Going back to being just plain, normal gamers.

Worgen

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Silentpony said:
Worgen said:
Silentpony said:
Addendum_Forthcoming said:
....no, no one cared about Net Runner because it's Net Runner.

Diversity doesn't equal fun or a good game, and don't try to pretend it does.
Diversity as an idea is great. Good for it! But token diversity really does bring a game down. Watered down, one note characters are a bad thing and you shouldn't want to defend them simply because of tokenism.
Then you should be for Anita since we tended to get a lot of token females in games then. We still get them but to a lesser extent. Games have always had the token representation characters, look at Cole Train from gears, at least in the first one, I forget if he was more fleshed out in the second... I kinda don't think so. Diverse characters can easily make a much more interesting story which can make a much better game. Would Shadowrun be better if your only choice was playing a white human male? Would Divinity Original Sins2? Of course not.
The way I view it is analogous to the current 8th Edition on Warhammer 40k. There are now keywords, simple factional terms use to designate what units belong to what faction. A Space Wolf has the Imperium, and Space Marine, and Space Wolf keywords, so that any rules that apply to Imperium, Space Marines, and Space Wolf applies.

Anita and her ilk complained about a lack of diversity, and whatnot. and the Suits all said "Holy shit, how can we get her to shut the fuck up?! I know! Keywords! She wants more Powerful, Independent women. So lets just create an utterly bland character, but give her the Powerful, Independent and Woman keywords so everyone shuts up"
And that's how you get the new Lara Croft or what's her face from the Robot Dino game.

We get NPC_02, with Transgender and BlueHair as keywords, and suddenly its diverse. But they didn't actually make a new character, let alone a relate-able person. They just stapled on keywords that filled some nebulous requirement, and moved on.
IS that bad? The new Laura is an interesting character, I quite liked the reboot and I've heard that whatever her name is from the robot dino game (I dont have a ps4) is a really solid character. It's also how we get Senua from Hellblade. I'm not seeing how this is a bad thing.

Even just having an npc who is a bit out of the norm can really flesh out the world. Look at MLP, bronies mascot is a character that resulted from an animation error, or the shipping between Lyra and Bonbon, two characters who tended to be put close to each other because of complimentary colors.
 

Ogoid

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trunkage said:
I wouldn't deny that Anita is a snowflake. But you're showing your own snowflakeness right now.

It's funny how the general tact for dealing with Anita was becoming Anita (crying over insignificant/imaginary stuff, generally going on rants, not accepting criticism and generally play the victim card)
I don't really think I'm playing the victim card by simply pointing out that her brand of snake oil has been peddled several times in the past under different labels, and its been shown to be - in every instance, I might add - nothing but. If being annoyed by intellectual dishonesty makes me a snowflake though, well... I'll gladly cop to that charge.
 

Silentpony_v1legacy

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Worgen said:
Bad? Probably not.

But I do think its insulting to water down minorities to easily applied stereotypes. And certainly its lazy.

Like, Kren was it(?), from Dragon Age Inquisition. He was transgender...and that was it. Didn't have a character beyond "She has lady-parts but identifies as a man, deal with it"
And such tokenism is nor more interesting to me than a favorite food or drink. Back when they wanted to make Samus transgender, I said it's pointless because she's a silent protagonist in a helm. Samus could be an Afro-Native American Questing-Third Gender PolyFluid Lava Goose and it won't add anything to the story, the character or gameplay because its literally stapled on for special interest groups.

And to me that's not an interesting way to make a character - by how many checkboxes we get.
 

Worgen

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Silentpony said:
Worgen said:
Bad? Probably not.

But I do think its insulting to water down minorities to easily applied stereotypes. And certainly its lazy.

Like, Kren was it(?), from Dragon Age Inquisition. He was transgender...and that was it. Didn't have a character beyond "She has lady-parts but identifies as a man, deal with it"
And such tokenism is nor more interesting to me than a favorite food or drink. Back when they wanted to make Samus transgender, I said it's pointless because she's a silent protagonist in a helm. Samus could be an Afro-Native American Questing-Third Gender PolyFluid Lava Goose and it won't add anything to the story, the character or gameplay because its literally stapled on for special interest groups.

And to me that's not an interesting way to make a character - by how many checkboxes we get.
Were they watered down in any of your examples? I thought they were pretty fleshed out characters. I didn't play inquisition since I don't do origin games, was he a part of the main party or a supporting character? Even if it is just tokenism that doesn't exactly mean its bad. Sure it can be done bad but just having it isn't necessarily damaging.

Did they want to make Samus transgender? I don't think they did, I think it was more a setup for hiding the fact she was a woman. I don't think she did need to be one but it was a nice twist that I didn't appreciate till I got older. I remember being a kid, I wanted to pretend to be her, but I couldn't since she was a girl. But aside from that did her being a female detract from anything?

There are plenty of silent protagonists that happen to be male, would those change if we made them female or some kind of gender fluid whatever? Ripley from Alien was originally written for a male lead and they changed him to a her.
 

Wintermute_v1legacy

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Eh... as someone who just tried to avoid all this shit, I consider myself a plain normal "gamer", I didn't notice any change there.

I wonder if it's a language thing and if I just missed it by a decade or so. Words like "geek" and "gamer" are relatively new here, when compared to "nerd", which has been around here since (I think) the 80's and those high school/revenge of the nerds type movies. Everyone I knew who was into gaming was just lumped together with the rest of the "nerds" and that was it, a label you didn't want, something to be ashamed of. Now people take pride in this shit, like it's some amazing honor being a gamer.

Now you have a lot of "geek this", "nerd that", mainstream stores with entire areas dedicated to the geek/gamer/nerd crowd, instead of just a tiny spot hidden away in a poorly lit corner of smaller stores.
 

Silentpony_v1legacy

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Worgen said:
Kren was the second in command for the Iron Bull's mercenary band, wasn't a playable character, stood in the corner of the tavern the entire game, I don't think we ever see him fight anything, and his entire dialogue tree consists of "Welcome to Cornaria" "I like swords" and "I'm not a lady, yo"

And its not that a silent protagonist's gender matters, 'cause you know... Doom Guy, Gordon Freedman, that Turok guy, they could all have been women and it wouldn't have taken anything from them. But it also wouldn't have added anything either.
Like until that dreadful speaking game, Samus could have been a man, and it wouldn't have made the games any less fun or the character any less heroic.
That's kinda' my point. If the character doesn't change at all while your moving along the gender or race slides in the character maker, then its all kinda' token.
 

Worgen

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Silentpony said:
Worgen said:
Kren was the second in command for the Iron Bull's mercenary band, wasn't a playable character, stood in the corner of the tavern the entire game, I don't think we ever see him fight anything, and his entire dialogue tree consists of "Welcome to Cornaria" "I like swords" and "I'm not a lady, yo"

And its not that a silent protagonist's gender matters, 'cause you know... Doom Guy, Gordon Freedman, that Turok guy, they could all have been women and it wouldn't have taken anything from them. But it also wouldn't have added anything either.
Like until that dreadful speaking game, Samus could have been a man, and it wouldn't have made the games any less fun or the character any less heroic.
That's kinda' my point. If the character doesn't change at all while your moving along the gender or race slides in the character maker, then its all kinda' token.
So did Kren not have a lot of conversation options or something? Bioware tends to be pretty good at giving a lot of depth to npc characters.

Then it changing the gender doesn't hurt anything, then why are you against it? Does it really hurt you that much to have a bit better representation?
 

Terminal Blue

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Silentpony said:
Diversity as an idea is great. Good for it! But token diversity really does bring a game down. Watered down, one note characters are a bad thing and you shouldn't want to defend them simply because of tokenism.
Yeah, you know whose opinions on tokenism I care about..

1) The people being tokenized.
2) Noone else.

In capitalism, we take what we get. For many people that was, for a long time, nothing. There was a time when Star Trek having a black woman on TV (who wasn't a domestic servant) was revolutionary. There was a time within my lifetime (which isn't very long) when you couldn't show a gay kiss on TV. A lot of early minority characters were not well rounded and particularly developed, but they didn't need to be because they meant a lot to people who were used to having nothing.

This is not to say that all representation is good representation, but too often people cry tokenism as a way of silencing or minimizing the depiction of noticably different characters or stories which are not aimed at them.

As for Krem (not Kren, it's short for Cremisius), did you listen to any of his dialogue? I mean, just off the top of my head. He grew up in tevinter. His father was a tailor who was put out of business because a magister decided to produce cheap clothing using slaves as a charitable measure to help the poor and had to sell himself into slavery. Krem joined the army using false papers, was found out and had to desert. That is more backstory than 90% of characters in that game get right there.

Now, the fact that Krem is trans is very important to this backstory, because it's the reason he had to leave his family and what drives the emotional context of the story. But believe it or not, this is a story which will resonate with a lot of trans people. A lot of trans people are rejected by their parents or forced to move away from where they grew up. A lot of trans people cannot easily separate being trans from the rest of their lives in this easy, discreet way people seem to think make for "good characters". That isn't tokenism, it's kind of the opposite of tokenism.

Could it be that maybe what upsets you is that people were happy to see a trans character in a game, and you don't think that should be a big deal. Well, sorry, but it is a big deal, because it almost never happens. If you can't handle a relatively insignificant side character being trans, do you think companies are going to take away that you want more trans characters with more centrality to the plot and more time spent on their character development, or will they draw the obvious conclusion that putting trans characters in games is a mistake.
 

Vendor-Lazarus

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With all the talk about representation and tokenism, I will probably get some flak for saying this but what about a sense of proportion?
Since quotas seem the be the thing to do today..

I live near a capital city in one of the most progressive countries, yet I've never known or even seen a transperson in the flesh and only a handful of gay people.
However, everywhere I look in comics, movies, shows, games, whathaveyou, some sort of mandatorily enforced obligatory quota have to be filled to placate the 1%. No, the other 1%'ers.
By trying to force the issue and demand space and time, conflict will arise.
What matters more, acceptance or a pedestal.
 

Phasmal

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Sometimes checking this website is like opening a door to the past, I swear.

Y'know, no-one is making you care about diversity and that. If you don't want to care, if you just want to play games, do that. This is what I have never bought about the whole argument. If it truly doesn't matter, then you shouldn't care.
It is very very easy to just play games. I've been doing it for quite some time now.

Still, this whole argument strikes me as a desperate attempt to return to the past. People don't want games to change, and they are changing. They need a scapegoat to say "Ah, if we get rid of these people or this thing games will go back to the way they were, the way I want them to be". But they won't.

Gaming is pretty mainstream, it has been at least 10 years, if not more.

We're getting there in terms of representation now, slowly. It's nice that not everyone has to be a straight white guy unless there is a specific reason for them not to be so, as that's not how anything works in the real world and was pretty tiresome. These days I'm more interested in shitty industry practices, but I'll always care about having interesting and varied characters in games.

It has always been "Okay" to be a gamer. Just go do it. I guarantee you that no-one is going to snatch your controller/keyboard away to read feminist theory. There is literally nothing stopping you from just playing games. Go. Be free.

This has been a blast from the past.

 

Gethsemani_v1legacy

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Ironman126 said:
So, I was writing this big, long "well, actually" dissertation, then it occurred to me that I was playing right into your hands. Wily Scandinavian.

Then I realized I had wasted whole minutes of time I could be using to do other things. So, yes, identity politics is a waste of time. Just because everyone does it doesn't mean it's good, it just means it's hard to avoid.
Agreed 100% percent. In case it wasn't clear I am not a big fan of identity politics, but to call others out on it is almost always a case of throwing rocks in glass houses. Especially in situations like what the latest kerfuffles in the games hobby have been, where the central premise is focused on an identity.
 

Wrex Brogan

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Oh boy, it's more Anti-Anita stuff isn't it?

IT IS! OH BOOOOOOYYYYYYYYY

for christ sakes guys, leave it alone already. At this point everyone who gets into a huff over them evil SJWs has enacted more identity politics than the entirety of the LGBT+ movement over its 40 year history, just, fucking, STOP. Sit down, shut up and play your games, and if someone out there bangs a drum asking for more representation or something, just tune 'em out, because the last thing anyone needs is yet more pointless bellyaching over an incredibly vague identity.

Silentpony said:
Worgen said:
Bad? Probably not.

But I do think its insulting to water down minorities to easily applied stereotypes. And certainly its lazy.

Like, Kren was it(?), from Dragon Age Inquisition. He was transgender...and that was it. Didn't have a character beyond "She has lady-parts but identifies as a man, deal with it"
And such tokenism is nor more interesting to me than a favorite food or drink. Back when they wanted to make Samus transgender, I said it's pointless because she's a silent protagonist in a helm. Samus could be an Afro-Native American Questing-Third Gender PolyFluid Lava Goose and it won't add anything to the story, the character or gameplay because its literally stapled on for special interest groups.

And to me that's not an interesting way to make a character - by how many checkboxes we get.
Quick question - have you thought that maybe it's not tokenism, and maybe it's just that... you're not interested in that particular aspect of something? I ask because, well,
a) Krem is a token only in that he's the only transgender character in the game (he does actually have a character, role and even some quest involvement), and
b) from a personal standpoint, I found his inclusion added something interesting into the world of Dragon Age, i.e. how transgender people are treated by the different cultures, which was a nice little bit of world building.

Like, I dunno, I just see a lot of people who lambast diversity or representation as begin tokenism, which, while true to some extent due to the often limited number of diverse characters in a work, always feels like it's just an... extension of that persons own disinterest in gender/sexuality than a straightforward criticism of diversity in media. Which, hey, whatever, everyones got their own interests, I'm not that interested in Noble House politics whenever that shows up, but at the same time, like... I mean, Gay/Bi/Trans/Whatever people tend to just exist in real life and have that as a trait additional to whatever else they are, so it's... hard to really have a go at a character for just being gay/bi/trans/whatever.

Shit, people only know I'm gay when I tell 'em, and I tend to be the only gay guy in a given group most of the time... so, well, at least the token diversity character is relatable, in that regard.
 

Dreiko_v1legacy

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Gaming is a sub culture, depending on how much of it you partake in, you will experience a different type of activity. That being the case, it is useful to be able to gauge this difference and use it to calibrate how one should communicate with another. For example, in airdasher fighting games, you list directional inputs with numbers and attack buttons with letters of the alphabet, going from stronger to weaker in alphabetical order. If I begin saying "do 236C cause it has low profile on f1" to a random grandmother who once played a game in her life while sitting at a dentists' office, I doubt I will be comprehended the same way as I would if I said this to someone sitting next to me in grand finals of a tourney with hundreds of dollars on the line.


There's nothing wrong at all here and the only ones who take issue are the ones who have an inherent inferiority complex and want nobody else to be "more hardcore" than they are. What we should do with those people is ignore them like we ignore the rude people who are boastful and ugly when they win, and play our games to our personal degree of competence and with our desired level of seriousness as long as that is most fun.
 

Silentpony_v1legacy

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Wrex Brogan said:
Its not that I'm not interested. I find interesting characters to be interesting. But when they're one-note, when their entire character can be summed up in a single word, then they're simply not interesting.

To take from the ZP of the Evil Within, I'm picturing an Executive and a writer in a room. The Exec says
"I think we should have a gay NPC"
And the writer comes back with
"What type of character are you thinking?"
"I just told you, gay"
"No I mean what's their motivation, what's their character arc, how do the effect the player character, the story?"
"I just told you, gay, gay, gay and gay! Jeez, why are you so hard to work with?!"

And at that point, I simply lose interest. And my larger point is basically if the inclusive character doesn't add anything to story, character or gameplay, then they're pointless. They don't take away, sure. But they don't add anything, and there's no real reason to have them. And I don't get the controversy of not having them. Likewise though, I don't get the controversy of having them.
Take Kren for example. Dragon Age would have been the exact same game if Kren wasn't in it. He added nothing. However, Inquisition would have been the exact same game if every area have a dozen Krens in different corners, being Kren. Because he adds nothing.

Imagine if instead of personal identities, it was food preference. An Assassin's Creed trailer comes out and everyone is up in arms that none of the character like Mac & Cheese, and they demand for Mac & Cheese representation.
And so all the companies strive to out do each other. EA has a character that likes Mac & Cheese. Ubisoft one-ups them with two characters! And then Blizzard breaks the world with a playable character who likes Mac & Cheese!

And the whole time its just Shadow of War, Assassin's Creed, and a new Overwatch character. The Mac never comes into play, the cheese is never mentioned, and functionally nothing has changed. Nothing was lost, sure. But nothing changed.
That's how I view it.
 

Addendum_Forthcoming

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Silentpony said:
And at that point, I simply lose interest. And my larger point is basically if the inclusive character doesn't add anything to story, character or gameplay, then they're pointless. They don't take away, sure. But they don't add anything, and there's no real reason to have them. And I don't get the controversy of not having them. Likewise though, I don't get the controversy of having them.
Take Kren for example. Dragon Age would have been the exact same game if Kren wasn't in it. He added nothing. However, Inquisition would have been the exact same game if every area have a dozen Krens in different corners, being Kren. Because he adds nothing.
Krem. Krem.

It's 4 letters.

4.

Hell... Krem's backstory resembles my own life experience. My parents threw me out on the street at 16 years old because I came out to them. I even ended up enlisting in the military because back then that was the only employer who took on large influxes of poor and homeless/housing stressed.

Krem is an NPC and a minor one at that, involved in a single quest stream. If he wasn't in it, how exactly would you know?

If Krem was edited out of the content, no the story wouldn't alter dramatically. But then again, are you legitinately saying unless Krem was a villain or protagonist, what point would it make? I could say the same of any other minor NPC in the game. The difference is Krem actually has a backstory. Advertises and clarifies parts of worldbuilding. And more over, it's realistic a condition so many trans people find themselves in.

If that doesn't interest you, then why is it your commentary is on thr ptoblem of diversity, not simply NPCs in general?

I for one am happy that it seems as if they did an ounce of research into the lives of trans people, which doesn't seemvery tokenistic to me. More over Krem seems to have a hell of a lot more backstory than your average NPC.

So what's your problem exactly? That the game would be better if they just removed any NPC with a half-decent backstory?
 

TheMysteriousGX

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For fuck's sake, it's the end of twenty-seven-goddamned-teen. And the worst we can attribute to Sarkeesian is "one of the hundreds of throwaway NPCs who barely matter to the story was trans".

Ya'll a bunch of thunderf00ts.

EDIT: "worst" should be used sarcastically here. If Senran Kagura: Peach Beach Splash and Xenoblafe Chronicles 2 prove anything, it's that poorly conceived, blatantly horney character design isn't going anywhere.
 

Tsun Tzu

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Oh.



Wake me up when it's not 2014 again anymore.

altnameJag said:
EDIT: "worst" should be used sarcastically here. If Senran Kagura: Peach Beach Splash and Xenoblafe Chronicles 2 prove anything, it's that poorly conceived, blatantly horney character design isn't going anywhere.
 

Silentpony_v1legacy

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Addendum_Forthcoming said:
Again you deliberately misunderstand my point for some half-cocked idea of righteous indignation. More power to you, but unwarranted.

My point is that this lazy writing, NPC or not, is bringing gaming down. And before you freak out again, no, I am not saying that gay characters are bringing gaming down. As I've said, I would be just as annoyed if Mac and Cheese characters were bringing it down. The new age of NPC/character writing it one-note. Its lazy. And it just so happens to be about diversity characters - which, since you forgot, I am actually okay with. Diversity is a good thing. Laziness is not. The gaming industry figured out that a simple check-list counts as inclusive.

Maybe I'm weird, but I'd rather have one really well written interesting NPC, than say 50+ bland one-note NPCs that fill every every color and gender of the rainbow. Or indeed every page in the Gourmet Mac/Cheese cookbook.

The second they have an actually interesting gay or Mac enthusiast character, with an character arc, story and interaction with the player I will be the first to go 'Woo! What a fascinating character! Way to develop a full-blown person!'
 

Addendum_Forthcoming

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Silentpony said:
Addendum_Forthcoming said:
Again you deliberately misunderstand my point for some half-cocked idea of righteous indignation. More power to you, but unwarranted.
As opposed to misspelling a character's 4 letter name despite pretending as if they're proof vidya is dying and it's all Anita's fault?

What were you saying about indignation?

Pretty sure I ain't topping that weapons grade illiterate spiel.

My point is that this lazy writing, NPC or not, is bringing gaming down. And before you freak out again, no, I am not saying that gay characters are bringing gaming down. As I've said, I would be just as annoyed if Mac and Cheese characters were bringing it down. The new age of NPC/character writing it one-note. Its lazy. And it just so happens to be about diversity characters - which, since you forgot, I am actually okay with. Diversity is a good thing. Laziness is not. The gaming industry figured out that a simple check-list counts as inclusive.
Then 99% of Npcs in that game are lazy, because Krem feels more fleshed out than any of them. Hell, I personally resonated with Krem's backstory. I had similar experiences. Seems like they actually did a bit of research on a character for once. Krem was trans, and that had a role to play in bringing them to where they are in the plot. Moreover the story is actually grounded on the garbage trans people face now. How is that tokenism?

Maybe I'm weird, but I'd rather have one really well written interesting NPC, than say 50+ bland one-note NPCs that fill every every color and gender of the rainbow. Or indeed every page in the Gourmet Mac/Cheese cookbook.
Then you should want more Krems, as Krem was a decently fleshed out NPC. In fact... if you cut out all the supporting NPCs with less dialogue and worldbuilding, I'm pretty sure you'd just be left with Krem.

The second they have an actually interesting gay or Mac enthusiast character, with an character arc, story and interaction with the player I will be the first to go 'Woo! What a fascinating character! Way to develop a full-blown person!'
So play some interesting games. Hardly either Anita's fault, nor the fact Krem is trans. After all... Netrunner ... awesome game, diverse cast of Runners and Execs. I suggest you have a game of Netrunner.... you know, play games. It's a good game. Totally isn't dying because Anita.

I mean... I go to my LGS to play every fortnight or so. I have two weekly gaming groups. Play L5R, Netrunner, sometimes some Tash-Kalar, pen and paper...

I don't go there and say; "Too bad Anita is killing us."
 

Dreiko_v1legacy

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LostGryphon said:
Oh.



Wake me up when it's not 2014 again anymore.

altnameJag said:
EDIT: "worst" should be used sarcastically here. If Senran Kagura: Peach Beach Splash and Xenoblafe Chronicles 2 prove anything, it's that poorly conceived, blatantly horney character design isn't going anywhere.

I was gonna read what you said but was too distracted by Horo, bad choice of gif, I mean, good, but bad if you wanted me to read your post XD.