MattAn wrote:Why the hell does it matter what the genders are? This is why I'm saying there's constant contradictions! Several times in this thread, you, and others, have stated "It's not bad enough to have to be eradicated completely forever" but then you (and others) go straight into reasons why it is, in fact, horrendously bad and people doing it, knowingly or not, are doing it wrong.
I really don't know how to explain this simpler than I already have. But you keep conflating a bunch of things together, and then accuse me of contradictions because those things area actually different.
Like... just because I say that it doesn't need to be eradicated, just reduced, does not imply a claim I don't think it's "not bad enough" for that. Just because I say it should be reduced, doesn't imply a claim that people who do it are malicious. I'm not saying those things, because they aren't true, and then when I go on to say they aren't true, that isn't a contradiction, because I'm not saying those things.
A simpler example: the ideal proportion of male protagonists in games is around 50%, give or take a bit for statistical variance, and nonbinary characters, and the like. I don't have the numbers on what the current proportion is, but I would put money on it being in the high 80s-90s. This is, of course, a problem. It's a bad thing, which should be fixed. You can't point to a particular game and say "this game is bad and should have a female protagonist instead", or point to a game dev and say "this game dev is maliciously only putting male characters in their game" because that's not how it works... but the aggregate totals are not consistent with an equitable distribution across genders.
I would claim these two things: (a) The current proportions are bad, and should be changed, by increasing the number of female protagonists in games. (b) The goal here is not to reduce male protagonists to 0% and have only female protagonists ever.
I claim that these two statements are not a contradiction. In any way.
In the current situation, another game coming out with yet another male protagonist is, to some degree, a bad thing, in the context of contemporary gaming as a whole. It's not backbreaking in and of itself, but it's a drop in the bucket towards the problem. If the proportions were different, and gaming were equitable, then that same game coming out with the same male protagonist, would no longer be considered a bad thing. So there would be no more reason to try to "eradicate" male protagonists. Context is everything.
MattAn wrote:when you follow it up with how people are apparently "privilege-blind", etc. It's quite the back-handed insult and generalisation to make.
"Privelege", and (to an admittedly lesser extent) "privelege-blind" are not, in and of themselves, insults, but rather factual descriptors. Certainly, some people use them as insults, and this is a bad thing. But they are, quite frankly, the best terms we have to describe certain concepts. I'll refer back to my example from the last page about hiring people out of university, or Scalzi's excellent "Easy Mode" essay. This is a thing that exists, and it is useful to have a term by which to refer to it.
MattAn wrote:The majority of the time, the character's gender is totally irrelevant to the creation process of the game. Again with FFXIII, mainly this example in particular, where the character of Fang (before naming or anything, early design) was originally male. The dev team decided they preferred to have even genders in the party (3 male (Snow/Sazh/Hope), 3 female (Lightning/Vanille/Fang), Serah was planned to also be playable, but she ended up moving to FFXIII-2), so the character became Fang. Nobody gave a shit. Because it doesn't matter in the context of the story. A character isn't defined by their gender. Ever. They're defined by their character.
I don't see how you think this is a counterexample to my point. If no-one cares about the genders of characters in games, then whence the 90% (or whatever the number is) proportions? Whence the game producers who believe that putting a female character on the front cover of the box art will hurt sales? Whence the game devs who believe that any game can have a male protagonist, but they need to wait for the right game to include a female one?
MattAn wrote:I just find the motive absurd.. As I've said, if people want the ratio to be less of a gap, make a game yourself and be the change you want to see in the world. Instead of complaining about petty crap, FIX IT. Find the market for it yourself. Funny how there's that whole Kickstarter thing for game concepts!
Yeah, we went over this already. Making a game myself: not really my area of expertise. Contributing to an awareness campaign so that other people who are game devs do so: that, I can do, with arguably more effect.
MattAn wrote:I agree that so many AAA game dev studios "play it safe" and have almost identical lead characters.. But sadly, that's what dudebros buy.
Yep. It's a sad situation. That's why people like Sarkeesian are trying to change that situation.
MattAn wrote:Sure, anyone can say "I don't like the design of that character", but it does not, in any way, make it factually wrong and bad or even "problematic". That's an individual perception and not at all fact.
Again, this is not about individual characters. It's about the gaming culture as a whole. To focus on an individual example is to ignore context. This is why Sarkeesian's videos go rapidfire through a bunch of examples after each point - to show that this is not a case of "I don't like this particular character" but "I don't like this particular trend".
Have I made the die-rolling analogy in this thread yet? I can't remember. Whatever, I'll make it again. Say I give you a d6, and you want to know whether it's weighted. You roll it 1000 times, and it comes up with a "6" 500 times, with the other numbers appearing 100 times each. You want to claim it's weighted. I point to a particular six, and say "prove to me that this particular 6 should have been a different number". You are, of course, unable to do so. I say "well that one doesn't count then" and move on to the next one... and we end up discounting each individual case.
You can't point to a particular game and say "the character should have been female in this game", that's silly (or, well, if you can, it's due to some special specifics of that game, and not gaming as a whole). But you can tell the die is weighted.