Jimquisition: The Creepy Cull of Female Protagonists

xPixelatedx

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See this is how you have a discussion about gender issues in the video game industry. Not "OMG it's a conspiracy by evil males to oppress women!!". No, you laid out an intelligent argument, identified the actual root of the problem, opened up a interesting debate that it might not be the fault of who we think.

And no, this was in no way a shot at 'Tropes vs. Women', which turned out to be surprisingly tame. This was a shot at every cluster-fuck thread I have seen on the internet since Tropes vs. Women was even mentioned. The utter asshattery I've seen from BOTH genders is truly legendary and will always remain as a shining example to how retarded we BOTH are.
 

GAunderrated

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Great video jim.

Funny thing is if every person who debated this topic on forums actually wrote to the publishers about wanting to see females on box cover and play female roles, we wouldn't have this situation.
 

Erttheking

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GAunderrated said:
Great video jim.

Funny thing is if every person who debated this topic on forums actually wrote to the publishers about wanting to see females on box cover and play female roles, we wouldn't have this situation.
All right then, how about you and I start a thread urging people to do so?
 

Krantos

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Stryc9 said:
Krantos said:
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 (Was critically panned for having shitty writing that demeaned Samus)
-Mirrors Edge (Had a lot of gameplay issues that held it back)
-Hydrophobia (The game was just downright shit)
-Tomb Raider (I don't think all the numbers are quite in yet on this one)
-Amy (The game was shit, again, just look at the reviews. It had serious flaws other than the protagonist's lady bits.)
-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?
I would say that all of the games you listed had problems OTHER than a female protagonist. Other Metroid games sold well even though everyone knew that the protagonist was female.

I don't think the new Tomb Raider has been out long enough to call it's sales a failure and take a look at the sales of past Tomb Raider games, for a long time they sold quite well until people got tired of the series and stopped buying them. I think there were a couple of stumbles for the series toward the end as well.

Unless you're saying it's a subconscious decision to not buy a game because the protagonist is a woman I'm going to call that argument bullshit. All of these games have other flaws that hold them back, reviewers call them out on their flaws and the games don't sell as well as a result. That and like Jim said, the publisher don't market the games as well as they could because they're afraid no one will buy the games because THEY THINK that people are uncomfortable playing as a female character. Maybe if a good game with a female protagonist got the marketing it deserved then we'd actually see if the publisher's thinking is correct.
Um... What?

I think you need to reread my post, because that was the point I was making. The only big name games featuring female protagonists have failed due to reasons other than the lead. I outright said:
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.
So unless I'm missing something, I don't understand why you seem to be refuting a stance I didn't take, and in fact, you reiterated what I said.
 

Novan Leon

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I feel like all these people vehemently decrying rampant sexism in videogames are just now waking up to realize that the industry is largely marketed towards the uninhibited, teen-to-college age male. It's like complaining that Playboy, Maxim or the latest spring break movie are sexist. Guess what? When the dominant demographic begin to ask for something more than scantly-clad women in their games, then that's what the industry will provide. As it stands, the product this demographic demands is one that enables them to act out their masculine fantasies. This whole thing just feels like much to-do about nothing.

Also, I think it makes perfect sense that a guy playing as a girl character would feel awkward when their character begins kissing a male character. The entire purpose of these games is to immerse you in the experience, meaning that I, a straight male, am projecting myself onto the main character that I control. The moment my character, me, regardless of whether the character is male or female, begins to kiss a guy, I lose some of that immersion. That's not sexist, that's just a natural result of immersing myself in a character. (I hope that makes sense)
 

Kamikan Hyakushou

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I hadn't really thought about the female leads in games, mostly the sexualization of them by the industry. Very good points but the licking at the end caused me to shrink away from my screen just a bit...
 

m19

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Well you pretty much know what happens in those instances. They've got a check-list of risk factors. Based of some chart based of cold statistics. And they mechanically tick away in favour of aspects that are market proof and eliminating as much uncertainty as they can. It's creepy because it's not a human process to begin with.
 

DarkhoIlow

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I don't really mind what gender I play in games, although my preference is male because I relate to that obviously.

With that said, I have played quite a few games with female protagonists and I found them quite the same experience as when playing with male(Mass Effect, Dragon Age etc). I really enjoy having the option of going female actually.
 

Griffolion

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I'm just interested in playing the game how the devs wanted to present it to me. If that means a female protagonist, then great. Because they wish to present their game and story with a female protagonist, and so I take it on faith that this has been decided that this way is the best possible way for this game to have been presented.

And if "getting intimate" is part of that story, then I have no problem with that character doing so. Hell, what gives me the right to be an IRL cock block?
 

The Artificially Prolonged

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Great Video Jim, you can be my Big Daddy anytime ;D

Seriously I still cannot get the logic that having a female player character in romantic relationship can be considered awkward. Or have I missed something and actually all males my age think woman don't actually enjoy sex or romance because they think the world is actually like old sitcoms. I mean if someone is over the age of 10 and thought of playing as a female genuinely makes them feel uncomfortable, then all I can really say is that they need some sense slapped into them with a cold wet flannel.

For the record I'm a straight male and when given the choice between a male and female character in a game, I choose to play as a male. Mainly because I'm a little unimaginative when it comes to role-playing games and too many nexus mods I've seen *shudder* make be feel creepier for choosing a female character. If the game does not offer a choice then I'm not really bothered either way if I'm playing a male or a female. Then I'm just more concerned that the story and gameplay are good. Frankly though I get enough of looking through the first person perspective of a white man with short brown hair in my daily life, it nice when games mix it up a bit.
 

Treblaine

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No, that's not objectification.

You seem to mistake "object" as in "physical thing without life" and the original use of the term, in Grammar.

Alex finds Jessie

"Alex" is the subject and "Jessie" is the object.

Sexual objectification is the sense of women being the objects in a sexual sense.

"David is dating Sarah"

David is the subject, Sarah is the object, the verb phrase is to do with sexual relations.

There can also be violent objectification.

"Captain Price shoots the platoon of Russian Soldier"

Price is the subject, russian platoon is the object, violence is the verb phrase.


Objectification CANNOT be at work when the playable character is a woman, they are de-facto the subject, everything is through their perspective.

The term "sexual objectification" has been carried over whole from film criticism and applied to games with no understanding of what it actually means.

The problem is in fact sexual SUBJECTIVITY, because where the player character is female then they are the subject and the player is identifying with them in sexual preference. It's not that they don't like the idea of a woman being in love with a man...

... it's that they are imagining they are that woman.

How can we damn this as regressive, that men are wholley considering themselves in the role of a woman. They are not passive observers, they are living this avatar.


This is why where there is romance it is in RPGs where you pick the player-character's gender and pick what relationships they are in.


As to marketing:

Were women excluded from the cover art of Last of Us and Bioshock Infinite "just beceause they were women"... or because they weren't the action hero protagonists? The devil is in the detail, of their reaction to various cover arts.

Because these are action games, they need to market themselves as such.

In which case the problem is with the developers for AGAIN choosing a male lead. I get it once or twice, but of all the new action heroes that have been created new in gaming since Tomb Raider... what proportion of them have been women?

Naughty Dog wasn't pressured to have a male lead, that was ther decision. Nor was Irrational Games coerced to have a male lead.

It's not sexism to chose any particular gender, no single act changed this... the problem is the trend.

I don't know what retard publisher categorically forbade a female lead but knowing publishers they are retards. Seriously, they are idiots of the games industry. Their expertise is fiddling numbers on stock markets and hedge funds, they suddenly think they know how to make video games.

They don't represent the industry.

They represent a nasty corporate minority who are only in it for the money, don't understand what they are dealing with, and want size of profits above all else and are ham fisted idiots about achieving it.
 

DrunkOnEstus

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May 11, 2012
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I don't know what the hell this thread has already turned into and can't read 5 pages, but:

I'm straight, and married to a woman. I roll female every time a game gives me the opportunity, and my femshep romanced her some dudes, you can bet that. I would love to see more prominence by default, and I plan on getting Remember Me for practically this reason, and to hopefully support a trend. You'd think, even looking at a homophobic male standpoint, that someone would want to look at the back of a woman for 6-12 hours (or forever in an MMO) as opposed to a man's hairy ass all that time.

I swear, that's not the reason I roll female (I'll divulge if someone asks), but I'd imagine that standpoint still makes sense.
 

Legion

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Treblaine said:
You may want to quote whomever you are replying to so people actually know what your reply is in relation to. Otherwise it makes it somewhat difficult to understand who exactly you are disagreeing with.
 

Darth_Payn

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What can I say about game sexism that hasn't been said before already? Jim hit it on the head where games with female protagonists aren't marketed nearly as much as games with male player characters and player-created characters. Good on Ken Levine for creating Elizabeth and making her so compelling. But the thing about Last of Us is phenomenally creepy, more so that she looks 14 years old. And I cannot remember a thing about Remember Me.