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#1 Edited by Branthog (5562 posts) -

So, with today's rumor that America may join much of the rest of the world in allowing women to fulfill combat roles in the military, I started wondering if this would finally change the makeup of a lot of modern shooters? I understand that a certain element of why they're absent from these games is due to some unsettling societal pressure where treating a polygonal computer model representing a female like a bullet-meatbag the way disposable male comrades are in these games is off-putting (and would probably used against gaming by ignorant opponents of gaming). I also, however, suspect much of that would have to change if they were engaged in this same activity in real life. Right?

Granted, I don't enjoy the idea of going around in a more realistic environment (more realistic than, say, Halo or something where you have more frequent female representation, that is) and blowing women away with a shotgun any more than I do a male. It might even be uncomfortable, in some games. Even despite the ridiculousness of the action and poor animations and character models of the current generation of games. I wonder, though, if it would bring with it a new world of story potential? It might be interesting to play through Warfighter as a mother who is off in horrible situations and constantly thinking about getting back home to her husband and children and the rest of her family. And perhaps it'd offer a chance for new perspective on the activities and plots of these games which players may be less receptive to were these moments through the eyes of a guy who is "rough and gruff paramilitary dude". Where "aw, he's having a sensitive silent type moment" would be put down by the cynical among us (like myself). If nothing else, it seems it's always good to give more options for feeling represented in a game - whether that's having fat and skinny or black and white and asian and other character models or having girl models for all the girl gamers out there shooting dudes in the face online, these days.

I feel the need to approach this tenderly, such that it won't turn into another round of rhetorical male and female crap or the sexist way some people are or aren't played in games, so perhaps the only way I can avoid that is to define the question more acutely: Do you think a change in official policy would drive a change in these modern shooters? Do you welcome that? What other benefits besides those mentioned above do you imagine could come from this? Or do you think it'll just open us up to more damage from politicians and the lot looking for more scapegoats and shooting chicks in the face is probably a great one?

Personally, I will buy the hell out of MW4 (there's somethign I never thought I'd say) if I can be a bad ass woman (not a "sexy soldier chick" -- just a regular woman that many GBers in the military serve alongside already) with speed and agility perks running around knifing dudes. And the first game that tries to give a serious try and the "Soldier away from home" story from the female perspective is a pre-order, for me. I think there is real potential in not just making a female character "another model you can select at the start screen", but bring meaningful differences and options to players. This isn't to say the female character can only serve the role of viewpoint or stereotypical sensitive stuff -- only that it could offer up the potential for things that might not play, otherwise. Maybe the COD franchise wouldn't be the most mature place to roll something like that out, but you get the idea.

#2 Posted by ChinaDontCare (111 posts) -

Halo has women in space suits

or is it more effective if they are not hidden behind armor

#3 Posted by Branthog (5562 posts) -

@ChinaDontCare said:

Halo has women in space suits

or is it more effective if they are not hidden behind armor

I was specifically bringing up modern shooters, which is a genre in which women are distinctly lacking. Halo is a sci-fi shooter, so there are women in combat (even if infrequently). I'm talking COD, Spec Ops, Battlefield, Warfighter, Medal of Honor and what have you. Perhaps it will still be too taboo, despite whatever happens in reality? Or perhaps it'll just be treated as "okay, now we throw in a meaningless character model shaped like a girl". Or . . . maybe they really run with the inclusion and do some neat things.

#4 Edited by flindip (533 posts) -

I don't think its going to change much:

A)the amount of women, realistically, that will be in combat arms will be pretty small. (like 1-3%)

B) Certain jobs, like infantry/special ops, will probably still remain closed, due to practicality/cost efficiency.

It certainly ends the debate on Ranger school. That will be opened for sure now.

The main branches effected on this will be Tankers/Artillery most likely.

The main change is that women who are serving in certain MOS(like Radio operator) can serve anywhere now.

I have mixed feelings on this. If its handled correctly it won't be too much of an issue, If its handled poorly(social engineering quotas, different standards)-it will be a disaster.

#5 Edited by Branthog (5562 posts) -

@flindip said:

I don't think its going to change much:

A)the amount of women, realistically, that will be in combat arms will be pretty small. (like 1-3%)

B) Certain jobs, like infantry/special ops, will probably still remained closed.

No, the plan is to do away with all restrictions and include women in front line combat roles, including infantry. Even the SEALs, Delta Force, etc -- though cautioning that it "may take longer".

I wouldn't imagine there'd be a massive influx of women who want to take on those roles (and I absolutely do not begrudge them that -- I don't want to do it, either). So I wouldn't expect to see every other soldier in a game (at least in campaigns) being women. However, with women eventually serving in these roles, it would seem conspicuous not to include them in the games, too.

Then again, I'm still waiting to play (or play alongside) an openly gay military character.

#6 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

I imagine not, since the "traditional" image of a soldier has almost always been male.

#7 Posted by Mcfart (1624 posts) -

Would it really matter? Why are people so disturbed by women getting shot? Dudes get shot.

Guess what fellows, the women in the military won't look like Megan Fox or any other TV drama ladies. Nor should the ladies with guns in modern shooters.

#8 Posted by henry1989929 (26 posts) -

I think women will make game be more challenge. A lots of women can do well in it.

#9 Edited by flindip (533 posts) -

@Branthog: Not really, the plan is to open as many jobs as possible by 2016. The military still has the right to prohibit certain jobs for women as long as they can justify it to the new secretary of defense. Also, Congress has the right to override all of this, but I don't see that they will.

If you want to look at other countries that allow women in infantry. Canada has been doing it since 1989, and they have a grand total of 4 women. Women are an anomaly in the infantry, even in countries that don't strictly prohibit them. None are in special operations in Canada.

#10 Posted by Branthog (5562 posts) -

@Mcfart said:

Would it really matter? Why are people so disturbed by women getting shot? Dudes get shot.

Guess what fellows, the women in the military won't look like Megan Fox or any other TV drama ladies. Nor should the ladies with guns in modern shooters.

Probably partially due to the same rationalization that leads males (only) to be forced to register for military service at eighteen or never be allowed access to any/many government services - such as education and has kept women from really serving in front line combat positions (or combat positions, overall) for most of our nation's history. Some of it is society. Some if it maybe biological. A lot of it irrational. But there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that phrases like "are teaching your children to murder women" will be uttered while some busy-body shows footage of a modern shooter as soon as they start including female military characters.

(I do not have a strong personal opinion on military service. I really abhor the idea of a woman serving in the military and being killed in action, even though my own fiance served in Afghanistan. It's just this . . . inherent sort of "wrong" feeling that seems innate to the construction of the core of my being. I don't like the idea of pursuing some sort of "equality" by forcing them to register like men do. But I also think everyone who wants to serve their country with whatever skills they have in whatever role is appropriate should have that right, so they should have at it.)

#11 Edited by believer258 (11899 posts) -

@Mcfart said:

Would it really matter? Why are people so disturbed by women getting shot? Dudes get shot.

Guess what fellows, the women in the military won't look like Megan Fox or any other TV drama ladies. Nor should the ladies with guns in modern shooters.

This is going to sound sexist (I don't mean it to), but the image of up and killing a woman in a "realistic" setting does kind of unsettle me a bit.

But then, I was just playing Skyrim and I distinctly remember chopping the head off of a Forsworn female and it didn't bother me one bit, so maybe this is just some kind of crazy false reaction on my part? Either way, pixelated people of both genders have been brutally murdered in games before, placing it in a realistic setting will probably be far less shocking than I'm feeling it would be right now.

Either way, I don't really think it will change the landscape of modern military shooters that much. I don't think that MW4 is going to have a female lead character because, well, that isn't particularly marketable toward the main demographic of Call of Duty games, though a whole lot of women do play Call of Duty anyway.

*Note: Every occurrence of the word "realistic" here is used in the loosest of senses.

#12 Posted by Branthog (5562 posts) -

@flindip said:

@Branthog: Not really, the plan is to open as many jobs as possible by 2016. The military still has the right to prohibit certain jobs for women as long as they can justify it to the new secretary of defense.

If you want to look at other countries that allow women in infantry. Canada has been doing it since 1989, and they have a grand total of 4 women. Women are an anomaly in the infantry, even in countries that don't strictly prohibit them. None are in special operations in Canada.

Oh, I agree. It's one of those "equalities" that is wanted more for principal than practicality, I think. I suspect very few people who want to open the military for service actually want to serve in that role. But if we've deemed as a society and a government that it's acceptable (and it should be -- freedom to do what you wish and all being a primary value of this country), then that alone should make it worth having some female representation in those roles in modern shooters, certainly?

Although . . . . on the other hand . . . . I could see how some might then claim that it's a strange piece of propaganda intended to increase the number of women serving in those roles by having them in modern shooters. But . . . that seems unlikely.

#13 Edited by flindip (533 posts) -

@Mcfart: I have zero problem with Women in combat. I have no problems with women getting shot at. I have some issues, with certain jobs like infantry, because of the massive amount of upper body strength that is required.

Its not to say that there are no women on the planet who couldn't hack it(always outliners on the bell curve). But if the ratio is like "130 to 1", where you have to screen that many females to get one infantrymen. That is no way cost efficient or practical.

You then have the added problems of long term stress fractures, which women(due to less calcium in their bones) are going to be more susceptible too. So even if you get that woman who can do it(initial testing/schooling), whats her longevity going to be in the job like the infantry?

Its a complicated issue.

#14 Edited by Branthog (5562 posts) -

@believer258 said:

@Mcfart said:

Would it really matter? Why are people so disturbed by women getting shot? Dudes get shot.

Guess what fellows, the women in the military won't look like Megan Fox or any other TV drama ladies. Nor should the ladies with guns in modern shooters.

This is going to sound sexist (I don't mean it to), but the image of up and killing a woman in a "realistic" setting does kind of unsettle me a bit.

But then, I was just playing Skyrim and I distinctly remember chopping the head off of a Forsworn female and it didn't bother me one bit, so maybe this is just some kind of crazy false reaction on my part? Either way, pixelated people of both genders have been brutally murdered in games before, placing it in a realistic setting will probably be far less shocking than I'm feeling it would be right now.

Either way, I don't really think it will change the landscape of modern military shooters that much. I don't think that MW4 is going to have a female lead character because, well, that isn't particularly marketable toward the main demographic of Call of Duty games, though a whole lot of women do play Call of Duty anyway.

*Note: Every occurrence of the word "realistic" here is used in the loosest of senses.

I'm not sure how I would feel. I mean, I don't feel much when I kill any dude in a video game, because character models are so goofy looking even at their best and the violence is so idiotic and everything about it just feels so lifeless and goofy these days that it's difficult to be impacted. If it were a serious game taking itself and the audience seriously and presenting meaningful characters in such a role, I do suspect (but not know for certain) that I might react to the death of a female character who I have served alongside through the game and has had her character and personality and built up throughout stronger than I might to a male. I don't like to use this phrase, but it does sort of play to the whole "disposable male", in that we are accustomed to dudes in military uniforms being something we can sacrifices and move on. Especially in games.

I mean, maybe it wouldn't seem different to me. I really can't say. But I *think* it would. And I don't know to what extent. Maybe only insomuch as a little part of me would grimace at her death. Or maybe (depending on how it is all presented and how well they convey the character to you over time), it might completely put me off and make me turn off the game for a bit.

If nothing else, I'd almost like to see this happen just so I could find out.

I could almost seen an argument for something like that being accused of desensitizing people to the violent killing or disposable nature of women through video games. That it would be part of some attack on the value of women in society. I wouldn't agree with that one bit -- that isn't an assertion of mine -- but I could absolutely see that being a point batted around either in articles by gaming journalists or just by people outside of gaming looking to attack it on any front they can (ala Ralph Nader recently saying that video games are "electronic child molesters").

#15 Posted by Dagbiker (6976 posts) -

doing away with all restrictions is dumb. as much as I like equality. Woman and Men are diffrent. We have to accept these diffrences. We have to utilize these diffrencese. But being physicaly, and mentaly diffrent dose not make one superior, or inferior.

#16 Posted by Fredchuckdave (5471 posts) -

Nope it would just mean more Michelle Rodriguez.

#17 Posted by Slag (4348 posts) -

Well this would be yet another reason why I don't usually like Modern Shooters.

Too real for me, I've seen enough people shot in real life. I don't enjoy it. I personally don't like seeing women get hurt, so I'd like this even less.

said:

It might be interesting to play through Warfighter as a mother who is off in horrible situations and constantly thinking about getting back home to her husband and children and the rest of her family

just out of curiosity are there even many games out there where the playable character is a mother? There are very few that I can think of where you even play as a Father.

I can't think of any outside of maybe the Cooking Mama series. And I'm not 100% certain she is a mother.

Seem to be very underrepresented protagonist background in games.

#18 Posted by Bishna (334 posts) -

I might be remembering this wrong, but I think I remember someone somewhere asking a big shooter developer why there was no female option for multiplayer. I remember them saying it was for balance reasons, because the hitbox would be too small. Which is probably the stupidest excuse I have ever heard.

Honestly though, this was be awesome. Not so much the shooting ladies part, but the being a lady part. I am a dude all day, it gets old after a while. I would like to be able to be a lady in more games. Even if the gender of my character doesn't play into the narrative at all, its still nice to have the option.

Unfortunately, I doubt any of the big players will embrace this too heavily. You will probably see some women in combat roles, especially during cutscenes, but I would be surprised if they let you shoot at a woman or make it mandatory to play as a woman during a campaign. Someday though hopefully...again, not the shooting part.

#19 Posted by TheHT (11241 posts) -

I don't see why it would. It's just a different character model and voice actor. But in the context of war, I don't see myself giving a shit who's shooting at me.

Now if a shooter does some stupid ass shit like a pre-order costume pack that puts all the female soldiers in skimpy gear... that would suck.

@Slag: I never played it, but I think Bayonetta is a mother.

#20 Edited by flindip (533 posts) -

I will also say, that if they allow women in combat arms(even if they don't open infantry to them)that women should be held to male standard across the board. No more female standard for women in support jobs, it makes no sense.

They also have to register for selective service period. If women want true equality, they can't just take the opportunity/advancement part, and abandon the responsibility part. That would be horse shit.

#21 Posted by Turambar (6784 posts) -

I wouldn't really suspect so. The "realism" within a modern military shooter has always been based on graphical fidelity, equipment, and jargon, not the social dynamic of the soldiers.

#22 Posted by Slag (4348 posts) -

@TheHT: is that so?

hunh, maybe I'll have to see if I can get a copy of that game. Now I'm curious!

#23 Posted by mellotronrules (1192 posts) -

while i have almost zero interest in modern military shooters, i am a fan of taking narrative risks. so if call of duty or the like had the stones to put out a game from a substantially different point of view- in this case female- i'd at least give it a shot. anything to mix it up at this point. but to be honest, i don't foresee a modern military shooter 'putting itself out there' far enough to make a female perspective innovative. it'd probably just end up being a character select screen with a different voice actor- and while that'd be something, it wouldn't be enough to coax $60 out of me.

#24 Posted by GunstarRed (5178 posts) -

You get to play as a female soldier for a whole bunch of Socom 4. You finish the game with her, she isn't treated any differently than any of the male characters. I thought she was kinda cool and liked that they tried something a little different.

#25 Posted by JasonR86 (9703 posts) -

I totally thought the US allowed women to fulfill any role in the military. Why the fuck wouldn't we allow women to compete for any position? Fuck. Anyway, I guess it could change modern shooters. I don't think the leads will be women for a long time though.

#26 Edited by Roger778 (957 posts) -

I think it would be a really bold decision for a game development company to have a female character be the lead hero (or heroine), in a modern First-Person Shooter game, and that would be great because we need more innovation in story-telling. It might be way too uncomfortable for a lot of gamers playing through the eyes of a woman at first, but I'm fairly positive they could accept it eventually.

Me, however, I'm more comfortable playing as a woman in a Role-Playing game, and that's because I love to customize the look of my lead character until she looks as beautiful as my brain will allow. That's partly why I love the Mass Effect series so much. The other part is because Jennifer Hale does a wonderful job playing the female Shepard.

#27 Edited by TooWalrus (13197 posts) -

@believer258 said:

This is going to sound sexist (I don't mean it to), but the image of up and killing a woman in a "realistic" setting does kind of unsettle me a bit.

No, I definitely know what you're saying. I feel like seeing women getting shot up would make me feel... uncomfortable. However, most women are probably strong enough to pull a trigger, and if they can pass all of the same physical tests men need to in order to see active combat, they should be able to. Games should follow suit.

#28 Posted by Stonyman65 (2703 posts) -

This sort of thing has been going on unofficially in the Marines (and to a lesser extent the Army too) of women in combat support roles. They aren't in direct combat roles, but might as well be for all practical purposes. Units like the FET are pretty much shoulder-to-shoulder with the infantry guys.

Anyway, I'm not quite sure how I feel about this. On one hand, I think women can do (and have done in the past, to some extent) a great job in combat roles. They are just as capable (generally speaking, with a few exceptions I'll mention below) as men in that scenario. On the other hand I can foresee a lot of issues here - sexual abuse by fellow soldiers and enemies, the psychological effect (on a male) of a female being killed/maimed in combat, the lack of physical strength (I don't know of many women who can carry a 200 pound man + 60 pounds worth of gear on their backs much at all, never mind while under fire)....

There are a lot of issues to work out here, it's not going to be as cut and dry as "hey, women are allowed to fight now, so get some!". I think it can go either way; it will either be a great success that strengthens our military, or it will be a catastrophic failure that will cause a shitload of problems for everyone involved. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

#29 Posted by Branthog (5562 posts) -

@Dagbiker said:

doing away with all restrictions is dumb. as much as I like equality. Woman and Men are diffrent. We have to accept these diffrences. We have to utilize these diffrencese. But being physicaly, and mentaly diffrent dose not make one superior, or inferior.

I can't necessarily argue against that point. I mean, it's possible (maybe even actual - I don't know) that men and women's physiology respond to heavy Gs differently and, therefore, flying jet fighters would be different for each. On the other hand, women serve as cops and in an age when little combat is hand to hand, I don't see any reason someone can't join the infantry or other foreward operations that will see combat, as long as they want to do it and pass the same requirements as everyone else.

I just don't know that it's our business to build any limitations around perceptions. That is, if you have to lift 100lbs over your head and march in full gear 10 miles, then everyone should have to do that. But limitations like "society has determined that women are precious little darlings that can't be put in harm's way and must be protected at all costs" sound like bullshit, to me. I love the women in my life and would not give any of them up, but everyone should have the right to make that choice for themselves... and if they meet the role's requirements for doing that job, then they should be allowed it. Anything else, I think, is just me/us asserting our personal opinions onto free people in a free society.

@JasonR86 said:

I totally thought the US allowed women to fulfill any role in the military. Why the fuck wouldn't we allow women to compete for any position? Fuck. Anyway, I guess it could change modern shooters. I don't think the leads will be women for a long time though.

Nope. Until very recently, women weren't allowed in any combat roles whatsoever. Also, gays (until last year, when it was officially changed after the vote of a year or so before, I think?). Like I mention, though, on the other hand women are also not required by law to register for selective service (the draft). As a male, you are required to do so at the age of 18 and if you don't, you are forbidden from a lot of government services, like student loans. Federal job training. Employment in federal jobs. In half of the country, you can't even have a driver's license without registering for the draft. It's also a condition for citizenship if you're from another country. Oh, and theoretically, also a quarter of a million dollar fine and five years in prison. And no state benefits (welfare and food stamps, I guess?).

Justifications (from lawmakers, at least) range form things like "the dude might try and stick it in mah pooper when I'm in the foxhole durp durp" to "seeing a woman killed while you're in combat would destroy you and render you too diswraught to continue to fight" to "the enemy will rape our women" to "fraternization blah blah blah".

Yeah, when you mixed people of both (or even the same) gender for a long time, stuff will happen and issues will come up, but I think it's cowardly to use them as excuses to not allow gay people or women to serve in any role they're able to pass the tests/requirements for. And even if a lot of women aren't going to rush to start serving in those roles, I like that they have the option.

#30 Posted by Branthog (5562 posts) -

@Stonyman65 said:

This sort of thing has been going on unofficially in the Marines (and to a lesser extent the Army too) of women in combat support roles. They aren't in direct combat roles, but might as well be for all practical purposes. Units like the FET are pretty much shoulder-to-shoulder with the infantry guys.

Anyway, I'm not quite sure how I feel about this. On one hand, I think women can do (and have done in the past, to some extent) a great job in combat roles. They are just as capable (generally speaking, with a few exceptions I'll mention below) as men in that scenario. On the other hand I can foresee a lot of issues here - sexual abuse by fellow soldiers and enemies, the psychological effect (on a male) of a female being killed/maimed in combat, the lack of physical strength (I don't know of many women who can carry a 200 pound man + 60 pounds worth of gear on their backs much at all, never mind while under fire)....

There are a lot of issues to work out here, it's not going to be as cut and dry as "hey, women are allowed to fight now, so get some!". I think it can go either way; it will either be a great success that strengthens our military, or it will be a catastrophic failure that will cause a shitload of problems for everyone involved. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

You're right. It depends on how it is approached. If your goal is to get more women into the military and you decide to reduce or alter the requirements for the position, then you are doing nobody any favors and are putting people's lives at risk for some bullshit politically correct need to reach a certain gender quota. If your goal is to give women the same fair option to serve their country in any role they desire as long as they can achieve the same requirements as every other soldier in that role, then you may have less who can achieve that (or not - what do I know?!)... but at least there will be no doubt about the qualifications and dedication of those who pass along with the rest of the group.

#31 Posted by Stonyman65 (2703 posts) -

@Branthog said:

@Dagbiker said:

doing away with all restrictions is dumb. as much as I like equality. Woman and Men are diffrent. We have to accept these diffrences. We have to utilize these diffrencese. But being physicaly, and mentaly diffrent dose not make one superior, or inferior.

I can't necessarily argue against that point. I mean, it's possible (maybe even actual - I don't know) that men and women's physiology respond to heavy Gs differently and, therefore, flying jet fighters would be different for each. On the other hand, women serve as cops and in an age when little combat is hand to hand, I don't see any reason someone can't join the infantry or other foreward operations that will see combat, as long as they want to do it and pass the same requirements as everyone else.

I just don't know that it's our business to build any limitations around perceptions. That is, if you have to lift 100lbs over your head and march in full gear 10 miles, then everyone should have to do that. But limitations like "society has determined that women are precious little darlings that can't be put in harm's way and must be protected at all costs" sound like bullshit, to me. I love the women in my life and would not give any of them up, but everyone should have the right to make that choice for themselves... and if they meet the role's requirements for doing that job, then they should be allowed it. Anything else, I think, is just me/us asserting our personal opinions onto free people in a free society.

@JasonR86 said:

I totally thought the US allowed women to fulfill any role in the military. Why the fuck wouldn't we allow women to compete for any position? Fuck. Anyway, I guess it could change modern shooters. I don't think the leads will be women for a long time though.

Nope. Until very recently, women weren't allowed in any combat roles whatsoever. Also, gays (until last year, when it was officially changed after the vote of a year or so before, I think?). Like I mention, though, on the other hand women are also not required by law to register for selective service (the draft). As a male, you are required to do so at the age of 18 and if you don't, you are forbidden from a lot of government services, like student loans. Federal job training. Employment in federal jobs. In half of the country, you can't even have a driver's license without registering for the draft. It's also a condition for citizenship if you're from another country. Oh, and theoretically, also a quarter of a million dollar fine and five years in prison. And no state benefits (welfare and food stamps, I guess?).

Justifications (from lawmakers, at least) range form things like "the dude might try and stick it in mah pooper when I'm in the foxhole durp durp" to "seeing a woman killed while you're in combat would destroy you and render you too diswraught to continue to fight" to "the enemy will rape our women" to "fraternization blah blah blah".

Yeah, when you mixed people of both (or even the same) gender for a long time, stuff will happen and issues will come up, but I think it's cowardly to use them as excuses to not allow gay people or women to serve in any role they're able to pass the tests/requirements for. And even if a lot of women aren't going to rush to start serving in those roles, I like that they have the option.

My thoughts exactly. If they are qualified, and they can do the job, than why the hell not?

The question is can they actually do it? The 2 female Marines who tried to get through SOI dropped out. And as of now there hasn't been anyone else willing to try.

#32 Posted by Giantstalker (1648 posts) -

When I was deployed in 2009 with the Canadian Forces, there was originally one female in a platoon of 45 soldiers. This is not an uncommon ratio in the artillery.

Women have been allowed in combat arms trades for some time, but the reality is...

  • It's dominated by men. As a result "political correctness" is often totally absent, humor/jokes and attitudes tend to be pretty low brow, teasing and such is common. This has two effects when a female is present: some men will go ahead and be rude, which is regularly normal, but towards her this can - and has - led to accusations of sexual harassment. The other men shy away from this issue altogether by focusing on their buddies, which leaves the female troop pretty isolated. This might not be an issue if there was a higher ratio of women to men but in a decade I really haven't see the [combat] numbers change much.
  • There are many times where separate facilities for men and women just aren't available. This makes some hygienic situations pretty awkward. I don't see how you change this, and in bigger or less disciplined units this has routinely led to sexual harassment or criminal offenses.
  • In the vast majority of cases, men are just physically stronger. I don't like generalizing but I've trained with many soldiers of both genders and this has held true the entire time. Being weaker is not necessarily a big issue, but those who have trouble with obstacles or marches aren't popular. This leads to being socially excluded.

I'm not trying to be chauvinistic here, this is all borne out of experience and has had the predictable effect of making women relatively rare combat arms. Even when they have easier entry standards for fitness, there are just a bunch of social aspects which will likely never change and make soldiering difficult for women in traditional units. Female-only units might be a way to solve this, as the Soviets did during WW2, but that's a realm totally outside of my experience.

I don't know how America is going to do it. But in games, I don't mind seeing a realistic ratio (1:30, being generous) of women in the action. Anything more than that would start feeling artificial, and diminish the whole point of basing it on a real military. Personally, I would not like playing as a female protagonist, as I would have a harder time associating with said character in military/combat situations. It just wouldn't feel right, probably because I'm a male soldier professionally, but there are likely other reasons.

Online
#33 Posted by JasonR86 (9703 posts) -

@Stonyman65 said:

@Branthog said:

@Dagbiker said:

doing away with all restrictions is dumb. as much as I like equality. Woman and Men are diffrent. We have to accept these diffrences. We have to utilize these diffrencese. But being physicaly, and mentaly diffrent dose not make one superior, or inferior.

I can't necessarily argue against that point. I mean, it's possible (maybe even actual - I don't know) that men and women's physiology respond to heavy Gs differently and, therefore, flying jet fighters would be different for each. On the other hand, women serve as cops and in an age when little combat is hand to hand, I don't see any reason someone can't join the infantry or other foreward operations that will see combat, as long as they want to do it and pass the same requirements as everyone else.

I just don't know that it's our business to build any limitations around perceptions. That is, if you have to lift 100lbs over your head and march in full gear 10 miles, then everyone should have to do that. But limitations like "society has determined that women are precious little darlings that can't be put in harm's way and must be protected at all costs" sound like bullshit, to me. I love the women in my life and would not give any of them up, but everyone should have the right to make that choice for themselves... and if they meet the role's requirements for doing that job, then they should be allowed it. Anything else, I think, is just me/us asserting our personal opinions onto free people in a free society.

@JasonR86 said:

I totally thought the US allowed women to fulfill any role in the military. Why the fuck wouldn't we allow women to compete for any position? Fuck. Anyway, I guess it could change modern shooters. I don't think the leads will be women for a long time though.

Nope. Until very recently, women weren't allowed in any combat roles whatsoever. Also, gays (until last year, when it was officially changed after the vote of a year or so before, I think?). Like I mention, though, on the other hand women are also not required by law to register for selective service (the draft). As a male, you are required to do so at the age of 18 and if you don't, you are forbidden from a lot of government services, like student loans. Federal job training. Employment in federal jobs. In half of the country, you can't even have a driver's license without registering for the draft. It's also a condition for citizenship if you're from another country. Oh, and theoretically, also a quarter of a million dollar fine and five years in prison. And no state benefits (welfare and food stamps, I guess?).

Justifications (from lawmakers, at least) range form things like "the dude might try and stick it in mah pooper when I'm in the foxhole durp durp" to "seeing a woman killed while you're in combat would destroy you and render you too diswraught to continue to fight" to "the enemy will rape our women" to "fraternization blah blah blah".

Yeah, when you mixed people of both (or even the same) gender for a long time, stuff will happen and issues will come up, but I think it's cowardly to use them as excuses to not allow gay people or women to serve in any role they're able to pass the tests/requirements for. And even if a lot of women aren't going to rush to start serving in those roles, I like that they have the option.

My thoughts exactly. If they are qualified, and they can do the job, than why the hell not?

The question is can they actually do it? The 2 female Marines who tried to get through SOI dropped out. And as of now there hasn't been anyone else willing to try.

Someone will. The fact that we took away that choice is the issue to me. This shouldn't have even been a ban in the first place and that it took so long to be removed seems crazy to me.

#34 Posted by dyong (331 posts) -

I can't think of any other genre of game where a 'female perspective' would be more useless than a modern military shooter. Puzzle games maybe?

#35 Posted by deathstriker666 (1337 posts) -

@Roger778 said:

I think it would be a really bold decision for a game development company to have a female character be the lead hero (or heroine), in a modern First-Person Shooter game, and that would be great because we need more innovation in story-telling. It might be way too uncomfortable for a lot of gamers playing through the eyes of a woman at first, but I'm fairly positive they could accept it eventually.

Me, however, I'm more comfortable playing as a woman in a Role-Playing game, and that's because I love to customize the look of my lead character until she looks as beautiful as my brain will allow. That's partly why I love the Mass Effect series so much. The other part is because Jennifer Hale does a wonderful job playing the female Shepard.

Story? In a modern FPS? Ha ha HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

#36 Posted by Branthog (5562 posts) -

@dyong said:

I can't think of any other genre of game where a 'female perspective' would be more useless than a modern military shooter. Puzzle games maybe?

Really? As much narration and flash-backs as we have in the average modern military shooter's campaign? There's plenty of room there for a new story and a fresh perspective other than "I'm a big dude in a big beard being stoic as I stuff my emotions down in the pit of my stomach and remember my daughter waving goodbye to me as I got on the transport to Afghanistan... cue the awesome sunglasses going on...".

In multiplayer? Yeah, it's just cosmetic (though it seems like it'd be a fair addition -- assuming girl gamers want to have a girl model in the game to play and/or shoot at).

#37 Posted by John1912 (1884 posts) -

inbefore CoD releases women in bikini's skins, and or ships a statue of just tits holding a ak47.

#38 Posted by Stonyman65 (2703 posts) -

@JasonR86 said:

@Stonyman65 said:

@Branthog said:

@Dagbiker said:

doing away with all restrictions is dumb. as much as I like equality. Woman and Men are diffrent. We have to accept these diffrences. We have to utilize these diffrencese. But being physicaly, and mentaly diffrent dose not make one superior, or inferior.

I can't necessarily argue against that point. I mean, it's possible (maybe even actual - I don't know) that men and women's physiology respond to heavy Gs differently and, therefore, flying jet fighters would be different for each. On the other hand, women serve as cops and in an age when little combat is hand to hand, I don't see any reason someone can't join the infantry or other foreward operations that will see combat, as long as they want to do it and pass the same requirements as everyone else.

I just don't know that it's our business to build any limitations around perceptions. That is, if you have to lift 100lbs over your head and march in full gear 10 miles, then everyone should have to do that. But limitations like "society has determined that women are precious little darlings that can't be put in harm's way and must be protected at all costs" sound like bullshit, to me. I love the women in my life and would not give any of them up, but everyone should have the right to make that choice for themselves... and if they meet the role's requirements for doing that job, then they should be allowed it. Anything else, I think, is just me/us asserting our personal opinions onto free people in a free society.

@JasonR86 said:

I totally thought the US allowed women to fulfill any role in the military. Why the fuck wouldn't we allow women to compete for any position? Fuck. Anyway, I guess it could change modern shooters. I don't think the leads will be women for a long time though.

Nope. Until very recently, women weren't allowed in any combat roles whatsoever. Also, gays (until last year, when it was officially changed after the vote of a year or so before, I think?). Like I mention, though, on the other hand women are also not required by law to register for selective service (the draft). As a male, you are required to do so at the age of 18 and if you don't, you are forbidden from a lot of government services, like student loans. Federal job training. Employment in federal jobs. In half of the country, you can't even have a driver's license without registering for the draft. It's also a condition for citizenship if you're from another country. Oh, and theoretically, also a quarter of a million dollar fine and five years in prison. And no state benefits (welfare and food stamps, I guess?).

Justifications (from lawmakers, at least) range form things like "the dude might try and stick it in mah pooper when I'm in the foxhole durp durp" to "seeing a woman killed while you're in combat would destroy you and render you too diswraught to continue to fight" to "the enemy will rape our women" to "fraternization blah blah blah".

Yeah, when you mixed people of both (or even the same) gender for a long time, stuff will happen and issues will come up, but I think it's cowardly to use them as excuses to not allow gay people or women to serve in any role they're able to pass the tests/requirements for. And even if a lot of women aren't going to rush to start serving in those roles, I like that they have the option.

My thoughts exactly. If they are qualified, and they can do the job, than why the hell not?

The question is can they actually do it? The 2 female Marines who tried to get through SOI dropped out. And as of now there hasn't been anyone else willing to try.

Someone will. The fact that we took away that choice is the issue to me. This shouldn't have even been a ban in the first place and that it took so long to be removed seems crazy to me.

True. Realistically, females have been a part of combat operations for the last 10 years or so. It's just now that it is becoming "official".

Like I said above, we'll just have to wait and see what happens. It can go well, or it can go horribly wrong. Who knows at this point.

#39 Edited by flindip (533 posts) -

@Stonyman65: The one area of your comment that kinda is little perplexing are FETs. FETS are not infantry units, they are a civil affairs unit. They don't carry the same combat loads, standard, or job description. Yes, they can occasionally see combat in a "presence" patrol. Its kinda like saying that Military intelligence or commo specalist is an infantrymen because they occasionally go out with them.

But they don't perform fire/manuevers like an infantry unit, or have the mission deployment frequency. An active FET unit would see a mission maybe once a week(those are the REALLY active ones), whereas an infantry unit can be sent out every day of the week. You also have to understand that the current wars are counter insurgency operations, those are NOT traditionally infantry jobs. Infantry jobs are to close in and kill the enemy, not deal with civilians.

The point is, FETS are kinda of a bad example/disengenious to show women are capable of being in the infantry. That isn't to say that there is no women on the planet who could do it. But I think the whole FET thing is poor correlation.

Female MP's a better example. But even then, MP's largely deploy "mounted".

#40 Posted by Poppduder (460 posts) -

I had to check the date of when this thread started, I figured it was from 2008.  I find it strange the America doesn't already allow women in a combat role.  I'd certainly trust a woman to have my back more than (in most cases) a guy.  I dont think a woman would hold a grudge that would effect our combat effectiveness as a team like some men might.  Also, dont women have faster reflexes? I remember reading something about females making better fighter jet pilots, in terms of twitch response (not necessarily how well they can withstand G-force)

#41 Posted by Branthog (5562 posts) -

@John1912 said:

inbefore CoD releases women in bikini's skins, and or ships a statue of just tits holding a ak47.

Oh, come on. How could you not guess an AK-47 that has boobs? Also, not COD, but sort of done, it seems.

You make a good point, though. They wouldn't introduce female characters without making it a point of marketing and - in typical fashion - they would completely screw it up while simultaneously embarrassing every gamer out there by doing something like a special edition that includes a mini GI Jane blow-up doll or hugging-pillow or something.

Oh, my bad, that'd be the Hardened edition.

#42 Posted by Stonyman65 (2703 posts) -

@flindip said:

@Stonyman65: The one area of your comment that kinda is little perplexing are FETs. FETS are not infantry units, they are a civil affairs unit. They don't carry the same combat loads, standard, or job description. Yes, they can occasionally see combat in a "presence" patrol. Its kinda like saying that Military intelligence or commo specalist is an infantrymen because they occasionally go out with them.

But they don't perform fire/manuevers like an infantry unit, or have the mission deployment frequency. An active FET unit would see a mission maybe once a week(those are the REALLY active ones), whereas an infantry unit can be sent out every day of the week.

The point is, FETS are kinda of a bad example/disengenious to show women are capable of being in the infantry. That isn't to say that there is no women on the planet who could do it. But I think the whole FET thing is poor correlation.

Oh okay. From what I heard the FET is what spawned off the lioness program to allow women to engage with the Afghan women where normal male Marines couldn't. I thought they where more active in combat support roles. My mistake.

#43 Posted by ShadowConqueror (3051 posts) -

I'm all for women in combat, both in real life and in games. We're supposed to be equals, right?

#44 Posted by Branthog (5562 posts) -

@Poppduder said:

I had to check the date of when this thread started, I figured it was from 2008. I find it strange the America doesn't already allow women in a combat role. I'd certainly trust a woman to have my back more than (in most cases) a guy. I dont think a woman would hold a grudge that would effect our combat effectiveness as a team like some men might. Also, dont women have faster reflexes? I remember reading something about females making better fighter jet pilots, in terms of twitch response (not necessarily how well they can withstand G-force)

I've never been in the military, but if my fiance is a good representation of the type of women that serve in the military, I would absolutely trust them to have my back under any condition. If you pass the requirements that every other soldier passes, you're a soldier. I don't look forward to a time when we could theoretically have another world war or Vietnam scale war that draws a lot of participation from women and results in mass casualties . . . resulting in seeing female vets coming back home and being in wheelchairs and missing limbs and eyes. But I don't like that with men, either.

And someone made a good point, earlier. Just because the right is suddenly there doesn't mean a ton of people want to take advantage of it. Remember the fucking furor over that girl in the 90s becoming the first woman cadet as West Point? It was supposed to herald in a new era of women officers and West Point cadets? I am fairly certain that no other woman has ever joined West Point, since. So it's not like everyone's mom and sister is suddenly going to be doing close quarter combat with the Taliban next week.

#45 Edited by flindip (533 posts) -

@Branthog: There has been plenty of women that have gone to West Point. They make up about 14% of the corps of cadets. The only thing I can come up with that would have happened in the 90's(woman have been allowed into USMA since the 70s), was the angle of being valedictorian, or first captain.

The issue was that since woman are held to different physical standard(academic/physical standard gets factored into class placement)that it makes no sense women should hold those positions unless they can do the same physical standards as men.

I think its a fair point. But since West Point is the "Dog and pony" aspect of the army, who really cares?

#46 Edited by crusader8463 (14422 posts) -

I never realized it was not allowed already. I know several ladies in the army here in Canada that fill the front line soldier roles. Though one is a medic so maybe that doesn't count? Anyway, I for one have no problem murdering ladies in video games. It's just another meat bag that runs into my cross hairs. I had no problem killing them while I played Dragon Age or, as mentioned above, Skyrim. In-fact it never even entered my mind that I should have not killed her because she was born with lady bits instead of man bits. Maybe it's because I was raised to believe that I'm allowed to defend myself and most people are not? My mom taught me growing up that it's not ok to get into fights with anyone, let alone ladies, but that if I was ever being attacked that I had ever right to defend myself and that a girl should get no special treatment if she's coming at me with intent to harm. A lady can pick up a knife and stab me in the heart or boot me in the head just as easily as any guy can. An enemy is an enemy and if they attack first you have every right to defend yourself in equal terms to the force they are using.

Out of curiosity, wasn't the latest COD set in the future? Did they have ladies in combat or was it all men? I doubt COD, and their clones, would add them and just hide behind the argument that it would take too much time/effort/resources to do different models and VO to add a female option and enough variants to not make it look like a clone army of ladies.

#47 Edited by OmegaChosen (645 posts) -

Frankly, I don't see why this would cause more women to appear in shooters. I mean, good for women on being allowed to serve front line like a male but I don't see it changing the demographics of what we see in shooters all that much. We might see a few NPC women soldiers popping shots and getting hit occasionally in the background now so...that's that?

In regards to getting a female main character in a shooter, we have and can do that now. Video games aren't limited by laws in the real world in regards to army makeup. You can make the most powerful person in the galaxy a woman in Mass Effect. Heck, half the units available to you in Valkyria Chronicles were women. Games can make a reality where women are front line fighters all the time. If you're asking why the main character of a CoD type shooter hasn't been a female yet, it's not because of America's prohibition on women in front line combat. I can't speak for any of the producers of said games for why they haven't done a female lead but it's not like anyone's telling them not to.

#48 Edited by Branthog (5562 posts) -

@flindip said:

@Branthog: There has been plenty of women that have gone to West Point. They make up about 14% of the corps of cadets. The only thing I can come up with that would have happened in the 90's(woman have been allowed into USMA since the 70s), was the angle of being valedictorian, or first captain.

The issue was that since woman are held to different physical standard(academic/physical standard gets factored into class placement)that it makes no sense women should hold those positions unless they can do the same physical standards as men.

I think its a fair point. But since West Point is the "Dog and pony" aspect of the army, who really cares?

Shit, you're right! For some reason, I was thinking "West Point", but it was The Citadel. I remember it being such a huge deal for her to even attend and then after like her first half day, she wound up in the infirmary. Spent a week in it, then quit. (I think it's generally understood that she was accepted, then given such harassment that she felt forced to quit, then they could turn around and point out how unfit for service she was.. meh). But apparently a couple hundred women have since graduated from there over the last twenty years (still not a significant influx, though, so it still goes to the point).

#49 Edited by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

@Branthog said:

@flindip said:

I don't think its going to change much:

A)the amount of women, realistically, that will be in combat arms will be pretty small. (like 1-3%)

B) Certain jobs, like infantry/special ops, will probably still remained closed.

No, the plan is to do away with all restrictions and include women in front line combat roles, including infantry. Even the SEALs, Delta Force, etc -- though cautioning that it "may take longer".

I wouldn't imagine there'd be a massive influx of women who want to take on those roles (and I absolutely do not begrudge them that -- I don't want to do it, either). So I wouldn't expect to see every other soldier in a game (at least in campaigns) being women. However, with women eventually serving in these roles, it would seem conspicuous not to include them in the games, too.

Then again, I'm still waiting to play (or play alongside) an openly gay military character.

You said in your original post that it was a rumor, so....

No, that isn't going to happen. And regardless the percent of the forces that are female is already tiny. Even with open MOS availability, you just won't see a lot of females in combat. In fact, you already see them in combat, because there are women out there in dangerous parts of the world and at times, the shit comes to where they are at the time. I doubt it'll really change that much. Not because I doubt those women who have the balls to go for it, but because percents are already very low, and that's with much lower standards for female recruits. In the Marine Corps, female recruits don't even need to be able to do pull ups they just have to be able to hold themselves up for about 20 seconds or something like that, and all of the rest of their PFT is also at a lower standard. Raise the standards, as they will have to do if they expect these women to serve as anything but pogs, and the numbers will be lower. And as it is, not many women find grunt work very appealing.

So no, I don't think it'll really change anything. Maybe you'll see the occasional female character in these games, maybe you'll be able to chose your sex more readily in multiplayer components of the games, but over all I doubt there will be much of a difference, just because there won't be much of a difference in reality, either.

@Dagbiker said:

doing away with all restrictions is dumb. as much as I like equality. Woman and Men are diffrent. We have to accept these diffrences. We have to utilize these diffrencese. But being physicaly, and mentaly diffrent dose not make one superior, or inferior.

There are exceptions. There have been women who've been recognized by our country as war heroines because of acts of valor in the line of duty. I think there have been a couple of cases of female US service members picking up a rifle and returning fire, and certainly of them risking their lives to save others. There are very few women who aspire to this sort of thing, but those who do and who make it through boot camp are usually pretty damn capable. Just like there are plenty of guys that are total fuckin' pussies and weakass fatbodies, there are women who are bad ass and plenty capable of infantry work.

And if the restriction was removed, the women would be expected to perform exactly as their male counterparts. They'd be trained the same way, and they'd pass or fail based on the exact same criteria.

#50 Edited by flindip (533 posts) -

@MordeaniisChaos: This move is certainly going to change combat arms slightly or drastically(depending if its done poorly).

But I personally don't see women will be 11b's or special forces anytime soon. The nature of infantry combat will have to change in order for it to work imo. Combat loads will have to decrease significantly.

I don't think technologically we are there yet. Maybe in like 30-40 years. If and when infantry combat comes down to rifle, webbing, ammo, and nutrition(water); then we will start seeing women in those roles as more common.