Denial of the Self: Queer Characters in Persona 4

Persona 4 is full of fascinating, psychologically complex characters. But when it comes to issues of sexuality and gender identity, the game fails to face the truth.

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Let me state one thing up front: in many ways, Persona 4 is an outstanding game. As its story has progressed over the course of a school year, I've formed a much closer connection to its cast of high school students than I have to the characters in most games. It has repeatedly made me laugh out loud, sometimes made my pulse race, and occasionally moved me, as its heroes have formed happy memories together and faced great challenges together. They confront these challenges in both the real world that every high school student must navigate, and in that other world they have the power to enter, a world where manifestations of the thoughts and feelings that reside in our subconscious take shape.

But for a game that is all about people coming to terms with the aspects of themselves that they have long repressed, Persona 4's treatment of two of its main characters, Kanji and Naoto, leaves a great deal to be desired. Initially, Kanji appears gay and Naoto seems to be transgender. However, rather than embracing these traits as interesting facets of two members of the game's core group, Persona 4 ultimately rejects them.

By clearly raising the idea in the player's mind that Kanji is gay and then rejecting that idea, Persona 4 sends the message that homosexuality is shameful and should not be accepted.
Let's start with Kanji. When you first hear about him, it's via a televised news report that characterizes him as a violent troublemaker. Soon, he becomes the latest person to appear on the Midnight Channel, and you and your fellow investigation team members venture through a television and into the mysterious world on the other side where subconscious feelings and desires are manifested. Kanji's realm is a steamy bathhouse, and as you make your way through it, you repeatedly hear Shadow Kanji (the embodiment of his repressed subconscious) express sexual desire for men. I was immediately intrigued. Here, I hoped, I would get a complex portrayal of a gay character, one who has sadly but understandably repressed his sexuality in response to societal pressure, who felt that he could not be accepted as a tough guy if people knew he was also gay.

Unfortunately, Persona 4 doesn't follow through on this potential. When Kanji confronts his shadow self and accepts who he is, he reveals not that he is attracted to men, but that he is just deeply afraid of (or maybe deeply dislikes) women. He recalls things that girls have said to him in the past ("You like to sew? What a queer!") and says that he is more comfortable around men because, according to him, "they'd never say those awful, degrading things." (I'm not sure what sort of world Kanji lives in where men would never criticize him for liking to sew and do other things that are stereotypically considered feminine, but for the sake of the game, I'll go along with it.) However, at the end of the day, his issue is simply a matter of feeling more comfortable around men, not one of being physically attracted to them.

To me, this is a huge cop-out. It rings psychologically false; the ultimate truth of Kanji's character as someone who was just afraid of rejection because girls had been cruel to him in the past doesn't quite mesh with the imagery of his dungeon and the personality of his shadow self. By clearly raising the idea in the player's mind that Kanji is gay and then rejecting that idea, Persona 4 sends the message that homosexuality is shameful and should not be accepted.

Yosuke's attitudes about Kanji are problematic, and so is the game's way of handling them.
As the story progresses, we're periodically reminded that, had he been gay, Kanji would not have been fully accepted by the other members of the investigation team, and, in fact, some anxiety lingers later on about whether or not Kanji is truly straight. During a school camping trip in which the protagonist, Kanji, and Yosuke are gathered in the same tent, Yosuke goes so far as to ask, "Are we gonna be safe alone with you?" suggesting that in Yosuke's mind, if Kanji had been gay, he would also be prone to behave inappropriately. When Kanji tells Yosuke that he has no problem being around girls now, Yosuke asks him to prove it, saying that if he can't, "we're gonna be stuck here all night half scared to death." Yosuke's attitudes about Kanji are problematic, and so is the game's way of handling them. Rather than addressing Yosuke's negative perceptions of homosexuality, perhaps with a character arc in which his prejudices are challenged and he becomes more open-minded over time, Persona 4 lets his view of homosexuality as something to be feared stand unchallenged and unremarked upon, treating it as normal and acceptable.

Persona 4's treatment of Naoto is no better. Naoto, known in the media as the detective prince, comes to town to help the police with their ongoing investigation of the disappearances that are plaguing Inaba. Predictably, Naoto disappears himself, and the investigation team leaps into action to rescue him. Naoto's dungeon is a sort of bunker, with large metallic doors and flashing lights. When you finally descend to the deepest chambers of the bunker, you find Naoto declaring that he is about to embark on a "bodily alteration process." This process, he says, will result in "the moment of a new birth" and enable him to "walk a completely different path in life." Shadow Naoto then taunts Naoto, saying that Naoto is "such a cool, manly name" but that "a name doesn't change the truth. It doesn't let you cross the barrier between the sexes." Shadow Naoto then reveals to the investigation team that Naoto is physically female.

Here, I hoped that Persona 4 might go some distance toward redeeming itself. There's great potential in exploring the feelings of a young person who is struggling with his sense of gender identity. But again, Persona 4 let me down. After you defeat Naoto's shadow self, Naoto explains that he read many hard-boiled crime novels as a child, and admired the cool, detached detectives in them. It is not, Naoto says, that he is transgender that has led him to live as a boy for so long. It is simply that being female "doesn't fit my ideal image of a detective."

Much like what you discover to be the reality of Kanji's internal conflict, this internal conflict rang false. To me, it's unheard of for a person to go so far as to live as a gender other than the one they are physically assigned at birth simply because they feel a connection to fictional characters of that genre or because their assigned gender doesn't fit their ideal image of a person in a certain profession. Naoto says, "What I must strive for isn't to become a man. It's to accept myself for who I really am." It would have been so much more interesting and believable to me if "a man" was one part of who Naoto really was. (This doesn't mean that I think Naoto should have continued to desire surgery, as the scenario in his dungeon suggests; one can identify as and be a man or a woman regardless of one's physicality. See the film Boys Don't Cry, for instance, for a portrayal of a man who is no less a man for being physically female, even if not everybody he meets sees it that way.) The idea that he was just deeply confused about his own gender because of all those detective novels he read strains credulity and, like Kanji's story arc, reinforces the notion that queer identities are to be feared and rejected. (Because, in the original Japanese dialogue for the game, Naoto continues to refer to himself using the male pronoun boku, I feel it is appropriate to refer to him with male pronouns, as well.)

The discovery that Naoto is physically female immediately trumps all of the years he has spent living as a male.
No sooner have you rescued Naoto than the other members of the investigation team significantly alter their treatment of him. Rise calls him "missy." Yukiko explains away Naoto's inability to deal with a particular situation by saying, "Naoto-kun is younger than us, and she's a girl." Yosuke, who, if his paranoid behavior around Kanji is any indication, would never have flirted with Naoto while believing him to be physically male, now tells him, "You're pretty cute when you're angry." And when the investigation team goes to a hot spring together, the girls in the group marvel at Naoto's female physique and remark on the softness of his skin and the silkiness of his hair.

Though Naoto has stated that, despite living as a boy for so long, he does not fully identify as male, these behaviors still struck me as disrespectful of Naoto's gender identity. Without asking him how he wants to be treated, they immediately start speaking about him as if he's just another one of the girls in the group; the discovery that he is physically female immediately trumps all of the years he has spent living as a male. One of the most blatant examples of this comes when Kanji, who finds himself attracted to Naoto, practically demands that Naoto participate in a school beauty pageant, saying that if Naoto does so, his doubts about himself "will finally be cleared." "C'mon, make me a man!" he says, suggesting that if he were gay, he would not really be a man.

Even more troubling is the way that Naoto's gender expression can be altered by you, the player, if you pursue a romance with him. Of course, if Naoto were a real person, anyone who requested that he change his gender presentation would not be someone who respected and cared for the person he really is. But Persona 4 doesn't raise any ethical questions about you asking Naoto to drastically change; it's as if the game thinks this is acceptable, since deep down, Naoto is "really" female anyway. (Troubling attitudes about women in general surface periodically throughout the game, but that is a whole separate topic.)

Persona 4's handling of Kanji and Naoto is more than just a disappointing failure to engage with queer characters and queer issues.
The always thought-provoking Mattie Brice has written in detail about your ability to shape Naoto's gender expression in this post at the Border House. Brice writes, "There is a scene after you confess your love for Naoto when he asks the player if they want him to start talking with a higher pitch to his voice to sound more feminine, and if they choose to have a higher pitch, he will dress up in a girl's school uniform during the Christmas event. This event is more poignant in the Japanese version of this scene; instead of the pitch of his voice, he asks the protagonist if he minded Naoto's use of 'boku.'" In other words, you can cause a complete, fundamental shift in how Naoto sees and refers to himself. Brice continues, "The scene when Naoto dresses up in a girl's uniform completely transforms his personality; he's now always blushing, stammering, quiet, scrunched up as much as he can into himself… Naoto's Social Link was an extreme waste of an opportunity to explore the intricacies of a relationship when at least one partner is transgender."

I agree with Brice. In fact, I think Persona 4 is full of wasted opportunities, and that ultimately, its handling of Kanji and Naoto is more than just a disappointing failure to engage with queer characters and queer issues. By introducing the idea that Kanji is gay and that Naoto is transgender and then backing away from embracing those characterizations, Persona 4 represents a betrayal of its central theme about people learning to accept themselves and each other for who they are, and sends the message that such sexual orientations and gender identities are too scary to accept. I want to see more LGBT characters in games, but not like this. It's almost as if Persona 4 has some lingering issues dwelling in its own psyche that it hasn't quite come to terms with.

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Discussion

1349 comments
TecKnight
TecKnight

First of all: Carolyn:

I agree with basically all of your points. 

Why is it that all the characters with non-gender "denial" issues are able to basically come to terms with them once their shadow self is defeated, but the characters with gender-based denial issues (ie:  Kanji and Naoto) are not ?

The responsibility clearly lies with Atlus, but the reason is, I think, a combination of the following in varying degrees:

1. Atlus trying to avoid offending their client base (predominantly young homophobic heterosexual males).

2. Project management (on this game) failing to clearly define an intellectually fair way to treat these issues.

3. Likely, toward the project deadline, due to #2, the game was locked out without a decision on #2, resulting in P4G as released.

P4G COULD have been a truly groundbreaking game in this element--instead these became humor elements in the game. I must admit, VERY FUNNY humor elements..

bluefox755
bluefox755

Wow, they're characters...they don't have any obligation to comply with Carolyn's political or social beliefs. Let me reiterate...'Fictional characters have ZERO obligation to conform to your particular beliefs.' Suggesting that artists should follow a certain agenda to keep certain people happy or protect their feelings is absurd, and should be avoided.

Let's look at this objectively, Kenji IS ashamed of his sexuality...you think the writers should have changed this about him just because you think it sends a bad message?

THE_DRUGGIE
THE_DRUGGIE

Chie Satonaka counterbalances all the sexism, though!

canuckbiker
canuckbiker

It almost seemed as though the game meant to challenge these issues, and pulled out at the last minute in the hope that no one playing would get offended. That whole Kanji thing made no sense to me. I used to be terrified of girls in my youth, but never for a second thought I was attracted to men. My social anxiety was due to my attraction to them and even at that age I knew that.

pupp3t_mast3r
pupp3t_mast3r

I've always believed that "silence implies compliance" and given that all forms of media in general have an impact on how our society grows and develops I'm glad that Carol's pulled up such a popular franchise for harboring and featuring such a prejudiced mentality. 

While it's very likely most people who play this game wouldn't be affected by the philosophy in the game, all it takes for it to do any damage is to alter the perception for a few people that were convinced. Sexuality isn't a choice, any kind of sexuality, learn to accept and respect people as people for who they are. 

For all you posters out there who think otherwise here's a question for you "When did you decide to be straight?"

tokidoki87
tokidoki87

I think that you are looking at the situation in too much of a westerner's perspective. In Japan, Homosexuality is viewed in a completely different way than here in the west, so don't act surprised because another country doesn't feel the same way as we do about the subject. And since the game is a direct translation of the Japanese game, don't expect it to 'magically change' to please you. Second of all, this is a video game last I checked, not some random outlet for propaganda. People shouldn't expect for a video game company to cater to fans of a specific demographic/orientation. If the creators wanted the characters to be a certain way, they would have created them that way to begin with.

Napalm_354
Napalm_354

Er, I think the only person having a problem here is you. Why are you trying so hard to see things that aren't there? Considering that the game has school kids at the center stage, the issues described in the game can well be taken at ther face value. A guy whos afraid/feels uncomfortable around girls: teenagers can be really cruel to each other, to the point where it can potentially develop into a problem. A female posing as a male because she feels that there is more opportunity in the world that way....welcome to the world of gender inequality. Why are you trying to twist all of this to find something that is not even there.

Muddrox_dev
Muddrox_dev

With all due respect Caro, not everyone believes that homosexuality is something that should be accepted.  Nevertheless I respect you and your opinion, however I do feel like this article is very bias.

Double_Wide
Double_Wide

Whatever happen to just sticking to video games on a I dunno...VIDEO GAME website? If I wanted to read far left librial propaganda, I would have went to the Huffington Post's website.

Calling this relevent journalism or even journalism altogether is a joke.

beny_pimpster
beny_pimpster

if only ATLUS can release ogre battle 64 3DS.....

Gamelander
Gamelander

@carolynmichelle While this is a very interesting read, with important issues in general, it seems that there are a number of very important variables that were not factored in when writing this. First, Japan really has no ill view on homosexuality or transgenders; in fact, it is very accepted there. Second, what we infer from the game as a western audience, could be different from what is actually implied in meaning and the way these meanings are delivered. Translation can only go so far, and the way people talk in a certain part of the world (i.e. figure of speech, subtle implications, etc.) can change things; in this case, translation may have altered the original context of things and their meanings. Let's not also forget, there are social issues in Japan that are probably different from what we're used to in our own unique cultures; those issues could also translate (I'm using "translate" figuratively here) poorly when crossing over. These are all some of the main points to consider when talking about such topics, and in this case, games from Japan and other cultures.
Anyway, I hope this was helpful, and perhaps shed some light on a few things.

Cheers.

SubHumanTorch
SubHumanTorch

While I agree that Kanji's progression does feel like a cop out, Naoto's story does make sense within Japanese culture as she only says she feels more like a man in relation to perceiving her femininity to be a weakness, once she realises that being a women does not equate to being weak she can accept who she is. I suppose anything like this can be perceived differently by different people I always took her story as being more about cultural perception of gender rather than anything trans-gender related.

franzito
franzito

GS censorship has deleted my out of closet comment

hitechno
hitechno

The game is a direct translation of the Japanese version. The Japanese version, being written for (and by) Japanese people in Japanese society, where games teach the value of culture, which in Japan, is to do what most people in Japanese society do. It teaches not about what is best for the individual, but what is best for society, and maturing means understanding that and accepting what society wants. Many western people of western countries would argue this is wrong, and teaches people not to pursue their freedom and rights, but that is what it means to live in Japanese society and be Japanese. When playing the game, you just have to keep in mind who the game was written for (and by).

oCHELSEA_SMILEo
oCHELSEA_SMILEo

Whilst i respect the author and the point they are trying to make, it is unfortunately completely void of any relevance to the context. This game was made in Japan for mainly Japanese gamers. You simply cannot compare Japanese views on Homosexuality and Transgender to the way Western people see it. Japan has its own culture and it is very different to ours.

 Should we see more of the LGBT community involved in the gaming world? Absolutely! 

Will it start in Japan? No Chance. 

Myst17
Myst17

Thanks for keeping writing these articles, Carolyn. You help give Gamespot's artcles more depth and variety than most other gaming sites. Keep at it and don't be discouraged by trolls. :)

Shuda7
Shuda7

The reason why Kanji's sexuality isn't clearly explained is because it up to the player to think what it is.

Darryl_Hamlin
Darryl_Hamlin

@Napalm_354 Your comment reads like you are trying to completely invalidate Carolyn's opinion. There are a lot of possible interpretations to characters, and you are implying that yours is "more valid" than hers.

LeFeverBeaver
LeFeverBeaver

@Double_Wide Don't you realize that video games have long since transcended being "just games?" I'm not saying every one has to have a statement or make some sort of stance, but they are another form of art (not to mention livelihood for thousands of people) and as such have the capacity and - one could argue - responsibility to expose our weaknesses as a society and commentate on life as a whole. I think Caro is an extremely competent journalist and this IS relevant. Maybe you've never had issues with your sexuality or gender identity and good for you if that's the case, but many MANY people have and do, so it's important when the issue brought up and done less than service by a game company. Calling this "far left liberal propaganda" is just parroting what you hear On Rush Limbaugh every day (trust me, I listen too). 

Open your mind and your heart and you'll see the relevance of this article and one of Caro's many roles as a gaming journalist. Take care!

TecKnight
TecKnight

@hitechno

I wasn't thinking about this, but it makes a lot of sense and I certainly saw the "best for society above all" in P4G.

It was actually one of the things I liked most about P4G. Thanks for the education.

ratchet200
ratchet200

@oCHELSEA_SMILEo Thats a very good point. How other countries see these things is VERY different to how the rest of the world may see them.

tu2pac
tu2pac

@oCHELSEA_SMILEo

Are you kidding!! Japan has no fear of the
"LGBT community". I can easily point you to any number of Japanese games, manga and anime that deal with the subject. again they have NO fear of it.

The game Catherine, came out maybe a year and a half ago, has a transgender character in it. Guess what, it's seen a world wide release. Guess what, the world didn't end.


l777l
l777l

@Myst17 Sure, if you consider confusion, delusion, and error "depth", she certainly adds that; it is something more to explore. Definitely more variety. That being said, her reviews of games are definitely not all bad. I recall a number of relatively good ones. But this misguided, unbalanced, and forced activism is not quality research, nor is it quality commentary. Nor is it quality negotiation. It might be effective in facilitating certain changes by deceiving some people and creating a somewhat attractive narrative of victimhood and evil. But any such change will be accompanied by justified antagonism and it will lead to positions becoming more extreme. It's very doubtful that what she did - what she does - is constructive overall; overall, it likely won't promote genuine, positive, and lasting change. Her deficits get in the way of an open and benevolent discussion of her concerns and opposing concerns.

Daizun
Daizun

@Myst17 Trolls? What trolls? All I see is the Author ignoring valid criticism to a incredibly flawed and biased article.

darkspineslayer
darkspineslayer

His IS more valid than Caro's, particularly where Naoto is involved. His opinion is supported by events in the game. YouTube the extended ending in Golden and tell me Naoto is uncomfortable with being a woman.

izannomagus
izannomagus

@LeFeverBeaver @Double_Wide But that's the thing.... You have these people when in regards to women and LGBT rights to call video games art yet when there seems to be an excess of violence you don't see them standing up to defend it as art in some respects they may even join in on the attack.

Pariah_001
Pariah_001

@tu2pac

She didn't say "fear". She said they had different views. i.e. Western expectations pertaining to same-sex attraction differ from Eastern expectations.

A men's bathhouse, for instance, may have subcultural implications for homosexuality in the west. But in Japan, there is no such association.

tu2pac
tu2pac

@oCHELSEA_SMILEo

And I regret mentioning 
Catherine, only because I'm sure there will be a blog on it as well ....

At least finish the game this time.

bluefox755
bluefox755

@l777l Wow, a sensible debate in the comment section? lol. Kudos to guys :)

Myst17
Myst17

@l777l Can you tell me of another videogame journalist who writes about these kind of issues that does it better? I'm not trolling you, I actually want to know. Maybe I just don't read enough videogames news, and I missed someone who's quite good and renowned at it. I like when they treat games as art, ways to communicate ideas, and influence culture.

So, me not knowing more journalists like her, I'm quite happy to encourage her to keep on writing. Because even though she might be flawed (who isn't?) I rather see these issues brought up than not at all (I agree with you that creating division is not desirable, but I just don't agree in that she does this quite in the extension you describe).

Myst17
Myst17

@Daizun I said ignore the trolls, not the constructive critisism. Did you feel alluded?

Pariah_001
Pariah_001

@Myst17

"Just the fact that she's a transgender person means that some people will just never be happy about her articles, about her working at GameSpot, or at her just being."

But how's that supposed to justify Petit's articles? It sounds like you're assigning an inherent value to them based only on gender. I don't see how that identifies value--and I certainly don't see how that identifies a general, gender-based disdain for whatever this person writes. I'm sure you could find a few people out of a thousand comments who speak negatively towards the author for reasons revolving around transgenderism. But you can't establish that without catching the bulk of those comments in the act of discrimination. 

Your position seems to lack an empirical foundation aside from your own cynicism.

"I see her neither burning nor saving houses. I see someone saying "I believe the houses are aflame"."

Which begs the question: What would your example of "burning houses" be from a literary perspective?

I mean, the author has already claimed to know the official position of the developers on the issue of gender identity and same-sex preference based solely on intuition and zero research. That's hardly a mere observation on his part.  

"In conclusion, I don't agree with you when you conclude that "it likely won't promote genuine, positive, and lasting change". We're discussing the issues, which is good." 

We're having a discussion about the lack of discussion and how people generally see this article as being erroneous. I sincerely doubt that 's what you're arguing his aim was in the first place.

Myst17
Myst17

@l777l Indeed, analogies are tricky business. And yes, I agree, social issues like this is obviously, more complex than perma-death. So yeah, I concede: Editors here should be a bit more heavy with the neutrality.

Still, I stand by the other things I said before: I want to know her opinion, and I see no evidence to support the theory that she's making it worse. Articles could be better? I suppose. Need more balance? Alright. Fuels haters? How could she not? Yet, I still appreciate her input to this magazine and brings forth issues rarely covered elsewhere.

We might not see exactly eye to eye, but I think we know where and why we stand where we do. It's refreshing to enjoy a comment argument, specially here at GS. It's been a pleasure debating you, sir (or madam!). Thanks!

l777l
l777l

@Myst17 @l777l You appreciate depth and complexity. They have more profound meaning to you than perma-death (being awesome). It makes sense to take particular care when it comes to depth and complexity, and when it comes to social problems, and advocating social change. This is what we have here. This is why asking for content-neutrality and  counterbalance makes sense, why it would be unfair not to ask for it. The problems and accusations of homophobia, transphobia, of inhumanity, oppression, objectification and tyranny - which are either implicit or explicit - are much more severe (and complicated) than "accusations of being for/against perma-death [well, in video games; compare that to discussing the legal death sentence]".

It appears we understand each other, which I find good. Nonetheless, I maintain what I said before. (If I have to add something to your "I believe the houses are aflame" comment, it would be: "The boy who cried wolf[/the houses are aflame]." To remain within the boundaries of my analogy, crying "the houses are aflame" would have to be causing fire. It's perhaps better to stay outside these boundaries. Hence my reluctance to add something.)  

Myst17
Myst17

@l777lI agree with your whole fireman analogy. Doing harm with good intentions is not good. I saw you meant that in your first comment. And I agree. But I just fail to judge her work as THAT much harmful, derisive or creating extremism. When talking about sexuality and transgender issues many people just retract to the "I'm right, you're wrong and a freak for even bringing it up to my eyes" discourse. So finding a comment-enabled article that does not "upset" people in a forum seem very unlikely. Just the fact that she's a transgender person means that some people will just never be happy about her articles, about her working at GameSpot, or at her just being.

And that's gotta be hard. I imagine she must be very hard-skinned to keep on writing in spite of the expected backlash against her person.  I'd hate for her to be silent should she ever feel put down by the haters (though I doubt it'd happen anytime soon). Still,  I wanted to reassure her that, in spite of the loud haters, she still has readers that like her input; which I do.

That, of course, does not mean I condone sloppy journalism. I just don't necessary see articles like this one as hard journalism, I take it more like her take on some issues. Of course she's biased, who isn't when it comes to these subjects? Who wouldn't if on her shoes? Anyone can talk about sexuality and diversity issues, but I like to come here to to read what her unique perspective on these issues is. I rarely take what she writes on her commentary articles as hard facts. I, so far, have not read anything I could identify as "delusion or confusion or error" on her articles, though I have some times not agreed with her conclusions.

I agree that the editors could do a better job of framing her work by having someone else on staff to counterbalance, but only because it would mean more people discussing it. I think it's hard to find journalists who are also gamers, who are also openly passionate about sexual diversity, who would come forward. If they do, I'd be thrilled. At the same time it seems very unfair, doesn't it? We don't usually ask for counterbalance or "competing framework" when Tom writes about perma-death being awesome. We all know that that's just his stand on the subject, so why should they automatically "balance" Carolyn's opinion?

In conclusion, I don't agree with you when you conclude that "it likely won't promote genuine, positive, and lasting change". We're discussing the issues, which is good. Yes, there are haters who'll always troll away, but that seems pretty much unavoidable ("Haters gonna hate!"). That's why I asked if you knew someone who talked about these issues who does it better. Judging by our conversation, I do see people capable of civilized dialogue who can debate, share and agree on ideas (though we're not the vocal majority, that's for sure). And just as Carolyn's article is the cause of this conversation, she might start different discussions with different articles.

I see her neither burning nor saving houses. I see someone saying "I believe the houses are aflame".

l777l
l777l

@Myst17 A good line of thought, Myst. I like your well-written reply.

Let's assume there's only one fireman. He extinguishes some fires but overall causes most of the neighborhood to burn down. I wouldn't congratulate him, overall, even though he is the only fireman. I certainly wouldn't congratulate him for causing a house to burn down (setting it on fire), be it in a misguided attempt to teach others safety rules. With this article here, Carolyn burned down a house. And having (more) things burn down is not a kind of variety I would cheer for. 

So, Carolyn should be criticized when she burns down a house. She should also be criticized for more general somewhat pyromaniacal - or feminist-maniacal - tendencies. That being said, she should be congratulated when she safes a house, or writes something good. In conclusion, she should burn down fewer houses, and - for content-neutrality - her unbalanced, biased intepretative framework and activism should be reduced and fragmented; alternatively, or (probably better) additionally, an editor representing and applying a competing framework and activism should be installed. 

"I like when they treat games as art, ways to communicate ideas, and influence culture."

As do I.

Daizun
Daizun

@Myst17 @Daizun A work of this quality? I'm honestly not sure.


Logical leaps and homophobia being read into (where it is not actually) a video game are not something which people should probably consider a proper personal take on a game.

Myst17
Myst17

@Daizun "A handful" and "rife with" are very subjective terms, agreed? As someone who reads a lot of GS's and Carolyn's articles I have found that, to my perception, her articles are indeed "rifled" with trolls. I was pretty convinced when I used the term troll, that I meant "poeple who throw inflamatory comments just for effect"... but I guess now it's a "blanket" comment...? Alright...

I never said Carolyn is the best writer/journalist, and I am not commenting on the quality of the article itself or her "reluctance" to comment on her detractors (though I'd wait a bit more after the article was published to see if she comments, in order to call say she's ignoring them. Maybe she already has to some, I don't know).

I appreciate Carolyn's take on social issues on video games and the diversity she brings to the table, and I wanted her to know that there are people who like her work, as I'm sure she knows there are people that don't. Is that wrong? Aren't I allowed to like her work?

Daizun
Daizun

@Myst17@Daizun The blanket comments like "don't be discouraged by trolls" implies that these comments are rife with trolling. There are handful at best, and what IS being ignored (by the Author and many defending commentors) is the fact that this article is poorly written and ignores half of what occurs in the game in place of the Authors opinion. The Author should respond to those. However what they are choosing go ignore it seems is any opinion which calls out the issues in this article.