Jimquisition: The Creepy Cull of Female Protagonists

Jimothy Sterling

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The Creepy Cull of Female Protagonists

The game industry doesn't want female characters. That is allegedly the message publishers have been sending to developers.

Watch Video
 

Calibanbutcher

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Well this video is just what these forums need right now.
As we all know, sexism is never talked about on the escapist forums ever.
Nope not here.
And I would never expect this thread to burst into flames... Nope, not seeing that happen.
BUUUT for all my cynicism:
I really like the video though and you make some very good points.
 

Entitled

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saintdane05 said:
Oh, no. Not more gender. I thought we were done with this months ago!
We should have been done with this years ago, but apparently the industry isn't.
 

Kuomon

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Who needs Anita Sarkesian when the Jimquisition is here to actually elicit discussion about sexism problems in the industry. Long live Jim!
 

Strife2GFAQs

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Considering Square Enix wussed out with both X and XII's male protagonists, I guess I should say it's refreshing to see Lightning on ALL THREE XIII games. I would, but they still wussed out ten years too late.
 

Fappy

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I actually came to the same realization last week when discussing female game character in relationships. Besides in RPGs where you make the protagonist they really don't seem to exist. And the logic behind it... you're right, it's kind of creepy.
 

cyvaris

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Want to know something odd? To me it actually feels more weird to play a male character and engage in romance then it does the other way around. There is just something....awkward about it. Part of it is some sort of disconnect, this character is coming on to "me" or at least the extension of my will in the game and it just does not feel realistic. I had this problem in SWTOR and Mass Effect 3 and ended up skipping the romance arcs because they just made me feel strange. I had no issue playing a female character romancing a male character though, mainly because there was enough "space" between me and the characters. This was a story I was experiencing, just like reading a novel with a female POV, instead of an experience I was putting myself in.

I wish to god we had more non-sexy, single (?), female protagonists in the vein of Ripley or Samus just because it would add something different to the endless amounts of "Dude-bro" protagonists.

Also Jim's...implication that guys who feel more secure with buying games with large men on them was very amusing for all the right reasons.
 
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It's 2013 and we still can't have woman in video games because of homophobic neckbearded manchildren.

I love playing women in video games, I pick female characters at every opportunity, always create women in Bethesda titles like Fallout and the Elder Scrolls, I just can't understand, in this day and age, that this attitude still exists.
 

Twinmill5000

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Shit. Does this mean my biggest hurdle I have to jump over to get VF101, a story centering around a very... unique female protagonist who is on the verge of going batshit crazy caught in the middle of a third world war where nuclear warfare and the end of the world is a real, real issue, where she copes with it by steering the war away from that direction via percise insertion operations with small squad of operatives into a video game is that the main protagonist is a GIRL, not that she's pretty much... the devil?

GG game industry.

No, but seriously, I didn't know this was an issue, I sort of... figured that developers and publishers were just... male centeric, and that that was why we don't see too many female protagonists that aren't there strictly for sex appeal. Glad to hear I have another reason to lose even more faith in my fellow gamers.

Edited for reading comprehension; 100 word sentences are confus.
 

daibakuha

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DVS BSTrD said:
Okay, fuck it!
I always play as a male in character creation RPGs because I like projecting myself into a character.
Next time though, I'm gunna try playing as a woman. MY SENSE OF SELF CAN TAKE IT!

Jim, call me! <3
I do too, but only in RPGs. Games in which I project myself in them. In regular games where you don't have that kind of role-playing though? Relate-able characters should be relate-able regardless of gender.

Having said that, I'm more than willing to bet this is more an issue with the gaming audience rather than publishers being spineless. As much as anyone here is willing to admit that they would really like to see more female protagonists, most of the gaming audience is the "gunbro" type. Can you really blame a publisher for an attitude that they believe makes them the most money? Games aren't a charity.
 

Darken12

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Thank you, Jim. Thank all of the gods for you. Thank you for existing and spreading the word to the masses. You have slowly but steadily climbed to the top of my favourite content on The Escapist.

The points you make in the video are just so spot-on. THAT is objectification, the refusal to see something as a subject, as a person, and instead relegating them to the role of object to be looked at and controlled but never given any agency.

Best episode you've ever done.
 

ToastiestZombie

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Jim, I couldn't watch (only listen) to half of the video because I've swore myself to not look at ANYTHING Infinite related until tomorrow when it's released here in the UK. I've watched two of the early trailers and that's it.

OT: To be honest, I have barely ever seen any actual examples of the type of people you talked about in the video. Like, I have friends that can be considered the most dude-bro people in the world yet we still talked about the latest Tomb Raider (and not just about how sexy Lara is), Elizabeth in Infinite and more. It all seems to me that it's the publishers fault, not the gamers. I think they're just using those examples as excuses instead of just saying "We don't think games with female protagonists sell".
 

Chessrook44

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cyvaris said:
I wish to god we had more non-sexy, single (?), female protagonists in the vein of Ripley or Samus just because it would add something different to the endless amounts of "Dude-bro" protagonists.
Would Samus really count outside of her armor?

I mean I don't know sexy so I can't really comment, but it really seems that's what they were going for when they put her in a ponytail and the skintight blue bodysuit.
 

Krantos

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I has to be said that a lot of games with female protagonists don't sell well simply because they're not that good.

Lets take a look at the big games in recent years featuring female protagonists:

-Metroid: Other M
-Mirrors Edge
-Hydrophobia
-Tomb Raider
-Amy
-Final Fantasy XIII

...I'm sure there are more, but those are the ones off the top of my head. Notice anything about them? Aside from Tomb Raider, they panned by critics and audiences alike. Not because they had a female lead, but because the games themselves were of questionable quality at best.

If publishers and developers want female protagonists to sell well, for gods sake put them in good games.

Also, if someone is honestly wierded out when their character kisses a guy, grow up. How do you think women have felt all these years playing as big burly men saving the princess of the day?
 

DRTJR

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I say Bullocks, Fire Emblem Rekka no Ken, and the Sacred Stones(FE7 and FE8) Sold very well being (until Awakening[FE 13]) the best selling games in the series(repectfully haveing Lyn as the introdctory lord character for us uninlightened westerners, and Erika whom I personaly adore.) with the follow ups Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn(FE 9 and 10) being the Worst international releases for the series... ever, and those games primarily star Ike(who I personally don't like) who is