I’m hate listening, once again, to the social justice laden Isometric podcast when a “listener e-mail” from a “Tony” is sent in asking the hosts to compare and contrast female character designs from various games. The listener is confused that female character designs from Mortal Kombat and the Batman Arkham series are seen as problematic, whereas a character like Bayonetta is not.
I guess that “Tony” hasn’t really been paying much attention to the social justice warrior problem with Bayonetta, so much so that her most recent games score was lowered due to her “overt-sexualitzation?”
I’ve already discussed some of the Bayonetta nonsense, but I was far more intrigued by the description and discussion of the recent Arkham Knight trailer “Time to Go to War.” It heavily features Poison Ivy, which the hosts of Isometric have been railing against incessantly in the last few episodes mostly because her, and pretty much all the female costumes (and pretty much everything else), are “problematic.”
Gaming With A Skewed Perspective
From what I could gather listening to the hosts bitch and moan about the trailer, only one of them, Maddy Myers (the “games” expert), had actually watched the trailer in question. She then tasks herself with explaining why the trailer is so offensive, misogynist, sexist, and “ist” that and “ist” this. So in a sense, we have a game of telephone afoot as Ms. Myers misconstrues the trailer to her fellow co-hosts and listeners, all of which aren’t going to bother watching the trailer for themselves anyway!
Being the open-minded sort, I defied my self-imposed “media blackout” of Arkham Knight, and decided to view this “problematic” trailer for myself. Once again, I am struck at just how unreliable the social justice warrior is. Why do I keep being surprised by this?
Sadly, the trailer only confirms one thing: this Arkham game is completely similar to the other Arkham games. Batman journeys from place to place, punches a roomful of guys in the face… well, now he can BODYSLAM them… sometimes go in to “detective mode” for some of those quieter moments, and then collects the McGuffin that necessitated his presence and moves on. The only ostensibly new feature is tearing ass around a very wet looking Gotham City in the Batmobile and blowing stuff up. Yay… I guess?
In the trailer, Batman receives information that Scarecrow is working out of a penthouse and must see what is up. Instead of Scarecrow, we have Poison Ivy being held captive with the intent of gassing her when the time arises. Now this is where Maddy Myers has a problem, as this is Damsel in Distress 101! Batman then goes in to said room, punches a bunch of dudes in their faces, and Poison Ivy is released, after she herself kills her captive.
According to Ms. Myers, Poison Ivy then leaves the room “swaying her hips around”… which doesn’t happen. Also leveled is this notion of her “sexually stretching” for the vaunted “male gaze.” Ms. Myers wisely skips around the part where Poison Ivy relates to Batman how she got there, and wasn’t really a damsel in distress at all. You’d assume that in order to be a “damsel in distress” the damsel would have to be… in distress, right?
Ms. Myers then describes the much-vaunted elevator scene:
[Poison Ivy]…stretches her arms around in this like ridiculously performative sexy way that is clearly for the camera and not like something that a woman alone on a elevator would ever do…like…at all.
Everything Poison Ivy does in this trailer is supposedly for the straight white male playing this game.
But it’s in the watching of that scene, and the trailer in general, where this all falls apart. She’s not stretching in a “perfomative sexy way,” she’s stretching… like Poison Ivy would do. She’s a sexy character by design, does that mean that everything she does is just sexy?
It also takes Ms. Myers more time to explain how that scene was overtly sexual than the literal five seconds of what appears to me to be an in-game idle animation. Is the viewer just supposed to watch her stand still in an elevator?
Poison Ivy is then captured by Batman and put in the back of his car. Which Ms. Myers relates as her being “strapped” in to the back of his car and having her life endangered as he drives around the city like a maniac. How else is he supposed to transport her? It looks safe enough.
According to Ms. Myers, Poison Ivy is being treated like a sexual object throughout this entire trailer. To which I disagree with mightily. Nowhere in this trailer is Poison Ivy a damsel. Her being tied up is a result of her not joining forces with Scarecrow, she’s not being taken against her will by Batman, and she’s certainly not being tied up again via being strapped in to the Batmobile for safe passage through a literal war zone on the way to the GCPD.
It makes you wonder if social justice warriors are triggered by the roller coaster safety harnesses at amusement parks? Or at least one did something so awful to Maddy Myers that she’s triggered every time she sees a safety harness used properly.
To me, this is similar to all the feigned outrage at the Sansa Stark rape scene in Game of Thrones of few weeks back. Given how the SJW’s portrayed it, you would have assumed it was an uncensored, graphic, violent scene that held no structural purpose. But if you actually watch the scene, it’s anything but.
Most of the scene, the camera focuses on Theon Greyjoy, who is watching Ramsay Bolton rape someone who is almost as close to him as a sister. This reflects on the insane barbarism of Ramsay, but also conveys just how much damage Theon inflicted on the Stark family by trying to appease his father, who never cared for him after realizing Theon was more Stark than Greyjoy.
This social justice warrior outrage game of telephone is eroding our culture. How can we even have a discussion on things when normal people say the sky is blue and a SJW answer to that is that bananas trigger them? Since SJWs are allergic to anything that might challenge their twisted worldview, all they have to rely on is this outrage game of telephone to trick well-minded people into supporting their cause. Who has the time to look at the source material when there’s all this outrage to get up to?
It’s a dangerous notion that people like Ms. Myers attempting to hold sway over games culture can take a literal gameplay trailer through her very skewed biases and say that it is predominantly about Poison Ivy being framed as a sexual object for conquest. To not even be disagreed with on a podcast that calls itself to be “gaming with perspective”? Only in the world of social justice is disagreement of opinion a mortal sin.
Read More: 5 Easy Steps To Ruining A Game