Naughty Dog Responds to The Last of Us Sexism Claims

Adam Jensen_v1legacy

I never asked for this
Sep 8, 2011
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JamesBr said:
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.
Oh I've got nothing against criticism. What I'm talking about is criticism being used to justify being offended by something and then expecting that somebody else takes responsibility for it. People just need to get over themselves and realize that society doesn't owe them anything, and video games are a luxury. If someone don't like it, they should move the fuck along. They shouldn't expect others to take pity on them and their delicate feelings. They're adults for fuck sake. And yet they act like children hungry for attention, often not realizing that their senseless bullshit is giving a bad name to the very medium they claim to represent.
 

Callate

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Yuuki said:
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.
Well, ideally, yes, on a customer/fan level. Sterling said something very similar in the latest Jimquistion, that disproportionate customer response may actually serve to highlight "odd man out" criticism rather than allow it to go unremarked in the roar of general noise.

But I don't think it's necessarily unwarranted to feel a tinge of unease when it's not fans who are responding to criticism from a tiny minority, but the developers themselves. I don't tend to feel it's a good thing when the people who create games feel they have to jump through hoops to appease people who only represent a tiny portion of the people who play their games; I think it leads to stilted, overly cautious writing that frequently misses the chance to resound with the greater whole.

I'm not talking about excesses that show up in too many games to count and could actually stand to be tempered, but the sense that all characters of a particular type must pass some sort of litmus test to escape denouncement. It would be a crying shame to lose characters like Ellie because a few extremists were offended she wasn't Wonder Woman.
 

Yuuki

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Mar 19, 2013
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Callate said:
It would be a crying shame to lose characters like Ellie because a few extremists were offended she wasn't Wonder Woman.
Ironically if she was Wonder Woman because then those extremists would've been even more offended. Y'know...because...that outfit :p
 

Callate

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Yuuki said:
Callate said:
It would be a crying shame to lose characters like Ellie because a few extremists were offended she wasn't Wonder Woman.
Ironically if she was Wonder Woman because then those extreme mists would've been even more offended. Y'know...because...that outfit :p
Okay, something more modest. Say, Wonder Woman in a nun outfit...

Aw, crap.
 

ThunderCavalier

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Nov 21, 2009
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The Last of Us? Sexist?

I wasn't even aware that such claims existed.

... And they're honestly really stupid, anyway. There's nothing to refute. Ellie is a 14-year-old, so of course she's both physically weaker than Joel and, on some occasions, needs to be saved. Furthermore, as people have pointed out, Ellie's perfectly capable of kicking ass when she needs to.
 

Rebel_Raven

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Jul 24, 2011
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For those who hadn't heard of it, it's probably this:
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/14/arts/video-games/in-the-video-game-the-last-of-us-survival-favors-the-man.html?_r=0
and, possibly, the escapist thread,
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/9.818827-The-New-York-Times-Criticizes-The-Last-of-Us-for-Having-a-Male-Protagonist

One one hand, I wouldn't really throw TLOU under the bus, and it wouldn't have been a battle I picked for getting better representation of women in a game. On the other hand, I hadn't played it yet. Life's unpredictability's screwing over my ability to buy games. No big surprise there. <.<

Now if you'll excuse me, I'll resume my wait for naughty Dog to make a female protagonist you play as from one end of the game to the other. :p
 

Proverbial Jon

Not evil, just mildly malevolent
Nov 10, 2009
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Some people will find something to hate in just about anything.

When Tess was hauling Joel up ledges and jumping about the environment like some sort of gazelle I was pretty certain Naughty Dog had made the characters TOO equal!

There's no way in hell you could say this game favours any particular race, gender or sexual orientation. Simply no way. I'd sure like to hear the claims these people that made.
 

Extra-Ordinary

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Mar 17, 2010
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Kalezian said:
She saved Joels life, not to mention she can hold her own against a group of cannibals and down right stabs a fucker in the EYE.
I'm really sorry, I was just lurking on this post but I don't remember that part.
I'm sure it's in there, I just need something to jog my memory.
And I'm going to kick myself when I learn when it is.
 

Norithics

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Jul 4, 2013
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You know what I'm pretty sure this really was? It was like, two random emails out of a billion that said this, and it bothered the developers way more than it should've, because obviously, they go through painstaking detail making characters that are rich and well-developed. They should've just realized that you can't please absolutely everybody, and that there's always some fringe of a fringe of a fringe that will never be satisfied.

Seriously, keep it in mind! But don't break your back over it.
 

Fox12

AccursedT- see you space cowboy
Jun 6, 2013
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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.
I know, really. By the time you arrive she's burnt that mother fucker to the ground. I guess she gets saved at the end, but that was after almost drowning, and then allowing herself to get sedated by someone she thought was a friend. There's nothing wrong with one person needing the help of another. How much ass does she apparently have to kick? What does she have to do, wade through a river of dead bodies, all while carrying Joel unconscious on her back? If some people had their way, she would have been a Mary Sue.

I honestly don't see the issue. Sure, I wanted to protect Ellie when I was playing as Joel, but vise versa, I also wanted to protect Joel when I was playing as Ellie. They're just two characters who depended on one another to survive. I don't think either character would have survived the journey alone, which is, of course, the entire point.

There are legitimate issues out there, so why is a non issue getting attention? This game was not sexist, it was the opposite. I get the sense that the game is getting hate because, quite simply, it is the flavor of the month. It's popular now, so it's getting undeserved negative attention as a result.
 

Ryan Ambrose

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Jun 19, 2013
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An adult attempting to protect a 14-year-old girl has now become an example of sexism, that's just great.

That sort of claim does not even warrant such a response from the developers given how inane it sounds.

On the other hand, since it was mentioned in the article, I have a question that left me rather curious after playing it.


L I G H T _ S P O I L E R S _ from this sentence on,


So here goes: "I think we did an extraordinary job of creating strong characters - men, women, black, white, gay, straight...". By gay is he referring to the character of Bill? I remember he was quite distressed when he saw his partner had hanged himself, even more so than when Joel lost Tess early on by comparison. Is it possible that he was more than just his partner? It is never made explicitly clear, which is a certain type of minimalist storytelling that I appreciate immensely given how much can be inferred and left to the viewer's imagination, if so then bravo Naughty Dog.
 

Genocidicles

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Sep 13, 2012
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Ryan Ambrose said:
By gay is he referring to the character of Bill? I remember he was quite distressed when he saw his partner had hanged himself, even more so than when Joel lost Tess early on by comparison. Is it possible that he was more than just his partner?
I don't think it was made clear who this partner was to be Bill, but I think the porn mag that Ellie steals made it clear that Bill was gay.
 

Steve the Pocket

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Mar 30, 2009
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MrBrightside919 said:
It seems like these sexism people are really scrounging for something to complain about if they are targeting this game...
The funny thing is, they really aren't. There's still no end of genuinely and arguably sexist material in modern media. Whoever supposedly picked on this game in particular must be trolling, or something. I say "supposedly" because, goddamn, if I were a developer this is exactly the sort of thing I would make up to make myself look good, and have you noticed that they're not naming names? Just saying.
 

Psychobabble

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Aug 3, 2013
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This is what happens when someone tries to break the world into little segments of black and white cliches rather than thinking holistically. Evaluating a character through the tunnel vision of "trope tinted glasses" completely ignores any true complexity said character might have. It ignores the fact that its ok for real people and characters that mimic real people to have flaws. Its ok for them to not jive perfectly with a checklist of virtues that some asshole with a dictionary says they should have. Not being perfect is a big part of being human.

I'd like to thank those individuals who have indoctrinated so many people to use such straight-jacket thinking for making society as whole that much less intelligent. And more importantly, that much more intolerant.
 

Abomination

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Dec 17, 2012
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"Sexism" is turning into a bit of white noise now. When everything is sexist in video games, nothing is.

I've yet to actually see a truly sexist video game that paints something in a way that couldn't be misconstrued as anything other than intentional socio-political commentary stating that "women as a whole are inferior to men". You know, something that would actually BE sexist.

There are "sexist depictions" of women IN games, there are "sexist characters" IN games, but games themselves are not actually "sexist".

When does something go from "a woman being a woman" to "a woman being depicted as something negative in a sexist manner"? Is it only when a woman has a stereotypically feminine negative quality about her? Does that quality need to be present in only some female characters in a game or MOST female characters in a game before it is sexist?
 

Headsprouter

Monster Befriender
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She's 14 years old. 14 year old boys can't fight fungus zombies, either, it'd be exactly the same for either gender. In fact, I don't think It's not a case of gender at all, it's a case of being 14 years old.
 

Mikeyfell

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Aug 24, 2010
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Last of Us is TOTALLY sexist. When ever a bad guy (OR even a zombie) sees Ellie walking around, all they see is a "harmless little girl" And they don't react, move to subdue her or even raise alarm. But when they see Big bad Mr. Male Protagonist all hell breaks loose!

How can Naughty Dog sleep at night if that's how they really feel about women! Those sexist pigs.



But seriously Last of Us is probably the best written game ever made (Stupid design choices and immersion breaking bugs aside) anyone who can find sexism in it is... probably on their period LoL sexist joke. See you can totally tell a funny sexist joke if you immediately backpedal and are totally self aware.... okay I totally just derailed myself...

I legitimately want to know at what point in the game is she in distress?
Because looking back on it I literally can't think of a single point where she was helpless, except the swimming puzzles. But if you think a female character who can't swim is a sexist representation of women, Fuck You!

Ellie got out of every hairy situation without Joel's help.
She even saves his life at least 3 times I can think of.

Anyone who thinks Last of Us is sexist please post a picture of your face in profile, because I'll bet we could see right through your ears.