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#101 Posted by Missacre (566 posts) -

@martyarf said:

@tourgen said:

Wow, just think what kind of great games we would get if the legions of blog-bitchers and amateur social architects got off their asses and made games. Oh wait, they would suck, because making games is hard. It would be fun to watch though.

Yeah, terrible games like Gone Home, widely panned by the critics and public alike,

Gone Home is a terrible game, though.

#102 Edited by ll_Exile_ll (1556 posts) -

@erhard said:

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

@sergio said:

This is the precipice of stupidity.

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.

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.)

None of you actually watched the video, or really didn't grasp the point he was making.

Online
#103 Edited by Nekroskop (2786 posts) -

@ll_exile_ll: Don't have to taste the soup if I know it's shit.

#104 Posted by Darji (5294 posts) -

@csl316 said:

@jadegl said:

@csl316: I don't think anyone is actually arguing that there are zero female protagonists in games. That would be silly. However, I am acutely aware of the lack of female protagonists in games since, as a girl growing up in the 80s and 90s, I was always searching for games that had girls in them. It's why games like Super Mario Bros. 2, Alien Syndrome, GI Joe on the Commodore 64 and Zombies Ate My Neighbors became favorites. Fun gameplay, obviously, but also the fact that I could play a female character. Even today I gravitate towards games that scratch that itch. Of course, some of my favorite games don't allow for choice, like Gears if War or Halo, but I hold nothing against them. Great games are great games, no matter the gender of the main character. But it's nice to have a choice or to see yourself represented, if even for a moment, a level or even a game.

Thanks for the perspective. It's true that there are less female protagonists, and I like the fact that lots of games these days give you the option (in Saints Row I played as a female because she's bad ass, whereas in Mass Effect my main character is a male). Personally, both have merit depending on the type of game, the actor, the context, etc. I hope that with more indies developing games there are more opportunities for females because there's absolutely a huge audience that welcomes it. For now, indies are more open to it. I hope that influences the bigger developers out there, eventually.

But I will hold my ground that not every game needs a female protagonist, just like not every game needing a male. I don't think that's unreasonable at all, across all media.

I would love to see this huge market. Mostly every game with a great female main character like Beyond good and evil. Bayonetta, Mirrors Edge and so on bombed. I wonder why.

#105 Edited by Darji (5294 posts) -

@donutfever said:

@fiercedeity said:

Creators create, consumers consume. If there is a market demand for female protagonists in video games, then the invisible hand of the market will address it. This is a non-issue. So long as the market is free and fair, this "problem" is self-correcting. Unless, of course, you have an agenda that goes beyond addressing market needs.

Wasn't there some study that said that games with female leads were more likely to have way less of a marketing budget?

You'd be hard pressed to find a good list of 10 AAA games with female protagonists this gen. Tomb Raider and Mirror's Edge are all I can think of right now.

Tomb Raider

Mirros Edge

Mass Effect

Bayonetta

Beyond Good and Evil HD

Remmeber me

Heavy Rain

Beyond:

Last of Us (Yes Ellie was the main character)

Dragon Age

Tales of Xilla

Final Fantasy XIII

Final Fantasy FFXIII-2

Final Fantasy Lightning Returns

You want more?

#106 Posted by Hunter5024 (5600 posts) -

@ll_exile_ll: I did watch the video actually, and I get that his point for this one was slightly different. Rather than the usual "This is a bunch of sexist bullshit" his point was "We are allowed to say what we want about your work... such as 'This is a bunch of sexist bullshit.'" He has a message he wants to get across, and while this video may not have been directly preaching that message, it was in service of his ability to do so, therefore my comment still applies.

#107 Posted by PeasantAbuse (5138 posts) -

@darji said:

@donutfever said:

@fiercedeity said:

Creators create, consumers consume. If there is a market demand for female protagonists in video games, then the invisible hand of the market will address it. This is a non-issue. So long as the market is free and fair, this "problem" is self-correcting. Unless, of course, you have an agenda that goes beyond addressing market needs.

Wasn't there some study that said that games with female leads were more likely to have way less of a marketing budget?

You'd be hard pressed to find a good list of 10 AAA games with female protagonists this gen. Tomb Raider and Mirror's Edge are all I can think of right now.

Tomb Raider

Mirros Edge

Mass Effect

Bayonetta

Beyond Good and Evil HD

Remmeber me

Heavy Rain

Beyond:

Last of Us (Yes Ellie was the main character)

Dragon Age

Tales of Xilla

Final Fantasy XIII

Final Fantasy FFXIII-2

Final Fantasy Lightning Returns

You want more?

ya

#108 Posted by OurSin_360 (842 posts) -

People have the right to criticize and ask whatever questions they want, no matter how stupid and nonsensical those questions and criticisms are. All this constant straw grasping and unwarranted criticisms are starting to make this whole issue border on self parody.

At the end of the day, we need more female game writers and developers to tell the stories they want to tell, you can't just say "oh this guy must be sexist" because he wrote a male protagonist. It's just petty and unwarranted.

#109 Posted by KentonClay (246 posts) -
#110 Posted by TruthTellah (8721 posts) -

Here's a good followup by Jim to a question that got raised:

http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost.php?p=80882641&postcount=18

Actually, the whole thread is a pretty good indicator of why the Giant Bomb crew seems to pay more attention to neogaf than their own forums and comments sections...

I like that response from Jim, and I'd agree with the sentiment. Many people seem to be fighting for the position of fearing people thinking too much about games and the characters in them, but thinking about every part of a game is good. It can be healthy and bring about better games. We often complain about things getting stale or cliched in gaming, and that's not due to people overthinking things. It's because of a lack of thinking. If we think more about the characters and the games being made, we're likely to get more new than just more of the same. :)

#111 Posted by Milkman (16618 posts) -

Here's a good followup by Jim to a question that got raised:

http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost.php?p=80882641&postcount=18

Actually, the whole thread is a pretty good indicator of why the Giant Bomb crew seems to pay more attention to neogaf than their own forums and comments sections...

I'm not much of a NeoGAF fan but I think it really benefits from putting up barriers so not any asshole can just waltz in and fart their useless opinion into the wind. Maybe Giant Bomb could benefit from a similar practice.

#112 Posted by yinstarrunner (1185 posts) -

It's very interesting that a lot of people really, really want games to be seen as art, but aren't willing to let creators dictate who their OWN PROTAGONIST is. That's, you know, a huge part of storytelling, and it's not as easy as flipping a switch.

The strange thing about games is that, sometimes, the creators can let the player decide who they want the protagonist to be. Especially in Western RPGs. There's nothing wrong with that, but it leads to a different focus in the storytelling, where the protagonist is forced into less of a focused role. The protagonist is you (or who you choose to create), and you already know who you are, so the creator has to give up the storytelling angle of finding out more about the main character. There can be no uncovering of motivations, and more importantly, no meaningful CHANGE in a character that is simply... you. Change is an important part of a story, by the way.

The problem is, people see games like Skyrim, or Mass Effect, that take on this new style of story-telling that can only be found in games. Suddenly, they assume that every character in every game needs to represent them. But sometimes games decide to take on a more traditional story-telling role. There's nothing wrong with that, and people need to accept it. Having a set protagonist can do great things for a story. And yes, even something as "simple" as changing the gender of a character can cause a profound shift in what that story is trying to accomplish.

People should be asking for better character writing in video games, not bullying the creators into meeting some imaginary quota.

#113 Posted by Fattony12000 (7267 posts) -

I want more sentient erogenous clouds as protagonists in my video games.

#114 Edited by Darji (5294 posts) -

@oursin_360 said:

People have the right to criticize and ask whatever questions they want, no matter how stupid and nonsensical those questions and criticisms are. All this constant straw grasping and unwarranted criticisms are starting to make this whole issue border on self parody.

At the end of the day, we need more female game writers and developers to tell the stories they want to tell, you can't just say "oh this guy must be sexist" because he wrote a male protagonist. It's just petty and unwarranted.

There are quite a few out there but they are also mostly writing stories with a male character. Why? Because that is still the main market for games. ALso asking questions is totally fine but after they answered your question even if its "because I want to" you should stop asking or even worst judge the game because of this and also his answer. And that is what people do not get. For example: GTAV director was asked why it has to be 3 male characters and this was his answer.

"the concept of being masculine was so key to this story".

So normally it should be all over but it is not and that is the problem.

#115 Posted by AlexanderSheen (4965 posts) -

@darji said:

@oursin_360 said:

People have the right to criticize and ask whatever questions they want, no matter how stupid and nonsensical those questions and criticisms are. All this constant straw grasping and unwarranted criticisms are starting to make this whole issue border on self parody.

At the end of the day, we need more female game writers and developers to tell the stories they want to tell, you can't just say "oh this guy must be sexist" because he wrote a male protagonist. It's just petty and unwarranted.

There are quite a few out there but they are also mostly writing stories with a male character. Why? Because that is still the main market for games. ALso asking questions is totally fine but after they answered your question even if its "because I want to" you should stop asking or even worst judge the game because of this and also his answer. And that is what people do not get. For example: GTAV director was asked why it has to be 3 male characters and this was his answer.

"the concept of being masculine was so key to this story".

So normally it should be all over but it is not and that is the problem.

"The concept of being masculine?" Oh... I see, becuase there isn't a concept for "masculine females." That right, women in the military, you suck ass!

#116 Edited by Darji (5294 posts) -

@alexandersheen said:

@darji said:

@oursin_360 said:

People have the right to criticize and ask whatever questions they want, no matter how stupid and nonsensical those questions and criticisms are. All this constant straw grasping and unwarranted criticisms are starting to make this whole issue border on self parody.

At the end of the day, we need more female game writers and developers to tell the stories they want to tell, you can't just say "oh this guy must be sexist" because he wrote a male protagonist. It's just petty and unwarranted.

There are quite a few out there but they are also mostly writing stories with a male character. Why? Because that is still the main market for games. ALso asking questions is totally fine but after they answered your question even if its "because I want to" you should stop asking or even worst judge the game because of this and also his answer. And that is what people do not get. For example: GTAV director was asked why it has to be 3 male characters and this was his answer.

"the concept of being masculine was so key to this story".

So normally it should be all over but it is not and that is the problem.

"The concept of being masculine?" Oh... I see, becuase there isn't a concept for "masculine females." That right, women in the military, you suck ass!

See? That is what I mean. It is his call and if he feels like it you should give it a rest but people don't and that is the problem Jim is talking about. You don't even know the story and how it all plays out but you still try to make it like it is a bad decision or answer. Also the army has nothing to do if you are masculine or not.

#117 Posted by Marokai (2865 posts) -

I'm willing to give Jim the benefit of the doubt that he wasn't trying to stir shit around with this point, but to me (and I did watch the video, for the record; I try to watch the Jimquisition every week anyway) it seems incredibly disingenuous. "I'm not saying your game is sexist/racist/homophobic, but people should be able to call your game sexist/racist/homophobic, and if you responded in a snippy way about it, well wouldn't that be telling, hmmm?"

On the one hand, yeah, duh, freedom of speech all around. But on the other hand, this is the Anita-Sarkeesian-attacking-Spelunky problem all over again; by giving license to random people to fling out incredibly serious accusations against games willy nilly, you are legitimizing every single complaint that goes a game developers way, no matter how much of a stretch, knowing full well that they're obviously questions meant to put a person on the defensive, and then concern trolling whenever a developer doesn't respond with a smile and a nod every time someone implies their game is "part of the problem" somehow.

Of course that's going to be offensive to them. Look at Rockstar explaining (very well, in my opinion) that the core of the story of GTA V is all about men past their prime who feel compelled to create a masculine image about themselves to live in the world of crime. Who feel like they have to keep going to provide for their families because it's all they know how to do. Rockstar isn't dicking around or not taking their story serious. They took the time to explain how much time they spent out on the ground doing field research, talking to gangs and law enforcement, and came away from all of that wanting to really tell that story. The game, for all we know, could speak negatively of how that drive to be "manly" and "provide for their families" ultimately ruined their lives, subverting the trope that everyone's getting freaked out about.

But instead, they said the word "masculine" and so the internet social justice warriors freak out again. "OH SO YOU'RE SAYING WOMEN CAN'T BE MASCULINE?" "OH WHAT, DO YOU THINK WOMEN CAN'T BE THE PROVIDER FOR THEIR FAMILIES?" and on and on. Rockstar aren't the fucking bad guys here, but because people are getting encouraged over and over again to read way too deep into things, and over think every word that comes out of a developer's mouth looking for something to get outraged at, this is where we are, and why we can't have nice things. Perpetual outrage doesn't get us anywhere, and if you're sitting around doing nothing but harassing people on twitter saying "Well why doesn't ___ have a female protagonist? HUH? WHY?!" then perpetually outraged is all you'll ever be.

#118 Edited by AlexanderSheen (4965 posts) -

@darji said:

@alexandersheen said:

@darji said:

@oursin_360 said:

People have the right to criticize and ask whatever questions they want, no matter how stupid and nonsensical those questions and criticisms are. All this constant straw grasping and unwarranted criticisms are starting to make this whole issue border on self parody.

At the end of the day, we need more female game writers and developers to tell the stories they want to tell, you can't just say "oh this guy must be sexist" because he wrote a male protagonist. It's just petty and unwarranted.

There are quite a few out there but they are also mostly writing stories with a male character. Why? Because that is still the main market for games. ALso asking questions is totally fine but after they answered your question even if its "because I want to" you should stop asking or even worst judge the game because of this and also his answer. And that is what people do not get. For example: GTAV director was asked why it has to be 3 male characters and this was his answer.

"the concept of being masculine was so key to this story".

So normally it should be all over but it is not and that is the problem.

"The concept of being masculine?" Oh... I see, becuase there isn't a concept for "masculine females." That right, women in the military, you suck ass!

See? That is what I mean. It is his call and if he feels like it you should give it a rest buit people don't and that is the problem Jim is talking about.

I was sarcastic... The reason that director gave was kind of shitty. Game makers have every right to make the game the way they want and I don't have a problem with 3 dudes as protags in GTA V but that reason is not the right one. If he was saying "This is the way we want to tell the story and we don't need to give a reason for every bit of it. So shut up." I would have been okay with that (aside from that last bit, asshole) but, if he really said what you tell me he did, then there could have easily been a female protag.

#119 Edited by OurSin_360 (842 posts) -

@darji said:

@oursin_360 said:

People have the right to criticize and ask whatever questions they want, no matter how stupid and nonsensical those questions and criticisms are. All this constant straw grasping and unwarranted criticisms are starting to make this whole issue border on self parody.

At the end of the day, we need more female game writers and developers to tell the stories they want to tell, you can't just say "oh this guy must be sexist" because he wrote a male protagonist. It's just petty and unwarranted.

There are quite a few out there but they are also mostly writing stories with a male character. Why? Because that is still the main market for games. ALso asking questions is totally fine but after they answered your question even if its "because I want to" you should stop asking or even worst judge the game because of this and also his answer. And that is what people do not get. For example: GTAV director was asked why it has to be 3 male characters and this was his answer.

"the concept of being masculine was so key to this story".

So normally it should be all over but it is not and that is the problem.

yeah the industry is growing more diverse (as far as male and female diversity is concerned anyway) i'm just askign what is the real concern? That males tend to write stories about males? Or does the industry need more of a female voice? Instead of criticizing games that don't deserve it (puppeteer, last of us etc)for not staring a lady instead of a guy, encourage more women to enter the industry and make games and write stories from their perspective. Especially now with the indy space opening up in the mainstream market, now is the time for people to get out there and start making games.

At the end of the day, will you get more stories revolving around male characters because there is a guy in a suit that screams "Ladies don't sell" or is it because, even as the industry is changing, there is still a discrepancy between male and female's in the industry? Like sterling said, do you really want to force people to write your story from your perspective, or write the story they want to tell whether it's a female protaganist or a male. (And i'm not saying a guy can't write believable female characters, i just less likely to happen and a lot harder to do IMO).

I mean i could complain that the only black character in games (and most movies and tv shows as well) are pimps, criminals, cops or comic relief. Basically if it's not a comedy it's something revolving around crime, even the walking dead guy was a criminal in some way. But i don't, because i realize it's mostly non black people writing these shows, instead of complaining about that i would want to get more races, sexes etc in the industry diversifying the perspective of story telling.

#120 Posted by ToxicFruit (1717 posts) -

This just seems incredibly stupid to me.
If the creator wants a male lead he should be allowed to have a male lead with out people questioning his choice and demanding other options.

@meatball said:

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.

I agree completely with this point. Shoehorning a female character into a story for the sake of appeasing everyone would be a bigger insult than not having one to begin with.
Well written female leads is definitely something i want to see more of in games but sadly they are so few and far between that the last game i remember having a well written female protagonist was beyond good and evil.

#121 Posted by Darji (5294 posts) -

This just seems incredibly stupid to me.

If the creator wants a male lead he should be allowed to have a male lead with out people questioning his choice and demanding other options.

@meatball said:

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.

I agree completely with this point. Shoehorning a female character into a story for the sake of appeasing everyone would be a bigger insult than not having one to begin with.

Well written female leads is definitely something i want to see more of in games but sadly they are so few and far between that the last game i remember having a well written female protagonist was beyond good and evil.

To be fair there are not many well written male main characters as well. The problem right now is the bad writing in general not which gender is how often the protagonist.

#122 Edited by Wrighteous86 (3780 posts) -

@nekroskop said:

@ll_exile_ll: Don't have to taste the soup if I know it's shit.

Clearly an educated person with informed opinions.

@darji said:

I would love to see this huge market. Mostly every game with a great female main character like Beyond good and evil. Bayonetta, Mirrors Edge and so on bombed. I wonder why.

Right, it's because they had female leads, not because they were all untested properties trying new things in niche markets. And people are arguing that the "female market" would grow if there were more games that represented them; so your point is pretty weak, too.

Especially since in your next post you list AAA games with big marketing budgets and female leads that sold well! You consistently post the same bullshit and go back and forth on your own arguments in these threads just to complain. You constantly whine about this topic, but you clearly spend more time and effort arguing about it than anyone else. You need to take a long look in the mirror and work out what your issue is, man. Seriously.

@yinstarrunner said:

The problem is, people see games like Skyrim, or Mass Effect, that take on this new style of story-telling that can only be found in games. Suddenly, they assume that every character in every game needs to represent them. But sometimes games decide to take on a more traditional story-telling role. There's nothing wrong with that, and people need to accept it. Having a set protagonist can do great things for a story. And yes, even something as "simple" as changing the gender of a character can cause a profound shift in what that story is trying to accomplish.

You complain about people thinking every protagonist needs to represent them from (I assume) a position of privilege as a (again, assumed) white male where practically every protagonist DOES represent you. Nobody is complaining about authorial intent. They are complaining that seemingly every developer/publisher is so narrow-focused that we are constantly getting the same perspectives. You point out that changing a character's gender can profoundly impact the story and bring that up as a negative, but conversely it can also be a positive. Gaming in general would be stronger, more inclusive, and more interesting if we experienced MORE viewpoints. That's what people are arguing. I'd LIKE to see what it's like to experience some of these stories as another race or a woman or a homosexual or a non-American. I DO think it would change the tone of scenes and impact the story to an extent. I DO think it would broaden my horizons. I DO think the gaming industry as a whole would be better if every game didn't star the equivalent of Brad Pitt or Tom Cruise in every role.

I don't have a problem with them not deciding on putting a woman in GTA V, but I thought it was awesome to play as a Slavic immigrant in GTA IV. It offered a unique tone and plot that we wouldn't have gotten otherwise. Prince of Persia is cool because the main character is relatively unique, same with the some of the Assassin's Creed games and Tomb Raider. These games are MORE enriching because of their unique perspectives, not less so.

You're looking at it as if we want to be PC and water everything down to be "for everyone", when, in fact, we're just asking to get out of this narrow trench and be allowed to fully explore the breadth of the human experience.

Surely, that's not a bad thing? And people complaining and bringing attention to it might help more designers consider other perspectives, other roles, other experiences and stories for their games, making them better in the process.

I do think the complaints about GTA V are just people getting wrapped up with the flow of conversation. While I think a female lead in a GTA would be really interesting (maybe a Michelle Rodriguez dirty-cop type character?), I want them to approach that angle because of inspiration, not obligation. These complaints might get them to more openly consider that path, but I hope they do it only if they have a good idea, and not because it's what the public is "demanding" at this moment.

However, people are being a bit unfair because, despite being a stupid, peurile, criminal simulator, the more recent games in the series have been pretty pro-active at being inclusive of other perspectives (even if they've been stereotyped, which is more in line with the tone of the series than discriminatory, for better or worse). Since the last San Andreas game, they've included black, Slavic immigrant, Asian, Jewish, and Hispanic protagonists, in addition to having increasingly important and fleshed out Middle-Eastern, gay, and female supporting characters. They also showed male full-frontal nudity. Again, they do this more for the shock value and they aren't the most PC of depictions, but it's still pretty admirable, in a way, that they don't shy away from it.

#123 Posted by me3639 (1747 posts) -

im so tired of this stuff

just let it end

Agree.Whining- made in America, sponosored by this generation.

#125 Posted by Brodehouse (9778 posts) -

I ducked out of this thread yesterday to focus on the Kojima thread. I'm more impressed with the level of discourse here than I maybe expected.

Tell me if you can get behind this:

The personal desire to have this kind of protagonist or that kind of protagonist in a game is completely legitimate. For both creator and audience. I might want to have X character, you might want Y.

Preferring a type of character in a single or a wider spectrum is completely legitimate, and creating them is also legitimate.

Changing your creation to meet the demands of your audience is legitimate, and deciding that you are going to make it the way you want is legitimate (though possibly financially dangerous in a competitive market).

Choosing an audience to target for your creation is completely legitimate. If want to make games that I believe X will enjoy or Y will enjoy, it's completely legitimate. No audience is _entitled_ to getting what they want (only what they paid for), but in a competitive market it behooves creators to give an audience what they will enjoy.

Referring to something as sexist/racist/whatever because it does not appeal to you is completely illegitimate, and as unethical as those who are actually sexist or racist or otherwise bigoted.

If I want to play a Zelda game with her as the action-packed protagonist, that's legitimate. And if I think Link is perfectly find as he is, that's legitimate. I am not entitled to them making the game in whichever direction I want, and other people are not entitled to have it made the way they want. These are all subjective opinions, we all are all consumers with different demands, and that our demands aren't met is not grounds for accusations of ethical wrongdoing.

Does this seem like something people can get behind? You can apply this anything in the games, from what gender the protagonist is, to how sexualized or violent or mature the game is, to even what genre it is or how the color palette is. Criticism is subjective, but accusations of unethical behaviour are not. To say your criticism entitles you to accuse others of sexism is no different than saying it entitles you to accuse them of thievery.

Using accusations of sexism or bigotry in order to get what you want is not freedom and not democracy; it's totalitarianism. It is not a market where everyone is free to pursue their desires and creators are free to attempt to meet them halfway (for fun and profit!), it's a demand that Things Must Be The Way I Say, Or I'll Brand You A Criminal. Petty tyranny.

I have no problem with people saying they want more female protagonists, or they enjoyed that this or that game is more unique because it has this or that feature in it most games do not. But I will never tolerate people attempting to strong-arm and bully others to do what they want through social pressure and the court of public opinion. You shouldn't either, because soon enough it'll be used against you.

I used to not care about gun rights, because I didn't want to own a gun. If I didn't want to own a gun, then I didn't see any validity to the arguments of those who did. I just wanted my way independent of what anyone else wanted. I was wrong, and I've committed to not acting like this again. Now when I approach the issue (any issue), I attempt to find the solution which offers the most freedom to the most people, without infringing the freedoms of others. If you want X, use capitalism. Buy games with X, ask for games for X, but attempting to portray X as 'good' and Y as 'bad' is no longer about what you want to please yourself, it's about what you want to please yourself at the expense of anyone who doesn't.

#126 Posted by hinderk (685 posts) -

When is Jim going to learn that sucking up to feminists doesn't mean they'll return the favourto his dick?

I see a lot of thirsty games journalists doing the same thing and most of them are single.

Jim's married so...

#127 Posted by Nekroskop (2786 posts) -

@hinderk: Maybe his wife doesn't put out, so he goes through alternative channels.

#128 Posted by hinderk (685 posts) -

@nekroskop: I think he's also bi or pan, so wouldn't it make more sense to white knight men if all he really wants is sex? No, because this because this "anyone that talking about sexism in the industry just wants sex" augment that some have is fucking stupid.

#129 Posted by Nekroskop (2786 posts) -

@hinderk: It was originally a joke to show how seriously I take this entire topic, but you took the bait.

It's clearly a non-issue that gaming journalists make up to have something to write about except video games. I hope this trend dies down so we can get back to what matters the most: THE ACTUAL GAMES.

Now if you excuse me I'm going to replay 'Gone Home' for the 15th time. Toots!

#130 Posted by Brodehouse (9778 posts) -

As an addendum, of course we're allowed a little hyperbole or exaggeration when we talk about what we like. The other day I said that the card game from Final Fantasy 9 was divine punishment for an evil world. I told someone who enjoyed Assassin's Creed 3 that he was history's greatest monster (BECAUSE HE IS), and that he was wrong and I was right because my God have you played AC3? But I would never launch extremely damaging accusations of moral indecency against Ubisoft Montreal because I wanted it to be more like this or less like that. I'd say I'm probably not going to purchase 4 unless they work out the kinks, and that's fine. They can attempt to appease me to get my bucks, or they can do whatever they want. But I don't get to bang my gavel and cast them as bigots because I wanted more sympathetic Brits or Americans or French or Mohawks (I believe they were Mohawks, their actual name is too long for my Anglo brain to decode).

#131 Posted by CrunchyPickles (62 posts) -

I do think the complaints about GTA V are just people getting wrapped up with the flow of conversation. While I think a female lead in a GTA would be really interesting (maybe a Michelle Rodriguez dirty-cop type character?), I want them to approach that angle because of inspiration, not obligation. These complaints might get them to more openly consider that path, but I hope they do it only if they have a good idea, and not because it's what the public is "demanding" at this moment.

I agree with a lot of your points but I figured I would chime in on this one. The problem with certain "critics" throwing around words like "sexist," "misogynist," "rape apologist," etc. is that it DOES create a sense of obligation. A game designer choosing to make the main character male instead of female has done nothing wrong, and while there is no issue with questioning the decision, there is an issue with calling them sexist, misogynist, etc. for not specifically choosing to make the character female. And that's what a lot of these "critics" are doing now, if for no other reason than to generate revenue regardless of the damage it causes.

I look forward to the day when the main characters of games are naturally more diverse, I really do. But the way to get there is to encourage game creators to diversify their creations, not shame them by putting very nasty labels on them. Designers (at least most of them) who make white/straight/male characters aren't villains, they aren't sexist, they aren't misogynist. They're just trying to make a story. Everyone is free to ask why they chose to make the character the way they did, but there's a stark difference between questioning decisions and vilifying people for said decisions. The sooner people realize that, the sooner creative industries can make REAL progress in this whole clusterfuck.

#132 Posted by hinderk (685 posts) -

As an addendum, of course we're allowed a little hyperbole or exaggeration when we talk about what we like. The other day I said that the card game from Final Fantasy 9 was divine punishment for an evil world. I told someone who enjoyed Assassin's Creed 3 that he was history's greatest monster (BECAUSE HE IS), and that he was wrong and I was right because my God have you played AC3? But I would never launch extremely damaging accusations of moral indecency against Ubisoft Montreal because I wanted it to be more like this or less like that. I'd say I'm probably not going to purchase 4 unless they work out the kinks, and that's fine. They can attempt to appease me to get my bucks, or they can do whatever they want. But I don't get to bang my gavel and cast them as bigots because I wanted more sympathetic Brits or Americans or French or Mohawks (I believe they were Mohawks, their actual name is too long for my Anglo brain to decode).

Can you show me some links of people calling the creators of gta5 or the puppeteer sexist. I've seen a couple of people say that they thought it would be cool if one of the characters in gta was a woman, and this video was the first I've heard of anyone saying anything about the puppeteer. I don't think I've heard anyone call either sexist( and I follow a bunch of "radical" feminist and "white knights").

#133 Edited by Brodehouse (9778 posts) -

@hinderk: No, I can't say I have, but I haven't followed GTA5 closely at all and I was unaware there was a game called Puppeteer until I saw this thread. With all this said, there remains the framing of the idea of diversity as a moral obligation rather than a convenient result of people making choices.

For what it's worth, I thought a female protagonist in GTA5 would've been cool, especially as Wrighteous said, a dirty-cop tough-chick, that could realistically fly in their world (I know enough tough-chick cops, though not many dirty ones). But they're not morally obligated to do that and it would unjust to imply they should. It might make financial sense if they're aiming at a market, it might not make financial sense if there are that many people who respond negatively to female ass-kickers in games. I don't have this data so I don't know. I've always liked lady ass-kickers. Primarily because they break the norm. That doesn't mean the norm is ethically wrong or that ass-kickers are ethically right.

And as the philosopher Jagger once said, "you can't always get what you want". I want a 60 million dollar 70s noir action-RPG made by the best talent from my favorite studios. I'll have to settle for what makes financial sense for creators, unless I can gather enough people to fund that game myself. You know a million people willing to put down a 60 dollar pre-order? We could make it happen.

Also, it's rather discourteous to use double quotations on "radical" and "white knights" as if it were something I had just said. If you want to paraphrase, use a single apostrophe. Even then it's a rather uncharitable interpretation of what I said.

#134 Posted by jerseyscum (870 posts) -

I've said it before, a GTA 5 DLC campaign based on Rachel Lee and the infamous L.A "Bling Ring" would make a FANTASTIC game. Group of vapid, reality TV obsessed Vinewood brats start burglarizing the rich and famous? That sounds like something the Housers and Lazlow would be perfect for.

#135 Posted by Wrighteous86 (3780 posts) -

I agree with a lot of your points but I figured I would chime in on this one. The problem with certain "critics" throwing around words like "sexist," "misogynist," "rape apologist," etc. is that it DOES create a sense of obligation. A game designer choosing to make the main character male instead of female has done nothing wrong, and while there is no issue with questioning the decision, there is an issue with calling them sexist, misogynist, etc. for not specifically choosing to make the character female. And that's what a lot of these "critics" are doing now, if for no other reason than to generate revenue regardless of the damage it causes.

I look forward to the day when the main characters of games are naturally more diverse, I really do. But the way to get there is to encourage game creators to diversify their creations, not shame them by putting very nasty labels on them. Designers (at least most of them) who make white/straight/male characters aren't villains, they aren't sexist, they aren't misogynist. They're just trying to make a story. Everyone is free to ask why they chose to make the character the way they did, but there's a stark difference between questioning decisions and vilifying people for said decisions. The sooner people realize that, the sooner creative industries can make REAL progress in this whole clusterfuck.

Oh I agree. I think most of the people calling people sexist or misogynist are going way too far. They are jumping on a bandwagon and trying to push forward their agenda. However, the benefit of this is that people are re-evaluating the industry and a discussion has started about being more inclusive with our gaming protagonists. So I guess I look on the bright side: people are making harsh accusations and labelling developers, but eventually that will die down and we'll be left with a better perspective on our industry. The fact that people are now thinking about playing a game like GTA as a woman is cool, and hopefully minorities and non-Americans are next. It sucks that it had to come about in such a "controversial" way, and that we have to go through this bullshit now, but in the end, the industry and our games will be better for it.

#136 Posted by hinderk (685 posts) -

@brodehouse: My main problem is that in this instance the only thing that seemed to happen was that some people asked why these games have male leads instead female lead. Other people took this to mean that they were calling the developers sexist when no one even implied that. If you disagree with someone that's fine, just don't put words in their mouth.

I probably shouldn't have intruded the "radical" feminist and "white knights" part. It was more of a jab at those that say that anyone who cares about these issues is a radical feminist or a white knight. I don't think you have said or implied any of these things so I shouldn't have put it in a reply to you. I apologize.

#137 Posted by Brodehouse (9778 posts) -

@wrighteous86: I, on the other hand, cannot advocate for such brutal Machiavellian tactics, even if I believe diversity will give me more of what I want. Actual people are actually harmed by this kind of discourse and I can't justify it by thinking that history will vindicate those who suffered the social damage of being labelled misogynists and sexists by an unruly mob.

For what it's worth, one of my favorite historical figures is John Adams, primarily because he defended the British accused of the so-called 'Boston Massacre', at a time when it was political suicide to do so. He chose justice over pragmatism and I absolutely cherish that he did so.

#138 Posted by Wrighteous86 (3780 posts) -

@brodehouse: Yeah, I'm not really on their side. I don't think the ends justify the means. They're being assholes and they are hurting their own point.

I agree with their goals, but not the ways they are going about them, and I don't agree with the theories and accusations they've made along the way.

Also, I like you.

#139 Posted by Guesty_01 (339 posts) -

I just feel an unusually strong desire to say,

WHO THE FUCK CARES ABOUT ANY OF THIS BULLSHIT.

There, I feel a tiny bit better now.

#140 Edited by Brodehouse (9778 posts) -

@hinderk: The main reason people such as myself have a problem with the question is that it's (intentionally) framed as an ethical question rather than a creative one. "Why don't they" carries the implication "all things being equal, they should." Where this also sticks in the collective craw is that if the situation was reversed, the mere asking of the question would be met with a cascade of heel heat (boos, for those who don't like carny lingo). I emphasize universalism as much as reasonably possible, and in this case, what's considered good for the ganders would not be tolerated applied to the geese. People tend to dislike hypocrisy on a gut level.

And don't worry about the latter, I have a pretty thick skin. "Discorteous" is a word that will enter your vocabulary if you watch more than ten minutes of British parliament Question Period.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-22898327 - hysterical

#141 Posted by Brodehouse (9778 posts) -
#143 Posted by Marokai (2865 posts) -

@hinderk: I'm sure some people are genuinely curious as to why there isn't a female character in GTA V, but the controversy it sparked was bizarre, all because of the word that was used, and there seems to be a new gender-related uproar in the gaming press or on gaming forums every other week, these days. I very much want to see more natural character diversity in video games, but there has to be a line; asking the "why wasn't this character ____ instead of ____" question of every single game ever is a ridiculous path to go down that helps no one.

Being a follower of politics, it reminds me of cheap reporters who will harass a politician with loaded and vaguely offensive questions that are designed to elicit an irritated response to cause a scandal, who justify every line with "I'm just asking questions, sir. People just want to know, sir." etc. Sometimes there just isn't some longwinded reasoning behind why a game like Puppeteer doesn't have a female protagonist, that's just how it ended up.

There's perfectly reasonable criticisms to be made of how women (and minorities, for that matter) are represented in games, but the way the feminist allies in the press just sort of stand by and enable the controversies and harassment of devs to keep happening over and over again is incredibly destructive to arguments for equality, and IMO they should have a responsibility to shoo-away the silly complaints to focus on the bigger and more legitimate ones.

#144 Edited by alwaysbebombing (1556 posts) -

I'm sad that these are the thing people choose to focus their energy on. Such much negativity.

#145 Edited by hinderk (685 posts) -

@marokai: @brodehouse: I'm just not seeing what was wrong with the question. The developer was asked why the protagonist was a boy, and the developer answered. If it was phrased like some of the questions in this Rock, Paper, Shotgun interview I might see were your coming from, but it isn't. It didn't seem like the interviewer was trying to make the developer look bad, he just asked a question.

Where this also sticks in the collective craw is that if the situation was reversed, the mere asking of the question would be met with a cascade of heel heat (boos, for those who don't like carny lingo).

Don't assume what peoples reactions might be if someone asked this question. This sort of goes back to not putting words in people mouth. I also wouldn't be surprised if a developer has already been asked this question in the past given how uncommon female protagonist are compared to male protagonist (though I obviously have no proof that anyone has asked this question before).

There's perfectly reasonable criticisms to be made of how women (and minorities, for that matter) are represented in games, but the way the feminist allies in the press just sort of stand by and enable the controversies and harassment of devs to keep happening over and over again is incredibly destructive to arguments for equality, and IMO they should have a responsibility to shoo-away the silly complaints to focus on the bigger and more legitimate ones.

I can't think of any developers have really been harassed by fans because of gender issues. People have obviously had some problems with how women are depicted in some games, but most of the criticism seems to be aimed more at the actual games then at the developers. I'm guessing some get the typical hate anyone gets when they say or do things some don't agree with, but I don't know if any of it is serious enough to be labeled harassment. Though it is possible that I just haven't seen or noticed these developers getting harassed.

#146 Posted by Brodehouse (9778 posts) -

@hinderk said:

I can't think of any developers have really been harassed by fans because of gender issues.

I can think of one in just the last week. I'm sure others will bombard you with more.

For my part though I need to move on with my day, but have a good one!

#147 Posted by GERALTITUDE (3189 posts) -

More games should have female leads in them but no way does every game need an option for both male and female. Sometimes the story the creator wants involves a man, sometimes it involves a woman and sometimes it doesn't matter. End of story.

#148 Posted by Fattony12000 (7267 posts) -

#149 Posted by hinderk (685 posts) -

@hinderk said:

I can't think of any developers have really been harassed by fans because of gender issues.

I can think of one in just the last week. I'm sure others will bombard you with more.

For my part though I need to move on with my day, but have a good one!

By harassed I meant more like what happened to Phil Fish, Jennifer Hepler or even the hate that Mike from penny arcade is receiving now. One industry person insulting a developer once doesn't really count as harassment to me. I can think of a bunch of examples of one person in the industry insulting another because of gender issues, but I can't think of any that have been constantly attack by a large group of people( the group doesn't have to be as large as the examples above, but it should be more than just a handful of people.).

I know your done with the thread, just wanted to put that out there so others that want to respond can see it. Also thanks for being civil, even though you disagree with me.

#150 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -