Jimquisition: Objectification And... Men?

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I'm getting tired of how poorly the community deals with these issues. Maybe in 50 years we'll come back to this topic and the problem will still be there. I feel for the women out there in the industry who want their voices heard only to be silenced by a community that can't take a sane pill for a day and realize that its a serious issue. By segregating people by gender, race or belief we belittle ourselves and that is something that EA or Activision is supposed to do for us. I believe that is something we can all agree on.

Admit there is a problem, then we can do something about it.

Actually, I've always thought the reason they objectify women in video games is to combine aspects of the pornography industry into the general entertainment industry in a way that doesn't set off advocacy groups. Sex tends to sell and men are easier to target with sex based media than women due to a lower resistance to it at the target age groups (mid teens to early twenties for guys is especially volatile). Women tend to have their sex drive develop more evenly and reach their peak later, so the same tactic isn't as effective on them at the same point.

ferrishthefish:

PirateRose:
Well, yes I do think female gamers would enjoy that. Straight women tend to enjoy seeing attractive, half naked men. I mean, have you seen some of the fan art the women are making of just the male LIs. Hell, there is this joeblack guy on deviant art posting 3D models of the guys shirtless on motorcycles, just for the fangirls. With the introduction of drell, having few of them dancing on some tables would have been amazing.

Attractive, half-naked men are not the same as male strippers. You go to the beach to see one; you go to the male strip joint to shove Lincolns in the other's junk (I think that's how it works, not sure). I'm also willing to bet that some male strippers are UNattractive, half-naked men, potentially trying to work their way through space school. Even the male strippers that ARE attractive have a completely different power structure than attractive, half-naked non-stripper men--i.e., total dependency as opposed to confident power. Incidentally, I'd also be willing to bet that confident, powerful men are more attractive to the average female than dependent, and therefore weak, men. I've heard of some studies on it that I won't bother looking up atm.

(I'd try to argue that attractive, half-naked women are not the same as female strippers for symmetry's sake, but I enjoy my current status of not being a target.)

I'm basically trying to suggest that average female sexual tastes might not be mirror images of average male sexual tastes, so appealing equally to male and female sexual tastes might not be as simple as you think. I'm not saying there's equal attention paid to female sexual tastes in games, because the industry's own behavior disproves that, but you can't just point to asymmetry and try to equate it to inequality. They are not the same.

There is this movie, called Magic Mike. It is amazing, a box office hit, a thing created for women for ENTERTAINMENT purposes that involve mostly naked, attractive men dancing around and the major complaint was that they tried to put a lame romantic story into the movie. You should go see it. Actually go talk to a theater workers and ask how loud the women were howling over that movie. Also, The Full Monty touches on the subject matter. Then there are existing shows in Las Vegas, Chippendales, crowded with women howling at half naked men. Also, check out the bachelorette parties going on in recent years. A recent episode of Bones covered the male stripper thing, the good doctor expressed that it's becoming increasingly popular for women of younger generations to desire male strippers because they are gaining more sexual power in their lives. There are actual studies showing how women give male strippers more cash when they are ovulating.

The only difference between male strippers and female strippers is the gender. Otherwise, whatever people are sexually attracted to, they are going to find it sexy dancing around half naked and at peak appearance.

ferrishthefish:

PirateRose:
And again, for the sake of Mass Effect's own lore, the asari are a sexually open race who find everyone else not their species sexually attractive. You would think with all their power and influence in the galaxy, they would have strip clubs set up for their viewing pleasure, which would mean there should be some male strippers shaking their asses at the bars.

Just because something is possible, sensible, or even directly implied by the framework of the story does not mean the developer will or ought to include it. You know the recent Batman movies, which have been commercial and critical successes despite having a plot hole the size of Jupiter, specifically that Batman and Alfred are able to single-handedly foil the efforts cave moisture and bat shit and their fantastic ability to destroy all of Batman's very expensive electronics? Yeah, they chose to leave that part out despite it being a direct consequence of housing such a huge operation in a fucking cave because it would have been stupid to include something that does not appeal to any audience and, in fact, reduces the appeal to the existing audience(s). People like to see Batman kick ass with futuristic and non-destroyed technology, and without being covered in guano.

I hate to have to use this line, but video games are ENTERTAINMENT. It's not worth the time and effort to produce entertainment (which costs money) if it won't be more appealing than real life (which is essentially free). In other words, it's about appeal, not about making sense. And since male strippers would most likely reduce the appeal to young men (most likely straight), Bioware understandably would require some proof that male strippers would produce enough appeal to the female or gay audience to make up for the reduced appeal to straight males, regardless of how much sense male strippers make in the context of the story.

Well it didn't hurt Fallout New Vegas sales to have male prostitutes and male strippers. I haven't heard a single complaint from any man who has played the game about these dudes. It's as if they didn't care and were mature enough to realize male prostitutes and strippers exist without harming their straight sexualities. Even better, these characters weren't put in for a female audience, they were often gay and cat calling the male Courier. Female Courier got cat calls from guys, but only had female options and a robot to get laid with, Obsidian actually addressed homosexual needs before straight female needs. And I can understand, realistically, female Courier accidentally getting pregnant at a time like that would be bad. However, as you yourself state, video games are for entertainment purposes! Let's bend reality a little and let the female audience enjoy the idea of not being strapped down to the idea her uterus is a baby factory. After all, male courier isn't getting any of the female prostitutes pregnant.

You know, all these people saying "IT'S BEEN SAID BEFORE, JIM!" are really missing the point.

He made this responding to a popular argument from people who saw his previous videos. He even found a gentleman being reasonable rather than the common "F### YOU! GAMES ARR PURFICT! YOU DON'T KNOW, STOP BEING FEMINAZI! NOT EVN GURL LOL!" that it commonly comes in.

He addressed guys who feel let down by characters like Kratos, who make some men feel less since they are built like bricks and can just go do what they want. Tons of gamers are introverted guys with self-esteem issues, and I'm sure they get fed up with hearing how video games are objectifying women, because most guys like girls. Like talking to girls, getting to know them, finding out HOW they manage to smell good/look pretty, and they don't feel that should be bad.

And it isn't necessarily. What's bad is when you just want to own that nice pretty lady. When you want to play her like a puppet around your essence. Games are getting better about it(Bioshock: Infinite's twist definitely empowered the GIRLY GIRL character and turned everything around for example) but it's still a rare thing to see. I know that Aliens game by Gearbox sucked, but right off the bat I was confused and angered when I found out you couldn't play a girl character. IN fact they KILL the girl character right away so the story can be about the manly marines, because who would want to follow a girl character in an ALIENS title.

So Jim straight up explained, almost in baby words, why women in games are considered "objectified" while men are considered "idealized". Women are expected to be more mature, more intelligent, and yet...less...than men. They can't be sexual, but they have to be sexualized. They can't be singularly strong, and game devs are still not wanting to add in those "GIRL" characters, despite the interactive media market openning up to women more and more. It's a problem, not a problem that is emanating from the gamers who get upset hearing what a problem it is, but from the developers treating us like we are all 14. I'm personally sick of such attitudes, and don't think such messages are "oversaturated" until the problem is solved. If we stop talking about it, that doesn't mean it goes away.

PirateRose:

ferrishthefish:

PirateRose:
Well, yes I do think female gamers would enjoy that. Straight women tend to enjoy seeing attractive, half naked men. I mean, have you seen some of the fan art the women are making of just the male LIs. Hell, there is this joeblack guy on deviant art posting 3D models of the guys shirtless on motorcycles, just for the fangirls. With the introduction of drell, having few of them dancing on some tables would have been amazing.

Attractive, half-naked men are not the same as male strippers. You go to the beach to see one; you go to the male strip joint to shove Lincolns in the other's junk (I think that's how it works, not sure). I'm also willing to bet that some male strippers are UNattractive, half-naked men, potentially trying to work their way through space school. Even the male strippers that ARE attractive have a completely different power structure than attractive, half-naked non-stripper men--i.e., total dependency as opposed to confident power. Incidentally, I'd also be willing to bet that confident, powerful men are more attractive to the average female than dependent, and therefore weak, men. I've heard of some studies on it that I won't bother looking up atm.

(I'd try to argue that attractive, half-naked women are not the same as female strippers for symmetry's sake, but I enjoy my current status of not being a target.)

I'm basically trying to suggest that average female sexual tastes might not be mirror images of average male sexual tastes, so appealing equally to male and female sexual tastes might not be as simple as you think. I'm not saying there's equal attention paid to female sexual tastes in games, because the industry's own behavior disproves that, but you can't just point to asymmetry and try to equate it to inequality. They are not the same.

There is this movie, called Magic Mike. It is amazing, a box office hit, a thing created for women for ENTERTAINMENT purposes that involve mostly naked, attractive men dancing around and the major complaint was that they tried to put a lame romantic story into the movie. You should go see it. Actually go talk to a theater workers and ask how loud the women were howling over that movie. Also, The Full Monty touches on the subject matter. Then there are existing shows in Las Vegas, crowded with women howling at half naked men. Also, check out the bachelorette parties going on in recent years. A recent episode of Bones covered the male stripper thing, the good doctor expressed that it's becoming increasingly popular for women of younger generations to desire male strippers because they are gaining more sexual power in their lives. There are actual studies showing how women give male strippers more cash when they are ovulating.

The only difference between male strippers and female strippers is the gender. Otherwise, whatever people are sexually attracted to, they are going to find it sexy dancing around half naked and at peak appearance.

ferrishthefish:

PirateRose:
And again, for the sake of Mass Effect's own lore, the asari are a sexually open race who find everyone else not their species sexually attractive. You would think with all their power and influence in the galaxy, they would have strip clubs set up for their viewing pleasure, which would mean there should be some male strippers shaking their asses at the bars.

Just because something is possible, sensible, or even directly implied by the framework of the story does not mean the developer will or ought to include it. You know the recent Batman movies, which have been commercial and critical successes despite having a plot hole the size of Jupiter, specifically that Batman and Alfred are able to single-handedly foil the efforts cave moisture and bat shit and their fantastic ability to destroy all of Batman's very expensive electronics? Yeah, they chose to leave that part out despite it being a direct consequence of housing such a huge operation in a fucking cave because it would have been stupid to include something that does not appeal to any audience and, in fact, reduces the appeal to the existing audience(s). People like to see Batman kick ass with futuristic and non-destroyed technology, and without being covered in guano.

I hate to have to use this line, but video games are ENTERTAINMENT. It's not worth the time and effort to produce entertainment (which costs money) if it won't be more appealing than real life (which is essentially free). In other words, it's about appeal, not about making sense. And since male strippers would most likely reduce the appeal to young men (most likely straight), Bioware understandably would require some proof that male strippers would produce enough appeal to the female or gay audience to make up for the reduced appeal to straight males, regardless of how much sense male strippers make in the context of the story.

Well it didn't hurt Fallout New Vegas sales to have male prostitutes and male strippers. I haven't heard a single complaint from any man who has played the game about these dudes. It's as if they didn't care and were mature enough to realize male prostitutes and strippers exist without harming their straight sexualities. Even better, these characters weren't put in for a female audience, they were often gay and cat calling the male Courier. Female Courier got cat calls from guys, but only had female options and a robot to get laid with, Obsidian actually addressed homosexual needs before straight female needs. And I can understand, realistically, female Courier accidentally getting pregnant at a time like that would be bad. However, as you yourself state, video games are for entertainment purposes! Let's bend reality a little and let the female audience enjoy the idea of not being strapped down to the idea her uterus is a baby factory. After all, male courier isn't getting any of the female prostitutes pregnant.

It took me awhile to get into Fallout:New Vegas due to a very glitchy openning. Got 3/4 the way through and put on that awesome armor on the cover, and destroyed all the work I did getting it....:(

That being said, I still think the best quest in the game is collecting hookers and strippers for that one place that is outside main vegas. I especially love the spanish male hooker Santiago. He was hilarious, well written, and fit the role in the game well. Fallout in general uses a near farce liking to sexuality that feels appropriate and compliments the game. It didn't have to be there but it is, and in New Vegas they spread that to men. I enjoy this, because it's new. It handles the topic with a bit of humour, but in the end goes "these people exist, they aren't necessarily the worst people ever, and that's just life."

All in all, and most importantly, it reflects low payed areas mindset on such things, and gives us a window into this world we previously didn't have. These are good things, and I'm glad Bethesda decided to include it.

NoeL:

1337mokro:
Question!!! Why does Superman shave his legs? HOW does Superman shave his legs? I mean Greenlantern I can get, Human with alien technology. How does Superman manage though? Industrial strength polymer leg waxing?

Yet you never wondered how he shaves his face?

Anyway, I remember an episode of Lois and Clark where he shaved by reflecting his eye lasers with a mirror. I guess his skin is tougher than his hair, and the strength of his laser vision falls nicely between the two.

Not to mention that this would basically be Laser Hair Removal and would eventually lead to him not having to shave.

PirateRose:

FemShep was doing real good till the third game and Bioware decided the audience was a bunch of dudebros that want to masturbate to hot lesbians. If you play the way many female fans played, your only option in ME3 is to be a lesbian because the male LI you picked either had the balls to cheat on Shepard, died, or is made unavailable because Tali. Apparently with the Citadel DLC, Bioware realized this problem, and threw in the femShep sexual harassing/raping James Vega or drunkenly sexing with Javik. That's right boys, female Shepard got special treatment for once in the form of awkward, unwanted one night stands while Male Shepard is stuck with a bunch of boring, stable, sexual relationships. *sarcasm*

I was demanding on the forums that Bioware put in some male strippers since ME1, day one. It's really strange that as openly sexual and powerful as the asari are, they aren't on the receiving end and have a bar with a bunch of male aliens taking it all off so they can make their way through college.

I believe in the end it comes down to one thing, that was made apparent when they describe how they created Thane Krios. He was suppose to be that character that was for female fan service of a sexualized male alien equal to the asari. The following is some explanation behind Thane's appearance:

"The body wasn't as exhausting as the head. This is Matt Rhodes' attempt. You see, we still have some of the old heads on there, but Matt was trying to explore what would happen if we had more flesh showing. That didn't go over well. We weren't very comfortable with the amount of skin." - Game Informer, Drawing Mass Effect 2, The Creation of Thane. (you know, out of context, this quote is glorious)

They decided against having Thane half naked because that made them uncomfortable. The male alien that was suppose to be on par with the sexy asari, couldn't be taken that extra step of sexualization. Meanwhile, the camera is up Miranda's skin tight covered butt frequently(she also has a well detailed camel toe) and Jack is running around with nothing but thin straps holding her boobs. They had to create an alternate outfit for Jack's advertising because her outfit was that revealing. But you know, these women are "sexually open" and it's vital to their "characterizations." At the very least they gave Thane the man cleavage and tried to excuse it for medical purposes. Like I'm sure Samara's reasons are behind her deep, plunging neckline.

Then in the end, they killed off Thane after a couple of lines of dialogue(they had nothing else better for him but a poorly coordinated fight and "emotionally engaging" death scene), stuck the camera back up Miranda's butt(her side plot is the same as ME2), and covered Jack up a bit more, but put her in a more feminine role. (See ladies, you mature and grow and feel better about yourself when you fill out a motherly role.) They did, oddly, almost completely eliminate the strippers, but they make up for it by making the Traynor romance start out like a soft core, male fantasy lesbian porno. Male Shepard's exclusive gay relationship starts out with a cute, comfortable, safe date with Cortez at the bar. Everyone applaud Bioware for their great maturity in handling homosexual relationships.

I'm going to agree with some of your points, particularly on Samara and the lack of male sex objects in the game on a par with the Asari "dancers". Also on the point of hypocrisy with Miranda and Jack. I'm not sure I'd go with the tone you're using, but that's more of a personal preference rather than an outright disagreement. (Also not going to comment on the Citadel DLC as I've not played it myself.) I'm not sure that it's done purely to pander to straight males in the audience, though - I think it's more of Bioware really not knowing how to write something for a female Shep that would be the equivalent to the male Shep, and the attempt being rather awkward and missing the mark. And probably not quite being able to figure out a more meaningful series of sexual options for their female characters beyond One Night Stand (Jack, Miranda, Traynor, Kelly) and Long-Term Commitment (Liara, Tali, Ashley). This may have something to do with the fact that there are only 2 credited women (out of 13 credited writers) on the three main Mass Effect games; Ann Lemay and Cathleen Rootsaert (who was a dialogue editor in ME2 and promoted to writer in ME3), with no women credited as writers on ME1. (It would be interesting to get their take on the matter, actually.)

Also going to give a bit of a nod to the below post:

th3dark3rsh33p:
Kaiden is a decent romance, Garrus is a great romance, and Thane had a very meaningful death and interesting subplot. If you didn't like it that sucks, but it's certainly not the worst part of the game. It wasn't pandering to the straight male audiance. Jacob was a complete brick of a character so I don't see why he was much of a loss but I'll give it to you. Femshep only got two lesbian love interests. If you count the new DLC they added another straight one in James, and that was hardly rape/harassment.

Male shep also got two pretty decent gay love interests. I mean I'm sorry I'm not seeing this completely exclusive pandering to straight males here. Whatever you might disagree with the games direction I just don't think there is much proof to your claims.

I think you've both got some good points on this; it seems to be more a question of aesthetics now. One likes what happened, one didn't like it as much (if at all), and both have good reasons for the opinion.

Subscriptism:

jokulhaups:
Cue the masses claiming, "this isn't a problem, stop talking about it".

There are bigger problems, this doesn't need as much attention as it's getting.

Of course there are bigger problems, but there are all sorts of people on this planet and we don't have to sit around waiting for life threatening issues to be solved before we talk about this. There are people who can take care of those problems while attention is brought to this by others.

TAdamson:

Spearmaster:

TAdamson:
snip

Almost like its a sea of Developers/Publishers out there that most likely hear and see what people are asking for and either don't want to take the risk of something new or figure someone else will do it, kinda punting the football around.

On the other side how does it help the cause when games from these same developers are attacked for making something, either a character choice or a whole game design, that is clearly designed by or for a certain groups taste, in most cases men? I'm sure most of this comes from the most extreme of the group but it results in a defensive response from a lot of male gamers, one of those defensive responses is what this weeks Jimquisition was about.

So it leaves me to question how attacking a game to the point of causing male gamers to defensively try to justify the existence of the game is a way of asking the industry for better representation of women. I hear from mostly level headed people that all seem to want the same thing and I'm on board with it but attacking games or game characters that were clearly meant to stimulate the male heterosexual population just comes off as a way of saying those games or character should not exist and men should not be allowed have them. (some people actually do believe this btw)

Saying "this game is a sexist piece of shit" and saying "this game is clearly for men, I wish we had games that were for everyone" is not the same thing. The difference is destructive versus constructive dialog.

It's a final straw thing for some people. I think some games for men should be a "sexist piece of shit". Maxim exists for a reason. But Maxim is "sexist piece of shit" demographic chasing. Most games are not specifically "sexist piece of shit" chasing, they just happen to ignore the female demographic, and then the game equivalent of Maxim is targeted due to frustration.

Dead or Alive is what it is and I think most people accept that but it's a good example of how stupid a demographic that they're targeting

Dragons Crown I don't really have a problem with....

----- Apart from the blank emotionless child faces on the female characters. Seriously... Tits, ass and inappropriate clothing: Fine...... Having the same very-teen, anime, emotionally-blank, face on every female character: Makes me frown because its a little dehumanising.-----

I'm annoyed that Soul Calibur went from simply having sexy characters to going for absurd boob-physix titillation.

I'm annoyed that female protagonists are verboten.

I'm annoyed that there isn't the game version of Ellen Ripley or Hermione Granger or Arya Stark.

So it's easy to point to DoA or Dragon's Crown and ask why so much of this "sexist piece of shit" exists and why more interesting, realistic female characters don't exist.

So its more so the frustration of seeing yet another game featuring large breasts and skimpy clothing and having no game or not enough games out there to provide the counter balance. I can understand the frustration I just wish attacking games was not the only option to get attention because it can send the wrong message.

NoeL:

1337mokro:
Question!!! Why does Superman shave his legs? HOW does Superman shave his legs? I mean Greenlantern I can get, Human with alien technology. How does Superman manage though? Industrial strength polymer leg waxing?

Yet you never wondered how he shaves his face?

Anyway, I remember an episode of Lois and Clark where he shaved by reflecting his eye lasers with a mirror. I guess his skin is tougher than his hair, and the strength of his laser vision falls nicely between the two.

It was just a joke and someone already beat you to the punch with video of both the TV series and the animated series.

PirateRose:
Magic Mike was popular because it had male strippers, not because it had "sensitive direction, smart screenplay, and strong performances."

That's like saying Inglourious Basterds was popular because it had Jews, not because it was a good movie. I'm sorry, but I'm really not buying this logic.

PirateRose:
Well it didn't hurt Fallout New Vegas sales to have male prostitutes and male strippers. I haven't heard a single complaint from any man who has played the game about these dudes. It's as if they didn't care and were mature enough to realize male prostitutes and strippers exist without harming their straight sexualities.

So male gamers should be mature enough to not care about male strippers, but female gamers have all the right in the world to complain about female strippers? And here you are suggesting that I'M the one with double standards?

alj:
An example of how stupid this can get ...

Does anyone know of a game where you play as a 27 year old man who is

- slightly overweight
- has a long scruffy ponytail
- who has a beard because they are too lazy to shave

Anyone

Anyone ?

What a shame guess i cannot play any more games then.

see how stupid this can get

Any game that allows me to make my own character. See Saints Row as a more recent example.

Funny how having attractive women in games counts as something trivial and essentially nonsensically made-up like "objectification", which is obviously a huge emergency for world society...

...meanwhile, if somebody mentioned that games were being insensitive by routinely depicting the disproportionate mass slaughter of men (and usually only men), they'd be disregarded out of hand, despite the fact that is an ACTUAL thing that happens in the ACTUAL real world causing the deaths of many actual people who's being male was a massive factor in their being exposed to an early and violent death, and you could legitimately make an argument for the inclusion of such things in media (usually along with the avoidance of depicting violence that occurs to women, which is a very rare thing in both the real and fictional worlds) reinforcing society's idea of violence being ok or at least reasonably acceptable as long as it's happening to men.

But don't worry, women have bigger problems. Like what to do with their extended lifespans which are partly explainable by sexist attitudes that result in greater spending for female-specific healthcare despite men paying a disproportionately high amount of tax.

Also imaginary wage gaps. That's a big one.

EDIT: And to tackle the actual issue more specifically...

Why is it that these "power fantasy" male characters tend to:

A. Not look at all like stereotypically strong men.
B. Tend rather to mostly look like fitness models.
C. Happen to look exactly like a male character designed for the sexual gratification of heterosexual/bisexual females and/or homosexual/bisexual males?

C. is also important in the sense that part of the "men want to be him" concept is that men want to be what women want to have, as an observation.

Then we get the old bollocks of "not enough women in the games industry" and "games are too focused on male demographics", even when we have male characters that LOOK EXACTLY LIKE THEY WERE TARGETED AT WOMEN. It's not important whether they were or not when it's the SAME RESULT. And this is from companies where SOME DEVELOPERS ACTUALLY ARE WOMEN, which I think must be at least reasonably important to point out.

There is absolutely no winning, is there?... *Sigh* I think people should just give up as soon as they realize they've been born male, because it really seems not to be worth the hassle sometimes -_-

EDIT: Oh and another thing is... some may point out "well.... those characters don't look like men [I/most women/some women/somebody else] would be attracted to".

So?

Do all men find all female game characters sexy? Do most? Do most find most sexy?

Christ, they're GAME CHARACTERS to begin with. You're not even meant to find them particularly sexy in the first place.

EDIT: Oh and as a closing note, I also don't like that someone is automatically a "perv" or some such if their sexuality operates in a way different from someone else, or in a way that they don't like.
If men happen to place more value on X or Y than a woman does, I guess that makes them shallow.

Perhaps men should just start judging women by factors like height and wealth instead, then maybe they'd be happy? ;D

I only really wish to chime in regarding one regularly repeated piece of information that is misleading and will touch on some other concepts following it.

The gamer ratio being male/female as 53%/47% does not mean that the FPS ration is 53%/47% or that the gamers playing Uncharted or anything else would follow that ratio. The last study that actually broke up console ownership by sex actually put 80% of all female console gamers in the study as Wii gamers. This was 2008/2009 when the demographic divide was 60%/40% and it isn't entirely unlikely that the evening of the gaming ratio isn't related to the rapid integration of smart phones and iOS games at our fingertips over the past 5 or so years.

I'm not saying this makes objectification of women ok. They are clearly objectified in a ton of games as defined here by Jim and the men are not. This is only to point out that the real market audience of games like Gears of War may still be significantly more male than female. The question is, does that make it ok? Does that change anything here? If the ratio were as wildly out of whack as 90%/10% would that justify the kind of silliness we've seen in the DOA titles? Would making female friendly games encourage female participation or is there an actual different in gaming styles between the sexes (whether evolved or culturally based, doesn't functionally matter)? Are movies that objectify women wrong for doing so or are they justified for meeting a niche market?

I'd also posit that women have body parts that lend themselves to exaggeration. Breasts, ass, legs, hip ratios, these are easily demonstrated and easily exaggerated. There's not a ton you can exaggerate on a man that is desireable to people other than muscles, a toned ass and perhaps some kind of bulge in ye' ol' panteloons region. To that effect, I would like to believe that if men had things that were so easily exaggerated that they would be as well, and, guys would probably want it to be. In the same vein, I have known women who want to look the way the women look in these games and will actually surgically change themselves to exaggerate their own features in this way. It is merely an interesting concept that women physically do this to themselves as well. Just something to think about.

Subscriptism:
Perhaps I might see it, however I can't personally nor do I know of any other male who can even remotely be described as constantly leering, nor do I personally know a single woman who has ever complained that they are being leered at 24/7. I just don't buy it.

I said neither of those things.

I didn't say that men were constantly leering, nor did I say that women get leered at 24/7. I just said that many women get leered at every day. It might be only for 5 minutes per day. And it doesn't mean that the man leers at everything he sees. But women are pretty consistently leered at. Men, not so much.

generals3:

Aardvaarkman:

Well, you just read me writing it. It may not be the same as hearing someone say it, but there it is. If more cars on the road were more like BMWs, then that would be a good thing. I don't feel superior because not everyone can afford one. It would be fantastic if more people drove them. It's not something that makes me feel insecure. They are very good cars - why wouldn't I want more people to drive such good cars? It would make the roads safer and more pleasant to drive on.

Which are two selfish reasons to want to spread BMW's. So my point stands.

Not really. Even if there is some selfish motivation, it still improves things for others. And how is considering the safety and pleasure of others selfish, anyway?

You seem to be revising your "point" - you claimed that people do not or should not consider other people in their purchasing decisions. I offered a counter-example. The good of others often improves the good of oneself. The betterment of society also tends to increase the betterment of the individual. So making choices that purely concern yourself, don't tend to be great choices.

generals3:

And how are they problematic? And the monetary reasons are bullshit? So you have conducted market studies ?

Market studies? That would assume that "the market" is the only thing that matters, and making money is the sole measure of worth. You may believe that, but I do not.

As for completely one-sides gender portrayals being problematic, then if you can't see that, then I can't help you.

I'm sorry that I would put more faith in a marketing department of a big company which probably spend a lot of time studying the market than a random poster who probably only has his word to back up the claim it's not a monetary sound business practice. The fact it's less exploited doesn't mean it's more profitable, niche markets for example are usually de-facto less exploited but you won't see every big business venturing in them exactly because it's a niche market.
Gaming companies are run by people who want to make profit, not bro dudes who want to exclude women.

How are women a "niche market"? They are the majority of the population.

I'm also not sure why you put such blind faith in marketers and companies. Companies and marketers fail all the time, often spectacularly. I wouldn't trust them to understand human beings. They tend to run on momentum and flawed assumptions, not intelligence or evidence. And many game companies do tend to be composed of bro dudes who want to exclude women.

SeanSeanston:

...meanwhile, if somebody mentioned that games were being insensitive by routinely depicting the disproportionate mass slaughter of men (and usually only men), they'd be disregarded out of hand, ...

I don't disregard that out-of-hand. I think it's actually a significant issue in gaming.

"I want to see more women getting interested in games and game development, but stuff like this only serves to further cement the idea that you're stepping into a male hobby rather than something that is more inclusive"

"No way, it's totally impossible to make characters that men and women can both enjoy and find cool! Better stop with that line of reasoning fast, or the next thing you know we'll have to start being clever and insightful about how we approach this kind of stuff and that's just way too much to ask of people who do this for a living." -Chemical Alia

There is so much id like to say, yet sum up with a punch to your face because honestly, how you've represented yourself, this is the only logical thing to do. However, I will humor your silly yet inaccurate fight for sexism and your lack of ability to apply yourself to the fullest potential as a video game artist.

You cannot be more wrong or misspoken than you have already shown yourself as. You do not and cannot speak for all women. This is a FACT for your opinion.

Chemical Alia aka Shaylyn Hamm, this is why you were not sought for in character design and only what you were educated in, environmental art. Apparently there is a lot you need to learn about in the industry. like How you represent yourself and how you will always represent the company you work for. I believe this is why we so often see ignorant and childish statements like yours followed by an apology.

The look of an individual CANNOT be sexist. Sexism is prejudice or discrimination based on a person's sex. Sexist attitudes may stem from traditional stereotypes of gender roles, and may include the belief that a person of one sex is intrinsically superior to a person of the other.

If a beautiful voluptuous woman walks down the street wearing the same outfit as the Sorceress would that mean she is being sexist? Or That she is a very confident woman that is not ashamed of her body? Some girls, dont like to show skin. Others do and some too much. But shouldn't one always be happy with their body appearance? Should one always cover up because another says that;s the way? No.

Your opinion and attitude is Very immature and ignorant in the practice of art and gaming. And clearly are not a REAL artist. I am not talking about your background or ability, more rather the fact that as an "artist" you failed to appreciate another artists stroke of the pen. instead of criticism you showed judgment and jealousy. And nothing of professional standard.

I am a female and I play games, as you like to say "male based games" and neutral based games. Even the games that are considered girl based games. Seeing a sexier chick on a game is not going to make me want to NOT play. wtf? I love this shit. Its Super sexy and can be badass. If anything, This is even incorporating Thick, voluptuous woman. Instead of super unrealistic skinny chicks with just as big of boobs. I see curves and confidence I see a necromancer.

This is fantasy, i dont want normal girls, i see that everyday in life! Laaaaaame.

****Did i mention, I am a female? Did I mention I was going to buy this game, cause i am. Did I mention why?Cause me and my Bf agree, the sorceress, shes totally hot <3

Aardvaarkman:

generals3:

Aardvaarkman:

Well, you just read me writing it. It may not be the same as hearing someone say it, but there it is. If more cars on the road were more like BMWs, then that would be a good thing. I don't feel superior because not everyone can afford one. It would be fantastic if more people drove them. It's not something that makes me feel insecure. They are very good cars - why wouldn't I want more people to drive such good cars? It would make the roads safer and more pleasant to drive on.

Which are two selfish reasons to want to spread BMW's. So my point stands.

Not really. Even if there is some selfish motivation, it still improves things for others. And how is considering the safety and pleasure of others selfish, anyway?

You seem to be revising your "point" - you claimed that people do not or should not consider other people in their purchasing decisions. I offered a counter-example. The good of others often improves the good of oneself. The betterment of society also tends to increase the betterment of the individual. So making choices that purely concern yourself, don't tend to be great choices.

I don't revise anything. My point was that consumers rarely go lobby for other people's preferences. You justified your choice for wanting others to have BMW's because it'd make the streets more pleasant to drive on. Unless you don't like driving on pleasant streets it's obvious it is for you that you're lobbying. That it happens to make others happier is just a happy coincidence. If i lobby for a certain sets of games it may make other consumers who have the same preferences happy as well, but it's not for them i do it.(though i may use others as an extra justification for my argument, which what i'd call "abusing emotional response to altruism", a very common type of emotional appeal) The altruistic consumer is a very rare breed.

generals3:

And how are they problematic? And the monetary reasons are bullshit? So you have conducted market studies ?

Market studies? That would assume that "the market" is the only thing that matters, and making money is the sole measure of worth. You may believe that, but I do not.

You claimed the monetary reasons are BS. If you wanted to use other arguments to defend your opinion you should have done so. You tried to recycle my own argument against my own point.

As for completely one-sides gender portrayals being problematic, then if you can't see that, then I can't help you.

But let's push it a bit further than shall we. What about how few games feature black people? What about muslims? Etc. There is no inherent need to include everyone. If a game decides to have only important male characters you'd need a damn fine argument to say WHY that is bad because by default it isn't. You see if you have a game which tries to mimick real life and shows thousands of NPC's and none are women you could raise your eyebrow because that would seem as a very bad representation of Real Life. But in a random fantasy game or one which only features a very limited set of characters, it's a whole different piece of cake.

How are women a "niche market"? They are the majority of the population.

I'm also not sure why you put such blind faith in marketers and companies. Companies and marketers fail all the time, often spectacularly. I wouldn't trust them to understand human beings. They tend to run on momentum and flawed assumptions, not intelligence or evidence. And many game companies do tend to be composed of bro dudes who want to exclude women.

Ok let me clarify something. If you make a game you don't target all women nor all men for that matter. You target potential costumers. If the potential costumers happen to be predominantly men than that's what you want to target. The cosmetic industry also largely ignores men despite men accounting for 49% of the population and let me tell you there is a good reason for that, because said 49% is in general much less interested in beauty products. So while you may have 3.6 billion women and 3.4 billion men (random number, didn't feel like googling the real number because it is largely irrelevant) you'll probably have something like 3 billion potential female costumers and 1 billion potential male costumers. Which would totally justify a much bigger focus on the female segment.

2:40 Bull crap. 4:12 Heck yes. 4:40 A burly guythat only thinks of combat isn't my idea of ideal.(Oghren and Asura aside,of course.) I'd like heroes like Yu Narikami,Natsu from Fairy Tail,Blackstar from Soul Eater,Lee from Naruto,or even better,Dr. David Loren from Think Tank. THOSE are good male heroes that aren't burly muscle men.

I find it a tad funny that those who feel this topic is cliche / discussed to death... are among the users within a 20 paged thread about said topic.

Which indicates that this topic is still at large and something that can't be avoided. Do not worry though, I am picking at no one. Just feel we need to take this in a respectful, civil manner and express what we think about it so that perhaps the ideals can sink in. No sarcasm, for I learn a lot from people even if we do not agree on everything.

OT: Personally, Jim is right in my opinion. The developers target the male audience hence why there's a lot of male protagonists rather then females. Heck in Black Ops 2, there are mainly male characters and the female... needs saving in the main story. On multiplayer, everyone can only be a male despite that a ton of women play the game too including my girlfriend. Imagine if companies would consider the fact a lot of people of both sexes play video games, that we could have a ga,e that has more variety. Mass Effect 3's multiplayer got it right by adding male and female versions of the class give plus the aliens within the series to be playable like geth and Krogans.

DVS BSTrD:
I recall having a similar discussion about the portrayal of men vs the portrayal women in popular culture overall. For from objectifying men, this other person seemed to think that men were unfairly stereotyped as fat idiots who were completely dependent on women to save them from themselves. Now I want you to look at these pictures and ask yourself
imageimage
Which standard is harder to live up to?

GEE, that's an interesting point, that has nothing to do with this video. This video is about sexual objectification, not role models.

Ashoten:
I have heard this argument before when people talk about comic book women being objectified. This is the best response I have seen.

image

Make of it what you will.

i just have this urge to comment on this: OH GOD!! MY EYES!! THEY BURN!! THEY BUUUUUUUUUUUUUURRRRN!! x.x

on a more productive note... *sigh* i get this has been going on a bit (600-something comments in like 2days? hmm?) and whilst skimming i found it funny the constant call backs to Mass Effect and Uncharted, i'm going to completely disregard Uncharted as i haven't played it, but as a female gamer i do not find whatshisname M!Laura Croft appealing... at all... i don't get why everyone's on him supposedly being 'hawt' when i haven't met a single straight woman or gay man that says so *shrugs* but oh MASS EFFECT!! but more importantly, THE ASARI!! :D these modern takes on the old school scifi nerdism of 'GREEN SKIN CHICKS!!' from Trek, and now brought into the 'new' world of scifi gaming for more nerdism of 'BLUE SKIN CHICKS!!' sigh... i always find the sheer concept of them hilarious, because women will get all huffy and be like 'no lesbianism, bleh!' while guys are like 'yay lesbianism, woo!' when the 'reality' of this fictional verse is they... aren't... female... really... 'female' requires a counterpoint 'male', and both words only really exist to explain the difference of the other, so with them being 'monogendered' and therefore having the 'features necessary for breeding/caretaking' Ie: boobs... if you REALLY want to think about it they 'aren't' female... so its funny to me for people to get all up on using them for any kind of 'gender' anything...

as a straight woman do i find Asari hot? yes, i will not deny that, i had my shep, male or female, hit on every Asari possible, they are awesome! do i find the 'female' characters the same level of 'hawt'? oddly... no... no i don't? *shrugs* the furthest i can get with the other 'female' cast is what would be the equivalent of 'bromance' or heterosexual-lifemate kind of deal... but i can comfortablly yell to the edges of the world 'i would totally hit that' in the case of an Asari... MAYBE its just that i recognize the whole 'they aren't really women' thing, but really that didn't 'click' to me till the end of ME2 and Samara rebuked me due to 'plot' *shrugs* but i find them a fascinating example of just gender-typing, many of the Asari actually display rather 'male-dominated' personalities, Tavos and Aria particularly, even Samara could be considered that 'old school samurai' type, while others are clearly more feminine, Liara, but the thing that i LIKE about them, is that well this is 'normal' to them, in context, they're like a great example in a main stream game of 'gender neutrality', ironic being that they are monogendered despite everyone considering them 'female' and that's all 'okay'?

but Mass Effect is also 'good' for this arguement with the whole differences of male/female shep... playing as F!Shepard, to be honest, the only person i WANTED to end up with was Liara... why? none of the 'guys' were all that 'interesting'... and for the sake of 'plot' they seemed better off as bromates... yet M!Shepard has this wide array of 'oh yea, i can totally hit that!' and i watched one of my girlfriends play it so her M!Shep was literally sleeping around with EVERYONE at once... then both me and her sat back and sighed deeply about how 'easy' that was, yet neither of us could say jack about the 'dudes' we could get as F!Shep... we both just ended up going for Liara as 'default' because out of the 'guys' available, REALLY 'she' was the best pick... looks, brains, empathy, life-expectancy, etc. my question to the 'writer-gods' is 'what does that tell you? when two straight woman agree to go for the psudo-woman instead of the plethora of dudes available?'

*shrugs* guys in games just aren't 'appealing' like 'chicks' in games are i guess... but it might just be an appeal thing, you can't really 'exagerate' guys anatomy like you can women, else it just gets really gross... and in order to 'understand' what would appeal to a female gamer we'd need more women actually involved in writing, i tried this once and got ignored and regaled to 'give me sidequests' -.- so maybe its just a need to drop everything and start over somewhere...

I'll repeat that society does not emphasize major components of men aside from the genitalia which the US shy away from displaying in readily available media. Society has historically and in modern times emphasized female beauty and as such, the female form. Breasts, Legs, Hips, Ass, and facial symmetry. These things are easy to exaggerate and often have desireable proportions that do not always align themselves with numbers that are physically possible. Manga exaggeration of the eyes is an easy and non-controversial example of such exaggeration (just talking about the eyes here).

I would posit that if we were crab people (bear with me) and crab women were more attracted to crab men with large right claws, that our video game male protagonists would have right claws of epic proportions. As is, all we've got is muscles toned or bulked, being tall, buns of steel if women are to be believed, a pretty or rugged face depending on tastes, and maybe a slightly telling bulge in the pants area but no more due to US policies on that region. These things are often exaggerated. But they can't be exaggerated in the same way and still be attractive.

This doesn't make objectification right by any means. This is just a perspective to understand. Women in videogames are objectified more for their role in games than their physical attributes. But come on, chainmail bikini? I think we do know exploitation and objectification when we see it. At least make the garments functional where relevant.

At the end of the day though, you have to answer these two questions. What qualifies as an appropriate female body in videogames and who gets to decide those proportions? I don't know that there can ever be a right answer to that. I don't think any of us know where the actual line is. We can't exactly spell it out but we know when we see it. That's kind of an interesting paradox. We don't know exactly what we don't want, but we know we don't want it when we see it. Jim, correctly showed DOA videos. These are obvious examples. But I assure you that many more blur the line and there are others out there, even women, who just see those examples and want to play as those characters.

MrsBloo:
Polite Snip

Maybe that was one too many hits to put at Chemical Alia, but I also feel that this is one of the best post in the whole thread. I wish it could just be re-pasted every time we have this discussion

In fact, I almost feel that this is the conclusion most of these threads eventually arrive at. Good work to you.

Ashoten:
I have heard this argument before when people talk about comic book women being objectified. This is the best response I have seen.

image

Make of it what you will.

I actually feel that this next image is a pretty good reply, since men and women are sexualized in pretty different manners (women for fertility, men for power):

image

Ashoten:
I have heard this argument before when people talk about comic book women being objectified. This is the best response I have seen.

image

Make of it what you will.

I'm unsure of the intended point here. These are men dressed in drag versions of their regular costumes without changing any physical features.

How is that commentary on men being objectified as men and not just making them feminine?

It's difficult to exaggerate male features without quickly entering the realm of grotesque. Again, if men had a compontent that was particularly desireable (and viewable in non-mature/adult games), then the male protagonists would absolutely have the biggest/best/orangest or whatever adjective pushes it towards more attractive exaggeration of that component. And, I dare say men would want to play as that.

The problem of objectification of women in games is moreso their role than proportions. That picture does shed good like on how women likely feel when they see a female character wearing a chainmail bikini to battle.

Aha, @chadachada123 beat me to it. Darn.

DGMockingJay:

Mosley_Harmless:
As far as I'm concerned, videogames exist to provide a virtual fantasy world. Don't get upset because you don't belong in the target audience of the person providing the fantasy. As for sexual objectification, Roger Ebert sums it up pretty well in his "Hugh Hefner has been good for us" article:

"Nobody taught me to regard women as sex objects. I always did. Most men do. And truth to tell, most women regard men as sex objects. We regard many other aspects of another person, but sex is the elephant in the room. Evolution has hard-wired us that way. When we meet a new person, in some small recess of our minds we evaluate that person as a sex partner. We don't act on it, we don't dwell on it, but we do it. You know we do. And this process continues bravely until we are old and feeble."

Now please, stop being so goddamn sensitive.

THIS...

Please, stop being so critical of a medium because it is not serving to the demographic of your choice. Do you see men whining about the romantic novels only catering to female readers??

Ever wondered why the talk about sexism is only happening now, and not 10-15 years go?? Thats because women are only entering the industry now. Gaming was beneath them, or unavailable to them or, or they were not allowed to play games by patriarchal society, and only now they are being accepted as a hobby by females. They are new. And as much as you claim they are the 47% of the demographic, they are NOT.

Well, they are unless you start counting the occasional angry bird gamers or browser gamers. Come to think of it, my mom is a gamer too[since she plays spider solitaire]. I wonder if she'd want to play Assassins Creed 4 when it comes out.

You know DAMNED well it WOULD be a problem if romance novels were the ONLY books in the bookstore. The pervasiveness of "for males only" is why it is a problem in gaming. It only serves the MALE demographic. Admit it or not, like it or not- WOMEN DO play games, and they want to play MORE, but they keep coming up against this and other biases.

Add to that, many males like myself are tired of and in fact turned away by the constant regurgitation of stereotypes and cliché.

A "meat brick" male and an "Eye candy, trophy" female on the cover/in the trailer is the surest way to turn me away from a game.

Why bring it up? Why post on a forum about it?

The same reason anyone posts anything on the internet, because someone might be interested, share your point of view, expand on it, or bring up related issues.

And that is what's happening here... How do you like them apples?

MrsBloo:
snip

Those are some pretty cool facts that you kinda just...made up...

Lol, why are you even bringing this up? Are you really so offended that I happen to occasionally be opinionated about the art that I see on a daily basis? I never claimed to speak for all women, or all artists, thank you very much. ^_^

If a beautiful voluptuous woman walks down the street wearing the same outfit as the Sorceress would that mean she is being sexist? Or That she is a very confident woman that is not ashamed of her body? Some girls, dont like to show skin. Others do and some too much. But shouldn't one always be happy with their body appearance? Should one always cover up because another says that;s the way? No.

I wouldn't care either way. As long as no fedoras are involved, I couldn't care less about the fashion sense of other people. I see nothing wrong with choosing to dress sexy, conservatively, or anywhere in between, if that's what makes them happy. Video game characters don't choose what they wear, though. When I see a character, I look at the design and presentation choices the artist made, and how they fit in with the other character, the theme, etc.

In the case of Dragon whatever it's called, it's not even the outfits that put it over the edge for me. There's a time and a place for all that kind of stuff, and a game like that is honestly probably a perfect match. No, what got to me was actually the blank, child-like samefaces with no expression, combined with their poses in that drawing. If there was some emotion or sense of personality beyond the pose, it might have conveyed some more depth to the character beyond the ridiculous sexypose. And frankly, if you're going for something as outlandish as that, it feels like a huge missed opportunity to provide a more interesting character. Little things like that can make a huge difference in how your art is perceived, and that's what I hope more artists to become mindful of.

Also for the record, I'm educated in fine art, not whatever it was you assumed. Environment is what I do because that's the job I applied for, not because I was driven into it by outside forces or was specifically "trained" for it. I'm more of a generalist these days, but I've been getting a lot more into character art lately and I to get more into it in the future. I hope that doesn't upset you too much.

Anyway, thanks for sharing your neat opinions and your artistic interpretation of my own opinions. I hope we can still be friends. :)

Well, I'm still stuck on grasping the whole "objectification of fictatious characters is bad" thing. Or real people, for that matter, since everyone seem to be perfectly fine viewing a cashier as an object used for payment, without taking any interest in the totality of his person.

Given how unremarkable and dull most people are, it seems quite spoiled to demand that everyone take interest in one's person, rather than one's uses. This whole objectification stick seems a combination of that arrogant cry for attention, and a negative attitude towards sex and sexuality.

Lightknight:
The gamer ratio being male/female as 53%/47%

I honestly do not believe that stat is right. I am always suspect of any stat that does not show its methedology, especially one that i think we can all agree appears to be so subjectively wrong. Is there any gamer out there, either male or female who can honestly state that they have actively observed that almost half of all gamers are female? Without adding in people who play exclusively angry birds, farmville, or bejewelled?

Because if this stat is as bullshit as it always appears, maybe we should stop using it to prove points that the stat does not prove. For example, Jims point in this very video that AAA games need to appeal more to women, because of this stat. At what point does this stat say that 50% of people buying AAA games are women?

Jarimir:
You know DAMNED well it WOULD be a problem if romance novels were the ONLY books in the bookstore. The pervasiveness of "for males only" is why it is a problem in gaming.

Esxcept for a major point: Games are not pervasivly "for males only." The overwhelming majority of games can be played by anyone, without offense: So your point here is a moot one.

Jarimir:
It only serves the MALE demographic. Admit it or not, like it or not- WOMEN DO play games, and they want to play MORE, but they keep coming up against this and other biases.

No they really don't. The majority do not: Its only this weird subset of vocal left wing professional victims, many of whom don't actually play games at all. Its complaining for the sake of complaining, because how there be instances of men daring to have something that panders to there own desires, rather than sinking an entire industry into the wants and desires of women.

Tought luck: The industry will continue to unapologetically create great games, without as much as a single thought to the left wing professional victim complainers. In fact the only thing the complaining has so far achieved, is having studios cease to release products with female protagonists, because they can do without the next barrage of complaints from a group of self imposed PC police, hiding behind monitors specifically looking for something to complain about: ala, the NOT rape of Lara Croft for instance.

Jarimir:
A "meat brick" male and an "Eye candy, trophy" female on the cover/in the trailer is the surest way to turn me away from a game.

Thats great mate. I've said the same about romantic comedies: I MEAN HOW DARE THEY NOT SPECIFICALLY PANDER TO ONLY MY WANTS AND DESIRES! After all, everyone knows i am the only person on the planet & if other people existed, its illegally for them to enjoy anything i personally haven't endorsed as something i want to enjoy.

Maybe check your entitlement.

matthew_lane:
In fact the only thing the complaining has so far achieved, is having studios cease to release products with female protagonists, because they can do without the next barrage of complaints from a group of self imposed PC police, hiding behind monitors specifically looking for something to complain about: ala, the NOT rape of Lara Croft for instance.

This is something I feel is one of the roots of the issue, I had said a while ago when Anita's crusade started that the safest thing a developer can do to steer clear of this bullshit controversy is to NOT have a female protagonist, preferably not even a single female character.

It's no wonder that games like Call of Duty, Battlefield, Dead Space, Far Cry, Prototype, Infamous, Metro etc series have slipped past all of this nonsense and made untold millions without a single hint of gender controversy.

Hell if I were a developer I'm afraid I would simply avoid having female characters till this shitstorm blows over, it's just a huge risk and attracts nothing but bad press and politically-correct fuckwits who get "offended" even if you breathe in their direction.

If a food critic becomes particularly obnoxious the best thing to do is not give them any food :P

Aardvaarkman:

Subscriptism:
Perhaps I might see it, however I can't personally nor do I know of any other male who can even remotely be described as constantly leering, nor do I personally know a single woman who has ever complained that they are being leered at 24/7. I just don't buy it.

I said neither of those things.

I didn't say that men were constantly leering, nor did I say that women get leered at 24/7. I just said that many women get leered at every day. It might be only for 5 minutes per day. And it doesn't mean that the man leers at everything he sees. But women are pretty consistently leered at. Men, not so much.

That seems quite trivial to me. Is that really something you find to be of great concern?

matthew_lane:

Lightknight:
The gamer ratio being male/female as 53%/47%

I honestly do not believe that stat is right. I am always suspect of any stat that does not show its methedology, especially one that i think we can all agree appears to be so subjectively wrong. Is there any gamer out there, either male or female who can honestly state that they have actively observed that almost half of all gamers are female? Without adding in people who play exclusively angry birds, farmville, or bejewelled?

Because if this stat is as bullshit as it always appears, maybe we should stop using it to prove points that the stat does not prove. For example, Jims point in this very video that AAA games need to appeal more to women, because of this stat. At what point does this stat say that 50% of people buying AAA games are women?

Well, I wasn't say that the stat is wrong. How they define gaming has evolved to include more video gaming arenas and they're not 100% wrong for doing so. That stat is correct if you understand their definition, I was only saying that it does not necessarily correlate with trends in any particular game genre. For example, if 80% of female gamers are still primary Wii console owners (as they were in 2009), then the FPS market would be significantly skewed towards males as the other consoles traditionally get the big titles (before the WiiU).

Keep in mind that the study also states that 46% of gamers have purchased or plan to purchase one or more games in 2012. That does kind of beg the question of how they defined gamers in the study but it does not call into question the actual numbers they pulled in. Unless the other 54% rely heavily on free-to-play games then I wouldn't call them gamers. Not if they can go years without owning a game.

http://www.theesa.com/facts/pdfs/ESA_EF_2012.pdf

It would be wonderful if we had a spreadsheet of the compiled data. They clearly collected data on gender and so it should not be hard to sort by gender to view any significant differences in gaming/system preferences. If I just read that PDF above, it looks like they asked some dumb questions and don't define questions quite so clearly.

The question at the end of the day is what it would mean if the numbers were really different. If the ratio of FPS gamers was something crazy like 90%/10%, would that justify objectifying women? It would certainly be a wise business decision on behalf of companies trying to make money. But also remember, I can't rightly say that exaggerating female proportions is actually objectifying them. I believe it can exacerbate objectification if combined with other factors. I do believe that if men had an equivalent to breasts that were appropriate to display in a videogame that it would also be exaggerated and that we do see this with muscles and chisled chins with regularity. I'd say that the role of the character is what objectifies them. If the character is capable and practical and has big breasts, who has a right to say that she's being objectified. Who has a right to say what dimensions a female character should have? Our society is to the point that women actually undergo surgery to obtain larger breasts and so we know that there is a desire for these kinds of exaggerations. Is that desire to be readily trivialized in lieu of ones who do not share said desire? Is it possible that in some small way, people seeing a beautiful game character with exposed skin and cry objectification are actually doing the same thing that people who call real-life scantily clad women sluts are doing? It's something to consider. Impossibly huge breasts? We have women that make that happen surgically. Rail thin? We have women who actively pursue those dimensions. Scantily clothed in public? Go to college much? There are extremes in gaming, of course, because actual physics do not apply.

All I know is that I enjoy playing a capable and ruggedly handsome man. Were I female, I would want to play as a beautiful and capable female. It's the capable part that I see getting left out in games as objectification. We see unrealistic portrayels of females in every form of media and in real life, so I'm not certain why video games make it worse or should be treated differently.

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