Naughty Dog Responds to The Last of Us Sexism Claims

Sean Kay

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Jeyl said:
I think the bigger picture here is that regardless of how strong, intelligent and "take charge" the women are in "The Last of Us", Joel is the character who dictates how everything happens. Tess just dies at the first quarter, Marlene is outright murdered by Joel on the possibility that she would go after Ellie, and Joel lies to Ellie about the fireflies. Does she press him further about it? No. She's just like "ok" and we're left with the impression that this is the end and regardless of what Ellie really thinks doesn't matter, because Joel got his way.

All this talk about the women being capable doesn't mean jack if Joel is the only character who decides how things are going to go down, and the way he wants things to go down is essentially a big "fu** you" to every man, woman and child who are still susceptible to this fungus plague.
The thing with Marlene was "if I let you live, you will come after my surrogate daughter, so I'm going to kill because this is how I solve problems". Ellie is literally the only relationship Joel that has had in twenty years that wasn't built on survival or money, she's the only thing that really mattered to him by the end
And the way she said "OK" it was obvious to me that she knew Joel was lying or at least not telling the whole truth, but she didn't want to push it.
As for Tess, she's more of a driving force than you give credit for. She pushes Joel to take Ellie to the Fireflies after all, and sets up the job in the first place. Before that the way Joel acted around her made it clear he was the muscle to her brains of the outfit
 

Redd the Sock

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Less an uncanny valley so much as a pass/fail system where one mistake kills everything else. Elle would score points with me for not being an escort character so clueless she'd wander right into a zombie bite. The chapter playing as her was full of those badass moments my only complaint was visibility made Silent Hill look like a clear sunny day. Her moments of damselhood did not invalidate a period of bow and shiv induced stealth kills.
 

RJ 17

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Nov 27, 2011
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Lets take another look at the pic used in the article again, shall we?



It's a little 14 year old girl...holding a frickin' rifle....what more do you want?

I fully accept that there are justifiable arguments to be made about sexist portrayals of female characters in certain games...but I haven't even played The Last of Us and I know it can't be true in this case. Just from the little voice-over she gives in the trailer you can tell that she's ready to be strong to deal with the situations of the environment she's in.

I yearn for the day when a game comes out that won't have some trumped-up controversy attached to it. There's a difference between critiquing and whining, and this sounds to me like whiners complaining that Ellie wasn't the main playable character of the game.
 

Mr Cwtchy

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If we're going to make accusations of sexism, it should be about the fact that of the objectively 'evil' characters in the game, including the generic bandits that you kill, every single one of them is a male. Every single one.

And no, I'm not buying this bullshit about women being oppressed in the post-apocalypse environment. That would not inherently preclude them from being murderous arseholes.
 

Callate

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Excuse me while I give my desk a good foreheading.

ARGH.

Don't do this. This is the kind of crap that increases the noise-to-signal ratio to the point that complaints feminists have with actual merit start getting tuned out. This is the sort of complaint that raises questions as to whether the complainers are actually interested in fairness or equality so much as mandating that all creative endeavors adhere to their own dogmatically directed specifications.

If you wanted to suggest that you're one more PETA-like cause, far more interested in publicity than any actual merits of where you stake your claim, this is the perfect sort of thing to throw your weight behind.
 
Sep 14, 2009
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canadamus_prime said:
gmaverick019 said:
canadamus_prime said:
People will see sexism, racism, or any other kind of ism you can think of anywhere if they look for it whether it actually exists there or not.
bingo. if you look for something, you'll find it, especially when it comes to sexism/racism/etc...

keeping complaints to ACTUAL sexist and demeaning garbage is what needs to happen, otherwise the accusation/argument loses all power when you point the finger at everything.
I fairly certain these people don't even know what those words mean anymore they've just become buzzwords synonymous with "something I don't like."
yepp exactly.

slightly off topic, this somewhat reminds of something that's happened locally for the past year, I've seen easily 50+ signs of these (not an exageration, it's ridiculous) around the city, and people will stand outside the shop holding them for months at a time:



the correlation i'm making this to is, is that EVERYONE has stopped giving a shit about these signs, because they are fucking everywhere, so it basically became a "well, shame on all of us since they are everywhere that I go, might as well go back to living my shameful life", and the signs as of recent have died down, because the effect they caused was next to nothing.

(i'm curious as to where people got these signs, that sign store must've made a killing selling all of them)
 

Phrozenflame500

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shadowmagus said:
Ellie was a good, well-written, and solid character and should be held up as a model upon which to build future female characters not something to nitpick and scream about.
And you're absolutely right as I don't really think Ellie was a sexist character either.

My point was that the fact we're bitching about minor, arguable non-existent problems shows that there really is no major problems in this game.
 

MrBrightside919

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It seems like these sexism people are really scrounging for something to complain about if they are targeting this game...
 

Phasmal

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That's weird, I hadn't heard any complaints.
Obviously no character will be perfect but as far as I've heard it's good.
 

Vivi22

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Zhukov said:
Waht?

Really?

She's fourteen years old, probably fifteen by the end of the game. How much of an independent badass is a skinny teenager supposed to be? Hell, throughout the game, both in cutscenes and gameplay, she is demonstrably willing and able to shoot, shank and brick whichever hapless motherfuckers get in her way.

Hell, the one time she gets anywhere near damsel territory, she promptly frees herself, racking up an extensive bodycount in the process. By the time Joel arrives, it's all over but for the screaming.

I'll be the first to admit the industry has an issue when it comes to depicting females, but Ellie is not an example of such.
This. All of this. Not only is every single thing you stated true, she also outright saves Joel on several occasions. At no point in the game would I say she actually qualifies as a damsel in distress and I have to wonder just how far up their own ass someone's head would need to be to seriously try and argue that.
 

Adam Jensen_v1legacy

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Sep 8, 2011
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Of course people think there is sexism. Everyone who has some kind of societal and cultural agenda is clinging to video games as their primary source of gaining attention. Racists, feminists, homosexuals, homophobes, politically correct and politically incorrect, politicians of all kinds, scientists and science deniers, Christians, Muslims, atheists etc. It makes me sick to be honest.

Can't people just sit back and enjoy the freakin' games anymore? Must everything evolve around their shitty fragile little egos? Weak people who think that they have some kind of problem that everybody except them should be responsible for. The entire society should now be sensitive about every god damn issue that some weak excuse for a human being might have. Well it doesn't work that way. If you have a problem deal with it yourself or with the help of your family and friends.
 

Baresark

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WARNING, MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS:

It's not even worth their time to respond to these allegations. Anyone who said that there is sexism present in this game has gone full retard. You don't go full retard. They clearly did not play the game at all. I played all the way through that game and Ellie saved my ass more often than I had to save her. I get grabbed and she icing guys left and right. Don't forget the part where you play directly as her and she is in total control of that situation for most of the time. She escapes without help and even has a boss fight against a psycho who may or may not want her as a sex toy (hard to tell what his intentions were, she is so "special" afterall). She is so well written and fleshed out that I actually took some level of twisted joy in killing those doctors at the end of the game. Though I was a bit heartbroken finding out that I went against her ultimate wishes. But, I couldn't find sexism there if I wanted to. But I'm not looking for it the vast majority of the time.

NON SPOILER SECTION:

I think these people are suffering from extreme bias confirmation. They are so intent on finding it, they will find the 4 seconds in the game that may represent their view and denounce the entire game based on that. I mean, she isn't an adult woman, she is a 14 year old girl. At no point would a real 14 year old girl be able to handle a fraction of what Ellie endures (obviously helped by how harsh that world actually is). I would honestly challenge these people to write a character like Ellie and not fall prey to their own misguided view on what does and does not constitute sexism.
 

Genocidicles

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Some people are making a mountain out of a molehill. What else is new in the video game sexism debate?
 

Yuuki

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Just like Polygon's negative review of Dragon's Crown, if someone is pointing out negative criticism then that is completely fine. Not every reviewer has to fall in line with everyone else, they are allowed to differ.

There is absolutely no point in yelling "no you are WRONG, there is NO SEXISM" because...yeah, it shouldn't matter to you if one or two reviewers have something negative to say.

Also, remember the golden rule - if you look for sexism hard enough, you will find it.

Adam Jensen said:
Can't people just sit back and enjoy the freakin' games anymore? Must everything evolve around their shitty fragile little egos? Weak people who think that they have some kind of problem that everybody except them should be responsible for. The entire society should now be sensitive about every god damn issue that some weak excuse for a human being might have. Well it doesn't work that way. If you have a problem deal with it yourself or with the help of your family and friends.
Careful, you are going to get bashed with the "that doesn't mean it's immune to CRITICISM, this is all part of CRITICISM" stick.
 

rbstewart7263

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I kinda hope jim does an episode on this. He so often goes after the extreme "its not sexist" crowd while leaving the polar opposite; the extreme "its sexist" crowd alone and Id like to see him step up and go after the not so easy target for once.
 

JamesBr

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Adam Jensen said:
Of course people think there is sexism. Everyone who has some kind of societal and cultural agenda is clinging to video games as their primary source of gaining attention. Racists, feminists, homosexuals, homophobes, politically correct and politically incorrect, politicians of all kinds, scientists and science deniers, Christians, Muslims, atheists etc. It makes me sick to be honest.

Can't people just sit back and enjoy the freakin' games anymore? Must everything evolve around their shitty fragile little egos? Weak people who think that they have some kind of problem that everybody except them should be responsible for. The entire society should now be sensitive about every god damn issue that some weak excuse for a human being might have. Well it doesn't work that way. If you have a problem deal with it yourself or with the help of your family and friends.
Yeah..........no. If we all "agreed to disagree", the forums would be a very quiet place.
Criticism, accurate or not, is worth debating. You don't like it, don't take part in the conversation, but don't bash us that choose to debate the issue, regardless of the side we're taking. You've added nothing to the conversation and made yourself seem like a malcontent, which I doubt was your intent.
 

Erttheking

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You know, i can respect most complaints of sexism in games, this is like that woman who said she wasn't going to play GTA V because all the playable characters were men, it makes me roll my eyes. Also guys, can we please not treat the word feminist as an insult.
 

Sniper Team 4

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Did...did we play the same game? Because there is only one time that I recall when Ellie is completely and utterly helpless, and that's immediately after the car wreck and Joel has to rush over and save her. Every other time--yes, even in that chapter--Ellie gets herself out of her own trouble, and saved me from it several times. Okay, so the nearly drowning thing counts too I guess, but that was hardly helpless. That was her facing her fear, which I'm pretty sure men and women do equally.

The only sexist thing I can even remotely think of in regards to this game is that you never kill any women during actual combat. Several women die in cutscenes, but Joel never kills any while you're controlling him. Still, that final kill pretty much proves that Joel is an equal opportunity killer. What more do these people want?
 

Imp_Emissary

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Phasmal said:
That's weird, I hadn't heard any complaints.
Obviously no character will be perfect but as far as I've heard it's good.
Zhukov said:
Waht?

Really?

She's fourteen years old, probably fifteen by the end of the game. How much of an independent badass is a skinny teenager supposed to be? Hell, throughout the game, both in cutscenes and gameplay, she is demonstrably willing and able to shoot, shank and brick whichever hapless motherfuckers get in her way.

Hell, the one time she gets anywhere near damsel territory, she promptly frees herself, racking up an extensive bodycount in the process. By the time Joel arrives, it's all over but for the screaming.

I'll be the first to admit the industry has an issue when it comes to depicting females, but Ellie is not an example of such.
Both of these.

I haven't heard of any complaints. The closet I heard was someone who said they almost wished Joel would die in the game so they could play as Ellie instead.
Which is an understandable want, especially on repeat playthroughs.
<__>

But to say that she's a sexist character, or even just a bad character? That needs lots of citation, if ya know what I mean.