"How in 2015, is it considered to be progressive or controversial to have a female co-lead character in Assassins Creed or female footballers in a FIFA football game?" The Marb dicusses the issue of gender politics in gaming.
It was never an issue for me. I don't think I have ever, once in my life, thought, dammit, a female lead. If anything, a female lead can actually add some change to the mix. I think developers could be even bolder and explore femininity in games more thoroughly (if the context supports it) to create a more interesting narrative or gaming scenarios. I'm not talking about having a 'time of the month' debuff or something (although why not- its perfectly natural) but I don't know...explore women's more natural vulnerability as well as their struggles. For e.g, in Tomb Raider; it felt kinda wicked that Lara Croft is viewed as a weedy little kid by her enemies but lays the smack down and surprises her antagonists. Brilliant article (obviously biased here) and the ending left me with a somber feeling. :'( Hold me
Many games have female leads, it's not an issue.
I’ve got no problem with the idea as playing as a female in a video game. In fact I have enjoyed several games where a female was the main character/s. Just off the top of my head Resident Evil 0/1/2/3/CV, Tomb Raider, Wet, Perfect Dark, Metroid, Syberia, Eternal Darkness, Beyond Good & Evil, Dino Crisis, Kameo, The Last Us, Mirrors Edge, No One Lives Forever, Primal, Remember Me, Silent Hill 3. Personally I think there should be more of them and I don’t see the issue?
Ah No One Lives Forever. What a gem!
"If you can imagine having the ability to blow up someones brain by thinking really hard, you should be able to imagine having tits." That's a big "if". I think I might lack imagination :(
You're closer to it than you think. :P #doyouevenliftbrah
Thanks. I've been working on blowing up people's brains in my spare time, but so far the closest I've come is giving myself a nose bleed. I appreciate your support though.
Maybe it's just me, but I personally don't give a damn what gender a character is. I don't think the gender of a fake person has any bearing on the game, the story, or the experience you can have. Why? Because said fake person is written, most likely by an individual who is in no way, shape or form, like that fake person. Article mentions "I think the female should have been the lead in the AC game." Ok. But why? Would having the female lead truly BE different? The female lead is only as good as she's written, otherwise the only difference is the model. This is my issue with inclusion. So many people, and I'm not getting that impression from the author mind you, believe that simply having a black lesbian that weighs 400lbs and wears a v-neck sweater and jeans will mean a different game. Yeah, but that doesn't mean it will be better. That character's gender, orientation, physical appearance or clothing has no bearing on whether or not it is a good character. What we should be asking for isn't tokenism. The idea of having something different for the sake of having something different. We should be wanting only to have good characters. REGARDLESS of their fake gender, fake race, or fake orientation. Because let's remember folks. These characters are not real people, save and except if they were modeled after real people (as in Fifa). So you can have your female lead in AC, and the fact that she's female will do nothing to prevent her from being a terrible character, or a good one. Gender politics has no place in gaming because gender isn't real in gaming. A character's perspective is written, given to them by someone else. Perhaps gender politics MAY have a place in game development, but that's going off into a tangent about whether or not good ideas necessarily arise from identity, or simply from people with a creative mind. To finalize: I generally play as a woman in Skyrim. I prefer the character model of the women than the men because the men either look anorexic, or on steroids, while the women actually seem more realistic. Realism typically doesn't bother me, but if given the option to make it happen in terms of character design, I'll tend to go for that unless I'm feeling like making an insane character. I really place no part of my enjoyment on the identity of a fake person. But what's interesting is that this article seems to take the position that the SJWs should like, but in reality they'd actually hate it for several reasons.
People like to get immersed in the atomsphere & the story of games, so gender does have an effect, just like if the main character is a protype super soldier in green power armour saying bad ass one liners ,(execpt in Halo 4) it has an effect. Though there are many great female leads, they're not in short supply.
I'm sorry but I disagree. They get immersed in the character, gender is irrelevant. People would not have a better experience playing as a good female character than they would as playing a good male character. And identity has little impact on people's enjoyment, if we're to believe DiGRA. People become more immersed in the role than they do in the person filling it.
Agreed. I really don't care much what the gender of a game character as long he/she is interesting. Games before this generation have female main characters because the game devs wanted to add them. No one asked them to so and it felt somewhat refreshing. One moment I would be storming Omaha Beach on D-Day, watching my fellow digital brothers-in-arms getting torn to shred by Nazi machineguns and in another moment I would be playing as Kate Archer, sneaking around a village full of female ninjas. I didn't play the older Tomb Raider games not because the main character is a woman but simply because I wasn't into puzzle-solving back then(I was still in the shoot-slice-and-punch digital people stage). Now, however, it felt as if game devs are pressured, forced, to have female main characters. That made their inclusion felt artificial and devoid of creative freedom. For example, I like the game Remember Me but the dev's constant use of the "publishers want us to use a male protagonist" victim card eroded my zeal to play it. In contrast I still keep a copy Oni, a game from 2001 with a kick ass female protagonist, around because it's a good game and as far as I know no one forced the dev to use her. I'm all for female characters but their inclusion must be natural, NOT forced upon. Let the dev wake up one day and decided on their own volition to make a game about a woman kicking ass, NOT hound them day and night to squirt out a character out of pressure.
"Now, however, it felt as if game devs are pressured, forced, to have female main characters." And it's happening with Fallout 4 now too. People are complaining because of a rumour that the game will only have a male protagonist. A Fallout game. From Bethesda. A company known for primarily making games with no central protagonist but instead a Character Creation scheme where you can even play as a non-human. It's like, really?
I don't think all those attributes have any bearing on game play itself. The general rule of thumb is that when giving players the choice of gender, or whatever, the actual abilities of the character remain the same. Now in the real world, there are physical and psychological differences most of the time which can effect how a person might perform an action, but in games that difference isn't explored that I'm aware of. From a game play stand point it would be troublesome to make two difference versions of play, and I wouldn't even want to consider the sociopolitical fallout that would follow. However, from a story point of view it can have an effect. It may make a story better or worse depending on how it's used. Gender, and many of those other things, are part of who people are, and as such those characteristics should have an effect on how the character act and interact with each other. For instance, taking tomb raider as an example. You could easily interchange Nathan Drake and Lara Croft into the scenario that the game story had. How the story played out from there could be entirely different because the point where Lara becomes a killing machine would likely be different for Drake. That difference could be a different kind of assault, or it could be that Drake is more testosterone driven so he just comes by it more naturally. Drake uses his sarcasm to cope, whereas Lara uses her drive for survival to cope. I could sit here all day and list how stories could be different due to any number of criteria given, but I think I'd rather stress the point that game characters, like ourselves, do not(or should not) fall into easily defined properties where everything is black or white. In addition, we, as a culture, are often conditioned to treat the different sexes, orientations, and races differently. Upbringing, cultural conditioning by the media, and our own interpersonal interactions do this, so a story often takes on a different connection to the player when you have a female character as opposed to a male character. Lets say in Mass Effect for example. As a male character(if you're male), for our romantic interest, we may explore the person that we most wanted to have a relationship based on physical appearance and attraction...much like a man would do in real life. As a female character, we'd probably explore the person who we think would be best suited for her due to them having the most to offer in terms of compatibility and trust...much like we may do for our own daughters. Otherwise, I think the issue of gender isn't really that important. If the devs want to create female characters there's no problem with that. So long as the story is good, gender is rather irrelevant, but that doesn't mean that gender is meaningless to the story itself.
We're gonna get a female protagonist in ASSASSIN'S CREED: SYNDICATE, and that's a "big deal" because it is the first AC main game to get a female protagonist -- since AC: Liberation is a spin-off title, anyway.
Thanks for comments guys. I appreciate AC has used female leads in DLC and download titles but feel the fresh perspective in the main game could actually help Ubi's creative rut. And if you don't think its a big deal to put say female players in FIFA (it shouldn't be, I agree), see how some of the internet reacted. I'm also not arguing that there are great female characters out there, but given that women game more than ever and make up to 40-50% of gamers now, perhaps the really great examples you came up with aren't enough in a sea of grizzled military men.
I don't really care about the gender either, as long as it's not a character shoehorned into the game. But the 40 - 50% percentage you got there doesn't matter. Those statistics include markets that are not even related to PC, Console or actual Handheld markets. In other words, the likes of Smartphone and Tablet markets.
You should never take the negative reactions of the internet seriously. NEVER. You won't get any real barometer of how people feel there, because you'll have a large number of those people being negative just because. Also, please don't cite those "40-50%" quotes. I'm just gonna say it straight up: those numbers consist almost entirely of people who we would not say should be the driving force of the industry. They play mobile and facebook-style games primarily, where the gender of the protagonist hardly matters, if at all. This isn't to say we shouldn't have female protagonists; in fact, I'm all for it. But I don't think we should be forcing gaming to change to cater to a crowd we THINK is there.
Course you shouldn't take it seriously Spotie, but it does show that something which shouldn't be a big deal still is to some. Maybe its a minority, but its a vocal one. With stats you may be right to a certain extent but there are certainly more girls gaming than ever before. I for example know two women who bought Witcher 3. Given that i only know about 4 guys who did, thats a fair proportion. Its also worth noting that in the right circumstances many people who play more 'casual' (ugh sorry for term) games may make the leap if they felt it wasn't just a boys club where men were capable and interesting characters and women just the love interest or exposition. I think my point (perhaps clumsily made, my apologies) is that for gaming to evolve (in particular AAA titles) it needs to have new ideas and stop relying on identikit formulas. In general I just want to see games get better and think this a is a good way of doing it. Its all IMO of course. Not insisting anyone agree but instead try to provoke some discussion. Cheers
Oh wow. You know, I was totally unaware of what I liked in games, and why I play them. I thank the author for explaining to me the way that I should think, and how silly it was for me to want to play male characters for absolutely no reason whatsoever. I mean it's not like the rest of us have brains with which to decide these things for ourselves, is it? Maybe if I imagine *hard enough* I can enjoy playing a game where I pretend to be a games "journalist", and write stupid clickbait articles on the internet instead of contributing to society like everyone else.
Ok a few things. Firstly, I certainly was not telling you what to do and how to think. I even say that. If you took that from what I wrote, you have my apologies. Oh and clickbait is another term people bandy about if they don't like the content to dismiss it. I don't give a monkey's about clicks Spartan, I wrote it to say something. It's an opinion piece, it states that clearly. Don't agree or don't believe my sincerity,fair enough. Oh and I'm not a journalist, never claimed to be.
Fair enough. Your site doesn't, at first glance, appear to have ads, so I suppose that wasn't your cause for writing it. I am sorry for jumping to that conclusion. However the point about telling people what to think still stands. You totally misunderstand the idea behind playing a better version of yourself. The idea is generally to jump into a world better than the one we live in; one more interesting, and where success is easier to achieve. Many people do not want to live our bland, boring materialist lives "better" by working harder and earning more stuff. We want to jump into a new world and get caught up in an epic story as ourselves (or better versions). I don't see why you have such a problem with this view. Some of us put the world first, while others put the perspective first; we're not all the same, and don't all want the same things in our games. The thing is, we play games because we *want* to be a wizard, or a powerful warrior-hero. We don't (generally) *want* to be the other gender. Female gamers feel exactly the same way (In fact I believe I read somewhere that women care more about playing as women than men care about playing as men!). And then you pretty much go on to call those of us who share my views cowards: "Perhaps though, you prefer your entertainment to feel safe and familiar, not to push you out of your comfort zone and expand your preconceptions" for playing games to experience different worlds and stories, and not different perspectives. And the last paragraph is melodramatic. I don't really play FIFA these days, but when I did, I thought women's teams would be interesting. However you must understand that the more divided people become, the more tribal they get. Many people end up treating female characters as zero-sum "battles" with one victor, and they will always be controversial until that ends. However keep in mind that it is opinion pieces like this which keep it going. If you want it to stop, you need to learn to coexist with those you disagree with. Maybe then, female characters will just be normal; loved by some, ignored by others (like everything else). I still like the idea of female teams; I'm just revealing my observations on why others do not. I would also add (as someone with an extensive stats background) that the data claiming that 50% of gamers are women is *highly* misleading. But anyway, this is the reason I took issue with some parts of your piece. I hope it gives you some insight into *why* other people feel they way we do. We don't all need to have the same preferences to get along :)
I do not know I have been playing with female characters since Metroid. There wasn't really any issue with it till the pc police and morally superior social activists, tried dictating to others how different races, genders act and look ect. Enjoy discussing politics with a group of people, that do not realize characters or people even, don't magically fit into neat one sizes fits all descriptions for race, gender ect. People are allowed to have individual ideas, interests ect., especially when it runs opposite of whatever asinine social trend is popular atm.
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