Jimquisition: Boob Wars and Dragon Crowns

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Agree that discussion and conversation is important/needed with that being said I will trying to do this is the most civil manner possible:I'm slightly disappointed that you discussed the oversaturation of boobs and butts but did not mention the oversaturation of male meat tanks and the problems they present as well.

TJC:
On a side note: Replaying BG&E for the 50th fucking time still is really fun. *clocked in 81st replay*

Really wish I could deal with the camera controls. The game seems really appealing, but the "all or nothing" approach to inversion pisses me off.

DVS BSTrD:
The problem is that it's not just opposing opinions but conflicting ideologies. Ideologies that aren't opposite but are brought into conflict because they have different priorities. It's not going to end until we can all think the same way, or until one side admits they were wrong. Both are about as likely.

The reality is, it's going to end through action. It's going to end the same way any other issue of "ism" dies out. Women wanting representation in games isn't going to go away any more than gays wanting marriage or blacks wanting civil rights. that's not to say they are equivalent in scale, mind. However, there will, invariably, be a push. Ubiquity will eventually happen, and nobody's mind will need to be changed and nobody will need to admit to being wrong. I mean, America didn't suddenly stop being racist because we passed a Civil Rights Act, and it didn't stop hating gays because Lawrence v Texas established their right to...Well, exist.

We have publisher and developer level calls for more diversity, which makes it likely. Even if gaming becomes more diverse over the kicking and screaming of a million internet rape threats, it will become more diverse. I'm willing to bet that for most people it will mean absolutely nothing, which makes it easier to accept. I know what the common logic is, but even that will change.

Lol i wonder how this goes down, i posted a thread about this last week. It wasn't the best thread i posted, i was slightly drunk when i posted it, so i got a lack of flake how i presented my argument. But it basically goes like this.

The games where female character design is questionable, the male characters are most of the time also ludicrous. To the point they cant be taken seriously.
Now if females were always characterized to be evil, manipulative schemers in games, or the helpless dumb damsel in distress, then i would be the first to shout out that this is horrendous and sexist. But in games with good plots and decent character development female characters are written very well. HL2, Bioshock:Infinite, Mass Effect, Deus Ex: HR to just name a few.
Basically there will always be trashy games with questionable character designs, and their will always be masterpieces of story telling where all characters are written brilliantly. Same as hollywood, same as music.

That's the thing I hate about the Internet and social media. Nobody can seem to rein in their inner asshole. ...not even me.

And for the record I find those character designs very unappealing.

Good ep Jim its true nothing will change or happen unless people sitdown and talk

on the designs i do prefer the look of the Elf so much more than amazon or sorc for some of the reasons you gave they just feel to blocky or chunck (amazon) and the sorc just screams look at my boobies that said the males also give the same feel only the wizard has the feel of anything rezembling human... ( in terms of human i know theirs a dward ect)

The only problem I had with the whole fight going on between kotaku author and the game developr (and something I think Jim left out) was that the guy from kotaku said the female characters were poor design, but its acceptable for the dwarf and knight to be the way they are because thats a male power fantasy. Its not right in anyway, and it explains abit why the developr sent that picture on face book (rather than just painting him as a homophobic or whatever by saying that was hsi first reaction to just a problem with images of women.

as i said in the other thread about this (well one of them), I dont see the problem with it IN THIS GAME. in thsi game where two of the men are equally as huge and one just as scantily dressed, teh sorceress and amazon dont look as out of place. and neither is meant to make a statement on how women should look in games and something to be aspired to or idolized. its just old school throwback design as an homage.

Dear Jim

Before I begin I would like to say that this was a great show, as always and thank god for you.

I am sure that you probably already have a topic lined up for next week or have something far more important to talk about, but I was curious if I could get your opinion on the advertising practices of the games industry, more importantly their use of "real actors" and live action commercials on TV and the web instead of showing gameplay or even cut scenes.

For example the latest trailer for the upcoming XCOM:the bureau. In which they simply showed several actors looking over a piece of film and then throwing it into a fire. This was also the case for Borderlands 2, with a TV spot which human actors cos-playing as the main characters from the game instead of showing gameplay, or for black ops 1 and 2 with high profile actors (Robert Downey Jr. for example).

Sorry for the length of this post, but I am quiet curious what your opinion is or why the industry decides to hire, pay and produce a short commercial with actors instead of the game they already have.

Thanks for your time and once again, thank god for you.

Phasmal:

I think you may have misunderstood me. My fault, I'm terrible at getting points across.
I meant, the argument is usually `Games need to change` vs `Games need to not change`. And the people on either side are usually not going to change their mind.

Ah, I see. To be fair, it did occur to me that you might mean something else, but it didn't go with the grain of the thread, so I went for Occam's Razor and went with the wrong door. My bad.

In that case, yeah. We're probably fundamentally deadlocked. Though I can't help but wonder if some of the people who actually oppose change can't have their minds changed. I mean, I get the notion that games don't need to change, but a lot of these people portray it as though it's no big deal.

So if it means nothing to them and a lot to this other group, offering some level of compromise seems utterly meaningless to the first party. Which is where the folks who so oppose it baffle me, because it seems to mean so much to them to...I don't know, keep gaming as a boy's club? I don't completely understand the motives here, so I'm being glib.

And honestly, I'm not seeing the deterrent. Despite complaints, the more modest Lara Croft from the Tomb Raider reboot didn't seem to be a hindrance to it becoming the best-selling game in the franchise. Samus has never had her boobs serve as an obstacle to gaming. I'm always surprised to see the mainstream thought that you can't publish a game with a female protagonist show up in cases like Naughty Dog's new title, because the women that are there seem to do fine.

I'm not entirely sure that the vocal outcry here is backed up in sales.

Rambling now, but yeah.

Wonder how many people here will realize that most of what he's talking about flame wars and irrational blithering is the essence of these forums.

Man...I had no idea this game looks fun, wish dungeon fighter online was a bit more up to date graphically like this.

Zachary Amaranth:

Zombie_Moogle:

It did make me wonder though, why wasn't there this outrage of Bayonetta? A few eyebrows were raised, but everyone seemed to accept it

There really was, though. The defenses were kind of the same, too. It's satire. Women like it. It's really empowering. Guys go shirtless all the time, SAME THING.

Yes, but it was much more muted than many other such discussion/arguments were

Could be that Bayonetta was more tasteful about it(no DoA-style jiggle physics)
Could be that the arguments for it were more valid in her case, as she was a better realized character in general
Could be because it was a good game & people were more willing to forgive it
Or maybe just that it was made by some of the same people that brought us Devil May Cry's Dante, another pretty, stylish, hardcore, swaggering, sexy character. Both are essentially the same character, just with the gender flipped. Lazy writing perhaps, but it makes for an interesting example on the subject

It sounds like there's a lot of built-up frustration in general - People aren't getting what they want, and are being offer things they didn't even ask for, but for the people who are getting what they like and don't mind the extra bits, they get the flack from ones that are unsatisfied because the unsatisfied feel that they end up being overshadowed and forgotten by those in favor who are satisfied, like they are easier to satisfy and happier to get a game. It's as if the attention to satisfy your wants has become the most important thing in the world, right in front of water, food, sleep and shelter.

I think this ended up being more or less a case where actually mature games with realistic (both physically and emotionally) characters, of which leave an impact on the players, feel like they come in too far in and between things like Demon's Crown, and as a result Demon's Crown gets attacked because people feel like they can't move on. In fact you could summarize gamers as vampires and genres as victims - Once people get a taste of it and like it, many are willing to leech on it until it's a dry, empty husk that may not be able recover at all. But in this scenario, it's hard to find another victim whose blood doesn't taste terrible, and as a result you're going to have a bunch of blood-crazed vampires that have been thirsty for too long...

Half way through this video, I thought the game changed to a Thundercats game where the main character was Snarf. THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER

I would have a lot more of a problem with those "female character designs" if the men weren't equally absurd. Men don't look like that. It just seems to be the artist's style to exaggerate gender qualities.

Men are big, muscled brutes? Well, mine will be the biggest and most muscled brutes! Women have breasts? Well, mine will have ridiculous breasts!

etc. He took the qualities people often focus on (consciously and subconsciously) and embellished them in a stylistic way, and because he did it with both genders, this technically had nothing to do with women specifically.

Now, if the men looked like real people, but the women looked the same as their current designs, THEN I would be very disturbed.
I find games like DoA Beach volley ball VERY disturbing.

I agree with Jim that the characters are ugly in those concept pieces, but I think the exaggeration looks a little bit better in gameplay.

While I personally don't find them offensive, I understand that it may be a little early to play to the "this is what fantasy characters look like" trope with a nod and a wink while there are so many games still doing it with zero self awareness or irony.

Also, the non-roided female bodybuilders are teh hawwtz.

canadamus_prime:
That's the thing I hate about the Internet and social media. Nobody can seem to rein in their inner asshole. ...not even me.

And for the record I find those character designs very unappealing.

You seem like a charming and warm individual....Most of the time...>.>

I find the art bad to begin with. Like, I like the fact that it's sprite animation, because I'm now in my 30s and grew up on a lot of hand-drawn stuff and lived through the period where 3D models were all "AHHHHH! KILL IT WITH FIRE!" bad, but the actual styles are ugly. And to be fair, a lot of the stuff I grew up liking looks bad now, too.

image

I remember when these were pretty good visuals. But still, there's plenty out there to indicate we can be faithful to the style without necessarily indulging in the flaws (by this, I mean being ugly more than BEWWWWWBS!)

emeraldrafael:
Its not right in anyway

Is that what he said? Because that IS dumb.

However, I would point out that there's a difference between the two in terms of whether or not it's sexism, as the power fantasy of the majority for the majority is being compared to depictions of the minority also for the majority.

That doesn't make it okay, but it does change the nature of it.

as i said in the other thread about this (well one of them), I dont see the problem with it IN THIS GAME.

I also agree with this. Oh, one character has big boobs. Yawn.

mattttherman3:
Half way through this video, I thought the game changed to a Thundercats game where the main character was Snarf. THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER

Thundercats Ho will need to be replaced, though, as it's clearly sexist.

>.>

Personally I like the design of the Sorceress, and the style is taking Frank Frazetta's style to its logical conclusion, But the game suffered from Poe's law and there is not much we can do about that.

As much as I'd like that, I'm not even sure how to get there. I mean, this whole controversy is based in someone finding a character design in a niche game offensive and making a stink like this was the only game in existence and they were being forced to play it, and a rebuttal that didn't seem to get that men actually do have diverse tastes no matter what the popular media might convey. I mean some suggestions on how to keep a discussion going instead of wagging your finger at us might help. I mean, lot of us probably don't even know where we're going wrong and that only leads to blaming the other side and further entrenching the hatred.

For an idea: on the "pro-boob" side for lack of a better term, we need to accept that imagery does have an impact on peoples self esteem. Yes, it seems odd that women feel so inferior to Lara Croft while Kratos has sent very few men to the gym in desperation for his physique, but that's a reality based on a lot of socitial factors that have far from been overcome. Lara's more reasonable figure did not hurt the new game (heck, best of the series IMO), so unless the game is fanservice based, more reasonable proportioned and dressed women won't hurt.

On the feminist side: something offending you is not a criticism in and of itself. You are not the sole market for anything, and while you probably have good reasons for what you believe, companies aren't mandated to market to you. The internet makes self important moralizing very easy to do and without some tangible sign that you are a demographic being ignored, your concerns will get tossed with the anti-violence crowd, the animal rights crowd, the anti-gay characters crowd, the political crowd, and any other group that feels they can bitch everything into only conveying their values. You're going to need more than the moral argument here.

The existence of suxualized characters is not a problem, lack of diversity in design is. Feminists only really piss me off when they attack the former instead of the latter by saying game designers have to "stop doing that" and shouting "misogyny" at any sign of boobs instead of making the case for things they want to see.

And a good way to make their case is to show there is a healthy potential market that exists for the things they'd like more of.

Legion:

The second point I don't think is even worth responding to normally, as I view it as the exact same argument as claiming violent media causes real life violence.

I disagree here, but the rest of your post was great.
I'm female, and when I was younger I used to have body image problems. Those really got better when I started reading Escher Girls, and I've seen a few posts on there that tell similar stories to mine.

See, I have a thick build. I get it from my dad. As a result of my natural build, I've had to struggle with my weight for a long time now, always seeming to border on the edge of Overweight, and this problem has not been helped by my reluctance to exercise.

When I was younger I would get really really upset whenever I thought about my body. I felt that my legs were too chubby, I was fat, stuff like that. All around me were movies and games and books where all the women were really really skinny. And I thought that everyone else was too, compared to me. I think that if I saw a female in a movie that had a thick build like mine... It wouldn't have really helped. Because I wouldn't have liked them. Because I would have thought that the other ones were much prettier.

I'm much better now, and fortunately I never went to any real extremes to fix any of my perceived physical flaws.

But this kind of stuff does effect people.

Legion:

The second point I don't think is even worth responding to normally, as I view it as the exact same argument as claiming violent media causes real life violence.

It isn't really though. The violent thing is about actions regardless of context. The only portraying women as sex objects/as gendered stereotypes thing is about themes and ideas in a cultural context and story context. Not really comparable. :\

Zachary Amaranth:

The funny thing about this is the artist was accused of being a 14 year old, and then he responded in stereotypical 14 year old boy form.

The way I see it, is when you spend months and months working on something, and then a troll tells you you are a 14 year old boy, you can get pissed off whether you are a boy or girl. Did he do the right thing? I don't think so, it was feeding the troll. But I can see WHY he'd be upset by a thoughtless stab like that. And I wonder how I'd react in a similar situation...

Can someone please make a game that's as fun as Gears of War was in 2006 with a fairly muscular, reasonably attractive lady as the main character and push out that Longest Journey sequel so we can stop having these discussions for at least a year?

I am just sad about Dragon Crowns not being on PC. As a fan of Vanillaware that is my only issue with the game.

Jimothy Sterling:

DVS BSTrD:

Also: Boob Wars sounds like a game I'd like to play.

There actually IS a game called Boob Wars. It's about how rape is a noble act that saves the world.

It's unpleasant.

Jeez, sounds like a subplot out of F.A.T.A.L..

Zachary Amaranth:

canadamus_prime:
That's the thing I hate about the Internet and social media. Nobody can seem to rein in their inner asshole. ...not even me.

And for the record I find those character designs very unappealing.

You seem like a charming and warm individual....Most of the time...>.>

I find the art bad to begin with. Like, I like the fact that it's sprite animation, because I'm now in my 30s and grew up on a lot of hand-drawn stuff and lived through the period where 3D models were all "AHHHHH! KILL IT WITH FIRE!" bad, but the actual styles are ugly. And to be fair, a lot of the stuff I grew up liking looks bad now, too.

image

I remember when these were pretty good visuals. But still, there's plenty out there to indicate we can be faithful to the style without necessarily indulging in the flaws (by this, I mean being ugly more than BEWWWWWBS!)

Thanks. I do try to rein in the inner asshole, but I don't always succeed.

I do totally understand what the artist is going for, but even with the excessive, grotesque style, the Sorceress is still plainly gratuitous and distracting. Her breasts turning into helicopter rotors anytime she even moves is just.. unpleasant to look at. I wouldn't necessarily call it a sexism issue, just an unfortunate artistic decision.

I don't even mind the Amazon because her levels of excessiveness fit alongside the rest of the crew in some way (though her tiny, anime head kinda clashes with that design). The sorceress just goes a step too far I feel.

Zeles:

Legion:

The second point I don't think is even worth responding to normally, as I view it as the exact same argument as claiming violent media causes real life violence.

I disagree here, but the rest of your post was great.
I'm female, and when I was younger I used to have body image problems. Those really got better when I started reading Escher Girls, and I've seen a few posts on there that tell similar stories to mine.

See, I have a thick build. I get it from my dad. As a result of my natural build, I've had to struggle with my weight for a long time now, always seeming to border on the edge of Overweight, and this problem has not been helped by my reluctance to exercise.

When I was younger I would get really really upset whenever I thought about my body. I felt that my legs were too chubby, I was fat, stuff like that. All around me were movies and games and books where all the women were really really skinny. And I thought that everyone else was too, compared to me. I think that if I saw a female in a movie that had a thick build like mine... It wouldn't have really helped. Because I wouldn't have liked them. Because I would have thought that the other ones were much prettier.

I'm much better now, and fortunately I never went to any real extremes to fix any of my perceived physical flaws.

But this kind of stuff does effect people.

I understand what you mean, but I was getting at the idea that seeing a women as being sexy in a game, will make guys start thinking real women should be like that too. That seeing a fictional sexualised woman will actually change the way a guy thinks about real women.

Your personal example is a case of you seeing a fictional example of a woman, and feeling inadequate in response (I apologise if that was worded horribly, I am unsure of how else to describe it). Like seeing somebody with perfect hair and thinking "Why can't mine be like that!" rather than having an idea of how people "should" look, then seeing a piece of fiction and having it change your perception.

To use an example of a depiction of a woman in television, let's look at Marge Simpson. She is a housewife who pretty much keeps her family running. She cooks, cleans, looks after the kids, gets them out of trouble and so on. I sincerely doubt any men watch The Simpsons and think "that's how real women should behave", not unless that's their attitude anyway, in which case, it isn't affecting their perception, but potentially reinforcing what they already think.

I'd also like to mention that the examples you are using are real women, who actually resemble reality. Most women in games are not supposed to be believable. I go into this more after the quotation.

BreakfastMan:

Legion:

The second point I don't think is even worth responding to normally, as I view it as the exact same argument as claiming violent media causes real life violence.

It isn't really though. The violent thing is about actions regardless of context. The only portraying women as sex objects/as gendered stereotypes thing is about themes and ideas in a cultural context and story context. Not really comparable. :\

How many games provide a realistic enough example of sexualised women to compare to real life? Or to put it another way, how many sexualised female characters look believable? Most women who are sexualised are more or less caricatures, they are so over the top that they are not comparable to real women. I can't see any guys looking at the Sorceress and associating her with real women.

Violent media on the other hand frequently tries to portray real life, or believable situations. Grand Theft Auto is in many regards a murder simulator. You can do countless things that you could do in real life, many of them horrible.

Violent media, unless it is sci-fi or fantasy often tries to recreate things that are actually plausible, even if they are incredibly unlikely. Sexualisation of characters on the other hand is almost entirely over the top to the point that it barely resembles reality.

I apologise if that was worded badly as well, it can be hard to articulate what I mean when it comes to abstract concepts.

Couldn't agree more with this episode. The reason I've become so apathetic with the whole "Sexism in games" debate that has been kicking around for a while now, is that it's the same people flinging the exact same shit at each other, each and every time.

The only thing even close to a reasonable discussion I've seen around here was the Sexism CommuniCast that a few of the users took part in. However, the problem with that was that, due to a couple of members not able to make it, it was (for the most part) just everyone agreeing with each other.

Personally?

I want everything.

The more realistic clothing, armor and character designs? Yes.
Male and Female? Yes.

The conservatively clothing, armor and character designs? Yes.
Male and Female? Yes.

The skimpy clothing, armor and sexy character designs? Yes.
Male and Female? Yes.

The weird clothing, armor and exaggerated character designs? Yes.
Male and Female? Yes.

The darker/gothic clothing, armor and character designs? Yes.
Male and Female? Yes.

The western stylized clothing, armor and character designs? Yes.
Male and Female? Yes.

The eastern stylized clothing, armor and character designs? Yes.
Male and Female? Yes.

The older 70s/80s/90s/etc anime style clothing, armor and character designs? Yes.
Male and Female? Yes.

The newer moe anime style clothing, armor and character designs? Yes.
Male and Female? Yes.

The old and new Disney style clothing, armor and character designs? Yes.

The middleground, in all its variance and variety of clothing, armor and character designs? Yes.
Male and Female? Yes.

Everything listed here, and everything and anything NOT listed her in reference to any brand of visual style in regard to games, movies and television - even animation - YES YES YES.
Male and Female? YES.

I want it all. I want variety. I don't want just one thing. I WANT EVERYTHING. I want the industry flooded with a variety of styles, and no, "WE HAVE TO DO THIS TO BE POPULAR!" or, "WE HAVE TO DO THIS TO BE RESPECTFUL" or any other, "WE HAVE TO DO THIS BECAUSE ______" line of reasoning. I want it all. I want variety. I crave it. I have different moods, and different styles help me find something more fitting to my mood, not just visual style either.

More variety is better. Less variety is bad. I wouldn't kick out the Dragon's Crown designs anymore than I'd kick out Beyond Good & Evil's designs or Dark Souls' Designs or Bioshock Infinite's designs or Heavy Rain's designs or Ni No Kuni's Designs or Atelier Totori's Designs or Quest for Glory's designs or Monkey Island's designs or Telltale's The Walking Dead's designs or Resonance of Fate's designs or Half Life 2's designs or TES V: Skyrim's designs or World of Warcraft's designs or any design you could randomly come up with. It all deserves to exist. Something for everyone, and more, no one left out no matter which extreme you're talking about, or if you're just talking about something in the middle of or beyond said extremes.

As you alluded to with your mention of console wars; I am not so sure the gaming community is mature enough to have this discussion. The few civil discussions regarding this issue I have participated in/witnessed are far outweighed by the magnitude of vitriol this community's capable of producing. It's quite sad, really.

Jim, allow me to try and one-up you here.

"Why, let's just go back to stick figure characters. I'll be taking bets on how many people find something to get offended by even then."

I have to admit...it is really a shame that people won't discuss things more rather that fling insults at people who disagree with them. I could bring up parallels with the way religious groups talk about the rights of the GLBT communities...but that seems a bit redundant.

It's good that those two guys didn't finally talk. Personally, I hope that serves as an example for the rest of the gaming community to follow...but that's probably just hopeless optimism on my part.

CAPTCHA: hot-blooded

All too true there, Captcha.

The only thing about this whole issue that really gets me is that the two sides are represented by men. Women have very little acknowledged presence in the discussion. Sure we're here on the forums talking about it, but at it's base, this is an argument by two men about what they think women should be shown as.

Same with the gender representation arguments in general. There are very few female figureheads in this discussion, which just reeks to me. Most developers are headed by men, most publishers as well. Most of the well known journalists are male. And they're the ones who are talking about women and their representation. Male allies are good, and I appreciate what they do, but when they lead a charge that should be a woman's, it just seems a bit hypocritical.

Legion:

Zeles:

Legion:

The second point I don't think is even worth responding to normally, as I view it as the exact same argument as claiming violent media causes real life violence.

Snip

I understand what you mean, but I was getting at the idea that seeing a women as being sexy in a game, will make guys start thinking real women should be like that too. That seeing a fictional sexualised woman will actually change the way a guy thinks about real women.

Ahhhh. Okay. Yeah, I don't think that's a reasonable thing, that it could change the way men think about women.

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