#1 Posted by AwkwardLoser (8 posts) -

After playing through Bioshock 3 I got the same feeling I got in Walking Dead, I felt designers choose cute or lovely female characters to be the ones in distress because there seems that there'd be no sympathy for a male character in that situation or an unattractive woman. Let’s imagine Clementine and Duck from the Walking Dead game switched roles would that effect the narrative would we feel for a 12 year old boy the way we would n 8 year old girl? If Liz of Bioshock where a guy would the need to protect him be there even if his personality was the same? What if Liz was “fat” or homely or even kind of butch looking would our feelings for the character change?

Do you feel that this feeling is due to the expendability of men in action entertainment, most mooks are gonna be guys who get gunned down at random and if anyone is going to make the heroic or idiotic sacrifice it's generally gonna be a guy. The latest Tomb Raider feature only male enemies and all but one male characters die is it wrong to feel weird about that? Could this all be a remnant of the "save the women and children" days? I should clarify I'm not trying to be a troll or be the person who makes an issue where one doesn't exist and I hope I'm not coming across that way. I'm really just curious on this topic.

#2 Edited by joshthebear (2700 posts) -

#3 Edited by RPGee (759 posts) -

EDIT: This is all I'm putting here, because to actually answer that would be to ignore all the sort of positive progression done in regards to sexism these past few decades.

#4 Edited by The_Laughing_Man (13629 posts) -

I think Liz is the hero in Infinite. How many times did she go down? How many times did she have to get ammo or health or salts tossed to her? How many times did SHE give Booker money? Who is the one with limitless powers?

#5 Posted by EnduranceFun (1114 posts) -

It's a double standard, but not one that the biased games press will ever acknowledge.

#6 Edited by JasonR86 (9365 posts) -

@awkwardloser:

That's a lot of questions dude.

-I did feel for Duck the same way I felt for Clementine and felt much more sad for that kid then Clementine after he's bit, watches his mother commit suicide, and then has to be shot dead. It comes down the fact that I felt bad for both because they were children not that one was a girl and the other was a boy.

-I didn't feel like I needed to protect Elizabeth because she was a woman. In fact, I didn't feel the need to protect her at all because, in terms of gameplay and story, she didn't need protecting. She had that shit covered. If it were a man in her spot I would still feel the same way. If gameplay-wise I had to protect Elizabeth and Elizabeth were a man then I would still feel like 'hey, I need to protect him'. But that man probably wouldn't be written that way because we live in a world where male characters are rarely written as weak if they are mainstay, important characters. Which is dumb because it shouldn't matter.

-How Elizabeth looked had, and would not have had if she looked different, no impact on my interactions with her in the game. I would hope that wouldn't be relevant to anyone. Especially in this particular game. But maybe it is and that's fucking sad.

-Killing off men is easier for an audience to accept then women because men and women are still not considered equal in most regards. Which is dumb. Which is also why I'm glad that Infinite had female enemies (though it really doesn't make sense for the time period they were trying to represent). Because it was dumb that every single fucking character that was bad in Tomb Raider was a man. That's the dumbest thing about that game.

#7 Posted by believer258 (11034 posts) -

On the question of Duck and Clementine, they're both kids and I'd wager that pretty much any society would feel similarly for them just based on the fact that they're kids.

Meanwhile, you can find examples of a male being protective of another male. Wei Shen was pretty protective of Jackie, for instance.

#8 Edited by SpaceInsomniac (3324 posts) -

I think Liz is the hero in Infinite. How many times did she go down? How many times did she have to get ammo or health or salts tossed to her? How many times did SHE give Booker money? Who is the one with limitless powers?

How many times did she run away during a gunfight and hide behind a pillar or around a corner? How many times did she pick up a gun and at least TRY to shoot someone? How often did she wait around for Booker to tell her which tear to open instead of taking action herself?

Not saying that I even disagree with you, and I think she was a great character, but I'm just arguing the other side.

As for the OP, I think The Walking Dead would have been close to the same with Clem and Duck's roles reversed. No one wants to see children suffer, no matter their gender. The trope of male expendability typically begins only after puberty.

Here's a good write up:

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/MenAreTheExpendableGender

"To put it simply: men are neither supposed nor allowed to be dependent. They are expected to take care of others and themselves. And when they cannot or will not do it, then the assumption at the heart of the culture is that they are somehow less than men and therefore unworthy of help. An irony asserts itself: by being in need of help, men forfeit the right to it."

Peter Marin, Jill Gets Welfare--Jack Becomes Homeless

He killed women and children! ...What? What about the men? Why should we care about them?

A sub-trope of the Double Standard. In media, female characters start with automatic audience sympathy because women are seen as moral, innocent, beautiful or simply because they have sexual value. Male characters are less likely to be seen that way and must earn audience sympathy by acting appropriately manly and heroic, which, more often then not, involves saving the Damsel in Distress.

Conversely, if a man is unable to take care of himself or others he forfeits audience sympathy. Women, on the other hand, do not lose audience sympathy—or at least not as much—for being helpless, incompetent or abandoning men to their fates in order to save themselves. Strangely, this can still hold true if the woman in question has already been established as a Badass. See Chickification.

#9 Posted by StarvingGamer (7547 posts) -
@jasonr86 said:

It was dumb that every single fucking character that was bad in Tomb Raider was a man. That's the dumbest thing about that game.

Really? I think that made perfect sense in the context of the storyline. All the bad-guys were either mystical ancient Japanese soldiers so of course they're all male, or followers of this fucking crazy guy who tries to turn every woman he can get his hands on into a new vessel for Himiko. The tone of the game made it pretty clear that their flowchart read something like: find woman > sacrifice/rape. They become a society of strength and brutality under the lead of a psychopath.

#10 Edited by JasonR86 (9365 posts) -

@jasonr86 said:

It was dumb that every single fucking character that was bad in Tomb Raider was a man. That's the dumbest thing about that game.

Really? I think that made perfect sense in the context of the storyline. All the bad-guys were either mystical ancient Japanese soldiers so of course they're all male, or followers of this fucking crazy guy who tries to turn every woman he can get his hands on into a new vessel for Himiko. The tone of the game made it pretty clear that their flowchart read something like: find woman > sacrifice/rape. They become a society of strength and brutality under the lead of a psychopath.

It was just odd. I mean every, single, goddamn character I shot dead was a man? I guess it was because I brought all this outside stuff about sexism into the game with me even if I tried not to because that stuff shouldn't detract from the experience of the game. But at points I was sucked out of the game with the thought "boy I'm killing a lot of dudes." It's like the problem with WWII games where it seems like there's an endless supply of Nazis for me as the player to shoot. So it wasn't just that there were no woman to be found on the bad-person side but that there were just so many. But it was also dumb that I was just killing dudes none stop and no one else. Which I get why it fits the story but that doesn't make it less dumb to me. I mean is Lara just going to become a serial killer of men in each game in this new rebooted franchise? It didn't make me dislike the game at all. But it was kind of silly regardless.

#11 Edited by StarvingGamer (7547 posts) -

@jasonr86: That's a level of silliness that's inherent to any action game where the primary enemies are humans. Male, female, it doesn't matter. When you're killing literally hundreds of dudes it's always going to be silly if you look at it hard enough. Trying to shoehorn women into this scenario would only make it more silly.

Don't get me wrong, I'm an equal opportunity murderer. But in the context of Tomb Raider, the enemies, as they are, make perfect thematic sense. Adding women just for what, equality's sake?, would have shattered the already tenuous hold they had on their narrative and resulted in a significantly dumber game.

#12 Posted by JasonR86 (9365 posts) -

@jasonr86: That's a level of silliness that's inherent to any action game where the primary enemies are humans. Male, female, it doesn't matter. When you're killing literally hundreds of dudes it's always going to be silly if you look at it hard enough. Trying to shoehorn women into this scenario would only make it more silly.

Don't get me wrong, I'm an equal opportunity murderer. But in the context of Tomb Raider, the enemies, as they are, make perfect thematic sense. Adding women just for what, equality's sake?, would have shattered the already tenuous hold they had on their narrative and resulted in a significantly dumber game.

It's probably a damned if you do damned if you don't scenario. But to that I would say that they need to write a better story that wouldn't allow for such dumb criticisms that are so simple to write around.

#13 Posted by TheDudeOfGaming (6077 posts) -

You privileged prick, how dare you complain about something?

#14 Posted by Tarsier (1052 posts) -

you actually are making a problem where there isnt one. there must be something more worthwhile to get worked up about right now .

#15 Edited by JasonR86 (9365 posts) -

@tarsier said:

you actually are making a problem where there isnt one. there must be something more worthwhile to get worked up about right now .

Taxes? TAXES!

#16 Posted by Sparky_Buzzsaw (5793 posts) -

Maybe I'm weird, but I felt horrible for Duck. I imagine if his and Clem's roles were reversed, I'd have felt just as bad for either character.

Moderator
#17 Edited by StarvingGamer (7547 posts) -

@jasonr86 said:

@starvinggamer said:

@jasonr86: That's a level of silliness that's inherent to any action game where the primary enemies are humans. Male, female, it doesn't matter. When you're killing literally hundreds of dudes it's always going to be silly if you look at it hard enough. Trying to shoehorn women into this scenario would only make it more silly.

Don't get me wrong, I'm an equal opportunity murderer. But in the context of Tomb Raider, the enemies, as they are, make perfect thematic sense. Adding women just for what, equality's sake?, would have shattered the already tenuous hold they had on their narrative and resulted in a significantly dumber game.

It's probably a damned if you do damned if you don't scenario. But to that I would say that they need to write a better story that wouldn't allow for such dumb criticisms that are so simple to write around.

What I'm saying is that complaining about a lack of female enemies in Tomb Raider is not a valid criticism to begin with. There is nothing to write around because not every game needs to feature female enemies.

#18 Edited by JasonR86 (9365 posts) -

@jasonr86 said:

@starvinggamer said:

@jasonr86: That's a level of silliness that's inherent to any action game where the primary enemies are humans. Male, female, it doesn't matter. When you're killing literally hundreds of dudes it's always going to be silly if you look at it hard enough. Trying to shoehorn women into this scenario would only make it more silly.

Don't get me wrong, I'm an equal opportunity murderer. But in the context of Tomb Raider, the enemies, as they are, make perfect thematic sense. Adding women just for what, equality's sake?, would have shattered the already tenuous hold they had on their narrative and resulted in a significantly dumber game.

It's probably a damned if you do damned if you don't scenario. But to that I would say that they need to write a better story that wouldn't allow for such dumb criticisms that are so simple to write around.

What I'm saying is that complaining about a lack of female enemies in Tomb Raider is not a valid criticism to begin with. There is nothing to write around because not every game needs to feature female enemies.

Ok. I can't help that it bothered me. Sue me.

#19 Posted by Humanity (7938 posts) -

@jasonr86 said:

@starvinggamer said:

@jasonr86: That's a level of silliness that's inherent to any action game where the primary enemies are humans. Male, female, it doesn't matter. When you're killing literally hundreds of dudes it's always going to be silly if you look at it hard enough. Trying to shoehorn women into this scenario would only make it more silly.

Don't get me wrong, I'm an equal opportunity murderer. But in the context of Tomb Raider, the enemies, as they are, make perfect thematic sense. Adding women just for what, equality's sake?, would have shattered the already tenuous hold they had on their narrative and resulted in a significantly dumber game.

It's probably a damned if you do damned if you don't scenario. But to that I would say that they need to write a better story that wouldn't allow for such dumb criticisms that are so simple to write around.

What I'm saying is that complaining about a lack of female enemies in Tomb Raider is not a valid criticism to begin with. There is nothing to write around because not every game needs to feature female enemies.

There is a valid reason for why there are no female enemies and why there are in fact no other females on the entire island and it is all plot related.

#20 Edited by Slag (3333 posts) -

@sparky_buzzsaw said:

Maybe I'm weird, but I felt horrible for Duck. I imagine if his and Clem's roles were reversed, I'd have felt just as bad for either character.

That's not weird at all man, I think a lot of people did.

But Duck was little kid so I'm not sure that's what the OP is getting at.

If it had been let's say Ben or even Kenny instead of Duck, I don't know if it would have been as emotionally resonant.

Hate to say at least for me it wouldn't have, I know it should. But I admit I'm old school. I just don't like seeing women and kids suffer, it bothers me.

#21 Posted by shermanatorek (114 posts) -

I saved Doug in TWD, but that was because he was smarter than Carly.