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

Velventian

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When it comes to diversity in games sometimes its better to look back then forward, don´t ask what diversity can get you in the future but what it has already gotten us.
I know they get dragged out a bit too often but games like metroid and tomb raider have pushed for female characters and were great games and have likely helped push concepts like choice of gender or more games with female protagonists.

Diversity in themes, games pushing for new ideas or even whole new game concepts. Take games like mirrors edge, that game was something new and diverse.

Or even just diversity in business model, without people considering new ideas on how to sell a game beside print cd, sell cd we wouldn´t have things like steam or gog.

Diversity is part of cultural evolution since it ensures a wider pool of ideas and points of view. Basically the gene pool of a culture.
What a lot of people don´t seem to see is not everything has to be good just because its different. Sometimes new ideas suck.
In evolution not every mutation turns out to be useful, some are evolutionary dead ends. But some work better then what was before or are able to do something that previously couldn´t be done.
Games as a medium evolve and diversity is necessary for us to be able to continuously enjoy them.
Without it you will be playing the same exact games with not a single new original thought 10 years from now.
 

CymbaIine

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Genocidicles said:
Jesus Christ, how many times do I need to explain this?

I personally do not believe that games need to be dumbed down to cater to women. But if you read the article I linked in my comment you quoted, you will see that Anita Sarkeesian does.

She's an idiot, yes... But the thing is, game developers (in that case, Dice) are actually listening to her. She holds more clout in the industry than the female gamers who don't need their games to be dumbed down. So games might end up being dumbed down so they can attract female gamers, regardless of whether or not they actually needed to be dumbed down.
That article doesn't say that.
 

Verlander

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Diversity didn't create bad games. Game games existed before and will exist after. So will good games.

If you're happy with gaming, diversity won't affect you. Your games will still exist, although maybe devs will experiment with the aesthetics of a game. If devs embrace diversity, there is the potential for a far greater scope in story telling, greater character design etc. More is better, even if you don't like playing it.

Honestly, even from a staunchly right wing perspective it makes sense. Currently the industry isn't appealing to a potentially huge audience. It's simply bad business. If there are 2 games out that are very similar - white male military sim for instance - they'll compete to be bought by the existing fan base. If you have two games out that are different - one of the above sims, and a survival game where you're a mother trying to smuggle her children out of a war torn 1940's Europe, you have the opportunity to sell both games to the existing user base, sell a game to the existing consumers that don't like military sims, and even introduce new people to gaming.

Remember how Red Dead Redemption was a breath of fresh air? Imagine if there was a Native American version, and you got to fuck with the settlers? Or an African one, and you were at war with other tribes? Or a Russian revolution sim? The opportunities are endless. Mainstream games today won't stop being made, and there might be something else you never knew you'd love. If not, there will be something that someone else loves, could be their introduction to the hobby etc.
 

Genocidicles

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CymbaIine said:
That article doesn't say that.
I can relate to a lot of fellow female gamers who did not get into this game due to its difficult controls
So she is saying that female gamers need their games to be easier, AKA dumbed down.

CymbaIine said:
Why should I bother with it? It based all this wall of text off rumors. It works with the assumption that someone talking to developers implies that they are forced to comply. They even work with the assumption that EA forced Dice to participate.

Edit: Is this just another bloody Anita thread? How threatening is she to all of you (general you)? She is bloody irrelevant. She won't make your toys go away, she won't change game development on any scale. Stop being so bloody afraid of her and poison forums with daily threads about this woman, it gets tiring, especially when they are not advertised as such.
Alright then, it's a rumor. Lets assume it's real though, for two minutes.

Why would Dice or EA have her give a talk, if they didn't agree with her views? Did they have her over so that they could laugh at her or something?

So yeah, she is a threat. She's not trying to take the games away, she's trying to dilute them into bland pieces of shit that anyone can play without getting offended or finding it too difficult. That wouldn't be a problem, except developers are actually listening to her. They're entertaining her ideas. They're legitimizing her.
 

BiscuitTrouser

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BinDipper said:
I've said it before and I'll say it again. Anyone who advocates for more black characters, or more female characters, isn't actually interested in diversity, they are only interested in their own selfish representation.
This assumes the only culture i find interesting is my own.

This is untrue.

I want to play an assassins creed set in ancient egypt. I think the next assassins creed protagonist should be an egyptian man or woman to accommodate for this. I want this because egyptian culture, architecture and history is fascinating to me and i want to play a game where i can explore something i find interesting. This isnt about representing myself at all, its about exploring perspectives and places that I admire and want to understand better.

I find women and their stories interesting, i myself am a man. It is my problem when the media has PLENTY for me to do as a straight dude, which i sometimes enjoy and appreciate having access to, but theres limited options for me to explore other avenues i find interesting. I want some more games like the walking dead with varied and interesting characters. Would the walking dead be less interesting if everyone was the same? Damn straight.

So yeah, i advocate for games where i get to EXPLORE other peoples perspectives but that doesnt have to specifically be a woman or a black person, its nice to be surprised by new and interesting ideas that i myself didnt think of and ask for. I dont just want to LOOK like a women or a black person so character creation is frankly a stupid solution. I want to have stories that incorporate a perspective i cant experience in real life into them. If you just have the same story and cookie cutter your own personally made character into it them the ability to tailor the narrative is limited.

My interest in other people is more than skin deep, adding a skin slider to every game isnt what i want nor would it sate my curiosity for other viewpoints.
 

CymbaIine

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BinDipper said:
Are we really going to argue that The Sims, Viva Pinata or Pokemon are aimed exclusively at young, straight males?
No, but then I assumed we both knew what we were talking about given the context of the thread. You get that right?
BinDipper said:
If you're not advocating, if you're only asking, then the answer "They just aren't it's not a problem" must be sufficient.
Clearly it isn't and I explained why.


BinDipper said:
Targeting like that is one of the ways these companies stay in business.
It's called marketing, and a well known phrase in marketing is "if you're marketing to everyone you're marketing to no one."
The more time and money you spend marketing tampons to men and children the less time and money you spend marketing to the people who will actually buy your product, adult and teenage females.
Yes because aiming most triple A games at white straight men exclusively is EXACTLY the same as advertising tamopns to men. I've never thought of it like that!

There is a difference between staying in business and gouging as much money as possible. I get they want to make money and they will exploit the consumer to do it, but are you really saying as a consumer I should just accept that?


Not to mention the fact that these tactics aren't infallible and indeed are very short sighted. The idea of "well it worked last week so it will continue to work well into the next decade" has brought down thousands of businesses and industries.

BinDipper said:
If you want to say something along the lines of "There's too much of an emphasis in the AAA industry on typically male-centric action games," I could get on board with that.
Of course I wouldn't put that down to some supposed institutionalised form of sexism or misogyny. I would put it down the medium still being very new and (for lack of a better word) immature. And I would cite games like "The Walking Dead" as proof that this "AAA let's copy Hollywood action movies" trend is fading.
Honestly I think there is probably less misogyny in games than other mediums. Let me clarify - The misogyny in games is overt. It's the lack of female characters and the overly sexualised costumes and all that jazz. I would rather have that than shoe horned in caricatures of "strong women" you see in TV shows. FFX-2 with it's all female PCs was terrible, it's the closest a game has ever come to offending me.

BinDipper said:
I stand by what I said before. If you truly care about diversity in games, if you truly care for better representation. Then you will advocate for more character creation systems, not just more female characters or non-white characters.
Well I don't. It's stupid, the idea that a dev can say "well there is a black skin option" to tick a diversity box sucks. As does the idea that a dev is limited from creating a fully developed lead character because they need to be the every man (yep I used man). You really think there is a simple "fix" to the diversity issue? There isn't, but this -debating it- this is good. The gamergate and all the ensuing crazyness is good if only because it gets people talking about it.
 

CymbaIine

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Aug 23, 2013
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Genocidicles said:
CymbaIine said:
That article doesn't say that.

I can relate to a lot of fellow female gamers who did not get into this game due to its difficult controls
So she is saying that female gamers need their games to be easier, AKA dumbed down.
No, my point is that article is just rumour.

Also that other quote isn't me!
 

Mandalore_15

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Diversity is only as good as the art it creates. Shoehorning diversity into any creative medium just makes it feel forced and tacky. Creators should make the choices as to what characters best suit their story and go from there. If it's a man it's a man, a woman a woman. Doesn't mean they think the other gender is "inferior" or anything.

N.B. I actually really enjoyed Gone Home, for what it's worth.
 

Genocidicles

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Rocket Girl said:
Could you please quote and source an example of Anita saying "games need to be dumbed down to cater to women"?
I can relate to a lot of fellow female gamers who did not get into this game due to its difficult controls
So she is saying that female gamers need their games to be easier, AKA dumbed down. Admittedly it is a rumor.

CymbaIine said:
No, my point is that article is just rumour.

Also that other quote isn't me!
Ok well that's fair. If it were true though then it doesn't bode well for Mirror's Edge 2.

And I was quoting multiple people in the same post so I could reply to them all without doubleposting.

TheKasp said:
Ok, maybe having her there was just to pay lipservice. But now we have people like Tim Schafer supporting her, saying that every game developer should watch her videos. She obviously holds clout in the industry now, and to say otherwise is just insane.
 

DaViller

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Genocidicles said:
So yeah, she is a threat. She's not trying to take the games away, she's trying to dilute them into bland pieces of shit that anyone can play without getting offended or finding it too difficult. That wouldn't be a problem, except developers are actually listening to her. They're entertaining her ideas. They're legitimizing her.
So imagine that any other popular critic (someone who might have ties to developers or does talks infront of them or something) argues that, for example, he doesn´t like modern military shooters for whatever reason. Following your reason that person is a threat to people who like shooters cause he wants to take theyr favorite genre away isn´t he?
 

BiscuitTrouser

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BinDipper said:
In fact thinking about it, I'm struggling to think of any fiction, video game, film or literature, that would cease to work if you gender-swapped all or some of the characters. A lot of it suddenly becomes more interesting.
Why? If experiences are unchanging on an individual basis between race and gender of the same background what difference would it make if any? If anything the games industry could have a 100% male cast and there be zero impact on any narrative. In fact why shouldnt we do that? How can you justify that it becomes more interesting whatsoever.

The way I see it, it's quite the opposite. Your interest in other people is apparently only skin deep.
Nonesense, this whole thing comes across as American centric, i generally mean people of other races/genders in OTHER cultures who undeniably DO have a different experience from me in my culture. In that regard just changing the colour of a character isnt enough to properly represent their potential background, upbringing and unique experience, hell even an American growing up in an orthodox jewish family had a totally unique experience and thats totally undeniable. People come from different places as well as looking different. I thought i convayed that rather clearly that those two can go hand it hand.

After I said what i appreciated about ancient Egyptian culture this is a blatent misrepresentation, i struggle to understand how you can consider language, architecture, religion and attitude as "skin deep".

So the reason you want an Assassin's Creed game in Egypt is because it would represent your tastes, your historical interests.
You don't care about diversity, you care about your own interest being represented.
Thats a blatant fallacy, why is it exclusive, can one only care about diversity if it is AGAINST their personal interest? Can i not care about diversity BECAUSE appreciating diverse experiences is in my personal interest, why not both? Theres some other factors as well, i think other people would definitely appreciate the change in setting and would respond positively if it was given a chance. I also think representation in media is important, having a diverse range of protagonists in both personality AND race AND gender lets people see themselves in the media they enjoy. I think that has a positive effect.

I reject the idea that there are fundamental male or female experiences, that there are fundamental black or white experiences. In real life there are trends, sure. But there's no reason experiences and themes traditionally thought to be female can't be explored by a male character and vice versa.
Im on board with that also, but remember theres more to the character than just a race slider and a gender selector. WHERE are they from and what cultural background do they have? That definitely changes their experience. Being able to play as someone from egypt means ill probably be playing an egyptian, the race AND background are linked and the latter definitely changes the experience. Not everyone is from the USA or grew up in the USA. Not to mention being a certain race or gender in certain communities can definitely affect upbringing.

Going back to The Walking Dead game again. Would it really have been that different if Lee was white? Besides some of the racist undertones coming from Kenny nothing would change whatsoever. The Walking Dead could have featured a character creation system with absolutely no detriment to the narrative.
Walking dead spoilers

Since Kennies racism makes a VERY ugly resurgence when the russian boy is involved that forshadowing earlier is a VERY powerful narrative device. You see it, kenny learns about lee and you think hes moved on. Thats character development. Its also development when you see Kenny break and that cruel streak comes back with a fury. I found that whole arc amazing, and would definitely be less interesting if kenny interacted with only black people or only white people, it wouldnt give us this character contrast, that lovable kenny is capable of disgusting attitudes. It added depth and context to his character and actions

The inclusion of women also allowed for the pregnancy element which was an awkward and interesting situation in the survivors condition. You physically need A woman to include that element. Its where babies come from.
 

happyninja42

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Genocidicles said:
Normally I'm one to just stick my fingers in my ears and pretend everything is fine when discussions about diversity get brought up, but with all these articles about how the 'evil dudebro gamers' are dying off and how gaming will become more diverse and move forward as a medium (and how that's a good thing) have made me wonder:

Is this a good thing, for me? From where I'm standing, all diversity in gaming has brought us is shit like Gone Home. How can I get on board with 'diversity moving gaming forward', if it just means more crappy games I won't play on Steam? How is this a good thing exactly?
For the same reason that diversity in books, movies, tv, and other forms of entertainment is a good thing. It allows people of different flavors to find something they enjoy and can love. Do you feel the same issue with diversity in these other forms of media? Do you gripe that there are romantic comedies in the world, even if you never plan on watching one yourself? Do you feel the same about period piece documentaries, or perhaps musicals? Do you wish they didn't exist simply because you don't like them? If not, then just apply that same rationale to your gaming media, and let people who want other games have something to enjoy.

Disclaimer: All of the above examples are things that I personally don't like at all, and avoid watching like the plague, but I don't have an issue with them existing, unless they are currently on the screen that I am watching. xD