A Male on Females on Female Characters

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Zom-B:

Twilight_guy:
Huh, I have a game idea swirling around in my head at the moment and I suddenly realize... why can't can't my PC be a woman?...

Are you talking about your computer? Or are you saying protagonist in some sort of shorthand unknown to me?

PC is table-top shorthand (that has been adopted by cRPGs, especially MMORPGs) for "Player Character" - a character played by a player - as opposed to NPCs, "Non-Player Characters", which are all those people portrayed by the GM (or the computer).

Really what's wrong with females showing skin even as a main character. I find people complaining as much misoginistic as those who actually believe women=kitchen. Having freedom of choice means not beeing judged for what you do and not doing what it's supposed to be equal or special. So of course a woman won't feel ashamed by a women object as long as that's not an universal thought. On the same way as misoginist bigots will refuse to acknoledge that a free thinking women can choose to be an object woman.

Oh poor, benighted betas and omegas...(I include you Shamus.)

You simply don't understand (or refuse to accept the power of) economics or sexual politics. There are only three things you need to know:

1. Supply and demand.

2. What women say they want is rarely what they really want.

3. Accurate representations of females in video games would make people angry, bored, or both.

Zom-B:

Twilight_guy:
Huh, I have a game idea swirling around in my head at the moment and I suddenly realize... why can't can't my PC be a woman?...

Are you talking about your computer? Or are you saying protagonist in some sort of shorthand unknown to me?

PC == Player Character
NPC == Non-player Character
PC is an erroneous term but I defined it in terms of game development so I figured the term would be taken in that context but I guess not. Also, protagonist is not the best term to use because player characters are some times not the protagonist.

mjc0961:
Oh right, because other countries never make games like that. Remind me where the makers of Grand Theft Auto, Heavy Rain, Killzone, Metal Gear Solid, Mass Effect, Dead Rising, and Alan Wake (just to pick out a few from that image in the post above yours) are from?

What's that? United Kingdom (Scotland specifically), France, the Netherlands, Japan, Canada, Japan (DR1 & Frank West) and Canada (DR2 & Chuck Greene), and Finland respectively? Maybe it's you who should wake up and get off that stupid America hating bandwagon you seem to have fallen asleep on.

True, studios in other countries bang out the generic American male lead all the time. This is the easy option. America is a massive market, a game doing well in America has done well.

In the UK we have American TV shows, Baywatch has been around the world, Friends, 2 and a Half Men, ER, Seinfeld, Heroes, Boardwalk Empire, I could go on. We will accept other cultures and go with it. A good TV show is a good TV show, no matter where its made right?

Apparently not in America. When a British show is "good enough" for America it is remade with an all American cast like The Office, Shameless, Skins, Being Human, Who's Line is it Anyway?, Topgear, Dr Who... Even shows without British people in, like Teletubbies and Thomas the Tank Engine have the narrator replaced with an American. You missed out on Ringo by the way. Yes, Hugh Laurie is British and the lead in House but he has to pretend to be American, even during his audition to get the part. His accent is pretty good. House could have been any nationality, Medical Doctors find foreign work permits easy to come by, but they went with American. How refreshing.

So it appears Americans struggle with anything other than Americans in their media. As the rest of the world is not thrown off its axis by an American in the same way, a none offensive, bland, American male is the best way to alienate as few people as possible. Even for a European studio.

Please don't take this as an American bashing post. I lived in texas for over 2 years and found the people welcoming and hospitable. I do like the place but there are huge culture differences that are not right or wrong, just different. I for one would like to play a Prince of Persia who is actually Persian, I found it refreshing to be British in COD4 but only because it is so rare. A good game will work with an amorphous alien, woman, Elderly, ,Black, Arachnid, homosexual or even *gasp* Muslim lead if executed well.

According to actual industry demographic surveys, anywhere from 30 to 40% of the gaming population is female. Here's one from 2010:
http://www.theesa.com/facts/pdfs/ESA_Essential_Facts_2010.PDF

No, that's not including casual games-- toss those into the mix and men become the minority. Are women playing games where you get to shoot and/or stab things? Yeah, a lot of them do. I play with them all the time in L4D (and for whatever reason, both of my regular Warhammer co-opers are women).

I don't think they're quite at that 40% mark, but game companies are starting to take notice. And it doesn't take much in the way of "concessions" to get women to buy and like those games. Dragon Age is a good example (for all the big breasted women) Look on the Bioware/DragonAge forums and read the Alistair gush thread. Estrogen flowing like Niagra there, I tell ya.

MelasZepheos:
I personally would like to see a game where a female character has to act like the stereotype of women in games, and then as you get to know her the layers are slowly peeled back to reveal that she acts that way because it's the only way to make it in the man's world she operates in.

I know this won't be true for some, maybe a lot, of women, but I know some female mathematicians, scientists and engineers or mechanics, who seem to fall into three distinct categories.

1. They become sexless. Usually the scientists and mathematicians. They wear deliberately indistinct clothes, make no effort to clean up their appearance even as much as their male counterparts, and act as if they have no personality beyond that of their field. Usually they relax a little when outside the influence of their peers, but even then there's always a hint of guardedness, as if they can't quite be fully female or they won't be recognised as significant in their fields.

2. They become tomboys. Usually the mechanics and engineers, but a couple of the mathematicians I know as well. They start deliberately conforming to male stereotypes. They act crudely, talking about sex and men in the demeaning ways men would talk about them, they swear, they spit, they work out at the gym and have perpetually grease stained clothes. They wouldn't act feminine if their lives depended on it.

3. They become parodies of feminitity, applies to all. Some of the women I know in the above fields become absolute parodies of their gender to the point of being like a videogame character. They dress provocatively, make everything sound like it's dirty, do themselves up with makeup routines that must take hours.

And of course, when you really get to know them, all of the above three suddenly become people, and you realise that with very few exceptions they have adapted their personalities to fit into a male dominated field, just the same way that a lot of the men on my course (Creative Writing and English) have adopted feminine mannerisms to fit in with the 70-80% female cohort. Including me of course. I know I've started doing things I might not normally do because it helps you fit in with a predominantly female group.

That would be interesting to see. We find out that Samus Aran has deliberately made herself genderless in order to fit in, when really she'd like to wear something other than a suit of armour every once in a while, but doesn't feel she can because no one would take her seriously. Lara Croft actually slobs out in a baggy hoody and sweatpants at home, but knows that she has to dress up all sexy because then at least people will pay attention to her.

Worked right this could also be a jab at the player, sort of 'these women weren't just acting like this for the others in their field, they were acting like this for you.' Bring in that element that the player is part of the reason these women have been so constrained into their respective roles, which as far as I can see basically fit into the above three categories I've picked out of real life women-in-male-dominated-fields.

Just to clarify

That's just my view though.

Very good post, I agree! :)

Maybe it's not a game, but I've always seen the character of Kaylee from Firefly as a good example. She's a mechanic and knows everything there is to know about ship engines and doesn't mind getting her hands dirty, but can also get excited by wearing a huge yellow(?) dress.

Ill admit im abit of a Mass Effect fan but I still think the general resentment some have for Miranda is abit mislead. Shes so sexualised because she was DESIGNED to use sexuality as a weapon. I know that theres not much excuse for the "angle" shots, e.g above pic, as sexual fanservice is not Mass Effects style when it comes to normal camera shots, like for instance Bayonetta, although you could proberly argue it helps emphasise an over lying aspect of her character but now im starting to sound like a twat and its not like I care really, im a Tali man.

...he got quarian fever, he got quarian fever...

I agree, this constant parade of--to paraphrase Yahtzee--shaved bear protagonists needs to stop. When I can play as a competent, well-spoken 5' 2" woman whose father was a Polish Jew and whose mother was a Malaysian Muslim, then I will be satisfied. DEVELOPERS, MAKE IT HAPPEN.

Mouse One:
According to actual industry demographic surveys, anywhere from 30 to 40% of the gaming population is female. Here's one from 2010:
http://www.theesa.com/facts/pdfs/ESA_Essential_Facts_2010.PDF

Garbage. No methodology, no raw data, no explanation of variables.

Twilight_guy:

PC == Player Character
NPC == Non-player Character
PC is an erroneous term but I defined it in terms of game development so I figured the term would be taken in that context but I guess not. Also, protagonist is not the best term to use because player characters are some times not the protagonist.

Yeah, I'm not familiar with anyone ever using "PC" for player character, nor have I ever used it myself (and yes, I've played PnP RPGs for years). I couldn't for the life of me figure out what you were saying, but I knew you couldn't be talking about your computer.

3 Questions To Ask Yourself When Viewing Any Movie Or Video Game (that contains cinematic elements):

1) Is there more than one woman?
2) Do the women talk to each other?
3) Do they talk about anything other than the male characters?

How many movies or video games can you think of that pass this test?

Leslee

mattag08:

Mouse One:
According to actual industry demographic surveys, anywhere from 30 to 40% of the gaming population is female. Here's one from 2010:
http://www.theesa.com/facts/pdfs/ESA_Essential_Facts_2010.PDF

Garbage. No methodology, no raw data, no explanation of variables.

It's not the only study, just one that I thought was presented accessibly. I you're curious about the subject, just google "gaming demographics". Lowest estimate I've seen was 26% of console gamers (women generally don't buy consoles, other than the Wii). The guys who are betting millions of dollars on the next release are using this data, and data from studies with similar conclusions. Feel free to disbelieve, but even if all those research firms are wrong, in a sense it's not important; the companies believe in those numbers are responding what they perceive as a growing female demographic.

The combat themed games are still fairly male dominated, but not entirely. Blizzard estimates that 40% (that number again!) of its WoW players are women, for example. Do the social aspects of MMOs make them more popular with the XX chromosone set? Don't ask me, I'm a guy. Lots of women around we could ask, though. And the smarter companies are starting to ask those kinds of questions.

I'd at least like for 3rd person shooters to give you the option of playing a female character, so you don't have to stare at a dude's ass for 12 hours. That's the entire reason I play a female in Mass Effect.

I can't disagree with this article. It's obnoxious when you play game after game and never get to see or play as your own gender - it's even worse when you're given the option to play as a female but are penalized for doing so (eg: can't enter the Arena in Fallout: New Vegas if your character is female).

And honestly, it's insulting to males to say that they need to play as white males in order to project onto or connect with the character. I'm a shy 5'2, 19-year-old blond girl, aka, the antithesis of "manly" - if I can connect with John Marston as a character then male gamers can connect with female game protagonists.

"...hungry for an experience that let them behave in a heroic way without requiring them to change genders. And if they did have to play as a man, they would at least prefer to not be humiliated by having the female support character be a useless doormat while all of the heroics and witty one-liners go to the man."

As A Female Gamer I can totally Relate to this Article! I don't really Mind playing a Game as a guy (though it would be nice to have a strong leading lady once in a while) its usually the support characters that really annoy me... They're usually the type of females who need protecting or rescuing at every turn or act like complete girly Stereotypes! :/

mattag08:
Oh poor, benighted betas and omegas...(I include you Shamus.)

You simply don't understand (or refuse to accept the power of) economics or sexual politics. There are only three things you need to know:

1. Supply and demand.

2. What women say they want is rarely what they really want.

Your sweeping generalization really inspires my confidence in your understanding of sexual politics.

3. Accurate representations of females in video games would make people angry, bored, or both.

So you're saying that real women tend to make you either angry and/or bored? That's what I'm getting out of this. I'd love some clarification on this one thnx.

MasochisticMuse:
if I can connect with John Marston as a character then male gamers can connect with female game protagonists.

PurpleTartan:
As A Female Gamer I can totally Relate to this Article! I don't really Mind playing a Game as a guy (though it would be nice to have a strong leading lady once in a while) its usually the support characters that really annoy me...

Can someone tell me why relating to a character is important? Is this some kind of projection thing that my 2D limited vision can't perceive? Am I missing something by just wanting to watch the plot unfold and the characters interact in between killing shit?

Freechoice:

MasochisticMuse:
if I can connect with John Marston as a character then male gamers can connect with female game protagonists.

PurpleTartan:
As A Female Gamer I can totally Relate to this Article! I don't really Mind playing a Game as a guy (though it would be nice to have a strong leading lady once in a while) its usually the support characters that really annoy me...

Can someone tell me why relating to a character is important? Is this some kind of projection thing that my 2D limited vision can't perceive? Am I missing something by just wanting to watch the plot unfold and the characters interact in between killing shit?

Being able to invest yourself emotionally in the character so that you're actually interested in what happens to them in necessary for a good game. Being able to project yourself onto the character or see yourself in them isn't quite as important. Honestly, the average human being doesn't make for a very interesting character, so to limit yourself to characters that reflect the average demographic for your game (18-35 white males) greatly restricts the possibility for depth in your game.

Unfortunately, game companies don't seem to understand this.

Zom-B:

Twilight_guy:

PC == Player Character
NPC == Non-player Character
PC is an erroneous term but I defined it in terms of game development so I figured the term would be taken in that context but I guess not. Also, protagonist is not the best term to use because player characters are some times not the protagonist.

Yeah, I'm not familiar with anyone ever using "PC" for player character, nor have I ever used it myself (and yes, I've played PnP RPGs for years). I couldn't for the life of me figure out what you were saying, but I knew you couldn't be talking about your computer.

Really? I hear it all the time when I'm around the PnP crowd, I used to play a bit too. It's yours it a character so its a player character. What else would you call them?

MasochisticMuse:
Being able to invest yourself emotionally in the character so that you're actually interested in what happens to them in necessary for a good game. Being able to project yourself onto the character or see yourself in them isn't quite as important. Honestly, the average human being doesn't make for a very interesting character, so to limit yourself to characters that reflect the average demographic for your game (18-35 white males) greatly restricts the possibility for depth in your game.

Unfortunately, game companies don't seem to understand this.

I dislike that term. To clarify, are you saying connecting or relating?

If it's the latter, Michelle Orange had a good piece on it.

If it's the former, Michelle Orange still has a good piece on relatability.

The emotional investment is fine, but the differentiation must be clear between investing and relating.

Relatability sucks.

Characters as agents of the plot versus characters that are interesting in themselves.

I listened to the PAX Panel on Female Characters and was immensely disappointed in what the panelists had to say. They don't mind if "she" is sexy, but at the least they want "her" to be interesting. As the gold-standard, they prop up Ripley and The Boss. Those characters need no introduction.

I define depth by the number of simple sentences required to adequately describe that character. Personally, I hold Kreia to be the greatest female character of all time. Observe:

She hates the Force.
She uses the Force, willingly.
She loves the Exile, protectively.
She is selfless.
She wants Force-users to die.

That fourth line might even exist as an extension of the third line. But you see where I'm going: I'm not writing Kreia's biography, I'm just giving the facts about her, so anyone coming across her has the key bullet-points. Let's do Ripley:

Acts to protect her surrogate child.

Ok. I equate depth with the number of simple sentences it takes to adequately describe that character. It is hard for me to have patience for characters that are extremely likable, but fundamentally shallow. And then I happened to read an article about simple characters becoming the most popular (ie Chuck Norris) because the audience is able to get a handle on them much quicker. The point that author was making, is that the sooner the audience can understand a character, "oh they have that schtick, that's cool, I like them" then popularity will occur.

So do we like Ripley because her struggles are interesting, or because James Cameron is really good at creating tension, with exciting music, a bad-ass villain, and then it just so happens that Sigourney Weaver was the star?

Another character, brought up during the Q&A, was Sylvanas from WoW. She needs no explanation - a long time ago Blizzard stopped treating her like a character and regulated her to an instrument of the plot. A long time ago, she stopped making decisions for herself, and now she just does whatever the Blizzard devs need from her. That's all. Think about it: when was the last time you ever heard of Thrall or Garrosh consulting her opinion? She's a bit player in a wider drama that only peripherally concerns her - the wider drama only peripherally concerns her because she doesn't matter. If Blizzard could drop her entirely to cut down on the exploding cast size, they would. But she has a following, and it costs Blizzard nothing to keep her hanging around, so they've kept her.

And this is the point I'm trying to make: if you want female characters that are relevant, that don't just have a schtick, and they don't only exist as part of a plot that doesn't really concern them, then start writing and stop complaining.

Kreia has a radical position that you wouldn't expect from someone of her profession: a Jedi that hates the Force? That's interesting... tell me more. I want to know more about her. What's her agenda, and what does she plan to do about it? She's also an Enchani, and believes that through combat, a people find themselves or find themselves lacking? Ooh, that's a complex idea. I wonder if her plan will involve testing Force-users in combat, to see if their Force powers will allow them to survive. Maybe she thinks that if a Force-user dies in combat, they weren't worthy to use the Force in the first place. But that sounds like a Sith idea. Wait, she also used to be a Sith Lord? Oh wow, so that means that at some point, she fell to the Dark Side? You mean she was always like this, and during her time with the Jedi Order, her colleagues suspected her of deviant tendencies... because her apprentices always turned Dark Side. So then that makes it sound like her personal politics were tainting her work. Kind of like a self-fulfilling prophecy.

What does it take to write an interesting female character? The same things it takes to write an interesting male character. If you're disappointed with the lack of ripe fruit, then don't despair: this is hard to do, and the artists and writers who can do it aren't in command of the ship. RPGs are a niched genre. Bioware is attempting to expand that niche by bastardizing their RPGs into action-schlops. I'm sure many of you observed how similar Mass Effect 2 played like a sequel to Gears of War.

So here's my advice: if you want a story, with real characters, read a book. If you want fun gameplay, play a game. Game developers only create as deep a story as they need to facilitate gameplay, and they often fail at that simple task. If you think you could do better - then guess what, I think I could too.

Edit: You know what annoyed me the most about Mass Effect 2? Liara becoming a stupid run-of-the-mill action girl. Her transition from archaeologist and intellectual into Cold War-era spy was so forced, so out-of-character, so stupid, and then she had her own DLC, which just reinforced my own negative opinion on her change.

If you were provided the list of female characters from ME1, and told that ONE of them would be an action hero in the second game, which of them would be most likely? Well, Ashley's already a war-hero, so the change wouldn't be a surprise. Tali would be a cool action-girl. But definitely not Liara, she just doesn't have it in her.

NOPE! Action-schlop, HO!

A good article, I tend to agree with it.

This may be splitting hairs, but, as I seem to be pointing out a lot recently, games that pander to women do, in fact, exist (and are almost all made in Japan). They just don't take the form that you, are perhaps even a Western audience in general, seem to expect. What I mean is, there are actually quite a few games (Sengoku Basara is probably the best example, as its director has actually admitted as much in interviews) which pander to women not by creating more or stronger female characters for them to identify with, but by giving them a bunch attractive men in revealing outfits to drool over. The English language audience can be easily excused for forgetting this because a lot of these games don't leave Japan. I wouldn't necessarily call it a step in the right direction, but if nothing else it proves some portion of the industry is aware they have a female market to sell to and it technically is a move towards equality.

"...BioWare gets points for letting us choose the appearance and gender of our protagonist in Dragon Age and Mass Effect, but then they lose those points by making the default box-cover characters a couple of generic white dudes. If nothing else, it would make sense to try and make a dude that didn't look like all the other box-cover dudes on the shelf."

My three Shepherds so far have been two lady people and a male I made to explore other romance options, and tried to make look like Temuera Morrison because Commander Shepherd is in my personal pantheon of favourite sci-fi characters, alongside Jango Fett and others, and deserves to look more awesome than the box art guy. My DA:O character is of the lady persuasion too, as was my KOTOR character, my Saints Row 2 character and most of the MMO characters I've ever made. And yes, I'm a white, early 20s, middle-class male.

Obviously there are a range of factors that go into why I choose to play more often as a female when I get that choice in games. I'm not going to deny that on some level there is a degree of sexualisation, on the level that, since the examples I've listed are actually all third person games, I'd rather be watching a female behind than a man's.

But at the same time, there is also a sense that I'm bucking the trend, whether intentionally or not, which gives me something of a positive buzz. For example, there are the Bioware stats that show that only 18-20% of Commander Shepherds in Mass Effect 2 were female, which makes me sad because Jennifer Hale's FemShep is the superior vocal performance in my opinion and that of others, and apparently many many people are missing out on it.

And while there are some great female characters, and plenty of women in your gang and the rival ones, murderising hordes of civilians, police officers and other gangsters in quite vicious ways in Saints Row 2 was, I think, more satisfying as a petite, purple haired girl with glasses than it would've been as the beefy standard male protagonist you sometimes see in the game's loading screens. Defying expectations and stereotypes is fun.

Shamus, you are a wonderful man, and I would willingly do your taxes for you.

And it's a sad measure of how frustratingly sexist the gaming world can be when a guy grasping the basic foundations of "Games are only making one heroic-type and it really is NOT one-size-fits-all" seems like a shining and miraculous beacon of light in the darkness.

Don't take this as disagreement that there should be more women protagonists (Given the chance, I'll play a female, so....), but I think the major problem isn't so much whether the industry likes women or even whether or not they think men are their target audience specifically, but the fear that their bread-and-butter players are actually repelled by female leads.

At that point, it's no longer playing to the majority. It's a cost-benefit analysis, weighing the benefit of tapping one market at the risk of your main vein collapsing.

Gamers as a whole still seem to be not just male, but insecure. Individually, this may not be true, but the larger picture would point us that way. I'm pointing this out less because I think it's right, and more because a large portion of the base are already fine with money-grabbing tactics, even if they harm said base itself.

Makes it hard to argue.

I prefer character creation myself. Let me make my own lead.

We need to get rid of characters I think...more games need to go to an RPG-style character creation system. That way, you can play as yourself, as a steroid chewing monster man, a 36-10-36 woman, or whatever you like. It should be a balanced system too...don't give the female characters +1 agility and the male characters +1 strength unless you immediately give them extra points to distribute upon starting the game. There are certain things that a good RPG will change based on the gender, such as conversation options, but it is important to be balanced here as well. If you want to make a game where the female characters can cry their way out of speeding tickets, you have to give the male characters some equal bonus. Also, you have to give the female character some non-degrading option, like slipping the cop a bribe...or just shooting the cop in the head if it is that kind of game.

Because of this situation, I changed my GTA IV online character to a woman. Her tops options are fine (gotta love leather jackets), but her leggins and shoes options are only "whore with heels" or "fashionista with furry boots".
It perplexes me to notice few women in the prominent reviewer community-thing (such as Susan and Lisa out of you Escapist admins).

I went to a small convention recently and I actually heard the same thing from an employee of Icarus Studios (company that created Fallen Earth), that they don't mind the overly sexual approach so much as shallow characters.

IMO, most gamers are men so a male protagonist does actually have some legitimacy, but I also agree we shouldn't pander to a specific crowd and alienate other people because we're shallow.

RevRaptor:

Zom-B:

Twilight_guy:

PC == Player Character
NPC == Non-player Character
PC is an erroneous term but I defined it in terms of game development so I figured the term would be taken in that context but I guess not. Also, protagonist is not the best term to use because player characters are some times not the protagonist.

Yeah, I'm not familiar with anyone ever using "PC" for player character, nor have I ever used it myself (and yes, I've played PnP RPGs for years). I couldn't for the life of me figure out what you were saying, but I knew you couldn't be talking about your computer.

Really? I hear it all the time when I'm around the PnP crowd, I used to play a bit too. It's yours it a character so its a player character. What else would you call them?

How about "my character"? Does anyone ever say, let me get out my player character sheet? Or, let me see the new player character you just rolled up? Not to mention, that as far as me and most of the western world is concerned, a PC is the computer that sits on your desk that's not a laptop and not a mac.

Now, I may be a young white male (even if i'm not from america).
But i find it offensive that i always have to play as a thin muscular man, when i myself am rather fat.
In the interest of diversity and equality I want more fat leading characters!! :P

Seriously though, while i think it is important to keep focus on equality and gender diversity in entertainment, then i find it an odd thing to get truly up in arms about.
You have a dangerous road ahead of you if your game boasts that you have a "strong female lead" or something like that, since that tends to mean that people latch on to every single fault on that character while trying to tear it apart.

Look at Maddison from Heavy Rain, a kickarse journalist who will go to any lenght to get the story. To me that just screams out "positive female role model".
But what happend to her? People got offended that she was sexualized in a few scenes, and completely overlooked the powerful positive sides of the character.

If we want true female characters in games, then we need to get better at accepting female sexuality in games too, since real life women are sexual beings as well (As are men, but that's more accepted).

The way it is now, then we allow videogame males to be sexualized, and we think that is just fine, but when a female character shows a bit of cleavage then we, as a community, get up in arms about it and call it exploitation of the character, and pretend that it detracts from the power of the female.

Remember guys, if you want true female characters, then it does include the whole package, we can't shy away from sexuality completely.

bdcjacko:
I always think it is funny when someone who isn't directly affected by stereotypes is more offended than the people who are. And then more zealously defend the precised victim. So I chuckled at how Shamus is more offended at sexual pandering than the ladies at the Comic Con.

He did explain how it affects him. He doesn't like game devs making the assumption that male gamer fans think exclusively with their gonads and will buy a game based on how hot the chick on the box-art is. I tend to agree with him on that.

By extension, it also means outsiders look upon gamers as a whole as horny teenage males or immature man-children with no real taste or appreciation for things like story or meaningful gameplay, and a lot of us resent being lumped together that way.

Strong female leads appeal to the G.I.R.L. crowd as well. So there is a market.

mattag08:
Oh poor, benighted betas and omegas...(I include you Shamus.)

You simply don't understand (or refuse to accept the power of) economics or sexual politics. There are only three things you need to know:

1. Supply and demand.

2. What women say they want is rarely what they really want.

3. Accurate representations of females in video games would make people angry, bored, or both.

This guy has the right idea.

I like the double-standard here with the diversity posts that are always brought up. If you were to, for example, say that women aren't in videogames because most women don't really do the whole combat thing, a likely response would be "Hey now, no sexism here. Women can do everything men can do. Viva la Equality!". And yet in games, even though they doth loudly proclaim the lack of meaningful difference between the genders, they fiercely demand to play as girls.

But the whole thing is silly. People don't need to photoshop themselves into paintings to enjoy the viewing; why do the characters need to be you for the game to be enjoyable? The wonder about fiction is that it lets you get out of yourself and see things from a different light, which actually broadens your sense of self and makes it that much richer. How can people claim to want diversity while still demanding "representation"?

To put in a cliche, I wish there would be less whining about difference without a difference. Someone earlier mentioned that they really wanted a game about some minority raised by two parents who are even smaller minorities, but somehow still finding the compatibility to raise a child. It borders on nonsense. I'll make my own useless plea to developers and pretend like how much I spend holds any sway: Don't just pick random ethnic, religious, sexual, or psychological character aspects and throw 'em all together; you won't get a rainbow. All you'll do is court the neophiles, and they will never be pleased because all they want is something new, something alien, regardless of its artistic merit.

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