This weeks Chalk talk we discuss girls in games, gamers starved for attention, feminism, gaming elitism, misogyny, and how to deal with it all.
Girl Gamers, Girls in gaming or even girls in games. More often than not this is a subject that is touched on only when a rift occurs in the gaming community. Be them busty babes sucking on plastic or hard working average mothers who just wanna have a fun frag. This week on Chalk Talk we ask are they nothing more than females looking desperately for attention in a social pool they find to be easy to navigate, or are they legitimate gamers? Here's what GameSpotters had to say.
ermhm: Mistreatment and harassment of women (or men, for that matter) is something we should not tolerate, ever. Yet it happens, a LOT. If you're saying: 'but… nowadays women are mostly treated equally', chances are you're a caucasian male. read more.
lim_ak: Now onto the actual game side of things, women are remarkably poorly represented in games. That's not to say there aren't female characters, but there's a remarkable lack of diversity amongst those characters and only a small handful of them are actually strong characters. read more.
Lucky_Krystal:Why do so many games only appeal to males and not females, even though we make up almost half the fanbase? I present to you my opinion of these questions and more…. read more.
SuperMassive20: Representation, respect, rights. All of these words are key when the topic of girls in gaming shows up. Since the early beginnings, women have struggled to make an impression or even be respected within the gaming universe. How many women can you name in the gaming industry? read more.
CamoBullo: When it comes to gaming nowadays, what demographic do you think developers usually aim for? Well, it certainly isnt women, thats for sure. Not to sound sexist, but these days games are mostly directed at the male audience, something that I'm part of. read more.
A very special thanks to everyone who contributed to this week's Chalk Talk! To read all of the entrants, you can check out this link here.
Sometimes a good blog is simply a good blog, and these GameSpot members
deserve recognition for their efforts and contributions:
- The Art and Thrill of Stealth in Gaming By: Asagea_888
- Day One Patches By: Setho10
- Your favorite works by creators you loathe? By: GeekyDad
Next Week's Assignment: War, hum… good gosh, what is it good for?
It has been argued that modern-day military games are damaging in too many ways to count. Game critics have argued that the way they morph soldiers into "unfeeling automatons capable of killing thousands without the slightest twinge of sorrow". Others have argued that these are simply games, not too unlike a game that transforms you into an assassin of old, or a thug lifestyle gangster, which do not dictate our behavior and are simply forms of escapism.
This weeks Chalk Talk will focus on realistic military shooters, are they unjust portrayals of the tragic and gruesome act known as war? Are they used as tools to forcibly push a political agenda of some deeper meaning? Is making a game out of a current conflict even ethical? Write up your blog, mark as editorial and post it in the official submission thread.
I don't understand the whole big deal on gender.
You're a girl so what? :P
I still just want to enjoy the game with you :lol:
I do agree though that games are mainly aimed at the male audience for the most part though :P Bu at least we have made progress from men having call of duty, while girl's have games like cooking mama, and baby sitting games aimed at them alone. Now it seems to be unisex for girl's to play COD, Minecraft, Halo, RPGs etc. It also seems to be perfectly fine for guys to play games like Viva Pinata, and Harvest Moon. I used to get lots of flak for playing games that involved me to be creative instead just kill things :P But now it's mainstream for guys to play the more "feminine" games while girs can play the more masculine games along with boys too :3 I have to say I like it. So speaking from experience I'm glad women can play games of their choice now without as much shi-. The whole getting hit on by 90% of the online community thing though Is probably not going to change anytime soon :p
I've been a passionate gamer since I was a kid in the 80s, it's been amazing watching it progress. Back in the day sexism and mysogyny was rife and almost to be expected, but for me it just made me stronger...and game harder! although yes it still does exist, it has definately significantly improved over the years. Change is slow, there are always going to be other people to bring you down, and to point out the obvious, this is not just a gaming issue, it happens throughout life. As for "females looking desperately for attention...or are they legitimate gamers"...well it's never black or white is it, you obviously can't throw everyone into the one girly basket and say that's the answer, it's an over broad, almost ridiculous question. People need to get over the childish crap and get on with the games, gender is not an excuse or target...
We're starting to get to a point where it's more common for girls to play games and not even really think about it, and that's what we want. It shouldn't be a big deal. Games do appeal to both sexes, and to people of all ages.
It's infuriating when you hear somebody online get all sorts of comments thrown at them just because they are a girl. I just don't get it.
The sooner it just isn't an issue, the better. You'll always get the idiots line, unfortunately, but you get them with everything.
It's a shame I missed this week's assignment, and the one before it.... and the one before... and possibly even another one earlier than that. I thought I would get messages about Chalk Talk, but I only got two. :(
I am a girl and I am a gamer (a "hardcore" gamer even) and I shudder when I read lines like "these days games are mostly directed at the male audience" or "we should aim more games for female audiences". How about NO! I love gaming because I like boyish things - explosions, guns, action etc. Why do people think those sorts of games are not directed for female audiences too? A good game with a strong story, gameplay and characters is enjoyable for everyone.And as far as harassment or disrespect... There are always d*ckheads who like to ruin peoples fun but I have never been flamed or abused for being a girl. Even when I have an obviously female name in CoD, DayZ or LoL, people rarely pay attention to that.
You say it as if a game directed at women would be girly and subsequently terrible. A game can still have explosions, guns, and actions and still not alienate women. When I said "games that appeal to women" in my editorial I didn't mean we needed more "pretty pink girly games" I mean it would be nice to play a game with well written female characters as good as their male counterparts, as well as not having boobs and ass shoved in my face for no reason. Maybe even a little relationship building as a sidequest (key word) like in Dragon Age, Persona, and Mass Effect to appeal to my feminine side. In addition to that, the 3 games I listed appeal to everyone, like you said, and have some pretty strong characters male and female.
And the suggestion of games that appeal to a wider audience shouldn't really make anyone shudder. No one wants to get rid of games like COD or LoL, they will always be here to stay. But I don't think there is any harm in suggesting that we have more variety in the gaming industry.
Variety is good.
I completely agree that a little relationship building and strong female characters in a game is very good, Mass Effect and Dragon Age series are one of my favourite games for that exact reason. Variety is also great, I´m not arguing that at all. My main point was that we don´t need "female oriented" games, we need great games all around, because great games (no matter how many female or male characters there are) are unisex.
Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Half-Life or Portal (to name a few) are not female or male oriented, they are just epic and combine all the things that make a great game.
And whats wrong with a little boob from time-to-time? I expect mature content from a mature rated game, should men feel objectified or humiliated because of Vega´s huge biceps or Fenris´ ubersexy voice?
I just think that gender is made out to be too big of an issue in gaming and the industry should concentrate more on releasing good games rather than making them...appropriate...
I think the best example for what you're talking about would be Dead Or Alive (especially the Extreme Beach Volleyball Series :P) The women's proportions are completely unrealistic and the way the team made things "jiggle" is completely overdone :lol:Plus it serves no other purpose but to shove boobs in everyones face. I believe if developers spent more time on making the games they release fun than they do on bewb physics we would see lots more fulfilling content :P Of course that example can be applied to numerous other games too ^^
@martinique002 Oh I see. And that makes sense. I agree.
As for the boob content, I also expect mature content from mature rated games, but when I said "boobs and ass being shoved in my face" I mean the kind of content where it doesn't appear to be mature at all. If a game handles sex or sexual content in a way that actually is mature then I don't mind it being there. But occasionally we get games where the sexual content is put in unnecessarily with no real purpose to the plot or the game. Therefore it feels cheap, like its there just to draw in the "erhmagawd boobiez" type of fans, the kind that usually aren't very mature. I can still play through the game but its still just a tad bit annoying.
The worst I've ever seen happen to girls online is having desperate guys cling onto them for internet girlfriends.
Girls are just too sensitive about this shit. Gets on my nerves when they act like victims in a community that doesn't do them any wrong
My girlfriend is an avid gamer. She play quite a lot of League of Legends (known for its horrid community) and even when the team realizes shes a girl she sees very little to no harassment. Shes actually pretty damn good at League and most comments I see at or about her are positive. I get more harassed about my age than she does about her gender. Now Xbox Live is a different story...
Too bad so many of this article's have such radically different viewpoints of what sexism is, makes me feel like each person has a skewed perspective of reality and is just putting forth their feelings. The problems with feelings is that they tend to differ from facts.
I never really see girls treated differently to guys online, if anything they generally treat you better because theres a a level of respect most gamers have for each other whether you be man or woman
blogs are mostly good (great blogs by ermhm and lim_ak) but it appears that none of these posters has experienced first hand any kind of harassment or disrespect. what a way to encourage those who simply brush off the issue by saying there is no issue at all.
I have NEVER seen girls treated differently than guys online. If you're a girl and you get treated badly in a game, don't take it personally, it happens to everyone. In fact, I've noticed that when people think you're a girl, they treat you better than they would otherwise. Don't make a big deal out of it.
@GhostOfSparta4 This is so true in many ways, exactly what happens to my sister.
@Ledah I honestly don't know where this "girl gamers get disrespect online" stuff came from. Not true at all.