Author Topic: Tropes vs Women in Video Games  (Read 85699 times)

Offline Neonivek

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Re: Tropes vs Women in Video Games
« Reply #20 on: December 07, 2012, 08:14:48 PM »
It teaches boys to be violent, leaders, and mechanically inclined and thus proliferating male steriotypes

:P

Ok not really sorta maybe. You never know in these conversations. Dang it Bionicle!

Offline Rosella

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Re: Tropes vs Women in Video Games
« Reply #21 on: December 07, 2012, 09:20:08 PM »
The fact that you are attracted to buxom provocative women is very important because it means that they arn't nessisarily "male attraction only" traits.

It doesn't matter if they're "male attraction only" traits. If they're "attraction only" traits, they're offensive. I don't care who women are being objectified by, just that they're being objectified. XD
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Offline Neonivek

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Re: Tropes vs Women in Video Games
« Reply #22 on: December 07, 2012, 09:48:55 PM »
The fact that you are attracted to buxom provocative women is very important because it means that they arn't nessisarily "male attraction only" traits.

It doesn't matter if they're "male attraction only" traits. If they're "attraction only" traits, they're offensive. I don't care who women are being objectified by, just that they're being objectified. XD

If they are "attraction only" traits they are not offensive they are attractive as in they are traits in which we call attention to. In the same way that being beautiful, even if modest, would be an "attraction only" trait.

By establishing that certain traits are attractive to both sexes you establish that it isn't nessisarily objectification but possibly idealisation. In the same way that even a male character can have their physical traits idealised.

Remember what women as with men are sexual creatures and we cannot limit them to purely nonsexual roles.

As that Rosella goes into the error people make I call "Women are Chaste angels".

The difference however Rosella is how it is handled and how much it is used. Which I will admit I am hesitant to give examples because I am sure they are largely contested.

Though I guess if I had to give examples of two sexualised character one who does it right and one who does it badly and a gun was pointed to my head... I'd give Anna Williums from Tekken as an example of it being done right, and lets say Taki from Soul Calibur doing it wrong.

Anna Williums is a sexualised character but that really is part of her character and it isn't treated as a negative trait nor does it impeed upon her competence (In fact she is one of the most skilled and competent fighters in the series), as well there is no reason why she could have this trait either (Since her job actually benefits from it).

Taki is given supernaturally huge freefloating breasts, that look like balloons personally, to someone who would be greatly hindered by having them and clearly isn't a sexual character herself, she just has a sexualised appearance. There is a reason why people joke that she uses her breasts as a balance for her flips.

Now, I am not 100% these examples are the best. In fact I could be dissuaded that Anna Williums is in fact a terrible example of a sexual woman not being terrible (easy since I am kinda Prudish)... but its the best I got for now.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2012, 10:16:42 PM by Neonivek »

Offline KatieHal

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Re: Tropes vs Women in Video Games
« Reply #23 on: December 07, 2012, 10:11:11 PM »
Just because it's "attractive" (which is a completely subjective thing), doesn't mean it isn't objectification. Because objectifying means turning something or someone into an object--in this case, an object instead of a person. It's putting the emphasis on their body rather over any other trait they might have, glossing over or ignoring who they are or what they do. It's the emphasis of the physical form as the only important thing about this person--be they male or female. 

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Offline Neonivek

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Re: Tropes vs Women in Video Games
« Reply #24 on: December 07, 2012, 10:24:05 PM »
Quote
It's the emphasis of the physical form as the only important thing about this person--be they male or female.

Exactly it is how it is done rather then the fact that it is done.

I mean there are exceptions to even that but they fall outside this conversation (for example first person narrative is a valid way to include outright objectification without it nessisarily being a bad thing).

Mind you I think your definition needs a bit more formation since hardly ANY female character is purely objectified.

Even the most over sexualised woman who is only there for the eye candy of the audiance can often have genuin characterisation. Dead or Alive for example is a series that sells itself on the objectification of women, to the point where it has sort of become almost a self parody, and yet quite a few of the character have genuin stories.

It isn't the fact that they have plotlines that means they arn't objectified. It is the fact that their objectification is put in the forefront and often used against their very character and plotlines.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2012, 10:33:38 PM by Neonivek »

Offline darthkiwi

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Re: Tropes vs Women in Video Games
« Reply #25 on: December 08, 2012, 06:04:25 AM »
Quote
Mind you I think your definition needs a bit more formation since hardly ANY female character is purely objectified.

But objectification can take place within characterisation.

If you have a female character who is helpless, or who is adored by the male protagonist and this adoration then drives the plot, or who is "saved" in the end by the protagonist, then the characterisation of that female character only exists to pander to male fantasies of being strong, masculine, saving the day, being in control and, ultimately, having the woman to himself and therefore controlling her.

It should also be borne in mind that, while women are objectified in the real world as well (eg. showgirls, the behaviour of teens in school, sexual offenses in the workplace), this is no excuse for objectifying women in film/books/games. The reason the real world objectifies women is because the real world is, for the most part, a patriarchal sphere in which women are seen as either prizes to be captured or hopelessly inept people who should leave anything complicated to men.

(This has got a lot better over the past century or so, but given the way women are sometimes treated in the workplace - via groping or the expectation they'll sleep with the boss - or on gaming forums or within tech culture - "Sorry, you're a woman so you can't possibly understand technology - can I speak to a man please?" - it's clearly still with us in some sense.)

Now granted, an accurate representation of the real world and its patriarchal bias will result in an artwork which recreates these situations. The key, though, is to present them but not to endorse or practice them. If a woman is presented sexually in a videogame and objectified by other characters, a valid response from the game would be to present the woman as a complete character and show what effect this sexualisation has on her - perhaps she feels uncomfortable being looked at all the time, for example. (A good example of this is Silence of the Lambs, which showed how uncomfortable Clarisse was as a female police officer, ie. in a man's world.) What the game should not do is just roll with the sexualisation and have the woman accept it to the extent that it eclipses the rest of her character.

Sexual women are fine: people are sexual. But making a character sexual to the point where she exists largely to fulfil the fantasies of male players means that she herself, as a character, is simply an object. Yes all characters are fictional anyway and are to some extent objects, but the key is to give the illusion of depth, to suggest that there might be more to a woman than large breasts and a tendency to need to be rescued.
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Offline Rosella

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Re: Tropes vs Women in Video Games
« Reply #26 on: December 08, 2012, 07:19:07 AM »
Very well said.
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Offline stika

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Re: Tropes vs Women in Video Games
« Reply #27 on: December 08, 2012, 08:12:38 AM »
she did? I'll admit I haven't seen her videos in quite a while, so my bad on that.

And it's true that the 'girls' line doesn't encourage that, but as I said before, if that's the problem, then get the gender neutral line :P

Overall, I think these lines were a nice decision by Lego as they basically gave you more options

I think the issue is that Lego is actively putting out something to girls saying what is expected of their gender, while thankfully that messgae doesn't carry through all of their products, the gendered ones are still sending a dated message.

I'm looking forward to her video about the few female videogame characters that are actually well done, I guess I'm hoping that there will be more than just a tiny handful, or at the very least there is a trend of female characters improving as the industry gets older.
see, but then we go back to one of my original points: howcome no one complained when Lego launched their bionicle line? It was launched years before the 'girls' line and it was undoubtedly marketed at boys

The girl toy line deals with suggestions on what a girls hobbies should be in day to day life.  I don't think anyone is suggesting boys should grow up to be killer robots.
but it encourages violence and teaches them that fighting can be the right solution.
Right?

as for the whole 'buxom women are not sexist' argument that is going on... yeah I'm not even going to touch subject, so I'll just say this:

Buxom female characters in games are most often the most boring characters in said games, imo.

My favorite female character thus far was Farrah from Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, a shame how they ruined her in the two thrones

Offline Deloria

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Re: Tropes vs Women in Video Games
« Reply #28 on: December 08, 2012, 10:49:00 AM »
Quote
Mind you I think your definition needs a bit more formation since hardly ANY female character is purely objectified.

But objectification can take place within characterisation.

If you have a female character who is helpless, or who is adored by the male protagonist and this adoration then drives the plot, or who is "saved" in the end by the protagonist, then the characterisation of that female character only exists to pander to male fantasies of being strong, masculine, saving the day, being in control and, ultimately, having the woman to himself and therefore controlling her.
This isn't at all limited to videogames and I disagree: There needs to be an established relationship in order for the player to have any incentive at all to save her. And if there's already a relationship, this doesn't weaken them as characters and it doesn't mean they relinquish control to the saviours. Saving someone enables them to become a more complete character because they're no longer being held back and can now develop properly. I agree that plots aren't usually fleshed out to this extent, but the potential for better, stronger characters is now definitely there because they should both be made stronger by the experience and interaction.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2012, 10:54:44 AM by Deloria »
 
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Offline Neonivek

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Re: Tropes vs Women in Video Games
« Reply #29 on: December 08, 2012, 02:49:15 PM »
Quote
If you have a female character who is helpless, or who is adored by the male protagonist and this adoration then drives the plot, or who is "saved" in the end by the protagonist, then the characterisation of that female character only exists to pander to male fantasies of being strong, masculine, saving the day, being in control and, ultimately, having the woman to himself and therefore controlling her

Actually there is nothing wrong with this either and there are male and female versions of this.

Characters exist for a purpose and this character is there to be saved and to make the protagonist wish to save them.

Is them being a "damsel" offensive to their character, story, or situation? It is being projected upon women as a whole?

Quote
If a woman is presented sexually in a videogame and objectified by other characters, a valid response from the game would be to present the woman as a complete character and show what effect this sexualisation has on her - perhaps she feels uncomfortable being looked at all the time, for example

Ignoring the weird situation. This is a good example. Even Princess Peach has shown her personal oppinion on her constant kidnapping (she doesn't care and treats it like a regular occurance). Which given the context of the series and the fact that Bowser doesn't really seem to do anything to her or anyone.

Though yes one of the major ways in which these steriotypes are used negatively is that they entirely unfocus on the female and treat her as completely unimportant within her own plight (such as anytime rape is used to motivate a male.)

Quote
I agree that plots aren't usually fleshed out to this extent, but the potential for better, stronger characters is now definitely there because they should both be made stronger by the experience and interaction.

I don't know, not every character needs to be a strong character. I certainly know that if I was in a work of fiction I could easily be the "Damsel" because I don't have the skillset nor bravery to really save myself.

I also doubt it would make me a better person to be saved.

Quote
It should also be borne in mind that, while women are objectified in the real world as well (eg. showgirls, the behaviour of teens in school, sexual offenses in the workplace), this is no excuse for objectifying women in film/books/games

It gives context to the sphere of characters that can exist.

The thing is, you have to gender flip as well.

For example is the Shallow Love interest in the Titanic offensive to men? Is the shallow love interest Villain in the same movie offensive to men? They are both objectified but what is the difference?

What is the difference between neutral and negative objectification? Since there is obviously a difference.

Also yes I am aware that taking this possition easily makes me the villain. It is why I tend to stay out of these kinds of conversations.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2012, 03:17:41 PM by Neonivek »

Offline Deloria

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Re: Tropes vs Women in Video Games
« Reply #30 on: December 08, 2012, 03:57:00 PM »
Quote
I agree that plots aren't usually fleshed out to this extent, but the potential for better, stronger characters is now definitely there because they should both be made stronger by the experience and interaction.

I don't know, not every character needs to be a strong character. I certainly know that if I was in a work of fiction I could easily be the "Damsel" because I don't have the skillset nor bravery to really save myself.

I also doubt it would make me a better person to be saved.
Do you need to be saved? :P You can't be saved by just anyone either; there needs to be an emotional connection to make it worthwhile and meaningful for both parties. Saving someone because you love them deeply and want to help them is beautiful. Saving someone because you want to feel like a saviour isn't.
 
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Offline Neonivek

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Re: Tropes vs Women in Video Games
« Reply #31 on: December 08, 2012, 04:01:51 PM »
Maybe my hero (male or female) just wants to do the right thing.

Heck maybe to them I am the worst human being who has ever lived.

"Saving someone because you want to feel like a saviour isn't."

Well unless that is part of the story. I certainly have seen stories of someone doing a lot of good things to try to get the "goody goody" feeling. Or Heros who just like the glory of being someone's savior.

Really there is no wrong reason to why you want to save someone. There is just a right or wrong way for a story to handle it.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2012, 04:05:21 PM by Neonivek »

Offline Lambonius

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Re: Tropes vs Women in Video Games
« Reply #32 on: December 08, 2012, 05:01:53 PM »
Is it sexist if, in games that allow you to choose the gender of your character, I always choose female because it's more fun spending hours on end staring at chick-ass than man-ass?

Offline Neonivek

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Re: Tropes vs Women in Video Games
« Reply #33 on: December 08, 2012, 05:09:16 PM »
Is it sexist if, in games that allow you to choose the gender of your character, I always choose female because it's more fun spending hours on end staring at chick-ass than man-ass?

Isn't the answer no? That you arn't passing judgement or illwill upon women or men. Nor are you chosing to disadvantage one or the other, nor unjustly advantage one or the other?

You just have a preference on what kind of butt you like to look at?

Offline Bludshot

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Re: Tropes vs Women in Video Games
« Reply #34 on: December 08, 2012, 07:55:22 PM »
Is it sexist if, in games that allow you to choose the gender of your character, I always choose female because it's more fun spending hours on end staring at chick-ass than man-ass?

The ass only highlights sexism if it is the only thing that character has going on.  Commander Shepard has a nice ass, but that isn't the most important thing about her.
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Offline Neonivek

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Re: Tropes vs Women in Video Games
« Reply #35 on: December 08, 2012, 07:58:02 PM »
What if it was a "Nicest ass" contest. Then the person's butt would be the most important aspect.

Offline Blackthorne

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Re: Tropes vs Women in Video Games
« Reply #36 on: December 08, 2012, 08:09:25 PM »
Sometimes, the only good thing about a person IS their ass.


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Offline Bludshot

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Re: Tropes vs Women in Video Games
« Reply #37 on: December 08, 2012, 08:12:32 PM »
Sometimes, the only good thing about a person IS their ass.


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Offline Lambonius

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Re: Tropes vs Women in Video Games
« Reply #38 on: December 08, 2012, 09:13:08 PM »
Thread successfully derailed.

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Offline GrahamRocks!

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Re: Tropes vs Women in Video Games
« Reply #39 on: December 08, 2012, 09:17:09 PM »
Oh boy... here we go... *facepalm*