Close
Report Comment to a Moderator Our Moderators review all comments for abusive and offensive language, and ensure comments are from Verified Users only.
Please report a comment only if you feel it requires our urgent attention.
I understand, report it. Cancel

"Inclusivity always seems to end up on the cutting board"

"Inclusivity always seems to end up on the cutting board"

Thu 12 Jun 2014 2:00pm GMT / 10:00am EDT / 7:00am PDT
Development

A female engineer's insights on the gender discussions that happen behind closed doors

Assassin's Creed Unity divided journalists over the importance of including playable female characters, and now it's dividing developers. We collected some of those opinions yesterday, but with Far Cry 4's director also revealing that female characters were considered and dropped, this isn't a discussion that is going to die down overnight.

An engineer for one of the top studios in the industry (trust me, you've heard of it) got in touch with us to share her insights. She's asked to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals over speaking publicly, but explained how discussions about including female characters worked at her company.

"Authenticity is not an issue when the gameplay and the fun are at stake, but somehow female characters are less believable than absurd, over-the-top situations"

"The arguments offered by Ubisoft sound horribly familiar. I've heard the same ones internally in similar conversations: need to redo the voice over, need to redo the animations for it to be to quality, no time, no budget, etc. All those are technically valid: when you're pushing the tech so much, the differences do matter. It's about choices though. And inclusivity always seems to end up on the cutting board.

The 'authenticity' argument also came up. Thing is, sitting on authenticity is not an issue when the gameplay and the fun are at stake. But somehow female characters are less believable than absurd, over-the-top situations.

The actual reason is always the same though: male is the default, people assume female characters don't sell, and that the audience is mostly teenage boys. That's forgetting that as creators of culture, of media, arguably art, we have a responsibility to watch the message we send. If we reach millions of people, surely doing the right thing and opening their eyes can't be a bad idea!

Another argument was that 'it's not the right game to do it'. Then maybe the company is making the wrong game.

Luckily the mood in the company is amazing, and many people enjoy discussing those topics and pushing for a better effort. It feels that the tide is turning and there will be good things coming. But due to the time it takes to make a AAA game, it will still be three, four, five years before any of that becomes visible."

93 Comments

Andrew Watson Programmer

99 246 2.5
That's forgetting that as creators of culture, of media, arguably art, we have a responsibility to watch the message we send.
We're also primarily creators of games and entertainment, and as such I think that if something has to be sacrificed to get the game out the door, there are far more important things you don't want to cut. Gameplay, bug fixing, environments, music, voice acting (if you have it), balance, story, graphics, etc, and most importantly, whether it's fun or not.

Sure, if you've got enough time, more options for the playable character are great. But I think that that sort of stuff should never come at the expense of making the game entertaining. And I think all these arguments over political correctness and stuff that have been happening over the past couple years are making people forget that.

Posted:4 months ago

#1

Neil Young Programmer, Rebellion Developments

303 383 1.3
@Andrew : but surely more inclusive characters and avatar are also about making the game more fun, and more entertaining? Yes, it's responsible for the industry to more representative, but inclusive avatars especially maximise the number of people able to be entertained by the game, and have fun with it.

Posted:4 months ago

#2

Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic

1,584 1,438 0.9
Popular Comment
We're also primarily creators of games and entertainment, and as such I think that if something has to be sacrificed to get the game out the door, there are far more important things you don't want to cut... most importantly, whether it's fun or not.
This is a discussion that just goes round and round, so I'm going to limit myself a bit, but the quote above is interesting. Here's why:

To some, women in games affects entertainment and "fun" value. I hope Bonnie won't mind quoting a comment of hers from another thread:
Saints Row and GTA were really, really similar, except for the humour and the ability to play a female character. The humour of Saints Row wasn't really my kind of thing, so why did I fall in love with the game the way I never did with GTA?

Because I was in it.
(my emphasis)

Representation in games shouldn't be viewed as something separate and distinct from fun.

That's all. :)

Posted:4 months ago

#3

David Howard Editor-in-Chief and Founder, One Hit Pixel

12 19 1.6
@Neil & Andrew: More inclusive characters and avatars "can" be more entertaining. If a story is trying to tell a particular story with a particular characters (e.g. Uncharted, Tomb Raider, Half Life, etc) then a specific protagonist is fine - throwing more unsuitable variants into the mix will only cause confusion.

It's about have more diverse characters in places (of which there are plenty) that make sense. Annoyingly, Assassin's Creed during the French Revolution is a primary example where female characters would've been ideal.

Posted:4 months ago

#4

Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer

1,269 942 0.7
When you got 12 studios working on a game and 900 employee, 3 months is alot that goes in salaries alone. And getting these products out the door take priority #1

Look With Aveline featured in her own asssins creed game, i doubt this is the last we will see of a female assasin. So I assume UbiSoft has a good reason for not including a female assasin in Unity. UbiSoft also has Beyond Good and evil in there IP catalog that I hope they revive. And finally Far Cry 4... woman can complain about the fact that it doesnt feature a female character.... but will it make them play it if it did? After all is said and done, how many woman were really looking foward to playing farcry 4?

People seem to get mad because these games dont feature a female character, but forget that we have a new Tomb raider, Mirrors Edge, Bayonetta that allow you to play as very well designed female characters.

You know if you make a game you will have certain characters in mind. Before when technology didnt allow it, people had to chuck up whatever they got. Now a days since its possible to create custom characters people think it always has to be done. Creating customizable characters is seriouse work. All those assets from wardrobe, voice acting, character rigging, facial expresions have to be redone or adjusted. And the work is even more astronomical if there is a narrative involved. Unless you want a chik walking, talking and acting like a dude and being blamed for being sexist anyway, cause your chicks, behave like dudes I cant see how people think this can be done without it costing much more or being extra work.

The character creation in Saints row wasnt as robust as in other games. Sometimes you can get around making cloth for both by simply having the cloth wrap around the character model. But other times you cant. Same happens for larger or smaller builds.

And if we take a game like little big planet, that has a large amount of character customization. I cannot understand how people feel this is not extra work.

And I think now a days with games that feature customizable characters.... people are getting confused, thinking thats a feature that can be in every game. And thinking that adding it is just a walk in the park. When other games have a different focus on narrative or gameplay in which a customizable character is not as essential as those two things. And I think its wrong to scorn a company for leaving that feature out...

Not all games need or have to have customizable characters. In many cases it shouldnt because the game features and characters are tied to a narrative. And just like some games feature male or female only playable characters a developer should choose between adding or not adding customizable characters. It is work and those that say its not and it doesnt cost much extra and that it has no weight on beating a deadline or production resources probably dont make games themselves or dont understand the process behind making them. And even if they did, the conditions for which each game is developed are different from one another. So who knows what goes on behind the curtain.

Finally when making these AAA games like Watchdogs, Assasins creed Unity or FarCry4... considering the scale they are made in, I cant blame the developers for cutting as many corners as they can. And even more so when you consider assasins creed comes out yearly.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Rick Lopez on 12th June 2014 4:36pm

Posted:4 months ago

#5

Neil Young Programmer, Rebellion Developments

303 383 1.3
@David : yeah, I'd broadly agree with that - a character led story will come down to having the right character - although there is still an argument that they are sometimes male simple as a "default", rather than that being an actual creative decision.

Posted:4 months ago

#6

Paolo Giunti Narrative Designer

38 78 2.1
To strengthen Morville's point and what he quoted I can add a bit of personal experience.

I could never bring myself to finish GTA4 and this is primarily because, despite being the same gender of the character and despite the occasional player choice (kill/spare), I couldn't relate to the character i was playing. Niko Bellic was just so not-me, i eventually lost interest in him and his story.
So yeah, I can say it spoiled the game to me.

Posted:4 months ago

#7

Josiah Jackson 3D Game Artist

4 3 0.8
You don't have to stress about adding a female character when you make a female your primary character. I have no qualms with Tomb Raider, Lara doesn't hamper my experience. I can't believe the industry grapples with this.

Posted:4 months ago

#8

Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer

1,269 942 0.7
@Aaron johnson - No you are not :)

Posted:4 months ago

#9

Robin Clarke Producer, AppyNation Ltd

321 748 2.3
"but surely more inclusive characters and avatar are also about making the game more fun, and more entertaining?"

Is Mario Kart more fun when everyone plays as Miis that look like themselves?

No-one would argue against more inclusivity, but the extent to which games and gamers are portrayed as fragile things that can't be reconciled unless what's on screen somehow reflects their lives is ridiculously overplayed.

Most games aren't really about characters in the same way narrative forms of entertainment are. Of course this also works as a strong argument FOR more diverse avatars.

Posted:4 months ago

#10

Robert Nzengou-Tayo Independent.

13 77 5.9
Popular Comment
It's one thing when some games don't reflect you. It's a distinctly other thing when so many games don't. It's a trend, and one that sends a message. "We don't make games for you. We don't think you're important enough to cater to. In that regard, we believe that heterosexual, white males are more important to us than you are."

It's not the individual game that's the problem, it's the medium taken as a whole.

Posted:4 months ago

#11

Jakub Mikyska CEO, Grip Digital

202 1,107 5.5
Here we go again. The "righteous crowd" found another subject to complain about after the Far Cry 4 thing stopped being interesting.

I can give you a detailed breakdown why including a selectable male/female hero for the new AC game would really make the development A LOT harder. Perhaps not twice as much, but let's say 30%.

But I think that the extra 30% were not the reason for Ubisoft to not even consider a woman character. The real reason is, I think, that even if they did it, a few hipsters would applaud them and an angry mob would go down on them, complaining that:

- Their female hero does not represent women rightfully
- Her breasts are too big
- Her breasts are too small
- She is represented as a damsel in distress that needs men (because perhaps she was saved by a male character once in a cut-scene)
- She does not get enough space on the box cover and is not represented enough in marketing materials
- She is in the game only to cause scandals and sell more copies (because another character tries to rape her by touching her butt)

I totally agree with the Ubisoft's decision. That does not mean that women shouldn't be characters in games. It only means that if they decided they won't do it, they probably have a PRETTY GOOD reason... like... you know... this debate.

Posted:4 months ago

#12

Diana Hsu Product Manager, Free-to-Play, Big Fish Games

10 42 4.2
Popular Comment
That character you're asked to empathize with is overwhelmingly a white guy with some stubble. It's easy to call out other people for not being able to fully enjoy playing as someone who doesn't look like them when the characters often do look like you.

Posted:4 months ago

#13

Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer

1,269 942 0.7
@Diana - I truly doubt a white guy with some stubble is representative of most gamers... so i guess people should simply not enjoy a game if the character does not look like them? I guess I couldnt enjoy most hollywood movies or books if that were the case.

People will identify with a character regardless of race or gender. Looks are not the only way to make a person empathise with a character. Other ways include but are not limited toA well written character...

i read comments like that and its almost feels as if having a white guy in a game is a bad thing now a days.

Posted:4 months ago

#14

Bonnie Patterson Freelance Narrative Designer

159 432 2.7
It's not that Far Cry 4 doesn't include women. And it's not that the new AC multiplayer won't include women. Or that Uncharted doesn't include women. It's that people who aren't straight white guys with stubble are included in so few games that the people who want to claim there are plenty of them can and do name every single one. In posts not much longer than a tweet. And half of those that do feature women, feature women that were created solely to satisfy someone's dominatrix fantasy.

That's imbalanced, and a continuation of the way women are almost universally portrayed across all kinds of media as there just for the male libido, which we are all currently hearing a lot of voices telling us they are so tired of.

Each game that comes out like this is getting attention because saying "Hey, games need to include more women" just had a bunch of people go "yeah, sure" and go straight back to designing tits and beer for the mancave, while waiting for someone else to do it.

Does this mean that developers aren't free to choose what goes in their games any more? Is a gun being held to their heads with a demographics cheat sheet (Here's one: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demography_of_England) and the instructions "Follow this or else"? Nope, they're free to choose - they can design for the mancave all they want. And people can express their opinion of that.

For me, raised in multi-gender, multi-racial, multi-cultural world, I find it really disturbing when designers' imaginations don't come up with men, women, white, black, asian, straight, gay and trans people. You don't have to pack them all into one 10 x 10 room, but these people show up every single day in your life. Why does it break a finger to code them?

Posted:4 months ago

#15
I'm surprised this is even an issue.

A decade ago it seemed like every new game IP had a female lead (the Lara effect I suppose) and a lot of gamers myself included enjoyed playing as those character so I'm surprised that today it's financial suicide. But it's not like there wasn't enough representation of women in games.

Now that said offcourse it's a big job to do both so I think the devloper's decision to make the game as they see fit and their reasons should be respected and if you don't like it then don't buy it.

Unfortunately going back I think the market did decide.

Also on the other point that you need a game character that you can relate to. Part of the fun of games is playing characters you're not. Would you judge any other forms of media like that.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by John Owens on 12th June 2014 8:23pm

Posted:4 months ago

#16

Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer

1,269 942 0.7
Note: previously posted here:
http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2014-06-11-assassins-creeds-female-problems-devs-respond
--------------------------------------------------------------
All this commotion surrounding Assasins Creed unity yet people stay mum, about Tomb Raider, Bayonetta, Mirrors Edge, Splatoon, Valient Hearts, Ori and The Blind Forest... I was happy to see Palutena included in the smash bros. roster. Also for hyrule warriors Nintendo had a large focus on Midna, Zelda and Impa

It just seems that no matter what is done some people are just not satisfied...

Nobody talks about the amount of woman who took stage at E3 or the Super Smash bros, tournament. I remember E3s where no woman took stage this year we saw a few during the conferences and the smash bros. tournament and... nobody said a word about it.

i highly doubt many woman were interested in playing FarCry4 from the get go and changing a co-op player to a female I dont think will change that. And for a single player game I doubt the Co-op aspect is that important. I myself dont play online much. I Dont blame UbiSoft for not putting too many resources their. multiplayer aspects of most games, unless its competitive multiplayer or MMO... usually fill out a niche hole in the game for the few that do care. i mean who plays Uncharted 2 or Ninja gaiden 3 multiplayer now a days?

You know alot of people come to post here not because of the games, but because of issues they have with themselves or their life. Wether its gender or sexual orientation issues, Its pretty sad, because Assasins Creed Unity and FarCry 4 look amazing, and some people cant see that because they are stuck up to their neck in their own mud.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Rick Lopez on 12th June 2014 8:11pm

Posted:4 months ago

#17

Aleksi Ranta Product Manager - Hardware

276 127 0.5
I go to sleep, i wake up, and we have this.....a commotion about basically nothing that for some reason the gaming press is headlining. oh dear.

Posted:4 months ago

#18

Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer

1,269 942 0.7
#19

Hector Moran 2d/3d Artist

4 9 2.3
To all the people making a stink about this... I'd mainly recommend buying games like Beyond Two Souls, Remember Me, Mirror's Edge, the New Tomb Raider and any other game with female leads and characters you want to see more of. All three previously mentioned games were decent or great in many aspects, but were considered risks and financial failures or barely break even. Make a petition for female assassins DLC and show somehow that you'll commit to buying it.

Until publishers and developers see you voting with your wallet, all you're doing is playing damsel in distress waiting to be rescued by the men in positions of power in the industry. People who no matter how politically correct or inclusive they may or may not want to be, still have to take massive financial risks. If you make the games that do things right into hits (by buying and promoting them with at least wort of mouth), you'll at least remove more and more of the financial excuses.

If the developers of games like Remember Me have to fight hell and high water to even make the game, and then the support for the game isn't there when it's out (and it wasn't a bad game), then sadly... that is the WRONG GAME for them to make if it's going to cost them their jobs and studios.

Posted:4 months ago

#20

Jeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing

358 215 0.6
Here's the part that is simply not being discussed

In Mass Effect, what does FemShep add to the game?

Nothing, except millions of dollars in expense and thousands of man hours.

What did r inclusion of gay characters do to develop Shephard's gay relationship? Not much, but certainly more than FemShep

FemShep just repeats the same lines and actions as the male version, as has been indicated to me was the case with AC:U. There is no need for this, as it seves no purpose, except to entertain the 90% of the 15% that chose that option who just want to watch her butt wiggle for 40 hours.

If you're going to do a Fay, female, Martian character, do so with purpose. If you're unwilling or unable to create a unique experience that justifies the additional expense and effort, why do it? Create a DLC using the same assets with a tight storyline that expresses the female perspective. Live it! Craft a real gay storyline with great emotion. Being it on. But please stop the whining about swapping out gender neutral avatars.

Posted:4 months ago

#21

Tim Ogul Illustrator

335 462 1.4
@Andrew : but surely more inclusive characters and avatar are also about making the game more fun, and more entertaining? Yes, it's responsible for the industry to more representative, but inclusive avatars especially maximise the number of people able to be entertained by the game, and have fun with it.
That's not true at all. Adding female avatars does not add even one players that can have fun with the game, because female players have been playing as male avatars and male players have been playing as male avatars since Pacman/Ms. Pacman. Any gamer that cannot bring themselves to play as a avatar that doesn't look exactly like themselves is only hurting themselves, and it's not he game developer's job to coddle them.
Saints Row and GTA were really, really similar, except for the humour and the ability to play a female character. The humour of Saints Row wasn't really my kind of thing, so why did I fall in love with the game the way I never did with GTA?

Because I was in it.
Personally, I loved SR4 and never bothered with GTA, but it's worth noting that GTA sold, what, ten times as many copies? SR vs. GTA is hardly a lesson you want to highlight if your message is that gender inclusivity is a good thing.
I'm going to flip this around a bit for the sake of discussion. More and more (and not just on GI.biz boards), I see posters proudly declare that they turn their nose up at a game if they can't select/ build a character that looks just like them. I find this very disconcerting: Are gamers really that unwilling to empathize with a character and a story simply because they aren't the same gender/ race/ age as the protagonist?
Yeah, I just don't get this either. My big game lately is GW2, and I have nine characters in that game, one of which looks sort of like me, but he's one of my least played. My most played are both 3ft tall Asura, one male, one female, and half my characters are female. If it were impossible to make a human male at all in that game it wouldn't have hurt my enjoyment of it at all.
I could never bring myself to finish GTA4 and this is primarily because, despite being the same gender of the character and despite the occasional player choice (kill/spare), I couldn't relate to the character i was playing. Niko Bellic was just so not-me, i eventually lost interest in him and his story.
So yeah, I can say it spoiled the game to me.
Yeah, but that's entirely beside the point here. You couldn't relate to the character, it had nothing to do with him being a white male. If you had the option of playing a character that acted exactly the same, but was an Asian female, it wouldn't likely change your mind about the game. The topic here is people who believe it would improve the game to a necessary degree if they could have the exact same experiences using an avatar of the opposite gender as the default, like if you could play through Tomb Raider as Alex instead of as Lara.
"We don't make games for you. We don't think you're important enough to cater to. In that regard, we believe that heterosexual, white males are more important to us than you are."
But all of that is true, and will remain true until white males make up less than half the intended market for the game in question. What is so objectionable about that? I should think it would be more objectionable if they were pandering to a specific audience in spite of the financial motivations to do so.

Posted:4 months ago

#22

Diana Hsu Product Manager, Free-to-Play, Big Fish Games

10 42 4.2
FemShep just repeats the same lines and actions as the male version, as has been indicated to me was the case with AC:U. There is no need for this, as it seves no purpose, except to entertain the 90% of the 15% that chose that option who just want to watch her butt wiggle for 40 hours.
If you're going to do a Fay, female, Martian character, do so with purpose
...

I'm tired. I'm just really, really tired.

Posted:4 months ago

#23

Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer

1,269 942 0.7
@Hector Moran

Same with beyond Good and Evil and Mirrors edge. i thought both games were brilliant, but they didnt sell well. But i dont think its because of the female lead. Branding had more to do with it. They were new IP's that few people new very little of and because of that they suffered. Lots a people blame it because they had female characters. But the characters themselves were brilliant. I think sometimes it takes more than one game to establish a new brand. This is why i hope UbiSoft and EA dont give up on those brands just yet.

I own Beyoond Good and Evil, Mirrors and I also have Remember Me. And these discussions are really sad because they stop being about games and more about peoples existential issues. I only tell you these things cause you mentioned a few games that I personally love myself. And i never really gave much importance to the characters race or gender. I generally like characters who are well written regardless, thats why I like so many RPG's. So at times I dont understand why gender is an issue when i have played so many games featuring female characters and enjoyed them just the same.

But I dont know, Im really fed up myslf with this topic. I mean Id like to address games like Splatoon, Ori and the Blind forest and the New Zelda. I think the whole assasins creed unity thing is a none issue, because there are clearly lots a games with good female characters, just like there are games with very lame male characters. Its funny that Splatoon is one of the games Im looking foward to the most out of all the games shown at E3. Its a fun spin on the shooter genre. I wish i could talk more about that game.

But nothin man, just commenting a bit off topic here. Its just you mentioned those games and my mind went off.

Posted:4 months ago

#24

Tim Ogul Illustrator

335 462 1.4
I own Beyoond Good and Evil, Mirrors and I also have Remember Me. And these discussions are really sad because they stop being about games and more about peoples existential issues. I only tell you these things cause you mentioned a few games that I personally love myself. And i never really gave much importance to the characters race or gender. I generally like characters who are well written regardless, thats why I like so many RPG's. So at times I dont understand why gender is an issue when i have played so many games featuring female characters and enjoyed them just the same.
I agree. If they make a game with a female lead, the discussion should NOT be about how progressive they are being in daring to use a female lead, or about how that female character reflects on all female characters everywhere. The discussion should be about, is the game fun, is the story interesting, etc. If you make a game with a male lead, the discussion should NOT be about how horribly behind the times you are to have such a white male character, or about how regressive your developer is for allowing such a travesty to take place, it should be about whether the game is fun, whether the story is interesting, etc.

It should be about the game.

I was watching a Rev3 video about their impressions of ACU and Farcry, and they did two entire 7 minute pieces just talking about the new features of the games! They didn't mention the lack of female avatars at all, and one of the reviewers was a woman herself! She actually seemed super excited about the game, even without being given the option of having virtual breasts!

Posted:4 months ago

#25

Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer

1,269 942 0.7
@Tim Ogul - Hey Tim, can you post links to those videos, id like to watch them :)

Posted:4 months ago

#26

Tim Ogul Illustrator

335 462 1.4

Posted:4 months ago

#27

Dan Pearson European Editor, GamesIndustry.biz

114 325 2.9
Popular Comment
Ok. Deep breath. A few things.

1) We've gone out of our way to present both sides of this story. We've printed the Ubisoft statement and I had a meeting with Alain Corre, MD of Ubi EMEA this morning and we'll have his response to these questions printed as soon as possible.

2) This is not a witch hunt. This is addressing a topic which has clearly touched and affected a wide range of both consumers and developers. That is our direct and exact remit. It's what we're here for. If you agree with everything we write, we're not doing our jobs properly.

3) To everyone saying 'what about Lara croft, Faith, Jade.' What about the other 30,000 games with white male leads. What about if that was reversed. What if 99% of games had female leads and you'd just heard that a publisher had said that they weren't adding men because male character animations were hard work. You don't see a problem with feeling isolated and excluded because you're not. You're on the inside, by a nice warm fire, wondering what those people outside in the snow are complaining about being cold because, hey, they have a coat on, right?

4) Making your customers happy makes business sense. More and more of publishers customers, despite this alienation, are women. Maybe, just maybe, if we can help them to feel like they're not interlopers, they'd buy more games, we could grown the industry and we'd all be happier. Maybe the demographic is overwhelmingly male because the products are made for men. Maybe that's a bad idea. Maybe we should include the other 51% of the population in the demographic targeting.

5) No one is saying every game should have a female lead. No one is saying that Ubisoft is the sole perpetrator of this. No one is saying that they're deliberately trying to distance women from their products. It's a hugely widespread problem, Ubisoft have just popped up in the crosshairs because of current developments. That doesn't mean that they shouldn't be asked to explain that decision. I think they're probably tough enough to take it - in fact I've experienced first hand this week their willingness to discuss it.

6) Guys, if you happen to notice that nearly everyone who's not affected by an issue is saying it's not important, but those that are think it is, perhaps you should take a minute to examine why you're dismissing perspectives which you have absolutely zero experience of. "Hey, I'm a white male, and I think that games represent diversity perfectly well, I've never felt alienated." Well, no shit.

7) And really, wanting more female leads, like maybe 20% instead of 2%, is indicative of a psychological disorder? Please, do me a favour.

Posted:4 months ago

#28

Tim Ogul Illustrator

335 462 1.4
3) To everyone saying 'what about Lara croft, Faith, Jade.' What about the other 30,000 games with white male leads. What about if that was reversed. What if 99% of games had female leads and you'd just heard that a publisher had said that they weren't adding men because male character animations were hard work.
I would say "Ok, why did that deserve a headline, seemed very 'dog bites man' to me." If the vast majority of characters were female, then yet another game with a female lead is not news. Literally. If the lead character is a female, and the other characters are based off that same model/skeleton/animation set, it should come as a shock to absolutely no one if they do not provide a second entirely separate set.

Honestly though, it's not just you guys, a lot of people are reporting this story in a misleading manner. I mean, you use a phrase like "because [female] character animations were hard work," which would imply that they didn't do it because female animations were harder than male ones, which was not at all their point. Their point was that doing ANY second animation set would be hard work, doing a giant dude model would also be hard work, or doing a dog model or something. It doesn't mean they hate giant dudes or dogs.
4) Making your customers happy makes business sense. More and more of publishers customers, despite this alienation, are women. Maybe, just maybe, if we can help them to feel like they're not interlopers, they'd buy more games, we could grown the industry and we'd all be happier. Maybe the demographic is overwhelmingly male because the products are made for men. Maybe that's a bad idea. Maybe we should include the other 51% of the population in the demographic targeting.
There's no evidence to support this and plenty against. It's more likely that some games do appeal more to men, on average, than women (although plenty of women play them anyways, and do not need to be coddled by providing them a hand tailored experience in order to enjoy the game), and plenty of games that appeal more to women than men, and that trying to appeal to everyone with every game is a losing proposition, because it takes more work than you'd gain from it. Make the game how you want, let the customers come to it or not, along whatever gender breakdowns result.
5) No one is saying every game should have a female lead. No one is saying that Ubisoft is the sole perpetrator of this. No one is saying that they're deliberately trying to distance women from their products.
Benghazi.

Posted:4 months ago

#29

Nick Wofford Hobbyist

180 190 1.1
@Dan
1) I noticed that as well. Someone here claimed that you weren't getting Ubisoft's side of the story, but I'm fairly certain their comment was one of the first stories posted. Some people just need to read more.

2)Yep, agreed on this point too.

3)THANK YOU. Not a single one of these people defending Ubisoft seems to understand their position. The warm fire analogy is literally perfect.

4)This is also incredibly true. And I'd add that Ubisoft can now enjoy (hopefully) fewer sales in response to their idiocy. By cutting out a character model, they decided that 50% of the planet shouldn't feel welcomed to play their game. Screw off, then. My wife will play DA3 instead (as Bioware understands the definition of empathy).

5)Another valid point. This entire industry needs to clean up its act. Ubisoft just stepped in the cow pie most recently.

6)Similar to your 3rd point. Totally agree.

7)I'd even argue that the opposition should be checked out for mental disorders. Irrational fears of minority groups (which women don't even qualify as) seems pretty far from high-functioning.

Posted:4 months ago

#30

James Brightman Editor in Chief, GamesIndustry.biz

247 388 1.6
Well said, Dan!

Posted:4 months ago

#31

Tim Ogul Illustrator

335 462 1.4
4)This is also incredibly true. And I'd add that Ubisoft can now enjoy (hopefully) fewer sales in response to their idiocy. By cutting out a character model, they decided that 50% of the planet shouldn't feel welcomed to play their game. Screw off, then. My wife will play DA3 instead (as Bioware understands the definition of empathy).
See, this is the utter nonsense responses that I was talking about. They in absolutely, positively NO way decided that 50% of the planet is "unwelcome to play their game." 100% of the planet is welcome to play their game, and I'm sure that a ton of them will be women, women who play as a male avatar as they have in most of the previous AC games and had no problem with that. It's only a very tiny minority of women that can't get past playing as a male avatar in a game they would otherwise enjoy, just as it's only a tiny minority of men that can't play as Lara Croft or Chun Li or whatever. Most gamers, of both genders, just DO NOT CARE.

Posted:4 months ago

#32

Dan Pearson European Editor, GamesIndustry.biz

114 325 2.9
Guess all these women who've been expressing dismay over this must have just been causing a fuss for the sake of it, then.

Posted:4 months ago

#33

Tim Ogul Illustrator

335 462 1.4
Well yeah.

Wait, by "all those women," do you mean more than the dozen or two gaming journalists ranting about it at every opportunity, because I've seen zero evidence that any more women actually care. I mean, male-only games still sell quite well to women gamers, if it were a problem then women would only be playing women-only or dual-gendered games, and there's no evidence that the gender of available avatars matters at all.

Posted:4 months ago

#34

Dan Pearson European Editor, GamesIndustry.biz

114 325 2.9
No, I mean the several women I've spoken about it to at e3 this week, all of the female friends who've been put off gaming because of the overwhelmingly macho role-play most of it entails and the countless female professionals in the industry who are sick of the male-dominated status quo.


Oh, and all the women in this and the other threads on the subject.

Posted:4 months ago

#35

Tim Ogul Illustrator

335 462 1.4
Yeah, so like is that two, or three dozen in total?

Posted:4 months ago

#36

Aleksi Ranta Product Manager - Hardware

276 127 0.5
@Dan "No, I mean the several women I've spoken about it to at e3 this week, all of the female friends who've been put off gaming because of the overwhelmingly macho role-play most of it entails and the countless female professionals in the industry who are sick of the male-dominated status quo."

This is issue has always been there. ALWAYS. why now start to make a fuss? Why this game? Is it because the booth babe controversy is not news anymore? For crying out loud its ubisofts game, they can do whatever the hell they like. They could make the main character into a mushroom if they liked and thought it might drive sales. Its their choice. OUR ONLY choice is to buy the game or leave it on the shelf. I admit i was slightly put off myself by the fact that i didnt have input on the original Aliens movie but hey, such is life.

I would like to raise a few points of my own in this twisted and horrible world we live in. Why are there no world famous women composers? Why are all the worlds best chefs men? I want answers! I want equal representation!

Posted:4 months ago

#37

Curt Sampson Sofware Developer

596 360 0.6
But somehow female characters are less believable than absurd, over-the-top situations.
Was 'than' above supposed to be 'in'?

I think this brings up an interesting point. If a female character is less believable in an 'absurd, over-the-top' situation, wouldn't that be a reasonable test to see if one needs to do some more work on the characterisation? I found the protagonist in Far Cry 3 rather jarring in his lack of real reaction to his change from 'nice kid' to 'killer commando,' and I think they really needed to spend a lot more time working on making the transition more believable. Perhaps putting a woman in that role would have highlighted the problem a bit better, and improved the writing over-all. (Admittedly, though Lara Croft in the Tomb Raider reboot was better done, it still had issues with this, however.)

Posted:4 months ago

#38

Tim Ogul Illustrator

335 462 1.4
This is issue has always been there. ALWAYS. why now start to make a fuss? Why this game? Is it because the booth babe controversy is not news anymore?
A fair point. Maybe they should bring back the booth babes. I've always found them silly myself, but they apparently acted as effective "tsk-tsk chaff" while they were present.
I think this brings up an interesting point. If a female character is less believable in an 'absurd, over-the-top' situation, wouldn't that be a reasonable test to see if one needs to do some more work on the characterisation? I found the protagonist in Far Cry 3 rather jarring in his lack of real reaction to his change from 'nice kid' to 'killer commando,' and I think they really needed to spend a lot more time working on making the transition more believable. Perhaps putting a woman in that role would have highlighted the problem a bit better, and improved the writing over-all. (Admittedly, though Lara Croft in the Tomb Raider reboot was better done, it still had issues with this, however.)
I think Laura Bailey did perfectly well as President of the United States in my playthrough of SR4, even while beating people to death with a giant glowing adult toy.

Posted:4 months ago

#39

Alfonso Sexto Lead Tester, Ubisoft Germany

820 653 0.8
In this particular case, leaving tendencies aside, my disappointments comes not from the fact that I won't see females in those games; it comes from the fact that, from al the possibilities that they could come up with; like "Doesn't fit in the story" (Like Rockstar said) or "It would make the game hard to say" (Could argue that, but ok) or even the completely wrong "You can't sell a game with a female character on it". What we got was the worst of al the excuses; we got a "it was due to workload" we got the answer that you would expect from a company from the 90 that sells games to underage kids that believe everything they hear; we got that excuse being most of us, either matures gamers above our 20's or professionals of the industry.
And thy were so sure we were going to byte and believe it, that they used that same excuse twice; both for AC U and FC4.

Bottonline: as a gamer I really feel like I was treated like an ignorant. And that is terrible. the minimum I deserve is a logical and believable explanation or a proper apology for such a poor excuse. If I don't get that I'll skip this two games since I will not be able to play them with peace of mind.

Posted:4 months ago

#40

Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic

1,584 1,438 0.9
This is issue has always been there. ALWAYS. why now start to make a fuss?
Because we're mad as hell and we're not gonna take it anymore! :)

Seriously, it's happening now because you're seeing a wider cultural shift to equality than we've ever seen before. Previous shifts have been about specific points, and have been limited to specific parts of the community. With women: The Pill, Roe vs. Wade, the Right To Vote. With blacks: Segregation and Civil Rights.

The past 10 years have seen a shift that not only encompasses women and blacks, but other cultural and racial minorities. Women wanting equal representation in media, but also fairer representation in media (less Size Zeros on magazine covers), as well as issues outside of media. Fairer pay in the boardroom. More women as senior executives. The acceptance of Gay Marriage could not have happened 10 years ago. The slow acceptance of the Trans* community couldn't have happened 10 years ago. The shift away from racial profiliing, in stop-and-search and at airports. A growing number of women as creators/writers/artists in the comics industry.

The fact is, the world is (generally speaking) becoming more liberal, and with that liberality comes a desire to force equality in places that have so far resisted it - video-games and comics, especially, since they've always been male-dominated areas where there's an undercurrent of misogyny and "fapping to women".

In addition, it could be argued that people have been making a fuss for years. They just weren't being listened to by anyone.

Edited 4 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 13th June 2014 8:58am

Posted:4 months ago

#41

Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic

1,584 1,438 0.9
if it were a problem then women would only be playing women-only or dual-gendered games, and there's no evidence that the gender of available avatars matters at all.
I think people - not just you, Tim - confuse partaking in an industry with accepting that industry's practices. Think of it like shopping - people may hate Walmart's reputation for paying a pittance to their workers and their attitude to unions, but when you have little choice about where you shop (for whatever reason), you will still go there.

Posted:4 months ago

#42

Keldon Alleyne Handheld Developer, Avasopht Ltd

449 423 0.9
I think some people are just inclined to complain and make a fuss for some strange reason.

At least if one were lobbying for characters representing the entire population rather than their own unique distinction I'd be able to take their claims of equality seriously, but all I see is ME ME ME, and that's not equality, that's something else completely.

Posted:4 months ago

#43

Jeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing

358 215 0.6
@Diana. I'm sorry this reality is up appealing to you, but it's the truth. In fact a good friend of mine recreates his wife for that exact reason. I'm not joking.

Do your own polling. While 90% is probably a bit high! I will guarantee you it'll be a majority. As a gay man, I did not choose that path, because it was tacked on, and felt like what it was. An awkward, tacked on additional relationship put there by public, not the story's demand. I hope that whoever stars in ME4 will have an organic option for that oath.

Posted:4 months ago

#44

Gareth Jones Senior Software Engineer, BBC

49 118 2.4
I'm a 6ft, 100kg rugby player, yet I really enjoyed Tomb Raider, D, Beyond Good & Evil, Bayonetta, Perfect Dark, Giana Sisters, various Aliens games and many more.

Please explain.

Posted:4 months ago

#45

Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic

1,584 1,438 0.9
An awkward, tacked on additional relationship put there by public, not the story's demand.
It can be argued that that's BioWare's fault - bad writing. The root cause may be a public demand for it, but the reason why it felt tacked on was the developer/writer.

Posted:4 months ago

#46

Dan Pearson European Editor, GamesIndustry.biz

114 325 2.9
Yes, the two dozen or so women who I've spoken to about it, who represent 100% of the women I've spoken to about it. Make your own statistics. And Gareth, I think I covered that. You're catered for. Nobody is taking your toys away, they're just asking for more toys in the playground. I see no sense in arguing that a representative split in protagonists is a bad thing.

Posted:4 months ago

#47

Andrew Watson Programmer

99 246 2.5
Why does nobody ever complain that the evil bad guy is always male or the generic cannon fodder enemies are always male?

Posted:4 months ago

#48

Julian Beck HR Consultant

39 45 1.2
That madness topic here has turned into...
CLICKBAIT.

Is there any other reason for flogging off articles like every two hours!?!

Please use for the next article this formula "[game title] has no female characters" - and boom, there we have our 50+ comments.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Julian Beck on 13th June 2014 11:20am

Posted:4 months ago

#49

Justin Biddle Software Developer

159 484 3.0
For those claiming the number of women complaining about this is low and therefore should be dismissed have you even considered for one moment that the majority of women are so put off by the male oriented outlook of gaming that they have long since dismissed it and that might be why there aren't that many women commenting on it? Thank goodness those few have stuck with it and are still fighting for a more inclusive gaming environment that will encourage those who have left back.

I can say that having played many games the playable characters I have felt the most emotional attachment too are the female ones like in the most recent tomb raider game rather than the generic male characters that populate most games. Heck. Mario has more unique personality than many of them!

Posted:4 months ago

#50

Rachel Weber Staff Writer, GamesIndustry.biz

34 96 2.8
I find the accusations of clickbait interesting. As a site we only post stories that reflect what's happening in the industry, and everyone is free to read what they choose. Considering how many of you seem to consider gender a non-issue in games, surely anything we post on the topic would be considered the opposite of clickbait?

And from what I can see it's angry men, who don't want the issue highlighted for various reasons, that have made up the majority of the comments. If it's not a subject that needs discussing then please, feel free to stop posting.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Rachel Weber on 13th June 2014 12:07pm

Posted:4 months ago

#51
"You know alot of people come to post here not because of the games, but because of issues they have with themselves or their life. Wether its gender or sexual orientation issues, Its pretty sad."

Rick, I think this every time I see (and skip) yet another of your comments-in-the-form-of-a-bad-novella on every subject, ever.

See how dismissing people works?

Posted:4 months ago

#52

Tim Ogul Illustrator

335 462 1.4
. What we got was the worst of al the excuses; we got a "it was due to workload" we got the answer that you would expect from a company from the 90 that sells games to underage kids that believe everything they hear; we got that excuse being most of us, either matures gamers above our 20's or professionals of the industry.
And thy were so sure we were going to byte and believe it, that they used that same excuse twice; both for AC U and FC4.
Why do you feel it was a bad excuse? If they had the time and budget to do it, they would have done it. They did not. I see nothing wrong with that at all. Plenty of features, many of them far more consequential than this, get cut for reasons of time and budget all the time. You learn to move on if you've been paying games for a year or more.
I think people - not just you, Tim - confuse partaking in an industry with accepting that industry's practices. Think of it like shopping - people may hate Walmart's reputation for paying a pittance to their workers and their attitude to unions, but when you have little choice about where you shop (for whatever reason), you will still go there.
Yeah, so if you don't like Walmart, stop shopping there. I don't. But you can't complain about unfair practices when you know full well that the only reason you shop there is that everything is cheaper than elsewhere, which would be impossible for them to achieve if not for those unfair practices you're complaining about. You can't eat your cake and have it too.
I'm a 6ft, 100kg rugby player, yet I really enjoyed Tomb Raider, D, Beyond Good & Evil, Bayonetta, Perfect Dark, Giana Sisters, various Aliens games and many more.

Please explain.
You aren't allowed to like those things. You were given boy parts so you're only allowed to enjoy avatars that are assumed to have boy parts too. If the developers did not provide you with an avatar that had hypothetical boy parts then you aren't allowed to enjoy the game, and must instead complain about it until hypothetical boy part models are provided.
Yes, the two dozen or so women who I've spoken to about it, who represent 100% of the women I've spoken to about it. Make your own statistics. And Gareth, I think I covered that. You're catered for. Nobody is taking your toys away, they're just asking for more toys in the playground. I see no sense in arguing that a representative split in protagonists is a bad thing.
I could, but it would be just as meaningless as your own, anecdotal poling of an unscientific sample. I don't work for a gaming journalism organization though. Someone in such a position could do some actual journalism on the issue rather than just collecting some random quotes that are heavily stacked against the developers.

One could, for example, try to get access to some internal numbers. I'm sure the developers collect this sort of data, and they might be willing to share, but try to ask Ubisoft to find out how many women play their AC and Farcry games, even without female model options. Try to find out from them and Squenix how many male players played Liberation and Tomb Raider, even though they lacked male options. If you can make an evidence based case that women gamers as a group do not enjoy playing games with male avatars, and men do not playing as female avatars, and that all things being equal games with avatar choice outperform those without, then that would be some actual DATA, an actual story rather than an opnion-based hatchet job. Short of that, it's all anecdotal BS, 100% of the people you happen to know might be behind you, but might represent only .0001% of the total gaming population for all you know.
For those claiming the number of women complaining about this is low and therefore should be dismissed have you even considered for one moment that the majority of women are so put off by the male oriented outlook of gaming that they have long since dismissed it and that might be why there aren't that many women commenting on it?
Nah, because I know a lot of female gamers, and they aren't sissies like that. If they had something that bothered them, they'd speak up about it.
Considering how many of you seem to consider gender a non-issue in games, surely anything we post on the topic would be considered the opposite of clickbait?
No, because it tends to strike up controversy, which leads to the thread being clicked on numerous times by the same people. I consider the issue of gender in games to be a non issue. I find the issue of harassing developers about gender to be a very serious and destructive issue over the past year or so.
And from what I can see it's angry men, who don't want the issue highlighted for various reasons, that have made up the majority of the comments. If it's not a subject that needs discussing then please, feel free to stop posting.
I can promise you I'll never write an article on the subject, and only hope that everyone else will agree to do the same.

Posted:4 months ago

#53

Justin Biddle Software Developer

159 484 3.0
But the article is reporting the opinion of someone well placed to express it. As Dan says above they will soon be posting a response from the other side of the argument). That to me is balanced. There is also seems to be the implication that this is being posted purely because it's a hot topic. Well yeah of course. It's the current big topic of discussion in the industry. Should we not report and offer opinion on stuff the moment it becomes a big thing? I guarantee if gamesindustry.biz had ignored all this they would have been attacked for doing so, ironically I wouldn't be surprised, by one or two of the people who are currently accusing them of click bait.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Justin Biddle on 13th June 2014 12:50pm

Posted:4 months ago

#54

Gary Riccio Socio-Technical R&D

10 9 0.9
@D_IGR New studios without any baggage would love to part of the solution by having a vision and mission for games that has appeal across gender, race, ethnicity, religion, location, and socioeconomic privilege. Articles and authors like this will help us get on the right track. Thank you. That there are 58 comments on this article to date, almost irrespective of their content, clearly indicates that there is a gap in an industry that has much to offer the world. http://bit.ly/IGR_inclusion

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Gary Riccio on 13th June 2014 1:18pm

Posted:4 months ago

#55

Gary Riccio Socio-Technical R&D

10 9 0.9
C'mon Aaron. I hope this was tongue in cheek. In any case, you are doing a disservice to the role science in business by being extraordinarily selective in your references. First, it is a sophomore mistake to take characteristics of sociopathy and apply them to the normal range of behavior or to people who are living functional lives in society. More importantly--as a counterpoint to the misapplication of research on abnormal behavior--please note that there is a massive body of work on the importance of role models and the causal potency of similarities with them, even if those similarities are incidental. For anyone who is interested, I recommending reading any of Albert Bandura's work on social learning and self-efficacy. Bandura is one of the giants of scientific psychology who has made enormous personal contributions and also has been an aggregator and curator of the work of others in the field, thus my recommendation is not selective. @urbn_science

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Gary Riccio on 13th June 2014 1:17pm

Posted:4 months ago

#56

Gary Riccio Socio-Technical R&D

10 9 0.9
Robin, it seems that you are not paying attention. The point is not whether you agree, even whether most people agree, with the meaning that gender bias in video games has for many people. The point simply is that it is troublesome to many and, if one is listening to the demand side, this seems irrefutably true. Pay attention to your customers, and you just might make more money. Pay attention to the broader ecosystem of your customers--including the people who they influence, the people who influence them, and potential new customers--and you just might be a star in business!

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Gary Riccio on 13th June 2014 1:16pm

Posted:4 months ago

#57

David Canela Game Designer

56 102 1.8
I wasn't going to chime in, but then I read this dismissive bit:

"In Mass Effect, what does FemShep add to the game?
Nothing, except millions of dollars in expense and thousands of man hours."

Hm, let's see, what did FemShep add:
-The option to be whoever you want to be (whether you're male/female). it was an RPG, after all.
-A break from mindless white-male defaulting
...now, if you don't value any of this, it didn't add anything FOR YOU. This ties into my second point:

How incredibly ironic in a very sad way is it, when people accuse others of lack of empathy, when they clearly can't empathize with anyone who is a bit put off by the white male default thinking and the imbalance in game protagonists?

Seriously, guys...

Posted:4 months ago

#58

Mikko Heikkilä Game Artist / 3D modeler

12 20 1.7
The fact is, the world is (generally speaking) becoming more liberal, and with that liberality comes a desire to force equality in places that have so far resisted it - video-games and comics, especially, since they've always been male-dominated areas where there's an undercurrent of misogyny and "fapping to women".
Yes, equality needs to be forced because because evil male-dominated publishers keep pushing away millions of female gamers eager to give them monies. I mean, women already control the majority of consumer spending, so they need to have their man fort even though they make less money that way.

Sarcasm aside, talk is cheap, show me the money. Make a female-friendly hit game and convince the publishers there is a market. Until then, don't wonder why developers keep axing secondary features in place of features that make their games better for everyone.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Mikko Heikkilä on 13th June 2014 1:53pm

Posted:4 months ago

#59

Wesley Copeland Freelance Video Game Journalist

12 83 6.9
Sarcasm aside, talk is cheap, show me the money. Make a female-friendly hit game and convince the publishers there is a market. Until then, don't wonder why developers keep axing secondary features in place of features that make their games better for everyone.
Here ya go buddy! http://www.tombraider.com

Posted:4 months ago

#60

Julian Beck HR Consultant

39 45 1.2
And from what I can see it's angry men, who don't want the issue highlighted for various reasons, that have made up the majority of the comments. If it's not a subject that needs discussing then please, feel free to stop posting.
To speak for me I'm not at all "angry", it's just too much articles in a too short time. The articles come in a rapid fire like only comments do. Please take some days to reflect a bit and try to take the topic to some more progressed debate views.

For myself the debate is in a way "closed", and my result is:
In avatar containing games, yes there should be both genders.
In story tightened games the gender which fits best should be taken by the developer.
And that's in fact all for me that I keep in mind in the end.

I'd like to mention, that I do very much enjoy some of the latest games with female main characters. Remember Me's Nilin has got a place in my mind for most exciting game character of last year, I'd love to see another game with her. And Tomb Raider's reboot Lara is also one of my favorite recent chars, so glad that they have "Rise of the Tomb Raider" in development.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Julian Beck on 13th June 2014 2:18pm

Posted:4 months ago

#61

Helen Merete Simm Senior UI Artist, Codemasters

49 262 5.3
@Jeff Kleist "In Mass Effect, what does FemShep add to the game?"

To me? EVERYTHING! The fact that I could play as my own gender meant I engaged in the game completely and wholeheartedly, I WAS Commander Shephard and as a result my loyalty to that franchise has been insane.

I also enjoyed my second playthrough as Male Shephard, but it was nowhere NEAR as moving and deep and insanely engaging as my Femshep playthroughs. Because she was ME, and not me playing AS a guy.

Posted:4 months ago

#62

Mikko Heikkilä Game Artist / 3D modeler

12 20 1.7
Here ya go buddy! http://www.tombraider.com
Exactly my point, sir. I enjoyed playing both the original Tomb Raider games and the new one despite them lacking a brawny white male avatar to relate to. And despite the latter's lack of female enemies and tendency to portray men as evil woman-hating thugs. And I haven't witnessed a vast MRA movement demanding a fix to said issues. You know, for equality's sake.

Chances are gender is really a non-issue to most gamers and this entire spectacle comes down to the good ol' double standard and someone having an agenda. I understand some people are in the business of getting butthurt about issues the regular Jill doesn't care about, because she's too busy playing video games to notice. Doesn't make things any less silly, though.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Mikko Heikkilä on 13th June 2014 2:46pm

Posted:4 months ago

#63

Wesley Copeland Freelance Video Game Journalist

12 83 6.9
Exactly my point, sir. I enjoyed playing both the original Tomb Raider games and the new one despite them lacking a brawny white male avatar to relate to. Or despite the latter's tendency to represent men as evil thugs. And I haven't witnessed a vast MRA movement demanding a fix to said issues. You know, for equality's sake.
But the thing is, we male gamers have options, women don't.

Let's say I hate Tomb Raider because I can't play as a guy. What are my options? The majority of games feature a male lead, so I could wave my hand around in a game shop, and what ever I pick up, I'd be sorted. Hell, I could play Uncharted if I felt that strongly.

But let's say a woman wants to pick up a game with a female lead. What are her options? Well there's Tomb Raider. Mirror's Edge, or Remember Me.

Men have thousands of options, women have around three. There's diversity, so long as you're male.

I also need to stress, that It's not a case that games with female leads don't sell, it's that some publishers are out of sync with the industry.

Years ago I interviewed American McGee, and he said "[Publishers] either make big bets or they don't make them at all," and that's as true today as it was when back then. Publishers only make bets that are a guaranteed payout. That's one of the reasons Resident Evil, inFamous, Force Unleashed, BioShock Infinite, Assassin's Creed, Mass Effect, Uncharted, The Last of Us, Watch Dogs, Dragon Age 2, CoD, and Red Dead Redemption all feature remarkably similar (brown-haired badass type) male leads, because publishers aren't willing to take what they perceive as risks.

The thing is, though, it's not a risk, or it's not as much a risk as pubs think.

The go-to games when discussing female leads (excluding indie games and only focusing on AAA) other than Tomb Raider are Remember Me and Mirror's Edge. Remember Me only shifted around 300K units. Why? It's not because it had a female protagonist, it's because it wasn't very good.

In contrast, Mirror's Edge sold around 2.8 million copies. Of course, that's not much when compared to other AAA titles, but keep in mind EA did next-to no advertising for it. Do you remember site takeovers for ME? How about TV spots? A YouTube video EA paid for featuring a freerunner? Nope.

So, ME - which now has a cult following - sold nearly 3 million copies with little help from EA. Imagine what could be achieved if a game featured a female protagonist and had a decent sized marketing budget? Would it flop if every gaming site advertised it? If there were TV spots? YouTube channels were covering it? I don't think it would.

Every game is a risk, yes, but if the game's good, and it's got a decent budget, it'll sell regardless, so why limit options by only having a brown-haired badass male lead? Why limit an RPG experience like Assassin's Creed (let's face it, it's an RPG) by only allowing people online to play as a cloned male assassin?

It's daft. And it's something Ubisoft hasn't shied away in previous games. In the other Assassin's Creed games, you can play as a female assassin online, now you can't, because, well, they can't be arsed/don't think it's important to anyone.

If it wasn't important, no one would read and comment on these types of articles. The furore that comes with this kind of thing, tells me the opposite; that these issues are important to many.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Wesley Copeland on 13th June 2014 3:05pm

Posted:4 months ago

#64

Mikko Heikkilä Game Artist / 3D modeler

12 20 1.7
Let's say I hate Tomb Raider because I can't play as a guy. What are my options? The majority of games feature a male lead, so I could wave my hand around in a game shop, and what ever I pick up, I'd be sorted. Hell, I could play Uncharted if I felt that strongly.
My point is that by making the gender of your avatar a major issue, you're already limiting your options. And some people are like that and it's too bad for them.

However it is good business sense to cater to the majority in such case. Haven't heard anyone complain about time management games having a slim selection of male avatars. Because it's a female oriented genre, you know. Not worth spending resources to cater to the small minority of male players who would strongly prefer to play a male character.

RPGs on the other hand, have almost always included a gender option because the player base is pretty balanced and because it just makes sense for the genre. Most of the female gamers I know are definitely RPG gals.

Also, if you think you know the market better than the big publishers, my previous point stands. I don't personally believe there is a huge untapped female audience for the Action / FPS genre but I'll be happy if someone proves me wrong and gets rich in the process.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Mikko Heikkilä on 13th June 2014 3:18pm

Posted:4 months ago

#65

Justin Biddle Software Developer

159 484 3.0
Popular Comment
I really cannot believe in this day and age people are actually arguing against the desire to see equality in game protagonists? Should all games feature both male and female protaganists? No. Should more games have it than the minority that do today? Definitely. Will this ever happen without strong opinions being voiced on sites like this? Definitely not

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Justin Biddle on 13th June 2014 3:41pm

Posted:4 months ago

#66

James Brightman Editor in Chief, GamesIndustry.biz

247 388 1.6
Thank you Justin - you're one of the few people talking sense!

Posted:4 months ago

#67

Mikko Heikkilä Game Artist / 3D modeler

12 20 1.7
I really cannot believe in this day and age people are actually arguing against the desire to see equality in game protagonists? Should al games feature both male and female protaganists? No. Should more games have it than the minority that do today? Definitely. Will this ever happen without strong opinions being voiced on sites like this? Definitely not
The original argument was about Ubi saying they didn't have the time/resources to do it. Personally, I hardly consider it an equality issue if the developers decide they would rather not add a female character to a secondary game mode (multiplayer) because they're on a deadline and it's not exactly a core feature.

Enter people who say you just make the model, retarget the animations, tweak the odd walk / idle cycle if you feel like it and presto - production-ready female assassin for your pleasure in no more than 1-2 working days. Oh and recording new voice overs, that's like one full day since you already have the script, right? Or you can just recycle the sound effects since people apparently won't mind her sounding like a bloke.

No mention of having to test the animations and audio or the result not being up to the standard exhibited by the rest of the game. I have a feeling it's slightly more complicated than what the critics say and can understand why they decided to just make variations of the male model they already happened to have.

You might raise an equality point about how women are portrayed in the game but I personally see no problem with male power fantasies. It all comes down to writing and for example many Nobel Prize winning novels contain very strong sexual themes and are considered high culture. So, go figure.

Posted:4 months ago

#68

Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic

1,584 1,438 0.9
@ Tim
Yeah, so if you don't like Walmart, stop shopping there. I don't. But you can't complain about unfair practices when you know full well that the only reason you shop there is that everything is cheaper than elsewhere, which would be impossible for them to achieve if not for those unfair practices you're complaining about. You can't eat your cake and have it too.
I said
but when you have little choice about where you shop (for whatever reason), you will still go there.
Let's rephrase:

You hate that the majority of games don't include you, or they do, but as an afterthought. But you like gaming. It's a social thing, plus it tests the mind, and you've met great people whilst gaming. So you play games anyway, accepting how crappy some of the imagery makes you feel, and accepting that "they're not for you". You hate that you're made to feel awful expressing your concerns, but what can you do? Not game? That would be the very modern definition of "cutting off your nose to spite your face".

This isn't about having your cake and eating it too. It's about having a restricted choice in what cake you eat, but because you like cake, you make do. And you're then told to shut-up, because, hey, you're eating the cake, aren't you? You don't have any right to complain.

Posted:4 months ago

#69

Christopher Bowen Editor in Chief, Gaming Bus

453 726 1.6
Look, we can bitch back and forth to each other all we want, about this and that, but that's not going to do anything.

Companies can get away with just using the coward's excuse of "well, it's hard rendering women!" because they can get away with it at the box office, so to speak. They can cut that corner, no matter who that pisses off, because they know that peoples' tears will not influence one sale, and even if it does, there are three more mouth breathers who *will* buy the game, in some cases specifically because they didn't include women. That's the audience. That's the reality. A vast portion of our audience is either mouth breathing chauvinists, or just don't give a crap about inclusion, or social rights. As long as they can blow shit up and get their primal jollies, they could care less.

I don't care how you play the game. You don't want to play as a woman, fine, I could care less how you, specifically, play. And I don't care how tired you are of talking about the issue because you're talking about it here. But this is a big deal to a lot of people. The key is making it a financially relevant decision and forcing Ubisoft, Nintendo and these other companies into pivoting. Until then, we're just talking heads. Follow the money.

Posted:4 months ago

#70

Dan Pearson European Editor, GamesIndustry.biz

114 325 2.9
"This has always been an issue, why address it?"

I think it's called progress.

Posted:4 months ago

#71

Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer

1,269 942 0.7
@Dan Pearson
Guys, if you happen to notice that nearly everyone who's not affected by an issue is saying it's not important, but those that are think it is, perhaps you should take a minute to examine why you're dismissing perspectives which you have absolutely zero experience of. "Hey, I'm a white male, and I think that games represent diversity perfectly well, I've never felt alienated." Well, no shit.
.. no shit... no shit... right?





And seriously, we have more games featuring male characters, but are they even good representations of male characters? Are they even well made games, that anybody even male gamers care for?

everybody in some way or another suffers. And no matter how many people want to help you, no body can help you more than yourself. You cant expect people doing something your not doing, to do it in a way that you will be 100% fine with. this is why I hope to someday make a game of my own.

I only got one more comment to make here, before I either take a break or stop posting completely:
http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2014-06-12-the-lady-killers

I grew to appreciate some people on these forums, so please read my next post...

Posted:4 months ago

#72

Wesley Copeland Freelance Video Game Journalist

12 83 6.9
I think you're misunderstanding what 'white privilege' is. It's not that white people have an easier life than everyone else, it's that certain aspects of life can be taken for granted.

For example, a white guy doesn't have to worry about whether their boss is racist, because it won't affect him.

Another? On the internet, the white guy has less to deal with when compared to any other minority. Now, that doesn't mean that the white guy doesn't get any hassle online, it just means certain people will give them a pass because of their skin colour and sex.

Take reviews, there's exceptions obviously, but read a negative review by a guy, then contrast it with the same negative review by a woman. The guy will be told "He can't write," or "He sucks," whereas a woman might get "I hope you get raped," or "You look like a man."

Woman get it worse because gaming - especially online - is still seen as a boys club that doesn't want to let those pesky girls in.

So, privilege isn't about saying someone has a perfect, easy life, just that there's certain privileges that the straight white male gets over everyone else.

Make sense?

Posted:4 months ago

#73

Jeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing

358 215 0.6
@andrew. There is that clever commercial with all the character actors talking about how villains must be British.

Anyone remember when Capcom and Tradewest had to take women out of Final fight and double Dragon because nintendo thought it encouraged domestic violence?

Posted:4 months ago

#74

Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer

1,269 942 0.7
@Wesley Copeland - Your post was well worded, made sense and was well recieved. I understand how the word privalege was being used, but regardless were Im coming from, I cant say I dont agree with you. So you got an extra star :)

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Rick Lopez on 13th June 2014 8:25pm

Posted:4 months ago

#75

Jan Goh Programmer, Ubisoft Montreal

6 41 6.8
I'd like to point out that while Bayonetta is, in fact, a female protagonist, she's really little more than a disproportionate sex-doll. I played the game and enjoyed it, but let's be real here: that's a female character marketed to the male gaze.

Before you go claiming that male characters are overly sexualised, what with the muscles and tight tank-tops and sweat and deep voices, they're a male power fantasy, not a female sex fantasy. They're NOT marketed towards the female gaze. (You can look up false equivalence if you're trying to conflate the two. It's the same problem that the comics industry has.

I'm only pointing this out because it really starts to limit the games with good female characters once you start taking out the ones that are created for titillation rather than story or characterization. It's not really a step up.

Posted:4 months ago

#76

Wesley Copeland Freelance Video Game Journalist

12 83 6.9
Your post was well worded, made sense and was well recieved. I understand how the word privalege was being used, but regardless were Im coming from, I cant say I dont agree with you. So you got an extra star :)
*High fives*

Posted:4 months ago

#77

Nick Wofford Hobbyist

180 190 1.1
This industry is, and always has been, a boys club. And that's something I've seen for decades now. It's just not an appealing group of people to women. If the industry is okay with neglecting 50% of the planet, that's fine. But they can't then turn around and complain about lost sales of a game.

Jan Goh points out a valuable observation as well. Nathan Drake isn't appealing to women. He's not their sex fantasy, so we can't say that women have those characters available to them. He's designed by men as a male fantasy. He's basically Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones or Star Wars; designed by Lucas to be something that Lucas views as attractive. I've yet to meet a single women who actually thought Han saying "I know" was attractive. It's just not appealing for their demographic.

Contrast that with most female protagonists, who are also made by men, for men. Pointing to Bayonetta as an example of female empowerment is just asinine, if I'm being generous. She's a pair of tits that her developers fapped to when they were 12. Ridiculous.

Is this really something people don't see? Really?

Posted:4 months ago

#78

Tim Ogul Illustrator

335 462 1.4
Should we not report and offer opinion on stuff the moment it becomes a big thing?
One article, mixed in with the others on the site? Perhaps. Six+ articles over four days, at least 4 of which in the "upper third" each day, during E3, the biggest news story in the gaming industry? Of course not, that is WAY excessive coverage. It would be like if during the week of an American presidential election, the major news sites spent the majority of their airtime covering a story about like an orphaned kitten that was raised alongside puppies by a mother dog. Would that be a story worth covering? Perhaps, but hardly the most deserving story of the moment.
Here ya go buddy! http://www.tombraider.com
Hate to tell you, but TR didn't do fantastically. It eventually turned a profit, and did well enough to earn a sequel, I thought it was the best game of last year myself (in spite of my incompatible boy parts), but it did not do as well as the Assassin's Creed games, for example.
I also enjoyed my second playthrough as Male Shephard, but it was nowhere NEAR as moving and deep and insanely engaging as my Femshep playthroughs. Because she was ME, and not me playing AS a guy.
I agree, playing through as Femshep was much more fun, despite the fact that she had hypothetical girl parts while I have boy parts.
Every game is a risk, yes, but if the game's good, and it's got a decent budget, it'll sell regardless, so why limit options by only having a brown-haired badass male lead? Why limit an RPG experience like Assassin's Creed (let's face it, it's an RPG) by only allowing people online to play as a cloned male assassin?
Why is that a "limit" though? The online avatar available doesn't in any way "limit" the human players that can play it. You can play that character whether you're male, female, straight, gay, white, black, whatever. It's not a "limit" to anything. Yes, it might not offer every customization option under the sun, but customization options don't come for free. Sometimes customization options are very important, like in an MMO, and the developers are well rewarded for having a variety of options and well punished for lacking them, but not all games need all possible customization options, in many many many cases it's just not worth the added costs, and that is not some horrible lack of empathy on their part.
I really cannot believe in this day and age people are actually arguing against the desire to see equality in game protagonists?
I can't believe it either, because it's not a thing that is happening. Nobody is arguing against the desire to see equality in game protagonists. Nobody is really even arguing against actually having equality in game protagonists. The only thing I've seen argued against is the idea that a lack of equality is necessarily some universally evil thing, something that people should feel compelled to argue about even if they have no personal stake in the game, something that a company should be actively criticized for lacking, even when they have very good reasons for making the choice that they did. If you want to desire equality in game protagonists, that's fine, nobody is trying to stop you, it's just the constant whining about it that is getting a bit annoying.
You hate that the majority of games don't include you, or they do, but as an afterthought. But you like gaming. It's a social thing, plus it tests the mind, and you've met great people whilst gaming. So you play games anyway, accepting how crappy some of the imagery makes you feel, and accepting that "they're not for you". You hate that you're made to feel awful expressing your concerns, but what can you do? Not game? That would be the very modern definition of "cutting off your nose to spite your face".
I would say that if that describes you, then you should probably take a step back. You seem to be tying too much of your personal identity into gaming and it doesn't seem healthy. If you are playing a virtual character and it in any way makes you feel worse about yourself, then there is something seriously off going on with you, and perhaps professional help would be advisable. You should be able to pay games of any type, with protagonists that are male, female, or made of ground beef, and feel just as good about yourself the entire time.
"This has always been an issue, why address it?"

I think it's called progress.
Or "sanctimony."
Take reviews, there's exceptions obviously, but read a negative review by a guy, then contrast it with the same negative review by a woman. The guy will be told "He can't write," or "He sucks," whereas a woman might get "I hope you get raped," or "You look like a man."
I would actually prefer the latter. Those posts are nonsense, irrelevant to me and easily dismissed, while the first two comments were actually relevant to my work, and thus more hurtful. I'm in no way defending the people who make them, but if you let an anonymous rape threat on the Internet actually bother you rather than amuse you at their ignorance, then you're doing it wrong.
Before you go claiming that male characters are overly sexualised, what with the muscles and tight tank-tops and sweat and deep voices, they're a male power fantasy, not a female sex fantasy.
Yeah, this is my favorite one that keeps coming up, "attractive women are 'male gaze," attractive men are 'male power fantasies,' it's all men's fault either way." No, just no. There are plenty of male characters in games that appeal to female gamers, maybe not to you personally, but to plenty of other female gamers.

Posted:4 months ago

#79

Tim Ogul Illustrator

335 462 1.4
I've yet to meet a single women who actually thought Han saying "I know" was attractive. It's just not appealing for their demographic.
You need to hang out with more women.

Posted:4 months ago

#80

Paul Acevedo Games Editor, WPCentral

16 18 1.1
You need to hang out with more women.
Based on your comments in this thread, it looks more like you do.

Posted:4 months ago

#81

Tim Ogul Illustrator

335 462 1.4
Based on your comments in this thread, it looks more like you do.
I hang out with plenty. I play with them regularly in GW2, and have had a dozen or so female friends who game since high school and college. The difference is,. they actually PLAY games, rather than wasting their time whining about ones in which they can't choose a female avatar.

Posted:4 months ago

#82

Paul Acevedo Games Editor, WPCentral

16 18 1.1
The difference is,. they actually PLAY games, rather than wasting their time whining about ones in which they can't choose a female avatar.
People can enjoy something and yet have criticisms of it. For instance, I review games all the time and I can't think of one instance in which I wouldn't have changed something or asked for it to be improved. And people can and SHOULD feel empathy for others, even when we are already being catered to by a product or the industry as a whole. I'd say more but I think the GI staff comments pretty much covered all the bases already.

Posted:4 months ago

#83

Tim Ogul Illustrator

335 462 1.4
For instance, I review games all the time and I can't think of one instance in which I wouldn't have changed something or asked for it to be improved.
Exactly my point. Everyone has things about every game that they would like to be different. This is one of those. Some people, male and female, would have preferred to have female avatars in ACU. That's fine, nobody's saying they can't advocate for that. The problem is the way this debate has been framed by the media so far. It's been framed as an issue that ALL women care about, and that all men should care about because it's some sort of gender equality issue, rather than just a feature. None of that is true, or at the very least there's no evidence to support the claim. The men and women who claim that this is an issue that is important to ALL women are basing that position purely on supposition, they have no data to support that claim, beyond the anecdotal evidence of .00001% of the game's audience expressing that position.

The fact remains, for them to have added playable female avatars to ACU, something would definitely had to give somewhere. That's just a fact, whether it fits your ideology or not. If they added something to the game, they would have to take something away elsewhere. Anyone who believe otherwise for even a second deserves no part in this discussion. So the question is, is the element lost worth the element added? Well we can't really judge that either, since we don't know what elements were on the bubble but made it in.

Lets say we were discussing AC4, and the option was to include these sorts of female avatars in multiplayer, OR add the animal hunting element. Would more players prefer the female MP avatars to the hunting element? Maybe so, maybe not, but you have no place to speak for what ALL women would have thought on the issue, and personally I doubt that ALL women would take the same side on it, so let's stop talking about ALL women, and just talk about our own opinions, what do Iwant, what do you want, and let's not assume what anyone else might want.
And people can and SHOULD feel empathy for others, even when we are already being catered to by a product or the industry as a whole.
Nobody made any comments about not feeling empathy towards others, but feeling empathy for others doesn't mean that everyone can always get everything they want. That's just an unrealistic expectation. In AC4, I really missed having the "air drop assassins" capabilities that they had in previous games in the series. They chose not to include that feature. That made me sad, but I was not so entitled to believe that I deserved to get everything I wanted and nothing that I didn't, so I played the game anyways, and on balance I enjoyed it.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Tim Ogul on 15th June 2014 7:30am

Posted:4 months ago

#84

Curt Sampson Sofware Developer

596 360 0.6
Tim, the descriptions of this that came out of Ubi did not come across as, "when we were designing the game, we thought about letting the player choose a female avatar, and decided against it." Had they done that, they would never have reached the point much later where they realized they couldn't do it because (among other things) they hadn't recorded any female voice actors for that role.

If the descriptions we've read about this whole episode are true, everybody, early on in the design stages, unconsciously assumed that of course it would be a male-only role, because why would it ever be otherwise? That is the core of the complaint here: that this is not a "we considered this and decided against it" thing, but "we never even thought about it" thing.

This of course conficts so badly with your ideology that you are apparently not even capable of seeing that this it's a possibility, much less accepting anybody's reaction to it but your own.

Your whole, "it doesn't bother me so something's wrong with you if it bothered you" argument is not only tiresome, but it's actually a perfect example of the problem.

Edited 5 times. Last edit by Curt Sampson on 15th June 2014 3:50pm

Posted:4 months ago

#85

Tim Ogul Illustrator

335 462 1.4
Tm, the descriptions of this that came out of Ubi did not come across as, "when we were designing the game, we thought about letting the player choose a female avatar, and decided against it." Had they done that, they would never have reached the point much later where they realized they couldn't do it because (among other things) they hadn't recorded any female voice actors for that role.
Curt, I can guarantee you that the discussion on that did not go "Should we add female avatars?" "Nah, girls have cooties." I'm sure that instead, they actually weighed all the work involved in the process and decided that it would be more work than it would b3e worth, and I'm reasonably sure that they would be right about that. They know that some people who would prefer a female avatar, and they would add it in if it were reasonable to do so, but it turned out to not be a reasonable feature add. I don't see what's so wrong with that.
If the descriptions we've read about this whole episode are true, everybody, early on in the design stages, unconsciously assumed that of course it would be a male-only role, because why would it ever be otherwise? That is the core of the complaint here: that this is not a "we considered this and decided against it" thing, but "we never even thought about it" thing.
There's nothing in the material we've gotten out of Ubisoft that would lead to that conclusion. All evidence so far indicates that this was considered relatively early in the process, but eventually cut because other features were deemed more important. It was a feature they considered, probably one of dozens of features that got cut for reasons of time and budget. I'm sure that there are people out there that would be upset to learn that any one of those features got cut.

This is not a case of "this doesn't bother me so it shouldn't bother you." If you want to feel bothered, go ahead, feel bothered. I'm just saying that this is also not a case of "this does bother me, so it should bother you." If someone else isn't bothered then they have n o reason to be just because you are, and more importantly there's no reason why Ubisoft should be bothered because they have made the choices that are most likely in the best interests of their game.

Posted:4 months ago

#86

Andrew Watson Programmer

99 246 2.5
@Wesley:
Another? On the internet, the white guy has less to deal with when compared to any other minority. Now, that doesn't mean that the white guy doesn't get any hassle online, it just means certain people will give them a pass because of their skin colour and sex.
Exactly why I like to keep my real life separate from my internet life. If you don't attach your real life identity to everything you do online, you can easily avoid all of that sort of stuff from the get-go. Should it really matter what gender/race/whatever someone is when they post? No. The content of your post is what matters, not the name attached to it.
Take reviews, there's exceptions obviously, but read a negative review by a guy, then contrast it with the same negative review by a woman. The guy will be told "He can't write," or "He sucks," whereas a woman might get "I hope you get raped," or "You look like a man."
Trolls being trolls. The entire point of them is to pick something that (they think) will upset the targeted person the most -- it has nothing to do with privilege or a "boy's club"

Posted:4 months ago

#87

Paul Acevedo Games Editor, WPCentral

16 18 1.1
Trolls being trolls. The entire point of them is to pick something that (they think) will upset the targeted person the most -- it has nothing to do with privilege or a "boy's club"
Are you suggesting that female trolls exist in any statistically meaningful numbers?

Posted:4 months ago

#88

Wesley Copeland Freelance Video Game Journalist

12 83 6.9
Exactly why I like to keep my real life separate from my internet life. If you don't attach your real life identity to everything you do online, you can easily avoid all of that sort of stuff from the get-go. Should it really matter what gender/race/whatever someone is when they post? No. The content of your post is what matters, not the name attached to it.
That's true, it shouldn't matter. But keep in mind some of us work online, the Internet is our workplace, so the luxury of anonymity isn't an option.
Trolls being trolls. The entire point of them is to pick something that (they think) will upset the targeted person the most -- it has nothing to do with privilege or a "boy's club"
This is getting into another topic entirely, but hey, let's roll with it.

'Trolls' - or 'psychopaths' as they lack basic-level empathy - are explained as 'Trolls being trolls'. "Oh, they're harmless. They just want a rise." When people are getting other people's addresses, sending them rape threats through the post, when people are having to go into police custody because of bomb threats - is that 'Trolls being trolls?'

It a quaint little notion the idea of them being kids who are just trying to annoy, but the reality isn't playful. It's dark, and often sinister.

Why should women have to "Just laugh it off?" Why if a women tells a troll to "Fuck off!" is she suddenly the bad guy?

If some of us choose to work online, we shouldn't just have to "Deal with it." If we worked in a shop, there's laws prohibiting degenerate behaviour, but online it's okay, because it's all about the LOLs.

Women are targeted online because they're women, and because women are seen as lesser than men. Gaming, and the Internet, is a boys club. Check the comments on here, a professional industry website with people's real names attached, the amount of angry men eclipses the amount of angry women.

As for privilege, it's easier - and less hostile - to be guy online. Is someone going to say "Make me a sammich!" and take the piss out of my gender when I comment? Probably not.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Wesley Copeland on 16th June 2014 11:57am

Posted:4 months ago

#89

Rafa Ferrer Localisation Manager, Red Comet Media

59 87 1.5
@Nick
I've yet to meet a single women who actually thought Han saying "I know" was attractive.
My recently-approached sister and girlfriend both do find that attractive "in a way as obnoxious as it is sexy", but I should also note that, when they watched that scene with any level of sexual awareness, they were teenagers, so, well... Do I get hate comments if I say most teenage girls tend to love dickheads? Maybe they wouldn't find him as attractive if they watched that scene today for the first time. It's 100% a dominant male fantasy.
So I get your point and I agree, both genders are usually depicted to fulfill male fantasies (make us want to be the the guy/get laid with the girl), but I just don't think that excludes the possibility that women find those men attractive or those women identifiable. But yes, although it may happen, it's not intentional. In these cases, women's reactions toward these characters don't even qualify as an afterthought. They were put there for blokes to cheer at.

On a geek note, for the record, Lucas did write "I love you, too" as a reply for Han. It was Harrison Ford who said "No way he would say that".

Posted:4 months ago

#90

Login or register to post

Take part in the GamesIndustry community

Register now