Sexism in gameplay

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Woiminkle:

JudgeGame:

Woiminkle:

Nobody in particular you mean, just all gamers and developers who don't share your opinion, I'm not sure where you are getting the notion that I'm somehow taking it personally I certainly didn't say anything that could be construed that way. Just that last part where you ASSUMED (see you did it again) I was being egotistical and making it about me when you clearly said you were talking about all gamers, apart from yourself of course. My point is you seem to be desperately trying to put yourself on a pedestal because while games are made by and for "aggressively immature idiots" it's okay for you to enjoy them on your own terms because you are somehow more enlightend than the rest of the gaming community. So who is being egotistical?

Quoting your own words: "but the rest of us gamers are the "aggressively immature idiots" because we enjoy them for our own reasons". You immediately put yourself into the conversation, twice. I never said the aggressively immature idiots were the people who didn't agree with me. I never even implied that the aggressively immature idiots even existed, I said games were designed for them. I never said I was talking about all gamers. If you can't understand this then I think you should go practice your English a bit more before you keep answering. It is very hard to have a conversation with somebody when they don't share a common language. I don't want you to get so upset when I'm not even confronting you.

Oh but judge I'm not upset at all. I've been enjoying watch you wriggle and squirm and back pedal when myself and others have confronted you. I love how you try to use semantics to back your way out when you can no longer support your own weak assumptions and made up statistics. I really love how you are trying to make out that I'm upset with you now. I'm not the one claiming that gamers are either idiots at best or psychopaths at worst. You were the one spouting that nonsense. I'm saying it's not an either or situation, I'm saying there are many reasons why some people don't consider this an issue that don't involve anyone being either an idiot or evil and psychotic. That's all you baby. And that's the real reason you keep bringing up our shared language, to avoid the real issue and try to salvage what little dignity you have left. I thnk most people reading this thread will see through it though, so I have no cause to get upset dear.

I'm glad you aren't upset. You seemed upset as you kept saying I was attacking you and name calling you, which I wasn't. On the other hand, I really don't see the point of having a conversation with you if you will persist with putting words in my mouth.

The Unworthy Gentleman:

ShinyCharizard:
When it comes to sexism in games I just struggle to care at all. I can't be the only one who just doesn't give a shit.

No, you have me backing you and most of /v/ too. Trouble is that while I don't really care all that much about sexism in games, mostly because it's, by and large, white knights and obsessively offended women calling out the smallest things, it still gets my goat to see it going on.

Yeah, I find it amusing that a lot of people see incredibly minor things as offensive to women, yet men are completely unoffendable. I know someone will argue with me over this point, but I really really can't be dealing with it.

Pulse:
If a videogame has a female character and no one plays it, is it still sexist?

At the moment it looks like in order to not be a sexist game a female character must be all of the below
1. Intelligent
2. Rational
3. Attractive
4. Not too attractive
5. Conservatively dressed
6. Independent
7. Single
8. Not be subjected to violence
9. Be able to inflict violence
10. Not embody "male characteristics"
11. Not embody "female characteristics"
12. Not have their gender apply to any aspect of the story
13. Cannot be a silent protagonist
14. Not show any signs of vulnerability

EVERYTHING IS SEXIST!

Yeah, this is what I get when I try to figure out this whole situation/discussion. Which makes me so sad, because I hate to see genuine efforts to have good female characters/a non-sexist story be instantly dismissed and beaten down by unreasonable expectations.

JudgeGame:

Batou667:
-snip-

But if I was was "manly" or "womanly" why should I have to be treated differently because of it?

In any case, insulting other people for lulz is petty.

Well, that mega-snip rather obliterated the context so I'm not entirely sure what I'm responding to here, but let me have a go anyway.

We live in the real world which is full of societal norms, expectations, prejudices (positive and negative) and preconceptions. If you were "manly" or "womanly" - well, I'm not going to be the one to say you SHOULD be treated differently for it, but rather, you WILL. Same as if you were black. Or ginger. Or had facial tattoos, or were 6'7", or were incredibly handsome. Being "a man" has societal expectations, just as much as being "a woman". That's not me supporting the system or defending The Patriarchy, that's just a refection of the current state of reality. It's not a perfect state of affairs but it can, and possibly even should, be changed. But in order to do that I don't think we need to obliterate all differentiation between male and female, any more than pretending not to notice that somebody is black makes you not-racist.

Your second point is a bit of a non-sequitur. Who is being insulted for the lulz?

Lovely Mixture:

Yeah I don't think it's sexist. But as I said earlier, I think it's contrary to a game that puts emphasis on character creation, what if you want to role-play as a buff woman who has low stamina?

It seems you have no experience with Oblivion, so let me just point out that those base stats are effectively meaningless after you get outside the tutorial mission. You level up stats based on how you want to play the game, each stat is maxed out at 100 and you can select skills and favored stats that makes you level up those stats faster.
You can role play as a buff woman, a spagetti-armed orc or even a magical, wingless fairy if you choose never to zoom out to 3d person perspective, starting about 15 seconds after you leave the first area.

Yay, another thread about sexism. Epic fun times. "Quick, look chaps there's a game and it's got girls in it and they aren't the main protagonist. Sexism. Rampant sexism". It's a bit silly, sexism is wrong, looking for sexism where there is none is just dull.

Res Plus:
Yay, another thread about sexism. Epic fun times. "Quick, look chaps there's a game and it's got girls in it and they aren't the main protagonist. Sexism. Rampant sexism". It's a bit silly, sexism is wrong, looking for sexism where there is none is just dull.

This.

Seriously. I'm sick of every single thing being subjected to the "is this sexist?" debate... Make a woman your main character and she's good looking? Sexist, clearly aiming at hormonal males. She's not good looking? Sexist, trying to imply only ugly women can be competent. Make her strong? Sexist - implies she has to have male characteristics to succeed. Make her weak? Sexist, implies women are weak.

Pretty much this:

Pulse:
If a videogame has a female character and no one plays it, is it still sexist?

At the moment it looks like in order to not be a sexist game a female character must be all of the below
1. Intelligent
2. Rational
3. Attractive
4. Not too attractive
5. Conservatively dressed
6. Independent
7. Single
8. Not be subjected to violence
9. Be able to inflict violence
10. Not embody "male characteristics"
11. Not embody "female characteristics"
12. Not have their gender apply to any aspect of the story
13. Cannot be a silent protagonist
14. Not show any signs of vulnerability

EVERYTHING IS SEXIST!

Pulse:
At the moment it looks like in order to not be a sexist game a female character must be all of the below
1. Intelligent
2. Rational
3. Attractive
4. Not too attractive
5. Conservatively dressed
6. Independent
7. Single
8. Not be subjected to violence
9. Be able to inflict violence
10. Not embody "male characteristics"
11. Not embody "female characteristics"
12. Not have their gender apply to any aspect of the story
13. Cannot be a silent protagonist
14. Not show any signs of vulnerability

EVERYTHING IS SEXIST!

Says who? How exactly did you compile that list? Who is asking for female characters that aren't subjected to violence or that don't show any signs of vulnerability? It's not like women hate Mass Effect/Dragon Age franchises. You don't really do any favors to your argument with that kind of hyperbole.

Besides it's not like many of those requests are completely unreasonable. A lot of those points on your list describe popular male characters in video games and in films. James Bond? Intelligent, rational, attractive, not too attractive (we can't have a pretty boy Bond, can we?), conservatively dressed (Bond wears suits most of the time), independent, single, able to inflict violence etc.

I think we need a sexism version of this one:

Don't get me wrong, there's some serious issues involving sexism that need solving. But I also believe there's just as many issues if not more that people are taking way too seriously at times.

Uhura:

Pulse:
At the moment it looks like in order to not be a sexist game a female character must be all of the below
1. Intelligent
2. Rational
3. Attractive
4. Not too attractive
5. Conservatively dressed
6. Independent
7. Single
8. Not be subjected to violence
9. Be able to inflict violence
10. Not embody "male characteristics"
11. Not embody "female characteristics"
12. Not have their gender apply to any aspect of the story
13. Cannot be a silent protagonist
14. Not show any signs of vulnerability

EVERYTHING IS SEXIST!

Says who? How exactly did you compile that list? Who is asking for female characters that aren't subjected to violence or that don't show any signs of vulnerability? It's not like women hate Mass Effect/Dragon Age franchises. You don't really do any favors to your argument with that kind of hyperbole.

Besides it's not like many of those requests are completely unreasonable. A lot of those points on your list describe popular male characters in video games and in films. James Bond? Intelligent, rational, attractive, not too attractive (we can't have a pretty boy Bond, can we?), conservatively dressed (Bond wears suits most of the time), independent, single, able to inflict violence etc.

The list was clearly just a bit of a joke intended to underline how misunderstood sexism is on the Escapist, at times all those claims (or the converse) have been used as evidence of sexism, even in the face of their often contradictory nature. No idea where you are going with the Bond thing but Roger Moore and Sean Connery were among the prettiest men alive in their day, it's only the modern trend for "gritty realism" that has seen Craig installed. The point isn't that the characteristics are hard to inhabit or apply it's that they are so wildly arbitary, often employed merely as a convenient was to brand the latest object raised for group Escapist disapproval as sexist.

It's so knee jerk "right on" it's painful, a desperate rush to underline perceived "liberal" credentials, a weird cult of having to appear "open minded". Could we do with a few less boobs and the odd multi-facet woman in a lead role? Yep, sure. Could we do with the odd male character who wasn't a muscle bound success bomb? Yep, sure.

Could the issue be people in general aren't well represented in computer games, irrespective of gender? Ah... now that sounds like it's a dangerously balanced suggestion... but there's no one to blame, how will I feel superior to the rest of my gender now...???

Lilani:

And the same goes for racial minorities. We make a few movies like Remember the Titans or the Blind Side and celebrate how "over" racism we are, but who is almost always the lead character in an action movie? A white guy. You'll have the token black sidekick or friend for added touches of badass or comedy (because, as Moviebob once accurately pointed out, those are about the only flavors Hollywood will take black people in), but otherwise like females in lead parts you can't have a black guy in a lead role without the story somehow addressing that he isn't white. I can think of a few action movies with non-token black leads, but again that's just falling into the other trope of black characters having to either be comic relief or total badasses.

I will think we have gotten over all this when stories are comfortable having female or black or hispanic or Asian leads without having to explain themselves. When the story can unfold as normally and as uninvolved in social or gender politics as if the lead were a white guy.

not saying i disagree with you, but iRobot immediately popped into my mind on one that they NEVER once remotely pointed out that will smith is black, nor his boss (chi mcbride who i really like as an actor) either.

also, just for discussion, why should shows have to have equal bits of female/male ratio's to be considered non sexist? of course that gets into the debate on having equal representation vs equal opportunity (like the recent engineering/programming careers not having enough women)

Batou667:

There is difference between the sexes and I think that should be recognised and even celebrated, and the conclusion needn't necessarily be that X is better than Y or vice-versa.

But for all that talk, humanity has, and always will, reward one set of differences far beyond over the other. Guess which one?

If you need a hint, well, do you see any statues of Julius Caesar's mother or Napoleon's wife?

Pulse:
If a videogame has a female character and no one plays it, is it still sexist?

At the moment it looks like in order to not be a sexist game a female character must be all of the below
1. Intelligent
2. Rational
3. Attractive
4. Not too attractive
5. Conservatively dressed
6. Independent
7. Single
8. Not be subjected to violence
9. Be able to inflict violence
10. Not embody "male characteristics"
11. Not embody "female characteristics"
12. Not have their gender apply to any aspect of the story
13. Cannot be a silent protagonist
14. Not show any signs of vulnerability

EVERYTHING IS SEXIST!

Funny, Silent Hill 3 didn't live up to those standards, and I remember nary a peep about it being sexist.

arbitrary list is arbitrary.

Hagi:
I think we need a sexism version of this one:

Don't get me wrong, there's some serious issues involving sexism that need solving. But I also believe there's just as many issues if not more that people are taking way too seriously at times.

I've held that it's not GAMES that bear a sexism problem, it's the GAMER COMMUNITY that has some 'splainin to do. Got evidence enough of that with Fluoextine and the tit for tat I had with him here....

Personally I think people get to worked up about sexism.
We have to eventually admit that men are men and in majority enjoy seeing women portrayed the way they traditionally are in video games, if this were not true then developers wouldn't make it so.

I don't see people complaining about how girls wear dresses in most games but guys don't and when you think about it logically the arguments boil down to being the same thing.

chikusho:

Lovely Mixture:

Yeah I don't think it's sexist. But as I said earlier, I think it's contrary to a game that puts emphasis on character creation, what if you want to role-play as a buff woman who has low stamina?

It seems you have no experience with Oblivion, so let me just point out that those base stats are effectively meaningless after you get outside the tutorial mission. You level up stats based on how you want to play the game, each stat is maxed out at 100 and you can select skills and favored stats that makes you level up those stats faster.
You can role play as a buff woman, a spagetti-armed orc or even a magical, wingless fairy if you choose never to zoom out to 3d person perspective, starting about 15 seconds after you leave the first area.

I have played Oblivion my friend, and I also know that it's very moddable on PC so any problems that might be presented on the PC version could be easily alleviated. I mean buff as in high strength of course, I didn't mean it in appearance. If appearances are in the case, of course paying in first person avoids the problem entirely, if you WANT to play that way.

Sure your stats can all be maxed out and it becomes irrelevant either way, I'm just arguing that it seems a little counter-intuitive to making your character the way you want them (at the beginning). Say if the game had a level cap? You'd be stuck with some the stats you didn't want.

Again, I'm not arguing that its sexist. I'm just saying it's an awkward situation. I sincerely hope there's no one who would just return the game because of such design choices.

I'd claim 99% of all "Sexims" in any media, or in fact everywhere, stems not from Misogyny, but lazyness, stupidity or naivety.
Let's say you want 4 characters, but don't want 4 Nathan Drakes, what do you do? Take your 4 Nathan Drakes, make one black, one a woman and one really old. Add one cliché character trait for each, and *Bam*, instant variety for your characters.

Also, shoving irrelevant nitpicks into the "sexism" category devalues the cases where it's really a problem.

GunsmithKitten:
I've held that it's not GAMES that bear a sexism problem, it's the GAMER COMMUNITY that has some 'splainin to do. Got evidence enough of that with Fluoextine and the tit for tat I had with him here....

I'd say they're probably interconnected. Can't really have one without the other. Without a few sexist games every now and then there likely wouldn't be a part of the gamer community acting as it is and without that part of the community those games wouldn't sell in turn.

Don't forget if any women uses their body to assassinate a target is also considered sexist.

Res Plus:
The list was clearly just a bit of a joke intended to underline how misunderstood sexism is on the Escapist, at times all those claims (or the converse) have been used as evidence of sexism, even in the face of their often contradictory nature.

It's a pretty bad joke. It's used to misrepresent and discredit the viewpoints of the "opposing side" by making them seem ridiculous (especially by picking statements that aren't very common at all, such as 'Not be subjected to violence'). It's disingenuous.

Res Plus:
Could the issue be people in general aren't well represented in computer games, irrespective of gender? Ah... now that sounds like it's a dangerously balanced suggestion... but there's no one to blame, how will I feel superior to the rest of my gender now...???

Discussions about the poor representation of women in video games are not rendered pointless just because poor writing is a problem affecting both female and male characters.

GunsmithKitten:

If you need a hint, well, do you see any statues of Julius Caesar's mother or Napoleon's wife?

Challenge accepted!

Empress Josephine actually has quite a few status in Paris at the very least, i'd wager there are more around France and maybe even in her native country too.

The more you know!

Despite intense searching, couldn't find evidence of a statue for Aurelia Cotta though. Challenge failed on that one.
Edit: Seems Aurelia Cotta did get her face on coins at some point though.

TJC:

So we have finally a reversal of roles after all these years and her only power is SUPER PMSing? What the hell? It's been established before that she can use magic (Mario RPGs) and can kick ass (smash bros) and fucking fly (Super Mario Bros 2) and you give her RAGING EMOTIONS as gameplay mechanic

Because that has totally never been done with men.

http://godofwar.wikia.com/wiki/Rage_of_the_Gods

Lilani:

TJC:
-snip-

To provide a bit of context, many Japanese game studios--even the big ones--have been known to have...less than enlightened depictions of women, and are less likely to be concerned about it. For example, Team Ico has produced some of the most renowned video games in the last ~10 years in the way of both aesthetics and narrative. However, given the not-so-subtle elements in their stories, it's clear why their games haven't impressed the feminist crowd. In Shadow of the Colossus, the girl is dead and the guy is out to try and save her--what a shocking way to start a game. In Ico, you are a boy who is leading a girl by the hand through a maze of a temple because there is absolutely nothing she can do to help herself. She can't jump or climb without being instructed to, she can't defend herself or even hide, and she can't help you figure anything out. She's a mindless puppet you are literally dragging through the game who has no purpose except being an extra burden to watch out for.

Not only that, the guy from Team Ico leading the development of The Last Guardian stated that the reason they're going after a male protagonist in the game instead of a female (to break their boy's club streak) is because girls are weaker than boys and might not be able to tackle the physical labors the game would put her through. And not only that, some parts of the game would feature her climbing up stuff, and that would be terribly awkward to be seeing up her skirt during those times. Because God forbid she just wear trousers, and I never would have guessed that in a game where the main character has teamed up with and rides a giant griffin there would be some unusual or fantastical feats of physical prowess. You need some degree of realism to keep that giant griffin in check, amirite?

In this case, I'd say Ico and Shadow of the Colossus are non-sexist games made by sexist people. The key to Colossus's plot is that this guy is willing to do anything to get his wife back. There are only a handful of scenarios that have the emotional energy necessary to make "make a deal with the devil" seem sympathetic: trying to bring back a spouse, child, or possibly a sibling. And consider if the genders were flipped. It would be perceived as "a woman who can't live without a man in her life".

As for Ico, it gets a pass because it's too adorable ponies. It works decently because it has this sort of "fairy tale" feel to it, but having seen it (I admit I haven't played either of these games, only watched LPs of them) I deinitely think it would have been beneficial to increase Yorda's usefulness significantly, as much to make the game less frustrating as to make it less sexist.

Gethsemani:
Not to get all gender theory nitpicky on you, but this argument can be taken either way. If a game features a female protagonist, shouldn't it at least address the fact that she is a woman in some way? I mean, Lord of the Rings features a really heavy-handed theme about male bonding and friendship: Both with Sam and Frodo and with Legolas and Gimli, men who are ready to give up their dreams of a stable life with a good woman (Sam even addresses this specifically in the Two Towers) in favor of doing what is right and finding the needed companionship and caring with their fellow guys.

Obviously, a female lead should be more than just a woman, but it could be argued that just making her "a soldier" or "an adventurer" isn't really promoting female protagonists, it is just a palette swap of genders. Don't get me wrong, I agree with your idea that we need to downplay the fact that a female lead is a female and that that somehow makes her radically different from a male lead (via the inclusion of "I thought you were a guy" or some sorry attempt at a rape attempt/sexual harassment-storyline).

Let us look at one of the best female leads ever: Kate Archer. She is portrayed as a capable agent and that's the central part of the storyline, Kate doing her job and succeeding where most others fail. But the fact that she's a woman is also ever present and the game takes its' time to address the issue of being a woman in a man's world (and does it pretty well, considering how old the game is).

TL DR: In a good protagonist the choice of gender is informed and has a purpose other than marketing (ie. "Guys only like to play 30-something, brown haired dudes" or "If I am gonna stare at an ass for 30 hours, I want it to be a hot girls latex-clad ass"), that gender plays a part or is acknowledged throughout the story.

This sounds good, but I think it's really a mental trap. It's founded on the assumption that being "male" is the normal state and "female" is a unique state. Does there need to be an ingrained reason for a black character to be black? So while I agree that "write all your characters as guys and then flip the genders for half of them" is far from ideal, I think it's still better than "My main character is a woman. I guess now I need to talk about gender politics."

Here, TVTropes says it better than I can: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/DifferentForGirls

Batou667:

----------------- Females in Games, According to the Whiners ---------------------------------

Representation
No women in a game: What a complete sausage fest, thanks for ignoring 50% of the world's population.[1]
A few women: Patronising tokenism.[2]
"Too many" women: Ugh, clearly a male fantasy. These women are just interchangeable eye-candy, like some virtual harem![3]
Exclusively women: PORN! PORN! Obviously porn![4] (or alternatively) Patronising "Games for Girls" shit. This is the gaming equivalent of being made to sit at the back of the bus.[5]

Abilities
Equal to men: This doesn't reflect femininity or womanliness in any way. Stop trying to ignore female attributes and portraying maleness as the norm![6]
Different to men: Clear sexism! Difference is by definition disparity! You're valuing maleness over femaleness![7]

Role in the game
Love interest: Great, so we're still relegated to being a "prize" or "reward" for the heroic male to inevitably "claim". Pass me the bucket, I'm about to vomit.
Has been kidnapped: Damsel in distress, eh? This implies all women are helpless and define themselves by their need for male help. Sexist.[8]
Sidekick: Yet another reminder that males are superior and women are glorified mother/girlfriend surrogates.[9]
Optional lead role: The box art still has a man on it, so it's still demeaning and sidelining![10]
Lead role: Hmm, now we're getting somewhere. But if this lead is presented in an overly sexy way[11], conforms to any stereotypes (even for the sake of playing on and sending up those stereotypes)[12] or includes anything I consider distasteful[13] then I'll still call it out as sexist.

Eh, your point is fair, but from my perspective everything I've quoted here (that is, most of the list) really could be sexist, setting aside the specific examples in your footnotes. Which means that the problem isn't that female characters appear in this, that, or some other form, but there's some other, more accurate method of assessment we're not using.

GunsmithKitten:
So why is someone who "acts like a man" still a compliment, but to say someone "acts like a woman" is still an insult?

That's easy. Context. Something is an insult when it is a) intended as one and b) perceived as one. I personally can't think of a scenario where it wouldn't be used as an insult. So it is.

That's...pretty much how this whole "language" thing works.

[1] Call of Duty, FIFA
[2] Streetfighter II, Golden Axe, just about every game ever made
[3] Dead or Alive
[4] DOA Beach Volleyball, Skullgirls, at least prior to the "devs are wimminz" revelation which made most people do a 180 on their opinion
[5] Cooking Mama, Nintendo DS Fairy Princess Horse Simulator 4, you know the kind of thing
[6] WoW, Ms Pac Man, anything where the female is a re-skinned male default avatar
[7] Skyrim
[8] Mario
[9] Resident Evil 5, Halo
[10] Mass Effect
[11] Bayonetta
[12] Chainsaw Lolipop
[13] Tomb Raider

Stu35:

Res Plus:
Yay, another thread about sexism. Epic fun times. "Quick, look chaps there's a game and it's got girls in it and they aren't the main protagonist. Sexism. Rampant sexism". It's a bit silly, sexism is wrong, looking for sexism where there is none is just dull.

This.

Seriously. I'm sick of every single thing being subjected to the "is this sexist?" debate... Make a woman your main character and she's good looking? Sexist, clearly aiming at hormonal males. She's not good looking? Sexist, trying to imply only ugly women can be competent. Make her strong? Sexist - implies she has to have male characteristics to succeed. Make her weak? Sexist, implies women are weak.

Pretty much this:

Pulse:
If a videogame has a female character and no one plays it, is it still sexist?

At the moment it looks like in order to not be a sexist game a female character must be all of the below
1. Intelligent
2. Rational
3. Attractive
4. Not too attractive
5. Conservatively dressed
6. Independent
7. Single
8. Not be subjected to violence
9. Be able to inflict violence
10. Not embody "male characteristics"
11. Not embody "female characteristics"
12. Not have their gender apply to any aspect of the story
13. Cannot be a silent protagonist
14. Not show any signs of vulnerability

EVERYTHING IS SEXIST!

As I said in another thread, women are ALWAYS the victim...no matter what happens. I am surprised so few people see this.

GunsmithKitten:

Batou667:

There is difference between the sexes and I think that should be recognised and even celebrated, and the conclusion needn't necessarily be that X is better than Y or vice-versa.

But for all that talk, humanity has, and always will, reward one set of differences far beyond over the other. Guess which one?

If you need a hint, well, do you see any statues of Julius Caesar's mother or Napoleon's wife?

Always has? By and large, granted.

Always will? That doesn't necessarily follow. I think at this point in our society's development that equality is all but inevitable. Nothing short of some ultra-conservative or religious cultural revolution would get women back in the kitchen.

Dr. Cakey:

This sounds good, but I think it's really a mental trap. It's founded on the assumption that being "male" is the normal state and "female" is a unique state. Does there need to be an ingrained reason for a black character to be black? So while I agree that "write all your characters as guys and then flip the genders for half of them" is far from ideal, I think it's still better than "My main character is a woman. I guess now I need to talk about gender politics."

Here, TVTropes says it better than I can: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/DifferentForGirls

Might be yes, I'd rather see it as a reflection of the idea that both men and women have unique experiences owing to their gender and that acknowledging this difference in experiences makes for better characters. I am not saying that every female character needs to come with at least one significant storyline which is a thinly veiled excuse for spouting feminist ideals.

Obviously, there are times when this doesn't matter, no matter which gender the protagonist is. Call of Duty has never been big on characterization and it should be acknowledged that a female protagonist in CoD really shouldn't be expected to be anymore characterized than "hardcore special forces badass".

But if a storyline aims to explore the character in-depth, simple gender flipping simply isn't enough (even though it is light years better than most female characters of today) because of the aforementioned difference in experiences. It need not be anything spectacular, just a nod to the fact that a female protagonist most likely had different social pressure than a male protagonist.

Batou667:

Always will? That doesn't necessarily follow. I think at this point in our society's development that equality is all but inevitable. Nothing short of some ultra-conservative or religious cultural revolution would get women back in the kitchen.

Umm, yes, it always will, unless you can forsee a future where achievement, aggression, ambition, logical thinking and individuality, all hallmarks of "male thinking" suddenly are adverse to success.

GunsmithKitten:

Batou667:

There is difference between the sexes and I think that should be recognised and even celebrated, and the conclusion needn't necessarily be that X is better than Y or vice-versa.

But for all that talk, humanity has, and always will, reward one set of differences far beyond over the other. Guess which one?

If you need a hint, well, do you see any statues of Julius Caesar's mother or Napoleon's wife?

While I see the point you're attempting to make that there are more statues of men then women, you've used terrible examples.

You have identified these two women solely by their connection to their respective male. Julius Ceasar's mother, Napoleon's wife. What you seem to be suggesting is that they should have statues made because they're women connected to men who ruled parts of the world, not because these women actually accomplished anything for themself.

Also I was of the understanding that identifying women based on a males accomplishments was sexist as it suggests that she has nothing noteworthy to identify herself.

GunsmithKitten:

Batou667:

Always will? That doesn't necessarily follow. I think at this point in our society's development that equality is all but inevitable. Nothing short of some ultra-conservative or religious cultural revolution would get women back in the kitchen.

Umm, yes, it always will, unless you can forsee a future where achievement, aggression, ambition, logical thinking and individuality, all hallmarks of "male thinking" suddenly are adverse to success.

WOW!!! Sexist much? Achievement, Aggression, Ambition, Logical Thinking and Individuality are all male qualities? I really hope I'm missing some kind of subtext/sarcasm font here because otherwise you're suggesting that there are no aggressive women? That there are no ambitious, or logical women? That all women are just sheep and lack individuality?

As we are so often reminded anything a man can do a woman can do as well, if success relies on these qualities and women can't be successful because these qualities are gender-reliant then you are clearly making a case for a massive difference between the genders.

Lilani:

In Ico, you are a boy who is leading a girl by the hand through a maze of a temple because there is absolutely nothing she can do to help herself. She can't jump or climb without being instructed to, she can't defend herself or even hide, and she can't help you figure anything out. She's a mindless puppet you are literally dragging through the game who has no purpose except being an extra burden to watch out for.

Not only that, the guy from Team Ico leading the development of The Last Guardian stated that the reason they're going after a male protagonist in the game instead of a female (to break their boy's club streak) is because girls are weaker than boys and might not be able to tackle the physical labors the game would put her through. And not only that, some parts of the game would feature her climbing up stuff, and that would be terribly awkward to be seeing up her skirt during those times. Because God forbid she just wear trousers, and I never would have guessed that in a game where the main character has teamed up with and rides a giant griffin there would be some unusual or fantastical feats of physical prowess. You need some degree of realism to keep that giant griffin in check, amirite?

You wouldn't catch an American or European developer saying something like that in a million years. And if they did say it, they'd be promptly removed from the project and their studio would begin cleaning up the mess as soon as possible. And yet it came out of Japan, just last year. Not that I'm saying everything that comes out of Japan is sexist, however if I had to put every part of the industry on a spectrum of "sexism," I think most Japanese developers would land themselves on the more "sexist" end.

Anyway, now to your challenge of finding games that have sexism in gameplay. Well Ico as I mentioned, there isn't really anything you can call dragging a completely incapable female character throughout a game by the hand except sexist. As cool as the environments and storytelling might be, you really can't get around how messed-up that is. Also, and I don't know if it's true, but I heard in the early Pokemon games that featured female pokemon, the females always had slightly lower stats than the male pokemon of the same level. And...that's all I've got for now. Toodles~

Lilani:

In Ico, you are a boy who is leading a girl by the hand through a maze of a temple because there is absolutely nothing she can do to help herself. She can't jump or climb without being instructed to, she can't defend herself or even hide, and she can't help you figure anything out. She's a mindless puppet you are literally dragging through the game who has no purpose except being an extra burden to watch out for.

Well Ico as I mentioned, there isn't really anything you can call dragging a completely incapable female character throughout a game by the hand except sexist.

No no no, Ico is not sexist. Two children, caring for each other is not sexist. And you have not done your research on the game (are you Sarkeesian by chance?)

1. Without her you cannot unlock the doors, ergo without her Ico is trapped.
2. Losing her results in a game over, she is the ONE thing keeping the castle from being petrified (such a useless burden eh?)
3. She is frail and confused for a reason, she has been literally imprisoned by her mother for her entire life in an abandoned castle and IN A CAGE. She is understandably terrified of the shadow sprites and has no idea that there is an world outside the castle.
4. There are several huge plot heavy moments in which she acts on her own accord and helps Ico.

Shadow of the Colossus is not sexist, there is no problem with a person risking his/her life for a loved one REGARDLESS of gender. If Shadow of the Colossus is sexist, so is the story that your avatar comes from.

Their justification on the Last Guardian bit? Yes, I think that's sexist or at least incredibly short-sighted and stupid, I'm disappointed in them for that. But it does not retroactively make their previous games sexist, that's not how things work.

Lovely Mixture:
No no no, Ico is not sexist. Two children, caring for each other is not sexist. And you have not done your research on the game (are you Sarkeesian by chance?)

1. Without her you cannot unlock the doors, ergo without her Ico is trapped.
2. Losing her results in a game over, she is the ONE thing keeping the castle from being petrified (such a useless burden eh?)
3. She is frail and confused for a reason, she has been literally imprisoned by her mother for her entire life in an abandoned castle and IN A CAGE. She is understandably terrified of the shadow sprites.
4. There are several huge plot heavy moments in which she acts on her own accord and helps Ico.

Shadow of the Colossus is not sexist, there is no problem with a person risking his/her life for a loved one REGARDLESS of gender. If Shadow of the Colossus is sexist, so is the story that your avatar comes from.

Their justification on the Last Guardian bit? Yes, I think that's sexist or at least incredibly short-sighted and stupid, I'm disappointed in them for that. But it does not retroactively make their previous games sexist, that's not how things work.

To be perfectly honest, I didn't get but probably 1/4 through the game before putting it down, and I haven't gone back since. Yes, I understand how two children caring for each other during an adventure is cute and compelling, but that isn't what I experienced. All I remember is dragging this useless little fucker all over a stupid temple while doing just about everything for her except breathing. All those other nuances I didn't know about, and I might care about her greater role in the grand scheme if she wasn't such a helpless little shit who won't even run away when she's in danger. I don't care if she has no way to fight, but surely a bit of running without being dragged along isn't beyond her abilities.

Also, pretty much all of the roles you described could just as easily be filled by a magic staff or any other inanimate object. Holding up the castle through magical powers? Totally sounds like something a magic staff can do to me. And it wouldn't be the first time shadow people went after a magic object in a story. And some staves have been known to do things "on their own" to help protagonists at key points.

Also, if the rationale behind having a male protagonist in Last Guardian is that a girl couldn't or shouldn't be able to do it, then yes. That does make it sexist in a way. "A male character just seemed to fit best" is a lot better of a reason for having a male protagonist than "Girls are weak and it's awkward looking up their skirts."

I got the white Assassin's Creed Vita because as a whole it had more value than getting the regular Vita to play Persona 4: The Golden. However, I did play a marginal amount of Assassin's Creed: Liberation and I thought it was a tad curious that playing dress up was a core mechanic. Don't get me wrong, swapping out guises in a game that theoretically is about sneaking about and stabbing sounds like a good idea. Yet, the fact that this mechanic was introduced with the first female Assassin protagonist made me scratch my head a little. May not be sexism since the "don't bomb us" disclaimer insists that it was made by a multicultural team of many beliefs and such, but did anyone have a chat about how it might look bad?

GunsmithKitten:

Batou667:

Always will? That doesn't necessarily follow. I think at this point in our society's development that equality is all but inevitable. Nothing short of some ultra-conservative or religious cultural revolution would get women back in the kitchen.

Umm, yes, it always will, unless you can forsee a future where achievement, aggression, ambition, logical thinking and individuality, all hallmarks of "male thinking" suddenly are adverse to success.

Ah, but now we're not talking about sex any more, we're talking gender roles. I think that gender roles can, and will, change, and at any rate the qualities you listed aren't exclusively male.

Boogie Knight:
I got the white Assassin's Creed Vita because as a whole it had more value than getting the regular Vita to play Persona 4: The Golden. However, I did play a marginal amount of Assassin's Creed: Liberation and I thought it was a tad curious that playing dress up was a core mechanic. Don't get me wrong, swapping out guises in a game that theoretically is about sneaking about and stabbing sounds like a good idea. Yet, the fact that this mechanic was introduced with the first female Assassin protagonist made me scratch my head a little. May not be sexism since the "don't bomb us" disclaimer insists that it was made by a multicultural team of many beliefs and such, but did anyone have a chat about how it might look bad?

So a good game mechanic (and I'll take your word for it as I haven't played it at all) should have not been included because they were introducing a female character? Or possibily they should have delayed the female character until the next release after the dress up mechanic was implemented... don't you think then people would be saying a) if the female assassin came first that the developers saw the female assassin and decided she needs to play dressup? SEXIST! or b) if the dressup came first that people would say the developers saw dressup and thought "girls like to play dressup? SEXIST!

It's pretty much a damned if you do, damned if you don't kind of thing. The developer might not be sexist, but as soon as someone "sees" sexism it really doesn't matter what they intended or were thinking, they just get the label, and we get yet another "is this sexism?" threads

MagunBFP:

WOW!!! Sexist much? Achievement, Aggression, Ambition, Logical Thinking and Individuality are all male qualities?

You ever heard anyone attribute them as female qualities?

I really hope I'm missing some kind of subtext/sarcasm font here because otherwise you're suggesting that there are no aggressive women? That there are no ambitious, or logical women? That all women are just sheep and lack individuality?

Funny, I tell that all the time to people who assert up and down that "Men and women have differences and we need to accept that!", but it never goes over well.

As we are so often reminded anything a man can do a woman can do as well, if success relies on these qualities and women can't be successful because these qualities are gender-reliant then you are clearly making a case for a massive difference between the genders.

Except I'm not the one that believes that. It's the "Men and women are different and we need to accept that!" broad brush painters that tout that philosophy.

No no no, Ico is not sexist. Two children, caring for each other is not sexist. And you have not done your research on the game (are you Sarkeesian by chance?)

1. Without her you cannot unlock the doors, ergo without her Ico is trapped.
2. Losing her results in a game over, she is the ONE thing keeping the castle from being petrified (such a useless burden eh?)
3. She is frail and confused for a reason, she has been literally imprisoned by her mother for her entire life in an abandoned castle and IN A CAGE. She is understandably terrified of the shadow sprites and has no idea that there is an world outside the castle.
4. There are several huge plot heavy moments in which she acts on her own accord and helps Ico.

(not sure if I accidentally undid the quotes thing)

Okay, this really bugs me when an individual argues that something is not sexist by throwing up a series of bullet points which read waaaay too much into something. Especially the "they're useful" argument. Slaves are useful, but that doesn't make the institution any less demeaning and dehumanizing. However, I think there are people who are extremely thin skinned and are also professional agitators so they will see sexism/racism/homophobia in otherwise innocuous things. Not waving a banner for women's rights doesn't make one sexist, nor does having a female character who is fragile and vulnerable.

The permanently offended will look at any fictional character of their group identity and raise cane if that character doesn't project the desired strong image. Bluntly, I think this speaks more to their shallow nature and inability to face insecurities. The single greatest cure to the -isms in fiction is good characters with layers and depth of all races, colors, and creeds. However, the single greatest obstacle to that cure is not entrenched bigotry but the hard reality that good characterization is so rare, because that kind of talent is inherently rare.

Further, from what I've played of the Team Ico games, they're minimalist fairy tales. They're flights of fancy, and it may not be the best vehicle for communicating nuanced characters because it uses readily available archetypes as a shorthand. Might theses archetypes be less than forward thinking? Oh hell yes, but damning the games for not advancing a social/political agenda is not where the battle needs to be fought. And people who want to defend these games to think more deeply rather than come up with lame arguments in the futile effort of proving a negative.

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