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Warface producer: 'sexy' female character skins result of "cultural relativism"

Warface producer: 'sexy' female character skins result of "cultural relativism"

Tue 08 Oct 2013 9:15am GMT / 5:15am EDT / 2:15am PDT
PoliticsFree-to-Play

Howard defends Russian-led design choices for revealing uniforms

Joshua Howard, lead producer on Crytek's free-to-play shooter Warface, has defended his team's decision to implement female soldier skins with "unrealistic" proportions and revealing uniforms, saying that they're the result of player feedback and represent a certain "cultural relativism".

Speaking to Wired's Phillipa Warr, he was cautiously defensive about the choices, which led to female characters wearing uniforms with plunging necklines and exposed midriffs, reasoning that it was actually a toning down of what the game's predominantly male audience had asked for. Skins and models are also going to be different for some geographical markets, he revealed, saying that player feedback had resulted in different approaches for Russian and Chinese markets.

"The female skins [are] a good example of how we see how culturally the different regions approach the same game in different ways. The skins we're showing right now are the skins that basically came out of our Russian region. They're not what our players at first requested in the Russian region. They tended to be considerably more extreme that what we ended up shipping with."

"They're not what our players at first requested in the Russian region. They tended to be considerably more extreme that what we ended up shipping with."

Joshua Howard, lead producer, Warface.

While Crytek is clearly pandering to a market keen to preserve a decidedly unprogressive status quo, there was at least some apparent conflict between the need to appease the desires of hormonal teenagers and what Howard refers to as the studio's desire to achieve verisimilitude with actual military attire, telling Wired that, "it's our job to maintain that Warface has an authenticity to it that makes sense for us."

"They were very comfortable with the fact we have these very realistic-looking men, but they wanted the women to be not what we would think of as realistic at all. Up to and including running round in high heels which is just silly, right?"

However, that "authenticity" is clearly playing a very distant second fiddle to the need to secure the currency of players who want to ogle as they play. Male soldiers are happily ensconced in full battle dress and body armour, revealing no skin beyond a well chiselled jawline. Female snipers, however, are marching to war with a camouflage scheme rather inhibited by the exposure of acres of cleavage, while the rifle-woman is embracing the wartime spirit by making do with a tunic which falls a couple of inches short of the top of her fatigues. Clearly "authenticity" in this regard includes a reflection of the shortages of quality material in times of conflict. Both have bravely decided to eschew the body armour, ammunition pouches and face-covering helmets that the male soldiers wear to appease their cowardly fear of being shot directly in areas of exposed skin.

1

In virtually all armies worldwide which employ female soldiers, their battlegear is all but indistinguishable from their male comrades.

Whilst these particular examples have been led by feedback from Russian gamers, Howard says that not all markets demand this sort of impractical clothing from their female troops. Markets like China want their femme fatales exposed in ways which reflect a completely culturally distinct form of objectification.

"We leaned a little Russian in these characters but we're doing another set of characters for our Chinese market, for example, and those are leaning in a different direction. It's interesting to see they are also somewhat unrealistic as compared to the males but differently than the Russians. You look at the Chinese models and they're also disproportionate but in a way that's more...Chinese? I don't even know what language to use for that but they're different.

"You get these little differences you have to adjust for. The idea we were going to come up with one set of female skins across the world was clearly blown out of the water as we started to talk to more of our players and partners from different regions."

Asked directly by Warr whether there was ever any resistance to these regionally-tweaked levels of hormonal conciliation, Howard chose to dissemble slightly by comparing the representation of women to the recipe for a popular soft drink.

"Are you tempted to say, that's not right," asked Warr. "We're going to do it our way and you either get on board with this or you take your misogynistic views elsewhere?"

"Are you tempted to say, that's not right? We're going to do it our way and you either get on board with this or you take your misogynistic views elsewhere?"

Phillipa Warr, Wired

"There's a tension both ways," Howard explained, seemingly missing the real thrust of Warr's difficult to misinterpret line of questioning. "Early on we said we want to make this game appropriate for the different regions while maintaining a cohesiveness that's still Warface. Coca Cola is Coca Cola all over the world even though honestly speaking that mix is different in many different countries. There are some products that are 100 percent identical in every region of the world and that was not something we wanted to do with a shooter because people around the world play shooters very differently."

Moving swiftly on, Howard goes on to explain that costumes and cleavages aren't the only things to be locally defined - recoil rates and other gun-balancing matters are also tweaked to fit local tastes. Whether those are seen to be necessary to maintain "authenticity" is not made clear. What is clear is that, as long as the leering male is seen as the dominant demographic for pulling in cash, few studios are going to put equality ahead of equity.

36 Comments

Craig Burkey Software Engineer

234 459 2.0
There no point pandering to a PC audience that your not aiming for

Posted:A year ago

#1

JT QA, Rockstar Lincoln

26 17 0.7
Popular Comment
Perceived "sexyness" is completely irrelevant in a combat situation. Exposed cleavage in cammo gear is plain ridiculous and serves no meaningful purpose except to pander to the vast majority of their target audience - teenage boys. Maybe it's time for a game changer, if that cleavage wasn't on display, would that target audience really not play the game? Of course they would.

Posted:A year ago

#2

Tom Keresztes Programmer

700 354 0.5
Spinning kick in high heels... so much about realism. But Warface is not about realism, isn't it ?

I prefer Stargate Atlantis or Wing Commander where the gender was not important in their profession (but played some roles off duty). This is just so Hollywood style.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Tom Keresztes on 8th October 2013 1:21pm

Posted:A year ago

#3

Andrew Animator

148 158 1.1
Search for any female Fantasy or Science fiction art and you will find the same. It is not a problem with games but rather an issue with how art depicts powerful women. Comic books are a good example.

Posted:A year ago

#4
Popular Comment
Just silly. As if the other 99.99% of the game that has nothing to do with boobage isn't going to shore up whether they play it or not. "The consumer knows best" can often be a convenient smokescreen for lack of ability or fear of making calls yourself. And anyway need I say it, sometimes the consumer is a dumb ass who will pollute your ideas with all sorts of rubbish.

Posted:A year ago

#5

Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer

1,269 941 0.7
I dont see nothing wrong with showing a little cleavage or exposing the waste. As far as I can judge from the picture in the article, they are fairly covered up. As long as we dont see them running in hotpants and high heels I dont mind. And even if they did, i wouldnt mind either, however it would look silly. I personally think even if the woman soldiers dressed exactly the same as male soldiers, someone would still complain. And I bet if a woman designed a female soldier it wouldnt look all that different. Besides we have so many games with guys with no shirts, revealing all there muscle and masculinity. So is showing a mans pecks or arms all that different from showing some cleavage. Or would woman be happy if we just dressed em all in turtle necks.It all comes down to what the developer wants to do. And I think people can be naive stupid and dumb and will make anything an issue no matter what you do. And i think woman are represented well in many games, Such as Half Life, Beyond Good and Evil and Mirrors Edge. I think people will make an issue of anything no matter what you do, so do what you want to do, and while peoples opinions can be nice and helpful, alot of times they just want to be assholes or are reflecting there personal issues on you.

Posted:A year ago

#6

Robert Ilott Build & CM Engineer, Criterion Games

27 52 1.9
I'd be more concerned with this quote:
Howard goes on to explain that costumes and cleavages aren't the only things to be locally defined - recoil rates and other gun-balancing matters are also tweaked to fit local tastes
Maybe they have no plans for worldwide play, but how can you expect a fair match-up when each region has it's stats tweaked according to how the local teenagers decide they want their guns to be. We don't have to see their versions of the skins, but i'd expect the physics and weapons etc to at least be the same across the board.

Posted:A year ago

#7

Cissy Biri Software Test Engineer, Microsoft (GTO)

1 4 4.0
I think the root of the issue is the fact that creating a female soldier is not an option and a skin has to be used. Really weird design choice there.

Also just because it happens in other genres (sci-fi and fantasy) doesn't make it acceptable. They're clearly going for a realistic angle with this game, so it just doesn't fit in with the rest of the game's aesthetic.

Posted:A year ago

#8

Luke Giddings Programmer, Supermassive Games

23 5 0.2
"We're doing another set of characters for our Chinese market, for example, and those are leaning in a different direction. It's interesting to see they are also somewhat unrealistic as compared to the males but differently than the Russians. You look at the Chinese models and they're also disproportionate but in a way that's more...Chinese?"
Anyone else curious as to what the Chinese have asked for their models to look like?

[Edit : Added Quote Tags]

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Luke Giddings on 8th October 2013 5:21pm

Posted:A year ago

#9

Tom Keresztes Programmer

700 354 0.5
Also just because it happens in other genres (sci-fi and fantasy) doesn't make it acceptable.
Apart from Hollywood-style blockbusters, it usually does not happen in sci-fi, especially not in military ones. Star wars? Starship troopers? Battlestar Galactica?

Posted:A year ago

#10

Andrew Ihegbu Studying Bsc Commercial Music, University of Westminster

473 187 0.4
Blah blah blah. Do you have to write all this PC yellow journalism every week?

Literally the title should have been, Wired go and chastise developers for "not being progressive" because their models have above C cup boobs.

As if toplessyou men with muscles aren't everywhere in gaming. Games are a perfect vision/fantasy. If the developers choose so, (and they often do) everyone is designed to be beautiful. Should we start making all the female characters plain Janes just to appease the PC minority and keep all the men looking like oiled muscle clad tanks despite it being the male equivalent?

Posted:A year ago

#11

Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing

1,183 1,267 1.1
Today's overweight men simply need a clear line of sight on female character models to reaffirm their manlyness by confirming female boobs are still larger than their own.

Posted:A year ago

#12

Jessica Hyland Character Artist

368 1,598 4.3
Popular Comment
Andrew, you don't have to read 'PC yellow journalism' if you don't care, but you don't have to sneer your bloody-minded ignorance in our faces in the comments. The imaginary PC police aren't going to come steal away your titties in the night, relax.

The original story made me roll my eyes in weary disgust, but Dan Pearson's writeup here is great. Exposes and skewers this flimsy buck-passing excuse for sexist tosh very adroitly.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Jessica Hyland on 9th October 2013 8:09am

Posted:A year ago

#13

Susan N Mortimer Studying Computer Games Art, Anglia Ruskin University

2 11 5.5
Popular Comment
The difference between a male character being muscled and topless, and a female character having bare cleavages and midriffs in games are quite vast. One is a power fantasy and one is for sexual gratification, however minor.

The majority of male gamers aren't bothered by this because while there are 'muscle bound gods' as protagonists, there is much more choice in character design for male gamers than female.

And in the particular case of this article, this is a game that claims that their REALISM is their selling point, the main aesthetic of the game, so the design of the female skins are insulting to female gamers because that kind of uniform is not realistic of the situation.

Is it wrong that we want to point this out and ask why we are being demeaned like that?

Posted:A year ago

#14

Gareth Eckley Commercial Analyst

88 68 0.8
Stoning women to death for going to school is also a matter of cultural relativism. Just saying.

Posted:A year ago

#15

Andrew Watson Programmer

113 290 2.6
Aren't you mostly just going to be seeing their backs while playing anyway?

Posted:A year ago

#16

Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer

1,269 941 0.7
Maybe woman should just be covered in turtle necks, cloaks and face veils. Maybe this will make woman happier, and not see it as an attack from the ever oppressive patriarchy.

So you have half naked woman in games....so lets make half naked men, to put them on equal grounds, that should work right? Wrooooong. Woman will say a half naked man is nothing more than a power fantasy while the other is sexual gratification. But the again there are woman who find that sexy. Bottom line.... I think the way people see things is relative to there way of seeing things and thinking.

In the case of Warface... judging from the picture alone, a little cleavage and exposure of the waste line doesnt hurt. However if the game were to have female soldiers on high heels and hot pants, it would just look weird. So in that aspect Id find it incorrect. Because in the case of high heels, the recoil of a rifle being shot would make wearing heels a problem. As long as the designs remain functional and relevant to war I dont see a problem. I dont see it as an attempt from the evil ever opressive patriarchy to stomp on woman.

But wether this is sexist or not.... or if empowers men and degrades woman, or its an attack from the ever oppressive secret society of mean and bad patriarchy that conspires to stomp on woman... its relative how people see things like this, in this case woman. I know alot of woman gamers who simply dont have a problem with this, and in games that allow you to make a custom character, lots of woman will choose a more revealing outfit.

How many times do I go to the mall or see that when a woman dresses up, she does like to show some skin. Wether its a short skirt or revealing a little cleavage or her waste line or wearing tight jeans, I think to some degree a womans sexiness empowers woman and alot of times they feel comforatible in their own skin and with who they are. And that sense of security alone is a powerful aspect any woman can have at least in my humble opinion. Or does thinking like that make me a pig? So stuff like this doesnt really bother them. I mean I know a few female gamers who love call of duty and battlefield. They dont complain if it has a girl or not, they just like the gameplay. And alot of times i think thats how some games should be seen.

If a game having a girl is so important I think there are plenty of games that offer well written and well designed female characters.

Look at this way, in a scenario that your in a war under blazing heat, I bet anyone, man or woman would want to take off their shirt. A design of a female character would imply she would need at least have a tank top to be a modest looking character design and sexist if she shows her waste line? Or maybe she shouldnt have a shirt at all... to be on equal grounds with a male character. right?

I think as with the case of games, woman should stop being like men and find out at what they can excel. If the industry is missing something, I think if woman stopped looking at what men are doing and began to be more in tune with themselves and what they are capable of I think good things can come out from that.

A guy without a shirt isnt a muscle bound god, its just a guy without a shirt... geez

Alot of times I read these forums and I think to myself: As a gamer, am i part of a secret society of an idiotic male empowerment patriarchy that enjoys stomping on woman? Really?

I consider Alex from half life to be a great character both in personality and design. However GOD FORBID, she takes of that jacket. Judging from these forums, I can see an article about that alone. Forums would blow up here about how Alex is sexier and how the character is destroyed.

So woman complain about characters with big boobs? So lets just make a male character with a big package that dangles around while he runs or we can just make all woman with small boobs, would that work? I wonder how a woman with big boobs would feel about this? I bet a woman with big boobs gets alot of slack from other woman.

So what can games do to make an appropriatly designed female for females? Its already been done. Many times, here is just 10 of them I can mention... Alex(half Life), Jade(Beyond Good & Evil), Female Shepard and most female characters(Mass Effect), Alia (MegaManX8), Chun Li(Street Fighter), Shanoa (Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia), Sheva (Resident Evil 5), Ellie (The Last of Us), The Boss (Metal Gear Solid 3)... Finally these to have honorable mentions... they can be viewed as sexist but they can also be viewed as empowering female characters. One is Lara from Tomb Raider (I dont think there is one character who made girls want to be gamers more than her. My niece played all her games and I have lesbian friends who just loved her, as far as Im concerned, she was an empowering female character, even if she did have big boobs at the time. The other Character is the female Boss character of Saints Row. You can design her and dress her up anyway you want, I usually like to give her huge boobs and have her run around naked. So i guess Im evil now... for liking boobs... but anyway... aside of how you can design your character, the personality and the way the character is written is very well done. So if your a girl you can make her with little boobs, if big boobs are a problem for you. I also like the female Hawk from Dragon Age II.

And one final thought, I think design decisions like these simply give the characters of the game more personality. Unlike games like Battle Field and Call of Duty, since they are so tied to realism I find that characters are pretty bland and boring. They Are faceless, and you play the game for gameplay alone.

Anyway, Ill probably get alot a slack for this post. This whole thing about men and woman in games is touchy. It just seems woman spend more time looking at what men do, then doing it themselves... they bark and complain about it and blame men that they cant do it. My question to woman on these forums is... How would you depict woman in games, what cloth should they were, how should they behave? How would you make a game make a game catered towards a girl?

In fact if you make a kickstarter Ill even back the project with a few bucks... if i dont think the design sucks and for your information I backed up Shantae, a new game from wayfoward featuring a female lead JAJAJA... but dammit... she's dances belly dancing in order to change her powers...oh Bummer... I guess this is what you get when you have guys doing a game... so again how would you as a female do this?

Posted:A year ago

#17

Wesley Williams Quality Assurance

133 72 0.5
As if the name of the game wasn't ridiculous enough, they then pull something like this. Well Crytek, you can be sure I won't be playing your sexist piece of garbage until you allow me to play in spandex camo with the outline of my humongous junk and donkey sized gonads completely visible to the enemy! Fair's fair after-all.

Posted:A year ago

#18

Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,196 1,176 0.5
OK, time to lighten the mood a bit (hopefully):

A female gamer pal noted to me that she'd love to see this taken all the way with topless snipers (complete with big black censor bars across their chests) in games like this just because any female players using them will more than likely end up doing so just to get the most kills once the "guys get all "Bewbs! YEAAAAH!" about it." Which would be instantly, she noted. I had to laugh with her on that because yup, it's probably too true.

Of course, topless or cleavage baring would be banned in shooters (maybe) because you'd get guys catching on and playing as topless ladies just to er... rack up a few streaks of their own...

Anyway, go Google "Valkyrie Wilde" for a bit of PlayStation era "amusement" on the subject of nudity and controversy. We had SO many people come into the indie shop I worked at asking for copies or if there was a demo that we had to post a sign stating the game did NOT exist and never did. More amusing, about a quarter of the people asking were women, if that means anything.

Personally, I've never been attracted to digital avatars at all, although I tend to play as a lot of female characters in games (which can't be avoided if that gal is a lead in something like a Bayonetta or a Tomb Raider) anyway just because most are better designed than the males. In other titles, provided there's a decent character editor to play with, I tend to give them decent clothing, although even in some big titles, options for sensible coverage get odd for both sexes...

Posted:A year ago

#19

Emily Knox Associate Designer, CCP Games

50 113 2.3
Popular Comment
I wonder how a woman with big boobs would feel about this? I bet a woman with big boobs gets alot of slack from other woman.
No-one in the original Wired article, or Dan's piece, has even mentioned cup size. I can't believe they overlooked this. We must find out, the cup size of their character models in Russia is imperative.
In addition, I would like to know how large the penises are in Warface? I wonder how men with large penises feel about this? I bet they get a lot of slack from other men.

Posted:A year ago

#20
@Rick Lopez I naturally sit in the middle of this argument but something magical happens to my position when you start talking.

Posted:A year ago

#21

Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer

1,269 941 0.7
@Emily Knox... Ya know what its about? its about.............. wait for it..................The ever growing super secret video game male patriarchy stomping all over woman!!!! and the manly muscle bound gods without their shirts on"™.....

Alot of times, i read these forums, what people post... wait, hold on... ok.... what woman post... and I roll my eyes and wonder, how video games ever got to a point were they are so evil, deviouse and insensitive towards woman...

anyway....

Seriously, jokes aside..... I think I asked a few good questions related to how woman would make a game geared towards females and how they would best depict, design and write a good female character. I put some examples... however apparently alot of woman are not happy with whats been done. So nice, constructive and "OBJECTIVE" feedback would be welcome.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Rick Lopez on 9th October 2013 8:12pm

Posted:A year ago

#22

David Canela Game & Audio Designer

69 156 2.3
The turtleneck argument:
It never ceases to baffle me how some guys can't grasp what's the difference between having the option to dress (a character) sexy, which many women enjoy, and being forced to walk around in a hooker outfit, because that's the only outfit the devs want to give you (while male characters can dress normally and aren't forced into chippendale costumes).

It's so simple, really. In the world of all things sex-related, doing something out of your free will or being forced to behave in a certain way makes all the difference.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by David Canela on 9th October 2013 7:56pm

Posted:A year ago

#23

Bonnie Patterson Freelance Narrative Designer

196 544 2.8
@Rick Lopez - the thing about topless women being objectification and topless men being a power fantasy comes down to a pretty simple difference. Pretty much no-one has ever typed "Big pecs" into Google and started masturbating. That's what makes the two things different. While plenty of women find a nice male torso attractive, there haven't been a lot of protests from women at the idea of male characters wearing shirts or male performers wearing clothes at industry events. Male and female bodies simply aren't sexualized the same way in the media (though it's starting to happen now as that's apparently the solution to everything). The simplest summary I can give of the approach is that men are sent the message "If you want to feel sexy, look at this!" *picture of naked chick* while women are sent the message "If you want to feel sexy, BE this!!" *picture of naked chick*

The best approaches I've seen to female main character design, from a visual standpoint, has probably been in The Secret World. There's choice. You can wear the kind of normal, everyday clothes you actually wear - jeans, t-shirt, coat. And there's the choice for more revealing attire if that's what you want to do. Though honestly their selection of "sexy" attire is kinda dreadful - not because of the amount of skin it bares, but because it looks absolutely terrible - Vegas hookers wouldn't wear that stuff because their clients would have a heart attack laughing. Saints Row III I also found pretty good.

Another weirdly good example - weird because as games go, it's one which is absolutely notorious for guys openly masturbating over their characters - was APB. Again, because it had choice. While the minimum cup size in that game was about an E and female characters were literally not allowed to be as fat as male ones, you could still play a character that was more about what you wanted to play than what someone else wanted to whack off to.

And that is pretty much the crux of it when it comes to non-player characters as well. While the main character is always going to be the focus of the story, and thus everything we see will be tinted towards that, I feel enormously more comfortable where the roles of female characters - the depictions of "myself" in the game - are not compromised to create or cater to masturbatory desires in a presumed male player. i.e. Sexy spy femme fatale enemy? Fine by me, sensuality is part of her role (At least up until the point where suddenly every single female character in a game is the sexy spy femme fatale just for porn value). Soldiers with boob windows? Not so much. That's there for one reason and one reason only.

Of course, I can't actually be objective about this, because I have to be a woman in a world where, especially online, there are an awful lot of guys who can't let me play for five minutes without haranguing me to take my clothes off. But I can be honest. The reason this gets to me in games is because it's the part of real life I'm trying to escape by playing. I'm tired of feeling like everything I do and think and feel and am is completely irrelevant compared to someone else's desire to get his rocks off.

What about you? Can you give any nice, constructive and "OBJECTIVE" input on why exactly it's so grossly unfair that women don't like coming to play in your copy of Hustler?

Edit: Also, do you mean "Slack" in your above post? "Slack" means "leeway". Did you mean "Flack?"

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Bonnie Patterson on 9th October 2013 9:06pm

Posted:A year ago

#24

Bonnie Patterson Freelance Narrative Designer

196 544 2.8
@Craig Burkey - There's no point limiting your audience by pandering to the sexual desires of half of them in a game that's ostensibly not about sex.

Posted:A year ago

#25

Paul Jace Merchandiser

953 1,447 1.5
the outline of my humongous junk and donkey sized gonads completely visible to the enemy!
That would make an easy yet awkward target for sniping. But as long as they also make it an achievement it's all good....awkward but good.

Posted:A year ago

#26

Adam Campbell Associate Producer, Miniclip Ltd

1,217 1,050 0.9
Wow, this is stupid.

Posted:A year ago

#27

Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,196 1,176 0.5
@Adam: Agreed, verily and forsooth. THIS, on the other hand, is GENIUS:

http://www.um.com.au/spaceout/

Posted:A year ago

#28

Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer

1,269 941 0.7
Wow… am I in the hotseat now… ;)
In the near future, a ruthless force known as Blackwood sweep aside people in their quest for profit, and only Warface – a group of elite ex-army personnel – can stop them. Fight the Blackwood threat in Co-op mode or pick either side in Versus play!
Does this sound like a game aimed at girls?… In this forum, how many chiks actually are eagerly waiting to play "WARFACE"? So if your not going to play it why are you barking, when there are so many other games you can enjoy… but if you read this ill tell you what I think.

@Bonnie Patterson -
The thing about topless women being objectification and topless men being a power fantasy comes down to a pretty simple difference.
Yeah woman have boobs men do not. A man without a shirt is not a manly musclebound god either, its just a man without a shirt, so woman need to chill…. but then again, if that what chiks think when men take off their shirts… its pretty awesome ;)
The best approaches I've seen to female main character design, from a visual standpoint, has probably been in The Secret World. There's choice.
Thats the same description for a game like Saints Row and most other games that allow you to make a custom character
Another weirdly good example - weird because as games go, it's one which is absolutely notorious for guys openly masturbating over their characters - was APB.
Again, another game where you can make a custom character. However you had to mention masturbation… ugh… Look... reality is… masturbation is just something guys do. Also guys like boobs. If a guy really needs to hack away at his junk, there is more than enough free porn out there to spill his balls too. I mean I would find it wierd for a guy to whack off to Warface or APB, but to each his own... but then again there are fetishes and wierder things guys whack off too and there is no shortage of it online. So I think there are just worse things than Warface to be concerned about. This is probably the equivalent of world war 2 pinup art and aircraft nose art, that was on airplanes and advertising material for the military soldiers back in early/mid 1900's. And that didn't hurt anyone, except for a few feminist groups.

About Feminism and Video games =====>>> I just think all this news surrounding Warfaces female character designs(as well as other games) is nothing more than an attempt from the feminist community to draw fire on the video game industry, much like lobbyists gather together to single out a video game for violence to gain more votes for a political campaign in the name of political correctness.

Personally i think there are many games woman can enjoy. Particularly I think Nintendo has done a masterful job at getting girls to play games and providing experiences they can enjoy. in my previous post I mentioned a few female game characters I thought were all well written and designed. I can also add Nariko from heavenly Sword. Titanfall will feature female characters and I like the designs. However first person shooters are usually tailored to men, they are the modern day version of toy soldiers. So if your a girl and enjoy playing with toy soldiers than go for it. As long as your ok with the type of people who enjoy those games…. GUYS!
Of course, I can't actually be objective about this, because I have to be a woman in a world where, especially online, there are an awful lot of guys who can't let me play for five minutes without haranguing me to take my clothes off. But I can be honest. The reason this gets to me in games is because it's the part of real life I'm trying to escape by playing. I'm tired of feeling like everything I do and think and feel and am is completely irrelevant compared to someone else's desire to get his rocks off.
The situation online can be a pretty sad one. And in this regards I really feel for you and can understand how horrible it can be if your a woman. But this isnt so much the games themselves, but the people playing them. Online you encounter disrespectful people, trolls and all sorts of harrasmentThese are people that often behave the way they do online, because in real life they will get their asses kicked. And encountering assholes online is not exclusive to woman. In many cases some games allow you to filter these jackasses out so you speak only to friends. If you can its good not to take anything personal. A lot of these people you encounter online will never even know you in real life, they don't care about you, and your life and personal things are irrelevant to them…. you can probably find comfort in knowing that they are the same way with everyone else they encounter online and not to let them get to you simply because its probably some ignorant 14 year old kid with nothing better to do online than be a douchbag, because in real life he is just a fucking loser. So dont let people like this ruin the expirience for you.
What about you? Can you give any nice, constructive and "OBJECTIVE" input on why exactly it's so grossly unfair that women don't like coming to play in your copy of Hustler?
Here I am rolling my eyes... ok… so your taking shots at me… nice…

Anyway… Going back to video games…. I see woman complaining about them, but I see very little comments about how they would approach them. How would a woman create a female lead for an action game, what sensibilities would they touch, how would a woman make a 1st person shooter for girls? How would a woman tackle certain games that have already been made and have them cater more to female sensibilities? It would be nice if woman can tackle these issues without making it a man vs woman thing or a feminist thing. There are lots a games that cater to different people with different sensibilities. I really don't think there is not something out there for female gamers. I do believe there is a lot more work to be done,but its safe to say there are people actively persuing it. Because games is a business and it is prudent to want more woman to be involved at the end of the day its more $$$. Nintendo knows this and thats why the Wii sold like hotcakes. Everyone wanted to play it.




http://assets1.ignimgs.com/vid/thumbnails/user/2013/06/06/Titanfall_Thumb.jpg

http://document.nintendo-difference.com/617/artworks/1.jpg

Edited 4 times. Last edit by Rick Lopez on 10th October 2013 10:38pm

Posted:A year ago

#29

Bonnie Patterson Freelance Narrative Designer

196 544 2.8
Here I am rolling my eyes... ok… so your taking shots at me… nice…
You might want to read back up, you know. All your posts here are full of shots at women. Apparently I'm "barking"?
@Bonnie Patterson -
The thing about topless women being objectification and topless men being a power fantasy comes down to a pretty simple difference.
Yeah woman have boobs men do not.
Nope, missing my point there - it's that women's chests are highly sexualized and presented for the consumption of men, while men's chests mostly aren't - the "Muscle-bound god" paradigm started in comics in an era when it was unthinkable that girls would read comics and they were presented as aspirational figures for boys, not sex objects for girls. That's why it doesn't undo the presentation of women as sex objects to have a shirtless guy around.

re: Character customization: It's a trend in some recent games that allow you to make a custom character. Others, however, simply present options for different styles of lingerie as "armour" and only present idealized porn-star body choices.

re: Masturbation. Yes, everyone masturbates, not just guys, and there is a ton of free porn out there. So why is out-of-context sexualized imagery necessary in games? The answer is that it's not. It's not even slightly necessary. I'm not saying give up the porn, I'm saying keep it in porn.

Also, WWII pinup art started in "porn" magazines, you know - hence the phrase "pin up".

re: The feminist conspiracy against video games. In my case, it's just because I feel as uncomfortable playing some games as I would reading a copy of Razzle. Occam's Razor, dear chap - women have put up with a lot of crap in the last couple of years, with things turning drastically for the worse after decades of things getting better, and now I've just reached a point where I want to scream "FFS, give me a break!"

Also, you find the treatment you experience from male players very different in, say, Warhammer (where you run around in a thong and some pasties) compared with TSW if you dress in normal clothing. You get hit on, doxxed and sent penis pictures a lot less in the games where you can put clothing on, and the general attitude around me is less defensive and aggressive. Clothes, especially on an animated character, shouldn't even be considered to be a permission overriding what their wearer actually says, but I certainly have an easier and more fun time of it when I can put on a coat.

And there's other stuff that actually does freak me out, in the "really bothers me" sense. Female characters that moan orgasmically on death. That does disturb me. I asked a group of male friends who know they can talk frankly with me to tell me their responses on vent one day, and then faked Lara Croft's death moan. 27 out of 30 said they got an erection.

Re: Games women can enjoy. Ugh, right, there's the thing, right there. Why wouldn't women enjoy shooters? There are actual female soldiers now and they had to fight tooth and nail to get there, so it must have been something they wanted pretty badly. It doesn't have to be a kid's game with things in pink and a cute companion animal for women to like it. It just has to not tell us to f*** off. And I'm quite all right with the idea that guys enjoy games and that they like shooters, but it doesn't mean they have to have them be porn at the same time.

This is where we reach outside the subject of just games a little. When I mentioned the way I - and many, many other women - have been treated online, you talked about trolls who wouldn't dare do that stuff in your actual presence. Except they do. Not the stuff like teabagging your corpse, obviously, but getting groped on public transport, being followed by groups of guys shouting abuse, having your bodyparts photographed while shopping - these have gone from being shocking occurrences to run of the mill. It's still just a minority of guys - it's often hard to remember the 30 guys you walk past who don't bother you at all when you've been followed for the last 20 minutes by a guy playing with himself - and I'm not talking about a daily occurrence - it's more like weekly. But that's enough to scare the tar out of me, and many have told me they feel the same, and is an unpleasant and unjust intrusion all the same.

On the subject of GTA and video game violence, I mentioned studies done in the wake of the James Bulger murder that suggested it wasn't exactly horror movies and video games that shaped two ten-year-olds to murder a toddler, but that they were immersed in those things with no taste of real life to put them in a fantasy context. I feel like we're approaching a similar situation with porn. There was a time when highly-sexualized images were just for porn. They'd be viewed for a short period and then the viewer would go get on with something else. But now porn is also "controversial humour" ("r/jailbait" and "r/creepshots" for example), "Light entertainment" (page 3), marketing and advertising aimed at both men and women, there's a topless scene in almost every movie. And almost every game has female characters in that are designed to arouse.

The average man in the UK spends 2 hours a week looking at porn sites for masturbatory purposes. That's a tiny amount (though more than double what it was two years ago). But they reckon when you factor in the amount of time we spend surrounded by sexualized images presented in other contexts, it rises to 18-30 hours a week.

So yeah, as a woman, I can't help but worry that this is something to do with the reason that five years ago, things were pretty peachy - I could do a large number of things without being expected to have sex during them - but now, I seem to have this enormous amount of trouble explaining that I'm not porn.

So I'm not singling video games out as the culprit, I just think a whole bunch of media needs to a make bit of space to depict actual women doing real person stuff. And that means cutting back on the pseudo-porn a bit.

If you think that sounds like I'm saying "Men=bad" it's not really what I'm getting at. An individual man has no more say in the number of boobs on the newsrack in front of the garage than I do. I'm just saying that in the world we have right now, there are a great many who see more depictions of women as sex dispensers than they get to spend time actually communicating with real women. Nor am I saying that men are "too stupid" to tell the difference between women and porn; what we know intellectually is an entirely different beast to what the subconscious accepts as normal. Nor are the individual effects of objectification particularly heinous in the vast majority of things; it's when it's happening all the time you get desperate.

Anyway, I've probably exposited too long there on psych stuff to have room to answer your actual question, so just short summary: Most would be the same games just with the pseudo-porn stripped out. Maybe a slightly stronger emphasis on dialogue options, so they're a bit more frequent, more interesting and actually have an impact on things.

Female action hero: ELLEN RIPLEY is a great example (I used to have a gif of her I'd link to anyone who told me girls can't tank). Guns remove the need for physical strength; martial arts, sci-fi and cyberpunk also lend themselves to letting women into the action arena plausibly.

For personality, we're in a tricky place. I thought The Last of Us had excellent depictions of female characters, but some complained that Ellie was strong up until a male hero turned up and then started crying. I could actually see myself doing that in that situation - pushing myself to the limit and beyond for ages in a terrifying situation and then taking advantage of having the load lifted to let all the grief out. But we've had female characters depicted as crumbling tools to be saved for so long that people are going to react to any signs of "weakness" in a female character as more of the same - so for a while, we're going to see people essentially asking for Nathan Drake with tits.

Posted:A year ago

#30

Keldon Alleyne Handheld Developer, Avasopht Ltd

471 479 1.0
@Bonnie: That is an interesting post, I'd like to see how people respond to what you have presented.

For me, I can only say that I'm a little tired of the fan service unless it's done right.
I asked a group of male friends who know they can talk frankly with me to tell me their responses on vent one day, and then faked Lara Croft's death moan. 27 out of 30 said they got an erection.
Maybe they were just kindly faking it ;)

Posted:A year ago

#31

Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer

1,269 941 0.7
Like I said before I just think all this news surrounding Warfaces female character designs(as well as other games) is nothing more than an attempt from the feminist community to draw fire on the video game industry, much like lobbyists gather together to single out a video game for violence to gain more votes for a political campaign in the name of political correctness.

A bunch of articles on Games Industry are touching the subject of woman and games, Ive been seeing the word…"misogyny" a lot. Its like woman see games and they make it out to look like they are the victims of some sort of attack from some "Super secret evil male partralchy bent on stomping all over woman™". When in fact there are many people trying to address the issue and again… I think Nintendo has done an outstanding job with the Nintendo Wii.

Feminist woman interpret and reduce video games to porn. As with your expressions in your post and a number of other comments from other woman on other forums. I never really thought of Lara death scenes as a sexual thing, much less would I lower it to the level of porn. I mean some people get off on torture and being tortured but to each their own. And when people get hurt they will moan, and squirm as well as scream and cry. And the level of sexuality depicted in games is no different than that of movies. And as with movies, there are different forms of it that cater to different people with many different sensibilities.

However a lot of feminist views can can easily go into "misandrous" perspectives. And when talking with feminist woman you also come across a deep seeded hatred towards men. So I really doubt a lot of these woman discussing female in games is really about the games. Its more to further their cause.

How Guys Take A Shower - http://youtu.be/FCichOcSqz0

Tomb Raider death scenes - http://youtu.be/ddj8zZXmFl4

DeadSpace death scenes - http://youtu.be/mGbPlTnipCg

Resident Evil 4 death scenes - http://youtu.be/GF_SGUHFWB8

Posted:A year ago

#32

Dan Pearson European Editor, GamesIndustry.biz

122 377 3.1
Rick, I'd be interested to know why you think I'd be attempting to 'draw fire' on the games industry, or why I should have a deep seated hatred of my own gender. Also, for a man who's coined the phrase "Super secret evil male partralchy bent on stomping all over woman™", presumably framed in sarcasm, you seem to believe in a very well organised, secretive and vitriolic feminist organisation working behind the scenes to take away your fun and reduce your manhood.

Posted:A year ago

#33

Eric Leisy VR Production Designer, Nike

117 127 1.1
Not to gang up on you Rick, and I don't have a ton of time because I'm heading out - but I feel like it's hard for the majority of males to truly appreciate sexism, misogyny, and the disparity of inequality when it comes to the treatment of women in videogames and elsewhere. Myself definitely included. It's easy to downplay this issue when you're solidy grounded on one side, with a dick between your legs. I've doubt you've been looked up and down and reduced to a objective set of tits and ass like some women are subjected to daily. It's something we just don't have to deal with, and therefor don't really have a concept of what its like and the psychology of what it feels like.

I don't think plunging necklines, and mid driffs really have business in a what purports to be an authentic military shooter. What a joke.

Posted:A year ago

#34

Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer

1,269 941 0.7
Like I said before I just think all this news surrounding Warfaces female character designs(as well as other games) is nothing more than an attempt from the feminist community to draw fire on the video game industry, much like lobbyists gather together to single out a video game for violence to gain more votes for a political campaign. And the line between feminism and mysandry is very thin.

I understand there are alot of real world problems concerning the treatment and depiction of woman. Im not completely naive or oblivious to the topic either, I have enough woman involved in my life to know and I have probably heard most of it. However people will often take their issues and frustrations to different parts of there lives, games are not excluded.

However when it concerns games I think there is alot out there for woman to enjoy. I would hardly reduce video games to the equivalent of porn. And the audience for woman in video games is growing. In which case it would be dumb to say nobody is doing something about it.

I would go on to explain why I think video games have a lot to offer to girls and give various examples so I can shed some light on why I see things the way I do., but then I would have to go on and give examples about family members, female friends and even my girlfriend, some of which enjoy playing games… and this would be a long post.


==============just a few links==================

Links to Warface female character skins (I would hardly call it video game porn.):
http://images.eurogamer.net/2013/usgamer/Warface-Image-03.png
http://mmovote.ru/news/warface-ocherednoe-obnovlenie-dobavilo-v-igru-zhenskie-personazhi_315944.jpg
http://www.develop-online.net/cimages/61b04239b3e057027ce3bd4bd96f04ab.jpg
http://images.lazygamer.net/2013/10/RiflemanFemal_thumb.jpg

Final Fantasy:Realm reborn image depicting both male and female characters in revealing and covered outfits:
http://media.tumblr.com/317270685e0e500c3785755c530823aa/tumblr_inline_mu4oeweR3f1qi3zro.jpg

Finally Im posting this because I really like the character designs in this game. Curiouse to see if any woman would find something wrong with the female characters here.
http://gamingirresponsibly.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Fuse_characters.jpg
http://cdn.dualshockers.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Fuse.jpg
http://cdn.wegotthiscovered.com/wp-content/uploads/fuse-7.jpg
http://iamplayerone.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Fuse.jpg

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Rick Lopez on 15th October 2013 7:22pm

Posted:A year ago

#35

Bonnie Patterson Freelance Narrative Designer

196 544 2.8
The line between feminism and misandry is very thin only to those who don't realize that for women to have proportional equality in the world, the attitudes of men towards women will at some point, have to change. The word misandry itself was originally coined to describe women who felt no desire to sleep with men. So you're equating hatred of men to not wanting to sleep with you. And that's almost exactly what we're talking about here.

It's really simple. If the outfits aren't there to get you off, why do the female characters always have to wear titillating attire? If the outfits are there to get you off, why are they in games?

When it gets to the point where you're prepared to cry man hate at the suggestion of removing them, you're waaaay too invested in it for it to be a good thing. Is it misandry when women don't buy Hustler? Is it misandry when we don't sign up for bigandbouncy.com? Is it misandry when we don't go to strip clubs to stare at women dancing?

No. It's completely normal. I don't like being sexualized out of context and I don't like being in the middle of someone else's sexual activity. But porn itself isn't an issue (at least not in this context), because if we don't want the porn in Hustler, on inserttheoreticalnameofpornsitehere.com, if we don't want to see naked women dancing on poles, we don't have to. There's nothing else in those products we have to go through the porn to get.

But if we want to play games, we do. Not sex games - those, like porn, can sit in their category where if that's what you want, that's what you get. But why if I want to shoot something do I have to have to stare at a woman's breasts or ass?

Also note that nobody's saying this is all games. But it's still most games. And nobody is saying no-one is doing anything about it; in fact, I mention several times that things have gotten a lot better. But it's not done yet and it won't be until people stop screaming "Noooo, don't take my free porn I can pretend isn't there to get me off" and actually listen, in exactly the way you didn't.

Seriously, chill the **** out and stop trying to hump everything, all the time. Not stop trying to hump anything ever. Just put the stuff that's only for you in a place that's only for you and stop trying to force it on us. That's not misandry, that's what it takes to get equality.

So again, if the outfits aren't there to get you off, why are they there?

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Bonnie Patterson on 18th October 2013 12:07pm

Posted:A year ago

#36

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