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


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7 minutes ago, Sprite Machine said:

Well, presumably you want people to understand you, so it's your problem too. Unless you don't care, in which case you might as well bugger off.

 

I've tried to make myself as clear as possible to you in my 2nd response last night, if that failed, I'm sorry but I tried my best. It's no longer my problem at that point, and continuing to try writing the alphabet will frustrate not only yourself, but me as well. So it's best not bothering, from past experience.

 

7 minutes ago, Sprite Machine said:

The only games you've mentioned on that page are ones that were censored (Fire Emblem and Street Fighter?). I've already said that censorship and criticism are not the same thing.

 

So, I ask again: what negative effect has criticism of tropes had?

 

Censorship and criticism are indeed not the same thing.

 

Critique of tropes resulting in censorship are not different, however. Yes, the developers are 'to blame' to being reactionary, but saying the movement didn't cause them to think twice is silly, I'd say. Again, even with the best of intentions we might have.

 

Though by the sounds of your earlier post, you are completely fine with such things happening, so from your stance, there is no negative. That's fine, but it's an opinion all the same. You have yours, I have mine.

 

 

7 minutes ago, Sprite Machine said:

 

True, what you actually said was gibberish. I'm just trying to understand it.

 

"Wishing devs ignored certain critiques is opinion". - What does this mean? What are you trying to say?

 

I'm sorry but I don't think I can be any clearer than what I've said prior:

 

58 minutes ago, NEG said:

 

Not every trope is equally as bad to every individual, so pretending with the 'We' doesn't work, I'm afraid. 

That doesn't mean those with different concerns shouldn't critique, wishing devs ignored certain critiques is opinion. Aka Mario. 

 

I can grab my ancient Collins Dictionary if the above quote is confusing for you if you like, but I'm not sure that's going to help understanding for you, if indeed you were trying to understand in the first place.

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Oh my fucking goodness.  NEG.  Mate.  It isn't 'censorship'.  

 

a) because that happens after something is created, 

 

and 

 

b) because if an artist decides against creating something, that isn't censorship.  

 

 

If you repeatedly ask someone to stop being a dick, and they eventually think better of being a dick and stop behaving as such, have you censored them?  Or have they just re-decided that being a dick is actually, a bit of a shit thing to do? 

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12 minutes ago, NEG said:

Though by the sounds of your earlier post, you are completely fine with such things happening, so from your stance, there is no negative. That's fine, but it's an opinion all the same. You have yours, I have mine.

I am fine with developers changing things based on criticism, yes.

I am generally not fine with censorship, which is when changes are forced or applied after the fact.

 

Criticising art and the culture in which it exists will lead to changes - not of their existing work but of their future output. It will make developers think and reassess their creative decisions. It will lead to fewer tropes, more equal representations.

If you want the same level of tropes to exist in future as do now, and for representations to continue being as unequal as they are now, you're welcome to make a case for that.

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35 minutes ago, NEG said:

 

 

Critique of tropes resulting in censorship are not different, however. Yes, the developers are 'to blame' to being reactionary, but saying the movement didn't cause them to think twice is silly, I'd say. Again, even with the best of intentions we might have.

 

I would say the last 12 months, from May to May, are probably up there with the best 12 months in videogames long history.. So, yeah if, reactions to the  current climate are to blame then I don't think we have anything to worry about.

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5 minutes ago, Sprite Machine said:


If you want the same level of tropes to exist in future as do now, and for representations to continue being as unequal as they are now, you're welcome to make a case for that.

Thing is, those tropes will continue to exist, they always will, right?  I see it as impossible to completely eradicate them. 

 

It's more that right now, it appears pretty rare - especially in mainstream games - that much thought is put into the depiction of female characters.  

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10 minutes ago, Gizamaluke said:

Does NEG really still think that not choosing to do something and censorship are the same thing after 4 years of this shit? Christ.

 

It's almost like he doesn't listen and having these debates with him is fucking pointless.

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38 minutes ago, NEG said:

saying the movement didn't cause them to think twice is silly

And this is a bad thing because?  The world would be a far fairer and calmer place if everyone 'thought twice'!!

 

If you make some art, and a collection of voices says 'oh, I'm not sure I think that's appropriate', and you think better of it and change it, is that censorship?

 

Spoiler

It isn't.

 

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1 minute ago, dood said:

Thing is, those tropes will continue to exist, they always will, right?  I see it as impossible to completely eradicate them.

If they become uncommon enough to no longer be tropes, then that's kind of the goal, no? Even if it's not likely to happen any time soon. We must keep pushing for it.

 

Or, at least, if tropes are gonna always exist (as a kind of lazy unthinking output, because everyone will always be lazy sometimes), the best we can hope for is that the types of tropes that exist are not ones that marginalize people. Dumb tropes like RPGs having treasure chests in people's houses, or spaceships with exploding consoles - may influence people's perceptions of the real world but aren't specifically harmful to marginalised groups.

 

Veering slightly off topic though. :)

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19 minutes ago, dood said:

Oh my fucking goodness.  NEG.  Mate.  It isn't 'censorship'.  

 

a) because that happens after something is created, 

 

and 

 

b) because if an artist decides against creating something, that isn't censorship.  

 

 

If you repeatedly ask someone to stop being a dick, and they eventually think better of being a dick and stop behaving as such, have you censored them?  Or have they just re-decided that being a dick is actually, a bit of a shit thing to do? 

 

Well in the case of Juri, she was created, and a black suit put on her pretty much at the last second. I can agree in the sense it wasn't released yet, but it's pretty clear what the original intention was and it's made it come off weird as a result. Granted, if Capcom cared enough about the concerns, they could have re-designed a whole new costume so that it wasn't stupidly obvious they're being reactionary, but here we are. The point is devs can react in good ways and bad. (and that it's silly not to assume we're not the cause of it).

Likewise, Fire Emblem's change (in Fates) happened after the fact.

 

Comparing entertainment to speech is quite different, I'd say, but I understand what you mean.

 

9 minutes ago, Sprite Machine said:

I am fine with developers changing things based on criticism, yes.

I am generally not fine with censorship, which is when changes are forced or applied after the fact.

 

Criticising art and the culture in which it exists will lead to changes - not of their existing work but of their future output. It will make developers think and reassess their creative decisions. It will lead to fewer tropes, more equal representations.

 

In the long term it hopefully will, but the point was in the short term all it's causing, and will cause if the lesser evil of tropes are critiqued (aka whichever ones we feel don't do as much harm, such as the save the princess trope) is developers making awkward decisions that don't fit the game or keeping some things in Japan.

 

You read for yourself how split the opinion was on Elle a few pages back for example (I haven't played Last of Us yet so couldn't comment). We don't all see the same things as problems, so I guess my concern, and why I say 'not every single critique should be taken into account' is that there is a point in any art form where amount of concern can be detrimental to the work at hand.

Someone making a point of Bayoneta disgusting them and somehow Street Fighter being in the same category is what got me annoyed in the first place over a few days back, but hey, we all have our thoughts. I just hope people genuinely write that kind of thing believing what they say, and that it's not just a 'me too you are completely right!' mentality. Those games really wouldn't be what they are without the sexuality, tropes and whatever else 'wrong' within them.

 

That does include future iterations in my head, but maybe I don't give the devs credit to still be faithful to a franchise, what makes it great and still make it respectful enough to modern standards. Tomb Raider certainly managed it, so who knows.

 

Quote


If you want the same level of tropes to exist in future as do now, and for representations to continue being as unequal as they are now, you're welcome to make a case for that.

 

I want games where it's hard to make without tropes to continue existing and not to be changed for just the sake of it. Bayonetta is very hard to imagine any other way unless they reboot it with completely different standards ala Lara Croft. Likewise Mario. The latter more so because it doesn't do much harm, in my view.

 

Cheers for the chat

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21 minutes ago, PeteBrant said:

I would say the last 12 months, from May to May, are probably up there with the best 12 months in videogames long history.. So, yeah if, reactions to the  current climate are to blame then I don;t think we have anythign to worry about.

 

I haven't played many, but in the case of Zelda for example, you know what offended me most? Nope not the obvious save the princess stuff, but Tarrey Town.

 

Spoilers for anyone that still hasn't done it, but the idea of a guy that forces his wife to name his kids a certain way came off hugely out of touch to me, even as a comedy. It just wasn't funny, and it's not like the wife was pleased about the choice either. We basically built a town for a mad man and got him married.

 

Zelda requiring rescuing was the least of my concerns.

 

17 minutes ago, dood said:

And this is a bad thing because?  The world would be a far fairer and calmer place if everyone 'thought twice'!!

 

If you make some art, and a collection of voices says 'oh, I'm not sure I think that's appropriate', and you think better of it and change it, is that censorship?

 

  Reveal hidden contents

It isn't.

 

 

It's not a bad thing, but pretending we don't want things to happen, or that negative decisions are/can be made out of it, is.

 

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7 minutes ago, NEG said:

Someone making a point of Bayoneta disgusting them and somehow Street Fighter being in the same category is what got me annoyed in the first place over a few days back, but hey, we all have our thoughts. I just hope people genuinely write that kind of thing believing what they say, and that it's not just a 'me too you are completely right!' mentality. Those games really wouldn't be what they are without the sexuality, tropes and whatever else 'wrong' within them.

 

Sounding a lot like Aris Bakhtanians here. And that's never a good thing.

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It's not fucking censorship though is it?

 

If there's a screening for a movie  (for instance, I'm well aware they aren't the same thing but let's run with it for this post) and all the audience put on their test cards; "the women were all dressed inappropriately and had absolutely no agenda or point aside from window dressing" the film makers may well realise this and then write some better dialogue and consider their female stars, maybe all the writers were blokes and just didn't think about it.

 

That isn't censorship, especially if what the film makers were attempting to make a family friendly or movie with a broad appeal, if the BBFC then cut all those scenes out the movie, or it's banned on being mildly pornographic, that would be censorship.

 

Realising that you've used a boring trope like 'rescue damsel' because you didn't know how to characterise or even represent a good and interesting female character is not and never can be censorship.

 

EDIT: Just noticed you removed your shit joke about "Aeris" there NEG, did you realise that you used a really lame 'trope' of a joke there, or are we censoring you for being a dick? ;)

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2 minutes ago, NEG said:

but pretending we don't want things to happen, or that negative decisions are/can be made out of it, is.

 

Sorry, you'll need to try typing this bit again.  I've read it 3 times and..  I honestly just don't understand. 

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2 minutes ago, Illyria said:

 

Sounding a lot like Aris Bakhtanians here. And that's never a good thing.

 

Isn't that a FF7 character? :unsure:

 

1 minute ago, b00dles said:

It's not fucking censorship though is it?

 

If there's a screening for a movie  (for instance, I'm well aware they aren't the same thing but let's run with it for this post) and all the audience put on their test cards; "the women were all dressed inappropriately and had absolutely no agenda or point aside from window dressing" the film makers may well realise this and then write some better dialogue and consider their female stars, maybe all the writers were blokes and just didn't think about it.

 

That isn't censorship, especially if what the film makers were attempting to make a family friendly or movie with a broad appeal, if the BBFC then cut all those scenes out the movie, or it's banned on being mildly pornographic, that would be censorship.

 

Realising that you've used a boring trope like 'rescue damsel' because you didn't know how to characterise or even represent a good and interesting female character is not and never can be censorship.

 

 

 

If a film is already made and they're trying to change their dialogue before release as a way of personal guilt trip or just realising the backlash it'll cause or want to right their wrongs, I'd burn the movie and start again, personally. Otherwise it's not released 'as intended'.

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1 minute ago, NEG said:

 

Isn't that a FF7 character? :unsure:

 

 

If a film is already made and they're trying to change their dialogue before release as a way of personal guilt trip or just realising the backlash it'll cause or want to right their wrongs, I'd burn the movie and start again, personally. Otherwise it's not released 'as intended'.

GNNNNNNNNNNNN.

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8 minutes ago, NEG said:

In the long term it hopefully will, but the point was in the short term all it's causing, and will cause if the lesser evil of tropes are critiqued (aka whichever ones we feel don't do as much harm, such as the save the princess trope) is developers making awkward decisions that don't fit the game or keeping some things in Japan.

Mate, developers make awkward decisions all the time. It isn't caused by cultural criticism any more or less than it is caused by culture itself.

If you don't want artists to ever be challenged or affected by the things people say about their work, then what you want isn't actually art.

 

16 minutes ago, NEG said:

You read for yourself how split the opinion was on Elle a few pages back for example (I haven't played Last of Us yet so couldn't comment). We don't all see the same things as problems, so I guess my concern, and why I say 'not every single critique should be taken into account' is that there is a point in any art form where amount of concern can be detrimental to the work at hand.

I'm reading this as:
"Those poor developers will get confused if we present them with too many different opinions, so instead we should stop giving our opinions on things unless we can all agree with them."

Or perhaps you're saying that you think developers will routinely implement a change based on literally every criticism they ever get?

That's... just not how the world works. That's not how people work. That's not how art works.

 

22 minutes ago, NEG said:

I want games where it's hard to make without tropes to continue existing and not to be changed for just the sake of it.

Honestly, I can't even parse this sentence. What does this mean?

 

Changes aren't made "just for the sake of it". In fact, criticism of tropes is usually because tropes are included in the first place "just for the sake of it" and nobody thought twice.

 

25 minutes ago, NEG said:

Likewise Mario. The latter more so because it doesn't do much harm, in my view.

Mario's continuing use of the damsel trope is harmful. It perpetuates harmful stereotypes. Sterotypes have real world implications on real people and their chances in life because people with power make assumptions and decisions based on those stereotypes.

You've been told why, you've seen the videos, it matters.

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19 minutes ago, dood said:

Sorry, you'll need to try typing this bit again.  I've read it 3 times and..  I honestly just don't understand. 

"Some changes are bad, therefore we shouldn't try to change anything."

 

 

16 minutes ago, NEG said:

If a film is already made and they're trying to change their dialogue before release as a way of personal guilt trip or just realising the backlash it'll cause or want to right their wrongs, I'd burn the movie and start again, personally. Otherwise it's not released 'as intended'.

If "they" (the filmmakers?) want to change the dialogue before release for any reason, then that is what they intend to do, so it is by definition "as intended". If it isn't released, then it isn't finished.

 

No film (or game - back on topic!) is ever made in the exact way it was conceived from the beginning. That's not how most creative industries function. That's not even mentioning things like directors' cuts and the like.

This line of reasoning is facile.

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Just now, Uncle Mike said:

 

Fixed that for you.

 

Why are you people bothering?

On the off chance anyone new to this place wanders in here and thinks that what NEG says on the matter is agreeable if we just leave him to post his gibberish without reply.

 

He might be a lost cause but I wouldn't want anyone else to end up agreeing with him if we don't keep responding to him.

 

And I'm bored. :P

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47 minutes ago, NEG said:

Comparing entertainment to speech is quite different, I'd say, but I understand what you mean

BTW, interesting you assumed I meant speech - I tried to leave it ambiguous on purpose.  There are many ways to be a dick, do you see?  None are more important than another. 

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3 minutes ago, Illyria said:

 

Ouch. Yeah. Not watching it but I doubt his defense is swearing at a opponent like you would watching sports, boxing etc. You just wouldn't use the words 'harassment is part of the culture'.

Okay took a peek, actual live harassment against the only female in the room, wow.

 

5 minutes ago, Sprite Machine said:

Mate, developers make awkward decisions all the time. It isn't caused by cultural criticism any more or less than it is caused by culture itself.

If you don't want artists to ever be challenged or affected by the things people say about their work, then what you want isn't actually art.

 

And yet some artists do ignore noise, do they not? The Calvin and Hobbs guy lives in solitude. Yes, culture itself might still influence him, but he doesn't have to listen to each fan mail in order to continue to be great. To be disillusioned by whatever he might want to personally create as an artist.

Even Churchill was an artist. Imagine all the critique he got.

 

5 minutes ago, Sprite Machine said:

 

I'm reading this as:
"Those poor developers will get confused if we present them with too many different opinions, so instead we should stop giving our opinions on things unless we can all agree with them."

Or perhaps you're saying that you think developers will routinely implement a change based on literally every criticism they ever get?

That's... just not how the world works. That's not how people work. That's not how art works.

 

And yet, why wouldn't they? Surely someone somewhere will get annoyed by any critique that's missed of the previous game, right? So where do you personally draw the line? That's all I'm saying, there's always a line. That's not how art works, as you nicely put it.

 

5 minutes ago, Sprite Machine said:

 

Honestly, I can't even parse this sentence. What does this mean?

 

Changes aren't made "just for the sake of it". In fact, criticism of tropes is usually because tropes are included in the first place "just for the sake of it" and nobody thought twice.

 

I mistyped. 'That are hard to make without' rather then 'Where it's hard to make'.

 

I didn't imply Tropes are made for the sake of anything.

 

5 minutes ago, Sprite Machine said:

 

Mario's continuing use of the damsel trope is harmful. It perpetuates harmful stereotypes. Sterotypes have real world implications on real people and their chances in life because people with power make assumptions and decisions based on those stereotypes.

You've been told why, you've seen the videos, it matters.

 

If rescuing Princess Peach has real world implications on real people and their chances in life, I'd like to hear how and why.

 

It's one thing to complain that the trope itself is used too often, that part is valid. It's another to want to force a change in a franchise that has sold millions and millions with minimal damage, in my view.

 

10 minutes ago, Sprite Machine said:

"Some changes are bad, therefore we shouldn't try to change anything."

 

 I did not say that, so don't pretend that I did.

 

10 minutes ago, Sprite Machine said:

 

If "they" (the filmmakers?) want to change the dialogue before release for any reason, then that is what they intend to do, so it is by definition "as intended". If it isn't released, then it isn't finished.

 

No film (or game - back on topic!) is ever made in the exact way it was conceived from the beginning. That's not how most creative industries function. That's not even mentioning things like directors' cuts and the like.

This line of reasoning is facile.

 

But it clearly wasn't the original intention. Simply stating how I'd go about it. Yes, that's not how the industry functions, because starting from scratch or even re-doing a large amount of scenes of this film where the female cast have nothing to do could cost millions, but that doesn't make it right. Expect/demand better.

 

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So in what ways do you guys here think gender roles have changed within games over the last few years? What are your impressions? This is directed at everyone.

 

Is there change, and if so, how much, and what do you believe is the reason why things have changed? I'm trying to collect my thoughts for next week's interview and it always helps getting other people's thoughts, to clarify what I think myself, to challenge myself and the things that I think I know, etc.

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4 minutes ago, dood said:

BTW, interesting you assumed I meant speech - I tried to leave it ambiguous on purpose.  There are many ways to be a dick, do you see?  None are more important than another. 

 

Good point, but it's also to do with what each individual deems what is dick worthy. Is not tipping a begger being a dick? Quite possibly a million examples.

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4 minutes ago, NEG said:

Ouch. Yeah. Not watching it but I doubt his defense is swearing at a opponent like you would watching sports, boxing etc. You just wouldn't use the words 'harassment is part of the culture'.

Okay took a peek, actual live harassment against the only female in the room, wow.

 

And now take a look at the first comment underneath that article.

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What do you think about that comment, @NEG?

 

Just so others know what I'm talking about:

 

Quote

You know, as much as I absolutely wanted to tear Aris a new one for being unfunny, creepy, and beating dead horses the entire time on the Tekken stream, I also do have to say Miranda is partially at fault here too. I'm going to get a lot of shit saying that there is no reason for her to have to feel uncomfortable in an environment and it's all Aris' fault, but Miranda really did a poor job of standing up for herself against her "coach" and drawing the line when Aris made comments about her bra size, her thighs, and whatever he was reading off of the stream chat. Giggling and laughing like it's a joke is going to make people think you're taking it as light heartedly as they probably are, and until you straight up tell them that it's unprofessional, that it's making you uncomfortable, and make the point that it has to stop, people can only assume you're playing along.

 

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5 minutes ago, Illyria said:

What do you think about that comment, @NEG?

 

Standing up (then and there) isn't required. Get up and leave the room of dicks. Which would be powerful action enough to let know what you don't find acceptable.

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10 minutes ago, Illyria said:

So in what ways do you guys here think gender roles have changed within games over the last few years? What are your impressions? This is directed at everyone.

 

Is there change, and if so, how much, and what do you believe is the reason why things have changed? I'm trying to collect my thoughts for next week's interview and it always helps getting other people's thoughts, to clarify what I think myself, to challenge myself and the things that I think I know, etc.

Well, Lara Croft seems to spend most of the last game wearing a toasty fur lined parka and snowboots rather than hopping around in a spandex top and hotpants.

 

Not sure if it's an improvement though :unsure:

 

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1 minute ago, NEG said:

 

Standing up (then and there) isn't required. Get up and leave the room of dicks. Which would be powerful action enough to let know what you don't find acceptable.

 

They would laugh at her. He is her coach. This is a daily occurence for her. Nothing would change. Instead, it would mean her not being able to pursue what she wants to pursue, it would mean her being driven out of a male dominated space, how on earth is that a win?

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