Our new Indie Games subforum is now open for business in G&T. Go and check it out, you might land a code for a free game. If you're developing an indie game and want to post about it, follow these directions. If you don't, he'll break your legs! Hahaha! Seriously though.
Our rules have been updated and given their own forum. Go and look at them! They are nice, and there may be new ones that you didn't know about! Hooray for rules! Hooray for The System! Hooray for Conforming!

#1ReasonWhy Talk

OneAngryPossumOneAngryPossum Registered User regular
edited December 2012 in Games and Technology
Despite a fear of this turning into a thing (or fuck, perhaps because of that fear) I wanted to try to talk about #1ReasonWhy a little bit. Rather than risk destroying the industry thread with the subject (where it has peeked out on occasion) I got the go ahead to isolate the discussion elsewhere. Lets do our best to keep things civil here.

Short version: #1ReasonWhy started in response to Luke Crane's (curator/supervisor of Kickstarter's games section) tweet asking why there were so few women game developers. Writer Filamena Young responded and included the #1ReasonWhy hashtag, after which the floodgates opened. Women from every corner began using the tag to illustrate the particulars of the obstacles they face specifically as women in the gaming industry. If you want to leap directly into the stream, it's still got some life in it over here. As you can imagine, it's made up of women explaining the annoyances and hurdles they deal with, some allies and advocates asking what they can do to help, and of course the very behavior that results in the creation of a phenomenon like this. Dive in at your own risk.

I get a lot of my industry news and links out of these forums, and though this subject has popped up on occasion I noticed I personally hadn't spent a lot of time reading what was being said by the women writing. From my point of view that pretty much means I was contributing to the problem.

Aside from just not giving the subject a lot of attention, we've also got a lot of the basic attitudes around here that make something like #1ReasonWhy necessary in the first place. You can't talk about women protagonists being a marketplace failure because the question is immediately turned around to a "Well what if men were the protagonists." I don't want to pick on anyone, but that's one of the worst possible responses to hearing a gender-specific complaint, because it immediately takes the subject away from the topic of women and attempts to divert it into something else. You can't point out insulting character design without hearing about how men are portrayed, or people behave as if it's an isolated incident and not a discussion that's had every month because it keeps happening.

The community seems to have a hard time in general understanding the context that these complaints come up in. Namely, as part of an ongoing string of offenses that specifically belittle or ostracize anybody who isn't a straight white guy. One of the articles I read pointed out that the atmosphere in the gaming community isn't unlike that of the military, and that bugs the shit out of me, because my time in the Navy was marked by the most offensive atmosphere I've ever seen.

Rant out of the way, I thought some other people might be interested in digging into the articles surrounding the whole campaign, so I gathered some of my favorites up.

This one is long-winded as fuck, but basically boils down to advice on how to help put some of these nasty attitudes behind us.

Ana Visneski wrote up a really solid account of some of the not uncommon issues she's faced, and how she's had to deal with them if she actually wanted to be part of the gaming community.

An older personal account from a woman playing Guild Wars and the shit she was subjected to, which covered basically every one of the more horrible sides of human nature. Racism, misogyny, homophobia. Depressing, but enlightening.

And (finally) a much shorter article from a female game dev student. If you don't feel up to the longer articles above, here's some bullet points.

I'm not trying to lecture, because it's not like I haven't been guilty of some of this shit in the (hopefully distant) past. Mostly I thought it would be good to have a place to talk about these worthy issues openly and RESPECTFULLY PLEASE.

So, any thoughts on the campaign, possible next steps? Is this a mark of the death of these kind of attitudes or the next big reason to be a dick to a group of people? Will this have any effect at all, or is it just another brief Twitter explosion that we'll all forget in the next week?

OneAngryPossum on
steam_sig.png
finnpalm
«13456799

Posts

  • Bobkins FlymoBobkins Flymo HAPPY WAALUWEEN Registered User, Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    Just a warning to everyone posting: I am watching this thread very closely.

    eG9gdum.gif
  • TychoCelchuuuTychoCelchuuu ___________PIGEON _________San Diego, CA Registered User regular
    edited December 2012
    As much as my opinion is always "everything is shit forever," things have been looking like maybe they're ticking in a happy direction lately. In addition to #1reasonwhy and the discussion around it, I just feel like the whole zeitgeist is sloooooooowly easing towards a situation where a video game can't be a poisonous paean to misogynistic shitlords without people at least making angry noises at it. It will take a long time for things to get better and I think most of the work is just going to be done by the industry diversifying as a new generation of people grow up who have always played games, but along the way it's good to know that there will be uproar and discussion about the awful things that happen while we fail to get there. For instance, Gamasutra's 5 biggest controversies of the year article has two focused on inclusiveness (that's one more than last year!) and specifically feminism, and one of the 5 trends for 2012 is "resounding calls for diversity and inclusiveness" so that's nice. Not to mention one of the 5 events that shook the industry was #1reasonwhy. Hopefully that's not just because it was recent and on everyone's minds. So I'm glad to see dialog around this.

    Part of the strange unfamiliar feelings of optimism growing inside me might just be that I've started to read better games criticism and look at better game designers, and that if I took everything in holistically I'd see that yes, it's all still awful and always will be forever, but who knows!

    Really I'm not sure what sort of discussion is to be had about this. Some percentage of the community, like you and me and others, sees the obvious horrendous misogyny woven deep into gaming's very core, where it has taken root and sprouted into massive trees except instead of leaves there are boobs, everywhere boobs, and some percentage of the community is pretty sure that they're hilarious when they make a joke about "make me a sandwich" whenever the topic of sexism comes up. Then some other percentage of the community thinks that feminism is ridiculous and overblown and that men get shit too, so why don't we care about them? And then you have the percentage of the community making death/rape threats to women who speak out. And so, what kind of discussion are we supposed to have? I don't think the context of the gaming industry is the best place to convince people of the virtues of feminism because games are so trivial and it's easy for people to just entrench themselves against whatever ills misogyny engenders in such a small corner of the world.

    So yeah. I don't see a lot of hope for dialog. And therefore I don't know what might come out of this topic. I'm hopeful that I'm just overlooking fruitful areas of conversation, and maybe people will link to a bunch of cool stuff to read like you did in the OP (unfortunately I can't remember all the cool #1reasonwhy articles I read so I can't add to your list. Sorry :( ) but... I mean, with Rorus watching over us it won't be a "get back to the kitchen" or "I will rape all women" shitstorm, but at best I can see it turning into a "hey guys I don't see what the big deal is" furball and at this point in my life I just run away from those as fast as I can because I don't have the energy to fight the fight forever. I wasted all my energy in this thread.

    edit: I mean fuck you can tell the exact moment I ran out of energy in that thread:
    Cortana is an AI who can choose to look however she wants.

    I would choose to look like whatever women find most attractive. I assume Cortana would do the same. Why is this an issue?

    Outside of the lore and into reality...

    I've never remotely grasped the concept behind this "argument." Its wrong to deliver the most enjoyable product to your customer base? Men like sexy women. Men buy video games. Put sexy women in video games. There doesn't seem to be anything wrong with this to me.

    Should porn not have sexy women in it?
    This sort of thing, right now, is what a lot of people take to be a fairly reasonable position when it comes to the depiction of women in games. I can't even write a parody of the argument because it's right there in its simple horrendous ridiculousness. This, along with the allied coalition of people making sexist jokes and people making literal death threats, forms a sizable contingent of the conversation at this point. How are we supposed to turn this into a dialog? I don't even know where to begin. My day job is in academia, and in a field that's extremely sexist, but it's also a field devoted to rational inquiry, and I've never had to deal with a discussion where the above sort of thing wouldn't be rejected immediately and resoundingly. In effect I've lived a sheltered life and never had to try to argue anyone out of this kind of pigheaded misogyny except on the Internet, where I can take 10 minutes to write a post and then forget it happened. Even then it's never really to make any headway, just to get this shit off my chest. If someone said this to me in real life I wouldn't know where to begin. Sometimes my students say dumbass stuff like this, but since I'm in charge in the classroom I can just straight up tell them that they're basically wrong. That doesn't work so well in an actual discussion and I'm not sure how to make something like it work.

    edit #2: no seriously do you remember when the VGA thread got locked? 3 days ago?

    Okay yeah I just managed to pop my little bubble of optimism. Thanks, #1ReasonWhy thread, for making me want to kill myself again! And extra thanks for it being entirely my fault because it is my very own post that made me sad

    edit #3: video games

    TychoCelchuuu on
    Magic PinkSvKBlackjackCambiatagtrmpYogoMortiousJaysonFourCorehealerStollsspool32finnpalmTairu
  • SoundsPlushSoundsPlush yup, back. Registered User regular
    There's plenty of reason for optimism if you also brace yourself for the fact that we're still at the bottom of the curve. Every time one of these events comes up, like the Sarkeesian monster festival, it's a little embarrassing re:humanity re:my subculture, but it's also a sign of fewer people passively condoning or participating and instead saying "hmm this is a little messed." Since sexism is institutionalized and people are inundated by it long before they hear criticism, every event like this that arises is another opportunity to have one's worldview confronted. There's a lot of sparks, but that's a good sign.*

    *Except for the individuals actually bearing the weight of those sparks. While I can appreciate it at a distance, I can't really understand the effect of having tons of anonymous strangers mass hating you, which is something the internet is really good at facilitating on any topic on any day of the week. At least contributing and trying to shift the ratio of +:- comments instead of mutely agreeing may help.

    As for articles, I thought this one was pretty good, and offers another view of institutionalized sexism.

    X0H2Ah6.jpg
    CambiataCorehealerfinnpalm
  • Mr_GrinchMr_Grinch Registered User regular
    Could we have a brief "#1ReasonWhy" explanation at the top? Admittedly it took 30 seconds for me to google but it'd be handy.

    Steam: Sir_Grinch
    PSN: SirGrinchX
    Xbox Live: SirGrinch X
  • DhalphirDhalphir don't you open that trapdoor you're a fool if you dareRegistered User regular

    I don't think its necessary to be snarky, it is a fair expectation of someone making an OP to give a summary of what their OP is about.

    Tube-san wrote:
    I apologise for my rudeness desu.
    Big ClassyArchsorcererGandalf_the_CrazedAgahnimRagnar DragonfyreTurkeySmrtnikMomoriDark Raven XMortiousCommander ZoomMelksterCorehealerDerrickforty
  • OneAngryPossumOneAngryPossum Registered User regular
    edited December 2012
    Dhalphir wrote: »

    I don't think its necessary to be snarky, it is a fair expectation of someone making an OP to give a summary of what their OP is about.

    It's a fair point. I was originally planning to make a post in the industry thread before deciding to migrate elsewhere, so it's a little more barren than I'd like. I'll throw in a rough explanation now and try to build it up some more later.

    Edit: And to address some of your other comments, @TychoCelchuuu, I completely empathize with the frustration and the pessimism. There are vast swaths of the online world I simply ignore because it results in nothing but aneurysms. But these conflicts keep cropping up in more and more of the 'decent' or innocuous places I do visit, and as was said above, I think that's a good sign. Hopefully this is marking a significant change in the direction of the community. If nothing else it's constantly resulting in my own discovery of new, non-mainstream outlets exploring less well-known aspects of the industry, much like the links included in your own post.

    It's a difficult topic because it so often devolves into something rabid and disgusting, but there are also tremendously valuable things to be found in it. More specifically on #1ReasonWhy, it's a significant step. One of the last barriers to change in the workplace or social groups is the employees/members themselves speaking out against abuses despite the risk that poses to their jobs or positions. Whether this goes anywhere or not, it's a significant moment.

    OneAngryPossum on
    steam_sig.png
  • JusticeforPlutoJusticeforPluto Skavenblight Scramblers The Bestest CheatersRegistered User regular
    edited December 2012
    How a few female devs in Dragon Age 3 stopped a creepy sex plot that may have involved rape.

    http://dgaider.tumblr.com/post/36214913229/the-female-perspective-in-game-development


    @TychoCelchuuu, I feel like in a media where games have women who are nothing but sex symbols (see: DOA beach volleyball, The various outfits females where in RPGs/fighting games) that going after Cortana in Halo feels...odd? Shes more of a character than the Master Chief, or anyone in the Halo ubiverse really. There are also plenty of examples of females in leadership roles in the halo universe too. Are they complex characters? No, but no one in Halo is.

    Edit: Okay, yeah. Her lack of clothes (especially when shown not all AIs are like this) is dumb.

    JusticeforPluto on
  • AegeriAegeri Registered User regular
    edited December 2012
    How a few female devs in Dragon Age 3 stopped a creepy sex plot that may have involved rape.

    http://dgaider.tumblr.com/post/36214913229/the-female-perspective-in-game-development

    The whole tomb raider controversy this year illustrates this as well. Mostly involving the "protection" of Lara and the idiocy of the whole sexual assault = making of a female heroine trope (most overplayed and really fucking awful) makes me wonder what the writer of that game - Rihanna Pratchett the daughter of Terry Pratchett if you didn't know - was thinking of the PR shitstorm. They really have changed the game a bit since, deemphasizing the rape aspects, dropping the "you will want to protect Lara" shit and in the latest gameplay the moaning has been toned down considerably.

    Really these issues were so obvious in what is looking like a terrific game in every other way, it is kind of scary how you can so easily fall into groupthink when you dont have a diverse set of eyes on something during development. It certainly explains a lot about certain aspects of female characters and the way they are treated in games. It may not always be "rampant misogyny" but rather just people innocently not considering that what they had done was actually offensive.

    The hashtag itself was pretty eye opening and made me pretty angry and sad. Some very brave people to continue making games despite most of their employers regarding them as clearly second class. I particularly found the stories of how some female graphic artists/designers had to make female armor they developed more "sexual" for marketing reasons, with the subsequent demoralization going with it.

    Aegeri on
    NightslyrCorehealer
  • JusticeforPlutoJusticeforPluto Skavenblight Scramblers The Bestest CheatersRegistered User regular
    Gamespot recently did an article on #1reasonway. I won't post that, but instead he's he "best" responses they got in the comments.

    Warning: may cause one to lose faith in humanity.

    http://www.gamespot.com/shows/feedbackula/?event=sexism_special20121130

  • WotanAnubisWotanAnubis Registered User regular
    Sometimes I like think the kerfluffle around Metroid: Other M is a sign things are slowly heading in the right direction.

    But then there was that Streetfighter X Tekken promotional thing.

    I don't really have anything to add except that we still have a long, long way to go.

  • AustralopitenicoAustralopitenico Registered User regular
    Wait, last time I checked Cortana was an awesome character, did I miss something?

  • WotanAnubisWotanAnubis Registered User regular
    Wait, last time I checked Cortana was an awesome character, did I miss something?

    I don't play Halo. The only thing I know about Cortana is that she a computer program who looks like a busty naked chick who helps the heavily armoured male protagonist.

    She may still be awesome, but it's not a good first impression.

  • AustralopitenicoAustralopitenico Registered User regular
    Well, if you don't play Halo and don't know the character I'd say you can't really give an informed opinion about the character. Most of the time you don't even see her, she acts as mission control and has her own history and personality. It's a much more developed and likeable character than Master Chief, and arguably is the real protagonist and driving character of the whole series, with Master Chief being mostly a living weapon that Cortana aims and shoots.

    She also looks like a naked chick. But that is kind of secondary to everything I just mentioned.

    What I mean with all this is that it is one thing to have useless character whose only function is to show their boobs and have interesting characters that are also attractive. If not the discussion sort of stops down to "let's cover our women".

    A better example for this discussion could be EDI from Mass Effect. A very good and likeable AI that was transferred to some sort of sexbot in Mass Effect 3 in one of the worst design decisions I have ever seen.

  • JusticeforPlutoJusticeforPluto Skavenblight Scramblers The Bestest CheatersRegistered User regular
    Sometimes I like think the kerfluffle around Metroid: Other M is a sign things are slowly heading in the right direction.

    But then there was that Streetfighter X Tekken promotional thing.

    I don't really have anything to add except that we still have a long, long way to go.

    Don't forget Agent 47 killing some sexy nuns. Because when a top assassin needs to use an rpg, high heels are clearly the best option.

  • Magic PinkMagic Pink Tur-Boner-Fed Registered User regular
    She also looks like a naked chick. But that is kind of secondary to everything I just mentioned.

    But it's primary to what's being discussed in the thread; the old "you can't have a non-sexy female character ever" problem.

    NightslyrOneAngryPossumTychoCelchuuuCambiataCorehealer
  • AustralopitenicoAustralopitenico Registered User regular
    Magic Pink wrote: »
    She also looks like a naked chick. But that is kind of secondary to everything I just mentioned.

    But it's primary to what's being discussed in the thread; the old "you can't have a non-sexy female character ever" problem.

    Yes, but I don't think it's the main problem. Male characters are sexy, too. The thing with male characters is that they have other characteristics IN ADDITION to being sexy. Whilst a lot of female characters don't, they are just eye candy.

    So in this sense characters like Cortana are a GOOD example, and not a bad one.

    You could also say that the movie industry is sexist because actressess are usually attractive. I don't think the fact that we have aesthetic sense and want our characters (both male and female) to be attractive is something wrong. What I DO think is wrong is having female characters only as fanservice. But for me it's important to make the distinction.

  • cloudeaglecloudeagle Zhu-Li, do the thing! Registered User regular
    Well, if you don't play Halo and don't know the character I'd say you can't really give an informed opinion about the character. Most of the time you don't even see her, she acts as mission control and has her own history and personality. It's a much more developed and likeable character than Master Chief, and arguably is the real protagonist and driving character of the whole series, with Master Chief being mostly a living weapon that Cortana aims and shoots.

    She also looks like a naked chick. But that is kind of secondary to everything I just mentioned.

    What I mean with all this is that it is one thing to have useless character whose only function is to show their boobs and have interesting characters that are also attractive. If not the discussion sort of stops down to "let's cover our women".

    A better example for this discussion could be EDI from Mass Effect. A very good and likeable AI that was transferred to some sort of sexbot in Mass Effect 3 in one of the worst design decisions I have ever seen.

    The problem is, if you don't know anything about Cortana, the very first impression you get of her is "busty naked chick." In fact that's made me a little hesitant to play Halo 4.

    It's a fine line. I mean, is it truly progress that you have an (allegedly, I haven't played it) fully-developed, well-rounded main character who just happens to dress like a porn star from Tron? I'm not advocating that every woman be sexless and cover up, but it seems like the majority of main/secondary female characters are designed with a heavy slant toward sex appeal.

    Then again, why don't we get more male characters who are designed with a heavy slant toward sex appeal? I mean, I can guess the somewhat depressing answer, but still. Men can be bimbos too, durnit!

    3DS: 0344-9335-6762
  • DonnictonDonnicton Registered User regular
    How a few female devs in Dragon Age 3 stopped a creepy sex plot that may have involved rape.

    http://dgaider.tumblr.com/post/36214913229/the-female-perspective-in-game-development

    That post still kind of baffles me even now. It's probably just me, but I find that blog entry to be kind of a bad example - I just find it kind of hard to get a grasp on anything with that post when the poster refused to to actually state what the plot 'may have involved', at all. Was it something that the public might also agree with when put into perspective, or was it just an instance of groupthink? I guess the reader is supposed to just take his word for it because he's an industry writer, and he has a point to make.

    "Hey man, the market is changing - Just look at this nonspecific anecdote about something that happened that I won't go into detail about! You see what I mean? This is exactly what I'm talking about!"

    PSN: Donnicton - Wii/3DS FC: 1633-4230-5354 - Steam: Donnicton
  • AustralopitenicoAustralopitenico Registered User regular
    edited December 2012
    Males are not designed with a heavy slant towards sex-appeal? I think they are. Most if not all of them. What there is not is "bimbos", as you say. But most men are designed to look appealing, and if you have ever spent more than 3 seconds in deviantart you will know that they have their share of female fans that make them do unspeakable things. And there is nothing wrong with that.

    The thing with first impressions and judging on appearances is that it can be deceiving. From my point of view, not playing a game because one of the characters looks like a naked chick is just as bad as not playing a game because it has no hot chicks.

    Maybe I have problems expressing myself (I'm not a native speaker), but what I'm trying to defend is that sexyness and sexy women are not bad and sexist on principle, it's the treatment of each specific character that matters, and the looks only amount to a design choice.

    Australopitenico on
  • NightslyrNightslyr Registered User regular
    Magic Pink wrote: »
    She also looks like a naked chick. But that is kind of secondary to everything I just mentioned.

    But it's primary to what's being discussed in the thread; the old "you can't have a non-sexy female character ever" problem.

    Yes, but I don't think it's the main problem. Male characters are sexy, too. The thing with male characters is that they have other characteristics IN ADDITION to being sexy. Whilst a lot of female characters don't, they are just eye candy.

    So in this sense characters like Cortana are a GOOD example, and not a bad one.

    You could also say that the movie industry is sexist because actressess are usually attractive. I don't think the fact that we have aesthetic sense and want our characters (both male and female) to be attractive is something wrong. What I DO think is wrong is having female characters only as fanservice. But for me it's important to make the distinction.

    Doesn't this just dovetail into a discussion of body image and the related issues that stem from mainstream media's portrayal of ideal beauty?

    I mean, I get it - it's all fantasy, so why wouldn't you want to play with an idealized avatar or interact with idealized people? But I get the niggling feeling that 'idealized' carries a lot of baggage for women especially.

    My PA, PSN, XBL, Origin, and Steam names are the same. 3DS Friend Code: 1607-1682-2948
    steam_sig-400.png
    Stack Exchange | http://www.mpdevblog.blogspot.com
    Ragnar DragonfyreDrake
  • darleysamdarleysam Registered User regular
    Males are not designed with a heavy slant towards sex-appeal? I think they are. Most if not all of them. What there is not is "bimbos", as you say. But most men are designed to look appealing, and if you have ever spent more than 3 seconds in deviantart you will know that they have their share of female fans that make them do unspeakable things. And there is nothing wrong with that.

    The thing with first impressions and judging on appearances is that it can be deceiving. From my point of view, not playing a game because one of the characters looks like a naked chick is just as bad as not playing a game because it has no hot chicks.

    Maybe I have problems expressing myself (I'm not a native speaker), but what I'm trying to defend is that sexyness and sexy women are not bad and sexist on principle, it's the treatment of each specific character that matters, and the looks only amount to a design choice.

    Most male characters are designed to be appealing.. to guys. Not in a "heeyy good looking!" way, but as in "I want to BE this guy!"
    When you actually get characters who are designed to appeal to women, like Carth from KotOR, they get dismissed as 'whiny'. I think BioWare had perfected that with Kaidan in Mass Effect though, because he seems to get a more even response from both a male and female audience. But no, don't go in thinking that your perception of 'attractive' male characters in games are for women.

    Magic PinkPanda4YouTychoCelchuuupablo_priceplufimAegeriDhalphirCambiataMortiousCommander ZoomNightDragonLovelyElldrenCorehealer
  • Lindsey LohanLindsey Lohan Registered User regular
    I think that it's easy to say "why aren't there more women in the industry" but really it's just the same issue our culture has had overall with why aren't there more women in the sciences or math in general. Many roles in gaming, especially the ones that get your foot in the door, are technical and until we do a better job getting young girls interesting in those areas of study we'll see this issue for awhile.

    On characters in gaming - yes, they do still lean towards sexist. I think DOA volleyball isn't a great example because let's face it for both genders beach volleyball is sport that lends itself to being watched for eye candy in real life. In general, I think older media is partially to blame.

    When a new art form evolves, it often draws from the prior. For example, watching old TV/movies you can see the influence of stage plays - heavy makeup, overacted, tons of musicals - because that's what they knew. Video games evolved in the 80's and 90's, influenced heavily by action movies and TV of the day. It doesn't take much to see Rambo in today's shooters or Clint Eastwood in Red Dead. We filled our movies and TV full of pretty people with fairly weak female roles, games grew from those mediums, therefore we can't be surprised when their poor representation of women comes out in games.

    steam_sig.png
    NightslyrMobliz
  • DonnictonDonnicton Registered User regular
    darleysam wrote: »
    Males are not designed with a heavy slant towards sex-appeal? I think they are. Most if not all of them. What there is not is "bimbos", as you say. But most men are designed to look appealing, and if you have ever spent more than 3 seconds in deviantart you will know that they have their share of female fans that make them do unspeakable things. And there is nothing wrong with that.

    The thing with first impressions and judging on appearances is that it can be deceiving. From my point of view, not playing a game because one of the characters looks like a naked chick is just as bad as not playing a game because it has no hot chicks.

    Maybe I have problems expressing myself (I'm not a native speaker), but what I'm trying to defend is that sexyness and sexy women are not bad and sexist on principle, it's the treatment of each specific character that matters, and the looks only amount to a design choice.

    Most male characters are designed to be appealing.. to guys. Not in a "heeyy good looking!" way, but as in "I want to BE this guy!"
    When you actually get characters who are designed to appeal to women, like Carth from KotOR, they get dismissed as 'whiny'. I think BioWare had perfected that with Kaidan in Mass Effect though, because he seems to get a more even response from both a male and female audience. But no, don't go in thinking that your perception of 'attractive' male characters in games are for women.

    Awesome is Carth. Awesome is Dragon Age Anders.

    Whiny is Dragon Age 2 Anders.

    PSN: Donnicton - Wii/3DS FC: 1633-4230-5354 - Steam: Donnicton
    NightslyrSmrtnik
  • WotanAnubisWotanAnubis Registered User regular
    She also looks like a naked chick. But that is kind of secondary to everything I just mentioned.

    Maybe. But she's marketed as the hot naked sidekick to the important armoured guy. And that's kind of the problem, isn't it?

    She may be as competent and as awesome as you describe, but that's not how she's used to get more people to play Halo (if she's being used at all - most of it is, of course, about Master Chief being awesome).

    NightslyrGlalMagic PinkTychoCelchuuuDhalphirCambiataNightDragonElldrenCorehealer
  • -Tal-Tal I'm not doing it the same, man I'm doing it betterRegistered User regular
    as folks have said the main solution here is to get more ladies in the business and STEM fields in general

    a good way to do this is to make the existing contributions of ladies more visible to break down the perception that technical fields are just for dudes

    hashtag number one reason why does a p. good job of increasing visibility, but I feel like it should be balanced with a more positive companion campaign that highlights what ladies in the industry have done, do daily, and can do in the future

    that article about how a creepy scenario in dragon age three was avoided is a good example

    6bEyAX.jpg
    Skexis
  • UncleSporkyUncleSporky Registered User regular
    Side note: I hate Twitter because it is super hard to find any actually relevant tweets on this subject. I search the tag and get nothing but people retweeting support or complaining. You have to dig really deep to find real tweets from women who work in the game industry, or look for articles that summarize it all.

    Frustrating that the place where the movement took place is impenetrable.

    3DS Friend Code: 0989 - 1731 - 9504
    Nintendo Network ID: unclesporky
    Delzhandforty
  • AustralopitenicoAustralopitenico Registered User regular
    edited December 2012
    darleysam wrote: »
    darleysam wrote: »
    Males are not designed with a heavy slant towards sex-appeal? I think they are. Most if not all of them. What there is not is "bimbos", as you say. But most men are designed to look appealing, and if you have ever spent more than 3 seconds in deviantart you will know that they have their share of female fans that make them do unspeakable things. And there is nothing wrong with that.

    The thing with first impressions and judging on appearances is that it can be deceiving. From my point of view, not playing a game because one of the characters looks like a naked chick is just as bad as not playing a game because it has no hot chicks.

    Maybe I have problems expressing myself (I'm not a native speaker), but what I'm trying to defend is that sexyness and sexy women are not bad and sexist on principle, it's the treatment of each specific character that matters, and the looks only amount to a design choice.

    Most male characters are designed to be appealing.. to guys. Not in a "heeyy good looking!" way, but as in "I want to BE this guy!"
    When you actually get characters who are designed to appeal to women, like Carth from KotOR, they get dismissed as 'whiny'. I think BioWare had perfected that with Kaidan in Mass Effect though, because he seems to get a more even response from both a male and female audience. But no, don't go in thinking that your perception of 'attractive' male characters in games are for women.

    Well, I'm not going to get into more discussion because I have things to do and honestly, I don't know what else can I say, I already gave my 2 cent. But for me things (yes, I say things on purpose) like Marcus Fenix are not appealing at all, there is no universe where I would like to be something close to Marcus Fenix. Just as an example. Same with Link, same with Dante, same with the obnoxious Prince of Persia (who by the way has a big female fandom). In particular the dudes from Assassin's Creed seem to attract a big female fandom, too. So I don't think that "male protagonists are male fantasies and female protagonists are male fantasies too" stands very solidly as an argument.

    Femshep is an awesome, sexy female character, ME1 Ashley was, too (hated her in ME3). Chell is great, though silent, and not fanservicy at all. Same with Faith from Mirror's Edge, a game I highly recommend.

    I could understand the argument if you talk about Bayonetta, but Bayonetta is a special case (and I can`t bring myself to find the chick hot, either, she has weird proportions, like an Elder God trying to trick its way into your bed).

    In any case I would ask women of this forum. What sort of female protagonist would you like? Would you like her to be attractive, not, irrelevant...? I think that's a question only them can answer. But the fact that you don't like a character design or don't find it attractive or even tasteful does not mean is sexist, sexism is another thing entirely, at least from my point of view.

    Australopitenico on
  • AustralopitenicoAustralopitenico Registered User regular
    edited December 2012
    Edit because of double post.

    Australopitenico on
  • -Tal-Tal I'm not doing it the same, man I'm doing it betterRegistered User regular
    man people overthink FEMALE CHARACTERS!!! way too much

    I think there was a #1reasonwhy about this from a writer who noted that she always has to justify why a character is female while dudes get passed through no questions asked

    just made a good character with an interesting personality that has agency in the story

    6bEyAX.jpg
    TurkeyCambiataElldrenCorehealer
  • reVersereVerse Never odd or even Registered User regular
    Well, I'm not going to get into more discussion because I have things to do and honestly, I don't know what else can I say, I already gave my 2 cent. But for me things (yes, I say things on purpose) like Marcus Fenix are not appealing at all, there is no universe where I would like to be something close to Marcus Fenix. Just as an example. Same with Link, same with Dante, same with the obnoxious Prince of Persia (who by the way has a big female fandom). In particular the dudes from Assassin's Creed seem to attract a big female fandom, too. So I don't think that "male protagonists are male fantasies and female protagonists are male fantasies too" stands very solidly as an argument.

    "I disagree, therefore your argument is objectively wrong" isn't a very good counter-argument.

    TychoCelchuuupablo_priceCambiatagtrmpElldrenCorehealer
  • AustralopitenicoAustralopitenico Registered User regular
    Well, giving a personal view as opposed to other personal view is a counter-argument. Of course it is not if you accept one of those visions as scientific fact, but there's nothing I can do about that.

  • reVersereVerse Never odd or even Registered User regular
    edited December 2012
    Well, there is a certain sciency thought behind the idea that the majority of men playing these games would want to be a gruff, macho alpha-male, the ultimate man, unlike "well I don't so obviously it's not true".

    reVerse on
  • SanderJKSanderJK Crocodylus Pontifex Sinterklasicus Madrid, 3000 ADRegistered User regular
    edited December 2012
    There is definitely a bias all over videogames to have angry buzzcut white dude as your main character. You probably face much the same issues if you try to make your protagonist black or asian. And I think the bias is much worse at the top of the chain. The big AAA titles, with their 50 million market budgets on top of their 100m development cycles, will be really, really risk averse and in their mind that means no risks on main characters, no risk on box art, sexy women over interesting characters. Much like how many of the blockbuster movies are pretty simplistic and weighed down by stereotypes, so are the top games.

    Any change will probably be bottom up, because that group is conservative and beholden to stockholders. And how much if any reaches the top is always up for grabs. But making noise definitely helps, and it's my view at least that the videogame industry is going through a few changes at the same time, one of which is a new age of relatively low budget games being potentially very successful because they can take more risk, and another being a far greater focus on storytelling and how it works in videogames, mostly focusing on character interaction, can really change a lot of these issues.

    Like most social battles, it's always going to be a slugwar and you will only win partial victories until literally generations start to die out, or perhaps in this case stop buying games.

    SanderJK on
    Steam: SanderJK Origin: SanderJK
    TychoCelchuuu
  • Mild ConfusionMild Confusion Smash All Things Registered User regular
    It's kinda hard to point out a specific game that doesn't objectify sexuality in some way.

    I was going to mention Kotor2 with Kreai as a great example. And while it's true that she's probably the most compelling female character I can think of that has no sex appeal at all, it isn't that simple. Visas Marr was also non-sexual, but Handmaiden and Mira were designed to obviously flaunt their sexuality. Plus there was the dance quest that poked fun at Leiah.

    Marcus Fenix doesn't get a pass because he is ugly, he's playing into the male power fantasy.

    The problem with this whole thing boils down to the player base. If the industry evolved and stopped developing games to pander to young males, that would be a great thing, but the truth is, it's harder to sell a multi-million dollar game that doesn't pander to male fantasies, sexual or power. Fuck, movies and comics have been around for decades, more than enough time for their customers to mature with age, yet both industries still pander to younger people with sexual or power fantasies.

    The industry will mature, but teens and 20 year olds will stay the same age.

    TychoCelchuuuenvoy1
  • Magic PinkMagic Pink Tur-Boner-Fed Registered User regular
    edited December 2012
    darleysam wrote: »
    darleysam wrote: »
    Males are not designed with a heavy slant towards sex-appeal? I think they are. Most if not all of them. What there is not is "bimbos", as you say. But most men are designed to look appealing, and if you have ever spent more than 3 seconds in deviantart you will know that they have their share of female fans that make them do unspeakable things. And there is nothing wrong with that.

    The thing with first impressions and judging on appearances is that it can be deceiving. From my point of view, not playing a game because one of the characters looks like a naked chick is just as bad as not playing a game because it has no hot chicks.

    Maybe I have problems expressing myself (I'm not a native speaker), but what I'm trying to defend is that sexyness and sexy women are not bad and sexist on principle, it's the treatment of each specific character that matters, and the looks only amount to a design choice.

    Most male characters are designed to be appealing.. to guys. Not in a "heeyy good looking!" way, but as in "I want to BE this guy!"
    When you actually get characters who are designed to appeal to women, like Carth from KotOR, they get dismissed as 'whiny'. I think BioWare had perfected that with Kaidan in Mass Effect though, because he seems to get a more even response from both a male and female audience. But no, don't go in thinking that your perception of 'attractive' male characters in games are for women.

    Well, I'm not going to get into more discussion because I have things to do and honestly, I don't know what else can I say, I already gave my 2 cent. But for me things (yes, I say things on purpose) like Marcus Fenix are not appealing at all, there is no universe where I would like to be something close to Marcus Fenix. Just as an example. Same with Link, same with Dante, same with the obnoxious Prince of Persia (who by the way has a big female fandom). In particular the dudes from Assassin's Creed seem to attract a big female fandom, too. So I don't think that "male protagonists are male fantasies and female protagonists are male fantasies too" stands very solidly as an argument.

    Femshep is an awesome, sexy female character, ME1 Ashley was, too (hated her in ME3). Chell is great, though silent, and not fanservicy at all. Same with Faith from Mirror's Edge, a game I highly recommend.

    I could understand the argument if you talk about Bayonetta, but Bayonetta is a special case (and I can`t bring myself to find the chick hot, either, she has weird proportions, like an Elder God trying to trick its way into your bed).

    In any case I would ask women of this forum. What sort of female protagonist would you like? Would you like her to be attractive, not, irrelevant...? I think that's a question only them can answer. But the fact that you don't like a character design or don't find it attractive or even tasteful does not mean is sexist, sexism is another thing entirely, at least from my point of view.

    Your point of view, quite frankly, is wrong. For every tastefully portrayed female character you can give me I can provide 20-30 if not more that aren't. Literally 99.9% of female character in games HAVE TO BE sexy. There is no alternative. Males, on the other hand, are so rarely protrayed as sexy (I can think of one, Dante and he's only portrayed "sexy" a small amount of the time) and half the time are purposefully unattractive if not monstrous in appearance.
    As for your question which is bizzarely limited to woman only; my favourite kind of female character to play is a withered, crazy old lady. Out of the HUNDREDS of games I own and have owned I have precisely ONE where I can play as that kind of character.

    And, again, to put this in perspective, there is ZERO wrong with making women sexy or using sex appeal to sell anything. The problem is literally they're ALWAYS sexy woman and the men so rarely are.

    Magic Pink on
    NightslyrStormwatcherTychoCelchuuuAegeriCambiatagtrmpGennenalyse RuebenRoyceSraphimCorehealerTariel
  • AustralopitenicoAustralopitenico Registered User regular
    reVerse wrote: »
    Well, there is a certain sciency thought behind the idea that the majority of men playing these games would want to be a gruff, macho alpha-male, the ultimate man, unlike "well I don't so obviously it's not true".

    If that's sciency then please, give me numbers, or at least tell me wether you or other males you know have the fantasy of being a testosterone-laden hairless buffalo. I'm just casting doubt on that notion because many of these things "everyone knows" tend to be untrue. I don't see "all men want to be Marcus Fenix" as self-evident. Do you?

    Magic Pink
  • KalTorakKalTorak Registered User regular
    Males are not designed with a heavy slant towards sex-appeal? I think they are. Most if not all of them.

    Can we just shut this argument down early.

    zNrvn.png

    Magic PinkNightslyrAlbino BunnyGlalBrocksMulletOniros25TychoCelchuuuCarbonFireplufimAegeriDhalphirSoundsPlushCambiataSmrtnikMomoriMalReynoldsThirty-3Gennenalyse RuebenStranger DangerAnzekayLalaboxhanzoironsizideCommander ZoomMelksterRoyceSraphimHarlonJaysonFourNightDragonKusmeroglutapeslingerLovelyElldrenRisenPhoenixCorehealerDubhXenogear_0001
  • DelzhandDelzhand motivated battle programmerRegistered User regular
    I think Cortana is also hamstrung by, well, being designed 12-13 years ago. I think the gaming community's attitude, if some portion of it can be said to be swinging in a better direction, has only started to improve on female portrayal recently.

    jk0Btsj.png
    Lovely
  • klemmingklemming Registered User regular
    Part of the problem is developers set out to design a 'Strong Female Character', whereas what people want is 'Strong Character (female)'.
    The former end up over-sexualised because they need to be seen as Female, while the latter are just good characters who happen to be female.
    (example: Faith in Mirror's Edge. I don't think there was any fuss made about her being a woman. You could change the art/ voices and gender terms, and the game would be exactly the same, without losing anything)

    Another good example of it being done right would be Shepard in Mass Effect, although that's mostly down to the gender-neutral design.

    The following sentence is true. The previous sentence was false.
    NightslyrMomoriShadowhope
«13456799
This discussion has been closed.