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Episode 99: The Indoor Kids
News Hour with Kumail,…
The Indoor KidsThe Indoor Kids

The Indoor Kids #99: News Hour with Kumail, Emily, and Burnside

Today they decided to take on some of the bigger news stories of the week- damsels in distress, the used games controversy, which Tetris piece you would be, games being added to the MoMA, and all the stuff these three Indoor Kids are playing! It’s hosty as shit.

Games Discussed

Injustice, Lego City Undercover (Wii U and 3DS), Tomb Raider, Resident Evil: Revelations, Halo 4, Badland, and Pac-Man

Comic Books Discussed

The Invisibles

Books Discussed

Confessions Of A Sociopath


Damsels in Distress
Used Games

(Drawing of Emily and Kumail and Ico and Yorda by Andrew Nixon)

Come see Kumail (and Emily) in Chicago at Just For Laughs! Unfortunately the Indoor Kids show didn’t work out schedule-wise this time, but they’ll both be there! Click for info!

Buy Indoor Kids merch!

Follow @matthewburnside on Twitter!

Follow @indoorkids, @kumailn, and @thegynomite on Twitter! And email us at [email protected]!

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  1. David says:

    Hey PC Man,

    Good job not providing context with the quote that you just gave about your sexism.

    You are reinforcing peoples points about you using straw-men’s and not actually addressing points.

    I know you still want to play the victim as much as you can, but no one is letting you get away with the bullshit that your friends probably let you get away with.

    How can you not see the sexism in your own remarks? oh I forgot for a second there… your a hypocrite.

  2. David says:

    PC Man,

    There you go again trying to put words in other people mouths.

    how does everyone = victims. You speak of others being in their own world but the mirror is right in front of you.

    Your rage has blinded your cognitive abilities, because i don’t think you are properly comprehending any of the responses here. Calm down, and reflect for like 5 minutes on what has actually been said, and not what you imagine has been said.

    At this point you are just becoming a joke, and you don’t even see why.

    Do you even realize that people have generally been agreeing with you?
    You are attacking strawmen! The thing that people are criticizing are your approach, method, and language.


    The condescending hypocrite known as PC Man has typed again!

    • PCMan says:

      ” If anything it shows that your obsessed with sexism and are actually a sexist yourself.”

      LOL, this is the funniest shit ever! Guys, did you know that you see something that is sexist and call it by its name, that you’re the REAL sexist.

      You just disqualified yourself from this convo, dude. Go back to calling people faggot on Xbox Live.

  3. Mescalineous says:

    On the contrary, I agreed with your criticism of them in not being tough enough on racism and sexism in certain games.

    “You made a very valid point about ignoring or mitigating racism and sexism in games for the love of the medium. I agree with you. We shouldn’t avoid calling out sexism and racism in video games just because we love playing them. I’m not saying that they’re right to do that. I’m just saying that there’s blame on both sides here and we should acknowledge that before we attempt to fix the flaws on either side.”

    Shocking, I know. I took the time to actually listen to your entire argument before I decided which parts I agreed with and which I didn’t.

    • PCMan says:

      The problem with you is that you keep falling back on this “both sides are to blame”, Fox News-style bullshit idea. Because at the basis of it, you are equating sexism with people calling gamers losers and creeps. You’re saying that Anita scoffing at an story element in a game is the same as her getting the rain of shit that fell on her head from the very beginning.

      Because when you say there is blame on both sides, that means that both sides fucked up in some way. In what way did she fuck up in her Kickstarter video that announced the project? What’s the list of things that one is to do so that you don’t get death threats when you are merely announcing your intention to do a project? Point me to the checklist and let me know where she misstepped.

      Like you keep saying, “yeah, the sexist assholes that treated her bad need to beaten with whale shit” (which by the way, you’re not really respecting the sexists ideas and viewpoints are you? Does that make you feel like a right-wing Republican when you threaten them with violence via feces?) but you keep undermining that when the next sentence is “but she’s not very nice though.”

  4. Mescalineous says:

    Do you have a dog in this fight that we should know about? Did something happen to you that’s now keeping you from actually hearing what we’re saying instead of what you want us to be saying so that you can continue to live in the fantasy world you’ve created for yourself where you’re Sir Galahad and the rest of us are witches, trolls, and dragons? Are we just spinning our wheels here?

    • PCMan says:

      LOL, do I have a dog in the fight? You’re the one that is running around defending Emily and Burnside on the site from any and all criticism.

  5. Rob says:

    @Wabbm I don’t really see the point in acknowledging people’s reactions online to just about anything. If a black person posts a video about racism online, there will be many people saying disgusting racist things about it.

    It’s just the way a certain percentage of people act online and it doesn’t matter if it’s a woman or whoever, whatever it is they’re trying to say the commenters will say what they feel will be most upsetting to them based on what the person was trying to say.

    I’d say the vast majority would never say stuff like that in real life, and many probably don’t even believe what they write, they simply want to make somebody angry and the anonymity of the internet makes people act in ways they never would in real life.

    So there’s no real reason to look at most of these people’s reactions to her videos as anything more than people who disagree with her, and since it’s completely anonymous, doing whatever they can to upset her. It’s like in real life if somebody really pisses you off, if you know saying something specific will hurt them you will say it, whether you believe it to be true or not.

    • PCMan says:

      Really, Rob? Really? We should ignore all of the death and rape threats Anita got because its anonymous? Listen man, if you are willing to say that you are going to kill and rape someone, there is a 100% probability that would say the same to them in person. There is also a 100% probability that if said person could guarantee they wouldn’t get caught, that they would carry out the attack. People don’t go into an altered state when they write comments on the Internet and they certainly don’t drastically change their personality. There was a case recently where a guy was exchanging messages back and forth with another guy about killing, raping, and then eating a little boy. One of the guys arrested was the youth music leader at some church.

      Rob, should we ignore this guy’s online writing because obviously he would never do it real life, right? Shit, would you send YOUR kid to his music camps? Would you even still go to that church if he was in a leadership position?

      Of course the online reaction matter and of course it means something. It means something because at every turn gamers have tried to shut down this woman for having the gall to even TALK about sexism in video games. Don’t try to dismiss it because it makes gamers look bad. In this instance, they made themselves look bad.

  6. futureman says:

    I agree with Kumail, the Angels were the best villains but seemed to get overpowered by the end of this season. I would like for the writers to go into the angle’s history maybe even by accident.

  7. David says:

    PC Man,

    I don’t even know where to start. You are arguing with yourself and making straw-mans. You have constantly put words into other peoples mouths, made false scenarios and then argued against them.

    Not everything is black and white, and everything in life doesn’t have to relate back to these sexists tropes which you continue to project onto everything. If anything it shows that your obsessed with sexism and are actually a sexist yourself.


    “Assumption 4: Anita was supposed to give a solution to sexism
    It is not incumbent upon a woman to solve sexism, just like it is not incumbent upon a person of color to solve racism. The onus is on people who operate in racist and sexist ways to stop perpetrating it.’

    Actually the onus isn’t on any one group, it’s with everyone, and to claim otherwise is perpetuating the problem by passing the buck. All this does is allows you to claim victim-hood without any of the responsibility to change misconceptions.

    All your language suggests that you blame everyone else for the problems in your life, and that you need to feel victimized or create the appearance of victimization to feel special, its disgusting. People like you cloud the discussion with so much hate and noise.

    You are a true hypocrite. Honestly you should see a therapist because you have so much hate and anger in you that it is not healthy.

    • PCMan says:

      So, its not on the perpetrators of sexism to stop being sexist, its also on the victims of sexism to “change their misconceptions”? What the hell does that mean? How exactly is one supposed to change their “misconception” when their personhood is being denied because of the shape of their genitalia? I really don’t believe you know what sexism is, so the only reason I can deduce that you have appeared is to defend the image of video games.

      And all of your language suggest that you go through life in a sustained ignorance about how other people are treated in the world. I say it is a sustained ignorance because you have to work very, very hard to keep your head in the sand about these issues. But I’ll leave you with some life advice like you did me:

      The world is made up of more people than you and your friends, David. Your experience in the world is representative of nothing more than your experience. Open your mind and listen, actually listen to the life stories of people who are different than you. Maybe you will learn something.

      But that’s doubtful.

  8. PCMan says:

    Damn, you are one condescending fool. How hard it must be to even see me in your mighty, high towers of Faux Rationality and Faux Objectivity. I’ve stated in several comments why Emily, Kumail’s and Burnside’s don’t line up with any sort of logic whatsoever. Did you hear a faint din from atop of Faux Objectivity that someone was calling a stupid idea…well, stupid?

    The problem with you is that you have a problem seeing stupid ideas as stupid and no sense of weight or scale when talking about subjects. To you, they are all one side of the same coin and everyone’s “beliefs” deserve to be treated with the exact same.

    But the reality is that beliefs and ideas are not all made equal. Some have a larger impact, some are more destructive, and some are more dangerous. I happen to think that the idea Burnside was throwing out is particularly stupid. Very stupid. Dodo bird stupid. You don’t counter a point about violence against women in video games by saying gender doesn’t exist in video games. Also, he compared women characters to pets, which gives you glimpse into the mind of Burnside. I will continue to shit on stupid ideas because they are stupid ideas. I’m not going to give the tinfoil conspiracy theorist’s ideas on the moon landing the same as I would Neil Armstrong’s because the conspiracy theorist’s ideas are FUCKING STUPID. They are not same and I do not have to treat them the same to be considered “open minded” or “fair and balanced. (God, help us that the Fox New tagline has made it on this blog.)”.

    Now, your next point is that somehow the general public calling gamers losers and creeps is the same sexism, which is the idea that your humanity and worth is tied to which genitalia you have. You see, sexism — in all of its forms — is more dangerous because it is denying someone’s personhood. Ridiculing someone’s hobby doesn’t even match the same level. Not even if that person makes their livelihood from video games does it measure up. Because that person can always change the careers. A person can’t change their gender (There is always the option of the sex change, but shit, if you’re going to say someone starting over in a new career is the same as a series of intensive surgeries then you’re beyond stupid).

    Your next point you make a bunch of assumptions that totally tell me that video games is a blind spot for you as well.

    Assumption 1: It is up to Anita (or her supporters) to change your mind about the reality of sexism in video games

    I’m going to put this all caps and repeat it a few times so that it sinks in for you and for anyone who happens upon this.




    It is not Anita’s job to make you see the error of your ways, no more than it is a black man’s job to make racists see the error in their minds. You are the only one that is control of your thoughts and no matter what anyone says, you are ultimately going to decide what to do. Anita’s job is bring to light the sexist tropes in video games, the same way she did with movies and will most likely do in music, books, etc. I don’t know where you get this idea that people are rational beings and can swayed by logic to go one path or the next. History is littered with examples of stupid ideas taking a hold of smart people or whole populations of people. People who operate from the lizard brain are not using rationality or logic when they are speaking/writing. They are going off of pure emotion. That’s why when Anita merely announced her new series, she got death and rape threats. She hadn’t even realized a video. No one even knew how the videos were going to be organized. Rational people would not have paid it any mind. Rational people would have waited until the videos came and then saved a final analysis after watching them all. But we are not dealing with rational people; we are dealing with gamers who are protecting the image of their games.

    Assumption 2: Anita’s delivery is why gamers are hesitant to embrace her critiques

    Like I said before, Anita got a hail of shit for even having the IDEA to do a series on video games. Can you pinpoint the part in her Kickstarter video that made her “unlikable”? Is there a list things that she should do to guarantee a positive response short of saying “everything is fine in video games; no sexism found’? Also, it is not a woman’s responsibility to massage her message because she not in the business of changing your mind. That goes for any oppressed group. It is only their responsibility to tell what is happening; I’m not putting together a PR kit just so that you will treat me with human dignity.

    Assumption 3: Anita’s videos were for games

    I don’t know where you got this one from. Her video series wasn’t targeted at gamers. It was for the general public. Everyone knows what a video game. Everyone has played them at one time or another, even if they don’t consider themselves “gamers.” Stop acting as if video games are some niche thing when it is one of the biggest entertainment industries in the world.

    Assumption 4: Anita was supposed to give a solution to sexism

    It is not incumbent upon a woman to solve sexism, just like it is not incumbent upon a person of color to solve racism. The onus is on people who operate in racist and sexist ways to stop perpetrating it.

    So, for your finishing point, you make the same exact argument that Kumail did in the podcast, but with way more words. Anita wasn’t “fair and balanced” in her approach? What the hell? You like video games and don’t want them to appear sexist, the only “fair and balanced” approach that you would have liked is if she said there is no sexism in video games or that a handful of games that don’t contain the sexist tropes make up for all of the ones that do. Just like I said in my previous comment, statements like these set up an arbitrary equation that no one explicitly states but is heavily implied. So, because Bioshock Infinite bucks the sexist tropes does that act as a retroactive buffer for the thousands of games before that used sexist tropes? What exactly is the ratio? 1 non-sexist equals 10,000 sexist games? 50,000 sexist games equals 2 non-sexist games? What is the breakdown? My H.S. weighed Advanced Placement grades as more valuable than the same grade in an honors class. Are the few recent games out of whole of video game history that much more important than the tens of thousands that came before? To make your analogy about the divorced couple more apt (since this whole convo started due to violence against women in video games), it would be like the wife detailing every time her husband beat the shit out of her and her husband retorting that she’s not being fair and balanced because what about the times when he took her out to dinner. Those don’t count, now?

    Listen, the bottom line is that gamers, you, Kumail, Emily, and Burnside don’t want to have this conversation. Full stop. But that doesn’t matter because Anita’s videos have sparked that discussion in the wider world outside of video games.

    • Mescalineous says:

      Seriously? I went out of my way to treat your ideas with respect, I get that response, and I’m told that I’M condescending? That I’M a fool? You really need to pull your head out of your ass, sir.

      If other people’s ideas are stupid, that’s fine. But you don’t just get to call them stupid and walk away smug and satisfied in the wonderful myopic fairytale you’ve created for yourself. If you’re going to go so far as to call an idea stupid then it’s incumbent on you to explain why. And if you’re going to call the retort to your explanation stupid then it’s incumbent on you to explain yourself in that situation, too. You’re not the omniscient judge of what’s stupid and what’s not, and just because you think something’s stupid doesn’t mean that everyone’s necessarily going to agree with it or your explanation of it. So arrogant.

      That’s what ultra-right wing Christian groups do. They attempt to force their ideas down your throat and when you reject them, or question them, they complain that their religious rights are being oppressed. Is that who you want to be? People hold their ideas for a reason, and not to consider that before opening your mouth is the real act of stupidity. You might actually learn something by attempting to see the world from a different point of view instead of remaining the arrogant finger-pointer you’re so clearly intent on being.

      Repeating the same point over and over doesn’t lend it credibility, and it won’t make me agree with it any more than I did the last seven times you made it. Putting words in my mouth doesn’t somehow change history and alter reality in such a way that I magically actually said them. Getting angry doesn’t give credence to your argument, it just makes you look foolish. It makes people think you’re speaking from a place of irrationality and hurts your point.

      Now let’s go through your assumptions about my assumptions.

      “Assumption 1: It is up to Anita (or her supporters) to change your mind about the reality of sexism in video games.”

      I never said that it was, nor do I believe that it is, but changing people’s minds is what she’s setting out to do. If that is, as she says, what she’s trying to do then she’s going about it ineffectively.

      “Assumption 2: Anita’s delivery is why gamers are hesitant to embrace her critiques.”

      This one is correct. I believe that if she had shown a bit more respect to the people who play the games she’s trashing they would absolutely be more open to what she had to say. Your point seems to be that if you’re part of a disenfranchised class you can get your message across any way you want, but by that logic you’re condoning all sorts of awful shit, up to and including terrorism. Point blank, if you want to be taken seriously and not dismissed by a good deal of the people you’re talking to then you need say it in a way that people will listen to it. Martin Luther Kind Jr. was well aware of this which is why he organized protests, but stressed peace and nonviolence. Ghandi knew this which is why he stressed peace and nonviolence. In the end, rational minds prevail, not shit talkers.

      “Assumption 3: Anita’s videos were for gamers. (I corrected your spelling here)”

      I never said that I thought Anita’s videos were for gamers. You were pointing out that gamers were hesitant to listen to her points. I explained why. Because, like you, she didn’t take into account that there were people who may disagree with her, but also have something valid to say in the discussion having played these games for years. Period.

      “Assumption 4: Anita was supposed to give a solution to sexism.”

      I didn’t say it was incumbent on Anita to solve sexism. What I said was that it would’ve been better if she had brought suggestions for solutions to the table, rather then just pointing out problems. When all someone does is complain about the problems, even if they’re 100% right in their assessment of the problems, and they offer NO solutions to said problems, it makes others think that they’re more interested in complaining and being victims than in actually solving anything.

      So for the assumptions about my assumptions you got 1 out of 4 correct. Not too good.

      I do like video games, as you say. Not only do I not want them to APPEAR sexist, I don’t want them to BE sexist. But I would’ve appreciated Anita’s videos a great deal more if they had been closer to an accurate depiction of reality instead of a blatant, unabashed smear campaign shrouded in smug, false righteousness.

      And it doesn’t matter how many times you make your comment about the ratio of sexist to non-sexist games, nobody is saying that the latter excuses or justifies the former. You made that up. The fact that Bioshock Infinite bucks the trend of sexist tropes doesn’t mean that it’s OK that other games are sexist. Nobody’s saying that. Again you’re putting words in people’s mouths and then disproving your own words, essentially having an argument with yourself, or some faux version of me you’ve created in your head. The fact that Bioshock Infinite bucks the trend of sexist tropes means that we’re MOVING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION and that you, and Anita, need to give a little bit of credit where credit is due.

      TL;DR – I believe that what Anita said she set out to do is very good. In fact I’d go so far as to say it’s necessary. I think we should be on the same side. But I think her execution, and yours, are a load of unnecessarily divisive horse shit which is really a damn shame. She could’ve sparked actual change and all she did was sow the seeds of animosity and distrust.

  9. Mescalineous says:

    Thank you for taking the time to actually express your ideas rather than shit on the ideas of others. Now that you’ve done so I’m inclined to agree with you on several of the points you’ve made here, although certainly not all of them.

    I guess I’ll start by saying this. People are tired of being attacked for their beliefs. If you’re trying to get someone to change their minds about something the absolute wrong thing to do is tell them that they’re wrong and that they’re stupid and immoral for feeling or thinking the way they do. People want to, at the very least, be listened to and, at best, actually understood before they start taking the time and energy to review their own logic for errors. People want the benefit of the doubt, and that expectation is perfectly reasonable. Attacking the people whose minds you want to change will only cause them to clam up and hold their ground. Expecting people to listen your message when the methods you use to deliver the message are hostile and one-sided is an act of hypocrisy because in doing so you expect people to consider how you think without first considering how they think.

    In the previous paragraph I’m talking about you, but I’m also talking about Anita. Gamers have been told for decades that their passion is stupid, a waste of time, antisocial, a pathetic addiction, that it’s for losers, nerds, creeps, people who can’t get real friends. People have been trying to make them feel bad about loving the thing they love for as long as they can remember. Then, along comes Anita, and tells them that they’re all sexist pigs. To clarify, this does not excuse the people who made sexist comments and threats. Those people are a waste of oxygen who deserve to be whipped with horse genitals and beaten within an inch of their lives with sacks of frozen whale shit. But if gamers are a bit hesitant listen to Anita’s ideas, even the valid ones, might that not have something to do with her delivery of those ideas?

    Let’s explore this a bit further. Anita started by saying that her goal was to “explore tropes” involving women in games, correct? From that mission statement we might assume that she was going to give a fair and balanced view of women in games, taking into account the actual origin of some of these tropes, the intended audience, and the limitations that the mechanics of the medium puts on the story. We might have expected her to point out the flaws and the sexist elements, but to also dig a little deeper and pinpoint why these flaws exist, why they’ve been allowed to exist, and what might be done to eliminate them.

    What we got was a hatchet job; a one sided shit show. Video games are a wasteland of sexist debauchery and here’s every negative thing I can pick out to support this myopic bullshit, like a married couple that go back over the entire history of their marriage and use each other’s worst moments to build cases against one another. Anita isn’t trying to start a conversation, or if she is she’s going about it the wrong way. Keeping that in mind, is it a bit easier to see why someone who loves video games might be a bit peeved by her approach and might even be a bit defensive, even to a fault? You made a very valid point about ignoring or mitigating racism and sexism in games for the love of the medium. I agree with you. We shouldn’t avoid calling out sexism and racism in video games just because we love playing them. I’m not saying that they’re right to do that. I’m just saying that there’s blame on both sides here and we should acknowledge that before we attempt to fix the flaws on either side.

    This is a topic worthy of debate, but Anita is not, as you say, at the podium ready to debate. She’s in the quad with a megaphone talking shit, eloquent shit, yes, but still shit, and nobody wants to “debate” with a shit talker.

  10. PCMan says:

    @Mescalinous You said: “Don’t get me wrong, there are people in the world who deserve to have a great deal of anger directed at them for their treatment of women – people who aren’t currently interested in discussion or debate because they’re satisfied with the status quo. These people are not Kumail, Emily, and Matthew Burnside. You can get addicted to anger and indignation and begin to see foes where friends are standing. When you start thinking that these people, of all people, are the enemy on this issue it’s time to take a step back and reassess.”

    Did you listen to the same episode as I did? Because in this episode it was the three of them basically saying that a larger conversation about sexism in video games shouldn’t be had because Anita wasn’t likable, and didn’t list every game that was ever created in her video. They had the lamest of objections to her work and Burnside compared female video game characters to pets.

    I don’t know anything about Matthew Burnside and neither do you, so for you to call him an “ally” pretty means you don’t know the meaning of the word. The only thing I know about Burnside is that if you keep him talking for about an hour, he will eventually compare female video games characters to pets. That’s all I know.

    As for Emily and Kumail, I don’t know them either, but I have been listening to the podcast since the first Pete Holmes episode — way back when they had the younger girl as the co-host (thank God, she’s gone. She made me feel old) — and do kinda get a sense of their politics, I just think that video games are a blind spot for them, so they’re not going to be able to talk about them rationally when someone points out the racism, sexism, etc in games. Its like the rational part of their brain shuts down and the lizard brain takes over and the only running coherent thought is “I must protect this thing I love.” That’s how you end up with Kumail admitting that sexism is a problem in society and video games are a part of that society, but not taking that extra leap to say sexism is operating within video games. That’s how you end up with them skirting around this issue of racism in games (the Mass Effect 3 ep with Dominic Dirkes) and saying only that it was “weird”. Weird like I-have-six-fingers-weird or weird like I-love-the-smell-of-my-own-farts-weird? We have a word for how that character was portrayed in ME3, but they didn’t want to say it because they liked that game. Blind spot.

    And this is not a debate. I repeat this is NOT a debate. A debate assumes that both sides see a validity to the topic at hand. They both agree that it is something to be debated. One side has repeatedly said that this topic is not worthy of debate. To put it in terms you can understand, if this were debate class, Anita and her supporters are at one podium while her opponents are playing hooky from class. So, we spend the whole time trying to convince them that it is actually worth discussing and to come back to school.

  11. Mescalineous says:

    Yeah, no worries. It’s the politics of anger. Anger is the correct and natural response when confronted with unfairness and injustice, and that anger should encourage the one who feels it to find a solution to the problem. But in actually implementing a solution anger has to be set aside lest it muck up the outcome and make the problem worse.

    Debate and discussion are wonderful tools in group problem solving because they shine a light on every aspect of the issue for all to see. When anger is introduced into the debate, however, it stops becoming a debate and transforms into an argument. Monkeys flinging poo. In a debate everybody wins because everyone walks away with a better understanding of everyone else’s point of view. In an argument both sides generally walk away thinking they’ve won, but in truth neither of them have because the problem they were arguing over in the first place is further away from being solved instead of closer.

    Don’t get me wrong, there are people in the world who deserve to have a great deal of anger directed at them for their treatment of women – people who aren’t currently interested in discussion or debate because they’re satisfied with the status quo. These people are not Kumail, Emily, and Matthew Burnside. You can get addicted to anger and indignation and begin to see foes where friends are standing. When you start thinking that these people, of all people, are the enemy on this issue it’s time to take a step back and reassess.

  12. PCMan says:

    The more I listen to this ep, the angrier I get at Burnside. He babbling is insulting my intelligence. Right after he says his stupid pet comment (that really was the stupidest thing I have ever heard) he doubles down by saying when he is committing the violence against said female, HE DOESN’T SEE HER GENDER. That some stupid “I don’t see race” bullshit appropriated for this discussion about sexism. It is insulting to me to have you sit there and say that stupid shit and expect me to believe it. OF COURSE, you see the character’s gender. The only reason you wouldn’t know the gender of the character is if they are in a heavy metal suit (ala Meteroid) or is a disembodied voice. Aside from these two characters, you have eyes and can discern between the sexes. Otherwise, you are damn near legally blind and may need to start getting a see-and-eye dog.

    • Rob says:

      Yeah, I think his point is that it doesn’t make any difference to him whether it’s a man or woman. While he may realize it’s a woman when he first sees her, while he’s killing her he isn’t thinking about whether it’s a man or woman just that it’s something he needs to kill.

      The larger point he was making is that video games don’t cause men to be more violent towards women because when you’re playing a game it doesn’t make any difference whether your enemy is male or female.

      • PCMan says:

        That is not his point at all. He’s trying to explain away why all of this violence is always being put upon female characters by saying he doesn’t see the gender of characters, so the discussion doesn’t really matter. Its a stupid argument made by people who think they are being clever. Because first of all, you do see the character’s gender and your mind just doesn’t go gender neutral at certain story hooks. When people say that, they are lying, or have a serious brain injury.

        Second, someone (the developer, the writer, the producer) saw that the character was female. So at some point someone authorized the violence in the story to be done to a female. And because it is a pattern in video games, Anita had to bring it up. Burnside’s argument wasn’t that video games don’t make men violent toward women, his argument was the violence against women isn’t really an issue because he doesn’t see female characters as females…. and that is an insanely stupid argument.

        • Mescalineous says:

          Actually I think his pet comment was very salient. Obviously it wasn’t a categorical comparison, he wasn’t comparing women to pets. That would be ridiculous. You’re oversimplifying his comment and setting up a straw man that you can then tear down. You’re not even trying to see the point he was trying to make, you’re just trying to win. That’s not rational debate and it’s not an adult discussion.

          Burnside was using one aspect of that analogy to draw a comparison in emotion. He was saying that the story writers don’t dictate that the main character is forced to kill the woman he loves because they think that the player is going to enjoy that. He’s saying that they specifically put that story turn in there because they think it’s going to emotionally tear out the player’s guts to have to do that. They’re not getting their jollies off – they’re attempting to add emotion to the story. It isn’t easy to have to inflict death upon someone that you care about even if it’s completely necessary. Much like having to put down a pet.

          Furthermore he wasn’t saying that he doesn’t know that the character is a woman. Again, that’s a ridiculous oversimplification of his comment. Calm down. He’s saying that it doesn’t matter if it’s a woman. As far as he’s concerned it could be a female main character having to kill her male SO, or a similar situation with a gay or lesbian couple. The core dynamic and the emotion felt by the player is the same regardless of gender.

          The fact that it is so often a female having violence inflicted upon her by a male, and that the trope is not deviated from more often, are definitely things that are worth looking into and discussing, but quit picking on Burnside for saying shit he wasn’t even saying.

          • Rob says:

            Thank you Mescalineous, I started writing a reply but couldn’t find the right way to say it, you nailed it though. Not that it matters, PCMan will just talk in circles and claim he won the argument, but you said exactly what I was trying to.

          • PCMan says:

            This is why video games will continue to be seen as nothing more than a shiny distraction by many people, because of shit like this. When someone takes video games seriously and tries to have a talk about how they fit within the larger culture, gamers try to shut that conversation down every single time. And even when someone says something batshit crazy like Burnside did in this ep, we have fools like you who are ready to defend them and say, “well, this is what he REALLY meant,” No, Burnside is a grown ass man who has an understanding of the English language. He knows how to express himself and the ideas he wants to get across. And his pet comment is salient in that it is the most batshit insane argument used to shut down critical thought (real critical thought, not just if you liked the game mechanics better than X game that came out last year) about video games.

            To put this in context, this is Burnside’s objection to Anita’s point (that Emily was agreeing with) about violence being done to women and having the women characters thank the males characters for it.

            Now this is something you yourself say should be discussed further, but Kumail and Burnside don’t think so. Kumail at first tries to talk over Emily so that he can state an objection to Anita’s point before we have even heard it. Damn, dude, if Emily hadn’t shush-ed him we would have heard Kumail’s objection to Anita’s argument, before we had any chance to understand what he was objecting to. Sorta like how all of those gamers were trying to intimidate Anita before she had even begun to make her videos. These assholes even backtracked and said why her series on female portrayals in movies was full of shit so her video game series would also be full of shit.

            But that wasn’t Kumail’s final objection. After Emily stated Anita’s point and why she agreed with it, Kumail says well, it doesn’t warrant any further discussion because it doesn’t happen that often. WHAT THE HELL??? White actors doing brownface doesn’t happen that often as well, but it doesn’t matter that because IT SHOULDN’T BE HAPPENING AT ALL. Once again, it sets up this weird equation that no one wants to explicitly state — how many times does it have to happen before it can be considered a problem? 5? 10? 50? 10,000? Who knows, because no matter what the number, the person who objects to the topic will still be able to say that is a small percentage of video games overall. It’s still just another way to put your head in the sand about things that you don’t want to listen to.

            So, if Kumail’s retort to Anita’s point is silly, Burnside’s retort (the “pet” comment) amps up the silliness 5 million levels, because this genius says that he has NEVER played video games and seen a female or male character. So when that happens, he’s not really inflicting violence on a female, because he DOESN’T SEE GENDER WHEN PLAYING VIDEO GAMES. I wish I could put that in caps, make it blink, and have a loud bell ring on the webpage when your eye comes across it, so that you will get the picture. Let me state again:

            Burnside’s retort to Anita’s argument about violence toward women in video games is that HE DOES NOT SEE GENDER WHEN PLAYING VIDEO GAMES, SO HOW BIG OF A PROBLEM CAN IT BE?

            That’s why his statements are most kooky in an episode that was full of kooky statements. It’s not my job or your job to read people’s mind suss out the meaning of their statements. Its incumbent on them to state what they mean so that people can understand. And obviously, your interpretation of his statements is much different than what @Rob originally thought. He figured that Burnside was sayings that video games don’t cause violence against women. You sussed out something different. If he knew how words work you two wouldn’t be fumbling right now to defend his silliness.

            Another reason why his statements irk me is that it puts the focus back on him. Who gives a fuck that your brain goes gender-blind while playing a video game? That doesn’t negate the fact that this a pattern that is happening to female characters. Like objectively, this is something that is occurring to female characters way more than male characters. So your little paragraph at the end where say it would be the same if a female character had to kill a male character, blah, blah…well, that also doesn’t really mean much when the game companies don’t make lots of games with female protagonists because those games DON’T SELL. Damn, I wonder why that is? So, how often is he gonna be put in that situation? And I don’t buy his I’m-gender-neutral-while-playing-games argument because its bullshit. Of course, he knows that they are female characters and if one of them did something outside of the tropes he is used to seeing, he certainly would comment on it.

            Which leads me to another point about why his statement’s irked me: they’re just fucking dishonest. He’s making an dishonest statement in an attempt to stop a conservation that he doesn’t want to have. Its the equivalent to when a video game nerd says, “we don’t need to talk about sexism in the industry because they’re just games and you shouldn’t be worked up about it. There are more important things.”

            Oh really, dude? If they’re just “games,” then Mr. Video Game you are a total loser because you are spending your time, money, and energy participating in something absolutely worthless.

            Like I said before, its a stupid argument put forth by people who think they are being clever, and Burnside thinks he’s the most clever of them all. This is how his internal dialogue went: “Oh, we’re going to talk about sexism in video games today? Well, I don’t wanna talk about that shit. Hmm, how about I total upend the topic by saying I don’t see gender in video games. Ha! Perfect! Oooh, and if I get the chance, maybe I extrapolate this by saying MOST gamers don’t see gender either. Yeah, that’s solid, Matthew! That way the conversation can be about whether gamers see gender than all of that other bullshit they wanna talk about. Awesome, time to go write some Lisp.”

  13. Hien says:


    fuck your face you white knight hipster. lmao!!!!
    defending anita while saying, granted she clearly doesn’t play video games.


    if she not a gamer….
    then she just being a straight up typical feminist.

    does she have anything positive to say about some females in games?
    i’m sure there are many bad ass female characters in games.

  14. Joe says:

    Hi guys! I’m the community manager at Game Refuge Inc. Please check out our game Flirt Planet 3D and let me and the development team know what you think!


  15. Doug says:

    An important thing Anita’s videos have done is start conversations. We should be having adult conversations about what our media means, and how it reflects us. We should be digging into the things we like. I think that’s important. The fact that there is has been such a violent knee-jerk reaction to her means that we need to have these conversations.

  16. Rob says:

    I think Kumail’s right about $60 release price that drops by $20 after a couple months would work. There are a lot of people who would be willing to pay 60 knowing the price would go down in a couple months.

    I agree Gamestop rips you off when you trade in games, but they do have a lot of good deals on used games. Some games take awhile to go down, but I got Mass Effect 3 for $25 3 months after it came out.

  17. zeldaveritas says:



  18. zeldaveritas says:

    ITT: A bunch of herp-a-derps herp-a-derping.

    OT: Anita…in gaming terms, you’re bad and you should feel bad. If you try defending her terrible arguments, you’re doing it wrong and sustitute your name into the previous sentence.

  19. D. Palmer says:

    I am a gamer. I even work for a small gaming website. However, I am the type of person who waits a month or months after a game release until the prices drop. I love video games but I also love eating, paying for my car, etc. Unfortunately that comes first. There are those times that I plan ahead and put money down on games that I know I’ll want (ie; Beyond: Two Souls) but that is rare. I can wait.

  20. Ivan-silicabead says:

    Thank you so much for highlighting the comments of that movie reviewer who attempted to add some intelligent dialogue to gaming by doing a kickstarter. You pulled the most important aspects out of her 2 of 3 films, made fun of it, respected it, and then stomped on it like the uninformed blah blah it is. Love you guys

  21. PCMan says:

    Your “critiques” of Anita’s work is sort of silly, you guys.

    Critique 1: “Video games are a reflection of culture at large”
    Well, no duh. And movies, fairy tales, tv shows, books, music get called out for this sort of thing as well. Why shouldn’t video games be subject to the same thing? Especially since there is this movement to have video games seen as art. Art gets critiqued from people within its community and people from the outside. Which leads me to my second point.

    Critique 2: “She doesn’t understand the context of video games”
    Emily tried to pull away from this argument only to state it fully in her next sentence. How much prerequisite knowledge does she need to have before she can give a critique? Tom Bissell didn’t know how hard it was to actually write a video game yet he was still critiquing video game writing. And now after he has had the experience of writing a video game his views have changed. Was he full of shit when he was saying critical things about video game writing in the past? If you answer no, then don’t hold Anita to some arbitrary standard of knowledge before she can have a “valid” opinion. Plenty of people don’t know shit about the Darwin kernel but still rave about Mac Air laptops? Are all of their opinions invalid?

    Critique 3: “She’s not likable”
    Her personality has nothing to do with anything that is going on here. When she announced that she was going to do a Kickstarter for this project she got death threats. Death threats!!! Those people didn’t know her or her personality and definitely didn’t know anything about her previous work on Feminist Frequency. They hated her because she was going to study something that they feel shouldn’t be talked about. It could have been Emily saying she wanted to a study and the response would have been the same, or have you forgotten the tale of the girl who was sexually harassed at the fighting game competition last year? Or the random video game blogger who called Felicia Day a fake gamer. Both of these women were INSIDE of the video game culture and still got treated like shit.

    Critique 4: “But what about all of the examples where it doesn’t apply”
    This is the same sort of twisted logic that racists, sexists, homophobes, and any manner of person who wishes to dig their head in the sand about X subject. What this does is set up some sort of weird equation that people can’t/won’t state out loud. The video has shown many examples of the damsel trope being used. So, because Bioshock and Gears of Wars bucks that obvious trend, then it is ok, now? So because those two games can be used as an example of strong female characters, does that mean that developers can make 100 games with the same, tired, sexist tropes? 50? 25? Do those two games act a a retroactive buffer, so that all of the 1,000s of games before that used the trope are now nullified?

    Critique 5: “She didn’t go into this with an open mind”
    This is something that Burnside said that made me laugh and was immediately nullified by Kumail’s “video games reflect the culture at large”. Well, Burnside, the culture at large is pretty sexist. So, if video games reflect this, why would she have to do a memory wipe to look at sexism in video games because, video games, are just another aspect of a society that perpetrates sexism.

    Plus, Burnside is a loony man. A pet? Really, dude?!

    The schizophrenia on display is the most hilarious thing ever. Towards the end, Kumail admits that sexism is real. He admits that it is a problem in society. He admits that it is everywhere in society, including video games. But for some reason, we should never talk about the sexism as it operates in video games. For whatever reason, we can talk about other insitutions and how sexism operates in them, but video games are off limits. lol, what the hell, dude? What you saying right now? It makes no sense.

  22. Mescalineous says:

    OK then, Clearly-the-same-person-under-a-different-username.

    Again, I strongly disagree with your uninformed, half-baked opinion and find the fact that you need to invent people to weigh in on your side somewhat laughable.

    Don’t get me wrong, when it comes to “useless appendages” I would ordinarily defer to the opinion of someone like yourself who clearly has a great deal of experience with that kind of thing, but in this case I simply cannot. I promise it’s nothing to be embarrassed over and it happens to a lot of guys. It’s no reason to take out your insecure frustrations on Emily.

  23. Stacey says:

    @ Mescalineous

    I have to agree with you that emily does come off as “wicked smart, and well spoken”, but Not in the area of video games or comedy (which is a shame because that is exactly what the podcast is about).

    I think it’s pretty clear that she is just an appendage on this show. She is relevant in maybe 5% of the conversations tops(and that is generous) and would not be doing this podcast if she was not married to and living with Kumail.

    Let’s be honest, if she left people would still continue to listen, but if Kumail left it would be an exodus.

    Sometimes there are people that are just there because of luck, and in this case it’s Emily. I’m sure she is a great person, but in this case she is just background noise.

  24. woofeh says:

    Another great episode! Thanks to the Indoor Kids for making my commute to work bearable. That Ico picture of you both is awesome. Kudos to the creator.

  25. Mescalineous says:

    Alright, Parker. You clearly need a lesson in the difference between objectivity and subjectivity.

    Something that is objectively true is true from all points of view and can be proven using the scientific method. 1 + 1 = 2, for example, is an objective truth because no matter how many times you add it up, nor how many different people do the adding, the answer always comes out the same.

    Something that is subjectively true is only true under a certain set of circumstances, or is only true from a certain point of view. Subjective truths can be different for different people and can change as circumstances change. “Korean barbecue tastes good,” or “Johnny is handsome,” are examples of subjective truths.

    Keeping up with me? Good. Objective truths are also known as “facts” and subjective truths can also be called “opinions”. People who attempt to pass off their “opinions” as “facts” and are fucking rude about it are called “assholes”. Make sense? Class dismissed.

    Emily is wicked smart, well spoken, and hilarious. You can’t even take a coherent thought and put it into writing. I hope she doesn’t see your idiotic comment, but if she does I hope she keeps in mind that those who are too lazy or too cowardly to create sometimes attempt to make themselves feel just as powerful and worthy as those who aren’t by attempting to destroy, and that it says much more about you than it does about her.

  26. Wabbm says:

    Alright, as tempted as I always am to get into the sexism debate with one-dimensional, arrogant silly-beans like Hien, I MUST RESIST. I did want to say, however, that I found the episode’s general analysis of “Damsels in Distress” to be quite fair. I should say that her goal was (supposedly) to gather as many examples as possible for others to examine, and that analysis wasn’t quite the point of her videos. Given this assumption, though, she clearly hasn’t played many games. If we’re going to examine something SO subjective, I’d say it’s imperative to use data collected by someone who knows the material.

    That said, it’s absolutely appalling that she’s received so much BLIND HATRED for her work. I grew up in the late 80’s and 90’s, and I was told that women were, by most stretches of the imagination, equal in every way to men. Anti-female bias was gone; the fight was over. Unfortunately, working in male-dominated fields and seeing reactions like the above (en masse — this is, by no means, a singular incident) have proven to me that this is not the case.

    One final note: “parker stevenson IV,” your suggestions are baffling, at best. The vast majority of Indoor Kids fans will strongly disagree with you. Emily and Kumail are, in most of our eyes, the perfect balance of silliness and business. They’re both quite intelligent, and each has a unique humor that appeals to us in different ways. I’m happy that you’ve got opinions, and you’re obviously free to share them, but if you don’t like the podcast, you REALLY shouldn’t listen to it. You’re doing yourself a disservice, and you aren’t going to convince any of us to stop listening.

    Congrats on episode 99, guys! Looking forward to the big 100!

  27. Zaphod79 says:

    On used games – I know a lot of focus is on Gamestop but remember they are (mainly) a US company and the proposed method of dealing with things would prevent anyone from altruistically giving their game away , or from selling it privately on ebay or anywhere else.

    On the Doctor Who stuff it does sound like you think you’ve never seen Rowan Atkinson (Mr Bean) as The Doctor before ?

    You dont remember 14 years ago

    If so you should watch :

    Written by Stephen Moffat so is totally cannon :-)

    Wikipedia link if you cant get to the video :

  28. parker stevenson IV says:

    it really must be said, this show would be much better without Emily. she’s a useless, unfunny appendage. She basically is all “yeah! that! what was the name of that game?” kumail, that does not mean you are that good, per se, (as an indian, i find it racist how often you throw out the racist card. [native american OR southern asian, i bet you cannot nail it.]) BUT YOU AREN’T THAT AWFUL.

    then again, gamers are the lowest folks. now back to candy crush saga!!!!

  29. Nick says:

    Russell Brand as the doctor, just to piss people off.

  30. Mccrackelz says:

    Thoughts on her, THOUGHTS!

    god damnit….

  31. Zuri says:

    Seconding Richard Ayoade!

  32. rhys says:

    First off, publishers could not get together and agree on some sort of fixed track wherein all games are discounted by a set amount after a set time. That’s called “price-fixing” and it’s illegal in the United States. Publishers can independently decide to follow a certain pricing system (i.e., $60 games), but they cannot actively collude with each other to create a schedule for pricing.

    Second, publishers do not care about whether or not such a pricing system would be “fair” or somehow create a merit based pricing system. They want to sell their games for as much as possible for as long as possible. To that end, publishers change their prices based on how well the game is selling all the time. For example, in November Blacks Ops II, Halo 4, and Hitman Absolution all came out. Currently, Black Ops II sells for $60, Halo 4 sells for $40, and Hitman Absolution sells for $20. So each publisher made a decision based on the sales of each individual game as to whether to reduce the price and by how much.

  33. gary says:

    I always thought that Video Games could do a lot by looking at comics. Look, for instance, at how women are represented in Video Games. Women in Refridgerators ( did something very similar in the late 90s, but the goal was to discuss why there were a disproportionate amount of women who were maimed and/or killed to make male superheroes better. The key of this particular website (originally created by Gail Simone before she became a comics writer) was to not only list these women, but also have creators discuss why they killed/maimed female characters. This is well worth looking at because comics and video games have similar fanbases and artists/creators in common.

    As far as how video games are a “used market”, again, someone owning a comics store could tell you how they’re dealing with digital comics and the weird problems with distribution through closed markets and what that does to their used comics.

    Video Games and violence are the same discussions comics had in the 1950s. Self Regulation of codes in video games are the same regulations that comics faced in the 1950s-1980s. There are tons of similarities in market, attitude, and place in popular culture that would be interesting to explore…especially since the home of Nerdist is Meltdown Comics. I’d love for you guys to bring in a comics historian to talk about those similarities and give some historical background to how Comics and Video Games are similar. Gerard Jones (writer of Killing Monsters Why Children Need Fantasy, Superheroes and Make-Believe Violence and Men of Tomorrow – Geeks, Gangsters and the Birth of the Comic Book) would be an excellent person to interview for this.

    Comics and Video Games tend to be considered disposable juvenalia that people would grow up out of, given time. I think they could learn alot from eachother.

  34. hexlord says:

    Eddie Izzard.
    12th Doctor.
    That is all.

  35. Alec says:

    Being aggressive with discounts means you might lose a few of those full-priced sales, but you have to aim to capture even more sales from cheaper gamers. And the lesson that Valve seems to have learned is that to safeguard against that perceived devaluation of games, you have to keep throwing exciting content at your title and stay involved with the community.

    It runs almost completely against Microsoft’s current system, where they charge gamers for Live Gold and charge developers for the privilege of patching their titles. I guess we’ll have to wait and see if they’ll change any of that on the new Xbox.

    The other side of the equation is that publishers have to figure out how to get the right kind of scope with their games. Sure, it’s a new console generation, and people will expect prettier effects and nicer textures, but they can’t just increase the amount of money they’re throwing at their AAA titles indefinitely. You see these yearly franchises with five different studios grinding away to get the game out the door. Forget the $60 they’re charging upfront for a game- companies are now throwing DLC that costs as much all over again in an effort to recoup costs.

  36. Neil says:

    It was interesting to hear you discuss the feminist frequency video, I saw it mentioned on the borderlands 2 forums
    To start with this a topic which should be discussed and the fact that the very idea gets so much hate is a real shame. I would say the debate I read previously while pretty defensive of borderlands was pretty good.
    Overall the videos weren’t the most interesting, did lack analysis and while the example did highlight high frequency the damsel concept appears in game it did get very reparative.
    I think the concept I would agree with is the idea that female characters constantly portrayed as weak or helpless is not good but I felt the analysis failed to really engage with this by missing a comparative evaluation of the frequency of different types of female characters or female protagonists compared to damsels. Also looking at where male characters fit this model, which I guess will be addressed in the next video.
    I think my biggest issue was the way it brushed aside the idea of story or internal logic, the idea that not all damsels are the same and that how bad or harmful this idea is will depend on the whole story in a game.
    And this ties into a lack of acceptance of game mechanics, the only subject is the player all other characters are object both male and female.

  37. Will says:

    You guys should get TotalBiscuit on the show. He would be a wealth of knowledge. He may be at E3. You could also get his TGS co-hosts on sometime Dodger and Jesse.

    PS. Love the show. Keep up the good work.

  38. Josh says:

    Awesome to hear Kumail is liking the joystick for fighting games. I can’t imagine playing fighting games with a pad, that seems so unnatural. I have 2 Japanese sticks I imported way back in the PS2 days and still use to this day for fighting games. Definitely suggest the convex buttons.

  39. Hien says:

    when the whole game industry is going to cater to feminist “dudes” and all these white knight hipsters, i’m done with games….

  40. ytgamer says:

    Holy shite, the didn’t know who Totalbiscuit is? Its LONG overdue that the Indoor Kids get more into the whole, enormous world if lets players on YouTube. They don’t know who The Yogscast are, mindcrack, Jesus, they’re behind the times

  41. Wildride says:

    I know who I want for the next Doctor:

  42. Mega says:

    The point of Tropes VS Women in Games is not to really make an argument but showcase repeated sexist tropes in games for academia use. It’s a continuation of a series she did for TV/Film and the only reason why it’s this huge thing now is because of the neckbeards repeatedly using sexist/anti-semetic against her, which led to more support for her kickstarter.

    She even says in the video herself that the creators and some of the titles in the video aren’t inherently sexist.

  43. Kyle S. says:

    I wonder if used games don’t help sequels sell better. I bought Dragon Age: Origins used and loved it so much I pre-ordered Dragon Age 2 (which I liked, shut up). Anyone else do that? I reckon some other people did that.

    Also: a Skype conversation between Kumail, Emily, and Jim Sterling would be the best.

  44. Wabbm says:

    otisfunkyshits: I haven’t yet delved into the new Dr. Who (it’s an inevitability; just haven’t had the chance yet)… but if Ayoade is chosen, I WILL GO WHO-CRAZY. That man can do no wrong.

  45. Jorge says:

    Hey Emily, Kumail and Burnside! Just listened to today’s show and though it’s not a big deal, I thought I’d point out that the Lego City Wii U versus 3DS games are very similar, but aren’t actually the same game.

    I haven’t played them myself yet, but I know the 3DS version is a prequel story with a different story line and wondered: had that come up between Emily and Matthew at all?

  46. Rob B says:

    Here is another smug British guy talking about used games. He takes the opposite stance of Totalbiscuit and makes some good points as well.

  47. otisfunkyshits says:

    Richard Ayoade for the 12th doctor

  48. Robert Vanderveken says:

    If you are looking for a good fight stick, I have had the Street Fighter 4 Tournament Stick since SE4 came out and this stick is really good.

    The link is below to where you can get it on amazon, or at least read some reviews.

  49. Hien says:

    man…… feminist sh1t will not stop :( we get it, we get it…. fuck dudes, girls are strong respectable individuals too. my bad for saving girls in games.