Jimquisition: Vertigo

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So after it was agreed last week that Lizzie from rampage is the only evil female protagonist, the next best answer is still a dinosaur.

One could also look at a game like King of Fighters where the characters might not be repulsive, but there's a great variation in female character types. Actually you could look at several japanese titles and it would pleobably feature interesting female characters, they have gotten a bad rep but in the grand scheme of things, it really isn't that fair considering how often they get it right.

But if we are looking for villians it starts to get a bit more difficult, though i did notice that MGS 4 features female soldiers, which you only really notice because of their voices

I'm gonna go ahead and bring up a character from one of my favorite games:

Freya Crescent

She's female, she's playable and she is definitely not any conventional type of "sexy".

She's a skinny, anthropomorphic rat, wearing knight's armor (with raincoat influences) that covers almost all of her body.
She's got disproportionally long legs;
long, sharp nails on both hands and feet;
no big breasts or wide hips;
and again, even if she had, her clothing wouldn't give it away.

The only argument you could possibly have, is than one of her arcs revolves around her boyfriend (Sir Fratley), but I don't really think it counts because of the way it is handled:

SHE is the one who's been searching for HIS ass, because he was dumb enough to go and pick a fight with Beatrix. And when she finally finds him, the fucker can't even remember her, because Beatrix handed his ass to him so hard, he got amnesia. And you know what? She takes it. She's been spending the last two years of her life looking for this asshole, he can't even remember her when they finally meet, but she doesn't let it keep her down. Shit just hit the fan, there's a war between nations, so she just leaves it at that and continues the fight.

Hell, in the hours that follow...

So that's Freya Crescent, a dragon knight who doesn't look like a Playboy model, gets the respect she deserves from her peers, goes to hell and back, and fucking deals with it.

The only thing I disagree with, is her scene at the end of the game.

Bayonetta rulz!1!!11
I haven't finished the game so I don't know if something happens to her at the end.
She is a strong female character. She's looks good as well, but most men in current video games are very masculine/macho as well. I don't remember ever seeing a fat and short protagonist.
So I suggest separating this to 2 different discussions:
1) How strong and well portrayed male/female characters are in games
2) Are the appearances of said characters is sexulised/macho for no good reason

Ukomba:

canadamus_prime:

Ukomba:

For starters, look up the definition of 'protagonist'. Here let me help:

protagonist: the leading character or one of the major characters in a drama, movie, novel, or other fictional text.

So Kreia, Macha, NeoFio, Poshul, Sprigg, Lucca, and Shale are, in fact, Protagonists. Any Party member would be. Even non playable characters, like Joker from Mass Effect, would count as a Protagonist. Lucca especially, since Chrono dies half way through the game. Is there just no Protagonist at that point?

A character being DLC is entirely irrelevant.

The Trauma thing, well you might have me for those two.

Ok, but Lucca is still pretty conventionally attractive, I mean except for the big-ass glasses and the goofy helmet she's still got the whole smooth skin, slender body thing going on.

I thought she was cute, but not exactly conventionally attractive since she's, eeeeeew, NERDY. If Old Snake is considered not conventionally attractive then so is Lucca. I know plenty of girls who think the grizzled, or older men are quite attractive. Harrison Ford won People's Sexiest Man Alive at 56 after all.

Yes, but she's still got the whole smooth skin, slender body thing. I think Jim's point was that you don't see any female protagonists that look like the amazons from Futurama. A better example you could've brought up from Chrono Trigger would've been Ayla.

Suggestion: Try to come up with some male protagonists that fit Jim's criteria and debunk them like this thread has been doing with possible female character candidates that Jim might have missed. I couldn't think of one off the top of my head. The guys from GTAV don't even fit his criteria. Might be worth a separate thread

the Dept of Science:

Little Duck:
Would broodmother count? Giant spider in Dota 2? She wants to kill all the heroes of the world to stop them trampling her baby spiders.

Except that protecting her large brood of babies can be as problematic a motivation as doing it for a man.

The question is if the spider sees her mate as anything worth doing anything for. Breeding is pretty natural and protecting their own breed seems not bound to a male counterpart in this game.

Hmmmm....I wonder if this thread will get as big as White Guy Defense Force.

Still a long ways to go, but at this rate...it just might make it!

shephardjhon:
AvP; the alien.

I really like this example. If Vertigo is the benchmark by which the standard for this topic is being set, I'd say that the aliens you play as in any of the applicable AvP games would definitely count.

Ruthless "villain-like" character? Check.
Not conventionally attractive? Check.
Not motivated by trauma or in some way owes her strength to a man? Check.

Fits the bill quite nicely if you ask me. :3

The one question Jim fails to ask is who wants to play as the female characters he wants more of? If the answer is no one then it's no surprise that there aren't more of them. Developers have to make what sells, not make games to meet the quotas of White Knights.

I've never heard of anyone who wants to play as an unattractive woman, grizzled woman, or muscular woman; so this is most likely why these characters don't exist.

I'd say women generally have poor motives because characters in video games generally have poor motives. For men their usual motive is rescue X or defeat Y, and I bet most people would struggle to find a game where the male character has a different motives.

Ukomba:

Pat Hulse:

Ukomba:
Hmm, well here's a list of characters I think meet that criteria:

Amazon in Dragon's Crown.
Lucca from Chrono Trigger.
Okami from Okami.
Peacock from skull girls.
Double from skull girls.
Macha from Chrono Cross.
NeoFio from Chrono Cross.
Poshul from Chrono Cross.
Sprigg from Chrono Cross.
Shale from Dragon Age.
Kreia from Knights of the Old Republic 2.

That's just what I could come up with off the top of my head from games I've played.

Amazon - Sexualized, impractical outfit. While not "traditionally" attractive from a mainstream attraction, she definitely fits within fetishistic character design tropes popular in certain niches within Japanese entertainment. She may not be everyone's cup of tea, but trust me, she's designed for sex appeal. Plus none of the characters in that game have interesting or unique character motivations or identities, so even if you could argue that she isn't designed with sex appeal in mind, she fails to meet Jim's criteria for that reason as well (though at least the male characters in the game are equally as uninteresting and under-developed).
Lucca - A supporting character, not a protagonist. Jim was specifically looking for playable protagonists.
Okami - The character is actually named Amaterasu, but I'd say that's probably a fair example that Jim may have overlooked.
Peacock - Her motivations center around being used as a test subject, which Jim would justifiably qualify as "power from trauma".
Double - See above.
Macha/NeoFio/Poshul/Sprigg - Not protagonists.
Shale - A DLC character and not a protagonist.
Kreia - Not a protagonist.

One example I thought of that Jim may have overlooked is Kazooie from Banjo-Kazooie, who could be argued as a supporting character, but I'd argue that she's the more active participant in the duo, particular in regards to gameplay, though obviously she has less at stake in terms of plot since it's not her sister that's been kidnapped. But it does seem a bit silly that we have to keep looking at non-humanoids to find valid examples.

And it may seem like splitting hairs for discounting many of your characters for not being protagonists, but part of the issue is that women would like to be able to directly identify with the character they has the most agency and direct focus within the story. They may like to see well-crafted female supporting characters, but when it's all they have, it starts to make them feel ignored, marginalized, and underestimated. It seems like there's an underlying hesitance to make a woman the central protagonist either due to concerns regarding whether or not their young male demographic would enjoy playing as a female character they don't find attractive, as though we would be afraid of identifying with a woman. As a dude, I find that assumption pretty demeaning. I don't need to find a female character sexy to want to play as her and I don't need to play as a male character to identify with the protagonist. I think game publishers need to stop overthinking it so much.

For starters, look up the definition of 'protagonist'. Here let me help:

protagonist: the leading character or one of the major characters in a drama, movie, novel, or other fictional text.

So Kreia, Macha, NeoFio, Poshul, Sprigg, Lucca, and Shale are, in fact, Protagonists. Any Party member would be. Even non playable characters, like Joker from Mass Effect, would count as a Protagonist. Lucca especially, since Chrono dies half way through the game. Is there just no Protagonist at that point?

A character being DLC is entirely irrelevant.

The Trauma thing, well you might have me for those two.

From a narrative perspective, you may be right, but we're talking about video games here. It's possible for a game to have multiple protagonists, but in my mind, that would mean those characters would have to share all of the same means of control and prominence within the game and gameplay. To put it another way, the protagonist in Dragon Age is the main character because you can walk around as them, talk to people, and do a bunch of other things, but since you cannot do most of those things as Shale, she is rendered a supporting character. Shale is a character you talk to and command in combat. She only sticks around so long as she has a relationship and commitment to the main character. If she leaves, you don't get to play as her and see what happens on her solo adventures.

To put it yet another way, all those characters may be critically important to the plot, but you can't play as them in the same way you can play as the "true" protagonist.

That said, I had forgotten that Lucca was actually a playable character with no real significant gameplay differences when compared with Crono, so yeah, I guess she probably would fit Jim's criteria. However, while I haven't played "Chrono Cross", my understanding is that Serge is the central character throughout the whole game and the one used for navigation and managing the other playable characters, clearly making him the protagonist.

Silent Protagonist:
Suggestion: Try to come up with some male protagonists that fit Jim's criteria and debunk them like this thread has been doing with possible female character candidates that Jim might have missed. I couldn't think of one off the top of my head. The guys from GTAV don't even fit his criteria. Might be worth a separate thread

Elaborate on this, because quite a few examples were given in the video. And I don't see how the GTAV protagonists don't count.

88chaz88:

Monxeroth:
If looks doesnt matter, why cant women be "attractive" so to speak?

Can we all stop with the "If 'X' doesn't matter..." defense? It's completely ridiculous.

'X' does matter, else we wouldn't have so many examples of one subset of 'X' yet so few of the other. It clearly matters yet it damn well shouldn't, and the only way we're going to stop it from being important is to have more diversity.

And diversity matters.

Why should I stop pointing out the flaws in your argument?

Also you failed to explain why we need more diversity when people clearly don't want more diversity. Even the female game developers don't want to make anything other than pretty females.

This was great episodes about female characters since it's something that get's left out as their role, rather than appearance is always the point of debate. It's like the bechdel test in film, when you try to think of an example it's shockingly few in examples compared to the known mainstream. Kind of wish films would get questioned to even the slightest degree games do. Yes I know games are arguably the bigger offenders with genders (like this episode shows) but that doesn't let everything else off the hook...

...and this episode took ONE WEEK and didn't even require a Kickstarter.

Gennadios:
Well, the only thing left to do now is for the internet to accept Jim's challenge and Rule 34 the s*** out of Vertigo to prove a point.

Nobody ask me what that point would be.

EDIT: OMG, it's already been done.

You're not actually surprised about that, are you?

I mean, you know what Rule 34 states, don't you?

OT: I'm a bit shaky about the suggestion, but I do think Amaterasu could potentially be a pretty good example.

Silent Protagonist:
Suggestion: Try to come up with some male protagonists that fit Jim's criteria and debunk them like this thread has been doing with possible female character candidates that Jim might have missed. I couldn't think of one off the top of my head. The guys from GTAV don't even fit his criteria. Might be worth a separate thread

Ah yes, http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/comics/critical-miss/9966-The-Counterpoint this argument.

Wow, it hasn't gotten any more sensible in the interim time since that comic.

I think Maria Theresa is worth a mention, I mean I get that she'd be overlooked when compared to protagonists from games where the story and character development is central. But compared to Jim's conclusion of a dinosaur, whose not in any way visually female, I think she wins hands down. Even if she's based on a real world person she's undoubtedly a developer created character, she's not conventionally attractive and she definitely has unique motivations that aren't just about hardship or doing something for a man ( on the contrary, her special ability is about making a man do something for her ).

image

I get why she wasn't chosen as she's a real person. But all the same I think she'd have been the better choice whilst still proving the overall point, by virtue of being taken straight from the pages of world history whilst actually being a human woman instead of a dinosaur.

canadamus_prime:

Ukomba:

canadamus_prime:

Ok, but Lucca is still pretty conventionally attractive, I mean except for the big-ass glasses and the goofy helmet she's still got the whole smooth skin, slender body thing going on.

I thought she was cute, but not exactly conventionally attractive since she's, eeeeeew, NERDY. If Old Snake is considered not conventionally attractive then so is Lucca. I know plenty of girls who think the grizzled, or older men are quite attractive. Harrison Ford won People's Sexiest Man Alive at 56 after all.

Yes, but she's still got the whole smooth skin, slender body thing. I think Jim's point was that you don't see any female protagonists that look like the amazons from Futurama. A better example you could've brought up from Chrono Trigger would've been Ayla.

I guess it all depends on your definition. It's that 'Not Another Teen Movie' thing where the unattractive nerdy girl just needs a quick makeover to make her attractive. Her in game sprite isn't designed to make her look attractive, unlike Marles. Ayla is a little more on the line so I left her off.

shrekfan246:

Gennadios:
Well, the only thing left to do now is for the internet to accept Jim's challenge and Rule 34 the s*** out of Vertigo to prove a point.

Nobody ask me what that point would be.

EDIT: OMG, it's already been done.

You're not actually surprised about that, are you?

I mean, you know what Rule 34 states, don't you?

OT: I'm a bit shaky about the suggestion, but I do think Amaterasu could potentially be a pretty good example.

:P I was about to point that out to Gennadios as well: the fact that by definition there would obviously already be Rule 34 of Vertigo.

As for Amaterasu, I'm pretty sure that one of the criteria (though I don't think he specifically mentioned it in the 3 that he lists, but he does talk about it a fair bit in the beginning of the video) is that the character in question has to be bad, or at least morally questionable. As such Ammy wouldn't count.

Arqus_Zed:
I'm gonna go ahead and bring up a character from one of my favorite games:

Freya Crescent

She's female, she's playable and she is definitely not any conventional type of "sexy".

She's a skinny, anthropomorphic rat, wearing knight's armor (with raincoat influences) that covers almost all of her body.
She's got disproportionally long legs;
long, sharp nails on both hands and feet;
no big breasts or wide hips;
and again, even if she had, her clothing wouldn't give it away.

The only argument you could possibly have, is than one of her arcs revolves around her boyfriend (Sir Fratley), but I don't really think it counts because of the way it is handled:

SHE is the one who's been searching for HIS ass, because he was dumb enough to go and pick a fight with Beatrix. And when she finally finds him, the fucker can't even remember her, because Beatrix handed his ass to him so hard, he got amnesia. And you know what? She takes it. She's been spending the last two years of her life looking for this asshole, he can't even remember her when they finally meet, but she doesn't let it keep her down. Shit just hit the fan, there's a war between nations, so she just leaves it at that and continues the fight.

Hell, in the hours that follow...

So that's Freya Crescent, a dragon knight who doesn't look like a Playboy model, gets the respect she deserves from her peers, goes to hell and back, and fucking deals with it.

The only thing I disagree with, is her scene at the end of the game.

As with Amaterasu: Freya isn't a bad person/morally questionable.

That, and I'm pretty sure that if you were to ask someone who's into furries they'd tell you that Freya is pretty cute/attractive. :P

Monxeroth:

Pat Hulse:

Monxeroth:

Yeah but thats all subjective however and up to me or you to decide not one collective, since that pretty much voids all form of individuality which is yknow, fucking terrible. Once more, its not really urgent and may not even be all that important, trivial at best but hey, if creators come along with creations of said things to counter that then hooray for them *golfclaps* but it wont be the end of the world if they dont.
Then again i would like games to be appriciated for games and not for other things like how the controller looks or if my protagonist happens to be a nontraditionally attractive female or not, and if does come to that, then i would like the game to actually be praised and reviewed on the basis of it BEING A GAME, but appearently thats too much to ask from some people i guess :L

Well a lot of religious fundamentalists also have problems with todays world yet we can hopefully all agree that theyre far from reasonable, as is the case with this debate that, while perhaps a vocal but very stupid part of the debate, argues for one thing, doesnt by default make it valid or reasonable based simply on numbers, but rather how well their arguments hold up against their counterarguments, which they dont, not all that much exactly anyway...

Eh, i guess some people do but theyre usually stupid, i may not like what you like but i wont hate you for liking what i dont like, if that makes any sense, since i objectively cant tell you: what you enjoy is shit. because yknow, enjoyment is subjective and all that

The difference is that appeasing religious fundamentalists who complain would severely negatively impact several individuals who do not share those beliefs by restricting LGBT rights and affecting women's health issues. Whereas turning, say, Trevor from GTA V into a woman and basically changing next to nothing else about him probably wouldn't have negatively impacted the game or anyone's enjoyment of it in any significant way. You'd basically just have to slightly alter the character design and get rid of the scene where he shows off his dick. And it would have had the added bonus of engendering good will from gamers who wish to have more diverse examples of female protagonists in video games.

There's also the fact that religious fundamentalists are not in any way marginalized members of society (tax breaks, tons of representation in media as well as air time, a great deal of political influence and representation), but I don't think that's a necessary argument to make regarding this particular issue, valid or not.

But even so appeasing this type of crowd just for the sake of appeasement actually would have a negative effect on the industry since the act of acting for the sake of action has and always will be incredibly anti-intelligent.
Its a secondary priority and should always be.
You make your game first and then if your game has room for a nontraditionally attractive female protagonist then go right ahead, i havent argued against anything else, just that id like my game primarily to be..well a game, and then that whole feminist thing can be shoehorned in if it wants to as long as it doesnt affect my enjoyment of the game really

Entertainment industries are exclusively about appeasement. That's pretty much the entire definition of entertainment. It can be used to enrich lives, sure, but it is first and foremost used to be fun and distracting and give us something to do with our idle time. The better question is who we're appeasing, why we're appeasing them, and how that appeasement would negatively impact the appeasement of others.

My argument is simply that unless you can think of a counter-argument, changing a male protagonist in a game whose gender identity is not critical to their character (of which there are many) into a female protagonist whose gender identity is not critical to their character without changing much else would be trivially difficult, have a positive impact on communities who ask for such representation, and wouldn't have a significant negative impact on those who aren't asking for it. In my mind, if doing something is easy and would have a positive effect that outweighs the negative effect by a significant margin, it ought to be a no-brainer. We shouldn't FORCE people to do this, obviously, but there's nothing wrong with attempting to convince people to make this decision voluntarily if they find the arguments compelling and if they want to make work that's accessible to a wider audience.

What about Helga from Clayfighter. Well she does have tits and ass, but ugly as sin and chunky.

Tombsite:

Monxeroth:

But even so appeasing this type of crowd just for the sake of appeasement actually would have a negative effect on the industry since the act of acting for the sake of action has and always will be incredibly anti-intelligent.
Its a secondary priority and should always be.
You make your game first and then if your game has room for a nontraditionally attractive female protagonist then go right ahead, i havent argued against anything else, just that id like my game primarily to be..well a game, and then that whole feminist thing can be shoehorned in if it wants to as long as it doesnt affect my enjoyment of the game really

Then I do not think anybody here really disagrees with you. Nobody want anything shoehorned in. People just want the barriers (publisher forced appeasement of 15-30 year old with males in particular) removed from the developers so that they can make the best games.

Again then my point still stands on that and that we need to let change happen isntead of complaing and yell for it. It will happen organically and it is happening still, but it also needs to happen not with the sole intent of removing said barriers but rather to create games that just really happen to challange them.
Lets primarily focus on the player and a good playing experience and then things i believe will come naturally from what we want and not from what we need.

uanime5:

88chaz88:

Monxeroth:
If looks doesnt matter, why cant women be "attractive" so to speak?

Can we all stop with the "If 'X' doesn't matter..." defense? It's completely ridiculous.

'X' does matter, else we wouldn't have so many examples of one subset of 'X' yet so few of the other. It clearly matters yet it damn well shouldn't, and the only way we're going to stop it from being important is to have more diversity.

And diversity matters.

Why should I stop pointing out the flaws in your argument?

Also you failed to explain why we need more diversity when people clearly don't want more diversity. Even the female game developers don't want to make anything other than pretty females.

Source? Where did you see that "people" do not want more diversity? I've seen quite a few forum threads and opinion pieces stating otherwise.

Not G. Ivingname:

Ukomba:

Lucca from Chrono Trigger.

Possibly fits, although from what I read, it does sound like she may be doing things for Chrono or her father. Not sure, didn't play the game.

Having played the game many times through I can tell you that the three women characters in that game are all very well written and generally don't fall into the female stereotypes. The discussion below has a few spoilers in it, but that isn't really possible to avoid when talking about the motivations and progression of a character in a story driven game.

Pat Hulse:

Monxeroth:

Pat Hulse:

The difference is that appeasing religious fundamentalists who complain would severely negatively impact several individuals who do not share those beliefs by restricting LGBT rights and affecting women's health issues. Whereas turning, say, Trevor from GTA V into a woman and basically changing next to nothing else about him probably wouldn't have negatively impacted the game or anyone's enjoyment of it in any significant way. You'd basically just have to slightly alter the character design and get rid of the scene where he shows off his dick. And it would have had the added bonus of engendering good will from gamers who wish to have more diverse examples of female protagonists in video games.

There's also the fact that religious fundamentalists are not in any way marginalized members of society (tax breaks, tons of representation in media as well as air time, a great deal of political influence and representation), but I don't think that's a necessary argument to make regarding this particular issue, valid or not.

But even so appeasing this type of crowd just for the sake of appeasement actually would have a negative effect on the industry since the act of acting for the sake of action has and always will be incredibly anti-intelligent.
Its a secondary priority and should always be.
You make your game first and then if your game has room for a nontraditionally attractive female protagonist then go right ahead, i havent argued against anything else, just that id like my game primarily to be..well a game, and then that whole feminist thing can be shoehorned in if it wants to as long as it doesnt affect my enjoyment of the game really

Entertainment industries are exclusively about appeasement. That's pretty much the entire definition of entertainment. It can be used to enrich lives, sure, but it is first and foremost used to be fun and distracting and give us something to do with our idle time. The better question is who we're appeasing, why we're appeasing them, and how that appeasement would negatively impact the appeasement of others.

My argument is simply that unless you can think of a counter-argument, changing a male protagonist in a game whose gender identity is not critical to their character (of which there are many) into a female protagonist whose gender identity is not critical to their character without changing much else would be trivially difficult, have a positive impact on communities who ask for such representation, and wouldn't have a significant negative impact on those who aren't asking for it. In my mind, if doing something is easy and would have a positive effect that outweighs the negative effect by a significant margin, it ought to be a no-brainer. We shouldn't FORCE people to do this, obviously, but there's nothing wrong with attempting to convince people to make this decision voluntarily if they find the arguments compelling and if they want to make work that's accessible to a wider audience.

Well yeah but again in that case there needs to be incentive and it needs to be compelling without feeling forced or without just the intent of creating diversity rather than letting it be created organically through play and through the player experience. Nothing good will ever come of simply complaining and shouting about it because what we need is not what we want. If we do however want it on the basis of something being simply objectively good as a, in this case, game, then we need to cater to that primarily and not let something be carried upon the simple fact that it "challanges the barriers of social constructs".

Like i said, i for one would just like a good game and if such a thing as gender doesnt affect my playing experience, go right ahead.
If its being shoehorned in just for the sake of it and forcing it upon me trying to make me compelled then that game can go eat a dong for all i care and the devs hopefully out of a job soon.

Wait, so now this mythical female protagonist has to be a deep, emotional, intelligent, never relies on a man ever, is never affected by a man, and now has to be conventionally ugly on top of that. Good luck selling that game.

Put out an APB for a 4'6" tall, 350# woman with severe burn scars all over her face and body and missing one leg and make a game about her...what.... oh that's right real people are boring and nobody gives a shit accept the PC hookers who have to appeal to their base by vilifying the very thing they make their living from...shameful.

Steve2911:

Silent Protagonist:
Suggestion: Try to come up with some male protagonists that fit Jim's criteria and debunk them like this thread has been doing with possible female character candidates that Jim might have missed. I couldn't think of one off the top of my head. The guys from GTAV don't even fit his criteria. Might be worth a separate thread

Elaborate on this, because quite a few examples were given in the video. And I don't see how the GTAV protagonists don't count.

The boys from GTA V were the closest I could think of to meeting his criteria. They are conventionally attractive, except for maybe Trevor. Tragic backstories and personal traumas are abundant. They also receive motivations from and/or rely on other men(and/or women which may be required depending on how far you reverse the criteria) so further disqualified. I don't think this would count but it could also be argued that they can be fairly substantially customized through haircuts and wardrobe changes which would disqualify them. I don't think that last reason really fits as I said because the goal of that criteria was to eliminate the "blank slate" character

EDIT: Also the examples given in the video of male characters only demonstrate maybe one of the criteria but certainly not all of them put together. For example, the aging Solid Snake is mentioned. I would argue that the "silver fox" is very much a thing that many women find attractive and that he is also a "good guy" so is eliminated. He also has a fairly long list of traumas behind his character.

Pat Hulse:

Ukomba:

Pat Hulse:

Amazon - Sexualized, impractical outfit. While not "traditionally" attractive from a mainstream attraction, she definitely fits within fetishistic character design tropes popular in certain niches within Japanese entertainment. She may not be everyone's cup of tea, but trust me, she's designed for sex appeal. Plus none of the characters in that game have interesting or unique character motivations or identities, so even if you could argue that she isn't designed with sex appeal in mind, she fails to meet Jim's criteria for that reason as well (though at least the male characters in the game are equally as uninteresting and under-developed).
Lucca - A supporting character, not a protagonist. Jim was specifically looking for playable protagonists.
Okami - The character is actually named Amaterasu, but I'd say that's probably a fair example that Jim may have overlooked.
Peacock - Her motivations center around being used as a test subject, which Jim would justifiably qualify as "power from trauma".
Double - See above.
Macha/NeoFio/Poshul/Sprigg - Not protagonists.
Shale - A DLC character and not a protagonist.
Kreia - Not a protagonist.

One example I thought of that Jim may have overlooked is Kazooie from Banjo-Kazooie, who could be argued as a supporting character, but I'd argue that she's the more active participant in the duo, particular in regards to gameplay, though obviously she has less at stake in terms of plot since it's not her sister that's been kidnapped. But it does seem a bit silly that we have to keep looking at non-humanoids to find valid examples.

And it may seem like splitting hairs for discounting many of your characters for not being protagonists, but part of the issue is that women would like to be able to directly identify with the character they has the most agency and direct focus within the story. They may like to see well-crafted female supporting characters, but when it's all they have, it starts to make them feel ignored, marginalized, and underestimated. It seems like there's an underlying hesitance to make a woman the central protagonist either due to concerns regarding whether or not their young male demographic would enjoy playing as a female character they don't find attractive, as though we would be afraid of identifying with a woman. As a dude, I find that assumption pretty demeaning. I don't need to find a female character sexy to want to play as her and I don't need to play as a male character to identify with the protagonist. I think game publishers need to stop overthinking it so much.

For starters, look up the definition of 'protagonist'. Here let me help:

protagonist: the leading character or one of the major characters in a drama, movie, novel, or other fictional text.

So Kreia, Macha, NeoFio, Poshul, Sprigg, Lucca, and Shale are, in fact, Protagonists. Any Party member would be. Even non playable characters, like Joker from Mass Effect, would count as a Protagonist. Lucca especially, since Chrono dies half way through the game. Is there just no Protagonist at that point?

A character being DLC is entirely irrelevant.

The Trauma thing, well you might have me for those two.

From a narrative perspective, you may be right, but we're talking about video games here. It's possible for a game to have multiple protagonists, but in my mind, that would mean those characters would have to share all of the same means of control and prominence within the game and gameplay. To put it another way, the protagonist in Dragon Age is the main character because you can walk around as them, talk to people, and do a bunch of other things, but since you cannot do most of those things as Shale, she is rendered a supporting character. Shale is a character you talk to and command in combat. She only sticks around so long as she has a relationship and commitment to the main character. If she leaves, you don't get to play as her and see what happens on her solo adventures.

To put it yet another way, all those characters may be critically important to the plot, but you can't play as them in the same way you can play as the "true" protagonist.

That said, I had forgotten that Lucca was actually a playable character with no real significant gameplay differences when compared with Crono, so yeah, I guess she probably would fit Jim's criteria. However, while I haven't played "Chrono Cross", my understanding is that Serge is the central character throughout the whole game and the one used for navigation and managing the other playable characters, clearly making him the protagonist.

Then Jim shouldn't have used examples of non "true protagonists" in his video if he didn't want examples of them brought up in the comments.

What about Claire from Thomas Was Alone? She's a big blue square, hardly "conventionally attractive".

:0 Wow. I didn't even know Vertigo was a woman. :D And she was my favorite in the game.

Neat Jim. Hope we get a newer example soon.

Daystar Clarion:

Mcoffey:

Daystar Clarion:

I like to think that The Boss and Ammy fall into this category.

Have you seen The Boss? She's built like a fucking horse, and Ammy is...

Well she's Ammy!

The Boss isn't a playable character nor a protagonist. She's a great character, to be sure, but not quite what Jim's talking about. I've got nothing on Amaterasu though. :)

In this thread I expect plenty of people to say that plenty of male characters are sexualized, completely ignoring the fact that they are male empowerment fantasies (ie, something to aspire to, rather than something to desire), where few-to-no female characters are female empowerment fantasies.

Well, I suppose she doesn't count if she's not playable...

Damn it!

Ammy, save me!

*falls back on Ammy point*

Well, she isn't "traditionally" pretty, but I think she may be a bit to "good natured" for Jim's list.
Otherwise, I think she is a fine example of a good female character.

Thank God, for you, Jim. =w= b

Monxeroth:
If looks doesnt matter, why cant women be "attractive" so to speak?
Why is the concept of Saints Row and other types of games such as MMOs completely discarded because theyre our creation not the developers?
Can then only good female characters exist if theyre created by the developer and not the player?

Way to completely miss the point. The point is that all male protagonists are not created equal, but all female protagonists are. It's not the existence of attractive female protagonists that is the problem, but the lack of variety. If male protagonists can be old and grizzled, then so too should female protagonists. That such protagonists are exceedingly rare is evidence that female protagonists are meant as eye candy, rather than actual characters.

Spearmaster:
Wait, so now this mythical female protagonist has to be a deep, emotional, intelligent, never relies on a man ever, is never affected by a man, and now has to be conventionally ugly on top of that. Good luck selling that game.

Put out an APB for a 4'6" tall, 350# woman with severe burn scars all over her face and body and missing one leg and make a game about her...what.... oh that's right real people are boring and nobody gives a shit accept the PC hookers who have to appeal to their base by vilifying the very thing they make their living from...shameful.

It's like every argument just gets more and more reasonable and logical.

Need a corn cob pipe for that strawman?

the Dept of Science:

Machine Man 1992:

the Dept of Science:

Except that protecting her large brood of babies can be as problematic a motivation as doing it for a man.

CITATION NEEDED.

Could you elaborate on this?

Older women are often portrayed in media as good for nothing but making babies or are defined entirely in relation to their children. Much the same way that young women are viewed as sex objects. This trope is less common (arguably not quite as bad), but is still harmful to women. It is part of the reason why women are expected to give up their careers in order to raise children.
This is one of the reasons why people had a problem with Other M.

How is showing her being protective of her offspring problematic? How is any of that harmful to women?

Monxeroth:

Tombsite:

Monxeroth:

But even so appeasing this type of crowd just for the sake of appeasement actually would have a negative effect on the industry since the act of acting for the sake of action has and always will be incredibly anti-intelligent.
Its a secondary priority and should always be.
You make your game first and then if your game has room for a nontraditionally attractive female protagonist then go right ahead, i havent argued against anything else, just that id like my game primarily to be..well a game, and then that whole feminist thing can be shoehorned in if it wants to as long as it doesnt affect my enjoyment of the game really

Then I do not think anybody here really disagrees with you. Nobody want anything shoehorned in. People just want the barriers (publisher forced appeasement of 15-30 year old with males in particular) removed from the developers so that they can make the best games.

Again then my point still stands on that and that we need to let change happen isntead of complaing and yell for it. It will happen organically and it is happening still, but it also needs to happen not with the sole intent of removing said barriers but rather to create games that just really happen to challange them.
Lets primarily focus on the player and a good playing experience and then things i believe will come naturally from what we want and not from what we need.

So this is where you and I start to disagree. I do believe that complaining and trying to force change can be a good thing. The game industry has, in my opinion, proven again and again that they have a poor grasp of what their consumers want. They will happily take all the wrong lessons on what makes a game good/bad with out any sort of critical analysis. Sure they have the capability to learn but it is a very slow process with plenty of expensive missteps. Therefore I believe (and I guess a lot of other people) that we can speed up the process by pointing out their mistakes as loud and as publicly as possible.

Of course, being what it is, the game industry looks at these complaints as a threat to their bottom line rather than as advice. But it still has the desired effect so I guess it is worth it in the end. :)

Machine Man 1992:

the Dept of Science:

Machine Man 1992:

CITATION NEEDED.

Could you elaborate on this?

Older women are often portrayed in media as good for nothing but making babies or are defined entirely in relation to their children. Much the same way that young women are viewed as sex objects. This trope is less common (arguably not quite as bad), but is still harmful to women. It is part of the reason why women are expected to give up their careers in order to raise children.
This is one of the reasons why people had a problem with Other M.

How is showing her being protective of her offspring problematic? How is any of that harmful to women?

Oh you fool, don't you know? If a man is protective of something, he's objectifying them. If a woman is being protective of something, she's being objectified by them. It's sooooo obvious. [/sarcasm]

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