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Main Character's Gender Irrelevant to Creating a Good Story, Life is Strange Dev Says

Life Is Strange developer Dontnod thinks that the gender of a main character in a game is irrelevant when creating a good story.

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gamespot.com
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Doge1414d ago

Tell that to a certain Frequency and their followers.

ContinuePlay1414d ago (Edited 1414d ago )

Sarkessians goal isn't to make every character female, or to censor games that don't adopt a feminist viewpoint. That's an oft-repeated bullshit accusation endlessly recirculated by GamerGate morons.

Her goal is to get us thinking more about our hobby. You can critique something you love without calling for it to be banned. It's not a zero-sum game, something that all the idiots who are so keen to jump down her throat would do well to remember.

She has repeatedly stated very clearly that she has no desire to see any of the games she highlights in her videos to be banned or censored in any way whatsoever, and it's a complete lie to suggest that she has.

TheLastIronMan1414d ago

I agree. Anita is pushing for a change of mindset and I, as a white straight American male, can support that.

But I've more a problem with HOW she's pushing it. The ridiculous Kickstarter project that has yielded zero changes to the format of her videos or the rate that they are released, the lack of scientific evidence and her overtly condescending tone of address, the examples of her games being taken out of context, and her BLATANT lying to her viewers has soured her message.

In her most recent video, I think, she mentions that Hitman: Absolution actively encourages players to attack and abuse the girls in a stripclub and makes a show of enjoying the quirks of ragdoll physics. All the while the *in-game scoreboard* negates a hefty chunk of the score and ranking for injuring/killing bystanders.

ChronoJoe1414d ago

So tired of this debate. I'd weigh in but its so tiring at this stage to see the same circular nonsense.

On topic. Obviously, gender is irrelevant when creating a good story. I'm not sure I've ever heard anyone suggest that a good story is gender dependent, so I'm not entirely understanding the point. It should go without saying that both men, and women can be the focal point of a gripping narrative.

TheWackyMan1414d ago

She doesn't want to censor games, yet she applauds australia target for removing GTA because "violence against women". uh huh. oh and all of her critiques are unsubstantiated with no sources, so all of her critiques are pointless.

johndoe112111414d ago (Edited 1414d ago )

"Her goal is to get us thinking more about our hobby".

And that is her's and your problem right there. What exactly is wrong with gaming? Gaming has been on a steady incline. Games are selling more, systems sales are ridiculously strong and more and more people are becoming gamers.

Who the hell is she to tell us what we should and should not like? what we should and should not play and what devs should and should not create? If what she is saying is so right why does she have to lie, falsify statistics and grossly misrepresent games and their stories in order to make her point?

Since when is lying required to prove truth? What exactly do I need to think about in gaming? Why does she not judge male characters with the same scale she judges female characters? Why does she ignore the myriad of strong positive female protagonists and characters that have been in gaming for the past 30 years? How is anything in gaming now affecting us negatively as gamers and if it isn't why do we need to change anything?

ContinuePlay1414d ago

That's not censorship. The game is still widely available. The whole idea that a single person has that level of influence over an international industry - let alone the highest grossing entertainment industry in the planet - is utterly ridiculous. Despite what all the haters would have you believe, no one has that kind of influence over anything, not even world leaders. To suggest that Sarkeesian does would be to suggest she has a level of influence greater than Barack Obama. It's complete fantasy, and a piss poor smokescreen for what is, in reality, a bunch of scared immature white kids throwing a fit over someone daring to suggest their hobby should be given the same kind of critique as any other form of entertainment.

Godmars2901414d ago (Edited 1414d ago )

Someone who considers Samus' reveal at the end of the first Metriod to be sexual, lacks proper judgement towards what a game is. About many things.

Nevermind that they made over twenty times what they had asked for for a Youtube project and failed to deliver it. Blames a two year delay upon others.

WilliamUsher1414d ago

"to censor games that don't adopt a feminist viewpoint."

You must have missed the news about feminists getting GTA V banned from Target and K-Mart in Australia. Nice try, though.

johndoe112111414d ago

"a bunch of scared immature white kids"

This single statement says everything we need to know about you and your twisted, warped and deranged way of thinking. You're not even worth the bubbles.

BC_Master_Haze1414d ago

@Continueplay

You can continue to believe whatever you want, I applaud you for your beliefs of equality, but you are following the wrong person, really. It's not the end which I have a problem with, it's the means, and how a movement to rid the industry of poor ethics in journalism was twisted into a misogynistic attack on women. Anita was part of this smear campaign against a group I am part of: Gamers.

This entire thing has gone on so long, I'm sick of it. Sick of articles from polygon telling me in sexist, sick of journalists being paid by developers to advertise and entire websites being bought by publishers, sick of games being viewed as the source of all evil in our society, and more than anything sick of games as an art form having moral boundaries imposed on them.

Stop supporting the people who attempt to oppress your 'so-called' hobby through lies and deception. Thelastironman has the best and most recent example that she is nothing but a shallow excuse for a feminist, and lacks logic in her reasoning.

One more example I can think of is asking for a simplified control scheme to Mirrors Edge specifically for women... Which is counterintuitive to the empowerment movement.

But, you're a journalist, you live off of clicks, it's honestly no surprise you side with the controversial speaker, so why should we trust anything you say?

if people want to be conscious of what they play that's their own will, I'm sure every developer is when they create the vision they wish. If you don't like it don't buy it, and especially do not try to tell me how to think.

linkenski1414d ago

I do agree with Sarkeesian's overarching viewpoint but she's basically an attention whore and I think she's not being intellectually honest about a lot of things for the sake of creating controversy and self-pity. I'm not one of those that she uses as an example to portray "how everyone in gaming is" who says "Fuck you, die bitch!" or whatever, but I strongly disagree with her way of dealing with her chosen subject. I think it's intellectually dishonest.

Sharingan_no_Kakashi1414d ago

Anita is crazy as is most feminists. In fact most women are starting to disassociate themselves from the feminists movement because of people like her. She's a liar, a thief, she raised 160,000 dollars to do a youtube video campaign and last I checked only made 2 videos. She just wants people to feel sorry for her and give her money.

On topic, I've been hesitant to give this game a try but the reviews have been really good. And the dev is right. Gender isn't important for a good story.

HonestDragon1414d ago

Firstly, on topic: Yes, I believe that gender is irrelevant to a video game per the character being put in a player's control. So long as the story is good, the graphics are without problems, and the gameplay is functional, I think that no matter the gender of a playable character the game can be great.

In response to your comments:
"Her goal is to get us thinking more about our hobby."

You'll have to excuse me, but I highly disagree. Her goals are far from making us think more about our hobby. If anything, I think she's on a shaming campaign in an attempt to censor what she deems is unacceptable in the industry and further stifle creative ambition.

"You can critique something you love without calling for it to be banned."

Of course you can; however, it's the "how" in the equation that lets your peers see and hear how you convey your love and critique of something. Anita's message regarding women in video games is mired in old tropes that have waned as the years progressed. Her arguments hold barely any weight. While some of her points can be looked at for certain observations, it's her tactics and demeanor that warrant caution as she is known for her questionable actions.

"It's complete fantasy, and a piss poor smokescreen for what is, in reality, a bunch of scared immature white kids throwing a fit over someone daring to suggest their hobby should be given the same kind of critique as any other form of entertainment."

That right there shows how little you know about the true range of both this industry and its consumer base. There are people of all backgrounds who both work and buy video games every day. The notion that this is a "white boys only club" is both ignorant and ridiculous. I agree that entertainment can be critiqued, but not in the way Anita goes about it. You shouldn't have to sink to the kind of lows she and others like her have when discussing topics in pop culture.

spartanlemur1414d ago

Her critiques suffer from deep-rooted confirmation bias (I could critique a sponge as she critiques games) and pretend that economics doesn't exist.

She has a right to create her trash, but we have an equally important right to call a spade a spade, and its creator an idiot.

If she wanted to get us thinking more (rather than spread her flawed ideology), she would take more balanced, philosophical stances. She would question her own conclusions as much as she questions the games themselves.

rainslacker1413d ago

I find the idea that she is trying to get us to think about our hobby a rather weak argument to make in her defense. The assumption of getting us to think about our hobby is one based on the premise that we need to open our minds up to new ideas which we may eventually like. The irony in what she's trying to do, yet is unwilling to do herself is so thick it doesn't even require any kind of explanation.

I'm not sure why she feels gamers need to think more about our hobby. As gamers, we've been thinking about this stuff much longer than she's been on the scene. I've been playing games, and thinking about the hobby longer than she's been alive, so not sure why she feels she is somehow qualified to tell me what I should think at all. I'm know random posters on N4G(or any random site) have much more insight into gaming than she does, because they have followed this stuff every day for years or decades while she was trying to decide what dress to pick out for prom.

Spare us your defense of her useless videos. She lost what credibility she might have gained from her kickstarter project with her first video, when it became blatantly obvious her intentions were to push an agenda based on either exploitation of well meaning individuals to extort them of their money, or to push the agenda that marginalizes men within society and their importance within said society...all while forcing herself into a hobby that no one asked her opinion on in the first place.

After all this time, she has achieved nothing of significance with her videos, and the only minds she opened up were those that already agreed with her. Her relevance to the scene exists entirely in an echo chamber of her own making, and the vast majority of gamers that I've seen find her completely irrelevant to gaming and what it means to them. The reason they're getting pissed at her now is because she's getting more attention than she deserves, and this whole "gamers are dead"...or morons as you put it...has become so insulting that we just had to finally say enough was enough.

Anita's actions didn't start GG, and may or may not have been part of what lead up to it, but she was all too happy to attach herself to it. She did this on her own. GG didn't bring her into the discussion. If she doesn't want her feminist viewpoint to be part of GG then she is more than welcome to remove herself from the discussion....and many GG supporters would be happy as all heck if she and her ilk did so so the actual topic could be discussed.

rainslacker1413d ago (Edited 1413d ago )

One more thing to add.

What's so funny about this is that the topics she is apparently trying to get us to think about were already being discussed before anyone knew who she was. What's more funny is GamaSutra, a site aimed mainly at game industry professionals, were the ones talking about this quite a bit.

Then the ideas started picking up traction from smaller sites, then bigger ones. I remember discussion the topics she tries to talk about years before she came around right here on N4G. Every day or two we'd have some article about it. There were some good discussions to be had, and the trolls were there. Then it came to hating gamer girls because they were all about attention and not games articles, and the topic just devolved. Then Patricia Hernendez decided to make inflamatory articles about the subject on Kotaku, and people discussed it again because it was the earliest attack on gamers by a mainstream gaming site, and in retrospect I give her props for being much more subtle about it...which is saying a lot about this current trend...when talking about her writing style.

Then came along Anita. She's an opportunist, nothing more, nothing less. She has no noble goals, nor does she likely care what we think, or where the industry goes. The fact gaming sites have given her so much attention is just damaging to the industry. 10 years ago, her ideas would have been met with ridicule and criticism to the point of shaming her to stop talking about things she didn't understand, and they would have been the same arguments made today, because 10 years ago, gaming sites still had some modicum of respect for their readers and the industry. Nowadays, so many of them are nothing but self-important windbags who stopped thinking about their hobby long ago.

@hazel below

That's more a sales demographic thing that some publishers believe works. Can't think of an instance where it was said it was done due to it making the story better. The only games I know about like that were pretty sparse on story anyhow.

@ guess I should say something on topic.

Yes, gender is more often than not irrelevant to a good story. I've always believed this, and have stated so many many times. The only times it is relevant is when the story actually is part of what the story is about, and 99% of games do not broach the gender subject because I can't imagine that subject would make for any kind of compelling game play, although it can work in some instances.

+ Show (12) more repliesLast reply 1413d ago
hazelamy1414d ago

tell that to all the publishers who demanded they make the leads male as a requirement for them to publish the game.
well, all but one anyway.

Cy1414d ago

Good, then people can stop whining every time a game doesn't have a female main character.

OrangePowerz1414d ago

A bit more diversity wouldn't be a bad thing. By a large amount the main characters are white male.

johndoe112111414d ago

Do you know why? Because when Tomb Raider came out 2 years ago and it had that scene where the guy tried to rape lara (even though that is something that would have happened had that situation been a real one and even though it did not happen in the game) We had a bunch of sjw morons whose feelings were hurt and criticized the game for showing something like that.

Funny how not a single one of them complained when that guy was molested by trevor in grand theft auto 5. Or how none of them complain when men are beaten, mutilated or tortured in any of the games that had scenes like that for the last 20 years.

The fact is it is easier to make a game with a male protagonist and have all sorts of bad things happen to him. No one complains then. However if it's a female...oh boy...the feels from a certain group will be heard all around the world.

ChronoJoe1414d ago

Most likely because these video games are mostly made by white males.

If games are a form of art then we shouldn't be making an effort to censor, or inhibit it in response to distaste. If we want more versatile representations within the medium then we should be looking to promote gender-equality universally.
To make what I'm saying clearer, the problem lies much more within the in-equal distribution of gender across the tech industry. I'm relatively confident that if we were to have an more even gender split within game development studios, we would have much more versatile gender representations in-game.

The problem doesn't lie within the video game industry, its in society as a whole, and it works both ways. Men are stereotyped into certain roles and career paths, women into others.

spartanlemur1414d ago (Edited 1414d ago )

Most of the players are white and male.

Diversity is fine though if there is demand for it. Let sales figures and data do the talking when it comes to such decisions.

Of course, we have to remember that games are also art, and we shouldn't attack an artist for creating what they want to create (we can personally disagree with message the work, but not its existence).

I personally prefer playing British white male protagonists with light brown hair (as close to this as possible) like myself unless the story revolves around a character from a certain background (in a game set in Japan I would obviously be fine with a Japanese character). If other people want to play other characters then that's fine, but they shouldn't act like there's some sort of social problem at work.

TheWackyMan1414d ago

I don't think I have ever heard a single person complain about a main character being female.

OrangePowerz1414d ago

You should try some other comments sections about Life is Strange outside of n4g, especially the cesspool called youtube comments.

MysticStrummer1414d ago

It's almost sad that this statement gets an article of it's own. Of course the main character's gender is irrelevant to creating a good story.

mixelon1414d ago

"To be honest we also really think that the gender of a main character is quite irrelevant when creating a good story, it really depends on how you write your characters in relation to the themes you are dealing with," Koch said. "Life is Strange is starring a teenage girl, you're right, but it is clearly not only a teenage girl story and we really think that both male players and female players will relate to this game and enjoy this adventure."

.. Essentially - of course - you can write a good story with either, but this particular story works best this way. Hence them not wanting to change it at the request of other publishers. It's not "a statement", it's just simply wanting to make this particular story/game.

spartanlemur1414d ago (Edited 1414d ago )

Nobody would be complaining about character genders if Sarkeesian and her game journalist allies hadn't polarised the gaming community into two factions with their "critique".

I know a few people who were quite open to diverse protagonists before becoming less so in just the past year as a protest against feminist influence on gaming,

It's a shame that people even need to justify why gender itself doesn't define a story.

mixelon1414d ago

? You see it all the time.. Guys saying "I won't play a game where I'm controlling a girl" it happened before Anita and co. Not everyone is that open minded.

If anyone thinks not supporting games with female protagonists is somehow sticking it to the (wo)man that says more about them than anything else IMO. There have always been people who care about representation. They just didn't annoy so many people in the process. :D

spartanlemur1414d ago

Perhaps this has been going on for longer, but I expect that with recent events it will have become worse.

It's not that having a natural preference is a bad thing, but consciously fighting it or limiting it (either way) defeats the point of entertainment.

I think things would have been better if the people who did want to persuade more people to play female characters took a more diplomatic approach. They might actually have succeeded in persuading people if that were the case. "Why you should give female characters a try" is better than "too many white male protagonists". As for "objectification", that comes next with "come on guys, this looks a bit silly, don't you think?" rather than "end misogyny; end boob plates and skimpy female clothing in gaming". The Change Org campaigns don't help either.

rainslacker1413d ago

I've personally never known anyone who decided which game to play based on the characters gender. Even now, outside of some people saying so, or some random anecdotal evidence as given by spart here, was that ever a deciding factor.

Everyone likely has a gender preference of what they like to play I'm sure, but I doubt more than 1 in 10K would base a decision on it.

Me personally? I prefer female protagonist or avatars. Why? Generally it's an art style thing. I find men boring to look at. I would prefer to look at a woman. In WOW for instance, the male artwork is so silly I can't take it seriously, while the female artwork is pretty good for some of the classes.

When it comes to story though, I couldn't care less so long as the character's portrayal is within the context of the story. For good characters I become equally connected to both male and female characters and am able to feel the same empathy and stress the character would go through, and since a person is a person, it is usually easy to relate to their struggles.

If a story's context requires the protagonist to be female, then I would may find it harder to relate to aspects of her situation, but I can still relate to aspects of her struggle, and feel empathy for what she may be going through since understanding something isn't always required to know a person is struggling.

ThaTruth1414d ago

Life is Strange - "Kill Men Simulator 2015"

WikusVanDeMerwe1413d ago

I was going to call you out but after watching the second video I can just come to the conclusion and agree with those comments that the story of this game was written by emo teens who have the maturity level of a potato.

I'll just leave it with "if anyone should have guns it should be women." with my statement that I, me, Wikus, believe all, everyone, should of guns if anyone is to have a gun or no one should have a gun.

I do not subscribe to the belief of some evil is needed for some good. Mind your own business and love thy neighbor. End.

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