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Op Ed

NYTimes.com - Game Theory- Making Room for the Women.
Unfortunately this rise in so-called casual play has upset some of those who see themselves as guardians of the true flame. There’s been a definite backlash against the idea that women are entering the hallowed citadel, dropping in a few scatter cushions and ending all the fun. Particular ire is reserved for anyone who dares to point out that female characters in games are often unsupported in the bra region for no apparent reason; given boring, bland supporting roles; and totally absent.

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25. Re: Op Ed Dec 26, 2012, 20:05 Eirikrautha
 
Overon wrote on Dec 26, 2012, 15:40:
I don't know what you mean when you say what video games are "meant to be." They are meant to be whatever the developer/publisher want them to be. There are many types of books, some of them are written not to challenge fixed beliefs nor to buck stereotypes. But there are other books that do. Are books "sociological reform platoforms?" As long as media (games included) promote ideas, they are open to criticism of those ideas. You seem to want to carve out video games as the only media that shouldn't challenge stereotypes and fixed beliefs. I disagree with that.

Actually, video games are whatever the consumer wants them to be. A publisher can "publish" whatever they want, but only the consumers determine what is successful (despite all of the publishers' efforts to the contrary...). The vast majority of works of literature that "challenged" beliefs were complete commercial failures. The stereotype of the starving artist was invented for a reason. Most works we would look back on as "ground-breaking" were generally either unknown in their own time or very poorly received (see William Blake). Those that were commercially successful were almost always those that hid their challenges under layers of meaning. We only recognize them today because our culture has evolved to be closer to what those earlier authors and artists were advocating for. The folks that "challenged" in the opposite direction from what we believe today have faded into obscurity (see Rudyard Kipling).

Heck, perhaps the greatest stereotype and fixed belief of the day IS to "challenge" the beliefs of everyone (or at least the beliefs that you don't agree with... somehow I doubt you'd be promoting a game that had you kill off AIDS patients because their disease makes them less than human, etc.). What gamers actually care about are games that are enjoyable. If your game is not fun (or too preachy... which tends to suck the fun right out), then no matter what your great "ideal" is... the game is a failure. If you can sneak some moral or idea in... great.. so long as it doesn't detract from the fun.

Preachy books and preachy art tend to fail (outside the elitists who get their sense of self-worth by supposedly seeing what the great unwashed masses can't see), too. So how about advocating for fun games first, as there are enough difficulties for publishers to actually make one of those... without the great diversity checklist in addition...
 
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