    Hell, I've been playing Minecraft for weeks and haven't enchanted or crafted any sort of armor, or produced any diamond tools beyond a single diamond pick, nor crafted any redstone stuff (pressure plate by a door doesn't really count, methinks).

    Hell II, I beat the High Tides level in From Dust by patiently farming dirt off planting/pulling trees for several days in a row. This was pretty pointless in hindsight, but at the time I didn't realize that Infinite Earth simply gave you an unlimited dirtball. I thought it was something epic like "temporarily raise the entire world from horizon to horizon".



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @Weng said:
    Pedantic dickweedery. They may as well be called "English" "Scandinavian" and "Black".

    Imperials are modelled after Romans, that is, Italians. Momma-mia! But, still, there are no humans in Elder Scrolls because the creator of Elder Scrolls decreed there were not. So there.

    Similarly, but oppositely, there are humans in Star Wars, even though it occurs in a galaxy far, far away because the creator of Star Wars is an untalented hack who got lucky once or twice.

    Twice?? "The Empire Strikes Back" and ...?


  • (Yeah I checked back to the thread, since it's not a spoilerfest I guess I'll post here again-- I've already been spoiled anyway)

    @dhromed said:

    Hey, some people play very slowly.

    We're talking about an Elder Scrolls game, it has more hours of gameplay (even structured gameplay) than it's been available at this point. It's also not like I'm the only one who ever reads these forums or posts here, and nobody else had shown much familiarity with the game.

    I find it very very hard to believe that omgriri "accidentally" spoiled plot-points like that, I think it's some kind of juvenile "revenge" for us not agreeing that Skyrim is more misogynist than Oblivion. That's more generous than the other explanation.

    @dhromed said:

    I took a year to be done with Fallout 3.

    Strangely, Bethestha considers the Fallout: New Vegas engine to be Gamebryo, but calls Skyrim's engine "Creation Engine" and acts as if it's some brand-new thing-- if you play Skyrim, it's obviously the New Vegas engine with a coat of paint. (This is NOT by ANY means a criticism or complaint. New Vegas was a great game. Just weird they didn't call New Vegas Creation Engine or Skyrim Gamebryo.)

    @dhromed said:

    Hell, I've been playing Minecraft for weeks

    Minecraft is Java. Fuck Java.

    @dhromed said:

    the High Tides level in From Dust

    Isn't From Dust the game that has the horrible DRM that kicks you in the ass every time you boot it? I don't often reject a game due to DRM, but I rejected From Dust.

    (And I'm regretting buying Heroes of Might and Magic VI... Ubisoft, nobody wants your fucking stupid launcher app, and nobody gives a fuck about your Ubisoft achievements because if they aren't on Steam or Xbox Live we can't share them with friends.)



  • @dhromed said:

    Hey, some people play very slowly. I enjoy my relaxed pace, but I realize that it's really goddamn sluggish compared to how pretty much everybody else plays any other game. I took a year to be done with Fallout 3. My cousin finished the main quest in a few weeks.

    ".

     

     haha, yeah, I know what you mean.  when I was a kid I'd play
    secret of mana over and over, talking to everyone, farming enemies,
    trying to find all the orbs in the fortress.  it took me like four or
    five years to beat morrowind because I'd pick it up, play it for a
    while, wander around talking to people and killing stuff, get busy with
    real life stuff and put it down, pick it up again months later, start
    doing the main quest, get sidetracked by something cool, etc.  I have
    terrible ADD in video games, haha.  in skyrim though, I honestly feel absolutely no desire to explore the world whatsoever, (which is a completely foreign concept where the elder scrolls games are concerned) so I just leaped into the story.

     

    so really, yeah, I probably should have known better, but that still doesn't excuse the weird kind of spergy response that guy gave me when I actually bothered to briefly apologize via pm, lol.  it's still just a damn game, you don't need to write several paragraphs calling me an asshole when I've actually troubled myself to say I'm sorry, haha.  go outside and breathe in some fresh air :P

     

    oh, also, is from dust worth playing?  I saw a trailer for it a few weeks ago and my interest was slightly piqued.

     



  • @omgriri said:

    you don't need to write several paragraphs calling me an asshole

    You must be new here.



  • @omgriri said:

    oh, also, is from dust worth playing?  I saw a trailer for it a few weeks ago and my interest was slightly piqued.
     

    The trailer is a lie. It's a level-to-level puzzle game with lots of atmosphere; created and published as an excuse to recover the cost of the awesome fluid simulation engine.

    It's not that challenging and pretty short. But I liked it. The gameplay is smooth and natural, and it has some replay value.

    PC port is clunky and inexcusable. It forgets all your settings (or some of them. randomly. Or all of them all the time.) and does not support antialias. It stores your savegames reliably, though. Count blessings.



  • @boomzilla said:

    @omgriri said:
    you don't need to write several paragraphs calling me an asshole

    You must be new here.

     

    hahah.  well, you're right!  I really did just sign up to comment on this one
    thread and I wasn't planning on sticking around past it, since I've got a bunch of work left in this kiln load that I need to get finished to drop off at a couple galleries this weekend and I've been procrastinating terribly (still am!  what am I DOING right now? :P).  this has, however, served a
    valuable purpose as a sounding board to get my thoughts straight on what was particularly offensive and why
    :)  as soon as I actually have the time, I'm going to write a letter to bethesda saying pretty much the same thing, condensed.

     

    gotta stop procrastinating now :P



  • if you play Skyrim, it's obviously the New Vegas engine with a coat of paint.

    I wondered about this. The video I watched didn't have enough fidelity to discern whether it was gamebryo or something new entirely. Still, you can do a lot with that engine by upgrading the textures and lowering the specularity :D. My primary gripe as the incredibly stiff models. And it's high time people implemented tendon-elasticity in the ragdoll physics because I'm tired of bodies dropping in completely stupid poses.

    @blakeyrat said:

    Isn't From Dust the game that has the horrible DRM that kicks you in the ass every time you boot it? I don't often reject a game due to DRM, but I rejected From Dust.
     

    I dunno. I didn't receive any ass-kicking ever. I just click the icon and then I play the game. SRUGG

    The only thing I find objectionable (well, aside from the fucked settings amnesia) is that the "launcher window" shows pictures of grasslands, huts, and an aboriginal painting a figure on the ground. These things exist only in that image. None of it is in the game. I understand embellishment, but this is just a bold-faced lie. Might as well put a picture of furniture.

    I still think the environment engine is a delight to interact with, and has much potential for other open-world-building games. It just needs a few glitch fixes, and a mechanism to prevent levels from imploding after a very long while (e.g. given enough time, a volcano will inevitably swallow the entire level.).



  • @omgriri said:

    hahah.  well, you're right!  I really did just sign up to comment on this one
    thread and I wasn't planning on sticking around past it
     

    Wealp, if you ever feel good and happy about life, yourself, or just work....

     

    ...visit this place and we'll take care of that post-haste.



  • Errr, omgriri, please if you are going to get annoyed at something, get annoyed at more important and real things. (I mean, srly?)

    Hmmm, I was going to buy the pc version of skyrim but if the pc control is fucked mignt as well go with the xbox version.

    I didn't have any problem with From Dust besides the fact that is short as hell and only mildly interesting, maybe next time the come up with something better for that engine



  • @serguey123 said:

    Errr, omgriri, please if you are going to get annoyed at something, get annoyed at more important and real things. (I mean, srly?)
     

    Well, you're (or are putting up that front very effectively) an apathetical jaded penis so you don't get to comment on what people do an do not care about. :)

    @serguey123 said:

    maybe next time the come up with something better for that engine

    +1

    Well, it's a completely novel thing. It's exactly equivalent to Portal's situation, being a level-to-level puzzle game with a weird and fresh game mechanic. It's just that Portal was executed far more tightly and with absolutely no pretentious fluff of OH THIS GAME IS SO POETIC AND INSPIRING AND OH ERIC CHAHIIII CUMMMM you get my point.

    Oh, for the cynical: you know what the Portal guys came up with "next time"?

    Yep.

    Portal 2.

     

     



  • @serguey123 said:

    Hmmm, I was going to buy the pc version of skyrim but if the pc control is fucked mignt as well go with the xbox version.

    Buy the Windows version, play with an Xbox controller. Best of both worlds.

    Not that you can get Windows, Xbox, or Skyrim legally in Best Korea, but if you're going to smuggle the whole kit through, just smuggle a USB Xbox controller as well.



  • @dhromed said:

    Well, it's a completely novel thing. It's exactly equivalent to Portal's situation, being a level-to-level puzzle game with a weird and fresh game mechanic. It's just that Portal was executed far more tightly and with absolutely no pretentious fluff of OH THIS GAME IS SO POETIC AND INSPIRING AND OH ERIC CHAHIIII CUMMMM you get my point.

    Oh, for the cynical: you know what the Portal guys came up with "next time"?

    Yep.

    Portal 2.

    Well Portal 2 was a lot of wasted hype, but it could be like System Shock 2, or Dungeon Keeper 2... where they take the original idea and really, really start rolling with it and make an excellent game that puts the first to shame.



  • @dhromed said:

    @serguey123 said:

    Errr, omgriri, please if you are going to get annoyed at something, get annoyed at more important and real things. (I mean, srly?)
     

    Well, you're (or are putting up that front very effectively) an apathetical jaded penis so you don't get to comment on what people do an do not care about. :)

    I'll take this as a compliment ;), jaded is pretty much the standard in Corrupsylvania!

    When worst things are happening in the real world, complaining about some vague gender discrimination thingy on a game seems silly to me.

    @dhromed said:

     

    @serguey123 said:

    maybe next time the come up with something better for that engine

    +1

    Well, it's a completely novel thing. It's exactly equivalent to Portal's situation, being a level-to-level puzzle game with a weird and fresh game mechanic. It's just that Portal was executed far more tightly and with absolutely no pretentious fluff of OH THIS GAME IS SO POETIC AND INSPIRING AND OH ERIC CHAHIIII CUMMMM you get my point.

    Oh, for the cynical: you know what the Portal guys came up with "next time"?

    Yep.

    Portal 2.

    Well, Portal 2 was a fine game, maybe a bit overhyped but fine, if they can come up with something interesting that uses the game engine well and its well executed then I guess I'll take a look at it, meanwhile I'll stick to "Batman: Arkham City"



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @serguey123 said:
    Hmmm, I was going to buy the pc version of skyrim but if the pc control is fucked mignt as well go with the xbox version.
    Buy the Windows version, play with an Xbox controller. Best of both worlds.

    Not that you can get Windows, Xbox, or Skyrim legally in Best Korea, but if you're going to smuggle the whole kit through, just smuggle a USB Xbox controller as well.

    Hmmm, the best thing about the black market is that is cheap!  There is no need for me to smuggle anything, there are pros that do that for you, delivery it to your house and even provide guarantees, really no different from other countries! The best thing about corruption is that it permeates everything



  • @serguey123 said:

    delivery it to your house
     

    Great. Now they know where you live.



  • @serguey123 said:

    Errr, omgriri, please if you are going to get annoyed at something, get annoyed at more important and real things. (I mean, srly?)

    When worst things are happening in the real world, complaining about some vague gender discrimination thingy on a game seems silly to me.



    your comment is breathtakingly ignorant, massively irrelevant, provides a shining example of a false dichotomy, and also neatly proves my point.  impressive!

    you're essentially saying that, because there are, say, real life children starving somewhere in a faraway country, I should sit down and shut up because my argument is thusly without merit and "silly."  and, for some equally hilarious reason that is entirely beyond my comprehension, you appear to expect that your opinion regarding something you don't actually understand and have no experience with is actually worth something in the first place, but we'll ignore that, and I'll humor you, for now.

    I'm not talking about all possible real world problems ever, I'm talking about one specific video game that has manifested one specific societal ill in a thoroughly inappropriate way.  I read a statistic recently that 40% of gamers as of 2010 are female.  why alienate almost half your fanbase for bullshit "authenticity" and then turn around and, say, put a ridiculous talking dragon in the game?  I just completely can't understand people, both developers and other players, who complain that "not enough girls play video games," and then turn around and defend unnecessary aspects of games that alienate female players in the first place.  I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you weren't openly trying to be offensive, but clueless types like you are as much a solid part of the problem as the openly malicious ones.

    I don't even need to explain why misogyny is a very real issue to half the world's population, and it would be off-topic and tangential to do so, but since you've mentioned "worse" real world problems:  misogyny is, simply, the root cause of a wide array of very real issues that plague the world, ranging from issues like the completely inexcusable pay gap even here in the developed world (women in the united states still only make 77 cents on the dollar that men make), to absolutely horrendous issues worldwide like abuse, assault, sex trafficking, genital mutilation, even female infanticide, where female babies are valued so much less than male babies that they're literally killed off (you can read more about that last example here, if you don't believe me.  http://www.gendercide.org/case_infanticide.html ).  with that kind of shit going on in the world, yeah, many of us (even we comparatively lucky pampered ones with the luxury of playing a stupid game with talking dragons in it :P) are still going to be sensitive to and annoyed by unnecessary displays of the root cause, however innocuous "just a little sexism" may seem.  try to remember that.  it may not be real to you, but it's very real to half the people you'll meet walking down the street.

    (anyway, back to the grind... I'm setting my spam filter to catch email notifications, because I really need to get this mess done and I'm pretty sure I've said absolutely everything relevant that I could possibly say at this point anyway.  toodles!)

     


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