The desire, for those that create content, Movies, books, video games or any other creative medium designed for the content creators to evoke emotion from their viewers has been around since human beings developed the language to express these stories with, and most likely before in more primitive forms. But it is only now with the advent of neuroscience and real time fMRI analysis that we can begin to tease out what happens in the brain during scenes of visceral emotion, of violence, tenderness, love, rape etc. This is in fact what a team of scientists is attempting to do and an article posted on this subject gives the breakdown below:
THERE’S A scene near the end of Black Swan, (below)
where Nina finally loses her grip on reality. Nina, played by Natalie Portman, is the protagonist of this 2010 psychological thriller, a ballerina stressed to the breaking point by competing with another dancer for a starring role. She begins to hallucinate black feathers poking through her skin, a sign she’s becoming the part she’s meant to play.
When people watch this scene, their brain activity bears some resemblance to a pattern that’s been observed in people with schizophrenia, said Talma Hendler, a neuroscientist at Tel Aviv University in Israel, said at a recent event here sponsored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
“My suggestion to you is that as Nina is getting crazier and crazier, the audience experiences something like schizophrenia,” Hendler said.
Darren Aronofsky, who directed Black Swan, was onstage with Hendler, and he took this as a compliment. Aronofsky has a remarkable knack for putting his audience in the mindset of mentally unstable and anguished characters (recall the tortured mathematician in Pi, or Micky Rourke’s battered wrestler, desperate for a comeback in The Wrestler).
Asked if he was alarmed by the possibility of giving his audience a temporary taste of psychosis, Aronofsky responded, “I’d be thrilled.”
Hendler studies the neural correlates of human emotions and their role in mental illness. Movies, she says, are a useful way to study how emotions fluctuate in real time—and what’s going on in the brain as that happens.
Recently, her team has been investigating networks in the brain that appear to have a role in empathy. She’s found evidence for two types of empathy, each tied to a different network of brain regions. One type she calls mental empathy, which requires you to mentally step outside yourself and think about what another person is thinking or experiencing. The other type she calls embodied empathy; this is the more visceral in-the-moment empathy you might feel when you see someone get punched in the guts.
Further down in the article it says:
At the Academy event she presented fMRI brain scan data her team collected as subjects watched several emotional movie clips. One clip was from the 1998 drama, The Stepmom, in which Susan Sarandon plays a divorced woman who’s been diagnosed with terminal cancer. In this scene, she’s talking to her son, telling him she’ll always be looking out for him (you know, from Heaven, because she’s going to die soon—it’s very sad).
Hendler played this clip along with a corresponding video that showed how subjects’ brain activity was changing. This scene primarily engaged the mental empathy network, Hendler said, and on the screen blue dots appeared, representing parts of the frontal, temporal, and parietal cortex that make up this network. Blue lines connecting the blue dots, Hendler said, indicate that activity in these regions is coordinated, essentially that parts of this network are talking to each other a lot during the scene.
In another emotional moment in this scene from The Stepmom, the son tells his mother how much he loves her and she hugs him. It’s more touchy-feely, less cerebral. And there was a difference in the subjects’ brains too. The blue dots had faded and a network of green dots and lines had become conspicuous—evidence, Hendler says, that the embodied empathy network contributed more to the emotions subjects felt during this scene.
Based on experiments in which people rate their own emotional state as they watch movie clips, Hendler concludes that both types of empathy can have a powerful influence on what people actually experience.
These extremely important developments in neuroscience are allowing us, for the fist time, to at the very least attempt to differentiate what the triggers are for human emotion, and thus for different types of human emotion, putting one more brick in the giant constructive effort that is the deciphering of a field manual for the human species. In fact these scientists are doing just that:
In the scene from Black Swan, despite Nina’s viscerally disturbing actions, it’s the blue (mental empathy) network that dominates, with the green (embodied empathy) network flickering to life only occasionally, as when Nina pulls a feather from her back (as shown in the top image). It’s this pattern—relying more heavily on the mental empathy network even in the face of a visceral experience—that Hendler has seen in schizophrenia patients. It’s as if they’re having to think through the emotional impact of situations that other people grasp more intuitively and automatically, she said.
Here’s where things get a little tricky though. The division of labor among different brain regions is never totally neat and clean—each region has multiple jobs and scientists don’t necessarily know what all of them are. That makes it difficult to say with a high degree of confidence what a given region or network is doing whenever it lights up in an fMRI scan.
Given this information it is very possible that we will be able to determine not only how different groups of people react to images of extreme pornographic violence or rape simulation and why, but more importantly, we will be able to discern how the both genders respond to this visceral stimuli.
What we have created via the silver screen, via the video game console or the pc video game industry, is an opportunity to explore our deep dark visceral and often times violent desires without consequence, we want to murder in video games, because we’re a violent ape that likes to murder. We also happen to be an animal that has the capacity to erect civilization, which is a giant complex survival mechanism and human sanctuary against the wilds of nature and the elements as well as our own not so civilized instincts. Meaning that civilization is, relative to nature, an illusory construct that we must all invest in, in order to enjoy the luxuries that civilization affords us.
A great many qualities of civilization are not real in any meaningful way, but our belief in the illusory parts of civilization eventually manifest in real ways. We have currency, made of worthless coins and paper, that hold no intrinsic value, yet we all pretend that they do have value and in doing so we create massively complex economies that disperse resources to the maximum amount of people ensuring the safety and survival of the maximum amount of the members of our species. We create human “rights”, which are basically entitlements that we all agree to adhere to that simply would not exist in the neolithic or the paleolithic age where, essentially, whoever could kill whoever else enjoyed the most luxurious lifestyle. Modern civilization is globalism, the inclusion of all the diverse peoples of the world into one giant tribe where all are afforded luxuries called rights that ensure, to some degree, that they should not be killed, they should not be stolen from, that they should not be unjustly imprisoned etc, but these rights do not exist in any tangible sense, our belief in these rights, and solely our belief is the only thing that allows us to build robust legal systems designed to protect all of us, but they are, without a doubt, mental constructs of the human species.
The process of investing in these mental constructs necessitates that the human being leave behind what are often times primitive needs and drives, the repression of primitive needs and drives is an unhealthy state for the human animal and thus the human animal will search out a means by which it can express those primitive drives. Clearly our investment as a species in civilization was worth it, since the technological advancements that organized civilization has helped us to achieve a virtual world that is increasingly bordering on photorealism, which also allows us to indulge these primitive drives that are often admittedly violent, without the consequences of visiting violence onto others in the real world. Thus when we want to explore how taking an ak-47 and shooting into a crowd of people might make us feel we can do this in a virtual way, on a video game, we can sink down to Caligula level depravity, in a video game, and also know that it isn’t real.
Those of you that are gamers perhaps remember the days of the original resident evil installments, with their pre-rendered walk throughs, and perhaps you remember the terror you felt when a canine zombie or a licker, jumped through a mansion window and attacked you…do you remember physically jumping out of your seat?, I do. Video games have for a long time now, simulated a host of lizard brained fight or flight responses and are even, with the advent of virtual reality, simulating reality so effectively that they recreate feelings of motion sickness or nausea or vertigo, but it’s the more nuanced emotions, the higher brained stuff, complex emotions like envy or guilt or shame that gaming is allowing us to experience that’s really interesting. This virtual medium is allowing us now, for the first time, to experience “reality” if you will, outside of reality. Not only is the virtual medium eliciting physical phenomena that previously, only the outside environment could summon out of us, but a game for example like mass effect has developed a multifaceted approach to virtual “morality”. This is a game where your actions are framed within a moral system judged by an external narrator where your actions, via a rating system, build up a reputation of being a renegade, or a paragon based on whether or not you do evil or bad things within the game, but even more so than this, the player is confronted with situations that can in fact elicit natural human guilt.
That’s the beautiful thing about video games, instances like, for example playing mass effect and having to decide whether or not to kill the sentient insectoid species Known as the Rachni. The Rachni were a race of intelligent alien insects or arachnids, that communicated via a hive-minded form of telepathy, in which a matriarch “queen” Rachni would control her offspring remotely. This species was intelligent and sentient, and you, Commander Shepard are given the choice of killing the last Rachni queen, dooming the species to extinction in the process, or allowing her to live… This is a bit of a moral conundrum, we have never had to confront this as humans because no other life form we know of can match our degree of sentience, but there are inklings of the dilemma that enslaving a sentient species would pose in our consciousness, it’s why we protest sea world, because we do not like to see semi sentient cetaceans used and abused for our entertainment.
Imagine the ramifications of having the choice to purposefully bring about the extinction of a species as sentient as us, if not more so. This would amount to a crime against sentience, the equivalent of a crime against humanity. We see ourselves as human beings, these would be insectoid or arachnid “beings”, with all the rights and freedoms we should theoretically reserve for sentient animals such as our selves, the movie district 9 is an excellent example of how fixed human nature might react to the discovery of a sentient alien species, that is with both prejudice and with compassion simultaneously. Thus, if we discovered alien life and we had the choice to eliminate a species that is sentient, and we chose to do so, this can absolutely be shown to be an act of genocide. So again, in mass effect you were charged as Commander Shepard with killing, or allowing to survive the queen of this intelligent insectoid species, that just like you, is capable of not only thought but of achieving cross species communication with humans and you’re tasked with either killing it, the last of her species or allowing it to live and continue on reproducing its kind. You have no reason to suspect that this individual member of that species would at some future point, wage war against humanity. This member of the species, when the Rachni wars against humanity were being waged in the mass effect universe had merely been an egg that was not responsible for waging this war. It was not responsible for any crimes whatsoever, and yet I still decided to kill off the last member of this ancient species and when I did so I have to say that I actually did feel something, I actually did experience some guilt? after having wiped a sentient species off the face of existence, at least in the virtual medium and that is the great thing about video games.
They allow us to explore how we feel about engaging in potentially despicable behavior. This is the new manifestation of the advancement of video games. The creativity that video games bring to the human experience, in allowing us to confront realities we can’t possibly experience without testing them in the real world on real people, taking on real long-lasting permanent guilt and legal penalties in the process, the consequences that would come with shooting somebody or raping somebody or what have you is nullified by gaming, that is the value of gaming. To be clear, I’m not saying that the vast majority of people are just itching to find out how they would feel after raping or murdering somebody, it doesn’t work that way, it’s more of a subconscious thing, it’s more of a curiosity that we just want to experience without hurting anyone.
So, this is the trend that we’re going to see more and more of moving into the future, video game developers that wish to use increasing computational ability, to render photorealistic immersion, with things like virtual reality and augmented reality. However, knowing that simple visual reality, isn’t enough, these developers are beginning to realize that perhaps even more important is emotional immersion, even more important is the ability for the video game developer to make you perceive your virtual feelings in response to a virtual reality and virtual stimulus, in a way that is indistinguishable or as close to indistinguishable as possible, to how you perceive your feelings in actual reality in reaction to actual stimulus.. The excellent 2013 survival horror game the forest is an excellent example of this, heres an article titled:
In this article the games creators John and Falcone discuss the premise of the game, which is that of a sandbox environment, where the player is confronted with the situation of being stranded in an open world forest with cannibalistic natives, that while cannibalistic for survival, generally will leave you, the protagonist alone, granted you don’t interfere with them hunting for food, or steal their possessions etc. They are, just like you, simply trying to survive for the most part. the article says of the cannibals that inhabit the forest:
Much of the fear-factor comes from those AI threads, in the form of cannibalistic, humanoid mutants that live and breathe in the game’s world; hunting the same animals you hunt, foraging the same plants and seeing you as an unwelcome guest in their habitat. As nocturnal creatures, you’re largely safe from their curiosity during daylight hours – giving you time to improve your stamina/health through exercise and build yourself a shelter using materials and tools you create yourself – but at night it’s a different story.
Far from mindless killing machines, mutants do not wake up and decide to instantly go out on the hunt for you. In fact, they will not even know of your existence unless your paths cross and conflict ensues over territorial and/or resource disputes. Kill an animal that they’re hunting and take it home for yourself and you can expect retaliation.
“More than that, though, they feel sad when one of their comrades dies and they will try to drag an injured friend to safety and away from you if you’re attacking them. You begin to understand that they do actually have their own feelings and aren’t just zombie-like evil creatures. Even though they do want to eat you… [laughs].”
When you do end up getting into a scuffle with one of the forests inhabitants the creators of the game had this to say about the ordeal:
“They’re very hard to kill and you have to be very violent to kill them,” Falcone continues. “In lots of games you can shoot someone in the leg four times and they die instantly, or you hit them with a stick and they die. In our game, you hit them with a stick to make them fall over and then you get a rock and hit them over the head three or four times to kill them.”
On the surface of it that may sound like mindless and gratuitous violence of the sort that video games are historically admonished for, but Falcone sees it differently:
“We really want to get across that it’s very difficult to actually kill someone and we want each kill the player performs to be something they feel some guilt about. What we don’t want is just mindless killing.”
In other words, the creators of this game are seeking to make you commit…to murder. Virtual murder of course, but even still, they would like for you to have to work hard to extinguish a virtual life, they want to create an environment where the player can perhaps, despite the violence of the cannibals, perceive them as much like himself, eking out an existence in this forest, trying to survive day by day, just like him.
This same dilemma was posed by a recent article titled
Why dont we feel guilty in video games Where the author says of asking the actual player of the game to feel guilt:
asking a player to feel guilt, and recognising the consequences of that guilt in gameplay form, is much more rare. Action adventure games tend to be linear, both in environmental and narrative terms: they point forwards. Mechanically speaking, guilt is essentially retroactive morality. How can that work in a video game challenge system?
This is potentially a big problem for designers hoping to create narrative experiences of true depth and meaning. Guilt is, after all, a defining human trait. For some of us, it is a sort of residual, a background hum. Guilt is emotional tinnitus. Whenever I’m idle for a few minutes, I have this Microsoft Paperclip-style voice in my head: “I see you are trying to relax; can I present you with some of the dumb shit you’ve done today?” And then I think about not kissing my kids goodbye that morning because I was angry with them, or that hour I spent trying to land a helicopter on the top of a moving truck in Grand Theft Auto V when I should have been writing something. Or I think of people I’ve hurt, or not been in contact with, or have let down. It spirals outwards and forever. A universe of guilt, lit by vast supernovas of self-recrimination. That’s normal right?
I can remember a handful of times I’ve felt truly guilty in games, and it has been extremely powerful. In the psychological horror adventure Heavy Rain lead character Ethan is given a series of tasks by the unknown murderer who has kidnapped his son. One of them is to kill a lowlife drug dealer, but just as the player is set to pull the trigger, the dealer reveals that he has children, that he’s desperate, that he’s human. What do you do? I shot him, but felt bad about it – and my guilt was unconnected to the in-game ramifications.
So again we see a desire to put the player in a situation that requires him to make a tough choice with a virtual life hanging in the balance. We see this emotional immersion taking place, games such as mass effect, or heavy rain are extremely successful games with high reviews, these games are critically acclaimed, they are quality gaming experiences, meaning that to the consumer, it is extremely important to have these dynamics available to them in their gaming experience, and that, not sexism, not misogyny, is why Anita Sarkeesian, and feminists like her have earned the backlash that they have. Because they get up their on their high horse and try to get game developers to censor what they perceive as sexism, to the detriment of the quality of the games and the emotional immersion that the game provides when it asks you, to kill someone, or in the case of grand theft auto, to patronize a prostitute and then beat her to death and steal your money back afterwards.
Do I want to actually do this in real life, because I’ve done it in grand theft auto? of course not, to suggest so is ridiculous, but I do want the option to do this in a virtual video game without feminists like Anita Sarkeesian screaming bloody murder, you bet i do. I don’t like racism either, but when watching the sopranos, I think that it lends a bit of authenticity to Tony Sopranos character when he does have racist sentiments, thus if tony doesn’t like black or hispanic people, I don’t have a conniption fit and cry racism, and try to get the authors to write it out of the story… because it lends to the realism of the sopranos. I mean, honestly is it that offensive to you? is it that shocking to you Anita Sarkeesian and the rest of her ilk, that an Italian mob boss might have racists sentiments? is it that absurd to you that a video game character could have sexist sentiments, or a less than stellar view of women, or of men for that matter?
Y’see what feminists fail to realize is that interesting, and compelling people are interesting and compelling sometimes due in part that they have flaws. Sometimes these flaws make it so that you cant fit a character into one of your pretty neat little egalitarian boxes, what feminists like Anita Sarkeesian fail to realize is that human beings are nuanced, multifaceted creatures that have prejudice, and that readily generalize. This is not always right, but if the task of a video game is, along with entertainment, to confer realism and to immerse the player in its interactive world, then I want to see some flawed, potentially racist or potentially sexist character traits present in imperfect, flawed characters, I want to see these flaws in fictional characters just as much as I want to see characteristics that provide some measure of redemption, some good, some ability to overcome his/her prejudice, but I do want to see his or her prejudice, and I don’t want the sanitized bullshit that Anita sarkeesian is trying to peddle, or should I say force onto the gaming industry. You see, Anita Sarkeesian it’s you, and your merry band of feminists who see a problem with the gaming industry everywhere you look, it’s you, you’re the problem with the gaming industry, not supposed sexism, it’s you, it’s you and your holier–than–thou moral posterizing, it’s you and your modern day book burning campaign, its you and your propaganda. And it’s not just you, its you and essentially any and everybody that wants to impose its morality on a virtual free market of ideas, it’s people like you Anita Sarkeesian that made a giant stink about the tomb raider rape scene… lets explore a bit of your ilk’s handiwork shall we? heres an article titled:
and this is from kotaku and the article says:
The creators of the new Tomb Raider have denied that their new game features an “attempted rape scene,” directly contradicting their own statements to Kotaku last week.
“One of the character defining moments for Lara in the game, which has incorrectly been referred to as an ‘attempted rape’ scene is the content we showed at this year’s E3 and which over a million people have now seen in our recent trailer entitled ‘Crossroads’,” Gallagher wrote. “This is where Lara is forced to kill another human for the first time. In this particular selection, while there is a threatening undertone in the sequence and surrounding drama, it never goes any further than the scenes that we have already shown publicly.
“Sexual assault of any kind is categorically not a theme that we cover in this game.”
This directly contradicts a statement made from Crystal Dynamics Executive Producer Ron Rosenberg to Kotaku last week in Los Angeles. Here’s the relevant transcript from that interview:
RON: “And then what happens is her best friend gets kidnapped, she gets taken prisoner by scavengers on the island. They try to rape her, and-“
KOTAKU: “They try to rape her?”
RON: “She’s literally turned into a cornered animal. And that’s a huge step in her evolution: she’s either forced to fight back or die and that’s what we’re showing today.”
Now, I saw this attempted rape scene, it shows Lara attempting to escape the rape scene, successfully I might add, here it is if you wish to watch it for yourself:
So… the question I want to pose to feminists like Anita Sarkeesian is, is it more important to you that, in a game that is attempting to give a back story to an extremely violent woman who puts herself in extremely dangerous situations in pursuit of archeological relics… is it so incredibly unbelievable to you that she would end up in a dangerous situation involving an attempted rape? Is it that out of the realm of possibility that this could happen? If not, is it wrong to use that scenario to confer realism and authenticity to her character? Or is it more important to you feminists and your brigade of censors that realism be left out of the game if it hurts your delicate sensibilities? You do know that the Punishers entire family was murdered by mobsters? You do know that in berserk Guts was born while his own mother was hanging form a tree? You do know that Guts himself was raped, not attempted rape, but full on raped by another man? you do know Goku’s entire planet and his race was exterminated by Freiza? Should we have, in the name of sanitizing video games excluded these integral plot points out of our most beloved comics and mangas because feminists said so? Or are women like Anita Sarkeesian concerned not with the depiction of sexual violence in gaming and comics, but with sexual violence against women only. Hold on to that thought because we’re going to come back to it in a bit but for now i do want to emphasize that this desire for the censorship and sanitization of comics and video games is not solely relegated to feminist dogma, but it rears its ugly head just as easily in right wing circles… Take for example an article that i stumbled on titled:
A disturbing new trend sees video game users modifying code in Grand Theft Auto so they can ‘sexually assualt’ female characters, before sharing the videos on YouTube. Radhika Sanghani reports
Grand Theft Auto (GTA) players are now able to act out ‘virtual rape’ on avatars by rewriting the game’s code. Many of the players are then sharing the ‘trolling’ videos (as they call them) on YouTube.
Those doing it are known as ‘mods’ because they modify the game’s code.
Many are choosing to change their characters into naked men, who are then given ‘invincible’ powers. This means they can physically ‘latch on’ to other avatars and simulate sex, playing an animation that thrusts their pelvis back and forth. The victim is unable to get away.
One Reddit user, mrerikmattila, wrote about being ‘virtually raped’ onGTA and said: “He would run up to you, slowly and sensually [rape] you.
“Then when he was done, he would be stuck behind you no matter what…Worst part is, he could not be killed.”
This modifying of the game is being done to GTA V on the Playstation 3, where players can connect online and play games with friends, and strangers.
The videos being posted on YouTube are too inappropriate to be reproduced here, but they mostly show nude male avatars ‘attacking’ female avatars.
On Reddit, users seem to find the disturbing trend funny. Some have replied to mrerikmattila with comments such as: “This is one of the most funny mods I have ever heard of and definitely want to see it in action haha” and “that is amazing.”
One wrote: “The best part is the game won’t recognise it as a crime, so no stars [penalties].”
This lead me to do some research on the controversial question of how, evil, should we allow video games to be? What can we allow in video games? Well, we allow violent murder, we allow genocide, but we cant allow rape? Why? Why is genocide okay but rape not? Why, in mass effect 3 is Commander Shepard allowed to persuade a cure for the Krogan genophage to not be allowed to see the light of day? Why is the destruction of entire races of sentient life ok, but not rape? Well, that could be the topic of another video entirely, but it has its origins in the gynocentric tendencies of our species and it is amplified further by feminist technology/dogma. Rape is a psychological barrier that our species dare not cross even in the virtual medium, in our current climate of rape hysteria, its the taboo Voldemort like topic that we refuse to acknowledge openly even though we all know its there… somewhere, taped on to our DNA, and littered throughout our history from the neolithic age to the Mongolian steppe to the last days of the third reich at Stalingrad, civilization and the luxuries we call rights and liberties are the innovations that we’ve developed to drastically reduce the incidence of rape, and yet still, our hyper-fixation on it, remains. I want to direct you to an article, not from a feminist source, but an article titled.
This is posted again not from a feminist source but instead on conservativeread .com. The author is a gentleman named Caleb Bonham who has, graciously allowed me to use the video clip associated with this article, but before I play that let me first read to you the article in its entirety:
As the entertainment industry continues to embraces mankind’s deepest, darkest, most vile fantasies will you support it?
A number of students at Colorado State University said this week they were all for the violence and misogyny depicted in Grand Theft Auto V, a game that crossed the $1 billion sales mark within just three days of its release, according to Reuters.
“In Grand Theft Auto V you can hire a prostitute… have sex with the prostitute and as she gets out of your car, you can kill her and get your money back. Do you think that is acceptable?”
“The video game isn’t a representation of real life” said one student. “It’s like a fantasy.”
What is the difference, morally, between the prostitute scenario and a videogame that allows the gamer to rape women?
When juxtaposed will students see the filth behind the commercially successful video game franchise?
Now we go to the video which shows Bonham conducting these interviews on campus I’ll live blog from here:
0:00 to 1:00
Ok, so here we see the interesting question posed to these people and Caleb rightly unveils the hypocrisy surrounding the act of rape in video games, that is that we allow killing and murder of prostitutes but not rape, the students as you will see, have a very hard time explaining why one is ok and not the other, and the reason they have a hard time explaining it is because there is no reason to allow one and not the other. Yes, if we allow mass murder and other forms of violence in video games we should allow rape in video games. Caleb then writes in a segue on the video that as long as “the entertainment industry glorifies violence against women, cops and ordinary citizens he will speak out”. The problem with this statement is that the entertainment industry does not glorify any of these forms of violence, it doesn’t glorify anything, it simply makes the potential to engage in or consume this virtual violence available to the consumer, then the consumer shells out in grand theft autos case, over a billion dollars world wide in order to get the chance to virtually engage in this violence, Caleb is trying to correct human nature in a context of this expression of human nature, not translating to any harm or violence against actual human beings, a feat which is damn near impossible as far as I’m concerned.
1:00 to end
Here, Caleb poses the question of whether or not there is such a thing as virtual morality, my answer to this question is no…no there’s is not such a thing as virtual morality, because there is not such a thing as morality period… morality is a blanket term that us human beings ascribe to our efforts to corral human behavior into a loose consensus. At best this blanket term, this morality, functions as a barometer for appropriate human behavior that makes living amongst each other easier, at worst, this morality functions as a tool that is used to oppress creativity and to censor unpopular opinion. Morality especially in terms of video games and virtual environments is even more of a loose descriptor in the virtual medium and it becomes more and more fleeting as the fact that no actual physical damage to actual human beings is taking place in the virtual world. I’ve seen interesting articles summoning up the prospect of virtual reality being used by governments in real world torture in conjunction with hallucinogens in order to simulate terror, and that would indeed beg the question of virtual morality, but only because it translates to real world harm to other human beings. I’ve never understood the conservative fixation on things like censoring video games, if they show for example topless dancers, or public sex scenes, since it wasn’t video games that brought these things about. Humans had topless bars before video games existed, the presence of them in video games is a result of the human condition not a change of it following the advent of virtual reality.
After this you see more of these college students stutter and stammer their way through the question caleb poses to them, unable to find an answer to the “okay to kill prostitutes but not ok to rape” dilemma, this stuttering and stammering isn’t for lack of knowing an answer…that it is ok to rape in the virtual medium, and not unethical in any way shape or form, but it is instead, a exercise in self censor, a reluctance to broach an extreme form of social etiquette that insist we never explore the topic of rape, unless its in the context of how much women suffer for it and how much men perpetrate it.
Caleb then goes on to say that the video game industry is “feeding off of the demons in peoples hearts”, and asks us “where is society heading”?, ascribing a religious connotation as human beings tend to do, to uncomfortable truths about the human condition… Caleb knows the answer to the question he poses, at least I think he does. He decides instead to tuck that away in emotion, he decides instead to absolve the human race of its unpleasant fascination with rape by invoking, albeit metaphorically, demonic possession and perversion of mans purity. He then asks if we will chose the righteous path and reject this fifth portrayed in these video games, and choose, independent of government coercion to abandon these violent obsessions we have by boycotting games like grand theft auto. The college students he’s interviewing make it very clear that this is extremely unlikely to happen, and I think Caleb knows this as well. but he needs a demon to slay, and so he brushes it under the rug.
It’s always fascinating to see how the left and the right implement their coercion, the left is more than happy to use the heavy hand of government to sway public opinion, the right however employs a more sinister, and arguably more effective technique, the tool of social coercion…fear based propaganda designed to foster a feeling that the sky is about to fall at any moment now, and if we don’t chase after and oust this or that instance deserving of our moral outrage, the final crack on the heavens will rip open raining down hell fire and brimstone on humanity as we know it. So to his credit, unlike Anita Sarkeesian, Caleb allows rating on his video, allows disagreeing comments, and for that I commend him but, remember that the rights approach to social control must maintain the illusion of choice, it must contain a placebo that cures the suspicion of being manipulated, but it is nonetheless designed to foster shame based social control and manipulation and it is grounded in the human need for a struggle, a struggle against their great satan, the left wing…who itself is just as interested in controlling your perceptions of reality as the right is. Caleb finishes by stating that there is in fact such a thing as virtual morality and opens up a new battlefield in the constant war between the right and left minded, the theatre of virtual moral warfare. It’s often said when I make these comparisons designed to show similarities between the right and the left that I’m simplifying things to what essentially equates to saying they’re 100% the same with no differences whatsoever. This is a strawman, what I attempt to do when making these comparisons is not to display and identical nature between these two political world views, but instead identical goals, moral posturing, controlling the male mind and the male sex drive, and protecting women over all things.
What these groups, feminist SJW’s, along with the right wing morality police are attempting to do is to disconnect the original reason that we started writing stories, that is, the ability to place ourselves in a character in a fictional setting to empathize and relate to that character even when that character is doing things that we may consider repugnant, evil, even, that have always been with us, from the great pyramids of Tenochtilan and its ritual human sacrifice to the Roman Coliseum. These people are attempting to kill the human sense of wonder because they cant overcome their primitive obsessions and fears, and because they want to prop up this false inherently good vision of humanity that simply does not exist… remember that until just a few decades ago, we could watch the spectacle of the Vietnam draft in America, heres a video of it…
I find it funny that instead of simply selecting soldiers randomly for conscription and notifying them through the mail, we also felt the need to dress it up in ceremony, the detached nature of the entire thing belies the fact that in this macabre little ritual men were being selected to go fight and die in war against their will. We watch movies like the hunger games and think that their ritual human sacrifice could never happen to us, and yet here we are just a few decades ago, sending men to their deaths and preceding it in this bizarre raffle, this bizarre lottery. So then, allow me to go on a brief tangent about war, because in order to understand why the censorship of people like Anita Sarkeesian works, we need to understand the inner workings of the male and female human animal…
In the excellent documentary Vietnam: First kill, American writer and war correspondent Micheal Herr details his experiences in the Vietnam war, taken mainly form his book dispatches, which are also a chronicling of his time in Vietnam as a a war correspondent. Our first introduction to Herr in the film is that of him regaling, just what makes war so…fascinating.
He says the following:
“If War were hell and only hell, and there were no other colors in the palette, if that was the essence of the experience, and all that there was to the experience, I don’t think people would continue to make war.”
later on in the film while he is being interviewed he shares with us these comments:
Herr: There were times where i was just so overcome with a disgust and horror, and that was something I didn’t ever want to see again… ’cause im a, y’know i’m a, nice middle class jewish boy. I’m not John wayne jr, y’know I’m not a blood and guts guy, I just had a very strong attraction to war.
Interviewer: And was it satisfying?
Herr: Yes, yes I was satisfied, it was somethingIi felt I didn’t have to do again. I saw it for a year and that was really enough, probably too much. If I’d been at all smart i probably would have left after the first operation. I know reporters who did.
Interviewer: Why didn’t you leave?
Herr: ‘Cause I was…into it. I was into it, I was all caught up y’know, in the trip. I believed in it, I didn’t believe in the war, but I believed in my being there, to see this war, and it was interesting. Y’know it was… not boring, one is never bored.
Ive always appreciated such candor from Herr in this film. He doesn’t pretend, he doesn’t engage in moral posturing and he doesn’t try to excuse the fact that he was actually attracted to what he was seeing, the visceral, horrific beauty of war. It should always be noted and understood, that what happens in war, the death, the mutilation, the suffering and destruction, is NOT a thing of beauty, I believe that war cleanses us f our psychological palette. Our day to day worries and concerns are washed away in the presence of war, we are, in witnessing senseless slaughter and death, baptized by a fire of oneness with the universe. We know on some level that all of these men, dying on battlefields are the center of their own universe, a consciousness, tricking himself, slowly but surely that he is unique, that he is special. That his wants needs and desires matter. He forgets that his existence is that of a speck, a nanoscopic particle of flotsam trapped in an inky sea of infinity. War brings that reality crashing back to his forebrain. It reminds him that his little universe, the one he’s spent his entire existence building in his head can be erased, in an instant by way of lead and shrapnel, And then he sees that society is all too happy to send him, via conscription against his will, potentially putting him in this very situation, and he looks around and it doesn’t take much to realize that theres one group of people, namely women, that for whatever reason would never be put in that situation by any society on earth.
There’s one group of people that will never be drafted, never be forced to fight and even die for others and he does not belong to that group. This has a deep, deep psychological impact on the minds of men. This isn’t the first time men witness this dynamic of course. From childhood boys witness girls being handled with much more care and compassion than them, by even the people tasked with raising them, their parents, the people they would expect the most care and most compassion from. A bit less affection from mommy and daddy however does not shatter a growing adolescent male child’s universe quite like watching himself at age 18 and hundreds of thousands of men just like him, being legally enslaved and forced to fight other men, via a draft, who may very well have been enslaved in the same manner. This fosters the male fascination with war and must also foster a distinct psychological realization that his life is, according to his society, relatively cheap. This realization is not limited to conscription, the vast majority of men realize something similar, upon entering into adulthood that if they do not work to support themselves, they will be tossed out into the streets and left to fend for themselves. If they get any handouts at all, both men and women call them bums, parasites and a host of other insults designed to espouse in them the keen understanding that they are fifth, societal detritus that failed some masculinity test they barely understand and never signed up for. They see that women, to the contrary are provided for either by doting husband or communal tax payer, who are both intent on ensuring that women are shielded from this fate. And yet both the homeless man, and the doting husband and even the single male tax payer, all know the same thing…nobody is there to help them.
This truth, is an uncomfortable one, thus, men push it deep down into their subconscious, they let it foment down there, allowing it to percolate and mature,and our entire society knows it, but dares not speak it aloud. Fortunately language, is a funny thing, in that no matter how man tries to impose himself onto it, it follows it’s own course and provides to us clues in our syntax, and our idiosyncrasies that allow us to tease out the true and sometimes ugly nature of the human condition. This gentleman is what I want to talk about, the sub conscious drives of men that allow us to mitigate our fear of death and of male disposability. I would like to introduce to you the concept of terror management theory in hopes of explaining things like male mother need, the wiki for terror management theory reads as follows:
In social psychology, terror management theory (TMT) proposes a basic psychological conflict that results from having a desire to live but realizing that death is inevitable. This conflict produces terror, and is believed to be unique to human beings. Moreover, the solution to the conflict is also generally unique to humans: culture. According to TMT, cultures are symbolic systems that act to provide life with meaning and value. Cultural values therefore serve to manage the terror of death by providing life with meaning. The theory was originally proposed by Jeff Greenberg, Sheldon Solomon, and Tom Pyszczynski.
The simplest examples of cultural values that manage the terror of death are those that purport to offer literal immortality (e.g. belief in afterlife, religion). However, TMT also argues that other cultural values – including those that are seemingly unrelated to death – offer symbolic immortality. For example, value of national identity, posterity, cultural perspectives on sex, and human superiority over animals have all been linked to death concerns in some manner. In many cases these values are thought to offer symbolic immortality by providing the sense that one is part of something greater that will ultimately outlive the individual (e.g. country, lineage, species).
Because cultural values determine that which is meaningful, they are also the basis for self-esteem. TMT describes self-esteem as being the personal, subjective measure of how well an individual is living up to their cultural values. Like cultural values, self-esteem acts to protect one against the terror of death. However, it functions to provide one’s personal life with meaning, while cultural values provide meaning to life in general.
TMT is derived from anthropologist Ernest Becker’s 1973 Pulitzer Prize-winning work of nonfiction The Denial of Death, in which Becker argues most human action is taken to ignore or avoid the inevitability of death. The terror of absolute annihilation creates such a profound – albeit subconscious – anxiety in people that they spend their lives attempting to make sense of it. On large scales, societies build symbols: laws, religious meaning systems, cultures, and belief systems to explain the significance of life, define what makes certain characteristics, skills, and talents extraordinary, reward others whom they find exemplify certain attributes, and punish or kill others who do not adhere to their cultural worldview.”
Before we start digesting some of this stuff I also wish to append the wikipedia entry with another article regarding terror management theory titled
In this article, we present a theoretical perspective on the problem of the human body rooted in terror management theory (TMT; Greenberg, Pyszczynski, & Solomon, 1986). TMT was developed not to fully explain any particular type of human behavior but rather to contribute to a full understanding of a wide range of human behaviors that are influenced by the uniquely human knowledge of mortality. Although behavior regarding the body has not been the focus of research on terror management until recently, such behavior seems particularly likely to be affected by terror management needs. Indeed, we suggest that a wide range of both normal and abnormal human behavior can be better understood by recognizing that body-related problems stem in part from the anxiety engendered by the human knowledge that the body is the vehicle through which life passes unto death. Although it is eminently reasonable for a concern with death to lead people to engage in behavior aimed at preserving their bodies’ physical health, and people certainly do often strive to maintain their health, they typically seem more preoccupied with concerns about how their bodies look, smell, perform, and compare with cultural standards. Following theorists such as Freud (1920/1989), Rank (1930/1998), Brown (1959), and Becker (1973, 1975), we argue that meeting cultural standards concerning the body separates humankind from the rest of the animal kingdom, to elevate our bodies from their flesh and bones reality to a higher plane as objects of beauty, dignity, and even spirituality. Based on this analysis, we offer answers to the following questions: (a) Why is the body so often a source of distress and disgust but also self-esteem and pride?; (b) Why is human sexuality so often associated with anxiety, romanticism, and spirituality, not to mention its more bizarre manifestations?; (c) Why do all cultures place great value on physical appearance, especially the physical appearance of women?; and (d) In general, why are all cultures compelled to regulate the human body? We review empirical evidence relevant to each question and then suggest directions for further theoretical development and research.
further down it talks about some empirical evidence surrounding terror management theory stating:
The majority of the empirical research supporting TMT has been focused on two central hypotheses. The mortality salience hypothesis states that if a psychological structure (i.e., worldview or self-esteem) provides protection from mortality concerns, then reminding people of death should increase their need for that structure. In support of this reasoning, empirical research conducted in seven countries and consisting of more than 75 studies has shown that reminding people of their own death leads them to cling more tenaciously to, and increases their defense of, their cultural worldviews.1 Mortality salience has been shown to have several outcomes: more positive evaluations of in-group members and those who praise one’s culture, and more negative evaluations of out-group members and those who criticize one’s culture (e.g., Greenberg et al., 1990); behavioral approach of in-group members and avoidance of out-group members (Ochsmann & Mathy, 1994); increased estimates of social consensus for one’s attitudes (Pyszczynski et al., 1996; Simon et al., 1997); harsher punishment for moral transgressors (Florian & Mikulincer, 1997; Rosenblatt, Greenberg, Solomon, Pyszczynski, & Lyon, 1989); and increased aggression against those who challenge one’s beliefs (McGregor et al., 1998). Research has also shown that after exposure to mortality salience, participants conform more to recently primed cultural standards and are more reluctant to violate cultural standards and experience greater distress when they do so. Mortality salience has been operationalized with paper and pencil manipulations, usually two open-ended questions asking participants to contemplate their own mortality (e.g., Rosenblatt et al., 1989), but also with fear of death scales (e.g., Greenberg, Simon, et al., 1995), filmed footage of fatal accidents (Nelson, Moore, Olivetti, & Scott, 1997), proximity to a funeral home (Pyszczynski et al., 1996), and subliminal death primes (Arndt, Greenberg, Pyszczynski, & Solomon, 1997). Moreover, research on terror management processes has shown that the effects of mortality salience are unique to thoughts about death. Thoughts of intense physical pain, social exclusion, meaninglessness, failing an important exam,giving aspeech in front of a large audience,paralysis,the death of a lovedone,and even an actual failure experience do not produce defensive reactions parallel to reminders of one’s own death (e.g., Baldwin & Wesley, 1996; Greenberg, Pyszczynski, Solomon, Simon, & Breus, 1994; Greenberg, Simon, et al., 1995; Rosenblatt et al., 1989). Overall, the mortality salience research strongly supports the notion that concerns about death influence a wide range of behaviors directed toward sustaining faith in one’s worldview and belief in one’s worth in the context of that worldview. The second central terror management hypothesis, theanxietybuffer,statesthat if a psychological structure (i.e., worldview or self-esteem) provides protection from mortality concerns, then strengthening that structure should reduce anxiety in response to stress and specific reminders of death. In support of this hypothesis, momentarily enhanced or dispositionally high self-esteem has been shown to reduce self-reported anxiety after watching a gory video (see Study 1 of Greenberg, Solomon, et al., 1992), physiological arousal while anticipating electrical shocks (see Study 2 and Study 3 of Greenberg,Solomon,etal.,1992),anddefensivedistortions to deny one’s likelihood of early death (Greenberg et al., 1993). In addition, Harmon-Jones et al. (1997) found that high self-esteem reduced the effects of mortality salience on defense of the cultural worldview. These studies demonstrate the general anxiety-buffering function of self-esteem, aswellasthespecificroleof high self-esteem in quelling concerns about death. Pyszczynski, Greenberg, and Solomon (1999) recently reviewed a broad range of evidence showing that whereas proximal defenses, involving suppression of death-related thoughts and relatively rational denial of one’s vulnerability, are employed when thoughts of death are in current focal attention, distal defenses, involving strivings for self-esteem and faith in one’s worldview, are employed when the problem of death is on the fringes of consciousness, that is, when death-related thoughts are highly accessible but outside of current consciousness. Consistent with this view, research 202 GOLDENBERG, PYSZCZYNSKI, GREENBERG, & SOLOMON 1In a typical mortality salience study, participants fill out an open-ended questionnaire asking them to “briefly describe the thoughts and feelings that the thought of your own death arouses in you” and to “jot down, as specifically as possible, what you think will happen to you as you physically die and once you are physically dead”; control participants respond to parallel questions about a neutral topic or an anxiety-provoking topic unrelated to death. After a short delay, participants are then exposed to information that either supports or challenges some aspect of their cultural worldview, and their response to this information is assessed. shows that proximal defenses emerge immediately after reminders of mortality and are eliminated by delays or distractions (Greenberg, Arndt, Simon, Pyszczynski, & Solomon, 2000) and that distal defenses emerge when there is a delay between reminders of mortality and assessment of defense, after subliminal reminders of death, and whenever death-related thought is highly accessible but outside current focal attention (e.g., Arndt, Greenberg, Pyszczynski, et al., 1997; Arndt, Greenberg, Solomon, Pyszczynski, & Simon, 1997; Greenberg et al., 1994, 2000).
So this is essentially what I’ve been talking about when I cite things like male mother need, that is if any new viewers are wondering what it means, the desire for men to shake off not only the impending nature of their mortality by repressing it subconsciously, but also the disposable view that their society has of them. Men create systems by which they can mitigate the terrorizing fear that women, and society at large do not see them as human beings, but as disposable automatons to be used for the purpose of resource extraction. I believe that this disposable quality that men have internalized in reaction to societies view of them causes them to build institutions and cultural memes revolving around women, whom they perceive to have inherent worth. Men see themselves as lacking worth and thus it is no wonder that male identity is so often associated with shouldering unnecessary burdens, and with providing proof of worth and accomplishment to women. .
Interestingly enough, it is mens fear of death, and the manner in which they impose terror management that has allowed the gaming and comic industries to come into being and then to flourish… the gaming and comic industries, anime, etc are manifestations of the male desire to attain immortality by building fictional worlds replete with complex, and often times disturbed but highly interesting characters. Ironically it is also our societies desire to shelter women from this cognizance of their own mortality, and from the disposability reserved for men, that has allowed them to mobilize a feminist movement in gaming in comics designed to sanitize this male world so that it is acceptable for female consumption without triggering their own fear of mortality. That is why as I’ve implied earlier, the Anita Sarkeesians of the world are conspicuously silent about, violence or sexual assault or sexism against male characters such as the ones I mentioned earlier…because you see it’s not about sexism or sexual assault, it’s about women and their fear of men, women, whether they admit it or not have a fear of men, they have a fear of male violence and they fear men raping them on a deep, sub conscious level. Women are terrified of the capacity for male violence and their fear of men is so ingrained into them, that it might as well be their fear of mortality. Why then do feminists like Anita Sarkeesian seek to repress this under the guise of “sexism” why then do feminists seek to repress violent themes in video games and other media?
Well, the proper question is why do feminist seek to repress violence/sexism against WOMEN, in video games and other artistic mediums, seeing as how they have no protestations about the countless images of impossibly buff men, and the billions of disposable first person shooter virtual men that are slaughtered en mass in games like halo and call of duty. Why do feminists have problems with only these types of suggestive themes that affect women in video games? I suspect its many things, including the fear of male understanding. If men understand their dark desires regarding women, men are not controlled by them, if men are not controlled by their desires surrounding women, women cannot control men. The reason our society is so inundated with claims of sexism and misogyny is because there is profit to be made on upholding the feminine mystique. If women are seen as fragile creatures that need defense from everything, they solidify their place in society as the perpetually mediocre, and the perpetual victim, a place of privilege for those that wish to merely coast through life cannibalizing the achievements of others and claiming them as their own. This is suspect is where gamergate stems from, the desire to repress male inquiry into the feminine, the desire to uphold the feminine mystique lest men find out that its all just a giant, “mysterious” pile of nothingness. An inquiry into the feminine mystique might reveal first that women are as obsessed with violence and rape as they claim men to be, and second that women are far from the non violent, perpetual victims they would have men believe they are. Thus it must remain a secret, women must remain victims, and taboo sexual violence must remain exclusively male, and whenever there is a feminist push into a male space, the presence of sexism, along with the burden of removing it, must lie exclusively on men. Thus the conditions for gamergate are born, which are just conditions that are present any time a male space becomes ripe for female colonization.
you have to understand again that Men devise all culture, this occurs in multiple steps and all subconsciously. they develop proto-culture, nascent culture, this requires a foray into the world of fantasy…it requires imagination.
Imagination… I’ve always been fascinated by that word…imagination. It’s just such a incredibly human word… it tells you exactly what it means, the visualization of imagery in your head, imagery that possibly doesn’t exist, its amazing that nature has devised an arrangement of matter that is capable of picturing other arrangements of matter within itself, arrangements of matter that can be completely fictional, or at the very least never before seen or interacted with by this matter, and this matter can bring those arrangements of matter, fictional or un-encountered as they may be, to life, into the realm of existence, it’s what allows us to fill up spots on the periodic table, and it’s what allows us to create worlds we’ve never seen before.
Imagination is male, whether or not imagined things come to fruition is determined by the female, and her cultural and societal filter. All imaginative endeavors that the male mind embarks on, if they wish to arrive in mainstream wider society must pass through female social acceptance, gaming for example is undergoing this change currently. Gaming came out of male imagination and it remained in the male imagination, rejected by the female tribunal making up modern society until advances in technology allowed women to see, with their own eyes what the men have been imagining all along. and then they wanted in, and not only do they want in, but they want everything to be changed so that it doesn’t ever scare them…so that it doesn’t remind them of violence, or worse yet, sexual violence, and worse yet sexual violence against women… y’see women, although our society attempts to shield them as much as possible form mortality salience have despite this, one area where they have an extremely potent reminder of their mortality…their womb. While men have to actually leave their mark on society via their actions, women are imbued with an inherent ability to combat mortality terror, the ability to give birth. Women fear rape because it steals from them at least potentially speaking, the chance for the woman to choose the expression of her immortality, in the form of the male genetics she selects to pass on her immortal dna with.
Thus Women in their quest to maximize safety and pass on their genetics with the most fit male specimen they can find, seek to eliminate male genetics they deem faulty that subconsciously, they see as a threat to their womb, this is what men sometimes mistakenly associate as female hatred of nice guys, nice guys are to women, genetic failures, weirdos, that set off their maternal radar and cause a irrational fear of impregnation by these (according to them) genetic defectives…thats why all of these anti rape initiatives are not directed towards Christian Grey types but are instead directed towards your every man, mwm said it best when he posted hi video the other man is you… when feminists parade at slutwalks when women advocate for rape shield laws when they have their little rape shield dramatizations with rape counselors at universities, what they’re really saying is tell MEN as in most men they come across in there daily travels that they’re afraid of rape from them…from you
well gentleman this is getting pretty long so were going to stop here.