I'm a straight male gamer, convince me diversity in games is a good thing

bishopzz

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I don't worry about things like diversity in gaming. I mean if an industry and it's consumers are mostly white, straight and male, who would you guess most of the protagonists are going to be? Even so, there are still a fair amount of protagonists that don't have all of those characteristics.

A lot of people are using the black guy from The Walking Dead games as an example of diversity, but it's only skin deep. If that character were white it would make little difference. I think we need to really show a different prospective, I'm thinking radical Islam. What if the playable character was the leader of a terrorist group with the goal of causing the death of as many infidels as possible. Wait, you find that offensive? You say that every reputable retailer would boycott that game? Oh my, the FBI tapped my cell phone. Well, I guess it was an idea worth throwing out there.
 

BiscuitTrouser

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f1r2a3n4k5 said:
My answer: Because there are untapped qualities there. Qualities which have the potential to elevate the story-telling in game.

Examples: "The Walking Dead." In this story, we get a touching connection between a black surrogate parent to a female child. It allows for story topics about being a "parent."
Would it have been better if the story was about a single, white male protagonist trying to survive the zombie apocalypse? Maybe. But probably wouldn't have had the same impact.

"Persona 4." We see gender & sexuality issues. Granted, they were watered down for US audiences. But they permit for a story about struggling with one's inner self on the grounds of society's expectations. Would the story have been as intriguing if every character had the same issue? Would the scope be lessened if all the characters were straight men? I think yes.
Thiiiiiiiiiiiiis.

This is correct and awesome and uses my favourite example. The walking dead has a HUGELY diverse range of characters and uses that diversity to make the story AWESOME. Having a Russian group in the final episode was very interesting considering:

The traditional nice kenny is actually a closet racist for ruskies when under extreme stress, beating, abusing and using "commie" repeatedly to justify his violence toward a young russian man. It really brought out an aspect to kenny as a hateful redneck as well as a caring father that you just never saw before.

Without diversity the walking dead would be half the game it is. Persona is also a fantastic example.
 

VanQ

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Oct 23, 2009
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GenuflectHonesty said:
Genocidicles said:
Well if we're going for 'things we can't do in real life' why does it have to be playing as a woman, or a gay guy? Why not go all the way and have us play as transdimensional cyborgs with 2 brains? Or insect people with a rigid caste system? That actually sounds interesting to me.
Good question, OP! Diversity isn't restricted to just people; it's just that since gamers and developers are all people, they want to represent everyone fairly. As a bisexual male I wouldn't mind some more LGBT protagonists, but that doesn't mean it just has to stop there.

One thing that disappoints me about indie games is that I really want to see more "out there" concepts from them; something like Bad Mojo, an old PC game where you literally played as a cockroach.
On this note, it's worth noting that the diversity in games has substantially decreased in the last 10 years or so. This is why I can understand why people might be frustrated with the way things are moving. Where we once had Crash and Coco Bandicoot, Spyro the Dragon, Gex the Gecko, Starfox, Abe the Mudokon, Banjo and Kazooie we now have Kratos, Marcus Phoenix and Nathan Drake plus their myriads of clones.

It's definitely worth remembering that games were once significantly more diverse than any other medium as far as protagonists go. Even if the majority of those were males, there was some real imagination there.
 

Rastrelly

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Mar 19, 2011
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AccursedTheory said:
Gone Home? You mean the game with an 86/100 on MetaCritic?

'Not my cup of tea' does not mean 'crappy.'

I admit, diversity is going to do nothing for the CoD Twitch Lord. But for people who give two shits about immersion, characterization, and storyline, diversification of characters opens up gaming to something beyond 'Bro shoots other bros for country/place to put penis.'
.. which pretty much every time leads to female medieval warriors, or companies of black, white, asian and indian (both indian and american) roaming around arabic decorations without anyone pointing fingers at them, or, in more modern settings, to juggling around "see, see, we have a strong independent female character!!!" instead of actually letting me enjoy that strong independent female character. Personally my immersion gets broken immediately after that.
 

burnout02urza

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I'll point out that Kenny's treatment of Arvo is completely justified because:

Arvo nearly gets them all killed, and Arvo later shoots a little girl in the chest. Don't forget that he got an entire gang of bandits to rob Kenny's team, contributing directly to at least three deaths.

It's like being considered a 'closet racist' for loathing an Islamic fundamentalist who just blew up a school bus full of children. Obviously, I'd be looking for any chance to shoot him dead.
 

Fdzzaigl

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Yeah, and it has also brought you things like "The Walking Dead" by telltale. Except if you find that shit too, but that's highly subjective anyhow.

Why should you need convincing? You're part of the biggest group, you already get catered to and no one will take that away from you by making more diverse games. Shit games will happen, but at the same time a whole lot of great games will happen.
 

Phasmal

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Jun 10, 2011
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VanQ said:
GenuflectHonesty said:
Genocidicles said:
Well if we're going for 'things we can't do in real life' why does it have to be playing as a woman, or a gay guy? Why not go all the way and have us play as transdimensional cyborgs with 2 brains? Or insect people with a rigid caste system? That actually sounds interesting to me.
Good question, OP! Diversity isn't restricted to just people; it's just that since gamers and developers are all people, they want to represent everyone fairly. As a bisexual male I wouldn't mind some more LGBT protagonists, but that doesn't mean it just has to stop there.

One thing that disappoints me about indie games is that I really want to see more "out there" concepts from them; something like Bad Mojo, an old PC game where you literally played as a cockroach.
On this note, it's worth noting that the diversity in games has substantially decreased in the last 10 years or so. This is why I can understand why people might be frustrated with the way things are moving. Where we once had Crash and Coco Bandicoot, Spyro the Dragon, Gex the Gecko, Starfox, Abe the Mudokon, Banjo and Kazooie we now have Kratos, Marcus Phoenix and Nathan Drake plus their myriads of clones.

It's definitely worth remembering that games were once significantly more diverse than any other medium as far as protagonists go. Even if the majority of those were males, there was some real imagination there.
Yes, I miss games like Spryo and such. I want a game where I can play as a unicorn, or something. Representation for magical creatures!

OT: Ugh. Look, we've had a few of these threads before, and it might be just me but they always come off as condescending. `Explain to me why any of YOU should get any SCRAPS of developer attention, which is rightfully MINE! MWHAHAHA`. Okay, maybe that's a bit too far.

Here's a shitty reason that some guys I know like- because more people will start playing games and then maybe more ladies will play it and you can have fun times like me and my boyfriend had last night staying up 8 hours to get to lvl 70 on Diablo 3 seasons. Now that's love.

Or maybe because everything isn't about you and a bit of variety is nice and homogenisation is what everyone complains about in games and I don't see how it's different when it comes to this one specific issue.

But whatever one you like.
 

Genocidicles

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Ten Foot Bunny said:
I wasn't going to comment in this thread until I read the quote above.

Has it occurred to you that we women don't need games "dumbed down" to our apparently incompetent level? Do you think that we women ONLY want games like Gone Home? Well you're completely wrong about that. I very rarely tell people that they're wrong because I respect differences of opinion, but I know plenty of women (of which I'm one) who love difficult games AND games like Gone Home. I know plenty of female gamers who have 1250/1250 gamerscore in Dark Souls, and a perfect score in the second game too (don't ask me what that score is because I haven't played it yet). The only thing that's stopped me from getting a perfect score in DS is that I'm burned out on video games right now and haven't played anything in six weeks. (DS is what I was playing when I stopped, but it wasn't what burned me out - that had to do with a stupid gaming tournament that I was in coupled with a death in my family on July 9.)
I don't think games need to be dumbed down for women, but Anita Sarkeesian does and game developers are actually listening to her.

Another thing I'm tired of seeing is people who think that games like Gone Home are only pandering for awards or are the product of some imaginary quota. Don't people think that developers actually WANT to weave a story from a female point of view, and aren't being pushed into it by societal pressure? I'd love to know how many of these devs are sitting around saying, "Ugh, I WANTED to write a story about a 30-something, white, stubbly faced, male protagonist, but I'm being forced into this female bullshit."

Also, why groan about a game like Gone Home winning accolades from reviewers? Reviewers might have just LIKED the game. I know I liked the game, and I'd give it glowing reviews. 10/10 in my book. It finally told a story that I can relate to on a personal level, which is something that I've never seen before in a game. And does a user score of 5.4 really mean anything, or does it simply mean that Gone Home catered to a demographic that's been ignored, and the majority didn't like that? Just tonight I watched a movie on Netflix that had a low user rating, Netflix predicted I'd rate it barely higher than 2/5, but the story seemed interesting to me. Sure enough, it was one of the most unsettling, twisted, and fucked-up movies I've ever seen. Well, unsettling, twisted, and fucked-up are positive qualities in my book and I rated it 5/5.
Well why couldn't they have made an interesting game with a female point of view instead of a walking simulator? That's the problem I have. It's just a game about walking through a house looking at stuff, and when you add in the ridiculous price (£15 for an hour long game) it really doesn't warrant a 10/10

I guess what I'm trying to say is why care about user ratings when they all say "I hated the story" or "this doesn't fit my idea of a game," which is what so many complained about with Gone Home. Those are subjective opinions only. If the reviews all say the game is broken, buggy, glitchy, or unplayable, that's a different story.
Well surely the 'proper' reviews are purely subjective too?
 

Phasmal

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Jun 10, 2011
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Genocidicles said:
I don't think games need to be dumbed down for women, but Anita Sarkeesian does and game developers are actually listening to her.
You wanna talk about her, there's a thread for it. The rest of us are sick to fucking death of it. I don't care what she thinks. I don't care what you think she thinks.

I really hope this isn't just a sneaky-Anita thread, I thought we might get some actual discussion.
 

DaWaffledude

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Rastrelly said:
AccursedTheory said:
Gone Home? You mean the game with an 86/100 on MetaCritic?

'Not my cup of tea' does not mean 'crappy.'

I admit, diversity is going to do nothing for the CoD Twitch Lord. But for people who give two shits about immersion, characterization, and storyline, diversification of characters opens up gaming to something beyond 'Bro shoots other bros for country/place to put penis.'
.. which pretty much every time leads to female medieval warriors, or companies of black, white, asian and indian (both indian and american) roaming around arabic decorations without anyone pointing fingers at them, or, in more modern settings, to juggling around "see, see, we have a strong independent female character!!!" instead of actually letting me enjoy that strong independent female character. Personally my immersion gets broken immediately after that.
Said medieval settings usually involve dragons and magic. It's not exactly aiming for historical accuracy, so why hang on to sexism of all things? It's probably not going to factor into the story, so why not have female warriors?
 

Vault101

I'm in your mind fuzz
Sep 26, 2010
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DaWaffledude said:
Said medieval settings usually involve dragons and magic. It's not exactly aiming for historical accuracy, so why hang on to sexism of all things? It's probably not going to factor into the story, so why not have female warriors?
cynical answer because we must always be reminded that were women..and were victims

actual answer I actually do roll my eyes whenever certain characters get instilled with modern values in historical times, but really it depends how its handled

a historical setting I can kind of get...but a fantasy one...no
 

Rastrelly

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DaWaffledude said:
Rastrelly said:
AccursedTheory said:
Gone Home? You mean the game with an 86/100 on MetaCritic?

'Not my cup of tea' does not mean 'crappy.'

I admit, diversity is going to do nothing for the CoD Twitch Lord. But for people who give two shits about immersion, characterization, and storyline, diversification of characters opens up gaming to something beyond 'Bro shoots other bros for country/place to put penis.'
.. which pretty much every time leads to female medieval warriors, or companies of black, white, asian and indian (both indian and american) roaming around arabic decorations without anyone pointing fingers at them, or, in more modern settings, to juggling around "see, see, we have a strong independent female character!!!" instead of actually letting me enjoy that strong independent female character. Personally my immersion gets broken immediately after that.
Said medieval settings usually involve dragons and magic. It's not exactly aiming for historical accuracy, so why hang on to sexism of all things? It's probably not going to factor into the story, so why not have female warriors?
When we talk of high fantasy sword and sorcery - yes, maybe. But when it comes to more serious things, like intended tone of Dragon Age was, mere existence of female warriors would mean completely different society with absolutely other relations between males and females, different customs and clothing tradition, etc. It hangs whole lot of stuff to think about and work on. Which is never done properly. This leads to poorly hammered in chicks with big swords running around in society which clearly should not accept them or accept as part of it.

Captcha: would you believe. No, Captcha, I wouldn't.
 

Vivi22

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Genocidicles said:
Ten Foot Bunny said:
I wasn't going to comment in this thread until I read the quote above.

Has it occurred to you that we women don't need games "dumbed down" to our apparently incompetent level? Do you think that we women ONLY want games like Gone Home? Well you're completely wrong about that. I very rarely tell people that they're wrong because I respect differences of opinion, but I know plenty of women (of which I'm one) who love difficult games AND games like Gone Home. I know plenty of female gamers who have 1250/1250 gamerscore in Dark Souls, and a perfect score in the second game too (don't ask me what that score is because I haven't played it yet). The only thing that's stopped me from getting a perfect score in DS is that I'm burned out on video games right now and haven't played anything in six weeks. (DS is what I was playing when I stopped, but it wasn't what burned me out - that had to do with a stupid gaming tournament that I was in coupled with a death in my family on July 9.)
I don't think games need to be dumbed down for women, but Anita Sarkeesian does and game developers are actually listening to her.
So? Listening to her is not the same as taking her advice. And if you're really concerned about games being dumbed down, the AAA industry has already done more in that regard in the pursuit of money than any talk from Anita Sarkeesian ever could.

Now how about you respond to some other posts around here that have also made some exceptional points instead of seemingly picking and choosing whichever ones you want that let you maintain some semblance of your strange view on games and how diversity works.

Well why couldn't they have made an interesting game with a female point of view instead of a walking simulator?
Who says it wasn't interesting? You? Are you god? No? Then your opinion doesn't mean a whole lot to anyone but you. Moreover, I'm not sure why you'd pick up on one game that had an interesting story about real issues that are normally never touched on in games, and assume that that's the only shape that more diverse topics and types of games can ever take. That sort of thinking is objectively wrong, and completely silly. Has the fact that there are movies being made by, for, and about women completely killed the action movies aimed at guys? Of course not. And to pretend that that would suddenly happen in games when it's never happened in any other form of media ever since the dawn of time is absurd.

Well surely the 'proper' reviews are purely subjective too?
The answer is of course they are, but the question isn't even a real response to what was said.
 

EternallyBored

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Jun 17, 2013
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Rastrelly said:
DaWaffledude said:
Rastrelly said:
AccursedTheory said:
Gone Home? You mean the game with an 86/100 on MetaCritic?

'Not my cup of tea' does not mean 'crappy.'

I admit, diversity is going to do nothing for the CoD Twitch Lord. But for people who give two shits about immersion, characterization, and storyline, diversification of characters opens up gaming to something beyond 'Bro shoots other bros for country/place to put penis.'
.. which pretty much every time leads to female medieval warriors, or companies of black, white, asian and indian (both indian and american) roaming around arabic decorations without anyone pointing fingers at them, or, in more modern settings, to juggling around "see, see, we have a strong independent female character!!!" instead of actually letting me enjoy that strong independent female character. Personally my immersion gets broken immediately after that.
Said medieval settings usually involve dragons and magic. It's not exactly aiming for historical accuracy, so why hang on to sexism of all things? It's probably not going to factor into the story, so why not have female warriors?
When we talk of high fantasy sword and sorcery - yes, maybe. But when it comes to more serious things, like intended tone of Dragon Age was, mere existence of female warriors would mean completely different society with absolutely other relations between males and females, different customs and clothing tradition, etc. It hangs whole lot of stuff to think about and work on. Which is never done properly. This leads to poorly hammered in chicks with big swords running around in society which clearly should not accept them or accept as part of it.

Captcha: would you believe. No, Captcha, I wouldn't.
I don't think Dragon Age is the best example considering their society does take female warriors very seriously since the centerpoint of one of the world's major religions is based around Andraste, a woman who led rebellions against the Tevinter imperium using a barbarian army that would become the ancestors of Fereldon. She is basically described as a female warrior who takes most of her queues from Joan of Arc.

Also, all the female warriors in the game in minor roles, or the female warrior who is in your party in Awakening (Sigrun) well as being able to make the Warden a female warrior, and Duncan having lines about how they have recruited women into their fighting order in the past, the lore stating that female dwarfs specifically make vicious warriors and the antagonist Branka who is an exceptionally powerful female dwarf in heavy armor wielding a two handed weapon, oh yes, and we can't forget one of the final fucking bosses of Dragon Age II, the Knight-commander Meredith, the human female warrior who leads the entire Templar order in Kirkwall, and is basically in charge of the whole city while it is under Chantry control.
 

prowll

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Easy.

The next CoD includes female soldiers.

Some random girl picks up the game because it looks interesting, and hey, she can play as a girl.

You meet your future girlfriend over CoD.
 

Jux

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Do you base all of your life choices on whether something will directly benefit you OP? Here's the thing. Diversity and inclusiveness in games may benefit you. It may expose you to interesting and compelling narratives that you might not have otherwise gotten. But. Even if it doesn't, and you see no direct, personal benefit, is that really a reason to be against it? It seems like an incredibly selfish worldview to have.
 

Maevine

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Maybe it won't do anything for you. Maybe you might run into more boring games. But WE can finally enjoy ourselves with games. It's about giving us what you already have, not giving you more. If you're not on board with sharing, whatevs.
 

KazeAizen

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Genocidicles said:
I admit, diversity is going to do nothing for the CoD Twitch Lord. But for people who give two shits about immersion, characterization, and storyline, diversification of characters opens up gaming to something beyond 'Bro shoots other bros for country/place to put penis.'
Well surely that's a matter of writing, not diversity?
Actually you'd be wrong on that. I'm not sure about you but as it stands when I go out just to hang out or run errands I run into people of various ethnic backgrounds as well as both genders. For the games that like to tout "realism" having both genders and multiple races beyond the token black guy is as real as it comes.

Seriously though if you can't see the net positives of diversification then I think you actually need to rethink your priorities in life. You want to know how it can be a positive? Different styles of stories. Especially if those stories are set in the "real world". Like for instance a shooter during the civil war but from the perspective of a black man. That's going to be a totally different game than if it were from the perspective of just another white dude. It also could be very meaningful.
 

shrekfan246

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May 26, 2011
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Inglorious891 said:
What makes a character interesting is the character itself; just because he's white doesn't mean he's any less interesting.
And "diversity" doesn't stop at skin color.

The cast of Team Fortress 2 is diverse. That is one of the reasons they are interesting. You're right, most of them being white has no bearing on how interesting they are, but it also has very little bearing on how diverse they are. They all have distinctly different silhouettes, accents, talking styles, and play-styles. That sounds pretty diverse to me. Call of Duty? Everyone is "Grizzled Soldier #1-25", even the few female characters they occasionally throw in. There's no actual personality, and while it might be conflating the discussion a bit here, "diversity" in itself would do little to harm that.

I mean, yes that's a problem with writing more than anything else and it won't be solved by "diversity for diversity's sake". But having a writer who actually puts in the effort to create a very distinct and memorable cast would go a long way towards "fixing" it.