UK Doctor: Games Contribute to Sexualization of Girls

February 22, 2010 -

A UK psychologist has blamed videogames, among other media, for the sexualization of young girls.

Dr. Linda Papadopoulos (pictured), a clinical psychologist at London Metropolitan University, who has also appeared on TV shows such as Big Brother and the Celebrity Fit Club, called out games that contain high sexual content as “hypersexualising girls, telling them that their desirability relies on being desired.”

In a story in the London Evening Standard she specifically called out the browser-based game Miss Bimbo as an offender. The game entices girls to “Become the hottest, coolest most intelligent and talented bimbo the world has ever known!”

Papadopoulos’ comments were taken from an upcoming government inquiry into the subject, which will be published shortly. In her report, Papadopoulosis is expected to call for a labeling system to be slapped on airbrushed images used in media and an age limit for the some of the more racy men's magazines.


|Via MCVUK|


Comments

Re: UK Doctor: Games Contribute to Sexualization of Girls

I would have to say, as a guy, it's women pressurizing other women to look like super models. I know many guys who much prefer a tomboy over a slutty girl or girly girl that you see in too many ads. Do you know why guys make fun of a girl who takes 3 hours to prepare for a simple get together? It's because we don't care for much of the mark up that girls put on. We don't care for the eye liner, lip stick, nail polish, eye shadow, etc.

It's really one of those cases of girls guessing what guys want from girls, so they turn to those cheesy love stories you see from hollywood.

Re: UK Doctor: Games Contribute to Sexualization of Girls

Papadopoulos’ comments were taken from an upcoming government inquiry into the subject, which will be published shortly. In her report, Papadopoulosis is expected to call for a labeling system to be slapped on airbrushed images used in media and an age limit for the some of the more racy men's magazines.

Is she like a fucking idiot or something?!?!?! There already is an age limit on men's magazines. Like Hustler & Penthouse & Playboy & especially on Playgirl. Hey why doesn't she stop being sexist & ask for an age limit on Playgirl. Oh wait, that's right, B/C THERE ARE ALREADY IS AN AGE LIMIT ON IT!!!!!!!!

"Dr. Linda Papadopoulos (pictured), a clinical psychologist at London Metropolitan University, who has also appeared on TV shows such as Big Brother and the Celebrity Fit Club, called out games that contain high sexual content as “hypersexualising girls, telling them that their desirability relies on being desired.”

Did she make up that word "hypersexualising?" Sounds like she did. I have never heard anything like that before. But games do NOT make a girl like that! What makes a girl like that is the media in magazines & short-ass clothes that show off lot's of skin to entice men. Hey you get what you put out & what you show off. Then women get mad about it! WTF!?!?!? Anyways, another reason women are made hypersexual is b/c of their mom & what men she brings home or the girls' friends she hangs out & goes to strip clubs or goes to men's strip clubs like La Baer in Dallas. & of course society as a whole that makes women the way they are. It's the woman's decision to NOT be that way by making that choice. Not videogames.

 

 

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Re: UK Doctor: Games Contribute to Sexualization of Girls

Did she make up that word "hypersexualising?" Sounds like she did.

She didn't.  The word has been around for a while.  Just because you've never heard the word doesn't mean it's made up.  It's used in psychology, which may be why you haven't heard it.  It comes from the verb "hypersexualize" which means "To make extremely sexual; to accentuate the sexuality of."

What makes a girl like that is the media in magazines & short-ass clothes that show off lot's of skin to entice men.

So Dead or Alive girls, Ivy, various EverQuest art, and various other female game characters don't count?  Games are media, too.  Even if it's not "real," the use of girls wearing little clothing/armor and often standing in provocative poses both in game and in promotional artwork still falls in line with what the magazines with "real" people on the covers do.  Most people on these covers are so photoshoped, I'd hardly call them "real," anyway.  The Dove "Evolution" commercial really does it best.

I'm not trying to say games are any worse than other media at this, but you can't just conveniently ignore them because they're our precious hobby here.  Games do their share of hypersexualizing women.

It's the woman's decision to NOT be that way by making that choice. Not videogames.

True, it is a girls' choice if she does something stupid in the name of beauty, but it's still not a magazine's fault, TV's or strippers at a strip club's fault either, when you make it as clean cut as that.  In the end it comes down to an individual girl's level of self-esteem mixed with their environment, which includes the constant bombardment from media telling her that she's not beautiful enough to be desirable.

Please also note that I'm not saying parents and peers are less responsible, either.  They're the biggest factors in a persons' self esteem when growing up, but even so, there are still people with loving parents and friends who suffer from low self esteem, and it's caused by various other factors.

------- http://www.whatnottodo.tk

Re: UK Doctor: Games Contribute to Sexualization of Girls

You know what they should really worry about contributing to sexualization of young women?  Their ROLE MODELS.  The way they're being advertised to (look at clothing, for an easy example.  I went to pick up a friend's son, 12 years old, from school one day and saw preteens dressed in manners that would make a thai hooker blush).  The social roles that they're being suggested BY their Role Models (here's a hint; Paris Hilton isn't going to help inspire most children to be Doctors).

I can go on about this shit all day, but the long and short is that there are A LOT of other places we need to look before we start talking about a game that no one has ever heard of contributing to the sexualization of girls.

Re: UK Doctor: Games Contribute to Sexualization of Girls

I agree with this.  Just take that whole incident with Miley Cyrus (spelled?  The Hanna Montana girl).  When a boy from the Disney group of young actors decides to grow up and look more mature, a magazine will do a photo shoot with him in a tux or a business suit.  For Cyrus, they stirpped her naked, put some suggestive blush on her cheeks, and had her roll around on a bed of silk sheets.  Now she does brief pole dances during live performances, and dances in the bed of a truck in a short skirt while adult men cheer her on during one of her music videos.

Media in all forms perpetuates that girls need to be pretty and sexy.  Honestly, I think video games have a much better track record than tv, music videos, and women's/teen's magazines.  When was last time you heard of a teen girl magazine devoted to stories of athletics, positive rolemodels, and interest pieces on possible future careers?  Or a "tech story" that involves more than how to manage your facebook account?  No, they're all about makeup and clothes and boys, tee hee!

Re: UK Doctor: Games Contribute to Sexualization of Girls

Slightly off topic, but I think Western games do a lot better than Asian games when we're discussing hyper-sexualization of women.  Yeah, we have the occasional "bimbo," but many (if not most) women in Western games are portrayed with a decent ammount of respect.  And when they're sexual, it's because it's ok for a woman to be sexual, and it's merely a part of their empowered self confident persona.  Japanese games usually put them in ridiculously insane and skimpy outfits, and then give them personalities that are either submissive and shy, or high spirited flirts.  Not to mention that the age of the females in Japanese games is a lot lower than here in the West.  14 year olds in short shorts devoting their entire life to please the boys.

Re: UK Doctor: Games Contribute to Sexualization of Girls

I'd agree.  It's a generalization (so it's obviously not always the case), but the East Asians go more for the cutsie, adorable, young, naive schoolgirl, while the West often goes for more sexually mature women.

The social gap between men and women is a lot larger over there than it is here, too.

------- http://www.whatnottodo.tk

Re: UK Doctor: Games Contribute to Sexualization of Girls

So basically because the West creates a different image of a sexualized female that means its automatically better in gender relations?

Sorry, but I'm not buying that. Whether it's to act more like a naive schoolgirl or a sexually mature woman, they're all idealized images that society shoves down our throats. And for the record, gender relations aren't that great in the West either despite what some may lead you to believe.

Re: UK Doctor: Games Contribute to Sexualization of Girls

I looked up the actual article to see what exactly she was saying about "Miss Bimbo" ... but it's actually a short piece. Nevertheless, I don't understand why mentioning a flash game is remotely acceptable for lambasting all games as being the same - in literary terms, it's like quoting some small-time writer who pens about morbid subjects, only for someone to claim all books are therefore disgusting. Games have got Lara Croft, Faith (Mirror's Edge) and even the female version of Commander Shepherd (Mass Effect) as role models.

Pornography, which children can access on their mobile phones, depicts older men sleeping with young-looking teenage girls. Push-up bras and T-shirts with slogans such as “porn star” across the chest are also now commonly aimed at young children, she warned. “It is a drip, drip effect. Look at porn stars and look at how an average girl looks now.”

Not that I'm defending them, but stores often claim that they only stock the clothes because people want to buy them, but that doesn't seem like the best argument. I definitely agree that the sexual clothes I've heard of (but not seen here in England, fortunately) are shocking and maybe there should be some law to tackle the issue, much like how super-light models have been banned from fashion shows.

Re: UK Doctor: Games Contribute to Sexualization of Girls

I definitely agree that the sexual clothes I've heard of (but not seen here in England, fortunately) are shocking and maybe there should be some law to tackle the issue,

Because making a law about what minors (as opposed to adults) wear in public is a good thing?

Re: UK Doctor: Games Contribute to Sexualization of Girls

Honestly, I don't know, but thongs for 7 year olds and the other items described in the article just don't seem right. A law could target the manufacturers and retail sellers instead.

Re: UK Doctor: Games Contribute to Sexualization of Girls

Become the hottest, coolest most intelligent and talented bimbo the world has ever known!

Isn't this the very definition of Big Brother?

Re: UK Doctor: Games Contribute to Sexualization of Girls

Remove the words "most intelligent" and "talented" and yes it is.

--------------------------------------------------

I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: UK Doctor: Games Contribute to Sexualization of Girls

called out games that contain high sexual content as “hypersexualising girls, telling them that their desirability relies on being desired.”

Isn't that the definition of "Desirability"? Desirability is all dependent on who wants what.
----
There is a limit for both politicians against video games, and video games against politicians.

Re: UK Doctor: Games Contribute to Sexualization of Girls

I think the woman just completely fails at communicating.

Basically her use of the word "desirability" in the sentence refers to being loved/wanted/cherished, and her use of "being desired" is sexual only.

Honestly, if my psychology class in college didn't have a discussion about this exact thing, I think I'd be lost.  Her sentence is just epic fail all around.  O_o;

Hell it be better if it were just fixed like this: “...hypersexualising girls, telling them that their being loved relies on being sexually desirable.”

------- http://www.whatnottodo.tk

Re: UK Doctor: Games Contribute to Sexualization of Girls

I agree, desirability is subjective. I've met people who like big people (one girl specifically said "because they're like teddy bears") and I've met people who won't settle for anything less than fit (without being too muscular). But I have yet to meet someone who likes people at an anorexic stage of "fitness". There is nothing desirable about looking like you starve yourself.

Re: UK Doctor: Games Contribute to Sexualization of Girls

i agree desirability is subjective.  i prefer larger woman and i will NOT go out with a skinny chick.

Re: UK Doctor: Games Contribute to Sexualization of Girls

"telling them that their desirability relies on being desired"

...  Seriously?  She is seriously posing this as some kind of problem that needs to be solved?  I mean, desirability and desire are pretty closely related concepts, right?  Desirability really does rely on being desired, doesn't it?  If nobody desires you, then clearly you are not desirable (at least, not to anybody you've met).  What is she even trying to say here?  Is she really so surprised that two forms of the same root word are related to each other? I mean, wtf?  I just can't wrap my head around how someone could put that sentence together and not realize how stupid it sounds.  If it was a live interview or something, that would be one thing, but this is a written article.  No excuse.

 

Re: UK Doctor: Games Contribute to Sexualization of Girls

While I agree that there is sexism in games there is no more so than in movies, tv, music, etc. And her example is a browser based game? Come on lady at least make a little effort.

Re: UK "Doctor": Games "Contribute" to "Sexualization" of Girls

Yet another brain-dead moron running her mouth about something she has no understanding of. Pathetic.

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Re: UK Doctor: Games Contribute to Sexualization of Girls

Yet she fails to explain why, even if this was true, that this is a 'bad' thing.

Oh yeah, sexual women are worth less to their menfolk thus must remain pure.  Ah, covert sexism...

Re: UK Doctor: Games Contribute to Sexualization of Girls

Also remember it's about the sexualisation of girls (ie females aged 0-18), not 18+ women.

Re: UK Doctor: Games Contribute to Sexualization of Girls

I think you're a little confused... Hypersexualization has nothing to do with "purity," but does has deal with the oversaturation of media that tells girls how they "should" look in order to be beautiful and attract men.  This is often done with bombarding them with unrealistic ideal proportions (large breasts, small waist and now small hips), and a lot of ways to "fix" them, because they're so "flawed."  In this day and age, heavily photoshopped and airbrushed images fix the slightest blemishes, elongate necks, and slim waistlines on even the most attractive people in our society, making our views on beauty skewed.  Younger girls who can and are easily influenced end up with low self esteem and sometimes wind up in unhealthy situations (addicted to plastic surgery, eating disorders, etc.) all for the sake of being attractive.

However, I think this lady is totally off track on how to fix it.  Most girls don't look at mens magazines, they look at things like Seventeen and Cosmo, which I'd argue are worse.  When you look at the magazines at the checkout line in the grocery store, how many articles do you see on the front cover advertising the latest fad diet (regardless of whether or not it's healthy) or the best secrets to keeping him happy in bed?  It's womens' magazines that are the worst at this.  Most of the time men's magazines are pushed to the back if there's something sexual on the cover.  In the end, women can be a lot more sexist towards other women then men ever will...

As to her stance on games, oy.  If she was complaining about this 15-20 years ago, then maybe I could agree, but the industry has expanded a lot since then, and not every girl is a Dead or Alive character or Ivy from Soul Calibur.  We now have characters like Faith (Mirror's Edge) and Jade (Beyond Good and Evil).  Even in one game you can get contrasting women.  FFXII you get the scantly clad bunny woman (I'll be damned if she wasn't my favorite character though), and then Penelo and Ashe who are rather plain in comparison. 

It doesn't help that her example is a game that's supposed to be a joke in the first place...  In the end, I have to agree, she's as credible as Dr. Phil.

------- http://www.whatnottodo.tk

Re: UK Doctor: Games Contribute to Sexualization of Girls

>Most girls don't look at mens magazines, they look at things like Seventeen and Cosmo, which I'd argue are worse.

I think the argument here (which, I will add, is still bollocks) is that men aren't interested in girls that don't look like those in magazines, which in turn leads the female-orientated media to concentrate on making themselves resemble said girls in said magazines, which really falls over in two places:

1. In my limited experience, the girls in men's magazines look nothing like those in women's magazines

2. Men will take anything they can get, making body image entirely irrelevant.

/b

Re: UK Doctor: Games Contribute to Sexualization of Girls

I struggle to think of games that tell girls that they must make themselves desirable. Obviously there are plenty examples of games where women are sex objects (Dead or Alive easily springs to mind), but these games featuring big-breasted women are aimed at teenage boys.

The proposal to put a warning message on airbrushed photos is just another example of Nanny State UK, warnings on everything, from cigarettes to fatty foods, alcohol to airbrushing.

Re: UK Doctor: Games Contribute to Sexualization of Girls

Actually ,there had been cases where girls have starved themselves to acheive an airbrushed image look.

Re: UK Doctor: Games Contribute to Sexualization of Girls

Now is that because the image is promoting an unhealthy figure, or that the way to being slim (eating right, exercising etc) isn't as well-known as it should be, leading people to take the shortest possible route of 'eating nothing'?

/b

Re: UK Doctor: Games Contribute to Sexualization of Girls

I wouldn't say things like eating right and exercising aren't as well-known as they should, but rather that they get ignored for taking too long.

--------------------------------------------------

I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: UK Doctor: Games Contribute to Sexualization of Girls

And that can't possibly be the result of any stimulus other than the image? A stimulus such as vapid superficial cunts who are so stupid they can't accept someone who doesn't appear to be 100% perfect and so put extreme pressure on otherwise normal people to conform to a grossly unrealistic stereotype that would be unhealthy even if they could achieve it?

Re: UK Doctor: Games Contribute to Sexualization of Girls

"A stimulus such as vapid superficial cunts who are so stupid they can't accept someone who doesn't appear to be 100% perfect and so put extreme pressure on otherwise normal people to conform to a grossly unrealistic stereotype that would be unhealthy even if they could achieve it?"

Like they do with shows like "Celebrity Fat Club" in fact.

--------------------------------------------------

I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: UK Doctor: Games Contribute to Sexualization of Girls

I never said that, I just said the images are part of the problem.

Re: UK Doctor: Games Contribute to Sexualization of Girls

"In her report, Papadopoulosis is expected to call for a labeling system to be slapped on airbrushed images used in media and an age limit for the some of the more racy men's magazines."

You'd think in today's society we'd be moving away from such ridiculous attempts at legislation, but we're not.

Re: UK Doctor: Games Contribute to Sexualization of Girls

Put an age limit on girl's magazines too. They have a lot more to do with the sexualisation of young girls (their readers) than lad mags do and they're just as racy too (pictures of half-naked men? No different to the half naked women in men's magazines).

If you want equality, don't just blame the lad mags blame the female magazines too.

Re: UK Doctor: Games Contribute to Sexualization of Girls

Miss Bimbo? who the hell has actually heard of that game, much less have actually played it. Y'know if you are gonna blame something for hyper-sexualizing girls, you should start by picking something they ACTUALLY TAKE PART IN. 

Re: UK Doctor: Games Contribute to Sexualization of Girls

Or pick something that isn't satire or poking fun at Bimbos. It is funny that whenever people call out anything, not just videogames, the use the ones that are, "morally", the worst, often ones that aren't really advertised or sold. Another example of this would be Atkinson and those supporting him using Manhunt 2 and Rapelay as representations of common games that would be rated R+18. Using the worst minority to generalize the majority. One of my major pet peeves.

"The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." -Albert Einstein

Re: UK Doctor: Games Contribute to Sexualization of Girls

Just about everything contributes to the sexualization of girls, except perhaps bran muffins. 

Re: UK Doctor: Games Contribute to Sexualization of Girls

If one's desirability isn't supposed to rely on her being desired, what should it rely on?

Re: UK Doctor: Games Contribute to Sexualization of Girls

Maybe this rent-a-doc is hoping pseudointellectualism will be the new, prime factor in desirability.

She certainly isn't looking very desirable right now... but hey, maybe in 20 years, when millions of women around the world have degrees in Women's Studies, she might seem intelligent, if only by comparison.

Re: UK Doctor: Games Contribute to Sexualization of Girls

I don't know, but saying that desirability isn't supposed to rely on being desired is akin to saying "No" isn't supposed to mean "No"

岩「…Where do masochists go when they die?」

岩「…I can see why Hasselbeck's worried about fake guns killing fake people. afterall, she's a fake journalist on a fake news channel」

Re: UK Doctor: Games Contribute to Sexualization of Girls

*Struggles to resist making a rape joke*

Re: UK Doctor: Games Contribute to Sexualization of Girls

no kidding. the author of that statement is already in so deep, she cant use the word "desire" to mean anything else. 

Re: UK Doctor: Games Contribute to Sexualization of Girls

 In my experience, more than action movies and late night friday TV ever could, the most contributing factor in "women's sexualization" is the women themselves.

Re: UK Doctor: Games Contribute to Sexualization of Girls

True, but try to convince a feminist of that fact. It´s all men´s fault. Always.

 

------------------------------------------------------------ My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com

Re: UK Doctor: Games Contribute to Sexualization of Girls

Let me guess, you think a Woman is "Asking for it" because of how she is dressed.

Re: UK Doctor: Games Contribute to Sexualization of Girls

You are taking my comment more far away than I intended. Women has the right to dress the way they want. Period.

And NO ONE is talking about rape here. No one.

------------------------------------------------------------ My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com

Re: UK Doctor: Games Contribute to Sexualization of Girls

Sorry, I thought we were playing the Hyperbole game, I mean you did make a stupid generalization about feminists/feminism, so I thought I was supposed to make a generalization too.

Re: UK Doctor: Games Contribute to Sexualization of Girls

An undeniable fact of the matter is that the feminist movement has fractured into dozens of different sects, none of which can agree on which branch is ultimately right. As a result when people talk about feminism they Usually immediately think of a vocal feminist extremeist who believes in seperating men from women (aka the fem-nazi), rather than the considerably (but not always) more reasonable feminist who wants to premote the image of women (and women's culture as odd as it may sound to some) as being equal to men(and mens culture). At this point in time I am doubtful (but hope none the less) that the feminist movement can pull itself back together and set aside somewhat smaller issues like: can men and women exist together and are butch/fem lesbians damaging to the movement (which as I recall some do believe) and focus on positive things that they can all agree on (like ensuring womens equality to men) and helping to create positive role models in society and culture (of which many may complain that there are none).

The more a group fractures and seperates from itself the weaker it becomes. This is really a universal truth. Religion, governments, cultures, and all things that are the artifice of humanity are subject to this. It happened to the Irish in 1920 when the IRA broke apart and lead to the Irish civil war; it has happened to feminism which is now unlikely to come together again; and it is happening now in countries like the US which is polarising itself, each side thinking the other is the one that is hurting the whole. This division comes in many names, but the results are always the same.

And so ends my daily rant.

=============

Political Affiliation: The true American is one that does not let themselves become polarized in their party affiliations; they say around the middle and listen to the word of both. After all the middle is created by two extemes, and we all know that you dont want to follow a crazy exremist person.

Re: UK Doctor: Games Contribute to Sexualization of Girls

"As a result when people talk about feminism they Usually immediately think of a vocal feminist extremeist who believes in seperating men from women (aka the fem-nazi),"

Awhile back, there was a debate about a similar subject on GP (I forget the article), during which I made this same statement, and tried to explain that at this point in time, publicly self-identifying oneself as a "feminist" does more harm than good for this very reason.

Personally, I just don't like the term; it's inherently loaded.  When the subject comes up, I cheerfully identify myself as an "equalist", and I wish more people did as well.  First impressions are everything, and telling someone "I'm a strict equalist" sounds much more agreeable and less confrontational than saying "I'm a feminist".

We may not like the connotations that have developed around certain words in our language, but it is folly to ignore them.

...

That said, as a young, white, American male, possibly the most hated demographic in the world...I have to say that the situation for women today, while not perfect, cannot be as bad as it was 40, 30, or even 20 years ago.  What was once considered mainstream behavior is now considered discriminatory.  Take a look at oft-reviled Hollywood, in fact.  One surefire way to identify any male character as either evil, stupid, or both is if he speaks or acts degradingly towards women.

There are still bastions of backwater idiocy out there, and there are also some more insidious remainders of the past still in effect today, but it is definitely much, much better than it used to be.  And on a professional note...I can't speak for law firms (or most other industries, to be honest...), but in the game dev business, women may still be in the minority, but it sure as hell isn't because "men will hire other men first", and I don't know of any of my female co-workers making less for doing the same job.

Re: UK Doctor: Games Contribute to Sexualization of Girls

I love The Hyperbole Game, it's the best thing ever.

/b 

Re: UK Doctor: Games Contribute to Sexualization of Girls

Modern feminism is a joke and an affront to society as a whole and men as individuals. I would like to see feminists work with men to achieve equality, but do you see that happening? No. Not even when offered. I call bullshit.

Some of the most fun I've ever had was talking to the Women's Studies students in college. I would simply ask them "Why isn't there a Men's Studies class?" and they would go on a 20 minute rant about how history and law and economics and every other subject ever is dominated by men, so a "Men's Studies" class would be redundant. So I would then say "so rather than recognize these things simply for what they are, accepting that men of today understand the mistake that was made (or that there may have been some legitimate reasons for doing so AT THE TIME), and moving on, you would instead ignore the contributions men have made to all of these fields and study only women? Does that not strike you as sexist?" Of course, every single one disagrees and then calls me sexist.

I admit to baiting a bit, but it's always the same: feminazis are quick to play the sexist card without realizing that by not involving men in the process, they are themselves being sexist. A classic case of "takes one to know one".

TL;DR You clearly misunderstand the goals of modern feminism AKA feminazis.

 
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Andrew EisenGlad you said "Pokemon." That's the first time I've seen anyone use that abbreviation.10/21/2014 - 12:14pm
MaskedPixelanteGot my demo key for ORAS, hope I get some awesome Pokemon to bring over.10/21/2014 - 12:08pm
E. Zachary KnightNot owning a WiiU helps too.10/21/2014 - 11:39am
 

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