Jimquisition: The Creepy Cull of Female Protagonists

Phasmal

Sailor Jupiter Woman
Jun 10, 2011
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erttheking said:
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.
Yeah, this topic has a way of dividing people. Often female gamers feel dismissed and male gamers feel accused. I don't think any of us are above that, these things can be quite personal.
erttheking said:
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.
Perhaps, but I'd like this to be part of a larger shift in the view of the community, (like I said, I'm probably too optimistic about this). I'd really like it if these issues had their place. I'm not saying they should exclusively be here. But I think gamers in general should be aware of them, and I feel still too many of us are dismissive of them.

erttheking said:
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.
Thanks dude, yourself also.
Besides, I'm a feminist, I know what it is like to be accused of hating a gender based on very little.
Isn't everything nicer when we can be civil?
(Waits for thread to cave in around her)
 
Dec 14, 2009
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knight steel said:
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:
Dude, don't equate it with racism, it's hardly the same thing and undermines what racism is :D

It's the mullet of facial hair, I won't judge you for it, but I still think it looks ridiculous.
 

Ishigami

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Sep 1, 2011
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I'm usually picking the female character when I have the choice however I admit that this is usually due to the additional eye candy.
The recently released statistics for ME3 are a pretty obvious indication that when players have the choice they usually chose the male protagonist (82% male vs. 18% female). So in conclusion if a developer decides to go with a female protagonist they automatically put themselves in a disadvantage when it comes to appealing to the market.
The reason behind this is quite obvious to everyone: Most gamers that play these games are male.
Anyway when I play as a female character I also try to avoid romance with a male character if possible. When I tried, it just made me feel uncomfortable. I just don't see other men as possible romance option not to mention that being hit on in this way feels kinda weird...
But that just for games which basically allow for a ?player controlled? romance. I guess I would have less of an issue with it it was a linear experience but that's hardly to come by and could still misfire.
 

the December King

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I personally don't like playing female protagonists or exploring relationships in games. In my escapism, which includes roleplaying games as well as reading, film and gaming, I don't desire taking on or otherwise exploring a different gender role, not because of any percieved weakness in the gender, but simply because I don't want to. And I'm allowed to think that way. It's my choice.

To be fair, I hate playing males, too. I would rather play the monster/ alien/ inhuman, every time. In Borderlands, I wanted one of the new playable characters to be a Skag!

Having said all that, I think that others should have at least the option, where plausible/able, to choose a female protagonist, be free to explore these narratives as they like, and that games like Tomb Raider are very encouraging not just for the state of female protagonists, but also for engaging narratives in games in general.

...

It is kinda funny that this came up while the Escapist site is PLASTERED with the Starcraft ads, featuring what could very well be percieved as a powerful looking female character (but is most likely a zerg boss antagonist).
 

Ukomba

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I'm surprised Jim didn't mention Female Shepard. ME3 did a lot more to promote Female Shepard too this time around, even having fans vote on a default female. I prefer Femshep myself, mostly due to the superior voice acting Jennifer Hale does. So I guess I don't get the mentality. I thought Samus being female made metroid cooler, I've always wanted a Legend of Zelda game where Zelda is a playable character (Use to dream of a LoZ Final Fantasy 6 style rpg), My favorite Final Fantasy game of all time has a Female main character, ext.
 

Quadocky

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Aug 30, 2012
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Nice of Jim to spell things out rather obviously. There is a very very big problem in the industry like other ones.

Though still, the fact that people act like there isn't a problem at all and would rather pretend the very opposite still drive me up the wall.
 

TheLastFeeder

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Oct 29, 2012
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I'll admit that I never thought of this issue until I played Dreamfall 6 years ago.

I was a bit shocked at first that the game went there at first.(a bit disturbing to me at first since I had rarely immersed my self so much into a character.) but after 5 minutes of thinking about it I really could not find any reason why I should, This is the same thing I have seen so often, just from another point of view.

But what shocks me even more is that Jim has not played "The Longest Journey" series.
 

Gottesstrafe

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Oct 23, 2010
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Fine, Jim. If you'll be my daddy, I'm your Huckleberry.


Out of curiosity, was there much furor over Mirror's Edge's protagonist being female?
 

Ashoten

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Aug 29, 2010
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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.

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
ok lol I know it is hard to convey sarcasm without being taken seriously on teh interwebs.
 

Johnson McGee

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Nov 16, 2009
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Desert Punk said:
cyvaris said:
The Samus fanservice pisses me off to no end. Really, if we have to take her out of her power-armour can we leave her in "normal" clothing? No. Why? Because bullshit reasons about "sexy".
Normal clothing like the first time she was shown out of her armor at the end of the first game with her in it? :p
In that particular shot Samus was originally supposed to be naked but it was censored for the US version with the bikini. The reason wasn't for sexy though, I'm pretty sure it had to do with the lore and how the power suit worked before they came up with the zero suit concept.

In terms of sexism I think naked original Metroid Samus is better than daddy-issues in high heels Other M Samus.

OT: I don't understand the need for publishers to have no female leads at all. Even if only 18% of people (like in the ME3 statistic) want to play as a female lead, that's still a bigger 'niche' than some gaming genres out there. Even then, I wonder if all the people who do avoid female led games do so because the lead is female or because many games have atrociously bad writing for female characters.
 

Carnagath

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Apr 18, 2009
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...Welp, the last two games I played were Heart of the Swarm and Tomb Raider, both of which have been incredibly successful, so I'm struggling to see a point to this video. Sure, a few publishers are scared and maybe slightly retarded, but the numbers will convince them soon enough. No need for a shitstorm. Also, Jim's daddyface will definitely haunt my nightmares.
 

knight steel

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Jul 6, 2009
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Daystar Clarion said:
knight steel said:
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:


Dude, don't equate it with racism, it's hardly the same thing and undermines what racism is :D

It's the mullet of facial hair, I won't judge you for it, but I still think it looks ridiculous.
While it no where near as bad as racism,it was just an example of how words in jest can turn into knives in chest's
but I digress sorry for the exaggeration and complaining it's just when I was in high school I was beaten because of it [even broke a finger] so I'm sensitive to the issue :(
 

Erttheking

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Phasmal said:
erttheking said:
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.
Yeah, this topic has a way of dividing people. Often female gamers feel dismissed and male gamers feel accused. I don't think any of us are above that, these things can be quite personal.
erttheking said:
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.
Perhaps, but I'd like this to be part of a larger shift in the view of the community, (like I said, I'm probably too optimistic about this). I'd really like it if these issues had their place. I'm not saying they should exclusively be here. But I think gamers in general should be aware of them, and I feel still too many of us are dismissive of them.

erttheking said:
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.
Thanks dude, yourself also.
Besides, I'm a feminist, I know what it is like to be accused of hating a gender based on very little.
Isn't everything nicer when we can be civil?
(Waits for thread to cave in around her)
True, very true. My health bar got to where it is for a reason.

I think it ties back to the problem that of the people who try to address these problems, some of them are a little too zealous about it and are too angry, throwing accusations around instead of constructive criticism. To be fair, their anger isn't unjustified, but it isn't helpful. The inverse is a problem too, some people thinking that saying that games are sexist is saying that they're sexist for liking it, making them adamant against any feminist. So it boils down to a few extremists on both sides ruining it for everyone. Sounds like politics.

To be perfectly honest, I think we would've made a lot more progress if every sexism thread went like our conversation.
 

Legion

Were it so easy
Oct 2, 2008
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I don't think anybody can logically disagree with the issues brought up in this video. The whole "Don't put a female on the front cover or the people won't buy it" is a complete joke. I never saw that quote before about having a female character being in a relationship possibly being "awkward" but that is just as ridiculous.

I honestly don't think it is a chicken or an egg scenario though. If you are talking about a game "not selling" with a female lead, but are using something as COD as a comparison, then to be honest, it's not really a fair argument. COD and other such games are very much aimed at the "dudebro" audience. That's not to say that you if you like it, you are that kind of person, but that's who they are aiming at. That kind of core audience isn't going to want or care about female leads, but they aren't the majority of gamers overall.

If you looked at gamers as a whole, and not just the ones who pick up the blockbuster Triple A games that "everybody" plays, I sincerely doubt that most of them honestly care if there is a female lead, or if they show a woman on the box art.

I think most of that perception is the publisher. The publishers are out to make money, that is more or less their entire motivation for existing. They want to make as much of it as possible, for the least amount of effort. Selling a game to the "dudebro" audience, is arguably the most efficient way of doing so, and I think that's why we see these idiotic attitudes so often in the industry.

So yes, there is an issue, but I believe that at least 90% of it is to do with the publishers, more than anybody else. Good luck convincing them to focus on making quality games and characters over a quick buck though.
 

Something Amyss

Aswyng and Amyss
Dec 3, 2008
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Irridium said:
Just this huge sense of apathy that sets in after a given period... I hate it. I hate it so damn much.
I'm indifferent towards it.

>.>

sorry, had to. With apathy just lying there and all.

I tend to agree. It's not JUST that, however. There's a misogynist streak on the Escapist. There's one in gaming. Now, it may not be all "RAWR I WILL RAPE YOU NOW GET BACK IN THE KITCHEN," but there's more than one level to sexism. Or rather, sexism is sexism, but that doesn't mean that it's all equatable with respect to other sexism. If that makes sense. I'm tired, my back is knotted, and I have people in replacing my toilet so there's banging and sawing.

I can understand the fatigue, though it does anger me. And it happens elsewhere, too. We don't like hearing about things for long, especially if it makes us feel bad.

Which is sort of the irony here. Most people don't want to hear it because being reminded of the way they make others feel bad makes them feel bad.

Phasmal said:
I don't think the answer is to stop talking about it.
People get mad when it comes up, some people have hissy fits and be rude. Tough. It's not going away.
Most of the reason people throw shit-fits about it anyway is because they don't want it to be talked about.

Maybe you don't think anything changes, maybe you think everybody is already on one side or another, but I (maybe too optimistically) disagree.
And honestly, these people will have to grow up eventually. Gaming will evolve.

Well, they need to grow up or be left behind.

erttheking said:
I think that the answer is to move on from just talking about it, actually doing stuff about it instead of just sitting around talking about it doesn't really do anything. We need to do things like support games that do have a female protagonist (Tomb Raider) or start petitions to publishers telling them what we want. Debating doesn't really accomplish much.
You mean, we aren't already? It always seems weird that the "reasoned alternative" ends up being what's already being done.

However, a good chunk of any movement, from the trivial to the major, is exposure. Talking is necessary, so it continues, even as people do act.

(I like that petitions are part of your solution, though. Petitions are as impotent as you can get)

Maybe I'm just talking about this because I suffer from anger issues and I really REALLY don't need more stress in my life, I've got enough on my plate trying to get through college, getting good grades and working to earn money for it.
Stop posting in threads about this, then. You keep making excuses, or even railing at people about how you don't need this, or it adds stress, or how you don't want to feel bad (a sentiment you should really sit in the corner and think about, all things considered), but then you come back. And you argue more. It's self-inflicted, on top of self-centered.

Ken_J said:
And people wonder where Tropes V Women came from. Seriously we need more Women protagonists preferably ones that aren't simply legs and/or tits.
I doubt anyone wonders where it came from. Most people either accept it or deny it wholesale.

Desert Punk said:
Normal clothing like the first time she was shown out of her armor at the end of the first game with her in it? :p

To be fair, that was the 80s. You needed something as revealing as a bikini just to demonstrate she WAS a woman with those dated sprites.

I keed, but on the other hand, I'm not sure "the 80s did it" would be a justifiable excuse. :p
 

Adam Jensen_v1legacy

I never asked for this
Sep 8, 2011
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Kuomon said:
Who needs Anita Sarkesian when the Jimquisition is here to actually elicit discussion about sexism problems in the industry. Long live Jim!
No one needs Anita. With or without Jimquisition.
 

Erttheking

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Just to talk about something nice for once, here's something from way back when. A poll on IGN to see who was more liked, Samus vs Master Chief. It took place right after the Halo 3 marketing blitz. Samus nearly got 80% of the votes.

http://www.ign.com/articles/2007/10/03/samus-wins-hero-showdown

I don't think gamers have a problem with female protagonists. I think it's more of a publisher problem.
 

RatherDashing89

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Jan 11, 2013
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Ukomba said:
I'm surprised Jim didn't mention Female Shepard. ME3 did a lot more to promote Female Shepard too this time around, even having fans vote on a default female. I prefer Femshep myself, mostly due to the superior voice acting Jennifer Hale does. So I guess I don't get the mentality. I thought Samus being female made metroid cooler, I've always wanted a Legend of Zelda game where Zelda is a playable character (Use to dream of a LoZ Final Fantasy 6 style rpg), My favorite Final Fantasy game of all time has a Female main character, ext.
IIRC when fans voted online for which was the "true" Shep, FemShep won. But as cited previously, statistics show that ManShep was played far more. I think that's pretty telling of the disconnect between "The gaming community" that comes on Escapist, follows gaming news, and votes in surveys, and "The gaming market". The internet lets us think we're surrounded by compatriots when really we are as "fringe" of a group as gamers have ever been.