Discussion in 'PC/Console Game Discussion' started by Nebty, Nov 28, 2012.
Goddammit, Civilization V and now Mass Effect? Is EVERYONE going to hex maps now?
This can all be laid at the feet of, and pardon the expression, graphics whores. There was a point where you couldn't sexualize female characters for the most part, because there wasn't enough graphical fidelity to do it. So it was probably just not something that anyone thought about doing. There's only so many pixels and the budget was spent making sure you got the right idea of what the character was supposed to be.
Ultima 7, oddly enough, was one of the first games to have nudity, if you could call it that.
But then suddenly 3d became A Thing, and everyone was in a rush to make things as realistic and high fidelity as possible, and I guess at some point someone was modelling lara croft and said "ha ha, check this out GUYZ" and I would love to know who that person was, so we can pin everything that has happened since on him.
Yes, I know this isn't the real issue.
When I was a kid, my best friend was a girl, whom I met before Kindergarten even. She had all the videogames, and I spent all my time with her, and we played games for a long time, trading off controllers when parts got too hard, or we needed a break. We would coordinate our sick days so we could play Sega. Hell, my first gaming was on our home 2600, which was my mother's.
To me, it had been perfectly natural that girls and women played games. It wasn't until I actually entered college, at a videogame school no less, that I realized there was a weird inexplicable imbalance. 1997. Also around the time that 3D started happening. There was exactly one girl in my class, and I will spare you her terrible stories.
I've been fighting against that ridiculous bullshit ever since. It is a long uphill battle when you are surrounded by guys who think the studio is a frat house, and think it's funny as hell to be as juvenile as possible.
I am actually lucky in that my career has been largely in studios with a significant female presence. Bioware had a lot of women, even though it was biased towards support staff; but their husbands worked at Bioware, or were eventually hired at Bioware, and having that as a balance largely negated any potential sexism. The four years after that weren't as pleasant, because DE was filled with boys who liked going for the juvenile slant even though some of us fought against it.
Ubisoft has a significantly higher ratio of women than most studios, they hover well over 10 percent, which sounds sad, but when you work at a studio like Montreal where there's 2000 employees, that is a lot of women in all places of development, from QA all the way up to the very top (Jade Raymond). I never witnessed any sexism there; but it's also where most of my women coworker friends have experienced their very worst stories.
I don't know where I was going with this, so I'm going to sum it up with nowadays it's all shit. But I hope it gets better.
Dug this up, made by a friend of mine who noticed the same thing and was really annoyed. He took an image that went around and then extrapolated:
Also the guy who made that image just wrote this, which is absolutely worth linking here:
I had this same viewpoint until I ran into the winged armor:
I mean come on, if I had the body I would totally wear that in real life (ok probably not because doors would be my ultra nemesis but I want to). My mesmer wore a nice and sober set of cloth armor until she found that, and now she just wears that because dyes look seriously awesome with it. I've yet to see any armor that outclassed it for style.
Plus it gives you a magical cooter tattoo which I've not yet managed to decide how I feel about yet.
My necro used to wear this:
so that he'd look all flashy, but then I found a neato set that, well:
is neato. So now he wears this!
SO anyway sidetrack eliminated, I totally get this viewpoint but I do kinda like the skimpier options on display not so much because I want to stare at digibooty as because they, well, they fabulous as hell. I really do wish it was easier to swap around the wardrobe though, I hate that it's such a pain in the ass so that I can't, say, swap my mesmer into robes in the snow and her flashy wings in the beach and all that. Instead it's one set of clothing all day erryday. Blech.
The fact that they previously managed to get it right - twice! - makes it all the more baffling that they got it so wrong in ME3. Oh - wait. They used her for marketing. Never mind, not baffling at all.
See, I don't necessarily think that the idea that children play with dolls is something to be ashamed of. I mean, it's an example of the bias shown even at early stages of development that girls play with "dolls" while boys play with "action figures" (whatever the hell the difference is suppose to be), but the idea of children acting out their imaginations with smaller toy figurines is not something sad in and of itself. Powerpuff Girls is a great example of positive and well-made programming for kids of both genders, as is MLP:FiM. Lauren Faust, who's behind both shows, is a damn superhero of children's cartoons.
I really didn't mind the Shepard "redesign" between 1 and 2. It felt more like a refinement than a true revamp. Two to three was not as kind. Still, the character design could be a lot worse. (See: Miranda) I like that Shepard has a boyish figure and is a bit thicker in the middle compared to most female character models.
How can it be 'worse' than 'infinitely wrong'? Model was perfectly acceptable, and then suddenly it was not. That shit should be throwing divide by zero errors.
Are there many women in independent game development? It seems like that would cut out at least a couple layers of bullshit.
My sister loved Tera and the Elim race in that game, and those were sexism public enemy #1 for a while in a lot of places. A lot of the dating games people here play also seem to have questionable viewpoints on gender roles. I guess the issue is mostly when almost every game has a questionable viewpoint on gender roles.
Oh no, I certainly don't think dolls are inherently a bad thing. It's more a case that dolls were always babies, faeries or Barbies when I was little, and that always reinforced the motherhood and prettiness angle. There weren't any socially acceptable alternative options or toys. Now there seems to be more balance, and more acceptable alternatives. So you can be a princess in the morning, and when you get bored of that you can save the world as a superhero or whatever, and when you're bored of that move on to something else. Even My Little Pony and Disney Princesses seem to have more attitude and agency than they did in my day.
This all makes me sound so old. I'm only 29 :(
EDIT: The lack of acceptable alternatives is one of the reasons why I got into gaming. Suddenly I could be the prince and go swordfight!
There's a fuckton.
edit: In fact there's probably more in indie dev than in game industry dev, since a lot of the sexism issues are... maybe not avoided, but sidestepped by just staying indie.
Not having read your RTS articles (I'm not a strategy fan), I didn't really know who you were, and your big post above certainly did sound like it came from someone a lot older, which makes me sad, because no one younger than I am should have to sound like they have dealt with so much bullshit.
The appeal of those, I think, is that they're from a female perspective (femprotagonist wooing dudes). That's very rare for videogames, which are nearly all from a guy's perspective.
She looked really odd in ME1.
My Little Pony is awesome now. It's on Netflix streaming, so if you want something uplifting you should totally watch it (the Friendship is Magic version, that is).
I used to play with my Barbies like boys do action figures. I would have Dinosaur Hunter Barbie, and Famous Archaeologist/Adventurer Barbie, who would swing around the under construction part of the house with her hairbrush/rifle. Sure, I also would dress her up in super awesome wedding clothes (because my grandmother was an incredible sewer) but I would totally go on adventures with her also.
It is acceptable and she really isn't much different in ME2. Her armor is offering some better support and there is better shading on the model. She's wearing make-up too, but that was an option in ME1. Her silhouette is the same. I think complaining about those changes is just splitting hairs.
I've always considered myself to have gotten off lightly. After all, I've not been groped at a trade event, or been belittled by my boss, or been set upon by the internet crazies, or many of the other stories which have been repeated time and again as part of #1reasonwhy. Most of what I've faced has been fairly standard for the times, and it allows me to appreciate that things are indeed gradually changing. It's not all bad. For years I've been part of an internet forum which accepted me as a female gamer with open arms, respected me, and let me be just another person aside from the occasional hiccough - I expect a lot of other female gamers at that time couldn't say the same. I had parents who supported my a-typical interests in defiance of tut-tutting from elsewhere.
I've been wanting to watch it for a while now. There's a certain attitude in the artwork which I like, lots of personality and colour. Very distinctive.
Hehe. I made replica armour for the male dolls which came with my Flower Fairies. Romans, medieval knights, all sorts. Hey - my gran did say I should take up something more feminine, like sewing! Not quite what she had in mind ...
I was talking about ME3. ME2 was a fine refinement.
Nintendo's next Super Mario game needs to have some role reversal, I say. Let Peach rescue the boys, for once. I, for one, would buy the SHIT out of that game - even if it meant having to purchase a Wii-U.
She did get the native armor for her Silvari caster, but in her opinion it was different because her character has bark to protect her anyway.
Don't forget she is only 12 years old, and still thinks boys have cooties, so very sexy armor just seems weird to her. Pretty dresses is a very different thing, she loves the Caster Heritage armor for example.
My daughter and her friends love Monster High Dolls, which at least is a small step forward. Imagine a High School with kids like the daughters of Frankenstein, Dracula, The Phantom of the Opera, The monster of the Blue Lagoon and so on, together with the sons of Medusa, a werewolf... well you get the idea. They all struggle to fit in, and the main message from the books and short videos is that in the end it doesn't really matter who you are, just be yourself. The dolls themselves still have ridiculous figures and clothing though. But they aren't exactly pretty in a conventional way. Frankie Stein has stitches everywhere for example.
I definitely share your optimism about how things aren't perfect, but at least there's an upward line to be noticed.
That said, I have noticed that toys for children are becoming increasingly separated into either 'boy' or 'girl' categories. It's more of an experience than real actual figures, but what I've noticed from my parents' godchildren and little neighbour girls, is that there is way more 'pink stuff' than when I was a kid. I'm now 20, but I can't remember ever having as much Disney princesses shit as they now have. And I don't remember my friends having it either. Sure there were the princess dresses every now and again, but I never remember actually wanting to be a princess. I was more likely to dress like my brother (whom I looked up to) with plastic swords and such. My heroes were Pippi Longstocking and Peter Pan. The heroes of these little girls are Beauty (from the Beast) and Snow White and Cinderella. They want to marry princes. They're between 5 and 9 years old and they're thinking about stuff like marriage? It might be I had a pretty sheltered upbringing, but I doubt that since my parents let me watch Life of Brian when I was 8 (first time I saw full frontal nudity people!) and let me and my brother play Duke Nukem at around this age. I never ever thought about my wedding day or whatever. I look around me and see a real decline in the way these girls have their gender roles defined, at least from what I see in my own experience.
And I'm ranting mainly against Disney Princesses here, since I happen to like Barbie. There are very real problems with the Barbie design and the way this doll came about even, but I think the Barbie franchise is one of the few girls' toys that went with the times. Barbie became a doctor, an astronaut, a computer engineer. She even became the president! Yes, there is a lot of stuff about Barbie which is problematic at best (especially the non-doll stuff, like the movies), but at least they're trying to give girls an incredibly varied set of role models, which is more than I can say for Disney.
TL;DR: fuck the Disney Princesses franchise.
One of these things is not like the others. One of these things just doesn't belong. Can you tell which thing is not like the others by the time I finish my song?
Mirriam You just introduced me to male orchid armor which has wings. I have one word! One! Word!
I have no idea, but I'm sure I did something wrong :D
As a person who owns a lot of Pathfinder books with a lot of Pathfinder art, I really, really don't think Paizo deserves all those pats on the back. There is plenty of physics-defying cheesecake art in their stuff. Much like GW2, I think giving them credit for having some non-hypersexualized art usually gets taken too far. GW2 lets me dress my character how I want (assuming I'm willing to grind if needed), which is nice, but still throws 40 other dudes playing female elementalists in bikinis in my face, which means it doesn't do a whole lot of good in terms of sending a message to female gamers about their portrayal. It really makes me miss the instanced PVE in GW1 sometimes. For Pathfinder, you just have to look at the ratio of art involving Seoni (the 3/4 naked sorcerer iconic with the dress that would be non-functional in normal gravity) to art involving Seelah (the above mentioned paladin iconic) to see how far they have to go. If anything the Pathfinder iconics are a couple steps *back* from the 3rd edition ones in an overall sense.
The MMO company who deserves the most credit for making character armor realistic and sensible is actually Mythic (witch elves aside, but you can't do much with that license.) DAOC was really pretty amazing in that way - and they also didn't oversex the character models when they did the big graphical update either which is something of a miracle. As much as I have a billion complaints about basically everything else about their games, I think that deserves a ton of credit.
Tangled is actually pretty good, (from my admittedly male perspective), she managed to capture the male protagonist and definitely holds her own. I think a lot of the older stuff however, hasn't aged well.
Yeah, maybe I wasn't clear but I mean the princesses like Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Beauty. I saw Mulan in theaters as a kid, and I always thought she was a badass. I love Mulan. I watched those other movies too, sure, but my parents never bought me exclusively toys that catered to fucked up gender roles, and that's my main problem.
Also, I didn't really like Tangled but not because of the gender stuff, I just thought it was pretty bland.
The Phantom of the Opera is not a monster! He's just misunderstood.
Mulan was great, but I also really liked Belle from Beauty and the Beast. She was quirky, intelligent, and didn't take shit from anyone, not even the Beast. And she was realisically pissed off at him for keeping her locked up in his castle.
I like Disney. I grew up with those movies and, yes, while the whole princess thing has become rather overblown the Disney films from my childhood were still beautiful, quality movies that starred women. A lot of the movies that Disney is coming out with now star boys (because of that old chestnut of "girls will watch male leads but boys won't watch female leads).
Belle *is* pretty awesome. She's not motivated by chasing after the guy, she's got a good relationship with her father, she's basically a 'nerd' (albeit a glammed up Hot Librarian type of nerd), etc.
I'm not going to pretend like Beauty and the Beast is some masterwork of messaging but it's miles ahead of, say, The Little Mermaid or the early films.
I don't remember Mulan, but Belle, like just about all the rest, ends up staring dreamily into some guy's eyes. That's always presented as the goal, and there's (one of ) the problems.
Was little mermaid that bad? I vaguely remember her being pretty independent at least in the first half of the movie.
I have serious problems with Belle. Not the character, as a little bookworm I could identify with that. But that whole 'Stockholm syndrome' thing? I can definitely see that in this movie. He is super violent and she is her prisoner, but eventually "adapts to survive" and everything is okay because it turns out he is a handsome prince and yay! Yeah, that bothers me.
They tried to do good with this story by making her a smart independent girl, but it's still a story about a helpless female character that eventually has to see the good side of her captor, because what else is she going to do. I know it's kind of the stereotypical deeper meaning to a Disney movie that might not even be there, and I get that they were going for "everyone deserves a second chance", but they sort of failed at that IMO.
Oh, and the little mermaid let's her voice be stolen so she can hit on some guy she's never even talked to. Maybe it's not really bad but it's at least really weird.
I don't find anything unempowering or sexist about making your movie at its core a love story. I don't mind if you create a female character who will, as part of her character arc, fall in love with another. But make sure she's still a fully realized person. The point of your story might be that she and Male Lead fall in love and live happily ever after, but that shouldn't be the point of the character. To that end, I like Belle, and Mulan, and Rapunzel (duh), and a ton of other Disney films and such.
Just... arg. Just treat women like people. Just make female characters that are people. Honestly, this shouldn't be that hard.
I think her motivations send a really questionable message - give up everything you are in order to catch the man you want!
EDIT: She's independent, in the sense that she doesn't really listen to her parentsdad or act how her sisters think she should, but that core issue is still there.
She was ready to give it up before she even met the dude, though, iirc. She wanted to be where the people are. Flipping your fins you don't get too far. It's possible I'm wrong about the timing, though.
Ehh, I can see where you're coming from, but in the Disney version it wasn't Belle who changed, it was the Beast. Belle only warmed up to him once he stopped throwing temper tantrums and actually started talking to her. Now, that's also problematic but less so than if Belle changed herself to fit in with the Beast.
And I was always annoyed as a little kid when the Beast changed into your stereotypical handsome prince at the end.
But the classic Disney princess movies are never able to hold a candle to Studio Ghibli movies in terms of awesome female role models for young girls. I'm so glad I live in a world where those movies exist.
But that's also bad. Because then it becomes a message about abusive relationships, in that "don't worry girls, he will eventually change, you just have to be patient". Or something... I don't know, I have good reasoning for the problems I have with this movie but I'm finding it really hard to put it into words and it looks like the only thing that's coming out is "FEMINIST RAAAAAAGE". Which sometimes is true but not really my intention. I mean about the rage part, I think it's pretty clear by now where I stand about the feminist part :P (which is why I love this forum, because different opinions yes, but everybody is on the same side).
Edit: Also, I'm really sorry about derailing this thread, I'll shut up about it now.
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