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Tensei

Videogames and Sexism

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I've only played the Prime games and seen a few playthroughs of Super Metroid and Fusion, but outside of Fusion I'd say that any character definition for Samus was mostly in the eye of the beholder.

Keep in mind that Yoshio Sakamoto (i.e. the guy that's assumed to be behind the 'butchering' of Samus' character in Other M) has actually directed all the Metroid games produced internally by Nintendo from Super Metroid onwards, so I think it's pretty safe to say that Other M Samus isn't his idea of a bold new direction for Samus but more like an extension of how he always interpreted her character to be.

The fact that this isn't congruent with how the majority of (western) gamers interpreted her personality, shows IMO that she was barely established as a character at all.

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Again though, there is nothing you could realistically conclude about women as a whole by interviewing a small group like that. It's completely useless data and can't be used to 'prove' anything. And more importantly, as Monobrow pointed out, THEY might not recognize it as sexism themselves.

At least it's some data, as far as I've seen, you have none. You can of course have conjectures, but without data, it doesn't go very far. Asking some women is better than asking none. At least Darangen's argument is backed by some data, as inconclusive as it may be, your argument currently has no data at all.

If you asked them something like "Hey do you feel like videogames are primarily marketed towards guys?" and followed that up with "Do you think that could be one of the reasons that keep you from playing videogames?", you MIGHT get more accurate results, but it's still highly unlikely because you're looking at a social situation where they're out with friends, some guy they don't know comes up and asks a question about sexism. Feminism is pretty much demonized in todays culture so they might not feel comfortable voicing their concerns in public.

The questions you proposed are suggestive. Those are tilted towards a specific answer that you're looking for, questions should be impartial, or else the results may be skewed. The way Darangen asked his questions was impartial; "Do you play video games?" followed by "Why don't you play video games?" when the answer was no. Your questions are clearly biased, and would get less accurate answers. And still, you haven't actually asked any questions.

That aside 'Sexism' is a loaded term, and few people actually understand what it encompasses. Compare it to the terms racism and homophobia, which calls to mind situations where someone unironically says "I'm not racist, but *incredibly racist statement*". I mean, people in this thread have trouble recognizing that things like focusing the marketing of something towards a particular gender (for a product that objectively should be gender-neutral, such as videogames) would count as sexism.

Wrong, marketing something to a specific gender is not sexist. bad example removed Would you say when a romantic comedy is marketed specifically towards women, it's sexist? Sexism involves discrimination, I'm not sure marketing towards a certain gender is really discrimination, the other gender can still go out and buy the product and use it.

I actually question that video games are marketed towards males. According to this study by the ESA, 46% of game purchasers are female. The study also says that 40% of gamers are female. So you gotta figure at least 40 of the 46% of the women that buy games also play them. Why would games be marketed solely to males when 40% of gamers (game players) are female?

Yes, I think most people here would agree with that. That's also considered sexist - that stigma had no reason to be there other than the fact that girls shouldn't do things that guys like to do. The perpetuation of that idea is a form of sexism.

Just saying, is all.

True, but that form of sexism has nothing to do with the content of video games. It has to do with our society as a whole.

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You're confusing sex and gender. Marketing tampons or bras to women isn't sexist because those things relate to the physical differences between the sexes.

Marketing dolls to girls or toy cars to boys is related to gender, and is very much sexist. Same thing goes for videogames.

Also, go back and read Mono's post on why Darangens questioning is bad if it's so important that you hear about it from a female gamers perspective. It's an extremely tired argument.

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You're confusing sex and gender. Marketing tampons or bras to women isn't sexist because those things relate to the physical differences between the sexes.

You got me there, bad example on my part.

Marketing dolls to girls or toy cars to boys is related to gender, and is very much sexist. Same thing goes for videogames.

Sexism has to do with discrimination, does it really discriminate against girls to market toy cars to boys? It's not like girls are prevented from playing with cars.

Again, I would argue video games are not marketed towards males. That would be excluding nearly half of the demographic, which would be stupid from a business standpoint.

Also, go back and read Mono's post on why Darangens questioning is bad if it's so important that you hear about it from a female gamers perspective.

I'm not necessarily saying his questioning method or venue was good, or bad. I was referring to the actual questions themselves, which were more appropriate than the questions you proposed. The complaints by Monobrow seemed to be more aimed at the women he asked and the location, the fact that most of them probably hadn't played a game in many years, rather than his questions.

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Again, I would argue video games are not marketed towards males. That would be excluding nearly half of the demographic, which would be stupid from a business standpoint.

Depends on what kind of game you're making, a lot of games will have a less diverse demographic. Call of Duty or Street Fighter games for instance aren't going to be marketed to women, which isn't really just a video games issue but also based in the perception that violent media is for men(and most video games are fundamentally built around combat in some form or another...)

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Depends on what kind of game you're making, a lot of games will have a less diverse demographic. Call of Duty or Street Fighter games for instance aren't going to be marketed to women, which isn't really just a video games issue but also based in the perception that violent media is for men(and most video games are fundamentally built around combat in some form or another...)

Well yes, it does depend on the game. That's why making a sweeping statement saying video games, as a medium, is marketed towards men, is inaccurate.

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Sexism has to do with discrimination, does it really discriminate against girls to market toy cars to boys? It's not like girls are prevented from playing with cars.

It does though. Wouldn't you agree that there's a definite stigma against, for example, young boys who like to play dress-up with dolls or something? Mono talked about something similar with her personal experiences with girls playing videogames.

also had a couple of good videos on this subject.

Also, a large part of the OP is dedicated to highlighting how most videogames definitely are primarily aimed at male gamers. You'll also find that I gave examples of games that do incorporate good female characters, and I agree that games like Dragon Age and Mass Effect, while not particularly stellar games, do have a lot of female-focused sexualization of male characters as well. I'm not exactly talking in absolutes here, but the overwhelming trend in videogames is definitely still slanted towards the male demographic, that's the whole problem.

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It does though. Wouldn't you agree that there's a definite stigma against, for example, young boys who like to play dress-up with dolls or something? Mono talked about something similar with her personal experiences with girls playing videogames.
also had a couple of good videos on this subject.

Yeah, there is a stigma, but I think it has to do with our society, rather than marketing. The marketing is a response to what the majority of people will buy. Businesses want to make money, the best way to do that is to appeal to the majority. In the case you mentioned, dolls are marketed to girls because they are the ones who are most likely to play with dolls. It makes sense from a business standpoint. I think the issue lies more with the underlying stigmas in our society, than marketing.

Also, a large part of the OP is dedicated to highlighting how most videogames definitely are primarily aimed at male gamers. You'll also find that I gave examples of games that do incorporate good female characters, and I agree that games like Dragon Age and Mass Effect, while not particularly stellar games, do have a lot of female-focused sexualization of male characters as well. I'm not exactly talking in absolutes here, but the overwhelming trend in videogames is definitely still slanted towards the male demographic, that's the whole problem.

Again, based on the ESA study, the fact that 46% of game purchasers are female and 40% of females are gamers, makes me question that most games are aimed at males. Not to mention that the word most is subjective and difficult to quantify without studying a large amount and variety of games and their marketing campaigns.

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There's different degrees of gaming, most people on this site for instance will buy numerous $60 games every year but someone who buys a $1 iphone game is equally a gamer, 40% of "gamers" doesn't mean 40% of the market

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There's different degrees of gaming, most people on this site for instance will buy numerous $60 games every year but someone who buys a $1 iphone game is equally a gamer, 40% of "gamers" doesn't mean 40% of the market

The ESA study also shows that 46% of game purchasers are female, at least 40% are also playing the games that they buy.

If playing iPhone games counts as being a gamer, than I'd say the number of females is even higher. More and more women are getting into casual gaming, the number is probably higher now. I don't have any data to back it up, so take my statement with a grain of salt, as the saying goes.

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Advertising very much feeds into the public perception of products though, it's definitely not a one-sided relationship where the market simply responds to social trends.

Read up on the De Beers company and how they marketed diamond wedding rings in the 1930s for an example of what I'm talking about.

In fact, MANY companies advertise their products in a way to make customers perceive them as more than simple products, but as status symbols or as expressions of ones masculinity/femininity.

FYI: Even if 40% of gamers are female, that's still a disproportionate number when you compare it to the male/female distribution in the world.

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Advertising very much feeds into the public perception of products though, it's definitely not a one-sided relationship where the market simply responds to social trends.

Read up on the De Beers company and how they marketed diamond wedding rings in the 1930s for an example of what I'm talking about.

In fact, MANY companies advertise their products in a way to make customers perceive them as more than simple products, but as status symbols or as expressions of ones masculinity/femininity.

This is true. It's a two-sided coin; social trends and advertising. It's hard to say how much one side affects public perception versus the other. I can't accurately say the marketing of video games simply responds to social trends, and you can't accurately say the marketing of video games determines the public's perception. Not that you're trying to say that (correct me if I'm wrong).

Plenty of characters in video games either just don't do it for me, or are downright disastrously portrayed, male and female alike. I find good, fleshed out 'realistic' characters hard to find in any medium. Whether that's games, books, anime, movies, tv, comics etc. I never really felt that women were more poorly portrayed in video games, because I find the men are pretty laughable too. Am I annoyed by things like super sexualized or stereotypical women? Sure. Do I deny there's sexism in games? Of course not. Am I particularly bothered by it all? Naw.

I completely agree that great characters, both men and women, are few and far between.

And I would agree that maybe it's more about the stigma a lot of girls grew up with than anything. I won't pretend to know about that either, because I was very fortunate. My mother never pressed any sort of gender role on me and let me play with whatever I wanted growing up. (That's not to say I didn't get grief from certain girls in school for it) I loved my video games, and my barbies, and my pocketknife, and playing outside with frogs, and fishing, and stuffed animals, and legos, and action figures. Not every parent lets their child explore such a variety, and I'm very sad that way of thinking exists, and I am sorry for anyone that's had to go through it.

My sister grew up the same way, in terms of my parents not pressing gender roles, as you may have read in one of my earlier posts. She always played video games with my brother and I, none of us thought anything of the fact that she happened to be female. As a result, women playing games seems normal to me. It's a shame that some parents raise their children to follow ridiculous gender roles, as you said.

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Cultural standards and expectations for women in the U.S. have merely fallen to abysmal lows, you see.

To counter my point though, some trash will always be trash.

EDIT:

A better way of stating my thoughts:

While I believe that cultural standards and expectations for women in the U.S. have fallen to abysmal lows, there was and will always be trash.

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Sorry, I saw this picture today and for some reason it just reminded me of this thread.....

393851_10150652378262209_634157208_11479992_1416640920_n.jpg

There were slutty women back then and there are classy women now. Pictures like this seem clever at first glance but upon closer examination they're really pointless.

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There were slutty women back then and there are classy women now. Pictures like this seem clever at first glance but upon closer examination they're really pointless.

Of course, but I think that pictures like that are comparing "beauty" of the past to now. When I saw that picture, "slutty" was not actually what came to mind first. You can take models from the 50s or even in the 80s and compare them to now and you'll see trends in appearance. Cultural perceptions of beauty change a bit each decade I notice.

Have you saw modern playboy? I honestly think that the women in the magazine from 20 or more years ago were, on average, far more attractive. The same is true of actresses etc.

If you think about it, very few people are actually attractive. Most are just average and there are a few ugly fuckers out there like me. So magazines, movies, TV will adjust to what people find attractive at the time and I really do hold the belief that standards have dropped to simply showing the most skin and the biggest boobs. Some of that may have to do with censorship laws changing over time and what not.

Obviously, it comes down to personal preferences as to whether or not someone would agree with me and of course there are classy women today, but I think the "trashy" look is in style now.

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How about we don't base the value of a person on their appearance and also don't call women sluts because they're showing skin, thanks.

So who was basing the "value of a person" on appearance?

Oh right, nobody. You're just looking for something else to complain about.

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Woops, I'm late to the party. I hope nobody's made a similar comment to mine, but this is a topic that resonates with me and I really don't have time to sort through 37 pages of discussion...

I agree that women are sexualised in games more than any other medium (well, ok... except for porn). The reasons for that are obvious, and it's not worth debating why. While I do love overly sexual female characters such as Ivy for purely hormonal reasons, I still tend to roll my eyes when I see females wearing the most impractical and stupid armour imaginable.

Perhaps the best female character I've ever seen in a video game was Rose of Sharon Cassidy from Fallout New Vegas. She challenged the conventions of what you'd expect from a female companion in a game. She wasn't young, wasn't that attractive, she wasn't a femme-fatale, didn't wear skimpy outfits, she had a foul-mouth, a drinking problem, a negative attitude and a fierce temper, but hey... she felt REAL. When you talked to her, she seemed fairly intelligent, willing to express her opinions and wasn't afraid to scold you for being an asshole. The fact that she had flaws and was multi-layered really appealed to me. Heaps more than some useless princess you have to save.

On a related note, women were objectified quite heaily in the game, but ONLY because it's what you'd expect to see in a society like the one portrayed in-game. Ultimately, it all comes down to human nature, and the makers of the game should be commended for such a realistic take on the post-apocalyptic genre. since we were talking about male stereotypes earlier, I liked that you didn't have to play a burly musclehead in that game either. It gave me a good chance to project and sculpt my character to mirror my flawed but idealistic personality, and at the same time being an untrusting, scrawny weakling with very little survival instict.

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Agreed, Fallout New Vegas was also really good about having relatively openly gay characters (Veronica and Arcade) without making their sexuality their main character trait.

I think justified objectification in-universe in the way New Vegas pulls it off is more than fine, especially if they put in a bunch of original, well-written and strong female characters like Rose and Veronica (or even Lily) for contrast.

Hell, if I remember correctly the NCR has a very even division of male and female soldiers, which makes plenty of sense for a post-apocalyptic nation that's already short on manpower.

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Hell, if I remember correctly the NCR has a very even division of male and female soldiers, which makes plenty of sense for a post-apocalyptic nation that's already short on manpower.

That also worked to help make the Legion more horrifying. While the NCR had generally progressive views and for the most part had the right idea, the Legion wanted to revert back to the ass-end of history and their treatment of women as mere breeding stock really hit that home.

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You are, because you've literally posted an (offtopic) image macro to that effect.

Well then, you clearly didn't read my post after Darkesword's. Which I'm not going to explain because it makes perfect sense to anyone with more than 1/4 of a brain. At no point was the "value" of a person judged upon appearance.

Anyways, continue the crusade against video game sexism.

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Well then, you clearly didn't read my post after Darkesword's. Which I'm not going to explain because it makes perfect sense to anyone with more than 1/4 of a brain. At no point was the "value" of a person judged upon appearance.

You are literally discussing your own personal taste in womens appearances in a thread about objectification. You also have the gall to insult the intelligence of me and other people who call you out on your dumbass offtopic posting.

Stop making this about you. Nobody gives a flying fuck that forums poster AngelCityOutlaw prefers 50s womens fashion to modern womens fashion.

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Also don't call women sluts because they're showing skin, thanks.

This. If you watch carefully at some movies back before the 50s, sometimes the way women dialogue and use body language alone can be very erotic. Of course, the other side of it too is that women can seem slutty but they just want to establish a friendship. Think about Curly's wife in the book "Of Mice and Men." She seemed slutty but the fact is that Curly kept her at home and she was treated like property and just wanted a friend to be with.

I know this is about women in games but I just wanted to flush out my agreement with Archaon. Also, can someone point out an example where a female game character with full clothing did something slutty or erotic and it actually aroused you (and no Aerith from FF7 doesn't count).

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