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Thursday, May 21, 2020 

Controversial Last of Us video game designer had a certain background in comics, and comes from same country where I live

You may have read the whole issue of Neil Druckmann, the vice president of a video game designer called Naughty Dog Productions, who's reportedly influenced by rabid sex-negative feminism in his design for a video game called The Last of Us 2. Well I just made another startling, and simultaneously embarrassing discovery. Druckmann comes from Israel, the very country where I live, and according to this Creative Screenwriting interview, he may have worked in comicdom to some extent, and guess who one of his prime influences was:
LEFEBVRE: As creative director/writer, have you written anything before other than video games? Have you played around with screenplays and teleplays, things like that?

DRUCKMANN: I used to, but what got me into writing initially was I wanted to write comic books. I was a big comic book nerd growing up. The thing probably worth mentioning, when I was really young, like four or five years old, I had a brother that was five years older than I. And he was really into comics and video games and movies and making short films. Because of that, I was exposed to that stuff really, really young. So I started drawing, and I would write my own comics, just for myself. And then when I got to college I became interested in maybe writing a book. I just had this itch to tell a story, and I wasn’t sure about the medium or exactly how to express it.

It was at that point that I really got into writing, and wanting to write comics. So I started reading books by Brian Michael Bendis. He writes almost all the Marvel stuff now, but he did this series called Powers. And he released a script book, where he had all the scripts for the trade paperback. So I bought that, and I was reading it and then he started talking about his process, and that’s the first time I heard about Robert Mckee’s Story. And that’s when I got into really studying the craft of screenwriting. That book kind of blew my mind. I never thought of storytelling in that way—the depth you need to go to understand characters and how important structure was for telling a dramatic tale in a short amount of time.
I wonder what he thinks of Bendis' takes on the ladies of Marvel's cast, like Scarlet Witch, Tigra, Spider-Woman and Jean Grey, and the poor treatment he saddled them with? I also wonder how people like Bendis wind up being an influence for men of Druckmann's standing, but not Stan Lee? It's a big hint what's being recommended at leftist universities and how awful their influence can be. For now, what I do think is that Druckmann has got to be one big virtue-signaler, thinking himself a perfect genius for where he's going with a video game I otherwise couldn't care less about. What does irritate me is that the guy is influenced by an unendurable feminist, Anita Sarkeesian, who's led to so much embarrassment in the video game industry, turning it rife with censorship over petty issues. As revealed in this Bounding Into Comics article, Druckmann also said:
In their exploration of various archives, fans rediscovered words of praise offered by Naughty Dog Vice President Neil Druckmann towards Sarkeesian’s bad faith, feminist-based video game critiques.

During his keynote speech at the 2013 International Game Developers Association conference, Druckmann stated that he “did not like” what he saw in regards to female representation in video games, citing characters such as Metal Gear Solid V’s Quiet, Halo’s Cortana, and Dead or Alive’s Ayame.

He argued that developers and players solely “sexualize, we objectify, and we reduce these female characters to less then they can be.”

In his next slide, Druckmann directly cites Sarkeesian’s Tropes vs. Women series, and adamantly states that “you can’t argue with the pattern [of misogyny] that you see in the industry” before noting that he also “watched the rest of Anita’s videos and realized that it’s not just a problem in games, it’s actually throughout entertainment [35:47 in the video below].
What he said reminds me of the sex-negative comments Gal Gadot was getting at the time the 2017 Wonder Woman movie came out, so we can only guess what he thinks of William Marston and H.G. Peter's famous creation by extension, to say nothing of Gadot herself. And maybe of my sister-in-law, who's got a fairly big chest, if it matters. He even confirmed his support for Sarkeesian a few years ago in a Rolling Stone interview:
You’ve said in the past that you’ve been influenced by Anita Sarkeesian’s Feminist Frequency videos and the larger conversation about diversity and representation in games. How did that affect Uncharted 4?

When I’m introducing and describing a new character to our lead character concept artist, constantly she will ask, “What if it was a girl?” And I’m like, “Oh, I didn’t think about that. Let me think, does that affect or change anything? No? Cool, that’s different. Yeah, let’s do it.”

Initially, in the epilogue, it was Nate’s son. Something similar happened with the mansion they go into. That was an old English guy’s house. She asked, “Well, what if it was a woman?”

You have some sexist focus testers who were really upset by Nadine beating up Nate, and really upset at the end when it was Nate’s daughter. To the point where we had to ask one guy to leave. In his core, it just affected him. He was cursing, “Not you, too, Naughty Dog! Goddammit. I guess I’m done with Uncharted if you guys ever make another one, with his daughter. This fucking bullshit.” And I was like, Wow, why does that matter?
Sounds like he doesn't think it's possible for a woman to do something reprehensible to a man, and he acts like there's nothing wrong with a woman physically assaulting a man either. The leftist double-standards on violence are ludicrous. But surely the biggest irony is that, for somebody who's claiming to be such a big feminist himself, he banished a woman who'd brought them success in the past, Amy Hennig. According to IGN:
Sources claim Hennig was “forced out” by The Last of Us’ Neil Druckmann and Bruce Straley, and explained that Uncharted may now come under their control.
Well, it did, and at this point, not for the better. Forbes said:
Hennig won a WGA for her work on Uncharted in 2012, and has been consistently known as one of the most powerful women in gaming. Her departure is clearly a huge loss for the series, and I'm sure we're all wondering what impact her leaving will have on the franchise and Uncharted 4 specifically, no matter what Sony says.
It's already becoming apparent, but that's beside the point. What matters is that "feminism" is ironically costing women jobs over petty politics. And for me, it's embarrassing to discover that a man born in the country where I live is one of those disgraces shoving ideology into the products he's working on. As an Israeli citizen, I want to make clear that Mr. Druckmann does not speak for me, and should be ashamed of himself for damaging entertainment with political elements at the expense of what audiences he disrespects appreciate, to say nothing of notable women who did hard work to bring about these products in the first place. This may sound odd, but, while he may have been influenced by sex-negative feminist propaganda stateside, I get the idea, based on research I've done involving groups stemming from my own society, that he might've also been influenced by ultra-Orthodox Judaist clans like the Satmar, who also go by a very sex-negative position. Frimet Goldberger, who grew up in their Kiryas Joel enclave in New York, initially didn't learn to drive cars when she turned 18, because according to the ideology of such insular clans, it's forbidden for women to drive, and it wasn't until she was at least 23 that she did. And seriously, based on that the main topic involves a man who comes from the same country/society as I did, I'm wondering if movements like the Satmar had any influence on Druckmann, if only because their ideology isn't all that different from the feminism he's espousing. If I were an artist and I drew a rabbi's daughter as a sexpot, I have no doubt he'd accuse me of offending ultra-Orthodox clans like Satmar just as much as would-be feminists. His POV for video game design may not be quite as extreme on the surface, yet believe it or not, it's still similar to theirs in many ways.

And if we were to return to the comics connections, Druckmann recently claimed he cried during playthrough testing. That sounds an awful lot like the time Bendis got rid of Ultimate Peter Parker nearly a decade ago, and told the press he sobbed like a baby when he was working on the Ult. Spider-Man script. So we can probably guess where Druckmann takes his cues and influence from. Yet he presumably didn't seek a career in comics because it doesn't pay as much as video game production did. It's actually a good thing if Druckmann isn't working in comicdom proper, because he'd surely prove as terrible an influence on that as well, possibly worse. He even once told the Los Angeles Times:
“I was born in Israel,” Druckmann said. “I come from a part of the world that is often looked at and thought about as this idea of the cycle of violence. And so that has been topical for me for a very long time. But actually, the example I want to use is when I was a teenager. I watched the news, and there was a story about a South American country, a fisherman, hunting dolphins.”
His statement is so ambiguous, I can't help but wonder if he's blurring the differences between Israelis and Islamofascists (of course, I do realize he's surely leftist in any event), or worse, he's implying Israel is an importer of violence. Weirdly enough, according to this item:
Druckmann said that several people on the Last of Us Part II team have made diversity a pillar of how they design. "So I was like, 'Well, it’s rare to see a Jewish character in a video game, and for her to own that.'"

He also spoke to how Dina's heritage reflects his experiences. "I have a little bit of Middle Eastern descent, so why not throw that in there? It doesn’t need to be front and center the whole time, but it’s just one more thing."

The understated nature of Dina's Israeli heritage is part of what makes Naughty Dog exemplar of how best to incorporate diversity into blockbuster games. As with Ellie's queerness, it is not Dina's only characteristic, and she doesn't appear to be othered for being of Middle Eastern descent.
If he thinks I'm going to go easy because he allegedly made one of the cast members Israeli, forget it. What matters is that he did it at the expense of those who put the game together in the first place, making the character design of the leading ladies in the game astonishingly ugly to boot. It almost invokes a European stereotype of a Jew as grotesque. How's that for irony? Let's be clear. If it hadn't been for all the politically influenced issues involved, I could highly appreciate this. But he just had to base it all on a bad ideological influence, and ultimately, he's embarrassed people like myself, and, while not much of a video game player today, he insulted at least a few games I happen to appreciate, not to mention their very producers, whom I also appreciate. How can I consider somebody like that my lantzman (Yiddish for countryman)?

Druckmann's already been given disapproval by a filmmaker named Joe Carnahan, who was sympathetic to Hennig. And as an Israeli, I'm issuing a form of disapproval of my own, because what he's done can be hurtful to us. Seriously. He ousts a woman from a project she sweated and toiled away at to give it value, and the next thing you know, he's hijacking it all for the sake of his petty politics. At worst, he risks making Jews look like sex-negative bandits. This is not somebody whom I want representing me.

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Apparently its not even a sex-negative thing since Dina and Ellie have a number of graphic sexual scenes together in the game. Also, while doing so, Dina is pregnant with the child of her Asian-american ex-boyfriend Jesse, who is possibly still alive and traveling with them while Ellie and Dina are engaging in their relationship (he's definitely alive when they start it at least). And at this point you can probably tell that virtually nobody normal would feel represented in this situation. Asian men are being asked to identify with a guy who is so unmasculine that he lost his girlfriend to Ellie, Dina just comes across as a slut, and Ellie is literally cucking a guy (which yeah, Hipsters would probably like, so they get represented... I guess).

"What he said reminds me of the sex-negative comments Gal Gadot was getting at the time the 2017 Wonder Woman movie came out, so we can only guess what he thinks of William Marston and H.G. Peter's famous creation by extension, to say nothing of Gadot herself. And maybe of my sister-in-law, who's got a fairly big chest, if it matters."

Having a big chest is not being sex-positive, any more than having a big butt is always being sex positive. Different people are attracted to different body types. Shocker - slender women can be sexy too. Being sexy is not about having unrealistic body proportions or looking as if you had Goodyear blimps sewed on to your chest.

"Having a big chest is not being sex-positive, any more than having a big butt is always being sex positive. Different people are attracted to different body types. Shocker - slender women can be sexy too. Being sexy is not about having unrealistic body proportions or looking as if you had Goodyear blimps sewed on to your chest. "

I can't speak on whether or not giant anything is deemed sex-positive or not, or whether slender women can be sexy or not, but I really do get irritated when you infer well-endowed women have "unrealistic body proportions." There are plenty of GIFs, real-world GIFs I ought to add, that have women with pretty big breasts (and based on their swaying, are very much natural and not silicon implants), which should be a pretty big hint that the proportions ARE realistic. Uncommon? Perhaps, but definitely not unrealistic. Besides, the guy who runs this website makes it very clear his own sister in law has similar breast sizes to the DOA girls in a prior article. In fact, here's just ONE example out of many regarding GIFs, which I found on a Dead or Alive 5 topic relating to Honoka of all characters:

*http://i.imgur.com/nmOSEFg.gif

There are large breasts, and then there is, say, 1990s Image comic books. If the breast measurement is five times wider than the hip measurement and the laws of gravity are suspended, then we are into unrealistic territory. The issue is not just size, but whether the size is realistically proportioned for the body. In your gif, the woman is big-busted but realistically proportioned.

Yeah, looking at the hip ratio, and going by what you said, she actually would fail realistic proportions by your definition, since her breasts look to actually BE five times wider than the hip measurements (if they were of equal size, her hips would have to look REALLY massive, like comparable to Samuel Rodrigues' hips in that armor for a good comparison.). Not to mention the swaying would also suggest she's probably not wearing a bra underneath (bras generally restrain breast movement).

Besides, looking at what little 1990s comics of girls with breasts I could find, I fail to see how they're THAT unrealistic. I've literally seen GIFs of real people with comparable breasts and waists. And considering the people making these arguments are the same ones who claimed Lily James' figure was photoshopped, I really have trouble buying that argument. Want actual unrealistic figures? Try Gretchen Grundler from Recess. No matter how you slice it, there's no way any guy or girl is going to look like literal toothpick (they're more likely to die from starvation before they even come CLOSE to looking like her in real life): https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/disney/images/6/6c/Profile_-_Gretchen_Grundler.jpeg/revision/latest?cb=20200124000937 I guess May from the Pokémon anime would also qualify, not so much for her physique as her literal age (she's 10 in the anime. In the games, she was at least either 12 or older.).

Druckman's real problem is not Bendis, it is his devotion to Robert Mckee’s Story. McKee is a huckster who got rich selling trendy seminars about screenwriting that market cliché and truisms as wisdom, and teach writers to write to formula.

"Druckman's real problem is not Bendis, it is his devotion to Robert Mckee’s Story. McKee is a huckster who got rich selling trendy seminars about screenwriting that market cliché and truisms as wisdom, and teach writers to write to formula."

There's one problem with that theory, though: I don't think Robert McKee's formula dealt with politics in any way, so Druckmann's pushing far-left political and social aims such as trying to push diversity at all costs, making Ellie into a lesbian for no real reason, uglifying several characters, and pretty much pushing every known left-wing canard in the book. Heck, if anything, if I read Robert McKee's Story and used that as a template, the messages I'd be imparting are right-wing/conservative messages, NOT liberal messages.

*so Druckmann's pushing far-left political and social aims such as trying to push diversity at all costs, making Ellie into a lesbian for no real reason, uglifying several characters, and pretty much pushing every known left-wing canard in the book can't have been from that.

Robert Mckee is a liberal who voted for Hillary Clinton. He described Trump to London Real televison show as a madman in the white house and a bullshitter, a walking television commercial who hasn’t known truth.

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About me

  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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