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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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Cthulhu's Intern
8 years ago

I’m pretty sure this game is not affiliated with the MRM. Sure, it’s probably anti-feminist, and it’s unlikely that this game wasn’t made to spite feminists, but it doesn’t seem like an MRA game. It’s too subtle. If it were an MRM game, it would directly mention “feminism” in the description and the enemies would be extremely shallow straw feminists.
Also, I can’t believe it actually has a modding community. Even if you take out the misogyny, it still looks like a pretty generic, boring early-to-mid-00s shooter from that video.

hellkell
hellkell
8 years ago

Charlotte’s a drive-by MRA sympathizer. Nothing to see, really.

feintone
8 years ago

@ cthulhu’s intern. nooo don’t give them ideas!
actually, maybe go ahead and do. I’m sure the result would be hilariously pathetic.

feintone
8 years ago

also that clip gave me unreal tournament flashbacks. now I’m feeling nostalgic, gonna listen to Blink 182 and watch season two of peep show ( a British sitcom)

Λυνα
Λυνα
8 years ago

It’s likely that the misogyny IS the reason there’s a modding community. The guys who made the first patch for it said that they thought the story concept and enemies were interesting, which does seem to imply the misogyny of it is what drew them in, and honestly it wouldn’t surprise me. The modding community is pretty objectifying and hostile towards women.

WeeBoy
WeeBoy
8 years ago

Just a complete derail to say to yous that ive had my surgery and blogged about it at http://www.howdoiadult.blogspot.co.nz

hellkell
hellkell
8 years ago

Weeboy: I’m glad the surgery went well!

Cyst removal pain is no joke. I had a pilonidal one, and that was three months of open healing and a lot of painkillers.

acrannymint
acrannymint
8 years ago

I’m more of a Kingdom of loathing kind of gal myself – http://www.kingdomofloathing.com/login.php?loginid=34256790a349418284fae42432368635

kittehserf
8 years ago

WeeBoy, glad it went well! I just dropped a few comments on your blog.

EWWWW that food! ::hurk::

emilygoddess
emilygoddess
8 years ago

Also, I can’t believe it actually has a modding community. Even if you take out the misogyny, it still looks like a pretty generic, boring early-to-mid-00s shooter from that video.

This is the most disturbing part, to me. If the it’s not the gameplay or the visuals drawing people to this game, then all that’s left is the premise: a thinly-veiled excuse to play “shoot lots of women”.

The thing Charlotte’s missing is that this isn’t equivalent to games where the majority of enemy mooks happen to be men, because those games aren’t made just so a player can have fun shooting men, and you don’t typically play FPSs as a female character. This game is explicitly about gendered violence (and let’s not forget which direction gendered violence happens in most often – being killed for being a woman is a fear a lot of women actually live with).

emilygoddess
emilygoddess
8 years ago

Oh, and much love for Kingdom of Loathing. I had to abandon my character when I got sober, because of the whole alcohol = extra turns thing, and when I came back there was so much more stuff I just felt overwhelmed and wandered off. But you have to love a game where literally every item/monster/quest is a joke, and probably an innuendo. I still giggle whenever I buy a baguette from the grocery store.

Does it still count as a female protagonist if she’s in animal form for most of the game? Because anyone who enjoys puzzle solving and GORGEOUS artwork and Japanese folklore should check out Okami.

Ally S
8 years ago

So let me get this straight, the game is bad because you kill mostly women? Even though the overwhelming majority of shooter games have you kill men pretty much exclusively?

No, the game is bad because it looks boring as fuck and because it seems to be based off of misogynistic fantasies.

Also, there’s a difference between killing mostly men because men are more likely to be depicted as fighters, enemies, etc. and killing mostly men because of anti-male bias.

Alex
8 years ago

Wild FeMRA appeared! Wild FeMRA used “what about the men”! Regular opium4themasses used “that’s not the reason”! It’s not very effective… Regular kittehserf used “read it again”! But it missed! Regular LBT used, “I just tackled that”! Wild FeMRA is unaffected. Regular hellkell used “ignore”! Wild FeMRA is starving for attention! Regular emilygoddess used “Take real life into account”! It’s not very effective… Regular Ally S used “try logic”! Wild FeMRA fled!

I’d liked to have written, “It’s super effective!” for each of those, but that would entail an MRA or FeMRA having an epiphany that they’re fucking wrong, which pretty much never happens. Also working on the attack names. lol

kittehserf
8 years ago

Alex, you win all the internetz. With bonus points and bon-bons.

cloudiah
8 years ago

LOL, Alex. I love this place.

kittehserf
8 years ago

Here’s the best possible game: Cat Fighter!

http://youtu.be/Gtf-3-jbqbg

Alex
8 years ago

YAY! Bonbons! 😀 For some reason, I always imagine “bonbons” as some creamy pink round candy, kind of a gum ball, but not. I have yet to discover such a candy, but I will imagine it’s delicious.

Alex
8 years ago

I would totally play Cat Fighter 2, by the way. Ever played sushi cat? That game is addictive.

neuroticbeagle
8 years ago

@Alex

This is what bon bons are:

http://southnfrance.com/what-is-a-bon-bon/

kittehserf
8 years ago

Not me, I only play Tetris and Freecell. 🙂

Alice Sanguinaria
8 years ago

neuroticbeagle – Now I want a bonbon. 🙁 DAMN IT.

kittehserf
8 years ago

I was just looking at that, neuroticbeagle! 😀

vaiyt
8 years ago

The idea of making a game where all the mooks are women could be an interesting comment on the current state of videogamedom; but tying the story to a gender war just makes any possible point moot. Wasted potential.

Also, viruses are not fucking magic.

neuroticbeagle
8 years ago

kittehs- here is a tetris like game you’ll enjoy.

http://www.shinycatz.com/cat-games/75-cat-tetris-game.php

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