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"Not all gamers are teenage boys" - Why we still need more variety in our gaming protagonists

Dealspwn: "We need more variety when it comes to gaming protagonists.

It seems like a no-brainer written down, after all everyone games these days, from toddlers to pensioners. Yet still there seems to be a prevailing idea of a majority market ruled over by a male, teenage demographic who demand the greatest attention.

It's getting better, of course. It takes less time to point to a game with a female protagonist, or at least the option for one, but we're still a long way off. There'll be those who scoff and argue that little needs to change, and I'd wager that the vast majority of those reactions will be from male gamers. I don't want to bash people over the head with talk of privilege, but it's important to take a walk in someone else's shoes from time to time."

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SoulMikeY2269d ago

Yes. A much better point than "MORE FEMALES!". More variety sounds less desperate for polygon boobs. Lol

But I agree, different ages, creatures, or whatever is cool with me. Just make it fun.

kneon2269d ago

It's not just the protagonists that is the issue. Far too many games seem to be designed for 14 year old males, or at least those with the mentality of one. And most such games are rated M.

Why else would there be so much pointless sex, drugs and excessive gore that serve no purpose in the story? And then there are the ridiculously over the top, gung ho military types we see so often. They just seem so stupid to me but probably seem cool to the prepubescent male demographic.

Hicken2269d ago

Rather than teenagers specifically, isn't it simply that these games cater to the LCD? People, in general, are attracted to the controversy and conflict, especially when it doesn't affect us personally. That's why we're roped in by sensational headlines and negative news.

Maturity isn't the issue. Just human nature.

2269d ago
cyguration2269d ago

Hicken is correct.

It's the reason why Jerry Springer was even a thing.

It's the reason why Fox News has the following it has.

It's the reason why people have a day to remember and memorialize 9/11.

It's the reason why there are wars and it's the reason why there will never be peace.

Before games existed, violence was still king.

minimur122269d ago

This is the reason why we get so pissed when stuff is censored, I dont that much but it does annoy me a bit.

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 2269d ago
DeadRabbits2269d ago

Im 35 and still plan on gaming in 50 year time. I cant wait for the lead characters in games to be geriatric old men being fed baby food while having a loose bladder!

bloodybutcher2269d ago (Edited 2269d ago )

I think you just described majority of wizards xD

dodgemoose2269d ago (Edited 2269d ago )

'But the figures don't lie. The market, including core console gaming, PC gaming, handheld, mobile, and social gaming, is more diverse than it's ever been before. So much so that the audience split is actually in favour of women -- 51% to 49%. Everyone watches films. Everyone listens to music. Everyone games.'

I suspect in console and PC gaming women are still very much a minority - couldn't imagine them accounting for more than 5-10%.

Gh05t2269d ago

The problem is these figures factor in social games like farmville and candy crush. These are not the figures companies look at when trying to decide there next AAA platform IP for the next generation. These are the figures Zynga and King look at when trying to figure out the next micro-transaction gold mine on the casual market.

cyguration2269d ago

Thank you for this.

This is correct.

Too bad "game journalists" don't do the kind of research the average gamer does.

Gh05t2269d ago

@cyguration

Game "journalists" as you call them are either very aware of the facts or ignorant of them on purpose. They are trying to persuade you of what they believe and are misrepresenting a fact to fill their ideals of what is correct. This happens in all media not just games.

Its our job as readers to use critical thinking and understand the logical fallacy of their arguments, while trying to understand their side to either change our opinion or make our opinion stronger.

"There'll be those who scoff and argue that little needs to change, and I'd wager that the vast majority of those reactions will be from male gamers. I don't want to bash people over the head with talk of privilege, but it's important to take a walk in someone else's shoes from time to time."

This is a quote from the article that is a common tactic to try and say that anyone who disagrees is probably male and privileged. Its a huge logical fallacy of mass generalization and Ad Hominem. Just because I happen to be male does not mean I don't bring my own diverse point of view (what does he know about where my shoes have been). They just don't like any other view that disagrees with their own. He tried to cut off viewpoints at the knees before your mouth is open.

Classic close mindedness trying to appear as open minded.

dcj05242268d ago

You'd be incorrect. In the past 6 months I've encountered more females on BF4,KZ,Warframe,FFXIV and DCUO on the PS4 then I have in my online gaming since 2004. Seriously, before I only knew 2 girls in RL who gamed. Now I know 10 lol. FFxiv and Warframe in particular because they allow female characters and customization I think.

DanielGearSolid2269d ago

There already is a ton of variety...

Ppl just don't realize it because they only play mainstream games

cyguration2269d ago

This is very true.

If you go on Steam they have everything from visual novels to point-and-click adventure titles to FPS and racing games, and all things in between.

More than anything, gaming media is to blame for not making audiences more aware of the diversity of games out there.

DefenderOfDoom22269d ago

Great article ! And i agree their should be more FEMALE protagonist in video games ! But a bigger problem is, where are all the dark skin female protagonist in video games ! They do not even exist , to my knowledge, in triple a games! Think about all the dark skin female protagonist in Disney and Pixar animation movies, again to my knowledge they do not exist ! WTF ! From my knowledge, the reason is because in countries that are not USA , will not support video games and movies that have female dark skin protagonist ! So to me it has more to do with money not racism! Love to hear from more countries on this topic, including USA . By the way, i am a human male in my mid forties , with very light skin ! One last thing i have a lot of good faith in the human race who live in countries all over the world!!

kneon2269d ago

Off the top of my head I can think of a few non-Caucasian protagonists in Disney films: Mulan, Pocahontas, Lilo, Jasmine and whatever her name was from The Princess and the Frog.

DefenderOfDoom22269d ago

to kneon , nice response . I did not watch a lot Disney movies. But in video games where are all triple a dark skin female protagonist? to ghost , i agree having a choice to pick any avatar you want for the protagonist is the best thing! And a lot games now do that , which is a good thing! My question is, what if the artist wants a gay protagonist? Which is what the developer wants for the next RESIDENT EVIL game , and the publishers agrees with it! WHY DO GAMERS FEEL LIKE IT IS BEING FORCED ON THEM . It is not being forced on you!! That is what bothers me about gamers saying that! No one is putting a gun to your head to buy a game, no matter what the game is . Yet after the RESIDENT EVIL gay protagonist announcement, their have been so many YOUTUBE videos and comments saying that this is forced on you! When in reality, it is not ! As in your comment "just speak with your wallet"! I agree with you . No matter who the protagonist is, if the game is terrible, people will not buy it! If the game is really good . like METROID, then more people will buy it !

Somebody2269d ago

It depends on the significance of the character's sexual orientation to what is happening in the game. What's the point of shouting about some character's gayness during a zombie apocalypse?

The makers of Remember Me spent a lot of time telling everyone how uniquely non-Caucasian, no-male their main character is that it became detrimental to the game itself. I love games with female protagonists from Oni to Tomb Raider but Remember Me spent so much time on promoting the character that I began to question about the combat mechanics that they seldom talked about. In the end as a gamer I do feel they are forcing the character on me when they should've promoted the real point of gaming-the gameplay.

Personally I find there's nothing wrong with a gay or female character but game makers/publishers should add them naturally. If they let gamers themselves discover his gayness while playing then I think there would be less backlash and more of a muted acceptance. If they started telling everyone that that one character is secretly gay and then proceeded to give lengthy explanations for the character design then it will feel like they are forcing something onto the gamers.

Gh05t2269d ago

@Defender

This is my last bubble so I wont be able to rebuttal so I will leave you with my strongest argument.

"...WHY DO GAMERS FEEL LIKE IT IS BEING FORCED ON THEM"

I don't know, I do not speak for all gamers, but at first glance I would say that they are just wrong in their feelings.

However I can come up with two reasons. Let me preface this by saying I have not played Resident Evil since Nemisis on the PSX. I also was, until your comment, unaware that RE was going to have a gay protagonist.

That being said.

There are two different ways of saying that it is forced. (again not knowing what people are saying on youtube I am assuming) If a gamer feels that the only reason that the character is gay is to appease a crowd than it can seem like it is being forced to them. For example is the story about the character being gay, or about zombies? If it surrounds the characters sexuality it can feel forced regardless of what the sexuality is gay, strait, or otherwise.(Regardless of how right or wrong the truth may be)

The other feeling of being forced is that RE isn't a new IP. So if you are a fan of RE and not a fan of homosexuality (Or like me where any sexuality is a part of the game I would prefer to leave out) you are now either being forced to play that character or forced not to buy the next piece of the story you have followed for a long time. Not knowing how the story has progressed, I don't remember at least from Nemesis sexuality even playing a role in a zombie survival horror game.
(Again regardless of right or wrong)

Now neither of these are my personal belief, just trying to be the devils advocate.

I agree 100% make your game and if people want to play it they will buy it. But you will not make everyone happy regardless of what game you make. People are entitled to their own opinions, even if they are wrong (As I feel the article here is).

Good Luck, I hope I helped but I'm out of bubbles!

FuzzyPixels2269d ago

@Somebody: You're right. Poor games are poor games. But I can't begrudge Remember Me its buzz because it was genuine. If anything it illustrated how unbalanced the situation is. The problem was that the game couldn't live up to its hype: Nilin was a fairly poorly written character, and the combat...well...the less said about that the better. The problem wasn't that Nilin was a woman, the problem was that the game sucked on a mechanical level and wasted its most interesting, mind-distorting aspects.

Re. "Forcing" - no one is suggesting forced change. In the article I say that would be a bad thing. It's a simple matter of attitude. It's about saying "why not?" regarding female/LGBT/ethnically diverse characters rather than "why?" Subtle difference, but significant.

Most of the arguments I've seen in this whole thread aren't railing against diversity, but bad games, poor writing, lazy character design. Mediocrity isn't gender-specific.

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SweetDangos2269d ago

Well there is Clementine from the walking dead game series. She's a dark skinned female and one of the best female protagonists out there.

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