Enough: we must all try to kick sexism out of gaming

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.

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LOL_WUT2471d ago

The thumbnail brought me here :/

Gaming1012471d ago

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?

Flavor2470d ago

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.

SilentNegotiator2470d ago

Exactly. A deep character could be ugly or good why not make them good looking?

Boon Tarkas2470d ago (Edited 2470d ago )

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.

sikbeta2470d ago

I liked Kara's Demo, I'm part of the problem or this article is blowing things out of proportions? :|

mabreu2470d ago (Edited 2470d ago )

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!

dirigiblebill2470d ago (Edited 2470d ago )

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.

Bigpappy2470d ago

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.

Gaming1012470d ago

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.

Awesome_Gamer2470d ago

100% agree with you Gaming101.. Dumbest article ever

-Alpha2470d ago (Edited 2470d ago )

Gaming101 really nailed this writer.

dirigiblebill2470d ago (Edited 2470d ago )

"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.

milohighclub2470d ago

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.

milohighclub2470d ago

" please, I can just hear the armpit hair flapping in the breeze as you type that shit lol."



Lol indeed!!!!

Oh shit..

Now that was a read!!!!!

troncoparati2470d ago

Patrick needs a date...really bad.

Morgue2470d ago

Sad part is some guys like fat slobs with boy scout haircuts and hairy armpits.

Gaming1012468d ago

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).

dirigiblebill2463d ago (Edited 2463d ago )

"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.

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-Mika-2470d ago

Ewww she looks like she 12.

Kur02470d ago (Edited 2470d ago )

says the person with the very young looking final fantasy character that was engaged to a guy who looks 30.

afterMoth2470d ago

Knowing Final Fantasy games, that's probably a guy. Well could be a girl, they don't draw either differently.

SilentNegotiator2470d ago

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.

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Johnny Cullen2470d ago (Edited 2470d ago )

And that sums the whole problem.

GribbleGrunger2470d ago

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

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Bimkoblerutso2471d ago

It's so true. We truly are all responsibility for aiming for victory.

deep_fried_bum_cake2471d ago (Edited 2471d ago )

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.

MK24ever2471d ago (Edited 2471d ago )

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

Fylus2471d ago

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.

MK24ever2470d ago

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).

h311rais3r2470d ago

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!

Bimkoblerutso2470d ago

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.

smashcrashbash2470d ago

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?

milohighclub2470d ago


Bradford, West Yorkshire England - mid december

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Bimkoblerutso2470d ago

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?

Rainstorm812470d ago

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.

Rainstorm812470d ago (Edited 2470d ago )

double post......(damn N4G)

milohighclub2470d ago

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.

FlashBack2470d ago

Elena Fischer
Alyx Vance

just some example
They aren't fat, ugly and dumb, and look and sound good.

Rainstorm812470d ago (Edited 2470d ago )

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....

nanometric2470d ago


I guess you didn't find the camera ;)

Baka-akaB2471d ago (Edited 2471d ago )

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 .