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Sexism in Gaming/Development. (Forums : Cosmos : Sexism in Gaming/Development.) Post Reply
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May 24 2013, 12:37pm Anchor

Okay, let me rephrase it for you then.

Is a character, of either gender, that is designed to be sexy, sexist? Is it still sexist if there are characters of both genders present that are designed to be sexy.

Is a character sexist simply by virtue of being sexy?

If so, why?

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May 24 2013, 1:25pm Anchor

iono

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May 25 2013, 1:25am Anchor

Do you really not know or are you just being difficult?

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May 25 2013, 4:04am Anchor

everyone seem to enjoy asking questions a lot and not knowing anything, if they want answers so much, why not answer?

Edited by: Stimor

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May 25 2013, 9:59am Anchor

What? You're not making any sense.

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May 28 2013, 11:37pm Anchor

Sexism isn't whether a character is sexy or not. For one, sexy is a POV and subjective. Sexism is the practices that color any gender less or more than the other. eg women are better at cooking is sexism.

The manner in which sexism can be combated is not to give it more attention and voice, but to stop treating gender as anything more special than the shape of someone's nose, or their height.

Sadly this is easier said than done, and we've got a lot more soapboxes lined up for future hollering.

May 29 2013, 10:25am Anchor

If anything, making all characters "sexy" in one way can be rather shallow. Our preconceived notions of worldly perfection are basically all lies. Movie stars take pictures that are heavily photoshopped. Models starve themselves unnaturally then cover themselves in make-up. And so on and so on.

Pertaining to sexiness in games though, don't you find it a bit repetitive for all the women to have double d's and all the dudes to look like their direct relatives of David Beckham or somebody? Humans are really varied. There is no singularity of sexiness and no height of human perfection. I say walk around your city or town (it's warm out) and open-mindedly ask yourself what's attractive about the people around you? Then maybe you'll portray something different.

May 29 2013, 10:42am Anchor
Absolute_8 wrote:If anything, making all characters "sexy" in one way can be rather shallow. Our preconceived notions of worldly perfection are basically all lies. Movie stars take pictures that are heavily photoshopped. Models starve themselves unnaturally then cover themselves in make-up. And so on and so on.

Pertaining to sexiness in games though, don't you find it a bit repetitive for all the women to have double d's and all the dudes to look like their direct relatives of David Beckham or somebody? Humans are really varied. There is no singularity of sexiness and no height of human perfection. I say walk around your city or town (it's warm out) and open-mindedly ask yourself what's attractive about the people around you? Then maybe you'll portray something different.


One issue there comes with plausibility. Simply put, having a fat guy sprinting at high speed or diving out of windows on a regular basis isn't going to look right. Likewise, a guy with a bad leg isn't really going to look right doing the same things. Being young, athletic and healthy are also (usually) considered attractive.

Horror games get away from this somewhat. Alan Wake, Left 4 Dead and Silent Hill have "normal guys" as the heroes.

May 29 2013, 11:30am Anchor
SabreXT wrote:Horror games get away from this somewhat. Alan Wake, Left 4 Dead and Silent Hill have "normal guys" as the heroes.

True, but that's partly/mostly because having Joe McAverage surviving in a demon-filled post-apocalyptic world makes for a character that is more relatable ("hey.....that could be me!") and ups the sense of danger ('cause, you know, McAverage has nothing but a baseball bat and zip training against the legions of hell) more than Sargent Spartan and his crack team of navy seals.

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May 29 2013, 11:56am Anchor

Exactly, but that's my point. Sargent Spartan isn't going to be a man made of pipe cleaners wearing a corduroy jacket, it wouldn't fit.

May 29 2013, 2:13pm Anchor
Absolute_8 wrote:If anything, making all characters "sexy" in one way can be rather shallow. Our preconceived notions of worldly perfection are basically all lies. Movie stars take pictures that are heavily photoshopped. Models starve themselves unnaturally then cover themselves in make-up. And so on and so on.

Pertaining to sexiness in games though, don't you find it a bit repetitive for all the women to have double d's and all the dudes to look like their direct relatives of David Beckham or somebody? Humans are really varied. There is no singularity of sexiness and no height of human perfection. I say walk around your city or town (it's warm out) and open-mindedly ask yourself what's attractive about the people around you? Then maybe you'll portray something different.


well, that's all true, but... it also has to fit the story, and it depends on how you define "beeing sexy"

in our case we are talking about professional riders, so they simply are fit and wearing suits, and there will be no double D's, and there will be no pretty faces, just helmets... and the girls need to be quite tall and slim for simple technical reason, they need to fit the same bikes and animations to save work and sometimes even improve performance by sharing riggs ;)

sure if you make a game with a storyline that includes a significant number of "average" people, and all of the are Apollos and Venuses, there is something wrong, or take fantasy games for example, that's one "sexist design guild"

but sometimes the setting simply demands the characters to look in a certain way, and because of many other overusing sexuality in their designs it may look "cheap" also in your case, it's a bit like with skinny people, no one belives them that they are not on a diet, no matter what they eat and say ;)

Edited by: rimau

Yuki.Kix
Yuki.Kix Concept Artist
May 29 2013, 8:34pm Anchor
aliasBee wrote:Sexism isn't whether a character is sexy or not. For one, sexy is a POV and subjective. Sexism is the practices that color any gender less or more than the other. eg women are better at cooking is sexism.

The manner in which sexism can be combated is not to give it more attention and voice, but to stop treating gender as anything more special than the shape of someone's nose, or their height.

Sadly this is easier said than done, and we've got a lot more soapboxes lined up for future hollering.


oh, if only every one could understand this... then even those no good politicians would have to shut their second arse up.

I believe the guys were talking about sexy female characters as in portraying girls as sex objects. which, if you think about it, many games out there seems to give their heroines really bland/fantastical personalities, or very little at all. but, as you pointed out, similar things has been done to many male characters.

I really wish that people can just let these things happen. Where else are we supposed to let these fantasies live other than within our minds? ofc, theres always doubt/concern that these types of materials would affect the population negatively. What do I think? I think its time to invent a machine that prevents people from getting shitty ideas from fantastical things.

May 31 2013, 8:35pm Anchor

We often forget what people look like moments after we meet them. We establish stereotypes in our brain; tall, sexy, short, stout, blue collar, nerdy, etc. As we get to know people better we remember more; like the way they laugh, the position their body takes when they are upset, the cowlick that they comb down, the pores in their nose or the way one eye is slightly crooked to the other. Since video games rely a lot on first impressions, I can understand the appeal of Joe Manly and Sandra Sexy. But I would hope that the game developers would give their audience the benifit of a doubt.

How many times when a game has character generation options do you see the most awkward fugly monstrosities running around all over the place? Do you model your characters after actors or actresses? After Superman? Lois Lane?

People with character are harder to design. They don't have symetrical faces, they have wrinkles and freckles and pores and crags. They have scars and blotches.

Aug 2 2013, 4:31pm Anchor

I am not entirely against this kind of event although i do honestly think it should just be targeted towards woman and not exclusive, as far as I'm aware the game development community isn't sexist and my female colleges are asked this question quite a lot as of late. If girls want to be together for a games jam i don't really see why they'd want or need a different event, I don't really see how male and female physical traits create unfair competition in games development.

Your solution is hardly a solution, you can't assume 1 group of people are responsible for an issue involving both. My honest opinion is sexism in the game dev community is some over hyped subject because there's a large gap in the gender ratio and i wish people would stop assuming sexism is to blame nobody goes around raving about sexism towards men in the fashion industry. So why the double standards?

Edited by: StormAndy

Aug 2 2013, 6:13pm Anchor

sexism in 2013 ...?

Edited by: vfn4i83

Aug 2 2013, 8:43pm Anchor

Yup. You would not believe how prevalent it is even in this day and age. Along with racism, double standards, and all the nice things from the past.

There are people who not only practice these abominations, but they institutionalize them (just think about the "there are no girls on the internet" or "tits or gtfo" memes to see what I mean).

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Yuki.Kix
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Aug 3 2013, 11:22pm Anchor

^ those institutions are just the embodiment of the internet's nature. i.e., lol stands for laugh out loud when you've barely cracked a smile, etc etc.

personally i feel that at this day and age, being conscious of gender inequality and raising awareness of it has only raised more of what it is trying to abolish.

the intelligence of the average human is too low to be told of things like this in the current fashion and be trusted not to pick things out where they do not necessarily exist. I suppose there is also a factor of everyone trying to be 'smart', people trying to show that they understand an idea by picking out their own examples/trying to think on their own two feet when they know (or don't know) what in the world they are actually talking about.

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While i understand the show could have had as many attempts as theyd liked, the sheer volume of replies which simply assumed whatever rick told them to be true was too great. The kid at the end of the segment (on the following video) suggest that the reason behind why these people simply assume rick to be telling them the truth is something that is 'learned' with time. -"I suppose there is also a factor of everyone trying to be 'smart', people trying to show that they understand an idea by picking out their own examples/trying to think on their own two feet when they know (or don't know) what in the world they are actually talking about."

Aug 25 2013, 8:17pm Anchor

Eh. Sexism. Hyper sensitivity is what it sounds like to me. Not to say that there isn't actual discrimination going on in the world but really. If everyone just treated each other with respect thigns would be fine. Hell I can't be a gentleman to a lady without being called some sort of sexist prick by some women.

That being said. The hell is wrong with a woman with huge curves? Or one that can be one of the guys? Sounds to me like petty jealousy along with a very narrow point of view.

It'd be like saying super manly men with their awesome muscles and all are a terrible thing for some reason. Or if a guy is feminine regardless of whether or not he's a walking wall of muscles or effeminate enough to pass for a woman.

I don't know. It just feels to me like people make issues where there aren't.

Nov 27 2013, 5:20pm Anchor

I'm very glad this has come up. Full Disclosure I was part of SWE (Society for Women Engineers) and WiSH (Women in Software and Hardware) so I'm obviously learning toward one end of the spectrum.

Regardless, I've seen and experienced shameful treatment of our fellow people in middle school, high school, college, and finally in the industry. Why does that matter? Because this problem starts early, and needs to be solved early.

In Elementary school girls and boys tend to score similarly in math and science. But in middle school I personally noticed plenty of friends "Dumb it down". Very smart girls pretending to be idiots, because it's what people told them to be. The drop off in science and math for girls is ridiculous at this age, despite them being just as qualified and able to learn it all. It continues in college with women being pretty highly discouraged from some majors, having spent their entire childhood being told what they can and can't accomplish.

So just about every girl I knew the industry who was a programmer (There aren't many), had survived constant harassment and badgering from about the age of 9 about the things they want to do with their life, what they want to learn, and what they enjoy. These people tend to be tough as nails, which is probably the only "Nice" side effect that our culture weeds out this girls so aggressively the ones that make it are incredibly strong and talented to have survived the gauntlet we put them through.

But even after the gauntlet the industry is an awful place for women. The culture can be very "Brogrammer" I.E being drunk before noon, constantly pranking and doing male juvenile crap like going to strip clubs and picking up chicks. It's not very female friendly. Some women will try to integrate themselves with varying success (I've seen some females just join in with the guys in all this behavior), but it never eliminates the risk of harassment and judgement just for being a woman.

They aren't taken as seriously, they're overlooked in terms of opinion and contribution no matter how hard they work. And on top of that, they have no one to look up to. The game industry is so male centric that it's almost impossible to greenlight a good female role model, and so instead the only thing little girls have to look up to are awful role models in terms of behavior and body image (The same problems exist for men, but this is not helping either gender).

I had some specific examples here, but they're so depressing I've deleted them. If anyone wants to know more about this subject or how to help mitigate, please keep discussing. In general, the best way is to simply have respect. Don't judge people by things they cannot change (There's lots of things you can judge them on about things they can!). And teach the ones around you the same way. The next generation is going to take their cues from us, and this problem will not go away until the next generation of people takes over from the folk that are set in their ways that causes this problem in the first place.

Because gender has nothing to do with whether or not you can learn something better, or become better at some piece of knowledge. But for some reason we are so convinced that it can, which is really holding us all back, especially in games where the culture is so small, tight knit, and ingratiated.

Dec 20 2013, 5:21pm Anchor

Let me put it this way... in the majority of MMORPGs right now, it seems like you have but two choices: either you can be a man, or you can wear definitely not enough to keep any kind of dignity or self respect.

I think that pretty much says it all.

Yes, there is customization. But generally speaking, it amounts to just a choice of what kind of degrading costume you'd like to run around in. If the top covers all that it should, the bottom won't. If the bottom does, the top won't. But usually neither, and almost never both at once. (At least not without getting out your wallet.)

Which is why, as a woman, I pretty much never play as one. Zero dignity.

Dec 21 2013, 2:33am Anchor
Ika_chan wrote:Let me put it this way... in the majority of MMORPGs right now, it seems like you have but two choices: either you can be a man, or you can wear definitely not enough to keep any kind of dignity or self respect.

I think that pretty much says it all.

Yes, there is customization. But generally speaking, it amounts to just a choice of what kind of degrading costume you'd like to run around in. If the top covers all that it should, the bottom won't. If the bottom does, the top won't. But usually neither, and almost never both at once. (At least not without getting out your wallet.)

Which is why, as a woman, I pretty much never play as one. Zero dignity.


Dumb question. What MMOs are you playing? With rare exception, either it cuts both ways, or neither.

Thanoshld
Thanoshld aka Thanoshld
Dec 21 2013, 6:20am Anchor

Well,I was just thiking of sexism in gaming, after I just finished Obscure 2: The Aftermath and I noticed a couple of things:
a) The two main female characters (Shannon and Amy) are both outfited "provocatively", the first having a short skirt under which you can most of the times see her underwear and the second one having her underpants way above her pants :S. I am sure developers included these as "eyecandies" for male players.
b) Also, after every cutscene you change characters (and it's a male and a female, you always play in pairs), you always have control of the male character, who also has the best configuration of your weaponry. They never put you in the shoes of the female character first, you have to change between them. Is this because male characters are supposed to be the strong ones and the females "weak" and just decorative, or is it just a coinscidence?

And all that just out of one game.

I have always noticed that women in games are portrayed as sexy and half-naked. Except if it's a first person game :S I am sure that they create them that way because of us, the male players and because most game developers are men. Not that it'll make you buy the game (Tomb Raider anyone?) but it maybe will make you remeber fondly the game, so you'll concider getting the sequel? Not sure but they surely project a kind of woman according to what they (and we) wanna see, and not how they really are. The last game I remember playing with a logicaly-outfited woman character was Max Payne 2.

Maybe it the bottom line some game developers just project their own wants, "kinks" and needs onto female characters? As a user said a couple of comments before, they make the female characters especially in RPG or half-naked bottom-up or bottom-down and never fully dressed.

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Dec 21 2013, 2:28pm Anchor

I've seen this come up countless times... the real answer has always been the same.

Sex sells. In fact when you take courses in advertising they list out all the cheap tactics for you : Sex, baby animals, shiney metal art, bandwagon, etc...

As thanoshld pointed out games like Tomb Raider have attracted large audiences from the get go. Look up the word "Cosplay" and you'll find not only a multitude of female game characters, but even Female Versions of male characters done sexy. Sexist or not, people are interested. (Both sides of the fence, not just men!)

As the demographics show most gamers are between (Aprox) 12-36 and male. The ones that play the most are in their "Sexual Prime".

As with everything when you buy, you are essentially voting with your dollars on the future of gaming. As things stand, it will likely continue. If you are uncomfortable, saddened, belligerent, disappointed, or otherwise, you aren't the target demographic of that game anyway, they are looking for someone who likes it.

I'm guilty of both, sometimes I just avoid a game because its gratuitous (Dead or Alive series come on people its a booby simulator) but, I break down and buy games that look like eye candy as well.

If you really want to make a difference though, this is the place to do it. Come up with heroines who are epic, who people love, design the best games you can around them, and most of all put some clothes on em. Show the industry it doesn't need to always put the same size 3, d-cupped scantily clad woman in front of us all the time. If you do, if you change people's opinions, you might have a chance. I wish you luck.

Thuro
Thuro The Apprentice
Dec 21 2013, 3:20pm Anchor

Maybe I'm coming down on the wrong side of the line here but it seems to me like everybody's forgetting one thing. Artistic Freedom. Game developers have the right to make games the way they want. Its up to us to decide if we want to play them. GTAV is a perfect example. Its a wonderful looking game but I won't play it because of the level of foulness involved. But rockstar has the right to make that game, I just won't play it.

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Dec 21 2013, 3:21pm Anchor

Ok, I've been watching this thread since it began, and I've commented a few times. However, there is one argument I see over and over again.

"Games X, Y and Z have attractive/sexy female characters. Therefore they are sexist (no reason given for why being attractive = sexist). Because games X, Y and Z are "sexist", all games, gamers and/or developers are sexist."

This might seem like splitting hairs, but it's a frustrating split. It's like condemning all modern films as sexist because Carry On and American Pie exist.

Edited by: SabreXT

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