Jimquisition: Boob Wars and Dragon Crowns

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Zachary Amaranth:
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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.

...

Yeah, he said and this is cut out but i dont think it necessarily lost context poeple dont already know:

So, no, I don't want to look at this game in a vacuum, or laugh off the sorceress as harmless sexual exaggeration, or accept that this is just Vanillaware's style (which is typically gorgeous). Not when so many women still feel so uncomfortable playing games, or working in the video game industry, or attending gaming events. Not when so many games seem designed for men and only men.

Some have pointed out that the dwarf character-a shirtless warrior with disproportionate muscles-is just as sexualized and over-exaggerated as the sorceress. That's true. He's also straight out of a straight male power fantasy, tailored for men just like the sorceress's skimpy clothing and ridiculously jiggly breasts. The design comes across as juvenile, like a hackneyed comic book or a God of War game.

But the dwarf isn't making many people uncomfortable, because men don't get sexually harassed at PAX East. Because male designers don't get mistaken for receptionists. Because male reporters are never asked if they really play video games.

Because the sorceress is symbolic of a much bigger problem.

maybe I misread, but to me it sounds like he's dismissing it just because men are the majority and so its not an issue if male characters appeal to the power fantasy. Just, I think personally, if youre going to say that, you shouldnt complain about the sorceress and say its making people uncomfortable. Men wont complain because then someone inevitably will say "well what are you, gay?" i dont find anyhting wrong iwth the dwarf here, just as I dont with the sorceress. and even though its anecdotal one f the girl firends i have said more or less the same, that is the style of the game and the sorceress doesnt feel out of place. But I dont feel that i dont think the big burly ass dwarf is (or at least should be) the male fantassy anymore. not when we have guys who are just normal ish dudes and not walking meat sacks (and arent FF style androgynous preteen types).

One problem with discussing this issue is that people often believe that because they dislike something, such as large breasted characters, that anyone who included them in their games is acting immorally; rather than accepting that the designers is free to add whatever they want to their games, and the public is free to chose whether to buy this game or not.

Yeah. As soon as I heard about the Sorceress, I said, "I am NOT going to look at any of those articles/forums. Because it's just going to be a shitstorm with nothing productive."

Though I'm definitely with you on the elf. Sexy without being sexualized. Another example is FemShep from the Mass Effect 3 box cover.

Zeles:

Legion:

Zeles:

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.

You do bring up an excellent point though. Not so much in gaming, but in a lot of media, they do try and push an "ideal" that we should all apparently strive for.

Men should all look like Calvin Klein models, who are a little bit rough around the edges, a bit of a bad boy, but also gentle, kind, caring and rich. Women should all be supermodels who are perfect in the bedroom and the kitchen as well as having two degrees, a high paying job and being a fantastic mother.

I actually consider television, books and magazines to be a lot more damaging to the perception of the sexes than games do, as games are very rarely trying to emulate reality, whereas other forms of media often do.

That's really why I get tired of people complaining about games. To me they are harmless because they are so unbelievable.

That's not to say that there aren't a ridiculously large amount of overly sexualised women, but as this person said:

grumpymooselion:
*snip*

there should be a bit of everything. Sexy characters are fine, but non-sexy characters should also be a lot more common. Developers should be trying to appeal to all sorts, rather than relying on the same tired clichés and stereoptypes.

My issue comes with people suggesting that the ones they dislike are a "problem" and shouldn't be there at all. I can agree that it is a problem that there aren't enough alternatives, but not that they exist in the first place.

If somebody looks at a game such as SkullGirls and says "Urgh, why aren't there more fighting games without sexualised women around?!" I'd nod and agree, because there really aren't enough. But when they try and claim it's "misogynistic" and "sexist", I start to get pissed off.

Toilet:
I guess I will open a discussion because I am totally ignorant on the subject.

I keep on hearing about how character designs like the Tittymancer in Dragons Crown and other exaggerated designed females are a problem but I have yet to hear why they are a problem. I get a lot of "because sexism" answers but it doesn't answer my question.

Simple.

Because their sexualised depiction is not relevant to the character.

For example, take the depictions of half-naked, muscular men in God of War or 300. Yes, there are people who are titillated by such imagery, but the fact of the matter is that IT MAKES SENSE for an ancient warrior to be muscular, since physical strength equals dominance on the battlefield. And it makes some sense for warriors who rely on mobility not to be weighed down with heavy armour. The same could be argued for the Amazon character in this very game.

But it makes exactly zero difference to a spellcaster in a combat game how big her breasts are, and how much of them are clothed. If you had a game in which, playing as a woman, you could seduce men to achieve your goals - hell, if the big-breasted character had a special move which made males stop in their tracks (write this down, Namco, this would be an AWESOME stun-lock taunt move for Ivy) - then by all means, tits ahoy; but in this case, the tits in question define the word "gratuitous".

That's the problem. Nobody is saying that big tits and depictions thereof are ipso facto bad. Christina Hendricks has humongous mammaries, but the show Mad Men portrays her character as a woman with goals, emotions, thoughts etc, to whom physical beauty is both an asset and a liability. In that case, tits are okay. Or the women in the Game of Thrones universe: are they sexual? Hell yes. But they use their sexuality for certain ends (be it gratification, power, revenge etc), which is what beautiful women, alas, do a lot of in real life.

Now, many men are attracted to women with athletic bodies; and in a game like Mirror's Edge, Faith's lithe, flexible body is a sign of her grace, speed, and strength. It makes sense for her to be shaped like an olympic pole vaulter, because vaulting is what she does. The sexiness is a side effect; it does not define her exclusively.

Hope this helps in clearing things up.

I can't really respond to the video because its been a hour and its only half loaded......

I don't understand the uproar, someone at kotaku called someone immature in a very immature way and was responded to in a equally immature way. What makes this less important is it's kotaku which is the journalistic equivalent of youtube comments. This is not something for people to be getting bothered over.

I feel that the internet has made arguments/discussions(neither are intrinsically negative things) impossible as it opens it up to so many people at once. Where as a normal back and forth between a limited number of people has a decent chance of staying on topic, the internet puts so many people into the debate that the chances of everyone keeping their ego in check and not either taking something about the topic personally or attacking someone else personally about it is as close to zero as things get.

It is in this light that having discussions about this in open forums on the internet is pointless. If you want to talk about these subjects, then have a private conversation with someone on the other side and use debate rules. Once someone starts attacking the other person rather than the subject at hand, end the conversation as no more progress will be made. Because whats going on now does nothing but raise ire and prevent any real progress being made one way or the other.

And no man looks like the barbarian either, not without 3 steroid shots per day at least. Stop taking everything so fucking seriously.

While I am perpetually annoyed by the designs of female characters in any media (not just video games), it's not likely a problem we'll see the end of in our lifetime. I remember playing the original Metroid and how everyone made a huge fuss over beating the game fast enough to see Samus in a bikini. A lot of people have said that, until Other M, Samus is one of the least sexualized female protagonists out there, but this is not true. Now granted that all that skimp was available only after finishing the game, but that fact that people were trying to beat record times in order to be rewarded with it kind of makes it seem a little worse. Just to me.

I can only imagine how women feel when they see things like this in video games, considering that female gamers make up a large portion of the consumer pool, but I can kind of understand it. My roommate (a woman) will see incredibly hunky, muscular, perfect men on TV or games and say things like "goddamn - that is a MAN right there" and I'll get slightly uncomfortable about my appearance, being as how I'm quite average looking. It's only a passing thought for me, I can imagine that for women, it's much more than that.

I'm all for gender equality and I think most of us at this point are. I suppose it's just up to the people who design these characters to figure that out already.

grumpymooselion:
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.

This totally sums it up for me.

The problem is not that publishers say yes to character designs like this. That's completely fine.

The problem is that publishers say no to serious and realistic female character designs. That's completely fucked up.

Archangel357:

Toilet:
I guess I will open a discussion because I am totally ignorant on the subject.

I keep on hearing about how character designs like the Tittymancer in Dragons Crown and other exaggerated designed females are a problem but I have yet to hear why they are a problem. I get a lot of "because sexism" answers but it doesn't answer my question.

Simple.

Because their sexualised depiction is not relevant to the character.

For example, take the depictions of half-naked, muscular men in God of War or 300. Yes, there are people who are titillated by such imagery, but the fact of the matter is that IT MAKES SENSE for an ancient warrior to be muscular, since physical strength equals dominance on the battlefield. And it makes some sense for warriors who rely on mobility not to be weighed down with heavy armour. The same could be argued for the Amazon character in this very game.

But it makes exactly zero difference to a spellcaster in a combat game how big her breasts are, and how much of them are clothed. If you had a game in which, playing as a woman, you could seduce men to achieve your goals - hell, if the big-breasted character had a special move which made males stop in their tracks (write this down, Namco, this would be an AWESOME stun-lock taunt move for Ivy) - then by all means, tits ahoy; but in this case, the tits in question define the word "gratuitous".

That's the problem. Nobody is saying that big tits and depictions thereof are ipso facto bad. Christina Hendricks has humongous mammaries, but the show Mad Men portrays her character as a woman with goals, emotions, thoughts etc, to whom physical beauty is both an asset and a liability. In that case, tits are okay. Or the women in the Game of Thrones universe: are they sexual? Hell yes. But they use their sexuality for certain ends (be it gratification, power, revenge etc), which is what beautiful women, alas, do a lot of in real life.

Now, many men are attracted to women with athletic bodies; and in a game like Mirror's Edge, Faith's lithe, flexible body is a sign of her grace, speed, and strength. It makes sense for her to be shaped like an olympic pole vaulter, because vaulting is what she does. The sexiness is a side effect; it does not define her exclusively.

Hope this helps in clearing things up.

Actually many feminists would disagree with you.

A woman such as the sorceress is "sexy" (speech marks because I really don't think she is), but it does not affect her character's ability. She is a powerful fighter, who also happens to be "sexy".

The Game of Thrones example of women who use their sexuality to gain something, is a hell of a lot more sexist as it's suggesting that a woman's sexuality is more important than anything else. That they are not in power because they are smart or strong, but because they use their bodies.

The former example is of a powerful character who happens to be "sexy". The latter is of a woman who relies on being sexy.

If it makes no difference being sexy, then it's not defining them, as their character remains the same regardless. If not being sexy would change the character, then that is saying that being sexy is important for that character. Which is a lot more objectifying.

While overall I think the message in this episode is excellent and when it comes to the so-called "boob wars" I couldn't agree more, I feel that it's somewhat incorrect to assume this controversy is simply another debate about sexualized character design. It started off that way with Jason Schreier's original comment, but that's certainly not why Kamitani got so much shit on social media. The real issue here is that you shouldn't respond to criticism (especially not by journalists whose job is to give opinion on your product) by engaging in casual homophobia.

Now, to be fair, Kamitani's "joke" would probably have been completely acceptable had it only been viewed in Japan, because casual homophobia remains perfectly acceptable in Japan. Even his "apology" makes it perfectly clear that he still doesn't actually understand why the joke was offensive, but it was. It was offensive because it implies a) that if Jason Schreier had been gay this alone would be grounds to laugh at him and b) that the wider opinions of actual gay people aren't actually important and don't have to be considered.

I think most of us can agree that Schreier's original comment was, at best, phrased badly, he's said as much himself. But as he also said, he's a critic of games. He's allowed to pass comment on the art in games, as indeed is anyone. If he doesn't like something, he can give it a public thumbs down because that's his job. Remember when Jim called the developers of Aliens: Colonial Marines liars? Would it have been appropriate for them to respond with "Lol, you just didn't like the game because there wasn't enough butsecks in it for you!"

Deflecting criticism by personally attacking a critic is bad practice. Deflecting criticism by trying to homophobically bully a critic, and by extension insulting every gay person in the world is beyond bad practice, it's crossing the line into stupidville. The hatemail and negative social media attention Kamitani is recieving now is completely deserved, and while an apology (even a vague and insincere apology which makes it clear you have no idea why people are angry with you) is a good start, the damage is largely done now.

Jim. You, uh, you forgot to link to the articles, Jim. I don't care too much about the flamewar article, but I'd like to read a reasonable explanation, if only because the game itself seems like it may be fun and I don't want to feel bad for playing something that is so heavy on the male power fantasy side of things.

Legion:
there should be a bit of everything. Sexy characters are fine, but non-sexy characters should also be a lot more common. Developers should be trying to appeal to all sorts, rather than relying on the same tired clichés and stereoptypes.

There are sexy characters because people like sexy characters, there are less of other characters because they're less popular. If developers have a limit on the number of characters they can make then they aren't going to make characters that will only appeal to a very smaller percentage of the market when they can make characters that will appeal to more people.

Regarding clichés and stereotypes I'd say they keep appearing because they're easy to slot into any game.

Zombine3D:
Erm, Anita Sarkiizian (or whatever her shitty name is) proved ideally why feminism in the first world is stupid beyond redemption. Also girls (im 17) tend to be of abysmal intellectual capabilities, no kidding and I try to give everyone a chanse without a bias. I am not the smartest person, but smarter than them. "Sexism", like "rasism", are natural genetic things, we can not erradicate them because there is no real equality and enforced artifitial "equality" is the greatest form of inequality.

Wait, so women not getting management positions and being paid less for the same job should be accepted as the status quo? Don't get me wrong, I am no friend of man-hating feminist fundamentalism, but there are inequalities which need to be addressed.

Gender and race are genetically intrinsic, yes. The "-isms" around them, however, are not. There is no gene which makes you think that women are inferior to men, or that whites are inferior to Asians. Well, maybe the gene that makes people arseholes in general, but that's beside the point. As for enforcing equality: I agree with you that there are limits - lazy people shouldn't get paid the same as hard-working people, dumb people shouldn't have the same access to higher education as smart ones - but our societies are built on the ideal of equal treatment before the law and the same opportunities for all, everything else being equal. In a world in which a black Muslim woman has the same shot at getting a job as a white Christian man, your idea would be correct: however, our world isn't there yet. So if certain people treat others badly because of some traits over which the latter have no control, society SHOULD step the hell in and tell them it's not okay.

Also, don't get me wrong, 17 year old girls are indeed dumb as bricks, but that's got far less to do with them being female, and everything to do with them being 17. :)

What's truly ironic is that in a similar thread, I put out a rather harsh comment defending the designer's rights to freedom of creation, and how if people are offended, they always have the option to not play the damn game, then proceeding to rip an extra asshole into someone who tried to pick a fight with that comment.

I lied (about the irony thing). What's truly ironic is that I still think that my comments were in the moral high ground, not because of their alleged purpose, but because, all throughout the thread, people were fighting about how the game was oversexualized vs. the lack of empathy for that fact. Why is that ironic? Because, while I think my points and embarrassment of those who directly challenged them were valid (and suuuure felt good), there was little discussion that came out of it. In fact, I was quite an asshole, despite my personal opinion that you need to be an asshole to get through to some people.

So let me change that. Starting now.

I am a feminist. I agree with most of what Anita Sarkeesian has to say, and yearn for more three dimensional female characters. Attractive female characters. Believable ones. That aren't either, oversexualized, or have single dimension personalities. I firmly believe that the best example for this is Human Female Protagonist (Guild Wars 2). That's sad. When the best example is a blank slate character for an MMO. I don't believe Lilith (Borderlands), or even Leona/Vi (LoL) are better examples, even though both are tough, take no crap, and are reliable heroes figures, but they still carry an enigma about them, rather, they're still presented to the gamer on a pedestal as unsociable characters who you should only masturbate to from a distance. Key word is presented.

With that being said... I disagree with the criticism that this game is getting, for the sole fact that yes, it is trying to point out how overdone characters of all types are in certain games today. Yes, I realize that in Sorcerer's case, she's really not too far off from the depressing 'norm' that we have in our mental image facilitating devices when we think of 'female protagonist', but I don't think that detracts from the statement they're trying to make, and I do think that most criticism of this game is missing the entire freaking point, regardless.

As a feminist, boobs don't bother me. The volume of huge, jiggling, unrealistically bouncy boobs... doesn't offend me. The lack of great female protagonists bothers me, and right now, that is changing too. You can have your boobs, you can have your one dimensional damsels in distress and super hardcore punk female leads, hell, I don't care if you want Super Cthulu Harem: Tentacle Rape: The Game.

What would anger me, more than anything, is people who think that I care what you want, and try to inhibit what I want, or at least muddy it, with the notion that creating a strong female protagonists has to include the word 'strong'.

The fact is, as much as I love Leona and Vi from LoL as characters, they feel like they're created so the respective game studio (Riot. Hi. CookiesMorgana here. Don't get mad pls.) can hold them up on a pedestal and go 'yeah, we have characters that defy stereotypes so we're not sexist or influenced by a sexist society'. Regardless of whether or not that was a conscious decision by them or not.

Think about it. Imagine Vi and Leona, toned down just enough to where they were actually characters you could have a conversation with, that seemed like real human beings with more than one or two things on their minds. You probably already can, thanks to LoL's awesome community. From a design perspective, these characters potentially meet that. Where it fails in execution, how the characters act in game. How they're animated. Their voice lines.

And thus, I come to my final point: Making those characters as believable as GW2's Human Female Protagonist would take alot of work. Why? Well, because acting natural without adhering to the sexual norms of the place you're in is difficult. This is what needs to change. We need to stop idolizing women, and we need to stop backlashing at them when we find out they're... women. We need to treat them more like people, not like aliens, because until we then, our bias will show up in character designs everywhere, even those that are supposed to appeal to women. If Leona was designed entirely by IronStylus, she'd be a much more believable character.

Hell, if there were more game companies with the Male/Female staff ratio of ArenaNet, we'd see alot more believable female characters in games.

I've read a lot of comments here and a lot of them have very interesting and well thought out arguments for many different 'sides' in this discussion. However I was hoping to make something clear, what we think about a video game means nothing if there is no discussion with the person/place/company/etc responsible for the discussion in the first place. We can all say what we want and believe what we do but ultimately what can we change? Change comes through an open discussion between the conflicting parties operating under respectful and equal rules of debate. I was so glad to see HokutoAndy's work put into the discussion on Kotaku because it highlights just how many aspects there are to consider in art and that the reasons we think something is present may not always be the truth. It is because of this though that I want to see the artist, if he deems he is comfortable talking about the reasoning behind what is completely his work and his own style, speak with Schereier or more likely someone who can prepare very honest interview questions and be much more open-minded about something they may only believe they understand. THAT is how we see change in this industry, by creating places and sources of understanding that allows this obviously very discerning and unique group of fans to derive their own meaning and understanding from the honest and well-rounded information that is presented to us.

Yay or nay?

EDIT: Oh good, there was a discussion between the artist and Jason.....um..somewhat

Hmmm he used a lot of game scenes with the Sorceress as the character, and the the SAME scenes (or similar), with the dwarf, I was amazed by both, so I guess I'm genuinely interested in the game...
Now, I'm having a bigger issue, and my issue is with the dwarf, why is he a "dwarf" when he is basically as tall as anybody else, only much more muscular??? lol
Okay, as far as the sorceress go, c'mon fantasy sorceress, when they're all "goth wanna-be" are usually sluts in every sense of the word, not only in game, but in fantasy in general, from the cover art of metal bands to comic books; it's obviously exaggerated in this game, but hey, everybody is. However the Amazon is something... uhhh... I always picture amazons as very fucking muscular and not very feminine even in terms of attitude, I also imagine them either fully naked or deep in body armor, the first style because it would beckon to the idea of the "cult to the body" as in perfect aesthetics of a healthy muscular body (like old Greek and Roman statutes), the last for practical terms of Amazons being warriors thus being fully armored for war, THIS Amazon looks like a body builder (a bad one who didn't distribute the exercises) going to fantasy beach....

I am all for more female friendly clothing options. The idea of a scantly clad FemShep is foreign to me.

That said, let's not be human about it and take it all the way into the other extreme By human I mean over-react and not just fix it but make another problem out of it. Call me all the nasty names you want, I believe the Ivy's, Tifa's, and scantly clad elven females of gaming have just as much a place in the hobby as others.

In short, moderation. What a concept.

Ernil Menegil:
I am sorry, Jim, but this is just not going to happen.

No one is interested in discussion and conversation, those things are not worthy of attention.

Instead, lobbing insults and arguing from end to end is the norm, and it will not change because people just like to get themselves into a lather instead of getting anything properly talked about.

It's why I scarce make a thread these days, or even try to reply to most I see. I barely see anyone interested in it. Why bother?

I'll just keep watching your contributions. They do a lot more to advance the issue than a hundred threads in these forums and beyond.

You took the words right out of my mouth verbatim. Truth is not just in the gaming industry but also in academic, scientific, religious, and political debates very few people are interested in discussion.

Everything eventually comes down to generalizations, red herrings, slander, and shouting. No one learns anything, the discussion itself becomes moot compared to the mudslinging, and nothing has changed.

It is why I only really look at certain videos and news articles on the Escapist because the user discussions very rarely have any real discussion.

I hope this trend of not discussing dies but I haven't seen any evidence contrary to what is currently going on.

So, you hate the artwork on characters that are underclothed, but like the one that has more clothes. Nice way to miss the overall point of the art. Guess what? He wasn't going for realism here. So I disagree with you. Now what? You want to discuss it? With what end? That I give up my opinon that the artwork is good(not really my thing, but good.)? All anyone can do is make their opinon clear and move the fuck on. But this is the internet, not real life, so flame wars for the win. Expecting anyone to have a responsible discussion about this on the interest is retarded. Because someone has to "win", that's the essence of a flame war. And when neither side caves(nor should either side be expected to), it gets ugly fast. And it just repeats over and over and over and over....

What really pisses me off about you, jim, is your moral high horse that you get on while preaching your better than sexist slobs like me. Wonder what were those "sexist" articles that you felt bad about? Because anything even bordering on sexism makes me a "child" with no worthwhile thoughts or opinons? I am a man(maybe manchild, but whatever.) I don't understand women, and I do not understand the feminist movement. All I understand is what I like and why. And that's all that matters to me. If I choose to listen to someone else, that's my right. It's also my right as a sentient human being to say that they are wrong and I disagree. They are free to say the same about me. And if they aren't assholes(like everyone here), they'll leave it at that. I mean seriously, where the fuck do you go from there expect flame wars? Where someone has to be destroyed and "lose"? I mean this has been talked about some many times over the years(sexist game comes out, everyone states their opinon, flame war erupts, cools down, everyone goes back to their normal live until next sexist game, rinse and repeat). There's nothing else to say.

As far as the industry as a whole goes, I really don't care. Either it will change according to the flow of the free market or it won't. Either way, I'll play the games I want(one way or the other) and nothing else really matters. You can talk about it, but it's beyond the ability of a small group of people to change.

For the record, I disagree with the feminist movement on just about everything. Metoid other m was a great game, crappy story but I'm not playing it for the story. Mass effect is good with either shep. I like boobs, and I like dead or alive and king of fighter character designs. Mario and zelda could use some change, but it has jack all to do with the sex of the hero. Try what no one talks about on a gaming message board, aka the gameplay. Starfox adventures would have sucked ass no matter what. Fantasy armor is fine the way it is(no, it's no supposed to be realistic.)

So you say I'm part of the problem for buying games like this? I'll spend my money however I see fit, and I really don't give a fuck what you people think. Like I said, I have the right to choose to listen to you. I don't have to, and most of you people have nothing in common with my taste in anything. I know that you will all flame me and shove words in my mouth, but I have zero interest in debating this with you people.

Oh, Jim. I'll stop being an atheist for a couple of seconds to thank God for you. The work you do is absolutely vital for the community, and utterly thankless.

Captcha: high five. High five indeed, Jim.

Also, I want to leave it stated somewhere (and here might be as good of a place as any) that I have slowly come to viscerally despise "parodies" or "unserious games". At first I didn't like them, but I didn't have a problem with them either. Now that time has passed and I've come to repeatedly see and hear the same excuses over and over ("We're giving her big tits because we're making a parody!" "It's okay if it's a parody!" "We don't have to acknowledge any problems in the industry or make an effort to change, because we're making a parody!" "We don't even have to make an effort to come up with originality, emotional weight, characterisation or artistic merit because we're making a parody!"), I have come to slowly but surely loathe their very existence.

I genuinely loathe how a creator can get away with literally anything, no matter how harmful, if they put in zero effort, add a wink or two, and claim it's a parody.

I disagree with you that the archer isn't sexualised..
she does look pretty awesome, and certainly is more empowering for me than the other female characters.
But I still find that the picture in which she's firing her arrow has been sexualised- she's been positioned for male gaze despite her "less-sexualised" design. Her torso, on the thin side, can only be doing an 180 degree turn for her arms to be positioned where they are and her bust to be facing forwards, yet where would then naturally be her front, her waist warps into her butt. Hm.
Try and imagine a man in this pose, and we run into the Hawkeye initiative. http://thehawkeyeinitiative.com/

She's better than the others BY FAR. But she's not entirely off the hook.

norashepard:
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.

One battle at a time, I say.

This is a whole other worldly issue and it's going to be a long and difficult one to tackle.

But it's not like we're being ignored when we speak, women just aren't nearly as prominent in gaming as other mediums.

I had a feeling Jim would weigh in on this, we all have are ignorances. In the subject gender or sex things tend go all over the place but unlike the norm things recovered better than expected

Legion:

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.

It isn't her body type that is the problem; it is the fact that she as portrayed as a sex object in a way all the other characters in the game aren't. This wouldn't be bad if it wasn't so common for crap like that to happen. It isn't necessarily sexualization that is the problem; it is the lack of diversity, and what that does to reinforce traditional gender roles. Ben Kochera had a pretty good article on such things on the PAR a while back.

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.

The different being, you are not expected to act such ways IRL. Grabbing a shotgun and curb-stomping cops is looked down upon in society. The problem is about roles that society pushes people towards and encourages. Society generally doesn't encourage being a sociopathic criminal.

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 disagree; Violent media often shows acts that are stupidly impossible. Sexualization often shows images that are at least probable (yes, I have met women with breasts bigger than their head IRL. No, I don't know how they walk).

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

Only if you afford me the same courtesy. XD

Archangel357:

Toilet:
I guess I will open a discussion because I am totally ignorant on the subject.

I keep on hearing about how character designs like the Tittymancer in Dragons Crown and other exaggerated designed females are a problem but I have yet to hear why they are a problem. I get a lot of "because sexism" answers but it doesn't answer my question.

Simple.

Because their sexualised depiction is not relevant to the character.

For example, take the depictions of half-naked, muscular men in God of War or 300. Yes, there are people who are titillated by such imagery, but the fact of the matter is that IT MAKES SENSE for an ancient warrior to be muscular, since physical strength equals dominance on the battlefield. And it makes some sense for warriors who rely on mobility not to be weighed down with heavy armour. The same could be argued for the Amazon character in this very game.

But it makes exactly zero difference to a spellcaster in a combat game how big her breasts are, and how much of them are clothed. If you had a game in which, playing as a woman, you could seduce men to achieve your goals - hell, if the big-breasted character had a special move which made males stop in their tracks (write this down, Namco, this would be an AWESOME stun-lock taunt move for Ivy) - then by all means, tits ahoy; but in this case, the tits in question define the word "gratuitous".

That's the problem. Nobody is saying that big tits and depictions thereof are ipso facto bad. Christina Hendricks has humongous mammaries, but the show Mad Men portrays her character as a woman with goals, emotions, thoughts etc, to whom physical beauty is both an asset and a liability. In that case, tits are okay. Or the women in the Game of Thrones universe: are they sexual? Hell yes. But they use their sexuality for certain ends (be it gratification, power, revenge etc), which is what beautiful women, alas, do a lot of in real life.

Now, many men are attracted to women with athletic bodies; and in a game like Mirror's Edge, Faith's lithe, flexible body is a sign of her grace, speed, and strength. It makes sense for her to be shaped like an olympic pole vaulter, because vaulting is what she does. The sexiness is a side effect; it does not define her exclusively.

Hope this helps in clearing things up.

I see your point but in your case of the character being relevant to the design aren't we being a bit to fast to judge that the spellcasters figure has no relevance to her character when the game isn't out yet and we know nothing about her aside from the ridiculous figure? I am running blind with this idea so it may be moot but what if the spellcaster has access to shape changing spells as most witches/wizards do in their relevant lore. It's a totally hypothetical idea but the idea I am trying to put across is that her design might be relevant to her character.

Also your answer doesn't really answer why it is a bad thing, I still don't see an issue with sexualized depictions aside from it can maybe hurt story telling (according to your theory). I don't think people would be losing their shit over this issue to this extent if non relevant gratuitous titties only hurt story telling.

Archangel357:

Wait, so women not getting management positions and being paid less for the same job should be accepted as the status quo? Don't get me wrong, I am no friend of man-hating feminist fundamentalism, but there are inequalities which need to be addressed.

Gender and race are genetically intrinsic, yes. The "-isms" around them, however, are not. There is no gene which makes you think that women are inferior to men, or that whites are inferior to Asians. Well, maybe the gene that makes people arseholes in general, but that's beside the point. As for enforcing equality: I agree with you that there are limits - lazy people shouldn't get paid the same as hard-working people, dumb people shouldn't have the same access to higher education as smart ones - but our societies are built on the ideal of equal treatment before the law and the same opportunities for all, everything else being equal. In a world in which a black Muslim woman has the same shot at getting a job as a white Christian man, your idea would be correct: however, our world isn't there yet. So if certain people treat others badly because of some traits over which the latter have no control, society SHOULD step the hell in and tell them it's not okay.

Also, don't get me wrong, 17 year old girls are indeed dumb as bricks, but that's got far less to do with them being female, and everything to do with them being 17. :)

Yea, I get what you mean and agree. In a perfect world people would get the same treatment if they proove themselves in a connected field, no privillages. But what is in our world is not perfect and a lot of people tackle the wrong problems, first world problems if you will, this is a leap in the wrong direction. The society is like a mafia: if you do not co-operate, it will dammage your bones. The inequalities in videogames are the least thing we should care about.
BTW I live in Finland, come from Russia.

Archangel357:
But it makes exactly zero difference to a spellcaster in a combat game how big her breasts are, and how much of them are clothed. If you had a game in which, playing as a woman, you could seduce men to achieve your goals - hell, if the big-breasted character had a special move which made males stop in their tracks (write this down, Namco, this would be an AWESOME stun-lock taunt move for Ivy) - then by all means, tits ahoy; but in this case, the tits in question define the word "gratuitous".

In the Witcher the sorceresses used their magic to ensure they remained beautiful even if they were hundreds of years old. Would you accept this as an acceptable reason for a woman who knows magic to be young looking with large breasts?

Archangel357:

Zombine3D:
Erm, Anita Sarkiizian (or whatever her shitty name is) proved ideally why feminism in the first world is stupid beyond redemption. Also girls (im 17) tend to be of abysmal intellectual capabilities, no kidding and I try to give everyone a chanse without a bias. I am not the smartest person, but smarter than them. "Sexism", like "rasism", are natural genetic things, we can not erradicate them because there is no real equality and enforced artifitial "equality" is the greatest form of inequality.

Wait, so women not getting management positions and being paid less for the same job should be accepted as the status quo? Don't get me wrong, I am no friend of man-hating feminist fundamentalism, but there are inequalities which need to be addressed.

Gender and race are genetically intrinsic, yes. The "-isms" around them, however, are not. There is no gene which makes you think that women are inferior to men, or that whites are inferior to Asians. Well, maybe the gene that makes people arseholes in general, but that's beside the point. As for enforcing equality: I agree with you that there are limits - lazy people shouldn't get paid the same as hard-working people, dumb people shouldn't have the same access to higher education as smart ones - but our societies are built on the ideal of equal treatment before the law and the same opportunities for all, everything else being equal. In a world in which a black Muslim woman has the same shot at getting a job as a white Christian man, your idea would be correct: however, our world isn't there yet. So if certain people treat others badly because of some traits over which the latter have no control, society SHOULD step the hell in and tell them it's not okay.

Also, don't get me wrong, 17 year old girls are indeed dumb as bricks, but that's got far less to do with them being female, and everything to do with them being 17. :)

I was just waiting for a reply to that post lol. Well said Archangel; plus I'd like to point out something about pain in the ass Anita, she doesn't suck because she's a feminist, she sucks - in my opinion - because (so far) she's NOT doing a good job and is making everyone wonder why the hell she needed the freaking kickstarter money, as one can see, her being a feminist is not an issue, as a matter of fact the subject she's tackling could be very well addressed by anyone, feminist or not, as long as they knew what they were doing, which so far she has not proven.

Why are we making such a fuzz over Dragon Crown? Because of the dumb way in which the journalist and the dev got into personal attacks, right? I can't think of anything else. Big boobs are all over Jap games... and movies... and anime... and manga... it's what they do, get it over with.

Legion:
Actually many feminists would disagree with you.

A woman such as the sorceress is "sexy" (speech marks because I really don't think she is), but it does not affect her character's ability. She is a powerful fighter, who also happens to be "sexy".

The Game of Thrones example of women who use their sexuality to gain something, is a hell of a lot more sexist as it's suggesting that a woman's sexuality is more important than anything else. That they are not in power because they are smart or strong, but because they use their bodies.

The former example is of a powerful character who happens to be "sexy". The latter is of a woman who relies on being sexy.

If it makes no difference being sexy, then it's not defining them, as their character remains the same regardless. If not being sexy would change the character, then that is saying that being sexy is important for that character. Which is a lot more objectifying.

Ehh, good points, but let me express myself more clearly.

First of all, feminists, at least the raging fascist kind, hate sexy women more than they hate men. Good looks - or what a given society considers such in a given episteme - are a form of power. Just like physical strength or high intelligence. I cannot become a millionaire pro athlete because I lack the physical attributes; I can, however, become a college professor. And an ugly woman (USUALLY) cannot become a rich and powerful Hollywood superstar, but *insert name here* can.
There's also the thing that those "gifts" usually take a lot of work - just like intellectuals must constantly keep up with their field, and athletes need to train, models/actresses need to diet, work out, buy pretty dresses and makeup etc. A beautiful woman using her looks to get ahead (cue Cirsei saying to Sansa that "a woman's most powerful weapon is between her legs", something that history sort of bears out) is no more or less admirable or despicable than a smart woman using her intelligence, or a tall fellow getting in the NBA. I find this singling out of physical beauty as a tool very problematic.

Anyway, back to your point. You say that the Sorceress isn't defined by her sexuality, but is that strictly true? Within the game itself, you are right; she is a "sexy" character whose looks have nothing to do with her role. But you are neglecting the fact that extradiegetically, the game is also a commodity, to be marketed at a certain audience. And in that context, her looks are EVERYTHING. She looks like she does not to better fight monsters, but to appeal to certain boys and men. And therein lies the problem. Hers is titillation for its own sake, which, again, defines the word "gratuitous". Also, "pornography".
In storytelling, every part of a character should be relevant to the story. A villain needs a reason to be bad besides "he's an arsehole", just like a "seductress" needs more reasons to be "sexy" than "it will increase sales by 10%". Hercules, Samson, Siegfried, and indeed Kratos are shown as strong because they need to be. It is a side effect that they conform to our society's notions, which consider muscular men to be sexually desirable. So I put it to you: why make a character sexualised if it has no bearing on the medium? If there were a novel about a guy who solves crimes from a locked room, using only his computer, would he need to be built like an NFL linebacker?

To illustrate my point: if we had a game in which sexual prowess were of no consequence to the character's goals, but a male character were, in promotional materials, artwork etc, depicted as having an enormous penis, would you have a problem with that?

Archangel357:
Wait, so women not getting management positions and being paid less for the same job should be accepted as the status quo? Don't get me wrong, I am no friend of man-hating feminist fundamentalism, but there are inequalities which need to be addressed.

The pay difference is calculated by comparing the sum of all the salaries that men get, the it to the sum of all the salaries that women get. However as women are more likely to work in low paid or part time work, while men are more likely to work in full time or high paid jobs men always end up earning more than women, even when they're always paid the same salary for doing the same work. This is why feminists are never able to name a single company where men are earning a third more than women for doing the same jobs.

Milanezi:

I was just waiting for a reply to that post lol. Well said Archangel; plus I'd like to point out something about pain in the ass Anita, she doesn't suck because she's a feminist, she sucks - in my opinion - because (so far) she's NOT doing a good job and is making everyone wonder why the hell she needed the freaking kickstarter money, as one can see, her being a feminist is not an issue, as a matter of fact the subject she's tackling could be very well addressed by anyone, feminist or not, as long as they knew what they were doing, which so far she has not proven.

I found Anita too condescending for my tastes

uanime5:

Archangel357:
Wait, so women not getting management positions and being paid less for the same job should be accepted as the status quo? Don't get me wrong, I am no friend of man-hating feminist fundamentalism, but there are inequalities which need to be addressed.

The pay difference is calculated by comparing the sum of all the salaries that men get, the it to the sum of all the salaries that women get. However as women are more likely to work in low paid or part time work, while men are more likely to work in full time or high paid jobs men always end up earning more than women, even when they're always paid the same salary for doing the same work. This is why feminists are never able to name a single company where men are earning a third more than women for doing the same jobs.

Great job at singling out one point.

Women are 50% of the population. How many members of Western parliaments are women? How many are CEOs of multinational corporations? Wall Street banks? How many are heads of government/state?

Not to mention the fact that you neglect the reason WHY women end up more often doing lower-paying work.

Look, we can discuss the minutiae till the cows come home, but the fact of the matter is that power is still distributed unequally among the sexes. This is due to many reasons, of course, not just the simplistic "teh sexismz", but it is a fact.

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