Tropes vs. Women Protagonists

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Tippy:
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Yeah because you have been the complete picture of an equalist in the other posts I have seen you make.../sarcasm.

Moonlight Butterfly:

Tippy:
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Yeah because you have been the complete picture of an equalist in the other posts I have seen you make.../sarcasm.

I try ^_^

You are equally sexist and discriminatory against all males.

Tippy:

Moonlight Butterfly:

Tippy:
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Yeah because you have been the complete picture of an equalist in the other posts I have seen you make.../sarcasm.

I try ^_^

You are equally sexist and discriminatory against all males.

No I'm not, I even agreed that making men move on planes was ridiculous. Don't just make things up -.-

Of course I take it personally I'm a woman aren't I. You are talking about my gender. If I started saying bad things about all men I'm sure you would take that personally too.

Moonlight Butterfly:

No I'm not, I even agreed that making men move on planes was ridiculous. Don't just make things up -.-

Leave it be, he's not worth arguing with.

But I will agree with just *one* of his points, which is that things will take time to change, and they are slowly changing. Game devs, even if overwhelmingly male, are slowly starting to grasp what embodies a decent female lead (or even support) character. Females are very slowly getting more interested in game development, even if most programming/3D design classes these days seem to be so male-dominated.

So relax, play your favorite titles and give it time...no battle against discrimination has EVER ended overnight.

Before you remind us that you're still going to complain and you still have the right to complain, remember that is the entire point of this article/thread. It's good to see a woman voice her feelings because as the ending line of the original artical said, this topic needs more women speaking up about it.
So why not relax a bit and wait for other females to say what they must say about it? The internet is all about anyonimity, but in cases like these it's not a bad idea just to voice people's gender when they make a post so we can see where they're coming from. It helps add perspective so you don't end up being the last and only woman battling it out in these threads all the time.

I'm a guy ^_^

Moonlight Butterfly:
Of course I take it personally I'm a woman aren't I. You are talking about my gender. If I started saying bad things about all men I'm sure you would take that personally too.

Hmm, that could be a weakness especially on the internet, something people like Tippy could easily exploit.
I'm personally impossible to offend. Talk shit about my gender, my race, my looks, etc all day long, it will be virtually impossible to get me reacting aggressively or even taking the insults on a personal level. I will simply laugh and not bother responding, it wouldn't be worth my energy. Especially words I read on the internet, lol. Really, what is the point of taking any of these discussions to a personal level?

It's just the fact that even if you complain about anything sexism related in games you get people jumping down your throat.

The majority of people recognise that there is a problem both sides of the screen so why is it so frowned upon to draw attention to it as Ms Sarkeesian has done.

It's this knee jerk reaction that bothers me, as if calling some portrayals of women sexist is some how shaming the male gamer and calling him sexist by proxy when that isn't true at all. I like playing Mario games and enjoy them but I would still say that Princess Peach is a pretty outdated character trope. So I like the game but recognise there is a problem at the same time that's all we are asking.

Moonlight Butterfly:

Seneschal:
women weren't barred from entering when the medium was in its infancy,

Yeah I'm sure there were loads of Japanese women working at Nintendo in the late 70's... oh wait...no.

There is more and more women working in games but saying that we have to be treated like dirt until we have an equal share is just ludicrous.

Would you accept that 'oh it's just the majority bias' excuse if we were talking about racism, of course not, so why is sexism okay?

Frankly I would love to be in games design and 'the creative process' but the fact is I live in the North of England and there ain't a whole lot of games design schools here. Should that give me no right to complain about stupid stereotypes in games, hell no.

"Treated like dirt" - so, there are games promoting female genital mutilation, sex slavery, decrying emancipation and women's right to education, denying suffrage, glorifying domestic abuse and rape...?

No? Not one? What's that you say, they depict hot women disproportionately more than they do intelligent women? Oh wow, ghastly.

I mean, excuse me, but except for criticizing that male sexual fantasies are represented more than female ones, an entirely reasonable situation given that most game designers can't make a game that titillates women, what else is so damaging about the depiction of women in gaming? It's exclusionary and limiting to the medium? Yes, yes it is. Will that be amended with the influx of female designers and dialogue like the one in this thread? Yes, yes it will.

Is it inherently damaging that hot vapid chicks are depicted in gaming in any amount? No, no it's not. For those looking for more sophisticated stories, there will always be better games, with both male and female characters of sufficient depth (and frankly, today's developed non-meathead male characters don't outnumber good female characters by that much). The rest will inevitably be cheescake, preferably pandering in equal measure to horny women and horny men. Pretending like objectification only goes one way, with leering men being "creepy and dangerous" while no woman ever swoons over anyone, and if she does, it's "quaint, cute and/or pathetic" - that's just cretinous. Women are no more likely to be objects of sexual violence than men are, and the proliferation of mass media, internet porn and jiggle physics hasn't resulted in an epidemic of out-of-control men demanding their vapid brainless woman-meat. While I wholeheartedly welcome the day when women will have an abundance of both well-written female protagonists and boy-toys to fawn over, I don't think it's anyone's right to say Bayonetta is insensitive and shouldn't exist - the claim that she "reinforces primitive and dangerous male drives" can fuck right off for having no basis in empirical evidence.

Seneschal:
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Just because it's not the biggest problem women face doesn't mean it shouldn't be spoken about. I'm pretty sure women are more likely to face sexual violence than men though. Cheesecake is only part of the problem, and the problem with that is that's it's disrespectful and demeaning (Could you take Nathan Drake seriously if he did the whole game oiled up in a speedo and occasionally flexed and winked at the camera?) but there is also the problem of other stereotypes like the damsel in distress.

People are just more complex than that. There's no reason women should be shoehorned into certain character types any more than male characters should be 30 something brown haired and interchangeable.

Moonlight Butterfly:

Seneschal:
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Just because it's not the biggest problem women face doesn't mean it shouldn't be spoken about. I'm pretty sure women are more likely to face sexual violence than men though. Cheesecake is only part of the problem, and the problem with that is that's it's disrespectful and demeaning (Could you take Nathan Drake seriously if he did the whole game oiled up in a speedo and occasionally flexed and winked at the camera?) but there is also the problem of other stereotypes like the damsel in distress.

People are just more complex than that. There's no reason women should be shoehorned into certain character types any more than male characters should be 30 something brown haired and interchangeable.

And I'm afraid "it's disrespectful" just doesn't cut it as a reason for even the slightest social change, let alone censorship. I can claim that religious people are "disrespectful" of my atheism, and we should purge any mention of non-believers being roasted by Satan because it depicts me in a negative light.

However, that doesn't concern me. It has no bearing on my life until Christians start petitioning the state to infringe on my rights because of my atheism. And since cheescake and fanservice doesn't seem to have negative effects on women in itself, judging by crime statistics, women object to it for no other reason than "it makes them uncomfortable". Now, I can only speculate as to why that is, and perhaps it's instinctual - in the context of evolution, a woman took a much bigger risk with any pregnancy, she had to invest a lot of time and energy, and therefore she looked for the best mate available; being leered at by everyone was not in her interest. However, what women instinctually feel in regards to pandering and objectification in media should have no bearing on whether it has actual, measurable negative effects on men's attitudes towards women, which have only improved and become more egalitarian with the development of technology and the mass media, therefore proving women's instincts hopelessly outdated and left-overs from a more hominid era.

And if you think a hard-wired limbic reaction, or a sentimental appeal to some Victorian notion of "decency" is enough to actually ban something from being depicted in art, despite overwhelming evidence that it's completely innocuous in any real-world context, then you are the dangerous and limiting factor here. I thought we had this covered, that women wanted equal representation and inclusion, not actual say over what the opposite sex gets to see and play.

Seneschal:
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Why do you need female characters to be nothing but sex objects. I see you are a fan of Korra what is the problem with having more characters like her?

I don't understand why people NEED over sexualised characters in games. Don't you have porn. I mean like I said you couldn't take a male character seriously if he spent the whole time dressed and acting like a male stripper so why do you expect women to put up with it?

It's this ridiculous knee jerk reaction that I;m talking about NO ONE is asking for things to be outright banned no one is saying video game characters can't be sexy. I'm just sick of female characters being portrayed as there for the men to ogle rather than characters like Korra or Femshep who are both attractive AND appropriate for the genre they are in but who are characters in their own right and not defined primarily by 'sexy' or 'female'.

Moonlight Butterfly:

Seneschal:
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Why do you need female characters to be nothing but sex objects. I see you are a fan of Korra what is the problem with having more characters like her?

I don't understand why people NEED over sexualised characters in games. Don't you have porn. I mean like I said you couldn't take a male character seriously if he spent the whole time dressed and acting like a male stripper so why do you expect women to put up with it?

It's this ridiculous knee jerk reaction that I;m talking about NO ONE is asking for things to be outright banned no one is saying video game characters can't be sexy. I'm just sick of female characters being portrayed as there for the men to ogle rather than characters like Korra or Femshep who are both attractive AND appropriate for the genre they are in but who are characters in their own right and not defined primarily by 'sexy' or 'female'.

I've said none of the things you attribute to me. It's even unfair that you assume that I'm heterosexual, and that I'm coming from a "boy that doesn't want his unfairly-gained toys taken away", when I'm very definitely approaching this from a rational perspective. Trust me, I'd like nothing more than to see gaming get a good dose of oiled-up birthday-suit Nathan Drake, and having a lot more characters like Korra would be amazing, and is hopefully the direction we are headed in. However, I see no persuasive reason as to why straight-male sexual fantasies should be demonized and done away with entirely. We currently ridicule them for being so pervasive, exaggerated, and simplistic that they make developers look like lazy, unsophisticated smut-peddlers -- but, again, that's an issue of volume, of diversity, and of inclusion, not an outright condemnation of men oogling fictional women.

And why should it be? You act as if you're the recipient of the objectification, but you're not! And you fail to address my question - where is the harm? Where is the conclusive evidence that male sexual fantasies are in themselves harmful to women? You've made it very clear that they don't appeal to you and, believe me, I don't find DoA Beach Volleyball any more palatable than you do, and it's my right to not buy or support the game; what isn't my right, however, is to tell other people how they should feel about it -- that would be disrespectful and imposing of me.

And if you feel uneasy at the very thought of a guy finding, involuntarily, mind you, a fictional woman attractive, that is between you and you sense of self-worth. Unless you can give a decisive reason as to why other people's choice of entertainment affects society negatively, then all you rest on is you own feeling. And really, unless a form of expression spreads falsehoods and slander, or promotes hate and illegal activities, restricting it, especially over the subjective indignation of someone at whom it wasn't even targeted, is just unethical.

Shamus Young:

It would be like if all male characters were rip-offs of Fabio, Justin Bieber, or Edward Cullen

Depending on what region they come from, they are. There are no pastey, chubby or too skinny nerds that are protagonists, and when they do show up they're for comic relief. The only chunky, out of shape protagonist I can think at the moment of would be bald max payne.

Male protagonists in games are unrealistic (and many times just as one-dimensional or without personality), or just as you put it... like fabio, beiber, and cullen. They aren't in thongs, but they are sexualized in a "perfect male" image, wether buff with muscles showing, grizzled and badass with chistled features, or femmy... like in JRPGs. And women DO find them all very attractive.

http://www.gamefront.com/the-hunkiest-heroes-in-video-games-too-bad-there-arent-enough-of-them/

The root of all of this in video games has spilled over from other mediums, and thats "men enjoying sexually appealing women in fantasy bugs me and it's wrong."

mfeff:

If she was interested in actually creating a product, I would of kicked in a couple bucks or even volunteered to work on the project. She clearly is not interested in creating an actual game, just selling a notion that content creators "should be" meeting a hither-to unmentioned expectation of some demographic for some reason... I would of been infinitely more impressed with some actual "example" of some work (she had done), rather than a pretty weak paper dick riding Joss Whedon for a M.A. thesis and some videos of dubious academic merit. It looked like a scam to make a quick buck... lot's of communities on the interwebz get the types.

Not worth getting to worked up about... not much serious work been done, other than in the debunking of nonsense... which is surprisingly labor intensive.

Some music:

Ufff, sorry man that i havent been here in a while, the MOTHER of the PC went caput and had to use an old PC with Windows 98........without DVD reader for my backups.......nor USB drivers.....nor Internet.......the nightmares still haunt me to this day.

Fortunatelly i managed to use a 56K modem to AT LEAST download an executable that allows me to run XP crap on Win98 and THEN use Firefox and everything else (Internet Explorer 6 is a bitch)

Now, on to the post in question:

The funny thing is that, if she had enough money to afford an studio, then eventually she could have achieved her goal if she keept the ad revenue. After all, what was the hurry in having that money?.

But no matter what thing she was going to "analize" (sarcastic quotes), be videogames or tv series or pop music that uses sexism to drive a point....only to be marked as sexism anyway regardless of the context, she was going to get flack no matter what just like everyone else on the Internet who tries to get money from Kickstarters (JewWario and The Angry Video Game Nerd) What makes her "fault" more irratating is that, at least for those 2 guys over there, their "thing" or profesion is to be comedians and that is something subjective, one might not like what they do but that is all they got; She in the other hand is supposed to be some one who is an expert with academic knowledge and yet all she offers is so dry that may as well not try, and she expects money from it.......yeah, why is it surpricing again??

If i go to see a doctor that i have never seen before, in the middle of nowhere, and whose consultory has more Diesel smell and less sanitary standards than a Truck Driver convention, then i have no one to blame but myself when i see that my fucking organs are gone and die for it. But when it is my doctor friend who i know forever and is a well know profesional and I STILL end up with my organs gone, then this is a betrayal on HIS part. I trusted the doctor as a profesional and friend and failed in both cases with a single action.

Zachary Amaranth:

Except saying "Ripley was a man first" is a lie, since the characters were drafted to work for either sex. That aside, it's not cheating, as her character did change since the original script. But hey, overly simplistic ignorance FTW, right?

You are unable to grasp the concept of "Suppose it happened, what does it mean to you?".........again. That is why i also used the "No True Scottman" trope, to see under what circunstance one would feel cheated that what one is looking at is just someone with a diferent body. Doesnt matter if happened or not, the point is the reaction to such event and analize objectively.

In fact, lets take this up to eleven, suppose that the most vocal feminist in the world, who is the most compasionate person and reasonable person ever, is actually a male that went under an operation to make himself look and talk like a woman. What does it mean for everyone from the feminist group who wasnt aware of this?

I gave up caring since you were repeatedly dodging my requests. Meh. Is it really a shame? It seems like you're just spoiling for an argument, which is why you accused Sarkesian of just crying sexist on everything. I guess if you are spoiling for a fight, waiting until I gave up and then passive-aggressively posting something is the way to go about it, but you had many opportunities to actually answer me before that. But if you're looking for honest and/or open discourse, you've demonstrated you're against it. This is why you keep attacking Sarkeesian over things she doesn't do, instead of things she does.

This is why the criticisms of Shaimus Young get my respect, and yours do not. I don't even agree with Shaimus completely, but his points are fair and honest.

On the contrary, nothing is more honest than fun and:
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SincerestFormOfFlattery

Say, wasnt i doing exactly as you did? going on the extreme that gamers ARENT the default responsibles for the Anita fiasco without any evidence, just as much as you did the same by saying that gamers ARE the responsibles without any evidence. Hell, the lack of evidence is so histerical that i could just say: "Yes, they were gamers, but FEMALE GAMERS all of them, not a single male"

Where is the fun in flat out telling you that you are doing just as wrong as i do with your arguments? i did, however, make sure to tell you to notice that some of the people here that were arguing with you already noted the painfully obvious:

And lo and behold, after that they flat out tell you what is wrong with the whole argument of yours and you didnt even continued the converzation since 19 September 2012 10:31 pm.

How convenient that you call ME passive-agresive, the concept of "i have a life" is too alien for you? you didnt even tried to answer the other more SOLID facts of her fucking up the deadline and not giving a single video for the tropes she was going to "analize". Her Twiters message dont count because for that you dont need all that money and the Kickstarter mentioned that she needed that to make the videos in the first place.

Your response? "You make it sound like a blood pact or something" Well, it was like that, and everyone on the Internet is the witness. What is the counter argument or yours? you are being condecendent to me and the other people. Yeah right, i am not the person evading the discucion.

How can i attack something that doesnt exist in the first place? If she didnt make the claim of ICO being sexist then our converzation and the detailed exposition about how the theme of the game is about anything BUT that, wouldnt have been made in the first place.

Stating that you respect the opinions of Shaun is meaningless, specially if we are writing this in the forum section of HIS article where he can check it out regulary.

By the way, your argument about this quote from Shaun:

Zachary Amaranth:

Where do you draw the line between "attractive" and "cheap pandering cheesecake"?

You know that line about pornography, "I'll know it when I see it?"

Falls flat on his face just like the "non-sexism" and "sexism to the Nth degree" issue. In both cases, you will NOT know it when you see it, just like how Movie Bob couldnt see the obvious sexism of Metroid Other M. It had to be someone on TvTropes in its spare time that had to explain in detail why that game is sexism in Eldrich Abomination form.

Hell, if brevity is the soul of wit, then i can demostrate without that wall of text and a single image, that the game doesnt care about the gender you are because that ISNT what the story is about.

That in no way answers the claim of sexism, however.....

....

How it DOESNT answer the claim of sexism? care to provide an explanation? oh so mighty "yay or nay" giver? with less than 3 letters please (as always)

1)Anita says ICO is sexist, with by itself implies that the games is against women representation.
2)I look objectively at the game and wrote a post that saids that it is meaningless if they are a boy/man and a girl/woman since the theme is survival by unity from the forces of the big uncaring universe.
3)You said that it doesnt answer that claim and dont provide further explanation of why.
4)???
5)PROFIT

Well, if you dont like wall of text, then that answers why you didnt answer rubik knight' wall of text and..........wait a second, didnt you just said before that TEXT is YOUR speciallity? that you work better with text because its your job? and yet, not a single answer you have given makes your claim look valid. No depth, no exposition, no NOTHING.

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You are useless to us.

You know? i have been thinking and...

A dangerous past time

I know, right? but we keep talking about the female protagonist without taking into account how is sexism taken into account when you have a villain that the hero must overcome and is the Anti-Thesis of it?

What happens when the villain is a Pulp Villain? a villain that was made INTENTIONALLY to represent the worst in us. A machine that is so much like us, so human....that its inhuman.

Enter SHODAN from System Shock 2:

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2009/08/12/the-girl-who-wanted-to-be-god/

And yes, she was made intentionally sexist.

Now.....does it work? i mean, if the sexism is used to have a point then i am sure it can be forgiven. Otherwise, if we just censor without any proper reason "just because it's there" then things can go to shit pretty fast.

Take for example the censorship of the German version of "I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream". The games of AM involve demostrating that humans are a bunch of bastards, and among them there is NIMDOK, a Jew scientist that worked willingly with the Nazis for his own benefit and now seeks redeptiom for his actions. Unfortunatelly, that mission was CUT completelly without replacing the lines or anything and made impossible to get the true ending of the game, nor we see him achieving peace with himself.

I use SHODAN here because its the most memorable female villain ever even if technically she is a machine. We keep refering as HER and not as IT, both IN the game and OUTSIDE it. But probably the people here doesnt remember the game, probably not even Shaun and his friends on Spoiler Warning.

DioWallachia:

mfeff:
-snip

Some music:

Ufff, sorry man that i havent been here in a while, the MOTHER of the PC went caput and had to use an old PC with Windows 98........without DVD reader for my backups.......nor USB drivers.....nor Internet.......the nightmares still haunt me to this day.

Fortunatelly i managed to use a 56K modem to AT LEAST download an executable that allows me to run XP crap on Win98 and THEN use Firefox and everything else (Internet Explorer 6 is a bitch)

Now, on to the post in question:

The funny thing is that, if she had enough money to afford an studio, then eventually she could have achieved her goal if she keept the ad revenue. After all, what was the hurry in having that money?.

But no matter what thing she was going to "analize" (sarcastic quotes), be videogames or tv series or pop music that uses sexism to drive a point....only to be marked as sexism anyway regardless of the context, she was going to get flack no matter what just like everyone else on the Internet who tries to get money from Kickstarters (JewWario and The Angry Video Game Nerd) What makes her "fault" more irratating is that, at least for those 2 guys over there, their "thing" or profesion is to be comedians and that is something subjective, one might not like what they do but that is all they got; She in the other hand is supposed to be some one who is an expert with academic knowledge and yet all she offers is so dry that may as well not try, and she expects money from it.......yeah, why is it surpricing again??

If i go to see a doctor that i have never seen before, in the middle of nowhere, and whose consultory has more Diesel smell and less sanitary standards than a Truck Driver convention, then i have no one to blame but myself when i see that my fucking organs are gone and die for it. But when it is my doctor friend who i know forever and is a well know profesional and I STILL end up with my organs gone, then this is a betrayal on HIS part. I trusted the doctor as a profesional and friend and failed in both cases with a single action.

Ah, sorry for your troubles. In professional engineering we use a system many times referred to as OOAD or OO E/D/ED, which is simply object oriented (analysis) design, or ''event driven (computer lingo)/Engineering design (lots of spins on the concept). What this boils down to is sitting down with a customer/problem and hashing out what problem the customer/situation needs solved and how a solution or solution path will look like/behave.

We rapid prototype the thing, and present back some kind or marginally working model just to be sure that the product is in line with the type of phenotype that the customer is looking for.

So design is normally "to" something. In this case the object and that object is dictate of the orientation of the build. The engineering is the employment of the known methodological problem solving techniques to arrive at that object.

The key as it relates to "game design" is that there is a bit of conflagration between "design" and "art". Which often times are exclusive of each other.

My problem with A.S. is that she approached the subject like many an uniformed arts person does (outside looking in) that design to an object is emblematic of the art or cultural operands of the creators. It's not, it's made for a customer normally to a customer specification, and in AAA development that customer is often times a publisher, or in cohort with a marketing department. It's a comment perhaps on the customer but not the creators, she seemed to make it out to be that it is the creators.

If the intended or designed to spec. customers are a demographic of men (which is a safe bet it is) then the problem being discussed is not the product for'se it is the audience that, THAT product is intended for.

Now some stuff in ages past where made by people who where just making a thing to their own particular notion of what was good or would be good. There are a lot of games that are like this ranging from FPS to straight up porn games... these come much closer to artistic expression, or experimentation than they do rock solid design methodology... but in that, where is the critique?

If someone makes a porn game for themselves as a form of expression, all I may really fall back on was the execution of the code work, not really the expression itself. It's not my place, and I do not think it is anyone else's place either.

But people judge, cause they are people... this website is a perfect example of stone tossing as any other. It happens.

Briefly, not the biggest fan of death or speed metal, but I try to be aware that those who are probably have a better notion of not only what is "good" and "bad" within that genre, but how a live performance is to be judged. Tend to refer to this as "approaching a subject on that subjects terms".

We talked about the Alien Res. scene... not the biggest fan of that scene, not really trying to interpret it, but was the actress performance convincing? I think so. So the art there appears to be in the actress skill not really in the subject of the medium presented.

So that all said, man... (I guess your a dude) hehe, I am right there with you, looked like some hypo-agency nonsense to me, with so little respect paid to the work that is involved in creation of material that I really had to "think" about not becoming reactive to the rubbish.

Not everybody held their indignation, but hey, that's on them. Be surprised how much hate speech is actually covered under the first amendment. It's murky in a way because there are many points of overlap between design and art, between the object being created and the customer that it is being created for.

Funny, and as a bit of an aside, I found this post by Shamus to be sort of quixotic... in that he took 2 pages to basically conclude, "chicks should work it out with chicks".

Posted this before thought I would leave it here again:

"I don't think even Anita Sarkeesian agrees with Anita Sarkeesian" -girlwriteswhat

Now I'm not sure whether or not it's been mentioned (if it did, I missed it) but one of the very few female protagonists I've encountered in video games who hasn't been sexualized in any way would be Maya from Septerra Core. As I recall, she doesn't have any kind of romantic subplot during the course of the game and tends to keep herself covered up from head to toe because she lives in a desert. And while all other party members follow her for their own personal reasons, ranging from friendship all the way to respect, not one of them does so because "if he's going to stare at someone's butt all day it might as well be that one".

Mind you, the game isn't perfect in its regard to its treatment of female characters and while the gender ratio is pretty balanced (3 guys, 3 girls, two robots and one mutant whose gender isn't really elaborated on) the weakest characters are the females, a particularly egregious example being Led, the cute mechanic girl in a far too-short tank top who wields a comically oversized monkey wrench as her weapon. You'd think that someone with robotic legs could at least win a kicking competition, but the only way she's really useful in combat is when her love interest is around, since this opens up their combo attacks. Her love interest being one of, if not the, best magic user available to you.

Seneschal:
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But do you not think oiled up Nathan Drake would be ridiculous and inappropriate and make the character look stupid?

That's the point I'm trying to make. The thing is when women see over sexualised female characters we can't take them seriously as a character because all we see is 'Oh she's there for the guys to ogle'

Korra is a great example of a character who is attractive but that isn't the centre of her character. She is brave, hotheaded, and sometimes foolish. She's a character and 'sexy' isn't her main 'selling point'. Even Asami who is more conventionally sexy has more than just her looks to go on. They both have faults and good things about them. The same with Katara, Toph, Azula etc. Their character is something that comes first over the eye candy for guys. The way they dress is rooted in who they are.

I mean I could never see someone with Chun Li's personality dressing like she does in Street Fighter 2 (unless that's her special 'revenge dress' :P) but I could see her dressing like she does in Alpha. The way a character looks and comports themselves is very important in a visual medium.

I hope you see what I'm trying to get at beyond 'sexy is bad mkay'

mfeff:
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Please stop linking that video it's a load of sexist crap. She basically says that women can't do anything for themselves and just leech off men. Hypoagency isn't even a word, she just made it up. It's pretty horrific to me that modern men believe this stuff.

It was great to see this article, particularly the final paragraph. I had been considering leaving a post about how we often spend too much time talking about what went wrong with female characters, rather than what developers should be doing with them instead. I strongly feel that until someone comes out with a statement about female characters that is not, "You're doing it wrong again", we'll continue to see games that try and fail to create impressive female characters.
Furthermore, I feel that offering actual suggestions will silence a number of the said murlocs who seem to believe that these discussions are about how to steal games from men by forcing them to pander only to women. If a clever feminist with bright ideas stepped forward and announced her vision for women in video games, that would leave no room for the detractors to come up with their own "feminist agendas" to stick into the mouths of their straw feminists.

Seneschal:
... Women are no more likely to be objects of sexual violence than men are, and the proliferation of mass media, internet porn and jiggle physics hasn't resulted in an epidemic of out-of-control men demanding their vapid brainless woman-meat ...

For the first part of that false statement, the National Crime Victim Survey(2010) says:

NCVS:
Females (1.3 per 1,000) were more likely than males (0.1 per
1,000) to be victims of rape or sexual assault.

The link to the survey is http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/ascii/cv10.txt

For the remainder, a quick look at a few of the posts from Manboobz or its boobroll show aggravatingly large groups of men demanding pretty much what you said.

rembrandtqeinstein:

Female power fantasy is different than male power fantasy. They don't work in the same game. In the female power fantasy she is able to manipulate outcomes without ever having to take risk or responsibility.

Citation needed. The number of women SCA fighters seems to suggest that there are quite a few women who's power fantasies are less "manipulate things from the shadows" and more "stabby stabby!"

Jordy Hartog:
Now I'm not sure whether or not it's been mentioned (if it did, I missed it) but one of the very few female protagonists I've encountered in video games who hasn't been sexualized in any way would be Maya from Septerra Core. As I recall, she doesn't have any kind of romantic subplot during the course of the game and tends to keep herself covered up from head to toe because she lives in a desert. And while all other party members follow her for their own personal reasons, ranging from friendship all the way to respect, not one of them does so because "if he's going to stare at someone's butt all day it might as well be that one".

Mind you, the game isn't perfect in its regard to its treatment of female characters and while the gender ratio is pretty balanced (3 guys, 3 girls, two robots and one mutant whose gender isn't really elaborated on) the weakest characters are the females, a particularly egregious example being Led, the cute mechanic girl in a far too-short tank top who wields a comically oversized monkey wrench as her weapon. You'd think that someone with robotic legs could at least win a kicking competition, but the only way she's really useful in combat is when her love interest is around, since this opens up their combo attacks. Her love interest being one of, if not the, best magic user available to you.

If she can only function with her boyfriend, then its her choice. It would be a lot more worse if EVERY female is incapable of function without the boyfriends.

BrassButtons:

rembrandtqeinstein:

Female power fantasy is different than male power fantasy. They don't work in the same game. In the female power fantasy she is able to manipulate outcomes without ever having to take risk or responsibility.

Citation needed. The number of women SCA fighters seems to suggest that there are quite a few women who's power fantasies are less "manipulate things from the shadows" and more "stabby stabby!"

Well, the writting is very shitty and is very possible that the audience is just there for the abs, but if the "manipulate things and get away with it" is a female power fantasy, then that would explain why so many women LOVE Twilight.

Bella Swan is a manipulative bitch that cant stop teasing 2 guys that love her (for whatever reason)

DioWallachia:
If she can only function with her boyfriend, then its her choice. It would be a lot more worse if EVERY female is incapable of function without the boyfriends.

Which is why I said "not perfect". Though the more I think about it, the more it does actually make sense that she'd be the weakest combat character since she's a mechanic where all the other characters are either soldiers/guards, robots or have the advantage of living in an environment that would toughen them up (hell, protagonist Maya has to cross a valley filled with wolves to even get to her school). I'm probably just nitpicky because I'd have liked to see her as one of the main physical powerhouses due to her robotic limbs and the fact that she has the skill and upper body strength to use a monkey wrench that's bigger than her arm as a weapon.

Moonlight Butterfly:

Seneschal:
snip

But do you not think oiled up Nathan Drake would be ridiculous and inappropriate and make the character look stupid?

That's the point I'm trying to make. The thing is when women see over sexualised female characters we can't take them seriously as a character because all we see is 'Oh she's there for the guys to ogle'

Korra is a great example of a character who is attractive but that isn't the centre of her character. She is brave, hotheaded, and sometimes foolish. She's a character and 'sexy' isn't her main 'selling point'. Even Asami who is more conventionally sexy has more than just her looks to go on. They both have faults and good things about them. The same with Katara, Toph, Azula etc. Their character is something that comes first over the eye candy for guys. The way they dress is rooted in who they are.

I mean I could never see someone with Chun Li's personality dressing like she does in Street Fighter 2 (unless that's her special 'revenge dress' :P) but I could see her dressing like she does in Alpha. The way a character looks and comports themselves is very important in a visual medium.

I hope you see what I'm trying to get at beyond 'sexy is bad mkay'

Yes, an oiled-up Nathan Drake would be ridiculous; it would be inconsistent with Uncharted as a whole, because he's been established beforehand as someone not-too-likely to strip and oil himself for our pleasure. However, my remark about "oiled-up Nathan Drakes" wasn't aimed specifically at Uncharted. Gaming as a whole would be none the worse for wear if we had gender symmetry in all aspects, sexual pandering included.

And no, I still see no reason why sexual pandering is inherently disrespectful to players. Someone's opinion of a fictional character doesn't reflect on you, and if gamers couldn't separate fact from fiction, we'd have a much bigger, cataclysmic problem with videogame violence - which we obviously don't. You're claiming that it devalues specific characters, which I agree with, but schlocky cheesecake rollercoasters, which I still believe will make up half the damn industry in the future, don't give a shit about characters anyway. Their pandering to power devalues characters just as much, with the innumerable grunting meatheads serving as a case study of how not to write male characters, but these games still sell, and there's no reason why they shouldn't - people buy them for the power fantasy, and have every right to.

A lot of the medium (especially the AAA lineup) is already pandering at its core - power fantasies are almost entirely devoted to licking the player's boots, they are easy to conceive, easy to implement, low-risk and eminently marketable. I could just as easily say "we should have more games where you lack power, because it makes a whole lot more narrative sense", but that in no way means that we should have less power fantasies - I can see the appeal, I can see who would want to play them more than the alternative, and I can see no harm in them continuing to do so. I would merely be asking for more diversity and inclusion.

And I didn't get that from you. Because pandering is unpalatable to you, you assume that it should be for everyone, equating it with an attack at gender equality (and even racism, in a previous post), which is preposterous. Games weren't acknowledging your presence in the audience, up until recently for very understandable reasons, and that is the extent of their crime. But Chun Li didn't strip you of anything but a feeling of belonging, and that's what you (and me, for that matter) are justified in demanding right now.

WraithGadra:
For the first part of that false statement, the National Crime Victim Survey(2010) says:

NCVS:
Females (1.3 per 1,000) were more likely than males (0.1 per
1,000) to be victims of rape or sexual assault.

The link to the survey is http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/ascii/cv10.txt

I know the statistics, and also the fact that US law makes it next to impossible for a man to be raped, except by statutory rape, and in the case of penetrative sex where both parties are intoxicated, he's assumed to be the rapist. Add to that the fact that male rape is considered humorous in the media and popular culture, and a frequent gag in sticoms, and it's not hard to see why it's underreported to the authorities.

WraithGadra:
For the remainder, a quick look at a few of the posts from Manboobz or its boobroll show aggravatingly large groups of men demanding pretty much what you said.

And their demands go largely unheard, as seen by that same study you yourself posted, which shows a steady decrease in violent crime rates. So, the presence of a marginalized group of woman-haters doesn't correspond to an increase in rates of violence against women?! Who would have thought! It's almost as if their opinion was... disregarded!

Just seen an 'answer' to this article on 'The Mary Sue' and I thought I would post it here since it seems a well thought out reply that kind of matches my own views.

http://www.themarysue.com/what-women-want-in-female-video-game-protagonists/

DioWallachia:

You are unable to grasp the concept of "Suppose it happened, what does it mean to you?".........again.

Except, you know, that's not what you did.

In fact, lets take this up to eleven, suppose that the most vocal feminist in the world, who is the most compasionate person and reasonable person ever, is actually a male that went under an operation to make himself look and talk like a woman. What does it mean for everyone from the feminist group who wasnt aware of this?

You mean, a transsexual? What, are transsexual opinions not valid on feminism in your world? Why? Because ponies?

On the contrary, nothing is more honest than fun and:[/quote]

Nothing WOULD be more honest than what you are doing. As shame you're not doing nothing.

Zachary Amaranth:

DioWallachia:

You are unable to grasp the concept of "Suppose it happened, what does it mean to you?".........again.

Except, you know, that's not what you did.

In fact, lets take this up to eleven, suppose that the most vocal feminist in the world, who is the most compasionate person and reasonable person ever, is actually a male that went under an operation to make himself look and talk like a woman. What does it mean for everyone from the feminist group who wasnt aware of this?

You mean, a transsexual? What, are transsexual opinions not valid on feminism in your world? Why? Because ponies?

On the contrary, nothing is more honest than fun and:

Nothing WOULD be more honest than what you are doing. As shame you're not doing nothing.

I am doing nothing? i am not the one who answers every question with a "no, it isnt" over and over and forgetting something else to add after that answer..............the "why" of it. You never explain anything usefull, no wonder why just a few people answer to your post, there is nothing to work with.

"ICO is sexist"

Why? already gave an entire analizis that you, a person who claims that text is its speciality, could just work with it but didnt. The only way that ICO could be sexist is by factors outside the narrative itself. Its like sending tha painting of The Mona Lisa to a culture that considers "sexist" the MERE presence if a woman smiling or without having the entire body covered except her eyes, that is not the paining fault.

Rubik Knight already gave a long response of your actions and you didnt even reply, instead you come here and pretend that no remembers what you did. You seek knowledge and yet you ignore it when you see it.

Its official, from now on, you will be called Anita.

By the way, where your avatar comes from? looks like a woman holding a knife, therefore, i feel like calling that work "sexist" regardless of context :D.
After all, if a woman is killing to survive, it CLEARLY means that the sick fuck of the writer and artist are trying to convey the message that women can ONLY survive through violence and not through undertanding.

See how stupid it gets? i KNOW that people who believe such thing exist, what i dont do is UNDERSTAND the point of view because it's beyond my comprehention, that is why is there the example of the "transexual who is a feminist". Since i already said that Free Will allows everyone, both male and female to behave equally in stupid ways as they please, they arent any diferent to my eyes. I have no grounds in ANY logic where the scenario of "feminist transexual shunned by the group he/she belongs" could be possible, that is why i have to ask for someone else to "suppose it happens, what could possibly be the REASON behind it?"

For example, i UNDERSTAND why "Samus is a girl" had such an impact a long ass time ago, because there wasnt "Strong Females Protagonist" back then, of course there were a few but those werent protagonist at all but sidekicks instead. I think it wasnt until 1993 where we saw females as protagonist more often, like for example the Sega Genesis port of "Snow Brothers" had 20 extra floors at the end where you play as The Princesses of Snow that you rescued previously and now have to rescue the brothers themselves.
Compared to the "Transexual Feminist" i dont even understand why would such thing would be a big deal, and to me its like a Twist of M. Night Shyamalan for the sake of a Twist. No context to work with.

Then again, this is the same world where Ico is accused of being racist against black people, i mean come on! its CLEAR that its a ploy of the white supremacist of japan to brainwash our children to destroy all the blacks before they steal our curvy women (as demostrated by the black shadows you kill); The same world were womans love to be treated like shit by an abusive boyfriend like in Twilight; And the same world where a parent decides to burn the entire house down just to make his children stop playing with the WII.

You know, Free Will. So maybe a Transexual is a sin in the eyes of feminism, who knows? and if someone knows, please tell me.

By Strong Protagonist i mean one that moves the plot foward by its actions. A bad example would by Fem/Bro Shepard in ME2, who is constantly being railoaded into following Cerberus and doesnt have any choice in such regard, doesnt reach conclutions that move the plot foward, even if it is a RPG.

PD: By the way: http://twitter.yfrog.com/od45703908j

She seems conveniently aware of the trolls of 4CHAN, almost like she knew the source of the backlash from the video to begin with. There is no other reason for her to focus her attention on that place since we ALL know that trolls annoy everyone, and yet she has been focusing her attention there, just the same place where the video was spammed to death (instead of any forum with a worthy discussion)

Moonlight Butterfly:
Just seen an 'answer' to this article on 'The Mary Sue' and I thought I would post it here since it seems a well thought out reply that kind of matches my own views.

http://www.themarysue.com/what-women-want-in-female-video-game-protagonists/

I will never understand why people prefer the method of having a main character that is interchangeable between men and woman like in Mass Effect. Seems so lazy for both the developers AND the fans themselves for being so easily pleased.

Its basically the SAME CHARACTER regardless of body and yet people feel like not playing the game if they dont have their Shepard to be the sex they want. Just....why? would you feel ashamed or horrified if, for example, your Shep was transformed by Space-Magic (heh-heh-heh) into the opposite sex? you can no longer relate to him/her even if they are basically the same and always had been?

How about this? instead of that mediocrity, the developers and writers should do something like in "Evolva" or "Legacy of Kain: Defiance", in short have 2+ Protagonist.

For the Evolva model, it would have a male and a woman as protagonist with diferent backgrounds and personalities, that you dont get to choose what order you play as first because the game uses them both at the same time and the gameplay need you to switch between them to advance the level. This at least offer you the chance of at least put yourself in the shoes of another person for a while and once they rejoin the team after being divided by the enviroment you can switch back to your protagonist of preference.

For the Defiance model, its the same but the game follows a linear path on who you take over to play as. Complete the stage with one of them and the game switch to another in the next one and so forth. Its more "forced" than the above one because there is the possibility that you dont like the person you play as, but assuming that there is good writing involved, you would at LEAST know why they are the way they are and you will eventually reach an understanding of the oposite protagonist position and dreams in life.

Its baby steps but at least its something.

My complain is basically what Jim Sterling said in "Think of The Children!", in this case just because you have a male/female protagonist that its of my same gender doesnt automatically mean that i will relate more to him/her.

DioWallachia:
SNIP

Well I think, at best, it's because as power fantasies go women want pretty much the same thing as men. At worst it's like being thrown a bone in an industry which pretty much ignores our needs.

When we see a female character who is allowed to achieve as much as a male we like it and that's what makes it relatable. Even Lara Croft is sexualised so at some level I recognise she's not 'for me' that's what makes her different from FemShep, who as a gender swap character is pretty much allowed to get on with things without any sort of obvious pandering. She acts and dresses appropriate to her situation and background, her gender isn't the most important thing about her. I hope that makes sense.

I sometimes worry that demanding two seperate protagonists would increase resentment towards female gamers. In much the same way multiplayer gets flak for taking away resources from single player.

Moonlight Butterfly:

DioWallachia:
SNIP

Well I think, at best, it's because as power fantasies go women want pretty much the same thing as men. At worst it's like being thrown a bone in an industry which pretty much ignores our needs.

When we see a female character who is allowed to achieve as much as a male we like it and that's what makes it relatable. Even Lara Croft is sexualised so at some level I recognise she's not 'for me' that's what makes her different from FemShep, who as a gender swap character is pretty much allowed to get on with things without any sort of obvious pandering. She acts and dresses appropriate to her situation and background, her gender isn't the most important thing about her. I hope that makes sense.

I sometimes worry that demanding two seperate protagonists would increase resentment towards female gamers. In much the same way multiplayer gets flak for taking away resources from single player.

The thing that annoys me its laziness. For example, lets take Dragon Age 2, where no matter what sex you choose to be, all the love interest are bisexual in both cases and want to get into "snuss snuss" bussiness with you, ALL OF THEM.

Now what is more easy to design and cost effective? to make a few characters have lines responses for when they are hit by someone they dont swing into? or to make EVERYONE respond to you without adressing your gender and want to "explore your dungeons" regardless if you are a male/female/Cthulhu? The only party member that can only be romanced by one gender is Sebastian. The only ones that can't be romanced at all are Varric (who likes to keep it in his species), Aveline (who can be flirted with for a while but ultimately falls for someone else), and your sibling (who is your sibling).

To me, having a "Swap-Your-Gender-O-Matic" is one of those things. And i dont think that demanding 2 protagonist is going to be a problem unless the writers have some kind of brain tummor that doesnt allow them to write a character that behaves in a different way acording to its background and personality. After all, how is demanding good writting going to make the single player suck more? Unless you mean that making CLEAR difference between the protagonist (besides the gender) is going to attract hate, that would be silly since things like RPG always had difference between classes and one has to accept that, even if anyone can be a hero, there are many ways to do it.

DioWallachia:
snip

I guess that what I'm trying to say is that at the moment characters like FemShep are the closest thing to a decent female protagonist that we have and that's why they are popular.

Let me try and put it a different way, sure the gaming industry can do better as you very rightly pointed out, but at the moment those are the characters that are popular with women because we don't have much else. If we want to be a hero FemShep gives us that chance without the extra baggage of being a character whose primary feature is 'she is a woman' and isn't there to pander to men. With a pre made female protagonist you have the danger of skidding into pander territory. Hawke, Shepard, Dovahkiin, Courier Six and The Lone Wanderer don't have that crutch to bear and so women are free to be heroes without their characters being sex dolls for the boys.

I mean remember that dev who, when asked if their would be female characters in his game, said
'But how would we make them sexy' That is the bullet that gender swapped female characters dodge and they are much better for it.

Moonlight Butterfly:

DioWallachia:
snip

I guess that what I'm trying to say is that at the moment characters like FemShep are the closest thing to a decent female protagonist that we have and that's why they are popular.

Let me try and put it a different way, sure the gaming industry can do better as you very rightly pointed out, but at the moment those are the characters that are popular with women because we don't have much else. If we want to be a hero FemShep gives us that chance without the extra baggage of being a character whose primary feature is 'she is a woman' and isn't there to pander to men. With a pre made female protagonist you have the danger of skidding into pander territory. Hawke, Shepard, Dovahkiin, Courier Six and The Lone Wanderer don't have that crutch to bear and so women are free to be heroes without their characters being sex dolls for the boys.

I mean remember that dev who, when asked if their would be female characters in his game, said
'But how would we make them sexy' That is the bullet that gender swapped female characters dodge and they are much better for it.

But Shepard is a brick in both cases, it has no personality besides being a soldier. I know that people want to cling to the female version of Shep because there isnt anything better in AAA industry, but it may send the wrong message to the developers that we ONLY care about that our avatars must be customizable for our mouths to shut up and be happy.

And no matter what the artist do, someone will ALWAYS find a woman sexy anyway. I mean who doesnt want a piece of those......chucks of land:
image
I hope there is plenty of oil in the garage :D

Even if they draw a woman to be HEALTHY in the sense of having child-birthing hips, people would STILL want to hit that because that is ANOTHER factor of what makes a woman sexy. Come to think of it, if the idea is to send the message that "everyone can be a hero", then excluding womans that have a moderate amalgamation of massive mamaries because they will distract the heroes is quite bafling. Then again, they could try another profession instead just in the same way that a male that doesnt have the stamina required to be heroic cannon fodder must try something else to be a hero.

The writers should focus on the plot and making sure that both protagonist move the plot foward, because that is what strong characters do.

DioWallachia:
SNIP

Well I'm trying to tell you what it is that I want in a video game character and your reaction is to tell me what I want :/ I disagree that femshep has no personality for a start.

I want a character who is a hero just like her male counterpart these characters are seriously popular with female gamers. Telling us that well women can't do that and sorry they have to try something else is kind of offensive. That's exactly what we don't want. We want to fight deathclaws and dragons.

Saying well men will find a character sexy anyway so there is no point in complaining is kind of counterproductive too. When you sexualise a female character it's the equivalent of making guys play as Edward from Twilight it's really hard to take the character seriously.

Lastly body shape has little to do with sexualisation. It's more to do with how a character comports themselves. FemShep has a great figure but you would never see her in a boobs and boot pose winking at the camera and flashing her knickers when she fights. I could say the same for my Nord dragonborn.

Women want a serious protagonist just like the boys not someone whose primary attribute is there to look good for said boys.

PS. Ellie is awesome.

Moonlight Butterfly:

DioWallachia:
SNIP

Well I'm trying to tell you what it is that I want in a video game character and your reaction is to tell me what I want :/ I disagree that femshep has no personality for a start.

I want a character who is a hero just like her male counterpart these characters are seriously popular with female gamers. Telling us that well women can't do that and sorry they have to try something else is kind of offensive. That's exactly what we don't want. We want to fight deathclaws and dragons.

Saying well men will find a character sexy anyway so there is no point in complaining is kind of counterproductive too. When you sexualise a female character it's the equivalent of making guys play as Edward from Twilight it's really hard to take the character seriously.

Lastly body shape has little to do with sexualisation. It's more to do with how a character comports themselves. FemShep has a great figure but you would never see her in a boobs and boot pose winking at the camera and flashing her knickers when she fights. I could say the same for my Nord dragonborn.

Women want a serious protagonist just like the boys not someone whose primary attribute is there to look good for said boys.

PS. Ellie is awesome.

Not FEMshep but Shep in general, he/she doesnt change as a character, not by the plot or even by the relationships (hell, not even dying make him/her raise questions about her/his condition as Space Jesus) and thus, its a brick. The ONLY moment where we can extract some character is in The Lair Of The Shadow Brooker when Liara ask "how are you doing?". And for that, i fear that people may be too easily pleased and the developers are going to get lazy, and given how they are taking NO chances and playing it safe, i fear that we may not see a new IJI or a SHODAN (a Pulp Villain) in the AAA market soon enough.

Homogenization is the key word regarding to what one MUSNT DO with the human shape. If we have to many sexy characters then its a problem, if we do not then its ALSO a problem because it sends the message of "Sorry, the beutiful people is too useless to be in the front so we send them somewhere else. So Tifa, you better get a reduction or get the fuck off here". That is why i said that the artist shouldn't care about the shape at all and do whatever as long that there is variety for each character. Doesnt matter what shape they have as long that there isnt a suspicious number of super models with silicon upgrades.

But this isnt what i want to discuss, i am more conserned with the execution of female villains, specially someone like SHODAN from System Shock 2 whose female atributes (described in the article i posted before) were actually used to make the player feel unconfortable. Basically, the developers were sexist to make a point with SHODAN.

DioWallachia:
snip

The thing is while being sexy is okay it shouldn't be the major thing about them. Someone can be attractive without being overly sexy.

If someone is a hero who fights for a living they shouldn't be running around in a chainmail biniki doing bending over poses.

You see how in the second picture Asami is pretty beautiful but she's not dressed inappropriately for what she is doing.

BUT! you cry! freedom of artistic expression! Well this discussion is about what women like in female protagonists and what we don't like is the female version of Edward from Twilight.

You can defend non homogenisation all you want but I feel a lot more comfortable when my protagonist isn't a poster girl for a porn site. Again body type has nothing to do with it as we see with Asami, the way a character dresses and comports themselves is.

This is Azula the female villain of Avatar TLA.

She is evil, manipulative, precise, and a bit of a sociopath.

image

One of the best female villains I've experienced.

The problem with SHODAN is the fact that women won't feel uncomfortable and therefore using mysongyny to make a villain more threatening is exclusionary towards female gamers isn't it? :p

But yeah...that's kind of not the point of this thread or the article I posted in the first place.

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