Jimquisition: The Creepy Cull of Female Protagonists

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Thank god for you, Jim. Keep being awesome and spreading the sanity.

cursedseishi:
That is benign, doubly so compared to the nonexistent acknowledgement of a "Female" Shepard in advertisements and such, which by the way, could be just as big a factor in why Femshep was played less than Male Shep as anything.

Wow, that's such a good point I wish I'd made it myself three pages ago.

*checks watch*

Still waiting for an explanation as to why having a beauty contest for a female character instead of just having the game designers come up with a default like they did with the male character isn't sexist. Right now it seems like all you've got it, "Yeah, that might be sexist, but the original marketing was way more sexist! Why can't you look at that instead? Stop picking on the fat kid on the playground when there's an even fatter kid in the library!"

Don't worry, take your time. I can wait. *Opens newspaper*

*Looks over newspaper*

Oh, and by the way, people get accused of "whining" every time the issue of sexism in gaming comes up and people don't want to talk about it. The word is starting to lose its impact a little, along with the words "hysterical" and "oversensitive" and the phrase "just looking for stuff to get offended by". Maybe try coming up with actual counterpoints instead of just trying to attack people's motives?

*Goes back to newspaper*

Krantos:

*Snip*

Um... What?

I think you need to reread my post, because that was the point I was making. The only big name games featuring female protagonists have failed due to reasons other than the lead. I outright said:

Aside from Tomb Raider, they panned by critics and audiences alike. Not because they had a female lead, but because the games themselves were of questionable quality at best.

So unless I'm missing something, I don't understand why you seem to be refuting a stance I didn't take, and in fact, you reiterated what I said.

That would be because apparently I wasn't paying very much attention and I got distracted in the middle of reading your post and missed those bits.

oreso:

Making women is HARD WORK
Stop making it a no-win for games designers. Female characters face ENORMOUS amounts of scrutiny for every single aspect of their design, compared to their male counterparts. Too much/little sexuality/femininity/violence/sexiness/dialogue/vulnerability/characterisation/etc. It's tedious. It's unfair.

If it wasn't such a minefield of offence, then maybe that'd mean more people would try.

Making GAMES is hard work. If you want a successful game you have to put in the work and take the risks. But you shouldn't imply that female characters specifically represent a big aspect of the difficulty, because ultimately they don't. So long as you write them properly and keep your game from being a steaming mass of misogyny you should be fine, I haven't seen people offend easily at female leads unless the developers went out of their way to make it that way.

Legion:

If Lara Croft wore a bikini throughout the latest Tomb Raider, she wouldn't be objectified. Sexist? Sure, you could argue that, but sexism and objectification are not synonymous.

Being sexy =/= being an object.

This kind of depends on context, and particularly 'why' lara is in a bikini.

For example?

'she's on a beach, relaxing, chilling out.what is she wearing?'

'Bikini.'

'ok, makes sense.' - not objectification

'she's climbing a mountain, snows up to her ankles, and there's going to be wolves and people with guns attacking her, what is she wearing.'

'bikini.'

'are you sure? i'm sure she'd want something warmer-'

'bikini.'

'what about armour or padding for-'

'bikini.'

'but it doesn't make sense'

'I want her in a bikini, bikini it is.' - objectification. what the character would choose is taken out of her hands over what someone else wants in case of titilation.

Abomination:
From what I understand it isn't the "Industry" as a whole that is like this but the marketing dickheads and publishers (not developers). But that's just common of the suits in any industry, frequently seeing themselves as "so far above" or are so detached from the actual work that takes place in the industry they view everything as just numbers on a spreadsheet.

On the flip side we have just seen a staggering number of female protagonists and important characters in AAA game releases suddenly. We've got Kerrigan of Star Craft II, Lara in Tomb Raider and now Elizabeth in Bioshock: Infinite. There is also Last of Us in the works with a very significant female character who is essentially going to follow the same formula as Elizabeth. These female characters have flaws but none of the stereotypical negative feminine flaws that media likes to portray all women as suffering from. They are balanced and fine examples of powerful women - even Kerrigan.

This article by Jim is just another highlight as to how the suits are so disconnected from the industry they are "masters" of.

To be fair though, three is hardly a staggering number.

You guys do realize that Transister is coming out right? A game that is already critically acclaimed by many to be the best game on show at Pax East 2013 just recently.

And guess what? That game has a female protagonist! Huzzah!

Also Remember Me sucks. I played it at Pax East and the game is very disappointing. Its basically a really bad rip off of Batman Arkham City in terms of gameplay.

Sir Thomas Sean Connery:

boots:

I'm not "picking on" the poll. It's not the fat kid in the playground. I'm mentioning it because it's relevant to the discussion of customisable characters.

If you can customise your character in-game, then it's just silly to offer the fans the choice of customising the character in the marketing as well. It defeats the purpose of the appearance customisation mechanic, which is built off the assumption that different people like different things.

My main point is that they didn't do a poll for the male Shepard's appearance "to know what the players wanted". But when it came to the simple challenge of designing a female character for box art, they were too scared to come up with and decide upon their own ideas and instead resorted to throwing options at their audience and going, "Which lady is the prettiest? Which lady will make you buy the game? Please, please tell us."

They couldn't have effectively done it with the male Shepard since that had to be designed for ME1. Without a fanbase for the game in place, the poll wouldn't have even been noticed.

Also, I still see no issue in having the players decide which FemShep looked best.

I mean, there HAD to be a default. There's no question about that. So why not let the players decide? That's the whole point of RPG face customization: To let players decide what the main character looks like. It had nothing to do with fear. It was just about giving the players a bit more control.

So what if it was a "beauty contest?" It's not like the other Shepards are going to get their feelings hurt.

I just don't understand why you consider it to be a bad thing.

Just felt the need to bring up the fact that there already was a default female Shepard, and instead of refining her existing character model, they decided instead to run the poll. Though with all the different choices offered, the winning combination still ended up resembling what the existing default Femshep already was; a red head with long(ish) hair (minus that... interesting choice of makeup).

Add to that the ME3 model looks nothing like the concept/box art... it just strikes me as, sort of a wasted effort; a nice idea in theory, but ultimately ineffective.

I'll freely admit, if I have a choice, I play a female character. Not because I'm female, but because it's nice to pretend to be somebody else, but more honestly (and perhaps, more pervertedly) I like looking at a female character more.

However, on a note about looking at female characters, while I enjoy the 'view' I certainly don't see them as any less fully realized than a male character.

Elexia:
I'm a female gamer. I love my FPSs as much as the next man (or woman). I don't feel romance is necessary at all in games. You can be a fully rounded human being and save the universe without locking lips with a lady about to burst out of her spandex space suit. In fact, saving the universe should be your number one priority at that point, not the woman in spandex.

That being said, I keep seeing people say the same things on this site - that women are treated as objects rather than fully rounded characters in mainstream gaming, but nothing happens to change that. It's like a very loud protest that rises from the ashes every few weeks but turns out it's a tree falling in the woods and no one's around to hear it.

For the same reasons that people trying to talk about the benefits of abstinence and refraining from pornography get shot down and can't get taken seriously. Denying someone the ability to satiate a desire is treated like violating basic human rights.

Sexism is there because it makes money. If there is a problem with that, we can try and change the fact it makes money, but it would be a lot more effective if we changed the hearts of the folks supporting these industries. Otherwise we're committing the same problem that the faith-based movements do, where they seek outright prohibition of illicit content, instead of educating and teaching why the content should be avoided. It's that reason the faiths are viewed as oppressive, because they're limiting choices instead of trying to educate, because prohibition is easier than learning to love your neighbor and actually talk with them.

An analogy I've used in the past would be comparing water to other types of drinks (soda, coffee, tea, etc.) Water is a necessity of life, yet most folks who don't drink it regularly would complain about it being plain or lacking in flavor. Water certainly doesn't have all the excitement and additives and effects of those other drinks, but it also doesn't have any of the drawbacks either. If you drink water and learn to enjoy it, you crave it just as much and are satisfied by it just as much as well.

For me, sodas were rotting my teeth, so I had to give them up for my overall well-being. I think this is the opposite of what our culture would recommend, and instead it would have me spend money rebuild my teeth or give me replacements instead of denying me the ability to enjoy a soda. Consumption atop consumption, and the only one who can stop it for good is me.

Our culture has been cultivating more and more extreme appetites for sexual content, and content producers have just been cashing in on our increasing desires. Instead of learning to handle our desires responsibly, we let go of the reins and are now worried by the inertia of the system, yet seem powerless to do anything about it because we tell ourselves we're still enjoying the ride.

If we want video games to have better content, then the expectation of the experiences that people want to have in those video games has to change first. Publishers don't care what the content is as long as they're getting paid, so the onus is on the consumer to make the change. I just don't think people are willing to make the sacrifices to develop the discipline to get us to that stage, which is why the cries for change so often fall on deaf ears.

I'm going to say its a mix. Ignorant stubborn publishers who make unfounded assumptions AND male gamers who are spineless and pathetic. It's yet another shining example of the misogynistic male centric world of thinking when it comes to games, even when women aren't being dumbed down and objectified they have to be pushed aside and ignored so we can have more boring bland cookie cutter generic white male tough guys in the spotlight and its disgusting.

Really looking forward to Remember Me, who doesn't want customizable Batman Combat + Asscreed traversal all set in a sci-fi setting. Game is gonna be bad freaking ass.

I'm not proud of it but in games I really do prefer playing a male over a female all else being equal (unless they're someone like Chell or Link who are essentially blank slates). Now it's not a big preference but it's there.

I can't be the only guy out there with that preference though, and since there are more male gamers then a game with a male protagonist might sell better than the same game with a female one.

They make more games with men, more men get interested and it becomes a big cycle.

Jim never fails to get hundreds of comments. Just 7.5 hours and look at the bonfire we've got going. This man is a genius but is a magnet to idiots.

OT:

boots:

Oh, and by the way, people get accused of "whining" every time the issue of sexism in gaming comes up and people don't want to talk about it. The word is starting to lose its impact a little, along with the words "hysterical" and "oversensitive" and the phrase "just looking for stuff to get offended by". Maybe try coming up with actual counterpoints instead of just trying to attack people's motives?

Why don't the vigilant misogyny hunters ever make actual points that show that a creators motive was to oppress women. Instead of just finding any example of male and female being acknowledged as different genders and declaring that it proves a sexist bias in the entire industry, and then throwing out these buzzwords that have entirely lost their meaning, such as "male power fantasy" or "objectifying".

*goes back to newspaper, because I'm so sophisticated and calmly above this.

LiMaSaRe:

Why don't the vigilant misogyny hunters ever make actual points that show that a creators motive was to oppress women. Instead of just finding any example of male and female being acknowledged as different genders and declaring that it proves a sexist bias in the entire industry, and then throwing out these buzzwords that have entirely lost their meaning, such as "male power fantasy" or "objectifying".

Oh, I dunno, maybe because it's not constructive or helpful to play the blame game and accuse specific people of being sexists or misogynists, when most of the time they're clearly not motivated by a desire to oppress women. Maybe that's why no one ever actually says, "this game is sexist trash and its creators are evil misogynists!" And yet somehow oversensitive *ahem* gamers seem to hear this every time the word "sexism" or "gender" gets brought up and immediately launch into hyperdefensive mode to defend their precious games that weren't ever actually in danger in the first place.

Maybe - and this is another crazy idea - maybe it's possible to talk critically about the general representation of women in video games as a means for improving writing in the genre. Maybe if people stopped freaking out and stuffing their fingers in their ears at every perceived "attack" on anything they like, these conversations would actually go somewhere.

Sorry, I'm spoiling your fun. Have at that strawman, brave soldier!

That Hyena Bloke:

oreso:

Making women is HARD WORK
Stop making it a no-win for games designers. Female characters face ENORMOUS amounts of scrutiny for every single aspect of their design, compared to their male counterparts. Too much/little sexuality/femininity/violence/sexiness/dialogue/vulnerability/characterisation/etc. It's tedious. It's unfair.

If it wasn't such a minefield of offence, then maybe that'd mean more people would try.

Making GAMES is hard work. If you want a successful game you have to put in the work and take the risks. But you shouldn't imply that female characters specifically represent a big aspect of the difficulty, because ultimately they don't. So long as you write them properly

Easier said then done. Also the proper way to write them is up for debate.

That Hyena Bloke:

and keep your game from being a steaming mass of misogyny you should be fine, I haven't seen people offend easily at female leads unless the developers went out of their way to make it that way.

People complained about Fat Princess. She gets force fed magical cake, gets fatter then becomes harder to carry/rescue.

Apparently this is an insult to fat people. Although I suspect most of the people making those accusations didn't bother putting in research. But the controversy was there.

Hm, recently I've been running an experiment with myself, given the choice I have been picking to play female characters, (I play mostly RPGs) and I've noticed *Drum roll* fuck all is different. Seriously, I can't recall any moment where I've went and thought "This would be nicer if I was a guy...", turns out, people are people and the differences between gender at the core are so minute that the fact that we obsess over them so much is mind-blowing.

As a side note, several of the games I've played with female leads aren't particularly good... I can't help but wonder if this is caused by having their funding pulled.

oreso:
Art imitates life
There's a reason why most of the soldiers in modern FPSs are male; because most of the soldiers in real life are male. As are the overwhelming majority of combatants in every conflict since before recorded history.

Heck, if someone somewhere is doing something dangerous and exciting, they're probably male.

Now if every society on Earth has shared this trait, then I think it's fair to say it has some biological component. Successful societies have thrived just because women weren't willing to dive on enemy swords like men are (which is kinda obvious, a dude can father hundreds of children a year, a woman can mother maybe 1. If survival is an issue, we need more women than men).

Maybe at some point we can overcome this with society, once women start taking dangerous jobs and having adventures like some of our menfolk do, so then the idea of a female protagonist in a dangerous game might seem more reasonable to the gut instincts of the unwashed majority of gamers. Possibly. Eventually. But I'm not holding my breath.

Making women is HARD WORK
Stop making it a no-win for games designers. Female characters face ENORMOUS amounts of scrutiny for every single aspect of their design, compared to their male counterparts. Too much/little sexuality/femininity/violence/sexiness/dialogue/vulnerability/characterisation/etc. It's tedious. It's unfair.

If it wasn't such a minefield of offence, then maybe that'd mean more people would try.

Coercion is almost as bad as censorship
Complaining that you want more female characters in a game is totally fine. You're just saying what you want, after all.

However, saying that there's a moral obligation, and that we're somehow not good people if we don't have gender parity in our games, is not cool.

Games are already awesome for women
Saving anyone from a badguy's castle, princesses included, is actually a nice thing to do, so let's not demonise it unnecessarily.

And if you ever think that the gaming industry isn't doing enough to promote an image of strong capable women, just consider that with the invention of Lara Croft alone, there's been about a 1000% more tomb raiding women in games compared to female tomb raiders in real life. Ditto that (to a greater or lesser degree) for any other typical gaming profession (professional fighter, bounty hunter, soldier, etc). Games are already leading the charge on presenting the genders more equally, our so-called egalitarian society is far far behind.

Art imitates life

Which is the problem with the trend that has become far too entrenched of militarism in games. I get it that shooting is a very flexible game mechanic and the military both have a lot of guns and do a lot of shooting but there has just been too much damn focus on the military. We don't need to retell the same damn soldier's stroy over and over again.

And what makes a game or any good narrative work function is coming from the underdog. It's simple Rocky rules, it doesn't work if it looks like Rocky's opponent is a whimp that Balboa can easilly knock out and the film is nothing but a prelude to a slaughter. Far

And it's GOOD to have a female lead role in a game fighting mostly men as this makes them the underdog.

You look at the damage and health stats in games and the numbers, to spite how the lead role may be bigged up as some unstoppable badass they are very much the underdog. If they trade shot for shot, they'll never make it. Boss fights are always about the much weaker fighting the much stronger and how do they win? By the fates? By the developers making them more resistant and more powerful?

No, by what we value the most, the individual's guile and ability.

The point is victory in most games is not about attributes that can only be for men like sheer strength and toughness, being a tank, it's about having the faster and better aim than your numerous tougher opponents, it's about dodging their attacks and outflanking them. It's about everything other than being stronger and tougher.

Even paragon of toughness and power Duke Nukem or Doomguy, if you play the games without trying to avoid any hits, and take shots at the same rate and accuracy as them, you'll be lucky to make it past the first few scrub enemies on the higher difficulties.

Making women is HARD WORK

Maybe that should rather be Making women is the same, but defending them from unreasonable attacks is HARD WORK. Because that's not a problem with developers or gamer, that's a problem with trolls, haters and buffoons causing trouble when there isn't any.

Coercion is almost as bad as censorship
Which is why it's important to resist this, keep having all sorts of female protagonist and damn the censors, they'll give up as ultimately they have no real interest in the games. They just want to feel they are doing something, when you can't do anything about the awful things you hear about in the news without another black hawk down in somalia, or another so called "illegal war", at least they can have "good censorship" for games.

Games are already awesome for women

Of course, a lead character being male no more excluded a female gamer than a female lead excluded a male gamer, But it's not just women who want female protagonists in games and when it is women who want it, it isn't always because they are women. We would all like to just see a bit more variety in lead roles, not because they need them to play the games at all, but for a bit of damn variety. We've all seen how cool it is to have a male lead in action games, we haven't see enough of how cool it would be having female leads.

And there aren't any Tomb Raiders in real life. They are nothing more than local scrap metal dealers who get a tip of some cave-in and load all the contents into the back of a truck in the middle of the nigh, those the the original Tomb Raiders. And that sucks.

Tomb Raider isn't about real life, it's about finding Atlantis and finding it is full of killer mutants that explode when you shoot them.

We already live in the real world. If you want to experience war in the most realistic way possible, most armies are happy to take eager recruits, give them a gun, and stand a bad chance of getting blown apart by a concealed bomb.

WildFire15:
Outside of RPGs, there arn't many games I can think of that have female protagonists, but I've never heard people complain about that. Would Portal be substantially better if you were playing Chris instead of Chell? The first time you saw your character through a portal, I remember thinking "Oh, the character's a woman." I can't think of anything else I thought and I doubt there was anyone who threw the game away in disgust.
If anything, it seems to me Publishers are just continuing to aim at the largest demographic as they always do, which is male so they seem to think the main character has to be male in order to connect with them.

I recall the first time I ever saw gameplay of Portal I thought you controlled a robot. Looks like I was wrong. Didn't make the game any less enjoyable though, and I really enjoy Chell's character, or rather lack thereof.

My first ever play through of Mass Effect 2 (First mass effect I played) was Femshep. Went as paragon and thought she was a fucking badass and so much more awesome than Male Shep. I thought her voice actor was better anyways. Even now I play a chick instead of a dude in Planetside 2. I guess this is sexist or something itself, but I think chicks in real non bikini armor look cool and doesn't afraid of anything.

Well this escalated quickly...

Father Time:

That Hyena Bloke:

oreso:

Making women is HARD WORK
Stop making it a no-win for games designers. Female characters face ENORMOUS amounts of scrutiny for every single aspect of their design, compared to their male counterparts. Too much/little sexuality/femininity/violence/sexiness/dialogue/vulnerability/characterisation/etc. It's tedious. It's unfair.

If it wasn't such a minefield of offence, then maybe that'd mean more people would try.

Making GAMES is hard work. If you want a successful game you have to put in the work and take the risks. But you shouldn't imply that female characters specifically represent a big aspect of the difficulty, because ultimately they don't. So long as you write them properly

Easier said then done. Also the proper way to write them is up for debate.

That Hyena Bloke:

and keep your game from being a steaming mass of misogyny you should be fine, I haven't seen people offend easily at female leads unless the developers went out of their way to make it that way.

People complained about Fat Princess. She gets force fed magical cake, gets fatter then becomes harder to carry/rescue.

Apparently this is an insult to fat people. Although I suspect most of the people making those accusations didn't bother putting in research. But the controversy was there.

there is, you know, the gears of war 3 approach. dress them like their male equivalents, don't overly sexualise them, and so-on.

Admittedly, the mere inclusion of women in gears 3 did get the dudebro crowds wailing and gnashing their teeth about how those grody women and their cooties was gaying uup their precious manly game.

Colour-Scientist:
To be fair though, three is hardly a staggering number.

Three AAA all released in the same month. March has been a great month for female representation in games. Other recent AAA releases have been Sim City which doesn't have a protagonist character, Dead Space III which does have very well written male lead and Colonial Marines which I think we can all agree is best we forget ever existed.

Great episode! I will buy Remember Me just to support the developer and his unique take on gaming.

I always wonder about the supposed marketing data that gamers won't buy games with female characters on the cover, or don't identify with female characters? I've heard the argument a lot, but I have never seen any real supporting data,a nd I have long suspected that it is in truth an absolute myth. I mean really some of the biggest juggernauts in gaming sold themselves via (albeit attractive) female characters. Does anybody remember the original World of Warcraft box art? How about Everquest I and II? The original Tomb Raider was a runaway hit, not because of Lara Croft's inflated boobs, but because it was a good and new novel game with an astonishingly cool "female" protagonist. (Albeit one with some truly spine chillingly horrific death animations. I seem to recall that that was the only thing that bothered my friends and I about a female protagonist. Hearing her scream as she was killed or worse the drowning. I like to think that we would have had something psychologically wrong with us if that didn't bother us. Some minor misogyny is hard wired in for good reason. Being bothered by the death of the womenfolk is a good one.)

So once again, why is this even a controversy? (I'd also like to know where exactly they do these marketing test surveys? Baghdad?)

boots:

LiMaSaRe:

Why don't the vigilant misogyny hunters ever make actual points that show that a creators motive was to oppress women. Instead of just finding any example of male and female being acknowledged as different genders and declaring that it proves a sexist bias in the entire industry, and then throwing out these buzzwords that have entirely lost their meaning, such as "male power fantasy" or "objectifying".

Oh, I dunno, maybe because it's not constructive or helpful to play the blame game and accuse specific people of being sexists or misogynists, when most of the time they're clearly not motivated by a desire to oppress women. Maybe that's why no one ever actually says, "this game is sexist trash and its creators are evil misogynists!" And yet somehow oversensitive *ahem* gamers seem to hear this every time the word "sexism" or "gender" gets brought up and immediately launch into hyperdefensive mode to defend their precious games that weren't ever actually in danger in the first place.

Maybe - and this is another crazy idea - maybe it's possible to talk critically about the general representation of women in video games as a means for improving writing in the genre. Maybe if people stopped freaking out and stuffing their fingers in their ears at every perceived "attack" on anything they like, these conversations would actually go somewhere.

Sorry, I'm spoiling your fun. Have at that strawman, brave soldier!

I was responding to your strawman, and mocking your debate style with the opposite response. And now you are coming back with more strawman about "launch into hyperdefensive mode" and "stuffing their fingers in their ears at every perceived 'attack'." How could you be more hypocritical. HOW

kburns10:
Great episode! I will buy Remember Me just to support the developer and his unique take on gaming.

I'd send a message to the publisher too. Something along the lines of; My sexuality is not so fragile that I could be scared off from a good story and a good game just because the main playable character is a female and might initiate some form of intimacy with a male character.

Sectan:
My first ever play through of Mass Effect 2 (First mass effect I played) was Femshep. Went as paragon and thought she was a fucking badass and so much more awesome than Male Shep. I thought her voice actor was better anyways. Even now I play a chick instead of a dude in Planetside 2. I guess this is sexist or something itself, but I think chicks in real non bikini armor look cool and doesn't afraid of anything.

No, that's not sexist. There's a difference between sexism and sexuality. You can be attracted to something without demeaning it and considering it less than you. Attraction and respect is key, and you certainly respect Femshep.

That Hyena Bloke:
So long as you write them properly and keep your game from being a steaming mass of misogyny you should be fine, I haven't seen people offend easily at female leads unless the developers went out of their way to make it that way.

You seriously think developers "went out of their way" to make Tomb Raider "a steaming mass of misogyny"?

Or are you just not aware of how offended people have been?

I don't think you realise quite how disingenuous and fallacious the "criticisms" have been, here games are being criticised for having a female character not being sexual and not long ago others were being attacked for being sexual. It's a false dilemma.

Boots talks of: "maybe it's possible to talk critically about the general representation of women in video games as a means for improving writing in the genre."

Yes it's possible, Yes. But is that always done?

No.

He even repeats the obvious and repeatedly refuted falsehood about a "beauty contest" for Mass Effect 3's adverts having the players vote how FemShep could look, which had nothing to do with beauty, it was vital statistics like skin colour, eye colour and hair colour. And it was appropriate as the decision to have femshep in advertising was to reflect how many player chose Shepard to be female, their choice could also follow through in her identifiable appearance.

This is just an example of how this is not criticism and it's not to improve anything, this is to contrive and concoct mal-intent where there is none, none at all.

We used to only have to deal with such tabloid assessments on places like Fox News, now they're here on the forums.

faefrost:
The original Tomb Raider was a runaway hit, not because of Lara Croft's inflated boobs, but because it was a good and new novel game with an astonishingly cool "female" protagonist.

And one can prove this.

Angel of Darkness had far more realistic Lara Croft, yet a terrible compromise in gameplay. The result was that sales tanked.

But as to "games with women on front covers don't sell" I fear that is a pure correlation statistics that is offset by how a few extremely popular games like Call of Duty do well and have men on the front covers skew that statistic. And it is not BECAUSE there are women on the cover. Marketing is not a peer reviewed science, it's may consume the products of scientific research but there is no rigour in application nor selection.

cyvaris:
The Samus fanservice pisses me off to no end. Really, if we have to take her out of her power-armour can we leave her in "normal" clothing? No. Why? Because bullshit reasons about "sexy".

I understand the reasoning, and it disappoints me too that they've moved even further in that direction, but it's not a new thing by any means.

If you go back to Super Metroid, the completion bonuses all show Samus taking off her suit. If you get no bonus, you just get a shot of her in full suit, the smallest bonus she takes off the helmet, and the full bonus has her remove the whole suit.

That in itself raises a few questions, but what's underneath that suit? Why, underwear of course.
Same thing when she dies and her suit shatters.

Now, admittedly, that makes sense if you think about it, but I doubt that the reasons for her appearing that way are that innocent.

The Zero-suit is a more recent invention, but the seeds of this tendency towards fan-service have been visible for a very long time...

Ugh, more of this tired subject. Contrary to popular belief, this isn't the most important thing in the world. As I said last time this issue came up regarding this very game. I'm glad they stuck to their guns. But what people call misogyny and sexism is just the the product of focus group testing. I don't think there is a bigger conspiracy out there that demands males lead the way. I don't mind playing as either, I am without preference.

DVS BSTrD:
Okay, fuck it!
I always play as a male in character creation RPGs because I like projecting myself into a character.
Next time though, I'm gunna try playing as a woman. MY SENSE OF SELF CAN TAKE IT!

Jim, call me! <3

An RPG where you can choose is one thing, I also play as male since thats what I am for the same reason. However for those story games where your given a character like in a movie with his/her own story there really needs to be more women. And I mean proper women characters not just sex objects.

The funny thing about the whole Bioshock coverart is that I don't get where their getting the crap that men on the box sell more, personally the box art has actually lost a sale from me, however its only now that enough info is coming out showing its not just another boring 'dude bro' game that I'm thinking of purchasing it.

Personally I take what the publishers say about women in games and what they think I want in a game as a bloody insult, I'm not some sexist anti-social pig that only wants to play as muscular men that gork at sexy women. I want to play good games with stories I can get immersed with, regardless of who the player character is.

The video was great and I'm happy too see that the conversation has remained pretty civil.

I'm somewhat surprised how controversial the whole 'ME3 beauty contest' remark seems to be though. To me it definitely seemed like a beauty contest because
a) most of the comments left on the facebook poll were about the hotness/prettiness of the designs
b) all the femshep designs look considerably younger and fresher than sheploo

So the community (at least on facebook) seemed to view it as a beauty contest and all the designs made femshep look young and pretty (vs. the older and rugged sheploo). So I'm not sure why calling the poll a 'beauty contest' would be that far off. To be clear, I understand why some people appreciate the whole 'Bioware wanted to hear the fans' aspect of it and I didn't think it was a huge issue (but I did roll my eyes when I read about it).

CrystalShadow:

cyvaris:
The Samus fanservice pisses me off to no end. Really, if we have to take her out of her power-armour can we leave her in "normal" clothing? No. Why? Because bullshit reasons about "sexy".

I understand the reasoning, and it disappoints me too that they've moved even further in that direction, but it's not a new thing by any means.

If you go back to Super Metroid, the completion bonuses all show Samus taking off her suit. If you get no bonus, you just get a shot of her in full suit, the smallest bonus she takes off the helmet, and the full bonus has her remove the whole suit.

That in itself raises a few questions, but what's underneath that suit? Why, underwear of course.
Same thing when she dies and her suit shatters.

Now, admittedly, that makes sense if you think about it, but I doubt that the reasons for her appearing that way are that innocent.

The Zero-suit is a more recent invention, but the seeds of this tendency towards fan-service have been visible for a very long time...

I never really saw the ZS as fan service till Other M. Sure it's formfitting but not until Brawl did she even have Boob socks

And what doesn't make sense about a second layer of protection in a suit of armour? That's how I've always saw it if anything if you think about it in Sci-fi terms it could be the way her body connects to the armour.
Every time I hear the armour for the suits existence it never made sense to me. However what the suit has become over the years i do get the grievances, i mean heels? Really? Huh.

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