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#1 Posted by Blu3V3nom07 (4234 posts) -

Destructoid: Jimquisition: Creative Freedom, Strings Attached

Freedom of expression is not freedom to express without challenge. A game is within its rights to include any content it does, but that content is not sacred.

Puppeteer features a boy as the hero, not a girl. Gavin Moore was asked why this is, and his response was fairly snippy. GTA V has three male leads, and fans get snippy when people question this.

Fact is, these two games are totally right to have the characters they have ... but that righteousness comes with strings attached (get it because puppets).

No embed. So, I think GTA and even The Puppeteer are more the types of games where I would much rather at elast try out the female version of a protagonist. Saint's Row, Mass Effect, Dragon Age, and err Tennis games are some of the only games where you get to choose if you would like to play a female version. Even CoD: Ghosts is jumping into the fray, with having the option to choose a female shooter in the multiplayer.

So, at least with The Puppeteer. A game that is supposed to be so juvenile, fun, scary and adventurous, and is supposed to be inviting ot the player. So much that the mildly simple gameplay is certainly even targeted at all ages and genders, and such. So, well you can't choose. Boy trousers for all, and that's that. Weird stuff.

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#2 Posted by AlexanderSheen (5038 posts) -

Cool.

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#3 Posted by Darji (5294 posts) -

Destructoid: Jimquisition: Creative Freedom, Strings Attached

Freedom of expression is not freedom to express without challenge. A game is within its rights to include any content it does, but that content is not sacred.

Puppeteer features a boy as the hero, not a girl. Gavin Moore was asked why this is, and his response was fairly snippy. GTA V has three male leads, and fans get snippy when people question this.

Fact is, these two games are totally right to have the characters they have ... but that righteousness comes with strings attached (get it because puppets).

No embed. So, I think GTA and even The Puppeteer are more the types of games where I would much rather at elast try out the female version of a protagonist. Saint's Row, Mass Effect, Dragon Age, and err Tennis games are some of the only games where you get to choose if you would like to play a female version. Even CoD: Ghosts is jumping into the fray, with having the option to choose a female shooter in the multiplayer.

So, at least with The Puppeteer. A game that is supposed to be so juvenile, fun, scary and adventurous, and is supposed to be inviting ot the player. So much that the mildly simple gameplay is certainly even targeted at all ages and genders, and such. So, well you can't choose. Boy trousers for all, and that's that. Weird stuff.

You can play women in GTA online. And for the rest no comment because it is really stupid. The artist can decide if the main character is a male or female or both. He does not have to consider anything at all.

#4 Edited by erhard (420 posts) -

For consistency, does he extend his bafflingly stupid question about male characters to, say, classic literature and cinema as well?

#5 Edited by dekkadekkadekka (735 posts) -

Why can't you play as a black puppet boy? This is clearly racism!

#6 Posted by CaptainObvious (2999 posts) -

It's like complaining you can't play as a female character in Super Mario World.

#7 Posted by jimmyfenix (3858 posts) -

I agree with the top comment of that article

"I agree that people should have the right to criticize art as much as the creators have the right to create whatever they want, but what the fuck is there to criticize about the Puppeteer's protagonist? Just because he is a boy? Do we have to ask every single game that features males protagonists now "why is it not a girl"? That is not criticism, that is more like an agenda. We all know there are people who are going too far in pushing for more inclusive games, and I'm starting to doubt their real intentions."

If companies like Rockstar or Sony Japan want to have male protagonists than it is fine. Those companies make protagonists that they are comfortable with. Just like @darji said you have the choice to make a female character in GTA Online which i will be doing. Rockstar have had very strong female characters like Catalina and Elizabeta Torres. Amanda looks like a solid character in GTA V.

#8 Posted by JasonR86 (9742 posts) -

It's up to a creator or creators to create their creations (say that five times fast) however they chose. It's up to an audience to react to that creation however they chose. One does not have to necessarily bow to the other. This is how it works in every single medium that allows for an audience. I don't know why this is so hard for the general video game audience to grasp.

#9 Edited by dekkadekkadekka (735 posts) -
#10 Posted by SathingtonWaltz (2053 posts) -

What a fucking tool

#11 Posted by Clonedzero (4200 posts) -

Pressuring everyone into letting you choose your protagonists sex is a bad idea. The less specific your character is, the less depth they have. I mean sure, you can pull it off, but it's alot harder, and video game writers already have so much working against them.

Let the writers and creators make what they want to make. If every game lets you pick your sex, then game stories are going to get alot worse.

Would Max Payne be as good of a character if it was a female? nope! Would Lara Croft be as good of a character if it was a male? oh wait...they did that already....Well! you get my point!

I'd love for there to be more strong female characters in games, but it has to come naturally and not be forced or it's not going to work.

When you watched the silly new RoboCop remake trailer did anyone ask? Why didn't they make robocop a female cop this time? SEXISM!!!!!!! No, you simply shook your head in disappointment because he still has a human hand...

#12 Edited by ImmortalSaiyan (4690 posts) -

@jasonr86 said:

It's up to a creator or creators to create their creations (say that five times fast) however they chose. It's up to an audience to react to that creation however they chose. One does not have to necessarily bow to the other. This is how it works in every single medium that allows for an audience. I don't know why this is so hard for the general video game audience to grasp.

Exactly. That is Jims point. It can't hurt to ask these question as the answers. It is not about trying to force diversity but wondering why we have so little of it in the first place.

Imagine if someone kept replaying a RPG and always went the same class. That is cool, they can do that if they want, but would not wonder why when there are so many other options to experiment with.

#13 Edited by Brodehouse (10072 posts) -

Hey, let's ask "why is this character female and not male?" for every game that features one. Oh, that's sexist? If we're being universalist, wouldn't that mean its sexist to ask the opposite? Oh, it's okay in the other direction because of the patriarchy. How convenient.

There is no way to say that a game is ethically superior by offering a different race or gender or anything for a protagonist without directly saying that one gender or race is superior to another. Mirror's Edge is more singular or unique in that it has an Asian woman as a protagonist, but it is absolutely not better (or worse) because of it.

I hear about how we want to get past race or gender as socially privileging or damaging concepts, but the continued attempts to promote one over another will _never, ever, never_ result in equality.

#14 Posted by BanzaiBandito (76 posts) -

Artists are allowed to create and critics are allowed to criticize. Nothing wrong with that. Just add one more layer: the critics themselves are allowed to be criticized. It's going to be exhausting now that every new ip is going to have to answer questions as to why they chose whatever gender they happened to choose. Too bad print magazines are all but dead. There aren't many places left where you can just read about upcoming games and not get any snark, cynicism, or agendas.

#15 Posted by TheSouthernDandy (3903 posts) -

Also, let's not forget Jim isn't innocent in all this sexism business: http://borderhouseblog.com/?p=4298

To be fair that was a while ago and he's apologized and written about how much he's changed since then and his actions seem to support that.

I don't think Sterling said anything I don't agree with. Puppeteer having a male character is completely and totally fine as is asking why it couldn't have been a girl character. Personally I don't think we need to ask every game that question but I can understand why people want to ask considering how few games have a lady in the lead.

#16 Posted by Sergio (2160 posts) -

This is the precipice of stupidity.

#17 Posted by Hunter5024 (5808 posts) -

Maybe all of these game journalists should just go start feminist blogs, since that seems to be all they're ever interested in talking about.

#18 Posted by joshwent (2291 posts) -

I'm not too familiar with Sterling. Is he a writer for Jezebel?

#19 Posted by OmegaPirate (5522 posts) -

A writer everyone is tired about asking tired questions pointlessly.

#20 Posted by Darji (5294 posts) -

@jasonr86 said:

It's up to a creator or creators to create their creations (say that five times fast) however they chose. It's up to an audience to react to that creation however they chose. One does not have to necessarily bow to the other. This is how it works in every single medium that allows for an audience. I don't know why this is so hard for the general video game audience to grasp.

Exactly. That is Jims point. It can't hurt to ask these question as the answers. It is not about trying to force diversity but wondering why we have so little of it in the first place.

Imagine if someone kept replaying a RPG and always went the same class. That is cool, they can do that if they want, but would not wonder why when there are so many other options to experiment with.

Asking is never wrong but calling games like ICO sexist (Yes I am talking about Anita) because you can not play as a girl is far from that. Ask and if he answers leave it at that but don't try to make the game bad because it has not the choice of a female protagonist.

Criticism leads easily to censorship and most people who criticize have this in mind.

#21 Posted by JasonR86 (9742 posts) -

@darji:

You're assuming an awful lot about the intentions of critics. I can't speak for everyone, and no one else can or should, but when I criticize I don't expect what I'm pointing out to change within the very product I'm critiquing. I'm hoping that future products address those concerns. But hoping and expecting are different things. Like criticism and censorship are different.

#22 Edited by Nekroskop (2786 posts) -

Oh just fuck off. I'm tired of this American trend. No one else in the world cares(maybe England, but they're America's best buddy.)

#23 Posted by Veektarius (4920 posts) -

I actually do think that GTA V could have used a female character, and I'm not the sort who usually gives a shit. But they're giving you three characters and have this focus on meaningful stories these days. You'd think they'd be in a perfect position to lead the charge on getting some recognizable and respectable female leads in a video game if they gave a shit. But no, instead it looks like all the women in the game will be marginalizing stereotypes like supporting characters in Rockstar games always are, and their Yvonne Strahovski bikini banner ads are the largest women will probably feature in the game. I mean, I think this whole sexism phase of our 'subculture' is bullshit, but if everyone is going to be up in arms about sexism everything, Rockstar definitely deserves to be included in the conversation.

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#24 Posted by shinjin977 (786 posts) -

@darji said:

@immortalsaiyan said:

@jasonr86 said:

It's up to a creator or creators to create their creations (say that five times fast) however they chose. It's up to an audience to react to that creation however they chose. One does not have to necessarily bow to the other. This is how it works in every single medium that allows for an audience. I don't know why this is so hard for the general video game audience to grasp.

Exactly. That is Jims point. It can't hurt to ask these question as the answers. It is not about trying to force diversity but wondering why we have so little of it in the first place.

Imagine if someone kept replaying a RPG and always went the same class. That is cool, they can do that if they want, but would not wonder why when there are so many other options to experiment with.

Asking is never wrong but calling games like ICO sexist (Yes I am talking about Anita) because you can not play as a girl is far from that. Ask and if he answers leave it at that but don't try to make the game bad because it has not the choice of a female protagonist.

Criticism leads easily to censorship and most people who criticize have this in mind.

I think what we have in this industry is not a problem of creator not wanting to accept criticism (though there are some of that). It is a problem of terribly delivered "criticism". I was an avid supporter of Anita's video project when it went through Kickstarter and I got a amateur YouTube grade rant videos. I find Killer is Dead's gigolo mode stupid and the Videogamers people (who I enjoy) ask suda51 to stop making game/his career is over because he is a hack for making said mode.

For all the disgust the press/critics like to express about the internet's hyperbole, they are equally responsible for the vitriol. That type of stuff is why I can not take the press/critics seriously. It is like an over-weight person calling another fat, it doesn't make his criticism invalid but I for one am not going to take that comment/person seriously.

#25 Posted by cloudnineboya (831 posts) -

after reading i saw this on the main forum page,very fitting for topic. proud sponsors of giant bomb hehe..

#26 Posted by ArtelinaRose (1856 posts) -

im so tired of this stuff

just let it end

#27 Posted by JasonR86 (9742 posts) -

@shinjin977:

You don't have to as you are given the same privilege as these critics to say and think however you wish. But, not that you are saying this mind you, to ask the critics to go away and stay quiet is as harmful as overly censoring creations.

#28 Posted by jimmyfenix (3858 posts) -

@veektarius: While it may be interesting to hear what drives rockstar to only create male protags and it could be interesting to see a female protag in GTA but Rockstar Don`t give a shit and that's the reality of it.

Also i dont understand why everything is revolving around "Their should be woman in this game" as that is a fair point how come no one is talking about other major "tropes" such as always shooting the brown guy in Modern war games or making Americans seem like the hero in most war shooters. I think their are other problems which should be looked at in the gaming world.

#29 Posted by WalkerD (462 posts) -

Breaking news: Video Game Journalist Jumps on Bandwagon to Generate Hits, "industry" Still Considered a Joke

The constant headline for the past two fucking years.

#30 Edited by falserelic (5464 posts) -

What about sexism in cartoons?

#31 Posted by StarvingGamer (8373 posts) -

im so tired of this stuff

just let it end

It's too bad humans don't reproduce asexually eh?

#32 Edited by shinjin977 (786 posts) -

@jasonr86 said:

@shinjin977:

You don't have to as you are given the same privilege as these critics to say and think however you wish. But, not that you are saying this mind you, to ask the critics to go away and stay quiet is as harmful as overly censoring creations.

Not to go away, but provide better criticism.

#33 Posted by jimmyfenix (3858 posts) -

after reading i saw this on the main forum page,very fitting for topic. proud sponsors of giant bomb hehe..

I....uh........clicked on it....so Disappoint.

#34 Edited by Raethen (180 posts) -
@starvinggamer said:
@artelinarose said:

im so tired of this stuff

just let it end

It's too bad humans don't reproduce asexually eh?

We kind of can now, but if we ever develop a working, reliable artificial womb, both women and men could conceive asexually. It would take the fun out of it for some, though. (edited for wording)

That being off topic, I will add that I have been enjoying Jim's videos as of late, but I will admit that is probably based on my own bias. On twitter, he linked to a post he made on GAF where he explains a bit more. He probably should have been a bit more clear with that in the initial video I guess. He seems to have really changed since the incident posted above.

#35 Posted by Darji (5294 posts) -

@jasonr86 said:

@darji:

You're assuming an awful lot about the intentions of critics. I can't speak for everyone, and no one else can or should, but when I criticize I don't expect what I'm pointing out to change within the very product I'm critiquing. I'm hoping that future products address those concerns. But hoping and expecting are different things. Like criticism and censorship are different.

Yes I do because if someone does not like it he wants it to be changed And that is were censorship comes into place. Newest example here is Hotline Miami 2 and the rape scene through this criticism and the backlash after the story they decided to remove the scene at least from the demo adn trying to "fix" it Which means make it so that people are happy. And this is were we should draw the line but the internet mob and followers does not know how to draw the line. Even if the journalist had not the attention for a cry of removal these mobs are. And especially in such cases the PC mob goes amok.

So has a journalist you also have the responsibility to make a clear cut and not try to write an article which will support this mob.

#36 Posted by JasonR86 (9742 posts) -

@darji:

It's an editorial. He can write whatever the fuck he wants. That's what editorials are.

Wanting change is not censorship. Censorship is forced change/removal. The Hotline example doesn't work as the creators decided to make the change themselves as they reacted to the criticism. That isn't censorship. You are changing the meanings of words to match your personal view and assuming intention with no evidence. You are essentially acting as a conspiracy theorist.

#37 Posted by Darji (5294 posts) -

@jasonr86 said:

@darji:

It's an editorial. He can write whatever the fuck he wants. That's what editorials are.

Wanting change is not censorship. Censorship is forced change/removal. The Hotline example doesn't work as the creators decided to make the change themselves as they reacted to the criticism. That isn't censorship. You are changing the meanings of words to match your personal view and assuming intention with no evidence. You are essentially acting as a conspiracy theorist.

No he said that they thought its a cool idea but they changed it because of so many people complaining. That was basically what he was saying. Big companies react to these things. Like the Hitman Absolution trailer back then or the "rape" scene in Tomb Raider. Developer and publisher reacted to the mob because they fear bad PR not because they think they are right.

Same with the Mass effect 4 ending. Why did they changed it? because of outside pressure of some mob mentality. And every discussion in this industry is being destroyed by these mobs.

#38 Edited by Milkman (17014 posts) -

This "if anyone criticizes anything, it's censorship" attitude that seems to really popular on the internet these days is really fucking stupid.

#39 Posted by Darji (5294 posts) -

@milkman said:

This "if anyone criticizes anything, it's censorship" attitude that seems to really popular on the internet these days is really fucking stupid.

No you can criticize but you should not make people who like it look bad and terrible persons or the game bad because of it. That is the fine line you should draw if you criticize in a more professional manner

#40 Edited by Milkman (17014 posts) -

@darji said:

@milkman said:

This "if anyone criticizes anything, it's censorship" attitude that seems to really popular on the internet these days is really fucking stupid.

No you can criticize but you should not make people who like it look bad and terrible persons or the game bad because of it. That is the fine line you should draw if you criticize in a more professional manner

Did you watch the actual video? Because Jim says pretty much exactly this. At no point does he say anyone involved in the Puppeteer is a "bad person."

#41 Posted by Darji (5294 posts) -

@milkman said:

@darji said:

@milkman said:

This "if anyone criticizes anything, it's censorship" attitude that seems to really popular on the internet these days is really fucking stupid.

No you can criticize but you should not make people who like it look bad and terrible persons or the game bad because of it. That is the fine line you should draw if you criticize in a more professional manner

Did you watch the actual video? Because Jim says pretty much exactly this. At no point does he say anyone involved in the Puppeteer is a "bad person."

I am not talking about Jim. I am talking about the internet mob and people who often criticize in this industry. Like a Kotaku, like a gamespot where someone wrote how Persona 4 is anti gay and anti transgender or how Far cry 3 Blood Dragon is sexist etc or the tropes vs Women videos and her other ones when she accuses Christmas songs to be about rape and how creepy it is that you see your mother kissing santa claus which is actually your dad and so on. I am talking about trash criticism which we see each week.

#42 Posted by wemibelec90 (1742 posts) -

It's not like games are alone in this. Very few movies have female (or minority) leads and many of the ones that do are absolutely terrible. There's still this stigma that anything with a female character won't sell as well, usually because movies/games with them are often poorly promoted or written badly. All we can really do is ask creators to be mindful of more options when creating lead characters. Forcing a character to be female when that character doesn't make sense as female isn't the answer; instead, more creators need to be open to the possibilities of different kinds of characters and stories to tell.

#43 Posted by JasonR86 (9742 posts) -

-He said they were looking to modify the scene so their intentions came across more clearly.

-The Hitman trailer didn't change.

-The Tomb Raider scene didn't change and wasn't removed from the final game.

-Mass Effect 3 is the only example of cesorship you've given and even then they weren't forced.

#44 Posted by Darji (5294 posts) -

@jasonr86 said:

-He said they were looking to modify the scene so their intentions came across more clearly.

-The Hitman trailer didn't change.

-The Tomb Raider scene didn't change and wasn't removed from the final game.

-Mass Effect 3 is the only example of cesorship you've given and even then they weren't forced.

They said they will "fix"it and I bet it will be not in the game

Yes a scene in hitman with these nuns has changed in the end It was way less sexualized or better censored

Tomb Raider: They tried to downplay it and I am pretty sure it would have ended differently because of how the scene ends if you play and lose it.

#45 Posted by Demoskinos (15013 posts) -

The fuck you mean there isn't playable female characters in GTA? I've got plenty.....

#46 Posted by Zomgfruitbunnies (844 posts) -

Well, uh, that was a weird video, I guess. It either says a lot or very little, depending on the person watching. I suppose some people could use a crash course in the concept of free speech these days.

#47 Posted by shivermetimbers (780 posts) -

You're allowed to criticize someone's work. The creator of said work can put in whatever he wants in as long as it's not harassment material. The creator can then choose to respond to criticism (again, without it being harassment) by either changing it or not.

See the whole circle I made? That's the beauty of freedom of speech, which is criminally misunderstood. As long as you're not harassing/bullying, you can say what you want and anyone can say what they want in response in what you said.

#48 Posted by Dalai (7040 posts) -

Now that I think about it, why do people want a female protagonist in Grand Theft Auto? Aren't the protagonists in those games generally dirtbags?

#49 Posted by Clonedzero (4200 posts) -

@dalai said:

Now that I think about it, why do people want a female protagonist in Grand Theft Auto? Aren't the protagonists in those games generally dirtbags?

I have no idea. Also something like less than 2% of violent crime in the US is committed by females, so it doesn't really fit anyways.

#50 Edited by MEATBALL (3322 posts) -

I just feel like demanding that a game feature a female lead or the option to play as a female is really silly. By all means, call for more games to feature female protagonists, that would be great, but complaining that an existing game has a male protagonist just seems ridiculous to me.

I mean, I get it, GTA V has three protagonists, I can understand pondering that maybe one of them could have been female but it's also crazy to me to complain that that should be the case and to harp on it without end.

"This protagonist is male" isn't criticism, and I fail to see how offering a gender swap even really addresses the issue of lacking female protagonists. Kutaro is barely a character, so I can understand feeling like he could be anything, but what would Kutaro being female even address? Kutaro gets a stereotypical trait like long hair, big fucking whoop?

We need more games created with a female lead in mind from the get-go, where said female character is well written (this goes for protagonists in general). Whinging that existing games conceived with male characters in the lead should have had a female character or gender swap option doesn't do anything for the agenda behind said complaints. I would love say GTA 6 to have a female lead but only if that's ultimately the story the Housers want to tell. Inserting a female into a game to serve tumblr bubble activists/videogame journalists would ultimately just be a hollow gesture if that's not something the creators are interested or comfortable with writing.