- Mar 26, 2011
You wont get an equal balance when the demographic spread is not equal. For all the reasons I said in my other posts, what you are asking here is not likely and not fair. Titillation sells among certain genre, so it will be used within those genre because they show a profit as a result. In an industry that has stagnated like the gaming, that has gotten so conservative out of fear and necessity, expecting a change that can only be classified as risky (such as changing the formula of what sells well) is nothing short of entitled. Sucks but no, you will not get equal amounts in games (though even in spite of this, there has been shifts towards less titillation so it is not like that is all you have to choose from either)Dragonbums said:For me, I don't want all sexy women to go away. I just want an equal balance. There are times where I just want to be a badass. Badass for women doesn't have to be synonymous with sex appeal.
A lot of people thought the default FemShep was pretty hot and she was shown in full armor. They didn't need to do unnecessary titillation to make a female character conventionally attractive.
It is not the entire industry, it is the triple A market and the genres that use titillation most often. Beyond that though, yes, there is real fear that not appealing enough to the demographic WILL kill companies at least, especially when games have become so bloated that failure of a large title (by, say, not appealing enough compared to a competitor) will kill a company. Look what happened when Darksiders 2 failed. Companies are afraid to fail so they make conservative business choices, up to and including outright pandering to audiences.Dragonbums said:But like I said earlier, variety would not kill the gaming industry. "Sex sells" is the mantra, but you aren't selling a porn magazine. You don't NEED to make them get in my bed sexy. It would not affect the sales of the game at all.
People are playing videogames to play videogames. Not to be aroused. "Sex sells" mantra did not stop a game from having successful sales, nor abysmal sales, and it certainly didn't save it from either being a good game or a bad game.
Furthermore, obviously not everyone shares your sentiment regarding games, as the titillation does seem to be responded to well enough that it continues. Not surprising given how all other media out there use the same tactics, hard to fault a strategy that is reliable even if not progressive. but more on that in a moment.
No, it means it is a larger cultural issue you have a problem with, not something gaming can fix or address as a subculture. And it means that games, as a demand oriented medium and a luxury product rather then necessity will respond to overall culture trends by simple logic of supply and demand. One could no more stop sexy characters in games then explosions until culture itself changes the appeal to them. And because of the way the larger industry works in targeting its demographic, that means you couldn't stop the amount of titillation for the same reason. Furthermore, I feel you are moralizing when using the term "right thing to do". If you meant that as a business and industry sort of thing (as in the current habits are bad for the industry) then I can agree there even if I understand the business motivation. If, however, this is a moral aspect like using sexy characters alot is somehow unethical, then I would have to protest.Dragonbums said:Just because other mediums do it doesn't mean videogames have to follow the herd. Nor does it make it the right thing to do.
Most fan-service in movies has little rational reason to be there. Hell, the horror movie staple of the topless scene are often shoehorned in just for the sake of having the skin seen. I wouldn't expect gaming to be any different in that regard by having little excuse behind trying to appeal to lowest common denominator.Dragonbums said:Except for the part where the female designs DO NOT fit with the atmosphere of the games. I explained this with what Bioware did with Ashely in Mass Effect 3 and not only did it not make sense in the perspective of her personality and background, but it didn't even make sense in the realm of her occupation, and current situation. Especially considering where her opposite Kaidan, was much more realistic to the atmosphere of the game.
We all wish it was so. In fact, I don't think a single person would say they didn't like the idea of variety. Problem is, there is a finite amount of time and energy developers will put into games, and as sch they paint in broader swaths to attract the largest amounts of the demographics they know will buy the product. Unfortunately, it means it is less likely to find characters suited to your taste it seems. My sympathies, but everyone compromises in gaming. That the demographic that kept the industry alive and profitable is more likely to not have to compromise as much on ascetics isn't surprising, nor wrong (going back to games being products and thus made to appeal in the broadest way to the people buying them)Dragonbums said:While I'm glad you can brush off the issue, that does not make it true for everyone else. I can as well can ignore that aspect and play the game and enjoy it. But at the end of the day I still wish there was more variety for me to choose from outside of customizable character games.
Well, lets start with the obvious that the male characters are still attractive and the only difference here is that instead of 2 body types, you have 3. Hell, this shows that reflection of culture itself aspect I was talking about earlier. Look at the main character designs. You have the "average" looking white male with brown hair pretty boy/rogue type, or the massive bulking monster. Both represent the ideal "masculinity", though the two show the change in culture as a whole about what is "manly" now. The classic idea of muscles and strength versus the the more modern handsome and roguish badboy. Your Kratos versus Nathan Drakes.Dragonbums said:But the thing is there are much more mainstream and popular games that do indeed show those kinds of guys in videogames. A lot more than women. Not every guy looks like Kratos from God of War.
So if a guy doesn't like to play as meat fridges, he has a nice big library to choose from that doesn't feature male protagonists like that. The same cannot exactly be said for women.
But lets assume that the "variety" male characters are given compared to females tells us something. What?
Well, what does that tell us then? To me, it is indicative of how the triple A industry is conservative and scared, using tried and true methods instead of trying new ideas regardless how much that hurts the industry in the long run. It also tells me that demand for variety in gaming is not high enough to warrant the massive cost involved in making the games with the less demanded characters. Furthermore, it tells me there should be a smaller market for them already in place, perhaps some sort of "independent" gaming not as restricted by business ideology and budget constraints, and where smaller games can flourish based on demand, even if not the blockbusters. Some sort of "indie game" scene.
First, it sounds like you are moralizing here. You should really word things better, it gives the impression that you are projecting your own ideals of right and wrong in an ethical sense onto the rest of the world and that would lead to a lot of conflict. And you'd be dismissed and compared to the religious jackasses who tried to stop Rock music. And D&D, videogames in general, Rap, Punk, Violence, Violence in video games and so on. Would be a good idea to avoid moralizing is what I am saying.Dragonbums said:Just because it's less of an issue compared to other things, doesn't mean it should be disregarded. It certainly doesn't mean that it's a non issue. A problem is still a problem no matter how small.
Secondly, assuming you are treating this as a discussion and not sermonizing and that the problem you refer to is in relation to the industry and how the current issue harms it (thus making it a problem to gamers), as said before, if the gaming industry is merely a reflection of culture at large (and it is), and the big games made are made to meet demand that is determined by our collective culture wants as demographics (and they are), then blaming gaming for there being a lot of sexy characters is as much a waste of time as blaming a cough for someone having cancer. It is the symptom of a larger issue, trying to guilt the game industry to take cough suppressants doesn't fix things, it makes the matter worse. Those that try to be risky in the current industry culture are as likely to fail as succeed with how big a budget they throw at those big name games. Change too much, greater chance to fail, and you know well that the first things they blame for failure are the changes. And as history has shown, those that try to break the mold in a way that addresses the "problem" tend to be regarded as failures for their efforts. I loved the hell out of Beyond Good and Evil, but in spite of the cult following and progressive character and writing, the parent company regards it as a failure for financially missing the mark.
Care to tell me the number of Hollywood blockbusters coming out with unattractive characters of either gender? Because you are complaining about that right now when complaining about diversification in the big name titles.Dragonbums said:How many of them are really in the spotlight or aren't indie games though. That's the problem. It's often an overwhelming majority that's like that.
There would be zero harm to the game's industry if the playing field was evened out.
The game industry needs diversification and different perspectives on a widespread level. Unless of course they want to end up like the comic books industry.
As explained before, demand is not as high for what you want as what others want. Expecting them to both be given the same treatment is naive and entitled. They wont. There is a reason that the summer blockbusters all tend to be huge spectacle events with explosions and sexy characters. That is the same reason that the largest titles in the gaming industry use the same ideas. They sell, they work, and regardless your personal tastes on the matter, because they sell, and sell very well, they get used over and over til they stop selling well.
Furthermore, for someone who understands the parallels to the comic industry enough to mention them, you forget that they are notorious for titillation pandering too. And in times of doubt, that is where they go back to as well, if DC is any indication. Hell, the comic industry that should be serving as a warning seems instead an inspiration to many game designers, with the same issues showing up so well. From high product price in order to cover talent/production costs, to juvenile obsession with violence and titillation, to greedy practices like special editions and additional story/content spread out to nickle and dime customers, to obsession over just the target demographic...
Yeah, I readily agree they are similar and should get off that track before it goes over the cliff, but at the same time, there is are reasons why the comic industry before, and games now did that. If you want to ever change it, you have to understand those reasons well enough to know what ones you can actually affect or not. Big game companies don't care if you like the titillation or not, then cant hear you over the sound of the money coming in from those that do.