Male vs Female Game Characters

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DaHeckIzDat
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Male vs Female Game Characters

Postby DaHeckIzDat » September 25th, 2017, 7:02 pm

I know there's been some hot debate about how video games lack female characters lately, and I just found a picture that makes as good an explanation as I've ever heard on the matter. I don't want to start a fight here or anything (go ahead and close the thread if you think that's going to happen) but I'd like to hear you guys' opinions on this.

Image

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Stalvern
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Re: Male vs Female Game Characters

Postby Stalvern » September 25th, 2017, 8:11 pm

But boring characters do sell video games. Guybrush Threepwood is very much a minority compared to all the superhuman badasses that have been selling games since nearly the dawn of the medium. There is no reason that a game developer can't put a Samus or Tracer, or even a Lara Croft, in their game instead of (or even alongside) a Master Chief, since they're all basically interchangeable anyway. That's why this is a discussion in the first place. (Why so few developers do this is anyone's guess, since female badasses like these tend to be very popular!)

And incidentally, I don't believe for a second that Galbrush would get that kind of response, if only because political axe-grinders would read her hardships as a critique of patriarchy. You'd need something closer to a female Leisure Suit Larry, some walking collection of gender stereotypes, if you actually wanted to draw fire.

This might actually be the dumbest thing I've read on the Internet today, and I have Yahoo! Answers open in another tab.

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DaHeckIzDat
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Re: Male vs Female Game Characters

Postby DaHeckIzDat » September 25th, 2017, 10:59 pm

I'm not so sure about that. What happens every time a Tomb Raider game comes out? What happened when Tracer got popular? What happened when Link was a boy in BotW instead of giving players the option to change genders? People threw fits. Look at Star Wars: The Force Awakens. People (very rightly) called Rey a Mary Sue, but their opinions got shot down because they were "sexist." We were told that we were sexist if we didn't love the new Ghostbusters movie. They whine when women have "bikini armor" when guys have been going into battle shirtless since the dawn of visual media. I have no doubt at all that "Galbrush" would be treated as an insult to all of womankind, or at least feministkind, if she were to have the same flaws as Guybrush.

I just want to say though that the whole thing really doesn't matter to me. The stance I take on video game diversity is the same one I take for movies and books: diversity is fine, but should never be a priority. When you stop focusing on telling a good story (or in this case, making a fun game) in order to satisfy the Minority Bingo players, the quality of the entire project goes down.

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Stalvern
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Re: Male vs Female Game Characters

Postby Stalvern » September 26th, 2017, 11:59 am

DaHeckIzDat wrote:I'm not so sure about that. What happens every time a Tomb Raider game comes out? What happened when Tracer got popular? What happened when Link was a boy in BotW instead of giving players the option to change genders? People threw fits.

There are people who will make a stink at any opportunity. No amount of righteously angry tweets from a few thousand idiots stopped any of those games from selling millions of copies. What happened? By any meaningful standard, nothing.

DaHeckIzDat wrote:Look at Star Wars: The Force Awakens. People (very rightly) called Rey a Mary Sue, but their opinions got shot down because they were "sexist."

Anyone who thinks that Rey is a "Mary Sue" completely misses the point of the character. Aside from her lightsaber skill (which is set up in literally her first scene!), she is not successful because she's just that good at everything. What she does is submit to the Force instead of hot-headedly trying to control it like Luke did - which was the entire reason that his journey was so arduous. It is a very, very obvious thematic contrast, exactly the kind of idea that would come out of the challenge of writing a "female Luke" without being redundant, and it only flies over nerds' heads because of their ridiculous need to pick apart the surface details of media without actually engaging the text (this need is why we have TV Tropes, "Everything Wrong With..." videos, and all the other junk food that passes for "analysis" and "criticism" on the Internet).

DaHeckIzDat wrote:We were told that we were sexist if we didn't love the new Ghostbusters movie.

A masterful gambit by Sony, one that only worked because they relentlessly baited the issue from the beginning, had an easy target in the sexist nerds who had already gotten themselves plenty of press with Gamergate (not that they were remotely as pervasive as they had been painted to be, but they were high-profile and facile to conflate with those around them), and had the money to get the ball rolling. Depressing, but hardly a representative case.

DaHeckIzDat wrote:They whine when women have "bikini armor" when guys have been going into battle shirtless since the dawn of visual media.

Bikini armor is insulting because of the patronizing lie that it is armor at all. Conan never pretended to have anything but his saber. Until mighty-thewed men charge into the fray in "codpiece armor", this is a meaningless comparison.

DaHeckIzDat wrote:I have no doubt at all that "Galbrush" would be treated as an insult to all of womankind, or at least feministkind, if she were to have the same flaws as Guybrush.

Am I supposed to read the word "feministkind" and not see you knocking down a straw man?

DaHeckIzDat wrote:I just want to say though that the whole thing really doesn't matter to me.

Which, I'm guessing, is why you made this thread.

DaHeckIzDat wrote:The stance I take on video game diversity is the same one I take for movies and books: diversity is fine, but should never be a priority. When you stop focusing on telling a good story (or in this case, making a fun game) in order to satisfy the Minority Bingo players, the quality of the entire project goes down.

The problem is that women aren't a minority. It's unreasonable that they should be treated like one.

pacman000
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Re: Male vs Female Game Characters

Postby pacman000 » September 26th, 2017, 6:00 pm

I found an online test authors can use to see if their characters are so-called Mary Sues. Ran it using what I knew of Luke and Rey. Rey passed, if only barely, but Luke failed miserably. But Luke had a disadvantage; the test asked about if the character agreed with the author's beliefs. I didn't know about Rey's writer, but I knew Lucas based Star Wars, in part, on the Vietnam war. And I think I better drop that line of thought right there.

I dislike the term Mary Sue, not for any political reason, but because it makes it hard to create a classic hero, in the vein of Jason or Odysseus. The term was useful when created, by a woman in the early 70's, to point out a cliche plot in Star Trek fan works, but beyond that it's been applied too broadly.

As for what Myrlynn132 posted...there's some truth to it; people can take anything the wrong way, but that's no reason to make all games about guys. Honestly, most games I play aren't story-focused; you could make the main character a boy or girl without changing anything. For story-focused games it's just a matter of writing a good story. Aliens works well with a female protagonist because it's a good story; Cutthroat Island failed, not because it had a female protagonist, but because the plot was muddled, the jokes fell flat, the acting was poor, and because it went way over budget.

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Rev
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Re: Male vs Female Game Characters

Postby Rev » September 26th, 2017, 6:39 pm

Eh... This thread has run it's course. It was a nice thought but locking.


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