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#gamergate gamebros misandry misogyny video games

Leaked GameStop training video explains mysterious "women" to confused male staffers

How did anyone ever come to think that the gaming world is hostile to women? This GameStop training video from 2009 shows just how welcoming the video game retailer has been to “one of  the world’s most fascinating creatures.” Yes, we’re talking about the enigma that is the human female.

In the video, an expert in “womanly studies” attempts to explain to GameStop staffers how to understand “a segment of the species that remains a mystery to over fifty percent of the population today,” analyzing staged interactions between male staffers and some of these mysterious females.

In addition to the weird sexism of the video, which manages to be patronizing to women and men alike, the video features some amazing graphics (relying heavily on stock photos of these mysterious “women”), brilliant acting, and extras who are supposed to be standing frozen in the background but can’t help compulsively blinking.

The worst part of this video is that despite its cringeworthiness it probably did help some male GameStop staffers deal with women in a slightly less patronizing way.

H/T — Polygon

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Kel D
5 years ago

It’s going for ‘camp’ in the best tradition of Acorn Antiques style parodies: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqTznu59InY)

Faint Praise
Faint Praise
5 years ago

No, this has to be satire. I don’t want to live in this world, ugh.

Nathan Hevenstone
5 years ago

How hard is actually freezing a video and bringing in the narrator to do their thing? I’m going to go out on a limb and guess it’s easy, though I’m terrible at making videos, so I wouldn’t really know.

Also… why would any woman agree to participate in this?

maistrechat
5 years ago

I worked at Gamestop for six months. It was by far the worst job I have ever had. I can’t decide whether I’m surprised or not – the store I worked at had a female manager, and there were women who worked there too. I’m wondering if it’s different at the more remote stores?

Still. Gross.

Shalimar
Shalimar
5 years ago

“a mystery to over fifty percent of the population today,”

So women are a mystery to every single male and also to some of the other women, too? That doesn’t sound right, somehow.

M.
M.
5 years ago

Just the other day, I was at the local EB (Australian Gamestop) and they spent 15 minutes trying to convince me I had to buy both a New 3DS and an old 3DS because New 3DSs don’t play original DS games (spoiler alert: Not true). The same store asks me if I own a Wii U every time I buy a U game (“Remember, it won’t play on an original Wii or a computer!”) even though I’ve been a regular for eight years and bought my U from them.

I’m not sure if they think I’m stupid because I’m a customer or stupid because I’m a woman, but this video makes me think it’s the latter.

andrea harris
5 years ago

I’m not sure I want to be in a “symbiotic relationship” with a Gamestop employee. (Note: I actually think they’re being a tad tongue-in-cheek with this video, but I’ll bet you it went over the heads of most of the males it was aimed at.)

KSRay
KSRay
5 years ago

“over fifty percent of the population”? So women are a mystery to some women?

dhag85
5 years ago

“looking in multiple directions!!!”

Serious ninja moves by these women.

proxieme
proxieme
5 years ago

^ In fairness, I’m a woman and people in general can be a mystery to me.

Maybe I’m part of those stats.

dhag85
5 years ago

@Shalimar

All men + all honey badgers = 51%

karleenamarx
5 years ago

But… I say “dude.”

M.
M.
5 years ago
KSRay
KSRay
5 years ago

It wouldn’t have to be all men. Could be 90% of men and 15% of women. Still seems pretty wrong, though.

dhag85
5 years ago

Alternatively, they got to “over 50% of the population” by counting Janet Bloomfield’s Twitter accounts as separate persons.

katz
5 years ago

Even if this was meant completely facetiously, it’s still really, really obnoxious.

WatermelonSugar
5 years ago

As an ex-GameStop manager, I can promise you this is par for the course when it comes to the company’s view of women. This video is horrible, but it’s nothing compared to the crap company-produced morning show that played thirty minutes before opening. It was full of vile racist, sexist stuff on the daily.

proxieme
proxieme
5 years ago

*feels less guilty for ordering her games rather than supporting the brick and mortar GameStop*

Miss Diketon
Miss Diketon
5 years ago

I know this is probably not entirely serious but I get SO TIRED of being treated not as a person with likes, dislikes and opinions, but as some “mysterious unfathomable other.”

exploreandarticulate
5 years ago

Sorry, but have you actually found any sources for this being a real thing and not just a parody? Her name is “Ima Smartone” for god sake. When The Escapist posted this six (6!) years ago, it was under the headline “Parody GameStop Video […]”

When it re-surfaced this week I spent an evening trying to locate the true source, but wasn’t able to. Self-proclaimed GameStop employees in various comment sections make claims in both directions; some say they did watch this, others say there’s never been video instructions of sales personnel.

Even if it turns out to be real, isn’t it quite possible it’s an instance of reverse psychology and satire? A great example for one such instruction video is the old Stapelfahrer Klaus, which aims to teach warehouse staff how to safely operate and work around fork lifts, through an hilariously over-the-top splatter film. Youtube that piece of pedagogic genius, and tell me how this (supposedly) GameStop video isn’t similar?

I’m genuinely asking; does anyone have a proper source for this video?

Falconer
5 years ago

@WatermelonSugar: Oh, well, now I’m doubly pissed that the only dedicated video game store we have in town is a Game Stop unless I want to drive in to Knoxville.

We had a Game Crazy, but that went out of business and a lot of its shelf hangers (and a couple staff) got recycled into a Packard’s Games, but that one lasted about 18 months, mostly on hosting Magic games in the back room.

Still no dedicated space to play tabletop anywhere that I’m aware of.

deniseeliza
deniseeliza
5 years ago

Even the promotion is obnoxious. “Hey, females love games that will make them skinny or whatever, and they also love magazines about makeup and blowjobs, so lets sell them both! Yay! This will totally get more females to be gamers!”

Erica
Erica
5 years ago

The narrator’s name is Ima Smartone. There is no way that is real.

Spindrift
Spindrift
5 years ago

@Falconer Game Crazy? Did you perhaps see their training video?

Spindrift
Spindrift
5 years ago

Zelda Scott makes me laugh/cringe.

AcidTrial
AcidTrial
5 years ago

I hate to nitpick (okay, that’s a lie, that’s sort-of my thing), but a quick Google search shows that the video in question has been floating around the ‘net since 2009, before more recently becoming a topic of discussion in the last week or so. Is it really still a “leaked” video when it’s been out there for like six years?

proxieme
proxieme
5 years ago

OH! OH! ON THAT!

I’M AWAITING THE DROP-OFF OF MY NEW PS4!

*45 minutes elapse because the Mr got home bearing coffee*

AHHH! IT’S HERE!

http://imgur.com/0htHJju

Sorry for yelling.
I am excited.

For those of you who offered (wonderful) feedback re: Dragon Age v Shadow of Mordor: I ended up getting SoM because Amazon had a deal for that + The Last of Us Remastered + a PS4 for the same price of the base system. My husband LOVED TLoS and this has all of the DLC that we didn’t buy on the PS3.
I’ll hang out a bit and see if there’s an upcoming GoTY edition for DA, but it does look really cool. We’re primarily into the (vanishingly small world of) FPS local co-op (…soooo…Borderlands…), but DA especially seems like it has wonderful potential for multi-playthrough (and, “Hey, I’ll watch!” playthrough) given its expansiveness.

And, yes – I am a console peasant 😉

My kiddos like to play, too, and – while I know that you can always hook a nice gaming PC up to a TV, use controllers if you want, etc – it’s not going to happen with smallish children running amuck.

Oh! I also ordered Lego Marvel Universe, too. It was $12, looks neat, and has split screen play.

Falconer
5 years ago

I’ve got friends who really like Borderlands, proxieme.

ronanwills
5 years ago

This thing is from *2009*? I’ve been hearing people talk about it and I assumed it was from, like…. whenever Gamestop first opened, I’m not sure.

proxieme
proxieme
5 years ago

@Falconer – It’s a great game/series if you dig its class of mechanics and aesthetic.

My husband’s into moody games with more realistic mechanics (The Last of Us, etc).
Eff that.
If I die, I want to immediately re spawn. I also want physically improbable weapons and magic or tech so advanced that it’s practically so*.

* OK, that’s not entirely true – I did quite enjoy Red Dead Redemption.

WatermelonSugar
5 years ago

@Falconer–

Knoxville as in Knoxville, Tennessee? If so, OMG I AM A TENNESEEAN TOO HI HELLO FELLOW ARMPIT-OF-THE-SOUTHENER!

If Nashville is any way convenient, we have looooads of great tabletop places here (and in the surrounding areas).

…I forgot what the rest of your post was because I got excited. But yeah, don’t shop at GameStop. It’s a hellhole to work in and a shit company in general.

You should see their sexual harassment policy. It’s almost exclusively about employees not sexually harassing customers, with very little policy about in-house harassment or harassment of employees by customers, the later of which I had enormous problems with as the Token Ladypart Owner with Bewbs.

And then there’s the fact that my DM and SM told me I would get more pre-orders by flirting and showing cleavage.

And then there’s the part where it was unreasonable for me to do resets because ladies are not physically strong, but it was totally reasonable for me to close alone in a high-theft store because robberies happen everywhere.

And then there’s…well. There are too many parts to list.

proxieme
proxieme
5 years ago

And Skyrim and Fallout and a buch of stuff.
But Borderlands is fun.

Falconer
5 years ago

@WatermelonSugar: Yep, we’re one county over from Knoxville.

And, unfortunately, it takes me three hours to drive to Nashville. I’ll do that for a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see Neil Gaiman do a reading, but not regular.

There’s been other Tennesseeans around in the comments over the last couple of years.

I was generally shopping at GameStop because it let me pre-pay for the games I want, which is not something I could do online. I got Skyrim, Skyward Sword, XCOM and Mass Effect 3 that way. Lemme tell you, paying $10 or $20 a week is a lot more sustainable than $60 all at once.

When we get a PS4 (which we probably will at one point, because of No Man’s Sky), we’ll be sure to get it somewhere else.

Falconer
5 years ago

Last time I was in a GameStop, someone had cut the power line for the hands-on 3DS, probably thinking they could steal it — it was screwed to the display stand.

I feel my disapproval dissolving into schadenfreude.

NicolaLuna
NicolaLuna
5 years ago

After yesterday’s TWful, vomit inducing horror I needed this terrible video to cringe-laugh at.

Plus all those magazines do not look like things I would enjoy reading. At all.

WatermelonSugar
5 years ago

@Falconer–
Yay! I always get so excited when I see other Tennesseans around feminist-space. I guess because I feel so. damn. isolated. in regular life from anyone with half a brain. It’s just fun to know other people near me are not assholes. Yay!

And I understand how the reserve system helps out–that was also how I did the majority of my purchases while there. After my experience, though…Yeesh. I would rather have six hundred root canals than set foot in a GameStop again.

Honestly, working there left such a bad taste in my gaming-mouth that I hardly play anymore. I mostly hold it down on my 3DS, catchin’ ’em all, bravely defaulting, or ruling my animal neighbors with an iron fist…or SNESing it.

ParadoxicalIntention
5 years ago

Faint Praise | February 13, 2015 at 1:08 pm

No, this has to be satire. I don’t want to live in this world, ugh.

And this is why I went to Steam. Seconding that “ugh”.

“Wimmens are only in GameStop because they want to find a game for their families of children and don’t know anything about games!” Fuck. Off. As if I needed any more reason besides their shit trade in rates and their desire to get in good with developers, so they can help chop up games into pre-order DLC to squeeze more money out of their consumer’s wallets, to not bother with GameStop. They’re shit all around, and this video only confirms it for me.

I like small, locally-owned brick and mortar stores for the most part. I used to live next to a really awesome one during my small-town days, but they closed up. Then another one opened after I moved away that was more of a hobby store. The guy who runs it is pretty cool, says he’s not there for a profit, but to give the kids of the town something to do, which they needed desperately.

proxieme | February 13, 2015 at 3:32 pm

My husband’s into moody games with more realistic mechanics (The Last of Us, etc).
Eff that.
If I die, I want to immediately re spawn. I also want physically improbable weapons and magic or tech so advanced that it’s practically so*.

* OK, that’s not entirely true – I did quite enjoy Red Dead Redemption.

I’ve heard nothing but good things about the Last of Us. It made so many people cry, and I love games that can make me have feels about characters, for better or for worse (don’t get me started on Angela Orosco. I have very personal feels for her, and the fact that she dies makes me cry every time I play Silent Hill 2. ANGELA DESERVED BETTER).

I have a mod on PC Skyrim that lets me have a Portal gun that shoots explosive potatoes. Kills dragons in one or two hits, and I just cackle. Because SCIENCE.

I also found myself enjoying Red Dead Redemption, though there were some bits that I got snarly with. I was riding up to a camp with a single guy who looked really suspicious, so I pulled my gun out. I got a message saying “You have to come back later to get this quest because you were hostile.”

A suspicious man out by himself in the middle of the old west where people had no qualms about shooting each other for looking at them funny, and you expect me not to act “hostile” by having my gun out where I can easily defend myself?

I also failed some of the quest with the cannibal because I walked up to HIM with my gun out. LIKE WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO DO?

Also, it’s a huge pain in the ass to bring back bounties alive. I have issues with the lassoing.

And I do take issue with the prostitutes being stabbed all over. I know it’s a symptom of the time, but goddamn Rockstar…

yutolia
yutolia
5 years ago

“over fifty percent of the population”? So women are a mystery to some women?

I thought this was odd too but then realized that whoever made that statement might not realize that women are also part of “the population”.

M.
M.
5 years ago

I have a mod on PC Skyrim that lets me have a Portal gun that shoots explosive potatoes. Kills dragons in one or two hits, and I just cackle. Because SCIENCE.

Hell yes, I LOVE that mod. And the lemon grenade mod. >D

(No way, the person with the GLaDOS avatar loves sticking Portal into otherwise non-Portal things? Never! =P)

Spindrift
Spindrift
5 years ago

“over fifty percent of the population” sounds like it could be said by an MRA/PUA, cause they seem to think they understand women better than women understand themselves.

Don’t think they were actually making an “only men truly understand women” argument in the video though. I’d like to think gamestop’s not that aweful.

proxieme
proxieme
5 years ago

re: mods: That is something that I do truly miss out on as a console gamer.
Wasn’t there an early one for Skyrim that gave all of the dragons Macho Man’s face?

re: The Last of Us + story/emotion: Yes. My husband had to walk away from it for awhile after the initial sequence (no spoilers 😀 ).
The game play is not my cup of tea (“No, I don’t want a turn. I have enough tension in my real life.”) but it’s one that I totally sat down and watched.

re: Red Dead Redemption: I kept shooting the racist/anti-Semitic shopkeeper in the middle of a tirade.
It never went over well and he always re spawned, but it ways made me feel better.

Ok – ceiling’s painted, shower’s done, and pizza’s almost here for pizza and movie night (I’m being an adult about the PS4 and am waiting until the children are in bed before being sucked in).

Have a great weekend, everybody!

Supernova
Supernova
5 years ago

I’ve always hated it whenever women are described as “mysterious creatures” and the like. When growing up, you always hear jokes about how women are so hard and confusing to understand the the poor men are trying their best to decipher their mysterious womanly ways… It really gets to me

fromafar2013
5 years ago

re: mods: That is something that I do truly miss out on as a console gamer.
Wasn’t there an early one for Skyrim that gave all of the dragons Macho Man’s face?

Oh gods, not that mod! I don’t know which one is more odd/hilarious, that one or the one that replaces all dragons with Fluttershy from My Little Pony.

http://www.gamoholic.net/images/stories/macho-dragon-mod-skyrim.jpg

http://ponyvillegazette.com/files/2012/01/MLP_Skyrim_Mod.jpg

Quiet Wolf
Quiet Wolf
5 years ago

Huh. I’ve never had a negative experience in a Gamestop, even when I know damn well I’m being read as female. Most of the time, the workers just say hi when you walk in (if that) and just let you do your thing. If you have a question, you just go up to the counter. Maybe it’s just where I live. I’m sorry everyone elses’ Gamestops suck :/ Thank God for Amazon…

Of course, I’ve been known to be astonishingly oblivious, so maybe something they were doing was rude and I just didn’t know.

Jarnsaxa
Jarnsaxa
5 years ago

I don’t go into video games stores much, but I do spend a fair amount of time in tabletop/comics stores.

I’ve never been harassed, but I’ve often been ignored entirely in favor of men, and that’s really, really aggravating. I’m not someone’s girlfriend, darnit, I’m a nerd! I deserve to be treated like a nerd!

M.
M.
5 years ago

The best Skyrim mod, though, will always be this one:

http://s18.postimg.org/5j9v3mdd5/Skyrim_Posh_Mudcrabs_Mod_600x337.jpg

It’s so intensely stupid, and yet, it makes me laugh every bloody time I think about it.

Mewens
Mewens
5 years ago

What’s crazy frustrating about this video is that GameStop’s probably right to have a training video for how to talk to moms. Plenty of women who don’t give a damn about gaming will be buying for their kids, after all.

It’s just disheartening that these corporate overlords can realize, “Hey, we’d better figure out how to get our 19-year-old employees communicating with their mothers’ peers,” but they don’t seem to think that it’s important to avoid alienating women who do game.

Garnet
Garnet
5 years ago

This is a very old video, yeah. So old, in fact, that it was one of the first things Retsupurae ever riffed:

Also people here in the comments talking about Skyrim mods, reminded me of this video from the same channel:

Argenti Aertheri
5 years ago

Mewens — yeah, I was very disappointed that the “hunter” was after a gift card and not, idk, even just some Mario game from when she was a kid — something, anything, that was for herself.