Are mainstream devs deliberately discouraging women from gaming?

 Pages PREV 1 . . . 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 . . . 17 NEXT
 

Hixy:
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.

And here we get to the root of the problem (one of them anyway) that game writing is still on the same level as 50's drive-in fodder.

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.

It's a bad joke and frankly it feels like my intelligence is being insulted.

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.

The entertainment industry as a whole has a problem of constantly trying to find new and ultimately lazy ways to separate credulous consumers from their money. They don't just pander to the lowest common denominator anymore, but a denominator even more lowest than that. The lack of good characters who are not straight white men is only one issue this has created. Shouldn't we start asking for something better?

Yes! That's exactly what developers don't want, female gamers. I mean what company would want a broader demographic of customers paying good money for their product?

Anyways, the reason you won't see a lot of female protagonist in games, movies, even some genre's of books is because women aren't exactly the general demographic that likes those medias (certain genre of books too). Most gamers are white males between the ages of 14-35. If the general demographic was homosexual Swahili women between the ages of 90-135, most game protagonist would probably be the sort. It's not racism or sexism, it's knowing your audience, and if more females were willing to also join that audience more games would start catering to them.

Nomanslander:
and if more females were willing to also join that audience more games would start catering to them.

That's not strictly true. Look at Hollywood. If Hollywood is to be believed, black people don't watch movies. You want to agree with that?

DrVornoff:

Nomanslander:
and if more females were willing to also join that audience more games would start catering to them.

That's not strictly true. Look at Hollywood. If Hollywood is to be believed, black people don't watch movies. You want to agree with that?

Plus, look at the image the gaming industry puts out of itself (and our charming community which so welcomes female players), would you wanna join if you were a woman who knew little to nothing about gaming? It's not an easy thing. And there are female players in the audience, more than you would think.

DrVornoff:

Nomanslander:
and if more females were willing to also join that audience more games would start catering to them.

That's not strictly true. Look at Hollywood. If Hollywood is to be believed, black people don't watch movies. You want to agree with that?

It's not about exclusion, it's about what the dominant general audience tends to be, and with movies that still tend to be white males between 14-35. Now if you haven't noticed movies today have already gone too far in trying to cater to everyone. You'll always find one token black person in a movie, and two women having a conversation about something other than men for 30 seconds just so the film can pass the Bechdel Test. Plus they'll throw in Jar Jar Binks like character for children. The movie will be PG-13 to fill more aisle even though the original work was intended for a R rating.

Even with all that, the movie will still try to cater mostly for males 14-35 years old because that's what generally has been accepted by everyone.

Phasmal:
And there are female players in the audience, more than you would think.

^This.

Bioware is terrible at basically everything these days, but if there's one thing they do right, it's understanding that women play vidya gaems too.

The "games and gamers are actively hostile to women because not many women play the sorts of games that are actively hostile to them" is a bass-ackwards way of looking at the situation.

Nomanslander:

DrVornoff:

Nomanslander:
and if more females were willing to also join that audience more games would start catering to them.

That's not strictly true. Look at Hollywood. If Hollywood is to be believed, black people don't watch movies. You want to agree with that?

It's not about exclusion, it's about what the dominant general audience tends to be, and with movies that still tend to be white males between 14-35. Now if you haven't noticed movies today have already gone too far in trying to cater to everyone. You'll always find one token black person in a movie, and two women having a conversation about something other than men for 30 seconds just so the film can pass the Bechdel Test. Plus they'll throw in Jar Jar Binks like character for children. The movie will be PG-13 to fill more aisle even though the original work was intended for a R rating.

Even with all that, the movie will still try to cater mostly for males 14-35 years old because that's what general has been excepted by everyone.

Tyler Perry and his millions tell us that most of Hollywood saturation bombing 14-35 white males with movies made for them and only them might not be the brightest idea ever.

Phasmal:

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.

Phasmal:

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.

1 - Intent matters. What you are dictates what you do, they are not independent of each other. An action is defined by the intent of the author, not the perception of an observer to that action. Yet you continue to label sexual objectification as automatically discriminatory.
2 - I didn't say that marketing to dudes means you automatically should make shitty female characters. My argument was that a creator has totally freedom to do has he/she pleases, and that he/she has no obligation to satisfy anyone (deep female characters OR 'shitty' sexual objects) I also totally explained that it's warranted for you to feel anyway you want about a game in it's quality or appeal. Just as with the personal opinions of anyone else.

But when terms like misogyny and sexism are being thrown around, it becomes more than just complaining about it 'being shit' or wanting to be better. Such things are real problems in this world, and attempting to label actions as sexist or racist has broad and serious implications. It's one thing to criticize the gaming industry for not being which ever way you want it to be, it's another to try and demonize the gaming industry to solidify a position.

If the product is not wrong and the developers are not sexist, then the product cannot be misogynistic and the gaming industry cannot be either. The whole reason for this thread is about a possibility for some underlying tones of disdain for women as an explanation for the vast amounts of what some describe as 'cheap pandering' and 'lack of good representation'.

If this is not necessarily your personal outlook, then I apologize for assuming, but I have come across one to many fellow gamers who do.

need4snacks:
I didn't say that marketing to dudes means you automatically should make shitty female characters. My argument was that a creator has totally freedom to do has he/she pleases, and that he/she has no obligation to satisfy anyone (deep female characters OR 'shitty' sexual objects) I also totally explained that it's warranted for you to feel anyway you want about a game in it's quality or appeal. Just as with the personal opinions of anyone else.

Hi, argument from the ME3 ending debate. What hath pseudo-intellectual game journalism wrought?

need4snacks:

If the product is not wrong and the developers are not sexist, then the product cannot be misogynistic and the gaming industry cannot be either. The whole reason for this thread is about a possibility for some underlying tones of disdain for women as an explanation for the vast amounts of what some describe as 'cheap pandering' and 'lack of good representation'.

Someone does not have to be an avowed sexist to engage in sexist behavior. In fact, it's much more common for people to mindlessly reproduce sexist behavior that is encouraged by society. Game devs don't wake up in the morning and say "you know what, I feel like discouraging women from playing my games today." But they do engage in behaviors that create a hostile atmosphere towards women in their games.

I find it just plain deceitful for a female fan of 'X' genre to claim that just because women make up 42% of the general gaming population, so now 'X' genre must now change to accommodate her. The overwhelming majority of that 42% of women might not even like or play 'X' genre at all, but instead might prefer 'W', 'Y' or 'Z' genres.

I recognise and sympathise with the original poster's frustration that more Action-RPGs don't do more to include the women who do enjoy them but not so much as to decree that henceforth all male player characters should be rendered down into boring, bland standardised unisex player wish-fullfillment vehicles.

Kahunaburger:

Tyler Perry and his millions tell us that most of Hollywood saturation bombing 14-35 white males with movies made for them and only them might not be the brightest idea ever.

That's another thing. It's not that Hollywood and the Game Industry has no real interest in capitalizing among other demographics, it's that they don't know how to. They don't have the practice. Most developers and film makers themselves are the young white males and trying to get such group to cater to anyone else besides themselves isn't exactly easy. You can be the biggest openly minded non biased objective white guy, but if I asked you to make a game for migrant Mexican workers you're going to be in over your head. And as hard as you try not to, chances are you might fuck up and put in something that that said group would find racist or simply disagreeable.

Tyler Perry in the end is a black himself. Of course he would know how to cater to his audience. But you know what's funny? I bet he would also know how to cater to young white males as well. Why? Because he's grown up in that culture for so long he's also a part of it and would know what to do.

Now, some of you might be thinking that I'm for all this. Well, I'm not. I'm not here to say this is right, I'm here to say that that's just how it is.

Paradoxrifts:
I recognise and sympathise with the original poster's frustration that more Action-RPGs don't do more to include the women who do enjoy them but not so much as to decree that henceforth all male player characters should be rendered down into boring, bland standardised unisex player wish-fullfillment vehicles.

Apart from the unisex part, they already are.

Nomanslander:

Kahunaburger:

Tyler Perry and his millions tell us that most of Hollywood saturation bombing 14-35 white males with movies made for them and only them might not be the brightest idea ever.

That's another thing. It's not that Hollywood and the Game Industry has no real interest in capitalizing among other demographics, it's that they don't know how to. They don't have the practice. Most developers and film makers themselves are the young white males and trying to get such group to cater to anyone else besides themselves isn't exactly easy. You can be the biggest openly minded non biased objective white guy, but if I asked you to make a game for migrant Mexican workers you're going to be in over your head. And as hard as you try not to, chances are you might fuck up and put in something that that said group would find racist or simply disagreeable.

Tyler Perry in the end is a black himself. Of course he would know how to cater to his audience. But you know what's funny? I bet he would also know how to cater to young white males as well. Why? Because he's grown up in that culture for so long he's also a part of it and would know what to do.

Now, some of you might be thinking that I'm for all this. Well, I'm not. I'm not here to say this is right, I'm here to say that that's just how it is.

It's not like there's a dearth of scripts written by minorities or women, or aspiring minority or woman directors. The blame for the issue IMO rests squarely at the feet of producers who only want to fund projects for and by white males.

Incidentally, this is a big reason I'm psyched about kickstarter - the indie scene is in general significantly more inclusive than corporate game production. If the barrier to entry for making a video game is lower, we'll get more projects that EA/Activision/etc. don't consider "safe."

Kahunaburger:
.
It's not like there's a dearth of scripts written by minorities or women, or aspiring minority or woman directors. The blame for the issue IMO rests squarely at the feet of producers who only want to fund projects for and by white males.

Incidentally, this is a big reason I'm psyched about kickstarter - the indie scene is in general significantly more inclusive than corporate game production. If the barrier to entry for making a video game is lower, we'll get more projects that EA/Activision/etc. don't consider "safe."

Yeah, I agree.

But I also think the industry needs to also hire more talent that's part of a minority. More female developers on a project would mean more likely chance you'll have a protagonists that are female, and done RIGHT!

This is another thing. The one thing I can't stand bout characters like Lara Croft and even Samus Aran which really disheartens me is it's so blatantly obvious the characters were not developed by women. More like from men with a unique wish fulfillment.

Kahunaburger:

Shadow Master:

Take War and Death from Darksiders for some current generation examples. They both possess very attractive male traits. Their faces, their eyes, their hair, their muscles, their height and weight and so forth.

image

Ladies.

Heh. I like how it says "basic" armor. I thought basic usually referred to the base, or lowest level. I must say I'm wondering what the "advanced" armor looks like.
OT: I don't think they're trying to discourage anyone, I just think that they're under the assumption that their primary audience consists mainly of males.

need4snacks:
If this is not necessarily your personal outlook, then I apologize for assuming, but I have come across one to many fellow gamers who do.

I think we may have to agree to disagree, because I disagree that doing something means you are that thing. (As in, I think its possible to do sexist things without being a sexist).

Offence is taken, not given. Intent only matters to the people doing the action, nobody else can know your intent.

Nomanslander:
Now if you haven't noticed movies today have already gone too far in trying to cater to everyone. You'll always find one token black person in a movie, and two women having a conversation about something other than men for 30 seconds just so the film can pass the Bechdel Test. Plus they'll throw in Jar Jar Binks like character for children. The movie will be PG-13 to fill more aisle even though the original work was intended for a R rating.

That's not catering so much as cynical cash-grabbing. I never once said that every single example of media needs to appeal to every single person. What I am saying is that I would like a market that's slightly less homogeneous. That's not asking for the moon.

I have a friend whose dream project is to make a game set in ancient sub-Saharan Africa dealing with real cultural and political issues from that time period and region. I have zero sub-Saharan DNA in me (as far as I'm aware, I'm whiter than Christmas morning in a gated community) but I would still like to play that game because it's something I've never experienced before. I'm as far-removed from my European ancestors as he is from his African forefathers, but I see no reason why he can't draw on the lore of his ancient family tree the way I do mine. Similarly, I'm only part gypsy and can claim only a tenuous genetic connection and no cultural connection whatsoever to India, but I still like Bollywood movies. They're different from anything I can get stateside and while the Indian film industry produces just as much garbage as anyone else, there's some real gems in there as well.

So would I like to see more black or female protagonists in movies and gaming? If only for the sake of variety, yes. And even as a straight, white male, I would like it if the industry would stop assuming that my cultural heroic archetypes are limited strictly to Dane Cook and The Ultimate Warrior. Again, I'm not asking a lot here. I would just prefer it if the producers would wake the fuck up and realize that they're missing the forest for the trees.

And if you want to approach this purely from a business perspective, the question isn't, "Are they making money?" The question they should be asking is, "Could we be making more money?"

Even with all that, the movie will still try to cater mostly for males 14-35 years old because that's what generally has been accepted by everyone.

Conventional wisdom seldom has any real wisdom to it. Basically you're just giving me a tautology. Games target mostly men because it's mostly men who play video games because games are mostly targeted to men, etc, etc, etc. Kind of hard to get a little variety going when that sort of circular logic creates an air of outsider unfriendliness.

Nomanslander:
Now, some of you might be thinking that I'm for all this. Well, I'm not. I'm not here to say this is right, I'm here to say that that's just how it is.

How very fatalist of you.

Zhukov:

Paradoxrifts:
I recognise and sympathise with the original poster's frustration that more Action-RPGs don't do more to include the women who do enjoy them but not so much as to decree that henceforth all male player characters should be rendered down into boring, bland standardised unisex player wish-fulfillment vehicles.

Apart from the unisex part, they already are.

Any game with a central protagonist that the player does not get to name or choose the appearance of, who ends up being as interesting and engaging as a square plank of reconstituted plywood is simply suffering from a case of poor writing.

The difference is simple.

When character creation is left up to the player then every reasonable option that can be afforded should be implemented. There are a lot of good game design reasons to do this, but I think it should come down to simple human decency. The game developer is essentially leaving a section of the game constructed but unassembled because for some genres it just simply easier and more profitable to do it that way. The least they can do is make sure you've got as many choices as possible to pick from.

When game developers pre-generate a character for their audience then it is up to them to create a character and a game's worth of interactions that that character will have with the rest of the game that is compelling enough for gamers to care about.

Take the examples that the OP mentioned..

Assassin's Creed.

Miles Desmond might be in all of the Assasin's Creed games, but he he clearly is not the protagonist in any of them. He instead serves as a loose framing device to explore the stories of his far more interesting ancestors, Alta´r and Ezio respectively. Satisfactorily having Miles experience and deal with the memories of a maternal ancestor might dangerously flesh him out as a character, when his only purpose in any of the games is to act as the connective tissue that binds the franchise together.

It could be done I suppose, and it could be done well. Just not by Ubisoft. I just don't think they have the capacity to take it to that level and not make a complete ham of it.

The Witcher.

A solid textbook example of a company taking complete ownership of the character that the player will be guiding through the game, presenting all the choices that you get to make as choices that said character might or might not do. Role-playing game?

No, the Witcher games are instead Geralt of Rivia simulators. That might be a deal breaker for some people, but I draw the line between myself and people who then go on to say that I can't have Witcher gamers because they don't 'enjoy' them.

Kingdoms of Amalur.

As tempting as it would be to cajole someone for not wanting to play the 'icky' lesbian, I will write this down to the fact that 38 Studios was founded by a baseball pitcher, they're a small company and they've just released their very first game.

Cut them some slack.

I am now female Commander Shepard, and this is my least favourite thread on the Escapist.

*Goes back to watching Cortez and Kaidan making out on the security feed*

(How about that for stereotype reversal :p)

It's not deliberate. Gaming culture in general is very insular and it tends to refuse anyone it doesn't recognize as 'one of us', and since the first steps in gaming culture were given by white straight male nerds, you can't join unless you dance their tune. It's not that they actively discourage black lesbian female hipsters from joining, but they immediately identify them as outsiders unless they drape themselves heavily in the culture, which means they're less likely to appeal to other black, lesbian etc. people.

Mainstream developers are not focused on broadening audiences, only on what sells, and are trapped on a loop of 'women/old people/OWS protesters/whatever don't buy games, so we won't worry whether they'll enjoy the games we're making'. It seems disingenious to attribute this to deliberate misanthropy as opposed to mere shortsightedness.

omega 616:

xXxJessicaxXx:
snip

Not to mention no female, in any game that I can recall, has small .... eyes, if you know what I mean.

image

Disgaea always does well in that - if I get what you mean.

There is also the counter intuitive "less clothes = more protection".

Dark Souls objects.

Discouraged would be every game was essentially Duke Nukem, bad sexual jokes, loads of strippers with big ... eyes etc.

True, but Duke Nukem is hardly the standard in these regards. It's definitely more on the extreme side.

Plus it's easy to please guys but it might be tricky to please girls. Guys basically want gears of war, ultra masculine men, with big loud guns etc but with woman you run the risk of making it too girly.

Funny, I tend to dislike male characters - expecially the testosterone fueled macho men with big guns. And I'm a guy...

I think we need more Morrigan's and Jack's!

I hope you don't mean Morrigan from that awful shitfest called DA:O. That ice queen is not really a good role model. Nor is her character very orignal. Lulu did it better - several years earlier (actually most of the cast for DA:O was ripped out of FFX...)

Go play Mirror's Edge. Oh, what's that, you wanted to play a male character? NOPE. Oh, what's that, you want your female characters hypersexualized and with certain bodily...conditions...that would keep them from doing some of the athletic things they're supposedly capable of doing? Again, NOPE.

firstly I don't think any company mainstream or otherwise would actively discourage any group from playing it lost revenue and all that however I do think videogames are generally created with a male audience in mind which can make them a bit misogynist ( I hate spelling that word) although it's a rather confusing issue on the one hand for videogames to grow as a medium they need to represent all sections of society but on the other hand maybe some game writers are making wot would appear to be sexist design choices not with malicious intent but simply because they think it works in the context of the story there telling there are quite a few exceptions to that scenario for instance Ivy from Soul calibre can any soul calibre fans tell me whether or not there's a reason for her to wear that ridiculous armour other than the obvious?

I largely agree with the sentiment, but something about the opening post and subsequent arguments leave a bad taste in my mouth.

It's a little hard to place for me, but I think it might be the idea that this gender imbalance is institutionalized and widely supported. And maybe I'm just naive but I really don't think it is.

It's hard to explain right now :/

No more so then game are intentionally trying to be racist. Developers mean well, but prejudice is sort of ingrained into many parts of our society and developers are kind of oblivious to certain things. Personally, I think if gender isn't important to the protagonist then deciding on gender should be done with the flip of a coin. Then again I know people who would claim I'm a horrible person for thinking gender is binary.

Ohh a games and sexism thread! Time for me to take gaming back a few years!

Not that I'm against better characters and pushing the medium forward, but sometimes I just want to show what's it's like on the other side. Not to mention some girls like eyecandy too, and I will call insecure if you can't handle an attractive guy in a game.

I'm just sick of girls being typecast as either the damsel in distress or the wholly useless sidekick.

There have been a few exceptions to the rule - take Bayonetta, as one example - but they tend to be oversexualized when they could've stuck to just being badass. :c

i think it's just society as a whole. the majority of movies have male heroes or main characters, and female characters are usually only support for the guy, or eye-candy for the audience, or just for a cheap romance scene to gain the female audience. games turn out the same way most the time. i do think it's unfair but i'm not sure if games are going to be the first to lead this movement because it's part of everything in this society. we're still a mostly male-lead society (here in America) and only recently in the past couple decades have we been improving this. hopefully in the future things WILL be more balanced and fair in both media and society.

That Amular thing you mentioned, it sounds intriguing... Yes...

I really need to play that game again.....

I'm fairly certain most devs are guys (or at the very least, most of the higher ups), and working with what you know is easier than the alternative.

loc978:
I thought it was funny... I looked at the title and essentially felt "color me intrigued"... because I hadn't seen such. Then I looked at the titles mentioned.

xXxJessicaxXx:
Assassins Creed 3
The Witcher
Kingdoms of Amalur
Risen 2

I haven't even considered playing one of those games. The Witcher quite specifically because of the reputation for childish misogyny (some of the rest of it sounds passable, but I'm not into having an RPG throw sex at me like that), but the others... couldn't stand the game mechanics of the first title, one that screams Generic Fantasy Game #972,875,051... and... a pirate game I haven't heard of. Huh.

I guess I'm a gaming hippie, only paying attention to progressive (or gender-neutral) titles.

I kind of feel the same way. Not quite sure why but for about a year now I've played, with the exception of Deus Ex, only female characters in every game I've played - and I play a lot of video games. I won't deny the existence of developers favouring the male audience in the creation of their games, but I also think that a lot of people on here are ignoring the fact/existence of the veritable cornucopia of video games out there that provide both gender options, or even solely female protagonists... Maybe this dynamic is just more available on the PC than on the console, I don't know.

whilst they SHOULD have more of a role in the games being produced i don't always think its sexism, think of how many games are based on swords and sandals fantasy, even the "fantasy" ones are loosely based around the medi evil society where women were treated worse and wouldn't be the adventuring types.

The fact that you attack amular which actually had a fairly good character gender ratio shows that you are incapable of understanding that these things take time, baby steps as it were.

Ultimately any games set in humanities past will have less female presence due to our history, nothing to really complain about there. Hell i'd even extend that to modern military shooters where most women may be able to join various armies you will more often see them in support rather than front line roles. Thats just art reflecting reality.

You want good female characters go play space marine, or enslaved, or mirrors edge, hell even gears of war had two fairly interesting new female characters in the third installment. Progress is being made. Its not going to be instant, you have to give it time.

Seniqwa:
Double post for some reason O.o

Seniqwa:
Triple post!! And seemingly no way to delete them!

report the extra posts and a mod will fix them

bahumat42:
whilst they SHOULD have more of a role in the games being produced i don't always think its sexism, think of how many games are based on swords and sandals fantasy, even the "fantasy" ones are loosely based around the medi evil society where women were treated worse and wouldn't be the adventuring types.

The fact that you attack amular which actually had a fairly good character gender ratio shows that you are incapable of understanding that these things take time, baby steps as it were.

Ultimately any games set in humanities past will have less female presence due to our history, nothing to really complain about there. Hell i'd even extend that to modern military shooters where most women may be able to join various armies you will more often see them in support rather than front line roles. Thats just art reflecting reality.

You want good female characters go play space marine, or enslaved, or mirrors edge, hell even gears of war had two fairly interesting new female characters in the third installment. Progress is being made. Its not going to be instant, you have to give it time.

I think the problem is that video games set in a medieval history have less of a female presence than actual history, because they make the assumption that marginalized=weak.

 Pages PREV 1 . . . 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 . . . 17 NEXT

Reply to Thread

This thread is locked