Let's Talk About 'Agony,' A Game About Hell That Hates Women


Content warning for discussion of sexual violence and brutal misogyny.

Patrick reads his review of Agony titled 'Agony,' a Game About Dehumanizing Women, Isn't Just Bad, It's Toxic, and he and Rob discuss the game. They detail the many ways in which the game isn't just poorly designed—a sort of first-person trip through hell—it also has real problems with women.

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/vbqpm8/agony-hell-hates-women-misogyny


I’m not sure that “make a game as gross as Agony but reverse the genders” is a productive endeavour.


@Hache I agree

hey @metalwabbit I think you’re coming from a good place of wanting better, more explicit critiques of gender issues in games, but imo acknowledging sexism and misogyny as problems in media isn’t about “balancing the karma scales” and writing fictional men in the various and unpleasant ways fictional women have been written, nor do I think it’s particularly helpful to depict violent rape as a “gotcha!” moment to make a point about sexism - that’s still just as alienating to women and other people who have faced sexual violence or are at heightened risk of it. I wouldn’t rule it out as a possibility, but I’m not sure that a gory game set in Hell that glorifies acts of violence (and also reviewed poorly in general as a coherent game and story) is necessarily a space ripe for meaningful social critique.

if you’re frustrated and looking for games that handle things like this better, I would suggest looking into games that make addressing sexism a core thematic goal and generally playing more games by women game devs and teams! I very much understand getting frustrated when something I think looks interesting ends up being offensive and disappointing, but rather than focusing on what could have been I like to read some critiques, talk about it, and then move on to and support media that is at its core interested in more empathetic, critical, egalitarian values


The moderation team feels that this game’s moment of relevance has come and gone, and by extension this thread’s potential is hamstrung. There are many other venues on the forums in which to discuss misogyny and society’s views on women, and this game in particular does not need to come along for the ride. As a result, we have decided to lock this thread.