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Gender Diversity / Politics in games (was Tropes Vs. Women)

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19 minutes ago, NEG said:

 

How's the folk allowed to post in the EU and Election threads doing? They okay?

No idea... Not really seeing the link? Are you not allowed in those threads?

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9 minutes ago, Stoppy2000 said:

No idea... Not really seeing the link? Are you not allowed in those threads?


Don’t engage, just wait for him to say something horrible, report it and we can get another few months peace. 

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2 minutes ago, Broker said:


Don’t engage, just wait for him to say something horrible, report it and we can get another few months peace. 

Sound advice. Next ban should be permanent though. 

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On 09/01/2020 at 19:36, Stoppy2000 said:

No idea... Not really seeing the link?

 

I gave you the appropriate response to your question. Let's leave it there.

 

27th Jan edit: And indeed, it seems we'll be leaving it here forever, as the mods appear to be just fine and dandy with George's post* , and without any indication of wanting to clear up anything privately to me either for several weeks now, means if I continue to post here I'd be on a forum that supports posters like Broker whom seemingly adore cancel culture to the point that they don't care if it kills people, whilst also giving posters like George a free pass for lying and basically not gving a toss how others are spoken to as long as it fits a certain set agenda they really wish was 'fact' but isn't, and won't ever be. To me that is a disgusting standard of morals and treatment that I will not be supporting.

 

To the many who don't even pay attention to this thread and similar bubbled drama threads, continue to have fun gaming. I'll be around.

 

*whom seems to lack any ounce of self awareness when he says something like 'you’re doing that thing where you attach the intent you want to see in people to fit your argument and put words in their mouth because you’re disingenuous as shit." 

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Gita Jackson and Joshua Rivera touch briefly on diversity issues in the industry in their leaving Kotaku article.

 

https://www.kotaku.com.au/2020/01/goodbye-from-josh-and-gita/

 



Josh: This industry—part of this, is just also capitalism, right? But it’s unkind to things that it perceives as aberrations or different, you know what I mean? Everybody talks about how diversification is good and they’ll give you all these incentives, like maths reasons why it’s good. But culturally, no one really wants that. They just want to hang out with people like them.

Gita: I don’t think that video games are any more or less racist than society at large. We see it very clearly because it’s such a small community and very, very tight knit. And I think that video game marketing divisions have encouraged the kind of quote unquote passion that leads to people becoming overly invested in a commercial product to the point they feel like they need to defend multimillion dollar corporations. And that is the thing that I think is more toxic than just the bald-faced prejudice, is this really intense, unyielding, deeply conservative economic viewpoint on video games and the people who make them. It’s purely a dollars game. And it’s all about corporations. And treating those corporations as people. And that is the thing that holds video games back and holds the people that love video games back more than anything.

Josh: I think you were talking about how, it’s not that games are more or less racist than the rest of society. It’s just that games are set up in such a way that video game fans are conditioned to believe nothing is wrong. Right?

 

 

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"Josh: I think you were talking about how, it’s not that games are more or less racist than the rest of society. It’s just that games are set up in such a way that video game fans are conditioned to believe nothing is wrong. Right?"

 

This is basically "Video games cause violence" pish.

 

Gita's comment is great.

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I think he means games as a community are set up that way (which is absolutely true right now, these impassioned articles in the right wing press about the importance of absolutely not addressing gender or sex or race issues in games).

 

Josh: Where most people can look at the world and be like, you know, Oh—


Gita: “Some things are wrong.”

 

Josh: Some things are wrong! You know, like “the NFL should care more about concussions.”

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Interesting survey results at Gamasutra about why women quit game development.

 

https://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/356804/The_top_7_reasons_women_quit_game_development.php?

 

Quote

Pixelles, a feminist non-profit, also started by focusing on training up new, aspiring, and junior women developers. But after speaking to some aspiring narrative designers, a mentor pulled me aside to express concern.

“I can’t do this anymore,” she said. “They all want to work at my old studio. The one that I’m still going to therapy for years later. I can’t in good conscience help them enter that meat grinder.”

It stopped us in our tracks. She was right. Churn in games has always been a source of concern, but marginalized people burn out and leave the industry at a significantly faster rate than their colleagues*. And when the average career is five years long, that means they’re churning very quickly indeed. That’s why we’ve started our career accelerator here in Montreal a few years ago (previously called a co-development or peer mentorship), kindly sponsored this year by Motive Studios EA.

What does it matter if your diverse hires don’t stick around once they’re experienced?

 

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Some old arguments about the financial viability of female characters in games reborn thanks to surprise hit Escape from Tarkov.

 

https://www.theverge.com/2020/1/7/21055124/escape-from-tarkov-playable-female-characters-excuse-immersion-sexism

 



This time, it’s courtesy of Escape from Tarkov creator Battlestate Games, which offered two convenient excuses for why — despite the requests of many players — it will not let you play as a female character in its ultra-realistic military survival sim.

Excuse number one is that, as the Russian-based developer explained on Twitter, playable female characters can’t be included “because of game lore.” It’s not exactly clear what that means, but Battlestate seems to be suggesting that its game, which is set in a fictional region of Russia and features an armed conflict between fictional private military companies, doesn’t have a narrative that supports female combatants.

That’s despite the insurmountable narrative evidence of female characters who are present in pretty much every piece of post-apocalyptic fiction ever made — because, you know, women exist — and in basically every other military survival sim and battle royale shooter on the market.

Excuse number two is a bit more forthright: “there will be no playable female characters because of... the huge amount of work needed with animations, gear fitting etc.”

 

 

Some people are getting tired of having to fight the same representation battle over and over.

 

https://www.kotaku.com.au/2020/01/we-keep-having-the-same-video-game-arguments-and-its-driving-me-bonkers/

 



On its face, this conversation isn’t even about whether women should be represented. That’s a no-brainer. The answer is yes. But instead of tackling the question of whether games should be diverse and acting accordingly, people keep finding ways to reframe it as a question of whether they can be, minimising their own culpability. And so gaming culture circles the drain and repeats the same discussions over and over.

We have a discussion about inclusion, one way or another. We achieve some level of “awareness,” or something. But then the discussion repeats. There will always be another Tarkov, another Battlefield V, another Radical Heights. There will always be a new excuse: costs, lore, “accuracy.” The inclusion of female soldiers in Battlefield V led historical purists to lose their minds at the idea that a woman could do more in the middle of a war than faint from a sudden onset of “the vapors.” It got so bad that the game’s subreddit had to ban discussion on the topic of “historical accuracy.”

 

Of course this will cost the game...oh hang on...

 

https://www.polygon.com/2020/1/8/21055397/escape-from-tarkov-explained-twitch-drops-battlestate

 

In the final week of 2019, a nearly 3-year-old video game called Escape From Tarkov rocketed to the top of Twitch. It hurtled past names like League of Legends, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, and even Fortnite to become the most-viewed title on the world’s most popular game streaming platform.

 

Going back to the Kotaku article the author makes the point

 



Yet still we often see developers design for certain defaults. Tarkov is a punishing military shooter. Men are obviously the default, right? If playable women are added now, pockets of the internet would be aghast that Battlestate Games pandered to social justice warriors and women who don’t even play Tarkov. Except we do play games like Tarkov and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Insurgency. Some of us are even pretty good at it.

One way or another, there will always be the eternal question: Women, can they do things? What things can they do? As long as we keep allowing people to pretend it hasn’t been answered, they’ll keep treating it like an unsolvable problem.

 

And she's right but from the developer's point of view there's a problem there with the calculus.

 

We have a game with a following where men and (some) women are playing.

 

Will adding female characters now that we've painted ourselves into a corner with past comments add more players than we will lose from some believing that we're now caving to political demands from the left?

 

And they have painted themselves into a corner here.

 

Note to other publishers, if you want to leave the door open on adding female player characters OR if you want to give a non-answer that will let you off the hook forever far better to go with "we'll look at adding more diverse characters later." Mind you if you look at the success of games with diverse casts like Overwatch you'll be leaving money on the table if you decide to stick with generic young white guy.

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Posted (edited)

Interesting article here talking about female protagonists in FPS / action games and reasons why 2000 might have been considered a banner year in that area.

 

edit

https://www.theringer.com/2020/5/12/21254593/first-person-shooter-perfect-dark-20th-anniversary-female-protagonists

 

Sadly also a reminder that 2000 was actually twenty years ago.

 

Quote

20 years ago, the decade of Duke Nukem, Doomguy, and B.J. Blazkowicz—macho, musclebound, mostly silent FPS protagonists—gave way to a flowering of female-fronted first-person shooters. In a span of six months, from May to November 2000, a quartet of critically acclaimed shooters featured female main or playable characters: Perfect Dark, Medal of Honor: Underground, TimeSplitters, and The Operative: No One Lives Forever. In an era when shooters rarely even offered the option to frag as a female character, all four of those games shipped with women in their box art, and all except TimeSplitters made them the sole playable protagonist.

Edited by Unofficial Who

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On 17/05/2020 at 10:16, Unofficial Who said:

Interesting article here talking about female protagonists in FPS / action games and reasons why 2000 might have been considered a banner year in that area.

 

Sadly also a reminder that 2000 was actually twenty years ago.

 

 

 

 

 

I think those games stemmed from the popularity of the movie 'Barb Wire' with Pamela Anderson (1996). 

 

 

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59 minutes ago, Unofficial Who said:

Interesting article here talking about female protagonists in FPS / action games and reasons why 2000 might have been considered a banner year in that area.

 

Sadly also a reminder that 2000 was actually twenty years ago.

 

 

 

Have you got the link? 

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This seemed to be the best place to put this given the subject matter despite being about cards instead of video games.

 

Moved to action by this twitter thread in which a black queer employee of Cards Against Humanity speaks to her experience of working there https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1269310742450393089.html

 

Anita Sarkeesian has broken her relationship with the company and its founder. https://medium.com/@anitasarkeesian/ending-my-relationship-with-cards-against-humanity-and-max-temkin-2f25108dfeb4

 

 

Excerpts

 



Theresa Stewart’s story, which she shared on Twitter this past weekend, is just one of many stories I’ve heard recently from a whisper network of acquaintances, friends, and former employees about how abusive the environment at the Cards Against Humanity office is to women, particularly women of colour. Please read Theresa’s thread and then come back to this post.

I’ve been complicit in his harm.

I heard about that allegation, and after some time had passed, I continued to be friendly with him. I strongly advocate believing women, but in this particular instance, when it came time for me to uphold that principle and act accordingly, I failed. I have no excuse for this.

As the executive director of a non-profit, I accepted donations from Max and Cards Against Humanity. Max and I have been on each other’s podcasts. I occasionally sought him out for advice. I’ve stayed at his house, and I’ve worked out of the CAH office while in Chicago.

And even though I felt conflicted about it, I kept doing it. I looked around at our mutual friends and didn’t see anyone else having a problem, so I gave myself permission to think that there wasn’t one. I did not realise that they were doing the same to me; they were looking at me, and since I didn’t seem to have a problem, they too assumed there wasn’t one.

This thinking is wrong.

Back in 2014 when the abuse allegations were first published, there were people who spoke up. Various news outlets reported the story, and the XOXO Festival permanently banned Max from attendance. Last year, Carta Monir bravely spoke at an event at the CAH office and confronted the team directly in their own house, calling out Max and the complicity of everyone around him.

I am sorry that my passivity and continued silence contributed more tangible harm towards his targets, and that by continuing to publicly associate with him, I gave targets a reason to fear approaching even public advocates of feminism to ask for help. I never meant to undermine my own work and those of others who create safe, supportive communities, but that’s exactly what I did. And I am sorry that it took me this long to take concrete action.

This is the work. Recognizing my privilege. Recognizing my complicity. Calling myself out. Admitting my role in harm. I have to be willing to admit when I am wrong. I share all of this to acknowledge my responsibility in allowing an abusive man to continue getting away with harm. I want to mend the harm that I’ve done with my silence, and I promise to do better in the future.

 

Much more at the links provided.

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On 17/05/2020 at 14:16, Unofficial Who said:

Interesting article here talking about female protagonists in FPS / action games and reasons why 2000 might have been considered a banner year in that area.

 

Sadly also a reminder that 2000 was actually twenty years ago.

 

 

I dunno how much those choices were about representation as they were about capitalising on the sex symbol phenomenon of Lara Croft, but perhaps each studio had their own (primary or secondary) motivations. 

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The cynic in me says that the majority of early female-protagonist lead action games were often doing it for the novelty more than anything else.
 

Puzzle oriented genres like point-and-click games however were more likely to be taking an honest stab at it.

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We had a discussion about the role of women in videogames recently. Part 1 of that discussion is available to listen to now. Part 2 coming later and a full video version after that. 
 

 

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