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Men's Rights: the Video Game

It's a woman! Shoot her!
It’s a woman! Shoot her!

So I was watching a little video roundup of some of the worst video games ever the other day and I came across some footage from a justifiably obscure little first-person-shooter called Operation Matriarchy.

The premise of this 2005 PC game, made in Russia, may as well have emerged from the fevered imagination of some Men’s Rights activist. Here’s how the promo blurb at MobyGames explains it, with the especially MRA-ish bits in bold:

In the mid-24th century, a virus of unknown origin wiped through the Velian civilization. It affected only the women, twisting them into brutal killing machines. They modified their bodies, enhancing them with cybernetic and bio-engineered parts. The male population was enslaved, used for genetic experiments and food. The previously democratic society became a matriarchal ant-colony; a hive-mind focused on one thing only – Domination. All-out war erupted between the Velians and their former allies, the Federation of Earth.

But fear not! For a brave Men’s Rights Activist space solider, Senior Sergeant Paul Armstrong of the Federation, stands up against these evil matriarchs and their robot friends when they attack his ship. Also, there are monsters.

So, basically, this game offers dudes an excuse to shoot scantily clad women for hours on end. Granted, some of these women are trying to shoot at the bold defenders of all things male, but others are unarmed, and are shot down long before they get close enough to do any harm, making the game ideal for anyone who fantasizes about shooting down wave after wave of women in fetishy gear.

You can see what I’m talking about in the gameplay video below.

This is all very reminiscent of the fantasies of “restorative, retaliatory” violence that seem to drive so many in the Men’s Rights movement, as I noted in my review of Michael Kimmel’s Angry White Men on the American Prospect.

And some men are very dedicated to these fantasies indeed. One odd little side-note to the history of Operation Matriarchy that seems to underscore that point. You see, the game was so incompetently made that when it first shipped it was basically broken. As Wikipedia explains:

Operation: Matriarchy, was released with what appeared to be damaged music files and incomplete sound files; all of the music files, except for the main menu track, simply play static, while several of the sound files are simply silence.

Also, it was ugly as shit.

But some enterprising fans were evidently so taken by the premise of the game that they decided to step up and fix the game themselves — so they could have the opportunity to, well, shoot down wave after wave of scantily clad women while listening to music at the same time, and without the graphics and the story being quite so completely awful.

Wikipedia again:

A pair of fan made mods that replace these files and made other enhancements to the game were released:

In August 2007, a fan-made music and sound enhancement mod was released, which added a complete in-game music score and enhanced sound effects. In addition, the story was rewritten.

In September 2009, a second fan-made mod appeared. This offered a complete (optional) translation to German and further changes to the sound effects and music. However, the largest changes were to the visuals, with enhanced lighting and improved versions of many textures and bump maps.

I don’t know if the video above is one made using the visually “enhanced” version of the game or not. All of the videos of the game I’ve seen — and there are many, many more on YouTube — look awful to me.

If you want to buy this monstrosity, you can get it on Amazon.

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LBT
LBT
8 years ago

RE: Kittehs

No, weight fluctuations are totally ass, I’m with you there. (Though now, in hindsight, I think it was fairly related to me going on testosterone as well; that shit redistributes fat and my waist changed pretty radically.)

I really liked a lot of my clothes too, which made it even sadder to get rid of them. Now most of what we have is my clothes, and a little of Sneak, which is fine for us but makes everyone else kinda D: (Miranda in particular isn’t a big fan of old-man plaids and 90s skater pants).

Argenti Aertheri
8 years ago

LBT — think there’s a difference between things seen as “normal” and those seen as “abnormal” (at best)? That is, breasts are totally normal on women, so a guy not wanting them is, you know, wtf society expects. Sure being trans* complicates that, but, say, Cassandra not wanting a penis on her doesn’t mean she doesn’t like them on men. (Cassandra,a get your mind out of the gutter!)

Contra, in no way is a scoliosis brace seen as normal, and I am fucking glad I didn’t need one.

Idk, I can’t quite put my finger on it, but it feels different when the thing we don’t want is something considered normal. Or maybe I’m weird, since there are things I do want that aren’t considered normal. And thank you, I need to see if I still have my spikes from the first time I guaged my ears before I get a second set of holes! Cuz yeah, I want more holes in my head, which isn’t really considered normal in mainstream culture (body mod culture-wise I’m still all body mod lite though [a term I just made up on the spot])

I’m probably not making sense, this is a significantly less well thought out train of thought.

kittehserf
8 years ago

Agh my clotheshorse brain is thinking how I would not want to be stuck wearing someone else’s clothes choice (even if Sir and I do pinch each other’s knitwear). D:

MIRANDA YOU HAVE MY SYMPATHIES

Even when I went through a wearing-men’s-clothes phase a decade ago, it was men’s vintage floral shirts I went for.

kittehserf
8 years ago

http://artistryforfeminismandkittens.wordpress.com/the-official-man-boobz-complimentary-welcome-package/

We know you’re weird, Argenti, we love ya for it. 😉

What’s the thing-considered-normal you have in mind – being thinner, or the very loose skin that goes with it, that this started with? The former’s certainly seen as normal and desirable, the latter, not (and hardly known, either). It’s like you said about lose-lose, isn’t it? Is the price too high to pay? For me it would be, ‘cos how other people see me clothed matters far less than what I’d see and feel undressed. The tactile element’s a big part of it.

kittehserf
8 years ago

Well poop, that’s a different way for the blockquote monster to strike!

LBT
LBT
8 years ago

RE: Argenti

That is, breasts are totally normal on women, so a guy not wanting them is, you know, wtf society expects.

Well… yes, but we didn’t want breasts way before I existed. In fact, this system has had quite a few people of varying genders, and Miranda has been the only one with ANY interest in them; everyone else were like, “Fuck no, get rid of them.” Even Lolly who was (we think?) a girl.

Honestly, I feel that we didn’t want the chest stuff BEFORE trans stuff came along. It just so happens that my gender was the only way we’d get rid of the damn things, unless we got cancer.

I know this wasn’t entirely what you meant, I just wanted to say.

RE: Kittehs

It’s an old joke that multis are packrats, because everyone wants their own shit. Our wardrobe has definitely morphed over the years, depending on who was around to do the shopping. (Three years ago, our shit was still mostly Lolly’s, even though she’d been dead for years by then.)

Argenti Aertheri
8 years ago

LBT — ah, yeah I guess a cis women not wanting breasts would be seen as weird. (Not that you’re a cis woman or anything)

Kitteh — being thin. Whereas not wanting the loose skin would be not wanting a thing not seen as normal (so many nots in that sentence!)

Maybe it isn’t that different though, seeing how someone perceived as female not wanting breasts would be seen as weird. Or, more relevantly, someone perceived as female not having breasts would be seen as weird, sorta like how someone with that sort of loose skin is seen as weird.

What I was trying to ask was if there’s a difference between not wanting a thing that society is okay with you having, versus not wanting a thing society is not okay with you having. But I’m bias here, not wanting various gendered bits of anatomy feels different than not wanting to be out of the underweight range — the former would make me feel better about myself, society be damned, the later worse. And maybe that’s the difference? Though I guess both are still “(fear of) looking like that makes me feel worse about myself”

In any case, I’ll be curious how much weight she’s kept off in 5 years, very VERY few people keep it off. (And, contra, pecunium and I have both managed to reach into the normal range — neither of us can maintain it while eating healthy, looks like we have a sorta set-point weight and altering it long term, while being healthy, is not easy [which is not to say that everyone is already at theirs, maybe hers is thinner than she was, or LBT’s heavier than he was])

[TW: mention of calories and exact weights]

I’m normally 110-115, less requires starving myself, and more…well, heaviest I’ve been was just over 130 and I was eating tons of candy and chips in top of constant pasta — easily 4,000+ calories a day. Ditch the tons of pasta and cut back to reasonable levels of candy and WOOSH, back to under 120. So to gain substantial weight I’d have to eat lots of junk. Which would be unhealthy. Contra, the least my 200 lb brother has ever weighed was 180 and he was working out daily which also proved unsustainable (there may’ve been a girl involved!)

So what the weight loss industry doesn’t tell you? It’s really hard to maintain a change in weight, in either direction. And yoyo dieting is bad for you, and starvation is fucking terrible for you. Like, jealous as I may be of pecunium’s BMI (and he is scrawny!), he’s that way naturally, dude cooks amazingly and eats it and may be the healthiest person I know. I’d have to starve myself to get that BMI which would be Fucking Dangerous. And hey, at least I’m over my ED enough to realize I shouldn’t try?

/TW

Eating healthy > what the scale says. And certainly > what your BMI is, that measurement SUCKS.

Also, I’m really off topic huh?

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

I’m not sure that “on” is the word you were looking for there.

(Watch me blithely ignore your instructions re gutters)

LBT
LBT
8 years ago

Enh, not sure how much assistance I can be for you on that one, Argenti, but my ED, at least, it wasn’t about making myself feel better. It was just a coping mechanism that had long, LONG outlived its usefulness. And also… fuck, I’m twenty-five. It’s not odd that I don’t have the same build I had as a teenager in high school, plus went through hormonal changes that redistributed my weight. (Seriously, the year on T? My waist has jumped from ‘can’t find shit in the boys’ section’ to ‘comfortably fitting in shit from the men’s section.’ BIG difference.)

I guess all you can do is think about your reasons for things, and think ’em over but good. I tried everything and the kitchen sink to be okay with Mammarus and Titania. I took vitamin supplements, did certain exercises, worse certain types of clothing, reading books on internalized misogyny, even tried just staring at myself in the mirror and giving myself positive self-talk, and none of it did a damn bit of good. My weight? Not nearly so obstinate. (Also, top surgery was WAY less likely to kill me than the ED was.)

sparky
sparky
8 years ago

“What I was trying to ask was if there’s a difference between not wanting a thing that society is okay with you having, versus not wanting a thing society is not okay with you having.f”

Hmmm. This is a good question. Maybe it depends on the motivation for wanting/not wanting the thing, no matter if its socially acceptable or not. Like, someone saying “I want to look like this because I want to look like this” as opposed to “I want to look like this because then I’ll be pretty/socially acceptable, and if I don’t look like this, I’ll be ugly/socially unacceptable.” But then, the question arises whether a person really wants to look a certain socially acceptable way because they truly want to, or if the person has internalized social standards of acceptable appearance. But then again, double guessing other people’s motivations for changing their appearance/wanting to look a certain is really also not cool – patronizing, I think is the word I’m looking for.

Short answer? The individual has to decide for themselves, and to hell what other people think, I guess.

And of course, as long as said bodily changes won’t physically endanger a person.

Oy vey. Society really is fucked up when it comes to appearance.

kittehserf
8 years ago

I’m not sure that “on” is the word you were looking for there.

(Watch me blithely ignore your instructions re gutters)

You owe me a bowl of soup.

Argh

I’m trying to get my thoughts on the wanting/not wanting into words and I have post-cheese sammich brain fog.

Argenti Aertheri
8 years ago

“I’m not sure that “on” is the word you were looking for there.”

It was not.

“Oy vey. Society really is fucked up when it comes to appearance.”

Ramen to that! And while editing people’s choices is patronizing, I do think there’s a difference between wanting it for your own reasons and wanting it because of social pressure. LBT’s top surgery, my piercings, versus wanting to lose weight for weight loss’s sake. Can someone else judge that difference? Probably not (I say probably because things like trans* surgeries are obviously not done to fit in with society but to fit what you think you should look like [wording? That’s why I want what I want, so I may be unfairly generalizing])

LBT — yeah, I’m over it enough to be more or less okay that I can’t be healthy and as small as he is — and you’ve seen us both, and had his cooking. He’s thin and that’s just the way things are. I am slightly less thin, and, again, them be the facts of life. It’s more that nagging voice in the back of my brain than a desire I’ll cave to.

kittehserf
8 years ago

Oh thank goodness – Sparky, you put what I was trying to say into words better’n I could.

LBT
LBT
8 years ago

Yeah, it’s a complicated thing, sparky. I mean, I didn’t starve myself or freak out over my weight because I thought being thin would make me pretty/lovable. (Especially since my vessel’s weight has NOTHING to do with my inner body’s weight.) I freaked because it was a loss of control, and tied into weirder, vaguer things with how I interacted with food and my own brain chemistry. (Basically, starvation was my way of facilitating dissociation. Unfortunately, this meant once I started eating properly again, all these horrible emotions and memory barfing would happen!) That still doesn’t mean I should’ve kept starving myself though. Not at ALL.

kittehserf
8 years ago

Another thing with weight loss for its own sake is how judgey it’s possible to get about other people. That’s not really going to apply to someone who has top surgery, or piercings.

(is now imagining LBT running around saying GET RID OF YOUR BOOBS to all and sundry)

Even when it is a societal expectation, one’s feelings can go into reverse (duh). I used to wish I was the size I used to be – I was a 12 for most of my adult life, which I think is about 8 in current US sizings. I’m about 16-18 these days. I don’t want to get any bigger, ‘cos health issues, but as I’ve said ad nauseam, being loved as I am, and for who and what I am, made all the difference.

Argenti Aertheri
8 years ago

Yeah, my only judgement about piercing is that the gun is bad, get it done with a needle. But that isn’t “you should pierce!!!” But “if you do, needles are safer and less traumatic to your ear” (the gun can only be used on ear lobes)

LBT
LBT
8 years ago

RE: Kittehs

(is now imagining LBT running around saying GET RID OF YOUR BOOBS to all and sundry)

I totally do this. OVERTHROW THE MAMMARIES! WE HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE BUT OUR BOOBS!

cuzimbetterthanyou
cuzimbetterthanyou
8 years ago

This writter needs a hobby…

Well, a real one.

emilygoddess
8 years ago

What’s a “writter”?

hellkell
hellkell
8 years ago

So much for better than us.

Bina
8 years ago

This writter needs a hobby…

This wanker needs a speller.

opheliamonarch
opheliamonarch
8 years ago

@cuziisthestupid,

I’m gonna let Bill say this one for me:

http://youtu.be/TO86Hvr0f8M

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