The sexism in games debate has finally gone mainstream, but can it ever be a winnable battle? Yes it can, says Patrick Garratt, and we're all responsibility for aiming for victory.
The thumbnail brought me here :/
I wonder if there's an award for dumbest article of the day/week/month/year on N4G? Can someone please get Patrick Garratt a tampon please? He finds characters who were drawn out and designed with an attractive look to be "so degrading its depressing". God forbid you create a female character that isn't a fat slob with a boyscout haircut and armpit hair. Why on earth would you want to sell that image to the vast majority of your audience - males?
Bingo, gaming101. I watched the Kara clip and I found it to be as far from sexist and demeaning as possible. In fact, it was daring and touched upon the objectification of women in blunt terms. How do you think the creator of this clip would portray the type of man who would buy a passive object as a 'companion'? Unsympathetic comes to mind... The Kara clip is simple and has a simple message, and the fool who wrote this attack article is either a sock puppet being used to drum up hype or a complete idiot with no analytic thinking skills. White knighting to the clumsy adolescent extreme.
Exactly. A deep character could be ugly or good looking....so why not make them good looking?
Amen. It's one thing not to be a savage, it's another to be a self-effacing, all-accepting, aquiescing eunuch. Liberal media seems to be increasingly portraying us as barbarians and advocating for the aforementioned latter transformation. For the sake of the libs and the LGBT community we should all emasculate ourselves...and then..maybe...we can all get along. FRAK OFF! Tired of it.
I liked Kara's Demo, I'm part of the problem or this article is blowing things out of proportions? :|
Money is top priority when making a game. But there are game developers that take risks and don't over-sexualize their female characters. Just look at Valve's female protagonists Alyx and Chell. Their not over-sexualized and still look good. We can only blame ourselves for this. If companies show guys a female with very little clothing on and has a body that puts Beyonce to shame, it will grab attention. However, gamers are getting more mature these days and female gamers are on the rise so this may get better through time. But for now, bring on the babes!
Well said Gaming
That 70 people have agreed with this comment is cold, hard evidence that N4G needs to be bombed back to the f*cking Stone Age. OH WAIT - seems you're already there. The article's point is not that making women look attractive in works of fiction is sexist, genius. It's that reducing a character's existence to her physical proportions invites male players to think about real women in terms of their bodies alone, while disgusting and deterring female players. A bad thing, believe it or not! And as regards the point about audiences - I'm one of your "majority" customers, and I'm fine with women who resemble actual women in my games. Not everybody's as dementedly pre-pubescent as you, dear, thank God. PS. Quick tip for Flavor - learn to read before you toss around attention-seeky rhetoric. Nowhere in that piece does Pat argue that Kara itself is sexist.
It was a well done tasteful demo. What is evil and offensive about looking at a womans body, especially when trying to convey a since being human? I found it very effective it did not affect me in a sexual way, but in an emotional way. People who complain about this as distasteful and the ones with the sex problem.
Yeah, I have a feeling that this article was actually written by a girl posing as a guy just to get respect, as if writing under a girl's name would kill all her credibility as a "games blogger". She thinks the guise of a male name will get people to taker her seriously. What kind of man writes "It's easy to be angered by the ludicrous portrayal of women in games". Are you serious? Can this be anymore transparent? That girl posing as a guy who can't spell the word dribble ^^^ doesn't get it - it's in the eye of the beholder. If you see a woman and you objectify her - THAT'S YOUR PROBLEM. Not everyone who sees an attractive woman objectifies them, and if you think that then you're definitely not of the male species. I can see through that shit. The female shephard can be made to look hot if you customize her but she has all the same characterization of the male shephard - they have the exact same dialogue. You think there aren't women in the world who actually look hot? I should know, I date one, and she's hotter than any girl who complains about how women in games are portrayed "unrealistically"... . please, I can just hear the armpit hair flapping in the breeze as you type that shit lol How exactly do hot females disgust female gamers anyway? I've had to deal with overly macho muscular men in games my entire life and never once felt disgusted or emasculated, stop whining and go eat your Haag N Daaz. The fact that you had to point yourself out as male means you're a girl - how many people take the time to point out their gender, even on this page.... exactly, no one.
100% agree with you Gaming101.. Dumbest article ever
Gaming101 really nailed this writer.
"Not everyone who sees an attractive woman objectifies them, and if you think that then you're definitely not of the male species. I can see through that shit." HA HA HA HA HA HA Jesus Christ there is no hope for humanity. I thought you'd hit the bottom of the barrel but there you go, merrily drilling through into a whole new world of idiocy. "Guy calls me out on my moronic assertions about how women are portrayed in games? No problem - I DON'T HAVE TO ADDRESS HIS ACTUAL ARGUMENT OR OFFER A COHERENT REBUTTAL BECAUSE HE MUST BE A GIRL LOLOLOL." Of course there's such a thing as attractive women in real life, f*ckstick - once more, the point is that when games categorise and portray women SOLELY in terms of their physical qualities, it's reductive and depressing. You can be a good-looking female character and have a personality, as your Shepard example illustrates, but for every Shepard in games, there's an Ivy, Kasume or a whoever-the-hell-that-woman-fr om-X-Blades-is. Honestly, developers think we're f*cking cavemen. And you're doing precisely nothing to disabuse them of that impression. "How exactly do hot females disgust female gamers anyway? I've had to deal with overly macho muscular men in games my entire life and never once felt disgusted or emasculated, stop whining and go eat your Haag N Daaz." The difference between stereotyped men and stereotyped women in games is that the former are invariably portrayed as active and empowered, while the latter generally fill in as eye candy or damsels in distress. But you're right - the dick-swinging muscleheads need to go too, or would you rather let somebody impose their idea of what a man should be on you via your means of entertainment? F*ck objectification, f*ck masculine entitlement and f*ck this sorry excuse for a debate.
Well said gaming, u know not once have I looked at a video game and felt anything sexual, nor have I ever felt that any video game I played is sexiest! Even thinking back to it, I don't know of any game that is anywhere near as sexiest as the movie industry, the music industry, newspapers, magazines...every form of social media has sexism that is To the extreme. As said in the comments above, the trailer hit me emotionally I didn't even notice she was naked. I was 2 busy enjoying the awesome acting and script.
" please, I can just hear the armpit hair flapping in the breeze as you type that shit lol." lol? Hahahahahahahahahahaha Lol indeed!!!! Oh shit.. Now that was a read!!!!!
Patrick needs a date...really bad.
Sad part is some guys like fat slobs with boy scout haircuts and hairy armpits.
lol Dribble up there seriously needs to get laid. He/She/Whatever is the postergirl for sexual frustration lmao Having macho guys in games isn't sending me some secret message that this is what men should look like. I had no interest in going on steroids after playing The Hulk. Or Gears of War. Or any other game for that matter. Like I said, only girls compare themselves to people on tv/movies/magazines/games and thus only girls can be found complaining about hot girls in said mediums. You don't see guys whining like bitches about how they'll never have 23 inch biceps like (Insert super hero name here).
"Having macho guys in games isn't sending me some secret message that this is what men should look like. I had no interest in going on steroids after playing The Hulk. Or Gears of War. Or any other game for that matter." Oooh, I wouldn't know about that. Practically everything you've written in this thread attests to some pretty marvelously f*cking stupid ideas about bodies, gender and life in general. I'll stop short of saying that games like Gears made you this way, but they're clearly scratching your itch. Have fun.
Ewww she looks like she 12.
She's asian. /s
says the person with the very young looking final fantasy character that was engaged to a guy who looks 30.
Knowing Final Fantasy games, that's probably a guy. Well could be a girl, they don't draw either differently.
What 12 year olds do you know with hips and breasts like those? Uh, you know what? Don't answer that. She doesn't look "12" at all. I know adults with faces that look that young.
And that sums the whole problem.
wait a minute! the author of this piece does realise that the Kara video is actually about sexism and the frailty of existence doesn't he? is he suggesting that we ignore real issues in favour of ignoring them in film, books and games? what a dick
It's so true. We truly are all responsibility for aiming for victory.
Well sex sells.
Exactly. As long as it shifts games it's not gonna change. This guy over thinks stuff anyway. I'd hate to be someone who gets riled up as easily as him.
So... let's make all women on games look fat, flat, ugly and dumb! That will solve everything, why should they be brave, inteligent, have a warrior spirit, be beautiful and sexy when game producers can make them look like pigs? The gaming community should be ashamed indeed.... /sarcasm off
So a brave, intellectual, beautiful women with a "warrior's spirit" has to be half naked just to impress men? Why can't she be wearing something that will actually block off her cleavage/ass? I think you read this wrong. It isn't about trading beautiful women characters with ugly ones. It's about showing respect to women.
Go outside, how do you see women dressed? With Burkas? I don't think so, most likely they are dressing something that makes them feel sexy, like a skirt/mini-skirt and with some cleavage! So, I'm sorry but I don't agree with all this "Gaming community/devs don't portrait women as they should". Women and Man are portraited as the women and man they would like to be, it's called fantasy, games are fantasy. Get used to it, if I wanted a real life simulator I'd go outside (wich I do).
And you do realize in reality women show off their features for guess what! Men. It's not sexism it's a reality. No one is forcing women to dress skimpy. In third world countries it's sexist to cover em up and here it's sexist to show em off. I don't understand sexism AT ALL! It's a bunch of hypocriticism and mad feminists!
First of all, where the hell do you guys live that there are half-naked women EVERYWHERE YOU LOOK (perhaps Rio?), because being a reasonably well traveled individual, I can honestly say that women that dress like that are the minority almost everywhere I go. Not that I disagree with the sentiment. It's not unrealistic to say that there are women out there like that, but that character "type" is basically the only "type" being represented in video games. I think that's all anyone is saying. Personally, it's not an issue of being offended for me. I'm not OFFENDED that female characters are waving their melons at the screen anymore than I'm OFFENDED that most men in video games are either beef-cakes or stunningly good looking. It's just...boring and repetitive.
You do know there are women who dress up sexily right? That put on high heels, tight clothes, show there cleavage and wear short skirts. Why is it everyone thinks that there are no women like that and every time they see a woman in anything sexy it's 'degrading'? It's same thing people go on about with characters that have big breasts. People act like no woman in the world has big breasts or something and the moment one is portrayed that way it's 'degrading'. Kratos was a warrior and he barely wore a stitch of clothing but there were no protest about how degrading or unrealistic it is to men. But the minute a warrior woman does the same it's time to call in the marines.What did you think the Amazons wore, dresses down to their feet and coats covering their bodies?
@bimkoblerutso Bradford, West Yorkshire England - mid december
The problem is much deeper than that. I think the real issue here is constantly being misinterpreted as "sexism." I mean, all we get are hunky, good-looking dudes running around as well. It's not a boy/girl thing. Video games generally just tend to define gender roles in the most archaic way imaginable....and they do it over and over and over again. Everyone is ALWAYS good looking, at least somewhat promiscuous, confident and capable. Which is fine. Obviously there are people like that out there. But after a while, you start to realize that these are not good characters. They are essentially retreads of one or two very specific character archtypes. It's like video game developers don't write characters as much as they pick and choose from a list of two or three generic characteristics and then design a digital husk around them. How many times can people watch attractive, brauny dudes save the day and win the girl, or sexually promiscuous, confident women kick ass and display ridiculous feats of strength despite their demure frames, before they realize developers are just phoning it in?
So Movies dont display the "HERO or HEROINE" in those same sterotypes? Let alone TV Shows, cartoons, comics, etc, etc People that try to pigeon hole Gaming into that category are only fooling themselves.It what society has come to expect from works of fiction.... Fiction being the key word here. Besides female characters have come a LONG way since Lara Croft.... If anything Elena is the poster girl for politically correct female game characters.
double post......(damn N4G)
How many times can people watch attractive, brauny dudes save the day and win the girl....according to Hollywood easily 15x a year for the last 30yrs....still rakes in millions. In fact spidermans probably gonna do it again this summer.
Elena Fischer Alyx Vance Chell, just some example They aren't fat, ugly and dumb, and look and sound good.
Or Bonnie McFarland, "The Boss" (MGS3), All four of the MGS4 bosses for that matter (Laughing Octopus, Raging Raven, Crying Wolf and Screaming Mantis), Samus Aran, the list goes on and on All females arent portrayed for their bodies and looks....
@Raiinstorm81 I guess you didn't find the camera ;)
More like we must get ride of sanctimonious and prude people , for both genders , from the world of gaming . There’s nothing wrong with being sexy. We just need less helpless and useless damsels in distress .
And skimpy armor.
Not to say i support sexism in games or anything but if they want to design the characters then they can design them however the hell they want. If people don't like it then don't play the damn games. As a logical business move you make what people will buy. If people are going to buy a game on the lone fact of how the character looks then why should they change how the character looks and lose profitability, if they show breasts then it gets a M rating but if they flat out show a penis then it would probably get an AO rating. That's where the problem is. AND i especially don't want to hear people complain when the parents buy their 3-12 year old Grand theft auto (any of them) or Saints row the third with giant dildo swords. And people have problems with games showing women in realistic situations or in sexy poses. Here is a news flash the porn industry is one of the most profitable industries and without it there would be an economic crash that no one could recover from, People need to grow up and accept the fact that when you are the one making the game you can do what you want to do and until then you are under no obligation to but the game with the big titted chick on the cover unless you want to. And in Japan there are a ton of Adult rated games and they have less crime and they respect people way more than American assholes.
yea i know, i rushed through it.
Tbh I cba reading another article on sexism the whole debate does my head in however I think the picture used for this article is a poor choice. While there is shameless smuttery al over gaming and in many games with no other reason to be there than some cheap boobs in your face, I think the use of that kara tech demo is justified and is far more "artistic" than your average game.
To sum up this whole debate and article in one phrase: "Who cares?" If you don't like the way the developers created their characters don't play the game. ITS A BUSINESS and creating irrelevant and trivial articles about how offended you are over a bunch of pixels ain't gonna affect the video games designers or change their minds about their artistic visions.
Who cares? That practically every women in games is overtly sexualised? I do. It's unfair. Being sexist isn't acceptable. We should all be aiming for sexual equality. Would you like every man in games to have a 12" cock and totter around on high heels in his pants?
Newsflash: Sexual Equality does not, and will never exist. The reason for this is that the two genders, male and female, are fundamentally (that is, by nature) different. What is far more important is that females and males are both treated with equal amounts of respect, and are given equal rights in the society. But that's not a one sided story, as both males and females are treated unfairly in some cultures. But you cannot ask the two genders to be equal, and for that very reason you will, for the rest of your life, see sexy females on covers of books, movies and video games, just like you always see muscular and good looking guys on those covers.
Very well stated sjaakiejj, and I cannot agree with you more. Females rush to show off their bodies on the front of magazines that line every check-out aisle in retail stores, but that's not sexist.But it's somehow sexist for a game developer to use a female lead character that doesn't look like these women who plaster their bodies for testosterone men to admire? How about we talk about the game's that do portray women in a real lifelike manner: Heavy Rain!
"We should all be aiming for sexual equality. Would you like every man in games to have a 12" cock and totter around on high heels in his pants?" How would putting high heels on a man over-sexualise him? It would just be weird :/ Like my avatar btw?
"Who cares? That practically every women in games is overtly sexualised? I do. It's unfair. Being sexist isn't acceptable. We should all be aiming for sexual equality. Would you like every man in games to have a 12" cock and totter around on high heels in his pants?" Why do you care? Is some guy(s) treating you differently because you don't look like Ivy from Soul Calibur? No? then shut up. Why is it unfair? Because guys aren't being portrayed as muscle-bound, steroid using, alpha male warrior types that hit first and ask questions later? Oh wait they are. There is greater sexual equality today than there ever has been but there never will be total sexual equality, just like there will never be true acceptance of homosexuality or just like there will never be a complete lack of racism. They're just human flaws that will never be erased. And yeah, I would like to see a guy with an unrealistically proportioned lower member try to maneuver around in high heels. Not because I'm gay, but because that would look frickin' funny as hell and be a refreshing change. Almost EVERYONE doesn't get what sexism means. Here's the definition. sex·ism [sek-siz-uhm] noun 1.attitudes or behavior based one stereotypes of traditional sexual roles. 2.discrimination or devaluation based on one's sex as in restricted job opportunities. So in actuality, to be sexist, games would have to portray women as inferior to men, made to "be in the kitchen", a subservient type of character that is covered up and is more of a background object than an actual character. Scantily clad women with large breasts who go around killing things or finding treasure or whatever is so far away from the actual definition of sexist. And the fact of the matter is, no one wants to experience something that is supposed to remove you from reality by playing it as an average person who has to suffer through stretch lines, pimples, wrinkles, blemishes, messed up hair, weight issues (both over and under) height issues, etc.. People play these games precisely because they AREN'T anything like real life. I find it very hard and incredibly sad to imagine that there are people who actually care about this stuff. People who actively make it a problem when it isn't and doesn't have to be. It's really pathetic.
Everytime someone tries to argue that "fairness" & "equality" should happen in our society, I already knew that person is living over an ideal world. Because in reality, fairness doesn't happen. Our society works just the way it's right now because it's balanced out by inequalities between individuals. And that's great news. You see, if sexes are equal, life would be boring. Just think about it.
@patlike U want sexual equality? Make it so men retire 5years earlier, u know, like women do.... Or so men get a years paternity, u know, like women do....make it so men get equal rights over their children, scrap that - get fair rights over there children. I think the are bigger issues when it comes to sexism that need addressing than whether a video game character, a character of fiction, can kick arse or has tits or whatever the fucks the matter.
Enjoyed reading this, and yeah, I do kind of get that there are some definite female issues in the industry.
so their is fatism now?
Remind me why I must "try to kick out" sexy women in video games? I'm a male. Yes, I enjoy boobs...and a nice butt too...oh maaaan I'm siiick!!! While we're at it, let's attack the film business as well. I'm sick of seeing hot women in my movies!
YEAH im tired of those sexed up girls always flaunting what they got on the my television set.. PPFFFF when will it END?!?!?
Portraying a woman in a way that is conceived to be sexy is a long shot from being sexist and not treating them with respect. If you're really complaining about sexist portrayal of female characters, you'll need to look for ones that are weak in personality, e.g. the typical Danzel in Distress. That's sexist. Like Peach...
This article has to be writen by an american?!
Yeah right, how about trying to kick sexism from TV, cinema, music, books, internet, etc...People always make gaming seem like the sin of men. Srls, just look at the other media. TV shows about pregnant teenagers, songs with the titles 'stupid hoe' and movies that resemble more porn movies than real movies. But what do they blame? Video-games. Because it features virtual rendered women with large breasts and almost no clothes in some figting games. GTFO I don't see people bitching about the guys in video-games having all that muscle and looking like they're on steroids, why would you bitch about the women? Now that's sexism.
The wrong part of this article: bringing up Kara and Catherine. I kinda stopped reading at that point, because it was clear that the author was narrow-minded in his views on sexuality. You can't go commenting about something when your comments are based on incorrect statements. He treats the comments made about Kara the product as if they're meant to be about all women, which is just plain off. Until it's revealed that Kara is self-aware and, indeed, more than just a device, the description of mundane tasks assigned to her kind is just like any other robot you could think of. The there's Catherine. It's been said a million times before, but Catherine was intentionally provocative even on its exterior, as it was meant to mirror or at least carry on the themes within the game. For most of the people who played it, the intent of the game's cover was evident. All in all, I think the author has his heart in the right place, but the screws in his head are cross-threaded. There IS a problem with sexism in gaming, but it's also something that's inherent as a largely male-dominated media.
Fat Princess... did I win yet? /s
only gays jrpg players and fat gamer girls complain beautiful women/sex will always be wanted by "evil" men
i am a jrpg player, and i simply dont care. if men are stupid enough to purchase a Game JUST because of a big pair of double D's, bad for them. i think the majority of us isnt turning the brain off once a pixel-chick with nice legs pops up.