Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby nitePhyyre » Sat Aug 03, 2013 6:06 pm UTC

Dear god. I just watched that third video. Apparently, in Spelunky you can choose whether to save a traditional damsel in distress, a Chippendale dancer, or a dog. The option of saving the girl is wrong because it reinforces sexists gender roles. The option of saving the guy is irrelevant because it doesn't reinforce a traditional trope*. And being able to pick a dog just shows that women are worthless and interchangeable with dogs.

And, if you are a game hacker, and modify sprites so that the girl is saving the dude in distress, then you are doing a good thing by turning gender roles on their heads. If you are a game developer and develop a game so that the girl is saving the dude in distress, then you aren't.

It would be interesting to see a video series like this, but without all logic and coherence stripped out to fit into a feminist narrative. I get the feeling that she's right and that there is some substance in the topic. I just can't see it behind all her FUD.
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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby Joeldi » Sat Aug 03, 2013 10:47 pm UTC

I find her video games videos entertaining and thought provoking, . Her views are not always my views, and at certain times I gasp at how much I dsiagree with an opinion, or the way she expresses it. But she has many a point and her voice is one that should be heard.

Having watched the videos, I've changed my opinion since the first page. She's used no LP content. Recording someone else's IP and putting it on youtube does not make it your IP. She shouldn't have to do jack shit in response to this.
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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby folkhero » Sun Aug 04, 2013 5:12 am UTC

yurell wrote:As an aside, I love the hypothetical game in the latest Tropes vs Women in Video Games, and would happily play it.

As someone pointed out on a different forum, Portal is basically that game in another setting. If you haven't played it yet, then I can say that yes, you will be happy if you play it.
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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby yurell » Sun Aug 04, 2013 5:20 am UTC

Loved Portal, it was brilliant.
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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby Gelsamel » Sun Aug 04, 2013 7:51 am UTC

It's also similar to Estelle's storyline in Vesperia, though she (and all the other characters) get outside help with their problems, so it wasn't solo like her example and she has her fair share of rescuing and being rescued.
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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby leady » Mon Aug 05, 2013 10:32 am UTC

That "game" plotline has been played out numerous times, with the minor exception of the comedy "im not getting rescued" part at the start

However the point that is missed is why aren't more games like this in the real world? Well the obvious ones that she seems to miss constantly:

Men are 90% of gamers and can't relate to a female lead (although all my characters are female, but i think that says more about me...)
A large proportion of games involve quite extreme violence, which is hard to relate to female characters (although ironically this a trope, but not one she'll point out)
Co-operation as a game mechanic is really dull outside of teaming up to kill zombies (or nazis etc, but always killing).

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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby yurell » Mon Aug 05, 2013 10:40 am UTC

leady wrote:Men are 90% of gamers and can't relate to a female lead (although all my characters are female, but i think that says more about me...)


I think that's a bullshit excuse. The above-mentioned Portal is an example. What about Metroid? What about the fact that in many MMOs (in my experience) most of the female characters are played by male gamers? Men can relate to female characters, just like I could relate to the struggle of Jim Raynor or the Master Chief.
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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby leady » Mon Aug 05, 2013 11:29 am UTC

As in not correct or not acceptable?

I would posit that the general dearth of female protagonists across the wealth of media generally targetted at men would somewhat show that either this is the case or that there is a huge stack of cash on the table.

Sure some men play female characters, but it is a minority and probably like me done for less than pure motives rather than a deep empathy :)

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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby Chen » Mon Aug 05, 2013 12:04 pm UTC

yurell wrote:I think that's a bullshit excuse. The above-mentioned Portal is an example. What about Metroid? What about the fact that in many MMOs (in my experience) most of the female characters are played by male gamers? Men can relate to female characters, just like I could relate to the struggle of Jim Raynor or the Master Chief.


I'm pretty sure the MMO example is not a good one. I don't think its about relating to female characters rather than watching scantily clad, buxom women running around while grinding...uh stuff in the game. No doubt entendre intended there.

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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby yurell » Mon Aug 05, 2013 12:09 pm UTC

As in 'not correct'. It's the same 'we can't have a gay lead character, because straight males can't relate to them'; 'we can't have a black lead character, because white males can't relate to them'; 'we can't have a disabled lead character, because able males can't relate to them. It's not because people can't relate (empathy isn't restricted to people who are almost identical to you), it's because gaming companies expect their audience to be sexist, homophobic, racist and ableist (and lots more -ists) and so don't make games like this. Men don't have tiny brains that switch off the instant they're in control of pixels roughly in the shape of a human female — they definitely deserve more credit than that.
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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby Gelsamel » Mon Aug 05, 2013 12:13 pm UTC

leady wrote:As in not correct or not acceptable?

I would posit that the general dearth of female protagonists across the wealth of media generally targetted at men would somewhat show that either this is the case or that there is a huge stack of cash on the table.

Sure some men play female characters, but it is a minority and probably like me done for less than pure motives rather than a deep empathy :)


Hey now, I play female characters for completely pure reasons.
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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby leady » Mon Aug 05, 2013 12:54 pm UTC

yurell wrote:As in 'not correct'. It's the same 'we can't have a gay lead character, because straight males can't relate to them'; 'we can't have a black lead character, because white males can't relate to them'; 'we can't have a disabled lead character, because able males can't relate to them. It's not because people can't relate (empathy isn't restricted to people who are almost identical to you), it's because gaming companies expect their audience to be sexist, homophobic, racist and ableist (and lots more -ists) and so don't make games like this. Men don't have tiny brains that switch off the instant they're in control of pixels roughly in the shape of a human female — they definitely deserve more credit than that.


I know thats the reality you would like to be true, but its just not this reality. Most men can probably relate well enough to an overtly black protagonist under most scenarios, but could they to one in a game centred around subtle social exclusion and bigotry ? Possibly - but we are moving into games that have character writing on par with the best fiction available. Your other two are even harder I would suggest. The reality of the gaming world is that the writing is middling to good and this lends itself to the familiar, sure you'll get the occasional classic that breaks these boundaries, but expecting it as the norm or railing against this default is pointless.

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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby ameretrifle » Mon Aug 05, 2013 2:33 pm UTC

leady wrote:an overtly black protagonist

There's a man who leads a life of danger.
To everyone he meets he stays a stranger.
With every move he makes another chance he takes.
Odds are he won't live to see tomorrow.

Secret Black Protag
Secret Black Protag
They've given you a costume, and taken away your race.

Beware of white male gamers that you find.
An ivory face can hide a racist mind.
Oh, be careful what you say,
Or you will give yourself away.
Odds are your game sales will tank tomorrow.

Secret Black Protag
Secret Black Protag
They've given you a costume, and taken away your race.

Swinging along platform-climbing one day
And then lying in a crate-filled alley next day.
Oh, don't you let ebonics slip,
while kissing persuasive lips.
Odds are your game sales will tank tomorrow.

Secret Black Protag
Secret Black Protag
They've given you a costume, and taken away your race.

Secret Black Protag~

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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby jestingrabbit » Mon Aug 05, 2013 2:48 pm UTC

leady wrote:Men are 90% of gamers


or 47%, depending on whether we're taking figures from out of your arse, or actual studies.

http://www.theesa.com/facts/pdfs/ESA_EF_2012.pdf

Another fun fact from there

Women 18 or older represent a significantly greater portion of the game-playing population (30%) than boys age 17 or younger (18%)
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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby Chen » Mon Aug 05, 2013 3:12 pm UTC

jestingrabbit wrote:
leady wrote:Men are 90% of gamers


or 47%, depending on whether we're taking figures from out of your arse, or actual studies.

http://www.theesa.com/facts/pdfs/ESA_EF_2012.pdf



53%, you quoted the % of women who play games.

I wonder how that % actually breaks down with respect to the games we're discussing here (and that Anita is discussing) though. This seems to include everything from AAA games to the random flash game you find on some site. I suspect the demographic for AAA games is more skewed towards the male side than the overall number, but I'm not sure where I could find that data.

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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby Heisenberg » Mon Aug 05, 2013 3:20 pm UTC

She references mobile games, but doesn't really focus on them. In my experience, they're actually more guilty of relying on tropes for plots. Their budgets are so thin that under "Plot Summary" someone just scrawls "Save the Perncess!"

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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby leady » Mon Aug 05, 2013 3:53 pm UTC

I never tire of the misuse of statistics by organisations with an agenda - and more so when people use them with a level of authority.

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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby ameretrifle » Mon Aug 05, 2013 4:00 pm UTC

leady wrote:I never tire of the misuse of statistics by organisations with an agenda - and more so when people use them with a level of authority.

Oh, upon your mercy, I beg of you, please waste ten entire seconds of your time explaining to the poor plebian masses what that agenda might be, O master of debate. I'm sure you'll also be able to provide links to back it up.

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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby Chen » Mon Aug 05, 2013 4:29 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:She references mobile games, but doesn't really focus on them. In my experience, they're actually more guilty of relying on tropes for plots. Their budgets are so thin that under "Plot Summary" someone just scrawls "Save the Perncess!"


For mobile games with plots, I agree. But what I was wondering was more the demographic breakdown between games with some sort of plot/story and games like Bejeweled or Words with Friends.

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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby jestingrabbit » Mon Aug 05, 2013 4:46 pm UTC

leady wrote:I never tire of the misuse of statistics by organisations with an agenda - and more so when people use them with a level of authority.


Can you produce anything at all to support your earlier claim that 90% of gamers are male?
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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby WibblyWobbly » Mon Aug 05, 2013 4:51 pm UTC

ameretrifle wrote:
leady wrote:an overtly black protagonist

There's a man who leads a life of danger.
To everyone he meets he stays a stranger.
With every move he makes another chance he takes.
Odds are he won't live to see tomorrow.

Secret Black Protag
Secret Black Protag
They've given you a costume, and taken away your race.

Beware of white male gamers that you find.
An ivory face can hide a racist mind.
Oh, be careful what you say,
Or you will give yourself away.
Odds are your game sales will tank tomorrow.

Secret Black Protag
Secret Black Protag
They've given you a costume, and taken away your race.

Swinging along platform-climbing one day
And then lying in a crate-filled alley next day.
Oh, don't you let ebonics slip,
while kissing persuasive lips.
Odds are your game sales will tank tomorrow.

Secret Black Protag
Secret Black Protag
They've given you a costume, and taken away your race.

Secret Black Protag~


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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby Gelsamel » Mon Aug 05, 2013 4:52 pm UTC

Chen wrote:
Heisenberg wrote:She references mobile games, but doesn't really focus on them. In my experience, they're actually more guilty of relying on tropes for plots. Their budgets are so thin that under "Plot Summary" someone just scrawls "Save the Perncess!"


For mobile games with plots, I agree. But what I was wondering was more the demographic breakdown between games with some sort of plot/story and games like Bejeweled or Words with Friends.


Just from own limited and flawed personal experience, I do feel as though video games are mostly marketed towards and played by men when it comes to 'major' (in the sense of development costs/time and gameplay length/depth/complexity, etc.) video games. I feel like mini/mobile games balance the demographic a lot more though.
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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby Chen » Mon Aug 05, 2013 5:12 pm UTC

Gelsamel wrote:Just from own limited and flawed personal experience, I do feel as though video games are mostly marketed towards and played by men when it comes to 'major' (in the sense of development costs/time and gameplay length/depth/complexity, etc.) video games. I feel like mini/mobile games balance the demographic a lot more though.


I found http://blog.apptopia.com/game-demograph ... ould-know/ which is talking about mobile games and the breakdown between game type and gender. The games with higher %female numbers do seem to be more of the games where the tropes that have been mentioned are less prevalent. Is this a cause or effect though? Regardless of this, the 90% number is unlikely to be accurate, but in terms of things like JRPGs (since most RPGs on a mobile platform are JRPGs) the number of male players may be significantly higher than the average that was posted by the ESA.

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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby Роберт » Mon Aug 05, 2013 5:21 pm UTC

On the OP topic: BORING! Someone asked for $6000 to help her put together a few videos, got way more than she asked for, so she upped the production quality and made more videos. In making the videos, she used some footage under "fair use" law.

I really think the main reason people are complaining about this are due to innate biases etc. (But if I use the term "misogynistic" I guess my entire post will be discredited. Oh me yarm.)
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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby cerbie » Mon Aug 05, 2013 5:56 pm UTC

leady wrote:That "game" plotline has been played out numerous times, with the minor exception of the comedy "im not getting rescued" part at the start

However the point that is missed is why aren't more games like this in the real world? Well the obvious ones that she seems to miss constantly:

Men are 90% of gamers and can't relate to a female lead
Meanwhile, NOLF, as a most pointed example. An FPS-style James Bond-like spy game set in an exaggerated Cold War 60s. You play a female protagonist, and heave to deal with bosses, allies, and enemies constantly going, "women's lib *snigger*," including more than a few bad jokes involving pass phrases and code names.

Big studios wouldn't touch a game like that today with a 10' pole, but less due to social issues (it would probably be more well-received than back then, and sell more), than that it would involve much risk: all it would take would be some subpar levels, or bad script (probably the biggest risk, trying to blend social comedy into an action video game), to tank it, yet it would cost out the wazoo to make. Luckily, indie games are getting to a point of having budgets in the millions, now, and often getting much-needed marketing through Kickstarter, so games like that may once again be on the horizon.

But, even that brings up another point: part of the reason Ms. Sarkeesian can find the same plot done the same way over and over is due to the same kind of creative laziness that is now common with Hollywood. They know another WWII to present combat FPS will sell, they know the agent-whose-family-got-killed-and-must-get-revenge will sell, and so on. Much of those sexist tropes are there, but it looks really bad without the context that there's been these 10 games that have been the same thing with different models and textures, not unlike the inevitable white cop/black cop comedy that comes out every other year. IE, the rest of most of those games are also about the same, not just the basic plots. Yet, millions of copies sell, just like tickets to those same kinds of movies, and many of us scratch our heads wondering why. Clearly it's good for marketing, though. Not that they're not there, but if the same thing keeps selling, why are they going to not keep remaking the same concept; and, if it's basically the same thing done over 9 more times, how does that compare with 1 or 2 games coming up with something different? The demand side of the system has to change, to affect the big companies, and it clearly isn't doing so at a rapid enough pace for that to happen. By not looking at it from a wider scope, especially without much in the way of counterexamples, or sometimes even a character's integration into a wider story (I think her Fable II and Borderlands examples, FI, are stretching things a little), it looks much more like, "Oh me yarm callous sexist pigs," than it is in reality. P.S. Best word filter replacement yet.

Now, some are just as bad as they look. Super Princess Peach was huge WTF, FI. I knew it was coming, based on the first video, and yes, it's just that bad. The princess keeps getting captured by a turtle monster, who keeps living in a land of pipes. We still don't know why he keeps doing it. She is saved, almost every time, by a portly plumber. Now, do you realize that there are hundreds of punchlines ready to be made, there, with Mario's and Princess' roles reversed, and go make what could be a truly memorable game...or do you make a generic platformer, with hysterics as superpowers? It's not like Nintendo was lacking, at the time, for money or talent. Sorry for the rant, but I bought it when it was new, so probably have a little more vitriol than average for it.

I had planned just one paragraph, honest, and this is veering more than a little OT...
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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby Gelsamel » Mon Aug 05, 2013 6:16 pm UTC

Chen wrote:Regardless of this, the 90% number is unlikely to be accurate, but in terms of things like JRPGs (since most RPGs on a mobile platform are JRPGs) the number of male players may be significantly higher than the average that was posted by the ESA.


I can't talk about mobile RPGs but out of all the games I play (which are a fuck ton) the 'major' titles I play that have a larger following with women are JRPGs. I also tend to find that JRPGs have much more varied and wide use of different tropes rather than relying on a single concept like 'Save the Damsel' (not that you don't often save girls, and guys, and get saved by others, but it's not monolithic in my experience). Atelier Meruru anyone?
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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Aug 05, 2013 6:57 pm UTC

You whine about others not living in the real world, leady, and yet your entire post seems to have been extracted from your own rectum.
leady wrote:Men are 90% of gamers [citation needed] and can't relate to a female lead [citation needed](although all my characters are female, but i think that says more about me...)
A large proportion of games involve quite extreme violence, which is hard to relate to female characters [citation needed] (although ironically this a trope, but not one she'll point out)
Co-operation as a game mechanic is really dull [citation needed] outside of teaming up to kill zombies (or nazis etc, but always killing).
(The last, of course, needs a citation showing that it's relevant to the majority of gamers. That it is your own simple-minded opinion is, I suppose, pretty self evident.)

And even if all those things were true, even if we accept the twin ridiculous claims that fully 90% of gamers are men and that fully 100% of those couldn't possibly relate to a female protagonist, 10% of the gaming market is nothing to scoff at. Furthermore, might it not be just possible to make a game that appeals to more than just traditional gamers, with the result of greatly increasing that made up 10% figure of yours?
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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Aug 05, 2013 8:06 pm UTC

yurell wrote:
leady wrote:Men are 90% of gamers and can't relate to a female lead (although all my characters are female, but i think that says more about me...)


I think that's a bullshit excuse. The above-mentioned Portal is an example. What about Metroid? What about the fact that in many MMOs (in my experience) most of the female characters are played by male gamers? Men can relate to female characters, just like I could relate to the struggle of Jim Raynor or the Master Chief.


Realistically? Game companies are lazy, and that's probably responsible for at least half of the problem. At least. Seriously, the vast majority of plots for video games are horrible, reused tripe....if they even have much of a plot at all. EA is going to continue to churn out new iterations of sports games until the end of time. These are going to be male centric as hell, because sports are male centric as hell. It's not so much hostility to women as it is a combination of apathy and chasing the safe money.

Now, let's consider shooters. Huge market. At any given time, there's usually at least a BF game, and a COD game that pretends to ape real world military stuff. Also a billion low budget clones, naturally. Now, today's military is dominated by men. Historically, it only gets worse. So, female representation in the game tends to be "maybe there's some random unimportant NPCs, and one of them is a woman for variety". Maybe.

Then, let's consider all the derivative games. All the sequels, all the things based off movies....there have been roughly a billion star wars games alone, and if you look at the movies, they are a wee bit male-dominated in terms of who the cool, primary chars are. The derivative games are usually being churned out as rapidly as possible to inexpensively meet launch dates(maybe coinciding with other media), and more likely than not, are utter crap. They're not thinking about gender representation. They're probably not even thinking about plot much at all. Most of them are just trying to desperately not suck too hard, be playable by the launch date, and maybe be close enough to the movies or whatever that people will buy them from nostalgia or popularity or whatever.

As for tropes...well, tropes are a thing. Particularly in video games, because they've had a shorter history than other media, and they're still trying to grow up. Being a hollywood screenwriter is an actual, legitimate job. A tough, competitive one, to be sure, but while I can name screenwriters, I certainly can't name anybody who has the video game version of the same. And, if we're being honest, movies are frequently trope reliant, sexist, and repetitive as well. Maybe they're not QUITE as bad as video games, but when they're the role model that video games is aping, well...it shouldn't be much of a surprise that video games are doing terribly at it.

Also, yes, women tend to be casual gamers more so...but the line between casual gamers and the other sorts grows increasingly blurry. I could easily get described as a casual gamer, but maybe not, depending on how you draw the lines. And of course, we have a causality loop here...while it is possible that the biggest market is more attractive(certainly an issue with movies. Under 25 men are a big market there), a surfeit of people aiming at that segment may result in decreased interest from people outside that segment. So, sort of a self-perpetuating cycle for the intentional element....but I still think that it's mostly a symptom of the problems in video game design overall, and the inherited problems from film.

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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby Derek » Mon Aug 05, 2013 9:43 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:You whine about others not living in the real world, leady, and yet your entire post seems to have been extracted from your own rectum.
leady wrote:Men are 90% of gamers [citation needed] and can't relate to a female lead [citation needed](although all my characters are female, but i think that says more about me...)
A large proportion of games involve quite extreme violence, which is hard to relate to female characters [citation needed] (although ironically this a trope, but not one she'll point out)
Co-operation as a game mechanic is really dull [citation needed] outside of teaming up to kill zombies (or nazis etc, but always killing).
(The last, of course, needs a citation showing that it's relevant to the majority of gamers. That it is your own simple-minded opinion is, I suppose, pretty self evident.)

And even if all those things were true, even if we accept the twin ridiculous claims that fully 90% of gamers are men and that fully 100% of those couldn't possibly relate to a female protagonist, 10% of the gaming market is nothing to scoff at. Furthermore, might it not be just possible to make a game that appeals to more than just traditional gamers, with the result of greatly increasing that made up 10% figure of yours?

Penny Arcade Report has had a few articles recently about (the lack of) female protagonists in games. One Two Three.

Particularly relevant to Leady's post, in the third article and in response to Cosmic Star Heroine having a female protagonist (obviously), these were a couple posts from NeoGAF:
Playing Lunar as a kid, I think I really loved the game for its sense of adventure. I also felt like I could relate to Alex (protag) and the pursuit of his dreams as a teenager.

Not sure I can get that same degree of empathy with a female protagonist. I enjoyed the Cthulhu games from Zeboyd, playing as an alien had a charming humor to it. Guess I'll wait and see, but I don't think I'll be backing this game.

I hope the option for a male protagonist is a stretch goal, even if its just a mustache and cowboy hat on the female sprite tongue in cheek like, I'd be all for that.

I love Zeboyds style but i couldn't play as a female character and immerse like in their prior games.

So clearly this is a problem for some guys. And for a risk-averse publisher, posts like this could easily discourage them from pursuing games with female leads.

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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby Gelsamel » Mon Aug 05, 2013 10:12 pm UTC

Derek wrote:So clearly this is a problem for some guys.


Yeah I'm sure there are people out there like this, especially since I suffer from the exact opposite problem. Except in some specific circumstances I find it hard to get into a game that doesn't let me play as a female. For instance, The Witcher series of games look interesting but I can't bring myself to even think of actually trying them because the fact that I have to play as this hulking "badass" (apparently) guy completely puts me off it.
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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby Joeldi » Mon Aug 05, 2013 10:54 pm UTC

Knee jerk reaction to that guy is to tell him to harden the fuck up and realise that ladies really aren't that different from him. Sadly commercial reality doesn't work that way.

I don't really get not being able to play a game because of the character's appearance anyway. I can appreciate or criticise the story as an observer while enjoying the gameplay as a participant.
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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby ConMan » Mon Aug 05, 2013 11:11 pm UTC

leady wrote:Co-operation as a game mechanic is really dull outside of teaming up to kill zombies (or nazis etc, but always killing).

I'm pretty sure the large group of people who thought the co-op levels of Portal 2 were the best part of a good game would have something to say about that.
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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby Sizik » Mon Aug 05, 2013 11:21 pm UTC

Gelsamel wrote:For instance, The Witcher series of games look interesting but I can't bring myself to even think of actually trying them because the fact that I have to play as this hulking "badass" (apparently) guy completely puts me off it.


I wouldn't quite describe Geralt as "hulking"...
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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby Diadem » Tue Aug 06, 2013 12:13 am UTC

Many RPG-like games allow you to select the sex of your character, this generally having no real influence on gameplay. I think those games give excellent proof that a female protagonist can work. At no moment during Baldur's Gate or Mass Effect (to give two random examples) did my female heroine ever feel out of place. And if it works for RPGs, there's no reason to think it wouldn't work for other games.

By the way: Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm is an example of a recent, very major, game release with a female protagonist. Though it's an expansion, not a stand-alone game, so perhaps it doesn't entirely count.
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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby Magnanimous » Tue Aug 06, 2013 1:02 am UTC

ameretrifle wrote:Secret Black Protag
I know this is supposed to be Secret Agent Man, but for some reason my brain ended up with Sunset Boulevard...
Gelsamel wrote:Hey now, I play female characters for completely pure reasons.
Same. I recently played female characters in Fallout 2 and Diablo 2, and it's just another dimension for the roleplaying avatar.

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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby Lucrece » Tue Aug 06, 2013 1:48 am UTC

I play female characters in many games because male fashion sucks. It's so uniform and restricted. On my females I can have several pieces that look DIFFERENT. On my male it's always either a fucking coat, a vest, and some pants. It's rarely ornamental or possessing many details, and the pieces don't vary much in cut, color, texture, or shape.

Ditto for the hairstyles. Males always get boring hairstyles in fantasy game. They're dull. And the few options males get are usually prefaced "well, you don't get as many hairs as women because you have beards!". I hate beards. With a passion. Outside stubbled/trimmed non-mustache facial hair, I'm not interested in beards at all, much less at the expense of the options I am interested in.

When I play a female avatar, I can be many things. I can be sexy, I can be cute, I can be modest, I can be cool, I can be a mix of several (elegant AND sexy, unlike some baggy male coat that may be elegant but most definitely not sexy). Women in customization get a whole lot more range of expression through attire and presentation than males do often in most games.

So that's why I play females many times. Not because they're sexy. Not because people will treat me better or give me stuff. Not because I'm trying to subvert something and have some girl power fantasy. The options are just better/broader.

Look at the difference between a wow human male and a wow human female. I don't get for a second why I would ever choose the male over the female -- you're not only restricted to be a meathead, but an ugly meathead with unpleasant faces and horrible hair options. It's great if ugly meathead floats your boat, but it sucks for everybody else.
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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby Gelsamel » Tue Aug 06, 2013 2:37 am UTC

For me, I don't really understand it, but I just find it significantly harder to empathise with male characters. Maybe it is some stupid 'alpha male must protect the females' thing which is why I feel so much more connected to female characters, I don't know, all I know is experiencing anything through a male character is very 'meh' to me (except in a few circumstances where it just happens to work, and even in those I feel like I would like it much more if the character was female).

Or maybe it's more that while I'm cisgendered I'm also... cisgendered with regards to the other gender? Hard to explain. Basically I cisgendered but would totally get a female body if we had Ghost in the Shell level prosthetics because who doesn't want to be the cutest thing alive?
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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby Magnanimous » Tue Aug 06, 2013 2:46 am UTC

Gelsamel wrote:For me, I don't really understand it, but I just find it significantly harder to empathise with male characters. Maybe it is some stupid 'alpha male must protect the females' thing which is why I feel so much more connected to female characters, I don't know, all I know is experiencing anything through a male character is very 'meh' to me (except in a few circumstances where it just happens to work, and even in those I feel like I would like it much more if the character was female).
I don't know, for me it just feels like new territory emotionally/empathetically speaking. I've basically gone through all of the Dude Situations there are.

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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby Gelsamel » Tue Aug 06, 2013 2:50 am UTC

Magnanimous wrote:I've basically gone through all of the Dude Situations there are.


That might be part of it but I don't feel as though changing the gender of the protagonist should really change much about the experience, except in specific cases when gender/sex issues have a significant effect on it.
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Re: Anita Sarkeesian used footage from "Let's Play" videos

Postby Derek » Tue Aug 06, 2013 3:36 am UTC

Since we're all sharing, I'm about 50/50 on male/female avatars in Pokemon games, my decision coming down to which I think looks better. I think those are the only games I've played where you get a gender choice though.

Gelsamel wrote:For me, I don't really understand it, but I just find it significantly harder to empathise with male characters. Maybe it is some stupid 'alpha male must protect the females' thing which is why I feel so much more connected to female characters, I don't know, all I know is experiencing anything through a male character is very 'meh' to me (except in a few circumstances where it just happens to work, and even in those I feel like I would like it much more if the character was female).

I'm curious, what about a game like Half-Life where you are controlling a male character, but you rarely/never see/hear yourself?


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