How important is female representation in games to you?

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Posted by GameSpot (900090 posts) 3 months, 18 days ago

Poll: How important is female representation in games to you? (111 votes)

Very 16%
Take it or leave it 13%
Not at all 14%
I like GAMES I don't care what the main character is... 55%

Far Cry 4 Is "Packed to the Gills" With Women

Far Cry 4 concept art

Upcoming open-world action game Far Cry 4 does not feature any playable female characters, but that doesn't mean the title is completely male-focused. The reality is quite the opposite, according to Far Cry 4 director Alex Hutchinson. In an interview with Outside Xbox, Hutchinson said you can expect to encounter a number of significant female characters throughout the game.

He said Ubisoft "tried very hard to make sure of the four main antagonists, half of them are women, which is cool. On your side, one of the main leaders of the rebel faction is a woman, half the rebels that fight with you are women. It's packed to the gills with women. They're everywhere, just like life."

Also during Outside Xbox's interview with Hutchinson, he put an end to the thought that Far Cry 4's main character is actually the son of the insane antagonist, Pagan Min. He is "not your father," Hutchinson said. He did tease, however, that Min is someone who you are familiar with.

"We didn't want a villain who's just shaking his fist at you and threatening to kill you and murder your family, and the inevitability of you shotgunning him in the face," Hutchinson said. "And neither did we want someone who didn't know you at all. We wanted you to actually sort of have a secret history in this country." [ READ MORE ]

#1 Edited by Renegade_Fury (17108 posts) -

Option 4. Mara Jade, Samus, Fei-Yen, Blaze Fielding, Chun-Li, Juri, and so on, rank amongst my favorite video game characters, and it has nothing to do with their gender. Honestly, I think race and ethnicity are issues that deserve much more attention than gender does, but even then, I don't think about any of these things while I'm playing. All I care about is how fun the character is to play as, and the same goes for this game.

#2 Edited by Jacanuk (4321 posts) -

Option "I dont care what the lead is but as a male i tend to get more involved/immersed/connected to male leads as its easier to fly with birds of a feather"

I play games to be immersed and since i am not female, well it says itself. And thats why i also get females and why they want more games for them, with strong characters they can connect with.

#3 Edited by Treflis (11516 posts) -

I wouldn't mind seeing more female leads in Games. But that said, I'd rather have quality then quantity regarding the characters then.

#4 Posted by SovietsUnited (2269 posts) -

Option 4

#5 Posted by Pedro (21059 posts) -

All games don't need to have female main but developers should try exploring it as an option. A little more variety doesn't hurt. Eventually topics like this would no longer need to be discuss but, until then I would like to see more female main.

#6 Posted by Cloud_imperium (2920 posts) -

I like GAMES I don't care what the main character is

#7 Posted by johnd13 (8071 posts) -

@Jacanuk said:

Option "I dont care what the lead is but as a male i tend to get more involved/immersed/connected to male leads as its easier to fly with birds of a feather"

I play games to be immersed and since i am not female, well it says itself. And thats why i also get females and why they want more games for them, with strong characters they can connect with.

This

#8 Posted by Khasym (207 posts) -

I grew up with two of the most iconic female characters ever. Two women who didn't even NEED to be trained soldiers, to throw down and show that anyone can step up and do something great. And from Chun Li to Lara Croft, I haven't ever seen a decline in solid female heroines that ONLY add eye candy to a show, game or movie. A bad character, is just as irrespective of a gender, as a good one. Frankly, I consider it almost insulting to think that, if the game CAN support a woman in the role, if it ISN'T written specifically for a guy, they should be excluded to save money.

#9 Posted by thehig1 (1664 posts) -

It's not important, I'm very much of the opinion of option 4

#10 Posted by ReadingRainbow4 (13792 posts) -

Option 4 obviously.

It is annoying when a game goes out of it's way to be politically correct however.

#11 Posted by Pffrbt (6553 posts) -

I like it when it's there but it's not necessarily a deal breaker if it isn't there.

#12 Posted by Pffrbt (6553 posts) -

It is annoying when a game goes out of it's way to be politically correct however.

What are some examples of this actually happening.

#13 Posted by Heirren (16825 posts) -

Women are portrayed better than men are. What is this goofy poll trying to prove?

#14 Edited by Archangel3371 (15472 posts) -

Being a male gamer I guess I'd say it's not really important to me per se but I could see the value in it for gaming in general to be as inclusive as possible and have these options available.

#15 Posted by Khasym (207 posts) -

@Pffrbt said:

What are some examples of this actually happening.

I'm gonna call Sunset Overdrive as an example. They didn't even have a dog in the fight; they already had the ability for people to play as females if they chose. But it wasn't till Ubisoft stuck it's foot in it's mouth, that they had to "put out a press release" letting everyone know that you could.

#16 Posted by Pffrbt (6553 posts) -

@Khasym said:

I'm gonna call Sunset Overdrive as an example. They didn't even have a dog in the fight; they already had the ability for people to play as females if they chose. But it wasn't till Ubisoft stuck it's foot in it's mouth, that they had to "put out a press release" letting everyone know that you could.

A game having a playable female character isn't really an example of a game going out of its way to be politically correct.

#17 Posted by Jacanuk (4321 posts) -

@Pffrbt said:

@Khasym said:

I'm gonna call Sunset Overdrive as an example. They didn't even have a dog in the fight; they already had the ability for people to play as females if they chose. But it wasn't till Ubisoft stuck it's foot in it's mouth, that they had to "put out a press release" letting everyone know that you could.

A game having a playable female character isn't really an example of a game going out of its way to be politically correct.

No, but a game developer who goes out of his way to use a media storm against a competitor by making a female assassin in his game is going out of this way to seem PC.

Particular when the company in question already have made a whole game about a female assassin and released it on multiple platforms.

It actually make me question if some people just love to complain or expect them to get their way in every single instance.

#18 Edited by experience_fade (259 posts) -

GameSpot cleverly worded the poll, either by mistake or on purpose. I think it was on purpose because of the ellipsis (...) at the end of the fourth choice.

But is anyone else laughing at those who selected option 4? You don't care what the main character is? So he could be a Nazi rapist that kills children, and that's cool? You just like video games!

Try thinking.

^ that's directed at Gamespot if they mistakenly worded their poll. Be more specific, and, though I'm no grammar expert, would it hurt to put a little more effort in, when it comes to sentence composition?

I mean, "I don't care what the main character is..."

Of course the natural thing to think is, "you mean male or female," but, due to failed grammar, fair interpretations like the one I made above are completely valid.

#19 Posted by Pffrbt (6553 posts) -

@Jacanuk said:

No

So it isn't a valid example.

#20 Edited by Jacanuk (4321 posts) -

@Pffrbt said:

@Jacanuk said:

No

So it isn't a valid example.

Try reading the post... what you did was take things out of context.

The issue is not that someone have included female characters, a lot of games does that, the issue is when a developer uses a mediastorm to take potshots at a competitor by using his own games character creation to prove that this game is more PC

But read the story yourself http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2014-06-20-you-can-be-a-female-assassin-in-sunset-overdrive. And yes i know there is a humour to it, but its still going out of his way to seem PC.

#21 Edited by illmatic87 (15204 posts) -

I dont really care. Just as long as the character looks cool or are interesting, male, female, animal or otherwise.

And the fact that I dont care is really making me tire of games journalism being centred towards the issue.

#22 Edited by Pffrbt (6553 posts) -

@Jacanuk said:

@Pffrbt said:

@Jacanuk said:

No

So it isn't a valid example.

Try reading the post... what you did was take things out of context.

I didn't though. I asked for examples of a game going out of it's way to be PC. No one gave any, instead trying to talk about marketing, which isn't relevant to what I asked.

#23 Posted by syztem (7703 posts) -

Quality characters and writing exist independent of gender.

#24 Posted by sukraj (22539 posts) -

Not important

#25 Posted by platinumking320 (666 posts) -

GameSpot cleverly worded the poll, either by mistake or on purpose. I think it was on purpose because of the ellipsis (...) at the end of the fourth choice.

But is anyone else laughing at those who selected option 4? You don't care what the main character is? So he could be a Nazi rapist that kills children, and that's cool? You just like video games!

Try thinking.

^ that's directed at Gamespot if they mistakenly worded their poll. Be more specific, and, though I'm no grammar expert, would it hurt to put a little more effort in, when it comes to sentence composition?

I mean, "I don't care what the main character is..."

Of course the natural thing to think is, "you mean male or female," but, due to failed grammar, fair interpretations like the one I made above are completely valid.

I think you forgot that could mean animal leads and robots. What about Piccolo from Dragonball Z? A playable character, and namekians have no gender binary.

#26 Edited by MirkoS77 (7319 posts) -

@Pffrbt said:

@ReadingRainbow4 said:
It is annoying when a game goes out of it's way to be politically correct however.

What are some examples of this actually happening.

This thread right here, perhaps? The game's director is making it a point to come out and clarify that women play a prominent role in the game. If that's not motivated by political correctness, than what is it? You don't think MK8's racism and Tomadachi Life's sexual orientation controversies played a part in Far Cry 4's director explicitly noting women are paid equal attention to? To believe otherwise is naive.

This is all about being PC.

#27 Posted by ShepardCommandr (2562 posts) -

I couldn't care less.

#28 Posted by girlshavefuntoo (120 posts) -

Female representation is nice, but it doesn't matter as long as the game is good. So option four I guess.

#29 Posted by Mesomorphin (821 posts) -

I dont give a shit, stop bitching

#30 Posted by CTR360 (7031 posts) -

OPTION 4 for me

#31 Posted by foxhound_fox (88031 posts) -

Not at all. I think game developers should create the character they think best fits their design ideal, rather than bending over backwards for a bunch of overly-loud social justice warriors.

There are plenty of games with strong female leads already, and if women want greater representation in the gaming industry, they need to take the initiative and start making the games they want to see.

#32 Posted by Pedro (21059 posts) -

@MirkoS77 said:

@Pffrbt said:

@ReadingRainbow4 said:
It is annoying when a game goes out of it's way to be politically correct however.

What are some examples of this actually happening.

This thread right here, perhaps? The game's director is making it a point to come out and clarify that women play a prominent role in the game. If that's not motivated by political correctness, than what is it? You don't think MK8's racism and Tomadachi Life's sexual orientation controversies played a part in Far Cry 4's director explicitly noting women are paid equal attention to? To believe otherwise is naive.

This is all about being PC.

So riding on the wave of being all inclusive is political correctness? Their game was built with that notion and they are rightfully touting it as one of their core features. I don't see how this is being politically correct. You would have a semblance of a point if the game was changed specifically due to the controversy. I am amazed that including anyone that is not a white male is now being politically correct, heavens forbid if they simply wanted to be more inclusive. :|

#33 Edited by Pedro (21059 posts) -

Not at all. I think game developers should create the character they think best fits their design ideal, rather than bending over backwards for a bunch of overly-loud social justice warriors.

There are plenty of games with strong female leads already, and if women want greater representation in the gaming industry, they need to take the initiative and start making the games they want to see.

Plenty is a relative term. However, main female characters are factually the minority in game. The same apply for race. And we all know that making a game is particularly easy, you simply just make one. :|

#34 Edited by drekula2 (1928 posts) -

I would really like for games to have more diverse characters and to actually treat women like people. Granted, I don't require games to have female characters in order to play them but I hope the industry can grow up and get away from being "edgy".

#35 Posted by Jacanuk (4321 posts) -

@Pedro said:

@foxhound_fox said:

Not at all. I think game developers should create the character they think best fits their design ideal, rather than bending over backwards for a bunch of overly-loud social justice warriors.

There are plenty of games with strong female leads already, and if women want greater representation in the gaming industry, they need to take the initiative and start making the games they want to see.

Plenty is a relative term. However, main female characters are factually the minority in game. The same apply for race. And we all know that making a game is particularly easy, you simply just make one. :|

Are you really trying to claim that women aren't represented in games?

Ok, lets test your argument.

Top 50 games of 2013 as decided by the users of eurogamer http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2013-12-31-eurogamer-readers-top-50-games-of-2013

24 games with clear female presence or a option to play as a female which is a majority of the 24. and if you remove the sports&Racing games that is 24 out of 47 games so its 50/50. So no female characters are not a minority in games

#36 Edited by Pedro (21059 posts) -

@Jacanuk said:

@Pedro said:

@foxhound_fox said:

Not at all. I think game developers should create the character they think best fits their design ideal, rather than bending over backwards for a bunch of overly-loud social justice warriors.

There are plenty of games with strong female leads already, and if women want greater representation in the gaming industry, they need to take the initiative and start making the games they want to see.

Plenty is a relative term. However, main female characters are factually the minority in game. The same apply for race. And we all know that making a game is particularly easy, you simply just make one. :|

Are you really trying to claim that women aren't represented in games?

Ok, lets test your argument.

Top 50 games of 2013 as decided by the users of eurogamer http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2013-12-31-eurogamer-readers-top-50-games-of-2013

24 games with clear female presence or a option to play as a female which is a majority of the 24. and if you remove the sports&Racing games that is 24 out of 47 games so its 50/50. So no female characters are not a minority in games

How about reading what I actually type versus making up what I typed?

#37 Edited by experience_fade (259 posts) -

@Pedro said:

@Jacanuk said:

@Pedro said:

@foxhound_fox said:

Not at all. I think game developers should create the character they think best fits their design ideal, rather than bending over backwards for a bunch of overly-loud social justice warriors.

There are plenty of games with strong female leads already, and if women want greater representation in the gaming industry, they need to take the initiative and start making the games they want to see.

Plenty is a relative term. However, main female characters are factually the minority in game. The same apply for race. And we all know that making a game is particularly easy, you simply just make one. :|

Are you really trying to claim that women aren't represented in games?

Ok, lets test your argument.

Top 50 games of 2013 as decided by the users of eurogamer http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2013-12-31-eurogamer-readers-top-50-games-of-2013

24 games with clear female presence or a option to play as a female which is a majority of the 24. and if you remove the sports&Racing games that is 24 out of 47 games so its 50/50. So no female characters are not a minority in games

How about reading what I actually type versus making up what I typed?

We both know better than to argue with Jacanuk. Come on.

He's suggesting that because games merely include women (and that their game worlds aren't all-male) that automatically means there isn't a problem with gender representation in video games. Is there 20 minutes of gameplay associated with a female character in a 40 hour game? It counts!.. to him.

In all seriousness, though, this topic is one of the more interesting issues within gaming, because there's a sizable portion of employees within the industry itself who've stated sexism is an issue. And of course, a good portion of journalists (who's job it is to know what's going on within the gaming industry) concur with the sentiment that sexism is a bad part of the gaming industry.

So when you've got a substantial amount developers who literally are the gaming industry, plus a respectable amount of journalists all saying sexism is a problem, what more needs said?

I'll take all of their opinions over a few consumers who either "don't give a shit" or think any game that includes a female for a few cutscenes proves the game itself isn't sexist.

#38 Edited by platinumking320 (666 posts) -

Sorry GS. It seems Gamers just aren't stubborn oppositional readers like film and literature buffs, unless the game sucks. Well...most of us.

Many of us didnt let BJ Blaskovitch's or Master Chief's image stop us. All of us were like HOLY Sh-- that's cool! I wanna play that.

Thats all that really matters I guess. I think you could have some editorials on whether marketing eye-candy tries to cover up for shitty gameplay.

That could maybe help with more sensitive folks wanting more sincere diverse representation, while raising the bar for BETTER games for the rest of us.

#39 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (11391 posts) -

Right now I'm more focused on IF they are represented at all... I'l deal with the how later.

#40 Posted by Jacanuk (4321 posts) -

@Pedro said:

@Jacanuk said:

@Pedro said:

@foxhound_fox said:

Not at all. I think game developers should create the character they think best fits their design ideal, rather than bending over backwards for a bunch of overly-loud social justice warriors.

There are plenty of games with strong female leads already, and if women want greater representation in the gaming industry, they need to take the initiative and start making the games they want to see.

Plenty is a relative term. However, main female characters are factually the minority in game. The same apply for race. And we all know that making a game is particularly easy, you simply just make one. :|

Are you really trying to claim that women aren't represented in games?

Ok, lets test your argument.

Top 50 games of 2013 as decided by the users of eurogamer http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2013-12-31-eurogamer-readers-top-50-games-of-2013

24 games with clear female presence or a option to play as a female which is a majority of the 24. and if you remove the sports&Racing games that is 24 out of 47 games so its 50/50. So no female characters are not a minority in games

How about reading what I actually type versus making up what I typed?

And i did read what you said , you said factually and thats simply not true when you look at what games is on most gamers list.

#41 Posted by Pedro (21059 posts) -

@Jacanuk said:

And i did read what you said , you said factually and thats simply not true when you look at what games is on most gamers list.

There is more to the sentence than the word factually, hopefully you would be able to focus on what facts I was referencing. :)

#42 Posted by Jacanuk (4321 posts) -

@Pedro said:

@Jacanuk said:

And i did read what you said , you said factually and thats simply not true when you look at what games is on most gamers list.

There is more to the sentence than the word factually, hopefully you would be able to focus on what facts I was referencing. :)

Yes there sure is but we don't have to agree here :) lets just say i'm pointing out that if we look at a top 50 list over what games gamers like, 24 out of 47 is where females have a significant role, either 100% playable or such a huge part of the story that it would fall apart without them.

So complaining over lack of female characters is a bit dated.

And Fade lets make a deal you ignore me and ill ignore you and we both will have a much better experience on Gamespot. deal?

#43 Posted by experience_fade (259 posts) -

@Jacanuk said:

@Pedro said:

@Jacanuk said:

And i did read what you said , you said factually and thats simply not true when you look at what games is on most gamers list.

There is more to the sentence than the word factually, hopefully you would be able to focus on what facts I was referencing. :)

Yes there sure is but we don't have to agree here :) lets just say i'm pointing out that if we look at a top 50 list over what games gamers like, 24 out of 47 is where females have a significant role, either 100% playable or such a huge part of the story that it would fall apart without them.

So complaining over lack of female characters is a bit dated.

And Fade lets make a deal you ignore me and ill ignore you and we both will have a much better experience on Gamespot. deal?

I have a wonderful experience on GameSpot, including the moments where I get to point out your sexism. You're free to ignore me, of course.

And you and I both know your 24 out of 47 is a special kind of bullshit. Let's not pretend like you've even played all 50 games on that list, so how would you even know in the first place? Doesn't even matter.

We could debate back and forth about what constitutes a "huge part of the story" when it comes to female characters in gaming...let's not forget you'd include AC4 (a game we both know you haven't played for any meaningful amount of time) in your list of 24, so uh.. your credibility is smashed. If it wasn't already..

Regardless, what you can't seem to understand is that the mere inclusion of women in a game doesn't mean anything. I don't know why that's so hard for you to understand.

I also don't understand why you think you know more than the dozens and dozens and dozens and dozens of game developers who state the gaming industry is rife with sexism. I could, and have, provided you with countless links where game developers state as much, and it doesn't seem to matter to you. You seem to think you know more than they do in their own field of expertise. Keep living blind, Jac. Ignoring me might help!

#44 Posted by Jacanuk (4321 posts) -

@Jacanuk said:

@Pedro said:

@Jacanuk said:

And i did read what you said , you said factually and thats simply not true when you look at what games is on most gamers list.

There is more to the sentence than the word factually, hopefully you would be able to focus on what facts I was referencing. :)

Yes there sure is but we don't have to agree here :) lets just say i'm pointing out that if we look at a top 50 list over what games gamers like, 24 out of 47 is where females have a significant role, either 100% playable or such a huge part of the story that it would fall apart without them.

So complaining over lack of female characters is a bit dated.

And Fade lets make a deal you ignore me and ill ignore you and we both will have a much better experience on Gamespot. deal?

I have a wonderful experience on GameSpot, including the moments where I get to point out your sexism. You're free to ignore me, of course.

And you and I both know your 24 out of 47 is a special kind of bullshit. Let's not pretend like you've even played all 50 games on that list, so how would you even know in the first place? Doesn't even matter.

We could debate back and forth about what constitutes a "huge part of the story" when it comes to female characters in gaming...let's not forget you'd include AC4 (a game we both know you haven't played for any meaningful amount of time) in your list of 24, so uh.. your credibility is smashed. If it wasn't already..

Regardless, what you can't seem to understand is that the mere inclusion of women in a game doesn't mean anything. I don't know why that's so hard for you to understand.

I also don't understand why you think you know more than the dozens and dozens and dozens and dozens of game developers who state the gaming industry is rife with sexism. I could, and have, provided you with countless links where game developers state as much, and it doesn't seem to matter to you. You seem to think you know more than they do in their own field of expertise. Keep living blind, Jac. Ignoring me might help!

The sexist argument is getting old and all you do is kill the debate, do you know who Goodwin is? if not try to google it and read up.

Also actually on that list i have played all but Forza, and the Wii U games so out of 50 i have played or will play (2 of them are not released on pc yet) 40 of the games , and just for the record Remember me and Tomb Raider, Beyond, and the last of us are on my top 10 list of 2013 and also widely recognized as excellent games , guess who the lead is in 3 out 4 of those games is.

And yes we could argue back and forth here but there is no need because i know why you and your feminist are complaining, its not because their isn't females in games, its because there isn't any females as you want them to be and also because you won't just be happy with a 50/50 split you want all games to be with a female which is just utter ludicrous

As to your developer argument, well first of all your link to the ubisoft employer who claims that they are being shot down if they want to create a female, is not only lacking credibility but also its a ex-employee not a current and as to the other developers most are indie devs or not working with a major developer. Either because they got fired or never did. and not to forget that you are now talking about the work environment which is not games, this debate is about fictional females in games not real females in the gaming industry. Also if so many developers are being shot down why don't they put their money where their mouth is and go on their own and make their own games with all the females they want.

But i know sound reasoning and good arguments falls for deaf ears, most feminists who are complaining over games seem to be like Anita and just run around with fingers in their ears and yell "NANANANANAN I cant hear you and you are sexist if you dont agree NANANANANAN"

#45 Posted by hrt_rulz01 (5955 posts) -

I think it's refreshing playing female characters in games, since most of the time you play as a guy. It's different. I love playing as Lara Croft for example... I can't imagine her being a guy. It just works.

#46 Edited by wiouds (5115 posts) -

@hrt_rulz01 said:

I think it's refreshing playing female characters in games, since most of the time you play as a guy. It's different. I love playing as Lara Croft for example... I can't imagine her being a guy. It just works.

I have play an Indiana Jones game and I notice no real different between the two.

#47 Posted by juboner (448 posts) -

It never was an issue until somebody in the media told you it was. Dont be fooled.

#48 Posted by HipHopBeats (2892 posts) -

Option 4 for me. But what if you kill these women? Will the gaming feminists come down on us? The last thing I want is to be profoundly misogynistic.

#49 Edited by zeroyaoi (1931 posts) -

@HipHopBeats: well they already made a minorities murder sim(watch dogs). :P

#50 Edited by MirkoS77 (7319 posts) -

@Pedro said:

@MirkoS77 said:

@Pffrbt said:

@ReadingRainbow4 said:
It is annoying when a game goes out of it's way to be politically correct however.

What are some examples of this actually happening.

This thread right here, perhaps? The game's director is making it a point to come out and clarify that women play a prominent role in the game. If that's not motivated by political correctness, than what is it? You don't think MK8's racism and Tomadachi Life's sexual orientation controversies played a part in Far Cry 4's director explicitly noting women are paid equal attention to? To believe otherwise is naive.

This is all about being PC.

So riding on the wave of being all inclusive is political correctness? Their game was built with that notion and they are rightfully touting it as one of their core features. I don't see how this is being politically correct. You would have a semblance of a point if the game was changed specifically due to the controversy. I am amazed that including anyone that is not a white male is now being politically correct, heavens forbid if they simply wanted to be more inclusive. :|

No, coming out just to make a statement to show how all inclusive they are is motivated by nothing else than political correctness. Why does that even need to be noted? Why should we care? Does their announcement have any bearing on gameplay? Would you feel the same way if they came out and said all races are being included, that it's not due to not wanting to be crucified by overly sensitive entitled people?

And how do you know the game wasn't changed due to controversy?