Tropes vs. Women Protagonists

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 NEXT
 

BreakfastMan:

Well, A: I have never heard that excuse before now, and B: people can be really stupid, you expect writers to be any different?

Ok, i dont want to give the idea that writers use an excuse that basically saids that other people (and decent writing) are so far beyond comprehencion that they mas as well be Eldrich Abominations..........but the answer is yes.

They may be stupid but its THEIR JOB! arent they supposed to AT LEAST do the bloody research or talk to another human being? are these people so far in their own asses that they cant ask someone or even their own fanbases?

DioWallachia:
What does it mean to be feminine?

What does it mean to be masculine? I think you will find men have just as hard a time defining that as women do defining what it means to be a feminine. :P

DioWallachia:

BreakfastMan:

Well, A: I have never heard that excuse before now, and B: people can be really stupid, you expect writers to be any different?

Ok, i dont want to give the idea that writers use an excuse that basically saids that other people (and decent writing) are so far beyond comprehencion that they mas as well be Eldrich Abominations..........but the answer is yes.

They may be stupid but its THEIR JOB! arent they supposed to AT LEAST do the bloody research or talk to another human being? are these people so far in their own asses that they cant ask someone or even their own fanbases?

Okay, they SHOULD be different, but they really aren't. They are normal, fallible people just like you and I, who can often think they know more than they do or act based upon flaws in their thinking, just like you and I.

DioWallachia:

That is kinda my point. I would expect that, if you bring a woman into the equation, then you MUST do something important with her in the story, otherwise it just something interchangeable between man and woman.

You'll find that most things actually are interchangeable between man and woman.

The insistence that "because this character is a woman their story must be about exclusively woman stuff" is what limits the portrayal of women in fiction. It's a bad thing, because it keeps us from seeing women as protagonists who are as versatile in their portrayal as men.

Men and women should be interchageable for the vast majority of stories.

Walter Byers:

And you don't see this as a problem? It's a big reason why Tropes vs. Women even exists.

The hint that I do see this as a problem would be how I started my post "I think the problem is"

But hey, reading, it's fun and practical.

And no, this is not what Tropes vs. Women does, because in none of the first set of videos is this addressed. It picks around the edges of the problem by complaining about the portrayals of women as secondary characters that result from this, but it does not get to the heart of the problem and talk about this elephant in the room that women are incredibly limited as protagonists, and are limited in these specific ways.

DioWallachia:
So you dont feel tricked that the most popular female is male minded....sort off?

If you regard a character who doesn't fit into one of the two allowed female roles as "male minded" you've already lost.

Ripley in Alien is a person, a fully defined person with character traits and flaws to which her gender is entirely irrelevant. That's why she's an example of a good female character, and why she's a protagonist that we need more of. A protagonist who could be either male or female, but who is female. Because right now that kind of gender neutral story that addresses things that are pan-human in scope are almost always made with male protagonists.

Go back and imagine, say, Cast Away being made with a woman in the lead role instead of Tom Hanks. What changes? Well, nothing, except we've deviated from Hollywood default. But the fact that that deviation would be noticed is a problem in itself, because it means that we don't have equality in fiction.

If you demand that female characters be female first and characters second, that they get stuck in the two stories that are allowed to be told about female characters because otherwise we might not notice that they're female, then you're part of the problem.

We should be aiming for a place where any story can be told with any gender of protagonist and no-one notices, because that will mean that we're in a far more equal place than we are now.

Great article, I agree with everything.
And I think it's normal to see girls like Anita to get angry because there aren't a lot of games with a serious female character.. I'm saying there's no reason to insult her just because she's an angry feminist girl.. Many girl gamers are disappointed with game industry but not everyone yells their feelings on You Tube or in other social network.
Anita's one of them but she had the courage to say her opinion.. in a bad way IMHO but hey, don't hate her.

DioWallachia:

BreakfastMan:

DioWallachia:

Rly? because so far, she hasnt even TELL US what a "good" female character constitutes. Let alone how the theme of motherhood can be used without going sexist (like Other M)

*cough, cough* Aliens *cough, cough* good example of how the theme of motherhood can work and not be sexist in an action sci-fi context *cough, cough*

....

But here is the thing..........that doesnt seem exclusive to a woman. Lets pretend that Ripley is a man now and does exactly the same in the movie, what would change?

Well that romance with Corporal Hicks would have been 30 years ahead of its time in romantic representations on the silver screen and still a million times more rewarding as a romance arc than the mountains of shit we get in movies now.

From my own point of view I see more complaints about how eye candy for men should be removed. To be "equal" means that women need their own eye candy as well, and I am totally supportive of that. Women should have more access to games where they get to ogle the guy half the time during gameplay. :P

A point and an opinion:

Here is the thing with women wanting to play woman games. The market really needs to be tested. Lets not fool ourselves to thinking AAA games are made as art. They are made to make money. If the industry sees an avenue of making profit off of AAA games that feature female protagonists they will be made. I do believe that the market exists, but until someone makes a product and it sells, it wont really happen.

What I personally would like to see is a video game that has a real woman protagonist. Not necessarily a "Bikini model who is smart too", or a woman with not quite as big breasts (but still nice breasts), but maybe a middle aged woman. A woman with stature who is seen as something other than a mother type figure. Maybe a woman who is badass because she is badass, not because "shes sassy and likes to stick it to all the men" (and subsequently does because she focuses on it so much). I would like a real woman as a protagonist and I don't think that kind of game exists.

Really I would love to see a female Adam Jenson. What if DXHR gender rolls of the protagonist and love interest were reversed? Could the head of security at Seraph industries be a 32 (emphasis not an 18 year old supermodel) year old Adriana Jensen who lost her nerdy scientist boyfriend in a terrorist attack and got awesome robot arms? I would play that.

KrystelCandy:

Azuaron:
It's interesting that you mention Bayonetta as made for guys, because I've heard from women gamers (including Susan Arendt, an editor at my favorite website) that they love Bayonetta as a strong female character.

Further, if you compare Bayonetta to Japanese eye-candy characters (Dead or Alive, for instance), she has a number of design elements that were intended to make her more feminine (instead of sexy), and her sexiness was suppose to come more from her mysteriousness and intelligence than her body. For instance, she has normal-sized breasts, her hips are rounder, and her limbs are exaggeratedly long--which also makes her incredibly tall and tower over other characters (not something that most guys look for in their fantasy women, since height has implicit power implications).

Note: I haven't played Bayonetta; I'm mostly just regurgitating what I've heard Susan say on a podcast and interviews of Mari Shimazaki, Bayonetta's lead character designer, that I've read.

Women gamer here telling you she hates Bayonetta.

The guy who made Bayonetta made her according to his fetishes basically, and the link to the post below highlights alot of the problems to me. I couldn't even get past mayyybe an hour of the game before I quit it and never played it again, despite it being a decent game.

http://gomakemeasandwich.wordpress.com/2011/06/03/bayonetta-and-the-male-gaze/

Well, if I had to pick one, I would say it is the scene where Joy first appears in the game, with Bayonetta and her impostor getting into a pose battle. That was my way of expressing the feminine notion that, to one woman, all other women are enemies. Even women walking by each other will check out what the other is wearing, and might smolder a bit with antagonism. Women are scary. (source: Bayonetta dev: to one woman, all other women are enemies)

Hair attacks are something that only a woman can do, it's a woman's beauty. So that's why I came up with the hair idea. (1up.com: Bayonetta developer interview)

I strongly feel that women outside should dress like her. Like, when she does a hair attack, you'd see the skin. I want women to wear fashion like that. (1up.com: Bayonetta developer interview)

[in reference to Devil May Cry sequel being done by someone else] I wanted to do the sequel. I used to want to do the sequel, but now it's like, some other guy's chick. It's not my chick anymore. And my chick got fooled, and played all around from all over, so I don't want her anymore. I'm only concentrating on my current chick. (1up.com: Bayonetta developer interview)

But anyway that's how we're creating Bayonetta's moves and all that, and that's actually the most fun part of this game, thinking about all that stuff. So you will be able to see what everybody in the team likes in a girl from the finished project. (1up.com: Bayonetta developer interview)

[On whether her outfit really is just hair] Yes, completely hair. That means that she's actually naked, but naked because that's just hair, that's not clothing. She has strong magical powers, she's using her strength, her magical power to keep her hair on her body, to make it form an outfit. So when she gets weak or something, she might just lose her magical power, and if that happens...you know what that means. (1up.com: Bayonetta developer interview)

Indeed.

Empowering.

As for 'power implications' not being attractive well... there's an entire market that revolves around that kind of thing. You might have heard about it, if not, someone else can inform you I'm sure.

Nearly everything Bayonetta does is eye candy, her entire voice and the lines she says is filled heavily with innuendo and breathyness.

The only thing empowering about Bayonetta is she's female and can fight.

that was very disturbing to read. the guy definitely doesnt hide his fetishes does he

I couldn't really make it past the second paragraph, I know this may be a foreign concept but if you want your points to be heard maybe try being less disrespectful of different opinions and not calling people you disagree with names.

Dexter111:
I couldn't really make it past the second paragraph, I know this may be a foreign concept but if you want your points to be heard maybe try being less disrespectful of different opinions and not calling people you disagree with names.

He's not disrespectful to people who disagree with him. He's disrespectful to people who threaten violence against those they disagree with. It's an important distinction.

"So what should a proper female lead look like? Where do you draw the line between "attractive" and "cheap pandering cheesecake"? Which female leads resonate with women? Which ones repel them? Is it better to have a variable gender protagonist like in Fable II where you can choose a gender that basically doesn't matter, or is it better to have a protagonist with a specifically crafted character? What genres of action-type badassery are most attractive to females, and would make a good starting point for a developer looking to court a female audience?"

I like how the most important questions here you didn't bother addressing. Nobody EVER addresses these questions, instead they rip apart every character ever made.

It is pretty clear that the male dominated game developers do not know what women want in a protagonist. I don't know either; my suggestions got shot down as "personal fetishes". Supposedly decent games like Mirror's edge and Beyond good and evil with strong female leads got ignored by female players, games with silent female leads aren't considered "real" females, strong female leads are called "men with boobs".

If all you can do is criticize and offer no suggestions, then you'll never get your ideal female protagonist.

BrassButtons:
He's not disrespectful to people who disagree with him. He's disrespectful to people who threaten violence against those they disagree with. It's an important distinction.

I am unaware of anyone actually doing that, can you point me towards a police investigation or similar on those allegations outside of her own blog mainly referencing a few YouTube comments or all the articles following that?

I'm not really interested in picking his article apart, but when it starts with something like "the backlash was so stupid and vile that I didn't want anything to do with it" it is rather clear that he just wants to talk some more into an echo chamber of like-minded feminist ideals and not discuss anything.
I am also unaware of any people "screaming insults at her since day one", since the entire YouTube video and publicity thing happened about 2-2.5 weeks into the KickStarter campaign.
It starts just like another badly written, unreflected article kneejerking over what they perceive has actually happened from "gaming journalism" and I believe we've had quite enough of those on this subject already.

DioWallachia:

May i suggest that you play "IJI"? the delicious human suffering and emotions have a context here since she may be just one of the few human being alive in that game. That is not a spoiler, that happens at the beginning of the game, the bad guys wins before we even start.

Since the discussion isnt going nowhere, i may as well press the reset button ask the simple question to have a fundation to start with: What does it mean to be feminine?

Context is important for what's actually needed to be feminine, it depends on the character and what job they're doing. Strong, confident, showing emotions like HAPPINESS or sadness not just angst(something that usually gets left out if the first two are included). If they're civilians, the "fear" reactions can be different, just not unnecessarily crippling. The sounds they make when something happens... all that can be feminine instead of masculine. What they TALK about when they do talk... hopefully I never see anything like Other M ever again as an example.

Honestly that's it, making a feminine character isn't actually all THAT hard.It's the subtle actions rather than the major ones that make a character feminine. Note that ALL of the above need not be included in any single circumstance.

In the end however the actual decisions/reactions to things shouldn't be all that different from what a male does in most situations, but again... context matters alot.

And this doesn't mean a woman CAN'T have emotional baggage/sexy clothing or whatever, it would just be nice for it to not be "required".

Because in no way ever can any person relate to a character that does not share their own gender. Likewise, women can never enjoy a literary masterpiece novel if the protagonist is male, and vice versa. Because that's what feminism is about; differentiation of genders. (Sarcasm)

snowplow:
"So what should a proper female lead look like? Where do you draw the line between "attractive" and "cheap pandering cheesecake"? Which female leads resonate with women? Which ones repel them? Is it better to have a variable gender protagonist like in Fable II where you can choose a gender that basically doesn't matter, or is it better to have a protagonist with a specifically crafted character? What genres of action-type badassery are most attractive to females, and would make a good starting point for a developer looking to court a female audience?"

I like how the most important questions here you didn't bother addressing. Nobody EVER addresses these questions, instead they rip apart every character ever made.

It is pretty clear that the male dominated game developers do not know what women want in a protagonist. I don't know either; my suggestions got shot down as "personal fetishes". Supposedly decent games like Mirror's edge and Beyond good and evil with strong female leads got ignored by female players, games with silent female leads aren't considered "real" females, strong female leads are called "men with boobs".

If all you can do is criticize and offer no suggestions, then you'll never get your ideal female protagonist.

There IS no ideal female protagonist. Women are much harder to cater to than men, because they have much more varied tastes. This whole discussion is retarded, instead of focusing on what the character has dangling between the legs or not, people should look at the character's personality to determine whether it's a good character or not. All they know is that they're not happy, but when you ask why and try to get some constructive criticism, they've got nothing.

BreakfastMan:

DioWallachia:
What does it mean to be feminine?

What does it mean to be masculine? I think you will find men have just as hard a time defining that as women do defining what it means to be a feminine. :P

DioWallachia:

BreakfastMan:

Well, A: I have never heard that excuse before now, and B: people can be really stupid, you expect writers to be any different?

Ok, i dont want to give the idea that writers use an excuse that basically saids that other people (and decent writing) are so far beyond comprehencion that they mas as well be Eldrich Abominations..........but the answer is yes.

They may be stupid but its THEIR JOB! arent they supposed to AT LEAST do the bloody research or talk to another human being? are these people so far in their own asses that they cant ask someone or even their own fanbases?

Okay, they SHOULD be different, but they really aren't. They are normal, fallible people just like you and I, who can often think they know more than they do or act based upon flaws in their thinking, just like you and I.

No, defining masculinity and the manly "ideal" is pretty easy. That's why writers do it all the time. James Bond is an example.

I think the problem here is that a lot of men, be they western or Japanese, don't WANT women to have the same kind of power fantasies men do. It threatens the idea of male dominance. It's not a conscious thing, of course, I don't know many men who would say so outside of an anonymous forum. But when guys see a strong female, they get scared. This isn't some kind of new idea. So when you suggest that women should have the same power fantasies as men, it makes the male developers and male fanbases feel uncomfortable and want to bite back. When put through that lens, the whole Sarkeesian thing makes sense. It's not that there's a huge part of the male video game fanbase that really consciously thinks that females are inferior, they just don't like the idea of the women in their life blowing up aliens the same way men do, because it makes them look at women in a different and uncomfortable light.

Just go watch her videos on youtube and then decide what you think about her. She has a couple videos where she is talking about how creepy the song "Baby its cold outside" is and how it is a song about rape.

If you agree with her about that kindly put me on your ignore list.

This thread was a pretty amazing read. Shame most sites couldn't discuss a topic such as this with the same level of maturity.

KrystelCandy:

I started face palming by the two minute mark and it just kept going and going and going... furthering my dislike of Moviebob.

*snip*

Suffice to say that video didn't do anything.

Female gamer here (I hate that I have to specify this, but it'll probably make you take me more seriously) to tell you that you're analyzing Bayonetta--and Bob's video--way too superficially.

If you'd actually watched the entire thing, you'd see that he applauds Bayonetta because she's a sex-positive female character who cares about her OWN satisfaction, as opposed to the infantilized, submissive, male-pleasing stereotypes we usually get with sexualized female characters--or the completely desexualized ice queens who are supposed to represent "strong" women.

Femaleness is not a dichotomy between nubile sex kitten and frigid ice queen. There are many shades in between and beyond these two stereotypes.

Bob ultimately concluded that Bayonetta is a novel character because, yes, while she IS titillating to cisgendered males, she's also clearly more interested in her own satisfaction than in fanservicing the dude holding the controller.

Sadly, that's actually a really bold message to pose to gamers: that a ridiculous fantasy woman like Bayonetta could be more interested in her own pleasure than some dude's. That, hey, maybe sexuality isn't all about YOU. Maybe women are interested in their own pleasure, not just yours.

Why can't we have sexual, sex-positive female characters who aren't a) evil or b) infantilized? Developing a healthy attitude toward female sexuality is a key part of overturning the unrealistic representation of women in games.

Also, taking Bayonetta seriously is just...embarrassing. The entire thing consist of endless levels of meta-irony. If you can't see that, I don't know what to say.

leahzero:

KrystelCandy:

I started face palming by the two minute mark and it just kept going and going and going... furthering my dislike of Moviebob.

*snip*

Suffice to say that video didn't do anything.

Female gamer here (I hate that I have to specify this, but it'll probably make you take me more seriously) to tell you that you're analyzing Bayonetta--and Bob's video--way too superficially.

If you'd actually watched the entire thing, you'd see that he applauds Bayonetta because she's a sex-positive female character who cares about her OWN satisfaction, as opposed to the infantilized, submissive, male-pleasing stereotypes we usually get with sexualized female characters--or the completely desexualized ice queens who are supposed to represent "strong" women.

Femaleness is not a dichotomy between nubile sex kitten and frigid ice queen. There are many shades in between and beyond these two stereotypes.

Bob ultimately concluded that Bayonetta is a novel character because, yes, while she IS titillating to cisgendered males, she's also clearly more interested in her own satisfaction than in fanservicing the dude holding the controller.

Sadly, that's actually a really bold message to pose to gamers: that a ridiculous fantasy woman like Bayonetta could be more interested in her own pleasure than some dude's. That, hey, maybe sexuality isn't all about YOU. Maybe women are interested in their own pleasure, not just yours.

Why can't we have sexual, sex-positive female characters who aren't a) evil or b) infantilized? Developing a healthy attitude toward female sexuality is a key part of overturning the unrealistic representation of women in games.

Also, taking Bayonetta seriously is just...embarrassing. The entire thing consist of endless levels of meta-irony. If you can't see that, I don't know what to say.

To sum it up... I disagree. The video IS superficial, and so is Bayonetta... and you know what, that's fine.

I presented my opinion, and I personally didn't find her all that "sex positive". And nowhere does it say she cares about her own satisfaction, she's not a person, she's a character, made by men, to appeal to men. If you can find some kind of positiveness about her portrayal, that's fine, but she is definitely not empowering. My second post also commented on the whole "show emotions" part of the frigid ice queen stereotype that gets associated with strong women.

Bayonetta is a sex kitten. "her own satisfaction" is in fact a construction that was most pleasing for the male designers of her, which is fine, but she's NOT a character I find interesting or empowering to my gender. Bob also undermines his own arguments by saying she's not interested in sexually pleasing men... yet her every action is designed to be sexually pleasing to men, just in a more dominating sexually powerful way. I don't begrudge people for liking her, but holding her up as a golden standard of advancement... no thanks.

I don't have a problem with sex positive characters, but that doesnt' mean I have to like Bayonetta, to me she's just a sex kitten who goes on an actiony adventure rather than anything.

And I never took Bayonetta seriously, but that doesn't mean I have to like her just because "it's not meant to be taken seriously!" I dislike her for what she is, a female character who's designed to flaunt her sexuality at every turn. And note the "every turn" part. Sexuality is fine, it does not need to be shoved into everyones faces with every word, every action, every movement, and every piece of 'clothing'.

Also your gender has nothing to do with what I'm going to reply to you with. I only said it in my first post to show that not all female gamers agree with Bayonetta being a positive role model.

I think the solution to the problem lies in the number of people that want to make games that women want to play with female leads that they want to play as.

If there aren't game designers that want to make those games, then those games either won't get made or they will be horrible perversions of what people like Sarkeesian are asking for. Don't most good games come from developers making the kinds of games they want to play? In that case the real solution is to find developers that want to make the games they are asking for and to fund them so that those games get made as well. Indies seem to have done well in proving that no matter the niche, there is a market that is ready to buy the games if they get made. And once a few of these games get made and show good sales, the major publishers will take notice and put their own efforts into making more games for the market.

The danger then comes from developers swinging too far towards being a feminist rant against mainstream games in which case it will just piss off the larger gaming community that is the major developers' bread and butter.

Acrisius:

BreakfastMan:

DioWallachia:
What does it mean to be feminine?

What does it mean to be masculine? I think you will find men have just as hard a time defining that as women do defining what it means to be a feminine. :P

No, defining masculinity and the manly "ideal" is pretty easy. That's why writers do it all the time. James Bond is an example.

Providing a definition for masculinity is easy. Getting all men to agree that that definition is correct and reflective how the ideal man is supposed to act and be is impossible. Same with femininity.

I think a great example of the design of a female power fantasy would be female Hawke from Dragon Age: 2. Wears feasible armor, can use normal weapons that men also use, etc. Not too much exploration in the difference of being a woman in the game setting, or if there is even one. Maybe its irrelevant to female Hawke. Still, a good step.

Shamus Young:
These are all good questions, and they don't have simple answers. More importantly, they can really only be answered by talking to women - preferably in a safe forum away from the screaming murlocs. It's a conversation that should be launched by a woman. I hope that if Sarkeesian doesn't, someone else will.

too bad you don't have, you know, a game-loving wife and daughters at home that you could talk to. why is the role of columnists who have a problem with things to complain and then tell other people to have the difficult conversation? interview your wife and kids and put THAT in your column, don't sit on your porch with the other men fanning yourself and complaining about the issues of the day.

this is why i don't bother with talking to people about the gender-in-games issue. they're always happy to say this conversation is not theirs to have, like all the women in the world are on the other side of an impassable wall that only specially qualified people can get through to initiate the conversation and the changes needed.

hentropy:
I think the problem here is that a lot of men, be they western or Japanese, don't WANT women to have the same kind of power fantasies men do. It threatens the idea of male dominance. It's not a conscious thing, of course, I don't know many men who would say so outside of an anonymous forum. But when guys see a strong female, they get scared. This isn't some kind of new idea. So when you suggest that women should have the same power fantasies as men, it makes the male developers and male fanbases feel uncomfortable and want to bite back. When put through that lens, the whole Sarkeesian thing makes sense. It's not that there's a huge part of the male video game fanbase that really consciously thinks that females are inferior, they just don't like the idea of the women in their life blowing up aliens the same way men do, because it makes them look at women in a different and uncomfortable light.

The word you are looking for them is "It makes me feel useless, and i if she can have the same power as i do then i cant impress her into submission. I would have to develop......(gulp)....a PERSONALITY!!!!"

THE HORROR I TELL YOU!!!

BreakfastMan:

Acrisius:

BreakfastMan:

What does it mean to be masculine? I think you will find men have just as hard a time defining that as women do defining what it means to be a feminine. :P

No, defining masculinity and the manly "ideal" is pretty easy. That's why writers do it all the time. James Bond is an example.

Providing a definition for masculinity is easy. Getting all men to agree that that definition is correct and reflective how the ideal man is supposed to act and be is impossible. Same with femininity.

How about "The Hero's Journey"? It seems that if we can get to know how humans are always recicling the same story over and over in a subcouncious lvl, then i am pretty sure we can know what is the ideal for men since the beginning of time.

DioWallachia:

BreakfastMan:

Acrisius:

No, defining masculinity and the manly "ideal" is pretty easy. That's why writers do it all the time. James Bond is an example.

Providing a definition for masculinity is easy. Getting all men to agree that that definition is correct and reflective how the ideal man is supposed to act and be is impossible. Same with femininity.

How about "The Hero's Journey"? It seems that if we can get to know how humans are always recicling the same story over and over in a subcouncious lvl, then i am pretty sure we can know what is the ideal for men since the beginning of time.

Well, we already know why we use the Hero's Journey over and over again, if I remember The Hero With A Thousand Faces correctly: it is because the Hero's journey basically symbolizes the journey through life, which all people of all cultures can relate and identify with.

Anyway, what was the ideal for men is probably not the ideal now. Times have changed. The relationship the human race has between the earth and itself has changed. Many things that were commonly accepted back then are not now. :\

The ironic thing is that many of these games "for girls" are actually more sexist as they make out females to be superficial fashionistas or destined for a high level of homemaking.

As for sexiness of video game characters, I agree with Susan Arendt. Female characters can dress sexily but there has to be a story or character reason for it. As a third wave feminist, I don't believe that sexiness is inherently disempowering but there is a huge difference between pandering to the heterosexual male demographic and giving the sexiness context.

Acrisius:

There IS no ideal female protagonist. Women are much harder to cater to than men, because they have much more varied tastes. This whole discussion is retarded, instead of focusing on what the character has dangling between the legs or not, people should look at the character's personality to determine whether it's a good character or not. All they know is that they're not happy, but when you ask why and try to get some constructive criticism, they've got nothing.

Of course that the personality (or the context in the plot) should matter. Hell, since gamers only care about the game itself and the story, i dont see them going all the way into wasting the oportunity of playing a game just because someone is not represented properly (unless its Metroid Other M we are talking about)

But while we are at the "its a good character, so it shouldnt matter" i may as well ask the simple question: are these female good characters?

IVY from Soul Calibur
The Dead or Alive cast
The Skullgirls cast
Mai Shiranui from King of Fighters
Princess Peach
Princess Pitch (from Hyper Princess Pitch)
Yorda from ICO

Remember that they may be good characters by themselves even if they plot integrity is non existant; Sort of like how you are instructed to get people on Mass Effect 2 but most of them arent plot integral even if they had character arcs.

You did NOT just lump Mirror's Edge in with Wet and Velvet Assassin.

Actually, if I recall correctly, I remember a point about this from an older escapist podcast (don't remember which one). Susan Arendt was talking about Rubi from Wet and how she really could have been a decent character because she was a "bitch". But, that she was disappointed because she didn't play that type of character well enough for any good reasons besides "Look, she drinks whiskey and says bad things!" It's like she was disappointed in her "bitch" potential as a defining point for the character and the game fell flat on it's face by giving her bitchiness more substance and more fun to it. (Someone who listens to the podcat, back me up on this).

Back to my other point, I enjoyed Wet but it was mediocre at best and Velvet Assassin was at best a shoddy version of Splinter Cell with a bullshit final two levels. But Mirror's Edge? Bad? Your argument is invalid. PFFF.

Dexter111:
I couldn't really make it past the second paragraph, I know this may be a foreign concept but if you want your points to be heard maybe try being less disrespectful of different opinions and not calling people you disagree with names.

Are you REALLY suggesting that she made all of the hate-mail up? Did she also write the videogame where you punched her in the face?

Think about that. Someone sat down and made a videogame where the objective was to beat her into a bloody pulp. That required time and effort. I've said a lot of things over the years. I've pissed off a ton of people in the course of this gig, and I've NEVER encountered anything that was even close to that level of hostility.

In any case, your defense is illogical. Remember that I wan't just calling out her critics, I was specifically talking to people who reacted with talk of violence and rape, along with the other awful stuff. Consider:

1) If she fabricated ALL of that hate mail (an amazing feat!) then nobody insulted her. Therefore my insults weren't aimed at anyone.

2) If the insults were genuine, then I was only talking to the people who entered the debate using name-calling FAR more vile than anything I've ever printed ANYWHERE, much less the extremely tame insult of "murloc".

They're either guilty or they don't exist. Either way, you've got no reason to object.

So, I think the solution for hitting the line between attractive and blatant fanservice is to give them a shirt and pants. Or maybe a dress, if they're not currently punching zombies in the face. Just have them dress sensibly for whatever they're doing. And no high heels on shooter protagonists, that is dumb.

Bah... I think that the big problem with this debate is everyone's chasing after red herrings.

Yes, males and females are wired and think differently - differences in the genetic code (a 50% divergence) and the assorted brain-altering hormones (Notably estrogen and testosterone). The problem here is that people of the other sex try to simplify their perception of the other sex in stereotypes and profiles, and members of that sex present themselves to members of the other sex as stereotypes and profiles so they can understand them.

The ONLY way to fix the problem is to get more women into the gaming industry to offer true 'feminine' insight, instead of guys continuing to bumble about in attempting to chase after what they think women want. To tell the truth - when it comes to character design, males WILL default to making the character attractive because it's what they know best and looks 'right' to them - 'Ugliness' is things that appear to be anatomically "wrong". And in order to make somehting deliberately 'wrong' enough to read as not-attractive (As opposed to hideously gonk beyond even the deepest pits of the Uncanny Valley), they need to have a more keen subconscious awareness of what can be changed within reason.

A white human male can create a greater variety in white male characters because he has an intuitive grasp on his own proportions and skin tone, and at a glance can subconsciously note the differences in skin tone/pattern and proportions in another white male. Same with Black males (Yes, they all do look alike to me at first glance. Just as we all look alike to them at first glance). Same with Females of either skin color as well.

And it's not just physical trait's we're aware of. We're also more keenly aware of the subtle differences in the personalities shared by those within our racial, cultural, and sexual groups.

The only way to "solve" this problem is to get more diversity in those working on the character designs and personalities.

Chell counts as a "female lead done right" because she strikes against the fundamental foundation that all sexism is based on - that the "generic" is always and must always be male by default. (This is also why the "genderless 'he'" is actually not actually genderless. The 'proper' pronoun is "Their", even though it's reffering to the singular. Yes, it does that. The Grammarians who disagree need to pull their heads out of their collective asses). Women do not deserve to be put on a special pedastal "Reserved for special purposes only". They're human, they have lives, and they deal with stuff that doesn't give a damn about their gender too.

Laura Croft's a good female lead as well - Yes, she has a good-looking body, in a generic way. Then again, so do most male leads in games too. It's actually easier to MAKE good-looking characters than ugly ones due to symmetry, familiarity, and memorable imagery. Also, I'm going to snowclone the Stormwind Fallacy (Which normally refers to roleplaying games) here.

"A woman does not automatically have a worse-written personality/character if she's good-looking/eye-candy/attractive, and vice-versa.

A woman that isn't eye-candy/attractive/good-looking is not automatically a better-written character/personality than an attractive/eye-candy/good-looking one, and vice versa.

Being one does not preclude or infringe on the ability to be the other."

KrystelCandy:

Dreiko:
I don't get the "women want to play too" argument. Aren't women already playing? Aren't they already like 40some% of the gaming population? How does this happen when games according to you are mostly incapable of providing the power fantasy they seek?

I think a lot of women are fine with this supposedly male-centric power fantasy, cause women are people and people enjoy doing bad-ass and cool things, destroying things, being loved by the side-characters and so on. The fact that the protagonist is male doesn't mean that the gratification itself is gender-locked. Women don't get precluded from feeling bad-ass when they blow up a building just because the character is male, they still are the player, they still did do the act, they still do feel the joy and fun and whatever else that stems from it.

I'm fine with it, but if given the choice I'd rather play a woman doing most of those bad ass things without the seeming need for developers to decide I only deserve 1/3 as much clothing for being female, or need to have needless amounts of emotional baggage attached to my badassery, while still you know... being feminine.

And part of the problem is people equate those two things with being "feminine".

Hmm, dunno, man, woman, both of those are so mundane anyways. I get the most fun playing as a Dragon or something, a really epic mech perhaps?

I can understand women chars being easier to associate with but at the same time, having played games with female protagonists myself, I haven't ever had a moment of thinking "boy, FFXIII would be a lot better if Lighting was a dude" or "I wish Legend of Heroes: Trails the Sky ditched Estelle as the protagonist, I don't wanna play as a girl!".

I agree that there's way fewer games that have female protagonists than male...but they DO exist...and having played those, the gender of the protagonist has not affected me negatively one bit. To get me to the point of saying I'd enjoy it more were the protagonists male would take...I don't know what.

Prime example; persona 3 portable. It has a female protagonist and a male one, it's a single player rpg and depending on who you pick the entire game changes around in many ways. Notice, this is a game with dating sim elements. Still, despite playing as a girl who dates a bunch of guys (and a girl-robot :P) between fighting monsters, the game was an enjoyable and unique experience which would not be "better" by switching the genders around...and I know that cause they do switch the genders around and I played the male-protagonist version too. I'll inform you that both experiences are equally great and unique. Equally fun and enjoyable.

This is what all of this boils down to. Good games, good experience, they're all we should ask for. The gender doesn't matter if the game is good enough. What we have here that causes the debate is cheap pandering male fantasy games which suck and rely on being overly male-oriented to get by in the market.

That's not a gender issue, that's a game quality issue.

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Registered for a free account here