Naughty Dog Responds to The Last of Us Sexism Claims

StewShearerOld

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Miyenne said:
I saw no sexism in the game at all.

Ellie is a 14 year old girl. Of course Joel is stronger than her physically. And he wants to protect her as he believes he failed to do for his own daughter. I'd want to protect Ellie too. No child should have to go through what she goes through.

I just... Sometimes my gender makes me wish I was a guy.
I wouldn't really blame it on your gender. Most of the people who whine and get upset over "DAT SEXISM IN MAH VIDYA GAMEZ!" are white knighting guys who feel the need to be offended on woman's behalf.

There are a few womenfolk like Anita trying to cash in on the white knights for sure, but the main problem is mostly guys being offended just to be offended about something.
 

Malfy

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Marlene, female, is the leader of the Fireflies.

Tess, female, is a badass that was pretty much the boss of Joel, and was an imposing figure for the crew she used to run with. Neither her or Marlene are considered "good" or "evil".

Ellie has a mind of her own, with her own skill set, and even in the chapter where she was captured, she managed to overcome her captors, and save Joel's life in the process.

Where in the blue hell are these sexist claims coming from? If anything, the main characters are represented as equals, regardless of sex, which is the complete opposite of sexism.
 

StewShearerOld

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torno said:
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.

it was right after the best character in the game gets killed while he is helping Ellie escape the Cannibals during the Winter Chapter.


Callus, you shall be missed.
 

Nurb

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I hope this is the beginning of the end for the hyper-sensitive "sexism is everywhere in nerd culture" stuff.

You won't please everyone, because no matter how strong a protagonist, no matter how hard you work, it's never good enough for a minority of people who have an idea in their head of how something should be and will find problems where there are none. They've been given too much power in the past two years and it's made the gaming community more insufferable than it normally is with this forced gender debate.
 

Erttheking

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Desert Punk said:
Miyenne said:
I saw no sexism in the game at all.

Ellie is a 14 year old girl. Of course Joel is stronger than her physically. And he wants to protect her as he believes he failed to do for his own daughter. I'd want to protect Ellie too. No child should have to go through what she goes through.

I just... Sometimes my gender makes me wish I was a guy.
I wouldn't really blame it on your gender. Most of the people who whine and get upset over "DAT SEXISM IN MAH VIDYA GAMEZ!" are white knighting guys who feel the need to be offended on woman's behalf.

There are a few womenfolk like Anita trying to cash in on the white knights for sure, but the main problem is mostly guys being offended just to be offended about something.
You know, I really do think this complaint is BS, but if someone ever criticizes how a woman is portrayed in a game, please don't jump to the White Knight conclusion.

I've been involved with a lot of criticism of how video games treat women, but it's less along the lines of me trying to get women to like me and more it being about things that really freaking bug me. Less about something being offensive and more about it being stupid. So can we please not act like every last person who criticizes the portrayal of women in gaming is trying to destroy the medium? I really miss the days when the word feminist wasn't an insult.
 

StewShearerOld

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erttheking said:
Desert Punk said:
Miyenne said:
I saw no sexism in the game at all.

Ellie is a 14 year old girl. Of course Joel is stronger than her physically. And he wants to protect her as he believes he failed to do for his own daughter. I'd want to protect Ellie too. No child should have to go through what she goes through.

I just... Sometimes my gender makes me wish I was a guy.
I wouldn't really blame it on your gender. Most of the people who whine and get upset over "DAT SEXISM IN MAH VIDYA GAMEZ!" are white knighting guys who feel the need to be offended on woman's behalf.

There are a few womenfolk like Anita trying to cash in on the white knights for sure, but the main problem is mostly guys being offended just to be offended about something.
You know, I really do think this complaint is BS, but if someone ever criticizes how a woman is portrayed in a game, please don't jump to the White Knight conclusion.
I didnt say everyone that did it was one. I was merely pointing out that a lot of the echochamber ARE them. I have met a number of people with valid criticism and with good arguments to back things up.

And then there are the people who call The Last of Us sexist...
 

Erttheking

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Desert Punk said:
erttheking said:
Desert Punk said:
Miyenne said:
I saw no sexism in the game at all.

Ellie is a 14 year old girl. Of course Joel is stronger than her physically. And he wants to protect her as he believes he failed to do for his own daughter. I'd want to protect Ellie too. No child should have to go through what she goes through.

I just... Sometimes my gender makes me wish I was a guy.
I wouldn't really blame it on your gender. Most of the people who whine and get upset over "DAT SEXISM IN MAH VIDYA GAMEZ!" are white knighting guys who feel the need to be offended on woman's behalf.

There are a few womenfolk like Anita trying to cash in on the white knights for sure, but the main problem is mostly guys being offended just to be offended about something.
You know, I really do think this complaint is BS, but if someone ever criticizes how a woman is portrayed in a game, please don't jump to the White Knight conclusion.
I didnt say everyone that did it was one. I was merely pointing out that a lot of the echochamber ARE them. I have met a number of people with valid criticism and with good arguments to back things up.

And then there are the people who call The Last of Us sexist...
Right, well that's good to know. I'm just kind of concerned because some people get so snippy when gender topics get brought up I'm starting to feel like you can't criticize any portrayal of women without someone flipping a table and start screaming about me being a politically correct white knight. Like I said in my edited post, I'm starting to feel like the word "Feminist" is becoming an insult to many. I'm honestly starting to get a little concerned at how far some people go to hate people with criticisms about sexism, like one guy who declared that Anita was a thief, a con artist, and trying to start a cult based around herself. I don't agree with her on a lot of things but that is royally overreacting.
 

wulf3n

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Has anyone got any other sources of people calling it sexist?

I could only find this [http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/14/arts/video-games/in-the-video-game-the-last-of-us-survival-favors-the-man.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0] Like Rebel_Raven posted.

I mean is this even something Naughty Dog needed to respond to?

Was anyone actually offended?
 

Fox12

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Steve the Pocket said:
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.
Actually, I believe they're responding to a New York Times article that labeled them sexist. The argument was that you play as Joe instead of Ellie, which is (somehow?) sexist. It's really stupid. Anita Sarkeesian apparently jumped on board the hate train too, which seems like a pretty easy way for her to ruin her credibility. Ellie has a great character arc, so I fail to see the problem.
 

ReinWeisserRitter

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I thought Ellie was a little obnoxious and forced, but not really sexist. She's basically exactly what you'd expect if you've been around long enough; sassy and capable, sure, but "sexist" never came to mind. Sam, the teenaged boy you meet awhile in, is basically her but male as far as the situation goes, but he's tentative and unsure of himself because his brother's overprotective of him, exhibiting more "expected" feminine characteristics than Ellie does, who's more assertive and headstrong.

Then again, half the reason Sam exists is likely to be juxtaposed against Ellie. The game's constantly cramming such things down your throat is another complaint entirely, though.
 

Fox12

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erttheking said:
Desert Punk said:
erttheking said:
Desert Punk said:
Miyenne said:
I saw no sexism in the game at all.

Ellie is a 14 year old girl. Of course Joel is stronger than her physically. And he wants to protect her as he believes he failed to do for his own daughter. I'd want to protect Ellie too. No child should have to go through what she goes through.

I just... Sometimes my gender makes me wish I was a guy.
I wouldn't really blame it on your gender. Most of the people who whine and get upset over "DAT SEXISM IN MAH VIDYA GAMEZ!" are white knighting guys who feel the need to be offended on woman's behalf.

There are a few womenfolk like Anita trying to cash in on the white knights for sure, but the main problem is mostly guys being offended just to be offended about something.
You know, I really do think this complaint is BS, but if someone ever criticizes how a woman is portrayed in a game, please don't jump to the White Knight conclusion.
I didnt say everyone that did it was one. I was merely pointing out that a lot of the echochamber ARE them. I have met a number of people with valid criticism and with good arguments to back things up.

And then there are the people who call The Last of Us sexist...
Right, well that's good to know. I'm just kind of concerned because some people get so snippy when gender topics get brought up I'm starting to feel like you can't criticize any portrayal of women without someone flipping a table and start screaming about me being a politically correct white knight. Like I said in my edited post, I'm starting to feel like the word "Feminist" is becoming an insult to many. I'm honestly starting to get a little concerned at how far some people go to hate people with criticisms about sexism, like one guy who declared that Anita was a thief, a con artist, and trying to start a cult based around herself. I don't agree with her on a lot of things but that is royally overreacting.
I know what you mean. I made a comment that I found Sarkeesian to be mildly inoffensive, and suddenly people insist on telling me she's Satan, and that she's trying to willfully destroy the games industry. I mention that she has a handful of decent points (and some bad ones), and apparently I'm a white knight cruising for sex. Because real people totally act that way. I was actually stunned that I felt like I was in the minority on this issue. The funny thing is, I don't even like Sarkeesian that much. I just didn't see what the big deal was when her critics started raising Cain. The great irony is that her critics are her greatest allies. They're making her more relevant than ever, and the only cause they hurt is their own.
 

runic knight

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Abomination said:
"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?
Well, according to some, the traits of any female character is applied to the whole in relation to the number of females present in the game. Basically, this is why there will be complaints about the skimpy dressed female characters in one game and then about princess peach in the next. In the first example, majority of woman had that trait, so therefore it must reflect an opinion about all women. In the second, since peach is the only woman, she must be a surrogate for the "ideal" woman.

At least, that was my understanding of the "logic" behind this stuff. Sort of falls apart though when you realize how sexist it is that a female character can't simply be a character but instead has to be part of her sex first, representative of them for good or ill as though being a female somehow comes with that responsibility by default. Though not surprising given how people apply ideas of what is or is not female traits in the first place when judging a character as "good" or "bad" based off of personal morality or philosophy of what a female character should be in the first place (see sex negative feminists for example)


On topic.
This is stupid. Sorry, nothing else describes this so perfectly. This is not even the boy who called wolf here, this is the boy looking at the sheep he is suppose to be protecting and screaming it is a wolf and trying to get people to bash the poor wooly creature's brains in. From every example given, Ellie seems a great character. No, I did not mean a great female character, but a great character, end of sentence. She has a single god damn trait of being a female, but that doesn't make her character, let alone change the rules by which one should measure if a character is good or not. So many over scrutinize female characters, especially those claiming they are doing so to point out the bad ones (see my earlier remark about judging characters based off of personal preference and philosophy). Ellie seems a good character with depth, motivation, likability and realistic behavior. While this takes into account her gender in how one may expect a 14 year old girl to behave, that is not a representation of sexism, nor is it that the young teenage girl might find herself in trouble at one point or another and need some help to get out.

This... this is just stupid.
 

RyQ_TMC

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Abomination said:
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.
It's there, but it's where nobody's looking. I refer to the genre of "punish your boyfriend" mobile games. It paints women as controlling and vengeful (you know, exactly what a lot of antifeminism focuses on), and adds the undertone of "female on male violence is funny". That, I daresay, is an example of inherently sexist game genre. There's only a handful of them, but presumably there's an audience if they're being made.

AAA games, or even widely released indies are pretty much incapable of being sexist as a whole. Sure, there are some stereotypes and gender role-related tropes, but no dev sits down and decides they're gonna oppress some women with that multimillion dollar gamble. In fact, we're starting to see some studios generate buzz for their games by focusing on having strong female protagonists. Remember Me, The Last of Us and the Tomb Raider reboot all used that in marketing to some extent.

OT: It probably wasn't a response to the NYT article (since it's almost 2 months old), but if it is, I don't think it was necessary for the dev to do it. The article's headline (as is usual in media) makes it seem more negative that it really is - what the author says boils down to "a step in the right direction, but I would prefer two steps". And it references that stupid "Microsoft rape talk" controversy from a while back.

Maybe all it really comes down to is Naughty Dog attempting to remind gamers that The Last of Us is still relevant, to squeeze out those few sales more?
 

Lightknight

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Damsel in distresses exist. They exist in real life and they've existed in human history and lore for thousands of years. This is the nature of a species with two genders in which one is significantly weaker (physically) than the other. I'm sorry, but in a world where ammo is scarce and brute strength generally wins, women lose. Not because they're dumb or anything like that, but because biology has dealt women a different card for the sake of them being able to produce tiny humans efficiently. Not only that, but Ellie isn't just a girl but young to boot. Seeing a girl her size run up and beat the shit out of a 200LB man would have been laughable.

I'm genuinely not sure why they even bothered responding to the topic. This is not a winnable scenario. Either they make things unrealistic by making the 110lb girl be able to throw a full grown man through a wall or they make it realistic and compensate by giving the women in this world legitimate qualities. I understand the desire for gender equality, but that doesn't mean that women are magically identical to men. We each have our own distinct capabilities and skills. I'm sorry, but brute strength went largely to men. Women have more strength in a lot of other areas in my opinion but not physically. And where brute strength is at play, women will be the damsels in distress most of the time.

Naughty Dog did damn well with their characters. They shouldn't be made to feel sorry that Ellie wasn't some brute escorting a tiny boy around.
 

Fox12

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Steve the Pocket said:
Fox12 said:
Anita Sarkeesian apparently jumped on board the hate train too, which seems like a pretty easy way for her to ruin her credibility.
Anita Sarkeesian had credibility?
Well played sir, well played :).

I never payed her much mind to begin with, but this was mind numbingly stupid on her part.
 

Woodsey

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... Oooh-kaay.

The only instance I can think of when she needs saving is, y'know, the big one. And they both put in the legwork in that scenario to get her out of it. And that's after she's already save Joel's arse a fair few times. Other instances of her needing help are because, y'know, she's a fucking 14-year-old.

Let's not turn this into the mountain from a mole hill that was the Tomb Raider nonsense. (Which, interestingly, The Escapist was rather eager to fan the flames of.) It only devalues the (many, many) other points worthy of actual criticism in the industry.

Steve the Pocket said:
Fox12 said:
Anita Sarkeesian apparently jumped on board the hate train too, which seems like a pretty easy way for her to ruin her credibility.
Anita Sarkeesian had credibility?
Compared to the people who have tried to, uh, 'criticise' her, she has a fucking fortress worth.
 

m19

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I think ND kinda overdid it actually. Ellie was made into practically flawless "strong female character" poster child.
 

punipunipyo

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Wait... did she/he played the damn game through? didn't they remember that little 14 years old girl dispatched like 15 guys while the lead man character took a fall and couldn't fight anymore? AND SHE DID IT NPC SYYLE(saying "hey! player!~ YOU ARE NOT IN CONTROL OF SITUATION ANYMORE! THAT LITTLE 14 YEARS OLD GIRL IS GONNA SAVE YOUR SORRY ASS!~")She was like golden gun hax of some sort, because I can NEVER KILL ANYONE IN ONE SHOT IN THAT GAME(head shots included...) When she was captured, she pretty much gotten her self out, AND KILLED THE RAPIST HER SELF (VIRGINITY INTACT)!~ ONLY thing she need was the lead man to be there for psychological support... that's all...

Personally, this game manage to make me feel vulnerable/week/fragile, even with all the guns and weapons available, but still allows me to feel like a bad-ass when it constantly force me to CQC the baddies/shroom-bies to death... I think this is a GREAT BALANCE, and when it comes to having the 14 years old girl dispatching the SAME ENEMIES as the MAIN GUY LEAD, it's just mind blowing.... nope... I disagreed... this game is ANYTHING BUT "making the 14 years old girl a damsel.