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Posted by Kidavenger
Online
Posted by Harkat

@Brodehouse said:

I prefer characters who feel 'real' than characters who embody positive traits of a gender, race, ethnicity, etc. I also don't like when people judge characters as representatives of a gender, race, rather than judge them as individual characters. I look at Persona4, every one of those ladies have negative traits that are stereotypically feminine or couched in gender politics; Co-dependent, passive, weak-willed, slutty, competes with women for a man's affection, snobbish, prudish, bitchy, unsure of her direction until a man guides her... But that ignores the truth of those characters. Chie struggles to act more traditionally feminine than she really is, Naoto has significant sexual identity issues, Rise knows she's used as a sexual object but doesn't appear to care. But it makes those characters real. Same on the other side, Yosuke is a horny, judgmental, homophobic douche but he's also lonely and doesn't know how to express his emotions outside of his fists (consider that S-Rank 10 scene). Kanji's completely bent around how to act 'manly' according to society, but he's also violent, kind of dumb, and his only acceptable emotion is anger. That's why those characters stick with you. They aren't perfect Mary Sues that have all the positive tropes and none of the negatives. To add to thst, James Vega isn't unrealistic. He's a huge dude in the military, one of the ideal career scenarios for huge dudes. And he isn't just accidentally huge, you literally watch him exercising to maintain his physique, he works at it. Compare to fellow huge dudes who just appear to be naturally ripped, even if they've been malnourished sitting in a cell for months. Vega actually seems like a real person, just not one most of the audience would want to hang out with. Yeah, he's a little bit ignorant and hot-headed, he makes some bad jokes, but that's the truth of that character. That game is not improved if everyone is as cool as Garrus. If anything, Vega is the first positive depiction of a 'dudebro'. If you hate him just because he's large and dumb, it's not different than hating someone for being scrawny and intelligent.

Well said!

Posted by xaLieNxGrEyx

Yuna FFX

Posted by Jayzilla

Kreia from KOTOR 2. Fantastic character. Take it this way: If a game dev put a gay character that was stereotypically depicted in a serious game, the interwebz would freak the heck out. Put a girl in a cheerleader costume, tell the consumer she is 18, and she can open the game with a felatio sequence and it's all good. Hollywood does the same thing and I boycott those films too.

Posted by Anund

I'm interested in seeing some examples of bad female characters. Most female characters in videogames I can think of seem strong, capable and beautiful to me. With the exception of the Disney princesses in Mario and Zelda, where are all these horrible female characters hiding?

Posted by IBurningStar
Posted by Aetheldod

@Anund said:

I'm interested in seeing some examples of bad female characters. Most female characters in videogames I can think of seem strong, capable and beautiful to me. With the exception of the Disney princesses in Mario and Zelda, where are all these horrible female characters hiding?

This

Edited by Humanity

@Harkat said:

Can't good female characters just be good characters who are female? And what is this focus on "Owning her sexuality"? Not to say that NOT owning one's sexuality is good, but Nathan Drake's or Max Payne's sexualities aren't important character traits.

People seem to place a huge importance on confident and self-controlled sexuality (whatever the fuck that means, honestly) when it comes to female characters. Does anyone understand this?

You can't treat female and male characters equally because both genders have very unique characteristics. The idea is to not get hung up on the fact that she's a wearing a skirt and that makes her a weaker character than if she was wearing pants. To a degree the clothes that females wear in games shouldn't be what defines them. For instance in Lollipop Chainsaw Juliets default outfit is fine because she's a cheerleader and a teenager in high school. Her alternate DLC outfit of a one piece pink jumpsuit that has a zipper running down the front and is undone all the way past her bellybutton is where it start to clearly cater to a certain mindset. At the same time if you had an outfit for Nathan Drake where he'd be shirtless - no one would think twice about it. This is because men and women are and always will be perceived differently in those sort of situations and theres nothing really sexist about it. Bringing about equality in gaming shouldn't be about eliminating gender differences, but rather eliminating character flaws and stereotypes like Princess Daphne.

Posted by Mnemoidian

I'd say that one of the best (if not the best) positive female character in a video game in recent years is in a rather surprising game. 2nd Lieutenant Mira is a character in Warhammer 40,000: Space marine.

She's not strong because of her battle prowess. She's not strong because she's a woman. She doesn't wear boob-armor, doesn't expose her midriff. (I'll come back to these comments).

She's strong because she's doing her job. The entire chain of command above her and around her has been massacred. She's the only thing remaining, and she's doing her job, keeping the troops in line by being a leader. She's grateful for the Space Marine's help, but even if they wouldn't have come, she would most likely have fought 'till the end. I remember there being some cracks in her facade at a late stage in the game, but that she pulls herself together.

Then again, here's the problem with this discussion: You could just as easily argue that she's displaying male characterics. Thje reason that's a problem is because everyone who comes into this discussion has a different agenda and a different opinion of what is "female" and what is "strong", and they often

Is Juliet Starling a strong female character? I'd say yes. But she might not be a great role model. Chell? I'd say that she has no character except what you project onto her, so... sure, your Chell might be a strong female, but for me, she had less character than Atlas and P-body... (for reference, I also think that Gordon Freeman, while iconic, is not a strong character... because he doesn't have any - he's an empty vessel for you to project yourself into). Is Miranda Lawson a strong female character? I think so, but she's not a good rolemodel because of how she's portrayed in the games, defined by the relationship with her sister and father. But she could've easily been a good rolemodel, if Bioware had focused on showing why she was TIM's second-in-command. There's also the issue of how camera positioning in her scenes pretty much invalidated the character.

So, is Bayonetta a strong female character? Yes, and I'd even argue that she's a decent role model. The Hypersexualism is a problem for the argument - but the important thing is her motivations. She fighting heaven, and she's having fun doing it. She's confronted with Luca, but he never becomes her motivation for fighting. He's just a character that is there, who she torments. I'd even argue that Sexuality is one part of female power. But at the same time, she's such a parody of sexualized characters that it's hard to keep a straight face.

And yes, I admit that I am a straight, white male - and that I understand that the character was pretty much crafted to appeal to me. But here's the thing - I don't think I'd much appreciate the character if she didn't have any substance below that hair. I never really liked Fran from Final Fantasy XII, for instance. I played Bayonetta for it's craziness, but I came out the game loving the character as much as I did what went on in that game (in contrast to merely liking the mechanical parts of the game).

Will Lara be a strong female character, worthy of being considered a role model this time around? I don't know. I haven't played the game yet, and I think it's too soon to condemn or hail that character, either way.

Which brings me back to my second paragraph. I think it's hard to define what makes a strong character, male or female, partially because it's so easy to undermine a fictional character's credibility. It's easy for me to invalidate someone else's opinion that Chell is a strong character because she's an empty vessel. It's easy for someone to say that they think that Bayonetta is shallow, hypersexualized character. We're both right, but we're both wrong.

I also think it's funny how there's so much vitriol towards James Vega, but almost none towards MaleShep. Considering they are basically the same character - Vega working hard towards becoming an N7-operative, while Shepard is the postechild of the N7-program.

But then again, what the hell do I know!?

Posted by Elazul

@kilanash said:

  • Jade of Beyond Good and Evil - unsexualized, main character, confident, central to the story. Can't talk too much about her though as I've not yet played more than an hour of BG&E. I know, for shame...
  • Samus Aran - If you pretend Other M doesn't exist, her gender is basically incidental and a non-issue throughout the series. Definitely capable and main protagonist.
  • As mentioned earlier by others, Commander Shepard in her female incarnation is definitely close to a gold standard of how to represent a woman in games - as a REAL person.

@IBurningStar said:

I basically came in to say these. Also, Agrias Oaks from FF Tactics, Lightning from FFXIII, Shanoa from Order of Ecclesia and my Female Dark Elf Dragonborn-Vampire-Lord-Master-Assassin-Battle-Mage from Skyrim.

Posted by johnbakosh

Subjective

Edited by Harkat

@Humanity said:

@Harkat said:

Can't good female characters just be good characters who are female? And what is this focus on "Owning her sexuality"? Not to say that NOT owning one's sexuality is good, but Nathan Drake's or Max Payne's sexualities aren't important character traits.

People seem to place a huge importance on confident and self-controlled sexuality (whatever the fuck that means, honestly) when it comes to female characters. Does anyone understand this?

You can't treat female and male characters equally because both genders have very unique characteristics. The idea is to not get hung up on the fact that she's a wearing a skirt and that makes her a weaker character than if she was wearing pants. To a degree the clothes that females wear in games shouldn't be what defines them. For instance in Lollipop Chainsaw Juliets default outfit is fine because she's a cheerleader and a teenager in high school. Her alternate DLC outfit of a one piece pink jumpsuit that has a zipper running down the front and is undone all the way past her bellybutton is where it start to clearly cater to a certain mindset. At the same time if you had an outfit for Nathan Drake where he'd be shirtless - no one would think twice about it. This is because men and women are and always will be perceived differently in those sort of situations and theres nothing really sexist about it. Bringing about equality in gaming shouldn't be about eliminating gender differences, but rather eliminating character flaws and stereotypes like Princess Daphne.

I really appreciate that you took the time to answer my post, but this seems mad to me. I thought the idea of positive female characters was to have characters who happen to be female be on average as "positive" (whatever that means) as the average male characters. But it's actually about portraying femininity in a positive, strong, light? If so, then people will NEVER be satisfied, because who's to say what "femininity" is? Is there a scientific definition? What if that definition includes negative traits in some people's eyes? Should we omit "negative female traits" and keep in the good ones? What are either of those!? Is there some list of universally acceptable "female but not stereotypical or bad" traits?

Posted by AndyAce83

Women are so whiney. Have you ever heard a guy complain about Redfields abs? It´s only women who complain about these things and let´s be honest only argumentative women who can´t find a man because "they all suck". GAH! So tired of this subject. If you don´t like women looking like that or that, then just don´t buy it and let other people do if they want to. If I want a lesbian/slutty daughter I will buy her empowering dolls, if I want a girl who will be happy, I buy her dolls, games and cloths that will enhance her self worth and identity. Not to hate her sex but accept it.

Posted by Humanity
@Harkat Well I was mostly discussing the "owning your sexuality" bit and those are just my thoughts and not some universal truths.

I'm with you that a good female character should just be a good character. I think a lot of people get caught up on things like women needing protection like hey how come Reaident Evil 4 Ashkey is a stereotypical school girl that needs to be saved by Leon! That's kind of dumb and over analyzing. Like I think Enslaved had really good characters. Trip seemed like a great female character without being a hung ho marine - she was still vulnerable and much less adept at dispatching brutal murderous robots than Monkey. But I think that was fine because what she lacked in physical strength she made up for with cunning and intelligence.
Posted by CJduke

My problem with the whole thing is that I feel like men should take more offense to these stereo types women are portrayed as in games. I say this because woman are put in games half naked and with huge boobs not to really put an attack on women, but to get guys to go "oh my god there's this girl in that game who shows her tits I'm gonna buy it!" Developers think that by putting these types of female characters into their games they are going to get guys (who are the majority of the gaming audience) to buy their game. To me, men should be offended by this, because its the same tactic companies use at places like E3. These developers and companies think they can trick (not really trick but you know what I mean) men into buying their game or taking interest in it if they just throw in some generic female characters with skimpy outfits and unrealistic breasts. I find it stupid that companies think this is how they can get their male audiences attention, when instead they should just make an awesome video game. Sure, there are times when it actually is appropriate to use these generic female characters, as it may also be appropriate to use the generic brawny-bro type male characters, but to use these stereotypes over and over and over again just to try to bring attention to a game is really stupid. So while I think females have a right to be offended (to a certain extent) males should be offended by the whole thing to because the entire gaming industry thinks males look at a game, see boobs, and then buy it.

And now that i am done ranting I want to say that your example of Bayonetta as a strong female character is a good one.

Posted by AssInAss

@Zenogiasu said:

The good ones aren't just the ones that are strong and confident, but rather the dynamic ones: the ones who can be all that and so much more.

Exactly, you need a balance of confidence and vulnerability which shows all aspects of the character according to the situations they're in.

Recently, Alice Madness Returns is a great example of this with Alice Liddell.

Powerful, demanding, doesn't take shit from nobody, but with a sympathetic ear to the damaged characters of Wonderland and a victim to her own psyche while suffering from PTSD. It's a really tragic quest she's lead down on. One of the best stories in games, this game will fuck you up with the ending and plot revelations. They use sexuality to a very disturbing destination. Psychological thrillers are few and far between in video games, and not many that involve female characters.

Posted by hermes
@MonkeyKing1969

For me the most postive one I can think of is Elena Fisher. She is loyal, she does her best, she is smart when it is time to be smart, yet selflessly courageous when it is time to be courageous. She never puts herself into the role of hero, but she does what needs to be done by being herself. As a character she has her own voice and her role in the game is as "the voice of reason "Uh, WHY are we doing this foolishly dangerous thing?" and also the voice of solve the problem as simply as possible, "Go see the rug merchant...he doesn't really sell rugs!"

She is my choice too. In my opinion, a stereotype as big as the damsel in distress is the "hero with boobs ". It feels so generic and lazy, its like the writer did a regular male power fantasy and in the last page he says "but its a woman ". Elena is a great character because she is extremely competent without having to dismiss a part of her. She is not just "Drake as a woman "
Posted by DoctorWelch

Fuck da police...

Posted by Dagbiker
Posted by CaptainSandwich

Not a game character, but Korra from the new Avatar series comes to mind for me.

Posted by DonutFever

Pretty much everything I'd say.
 
Just with a lot more words then I could have wrote before I became bored and stopped. 
 
That's... not a good thing, is it?

Posted by Hailinel

I consider a strong female character, and really, strong characters in general, that excel in being rounded individuals that feel human. Characters that are simply able to kick ass and take names without showing signs of weakness or vulnerability are not "strong" characters. They are archetypes at best and stereotypes at worst.

People complained about Samus's portrayal in Metroid: Other M as sexist, but as I and others see it, it's really not. Does she display weakness? Yes, a very sharp psychological weakness when confronted with the alien that traumatized her, and whom she had thought had finally perished after Zebes exploded. It's called PTSD. Samus is still strong and capable; however, when bringing depth to her personality, they also exposed weakness; weakness that is natural for any human being to suffer from. The faults in Other M's characterizations were not faults of sexism. They were faults of writing that wasn't great. There was an over-reliance on narration (too much telling, not enough showing) and a clunky localization. But Samus's characterization was not a problem.

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Posted by SpaceInsomniac

Not sure if we can agree on what a positive female character IS, but I think I can say objectively that it is NOT Samus from Metroid: Other M.

Posted by Hailinel

@SpaceInsomniac said:

Not sure if we can agree on what a positive female character IS, but I think I can say objectively that it is NOT Samus from Metroid: Other M.

I'm not sure if you were replying specifically to me or not. You certainly didn't provide a particularly convincing argument, however.

Online
Posted by SpaceInsomniac

@Hailinel said:

@SpaceInsomniac said:

Not sure if we can agree on what a positive female character IS, but I think I can say objectively that it is NOT Samus from Metroid: Other M.

I'm not sure if you were replying specifically to me or not. You certainly didn't provide a particularly convincing argument, however.

Ha! I didn't even read your post. It was just the first thing I thought of when I saw the thread. That was a total coincidence. Freaky.

Posted by Hailinel

@SpaceInsomniac said:

@Hailinel said:

@SpaceInsomniac said:

Not sure if we can agree on what a positive female character IS, but I think I can say objectively that it is NOT Samus from Metroid: Other M.

I'm not sure if you were replying specifically to me or not. You certainly didn't provide a particularly convincing argument, however.

Ha! I didn't even read your post. It was just the first thing I thought of when I saw the thread. That was a total coincidence. Freaky.

Heh. Thought it might have been. But I will say that my point stands. The game's problem isn't one of characterization. It's one of basic writing principles.

Online
Edited by SpaceInsomniac

@Hailinel said:

@SpaceInsomniac said:

@Hailinel said:

@SpaceInsomniac said:

Not sure if we can agree on what a positive female character IS, but I think I can say objectively that it is NOT Samus from Metroid: Other M.

I'm not sure if you were replying specifically to me or not. You certainly didn't provide a particularly convincing argument, however.

Ha! I didn't even read your post. It was just the first thing I thought of when I saw the thread. That was a total coincidence. Freaky.

Heh. Thought it might have been. But I will say that my point stands. The game's problem isn't one of characterization. It's one of basic writing principles.

For an actual argument, I would like to paraphrase one of my favorite games of this console generation. A woman chooses, a slave obeys.

Seriously, Samus is a bounty hunter, and she spends the entire game taking orders from someone who no longer has any right to give her a command, and who is a complete ass to her on top of everything else.

The word submissive doesn't even begin to describe how completely fucking stupid this is. I'm aware of where the plot goes from here, but it doesn't change the fact that a huge percent of the game turns Samus into a joke of a hero, waiting around for a man to give her permission to access to her true potential.

And Adam suiciding himself after a limp "sorry if I was a little hard on you" speech doesn't make it okay that he spent every moment up to that point either talking down to Samus, or giving her orders that he didn't have any right to give. Screw Adam, and screw Team Ninja for just about completely ruining one of the best female role-models in gaming.

As for my personal choice for a positive female character? I'd say Mass Effect's Commander Shepard. It's hard to argue with writing that is perfectly appropriate for either sex, and I think the series as a whole had some very good writing.

Posted by Hailinel

@SpaceInsomniac: It's simple military protocol. She's a former soldier respecting the orders of the commanding officer in charge. It's also apparently legal protocol that bounty hunters involved in missions that are under the direct jurisdiction of ranked officers in the army are required to follow the officer's orders while assisting in a mission. This isn't slavery. Far from it.

And like I said, the game suffers from its writing, not its characterization. It is unfortunate that the armor unlocks in the game were done by the same rules as weapons. They could have easily done it another way; Samus's armor upgrades becoming shorted out at the start and requiring time to recharge and reboot before reactivating at an appropriate time, for example. But once again, that is a fault of writing, not characterization. The long and the sort of it is that Samus is respecting Adam's orders as a soldier. Nothing more.

On the other hand, Commander Shepard is not a strong female character. (S)he is a cypher for the player with no distinct personality of his/her own and the female version is otherwise no different from the male Shepard aside from romantic options. There is no uniqueness to her persona. Even the somewhat silent male and female protagonists of Persona 3 Portable express more variance in personality simply through their character art and general dialogue with others. That FemShep is no different than ManShep is not a boon; it damages her character.

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Posted by gorkamorkaorka

Video games have a lot to do with war and killing. Do you really want an equal share in that?

Posted by dyong

I wouldn't want a 'positive' female character if it makes the character less compelling to be as or use. What is 'positive'? Less sexualized? More politically correct? One with moral values? Who's to judge what defines positive traits from negative ones in characters? If everyone agrees that less sexualized female characters is a good thing, how does that help the game apart from appeasing people who don't like sexy women in games? If there's one thing about people, it's that you can't please all of them and still create something not bland or pedestrian.

Posted by Clonedzero

a positive female character to me, is a well written likable female character. fuck all this feminist shit. who cares if a character is over sexualized? its not a big deal. notice all the male characters have super crazy abs. its an entertainment medium. if people want to be entertained by over-sexualized female characters, then who are you or anyone else to say they're wrong?

video-games are not the area for anyone to get their rolemodels from. male, female or otherwise. if people are getting their role models from video games then the world is in worse shape than i thought.

its fucking video games people. VIDEO GAMES.

Online
Posted by DivineShadow777

Just to make a small Defense Princess Peach isn't a 100% Damsel In Distress. Yes we all know the HELP ME MARIO in alot of the first games but how about the later ones. If we also forget about Super Paper Peach and take a look at Super Paper Mario ironically we can see a stronger build of her. In the game when she is first shown Nastasia tries to brainwash her but unlike everyone else in the game it takes a longer time as peach is stronger and able to resist it. And later in the game when she fights Mimi and she falls to her death Peach jumps out trying to save her. She says maybe its a little of her motherly instinct but she jumps out to give a helping hand to her enemy. Peach also develops as a character going from Damsel In Distress to powering herself up so she can use her psychic powers to fling bowser miles away. She did this to escape her useless women character type. Also Zelda is a much stronger person then most people give her credit for. She becomes shiek and thats alot in it by itself but in Twilight when she gets kidnapped I actually cared because she was a cool person. So what if a girl gets kidnapped that doesn't automatically make it sexist and a bad character that fact that I actually cared makes her as a person makes her a good character. Also Midna was a pretty strong Female. I just wanted to say that these guys are not as bad as they seem.

Posted by A_Talking_Donkey

While I agree that there is a ton of terrible female depictions in games, I'd like to point out an often overlooked defense for it it is the context of the universe those games take place in. While I wouldn't say that fiction that exists in a universe where women are treated as inferior is inherently good or bad (though honestly, mostly bad), when a woman is treated like crap by a character in a society where women are looked at as inferior that isn't really an issue of the depiction of the woman since that is just how that society functions. The problem is more so in the pleasure derived by such treatments and the intent to give me pleasure by depicting women in such a way. Artistic intent and audience make a huge difference here. Likewise for any other thing that may be seen as degrading.

With that said, I mostly agree though disagree with the terms these sort of discussions are usually couched in. Positive and negative are relative to morals and are subjective to change from person to person. Instead we should be discussing diversity, depth, characterization, character development, artistic intent, intended audience, and human psyche. There is a much larger discussion once we're willing to get into the psychological side of the discussion. The way we think about these characters and what repeated exposure to such media does (especially in developmental stages of our lives) are far more important than trying to be PC.

Posted by JazGalaxy

I have to point out that the problem with super sexualized males and females is that they're still created by men.

Kratos, for example, is just as much fanservice for men as Bayonetta.

If you want an accurate example of sterotype, consider Edward from the Twilight novels. He is painfully and offensively unrealistic and the reason he incites such vitriol from men is becuase women think men are SUPPOSED to be like that.

Edited by gamefreak9

You know what? I have been hoping women to take initiative all my life, you know taken body language classes to even help them out(in terms of meeting), but they never do. I always make the first move, and i've lived(not holidays) in over 8 different countries, and it doesn't change. Women aren't men, they rely on men to get things done, they have indirect methods, and you know what? That's FINE! What pisses me off is bitches like this youtube girl who want women to be represented as that small minority of women who do take action... but that's NOT accurate, video games must represent reality, in the western world, women are sexualized(won't say oversexualized, because i am not going to take moronic assumptions as to how much sexuality is enough). Women in video games are fine, the genders have their own strengths and their own methods, stop trying to blur the line, it will wipe itself out if they are not significantly different.

Edited by Grimhild

@JasonR86:

This is why if I were a writer for video games or movies I would shy away from female leads because, honestly, it feels like the best you could do is appease half the female audience.

I think, ideally, the trick is to write a character arc that would work for either gender, just as an individual. One of the more famous examples of this being the fact that Dan O'Bannon and Ron Shusette wrote the character of Lt. Ripley as a man, but denoted that any role of the crew of the Nostromo could be played by a woman since it was basically gender neutral.

Personally, I'm not picky since it's fiction and I don't use fantasy to define reality. I love both Ripley and Bayonetta for their own reasons.

@Harkat said:

Can't good female characters just be good characters who are female? And what is this focus on "Owning her sexuality"? Not to say that NOT owning one's sexuality is good, but Nathan Drake's or Max Payne's sexualities aren't important character traits.

People seem to place a huge importance on confident and self-controlled sexuality (whatever the fuck that means, honestly) when it comes to female characters. Does anyone understand this?

Posted by JazGalaxy

@SpaceInsomniac said:

@Hailinel said:

@SpaceInsomniac said:

@Hailinel said:

@SpaceInsomniac said:

Not sure if we can agree on what a positive female character IS, but I think I can say objectively that it is NOT Samus from Metroid: Other M.

I'm not sure if you were replying specifically to me or not. You certainly didn't provide a particularly convincing argument, however.

Ha! I didn't even read your post. It was just the first thing I thought of when I saw the thread. That was a total coincidence. Freaky.

Heh. Thought it might have been. But I will say that my point stands. The game's problem isn't one of characterization. It's one of basic writing principles.

For an actual argument, I would like to paraphrase one of my favorite games of this console generation. A woman chooses, a slave obeys.

Seriously, Samus is a bounty hunter, and she spends the entire game taking orders from someone who no longer has any right to give her a command, and who is a complete ass to her on top of everything else.

The word submissive doesn't even begin to describe how completely fucking stupid this is. I'm aware of where the plot goes from here, but it doesn't change the fact that a huge percent of the game turns Samus into a joke of a hero, waiting around for a man to give her permission to access to her true potential.

And Adam suiciding himself after a limp "sorry if I was a little hard on you" speech doesn't make it okay that he spent every moment up to that point either talking down to Samus, or giving her orders that he didn't have any right to give. Screw Adam, and screw Team Ninja for just about completely ruining one of the best female role-models in gaming.

As for my personal choice for a positive female character? I'd say Mass Effect's Commander Shepard. It's hard to argue with writing that is perfectly appropriate for either sex, and I think the series as a whole had some very good writing.

I totally agree. I don't understand why people think Samus is a good example fo a female charater.

She's been exploitive ever since beating the game more quickly made her take her clothes off. It only expanded when you were treated to her "zero suit" rendition, and then to her dottering in Other M.

Posted by Hailinel

@JazGalaxy: There's a problem inherent to 's argument. Andrew Ryan's philosophy is based on the flawed, inherently selfish ideals of Objectivism. Saying that a man chooses and a slave obeys completely ignores the realities of the world, and the shades of gray inherent in everything we do. For example, I work at the office that I do because I chose to apply for that position, and upon being presented an offer, I chose to accept. However, as part of that choice, it is expected that I obey the rules of the office and the rules of basic decorum. I am not obligated to say "yes" every time a project comes my way; there is choice there as well, but it's also in my best interests to agree to perform a task whenever it is in my capacity to do so.

Samus, too, had a choice in Other M. When Adam presents the stipulation that GF military protocol be followed because his team has jurisdiction and that Samus would be obligated to follow his orders for as long as she is part of the mission, she could have turned on her heels and walked out, stage right. It was her conscious choice to agree to Adam's terms.

As for her clothing, well, for one thing, her Zero Suit is actually less revealing than other outfits she's been shown to wear in those game completion reward images. And those scenes originated from the fact that in the first Metroid, it wasn't even apparent that Samus is a woman until that Easter egg revelation at the end. And to be honest, the Zero Suit seems like perfectly acceptable attire for the undergarment of a metallic powersuit. That thing has to chafe like a hell.

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Posted by TheHumanDove

50 shades of grey

Posted by Hippie_Genocide

People have given Anita Sarkeesian over $158k. Jesus Christ...

Posted by Nottle

@Hailinel: Yeah, Zero suit always seemed like a logical thing to wear under the big armor. Her skin shouldn't just be rubbing up against metal. To me it seemed a lot like a plug suit or Snakes sneaking suit. Though in Metroid Other M didn't the zero suit have high heels, because team ninja made it? Even though this art work says don't do that:

Thats kind of dumb.

Posted by Hailinel

@Nottle: Yeah. For whatever reason, Team Ninja gave the Zero Suit heels, and that is kind of dumb. But the idea behind the Zero Suit itself isn't.

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Edited by Undeadpool

It's posts like yours that remind me why I always liked Tifa more than Aeris.

@TooWalrus said:

I actually came in here to say that girls LOVE Bayonetta

I think the key is that Bayonetta, at almost all times, looks like she's having fun. This sounds almost too obvious to bear, but it's in SHOCKINGLY few games with female protagonists. Lollipop Chainsaw also accomplished this, though without as much verve. And Bayonetta also had a more nurturing side that came out, but was never treated as a weakness or vulnerability. She herself seemed shocked by her capacity to care for the little girl. She was a surprisingly deep character (though in an EXTREMELY shallow narrative).

@JazGalaxy said:

If you want an accurate example of sterotype, consider Edward from the Twilight novels. He is painfully and offensively unrealistic and the reason he incites such vitriol from men is becuase women think men are SUPPOSED to be like that.

Right, because all women LOOOOOVE Edward Cullen...

Posted by Hailinel

@Undeadpool said:

It's posts like yours that remind me why I always liked Tifa more than Aeris.

@TooWalrus said:

I actually came in here to say that girls LOVE Bayonetta

I think the key is that Bayonetta, at almost all times, looks like she's having fun. This sounds almost too obvious to bear, but it's in SHOCKINGLY few games with female protagonists. Lollipop Chainsaw also accomplished this, though without as much verve. And Bayonetta also had a more nurturing side that came out, but was never treated as a weakness or vulnerability. She herself seemed shocked by her capacity to care for the little girl. She was a surprisingly deep character (though in an EXTREMELY shallow narrative).

@JazGalaxy said:

If you want an accurate example of sterotype, consider Edward from the Twilight novels. He is painfully and offensively unrealistic and the reason he incites such vitriol from men is becuase women think men are SUPPOSED to be like that.

Right, because all women LOOOOOVE Edward Cullen...

Also, Edward Cullen is a vampire. Tell me how that's supposed to be realistic in the first place.

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Posted by BaconGames

My issue with any portrayal in games isn't down to any given instance because any given portrayal of a character is incidental, dependent on a variety of economic and creative factors. My issue takes on a more long view, a statistical approach really. Basically it can be summed up like this: "I don't mind a female character with big boobs but if that's all I see I just get bored and it has no value any more". It is altogether unrealistic to dismiss the value that is there in simplistic, archetypical portrayals of characters. However the value that is there is simply surface level and doesn't engage the intellect, which is fine, but its boring and uninteresting after a while. That's the context in which I demand "better" characters of all types, especially female.

I think its a valid complain to say there's nothing more than simplistic elements to a lot of these female characters, much as there are to most male characters. Its just the case that more males make more games, so more male characters are made and probably written better as a result and come off as better characters relative to their female companions. Economic considerations also have a factor, lest we forget about focus groups and marketing departments. But that's only part of it. Its that issue of relying on whats easy and safe in character portrayals, for both genders, that make the issues glaring after a while. There's only so much you can excuse when every female character has high heels and yet most of them are fighting someone as a solider or something else. It also makes no sense why every male protagonist sounds like a chainsmoking marine who eats gravel and nails. Its not about comparing the two and alleviating the blame but finding the generalizable element to both that allows us to better understand the issue. At the heart of it is shitty characters that reflect the way in which society suggests in vague ways how to make characters look and act for an audience. That they happen to disproportionately look one way or another, or more female characters not being developed in this instance, is reflective of the long-standing cultural paradigms and histories we have as a Western culture. In essence the high heels and gruff marine guy are pulled out of the cultural library but the archetype character slots are there for reason related to how video games (or really all media right now) are made.

The only thing that bothers me about this issue is the tendency to just conclude that "welp its all just men making games for other men, so there you go" and stop there. Sure that's part of it but not in that way and there's obviously more to it than that.

So to answer the question a "positive female character" is one that's more than just an archetype and that goes for any character in any kind of media we can think of.

Online
Posted by JazGalaxy

@Undeadpool said:

It's posts like yours that remind me why I always liked Tifa more than Aeris.

@TooWalrus said:

I actually came in here to say that girls LOVE Bayonetta

I think the key is that Bayonetta, at almost all times, looks like she's having fun. This sounds almost too obvious to bear, but it's in SHOCKINGLY few games with female protagonists. Lollipop Chainsaw also accomplished this, though without as much verve. And Bayonetta also had a more nurturing side that came out, but was never treated as a weakness or vulnerability. She herself seemed shocked by her capacity to care for the little girl. She was a surprisingly deep character (though in an EXTREMELY shallow narrative).

@JazGalaxy said:

If you want an accurate example of sterotype, consider Edward from the Twilight novels. He is painfully and offensively unrealistic and the reason he incites such vitriol from men is becuase women think men are SUPPOSED to be like that.

Right, because all women LOOOOOVE Edward Cullen...

Enough of them do to make that film a record breaking book and movie and it's actors some of the highest paid people in hollywood. And this is money coming almost exclusively from women.

Posted by Hailinel

@JazGalaxy said:

@Undeadpool said:

It's posts like yours that remind me why I always liked Tifa more than Aeris.

@TooWalrus said:

I actually came in here to say that girls LOVE Bayonetta

I think the key is that Bayonetta, at almost all times, looks like she's having fun. This sounds almost too obvious to bear, but it's in SHOCKINGLY few games with female protagonists. Lollipop Chainsaw also accomplished this, though without as much verve. And Bayonetta also had a more nurturing side that came out, but was never treated as a weakness or vulnerability. She herself seemed shocked by her capacity to care for the little girl. She was a surprisingly deep character (though in an EXTREMELY shallow narrative).

@JazGalaxy said:

If you want an accurate example of sterotype, consider Edward from the Twilight novels. He is painfully and offensively unrealistic and the reason he incites such vitriol from men is becuase women think men are SUPPOSED to be like that.

Right, because all women LOOOOOVE Edward Cullen...

Enough of them do to make that film a record breaking book and movie and it's actors some of the highest paid people in hollywood. And this is money coming almost exclusively from women.

But women don't necessarily think men are supposed to be like Edward. There are things that may attract them to Edward, but that does not mean that they believe all men are supposed to be like him. Perhaps a subset of Edward's fans do, but not all of them.

Online
Posted by Dixavd

The problem I have with the whole "good [Gender] character" thing is that there really is no such thing. There isn't a formula that will tell you how to make a character that everyone (or just everyone of their gender) will like and/or relate to since not everyone wants the same thing. People seem to generalise this whole phenomenon as "women will only be happy when the main character of most games is female" which is totally absurd to argue since quite a lot of people don't actually like/relate to main character archetypes. The thing that these people don't see is that women don't want the entire spotlight, they just want the diversity. A lot of men (including myself sometimes) seem to forget and take for granted how diverse the number of male characters there are to gravitate towards. We have the obvious main characters but we also have many other kinds of characters (we have villains, jokesters, out-of-their-depth characters, romantics, loners, jerks, badasses, shy characters, silent blank-slates, heroes, bystanders, shopkeepers, teachers, kids, teenagers, young adults, middle-age men, older characters... and the list goes on and on) and most of the time we have different kind of characters within individual games.

When people talk about women in games, they usually single out over-sexualised women and damsels-in-distress as "bad" characters and then point out "strong" characters as "good" characters. But what they don't realise is that some women actually like over-sexualised women in games, and some women like the whole damsel-in-distress archetype in the same way that some people like the strong heroic women. The problem that many people don't realise is that their answer to "how can we make this game fair towards women" is to simply make all of their women more masculine. The result is that we simply have less feminine characters: we already have very few feminine male characters, but we now are starting to see even less feminine female characters as well. The answer isn't to replace them, it is to add to them. Believe it or not, there are many people who play games such as Mario titles because they like seeing feminine characters like Peach in them to gravitate to; how can people seriously tell those people that they aren't allowed to like that characters because they have defined it as a "bad" character and they instead should only want tom-boy characters in games?

I just hate how these things keep on ending on "Good characters are strong, courageous, and masculine so no one can be shown to be feminine" because alienates people outside of gender (the small amount of feminine men in games is just as appalling as the small amount of non-sexualised strong women in games).

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