The Big Picture: Gender Games

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as a female i totally agree with bob in his video. but the skimpy outfits start to wear a bit thin when thats the only option you have when it comes to character creation and equipment. id like to at least have the choice to wear armour that looks like it protects in rpg's..

Jennacide:

I do hope you do a video on the stupidity of the super model complex in gaming. It's so out of hand except by a very small handful of studios that understand woman can still be strong and attractive without having to be 'classically' beautiful. (I'm looking right at Valve for this one.) What makes it worse, in the example of Alyx, is that she's a strong but down to Earth looking heroine, and idiots go and do shit like this: http://img230.imageshack.us/img230/504/halflife22.jpg
Yup, that's what Alyx needed. A face of a super model, bigger tits with jiggle bones, and more navel showing. And you wonder why women tend to assume men are all misogynist idiots.

Ļ

I agree with the "does not have to be classically beautiful" part, but I object to your complaint about a design of Alyx that was clearly done not for the *actual* game(If it is for the actual game, which I doubt, please disregard this and firebomb Valve for me.) rather done for perhaps a mod, or a masturbation session.

Itīs perfectly acceptable to take a character out of context and give her traits you find attractive and then giving out to people for them to jerk off to. If Valve tried to pull this, then itīd be stupid, but as it stands, itīs merely a diffrent take on her design, possibly by someone who appreciates the "Classically beautiful" style.

And your last comment was just meanspirited and unneccesary.

Anyways: Good episode, Bob. I agree with you on almost everything. We need not get rid of beauty - merely the way it is presented.

You see, the thing is, the way most female video game characters are presented isn't sexy...it turns them into jokes.

At least more serious games can do it right.

See Demon's Souls: All Unisex Armor sets look basically the same on Male and Female, apart from the obvious exception to the breast plate and crotch. Even the Female only sets are actually practical.

However!

See World of Warcraft: Many Plate Mail legs on a male Blood Elf, look like actual pants... The same Plate Mail legs on a female only go half way up the leg, have a gap, and leave a plate mail G-String..

Once again we have North Americans trying to put a North American moral stance on something that is not North American.

The reason Japanese games are the way they are is simply because... THEY'RE FROM JAPAN!

If DOA came from South America; What do you think the women would look and act like then?

image

As for games that come from North America... They have NO EXCUSE.

Mind you... We use TnA on everything.

Even RICE

Some more examples.

Last night I checked out the demo for Rochard on PSN. On the menu screen there it was. Some fat miner in a gruff but comicly loveable pose, and a female in coveralls in a model position. I dont know if I will ever be able to unsee these now that I am aware of it.

A while ago I was playing Enslaved. There is a character animation when Monkey lifts the girl (cante recall her name) but you lift her onto a platform or whatever and she starts up and strikes this rediculous pose. Thrusts her hip way out, hand on hip, back arced, head slightly tilted. I didnt notice it till my wife walked by say it and said "What the hell?" Thats the only reason I remember it was she was pissed at it. It makes sense now. In the middle of dangerous fire fights this girl still finds time to stop everything and pose for the camera.

Gentlemen:

Here's an idea.

Next time you see a video game female posed in a particularly sexualised way, try imitating that pose yourself. Stick your arse out, arch your back, twist, bend over, whatever.

See how effing uncomfortable, impractical and absurd you feel. Do you feel embarassed or stupid, going into those poses that are solely there for sexual titillation? That is how uncomfortable, impractical and absurd most women feel in those poses. That is how little those games think of us. That is what they tell us we are worth.

If there is ever a time you want to say "but video games are supposed to be fun", ask yourself, "fun for whom, exactly?"

If you want to enjoy sexist shite, enjoy sexist shite, but don't pretend it's not sexist shite and don't tell anyone who is bothered by it that their feelings aren't valid.

I'm guessing you've never seen this one before, people:

image
Or this one:

http://www.cosplayisland.co.uk/files/costumes/19/46841/tumblr_lmkvand64e1qa1zvj.gif

Or her:

http://www.total-manga.com/images/Artwork/FR-11-4816-B/cg-artwork-de-lightning.jpg

Or her:

http://i.annihil.us/u/prod/marvel/universe3zx/images/e/e9/X23001_cov.jpg

I can keep going. There are plenty of women in games or media who are not the "Look at this sexy pose!" X-23 looks like she's going to rip out and eat your kidney's. Lightning looks like a woman who is strong and calculated enough to deal with problems thrown at her. Atlas is a soldier and doesn't use her sex to define herself, but rather her strength.

The Boss.... I shouldn't have to explain that. She is about the definition of a strong woman who is sure as hell not a sex object. The women in games are there, it's just that the bigger the chest is the more people tend to notice it. Bob, I get your point. And you're right to a length. However, I will be the first man who will say that I am sick of men being treated the same way that when are and exposed and exploited for their bodies.

It's not true some may say? I respond with this:

image

IceStar100:
Sex sells

I'll use Ashley from Mass Effect. Deep she has beliefs and a history. Nothing really skimpy about any of her outfits.

And she was hated by at least to most vocal people. Being called a bigot because she didn't trust aliens even after the first contact war. The first time we made contact with alien a lot of people got killed and the fact it ruined her family name in the military.

There also the fact he has one part about believing in some kind of God. SHOVING RELIGOUN DOWN OUR THROAT.

Thane who his religion is a major part of his character is awesome it seems.
Go look up ME1 Ash vs ME3.

I'm trying to avoid info on ME3 as much as I can, but I didn't have a clue how much they changed Ashleys appearance for ME3... I have to say, you've opened my eyes a little and to be honest, the change is kind of fucked up. I didn't like Ashley because I didn't like her, but she was clearly a well written and portrayed character for me to have any emotions about her at all, and after a while she did grow on me... But the shift to space bimbo...

Dude, I've been a vocal defender of ME3 for MONTHS, but there is just no defending a move like that. Thank you for raising it.

It kind of seems like another double standards episode.

Cheesecake art is bad horrible and men should be neutered if their flights of fancy should take a sexual turn. Beefcake art, oh that's okay. A female video game character takes a sexy pose and oh that's so horrible and sexist, but a male video game character can have the open shirt, perfect muscle tone, that hansom face, perfect hair and posed in some way that men think women find sexy and no problem.

Put a leather boy hat on some video game characters, crank up "It's Raining Men", and then tell me it's only the girls that have a sexual take on them.

Plus who's the biggest offender? Fighting games. Yet in fighting games the female characters are the quick, light, and nimble characters. Some of the poses that didn't say something to Bob kind of say okay this character is the one to play if I'm looking for speed and mobility. There was a time when saying cat like grace, speed, and agility wasn't an insult.

Just kind of seems to attack cheesecake as making all games and gamers bad is to kind of ignore how far women have come in gaming. Back when I first starting gaming women were only in the game to be rescued by the male character or at best you might have one token female character in a fighting game. Now female characters can be the main character and it's just not a token female character in fighting games. Yes there is still far to go but it's been much much worse and things are improving even if sometimes slowly.

The problem I have with the episode is, you can agree with pretty much everything Bob says (which I do), but I do not agree this is actually a problem. Yes it is an indication of both society and the state of the industry, but therefore not something one should rally against. Neither is it the fault of male teenagers that they like games and women both and enjoy them in their games in a specific way. None of this is demeaning to women in any way, if a women takes it as such, she basically gives the character designer more credit then they should have.

I think this is basically what is going on, a woman complains and the boys basically just hear they want to change their fun. And let's be clear, that is exactly what is implied. Therefore how can anyone be surprised that said boys (who are not even adults) tend to 'not agree'.

Tbh it sometimes pisses me off as well, especially since a feminist can pick out much more obvious problems in today's world. Sexualization of women, is not very different from commercials with sex in them or women's magazines talking almost exclusively about sex. I don't see the feminist angle, women are not reduced in their equal rights in any way. Men are also usually portrayed in a very specific way, just because it is not sexual doesn't mean it is different.

Wow. Smart, generally true and once more free of liberal political tripe. Good job, Bob.

i remember back in the stone age enjoying tomb raider 2 but totally not understanding the controversy.
it was a handful of polygons with low res textures you had to steer away from spike pits and equally shit looking tigers.
when I tried to play the new ones by crystal dynamics tho the jiggle physics extravaganza and all the pointless stretching she kept doing made me feel really uncomfortable, i didn't feel it was women who were being discriminated against, it felt more like men were being cynically exploited for their desire to see something approximating an attractive woman bouncing all over the place getting wet every five minutes while the camera is staring right up laras arse.
Exactly where are you supposed to look if someone comes in and starts talking to you?, if you don't pause shes gonna start doing that stretching bullshit again.
it has to be close to being caught playing guitar hero alone in embarrassment factor.
on the other hand tho who wants to play a third person game staring at the back of mr/mrs average for hours and hours of gameplay, on our modern electronic sparkle rendering boxes don't we WANT to see something exceptional or even physically impossible? I'd hate game characters to become as dull and realistic as the grey/brown dystopias they have to wander about in, just to please any bunch of moral crusaders.
I want moderation, middle ground where gaming acknowledges the existence of bras for stopping the fairer sexes tits getting in the way and where all the men arent depicted as roided up thugs with veins popping out of their armour plated neanderthal brows.

nikki191:
as a female i totally agree with bob in his video. but the skimpy outfits start to wear a bit thin when thats the only option you have when it comes to character creation and equipment. id like to at least have the choice to wear armour that looks like it protects in rpg's..

LIke this?
image image

Agreed, that's pretty awesome.

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*

But you see here, the demographics aren't going to shift if games are not made outside that demographic.

Teenage Boys have somehow become the most important demographic for the majority of entertainment.

My only problem with this? Exceptions by definition do not prove the rule. It's a silly saying, and should be eaten by crocodiles.

Bob: "We assume most of our audience are heterosexual teenage boys"

But isn't most of their audience actually heterosexual teenage boys?

'If this is your attempt at being edgy and reaching out the huge female comic audience out here then I look forward to when this crap collapses around you so someone who gets it can take your place. We're looking for good stories and great heroes. This just isn't it.' - Michele Lee

Wow, couldn't have said it better myself. In fact I wish that would happen. The problem with comics industry is that all the movers and shakers of the industry are joyless comic nerds. You need some people who are detached but still respect the medium.

Wait, DC just gave a response. 'Read the rating and fuck off' Good job, DC.

Also can they please stop making Superman a prick? They still write him as uptight, jerk off 50's dad.

You know, we've been hearing a lot over time about some basic problems with attitudes and perceptions of things in the gaming community from Movie Bob, Jim Sterling, Yahtzee, Daniel(Extra Credit; what happened to that series?), and many others elsewhere. However, all the verbiage and pontification, at least to me, seems to all come down to one singular message to which the game community and the game industry is just so highly resistant: GROW THE F--- UP, AND GET OVER YOURSELVES! Of course, I could extend this to the techie community as well, and there is a significant overlap of individuals between both these communities.

Tin Man:

IceStar100:
Sex sells

I'll use Ashley from Mass Effect. Deep she has beliefs and a history. Nothing really skimpy about any of her outfits.

And she was hated by at least to most vocal people. Being called a bigot because she didn't trust aliens even after the first contact war. The first time we made contact with alien a lot of people got killed and the fact it ruined her family name in the military.

There also the fact he has one part about believing in some kind of God. SHOVING RELIGOUN DOWN OUR THROAT.

Thane who his religion is a major part of his character is awesome it seems.
Go look up ME1 Ash vs ME3.

I'm trying to avoid info on ME3 as much as I can, but I didn't have a clue how much they changed Ashleys appearance for ME3... I have to say, you've opened my eyes a little and to be honest, the change is kind of fucked up. I didn't like Ashley because I didn't like her, but she was clearly a well written and portrayed character for me to have any emotions about her at all, and after a while she did grow on me... But the shift to space bimbo...

Dude, I've been a vocal defender of ME3 for MONTHS, but there is just no defending a move like that. Thank you for raising it.

Apparently a girl letting her hair down = space slut now.

Person you quoted is wrong as hell, most gamers don't hate strong women, most reclusive basement-dwelling shut-ins hate strong women. I found Ashley one of the more compelling characters from the original Mass Effect, as did a lot of people I know. She was interesting because she stood by her beliefs for the most part, while other characters like Liara and even Tali seemed to be so passive about everything.

OT: Us ranting and raving about how game design needs to grow up over hear will have little effect on the Japanese games that are to blame for most of these issues. Gaming in west has moved away from this in past 5 years or so. You hardly ever see RPG females in skimpy outfits or the busty risque posses in anything being produced over here.

I think we'd sooner see a rebirth of ultra popular JRPGs, action/adventure hack/slash games and the fall of brown military shooters before we see this shift in the portrayal of women in games.

Why do I say that? Because neither will happen in the US. Ever. The industry only cares about designing a game and selling it to "everyone". The days of smaller demographics getting attention are waning and will soon be gone. This means that it will exist solely to further pander to the 12 to 40-something year old shooter fan while further ostracizing fans of in any other demographics based on the notion that mostly everyone will play a game that's alright assuming it's the only game readily avilable and that anyone who won't play it is small enough of a number that they could die for all the publisher cares.

So, basically, what I'm saying is because gaming has become such a large, money grabbing industry that embraces mediocrity over verity there's no financial reason for them to give a damn and so they won't. Nothing will change because it's cheaper not to care.

CAPITALISM HO!

Why are the Mars and Venus symbols upside down in this video?

To be fair Venus is only about 120 degrees of instead of the full 180 degrees off that the Mars symbol is, but they're still backwards in every single shot.

Reminds me of one time when I overheard a conversation with these 2 guys *cough* 1 was an asshole *cough* talking about Reach and one of them said, not a joke by the way, "I hate how you can play a girl on Halo, it pisses me off" and the other for like 30 seconds was like "... um..." until he got called away. I know this might be on a different subject of this particular... um... subject (I ran out of words) but it just came to mind.

This argument is weak. I could easily read the characters in the women he showed. Some of them, like the picture of Nariko wielding a sword with a serious expression and Cammy just sitting down, weren't even sexualized at all, with just the pictures Bob showed there actually was a level of diversity and some actually did portray the character (Morrigan and Mai). Those complaining about a sexy pose are being presumptive and ignoring everything else that can show character, like the facial expression.

So the problem really is that women (but I honestly feel like men make a bigger fuss over this than women) have a problem with the sex and sexuality of women. The other problem 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.

I'd think it perfectly reasonable and rational to cater to the demographic that put down the most cash for your products.

Don't want ladies posing for the camera in your games? Don't buy games with ladies posing for the camera then. And more importantly, buy lots of other games, so you become a demographic worth catering to.

The private market have absolutely no obligation whatsoever to cater to anyone but those who're willing to lay down the cash. So if you want influence on the content, vote with your wallet.

People who complain that "games" do not cater to them, while not spending a fraction of what the groups they do cater to do on them, are simply demanding special treatment.

animehermit:

Tin Man:

IceStar100:
Sex sells

I'll use Ashley from Mass Effect. Deep she has beliefs and a history. Nothing really skimpy about any of her outfits.

And she was hated by at least to most vocal people. Being called a bigot because she didn't trust aliens even after the first contact war. The first time we made contact with alien a lot of people got killed and the fact it ruined her family name in the military.

There also the fact he has one part about believing in some kind of God. SHOVING RELIGOUN DOWN OUR THROAT.

Thane who his religion is a major part of his character is awesome it seems.
Go look up ME1 Ash vs ME3.

I'm trying to avoid info on ME3 as much as I can, but I didn't have a clue how much they changed Ashleys appearance for ME3... I have to say, you've opened my eyes a little and to be honest, the change is kind of fucked up. I didn't like Ashley because I didn't like her, but she was clearly a well written and portrayed character for me to have any emotions about her at all, and after a while she did grow on me... But the shift to space bimbo...

Dude, I've been a vocal defender of ME3 for MONTHS, but there is just no defending a move like that. Thank you for raising it.

Apparently a girl letting her hair down = space slut now.

Person you quoted is wrong as hell, most gamers don't hate strong women, most reclusive basement-dwelling shut-ins hate strong women. I found Ashley one of the more compelling characters from the original Mass Effect, as did a lot of people I know. She was interesting because she stood by her beliefs for the most part, while other characters like Liara and even Tali seemed to be so passive about everything.

OT: Us ranting and raving about how game design needs to grow up over hear will have little effect on the Japanese games that are to blame for most of these issues. Gaming in west has moved away from this in past 5 years or so. You hardly ever see RPG females in skimpy outfits or the busty risque posses in anything being produced over here.

Dude, knock it off with the bigotry. I suggest not making incredibly broad overgeneralizing statements stereotyping and being just plain insulting to a nationality, especially when closer observation can immediately show otherwise.

I forgot:

Dude, knock it off with the bigotry. I suggest not making incredibly broad overgeneralizing statements stereotyping and being just plain insulting to a nationality, especially when closer observation can immediately show otherwise.

Yes, I hate the Japanese, my name, Animehermit clearly indicates my hatred for all things Japan.

It's not insulting to anyone to imply that the Japanese developers make games for the Japanese.

How about you back up your statements? Games that sell the most in the west are not the ones with the skimpiest women in them, games like Call of Duty don't even have female characters. I don't recall the women in Gear of War as being over-sexualized either.

Why was the male symbol pointed down and the female symbol pointed up? WEIRD. Was it because it was sexist because then why not have them both pointed down to symbolize equal mortal flaw or something?

cbert:

Forty-two percent of all players are women and women over 18 years of age are one of the industry's fastest growing demographics.

Today, adult women represent a greater portion of the game-playing population (37 percent) than boys age 17 or younger (13 percent).

Source: http://www.theesa.com/facts/gameplayer.asp

Protip: Look up "video game demographic information" before you make claims about video game demographic information. Consider that this comes from the ESA, who have a vested interest in reporting accurate statistics on the matter.

Edit: full study (2011) available here: http://www.theesa.com/facts/pdfs/ESA_EF_2011.pdf

Well there's some studies, but sadly I'm gonna have to put those squarely in the "numbers may not lie, but I don't believe it anyway." category. Where are all these girl gamers? 42% of game players are women? Are they talking GAMES games or are they talking FACEBOOK/ZYNGA games? Because my eyes don't deceive me. Go to any game store you'd like to name and hang around for a day and survey how many women come in to buy games (for themselves) and how many males do. I didn't bother looking up "video game demographic information" because casual observation, the basis of scientific inquiry, tells me a different story. A quick jaunt onto any multiplayer online game you'd like to name to survey how many male players you encounter vs female players also tells the story. There's a discrepancy somewhere, but I can't be arsed to figure out what it is because frankly I don't care enough to try to clarify what in their tests contributed to such a wild anomaly. 42% is damn near half the gaming population and you'd be hard pressed to find ANYONE who truly believes that half of the gamers in the consumer base meet that observation outside of Farmville gamers and bejeweled fanatics. In fact a number of the statistics on that site seem a bit off, but the one that caught my eye is that "Fifty-five percent of gamers play games on their phones or handheld device." While I'm inclined to believe that statistic is probably close to accurate given the popularity of smart phones and game apps for those phones such as Angry Birds, it also tells me that the data they've collected doesn't seem to delineate any particular portion of the industry. Casual games, flash games, phone games, and console/pc games are all very different things under the umbrella of "game." The lack of separation of these things in the statistical breakdown leads me to consider that the data is skewed. Which again is why the industry has to date continued down its path of "big tits, ultra-violence" sells. Gaming, like any industry, is about making MONEY and if console developers truly believed female gamers comprised 42% of their target audience, you better damn well believe they'd be doing everything in their power to capitalize on that. The only part of the industry that does is again, the zynga/facebook type games. So in THAT area of gaming we CAN see it's aiming at a female audience. But as for the big boys of the console and PC... They know which side of the bread their butter is on and they make no bones about it.

Sorry, but I'm not convinced. At all.

Therumancer:

The Random One:
I don't think about this very much because I by and large agree with the 'feminist' viewpoint, and I am personally offended that devs think I'll look into/buy/enjoy their game more because there is a girl with big boobs in them. But this is a very nice look into the underlying mechanisms of the thing.

I realize that every time an almost normal girl (or just competent in combat girl) shows up as an important character in a game, even if she's not drop dead-gorgeous, she has to have some feature that's über hot, usually a gigantic rack. Like Elizabeth in the upcoming Bioshock Infinite, or the bodyguard lady in Dead Island. I think this shows some people are trying to change this and some people are pushing not to.

I'll also add that Ivy is probably one of the girls who gets a pass on this stuff, since she also uses her sexuality as a weapon - which is why one of her alterative outfits is usually some sort of military uniform that shows nothing but her head, as if she was saying 'I can beat you by distracting you with my boobies, but I don't need to. It's just more fun this way.' The rest of the SC roster is guilty though.

Also when you showed Bowser's second pose I was sure you were going to say it communicates U GONNA GET RAPED.

Therumancer:
lotsa stuff

No. There is a difference. Look at the roster of any random fighting game.

There will be a lot of fine looking man with muscular arms and big biceps and revealing clothing.

There will be a lot of fine looking women with big boobs and huge legs and revealing clothes.

There will be a bunch of weird looking man who are mutated or on fire or skeletons or maybe just fat, depending on the setting.

And there might be a robot.

See the problem?

Just about ALL characters wind up with some feature that would be considered attractive though, that includes the male ones. In general heroic games feature characters who represent a heroic ideal. In general you don't see a lot of normal looking guys involved in heroic fantasy of any time, and in games like fighting games where the fantasy revolves around world class fighters, your not going to generally see a bunch of normal looking people.

As I pointed out, the more varied look of male characters is because men are more physically variable at the high end, we can put on and develop muscle mass a lot more efficiently and in all kinds of shapes. Women tend not to have as many options, there is a limit to how far a girl can really "bulk up". This is why men max out much higher in terms of physical capabilities, and also why feminists complain about a lot of jobs having requirements that are very difficult, if not imposisble, for women to meet in certain jobs.

A dude can be a wiry whip of muscle, or some hulking mountain and be viable and show improvement from it. Beyond a certain point women are not going to be able to put on any bulk and muscle and have it actually be an advantage. Women who reach an idea "fighting weight" tend to come out looking a lot more similar than guys do, not identical, but within certain dimensions. This is why you don't have any lady pro-wrestlers built like "Hulk Hogan" or whatever, women just can't develop themselves that way. Even female body builders wind up
in a totally differant catagory from men, and are judged by differant merits.

This is to say nothing of the simple fact that women who do fantasy artwork wind up producing the same basic stuff... a physical ideal, as men do.

When it comes to what's attractive, I will also say that guys are generally putting their best features out first for the cheesecake factor. You look at something like the cover art for "Resident Evil 5" and the sheer size of the bicep Chris is flexing and it's pretty over the top, this being in exactly the same vein as those "magical wolfboys" people make fun of in Twilight.

See, the problem is that this issue exists in the mind of feminists (and for a lot of them probably only as a political point), and guys that think that by taking a position like this it will make them more likable to girls. Overall we just don't pay attention because society has not made "oh my gawd, look at the exploitation of men" a viable attention getting/political strategy.

Finally, for those that made it this far through my post, the mosrt important point:

If you stop and think about it there are just as many "exploitive" images of guys out there, it's just that are invisible on the political spectrum. These images ARE directed heavily at women, who are just as swayed physically as guys are whether they want to admit it or not. The career of guys like Fabio or Justin Beiber should make this pretty obvious for those who have been paying attention. If you bother to look at the statistics about gaming there are TONS of women gamers out there, and that's hardly something that has happened by accident. A lot of women might not admit that they bought a product because it's got a picture of some strapping male sex god plastered on it, no more than most guys will admit artwork with attractive women helps their tales, but it remains true.

One funny thing I've mentioned before is that for all the mockery of Duke Nukem and how offensive he is towards women, and so on and so forth, that character does seem to be pretty popular WITH women. I've run into TONS of girls who have played that game, even if many claim "well I just borrowed it" and seen far less of them go out of their way to knock it than guys. To be honest Duke is by all accounts the perfect man for your average girl, he's got the big muscles, the chipped good looks, and the macho attitude. While he's an egomaniac he stands up for his women. To your typical nerdboy who worships movies about how the intellectual, sensitive guy, gets the girl by demonstrating how much better he is for the girl in question than the macho jerks she usually dates, it's kind of crushing to see it come into gaming that this is the kind of guy girls REALLY tend to go for. I don't think that many nerds really get that their macho-empowerment fantasy space marine characters and such are the kinds of dudes that are the opposite of what the players are in real life, and arguably fit the mould of those skimpily dressed babes for the women. That dude showing off a huge bicep with muscle definition that would only pop out with at least a gallon of professionally applied body oil? Yeah... that's not really aimed at the dudes. Just like not all men like girls with massive boobs, not all girls like guys that are buffed out into uber-musclemen, but we have other examples as well. There are plenty of pretty-boys out there in gaming like say... Sepiroth... he's not just enduringly popular because he was an epic villain, but because he's sort of a sex symbol to women. Don't believe me? Login to Encyclopedia Dramatica and look up people like "Sepiroth's Slave" (if they still have the page) and so on for some pretty extreme examples, and then understand that this is simply the lunatic fringe of a kind of fanbase most guys have never noticed because they don't really notice the sex appeal of their own gender since it's not aimed at them.

Seriously, consider the above. There isn't an issue here. The issue only exists due to politics and people wanting to make one. Honestly I also suspect that a lot of the problem has to do with the whole "Scott Pilgrim" generation of male nerds being convinced that the gender dynamitcs there are anything other than an empowerment fantasy. They sit there and wonder "why aren't these gamer girls interested in me" and use the artwork and such as a scapegoat, when in really the simple truth is that when it comes to fun girls really don't
go for nerds which are called nerds for a reason. It can be shattering to realize it, and the very same empowerment fantasies present in games tend to cause a lot of guys not to notice that their video game protaganist is the guy who would be kicking sand in their face and walking off with the girl, and that guy is helping to bring the girls that are in the audience into gaming. Girls being just as shallow in their own way as guys are in theirs. A nice rack has sold tons of products to guys, just as Fabio's hair blowing in the wind has sold tankers full of substitute butter to housewives... and well, the amount of money made by Justin Beiber (away from the muscle-dude stereotype) from not only music but merch with his image on it, says a lot as well. Girls aren't flocking to The Beeb because of his musical talent, the posters being hawked at Wallmart with him standing there in a hoodie with hearts all around him (or something similar) kind of says it all.

LOL
You pretty much said it. 100%. I'm convinced that the only way to staunch this whole "girl gamers get no respect" argument will be when they start making boring, bookish librarian female characters surrounded by male characters that look like Jared Leto so that female gamers can have their egos assuaged.

Maybe what female gamers need to define is WHAT exactly do they want that will make money for the developers. Don't just say "A GOOD GAME with GOOD MECHANICS!!" Because half the games people hate on for being sexist towards women have GREAT gaming mechanics which is why they are popular to begin with. Not only that, but you have to convince male players to start enjoying playing female protagonists much more than they do, which can be difficult since most fantasies revolve around being a bad ass dude, not a bad ass dudette. Sure there are the Lara Crofts and Samus's out there, but strip them of their sex appeal, make them into regular plain jane women with pooches and shaped like a church bell, and those titles would be lining bargain bins and landfills all across the world.

Thing is, I'm not a female. I don't relate to females because I am not one. Therefore I'm less inclined to play games where I step into the role of being a female. I don't want to understand the complexities of dramatic situations as a woman. I want to be Captain McAsskickerton saving the galaxy from certain doom. Unless the game is Fear Effect... but of course, you can probably guess why.

animehermit:

I forgot:

Dude, knock it off with the bigotry. I suggest not making incredibly broad overgeneralizing statements stereotyping and being just plain insulting to a nationality, especially when closer observation can immediately show otherwise.

Yes, I hate the Japanese, my name, Animehermit clearly indicates my hatred for all things Japan.

It's not insulting to anyone to imply that the Japanese developers make games for the Japanese.

How about you back up your statements? Games that sell the most in the west are not the ones with the skimpiest women in them, games like Call of Duty don't even have female characters. I don't recall the women in Gear of War as being over-sexualized either.

No, it is insulting to say Japanese are to blame for these "issues".

Likewise, why don't you back up your statements because the burden of proof is on you to show that your statement wasn't overgeneralizing and stereotyping based on nationality. And trying to prop up "the West" because Call of Duty doesn't have women works against you because it's trying to be realistic yet there's no female personnel. That's something that feminism should be asking for.

IceStar100:
Sex sells

I'll use Ashley from Mass Effect. Deep she has beliefs and a history. Nothing really skimpy about any of her outfits.

And she was hated by at least to most vocal people. Being called a bigot because she didn't trust aliens even after the first contact war. The first time we made contact with alien a lot of people got killed and the fact it ruined her family name in the military.

There also the fact he has one part about believing in some kind of God. SHOVING RELIGOUN DOWN OUR THROAT.

Thane who his religion is a major part of his character is awesome it seems.
Go look up ME1 Ash vs ME3.

Simple fact is most gamers are male and don't like strong females.
Might as well as every romance author to write a book that closer to what a real male is. Guess what no one would read it.
The fact is if you want a real life woman go outside if you want one who's a perfect 10 and you would still have a chance with play a video game.

If I may, I love you so much for this it hurts. You barely come across this kind of logic and sensible thinking even on the BioWare forums themselves.

Perception that demographic is 12 year old boys -> cater to perceived demographic -> perceived demographic is the one that consumes product -> repeat

I think we have a problem here.

As for the "They're BOTH objectified/sexualized/what-have-you" argument: http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_ls2wxy6fIB1qd9y98o1_500.jpg

HyenaThePirate:

Well there's some studies, but sadly I'm gonna have to put those squarely in the "numbers may not lie, but I don't believe it anyway." category. Where are all these girl gamers? 42% of game players are women? Are they talking GAMES games or are they talking FACEBOOK/ZYNGA games? Because my eyes don't deceive me. Go to any game store you'd like to name and hang around for a day and survey how many women come in to buy games (for themselves) and how many males do. I didn't bother looking up "video game demographic information" because casual observation, the basis of scientific inquiry, tells me a different story. A quick jaunt onto any multiplayer online game you'd like to name to survey how many male players you encounter vs female players also tells the story.

As an adult woman, I very seldom shop in what I'd broadly classify as "nerd stores" despite the fact that I am a big nerd. It just feels awkward. I order stuff online or go to a big box store.

When I do play online it's under a not-obviously-female name, and I seldom use the mic except when playing with real-life friends.

I suspect I'm not particularly unusual in this.

I forgot:

No, it is insulting to say Japanese are to blame for these "issues".

Likewise, why don't you back up your statements because the burden of proof is on you to show that your statement wasn't overgeneralizing and stereotyping based on nationality. And trying to prop up "the West" because Call of Duty doesn't have women works against you because it's trying to be realistic yet there's no female personnel. That's something that feminism should be asking for.

First of all, I never said the Japanese were to blame for these issues, I said that it does a whole lot of good to complain about it when a large portion of the games being made like this are Japanese. I then said most of western development has moved on from these portrayals. For the most part, the Japanese have as well, but they are still being produced. Every example Moviebob used was a Japanese made game. I agree with his sentiment, but disagree with his urgency, gaming needs to grow up in order to be taken seriously as entertainment. Most of gaming is moving on.

It's not based on nationality at all. I was saying Japanese developers make game for Japanese players(outside of some special circumstances). If anything I was saying that the Japanese developers at worst don't care what the west thinks of their games. I'm not saying all Japanese games are perverted and over-sexualized, I'm saying that some of them are, and they tend to be the ones feminists complain about. If you can't see that you probably have been living under a rock for the past 15 years.

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