#1 Edited by sdharrison (476 posts) -

The gamespot and polygon reviews make sure to include some bits about a lack of solid female characters in GTA. It does seem like the game journalism enclave has really been harping on this issue for the last couple years. I'm all for outrage, but this has always struck me as forced.

Sexism is everywhere - it's part of our society, economy and mating metagame. Believe it or not, women prop it up too! BLASPHEMY! It's a topic that has more legs right now in gaming than movies/tv. Maybe it's because hollywood has been on a "strong female" bender for the last couple decades.

"This 007 girl will be different, because we're making sure she's a really strong female lead and a foil to Bond." - Said every producer involved in a 007 movie since Brosnan took over.

I'm okay with reviewers knocking a point off, since none of that really matters anyway. We get it, the game is probably pretty great to play. A lot of people are going to buy it.

But it does seem like a focused effort in the relatively tiny group of game journalists to MAKE this an issue. I just don't buy it. IMO, if Rockstar wants to tell a crime story about male protagonists, that's their business. Heat didn't have a female gangbanger and that seemed okay.

#2 Posted by davidwitten22 (1708 posts) -

I haven't played it so I don't know. However, you are claiming that it is "forced" but you are bringing it up and discussing it on forums which encourages more people to "force" it as it brings page views and gets people talking.

I have my own views on the sexism in games and I keep it to myself.

#3 Posted by Milkman (17337 posts) -

Because that's how they felt.

This didn't need to be it's own thread. There's plenty of this exact same discussion happening elsewhere on the forums right now.

#4 Posted by sdharrison (476 posts) -

I haven't played it so I don't know. However, you are claiming that it is "forced" but you are bringing it up and discussing it on forums which encourages more people to "force" it as it brings page views and gets people talking.

I have my own views on the sexism in games and I keep it to myself.

I read some stuff on the internet, it made me percolate with thoughts, so I thought I'd share some on the website I most frequently visit to experience video game culture.

#5 Posted by sdharrison (476 posts) -

@milkman said:

Because that's how they felt.

This didn't need to be it's own thread. There's plenty of this exact same discussion happening elsewhere on the forums right now.

It seemed like it did since the other threads are for general review discussion across multiple sites.

Christ, every post needs a disclaimer to not offend anyone. I should have people sign a release before participating.

#6 Posted by believer258 (12208 posts) -

If you're looking for this, it's in the reviews compilation thread.

#7 Posted by sdharrison (476 posts) -

If you're looking for this, it's in the reviews compilation thread.

That's a review compilation thread. I didn't see a thread that said "Let's discuss the accusations of misogyny and sexism in GTAV by the gaming media" so I did this.

Did I need to apply for a permit first?

#8 Edited by RollingZeppelin (2112 posts) -

Not having a female lead is not sexist, it would have been interesting to get a well written female in the game but thats not what the writers at R* chose to do. Maybe the reasons for not including one might have been sexist, but we don't and can't know that unless one of the devs comes out and says something like "we didnt write a female lead because girls are innocents that never commit crimes." That would be sexist. A female lead missing from the game is not sexist. Once you start labeling everthing as sexist, the word loses all meaning.

#10 Posted by hans_maulwurf (128 posts) -

I'm all against gamers denying there's a sexism problem in a lot of games and the games business/culture, but I'm also against forcing cultural/gender/whatever diversity onto creative minds. With that approach all you get is a product that was designed instead of a work of art that was created. Nothing desirable can come from politically correct focus testing. Also, in this particular case of GTA, I recall the Housers once saying that they didn't really feel capable of writing convincing female (main) characters, so it's probably all the better then if they don't try.

#11 Posted by ModernAlkemie (366 posts) -

I would really like to see Rockstar's take on a badass female protagonist. That could be a really fun game to play.

#13 Posted by The_Grindilow (433 posts) -

I find it completely irrelevant. Just enjoy playing the damn game, who gives a shit if GTA V doesn't have a lead female character in it? I certainly don't, and I wouldn't care if the 3 lead characters were women either, I just want to enjoy the Game, that's after all what it is.... a game.....

It kinda irritates me when certain journalists sometimes make ambiguous and largely irrelevant points just to stir things up and gain publicity for themselves. Trying to come across as an intelligent social critic is difficult when the journalist is largely considered to be wrong quite often. Said journalist's appearances on the bombcast pissed did nothing to support the high horse on which said journalist seems to comment from.

#14 Edited by J12088 (462 posts) -

It is a select few journalists trying to push there agendas onto everyone else and force an issue that isn't there. You don't see movie critics complaining that James Bond is always played by a bloke. Why not Jane bond?

Of course if it's up to these people everyone will be equal, all games will be black and white and have no story just in case it offends some PC wally. The truth of it is if they placed a female lead into the game they'd get called sexist anyway so fuck em. Ignore them it's what i try to do.

edit: What i do fucking hate is people claiming everyones mad because GTA was given a 9 instead of a 10. Completly ignoring the real point that most people are trying to make.

#15 Edited by believer258 (12208 posts) -

@sdharrison said:

@believer258 said:

If you're looking for this, it's in the reviews compilation thread.

That's a review compilation thread. I didn't see a thread that said "Let's discuss the accusations of misogyny and sexism in GTAV by the gaming media" so I did this.

Did I need to apply for a permit first?

I didn't mean to be an ass, I just meant that we've already got enough discussion of sexism in this game on the site.

Forgive me if I'm not feeling too nice towards the person who is intentionally bringing up a strongly disliked topic.

#17 Posted by sdharrison (476 posts) -

It can just be tiring. If the mods want a topic gone, it'll be gone. I just get sick of the first 10 responses always being something like "Just ur opinion" or "This again..."

Whatever. Don't read it then. Let us peons have our fun

#18 Posted by Brodehouse (10134 posts) -

I watched a video on Funny Or Die where a black guy has a workout program where he chases white women; raises their heart rate, works those core muscles, the whole nine yards.

It made me kind of happy to see that some people are still able to have fun with stereotypes and narrative tropes and don't treat them like they're causing rape and murder by existing.

#19 Edited by Itwastuesday (984 posts) -

I find the presence of a stripper-groping minigame which implies that women strippers will like you more if you grope them, combined with the apparent absence of any memorable woman characters, further combininated with the fact that there's a "hilarious" "satirical" radio ad about using women as urinals, all pretty fucking gross.

@brodehouse: "Stereotypes are fun!" is what's responsible for Jeff Dunham's success. I BLAME YOU

Online
#20 Edited by McGhee (6075 posts) -

Lack of a certain number of female characters does not automatically equal sexism. That is all.

#21 Edited by Clonedzero (4196 posts) -

Unless its a major issue, then i want people to shut up about it. I dont mind petit (?) at gamespot mentioning it, she seems sensitive about it and it was only a small footnote, so no biggy. Polygon mentioned it because its polygon and stupid.

Jeff didn't mention it in his review, most other review didn't mention it either. It's a nonissue. Stop talking about it.

#22 Posted by LikeaSsur (1592 posts) -

I honestly have no idea where this sexism topic came from. Every other GTA never had this issue.

Sign of the times, I guess. I hope it just doesn't end up where developers throw in every race and gender into their game just for diversity's sake, or else video games will become as forced and fake as most college website photos.

#23 Posted by McGhee (6075 posts) -

Lack of a certain number of female characters does not automatically equal sexism. That is all.

#24 Edited by sdharrison (476 posts) -

@itwastuesday said:

I find the presence of a stripper-groping minigame which implies that women strippers will like you more if you grope them, combined with the apparent absence of any memorable female, further combininated with the fact that there's a "hilarious" "satirical" radio ad about using women as urinals, all pretty fucking gross.

Do you know that some women actually have rape fantasies? Some of them even want to be urinated on. Might as well pack it in, bruthr. This world has gone to hell.

#25 Edited by Itwastuesday (984 posts) -

@sdharrison said:

@itwastuesday said:

I find the presence of a stripper-groping minigame which implies that women strippers will like you more if you grope them, combined with the apparent absence of any memorable female, further combininated with the fact that there's a "hilarious" "satirical" radio ad about using women as urinals, all pretty fucking gross.

Do you know that women actually have rape fantasies? Some of the even want to be urinated on. Might as well pack it in, bruthr. This world has gone to hell.

i bet this game is mondo popular on the pissmatron.net forums

Online
#26 Posted by sdharrison (476 posts) -

I honestly have no idea where this sexism topic came from. Every other GTA never had this issue.

Sign of the times, I guess. I hope it just doesn't end up where developers throw in every race and gender into their game just for diversity's sake, or else video games will become as forced and fake as most college website photos.

I lold. So true. Or textbooks with a caucasian female shooting some hoops with her wheelchair bound male asian friend.

#27 Posted by Brodehouse (10134 posts) -

@itwastuesday: Just about any recognizable ... anything, is at some level based on stereotypes and tropes, whether they're playing into them, subverting them, averting, zigzagging, discussing, so on.

Hell, even the 'boring mainstream comedian who tells obvious jokes based on obvious stereotypes' is a trope in itself.

#28 Posted by sdharrison (476 posts) -

@itwastuesday: Things are positively swollen over there right about now...

#29 Posted by Equal_Opportunity_Destroyer497 (560 posts) -

I cannot stress how utterly sick I am of this issue being brought up every time a noteworthy game gets released. Mark my words: there will be so many post-release articles all about how GTAV is sexist that our heads will spin. Ten bucks says Polygon will be among the first to publish one. Can't the industry just go back to hating on video game violence again?

#30 Posted by sdharrison (476 posts) -

I cannot stress how utterly sick I am of this issue being brought up every time a noteworthy game gets released. Mark my words: there will be so many post-release articles all about how GTAV is sexist that our heads will spin. Ten bucks says Polygon will be among the first to publish one. Can't the industry just go back to hating on video game violence again?

Even the Tomb Raider reboot was under the microscope because the things being DONE to the strong, independent and capable female protagonist were abhorrent. Crazy.

#31 Posted by davidwitten22 (1708 posts) -

@itwastuesday said:

I find the presence of a stripper-groping minigame which implies that women strippers will like you more if you grope them, combined with the apparent absence of any memorable female, further combininated with the fact that there's a "hilarious" "satirical" radio ad about using women as urinals, all pretty fucking gross.

Do you know that some women actually have rape fantasies? Some of them even want to be urinated on. Might as well pack it in, bruthr. This world has gone to hell.

How is that relevant to his point? It's amazing that people like you are actually able to function without falling over and choking on their own spit.

#32 Posted by sdharrison (476 posts) -

@sdharrison said:

@itwastuesday said:

I find the presence of a stripper-groping minigame which implies that women strippers will like you more if you grope them, combined with the apparent absence of any memorable female, further combininated with the fact that there's a "hilarious" "satirical" radio ad about using women as urinals, all pretty fucking gross.

Do you know that some women actually have rape fantasies? Some of them even want to be urinated on. Might as well pack it in, bruthr. This world has gone to hell.

How is that relevant to his point? It's amazing that people like you are actually able to function without falling over and choking on their own spit.

Oh hey "I keep my opinions quiet, and inside my brain the way it should be" guy from the start of the thread. You wana come out and play?

#33 Posted by chrissedoff (2167 posts) -

Dinging a game's score because it lacks well-drawn female characters does nothing to advance the art-form of video games. If the agenda of these critics is ultimately to have video games and video game criticism be taken as seriously as that of literature and film, they should emulate those critics' policy of judging individual works on their merits, rather than for the ways that it fails to promote the social values in which the critic believes.

If these video game critics want to write about mainstream video games' moral & social blind spots in a more general sense, and if they want to use Grand Theft Auto V or any other game as an example in that more generalized criticism, that can be very valuable and it's healthy for the medium. Quibbles about sociopolitical messages that a given video game is or isn't promoting might even be worth a couple of sentences in the body of a game review. However, a policy of holding points hostage until game developers get hip to whatever agenda the critic may have is the exact opposite of maturation of the discipline; it's enforcement, and it takes creative freedom away from creators.

#34 Posted by Subjugation (4741 posts) -

@likeassur said:

I honestly have no idea where this sexism topic came from. Every other GTA never had this issue.

Sign of the times, I guess. I hope it just doesn't end up where developers throw in every race and gender into their game just for diversity's sake, or else video games will become as forced and fake as most college website photos.

I lold. So true. Or textbooks with a caucasian female shooting some hoops with her wheelchair bound male asian friend.

Haha, it's funny because it's true. Honestly though, the whole sexism shtick is severely overused. Quite frankly I'm tired of hearing about it. This is not a meaningful platform to try to tackle the issue. People play video games to get away from the nonsense of real life, so people should stop trying to drag all of that back in. If they want to argue about sexism they should go do it somewhere where it matters and might actually mean something.

#35 Edited by sdharrison (476 posts) -

Dinging a game's score because it lacks well-drawn female characters does nothing to advance the art-form of video games. If the agenda of these critics is ultimately to have video games and video game criticism be taken as seriously as that of literature and film, they should emulate those critics' policy of judging individual works on their merits, rather than for the ways that it fails to promote the social values in which the critic believes.

If these video game critics want to write about mainstream video games' moral & social blind spots in a more general sense, and if they want to use Grand Theft Auto V or any other game as an example in that more generalized criticism, that can be very valuable and it's healthy for the medium. Quibbles about sociopolitical messages that a given video game is or isn't promoting might even be worth a couple of sentences in the body of a game review. However, a policy of holding points hostage until game developers get hip to whatever agenda the critic may have is the exact opposite of maturation of the discipline; it's enforcement, and it takes creative freedom away from creators.

Well said - thanks

#36 Posted by Equal_Opportunity_Destroyer497 (560 posts) -

@sdharrison: Yeah I remember that and I found it to be just as ridiculous. I really seems that no one can win here. Don't put a woman in your game (GTAV) you get lambasted. You do it "wrong" (Tomb Raider) and you get lambasted. You do it well (Remember Me, Mirror's Edge) and nobody gives a damn. I just can't care anymore.

#37 Edited by 34f3ecwdc3 (162 posts) -

More popcorn !

#38 Posted by Animasta (14728 posts) -

@sdharrison: Yeah I remember that and I found it to be just as ridiculous. I really seems that no one can win here. Don't put a woman in your game (GTAV) you get lambasted. You do it "wrong" (Tomb Raider) and you get lambasted. You do it well (Remember Me, Mirror's Edge) and nobody gives a damn. I just can't care anymore.

the tomb raider bullshit was due to comments the guy (some sort of producer) made before the game came out. No one cared by the time the game actually game out besides people who found the excessive gore of the instant kills a little much.

#39 Posted by Clonedzero (4196 posts) -

@animasta said:
@equal_opportunity_destroyer497 said:

@sdharrison: Yeah I remember that and I found it to be just as ridiculous. I really seems that no one can win here. Don't put a woman in your game (GTAV) you get lambasted. You do it "wrong" (Tomb Raider) and you get lambasted. You do it well (Remember Me, Mirror's Edge) and nobody gives a damn. I just can't care anymore.

the tomb raider bullshit was due to comments the guy (some sort of producer) made before the game came out. No one cared by the time the game actually game out besides people who found the excessive gore of the instant kills a little much.

Are you forgetting about how people were like "omg she grunted and moaned when she got hurt and when she was moving this heavy object! They're sex noises!" nonsense?

#40 Posted by Salarn (469 posts) -

GTA V not having a female protagonist is not innately sexist, people are free to make games and tell stories about the characters they choose.

A creator of the game saying “The concept of being masculine was so key to the story” Dan Houser, as the reason for no female protagonist is however sexist. Femininity and Masculinity are not exclusive by gender.

If anyone's finished the game, does the story of the game only work because the main characters were male?

#41 Edited by 5Figh (172 posts) -

im very excited to play the game and if the issues brought up in the reviews play out in a way that unnerves me i will probably say so in a non aggressive manner and if they dont well then i just wont say anything. im not looking to create anymore negativity in this already extremely negative community (the gaming community as a whole that is)

#42 Posted by sdharrison (476 posts) -

@salarn said:

GTA V not having a female protagonist is not innately sexist, people are free to make games and tell stories about the characters they choose.

A creator of the game saying “The concept of being masculine was so key to the story” Dan Houser, as the reason for no female protagonist is however sexist. Femininity and Masculinity are not exclusive by gender.

If anyone's finished the game, does the story of the game only work because the main characters were male?

Buddy cop movie with Michelle Rodriguez and Paul Rudd. Explore themes, solve crimes. Never have sex.

#43 Posted by Sploder (917 posts) -

I don't know, but this whole movement is starting to feel less like a thing that people care about and more like an agenda than needs to be aggressively pushed. The way the topic was brought up in the Polygon review was so fucking stilted it felt like an afterthought.

#44 Posted by Marokai (3151 posts) -

I agree with @humanity in the reviews megathread when he said that, even if the game does not have nice female characters, even if the main characters themselves are all overly macho straight men, that does not, a sexist game, make. Sexism and misogyny are very powerful terms that people have been throwing around way way way too much lately, and nothing I have seen or read about GTA V makes the game misogynistic. Having really gross female characters, or having some weird section of the game where you play with a strippers tits, does not mean the game hates women or discriminates against women. It's just the story and the world of this particular game.

If people want to say they don't like that, that's completely fair (and I'm gay, so what the hell do I get out of a tit-playing minigame?) but people need to stop throwing around terms to justify their own personal dislike of things.

#45 Posted by Brodehouse (10134 posts) -

@salarn said:

A creator of the game saying “The concept of being masculine was so key to the story” Dan Houser, as the reason for no female protagonist is however sexist. Femininity and Masculinity are not exclusive by gender.

I think that's more sexism through innocent ignorance than through intentional bigotry. He's not trying to fuck someone over, he's just trying to explain himself. If he had said "being masculine as a man" or simply "being 'a man' in the modern sense" would there be a problem? That is his point, that is what he was trying to say, he is trying to make a game about 'being a man', or at least he says he does.

Not everyone has heard that gender identity/expression and sex are not exclusive, but it's not hard to understand once it's explained. But condemning people as vile, abusive sexists before you've even bothered to offer them some knowledge is never going to get you anywhere. You and I understand it now, but at one point we didn't and had to learn. I don't think either of us were guilty of sexist abuse, we were just a little innocently uninformed. They don't teach this shit in public school, or at least not while I was in it.

#46 Edited by mrfluke (5350 posts) -

@marokai said:

I agree with @humanity in the reviews megathread when he said that, even if the game does not have nice female characters, even if the main characters themselves are all overly macho straight men, that does not, a sexist game, make. Sexism and misogyny are very powerful terms that people have been throwing around way way way too much lately, and nothing I have seen or read about GTA V makes the game misogynistic. Having really gross female characters, or having some weird section of the game where you play with a strippers tits, does not mean the game hates women or discriminates against women. It's just the story and the world of this particular game.

If people want to say they don't like that, that's completely fair but people need to stop throwing around terms to justify their own personal dislike of things.

this

#47 Posted by sdharrison (476 posts) -

@marokai said:

I agree with @humanity in the reviews megathread when he said that, even if the game does not have nice female characters, even if the main characters themselves are all overly macho straight men, that does not, a sexist game, make. Sexism and misogyny are very powerful terms that people have been throwing around way way way too much lately, and nothing I have seen or read about GTA V makes the game misogynistic. Having really gross female characters, or having some weird section of the game where you play with a strippers tits, does not mean the game hates women or discriminates against women. It's just the story and the world of this particular game.

If people want to say they don't like that, that's completely fair (and I'm gay, so what the hell do I get out of a tit-playing minigame?) but people need to stop throwing around terms to justify their own personal dislike of things.

I continue to agree with you on goddamn everything

#48 Edited by mrfluke (5350 posts) -

Sign of the times, I guess. I hope it just doesn't end up where developers throw in every race and gender into their game just for diversity's sake, or else video games will become as forced and fake as most college website photos.

and this is what im most afraid of as well, where a game cant come out without being crucified for what it is. and developers will have to bend to every single little thing we rage about.

#50 Edited by ottoman673 (573 posts) -

Hey, hold on a second.

This is motherfucking Grand Theft Auto. A game where you mow down/shoot/blow up/otherwise massacre innocent civilians, cops, perform heists, and do just about every illegal thing in the book... and people are worried about how women are treated?

I must've missed the memo where criminal society treats women as first-rate citizens.

On an overarching note: Why does modern games journalism feel that there's a need for affirmative action in order to make sure women are given lead roles in games? Why is it so fucking horrible that game designers want to tell their story, their way, regardless of who the lead character is? I could give two shits less if I'm playing as a macho white guy, or a strong woman, or a lead character of any other race - if it fits the artists' intentional vision, who the fuck are you to call them wrong for not shoehorning in a minority?