A series of questions to those who want change in female game roles.

Ramzal

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I dislike selective threads about gender. I really, truly do. Because I feel that it can--and often does--bring out the worst in both sides of the debate/argument/debacle. However, there has been something that has been bugging me. We often hear what the problem is but we hear no alternatives. Stating there is a problem without any mention of a solution is not effective problem solving at the least.

This is not a topic for simply stating what a problem is and why it's a problem, (Although I will not complain much if that is done, but please see the purpose of this) but rather a chance to offer a set of alternatives that may prove there is a problem or give ideas to improve the nature of games in general.

To give an example of what is an idea and what is not:

Not an idea
"Make more realistic females in games."

Realistic is a term that depends on whoever may see things a certain way, based off of their own life/reality. A Caucasian woman who have lived her life in middle class, and chooses what she wants to wear for the day cannot comprehend/understand the life of a woman from middle east who moves to America or England (Just giving examples) wears a burka by choice, nor can they understand their reality. And can easily mistake the woman wearing a burka as suppressed when in the middle eastern' reality it is her choice.

An idea
"I believe that a woman would more likely wear armor while fighting armed opponents to protect her body from harm.

http://images3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20090513011916/zelda/images/4/4c/Ashei.png

She is heavily armored on her left hand, so she may raise it to block blade strikes, mid sectional armor to protect her liver, kidneys, pancreas, small and large intestines and her stomach since it is a popular area to aim after in a duel. Her neck is armored to protect it from being slit mid fight or even by sneak attack and her shins are well protected while leaving her thighs lightly armored/covered possibly for mobility sake."

This offers an alternative, gives an example, and purpose of a change in pace. A much more meaningful argument then the former.

I've asked these questions several times over (Reworded them many times, but the meaning is the same) and personally have not been given many actual--valuable answers. And by making this thread, I was hoping to remedy that. So. Here are some of my questions.

What are some solutions? Some ideas? Suggestions of what can be done? Examples? What would classify as a "realistic" and stereotypical woman? Please, if you can. Show photo-examples to get the point across.
How are they over sexual?
And if so, what would be sensible/fair to put in a video game?
Also if we do not change it, what harm will be done?
Isn't changing a structure to favor a groups needs no different then censorship?
Isn't it self defeating for women to say that some women in games that do not wear the same amount of clothing as them are oversexual--since- some women prefer to wear very revealing clothing? Is that not singling them out, to favor your own likes and dislikes?
Isn't asking creators to go by a criteria that a group finds except able limiting their creativity?
And if you believe women are being victimized in video games, don't you believe that by extension men are too due to over dramatic muscle tone, beautiful female features, and gruff appearances/tough guy personalities?

This is chance for those who believe that there is a problem to show some solutions/evidence to their claims to convince those who do not believe it.

And remember, examples make the world go round, and people support an opinion.
 

yuval152

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OT: I can't understand why people are so butthurt about it, everytime I play a videogame that shows the "bad side" of women never makes me hate/ like them less.

Now I must disable quote notifications.
 

SlaveNumber23

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Aug 9, 2011
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Honestly people take this stuff way too seriously, I mean look up 'game' in the dictionary: "An amusement or pastime."

Video games are supposed to be about enjoying yourself and having fun, not giving a shit about and having a cry over sexism. I'm not saying that sexism isn't an issue but that it shouldn't be a relevant factor in video games. If you want video games to be respected as and treated as an art form then why can't you just respect the artists rendition? If you are offended by it just don't play the game. Who are you to pick up a game developers work and say "fuck you this is shit because the females in your creation don't wear enough clothes, change it now."
 

Shadowstar38

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There need be no solution. Can we just settle down and enjoy some video games already?

I think gamers have made enough of a stink about this all over the internet that these develoers are either working on fixing it, or dont give a fuck. Either way, fixing gender role issues takes time, and we'll have to deal with stupid stuff for awhile yet.
 

Ramzal

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Shadowstar38 said:
There need be no solution. Can we just settle down and enjoy some video games already?

I think gamers have made enough of a stink about this all over the internet that these develoers are either working on fixing it, or dont give a fuck. Either way, fixing gender role issues takes time, and we'll have to deal with stupid stuff for awhile yet.
I agree with you 100%. I believe games are fine as they are and if there is a change in things, it should occur naturally and at a developers decision. However, my intent it to invoke thought beyond those who find a problem past "WOMEN ARE OBJECTS IN GAMES!" or give an inkling of imagination. If anything, I am highly interested in creativity or constructive criticizing art. I am against people making a senseless stink about things.

But an actual discussion on how things can be viewed or changed without looking for a leg up or acting as if you are owed anything would be valuable.

Well, that and I want to see if there is any actual point behind the complaining outside of the sake of complaining.... so far, nothing as no examples or ideas have been given that clearly have not been done in the past already and is overlooked either by the ignorance or the stubborn nature of the arguer.
 

Phasmal

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Eh, I was actually going to address your questions point-by-point, but I have realised from experience that will just lead me to a bunch of dudes quoting me telling me how super wrong I am and there's absolutely no problem no way not ever.

So, I'm just gonna say, yeah, men in games are fantasies too. Power fantasies, but they are also allowed more diversity. There are more massive muscle dudes, fat dudes, ugly dudes, short dudes.

And I'll leave some links if you actually wanna read about it instead of just argue about it.

http://whatculture.com/gaming/female-gaming-characters-as-sex-objects-is-it-time-to-get-real.php
http://mmohuts.com/editorials/mmorpg-female-character-cliches-and-why-they-need-to-stop
http://manatank.com/2011/08/reality-female-video-game-character/

My advice would be: These conversations are not going away, female gamers (and many male gamers) want more realistic female characters.
 

Fappy

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It's a simple solution really. Hire more female writers/male writers who can actually write female characters. Also, cut back on the sex appeal in games that don't need it. Easys.
 

Ramzal

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Fappy said:
It's a simple solution really. Hire more female writers/male writers who can actually write female characters. Also, cut back on the sex appeal in games that don't need it. Easys.
Okay. But what is wrong with the writing of female characters? What makes their characters erroneous? Can you give some examples? Also can you give an example of a female writer who has created a popular female character in a game?
 

Fappy

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Ramzal said:
Fappy said:
It's a simple solution really. Hire more female writers/male writers who can actually write female characters. Also, cut back on the sex appeal in games that don't need it. Easys.
Okay. But what is wrong with the writing of female characters? What makes their characters erroneous? Can you give some examples? Also can you give an example of a female writer who has created a popular female character in a game?
I don't really know many writers by name in the industry, but any industry report will tell you females are in small supply. That's changing and it is really no fault of the industry itself, at least not here in the US.

I actually have more examples of well-written female characters than I do poorly written simply because they tend to stand out. Plenty of men CAN write decent female characters, though it is a rare quality.

I'll admit, plenty of games have poor writing all around and these are obviously the games that have the most personality-vacant sex objects. However, female characters generally fall into the trap of being side-lined, one-dimensional, obligatory girl characters that are only unique in their game because they don't have a penis.
 

jamesworkshop

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I find some amusement in this and quick glance around Fanfiction.net reveals that if any of these female writer used a visual medium they would produce the same pulpy non-sense we already get in gaming.

the odd male attitude is that it simply doesn't matter how offended women are by all of this but then can't make any connection to there refusal to treat pretty boy male characters as serious characters when what women really are complaining about is the same thing makes women appear frivolous and unimportant in really the same way that if pretty teen boy fantasy was the dominate male character trope, you would never hear the end of it, in terms of the wider effect of opinion forming about the male gender.



Some complaints are over blown, it's a lie to suggest that fundamentally that the cultures that produce the big games are ones where females do not observably wear more skin showing and tighter fitting clothes than men do, which is done for practical reasons. high heels make women attractive in the way that men would look silly (the opposite effect) when wearing them.

The reactionary position can also bear into this with women placed on a pedestal (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/WomenAreWiser) so that women need only turn up as women, not women who are skilled script writers or directors.
that doesn't help matters.
 

Galletea

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There is no answer. There will be haters whatever you do.
Besides, if I had to wear armour, I'd try to look good in it.
 

Hyperone

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Matthew94 said:
My issue is that unless the woman is a complete "Plain Jane" someone will get offended and even then, someone will be offended that she is plain.

Apart from a few like Alyx Vance someone will always have an issue with female characters and complain about them so I've just learned to tune them out.

Complain about women in games not being "real" enough? It's a problem with both genders and not exclusive to women.
This deserves a massive Quote for Truth. Women, seriously ask yourselves, "are guys portrayed any more realistically?"

I WISH I looked anything like the guys from Gears, had the unabashed stoic awesomeness of Master Chief or the sheer awesome factor that Capt. Price has. But I don't. Nor do 95% of the men you'll ever meet.

To me, that's no different than the women you see in games always having huge racks, playing backup or being generally token. There are women like this, they are just a small minority. I don't have pulsating neck muscles and you women can't do backflips with DD's and a size zero waist, can we call it even and move on?
 

Schadrach

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Phasmal said:
Eh, I was actually going to address your questions point-by-point, but I have realised from experience that will just lead me to a bunch of dudes quoting me telling me how super wrong I am and there's absolutely no problem no way not ever.

So, I'm just gonna say, yeah, men in games are fantasies too. Power fantasies, but they are also allowed more diversity. There are more massive muscle dudes, fat dudes, ugly dudes, short dudes.

And I'll leave some links if you actually wanna read about it instead of just argue about it.

http://whatculture.com/gaming/female-gaming-characters-as-sex-objects-is-it-time-to-get-real.php
http://mmohuts.com/editorials/mmorpg-female-character-cliches-and-why-they-need-to-stop
http://manatank.com/2011/08/reality-female-video-game-character/

My advice would be: These conversations are not going away, female gamers (and many male gamers) want more realistic female characters.
Going to comment on your links:

First off, of course, who *doesn't* think that at least vaguely reasonable armor makes sense for armored female characters? Once we drift away from purely practical requirements, there's more room for play, but protective gear should, you know, protect especially important bits. That's one of the big problems with so called "boob plate" armor -- it would actually make you more likely to die if you were to wear it in actual combat by funneling the force of blows toward the heart.

Regarding your last link, the sections on hair and appearance apply equally to male characters. The outfits section is the same general idea as everything else that gets said about female character costuming (with some extra emphasis on shoes). The boobs section is another one that's easy to generally agree with under the simple idea of "should be possible to wear and not injure oneself, and protective gear should, you know, protect" that applies to other gear.

Fappy said:
I'll admit, plenty of games have poor writing all around and these are obviously the games that have the most personality-vacant sex objects.
One of the problems I always have with these discussions is that most of the examples given of poor female characters are usually from examples that, as you say, have poor writing all around.

As someone else said below you, presentation of males isn't much better most of the time (unless you feel that the unrealistic standards that male characters uphold are somehow more realistic than the unrealistic standards female characters uphold).
 

Fappy

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Schadrach said:
I think people just tend to focus too much on this part of the argument. Sexism does exist in many games whether intentionally or not, most gamers would admit that. I think female characters are more likely to be poorly written/unrealistically portrayed, but it's pretty negligible in the larger scheme of things. It's easier to simply say, "I want more well written characters" than it is to say, "I want more well written female characters". We want the former and the latter is pretty much just used to support a larger argument.

I think the sex-object perspective has more merit and should take precedence over the "they are poorly characterized" debate.
 

Lilani

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Ramzal said:
What are some solutions? Some ideas? Suggestions of what can be done? Examples? What would classify as a "realistic" and stereotypical woman? Please, if you can. Show photo-examples to get the point across.
How are they over sexual?
And if so, what would be sensible/fair to put in a video game?
Also if we do not change it, what harm will be done?
Isn't changing a structure to favor a groups needs no different then censorship?
Isn't it self defeating for women to say that some women in games that do not wear the same amount of clothing as them are oversexual--since- some women prefer to wear very revealing clothing? Is that not singling them out, to favor your own likes and dislikes?
Isn't asking creators to go by a criteria that a group finds except able limiting their creativity?
And if you believe women are being victimized in video games, don't you believe that by extension men are too due to over dramatic muscle tone, beautiful female features, and gruff appearances/tough guy personalities?

This is chance for those who believe that there is a problem to show some solutions/evidence to their claims to convince those who do not believe it.

And remember, examples make the world go round, and people support an opinion.
I think the problem with all of these questions is the same problem that occurs every time this discussion comes up--you're making a lot of sweeping generalizations about "games" in general, when no standard should ever be held of ALL games, simply because they're so unique.

It's all about audience and appropriateness. For example, a common argument against giving female characters reasonable armor is "Well, the primary audience of video games is men, so of course they're going to appeal to men!" And the answer to that is yes and no. Yes, men mostly play video games. But of every game you must individually ask, who is their audience? Perhaps CoD does seek out the college aged male, and that is why vaginas don't exist in that world. But remember that Alien game that was coming out, and all the hoopla being made about the multiplayer not having female avatars? I think that's a valid argument. Women are equally represented in the single player, so why should they not exist in the multiplayer? That doesn't make sense. Plus, that franchise has always made a point of having strong female characters, making the lack of women in the multiplayer not just a disappointing oversight, but an insult to what has made the series unique up to this point.

However, it's not just about having a reasonable ratio of vaginas to penises. I have over 700 hours logged in TF2, and there is not a single playable female character in that game. But that has never bothered me before, because the characters are so well-written and the world is so perfectly realized it doesn't feel like there's anything missing. All of the characters are well-defined and have a perfectly functioning dynamic without women, and I'm fine with that. I don't think TF2 would be improved by female additions to the teams, just as The Hobbit wouldn't be improved by female additions to their group. A story doesn't need an even--or even remotely even--ratio of genders to be great.

But a loss is felt when the player is invited to project themselves onto the character, as in CoD or most multiplayer games, and there is no female option available if that is who the player wishes to identify with. And a loss is felt when regardless of what the player would like to wear, whether it be sexy or not, they do not have a choice either way in the matter. The problem doesn't just lie in the choice not being right, it lies in there not being a choice for the player at all. Maybe there are women who want their avatars to strut around in bikinis, just as there are probably a few men who want to go around looking like Fabio. But if developers continue to make the choice for the player, even when the player is invited to personalize their character and project themselves onto them, they will always be wrong.

I feel like in things like MMOs, the safest route is to just go with reasonable over sexual. Do like Skyrim and have the armor cover both sexes equally. That way the designers aren't doing too much to put words into the player's mouth as to how they perceive their character. I think a lot less damage is done in underestimating the player's sexuality than in overestimating it.
 

lord.jeff

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I don't think realistic is the right word, equal would probably be closer to the word you want. I think the solution is add more males that appeal to women with jiggle psychics in there pants, or females that don't need looks example: Samus are number one non sexy heroine is still a busty blonde she just hides it, is it to much to have one short, fat, hairy, Italian, female sewer stomper that can still get the guy and save the day.

To try and answer a few of your questions more directly:

Also if we do not change it, what harm will be done? It wont harm games but it will limit the growth of the gaming audience by alienating a crowd that is showing a lot of interest.

Isn't changing a structure to favor a groups needs no different then censorship? Censorship is forcing the change, we can only strongly suggest change and only the idiots are asking for DOA to stop being DOA or any other game to stop being sexy, what's wanted is more variety in future games.

Isn't it self defeating for women to say that some women in games that do not wear the same amount of clothing as them are oversexual--since- some women prefer to wear very revealing clothing? Is that not singling them out, to favor your own likes and dislikes? Some women do like dressing that way but many don't, the Mario thing I said earlier would fit in well here.

Isn't asking creators to go by a criteria that a group finds except able limiting their creativity? Listening to fans helps expand your work no one gets better without find back, pointing out the flaws depending on how it's done helps creativity.

And if you believe women are being victimized in video games, don't you believe that by extension men are too due to over dramatic muscle tone, beautiful female features, and gruff appearances/tough guy personalities? Having ripped muscles is a far more desirable and helpful thing to endeavor for then massive boobies.
 

ElPatron

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There's unrealistic writing in videogames? Stop the presses!

Matthew94 said:
Apart from a few like Alyx Vance someone will always have an issue with female characters and complain about them so I've just learned to tune them out.
I've seen complaints about Alyx Vance, because anything you do will piss off at least one person.

Lilani said:
Perhaps CoD does seek out the college aged male, and that is why vaginas don't exist in that world.
Or maybe because people born with them are not actually allowed in most positions held by the characters.

Besides, there was a female pilot in CoD4 (job open to females) which made the game smell less like balls.

Phasmal said:
but I have realised from experience that will just lead me to a bunch of dudes quoting me
>implying

Nice.
 

ElPatron

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lord.jeff said:
I don't think realistic is the right word, equal would probably be closer to the word you want. I think the solution is add more males that appeal to women with jiggle psychics in there pants
But the problem is that nobody wants that.
Men and women have different biological processes of appealing each other, and different biological functions.

Nowadays we just don't need to create babies and fight off predators. We can choose to do whatever we want. Jiggle physics would not appeal to women because they are not after some lump of genes to get impregnated, while men are still biologically able to have sex and not have to carry a baby around for 9 months and breastfeed him until they can reproduce again.