Author Topic: Gender issues and gaming  (Read 79307 times)

bleunienn

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Re: Gender issues and gaming
« Reply #30 on: June 15, 2012, 07:41:06 AM »
Well, I didn't bring up the porn industry because we weren't talking about the porn industry.

Also I don't really know anything about the porn industry and therefore choose not to make a lot of statements that may be demonstrably wrong.  I don't care for most porn (this is not a value judgement. I simply don't find most of it erotic at all), I don't buy it or seek it out, and I don't have enough knowledge of the tropes and what-all associated with it to comment intelligently.

I mean, I'm sure it's got its own problems and issues and sexism is probably among them, but ... different industry.  As far as entertainment industries go, games seem to me to be more similar to mainstream movies/TV and useful analogies can be drawn there.  

Are there any useful analogies you can draw between the practices of the porn industry and those of the game industry?  Beyond "sex sells," of course, because that's true of nearly every industry.  If you haven't checked out that link that Wren posted upthread to genderads.com, go check it out.  It's eye-opening, even if you are alert to the ways sexuality (and especially representations of female sexuality) are used in advertising.


Andraax

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Re: Gender issues and gaming
« Reply #31 on: June 15, 2012, 08:52:42 AM »
Are there any useful analogies you can draw between the practices of the porn industry and those of the game industry?

I'm not in either industry, so I can't personally comment from either perspective but here are some things I think the games industry might be taking (inadvertently or deliberately) from the porn industry:

1) You can make a lot of money by pandering to one sex alone and ignoring/degrading the other.  (I think you can make MORE money now by marketing equally to both, but not so long ago, the market for video games was much more highly biased towards young males and many companies may still not be dealing with the shift.  Corporate culture is HARD to change.)

2) You can't go low enough to be below the bottom (this is more generic to all entertainment.)

3) There will always be a market; you just have to capture enough of it to make a profit.  (Look at the huge number of app makers and independent porn web sites out there.)

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Vylin

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Re: Gender issues and gaming
« Reply #32 on: June 15, 2012, 09:47:54 AM »
In reference to the porn - video game thing...plenty of games have tried to bridge that gap and all have failed. T&A can help define your product (I.E. Dead or Alive), but being a good fighting game is what makes it do well. Its the equivalent of a car with a flashy exterior that gets people's attention. They want to look at it closer. But if what's inside the jar is garbage, people move on. Now, if you have a flashy exterior and a bangin interior...now you're cookin with gasoline.
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deobryn

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Re: Gender issues and gaming
« Reply #33 on: June 15, 2012, 09:57:55 AM »
A couple things:

Most companies when attempting to get attention to their game will want to go with something that they know 'works'.  While it may be better in their interests to go for the growing demographics of women gamers, they 'know' that booth babes will draw in a certain number of men, and they don't 'know' how to draw women in, and won't without paying to do research, or find past research for tactics that work.  Until something that comes out that is proven to draw women in, and is repeatable, they will go with the simple grab (or may even be using both, having determined that the booth babe step doesn't undermine the other marketing methods with women that much, so there is a net gain to do both).  Many companies don't have/set aside the resources to take the gamble with new marketing methods to bring the women in.

As for having new/deeper representations of women in games, one component in video games is speed.  You walk into a wild west bar room and scan the room.  You see someone with a star badge on and the immediate mental note is that is the sheriff, and can be trusted (with some exceptions).  There is man wiping a glass with a towel.  That's the bartender.  You can get information from him.  Then there is the guy in the corner with a black hat scowling at you reaching for his belt.  You immediately shoot that person  All this back information is conveyed in a couple seconds without exposition.  The game is relying on past ('cartoonish') preconceptions to speed up gameplay.  A certain representation will bring with it its own 'backstory' in the players mind.  As stated, such representations are limited with respect to women, but I'm not sure most of that can be fixed in video games, which doesn't allow much time before the action starts.  Until new quickly identifiable women prototypes come into the society, you aren't likely to see them in video games.

For deeper characterization, Star Wars is an example of an attempt at that.  Many of the key figures in teh game are women that don't fit the above stereotypes.  Each quest/NPC has a story behind it.  Not always that involved, but you do get a sense of the character of the ones giving you the quest, and some of the key players you will interact with along the way.  Some of the biggest criticisms of the game involve people wanting to just know the thing they are supposed to kill so they can get their loot and move on to the next quest.  I know I personally don't read the majority of the quest text in WoW, which is a shame as some of it is pretty funny, but really I get into the goal oriented mode and it boils down to I need to finish 8 more quests in Loch Moran to get the achievement.  Where are all the guys with exclamation points on their heads?  A side effect of speed in gaming is short attention span.  Still, if it is done well in a successful game, and other game companies see that it will work if done a certain way, they will incorporate it, and the game players will have instant recognition and the preconceptions will flow in.  Perhaps Star Wars has pushed things a little further in that direction


bleunienn

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Re: Gender issues and gaming
« Reply #34 on: June 15, 2012, 10:47:43 AM »
Many companies don't have/set aside the resources to take the gamble with new marketing methods to bring the women in.

Which is, of course, why women who game, and men who care about women who game, need to speak up.  No one's going to give us what we want unless we ask for it, and demonstrate that we're willing to pay money for it.

Really, this is not about women being some weird alien species with inscrutable wishes.  We're people.  And women gamers?  Are gamers.  For the most part, when we game, we want the same stuff men who game want (like power fantasies).  Sexist tropes in games often undermine that fantasy -- we want to be kick-ass, and the game reduces us to fanservice.

deobryn

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Re: Gender issues and gaming
« Reply #35 on: June 15, 2012, 12:08:39 PM »
I guess my point is that not *all* companies have the resources to experiment, but that there are (have to be) ones that do have the resources.  If they try and find something repeatable that succeeds, other companies will see something that works and use it themselves.  The default, though, will remain to use something proven to work until someone (else) comes up with something better, then use that.

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Re: Gender issues and gaming
« Reply #36 on: June 15, 2012, 01:19:43 PM »
Most companies when attempting to get attention to their game will want to go with something that they know 'works'.  While it may be better in their interests to go for the growing demographics of women gamers, they 'know' that booth babes will draw in a certain number of men, and they don't 'know' how to draw women in, and won't without paying to do research, or find past research for tactics that work.  Until something that comes out that is proven to draw women in, and is repeatable, they will go with the simple grab (or may even be using both, having determined that the booth babe step doesn't undermine the other marketing methods with women that much, so there is a net gain to do both).  Many companies don't have/set aside the resources to take the gamble with new marketing methods to bring the women in.

This is what I was trying to say earlier but this was much better stated.

Really, this is not about women being some weird alien species with inscrutable wishes.  We're people.  And women gamers?  Are gamers.  For the most part, when we game, we want the same stuff men who game want (like power fantasies).  Sexist tropes in games often undermine that fantasy -- we want to be kick-ass, and the game reduces us to fanservice.[/url

It'd be one thing if the species had the same goals and honestly I feel it's probably something that does retard progress in the matter. There are so many differences between people and what they like that it's not fair to say "here's what female gamers want" because I know a number of female gamers who either don't notice or don't care about how females are drawn/scripted. When you say that women often want the same stuff as men, are you talking about the men who only play sports games cuz "RPGs are for nerds" or the guy who can eloquently detail his elf's entire history but can't play a driving game to save his life?

We want power fantasies, sure, because IN GENERAL(*), psychological studies show that men are more interested in gaining power and getting to the next level, hence the natural correlation to video games. Women, IN GENERAL(*) have a much more nuturing personality and think horizontally i.e. helping the person next to them. The Wii was a smashing success and the overwhelming reason is because it got more women and families involved than anything ever before. All of those mini-games where there's light competition and you have to play together in the same room and there's also a lot of co-operative content? Perfect for moms and their families; Nintendo knew exactly what it was doing.

Also Re: THC. The movie has nothing really to do with female debasement (it debases everyone equally) so much as makes a point that Hollywood has no shame and makes things because people will watch them. No, THC was not some big studio release, but a company green-lighted making it, another company distrubuted it, and stores carried/rented it so it's as much a part of the process as anything else. So saying "Shame on you!" is going to fall on deaf ears because they'll say "We didn't make it for you, we made it for the person over there that's currently watching it and giving us money for it." That was my point I was trying to make.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2012, 01:23:30 PM by Leahnidas »

bleunienn

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Re: Gender issues and gaming
« Reply #37 on: June 15, 2012, 01:39:24 PM »
I guess my point is that not *all* companies have the resources to experiment, but that there are (have to be) ones that do have the resources.  If they try and find something repeatable that succeeds, other companies will see something that works and use it themselves.  The default, though, will remain to use something proven to work until someone (else) comes up with something better, then use that.

I guess my point is that maybe less experimentation is needed than "you" (generic you) might think.  Women who game do so for the same reasons men do, mostly.  We want to kick butt and take names.  We want to be someone other (stronger, more powerful, maybe sexier) than who we are in our daily lives for a while.

Maybe this is my ignorance about the industry talking, but is it also really so hard (or expensive) for a gaming company to do market research?  I mean, I have some other hobbies that tend to be fed by small businesses (less than 50 employees, generally, and often less than 10) and at least a couple times a year I'll get an email from one of them asking me to fill out a survey "so we can get to know our customers better."  Sometimes there's a promise of a goodie attached -- a gift card or a drawing for a new product --  and they'll ask questions about what products I've bought and what kinds of products I'd like to see.

So I guess I don't understand why, if a tiny business like the three-person independent sewing pattern company I sometimes buy from can ask me to do a 25-question survey once a year, gaming companies would not also be able to do that.  

Whatever the case, that doesn't mean we, as consumers, can't go to companies and say "hey, we want to see fewer sexist tropes and more interesting female characters" too.  Nothing gets better if we pretend the problem doesn't exist.

When you say that women often want the same stuff as men, are you talking about the men who only play sports games cuz "RPGs are for nerds" or the guy who can eloquently detail his elf's entire history but can't play a driving game to save his life?

Yes.  "Women gamers" are not a monolithic group.  Some of us like shooters.  Some like RPGs.  Some like RTS.  some like consoles, others like PCs.  I read an article not too long ago by a woman who attributed her ability to pull out of a skid and avoid an accident on the roads to playing a lot of Mario Kart.

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We want power fantasies, sure, because IN GENERAL(*), psychological studies show that men are more interested in gaining power and getting to the next level, hence the natural correlation to video games. Women, IN GENERAL(*) have a much more nuturing personality and think horizontally i.e. helping the person next to them.

Err. This is sort of stereotyped. Are you sure this is what you mean?  I know plenty of women who enjoy power fantasies in their games.

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Also Re: THC. The movie has nothing really to do with female debasement (it debases everyone equally) so much as makes a point that Hollywood has no shame and makes things because people will watch them. No, THC was not some big studio release, but a company green-lighted making it, another company distrubuted it, and stores carried/rented it so it's as much a part of the process as anything else. So saying "Shame on you!" is going to fall on deaf ears because they'll say "We didn't make it for you, we made it for the person over there that's currently watching it and giving us money for it." That was my point I was trying to make.

Again:  it wasn't a Hollywood movie.  It was made by an independent Dutch filmmaker who recruited investors for the project but didn't tell them what the content was until after it was finished.  Both the original and the sequel had extremely limited releases.  I think the Wikipedia page said the DVD proceeds for the first one are still below $2 or $3 million.  Furthermore, I'm not arguing for eliminating niche productions -- I know it won't happen -- but for more mass market games to shed the stereotypes.

Shame is one tool -- racism, for example, is now considered shameful.  Homophobia is becoming that way.  I mentioned Ta-Nehisi Coates upthread; check out How Bigotry Works (and the comments -- he runs the best comments section on the web) for some discussion of how shame can be a useful tool.  There are other tools as well -- like telling gaming companies what you want (and expect) from their games, and then not giving them your money if they don't provide it.

I'm really not sure what you're arguing for here, Leah, but it sounds a bit like "the entertainment industry doesn't care what you think and you just have to accept whatever crap they choose to provide."  I don't accept that.

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Re: Gender issues and gaming
« Reply #38 on: June 15, 2012, 03:19:36 PM »
I think we're falling into that trap of only thinking there are two choices.  The argument isn't "Remove sex from advertising" I think it's more "Remove dehumanizing and demeaningly sexual aspects of advertising."  Bleu has quoted several times as saying "I'm more than my boobs and butt."  I think that's a good mantra to view this as.  She doesn't say "Ignore my boobs and butt.", she says there's more to it than that.  The argument for why sex isn't bad in games I think can also be applied to advertising, but first I think we need to dig a bit more into advertising in general and what it's trying to accomplish in different arenas.

Talent Based vs Brand Awareness Based
The video game industry is a talent industry.  If a product does extremely well it's nearly always because the underlying product was well made and it filled a desire of a game people want to play.  If a game does poorly it's also usually because it's poorly made, or it's a game that while possibly well made, just isn't a game many people want to play.  (IE: Turn based wargames, space sims, etc.)  Advertising matters, but it isn't the driving force of success in this industry.  Minecraft is extremely successful and was advertised almost solely through word of mouth.  The original Modern Warfare didn't sell tons of copies because of advertising, it sold well since it was a very well made game and changed the multiplayer shooter world in a way that players wanted.  Now advertising helps raise awareness of future iterations, if the sequels stopping doing what they intend to do well, sales would drop off a lot more.  (Even now they're starting to tail off because nothing is changing, even though the advertising budgets are just getting bigger and bigger)

Successful advertising in games usually puts pieces of the product first.  MMO's might release a talent calculator on the website.  "Here, play with a piece of our mechanics to see how well designed it is!"  There's always the popular pre-release demo too.  While established games do this less, a new IP needs to get its name out there, and the more successful ways to do this are put the product first.  Let people see what it's about and what goes into making it. 

Sex doesn't make a lot of sense here.  "Sex sells" is a very broad generalization and when a product is almost purely talent based, I actually don't think sex does sell very well.  It's a notion from products that are very advertising centric, which games are not.  It's why the booth babe idea is a strange one.  I'm certain E3 could completely eliminate all booth babes and there wouldn't be a dent on anyone's traffic at the show whatsoever.  "Sex sells" isn't a universal truth and it doesn't apply here.  If a game's core aspect is sex/sexy?  Sure, a booth babe makes sense there.  A booth babe doesn't make a whole lot of sense at most games though.  (Again, a booth babe I'm viewing as a different technique than an attractive gal dressed sharp and sexy who is *knowledgable* about the product.  A booth babe is someone dressed excessively skimpy for the sake of drawing attention who knows little to nothing about the product)

Some products like Coke, Pepsi, Bounty, Bayer...products that don't change from year to year and are the same thing all the time.  If Bounty increases its market share from one year to the next, it is almost 100% based on its advertising campaigns being more successful.  These products live and die by how they are advertised.  You walk into a store and you see three products that are virtually identical and you pick one over the others.  Chances are that choice is through something marketing related, whether it's advertising, a sale or coupon or some other means.  "Sex sells" suddenly seems more fitting here...but again, that line is too simplified.

If we saw an ad of some gal in a thong bikini writhing on the beach for awhile then at the end there was a flash "Bounty paper towels."  ...that would be outright insulting.  (Or it could be viewed as sarcastically mocking the trope of sex sells in a funny way, but either way, you can over sexualize something)  Bounty actually I think had one of the better 'sex sells' campaigns that I don't think was demeaning.  Several years back they started featuring hunky dudes dressed in the sorta workman/lumberjacky clothes their product features doing regular house cleaning with a paper towel.  The voice over was a deep sorta seductive dude describing their activities.  It was campy, sexualized and hilarious.  I thought it was pretty effective and stood out from the usual advertising tropes of these products that always feature "Normal looking housewife talking about cleaning" 

In the middle I think we have the auto industry.  It's talent based in that a good car that is well built with features people want will sell well, however in between new product announcements and complete redesigns, a car doesn't change all that much.  The 2013 MY Ford Focus isn't that different from the 2012 MY Ford Focus.  However the 2011 is way, way different from the 2010.  So when the product doesn't change, it relies heavily on advertising to push sales.  If poor sales are shown to be as a result of the product being weak, it probably means they need to redesign earlier than intended, and in the interim really ramp up the marketing. 

Cars are also a good example of how sex and aesthetics again work well in marketing.  The people in car commercials often times match the visual aesthetic of the car itself.  Big work trucks feature working people doing construction or other manual labor.  A sexy sports car will feature a classily sexy woman or a sharply dressed man.  A basic family sedan will feature normal people, and a cheap and efficient compact will usual feature a younger demographic.  They match the visual aesthetic of the car with the people in it.  It's a way of using sex to sell, but again, sometimes it is done tastefully and not blatant.  ...other times it is done excessively blatant when they push the 'sexy' angle beyond what makes sense for the product.  Cars can be sexy, so having a certain amount of sexy in the advertising makes sense, but again, it's about getting it right and not doing it to the point of being insulting and demeaning.

Now the problem right now with games is that the advertising arms are largely controlled by corporate marketing people that came from marketing products like Coke/Pepsi/etc.  Video games are a very young industry and going through an awful lot of growing pains and finding their voice is definitely one of them.  The marketing and PR guys are controlling the message and often times the studios have very little say in how their own products are marketed.  The talent creating the product isn't doing the selling, the guy who was just hired from Coke's marketing department is doing the selling.  This makes the path to change very intricate and complicated, but not impossible.

As I mentioned earlier when a game sells well, it is largely because of the quality of the game as well as the desire it fills among players.  However the advertising folks are going to see trends with regards to how the game was advertised.  I'll use Saints Row 3 as an example here.  We have a reputation for being pretty over sexualized, however to our credit we got just as many dudes in gimp suits as we do gals in bikinis.  However we have a lot of other aspects to the game that I think are very well done.  The story of a gang going Hollywood is silly levels of over the top and we have a wide variety of fun weapons and toys to play with in the sandbox world.  However the marketing folks focused almost entirely on the juvenile sexual aspects of the game when designing our advertising campaign.  We put the dildo bat and penthouse pets on just about everything we could think of, while letting the rest of our good ideas take a back seat.  To this day when I mentioned I worked on the game I almost always automatically hear, "Oh, the game with the big dildo bat?"

SR3 is more than dildo bats and farts in a jar. (Quote sounds a little familiar right?)  However the advertisers didn't show us off in that way.  ..and SR3 is one of the most successful games we've ever done.  So the PR/Marketing folks are going to say "Hey, this was a success!" 

So where does the change start here?  On some levels it starts with studios fighting to take control of the PR/Marketing for games.  Games that do this generally have better designed campaigns focused on letting people get their hands on pieces of their ideas rather than flashing some sex and skin around.  Voting with your dollars is a tricky aspect here though.  Many times if a game doesn't sell well, the suits say "This was a bad game or a game nobody wanted"  So voting with your dollars doesn't always send the message "I would have bought your game, but your advertising turned me off."  It might instead send the message "I didn't buy your game because it was a bad game."

When we do our internal studies/surveys and playtesting advertising I think is one of the few things we almost never touch.  We test control schemes and play mechanics and see what people like there and collect feedback on what was fun, what wasn't fun and what was easy or hard to understand.  Since again, at the studio we have zero control on our advertising, we aren't able to test things out or even so much as participate.  (I'm not sure what the case is at other publishers and certainly indie studios have full control over their advertising, and often times have the most success with doing a lot with a little in the marketing sense since they're much more likely to find fun ways to let the product speak for itself)

As an side here I think this is another area where we aren't looking at gals enough.  Spatial relations is one area where male and female brains tend to work differently.  It's not a 100% correlation but often times our abilities there are different and that has *huge* ramifications about things like controls in a 3D environment and camera orientation.  However despite the fact there's a lot of interesting research about how men and women intuit space, there is very little being done with regards to games to take advantage of that.  Most of the time a designer will design things they want to play, and most designers are men.  When they design control and camera schemes they design them in a way that makes sense to men.  It's not to say women can't learn and understand them, but it's a bit more tricky for most gals to pick it up and just have it immediately make sense, which is the goal.  I would be very interested in seeing what would happen if more gals designed camera and control aspects in 3D games and see how it would differ.  Anyway, random aside.

In closing the game industry is a new one and going through strange growing pains.  We're a talent based industry that has a product brand style marketing.  The people who create the games also have so little say and control in the marketing of what they make that it's a massive disconnect on how we push games and how to send the message "I don't like how you're advertising your games." While not buying Bayer because of overly insulting messages clearly sends a message "Your advertising offends me/doesn't work.", doing so with games doesn't always send that message at all.  Sex selling also isn't universally instantly demeaning.  It depends on the product and the manner in which it was done.  You can use sex as a way to gain attention without it being dehumanizing or reducing men/women to objects.  Just like Morrigan was sexy alongside so many other qualities, an advertisement can be sexy, along with other qualities.  Reducing the argument to a binary issue closes off a ton of potential doors for companies to still advertise smartly and sexily while removing demeaning, dehumanizing and insulting aspects.




bleunienn

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Re: Gender issues and gaming
« Reply #39 on: June 15, 2012, 04:30:24 PM »
I think we're falling into that trap of only thinking there are two choices.  The argument isn't "Remove sex from advertising" I think it's more "Remove dehumanizing and demeaningly sexual aspects of advertising."  Bleu has quoted several times as saying "I'm more than my boobs and butt."  I think that's a good mantra to view this as.  She doesn't say "Ignore my boobs and butt.", she says there's more to it than that.

Thank you, Kharv, yes, that's exactly what I'm saying.  If someone enjoys looking at my parts, hey, that's great.  Just don't be creepy about it, or act like those are the only things I have to offer, ya know?

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Many times if a game doesn't sell well, the suits say "This was a bad game or a game nobody wanted"  So voting with your dollars doesn't always send the message "I would have bought your game, but your advertising turned me off."  It might instead send the message "I didn't buy your game because it was a bad game."

*nods*  Yes, exactly.  That's one of the reasons why I mentioned writing letters to the marketing/customer service people.  That way, the suits hear it from a person who would have spent money on the game except the fur bikinis (or whatever) were a dealbreaker.

I'm not arguing for uniform ideas of what's a dealbreaker, either (and I don't think anyone else was, for that matter).  People have to decide where the line is for themselves.  It's just when the dealbreakers do turn up, as paying customers of the game industry we do have a right (and maybe even a responsibility) to say "not cool, dude.  not cool."

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Re: Gender issues and gaming
« Reply #40 on: June 15, 2012, 06:02:31 PM »
I enjoy debate, especially when I have feelings on multiple sides of the argument like this one. It was something I did in high school and enjoyed very much so it's just a part of my nature that I don't get to express too often unless I want to irritate the Mrs. and sleep on the couch.

I see the points here totally and freely admit that if I had had to mow down the legions of hell in Doom knowing that the nameless space marine was wearing a spandex thong and showing off his oily, rock-hard abs the entire time, I would've probably had a harder time doing so. Then again I was a fan of pro wrestling growing up so I guess it wouldn't have been that strange.  :P

I guess I'm tuned differently simply because I don't pay it any attention and find the other viewpoint hard to grasp, which obviously doesn't make it any less legit. I just know that if I'm playing Golden Axe, I'm not checking out the female character wearing a much-less protective piece of armor, I'm just smashing things and making sure I'm not dying all over the place. It just wouldn't occur to me be ogling someone in a video game or feeling that they 're being dehumanized.

I also understand this this contention comes up a lot more in fantasy games where, at least these days, you can guide the story on the path you want it to be. Completely ignoring Morrigan and choosing everything she doesn't like is the only way  I can see people playing that game and still pointing to her a positive example of a strong female character. Considering that she's billed as someone who has a general dislike for humans, is distrustful of men, and is a loner altogether, she's the easiest companion to get in the sack and becomes quite easily romanced too because that's all she really wants in life of course. I guess maybe it's because gaining rep with her requires you to be dickish to others and she's pretty delightfully sarcastic to Allistar, a giant toolbox that everyone enjoys mocking that gets her some general leeway though.

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Re: Gender issues and gaming
« Reply #41 on: June 16, 2012, 02:54:36 PM »
You could just as easily expand this to cover films and TV they are just has bad. They are all defined as a woman who does something rather than "doing something" and played by a woman.
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Re: Gender issues and gaming
« Reply #42 on: June 18, 2012, 02:07:08 AM »
You could just as easily expand this to cover films and TV they are just has bad. They are all defined as a woman who does something rather than "doing something" and played by a woman.

TV has been breaking away from that quite a bit in the last few years, though.  The Hollywood film industry, not so much.  As I mentioned earlier, I think games are between the two in terms of the general level of strong/diverse female representation (though films are ahead in terms of representing black women... I can only think of one game that has black women in starring roles, and that's Guild Wars: Nightfall), but since gaming is the industry I work in, that's the one I examine most closely.
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Re: Gender issues and gaming
« Reply #43 on: June 18, 2012, 06:33:36 AM »
Thank you, Kharv, yes, that's exactly what I'm saying.  If someone enjoys looking at my parts, hey, that's great.  Just don't be creepy about it, or act like those are the only things I have to offer, ya know?

And if I may pull this back around to games the "boobs and butt" issue for me has to do with that as the presentation of female images. In specific as the ONLY presentation of female images. Tera appears only to have fashion-model-unrealistic depictions. If I want to build a fighter, I want her (or him) to have a seriously armored, fully covered body.  I don't want bare midriffs on her any more than I want assless chaps on my male fighter.

By presenting a wholly sexist, and particularly a sex-focused, image as my only choice in character, the game perpetuates the sexist elements, appeals to the sexist player, and excludes women and men who would like something different. I don't think you can argue that it takes more time/money to have your art team create fully clothed models - or even make half the models fully clothed - than it takes to make the same number of models that are scantily clothed.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2012, 10:37:09 AM by Snique »

bleunienn

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Re: Gender issues and gaming
« Reply #44 on: June 18, 2012, 07:16:22 AM »
TV has been breaking away from that quite a bit in the last few years, though.  The Hollywood film industry, not so much.

I also can't think of any cases in which a person discussing sexist tropes in the representation of female characters on TV or in films received the kind of abuse that Sarkeesian received for even suggesting that video games might contain sexist tropes that should be discussed.

Going back to what Shardy said earlier about the importance of men talking to men about the sexism-in-games issue, Jay Smooth of Ill Doctrine posted a video doing just that:  http://vimeo.com/44117178

And just because I can, I'm linking to the not-updated-as-much-as-I'd-like Tumblr Women Fighters In Reasonable Armor.  Because, like Snique, I prefer it when my fighters look like fighters, not lingerie models.