Quickies

Skepchick Quickies 4.12

Amanda

Amanda is a science grad student in Boston whose favorite pastimes are having friendly debates and running amok.

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8 Comments

  1. I love it how while people have been giving all these reasons why there aren’t many female characters in games the industry has been straight up actively demanding a constrant stream of homogeneous, boring straight white male characters.

    1. It doesn’t help that they continue to underfund and underpromote female-fronted games to such an extent that failure is virtually a self-fulfilling prophecy. What I’m trying to say is that I really wanted a Heavenly Sword, Beyond Good and Evil or Mirror’s Edge sequel. Or all three.

  2. If I had the opportunity, and if I wasn’t such a coward, I would have the urge to go grab one of these game publisher big wigs by the collar, shake him and go “are you really this criminally stupid? Really? Even if I grant you every single, flawed premise you have spouted on this topic, you are still entirely off your rocker if you think it is a good idea to turn down titles purely because the main protagonist is a woman.
    – Even if I were to grant you that statistically, female protagonists sell inherently worse than male protagonists. (Which is not at all clear to me, given certain confounding variables.)
    – Even if I were to grant you that the dudes who might play the game are generally less able to identify with female than with male characters. (Which may have a grain of truth to it, but comes with the caveat that, if you think about it for a moment, most male gamers are probably equally, or even less able to identify with the gritty, tough, muscle-pumped soldiers you like to have in the starring roles instead. That’s how I feel about it, at least.)
    – Even if I were to grant you that gameplay, story and review scores mean so little to a significant portion of male gamers that they would readily write off games based on the gender of the main protagonist.
    – And even if I grant you that this male audience so significantly outnumber your female audience. (Which seems true in some cases, though interestingly less true in others.)
    Even if I give you all this, then… Try to do the math: If currently, the vast majority of buyers for some games of yours are expected to be male, what does that say about the state of the market? Should you not be looking at that ENTIRE OTHER HALF of the population and go ‘Hunh? Why aren’t they buying those games?’, and then maybe ask yourselves how you could improve that situation, and eventually make your teller go even more *ka-ching*? And maybe one of the things you could do would be, I don’t know, having more games with female protagonists?
    Even if you actually sacrifice some sales in the short run by doing this, does the phrase ‘long term investment’ mean nothing to you at all?
    Now, I would personally like you to do this because it might, in the long run, help make this culture more welcoming, and less hostile to women. But as I have been trying to demonstrate, we can also translate this to your language, if it would ultimately help you make the right decisions: In the long run, we are talking about increasing your sales to the ENTIRE OTHER HALF of the population. So even in your own, native language of bottom lines, you are making no sense.”

    Rrrrrgh!
    Okay, I need to go try to relax and sleep a bit now.

    1. I think you about covered it. I was discussing this with my BF and he said “Well they’re pandering to the market,.” I said how horrible is it that they treat straight white guys as not only the most important market, but the ONLY ONE they care to cater to. That’s just bad business.

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