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#1 Edited by Akyho (1658 posts) -

I was thinking about making this post after playing Bioshock Infinite (Then BF4 announce no women and had to post) and found myself popping female soldiers heads off, I had to wonder what would a Feminist say about this.

My main thoughts are this.

Positive is. They are progressive and letting females to be recognized as equal and doing a role that has mainly been male in past times.

Negative is. You just popped a a female soldiers head off in a very gory way,allowing for males to feel gratification from the abuse and death or a woman!

And then EA/Dice announced no female soldiers in BF4.

Which the Positive is in my mind, you wont have a hundreds of men degrading the female body by leering at them and choosing to go one (still dont understand that.) out of preference, out of joke, out of sexual gratification and could even make them a target on the battlefield by pointing out their sexual organs. It is bad enough as is.

The Negative, there are female soldiers and female gamer's would much prefer to be female, I prefer to play male characters and can relate, except most women never get a choice. and the failure to represent that females play games, females serve in the armed force is a alienating a good portion of gamer's.

I would love to hear were Anita Sarkesian came in on this. I dont agree with her or like her, however she is currently the figure head A FORM of feminism in the world of games.

Infact I would like to hear any females views. As this hurts my head don the positives and the negatives.

However Id like to see any insight from anyone on the matter. AND REMEMBER keep things civil folks.

#2 Edited by Jams (2961 posts) -

Equality, it's when everyone gets fucked over in the same way. Welcome to getting shot in the junk women! Coffee's over there and we meet up at In n' Out on Saturday's.

#3 Edited by Funkydupe (3321 posts) -

I've been playing video games for roughly 20 years, and I've killed pretty much anything possible in a video game.

In a game about war, a soldier is a soldier, no matter the gender, race or species, alien or earthling, healthy or sickly, an enemy is an enemy and the objective of the game is to shoot the enemy before your own character ends up dead.

#4 Posted by Wrighteous86 (3782 posts) -

Of course, I can't speak for them, but I'd think most women would appreciate be treated as equals and given the opportunity to play a realistic woman that isn't scantily clad or sexualized.

#5 Posted by Brodehouse (9966 posts) -

Several years ago I made a thread talking about female mooks/minions/cannon fodder. People got really upset. The crux of my question was I wondered if Drake would maintain audience sympathy if he killed 250 women in the span of a game. I mentioned how Mass Effect actually did a good job of having faceless, nameless women as a part of the mercenary companies and so on.

People were enraged that anyone would 'want to shoot women'. I thought I was being progressive. Now the whole thing has somehow flipflopped.

Oh well. Time to hear how horrible a person I am. Ho hum.

#6 Posted by Funkydupe (3321 posts) -

@brodehouse: I must have missed that thread as I can't seem to remember it. Could you link it, please?

#7 Posted by Oscar__Explosion (2324 posts) -

@akyho:

Negative is. You just popped a a female soldiers head off in a very gory way,allowing for males to feel gratification from the abuse and death or a woman!

I popped that (insert enemy trying to kill me) head off because he/she/it was trying to kill me!

#8 Edited by Brodehouse (9966 posts) -

Oh it's like 3 years old now. I'll search it out when I get home.

#9 Edited by Funkydupe (3321 posts) -

@akyho:

Negative is. You just popped a a female soldiers head off in a very gory way,allowing for males to feel gratification from the abuse and death or a woman!

I popped that (insert enemy trying to kill me) head off because he/she/it was trying to kill me!

Exactly.

#10 Posted by believer258 (11948 posts) -

I don't doubt that there are people who would be sexist about shooting at female soldiers who are shooting back, but there is no help for those people.

Meanwhile, I noted that there are female enemies in this game the same way that there are female enemies in the first game and moved on. I don't think it's really an issue. Why is it that this game has heavy themes of race and faith and twisting American history and we're still talking about non existant themes of sex?

#11 Edited by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

People were enraged that anyone would 'want to shoot women'.

But not because you'd want to shoot a man? I've the odd feeling that we're dealing with the concept of a permanently sexualized woman (IE it's OK to shoot men because we're not viewing them sexually).

#12 Edited by DuskVamp (681 posts) -

I get no gratification based on the fact that the characters I'm killing in a game are men. If you're implying that men getting a sense of gratification from killing women in games is a cause for concern, as they might then feel desensitised about abuse against women in real life, I don't think that's a worry. I understand that some men might feel uncomfortable, depending on the scenario, for instance a torture scene.

But like @Brodehouse mentioned, nameless, cloned female npc's in a shooter shouldn't be any different. I'd like the opportunity to play a female soldier, it's something that I have noticed in past war games, while I know that the ratio of men to women in the army is vast, there are still strong women in the army and I think they should be represented.

#13 Posted by Kaiserreich (704 posts) -

@akyho: And no female gamer has ever felt gratification at killing a male character? Only men can be killed in video games? Your post is so stupid it made my head hurt.

#14 Posted by suprspecialawsm (61 posts) -
@akyho said:

Negative is. You just popped a a female soldiers head off in a very gory way,allowing for males to feel gratification from the abuse and death or a woman!

Alright, without accusing you as a person of anything, I'm going to say that this is kind of in itself a sexist sentiment. On multiple levels. It implies-

1. That someone feeling gratification over the death of a women is somehow worse than feeling gratification over the death of a man

2.By singling out men as the person feeling, your either implying that men playing fps's are getting off in a sexually domineering way while playing (which is as absurd as saying women are getting off in a sexually domineering way while shooting MEN) or implying that only men play and enjoy violent games. Both potential meanings are nonsense.

Sorry, but in the end I STRONGLY disagree with your "negative".

#15 Edited by Brodehouse (9966 posts) -

@Video_Game_King

That has more to do with the emphasized vulnerability of women and the emphasized agency of men; male disposability. Not only are men 'more capable' of dealing with violence, but they are the appropriate vectors of its absorbtion (I obviously do not agree). I doubt even the most brutal partiarchal asshole wanted to be the one out on the porch in the dead of night with the shotgun drawn trying to scare the bandits away. I'm sure even the most macho fuck would probably have liked even the option to stay inside and let someone else do it.

That's what traditional gender values were; women were socially treated barely different from children, and men were treated little different from beasts of burden. BUT LET'S NOT DO THAT HERE.

In short, people react more negatively to the suffering of women than men. It might actually have been an evolutionary instinct, since the women naturally control reproduction. Village of 100 women and 1 man can survive to the next generation. Village of 100 men and 1 woman is done and over.

#16 Posted by Ramone (2972 posts) -

Women should be brutalised, maimed and generally murderised as bad as dudes in video games.

#17 Edited by Clonedzero (4200 posts) -

i for one want to kill women in video games in extremely violent and gory ways.

#18 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

In short, people react more negatively to the suffering of women than men. It might actually have been an evolutionary instinct, since the women naturally control reproduction.

This sounds suspect. I think we'd have to examine a shitload of other cultures before coming to such a conclusion. Then again, I am cautious.

#19 Posted by Hamst3r (4491 posts) -

So, you're saying I can "pop off" a woman's head in Bioshock Infinite and then leer at their dead body? Sign me up!

#20 Posted by ArtisanBreads (3861 posts) -

God damn so tired of the feminist movement from the angle of "we want equality... but not in these ways". Female soldiers exist, have them in the game, who cares. You can't have equality in only positive angles, that's crap.

#21 Edited by Jams (2961 posts) -

@brodehouse said:

In short, people react more negatively to the suffering of women than men. It might actually have been an evolutionary instinct, since the women naturally control reproduction.

This sounds suspect. I think we'd have to examine a shitload of other cultures before coming to such a conclusion. Then again, I am cautious.

Funny... I thought it took two to tango.

#22 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -
#23 Posted by Jams (2961 posts) -
#24 Edited by Akyho (1658 posts) -

@suprspecialawsm said:

Alright, without accusing you as a person of anything, I'm going to say that this is kind of in itself a sexist sentiment. On multiple levels. It implies-

1. That someone feeling gratification over the death of a women is somehow worse than feeling gratification over the death of a man

2.By singling out men as the person feeling, your either implying that men playing fps's are getting off in a sexually domineering way while playing (which is as absurd as saying women are getting off in a sexually domineering way while shooting MEN) or implying that only men play and enjoy violent games. Both potential meanings are nonsense.

Sorry, but in the end I STRONGLY disagree with your "negative".

Your two points you put there are points that I have heard from feminists in the discussion of sexism in video games.

I Agree with you. I disagree with that view point.

Which is what I am trying to figure.

The basic of the fact is its all SEXISM.

Positive SEXISM to put women into the game.

Negative SEXISM to keep them out.

To cry sexism is correct because this is all to do with SEX, the only way to make everybody happy is to have no SEX.

What do women want? That's what I really would like to know. Do they want to be truly equal?

I am all for Equal pay, equal rights, equal treatment. Except there is a point that there has to be a difference.

So...should we not have violence? to men or women? if we are to be fully equal Since I dont think women like this degree of violence to there gender. With graphics going more realist...I think video games violence will have to go backwards.

From a simple "its too realistic." with societies views on Gender and violence backing it up.

#25 Posted by believer258 (11948 posts) -

@akyho said:

the only way to make everybody happey is to have no SEX.

I strongly disagree.

#26 Posted by Dagbiker (6977 posts) -

The thing is, Skyrim already had female solders, so did xcom, no one cared even though I was running around the landscape looking for crap ro do, people to kill and things to see.

Thats because Skyrim is Steinbeck compared to Battlefield or what they expect Battlefield to be.

Skyrim filled its world with story people, and depth. Xcom removed your emotion for the person almost compleatly. Redusing your emotion for the human element by reducing people to staticis.

#27 Edited by suprspecialawsm (61 posts) -

@akyho:

Definition of SEXISM

1: prejudice or discrimination based on sex; especially :discrimination against women 2: behavior, conditions, or attitudes that foster stereotypes of social roles based on sex

From Merriam-Webster online

I'm not being pedantic. It fits the textbook definition of sexism. Also, as for it being feminism- your original comment was as much stereotyping men as women, as I believe I mentioned. I still strongly disagree. Your assertions that there must be some line where we must factor in sex when deciding when and where women and men should and shouldn't be is untrue, and denying it is NOT the same as denying the simple fact that humans are sexually dimorphic.

#28 Posted by Akyho (1658 posts) -

@akyho: And no female gamer has ever felt gratification at killing a male character? Only men can be killed in video games? Your post is so stupid it made my head hurt.

I never said that.

It just people more than just women, have a problem with women being killed in games. Then demonize men for it.

Yet we do not complain about men being killed in games.

#29 Edited by Akyho (1658 posts) -

@suprspecialawsm: Ther is Positive discrimination and Negative Discrimination.

Positive is you must have 10% of your work force is ethnic, 30% must be female. That is positive racism and positive Sexism, you are discriminating them by helping them.

Negative is the common one which is no Ethnics or Women.

In a perfect world should have a fine demographic of everybody natural.

Since you have a white man sit down to an interview and he is fine. Black Woman....the employer goes in their head."DING Two for one! She has the job."

Such acts are to help destroy discrimination yet reinforce them in a different way.

and your point. "Your assertions that there must be some line where we must factor in sex when deciding when and where women and men should and shouldn't be is untrue"

That is what Id like to know.

#30 Edited by EnduranceFun (1114 posts) -

When you positively discriminate someone, it is as the expense of negatively discriminating another. That I thought was elementary.

#31 Edited by Brodehouse (9966 posts) -

@video_game_king said:

@brodehouse said:

In short, people react more negatively to the suffering of women than men. It might actually have been an evolutionary instinct, since the women naturally control reproduction.

This sounds suspect. I think we'd have to examine a shitload of other cultures before coming to such a conclusion. Then again, I am cautious.

An understandable position. These kind of hypothesis are part of evolutionary psychology, which is nowhere near as deeply explored and backed up as evolutionary biology.

@akyho: There is absolutely no such thing as 'positive' discrimination. Anymore than there is such a thing as 'benevolent' sexism or 'reverse' racism. There is discrimination, sexism and racism.

#32 Edited by Akyho (1658 posts) -

When you positively discriminate someone, it is as the expense of negatively discriminating another. That I thought was elementary.

Thank you that is a simpler way to put it.

#33 Edited by FFFFFFF (75 posts) -

The people you kill in video games aren't real. If you think it would feel weird to kill a woman in a game (suddenly for some reason, even though we've been doing it for years), why don't you think it's weird that you kill every other thing?

If you don't mean yourself, but instead you mean other people, and you feel you have to protect helpless female NPCs from their jockery? It's you. You're weird.


#34 Posted by expensiveham (293 posts) -

Are there actually people getting upset over female enemies or friendly soldiers in video games? Christ this video game sexism thing is clearly out of hand. What are you doing with your life if you are worried about "the ethics of female soldiers in games"? Why would anyone feel this is something worth discussing.

There is nothing morally or ethically questionable about this. Shooting a female enemy in a video game is no different then shooting a male enemy. The same goes for real life, no difference there between genders.

If you think shooting female enemies will somehow desensitize abuse on women then you are just as stupid as Jack Thompson that uses the same logic for the argument about general violence in video games. Unless you're someone serious mental problems then you will not be affected by these kinds of things.

#35 Posted by Akyho (1658 posts) -

@cheh: Its not my opinion that its wrong. I just want to know who does and get their argument.

So far no one has seen it as wrong.....then again this is the wrong place. Cmon we all probably played Fallout.

#36 Posted by Brodehouse (9966 posts) -

Also, here is a thread I made in June 6th, 2010 regarding female fodder in video games.

"Honestly, who cares? The better question is, why is it you want to be able to gun down more women in games?"

"Yeah I was wondering about this as well and made a thread about it a while back and I'd like to see some female goons or mooks or whatever once in a while. Maybe people are a bit sensitive about shooting females in the face, but for me, even though it's a little weird, if someone tries to shoot me, I'm totally gonna shoot them back."

"How are games like Metal Gear and Uncharted also not accurate for the time period? Maybe you're a better expert on the demographics of terrorist and paramilitary organizations, but from what I hear they're almost entirely composed of male soldiers. Every major military today continues to exclude or restrict female activity in front line engagements."

"YES! Let's fight to have women be useless and killed indiscriminately! They shall be pwned for being n00bs!"

#37 Edited by Cathryn (547 posts) -

The fact that this is even an issue to me in the first place is baffling. Why not just include female soldiers and keep quiet about it. It feels like people are doing this (or covering this/asking the questions of developers) either to take advantage of or fuel all of the fervour around sexism in the media and tech industry right now. It's likely no one would have even noticed if they'd just put 'em in and not said anything about it.

Also, as long as there isn't say, something special and gross that you can do to the female cannon fodder, there should be no problem with including both male and female regular enemies in any video game.

#38 Posted by Chibithor (574 posts) -

@akyho said:

Which the Positive is in my mind, you wont have a hundreds of men degrading the female body by leering at them and choosing to go one (still dont understand that.) out of preference, out of joke, out of sexual gratification and could even make them a target on the battlefield by pointing out their sexual organs. It is bad enough as is.

'Go one', like, play as one? In any case, I don't think the negatives you listed should be really be a consideration. The target's gender doesn't matter to me when killing someone in a game. If it matters to some people, whatever. Actual female soldiers might get leered at, but that's hardly an argument against having them.

#39 Posted by Gruebacca (521 posts) -

The issue should not be about killing women in video games. We do that in a lot of games. The problem is that the real-world issue of having female soldiers perform combat missions in the military translates well into game territory.

There are still a lot of people out there uncomfortable with women on the front lines, partially because women's biology is much different than men's, and also due to possibly higher rates of abuse by the enemy if captured. Personally, I think that if their bodies prevent then from shooting idea alongside men, there should be doctrine that allows them to be used in combat most efficiently. I also think the woman POW abuse/rape/etc thing relates to colored soldiers of the Union during the civil war, where the Confederacy took no colored prisoners, in that women should know what to expect of serving their country, particularly if something goes wrong.

Back on point, there are people that are understandably upset that Battlefield isn't testing new ground and is rather playing it safe. There's still a lot of cultural tension about women soldiers in the US, and whether Dice is making the right decision in their game is up for debate by the public.

#40 Posted by Clonedzero (4200 posts) -

plus, you always have the awkward issue of females being smaller than males, so you gotta fudge the hitboxes to make it fair.

well i guess you could have chunky butch chicks right?

#41 Edited by EpicSteve (6487 posts) -

Women still can't technically operate in boots-on-ground combat jobs. So, having a female soldier in a game featuring virtually any NATO military would be inaccurate. But yeah, when that does happen women will be killed in equally brutal ways as men. And they'll have to sign up for possible future drafts. Equality.

#42 Posted by mutha3 (4985 posts) -

I don't think anyone legitimately concerned about sexism would complain about having women as regular enemies. It seems 100% the domain of concern trolls and mildly sexist dudes.

#43 Posted by Jack268 (3387 posts) -

@akyho said:

Negative is. You just popped a a female soldiers head off in a very gory way,allowing for males to feel gratification from the abuse and death or a woman!

What if I feel gratification from the abuse and death of a man

#44 Edited by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

Your just trying to make controversy about nothing, so what if there is a female character in a online FPS, alot of women play COD and BF.

But also when your main identity in these games is the set up of your gun, the only really difference would be the dialogue coming from the character, I wouldn't of blinked twice if they had female soldiers in BF4 other games have been doing it for years.

#45 Edited by Azteck (7449 posts) -

"Poor female soldiers who have to suffer through dying like the male soldiers. How can they let this happen"

Fuck off. If they want equality, then they take the good with the bad. Besides, from where are you getting this idea that all men sit and gleefully jack off at a dead female soldier in a game? Do you have any sort of proof for this or are you just assuming all males can't keep it in their pants?

#46 Posted by Xpgamer7 (2382 posts) -

People will abuse everything. When you put something out someone will abuse it in someway somehow. Long enough timeline and all that. But like all the other things we stand up for like stopping censorship or reasonable pricing, there is always a downside. There will be people who abuse your systems one way or another. If you believe setting a standard is a strong enough reason to let such problems exist, then you do it.

Now that I've made an extensively ambiguous argument I stand on the side of fair equality of all genders, races, and ages(to a point for now. I'm not sure whether we should set lines for going morally too far or if there is enough reason to disregard them. I can imagine a few good reasons both ways) in all types of games. Why should we take away from the majority over a possible minority in a non hurtful environment? Also furthering more generalized appearances of different walks of life will help encourage separation and diversity overall in characters. Although honestly, it won't help deepen characters and their personal acceptance of both gender and race, and it'll also encourage the "mixed bowl" character inclusion of different ethnic and gender groups for wider audiences and not to encourage complex stories or show ANY meaning. But that's another argument.

#47 Posted by Cheesebob (1240 posts) -

In before Bulletstorm 2 has a skillshot called "BOOBSHOT"

#48 Edited by Inkerman (1451 posts) -

I would feel weird, just sayin, especially if they had voices of women screaming. I guess I can't come up with a good reason as to why not, but that doesn't change the fact I would feel uncomfortable shooting women vs men. The fact is, like it or not, women are considered more vulnerable than men (take a lot at the extreme legislative dodge that is the Violence Against Women Act), and I would put this down to, as mentioned, evolutionary psychology. I don't think you can reasonably expect people, both gamers and the wider public, to be ok with teenagers mowing down virtual representations of women. Also, consider this from a marketing standpoint; while a small minority are the "Shoot those bitches!" Xbox Live morons, and a small minority are like a lot of people on here, ok with shooting at women (or...you know), the vast majority of the CoDs and even the Battlefields target audience would probably be at least somewhat disturbed by being asked to shoot at women in multiplayer. Not to mention the firestorm this is gonna cause on Fox news.

On another note, I remember Goldeneye allowed you to multiplayer as women, but that was pretty mundane.

#49 Posted by MikkaQ (10294 posts) -

Men, women, whatever. Bullets and explosions don't discriminate. Plus it's not like you can tell the difference after you turn them into a crater.

#50 Edited by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

I propose that all characters in shooters be replaced with robots with impossible boobs and huge dongs.

Also, if a game already exists with these tropes, kindly let me know.