The Big Picture: Gender Games

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ReiverCorrupter:
You missed out on half of the conversation. We weren't arguing about whether video games will stop objectifying women. I agree, they won't because there is a market for it. I was instead arguing that the market will offer more games geared towards women that DO NOT objectify them because there is a market audience for those types of games.

You don't seem to have understood when I addressed that in the first paragraph. There is no reason to expect them to change as long as they can make the most money by targeting men, the largest demographic. As is, they seem to be increasingly abandoning niche genres, there's no reason to think that they won't continue to exploit women and treat them as a niche market.

ReiverCorrupter:
Do you really think that the 'objectification of women' is caused by some evil Hegelian world spirit that possesses mankind? The objectification of women has its roots in the male sex drive.

Not what I said. I said:

Oroboros:

The Gilded Age if nothing else provides plenty of material on the ability of capitalism to damage society in the pursuit of capital. There is no proof that capitalism, left on its own, naturally trends towards the benign.

Did I say capitalism is evil? No. Don't put words in my mouth. just that there is a reason to expect the market to steer itself away from material that is degrading to women as long as it sells.

ReiverCorrupter:
Let me explain this in terms of evolution. The adaptation that makes human beings successful is our ability to reason. The problem is that in order to develop our ability to reason we have inexorably long developmental cycles where our young are vulnerable for about ten years. This has lead to specialization between the sexes. Women have a nine month pregnancy, and then must nurse and take care of the children. This meant that physical strength was impractical for them. Instead they developed to be physically weaker than men because they were charged with foraging and raising children. Men, on the other hand, became charged with hunting and fighting. This made them the natural leaders of society because they were the ones who had to decide where to go in order to follow their prey. The relationship stayed this way for most of human history. Now that physical prowess is no longer the deciding factor for leadership, there is no reason why the sexes can't be on equal footing. The problem is that this is a fairly new development and it has to go against millions of years of evolution.

Wow. So women make bad leaders? In other words, they can't be trusted to think for themselves? You seem to be missing the point that most of the world aren't hunter gatherers...(not to mention your rather simplistic view of hunter gatherer cultures) At any rate, this stereotype is not relevant in industrialized nations, where people don't need to hunt for food, and don't need to gather, and women don't need to be the ones taking care of the children. Video games are not marketed towards hunter gatherers at any rate.

You are essentially arguing that women are incapable of leading society due to evolution....so this excuses exploitation of women? Perhaps you could word this better, because this sounds eerily similar to excuses made by slave owners in 1800's America. I assume you aren't pro-slavery, so could you word this better?

"Frankly, I don't regard sexuality as a bad thing. The important thing isn't that men and women see each other in a completely asexual manner, it's that they recognize that the important factor for how someone functions in society is their intelligence. That being said, I really don't see how censoring everything that tends to objectify men or women is going to change much of anything."

Not arguing against sexuality. Just arguing against brands of sexuality that are degrading and harmful to women. You are aware that the ideals marketed in video games aren't universal and never have been? There are alternative ways of expressing feminine sexuality without degrading them.

"Frankly you're confusing cause and effect, the images in the media are merely a symptom of the underlying values of society. It isn't capitalism that is to blame. Capitalism is merely an economic system, it isn't a value system. It's consumerism. If society still had a strong emphasis on family connections, then people would get their values from their families. But parents don't raise their children anymore, they set them in front of the TV. So is it any wonder why people get their values from the media? A consumerist society will treat people as sex objects to be possessed because it defines life in terms of how many objects you can possess. The problem is that American culture wasn't strong enough to handle capitalism.

You don't have to have an iron will to resist the images in the media, your parents just had to raise you with a little backbone. But as long as parents are lazy people are going to be slaves to the popular media. Trying to change the media itself is an uphill battle that I'm afraid you can't win. Maybe in a socialist society where the government completely controlled the media it would be possible, but in our capitalist society it is always going to take advantage of the market. Sex sells. If you want it to stop selling people are going to have to stop buying it."

Exactly. Capitalism has no values. No morals, etc. It's a blank slate. Hence there is no reason to expect it to change for the benefit of society on its own, when it can make more money playing to peoples prejudices and emotions. That being said, there is no reason to think that the media does not feed back into the culture. Every commercial with a half-starved, half-dressed model it reinforces these biases. Advertising makes money off of playing peoples emotions after all. For example, people are more likely to go buy a house alarm if they see one of those commercials where a woman home alone is visited by a burglar and only saved by her alarm. They wouldn't use these commercials if they were not effective. (notice hows never a man that is helpless in these situations, another topic for another time, perhaps)

In short, I'm saying that just because there is a market for it, doesn't mean it can be handwaved away as simply being a normal function of the system that is inevitable and unchangeable, and that it should be allowed to run its course like some sort of weather pattern. As long as there is a market for it, it will continue to be marketed, and through media saturation of this view of beauty, it continues to feed the market to create more demand. Leaving it to its own devices is no solution. I do agree that education is the best way to counter this though.

cainx10a:

About the sexy clothing of Cammy, I may not be a SF player, that sure looks like a decent distraction for her hapless opponents ... like poor Balrog.

Sounds good to me! The female characters can win fights by taking off their shirts and stunning their opponents with a look at the twins, and male characters can win fights by being excellent fighters! Why are all those feminists complaining? That's game balance!

Your opinions are terrible, and you are too.

I forgot:
I didn't say they were sluts and whores, you did and to me this is what's representative of the problem. That a woman striking a sexy pose immediately makes them a whore or a slut and any woman who can be attributed to sex or sexuality is immediately demonized.

They're not just striking a pose because someone's taking a picture or they're trying to impress a romantic interest. They're striking a sexy pose at all times, it is their default activity. About to engage in a life or death struggle? Just got a powerup? Your home town just got set on fire? Waiting for the bus? Sounds like a great time to squeeze their tits together, yay!

image

Oh no, this building is burning down! But is anyone watching me? I better strike a vogue just in case!

MysticMongol:

cainx10a:

About the sexy clothing of Cammy, I may not be a SF player, that sure looks like a decent distraction for her hapless opponents ... like poor Balrog.

Sounds good to me! The female characters can win fights by taking off their shirts and stunning their opponents with a look at the twins, and male characters can win fights by being excellent fighters! Why are all those feminists complaining? That's game balance!

Your opinions are terrible, and you are too.

Way to totally ignore Cammy's FIGHTING ABILITIES.

Oh and your opinions are not any better, but you are a wonderful human being. Well, have fun foaming at how the video game industry is mean towards your gender. I'll go have some fun playing a video game. :)

cainx10a:
Way to totally ignore Cammy's FIGHTING ABILITIES.

Oh and your opinions are not any better, but you are a wonderful human being. Well, have fun foaming at how the video game industry is mean towards your gender. I'll go have some fun playing a video game. :)

I'm a dude, hth.

MysticMongol:

cainx10a:
Way to totally ignore Cammy's FIGHTING ABILITIES.

Oh and your opinions are not any better, but you are a wonderful human being. Well, have fun foaming at how the video game industry is mean towards your gender. I'll go have some fun playing a video game. :)

I'm a dude, hth.

Oh apologies my 'good' man ... dh.

Just kind of thinking about the insanity of saying that's not realist in the games that seem to be the big offenders in the strike a sexy pose debate.

Is it realistic for Cammy to strike a sexy pose in a skimpy outfit, no not really. But then it's a game where Dhalsim can stretch his arms out about 20 feet, E. Honda can fly across a room like he was on wires, and Blanka can shoot lighting out his butt. Sure breast physics in the Dead or Alive series is nothing like the real world but you don't hear people complain because Street Fighter's Rufus doesn't have real world belly physics.

Most of the games where women are doing the unrealistic poses seem to be set in games that are about as far from the real world as you can get to begin with.

Wow. I mean, I liked the in-depth approach. This is like, polar opposite of not being able to find enough material.

You found 5:00 minutes of material in one tiny portion of a larger material. Please come back to it, Bob. Anyway, you generated a shit storm of comments so...

Tarkand:

Hate to break it to you buddy, but this armor design is extremely stupid. She's protected EVERYWHERE except the two most vital area (heart and face/head) - her neck isn't protected by anything but a red scarf either, which really doesn't do anything against swords, axes and the like.

Granted, she isn't overly sexy because her stance is pretty neutral, but this is exactly the kind of 'WTF?' armor design feminist rally against, as essentially it's more important for the character to show her beauty (through her face and boobs) then to not get killed.

*Facepalm* Missed the second pic I had in the same post did we? Course, your right in some respects. The leather should go up to the neck line. However, a full-face helm compromises vision, so the helm is more of a combat tactical choice rather than an attractiveness thing. (Judging by the half-plate theme, it can be assumed that she favors vision and mobility over protection) In addition, no combat armor in history has ever protected the neck. Why? Cause your neck needs space to move. The last thing you want to do is accidentally strangle yourself on your armor. (The closest thing armorsmiths came up with were chain mail collars or additions to the backs of helmets) As a result, the scarf is actually not a bad choice.

On another note, even you have to admit that that armor is a huge step up from the stuff in games like Mortal Kombat. Is it perfect? No, but it is certainly leaps and bounds in the right direction.

P.S. Care to post a pic of your ideal female armor design? I'm rather curious now.

Oroboros:

ReiverCorrupter:
You missed out on half of the conversation. We weren't arguing about whether video games will stop objectifying women. I agree, they won't because there is a market for it. I was instead arguing that the market will offer more games geared towards women that DO NOT objectify them because there is a market audience for those types of games.

You don't seem to have understood when I addressed that in the first paragraph. There is no reason to expect them to change as long as they can make the most money by targeting men, the largest demographic. As is, they seem to be increasingly abandoning niche genres, there's no reason to think that they won't continue to exploit women and treat them as a niche market.

Once again, you missed a large part of the previous conversation. I was saying that if 40% of the market for video games are women, as cited by the person I was arguing with, and those women forgo games that objectify them, then the market will correct itself. 40% is NOT a niche market.

Oroboros:

ReiverCorrupter:
Do you really think that the 'objectification of women' is caused by some evil Hegelian world spirit that possesses mankind? The objectification of women has its roots in the male sex drive.

Not what I said. I said:

Oroboros:

The Gilded Age if nothing else provides plenty of material on the ability of capitalism to damage society in the pursuit of capital. There is no proof that capitalism, left on its own, naturally trends towards the benign.

Did I say capitalism is evil? No. Don't put words in my mouth. just that there is a reason to expect the market to steer itself away from material that is degrading to women as long as it sells.

The point was that the objectification of women cannot be corrected merely by censoring the media, because its primary cause is the male sex drive. It's been happening before the first printing press.

Oroboros:

ReiverCorrupter:
Let me explain this in terms of evolution. The adaptation that makes human beings successful is our ability to reason. The problem is that in order to develop our ability to reason we have inexorably long developmental cycles where our young are vulnerable for about ten years. This has lead to specialization between the sexes. Women have a nine month pregnancy, and then must nurse and take care of the children. This meant that physical strength was impractical for them. Instead they developed to be physically weaker than men because they were charged with foraging and raising children. Men, on the other hand, became charged with hunting and fighting. This made them the natural leaders of society because they were the ones who had to decide where to go in order to follow their prey. The relationship stayed this way for most of human history. Now that physical prowess is no longer the deciding factor for leadership, there is no reason why the sexes can't be on equal footing. The problem is that this is a fairly new development and it has to go against millions of years of evolution.

Wow. So women make bad leaders? In other words, they can't be trusted to think for themselves? You seem to be missing the point that most of the world aren't hunter gatherers...(not to mention your rather simplistic view of hunter gatherer cultures) At any rate, this stereotype is not relevant in industrialized nations, where people don't need to hunt for food, and don't need to gather, and women don't need to be the ones taking care of the children. Video games are not marketed towards hunter gatherers at any rate.

You are essentially arguing that women are incapable of leading society due to evolution....so this excuses exploitation of women? Perhaps you could word this better, because this sounds eerily similar to excuses made by slave owners in 1800's America. I assume you aren't pro-slavery, so could you word this better?

ROFL. This is the funniest part. You CLEARLY didn't read all the way through. I was saying that women should be equal because they have equal intelligence to men, but millions of years of evolution are behind the old model of society, which is why it is so hard to change. Remember that people basically sold off their daughters before there was any such thing as video games, or the printing press for that matter. You're probably not going to change much of anything by censoring video games.

Oroboros:

ReiverCorrupter:

Frankly, I don't regard sexuality as a bad thing. The important thing isn't that men and women see each other in a completely asexual manner, it's that they recognize that the important factor for how someone functions in society is their intelligence. That being said, I really don't see how censoring everything that tends to objectify men or women is going to change much of anything.

Not arguing against sexuality. Just arguing against brands of sexuality that are degrading and harmful to women. You are aware that the ideals marketed in video games aren't universal and never have been? There are alternative ways of expressing feminine sexuality without degrading them.

I was referring to the male sex drive. I don't see anything wrong with men wanting to buy games like DOA. Sure, it's immature, but it's for their consumption. Not to mention the fact that you can enjoy the cleavage of virtual women without automatically thinking that women are only good for their bodies and belong in the kitchen. It's not out there to force women to want to look a certain way. The women being objectified are pixelated fantasies. I agree it probably does have harmful side effects to weak minded people, but weak minded people are pretty easily harmed. The level of freedom that we would need to restrict in order to protect those people just isn't worth it. I'm all for women boycotting such games or protesting them and trying to get their message out and change society. I'm just not down for censorship.

Oroboros:

ReiverCorrupter:

Frankly you're confusing cause and effect, the images in the media are merely a symptom of the underlying values of society. It isn't capitalism that is to blame. Capitalism is merely an economic system, it isn't a value system. It's consumerism. If society still had a strong emphasis on family connections, then people would get their values from their families. But parents don't raise their children anymore, they set them in front of the TV. So is it any wonder why people get their values from the media? A consumerist society will treat people as sex objects to be possessed because it defines life in terms of how many objects you can possess. The problem is that American culture wasn't strong enough to handle capitalism.

You don't have to have an iron will to resist the images in the media, your parents just had to raise you with a little backbone. But as long as parents are lazy people are going to be slaves to the popular media. Trying to change the media itself is an uphill battle that I'm afraid you can't win. Maybe in a socialist society where the government completely controlled the media it would be possible, but in our capitalist society it is always going to take advantage of the market. Sex sells. If you want it to stop selling people are going to have to stop buying it.

Exactly. Capitalism has no values. No morals, etc. It's a blank slate. Hence there is no reason to expect it to change for the benefit of society on its own, when it can make more money playing to peoples prejudices and emotions. That being said, there is no reason to think that the media does not feed back into the culture. Every commercial with a half-starved, half-dressed model it reinforces these biases. Advertising makes money off of playing peoples emotions after all. For example, people are more likely to go buy a house alarm if they see one of those commercials where a woman home alone is visited by a burglar and only saved by her alarm. They wouldn't use these commercials if they were not effective. (notice hows never a man that is helpless in these situations, another topic for another time, perhaps)

You don't get it do you? It's not about captialism being good for society, it's about society being free. If people want to buy smut or insipid crap, that's their business. If you don't like it, don't buy it. And you're dead wrong about men, they're affected JUST as much as women. All the crap about suppressing your emotions and acting like a mindless jock is a good example. You're basically suggesting that no one can think for themselves so the government has to step in and do their thinking for them and censor the crap out of everything. While I agree that very few people can think for themselves, I don't care to have that type of government thank you very much.

Get your posters and march if you have to. Get the word out to as many people as you can. Boycott industries and protest. But if you can't change peoples minds it doesn't mean that you have the right to force them or take away their freedom.

Oroboros:

In short, I'm saying that just because there is a market for it, doesn't mean it can be handwaved away as simply being a normal function of the system that is inevitable and unchangeable, and that it should be allowed to run its course like some sort of weather pattern. As long as there is a market for it, it will continue to be marketed, and through media saturation of this view of beauty, it continues to feed the market to create more demand. Leaving it to its own devices is no solution. I do agree that education is the best way to counter this though.

In this situation, education is the ONLY way. It's not like healthcare, where people can't afford a vital service. That probably DOES deserve government intervention. In the case of video games, you're talking about depriving people of what they want because it can indirectly harm others. If it wasn't right during prohibition then it sure as hell isn't right now. Sure it's generally mindless smut, but they still have a right to spend their money on it. You can protest, boycott and run adds to try to change people's minds, but I damn well better not see any Prop 57's for game censorship in the next election.

The problem is that I don't think you're going to change people's minds. Teenage boys are biologically hardwired to enjoy the sight of breasts. I don't think any campaigns for social awareness are going to change that fact, so you should probably just get used to it and try to educate women to ignore it.

I think this pose argument is weak. If feminist's (or perhaps women in general, because maybe there's a difference? I dunno.)problem with "sexy character design" is the poses, why not just SAY that then?
Either women are not the the great communicators with "social skills developed over thousands of years" that feminism has lead us to believe or this is just BS. Sorry, it just is, and maybe the latter statement as well.

Also, I know you that are a feminist yourself and believe that women are superior to men, mainly because they have boobs, which no man could blame you for thinking, though you seem to think it goes beyond just boobs.

I, however, and am individualist. I absolutely refuse to believe that some person is superior to me simply because they have an XX chromosome or an XY. I WILL NOT DO IT, EVEN IF THEY ARE, I WILL OVERCOME THEIR SUPERIORITY, I WILL MAKE MYSELF BETTER. BECAUSE I AM A MAN! HEAR ME ROAR!

Can you ladies (and men) stop trying to force this retarded penile guilt complex on me? Yea, I'm sorry all the female leads are dressed like skanks, sorry their concept art is stupid and hints at a weak personality, sorry you have such slim pickings when it comes to a reliable, smart and interesting girl hero. But what the hell do you want from me? How is any of this my fault? And most importantly, how is bitching about it and blaming male gamers going to change anything?

I'm approaching the point where I really don't feel like taking this issue seriously anymore. If Kratos, Marcus Fenix, and Nathan Drake are representing ideal make characters, count me the fuck out. You're tired of being a wanton sex object? Well I'm tired of being stuck with tragic antihero, burly macho man and wisecracking douchebag.

hooksashands:
Can you ladies (and men) stop trying to force this retarded penile guilt complex on me? Yea, I'm sorry all the female leads are dressed like skanks, sorry their concept art is stupid and hints at a weak personality, sorry you have such slim pickings when it comes to a reliable, smart and interesting girl hero. But what the hell do you want from me? How is any of this my fault? And most importantly, how is bitching about it and blaming male gamers going to change anything?

I'm approaching the point where I really don't feel like taking this issue seriously anymore. If Kratos, Marcus Fenix, and Nathan Drake are representing ideal make characters, count me the fuck out. You're tired of being a wanton sex object? Well I'm tired of being stuck with tragic antihero, burly macho man and wisecracking douchebag.

This. So very very this. It just seems like if we have a different opinion of "Well, it's not THAT big of a deal" we get labeled as bigots.

You know what would solve everyone's problems? And I'm going to be the one to say it and if I'm hated for it, than so be it. But it needs to be said. If women are truly offended by things like this, want things to change, or demand to stop being thought as nothing more than a sex object than they need to stop reacting to every little thing in a video game like revealing clothing or sexy poses like someone just yelled "Get in the kitchen."

You want to know the actual point of sexist or even undermining looks at women in video games? Look at Poison from Capcom games. Capcom of japan believed that a woman attacking a man in America was so outlandish and that a man fighting back and hitting her was so sexist, they went out of their way to make her a intersex person. (Someone who is both sexes)

And you complain about Cammy having her butt being shown? Seriously. Hell, did you notice the decrease in women in games who just wear skirts and wait for their powerful husband to come back from the fight? Anya from Gears of War had only RECENTLY fired a weapon to kill something in the defense of her friends and decided that's what she needed to do. How is that not a large jump and progression in times?

And guys really need to stop treating women as if they are glass eggs. The more you step and and try to speak out for women to the degree that everyone who disagrees is a sexist, the more and more it seems like you feel women -need- to be defended by you.

Think I'm being a sexist pig? Guess what? I'm not. Why? Because honestly, I'm african american and I've dealt with people's outlook on that. Someone had yelled a racial slur at me and ran away before while I was sitting down reading a book. I looked at him run and someone came over to me, apologized and asked if I was alright.

I responded with "Thank you for your concern, but I do not need to be protected from words" Hell, even after that, someone hung up posters for a "If you are being racially attacked and need help, call this hotline." If anything pissed me off, it's crap like that. It's insulting when someone comes out with an opinion as if I need to be protected from the big bad world.

Seriously, people. The sooner we drop the need to go out of our way to protect a group of people from something that is LITERALLY not important the better. Tyrin Lanister from Game of Thrones put it best:

Tyrin: So you are a bastard. Not only that, but a NOBLE bastard. Instead of taking offense to that, wear it as you wear your armor. Carry it with you, use it as a shield so that no one may hurt you with it.

I used my ethnicity as armor. I do not think it's important nor do I think it's what defines me, however it is with me until I die. So that when people say "You're black" I respond with "Why yes, yes I am." Why is it that women should be any different? Or do you people think they are so weak that they need defending?

Also, lemme put this out there just so that people get in their heads. THERE ARE WOMEN IN THE WORLD WHO DRESS/ACT SLUTTY! By far, not all women. The minority. But it is a factor non the less. But you know what? That's just how they dress and act. To me, this seems like a case of not accepting a kind of person for who they are.

hooksashands:
Can you ladies (and men) stop trying to force this retarded penile guilt complex on me? Yea, I'm sorry all the female leads are dressed like skanks, sorry their concept art is stupid and hints at a weak personality, sorry you have such slim pickings when it comes to a reliable, smart and interesting girl hero. But what the hell do you want from me? How is any of this my fault? And most importantly, how is bitching about it and blaming male gamers going to change anything?

I'm approaching the point where I really don't feel like taking this issue seriously anymore. If Kratos, Marcus Fenix, and Nathan Drake are representing ideal make characters, count me the fuck out. You're tired of being a wanton sex object? Well I'm tired of being stuck with tragic antihero, burly macho man and wisecracking douchebag.

Agreed!

If you think of it most male characters in games are uber-roidal, low-brow, knuckle-dragging,
super-jock,
image

porn star/underwear model wannabes image

who all have mommy/daddy issues.

The only thing they excel at is trying not to "look gay".

image

often failing.

Honestly, if a woman is not what is being portrayed than why does it bother you? This is a stupid subject to think you've won "equal rights" in anyways! Get back to me when you feel like fighting for women who get their fingers cut off for looking at another man.

Given this cover to a Japanese magazine for homosexual men, yes female characters are the only characters ever sexually exploited in video games. You never ever see male video game characters that would be appealing to gay men. If the cartoon character on the cover had his pants buttoned up you might have to wonder which game he was from.

image

MysticMongol:

cainx10a:

About the sexy clothing of Cammy, I may not be a SF player, that sure looks like a decent distraction for her hapless opponents ... like poor Balrog.

Sounds good to me! The female characters can win fights by taking off their shirts and stunning their opponents with a look at the twins, and male characters can win fights by being excellent fighters! Why are all those feminists complaining? That's game balance!

Your opinions are terrible, and you are too.

I forgot:
I didn't say they were sluts and whores, you did and to me this is what's representative of the problem. That a woman striking a sexy pose immediately makes them a whore or a slut and any woman who can be attributed to sex or sexuality is immediately demonized.

They're not just striking a pose because someone's taking a picture or they're trying to impress a romantic interest. They're striking a sexy pose at all times, it is their default activity. About to engage in a life or death struggle? Just got a powerup? Your home town just got set on fire? Waiting for the bus? Sounds like a great time to squeeze their tits together, yay!

image

Oh no, this building is burning down! But is anyone watching me? I better strike a vogue just in case!

Your argument is already crumbling.

"They're striking sexy poses at all times, it is their default activity"
That's such a huge overgeneralization with no support and painting with waaay too broad a brush. You're trying to stereotype that character, all games and the entire industry with that single GIF. As I said before, this is blowing things way out of proportion; this should be a narrow topic with specific games in discussion, not a broad one pointing fingers and making assumptions at the whole damn industry in general.

video game sales have been going up for years now, WAY higher than the movies, or any other form of entertainment media. If you look up when this trend started to appear you'll see that when over sexual character poses/costumes was the same time video games took off. So why would you kill part of what feeds you? I agree they can tone it down a little bit in games in more serious tone games (Silent Hill, Allan Wake, etc.) but overall they help sell games
I won't buy a game exclusively for say Felicia from MvC3 but I do appreciate her being there! the same goes for comics and anime, I won't buy a series for TNA but I'd be lying if I said it bothered me or that I would have it any other way

and I know most gamers, both male and female think the same way too. Even if they don't admit it among their group of friends they probably talk about it

hooksashands:
Can you ladies (and men) stop trying to force this retarded penile guilt complex on me? Yea, I'm sorry all the female leads are dressed like skanks, sorry their concept art is stupid and hints at a weak personality, sorry you have such slim pickings when it comes to a reliable, smart and interesting girl hero. But what the hell do you want from me? How is any of this my fault? And most importantly, how is bitching about it and blaming male gamers going to change anything?

I'm approaching the point where I really don't feel like taking this issue seriously anymore. If Kratos, Marcus Fenix, and Nathan Drake are representing ideal make characters, count me the fuck out. You're tired of being a wanton sex object? Well I'm tired of being stuck with tragic antihero, burly macho man and wisecracking douchebag.

Ding ding mother-fucking ding!

Kingsnake661:
IMO, this issue won't change until the gaming landscape, or demographic changes more then it has. Yes, not ALL games are hetrosexual males between the ages of 13-35, but the overwheling majority is... And companies will contiune to market to that demographic. And so long as 13-35 year old hetorsexual males ACT like typical 13-35 year old hetrosexual males, it's going to contuine to work. So either you work on changing how boys/young men think and act...(good luck with that, dispite the fact I firmly belive they SHOULD have more respect for women...) or the demograpic of gamers has to shift to a more balance one...(again, good luck with that...) Either way, i don't see is changing anytime soon. *shrug*

Or companies could take a risk and try to make games that don't do it. People will buy games if they're good, regardless of how sexualized the women are or aren't.

castlewise:
So your saying that the underlying problem is that games are generally made specifically for guys, with no regard for a female audience? I can't say I disagree. I was reading something similar about TV shows and movies the other day. Someone was saying that the prevailing notion was that girls would watch "guy" shows, but guys wouldn't watch "girl" shows. As a result everyone defaults to making movies, shows, whatever with male leads and the like. Its probably even worse with games because producers may assume that there aren't even any girls to sell games to (something patently untrue, but whatever).

(heavy sarcasm) That's not true! There's the Barbie/Bratz games and tons of other games that totally should appeal to them because they're covered in pink! (heavy sarcasm)

Therumancer:
...but it's just the way things are.

With respect to the rest of your post, this is probably one of the worst phrases to use in a gender discussion. It's the long running argument for people who don't want to have the argument. And for a lot of people it's an effective way to scuttle your argument before you even get going.

I don't always agree with you, but honestly, you're doing yourself a disservice here, and I figured someone should warn you before anyone takes your teeth out.

MysticMongol:

image

Oh no, this building is burning down! But is anyone watching me? I better strike a vogue just in case!

What the hell am I looking at!?

Therumancer:
It's not the complete lack of differances, but the degree to which those differances appear and the number of them. It's not a popular point, and I understand you don't like it, but it's just the way things are.

Excuse me? "That's just the way things are", when did that become a valid argument. It's one I see lots of people making in this thread, mostly men but one I've heard women make in the past. "That's just the way things are so why bother trying to change." You realize that if this argument rang true women wouldn't be wearing pants, going to work, or voting. The Civil Rights movement wouldn't have happened, we would still have slavery.

Therumancer:

The reason why you don't have lady versions of Hulk Hogan in pro-wrestling is because that's not how girls develop. You get a guy who pumps iron and gets into an ideal body-muscle ratio he's going to wind up a lot differant than a girl who does the same thing, and can simply put do a lot more differant things with his body and form it in differant ways.

Give me a break, the reason why we don't have lady versions of Hulk Hogan in pro wrestling is because the vast majority of male viewers are turned off by the female body builder. Some of them are what you'd expect from the female form, as you stated below. The others... not so much no. There's a wide variety of what a woman can do with her muscles depending on what she decides to focus on. The fact that you're calling up Pro Wrestling as an example is actually pretty silly. Like the men, it's not an honest representation of variety. Why? Pro Wrestling is not a sport, it's an entertainment medium. They can work their body and be extensively physically fit, but not push it to the point where it becomes unattractive.

Therumancer:

Likewise due to the way guys are structured a sumo-type regime can produce a very powerful if odd-looking physique that is functional for what it's intended for, a girl really isn't going to be able to support and function that way.

Possibly. I'd like you to support actual evidence of that first, before deciding it's so. After all, the Sumo profession in Japan is a man's profession and a man's sport. Japanese culture dictates certain behavior sets along with class and gender differentiations that would make it impossible for a woman to try to break into that field.

Women come in a wide range and variety of body types and builds just like men do, depending on genetics, eating habits, and work out types. Now, there is a certain build that is ascribed as "feminine perfection" which is pushed by the media. That includes a specific facial feature set.

Wait, this isn't one of those: this is why men are superior to women in terms of combat arguments is it?

Therumancer:
Now in an ideal world, this wouldn't be true, but we don't live in one, and guys and girls have some substantial differances in our physical makeups. Men are simply more capable and varied physically, maxxing out much higher. This basic truth comes out in heroic fantasy.

Oh dear god... no. To argue what real women look like we're going to argue over what fantasy women look like? Fantasy women. Right.

Never mind that a large portion of fantasy literature is written as coming of age stories, which may in fact have absolutely nothing to do with the author deciding when they are planning on writing their character.

Therumancer:

When it comes to the AGE of characters in video games, there is some truth to that, but again I think it comes down to reality and the way both genders age. Men tend to remain physically viable/imposing a lot longer than women for a lot of differant reasons.

Wait, what? I was actually going to try to argue with you seriously, but no. Not when you're using fantasy as a depiction for the way things are in real life. It's not. Yes, younger women are more flexible, no this does not mean they are in their prime. Women can remain extremely flexible a lot longer than men. The Olympics is based around the competition of non-professional athletes, not professional ones, and there are many, many, many women in their thirties and forties who are just as capable now as when they were in their prime. Some, in fact, are better.

Women have a higher pain tolerance than men. This is a known fact. Women have a lower center of gravity than men which means it's harder to knock them off their feet. Ask any professional and most will tell you: the toughest people to grapple with are the ones who are short. Women have a longer life expectancy than men. Women can be absolutely vicious in combat, I know, I've fought them. I've met women who were exceedingly rotund and still exceptionally capable fighters. She was also well into her thirties.

Basing your opinions of women, combat (because you are), and their bodies on fantasy or mass media or even the Olympics is only going to get you in trouble. There are many different sports out there and billions of women with many different body types, the vast majority of which are not presented as "ideal". Yes, they may seem similar but they really are different in fundamentally important ways. If you can't see why, then I really can't help you.

ReiverCorrupter:

Once again, you missed a large part of the previous conversation. I was saying that if 40% of the market for video games are women, as cited by the person I was arguing with, and those women forgo games that objectify them, then the market will correct itself. 40% is NOT a niche market.

Once Again, you accuse me of not understanding your position, due to a lack of reading comprehension. My Argument was that the market will NOT correct itself.

ReiverCorrupter:

The point was that the objectification of women cannot be corrected merely by censoring the media, because its primary cause is the male sex drive. It's been happening before the first printing press.

You don't get it do you? It's not about captialism being good for society, it's about society being free. If people want to buy smut or insipid crap, that's their business. If you don't like it, don't buy it. And you're dead wrong about men, they're affected JUST as much as women. All the crap about suppressing your emotions and acting like a mindless jock is a good example. You're basically suggesting that no one can think for themselves so the government has to step in and do their thinking for them and censor the crap out of everything. While I agree that very few people can think for themselves, I don't care to have that type of government thank you very much.

Get your posters and march if you have to. Get the word out to as many people as you can. Boycott industries and protest. But if you can't change peoples minds it doesn't mean that you have the right to force them or take away their freedom.

[quote="Oroboros" post="6.314951.12818340"]I do agree that education is the best way to counter this though.

Not once have I advocated government intervention on this matter. Go ahead trying to smear me as being favor of some sort of repressive socialist society though, I'm sure it's easier to just ignore what I say and fill in the blanks. Makes it easier to strawman me, I suppose.

I'm not arguing that men hiding their emotions and being bombarded with images of hypermuscualar athletic macho men is not bad. It is also bad, but as I have stated before, muscular men do not solely represent sexuality, but also a heroic ideal of sorts. Women characters are typically denied this sort of representation in favor of a solely sexualized one, the implications should be obvious.

You excuse sexual exploitation of women in games again and again as being 'natural', and say that it is fine that men buy and consume this material, but you ignore that the brand of sexuality being marketed to men does not represent a form of beauty that has been historically eternal or universal. (hint: Teenage boys are *not* biologically hardwired to enjoy the sight of breasts, different cultures have historically emphasized different aspects of the human body as desirable) The sexuality marketed in today's games is a more or less recent development, and treats women as objects. This consumption is not limited to personal fantasies or to the game world being marketed, it effects perceptions in the real world, which is why it is important to raise awareness on the subject.

Starke:

Therumancer:
...but it's just the way things are.

With respect to the rest of your post, this is probably one of the worst phrases to use in a gender discussion. It's the long running argument for people who don't want to have the argument. And for a lot of people it's an effective way to scuttle your argument before you even get going.

I don't always agree with you, but honestly, you're doing yourself a disservice here, and I figured someone should warn you before anyone takes your teeth out.

"...but it's just the way things are" also would imply that somehow things are static and unchanging.

That's just not true of gender and gender relations in our culture. It's constantly evolving so what was considered a gender taboo in one decade might be a gender norm in the next decade. Gender roles are also changing so that a male nurse and a female doctor are just a normal part of life today while those same roles would have been shocking in the past.

Games are also constantly evolving. Back in my 8-bit days you almost never saw female characters in games, but now it's the norm to have a choice of several female characters in something like a fighting game.

In ten years this same topic would get different replies because society and gaming are never going sit still because "it's just the way things are".

nightwolf667:

Therumancer:
It's not the complete lack of differances, but the degree to which those differances appear and the number of them. It's not a popular point, and I understand you don't like it, but it's just the way things are.

Excuse me? "That's just the way things are", when did that become a valid argument. It's one I see lots of people making in this thread, mostly men but one I've heard women make in the past. "That's just the way things are so why bother trying to change." You realize that if this argument rang true women wouldn't be wearing pants, going to work, or voting. The Civil Rights movement wouldn't have happened, we would still have slavery.

.

Pretty much everything else your saying comes down to this. As I said myself, a lot of people don't like the truth, and I kind of expected it. For you and the other responder who took exception to this statement, I do however stand by what I said. The rest of your strawman BS about civil rights, wearing pants, and the rest of it has no relevency to discussions about physical development.

It's also important to note that we're talking about heroic fantasy here, so yes, fighting DOES tend to be the focus of what we're discussing, though that is not the sum total of the point.

Also, understand that we're talking about practical builds for the kinds of roles presented in this game, not whether there are other builds in existance that would not work, and thus we do not see represented.

As far as female body builders go, and how women present them, take a look at the work of artists like Julie Belle as an example. Not to mention people like "Zap" from American Gladiators, who also made an apperance in the movie "Skin Deep". You'll notice those ladies again, fit the same basic profile as the girls we're seeing in this artwork, the big differance is that they are usually oiled up (or presented as they are) to show the muscle definition, where in most fantasy art they aren't. Someone like say "Sable" back in her heyday probably could have shown off the same level of muscle definition, but only with a lot more work to present it than most guys will because guys and girls are built differantly.

Whether you like the point or not, men are simply a lot more physically powerful than women and develop that way far better. A girl in her physical peak will look differant from a guy, and be less varied, and furthermore will never have the raw power and performance of an equally peaked guy. Whether it's fair or not, or politically correct or not, that IS how things are. None of that however means that women shouldn't vote, or be prevented from wearing pants, or whatever kind of nonsense you want to try and associate with it.

The point is that the artwork developed the way it has for a reason, sexploitation is not the only reason behind it, and even if it WAS the major reason, it still wouldn't be a valid point because it's a two way street with sex being aimed at both genders more or less equally. Sex sells, and not just to men.

Eh, the portrayal of women in games doesn't bother me, neither does the betrayal of men. The hobby is about fantasy, and I think I'm with a lot of folk that simply don't care how realistic games are with their presentation of people.

I mean, I have the ability to recognize the difference between fantasy and reality, and don't let fantasy sway my expectations. If there are people who can't, that seems to be the problem more than how characters are written/animated.

I don't think academia is the problems so much as a lot of the sort of casual, "lay-feminists." People who often are generally feminist but repeat the mantras without context or thought to the same. Repeating an ideology is dangerous when there's no consideration to the momentum behind it.

A lot of the people crying sexism do so as a reflex, just like the gamers who bray when it happens.

I'm not saying there's nothing coming from academia, but I don't think it's the learnin' types who are the main problem. People are blanket offended on both sides. Granted, there is more cause to take a feminist standpoint, but that does not mean each and every person who believes something does so for the right reasons or reflects nobly on it.

It's hard to take seriously your claims that girls are portrayed that way only out of realism, Therumancer, when quite obviously they tend to be given huge breasts, even though female athletes have smaller breasts than the average.

Either they're going for the realism and they should be realist with that too. Or they're using fantasy portrayals of characters and then they don't have to be limited to real life stuff.

Not saying you're right about women, mind you, but if my pictures of various body types in women athletes didn't convince you, I don't think anything I say will.

Best Big Picture, in my opinion.

i love bob

I'm a woman, and the only thing I have to say is.... I agree with everything that's been stated in that video. The author really nailed it PERFECTLY.

MysticMongol:

Specifically, let's look at the pre-fight introduction poses.

image

There's Juri. Yes, like every other female character she's slender and young. Yes, she wears a shirt that is a handkerchief tied in place over her chest. But her pose tells us a lot about her. It says she's ready to fight, and that she's quite confident--the wide, aggressive stance, and the fact she's leaning into the challenge says she's excited about the upcoming fight. She looks cruel, she looks evil, and her eye thing is eye thinging, which tells us she's a borderline crazy person. So we've got a violent fighter who's about to hurl herself into the fray, and if you're not careful she'll probably eat one of your ears.

This is a fine pose for a fighter.

image

This is Cammy. Like Juri, she's a genetically engineered supersoldier with a sexy body and not very much in the way of clothing. Unlike Juri, this pose doesn't suggest her attitude about the upcoming fight, or how she's going to act in that fight. It does suggest that she's sexually available. Look at my ass, this pose says. I bet you could insert something into it. Can you think of anything fun to put in my ass?

This is a fine pose for a porn star.

Both are dangerous, sexy women with ludicrous backstories and not very much clothing. But one is being presented as a threat, and one is being presented as a fantasy.

I was browsing through the thread, and I want to quote this. You see guys, THIS is what we "feminists" mean!!!

Look at Juri. Now, don't tell me she's not sexy. Don't tell me she's not meanting to be titillating (she even is a declared bisexual/lesbian, as if that mattered in a fighting game). Yet, in this example, Juri is a female character that a feminist like me can definitely like. Because she's not presented as a generical slut. She IS a threat; she has a personality beyond "having a nice body".

Wow, a male actually stating what we females have been trying to get at all along. I don't mind sexy female characters, I don't mind female characters being portrayed as sexy or objectified as long as it is fantasy, what I do mind is that EVERY female character has to be objectified.

While I have seen some males being objectified and made basically for females (and I am not including bishounen type characters here) there are a wide range of male characters that have absolutely no sexual appeal at all, and even the ones that do have sexual appeal have great personalities/character development. And they are not objectified as much as the females. The only one I can think of that is objectified as much as females, is Regnier from Kingdom Under Fire: Circle Of Doom.

And even then, a lot of male characters that are "objectified" are done by men themselves. "Strong", "Badass" characters are made by men for men. There is a difference. Women are objectified to fit into how men want them to be like, and NEVER how women want them to be like.

Heck, I think some male characters were created which many females love, yet were not meant to pander to the female audience. But they do.

Why is it that males complain "WAAAAA!!!" just because we want more in depth female characters that don't always sexually objectify? It's not like we are saying that ALL females or males cannot be objectified in games.

If you want to objectify women or men in that way all the time, go watch porn. I just want a female character that actually has a personality and is not pandering to men. Just one. Is that so hard? Will it completely ruin your gaming experience to have an actual female character that is not objectified for once?

No wonder I have absolutely NO favourite female characters from games (well, apart from Shale from Dragon Age: Origins), they are all just there for guys to drool at. I love games and don't mind females or males being objectified every once in a while, it's just not nice to see EVERY FEMALE CHARACTER THAT IS NOT AN ORC BEING OBJECTIFIED! Games are not porn! (unless it's hentai or something) so, why not have some variations? There is absolutely NO reason not to do so, just as there are no good excuses for the objectifying of every female in any and every game.

Every time this argument is bought up you always have someone going "oh well it's not realistic so why would ever not make every girl a sexy, you want to play sexy girls too right?"
The thing is, there are other things to a good looking design and interesting character than fucking sex appeal. Why would you have and older male character? Why would you have a male character that isn't particularly handsome? Why would you have scars? Why would you ever play a feral beast race that looks like it's about to rip your face off? Why would you have male aliens actually look alien as oppose to painted humans? Why would you ever go for armour rather than having them go around shirtless? Ever think girls might like these for female character for the same damn reasons? Maybe I want to play a badass rather than a sex goddess. I want female characters that have...well more character. If you replace every male character in video games regardless of situation with guys like say...the werewolf guy from twilight and have them posing to show of their abs or ass do you honestly not think anything would be lost? Yes I am over using questions.
I don't have a problem with sexy female characters in itself. I don't want to go thru all video games and nunify everything and when how a female character is done bothers me or is just disappointing it does not mean I am demanding they go to the other extreme and have them in burlap sack and you can't look at them as sexy at all. Sexy when appropriate! I can get behind the hyper sexualised female character provided it's not of place and I'm not being drowned under a flood of them. I have a problem with that being so common(tho the problem of female characters in video games is overblown a bit) and that you get the "sexy poses and outfits" when it doesn't really match the character or the situation. Not to mention what might look good to you doesn't necessarily look good to me. Some people might like the "bikini style"; I think it looks stupid, boring and often reeks of lazy design.

Daaaah Whoosh:

lockgar:

Or maybe make a female character that you don't want to fuck? Just a thought. Maybe have an actual person who happens to be female, and not an object of sexual desire?

All right, then. Why don't we talk about how the leading men in video games always look handsome and well-built, then? There are seldom any fat or ugly men in games, especially in many RPGs, where there is only one body type per gender for every human NPC. Normally, both sexes are portrayed in a way that makes them attractive to most people. I'm just trying to say that if it's going to be that way, it might as well be equal for both men and women in all respects. I mean, I'm all for seeing a bunch of non-attractive people in video games, as long as it's not just the women.

Did we watch the same video? He listed a good few male characters who where anything but handsome. At least from the visual sense. There are A LOT of leading men in video games who are anything but handsome. "At least from a male perspective."

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