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Author Topic: Social Issues in Games  (Read 14900 times)

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Smiler

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Re: Social Issues in Games
« Reply #180 on: May 03, 2013, 08:19:45 AM »

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Disposable Ninja

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Re: Social Issues in Games
« Reply #181 on: May 03, 2013, 08:24:34 AM »

Meh. It's not the same.
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TA

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Re: Social Issues in Games
« Reply #182 on: May 03, 2013, 08:25:24 AM »

Even when genderswapped, elf is still just elf.
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Do you understand how terrifying the words “vibrating strap on” are for an asexual? That’s like saying “the holocaust” to a Jew.

Smiler

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Re: Social Issues in Games
« Reply #183 on: May 03, 2013, 08:34:33 AM »

Elf is just so adorable.
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Re: Social Issues in Games
« Reply #184 on: May 03, 2013, 09:03:45 AM »

Where was everyone when Odin Sphere and Muramasa had good strong female characters and positive plot developments? Vanillaware's women have historically been pretty rad.

Strong female characters don't generate the pageviews that kotaku writers and their ilk can get by writing like whiny nerds desperate to impress women.
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Royal☭

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Re: Social Issues in Games
« Reply #185 on: May 03, 2013, 09:22:15 AM »

I can't tell if it's a blog post or part of their regular news, but here is Kotaku praising Odin Sphere, and Gwendolyn in particular. And in another article, one of Kotaku's writers (and their ilk) praises Kamitani's art and female characters.

...writing like whiny nerds desperate to impress women.

Please stop posting.

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Re: Social Issues in Games
« Reply #186 on: May 03, 2013, 09:54:53 AM »

You know what? If George Kamitani wants to make one game with a giant amazon who is so hella tough she doesn't even need armor (male warrior dude almost passes for some wuss in a tin can by comparison if you think about it for one half of one second), I say we let him. Guy's got some credit in the bank. And if someone starts going on about the designs being unrealistic, well they're gonna have to look for their realism in games that aren't about people with magic powers fighting dragons. (I don't know what DC is about but it seems like it fits that sort of bill.)

They're archetypes. Heck, they're so extreme they're almost stereotypes. I like that they're all designed cartoonishly. It's like in Team Fortress 2, how each character was designed so that no two silhouettes were similar to one another. I think that Josh Whatsisname was pretty immature in his criticism of the designs, but then, rational discourse doesn't bring in the publicity.
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Zaratustra

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Re: Social Issues in Games
« Reply #187 on: May 03, 2013, 10:12:49 AM »

cartoon man - giant suit of armor
cartoon woman - tits + ass

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Re: Social Issues in Games
« Reply #188 on: May 03, 2013, 10:43:53 AM »

[Vanillaware has unusually good female characters.]

You know what? If George Kamitani wants to make one game with a giant amazon who is so hella tough she doesn't even need armor (male warrior dude almost passes for some wuss in a tin can by comparison if you think about it for one half of one second), I say we let him.

Duder, did you just suggest that Kamitani has somehow "bought" the right to make games with pandering characters (with or without criticism from his fans)? It sounds like you did.

Really, this is an example of no good deed going unpunished. Vanillaware and Kamitani have fans specifically because of their track record of reasonably positive female characters. When someone points out that his character designs for Dragon's Crown are still hyper-sexualized, Vanillaware is chosen because of that track record. It highlights the breadth of these artistic tropes. Of course, it doesn't help that George decided to respond to criticism with the apparent assertion that his critic must be gay.

Here's my problem with these materials, if there has to be one:
All of the female characters, no matter how "traditionally attractive" are in "brokeback" poses. It's tough for me to really get behind George's choice to make the Amazon's defining features be a gigantic, muscular body, supported by gigantic, muscular legs when he also feels the need to place her in a brokeback for the default character image on the site. To say nothing of whatever is going on in that image of the sorceress and the summoned skeleton.

I'll probably still play the game, but I'll be damned if I'm not going to at least "tsk tsk" every time someone uses a brokeback pose for a female character.
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Re: Social Issues in Games
« Reply #189 on: May 03, 2013, 01:03:58 PM »

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Re: Social Issues in Games
« Reply #190 on: May 03, 2013, 01:27:04 PM »

Kotaku, pretty much all of Gawker media, and even Polygon, which apparently is 90% kotaku writers, are sensationalist pieces of shit who's sole purpose is to drive pageviews. They are everything wrong with games journalism - and journalism on the whole - boiled down to it's core. When everyone else raised an eyebrow at the hyperexaggerated designs of everyone, Kotaku's opening volley was "THEY REALLY NEED TO STOP LETTING TEENAGE BOYS DESIGN THIS SHIT."

No, fuck you. You are a gigantic piece of shit, and you are a terrible writer, a terrible journalist, and a pathetic little human being. You are that kid in class, desperate to impress girls, so you blindly hate what they hate. You do this because it stokes the entire bullshit argument without ever actually trying to make progress, or god forbid, foster discussion beyond bile and hatred. You do nothing but perpetuate the idea that it's a "hot topic" that you can "never discuss." Of course you don't want it discussed, that's one less hot button issue for you to generate basic page views.

I see nothing wrong with Dragon's Crown. Full stop. Everyone in there is fantasy tropes turned up to 11, and I'm okay with that context. I don't believe George Katamari thinks all women are like that. It'd be foolish, given, well, the entire context. But that doesn't generate bullshit, does it? No, taking something out of context, screaming how awful and sexist it is does.

What if I fucking want to parade around like that? What if on the character select screen, that's exactly who I want to play? A woman so stoked with magical power she can dress however damn well she pleases and still incinerate everything around her? On a second note, what's wrong with flaunting it if you want to? I've played in many pen & paper games, and on more than one occasion I've played a female character who dressed like that, explicitly because she wanted to flaunt it. One was an assassin! There's a basic fantasy trope, dress to distract!

The problem comes when, in context, the woman is a tool, and nothing else. Here's an interview with a game developer where in the same breath, we have "The protagonist is a female because it's a marketing move" "It's not really a game for girls anyway" and "The reason we have the male assistant hero is because women drag men everywhere, am I right?" There's something to be fucking offended by. And the guy doesn't even imply it, he sits there and says it straight out.

But no, that takes thinking, that takes reading, that takes a lot more effort than posting a picture of boobs and screaming so hard your adams apple vibrates.

To elaborate on my post above: Constantine, please stop posting. Your type is absolutely fucking toxic to this discussion, because there is absolutely no hope of compromise, and no possible ideal that maybe, just maybe, the issue is deeper than "Men are pigs, women are victims." Women can be just as fucking awful about this issue as men can, they can be discriminatory towards men, they can capitalize on the issue for financial and personal gain, and they can blindly cling to the extremist side of the issue, ignoring any hope of meeting in the middle or actual compromise, because it's easier to assume 100% of one side is right than stop and think that maybe, just maybe, you're buying into some bullshit.
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Zaratustra

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Re: Social Issues in Games
« Reply #191 on: May 03, 2013, 01:42:08 PM »

hey, if they want traditional tropes tuned up to 11, I have a suggestion!

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Re: Social Issues in Games
« Reply #192 on: May 03, 2013, 01:58:28 PM »

Dragon's Crown looks really fun. I will play it.

The art style strikes me as Kamitani's take on western fantasy art. He is very talented.

The sorceress' tits are probably too big, but I don't actually care.
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Büge

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Re: Social Issues in Games
« Reply #193 on: May 03, 2013, 01:59:19 PM »

Women can be just as fucking awful about this issue as men can, they can be discriminatory towards men,

and other women.
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Re: Social Issues in Games
« Reply #194 on: May 03, 2013, 02:24:55 PM »

Yes. I should have worded that to just straight up be "Hate is not gender-specific."
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Thad

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Re: Social Issues in Games
« Reply #195 on: May 03, 2013, 02:47:17 PM »

Meanwhile, Aisha Tyler lays a righteous smackdown on the "fake geek girl" crowd.

I am linking this because I think it will make her want to have sex with me.
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Re: Social Issues in Games
« Reply #196 on: May 03, 2013, 05:47:50 PM »

So this got pretty long and I am sorry for that. Some anger directed at some other people got diverted to Lyrai and I scold she and Constantine for being impatient with each other in this spat.

Kotaku Jason Schreier's opening volley was "THEY REALLY NEED TO STOP LETTING TEENAGE BOYS DESIGN THIS SHIT."

No, fuck you, [Jason Schreier]...
I'm not sure why the bile you should be directing to one writer is spilling over to all of Kotaku, but I don't have any real opinion of them.

I see nothing wrong with Dragon's Crown. Full stop. Everyone in there is fantasy tropes turned up to 11, and I'm okay with that context. I don't believe George Katamari thinks all women are like that.
And this is why Zara responded with the racist "Gollywog" Christmas card. A lot of fantasy tropes are frankly racist and sexist. The quality of Kamitani, Vallejo, Frazetta, whoever art doesn't change whatever problematic themes or tropes they play to. Further, Kamitani doesn't have to think "all women" are "like that" for something he draws or writes to be sexist. This nonsense kerfluffle (is it big enough to qualify for a shitstorm?) is a problem of what Kamitani did, not what he is, and as presumably rational participants in this discussion we should endeavor to keep it that way.

On a second note, what's wrong with flaunting it if you want to?...There's a basic fantasy trope, dress to distract!
But the sorceress, elf, and amazon are fictional characters, drawn by men to titillate other men. There's nothing wrong with a character (or a person) having it and wanting to flaunt it, but again...
The problem comes when, in context...
In this context, all three of the female characters in Dragon's Crown are drawn in brokeback poses. In an industry that's rife with these kinds of representations and the greater context of...
the woman is a tool, and nothing else. [WTF JAPANESE DEVELOPER GUY!?] There's something to be fucking offended by. And the guy doesn't even imply it, he sits there and says it straight out.
Being something that happens all across the industry.

But no, that takes thinking, that takes reading, that takes a lot more effort than posting a picture of boobs and screaming so hard your adams apple vibrates.
Now, this shouldn't be something that's offensive, or a problem here, but again, context:

To elaborate on my post above: Constantine, please stop posting. Your type is absolutely fucking toxic to this discussion,
You're writing an uncompromising, angry rant that is apparently targeted at Constantine for telling you to
...writing like whiny nerds desperate to impress women.
Please stop posting.
Which I grant, is shitty even if you're a step away from calling a huge portion of Kotaku's writers and readers (fake) white knights. But what is Constantine's "type"? I mean, the remainder of your complaints are eerily similar to what others have written to me as a criticism of feminism in general. They also complain that feminists reduce the discussion to, "Men are pigs, women are victims," (which is a straw man from detractors like Limbaugh) and that there is no hope of compromise with feminists (as though a group that's aiming for equality should compromise).

I get that you want Constantine to respect your opinion and not belittle or ignore it. I don't get this reaction you seem to have when problems of sexism and women's representations are brought up in games. When you start talking about Constantine's "type" when his comments (outside of "Please stop posting") throughout the thread are basically things I agree with, you're slandering me too and I am compelled to interject and defend my opinions from what seems to be a blanket rejection of them.
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François

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Re: Social Issues in Games
« Reply #197 on: May 04, 2013, 12:55:46 AM »



This image doesn't highlight the problem it thinks it's highlighting. The problem here is not that women are eroticized, the problem is that as a culture we don't have the visual language elements to eroticize men in the same way without it looking ridiculous. In fact, in many cases and especially in fantasy art, the two go-to ways to give a sexual dimension to a male character is to give him effeminate elements or to associate his sexuality with violence (i.e. giving him a phallic weapon, or implying that he is to any degree a rapist), and that is its own kind of problem. (I'm not saying a man with feminine attributes is in any way a problem though; the issue is that the typical toolkit to outline a man's sexuality in fantasy art is incredibly narrow and limited.) But that problem is not solved by reducing the toolkit in regards to females, it is solved by innovation in the toolkit for males. Heck, you know what? Innovation in the toolkit for females would actually be pretty cool too.

Now once that solution is established, I suppose one might be tempted to say that Kamitani has a duty to innovate there. But I would argue something else. People should create the art they want to create. Maybe the solution is having, say, more gay men and straight women* making games. I could get behind that 100%. More voices, more art. Sounds good to me, and I bet it also sounds good to you.

*: or more straight dudes and gay women who want to see eroticized men, or anyone anywhere on the gender spectrums, there's probably some out there, I ain't discriminatin'

[Vanillaware has unusually good female characters.]

You know what? If George Kamitani wants to make one game with a giant amazon who is so hella tough she doesn't even need armor (male warrior dude almost passes for some wuss in a tin can by comparison if you think about it for one half of one second), I say we let him.

Duder, did you just suggest that Kamitani has somehow "bought" the right to make games with pandering characters (with or without criticism from his fans)? It sounds like you did.

Yeah, I get how that's how that phrasing came across, and maybe the point was half-baked to begin with. Let's see if I can put it in a better way and get it cooked all the way through this time.

Okay, so, two elements. First, I suppose I was most reacting to the article I linked, which is essentially crude heckling that belittles the artist's skill on account of a dislike of the subject matter involved.

Second... The idea that Kamitani needs to buy the right to draw a nine foot tall half-naked woman, which I accidentally introduced so I'll own up to it, is dumb. It's dumb because eroticism is not a detriment, it's not something anyone needs to make excuses for. Are the arched back poses and giant boobs unrealistic? At face value, yes. That amazon is borderline monstrous if you take her on the first degree. But it is a depiction that seeks to evoke beauty. It actually leaves much to the imagination, as strange as that sounds given how little it hides. One cannot say it fails to replicate reality 1 for 1, because how can it fail at something that it does not attempt? (In fact, in a way I think I would find it easier to agree with anyone offended here if it did attempt to replicate reality.) And this evocation, this symbolization of beauty, I think it's successful. I think it's aesthetically pleasing, and probably not in the way you might guess. I'm 32 years old, I am not flopping my dick out and tugging it to Dragon's Crown concept art. I won't even buy the game, I don't have a PS3 or a Vita. But I understand that George Kamitani wants to make beautiful games, and that his idea of beauty sometimes involves impossibly detailed plate armor and blazing orange sunsets over rice paddies or a child sleeping in an armchair with a cat in her arms just like it sometimes involves a muscular woman's bare thighs or a dress slit all the way to the waist on a curvy redhead or a fearless priestess raising legions of the dead to do what the men of her clan could not.

And in that context... I agree, the world needs more games with muscular or powerful or otherwise able women who don't show off that much skin, or any skin, with more ways to engage a female audience. Yes, that much is clear, and I will support any quality efforts that push this cause forward. But if someone stands up and says that the world needs less games with tough-as-nails bikini-clad warrior women with giant axes drawn by artists of Kamitani's caliber, they can sit on a pineapple and go horse-riding. You don't get more X by trying to make sure less Y is getting made, you get more X by trying to make sure more X is getting made.
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patito

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Re: Social Issues in Games
« Reply #198 on: May 04, 2013, 05:11:04 AM »

So barbarians are usually half naked burly dudes, and we finally get a burly female barbarian and people complain about it, I just don't understand

Witht that out of the way, as fracois already pointed out, censoring people isn't the solution. Making really bland mass market products is the solution. I don't mean the current state of the industry, cause tht onlly mass market to half of the population. You really need to make way more blander to appeal to everone and not offefnd anyone. Take skyrim for example, your main character has absoutely no personality and like even if you're a dark elf or a khajiit and you're in a city that hates your kind they're still gonna give you quest and rewards like they woud anybody else. Now that's some dedicaation to equality

Though I suspect that people like anna antrhopy would take offense to the fact that you can only marry one person at a time.

So yeah, I'm going somewhere with this but I need to collect my thoughts before i get back to it.
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Re: Social Issues in Games
« Reply #199 on: May 05, 2013, 09:51:02 AM »

I'm going to be lazy and just link google image searches rather than mirroring the images myself under the pretext of avoiding making a huge image bomb.

So barbarians are usually half naked burly dudes, and we finally get a burly female barbarian and people complain about it, I just don't understand
That's because you're not paying attention to the complaints that are being generated.

Let's look at Red Sonja. She isn't in her battle bikini to show off her musculature, the way that Conan the Barbarian's battle speedo does. If she were, she'd look more like the Amazon, whose outfit I can believe was chosen specifically to show off her musculature and give the player the same kind of brawny wish-fulfillment that a heterosexual man gets out of seeing Arnold Conanning it up. I mean, check out this piece of character art. She looks strong and ready for battle even in repose (though it's maybe telling that I can't find any images of Conan in a similarly relaxed pose showing off his muscles). It's probably not a coincidence that she's using a halberd with an impossibly heavy axe head as her weapon, instead of a sword, or spear, or club, or any other traditionally more phallic weapon. I'm even willing to say that the point of the low angle of the "shot" is to highlight her legs and her weapon in a way similar to how low shots of Conan are meant to show how physically imposing he is (though there's probably also something to be said for how seldom Conan's legs are drawn attention to unless there is a woman draped about them). In short, the Amazon is more like Conan in this image than "the prize". Whose physical (and narrative) characteristics have more in common with Red Sonja (NSFW bondage comic cover; mild brokeback pose). As much as I want to applaud the design and these choices I still have misgivings because on the Dragon's Crown webpage, the Amazon is also put into a brokeback pose. It undermines all of the choices I want to applaud Kamitani for.

I can almost understand the idea that it's meant to be a glamor shot and that
The problem here is not that women are eroticized, the problem is that as a culture we don't have the visual language elements to eroticize men in the same way without it looking ridiculous.
But frankly this eroticizing shorthand is ridiculous on women too.

Of course, Patito, this kerfluffle was somebody making an idiot complaint about the Sorceress (and Kamitani's not-the-most-diplomatic response), not the Amazon. I just wanted to complain some more about how much brokeback poses annoy me.
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