Women in "Modern Warfare"...

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actually cod4 had one woman the cobra pilot before the nuke went off was a woman and there were also some women getting slaughtered in the level when you were riding in a car

hansari:

1) How do you think this reflects developers? I don't think they are sexist, but do you think they don't believe women are integral in war? Is it possible that not a single member working on Modern Warfare walked up to his teammates and said, "maybe we should throw in some more female npc's..."?

Well in the marines, I'm pretty sure women aren't put in direct combat roles. Plus the majority of war gamers are male, so most of the characters are male.

2) How do you think this reflects us gamers? This is something we have all noticed at one time or another, but is the fact that we don't make a big deal about it signify that we, in a way, agree with it? That its appropriate for women to serve in the two present roles I listed? Would the presences of more female soldiers fighting by your side change the gameplay positively, negatively, or not at all?

Fighting with a woman on my side only affects me if she's real. I tend to try to save my allies (even when they are pixels) whenever possible, regardless of gender)

3) How do you think this affects our appearance to outsiders? To the arguments that other people make that video games aren't really a serious medium like books/television/films can be?

This aregument always seemed flawed to me, but I have seen many games where female characters are important or helpful, and many movies where they're simply there to be women.

[qoute]4) How do you think this affects our appearance to women? There is already discussions on an absence of female protagonists, but does the absence of women merely appearing present in certain situations turn-off potential female gamers? Have any of you women reading this feel it makes a difference?[/quote]Yet another reason why I say choosing your character's gender is (almost) always a good thing. But the female characters are mostly absent in war games, which have a primarily male demographic anyway, some of whom might be turned away if the game requires them to play as a female.

5) What are your expectations of this trend changing. Do you expect to see things differently in Modern Warfare 2? ;)

It seems to be improving. More games offer gender choices (Mass Effect, Fallout 3), some rumors have risen that you will finally have a female gear fighting alngside you in Gears 3, but until the developers create ways where gender doesn't critically affect the story (Mass Effect is a great example of this; A game with a heavy plot focus, where you can choose your gender, with the only real affect being on the romance sub-plots) we'll probably see a continued majority of male protaganists.

Also, I must bring up that in the Halo universe, there are many female marines, and in the novels it seems like every single female spartan kicks enough ass for about 10 male protaganists.

1) How do you think this reflects developers? I don't think they are sexist, but do you think they don't believe women are integral in war? Is it possible that not a single member working on Modern Warfare walked up to his teammates and said, "maybe we should throw in some more female npc's..."?

Well, I think you're lookng for a can of worms where they don't exist. The United States military has never had frontline, boots on the ground women in combat areas. We just don't do it. So, playing video games where a majority of the actions takes place on the frontline and in enemy territory, it's only natural that no women are seen.

Furthermore, some of the only combat roles women are allowed to obtain is that of being a pilot. Though, even if a women can possibly become a pilot a very small percentage of women end up being fighter/attack pilots. The percentages of women flying in the Air Force is around 4% and that counts crewchief with that percentage. So, it's a bit of a stretch for every other pilot in a game to be a woman.

On the other hand, women do make up a great deal of the Medical Corps in the military. Though I think developers would rather have you believing you're amazing, perfect and the best green beanie in the world, rather than let you get wounded and set to hang with the REMF's and get patched up.

2) How do you think this reflects us gamers? This is something we have all noticed at one time or another, but is the fact that we don't make a big deal about it signify that we, in a way, agree with it? That its appropriate for women to serve in the two present roles I listed? Would the presences of more female soldiers fighting by your side change the gameplay positively, negatively, or not at all?

Personally, I don't care. As for how it reflects on gamers? Aren't we supposed to be the socially akward, non-outgoing loser group? Why should we even care about women? I believe that not having women depicted in frontline combat roles doens't have a bad effect on gamers. I think games like DOA and Bloodrayne reflect badly on gamers.

But why should we fight a battle about something that is inaccurate? Also, you're asuming that we would want to have more female NPC NavySEAL, Delta Force, Hoorah women running around; most likely with large breasts and a story line that will eventually uncover that said NPC is a lesbian with some other Russian female Spetznaz, ex-Statsi communist person.

Well I for one don't want that, infact I probably wouldn't buy a game if it included such ludacris ideas and inaccuracies. Women most likely will never be NavySEALs nor Delta Force snake-eaters. But, in the two roles you mentioned, I'd be more than happy to see women fill those roles. I've met lots of great female pilots, I'd be happy to have them covering my ass from above any day.

I would rather have a game that is more historically accurate than one that's had tits-mcgee thrown in to special operations group to please teenage boys.

3) How do you think this affects our appearance to outsiders? To the arguments that other people make that video games aren't really a serious medium like books/television/films can be?

Women aren't shooters, so how could it have a bad effect on us? Hell, Americas Army 3 doesn't have frontline women in it and that was paid for by the US Army.

As for video games being a credible medium, I believe we are upholding our credibility by sticking to the facts. Women can fly or sit in the rear with the gear. (with the exception of a few MP's, but what game have you seen in Modern Combat that had MP's?) I think video games would loose crediblity by writing female charecters into roles that they aren't fulfilling in todays world.

Games depicting busty bed-fellows only hurt the video game industry.

4) How do you think this affects our appearance to women? There is already discussions on an absence of female protagonists, but does the absence of women merely appearing present in certain situations turn-off potential female gamers? Have any of you women reading this feel it makes a difference?

It probably doesn't. It might, but I don't think it's that big of a deal when we're talking facts.

5) What are your expectations of this trend changing. Do you expect to see things differently in Modern Warfare 2? ;)

No. Maybe, female pilots and an intelligence officer, but I don't think we will have any female shooters belonging the the US Military in MW2.

In gears of war women are not allowed to fight in combat roles because they have to stay back home and make sure they keep the population up.

*Ahem* Who the f*ck cares?

You're wrong about Halo, there are female soldiers all over the place in those games, mostly voiced by Michelle Rodriguez and Donna from that 70's show.

Women in the military are of such a minority that I don't mind their oversight in CoD4.

They /do/ see firefights, but this is usually when they're under attack (since the women are usually placed in support positions). Since games usually feature the player as the attacker, it wouldn't be appropriate to toss in female soldiers.

I think this trend in gaming will change as the reality of the situation changes.

Actually, in the Halo series, there a quite few female Marines that fight with you, as well as some ODSTs. Further, in Halo 3: ODST, one of the main characters is a female ODST named Veronica Dare.

In the Gears games, no, there aren't any women combatants. However, in the books, they are pretty common, and even Anya gets in on the fighting.

And a lot of other games have women in combat roles as well. Its just that strictly "modern" games like MW2 have to reflect that most modern militaries don't have women in frontline infantry roles - if they are frontline at all, they're pilots, medics or specialty MOSs.

CNKFan:
Women are rarley in front line duty, that is why.

This; Its changing slowly, but as far as I'm aware, very few women are sent to frontline combat - intel, guard duty, support, etc, etc, more, but frontline combat, rare

It's because game developers are lazy, and they would have to make a completely different set of charcter models and hire a bunch more voice actors. OK that's probably not the reason, but I can't see the absence of women being some idealistic stance of a developer. The thought never even occurred to me, actually, it's doesn't seem to be that big a deal.

sasquatch99:
I think it was someone at Bungie who once said:

It's just a f**king game.

It isn't meant to represent a realistic account of war as it would be annoying to have to restart any level within 20 seconds of starting it.

This sums it up perfectly. If people are offended by the lack of women in military games, they seriously need to start worrying about more important things, like I don't know, real problems in real life?

The pilot in the Shock & Awe mission in MW was a woman, wasn't she? But it doesn't bother me if there's a lack of women in FPS war games. I don't go into those expecting to see female characters (or really any memorable characters, although MW really broke through that stereotype for me).

I just feel the need to toss in here- I find it amusing that guys always seem to bring this sort of stuff up, while it never crosses my mind. :] Heh.

Interestingly in Starship Troopers (the novel) the women in the military are primarily starship pilots/captains, which serves a dual purpose: one, in Heinlein's view women are the superior pilots, though I think this is an excuse to make room for point two. Which is, when the troopers drop there's nothing like the last thing they hear being a woman's voice wishing them luck to remind them what they're fighting for and to come back in one piece.
If that sounds a little chauvanist, it is. You should see what Heinlein does with his female characters in Stranger in a Strange Land.

This seems to have carried over to most games involving heavy combat, but frankly I think the main reason for it is because openminded game designers want to ensure women are represented, but don't want to be responsible for a game where female soldiers fighting alongside you get killed, or put you in a position where you kill female soldiers. Granted, there's plenty of games where women die, and I think most of the randomised raiders I came up against were female in Fallout 3, but putting women in actual modern-day military campaigns is still a controversial topic.

CNKFan:
Women are rarley in front line duty, that is why.

I'm pretty sure in Aus women just aren't allowed on the front line.

My reasoning would be that most player characters in these games are male

And there are very few, if no mixed sex units in most modern armies

(i may be horrifically wrong, if so, don't flame me, i do not know the build of every modern day armed force)

hansari:

1) How do you think this reflects developers? I don't think they are sexist, but do you think they don't believe women are integral in war? Is it possible that not a single member working on Modern Warfare walked up to his teammates and said, "maybe we should throw in some more female npc's..."?

Women are integral in warfare in that they have long played crucial roles on the home front, be it from the mundane tasks of simply keeping a household in working order, or more recently in world war 2 producing the vast majority of the armaments used to wage war. It has only been in recent memory that women have played any significant role in the military anyway. Yes, one can point to any number of historical anecdotes about some important thing women did in a war, but by and large warfare and it's associated activities have been the domain of men - women at best have had the unenviable task of trying to piece the armies back together. Even today, in most armies women are denied direct combat roles. In the US, one of the most liberal nations in this sense, women are only allowed in two jobs that have combat implied in the job description - military police and combat aviator (helicopter and the like). While the Israeli army also has women serving often in direct combat roles, this is the direct result of the utter lack of a frontline in most modern warfare.

As a result, do I think women are integral in war? Absolutely not, unless the war becomes large scale enough that a nations young male populace becomes insufficient to wage the battle. If you expand the question to "are women integral to a nation at war", the answer becomes an obvious yes - because at the end of the day the only thing that allows most men to march to their inevitable deaths is the idea that their homes are not actively falling into ruin and may continue to stand should the fight well.

hansari:

2) How do you think this reflects us gamers? This is something we have all noticed at one time or another, but is the fact that we don't make a big deal about it signify that we, in a way, agree with it? That its appropriate for women to serve in the two present roles I listed? Would the presences of more female soldiers fighting by your side change the gameplay positively, negatively, or not at all?

This has no reflection on gamers, because games are, in this example, simply reflecting societial notions regarding gender roles in warfare. When it comes to the suitability of women for combat, I have to disctinct and directly contradictary notions about the subject.

In the strictest sense, women are perfectly capable of serving a useful role in direct warfare. While they are, on average, smaller, weaker and slower than men, they still remain physically capable of performing most combat tasks to a similar degree as men.

That said, there are a host of perfectly GOOD reasons why womeon are currently denied a role in direct military conflict if a nation can prevent it. First, you have the obvious problem that women are, on average, smaller, slower and weaker than men. Unfortunately, this is critically important as any infantry (i'm going to say man because there is no gender neutral version of the word) man is required to carry a full combat load (it starts at about 60 lbs for the US) for twelve or more hours, and they are still expected to be able to regularly sprint over short distances or jog for longer distances. Unlike what movies show, if combat actually does degerate into close combat, there are five key factors for success. The first three are phsicial - in the average close combat situation the victor will be the larger, faster and stronger party. This is the precise reason why women police officers are so often forced to rely on their weapon in a situation where a man might resort to a baton or other less lethal implement - being smaller, slower and weaker puts you at a tremendous disadvantage in close combat. The other two have little to do with gender - the first is psychological - one must be willing and able to kill up close and be prepared for a great deal of suffering in return. Then you have simple weight in numbers. So, while women are capable of being nearly (or in some cases equally) as well suited for the role, by introducing women to the mix you will have one of two outcomes. Either, you resort to a double standard (the route the US Army currently goes for it's PT testing. When I was 18 for example, I was expected to run the 2-mile in 14:56 whereas a woman of the same age had more than 18 minutes to accomplish the same. And while I was expected to produce at least 42 pushups a woman only needed to produce 13. The only equality was found in the sit-up event), or you keep the current standard that appears to be discriminatory towards women. For whatever reason (social pre-conceptions or whatever) women in the military in my experience were largely incapable of meeting a physical standard that is designed to challenge a male.

The second problem is one of logistics - simply put, women have stricter hygene requirements than a male does. If this requirement is not met, the result is a startilingly high incidence rate of unpleasant conditions that reduce potential performance. It is not uncommon for a male infantry soldier to go weeks without anything but a pint or two of water a day to provide any potential hygene upkeep. A soldier in such a condition can not even expect to be kept in decent supply of toilet paper, much less hope to get a regular supply of the more specialized personal hygene equipment associated with women. At the end of the day, food, ammunition and fuel trumps all else when it comes to the supply line, and it is already difficult to keep those stocked. This is hardly a damning issue, but it comes back to a previous point - the inevitable result is the introduction of a special standard for women specifically because this is a problem that will, without a doubt, occur.

The third problem is one of incidence of injury. Simply put, women are, thanks to interesting design choices in the pelvis area, significantly more prone to stress fractures or other similar injury to the lower body. Even in the relatively low impact experience of basic training lead to more than 1/3 of the female component of my basic training company recieving an injury that adversely affected their training. Of the five people discharged from the army for injury out of a company of 170 or so, four of them were female. This is even more shocking when you realize less than 40 people in the company were female. In Airborne school, only one out of the ten women in my group managed to reach the end. Of those that failed, 4 left due to injury to the lower extremities (the rest failed at a physical standard somewhere along the way, or in the case of one, refused to jump).

The problem, at the end of the day, is simply that women apparently have enough that is different about them that either you would keep a fairly exclusionary set of physical criteria or you would enact a second standard for women. My own experience tells me there is little that breeds discontent in a unit faster than unequal treatment by the chain of command.

3) How do you think this affects our appearance to outsiders? To the arguments that other people make that video games aren't really a serious medium like books/television/films can be?

hansari:

4) How do you think this affects our appearance to women? There is already discussions on an absence of female protagonists, but does the absence of women merely appearing present in certain situations turn-off potential female gamers? Have any of you women reading this feel it makes a difference?

It doesn't. This standard has been in existance long before any of our respective nations were founded. It matters not if this changes in the near future or if the standard is based on mostly irrational argument - right now few militaries I am aware of ever directly send womeon to the frontlines. Of those nations that do, most do so in an auxillary role where their experience with combat is kept at a disance - helicopter pilots, medics and MP's. Video games in this case, while generally simply catering to a young male audience, are simply reflecting reality. That it may turn off female gamers is more or less a non issue. Until the day the SAS or us Army SF allows a women into the fold, the fact that video games set in the modern era fail to place them in such a role is trivial.

hansari:

5) What are your expectations of this trend changing. Do you expect to see things differently in Modern Warfare 2? ;)

There has been a general trend towards allowing women to serve in combat roles for the past several decades. The growing rate of asymetric warfare occurance has lead to the realization that in modern warfare there may never again be a distinct frontline where you fight toe to to with an enemy. Since women cannot be shielded from combat as they have been in the past, the argument has shifted - do you bite the bullet and let them in regardless, giving them equal access to training and whatnot, or do you exclude them entirely? Women have made significant strides in my lifetime, and currently there are only a handful of jobs that still refuse enlistment based on gender - infantry (including mechanized/motorized infantry such as the cavalry scout), artillery, and armor. In spite of this, women currently hold jobs that place them "outside the wire" with regularity. Transportation remains a high priority target of any enemy, and women make up a signifcant portion of our transportation units. MP's often provide security for convoys, and one can find plenty of women in such a role. Human Intelligence Collectors are regularly lumped into small units and sent into the field together to collect information from a variety of unsavory sources. The women in these positions are placed at equal risk and the military holds them in the same regard as a male. Women have regularly served in direct combat in the recent Wars of the US, with only one incident that anyone even noticed (Jessica Lynch).

hansari:

~~~~~~
*I understand that women only make up about 15% of our current US armed forces...but looking at video games, it seems to reflect that percentage as being less that 2%...

Just keep in mind, of that 15%, they are generally placed in roles like, military intelligence (non collection entity), medical or logisitcs. Only a tiny fraction of tghem are in jobs like MP and combat aviation. Out of the hundreds of MP's I met during my service, only a half dozen were women. And I never met a single woman who flies any combat helicopter (The AH series), and only knew of one personally that flew any helicopter (in her case, a blackhawk).

image

Sackhoff voiced one of the female marines early on in Halo 3: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katee_Sackhoff#Career

Then there's Spartan Kelly:

image

I would prefer being able to play a female character (like I do in R6Vegas), but it's not a big deal.

For FUCK sake, do people just sit around and find things to complain about for an upcoming release nowadays?
This is just pathetic OP.

Aedrial:

CNKFan:
Women are rarley in front line duty, that is why.

I'm pretty sure in Aus women just aren't allowed on the front line.

I think they just changed that, or are going to.

Women are more reasonable than men - they do not enjoy running around killing people as much as testosterone-poisoned marines do. And not so tough physically. They are not good in a role of bullet sponges.

Kollega:
Women are more reasonable than men - they do not enjoy running around killing people as much as testosterone-poisoned marines do. And not so tough physically. They are not good in a role of bullet sponges.

The primary defect listed - that women are more reasonable - is one that can be corrected with training. Few are born with a proclivity for marching into bullet fire and shooting their fellow huamns - that takes training to do well.

Most of the physical problems can be overcome as well. For example, physiologically, there is no significant difference between the strength a woman can apply with a given mass of muscle and a man. However, even though the strength ratio seems that is is equal, males are, on average, larger and naturally play host to a greater amount of muscle mass. The increased size lends itself well to many direct combat applications - from the simple task of toting the panoply of warfare from place to place to the direct application of physical force (say opening a locked door) and even, resistance to injury. In some cases, these descrepancies are hardly damning and in fact may be quite useful. Most military vehicles can be charitably descired as "cramped" and uncharitably refered to as some variation of coffin, and in the grand scope of vehicular combat, physical prowess is often of little concern.

In Modern Warfare, the simple answer is that the SAS does not allow women to join their combat teams, the USMC does not allow women in combat roles and most (not all) arabic/persian nations do not allow women in their armies.

The problem I think, isn't that game developers aren't ready to include women. It is that including additional female skins for what would amount to 5% or so of all the models is a lot of extra work for very little gain (in MW, it would also mean that you'd have to do a double set of all the voice commands your squad mates use). I mean, gamers obviously don't have a problem with killing women (as if it would be a diffrent act from killing a man) considering the number of women that are your enemies in games like Fallout 3.

As a closing statement, I've done my conscription here in Sweden and I dare say that when it comes to the use of military violence, girls are just as ready to step up and fire a weapon as the boys are. Besides, who ever said that mainstream media was representative of anything?

Just so you know, random marines in Halo 2 and 3 were women.

CNKFan:
Women are rarley in front line duty, that is why.

This. It's actually a semi-hot topic with feminists, but they don't put women on the front lines. Their vaginas may distract the men, and on the front lines you cannot be distracted or you die.

I agree to a certain extent. But:

Sgtkillalot0:
Hey, guess what games feature women shooting at other things? (men, women, aliens, zombies, etc...)

Mass Effect
Borderlands
Left 4 Dead
Halo ODST
Wet
and probably many, many others

EDIT: Others i forgot:
TF2 (pyro!)
FAllout 1,2,3
Half Life 2?
that's all I remembered...

Here we go. Plenty of games where women have (or apparently have) an actual role on the battlefield. Plus, OP, you cite Halo as a source for this little theory. There are actually plenty of female Marines in the games, and even a few female ODSTs. In the books, too, women play a large part on the battlefield, with a female Marine fighting hand to hand (and dying, but still) against a Lekgolo (Hunter), and the leader of the Marines on Alpha Halo in the book Halo: The Flood is a woman (First Lieutenant Melissa McKay). Did you have anything to add, OP?

iamq:
Why do you even care?

Exactly, the only woman you'd see would be on the Insurgent/Terrorist side, in which case you'd be killing them. what difference does it make? By random cahnce their army could consist of 90% woman and it would still be possible to never see one.

Aqualung:
I just feel the need to toss in here- I find it amusing that guys always seem to bring this sort of stuff up, while it never crosses my mind. :] Heh.

I know right? I don't even think about it, although the OP has a habit of making threads like this, so I can't blame him for digging up something that people don't really care about and pretending it's something new.

Eclectic Dreck:

In some cases, these descrepancies are hardly damning and in fact may be quite useful. Most military vehicles can be charitably descired as "cramped" and uncharitably refered to as some variation of coffin, and in the grand scope of vehicular combat, physical prowess is often of little concern.

And that is why women are pilots in videogames. They should also be drivers,by extension. What i'm saying is that ladies are not made for direct,fist-to-the-face violence. That is why you don't see them as footsoldiers that often.

hansari:

In the Halo universe, the only females present (not counting Cortana) are the pilot leaving the "Pillar of Autumn" in Halo1, and commander related to Keyes in Halo 3.

Another blockbuster, Gears of War, provides only two women in the same roles as well. One is a pilot, the other is an officer talking in your earpiece far away.

Wrong with Halo. In all three of them you get female marine NPC's, In Halo 3 you hear female Pelican pilots and in ODST you also get a female Captain who leads the ODST's.

In Gears of War they need women for reproduction because humanity is practically dying out due to the war and so they can't afford to lose women.

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