#1 Posted by Zevvion (1840 posts) -

For those that do not know, Deep Down does not feature a playable female character. Some people had taken up arms and heavily criticize this particular aspect of the game as they assumed the game was akin to Dark Souls, and that had you choose between female or male, so why not this game? One particular article stood out in which Brenna Hillier heavily criticized the game. To me, this article almost seemed hateful, with text such as: 'didn't this game look absolutely interesting before Capcom ordered you back into the kitchen'?

It seemed to me like these people were judging out of their own speculation and assumptions, which the developer now attempted to clarify. He came out and said something must have gotten lost in translation, as the game's story is created around one character and he happens to be male. Much like how Uncharted doesn't let you choose a female character or Mirror's Edge doesn't let you choose a male character. It's creative design. To my knowledge, apart from being able to select certain armor and skills, the game doesn't even allow the character to be customized at all (as in facial appearance, skin pigment and such); but I could be wrong about that. I just haven't seen anything like that anywhere, yet some people just assume it is there.

What do you think about this whole situation? You can click here to read one of the more recent articles about this. The link to the article I mentioned earlier by Brenna is also in there if you want to read it.

I really think that creative vision shouldn't be dictated. If they want Lara to be female so that the story context reflects her relationship with her mentor and farther, then they should go for it. If the story is good and makes sense, that is up to be criticized, but I feel that criticizing that she can only be female is not a valid point. Inversely, I also think the same about Uncharted where Drake is male, Gears of War where Marcus is male and Mirror's Edge where Faith is female. I think criticizing articles like Hillier wrote are bad form.

I'd love to know what you guys think though.

#2 Posted by BeachThunder (11795 posts) -

That sounds like a silly article...

#3 Posted by Darji (5294 posts) -

It should be the decision of the people who make this game and no one else should interfere. If they do not care about the female demographic or in this case people who want to play a female character it is their decision to do so. One thing though. The article who started all this was absolutely awful and another example why this topic is not taken more seriously by people.

#5 Posted by Addfwyn (1917 posts) -

I don't think you necessarily need to be able to play any possible combination of race, gender, or sexuality in any video game ever made. It sounds like they just assumed a LOT about this game in advance. We don't know that it is an open-ended type game where the character doesn't matter for the story. I mean, they COULD have a legitimate argument here, that they make be able to criticize after the game actually comes out, but we hardly know at this point.

While I am all for more minorities to be represented, I don't want developers shoe-horning things in to try to appeal to every last possibly person. Maybe because I moved from a country where I was the majority in most things to a country where I am a minority, but I have learned to be pretty sparing about my outrage at these types of things. Save it for where it is called for.

#6 Posted by Fattony12000 (7253 posts) -

I do really like some of the stuff that she has "Developer" say in that conversation at the bottom of the piece:

  • Publisher: Good lord, I did not know women could do maths!
  • Developer: I did, but then again, I have met several women. My mother was one, as is my sister.
  • Developer: I too, can do maths. I once mathed for England.
#7 Posted by Darji (5294 posts) -

@addfwyn said:

I don't think you necessarily need to be able to play any possible combination of race, gender, or sexuality in any video game ever made. It sounds like they just assumed a LOT about this game in advance. We don't know that it is an open-ended type game where the character doesn't matter for the story. I mean, they COULD have a legitimate argument here, that they make be able to criticize after the game actually comes out, but we hardly know at this point.

While I am all for more minorities to be represented, I don't want developers shoe-horning things in to try to appeal to every last possibly person. Maybe because I moved from a country where I was the majority in most things to a country where I am a minority, but I have learned to be pretty sparing about my outrage at these types of things. Save it for where it is called for.

No they did not assume it in the original article. She straight up accused the developer or Capcom as Sexist because there is no female option in the game. You really should read the original one if you want to have a good laugh.

http://www.vg247.com/2014/02/17/deep-down-the-rabbit-hole-of-ingrained-games-industry-sexism/

Criticizing a game is one thing. This however is not.

#8 Posted by TobbRobb (4588 posts) -

I'm pretty bummed it isn't an option.

But come on. Don't be crazy people.

#9 Posted by MooseyMcMan (10821 posts) -

I think we should wait until the game is actually out before deciding whether it's sexist or not. Personally, I don't mind, because I almost always play as a dude when given the choice anyway.

I did read through Hiller's article, and while she makes some good points, I think she's jumping the gun a bit here. For all we know, this could actually be a game with a lot of story in it, and that one male character is integral to that story. It's possible. I personally doubt it, given the free-to-play nature of the game, but it's possible.

Moderator
#10 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

It's a cost thing. Doubles the voicework. If done right, it doubles the efforts on animations too. Same goes for the modelling of armor and such. Deep Down is supposed to be a work-in-progress, like all Free 2 Play games are supposed to be. Given enough success, eventually there will be Female characters for the game, because obviously some people would like to pay for such a thing.

Also 'eff militant feminists.

#11 Edited by Crysack (301 posts) -

"Go ahead and bleat about misandry, you worms; I’ll enjoy a tasty cup of your male tears"

Yeah, okay, who the hell gives the go ahead for articles like this to be run?

#12 Posted by Humanity (9013 posts) -

I don't see how it detracts from the quality of the game, of course I say this from a male perspective. I'd say that I have no problem with playing as a female in tomb Raider or Remember Me, but I assume the response would be an overwhelming chorus of "thats not the same thing!"

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#13 Posted by cmblasko (1176 posts) -

Why wouldn't you want to isolate 50% of potential customers right out of the gate?

#14 Posted by FriendlyPhoenix (380 posts) -

This is getting fucking ridiculous. Developers aren't obligated to shove gender options into every goddamn game they make. We have absolutely no idea what Deep Down actually is, maybe having a male lead makes complete sense. Or maybe that was just what the developers want to do, for whatever reason(probably a cost thing. Because, you know, assets are expensive). Either way, it's not sexist or misogynistic or whatever word game journalists are misusing now. Shit like this is why people don't take this whole feminist movement going on in the industry seriously. For every legitimate claim there are ten laughable pieces of bullshit like this.

#15 Edited by MikeFerrari7 (187 posts) -

I'm a bit frustrated about this. I think developers have no obligation to cater to everybody, and should be able to make the game they want. They shouldn't need any kind of reason or justification either. I can tell you this, shoehorning in females for the sake of not getting criticized for it is how we will end up seeing terrible female characters in games, I guarantee it.

I personally find this fad of demanding meaningful characters that are female, gay, whatever, to be ridiculous and endlously aggravating. I don't say this because I'm against it, but I think it should come naturally. The characters that come naturally, like Ellie, or the girl from Gone Home, those are the ones who make an impact. When you try too hard to create that, you get Lara Croft...

#16 Posted by Viking_Funeral (1757 posts) -

If there is one thing I have learned in my studies of feminism is that a lot of people who call themselves feminists disagree with a lot of other people who call themselves feminists.

There's a joke to be made there, but I don't know if this hornet's next needs to be poked further.

#17 Posted by Zevvion (1840 posts) -

@cmblasko said:

Why wouldn't you want to isolate 50% of potential customers right out of the gate?

I don't think they do? Tomb Raider was also played by males. I have no numbers (I doubt anyone does), but as far as I can pick up from my surroundings, message boards and critics: just as many guys loved that game as they did other similar games that feature a male protagonist within the same game quality. Having no option to play as a man doesn't mean men can't and won't play that game. I'm only assuming it works the same the other way around, but maybe there is a double standard here.

I do really like some of the stuff that she has "Developer" say in that conversation at the bottom of the piece:

  • Publisher: Good lord, I did not know women could do maths!
  • Developer: I did, but then again, I have met several women. My mother was one, as is my sister.
  • Developer: I too, can do maths. I once mathed for England.

Isn't that totally crazy though? She was going purely on her own assumption that doesn't appear to be true and then basically insinuated that the publisher and developer are sexist pigs for not having a playable female option in their game where the story is designed around one person. I really just don't understand. I think it's crazy.

#18 Edited by ShaggE (6401 posts) -

Controversy for the sake of controversy. There's zero reason to target Deep Down as if it were the first game without a female protagonist.

Of course, if these false controversies have taught me anything, it's that discussion is a waste of breath. These people are never interested in discourse or even a solution; they just want something to be pissed off about, and anybody who disagrees with them is a misogynist.

Ironically, stuff like this takes away from the real instances of sexism.

#19 Posted by Darji (5294 posts) -

@cmblasko said:

Why wouldn't you want to isolate 50% of potential customers right out of the gate?

That is bullshit. You do not isolate 50% of potential customers just because you can not play as a female character. Just like anyone else said There are male and female lead characters and yes while you maybe isolate some people who does not want to play as another gender. Most people do not even care that much at all. Women are not playing as much videogames as males because they can not play as a female character. Women play in general less videogames than men because it is not as interesting for them.

#20 Posted by Zevvion (1840 posts) -

@shagge said:

Controversy for the sake of controversy. There's zero reason to target Deep Down as if it were the first game without a female protagonist.

Of course, if these false controversies have taught me anything, it's that discussion is a waste of breath. These people are never interested in discourse or even a solution; they just want something to be pissed off about, and anybody who disagrees with them is a misogynist.

Ironically, stuff like this takes away from the real instances of sexism.

Completely agree. Real sexism is awful, but I feel issues such as these really aren't worthy of the word. They also seem to go hand in hand with double standards all over. I have no respect for it.

#21 Posted by Milkman (16618 posts) -

I think the part that a lot of people are missing here is that, according to that article, the game has 12 (!) playable characters. It's not like there is a story written for one specific male character. I guess there could be a story reason why only these 12 dudes could possibly make sense in the story but I have my doubts on that one.

In the end, developers are not obligated to have any characters of any gender or race or sexual orientation that they don't want to have. And that's fine. But they have to be prepared for people to ask these kind of questions.

#22 Posted by Icemael (6314 posts) -

All these people who whine about the lack of female playable characters in Deep Down, Might No. 9 etc. only betray how little they actually care about video games. You have to wonder if they even play games at all. I mean, how into games can someone be who looks at an action game about hitting dragons with your sword and says "this game is not interesting to me because I can't make it so my character has tits"?

#23 Posted by LikeaSsur (1507 posts) -

*sigh*

Well, time to throw out my copies of Uncharted, Bioshock, Nier, Gears of War, Spec Ops, DisHonored, Shadow of the Colossus, God of War, Half Life, F.E.A.R., Ico, Batman: Arkham Asylum, Catherine, Resistance, Devil May Cry, Puppeteer, Rayman 2, Metal Gear Rising, Sonic the Hedgehog, Super Mario Galaxy, No More Heroes, and Dead Rising, because they don't have playable female characters.

Honestly, this is why the feminist movement isn't taken seriously.

#25 Posted by hollitz (1496 posts) -

@zevvion said:

I'd love to know what you guys think though.

I don't think you're going to get a very good discussion on this subject from a site whose user base is predominately males under 30. If you'd love to read real discussion on the matter, it's out there. If you want a choir to preach to, then by all means, continue.

#26 Edited by Zevvion (1840 posts) -

@milkman said:

I think the part that a lot of people are missing here is that, according to that article, the game has 12 (!) playable characters. It's not like there is a story written for one specific male character. I guess there could be a story reason why only these 12 dudes could possibly make sense in the story but I have my doubts on that one.

In the end, developers are not obligated to have any characters of any gender or race or sexual orientation that they don't want to have. And that's fine. But they have to be prepared for people to ask these kind of questions.

I think you didn't fully read it. I'll quote:

"From our overseas firm, there was big misconception in an article claiming that there were 12 main characters in Deep Down, all of them male," Sugiura said.

"As the person in charge on the development side, I'd like to explain the matter.

"There is one male main character in Deep Down. The story is being developed around him and his surrounding Ravens comrades.

"At the moment, an overseas release hasn't been decided, but I am grateful for the attention Deep Down is receiving.

"Please look out for more information in the future."

#27 Edited by Darji (5294 posts) -

@hollitz said:

@zevvion said:

I'd love to know what you guys think though.

I don't think you're going to get a very good discussion on this subject from a site whose user base is predominately males under 30. If you'd love to read real discussion on the matter, it's out there. If you want a choir to preach to, then by all means, continue.

Yeah that is the reason. Because male under 30 and maybe even white have no right to say that this is bullshit and a very toxic article. But ok go to any other forum or site on the internet but I doubt you will find any "real" discussion about this article. Maybe just maybe people are just getting really really tired about these click bait articles.

#28 Edited by expensiveham (290 posts) -

This is fucking stupid.. Who cares? I am so sick of modern day game journalism, stop giving these people attention.

#29 Edited by Brodehouse (9770 posts) -

We've already validated the idea that not making a game with a female protagonist, or not making a game with a female protagonist that feminist game writers are comfortable with, means that you're a sexist. We went over this and the community overwhelmingly agreed with it. What changed? Is it because she's going after one of the cool games?

#30 Edited by Zevvion (1840 posts) -

@hollitz said:

@zevvion said:

I'd love to know what you guys think though.

I don't think you're going to get a very good discussion on this subject from a site whose user base is predominately males under 30. If you'd love to read real discussion on the matter, it's out there. If you want a choir to preach to, then by all means, continue.

I'm not sure I understand. If it takes women to tell what is sexist and what isn't, then we are all in deep trouble. The GiantBomb community is one of the more reasonable gaming communities that I know of. I was just interested in what reasonable people would think. I'm a male under 30, but I'm still very capable of treating women as the equals they are. I can only assume you guys do that as well. Hence, I don't understand why this couldn't lead to thoughts on this subject being shared.

#31 Posted by Wilshere (291 posts) -

@crysack said:

"Go ahead and bleat about misandry, you worms; I’ll enjoy a tasty cup of your male tears"

Yeah, okay, who the hell gives the go ahead for articles like this to be run?

Its controversial, it attracts attention, it generates ad revenue.

#32 Posted by cmblasko (1176 posts) -

IMO there is a difference between stepping into the shoes of a predefined character such as Lara Croft vs. playing as a crafted character. Only allowing males to be created sends the message that the game is meant to be played by men and that its not worth the effort to present a balanced experience for females.

Just my viewpoint, but If there was a game where you could only create female avatars I know I would be a lot less likely to play it.

Nearly half of all gamers are female. It's long past time to start building games with that fact in mind.

#33 Edited by Darji (5294 posts) -

@zevvion: I think part of the problem is that a feminist in general think that if you are not a feminist you are a terrible person and should have no say in these matters at all. So everything you say against something like that will end in. "You are a white straight male. Check your privileges." Or in this case you are a young male and have no clue about the world.

#34 Posted by alwaysbebombing (1554 posts) -

I think it's ok if someone chooses to not have a female protag, in the same way it's ok for people to not have a male protag. Is that a bad thing?

#35 Edited by Zevvion (1840 posts) -

@cmblasko: Right, but you can't create a character. The character is the character. You can give him different sets of armor that has different stats and abilities, but that's it. There doesn't appear to be any facial customization for instance, so it seems to be a character like Lara that is, as you said, predefined.

That said, information about all of this stuff is just scarce. Maybe some news will eventually come out that does state you can alter the character's appearance, but right now there is no official mention of it. It's just something that the article of Brenna assumed and doesn't appear to actually exist. Truthfully, if I were to be able to change some facial features, hair style, skin pigment and maybe a slider for body weight for Lara in the latest Tomb Raider, I wouldn't demand a male option still. It's obviously a story about Lara. Whether that story works or not. And I dare bet people like Brenna also wouldn't have complained about no male option if you were able to change some of Lara's appearance features.

#36 Edited by SlashDance (1812 posts) -

"Go ahead and bleat about misandry, you worms; I’ll enjoy a tasty cup of your male tears"

#37 Posted by expensiveham (290 posts) -

@cmblasko said:

Nearly half of all gamers are female. It's long past time to start building games with that fact in mind.

Do you think everyone that is a "gamer" buys every game? Just because my aunt plays Candy Crush does not mean she is going to pick up Dark Souls 2 or Deep Down. There are different audiences and demographics that enjoy different sort of games, stop acting like "gamers" is one big group and every game has a 50% female playerbase.

#38 Posted by SharkEthic (1041 posts) -

I think this very angry lady might be hurting her own cause.

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#39 Edited by Darji (5294 posts) -

@cmblasko: We had this argument a dozen time but the question here is what are they playing and for a conclusion is that most women play iphone and tablet stuff instead the core games.. We also have sales evidences that most games except Tomb Raider, which back then was sold a sexobject at least in Europe, which feature a female lead character are not selling well at all.

Personally I do not mind if I play as a male or female character. Especially in story heavy games. What I care about is playing as a human being and not a supermachine in the end. I do not like bulky characters for example and I want more humanity with my characters but the last thing I care about is if I am playing a female male, black, Asian or whatever character.

With games like Skyrim it is a different matter but If a developer says there are no female characters, or black, or white or males in there I can totally respect the decsion. Still you can criticize this decision but do not go out on an insult spree like she did. Because this makes no one take her seriously.

#40 Edited by ArtisanBreads (3788 posts) -

Game with nonsensical story doesn't allow female characters to maintain balance on how dumb it's story is.

@slashdance said:

"Go ahead and bleat about misandry, you worms; I’ll enjoy a tasty cup of your male tears"

Wow the part of this sentence about male tears might not even be the most embarrassing part of it. Gross.

#41 Edited by Milkman (16618 posts) -

@zevvion: I was talking about the original article from Gamasutra, not the one in OP. (Probably shouldn't have said "that article".) But yeah, if that's true that's there only 1 playable character, I take back what I said and I'm sure most people would have much less of an issue with that. Seems like a big thing for the original article to fuck up though...

#42 Posted by Demoskinos (14722 posts) -

See here is where I have a problem with all of this shouting about women's representation in games. Were going to see this everytime the developers decide not to include female characters in games. This is the same discussion that was around GTA V that story was built with 3 guys in mind I'm going to assume that the Deep Down creators built the story with all men in mind. Demanding representation in every god damn piece of media that comes out isn't how it works people. Christ.

#43 Edited by samsonbarabbas (32 posts) -

Soon enough the score at the bottom of every videogame review isn't going to represent "entertaining or not", but "sexist or not".

#44 Edited by Fredchuckdave (5352 posts) -

Hey, as long as there's a "Male-female" slider I'm happy.

#45 Posted by MEATBALL (3155 posts) -

I'm a disgusting privileged white male so obviously I have no problem with Capcom deciding to have a single playable character in its game and that this character is male.

#46 Edited by Aviar (424 posts) -

I think it's the developers choice as to what type of character they have in the game. Maybe they didn't have time to draw the additional characters and animation. There may be a legitimate reason for it.

I'm not sure I agree with leaving a female character out of a game like this, but I'm not going to lose any sleep over it. If people really are that upset over this, they just need to speak with their wallets, or purses, and not buy the game.

#47 Edited by Brodehouse (9770 posts) -

image

#48 Posted by slyspider (1185 posts) -

Would much rather not be able to play as a female than the playable female be some sex'd up icon.

#49 Posted by Animasta (14667 posts) -

I see this topic has gone to great places already

#50 Posted by cmblasko (1176 posts) -

@zevvion said:

@cmblasko: Right, but you can't create a character. The character is the character. You can give him different sets of armor that has different stats and abilities, but that's it. There doesn't appear to be any facial customization for instance, so it seems to be a character like Lara that is, as you said, predefined.

I didn't realize that, I thought that it was going to work similar to Dragon's Dogma where you create an avatar to control. I don't really have an issue with this choice if that's the case.

I'm fine with games targeting a niche audience, that's not my argument.

@darji said:

@cmblasko: We also have sales evidences that most games except Tomb Raider, which back then was sold a sexobject at least in Europe, which feature a female lead character are not selling well at all.

...

Still you can criticize this decision but do not go out on an insult spree like she did. Because this makes no one take her seriously.

Look at other media to see how targeting females can lead to tremendous results; Hunger Games, Twilight, 50 Shades of Gray to name a few... astounding that most game developers haven't picked up on this yet.

And yeah, you are definitely right that she did a terrible job with that article.