RACE AND GENDER IN GAMES

Posts

Alterego, where did you read any criticism? I've gone out of my way to avoid critisizing any games because they lack PoCs/women/LGBT+ because there's literally nothing wrong with 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
He's just one of those people always looking for a reason to complain and bring the rest of us down to their level.
*walks back into topic, looks around at some of the replies since his last one*

I'm getting one of those feelings. I don't think I wanna be around to see where this eventually goes. ABORT!

If you need me, I'll be in one of the MV related threads or something.

author=Yellow Magic
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?


no, not just you. I'm hoping OP isn't from the US or doesn't know the baggage people in the US tend tend to attach to "colored"? Being in the U.S. my whole life, I cringe whenever someone busts that out. I don't know how that goes in other countries.

I don't even know what terminology I'd prefer. Not actually a fan of "non-white", but the only somewhat-acceptable "blanket term" I can think of is PoC, which is not one I care for. It's still probably better than "colored" or "non-white" when discussing fictional stuff. I dunno, I don't have an easy solution there.

the "feels like bragging rights" is why I haven't really addressed the OP's or Sooz's questions, though I don't think the sentiment of asking "how do you feel you do in terms of representation?" is inherently bad, or that they were horrible questions. OP was asking more for numbers than "how well did you think you did?" while Sooz was asking pretty broad stuff. My only note there is that I get suspicious when people say they've done a good job representing a group they're not a part of. I don't think they're the ones who get to make that call!

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


Mixed-raced Guatemalan, but first gen (or second gen depending on how you define 'kid with foreign parent(s) who is a native-born citizen') American so it's not like i've lived in Guatemala.

However one of the reasons I don't like the term PoC is the same kind of reason I don't like using queer when having public discussions about LGBTQIA+ stuff. Although it can be a useful shorthand for discussing many groups at once, it kinda assumes there's like, a shared "people of color" experience, or that there's some kind of unity based on the experience of not being white. That's just a thing I don't believe in.

The reason I mention it here is that y'know, i don't expect some kind of automatic agreement just b/c neither of us are white. I was just noting that I agree with you + Mog on some of the weird vibes, but if i got into it I wouldn't be surprised if we have different feelings.

author=Yellow Magic
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?


Video games are (usually) a pretty visual medium so it's (usually) not hard to figure out if someone's white or not. But in cases where you don't have visual cues to identify someone's potential race, there's non-visual ones. What kind of name they have is a pretty common one, or if they're noted to come from a place where people in general aren't white.

A lot of audience members tend to assume characters are white until proven otherwise. Even when the authors or when source material actually specifies someone's race, some people will cling to claiming they're white. Off the top of my head, I remember the shitstorm of Rue being cast as a black girl in the Hunger Games movies (despite being specified as a black girl in the books), or when there was talk about the potential for Donald Glover to play Spiderman, or Idris Elba as a potential James Bond... or all the other times similar "controversies" have happened when a character is assumed to be white and that assumption gets questioned.

Those specific examples are more about whitewashing when things make the jump from non-visual to visual media, but the basic idea of "a lot of folks assume white until proven otherwise, and sometimes not even that will change their mind" is not unique to adaptations of book --> movie.

One of the reasons characters without explicit cues often get assumed white is the large number of white characters in various media in comparison to other races. This is why cues to signal someone is not white exist, in hopes they'll be "assumed brown" or whatever the desired race is.

Incidentally, and this isn't directed at you, yellow magic, but the idea of "a lot of people assume white until proven otherwise" extends to other things like sexuality. This is why I don't care for the approach of "I leave it to people to headcanon" or "I don't think about that so people can decide what they want". I get not wanting to specify someone's race or orientation or whatever else if it seems irrelevant, and like ok, sure, but that's not even close to "representation" if it's invisible or up to the audience to decide.
Just popping in to drop this...

'Coloured', 'non-white', 'tan-skins', and what-not are equivalent to calling us 'indio'. At least that's the case with the people I've met so far. I can't represent my entire country though.

I personally find 'non-white' to be the strangest of them, considering that a larger portion of the population isn't white. We're not non-white, you're non-coloured.

/flies off
I guess you're right - ambiguity doesn't really make representation a thing as the audience will usually fill the blanks with "straight" "white" and "male" where appropriate.

But I think I know why people think negatively of the word colored:



But I think the sexual orientation bit is much more tricky to handle - while bringing PoC and female characters into the game simply requires a different sprite, having someone - let's take trans as an example - who is transsexual you'll have to go out of your way to 1. confirm this character is trans and 2. give the character some background so she isn't just a token minority. I guess this could be a little easier with homosexuals - all you need is to put two characters into a setting/environment that implies them to be a couple and just have them be the same gender.
I think some of the reason people use coloured isn't to be racist, but because it includes all colours that aren't white and they're talking about the spectrum. They're not just pinpointing black, but also including asian, island and other skintones that aren't 'white' as part of a collective. For some of them it's like saying citrus instead of lime, orange and lemon. Because they fall under that descriptor.

It might also be other countries not having the stigma attached to the word that others have. So while it's a bit eeeeeehhhhh to some, to others it's just a word used to include the spectrum and no offence meant in it.

Of course, there are some who deliberately use the word as an insult, but it's easy enough to tell by tone when that happens. Jumping down people's throats for using it is kinda silly, if you don't know whether they understand the connotations behind it or not. Educate, don't hate.
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=LightningLord2


The subtle discriminations in this picture aren't as subtle anymore (I'm not talking about the "colored" sign above the water fountain; that's a given). The fact that the white fountain has a foundation while the colored fountain is just screwed to the wall and gets its water from the "white" source I think should say enough, but let's not forget that the colored fountain is indeed set up lower on the wall, forcing anyone who drinks there to literally bow down to whitey.
author=PB
I was just noting that I agree with you + Mog on some of the weird vibes,


I'm not denying the importance of the question of inclusion, but I don't want it to be forced. A white girl who grew up in Los Angeles, who naturally is familiar and knows diversity with four or five different races in her game/story/etc is probably going to come up with a better result than a white girl from Iowa writing the same thing because she feels that Tumblr will think she's a racist if she doesn't.

I guess what I'm saying is, I hope I'm not the only one who thinks the question of

"How many black people are in YOUR game???"

...sounds kinda weird.
Solitayre
Circumstance penalty for being the bard.
18722
I agree that diversity quotas are dumb. I just think it would be good for people to actively think about things like this when building their worlds and characters and realize that adding people of different races, sexual orientations and cultures is natural, realistic and doesn't have to be weird and awkward.
Craze
i bet she's a diva with a potion popping problem
13616
Solitayre
I agree that diversity quotas are dumb. I just think it would be good for people to actively think about things like this when building their worlds and characters and realize that adding people of different races, sexual orientations and cultures is natural, realistic and doesn't have to be weird and awkward.


This is what I tried to say like 3 times but could never put as eloquently as this. thanks soli
slash
APATHY IS FOR COWARDS
4008
Yea, in general, I don't think you should be doing things that you're really not comfortable with. But, on the flip side, I don't think there's too much to be uncomfortable with when adding a more diverse set of characters to your story. It's not something that requires much reason or justification.

It's rare that things like race or sexual orientation are brought up in fantasy games anyway, so you can really just include it without making it a whole thing. You just gotta try and be aware of stereotypes that are out there and do your best not to fall into them. Having a diverse test group can help with that a ton, as well.
Corfaisus
"It's frustrating because - as much as Corf is otherwise an irredeemable person - his 2k/3 mapping is on point." ~ psy_wombats
7370
I'm feeling pretty good about my game, not in terms of real-world representation, but by just how diverse the in-game cast is. Like, no one is just male warrior*. Almost every character is wildly different from each other, and I've got 2k3 to thank for it.

Now if a new RPG Maker came along with beastmen and, like, a species generator, that'd be perfect. Straight humans are just boring.

*Seriously, go check out Fidchell's LP and you'll see how quickly 'teh hoomans' get sniped out of the party. And while you're there, why not check out some of his other videos, hmm? I'm subbed to him and you should be, too.
Yellow Magic
Could I BE any more Chandler Bing from Friends (TM)?
3065
author=PentagonBuddy
I don't even know what terminology I'd prefer. Not actually a fan of "non-white", but the only somewhat-acceptable "blanket term" I can think of is PoC, which is not one I care for. It's still probably better than "colored" or "non-white" when discussing fictional stuff. I dunno, I don't have an easy solution there.
100% agreed re: PoC. I usually just go with 'ethnic minority' and haven't experienced a problem with that phrase yet.

Mixed-raced Guatemalan, but first gen (or second gen depending on how you define 'kid with foreign parent(s) who is a native-born citizen') American so it's not like i've lived in Guatemala.
Oh, cool.

Video games are (usually) a pretty visual medium so it's (usually) not hard to figure out if someone's white or not. But in cases where you don't have visual cues to identify someone's potential race, there's non-visual ones. What kind of name they have is a pretty common one, or if they're noted to come from a place where people in general aren't white.

A lot of audience members tend to assume characters are white until proven otherwise. Even when the authors or when source material actually specifies someone's race, some people will cling to claiming they're white. Off the top of my head, I remember the shitstorm of Rue being cast as a black girl in the Hunger Games movies (despite being specified as a black girl in the books), or when there was talk about the potential for Donald Glover to play Spiderman, or Idris Elba as a potential James Bond... or all the other times similar "controversies" have happened when a character is assumed to be white and that assumption gets questioned.

Those specific examples are more about whitewashing when things make the jump from non-visual to visual media, but the basic idea of "a lot of folks assume white until proven otherwise, and sometimes not even that will change their mind" is not unique to adaptations of book --> movie.

One of the reasons characters without explicit cues often get assumed white is the large number of white characters in various media in comparison to other races. This is why cues to signal someone is not white exist, in hopes they'll be "assumed brown" or whatever the desired race is.
I can understand the reasoning behind this idea...but at the same time I don't think 'brown' is a good way to describe a race. For example, I'm brown, but I'm of South Asian descent, not African.
Craze
i bet she's a diva with a potion popping problem
13616
after having donald glover seduce me in magic mike xxl, he can play whatever he wants and i'll watch it

edit: people actually were mad about rue?!?!??!!??!?!????? it's literally in the book like you said. holy shit.
Corfaisus
"It's frustrating because - as much as Corf is otherwise an irredeemable person - his 2k/3 mapping is on point." ~ psy_wombats
7370
Most times - and this probably has 100% to do with Texas - when you say "brown", people assume you mean Mexico. We usually just call people anywhere near the Middle East "Muslim". Not even Arab, we just jump straight to Muslim.

Kind of sad, actually.
Off the top of my head, I remember the shitstorm of Rue being cast as a black girl in the Hunger Games movies (despite being specified as a black girl in the books)... or Idris Elba as a potential James Bond

It is ridiculous that a black actor being cast to play a black character causes problems, but why doesn't the "specified as xyz in the books" statement apply to James Bond?
Solitayre
Circumstance penalty for being the bard.
18722
James Bond is implied to not be one man but a code name passed from agent to agent. This explains why his appearance changes from movie to movie, why he doesn't seem to age despite the obvious passage of time/advancement of technology in his universe, and why each iteration of the character has slightly different character traits.
Implied by the movies, and largely for pragmatic reasons (such as actors ageing or falling out of favour). Not so much by Fleming's books.
Yeah, I've never heard that about James Bond, either. In the books he was clearly the same person, and a lot of the movies are either reboots, or they imply that the previous James Bonds were exploits by the same agent (sort of similar a 'floating timeline' that comic books have).

As cool as it would be to see a Idris Elba James Bond, I don't mind that certain characters are 'meant' to be a certain race or ethnicity. That's fine, and considering that race and ethnicity being a huge part of identity, it can be cheap to just swap that just because.

It reminds me of Stan Lee stating that he'd rather have just new, original characters for different ethnicies rather than squeezing minority versions of established characters 'just because'. I can't say I disagree with that.