Submitted by RoninKengo 1172d ago | opinion piece

Kickstarting Feminism in Games

A look at the disturbing (and disheartening) recent uptick in sexism and outright misogyny amongst gamers and the game industry. (Batman: Arkham City, Capcom, Crystal Dynamics, Culture, Hitman: Absolution, Industry, PC, PS3, Tomb Raider, Xbox 360)

Tachyon_Nova  +   1172d ago
Article raises good points but lacks credibility in my eyes by drawing a few too many long bows.

For example, the developer of Tomb Raider saying that players "will “want to protect” the new version of Lara Croft, thereby implying...(Croft)...is somehow only functional under the protective oversight of a man." The developer is clearly trying to say here that they have developed the character so well that players will actually have a meaningful connection with her. They are definitely not saying, or even implying, that she NEEDS protecting by a man.

I also don't understand how the concept of booth babes is sexist. It is low brow in my opinion, and is obviously trying to draw men in with sex, but its not like these women are doing it against their will, and I don't think it effects anyone's opinion of women in general. I just don't get why using sex to sell things is sexist. If it worked for women (i.e half naked men), it would be done, and indeed it is done but just in different arena's and in different forms.
#1 (Edited 1172d ago ) | Agree(6) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
whydoyouask  +   1172d ago
what you described is the old double standard. A very common tactic in a females arsenal of bullshit.

Also, the reason why booth babes exist is because they work. If they didn't then they wouldn't waste their money using them.
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palaeomerus  +   1172d ago
Feminism is about independence. Asking for donations is NOT about independence.

"Guys – and today, unfortunately, I am speaking to the fellas – we really need to talk.

The misogyny and the sexism that’s been slowly seeping into video games and the broader gaming lexicon – the degrading E3 advertising and the constant threats of rape on gaming message boards and on Xbox Live – it has to stop."

What if it doesn't stop? Your "good" intentions and authoritarian proclamations about where history and the culture are supposedly heading are obviously ineffectual. Your site is boring. Your point was already a cliche in 1978. Good luck with that preachy high horse stuff. Nerds don't care. Bros don't care. Stoners don't care. Weirdos don't care. Gaming shut ins with their digitically social e-pals don't care. Why should they? Promises of potential "respect" from you in exchange for shows of compliance with some fantasy about transformational moments for society just aren't worth anything. Who do they feed? Who do they help? What if SOME other people find your "enlightened" attitude and the childish litigious arrogance that goes with it disgusting, offensive, and dangerous?

How about you just learn to live with stuff you don't like or approve of like everybody else does EVERY DAY? Nobody hired you to fix gaming how you want it to be. Nobody hired you to define the new "authentic" specifications for all things male and female even in fiction and representational art. Life is about learning to live with things that bother you and challenge you and then if possible to prosper anyway. It is not about reprogramming and criminalizing everybody else just so your day is easier. I doubt everyone is as eager to check into your personal flaky Utopia as you might have hoped.

Don't like sexist games? Don't buy'em. Don't play 'em. It's not the game publishers, or the game markets problem when you are unhappy. The point of the gaming industry is not to score goody points and head pats from self appointed experts. The point is to give those who buy what they want and compete for their business. Nor are games REAL. Nor are they some subversive corrupting template for all society. We went through this with comic books in the 50's, rock and roll in the 80's D&D in the 90's, and Video games in the 2000's. It's still dumb no matter which medium ends up being the scapegoat. Fiction can be offensive and not lose its value. It does not need to be fixed and regulated to a few people's standards for the supposed good of all. Likewise almost everything is offensive to somebody.

If you can sell nonsexist games and find a strong audience for them, then great. Do it. I'm sure some people already have.

Otherwise, who cares.
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Tachyon_Nova  +   1172d ago
You actually raise a good point there, how about WOMEN start showing gamers some respect. Having said that, the abuse of female gamers on message boards and over VOIP is pathetic and needs to stop. But this is entirely not linked to how females are portrayed in the gaming industry AFAIC.
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mananimal  +   1171d ago

WHEN you die, & end up in hell, I know exactly what your gonna think, & I promise you, it wont be anywhere Along the lines, of all that " subjective" BS you just spewed. Your gonna find out, that in life, there is an OBJECTIVE TRUTH, that you choose to ignore. Life is about discovering what that objective standard is, & following it. Now heres something im sure youve heard before: Opinions are like __sholes, everyones got one, but the only opinion that matters is the Objective one, Gods (Yeshua, The Great I AM, Christ Jesus the Lord)

PS- I know wiseguy, your attitude when you read this will be one of "mocking" what Ive stated, an arrogant sort of pride, thats says, I dont know what im talking about, I simply say, YOU will surely get the opportunity to find out, since everyone who is born, MUST experience DEATH. Laugh now, Cry Later. Class Dismissed
#2.2 (Edited 1171d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
Tachyon_Nova  +   1171d ago
Hell doesn't exist though, so I think he'll be alright after all.

Also if you have a point to make, try making your comment make sense rather than going on a crazy rant, alright?
Hal0_0_EmElG  +   1172d ago
They should make teeth the video game , that should shake things up a bit.
Nes_Daze  +   1172d ago
The most hilarious part of this I always find, is that they're actually complaining about themselves, yet don't see it. Why do we have booth babes at E3? Because there's FEMALES that want to do it,,Why do strong woman like Rihanna feel the need to dress slutty in her videos? Bceause SHE CHOOSES to do so. It's 2012, don't get respect in the internet? Too Fing bad neither do I, live with it.
hazelamy  +   1172d ago
what about all those female game characters going into battle with a couple of strips of cloth covering their privates while the men wear full armour?
or the women that are just there to be rescued?
or the women that are just there to appeal to some teenage boys libido?

who chose to make them like that?
almost always, the male designers of the game.
Nes_Daze  +   1171d ago
Well then I could say look at Chloe from Uncharted, how about some of the women from Skyrim, they wear full armor just like some of the men.
Games are different because you can create a bundle of pixels, you don't need an actress, just a voice actor. If women want more respect, they need to demand it from women that have the power to influence media. You can't lead a hypocritical cause.
Flavor  +   1172d ago
Life is sexist. Biology is sexist. Corporate America is sexist. Movies are sexist. Deal with it.
arbitor365  +   1172d ago
you know, most men in general action/adventure games are portrayed stereotypically as well, falling into rigid male archetypes. for example, in the ninja gaiden games, yes the women are vapid and two dimensional as hell, but so are all the male characters. those games, for better or worse, are just about chopping off heads

when it comes to games that legitimately want to put forward a compelling narrative and take themselves seriously like heavy rain, witcher 2, bioware games, uncharted games, and bethesda games, they generally have well rounded male and female characters.

really, there isnt much to complain about. perhaps gaming should strive for generally more mature games, but it isnt an issue of gender discrimination.

once again, modern day feminists fabricate notions of a war on women and ignore the greater context. its just another chapter in their never ending crusade.
hazelamy  +   1172d ago
these comments, some of them anyway, and the responses to the video, especially the responses to the video, show that sexism is still an issue.

the boys club attitude has got to end, because you don't make up 99% of the playerbase any more.

women account for nearly half of gamers now, yet most of the industry is still run to appeal to men, also by men.

you guys might want to note, the article was written by a man.
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madjedi  +   1172d ago
Fine it is a "issue", but alot of guys don't really care. If we did we would be political active with whatever social crusade is flavor of the month.

We want to come home and watch whatever sports, tv show, play games ect whatever we fell like with our spare time. Not get lectured or bitched at for something we personally didn't do.

"women account for nearly half of gamers now, yet most of the industry is still run to appeal to men, also by men."

Then like people complaining about a lack of minority leads in gaming, start encouraging more women and minorities to get into the industry, there is your only practical solution.

"the boys club attitude has got to end, because you don't make up 99% of the playerbase any more".

Boys club attitude, wtf are we the little rascals now running the female hating gaming club, barring women from playing games, get real.

If you ever wonder why men are put off of even getting involved in political debates on sexism or feminism, your post is a perfect example.

Broad sweeping generalizations about people you have never had a real conversation with, acting like we are all guilty.
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hazelamy  +   1172d ago
you don't really care?
you cared enough to respond to a comment that wasn't directed at you personally.
unless you're one of those sexist types that infest gaming.

for so called "sweeping generalisations" you seem to be taking my comments very personally.

it's telling, the language you use.

you don't want to get "bitched at"

you don't like women telling you what to do?

you know why women don't hold that many positions in gaming?


Jade was a very talented developer, but because she was an attractive woman she got some pretty disgusting treatment from the gaming media, and sadly the gamers.

is it any wonder women are driven away from this industry?

as for other minorities, well, i've seen how that turns out.
i've seen the responses, homophobia and sexism and racism, all are present in what i used to think was a pretty forward thinking community.

and some of it is.

i never said all men are guilty of sexism, but some clearly are, and they seem to be prevelant in gaming.
madjedi  +   1172d ago
Well i had a nice long post but there was an error, so it went bye bye. I don't like social activists in gaming pushing whatever the current evil of the month is.

"unless you're one of those sexist types that infest gaming." Maybe i am cupcake.

But you still made several generalizations and assumptions about me, which really aren't accurate.

Is it that hard to capitalize properly, that just looks lazy, for all your reading into my words, you couldn't proof read your own.

"you don't want to get "bitched at" Well lets see your a feminist and a woman, and what are women stereotyped to do in arguments alot.
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ShaunCameron  +   1167d ago
<these comments, some of them anyway, and the responses to the video, especially the responses to the video, show that sexism is still an issue.>

Only to those still in denial that men and women were never equal. Never have been and never will be no matter how much legislation is passed to enforce something that goes against nature.

<women account for nearly half of gamers now, yet most of the industry is still run to appeal to men, also by men.>

That's because of all the women who account for nearly half of gamers, a lot of them seem to be only interested in mobile phone games and social games while most of the industry caters to the console crowd where men still make up a vast majority of its customer base especially those who own an XBox 360 and/or a PlayStation 3.

<you guys might want to note, the article was written by a man.>

A product of radical left-wing social engineering. It figures.
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stephmhishot  +   1171d ago
I think the portrayal of women had begun to slightly improve this generation, but the recent Tomb Raider, Lollipop Chainsaw and Hitman trailer controversies all coming at us at once has caused us to forget that. Whether it was a token gesture or not, BioWare made an attempt to give the female Shepard more of a focus. One of the most refreshing games this generation, Uncharted, had a strong female lead in Elena and supporting character in Chloe. Also keep in mind, we are getting our first female Assassin in a few months for the Vita, and her character design could hardly be considered overly sexualized and everything about her we've seen so far in the way she acts is no different than Ezio or Altair (of course, if there is a way she "lures" guards away from their posts, then I'll eat those words lol).

Is that perfect? Is that equal? Of course not. But on the other hand one of the more refreshing things about Drake was that he was portrayed as "a normal guy" (granted a normal guy who can spend his time going on treasure hunts, with seemingly super human strength to climb on anything and leap over any gap, no matter how long) but he wasn't a roided up freak with veins bulging in his forehead which as a male gamer, was something that I enjoyed for once.

At the end of the day, things like this take time. Yes, there are a lot more female gamers now than there were 10 years ago, but women are still fighting for equality in the workplace (unreal) and there are still people who think that paycheck inequality based along gender lines is justified (looks to the right).

Will we ever see a time where women aren't viewed as sexual objects? Course not, its natural for men to view women that way. But will there be a time when maybe women aren't 90% completely portrayed that way in games, maybe so, but only when more women are placed in prominent positions within the industry.

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