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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

Links

Damsels in Distress
MOMA
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 theindoorkidspodcast@gmail.com!

Support the show by clicking on the banner and shop at Amazon.com!

Comments

  1. Wabbm says:

    @Rob: I’ve been out of town and offline for quite a while, so this is extremely late.

    Just wanted to point out that death/rape threats are a pretty big deal. I wouldn’t expect someone to completely understand if they hadn’t dealt with them before, but that shit can completely ruin your sense of security everywhere you go. It can drive a person insane in their everyday lives.

    That aside, in the eyes of the masses, it ruins the validity of any real critiques. Notice I said “in the eyes of the masses” — practically, critiques still have validity; however, it’s very hard to argue on the side of hundreds of extremely violent, threatening commenters. People like that don’t want to actually change anything; they just want to see the world burn.

    I absolutely agree with your thoughts on online aggressors. If you post something online, you MUST be willing to take on a barrage of angry comments. But I’d put threats into a different category. We’re still in an infantile stage re: dealing with this problem. The events described in following link comprise, in my opinion, a step in the right direction.

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/07/29/twitter-user-arrested-for-threatening-to-rape-and-murder-female-activist/

  2. Next says:

    A subsequent important http://dzienna-prognozapogody.pl part of domain name might be.

  3. Aaron says:

    On Burnside’s question about adult video games:

    Check out a game called “BoneTown”. It’s the only truly adult video game released by an American development team (Emily hit the nail on the head though, in regards to adult games existing, but they’re all in Japanese). The game is actually really fun and will take you awhile to… uh… finish? Er, beat? Sorry, it was impossible to not use a pun there. But seriously, the game is open world, with tons of good voice acting from both males and females, and actual licensed music. The game plays like Grand Theft Auto, but with explicit sex and drug use. The characters are all cartoon-y, and it is all in a lighthearted vein. However, there are racist stereotypes in there which may offend some, but hey… if you’re going to play a game like this, then you are probably not that person.

    Anyway, I’ve just outed myself as a pervert, so I’m going to run away now.

  4. smallerdemon says:

    And that’s Jonathan Pryce as The Master.

  5. smallerdemon says:

    I wonder if they know that Rowan Atkinson actually did play The Doctor: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p18DKN27IZQ

  6. RG says:

    Phew. What is it about this show that gets people so riled up?

    Lots of accusations flying in this thread, but in this case, I don’t get it. It used to be that tons of stuff Kumail said made me angry, because he’s always been pretty judgey and sometimes condescending (not to anyone in the room, but just to the segment of the audience who might disagree). But now, coming back to the show after a little break, I’m finding that he’s becoming a lot more willing to consider other perspectives, and seems to be saying, “I really don’t know what effect this issue has on people, but let’s just talk about it and the consider the possibilities it presents,” and that’s much easier to listen to… and that’s the vibe I got from this podcast.

    I don’t think anyone was really being dismissive of Anita, or fully supporting her, or even making much of a serious judgment at all, because in order to learn, you don’t NEED to make judgments… in fact, judgment hinders learning and exploration. As soon as you make judgments, you stop listening to new data, and that’s the attitude I’m seeing in the above comment clusterfuck.

    Come to think of it, Kumail & Emily, I almost get a sense that Dan Harmon’s rubbing off a little bit on you guys and your discussion style (and I don’t say that condescendingly, but just in the way that we all naturally influence one another by association). His whole, “Hey, these people like the stuff I make, but they have their own opinions, so I’m not gonna bully them” thing drew me into his podcast, because I kept getting frustrated with other podcast hosts using their shows as soapboxes, but Dan Harmon is so full of qualifying statements that soften his own opinions, and has the ability to shrug off negativity/bullshit/goading arguments, and I’m detecting that you guys are getting better at that too. As someone who has butted heads with you before, that makes me happy.

  7. kc says:

    I really enjoyed the discussion on the future of used games. I think Kumail had the most interesting idea, with a scheduled price-drop over time. The only addition I would add is that you can provide incentives for the early adopters (above and beyond paying for “early access”/first play) in the form of exclusive DLC (which can help create a community of early adopters). Each subsequent price-drop would then remove the exclusive DLC as part of the purchase, either making it completely exclusive (you cant get it ever/no transfer rights), or the late-adopters pay a premium. After the final price-drop you can then release standard DLC that can be purchased by all game owners, similar to how it is done today. DLC is just one example of many incentives, some other existing examples are things like “premium packs” and “bundles” where you get a physical collectible or other tchotchkes.

  8. Damien says:

    Wow, they talk about this sexism bullshit on this show so much, even the comment threads have become aggravating. Good thing I can still listen to some of the older episodes if I want to actually enjoy one these days.

  9. Mescalineous says:

    The “hatchet job” and “one sided shit show” comment was particularly over-the-top and kind of doing the same thing to her what I feel she’s doing to the video game industry, so I’ll gladly eat some crow and take my medecine on that one.

  10. Mescalineous says:

    Good point. I was a bit harsh and overzealous in my explanation of my criticism of Anita’s videos, focusing too much on what they could be rather than what they are. I stand behind the sentiment of what I said but freely admit that it was over-emphatic in my attempt to hammer my point home, when there are tools more effective for this kind of conversation than a hammer. I didn’t mean to imply that she shouldn’t be bringing up the topic, or that she was wrong for pointing out problematic tropes, only that her execution could be more effective if put differently. Mea culpa.

  11. onReload says:

    I liked a lot of things people said here, and I wish the conversation could have continued. I think some unnecessary assumptions were made (about Anita, the podcast speakers, commenters, and people at large) but if you sift through all that bullshit, PCMan and Mescalineous helped me understand how I feel about this “Tropes vs. Women” thing.

    1) The argument that she wasn’t being “fair” is really flawed. Sure, there ARE positive examples of women in games, but that’s not the issue or her point – the issue, and her point, is that there’s an overwhelming amount of shitty examples — “Not all tropes are problematic, of course, so I focus specifically on deconstructing recurring patterns that tend to reinforce or amplify preexisting regressive notions or attitudes about women and women’s roles in our larger society.”

    Does she really “deconstruct” them that much? Well, no, and that’s one of the cricisms against her.

    2) I do see what people are saying about “change people’s minds…” I don’t know if she is trying to simply document these problems, or change gamers’ minds. If it’s the latter, yeah, she would have been better off going the bullshit route of ingratiating herself with them. Spending more time with the “non-problematic” examples.

    I could go on, but I think it’s all been covered in here already.

    This is hard because we’re taking formal, non-personal analysis and pitting it against a casual podcast…Where the speakers can only vouch for their own ideas. This is problematic because personal opinions mean nothing in the face of a larger, more objectively documented issue…but I get it; you feel attacked as a part of the community that seems complacent with these problems, so you want to defend yourself. I do the same thing.

    Whatever the case, Anita should keep doing these videos, and what I would REALLY like to see is:

    A) more games that buck these trends
    B) more people making videos on these subjects.

    If we’re afraid that her videos put this industry/culture in a bad light, then we should think about how to change this, with better examples and properly-thought out responses….Not just how to tear her down at every opportunity.

  12. David says:

    Even in his final throws PC Man continues to set up straw-mans to attack.

    The self-righteous ignorance is strong in this one.

    Keep on, keep’n on.

  13. Mescalineous says:

    Yeah because it’s one or the other. Either 99% of games are sexist and the world is coming to an end OR none of them have any sexism in them and everything’s fine. Either Burnside looks at women as pets and is a stupid sexist creep OR he’s a paragon of feminism and can do no wrong. There’s no reasonable discourse where everyone has valid points to be made and people admit that they were wrong when logical discussion leads to a conclusion that disproves their precepts, there’s just heroes and villains. Keep fighting the good fight brother. Hug a rainbow. When you want to be taken seriously I’m sure you’ll act like it.

  14. Mescalineous says:

    And, yes, PCMan I just want to shut down the conversation and label anyone who speaks out against sexism in video games as a troll to protect my precious video game lizard brain soft spot or whatever psycho-feces you’re about to spray all over the place. Guess it’s just hard for me to accept the bitter truths that the prophets of equality and the defenders of morality, like yourself, are heralding from the rooftops. Woe unto us when our day of reckoning comes, praise Jesus.

  15. Mescalineous says:

    Don’t sweat it Rob. He’s just trolling at this point. You could say that the sky is blue and he’d tell you that you actually think it’s mauve with fuchsia polka dots and chartreuse stripes, just so that he could then turn around and prove that it’s blue. All to perpetuate his self-righteous fantasy. Everyone reading it knew what you meant except for him, because he’s intentionally misunderstanding you. It’s kind of hilarious really. Like conversing with four-year-old that has the vocabulary of a forty-year-old.

  16. Rob says:

    And your one example is pretty ridiculous. I’m talking about places like the comments section of youtube, not people excanging messages. People messaging eachother is just people having a conversation, I’m talking about the type of responses you get on sites like youtube, where people react to something they don’t like by trying to insult somebody any way they can.

    And yes, many people do act in a way they never would offline. If I get annoyed with somebody offline I’ll just ignore them, while online I’m much more likely engage in a conversation with them, and even call them a fucking idiot who would never accept that he might not know everything and just talks in circles.

    • PCMan says:

      I have come to my senses. I am finally convinced that there is no such thing as sexism in video games, hell, or in the wider video game industry.

      Burnside, you were right. These bitches are pets. Sometimes you have to put down Old Yeller, it sucks, but oh well.

      Rob, you were right. Online react means absolutely nothing at all. Because the the online reaction will always been just a small vocal minority of the entire population. You’re a genius.

      Mescal, you were right. Several games out of 100+ being released this year means everything is a-ok. We are moving in the right direction.

      Peace.

      • Rob says:

        Once again I never said that all online responses should be ignored but rather you should always keep it in perspective. And yes, in almost every case, it is a very small percentage of people who react in very vulgar ways to a specific topic online. Look at any video that has a lot of really vulgar, disgusting comments, then look how many views it has. So I’m not talking about entire population, but a small percentage of people who actually watched the video.

        You have a real problem of changing what people say to fit your arguments better. The first line of my last response I said we shouldn’t ignore everybody’s reactions online, so either you don’t bother reading the things you respond to or you just see what you want to.

  17. Rob says:

    I’m not saying we should ignore everybody’s online reactions, I’m saying we should keep it in perspective. To base your reactions to anything, based solely on the responses you get in an online forum, is not a good idea.

    How can you say at every turn gamers…How many responses do her vids get compared to how many views? I can guarantee you the amount of death/rape threats is a very small but very vocal minority.

    The fact is the vast majority of people would never say things like this, online or not, yet people like you feel the need to lump all gamers in this category. Most people who agree with her or not wouldn’t leave any kind of response, like most everything online, so to try to define a group of people based on the anonymous ranting of a small percentage of them is really ignorant.

    If a million people watch something, you can’t read the thoughts of 500 of them and decide they speak for everyone.

  18. Mescalineous says:

    I thaid good day!

  19. PCMan says:

    edit *I don’t think I’ll take social justice advice from someone who said who said they could care less whether people have sexist ideas or not.*

  20. Mescalineous says:

    Hang on a sec. Really?

    “Because her study isn’t ‘fair and balanced’ unless she said something to the effect of ‘no sexism in video games’ or “they were once sexist but that was in the past. As of 2013, with the release of Bioshock, everything is fine!”

    You’ve stated that: ‘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.’

    When you say that Anita MUST GIVE CREDIT WHERE IT IS DUE, you are saying that. You are saying exactly that. You are saying that a handful of games disproves that video games use sexist tropes.”

    So because I say that Anita should at least mention that there are SEVERAL video games that are not sexist (which is true) instead of painting the whole medium as sexist (99% to 1% are you fucking insane?), my actual feelings are that Anita should say that ALL games are not sexist. I mean…really? This is a joke, right? I’m on Candid fucking Camera, right? That’s not at all what I said or what I think. You took my words, a direct quote, and then told me that what I actually meant was the exact opposite of what I said. Wuuuuuut? Dafuq?

    And this is just one example in a long line of examples of you assigning ridiculous motives to me that are the exact opposite of what I’ve been saying. The rest of your comment is just more of the same. You can call that logic if you want PCMan, but it’s actually called obfuscation. You can say that you’re listening to what people actually say, but what you’re really doing is changing what they say into what you want them to be saying. It’s a way of kicking sand into people’s eyes so that they can’t have an actual conversation about the topic. If you sense people attempting to “shut down the conversation” it’s because they’re on to you and your gimmick. It’s not a real conversation, it’s a performance, directed by and starring you, and people get tired of it. If you don’t want to have an actual conversation, that’s fine, I just wish that I had known that going in. You’ve wasted my time here.

    But y’know what? You want to sit there and throw shit at the wall to see what sticks when it comes to my motives? Two can play that game.

    I submit that if you actually gave a shit about the plight of women you wouldn’t be getting worked up about video games. Instead you’d be attacking the porn industry, or the strip club trade, both multibillion dollar industries that exploit real women, not computer generated ones. You’d be lobbying for more law enforcement activity focused on combating human trafficking and pushing for tougher sentencing for rape, both crimes that almost exclusively target women. 3 years for rape when the woman will suffer from that trauma for the rest of her life? Come on.

    But pushing for things that might make an actual positive change in the lives of actual women isn’t really what you’re interested in, is it? That wouldn’t kick up nearly enough dust for either you or Anita.

    You’re both in it for the attention. You’re nothing but a couple of attention non-gender-specific-promiscuous-people.

    Good day.

    • PCMan says:

      “I submit that if you actually gave a shit about the plight of women you wouldn’t be getting worked up about video games. Instead you’d be attacking the porn industry, or the strip club trade, both multibillion dollar industries that exploit real women, not computer generated ones. You’d be lobbying for more law enforcement activity focused on combating human trafficking and pushing for tougher sentencing for rape, both crimes that almost exclusively target women. 3 years for rape when the woman will suffer from that trauma for the rest of her life? Come on.”

      I don’t I’ll take social justice advice from someone who said who said they could care less whether people have sexist ideas or not.

      But that’s cool that you’re passing the buck onto other industries as being the “real” problem. That argument always shows up at some point.

  21. David says:

    Attention, attention. PC Man must continue to post straw-mans and argue against them. If he/she continues to this, they can claim victory in an argument that no one is having.

    Attention, attention. PC Man must feel superior to others, because PC Man’s own shitty life demands that he/she create straw-mans in internet forums to feel victimized against.

    Continue being a hypocrite, your responses make my day. I enjoy laughing and mocking a self-victimized and self-righteous idiot on the internet.

  22. PCMan says:

    @Mescalineous, At least we are starting to get somewhere in the area of you explictily stating what you wanted from Anita. Because her study isn’t “fair and balanced” unless she said something to the effect of “no sexism in video games” or “they were once sexist but that was in the past. As of 2013, with the release of Bioshock, everything is fine!”

    You’ve stated that: “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.”

    When you say that Anita MUST GIVE CREDIT WHERE IT IS DUE, you are saying that. You are saying exactly that. You are saying that a handful of games disproves that video games use sexist tropes. In another analogy you compared it to a couple cherry-picking only the worst times of a marriage to give them fuel in a divorce. But is it really cherry picking when 99% of the times were bad. How much “credit” must we give that 1% when looking at the marriage as whole?

    You admit that Bioshock bucks the trend, but that still means THE TREND OF SEXIST VIDEO GAMES EXISTS. Bioshock stands out because of that. The new Assassin’s Creed stands out because of that. That does not make it so that everything is fine now. That doesn’t even mean that we are moving in the right direction. That means that there are a few anomalies in the very obvious trend (a trend you yourself recognize) that video games are going to use women in only a certain way — being the hero of the game, the main character, or non-sexualized isn’t going to be one of them.

    How much “credit” do you want? It’s like sending someone to a trash dump and asking them to describe what they see. When they tell you that it is a dump, you get angry and throw a few $100 bills on the ground and say to them, “Does this change your opinion? Soon, this place will be full of $100 bills.” And the person responds, “No, it doesn’t change my opinion. There is still a lot of trash here.”

    You and Kumail seem to think the backlash against her is because of her “attitude” and I keep bringing up the negative reaction her fucking Kickstarter video got to prove you wrong. You even said yourself that she didn’t misstep in that video, so then why the rain of shit on her head after releasing it? So let’s break this down: she got shit on after doing a Kickstarter video talking about video games and sexist tropes. She got shit on after releasing two videos talking about video games and sexist tropes. So, if the Kickstarter video had nothing wrong with it (per your words) and you believe her scoffing at games in the latest video is a misstep, then the only thing that ties them together is the topic. The topic is why she is getting shit on by gamers. It is the topic. It has absolutely nothing to do with her. She could have released all of the videos with a big smile on her face (as society wants women to always be smiling) and she still would have gotten shit for it. Besides, polite people never changed anything in the world.

    And don’t try to pawn off the worst aspects of gamers on children. That’s just real sad. Own up to the fact that a good portion of gamers act like assholes when something they don’t like comes on their radar. They lash out. In one of my other comments I mentioned how Felicia Day — FELICIA FUCKING DAY — was called out as being a non-gamer by some random ass dude on Destructoid. Why did he feel comfortable doing that? Probably because of the same reason why Aris Bakhtanians felt comfortable harassing the young woman at the Capcom event. These are not random occurrences; its a pattern of abuse. When you join a community you take on the good and the bad. These are your people. These are my people.

    Mescal, you have been subtlety equating feelings of gamers (funny, how you grouped them all together like that and somehow have access to all of their inner feelings :) ) and goals of feminism from the very beginning. Anita studies popular culture and how that relates to portrayals of women. She did a series on film. She has now moved on to video games. Her goal is to highlight how sexism operates in popular media and reinforces sexist stereotypes. These are things that have a real world impact on women in this country and around the world. So, when you say that Anita AND gamers are both to blame for the rain of shit that has been brought down on HER head, you are placing them on an equal scale. You’re also giving cover to all of those “twats” you want to beat with whale feces because you’re framing her video — talking about real things that are going on video games, things that you “agree” with — as being yet another “attack” on gamers. So, naturally, when people are attacked, they lash out.

    But you still haven’t told where is the blame that she has. She got shit from the very beginning. She got shit on Reddit. She got shit on Kotaku. She got shit on Jezebel when they would post something about it because all of the assholes on Kotaku would flame her there as well. She got shit on Destructiod. What was her blame? How was stating she was going to do a study on sexist tropes an attack on gamers? You’re privileging the feelings of gamers over an academic doing her job in studying culture. Why is that?

    You said: “They’re more than entitled to their sexist ideas as far as I’m concerned. I could care less. What makes them deserving of a whaleshit beating is the way they chose to express those ideas. (Are you beginning to see a theme here?) Rage is not the answer. It creates problems instead of solving them. Divisiveness is not the answer. It creates problems instead of solving them. Accusations are not the answer. They create problems instead of solving them. Nobody in this forum is pro-sexism, so stop treating us as if we are. It’s a more complicated issue than “you’re with us or you’re against us” and your attempts to reduce it down that are incredibly an incredibly immature way of looking at a multi-faceted issue.”

    Besides a few commenters, everyone here is either not interested in the topic or pro-video games. Because they are pro-video games, in this instance, it also means being pro-sexism. It means saying stupid shit like Burnside did, or making logical missteps like Kumail, Emily, and you. It’s a blind spot and while they may be very progressive in matters outside of video games. they revert to lizard brain when protecting something that they love. It’s a blind spot. Everyone’s got ‘em.

    Racism, sexism, and homophobia are pretty simple issues to understand. They are multi-faceted in the ways they operate, but its pretty easy to understand. The hard part comes in when you have members from these oppressed groups speak out when someone is denying their humanity/personhood and members of the majority group either ignore them or tell them that they are too “angry” come back later, or equate them asking to be heard as terrorism.

    This issue is a hard stop for me. I don’t believe you’re entitled to ideas that necessitate treating other’s like shit. I don’t care if you delivery your hateful message with a smile or grimace; I pay attention to the actual content of what you’re saying, not the delivery.

  23. Mescalineous says:

    Suck my fat one, Phil. ;-)

  24. phil medoc says:

    This thread is among the most inept ever. Congratulations, jackasses.

  25. Mescalineous says:

    Let’s try that last sentence again from the top. :)

    *It’s a more complicated issue than “you’re with us or you’re against us” and your attempts to reduce it down to that are an incredibly immature way of looking at a multi-faceted issue.

  26. Mescalineous says:

    “The problem with you is that you keep falling back on this “both sides are to blame”, Fox News-style bullshit idea.”

    You clearly watch a hell of a lot more Fox News than I do, sir. I’m not prescribing to an ideology here, I’m just calling it like I see it.

    “Because at the basis of it, you are equating sexism with people calling gamers losers and creeps.”

    I never equated those two things. My point was that gamers are tired of being told that they’re bad for liking games, which is why they’re less receptive to one more closed-minded, hostile person telling them that they’re bad for liking games. I never equated sexism to people calling gamers losers.

    “You’re saying that Anita scoffing at an [sic] story element in a game is the same as her getting the rain of shit that fell on her head from the very beginning.”

    No I’m not. Again, putting words in my mouth. Those two things are not at all equivocal. The rain of shit she got was not from “gamers” as you so lazily grouped us, it was from a very vocal asshole minority of immature (probably underage) little twats. Gamers did not “do this to themselves”, a small group of people did this. The dismissal of an entire group of people based on the actions of a few of them is exactly what you’re against, isn’t it?

    “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.”

    I’m not saying she mis-stepped in the Kickstarter video. I’m saying she mis-stepped in the execution of the goal she outlined in the Kickstarter video. Nobody (except for you) said anything about the Kickstarter video. Nobody thinks that she deserved the treatment she got from, again, a small minority of internet commenters. Nobody is on the side of those commenters. Those are viewpoints that you have repeatedly, and erroneously, projected onto the people in this forum and the hosts of this podcast. Enough is enough.

    “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.’”

    They’re more than entitled to their sexist ideas as far as I’m concerned. I could care less. What makes them deserving of a whaleshit beating is the way they chose to express those ideas. (Are you beginning to see a theme here?) Rage is not the answer. It creates problems instead of solving them. Divisiveness is not the answer. It creates problems instead of solving them. Accusations are not the answer. They create problems instead of solving them. Nobody in this forum is pro-sexism, so stop treating us as if we are. It’s a more complicated issue than “you’re with us or you’re against us” and your attempts to reduce it down that are incredibly an incredibly immature way of looking at a multi-faceted issue.

  27. David says:

    *you’re