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Monday, February 17, 2014

Why we don't put girls in games

Yet another clueless wonder is yapping about the absence of the unnecessary from video games:
There is a point to including playable female characters in games. I’m aware that most of the people likely to comment on this article (go ahead and bleat about misandry, you worms; I’ll enjoy a tasty cup of your male tears) don’t see that, but I’m also aware that the vast majority of people who read this article do see it, and won’t bother to leave a comment because what I’m saying in this editorial seems sensible, practical, and non-controversial. Such is the way of the Internet. So I’m not going to bother writing out a lengthy justification of why we genuinely need female characters in video games for the good of the industry financially and artistically; if you honestly can’t understand it, go forth and educate yourself. If you feel that gaming is the one thing remaining to men and girls should stop spoiling it with political correctness, then please go boil your head because I see no point in debating with people incapable of basic logic and lacking humanity.

Having taken it as fact that there is a point to including female characters in video games, why on earth are we still hearing excuses for their absence in 2014? Because it is an excuse. There is no reason not to do it. You won’t alienate your existing market by acknowledging the existence of women. You won’t take anything away from your existing market.
I am a game designer. I am designing and producing a game that does not, and will not, have a single female character in it. This is not because I am misogynistic. This is not because I do not women to play the game. This is because putting women in the game makes no sense, violates the principle of the suspension of disbelief, and will not make the game any better as a game.

I am the lead designer of First Sword, a combat management game. The game has orcs and men, elves and dwarves. It has goblins and trolls. But it has no women.

Why not? Because the game is a gladiator game. Women cannot credibly fight as gladiators. We don't put women in the game for the same reason we don't put bunny rabbits or children in the game. Putting women in the game would be an act of brutal sadism, an act of barbarism even by pagan Roman standards. While the Romans did occasionally put female gladiators in the arena, they were there as a comedic act. They were occasionally matched against midgets, which the Romans apparently found hilarious.

We could, of course, throw out historical verisimilitude. But we're not going to. Because we value that verisimilitude far more than we value the opinion of a few whiny women who don't play the sort of games we make anyhow. And when we design a game with a particular female market in mind, we don't worry about hurting the feelings of men who we know have no interest in that sort of game.

But the woman is right. There is no point in debating. We're not interested in debating her. We're not interested in listening to her. As it happens, we couldn't possibly care less what she thinks one way or the other.

Labels:

166 Comments:

Anonymous JohnR February 17, 2014 5:31 PM  

Notice that the comments were already closed....

"Comments are fucking closed."

Anonymous realmatt February 17, 2014 5:36 PM  

"Conquers Bad Fur Day" was pretty damn badass. \m/

Blogger Crusader Corim February 17, 2014 5:38 PM  

One counterpoint: With fantasy races you can include women as melee combatants for the same reason that Lionesses do most of the combat in their race: It's not human, therefore they can have whatever rules they want.

Anonymous kh123 February 17, 2014 5:38 PM  

""Comments are fucking closed.""

We now know what Taylor's been up to.

Blogger Marissa February 17, 2014 5:39 PM  

So instead of making a logical argument we get a PMS temper tantrum? How convincing.

Anonymous Huckleberry - est. 1977 February 17, 2014 5:40 PM  

I don't know what all the complaining is about.
The Grand Theft Auto series has plenty of women, and its one of the most successful franchises in video game history.
You've won, darlin'.
Now go home and play Candy Crush like you were going to anyway.

Blogger mmaier2112 February 17, 2014 5:40 PM  

"We don't put women in the game for the same reason we don't put bunny rabbits or children in the game."

Almost covered my computer desk in hot tea... though no bunnies is quite the disappointment.

I noticed that immediately too, JohnR. Brave lass, she is.

CERTAINLY capable of debating any point with any man...

What a vapid twat.

Blogger mmaier2112 February 17, 2014 5:41 PM  

So OTHER than this beotch, is VG247 worth reading? Never heard of it til just now.

Anonymous lupus February 17, 2014 5:53 PM  

we want killer bunny rabbits damit

Anonymous realmatt February 17, 2014 5:53 PM  

If there are so many Grlz who love games, WHY DON'T THEY MAKE THEIR OWN??? They can have them eating Doritos in between tribbing sessions.

Anonymous Connor February 17, 2014 5:54 PM  

I saw this the other day on Kickstarter...

Kingdom Come: Deliverance
Realistic single-player RPG set in the medieval Europe. Open-world sandbox with period accurate melee combat. Dungeons & no Dragons.

One of the stretch goals? Playable female character...

Anonymous WinstonWebb February 17, 2014 5:58 PM  

So, she just LOVES the lamentations of those that disagree with her SO MUCH that she has to silence them?

lulz

Anonymous lupus February 17, 2014 5:59 PM  

ah shit you have to do women vs. midgets. that's still funny as hell.

Anonymous Heh February 17, 2014 6:00 PM  

Oh I dunno, in Borderlands, Lilith and Maya were fun to play...

OpenID cailcorishev February 17, 2014 6:04 PM  

I love the "my argument is so obviously right and true that I won't insult your intelligence by making it" argument.

I bet they loved the old SSI Gold Box D&D games, which followed the source material in giving female characters lower STR limits. There was really no reason to use female characters at all, but I'd usually have a couple just because there were so few character images that making a couple female made it easier to tell them apart.

Blogger Nate February 17, 2014 6:05 PM  

Lets see... Skyrim... chicks... COD: Ghosts... chicks... Tomb Raider is a whole fanchise based on a chick... WoW has chicks...

This woman is on crack.

Anonymous Jimmy February 17, 2014 6:11 PM  

The cry of sexism is enough to exclude female characters including that of "slap a pair of tits and a bow on," Goodness, do you have to?

Anonymous DT February 17, 2014 6:12 PM  

We don't put women in the game for the same reason we don't put bunny rabbits or children in the game.

Oh come on Vox. You and I both know that a rabid, mutant, gladiator bunny rabbit with blood dripping from its fangs would sell.

Especially if he was fighting a psychotic clown.

OpenID thetroll February 17, 2014 6:17 PM  

Well, demonstratedly there were enough female gladiators to be addressed in the Satires of Juvenal:

Who has not seen the dummies of wood they slash at and batter
Whether with swords or with spears, going through all the maneuvers?
These are the girls who blast on the trumpets in honour of Flora.
Or, it may be they have deeper designs, and are really preparing
For the arena itself. How can a woman be decent
Sticking her head in a helmet, denying the sex she was born with?
Manly feats they adore, but they wouldn’t want to be men,
Poor weak things (they think), how little they really enjoy it!
What a great honour it is for a husband to see, at an auction
Where his wife’s effects are up for sale, belts, shin-guards,
Arm-protectors and plumes!
Hear her grunt and groan as she works at it, parrying, thrusting;
See her neck bent down under the weight of her helmet.
Look at the rolls of bandage and tape, so her legs look like tree-trunks,
Then have a laugh for yourself, after the practice is over,
Armour and weapons put down, and she squats as she used the vessel.
Ah, degenerate girls from the line of our praetors and consuls,
Tell us, whom have you seen got up in any such fashion,
Panting and sweating like this? No gladiator’s wench,
No tough strip-tease broad would ever so much as attempt it.

Seems to me why, you haven't achieved 'historical verisimilitude' at all, if you choose to leave out the "degenerate girls from the line of our praetors and consuls" from your game design!

Anonymous Weak February 17, 2014 6:19 PM  

Easter egg, secret Konami code, etc., plenty of ways to put a woman in to get housed. Or for the secret ladies vs midgets level (Level negative 1).

Give the people what they want Vox! We want the comedic sideshow in there as just that. A comedic sideshow.

Anonymous Dan in Tx February 17, 2014 6:20 PM  

I would like to throw a vote for a woman gladiator vs midget match. At least as a mini-game. Too funny AND historically accurate!

Anonymous Salt February 17, 2014 6:21 PM  

What? No courtesans for après pillaging? For shame.

Anonymous Idle Spectator February 17, 2014 6:25 PM  

What the fuck are these people smoking?

Remember Chun Li in Street Fighter? Her moves matched her size.

I don't have a problem with females characters as long as they are used properly. Like Silent Hill. You had a bunch of female characters running around in the dark screaming. Obviously you could not have a big burly man doing that. Same principle in the horror movie with the girl running around in the dark.

"Conquers Bad Fur Day" was pretty damn badass. \m/

You mean Conker's?

Anonymous WinstonWebb February 17, 2014 6:25 PM  

Granted it's from Wikipedia but:

The Emperor Domitian liked to stage torch-lit fights between dwarves and women, according to Suetonius in The Twelve Caesars. From depictions it appears they fought bare-chested...

Damn, this idea just keeps getting BETTER!

Blogger swiftfoxmark2 February 17, 2014 6:25 PM  

Just another feminist rapist who wants to ruin something else men like to do.

OpenID thetroll February 17, 2014 6:26 PM  

> The game has orcs and men, elves and dwarves. It has goblins and trolls. But it has no women.

Not up on the exact stats of Vox's various races, but shouldn't a lady troll make a quite creditable gladiator against any of these other, lesser, species?

Anonymous Idle Spectator February 17, 2014 6:27 PM  

Oh and one of my favorite examples of all time: Metroid.

Samus takes her helmet off at the end. SURPRISE! Blonde woman. "Oh shit, I thought that was a guy..."

That was hilarious.

Blogger Marissa February 17, 2014 6:27 PM  

Or, it may be they have deeper designs, and are really preparing
For the arena itself.


That seems to suggest that they are merely practicing (with their wooden swords) and not intending to actually fight.

Anonymous joetexx February 17, 2014 6:28 PM  

Off topic for your recent posts but I thought I'd pass this along from Mindweapons:

Hungarian politician throws EU flag out the window.

Anonymous Huckleberry - est. 1977 February 17, 2014 6:30 PM  

woman gladiator vs midget match

That's just cruel.
Have you ever tried to fight a dwarf?
They've got no strike zone, and you can't knock 'em down, because they're already down.
Chick vs midget, it'd be like watching a cow hoisted down into the Amazon to be disintegrated by piranha.

Anonymous Idle Spectator cares about the Little People February 17, 2014 6:35 PM  

Use a golf club on the midget?

Anonymous Salt February 17, 2014 6:37 PM  

Have you ever tried to fight a dwarf?

Ever tossed one?

Anonymous RS February 17, 2014 6:38 PM  

I'm a woman and my attitude is that if women want to see female characters in video games then they should get off their butts and make the games they want to play. Until then they need to quit bitching about all the men who aren't doing their work for them. Same goes for all forms of entertainment that they don't consider fem-centric enough.

Anonymous VD February 17, 2014 6:39 PM  

Seems to me why, you haven't achieved 'historical verisimilitude' at all, if you choose to leave out the "degenerate girls from the line of our praetors and consuls" from your game design!

I know the Satires. Juvenal is describing free women playing at gladiator practice. They weren't fighting slaves who actually fought in the arena.

Anonymous WaterBoy February 17, 2014 6:42 PM  

DT: "You and I both know that a rabid, mutant, gladiator bunny rabbit with blood dripping from its fangs would sell."

And it's actually historical. Why, it's even in that famous documentary about King Arthur.

Blogger El Borak February 17, 2014 6:42 PM  

though no bunnies is quite the disappointment.

These are the bunnies you are looking for.

Anonymous Eric Ashley February 17, 2014 6:44 PM  

One more vote for midget vs. woman fight. Also have a ship to ship thing with the arena flooded.

Anonymous Concerned Rabbit Hunter February 17, 2014 6:46 PM  

I'm surprised that you do not have a place for prostitutes in your game.

Anonymous Porphyry February 17, 2014 6:49 PM  

"What? No courtesans for après pillaging? For shame."
Yeah Vox come on, you don't even have loosely clothed women in the stands?

Anonymous Statweasel February 17, 2014 6:49 PM  

I recently posted a job opening at my software consulting firm - I'm looking for a developer who has some demonstrable capability and familiarity with PHP / MySQL and Javascript - formal education not mandatory but nice. Pretty basic stuff these days. The ad was posted at a variety of government-provided job banks as I'm looking to employ someone who is currently out of work or recently out of school. It was posted with a gmail account for response and no link to our company details or anything other than a projected wage range and a solicitation for interested applicants - not even an indication of my gender.

I got just over 70 responses in a period of 10 days. I got responses from (literally) all over the world - I was amazed at the range of people looking for the job I'm offering, some with Masters degrees. 70 responses. And all of them - every last one - from men.

So when I hire my new developer in a few days, he'll be male. He'll join a cast of males. Male ownership, male management, male staff. If we had 'em, it'd be male mail staff. What can I say? Am I opposed to hiring female staffers? Nope, not at all. But they aren't out there or they aren't responding. So they won't be represented and my business will appear to be a bit misogynistic. I'm not gonna sweat it.

OpenID tz February 17, 2014 6:56 PM  

Ah, the origin of the spousal nick.

Maybe we can have Amazons v.s. Hobbits.

Or worse, no one wants a truly realistic "women in combat" game. They want the virtual reality to have men and women equal in strength, stamina, and agility. For the latter, fine. Let women play women and men play men and see if the respective cerebellums end up reflecting antebellum ideals or more modern ones. The loser should wear crinolines.

Anonymous Idle Spectator February 17, 2014 6:56 PM  

though no bunnies is quite the disappointment.

These are the bunnies you are looking for.


HAHAHAHAHA! Holy shit, I completely forgot about that movie, Night of the Lepus from 1972. It's based off of a book called The Year of the Angry Rabbit.

Here's some more.

The Best of the Night of the Lepus

Anonymous FUBAR Nation Ben February 17, 2014 6:57 PM  

These types of women want to get into and ruin everything that is male dominated. For God's sake we now have the welding industry trying to get women to become welders even though they clearly chose not to before.

Anonymous Obvious February 17, 2014 6:58 PM  

"We could, of course, throw out historical verisimilitude. But we're not going to."

vs.

"The game has orcs and men, elves and dwarves. It has goblins and trolls."


Anonymous zen0 February 17, 2014 7:01 PM  

Brenna Hilliier should put up and fight the midgets. Albino migets.

I'd watch that.

Blogger K February 17, 2014 7:03 PM  

Don't see what the fuss is about. If the women characters are scantily clan with appropriate glandular endowment, I consider them a positive boon to the game environment. IOWs,
Chun Li, bitches.

Anonymous Old Time Gamer February 17, 2014 7:05 PM  

Yeah, I like what you said about historical accuracy, but I've always loved Red Sonja for the Chainmail Bikini. Even though its unrealistic, scantilly-clad female warriors are nerd magnets. The fapping internet community would deluge your company with orders if you had some supernatural wonder woman like Xena or even a medieval version of Buffy included in your game. After all. it is Fantasy, and sex sells!

Anonymous DJJ February 17, 2014 7:07 PM  

Ok, picture the next Call of Duty or Battlefield. Playable female soldier, but to be realistic, she needs to get pregnant after 30 minutes and go home.

Anonymous Salt February 17, 2014 7:12 PM  

Here's one more school of thought. Equalitarian money spends as well as any. Pop out a female warrior game and call it a night, after you've made the trip to the bank.

Anonymous Idle Spectator February 17, 2014 7:17 PM  

For God's sake we now have the welding industry trying to get women to become welders even though they clearly chose not to before.

Maybe they can weld pots and pans. And cradles.

Because, love.

Anonymous Jack Amok February 17, 2014 7:22 PM  

Lets see... Skyrim... chicks... COD: Ghosts... chicks... Tomb Raider is a whole fanchise based on a chick... WoW has chicks...

Why let facts get in the way of a good rant against the patriarchy? Maybe her problem is the chicks in these games don't get to do chick things like party with hot guys and go shopping, but instead have to do guy things like fight dragons. Well, they actually do let you go shopping...

BTW, Skyrim tracks how many bunnies you kill...

Anonymous Godfrey February 17, 2014 7:27 PM  

How about having a quest where your character saves the woman he loves? Every man's fantasy is to save a beautiful damsel in distress. How about that option?

Anonymous WaterBoy February 17, 2014 7:36 PM  

Obvious: ""We could, of course, throw out historical verisimilitude. But we're not going to."

vs.

"The game has orcs and men, elves and dwarves. It has goblins and trolls."
"


False equivalency. The "historical verisimilarity" being addressed was specifically the presence of female gladiators in the arena. It was not directed at historical existence of the various fantasy races being employed.

However, to address your "argument"...

Verisimilarity ≠ accuracy.

This is a fantasy game, which -- as I understand it -- applies the laws of physics and biology to the fighters in the arena, human and demi-human (or whatever) alike. As such, it is historically accurate in this context (physics and biology applied to actual gladiators, too).

Female humans are generally weaker than male humans, which is also historically accurate in this context. It would not surprise me to see this consistently applied across the other races, too, further expressing that verisimilarity insofar as those races could be claimed to exist.

Therefore, I see no conflict between those two claims.

Anonymous Daniel February 17, 2014 7:42 PM  

The primary reason women don't appear more frequently in certain video games is because you wouldn't want characters in your video game constantly complaining about certain video games. It would be like stocking CoD entirely with conscientious objectors.

Anonymous Tizona February 17, 2014 7:45 PM  

"The game has orcs and men, elves and dwarves. It has goblins and trolls."

'Cus orcs and elves and dwarves and goblins and trolls are real, but bull-dykes are imaginary.

Anonymous Idle Spectator February 17, 2014 7:48 PM  

How about having a quest where your character saves the woman he loves? Every man's fantasy is to save a beautiful damsel in distress. How about that option?

World 7-4

I'm sorry, but your princess is not in another castle. She is at the office with a short haircut and wearing a business suit, you fucking sexist pig.

Blogger Nate February 17, 2014 7:51 PM  

Speaking of chicks in video games... I think.. Vox of all people is plenty aware of female vdeo game examples...

Space Bunnies Must Die!!!! What What?

Blogger Joel C. Salomon February 17, 2014 7:58 PM  

I have to say, VD, you’re doing this wrong.

Include female gladiators. Just give them biologically-plausible stats so that no player in his right mind would actually field them (except perhaps against another female team)—but go ahead, be inclusive.

Anonymous WaterBoy February 17, 2014 8:00 PM  

Tizona: "'Cus orcs and elves and dwarves and goblins and trolls are real, but bull-dykes are imaginary."

In the game world, this is all true. Glad to see that you understand it so well.

Anonymous Stilicho February 17, 2014 8:06 PM  

we want killer bunny rabbits damit

Yes, but then the other side breaks out the Holy Hand Grenade and it all goes downhill from there...

Anonymous tmason February 17, 2014 8:07 PM  

From the article:

Holy shit. I see it too. Sir, sir – if we make games that don’t treat women like sub-human morons fit only to be rescued, kidnapped, lusted after or left out of the picture altogether, women might buy more of our games. Maybe – maybe it’s not that women aren’t interested in games, but that our games actively discourage women from enjoying them in preference to literally any other form of media!

Why is it that the slip-shits always need men to make them want to be a part of something? (*rhetorical*)

The whole reason the gaming industry is chock full of boys and men in the first place is because they were trying to run away from the whole PC culture bullshit.

These knucklehead feminists are going to keep pushing men to the limit. Until one day it will all backfire in one fell swoop.

Anonymous A. Nonymous February 17, 2014 8:23 PM  

Oh I dunno, in Borderlands, Lilith and Maya were fun to play...

They were damned annoying as characters, made worse by the fact that in the sequel, they set pale, red-haired Lilith up as the romantic object of Roland, the lone black character (or vice-versa) who is also the noble, stoic leader, in bizarre contrast with his portrayal in the first game, where his dialogue suggested something more along the lines of "stereotypical, overconfident trash-talker".

Then again, they not only killed off Roland after having Lilith spend most of the second game awkwardly (and unsuccessfully) trying to get (back?) into his pants, they also replaced him with a white character called Axton who filled essentially the same niche in the gameplay structure and whose name might as well have been BetterthanRolandateverything (and who was even granted the more glamorous title of "The Commando" where Roland was merely "The Soldier"). Taking into account also the fact that most fans' preferred pairing seems to have been Lilith and the (white) sniper character Mordecai, one is tempted to conclude that they were deliberately trying to piss off everyone at once.

Oh well, at least Handsome Jack appears to be returning in the next release...

Anonymous Daniel February 17, 2014 8:27 PM  

NB: The title of the linked article is 'Deep down in the Rabbit Hole."

Are we being punked?

Anonymous The Deuce February 17, 2014 8:28 PM  

Have fun, folks: http://draqul.tumblr.com/post/76994101643/woman-gets-mad-on-internet-does-not-receive-death

Anonymous Tizona February 17, 2014 8:30 PM  

@ Waterboy

I can think of a million reasons why including girlz in a video game is a bad idea / why fifth wave feminist BS is annoying. But as usual, Vox is able to identify a common problem, but fails to come up with any insightful commentary on the problem.

Anonymous Old Time Gamer February 17, 2014 8:47 PM  

I don't see how including a half-naked warrior woman is caving to Gyno-Terrorists. If you really want to give a one figure salute to the Feminist Harpies and the Grrl Power people, the best way is to put a half-naked pretty girl into the game. It will make their heads explode!
If there's anything that man-hating lesbians hate more than old-fashioned male chauvinists, its half-naked pretty girls. This is why you never see lesbians at strip clubs or topless bars.
Plus, chainmail bikinis!

Anonymous Harsh February 17, 2014 8:57 PM  

"We could, of course, throw out historical verisimilitude. But we're not going to."

vs.

"The game has orcs and men, elves and dwarves. It has goblins and trolls."


I'd believe in the existence of orcs and elves before I'd believe there was ever an effective female gladiator who fought against men.

Anonymous Ulmer Miller February 17, 2014 8:57 PM  

Reminds of the feigned uproar over the kickstarter game Kingdom Come because it didn't include any playable persons of color even though it takes place in 15th century Bohemia. Yup.

Blogger Nate February 17, 2014 8:58 PM  

"I can think of a million reasons why including girlz in a video game is a bad idea"

if you could tell me when girls were NOT included in video games...

Because I'll be honest... I think its bullshit. There are girls all over video games... From Ms Pacman to Lara Croft to Clair Redfield to Chell.

There have always been prominent female characters in video games. The whole accusation is bullshit.

Anonymous Harsh February 17, 2014 8:58 PM  

By the way, Obvious, you don't understand the meaning of the word verisimilitude, which is probably why you're confused.

Anonymous Idle Spectator February 17, 2014 9:25 PM  

Another good use of a female character is Faith from Mirror's Edge. She was a traceuse or female practitioner of parkour. It is basically using momentum and gravity as a movement or exercise system; originally developed by an elite firefighter in Paris.

You also see it in the Assassin's Creed games, but they call it freerunning.

Mirror's Edge also later inspired the TV show Firefly and the movie Serenity.

Blogger Paul, Dammit! February 17, 2014 9:27 PM  

Hey, did anyone else notice that the author of that blurb went over and over about how there should be more female characters in video games, but never got around to explaining WHY?

Also, I call BS on the lack of appropriate female characters. I mean, I've seen Diner Dash and Candy Crush.

Anonymous MarcusJ February 17, 2014 9:28 PM  

You probably didn't have to guess but yeah, she's a pooch pecker.

https://a3-images.myspacecdn.com/images03/34/0d74b9469dcf4d3ca615d2904198b57f/300x300.jpg

Anonymous MrGreenMan February 17, 2014 9:32 PM  

Wasteland had Angela Deth. She had a 9mm - less stopping power than the .45, but more shots per clip. She was also able to talk to the raped girl. http://wasteland.gamepedia.com/Angela_Deth

You needed a female character in the team to talk to the raped girl if you wanted to get an Uzi earlier than you could by buying it. I think this was offset by requiring having one guy to charm the priestess at the Temple of Blood.

Given that Wasteland was the best turn-based video game ever, what is this stupid twat in the linked article complaining about again? Just boot up the //e.

Anonymous Stephen J. February 17, 2014 9:59 PM  

"And when we design a game with a particular female market in mind, we don't worry about hurting the feelings of men who we know have no interest in that sort of game."

What kind of game would you design for a female gaming market?

Personally I think a first-person fighter game that derived its tactical challenges from some of the conditions you've talked about w/r/t feminine martial limits could be really interesting.

Say you had to play a woman who wound up abandoned, for some reason, in some fictional urban slum ruled by a particularly vicious gang. (I'm thinking here in part of the film JUDGEMENT NIGHT, and also THE WARRIORS to some extent.) Your challenge is to reach a particular escape point without meeting the fates of death and worse than death. The trick is: When you start, if a gang member engages you in combat, you lose. The only way to come out of any encounter alive is to find an improvised weapon and use stealth moves to ambush the enemy. If you can win enough of these fights, you can pick up better weapons, up to and including guns -- but you have to use these guns in fights to get good with them, too. As you acquire experience, you can gain some ability to predict how tough an opponent will be, and maybe even spot people who are small enough and/or stupid enough that you can stand an even chance against them -- but the majority of opponents will still never be people you can beat in a face-to-face open fight.

The overarching strategy, essentially, is that you *cannot* attempt to use a straight bull-through approach; the game would be designed to reward ruthlessness, sneakiness, straight-up willingness to run, cleverness in finding escape routes, ambush points or improvised weapons, and maybe even politics -- perhaps your character discovers she's in the middle of a gang war, and dropping colours of one gang on the corpse of another gang's member can touch off battles that will clear obstacles and create opportunities. (For real emotional punch, drop a child character in there that the protagonist has to rescue along with herself.)

As always, when the issue is that certain limits exist, make those limits part of the challenge.

Anonymous Strigoi February 17, 2014 10:08 PM  

The whole accusation is bullshit

Which makes VD's defense retarded.

Blogger Joel C. Salomon February 17, 2014 10:11 PM  

Alternate suggestion to above: Include “transwomen” (biologically male, present as feminine) and get extra brownie points for including non-binary gender.

Better yet, include them and nerfed female characters. You’re including “realistic” women, not merely the “one-dimensional men-in-skirts” the linked-to post complains about.

“You can beat any system. All you do is turn the handle the way it goes, only more so.” —Eric Frank Russel, Study in Still Life

Anonymous Porphyry February 17, 2014 10:16 PM  

"Maybe we can have Amazons v.s. Hobbits" Ala bloodbowl and give them suitable stats to match just for sadistic kicks.

Anonymous Mike M. February 17, 2014 10:20 PM  

Use women as investors in the gladiatorial schools. Bankstera delenda est.

Blogger Nate February 17, 2014 10:44 PM  

"Which makes VD's defense retarded."

Actually it doesn't. If you'll pay attention you'll note that VD's defense actually boils down to "We do what's best for the game." Logic dictates that if historical accuracy required female characters in First Sword... he would have them there.

Anonymous hygate February 17, 2014 10:52 PM  

If comments were not closed for the articleI would point out that:

1) if women characters are under represented in games
and
2) there is a market for women characters in games
then
3) bitching about women being under represented in games is retarded (full retard)
cause
4) it seems like this is a business opportunity where a woman of vision could recruit the legions of woman coders being denied access to job opportunities by the patriachy to create games featuring strong female characters and make shit loads of money.

Cause the reason there are no strong female characters in computer games is cause the companies that produce computer games h8tes money.

Anonymous aaaaturkey February 17, 2014 10:54 PM  

It's games....

Her post is ridiculous. Developers should make the game in a way that reflects the atmosphere and world building that they desire. I'm not sure about playstation modability, but for PCs everything has new character models and textures. Just look at all those GTA 4 mods.'

Most girl gamers in the end only care about a good game that is entertaining.

The bi sexual african american women I came across in games always played the big strong male warrior classes. Many guys would play the pretty girl character, because as one said "I'd rather be looking at a chicks arse all day than some dudes.."

Anonymous Red Comet February 17, 2014 10:56 PM  

As someone fairly hardcore into gaming I see articles like that one on sites and as topics on message boards all the time.

Always the same complaints about lack of females in games.

Always the same near death experiences from unnamed female "developers" getting awkwardly hit on by some beta nerd at a bar after E3 spun into a sexual harrassment story.

Always the same white knights in the comments trying to one-up each other over who can prostrate themselves the most before feminism almighty. Everyone else gets banned or has their comment deleted.

It's all white noise at this point. I don't even find entertainment in skimming these stories/topics to laugh at these morons anymore.

Bottom line is that games cost a metric shit ton of money to make with often razor thin margins on profit. Thus the developers will continue to give the PR approved PC response in interviews that the lefty journos demand while making games those same journos hate because they know they sell to the real people who pay real money.

Anonymous R7 Rocket February 17, 2014 11:18 PM  

Metroid is a great video game series. Its protagonist, Samus Aran, is a chick.

Gosh, the feminists are such whiners!

Blogger Eric February 17, 2014 11:24 PM  

Lets see... Skyrim... chicks... COD: Ghosts... chicks... Tomb Raider is a whole fanchise based on a chick... WoW has chicks...

To be fair, in most of those games the chicks are there for eye candy. Because teenage boys like weapons and boobs, so putting them together in one package is a winner. But note the target audience isn't you-go-gurlz. There's a reason we see chain mail bikinis on the cover of books. It's not because that style of armor is historical or practical.

Personally, I don't get the whining. Game developers make what they think will sell. You can't force women on the game market any more than you can make movies designed to lower morale during a war and actually expect them to make money. If it's really an underserved market, well, she should start a game company and reap all the fat profits those sexist developers are leaving on the table.

It's all about "privilege", don't cha know. We don't believe in God because you can't prove he exists, but privilege, well, on that we have faith.

Anonymous Blaster February 17, 2014 11:32 PM  

"We could, of course, throw out historical verisimilitude. But we're not going to."

vs.

"The game has orcs and men, elves and dwarves. It has goblins and trolls."


Yes, it's a funny thing to point out and I can almost guarantee Vox got the irony when he wrote it.

One can make apparently fantasy elements seem realistic if the rest of the world is realistic and the fantasy elements are strictly governed by plausible rules. Consider the movie Cloverfield: high verisimilitude yet there is a monster. In fact you can probably name dozens of narratives where the entire point is to maximize verisimilitude then make some supernatural phenomenon seem very real and frightening. Alien, Jaws, The Blair Witch Project, Super 88. Meanwhile, many settings, especially those in movies and videogames, have low verisimilitude even if there's not a single observable fantasy element.

Anonymous Toby Temple February 18, 2014 12:06 AM  

The accusation is pure BS.

From arcade games, to console games, to PC games, there are women.

What are Chun Li, Nova and Lara Croft? Transvestites?

Anonymous Blaster February 18, 2014 12:19 AM  

Lets see... Skyrim... chicks... COD: Ghosts... chicks... Tomb Raider is a whole fanchise based on a chick... WoW has chicks...

In most roleplaying games (including Skyrim, WoW, and even most versions of Dungeons and Dragons) the concept and game-world is fantastical to begin with and it's usually easier to simply make female heroes exactly like males and pretend there are no in-world consequences (social/political/etc) to doing that. The benefits are fan service and a wider potential audience. The downside is lack of verisimilitude which was never substantial to begin with. Most big blockbuster games probably operate on similar principles.

Some games (or narratives) with sole female protagonists can work because the woman can be given exceptional abilities with challenges designed specifically for her. Examples of this type are the original versions of Tomb Raider and Parasite Eve. Although their abilities are unusually masculine, suspension of disbelief can still be reasonably maintained compared to games or narratives of a similar type. Indeed for some narratives, the vulnerability implied by a female protagonist is probably by design. This is as opposed to characters like Bloodrayne, Bayonetta, and probably the more modern versions of Lara Croft, which are pure fantasy.

There's nothing wrong with those games, they appeal to broad audiences of both sexes much like Ellen Ripley in Alien, nor is there anything immediately wrong with fantastical female characters of the WoW variety. So long as you accept that it's just a niche and there's absolutely nothing wrong with leaving female characters out or underpowered if that's the game you want to build or the story you want to tell.

Anonymous zg February 18, 2014 12:42 AM  

I swear this first time I scanned this chicks ranting I had it way wrong..."There is a point to including playable female characters in games"... I expected her to say something along the lines cuz you all need someone to fuck...

Nope same worthless bs I have heard since I played Amiga games... someday..sigh

Anonymous Vandermerwe February 18, 2014 12:42 AM  

There are many games with strong female characters. They're called JRPGs, anime and manga game spin offs, visual novels and so on: titles such as Madoka Magica The Battle Pentagram, Tales of Symphonia, Drag On Dragoon, FF X-2, Atelier Meruru: The Apprentice of Arland, etc.

Are these even played by significant numbers of women?

Anonymous Roundtine February 18, 2014 12:44 AM  

Is women versus midgets a fair fight?

Female orcs. Cause orcs are more powerful than humans. See how sexist you are.

Anonymous WaterBoy February 18, 2014 1:05 AM  

Tizona: "But as usual, Vox is able to identify a common problem, but fails to come up with any insightful commentary on the problem."

That depends on what you think the problem is. It seems to me that Vox identified it as:

"Yet another clueless wonder is yapping about the absence of the unnecessary from video games"

and he provided a solution:

"We're not interested in debating her. We're not interested in listening to her. As it happens, we couldn't possibly care less what she thinks one way or the other."

As for women's desires for video games, he said this:

"And when we design a game with a particular female market in mind, we don't worry about hurting the feelings of men who we know have no interest in that sort of game."

So there you go. The reality is this: men like different things than women. When Hugh Hefner started providing straight men what they wanted via Playboy, straight women eventually got their equivalent with Playgirl. There is no Playperson which caters to the whims of both, because only an extremely small segment of the market wants that at all.

The solution to video games is the same -- give the men what they want, and give the women what they prefer. The existence of one does not negate the possibility of the other. And it should be noted this very important point: the numbers of each type need not be the same, or even remotely close to the same.

Blogger JCclimber February 18, 2014 1:07 AM  

"Having taken it as fact that there is a point to including female characters in video games, why on earth are we still hearing excuses for their absence in 2014?"

And here we see that classic argument technique we've been discussing recently in regards to the aspie atheists. Sorry sugar, I'm not taking anything as a fact from you. Start over and explain why exactly it is a fact that there should be females included in a video game?

Anonymous Inane Rambler February 18, 2014 1:07 AM  

I don't think she'd appreciate this version very much:

"There is a point to including playable male characters in games. I’m aware that most of the people likely to comment on this article (go ahead and bleat about misogyny, you worms; I’ll enjoy a tasty cup of your female tears) don’t see that, but I’m also aware that the vast majority of people who read this article do see it, and won’t bother to leave a comment because what I’m saying in this editorial seems sensible, practical, and non-controversial. Such is the way of the Internet. So I’m not going to bother writing out a lengthy justification of why we genuinely need male characters in video games for the good of the industry financially and artistically; if you honestly can’t understand it, go forth and educate yourself. If you feel that gaming is the one thing remaining to women and boys should stop spoiling it with political correctness, then please go boil your head because I see no point in debating with people incapable of basic logic and lacking humanity.

Having taken it as fact that there is a point to including male characters in video games, why on earth are we still hearing excuses for their absence in 2014? Because it is an excuse. There is no reason not to do it. You won’t alienate your existing market by acknowledging the existence of men. You won’t take anything away from your existing market."

Also, this made me lol: "educate yourself."

Progs say that all the time when they have no actual argument but they want you to waste your time figuring out what their argument should be.

Anonymous Aufhebend February 18, 2014 3:05 AM  

@Blaster: and probably the more modern versions of Lara Croft, which are pure fantasy.

I don't know so much about this. The newest Lara had pretty good degree of verisimilitude to a young woman in her position, what with all the vulnerability and weakness and all. It's been a while since I played, but I think she more or less remains "bring an AK to a knife fight" style, and her melee combat is more stealth- and "stick a pickaxe in your spine"-based. Her progression to cold, hard killer was borderline believable, if somewhat quicker than expected (bright-eyed archaeology grad -> merciless killing machine in less than a week? You couldn't even do that to hot-blooded young men in the military.) You could make a case for all the physical activity she does (climbing, running, jumping), but that's just game mechanics - it wouldn't be fun if you ran out of stamina after a bout of climbing cliffs.

Anonymous ChicagoRefugee February 18, 2014 3:08 AM  

What? No Bun Bun? Whatever am I going to do with all these telemarketers?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Characters_of_Sluggy_Freelance#Bun-bun

Anonymous Jack Amok February 18, 2014 3:31 AM  

To be fair, in most of those games the chicks are there for eye candy.

Have you played Skyrim? There's not much "eye candy" there. You create your character and decide if you want to be a male or female. You adventure through the world and encounter female assasins, female mercenaries, female Jarls (rulers), female business leaders, wizards, adventurers, shopkeepers, guards, soldiers... They might have exceptionally large and firm boobs, but the male characters tend to have rather large pecs, biceps and forearms too. Everybody's a physical exaggeration to an extent.

I think you're assuming things about the game that you don't actually know.

Blogger The Original Hermit February 18, 2014 3:50 AM  

In Super Mario World 2 you could play as the Princess, and she was the only character that could hover! Perfect Dark had a female protagonist and wasn't a half bad game.

I recall Morrowind as the first game I deliberately chose a female, because the sexes had different stats and the female Orc had the stats I wanted.

Blogger teqzilla February 18, 2014 4:26 AM  

So much supposed videogame criticism is just pre-existing literary criticism lazily and inappropriately transplanted to the medium of videogames. It's one thing to talk about the need for strong female protagonists in novels or movies but in videogames YOU are the protagonist and the strength of YOU as a protagonist depend on YOUR skills as a player. Mario doesn't save princess peach, you do. Sonic doesn't defeat dr. robotkik and reclaim the chaos emeralds, you do. The character you play in a game is merely an avatar and most of the fun of a game comes in those avatars having massively different back-stories and skills than you do. No-one but a massive narcissist would demand that all such avatars reflect themselves in some trivial and arbitrarily selected way.

Anonymous Decius February 18, 2014 4:26 AM  

OT but relevant:

http://deadspin.com/female-running-back-tackled-multiple-times-in-mens-pro-1524835883

Anonymous Aufhebend February 18, 2014 4:30 AM  

@Eric: To be fair, in most of those games the chicks are there for eye candy.

As Jack Amok said, Skyrim doesn't have much in the way of eye candy, unless you count the scenery and the aurorae in the clear night skies. It's rather telling when the prettiest woman you can marry is a budding merchant who's a drug dealer in her spare time and looks like she has a skin colour condition.

@Jack Amok: You adventure through the world and encounter female assasins, female mercenaries, female Jarls (rulers), female business leaders, wizards, adventurers, shopkeepers, guards, soldiers...

The female physical warriors were always an immersion-tarnishing obstacle. But suspending my disbelief to assume that the armour they wore *might have/would have/should have* augmented their physical strength and speed helps. So far, the female warriors with any degree of verisimilitude are the warlocks and vampires.

Blogger JP February 18, 2014 4:48 AM  

Ms Pac Man is a woman.

Blogger Shimshon February 18, 2014 5:03 AM  

"I warned ye, but did you listen to me? Oh, no, ye knew, didn't ye? Oh, it's just a harmless little bunny, isn't it?"

Blogger Eric February 18, 2014 5:27 AM  

As Jack Amok said, Skyrim doesn't have much in the way of eye candy, unless you count the scenery and the aurorae in the clear night skies.

Okay, that's one. What about the others? If Lara Croft were real she wouldn't be able to stand.

Blogger Tommy Hass February 18, 2014 5:36 AM  

"The primary reason women don't appear more frequently in certain video games is because you wouldn't want characters in your video game constantly complaining about certain video games. It would be like stocking CoD entirely with conscientious objectors."

Lol

Anonymous Aufhebend February 18, 2014 5:40 AM  

Okay, that's one. What about the others? If Lara Croft were real she wouldn't be able to stand.

No arguments there. There's even a trope for it. The latest iteration did cut down on the size of the front bumper, though she still is pretty top-heavy. I get the feeling the developers in the newest one were trying to shift the focus away from her looks with the muddy, grimy and bloody imagery, though.

Anonymous WaterBoy February 18, 2014 6:17 AM  

I've got it. Include playable female characters...but they're only available when you choose the DIFFICULT setting.

Anonymous starr February 18, 2014 7:39 AM  

I've been a gamer for many years and when it comes to the hard core games, girls generally aren't interested. With combat games I can count the number of female players I've known on one hand and not one of them ever mentioned, let alone complained about the absence of female characters. They didn't care full stop, they liked the game, they played it. With strategy games like Civilization, which goes to an effort to put in female leaders, I can count the number of females who played the game on two hand, and again none of them gave two hoots whether the leader they played was female or not or even if there were any females in the game. Likewise the many women who didn't like these games and didn't want to play them never said anything about how many females were in the game. They didn't care, the game was boring and they weren't interested. The only people who seem to care are these militant feminists and there hangers on who as far as I can tell go to great lengths to find something to be offended about so they can bring out their victim card to wave about while screech about the place.

Blogger Nate February 18, 2014 7:51 AM  

"Okay, that's one. What about the others? If Lara Croft were real she wouldn't be able to stand."

World of Warcraft.

Anonymous cheddarman February 18, 2014 8:34 AM  

Vox, are you going wobbly? It seems like putting female gladiators in the game would be an excellent example of dark knighting, if I understand the term correctly.

sincerely

cheddarman

Anonymous Andre February 18, 2014 8:42 AM  

By all means, include a woman in the game, VD? Why not?

Make her slow, weak and vulnerable to 1-hit knockouts. That would be as funny as that time Team Meat included the Tofu Boy as a playable character in Super Meat Boy because PETA protested against their game. (Tofu boy was slow and couldn't jump high, because he lacked iron. It made the game 100% unbeatable if you chose to use him).

Anonymous Andre February 18, 2014 8:53 AM  

And by the way, women need to just fucking shut up about this subject:

1) If you want women in your games, go make your own games. Aren't you strong, independent women? Why the fuck are you whining to companies built by men? Isn't this shameful to you independent women? Go learn to program and study games, make your own successful game with a strong female protagonist. If the game is indeed good, it's gonna be a commercial success, because:

2) Men are not whiny bitches like you, and aren't butthurt about playing a Lara Croft, Metroid or, just for the sake of being indie and make your work easier, Sword and Sworcery. Rayman Origins received great reviews and it's a cartoon. And in Civilization there are innumerous leaders of both sexes, in XCOM there are soldiers of both sexes. We don't give a flying fuck. If the game's good, we'll play it. You are the only one being an abnoxious bitch about it. Either go make your own game, or go back to the kitchen, moron.

Anonymous Andre February 18, 2014 8:54 AM  

*obnoxious

Anonymous VanDerMerwe February 18, 2014 10:19 AM  

Meanwhile women want this sort of thing instead:
Kissed by the Baddest Bidder
4.5 stars
"I'm going to make you mine, and you don't get to say no"
"I bought you"

Anonymous Athor Pel February 18, 2014 10:34 AM  

" NateFebruary 18, 2014 7:51 AM
...
World of Warcraft."



WoW has midgets (gnomes) and females, in fact you can play a midget female. Cute as a button they are with a tiny hitbox that vexes pvp opponents, that's a mighty combo for generating whiny tears in scrubs.




" Jack AmokFebruary 18, 2014 3:31 AM
...
Have you played Skyrim? There's not much "eye candy" there.
...
I think you're assuming things about the game that you don't actually know."



What I found funny about all women in Skyrim regardless of their age, they all had tight young looking bodies. You could pick pocket some old lady merchant and take her dress and her underwear clad body looked just like that young thief you left rotting in the road. Only the faces were different.

So yes, almost all women in Skyrim were eye candy by virtue of the developer's unwillingness to create anything other than the standard 18 year old female body for all female avatars, even though none of them had ginormous titties. The only body type exceptions were the slightly overweight female bodies and they weren't anywhere close to obese or malproportioned.

Anonymous VanDerMerwe February 18, 2014 10:34 AM  

"I struggled for years to get my 11-year-old daughter into gaming. Despite my best efforts, she just wasn't interested. Download Lara Croft: Guardians of Light for free thanks to Games with Gold and bam, instant gamer. Now I have to battle to get game time for myself. Being gender inclusive doesn't cost the developer the anything, but it can potentially gain them more customer.
The fact is, there really is no good reason to not give gamers the option to create a female character.

The fact is, any developer refusing to give gamers that option, especially in a gamer that features character creation, is at best lazy and at worst misogynist. In either case, it's the gamers that lose."

Now even CAPCOM's in trouble. ;-)

Anonymous Jack Amok February 18, 2014 12:44 PM  

Okay, that's one. What about the others? If Lara Croft were real she wouldn't be able to stand.

One is enough to demonstrate that your comment about chain mail bikinis was written from ignorance. You made assumptions about at least one game that were demonstrably untrue. Tomb Raider is as you described, but what justification is that for claiming every other game is too? You're just like the ditz who wrote the article - making absurd claims you want to be true without bothering to find out of they are.

It's the new height of PC victimhood. Being offended at absurdly minor but at least real slights is no longer good enough, now leftists are offended at what they imagine other people are doing even when those people aren't doing anything of the sort.

So yes, almost all women in Skyrim were eye candy by virtue of the developer's unwillingness to create anything other than the standard 18 year old female body for all female avatars...

Well, did I miss all the pot-bellied old men then? Or was I correct in saying "the male characters tend to have rather large pecs, biceps and forearms too. Everybody's a physical exaggeration to an extent."


Anonymous Amok Time February 18, 2014 1:46 PM  

I play on a website that does allow girls in the game. However, their strength and stamina is in a ration similar to a 10-year old boy to an adult man. It works rather well. The ladies tend to be tertiary characters but enjoy the inclusion. I am sure there are the Michelle Rodriguez types who feel they are discriminated as they are just as strong and tough as a guy but who cares?

Anonymous zapbrannigan1 February 18, 2014 2:09 PM  

@Andre:

That was the best summation of my thoughts on the subject. I particularly liked how you highlighted the fact that men don't give a crap about playing a game with or without female characters. That is solely in the province of a particular type of feminist misanthrope who it would seem must remain in a constant state of outrage lest she die from a lack of attention paid to her ravings.

Blogger James Higham February 18, 2014 2:34 PM  

Why not? Because the game is a gladiator game. Women cannot credibly fight as gladiators. We don't put women in the game for the same reason we don't put bunny rabbits or children in the game.

:)

Anonymous frenchy February 18, 2014 2:35 PM  

There is nothing stopping female game designers from designing games with the female characters they want.

What this woman wants, and I'm sure she's not alone, is for the male designers, who have been successful with their male oriented games, to put women in their games.

It's a good thing money talks, or else we'd be there already.

There's a good reason female superhero movies flop, and this female author ought to take note.

Anonymous Dr. Kenneth Noisewater February 18, 2014 2:45 PM  

Putting women in the game would be an act of brutal sadism, an act of barbarism even by pagan Roman standards.

Make Blandina a playable character?

Could be worse, could be Senseless Violence..

http://www.whatisthe2gs.apple2.org.za/files/SenselessViolence12/ScreenGrab_1/senseless_violence1_shot.gif

Blogger Kallmunz February 18, 2014 3:08 PM  

Vox,
Sorry but you're wrong on this one. Now that women are fighting on the front lines, it's important that we re-educate young men. In war we must retrain young men that it's okay to throw her down and rape her and then beat her face to a bloody pulp. The problem that we have now is too many men are too squeamish to fight the necessary battles. Let us train them to show no mercy.

Anonymous Anonymous February 18, 2014 3:12 PM  

>This is not because I am misogynistic.

>As it happens, we couldn't possibly care less what she thinks one way or the other.

hmmmmmmm

Blogger Philip Corso February 18, 2014 3:12 PM  

>This is not because I am misogynistic.

>As it happens, we couldn't possibly care less what she thinks one way or the other.

hmmmmmmm

Blogger Marissa February 18, 2014 3:25 PM  

Not caring what one (stupid) woman thinks = hating all women. Feminist logic.

Anonymous Jack Amok February 18, 2014 3:27 PM  

Now that women are fighting on the front lines, it's important that we re-educate young men. In war we must retrain young men that it's okay to throw her down and rape her and then beat her face to a bloody pulp. The problem that we have now is too many men are too squeamish to fight the necessary battles. Let us train them to show no mercy.

If we're the ones putting women in combat, wouldn't that be our enemies who need to show them no mercy? Which our foreign enemies don't appear to need much training as it seems to come naturally to them.

Anonymous BoysMom February 18, 2014 4:10 PM  

She should just go play Sims. Where not only are there strong women but also weak women, or whatever sort you like, and oh, yes, the default assumption for gender in the fandom is female. Gee, ya think boys and girls are wired just a bit differently?
You men keep all your shoot-em-ups and what-not, and if you want bio-enhanced female characters (I *think* that's what the Unreal Tournament-my husband's game-deal is) then you enjoy them. Some females need to get over the fact that males have different wiring already.

Anonymous Krul February 18, 2014 4:56 PM  

We don't put women in the game for the same reason we don't put bunny rabbits or children in the game.

Now wait just a minute. This game is a tie-in for ATOB, right? Well if I remember correctly ATOB has a bunny slaying competition between an orc and a dwarf in the arena. You're telling me the game won't have a bunny slaying minigame?

Suffice it to say that I am disappoint.

Blogger Joe A. February 18, 2014 5:44 PM  

VG 24/7 is trash. Hell, look at their format when you go to the site... that's all you need to know.

Blogger Eric February 18, 2014 6:03 PM  

One is enough to demonstrate that your comment about chain mail bikinis was written from ignorance.

I guess, if you're unclear on the meaning of the word "most".

Anonymous Jack Amok February 18, 2014 6:20 PM  

I guess, if you're unclear on the meaning of the word "most".

if you meant most, why did you include a specific example that didn't fit the claim you were making? Admit it, you were talking out of your ass.

Anonymous Don February 18, 2014 6:22 PM  

Vox - I know the Satires. Juvenal is describing free women playing at gladiator practice. They weren't fighting slaves who actually fought in the arena.

So there was Tae Bo back then too?

Blogger Kallmunz February 18, 2014 6:34 PM  

If we're the ones putting women in combat, wouldn't that be our enemies who need to show them no mercy? Which our foreign enemies don't appear to need much training as it seems to come naturally to them.


You bring up a good point. If the enemy has a group of soldiers, it is too easy to get men to give up information by simply brutalizing the female soldiers. You are spot on that the enemy will treat our female soldiers like this and when this happens it's important that the males will not feel the need to "protect" the female but rather accept that fact that she will die for the good of the country.

Blogger Eric February 18, 2014 7:34 PM  

if you meant most, why did you include a specific example that didn't fit the claim you were making? Admit it, you were talking out of your ass.

Wasn't my list. Is there anything else I can read for you?

Blogger wahsatchmo February 18, 2014 8:31 PM  

I originally thought this article was parody, but it’s a pretty elaborate ruse if it is.

If this is not the workings of a troll, the author provides tremendous insight into herself. She disclaims misandrist motives while suggesting that those men who perceive such in her writings are a bunch of emasculated crybabies (“…I’ll enjoy a tasty cup of your male tears…”). She asserts that her premise is logical and sensible because she said so and no one should dare comment otherwise. Anyone disagreeing with the arbitrary inclusion of female characters is incapable of logic and has no humanity because she said so. She says “fucking” twice, “shit” twice, and “bullshit” once so you know how serious she is about this whole thing.

Her imagined dialog is telling. She creates two straw men in positions of power that are stupid and sexist foils for the witty and clever female subordinate (who is clearly the author’s perception of herself.) It’s a vignette worthy of any laundry detergent commercial featuring a rock stupid husband and the wise-cracking wife.

So we recognize her stale feminist tropes and ticks, her refusal to argue logically, her appeals to emotions; but isn’t she just trying to say that Deep Down could be a better game for both her and female gamers if they had a female character to identify with?

The answer is: no. As a writer for a gaming website, the author must be aware that there are games made for a female market. She specifies games made for the male market that include females. What she wants is to mandate an at least equal number of female characters as are men in any game, especially games for men, regardless of the resulting quality. As she says, “better lazily-crafted women than no women at all.”

You’ll notice that her witty and clever female suggests replacing 12 male characters with 12 female characters. There’s no point in questioning the assumption that this will result in a doubling of sales, as her witty and clever female implies, because there isn’t any particular substance in any of her arguments beyond what she feels.

She suggested equal numbers of male and female characters be included (specifically by removing male characters to make room) because in her mind, this is fair and right and how things should be. But it shouldn’t just be true of games targeted at women; the author wants men to be aware that male and female characters are readily exchangeable.

She wants it to be known that she, as a woman, is offended and has been personally victimized by Deep Down. She’ll try to shock you with her salty language to show how well she can fight in the world of men, then runs and hides behind a closed comment wall. She wants men to think of themselves as whiny, stupid, or inhumane if they disagree with anything she’s said or about to say. She’s willing to sacrifice the quality of a game to see her whims satisfied.

The feminist makes things worse for everybody to feel better about themselves. I won’t be shocked if this editorial is not parody, but I am saddened.

Anonymous Jack Amok February 18, 2014 9:03 PM  

Wasn't my list. Is there anything else I can read for you?

Since you're such a reading comprehension whiz, try reading this:

"It's the new height of PC victimhood. Being offended at absurdly minor but at least real slights is no longer good enough, now leftists are offended at what they imagine other people are doing even when those people aren't doing anything of the sort. "

Anonymous Anonymous February 18, 2014 9:49 PM  

Otto Weininger said it all 100 years ago.

Blogger Nate February 18, 2014 11:21 PM  

"What I found funny about all women in Skyrim regardless of their age, they all had tight young looking bodies."

Have you seen television?

There is a chick on a soap opera my wife watches that is apparently 60 years old... and she has the body of an 18 year old.

Anonymous dendros February 19, 2014 5:17 AM  

They're not upset about a lack of female characters, rather just another invasion on what appears to them to be a 'boys' club'.

Oh and Skyrim was disturbing. A land of genetic-egalitarianism where women's lib had arisen some time in antiquity. Sure, in fantasy, anything goes but bastardizing historical societies is getting a little to close to rewriting history.

Anonymous Will February 19, 2014 4:16 PM  

Let's be honest here, First Sword barely qualifies as a game. It's more like a glorified spreadsheet.

Anonymous AVIES February 19, 2014 9:45 PM  

"The game has orcs and men, elves and dwarves. It has goblins and trolls."

"we value historical verisimilitude"

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Anonymous Will February 19, 2014 11:17 PM  

Action 52 is more of a game than First Sword.

Blogger Dante February 20, 2014 2:35 AM  

this is the fucking stupidest defense for misogyny i have seen in years

your game has fucking orcs and you're like "oh but women would be TOO WEIRD"

Anonymous WaterBoy February 20, 2014 3:12 AM  

Quick, somebody call the police! There's so much pearl-clutching going on here that there must be a bandit nearby!

OpenID d3bf67c4-9a52-11e3-b3fc-000bcdcb2996 February 20, 2014 12:17 PM  

From the POV of a still newish game master, this is all manner of bullshit. I designed a world where men and women do everything from fight to herd sheep to brew beer to cast spells. I honestly didn't think it was that hard to do.

Female soldiers are "realistic" in this world. Read up on the Viet Cong and the Mossad.

Of course, it could be my gaming groups. Nobody in over 30 years of RPG's, insisted I play a male character because females were not "realistic." I did have a couple bards asked to strip as condition of getting a job, but those are exceptions.

In the current group, two of the guys (they're all guys except me) regularly play female characters. And you don't want to mess with them, believe me.

Also, "realism" is not the same as "internally consistent." You seem to be confusing the two.

Anonymous Anonymous February 20, 2014 7:29 PM  

lol@this blog.

Great post d3bf67c4-9a52-11e3-b3fc-000bcdcb2996. That's my experience as well.

The silly comments are to be expected. Lots of whiny boys up in here. The argument that you can't include women because it won't be realistic but you will create trolls, elves and all sort of fantastical bullshit is HILARIOUS. I fear the blogger takes himself and his argument seriously.

But really, this is why we will continually have badly written games with poor, tired, worn out concepts on the market. I don't give a fuck about male or female, I want to see WELL WRITTEN GAMES. A good writer, a good designer, will get inspiration from anywhere,and anyone. It wouldn't enter their head to target males or females or deliberately leave out a group of people that make up nearly half of the human race, and excuse it all with insultingly vacuous bullshit.

Still I lol'd. Thanks for the amusement.

Anonymous Bill Jones February 20, 2014 9:51 PM  

Yes, those soft delicate female orcs :/

Anonymous J. Crow February 21, 2014 1:55 AM  

Ah, I love the smell of butthurt gammas in the morning.

Blogger good-in-theory February 21, 2014 1:53 PM  

If you're going to claim a particular type of (human) sexual dimorphism needs to hold in order to maintain verisimilitude, you probably ought to attempt to adhere to other forms of verisimilitude in your fantasy world. Species dimorphism would seem to be particularly important.

For instance, the notion that a human of any gender would have any business in a gladiatorial competition with a troll of any gender stretches the same sort of boundaries of credulity so desperately clung to in justifying the exclusion of women as characters.

One imagines orcs and trolls would view physical combat with a human about as seriously as you view combat with women and midgets. The troll would probably be more justified in its belief than you in yours.

I await the desperate special pleading for why it's actually not fanciful at all to have tubby bearded midgets (dwarves) on equal footing with 9 foot tall regenerating giants (trolls), but it is absurd to have a 5'6"/140lb woman compete with a 6'/190lb man because of the vast gulf between their natural capabilities.

Clearly, pretensions to a sort of contingent naturalistic realism aren't actually honest here. What's important, rather, is professing a particular ideology about gender roles regardless of how it fits the contrived physical facts of the fantasy universe in question.

Anonymous A. Nonymous February 22, 2014 3:23 AM  

What's important, rather, is professing a particular ideology about gender roles regardless of how it fits the contrived physical facts of the fantasy universe in question.

Well, it's certainly important to you, that much is obvious. There are no reasonable grounds to get in such a snit over an indie game designer's omitting female gladiators from his project, when the contemporary gaming world isn't exactly starved for female warriors of improbable prowess as PCs. All you're doing is confirming the blogger's criticism of the mentality underlying the equalitarian, "grrrl power" ideology in pop culture and elsewhere.

Blogger good-in-theory February 22, 2014 2:40 PM  

Except I haven't said anything about women in games, II've just noted what it would take to be consistent given the commitments which lead to this particular justification of the omission of women in games. Think harder next time.

Blogger Mejeriet February 28, 2014 6:24 PM  

@ Starr, Civilization (esp. IV BTS) is my all time favourite game and I always choose to play female leaders, so now you know at least one. :o) In other games (Eve Online for example), I prefer to play female characters if I can. But I don't consider myself a female gamer (or a gamer at all, actually). Playing games isn't my consuming passion and I probably don't put in anywhere near the hours most of you do.

@ Vox Day: I really don't mind if you choose not to have female characters in your game. It's your game and you can do what you like with it and no need to justify that decision to anyone. However, I do think your reasoning here is pretty silly and I think it would be more honest for you to just say 'I won't have female characters in my game because I simply don't want to.'

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