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T O P I C
Caryn wrote...
January 15th 2005, 16:20 CET by Charles

Caryn Wrote #1033-1255

Totally off-topic: \"Getting the Girl\" by Zoe Flowers.

First, this is FAR better than the awful stuff that constitutes her GirlSpy column at GameSpy. I wouldn't have known this was written by her if her name wasn't on it. I wish she'd write stuff more along the lines of this quality in her GirlSpy column.

Second, here are two quotes from the article that I think are great:

"It's a challenging concept to attempt when body language and atmosphere are confined by things like polygon limits," admits Associate Producer Melissa Miller. "Early on, we conducted a focus test specifically with female gamers. They liked the concept of Kurenai but felt she was showing too much skin with the short kimono. Once we justified the need for some sexiness with the seduction mechanic, they bought into Kurenai completely and were really excited about playing her."


So, rather than actually put more clothes on the character when female gamers didn't like that she was showing a lot of skin, they instead went completely in the other direction and added seduction as a gameplay element for the character. On the one hand, I think it's odd that they didn't just cover up the character more, and on the other I find it bizarre and interesting that the women reacted positively to that change.

Producer Yozo Sakagami of Namco's Death by Degrees, featuring Tekken's Nina, expressed a similar design challenge when trying to achieve what his team calls "functional beauty in combat." It turns out that Nina's bikini and catsuit are more than just eye candy. "The outfit designs were based on ease of movement and variation in appearance," states Sakagami. "Depending on whether an attack connects with bare or clothed skin, the resulting damage differs."


Okay, so let me get this straight: she's scantily clad because it actually helps her fight? Riiiiiiiight.

Flowers also links to The Frag Dolls, an all-female clan that was put together and sponsored by UbiSoft to promote women gamers and to break the common stereotypes about female gamers.

I only first heard about them a week or so ago via some other news story, so I know absolutely nothing about them, which means the following statement is probably just me being catty: why do they all just happen to look so pretty picture perfect and photogenic? I can't imagine that was by chance, since I've seen a lot of female gamers and there's quite a broad spectrum there.
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#1 by Chunkstyle
2005-01-15 16:25:41
People like beauty.  Look at the mmogs, tons of people are playing the humans and elves, not so many playing undead, orcs or ogres.  Given a choice the majority would rather play an attractive, sexy protagonist than a mundane one.

Half-Life of course is the example that proves me wrong.

Game Developers: Don't forget the zombie monkeys.
#2 by E-ph0nk
2005-01-15 16:30:35
http://www.electrophonk.be
But both the underdog and the "common man" as hero also work well.  Enough movies to support that.

#3 by Marsh Davies
2005-01-15 16:37:16
www.verbalchilli.com
I support narrative logic in gaming, so therefore it annoys me when every female character you meet is basically a real-doll.

And as I said when this was originally posted, "It also surprises me that people need really obvious visual clues to find something sexy." It is possible to have sexy or attractive characters which don't wear absurd rubber costumes etc. I mean, if you need the crass unsubtley of a neon sign reading FUCK FUCK FUCK flashing above a mound of palpatating cleavage, then your primal urges just aren't working properly.

#4 by Comothinon
2005-01-15 16:51:51
Ah crap. When I read the front page synopsis of this thread, I thought it was going to be the 'science is a religion' asskicking that Caryn gave all the fundi science haters.

Apparently, it's all the rage right now to link to really crap sites, so I figure when in Rome...
#5 by yotsuya
2005-01-15 17:19:43
So are the Frag Dolls literally corporate whores?

"yot's a religious nut that really truly actually believes in a physical heaven with a graybearded man on a throne with an individual master plan for all of us and a Make A Mountain clay kit nearby"- gaggle
#6 by Penguinx
2005-01-15 17:25:17
I understand Caryn's apparent disgust with the situation, but I don't know what to add to the discussion here. Is it any surprise that sex sells? I think it's as pathetic as can be that the only female gamers getting attention have above average cup sizes and below average pants sizes -whattya gonna do about it?

At the end of the day the hatred was able to be smelled. - Ryslin
[Penguinx is] A stupid child. - G-Man
#7 by m0nty
2005-01-15 17:25:52
http://tinfinger.blogspot.com
The Frag Dolls blog entry about one of them beating Fatal1ty at disco pong was ruined by the GIF of him as a pimp with a Doll on each arm.
#8 by Gunp01nt
2005-01-15 17:26:36
supersimon33@hotmail.com
#2 E-ph0nk
But both the underdog and the "common man" as hero also work well.  Enough movies to support that.


Sure, but if you had the option to choose whether you'd play the attractive person over the unattractive person. At least, the great majority of people would. Chalk it down to lack of imagination in most people.

Would you like to supersize or... BURN FOR ETERNITY?
#9 by m0nty
2005-01-15 17:40:55
http://tinfinger.blogspot.com
The moral of this story is that Gaming Journalism as an institution completely sucks at representing the female gamer through their journalists, because the publishers try too hard to make it about their femaleness as a marketing tool.

My advice, FWIW, is to have female gaming journalists, of course, but don't keep on banging on about how they possess yonis. Put a headshot up, sure, we can see she wears lipstick, great. But don't treat female gaming journalists differently. Equality is what female gamers desire, not to be made an example of or to be fawned over as a Shining Example To Us All. If you make a big thing out of a female journalist's gender, you are reinforcing female gamers' differentness, which is the exact opposite of what they want, in my experience.

Now, that's not to say that female gaming journos should knuckle under to be "one of the guys". Aping the blokey nature of much gaming journalism would not be great either. Female gaming journalists will tend to report things a little differently, but what the industry is crying out for is a bit of subtlety. Do not push it, at all. Let them find their own voice, and let them take control when they're ready. It makes good long-term business sense for gaming publishers to groom quality female journalists, but they have to show a bit of respect for the intelligence of their readership, which is now very much older than it used to be.

Of course, I'm attacking the publishers, but without meeting any of these people I don't know if it's the corporate gospel converting otherwise normal girls into brainless focus-group-marketed monstrosities, or whether Flower herself has spent too much time soaking up the sexism of the industry and is subconsciously reflecting it back of her own volition. Whoever is the one to blame for dumbing down female gaming journalists, please stop it.
#10 by Marsh Davies
2005-01-15 17:47:10
www.verbalchilli.com
m0nty
My advice, FWIW, is to have female gaming journalists, of course, but don't keep on banging on about how they possess yonis. Put a headshot up, sure, we can see she wears lipstick, great. But don't treat female gaming journalists differently. Equality is what female gamers desire, not to be made an example of or to be fawned over as a Shining Example To Us All. If you make a big thing out of a female journalist's gender, you are reinforcing female gamers' differentness, which is the exact opposite of what they want, in my experience.


Totally agree 100%. And in fact, I think this approach is the best way to combat any equality.

#11 by Ashiran
2005-01-15 17:50:29
Dude, you said yonis.

Nihil nequeo.
#12 by Charles
2005-01-15 18:14:08
www.bluh.org
I asked my girlfriend about this stuff, using Soul Calibur 2 as a reference, and she said she didn't like the skimpy costumes simply because they looked stupid.  She enjoys that there are multiple costumes to pick from, many of which are far more covering, making the character look better.

I don't think the Frag Dolls are necessarily completely fake.  They might be on the Ubisoft payroll, but I'm not sure they could just hire a few actors or whatnot to get the job done.  There are some things that point to them being real.  I mean, it's a very geek thing to do for one of the fragdolls to photoshop her head on to a picture of Padme in her white AOTC outfit.  

As for Caryn's question about the pictures... well, they were obviously done professionally, with professional makeup and lighting.  I find that most women are inherently more pretty than not, and professional makeup can do magic with people, so I don't think that that's an argument against them being real.  

Also, regarding the seduction mechanic, I think Caryn read that part wrong.  I'm pretty sure it was already in, and the focus group didn't like the outfit until they were told that there was an actual reason for it.

But I think what I liked best about the article was the discovery that women are at the top of a bunch of games that people tend to think are degrading to women or whatever.  Just shows that there's a wide spectrum of people out there, and just like how I'm a guy who doesn't agree with all this focus on sexing up the main characters, there are girls who go out of their way to do it.

The industry is slowly moving to a more mature place to be, and the more that happens the more women will end up in development, and I do think the problem will sort itself out.  Not only that, but there is a rising amount of girls who play games which must end up having influence on game design as well.

Do-Re-Mi-Fa-SO-LONG-FUCKER!
#13 by planetcrap
2005-01-15 18:16:38
www.planetcrap.com
Ah, a thread on the politics of meatbag sexuality. How demoralizing.

Powered by blah 0.9-dev • PlanetCrap is © 1997-2004 Hendrik "Morn" Mans
#14 by MCorleone
2005-01-15 18:17:30
So, rather than actually put more clothes on the character when female gamers didn't like that she was showing a lot of skin, they instead went completely in the other direction and added seduction as a gameplay element for the character. On the one hand, I think it's odd that they didn't just cover up the character more, and on the other I find it bizarre and interesting that the women reacted positively to that change.


I'm more interested in the psychology behind the objection and irritation that female gamers are okay with the idea of seduction within a game.  What's so strange about it?  Maybe I'm out of touch as a male, but is it truly a desire of the female gaming community to have an environ where they don't have to worry about sexuality or seduction?  I guess I could see it from both perspectives - If you're an attractive female you may want to stop having guys hound you while you're trying to unwind, but if you're unattractive I'm sure that the prospect of being attractive or seducing males within an alternate reality would be fun and interesting.  As I first said though, why the initial reaction of "Wow, why would they be comfortable with sexuality?"

I'm angry. I'm very angry, Ralph. You know, you can ball my wife if she wants you to. You can lounge around here on her sofa, in her ex-husband's dead-tech, post-modernistic bullshit house if you want to. But you do not get to watch my fucking television set!
#15 by MCorleone
2005-01-15 18:25:10
Also:

Brooklyn:  Slightly attractive (7)
Eekers:  Slightly above average (5.5)
Jinx:  Not my type but attractive (6.5)
Katscratch:  Hot.  (8-8.5)
Rhoulette:  Generally unattractive (4)
Seppuku:  Average + Asian subjective asian fetish (5+1 = 6)
Valkyrie:  Slightly attractive 7

I'm angry. I'm very angry, Ralph. You know, you can ball my wife if she wants you to. You can lounge around here on her sofa, in her ex-husband's dead-tech, post-modernistic bullshit house if you want to. But you do not get to watch my fucking television set!
#16 by Sgt Hulka
2005-01-15 18:41:45
I have nothing to add to this coversation, so I'll say this instead. Dean Stockwell (Al on Quantum Leap) was the original voice of Duke Nukem (1992)

#17 by Caryn
2005-01-15 18:50:42
carynlaw@pacbell.net http://www.hellchick.net
As I first said though, why the initial reaction of "Wow, why would they be comfortable with sexuality?"

The question for me was, "why does allowing seduction make the traditionally skimpy game girl outfit okay?" That's poorly phrased, though; I can't really convey accurately my honest interest in that scenario from the article. I don't think it's good or bad that the seduction mechanic changed the female gamers' perceptions the way it did. I just wonder why it did, because the reaction surprised me. If I were in that group, I'd have likely found that a really gimmicky explanation for her skimpy outfits. But I probably approach that from a bias; I think many male game developers (not all, obviously) just would rather put up a skimpy Lara Croft or DOA Volleyball type character than actually put any thought into a more realistic character.

On the other hand, I find the reaction of those female gamers refreshing. In my games I always choose to play a female, and I always choose to play the sexiest-looking character in the game. Why? I guess because if I'm going to be playing in a fantasy world, I want to look like the perfect woman. I have some pretty strong insecurities; I have no idea if they play a role in my choice of character. That's why this subject is usually a complicated one for me. I would prefer to see more Jades or Alyxs in my games, and if I had a choice between those types of characters or the skimpy sexed up bunny characters, I'd definitely choose the former. But sometimes...I really want to just play the hot chick.

Spiritual life can be regarded as a course of gradual recovery from the addiction to the peculiar type of awareness that splits everything into subject and object. - George Feuerstein
#18 by Caryn
2005-01-15 18:51:40
carynlaw@pacbell.net http://www.hellchick.net
Also, on reflection I agree with Charles that my assessment of the Frag Dolls was not only off base but pretty catty and dismissive. Like him I tend to think that most girls are inherently attractive, and naturally when you're going to have your picture taken to be put up on a web site by a professional, you're going to look your best.

Spiritual life can be regarded as a course of gradual recovery from the addiction to the peculiar type of awareness that splits everything into subject and object. - George Feuerstein
#19 by Caryn
2005-01-15 18:57:31
carynlaw@pacbell.net http://www.hellchick.net
But don't treat female gaming journalists differently. Equality is what female gamers desire, not to be made an example of or to be fawned over as a Shining Example To Us All.

This is a double-edged sword. Female gamers should definitely not be given extra attention solely because they're female. But at the same time I definitely believe that on the whole female gamers have an entirely different take and perspective on games than male gamers do, and I think that difference is a valuable thing to include and discuss. So in essence, I think it's okay to view their opinions as something interesting in and of themselves apart from that of a male gamer, but I don't think they should get additional or special attention that puts them higher or lower.

Spiritual life can be regarded as a course of gradual recovery from the addiction to the peculiar type of awareness that splits everything into subject and object. - George Feuerstein
#20 by Ashiran
2005-01-15 18:59:29
Hat trick!

Nihil nequeo.
#21 by anaqer
2005-01-15 19:02:41
I don't think you abolutely, positively have to look stunning if you want any sort of media coverage as a female gamer. Sure, it helps, but if you're good enough you can get away even with below average looks. (Think Kornelia.)

I DO NOT CHEAT.
I just play by extended rules.
#22 by deadlock
2005-01-15 19:07:16
http://www.deadlocked.org/
Caryn:
I definitely believe that on the whole female gamers have an entirely different take and perspective on games than male gamers do, and I think that difference is a valuable thing to include and discuss.

It's not just games that we have a different perspective on, it's pretty much everything. There was a great article in a recent Sunday newspaper here that illustrated it quite well. It was ostensibly a review of the first episode of Desperate Housewives, which had been shown that week. The reviewer (a man) basically said it was a serialised chicklit novel featuring, as it did, the usual chick lit stereotypes and scenarios: randy housewive, perfect housewife with errant husband, widowed housewive and so on (I'm paraphrasing here, so if I've gotten that list wrong it's my bad). Then he posed the question: if Desperate Housewives is just televised chick lit then why do so many men watch it (US sports networks have reported a decline in ratings when the show is broadcast)? His answer was that although men and women are watching the same programme, they're seeing two different things; women are seeing their favourite chick lit storylines played out 'live' - men are watching soft porn.

Some people are afraid to croak
But Jimmy drank until he choked
And took the road for Heaven in the morning.
#23 by Marsh Davies
2005-01-15 19:14:56
www.verbalchilli.com
Desperate Housewives would be good if it didn't have a voice-over going: "THIS IS A JOKE HERE! LOOK: I'M MAKING A JOKE! LOOK: IRONY! HA! LAUGH NOW PLEASE!"

Actually it might not be good anyway, but I only watched it up until the point where the voice over irritated the fuck out of me.

#24 by Hugin
2005-01-15 19:26:27
lmccain@nber.org
Pretty much every female gamer I know will, if given a choice, play a sexy character at least sometimes.  So sexiness isn't the problem.  It's 1. Lack of choice. 2. That some games/game companies go beyond sexy all the way into ridiculous tastlesslessness.  

Cute is good.  

Sexy may well be fine in many cases.  

Whore is bad.

Also, I find that a lot of the female gamers I know, when it comes specifically to clothing, object to clothing not based necessarily on how skimpy or sexy it is, but whether or not it looks uncomfortable.  If the outfit makes the woman look like she'd be suffocating behind her own breasts, or if what appear to be sharp metal bits are digging into crotches, or when comparing the costume to the setting the woman ought to be freezing to death, that gets a stronger objection.
#25 by BobJustBob
2005-01-15 19:34:17
Desperate Housewives would be good if it didn't have a voice-over going: "THIS IS A JOKE HERE! LOOK: I'M MAKING A JOKE! LOOK: IRONY! HA! LAUGH NOW PLEASE!"

Actually it might not be good anyway, but I only watched it up until the point where the voice over irritated the fuck out of me.


No, it's quite good.

Dood.
#26 by hangedmanAG
2005-01-15 19:44:27
www.livejournal.com/users/hangedman_ag/
I have a problem with the whole porn-star look of female video characters.  I would love to see a major character with a small top and big hips, but I don't expect it anytime...well, ever.  Sex sells, men are the dominant demographic, blah...blah...see comics.

I am surprised with the kinda Uncle Tom-ish comments in the article by female game workers.  It is like part of their job is thinking of some inane reason to justify why their company's character looks like a sex toy.

My crummy, little DVD collection
My crummy little life
#27 by BobJustBob
2005-01-15 19:46:30
Bleh. Games use sex to sell. So do movies, magazines, commercials in general, some books, etc. Pretty much our entire society.

Dood.
#28 by Sgt Hulka
2005-01-15 19:48:40
Bob, I'm using sex to sell this post, and you like it!

#29 by BobJustBob
2005-01-15 19:50:16
I sure do.

*enlarges Hulka's icon*

Dood.
#30 by Warren Marshall
2005-01-15 19:58:33
http://www.wantonhubris.com/
For anyone interested in this subject, I'm currently reading a great book about game design as it relates to the female audience:

Gender Inclusive Game Design

Tons of great info on what makes a game design work for females, and which things turn them off your game before they even try it.

"Cheap Garbage Disposal Can’t Handle Femur"
#31 by jjohnsen
2005-01-15 20:08:34
http://www.johnsenclan.com
Also, I find that a lot of the female gamers I know, when it comes specifically to clothing, object to clothing not based necessarily on how skimpy or sexy it is, but whether or not it looks uncomfortable.  If the outfit makes the woman look like she'd be suffocating behind her own breasts, or if what appear to be sharp metal bits are digging into crotches, or when comparing the costume to the setting the woman ought to be freezing to death, that gets a stronger objection.

This is the biggest thing I notice with my wife.  If there is a character wearing skimpy clothing, she doesn't mention that it looks pornographic or sexy, she always mentioned how uncomfortable that outfit would be, or how much her boobs would hurt running around in it.  She alos thinks its stupid that a guy might be dressed in a jacket and long pants out in the wilderness, but a woman in the same setting will be wearing shorts and a tank top.  And she totally mocks DOA games.

Actually, the liberalism of the media - as a general thing - IS a major fallacy. What the media is, is a whore.  -LP
#32 by Your Friend
2005-01-15 21:54:13
Brooklyn:  Not do-able
Eekers:  Do-able
Jinx:  Do-able
Katscratch:  Totally do-able
Rhoulette:  Four beers
Seppuku:  Do-able
Valkyrie:  Not do-able

KOOK KOOK KOOK KOOK
 KOOK KOOK KOOK KOOK
KOOK KOOK KOOK KOOK
#33 by Wudi
2005-01-15 22:02:51
Drones.

Let me sum this up for all of you.

FAT CHICK JEALOUS/TALKS SMACK BECAUSE SKINNY GIRLS DRESS SEXY/ARE HOT.

Sorry Hippy McFatty. Noone wants to look at your jelly rolls while your fat ass wears a belly shirt.

Also in the news
WATER IS WET!!!

Zep--

Inverted Mouse 4 Life, YO!
#34 by m0nty
2005-01-15 22:08:26
http://tinfinger.blogspot.com
A worthy second-placegetter in PlanetCrap's Worst Attempt At A Troll 2004 TOTY awards.
#35 by Wudi
2005-01-15 22:10:50
Is it a troll when it's the truth?

Zep--

Inverted Mouse 4 Life, YO!
#36 by G-Man
2005-01-15 22:19:08
#23 Marsh Davies
Desperate Housewives would be good if it didn't have a voice-over going: "THIS IS A JOKE HERE! LOOK: I'M MAKING A JOKE! LOOK: IRONY! HA! LAUGH NOW PLEASE!"

Actually it might not be good anyway, but I only watched it up until the point where the voice over irritated the fuck out of me.

Agreed, plus I have low tolerance for cliches and unintentional surrealism.

#24 Hugin
Pretty much every female gamer I know will, if given a choice, play a sexy character at least sometimes.  So sexiness isn't the problem.  It's 1. Lack of choice. 2. That some games/game companies go beyond sexy all the way into ridiculous tastlesslessness.

I don't think that developers should waste any time on providing "alternative" avatars. To me it is sort of like an establishment clause issue: If you support any alternatives you eventually have to support them all and the association and co-option of the alternatives degrades both parties. Besides, developers should have higher priorities, like say, game design, performance and marketing. I guess you could argue that offering alternatives might increase marketability, but I think that it would only work a few times as a gimmick. I mean, imagine if every (character based) game had a CoH or Sims 2 style character creation process at the beginning of it. Who really wants that and how would it really matter? Outside of 3rd person games and MMORPGs where people react to your outward appearance to a degree, who even notices what your character is supposed to look like or cares about it? In Quake I was myself. Idem for pretty much every other shooter ever made.

Finally, most games aren't even character based, and I don't see that changing anytime soon, despite attempts by people like Scott Miller and David Freeman etc to movie-ize game development. Is the god avatar your represent in Populous secretly a black lesbian? Or the driver in racing games, players in sports games, RTS units, etc etc.

#27 BobJustBob
Bleh. Games use sex to sell. So do movies, magazines, commercials in general, some books, etc. Pretty much our entire society.

I'm really dissapointed in you Bob. You of all people should be familiar enough with the actual state, and wider scope, of the gaming industry, to know that this isn't true. Most games do NOT use sex to sell. You, like most people, are just focused on fantasy RPGs and 3rd person perspective action/adventure games. And not even all of those types of games are glaring sexual stereotypes. I mean most platformers feature highly abstracted people if they ever feature humans at all as playable characters. See Mario, Jak, Crash Bandicoot, Spyro, etc. I personally would prefer humans to the Disneyification of the platformer genre that Nintendo's influence spawned, but that isn't the way the market cuts. Next time you feel like railing on the sexism of the industry, try to sit down and actually list the offenders. In an industry which sees the release of thousands of games a year, you will probably be hard pressed to name more than a few dozen titles a year which really sexualize female characters gratuitously. When you say stuff like the above, you sound like those clueless people who complain about the violence in games and then go on to talk about Doom and Postal as if they represent the core of the modern gaming industry.
#37 by mgns
2005-01-15 22:21:21
What really pisses me off is when games that don't even have scantily clad ladies in them use booth babes and cleavage-ads to up the hype. Because, hey!, it's false advertising.

Three rabbits are sitting on a log, and one goes home and hangs himself. Buy a bike!
#38 by Duality
2005-01-15 22:27:58
Dualipuff@yahoo.com http://stratoscape.ath.cx/
#12 Charles
I don't think the Frag Dolls are necessarily completely fake.  They might be on the Ubisoft payroll, but I'm not sure they could just hire a few actors or whatnot to get the job done.  There are some things that point to them being real.  I mean, it's a very geek thing to do for one of the fragdolls to photoshop her head on to a picture of Padme in her white AOTC outfit.  

They're real.  Insofar as they are gamers.  And female.  Apparently, one of them is one of the leaders of Clan PMS (not the same group, and not affiliated with the old Clan PMS that played Quake/QuakeII).  But they apparently were not a group of girls that were a clan and got UbiSoft's sponsorship.  They were all hired and contracted by UbiSoft.  Think American Idol for girl gamers.

Personally, I'm insulted with their generally unoriginal names.

I'm not really sure I agree with the way the Frag Dolls have been implemented.  This is a really interesting article I came across that goes a long ways in explaining my feelings on the subject.  Having a place for female gamers who are otherwise intimidated by online gaming, and especially online gaming where the participants are predominantly male (FPS', for example) is a great thing.  Having skilled gamers out in the open, visible to the community at large is a great thing.  Having the two put together by a company as a method of advertising their products?  Not so much.

#30 Warren Marshall
For anyone interested in this subject, I'm currently reading a great book about game design as it relates to the female audience:

Gender Inclusive Game Design

Tons of great info on what makes a game design work for females, and which things turn them off your game before they even try it.

The sample bits available were a really interesting read.  Even if I have no interest in game design, I think I may pick this book up.  Thanks, Warren.

Professor Acorn Short of An Oaktree
#39 by G-Man
2005-01-15 22:34:12
Disclosure: I fooled around with one of the PMS girls years ago when I used to go to LAN parties a lot. She wasn't like the Frag Dolls though.
#40 by BobJustBob
2005-01-15 22:38:07
I'm really dissapointed in you Bob. You of all people should be familiar enough with the actual state, and wider scope, of the gaming industry, to know that this isn't true. Most games do NOT use sex to sell.


I'm really disappointed in you, G-Man. Nowhere have I ever said most games use sex to sell.

Dood.
#41 by planetcrap
2005-01-15 23:01:27
www.planetcrap.com
Anal retentive logic, complete apathy towards aesthetics, interest in only abstract systems....

Bob, are you one of us?

Powered by blah 0.9-dev • PlanetCrap is © 1997-2004 Hendrik "Morn" Mans
#42 by gaggle
2005-01-15 23:01:54
Who's that Johnathon Wendel the girls mention in their blogs? I've never heard of him, but apparently he's the hottest shit in competitive gaming?



I wanted to to stray more on-topic, but I don't seem to have anything to add. The whole sexification of females in games seems to me like those silly Hollywood bigbudget actionflics. It's the same instant-appeal attitude presented. The problem is the gamingindustry, in this context, is basically 100% pure Hollywood drivel so there are few places to escape it. Maybe we'll outgrow it, I certainly don't know.

Last time I came into contact with the Generic Female Cliché was in Prince of Persia 2, just another grindingly annoying part of that game. But other than that, I.. nothing pops to mind. Maybe WoW? But I don't remember thinking the characters wore too skimpy outfits. Sure that Tauren female was pretty hot with no clothes on, but usually everybody wore their Armor Of Gender Indistinction +60. Other than that, all I remember playing is stuff like Warhammer, Battlefield and whatnot, and no all-but-naked women characters pops to mind. Is this issue mostly limited to consoles I wonder? That would certainly fit my outdated experience of consolegames as a collectivly trite and shallow experience.

Hm, I guess I did manage to stray on-topic afterall.



And good link Warren, the Amazon preview reads nicely *adds to wishlist for later purchase*.



And just a totally random rant: JESUS!, there's a neighbor that keeps coughing. Or sneezing. He'll nodoubt start again some time in the middle of the night. Whatever it is I can hear it through the walls and it's DRIVING ME NUTS!

"Welcome to OffshorePharm, your offshore, online solution for quality generic medications at affordable prices! You will find your entire experience with us pleasant, honest, and rewarding."
#43 by Charles
2005-01-15 23:20:14
www.bluh.org
Thinking...

Do-Re-Mi-Fa-SO-LONG-FUCKER!
#44 by Charles
2005-01-15 23:20:21
www.bluh.org
Lies.

Do-Re-Mi-Fa-SO-LONG-FUCKER!
#45 by Charles
2005-01-15 23:21:48
www.bluh.org
G-Man
I'm really dissapointed in you Bob. You of all people should be familiar enough with the actual state, and wider scope, of the gaming industry, to know that this isn't true. Most games do NOT use sex to sell. You, like most
people, are just focused on fantasy RPGs and 3rd person perspective action/adventure games. And not even all of those types of games are glaring sexual stereotypes. I mean most platformers feature highly abstracted people if they ever feature humans at all as playable characters. See Mario, Jak, Crash Bandicoot, Spyro, etc. I personally would prefer humans to the Disneyification of the platformer genre that Nintendo's influence spawned, but that isn't the way the market cuts. Next time you feel like railing on the sexism of the industry, try to sit down and actually list the offenders. In an industry which sees the release of thousands of games a year, you will probably be hard pressed to name more than a few dozen titles a year which really sexualize female characters gratuitously. When you say stuff like the above, you sound like those clueless people who complain about the violence in games and then go on to talk about Doom and Postal as if they represent the core of the modern gaming industry.


Very good point, and I agree on pretty much all counts.  However, that doesn't mean that the games out there are largely inclusive towards women.

Do-Re-Mi-Fa-SO-LONG-FUCKER!
#46 by G-Man
2005-01-15 23:47:08
#45 Charles
Very good point, and I agree on pretty much all counts.  However, that doesn't mean that the games out there are largely inclusive towards women.

Yes. And that is the TRUE issue out there regarding the accessibility of games to women, but it gets overshadowed by the above garbage. Just like the issue of violence in gaming overshadows the true issue of formulaic mediocrity in certain genres.
#47 by Hugin
2005-01-15 23:59:37
lmccain@nber.org
#36 by G-Man

I don't think that developers should waste any time on providing "alternative" avatars. To me it is sort of like an establishment clause issue: If you support any alternatives you eventually have to support them all and the association and co-option of the alternatives degrades both parties.


G-Man, in this particular case I mean lack of choice in cases where there's already a choosing process.  For example, in EQ2, I can change the height of a female avatar, and I can change a whole lot about an avatar's face, but I can't do anything about her (huge) bust.  Same thing in some fighting games.  Several female characters to choose from, but they (or their costumes) are all hypersexualized.  

Also, lack of choice in the overall marketplace, where if there's a human woman(and you've argued correctly there isn't in many games), that human woman will tend to be 1. Extremely busty, and/or 2. Scantily clad.

I recognize that I have a particular fetish for avatar customization in games.  ButI agree that for some games, a detailed character customization process doesn't make sense. I just object to the "You can get her in any color so long as it's double D and naked." thing.
#48 by Caryn
2005-01-16 02:01:11
carynlaw@pacbell.net http://www.hellchick.net
I agree with what Duality said. The concept of an all-female gaming clan doesn't bother me -- in fact I started one back in the Quake 1 days (Hell's Belles), but I didn't start it with the intention of it being all-girl, it grew that way organically. Playing with women is a far, far different experience than playing with men, and as I connected with other female gamers we found we really liked playing as a team. So our clan sort of grew that way.

I dislike the commercialization of it, I think, more than anything. It's being used as a PR tool, and therefore the worth of the Frag Dolls unfortunately might as well be that of the booth babe. Someone might say, "so what? Why does everything have to have a noble intention? Why can't it be JUST a fun PR tool?" It can, and that's fine as long as that's the clear intention. Here, though, it's being used as a PR tool AND, as the interviews have put it, as a way to advance the visibility and better image of the female gamer.

When I write it out and think about that, though, I wonder why I think there's an inherent conflict between those two ideas. I don't know, maybe there isn't.

Spiritual life can be regarded as a course of gradual recovery from the addiction to the peculiar type of awareness that splits everything into subject and object. - George Feuerstein
#49 by mgns
2005-01-16 02:12:05
I wouldn't say there's an inherent conflict between the two, not having examined it in any greater detail. But judging from past efforts from, well, just about any for-profit organisation, combining both PR and honest-to-god good intentions seems to be tougher than manned missions to Mars.

Three rabbits are sitting on a log, and one goes home and hangs himself. Buy a bike!
#50 by Penguinx
2005-01-16 02:32:15
And just a totally random rant: JESUS!, there's a neighbor that keeps coughing. Or sneezing. He'll nodoubt start again some time in the middle of the night. Whatever it is I can hear it through the walls and it's DRIVING ME NUTS!


Move to a rural area where your closest neighbor is miles away. Worked for me!

At the end of the day the hatred was able to be smelled. - Ryslin
[Penguinx is] A stupid child. - G-Man
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