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#101 Posted by JazGalaxy (1576 posts) -

@Hailinel said:

@JazGalaxy said:

@Undeadpool said:

It's posts like yours that remind me why I always liked Tifa more than Aeris.

@TooWalrus said:

I actually came in here to say that girls LOVE Bayonetta

I think the key is that Bayonetta, at almost all times, looks like she's having fun. This sounds almost too obvious to bear, but it's in SHOCKINGLY few games with female protagonists. Lollipop Chainsaw also accomplished this, though without as much verve. And Bayonetta also had a more nurturing side that came out, but was never treated as a weakness or vulnerability. She herself seemed shocked by her capacity to care for the little girl. She was a surprisingly deep character (though in an EXTREMELY shallow narrative).

@JazGalaxy said:

If you want an accurate example of sterotype, consider Edward from the Twilight novels. He is painfully and offensively unrealistic and the reason he incites such vitriol from men is becuase women think men are SUPPOSED to be like that.

Right, because all women LOOOOOVE Edward Cullen...

Enough of them do to make that film a record breaking book and movie and it's actors some of the highest paid people in hollywood. And this is money coming almost exclusively from women.

But women don't necessarily think men are supposed to be like Edward. There are things that may attract them to Edward, but that does not mean that they believe all men are supposed to be like him. Perhaps a subset of Edward's fans do, but not all of them.

That's entirely irrelevant. Most men don't want to date Ivy from Soul Calibur, but that doesn't make her and characters like her any less offensive to many women.

Men think Edward Cullen is a garbage character in a garbage book because of the way he looks and behaves. Now imagine if mass media was dominated with nothing but Edward Cullens. There were only handful of men who existed who WEREN'T just like edward cullen.

That's what feminist's problem is.

#102 Posted by Hailinel (24809 posts) -

@Dixavd said:

I just hate how these things keep on ending on "Good characters are strong, courageous, and masculine so no one can be shown to be feminine" because alienates people outside of gender (the small amount of feminine men in games is just as appalling as the small amount of non-sexualised strong women in games).

It's as you said, people just have this very skewed idea of what a "strong female character" is. It's not about making women masculine; it's about making female characters that are fully defined and have depth to their personalities. That being said, I would never argue that Peach be anything more than what she is. She may be an exceptionally feminine figure that is more often than not a damsel in distress, but that's just who she is. There's an elegance to the simplicity of her character, just as there's elegance to the simplicity of Mario and Bowser.

One example of a strong female character I've seen cited on multiple occasions, and that I have never been able to agree with, is Commander Shepard. The female Shepard is little more than the male character with a different line-up of possible love interests and appearance options. There's nothing about her that truly distinguishes her as a female other than her body and her voice. She isn't like the female protagonist in Persona 3 Portable, who is defined as quite a different character from the original male protagonist not just by her appearance and her love interests, but also by her general interactions with others, who she is capable of interacting with, and the way that some major story scenes are completely different because of the gender requirements placed upon them.

#103 Posted by Hailinel (24809 posts) -

@JazGalaxy said:

@Hailinel said:

@JazGalaxy said:

@Undeadpool said:

It's posts like yours that remind me why I always liked Tifa more than Aeris.

@TooWalrus said:

I actually came in here to say that girls LOVE Bayonetta

I think the key is that Bayonetta, at almost all times, looks like she's having fun. This sounds almost too obvious to bear, but it's in SHOCKINGLY few games with female protagonists. Lollipop Chainsaw also accomplished this, though without as much verve. And Bayonetta also had a more nurturing side that came out, but was never treated as a weakness or vulnerability. She herself seemed shocked by her capacity to care for the little girl. She was a surprisingly deep character (though in an EXTREMELY shallow narrative).

@JazGalaxy said:

If you want an accurate example of sterotype, consider Edward from the Twilight novels. He is painfully and offensively unrealistic and the reason he incites such vitriol from men is becuase women think men are SUPPOSED to be like that.

Right, because all women LOOOOOVE Edward Cullen...

Enough of them do to make that film a record breaking book and movie and it's actors some of the highest paid people in hollywood. And this is money coming almost exclusively from women.

But women don't necessarily think men are supposed to be like Edward. There are things that may attract them to Edward, but that does not mean that they believe all men are supposed to be like him. Perhaps a subset of Edward's fans do, but not all of them.

That's entirely irrelevant. Most men don't want to date Ivy from Soul Calibur, but that doesn't make her and characters like her any less offensive to many women.

Men think Edward Cullen is a garbage character in a garbage book because of the way he looks and behaves. Now imagine if mass media was dominated with nothing but Edward Cullens. There were only handful of men who existed who WEREN'T just like edward cullen.

That's what feminist's problem is.

There are also women that either have no problem with or are attracted to Ivy. What's your point?

#104 Posted by JazGalaxy (1576 posts) -

@Hailinel said:

@JazGalaxy said:

@Hailinel said:

@JazGalaxy said:

@Undeadpool said:

It's posts like yours that remind me why I always liked Tifa more than Aeris.

@TooWalrus said:

I actually came in here to say that girls LOVE Bayonetta

I think the key is that Bayonetta, at almost all times, looks like she's having fun. This sounds almost too obvious to bear, but it's in SHOCKINGLY few games with female protagonists. Lollipop Chainsaw also accomplished this, though without as much verve. And Bayonetta also had a more nurturing side that came out, but was never treated as a weakness or vulnerability. She herself seemed shocked by her capacity to care for the little girl. She was a surprisingly deep character (though in an EXTREMELY shallow narrative).

@JazGalaxy said:

If you want an accurate example of sterotype, consider Edward from the Twilight novels. He is painfully and offensively unrealistic and the reason he incites such vitriol from men is becuase women think men are SUPPOSED to be like that.

Right, because all women LOOOOOVE Edward Cullen...

Enough of them do to make that film a record breaking book and movie and it's actors some of the highest paid people in hollywood. And this is money coming almost exclusively from women.

But women don't necessarily think men are supposed to be like Edward. There are things that may attract them to Edward, but that does not mean that they believe all men are supposed to be like him. Perhaps a subset of Edward's fans do, but not all of them.

That's entirely irrelevant. Most men don't want to date Ivy from Soul Calibur, but that doesn't make her and characters like her any less offensive to many women.

Men think Edward Cullen is a garbage character in a garbage book because of the way he looks and behaves. Now imagine if mass media was dominated with nothing but Edward Cullens. There were only handful of men who existed who WEREN'T just like edward cullen.

That's what feminist's problem is.

There are also women that either have no problem with or are attracted to Ivy. What's your point?

If you don't get the point then you're too obtuse to be participating in this conversation.

#105 Posted by Hailinel (24809 posts) -

@JazGalaxy: No reason to get insulting. I asked a simple question. Can you answer it, or not?

#106 Posted by Hunter5024 (5686 posts) -

@Hailinel said:

@JazGalaxy said:

That's entirely irrelevant. Most men don't want to date Ivy from Soul Calibur, but that doesn't make her and characters like her any less offensive to many women.

Men think Edward Cullen is a garbage character in a garbage book because of the way he looks and behaves. Now imagine if mass media was dominated with nothing but Edward Cullens. There were only handful of men who existed who WEREN'T just like edward cullen.

That's what feminist's problem is.

There are also women that either have no problem with or are attracted to Ivy. What's your point?

I think his point is that Edward is a vapid character written for female enjoyment, and that he feels most female characters in games are just like this, only written for males instead.

#107 Posted by Hailinel (24809 posts) -

@Hunter5024 said:

@Hailinel said:

@JazGalaxy said:

That's entirely irrelevant. Most men don't want to date Ivy from Soul Calibur, but that doesn't make her and characters like her any less offensive to many women.

Men think Edward Cullen is a garbage character in a garbage book because of the way he looks and behaves. Now imagine if mass media was dominated with nothing but Edward Cullens. There were only handful of men who existed who WEREN'T just like edward cullen.

That's what feminist's problem is.

There are also women that either have no problem with or are attracted to Ivy. What's your point?

I think his point is that Edward is a vapid character written for female enjoyment, and that he feels most female characters in games are just like this, only written for males instead.

I'd argue that a vast number of characters of both genders in games have not been particularly well-portrayed.

#108 Posted by Hunter5024 (5686 posts) -

@Hailinel said:

@Hunter5024 said:

@Hailinel said:

There are also women that either have no problem with or are attracted to Ivy. What's your point?

I think his point is that Edward is a vapid character written for female enjoyment, and that he feels most female characters in games are just like this, only written for males instead.

I'd argue that a vast number of characters of both genders in games have not been particularly well-portrayed.

I agree, and while I do think it's fair to say that female characters get the worse end of the deal, and more frequently, I don't really think the state of female characters is as dire as most people make it out to be. I was only stepping in to convey his point a little better for you because he decided to be insulting instead of elaborating on it.

#109 Posted by Hailinel (24809 posts) -

@Hunter5024 said:

@Hailinel said:

@Hunter5024 said:

@Hailinel said:

There are also women that either have no problem with or are attracted to Ivy. What's your point?

I think his point is that Edward is a vapid character written for female enjoyment, and that he feels most female characters in games are just like this, only written for males instead.

I'd argue that a vast number of characters of both genders in games have not been particularly well-portrayed.

I agree, and while I do think it's fair to say that female characters get the worse end of the deal, and more frequently, I don't really think the state of female characters is as dire as most people make it out to be. I was only stepping in to convey his point a little better for you because he decided to be insulting instead of elaborating on it.

And I appreciate you doing that. Thanks.

#110 Posted by JazGalaxy (1576 posts) -

@Hunter5024 said:

@Hailinel said:

@Hunter5024 said:

@Hailinel said:

There are also women that either have no problem with or are attracted to Ivy. What's your point?

I think his point is that Edward is a vapid character written for female enjoyment, and that he feels most female characters in games are just like this, only written for males instead.

I'd argue that a vast number of characters of both genders in games have not been particularly well-portrayed.

I agree, and while I do think it's fair to say that female characters get the worse end of the deal, and more frequently, I don't really think the state of female characters is as dire as most people make it out to be. I was only stepping in to convey his point a little better for you because he decided to be insulting instead of elaborating on it.

I didn't just randomly choose to be insulting. I stated my point at least 3 times and he keeps, responding as though he doesn't understand even the most basic of comparisons. I don't for a second thing he failed to understand my point. It's self explanatory. Twilight, a book written by a woman for women, is beloved for it's male lead. Men tend to hate the story beacuse it's male lead is completely unrelatable to anything considered a real life male. Similarly, videogames are media created, on the whole, by men for men. A number of women voice an offense to the way women are portrayed, who frequently are completly unrelatable to an actual real life woman.

#111 Edited by MonkeyKing1969 (2775 posts) -

@thornie said:

Brienne of Tarth. Tough as nails, honorable, loyal, and can go toe to toe with any man... even a bear with a tourney sword!

Before or after she is turned into a zombie by Lady Stark? You can pretty much say the moment she is unwilling to die for Jamie who has turned honorable and submits to the arisen Lady Stark who has become dishonorable she loses all honor.

#112 Posted by Hailinel (24809 posts) -

@JazGalaxy said:

@Hunter5024 said:

@Hailinel said:

@Hunter5024 said:

@Hailinel said:

There are also women that either have no problem with or are attracted to Ivy. What's your point?

I think his point is that Edward is a vapid character written for female enjoyment, and that he feels most female characters in games are just like this, only written for males instead.

I'd argue that a vast number of characters of both genders in games have not been particularly well-portrayed.

I agree, and while I do think it's fair to say that female characters get the worse end of the deal, and more frequently, I don't really think the state of female characters is as dire as most people make it out to be. I was only stepping in to convey his point a little better for you because he decided to be insulting instead of elaborating on it.

I didn't just randomly choose to be insulting. I stated my point at least 3 times and he keeps, responding as though he doesn't understand even the most basic of comparisons. I don't for a second thing he failed to understand my point. It's self explanatory. Twilight, a book written by a woman for women, is beloved for it's male lead. Men tend to hate the story beacuse it's male lead is completely unrelatable to anything considered a real life male. Similarly, videogames are media created, on the whole, by men for men. A number of women voice an offense to the way women are portrayed, who frequently are completly unrelatable to an actual real life woman.

No, you were randomly insulting.

#113 Posted by Undeadpool (4942 posts) -

@JazGalaxy said:

@Hunter5024 said:

@Hailinel said:

@Hunter5024 said:

@Hailinel said:

There are also women that either have no problem with or are attracted to Ivy. What's your point?

I think his point is that Edward is a vapid character written for female enjoyment, and that he feels most female characters in games are just like this, only written for males instead.

I'd argue that a vast number of characters of both genders in games have not been particularly well-portrayed.

I agree, and while I do think it's fair to say that female characters get the worse end of the deal, and more frequently, I don't really think the state of female characters is as dire as most people make it out to be. I was only stepping in to convey his point a little better for you because he decided to be insulting instead of elaborating on it.

I didn't just randomly choose to be insulting. I stated my point at least 3 times and he keeps, responding as though he doesn't understand even the most basic of comparisons. I don't for a second thing he failed to understand my point. It's self explanatory. Twilight, a book written by a woman for women, is beloved for it's male lead. Men tend to hate the story beacuse it's male lead is completely unrelatable to anything considered a real life male. Similarly, videogames are media created, on the whole, by men for men. A number of women voice an offense to the way women are portrayed, who frequently are completly unrelatable to an actual real life woman.

And my point was that you're grossly over-generalizing BOTH genders. I'd say most men who hate Twilight hate it for the same reason that EVERY woman I know (besides the one or two who love it BECAUSE of how terrible it is a la The Room or Birdemic) hates it: the characters ACROSS THE BOARD are vapid, one-dimensional, cyphers and the book carries a message that borders on misogyny. That's not feminism by ANY standard.

#114 Posted by A_Talking_Donkey (262 posts) -

I don't think vapid big titted female characters that border on being porn stars is an inherently bad thing because there is some basis for characters like that. In fact the media would be equally bad if those characters didn't exist at all. The problem is that there isn't enough other female characters that represent other aspects of humanity. It's less about negative or positive and more about diversity in characterization. It seems that complaining about a lack of "positive female characters" actually deflects our attention from the real issue.

On top of that from a young age males are taught to be strong and females are taught to be reliant. Look at the way Barbie is advertised and the way Legos are advertised. Barbie is a girly girl who is incapable of most jobs and relies on her boyfriend Ken to come over and fix the sink in her all pink house with no masculine or androcentric forms of recreation in it what so ever. Legos are masculine and often have things like construction workers, firefighters, and police officers, yet the target demographic is young boys. You hardly ever see newer lines of legos targeted at girls. The thing is there is no reason why either shouldn't be targeted at both genders. The separation in marketing and media instills an exaggerated sense of masculine and feminine (and in a fairly segregated way) from a young age and it ends up reflected in the media later aimed at those demographics after we've taught them to be that way. We need media that both promotes diversity and helps break down social constructs. Instead of showing boys and girls how to play with different products we need to show that it's ok for both boys and girls to enjoy a wide range of things from a young age.

#115 Edited by TheDudeOfGaming (6078 posts) -

@Dixavd said:

I just hate how these things keep on ending on "Good characters are strong, courageous, and masculine so no one can be shown to be feminine" because alienates people outside of gender (the small amount of feminine men in games is just as appalling as the small amount of non-sexualised strong women in games).

Who the fuck wants to see a feminine male character in video games? The dude from Twilight is the archetypal feminine dude, and I don't want to see that. Eat steak, drink beer, shoot guns.

#116 Edited by That1BlackGuy (217 posts) -

From past arguments concerning this issue, some people scream diversity for the sake of diversity. Some arguments however, are valid. I personally dislike the idea that "everything has to be for everybody" for starters that's impossible because you'd be eliminating the very definition of niche and two, everything would fade into formulaic, half-assed mediocrity to try to please as many people as possible.

My two cents is that gender roles will always exist, it has for a while arguably to the point of subconsciousness and no amount of PC will erase that. IMO there are way too many subjective viewpoints to box in what a "positive" or "negative" character is, female or male. Theoretically, someone could come up with "positive" female character traits and at the same time those traits could be shot down based on subjective experience/views, majority or minority. It all comes down to personal preference and one's moralistic environment in which those ideals fostered.

Anyone should be able to enjoy whatever character they like who gives a shit about their clothes, the very concept is shallow to me. "If she has big tits and isn't wearing much, she must be a joke character" or the better one I heard "Her breasts are too big so I can't relate to her" GTFOH. It's like saying "strippers are whores" or "covering yourself is a sign of purity" just generalizations, even crazier when you apply them to video games where the central concept is fantasy.

IMO There is nothing wrong with women like Alyx Vance and Lightning Farron, just like there is nothing wrong with women like Ivy Valentine and Lara Croft. It all falls on moralistic preference, diversity is fine with me so long as it comes naturally and not forced and fabricated. Sexualization is not inherently bad.

#117 Posted by Hailinel (24809 posts) -
@TheDudeOfGaming

@Dixavd said:

I just hate how these things keep on ending on "Good characters are strong, courageous, and masculine so no one can be shown to be feminine" because alienates people outside of gender (the small amount of feminine men in games is just as appalling as the small amount of non-sexualised strong women in games).

Who the fuck wants to see a feminine male character in video games? The dude from Twilight is the archetypal feminine dude, and I don't want to see that. Eat steak, drink beer, shoot guns.

I hope you're being sarcastic.
#118 Posted by JasonR86 (9707 posts) -

@Grimhild said:

@JasonR86:

This is why if I were a writer for video games or movies I would shy away from female leads because, honestly, it feels like the best you could do is appease half the female audience.

I think, ideally, the trick is to write a character arc that would work for either gender, just as an individual. One of the more famous examples of this being the fact that Dan O'Bannon and Ron Shusette wrote the character of Lt. Ripley as a man, but denoted that any role of the crew of the Nostromo could be played by a woman since it was basically gender neutral.

Personally, I'm not picky since it's fiction and I don't use fantasy to define reality. I love both Ripley and Bayonetta for their own reasons.

I could have a problem with making a character gender neutral and then slapping a gender on that character. I guess what it really comes down to is do you want the character, male or female, to represent their gender or some other aspect of their character? For example, Ripley in the Alien movies or Samus in Metroid can be both male or female characters because their genders are irrelevant to the character. But for a character like Peggy from Mad Men her character is largely defined by her gender. So what it really comes down to is what sort of gender-specific impact does the creator of the entertainment product want to provide to his/her audience?

The shitty part is that I see writers who are forced to write male and female characters very specific ways for their particular products. Stereotyping in creative mediums isn't as strong as it once was but it is still very prevalent. Think about the female characters that are largely respected in video games as being 'strong'. Jade from Beyond Good and Evil. Alyx from Half-Life. Chel from Portal. There's nothing about those characters that are inherently different from male characters. So one type of well respected female character in a video game is one that could just as easily be a male character making them 'strong characters' but not necessarily 'strong female characters'.

What about in movies and television? Strong female characters have to be down-trodden and overcome adversity. They have to stand up to oppression. They have to be intelligent and clever. We have created very specific ideas of what makes a strong female character in film and TV that hinders the writing process. If a movie comes out and focuses on a strong female lead I already know how that story will progress. That's the issue I have with this whole thing. A strong female character is one that is completely separate from their gender identity making the gender irrelevant or they have to meet a very set and defined list of arbitrary characteristics that we have deemed "strong" for women.

So, in turn, women who wish to be 'strong' have to have arbitrary characteristics which oddly mirrors the the arbitrary characteristics met by subservient women. The end result is that women are still left meeting demands on their character and aren't allowed to defined their own identity free from social norms.

#119 Edited by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

@TheDudeOfGaming said:

@Dixavd said:

I just hate how these things keep on ending on "Good characters are strong, courageous, and masculine so no one can be shown to be feminine" because alienates people outside of gender (the small amount of feminine men in games is just as appalling as the small amount of non-sexualised strong women in games).

Who the fuck wants to see a feminine male character in video games? The dude from Twilight is the archetypal feminine dude, and I don't want to see that. Eat steak, drink beer, shoot guns.

Pretty much any fan of Japanese games.

#120 Posted by JasonR86 (9707 posts) -

@Bourbon_Warrior said:

Sasha Grey

Well put.

#121 Posted by Yummylee (21652 posts) -

I've always liked Aveline from DA2.

#122 Posted by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

@JasonR86 said:

@Grimhild said:

@JasonR86:

This is why if I were a writer for video games or movies I would shy away from female leads because, honestly, it feels like the best you could do is appease half the female audience.

I think, ideally, the trick is to write a character arc that would work for either gender, just as an individual. One of the more famous examples of this being the fact that Dan O'Bannon and Ron Shusette wrote the character of Lt. Ripley as a man, but denoted that any role of the crew of the Nostromo could be played by a woman since it was basically gender neutral.

Personally, I'm not picky since it's fiction and I don't use fantasy to define reality. I love both Ripley and Bayonetta for their own reasons.

I could have a problem with making a character gender neutral and then slapping a gender on that character. I guess what it really comes down to is do you want the character, male or female, to represent their gender or some other aspect of their character? For example, Ripley in the Alien movies or Samus in Metroid can be both male or female characters because their genders are irrelevant to the character. But for a character like Peggy from Mad Men her character is largely defined by her gender. So what it really comes down to is what sort of gender-specific impact does the creator of the entertainment product want to provide to his/her audience?

The shitty part is that I see writers who are forced to write male and female characters very specific ways for their particular products. Stereotyping in creative mediums isn't as strong as it once was but it is still very prevalent. Think about the female characters that are largely respected in video games as being 'strong'. Jade from Beyond Good and Evil. Alyx from Half-Life. Chel from Portal. There's nothing about those characters that are inherently different from male characters. So one type of well respected female character in a video game is one that could just as easily be a male character making them 'strong characters' but not necessarily 'strong female characters'.

What about in movies and television? Strong female characters have to be down-trodden and overcome adversity. They have to stand up to oppression. They have to be intelligent and clever. We have created very specific ideas of what makes a strong female character in film and TV that hinders the writing process. If a movie comes out and focuses on a strong female lead I already know how that story will progress. That's the issue I have with this whole thing. A strong female character is one that is completely separate from their gender identity making the gender irrelevant or they have to meet a very set and defined list of arbitrary characteristics that we have deemed "strong" for women.

So, in turn, women who wish to be 'strong' have to have arbitrary characteristics which oddly mirrors the the arbitrary characteristics met by subservient women. The end result is that women are still left meeting demands on their character and aren't allowed to defined their own identity free from social norms.

Not true in Alien and Tomb Raider the main characters were bad asses from the word go. Avatar is a good example as well. What movies are you talking about exactly?

#123 Edited by JasonR86 (9707 posts) -

@Bourbon_Warrior said:

@JasonR86 said:

@Grimhild said:

@JasonR86:

This is why if I were a writer for video games or movies I would shy away from female leads because, honestly, it feels like the best you could do is appease half the female audience.

I think, ideally, the trick is to write a character arc that would work for either gender, just as an individual. One of the more famous examples of this being the fact that Dan O'Bannon and Ron Shusette wrote the character of Lt. Ripley as a man, but denoted that any role of the crew of the Nostromo could be played by a woman since it was basically gender neutral.

Personally, I'm not picky since it's fiction and I don't use fantasy to define reality. I love both Ripley and Bayonetta for their own reasons.

I could have a problem with making a character gender neutral and then slapping a gender on that character. I guess what it really comes down to is do you want the character, male or female, to represent their gender or some other aspect of their character? For example, Ripley in the Alien movies or Samus in Metroid can be both male or female characters because their genders are irrelevant to the character. But for a character like Peggy from Mad Men her character is largely defined by her gender. So what it really comes down to is what sort of gender-specific impact does the creator of the entertainment product want to provide to his/her audience?

The shitty part is that I see writers who are forced to write male and female characters very specific ways for their particular products. Stereotyping in creative mediums isn't as strong as it once was but it is still very prevalent. Think about the female characters that are largely respected in video games as being 'strong'. Jade from Beyond Good and Evil. Alyx from Half-Life. Chel from Portal. There's nothing about those characters that are inherently different from male characters. So one type of well respected female character in a video game is one that could just as easily be a male character making them 'strong characters' but not necessarily 'strong female characters'.

What about in movies and television? Strong female characters have to be down-trodden and overcome adversity. They have to stand up to oppression. They have to be intelligent and clever. We have created very specific ideas of what makes a strong female character in film and TV that hinders the writing process. If a movie comes out and focuses on a strong female lead I already know how that story will progress. That's the issue I have with this whole thing. A strong female character is one that is completely separate from their gender identity making the gender irrelevant or they have to meet a very set and defined list of arbitrary characteristics that we have deemed "strong" for women.

So, in turn, women who wish to be 'strong' have to have arbitrary characteristics which oddly mirrors the the arbitrary characteristics met by subservient women. The end result is that women are still left meeting demands on their character and aren't allowed to defined their own identity free from social norms.

Not true in Alien and Tomb Raider the main characters were bad asses from the word go. Avatar is a good example as well. What movies are you talking about exactly?

The bad-ass nature of the character is almost irrelevant. There's nothing about the main characters in Alien or Tomb Raider that defines them differently from a male character. They are gender neutral. Which is fine if you don't want the character to have a strong gender focus. But, to me, Ripley and Lara Croft could just as easily be male characters as female characters making them 'strong characters' but not 'strong female characters' because their gender is irrelevant. Any romantic comedy or movie where the movie is defined by the gender of the main character, like GI Jane (sorry, it's the first one that came to mind), defines a strong female character in a very defined, set way that few entertainment mediums shy from. There are exceptions though. I think Mad Men, for example, does a fantastic job handling gender.

#124 Posted by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

@JasonR86 said:

@Bourbon_Warrior said:

@JasonR86 said:

@Grimhild said:

@JasonR86:

This is why if I were a writer for video games or movies I would shy away from female leads because, honestly, it feels like the best you could do is appease half the female audience.

I think, ideally, the trick is to write a character arc that would work for either gender, just as an individual. One of the more famous examples of this being the fact that Dan O'Bannon and Ron Shusette wrote the character of Lt. Ripley as a man, but denoted that any role of the crew of the Nostromo could be played by a woman since it was basically gender neutral.

Personally, I'm not picky since it's fiction and I don't use fantasy to define reality. I love both Ripley and Bayonetta for their own reasons.

I could have a problem with making a character gender neutral and then slapping a gender on that character. I guess what it really comes down to is do you want the character, male or female, to represent their gender or some other aspect of their character? For example, Ripley in the Alien movies or Samus in Metroid can be both male or female characters because their genders are irrelevant to the character. But for a character like Peggy from Mad Men her character is largely defined by her gender. So what it really comes down to is what sort of gender-specific impact does the creator of the entertainment product want to provide to his/her audience?

The shitty part is that I see writers who are forced to write male and female characters very specific ways for their particular products. Stereotyping in creative mediums isn't as strong as it once was but it is still very prevalent. Think about the female characters that are largely respected in video games as being 'strong'. Jade from Beyond Good and Evil. Alyx from Half-Life. Chel from Portal. There's nothing about those characters that are inherently different from male characters. So one type of well respected female character in a video game is one that could just as easily be a male character making them 'strong characters' but not necessarily 'strong female characters'.

What about in movies and television? Strong female characters have to be down-trodden and overcome adversity. They have to stand up to oppression. They have to be intelligent and clever. We have created very specific ideas of what makes a strong female character in film and TV that hinders the writing process. If a movie comes out and focuses on a strong female lead I already know how that story will progress. That's the issue I have with this whole thing. A strong female character is one that is completely separate from their gender identity making the gender irrelevant or they have to meet a very set and defined list of arbitrary characteristics that we have deemed "strong" for women.

So, in turn, women who wish to be 'strong' have to have arbitrary characteristics which oddly mirrors the the arbitrary characteristics met by subservient women. The end result is that women are still left meeting demands on their character and aren't allowed to defined their own identity free from social norms.

Not true in Alien and Tomb Raider the main characters were bad asses from the word go. Avatar is a good example as well. What movies are you talking about exactly?

The bad-ass nature of the character is almost irrelevant. There's nothing about the main characters in Alien or Tomb Raider that defines them differently from a male character. They are gender neutral. Which is fine if you don't want the character to have a strong gender focus. But, to me, Ripley and Lara Croft could just as easily be male characters as female characters making them 'strong characters' but not 'strong female characters' because their gender is irrelevant. Any romantic comedy or movie where the movie is defined by the gender of the main character, like GI Jane (sorry, it's the first one that came to mind), defines a strong female character in a very defined, set way that few entertainment mediums shy from. There are exceptions though. I think Mad Men, for example, does a fantastic job handling gender.

Ugh? So women shouldn't be the main heroes in movies is what your saying, unless they have a tortured past or break a nail or something. I fully disagree with what your saying, James Cameron gets that you can put a woman in a strong hero lead and not have to have a back story about her tortured life, just have the woman being the kick ass hero.

#125 Posted by Brodehouse (9950 posts) -
@JasonR86 You are right when it comes to Lara Croft, you are extremely wrong when it comes to Ripley. Ripley is not incindentally a woman, her femininity is key to her character development.
#126 Posted by Hailinel (24809 posts) -
@Bourbon_Warrior Did you not see either Alien or the first Terminator? Ripley and Sarah Connor both had to grow into what they became.
#127 Posted by Oldirtybearon (4811 posts) -

@Brodehouse said:

@JasonR86 You are right when it comes to Lara Croft, you are extremely wrong when it comes to Ripley. Ripley is not incindentally a woman, her femininity is key to her character development.

so is the theme of motherhood. When you really break it down in Aliens, it's about two mothers fighting for their children. You've got the queen in one corner, and Ripley with Newt in the other. Ripley's drive to save that girl stems from losing out on her own daughter's life (due to being in hyper-sleep for 57 years). I could go on and on, but it's pretty clear that her femininity is integral to the Ripley character, as is motherhood.

#128 Edited by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

@Hailinel said:

@Bourbon_Warrior Did you not see either Alien or the first Terminator? Ripley and Sarah Connor both had to grow into what they became.

Yep which makes them great characters! They were both badasses from the get go both those characters, Ripley showed that around her male cabin crew.

#129 Edited by JasonR86 (9707 posts) -

@Oldirtybearon said:

@Brodehouse said:

@JasonR86 You are right when it comes to Lara Croft, you are extremely wrong when it comes to Ripley. Ripley is not incindentally a woman, her femininity is key to her character development.

so is the theme of motherhood. When you really break it down in Aliens, it's about two mothers fighting for their children. You've got the queen in one corner, and Ripley with Newt in the other. Ripley's drive to save that girl stems from losing out on her own daughter's life (due to being in hyper-sleep for 57 years). I could go on and on, but it's pretty clear that her femininity is integral to the Ripley character, as is motherhood.

Eh, kinda? I mean the Ripley gender theme is stronger in Aliens but in Alien it's almost irrelevant. I just rewatched Alien on HBOGO and her gender isn't even a thing of note. She's just a character. Though I can see the stronger influence in the second movie. I can't remember the 3rd and 4th movie at all.

@Bourbon_Warrior said:

@JasonR86 said:

@Bourbon_Warrior said:

@JasonR86 said:

@Grimhild said:

@JasonR86:

This is why if I were a writer for video games or movies I would shy away from female leads because, honestly, it feels like the best you could do is appease half the female audience.

I think, ideally, the trick is to write a character arc that would work for either gender, just as an individual. One of the more famous examples of this being the fact that Dan O'Bannon and Ron Shusette wrote the character of Lt. Ripley as a man, but denoted that any role of the crew of the Nostromo could be played by a woman since it was basically gender neutral.

Personally, I'm not picky since it's fiction and I don't use fantasy to define reality. I love both Ripley and Bayonetta for their own reasons.

I could have a problem with making a character gender neutral and then slapping a gender on that character. I guess what it really comes down to is do you want the character, male or female, to represent their gender or some other aspect of their character? For example, Ripley in the Alien movies or Samus in Metroid can be both male or female characters because their genders are irrelevant to the character. But for a character like Peggy from Mad Men her character is largely defined by her gender. So what it really comes down to is what sort of gender-specific impact does the creator of the entertainment product want to provide to his/her audience?

The shitty part is that I see writers who are forced to write male and female characters very specific ways for their particular products. Stereotyping in creative mediums isn't as strong as it once was but it is still very prevalent. Think about the female characters that are largely respected in video games as being 'strong'. Jade from Beyond Good and Evil. Alyx from Half-Life. Chel from Portal. There's nothing about those characters that are inherently different from male characters. So one type of well respected female character in a video game is one that could just as easily be a male character making them 'strong characters' but not necessarily 'strong female characters'.

What about in movies and television? Strong female characters have to be down-trodden and overcome adversity. They have to stand up to oppression. They have to be intelligent and clever. We have created very specific ideas of what makes a strong female character in film and TV that hinders the writing process. If a movie comes out and focuses on a strong female lead I already know how that story will progress. That's the issue I have with this whole thing. A strong female character is one that is completely separate from their gender identity making the gender irrelevant or they have to meet a very set and defined list of arbitrary characteristics that we have deemed "strong" for women.

So, in turn, women who wish to be 'strong' have to have arbitrary characteristics which oddly mirrors the the arbitrary characteristics met by subservient women. The end result is that women are still left meeting demands on their character and aren't allowed to defined their own identity free from social norms.

Not true in Alien and Tomb Raider the main characters were bad asses from the word go. Avatar is a good example as well. What movies are you talking about exactly?

The bad-ass nature of the character is almost irrelevant. There's nothing about the main characters in Alien or Tomb Raider that defines them differently from a male character. They are gender neutral. Which is fine if you don't want the character to have a strong gender focus. But, to me, Ripley and Lara Croft could just as easily be male characters as female characters making them 'strong characters' but not 'strong female characters' because their gender is irrelevant. Any romantic comedy or movie where the movie is defined by the gender of the main character, like GI Jane (sorry, it's the first one that came to mind), defines a strong female character in a very defined, set way that few entertainment mediums shy from. There are exceptions though. I think Mad Men, for example, does a fantastic job handling gender.

Ugh? So women shouldn't be the main heroes in movies is what your saying, unless they have a tortured past or break a nail or something. I fully disagree with what your saying, James Cameron gets that you can put a woman in a strong hero lead and not have to have a back story about her tortured life, just have the woman being the kick ass hero.

I didn't say that. At all. In fact it's odd to me that you equate a gender theme for women as being 'breaking a nail'. Jesus dude. I'm also not sure you read my post. Or maybe I didn't make it clear. Having a woman do bad-ass things does make her strong. But that character's gender is irrelevant unless the nature of that character as a woman is dissected in the film/movie/game. Again, for example, Peggy from Mad Men is a very, very strong female character. Not only is she simply a strong person her gender created an obstacle to her success in her career choice. Yet she found strength within herself to overcome the nature of the business world around her so that she could succeed in the advertising business while still being feminine. She isn't a gender neutral character. Her gender is key to her character. There's a difference.

#130 Posted by Thanatos3 (82 posts) -

The real issue is that many loud voices the the consumer side if the industry wants to have a big d*ck. But they don't, mostly because the only thing that can shrink it is female sensibilities. Someone already mentioned Raiden as a example. Anything that would appeal to a female scares the shit out of many gamers. Even if there is a strong female character it is to appeal to the man not the woman. The big burly dudes are to excite the man too. Almost nothing in games are made to appeal to what a female gamer would want or fantasize about. Because it would scare many male gamers and they would feel gay or that the game thinks there a little girl(Who gives a damn about how a female gamer would feel). Until we move past the mindset that we only need to appeal to males will there be any real development towards welcoming females in the games industry(just my opinion). There are even idiots who are against the Ouya(?) because a female is the designer. And as more females move into the industry there will be a huge violent out lash against it, much like the larger acceptance of gay people.

#131 Posted by Grimhild (723 posts) -

@JasonR86:

Eh, kinda? I mean the Ripley gender theme is stronger in Aliens but in Alien it's almost irrelevant. I just rewatched Alien on HBOGO and her gender isn't even a thing of note. She's just a character. Though I can see the stronger influence in the second movie. I can't remember the 3rd and 4th movie at all.

This is the point I was originally making, specifically in reference to your comment about the hurdles of writing a lead female role. I wasn't disagreeing with you.

I guess I'm also saying that there are various types of roles any protagonist can take, regardless of gender. There doesn't need to be one definitive type of "strong/positive male/female protagonist," nor should there be. Variety is the spice of life. Like you say, a strong female role in a romantic comedy is going to be very far removed from some other genre film, simply because of the subject and setting. This specific discussion just tends to come up more often in mediums like video games since the genre and settings tend to be predominantly violent and/or confrontational.

#132 Posted by Little_Socrates (5677 posts) -

I think the Persona 4 argument by and the Elena Fisher argument by are strong ones.

Bayonetta's fine as a woman, she's just a shitty character in a game with a bad story.

#133 Posted by Terramagi (1159 posts) -

A positive female character is a character that never has anything bad happen to her, because the instant the part of the story comes that shows the character down on their luck and on the brink, the developer will be decried as a rape culture apologist, fired, and run out of town on a rail.

#134 Posted by Zenogiasu (193 posts) -

Whoa, I made this blog post like... a month ago. But whatever, guess it's cool that people still have stuff to say. On the note of the topic, I've played the Half-Life games since the post and wouldn't hesitate to throw Alyx Vance in as one of the best characters, female or otherwise, I've encountered in a game. I know it's a common sentiment, but I figured I'd throw my hat in there too.

#135 Posted by A_Talking_Donkey (262 posts) -

@Terramagi said:

A positive female character is a character that never has anything bad happen to her, because the instant the part of the story comes that shows the character down on their luck and on the brink, the developer will be decried as a rape culture apologist, fired, and run out of town on a rail.

This has literally never happened. Ironically, by acting like it does you become one of those people who accidentally support rape culture by making it seem normal. I don't mean to single you out as this is a common thing in gaming culture but I just wanted to bring to light what a large part of the issue is. Casually being one step removed from an oppressive culture while painting the minority as the aggressor actually further supports oppression of the minority. Not all humor about minorities is bad, and there is a way you can make jokes that open dialog; this is not it.

#136 Posted by Terramagi (1159 posts) -

@A_Talking_Donkey said:

@Terramagi said:

A positive female character is a character that never has anything bad happen to her, because the instant the part of the story comes that shows the character down on their luck and on the brink, the developer will be decried as a rape culture apologist, fired, and run out of town on a rail.

This has literally never happened. Ironically, by acting like it does you become one of those people who accidentally support rape culture by making it seem normal. I don't mean to single you out as this is a common thing in gaming culture but I just wanted to bring to light what a large part of the issue is. Casually being one step removed from an oppressive culture while painting the minority as the aggressor actually further supports oppression of the minority. Not all humor about minorities is bad, and there is a way you can make jokes that open dialog; this is not it.

51% of the world population is a minority now.

And yes, it has happened. Remember Tomb Raider? No? Remember that guy who made an off-handed comment like, three days ago, about a "girlfriend mode" in Borderlands 2?

Because last time I checked all of gaming "journalism", including Patrick, was calling for his head on a pike because of a photoshopped picture of Black Ops' difficulty selection screen.

#137 Posted by A_Talking_Donkey (262 posts) -

@Terramagi said:

@A_Talking_Donkey said:

@Terramagi said:

A positive female character is a character that never has anything bad happen to her, because the instant the part of the story comes that shows the character down on their luck and on the brink, the developer will be decried as a rape culture apologist, fired, and run out of town on a rail.

This has literally never happened. Ironically, by acting like it does you become one of those people who accidentally support rape culture by making it seem normal. I don't mean to single you out as this is a common thing in gaming culture but I just wanted to bring to light what a large part of the issue is. Casually being one step removed from an oppressive culture while painting the minority as the aggressor actually further supports oppression of the minority. Not all humor about minorities is bad, and there is a way you can make jokes that open dialog; this is not it.

51% of the world population is a minority now.

And yes, it has happened. Remember Tomb Raider? No? Remember that guy who made an off-handed comment like, three days ago, about a "girlfriend mode" in Borderlands 2?

Because last time I checked all of gaming "journalism", including Patrick, was calling for his head on a pike because of a photoshopped picture of Black Ops' difficulty selection screen.

In the gaming community? Yes, they're the minority. When we're talking about our culture's outlook on things we have to keep in mind that our culture consists of ...just our culture. Women are the minority in the gaming community for a reason, and you're a shining example of that reason.

You're slightly misrepresenting these 2. Tomb Raider's advertising was a failure for many reasons. The general backlash was consumer wide and not just feminist outcry, I don't think feminists have enough power to warp the entire insight of gaming journalism in the way you're suggesting. If someone was fired it's because they failed at their job. The "girlfriend mode" in Borderlands 2 was a comment made by John Hemingway, the game's lead designer. To be more specific he said " I want to make, for the lack of a better term, the girlfriend skill tree. This is, I love Borderlands and I want to share it with someone, but they suck at first-person shooters. Can we make a skill tree that actually allows them to understand the game and to play the game?" which implies that females are inherently bad at first person shooters. Why else would he mention gender at all? That is horribly sexist, and if the majority of gamers can't detect that, there is seriously an issue with gaming culture. When the people designing our games are the ones making comments like that it's pretty damn bad.

No comment on the black ops photoshop, I know nothing about it.