UPDATE: Video of Females on Female Characters Panel

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Ivy? Crappy? I own people with Ivy in SC4, so I dont know what SHE was talking about.

I just read the post, didn't bother watching the videos. From what I read of that though it seems that female gamers don't want female characters to change. They just want them to have more prominent roles, and to be their own woman. So more games with female leads that are oversexualized bimbos with "well developed traits and personalities" that you can of course just ignore ? Hell that sounds ok with me, this coming from a guy who plays female characters in MMOs because hey if I gotta stare at an avatar for hours on end while grinding it can at least be a female avatar.

Men: OK we got this new game staring a female character, she's 36-24-36 y'know "the good stuff", and we're thinking of making the camera really focus on her ass and breasts throughout the game.
Women: Grrr
Men: Oh but she's strong, thoughtful, and she's her own woman.
Women: =D Sounds Great !
Men: Sweet.

All in all I was kind of surprised that the rough and headstrong Lightning and Fang were vilified while the nigh sexually overbearing Ivy and Bayonetta were held up as examples of good female characters, not to mention the latter pair have relatively poor motivations and not a lot of depth. Admittedly both pairs consists of an amnesiac and an emo but at least the former pair have more of a reason to fight than "because we're in an action game". Heh, wish that was more of an exaggeration than it seems.

HankMan:
Female characters are hard to write
... For Guys.

Like any creative talent-related challenge, it's really an individual thing. Some folks write amazing characters seemingly without effort but can't plot their way out of a paper bag. We all have our high and low points.

tetron:
snip

You might want to watch the videos, it'd probably clear up your misconceptions.

For instance, your example character development process would get an immediate halt because of crap camera control if it's stuck on T&A mode instead of letting you see where the hell you're trying to jump - this was the panel complaint about Tomb Raider, not Lara's cup size.

Also, Ivy was held up as an example of a terrible just-eye-candy female character, not a good one.

Since the panellists mentions forums a couple times, and The Escapist forums specifically at one point, I'm kinda hoping this gets read:

Kathleen DeVere (Middle panellist with the red hair!) asked for a game with a female protagonist portrayed realistically who interacts with believable and well rounded minority characters as well, there's one out there, 'The Longest Journey'. Old point & click adventure game on the PC. Main protagonist is a female character who as an art student living in a small youthful district interacts with all sorts of characters of various origins. It's just a really well told story with lots of well written and believable characters, and I'm always disappointed when it's never brought up in favour of more mainstream titles.

If players want games with characters like that to become successful, talk about them, give them publicity. Otherwise they'll be continually doomed to failure in favour of retreating more common ideas which are brought up more often; example being the dismal character in FF.

And for the 'romance everyone' comment in relation to Mass Effect also kinda annoyed me. I'm sick of romance in games, I really am, because all too often the romance are the characters main selling points. Miranda is a boring character to me because her explicit purpose is to be a romance option for male players. Period. That's pretty much it. The reason a character like Tali is so beloved is because she was created as a companion rather than a romance option, at least initially. So by saying 'I wanna have the option to screw everyone regardless of gender', wouldn't that have to come at the expense of the characters as well? What if Tali isn't interested in other women, what then? Will players complain? Likely. Frankly I don't think she should ever have become a romance in the first place regardless of gender because I've always been of the belief that before you should try writing any sort of romance plotline, you need to make the character and her interactions not only believable, but appealing. The character needs to be someone you'd want as a friend, and then the 'relationship' should grow from there.

In most cases however it's the other way around. Characters are created a romance first, with likeability added later. And that's just plain poor storytelling. What I want Bioware to do is just forsake 'romance' entirely for awhile and just focus on friendship. Now *that* would be impressive.

And on a side note, screw the haters, Tomb Raider rocks if platforming and puzzle solving are your thing. Tomb Raider: Anniversary was one of my favourite games of the year when I played it!

..

What bugs me about this debate is not so much characterization in terms of games with significant story element, as much as it applies to games where the story element is light due to necessity. Fighting games, for instance. Ivy Valentine is constantly criticized as being an example of a "bad female character". But why? Clearly in games such as Soul Calibur where story is not the emphasis so much as the core gameplay. Yes, I realize her latest outfit gives off a strong dominatrix vibe. But characters in fighting games are not subject to deep exposition, and appearance is important if you want to give off a strong idea of the resonant personality. This goes for males and females alike. Dressing Ivy up in the kind of gear that makes her look sadistic is reflective of her personality. Much the same way Seigfreid looks honorable, Amy looks spooky, Mitsurugi looks driven and Tira looks batshit bonkers.

Appearance is a crucial part of character design in any visual medium. Part of what a character conveys to the audience is done through their appearance and mannerisms. If you subject that aspects to needless criticisms so that they become reduced in order to spare the feelings of people who are clearly looking for a reason to be offended. You'll end up with characters that are whitewashed, bland and totally uninteresting.

Like this guy...
image

Just real quick, this is a general opinion on the subject and is not reflective to any specific person or persons involved in this conversation or the panel or opinions held by the same. And let me add real quick that I hate having to make these disclaimers... >_>

would it be wrong to say Susan Arendt and everyone else on the panel were very beautiful and made excellent points. For both female and male gamers.

I heard someone in the video briefly mention the Persona games (I think it was Kathleen.) and I'm kinda surprised they weren't discussed in greater depth. The backgrounds of the characters and their complex reactions to events are well written and some of the women you can develop relationships with are amazing. Naoto Shirogane (Persona 4) is my favourite example and it's also the only example I've found so far which explores gender roles/issues while still being relevant (relateable?) and adding alot to the main story (please tell me if you know of any more RPG's that touch on this issue, I'd love to play them!). I personally would love to see a game where I can play as Naoto outside of that Persona format as I feel she realy is THAT strong a character. She's flawed and has worries and concerns; she's been affected by whats been thrown at her and she's still working it all out while striving to remain in control. It's what makes her so real and so human.

An episode of Extra Credits (the one on sexual diversity in games... Thanks so much for making these videos by the way guys!!) explains her situation a bit better along with the games gay character who manages to confront stereotypes by being a generally kick ass dude. I really can't reccomend Persona 4 enough if you're gaming for the story and for the genuinely relateable characters; as Daniel (Extra Credits) rightly says, just paraphrasing here: Even if these figures aren't totaly relevant to you personally there are still so many issues they bring up which we've all, male or female, experienced at some point or another. So for that, thanks Persona!

</fangirl rant>
lol

The Morrigan:

I think it's probably harder to develop that type of charisma, though, for a video game character, which is why most of them are created to conform to our societal stereotypes of sexiness.

Interesting that you bring up charisma for a video game character. To speak of charisma, are/(how)should we be led by our characters in games, while we're obligated to control them at the same time? Im tired/lazy, so I also cannot think of any character examples that may display this, male or female.

Sir John the Net Knight:

Onyx Oblivion:

Greg Tito:
even a overtly sexual character like Bayonetta has promise.

"It's a silly main premise for a character, and it's supposed to be fun to play and I don't have a problem with that as a female gamer," DeVere said. "[Bayonetta] is a female main character - if they think they can sell a game with a female main character, and make her witty, that's a big step."

Tracey John wasn't sure that Bayonetta was empowering for female gamers, to which Susan Arendt responded, "I think what makes Bayonetta appealing is that she very much owns her sexuality. She's hot, but she's ain't hot for you." Bayonetta exists in a world where sex is normal, but that doesn't mean she does it for your approval.

Surprising responses, to be honest. I was expecting Bayonetta hate. I just knew she'd turn up in there somewhere.

Yet they still focus heavily on Bayonetta's sexualized qualities, which means they are not bothering to look below the surface and see what really makes her tick.

It's hard not to . She's a magical dominatrix. Though an interesting one with maternal tendencies and (as a dominatrix) a lot of confidence. Shame some of her dialogue is utterly awful (deliberate campness, not withstanding).

Ipsen:

The Morrigan:

I think it's probably harder to develop that type of charisma, though, for a video game character, which is why most of them are created to conform to our societal stereotypes of sexiness.

Interesting that you bring up charisma for a video game character. To speak of charisma, are/(how)should we be led by our characters in games, while we're obligated to control them at the same time? Im tired/lazy, so I also cannot think of any character examples that may display this, male or female.

Manny Calavera is a good example. You can understand why girls would find him sexy. He has an awesome voice and wit, despite his diminuative stature and his massive forehead.

Sir John the Net Knight:

Manji187:
"All characters are hard to write" indeed...so how about genuinely trying ay, gaming industry?

In the case of female characters: if Bayonetta is lauded for advancing female character development (she accepts her sexuality...but doesn't need your approval)...then the road ahead is going to be a long one.

The problem I have with this point of view is that people have been making female characters for several millennia now. So to try to limit this notion to the history of gaming is a bit ridiculous. Even within the scope of gaming we've come quite far. Considering the first widely accepted female gaming character was a copypasta yellow blob with a bow tacked on top of it to suggest it's sudden change of gender.

Writing characters is a difficult process. Anyone who's tried to do it knows how hard it can be, exponentially more difficult when done on a time schedule. And these ideas are made much more difficult when applied to a medium that is fundamentally interactive and needs to hold the attention of it's audience more fervently then traditional media.

Frankly I don't think Bayonetta could possibly be as bad as someone like Snooki from Jersey Shore. And that's a real person...allegedly.

I agree that the pool from which inspiration can be drawn is larger than just videogames. Doesn't seem like the industry is tapping it though.

My personal beef with Bayonetta is that it's one of those rare games with a female protagonist that cannot be mentally swapped for a male lead...and what does it do? The game makes it abundantly clear that it doesn't want to be taken seriously (even going so far as to include an unlockable Japanese physical education uniform), all under the excuse of "Well hey...that's just the style of the game. Artistic freedom, you know?" And they're absolutely right...but it's just so bloody convenient.

IMHO it's a damn shame because it could have been done differently/ better. Instead we've got a sassy/ cheeky skank who wears her hair and has disproportional legs. It's like..."All right people...don't bother writing a deep/ complex character...instead let's make her really weird and hope that that will make her interesting. Oh...and lets give her amnesia. And guns...on her stiletto heels."

To conclude my rant: I believe Bayonetta will go down in gaming history as just another wacky experiment. It will not significantly contribute to female character development...because the one thing Bayonetta truly contributes (accepting her sexuality without seeking the player's approval) is diluted by the game as a whole...it's wacky context/ atmosphere/ setting.

In the end, Bayonetta is a missed opportunity. It could have been so much more...but paradoxically it is limited by the game itself. That's why developers should be really careful in choosing their context/ atmosphere/ setting. The very fundamentals do not only enable...they also constrain.

I wouldn't be surprised if the developers would disagree with me...but then again having invested so much time/ effort in their "baby"...I also wouldn't be surprised if they weren't entirely without bias. And the Ego always seeks reasons to be proud.

I think what is probably the best female character I've ever experienced in a game was Heather from Silent Hill 3 - she was just so real in her characterization that she made the game for me.

Manji187:

Sir John the Net Knight:

Manji187:
"All characters are hard to write" indeed...so how about genuinely trying ay, gaming industry?

In the case of female characters: if Bayonetta is lauded for advancing female character development (she accepts her sexuality...but doesn't need your approval)...then the road ahead is going to be a long one.

The problem I have with this point of view is that people have been making female characters for several millennia now. So to try to limit this notion to the history of gaming is a bit ridiculous. Even within the scope of gaming we've come quite far. Considering the first widely accepted female gaming character was a copypasta yellow blob with a bow tacked on top of it to suggest it's sudden change of gender.

Writing characters is a difficult process. Anyone who's tried to do it knows how hard it can be, exponentially more difficult when done on a time schedule. And these ideas are made much more difficult when applied to a medium that is fundamentally interactive and needs to hold the attention of it's audience more fervently then traditional media.

Frankly I don't think Bayonetta could possibly be as bad as someone like Snooki from Jersey Shore. And that's a real person...allegedly.

I agree that the pool from which inspiration can be drawn is larger than just videogames. Doesn't seem like the industry is tapping it though.

My personal beef with Bayonetta is that it's one of those rare games with a female protagonist that cannot be mentally swapped for a male lead...and what does it do? The game makes it abundantly clear that it doesn't want to be taken seriously (even going so far as to include an unlockable Japanese physical education uniform), all under the excuse of "Well hey...that's just the style of the game. Artistic freedom, you know?" And they're absolutely right...but it's just so bloody convenient.

IMHO it's a damn shame because it could have been done differently/ better. Instead we've got a sassy/ cheeky skank who wears her hair and has disproportional legs. It's like..."All right people...don't bother writing a deep/ complex character...instead let's make her really weird and hope that that will make her interesting. Oh...and lets give her amnesia. And guns...on her stiletto heels."

To conclude my rant: I believe Bayonetta will go down in gaming history as just another wacky experiment. It will not significantly contribute to female character development...because the one thing Bayonetta truly contributes (accepting her sexuality without seeking the player's approval) is diluted by the game as a whole...it's wacky context/ atmosphere/ setting.

In the end, Bayonetta is a missed opportunity. It could have been so much more...but paradoxically it is limited by the game itself. That's why developers should be really careful in choosing their context/ atmosphere/ setting. The very fundamentals do not only enable...they also constrain.

I wouldn't be surprised if the developers would disagree with me...but then again having invested so much time/ effort in their "baby"...I also wouldn't be surprised if they weren't entirely without bias. And the Ego always seeks reasons to be proud.

You have a point, but even if Bayonetta isn't a triumph for females in games, I think may be viewed in the future as proof of concept. Coming on the heels of X-Blade and Heavenly Swords it points to a different way forward. Investors are understandably risk adverse, and I don't think it's unreasonable to think Bayonetta may in someway contribute to even more well developed female leads down the road.

I would even go as far as saying the setting and atmosphere enhance her...empowerment, for lack of a better word. I recently played Bayonetta for the first time, because I enjoy (and suck at) the spectacle fighter genre and I heard it was more accessible. Frankly I was anxious that constant fanservice would overwhelm any positives the game might have. I found that because her character was played mostly straight, when I expected 20 hours of fan service, it stood out in sharper relief from the game's environment. Only a couple hours into the game I was able to almost completely ignore the fanservice moments and focus on Bayonetta the character, not the cartoon centrefold.

More concisely, as a male I was expecting the game to continually yank me out of the experience to highlight I was playing as a blow-up doll. Instead it (mostly) let me just play as Bayonetta. Frankly, I wasn't sure I could enjoy a game with a highly sexual female lead (as opposed to an attractive female, like Female Shepard) and I think it is a victory for the game that I was able to play it without feeling dirty.

(I realize this my just be post hoc rationalization, or that I'm pathologically unable to appreciate what a female experiences in gaming, but I can't really control that.)

man i watched all of it and it was great!

those f-gamers sure do have great wits.

4173:

You have a point, but even if Bayonetta isn't a triumph for females in games, I think may be viewed in the future as proof of concept. Coming on the heels of X-Blade and Heavenly Swords it points to a different way forward. Investors are understandably risk adverse, and I don't think it's unreasonable to think Bayonetta may in someway contribute to even more well developed female leads down the road.

I would even go as far as saying the setting and atmosphere enhance her...empowerment, for lack of a better word. I recently played Bayonetta for the first time, because I enjoy (and suck at) the spectacle fighter genre and I heard it was more accessible. Frankly I was anxious that constant fanservice would overwhelm any positives the game might have. I found that because her character was played mostly straight, when I expected 20 hours of fan service, it stood out in sharper relief from the game's environment. Only a couple hours into the game I was able to almost completely ignore the fanservice moments and focus on Bayonetta the character, not the cartoon centrefold.

Does Bayonetta the character (as opposed to Bayonetta the fanservice provider) add anything other than empowerment (by accepting her sexuality without seeking approval?) to female character development, according to you? Was there anything that made her interesting to you that was not only external? Does Bayonetta at any point become more than a cheeky/ witty barrel of "fetishist" references?

Was she able to surprise you with her character? Made you think about things? Do you think she will be remembered in 10 years?

Sorry for asking so many questions...just curious.

Manji187:

I agree that the pool from which inspiration can be drawn is larger than just videogames. Doesn't seem like the industry is tapping it though.

My personal beef with Bayonetta is that it's one of those rare games with a female protagonist that cannot be mentally swapped for a male lead...and what does it do? The game makes it abundantly clear that it doesn't want to be taken seriously (even going so far as to include an unlockable Japanese physical education uniform), all under the excuse of "Well hey...that's just the style of the game. Artistic freedom, you know?" And they're absolutely right...but it's just so bloody convenient.

IMHO it's a damn shame because it could have been done differently/ better. Instead we've got a sassy/ cheeky skank who wears her hair and has disproportional legs. It's like..."All right people...don't bother writing a deep/ complex character...instead let's make her really weird and hope that that will make her interesting. Oh...and lets give her amnesia. And guns...on her stiletto heels."

To conclude my rant: I believe Bayonetta will go down in gaming history as just another wacky experiment. It will not significantly contribute to female character development...because the one thing Bayonetta truly contributes (accepting her sexuality without seeking the player's approval) is diluted by the game as a whole...it's wacky context/ atmosphere/ setting.

In the end, Bayonetta is a missed opportunity. It could have been so much more...but paradoxically it is limited by the game itself. That's why developers should be really careful in choosing their context/ atmosphere/ setting. The very fundamentals do not only enable...they also constrain.

I wouldn't be surprised if the developers would disagree with me...but then again having invested so much time/ effort in their "baby"...I also wouldn't be surprised if they weren't entirely without bias. And the Ego always seeks reasons to be proud.

I have bolded that particular sentence fragment because that is the ultimate gaping hole in your position. That and, mind you this is my interpretation, you feel the same as many others. That empowerment of females means de-feminizing them.

All of your arguments point to Bayonetta being a missed opportunity strictly due to appearance. Bayonetta was, of course, not something meant to be taken seriously, which makes it all the more hilarious that people take it way too seriously. This might be due to the fact that she well succeeds in her design, which seems to intentionally be overtly sexualized. How a person perceives that sort of thing is unique to them. I find it comical, some find it a turn on, others will be made uncomfortable by it, others may just not care. Clearly, it's indicative of the fact that Bayonetta succeeded in bringing people out of their comfort zone, even if she wasn't meant to be taken seriously. These kind of reactions alone are evident of the power this character wields.

The only opportunity being missed here if the opportunity to further whitewash female characters. Which is not an opportunity at all, in my opinion.

unacomn:
I really wish more people would play The Longest Journey and Dreamfall, and take points from it at how to write characters. Hell, if those are too old, Gray Matter, Samantha Everett is a great character.

Thank you! For all this uprise in talks about female characters I'm starting to be really confused as to why people are not talking more about April Ryan, ZoŽ Castillo, Samantha Everett, Jade (from BG&E) and freaking Grace Nakimura. I expect it from the people in the audience since the games are not that know or played, but I'm beginning to find it really unacceptable for the panelists not to draw attention to these games. They're not just great female characters, they are great characters, period. I don't think the conversation is going to get anywhere new if we all keep rehashing the same examples (samus, bayonetta, lara croft, multiple FF characters) when for most of them their development and depth pales considerably when compared to those other characters that keep getting shunt. The examples are there to be used as comparison. Call upon them as the goal to reach over and over again, not to the lower step in the process.

Does Bayonetta the character (as opposed to Bayonetta the fanservice provider) add anything other than empowerment (by accepting her sexuality without seeking approval?) to female character development, according to you? Was there anything that made her interesting to you that was not only external? Does Bayonetta at any point become more than a cheeky/ witty barrel of "fetishist" references?

Was she able to surprise you with her character? Made you think about things? Do you think she will be remembered in 10 years?

Sorry for asking so many questions...just curious.[/quote]

Perhaps nothing else uniquely female, but I found some old cliches more interesting because they were wrapped in a novel (female) package. When she first calls Luka by name, instead of Chesire was heartwarming. In fact their entire arc was at least a little fresh. Luka is obsessed but not in a sexual and/or stalker manner. He isn't a nerd, a James Dean rebel or an angry ex-boyfriend. She taunts him with sexual overtones because that is her nature, but his pursuit is completely gender neutral.

The best part of her relationship with Luka is that though they become friends, and he shows up at her "funeral" they aren't shown to begin a romance, or have fucked. There isn't even the slightest hint of "bad girl is really just looking for a man to set her right."

Evolving some mother-like concern for Cezera is cliche, but not unreasonable, and probably uniquely feminine. But those mothering feelings develop in a manner in keeping with the character. Just like she didn't "just need a man" she doesn't "need a child," there wasn't a buried June Cleaver just waiting to emerge on the sight of a kid. And perhaps what I found most interesting, there wasn't a hidden Sarah Connor either, that did surprise me. She clearly wants Cezera to be self-reliant, but doesn't appear to think that means absolute self-reliance or emotional deadness. I didn't expect her to fix Chesire (the doll).

Even her sexuality is interesting, because her entire world seems to be about 6 people and the Angels. Luka and Cezera I've covered, Enzo is a non-entity and Rodin is a cipher. Did she learn it with the Umbra Witchs, or since she re-awakened? Because we don't even know her real feelings on relationships or physical sex, her sexuality really is only an aspect of her being. Depth!

I think her character is hugely enhanced by that lack of actual sex/love/whatever. In a sense, almost everything she did was surprising because she was a blank slate in my mind [besides the 1 trait].

I think whether or not she made me think about things is answered, and I've tried to be concise. Two last things: the presence of Jeanne is nice because it works to affirm the lifestyle as at least somewhat valid in that world. And though the big bad is her father, there are no daddy or abandonment issues.

Will she be remembered in 10 years; I don't know. I'm not even 100% of some of my own arguments (I am arguing in good faith, just not always 100% certainty). And my perspective on these topics is somewhat limited as a white male. And there's little reason to think many people share my thoughts on the game, so I really don't know. If Lara Croft is still remembered 15 years later, then I suppose yes, I think Bayonetta should be remembered in 10 years. I'm not holding her up as a feminist icon, but she does have enough positives, IMO, to be a step forward.

edit: I suppose part of this goes back to author intent, and maybe this whole post is the same as saying Lord of the Rings is about the Industrial Revolution.

4173:
And my perspective on these topics is somewhat limited as a white male.

I am wholly insulted by this statement. You're stating that anyone who is white an male cannot have more than any perspective outside of their personal bubble. Which is fucking bullshit in every sense of the phrase.

You just demonstrated the inherent problem with this whole debate. Congratulations.

4173:

Sir John the Net Knight:

4173:
And my perspective on these topics is somewhat limited as a white male.

I am wholly insulted by this statement. You're stating that anyone who is white an male cannot have more than any perspective outside of their personal bubble. Which is fucking bullshit in every sense of the phrase.

You just demonstrated the inherent problem with this whole debate. Congratulations.

No, I'm saying that white males do not have the same experiences as females, or even white females. Hell, I don't even have the same life experience as many other white males. Or white males from twenty years ago.

Clearly I think I can have some perspective on things outside my bubble, I just wrote a long post about it. However, I don't think I can have complete understanding either.

I would elaborate, but I think I'll just go with the pithy response instead.

You just demonstrated the inherent problem with being an idiot. Congratulations.

Vintage Balderdash!

I guess the next time I write a story it should contain nothing but white males, because that's all I can relate to, right? Or better yet, make sure the story is nothing but one character who is me. The difficulty of writing is putting yourself in the mind of someone other than yourself, it's also the reward of it. However, when you allow stupid shit like political correctness to handcuff your creativity, your writing suffers along with it. People imposing this shit are no better than the censorship advocates they claim to hate so much. And you still don't address how utterly insulting it is that you claim that white males must supplicate ourselves to this viewpoint. Instead you insult me directly.

Stop the world, I want off...

The only thing that really stood out to me in this panel was, unfortunately, the extreme case of Completely Missing The Point when it comes to Enslaved. Seriously. I could see the point of the hatred flying by a quarter of the inch over the head of Every. Single. Member. Of. The. Panel. and instead they started talking about completely unrelated issues like "it's not usual to play such a commanding female".

I mean, seriously? THAT'S what every one of you think the issue is about???

Other than that... The theoretical discussion is fun, but as usual I have no clue who 90% of the games or characters are. I am from Sweden, wheren JRPGs are not that big to begin with, and I have never owned a console, so if we are talking RPGs it's Bioware and Bethesda. Basically.

Stefan Eriksson:
The only thing that really stood out to me in this panel was, unfortunately, the extreme case of Completely Missing The Point when it comes to Enslaved. Seriously. I could see the point of the hatred flying by a quarter of the inch over the head of Every. Single. Member. Of. The. Panel. and instead they started talking about completely unrelated issues like "it's not usual to play such a commanding female".

I mean, seriously? THAT'S what every one of you think the issue is about???

Other than that... The theoretical discussion is fun, but as usual I have no clue who 90% of the games or characters are. I am from Sweden, wheren JRPGs are not that big to begin with, and I have never owned a console, so if we are talking RPGs it's Bioware and Bethesda. Basically.

Everything Enslaved does, FalloutNV: Dead Money does better.

Sir John the Net Knight:

Everything Enslaved does, FalloutNV: Dead Money does better.

Quite possibly so; I have only briefly looked at both of them (I don't have time for another RPG). :)

Anyway something else that popped into my head: Regarding Female / Female romances in Bioware games... Over here the female critics go the opposite way: WAY too many lesbian relationships, clearly pandering to the male fanbase, and not at all too many gay male relationships.

Sir John the Net Knight:

4173:

Sir John the Net Knight:

I am wholly insulted by this statement. You're stating that anyone who is white an male cannot have more than any perspective outside of their personal bubble. Which is fucking bullshit in every sense of the phrase.

You just demonstrated the inherent problem with this whole debate. Congratulations.

I was asked direct questions about my personal feelings. In order to improve communication (because this internet) I included that I was a white male because I felt it will influence how I view these topics.

That's all it was. If this was in person, I would not have said it. I am not saying a woman's perspective is right or more valuable on this topic, just that it may be different.

There is no supplication, unless you take issue with the idea that life experiences influence how an individual thinks, or the idea that white males may have had different life experiences than females?

Sir John the Net Knight:

I am wholly insulted by this statement. You're stating that anyone who is white an male cannot have more than any perspective outside of their personal bubble. Which is fucking bullshit in every sense of the phrase.

You just demonstrated the inherent problem with this whole debate. Congratulations.

No, I'm saying that white males do not have the same experiences as females, or even white females. Hell, I don't even have the same life experience as many other white males. Or white males from twenty years ago.

Clearly I think I can have some perspective on things outside my bubble, I just wrote a long post about it. However, I don't think I can have complete understanding either.

I would elaborate, but I think I'll just go with the pithy response instead.

You just demonstrated the inherent problem with being an idiot. Congratulations.

Vintage Balderdash!

I guess the next time I write a story it should contain nothing but white males, because that's all I can relate to, right? Or better yet, make sure the story is nothing but one character who is me. The difficulty of writing is putting yourself in the mind of someone other than yourself, it's also the reward of it. However, when you allow stupid shit like political correctness to handcuff your creativity, your writing suffers along with it. People imposing this shit are no better than the censorship advocates they claim to hate so much. And you still don't address how utterly insulting it is that you claim that white males must supplicate ourselves to this viewpoint. Instead you insult me directly.

Stop the world, I want off...

My claim was people are different. I thought those differences may be more relevant on this topic compared to many others. I provided information as to how I may differ from someone who responds to my post. I used the term "white male" as shorthand for a certain type of life experience. I only included this shorthand because the internet is anonymous.

I feel no pressure to give a female voice more weight on this topic. I'm not trying to tell anyone how to think, I'm explaining (in part) how my thoughts came together.

I used the word limited, because in this context, it is more likely a woman has first hand experience with sexism than I do. If we were having a conversation about urinals, I would say a woman's view was limited. This has nothing to do with right/wrong or valid/invalid.

tl;dr --- Because the discussion was anonymous and in text, I was making certain to portray my writing as my thoughts and not an attempt to tell anyone how to think.

4173:
My claim was people are different. I thought those differences may be more relevant on this topic compared to many others. I provided information as to how I may differ from someone who responds to my post. I used the term "white male" as shorthand for a certain type of life experience. I only included this shorthand because the internet is anonymous.

I feel no pressure to give a female voice more weight on this topic. I'm not trying to tell anyone how to think, I'm explaining (in part) how my thoughts came together.

I used the word limited, because in this context, it is more likely a woman has first hand experience with sexism than I do. If we were having a conversation about urinals, I would say a woman's view was limited. This has nothing to do with right/wrong or valid/invalid.

tl;dr --- Because the discussion was anonymous and in text, I was making certain to portray my writing as my thoughts and not an attempt to tell anyone how to think.

So a poor white male will have the same life experience as a rich one? A white male living in Paris, France will experience the same things as one living in New York? A white male raised by entrepreneurs will see the same life as one raised by soldiers?

Hiding behind internet anonymity doesn't make that statement any less insulting.

Sir John the Net Knight:

4173:
My claim was people are different. I thought those differences may be more relevant on this topic compared to many others. I provided information as to how I may differ from someone who responds to my post. I used the term "white male" as shorthand for a certain type of life experience. I only included this shorthand because the internet is anonymous.

I feel no pressure to give a female voice more weight on this topic. I'm not trying to tell anyone how to think, I'm explaining (in part) how my thoughts came together.

I used the word limited, because in this context, it is more likely a woman has first hand experience with sexism than I do. If we were having a conversation about urinals, I would say a woman's view was limited. This has nothing to do with right/wrong or valid/invalid.

tl;dr --- Because the discussion was anonymous and in text, I was making certain to portray my writing as my thoughts and not an attempt to tell anyone how to think.

So a poor white male will have the same life experience as a rich one? A white male living in Paris, France will experience the same things as one living in New York? A white male raised by entrepreneurs will see the same life as one raised by soldiers?

Hiding behind internet anonymity doesn't make that statement any less insulting.

No, of course they won't. It is simply shorthand; the whole white male 19-45 demographic cliche.

I wouldn't use white female, or black man etc. in the same manner. I wasn't saying I was white and also a male. I was saying I'm a "white male."

I apologize for not being clear enough. Ironic I would create internet confusion while trying to avoid it.

4173:

Sir John the Net Knight:

4173:
My claim was people are different. I thought those differences may be more relevant on this topic compared to many others. I provided information as to how I may differ from someone who responds to my post. I used the term "white male" as shorthand for a certain type of life experience. I only included this shorthand because the internet is anonymous.

I feel no pressure to give a female voice more weight on this topic. I'm not trying to tell anyone how to think, I'm explaining (in part) how my thoughts came together.

I used the word limited, because in this context, it is more likely a woman has first hand experience with sexism than I do. If we were having a conversation about urinals, I would say a woman's view was limited. This has nothing to do with right/wrong or valid/invalid.

tl;dr --- Because the discussion was anonymous and in text, I was making certain to portray my writing as my thoughts and not an attempt to tell anyone how to think.

So a poor white male will have the same life experience as a rich one? A white male living in Paris, France will experience the same things as one living in New York? A white male raised by entrepreneurs will see the same life as one raised by soldiers?

Hiding behind internet anonymity doesn't make that statement any less insulting.

No, of course they won't. It is simply shorthand; the whole white male 19-45 demographic cliche.

I wouldn't use white female, or black man etc. in the same manner. I wasn't saying I was white and also a male. I was saying I'm a "white male."

I apologize for not being clear enough. Ironic I would create internet confusion while trying to avoid it.

Demographic cliches are at the heart of this problem.

Sir John the Net Knight:

4173:

Sir John the Net Knight:

So a poor white male will have the same life experience as a rich one? A white male living in Paris, France will experience the same things as one living in New York? A white male raised by entrepreneurs will see the same life as one raised by soldiers?

Hiding behind internet anonymity doesn't make that statement any less insulting.

No, of course they won't. It is simply shorthand; the whole white male 19-45 demographic cliche.

I wouldn't use white female, or black man etc. in the same manner. I wasn't saying I was white and also a male. I was saying I'm a "white male."

I apologize for not being clear enough. Ironic I would create internet confusion while trying to avoid it.

Demographic cliches are at the heart of this problem.

Looks like I missed a comma. The white male 19-45 demographic (i.e. the thing advertisers target) is the cliche. We get income thrown in with color and sex, that way.

That doesn't change your point however, which I agree with.

11:07-11:33 on the second video.

Am I the only one who finds this offensive? They are basically assuming that all the critique towards Trip is because they are sexist and they don't like strong female characters. That's bull shit. People have a legitimate reason to dislike Trip because she ENSLAVED him. It is against human rights and it is a really nasty thing to do to a person. There is a big difference between being someone's assistant and being someone's slave. At least the first option is a choice.

Don't try to tell me that no one would be mad if the roles were switched and a male character put a headband on a female to make her his slave and follow his orders to help him survive. While not everyone would call it sexist, most people would at least consider the guy a massive jerk.

Good panel all in all. I'd say the main thing to take away from it is that the chatacters should be developed better, whether they are male or female.

Crimson_Dragoon:

BrotherRool:
I too don't get the hate on Lightning. I think people who hate her tragically misunderstand the character (maybe because of the length of game in which it develops :D) People think she's meant to be a strong female character because she's always lashing out at people and we're meant to like that.

But it couldn't be clearer that that's just her personal flaw. Not a flaw of women, but a woman who can't trust people. Over the course of the game she softens up, loses her war wounds, becomes quite maternal (and in a lovely softly softly manner) with hope and in the end realises that her violence is hurting other people, instead of other people hurting her and comes to terms with it.

So yeah.

Thank you. This is true of most of the characters from that game. But no one seems to be able to get over the characters' flaws to see that overcoming those flaws is what drives character development and growth in the game.

Oh thank god, someone actually had the guts on this site to bring that up in the midst of a majority of haters. Thank you.

We need this quoted more often.

conflictofinterests:

Tally LRR:
Curious to know whether female Commander Shepard came up during the panel. I find her to be an excellent video game character, and I believe her strong portrayal is due both the to the writing and voice acting. Also an interesting situation as, to the best of my knowledge, male Commander Shepard has largely (if not entirely) the same diologue options. But I never got the sense that female Commander Shepard was overly masculine. So there's a case where they've taken one character, given it two possible genders, and (I feel) managed to make them both come across well. At least, the female comes across well. I haven't played as male Shepard, so don't really know for sure.

Male Shepard's voice acting comes across very flat and emotionless. It's kind of painful to listen to. The dialogue options are the same, but the presentation, while I suppose could be construed as more masculine, just lacks dimension. I guess there's a lot more to read between the lines in Fem Shep's dialogue than Male Shepard's, stuff I honestly can't imagine not being there, which makes Male Shepard's performance all the more jarring. Anyways, she's a great example of a female character, of a character in general. She's multidimensional in a way I haven't seen much of outside of good movies.

Agree almost 100% with you on Male Shepard. In addition to generally sounding totally aloof and disinterested during interacting with NPCs during the game, I gradually realized that Shepard's dialogue, while completely convincing on a logical end (thank you, Bioware :p), personally sounded "gender neutral" in overall tone. It's noticeable to me, after a number of play-through hours, that male Shepard doesn't genuinely sound quite like a male human being. In contrast, human NPCs have satisfactory characterization, motivation, and emotional depth. Joker, Jacob, Miranda, Jack, Kelly, Zaeed, Kasumi, Dr. Chakwas, etc., all sound like what we, the human players, can identify as "believable human characters". They all have little "gender tells", emotional, psychological and behavioral mannerisms that the player audiences can consciously, and unconsciously, relate the character as being male or female.

Even being guided to to have the "renegade" demeanor (pragmatic, total villain-protagonist, "I/HUMANZ RULE ALL" player behavior), Shepard is almost a "TNG movie-Picard on Ambien". He has the stark, blind, dehumanized attitude you can relate a person of that character archetype as possessing, but little in the way of gender-specific mental/emotional/psychological qualities. Shepard isn't close to being void of emotion, but those specific "gender tells" that help me ID him as a "male" Shepard are either absent, or so sparsely applied that while it's believable in a butch, seasoned, no-nonsense female "Space Marine" commander, it's jarring after a period of time in a male commander.

--------------------------------------

Oddly, even after several hours contemplating their reasoning behind it, I still couldn't get behind the panel's take on Enslaved and (specifically Escapist) male gamers' hate-rage feedback for the game. On the "forced/coerced slavery" bit -- the fact that the male lead didn't have much of a persistent problem with being "the muscle" of the pair IS NOT what the male gamers were angry about. It's the "slavery" itself that was the problem. Even if both main characters would've eventually suffered a "meaningless" death if they went their separate ways in the storyline, how can female gamers justify what amounted to (at the least or most overtly) slave labor for the sake of escaping captivity, and still be considered an example of a "strong female protagonist"?

Gonna play devil's advocate here, but... how do you think contemporary female gamers... no, hell, gamers in general, would respond to a game where a socially &/or politically under-served male lead has a clearly more physically capable female lead under his thumb to the same extent as Trip, hm? Short Answer: there wouldn't be such a game; or if it did get developed and published, there would be MASSIVE, world-crushing levels of controversy and criticism about it where both the devs and publishers would probably face levels of scorn and persecution previously unseen from both gaming industry and world at large.

I'm a little disappointed that none of the women from The Longest Journey were mentioned.

Saelune:
Ivy? Crappy? I own people with Ivy in SC4, so I dont know what SHE was talking about.

Ivy has been in 4 games now and most people are used to dealing with her. Also she is massively easier to use than she was. If you could use Ivy in SC1 people would give up before you started because she was so hard to use, so they thought you were the soul calibur god. Protip: This also applied to Voldo, and has done since Soul Edge, and he wears even less.

Anyway, there's something from this panel that I think needs clearing up, and it was addressed in the questions but not particularly well. It's Howl's Moving Castle. It was written by a woman, and it wasn't really about the expectations of a woman in fiction (though there's a part of it that's about the place of the [i]eldest[i] in fiction, if you've read any Discworld you'd be right at home...) as much as it was about the sudden feeling of vulnerability that was brought on by health problems in the author's life.

The book is quite different from the film, and significantly better (srsly, Ghibli is better at original animation than adaptation), read it.

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