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Ambient_Malice
Ambient_Malice Ultraconservative Hippie Freak
Nov 27 2012, 2:55am Anchor

The issue of sexism towards women in gaming and the games development scene has been causing a bit of buzz recently, much of it negative. Now I was thinking that since we here at ModdB are games developers of various stripes and degrees of professionalism, we could discuss the topic.

Have you personally experienced sexism in the context of gaming of games development? Are women ignored or treated with less respect than their male counterparts?

What are your thoughts on how to correct this problem, if it does exist?

My solution, as childish as it sounds, is for men to act like gentlemen. Some may see that as sexism in itself. But I think that if men acted like gentlemen, not only would they treat women with respect, they'd treat each other with respect. A gentleman would never abuse a woman online, ESPECIALLY if he was aware she was a woman. That would simply be ungentlemanly.

I'm not very good at this. But it's a topic worth discussing. *passes microphone to next poster*

Nov 27 2012, 5:24am Anchor

Well im ok because im a gentlemen and really i have never treated women badly or made them feel less of a person than myself.As for games i have not seen much of sexism in current games or other gamers i play with p.s sorry about my grammer. *passes microphone to next poster*

Nov 27 2012, 8:15am Anchor

So you're suggesting that, in games, women be portrayed as women, not as sex objects, not as a "guy with boobs", not as some fantasy object?

Or are you talking about the game development process with women being ignored/not involved? 

Or just in general?

I'd agree, treat them like a lady.  I don't see sexism when I'm playing Q2 though.   Lots of razing but no sexism.
`

--

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Nov 27 2012, 9:11am Anchor

Speaking of Sexism.

This article is about a game-jam held in London,
where only women were allowed:

Mediamolecule.com

Now, excuse me - but when has there ever been a
Game Jam women haven't been allowed to join?

In fact, my experience is that women are being
praised for joining Game Jams.

This is frightening to me to read, that an arrangement
like this is taking place. I am sure women, feminists and so on, would rage and
even prevent a male-only game-jam happening. But why is it then, it is all okay
to have a women-only game jam? It is very double sided, and it is dividing
men and women into categories again – which women fought to break and equalize
years back! Now it seems like women are heading in the wrong direction, trying
to separate men from women – and to me this is wrong! – Even if the argument
is, that there are only 6% females in the video game industry.

Times have changed, and today the number of women working in the video game
industry is increasing steadily, so let the women who wants to work in a video
game industry, together and alongside with the men, work there – and stop
making up silly argumentations and gender specified arrangements, which will in
the end, divide us up even more, and it won’t help anyone.  


I think it is outrageous, and silly to have gender
specified arrangements - "just to attract more females into the video game
development" - Sorry, but that is not how it works! Why on earth would any
girl even considering working on a game, attending a gender-specified game jam,
that doesn't reflect reality at all.

I am a woman, I’ve
played video games since age 6, always had “boyish” interests – and I wanted to
make video games. A lot of my friends are male; I have had many jobs in
male-dominated environments and attending game-jams where the far majorities
were men. However, I have never felt it has been against me, I have never felt
it has been a disadvantage that I have been female. In fact, I have gotten
praises for attending and had jobs, at male-dominated environments.

If other women can
easily get along in male-environments then every other woman can too – and should
leave their ideas at home, about how things “could” be, than how they actually
are.

The majority of my
life, I have spent in male-environments – and I have never at any point
experiences sexism or being discriminated due to my gender. But I know a lot
who take things way too personal, where a little innocent dirty joke, is turned
into a world-problem. But guess what: Women say dirty jokes too!

Nov 27 2012, 9:18am Anchor

what's wrong with being sexy

Edited by: Stimor

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>:|

Nov 27 2012, 9:31am Anchor

I have no problem with a women-only event.  I have no problem with a men-only event.  It was pretty evident at the last (not 2012) QuakeCon where the top women players and men players played together that they're at different skill levels so the next one they didn't compete together at all.

I'd say the issue is what you said:

Quote:It is very double sided, and it is dividing men and women into categories again – which women fought to break and equalize years back! Now it seems like women are heading in the wrong direction, trying to separate men from women – and to me this is wrong!

THEY'RE NOT EQUAL, there's strengths and weaknesses to each, but women tried to say they ARE equal.  They're not.  If you don't have a penis I don't want you acting like you do.  When you "equalize" you're not saying "Hey, I'm a women and you're a man", you're saying "Hey, we're both the same and you're no better then me and I'm no better then you", which isn't true.

Most women equate "unequal" to "inferior".  My wife isn't equal to me but she's not inferior.  She excels at some things I don't and vice versa.  Saying you (not you specifically, but anyone in general) should be are not equal means you're saying you're inferior as you are.  If you realize that they're two different, unrelated terms then you have no problem being unequal.  You embrace it.

--

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Nov 27 2012, 9:42am Anchor
TheHappyFriar wrote:I have no problem with a women-only event.  I have no problem with a men-only event.  

I am sure, in case a game-jam would have been made, with only men - it would have been a problem - which is to me, the biggest problem with this issue. That women somehow seem to be able to get away with doing a gender specified event, while it's rare men can.

In the Quake tournament - in my opinion, if they competed together or appart would not matter. I do still believe, when it comes to gaming, it's quite equal. I used to be top-10 in europe in the Warcraft III ladder. And it wasn't gender specified either.

Don't get me wong. I am not saying, "hey we're both the same" - In fact, the idea that in Sweden, they're not saying he/she to their kids anymore is frightening me. Yes, I know we are different, and I believe we should accept it - but by making a woman-only game jam isn't accepting that we are different, and should be treated equal. At least not in my opinion, until it is also okay for men to do a men-only game jam. Which I am 100% sure, would be torn apart by feminists, even before the event took place. Just a guess.

Ambient_Malice
Ambient_Malice Ultraconservative Hippie Freak
Nov 27 2012, 7:52pm Anchor

Certainly, I think the real issue lies in the treatment of women in the gaming and games development scene. The portrayal of women within those games is another matter entirely - one which carries complex associations to artistic integrity and censorship and such.

LineArt is quite correct that a female-only event is seen as 'empowering women', while a male-only event is seen as a boy's club. But I honestly don't think these events are significant compared to the atmosphere within games companies, within gaming circles.

As I recall, a Ruby programmer's conference was cancelled a few weeks ago because someone kicked up a fuss that all the speakers were white males. The whole affair was ridiculous, and the 'controversy' helped nobody.

Theregister.co.uk

I think it's important to note that sexism in gaming towards women is only the dominant theme because men dominate the industry. If the balance shifted, I am certain sexism towards men would become an issue in a female-dominated arena.

To use a personal example, members of my family are involved in Irish/Scottish dancing. The field is completely dominated by women, to the point that women perform dances explicitly designed for men. It's very difficult, and awkward, for a man to try and break into that world because it has become so closed.

I wonder if perhaps we might eventually see an indie gaming equivalent of CLAMP, the all-female mangaka group formed back in the 80's? Just a thought.

--

Is there any point in public debate in a society where hardly anyone has been taught how to think, while millions have been taught what to think?
-Peter Hitchens

Cryrid
Cryrid 3D Artist
Nov 27 2012, 10:53pm Anchor
Quote:I am sure, in case a game-jam would have been made, with only men - it would have been a problem

They have those, they're called Game Jams.

BADUM-TISH
 

Nov 27 2012, 11:23pm Anchor

Personally I couldn't care less.

Edited by: AudioGhostX

Nov 28 2012, 3:17am Anchor
Cryrid wrote:
Quote:I am sure, in case a game-jam would have been made, with only men - it would have been a problem

They have those, they're called Game Jams.

BADUM-TISH
 


Actually the ones I've participated had about 1/4 girls....

Cryrid
Cryrid 3D Artist
Nov 29 2012, 11:52am Anchor

Its a joke, not a fact  :rolleyes:

Ambient_Malice
Ambient_Malice Ultraconservative Hippie Freak
Nov 29 2012, 6:07pm Anchor

Well, this thread proves one thing at least. Woman haters apparently don't hang around the ModdB forums. -_- Nor... do women games developers for that matter.

Any women with something to say?

--

Is there any point in public debate in a society where hardly anyone has been taught how to think, while millions have been taught what to think?
-Peter Hitchens

Dec 1 2012, 2:54am Anchor

I'm fairly gender blind as a developer for the most part. I will say there is a lot of misogyny in this industry mainly though from the higher ups.. (who you'll find most of the time are non-gamer douchebags..)

I've noticed that the culture has become a bit of a boys club, especially in the game schools- again this fuels a lot of the misogyny. I don't tolerate this shit at all.
We need everyone that can equip a mouse, keyboard and stylus, every single person. So discouraging them hurts the industry bigtime- though my perspective is from an Australian where our industry is really doing bad right now (we're starting to recover though).

What I also find a bit annoying is when women are put in the spotlight of this industry, but less for their abilities and more for their looks, they basically become the Stevie Cases' of the industry... which is really really not cool. But hey I still see it happening even today.

Unfortunately Misogyny is rampant in gaming.. and its having a bad impact on the industry.

Edited by: formerlyknownasMrCP

May 1 2013, 3:29am Anchor

Though mysogyny may be rampant in gaming, I don't really see it as much different in non-gaming fields. Men and women are culturally divided. 

It's a touchy subject, as a female non-feminist I don't really feel particularly safe a lot of times discussing my views on it because I've been called an "ignorant troll" and such just for saying it's not a huge deal. Yeah, okay so womens clothing is often skimpy in games, there is a definate focus on excitingly endowed and bouncy girls (coughDOAforexample) but men are objectified in similar ways. The characters are stereotypes; overbuilt smart-alec fellows, men whose only experience with family and relationships is a dead wife and a kidnapped kid.... playboys surrounded by hot mess floozys, etc. Not many games are really featuring shining paragons of virtue or real life heros.  People enjoy the ridiculous. 

I just think it's more complicated than "oh look how women are being treated in the gaming industry." Maybe "hey, our social norms are really f***ed" would be more accurate. 

I don't really want an all-girls gaming slumber party, or a bunch of dudes saying "OMG you're a girl for real?", but honestly, I get a lot less of the latter since I stopped playing MMOs.  It depends greatly on the crowd playing the games. There is a lot more equality amongst say, the adventure game crowd (point and click story adventures specifically, man, genres are so confusing nowadays) And I think there aren't really any lack of girls playing JRPGs. 

When I was younger there was still a huge pressure on all girls to get aquainted with makeup and curling irons early on (something I usually ran away from). Things have been changing, and it's not weird for girls to have console systems, or the latest gadgets, or be tech-savvy anymore. I think the idea that girls aren't welcome in the gaming world is an illusion that's clinging on despite the reality. No one ever told me that it was weird to play games since I'm a girl. It was more that they were suprised, because girls were just expected to be interested in different things. Culture is like that.

I do hate everything female being branded with pink, however. They're not even the awesome 80's hot pink.

Yuki.Kix
Yuki.Kix Concept Artist
May 10 2013, 12:27am Anchor

i may be wrong, but i think that its just that there are more guys than girls who are interested in this field and not misogyny that's led to this gap. people now days likes to treat just about everything everywhere where there is a gender gap as misogyny; sometimes it is, and needs to be addressed, sometimes its things no one cares about and just is because of the innate differences between the genders. 

i remember mr. feng zhu replying to a question regarding the chances of females entering the industry, saying that if anything the girl has a higher chance of getting hired b/c of some mysterious/magical power they have to quell the guys around, altho he did f-up with a double negative answering that Q (he clarified with an annotation)

i honestly can't imaging developers refusing to hire someone just b/c they're a girl. i mean, this industry is highly competitive; if they dont take the best person, their competitors are gonna take them. so if you're genuinely better than everyone else applying, the company can hardly afford to not hire you.

May 12 2013, 6:21pm Anchor

I hear there was a similar problem in the scientific fields, with girls not being as interested in joining. They had some awful pink-power marketing attempts to try and "tell girls science is cool" by saying you use science for makeup and crap. Bad move.

Whether it's mysogeny that discourages girls from trying or not I couldn't say. I like to do a lot of things that aren't typical girl things so I'm not a good judge. Plus I don't talk to or hang out with many females.

Henley
Henley the sun never sets on the eternally cool
May 12 2013, 8:33pm Anchor
aliasBee wrote:Though mysogyny may be rampant in gaming, I don't really see it as much different in non-gaming fields. Men and women are culturally divided. 

It's a touchy subject, as a female non-feminist I don't really feel particularly safe a lot of times discussing my views on it because I've been called an "ignorant troll" and such just for saying it's not a huge deal. Yeah, okay so womens clothing is often skimpy in games, there is a definate focus on excitingly endowed and bouncy girls (coughDOAforexample) but men are objectified in similar ways. The characters are stereotypes; overbuilt smart-alec fellows, men whose only experience with family and relationships is a dead wife and a kidnapped kid.... playboys surrounded by hot mess floozys, etc. Not many games are really featuring shining paragons of virtue or real life heros.  People enjoy the ridiculous. 

I just think it's more complicated than "oh look how women are being treated in the gaming industry." Maybe "hey, our social norms are really f***ed" would be more accurate. 

I don't really want an all-girls gaming slumber party, or a bunch of dudes saying "OMG you're a girl for real?", but honestly, I get a lot less of the latter since I stopped playing MMOs.  It depends greatly on the crowd playing the games. There is a lot more equality amongst say, the adventure game crowd (point and click story adventures specifically, man, genres are so confusing nowadays) And I think there aren't really any lack of girls playing JRPGs. 

When I was younger there was still a huge pressure on all girls to get acquainted with makeup and curling irons early on (something I usually ran away from). Things have been changing, and it's not weird for girls to have console systems, or the latest gadgets, or be tech-savvy anymore. I think the idea that girls aren't welcome in the gaming world is an illusion that's clinging on despite the reality. No one ever told me that it was weird to play games since I'm a girl. It was more that they were surprised, because girls were just expected to be interested in different things. Culture is like that.

I do hate everything female being branded with pink, however. They're not even the awesome 80's hot pink.


Nice post, I have nothing to add aside from the fact as someone who has played most notable AAA games and a lot of indie/mod stuff sexisum is not really someting that is shown often. Maybe I am just not so sensitive too it all but its only offensive when developers take it to the extreme and that is normally a design decision either for PR (good or bad) or because the game is satire.

Speaking on the actual development side of things I have met a lot of women jernos/developers and they are some of the most switched on people in the industry, sure the numbers are a little one sided but those who are apart of this wonderful scene do it justice for everyone else. The only real low points I see are at industry gigs. The Wargaming party at GDC this year is a prime example of developers/pr people pushing the party to one particular sex (imagine gogo-dancers dressed in military outfits wearing bunny gasmasks and you basically have what was at that event). I would like to think that people could be smarter than that but I would not be able to advise on how to make a party go off.

Either Way as a white male working in video games I have not really noticed rampant sexisum, but that might just be because I am a white male working in video games.

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May 14 2013, 1:19pm Anchor

Nah, it's sexist/racist to think that being a specific gender and "race" precludes you from having a valid opinion.

I agree that the whole sexism/mysogeny thing is a lot less of a problem in indie/mod development. I don't even know if I'd call it a problem elswhere as much as a quirk or a kink. I  think problems are things that can be adressed in a straightforward way. Kinks are like that dent in your bumper that cost more to fix than replacing the whole darn thing.

May 24 2013, 6:47am Anchor

We are working on a motorcycle, sci-fi based racing game. And there are much more girls engaged in the project than anyone would expect. And it was their idea to include female characters. And it's them who work on sci-fi, sexy suits. All of that for the third person view perspective.

I can bet that people who don't know that will find it sexist in some way. Hot female riders in sexy suits, what a simple sexist catch...

But is it sexist if it is a 100% women's idea and creation? And is a male game character designed by a woman to look handsome, and "hot" sexist? Maybe the most sexist thing you can actually do is assuming that only men->women relation can be sexist?

May 24 2013, 7:09am Anchor

it's sexist

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>:|

May 24 2013, 8:15am Anchor

So is simply designing a sexy game character sexist by definition? I don't mean vulgar or provocative, just sexy, like good looking, attractive. I guess that would depend on the way you understand the word "sexy" itself, but is putting a good looking female character on a motorcycle sexist just because it is good looking?

SinKing
SinKing bumps me thread
May 24 2013, 9:52am Anchor
rimau wrote:So is simply designing a sexy game character sexist by definition? I don't mean vulgar or provocative, just sexy, like good looking, attractive. I guess that would depend on the way you understand the word "sexy" itself, but is putting a good looking female character on a motorcycle sexist just because it is good looking?

That's what I wonder about too. It's not like men in videogames are usually nerdy-looking either. If you take Mass Effect for example. Female Shepard looks sexy and has a very curvy armor. Yet - so does male Shepard, except men don't look at the male model that way. So either the use of both of them is sexist or none of them are. 

I think women in games with heroines (Lara Croft, etc) are usually portrayed as super-sexy, because they are trained and fit, not because the developers think only a beautiful woman can climb ledges and jump across gaps. It may be sexist alltogether, but I believe the reason for all of this is, because it is easier to create a generic, beautiful character than to create an original average one as the hero of your game. It is far more difficult to do anything original in games without having the community complain that the looks don't match their expectations of hero/heroin. In other words: beauty is generic, not sexist.

Edited by: SinKing

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User Posted Image

May 24 2013, 11:54am Anchor

the question is too leading to answer

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>:|

May 24 2013, 12:36pm Anchor
Stimor wrote:the question is too leading to answer

The question is about where is the line. Because for me it is not a "black or white" case, and I am interested in different opinions on the subject. If you disagree with me I would be happy to know your arguments, not to argue with them, but to know them and take them into account in my work. However you did not provide any yet.

What actually makes you judge a female character as sexist?

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