Fanfic: The Trials of the False Oracle


#1

Welcome to Waypoint's Pantheon of Games, a celebration of our favorite games, a re-imagining of the year's best characters, and an exploration of the 2017's most significant trends.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/3k5kvw/fanfic-the-trials-of-the-false-yorha-oracle

How 'The Red Strings Club' Sabotages Its Hopeful Cyberpunk Vision
#2

Poor 9S but that boy never learns.


#3

Some relevant tweeting: :smile:


#4

How did Waypoint get its hands on a leaked draft of the next Nier stage play?


#5

This was a fun little story. Honestly, it’s the first GOTY stuff I’ve read yet because delving into them during the holidays is such a chore. (I’ll get to them at my own pace in 2018, I promise). Still this was a lovely piece.

9S is a fantastic substitute for the kind of rash, vehemently-“well read” people that will lecture those with actual earned experience (men judging women being the crux here).

Still, I want to say that 9S is my favourite characterisation in Nier Automata: I love how his portrayal changes from naive and needing to be protected, through selfish and calculating, then tragic and foolish, to finally irredeemably vindictive… it felt so fleshed out in a way that no other character in Nier Automata is fully realised.

What I’m saying is: John-Paul is everyone’s least favourite know-it-all.


#6

hey, forgive me if this is inappropriate–i just wanted to say that as a trans woman this makes me pretty uncomfortable! the whole genre of force femme has a lot of, er, history and definitely exists primarily due to transmisogyny. i support efforts by trans women to play with/try to reclaim that, of course, even if it’s not to my personal taste. but it’s definitely something that’s at least a little fraught and Contested Territory, as waypoint is an outlet that’s (afaik) edited by a team of cis people and (almost certainly) mainly read by cis people and that will inevitably mean it’ll be interpreted in potentially bad ways. just, be careful


#7

Co-signing this. Forced-feminization stuff is in that dicey territory where some trans women find it exciting/empowering while others find it extremely dehumanizing. That means being careful about finding the right context for sharing it, and this does not feel careful.


#8

Appreciate this and other similar criticism.

I’ve added content warnings to the post, which absolutely should’ve been there from the jump. It’s on me that they aren’t, and think any criticism to that effect is fair and warranted.


#9

Thanks for this, not only pointing it out to get it reflected on by staff, but also because I’ve never encountered “forced femme” storytelling before (the last fanfic I read was at waypoint’s end if year book 2016 - I’m not very well versed in the genre). I really appreciate having these things brought up so I can research and stay vigilant myself.

Props for the courage to criticise so thoughtfully.


#10

This has been said elsewhere on this thread, but I really don’t feel good about forced femme being published on Waypoint. It’s definitely better with content warnings (thanks Austin), and that it was written by a trans woman, but that doesn’t change the fact that many trans women (myself included) are made deeply uncomfortable by the genre. I first began questioning my gender after seeing a forced chastity post online and, without having a vocabulary for being trans at the time, that was the only outlet I had for my gender feelings for a long time. As a result, I’ve spent the past 7 years or so struggling to separate my gender identity from the fetish that was forced on me.

There definitely should be room for trans women to try to reclaim the genre, but I don’t want to see those ideas celebrated and tossed around so casually on waypoint, one of the most accepting outlets and communities I’ve ever been a part of.


#11

Content warning is highly appreciated. As someone who’s referred to themselves with both male and female pronouns, I was immediately uncomfortable with his mistreatment. Makes me remember times I’ve been afraid of how people treat me. Doesn’t mean that this is a bad piece, just that it definitely needed the cw and really isn’t for me!


#12

Glad a content warning was added! I was really, really unhappy and uncomfortable when I stumbled into this unawares earlier.

That being said, if Waypoint wanted to run some kind of like, I dunno, gaming fanfic column with the appropriate warnings and maybe a click-through page for accidental visitors, I actually think that would be really cool. I think it’d be great if more writers and artists could get paid for their work, especially since a lot of kink (or even just borderline) stuff is forced into the shadows, the content warnings are just an absolutely necessity.


#13

Glad the content warning was put up but like a few ppl have said/hinted at the fact this story is up at all kind of bothers me. I’m sure no ill was intended but the general problem of “Forced Feminization” accompanied by the “gender swap” terminology is…not good imo. “Gender Swap” still implies theres only 2 genders, that can be swapped. (ie: “Opposite Sex”)

Write what you want but be concious of what you’re saying with content such as this when you post it officially in this way I guess is what I’m saying.


#14

even as someone who routinely makes forcefem jokes i think this is a bit much

there’s a very distinct line between boku girl and sissy hypno and i dont think i need to tell you which side this falls on


#15

its weird to me that we would be deciders of the goodness or badness of fictional material. i disagree with forcefem, but its has nothing to do with distinguishing between good and bad versions. it has to deal with my discomfort.
waypoint probably shouldn’t have delved into this territory, especially when it’s game tangential at best, and sparks a very difficult conversation that many of its readers arent equipped to handle.
it seems like your line of thinking places the blame on the author, and not waypoint and that’s frustrating.


#17

the last thing i want to see as a transwoman from a publication with no full time trans writers, is material that celebrates gender as a punishment. this has nothing to do with the writer, who can and should be free to write and heal and get paid for it. this is not the place for it, because it makes those trans*/nb people who were uncomfortable responsible for leading this discussion. waypoint is making us be responsible for educating and informing. so while on group of people might feel healed, the other group feels torn apart.


#18

The issue is that even within the trans community, this subject is highly contentious and conversations on reclaiming it are in no way resolved. A subject this fraught for a vulnerable community being broadcasted publicly to a bunch of people who frankly have no context for understanding the issues and no business remarking on them is going to cause a lot of issues, both for the author who I know didn’t intend for this to be the outcome or to step on other trans people and for the community at large who now get to hear very harmful ideas and takes replicated about them because of a video game website. It was very badly handled and it is disappointing Waypoint lacked the tact to handle this better before publishing, instead of after.


#19

I don’t have any business getting into the actual conversation here, but I just wanted to say that I started following Jennifer online a few weeks ago and she’s quickly become one of my favorite Internet People. :heart:


#20

I don’t think the stalemate of “this trans woman said it was okay so we’ll leave it” is acceptable at all, and since there isn’t really a way to explain that without litigating the whole issue of forcefemme, I guess I’m about to do just that (discourse.zone, right?). And just to be clear from the jump, I am myself a trans woman and, like many trans women, I have a complex and personal history with the issue at hand.

Forced Feminization, like nonconsent or ageplay, is one of those fetishes that is inescapably problematic. That doesn’t mean that people aren’t allowed to enjoy it or have deeply personal histories with it, but it does mean that those inherent issues need to be grappled with if you’re attempting to graduate it from “fetish I enjoy” to “presented without comment on a major journalistic outlet”. I don’t mention this in the sense of “this makes trans women look bad”, transphobes gonna transphobe regardless, I mean it in the sense of “this treats feminity as a form of degredation and humiliation”. I’ve read the author’s tweets about the role that Forced Feminization has played in discovering their own gender identity and had similar experiences myself, but this completely missed the fact that this was how we were introduced to the concept of being trans precisely because we grew up in a culture completely devoid of healthy examples of transgender people. It was precisely because my early exposure to the concept was almost exclusively fetishistic that I believed for years I was unworthy of being considered a real women. It isn’t 2004 on an obscure hypno-fetish forum anymore: we can, and must, do better. The notion that this, a story in which the idea of femininity is intrinsically linked to shame and sexual humiliation, might be somebody’s introduction to being trans is not a positive thing in the slightest.

Worthy of further consideration is also the fact that trans women do not have a monopoly on gender dysphoria. Imagine how this story reads from the perspective of a FtM person: the story of a man who is repeatedly forced into a feminine role that makes him deeply uncomfortable, and the fact that this is appearantly being celebrated. Look, I get that YKINMKBYKIO (Your Kink Is Not My Kink But Your Kink Is Okay) but there’s a difference between acknowledging that someone can be into something generally considered taboo without being a freak and presenting that kink to a mass audiencd unfamiliar with the subject, out if context. Imagine if Waypoint had run a story about a woman who is repeatedly sexually assualted and eventually comes to enjoy it. That’s about the most common kink there is, and one that many victims of assualt have and have used to cope with their own personal traumas but I don’t think anyone will seriously believe that would excuse such a presentation. The principle is no different here: this story is deeply misogynistic and transphobic, and it’s presented not on a kink forum where these things are givens for anyone browsing but a major news site that is supposed to be critical of those exact subjects. I’m deeply disappointed with the editorial descisions made here.


#22

Reposting Austin’s response from twitter in case anyone missed it. (Thread)