#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

65 replies on “Leaked GameStop training video explains mysterious "women" to confused male staffers”

“What’s that, a massively popular AAA game with realistically-proportioned, properly-armoured women of multiple body types, each with their own personality and backstory? Fuck that, HHH CUPS, LIEFELD WAISTS AND BIKINI ARMOUR FOR ALL.”


It’s almost enough to make the Portal guns and classy crabs not worth it… Almost

(Minor warning: The Retsupurae guys are really into their “Kill yourself haha” and “Whores lolol” jokes.)

Why can’t gamers and comic book lovers be attracted to women who aren’t deformed to the point of apparent bodily injury? No wonder they can’t find “average” women attractive, I can’t break my spine on command to make myself look “better” to them.

It’s like how men are complaining that the new Mortal Kombat game will have female characters with more realistic proportions. They’re wearing the same clothes, they just look like ACTUAL PEOPLE now instead of Beefy Snake Women With Water Balloons instead of Boobs. And of course, they’re decrying it as “PANDERING!” (to women and SJWs, and they shouldn’t be playing games anyways, apparently). Because that’s #GamerGate’s “MISANDRY!”. Anything that isn’t done to their express benefit is “pandering”.

I’m going to go listen to this for a while (Thank you Pandora for the recommendation):

I work at a nation wide chain craft store in a big shopping center next door to a Game Stop. It’s the only store that evet gets robbed. And it gets robbed at least once a year.

It’s not a bad part of town or anything; we don’t have a bad part of town here.


Think I’ve seen that picture on the eschergirls tumblr. Some of that art gets really disturbing…


That’s where I snagged it from, yeah. I’ve also seen some of the more disturbing ones. Rob Leifield always comes to mind when I think of Escher Girls.

I also love it when some of the people re-draw it.

Though I have seen some of the “pro” artists get snippy about it when “amateurs” come in and make them look like they’ve never seen a real woman in their lives before.

Here’s the last time I recall it happening, with articles in order:

The “women are delectable but mysterious not-really-quite-human beings” myth is one of the oldest foundation stones of misogyny and therefore rape culture. It certainly was pounded into young men of my generation. As Prof. Higgins says in My Fair Lady: “Women are irrational, that’s all there is to that! Their heads are full of cotton, hay, and rags. They’re nothing but exasperating, irritating, vacillating, calculating, agitating, maddening and infuriating hags!” The fact that the dogma is often expressed in a joke about how incomprehensible women are, does not make it any less serious. The subtext of the joke usually is that every intelligent man knows not to expect rational behavior of a woman. And obviously if there is no possibility of understanding a woman’s thinking, then why bother to listen to her at all? This piece of nonsense drives me up a wall, and I can imagine how women feel about it.
This myth is a basic part of rape culture because it tells men that they cannot successfully engage with a woman on an open and honest basis, they need to become skilled at psychological manipulation and deceit. Using physical force is “legitimate rape”; but psychological pressure, manipulation, and deceit, particularly when cleverly applied, is entirely acceptable — to this way of thinking.
This is where men like the MRAs and Gamergators are stuck. Most young men eventually manage to converse with women and therefore learn that it is in fact possible. One of the big turning points in my life was reading Simone de Beauvoirs “The Second Sex” in college. Here was a woman who quite clearly could do rationality extremely well — that cured me of the notion that women are by nature irrational. But then I’ve always been inclined to rebel against accepted beliefs — men who are inclined to accept received “wisdom” often end up in a bad place.
The general reaction of men to discussions about rape culture and consent seems to be confusion and defensiveness, and I think that is because most men think that the discussion is about which methods of maneuvering a woman into bed are acceptable and which are unacceptable. They want a clear, bright-line defined rule as to what they can and cannot do. If I understand correctly what women who talk about rape culture are saying is that they wanted to be treated as real human being and not as sex-dispensing appliances for which you need to figure out the entry code number. The discussions fails because men and woman do not really share the same concept of rape: men think of its as an unacceptable type or degree of coercion, where as woman think that any sort of coercion, even a mild one, cannot lead to real consent.
I myself have always looked at rape from a male “what are the rules” perspective, and it has taken a lot of thought for me to try to understand the woman’s perspective, and I am not at all sure I’ve gotten it right, so please please correct me if you think I need it. Unfortunately, if I do understand the women’s point of view correctly, it seems to require a level of sensitivity to one’s partner’s feelings that many men — trained to ignore their own feelings as we men are — will find hard to manage.
{NOTE: I have gotten batted around on WHTM on a few occasions, and thinking it over I realize that I have done something without being explicit about it; I have frequently tried to summarize what women think about something without making it clear that I am not trying to tell the women here what they think, I am trying to find out whether the women here think it is a fair summary of what they think so I can use it as “what women think” when I talk to other men or to the occasional woman who says she’s not a feminist. I understand that “what women think” is a rather meaningless phrase because you can find every possible opinion in some woman, up to and including Judgy Bitch, but I think it is possible to express a general consensus view held by women like the ones who post here, which is reasonably useful for someone like me who wants to be able to argue things from a feminist point of view.}

Thanks, PI. That third link, with Manara, uh, “defending” himself … I can’t tell if he’s an idiot, or was totally unprepared and a little panicky, or a little of both. Just classic.

Going to Gamestop with my sons has frequently made me grateful to have the kids I have.

It’s also striking how quickly the sales force remembers a customer who is polite and cheerful.

I am really sad to see how many here have had bad experiences at GameStop. I was introduced to the brand at a nearby store where the manager was a woman and she didn’t tolerate the idea of games being just for boys. The GameStop I frequent now always has at least one female associate working anytime they are open. All of the people who work there have always been polite and helpful. I am there frequently enough that they can tell the difference between games for me or my husband. They have even called to let me know that a game I have been interested in is available for preorder. I guess I have just gotten really lucky.

@Mewens Well, I mean, Manara draws porn for a living. That’s his thing. I don’t really blame him for those covers, honestly. I blame the asshat who hired a porn artist to draw superheroes. Manara was just doing what any sensible person who’s seen any of his work would expect. That said, obviously Manara is a rather ridiculous person. Sounds like he spends too much time in a bubble of artsy bullshit.

But I’m more annoyed at actual superhero artists who draw women as if they’re barbie dolls. Which seems to be quickly becoming unfashionable, thank god. The big two have realized that it makes a lot of sense to start pandering to their tumblr fanbases, which are of course very feminist. This seems to motivate them to hire artists who can actually draw the female body.

Worse, they hired a porn artist to draw a superheroine in a book ostensibly aimed at women, when his porn is very male-gazy anyway.

@Adam Oh yeah, I was referring specifically to his comments there. (I’m not familiar enough with his work to have any feelings about it.) But the mighty defense of, “You should be caring about Ebola instead” and the infinite wisdom of, “Women are genetically sexy” – that’s moronic, illogical and pseudoscientific.

But yeah, it’s nice to see mainstream titles that aren’t all about body paint and quivering flesh. Ms. Marvel’s becoming the highlight of my Wednesdays.


We may live in the same city! I’m a county out of Knoxville. However in my town we have a game store called Control Freak that sells vintage games. It is great to see other likeminded people in such close proximity. It is pretty lonely in the South.

@StaciCakes: It looks like there’s a Control Freak store in Pigeon Forge. I’m in Anderson County, unfortunately, although I have friends who lived in Blount County in 2012 (they moved to Knoxville last year).

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