Are mainstream devs deliberately discouraging women from gaming?

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As a male I agree. But you mentioned Bioware as an exception, they're not really. At least not in the Mass Effect games (haven't played much of anything else from them). In Mass Effect 1 & 2 being male was still considered the default with female being a kind of extra bonus. I played femshep and there were several times she was referred to as sir, or "man", its also obvious she used all of manshep's animations and didn't have any of her own.

I would really like to see games embrace some more complex characters, Male and Female, instead of the typical archetypes we've seen so many times before. Just because the protagonist is a male doesn't mean he has to have some muscles larger than his head and talk like he just finished chewing on some bricks. He could be vulnerable in some ways, have interesting flaws, while still being badass. And just 'cause the protagonist is female doesn't mean she has to have massive breasts, talk in a flirtacious tone constantly and wear revealing clothing either. Both of these things take something away from a game on an equal level for me because I value my immersion.

This is one thing that's good about RPGs though, you can design your own character with their own traits. That's why my femshep is a badass, cold & logical leaning-towards-renegade character who isn't interested in men and has had a long-term 3 game relationship with Liara.

Also OP, you should take a looksie at the new Tomb Raider game (you know, the one that is just called Tomb Raider again with no subtitle) Lara Croft has had a redesign and not only does she seem way more interesting and refreshingly non-sexualized, with breasts that are actually considerably smaller than melons this time, but the game is looking really cool and unique as well. And if you've yet to play Half-Life 2, I advise it, since Alyx is still the best and most realistic female character in gaming.

need4snacks:
The overwhelming amount of pandering to men is a result of market forces. I believe men still make up the majority of what we can describe as hardcore gaming; both with consumers and producers. So it makes sense that these games would be based around the desires of men. It's not misogynist, or counter-progressive. I admit, it might be wise to try and expand your player base to include women, since they make up such a large part of the population, but it shouldn't be looked down upon as immoral or wrong because they don't.

MARKET FORCES people.

This is mightily frustrating.
The gaming industy going `Sorry, sweetie, we just dont think you matter/exist`.
Also, widening the inclusiveness would be beneficial, it could bring in more women and more money.

Plus, if I was a dude, I would find the cheap obvious pandering and sexism in games horribly offensive because of the things they would be assuming about me (and I know some gamer dudes do).

The only thing I can think of as to why game companies are happy to churn out stupid pandering and stereotypes- they are being lazy. It's that old `Fuck it- games are for teenage boys so lets not even acknowledge anyone else`.

AverageJoe:
And if you've yet to play Half-Life 2, I advise it, since Alyx is still the best and most realistic female character in gaming.

Unfortunately that all changed in Episode 2 where she played the damsel in distress, and where even her own father suggested that Gordon ought to knock her up.

So much for that independent lady.

Casual Shinji:

AverageJoe:
And if you've yet to play Half-Life 2, I advise it, since Alyx is still the best and most realistic female character in gaming.

Unfortunately that all changed in Episode 2 where she played the damsel in distress, and where even her own father suggested that Gordon ought to knock her up.

So much for that independent lady.

Didn't she fawn over Gordon despite not ever having known him? Is she really a strong, independent female or was she only "respectable" because her tits weren't the size of howitzer shells?

Besides, she was annoying as fuck. At least Cassidy and Veronica in New Vegas were interesting to listen to.

Fappy:

Yes! YOU GETS COOKIES!

image

image
...but I'm keeping the cookies...

AverageJoe:
Alyx is still the best and most realistic female character in gaming.

ZoŽ Castillo and April Ryan beg to differ. Also Zoey from L4d.

*reads most of thread*

...

Good lord.

What is it about sex and race that invariably brings out the stupid in people? You think someone is a relatively reasonable and well adjusted human being, then sex comes up and before you know it they're producing a veritable fountain of verbal diarrhea.

*sigh*

DrVornoff:

kouriichi:
Not to be sexiest or anything about it, but "EXPLOSIONS, GUNS, DEATH, MASSIVE DESTRUCTION!" are things most of the male population are into.

It's mental junk food though. Why can't we get more stuff that's a bit more substantial? Escapism is all well and good, but if that's all you consume your brain gets weak.

JohnDoey:
I can't really sympathize with woman going on about lack of gender diversity ,when I barely see any black people in games.

Also there are decent female main chars in games, all we blacks have is Cj.

Isn't it kind of cheap to say you can't take someone else's problem seriously because you have one of your own, even if the two problems are related?

JohnDoey:
You know that wasn't intentional right, just Bioware being to lazy to alter any dialogue.

There's a chip on your shoulder there. You might want to brush that off.

Hixy:
I dont see why this is such a big deal with people lately, seems some wont rest until everything in the world is politicaly correct,

Another dude comically misses the point and brings up political correctness. Everyone take a shot.

krazykidd:
If gender of the main protagonist is stopping you from playing a game . You are doing it wrong . I guess authors who write books with a male protagonist hate women also . Oh not to mention movies with guys as the protagonist , they hate women also .

I mean really ... Why do people look for things to nitpick . I actually find you're claims rather sexist against men .

And another one. Take another shot.

Combine Rustler:
The female audience is, generally, much smaller than the male one. They also tend to like different things. So developers cater to the larger audience for MAXIMUM PROFIT.
It's all old beliefs and money.

Not quite. Women are actually a significant part of the market. But gaming is influenced by the "conventional wisdom" of the entertainment industry which is looking at the numbers and taking away all the wrong lessons.

Cursedwolf:

DrVornoff:

Zeel is he whom we do not speak of. And being a feminist isn't a bad thing, but people who don't know what feminism is come up with all sorts of cockamamie reasons to demonize the movement.

That you felt the need to ask that question rather illustrates the root problem with your arguments.

Before you say that being a Feminist is not a bad thing, perhaps you should look at the evidence that says,

Being a Feminist, -is- a bad thing.

and this isn't demonization, this is just plain and simple facts about what the Feminist Movement is about, and the people who follow them.

http://www.avoiceformen.com

Thanks, I needed a good laugh. That site is nothing but a bunch of whining, weak, hollow, ignorant, incompetent chumps who blame women for their own self-inflicted pain.

Unlike you, I have actually read feminist literature. I have also read literature on male psychology and culture. And that's why I can say comfortably that the guys on that site are the problem, not women. Now fuck off until you can present something that doesn't waste my time.

Cursedwolf:
But hey. that's your opinion. i respect that.

No you don't. Kid, I am a magician. A professional liar. Do not bullshit a bullshitter.

ForgottenPr0digy:
I'm surprise not many women find Baird from gears of war attractive? He's not as bulky as Mascus and he's not married like Dom and he doesn't talk about "one night stands" with women like Cole Train.

But whatever.........

Okay, let's go over this. He's not built like a steroidal nightmare, he's not taken, and he's not a vocal horndog. Ladies? This sound like enough to qualify him as taken?

Seriously, why are you qualifying someone as attractive by what they aren't?

DeltaEdge:
I think people would be okay if there were as many weak sexualized male characters as there were weak sexualized female characters.

How about no?

Ok fair enough seeing as you appear to have such a great perspective on things then answer these questions for me I would be very interested in your opinion. You are saying that there are societal groups either not represented or misrepresented in games. The white male represented in games is mostly a macho 2D character who is only there to wreck shit. That represents no one really and a woman or other ethnicity in that role is not going to make it easier to identify with. Secondly lets take a few games say Mirrors edge, Bayonetta and Tomb Raider. Do you feel that there are not enough games like these with female leads or that these games have misrepresented women? I will admit I think these games are failures based on gameplay alone.

Hixy:
Ok fair enough seeing as you appear to have such a great perspective on things then answer these questions for me I would be very interested in your opinion. You are saying that there are societal groups either not represented or misrepresented in games. The white male represented in games is mostly a macho 2D character who is only there to wreck shit. That represents no one really and a woman or other ethnicity in that role is not going to make it easier to identify with. Secondly lets take a few games say Mirrors edge, Bayonetta and Tomb Raider. Do you feel that there are not enough games like these with female leads or that these games have misrepresented women? I will admit I think these games are failures based on gameplay alone.

Here's the thing you're missing: we all identify with characters not because they're exactly like us, but because we enjoy the stories they're involved in. How many people are truly like Odysseus or Han Solo or whomever? It doesn't matter; we still fall in love with their stories and their struggles.

That said, it would be great to see some racial, gender, and sexual diversity in all these stories. It would make people who aren't straight, white, or male feel like they aren't alone or ignored by the hobbies they love.

It would also mean a whole lot less prejudice and bigotry out there.

Hixy:

Ok fair enough seeing as you appear to have such a great perspective on things then answer these questions for me I would be very interested in your opinion. You are saying that there are societal groups either not represented or misrepresented in games. The white male represented in games is mostly a macho 2D character who is only there to wreck shit.

Group A not being well represented and/or characterized in games does not preclude group B from also being poorly represented and/or characterized.

The point of this thread, however, has more do do with the fact that even in games where the main character is a 2D killing machine, said killing machine and literally everyone he meets is generally designed to appeal to a male (straight, white) audience and only that audience.

Even something like having killing machines of all genders, races, orientations, and creeds designed to appeal to players of all genders, races, orientations, and creeds would be a step forward from the status quo.

Hixy:
and a woman or other ethnicity in that role is not going to make it easier to identify with.

A) You've got a whole thread of counter-evidence,

B) The protagonist gap, while definitely an issue, is not the only thing contributing to the general "boys' club" atmosphere that gaming gives off.

Heather from SH3 is the only female character I can think of that wasn't horribly sexist

Most of the game she was traumatized and still she was caving in monster heads in between. She's also the only female character I can think of atm that hasn't got a ....massive...balcony....installed....at chest height

Casual Shinji:

AverageJoe:
And if you've yet to play Half-Life 2, I advise it, since Alyx is still the best and most realistic female character in gaming.

Unfortunately that all changed in Episode 2 where she played the damsel in distress, and where even her own father suggested that Gordon ought to knock her up.

So much for that independent lady.

she wasnt a damsal in distress

she was a damsel in a coma

Hixy:
Ok fair enough seeing as you appear to have such a great perspective on things then answer these questions for me I would be very interested in your opinion. You are saying that there are societal groups either not represented or misrepresented in games. The white male represented in games is mostly a macho 2D character who is only there to wreck shit. That represents no one really and a woman or other ethnicity in that role is not going to make it easier to identify with.

Is there a question to cap off this string of assertions? Because you said "questions" plural and I only see the one below me.

Secondly lets take a few games say Mirrors edge, Bayonetta and Tomb Raider. Do you feel that there are not enough games like these with female leads or that these games have misrepresented women? I will admit I think these games are failures based on gameplay alone.

I never played Mirror's Edge, so I can't comment, but I have watched Let's Play videos of Bayonetta and some of the Tomb Raider games and my verdict is that Lara Croft, while she at one point had something resembling a personality, is still a marketing gimmick tossed about to be judged like a piece of meat. And Bayonetta never seemed to have coherent personality to me beyond the fact that everything about her is fetishized and there doesn't seem to be any sense of irony to it.

Were these the best examples you could come up with? It strikes me as rather telling of how bad things are that two of the three you named are sexualized to a ridiculous degree.

Tell you what, let's look at Resident Evil 5 for a second. Sheva Alomar is as badly written as all the other characters in the series, but at least she seems to be more defined by her abilities rather than what equipment she's packing between her legs. Until you unlock this little bonus:

image

God... fucking... damnit. This is why your argument against "political correctness" falls apart. Games are disproportionately pandering or catering to juvenile white male power and sexual fantasies. And as an adult, I'm getting tired of repeatedly having my intelligence insulted.

As a man I'm asking for more real mature male archetypes to be shown in games. And since I am capable of basic empathy, I totally support people of other demographics who would like to see more of their own cultural archetypes represented. In fact, the ability to step into the shoes of such other characters can actually help me grow as a person by introducing me to perspectives and ideas I wouldn't have considered before.

DrVornoff:

Hixy:
Ok fair enough seeing as you appear to have such a great perspective on things then answer these questions for me I would be very interested in your opinion. You are saying that there are societal groups either not represented or misrepresented in games. The white male represented in games is mostly a macho 2D character who is only there to wreck shit. That represents no one really and a woman or other ethnicity in that role is not going to make it easier to identify with.

Is there a question to cap off this string of assertions? Because you said "questions" plural and I only see the one below me.

Secondly lets take a few games say Mirrors edge, Bayonetta and Tomb Raider. Do you feel that there are not enough games like these with female leads or that these games have misrepresented women? I will admit I think these games are failures based on gameplay alone.

I never played Mirror's Edge, so I can't comment, but I have watched Let's Play videos of Bayonetta and some of the Tomb Raider games and my verdict is that Lara Croft, while she at one point had something resembling a personality, is still a marketing gimmick tossed about to be judged like a piece of meat. And Bayonetta never seemed to have coherent personality to me beyond the fact that everything about her is fetishized and there doesn't seem to be any sense of irony to it.

Were these the best examples you could come up with? It strikes me as rather telling of how bad things are that two of the three you named are sexualized to a ridiculous degree.

Tell you what, let's look at Resident Evil 5 for a second. Sheva Alomar is as badly written as all the other characters in the series, but at least she seems to be more defined by her abilities rather than what equipment she's packing between her legs. Until you unlock this little bonus:

image

God... fucking... damnit. This is why your argument against "political correctness" falls apart. Games are disproportionately pandering or catering to juvenile white male power and sexual fantasies. And as an adult, I'm getting tired of repeatedly having my intelligence insulted.

Dude, thats an alternate costume. Its a fucking joke. And here's the other joke that people seem to miss.

image

It burns, doesn't it? But here's your question - both are obviously highly degrading and demeaning costumes. Why is the one on a woman an outrage, but on a man an acceptable joke?

How does this pander to white male power, huh?

xXxJessicaxXx:
Lately I have noticed that female gamers are being discouraged for all sorts of reasons.

Assassins Creed 3 said that a female protagonist wouldn't fit into the period of the game (yet a Native American would be acceptable and wouldn't rouse suspicion wherever he went?).

The Witcher of course has Geralt whose misogyny is accepted because of the books. Meanwhile if developers made a Conan game would he be portrayed as a racist?

Kingdoms of Amalur treats the female character like she is a man (constant flirts from female characters) to the extent where she is forced to marry a women if she wants to complete a quest line, there is no option to just say 'No' and complete the quest that way.

Risen 2 has dismissed a playable female out of hand even though their protagonist is 'The nameless hero' and plenty of women were involved in piracy.

I don't mean to go into tin foil hat territory here but as someone who has been gaming for a very long time it almost feels like we are going backwards with gender acceptance in games (outside of Bioware.) and the mainstay excuse of devs seems to be that mistreatment of women is part of their universe or time period and so must be accepted out of hand. These are often in games where there are giant bug monsters or other fantastic occurrences.

Sometimes I wonder whether we will ever be accepted as part of gaming or the very excuse of 'men are our main demographic' is going to discourage women from playing games and therefore not allow the demographic to balance out.

I know that I'm in the minority here and I'm probably going to get shouted down pretty badly but please think about what it's like to grow up loving a past-time that no one seems to want you to be involved in.

I beg to differ.

Uncharted has some of the most powerful female leads I've ever seen (the antagonist of Uncharted 3 is the most bad ass English chic ever... even though I hate her guts and want to hang her from her intestines for the shit she pulls... but thats what you need in a powerful character!) Then there's Elana... she's sexxy, BUT is NORMAL looking, and she can take care of herself. Actually, I'm pretty sure she's saved Nate's life more than Nate has saved hers...

Zelda has increasingly, especially since OoT, been an independent, powerful woman. How her role in the game has evolved somewhat reflects gaming's take on women. From helpless princess, to an integral ninja badass (Sheik), and then as a pirate who's the leader of everyone, then to an independent, strong spirited young woman in Skyward Sword.

The new Tomb Raider is another example.

Many role playing games PURPOSEFULLY allow you to play as women, and in Skyrim's case, don't really sexualize armor (though I don't get why armor needs cups for the boobs...).

Half Life 2 features Alex, a smart, cute (but again, Normal) woman who seriously helps the player out.

Do you think it's a coincidence the main character in Portal 2 is a woman? One could actually connect Portal 2 and its themes to women breaking free of the "glass ceiling" of gender equality in the world...

Hydrophobia features a competent (if annoying) female protagonist.

Star Wars Knights of hte Old Republic has several strong female leads, each struggling with issues that are not female related but are HUMAN... as well as possessing strengths that are honorable and beyond simple gender politics.

Heavy Rain had some VERY strong and VERY touching female leads.

and these are just some of the examples off the top of my head.

I will say that I would LOVE some more female protagonists (that AREN'T highly sexualized), but I seriously think we're getting there, and I can't wait till we do!

EDIT: I want to mention that I THINK THERE IS ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT... so don't quote me and say, "yes but..." because I know the but's... my "but" is that NONE of this was here 10 year's ago. 10 years ago we had Lara Croft and Cortana. Either of those make you the least bit proud? I know... there's room for improvement. But to say games are DE-EVOLVING? Yea... bit of a stretch... by like... a lot....

Foolproof:
Dude, thats an alternate costume. Its a fucking joke.

It's a stupid joke. It's completely gratuitous and just panders. It's not even remotely funny. It just feels cheap.

And here's the other joke that people seem to miss.

It burns, doesn't it? But here's your question - both are obviously highly degrading and demeaning costumes. Why is the one on a woman an outrage, but on a man an acceptable joke?

It's a stupid... fucking... joke. Humor may be sacred, but that doesn't make all jokes good or even appropriate.

It strikes me as a cheap attempt to make it look like the Sheva alternate costume isn't a bad idea. It's like when somebody makes a mean joke about black people and then makes a joke about white people as if to say, "See? I'm not racist!" It just makes that person look like an even bigger asshole.

Besides, let's stop and compare for a second. The fetish gear Sheva's decked out in is obviously hypersexual. The costume you posted as a counterexample? Ladies, is that doing anything for you?

Kahunaburger:

OtherSideofSky:

Kahunaburger:
The issue is that female characters tend to be designed to appeal to a male audience as a sexual fantasy and that male characters tend to be designed to appeal to a male audience as a power fantasy. Trust me, if male characters were objectified to the same extent as female characters, you'd know.

Maybe we just play very different games, but I see a lot of games full of male characters designed to appeal to female sexual fantasies. It's the whole reason games like Sengoku Basara even exist (the director explained it in an interview, you should be able to find an English translation online somewhere). That said, I definitely see a lot less of that in mainstream Western gaming than in games from Japan and other parts of Asia, and I don't think a lot of the games focused on those aspects get much of a marketing push in English speaking countries if they get released there at all.

Yeah, I wouldn't be surprised if Japan had more of that kind of games than the anglophonic world. Incidentally, the fact that several dudes in the West hate playing bishounen characters is arguably the perfect demonstration of what I'm talking about re: male protagonists in most western games.

I think it might also be a result of different genres being popular in different regions. A lot of the genres that do the most to target female audiences aren't nearly as popular among Western gamers. I do notice that there's a lot more overt acknowledgement of female audiences and female sexuality in the media and marketing over here. I mean, American live-action media has been sexually objectifying men in movies, TV and politics for quite a while, but it's completely left out of the discourse on the subject, the same way no one in the West ever seems to publicly discuss pornography created by or for women. Over in Japan, on the other hand, they even choose the actors TV shows aimed at young boys with appealing to women in mind, and are pretty open about it (they figured out that it did a lot to stop stay at home moms from changing the channel when their kids were watching Kamen Rider).

I understand what you mean.. Hopefully in time, we will move past all of this, and Female gamers will be catered for, and treated properly by game Devs.

Zhukov:
*reads most of thread*

...

Good lord.

What is it about sex and race that invariably brings out the stupid in people? You think someone is a relatively reasonable and well adjusted human being, then sex comes up and before you know it they're producing a veritable fountain of verbal diarrhea.

*sigh*

This is what happens when real life issues are discussed on gaming forums. I've come to terms with the stupidity of humanity at this point >.>

Subaltern:

need4snacks:
The overwhelming amount of pandering to men is a result of market forces. I believe men still make up the majority of what we can describe as hardcore gaming; both with consumers and producers. So it makes sense that these games would be based around the desires of men. It's not misogynist, or counter-progressive. I admit, it might be wise to try and expand your player base to include women, since they make up such a large part of the population, but it shouldn't be looked down upon as immoral or wrong because they don't.

MARKET FORCES people.

Actually, if it was truly market forces then you would see far more diversity since there are billions of people who aren't straight white men. There's an ungodly amount of money to be made by expanding the market.

And sorry, but things can still be misogynistic (or racist or homophobic) even if they aren't deliberate or intentional actions or even if they are supposedly governed by "market forces".

What matters in the end is the effect on the population in question, not what the actor thinks or intends.

Actually, market forces has little to do with companies attempting to get as much money as possible in respect to what I'm trying to describe. Market Forces dictate that a product reflects its consumer base.
If video games are made and purchased by a certain group, I would expect that product to pander to that certain group.
There is nothing wrong with this scenario. It's not discriminatory or hateful, and I would only expect it. Yes, it is extremely difficult for women to get into a hobby that is so greatly dominated by men - but that should only be expected as a natural consequence of most buyers and producers being men.

And sorry, but intent has a lot more legitimacy than you give credit for. If I'm walking down the street and I'm about to cross a person of a different race, what do you think people would assume about me if I suddenly made an effort to walk on the other side of said street? Let's say I went to the other side of the street because I saw a penny over there. Now that action might be interpreted by the person of a different race as a racist action against him; does that make it racist? No, the action is not racist just because it is interpreted as such.

Phasmal:

need4snacks:
The overwhelming amount of pandering to men is a result of market forces. I believe men still make up the majority of what we can describe as hardcore gaming; both with consumers and producers. So it makes sense that these games would be based around the desires of men. It's not misogynist, or counter-progressive. I admit, it might be wise to try and expand your player base to include women, since they make up such a large part of the population, but it shouldn't be looked down upon as immoral or wrong because they don't.

MARKET FORCES people.

This is mightily frustrating.
The gaming industy going `Sorry, sweetie, we just dont think you matter/exist`.
Also, widening the inclusiveness would be beneficial, it could bring in more women and more money.

Plus, if I was a dude, I would find the cheap obvious pandering and sexism in games horribly offensive because of the things they would be assuming about me (and I know some gamer dudes do).

The only thing I can think of as to why game companies are happy to churn out stupid pandering and stereotypes- they are being lazy. It's that old `Fuck it- games are for teenage boys so lets not even acknowledge anyone else`.

No, the game industry (like any industry) is going "I want to make a product and then sell it."
Widening the inclusiveness would be beneficial? That really doesn't reflect how actual industries work. Supply reflects demand, not the other way around. I would only expect soap operas and make-up companies to pander towards women - and it has nothing to do with the producers of those industries sitting in an office going "You know what? FUCK *insert group here*, they don't matter and I don't much like them anyway." That would be actual discrimination. Actual hatred, dislike, or distrust for a group of people.

If a producer is making a product, he/she doesn't have any obligation to make sure that you're happy with it. I mean, what exactly are you demanding here? That video game companies ought to pander less so intensely towards the sexual fantasies or power fantasies of men and cater to me every once and awhile? If it was on the flip side, and I was the minority group in the gaming culture, I would also want that. But I wouldn't label the producers of female pandering games or the buyers as discriminatory. They're making and buying what they want to make and buy - and that's not wrong in any way.

But I'm sorry you feel that way about "cheap obvious pandering and sexism". But I'm curious as to how sexualizing your game is automatically discriminatory, or how not having an ideal role model for a female demographic is automatically misogynistic.

Fr]anc[is:

kingthrall:
you dont even need to play the game to know that if you were mutated with special powers and had become sterile, of course you would be trying to get with all the women its what every guy would do in real life.

Oh hey look, all encompassing sexist generalizations in a thread about sexism. How appropriate.

Its not a generalisation if its true, unless of course you are denying that you would enjoy a life of debauchery. Are you a priest?

DrVornoff:

Foolproof:
Dude, thats an alternate costume. Its a fucking joke.

It's a stupid joke. It's completely gratuitous and just panders. It's not even remotely funny. It just feels cheap.

And here's the other joke that people seem to miss.

It burns, doesn't it? But here's your question - both are obviously highly degrading and demeaning costumes. Why is the one on a woman an outrage, but on a man an acceptable joke?

It's a stupid... fucking... joke. Humor may be sacred, but that doesn't make all jokes good or even appropriate.

It strikes me as a cheap attempt to make it look like the Sheva alternate costume isn't a bad idea. It's like when somebody makes a mean joke about black people and then makes a joke about white people as if to say, "See? I'm not racist!" It just makes that person look like an even bigger asshole.

Besides, let's stop and compare for a second. The fetish gear Sheva's decked out in is obviously hypersexual.

Thats what you consider hypersexual? What are you, eighty? I see women in more sexualised outfits at the beach. Yes, its sexualised, its a bikini, but its nowhere close to anything a non repressed human being could call hypersexual.

Of course, then we get to the other end of your argument; that while both genders are clearly objectified by these costumes, the female is clearly more attractive - as such, she is worse off....so, attractiveness is a disadvantage now? A negative? Being depicted as far more attractive than men is a bad thing?

As a man with a gamer girlfriend, I want to say that women are gamers too.

They deserve representation in gaming, in character selection, etc.

Foolproof:
Thats what you consider hypersexual? What are you, eighty? I see women in more sexualised outfits at the beach. Yes, its sexualised, its a bikini, but its nowhere close to anything a non repressed human being could call hypersexual.

Do any of them engage in gunplay and melee combat dressed like that? Grounding the combat of your game in realism and then putting a character in that? That's not funny, it's just stupid.

And don't pull the, "Are you some kind of prude?" card with me, sparky. If you knew half the fantasies that have gone through my head, you would become a monk. Of course, I'm also not horribly desensitized either. So maybe that's why I'm able to distinguish cheap, pandering bullshit apart from a legitimately funny joke. It's a really useful skill, believe me.

Of course, then we get to the other end of your argument; that while both genders are clearly objectified by these costumes, the female is clearly more attractive - as such, she is worse off....so, attractiveness is a disadvantage now? A negative? Being depicted as far more attractive than men is a bad thing?

The loud whooshing noise you hear is the point going over your head. It's not about who's more attractive. It's that it rings hollow. Women think of sex just as much as men do, if not more. But they filter it through a different lens than we do. Women like to have a little beefcake now and again, but that? That comes across less like a woman's sexual fantasy and more like a gay man's worst nightmare. That's why the joke feels cheap.

I also noticed that you failed to address the point that it looks like a douchebag with no social skills making a racist joke and then following it up with a joke about white people to try and deflect criticism. Did you skip that part or are you deliberately avoiding answering it?

Is there also a reason you're not addressing my point that if this is a joke as you claim, then it really sucks?

EDIT: (sigh) We're getting off on a tangent. Look, here's the core issue: a little fanservice now and again is fine. But... you can't just stick it in anywhere, if that's not an unfortunate choice of words. If the product you're pushing has a core tone of irony and lampshades the inherent silliness of fan service, knock yourself out. If it's a little aside totally apart from the main product, fine, just keep a modicum of taste.

But when your reward for beating a game is getting to dress up your female support character in a borderline racist, fetishist outfit without the slightest hint of irony in the actual game's tone? That's the sort of thing I would generally leave to the modding community because then at least I can more easily ignore them to death. I don't like getting the impression that I as a consumer am being insulted by the company I'm buying from.

And all of this is aside from the fact that if you're going to tell a joke, you can't use the word "joke" as a shield against criticism. If you tell a bad joke, it's still a bad joke. Being a joke does not make it okay if it sucks.

I do agree that women are often, unintentionally, being discouraged from certain types of videogame. That being said, I see this as becoming less of a problem in time.

I've raised my little sister on games since she was 4, so games are just part of her life, and I know plenty of her friends are girl-gamers too. But instead of playing games like Assassins Creed, she plays JRPGs and Zelda (much to my disliking). However, she doesn't have a problem playing manly co-op games like Army of Two either.

More women are getting into the industry as programmers, writers, artists, etc (again, my sister wants to become a game programmer), and I can see this as having a slow impact on how games are presented and sold. It's just going to take a bit of time.

Gaming began predominantly as a male hobby. Just like many sports did. It takes time for attitudes to change. All we can do is do our best to make it more inviting to everyone.

Freechoice:

Casual Shinji:

AverageJoe:
And if you've yet to play Half-Life 2, I advise it, since Alyx is still the best and most realistic female character in gaming.

Unfortunately that all changed in Episode 2 where she played the damsel in distress, and where even her own father suggested that Gordon ought to knock her up.

So much for that independent lady.

Didn't she fawn over Gordon despite not ever having known him? Is she really a strong, independent female or was she only "respectable" because her tits weren't the size of howitzer shells?

Besides, she was annoying as fuck. At least Cassidy and Veronica in New Vegas were interesting to listen to.

She was independent throughout most of Half-Life 2, she was just kind of a daddy's girl. Which was only natural seeing the world they lived in, Alyx not trusting Mossman, and her father missing a leg and all.

It was only at the end of Half-life 2 when Alyx starts to get a bit mushy toward you where I started scratching my head a somewhat. This came to a head near the end of Episode 2 where Eli basically serves his daughter up to you on a silver platter; "Here, have my daughter. No really, you earned her."

need4snacks:

But I'm sorry you feel that way about "cheap obvious pandering and sexism". But I'm curious as to how sexualizing your game is automatically discriminatory, or how not having an ideal role model for a female demographic is automatically misogynistic.

You don't see how making the women in your game nothing but sex objects with no personality just there to be gawped at and virtually shagged is misogynistic?

As has been addressed before, there is nothing wrong with sexy female characters. What is wrong is when `sexy` is the only thing available to women in games. Portraying women as cheap stupid stereotypes is sexist, no matter if the intent behind it is just to sell it to more dudes.

DrVornoff:

Hixy:
Ok fair enough seeing as you appear to have such a great perspective on things then answer these questions for me I would be very interested in your opinion. You are saying that there are societal groups either not represented or misrepresented in games. The white male represented in games is mostly a macho 2D character who is only there to wreck shit. That represents no one really and a woman or other ethnicity in that role is not going to make it easier to identify with.

Is there a question to cap off this string of assertions? Because you said "questions" plural and I only see the one below me.

Secondly lets take a few games say Mirrors edge, Bayonetta and Tomb Raider. Do you feel that there are not enough games like these with female leads or that these games have misrepresented women? I will admit I think these games are failures based on gameplay alone.

I never played Mirror's Edge, so I can't comment, but I have watched Let's Play videos of Bayonetta and some of the Tomb Raider games and my verdict is that Lara Croft, while she at one point had something resembling a personality, is still a marketing gimmick tossed about to be judged like a piece of meat. And Bayonetta never seemed to have coherent personality to me beyond the fact that everything about her is fetishized and there doesn't seem to be any sense of irony to it.

Were these the best examples you could come up with? It strikes me as rather telling of how bad things are that two of the three you named are sexualized to a ridiculous degree.

Tell you what, let's look at Resident Evil 5 for a second. Sheva Alomar is as badly written as all the other characters in the series, but at least she seems to be more defined by her abilities rather than what equipment she's packing between her legs. Until you unlock this little bonus:

image

God... fucking... damnit. This is why your argument against "political correctness" falls apart. Games are disproportionately pandering or catering to juvenile white male power and sexual fantasies. And as an adult, I'm getting tired of repeatedly having my intelligence insulted.

As a man I'm asking for more real mature male archetypes to be shown in games. And since I am capable of basic empathy, I totally support people of other demographics who would like to see more of their own cultural archetypes represented. In fact, the ability to step into the shoes of such other characters can actually help me grow as a person by introducing me to perspectives and ideas I wouldn't have considered before.

Yes actually I was asking if you felt other ethnicities, genders or sexual orientations were not represented or misrepresented in your opinion. I notice I missed the question mark but I think that was clear. Then I went on to say that I see the standard character as 2D anyway (as far as most AAA titles go) and changing their colour or gender won't make it better just to give my stance for you to respond to.

I chose those examples purposefully because in my opinion to only one who is not overly sexualised and there purely for what she looks like is Faith from Mirrors Edge. Just wanted your opinion which was very clear. Unfortunate you have not played Mirrors Edge you might like it.

That Sheva costume is a joke and a bonus, she does not adorn it on the box art or in the game unless as an unlockable you choose to place on her so I dont accept that point.

I think we are getting bogged down so I will just make this point broad, basically you think that nearly ALL characters in games are rather stereotyped from what you have said. This goes back to my original point that the target audience for the games is percieved as not caring too much because they are 16-25 year old males so set pieces and explosions are much, much more important. The characters in Call of Duty have no personality but it sells like hot cakes so why the hell would a company change the formula up and possibly alienate people. I did'nt once say that was ideal I just said it is how it is. As I sit here I am trying to think of a big list of games to throw at you to prove there are games with gratyfing characters who grow, change and emote as they travel on their epic journey but I find myself coming up short, yet games still sell.

Phasmal:

need4snacks:

But I'm sorry you feel that way about "cheap obvious pandering and sexism". But I'm curious as to how sexualizing your game is automatically discriminatory, or how not having an ideal role model for a female demographic is automatically misogynistic.

You don't see how making the women in your game nothing but sex objects with no personality just there to be gawped at and virtually shagged is misogynistic?

As has been addressed before, there is nothing wrong with sexy female characters. What is wrong is when `sexy` is the only thing available to women in games. Portraying women as cheap stupid stereotypes is sexist, no matter if the intent behind it is just to sell it to more dudes.

No, I do not. Sexual objectification of a fictional character is not in of itself misogynistic.
The hatred, dislike, or mistrust of women can be manifested in sexual objectification, but it does not have to be.
There is no underlying message is God of War's sex scenes. They're kinda silly, some might say very immature, and they're definitely very sexual. But what they're not is an attempt at the developers to send a message across to the player that "this is all women are good for".

When a developer props up a sex object for a female character it is not the producer saying "This is how women ought to be!", it's "This is how females are portrayed within the context of our game." Again, intent matters for a lot more than what people give credit. If an action is racist, sexist, etc... then the author must also be racist, sexist, etc... But simply being perceived as such does not make the action so. You should be railing against those who are interpreting fantasy sexualization as what things ought to be, not the authors of innocent pandering.

Further more, it's just silly to group all the games ever made together and try to make a case that there is a trend of purposeful denial for pandering for women or more srs bsns female characters. It's not like all the game companies get together and go "LOL, Let's not have good female characters in any of our games this year!". You're seeing nothing more than the product of market forces. One should only expect that the demographic making and buying a product would appeal only to that demographic.
If more consumers purchased or demanded srs bsns games with srs bsns female characters, one would expect that kind of product to grow. In turn, if producers made more srs bsns games with srs bsns female characters, it would mean that more of those games would be made available, but it doesn't mean they will be purchased. That's not how markets work.

Now, understand - I would love to see more srs bsns games about srs bsns female characters. Who doesn't? But it isn't wrong that they don't exist in a greater quantity or quality. Understand what you're saying here - because something is not appealing to you at all, it's wrong.
Do you not see how terrible that is?

need4snacks:
Now, understand - I would love to see more srs bsns games about srs bsns female characters. Who doesn't? But it isn't wrong that they don't exist in a greater quantity or quality. Understand what you're saying here - because something is not appealing to you at all, it's wrong.
Do you not see how terrible that is?

That might be terrible if that were anything close to what I was saying, but it is not.

This is another: What you've done/What you are type thing.

I have no idea if some devs are sexist, some probably are. That does not matter.
If they stick 1-dimensional stereotyped women in their games, their intent does not change it, and dev's know that. They are not stupid. When you stick a stereotype out there, it doesn't come with a sticker stating the intent of the creator. We shouldn't accept crappy sexist/racist stereotypes.

They are responsible for what they put out there. There is absolutely no reason you can't have a sexy but well developed female character but time and time again we get flat stereotypes.

As for GoW, thats just pandering. Pandering to a certain demographic which the gaming industry has focused on so strongly. They know this may be their largest market but is not at all exclusive. Female/minority gamers exist and are kind of tired of this balls.

krazykidd:
If gender of the main protagonist is stopping you from playing a game . You are doing it wrong . I guess authors who write books with a male protagonist hate women also . Oh not to mention movies with guys as the protagonist , they hate women also .

I mean really ... Why do people look for things to nitpick . I actually find you're claims rather sexist against men .

1. An overwhelming majority of video game protagonists are male.
2. Female characters often offer ridiculous amounts of fan service.
Pointing this out and complaining that the industry focuses on what guys want too much is not sexist.

rolfwesselius:

DrVornoff:

rolfwesselius:
Political correctness is a term which denotes language, ideas, policies, and behavior seen as seeking to minimize social and institutional offense in occupational, gender, racial, cultural, sexual orientation, certain other religions, beliefs or ideologies, disability, and age-related contexts, and, as purported by the term, doing so to an excessive extent.

Yes i know what it means.

Gold star for going to Wikipedia. Now, since we can sum up political correctness as just being nice to people... why do you hate this exactly?

wench:
Meh, you have fun in your way, and I'll have it in mine. =) Actually, a fucking achievement system is a brilliant description for it!

I'm just of the opinion that sex is something natural, part of every day life. Sensationalizing it just feels like cheap pandering. I won't lie, I enjoy the occasional bit of fan service myself. But to use an earlier metaphor, I enjoy it in the same way I do junk food. It's nice to have now and again, but it's not really good for me in huge doses.

Kahunaburger:
I think that's a fair reading of your playthrough - I'm just not sure that's the reason Bioware wrote Tali the way they did.

I don't disagree, but I don't always put a lot of stock in authorial intent. It could be my own egomania at work, but the reality of the game is how I roleplay it in my head. They're giving me the chance to tell my own story (within limitations, obviously), so I end up turning my interpretations into canon based on how I believe this incarnation of my character sees the world.

...I just realized that there's no way I can say any of that without sounding like a pretentious twit. I guess my point is that I'm not saying you're wrong, and there's always room for improvement, but I feel that individual experiences count for something as well. Even if authorial intent doesn't match the interpretation, there's something to be said for the latter.

Its not just being nice its not being allowed to express certain opinions because saying it will hurt someone's feeling.
If i say i dont understand why the a man would want it in the ass im homophobic.
If i say i say i dont like it when woman want a developer to make a new model re-record every word of dialogue and make every animation again just so you can play a female characters.

Do you understand that.
Its not "being nice to each other" its not being allowed to use free speech because it could hurt an oversenitive man/woman's/Man of any race's feelings.

You are allowed to say whatever you want. "Freedom of Speech" is not, however, "freedom to say whatever I want and having no consequences".

Phasmal:

need4snacks:
Now, understand - I would love to see more srs bsns games about srs bsns female characters. Who doesn't? But it isn't wrong that they don't exist in a greater quantity or quality. Understand what you're saying here - because something is not appealing to you at all, it's wrong.
Do you not see how terrible that is?

That might be terrible if that were anything close to what I was saying, but it is not.

This is another: What you've done/What you are type thing.

I have no idea if some devs are sexist, some probably are. That does not matter.
If they stick 1-dimensional stereotyped women in their games, their intent does not change it, and dev's know that. They are not stupid. When you stick a stereotype out there, it doesn't come with a sticker stating the intent of the creator. We shouldn't accept crappy sexist/racist stereotypes.

They are responsible for what they put out there. There is absolutely no reason you can't have a sexy but well developed female character but time and time again we get flat stereotypes.

As for GoW, thats just pandering. Pandering to a certain demographic which the gaming industry has focused on so strongly. They know this may be their largest market but is not at all exclusive. Female/minority gamers exist and are kind of tired of this balls.

That is exactly what you are saying. The developers know that their intent means nothing about their product? That's ridiculous. No it doesn't come with a sticker, but one shouldn't assume that it's an attempt to portray actual women. This is a fantasy universe in a fantasy setting - it doesn't not actually exist and as such we shouldn't jump to any conclusions as to the underlying meaning to something that isn't intended to carry weight on reality. Furthermore, you continue to define stereotypical sexual objectification as inherently sexist or misogynist, when in fact it is not. The maker of a game usually crafts the world how they want it to be in their game, not how they want actual reality. Underlying messages can exist in games, but it doesn't have to and for the most part it isn't; particularity when it's nothing more than just soft core (or hardcore) porn in your game. There is absolutely nothing wrong with making your virtual universe how you desire it.

You're right, there is absolutely no reason to not have a sexy but well developed female character. But have you ever considered the fact that there is no obligation to so either? A creator has the full right to make whatever he/she wants - it's his/her product, and it shouldn't be looked at as immoral because it didn't tailor to your optimum desires for the characters within.

As for the demographic make-up of the consumer base, understand that these market forces are what is to be naturally expected. I'm not saying that it SHOULD be a male appeal dominated industry, but I'm not saying that it SHOULDN'T either. Market forces dictate that one should expect products to reflect a consumer base - that how it usually goes, and it shouldn't be looked at as offensive. Now, even if women made 99% of the consumer base for games and men only 1%, what would happen if all games were still pandering to men? Would that be wrong or discriminatory? No, it's not discriminatory to make a product that doesn't appeal to a group of people or to anybody. Now, the game industry might collapse with such a strategy, but that would be a natural expectation of the way markets work.

Just because it has no appeal to you, or you even dislike it's content, doesn't automatically make the product wrong. I can understand being frustrated about it, and desiring to increase its attraction towards your desires. But I cannot stand on the idea of accusing developers of being discriminatory because they are not producing anything I care for, or because they make things I do not like.

kingthrall:
Its not a generalisation if its true, unless of course you are denying that you would enjoy a life of debauchery. Are you a priest?

No I am not, I am a man. And real men require a bit more than a breathing sex toy and a high five from their buddies in 1st period the next morning. You'll see for yourself when you are older.

need4snacks:
Snip.

Okay. This obviously bears repeating. Because thats NOT what I was saying, if you actually read my comment.
There is a difference between what you are and what you do. I never said the product was wrong or the developers are sexist. If you make a character which is a stupid sexist stereotype, it comes across as sexist (duh). Doesn't matter what you are. Matters what you did. Marketing to dudes doesn't automatically mean you have to make shitty female characters, so I'm not sure why you keep bringing up that.

There may be no obligation to make good female characters but thats the point, who does it hurt to make them good? Nobody. And if you continue to make them shit, real women will look at them and go : `Thats shit`.

I never said game developers have to specifically cater to women. I just said it wouldnt hurt them to broaden their inclusiveness. If I thought games didnt have any appeal to me unless the developers gave a shit about female players, I probably wouldnt have any games to PLAY.

In short: I am not saying not to target games to men. I am saying you do not need to make female characters shit in order to do so.

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