Category: Sexism

Review: Ghostbusters Versus Timothy

holtzmannspecs

CF: So Ghostbusters, what did you think?
Timothy: Overall I felt the  duffel bag could have been larger.
CF: Seriously, it was the only way to get you into the cinema.
Timothy: Ah, the ‘No Cats’ rule again.
CF: Specifically the ‘No cats called Timothy because he keeps shouting at the characters in the movie’ rule again.
Timothy: I believe my fellow patrons enjoy my ad-hoc commentary.
CF: Well, unfortunately, some less appreciative patrons have complained sufficiently often that you’re are permanently banned.
Timothy: Phillip Steins
CF: I think you mean ‘Philistines’
Timothy: No, that’s the manager’s name: Phillip Stein.
CF: Back to the film?
Timothy: Well all I can say is that I’m glad you took me to see the original movie and not the horrid all-girl version.
CF: This was the “all-girl” version.
Timothy: I’m pretty sure it wasn’t. I would have hated the all-girl version.
CF: We’ve been through this Timothy, remember? The lesson on how to tell human males and females apart?
Timothy: It’s a bit hazy and I think it involved beards.
CF: Well I wish I hadn’t mentioned facial hair at all as it got quite complicated.
Timothy: Frankly, you are all disgusting.
CF: But seriously, I don’t get how you can push your anti-feminist nonsense when you can’t actually tell men from women. Do your views extend to the cat world?
Timothy: Don’t be absurd. For starters we ascribe gender by scent and the complexities of cat social dynamics are far superior to humans.
CF: So you confine your prejudice solely to human women, who you can’t actually tell apart from human men?
Timothy: My ‘prejudices’ as you but it are derived by sheer force of logical reasoning.
CF: Actually from sheer force of you reading too many right wing websites.
Timothy: Brietbart understands where the young cat about town is coming from.
CF: I mean this in the nicest possible way, but you are a thoroughly incompetent misogynist.
Timothy: Back to the classic movie? I feel we may have drifted from the topic at hand and into the field of verbally abusing cats.
CF: This was the remake.
Timothy: Oh you poor deluded soul.
CF: You’ve never seen the original.
Timothy: I did today, although it was from tiny holes cut in a canvas duffel bag. What is a duffel anyway? Duffel bags, duffel coats, can you duffel anything?
CF: I think it is a nautical term but we digress again. Best character?
Timothy: Holtzmann.
CF: I concur.
Timothy: Holtzmann was everything a manly cat looks for in a hero. Smart, sound engineering skills, cat-like reflexes and inventive in choice of weaponry.
CF: Personally I liked her mix of oddball personality and sense of humour. She combined aspects of both Egon and Venkman.
Timothy: I’m assuming those people are Communists.
CF: No, those are two of the original Ghostbusters.
Timothy: Absurd. Manifestly Holtzmann is an inherently original character and not some chimeric blending of two Communist writers who probably looked like hipster baristas.
CF: Well I agree that Holtzmann was quite a distinctive character and funny too.
Timothy: I also liked the tall one.
CF: ‘Patty’ played by Leslie Jones.
Timothy: Didn’t like the Australian.
CF: Again I concur. Hemsworth didn’t quite carry off the reverse stereotype of the ditzy receptionist.
Timothy: The others were fine. I particularly liked the misunderstood central character who was really only trying to assert himself in a troubled world.
CF: You’ve lost me again.
Timothy: The nice chap who worked in the hotel.
CF: The main villain?
Timothy: I thought he made some good points.
CF: But you do get that he was the bad guy?
Timothy: Sure, but he was a tragic figure of misunderstood genius. I’m sure they must have cut a scene where the heroic Holtzmann grieved at having to eliminate him.
CF: mmm I’m pretty sure they didn’t.
Timothy: Oh, maybe it was in the end credits! We should have stayed till the end of the credits!
CF: Yeah, well I would have liked to but *somebody* wanted to use the ‘bathroom’.
Timothy: Would it have killed you to put a litter tray in that duffel bag?
CF: Aside from Hemsworth, other faults? I thought there were some odd discontinuities. The stuff about the mayor warning the Ghostbusters off never really went anywhere. One moment he was basically shutting them down and the next moment they are back at base saying everything is fine and trying out new weapons. Also, the stuff with the grey hair didn’t go anywhere either.
Timothy: Again, probably in the end credits which you wouldn’t let us watch.
CF: Faults from your perspective?
Timothy: Insufficient Holtzmann screen time. Also, the film should have been called ‘Holtzmann’ and really should have just been Holtzmann building and then testing proton guns.
CF: Oddly, I would watch that. Did you find it funny?
Timothy: Funny? A film about the restless souls of the dead? Are you some kind of unfeeling monster?
CF: Let’s just assume the answer is ‘yes’ to that question because I thought it kept the laughs up quite well. There were a few flat bits of dialogue, though. I don’t think Kristen Wigg and Melissa McCarthy had quite the same repartee as Bill Murray and Dan Ackroyd.
Timothy: The scary bits were scary at the start.
CF: Yes, it had a good creepy vibe. The cameos weren’t great.
Timothy: Camo? They didn’t wear camo. OK the soldiers near the end wore camo…
CF: Cameos. Appearance by the original cast in minor roles. Having said that the best one was the last one appropriately.
Timothy: OK, bored now. Sum it all up.
CF: For a remake, pretty good. A nice mix of comedy, spooky elements and action.
Timothy: Certainly better than that terrible movie with girl Ghostbusters that nobody is watching at all.
CF: Can we agree one one thing? HOLTZMANN!
Timothy: HOLTZMANN!
CF: HOLTZMANN!!!!
Timothy: HOLTZMAANNNNNNN!!!!!!!!!
CF: You win.
Timothy: Naturally. Now excuse me while I fashion some goggles.

Advertisements

An insight into video game sexism? I’m in two minds…

A graph - go and read the paper.

A graph – go and read the paper.

There is an interesting paper (with an odd flaw) on sexism in online video games. It was published the other day on PLOS ONE and can be read in full here: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0131613 Hoorah for open access! [You can even download their data and their R scripts]

Two researchers (Kasumovic from UNSW in Sydney and Kuznekoff from Miami University Middletown in Miami) used Xbox Live to play Halo 3 and recorded audio and video of their team games. They also created three special accounts: one nominated as male, one nominated as female and one nominated as a control. The control account was used to play the game without any verbal input. The other two accounts used a set of pre-recorded audio phrase which were identical between the two accounts but one recorded with a male voice and the other with a female voice.

These prerecorded phrases were identical in the male and female condition, harmless in nature, and designed to be inoffensive. Phrases included: ‘I like this map’, ‘nice shot there’, ‘I had fun playing that game’, ‘I think I just saw a couple of them heading this way’, and ‘that was a good game everyone’.

Having collected audio files from a bunch of games they then transcribed the comments of the other (real) players assigned to them by the game and then they coded those transcripts to identify sexism in the comments. In addition that they had a range of performance values for each of the players (number of kills etc).

Continue reading