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Is Abby from The Last of Us 2 oppressing women with her muscular arms and small tits? One Reddit gamer says yes

By David Futrelle

Last week I wrote about the wave of transphobia that followed the leaks that revealed one of the new characters in the upcoming postapocalyptic survival game The Last of Us 2 would be the woman above, a buff, butch badass named Abby who is apparently very effective at beating other characters up.

With her small breasts and muscular arms, some gamers have decided that she couldn’t possibly be a cis woman; she has to be trans. Cue a million “that’s a man, baby” jokes and, the internet being the internet, much worse. Meanwhile, more “serious” critics accused the game developer, Naughty Dog, of kowtowing to evil SJWs and trans activists pushing a cis-hating agenda.

I took a look at the Last of Us 2 subreddit today to see if the angry gamers were still at it. They were, posting bad transphobic jokes, ineptly-drawn cartoons and a photoshopped picture of Abby sporting a beard.

But I also ran across an argument I hadn’t seen before, accusing the game developers of “erasing women’s bodies” by featuring a butch woman in their game. This “misogyny” would not stand, a Redditor called Ralmoren declared.

“Funny,” she wrote, doing her best to sound like a feminist,

I bet SJWs like Neil [Druckmann, the director of the game] and Anita [Sarkeesian] think that making women ugly is only punishing male gamers. By doing this they openly admit their bigotry: that they think the female body only exist through the male gaze.

Abby isn’t ugly; she’s butch. And making a character butch is hardly a proclamation that one believes “the female body only exist[s] through the male gaze.” I mean, what? This is cargo cult feminism, adopting the language of feminism without understanding the theory behind it.

“No female gamer would feel empowered by playing with a pretty female avatar, right ? Female gamers need to identify with our characters, so let’s make them ugly (gee, thanks)! Women are only pretty for men, if it weren’t for men they would certainly look like baboons !”

Spoken like a true straw SJW.

I’m a woman, I play videogames and when the game gives me the opportunity I like to play with a female avatar. So now I should be penalised with an ugly avatar because some male gamers are attracted to overtly sexualised female characters (like it’s a bad thing? )? I mean, translate that to the real world, it’s like telling me “When you get out of your house you should keep your hair covered because some men may look at you a certain way.”

It’s really not like that at all.

F*ck this misogynistic bigotry.

Can we get creative game developers who have sane relashionships and views of women or is that to much to ask for ? Like not I-do-stealth-missions-in-panties-because-I-breathe-through-my-skin sexy, nor Mass Effect Andromeda ugly, but something in the middle ? Please ?

Here’s an idea: how about a range of female characters that in some small way reflect the diversity of women in the real world?

In a later comment, Ralmoren cites Bayonetta as an example of the sort of woman she’d like to see more of in video games. Here’s the totally-not-sexualized Bayonetta, who I’m sure would have fit in perfectly in the gritty postapocalyptic world of The Last of Us.

As Ralmoren explained,

Feminine, elegant, and kicks ass. Bayonetta is a much happier and empowering female representation than the austere, masculine woman trope we’re getting recently.

Ralmoren insists that, as far as she’s concerned, “there’s nothing wrong with being a masculine woman (I’m not especially feminine myself).” Never mind that she spent much of her previous comment attacking Abby as “ugly”

She continues:

but I dislike that this trope shows that female characters can only be strong if they emulate men, meaning that by opposition anything feminine is weak and needs to be shunned.

If all female video game characters looked like Abby, this argument might have some merit. But having one butch character in a game is hardly the same as declaring that “female characters can only be strong if they emulate men” (my emphasis). Again, if games actually depicted women more as they are in the real world, with a variety of body shapes and sizes, this wouldn’t even be an issue. In the real world, moreover, there are a lot more women walking around looking like Abby than there are women looking like Bayonetta (except at game conventions).

Elsewhere on the Last of Us 2 subreddit, others offered up even dopier objections to Abby’s looks. Like the dude who insists that she’s simply too buff to live in postapocalyptic times.

Abby is literally the only human, male or female, with that sort of muscle mass. In a post-apocalyptic dystopia. With no commercial protein supplies. Or working steroid/supplement factories.

The calorie and protein requirements alone are prohibitive in a context within which there is food and resource scarcity. But even granting that they gather enough food through hunting and they have this amazing gym that auto-produces steroids, why is she the only person in her group with that sort of build?

She’s either taking a disproportionate share of the group’s food, or she eats any members of the group that exceed her in size to both maintain her gains and insure that she is the only person with that degree of musculature.

So Abby’s not just trans, she’s an actual cannibal?

This game sounds better and better all the time.

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Snowberry
Snowberry
9 months ago

@An Impish Pepper:
Personally, I found Kill la Kill to be a mixed bag. There were some positive and potentially empowering elements to it, some perhaps unintentionally. And there were some negative and rather cringey elements to it as well. Disclaimer: I am very much of the pro-nudity for both sexes pretty much whenever persuasion, so my views may not be typical.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
9 months ago

@ snowberry

I suspect what really happened in that film was that the gold paint was poisoned.

It’s just meant to be paint.

Major Boothroyd gives the example of dancers who paint their bodies but leave a small bare patch at the base of the spine to breathe.

But this is from a book series that suggests gay men can’t whistle; so I’m not sure how reliable it is (in fairness even Bond is sceptical about that).

Naglfar
Naglfar
9 months ago

@Snowberry
I know that humans don’t actually breathe through skin, it was just a plot device. I don’t think there’s much more to it than that.

Allandrel
Allandrel
9 months ago

@Catalpa

Also, I think there should be another character, maybe the villain, who can produce powerful blastwaves by clapping his asscheeks together. It’s his main ability, and since pants get in the way, he constantly needs to wear assless chaps.

He can produce smaller, less powerful blastwaves by flexing his muscles, but this causes his shirt to tear off from the force.

Honestly, this sounds like a character that Kojima would really have created.

GAZZA
GAZZA
9 months ago

Speaking as someone who loved The Last of Us and really enjoyed Bayonetta, I think the problem is not so much sexualised female characters per se so much as the complete oversaturation and inequality of such characters. I haven’t played WoW in over a decade, but while you could make really horrific looking male characters easily even literal walking corpse female characters were pretty sexualised and with fairly limited body types, and a lot of the armour and clothing you could get would be a fair bit skimpier on female avatars than male ones. (I’ve heard this is no longer true – so good for them I guess – but it was true for a long time).

The Last of Us had the major female protagonist as a skinny teenager, and a bad ass one at that; it looks as though the sequel is continuing to provide well rounded strong female protagonists, and it is disheartening if depressingly unsurprising to see that the same sorts of dickheads that started GamerGate a decade ago are now adding transphobia to their misogyny bingo card.

Catalpa
Catalpa
9 months ago

while you could make really horrific looking male characters easily even literal walking corpse female characters were pretty sexualised and with fairly limited body types

Oglaf did a comic poking fun at this trope (mildly NSFW, though it’s blisteringly tame by normal oglaf standards):
https://www.oglaf.com/dimorphism/

Schnookums Von Fancypants, Naughty Basic Horse
Schnookums Von Fancypants, Naughty Basic Horse
9 months ago

The thing about “Quiet” from Metal Gear Solid is that there’s also a character who has photosynthesis (although he didn’t breath through his skin): “The End” from Metal Gear Solid 3. Does he run around with a bare minimum of clothing? Nope, ’cause he’s a 100 year old man! Now if Kojima had had “The End’ run around in just tighty whiteys all the time I’d have been willing to overlook “Quiet”. But no, it’s just pandering that gets excused because Kojima is this “renegade genius”. (I do LIKE the Metal Gear Solid games, but don’t piss on my leg and tell me its raining)

Moon Custafer
Moon Custafer
9 months ago

@Alan Robertshaw:

But this is from a book series that suggests gay men can’t whistle; so I’m not sure how reliable it is (in fairness even Bond is sceptical about that).

I’ve seen that in an actual, otherwise surprisingly enlightened book on sex by a researcher in the 1930s, so apparently it used to be a widespread belief. The 1930s writer at least hedged his bets and said “are *sometimes* unable to whistle.” I wonder if it’s related to the various myths about physical changes that supposedly accompany loss of virginity in women?

Moon Custafer
Moon Custafer
9 months ago

Or for that matter, the TERFs who claim they can always tell if a woman is trans.

Fabe
Fabe
9 months ago

@Schnookums

Yeah Jim Sterling has a great video called ‘A quite conversation’ about how ridiculous Quite’s character design is and points out the discrepancy between Quite and The End. I tried posting a link the the video earlier but the post never showed up.

Naglfar
Naglfar
9 months ago

@GAZZA

it is disheartening if depressingly unsurprising to see that the same sorts of dickheads that started GamerGate a decade ago are now adding transphobia to their misogyny bingo card.

Transphobia isn’t really new to GamerGater types, the original GGers were pretty transphobic as well. And GamerGate led to the alt right, which is also known for its transphobia.

Re: whistling
I’ve never been able to whistle, and I’m a bisexual trans* woman. Does your book say anything about if bi women can whistle?

Kat, ambassador of the feminist government in exile
Kat, ambassador of the feminist government in exile
9 months ago

@Snowberry

People don’t breathe through their skin, but I think it’s entirely possible that a person could die from being covered in gold paint. Consider the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz. Here’s what Wikipedia says:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer hired [Jack] Haley for the part of the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz after its contracted song-and-dance comedian Buddy Ebsen suffered a severe reaction after inhaling aluminum powder from his silver face makeup, which triggered a congenital bronchial condition; the dust settled in Ebsen’s lungs and, within a few days of principal photographic testing, he found himself struggling to breathe. For Haley, to avoid the same catastrophe, the dust was converted into a paste—even so, the paste caused an eye infection that sidelined Haley for four shooting days. Surgical treatment averted serious or permanent damage to Haley’s eyes.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Haley

Snowberry
Snowberry
9 months ago

@Kat: Probably not from the gold itself, assuming the paint contained actual gold; it’s pretty inert and non-toxic to humans. And if it happened due to some other substance in the paint, that still falls under “poison”.

Though to be fair, there used to be cosmetics containing arsenic, which could at least potentially kill someone if it covered their entire body… not that I heard of it ever happening, but I suppose could be a source of that myth if it did.

occasional reader
occasional reader
9 months ago

> Cyborgette

If I want to fight giant dragons in ice skates, there are dozens of ASCII games that do not make my PC look like a ball-jointed Murder Barbie.

Does someone say Rogue or Angband/Zangband ?

On topic

Many magical girl stuff often go through a “change” phase where they are generally naked (and with many sparkles and other “magical” effects). It is pretty weird, especially when they are young.

I do not remember a male character going in full frontal nudity as a power except in some erotic manga, but bare chest is a common. Let just remember Kenshirô and many other male characters in Hokuto no Ken who are used to quickly lose their top when a fight become serious (that is also an hint if they are fighting mooks or dangerous characters).

About photosynthesis person, there are some in the first Dominion Tank Police manga (not the anime). They are engineered entities thought as a way to fight against the ultra urbanisation of the Japan (in the manga). They are human sized, with kind of fairy wings, green (informed, it is a black and white manga after all), nude, and all have female breasts. Yeah, that is Shirô, all right.

For whining against transgenders in video games, let us not forget about the Metroïd’s Samus and Final Fight’s Poison (designed as a trans for a very shitty reason, though), who had their fair share of hating at the time.

And this is the merged part of the hate. Like in youtube comments, reddit and the like, if you delve in Steam reviews, you will also cross many negative reviews against games who happen to have even a minimal degree of “wokeness” (is this a word now ?). It is no more about having fun with games, it is about how much anger and hate can they get from them. May they gag on it.

TacticalProgressive
TacticalProgressive
9 months ago

@occasional reader

Many magical girl stuff often go through a “change” phase where they are generally naked (and with many sparkles and other “magical” effects). It is pretty weird, especially when they are young.

That aspect is something of a staple, if not in fact a codified trope as old as the Magical Girl Anime Genre and even the Super Sentai Genre (I.E. think Power Rangers and Beetle Borgs) themselves, known as a “Henshin” (or Transform/Transformation), though their are various differing flavors extents and styles of transformation and within differing Anime Genre’s.

Allegedly such transformation sequences; aside from being visual spectacle for the viewer (in any and all senses of the word) and giving a visual cue to the fact the character is unleashing their “secret powers” or “adopting the form to call for their magical abilities” also, supposedly, serves as runtime filler padding and to provide easy to use animation resources to ease up on the budget, although admittedly it’s debatable if any of this is actually, the case, if so to what degrees and which specific series IP your looking at and the publishing company backing the IP in question.

I do not remember a male character going in full frontal nudity as a power except in some erotic manga, but bare chest is a common. Let just remember Kenshirô and many other male characters in Hokuto no Ken who are used to quickly lose their top when a fight become serious (that is also an hint if they are fighting mooks or dangerous characters).

I actually remember 1 non-erotic Anime series off the top of my head, that specifically featured a “magical boy” genre but with the Henshin sequence of a traditional Magical Girl series transformation. If I remember correctly; it was called “Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-bu Love!” or “Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE! ” Although it seemed to be framed as a deliberate parody of the Magical Girl series and use of Hensin sequences and applying them to a “Magical Boy” genre and was written by Michiko Yokote who wrote the Mermaid Melody series.

I know their is probably some interesting discussion surrounding these various factors but I’m not sure how to try initiating broaching them so I’ll digress those points for now.

Ohlmann
Ohlmann
9 months ago

WWTH : it’s not the plot of the game that require it. Or the plot of anything.

It’s the character itself. Bayonetta is defined by the fact she openly shove her sexuality down the throat of anyone close to her.

Sure, as Impish said, you could have another character and the game itself would be mostly the same. The only part of the character that the game depend on is that the main character need to be extremely skilled and extremely confident, which tons of people happen to do without showing boobs.

That’s similar to James Bond because, seriously, one could remove the sexual part of all the James Bond and no relevant plot would be lost, but the secret agent would be another person entirely, for good or bad (mostly good methink).

(and as far as I have seen, the Smash Bayonetta isn’t exactly more prude than the main videogame one. The main actually visible difference is more that she don’t brutally kill and maim people. Yes, sure, her skin is colored black instead of white, big difference all that)

Moon Custafer
Moon Custafer
9 months ago

@Naglfar:

I feel like Havelock Ellis must have *known* about bisexuals, I just can’t recall if he had anything specific to say about them.

Naglfar
Naglfar
9 months ago

@Moon Custafer
I don’t know much about Ellis, but I know that Ray Blanchard seems to still think that only AFAB people can be bisexual and that bi AMAB people don’t exist. So sexologists seem to dispute the existence of bi people a fair amount, more so than the existence of gay or straight people.

IIRC Kinsey recognized that bi people exist but he didn’t like that term because he had originally used a similar term to refer to intersex people and thought it was too confusing.

Althea
Althea
9 months ago

I am a girl and a very dedicated gamer, and I could not care less, about what way developers decided to protray a charcter (playable or NPC). I play games to immerse myself in another worls, and be someone else, may it be another woman, a man, alien, goose, dog, monster or anything else. There is a variety of people and some will find their representation in a game, some in anotherand that is the beauty of fiction- that anything goes, and by seeing cis and trans, busted, buffed, curvy, petite, disabled, modified people we gain more empathy and understanding for differences.

Dalillama
Dalillama
9 months ago

@Snowberry

I suspect what really happened in that film was that the gold paint was poisoned. Assuming the scriptwriters weren’t idiots and the villain was lying.

Just garden variety ignorance. The bit about asphyxiating via the skin being covered was widely believed at the time that movie was made, to the point that the actor’s abdomen was left unpainted so she could ‘breathe’. There was then a persistent rumour that she’d died from the paint IRL, because she left acting and the public eye soon afterwards.

Moggie
Moggie
9 months ago

@Ohlmann:

That’s similar to James Bond because, seriously, one could remove the sexual part of all the James Bond and no relevant plot would be lost, but the secret agent would be another person entirely, for good or bad (mostly good methink).

Well, the whole Bond thing is transparently a male fantasy. Get paid to travel the world, kill bad guys with impunity, have consequence-free sex with beautiful women, and you’re somehow simultaneously famous and a secret agent. And save the world. A lot. If you removed the sex it would still be complete tosh, and would still portray MI6 in an overly-positive light. I prefer media which portrays the ethically questionable work of the naughty agencies without glamorisation.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
9 months ago

@ moggie

I prefer media which portrays the ethically questionable work of the naughty agencies without glamorisation.

Then you might enjoy Sandbaggers.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
9 months ago

It’s the character itself. Bayonetta is defined by the fact she openly shove her sexuality down the throat of anyone close to her.

But you see, that was a choice that the (male) game developer made. He didn’t have to make that choice. Bayonetta doesn’t really exist. Her characterization is entirely up to the designers, and they decided, consciously, to make an oversexualized female character who “openly shoves her sexuality down the throat of anyone close to her” as you say. She’s not a female fantasy. She’s a male fantasy, almost definitionally, because it was a male game developer who decided on her traits.

Moggie
Moggie
9 months ago

@Alan:

Then you might enjoy Sandbaggers.

Thanks. The series whose creator disappeared under mysterious circumstances?

Cyborgette
Cyborgette
9 months ago

@occasional reader

Does someone say Rogue or Angband/Zangband ?

Yes I did! My faves these days are ToME 2 and Poscheng/Compos/Frogcomposband, but yes I’m a long time roguelike fan (especially of the open world types). Unfortunately the Angband variant community such as I’ve seen it has coddled a lot of misogyny, plus some transphobia and antisemitism and general grossness, so I’m not that comfortable taking part in it anymore. But I’m still a fan, and still sometimes submit patches and stuff when I find a particularly irksome bug.

occasional reader
occasional reader
9 months ago

> TacticalProgressive
Yes, you are right, i think. As i am more “paper” than “video”, i have only a few magical girl animes in my memory (never had a problem to watch them, even if it was not considered as “manly” enough at school). Indeed, it was often an easy filler, the same sequence being repeated (and this kind of repetition, combined with a number of frames less important than in bigger productions, was one of the points “anti-japanese animes” were complaining in the 80 and 90).
And i think it could also be some mark of the author, sometimes. I mean, if you watch Cutey Honey, from Nagai Gô (who also made Devilman series and Mazinger/Grendizer series), you can easily guess that it was designed by a man (he is quite a borderline mangaka, to say it smoothly).
As for magical boys… There may be a funny variation with this one ? Have not seen it, though. Oh, and i remember one episode of Galaxy Angels where all the main characters become magical girls, including the middle-aged mustache male captain. He is the one who seems to enjoy it the more. Of course, it is played for laughs. But in general, rather than magical boys, it is more kind of super heroes that boys tend to become in anime, not unlikely like spiderman or batman and the american heroes stuff.

> Cyborgette
Ah, i know the first but not the second. Never played the first in ascii, though. Have you test a version with graphics ? Was the ascii version also renamed “Tales of Maj’Eyal” due to copyrights on “Tales of Middle Earth” ?
I never delve into the community, but this is sad for Angband. For such a free and open world, it is sad for them to have such a narrow mind ! Is this visible in the game itself ? I do not remember something problematic in Zangband.
I had tried Nethack a few times, but never get the like of it. And have you tried Dwarf Fortress ? It is more a management game than a pure rogue game, but, well, Ascii. But as far i have no problem with a RPG in Ascii, a management game with this kind of interface is a bit too much for me. Guess i am too old for that.

Cyborgette
Cyborgette
9 months ago

@occasional reader

Nah version 2 is still “Tales of Middle Earth”, and someone has been porting it to object-functional C++17. (Seriously.) ToME 4 is a whole other deal, and one I’m not very interested in because of a horrifying side plot that got removed a while ago.

Never tried Dwarf Fortress! Some day, maybe.

Re the Angband community, it’s not like… as brutally terrible as a lot of other gaming communities I think, but there’s a general level of tolerance for grossness that eventually pushed me away. Also it’s just a very, very overwhelmingly male space for the most part.

Moon Custafer
Moon Custafer
9 months ago

@occasional reader:

Oh, and i remember one episode of Galaxy Angels where all the main characters become magical girls, including the middle-aged mustache male captain. He is the one who seems to enjoy it the more

.

Sort of reminds me of the guy who cosplays as Sailor Freddie Mercury:
comment image?maxwidth=640&shape=thumb&fidelity=medium

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
9 months ago

Dwarf Fortress has practical implementation problems in fortress mode that the coder has no intention of ever fixing. I used to play generation forts, with no or limited immigration, because children in DF are generally viewed as annoyances because they eat and drink and can’t work, and that’s not how children would be viewed IRL in the same situation. When children are the only way your fort can increase in population, they become much more valuable and management of children becomes much more realistic.

Said practical implementation problem is that the fortress slooooooooooooooooows dooooooooooooown so much over time that it becomes annoying to play. I don’t think Toady thinks it’s an issue because he plays short-term fortresses in his testing mode, he doesn’t invest weeks into a fortress or play a fortress for decades of in-game time. And he’s waaaay more interested in adventure mode. So fortress mode is critically broken in a way that I think is unlikely to ever be fixed.

Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
9 months ago

@occasional reader:

Indeed, it was often an easy filler, the same sequence being repeated (and this kind of repetition, combined with a number of frames less important than in bigger productions, was one of the points “anti-japanese animes” were complaining in the 80 and 90).

Of course, *western* animation *never* did *that*! *cough*HannaBarbera*cough*

@Cyborgette:

Unfortunately the Angband variant community such as I’ve seen it has coddled a lot of misogyny, plus some transphobia and antisemitism and general grossness, so I’m not that comfortable taking part in it anymore.

That’s disappointing. I was tangentially connected with it for a while a decade or more ago and it didn’t seem like that then. There was even at least one female variant developer active (Ingeborg Somebody, working on a Norse-themed variant) and so far as I was aware she was not treated with any discernible disdain due to gender … at least not in the Usenet newsgroup where most of the community hung out at that time. That newsgroup seems to be moribund these days, so they must have migrated elsewhere (likely Facebook), and even then they had other channels (IRC, and I think at least one variant’s web site had commenting functionality) where perhaps there was bad behavior that I didn’t see.

But it sounds like it might have developed some toxicity over the intervening time, which is … disappointing.

.jpeg
.jpeg
9 months ago

@Policy of Madness:

the (male) game developer

*(female)

Bayonetta was designed by Mari Shimazaki, a woman, who thought she “ended up a strong female character.” Though you could still argue that her design panders towards the male gaze.

Cyborgette
Cyborgette
9 months ago

@Surplus

Nah the toxicity was always there I think. Just less visible to me when I was young, male, and ignorant.

Oh, I remember ISNorden, yeah I don’t think she’s been involved for a while. And I know there’s at least one other trans fem active in the community. But at this point I kind of just can’t be bothered. (Also can’t be bothered dealing with so much C and C++ TBH, doing stuff in Rust has absolutely spoiled me rotten.)

occasional reader
occasional reader
9 months ago

> Moon Custafer
Ah, well, there is always a kind of magic about Freddy Mercury…

> Cyborgette
Hu, since i work in Java, i have lost the count of C++ versions, sorry. And i do not know Rust. Is it a good one ?
Hmm, you were not interested because of the side plot or because the side plot have been removed ?

> Policy of Madness
It seems that they are going on Steam with graphic tiles rather than Ascii, though. Maybe the amelioration of the fortress mode is not their priority right now ?

> Surplus to Requirements
Ah, well, other french commenters can correct me if i am wrong, but i think Hanna Barbera cartoons arrived after japanese animes in France (first anime in 78, if i am not wrong, can not remember for Hanna Barbera). Before that, it was a mix of Disney (the short ones, i do not speak about the annual big Disney), Looney Toons and Lantz cartoons. And at this time (80/90), there also was this “Yellow peril” shit (and being half, damn i know what it is), so they were just jumping on another occasion to disparage another “invading asiatic stuff”. To be honest, the choices of the diffused animes, at this time, were not the best too…
To note, Disney culture was so present at this time that “mickey” even became a common word in French (in old generations. I do not know if it is still used by more recent ones). “Regarder des mickeys” means “watch cartoons” and “dessiner des (petits) mickeys” means “draw (small) cartoons”, even if it is not the famous mouse.

Ah, well, sorry. I am going back to work on Tuesday, i will not bother you longer from this day.

Cyborgette
Cyborgette
9 months ago

@occasional reader

Re Rust: oh I hecking love it. It’s imperative, strongly typed, has an astonishing set of compile time and runtime safety features, and performs comparably to C++. (Usually compiles faster too, though not as fast as C.) It also supports unsafe code (in cordoned of blocks) for when that’s actually needed, hardware drivers or interfacing with C APIs or such. And it has package management better than most scripting languages, its own build system, a compiler that produces actually helpful messages… It’s the closest thing I’ve ever seen to a programming language designed for human beings TBH.

Re the ToME4 side plot in question. CN: SF misogyny and body horror, I guess? I can’t go into too much detail because that would also be triggery for a lot of people I think.

.

.

.

.

.

.

The side plot I’m referring to is the “orc breeding pits” quest, which is basically the worst part of the later Dune books, on anabolic steroids.

I was bullshit when I found out about that; the guy who wrote the quest just pulled all kinds of “I can’t possibly not be a feminist” and “actually this is edgy and progressive” stuff out of his ass, and I couldn’t argue effectively because I was male at the time. (My fave: “all the women I’ve talked to say this is actually feminist, it’s only men who are complaining.”) I pretty quickly decided to walk away because fuck even dealing with that, esp. as forced birth, lobotomy, enslavement of women, pregnancy horror, and all the related stuff has always been and continues to be a huge trigger for me. Cis dudes just don’t understand why this stuff gets to me so much and act like it’s a sign of immaturity or something, it is incredibly frustrating TBH.

Naglfar
Naglfar
9 months ago

@Cyborgette
Not familiar with the game in question, but a lot of that stuff is triggering for me as well. And I hate the “edgy progressive” defense. Especially right now, since the “edgy progressive” defense now seems to be the default modus operandi for a lot of online leftists unfortunately, who use it as an excuse to use slurs and bash marginalized people (part of why I strongly dislike Breadtube). And they have a few token PoC, LGBT folx, and women to allow them to claim that those groups okayed it.

Dalillama
Dalillama
9 months ago

Oh, I remember ISNorden, yeah I don’t think she’s been involved for a while.

Oh hey, there’s a name I didn’t expect to see around here. (Mostly because involved political discussions aren’t really her bag), I didn’t know she’d ever done any coding, I met her through TTRPGS.

Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
9 months ago

@Cyborgette:

Also can’t be bothered dealing with so much C and C++ TBH, doing stuff in Rust has absolutely spoiled me rotten.

s/Rust/Clojure/ and you’d have me. I haven’t used Rust, mind you, but upon reading a bit about it I find that apparently it’s what they’ve been rewriting Firefox in.

That’d be the browser that has become increasingly balky and unstable in recent years, rarely crashing outright but displaying a huge panoply of annoying symptoms:

1. Being unable to switch to a tab properly. Instead of the page that you left that tab on, you get some different page that appears to be some web site’s loading graphic, a small spinning grey wheel by itself horizontally centered. Switching away and back sometimes fixes it, sometimes not until you’ve done it half a dozen times or more. The tab doesn’t seem to have actually spontaneously navigated to a different page, but rather the browser seems to have switched to the wrong tab, except for the fact that none of the tabs you had open resembled this wrong-tab.

2. Sometimes a browser tab seems to just ignore commands, or act like the network stack is hung. This usually happens either with a tab that was not foregrounded for a while — you switch to it and hit reload, or go to navigate it, and nothing happens — or with a new tab produced via right-click “open in new tab”. The tab throbber does its thing, but there’s no network activity and no status line notification of same (“looking up foo.tld”, “looked up foo.tld”, “connecting to foo.tld”, and so on). It just doesn’t even initiate the hostname lookup for some reason. It just sits there. Sometimes it starts going spontaneously after a few seconds but usually it takes hammering reload or closing and recreating the tab (sometimes multiple times) to coax it into actually trying to look up and contact the server.

3. Often sluggish performance, esp. when switching tabs (noticing a pattern here? If you stick with a single tab and it’s working OK it tends to stay working OK).

4. For a year or two, the “Mozilla Crash Reporter” always pops up when Firefox exits, even if you exited it by clicking the little red X in the top right corner rather than it having actually crashed. Apparently whatever bit of code is supposed to distinguish between an abnormal termination and a user-initiated exit isn’t distinguishing anymore. And nobody’s bothered to fix it. In dozens of months.

OK, some of this might be poor programming or outright neglect by the developers, but it certainly does not give one the impression that Rust is “as performant as C++”, and the memory and concurrency safety, as is so often the case, didn’t really eliminate errors in such things, but just commuted their sentences: instead of corrupted data or a crash (or worse, malware executing) you just get runtime errors, deadlocks, and livelocks. In Firefox’s case, it looks like livelocks are the most common result, with a tab’s networking component spending long periods unresponsive or the tab switcher itself flaking out.

Mind you, for a major network-facing thing like a browser, locking out the possibility of malware exploiting buffer overruns and similar exploits is a major win. But pushing something as “crashproof” that has just traded crashes for hangs that can fairly often force the user to exit and restart it is a bit overblown IMO.

One might wonder why I haven’t switched to Chrome. In a nutshell, the answer is “NoScript”: being able to whitelist scripts eliminates 99.9% of the malware threat, and in a way that synergizes with any under the hood memory safety enhancements in the browser. So far as I am aware there is no equivalent of NoScript for Chrome.

Naglfar
Naglfar
9 months ago

@Surplus
I use Firefox regularly and haven’t noticed most of those bugs. What OS are you running it on?

Instead of the page that you left that tab on, you get some different page that appears to be some web site’s loading graphic, a small spinning grey wheel by itself horizontally centered.

This has happened to me before on my older laptop. That computer had a myriad of other issues, but usually just waiting cleared this one up.

So far as I am aware there is no equivalent of NoScript for Chrome.

Here you go.

Cyborgette
Cyborgette
9 months ago

@Dalillama

IDK if she was involved in coding or how much, she was mostly before my time.

@Naglfar

Yeah, that kind of “dark and edgy” complex is a bit of a calling card for awful politics and awful people IME. Not that I’m opposed to darkness in itself – hi, I read people like NK Jemisin and Caitlin Kiernan, I’m cool with having tragedy and horror in my fiction. What I’m not cool with is when it’s just there for shock value, and abused women are treated as story props.

At a certain point it starts reflecting badly on the author to write stuff like that, and on the community to stay silent about it.

BTW you’re not the first other trans woman I’ve encountered who mentioned having those same triggers. It’s a thing I feel weirdly about TBH. Like, as people without wombs we’re exempt from a lot of those horrors IRL, and therefore privileged in a way, but the body awareness and the fear and anger that go with it clearly cut very deep.

Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
9 months ago

@Naglfar:

I use Firefox regularly and haven’t noticed most of those bugs. What OS are you running it on?

Windoze 7. And before anyone asks, I don’t have excessively many tabs open; maybe a dozen or fewer much of the time. One parked on Facebook, one here, three more at other sites, typically one to run searches and do miscellaneous stuff in (since creating new tabs sometimes runs afoul of the “network doesn’t even try to do anything” problem), and a few that are basically to-do items in the form of browser tabs.

Oh, wait, is there now a NoScript for Chrome? Excellent. I should check that out sometime.

Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
9 months ago

REPOST (first got eaten)

@Naglfar:

I use Firefox regularly and haven’t noticed most of those bugs. What OS are you running it on?

Windoze 7. And before anyone asks, I don’t have excessively many tabs open; maybe a dozen or fewer much of the time. One parked on Facebook, one here, three more at other sites, typically one to run searches and do miscellaneous stuff in (since creating new tabs sometimes runs afoul of the “network doesn’t even try to do anything” problem), and a few that are basically to-do items in the form of browser tabs.

Oh, wait, is there now a NoScript for Chrome? Excellent. I should check that out sometime.

Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
9 months ago

Have I been put on moderation for some reason? My posts are no longer appearing.

Cyborgette
Cyborgette
9 months ago

@Surplus

Clojure is a JVM language with all the JVM’s issues. I’m sure it’s an excellent language for certain niches, but those are not the same ones as Rust.

I never said anything about Rust being “crashproof”. It is quite capable of generating runtime errors; a Turing-complete language with no runtime errors at all is literally impossible. Don’t put words into my mouth.

A browser is not a language benchmark. IME Firefox was a lot less performant when it was written in C++, but we’re clearly on different platforms and/or hardware so IDK.

If you want Javascript blocking across different browsers, use uBlock Origin. https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/ublock-origin/cjpalhdlnbpafiamejdnhcphjbkeiagm

And FTR while I’m not as deep in computers as some people here – just a couple years as a sysadmin and a bunch of hobby projects, I’m nothing special – I don’t appreciate being talked down to by a random Internet dude about a language said dude has not even bothered using. Check yourself, please.

Edit: ah I missed that you’re on Windows 7. Congrats, you’re running an unsupported OS – Win7 was EOL’d in January. That may explain some of your problems.

Naglfar
Naglfar
9 months ago

@Surplus
Your posts seem to be appearing normally, maybe it has to do with the comments general bugs.

Re: Windows 7
I had my old laptop running that, I upgraded a few months before the end of service. Haven’t used it since, so I can’t attest to how to make FF work better on it, but YMMV for Chrome seeing as, like Cyborgette said, it’s no longer supported.

Cyborgette
Cyborgette
9 months ago

Addendum to my last: turns out Firefox isn’t even close to being fully ported to Rust yet. See https://wiki.mozilla.org/Oxidation#Within_Firefox

If you look at the current source tree ( https://github.com/mozilla/gecko-dev ) you’ll see that the huge majority of compiled code is still C++, though I can’t definitively say that your problems aren’t with Rust parts.

Lizuka
9 months ago

Bayonetta’s kind of a mixed bag who I’d say on the whole leans more positive. On one hand, she is sexualized to the point of absolute absurdity and that is very questionable, but on the other it kind of is pushed so far with her that it feels like parody, particularly when you consider she actually has a pretty clear, developed personality that goes beyond that and is portrayed as a highly competent character.

I think it’d be easier to argue Princess Peach is a sex object than Bayonetta honestly; while she does have her stronger portrayals (mostly some of the RPGs, SMB2, and 3D World, debatably Odyssey given at least she has more agency than usual), by and large the character exists as a reward for a man and little else.

Cyborgette
Cyborgette
9 months ago

@Lizuka

So like YMMV because I couldn’t make it past the intro video and all, but “Incredibly competent female character who still exists mostly for the titillation of male viewers” is still a hugely sexist trope. See also Lara Croft.

None of this is mutually exclusive with characters like Princess Peach being objectified, either. (The latter more as romance objects than sex objects IMO but yeah).

Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
9 months ago

Re: Windoze 7 — what alternatives would you suggest? Windoze 8 has a mobile-focused UI, pushing toward single-tasking: apps like to be fullscreen, no start menu, etc.; Windoze 10 is loaded with ads and spyware, has forced updates, and the forced updates are used to steal away functionality and then spam you with ads offering to rent it back to you (e.g. replacing “previous versions” via volume shadow copies and Windoze Backup with in-Explorer ads pushing the OneDrive subscription service); and non-Windoze operating systems won’t run many of the applications I use. I also have doubts about how well Win10 would run on my current hardware, and obvious expense issues with replacing said hardware, plus logistical problems (no credit card to order it shipped; won’t fit in a backpack; COVID lockdown; etc.) as well as a general lack of desire to replace a mostly well-functioning OS with one deliberately made more hostile to squeeze more money out of people (money I don’t have — no OneDrive subscription for me, so no replacing “previous versions” for me).

And then there are the horror stories: updates bricking machines, machines just suddenly shutting down and rendering themselves unusable for hours or even days at Microsoft’s whim because TPTB decided it was time for those machines to update Win10, etc. … I, for one, cannot afford to have that lack of control over my machine. I can’t have it suddenly go out of commission for hours or days without warning and without recourse. I suppose this could be prevented by pulling the network plug so it can never receive any signal from M$ to initiate such a lockout-for-hours-and-update process, but these days it is absolutely crippling to not have an internet connection.

The Win7 monthly patching process was bad enough, thanks to occasional glitchy patches and a bad habit TrustedInstaller.exe has of sometimes hogging the CPU and of returning itself eventually to normal priority if you lower its task priority to force it to play nicer with multitasking. And its updating process typically took 10-15 minutes, plus 5 for a reboot.

As soon as I heard that Win10 updating takes hours, not minutes, takes the computer over fully rather than multitasking even poorly with you going on about your own work, and can’t be switched off or even easily deferred to a more convenient time, I shook my head no.

And that was before I heard that M$ uses the inability any more to delay a patch, and then skip it outright if it gets a bad reputation, to use patches to do hostile things like rip out features to sell back to you as separate, extra-charge new products and services, and to add adware and telemetry, and even to install crapware (which you used to get only once, with the initial purchase of the machine) and delete rival applications. I can only imagine how crammed with ads and crapware Win10 is now, after years of such abusive patches by Microsoft. And how bloated and slow all that user-hostile cruft has made it unless you get extra-beefy (= extra-expensive) hardware to run it on.

Oh, and don’t get me started on the very sleazy and deceptive methods M$ used to try to push Win10 on Win7 users when it was new. That alone was a big red flag for me.

Naglfar
Naglfar
9 months ago

@Surplus
I am no fan of Windows 10 for this reasons and more. Have you considered Linux?

An Impish Pepper
An Impish Pepper
9 months ago

The Bayonetta conversation kind of makes me wonder what game concepts like that might look like if more LGBT people and racially diverse teams were in the industry, and women weren’t constantly relegated to the same handful of roles designed to placate the egos of cis het men.

@Surplus

I don’t want to defend Windows 10 too much, but some of what you’re describing with respect to updates is the same as before; they’re just not called Service Packs anymore. Windows 10 came out five years ago; five years before that, Windows 7 was rolling out a beta of Service Pack 1. These larger updates have always required that the OS wasn’t running, since they’re basically reinstalling the OS itself. It would be more or less the same thing if you were upgrading a Linux-based or BSD-based OS.

Ultimately, we can’t expect software to just stay frozen in place forever and work just fine. Various security fixes and quality-of-life changes are essential to maintaining software, and at some point that will require other software to update to maintain compatibility. So you say you’re sticking with Windows 7 to run certain applications. That eventually won’t even be the case anymore, as sad as that is.

I think it would be best to look into switching to a different OS or upgrading to 10. FWIW, I think 10 was never as bad as some critics were saying, and isn’t nearly as bad as it was five years ago.