Jimquisition: Objectification And... Men?

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As a girl gamer, I just know I ADORE strong female characters like the new Lara, Jade from Beyond Good & Evil, Faith from Mirror's Edge, Alice from American McGee's Alice games, Aya Brea from Parasite Eve 1 (let's not talk about 3rd Birthday), Samus from Metroid Prime (let's not talk about Other M), Alexandra Rovias from Eternal Darkness, Jen from Primal, Joanna Dark from Perfect Dark, Heather from Silent Hill 3, Jill/Claire/Rebecca from the original Resident Evil games, Chell from Portal, and my strong female avatars in Mass Effect/Dragon Age/Jade Empire and others games, along with strong female supporting characters like Trip from Enslaved, Alyx from Half-Life 2, Aika from Skies of Arcadia, Elika from Prince of Persia, and others.

But for every good example, there's a huge mountain of vapid, large-breasted bimbos being paraded about as useless damsels in distress, shallow eye-candy, and valuable trophies to earn as a reward. And slowly but surely, I've watched many of the heroines I DID admire being reduced and diminished.

I'm sitting here looking at what they've done to heroines like Samus and Jill Valentine and Aya Brea and I'm not smiling or happy to see them anymore. I see the gaming industry forgetting about characters like Joanna Dark and Vanessa Scheider and Cate Archer and Sonia Belmont and Nariko and .

I'm ready to play a game that turns this around. I want to play as Alice Wake trying to find her husband, Alan. I want to play as Jill rescuing Chris (like what happened in the original game if you picked her). I want to play as Anya Stroud in THE lead role in a Gears of War game. I want to play a Halo game with a female lead. I want to play a Mario game starring Daisy (who, unlike Peach, doesn't have powers based on raging hormonal emotions). I want to play a Metal Gear Game starring Meryl or The Boss. I want to play as the Princess of Persia or the Goddess of War. I want to play as Elle from Dead Space. I want to play as Elena or Chloe in Uncharted. I'm ready for all that.

But sadly it seems nobody else is ready. It's still a guys industry with guy games with guy leads, and if I want a game with a female focus, I'd better pick up Cooking Mama or Style Trendsetters, because no girl wants to play as an empowered, clever, talented woman... those games NEVER sell anyway... right?

I think this ties in with that whole perfect pasta sauce episode. Nobody knows what everybody wants, so the industry defaults to the 80s when it comes to gaming.

All valid points except one: Females are roughly 50% of gamers? If we're talking about core gamers (which I assume we are since the subject matter isn't facebook games and such), then no. I recently conducted a research for my bachelor's degree and saw what academic research has to say about that. I saw statistics from peer-reviewed academic articles as well as statistics I collected myself (most of which has been from from this forum - Thanks by the way), and I have to conclude that it's not true. The majority of core gamers are male. The industry knows it and this is why so many AAA games are targeted towards males.

MasterOfHisOwnDomain:

Well what else are people supposed to do in order to get the change they think is long overdue? Arguing and raising the debate is the only way to influence publisher (or, of course, not buying the games -- but then again, raising the issue is important). And Jim specifically said that the audience of video games is far more diverse than people think, it's not vastly more men than women.

I seriously doubt that the amount of women playing these "sexist" games is in a 1:1 ratio to dudes.

I may be wrong on this but I remember reading somewhere that the majority of female gamers play games on handhelds/mobile phones. I haven't really seen "sexist" stuff on those platforms.

SupahGamuh:
This episode is objectively objectifyingly objective.

image

I object that remark

SupahGamuh:
This episode is objectively objectifyingly objective.

image

I object that remark

Gorrath:

Red X:
Ha! Jim cam! :P

Anyway, great vid. Nice to see a direct way differentiate the roles of women and men in games.

Although i don't think anyone should want to be Nathan Drake, he's a bigger douche than Kratos XD

Well that's sort of the problem. Jim did a fine job of differentiating between objectification and idealization, but without demonstrating that idealization doesn't cause many or all of the exact same problems as objectification, I don't know that we're doing ourselves a favor by pretending they don't have a lot in common. Some might argue that idealization is, in fact, a form of objectification, and therefore carries all the same baggage. I don't claim that to be true, but I'd like to see it discussed.

True,the two do have a lot in common, the typical hero really i'd say equally damaging but as Jim pointed out for different reasons, lets be honest the typical hero is a psychopath. And that's a dangerous quality.

As a bisexual male who has a problem with the current focus, or hype as I see it, on gender issues in gaming, I disagree on the direction this video took.

I very much feel that when I'm forced to play a male character that I don't sympathize with, such as Booker Dewitt from Bioshock Infinite, I'm shoved into a typical male role.
I very much feel objectified as a soldier who's there to do all the work, do all the thinking and take responsibility for everything. Without getting the chance to decide anything for myself.
It might not be sexual objectification, but it is objectification by definition and I think it's much worse than getting potentially ogled because I might have some damn fine pecs. Instead I'm expected to take charge, be a provider, set myself at risk, take responsibility for what I do and what I don't do(on behalf of everyone).

In other words Jim, the argument isn't about men getting sexually objectified as you started off the video with, though I honestly believe they are, it's about objectification in general. I think your video is biased and that you should take a more open approach to the subject.

At this point a feminist would point out that it's the patriarchy and social preconceptions that also hurt men.

Here's the deal though, it's not a big thing for me. Sure, I don't feel right playing these male superhuman protagonists, but I don't go make a fuss about it. But even worse, if I did feel bad about it, no one would take me seriously, because I'm a man and I should suck it up.

The main reason that I'm against the current wave of hatred towards objectification of women in gaming, is not because I don't think it doesn't matter, it's not because I feel men are getting left behind in the process and it's definitely not because of any misogynistic agenda.

It's because it's a bunch of pissy whine that has no intention of treating women with respect or to give them a chance to be "equal". It honestly is a load of horrible CP bullshit that's thrown through every single media outlet there is in the gaming community, who's automatically siding not with women, but the idea that they need to be protected and have the male gaming community as a whole, change.

I find it disgusting and an assbackwards way of doing things.
Let people who have a problem with the industry and the gaming community set examples for how things should be, let them make games the way they want, let them grab the "niche players" who aren't young fratboys, let them be creative in all ways possible and show the rest of us how it's done.

Progress is made through adversity and by people who lead by example. Progress is not made by whining, complaining, bitching or sitting on a high horse claiming that everyone who doesn't side with women and give them what they want(or rather what pathetic excuses of white knighters want) while accusing everyone else of being misogynistic, intolerant, bigoted or whatever else overused words there is for people who barely even exist in the western world.

That's the issue in a nutshell. The rest is just baseless, spineless, pointless pandering that gets us nowhere, apart from shaming men in general(which no one gives two fucks about).

From the capitalist angle one of the key questions developers will ask is:

If we don't sexualise women are enough women going to buy it to make up for the men who didn't buy it for the sexualisation?

Marowit:
I don't understand this rant, even if 100% of the AAA population is male, so what? Doesn't seem to change, nor justify, how almost all women in AAA games are portrayed. The way women are portrayed doesn't seem like a good way to progress our hobby and for it to be taken more seriously as a storytelling medium.

Taken more seriously by who, developers or the media? Intertwining storytelling and gameplay together is aproximately a billion times harder than simply throwing in a female protagonist, I can tell you that right now.

Marowit:
Heck, if for nothing else having more realistic, complex female protagonists could make for some great, novel, stories.

A realistic, complex female protagonist in a fantasy videogame is nothing more than a gender-swapped male protagonist. I mean do you seriously think there was anything stopping the protagonists of Mirror's Edge, Metroid, etc being males? Or there was anything stopping the protagonists of Dead Space, Assassin's Creed or Uncharted being females? OF COURSE not, it's fantasy and genders are as freely swappable as they were through the Mass Effect universe with characters spouting the same lines (albeit different voice actors) and being represented by a series of differently-shaped pixels.
The market has indicated that it prefers a male protagonist to a female one, these are consumers like you and me who have shown preference by voting with our wallets or indications in RPG's that have flexible character customization.
Give that a long hard thought because I would say at least 95% of games that have featured "great female protagonists" are cases where the job could have just as easily been done by a male while selling more copies, especially in the action/adventure genre. Pretty much everything that defines a great female protagonist goes along the lines of "strong, independent, motivated, willful, bold", blah blah blah a laundry list of everything we have come to expect of male protagonists.

A clever person once invented a special hair shampoo that makes it shiner/healthier and to their amazement they noticed that women were buying their product 50x more than men. You know what they did? Advertised the shit out of that product for women from that point on and plastered their faces on almost every hair product advertisement you see on TV, magazines, etc.

See what I'm getting at? The MARKET speaks, not bickering between people like you or me (or Jim) in internet forums.

Marowit:
It just seems a great way to perpetuate the stereotype of 14-27 year old males who live with their parents, probably in a basement, and don't have much going for themselves other than how awesome their latest avatar is...

The hysterical truth about this is the fact that anyone who assumes that is even less mature than the typical gamer and is therefore the least of our concerns.

DVS BSTrD:
I'm talking about the ideal female in videogames, Not IRL. And a lot of videogames ARE terribly sexist.

Yeah, and that sounds sexist, meaning that if you read it, it almost sounds like you are telling that's how a game with a female character should be, and that it's a pity there isn't one. As I said, I know that's not what you meant, but it's kind of hilarious in all the wrong ways. XD XD XD

Red X:
True,the two do have a lot in common, the typical hero really i'd say equally damaging but as Jim pointed out for different reasons, lets be honest the typical hero is a psychopath. And that's a dangerous quality.

I'm not sure they are damaging for reasons that are all that different. They are both dmaging to the medium because they are shitty story telling. They are both damaging to the culture because they set up unrealistic expectations and reinforce bad sterotyped gender roles. They are both damaging to the consumer because they restrict what will and will not be approved, limiting our exposure to new ideas and refreshing tropes.

Now I exist in a strange palce in this topic because I can actually enjoy games that objectify and idealize men and women, but also want to see more from the meduim that doesn't do eitehr of those two things. I'd be flat out lying to say I don't enjoy the asthetic used for many female game characters. I'd also be lying if I said I didn't enjoy acting like a psychopath in some games. So I think there is a place for those sorts of objectification/idealization tropes in all media. I also think we should push to include more games that don't stand solely on those things.

Jimothy Sterling:
Objectification And... Men?

A common argument in the ongoing debate over gender and videogames is that women and men both are equally objectified. Is that really true?

Watch Video

Jimmy,

I love your smarmy ass LOL but the beginning was to over the top when you piled it on, but hay what ever.

Reduced to a thing and a possession,
Gun tooting killers are reduced to that in games with out dimension.

Look he's some muscle bound freak with a gun... that's all he is (most of the time.) why is this done in gaming?
Who ever was making the game was being lazy.

they went cookie cutter and put in the base minimal effort to make what they thought would make their fan base happy.

Like say.. T and A. Is doing the base minimal something worth harping on? Sure,

oh and thanks for keeping the back ground music ^^

Have you ever played Second Life? EVE Online? Any game with a character creator? Have you seen what Avatars most women create for themselves when given the opportunity? It makes Dead or Alive look modest and reasonable. It's hypocrisy to hold one gender to one standard, and the other to another, lower standard that effectively voids all their responsibility, which of course is the agenda of radical feminism. Women idolize beauty and sex appeal just as much as men idolize strength and bravery, if you made Lara Croft or Samus Aran a plain, slightly overweight mother of three, you would appeal only to the very vocal radical feminist minority, not the vast majority of female gamers, a few of which I know personally, who are equally tired of being singled out and pandered to. In the same sense I wouldn't like Halo as much if Master Chief was an overweight, balding 40 year old, because videogames are fantasy, they're escapism.
These people only have a voice when you humor them and give them one, which is exactly what the industry and the so called 'gaming journalists' like Kotaku are doing, humoring them with this social justice bullshit.

Personally I won't have my hobby gutted by radicals, apologists and political correctness, if that makes me a woman-hating sexist pig, I'll wear that label on a badge with pride.

Keep your politics out of my fucking hobbies.

The Dubya:
......so basically what you're saying is that gaming was the He-Man Woman Haters Club that got all messed up with those girls brought their cooties along and made everything less fun by pointing out "Ya know, there's some misguided shit going on around here"?

Nope he's claiming that guys are doing what they've always done. The only difference is that women are now complaining about it, even though they could just ignore the games they don't like.

Yeahhhhh no, Maxim magazines = trashy romance novels if you wanna simplify it like that. Both suck and both are juvenile garbage that people need to grow the hell up and get over this kind of dumbassery ALTOGETHER.

Just because you don't like something doesn't make it wrong. Part of being a grown up is accepting that other people like different things.

and wait a min.... half the fan base is women?
Half?

Come now jim did you pull that out of your ass?
I'll be completely honest I have no idea what the percent is... but I need more than just a random off the cuff response to buy it's half.

Trishbot:
As a girl gamer, I just know I ADORE strong female characters like the new Lara, Jade from Beyond Good & Evil, Faith from Mirror's Edge, Alice from American McGee's Alice games, Aya Brea from Parasite Eve 1 (let's not talk about 3rd Birthday), Samus from Metroid Prime (let's not talk about Other M), Alexandra Rovias from Eternal Darkness, Jen from Primal, Joanna Dark from Perfect Dark, Heather from Silent Hill 3, Jill/Claire/Rebecca from the original Resident Evil games, Chell from Portal, and my strong female avatars in Mass Effect/Dragon Age/Jade Empire and others games, along with strong female supporting characters like Trip from Enslaved, Alyx from Half-Life 2, Aika from Skies of Arcadia, Elika from Prince of Persia, and others.

Now see, if THIS was the normal, if THIS was the status quo, if THIS is the kind of stuff we got regularly, then we wouldn't have to keep bringing up this kind of topic. Butttttt we still get this:

Trishbot:
But for every good example, there's a huge mountain of vapid, large-breasted bimbos being paraded about as useless damsels in distress, shallow eye-candy, and valuable trophies to earn as a reward. And slowly but surely, I've watched many of the heroines I DID admire being reduced and diminished.

This. Is A BAD THING.

Hell not even JUST the gender issues; it's just shitty storytelling and game/movie/etc. making in general from dumb lazy hacks being paid obscene amount of money to feed the audience bullshit. I mean if ANYTHING else, just raise your fucking standards on what you find to be acceptable entertainment material that you're going to spend your time and money on.

Or your parents' allowance, since according to the entertainment industry white teenage boys are the only kind of people that exist in the world.

The following response is towards the "fine gentlemen" that believe they are being objectified just as badly as women are in video games, comic books, etc...

image

I can never fully understand the level of self-delusion that some people have to truly believe that males are treated like sex symbols or objects of desire on the same level as women. I hate to break it to you, but its not the same!

And don't give me the B.S. that topics like these fall under the "beating a dead horse" category. Regardless of what Monxeroth might have to say about it, these topics keeping coming up is because they are still a problem within the games industry and in other forms of media. I don't care how big of a blanket you've got on hand, using it to hide the elephant in the living room does not make it go away. These are serious problems that need to be addressed and resolved with urgency. It's a problem that neither side cannot ignore forever.

What Jim did today, and what he does every week on the Jimquisition, is taking the first step in solving a problem... and that is admitting there is a problem.

The majority of female characters in games are not properly portrayed in video games.

Is the gaming audience really 50% women? Where does that figure come from? I seriously, seriously doubt that.

uanime5:

The Dubya:
......so basically what you're saying is that gaming was the He-Man Woman Haters Club that got all messed up with those girls brought their cooties along and made everything less fun by pointing out "Ya know, there's some misguided shit going on around here"?

Nope he's claiming that guys are doing what they've always done. The only difference is that women are now complaining about it, even though they could just ignore the games they don't like.

Yeahhhhh no, Maxim magazines = trashy romance novels if you wanna simplify it like that. Both suck and both are juvenile garbage that people need to grow the hell up and get over this kind of dumbassery ALTOGETHER.

Just because you don't like something doesn't make it wrong. Part of being a grown up is accepting that other people like different things.

Part of being grown up is being aloud to like wrong things.
To many people want to justify liking guilty pleasures so they don't have to feel guilty about them.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
YES!!!!!!

Thank God for Jim. Because now, whenever some dolt brings up the "herpaderp, but menz are sexualised too!1!" in the eternal sexism discussion threads, I can just link them to this rather than having to write out paragraph upon paragraph of gender role theory.

Seriously, I don't care how many times its been brought up, it needs to keep getting brought up until developers and publishers actually make an effort for it to go away.

Father Time:
Jim there's one argument I like to bring up when talk up of objectification in games comes up, and I'd like to know what you think.

Why should we care about objectifying fictional characters?

Because whether they're fictional or not, the way they are represented not only tells us how the author, artist or developer feels about a character, but also how they feel about the demographic of which that character is from.

Or it could've been done for marketing. It could've been done to simulate a sexual fantasy thus reflecting what they would want and not necessarily how they see the world, and of course there's times when some are objectified and others aren't.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:

image

A developer who includes a blatantly racist portrayal of a black character isn't just demeaning the character himself.

So you're really going to compare sexy women with what looks like black face? What's sexist about xtreme beach volleyball? How is it a negative portrayal of women?

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:

He is also insulting any black person who might play the game, by saying he doesn't care what reaction it may provoke.

Some people get offended at things and the developers keep them in anyway, not as a personal insult but because for one reason or another they don't think they're bad enough to remove. Was GTA insulting the groups that wanted cop/prostitute killing out of the game? Was Mass Effect insulting Fox News by leaving in the sex scenes?

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:

They're saying "This is what I think of you, and anyone of your gender!"

That is your interpretation it doesn't make it the correct one.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:

And when those portrayals frequently look like this or this, that's a big problem in the industry.

Funny you mention Soul Calibur because that has men with abs and outfits clearly meant to appeal to women too. And it has women who aren't in sexy outfits. Like Hilde. Kind of goes against your whole theory apart that they're portraying all women like that.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:

I've heard that it's off putting to women but why is the argument always that 'it puts women off to all video games' rather than 'it puts off women to those specific games'? I mean there has been a rise in women playing so how much have they really put off women to all games?

Because it is endemic in a large proportion of 'triple-A' games, to the point that many women probably look at how your average female character is portrayed, and feel it's not worth getting into gaming at all.

The main area where women have been getting into gaming is 'casual' gaming. A form of gaming where, to contrast, negative portrayals of female characters tend to be far less endemic, given how abstract or non-narrative based those games tend to be. It's kind of hard to objectify a female character in something like Fruit Ninja or Cut The Rope.

So the problem isn't those games, it's a lack of games that do the opposite.

and yes killing machines are possessions.

You mean to tell me if you weren't a super villian you wouldn't wanna posses Kronos?
Yes that's an unrealistic response.. BUt we're talking about VIdeo games people..

There suppose to be delusional, nerdy.. retarded responses. DUH.

Thanks Jim. I knew that argument was complete BS, but I was never quite sure how to articulate exactly "why" to myself.

The hyper idealized characters, male or female, are just plain boring to me anyhow. A character has to have some faults, physical or mental, in order to really feel like a human being.

Jim seriously talked about no personality..... LOL (No that's not a jab at him)

has he played as some of the main male leads? Some have less personality than fucking RObo cop

Jimothy Sterling:

Monxeroth:

Why? Because i dont happen to agree with this one in particular or the way it presents itself while there are numerous other Jimquisition episodes that i deem fucking gold-worthy (no sarcasm intended, im actually being serious real talk here ok?)

Its just a mere observation and i havent said and or implied that you should just quit and never do this again, its your show, you have the right and the only entitlement to anything here to do as you wish.
If these subjects and these types of videos are what you want to produce in the future then, ok, do that, your videos and your show and my subjective opinion or anyone elses for that matter should NEVER be the reason to compromise the integrity and the presentation of your videos.

Like you said, some people do not like the jimquisition persona and presentation.
...and? who gives a flying fuck if people dont like it or not?
Internet and videos like these are personality driven - Totalbiscuit

So i find it just contradictory for people to demand change in personality and peronas when..thats what some people are here for, thats why im here >_>

For the second time, you're altering what your argument was. It's not that you "disagreed with this one in particular." You said my whole show repeats itself and only says the same things. If that's what you believe I do, I wish to amicably suggest an alternative Monday morning viewing.

LMFAO that made my monday thank you Mr Sterling.

OT:
Good video yet again, I love that we as gamers are definitely hung up on this topic but it is cool to pull someone's spine out their ass and beat another person with it...... VS non-gamers seem more tweaked off to see the spinal-rectal removal, and see the TnA as a meh topic since the parts are not real.... I feel like I missed something when they handed out the outrage pills, because neither issue seems like it is "threatening" to anyone or going away this millenium....

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 would play that. I'd play its brains out.

uanime5:

The Dubya:
......so basically what you're saying is that gaming was the He-Man Woman Haters Club that got all messed up with those girls brought their cooties along and made everything less fun by pointing out "Ya know, there's some misguided shit going on around here"?

Nope he's claiming that guys are doing what they've always done. The only difference is that women are now complaining about it, even though they could just ignore the games they don't like.

Yeahhhhh no, Maxim magazines = trashy romance novels if you wanna simplify it like that. Both suck and both are juvenile garbage that people need to grow the hell up and get over this kind of dumbassery ALTOGETHER.

Just because you don't like something doesn't make it wrong. Part of being a grown up is accepting that other people like different things.

Excuse me for having problems with harmful unhealthy bullshit and actually having an opinion on it. Ya know, that I can actually ARTICULATE on. THAT'S part of "growing up" if you wanna be annoying about it; having conviction in what you believe in.

Or should I be like you and go stick my head in the sand, ignoring problems I see and wish to point out and just live my life as a mindless wishy-washy empty vessel that just accepts anything and everything because "Herp derp it exists and SOMEONE out there likes it so that means it must not be bad herp derp"?

And none of this shit is "different" anyways. Like I was mentioning earlier; it's always the same regurgitated in a new coat of paint crap that keeps getting resold over and over again to people that don't like having standards for anything. It's stagnant progressive crap coming from lazy greedy individuals that want to do nothing but swindle you out of the cash in your pocket.

Smilomaniac:

Progress is made through adversity and by people who lead by example. Progress is not made by whining, complaining, bitching or sitting on a high horse claiming that everyone who doesn't side with women and give them what they want(or rather what pathetic excuses of white knighters want) while accusing everyone else of being misogynistic, intolerant, bigoted or whatever else overused words there is for people who barely even exist in the western world.

Exactly.

You know why homosexuality is starting to become accepted in Western society more and more? It's not because gay, lesbian and bisexual people bitched and moaned, and called people homophobes, it's because they led by example and showed people that there is no difference between love between two people of the opposite sex and the same sex beyond the physical. It was done by people determined to show that there was nothing wrong with them, and by being honest and open with themselves.

The suffragettes didn't bitch and moan that the patriarchy was keeping them down, while accusing men of being the problem. They got up, stood up for themselves and actively worked to make a difference. They showed that they were not willing to be treated like second class citizens and worked to improve their lot.

Sitting on forums such as these and complaining isn't helping anybody. It's not raising awareness, and it's not making people change their mind. It's making people roll their eyes that people are acting as though fictional boobs in games are on par with unequal pay in the workplace. That people live in a society where their gender cannot be discriminated against by law are victims because a group of people out to make money are trying to appeal to those who are most likely to give it. That they think they have the right to whatever entertainment that they want, just because they want it.

Discussions like these are like those plastic wristbands people wear to support anti-bullying or whatever. All they do is make people think they are actually contributing to fixing a problem, rather than actually doing something about it. They can then sit back, feeling proud to be against sexism, or perceived sexism while having done absolutely nothing to sort it out.

Don't get me wrong, people are right to want whatever they want, and I completely support the idea that more and better female protagonists in games can only be a good thing. But I am not deluded in thinking that I am entitled to it, nor am I under the belief that I have the right to tell others what they should spend their time and money making, just because it doesn't fit my particular desires when it comes to gaming.

Tell us jim,
would you be happy if the main lead was hideos rotting zombie woman with zero sex appeal?

Are you asking for ugly women in anti hero roles for the sense of diversity?

Sounds neat. I'd be curious about the game.. question is would i rent it let alone buy it?

I wanna give that question to everyone at the forum honestly.

Idealization???
There are guys dreaming of being braindead beefcakes?
Good to know.
Now could you please help me, Jim?
You round these guys in one spot, please.
In the meantime I will get a gun (something automatic preferably) and make a bunch of pipebombs.
Give me location and time, and get a chair and popcorn for yourself >:D

mdqp:

DVS BSTrD:
I'm talking about the ideal female in videogames, Not IRL. And a lot of videogames ARE terribly sexist.

Yeah, and that sounds sexist, meaning that if you read it, it almost sounds like you are telling that's how a game with a female character should be, and that it's a pity there isn't one. As I said, I know that's not what you meant, but it's kind of hilarious in all the wrong ways. XD XD XD

I get that a lot here on the escapist :P

blackrave:
Idealization???
There are guys dreaming of being braindead beefcakes?
Good to know.
Now could you please help me, Jim?
You round these guys in one spot, please.
In the meantime I will get a gun (something automatic preferably) and make a bunch of pipebombs.
Give me location and time, and get a chair and popcorn for yourself >:D

settle down, take a pill. Breath.

Sides who cares what they day dream about? you act like a bunch of gamers are gonna play a game and start dieting and working out to reach such a peak.

Thank you Jim for setting the record straight as to which of our shallow, one-sided characters are objectified and which are not. God bless. I also hate that smug attitude of yours, keep up the good work.

RaikuFA:
Theres some other issues that need to be addressed in this debate. Like the fact that Senran Kagura might never make it outside of Japan due to the west being prudish and crying sexist at anyything that has boobs.

No matter how objectified a women is in a game, no matter how much we argue about it, it has never stopped a game from being released. If anybody says that, they are making an excuse. Argue away.

erttheking:
This thread is going to end in a flame war. This cannot be avoided. I really do want to talk about this in a calm and rational manner but...that's just not gonna happen, let's face it.

I don't understand how a "flame war" differs from a heated debate, and I don't see whats wrong with it, if you have something to say, just say it.

In all the threads I've seen recently on this subject, nobody even cares that much to get upset about it. We all just like to argue with other random internet people. It's why we're here. It's fun, join us.

In the time it took me to read page 6 of this thread(I'm a bit slow, a few minutes maybe?), 16 more people posted comments. So clearly Jim, this topic is dead and you should stop bringing it up.

the December King:
Why do I often come here to hear about games and entertainment, and end up leaving feeling like someone has tried to make me feel bad for being a white male? Did I do something wrong in playing certain games and liking them?

Quit being disingenuous. Jim didn't criticize games that have idealized male protagonists or its audiences. He was criticizing those who try to equate objectification and idealization.

Mr. Q:
The following response is towards the "fine gentlemen" that believe they are being objectified just as badly as women are in video games, comic books, etc...

image

I can never fully understand the level of self-delusion that some people have to truly believe that males are treated like sex symbols or objects of desire on the same level as women. I hate to break it to you, but its not the same!

And don't give me the B.S. that topics like these fall under the "beating a dead horse" category. Regardless of what Monxeroth might have to say about it, these topics keeping coming up is because they are still a problem within the games industry and in other forms of media. I don't care how big of a blanket you've got on hand, using it to hide the elephant in the living room does not make it go away. These are serious problems that need to be addressed and resolved with urgency. It's a problem that neither side cannot ignore forever.

What Jim did today, and what he does every week on the Jimquisition, is taking the first step in solving a problem... and that is admitting there is a problem.

The majority of female characters in games are not properly portrayed in video games.

Starting off by presuming that an argument comes from self delusion isn't going to change hearts. Some arguments do, in fact, stem from delusion, but I tihnk one should consider that there may be an argument here that does not.

This whole argument was purely about sex or sexual attraction, but about objectification, sexual or otherwise. Also, simply claiming, "...it's not the same," also doesn't provide any insight.

What is a 'proper' portryal of a female character in a game? What is the 'proper' portryal of a man? Is a sexualized female body improper? What about a sexualized male one? Is a female character without agency improper? What about a psycopathic male who can only solve problems by shooting it with bigger guns? What about a 'nerdy' male scientist who also has no agency whatsoever and needs the thick-necked meat-head with guns-a-blazin' to save him too? Is he objectified because of his lack of agency?

I'd argue that there is no proper way to write a character. I would argue that there is much greater room in gaming and other mediums to expand to other tropes and characterizations.

DGMockingJay:

Groenteman:
Same goes for popular media. Sure theres a place for DoA and Gears of War, just like in movies theres a place for porn and cheesy action flicks, books have place for erotic novels and whatnot, etc etc. This does not mean we want a whole bloody medium to be just porn and muscly peabrains (and those who do want that, why the hell are you complaining? there not every going to be a shortage of those)

Also romance novels are a genre, not a medium. Gaming is a medium, shooters are a genre. 'male-centric' is not even an essential part of shooters. Try and think a bit harder about your analogies.

The medium has several genres that serve to men.FPS and Fighting Simulators for example. Just like books have a genre that serve females specifically.

Thats not to say that video games as a medium cater exclusively to men. I mean if the idea is, that there are no game that exist in this world that have good female characters, women would like, then thats truly not the case. Games like Tomb Raider, Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Resident Evil 6 + Revelations, Beyond Two Souls, Remember Me have good female characters, and most of them are recent or upcoming.

Nobody asks for these games. They just exist. And now with the advent of female gamer demographic, this type of games are only going to increase. Organic growth. Do you think teenage girls demanded chick flicks to be made?? No. People make them still because there is demand.

Also, Look at Wii games. Now I wont say it serves to females, but the number of female gamers on Wii is massive, even more than men [80% of Wii owner are females]. Now they must be doing something to attract the female gamers, I am sure.

Also I find it tough to believe that 47% of gamers are women even though the games exclusively cater to men.. I dont think such a large number of women are playing games even though games dont even consider their needs.

'The argument here' in my case was the two posts I quoted. Wasnt realy trying to argue for anything beyond that.

Though I suppose if we do go on about a 'supply and demand' argument, I should realy start with saying that AAA games dont 'just exist'. The moon 'just exists'. AAA games are designed, reviewed, revised, and funded according to market demand, so yeah, they are 'supplying' what people are 'demanding'. Like 'supply and demand'.

Or at least they should be, but arnt. Which is probabaly what the argument we should be having with this whole gender issue. First off, shooters are not just for 13 year old boys. Older men play em, girls play em, but especialy the latter have to deal with the constant gratingly obvious 13-year-old-boy fantasy drivel which realy is not an essential component of ANY genre of gaming.

There is a significant demand for better narrative in general, and protagonists/plots a female player can identify with specificaly, which is not being supplied. The fact that there arnt so many female Gears of War players is not a cause, its an effect of this decrepancy.

Legion:

Redd the Sock:

It depends on the guy and the girl in question. Dante didn't go shirtless for the guys to look at his abs.

As someone that has used that argument in the past, I do so more to address the issue of self image: specifically that stereotypically men don't look at Kratos and think they need to hit the gym while an attractive female character seems to put off women that can't live up to the big boobs and thin waists. It isn't that I don't get where women are coming from, but I think the wrong message gets taken away. I'm a 35 your old hairy guy with minor acne, crooked teeth, and a beer gut, and I don't get self conscious when I see Dante, or Brad Pitt, or a muscle bound guy in tights in a comic book. I'm not always happy with everything about me, but I know I don't have to live up to some ideal, especially one that can only exist digitally, or through plastic surgery, starvation diets, non-stop exercise, and drugs.

But an element behind these gender topics is that yes, a lot of women still feel the need to live up to the Lara Crofts, and the response is to minimize their usage, not to try and break through their personal beauty myth. I'd like to think that a something women could learn from the guys in these debates is that you don't need to have your self worth dictated by how much you match something designed to be an unrealistic fantasy, and that the problem we do have with the beauty myth, exists less because of the myth's existence, but on people that do seem to think that their fantasy should be reality. Don't attack Lara Croft for being attractive, or anyone that finds her attractive. Attack those that expect you to be her, especially if that someone is yourself.

A line of argument I saw a woman use in another one of these topics in fact. She basically said more or less the same thing, that she doesn't have a problem with these fictional characters as her sense of self worth isn't determined by attractive characters.

A point I can certainly understand and get behind, as I also don't look at any fictional characters and think they are an idealised person I should try and be like.

But I don't think that is the reason for why a lot of people don't like them. I think the reason is because they believe that it reduces women's importance down to their physical appearance, that the characters personality, thoughts and feelings are seen as unimportant, whereas their physical appearance is.

I can definitely follow that line of argument in regards to characters who are practically nothing beyond "sex appeal" such as Rachel from Ninja Gaiden 2; but I also frequently see people who object to women being sexy, even if they are also an amazing character beyond that. Which to me is not a fair judgement to make.

In a thread yesterday somebody used Jill Valentine as an example of a good character who wasn't just there for sex appeal. The rebuke was that she is now more sexy, and that's a bad thing. As if being more sexy negates all of the positive traits about her character.

It suggests to me the idea that a woman cannot be taken seriously if she is also sexually attractive, and that is something I find pretty offensive.

Yeah, I've complained a lot on that issue this year. Lara Croft is everything a feminist might like in a character (smart, strong, independent, confident), but she can serve as a pin-up so that somehow doesn't count. This thread's already delved into how sexiness of certain Mass Effect Characters somehow negates what they otherwise are. It isn't just offensive, it's rather hypocritical how the side that doesn't like being judged by their appearance can somehow reduce attractive female characters to just their T&A factor. I've actually seen an ironic turnaround with this. I read columns by a female gamer (Liana Kerzner) that has commented, even recently, how difficult to be taken seriously as a writer it is if you also cosplay Ivy Valentine by your own choice.

Of course I think some of the dismantling of female characters this way is to avoid acknowledging that the "boys club" industry has and still does try to appeal to them however imperfectly, and that this untapped demographic isn't showing up for it. They have to write off these attempts because if they exist, then it isn't the industries' fault for what it's become, it's their for not supporting games that even leaned in the direction they wanted the industry to take. The industry won't change for internet whining so much as sales, so we might need to hold our nose and buy multiple copies of Remember Me. (and I truly dread this discussion if that game flops)

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