Sexism in video games (explained simply)

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#51 Posted by Some-Mist (5630 posts) -

@SEANMCAD said:

@Some-Mist said:

I've been trying to promote equality ever since a year ago or so after a co-worker bitched at me and was offended that I held the door open for her. I decided to stop getting up and giving women my seat on the subway which has been the best decision. they benefit because they're treated equally and I get to keep my seat. win/win.

give them their videogames, salaries or whatever they want and give men the ability to give return punches. it's best to be fair.

I personally think holding doors open for women because they are a woman is class A stupid but I get a LOT of hate for that so I just do it and try to shut up about it.

I agree, but it was how I was raised. let me tell ya... I never held the door open for her again which saved me both time and effort (even if minimal).

#52 Posted by SEANMCAD (5464 posts) -

@Some-Mist said:

@SEANMCAD said:

@Some-Mist said:

I've been trying to promote equality ever since a year ago or so after a co-worker bitched at me and was offended that I held the door open for her. I decided to stop getting up and giving women my seat on the subway which has been the best decision. they benefit because they're treated equally and I get to keep my seat. win/win.

give them their videogames, salaries or whatever they want and give men the ability to give return punches. it's best to be fair.

I personally think holding doors open for women because they are a woman is class A stupid but I get a LOT of hate for that so I just do it and try to shut up about it.

I agree, but it was how I was raised. let me tell ya... I never held the door open for her again which saved me both time and effort (even if minimal).

I think you will be ok..just fine.

If its any consolation I can assure you I get more hate for my vocal stance on this subject

#53 Posted by DigitalDame (4061 posts) -

Maybe that's the reason why Okami didn't do very well in release was because of sexism. Oh wait... I mean sure she's a dog but she's still a female lead. She's also strong, independent, non-sexualized, and story centric. Not to mention being bad ass enough to get both a sequel and cameo's in other games.

I usually feel that the sexism debate in games is often just an easy troll attempt that more often than not generates the loudest buzz from the most anonymous of individuals.

#54 Posted by Some-Mist (5630 posts) -

@DigitalDame: okami is a dog though. the game is referring to women as dogs - which is sexist and mean.

lol

#55 Posted by Jacanuk (4709 posts) -

@SEANMCAD said:

@Jacanuk said:

@SEANMCAD said:

1. yes women play video games and yes there could be more and more money to be made if the games were not wide spread gender specific. Having a few games like lets say No One Lives Forever doesnt counter balance the missed opportunity here.

2. What 'highly vocal feminists' are you referring to specifically? I havent been exposed tot them. It sounds a bit like 'the atheists that are taking over the world' a bit there dont you think?

3. The whole 'if you want a bridge just ficking build it yourself' argument is lame a sh*t. They dont want to make games they just want to play games with a little bit of different variety. Hell I want to as well.

1: That is a guess and my point still stands.

2: Not referring to you but more general like Carolyn, Polygon, Danny after he moved to SF, and that Anita Sakar something. and no don't think its in that category

3: We are not talking about a bridge here, we are talking about making games, and if you feel that passionate about a subject and standing on a box yelling doesn't help, well staying up there and yelling even louder might not be the prudent course to take. And who doesn't like money? or are you on of those persons who stands around saying "if ain't broke don't fix it"

1. I would love to see more video games with a female lead and I would buy them. No One Lives Forever is a great game and part of the reason it is great is because you play a lead female role. Yes...there is missed money here no question in my mind.

2. I dont know who the fuck you are talking about and I think its a real stretch to call it 'highly vocal'. To be completely frank there is nothing whatsoever 'high vocal' about the entire 'feminists' movement in 2013. People really need to get their panties out of a wad every time someone publishes something that doesnt agree with the AM radio Rush rants that are on the radio nearly 24/7. If you want to look for 'highly vocal' THAT is the place to look.

3. A game costs millions of dollars, is very risky and takes a lot of work. They just want to play a lead female role for fuck sake not build a game!

this whole thing is not much different from a random gamer posting on the internet or a published article saying:

'you know there should be more games with no class system'

all they are saying is 'you know there should be more games with lead female roles'

why is that such a big deal?

1: Ok,i would care since for me there is no problem at all, there are plenty of female characters out there.

2: Hmm, ok you asked about who i meant. Again honestly i dont give a crap.

3: A game doesnt cost million, if anything i think the Kickstarter/indie movement has proven that, look at Gone Home you can be sure that didn´t even cost 100k So again i dont see why you and most feminist want the established developers/publisher to take a risk if you are not even willing to.

Why should EA, Activision, Rockstar, Blizzard, 2k cater to a minority? and you can take social responsibility and female common sense and throw it out with the bathwater, i dont give 5cents for those arguments.

Also please do not make this into a liberal vs conservative debate.

#56 Posted by Jacanuk (4709 posts) -

@thebest31406 said:

Yes, sexism in games still exists. You don't have to be a woman or a feminist to acknowledge that it still persist. All it takes is a bit of honesty.

Still exists? So what you are saying is pretty much "what i perceive is correct and if you dont see it you are not "honest""

#57 Edited by SEANMCAD (5464 posts) -

@Jacanuk said:

@SEANMCAD said:

@Jacanuk said:

@SEANMCAD said:

1. yes women play video games and yes there could be more and more money to be made if the games were not wide spread gender specific. Having a few games like lets say No One Lives Forever doesnt counter balance the missed opportunity here.

2. What 'highly vocal feminists' are you referring to specifically? I havent been exposed tot them. It sounds a bit like 'the atheists that are taking over the world' a bit there dont you think?

3. The whole 'if you want a bridge just ficking build it yourself' argument is lame a sh*t. They dont want to make games they just want to play games with a little bit of different variety. Hell I want to as well.

1: That is a guess and my point still stands.

2: Not referring to you but more general like Carolyn, Polygon, Danny after he moved to SF, and that Anita Sakar something. and no don't think its in that category

3: We are not talking about a bridge here, we are talking about making games, and if you feel that passionate about a subject and standing on a box yelling doesn't help, well staying up there and yelling even louder might not be the prudent course to take. And who doesn't like money? or are you on of those persons who stands around saying "if ain't broke don't fix it"

1. I would love to see more video games with a female lead and I would buy them. No One Lives Forever is a great game and part of the reason it is great is because you play a lead female role. Yes...there is missed money here no question in my mind.

2. I dont know who the fuck you are talking about and I think its a real stretch to call it 'highly vocal'. To be completely frank there is nothing whatsoever 'high vocal' about the entire 'feminists' movement in 2013. People really need to get their panties out of a wad every time someone publishes something that doesnt agree with the AM radio Rush rants that are on the radio nearly 24/7. If you want to look for 'highly vocal' THAT is the place to look.

3. A game costs millions of dollars, is very risky and takes a lot of work. They just want to play a lead female role for fuck sake not build a game!

this whole thing is not much different from a random gamer posting on the internet or a published article saying:

'you know there should be more games with no class system'

all they are saying is 'you know there should be more games with lead female roles'

why is that such a big deal?

1: Ok,i would care since for me there is no problem at all, there are plenty of female characters out there.

2: Hmm, ok you asked about who i meant. Again honestly i dont give a crap.

3: A game doesnt cost million, if anything i think the Kickstarter/indie movement has proven that, look at Gone Home you can be sure that didn´t even cost 100k So again i dont see why you and most feminist want the established developers/publisher to take a risk if you are not even willing to.

Why should EA, Activision, Rockstar, Blizzard, 2k cater to a minority? and you can take social responsibility and female common sense and throw it out with the bathwater, i dont give 5cents for those arguments.

Also please do not make this into a liberal vs conservative debate.

I know of only one game where there is a lead female character....one.

this isnt as much about liberal vs consevative debate as it is over who actually do hold the mic to the point where they can be 'outspoken'. I think 4 hours a day of radio play counts as excessive outspokeness.

#58 Edited by loafofgame (631 posts) -
@SEANMCAD said:

I know of only one game where there is a lead female character....one.

You can't consider this solely from your own perspective. There are more games with lead female characters.

Edit: well, you can really only consider from your own perspective, but I personally think you should first critically assess your own perspective before you make statements based on said perspective.

#59 Posted by SEANMCAD (5464 posts) -

@loafofgame said:
@SEANMCAD said:

I know of only one game where there is a lead female character....one.

You can't consider this solely from your own perspective. There are more games with lead female characters.

lol...that is funny. re-read what I said and tell me that its subjective again please.

also...could anyone please provide some titles just sayin

#60 Posted by Jacanuk (4709 posts) -

@SEANMCAD said:

I know of only one game where there is a lead female character....one.

this isnt as much about liberal vs consevative debate as it is over who actually do hold the mic to the point where they can be 'outspoken'. I think 4 hours a day of radio play counts as excessive outspokeness.

Tomb Raider, Remember Me, Mirrors edge, AC liberation, Mass Effect , Beyond, Heavy Rain to mention a few and there are more out there.

Who cares about some american talk show, i am european so honestly couldn´t give a cent for any talkshow host from the conservative party in the US :)

I do how play games and when someone has a fair amount of subs on youtube and are often refered to, it counts to me as a outspoken individual, not to mention Carolyn and Danny from gamespot.

#61 Posted by platinumking320 (667 posts) -

@SEANMCAD:

Far as I know. The best answer to there should be more female protags in AAA games is. Sure....'when they feel like it.'

Because thats the best opportunity for a well rounded female protagonist Is when someone is dedicated to walking in their shoes. They're not a quota to fill but what a creator genuinely wants to explore. Some guys write guy leads because its easier for them to create an avatar that represents their experiences, identity ideas, curiosities and worldviews to the public at large.

For some writers and creative directors gender is a paper thin social construct....but not everybody.

Its better if everyone makes and sells what they WANT to play. If that coincidentally turns into a lot of lead dudes, and hot chicks, then you need different people with creative decision power to change that.

#62 Edited by SEANMCAD (5464 posts) -

@Jacanuk said:

@SEANMCAD said:

I know of only one game where there is a lead female character....one.

this isnt as much about liberal vs consevative debate as it is over who actually do hold the mic to the point where they can be 'outspoken'. I think 4 hours a day of radio play counts as excessive outspokeness.

Tomb Raider, Remember Me, Mirrors edge, AC liberation, Mass Effect , Beyond, Heavy Rain to mention a few and there are more out there.

Who cares about some american talk show, i am european so honestly couldn´t give a cent for any talkshow host from the conservative party in the US :)

I do how play games and when someone has a fair amount of subs on youtube and are often refered to, it counts to me as a outspoken individual, not to mention Carolyn and Danny from gamespot.

well in fairness that is more then I thought. some of those titles I forgot about. Still small by comparison but I do think there will be more as time moves forward. It has been predicted that women will out earn men in about 10 years so that will change the enterainment industry as well.

Regardlng youtube I watch a fuck ton of youtube videos and all of them are gaming related and I have seen ONE video regarding women in gaming from a woman's perspective. I think I am a member of something like 15 gaming channels. outspoken my ass

#63 Posted by thebest31406 (3416 posts) -

@Jacanuk said:

@thebest31406 said:

Yes, sexism in games still exists. You don't have to be a woman or a feminist to acknowledge that it still persist. All it takes is a bit of honesty.

Still exists? So what you are saying is pretty much "what i perceive is correct and if you dont see it you are not "honest""

Honest people know that sexual objectification still persist in gaming; my perception notwithstanding. Even if there are attempts to portray women in more dignified roles, those who say sexism in gaming has ceased altogether are either naive or simply lying.

#64 Edited by loafofgame (631 posts) -
@SEANMCAD said:

lol...that is funny. re-read what I said and tell me that its subjective again please.

also...could anyone please provide some titles just sayin

You could also put some effort in it and do a simple google search. That's what I meant with critically assessing your own perspective: testing whether your observations (about there being only one game with a female lead character for example) are actually reasonable before you make statements. I never said anything about being subjective or objective. That has nothing to do with perspective.

#65 Posted by SEANMCAD (5464 posts) -

@loafofgame said:
@SEANMCAD said:

lol...that is funny. re-read what I said and tell me that its subjective again please.

also...could anyone please provide some titles just sayin

You could also put some effort in it and do a simple google search. That's what I meant with critically assessing your own perspective: testing whether your observations (about there being only one game with a female lead character for example) are actually reasonable before you make statements. I never said anything about being subjective or objective. That has nothing to do with perspective.

research or not I knew of 1. not sure why that was a problem in understanding.

would you be willing to say that 40% of story driven games have a lead female character at this point?

#66 Edited by Some-Mist (5630 posts) -

@SEANMCAD said:

@Jacanuk said:

@SEANMCAD said:

@Jacanuk said:

@SEANMCAD said:

1. yes women play video games and yes there could be more and more money to be made if the games were not wide spread gender specific. Having a few games like lets say No One Lives Forever doesnt counter balance the missed opportunity here.

2. What 'highly vocal feminists' are you referring to specifically? I havent been exposed tot them. It sounds a bit like 'the atheists that are taking over the world' a bit there dont you think?

3. The whole 'if you want a bridge just ficking build it yourself' argument is lame a sh*t. They dont want to make games they just want to play games with a little bit of different variety. Hell I want to as well.

1: That is a guess and my point still stands.

2: Not referring to you but more general like Carolyn, Polygon, Danny after he moved to SF, and that Anita Sakar something. and no don't think its in that category

3: We are not talking about a bridge here, we are talking about making games, and if you feel that passionate about a subject and standing on a box yelling doesn't help, well staying up there and yelling even louder might not be the prudent course to take. And who doesn't like money? or are you on of those persons who stands around saying "if ain't broke don't fix it"

1. I would love to see more video games with a female lead and I would buy them. No One Lives Forever is a great game and part of the reason it is great is because you play a lead female role. Yes...there is missed money here no question in my mind.

2. I dont know who the fuck you are talking about and I think its a real stretch to call it 'highly vocal'. To be completely frank there is nothing whatsoever 'high vocal' about the entire 'feminists' movement in 2013. People really need to get their panties out of a wad every time someone publishes something that doesnt agree with the AM radio Rush rants that are on the radio nearly 24/7. If you want to look for 'highly vocal' THAT is the place to look.

3. A game costs millions of dollars, is very risky and takes a lot of work. They just want to play a lead female role for fuck sake not build a game!

this whole thing is not much different from a random gamer posting on the internet or a published article saying:

'you know there should be more games with no class system'

all they are saying is 'you know there should be more games with lead female roles'

why is that such a big deal?

1: Ok,i would care since for me there is no problem at all, there are plenty of female characters out there.

2: Hmm, ok you asked about who i meant. Again honestly i dont give a crap.

3: A game doesnt cost million, if anything i think the Kickstarter/indie movement has proven that, look at Gone Home you can be sure that didn´t even cost 100k So again i dont see why you and most feminist want the established developers/publisher to take a risk if you are not even willing to.

Why should EA, Activision, Rockstar, Blizzard, 2k cater to a minority? and you can take social responsibility and female common sense and throw it out with the bathwater, i dont give 5cents for those arguments.

Also please do not make this into a liberal vs conservative debate.

I know of only one game where there is a lead female character....one.

this isnt as much about liberal vs consevative debate as it is over who actually do hold the mic to the point where they can be 'outspoken'. I think 4 hours a day of radio play counts as excessive outspokeness.

hmmmm... of the top of my head (though they could be considered "sexist" games)

p.n.03

bayonetta

mirrors edge

tomb raider

heavenly sword

resident evil 2 (claire)

fatal frame

edit: looks like I was beat on tomb raider and mirrors edge.

#67 Posted by SEANMCAD (5464 posts) -

@Some-Mist said:

@SEANMCAD said:

@Jacanuk said:

@SEANMCAD said:

@Jacanuk said:

@SEANMCAD said:

1. yes women play video games and yes there could be more and more money to be made if the games were not wide spread gender specific. Having a few games like lets say No One Lives Forever doesnt counter balance the missed opportunity here.

2. What 'highly vocal feminists' are you referring to specifically? I havent been exposed tot them. It sounds a bit like 'the atheists that are taking over the world' a bit there dont you think?

3. The whole 'if you want a bridge just ficking build it yourself' argument is lame a sh*t. They dont want to make games they just want to play games with a little bit of different variety. Hell I want to as well.

1: That is a guess and my point still stands.

2: Not referring to you but more general like Carolyn, Polygon, Danny after he moved to SF, and that Anita Sakar something. and no don't think its in that category

3: We are not talking about a bridge here, we are talking about making games, and if you feel that passionate about a subject and standing on a box yelling doesn't help, well staying up there and yelling even louder might not be the prudent course to take. And who doesn't like money? or are you on of those persons who stands around saying "if ain't broke don't fix it"

1. I would love to see more video games with a female lead and I would buy them. No One Lives Forever is a great game and part of the reason it is great is because you play a lead female role. Yes...there is missed money here no question in my mind.

2. I dont know who the fuck you are talking about and I think its a real stretch to call it 'highly vocal'. To be completely frank there is nothing whatsoever 'high vocal' about the entire 'feminists' movement in 2013. People really need to get their panties out of a wad every time someone publishes something that doesnt agree with the AM radio Rush rants that are on the radio nearly 24/7. If you want to look for 'highly vocal' THAT is the place to look.

3. A game costs millions of dollars, is very risky and takes a lot of work. They just want to play a lead female role for fuck sake not build a game!

this whole thing is not much different from a random gamer posting on the internet or a published article saying:

'you know there should be more games with no class system'

all they are saying is 'you know there should be more games with lead female roles'

why is that such a big deal?

1: Ok,i would care since for me there is no problem at all, there are plenty of female characters out there.

2: Hmm, ok you asked about who i meant. Again honestly i dont give a crap.

3: A game doesnt cost million, if anything i think the Kickstarter/indie movement has proven that, look at Gone Home you can be sure that didn´t even cost 100k So again i dont see why you and most feminist want the established developers/publisher to take a risk if you are not even willing to.

Why should EA, Activision, Rockstar, Blizzard, 2k cater to a minority? and you can take social responsibility and female common sense and throw it out with the bathwater, i dont give 5cents for those arguments.

Also please do not make this into a liberal vs conservative debate.

I know of only one game where there is a lead female character....one.

this isnt as much about liberal vs consevative debate as it is over who actually do hold the mic to the point where they can be 'outspoken'. I think 4 hours a day of radio play counts as excessive outspokeness.

hmmmm... of the top of my head (though they could be considered "sexist" games)

p.n.03

bayonetta

mirrors edge

tomb raider

heavenly sword

resident evil 2 (claire)

fatal frame

edit: looks like I was beat on tomb raider and mirrors edge.

ok now write a list of the games you know of that have a male lead character.

I cant believe i have to walk someone thru this.

I am bored

#68 Edited by loafofgame (631 posts) -
@SEANMCAD said:

research or not I knew of 1. not sure why that was a problem in understanding.

When you imply to be objective and you use the argument "I know of only one game where there is a lead female character....one" to point out that there are very little games with female lead characters I am tempted to think you didn't put a lot of effort in your argument, which might make me sceptical about the validity of your opinion. This can be very counterproductive in discussions. There's no harm in taking a little time to question your own opinion or observations before you start convincing others, no matter how convinced you are. That's all I'm pointing out.

@SEANMCAD said:

would you be willing to say that 40% of story driven games have a lead female character at this point?

Are you implying that 40% of the people who play videogames (with a lead character) are women? Could you please provide proof? If you want to refer to that ESA report about videogames: that report sadly doesn't make gender distinctions when it comes to genres and also includes games that do not involve lead characters of any kind.

But to answer your question: no. Should 40% of story driven games have a lead female character? And if so, why? And there's no harm in considering the opposite answer: if not, why not?

#69 Posted by Jacanuk (4709 posts) -

@thebest31406 said:

@Jacanuk said:

@thebest31406 said:

Yes, sexism in games still exists. You don't have to be a woman or a feminist to acknowledge that it still persist. All it takes is a bit of honesty.

Still exists? So what you are saying is pretty much "what i perceive is correct and if you dont see it you are not "honest""

Honest people know that sexual objectification still persist in gaming; my perception notwithstanding. Even if there are attempts to portray women in more dignified roles, those who say sexism in gaming has ceased altogether are either naive or simply lying.

Honest people with a bit of intelligence also knows that objectification goes both ways and is a very natural behaviour among the human species, its even how most find partners. Women do it and Men do it, funny enough its mostly less than attractive women who feels that this is a problem.

So sexism in that negative form you put it does not exist unless you actually perceive it as such.

#70 Posted by SEANMCAD (5464 posts) -

@loafofgame said:
@SEANMCAD said:

research or not I knew of 1. not sure why that was a problem in understanding.

When you imply to be objective and you use the argument "I know of only one game where there is a lead female character....one" to point out that there are very little games with female lead characters I am tempted to think you didn't put a lot of effort in your argument, which might make me sceptical about the validity of your opinion. This can be very counterproductive in discussions. There's no harm in taking a little time to question your own opinion or observations before you start convincing others, no matter how convinced you are. That's all I'm pointing out.

@SEANMCAD said:

would you be willing to say that 40% of story driven games have a lead female character at this point?

Are you implying that 40% of the people who play videogames (with a lead character) are women? Could you please provide proof? If you want to refer to that ESA report about videogames: that report sadly doesn't make gender distinctions when it comes to genres and also includes games that do not involve lead characters of any kind.

But to answer your question: no. Should 40% of story driven games have a lead female character? And if so, why? And there's no harm in considering the opposite answer: if not, why not?

I am implying that one of the reasons there are fewer female gamers then we think might be linked to how male oriented games are as a majority.

that is my entire subject here.

#71 Edited by Minishdriveby (10005 posts) -

I always wanted to use this clip for these "Sexism in video games" discussions:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3GB9gEwuno0#t=1h2m27s

#72 Edited by thebest31406 (3416 posts) -

@Jacanuk said:

@thebest31406 said:

@Jacanuk said:

@thebest31406 said:

Yes, sexism in games still exists. You don't have to be a woman or a feminist to acknowledge that it still persist. All it takes is a bit of honesty.

Still exists? So what you are saying is pretty much "what i perceive is correct and if you dont see it you are not "honest""

Honest people know that sexual objectification still persist in gaming; my perception notwithstanding. Even if there are attempts to portray women in more dignified roles, those who say sexism in gaming has ceased altogether are either naive or simply lying.

Honest people with a bit of intelligence also knows that objectification goes both ways and is a very natural behaviour among the human species, its even how most find partners. Women do it and Men do it, funny enough its mostly less than attractive women who feels that this is a problem.

So sexism in that negative form you put it does not exist unless you actually perceive it as such.

Women have been creating games that portray men as sex objects? Man...you learn something new everyday.

#73 Posted by 0diN_7 (1036 posts) -

Please. I beg of you. Stop. Stop being a whiney cry baby. Boo hoo hoo. Nobody gets exactly what they want in this world. No one's ideas are completely prevalent in society. Just suck it up and stop the damn belly aching. There are people in this world that are getting their arms chopped off. SHUT UP.

#74 Posted by girlshavefuntoo (120 posts) -

@Jacanuk said:

@girlshavefuntoo said:

Good post OP. Men like to deny that sexism exists in video games, but it does exist and it is a problem. I don't think sexualization is too big of a problem, I'm mostly okay with that but the second and third point is a big issue for me. We need more strong independent females in video games.

Question

Is sexism sexism if the beholder doesnt see it as sexism? Because noone will argue that some women mostly without beauty will perceive beautyful sexy women as portrayed sexism.

Also what do you call strip-clubs or hooters? a sexist club run by terrible men that just want to put their foot down on all women?

I have a hard time understanding WTH you're trying to ask with the first question. As I said, sexualization isn't a big problem for me, it's the lack of strong female characters. I don't neccessarily have a problem with strip clubs as long as the women working their is okay with it. It's their body and they can do what they want with it. If a woman want to be sexy then go ahead, I like sexy women, but when they are forced it's a problem.

#75 Edited by Articuno76 (18838 posts) -

I think it is also important to look at not only why there are not as many female leads as male ones, but also look at why there aren't many enduring female characters.

Men on the whole are more charismatic then women. Wittier, suaver, more wordly. Simply because looks don't get men by as much so they need something else (and the aforementioned are the traits they hone)

The upshot is that in life and in media you have more enigmatic male characters than female ones. Think of characters that have an almost magnetic influence over screen time in any media and they are almost always inevitably male; Nathan Drake, Tony Stark, Tyrion Lanister, Jack Sparrow etc;

I can think of dozens of female characters who are leads in their own game, but I can't think of any that demand the kind of screen presence that a crowd of people will break into applause just at them appearing in a trailer (actually, I can, but they aren't leads in their game).

In fact the only thing a lot of female characters have going for them is being 'strong, tough and independent' which is boring because in men speak that is 'ordinary, par for course and trite', not something special. Would Tyrion Lanister be a fan favourite if 'strong, tough and independent' was all he had going for him? Probably not.

So why do developers approach female characters as if their character starts and ends with those traits? I do think this problem ultimately circles back to real-life. Women just aren't as charismatic as men on average. They use humour socially amongst audiences that are predisposed to laugh at their (terrible) jokes, whereas men live in a world where they have to conquer hostile audiences through character...so their jokes better be pretty damn good to win those audiences over.

The above is dealing mostly with wit and humour but the same can be said of almost any character trait that makes a character charismatic and enigmatic.

Anyway, the point is that most female characters that people point to as 'good examples' tend to be dull, dull, dull. So it's not wonder they don't become part of an enduring franchise; they are interchangeable.

#76 Edited by loafofgame (631 posts) -

@SEANMCAD said:

I am implying that one of the reasons there are fewer female gamers then we think might be linked to how male oriented games are as a majority.

Fair enough. Although I fear that most big games are only indirectly male oriented, because they're market oriented. So I'm not sure you can expect the big developers to take chances in that regard (unless they're absolutely sure there's a huge untapped market). It's hard enough to make a profitable game as it is. If the majority doesn't care and you risk losing a minority of gamers by using a female lead (without a serious indication that that minority is going to be compensated by an alternative one), you're going for a male lead. It's sadly as simple as that.

That said, I'm all for men taking a bit of responsibility and trying to actively create a welcome environment for women, so that the potential untapped market might actually be created. But that's a very risky undertaking and in that sense I understand @Jacanuk's point that it might be more productive and fruitful to actually create something yourself (or try to find people who are willing to work with you on that), instead of just criticising. I'm afraid criticising or pointing out sexism isn't going to solve the problem. In fact, it might make things worse, especially when the argument is one-sided.

The thing I find most interesting is that male and female sexism in videogames is somehow seen as catering to the majority group of male gamers. I'm sure sales figures or the measurable ways games are played might show a pattern, but to then assume that that pattern shows what people want is another step (it could also be laziness; it could be a lack of other options, it could be pre-release marketing). When I look at a lot of comments on the internet, it appears that most male gamers don't really care if more lead characters were to become female and/or less sexualised (although most of them often assume that most men do care). They mostly seem annoyed by the idea that they're being portrayed as sexist by critics. For as far as I can judge, it seems that the people who play games purely for their gameplay elements shouldn't really care about the characters and the people who value characters and story appear to be mostly positive or at least indifferent about character variety. But maybe I'm wrong. Maybe most men don't want to play female characters and maybe they want to primarily play muscled male soldiers...

Personally I can't really justify why a lot of women and men are portrayed the way they are in videogames. It's not something I want. It's not part of some fantasy. I surely wouldn't miss it. I see it mostly as an obstacle when I try to explain why I play videogames and why videogames are so great. You still see the same sexism in films, but film has the advantage of variety in characters and markets. Games also have a tendency, like cartoons, to exaggerate character portrayals and design, which makes sexism much more obvious.

Sorry for the long text.

#77 Edited by drekula2 (1945 posts) -

This is a very sensitive topic for some people. It's like most topics can be discussed rationally and maturely, but then when sexism is brought up, and the majority of people on here act like a goose hissing when you step too close to its eggs.

#78 Posted by girlshavefuntoo (120 posts) -

@drekula2 said:

This is a very sensitive topic for some people. It's like most topics can be discussed rationally and maturely, but then when sexism is brought up, and the majority of people on here act like a goose hissing when you step too close to its eggs.

People feel threatened by sensitive topics like sexism. They're afraid of change and decides to just ignore reason and defend themselves so they can keep their petty games sexist.

#79 Edited by thebest31406 (3416 posts) -

@girlshavefuntoo said:

@drekula2 said:

This is a very sensitive topic for some people. It's like most topics can be discussed rationally and maturely, but then when sexism is brought up, and the majority of people on here act like a goose hissing when you step too close to its eggs.

People feel threatened by sensitive topics like sexism. They're afraid of change and decides to just ignore reason and defend themselves so they can keep their petty games sexist.

Those who react to the topics of racism and sexism with such vehement opposition are nothing more than dishonest people. Some just lie to themselves by suggesting that the problems don't really exist and everything's fine - like a member of a dysfunctional family. I often find that the deniers actually prefer the status quo and want to maintain it by rejecting the concept that such problems are an issue.

#80 Edited by Neli1000 (9 posts) -

I've never looked at any games in this way. Some games like GTA have specific atmosphere and it is essential element of it. However, I don't think it can really harm anyone. It's not a real world.

#81 Posted by SEANMCAD (5464 posts) -
@loafofgame said:
@SEANMCAD said:

I am implying that one of the reasons there are fewer female gamers then we think might be linked to how male oriented games are as a majority.

Fair enough. Although I fear that most big games are only indirectly male oriented, because they're market oriented. So I'm not sure you can expect the big developers to take chances in that regard (unless they're absolutely sure there's a huge untapped market). It's hard enough to make a profitable game as it is. If the majority doesn't care and you risk losing a minority of gamers by using a female lead (without a serious indication that that minority is going to be compensated by an alternative one), you're going for a male lead. It's sadly as simple as that.

That said, I'm all for men taking a bit of responsibility and trying to actively create a welcome environment for women, so that the potential untapped market might actually be created. But that's a very risky undertaking and in that sense I understand @Jacanuk's point that it might be more productive and fruitful to actually create something yourself (or try to find people who are willing to work with you on that), instead of just criticising. I'm afraid criticising or pointing out sexism isn't going to solve the problem. In fact, it might make things worse, especially when the argument is one-sided.

The thing I find most interesting is that male and female sexism in videogames is somehow seen as catering to the majority group of male gamers. I'm sure sales figures or the measurable ways games are played might show a pattern, but to then assume that that pattern shows what people want is another step (it could also be laziness; it could be a lack of other options, it could be pre-release marketing). When I look at a lot of comments on the internet, it appears that most male gamers don't really care if more lead characters were to become female and/or less sexualised (although most of them often assume that most men do care). They mostly seem annoyed by the idea that they're being portrayed as sexist by critics. For as far as I can judge, it seems that the people who play games purely for their gameplay elements shouldn't really care about the characters and the people who value characters and story appear to be mostly positive or at least indifferent about character variety. But maybe I'm wrong. Maybe most men don't want to play female characters and maybe they want to primarily play muscled male soldiers...

Personally I can't really justify why a lot of women and men are portrayed the way they are in videogames. It's not something I want. It's not part of some fantasy. I surely wouldn't miss it. I see it mostly as an obstacle when I try to explain why I play videogames and why videogames are so great. You still see the same sexism in films, but film has the advantage of variety in characters and markets. Games also have a tendency, like cartoons, to exaggerate character portrayals and design, which makes sexism much more obvious.

Sorry for the long text.

my overall point is that if you market to males and then as a result have males as a consumer base its then no surprise that the next loop is to appeal to males again.

What many business fail to understand is that opportunity is where the statistics are NOT rather than where they are.

There is a large opportunity in making video games more appealing to women.

Some of the male attitude toward women gamers has got to end. For example, because a woman makes 1000's of videos about gaming and 1 video about women in gaming doesnt make her an outspoken feminist.

#82 Posted by Some-Mist (5630 posts) -

#83 Posted by loafofgame (631 posts) -

@SEANMCAD said:

my overall point is that if you market to males and then as a result have males as a consumer base its then no surprise that the next loop is to appeal to males again.

What many business fail to understand is that opportunity is where the statistics are NOT rather than where they are.

There is a large opportunity in making video games more appealing to women.

Some of the male attitude toward women gamers has got to end. For example, because a woman makes 1000's of videos about gaming and 1 video about women in gaming doesnt make her an outspoken feminist.

I sympathise with your point, but I don't think change is to be expected from the large publishers. The "large opportunity" you mention is simply too vague and risky for publishers. But I agree that a lot of people take the criticism a little bit too personally and react to it too passionately. A lot of people desire a more general acceptance of videogames; they want games to be taken more seriously. And I really think being a little bit more understanding and flexible when it comes to male and female depictions could help with that.

#84 Posted by SEANMCAD (5464 posts) -

@loafofgame said:
@SEANMCAD said:

my overall point is that if you market to males and then as a result have males as a consumer base its then no surprise that the next loop is to appeal to males again.

What many business fail to understand is that opportunity is where the statistics are NOT rather than where they are.

There is a large opportunity in making video games more appealing to women.

Some of the male attitude toward women gamers has got to end. For example, because a woman makes 1000's of videos about gaming and 1 video about women in gaming doesnt make her an outspoken feminist.

I sympathise with your point, but I don't think change is to be expected from the large publishers. The "large opportunity" you mention is simply too vague and risky for publishers. But I agree that a lot of people take the criticism a little bit too personally and react to it too passionately. A lot of people desire a more general acceptance of videogames; they want games to be taken more seriously. And I really think being a little bit more understanding and flexible when it comes to male and female depictions could help with that.

I think crowdfunding is really going to help gaming a lot. Publishers seem to not understand the space. They see it strickly as an investment when in reality its still a creative wild frontier like movies where when they got started.

#85 Posted by Jacanuk (4709 posts) -

@girlshavefuntoo said:

@Jacanuk said:

@girlshavefuntoo said:

Good post OP. Men like to deny that sexism exists in video games, but it does exist and it is a problem. I don't think sexualization is too big of a problem, I'm mostly okay with that but the second and third point is a big issue for me. We need more strong independent females in video games.

Question

Is sexism sexism if the beholder doesnt see it as sexism? Because noone will argue that some women mostly without beauty will perceive beautyful sexy women as portrayed sexism.

Also what do you call strip-clubs or hooters? a sexist club run by terrible men that just want to put their foot down on all women?

I have a hard time understanding WTH you're trying to ask with the first question. As I said, sexualization isn't a big problem for me, it's the lack of strong female characters. I don't neccessarily have a problem with strip clubs as long as the women working their is okay with it. It's their body and they can do what they want with it. If a woman want to be sexy then go ahead, I like sexy women, but when they are forced it's a problem.

I asked if sexism exists in videogames despite what the player/creator thinks? Anyways good so now you are aware that there is no sexism in videogames since noone is forced, the characters in videos is a representation of the artist , and we can hopefully all agree that the artist is or should not be forced to remove/alter his/her creation just because you, me, Anita Sarkislongassname or anyone else doesn't like it.

#86 Edited by Jacanuk (4709 posts) -

@girlshavefuntoo said:

@drekula2 said:

This is a very sensitive topic for some people. It's like most topics can be discussed rationally and maturely, but then when sexism is brought up, and the majority of people on here act like a goose hissing when you step too close to its eggs.

People feel threatened by sensitive topics like sexism. They're afraid of change and decides to just ignore reason and defend themselves so they can keep their petty games sexist.

You are mistaken. People don't feel anything about Sexism since its a topic that only exist for a certain type of person.

But what people do however feel "threatened" by is when a minority starts to become a deciding factor in how the majority should live just because the topic involves political correctness.

#87 Posted by girlshavefuntoo (120 posts) -

@Jacanuk said:

@girlshavefuntoo said:

@Jacanuk said:

@girlshavefuntoo said:

Good post OP. Men like to deny that sexism exists in video games, but it does exist and it is a problem. I don't think sexualization is too big of a problem, I'm mostly okay with that but the second and third point is a big issue for me. We need more strong independent females in video games.

Question

Is sexism sexism if the beholder doesnt see it as sexism? Because noone will argue that some women mostly without beauty will perceive beautyful sexy women as portrayed sexism.

Also what do you call strip-clubs or hooters? a sexist club run by terrible men that just want to put their foot down on all women?

I have a hard time understanding WTH you're trying to ask with the first question. As I said, sexualization isn't a big problem for me, it's the lack of strong female characters. I don't neccessarily have a problem with strip clubs as long as the women working their is okay with it. It's their body and they can do what they want with it. If a woman want to be sexy then go ahead, I like sexy women, but when they are forced it's a problem.

I asked if sexism exists in videogames despite what the player/creator thinks? Anyways good so now you are aware that there is no sexism in videogames since noone is forced, the characters in videos is a representation of the artist , and we can hopefully all agree that the artist is or should not be forced to remove/alter his/her creation just because you, me, Anita Sarkislongassname or anyone else doesn't like it.

I don't think you understand what sexism is, and I never said anything about removing or altering creations. My comment about strip clubs is not relevant because we are discussing sexism in video games and not strip clubs.

@Jacanuk said:

@girlshavefuntoo said:

@drekula2 said:

This is a very sensitive topic for some people. It's like most topics can be discussed rationally and maturely, but then when sexism is brought up, and the majority of people on here act like a goose hissing when you step too close to its eggs.

People feel threatened by sensitive topics like sexism. They're afraid of change and decides to just ignore reason and defend themselves so they can keep their petty games sexist.

You are mistaken. People don't feel anything about Sexism since its a topic that only exist for a certain type of person.

But what people do however feel "threatened" by is when a minority starts to become a deciding factor in how the majority should live just because the topic involves political correctness.

Civil, racial and gay rights is also only topics that exists for certain persons if we use your logic. White people don't feel anything about racism against black people, it's an issue for them not us, so why should we change things for them? See how your logic is faulty?

And if you think women are such a small minority in the video game community you're wrong, just take a look at the last few years figures.

#88 Posted by Ish_basic (4029 posts) -

The vast majority of game narratives are violence driven. We live in a culture where we're just now starting to consider the idea of using women on the frontlines of combat. So it stands to reason that in this cultural climate, violence driven narratives would tend to have male leads.

People in here are comparing videogame narratives to movie narratives, and that's just problematic. Movie narratives have a wide range of stories. Instead, let's compare videogames to action movies alone and I'm sure you'll note that most action movies have male leads. In fact, by this standard, games are actually more progressive.

If we start talking about the minority of videogames that aren't violent driven narratives like puzzle games and adventure games, you'll find tons of female leads...Take the Longest Journey that has two lead characters, both female. Take Syberia...Take Portal in which both protagonist AND antagonist are female (yes, glados is an AI, but it's definitely a female voice)...Gone Home, Beyond: Two Souls, etc. The problem right now isn't so much sexism as it is viable role shortage. We're not used to thinking of women as purveyors of violence and so long as our games remain violence focused, women leads just aren't going to have the same presence.

#89 Posted by Kungfu_Kenobi (68 posts) -
@Ish_basic said:

If we start talking about the minority of videogames that aren't violent driven narratives like puzzle games and adventure games, you'll find tons of female leads...Take the Longest Journey that has two lead characters, both female. Take Syberia...Take Portal in which both protagonist AND antagonist are female (yes, glados is an AI, but it's definitely a female voice)...Gone Home, Beyond: Two Souls, etc. The problem right now isn't so much sexism as it is viable role shortage. We're not used to thinking of women as purveyors of violence and so long as our games remain violence focused, women leads just aren't going to have the same presence.

I'm not much of a writer myself, but this is something that my writer friends (who are also female) struggle with. To paraphrase what they've said on the matter, "It's just easier when you're writing a guy in those roles. You can beat the crap out of him on one page, and on the next page you can have him beat the crap out of the guy who attacked him a page before. And no one's going to have a problem with it. These guys are having a fight: everyone gets that. No one misses the point, no one sees more than there is. It all gets a lot trickier when women enter the mix. If it's male/female violence regardless of the perpetrator, even if you're clear to present them as physical equals, it may bring unwanted baggage to a scene that you as a writer didn't intend, but still have to consider the impact of if you want to write effectively. It's hard to be effective when you're "triggering" your audience constantly. Likewise it's hard not to either fetishize or fall into certain stereotypes if it's woman on woman violence.

It's not that we don't want to represent our own gender when it comes to this subject matter, but there are challenges when compared to writing men. Frankly it's often not worth the trouble."

#90 Edited by Jacanuk (4709 posts) -

@girlshavefuntoo said:

@Jacanuk said:

@girlshavefuntoo said:

@Jacanuk said:

on of the artist , and we can hopefully all agree that the artist is or should not be forced to remove/alter his/her creation just because you, me, Anita Sarkislongassname or anyone else doesn't like it.

I don't think you understand what sexism is, and I never said anything about removing or altering creations. My comment about strip clubs is not relevant because we are discussing sexism in video games and not strip clubs.

Civil, racial and gay rights is also only topics that exists for certain persons if we use your logic. White people don't feel anything about racism against black people, it's an issue for them not us, so why should we change things for them? See how your logic is faulty?

And if you think women are such a small minority in the video game community you're wrong, just take a look at the last few years figures.

First lets keep things that are not really the same separate, Sexism is games is not comparable or even in the same ballpark as racism, civil rights or hate/bashing based on sexuality. So please at least try to keep focus.

Who gave you the voice to speak for all women? i know a lot of female gamers who disagree and laugh at people that hold the feminist banner high or talks about sexism in games and runs around yelling "Men and women are 100% equal" and free bleeding. But what i said was that it's a minority of all gamers (meaning both men and women) who are stupid enough to see "sexism" as a problem or even a concern in video games.

Also its kinda makes me wish games would be considered art, because then that debate would be over and done with, because who gives anyone right to tell a artist how to make is art?

But its a free world so if anyone thinks that a game needs more female leads, more gay leads, more black leads, more yellow leads, more whatever or less "sexism", its not that hard to put up a crow-funding page and make your own game or find backers, im sure the feminist movement will be glad to post some cash into a real game that fights for womens right.

Another question , you said its fine as long as noone is forced? so please explain how what you perceive as sexism in games is forced? are you forced to play the games? are anyone forced to create the games?

#91 Edited by Articuno76 (18838 posts) -

@Ish_basic: I think your observation that the majority of videogames under the magnifying glass are analogous to the action-movie genre is very astute.

Come to think of it many RPGs tend to have female leads as well because their stories allow it; they are normally focused around a party of adventurers so it sometimes isn't hard to write the lead as female.

Of the top of my head: Estelle (Trails in the Sky), Lenneth (Valkyrie Profile), Shion (Xenosaga), Lightning (FFXIII), Serah (FFXIII-2), Terra (FFVI), Eva (Parasite Eve), Narumi (12Riven), Ashley (Another Code), pretty much all the leads in the Fatal Frame games.

These are also areas where the characters don't fall into the whole 'tough, strong independent' schtick which is more overdone than damsels in distress in modern gaming.

I've made the point before (but not as well as you did) that if you want more female characters you need to diversify the roles a protagonist can play. And to do that you need more types of games.

edit: Now I think about it Estelle is one of the few female leads I can think of who does command screen presence. Pretty rare though.

#92 Edited by platinumking320 (667 posts) -

@Ish_basic said:

The vast majority of game narratives are violence driven. We live in a culture where we're just now starting to consider the idea of using women on the frontlines of combat. So it stands to reason that in this cultural climate, violence driven narratives would tend to have male leads.

People in here are comparing videogame narratives to movie narratives, and that's just problematic. Movie narratives have a wide range of stories. Instead, let's compare videogames to action movies alone and I'm sure you'll note that most action movies have male leads. In fact, by this standard, games are actually more progressive.

If we start talking about the minority of videogames that aren't violent driven narratives like puzzle games and adventure games, you'll find tons of female leads...Take the Longest Journey that has two lead characters, both female. Take Syberia...Take Portal in which both protagonist AND antagonist are female (yes, glados is an AI, but it's definitely a female voice)...Gone Home, Beyond: Two Souls, etc. The problem right now isn't so much sexism as it is viable role shortage. We're not used to thinking of women as purveyors of violence and so long as our games remain violence focused, women leads just aren't going to have the same presence.

I wish all the popular youtube intellectual game critics acknowledged stuff like this regarding action adventure in general. Our popular perception of action influences what the games are going to end up like.

Instead of dumping so quickly on action game narrative for not being grounded or politically correct enough. How come they don't stop and consider the thousands of disjointed action movie plots in movies that folks overlooked, because the action set-pieces were cool, but still lacked better character representation or human grounding.

#93 Posted by girlshavefuntoo (120 posts) -

@Jacanuk said:

@girlshavefuntoo said:

@Jacanuk said:

@girlshavefuntoo said:

@Jacanuk said:

on of the artist , and we can hopefully all agree that the artist is or should not be forced to remove/alter his/her creation just because you, me, Anita Sarkislongassname or anyone else doesn't like it.

I don't think you understand what sexism is, and I never said anything about removing or altering creations. My comment about strip clubs is not relevant because we are discussing sexism in video games and not strip clubs.

Civil, racial and gay rights is also only topics that exists for certain persons if we use your logic. White people don't feel anything about racism against black people, it's an issue for them not us, so why should we change things for them? See how your logic is faulty?

And if you think women are such a small minority in the video game community you're wrong, just take a look at the last few years figures.

First lets keep things that are not really the same separate, Sexism is games is not comparable or even in the same ballpark as racism, civil rights or hate/bashing based on sexuality. So please at least try to keep focus.

Who gave you the voice to speak for all women? i know a lot of female gamers who disagree and laugh at people that hold the feminist banner high or talks about sexism in games and runs around yelling "Men and women are 100% equal" and free bleeding. But what i said was that it's a minority of all gamers (meaning both men and women) who are stupid enough to see "sexism" as a problem or even a concern in video games.

Also its kinda makes me wish games would be considered art, because then that debate would be over and done with, because who gives anyone right to tell a artist how to make is art?

But its a free world so if anyone thinks that a game needs more female leads, more gay leads, more black leads, more yellow leads, more whatever or less "sexism", its not that hard to put up a crow-funding page and make your own game or find backers, im sure the feminist movement will be glad to post some cash into a real game that fights for womens right.

Another question , you said its fine as long as noone is forced? so please explain how what you perceive as sexism in games is forced? are you forced to play the games? are anyone forced to create the games?

Sexism is not forced in video games, I was talking about the strip clubs regarding being forced. The problem with video games is that there's almost no strong, independent, female characters. Women in video games are usually just non-important NPCs being used as fillers, and if they are important they need a man or someone else to keep them strong. I'm not saying that we have to stop with those tropes, but it would be great if we could use them less and create more strong females. I'd like more characters like Lara Croft and femshep.