Why Do Girl Gamers Hate Female Characters?

The discussion about gender politics in games is one I can barely stomach. Can you blame me? It’s a tired ‘debate’ usually involving a blue-haired ‘Xer’ screeching for more...
Female Gamer

The discussion about gender politics in games is one I can barely stomach. Can you blame me? It’s a tired ‘debate’ usually involving a blue-haired ‘Xer’ screeching for more <insert minority> protagonists. Yawn. Yet, while the activists bore me to tears there’s a bigger gender issue to talk about: Right now, girls don’t like female characters.

Let me quickly prefix this article with #NotAllGirlGamers hate female characters. Now just think for a second. Out of all the girl gamers you know how many care about the gender of their character? Now out of those how many of them like a female character? How many actively complain about female characters?

…Do you see what I mean?

At the moment I only notice the gender of my character they’re irking me because of it. So, I propose that before we start stapling breasts onto characters, we iron out the existing problems with our femme fatales. Let’s talk about the problems and offer up some solutions.

Lil’ Miss Mary Sue

Female Gamer

A perfect protagonist is the most aggravating, immersion-breaking, rage-inducing thing in gaming. Unfortunately, it is all too frequent with modern day female characters. The terror of the tag ‘sexist’ liquefies good writers into the gutter-oil of Fanfiction.net. The results are perfect, but utterly boring and downright annoying characters.

I dread playing as Lightning in Final Fantasy Dissidia. Her dialogue, when broken down is painfully inane. A character will compliment her, and she will rudely tell them to focus on the mission. Can I also mention how creepy it is when NPCs start casually fangirling over the protagonist? When the protagonist is you it’s alright. When it’s a character with their own story it makes me feel like the third wheel on a date.

The point is, flaws are vital to a good character. A basic thing in making a character likeable is to make them relatable. Who can relate to some flawless alien being who everyone wants to grovel under? Give me a character who walks around barefoot picking stuff up with their toes. I can definitely relate to that. A little bit of jealousy or a short temper can go a long way toward making a character likeable.

The Female Perspective

Female Gamer

There’s a lot to say about the female perspective and gaming. The main point I want to make is it’s often executed poorly. I find female characters in games masculine. Not physically, but just the way they think about things. Female characters often have this feel of being caricatures to me. Men and women approach situations at different angles and think differently about things. We fight differently, we move differently, we have different motivations.

There are certain things that come with being a woman that just aren’t capitalized on in games. I have the mothering instincts of a teaspoon, I can’t even keep plants alive. Yet, I still wake in the night sometimes thinking “where’s the baby!?” even though my little brother is 10 now. Games like Silent Hill know how to capitalize on that fear. There’s plenty of space in games to have more mothering characteristics in our females. Sorry to pick on Lightning from Final Fantasy, but I think her character would benefit from being nice to kids. Especially near the start of the game. That Shadow the Hedgehog-esque standoffishness is boring when applied to everyone with equal measure.

In This War Of Mine Zlata sometimes keeps the other characters awake because she keeps crying. It’s this human thing, and women are more open about crying. In the same game, another girl has an ability called ‘Good with Kids’. It’s these simple details that really feed into making a character interesting and correct. Even things like walk cycles add to making a character more feminine. Girls tend to swing our hips a little when we walk.

Even if a game shows the limitations that come with a sex I’m impressed. A lot of female characters are toned rather than muscled. A female character not quite managing a pull-up shows some thought. I always think bustier characters should run holding onto their breasts. I’m sure it would go down swimmingly with feminists, but it would be more realistic.

I don’t think this problem is entirely down to ignorance on the developer’s part. There’s a certain fear of portraying women as weaker in media in general. Games are at this awkward stage where they’re not considered art, but are more than entertainment. They’re an easy target for criticism that films can glide over. It may be that until enough games break the ice we’ll be stuck with male-esque females. I think we’ll get some interesting games when we learn to celebrate the differences between the two genders.

The Female Personality

Female Gamer

When it comes to the sexual side of interactions, games only halfway succeed. They excel at portraying sexually dominant females like Cereza from Bayonetta. I love playing those highly charged characters. They show off a dark, manipulative and powerful side of the sexuality. It’s a bit of a power trip, these women are in control and know it. These are the sort of characters I love playing, but the shoe doesn’t fit everyone. When it comes to other types of strong females, there’s a bump in the road.

I know some girls aren’t comfortable with being sexy. I can respect that, so sure maybe we do have a deficit of strong A-romantics. I think some games pull this off. Jade from Beyond Good and Evil is pretty disinterested in romance.

Games are escapism, so characters should be something we want to be. Activists often bark up the wrong tree for this one. Sexually provocative females aren’t going to disappear from mainstream games anytime soon. It would be like taking tragic emo love interests out of vampire romance novels. However, the battle might be more successfully fought on the casual games market. Women are huge consumers of casual games and apps, whereas men tend to rule the roost for hardcore games. Kickstarter provides a platform for people to fund games with protagonists for a niche audience. That is really the way to go if you want a plain Jane protagonist in a mainstream game. You need to remember that having a sexy man or woman on the cover is going to shift more games. You can put a bikini-clad babe on anything to sell more of it.

I hear a lot about remaking games and changing the characters to be less sexy. This is something I strongly disagree with, you can’t change an existing work. Imagine if we changed King Lear not to have political marriages so it would match modern day politics. That wouldn’t fly, and I think any existing work has the right to be preserved. Even if it’s vile. I mean, we keep Mein Kampf available for purchase, don’t we? Really are Lara Croft’s breasts more offensive than Hitler? Removing sexy females from gaming is a form of censorship and shaming. I won’t turn up my nose at new and different sorts of powerful female characters, though.

The Politics Of Being A Woman

League of Angels

It used to be a lot easier to be a female gamer. Sure, we were rare unicorns perceived by all as some kind of miracle. Unfortunately, excessive and incessant activism has made being a girl gamer a political statement. It’s something that does curb my enjoyment of online gaming. It’s birthed a class of girls who play out of spite and clearly aren’t enjoying themselves. It’s a bizarre experience to play alongside someone who is gaming as a chore.

One time that sticks with me is playing League of Angels. A fellow girl refused to believe I was a girl because I enjoyed the game. Now, League of Angels is pretty risque. Its adverts have a sticker with ‘Men only’ on it. I can understand why it’d be the target of girls trying to prove a point. What I can’t understand is the pure aggression at the idea of a woman liking something smutty. As someone against that sort of behaviour, it pushes me away from online games. Ironically, probably the opposite thing these girls want.

The whole modern day political quagmire around gaming ruins a lot of things. There’s a sense of pussyfooting when it comes to dealing with girls. It’s always been around, but now it is less out of shock and more out of suspicion. Are you actually a gamer or are you an activist? Are you a journalist here to blacken the name of this game? Thankfully, this isn’t too common in most communities. In many ways, we’ve lost the equality we had because people are afraid to interact honestly with us. We’re still unicorns, but people are eyeing that potentially lethal horn.

There isn’t really an easy solution to this. It’s just a side effect of the state of the modern world. Maybe one day activist will realise that these behaviours mostly harm girls. If the public opinion of games and gamers changed, maybe people would feel less inclined to intervene.

The Bigger Question

Not to be crude, but gaming is a bit like sex. Men and women do it for different reasons and get different things out of it. The problem I have is that I don’t think all of gaming should change on the whim of a minority of people. This ‘issue’ seems so incredibly inane to me, especially when the real world is currently a dumpster fire.

Of course, I want female gamers to be comfortable, and they are. The majority of female gamers don’t care about the gender of their character. That stuff only comes up when you’re writing yaoi or drawing fanart (and don’t you judge me for my substantial collection of ValenWind fanart). It seems to me that we would have better female characters if writers weren’t afraid of backlash. Between Activism and the natural tendency to treat women delicately, we’re losing good female characters.

Diversity is all well and good, but does it sell? Is it even something gamers want? If it is, all they need is to support games that are. Right now, we have a lot of people talking, but they aren’t putting their money where their mouth is. Personally, I’m not going to break my back to buy a game just because the protagonist is politically kosher. So, why do girls hate female characters? Because maybe we care a tad too much.

 

 

I'm the crazy English teacher who all the students love because they don't know they're learning anything. I look at gaming as a means of uniting generations and people as well as a tool for teaching and soothing. I often boast that every major success in my life is the result of my gaming addiction. It is my hope that in future the term 'Gamer' will not be derogatory outside the walls of our community.
  • Dgnfly

    Maybe cause woman are more insecure then men? cause let’s be honest men don’t give a fuck how they are portrayed, while woman love to whine about everything when it doesen’t suit them and throw a fit. it isen’t men who are trying to demonize sexualized male characters yet when its the other way around everything needs to get covered up everything get overblown everything needs censorship or banend even when it involves female skin.

    Also its kinda hard to make good female characters considering any violence towards em in games is considered domestic abuse and promotes wife beating or beating up woman in general.. the whole tomb raider suggested rape scene had ppl triggered while all they tried to do is give it a more darker realistic feel, And lets not forget uncahrted 4 with the female black character seemingly being able to take on 2 guys while barely getting hit.

    Bayonetta is more male fantasy really but that doesen’t mean its a bad thing considering she is still a strong character. The problem is ppl in general feel entitled, so instead of enjoying a game for what it is or what the creator wanting it to be they feel it needs to tailor to everybody’s needs.

    Also with today’s political correctness and clamping down on things that could hardly be called offensive i’d say gaming is the last escape and if we lose that we’ll lose the idea of just having fun and in the end everything will be some orwellian nightmare.

    • Lot’s of very good points. One thing I resent is nearly all villains are men. In Dirge of Cerberus we finally had a female villian who was sadistic and wholly evil. Yet, she takes her life rather than “Give you the pleasure of killing Rosso the Crimson” and that was kinda disappointing. You can’t have gender equality in games if you make women a protected class, you know?

      • reaVer

        Actually, (nearly) all of Guilty Gear’s antagonists are female and they are each vastly different from eachother. From what I’ve seen, pointing at just lightning and going like “BAD ENIX” is also a little unjustified as they have produced plenty of female character each with different traits. Lightning is also supposed to be the soldier-esque(like Cloud) type character that the series tends to sport.

        I think that this is moreover a gamer vs non-gamer issue rather than females disliking female characters in gaming. Most commentators (activists) are not personally involved with the games they claim to be playing. As a matter of fact, checking that will usually result in them not claiming to be playing anything. And then I suppose it comes down to “Why should their comments matter?”. And I suppose you can bring up the standard arguments for both sides. But the final argument will essentially be that these commentators will not buy any game regardless of what has been done with it. It is also why anything that has pandered to social justice is failing as they are turning off their original customers in an effort to appease those that will not buy. And instead of buying, they will just create a new set of demands that will further alienate the normal customers to the point of bankruptcy.

        I don’t think women necessarily hate female characters or a female representation of themselves in games. I find that women are mostly turned off by the competitiveness that is found in the gaming world. And only after they will breach that wall will they continue to look more into games where they may find their favorite male/female character.

        (Though I have it on good authority that women are all perverts and that if they are playing something that works from a third person view, they would op to look at the manly ass rather than the womanly one.)

        • I raise my hand to being one of those perverts :-p #VincentsButtIsTheBest
          I was purposefully leaving out Anime-esque games since even though Japan is a fairly sexually conservative country they don’t treat sexuality (etc) and such as a taboo. Their writers are given a much longer leash, but when a game is manufactured with a western audience in mind adjustments are made. Sometimes two different version of a game will be released even! I think it was Silent Hill that had its scary child-like enemies edited out. Of course your comments are still completely valid.

      • Dgnfly

        Just a warning, Be careful with SJW/Feminists they can be very triggered consdering i have discovered a few days ago some scumbag is pretending to be me on reddit and copy pasted everything i posted on Myfigurecollection.

        • I’ve actually been shadowbanned on Reddit for about 2 years. So I’m always glad when people share my stuff. This article is currently on the second page of the r/KiA Reddit and I am so so proud. I never imagined I would start a REAL debate with REAL gamers on this issue. I’m grinning like the chesire cat, even if lots of people hate the piece their still like talking about it. It feels amazing ^o^~
          As for SJWs I’m pretty sure I still have two hate threads dedicated to me on Spacefem after my anti-anita articles ‘Babies don’t just fallout’ and ‘Tifa’s Tits and other problematic things’

          • Dgnfly

            Did you contact reddit? cause for me they were pretty much useless and just said its nothing serious. in general i’m not that worried about trolls and that kinda crap cause tehy do it in your face so you can just ignore but the idea of some coward with a fake account is just so cowardly.

            The whole topic is like pandora’s box. But in the end i think we need a more open debate about it, sadly there are more stupid then smart ppl in this world so they only solution is to readjust the whole educational system and make ppl more aware of what really matters and that political correctness only brings close mindedness.

            I just hope we don’t lose the battle for gaming to poltical correct morons and other entitled groups and their fascism.

          • I contacted them like a year ago, but it was my own fault. I was the Editor at Gamer Headlines at the time and I uploaded links to all the recent reviews at once not realizing it was a bad thing to do -_-‘

            Well, the thing is fascism just doesn’t work. I live in China, and it’s supposedly communist but no it’s as capitalist as anything it just wears the skin of being communist. Why, because it’s really hard to enforce that stuff. They have the propaganda and lists of ‘Socialist Values’ but everyone unanimously went “F*ck that, I wanna watch porn and have naked men shower in the middle of this nightclub”. However, if we do fall into the trap that feminist culture is pushing us toward then it will be a bloody period. Have you read Life and Death in Shanghai? Just thinking about the atrocities makes me shiver. The important thing is we stand up against it, prove these people wrong. Simply be better people than them, it’s not like that’s hard you know?

          • Dgnfly

            China might have it superficial but that does mean some ppl religiously believe certain kinds of doctrines, and with a country that is heavy on ienforcement ppl love to abuse that sense of power they get from it.
            I have to be honest i don’t hold China in high regards cause thanks to their history they love to overlook certain thing in their past and love to whine about others. Also I don’t take japans war crimes lighthearted but how could they whine about that and ignore the 50-70 million Mao did? that kinda hypocrisy is kinda unfathomable.
            Not to mention the organ harvest of the Falun gong which ppl love to overlook.

            In the end ppl will never agree for the simplest of reason, Greed, selfishness, Human as a species itself is flawed and it shows in our history considering it never changed much.

            No never read Life and Death in Shanghai. But i’m always interested in everything so i might as well look it up.

          • To be honest, nearly everyone I meet here has a bit of a downer on China. The history and just the overall BLEEHHHHHHH and the whole Japanese thing makes me want to smack people sometimes. That said the Japanese hate is mainly from the older generation and boys who join the scouts/army thing and then tend to shut right the hell up if you quiz them as to why. I mean I’m anglo-irish, al my life everyone was like “oh I wish I could kill all the English” etc, it’s racism, I don’t care if their great great grandads were absolute asses, the current people have nothing to do with it, it’s like ahh. Anyway, Rambling, bleh.
            On the religion front Chritianity is on the rise, mainly christian teachers target small kids and try to teach it as fact. They do get arrested, I’ve seen a ton of americans get sent home for pulling that crap. I live near Chengdu, China’s LGBT capital, so they’re very sensitive when the anti-gay crew shows up with their little black book. Bleh, religion. Most people are atheist here.
            Life and Death in Shanghai is great, horrifying, but great. My Chinese name is actually the same as the authors daughter.

          • Dgnfly

            Let’s just end this conversation for now cause we kinda going offtopic and i can go on for hours on this kinda stuff. been fun talking about certain topic that kinda raise eyebrows at facts that are sometimes being overlooked simply cause society deems it taboo and with social justice nowdays that could be anything.

          • Hey you know, any time, I love chatting about this sort of stuff. You can hit me up @Miboobs,though I’m kinda avoiding twitter, you know, jesuismilo and all that. Currently just looking at #BuffaloGenocide really.
            I’m on G+, just lowercase stephaniesmith, Player.me is my favourite one I’m GamerGengar

            Later~

          • Dgnfly

            Will do it after i get my G+ transfered to another name considering right now i’m getting all my accounts with this name deleted cause of the reddit thing and making mulitple usernames to avoid the same thing for anything private.

          • As good a plan as any!

    • Elvick

      That chick in Uncharted 4 is the worst thing about the otherwise excellent experience. She’s so boring, and ultimately inconsequential to the entire game. Remove her and not much changes. Worthless character.

      And they removed Doughnut Drake from the game before launch too. Such nonsense. I saw fat people saying they liked playing as him or had no problems with it.

      Nothing is more condescending than people trying to protect you from things you don’t care about. If I had a nickel for everytime someone tried to argue that I hated myself because I don’t care about gay jokes, or the “f” word [I’d say it but don’t know if this site censors “bad” words or not and can’t be arsed with moderation]. The effort these people put into trying to protect or save me from something that I don’t care about at all, that in no way negatively affects me, it’s just absurd. And they refuse, REFUSE, to consider that maybe someone just wouldn’t care about those things.

      I also don’t need gay characters in games, it’s nice if there is but I don’t want tokens to say “look we’ve got diversity™!”

      • Dgnfly

        It was alrdy said she was only inserted cause of diversity and Neil Druckman being a male feminist. i woulden’t have been bad if it was just a bit more realistic cause no woman can fend off 2 guys that been through the kinda things Nate and his brother went through.

        Nowadays we live in an entitled society that can’t take reality for what it is So some ppl like with religion feel they need to safe us from ourselves. The irony about it is that its nothing more then trying to indoctrine a certain believe the select amount off ppl want to see.

        The biggest problem with society is that there are to many stupid smart ppl that think they know the anwser to everything without actually doing the research.

      • Jesus Christ

        I’m assuming you’re speaking of Nadine? I thought she was the most ridiculous character in the franchise, defeating two men at once, one who took down these huge guys in UC3.

        • Elvick

          Yep. Hopefully she’s not so terribly written in this. I love Chloe and hope Nadine doesn’t infect her with bullshit.

  • nobody

    I don’t hate playing female characters. I really prefer playing female characters because they’re usually easier to relate to, unless they suck (ie lightning.) I really admire Bayonetta, I’d lick a hobo to have her confidence. Male characters are way more likely to appeal to the macho power fantasy that doesn’t really interest me. Unless it’s Vegeta. I’m gay, but I might make an exception for Vegeta.

    I do feel like your generalization is too broad. Ive seen no shortage of fist fights among women or guys attempting to talk someone down. It’s less common than the other way around without question, but I’d bet there is a big overlap in that ven-diagram.

    • I understand I did generalize a little with the title. I did try to narrow it down a little, but genuinely I only know 2 girl gamers who don’t actively complain about female characters and both prefer to play as guys. Personally, I prefer playing as guys, though, in online games I usually pick a female avatar to avoid making people think I’m a guy

  • Boku

    Lightning had her flaws, but they weren’t especially written on her face. Primarily she was almost too headstrong, too focused and lacked empathy. Been a while since I played FFXIII so I don’t know what is referred to by “fangirling”, but my impression was that most everyone simply respected her leadership capabilities and fighting prowess. And if we’re looking at Dissidia then, christ, everyone has some wacky dialogue in that.

    In regards to “mothering instincts” I’d say it’s mainly because most games do not feature that sort of mother and child scenario. To criticise games for failing to market that strong enough is, in my mind, not dissimilar from certain critics lamenting that most games do not feature ways to interact with enemies or NPCs that aren’t (usually) violent. A more classic type of scene would be a mother or elder sister thrusting themselves between some sort of soldier and a sibling which I think is more powerful in evoking that deeper level of care than simply having every (or most) women be beholden to those instincts. It’s something that can and should be shown in certain situations but otherwise doesn’t add much to express in general as a character quirk.

    Sexiness and confidence is something that I find go hand in hand, but the more demure female leads often go unnoticed. The Atelier series comes to mind as games with female leads that blush at the thought of a kiss and Senran Kagura, with its wealth of character variety, has girls shy enough to hide their face in an attempt to escape compliments. JRPGs are certainly rife with shy girls. These are fine characters and as much as I like them, they can be aggravating when a protagonist as their not wanting to do things against the players need to progress is apparent.

    And I think the Internet has certainly had a negative impact on certain kinds of media due mostly in part to how quick and easy communication can take place and how discontent can be manufactured and crowdsourced — no longer is it a subscriber penning a letter to a magazine but swathes of nobodies digitally signing a petition to express faux outrage. Does it matter that a dozen outlets write scathing articles about how a game having boobs is catastrophic for the industry when tens or hundreds of thousands of fans will buy the game anyway? It shouldn’t. And I think we’re finally seeing developers and publishers realise this; that these “journalists” and “critics” are so detached from the average consumer it’s only giving them free publicity.

    • In reference to Lightning I was tallking about Dissidia where characters are always complimenting her. There’s a bit where Vaan is literally saying something like “Lightning you’re so cool, where do those rose petals come from” while your walking around and it really grates my gears. That said I wasn’t trying to say that I was marking her down for not being a mother/mothering, simply that I think it would have improved her character. I feel like her character is a little one dimensional at times: She doesn’t care about things or pretends not to care, and it’s meant to be cool but I find it pretty darn annoying.

      I wasn’t really thinking of JRPGs but yes they tend to have a certain cultural difference where they aren’t afraid of sexy and thus make better characters (usually)(in my opinion). Personally, I love Cereza, she’s confident and sexy and everything about her game is fun and energetic. All I was trying to say is there are lots of things related to being a woman that could be used in the narrative spinning of games to make interesting stories. I feel mothering instincts are a good one because they’re generally very easy to portray and invoke, but really there are many things and that always positive.

    • John Doe

      Yes, they were.

      Constant verbal abuse of male characters? Check.

      Irrational hatred of men in general? Check.

      Unrealistically male personality in a female package just because? Check.

      She’s practically a self-insert for feminazis.

  • hurin

    Originally posted by Merlynn132 on YouTube:

    Absolutely not. If you can’t tell a two bit con artist from one of your own, you really need to clean up your movement before you start ‘suggesting’ anything.

    But maybe you’re just naive and dont understand the problem. Do you know why there’s so many white male characters in video games? Especially leads? Because no one cares about them. A white male can be a lecherous dunk. A woman can’t or it’s sexist. Sexualizing women and what all. A white male can be a mentally disturbed soldier who’s mind is unraveling as he walks through the hell of the modern battlefield. A woman can’t or you’re victimizing women and saying they’re all crazy.
    Consider Guybrush Threepwood, start of the Monkey Island series. He’s weak, socially awkward, cowardly, kind of a nerd and generally the last person you’d think of to even cabin boy on a pirate ship, let alone captain one. He is abused, verbally and physically, mistreated, shunned, hated and generally made to feel unwanted.

    Now let’s say Guybrush was a girl. We’ll call her Galbrush. Galbrush is weak, socially awkward, cowardly, kind of a nerd and generally the last person you’d think of to even cabin boy on a pirate ship, let alone captain one. He is abused, verbally and physically, mistreated, shunned, hated and generally made to feel unwanted.

    Now, you might notice that I’ve given the exact same description to both of these characters. But here’s where things deviate. While no one cares if Guybrush takes a pounding for being for lack of a better term, less than ideal pirate, Galbrush will be presumed to be discriminated against because of her gender. In fact, every hardship she will endure though exactly the same as the hardships Guybrush endured, will be considered misogyny, rather than someone being ill suited to their desired calling.

    And that ending. She goes through ALL that trouble to help, let’s call him Eli Marley, escape the evil clutches of the ghost piratess Le Chuck, It turns out he didn’t even need her help and she even screwed up his plan to thwart Le Chuck. Why, it’d be a slap in the face to every woman who’s ever picked up a controller. Not only is the protagonist inept, but apparently women make lousy villains too!

    And that’s why Guybrush exists and Galbrush doesn’t. Men can be comically inept halfwits. Women can’t. Men can be flawed, tragic human beings. Women can’t. And why? Because every single female character reflects all women everywhere. The horrible truth is you and Sarkeesian want to craft a box into which you can force every female character into. Some idiotic ‘ideal’. Putting aside the stupidity of exchanging one unobtainable role model for women with another, this has the added problem of making all female characters exactly the same. And when all characters are exactly the same, that’s boring and boring characters do not sell video games.

    • Please dear lord don’t put me in the same box as the con artist Anita Sarkeesian and her ilk. I have fought against everything she has ever said tooth and nail.
      I do understand the double standard (You’d have to be blind or work for Gawker not to) and I have tried to elude to the fact that activism is a problem in the gaming community throughout the article. Yet, I think rather than being chased away from the topic with our tails between our legs we should discuss IF it is something we need. Just because I find the whole thing inane doesn’t mean I’m going to write it off. I find the whole thing ridiculous. Getting upset over a fictional character’s breast is stupid.

      That said, I don’t want to perpetuate the stereotype that gamers are too intolerant to even discuss ideas. So yeah, I’ll give my two cents on a topic that only the scummiest individuals have so far tried to tackle. I don’t think discussing a topic that SJWs have dragged through the mud should automatically make me a feminist or an SJW. I’m not exactly on my knees like Quinn doing any favors for feminism. Sorry to ramble but I really hate it when people imply I’m a feminist.

      • DarthSka

        Just a heads up, he’s not directing anything at you. He’s quoting a comment from a youtube video.

      • hurin

        I wasn’t you are. But Anita and her ilk has made it risky to use anything other than Mary Sue as a female character. And now she is even calling for Mary to be fat.

        What the PC police want is effectively a comics book code for games, and to enforce it using the threat of hitpieces and bad reviews.

        Of course two can play that game, as Bioware will learn the hard way once they release Mass Effect.

        • Very true, course the only way to tackle it is to speak out against it. Say what you will about Gamergate, but the NotYourShield campaign raised a lot of very valid points about the current state of social activism.

          • hurin

            https://twitter.com/SJWsnoke/status/743435722347012096

            Watching white men demand that non-white-male GG supporters prove their identity to them has been more disgusting than anything I ever read on Encyclopedia Dramatica, because at least half of what is on that site is satire.

            What personally turned me into a GG supporter was going to WizardChan and seeing how every page on their board had a link to a suicide hotline. Right then and there I knew everything coming out of Zoe’s keyboard was a lie until proven otherwise.

          • Yeah, Personally, I missed the whole meat of the Gamergate movement but I was never fooled by what people were saying about it. I didn’t really get involved other then reading the opinions on r/KiA until recently. I used to work at the Cliqist where we dissect Kickstarters, One caught my eye= Revolution 60. I was told not to write about it because it was pertaining to Brianna Wu. I was a bit disappointed because I’d come up with all kinds of things for the article that the boss originaly liked till he realized I wasn’t on her side. Later when I was fired I was told I had a ‘GamerGate grudge’ and I was like… What… the actual f*ck. It was such a curveball at the time and I’m still a little confused tbh, I can only relate it to the fact I didn’t believe Brianna Wu. Like I don’t even care about being fired, it’s the life of a freelancer, but that really stuck with me at the time. I nearly quit the industry till I ended up here where their pitch is a site actually focused on gaming and not frickin’ money.

            Video game journalism is just so corrupt sometimes, I really hate it. Fortunately, many people still hold ethics in high regard. It’s this strange mix of emotions, I love games, I love writing about games, but it is hard to take pride in being a VG Journalist when see this Kinda shit happening.

          • hurin

            I honestly cannot understand how these people think it is a good long time strategy to say that Ethics=GamerGate=Harassment. Trust is not a Boomerang, it will not return after you trow it away.

            I would feel sorry for Wu, if Wu wasn’t such a colossal asshole. Guess it was just a matter of time before Wu caught the interest of genuine trolls whit an unlimited ability for doxing.

            * https://archive.is/w8hC5
            * https://archive.is/9hyaL
            * https://archive.is/vbrpk

          • Wu’s just another dishonest ‘culture critic’ , all too common these days. Fortunately, they’re unlikely to breed.

    • Hendrik Vanderstijn

      But galbrush does exist. Her name is roseangela blackwell. You simply haven’t played the modern adventure games wher you play a weak, socially awkward, kinda nerdish girl, who most people she meets either take an instant dislike to her or a kind of friendly pity.

      I do think the galbrush principle is at work for the social justicy anita sark ilk, but she’s a con artist anyways from a group that will never be satisfied, so it’s better to not spend a second thought on them.

      I think whatever else, good writing is always always always appreciated and good writing includes flawed characters. There is such an incredible number of games made every year, that it’s more a challenge of finding the right games. Long live the queen is another example where you play a young, though powerful young girl (that’s some royal privilege for ya!), who screws up all the time and a game with different though no perfect endings. It’s possible to get revenge on your dead mother, or to get peace with a nearby nation that’s hellbent on conquering your country. But not both. A game full of terrible choices to be made by a 13-year old girl on her way to adulthood at 14. It doesn’t matter though, because you’ll probably be assassinated by someone nearby before you reach that age and can be coronated queen.

      R.R. Martin’s work is filled with flawed female characters and before the writing of the TV show got worse, the socjus were slothering all over it. Really they should be a non-factor. If you write good stuff, human stuff, people will latch onto it and appreciate it. Writing good stuff includes following your muse, not hamfisting things, but making them appetizing in various ways. Vulnerability invites love and cherishing it and superman or superwoman can’t really be that vulnerable.

      I mean even if you intend to target men/boys with your game and their desire for attractive women; I think that alyx vance was considered a very attractive female character, even despite her larger than life abilities, because she conveyed that much loved girl-next-door appeal that even the porno industry seeks to emulate.

      In the end games are all about peddling fantasies, playing games is called escapism for a reason. In the end flawed women and men. Heck, the harder part is to get your game to compile and to get noticed, so I understand why writing isn’t always good.

      • hurin

        Blackwell sounds like the girl from Twilight.

  • Mr.Sixes

    I played the the 2013 tomb raider game and LARA TOOK A BEATING! HARD CORE! including her first major injury of being stabbed through the side with a jagged piece of metal and while it was brutal it was well done at the same time. Much like when playing Samus in Metroid especially Metroid prime we see them taking a lot of damage but they’re not put in a position where we give them symapthy like we would when even say Ellie was on that table like the last of us. This is because we know they’re active agents in the story and not just a vector to feed emotions through. We need more of them and less of whatever the hell the lead of sunset was.

  • Lotus

    I actually like playing female character i’m a woman and been gaming for about 30 years. But most of the time I really don’t care who the main Character is as long as I can relate to them. My best example.. I HATE the god of war series i mean to me it is a barf inducing night mare because many time playing it I’d wish Kratos would be the one dying those horrible death not the gods. On the other hand Dante from Devil May Cry is a male character I adore very much. My first playstation game was Parasite Eve, Aya Brea to this day is my favorite female character.

    • I have a Dante Figure, because Dante is Love, Dante is life.
      Most people don’t care about the gender of their character. It is exactly as you say, as long as you can relate to them it’s all good 🙂
      Personally, I think Bathier from Final Fantasy XII might be my spirit animal :-p

    • Accipiter

      Kratos is just too much man for you baby.

  • Kukuruyo

    I almost always play as female, since forever. i even choose what games to play based on the protagonist being female or ammount of females on them. And precisely because of that i’m against all this new social justice forced injection of strong womenz in videogames; because it creates exactly what you talk about here. Mary sue characters because they’re not allowed to have flaws; if they have, the game is branded as sexist. The females who are men. I like women who can kick ass like any other and the gender is not relevant for it in fantastic games like anime style, etc, but then they go beyond that and do realistic games in which all women are stronger than the men with no logical explanation, just because if they’re weaker, the game is branded as sexist. Gaming is having more and more limitations for doing good female characters because all of the politics that are being injected into it. It has been years since the last time i enjoyed the story of a western game, now i play almost only japanese ones.

  • Hedley

    This woman is indeed on the money!
    #SJW have poisoned the well and this lovely lady has seen it!

  • Phasmatis75

    “There’s a sense of pussyfooting when it comes to dealing with girls.”

    I have a very relevant story about this. I was playing Dirty Bomb and got in there were apparently a girl and her boyfriend I guess playing. Both being rather obnoxious, blaming everyone else for their shortcomings, but primarely it was the girl doing this. At first I didn’t say anything, there was no need to say anything, people are sometimes obnoxious, you deal and hope they disapear during the next match making, but me and this other guy were sitting on the objective waiting for the drug sample to return after they delivered it and you could hear her blaming both of us for their failure.

    At which point I’d had enough, I rarely speak, but what I said was “shut up, and stop sucking!” she didn’t like that, didn’t care, just ignored the barrage of swearing, and then they completely failed, the drugs returned, the other guy grabbed them, delivered them, and I grabbed them and then delivered them cinching the victory for our team. Upon which I said “And that, is how you do it.”

    Apparently I said what a lot of people wanted to say. I got confirmation next round they are obnoxious aholes both of them. I luckly got team mixed offer their team, but honestly regardless of gender if someone is being obnoxious they should be held to the same standard, period.

    As for the topic at hand I love a good female character, when she is well written, filled with depth and struggle. I love them as much as I love any extremely well written character. Though I found Lightning to be okay in the first Final Fantasy 13 game. She is standoffish but that’s just how she was and she if I remember correctly did show a soft spot for some children. By the last game she had a lot of her emotions removed (in the story), so that might explain that lack of response in the last entry.

    I hate Mary Sue characters with a passion. I can’t stand watching movies because of perfect makeup. The problem is in movies everyone is more used to the crap they’re trying to pedal in video games, so it gets a pass. How many movies do you know that doesn’t have a tacked on female character to go along with the males and able to hold her own just like they are? Doesn’t die numerous times when she should die? Now it’s come to video games like Uncharted 4, and now gamers don’t like it. I’m glad to see gamers regardless of gender standing up to the industry and saying no to all this. Instead of letting them jam that bullshit down our throats.

    • Well said. I haven’t played the next to Final Fantasy XIII games, just the first one and just reallllllly didn’t like Lightning. Like she had a few moments like when she punched Snow or when she talks about the Psicom grunt not having a gun and shit, but to me they were just moments rather than the overall, you know?

  • Elvick

    Given my favorite character is female, it’s always annoyed me to no end that this entire “debate” exists. I never had an issue identifying with Terra Branford. I’m wasn’t a girl, I didn’t have green hair, I sure wasn’t half-esper. But I could still relate to her, especially as I got older and better understood the complexities of the story of FFVI.

    There are tons of great female characters. You can find them if you care. I’ve never personally cared to focus on the gender of a character, but the character itself. I like playing girl characters over male ones where given the choice, just because they tend to have better armor/outfit designs. I don’t like the bulky designs that male characters get. Plus female hair is always better, male hair options are almost always garbage in games [FFXIV has great hair options though].

    The most frustrating thing about it all, is to see great characters like Bayonetta for example boiled down to just how she looks. Or the one aspect of her personality, that is granted one of the most apparent; her sexual confidence. She’s so much more than that if you actually play the game, now games. [need to beat 2, but man I hate the gamepad bleh] But because she’s “sexy”, she’s irrelevant. That’s all she is to these people.

    It’s so regressive. They can’t see beyond how she, or other sexy characters, look. They don’t care about characterization at all. If they did, how a character *looks* wouldn’t matter to them at all. Looks are superficial, even so I still prefer attractive characters. It’s fantasy. Why not make attractive characters? You’re not bogged down by real life unless you choose to be.

    Besides, even if there was a “problem”. The way about solving it is to not ignore good examples of female characters “done right” [if there were such a thing]. It’s to point out the good ones, and say “this is great” and support that. Lift up what you want to see, and more will come. If all you do is complain about everything, you’re doing nothing other than ruining it all for everyone else.

    And, there’s always the option of making your own stuff instead of demanding everyone cater to you. But that requires effort and talent… and would actually solve the problem they “care so much about”. “Be the change you want to see” comes to mind.

  • ftidus12

    Absolutely brilliant, Professor Smith. Well said!

  • Jesus Christ

    I’m with you in that I’d prefer a character who has flaws rather than someone who is invincible (and I say this as Someone who liked FF13). Someone on KotakuInAction made a great comment about the invincible main character in The Force Awakens. It blows my mind the rave reviews it gets even by people who hated the prequels when the characters are so forgettable.

  • So, My favorite games with girls/women who are protagonists are: The Walking Dead :: Season 2, Elder Scrolls Online, Skyrim, Fallout 4 and Don’t Starve/Together. Reasons being, They aren’t barely wearing clothes, they don’t have huge chests and they aren’t perceived as weak. I honestly prefer characters with no specific gender however. The reason is that if the character has no gender, it can be anyone and everyone. Therefore nobody is left out. Also its comfortable and you don’t get stuck with either a guy or a half naked girl. I don’t like playing as men very often. At least not in third person. I can deal with it in first person though. The reason is that I am a female. I would like to see my character be like me. I like to envision myself AS the character. It makes it a lot more fun for me specifically. Who cares about being motherly and all that stuff. I haven’t got a maternal bone in my body. Just stop making women look like hookers! I have been gaming all of my life since the original Nintendo.

    Also, I’m playing Witcher 3 and some of the cutscenes make me cringe because of how sexual they are.

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