RACE AND GENDER IN GAMES

Posts

Just because a character isn't exactly like you in every way that doesn't mean you can't identify with a character. It's not impossible to identify with a black character even if you're white.

I'm interested in why this forum is so focused on gender and matters concerning race, every thread concerning those topics gets 10+ pages.
author=SnowOwl
Just because a character isn't exactly like you in every way that doesn't mean you can't identify with a character. It's not impossible to identify with a black character even if you're white.

I'm interested in why this forum is so focused on gender and matters concerning race, every thread concerning those topics gets 10+ pages.


It's true that characters don't need to look like me, but games having characters biased towards being white, male, straight etc. means that there is a real danger of not only underrepresentation, but outright erasure of certain minorities. In certain settings (dystopian, post-apocalyptic, colonization etc.), this can even insinuate that the unrepresented people were left behind or exterminated. Most complaints about ethnic minorities and LGBTQIA+ people being 'forced in' to 'pander to SJWs' are just people upset about that less than 99,99% of the characters are white men.

As for why this topic has so many posts, this is mainly due to the lack of topics regarding representation, treating minorities with respect or racial tension. In contrast, topics related to gameplay features, combat balance, number tweaking, map design, scripting and so on are plentiful, so it's rare for a discussion to focus on that for a long time.
Another reflection that I have noted, maybe not here but on the internet in general.
Unpopular opinion incoming: If we assume it's true that certain races or LGBT people are underrepresented, I think part of the blame actually lies with the worst kind of SJWs. Lets say you make a game with a trans person, but an angry SJW doesn't like the way the person is being portrayed and decides that you are a bigot. You didn't mean any harm, and you thought you were being respectful.

The SJW gets his/her angry friends to fling shit at your game. Your reputation is ruined, without you having done more than put a trans person in your game. It's not the likeliest story there is, but it's a very real possibility, and I can guarantee you that alot of people think that this is a possibility unconsciously or consciously.

There is most likely at least one person that will be very vocal about you not portraying a group of people like they prefer on the internet. But since it's OK to fling shit at white males, and to some degree white females, that's alot easier to put into your game. Is it racism/sexism?
author=LightningLord2
author=SgtMettool
None of my characters in either of my main games (Yuusha, Soma Spirits) have canon sexualities. Nor are there any romance subplots.

I let the players decide.
Although this should be alright on paper, what actually happens is that LGBTQIA+ people won't feel 'true' representation because characters in general are considered straight, white and male unless proven otherwise.

I think this may be the case for games with human/humanoid characters, but not every story-driven game falls into the same criteria.

I am working on a game where the characters are vaguely human/humanoid at best. The two main characters are basically walking robes with Black Mage faces. All the NPCs are things like talking ears of corn and a cardboard box with a face. There's really nothing in the game that suggests that gender/sexuality/representation needs to be a key point in the narrative, nor should players need to know if the cardboard box with a face (who never says or does anything to allude to identity) is LGBTA+ or not. That's why I encourage people to come up with their own headcanons on what everyone is, because I want people to piece it together on their own rather than have me tell them outright what everyone identifies as. And if a game is popular enough, people will do this own their own eventually anyway.

Besides, I really don't think anyone is going to assume that the smiling head of lettuce is a straight white male.
Corfaisus
"It's frustrating because - as much as Corf is otherwise an irredeemable person - his 2k/3 mapping is on point." ~ psy_wombats
7633
author=SnowOwl
Another reflection that I have noted, maybe not here but on the internet in general.
Unpopular opinion incoming: If we assume it's true that certain races or LGBT people are underrepresented, I think part of the blame actually lies with the worst kind of SJWs. Lets say you make a game with a trans person, but an angry SJW doesn't like the way the person is being portrayed and decides that you are a bigot. You didn't mean any harm, and you thought you were being respectful.

The SJW gets his/her angry friends to fling shit at your game. Your reputation is ruined, without you having done more than put a trans person in your game. It's not the likeliest story there is, but it's a very real possibility, and I can guarantee you that alot of people think that this is a possibility unconsciously or consciously.

There is most likely at least one person that will be very vocal about you not portraying a group of people like they prefer on the internet. But since it's OK to fling shit at white males, and to some degree white females, that's alot easier to put into your game. Is it racism/sexism?
author=Corfaisus
author=Craze
i hope that amber scott gets some flak for careless inclusion, but if she gets death threats or anything i will be =|. she probably already has death threats though because OMG ANYTHING REMOTELY NON-CIS IS SJWISM INVASION OMG fuasndfonas huhustut up scott isn't an impressive writer but you aren't an impressive exampel of cognitive thought
I feel this is as good a time as any to bring this up. It came out smoother when I was talking to myself during a walk, but the message is still there. Warning: it brings up that-which-must-not-be-named, but I believe it's important to call it out.

author=Me
It's funny, because I was thinking about this whole divide thing myself recently.

I think we both struck on essentially the same thing here. Of course I was pondering how and why "no women play games" became/remains a thing, but it's roughly the same.

People from all walks of life have been around video games since they were invented. Back in the day, video games were things only nerds played; typically nerds who were also outcasts. To find that one person who would openly admit that they play games was such an exhilarating experience that we would wind up cleaving ourselves to them and forming friendships on that alone. This was all before the internet, which now allows us to communicate instantly with people all over the world, but as this video points out, at an unmistakable price.

Girls were believed to have more important things to worry about (likely more peer-pressure), like academia and outer beauty, so they were dismissed from the games pool. Reinforce this belief for a couple of decades and by the time the internet rolls around you've found "girl" to be an acronym for "guy in real life". There was a distinct divide between the sexes due to expectations which bred a massive misunderstanding, which would ultimately boil over with the events of GamerGate on one side and the quote-unquote "social justice warriors" on the other.

Now we're stuck in this civil war of sorts because what once was an intimate and sensitive topic has blown up into a worldwide phenomenon, something no one was - or even could be - ready for. The sad thing is that this was waiting just below the surface, waiting for someone to open Pandora's Box. And despite what some might believe, the catalyst wasn't Zoe Quinn, her game or its coverage, or even Eron Gjoni bringing his ex-girlfriend's supposed infidelity to light... it was us.

The one thing that brought us all together when no one else would give us the time has now become our greatest passion and indeed our greatest weapon to cut ourselves away from others. We're afraid to let go, to change.


tl;dr: We had a physical and social construct of what a video game should be, but now the cat's out of the bag and we're running around like chickens with our heads cut off. It's our own Land of Confusion, and there's not much love to go around. Together, we're the only ones who can make things right.
kentona
I am tired of Earth. These people. I am tired of being caught in the tangle of their lives.
21237
author=SnowOwl
Another reflection that I have noted, maybe not here but on the internet in general.
Unpopular opinion incoming: If we assume it's true that certain races or LGBT people are underrepresented, I think part of the blame actually lies with the worst kind of SJWs. Lets say you make a game with a trans person, but an angry SJW doesn't like the way the person is being portrayed and decides that you are a bigot. You didn't mean any harm, and you thought you were being respectful.

The SJW gets his/her angry friends to fling shit at your game. Your reputation is ruined, without you having done more than put a trans person in your game. It's not the likeliest story there is, but it's a very real possibility, and I can guarantee you that alot of people think that this is a possibility unconsciously or consciously.

There is most likely at least one person that will be very vocal about you not portraying a group of people like they prefer on the internet. But since it's OK to fling shit at white males, and to some degree white females, that's alot easier to put into your game. Is it racism/sexism?

Society: Make the game you want

Society: No. Not like that.
Ratty524
The 524 is for 524 Stone Crabs
13391
author=SnowOwl
I'm interested in why this forum is so focused on gender and matters concerning race, every thread concerning those topics gets 10+ pages.

Because games, like any medium, are inherently political and some of us actually care about how we represent people in our games? These are thought-provoking, important discussions that we, as creators, should be mindful of, so of course it's going to spark a long discussion.
author=kentona
Society: Make the game you want

Society: No. Not like that.

If we assume that you're fully free to make the game you want, then presumable you're also free to give it the feedback you want. Of course, unrestricted feedback means the author her-/himself won't feel very unrestricted. Any variant of do what you want leads to contradictions because some will use that freedom to impede on other people's freedom.

In truth, "make the game you want" just like "choose the job you want" and any other "do the X that you want" has always had the restriction of "but within reason". Of course, everyone has their own opinion of what falls within reason.

So... no Super Columbine Massacre RPG II then?


/me is shot punted

I swear to god I did not even >.<;
author=Crystalgate
author=kentona
Society: Make the game you want

Society: No. Not like that.
If we assume that you're fully free to make the game you want, then presumable you're also free to give it the feedback you want. Of course, unrestricted feedback means the author her-/himself won't feel very unrestricted. Any variant of do what you want leads to contradictions because some will use that freedom to impede on other people's freedom.

In truth, "make the game you want" just like "choose the job you want" and any other "do the X that you want" has always had the restriction of "but within reason". Of course, everyone has their own opinion of what falls within reason.


I think we have reached a point where critics have too much power to scare away people from trying to do new stuff, or including "taboo" subjects. It's like treading on hot coals to include a person that does not conform to the normal formula, or to have opinions that alot of people don't like in your game. Call me old fashioned, but I think social media in its current form is... not the best.
author=kentona
author=SnowOwl
Another reflection that I have noted, maybe not here but on the internet in general.
Unpopular opinion incoming: If we assume it's true that certain races or LGBT people are underrepresented, I think part of the blame actually lies with the worst kind of SJWs. Lets say you make a game with a trans person, but an angry SJW doesn't like the way the person is being portrayed and decides that you are a bigot. You didn't mean any harm, and you thought you were being respectful.

The SJW gets his/her angry friends to fling shit at your game. Your reputation is ruined, without you having done more than put a trans person in your game. It's not the likeliest story there is, but it's a very real possibility, and I can guarantee you that alot of people think that this is a possibility unconsciously or consciously.

There is most likely at least one person that will be very vocal about you not portraying a group of people like they prefer on the internet. But since it's OK to fling shit at white males, and to some degree white females, that's alot easier to put into your game. Is it racism/sexism?
Society: Make the game you want

Society: No. Not like that.


Literally never happened. And never will because the hatemob will drive out any trans/gay/black/etc. person before they can say anything bad about the game. What does happen a lot is people flinging shit at game developers for cutting fap material and demand the removal of any kind of tolerance from games.

Also, the "racism against white people" crowd is like a guy taking seven slices of cake and getting angry at the chef for giving the eighth piece to someone else who's hungry. They ask "What about white people?" and "What about men?" when it's all about them already.

Lastly, most of the time when people call you out for being racist, misgendering someone and so on, it's that person trying to give helpful advice and kindly asking you to improve upon yourself. Saying they are "shit flinging" is wrong on a graham number of levels.
author=SnowOwl
I think we have reached a point where critics have too much power to scare away people from trying to do new stuff, or including "taboo" subjects. It's like treading on hot coals to include a person that does not conform to the normal formula, or to have opinions that alot of people don't like in your game. Call me old fashioned, but I think social media in its current form is... not the best.

Yes, for example, including a homosexual can get you into a shit-storm for pandering to the "SJW". I don't think that was what you meant though.
kentona
I am tired of Earth. These people. I am tired of being caught in the tangle of their lives.
21237
"I maintain that cultural sensitivity should be replaced by cultural awareness. Awareness implies research, consideration, thought, and judiciousness....

Sensitivity denies equal access to language. It segregates and censors based on the background of the writer rather than the content of the story. No society can embrace cultural sensitivity and retain full capacity for freedom of speech."

An interesting quote on cultural sensitivity vs awareness. I think it is problematic to decree that 'you can't have "man abusing woman" or "black man dies first" because it is insensitive and reinforces stereotypes.' I think it is better to say 'do research, be considerate, give it thought, and employ those elements judiciously' than to encourage people to self-censor.
author=LightningLord2
Literally never happened. And never will because the hatemob will drive out any trans/gay/black/etc. person before they can say anything bad about the game. What does happen a lot is people flinging shit at game developers for cutting fap material and demand the removal of any kind of tolerance from games.
It does happen. If nothing else, people perceive that it could happen, and the result is the same. Demanding more fap material happens but that doesn't exclude that the stuff I said also happens. I'm not sure what "removing tolerance" means.

author=LightningLord2
Also, the "racism against white people" crowd is like a guy taking seven slices of cake and getting angry at the chef for giving the eighth piece to someone else who's hungry. They ask "What about white people?" and "What about men?" when it's all about them already.
I know, white men are to blame for everything.
No really, I don't appreciate your racism, or your apparent dislike of men.
It also has nothing to do with what I said.

author=LightningLord2
Lastly, most of the time when people call you out for being racist, misgendering someone and so on, it's that person trying to give helpful advice and kindly asking you to improve upon yourself. Saying they are "shit flinging" is wrong on a graham number of levels.
Alot of the time when someone says those things, they are not very friendly.
If you think that their opinion is wrong, some get very hostile(that's often what it is, opinion, without any right or wrong).
author=kentona
"I maintain that cultural sensitivity should be replaced by cultural awareness. Awareness implies research, consideration, thought, and judiciousness....

This I think most would agree with. However, now comes the question of who it applies to. Ideally, I would apply to everyone, but in reality it's going to be "the other ones" because nobody admits to being oversensitive. If everyone thinks it applies to other people, then nobody will heed that quote.
kentona
I am tired of Earth. These people. I am tired of being caught in the tangle of their lives.
21237
author=Crystalgate
author=kentona
"I maintain that cultural sensitivity should be replaced by cultural awareness. Awareness implies research, consideration, thought, and judiciousness....
This I think most would agree with. However, now comes the question of who it applies to. Ideally, I would apply to everyone, but in reality it's going to be "the other ones" because nobody admits to being oversensitive. If everyone thinks it applies to other people, then nobody will heed that quote.

..therefore we should mob-shame everyone into self-censorship?
author=kentona
..therefore we should mob-shame everyone into self-censorship?

I'm 100% sure none of my posts said, or even implied, that. I spoke of what will happen, not of what I think should happen.
kentona
I am tired of Earth. These people. I am tired of being caught in the tangle of their lives.
21237
author=Crystalgate
author=kentona
..therefore we should mob-shame everyone into self-censorship?
I'm 100% sure none of my posts said, or even implied, that. I spoke of what will happen, not of what I think should happen.

and I was extrapolating from that. Since we are assuming that people are thinking themselves as being socially aware when in fact they are being insensitive, we should proactively identify their abhorrent behaviour and publicly shame them for their transgressions! It's only logical. People cannot be trusted to make the right choices.


or we can stop assuming the worst about people.
It's ironic that the people speaking of others being too oversensitive and getting offended at everything tend to be the ones offended the most.

Kentona, you're making the mistake that every writer exists in a vacuum. A writer has to consider any statements their plot and events make - for instance, having a man abuse a woman within the plot is something I won't forbid, but that scene can imply superiority of men over women, which can be interpreted as the author being sexist depending on how the scene plays out.

Also, self-censorship is just a made-up term to encourage bigotry, since you're not censoring yourself for abiding to basic human decency. And, strangely, people who claim to be anti-censorship keep demanding the removal of any minority representation or the altering of romancable NPCs that are not entirely catered to straight male people.

Addendum: Also, we call out racism because they are unaware of the racism within a certain action. It's not public shaming, it's asking people to pay attention to what they say/mean. For instance, I'm not gonna drop the N word casually and then defend myself saying I didn't mean to insult black people. If I didn't want to insult them, I wouldn't have said it to begin with (or realize I made a mistake and apologize).
kentona
I am tired of Earth. These people. I am tired of being caught in the tangle of their lives.
21237
but we are seeing the effects of self-censorship playing out right now - I wont be including any overtly gay, transgendered or otherkin characters in my games lest I inadvertantly incur the wrath of the masses. The risks are too great and the rewards too nebulous. Now imagine that but at the scale of AAA movies and games where the costs and visibility are so much more. Playing it "safe" now means "avoiding potential vitriol" or "running afoul 'incorrect' depictions".

Attempts at including minorities in media will be left to the minorities to accomplish, because as my background is a middle class cis white male I don't have the intersectional credibility to attempt such things in my stories. And I guess that kind of segregation and judging people on their backgrounds instead of the media's content is the end goal? only a black director can legitimately direct Black Panther?

So I stand my statement that we should back off on calling out people on being insensitive and start promoting awareness. It's more effective.