UPDATE: Video of Females on Female Characters Panel

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Calatar:

Mr0llivand3r:
my biggest question is how did they fit that whole panel meeting in the kitchen? :-P

Sometimes I wonder if tired jokes like these are counterproductive... I get the feeling that people end up believing stupid things like this merely because they're oft-repeated for the lulz.

I think if I were a woman I'd start to find it offensive and annoying after a while. As it is, I just find it annoying.

And I find people who can't take a joke to be annoying. The fact that people still take anything they see or hear on the internet seriously proves that they are overly-sensitive and whiny.

It's a joke. If I wanted to spread my opinion to an audience who doesn't give a shit, I would write lengthy paragraphs on an internet forum about a subject that's non-concrete and tell myself that what I'm saying is fact. You can't even make a joke anymore without someone getting pissed about it.

Susan Arendt:
The perspective of the panel was meant to come from players - this is what we want from female characters, and this is what we are or are not getting. Having a developer on the panel to perhaps explain *why* certain things happened or didn't would have been great, absolutely, but the conversation was meant to come from those of us consuming the content.

Awesome, how do I get on one of these panel things? Cause I have a ton of stuff to say about content as a consumer.

Mr0llivand3r:
You can't even make a joke anymore without someone getting pissed about it.

EDIT: You can't even make an overused joke about systemic socially oppressive stereotypes without somebody finding it unfunny and obnoxious.

It was clear you were joking from your emoticon. But it's not funny since it ends up being made practically every time there's a discussion about gender roles. Maybe it would be funny if you were being even slightly original. I can take a joke, you just didn't MAKE one.

I'm not really seeing how making all characters have options to have sex with every other character advances female characterisation in games. It might attract more women who enjoy romance stories but other than that it seems a bit off as a strategy for characterisation in game development. I would like to see more RPGs like Skies of Arcadia that take the more old school interpretation of romance, as in adventure. In that game you can make choices for the male lead Vyse that are either bold and adventurous or sort of timid. It's like, you just have to spot the right option then both the female leads just sort of are like, hell yeah. I think that they missed an opportunity to have an option to flip the lead character from Vyse to Aika so she could have a cool dialogue choice, but hey, whatever. There is no way that the game could have been improved by having some sort of bizarre love triangle between Vyse, Fina and Aika.

I think that Susan is right to say that Yorda is a good character. She is weak, but you get the impression that she always does what she can to help, game AI aside. Is there something about some players that makes them think that she is a "useless bitch" because she doesn't hit the shadow with sticks and can't jump far? I don't know. I think that they would react worse if Yorda was a boy. I don't really know, however, why Team ICO don't really consider a female protagonist option in games like ICO or their upcoming game, other than cost.

Eico:

4173:
I thought the worst part of sexism would be something like honor killings

Not sexism. Stupidity.

4173:
Domestic abuse

Not sexism. Violence, anger and stupidity.

4173:
Treating women as property to be bartered with.

Treating women as property? Why women? Why not 'treating people as property'? Is the need to define people by their genitals that strong?

Sexism - it works both ways.

You're making some fine distinction that I just can't grasp. Absolutely sexism goes both ways, but we are talking about which sex has it worst currently, and throughout history.

As near as I can tell, your claim is complaining about sexy women in video games is worse than denying women the chance to go to school or vote (among other things).

You say sexism is treating the sexes differently, and then handwave away cases of the sexes being treated differently as "stupidity." I really don't get where you're going with this.

Mr0llivand3r:

Calatar:

Mr0llivand3r:
my biggest question is how did they fit that whole panel meeting in the kitchen? :-P

Sometimes I wonder if tired jokes like these are counterproductive... I get the feeling that people end up believing stupid things like this merely because they're oft-repeated for the lulz.

I think if I were a woman I'd start to find it offensive and annoying after a while. As it is, I just find it annoying.

And I find people who can't take a joke to be annoying. The fact that people still take anything they see or hear on the internet seriously proves that they are overly-sensitive and whiny.

Or, you know, we are able of basic human emotions (*gasp* even on the internet *gasp*), and people like you are kind of acting like jerks by making the same tired jokes that are made so often you have to wonder if theyr are still jokes or if people actually believe them.

Okay this is only because I am indeed a horrible person. But my first thought was "Oh man. How hilarious would it be if when the crowd left there were trays of sandwiches waiting for them."
Hell, I would make the sandwiches myself and leave them there just for the awesomeness of that joke.

Anyway I have never really cared about everyones hatred of Ivy. She is a sexual character and uses it as a weapon. But it is nice to hear that women are not just hating attractive female characters because they are attractive. Always brings up the point that men in games are totally not realistic as well.

4173:

Eico:

4173:
I thought the worst part of sexism would be something like honor killings

Not sexism. Stupidity.

4173:
Domestic abuse

Not sexism. Violence, anger and stupidity.

4173:
Treating women as property to be bartered with.

Treating women as property? Why women? Why not 'treating people as property'? Is the need to define people by their genitals that strong?

Sexism - it works both ways.

You're making some fine distinction that I just can't grasp. Absolutely sexism goes both ways, but we are talking about which sex has it worst currently, and throughout history.

As near as I can tell, your claim is complaining about sexy women in video games is worse than denying women the chance to go to school or vote (among other things).

You say sexism is treating the sexes differently, and then handwave away cases of the sexes being treated differently as "stupidity." I really don't get where you're going with this.

You're looking at this from a gender aspect; rather than 'person', to you it's 'woman'.

My gripe is with people who see others as their sex.

Eico:

4173:

Eico:

Not sexism. Stupidity.

Not sexism. Violence, anger and stupidity.

Treating women as property? Why women? Why not 'treating people as property'? Is the need to define people by their genitals that strong?

Sexism - it works both ways.

You're making some fine distinction that I just can't grasp. Absolutely sexism goes both ways, but we are talking about which sex has it worst currently, and throughout history.

As near as I can tell, your claim is complaining about sexy women in video games is worse than denying women the chance to go to school or vote (among other things).

You say sexism is treating the sexes differently, and then handwave away cases of the sexes being treated differently as "stupidity." I really don't get where you're going with this.

You're looking at this from a gender aspect; rather than 'person', to you it's 'woman'.

My gripe is with people who see others as their sex.

I'm really only objecting to what you characterized as the WORST. I really can't see complaining about sexy game art as worse than people being killed or treated as sub-humans because of their sex.

4173:

Eico:

4173:

You're making some fine distinction that I just can't grasp. Absolutely sexism goes both ways, but we are talking about which sex has it worst currently, and throughout history.

As near as I can tell, your claim is complaining about sexy women in video games is worse than denying women the chance to go to school or vote (among other things).

You say sexism is treating the sexes differently, and then handwave away cases of the sexes being treated differently as "stupidity." I really don't get where you're going with this.

You're looking at this from a gender aspect; rather than 'person', to you it's 'woman'.

My gripe is with people who see others as their sex.

I'm really only objecting to what you characterized as the WORST. I really can't see complaining about sexy game art as worse than people being killed or treated as sub-humans because of their sex.

One in the same to me. Treating someone as their sex is just so god damn stupid. An entire panel sitting around talking about what characters with a vagina they like and dislike? Why not 'what charters we like'?

Like I said, it's one in the same to me. Just like murdering a murderer is still murder. Sure, one feels a lot less... major(?) but they are both murder.

Eico:

4173:

Eico:

You're looking at this from a gender aspect; rather than 'person', to you it's 'woman'.

My gripe is with people who see others as their sex.

I'm really only objecting to what you characterized as the WORST. I really can't see complaining about sexy game art as worse than people being killed or treated as sub-humans because of their sex.

One in the same to me. Treating someone as their sex is just so god damn stupid. An entire panel sitting around talking about what characters with a vagina they like and dislike? Why not 'what charters we like'?

Like I said, it's one in the same to me. Just like murdering a murderer is still murder. Sure, one feels a lot less... major(?) but they are both murder.

Hmm, I think I see the distinction you're making. I don't think I could agree, but you no longer look insane either. You're only judging a certain type of thinking, and not the outcomes from that thinking, right?

You want to start making videogames where the lead females arent walking around in bikini's showing off more flesh than a mall full of butchers?

Take away any and every gaming license owned by the Japanese.
Maybe then we will stop seeing 12yr old looking "19yr old" girls in miniskirts more resembling belts with their panties showing every time you jump on a ledge.

Just to clarify, I like the Japanese, I like "legal" chicks in skimpy clothes.
I was just providing some insight into how to fix the problem ^_^

4173:

Eico:

4173:

I'm really only objecting to what you characterized as the WORST. I really can't see complaining about sexy game art as worse than people being killed or treated as sub-humans because of their sex.

One in the same to me. Treating someone as their sex is just so god damn stupid. An entire panel sitting around talking about what characters with a vagina they like and dislike? Why not 'what charters we like'?

Like I said, it's one in the same to me. Just like murdering a murderer is still murder. Sure, one feels a lot less... major(?) but they are both murder.

Hmm, I think I see the distinction you're making. I don't think I could agree, but you no longer look insane either. You're only judging a certain type of thinking, and not the outcomes from that thinking, right?

Exactly.

To me -

Beating a person because of their chromozones = insanely stupid.
Seeing people as their sex (or skin colour, or sexual preference etc.) = insanely stupid.

Beating a person because of their chromozones = brutal, violent, unforgivable.
Seeing people as their sex (or skin colour, or sexual preference etc.) = pointless, silly, inane.

They are both as illogical and silly as the other, but one is obviously much more harmful and devastating.

I find it hard to word things like this at times. Sorry.

This was a great discussion, so glad to see so many of my own beliefs being mentioned. I love that they actually defended Lara Croft, since I've personally had someone ask why I don't hate her. I never used to be big on her, but regardless of appearance she's not a bad character. She's the female Indiana Jones, a series I love, and has had some damn fine games. In particular Guardian of Light is a BLAST.

I sorta agree and disagree on the discussion about Yuna though. If you only count FFX, she was a decent character, but FFX-2 screwed that up. But if you want to pull an example from FF, and this one more so shows why Lightning was awful, is Ashe. She wasn't helpless, she wasn't a badass. She had to struggle with what she wanted for herself and what she needed to do for Dalmasca.

As for the discussion about how characters, not just females, need to be characterized better, and someone said they wanted to see a game where it was well done, I can only say this: Half-life 2. Well done females in Alyx and Mossman, and there are OTHER RACES without ever calling attention to it. Yeah, there are no noticeably gay characters, but that's one that's really hard to pull off without being offensive, as if it's done right you have no idea at all. For all we know Barney could be gay, as he seems to have a sort of man crush on Gordon. And if he is, it's never clearly stated, which is one of the best ways to do it.

Oh, and super thumbs up for mentioning Howl's Moving Castle. Easily my favorite Miyazaki film next to Princess Mononoke.

Jennacide:

I sorta agree and disagree on the discussion about Yuna though. If you only count FFX, she was a decent character, but FFX-2 screwed that up. But if you want to pull an example from FF, and this one more so shows why Lightning was awful, is Ashe. She wasn't helpless, she wasn't a badass. She had to struggle with what she wanted for herself and what she needed to do for Dalmasca.

The entire second half of the plot of Final Fantasy X could have been averted if Yuna had told anyone what her actual plan was. (Protip: The internal struggle that the panel mentions her going through wrt: Tidus is not correct. Yuna had decided as early as the Mi'hen Highroad not to summon the Final Aeon, and to fight Yunalesca and Sin, we see that in the sphere she leaves. She wasn't travelling with the knowledge that she'd die summoning the Final Aeon but that she was inevitably going to betray the entire point of her pilgrimmage. Ironically, Tidus would have been the exact person to confide in about this because he's an outsider to the concept.)

That doesn't make her a bad character, just a complete prat (but then Spira has a one-brain-limit, and Auron's got that).

Jennacide:
Oh, and super thumbs up for mentioning Howl's Moving Castle. Easily my favorite Miyazaki film next to Princess Mononoke.

I thought Howl's Moving Castle was a bit of a disappointment, to be honest. Okay it's mostly brilliant, and the characters are still spot on (whilst the plot is completely different from the book, the characters are pretty much the same), but the ending makes absolutely no sense at all.

The book is far better.

Wait, WHAT? Soul calibur females are WEAK? Talim is really the only female in the series that can be considered low tier, all other females in the cast are high to top tier. Ivy has always been one of the strongest, provided you know how to use her correctly, and as of soul calibur 4, I believe its possible to cancel much more of her attacks into others making her even more unpredicable. In soulcalibur 4, Xiangua has finally been taken down from the "God" tier, however, looking through a recent tier listing, Hilde is banned along with algol.

EDIT: Males in soulcalibur have been losing clothes as well. Take a look at thier costumes and such evolution as well.

GloatingSwine:

Jennacide:
Oh, and super thumbs up for mentioning Howl's Moving Castle. Easily my favorite Miyazaki film next to Princess Mononoke.

I thought Howl's Moving Castle was a bit of a disappointment, to be honest. Okay it's mostly brilliant, and the characters are still spot on (whilst the plot is completely different from the book, the characters are pretty much the same), but the ending makes absolutely no sense at all.

The book is far better.

I'll have to give the book a read. But either way, we should be able to agree on the underlying point: when Miyazaki's weakest films are better than 90% of the crap out of Hollywood. (Yes, even including Pom Poko) I mean, hell, it's a testament to how great he is when Totoro shows up in Toy Story 3, and you know well over half the audience has no idea what Totoro is.

Just a note on enslaved, I think the negative feeling on the enslaved portion has more to do with the fear of having you're will subverted rather than any gender role questions. A good way to explain it to any women with difficulties understanding this emotion is simply to ask; how would you feel if you play a strong female protagonist in a game who had a slave collar attached by the male character. Who could kill her if she did not do exactly what he told her?
How would you feel about the male character?

To be honest though a game like the example would never gt written except possibly as a hanime game, because lets face it the concept regardless of gender roles is asexual fantasy...

Good male/female relationships (or any relationships)_ are about both balance and compromise, make one party to powerful it really its just insulting. (personally I find male role in complete positions of dominance just as distasteful).

Dear God those laughs are more fake then the Big Bang Theory

where did they get the idea that Peach is cable to take care of herself?

and who the hell was that girl who brought up the Samus point? Because I need to slap her for thinking that Samus was ever well written

she also seems to forget that Samus was always blond and am I the only one who gets the idea behind the zero suit?

Srdjan Tanaskovic:
and who the hell was that girl who brought up the Samus point? Because I need to slap her for thinking that Samus was ever well written

she also seems to forget that Samus was always blond and am I the only one who gets the idea behind the zero suit?

What even odder, is that the story for Other M was written by Yoshio Sakamoto. Ya know, the same guy that's always written Samus.

Srdjan Tanaskovic:
and who the hell was that girl who brought up the Samus point? Because I need to slap her for thinking that Samus was ever well written

she also seems to forget that Samus was always blond and am I the only one who gets the idea behind the zero suit?

Edit your posts next time.

Other than that, I see your point. To me she was characterized as a "Ripley" type.

Ripley -- Ri d ley

hmm...

Stuntkid:

Edit your posts next time.

Other than that, I see your point. To me she was characterized as a "Ripley" type.

Ripley -- Ri d ley

hmm...

or Ridley Scott as in creator of the alien series =P

sigh I'm so sick of people dumping on 13, it had better written characters than the crap we usually get in the west

I was really happy to see a positive mention towards Yuna though, I still hold her as the benchmark for female characters and probably Garnet and Freya too

regarding the points about sexuality i agree that just because a character is attractive it doesn't make them bad, BUT i take issue with Lara Croft seeing as she is basically designed to appeal to the lowest of the cultural brow

really interesting too, always good to hear another point of view! I wish I was at PAX.... curse the cultural dystopian wasteland that is Ireland!

Meanwhile, in the man-room, Captain Loud Devices and Mr Grunter watch on in horror, looking very very uncomfortable.

I disagree with one point that annoys me. The panel often brought up that people should develop female characters as people. Not as a stereotype, or a bland template with gender not considered. So why is it that this same approach is not considered applicable for Biowares choice to not let a character sleep with all their party members?

The NPC's are people. And not all people are willing to sleep with all genders. People have different quirks and choices made. DA2 is annoying in this fact. It basically does what you all considered so offensive, which is the template without gender considered. Rather it's the template without sexuality considered. It takes away part of the choices that person has been made to make the person who they are.

I don't like the double standard. You can't have one and the other. Its a bit unfair. The outcry on the Bioware forums pissed me off to no end. You SHOULDN'T be able to sleep with all companions. As the companions are meant to be people, and not all people are bi. People are different, its part of their makeup, and its part of their story.

Just saw this (kind of a slowpoke, I know). This was a great video and I'm really glad to see discussions like this out there. On the subject of Enslaved, the complaints I mostly heard from people I know were that the central relationship wasn't very well written and skirted around the more interesting issues it should have raised. I would add to that my own complaint that it might as well not have claimed to be based on Journey to the West at all because it so completely disregarded anything significant in the source material. I'm sure there were complaints like the ones described, but it's important not to disregard all of the serious gameplay and pacing issues and the complaints with the writing.

EDIT: To clarify, I'm saying that the way the people in the panel describe the characters in Enslaved is far superior to what was present in the game itself.

Well as far as enslaved is concerned I have no problem with gender. I do however have a problem with how She forces him to help her. Switch the genders and make it the less capable male forcing a more capable female to help her and I still wouldn't like this. Practical as it may be, forcing someone to do something against there will never sits right with me. Not to beat around the bush, but it reminds me of rape.

To summarize, it's not the genders that's the problem it's the actions.

SnakeCL:

Srdjan Tanaskovic:
and who the hell was that girl who brought up the Samus point? Because I need to slap her for thinking that Samus was ever well written

she also seems to forget that Samus was always blond and am I the only one who gets the idea behind the zero suit?

What even odder, is that the story for Other M was written by Yoshio Sakamoto. Ya know, the same guy that's always written Samus.

Thats not really odd. It s a well known fact that writers can lose quality over the years. But Sakamoto has never been that good. a few lines of dialogues does not count as well written

also perhaps I heard wrong but did they say developers should focus more on making characters good then real and then they bash FF13 for not having characters that feels real?

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