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Males of Games:

 1 Besserwisser, Thu, 29th Nov '12 11:33:15 AM from Planet of Hats
I have created this thread to talk about men in videogames. Specifically negative portrayals but unusually positive ones are also appreciated. Post what you want, but no oppression olympics. Don't go in here and marginalize male issues by stating "but women have it hard too". We have annother thread for that (appearently).

Well, I guess I should start with something to give this thread some direction. One thing that everyone playing video games should have noticed is that when violence is considered justified within the context of the game the victim of this violence is most likely to be male. Not only are most villains male but also male heroes who does small things wrong are often getting unproportioned retribution in the form of violence.

One of the most prominent examples is Metal Gear Solid 4 with Johnny Sasaki being repeatedly and unneccesarily abused by his superior Meryl Silverburgh. Not for being intentionally malicious, mind you, but for making some mistakes. And in the end they marry and live happily ever after. What other conclusions should one draw here that violence against men is supposed to be a good thing?

Well, I don't know how much this works as a conversation start, but feel free to discuss about the topic about violence against men in games or any related topics.

 2 Nicknacks, Thu, 29th Nov '12 11:38:53 AM from Land Down Under
Ding-ding! Going down...
One of the most prominent examples is Metal Gear Solid 4 with Johnny Sasaki being repeatedly and unneccesarily abused by his superior Meryl Silverburgh. Not for being intentionally malicious, mind you, but for making some mistakes.

Examples pls.
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 3 Besserwisser, Thu, 29th Nov '12 11:47:29 AM from Planet of Hats
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UD3St2PLtp8

That should cover a number of instances where Johnny gets beaten up. Spoilters alert though.

edit: Well, at least one instance at the start. There are probably better videos for this, sorry.

edited 29th Nov '12 11:49:21 AM by Besserwisser

 4 Nicknacks, Thu, 29th Nov '12 11:56:16 AM from Land Down Under
Ding-ding! Going down...
Meryl punches him once.

She grabs his hand when he tries to feel up another woman, and then twists his hand when he tries it on her pretty soon after.

I don't think either are perfect here.

Edit: Oh, is there more? Okay...

edited 29th Nov '12 11:56:45 AM by Nicknacks

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 5 Besserwisser, Thu, 29th Nov '12 12:03:10 PM from Planet of Hats
[up] He gets punched first when he approaches her because... I don't really know why. Either for failing to deal with Snake (who is one of the best soldiers there are) or because he fought a friend of her (which both only know about afterward). How did you overlook that and where does Akiba try to feel up annother woman?

edit: Oh, you meant two seperate instances. And yeah, I'm fairly certain there is more and she beat him up in the first game too (which is much more excusable, as he was on the enemy side and she needed his uniform).

edited 29th Nov '12 12:04:56 PM by Besserwisser

 6 Nicknacks, Thu, 29th Nov '12 12:08:16 PM from Land Down Under
Ding-ding! Going down...
He gets punched first when he approaches her because... I don't really know why.

I don't really know either. Maybe he's just been giving her the shits. It's not really defensible, I agree. But he seems a bit of a dickweed so I reckon it all evens out in the end, between the two of them at least.

I do agree that punching a man is seen as less reprehensible than punching a woman, but I don't think it matters who it is that's punching the man, while I think that it does in the case of hitting a woman. Which I think has more to do with breaking down the taboos that surround certain forms of violence, as awful as that seems.

...and where does Akiba try to feel up annother woman?

It's Mei Ling during the presentation.
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 7 Besserwisser, Thu, 29th Nov '12 12:15:20 PM from Planet of Hats
I do agree that punching a man is seen as less reprehensible than punching a woman, but I don't think it matters who it is that's punching the man, while I think that it does in the case of hitting a woman.
I would think it matters in this case because Meryl openly hates men during most of the game. Not only does she beat him, she does it at least partially because of his gender. And the fact that she not only gets no repercussions because of that but gets actively rewarded with her happy ending because he liked how he treated her makes matters even worse.

Also, stop giving him part of the fault here. None of things he does does justify violence and what you say borders on victim blaming (if only of a fictional character).

I don't recall Meryl hating men in general at all. She just bullies Johnny (and so does the rest of her team), until he takes off his mask and inexplicably becomes a bishie badass.
Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.
 9 Besserwisser, Thu, 29th Nov '12 12:21:03 PM from Planet of Hats
Meryl does resent her dad and says things like "Men. Selfish, egotistical pigs". Infront of a man who saved her life and really doesn't need negative attitudes like that at that point.

Wasn't Johnny pretty incompetent at times? surprised
Alt account of Angeldog 2437.
Just a Bug
@Bess:This kind of thing is usless for a number reasons. No its not right. But at the end of the day the guy will never ever outright win. Its like some law of the universe. If Johnny ever fought back against Meryl he's abusive if he doesn't he's weak.

edited 29th Nov '12 12:23:10 PM by StrawberrytheSecond

This is a robbery. Give me all of your money and I'll kill you.
 12 Nicknacks, Thu, 29th Nov '12 12:22:29 PM from Land Down Under
Ding-ding! Going down...
Well, the arm grabbing and twisting is defensible, I think. He was about to assault her/another woman. Not cool. And he gets rewarded with a happy ending as well, what's going on there?

I'm not seeing the man hating. She likes Snake, and her two partners. They're men.

Look, I'm not saying it's his fault that he got punched. But I'm not sure you can classify that as misandry on the character's part. It's part of a greater spectrum of acceptable female on male violence (and male on male as well) and that's all a problem, sure. But your characterisation of Meryl feels off to me.

Meryl does resent her dad and says things like "Men. Selfish, egotistical pigs".

Yeah, that's pretty shit of her.

edited 29th Nov '12 12:24:21 PM by Nicknacks

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 13 Besserwisser, Thu, 29th Nov '12 12:27:05 PM from Planet of Hats
[up][up][up] Which doesn't justify violence.

[up][up] What exactly are you referring to? I'm a bit at lost here.

[up] He didn't do much wrong, so his happy ending makes much more sense. And having respect for specific men and resenting men overall isn't totally contradictionary. See You Are a Credit to Your Race.

edit: That trope might be wrong in this circumstance. Otherwise, the point still stands.

edited 29th Nov '12 12:28:17 PM by Besserwisser

Glad to see this topic finally existing, Besser.

I know it's pretty lazy for me to just copy and paste something I wrote elsewhere but I went into the MGS4 Meryl issue a while ago on my blog. It was fresher in my mind when I wrote it than it is now:

[Picture of Johnny being punched by Meryl.]

In Metal Gear Solid 4, Meryl Silverburgh made her return to the series after being gone since the first game. She was different. Older. Tougher. She also had some cute lines like, "Men. Selfish, egotistical pigs". The reason she had this attitude? She found out that the man she thought was her uncle was actually her father, so she was pissed off at him. In spite of the fact that this same father ordered the main character to save his daughter's life, used his connections to get her a job in the military in the Middle East and help her become the leader of her own unit, which is where we're reintroduced to her in Metal Gear Solid 4. Not bad for a "womanizing piece of shit", as Meryl refers to him at one point. She goes so far as to blame him for being with a younger woman even though she was lusting after an older man in the first game.

So while Meryl has clearly grown into a misandrist in the time between Metal Gear Solid 1 and 4, it doesn't stop with verbal insults. There is one member of her team called Johnny Sasaki, who MGS fans will know as the series' comic relief character, the humour coming from him being stricken with diarrhoea at inopportune moments. In MGS4, his role is expanded greatly, so he's one of the members of Meryl's squad. He's so useless in this role that Meryl frequently punches him and the audience is supposed to laugh.

Now, never mind the fact that a man being punched by a woman is deplorable enough on its own. Being punched by a sexist woman without any repercussions is ridiculous. Honestly, remember that "selfish, egotistical pigs" line from above? Snake, a male character, only reacts to it with a grunt. We don't get a "screw you, Meryl. If it wasn't for men, you'd be dead by now, " from Snake. Just a grunt! It's almost as if we're meant to sympathise or agree with Meryl; she's one of the good guys and nobody debates her sexist points, so what other conclusion are we supposed to come to? I've even been informed that Meryl's abuse of Johnny would be grounds for a court martial. Don't worry though, folks, it has a happy ending:

[Picture of Meryl and Johnny kissing at their wedding.]

For those of you who've never played Metal Gear Solid 4, trust me, I was as stunned as you. Yes, the abusive woman and her victim get married in the ending sequence.

Amazingly enough, MGS4 isn't even the first time Meryl is abusive to Johnny. Here's an image from MGS1:

[Picture of naked Johnny from the first MGS game, after Meryl beat him up and stole his uniform.]

That's Johnny, immediately after being beaten unconscious by Meryl and having his uniform stolen. Now at the time, they were adversaries, so you could at least justify her treatment of him in this case. However, if MGS4 is to be believed, this is the moment that Johnny realised he was in love with Meryl.

So let's do what we always do in these situations and flip the sexes. This is how things are chronologically:

  • Man beats female guard into unconsciousness, steals her clothes and leaves her naked.
  • The female guard joins that man's squad later in life, where she's subjected to regular beatings for being inept and the man has an incredibly low opinion of women.
  • The female guard unmasks and the man stops beating her because she's pretty.
  • The female guard reveals she's loved how he's abused her all these years.
  • The two of them get married and live happily ever after.

This is a lot like the Uncharted example above but with all the dials turned up to eleven. Rather than just one punch, it's regular attacks. Rather than taking it out on the male character for being a jerk, the woman does it because the guy keeps making mistakes. And, of course, Elena wasn't a huge sexist, as Meryl was. Yet we're still supposed to see Meryl as a hero, as always in these cases.

[That's all.]

edited 29th Nov '12 12:31:28 PM by Guest1001

Just a Bug
I'm saying that in a Man vs. Woman situation the guy is usually going to turn out the bad guy. Usually.
This is a robbery. Give me all of your money and I'll kill you.
[up] Yeah, and that's a huge problem. Woman punching man = good, evil, neutral. Anything. Man punching woman = evil.

Gunpla is amazing!
I realized its usually alright to have a woman who hates men im a game but you can never have the inverse.

 18 Besserwisser, Thu, 29th Nov '12 12:34:02 PM from Planet of Hats
[up] You easily can, he just has to be unmistakenly evil.

 19 whataboutme, Thu, 29th Nov '12 12:35:10 PM from strange land, far away.
-_-
Sooo, was it implied anywhere in this game that female on male violence is a good thing? Because from what you described it just sounds like two people who have serious issues, but somehow get together in the end. Sure, doesn't sound like a healthy relationship, but then again such actions don't even imply that it is or was from the start. Usually it's the audience that takes it one way or the other, even if the other is wrong. Unless it was somehow strongly implied that the abuse was okay, so a double interpretation wouldn't be possible.
Please don't feed the trolls!
Just a Bug
Well Johnny did come out and say he liked the abuse. But hey whatever.
This is a robbery. Give me all of your money and I'll kill you.
 21 Besserwisser, Thu, 29th Nov '12 12:40:54 PM from Planet of Hats
[up][up] Nobody at all does anything against the abuse and most seem to share the feelings of his attacker. She gets no retribution at all, while she immediatly retaliates when he does something wrong, either through intent or incompetence. Yes, it's strongly implied that the abuse is ok.

And it's not only about this game, I wouldn't like it if this was a singular example, but women beating men for "justified" reasons is common in most media and this one example is merely especially noticeable.

[up] And there's that. "It's ok girls, you can beat boys, they even like it."

edited 29th Nov '12 12:41:23 PM by Besserwisser

[up][up][up] Can you think of a game where a heroic misogynist male character beats a woman on the same side as him and they both remain good? Even disregarding the victim marrying the abuser. Because Meryl remains heroic and nobody calls her out on her outright unprofessional actions, what conclusion is the audience meant to arrive at other than "this woman attacking this man is acceptable"? The other characters' inaction and indifference is practically a message of support.

[up][up] I'm going to use that for the Twilight critics when they say Edward's stalking of Bella is unacceptable. "Well, it's portrayed as romantic. Just sayin'."

Gunpla is amazing!
How does that make it okay?

Just a Bug
Meryl is never called out on beating Johnny. Suggesting that the others are okay with her behavior

Johnny admitted he liked it which pretty much said. "Please abuse me more."

edited 29th Nov '12 12:50:22 PM by StrawberrytheSecond

This is a robbery. Give me all of your money and I'll kill you.
Burn
[up][up][up]Metroid: Other M.

Well, technically, Adam doesn't beat Samus. He just shoots her in the back.
Total posts: 440
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