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Representation, does it really matter?

Videogames have been the centre of social justice related criticism for quite some time now. Many articles have been published about Ubisoft’s lack of a female assassin in Assassin’s Creed: Unity. Some even pointed out that there were more severed heads than female speakers during the E3 press conference. Even a game as seemingly innocent as Tomodachi Life got flak for not including same-sex relationships.

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randomass1711274d ago

What matters is if you enjoy the game. Representation can play a small part in sims that give you freedom to do certain things, but overall it comes second to the gameplay.

Spotie1274d ago

It only matters when the reputation is intentionally avoided. Since that's pretty much never the case...

randomass1711274d ago

Yeah, in most cases it was considered an afterthought, not proactively avoided. Which is why I always scratch my head at such controversies. RE5 is racist, Tomodachi Life is homophobic, etc. No game publisher WANTS to alienate an audience, certainly not by purposefully omitting minority groups from their narratives.

3-4-51272d ago

Everybody is Under-represented in games, but only the Douche Bag's complain about it.

BattleReach1273d ago (Edited 1273d ago )

Bark bark I'm a dog

coolbeans1273d ago

I haven't been this moved since Jaden gave the world the understanding that most trees are blue.

zugdar1273d ago

Unless the game is designed around it, keep political agendas out of games. Its one of the few sources of entertainment that does not try to make statements about everything.

bass4g1273d ago

If it doesn't "make statements about everything" then videogames can hardly be called an art form. The harsh reality is that if we are going to consider videogames an artform (which has been the crux of many debates surrounding gaming) then we must accept criticism on games based on multiple levels. We must be able to discuss videogames from as many perspectives as possible and we mustn't be afraid of games pushing boundaries and being progressive. If we can't do that then we are treating videogames as a mere product or toy and while I'm fine with that, it does mean that conversations about creators freedom of speech etc. are meaningless. The creators are creating a marketable product not a piece of art. All that matters is that the consumers are happy. I think a lot of gamers like to have it both ways. A lot of gamers like to say "well, of curse video games are art" but are completely unaware of what that label brings.

iamnsuperman1273d ago (Edited 1273d ago )

I think we do need more female, different ethnicities and homosexual protagonists in games. Ultimately it shouldn't really change the story (maybe different ethnicities and females in some case would change the story) but I don't see why developers are ignore these types of people (I do wonder if it is down to the type of people who make and publish games). It would be nice when developers build their world they move away from the attractive white archetype and they don't bat an eyelid about having a gay or female or black character

ShaunCameron1273d ago

It does matter to those that can't make their own games and think they have the right to demand those that can to include them in the overall narrative.

Positiv3tension1273d ago (Edited 1273d ago )

Your reasoning is very closed minded. The reason why "those" don't make their own games/are not actively engaged in gaming is because they have been underrepresented in the medium altogether. You can't hold all the cards and then expect people to just go out and fetch a new deck. You have to try to be inclusive and that's why this discussion is important.

ShaunCameron1273d ago

Um. No. They can apply themselves like everyone else. After all, they're equal, right? No one's stopping them from engaging in gaming except themselves either due to the general lack of interest or general lack of aptitude or both which happens to be the real reason for their supposed underrepresentation. The medium just simply isn't for everybody.

Positiv3tension1273d ago (Edited 1273d ago )

SIGH. They aren't equal. That's the point.
Can't you see that you're putting the horse before the cart here?

I know it's hard to realize because you're privileged enough to have had that representation or whatever but think of it like this: What if I told you that you could watch television but all the channels were BET? And then you went to "make your own channel" but nobody thought it was a good idea because BET was what was popular? The most effective way to get all the regular channels back would then be to have some of the BET showrunners prove to people that non-BET programming can be enjoyable, too.

People internalize things like representation, and just like with television or music, identifying with characters and subject matter gives people a sense that they are a part of that community. That is what people are asking for.

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