Jimquisition: The Creepy Cull of Female Protagonists

Erttheking

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Phasmal said:
erttheking said:
Perhaps if you've had enough, I'd respectfully suggest... not coming into those threads?

Yes, we need to support games with female characters, but being vocal about wanting more does nobody any harm.
And reminding ourselves of these issues stops them from being pushed to the back of our collective minds and might stop people from declaring it `isn't an issue any more` when it clearly still is.
Because I'm a stupid teenager, that's why I keep coming in. That and I do enjoy debating when it can be civil, such as right now. I'd be all for sexism debates if people could be as civil as you, but the thing is that the bitter sarcasm and the holier than thou attitudes crop up before too long.

I think part of my problem is that we're being vocal in the wrong places. I don't think that publishers are going onto the escapist to check what gamers are angry about. If you want my opinion, I think we should be less vocal about it on the Escapist, we're were surrounded by no one but other gamers, and take out complaints somewhere were the publishers can see them, like the EA forums or something.

I guess you have a point there, but again, the debates get so vicious and sometimes paper thin accusations of sexism get thrown around at gamers from gamers that I just want to shut it out. Not to mention every time people try to bring up ME3, people tell them to shut up, and as someone who is still pissed at it, I can respect where you're coming from. Being civil about this would go a long way for making me willing to talk about this. You're managing to do that very well by the way. Kudos.
 

RatherDashing89

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the antithesis said:
I am actually fucking surprised by the Bioshock Infinite cover. It's a Bioshock game. Anyone who's worth listening to know this is the first real sequel to the original Bioshock from the original developer and not the cash grab knock-off that Bioshock 2 reportedly was. (I haven't played it, which is why I can't do the Bioshock quiz on the site. Too many questions involving Bioshock 2 characters) I could understand them testing the fucking cover if it was a new IP without a familiar name plastered on the box. But this is an established IP that is also the highest rated first person shooter of all time, as their advertising is keen to point out. This game is not some unknown where the wrong cover art could hurt sales. This is a well-established brand that will sell well even if there were no characters at all on the cover. Just the name. The original Bioshock had the Big Daddy and a Little Sister on the cover. Does this mean the market prefers little girls to full grown women?
Levine's defense, which I think makes a lot of sense (like Jim said, it's reasonable, just sad that it has to be that way) is that people who know what Bioshock is (which would be everybody who comes on sites like Escapist but certainly not everyone who walks into a Gamestop) don't buy games based on the box art. Yeah, the original Bioshock had a little sister. And while all of my gamer friends have heard of it, everyone else I know with an Xbox has no interest in Bioshock 1. People who are familiar with the franchise will have seen trailers and already decided to buy the game. The box art is to sell to impulse buyers walking through the mall, and hopefully give them a chance to (unwittingly) branch out into a deeper game than they are used to. Spec Ops did much the same thing--a bait and switch where the "bait" was more shooter schlock and the "switch" was surprising them with a quality game.


I think this could apply to this whole question. Gamers who look for games with quality mechanics and engaging story don't toss games aside for something as trivial as the gender of the main character or the box art. Aside from the super elitist, most "game connoisseurs" won't say "That game has a white male as the lead, I won't buy it". Whereas the masses may refrain from buying a game because it's got a chick. Is this right? No, but it seems to be the way things are and, like Jim, I'm not sure who's to blame. But even the most artistic of developers will market his game to as many as possible. Thus he brings in the discerning gamers with the quality of the game and brings in the masses with flashy box art and dudebros.
 

knight steel

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Daystar Clarion said:
knight steel said:
Daystar Clarion said:
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.
OI stop using neck beard as an insult,for fucks sake it a legitimate look stop bashing it also some people can't grow facial hair any where else no matter how hard we try,your being just as bigoted as the people your criticising T_T
Neckbeards are bad and you should feel bad.
Come at me bro.
You are promoting an unfair/untruthful negative stereotype against something that is completely harmless and in most cases something people have no say in,because of your hateful bigotry bias [you think it's gross],in short your demonizing a group because of your personal opinion becoming no better than a racist or homophobic man.
 

Moonlight Butterfly

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Mar 16, 2011
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This subject was brought up in the 'should Lara be gay' thread. My problem there was that my sexuality ie 'straight female' is ignored just as much as gay men and women but it seems people just want to skate over the top of that and ignore straight women because apparently we aren't a minority and the only good female protagonist in video games just has to be gay.

I hope that lady in Remember Me has a big sloppy snog with some Tom Hiddleston lookalike right up in in the camera.
 

Hitchmeister

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DVS BSTrD said:
Gunbros can play as gungals, people still bought Bayonetta, Tomb Raider and Metroid didn't they?
Publishers just want to believe gamers are as insecure as they are.
I'm pretty sure they sold less than God of War, Uncharted, and Halo.

But I think we're dealing with a chicken and the egg, catch 22 situation here. Publishers hesitate to focus games on female characters because they sell less. The public buys fewer games with prominent female protagonists because they seem weird and unusual. If someone can figure out how to break that cycle, they're a lot smarter than me.
 

Ashoten

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knight steel said:
Daystar Clarion said:
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.
OI stop using neck beard as an insult,for fucks sake it a legitimate look stop bashing it also some people can't grow facial hair any where else no matter how hard we try,your being just as bigoted as the people your criticising T_T
Um yeah I think that insult has run its course. Especially when you are someone like me with thick gorilla hair that needs to shave twice a day just to maintain a clean look. I go through disposable razors like candy cause they cannot handle my mutant man hair.
 

shrekfan246

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May 26, 2011
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Krantos said:
-Mirrors Edge
Aside from Tomb Raider, they panned by critics and audiences alike.
Actually, Mirror's Edge received a fair amount of positive press from critics and audiences, because it was something unique and interesting, and most of the criticisms were leveled at the plot, length of the game, and how much trial&error went into progressing. It's got quite the cult following, especially around here.

OT: I hope Remember Me turns out to be good. I generally trust Capcom-published games to at least have fun gameplay, but it's also being made by a completely unknown developer and it's a completely new IP. So many things could go wrong, but I can dream, dammit! I want more strong female protagonists in games, just so we can prove those stuffy publishers wrong.
 

ToastiestZombie

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RatherDashing89 said:
the antithesis said:
I am actually fucking surprised by the Bioshock Infinite cover. It's a Bioshock game. Anyone who's worth listening to know this is the first real sequel to the original Bioshock from the original developer and not the cash grab knock-off that Bioshock 2 reportedly was. (I haven't played it, which is why I can't do the Bioshock quiz on the site. Too many questions involving Bioshock 2 characters) I could understand them testing the fucking cover if it was a new IP without a familiar name plastered on the box. But this is an established IP that is also the highest rated first person shooter of all time, as their advertising is keen to point out. This game is not some unknown where the wrong cover art could hurt sales. This is a well-established brand that will sell well even if there were no characters at all on the cover. Just the name. The original Bioshock had the Big Daddy and a Little Sister on the cover. Does this mean the market prefers little girls to full grown women?
Levine's defense, which I think makes a lot of sense (like Jim said, it's reasonable, just sad that it has to be that way) is that people who know what Bioshock is (which would be everybody who comes on sites like Escapist but certainly not everyone who walks into a Gamestop) don't buy games based on the box art. Yeah, the original Bioshock had a little sister. And while all of my gamer friends have heard of it, everyone else I know with an Xbox has no interest in Bioshock 1. People who are familiar with the franchise will have seen trailers and already decided to buy the game. The box art is to sell to impulse buyers walking through the mall, and hopefully give them a chance to (unwittingly) branch out into a deeper game than they are used to. Spec Ops did much the same thing--a bait and switch where the "bait" was more shooter schlock and the "switch" was surprising them with a quality game.
Don't forget they let the people who actually did like Bioshock in the first place to vote on a reverse cover, which turned out to be an amazing, stylistic cover. It's quite clear that Ken Levine isn't a sexist pig, but the guys who publish Infinite wanted to get new people in to play their deep game, and sadly that was the only way to do it.
 

Kmadden2004

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Somebody, quick, we need the Orson Welles/slow clap gif in this thread, STAT!!!

OT: I can't help but wonder whether part of this mindset has been born out of an all-too vocal minority in the industry who are still clinging onto a bygone era of gaming. I'm not necessarily talking about people who are out-and-out sexist (though, statistically speaking, there are bound to be one or two who think that way), but people who still view games as toys that should be marketed directly at teenage and adolescent boys (such as they were in the '80s and '90s). Certainly, it feels like game marketing is still stuck in that mindset of trying to find the "kewl" factor that plays into the adolescent power fantasy (that f--king obnoxious Crysis 3 ad where Prophet does the stupid "look at the camera while firing an arrow" move is the most recent example I can think of of that).

The optimist in me would like to think that any art form is like a standard human being, going through the stages of development, and that the games industry is just going through its puberty right now; getting all the gunge and dreck out of its system ready to dust itself off and settle down into maturity with the next generation cycle. As more of a realist/pessimist, however, I do find it depressing though that an industry that's forced to continuously argue its legitimacy as art has something of a self-sabotaging mindset when it comes to finding ways to express itself beyond being a superficial Call of Duty-Whack-A-Mole clone (or at least having to try and sell itself off as one).

Are we really in a position now where this medium won't grow up because the marketing won't allow it?
 

Tony2077

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Moonlight Butterfly said:
This subject was brought up in the 'should Lara be gay' thread. My problem there was that my sexuality ie 'straight female' is ignored just as much as gay men and women but it seems people just want to skate over the top of that and ignore straight women because apparently we aren't a minority and the only good female protagonist in video games just has to be gay.

I hope that lady in Remember Me has a big sloppy snog with some Tom Hiddleston lookalike right up in in the camera.
i don't think the problem is being gay or straight if they shoehorn in a bad romance no one wins.
 

JarinArenos

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knight steel said:
sing neck beard as an insult,for fucks sake it a legitimate look stop bashing it also some people can't grow facial hair any where else no matter how hard we try,your being just as bigoted as the people your criticising T_T
Suck it up and shave, dude. The mullet has more legitimacy. :p

OT: I make a habit of balancing the genders of characters I play (in games that give the option), but that's a conscious choice. If given a choice, I much prefer female viewpoint characters.
 
Dec 14, 2009
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knight steel said:
Daystar Clarion said:
knight steel said:
Daystar Clarion said:
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.
OI stop using neck beard as an insult,for fucks sake it a legitimate look stop bashing it also some people can't grow facial hair any where else no matter how hard we try,your being just as bigoted as the people your criticising T_T
Neckbeards are bad and you should feel bad.
Come at me bro.
You are promoting an unfair/untruthful negative stereotype against something that is completely harmless and in most cases something people have no say in,because of your hateful bigotry bias [you think it's gross],in short your demonizing a group because of your personal opinion becoming no better than a racist or homophobic man.
Ashoten said:
knight steel said:
Daystar Clarion said:
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.
OI stop using neck beard as an insult,for fucks sake it a legitimate look stop bashing it also some people can't grow facial hair any where else no matter how hard we try,your being just as bigoted as the people your criticising T_T
Um yeah I think that insult has run its course. Especially when you are someone like me with thick gorilla hair that needs to shave twice a day just to maintain a clean look. I go through disposable razors like candy cause they cannot handle my mutant man hair.
Let me assure you that I said that in jest.

I don't genuinely believe that owning a neckbeard makes you less of a person :D
 

anian

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I actually don't get this change of cover.
I mean, as far as I am aware through reviews of BioInf, in this game Elizabeth is a very important character, but in general wouldn't it be better to HAVE a female on the cover of a game art (if we consider the usual attitude of male gamers etc. which publishers apparently do)?

On a personal preference - when playing RPGs where your character actually has no character (like an amnesiac ala Elder Scroll games) I usually choose a male character, because every decision and action is going to be mine, but when there's a story where you play as person who has a character on it's own, then I really don't care as long as it's done right.
 

Sehnsucht Engel

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Great episode, Jim, as usual.

I agreed with pretty much all of it, and I do hope those with insecurities take you up on your offer XD. I think it's weird that there's people who doesn't like to play female character, or are creeped out by it. I would love to see more female characters, but you don't need to go far to see how sexist gamers can be >_> There's not that many good male characters anyway.

Oh, and now I'm even more excited for Bioshock Infinite.
 

knight steel

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Jul 6, 2009
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Ashoten said:
knight steel said:
Daystar Clarion said:
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.
OI stop using neck beard as an insult,for fucks sake it a legitimate look stop bashing it also some people can't grow facial hair any where else no matter how hard we try,your being just as bigoted as the people your criticising T_T
Um yeah I think that insult has run its course. Especially when you are someone like me with thick gorilla hair that needs to shave twice a day just to maintain a clean look. I go through disposable razors like candy cause they cannot handle my mutant man hair.
Exactly, If I could grow a normal beard I would but I can't which means I have to shave it off {something that I have trouble because of how curly it is,and the fact that I don't want to cut my neck} or wear it and get insulted walking down the street :(
 

RatherDashing89

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IamLEAM1983 said:
I think part of the problem comes from the fact that the industry is always going to have a certain demographic to lean on: the awkward teens and pre-teens who want to find ways to comfort themselves in their sexual preferences, or put up a suitably manly front for their sometimes cruel peers to see.
I definitely think a huge problem with the games industry is that games are being made with teens in mind and then given "M" ratings, which is why anti-video-game activists think video games are children's toys that inexplicably contain adult themes. Hence "Your Mom Hates Dead Space", implying that the game is made for people whose moms are directly involved in their purchases, ie teenagers, despite the game being rated M, which is supposed to be a label for games designed for adults.
 

daibakuha

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Hitchmeister said:
DVS BSTrD said:
Gunbros can play as gungals, people still bought Bayonetta, Tomb Raider and Metroid didn't they?
Publishers just want to believe gamers are as insecure as they are.
I'm pretty sure they sold less than God of War, Uncharted, and Halo.
I was actually about to make this exact point, but you made it for me, kudos.

EDIT: On top of the point you made, each of those games is a console exclusive. Which means the market is smaller for those games than 2/3 of the ones he mentioned.
 

knight steel

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Daystar Clarion said:
knight steel said:
Daystar Clarion said:
knight steel said:
Daystar Clarion said:
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.
OI stop using neck beard as an insult,for fucks sake it a legitimate look stop bashing it also some people can't grow facial hair any where else no matter how hard we try,your being just as bigoted as the people your criticising T_T
Neckbeards are bad and you should feel bad.
Come at me bro.
You are promoting an unfair/untruthful negative stereotype against something that is completely harmless and in most cases something people have no say in,because of your hateful bigotry bias [you think it's gross],in short your demonizing a group because of your personal opinion becoming no better than a racist or homophobic man.
Ashoten said:
knight steel said:
Daystar Clarion said:
It's 2013 and we still can't have woman in video games because of homophobic neckbearded manchildren.

snip
OI stop using neck beard as an insult,for fucks sake it a legitimate look stop bashing it also some people can't grow facial hair any where else no matter how hard we try,your being just as bigoted as the people your criticising T_T
snip
Let me assure you that I said that in jest.

I don't genuinely believe that owning a neckbeard makes you less of a person :D
Well ok then,I forgive you,just be careful even if you say it in jest it can still be hurtful/bad just like if you say the N word in jest.
Anyway come here mate: