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  • posted a message on Aggression, World Politics and getting away with it....
    Quote from slave »
    Why is it that quite a few leaders in history (political and military) have gotten away with what constitutes war crimes, just because they've happened to be on the winning side?
    The question contains its own answer. Winners seldom punish themselves.
    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on What is Wrong With Signing a Prenuptial Agreement?
    Quote from Funkenstein3D »
    How on earth is that unfair? Do you believe that people should not be entitled to choose the qualities they are looking for in their spouse?
    "If you fear a messy divorce, maybe you should reconsider who you're marrying."

    He's not just making the decision for himself. He's recommending it to everyone. That's what we find objectionable.
    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on #Gamergate, what do you guys think?
    Can I interject that Tony Scott said it was about 'a man's struggle with his homosexuality'?
    In response to an explanation of why the homosexual subtext of the film is beside the point? No, you can't.
    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on What is Wrong With Signing a Prenuptial Agreement?
    Hey, materialists fall in love too.
    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on #Gamergate, what do you guys think?
    Quote from Mysticake »
    It's OK for one movie or video game to be aimed directly at a certain audience.

    It's stupid for a huge portion of video games to alienate women who would otherwise gladly play them. Combined with some of the people these games attract, there's a range of games where women who want to play the games are being pushed away by both some of the content of the games and the attitudes of some of the people who play them.
    I don't disagree with any of this. Hell, I'd go further and say that it's not OK for one movie or video game to be aimed directly at the audience you describe that actively pushes away a broader audience - if you make something aimed at misogynists by appealing to their misogyny, you're very much in the wrong. (Although you have the right to do it, and I'll still fight on your side if the other side starts making noises about legal action against you.)

    But when we talk about this stuff, we've got to be careful about the narrative we're creating. Because it's always easier to paint in broad strokes, it's easy to give the impression that any "guy movie" is bad and wrong and misogynistic. "MovieBob" Chipman did a good video this year about the misuse of the Bechdel test - pointing out, as you do, that the test is properly an indicator of an overall, industry-wide trend, but too often is taken at face value as an indicator that a particular movie is sexist because that takes less nuanced thinking to comprehend. Similarly, BatterysRevenge's argument of "broad audience good, narrow audience bad" is oversimplifying and incorrect.
    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on #Gamergate, what do you guys think?
    I find it odd that people mention Top Gun as a prime example of marketing to white males age 18-35 because it is possibly the most homoerotic mainstream action movie I've ever laid my eyes on. Something that would be more suitable would be something like The Terminator, Red Dawn (80s), or Die Hard...basically any movie bankrolled by the DOD. And a lot of action movies are bankrolled by the DOD, and I'm not quite sure that without these subsidies from the government they'd be as successful. Because it costs a lot of money to blow up a MiG fighter, and the audience they're aiming at wants explosions.
    If we're going to nitpick irrelevancies, I should remind you that no actual MiGs were harmed in the production of Top Gun (or any other aviation movie I'm aware of). Firstly, because the aircraft "playing" MiGs were really Northrop F-5 Tigers; and secondly, because all explosion shots were of course accomplished with miniatures.

    Also, the military didn't have anything to do with The Terminator or Die Hard, and I'm not even sure about Red Dawn.

    But you haven't addressed my real point, which is that targeting a specific demographic is a viable marketing strategy. Regardless of how homoerotic you found Top Gun, it was undeniably targeted at the male demographic and equally undeniably played very well in that demographic, because its subject matter and presentation (i.e. badasses in supersonic fighter jets) played directly to the particular interests of that demographic. It got dudebros excited to go see it. I don't think they were nearly as excited to go see The Lion King.
    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on #Gamergate, what do you guys think?
    Quote from awheywood »
    As I see it, you already agree with my argument. But here are some studies which I think provide backup for my claims. First, some studies supporting the (to my mind, self-evident) assertion that the cultural products we consume affect our attitudes (there are literally thousands of these).
    Just scanning these, but the level of researcher bias on display is really disappointing. Here's a quote from your fourth study:
    From their inception, video games have consistently portrayed women in sexist ways. Oftentimes, this portrayal comes in the form of the “damsel in distress.” In one of the earliest arcade video games (Donkey Kong, 1981), players were charged with rescuing Mario’s girlfriend, Pauline, from her primate kidnapper. Thirty years later, not much has changed in terms of how women are portrayed in the gaming world. For instance, in the most recent Mortal Kombat game (2011), Princess Kitana requires assistance from the male leaders, and despite her fighting abilities, she is portrayed as reliant on the male characters. Despite this consistent trend, little research has examined whether regular exposure to sexist video game portrayals is related to real world attitudes toward women.
    This isn't scientific curiosity. This is a Mission Statement. In fact, I'd argue that it's bad practice for scientists to use a term as broad and loaded as "sexist" at all. You want to be precise and dispassionate as you possibly can about the properties you're studying. Quantify the agency of male vs. female characters on a seven-point scale or something.

    On the general issue of video game violence and the problems with scientific studies thereof, Vox did a pretty good article. The most important point is also the most obvious: real-world violent crime is steadily declining.

    The goal of marketing is to get as many people to buy your product as possible at a price they are willing to pay and with you making a profit. If you say that you're only going to appeal to white males between the ages of 18-35, that's going to limit your market share. You can still make money or breakeven, but you're going to need a quality product to make up for exclusion.
    I'm sure you know that marketing is a little more complicated than that, and it's not always an effective strategy to aim at a general audience. Generalist products can easily become uninteresting to buyers looking for products tailored specifically for their interests. You mentioned The Lion King - a good family movie, but it probably didn't capture nearly as much of the while-male-18-to-35 dollar as, say, Top Gun. Or, hell, look at M:tG. Aimed squarely at gamer nerds. Making the game less nerdy and giving it more family appeal would be a disastrous marketing move for WotC - both in the short term, because they'd lose much of their existing audience, and in the long term, because M:tG is by design a "lifestyle" game and they're probably not going to get the same kind of devotion from a general market.

    So no, I don't think there's anything financially or morally misguided about making a "guy movie" or a "girl movie" or a "kids' movie" or an "adult movie". It's great when a movie manages to capture many demographics, of course, but not every movie can or ought to do this, and that's just fine.
    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on Imagine demons would exist in the real world
    Quote from Highroller »
    **** no. Deals with demons never end in your favor. Ever.
    The archetypal deal-with-devil story, Faust, actually has a happy ending. As does Aladdin, if we may count djinn as demons. Janet rescues Tam Lin, Johnny wins his golden fiddle, the farmer's wife returns from Hell... the infernal legions actually seem to be kind of pushovers.

    Quote from Highroller »
    But worse than that, you might end up as a warlock.
    Dude, warlocks are awesome. Unlimited explosions on demand!
    Posted in: Religion
  • posted a message on Sony Theaters and "The Interview"
    Quote from Highroller »
    But that being said, why not make the movie available in avenues that are not theaters? Why not release it for digital download? I get that they can't release the movie in theaters that won't show it, but why refuse to release it at all?
    I can only speculate here. It may actually be a good sign that they're still holding out hope for an eventual theatrical release - you can't really do that with the same impact once the cat's already out of the bag with DVDs and downloads. But it may also just be anticipating further terrorist threats against retailers carrying the DVDs which result in them pulling the product just like the theaters did. And as for digital download... the enemy is hackers. Maybe not a good idea.
    Posted in: Debate
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