Constructive Feedback: Equality, Diversity and Sexualization in Games



  • Nathan Drake isn't people though, he is a video game character and especially created to be everyman type. The natural color of your hair doesn't tell us who you are as an invidual, you can give it a different color to express yourself though. We are talking about who someone is as a character. Changes in Drake's skin color, hair color or eye color wouldn't require any changes in the script or the gameplay. I have green eyes (maybe) all that tells about me is that I have green eyes. Even black swedish male can be adventurous, charming altough snarky, intelligent, married with white female character. These all describe Nathan Drake, right? Why can't swedish black man shape up to have Nathan Drake's persona?



  • Nathan is created with certain characteristics in mind which made him into an virtual individual, you see him and you know who he is, if you're really into the series you might even can predict some of his actions in his 4th game because you know him so well from the prequels. So again, if Nathan would have been thought out as balck person from the get go, the games would simply not be the same because they would have been written differently, the coincidence that everything else would have been played out the same defies all logics. Take Sully for example, I highly doubt they would have given a black Nathan a older white guy as friend, and if the backstory how they met would probably been different, not to forget his brother.
    I'm not talking about a person's own personality in that person's eyes, but how it's conceived by others, if you know someone and that person suddenly changes something, you and others will recognize it, maybe compliment, maybe criticise the change, but if that person would have been born that way already, this situation would simply not happen, and that person's life would not been the same. A simple haircut change can change such sitution from positive to negative and vice versa.



  • @El-Shmiablo said in Constructive Feedback: Equality, Diversity and Sexualization in Games:

    @suplextrain True equality does not exist, at least not in this day and age, and probably not for the rest of human history.

    So? That is the goal I'm striving towards and that is how I treat people because I think it's right.
    Do you also think that we shouldn't try and stop violence and murder because it will probably always exist?

    Oh but imagine how great it would be if we all actually WERE equal and there weren't problems built in to the system that make it markedly more difficult for minorities and women.

    What problems?

    The wage gap is real.

    Oh god. I really don't want to get into this topic here because so many people are so massively ignorant about the reality of it to the point where they become delusional.

    Systemic oppression of minorities is real.

    Yeah? So what? You think putting more minorities in the media will somehow remove prejudice and oppression the world over?
    How about trying to get to the root of the problem instead? Do you really think the best way to solve this issue is by making more black, mexican, etc. protags in games or something?

    I like your dream, I really do, but for now that is all it is, a dream.

    This is the part you don't understand. It's not a dream, but a reality. It's how I choose to live my life, my belief. I believe in treating everyone fairly and equally. I don't care at all what your race, gender or whatever is.
    Everything I do ties directly into this belief.

    I understand that the world isn't "equal" and it most likely never will be, but so what? Should I stop treating people equally or something because of this? That'd be stupid.

    I am open to diversity, just not forced diversity. This is because once you start to force something it stops being about equality and turn into special treatment. It's no longer about giving everyone an equal shot anymore.
    Another thing I don't like about forced diversity is that it feels less sincere since it tends to give the impression that the people behind it only do it to seem progressive, not that they actually care. Kind of like those people that donate a buck a month to charity to feel good about themselves

    I didn't have a problem at all with Mafia 3 (a game some people seemed annoyed with) because I played it and felt it wasn't forced. It still felt like a Mafia game in terms of tone and how it flowed. Everything it did was in favor of realism, not in pushing some diversity agenda.
    Heck italians weren't even really viewed as white way back then, a fact which many people seem completely oblivious to.

    Either way, you still have yet to give me a concrete example of even a single piece of media that has been forcibly altered to be more diverse.

    I don't even see how this is relevant so I don't see why I should go through any effort to do so. Convince me why I should and I might.

    In any case I think you're getting side-tracked and you're only here to argue. Because I really don't see what your point is and what you think should be done in the game industry to solve these "problems" the world has that you talk about. So feel free to elaborate on this because it would steer the discussion back on track.



  • This thread:
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    @suplextrain said in Constructive Feedback: Equality, Diversity and Sexualization in Games:

    What problems?

    The wage gap is real.

    Oh god. I really don't want to get into this topic here because so many people are so massively ignorant about the reality of it to the point where they become delusional.

    Systemic oppression of minorities is real.

    Yeah? So what? You think putting more minorities in the media will somehow remove prejudice and oppression the world over?
    How about trying to get to the root of the problem instead? Do you really think the best way to solve this issue is by making more black, mexican, etc. protags in games or something?

    The ignorance in these statements is maddening. I don't know how it is in the US but in the UK the wage gap is indeed real. (As are a whole other boatload of inequalities) Also your disregard for minorities and lack of understanding of how media effects wider culture speaks volumes.

    I'm done with this bullshit. It will just keep going round in circles until the last man standing can declare themself the "winner"
    So to summarise:

    • Lack of diversity in media is a problem
    • Forced diversity is not a problem
    • Stuff is changing for the better albeit slowly
    • If you don't like it deal with it
    • Titties need to be handled tastefully


  • @thenerdtheword said in Constructive Feedback: Equality, Diversity and Sexualization in Games:

    • Stuff is changing for the better albeit slowly
      - If you don't like it deal with it
    • Titties need to be handled tastefully

    The issue with that attitude is it's a two way street. Arguing otherwise is rather hypocritical.

    Fan service neither needs to go away or be tasteful, it's marketed precisely at those who consume that media, it's not meant for you. Hell, In most cases be it anime or video games it's not even made with other countries or cultures in mind! So of course it's not meant to cater to everyone just by the nature of who it was originally made for, when it gets released elsewhere especially when it comes to games like say...Senran Kagura, it's released here based on DEMAND from people, the people who WANT it, they're simply giving people what they ask for.

    Is it better when it's handled tastefully? Sure, but it's still fan service. Whether it's tasteful is not only semantics but also rather subjective.

    In the end, your own logic states "If you don't like it deal with it"



  • @ZyloWolfBane said in Constructive Feedback: Equality, Diversity and Sexualization in Games:

    @thenerdtheword said in Constructive Feedback: Equality, Diversity and Sexualization in Games:

    • Stuff is changing for the better albeit slowly
      - If you don't like it deal with it
    • Titties need to be handled tastefully

    The issue with that attitude is it's a two way street. Arguing otherwise is rather hypocritical.

    Fan service neither needs to go away or be tasteful, it's marketed precisely at those who consume that media, it's not meant for you. Hell, In most cases be it anime or video games it's not even made with other countries or cultures in mind! So of course it's not meant to cater to everyone just by the nature of who it was originally made for, when it gets released elsewhere especially when it comes to games like say...Senran Kagura, it's released here based on DEMAND from people, the people who WANT it, they're simply giving people what they ask for.

    Is it better when it's handled tastefully? Sure, but it's still fan service. Whether it's tasteful is not only semantics but also rather subjective.

    In the end, your own logic states "If you don't like it deal with it"

    alt text



  • @thenerdtheword said in Constructive Feedback: Equality, Diversity and Sexualization in Games:

    @ZyloWolfBane said in Constructive Feedback: Equality, Diversity and Sexualization in Games:

    @thenerdtheword said in Constructive Feedback: Equality, Diversity and Sexualization in Games:

    • Stuff is changing for the better albeit slowly
      - If you don't like it deal with it
    • Titties need to be handled tastefully

    The issue with that attitude is it's a two way street. Arguing otherwise is rather hypocritical.

    Fan service neither needs to go away or be tasteful, it's marketed precisely at those who consume that media, it's not meant for you. Hell, In most cases be it anime or video games it's not even made with other countries or cultures in mind! So of course it's not meant to cater to everyone just by the nature of who it was originally made for, when it gets released elsewhere especially when it comes to games like say...Senran Kagura, it's released here based on DEMAND from people, the people who WANT it, they're simply giving people what they ask for.

    Is it better when it's handled tastefully? Sure, but it's still fan service. Whether it's tasteful is not only semantics but also rather subjective.

    In the end, your own logic states "If you don't like it deal with it"

    alt text

    lol.

    You may not like to hear it, but it's true. There's simply no form of "Tasteful" with some of these games or anime, they just wouldn't exist. Period.

    If I'm expected to deal with things I don't like, you're subject under that same expectation. Not everything is made for us. I feel cringey playing something like Senran Kagura, it's a cheap laugh and then I just feel weird about it so I stop playing.

    But I wouldn't argue it should be changed, it's selfish plain and simple.



  • @ZyloWolfBane but the thing is all I am saying is that I think there are better ways of handling it. I've seen and played games that do it. I don't play games like Senran Kagura because they do not appeal to me due to their approach to sexualising their female characters. If people want to play them I'm not stopping them. I just think that a lot of people bury their head in the sand when it comes to looking at the obvious flaws with such products. I see faults, they don't hence the circular nature of this whole argument. So yeah having to deal with it does work both ways.

    As for the arguments of "you can't judge something unless you've played, watched, read it" that have been raised by others those can piss off. I can look at, read up on and evaluate the worth of a product before giving the creator my money. That's how subjectivity works folks.

    At this point I'm going to apologise for contributing to derailment of @CGamor7 's well intentioned thread.



  • @thenerdtheword said in Constructive Feedback: Equality, Diversity and Sexualization in Games:

    The ignorance in these statements is maddening. I don't know how it is in the US but in the UK the wage gap is indeed real. (As are a whole other boatload of inequalities) Also your disregard for minorities and lack of understanding of how media effects wider culture speaks volumes.

    Funny how you talk about ignorance and just naturally assume I live in the US.
    I also said that I don't want to get into the while wage gap discussion here because so many people are preceisly that, ignorant about it. They don't have a deeper understanding on the subject at all. There have been huge studies done on this subject which I doubt you have even dipped your toe into. It's a far more complex matter than most people think and the reality isn't so black and white.
    But as I said, I won't get into it here.

    I'm done with this bullshit. It will just keep going round in circles until the last man standing can declare themself the "winner"
    So to summarise:

    I see you have not only completely missed the points I tried to make, you also failed to properly present the points you tried to make (even though you have been asked to clarify repeatedly) and avoid any questions directed at you. Instead you resort to reactionimages, calling me ignorant and whatnot. Basically you resort to logical fallacies.

    If you want to make people understand you and the problems you talk about then maybe try to actually make an effort into doing just that.
    So far I have absolutely no idea what the point you wanted to get across was, what these "problems" are and more. So all you have done is waste my time and yours by creating this circular argument by not making any attempts to actually elaborate on what you mean and answer simple questions of clarification, to help people understand you.

    No offense, but you seem very close-minded. Try to challenge your ideas more and test them. That way you know if they hold up or not. Or at the very least try and create a civil back and forth conversation. Because this just turned into a derailing shitshow, which is a shame.

    To make it clear, I don't see how games like Senran Kagura is creating these unexplained "problems" in the world, nor do I see your reasoning for wanting people to admit or whatever that the media they consume contains fanservice or sex (I really don't see how this is relevant at all). I already made arguments that proved that looks can be deceiving (Fate/Stay Night and there exists many more) which have yet to be countered by by you.
    So if you ever feel like elaborating further on this feel free to do so, otherwise I don't see any reason to continue.



  • @thenerdtheword said in Constructive Feedback: Equality, Diversity and Sexualization in Games:

    I just think that a lot of people bury their head in the sand when it comes to looking at the obvious flaws with such products.

    If they're so obvious why are they so difficult to list when people even ask you to? Also you just naturally assume that people "bury their heads in the sand" for some reason, what do you base this on?

    I see faults, they don't hence the circular nature of this whole argument.

    Did it ever occur to you that it might be a good idea to clue people in on these "faults" if they don't see it? Or do you prefer the approach of throwing your hands up in to the air and scream "You just don't get it! This is going nowhere!" ? To me that seems to be the main reason behind this circular argument.

    As for the arguments of "you can't judge something unless you've played, watched, read it" that have been raised by others those can piss off. I can look at, read up on and evaluate the worth of a product before giving the creator my money. That's how subjectivity works folks.

    So how much research do you do on each piece of media before you find that you can make accurate calls on the value of a product? If I posted a picture from a Rance game or something like Muv-Luv you would undoubtedly throw it in the bin of sexistic trash and the sole reason people play/read those games is for the nudity in it. I personally haven't played those games but I have friends that do and they spend most of their time discussing the story, characters or gameplay than the porn. Doesn't that strike you as odd if the main appeal (according to you? I don't know since you don't like to clarify) is the sexistic parts of the media?

    Basically, what is your point and please explain it. That's literally all you have to do. It's that simple.



  • @suplextrain said in Constructive Feedback: Equality, Diversity and Sexualization in Games:

    @thenerdtheword said in Constructive Feedback: Equality, Diversity and Sexualization in Games:

    I just think that a lot of people bury their head in the sand when it comes to looking at the obvious flaws with such products.

    If they're so obvious why are they so difficult to list when people even ask you to? Also you just naturally assume that people "bury their heads in the sand" for some reason, what do you base this on?

    I see faults, they don't hence the circular nature of this whole argument.

    Did it ever occur to you that it might be a good idea to clue people in on these "faults" if they don't see it? Or do you prefer the approach of throwing your hands up in to the air and scream "You just don't get it! This is going nowhere!" ? To me that seems to be the main reason behind this circular argument.

    As for the arguments of "you can't judge something unless you've played, watched, read it" that have been raised by others those can piss off. I can look at, read up on and evaluate the worth of a product before giving the creator my money. That's how subjectivity works folks.

    So how much research do you do on each piece of media before you find that you can make accurate calls on the value of a product? If I posted a picture from a Rance game or something like Muv-Luv you would undoubtedly throw it in the bin of sexistic trash and the sole reason people play/read those games is for the nudity in it. I personally haven't played those games but I have friends that do and they spend most of their time discussing the story, characters or gameplay than the porn. Doesn't that strike you as odd if the main appeal (according to you? I don't know since you don't like to clarify) is the sexistic parts of the media?

    Basically, what is your point and please explain it. That's literally all you have to do. It's that simple.

    Well thanks, now I'm interested in this rance title. I totally haven't seen the source material whatsoever.



  • @thenerdtheword said in Constructive Feedback: Equality, Diversity and Sexualization in Games:

    @ZyloWolfBane but the thing is all I am saying is that I think there are better ways of handling it. I've seen and played games that do it.

    Well that means they exist, so you don't need to bother with games that aren't "tasteful" (which is 100% subjective btw, like I and many others find a naked woman, not even ugly, climbing on some contraption and squirting what I hope was red color on a white plane below her and calling it feminist art, in a public place outside, with nothing like an age rating preventing passing by children to see that shit, pretty distasteful, other's think it's art, some even might even get a good wank out of it)

    I don't play games like Senran Kagura because they do not appeal to me due to their approach to sexualising their female characters. If people want to play them I'm not stopping them.

    You kinda try to though, you are constantly trying to convince people that the things they like are bad and they should feel bad by using the overused and meaningless "progressive" term Problematic.

    I just think that a lot of people bury their head in the sand when it comes to looking at the obvious flaws with such products.

    Yeah, they can be a bit buggy (far away from Bethesda levels of buggy though) and the translations can have typos, those games are often low budget games translated by freelancers and published by small publishers.

    I see faults, they don't hence the circular nature of this whole argument. So yeah having to deal with it does work both ways.

    No, you see things you personally don't like or don't conform to your believe system.

    As for the arguments of "you can't judge something unless you've played, watched, read it" that have been raised by others those can piss off. I can look at, read up on and evaluate the worth of a product before giving the creator my money. That's how subjectivity works folks.

    Technically I agree, I don't need to play a game anymore to know if i would enjoy it or not, and that's fine, if you don't like what you see, don't buy it. The problem is that people are outright denying any other qualities, like you, you havn't played SK games and I assume havn't watched a Walkthrough/LP either, you can't speak on the story, the characters, the humor nor the feeling of the gameplay, only what you've seen. I hate CoD with all my heart but I can still recognize that the set pieces are fantastic, and they make great trailers using those, I just don't enjoy playing CoD myself at all.



  • So in conclusion:
    There are systemic problems with racism and sexism built into society that will take massive amounts of work to overcome
    YEAH BUT I TREAT EVERYBODY EQUALLY SO WHATEVER. ALSO MY BOOBY GAMES ARE ART

    This was a nice thread.



  • @El-Shmiablo said in Constructive Feedback: Equality, Diversity and Sexualization in Games:

    So in conclusion:
    There are systemic problems with racism and sexism built into society that will take massive amounts of work to overcome
    YEAH BUT I TREAT EVERYBODY EQUALLY SO WHATEVER. ALSO MY BOOBY GAMES ARE ART

    This was a nice thread.

    And we all learnt never to big up the subject of sex in visual novel games ever again :laughing:

    Also that people make a whole lot of assumptions about what others know and feel.

    Also, Also, boobies.



  • For those who are interested this is a good read about BioWare's approach to inclusivity and the reasons why they push for diversity in their casts of characters: http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2016-10-20-making-your-games-inclusive-is-complicated-and-fraught-with-frustration?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=european-daily



  • @ZyloWolfBane said in Constructive Feedback: Equality, Diversity and Sexualization in Games:

    Well thanks, now I'm interested in this rance title. I totally haven't seen the source material whatsoever.

    I personally haven't played it but to my understanding (from what my friends have told me) it's a comedic visual novel and strategy game with sex in it. Apparantely very popular in japan.

    @El-Shmiablo said in Constructive Feedback: Equality, Diversity and Sexualization in Games:

    So in conclusion:
    There are systemic problems with racism and sexism built into society that will take massive amounts of work to overcome
    YEAH BUT I TREAT EVERYBODY EQUALLY SO WHATEVER. ALSO MY BOOBY GAMES ARE ART

    This was a nice thread.

    So you can't even reply to me directly, you can't add anything of value to the discussion or the thread and you dumb down, belittle and twist what was said with logical fallacies to somehow try and "win"?
    At the same time you imply others ruined the thread while you're obviously one of the contributors with a post like this?
    Yes thanks for your insight.

    But here is a more insightful reply (which you seem incapable of creating, no offense):
    Racism and sexism exist yes.
    Does forcing more diversity and stuff into everything possible somehow solve this? Absolutely not. If you disagree then I'd really like to hear you reasoning behind this. Why would having more blacks or whatever as protags in games reduce racism and sexism? If you wanted to fight these issues doing it in this roundabout and convoluted way makes no sense, you should go at the root of the problem instead. Do you agree with this? If not, why?
    I'm seriously all ears yet you people don't seem to be very fond of elaborating, only projecting your ideas onto others and then getting upset when people don't just nod their head in agreement.

    Also yes I do treat people equally. Is this bad? I made it clear that I'm not a sexist or racist and I prefer true equality, so I don't support special treatment or mistreatment. This is why I will raise my voice against forced diversity (to clarify, I am not saying that forced diversity is rampant, if that wasn't clear). I have a set of principles I follow, what's so difficult to understand about this?

    As for the last passive aggressive comment that boobs are art is something so completely fabricated and silly I don't even see a reason to give it a serious response.

    Long story short, how about actually discussing these subjects like normal sensible adults? Sharing your opinions, ideas and reasoning. That way you not only make others understand your views better, you also test if your ideas hold up. If you don't test your ideas you risk of just living in an echo chamber and that is frankly not healthy. That kind of thinking is precisely the thing that spawns stuff like racism and sexism.

    @thenerdtheword said in Constructive Feedback: Equality, Diversity and Sexualization in Games:

    And we all learnt never to big up the subject of sex in visual novel games ever again :laughing:

    Serious question, is this you flauting how close minded you are or do you genuinelly not understand the point that was being made? I thought I was being pretty clear but if you want me to further explain it to you then just ask.
    You might be against elaboration but I'm not.

    Also that people make a whole lot of assumptions about what others know and feel.

    Like you and El Shmiablo, you mean?

    Also it would be much much easier to understand you if you cut down on the short passive aggressive replies and actually discussed this properly like sensible adults. Can you tell me why it's so difficult for you to just explain what you mean or answer simple questions?
    You even openly admit to getting frustrated when people don't understand what you mean yet you make no effort to explain yourself or your ideas. Even when people directly ask you to clarify and elaborate.

    Since you keep avoiding to elaborate on this I can only make the assumption that you really don't have an answer you believe in, yet you don't want to admit that your wrong or your ideas have holes in them. I mean what else am I supposed to think when you again and again dodge any elaboration directed at you and resort to passive aggressive replies, reactionimages and so on?

    To make it clear I am not trying to win a discussion here, I am trying to make you explain yourself so I can understand you. To simply discuss this subject. I ahve absolutely no problem with being proven wrong or whatever. That's why I like pursuing and discussing stuff since that's how you test your ideas and beliefs and prevent yourself from living in an echo chamber.

    But if you really don't want to elaborate then just say so and we'll end it there.



  • @thenerdtheword said in Constructive Feedback: Equality, Diversity and Sexualization in Games:

    For those who are interested this is a good read about BioWare's approach to inclusivity and the reasons why they push for diversity in their casts of characters: http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2016-10-20-making-your-games-inclusive-is-complicated-and-fraught-with-frustration?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=european-daily

    I personally believe Bioware are trying a little too hard and many of their attempts are not very flattering or progressive at all. Take the Iron Bull gay romance, it's basically treated as a joke. Romances are basically only about getting to the sex since they end there. The way they handle themes like racism is clumsy and awkward.

    Now a recent game I think did a great job of naturally handling racism was Mafia 3. Racism in that game was explored but it didn't shove it in your face. It was in favor of realism, which is how it should be done. Tastefully.
    As for sexism I think there are many examples of games that treat their men and women equally. Even 40k games does this which seldom gets brought up (instead games like the Tomb Raider reboot are brought up for some reason).

    But if you're more into the RPG genre then I suggest you check out the work of Chris Avellone and Obsidian instead, not Bioware. Do note I am not hating on Bioware here, I am simply saying that I believe the work of Chris and Obsidian to be far superior in terms of writing and how they handle these subjects you're talking about without being so heavyhanded.



  • @El-Shmiablo You are so amusing. Not for your personal opinion on games addressed, but your belief that games in question have not merit outside your personal issues.

    While Qoga is not the best in showcasing its quality as a series, the others do. Does it have a pandering aspect to it? of course it does, trouble is that you dismiss everything else because of it.

    The issue you have is that you label everything with a lower budget as something deserves a lower interest. Sad for me to say though that the likes of Neptunia (at least the recent iteration's) have quite the in=depth battle and character upgrade system that it actually puts it beyond some of the more mature yet simply RPG's that get praised to high heaven.



  • I was playing Mars War Logs, a 2013 indie game. It's a RPG by Spiders (Bound by Flame and Technomancer -which actually its is sequel-), inspired by the CDPR's game design. It's very clunky and low budget.

    However, brings me to this thread the character writting. The game is mostly male focused, being most characters in it male. Albeit the writting of the game is not good, to begin with, there are some ugly writting decisions.

    The first chapter is in a prisson with no female characters except for Mary, the female technomancer apprentice of the Technomancer overseer of the facility. She basically doesn't have a role in this chapter. Being a prison I accept the artistic license of having only male characters.

    The second chapter is in a city, actually the slumps of a civil enclave. The city has wandering female NPCs but brought my attention that no women were represented as drogadics or vagabonds, I see no reason for that.

    Then, you interact with four female characters, one is a physician who teaches you that violence to addicts is not a solution to drogadiction. The other two characters are prostitutes, one of whch is physically abused by her pimp while the other is some kind of pimp, she is a strong character but in a prostitution seeting. I will say it's okish. The fourth one is the ugly one.

    The fourth character is Mary, the Tehcnomancer apprentice which ends up in your party after you rescue her from an explosion. She has no personality and acts like a doll. In your first conversation with her, despite being unconfortable with your character, she asks you to have sex. When asked why, she replies because that is what her master did to her. Then, there are conversation options to deep into her attitude and every line sound like some patronizing bullshit. It's really a cringefest.
    She wears a torn dress that makes it look like a tiny dress, when asked why she doesn't change her clothers, she replies, the way it looks represents her torn inside. Major bullshit.
    I think the trope is the slave girl but it is just abysmal writting, and it is a shame for the writers.

    I'm enjoying the game, and I'm fine with the lacking writting, but this new low reached with Mary is really pulling the strings. I really hope it gets better and, for the love of God, I hope The Tehcnomancer has far far better writting in this regard.



  • This thread seems deplorable at this point.