Do we actually need more female characters?

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#51 Posted by BabyPulpFiction (54 posts) -

Yes, it's the closest many male gamers will get to a girl :)

#52 Posted by _BlueDuck_ (11986 posts) -
@Randolph said:

That has more to do with the terrible arguments the people who claim to be taking up the cause are making, than anything else.

Fair enough,but I guess I just haven't really seen these terrible arguments, or at least haven't seen any arguments to warrant the kind of reaction seen in the video posted here. The guy's tone makes him appear very angry, personally offended and threatened. By what? People wanting more female playable characters? Why would that illicit such a response?

It's clear the guy in the video sees games as an inclusive hobby, and he's quite threatened by the idea that at some point games being produced might not cater exclusively to his demographic. The day may come that a really good looking upcoming game is announced, maybe one that this guy has been specifically looking forward to, and he might have to play as a woman.

Now there's nothing wrong with having a preference. As a man, I too would prefer to play as a male character. But if you understand that people have these preferences, why is it so hard to understand why some people (i.e. women) might want the option to play as a female character?

#53 Edited by loafofgame (469 posts) -

A few thoughts:

1) I don't think this issue is overblown as I haven't really seen much about this issue aside from online discussions. There are no laws, no protests, nothing blocking developers from making the games as they see fit. The fact that there is backlash to people simply talking and discussing these issues is a bit telling..

I agree. I feel this is a peripheral discussion at best. All the claims of alternative characters being forced into games as part of political agendas and feminists whining about female representation seem incidental. I could make equal claims about the utterly dull male hero that gets forced into all these action games, as a result of Hollywood cliches, unimaginative writing and/or publisher pressure. This issue is most likely discussed by a relatively small group of people, a vocal part of which tend to blow it out of proportion.

2) The idea that you shouldn't have female characters just for the sake of it, that they need to fill some necessary role in the story is a bit of a "your privilege is showing" moment. This suggests that the standard character, regardless, should always be male, and that if that standard male character is to be switched over to a female character,there had better be a good reason for it (otherwise it's just shoehorned in), and of course that reason will always have something to do with gender (because if there's no need for femininity in the game, why not just make the character a male!). I see no problem with main characters being female for no other reason than "we needed a human character for this role".

While I wholeheartedly agree with this, I'm guessing the majority of people doesn't feel the same way and if you focus on market demand I guess that makes such a factor important. You're making a moral argument here, which people might see as irrelevant in a business context. Of course their privilege is showing: there's no equality here. The majority audience is male, so the majority of characters is also male. That makes no sense to me on a personal level, because in most stories it doesn't really matter what sex the protagonist is (they're either empty vessels or they stand for morals that are so basic they apply to any individual of western society), because in this context I feel adhering to minorites contributes to maturing and enriching the medium, and because alternative characters can add to narrative variety.

But well, while I suspect and feel that most characters in an action game might just aswell be female, we must consider that the female audience of those games is most likely significantly smaller than the male audience and that part of that female audience probably doesn't really care (mind you, however, those are assumptions based mainly on limited personal observation; some people would call it common sense, but I wouldn't go that far). It is at such a point where companies might consider not spending extra resources on adding extra skins, dialogues. etc, even though it might seem like a small sacrifice for the greater good. I don't think companies generally think that way.

Sigh, I don't know. I think people who complain about people criticising female representation in videogames are making this way bigger than it is. There's nothing to fear. Nothing is threatening the status quo. There might be a little bit more variety in the end, but nothing is really going to change drastically.

#54 Edited by Ilovegames1992 (14221 posts) -

No.

We need more interesting characters. I dont care if I play a dull male or female. There are a lot of cool female characters.

#55 Posted by Pffrbt (6528 posts) -

Yes. Having more variety in protagonists is nice.

#56 Posted by geniobastardo (1294 posts) -

NOPE.

Not as long as there are enough 'hardcore' female gamers out there, there is no NEED to shove in extra female characters just because of the goddamn critics and arsehole internet bloggers. I'm not talking about the female gamers who only play Mario Kart and games like that and pretend to be gaming a lot. That's just casual gaming.

#57 Posted by Ish_basic (3998 posts) -

@loafofgame:Sigh, I don't know. I think people who complain about people criticising female representation in videogames are making this way bigger than it is. There's nothing to fear. Nothing is threatening the status quo. There might be a little bit more variety in the end, but nothing is really going to change drastically.

Remember a few years back when Clint Eastwood directed a WWII movie and Spike Lee complained that there weren't any black people in it? Then Clint basically told him to shut up because the units in question were segregated at the time so incorporating black characters would have been historically inaccurate. That's the sort of thing that people worry about - compromising the original work to cater to political correctness.

Speaking for anybody who's ever done anything artistic in their lives; it's annoying to have someone peering over your shoulders telling you where to put your pencil. If people say there should be more alternative voices and stop there, that's fine. But people go further and criticize individual efforts for not catering to an uncertain demographic. I don't think that's fair. I wouldn't ask a man to write a feminine narrative (and what does that even mean? Does it come in a pink box? Do you use the same measuring stick as when you're trying to determine whether Obama is "black enough?") anymore than I would ask Miyamoto to make the next GTA. People do what is in them to do artistically, and asking them to dilute their work to cater to a set of sensibilities is no better than asking them to dilute it for the sake of finding "mainstream appeal."

We have this hypersensitive culture that spends its time looking for ways to be offended and a media set that plays to that crowd by drumming up controversy every chance they get. It's to the point where you don't even need to be rationale about it - you just point and yell "burn the witch." I mean, did the Last of Us really deserve to be singled out by this website in a generation of games that included Bikini Samurai Squad?

People who respond to these sort of threads aren't just gamers and likely have had to put up with this sort finger-pointing in other areas of their lives. The times in which the criticism is sensible are drowned out in the clamor over non-controversies and people just get tired of the noise. It's like that gnat buzzing around your face; did you have to smack it that hard to kill it? No, but it was just that fucking annoying.

#58 Posted by Bigboi500 (29347 posts) -

@Bigboi500 said:

Nothing wrong with a little diversity in gaming.

that's not what i said. I just think the whole debate for women is overblown. Let developers make what they want to. And i also think the statistics are wrong

You asked a question and I answered. What more do you want?

#59 Posted by The_Last_Ride (70678 posts) -

A few thoughts:

1) I don't think this issue is overblown as I haven't really seen much about this issue aside from online discussions. There are no laws, no protests, nothing blocking developers from making the games as they see fit. The fact that there is backlash to people simply talking and discussing these issues is a bit telling..

2) The idea that you shouldn't have female characters just for the sake of it, that they need to fill some necessary role in the story is a bit of a "your privilege is showing" moment. This suggests that the standard character, regardless, should always be male, and that if that standard male character is to be switched over to a female character,there had better be a good reason for it (otherwise it's just shoehorned in), and of course that reason will always have something to do with gender (because if there's no need for femininity in the game, why not just make the character a male!). I see no problem with main characters being female for no other reason than "we needed a human character for this role".

3) Not personally knowing any female gamers does not mean they don't exist. The statistics say otherwise, as do other people's anecdotes. When I was in school many of the women living in our section played video games just as the rest of us did. I've also worked in schools and got to meet a very wide variety of young people. This included many female gamers (playing more than candy crush on their phones). Wouldn't really surprise me that gamers who take time to complain about women in games on the internet might not be part of social circles that contain a large and diverse group of women.

4) Even if women make up a minority of gamers, market leaders don't just appeal to existing markets, they actively create and shape new ones. Half the planet's population is female, and if your company is not trying to figure out ways to tap in to that market, your company isn't doing a good job.

1, i agree

2, I don't mind that there are female characters, i have played games such as Tomb Raider, Remember Me, etc and had no problem with them. I just think that the 40% stat about women being hardcore gamers is bs. Most females don't play games on pc or console as far as i know and only play on their mobile or FB. Female protagonists are not an issue for me at all, and i like them when they are fleshed out and good.

3, I am not denying the fact that there are indeed hardcore female gamers out there, no one is. I just think the statistics aren't correct.

4, I agree with that

#60 Posted by loafofgame (469 posts) -

Remember a few years back when Clint Eastwood directed a WWII movie and Spike Lee complained that there weren't any black people in it? Then Clint basically told him to shut up because the units in question were segregated at the time so incorporating black characters would have been historically inaccurate. That's the sort of thing that people worry about - compromising the original work to cater to political correctness.

Speaking for anybody who's ever done anything artistic in their lives; it's annoying to have someone peering over your shoulders telling you where to put your pencil. If people say there should be more alternative voices and stop there, that's fine. But people go further and criticize individual efforts for not catering to an uncertain demographic. I don't think that's fair. I wouldn't ask a man to write a feminine narrative (and what does that even mean? Does it come in a pink box? Do you use the same measuring stick as when you're trying to determine whether Obama is "black enough?") anymore than I would ask Miyamoto to make the next GTA. People do what is in them to do artistically, and asking them to dilute their work to cater to a set of sensibilities is no better than asking them to dilute it for the sake of finding "mainstream appeal."

We have this hypersensitive culture that spends its time looking for ways to be offended and a media set that plays to that crowd by drumming up controversy every chance they get. It's to the point where you don't even need to be rationale about it - you just point and yell "burn the witch." I mean, did the Last of Us really deserve to be singled out by this website in a generation of games that included Bikini Samurai Squad?

People who respond to these sort of threads aren't just gamers and likely have had to put up with this sort finger-pointing in other areas of their lives. The times in which the criticism is sensible are drowned out in the clamor over non-controversies and people just get tired of the noise. It's like that gnat buzzing around your face; did you have to smack it that hard to kill it? No, but it was just that fucking annoying.

Or maybe you just need to close certain doors and windows sometimes, so that the gnats can't come in as easily. Or maybe you should see that gnat for what it is and not go around claiming you saw a giant mutated hornet. Videogames aren't simply free art. They are driven by audiences and publishers; they are sometimes driven by lazy stereotypical thinking. This argument that you should just let developers make what they want to make is questionable, because you can't actually know for sure that the end product is a fully artistic expression. Even without all the complaining and political correctness we still wouldn't get those true artistic expressions, because publishers are afraid to take risks and because the relevant audiences won't buy if they think something sucks. People complain about that constantly, but when it comes to gender or social issues it's all about artistic expression all of a sudden, as if that would be the reality if those annoying feminists and social justice warriors would just shut up.

You don't think it's fair to criticise individual efforts for not catering to an uncertain demographic, but isn't that whay everybody is always doing? Isn't that what we pretty much live for on the internet? Day in and day out people whine about how some game elements were supposedly implemented badly, sometimes utterly convinced that they speak for the majority. Comment sections and forums are filled with criticism about games not catering to the right people (read: themselves), about developers or publishers not listening to their fanbase, about mechanics being horrible and shameful. Sure, these people do not get paid to judge games, but boy, do they want to be heard and do they value freedom of (impolite and inconsiderate) speech. These people also tend to see the (abundantly available) opinions that match their bias as unbiased and since such opinions are often not even coming from professionals (or only a specific one), they have every reason to question the integrity and neutrality of specific critics or the videogame press as a whole. So as soon as someone with access to a bigger stage enters the realm of (highly speculative) gender or social/cultural commentary (which really doesn't happen that often in a significant way) it isn't cool anymore, it isn't relevant anymore, it isn't professional anymore. And even more remarkably, people start taking it personally. People create their own misery and then go off to blame others.

People do what is in them to do artistically, and asking them to dilute their work to cater to a set of sensibilities is no better than asking them to dilute it for the sake of finding "mainstream appeal."

People demand that Petit and McShea dilute their critical work to cater to a set of sensibilities, people demand that they dilute their work for the sake of finding 'mainstream appeal'. They are critics. They should be able to say whatever their employer allows them to say. If you want critics to adhere to an idea of 'professionalism', then you shouldn't suddenly create an idea of 'artistic expression' when it comes to game developers. Both require a balancing act between personal expression and adhering to audiences and/or employers. But I'd say that critics should get as much freedom as they want, because in this oversaturated mess that is the gaming press I'll take biased gender whining (read: an alternative perspective) over repetition any day. If only there was a handful of sources to consult, I'd have been more sympathetic, but in this day and age I find it very hard not to connect these complaints to a disproportionate amount of entitlement and/or inconsiderateness.

I agree there's a hypersensitive culture, but that hypersensitivity goes both ways. People somehow fail to address their own hypersensitivity in matters like this. Sorry for the rant.

#61 Posted by Ilovegames1992 (14221 posts) -

Also I don't know any super humans, elves, dwarves, orcs, monsters or cartoons that play video games but they are pretty well represented.

#62 Posted by HipHopBeats (2874 posts) -

It would be cool to see more standout characters like Bloody Mary from The Wolf Among Us or any of the women characters from The Last Os Us.

It would also be cool to see female versions of certain characters like Kratos or B.J. from Wolfenstein. Other than that, it's the same shit as all the other liberal debates in gaming.

Add believable characters that make sense. Not just for the sake of adding them so you can say, "look we've added a bisexual, minority female as the main antagonist."

#63 Posted by The_Last_Ride (70678 posts) -

Also I don't know any super humans, elves, dwarves, orcs, monsters or cartoons that play video games but they are pretty well represented.

That's true!

#64 Edited by Notorious1234NA (306 posts) -

Why this shit never be taken seriously:

#65 Posted by watchdogsrules (334 posts) -

first off, this guy in the video is so right except for the part about guys wanting to be females

second, i don't think we need anymore females in video games, first we need more women in movies and now games?! no, i think we're fine just where we are.

#66 Posted by watchdogsrules (334 posts) -
#67 Posted by Jimmy_Russell (556 posts) -

Females have boobs. I like boobs.

#68 Posted by chocolate1325 (32463 posts) -

It's always good to have more I mean we have had Lara Croft,Samus Aran,Jill Valentine etc but more is always a good thing.

#69 Edited by Jacanuk (4222 posts) -

Females have boobs. I like boobs.

Hey dont be a boobist, men can have boobs as well ;)

You know equality and all that jazz.

#70 Posted by Planeforger (15535 posts) -

Why this shit never be taken seriously:

Heh, the quality of the spelling perfectly reflects the quality of the message.
...or were you trying to say that we will never take misogynistic fools like the comic artist and the guy in the OP's video seriously, because the only examples they can bring up are completely out of touch with everyday reality?

#71 Posted by Notorious1234NA (306 posts) -

@Planeforger: Nope just pointing out a fact lol and the reason why.

People are complicated yes I know, but the industry isn't gunna yield to a select group of people who hypocritically say one thing, but act another. At its most basic level, changes in any industry directly reflect the ongoing changes in society. You wanna see improvement, how about you change yourselves or like most just accept the way things are.

#72 Posted by The_Last_Ride (70678 posts) -

first off, this guy in the video is so right except for the part about guys wanting to be females

second, i don't think we need anymore females in video games, first we need more women in movies and now games?! no, i think we're fine just where we are.

i agree, and i did mention the guy is pretty blunt about it and a little wrong. But he has a point