Do you think The Witcher series is "mature?"

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wulf3n:

Moonlight Butterfly:

wulf3n:

If it was the world and the atmosphere that gave you that uncomfortable feeling, other than just the cards, then I wouldn't recommend it because it's pretty much the same.

I guess it depends on how you define "male centric". I do believe that it's targeted at a male audience, but I wouldn't go so far as to say it's a testosterone fuelled male power trip.

Do the female characters change their personalities just so the player can bonk them lol?

They don't change their personalities, though there are some that are that seem too willing to have sex with the player.

e.g. "You saved my life, I have nothing of value to compensate you. Let's have sex."

Literally no one in the game does that. you get laid when you pay coin and once by your fwb and once I think from a soldier lady who thanks you for respecting her prowess in battle.

Moonlight Butterfly:

wulf3n:

Moonlight Butterfly:
It's the only game I've played in recent years where I've actually felt rejected as a female gamer

I think the problem is you're talking about "The Witcher" and everyone else is talking pretty much about "The Witcher 2"

The Witcher was sexist few would disagree with that, whereas Witcher 2 merely had sexism in it, but wasn't sexist.

It seems as though a lot of the time you're saying because the game has sexism in it, it must be endorsing sexism.

Well I'd love to have a guarantee that the second game won't give me that uncomfotable feeling the first one did. Maybe that's what I looking for from people. But for every person that assures me its fine there is another who says that it's very male centric.

sigh. well for something to be male centric or "for males" please note the quotations there can we at least agree that a male targeted game tackling racism and misogyny is NOT racist or misogynistic? can we at least agree that anything targeted at a particular gender is not inherently bad? I dont get mad because every scented lotion commercial has a woman advertising for women when "dudez likez lotion too!"

sorry that was a bit rude but My points and questions still stand?

Jack_in_the_green:
As far as gameplay mechanics go, I really dont see any significant difference between trading flowers for sex, or choosing 3 "correct" dialog lines in order to be "rewarded" by the game with a cinematic sex scene (and then the "love" relationship does not continue further) as in the Bioware games. I can see why some people that are "attached" to some Bioware well written characters may view it defferently, but personal gaming experience aside, the mechanics are almost identical...

Furthemore, not all Bioware characters are written top notch, and I could name several ones off the top of my head (Jack and Miranda in Mass Effect; Isabella in DA2) whose revealing clothes and general demeanor are ALL about sexist male service, but nobody seem to be calling bloddy murder about it.

@BrotherRool, I DO agree with you that the sex encounters in The Withcer (first game) are juvenile... That is (I think) precisely the developers point. They werent thought out very well (in that I agree with you), but the rationale behind them is to be more humorous and tongue in cheek than serious. THat seems to leave some people with a bad taste in their mouths, as in some cases the whole situation is really weird.

But I think this is an extremely subjective issue, that speaks more of the player than the game itself, in some cases... I think that in most cases players NEED some sort of "moral validation" for the sexual encounter, or they feel put off by it, and then blame the game cause they feel ashamed... You COULD've saved Abigail (the witch) without having sex with her, but it seems what is troubling or disturbing you is YOUR preconceptions of what is a "morally correct" sexual encounter... In REAL LIFE, sex happens, more often tahn not without love or commitment, it's called "casual sex". It is politically correct to frown upon it, though it happens. IT IS NOT RAPE. The Witcher is just being honest to its source material (although in a far more juvenile and poorly thought out way, I admit it:) )-

They do its wrong for me to get a chubby with my media these days but if a girl oogles over a six pack its considered cute.:/

rbstewart7263:

wulf3n:

Moonlight Butterfly:

Do the female characters change their personalities just so the player can bonk them lol?

They don't change their personalities, though there are some that are that seem too willing to have sex with the player.

e.g. "You saved my life, I have nothing of value to compensate you. Let's have sex."

Literally no one in the game does that. you get laid when you pay coin and once by your fwb and once I think from a soldier lady who thanks you for respecting her prowess in battle.

What about Mottle? The elven woman you save in Flotsam, who offers to have sex with you in Vergen as a "reward". Then there's the Succubus who offers to have sex with you for killing Ele'yas her "jealous lover".

Did you not play Iorveths path by any chance? or did you get the butchered Australian release of the game?

Edit: And Ves doesn't have sex with you as thanks for "respecting her prowess in battle". She likes/respects Geralt as he treats her like an equal, so they had sex.

wulf3n:

rbstewart7263:

wulf3n:

They don't change their personalities, though there are some that are that seem too willing to have sex with the player.

e.g. "You saved my life, I have nothing of value to compensate you. Let's have sex."

Literally no one in the game does that. you get laid when you pay coin and once by your fwb and once I think from a soldier lady who thanks you for respecting her prowess in battle.

What about Mottle? The elven woman you save in Flotsam, who offers to have sex with you in Vergen as a "reward". Then there's the Succubus who offers to have sex with you for killing Ele'yas her "jealous lover".

Did you not play Iorveths path by any chance? or did you get the butchered Australian release of the game?

Edit: And Ves doesn't have sex with you as thanks for "respecting her prowess in battle". She likes/respects Geralt as he treats her like an equal, so they had sex.

Damn! knew I forgot something yeah I went roche though sometimes I think I might like the ku klux elves a little better than the ku klux humans but whatever.lmao I stand corrected. I would say then that mottle counts. If I were geralt Id turn her down and take money instead as I can spend that cash on poon or whatever if I choose!:D

Moonlight Butterfly:

Heh, I think it is because it actually had quite an effect on me. It's the only game I've played in recent years where I've actually felt rejected as a female gamer, someone else here said 'it was very male'. Like I said I know enough about it to have an opinion. I'm certainly not clueless about it.

Sorry if stating my opinion annoys you somehow but I have a right to say what I think.

Alright, but why? To use the comic book example again, here are a few female comic protagonist:

What makes those acceptable but not The Witcher? Is it an empowerment thing, because there are a number of powerful female characters in the Witcher setting and games. Is it because it's designed for a male audience? Because I can guarantee you those comic book outfits were as well. Is it an equality thing 'the guys are just as stupidly dressed'? Because Geralt spends more time shirtless than any women in the Witcher games. Or is it just because there's sex between consenting adults involved?

Incidentally this example could work just as well with near any HBO series like Game of Thrones as well as a whole slew of books and movies, not just comics.

I just don't see what makes The Witcher of all things so indefensible. I'll agree that it can be immature, the first game especially. And the card thing? Cheesy as hell, I don't know what the devs were even thinking there. But all things considered worst it got from me was a shake of my head and a wry chuckle, I just don't see what's 'that' bad. Especially not in the second, which had a few eye-roll moments like the 'lesbomancy' pun that pops up at one point, but by and large I quite enjoyed it.

Similarly no one ever has explained to me why The Witcher is so bad but something like Dragon Age is acceptable when it does nearly the exact same thing.

And apologies for the late reply. Life called!

rbstewart7263:
I think I might like the ku klux elves a little better than the ku klux humans but whatever.lmao I stand corrected.

That's an aspect of the first game that was done better, you were able to actually remain neutral like a Witcher should.

wulf3n:

rbstewart7263:
I think I might like the ku klux elves a little better than the ku klux humans but whatever.lmao I stand corrected.

That's an aspect of the first game that was done better, you were able to actually remain neutral like a Witcher should.

technically they are a means to an end for him so it fits.:)

The Madman:

Moonlight Butterfly:

Heh, I think it is because it actually had quite an effect on me. It's the only game I've played in recent years where I've actually felt rejected as a female gamer, someone else here said 'it was very male'. Like I said I know enough about it to have an opinion. I'm certainly not clueless about it.

Sorry if stating my opinion annoys you somehow but I have a right to say what I think.

Alright, but why? To use the comic book example again, here are a few female comic protagonist:

What makes those acceptable but not The Witcher? Is it an empowerment thing, because there are a number of powerful female characters in the Witcher setting and games. Is it because it's designed for a male audience? Because I can guarantee you those comic book outfits were as well. Is it an equality thing 'the guys are just as stupidly dressed'? Because Geralt spends more time shirtless than any women in the Witcher games. Or is it just because there's sex between consenting adults involved?

Incidentally this example could work just as well with near any HBO series like Game of Thrones as well as a whole slew of books and movies, not just comics.

I just don't see what makes The Witcher of all things so indefensible. I'll agree that it can be immature, the first game especially. And the card thing? Cheesy as hell, I don't know what the devs were even thinking there. But all things considered worst it got from me was a shake of my head and a wry chuckle, I just don't see what's 'that' bad. Especially not in the second, which had a few eye-roll moments like the 'lesbomancy' pun that pops up at one point, but by and large I quite enjoyed it.

Similarly no one ever has explained to me why The Witcher is so bad but something like Dragon Age is acceptable when it does nearly the exact same thing.

And apologies for the late reply. Life called!

I actually prefer powergirls new costume its badass. given I like starfires too.

image

In it's subject matter, i would say it's borderline mature. It has adult subject matter like nudity and gore, but where The Witcher series really seems to be "mature" is in the intricate stories it tells. If you aren't paying absolute attention, you'll get overloaded with story information, intrigue, lies, and double-crossing, and i would say that it's this kind of sophisticated story telling that makes it mature. It expects you to pay attention, to read your character bios, to think about the lesser of two evils, and to, generally, be a mature player with the attention span of an adult.

rbstewart7263:
I actually prefer powergirls new costume its badass. given I like starfires too.

image

I'm not sure the word 'badass' applies here. Anyone caught wearing an outfit like that in real life would either be laughed at or arrested for public indecency. Just because it shows less skin doesn't make it much more, ahem, socially acceptable.

But I want to stress I don't actually know much if anything about comics so maybe she's got a stunning personality and there's a practical reason for all these women to be wearing these outfits. I don't know. Just curious why this is perfectly acceptable but The Witchers female cast seem to be much hated in this topic.

I mean I liked Ves from Witcher 2, I thought she was awesome. And Saskia is probably the more moral and trustworthy person in the entire series so far, the only person I'd say 'yes, they're a good person. I'd follow them!'.

[quote="rbstewart7263" post="9.401339.16545705The elven woman you save in Flotsam, who offers to have sex with you in Vergen as a "reward".[/quote]

She offers to have sex with you, and then she lures you out into the forest, ambushes you and tries to kill you. I think it nicely subverts the whole "sex-as-a-reward" thing.

endtherapture:
[quote="rbstewart7263" post="9.401339.16545705The elven woman you save in Flotsam, who offers to have sex with you in Vergen as a "reward".[/quote]

She offers to have sex with you, and then she lures you out into the forest, ambushes you and tries to kill you. I think it nicely subverts the whole "sex-as-a-reward" thing.

That's another elven woman. The one Wulf3n refers to is found if you go with Iorveth at the end of Chapter 1. She's basically a woman who needs a mission done and once it is finished she asks if you like payment in coin or sex. In comparison the optional sexual encounter with Ves if you follow Vernon is much better done in that it actually feels like more than just "lets throw some sex in there". The whole encounter with the Succubus can also be considered a subversion, as it is basically presented as Geralt prostituting himself to the Succubus.

To answer the OP, I think that parts of the Witcher series are mature anyway. The storytelling and narrative is definitely mature in that it is both multi-layered and deals with some serious themes while remaining in a firm grey and grey morality. Some parts of the actual gameplay... not so much. The sex cards from The Witcher is a good case in point. The Witcher 2 cleaned up its' act considerably though.

endtherapture:
[quote="rbstewart7263" post="9.401339.16545705The elven woman you save in Flotsam, who offers to have sex with you in Vergen as a "reward".[/quote]

She offers to have sex with you, and then she lures you out into the forest, ambushes you and tries to kill you. I think it nicely subverts the whole "sex-as-a-reward" thing.

That's a Different elf, specifically Malena, Mottle you encounter after siding with Iorveth, when you meet up again in Vergen she offers you sex as a reward.

edit: Like Gethsemani said.

BrotherRool:

However, in the place where I start to disagree with you, frankly the game would have been maturer if it had a hot-coffee mechanic instead of the moronic conversation mechanic it had instead. In one case in particular, when the Witch proffered sex in exchange for you trying to help her not be burned alive, if you accepted in a similar situation in real life, I believe you could go to court for statutory rape. It really repulses me that the developers didn't notice that taken sexual favours off a women because she's scared you'll leave her to die otherwise is an incredibly wrong thing to do. And the dialogue for that instance is absolutely sickening 'I've wanted you from the moment I first laid eyes on you,', then why the fuck is he taking advantage of her then. And you get a collectible for doing it. I absolutely cannot abide men taking sexual advantage over women from a position of power and we have a semi-reward mechanic for it? When the dialogue started and I began to catch a glimpse of where it was going, I couldn't believe what was going on, that someone would write this and not know what they were doing.

I won't deny that what you said entails lots of unfortunate implications and that your way of interpreting the events surrounding the witch is entirely valid. But let me offer an alternative explanation, one that makes the witch less of a victim and grants her more agency:
By the point Geralt finds her in that cave he knows that she has helped all the people in the village with their envious squabbles by using her magic to aid them in hurting their loved ones. She's pretty much the agent who brought the monsters to the village. She knows that Geralt knows and fears that he is coming to either kill her or bring her to the villagers, but she also hopes that Geralt can be swayed to see her point of view: That the villagers brought it all on themselves by acting like they did. If reason fails and Geralt still wants her dead or "brought to justice" (not really what I'd call it) she hopes to be able to trick Geralt into taking her side anyway by sleeping with him. She is basically counting on Geralt to be too much of a horndog if all else fails, in essence tricking him into taking her side.
If you interpret it like this you are suddenly left with Geralt looking like a horny teenage fool while the witch comes off as a scheming trickste.

I am not saying the explanation I offered is any more valid and I can only admit that I was just as disturbed by the scene the first time I played it as you were. I think that has more to do with shoddy dialogue writing and a failure to understand just how ambiguous the scene is though.

Yes, I think it is.

The common misconception among people is that The Witcher game franchise is mature because of the sex aspect and how expletives are thrown out a lot here and there(based off Yahtzee's review of TW2) which is honestly the wrong and most immature way of seeing it, The sex aspect is certainly a form of adult entertainment, but it's not what makes the Witcher franchise mature as how Angry Joe and some of the staff of CDPR paint it out to be(for advertisement purposes, sex sells).

What makes The Witcher franchise mature, more mature than any other western RPG is the fact that you can feel how heavy the consequences of your actions are, there are no good endings where it's all sparkles and rainbows, people have to die and countries have to fall based on the decisions you make, it's not like your generic Bioware RPG where the choices you choose will only usually affect what lines are going to be said, how things are gonna go for the pairings you go for and ultimately whether you're going to get the good ending or the bad ending. With TW2, there's one choice where you have to not only betray one good and likable guy once but TWO times throughout the entire game, leaving him to rot in his quest in which you promised to help, another involved saving people from a burning building or to go after one baddie who has been an oppressive enforcer for a village he's supposed to serve. The moral dilemma you have to face from the choices you make in this game is heavy, something only the few of the best RPGs have been able to offer(Deus Ex and VtmB, I would've added Bioshock if only it offered more than just a Very good/normal/insidious ending)

Again people, it's not the sex, or how this game feels misogynistic(It's meant to mirror the middle ages, after all), it's how you will have to deal with the choices you make as you go through the entire game.

Mature means that you're a physically grown person and that you are expected to have gathered enough experience to look at things objectively and be able to put them in context.
I assume this is what others think when they consider other people mature and not simply "mature content" which is coarse language, nudity, sex, drugs and massive amounts of gore.

I think The Witcher plays on themes that are easily mistaken as mature in the first sense, but falls in the second category. When I played the first game, I thought it was more or less an adolescent fantasy catering to people who think it's "cool" to see tits, swing a sword and chop peoples limbs off, for the sake of it. Not that a grown up can't enjoy those things, but they're not as important as the context of it all.

I did not get the vibe that The Witcher was a mature game in that sense, no. It's not bad, it's not ridiculously sexist or immature like Dead Or Alive relies on breast physics to get the attention of its audience.
While there are mature themes in the sense of consequences, the unfairness of life and other things, the atmosphere of the game rarely hit me as a game for grown ups in the full sense.

Others have mentioned it, but Deus Ex as well as the last installment, meant more to me, probably because it's more relatable, it's about large scale issues, politics and most importantly the effect human enhancement would have on our daily lives.
Such as the woman forced to get an implant to do her job as a broker and compete with others.
This is a heavy subject that requires careful and deep consideration and while you can fix the issue by shooting this person, you have options to help her in different ways, such as having her give the implant back or paying for her freedom.

Short answer: Sort of, but not quite.

More importantly, a game doesn't need to be mature in order for a mature person to enjoy it. I enjoy fan service, I think it's a nice fantasy. I enjoy violence in videogames, especially if it's a particularly gruesome style where you involuntarily wince at what's happening.
I enjoy stereotypes, sexism, bigotry and racism in a game for what it is, not for a confirmation of real life or to endorse any of them, but to be free of the oppressing righteousness and judgement of other people and act out either for or against any of these "bad things".

That's why I think The Witcher is not a bad game, even if it's not completely mature or maybe because it isn't.

Gethsemani:
-snip-

That is a pretty fair interpretation, but even that I really heavily dislike, because it's back to a way of thinking where the women is evil for using her corrupting sexual powers (which is exactly how Gerard describes it to people if you choose) and the guy is not seen as responsible for abusing his decision.

BarbaricGoose:

The statutory rape thing... as I recall, you're able to turn down the witch's sex offer and still save her. So it's up to the player whether or not they want to possibly commit statutory rape. You can save her, kill her, or have sex with her AND THEN save her or kill her. So you're free to be a raging asshole, a saint, or something in between. I think that's what the series is all about. Geralt is not made out to be a real good guy or a bad guy. In fact, you're actually encouraged to be neutral and, more or less, selfish.

Okay I said this was a personal thing to me, so basically that idea as presented really disgusts me. Rape is something that can damage people so badly that decades later something can trigger a flashback and suddenly they're there experiencing the feeling of being raped again. It can destroy your ability to trust people and make you spend your whole life watching your back. People have been driven to suicide or become unable to defend themselves from further attempts at rape.

I just personally don't want to touch a game that even borderline contains it because 'you're free to be a raging asshole'. Being evil is only fun when it's not serious and I can't take rape as anything but serious (somewhere in this thread I've already gone into why massacring people in a game isn't as bad fictionally).

For comparison, Katawa Shoujo has a scene where a character offers another character sex, even though she doesn't really want it because she's afraid he'll withdraw his friendship, and unrealising he accepts. And then afterwards the game portrays it as an incredibly negative act which has damaged their relationship and caused both of them huge amounts of regret. It's got a very strong story purpose, it's deliberately designed to give the player a large negative shock and the event is very realistic and character appropriate.

And I still mentioned in a review of the game that I wasn't completely convinced the story was worth including an act as negative as that.

Then I played the Witcher. Where they give you a collectible for it. I'm not going to say other people should feel the same way I do, there are reasons why I might be more sensitive in matters like this. But it's going to give me personal disgust for the game, and in matters of maturity, that the writers couldn't see the unfortunate implications is not a great sign (as far as sex goes). I doubt there could be anyone who could compare Katawa Shoujo to the Witcher and claim the Witcher was maturer for all that KS says 'whore' less often.

BarbaricGoose:

As for the misogyny thing, I don't think there is an "Obvious hatred of women" (LOL) in The Witcher. Yahtzee says that showing off cleavage makes the game misogynistic? I'm sorry, but that's stupid. I tend not to read Yahtzee's articles, because of stupid shit like that, so excuse me if I'm ignorant to other points he makes. If showing off cleavage is misogynistic, most women are misogynistic. Misogynistic is a word that gets thrown around a lot today, but I don't think most people use it properly. The Witcher does not hate women, but I might agree that it was a tad misguided in including its.. uh... collectibles. As for the cleavage? PERHAPS it was overdone, but The Witcher certainly wouldn't be the first. It was also toned down significantly in the sequel. And the cussing like sailors thing? I really don't see the problem there. Frankly, I found it refreshing. Although, if I have one critique for the series, it's that they go from saying "Whore" in The Witcher 1 to saying "Plow" in The Witcher 2. As in, "Plow yourself, whore." I thought it was nice for fleshing out the language and slang of the setting, but it was kind of a jarring change.

The point of the quote was that Yahtzee didn't consider the game misogynistic. That he didn't think there was an 'obvious hatred of women', just that other people had come to that conclusion and he believes that rather than all women desiring to get down and beg for a touch of Geralt after a flower or him asking for payment on services delivered, didn't come from an inability to recognise women having independent thought and not willing to lay down in a second for the first guy to throw a daisy at them but that the writers were caught up in a silly fantasy of a guy walking round having all the sex they can desire and just forgot to look at it from the other perspective. I don't believe they were misoginistic ever (although the collectibles are coming really close), just the designers were not putting any thought into the system at all.

BarbaricGoose:

The maturity thing: I think everyone has a different definition of this word. Some people define it as dark, depressing games, others violent games, and others still have a more... loose definition. But I think that discounting The Witcher as immature because of its "Collectibles" is an overreaction. I don't think it treats women unfairly. I mean, if you really look at it, Geralt is the biggest whore of them all. (Or, he can be.) And when it comes to the really despicable people in The Witcher, most of them are men. So, pick your poison. Horrible men or slutty women.

Thats really not a good point. Thats what women complain about now, that they get called whores and sluts when its fine for a guy to lay as many people as he likes (admirable), which you have to admit, the game kinda conveys.

But I'm not going to push that further because I don't think the game is too misogynistic (ish), but that doesn#t change whether it#s depiction of women is mature and I still think it isn't. It's depiction of women is dark, they have lots of negative types, bad words and rapists, but it's not mature because it doesn't handle those things in a complex way. When it talks about racism there's a lot of subtle interaction going on with some very real parallels to the world at large, and it doesn't pull any punches. With women, it's still pretty much 'lol boobs' but with the dark stuff colouring it. I'm only talking about Witcher 1, people say Witcher 2 is better at it and I'll believe that

BarbaricGoose:

In light of being able to avoid the witch ordeal, does that change your perception of the game at all? I think you'd like it if you gave it a fair chance. And The Witcher 2 is a huge improvement in every way. I feel like a lot of people on this forum who hate on The Witcher series do so only because Yahtzee said so. And it's a shame, because it's an excellent series, even if the original was a little rough around the edges. TW2 was significantly more refined. Cleavage is a little more sparing, and as I mentioned earlier the language is a little more colorful, the characters are more interesting. I could go on. It does deal with some dark issues, but I thought they handled them well. If you do decide to give it another shot, let me know how it turns out. I'm genuinely curious if you'll like the series.

Also: I think Yahtzee is a twit, if that wasn't obvious. Though I don't expect to win many favors with that sentiment.

For me avoiding the witch ordeal doesn't change anything, I knew you could avoid it, I explored it pretty thoroughly because I was finding it hard to believe that no-one was going to point at that Geralt was a dick if you went through it. But I think I've explained why in my particular case, just including it in a game is fairly mindblowing for me.

Interestingly, that Yahtzee quote I first heard when I was attacking the Witcher in another thread and someone said 'no the game isn't misogynistic, check this quote out'. So I can safely say that it wasn't Yahtzee who coloured my opinion of the game. (and actually he's slightly wrong in the quote, because whether the developers were women-hating or not doesn't actually affect whether the game is misogynistic. I could be an idiot and make 'sandwich maker extreme' where you play as a women who has to serve up sandwiches in the kitchen as quickly as possible for her husband, with no bad intentions, and the game concept (unless it was a joke) would be pretty bad still).

Incidentally, can I thank you on being so fair? It sounded like you were really interested in helping inform me and with that information maybe help me change my views, rather than being defensive and trying to score a point. It was pretty cool (I'm getting a bit tired of this thread now, I guess my first post must have been on the first page or something and some people have taken a lot of personal offense to my attacks on the game :( )

Moonlight Butterfly:

Frostbite3789:
snip.

Yeah but I wasn't even comparing them that way...

The fact is Skyrim present women as more equal to men than the Witcher 1. Depth or no you can't really dispute that. It has absolutely nothing to do with what we were talking about.

That's because in Skyrim they differ by having a slightly different 3D model. That doesn't make them "depicted as equally capable," that just makes every character interchangeable. Which makes sense; it's a light-hearted high-fantasy playground with lots to show and little to say.

On the other hand, The Witcher 2 had wild plot gyrations driven almost in equal parts by both genders (there are slightly more key female characters than male ones, but mostly because the Lodge of Sorceresses plays an important part). The in-universe attitude towards women is just as essential as racism and xenophobia in establishing the feel of the setting; none of those things can just be amputated because they feel icky for some people. Both genders drive the plot with equally matched skill and equally strong convictions, which makes the fact that one gender is discriminated against all the more visible.

I don't get the outrage about the Witcher, really. It's a series that has more to say about minorities and unequal rights than most others in gaming, yet it gets all the scorn. I especially hate the "it has naughty words"-complaint; that's the most childish attitude one can have towards swear-words. Any linguist worth his salt will tell you how incredibly important and expressive they are.

BrotherRool:

Gethsemani:
-snip-

That is a pretty fair interpretation, but even that I really heavily dislike, because it's back to a way of thinking where the women is evil for using her corrupting sexual powers (which is exactly how Gerard describes it to people if you choose) and the guy is not seen as responsible for abusing his decision.

Sure, that's why I said I wasn't comfortable with the scene to begin with, even if I interpreted it differently from you. There should definitely have been some form of backlash against Geralt for sleeping with her and then selling her out anyway and the whole "evil witch bribing with sex"-theme is just a little bit too overt and damning of female sexuality. On the other hand if you save her and meet her later (in Chapter 4?) it turns out she was never that much of an evil witch, but just a woman desperate not to die and ready to do anything to survive, and that she had settled down in another village where she has found some form of peace.

In the end, I'd never argue that the Witcher wasn't shock full of unintended (or thinly veiled) sexism. It was the game where just about every female NPC of any importance looked like a streetwalker, no matter what their job and seemed just a little too obsessed with naked women. The Witcher 2 seems to have remedied that problem for the most part however.

The Madman:
SNIP

You won't find me defending certain portrayals of women in comic books any time soon. The two aren't mutually exclusive. Like video games I love comic books and their characters but I don't like the gravity defying clothing and mangled bodies men sometimes draw.

Something that bothered me in The Witcher was something that other people have also mentioned in this thread. The way it portrayed Geralt as being a stud for sleeping with all these women but the women themselves were somehow portrayed as evil for using their sexual wiles.

I also didn't like the way the witch character (and seems like I'm not the only one in this thread) seemed to completely change her personality in a second so they could set her up with Geralt. Like one minute she was a capable women defending herself against lecherous men and in the next second she was like a swooning damsel 'Oh my hero how can I reward you'...whut. For me that's as bad as comic boobs and butt poses and a warrior princess like Starfire looking like a pole dancer...

As you point out yes I do love comics. But it doesn't mean I love everything about them.

wulf3n:

What about Mottle? The elven woman you save in Flotsam, who offers to have sex with you in Vergen as a "reward". Then there's the Succubus who offers to have sex with you for killing Ele'yas her "jealous lover".

Did you not play Iorveths path by any chance? or did you get the butchered Australian release of the game?

Edit: And Ves doesn't have sex with you as thanks for "respecting her prowess in battle". She likes/respects Geralt as he treats her like an equal, so they had sex.

Huh, didn't know I had a butchered version of the game. Suppose I should go look up what I'm missing out on.

Edit: Never mind, that's the only change. Phew.

@

Gethsemani:

BrotherRool:

Gethsemani:
-snip-

That is a pretty fair interpretation, but even that I really heavily dislike, because it's back to a way of thinking where the women is evil for using her corrupting sexual powers (which is exactly how Gerard describes it to people if you choose) and the guy is not seen as responsible for abusing his decision.

Sure, that's why I said I wasn't comfortable with the scene to begin with, even if I interpreted it differently from you. There should definitely have been some form of backlash against Geralt for sleeping with her and then selling her out anyway and the whole "evil witch bribing with sex"-theme is just a little bit too overt and damning of female sexuality. On the other hand if you save her and meet her later (in Chapter 4?) it turns out she was never that much of an evil witch, but just a woman desperate not to die and ready to do anything to survive, and that she had settled down in another village where she has found some form of peace.

In the end, I'd never argue that the Witcher wasn't shock full of unintended (or thinly veiled) sexism. It was the game where just about every female NPC of any importance looked like a streetwalker, no matter what their job and seemed just a little too obsessed with naked women. The Witcher 2 seems to have remedied that problem for the most part howe
ver.

There IS a Backlash for Geralt... If he delivers Abigail the witch to the mob, her spirit fights against him in the final fight, that takes place in the world of dreams...

You're WAY off saying EVERY female NPC looks or "acts" like a streetwalker... that's not reality, but everydody here seems to be comfortable in creating THEIR own image of the game, so I wont bother prooving AGAIN why that's not the case. If you actually PLAYED through the game, you actually know the truth.

"Mature" dialogue is believable dialogue, that's it for me. In TW, the dialogue often makes sense as spoken by human beings. In other games, like Mass Effect 3 for example, every second line of dialogue that comes out of Shepard mouth is a variant of "We shall overcome this, all together, and I am your leader". This is no dialogue, that's how politicians talk IRL. Or robots, I guess, would talk like that, if they were capable of speech.

Jack_in_the_green:

There IS a Backlash for Geralt... If he delivers Abigail the witch to the mob, her spirit fights against him in the final fight, that takes place in the world of dreams...

You're WAY off saying EVERY female NPC looks or "acts" like a streetwalker... that's not reality, but everydody here seems to be comfortable in creating THEIR own image of the game, so I wont bother prooving AGAIN why that's not the case. If you actually PLAYED through the game, you actually know the truth.

Sure did, once in the regular version on release and then again in the enhanced edition, I'll admit that it was like 3 years since last time though. The problem is that while the male NPCs get fairly realistic clothing for a medieval world, the female NPCs do not and, in fact, seem to be taken out of a LARPers sexual fantasies (more examples: here, here, here and here. This is without taking the obvious courtesans and prostitutes as examples). The sheer amount of underbust corsets, bare legs under short skirts and shown skin in general are quite obviously meant to be fanservice. Especially when you compare to just how few of the male NPCs that show any skin below the neck at all (use the character page on that wiki and look it up, I am done hotlinking).

As for the backlash I and BrotherRool were talking about, we are referring to the social backlash of having sex with someone who only does so when their life is at stake if they don't. Even more so if Geralt has sex with Abigail and then hands her over to the townsfolk anyway.

Look I don't think the Witcher is a bad game, but it was obviously created by developers who had absolutely no sense for tact and equality when it came to matters of gender and sex. It is a game that several times skirts the line (whatever it crosses it is subjective) of sexism. Whatever it is by accident or not is kind of beside the point.

Sexy Devil:

wulf3n:

What about Mottle? The elven woman you save in Flotsam, who offers to have sex with you in Vergen as a "reward". Then there's the Succubus who offers to have sex with you for killing Ele'yas her "jealous lover".

Did you not play Iorveths path by any chance? or did you get the butchered Australian release of the game?

Edit: And Ves doesn't have sex with you as thanks for "respecting her prowess in battle". She likes/respects Geralt as he treats her like an equal, so they had sex.

Huh, didn't know I had a butchered version of the game. Suppose I should go look up what I'm missing out on.

Edit: Never mind, that's the only change. Phew.

If it ever bothers you there's a patch to reinsert the dialogue options that allow the sexy times as a reward... just look for 'The Witcher 2 UnAustralian patch'. I run that patch but I've never taken the sexytimes as a reward, I run it because fuck the Australian Classifications Board.

I believe that the people that did not like The Witchers' language is because they expected it to have some form of PC in it. When there is no reason for a country to give a flying **** about most forms of PC than people are going to say what they want and to who.

So for an NPC who hates elves or has no love for them to try to keep themselves from saying something racist or sexist, especially when the most NPC's you run in to are poor peons, than to see a form of PC dialogue would be completely out of place. "Civilized" individuals tend to forget that there were times when the "N" word, **tch, **ore, and other seasoning words was the norm. So yeah, I expected such language topped with political intrigue in a game that is a dark fantasy.

Moonlight Butterfly:
-SNIP-

As you point out yes I do love comics. But it doesn't mean I love everything about them.

What makes that portrayal better? She's still dressed scantily except now she's also boasting some gauzy harem style thing around her waist for... some reason? It obviously doesn't serve a practical purpose. She'd still be in danger of indecent exposure arrest in real life. Or do you like that portrayal because she's got some muscles by the look of it?

As for the witch comment and sexual wiles, I'm guessing you're talking about that witch woman in the first games opening chapter (Google reveals her name was Abigail, which I had forgotten) because surprise, I agree with you there. It was corny as hell the way the devs set it up to make her a 'romance' if that word even applies, and honestly it shouldn't have even been an option as it made no sense within either the context of the story or her established character up to that point. And there are a couple more scenario like that in the first game which left me scratching my head and saying to my monitor 'really? REALLY?'.

Still someone once said something along the lines of 'Yes, I do love The Witcher. But it doesn't mean I love everything about it.' although it might have been referring to something else, I forget. I do agree that the scenario was contrived and silly, but I don't see it being a symbol of misogyny or evil intent on the developers part either nor do I really see what makes the Witcher stand out as so terrible in a genre where I tend to scratch my head and talk to my monitor on a fairly regular basis.

Hell, I remember the first time playing Mass Effect there's a point where you can ask someone for a reward and they don't give you much, one of the dialogue options then is to basically say 'what, is that it', which naturally I went for because I'm a greedy bastard and BAM, surprise sex scene out of nowhere, I didn't even have the choice in the matter and I certainly wasn't looking for it. Also what the hell is with Morrigan's outfit in Dragon Age? There's another game that was full of head scratching and 'really?''s.

Why is that acceptable but the Witcher is not? Because of the cards in the first game? Because again, that's long gone in the second and even with, much like I quite like Mass Effect and Dragon Age: Origins despite many flaws, I still enjoyed The Witcher as a whole. Witcher 2 especially, which I honestly see as an improvement in near every way though it does still have its corny moments.

The Madman:
snip

Because she looks fucking badass instead of a bikini model...(and yeah I'd prefer it if she wore more clothes but I think the artist was making a point that it's not about the clothes it's about how she's depicted.)

I think The Witcher just went over the top from cheesy into offensive for me. Maybe I'm unique in that I don't know but Mass Effect certainly didn't offend me/ make me uncomfortable in the same way. It's hard to define or put your finger on a feeling that way I guess.

Mixed bag really.

On one hand it's treatment of women is basically "ERMAHBERD BOOBIES!" and its use of language is mostly "ERMAHGERD CUSSWORDS!"

On the other hand it delves into politics, racism, nationalism, and motivation pretty well.

On the other hand it basically is just a Grim Dark version of Europe with Dwarves(Jews) and Elves (Gypsies).
So while yes it does some things well, it also is not that deep of a setting, and has a bland lead.

Not my kind of game, but it has decent points.

I realize you're tired of this thread, but I just wanna clarify a few things that I may not have gotten across properly.

Gethsemani:
The point of the quote was that Yahtzee didn't consider the game misogynistic. That he didn't think there was an 'obvious hatred of women', just that other people had come to that conclusion and he believes that rather than all women desiring to get down and beg for a touch of Geralt after a flower or him asking for payment on services delivered, didn't come from an inability to recognise women having independent thought and not willing to lay down in a second for the first guy to throw a daisy at them but that the writers were caught up in a silly fantasy of a guy walking round having all the sex they can desire and just forgot to look at it from the other perspective. I don't believe they were misoginistic ever (although the collectibles are coming really close), just the designers were not putting any thought into the system at all.

I guess it's just different interpretations here. "Personally, I think it's less The Witcher's obvious hatred of women and more the same misguided pretension to maturity that causes the characters to cuss with every other word." I took the "Less" to mean "Still very real, but not the main cause." That's generally what I mean when I say things... like that.. with those words... you know what I mean? Either way, I'm probably wrong. Forget it.

Gethsemani:

BarbaricGoose:

The maturity thing: I think everyone has a different definition of this word. Some people define it as dark, depressing games, others violent games, and others still have a more... loose definition. But I think that discounting The Witcher as immature because of its "Collectibles" is an overreaction. I don't think it treats women unfairly. I mean, if you really look at it, Geralt is the biggest whore of them all. (Or, he can be.) And when it comes to the really despicable people in The Witcher, most of them are men. So, pick your poison. Horrible men or slutty women.

Thats really not a good point. Thats what women complain about now, that they get called whores and sluts when its fine for a guy to lay as many people as he likes (admirable), which you have to admit, the game kinda conveys.

But I'm not going to push that further because I don't think the game is too misogynistic (ish), but that doesn#t change whether it#s depiction of women is mature and I still think it isn't. It's depiction of women is dark, they have lots of negative types, bad words and rapists, but it's not mature because it doesn't handle those things in a complex way. When it talks about racism there's a lot of subtle interaction going on with some very real parallels to the world at large, and it doesn't pull any punches. With women, it's still pretty much 'lol boobs' but with the dark stuff colouring it. I'm only talking about Witcher 1, people say Witcher 2 is better at it and I'll believe that

I feel you may've cut off my quote a little prematurely there. The next line of my post reads as such:

BarbaricGoose:
And make no mistake, there are slutty men and horrible women. I think The Witcher paints everybody in its universe as... what's a good word... less than virtuous, shall we say?

I'm very aware that women get called "Sluts" left & right. Men that sleep with numerous women are praised, but women are shamed. It's an awful double standard, and I know this. Which is really the whole reason I felt compelled to write this. I don't want people thinking I'm one of those assholes who thinks that way.

When you cut out that last bit, it makes it sound like I'm saying that the women are ONLY sluts. When in fact, that's just not the case. To be honest, I can't think of a seriously evil woman from the The Witcher 1 off the top of my head (make of that what you will), but I can think of a male slut: Dandelion. I don't even particularly like the word "Slut," but it is what it is. The alternative "Person who sleeps with numerous other persons" is a bit of a mouthful.

Gethsemani:
Interestingly, that Yahtzee quote I first heard when I was attacking the Witcher in another thread and someone said 'no the game isn't misogynistic, check this quote out'. So I can safely say that it wasn't Yahtzee who coloured my opinion of the game.

Well shit, I guess my interpretation was wrong. Dog balls.

Anyway, hopefully this will be my last reply to this thread as well. Apologies if I ever came across as a dick.

If it was mature, you wouldn't be playing it.

Mature is what kids call boring. Gore and swearing is the opposite of mature, just a different kind of porn.

bastardofmelbourne:
"work has positive depictions of independent, intelligent and capable female characters"

Not really what he said, and I have trouble finding anything in the writing even remotely up to snuff on that. I even went over some vids on Youtube just to refresh my memory.

Even buying into what you said as possible, his argument comes down to "you can't be right because my subjective opinion of the quality of the writing is positive!"

I, for one, find bra and panties matches in pro wrestling to be empowering, so you cannot think that they are sexist!

Azahul:

And by the same virtue, you can have misogynistic characters without it being misogynistic writing.

Thankfully, that's a non-issue. So...Glad you brought up something nobody is denying, arguing against, or says can or cannot happen.

Also, since you are asking me to back up your claims, perhaps you should do so first. You know, since you were the one singing the praises, and I simply pointed out the logical fallacy by which you were operating, while you gave out vague platitudes on how the writing contained these characters with no specifics.

Well, if I went by the standards you have offered for yourself, I would have already fulfilled my burden in the way you have so...Mission accomplished or what?

Zachary Amaranth:

Azahul:

And by the same virtue, you can have misogynistic characters without it being misogynistic writing.

Thankfully, that's a non-issue. So...Glad you brought up something nobody is denying, arguing against, or says can or cannot happen.

Also, since you are asking me to back up your claims, perhaps you should do so first. You know, since you were the one singing the praises, and I simply pointed out the logical fallacy by which you were operating, while you gave out vague platitudes on how the writing contained these characters with no specifics.

Well, if I went by the standards you have offered for yourself, I would have already fulfilled my burden in the way you have so...Mission accomplished or what?

You're asking me to provide evidence that there isn't misogynistic writing in the game? So, in essence, you want me to give examples of random events in the game in which migosogyny doesn't happen? This seems like a slightly odd request. Kinda like assuming guilt first, rather than innocence, and demanding that the defence provide examples of times when the defendant was not actively committing a crime.

Still, I'll bite. First off, big spoiler warning (particularly for Iorveth's path).

If you follow the Iorveth path, you meet Saskia. Depending on your choices in the game, she can end up thrashing Henselt in battle, utterly humiliating him because in the world of the Witcher being beaten by a woman is a pretty big sign of weakness. Of course, this is aside from the fact that Saskia has already been established as a good warrior and a successful general, it really should not have been surprising that she was able to pull out a victory. Basically, if the world had not been as misogynistic as it was, then Henselt's defeat would not have been as humiliating as it was. In essence, his loss was made worse by his misogyny, and he was essentially punished for these views.

If the game were truly misogynistic, then this would have been followed up by Saskia being punished for daring to step outside the boundaries of accepted female behaviour. But no, this isn't what happens. While a spell is cast on her by Eilhart (another woman, it should be noted), nothing is done to actually punish her for her actions. Instead, as long as you make the right choices, Saskia goes on to proclaim herself Queen, be recognised by Radovid and Henselt as a legitimate ruler, and to establish her own kingdom in the Pontar Valley. These are hardly events a misogynistic game would allow. This shows a female character acting against what you would call acceptable female behaviour (within the game world), beating men at what is supposed to be their own game, and being rewarded for these activities.

Let's compare this then to one of the examples of misogyny within the game. Eilhart, one of the game's female antagonists, is not being punished in the third act because her actions were inappropriate for a woman, but because they constituted an attempt to seize power that destablised the north and would have been unacceptable for anyone to do. However, while in jail, she has her eyes put out by Radovid who still resents the way in which she used to effectively rule his father's court. Now, while it's not really clear whether Radovid resented her power because she was a woman, or whether he just hated the idea of anyone being considered more important than himself, it's not hard to make the argument that the act of putting out her eyes was fuelled by a hatred that a woman would see to put herself above Radovid. By comparing the two, it's pretty easy to see the difference. Saskia triumphs over misogyny, which just flat out would not happen to a woman in a truly misogynistic game with misogynistic writing. Eilhart is subjected to the misogyny of an individual, because that is how that individual behaves, not because that is her punishment for not acting in the customary role of a woman.

So, yes, the Witcher 2 has misogyny in it. However, if the game was actually written by misogynistic people, there is no way you'd have female characters able to get away with some of the behaviour they get away with. The fact that the world seeks to punish them for it makes it pretty clear that the world is misogynistic, but the fact that the world fails makes it equally clear that the writers are not.

There you have it. One example of the Witcher 2 not being misogynistic. One example out of two entire games where this kind of activity can be observed. Please, don't make me do an entire quest-by-quest breakdown to point out every example. There's a reason why we have the idea of innocent until proven guilty.

Vegosiux:
Well, there's this deal, "mature" and "rated M" are not the same thing. As far as Witcher goes, yeah, it's dark, it doesn't sugarcoat stuff, but at times it just seems as if it's trying too hard to be "mature" and comes across as pretentious. Let's just say that considering my taste in gaming, by all criteira, I should have liked the Witcher series, but I just couldn't enjoy the games.

This sums up my feelings about the series rather well. I do feel it's important to point out, however, that while it's far from being the only series that objectifies women, the manner in which it does so (the sexcards) appalled me more than most. It literally turned women into collectible items.

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