RACE AND GENDER IN GAMES

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I think the fact that this conversation once again happens here tells the story of the hunt for political correctness well enough. I'm of the mind that if you're putting in people of a certain race or gender just because you feel like you need to fill some imaginary quota, you're in a way looking down on the very same people you're trying to include.
Corfaisus
"It's frustrating because - as much as Corf is otherwise an irredeemable person - his 2k/3 mapping is on point." ~ psy_wombats
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author=SnowOwl
political correctness


Don't start that shit here.
Craze
i bet she's a diva with a potion popping problem
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SnowOwl
I think the fact that this conversation once again happens here tells the story of the hunt for political correctness well enough. I'm of the mind that if you're putting in people of a certain race or gender just because you feel like you need to fill some imaginary quota, you're in a way looking down on the very same people you're trying to include.


here's where this is a fallacy, and it's something i've talked about already in this topic but OH WELL:

the default human being is NOT a straight, white male. the apparent exoticism of having any deviation from this is extremely unhealthy. multiple people here have already stated that the "captain planet" approach is kinda awkward, which is true. i think that might be what you mean by "imaginary quota". but saying that people should shy away from including diverse characters in their games without any reason is... like... what's the reason for white to be the default? what is the reason for the cast to start as white and then require a pay-with-good-reason paint bucket tool to fill in the rest? it makes no sense other than people being wrapped up in the status quo.
I didn't say you have to make every character into whatever. I'm saying that forcing people into a place where they don't fit for no good reason is unnecessary and just feels forced and will probably give both the people forcefully included and the "default people" weird vibes. You can still include people of whatever race and gender you want, just do it in a natural way. I didn't say anything about white straight males. Make a game set in the black parts of Africa and it would be equally weird to have everyone be white.
author=SnowOwl
I didn't say you have to make every character into whatever. I'm saying that forcing people into a place where they don't fit for no good reason is unnecessary and just feels forced and will probably give both the people forcefully included and the "default people" weird vibes.

Did people here actually suggest that you should do that? Not just one of two posters, but a sufficient number to justify the "the fact that this conversation once again happens" of your earlier post?
author=Crystalgate
Did people here actually suggest that you should do that? Not just one of two posters, but a sufficient number to justify the "the fact that this conversation once again happens" of your earlier post?
A good number seems to think that you have to fill the quota. Of course, they don't state it outright, but that's the gist of what they say.
author=SnowOwl
A good number seems to think that you have to fill the quota. Of course, they don't state it outright, but that's the gist of what they say.

The is a lot like when Yellow Magic said "many" cares perhaps a bit too much. Now you say that a "good number" seems to think you have to fill a quota. Who those people are and where you can find them nobody save Yellow Magic respective you know, but apparently they do exist within the 7 respective 8 pages that had happened when the respective posts came up.
There's no need to be so defensive. If you want me to namedrop I can, but I don't see the point.
author=SnowOwl
There's no need to be so defensive. If you want me to namedrop I can, but I don't see the point.

You have twice claimed that people are doing something which they themselves are unlikely to think they are doing, but both times you provided zero backup, you just claimed it is so. It seems to me that this is exactly when you in fact should ask the claimant to back the claim up, or "be so defensive" if you prefer that.
Corfaisus
"It's frustrating because - as much as Corf is otherwise an irredeemable person - his 2k/3 mapping is on point." ~ psy_wombats
7370
author=SnowOwl
author=Crystalgate
Did people here actually suggest that you should do that? Not just one of two posters, but a sufficient number to justify the "the fact that this conversation once again happens" of your earlier post?
A good number seems to think that you have to fill the quota. Of course, they don't state it outright, but that's the gist of what they say.

Strange lenses you're seeing discourse through. Perhaps you're the one who's wrong or, dare I say, "being a warrior"?
author=SnowOwl
There's no need to be so defensive. If you want me to namedrop I can, but I don't see the point.


I dunno what the mods may think, but I'm all for the namedropping.

I see your kind of attitude all the time with people assuming things about what other people are saying/thinking when that's not what's actually going on at all. It's not good for dialogue.
Apparently I seem to have hit a nerve since you seem so upset about it, plus I don't seem to be alone in thinking it. But whatever, you guys keep fighting the good fight.
yo snow owl chill out
I don't think that they're right, but I don't see how SnowOwl isn't chill.
No one has talked about quotas, but you might get that impression based on the OP. The "litmus test" idea is similar to the Bechedel-Wallace test, which is not a measure of how well-represented any piece of media is. It's a measure of an even lower bar. Same idea with the "sexy lamp" test (could you replace a female character with a sexy lamp and nothing would substantially change?) and the other variants mentioned in that wiki article. I've also seen the structure of the Bechdel test applied to other groups. (For example, two black characters exist, talk to each other, and talk to each other about something other than white people. Two autistic characters exist, talk to each other, about something besides neurotypical people.) It's not a clean transition across all groups or ideas, however.

These are not quotas. These ideas are a way to demonstrate that existing work is frequently terrible about being inclusive in several departments because even these incredibly low bars are not often met.

author=LightningLord2
Well, my topic was more about inquiring about how much people care for representation and what they do to achieve it, not necessarily asking them to do more of it (though I do like having some variety in characters). And I agree that you can leave some/most groups unrepresented to keep the game small, as well as with the fact that writing PoC/female characters at all isn't as important as writing them well. "I feel my portrayal of PoC/women/LGBT+ would be considered offensive" is a legitimate explanation for not having them.

Even the OP, who wrote the questions that you might be interpreting as "saying you should fill a quota", actually says writing other groups well is more important.

If you're gonna talk shit, back it up. This is not unreasonable. If your only purpose was to come in and make smug comments about what "some people" are doing, why would you waste everyone's time like that

Full disclosure time: @mog and yellow magic...yeah I feel you about vibes that are hard to articulate. I've noticed a couple things that trip my personal red flags, too, but I haven't gone into it for a few reasons. (time, energy, trying to limit how involved I get in topics like these when I have other things to be doing to name a few...) If you can point out specific things that give you that vibe, it helps. Otherwise it's just gonna put people on edge in the kind of conversation that gets tense and unpleasant super quickly.

I was in the process of digging up specific things but i'm picking and choosing what I respond to here and, ironically, I'm more irritated about alterego and snowowl's popping in to be vague and insert comments no one has said into the conversation. This bothers me more than the way some people have been talking about representation, especially with regards to race. Since yeah, you both (and me atm) are doing the "being vague" thing i'm yelling at snowowl and alterego about, but it bugs me less b/c I at least (partially) agree and don't know a good way to articulate similar feelings either.

Maybe I will post about it later, or talk about it via pm with anyone sincerely interested or worried about how they come across. (if anyone actually feels the urge to pm me about this i reserve the right to say "sorry, not interested in talking to you". I'm picky about how I spend my free time.)
Let's see if we can get this topic back on track.

In roughly half of my game ideas, I imagine a female main and I also imagine female characters for roughly half the cast. Now, as it turns out, I'm just as interested in telling the tales of women doing things heroic, villainous, intelligent, foolish, surprising and what have you, as I am telling the tales of men doing the same.

I'm not as good at including non beige people though. Considering what I said earlier, chance is you can guess that I am not so interesting in doing so. However, I have noticed that the more I have been thinking about it, the more interesting the idea seems. Recent ideas tend to include more non beige than my old ideas did. I have also noticed that when looking back on old ideas, including a lot of say black people would not only make sense, but also provide good opportunity for world building. What this means is that I've basically caught myself overly focusing on beige people without actually having a good reason for doing so.

From this I've gathered that the way forward is to question what you are doing. This is fairly obvious though, you cannot be interested in including X in your game unless you have thought about what X can do for your game.

I will also make the following claim, if your ideas rarely feature X, any explanation ultimately boils down to you not being interested in X. It may be so that X doesn't make sense in your current game, but this reasoning breaks down over multiple games. If you're interested in X, you would not think of ten game ideas where X makes sense in neither of them.

I don't think there's a guarantee though that questioning what you're doing will make a certain element interesting. For example, while including people of varying ethnicity became more interesting with time for me, writing non straight people still doesn't seem interesting to me, despite that I've got nothing against non straight people. Even so, questioning what you are doing helps a lot.
Sooz
It's a scientific fact that mods and admins have more genes in common with crabs than you and I, there's no real evidence for that claim but it is scientific fact
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author=Crystalgate
From this I've gathered that the way forward is to question what you are doing.


Yeah, this is my motto, too: there's no reason not to at least stop and think for a moment, "Is there a reason this character needs to be white/male/straight/cis/whatever? Would it make things better if I changed it?"

Sometimes, the answer is, "This character should be however I originally conceived them because of X reason." This can be anything from "There would be some really bad implications if I made them some brand of minority," to "Oh God I really don't want to do the research," to "Oh God I really don't want to deal with possible fallout."

From a creative standpoint, it's always good to question yourself in everything: "Am I just doing this because it's what I'm used to? Could I improve things somehow?"

Also props to Pentabuddy for expressing what I was trying to say a lot better.

Actually, I think I'll quit this thread now; I'm increasingly feeling like the kinds of conversations I'm interested in aren't going to be happening in RMN, at least not in public, and I get way too annoyed at the ground level discussions around motives and whatever. Much more fun to talk about dumb video games and post cute pictures. Later, kids.
Yellow Magic
Could I BE any more Chandler Bing from Friends (TM)?
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author=Sooz
OK, cool, but it'd be a lot better overall if y'all would POINT OUT EXAMPLES of this, so maybe the people involved would tone it down a notch? Because otherwise all you're doing is contributing "Well, SOMEONE is doing something wrong, but I'm not going to give any specifics or say who, so you'll all have to sit and try to figure it out," which, as I said before, is super unhelpful.

Like seriously, if I'm jamming my foot down my throat here, I would like to know so that, in the future, I do not do it again. Currently, all I have is the fact that nobody has said, "Hey, Sooz, your foot should not be next to your vocal cords."
I would like to think anyone who read my post and the others would be introspective enough to figure it out on their own, but alright then:

Also, a small litmus test: Simply count down each named Character in your game(-s) and tell me the percentage of

-female
-colored
-LGBT+

characters in your game. I exclude unnamed characters to save you the trouble of browsing through your game to find every NPC who always says the same line if you speak to her. You may count the unnamed characters within the statistic, though.
I'll be honest: The whole topic to me seems to be a kind of bragging rights type thing, and yeah, as bulma pointed out: The use of the word 'colored' isn't appreciated, especially when one is demonstrating inclusivity, but maybe that's just me?

author=unity
The main character, Karuna, is the in-game equivalent of African, but with anime-hair rather than more accurate hair, but that's just how I envisioned her. Perhaps I should have gone with more realistic hair for her, but... oh well. I guess she looks more like she falls under the TV Tropes label of "ambiguously brown."
Comes across as trying too hard..no, you didn't have to go with more 'realistic' hair, it's a freaking jRPG. Is there a rule that says ethnic minorities can't have funky anime hair? I would KILL for funky anime hair. What does 'ambiguously brown' mean anyway? I'm pretty damn brown, but I'm not African. There is more to being African than skin tone, though, and there are many variations of facial features within Africa itself...okay, I guess I might be being a bit nitpicky here, but it's good to be careful when discussing these topics in front of minorities.

Remnants of Isolation:
Melchior- Ambiguously brown
Celesta- Ladytype also structurally modeled on black ethnicity
Also various unseen characters who are generally assumed to be brown.
Great but again, what is 'assumed to be brown'? How does one assume a skin colour when you can't see the character in the first place?

If you want bad inclusion of minorities or women in games look at GTA. It's hard to find a game that's more misogynist than that.
Agreed with Sated on this front - GTA is a giant satire of that type of thing, not an homage.

If you don't like/care about inclusiveness in games I'd suggest you not to tell people who want it to shut up.
I'm not sure where this even came from

Even if someone turns out wrong about one thing, or certain things, it's not always cause to disregard the source as a whole. I don't usually link things with a tagline of "this is a definitive source" and I try to throw in caveats of "alright I might not agree with X but Y point is solid", but that gets tiring. Oftentimes I link an Outside Thing as a jumping off point or as a "for more information: call this number" type deal.
Not directly related, but this reminds me of the time someone (I think it was emmy?) posted a link to Racism School 101 or something in a thread full of ethnic minorities and went with the whole 'educate yourself' line. That can come off as very preachy, and when you're doing it to the choir, it's just obnoxious.

@PentagonBuddy: Your sentiments are appreciated, but I've got to ask whether you're an ethnic minority yourself?


Although I have given a litmus test in representation, I never stated any evaluation in how well you represent a particular ethnicity. I wanted the readers themselves to decide whether this is a good thing or not.

The percentages are listed are by no means a minimum you have to fulfill - it's just a (very narrow) list of milestones to see where your game is standing at.

@SnowOwl: I actually think you're right in one thing - if you feel there's no need for a woman/PoC at a specific point, you don't have to make one.

Finally, the only reason I used 'colored' is because I wasn't aware it was offensive to some.

Since there's still some reasonable discussion going on, I'm not wanting this to be locked yet.
Hahaha! What the hell happened here? ...While I understand and share YM's overall sentiments, I'm here not so much because I'm offended as a minority, but because I'm offended as a developer. Link xD I have many ideas for games, some which have a full "non-white" character cast, some which have a mixed character cast, and some which have a full white character cast. And if I ever release anything, I don't want anyone breathing down my neck as to why the later group is all white, like some people do with the Witcher 3; They're white because I want them to be white. That should be the only explanation anyone should ever need.

I don't feel like I need to do this in order to "right any wrongs", or "set any trends", or "balance any scales". And yes, this is language similar to that which has appeared in threads like these. And no, I'm not going to name any names. I don't mean to be "smug" or "unhelpful", I just don't want to single anyone out, or start a quote war with half the forum. "Attack ideas, not people" is the name of the game. Besides, it's also not my intent to "correct" anyone's behavior. I'm just here to have my say. =P

But just for the sake of the argument, look at Craze's post. That's kinda what I'm talking about. He's making a lot of assumptions, but nobody picked up on that. No, you all rather pile up on SnowOwl instead... Now, it would be one thing to discuss why a piece of media does not work for you; how its lack of diversity "takes you out of the experience" or something. More people would be willing to listen to you that way. But going on a "You must be an agent of the status quo!!!" tirade? Not so much.