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Op Ed

Niche Gamer - Why It's Not Ok There Were More Severed Heads at E3 2014 than Female Presenters. Thanks Icewind.
I think before we get any traction on equal gender or racial representation in games and the gaming industry, we’re going to have to address the completely insane amount of games that simply want you to kill people, or animals, or aliens, or zombies, or sometimes even all of the aforementioned things. Sure, protagonist in game X doesn’t have every possible combination of traits that you can identify with, but it’s fun right?

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21 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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21. Re: Op Ed Jun 11, 2014, 20:22 harlock
 
PropheT wrote on Jun 11, 2014, 20:14:
Mashiki Amiketo wrote on Jun 11, 2014, 18:40:
The only games that I can think of that did romance right was BG2, and PS:Torment.

KOTOR and Mass Effect did pretty well, I thought (ME much better with some characters that others, obviously). Uncharted does pretty well, but those aren't player decision based; still, it does add something to the game that you don't often get in games.

I think most games don't do it well simply because they either don't attempt it, or because so many games come off like they're written by 12-year old fanfic authors.

i was in the bookstore today.. apparently "paranormal romance" has its own section now
 
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20. Re: Op Ed Jun 11, 2014, 20:14 PropheT
 
Mashiki Amiketo wrote on Jun 11, 2014, 18:40:
The only games that I can think of that did romance right was BG2, and PS:Torment.

KOTOR and Mass Effect did pretty well, I thought (ME much better with some characters that others, obviously). Uncharted does pretty well, but those aren't player decision based; still, it does add something to the game that you don't often get in games.

I think most games don't do it well simply because they either don't attempt it, or because so many games come off like they're written by 12-year old fanfic authors.
 
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19. No subject Jun 11, 2014, 18:40 Mashiki Amiketo
 
The only games that I can think of that did romance right was BG2, and PS:Torment. Meh it's a clickbait article though, if someone really wants to see "sex in the industry" go look at the gaming market in japan. You can go from the extreme end to the not so much. Peoples eyes would melt out of their skulls at what you can buy at a specialized 100 yen store that's sexually provocative and marketed at individual groups. Nothing quite like seeing a group of 13-17 year old girls getting heavily engaged in shota or yaoi.

 
--
"For every human problem,
there is a neat, simple solution;
and it is always wrong."
--H.L. Mencken
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18. Re: Op Ed Jun 11, 2014, 16:34 DangerDog
 
I'm not interested in playing a game with a screen full of floppy disks.

Leisure suit Larry games are about the only ones that I can think of that did sex in a video game right, with humor.

That whole "Hot coffee" thing in Grand Theft Auto was blown way out of proportion.
 
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17. Re: Op Ed Jun 11, 2014, 15:45 harlock
 
Prez wrote on Jun 11, 2014, 13:25:
Regardless, this is another useless clickbait article.

Yep. No way I'm giving these idiots the attention they crave.

what about me tho?

HEY LOOK AT ME

HEY

HEY
 
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16. Re: Op Ed Jun 11, 2014, 14:03 NewMaxx
 
jdreyer wrote on Jun 11, 2014, 12:52:
If a trailer has bewbs, he'll give a warning that it's NSFW. But if a trailer has exploding heads, he usually won't.

Historically, violence has always been a very public thing while sex has been a relatively private affair. Culturally most human societies have based both on tradition and that simply seeps through our daily affairs. If you want to understand more about the violent side of it, I suggest reading Keegan's A History of Warfare. He does a good job of describing how mock violence actually prevented deaths for primitive man. The idea that the Mongols had orgies regularly aside from the aftermath of violence is pretty ridiculous, I don't get why people equate the two.
 
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15. Re: Op Ed Jun 11, 2014, 13:25 Prez
 
Regardless, this is another useless clickbait article.

Yep. No way I'm giving these idiots the attention they crave.
 
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“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
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14. Re: Op Ed Jun 11, 2014, 13:13 jdreyer
 
Panickd wrote on Jun 11, 2014, 11:19:
I do find it funny that the same company that owns Fox News are the ones airing things like Family Guy. It shows how much they really care about what their pundits talk about.

Be sure to separate Fox News from the Fox Network. While both are owned by Rupert Murdoch, they serve two different purposes. Fox News serves as a propaganda wing of the Republican party. This helps Murdoch ensure policies that are favorable to his business. Therefore it will have stories and attitudes that appeal to such conservative viewers.

The Fox Broadcasting Network on the other hand exists to make money, in whatever way is possible. Thus Family Guy, Married with Children, and ADHD (which has cartoons containing beastiality among other acts). In fact, the Parent's Television Council ranked Fox the "most anti-religious network" in 2006 which is amazing when you consider the slant of Fox News.
 
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"It's just a bunch of mystic bovine scatology to me." - 1badmf
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13. Re: Op Ed Jun 11, 2014, 12:52 jdreyer
 
Pigeon wrote on Jun 11, 2014, 10:14:
I can't speak for the rest of the western world outside of the US, but this one of the weirdest things about our society. Some pretty extreme violence is okay, but sex in media is the worst thing ever. We can watch hours of football players bash the crap out of each other and call it wholesome family entertainment, but half a second of Janet Jackson's nipple and the whole country loses its shit.

Or in the case of Mass Effect whole planets can get horrifically murdered and mutilated by a race of malevolent techno-organic beings, but you have a short scene where two of the characters make alien love and you've got pundits on FOX frothing at the mouth because the youth is being poisoned with immoral filth.

I sometimes think its because it's easier for governments and religions to use violence to their own gains than it is for them to use sex.

It is so bizarre. And it's so deeply ingrained in our society that it's reflexive. Take this site, for example. Blue is an intelligent conscientious thinking person. If a trailer has bewbs, he'll give a warning that it's NSFW. But if a trailer has exploding heads, he usually won't. Lately, I've been putting NSFW in the comments if I think a trailer might be too violent for work. I don't think Blue is doing this consciously, it's just he's reflecting American societal norms.
 
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"It's just a bunch of mystic bovine scatology to me." - 1badmf
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12. Re: Op Ed Jun 11, 2014, 12:26 eRe4s3r
 
descender wrote on Jun 11, 2014, 11:48:
I find the romantic aspects of some of these games to be dis-engaging, as if there is time for this dating crap while the world is about to end!

When I say romance sections, I mean sex scenes and anything related to that not necessarily something YOU initiate Romance as you mean it imo only fits specific story setups, certainly NOT "The blight is coming, we are all doomed" or "The reapers are coming, we are all REALLY doomed" kind of stories. But then, it's not like Mass Effect took itself serious, I mean, 99% of the stuff we are doing in that game trilogy has nothing to do with the actual story, so why not romance too.... seemed to me like that was very optional and sidequesty too.

But these games do not shine with great writing to begin with. It would fit stories where you are just traveling without a specific goal at first and where substantial time passes (ie, many days) where characters have time to interact and grow to love or hate each other. I never got why RPG's always put us in a primary position to the plot either. It'd be neat to make a rpg where all you do is make choices, but none of the choices YOU make influence the plot, rather they influence people that influence the plot, say you play Bandit or Merc and are pulled in some greater workings, but you are never the one that turns the tide or anything.

Would probably sell really badly. ^^
 
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11. Re: Op Ed Jun 11, 2014, 12:07 KS
 
> Severed Heads vs Women

That's no way to get ahead in the gaming world.

Not the time to lose one's head.

It's a shame he wasn't more headstrong.

He'll never be the head of a major gaming corporation.

"That's enough, Austin."
 
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10. Re: Op Ed Jun 11, 2014, 11:48 descender
 
I find the romantic aspects of some of these games to be dis-engaging, as if there is time for this dating crap while the world is about to end!  
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9. Re: Op Ed Jun 11, 2014, 11:39 eRe4s3r
 
Pigeon wrote on Jun 11, 2014, 10:14:
I can't speak for the rest of the western world outside of the US, but this one of the weirdest things about our society. Some pretty extreme violence is okay, but sex in media is the worst thing ever. We can watch hours of football players bash the crap out of each other and call it wholesome family entertainment, but half a second of Janet Jackson's nipple and the whole country loses its shit.

Or in the case of Mass Effect whole planets can get horrifically murdered and mutilated by a race of malevolent techno-organic beings, but you have a short scene where two of the characters make alien love and you've got pundits on FOX frothing at the mouth because the youth is being poisoned with immoral filth.

I sometimes think its because it's easier for governments and religions to use violence to their own gains than it is for them to use sex.

It's even more hilarious than that. Because you know, these people that are offended and frothing, are not gamers, are not the target group of the game, and will never even play the game to begin with.

Imo, a story should always be borderline offensive, should always push beyond boundaries of "feel good" territory.. if your intro hook in a story doesn't alienate at least 1 fringe group or mainstream opinion, you failed making your story interesting.

And I don't say you should strife to piss of people, I am saying you shouldn't give a flying fuck about anyone but yourself when writing a story. Do it like Game of Thrones, you are god as writer, and you can do whatever the fuck you want. If someone is offended, I'd say you did your job well. And if they complain, bath in their frothing.

This absurd taboo on sex in games is really pissing me off too by the way. AAA games skirt the issue and end up having HORRIBLE romance sections in them because of it. I mean Mass Effect and Dragon Age may actually be the only games where romance choices have any impact on character and story. But in those it's still so incredibly shallow.... to only be able to point to these shallow examples as high marks, that literally says everything there is about the state of gaming. Gaming is not yet mature. Lot's of games do not even touch mature topics... everything gotta be fucking family friendly, as if families are the core audience of AAA or INDY games!!

So yes, the real problem is that gaming and story telling is still following the mainstream. We need to have stories in the prime time that break conventions, stuff like Game of Thrones has to become the norm, and not the exception.
 
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8. Re: Op Ed Jun 11, 2014, 11:33 Creston
 
Oh good, we've found yet another thing to bitch about again in the games industry.  
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7. Re: Op Ed Jun 11, 2014, 11:32 Simon Says
 
Pigeon wrote on Jun 11, 2014, 10:14:
I can't speak for the rest of the western world outside of the US, but this one of the weirdest things about our society. Some pretty extreme violence is okay, but sex in media is the worst thing ever. We can watch hours of football players bash the crap out of each other and call it wholesome family entertainment, but half a second of Janet Jackson's nipple and the whole country loses its shit.

Or in the case of Mass Effect whole planets can get horrifically murdered and mutilated by a race of malevolent techno-organic beings, but you have a short scene where two of the characters make alien love and you've got pundits on FOX frothing at the mouth because the youth is being poisoned with immoral filth.

I sometimes think its because it's easier for governments and religions to use violence to their own gains than it is for them to use sex.

+1 ad infinitum
 
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6. Re: Op Ed Jun 11, 2014, 11:31 Verno
 
Pigeon wrote on Jun 11, 2014, 10:14:
I can't speak for the rest of the western world outside of the US, but this one of the weirdest things about our society. Some pretty extreme violence is okay, but sex in media is the worst thing ever. We can watch hours of football players bash the crap out of each other and call it wholesome family entertainment, but half a second of Janet Jackson's nipple and the whole country loses its shit.

Or in the case of Mass Effect whole planets can get horrifically murdered and mutilated by a race of malevolent techno-organic beings, but you have a short scene where two of the characters make alien love and you've got pundits on FOX frothing at the mouth because the youth is being poisoned with immoral filth.

I sometimes think its because it's easier for governments and religions to use violence to their own gains than it is for them to use sex.

I mean without getting into a huge debate, I think you can boil it down to religious adherence and the media conditioning people to violence. You see a lot of that hypocrisy in the bible, its very contradictory even about violence alone. The flipside of that is the news and popular media in general has totally desensitized many people to violence. Thankfully violent crimes in North America were on the decline last time I looked into it and nudity is becoming more prevalent in popular media so hopefully we're seeing progress on those fronts.

In the context of E3 I don't think any of this is a problem though. I doubt anyone is being purposely excluded from E3 or event presentation based on gender. There is a growing number of female gamers but it's still largely a mans industry due to the audience and you see less representation as a result. It was even worse 10 and 20 years ago. It's progressing naturally, I don't see any reason for people to be offended.
 
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Playing: Alien Isolation, Legend of Grimrock 2, Super Mario 3D World
Watching: A Good Marriage, The Knick, Gotham
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5. Re: Op Ed Jun 11, 2014, 11:19 Beamer
 
Hey guys, before we fix the problem of there being too many potholes, we have to fix the problem of there being too many massive gun murders. And before we care about that, we need to worry about people starving in other countries! Why even care about one problem when there's an entirely unrelated problem we need to think about?!  
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Music for the discerning:
http://www.deathwishinc.com
http://www.hydrahead.com
http://www.painkillerrecords.com
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4. Re: Op Ed Jun 11, 2014, 11:19 Panickd
 
Pigeon wrote on Jun 11, 2014, 10:14:
I can't speak for the rest of the western world outside of the US, but this one of the weirdest things about our society. Some pretty extreme violence is okay, but sex in media is the worst thing ever. We can watch hours of football players bash the crap out of each other and call it wholesome family entertainment, but half a second of Janet Jackson's nipple and the whole country loses its shit.

Or in the case of Mass Effect whole planets can get horrifically murdered and mutilated by a race of malevolent techno-organic beings, but you have a short scene where two of the characters make alien love and you've got pundits on FOX frothing at the mouth because the youth is being poisoned with immoral filth.

I sometimes think its because it's easier for governments and religions to use violence to their own gains than it is for them to use sex.

In the US I think it's a matter of the country being so big that different things matter in different regions. On the coasts, for example, people generally have no problem with sex but they don't like over the top violence. The middle of the country, which is most of it, has the issue with sex but doesn't mind the violence or swearing. Down south they don't care for swear words, especially "goddamn".

I do find it funny that the same company that owns Fox News are the ones airing things like Family Guy. It shows how much they really care about what their pundits talk about.
 
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3. Re: Op Ed Jun 11, 2014, 10:50 descender
 
Death is a fairly obvious "fail-state" for a game from a design standpoint. It encourages and engages the most primal instinct in nature, stay alive. The death of other things inhibiting your path to victory also seems fairly natural to me. Where I get lost is when video games focus too much on the simulation of reality, rather than suspension of reality... then you get unfocused gore and violence.

If Mario had to clean his shoes, or left bloody footprints all over the world... would it be as popular today? I don't think so. I call it a byproduct of hyper-realistic graphics, but the culture of gaming has certainly changed drastically in the last 30 years. Everything humans touch starts out with good, happy intentions... and then human nature takes hold and... they don't say "sex and violence sells" for no reason.
 
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2. Re: Op Ed Jun 11, 2014, 10:37 Cutter
 
The rest of us are much more relaxed and open about sex, much more. Regardless, this is another useless clickbait article. If this guy thinks it's so viable to make games without violence then go fucking make them and see how they sell. Not every game is violent but there's a reason it's the niche-iest niche of a niche market.

One of the beautiful things about violent games is they're a great steam release valve. Had a shitty day? Come home and blow some virtual heads off over a few beers and you're suddenly a lot more relaxed. Maybe there's been so much violence in the history of the world because people didn't have that virtual out. While correlation does not mean causation, it's a pretty strange coincidence that as gaming has grown over the last 30 years that violent crime has gone down. Coincidence? If media really had that influence where was the generation of Bugs Bunny watchers dropping anvils on people's heads?

And lastly, as it applies to gender equality, the people up on that stage are there on merit. They're not just randomly picking white guys out of the audience to talk about the game. And the industry - here in NA and Europe - is made up mostly of white males and most of those games are bought by white males. So yeah it doesn't make any more sense to have a female on stage for the sake of being female then it would to have a dolphin because by this idiotic sophistry anything that's not on stage is obviously under-represented and discriminated against.
 
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"Nobody wants to be nobody in America. Ed is the apotheosis of a prevailing American syndrome. It used to be that someone became famous because they were special. Now people are considered special just for being famous. Fame, itself, is its own virtue.
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