On this thing called "rape culture"

I always assumed the biggest problem with Pokemon was that it was a fantasy version of dog or c*ck fighting.

That said, my daughter played the hell out of Pokemon from early elementary school on. It didn't cause her to be less empathetic to animals, and as of right now, most people would be damn happy to have as good of a child as she has turned out to be.

I will say that until kindergarten, she was raised on TV, watching far more than anyone would consider responsible. My wife was in law school, and I worked nights, and a week of overnights every five weeks.

Her mornings was a steady stream of Sesame Street, Arthur. Franklin, and Little Bear. Holy crap, if she didn't turn out to be the kid that was nice to everyone, protected bullied kids, and a massive teacher's pet. That TV had a huge impact on her.

Video games? Not so much. Well, she is a little obsessed with cosplay, which started with Pokemon and Zelda costumes for Halloween.

But seriously, Pokemon is a c*ck fighting simulator.

Stellan was watching it and he alternated between really aggressively acting out the battles and getting scared and upset when Pokémon got hurt. He didn't know who were being friends and who were being bad guys and he didn't understand why fighting so aggressively with superpowers was a friendly thing and why people would want to be friends after that. He doesn't see a distinction between animals and people. Only friends and bad guys.

I tried to discuss with him that Pokémon enjoy fighting and sometimes become friends with people after they fight with them and the words stuck in my throat. "They look like they're struggling but they actually enjoy it" was absolutely not something I wanted to show I was cool with, especially when we're so strict on how we act with each other as a family. If we're roughhousing and someone says stop or acts upset we stop. Full stop. No exceptions. Pokémon was blurring that line and adding exceptions when I was still trying to get him to internalise the rule.

I think it was on this very thread that someone posted an article discussing how raising boys shouldn't be about saying "boys will be boys" until they're 18 and only then teaching them that no means no. If you want to tear rape culture up by the roots you have to get in early with these lessons.

I liken Pokemon Go experiences to either single player (gotta catch 'em all) and MMO PVP (gym combat). You could opt out of combat completely and walk around just catching them. God knows I avoid PVP like the plague in MMOs.

Having said that, if the child is getting confused and scared, yeah pull the plug straight away.

Bfgp wrote:

I liken Pokemon Go experiences to either single player (gotta catch 'em all) and MMO PVP (gym combat). You could opt out of combat completely and walk around just catching them. God knows I avoid PVP like the plague in MMOs.

Having said that, if the child is getting confused and scared, yeah pull the plug straight away.

I was talking about the TV show. We happily play Pokémon Go together which is why I tried the TV show in the first place.

Almost all the studies on violent behaviour and game consumption have looked people aged between 10 and 50. This discussion was kicked off discussing what media you should let a child younger than 5 have access to. I'd have thought by-and-large most people's moral system and beliefs about acceptable behaviour are somewhat fixed by age 10. Which is likely a large part of why you don't see that violent games have increased the amount of interpersonal violence in society.

But there is also the notion of psychological scripts; the set of behaviours we each internalise as acceptable/correct to enact when we are expressing our internal psychological state. Violent media may not make non-violent people turn violent but it likely changes the rationale for and the types of violence that violent people choose when they act out. You can see this sort of thing with suicide attempts and mass killings, the more graphically they are reported by the media the more commonly you see copy-cat events. It's unlikely the media drives people to suicide but it does appear to affect the choices/behaviours people choose when they choose such behaviours.

To my mind it seems completely right to restrict some types of media from kids who are both, still learning what their model of the world ought to be AND are not fully able to parse fiction from reality.

Edit: fixed some grammar and typos.

Yeah I hear you Maq, just distinguishing Pokemon Go from the rest of the franchise (which I think Jay accurately described as an euphemism for pitting animals against one another). Note I haven't played any other entry in the series but that's my understanding it.

DanB, that's exactly why there are content ratings and what they try to achieve (although as legal guardians the parents have the ultimate duty to shield from age inappropriate content).

What I am realising though is that it is very important to emphasise no means no from an early age. My daughter has a firm sense of yes and no whereas my son doesn't quite get it. He needs a lot of discouragement and pushes the boundaries within our family unit. It would be interesting to hear any other parents' views on this or if it's an individual issue.

Jonman wrote:
nel e nel wrote:

We're talking about cartoons, not Tarantino, that's a bullsh*t example.

Was it bollocks.

Read what you wrote again. You weren't talking about cartoons, pal.

nel e nel wrote:

In the context of video games it seemed a little on the bias confirming side to be defending against legislation using data and research, but when it came to parenting to switch to what "feels right". Which exactly what conservatives do when they call out video games as being a cause of criminal behavior.

Right there. What I was responding to (and apologies for being vague in my quoting) was your allusion to the furore around R-rated games and censorship. The legislation you're referring to wasn't about Pikachu and cartoons, it was about Manhunt and GTA. Tarantino was an apt metaphor, albeit that I should have referenced GTA instead for clarity. My (poorly made) point was that they are two different conversations. Which we apparently stongly agree on.

Speaking of two different conversations, I think you're mistaken in assuming that what's good for society is also what's good for the individual. Data should be used for social legislation where you have a sample size in the millions. Gut should be used for family legislation where you have sample size of one. That's not bias confirming, that's a recognition of the difference in scale.

This is where we disagree. There is literally a cubic sh*t ton of data and research - from developmental psychology to pediatrics to potty training - that one can rely on to inform their parenting choices. If one wants to shoot from the hip and go with their gut, that's fine by me, just don't try to convince me that there isn't any information out there for folks to make informed decisions. As far as my question to Maq, he answered that his son was getting mixed messages, and that's mainly what I was curious about, and that's a totally legit reason to have concerns. We've also conversed enough that I feel we know each other beyond casual forum posts, so I was genuinely curious about where he drew that line on where media influences behavior.

I also disagree about the individual vs society argument. To bring it back on topic, by working to change society (I.e. Rape culture) we only work to make things better for individuals that have been victims of sexual violence, and to hopefully prevent future individuals from being victims. Since I don't work in legislation, the only way I can work towards that societal goal is by acting on an individual level: with my son, with my family, with my neighbors....

Mmm. I was about to make a snarky "well f*ck your data, my *gut* tells me vaccines are *wrong*" comment.

Which I basically just made, so I guess I'm still an asshole.

More seriously though, I think age ratings are an attempt to negotiate the competing ideas of free expression being a net good for society and the fact that kids aren't equipped to critically interrogate ideas presented in entertainment*. So parents have to judge what their kids are capable of handling on a very individual basis. Which I think Jonman was getting at, but chose a very awkward way of expressing.

(The age ratings being seriously flawed and decided on dumb surface stuff is another issue entirely. I don't expect I'll ever have kids, but I'd rather sit down with my nephews/nieces to explain the pegging in Deadpool than going through why the murder of the vagina alien in Transformers 4 is seriously f*cked up and everyone in that movie is a horrid psychopath. Because the former is despite all the sweary surface naughtiness is super squeaky clean morally , while the latter is a nightmare under the guise of heroism.)

*Mind you, between gamergaters and DC Universe fans, I don't think a lot of ostensible adults are either.

Alien Love Gardener wrote:

Mmm. I was about to make a snarky "well f*ck your data, my *gut* tells me vaccines are *wrong*" comment.

Which I basically just made, so I guess I'm still an asshole.

I sure was on a roll of explaining myself badly yesterday, wasn't I?

I should clarify - in my metaphor, data informs the gut, but I'm still making the decision to vaccinate (or not) my kid based on my gut.

I'm not a virologist/immunologist/biologist, I haven't reviewed the technical literature and data (and probably wouldn't understand it if I did), and ultimately, I'm not making medical decisions for my kid based on a thorough analysis of data. I'm making them based on my gut's analysis of the secondary and tertiary sources available to my layman's existence.

My refutation of the anti-vax movement is very much a gut reaction. As is yours.

I think we need to start looking at media and other things as a whole. While playing GTA probably isn't going to cause a kid (or adult) to go out and steal cars and run down grandmothers in the streets, if people surround themselves with super-violent games, super-violent media, etc. then it seems reasonable that it's going to have some sort of negative effect on those people, and perhaps deaden their sensitivity to issues such as rape, killing, torture, and sanctity of life as a whole.

I'm opposed to government censoring games, books, movies, but I think more of us need to take more personal responsibility for the things we subject ourselves and our children to on a daily basis and perhaps practice more self censorship. Does that mean that we can't enjoy games such as GTA? No, but it does mean that we need to be careful and perhaps balance out our entertainments with more wholesome activities. If we have to constantly play violent games (or watch violent movies, etc.) in order to reduce stress and blow off steam, then there's some deeper problem there that needs to be resolved.

We need to promote more positive and respectful values as a society, and when we *regularly* consume media (even as adults) that glorifies rape and other sorts of violence, it doesn't seem to me that we're evolving into better people, even if playing GTA doesn't *cause* some individual to go crazy and kill someone.

Jonman wrote:

My refutation of the anti-vax movement is very much a gut reaction. As is yours.

I guess that depends on what you define as a "gut reaction".

Sorry to interrupt the PokeConversation:

The problem with how men perceive rape

In retrospect, so much of sex in my twenties was a death by a thousand cuts for my sense of bodily autonomy—a series of assaults and violations that rendered me pliable to the desires of men right up until that date in the doughnut shop.
Tanglebones wrote:

Sorry to interrupt the PokeConversation:

The problem with how men perceive rape

In retrospect, so much of sex in my twenties was a death by a thousand cuts for my sense of bodily autonomy—a series of assaults and violations that rendered me pliable to the desires of men right up until that date in the doughnut shop.

If only I could go back in time and shake this article in the face of way too many ex-boyfriends. A good read. A triggering one for anyone who's experience sexual assault, but an important one nonetheless. I think this is something anyone with children should read.

Tanglebones wrote:

Sorry to interrupt the PokeConversation:

The problem with how men perceive rape

In retrospect, so much of sex in my twenties was a death by a thousand cuts for my sense of bodily autonomy—a series of assaults and violations that rendered me pliable to the desires of men right up until that date in the doughnut shop.

You know, this was a really tough and depressing read, and I'm a guy.

I've had a hard enough time dealing with the emotional turmoil of life as a white male, I honestly don't know how anyone else does it. Granted, I have some legitimate problems with anxiety and depression, but I'm just thinking that I don't know how even a person with a healthy mental status handles the sh*t that people other than cisheteronormative white males deal with.

Frankly, I would probably have killed myself by now with that sh*t stacked on top of the internal struggles and health problems I deal with already.

That article also cements for me that if her mom won't do it, then I need to make sure to educate my stepdaughter on positive consent and body ownership, as well as try to prepare her to hopefully avoid some of these death by a thousand cuts issues the author discussed.

Tanglebones wrote:

Sorry to interrupt the PokeConversation:
The problem with how men perceive rape

In retrospect, so much of sex in my twenties was a death by a thousand cuts for my sense of bodily autonomy—a series of assaults and violations that rendered me pliable to the desires of men right up until that date in the doughnut shop.

The worst part about all this, is that you don't always realize it at first. You don't always recognize that you're in that situation. Or you convince yourself that it's your inexperience, or anxiety, or something other external thing that's coming into play.

But the fact that these aren’t criminal acts doesn’t mean that they’re not violating or traumatic or wrong. And by refusing to recognize the harm caused by these sexual microaggressions, we teach women to accept them as normal and minimize their pain—and we teach men that they can get away with violating women.

That really says it all right there.

How to actually talk to women wearing headphones (the guardian response to that creepy article that's been going about - re: hitting on/harassing women wearing headphones).

From the original article:

What to Do to Get Her Attention

1. Stand in front of her (with 1 to 1.5 meters between you).

2. Have a relaxed, easy-going smile.

3. Is she hasn’t already looked up at you, simply get her attention with a wave of your hand. Wave your hand in her direct line of vision so she can’t ignore it.

4. When she looks at you, smile and point to her headphones and say, “Take off your headphones for a minute” and pretend to be taking headphones off your head, so she fully understands.

If she doesn’t understand (most women will), simply gesture that you want to talk to her by briefly pointing back and forth from you to her and say, “I want to talk to you for a minute.”

In most cases, you won’t have to go to that extreme, but some girls are shy and will be hesitant to take the headphones off right away because they are feeling a lot of nervousness and excitement about what is happening.

5. Then, do what we call “Acknowledging the Awkwardness” by quickly mentioning something about the awkwardness of the moment (see the conversation example below), to demonstrate you understand that approaching a woman in this way isn’t the most common of experiences for either party.

This helps put her at ease and know that you are a cool guy who she can relax and open up to.

*BARF*. It goes considerably downhill after that, as you might expect (the original article, not the guardian one).

pyxistyx wrote:
5. Then, do what we call “Acknowledging the Awkwardness” by quickly mentioning something about the awkwardness of the moment (see the conversation example below), to demonstrate you understand that approaching a woman in this way isn’t the most common of experiences for either party.

This helps put her at ease and know that you are a cool guy who she can relax and open up to.

*BARF*.

Admitting to being a creeper is totally the way to not be a creeper.

In most cases, you won’t have to go to that extreme, but some girls are shy and will be hesitant to take the headphones off right away because they are feeling a lot of nervousness and excitement about what is happening.

Yes, I'm sure being "shy" is the only reason a woman wouldn't want to take off her headphones to have a conversation with a complete stranger.

Demyx wrote:
In most cases, you won’t have to go to that extreme, but some girls are shy and will be hesitant to take the headphones off right away because they are feeling a lot of nervousness and excitement about what is happening.

Yes, I'm sure being "shy" is the only reason a woman wouldn't want to take off her headphones to have a conversation with a complete stranger.

No! Obviously she's just super excited that she's about to be creeped on.

How to Talk to Anyone Wearing Headphones:
1. Don't

muttonchop wrote:

How to Talk to Anyone Wearing Headphones:
1. Don't

Like *ever*.

Unless there's mortal danger involved.

I tend to make an exception if I notice something problematic. Like I had to run up and do a side arm tap to make someone notice, outside of the office, that they'd dropped their badge. Other than that, though, I tend to respect people's wish for privacy, I just wish people did the same with things other than headphones. If I'm staring at a book when you come outside to the smoke hut, I don't want to talk about work, shut uuuuuuuuuup.

Yup, these things.

When do you strike up a conversation with someone wearing headphones?
Never.

When do you talk to someone wearing headphones?
When you have information they're going to wish they had later. "you dropped your badge", "velociraptor stampede - RUN!"

pyxistyx wrote:

some girls are shy and will be hesitant to take the headphones off right away because they are feeling a lot of nervousness and excitement about what is happening.

Projection, then?

(Wow. That whole ... thing. (Article is too polite a term.))

Demosthenes wrote:

I tend to make an exception if I notice something problematic. Like I had to run up and do a side arm tap to make someone notice, outside of the office, that they'd dropped their badge. Other than that, though, I tend to respect people's wish for privacy, I just wish people did the same with things other than headphones. If I'm staring at a book when you come outside to the smoke hut, I don't want to talk about work, shut uuuuuuuuuup.

Having the audacity to read a book is literally like a magnet to people, and not because they actually want to talk about the book. For some reason, people seem to think that if you're reading a book, you're only doing it because you have nothing else to do and they feel some obligation to come to your rescue. So annoying!

I could imagine what creepy guy would have written about getting women to stop reading in a similar article.

Eleima wrote:
muttonchop wrote:

How to Talk to Anyone Wearing Headphones:
1. Don't

Like *ever*.

Unless there's mortal danger involved.

Even then, as Martha Mills so perfectly puts it:

and before you bleat on about “ooh, what if there’s a fire?”, she’ll smell it, even through all your bulls**t.
Chumpy_McChump wrote:
pyxistyx wrote:

some girls are shy and will be hesitant to take the headphones off right away because they are feeling a lot of nervousness and excitement about what is happening.

Projection, then?

(Wow. That whole ... thing. (Article is too polite a term.))

The whole thing is incredible. Dan Bacon has never met a real woman in his entire sad egoistic life.

Woman: [Most likely laughing, smiling and enjoying the interaction].
Women love to test guys to see how confident they really are and a favorite test of women is to ignore a guy’s attempts to converse with her and see what he will do next
No matter how confident or challenging a woman might behave, she still dreams of meeting a guy who is more confident than her.
a favorite nightmare of women is to ignore a guy’s attempts to converse with her and worry about what he will do next

I helpfully fixed this!

Jonman wrote:

Yup, these things.

When do you strike up a conversation with someone wearing headphones?
Never.

When do you talk to someone wearing headphones?
When you have information they're going to wish they had later. "you dropped your badge", "velociraptor stampede - RUN!"

Now to find out if that's too long to turn into a sig line.

Oh hey - here's another super creepy thing that I wish I could unsee!

(don't read the youtube comments - the video is bad enough)

With VR Mode: Dead or Alive goes from Creepy to Harassment.

IMAGE(https://cdn0.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/Ew8BFrwL5Y-BPFGdWjkENd-181k=/800x0/filters:no_upscale()/cdn0.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/7019061/vr_yuck.0.gif)

Yeah, sometimes I bother to tell people that they shouldn't be cycling in traffic with headphones, but it's usually guys. And they're usually rude. I consider my duty discharged once they hear it. Some people actually do take it off after they think they're out of eyesight! Progress.

I have never found it necessary to strike up a conversation with random people who obviously don't want to be bothered, and I have to wonder why you'd be so hard up in companionship that you would have to do that.