So, when I heard about this one particular Internet Flash video game, entitled "Watch Out Behind You Hunter," in which the goal, the only goal, is to make a little dude wander through the woods while naked men jump out of the bushes and attempt to rape him, at which point he shoots them to death - I was, um... revolted? Scared? BASICALLY JUST IN AWE AT THE DEPTH OF HUMAN TERRIBLENESS AND TOTALLY CLUELESS AS TO HOW OR WHY SOMETHING LIKE THIS GETS MADE?!?!?!? Yeah, that last one, I think.
It was, therefore, time for a Sexist Beatdown! Join us, as Amanda "Player 1" Hess of Washington City Paper's The Sexist and I, Sady "Player 2" Doyle of the Internet's Tiger Beatdown, discuss the perils of online media, sophisticated translation software, industries aimed at 14-year-old dudes who are kind of stupid, and the fact that, whether you play it or not, just knowing about Watch Out Behind You makes losers of us all.*
SADY: why hello my good woman! care to speak about the evils of video games?
AMANDA: corrupting our children
SADY: i know! the youth today! once i would have been not-serious about this but now i am not so sure.
AMANDA: i know, i think i'm getting older :(
SADY: well, also: it turns out that videogames, if you research them, are terrifying! like: RAPELAY, the world's leading rape-simulator for your home system. or this new game, in which the goal, i guess, is to run away from rape-minded gay men whilst shooting them in the face?
AMANDA: i played this game.
SADY: did you? did you really? how was your gaming experience?
AMANDA: well, the first thing to know about this game is that it debuted in french. and if you run the French title through some sophisticated language translators, you will find that the original name of the game was "Takes Guard Has Your Buttocks, Hunter!”
SADY: oh, MY.
AMANDA: the second, and most horrifying, relevant point about this game is that the gameplay is extremely boring. and so, we may conclude that the only possible draws of the game are a) shootin' queers or b) briefly catching sight of tiny cartoon penises.
SADY: I'M SORRY I CAN'T HEAR YOU I'M PLAYING TAKES GUARD HAS YOUR BUTTOCKS. but not really. i am just looking at it, some more.
SADY: yes, i think that the creators were adamant about it being "humor?"
AMANDA: yeah---there's always this defense from Creators who are criticized over the content of their product. where they contest that the Game is something More than it Appears, when really it's a very simple and boring flash game with no point, except to depict murder and rape as easily and speedily as possible
SADY: right, exactly. but, i mean, these are the perils of online media. this game has peen in it, and raping, and it allows one to pretend to shoot dudes in the face for wanting to fuck you, and in this manner, it appeals to douchebags and gets traffic. it also has peen, and raping, and allows people to pretend to shoot dudes for wanting to sex them, and in this manner, it draws outrage from people such as myself and gets traffic. either way, TAKES GUARD WINS.
AMANDA: and then i played the game! which allowed me to say, This game is not fun and games!
SADY: (i appear to be playing this game wrong, by the way, as no naked men have jumped from the bushes to assault me yet.)
AMANDA: you gotta walk past them!
SADY: (perhaps i have clicked on the new, "non-offensive" version of Takes Guard Has Your Buttocks, in which you just shoot at rocks.)
AMANDA: Takes Guard Has Not Your Buttocks, Carry On Hunter
SADY: ah, well. well: i mean: i think this kind of stuff is actually endemic to a lot of entertainment, particularly entertainments such as this, which are aimed specifically at young straight dudes and are meant to get word-of-mouth. i mean, ladies play video games too! yet most of the videogames i have played are like being hit in the face with a jockstrap, that is how lowest-common-denominator-sexist they have been.
AMANDA: yeah, and i hate to take a Think of the Children approach to this, but i think that many of The Children persuasion also wish they weren't being so obviously pandered to. because anytime a filmmaker or gamemaker passes off gratuitous rape scenes or sexist jokes as "edgy" or "un-PC," what they're really saying is, "i'm lazy."
SADY: exactly. they are like, "LOOK, what we are saying is that men who want to have sex with dudes are predatory and rapey and you should kill them. maybe the reason that you are offended is that you have NEVER HEARD HILARIOUS JOKES ALONG THESE LINES BEFORE." like: no, dude, i have. i really really have. also, don't quite think you understand the definition of the word "jokes." and obviously, i follow a lot of ladies on the Twitter who talk about videogames and sexism and also love the crap out of videogames, so i don't think this is a problem with the base (except for the lazy portion of the base) so much as it is a problem with creators. although the Shoot Dudes Before They Have Your Buttocks Game is a flash game, so, you know. dealing with a whole other subsection of the genre here, primarily there to get you to click on some advertisements for adult friends or whatever.
AMANDA: right. but i think you've touched on something interesting, which is that women are consuming things, but there are often a lot of real barriers to getting women making the things, too.
SADY: OR, they can participate, but only insofar as they are making what is deemed "marketable" within that genre.
AMANDA: although i think the only qualifications you need to make an internationally famous flash game is being 14 years old and having access to Babelfish. right - you're lucky to be involved anyway, so don't try making any changes, because making us accountable for the terrible sexist and homophobic shit we put out would be SO like a girl. in conclusion, when is sarah palin getting into video games?
SADY: um, i believe AERIAL WOLF HUNTER is already a videogame. if it's not, it should be. the wolves fight back! with LASERS! but, you know. if you've solidly defined your audience as "14-year-old boys who are dumb," maybe making stuff that appeals to other people seems like a risky business move. i can understand that! personally, i am designing a game right now where you take away the computers of the Buttocks guys and hit them over the head with their own laptops repeatedly. i think it will be a hit!
AMANDA: will there be blood?
SADY: there will be panicked calls to their moms to come down into the basement and save them. i think that's its own reward.
*Oh, yeah. And there was a font explosion. Because I am still publishing on BloggARRRRRRRRRRRRRRGHHHH.