Discussion in 'PC/Console Game Discussion' started by Nebty, Nov 28, 2012.
Yup. People threw a serious shitfit over this.
Alyx is pathetic. She wants to be the girlfriend/best friend of a man who won't even speak to her. That she is held up as a positive example just shows how low expectations are.
What fucking planet are you people on?
Huh, weird that it's so much different from pretty much every other portrayal of a male elf ever.
What on earth is she wearing?!
Full disclosure: My first Bioware game was Mass Effect (then I went back and played the others). I've never seen that particular piece of art.
That backlash was already happening long before #1ReasonWhy. That's not to say backlash shouldn't continue in both channels, but Disney is just, um... higher profile maybe? Meaning that people don't have to be gamers/twitter users to see it. For instance, this image made the rounds on FB a couple years ago and was frequently shared even among my wacky-ass conservative Disney-loving family:
Which made it interesting when it was just the night elf dudes. They're big and muscle-y and even have facial hair! Then the blood elves happened and it was like "oh, they just roid out everyone. :( "
On that note, remember this. Dude unironically writes that Space Marine
And, at least in terms of AA/AAA titles, he's might be right. The extent of Mira's characterization is that she's
A: stressed (because duh, as a second lieutenant she's the highest-ranked survivor and is in charge of what remains of an entire regiment)
B: hyper-competent, so she locks that shit down and gets on with the job.
C: just another soldier. Except, you know, totally badass. You can only tell her apart from the rest of the IG because she doesn't have a helmet on.
And that's about it. It's Space Marine, so that's sufficient for the purposes of the game, but it doesn't speak well of the competition that they can't (or don't try to) do better than "Good at her job (and her boss' job, and her boss' boss' job and...), too busy running a war to do anything else"
This wasn't obvious from the humans?
Humans are "supposed" to be more beefy than elves, so it didn't really count. The fact the night elf dudes were also buff (with teeny tiny postage stamp butts, which still makes me laugh) was interesting-ish. I have had a lot of issues with their character models through the years, though, we'd be here all night if I went off about all of them. <3
(Draenei ladies still piss me off.)
I literally went "OH COME ON!" when I saw 'em ingame for the first time.
I had a Draenei Paladin back when I still played. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the model was so curvy, because female character models are usually rail-thin.Then I discovered that I'd set the aspect ratio wrong.
That was more or less my reaction when I first saw a screen shot of them. Then I saw them IN ACTION and it was even more eye-rolly. The fact that the dude ones are like three times as wide is just extra fuck-you icing on the sexism cake.
And Nebty, that cracks me up. Although it does remind me how I was pleasantly surprised that the lady taurens and the lady dwarves were actually pretty curvy. I still sadface a bit about how they chickened out and elfified the female trolls, though. And they STILL don't blink, the female trolls. Which blows my mind, for some reason.
Neither do the female dwarves in Rift. Or at least, they didn't when I was still playing.
Not to mention that there isn't a single dwarf lady NPC in the entire gameworld. Plenty of dwarves. All male.
(But I'm derailing. Sorry.)
God, I PLAYED a female dwarf in Rift and I didn't notice the no blinking. Totally noticed I was basically the only lady dwarf alive, though.
I'd say it's relative. One one hand there is Bioware, on the other we have someplace like Rockstar. Again, Relative.
Speaking of Rockstar, I heard a bunch of rumours that GTA5 would feature multiple protagonists and that one of them would be a woman.
The reveal came and, whaddaya know, multiple protagonists and not a woman in sight. *sigh* I guess it was too much to hope for.
You can play as a woman in Saints Row the Third, I did in my second game. She was pretty badass.
Haven't played the third one yet but I loved my SR2 protag. Yeah, she still hung out at strip clubs during cutscenes and every single house you can buy has a stripper pole, but it actually didn't bug me as much as I thought it would. I figure that in order to be the leader of a gang in a very sexist subculture, you need to do those kinds of things, regardless of whether you're a man or a woman, in order to prove yourself to your subordinates. For me, that made my character much more well-rounded than the developers probably intended.
I've never seen that ad before, myself. I don't think it got a lot of use - and in any case advertising material tends to lag behind the actual game content on this sort of thing.
but hey at least she isn't on a stripper pole, or getting slapped around for the temerity of asking questions.
Nah, she just got killed for being a weak-willed betrayer of the city.
Betrayer because... her boyfriend died.
I just liked that her commentary and lines were as kickass as the male ones. Also, you can beat people to death with giant dildos.
One thing that did bug me was that there are fans of yours you can find scattered around the city with cameras. You pose for a picture and get some money. When you do one with the female protagonist, she does a pinup pose. I was like, "Really, guys?"
So I went to find a video about this, and this was one of the first things that popped up, apparently from Blizzcon 2011. Ummm.
Also, it's pretty much impossible to improve upon the real music video for that song:
caesarbear You know, I have no problem with the exotic dancers in Mass Effect. I understand that Cora's Den is not at all an inviting place for women as patrons of the establishment, but in that game if you are going in there as a woman you are wearing a powered armour suit and you're carrying a wide variety of weaponry. You're in control there. The separation of yourself from the scene is strong; there's not the slightest hint that it would be Shepard dancing around a pole. Sure, you can sit an watch them, and get camera angles on the dancers and things. You can do that, but you don't have to do that, and you have to go find the interaction point for it yourself. You don't get an introductory lingering camera pan over a dancer when you first go in; what you look at and how you look at it is entirely up to the player with the joypad, who has full control over the camera.
You see how I'm talking about "control" a lot? That's really the crux of it for me. Do I feel like I am in control of Shepard's responses, or am I finding that Shepard is checking out asses that I don't personally want to examine closely? Which is where, as mentioned earlier, the third game has some problems.
I also understand that some people are offended by the mere presence of the dancers. I think that it spins out into a whole other discussion about power and freedom of choice and internalised sexism and things, but I'm not at the stage where I want to ban strip clubs just yet.
Yeah. And y'know what? I still think my screwy-aspect-ratio Draenei looked hotter than the real one.
If Maleshep and Femshep are sitting down at that table in the understanding that they have complete control, what is the freedom of choice of the Asari dancer who is supposedly expressing her sexuality, which happens to be in the form of a male domination fantasy, when they are a race of hot blue babes with no men.
I have no idea. Is Sherlock Holmes gay? There's no way to tell. We aren't given enough information in the Mass Effect universe to decide one way or another really. The Asari are a very powerful and respected race; the oldest and most technologically advanced. They have only one gender, so they aren't internally gender-oppressed. It seems very unlikely they would be oppressed by other races generally. We never explicitly meet a down-on-her-luck Asari, desperate and drug-addicted, being exploited by men with no respect for her as a person, but that's certainly a narrative you could paste over the top of the bar scene. As I already made clear, I accept that some people would be offended by the echoes of all-too-common scenarios in our real world, but this is a fantasy game and I don't react that way. As I said, I understand the reaction, I just don't share it. My presumption, given the lack of evidence from the game to the contrary, is that she's earning a few space-bucks doing something she finds personally rewarding.
But looking even wider, we find Asari absolutely everywhere. There's no question that Asari are capable fighters, skilled scientists, selfish mercenaries, everything you can be in the Mass Effect universe. The game doesn't say "this race of all-female aliens is only for sex". I have no problem with games, and art in general, addressing issues of love, sex, lust, relationship, attraction, whatever - as long as it is not making offensive generalizations.
Yeah, but that was pretty clearly the motivation behind their physical design.
Sure, I'll concede it's a nod to Star Trek, specifically green-skinned slave girls. But it's only a nod; the race is not slave girls. Quite the opposite, is often the implication - which is also the retcon that Star Trek Enterprise tried to pull.
The Asari are tricky because a lot of what they are - as you say, they've been in space the longest and are generally considered to be the most advanced - is completely undermined by their presentation a lot of the time. In ME1, while you did meet, y'know, Liara, the way the asari were presented was sex object first, space elves a distant second. You could make the argument that part of the reason this was so was so they could completely subvert that in the second one (you meet a much, much wider variety of asari in the second one, and much, much fewer Eye Candy-only ones), but the fact remains that for most of the people I've talked to about Mass Effect, the asari were the blue male fantasy race first, anything else second, which really hurts their cause when they become so much more than that in the second one.
I loved Mass Effect. I loved that my lady Shepard was the baddest motherfucker in the galaxy if I so chose. I loved that I totally slung Kaidan over my shoulder and carried his ass to safety on Virmire. But the asari were problematic from the start, and I can't blame people for pointing to it as an example of how even in a game where you can be one of the most empowering PCs I've ever played, there are still a lot of concessions to "herp derp gotta get the eye candy in there."
Yeah, I'm trying to be even-handed about it but I have to admit there are many troubling elements in there. It's like a struggle within the team, some trying to keep things gender-friendly and others basically just falling lazily back onto well-worn fantasy tropes.
I hated the asari in the first one. A lot. They were even weird and lazy beyond the sex stuff with the whole witchy maiden/mother/crone stuff. But they did a really good job in the second one making them More Than That, and I came to like them pretty well. Plus the asari bartender matriarch was the best. First impressions are important, though, so they were fighting an uphill battle by then. :P
Which makes it even more bizarre that it's in their. Strip clubs stand the test of time and are the go to choice for future entertainment?
In what way is it personally rewarding? Does exotic dancing pad out the resume in the future?
Ignoring the Asari wandering around the Citadel, if I remember it right, the first Asari you hear of is the Consort, which doesn't sound promising to start with. The first "Asari" you interact with is Avina, the Citadel terminal, who is an obedient robotic slave. Hm. It's not a great start, is it?
The change was a direct result of feedback solicited from women alpha/beta testing the game way back in 2003/4. “We want to look tough and badass. And attractive, but not sexualised.” Source.
There's been a lot of talk in WoW lately about updating the character models. It's happening, but still quite a ways off. I wonder how they will treat the female horde models (and the alliance ones as well), considering things like this achievement exists.
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