Jimquisition: The Creepy Cull of Female Protagonists

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maninahat:

Reading around, this is what the artist (Torukun) had allegedly said:

"[sic] There is always a huge complain from Asian gamers whenever Western developers design Asian female characters..." As Torokun continues, this is mainly because many Westerners' definition of what is considered as "Asian" beauty is very different from what Asians consider beautiful." [taken from Kotaku]

There are a couple of ambiguous grammatical errors, but if that is what the artist said, then I don't think there was any assumptions, loaded statements or misrepresentations. Japanese commentators had a lot to say too.

That's not an established fact that's just what a one or a few people claim.

He cannot speak for all Westerners nor all Asians. Even if he can recognise a trend, he cannot so baselessly claim as a fact that it is for such a loaded thing as beauty.

And by the way, this is not criticism art for it's artistic worth, but literally for it's conformity. This is the kind of shit that will come round to bite video games in the ass... if it's just about conforming to pressures or pandering to majority prejudices, then it's devalued as an art form and loses the few protections is has had from censors. That protection being that it's on the grounds of it being artistic expression.

Kopikatsu:
Oooooor it could just be the fact that the demand for games with such protagonists isn't as high as everyone would like to believe (confirmation bias) and the market just can't support those kinds of characters right now?

Why is that not an option?

Even Devil May Cry outsold Bayonetta by over 30%, and DMC was an exclusive while Bayonetta was multi platform.

Not exactly right.

DMC was released in 2013 on three platforms and it was a functional release on each platform. It was also highly publicised, to spite 4chan's bitching about Dante being different that was a case of "no such thing as bad publicity". By 2013, 148 million xbox 360 and PS3 had been consoles sold.

Bayonetta was released in early 2010 on Xbox 360 and PS3, but the PS3 release was compromised by an incredibly shoddy port that had unplayable level of bugginess and everyone knew this and PS3 owners avoided it. Also back in early 2010 only 69 million PS3 and Xbox 360 consoles had been sold

Still, Bayonetta sold 1.92 million copies, DMC has sold only 0.67 million.

If you meant the first Devil May Cry on PS2, well that was back when games were $45-50, too much has changed for that to be a remotely fair comparison.

Even if what you said was true... a mere 30% better with ALL the other differences to be considered, that's not enough to compeltley write of female leads in video games.

Kopikatsu:

Tomb Raider has currently sold significantly less than MoH: Warfighter (A series which, may I remind you, is considered to have done so horrifically badly that it straight up killed the IP as well as receiving super awful scores from user and critic reviews alike)

I said it was a successful game, not the most successful game. Also, where are you getting this information from? MoH: Warfighter sold only 300,000 copies in its first week. Tomb Raider sold 1 million within 48 hours.

and Portal 2 doesn't count. How can it? Chell isn't a character. She's barely a plot device. You could stick a pair of tits to a tree branch and nobody could even tell the difference. Chell's not an example of a female character for the same reason that Gordon Freeman isn't an example of a male character.

By your definition, you've discounted most FPS protagonists. We know what Chell looks like, we have hints towards her past, we understand that she is notoriously tenacious, we know she has a grievous past relationship with the antagonist, GLaDOS. She is definitely a character, and so is Gordon Freeman...I don't see how they couldn't be. They may not be deep characters, but then neither is Mario.

Also, the point that people keep missing when I make these comparisons...DMC didn't have a fanbase when it was just DMC. How could it? It was a brand new IP, too. The difference is that it sold, and Bayonetta didn't (despite Bayonetta being the superior game, if only because it's about seven years newer than DMC is). And this is just my opinion talking, but I think Platinum makes much better action games than Capcom does as a whole.

Oh, you're talking about the original DMC, not the reboot. Sorry. Where are you getting your figures from? I'm having trouble finding figures to match (Bayonetta reports 1.35 million sales after its first year, the original DMC reports 2-3 million sales up to 2009).

maninahat:
By your definition, you've discounted most FPS protagonists. We know what Chell looks like, we have hints towards her past, we understand that she is notoriously tenacious, we know she has a grievous past relationship with the antagonist, GLaDOS. She is definitely a character, and so is Gordon Freeman...I don't see how they couldn't be. They may not be deep characters, but then neither is Mario.

I'm gonna guess here, but I think the argument being made is that Chell being female was almost seen as an after thought. We get the big reveal a-la Metroid style at the end of the game, and even in the second one, the box cover, and most of the promotional material featured in-game footage (where you don't see her), or the robots in co-op.

I'd say that Gordon is more of a 'character' insomuch that he's featured on box art, and an effort is made in ads to show him as the lead.

But, with few exceptions, the FPS genre doesn't bother with characters so much as it does avatars (if you follow my reasoning). It's one of the reasons why an argument can be made that more playable female classes should happen, since the flimsy argument of romance subplots is nonexistent because, for the most part, you're just a floating gun, screaming about incoming grenades.

Technicka:
snip

You seem to have misrepresented what I said up there in an attempt to discredit me.

What @erttheking said about MLK is still valid. Yes there were people like Malcolm X that fought for civil rights, but he isn't celebrated like MLK or Rosa Parks (the polite dissenters), because he was hateful, calling white people "the devil" and preaching black supremacy. Things that more than likely drove more than a few level headed white people away from supporting the civil rights movement, and damaged the progress of the movement overall by giving ammo to the hateful opposition.

wolfwood_is_here:

Treblaine:
...snip...Just because people have a tendency to act irrationally doesn't mean such irrationality should be indulged...snip...

Treblaine:
...snip...I don't give a damn if gaming is 100% +/-0.0000% males that's no reason to exclude depiction of women from video games, even from lead roles...snip...

Video games are entertainment. Businesses are interested in making money, so if they make more money with male leads, it is irrational to expect them to include female leads if the folks buying the games don't find them entertaining.

Publishers aren't interested in being the "starving artist" so they can remain true to some ideological vision. They make what they believe will make money. Trying to force publishers to make things because of ideologies is no different than the oppression that faiths are accused of when it comes to sexuality and/or sensuality. Censorship is censorship, and we either will accept it for any reason, or reject it for all reasons.

This same reason the faiths have lost their voice and influence on culture is the same reason that these folks are losing their voice and finding it harder to be taken seriously - they're focusing on the wrong problem but are being extremely vocal and polarizing about it regardless. Ideologies aren't sufficient by themselves to justify action where few issues are as simple as a single *ism.

Publishers are at best a lagging indicator of the market as a whole. They don't care about what might do well tomorrow, they want to do what worked well yesterday to minimize risks today. We accuse them of this regularly when they recycle the same crap and throw a new number on it, or homogenize the experience to market to a wider audience. Why then is it reasonable to expect people who are stuck looking at yesterday to make tomorrow better?

The permanent solution is to change what people want, because we aren't the ones enslaved to profits. We're the ones in control of what we spend our money on. It's easy to blame someone else for a problem, and much harder to own the fact that we're the issue. Businesses just want to make money and don't care about ideologies. Add to that with how much information we have on people's spending habits, we should be less and less skeptical of the statistics they trot out explaining how our mouths and our wallets aren't sending the same message.

There was a time when horse whips were a much bigger industry, but it wasn't the horse whip makers that ushered in the new era of automobiles. If anything, industry has shown that given the choice, it would rather not innovate and just keep making the same product and sell it for the same price forever, or even better to sell it for more each time around. Business just want to make money, and a lot of folks are intentionally failing Hanlon's Razor because they're embarrassed that their fellow humans can be so easily exploited.

This will hurt the industry when it finds itself subject to the censors.

If making such a tiny amount more money in the short term from a minority of egotistical sexists... if that is all that matters above artistic integrity then that so devalues video games as expressive form of art that they are liable to lose the protection they have end up restricted like hardcore pornography. Don't think it could happen? Look at Germany's censorship laws on video games.

And don't exaggerate that they will become starving artists, we are talking about the smallest effect on maximum sales by pandering to a small proportion of a majority who egotistically refuse to have anything other than a straight white male in the lead role. And you don't see the result of such staleness can have in the long term.

Trying to make games just for the money and you end up where EA is!

Censorship is censorship, and we either will accept it for any reason, or reject it for all reasons.

The problem is you seem to ignorantly assume that a female lead - alone - will, regardless of all else, so cripple a game's possibility of success that it will bankrupt everyone involved.

You seriously think that Bioshock Infinite would have tanked like Duke Nukem if it had a "Becky DeWitt" as the lead role rather than a dude?!?

Publishers are at best a lagging indicator of the market as a whole.

No. At best they are failed hedge-fund fiddlers, who mostly know nothing about creating games and are only in it to make money. They don't know the risks as they have no idea what they are dealing with.

The permanent solution is to change what people want

How about people stop claiming to speak for everyone else. There are no grounds to say that a female lead alone will destroy a game's chance at success.

See if a game with a macho male protagonist fails, it's for any reason other than his gender.

But if a series with a female protagonist after years of success fails, then suddenly it's the fault of the lead role being a women. This does not make sense.

Games don't need female roles for a minority of female gamers, they deserve female roles for all gamers.

This isn't about ideologies, this is because female characters could and would make good leads for games, including action games.

Depiction of women has not gone the way of the buggywhip, how incredibly out of touch are you!?!?!

IamLEAM1983:
Being a man and preferring to play as one doesn't necessarily bill you as a xenophobe

We aren't talking about preference, we are talking about extreme exclusion... that it doesn't matter how good or amazing a game is, the idea is that a female lead is worse than "not preferable" but "actively avoided". To the point where publishers decree developers categorically cannot have a female lead.

THAT is the problem. The idea that a game like Bioshock Infinite would be irrevocably doomed by having a "Becky DeWitt" rather than "Booker DeWitt" as the lead role.

That's the lie the industry is indulging with.

Games aren't being decided on their inherent artistic merit, and yes, being entertaining is that. It's being decided by out of touch publishers who are trying to design games by numbers. Not scientific numbers, voodoo statistics of BS correlations and blatant uncritical bias.

Be honest, a great game like Bioshock Infinite... would a female lead really have ruined that game?

Jim identifies a problem: lack of females protagonists in video games.
Jim identifies a possible cause: publishers dislike female protagonists because they don't sell well.
Jim then assumes that the problem is entirely caused by sexism without considering any other causes. As this reasoning process is deeply flawed his conclusion is high likely to be wrong.

Let's look at a more likely reason. In games such as Dragon Age, Mass Effect, and Skyrim the player is free to choose the gender of their character, which has no influence on the story. Nevertheless over 80% of their players choose male characters. So it's no surprise that publishers prefer male protagonists when the players freely choose to play them.

Regarding male romantic interests for female protagonist it would be interesting to make a game with a female protagonist, then give the player the option of romancing several guys or not. If most players didn't romance anyone then you've found the reason why male love interests for female protagonist are bad for games.

Rombor:
Personally, I don't see the logic in why box art or any other video game art featuring girls would be unappealing to gamers. I'd say having a female on the front of the game I'd buy would not matter at all to me, or if it did, it would make me want it more. In my opinion, females on the front of games boxes should be a wise marketing tool. Do note this applies no matter their clothing.

I don't see the logic of putting pictures of a mountain spring on bottles of water but as long as this pictures increases sales companies are going to put these pictures on their bottles. Similarly if test audiences prefer a box art with a man on it then that's what's going to be on the front cover.

Oh boy, sex in games again...

- Box Art? The more females the better. No skimpy outfits please, least you insult our intelligence with your boob-bait.

- Female protagonists? The more the better. I will always rather see a woman for a few gaming hours than stare at some
douche. Must be my old Tombraider memories...

- Kissing and sex with males for said women? Not so much... I don't identify with the characters, so it's not as if I'm suddenly gay. No, I'm as straight AND JEALOUS as OJ Simpson and I will not be able to care about my main character if she goes ass flailing in the game. Sorry miss Shepard, no sex for you... It's actually sickening trying to play that game without seeing sexual freaks in every dialogue line to which you need to reply as a BIATCH! I ended up having all females in my crew, just to keep them hormones off my ass.

- Kissing and sex in games in general? Whyyyyy?! Why do we need anything more than what we have in Half Life 2, Dishonored or Bioshock? You want porn, go watch porn... I really hate romance being forced as the "optional" side quest in games like Mass Effect or Witcher. Most games are over in less than 24 real hours and usually represent no more than 2-3 weeks of virtual world time. Having romance while also saving the Planet in such a short time seems just forced, unnecessary, an insulting "Hey, you wanker! Look: BOOBS!" marketing tactic. I don't recall imagining nasty parties in Left4Dead, just because there was a female in the middle of that 3-guy-sandwich (with a redneck AND a black guy... if you get my drift).

So that's your answer Jim, leave sex and romance out of games, for both males and females. There are just a few games that DO have this problem and it's because of them that you can't put a female on a box anymore lest virgin wankers suddenly feel the taste of Le Vieux Coq!

Church185:

Technicka:
snip

You seem to have misrepresented what I said up there in an attempt to discredit me.

What @erttheking said about MLK is still valid. Yes there were people like Malcolm X that fought for civil rights, but he isn't celebrated like MLK or Rosa Parks (the polite dissenters), because he was hateful, calling white people "the devil" and preaching black supremacy. Things that more than likely drove more than a few level headed white people away from supporting the civil rights movement, and damaged the progress of the movement overall by giving ammo to the hateful opposition.

Because a predominantly white controlled media would so totally teach kids (and young minorities at that) about a man that argued a refusal to be passive in the face of hate. Malcom X abdicated that black people be willing, and able, to protect themselves from racism. He respected MLK Jr. And MLK Jr, returned that respect. MLK Jr acknowledge that their philosophies often would clash, but he saw what Malcolm was doing was equally as important.

The two of them were Good Cop Bad Cop on a massive scale. MLK Jr, coaxed some people to the side of equality with soft words and open arms. Malcom X chose to just tell them to their faces that they were dirtbags.

Like I said. The people who are going to stop confronting inequality in the world because a marginalized person insulted them and the system that has kept a boot on their throat, then they aren't really about equality. They just want their guilt pacified. And why in the hell would I want someone like that fighting for my rights?

Technicka:

Church185:

Technicka:
snip

You seem to have misrepresented what I said up there in an attempt to discredit me.

What @erttheking said about MLK is still valid. Yes there were people like Malcolm X that fought for civil rights, but he isn't celebrated like MLK or Rosa Parks (the polite dissenters), because he was hateful, calling white people "the devil" and preaching black supremacy. Things that more than likely drove more than a few level headed white people away from supporting the civil rights movement, and damaged the progress of the movement overall by giving ammo to the hateful opposition.

Because a predominantly white controlled media would so totally teach kids (and young minorities at that) about a man that abdicated a refusal to be passive. Malcom X abdicated that black people be willing, and able, to protect themselves from racism. He respected MLK Jr. And MLK Jr, returned that respect. MLK Jr acknowledge that their philosophies often would clash, but he saw what Malcolm was doing was equally as important.

The two of them were Good Cop Bad Cop on a massive scale. MLK Jr, coaxed some people to the side of equality with soft words and open arms. Malcom X chose to just tell them to their faces that they were dirtbags.

Like I said. The people who are going to stop confronting inequality in the world because a marginalized person insulted them and the system that has kept a boot on their throat, then they aren't really about equality. They just want their guilt pacified. And why in the hell would a want someone like that fighting for my rights?

Because in this particular instance it isn't about anyone's rights. The businesses building these games have a right to be able to target certain demographics to make money. They will only look at how much money that they can return on an investment, and in that case numbers matter for a lot. Women trying to fight this and get better representation are a very small portion of their audience at this point. If we want to make real progress towards excellent video game storytelling, it is going to need to be a joint effort, and you're going to need as many allies as you can win over. Disenfranchised groups rallying may work for the government, who will eventually bend to morality, but companies aren't bound to that. They don't have a responsibility to make everything right. They just want to keep milking the guys who don't understand there is a problem.

Treblaine:
This will hurt the industry when it finds itself subject to the censors.

If making such a tiny amount more money in the short term from a minority of egotistical sexists... if that is all that matters above artistic integrity then that so devalues video games as expressive form of art that they are liable to lose the protection they have end up restricted like hardcore pornography. Don't think it could happen? Look at Germany's censorship laws on video games.

And don't exaggerate that they will become starving artists, we are talking about the smallest effect on maximum sales by pandering to a small proportion of a majority who egotistically refuse to have anything other than a straight white male in the lead role. And you don't see the result of such staleness can have in the long term.

Your claims are devoid of any reason. Even if some games pander to men they will never be treated like hardcore pornography because they're not porn and never will be. Also thanks to the Internet it's easier than ever to buy hardcore porn, so even if it is restricted it won't prevent anyone buying it.

Also all countries have different censorship rules. So just because Germany censors blood in games, while allowing porn to be broadcast 24 hours a day, doesn't mean every other country will do the same thing.

The problem is you seem to ignorantly assume that a female lead - alone - will, regardless of all else, so cripple a game's possibility of success that it will bankrupt everyone involved.

You seriously think that Bioshock Infinite would have tanked like Duke Nukem if it had a "Becky DeWitt" as the lead role rather than a dude?!?

Making up strawmen only shows you lack a real argument. No one is saying Bioshock Infinite would have tanked if the protagonist was female, just that it would have sold fewer copies.

You seem to have forgotten that people mainly judge video games based on the box art and occasionally trailers; so if they don't like what they see they won't buy this game and will look for something else. So anything that makes the game look less appealing will lead to a loss of sales, especially among casuals.

Yes I will admit that some people buy games based on reviews but you can't rely on reviews for games that haven't been released yet.

Publishers are at best a lagging indicator of the market as a whole.

No. At best they are failed hedge-fund fiddlers, who mostly know nothing about creating games and are only in it to make money. They don't know the risks as they have no idea what they are dealing with.

There are no grounds to say that a female lead alone will destroy a game's chance at success.

That's a strawman argument. People are claims that it will reduce sales, not cause the game to bomb.

But if a series with a female protagonist after years of success fails, then suddenly it's the fault of the lead role being a women. This does not make sense.

Do you have any examples to back up this claim.

Games don't need female roles for a minority of female gamers, they deserve female roles for all gamers.

Why? If there's no demand for female roles then why would anyone makes games with them.

This isn't about ideologies, this is because female characters could and would make good leads for games, including action games.

Not according to the people who buy these games. They prefer male roles.

I guess I've never given it much thought, because in games with pre-defined protagonists, I really couldn't care less what their gender is. But when I'm given a creator for my character I always try to make "me". So *gets the fire suit on* if I had played Mass Effect (hey,hey, cool down, it's on my list to play before I retire my 360..) I would have had a male Shep. Only time I think I create female chars in games is if I'm on a second playthrough and it doesn't matter (though really does gender matter at all in Elder Scroll titles? :p), or I'm creating characters in say Soul Calibur (/Blade/Edge) and you're damn skippy I'll plan on kicking your ass with the little goth made with tatas as big as her sword (and in Seigfrieds style!).

Technicka:
People had valid claims against Bayonetta because she fell into the trope of the oversexed vixen.

It's a trope. Creative works are made of tropes like buildings are made of building material. They are put together in different ways to make different things, but you can't complain any are used at all.

There are far too few depiction of women at all in gaming for any trope to even get to the level of being a cliché... probably because tropes are being treated like they are as bad as clichés.

And there is nothing sexist about depiction of a sexy and sexual woman, it doesn't propagate stereotypes any more than it tricks people into believing they can drive a motorcycle straight up a collapsing clocktower. It's a completely unreal game.

Mahoshonen:
I remember seeing a bit of news from Bioware saying that 85% of ME and ME2 players choseto play a male character, based on their own datamining. Sounds like it might be an argument that folks want male characters by wide majority, right? But the info didn't take into account two things. One, the default character choice was male in both cases. More importantly, all of the promotional material, box art, and screenshots showed a male Shepard. So you have to wonder: maybe there was a wide preference for male Shepard because the audience that would have selected a female character took a quick look at the marketing material and written the game off as another SPESS MAHREEEN brofest.

Even if that was the preference, the issue is not preference.

The issue is exclusion of the alternative.

Just because a certain percentage prefer one thing doesn't mean they despise and will deprive themselves of good things to avoid the alternative. Like refuse to play a really good game unless the lead role is male.

So far it seems like a baseless myth that male gamers actively avoid games with female leads to the point of critically sabotaging their sales to such an extent that categorically games CANNOT have female leads. It wouldn't be the first time publishers and their ignorant paint-by-numbers approach as backfired monumentally.

Yet another gender-problems video.

Yet another 16-page thread.

I wonder if the video game industry and community have a problem with gender.

uanime5:
Let's look at a more likely reason. In games such as Dragon Age, Mass Effect, and Skyrim the player is free to choose the gender of their character, which has no influence on the story. Nevertheless over 80% of their players choose male characters.

Huh??? where do you get your numbers, your personal preferences doesn't make the 80% of the payer base, heck i havent played once with a male shep o a male gray warden and i freaking played both games a lot......

This is ridiculuous, I really really reaallly reaaaaaaallt want to hope we the gamers aren't thinking this way and that the whole thing is a missconception from the developers/publishers/whatever in the industry, i want to believe that most gamers will buy a game cause it's good, not because the main character is male or female.

Drauger:
Huh??? where do you get your numbers, your personal preferences doesn't make the 80% of the payer base, heck i havent played once with a male shep o a male gray warden and i freaking played both games a lot.....

18% of Mass Effect players chose to play as female.
And the ratio hasn't changed in Mass Effect 3, despite all the promotional stuff done with female Sheperd, throwing her in many adverts/posters and even fully rendering her for the CG trailer.

Make what you want out of that.

itsthesheppy:
Yet another gender-problems video.

Yet another 16-page thread.

I wonder if the video game industry and community have a problem with gender.

It's the hot topic of recent times, ripe for the media spotlight due to all the "controversy", juicy for massive forum rave-fests because it's such a touchy topic for so many people...really, what else was expected?

Treblaine:
Snippy Snip

Just because the main character is female doesn't automatically make her somehow unproblematic. And a person that finds parts of her character/the game torubling can still enjoy the game. You're playing the the argument that if it's female it's inherently a good thing, and should be exempt from criticism. And that's just a no good, very bad way, to approach it. The people that had issues with Bayonetta were thrilled to see a game with a female lead, they just had issue with how much it catered to the male gaze in an industry that already does enough of that. It reinforced the idea that a woman is only empowered if she's sexual. It's still limiting in offering a robust number of different character types outside of fap-bait. When the only way a woman can be seen as awesome is when she's DTF, how is that any different than a game like Duke Nukem where women are there simply to be groped? it still plays on that mentality. And is a valid criticism of the game. Bayonetta was a good attempt, but it still catered towards what men think is how a woman behaves when she's powerful (and that's ignoring the storyline which left a big question of whether the Bayonetta we played through as was how she truly was since, y'know, amnesia). And there was no contrast with the other female character sin the game. Even with goofball Dante you had the counterpoint of Virgil being painfully serious.

BUT! Because the game was so over the top, there were those that felt that it was part of the charm. Bright colours, a crazy soundtrack, ridiculous moveset, wtf boss battles. It was a crazy ride from start to finish.

So if a person doesn't find offense to the game because of that, they aren't wrong either. because, on it's own, bayonetta is relatively harmless. However, in an industry that already promotes women as sexual things, how was it really gorundbreaking? When we've got Laura Crofts and DoA girls, and Zero Suit Samus, and the ladies of MK...how was she really doing anything different for women being leads in games?

(Let me be clear: I have the game and love it. I think it's good phone, and I get great joy out of the crazy finishers done to the stylings of Fly Me to the Moon. But I'm not going to kid myself and think that I should be grateful for this crumb of an offering when it come to female protagonists)

uanime5:
Removed for space

They are based in reason because of precisely the example I gave, violent games in Germany ARE treated like pornography. Advertisement is forbidden, even displaying them on store shelves. You need a government issued ID to prove you are over 18 to even look at the games and even then they are subject to extreme levels of censorship.

No it's not easy to "buy" hardcore porn, it's easy to get it for free. The point is porn is so restricted there is no money in it. If games like Bioshock Infinite were treated like they are in Germany in America... then they simply wouldn't get made.

Yes they are, the publisher was explicit that under absolutely no circumstances could there be a female hero, he was sure it would always tank.

That's nonsense, people do NOT "mainly" judge games on their box art.

It's not a straw man because the objection was based on the presumption of a SIGNIFICANT loss in sales, to the point of it bombing, being unable to turn a profit.

"But if a series with a female protagonist after years of success fails, then suddenly it's the fault of the lead role being a women."

Examples being the reaction to Tomb Raider Angel of Darkness and how conspicuous failure like Duke Nukem Forever were not laid on the lead role being male.

There is a demand for female roles. Consider demands other than your own.

You cannot confer from a preference for male roles with an active exclusion of female roles.

I don't think the Bioshock box art looks good, too simple and it would have definitely benefited from having the girl on the front.

I don't know about you guys, but when I'm playing a girl character she's usually a lesbian. I'm not sure if that means anything, I just think it means I'm not attracted to males and I'm not going as far enough to make my female characters straight.

I can't give a shit about anything besides quality in video games. I imagine the only people this sort of stuff applies to are the people who do no research and judge a book by its cover, AND rather badly apparently. Some dude stoically standing with a gun shows "run-of-the-mill" not "Game of the Year."

I don't know the numbers, but I hope that population is relatively low. And if so, publishers are doing a horrible job. its like they are against making money.

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

Whenever I used to play rpgs I would always choose a black male because I figured that not many people would think of playing that

I think there really should be more female protagonists I don't always enjoy playing a muscle bound character I mean I am fine with it but I want variety stagnation really just sucks after awhile

Danny Ocean:
I think it'd be really interesting to play a female character written by a female writer (who isn't trying to exaggerate or highlight an issue). It's so hard to get the genuine female perspective on so many things.

I mean almost everyone will tell you they'd like to be the opposite gender for a day just out of curiosity. Surely a game would be the ideal way to do that?

Mirror's Edge has a female lead character, Faith, and the main writer was Rhianna Pratchett, whose father you probably know of. The game doesn't have a great story by any means, but it still fits your description.

Darthbawls77:
Im a 27 straight male thats been playing video games since I was 2 and I switch between male and female characters all the time and could care less what sex they are. When they say males only play males they must be talking for themselves cause even with my other male friends who game this has never been a topic because we never felt it needed to be. I think people these days are too sensitive and need to calm down for real.

Yeah, I've seen a number of males play as females all the time. If given a choice I like to pick an avatar that resembles me but if not I don't really care.

I think the main opposition to this one was that she was a girl as much as that she has a relationship in the game. So the question takes it a step further. If you role play as a girl are you ok with your character getting some action from a guy? As I said earlier, I'd posit that guys spent all of the early Tomb Raider franchize mentally undressing Lara and a sex scene would have just been an opportunity to see her undress moreso than insult them in some way where their avatar is doing something that they wouldn't.

Technicka:

Treblaine:
Snippy Snip

Just because the main character is female doesn't automatically make her somehow unproblematic.

Could do without the double negatives.

And a person that finds parts of her character/the game troubling can still enjoy the game. You're playing the the argument that if it's female it's inherently a good thing, and should be exempt from criticism.

No I'm not.

And that's just a no good, very bad way, to approach it. The people that had issues with Bayonetta were thrilled to see a game with a female lead, they just had issue with how much it catered to the male gaze in an industry that already does enough of that.

The last part doesn't make sense, such an absence of women in gaming as all precludes

And what's the problem with something that appeals to straight men and lesbians? Actually what is the damn problem. It doesn't exclude anyone else any more than Vamp excludes non-gay-men from Metal Gear Solid 2 + 4

Violent shooters are's specifically for men, there is no basis to that, it's a spurious myth that violent entertainment is only or overwhelmingly appealing to males.

It reinforced the idea that a woman is only empowered if she's sexual.

No it doesn't, a single game doesn't do that.

It's still limiting in offering a robust number of different character types outside of fap-bait.

No one would be crazy enough to fap/schlick to Bayonetta gameplay footage.

When the only way a woman can be seen as awesome is when she's DTF, how is that any different than a game like Duke Nukem where women are there simply to be groped?

Bayonetta isn't only way women can be depicted as awesome in video games and you know that. It's just one depiction. And she if she was "DTF" as Jersey Shore puts it, it's because it's what she wants, it's her agency.

it still plays on that mentality. And is a valid criticism of the game. Bayonetta was a good attempt, but it still catered towards what men think is how a woman behaves when she's powerful

That's you making assumptions about men and ignoring lesbians (and of course gay men), not a criticism of the game from your own perspective. I want YOUR opinion, not your assumptions on what other people's opinion might be. (straight) Men can say for themselves what they conclude from playing such games.

(and that's ignoring the storyline which left a big question of whether the Bayonetta we played through as was how she truly was since, y'know, amnesia). And there was no contrast with the other female character sin the game. Even with goofball Dante you had the counterpoint of Virgil being painfully serious.

So what. The developer didn't do a carbon copy of their previous games. What does that observation add? I don't think the writing can be summarised so simply.

BUT! Because the game was so over the top, there were those that felt that it was part of the charm. Bright colours, a crazy soundtrack, ridiculous moveset, wtf boss battles. It was a crazy ride from start to finish.

So if a person doesn't find offense to the game because of that, they aren't wrong either. because, on it's own, bayonetta is relatively harmless. However, in an industry that already promotes women as sexual things, how was it really gorundbreaking? When we've got Laura Crofts and DoA girls, and Zero Suit Samus, and the ladies of MK...how was she really doing anything different for women being leads in games?

Are YOU offended by the game?

It's quite clear the problem with the industry is it doesn't promote women at all, and why is it that developers are avoiding them like the plague?

(Let me be clear: I have the game and love it. I think it's good phone, and I get great joy out of the crazy finishers done to the stylings of Fly Me to the Moon. But I'm not going to kid myself and think that I should be grateful for this crumb of an offering when it come to female protagonists)

No one is expecting you to be grateful for this depiction... we just don't want one of the few female depictions in recent years getting shot down again because it isn't ground-breaking because the message that developers are getting is they get so much flak for having a female doing anything that they just shouldn't bother, and should just make another cover based harrowing war shooter with a cast entirely of exploitative male clichés.

Because when it's trash with males they can at least have fun with that.

Rihanna Pratchett (writer of Tomb Raider 2013) noted this, no one wants to discuss what a negative influence characters like Nathan Drake are on males, if these is anything wrong with him then it's a problem with that character, not the entire industry. Even if the possibly negative thing is being done by almost every other male lead.

Treblaine:
They are based in reason because of precisely the example I gave, violent games in Germany ARE treated like pornography. Advertisement is forbidden, even displaying them on store shelves. You need a government issued ID to prove you are over 18 to even look at the games and even then they are subject to extreme levels of censorship.

Pornography is very easy to buy in Germany so it's clear that they're not treating violent games and movies like porn. So just because it's hard to buy violent games in Germany doesn't mean they'll every ban non-violent games.

Also in most of Europe Government IDs are the normal way to prove your age, they're not some special thing just for games.

No it's not easy to "buy" hardcore porn, it's easy to get it for free. The point is porn is so restricted there is no money in it.

Thanks to Amazon, eBay, and clips4sale it's very easy to buy hardcore porn.

Porn has recently become less profitable because of competition from amateurs, not because it's hard to buy. Thanks to the Internet porn is now easier to buy than it ever has been.

Your claims that porn is restricted and unprofitable is false. Just because in the USA it's harder to sell porn than Disney movies doesn't mean that that there's no money in porn. Playboy has shown for decades just how profitable it is.

If games like Bioshock Infinite were treated like they are in Germany in America... then they simply wouldn't get made.

I looked up Bioshock on the German version of Amazon and the first entry is the uncut version. So would you kindly explain exactly how it is hard to purchase in Germany.

http://www.amazon.de/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?__mk_de_DE=%C3%85M%C3%85Z%C3%95%C3%91&url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=bioshock&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Abioshock

Also even if a law was passed that prevented Bioshock containing any violence a similar game would still be made. The only difference would be that you would shoot robots rather than people.

That's nonsense, people do NOT "mainly" judge games on their box art.

So how exactly do you judge a game that hasn't been released and doesn't have a demo? The only way is by the box art and trailers. Seriously if you go into a game store and pick up a game the only thing you can judge it by is the box art, which is why companies try to make it as appealing as possible.

I notice you didn't comment on my reasons why casuals are unlikely to read reviews.

It's not a straw man because the objection was based on the presumption of a SIGNIFICANT loss in sales, to the point of it bombing, being unable to turn a profit.

Care to provide a source to back up your claim that it a female protagonist would cause a game to bomb, rather than just be less profitable. If it's from a company that has only has a thin profit margin try to guess why they won't do anything that might lose money.

There is a demand for female roles. Consider demands other than your own.

Who exactly is demanding these female roles? The 18% of people who chose to have female Shepard in Mass Effect? Why should their demands be given more weight than the demands of 78% of players?

You cannot confer from a preference for male roles with an active exclusion of female roles.

I can when the player are actively choosing male characters, rather than female characters.

Treblaine:
snip for length

The industry is inundated with different type of male leads. There's something for everyone. Women aren't given the same opportunities. Our heroes are always sexy and ready to have sex. We don't get unattractive fighters (GoW), or goofballs (classic!Dante), or bitter assholes (new!Dante)or douchebags (Nate Drake) or average joes (Alan Wake)in droves. So when the few leading ladies we do get keep sticking to the same mold, at what point do women start calling out the creators to try something different?

And, yes, you are arguing that because Bayonetta is one of the very few female leads out there, that women shouldn't call out the problems with her/the game. You back it by saying because the industry won't chance another game with a female lead. And yet, we're seeing that already. Even with the critical love that Tomb Raider is getting, with the ferver that BG&E can still command of fans, we still see instances like developers having to fight to have the main female lead on the cover of her own game, or where another is pushed to the back as to not scare of the menfolk. It's self-fulfilling: "Let's not not support this game with a female lead because the audience won't like it because we refuse to showcase it's best features, or fight for it like we do our dozen of other male-led titles!" But then the industry is surprised when obscure-but-entertaining title with a lady under-performs compared to Grizzled White Guy Saves The Day With Guns And Lasers VI: Payback Platinum Edition

If we aren't calling out the mistakes to provide constructive criticism, then how do we expect to reach a point where we'll see a healthy roster of varied female heroes? Are we to just wait until the industry has an epiphany?

And like I said. Bayonetta was fun. I wasn't bothered by it. But that's me personally. My friend, however was bothered by a few aspects. That didn't make her feelings any less valid because they didn't phase me. Because she still enjoyed the game on it's own merits. She just didn't like it when held as part of the industry mindset as a whole.

Technicka:

Treblaine:
Snippy Snip

Just because the main character is female doesn't automatically make her somehow unproblematic. And a person that finds parts of her character/the game torubling can still enjoy the game. You're playing the the argument that if it's female it's inherently a good thing, and should be exempt from criticism. And that's just a no good, very bad way, to approach it. The people that had issues with Bayonetta were thrilled to see a game with a female lead, they just had issue with how much it catered to the male gaze in an industry that already does enough of that. It reinforced the idea that a woman is only empowered if she's sexual. It's still limiting in offering a robust number of different character types outside of fap-bait. When the only way a woman can be seen as awesome is when she's DTF, how is that any different than a game like Duke Nukem where women are there simply to be groped? it still plays on that mentality. And is a valid criticism of the game. Bayonetta was a good attempt, but it still catered towards what men think is how a woman behaves when she's powerful (and that's ignoring the storyline which left a big question of whether the Bayonetta we played through as was how she truly was since, y'know, amnesia). And there was no contrast with the other female character sin the game. Even with goofball Dante you had the counterpoint of Virgil being painfully serious.

BUT! Because the game was so over the top, there were those that felt that it was part of the charm. Bright colours, a crazy soundtrack, ridiculous moveset, wtf boss battles. It was a crazy ride from start to finish.

So if a person doesn't find offense to the game because of that, they aren't wrong either. because, on it's own, bayonetta is relatively harmless. However, in an industry that already promotes women as sexual things, how was it really gorundbreaking? When we've got Laura Crofts and DoA girls, and Zero Suit Samus, and the ladies of MK...how was she really doing anything different for women being leads in games?

It's self aware or self parodying (can't say which), it's the difference between the bad stereotypes of Say Call of Jurez and a GTA/saints row game game.
As you said it "plays upon the mentality" but it doesn't validate luckily by virtue of the story, because sexuality is clearly on the surface but everything else to her character like Samus (before Other M) and Lara are just as clearly shown.
Bayonetta, if sex where all these characters where they wouldn't be as popular in games. Plus it's rare to have an overtly sexy woman as a main character, i can't remember a game that does/did that hell it's the first game I've ever played like that, at least it's different and it's done with actual purpose beyond eye candy at least.

(Let me be clear: I have the game and love it. I think it's good phone, and I get great joy out of the crazy finishers done to the stylings of Fly Me to the Moon. But I'm not going to kid myself and think that I should be grateful for this crumb of an offering when it come to female protagonists)

Understood :)

You know, I wonder what it says about me when I have to play a guy in Elder Scrolls to take the game seriously, but on the flipside, I have to play a girl in all the Saints Row games to take the game seriously.

Also, I fully admit that I love playing dress up with characters. Especially in Saints Row, since all clothing is irrelevant to character stats, unlike Elder Scrolls and other such RPGs. Also, MaleShep in all 3 Mass Effects.

Captcha: chocolate milk. I'd love to have some, thank you.

Red X:
some things

I agree, it does toe a rather faint line of self-mockery. And with a lot of works that do that...it can sometimes backfire (like the Uncle Ruckus movie that's apparently in the works...).

I enjoyed that Bayonetta was a woman that was comfortable with her body and sexuality. It was a breath of fresh air. But that doesn't mean another player might not feel the same way, or might be weary of an outsider (in this case a man) being able to accurately showcase this without pandering to the very people it's poking fun at. Like I said. Not gonna knock a person for having issues with the game.

I will say that the idea of "Any representation is good representation," is a troubling one. Should an NDN be happy that there's a show with a person of their race on a show when that person is a send up of the broken English-speaking noble savage type?

Yes it sucks that any criticism can be used to fuel the naysayers. But let's be real, the nay sayers are doing it anyway. Doesn't matter if it's a good game, a bad one, or average. They'll stick to their guns because they refuse to do otherwise. So why should people let those folk dictate when they can approach something critically?

Technicka:
The industry is inundated with different type of male leads. There's something for everyone. Women aren't given the same opportunities. Our heroes are always sexy and ready to have sex. We don't get unattractive fighters (GoW), or goofballs (classic!Dante), or bitter assholes (new!Dante)or douchebags (Nate Drake) or average joes (Alan Wake)in droves. So when the few leading ladies we do get keep sticking to the same mold, at what point do women start calling out the creators to try something different?

Hey you know all those books, comics, and even movies written by women. Did you ever wonder why they don't include any of the female characters you mentioned? Could it be because even women don't like these types of women? If so then their lack of appeal is probably why they're not in games.

we still see instances like developers having to fight to have the main female lead on the cover of her own game

It was explained in the video that the people who rated the box art felt that the cover with the male character the player plays as was better than the cover with the non-playable female character. I guess people just like the character they play as to be on the box art, rather than unplayable characters.

But then the industry is surprised when obscure-but-entertaining title with a lady under-performs compared to Grizzled White Guy Saves The Day With Guns And Lasers VI: Payback Platinum Edition

Comparing imaginary games to your strawmen just shows you lack a real argument. Certain type of genre are always going to be more popular than other genre, just like certain type of characters are always going to be more popular than other types. So a game made to appeal to as many people as possible will always sell better than a game designed to appeal to a niche market.

If we aren't calling out the mistakes to provide constructive criticism, then how do we expect to reach a point where we'll see a healthy roster of varied female heroes? Are we to just wait until the industry has an epiphany?

And like I said. Bayonetta was fun. I wasn't bothered by it. But that's me personally. My friend, however was bothered by a few aspects. That didn't make her feelings any less valid because they didn't phase me. Because she still enjoyed the game on it's own merits. She just didn't like it when held as part of the industry mindset as a whole.[/quote]

Red X:
Plus it's rare to have an overtly sexy woman as a main character,

You've got to be kidding me. Are you new to videogames?

Pro tip: when a female character is in a videogame, she will be an overtly sexy woman. Lollypop Chainsaw, Fear Effect, BloodRayne, etc. etc.?

The issue with depiction of female characters in videogames is that they're nearly always only meant to be sexually attractive. Would YOU identify with a skimply dressed male character who strikes up alluring poses to the player?

Not that the sexy vixen character type would bother me. What bothers me? Is seeing ONLY that.

Ideally, female characters in videogames should be of various kinds. Look up at all of these images, all of them.... videogames need ALL of these types of female characters:

1 http://www.videogamegirlsdb.com/Images/Soul_Calibur/Ivy/Ivy_SCD_01.jpg

2 http://www.renders-graphiques.fr/image/upload/moyen/chiyo_bu_maksitobi.png

3 http://static.giantbomb.com/uploads/scale_small/0/2130/182036-makoto.jpg

4 http://www.arcade-gear.com/Games/Bloody_Roar/Bloody_Roar_Art_Mitsuko_1.jpg

5 http://feminspire.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Elena-Fisher-Uncharted.jpg

...And more!!!

This is what I would love to see.

Treblaine:
This will hurt the industry when it finds itself subject to the censors.

If making such a tiny amount more money in the short term from a minority of egotistical sexists... if that is all that matters above artistic integrity then that so devalues video games as expressive form of art that they are liable to lose the protection they have end up restricted like hardcore pornography. Don't think it could happen? Look at Germany's censorship laws on video games.

And don't exaggerate that they will become starving artists, we are talking about the smallest effect on maximum sales by pandering to a small proportion of a majority who egotistically refuse to have anything other than a straight white male in the lead role. And you don't see the result of such staleness can have in the long term.

Trying to make games just for the money and you end up where EA is!

You seem to assert that there needs to be an egotistical sexist, but I don't think it's that complicated. If the Return On Investment isn't there, the game doesn't get made. It doesn't even matter if the "tiny amount" means they end up in the black, if the publisher is trying to gain market share and maximize profits, they don't want niche projects that break even, they want blockbusters that earn big bucks. Whether that's right or not isn't what we're discussing here, but greed is the root of the problem, not sexism.

Video games are not viewed as an expressive form of art by the majority of people who write laws, report the news, and go out and vote. One cannot blame them when the industry is doing its best to exploit base desires and pander to the lowest common denominators. The solution to both issues? Education.

Treblaine:

The problem is you seem to ignorantly assume that a female lead - alone - will, regardless of all else, so cripple a game's possibility of success that it will bankrupt everyone involved.

You seriously think that Bioshock Infinite would have tanked like Duke Nukem if it had a "Becky DeWitt" as the lead role rather than a dude?!?

The statement "only Sith deal in absolutes" is itself an absolute, so it can't be true if it was spoken by a Jedi that never deals with absolutes. If it's true, it invalidates the very point it was trying to make. It's a nice sentiment, but it falls apart under any real scrutiny.

I guess the other side of the coin is that you assume that a female lead - alone - will, regardless of all else, so benefit a game's possibility of success that it will profit everyone involved?

There's certainly a difference between a "good" and a "bad" character. Is gender parity alone the goal? Would it be sufficient to say that so long as we had equal numbers of "good" and "bad" male and female characters, at least they're equally represented?

Treblaine:
No. At best they are failed hedge-fund fiddlers, who mostly know nothing about creating games and are only in it to make money. They don't know the risks as they have no idea what they are dealing with.

Everyone is in it to make money. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying, or dangerously naive.

Treblaine:
How about people stop claiming to speak for everyone else.

So far as I can tell, I am the only person who appealed to changing the sexual appetites of male gamers, back in my post on page 10. I am also probably the only person who has been attempting to parallel the failed evangelism of faiths and the failing evangelism of sexism in gaming in hopes that they don't make the same mistakes. On all accounts, I am standing by myself in a unique position that doesn't appear to be supported by anyone else in the thread. Pray tell who is the "everyone else" that I would be speaking for?

Treblaine:
There are no grounds to say that a female lead alone will destroy a game's chance at success.

See if a game with a macho male protagonist fails, it's for any reason other than his gender.

But if a series with a female protagonist after years of success fails, then suddenly it's the fault of the lead role being a women. This does not make sense.

As has already been stated, is this a straw man? I do not understand where I made the argument that the situation you've described is supposed to make sense.

Treblaine:
Games don't need female roles for a minority of female gamers, they deserve female roles for all gamers.

Please explain how someone deserves something they don't want.

Treblaine:
This isn't about ideologies, this is because female characters could and would make good leads for games, including action games.

Is the call for more female protagonists, good female protagonists, or more good female protagonists?

Treblaine:
Depiction of women has not gone the way of the buggywhip, how incredibly out of touch are you!?!?!

You don't seem to have understood the analogy, so I'll put it differently. Companies like EA are the horse whip manufacturers. They've been in business for a (realtive to the industry) long time, and they see new technologies coming along to replace them as a threat, not something to adapt to. In almost every instance where you have an established manufacturing entity, they are extremely resistant to change. Even their new ideas seem like barely more than a new coat of paint on the old ideas. If they don't adapt and change, however, they will eventually die out, because the market to support them has fallen through. This is often because, whether a product really is superior or not, if the tastes of the consumers change, then so does the market.

Indie developers are in a place to meet the needs of female gamers, but in order for them to get support the consumers (male and female gamers) have to be willing to change their tastes and what they are expecting. This doesn't mean they need to expect a worse game, but that they are going to get a different experience than they may be used to. If they don't want that experience, it's not beneficial to call them names and browbeat them, you have to instead educate as to why that point-of-view is relevant. That is why I believe that it's the consumers changing that will lead to a lasting improvement of the industry, because if the consumers are better educated they are better able to then respond to support their hobby when questioned by "outsiders".

This means that some folks are going to have to boycott big publishers, even if they're making games they like, and educate both their neighbors and congresscritters that the consumers of video games are mature enough to keep self-regulating.

That's the biggest insult to injury of all, you see? They aren't just trying to regulate video games because of their content, but because the market has shown that gamer will cave to and revel in the exploitation. They see the problem as not being able to be solved internal to the game industry because none of us are championing maturity in what we're supporting. They see us being unable to help ourselves, so they want to introduce laws and censorship because they don't think we have the maturity to make those decisions. They see us dithering about, contemplating chicken-egg, instead of taking the mature route and just owning our role and making the change in ourselves.

So that is why I would push for education. That is why I blame the consumer. That is why I see banging the gongs of sexism missing the point, because the industry as a whole has bigger problems than gender parity. We're on the brink of losing control of the very medium we love so dearly, and while sexism is certainly a part of it, I believe the solution requires more personal involvement than folks seem willing to commit to.

rhodo:
*snip*

I think you should specify female playable characters.

I think it is an unfair generalisation to suggest that most female characters in all video game roles are sexual. Non-playable characters have as much variety as men do really.

Technicka:

Treblaine:
snip for length

The industry is inundated with different type of male leads. There's something for everyone. Women aren't given the same opportunities. Our heroes are always sexy and ready to have sex. We don't get unattractive fighters (GoW), or goofballs (classic!Dante), or bitter assholes (new!Dante)or douchebags (Nate Drake) or average joes (Alan Wake)in droves. So when the few leading ladies we do get keep sticking to the same mold, at what point do women start calling out the creators to try something different?

And, yes, you are arguing that because Bayonetta is one of the very few female leads out there, that women shouldn't call out the problems with her/the game. You back it by saying because the industry won't chance another game with a female lead. And yet, we're seeing that already. Even with the critical love that Tomb Raider is getting, with the ferver that BG&E can still command of fans, we still see instances like developers having to fight to have the main female lead on the cover of her own game, or where another is pushed to the back as to not scare of the menfolk. It's self-fulfilling: "Let's not not support this game with a female lead because the audience won't like it because we refuse to showcase it's best features, or fight for it like we do our dozen of other male-led titles!" But then the industry is surprised when obscure-but-entertaining title with a lady under-performs compared to Grizzled White Guy Saves The Day With Guns And Lasers VI: Payback Platinum Edition

If we aren't calling out the mistakes to provide constructive criticism, then how do we expect to reach a point where we'll see a healthy roster of varied female heroes? Are we to just wait until the industry has an epiphany?

And like I said. Bayonetta was fun. I wasn't bothered by it. But that's me personally. My friend, however was bothered by a few aspects. That didn't make her feelings any less valid because they didn't phase me. Because she still enjoyed the game on it's own merits. She just didn't like it when held as part of the industry mindset as a whole.

You can call out the market and demand from them what you desire as much as you want!

The issue is that people like Jim shame men into thinking there is something wrong with them wanting to play as a male character, even though here you are demanding to play as a female one. The issue is that people don't seem to see the hypocrisy of women wanting to play female leads but then being critical of men when they speak up and tell the market they want to play as male ones.

If gender in video games really didn't matter, and men shouldn't care if they play as a man or a woman then the same thing should be said for women, stop caring who you play as! But that is not the case, and you have every right to demand female characters but just stop shaming men when they don't do the same.

Yuuki:

itsthesheppy:
Yet another gender-problems video.

Yet another 16-page thread.

I wonder if the video game industry and community have a problem with gender.

It's the hot topic of recent times, ripe for the media spotlight due to all the "controversy", juicy for massive forum rave-fests because it's such a touchy topic for so many people...really, what else was expected?

Just like all those other completely phony made-up flash in the pan controversies. Like... uhm... hang on, no, I'll come up with it...

Violence in games leading to violence in real life? No, that's not it; that's just people outside the community saying that. What other major-and-phony controversies are there from inside the community? Hmmm.

I'll get back to you on that. I'm sure there's lots.

uanime5:

Hey you know all those books, comics, and even movies written by women. Did you ever wonder why they don't include any of the female characters you mentioned? Could it be because even women don't like these types of women? If so then their lack of appeal is probably why they're not in games.

You must not do much reading of things with female leads. Because there's plenty of books written by women with varying female personality types in their leads. Comics are tougher because you have to stick to indie titles, as the Big Two aren't very accepting of female talent (but the few that do, have written for characters that range from Wonder Woman to Mystique to X-23. And movies? Well you've got works like Bridesmaids, Brave, and Zero Dark Thirty as written ones that show women with different attributes.

So, yes, there are plenty of women that like reading about women that are more than just strength through sexiness.

It was explained in the video that the people who rated the box art felt that the cover with the male character the player plays as was better than the cover with the non-playable female character. I guess people just like the character they play as to be on the box art, rather than unplayable characters.

No, it was explained that the box art was plotted the way it was because of fear that having the female on the cover ALONGSIDE the male would scare male gamers off. The argument wasn't to erase the hero, but to use the cover to convey that the woman was also important to the game's plot. the back cover is where you regulate the, "Oh by the way..." bits, as most people don't actually read the back (because if they did, parents would stop bitching about game content...)

Comparing imaginary games to your strawmen just shows you lack a real argument. Certain type of genre are always going to be more popular than other genre, just like certain type of characters are always going to be more popular than other types. So a game made to appeal to as many people as possible will always sell better than a game designed to appeal to a niche market.

Except the video already proved my argument. Publishers don't want to put their money behind a new IP if it focuses on a woman, because they're sure it'll fail. But they'll gladly release it and watch it fail. Meanwhile a new IP with a male lead, get's all the press events, and a slew of trailers and screenshots. And if it fails, no one says, "Well I guess we shouldn't make a game with white dudes anymore." No. They try again. And again. And again. Even using bayonetta as an example, unless you were a big fan of the creator, you didn't see much outside of dedicated game sites. No TV ads, either. But when the original DMC came out, there were plenty of ads.

Look at the Assassin's Creed series. AC3 had theatrical trailers before some movies, plenty of airtime on TV. And Liberation got squat, and was stuck on the Vita, a system with a decidedly small userbase. The game was set up to fail long before launch.

Mass Effect is brought up alot (well let's just go with all of the Bioware titles of late). I remember the ME2 commercials. For all the glory of having a female playable option, the ads were quick to not make mention of that. Dragon Age focused on the male version of the hero as well. Sure ME3 got a fem!Shep trailer. And if you were a denizen of the webs, you saw it. But it never hit the airwaves during primetime. It was never shown in theaters.

Partezan:

You can call out the market and demand from them what you desire as much as you want!

The issue is that people like Jim shame men into thinking there is something wrong with them wanting to play as a male character, even though here you are demanding to play as a female one. The issue is that people don't seem to see the hypocrisy of women wanting to play female leads but then being critical of men when they speak up and tell the market they want to play as male ones.

If gender in video games really didn't matter, and men shouldn't care if they play as a man or a woman then the same thing should be said for women, stop caring who you play as! But that is not the case, and you have every right to demand female characters but just stop shaming men when they don't do the same.

Except pretty much every self-ID'd female that's commented in this thread has pointed out that we have been playing as male leads (even when there's romance) since the get-go. And we aren't crying out about how ickle it is to do so.

Jim isn't shaming men for not preferring to play female leads. He's calling out guys who's argument hinges on their fear of seeing the character kiss a dude (and subsequently, themselves kiss a dude). If that's the only reason a person refuses to play a woman, that's a pretty weaksauce one as, like I said, women and minorities have been doing it for a long time.

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