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Why women criticise sexualised character designs (READ OP)

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Weltall Zero

Member
Oct 26, 2017
10,555
Madrid
Squiddo cut the nonsense. Besides your wolf, all of your tattoo ideas are sexualized cartoon women. You're typing a lot of words but the art you're having permanently inked on your body says something else.

You should be embarrassed to have that shit on your body. If you're not now, you will be later in life.
This is entirely uncalled for. Squiddo has been unfailingly courteous and honestly receptive to suggestions from everyone in this thread. If there's someone who should be ashamed of their behaviour, it's you.
 

psychowave

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,655
Because I don't believe for a second that he "never intended to sexualize" the characters his tattoos. He's flat out lying.
I can't speak to his intentions, but I'm kinda baffled that people could possibly think that that Splatoon tattoo isn't sexualized lol. Unless we're at a point where female characters are so hypersexualized that tits and ass with sultry over the shoulder gaze isn't considered sexual anymore.
 

Dmax3901

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,200
Playing Kingdom Come: Deliverance, there was a moment early on where the camera zooms in on a woman's butt as she walks away (she's wearing an entirely unsexy medieval peasant shift), the main character and his father commenting on how much of a looker she is. Like, why?
 

Dary

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,297
The English Wilderness
I can't speak to his intentions, but I'm kinda baffled that people could possibly think that that Splatoon tattoo isn't sexualized lol. Unless we're at a point where female characters are so hypersexualized that tits and ass with sultry over the shoulder gaze isn't considered sexual anymore.
Honestly, it's become so nornalised that we probably are at that point. If anything, I think it's gotten worse because of the pushback against it, especially when they can frame it as "fighting the fight against left-wing censorship/fascism".
 

Filament Star

Attempted to circumvent ban with alt account
Banned
Oct 25, 2017
1,817
Considering who the director is, I'm utterly, utterly shocked.

I see this quote posted a lot by people who hate Vavra, but can someone explain what is actually wrong with it? People have definitely accused games of being sexist for all of those things before, so I can't see how it's not true.
 

Truant

Member
Oct 28, 2017
3,687
I see this quote posted a lot by people who hate Vavra, but can someone explain what is actually wrong with it? People have definitely accused games of being sexist for all of those things before, so I can't see how it's not true.
Well, first of all he assumes the same people are criticizing all the examples he's citing. These alt-righters are masters of lumping everyone into one big straw man and claiming he can never be pleased.
 

Ferrs

Avenger
Oct 26, 2017
9,001
I see this quote posted a lot by people who hate Vavra, but can someone explain what is actually wrong with it? People have definitely accused games of being sexist for all of those things before, so I can't see how it's not true.
it's incredibly reductionist and puts any complain in the some bag in clearly bad faith. The truth is more complicated than this.

Also, his artistic freedom isn't compromised because feedback, it's just another excuse.
 

Redcrayon

Zoinks!
Moderator
Oct 27, 2017
6,357
UK
I see this quote posted a lot by people who hate Vavra, but can someone explain what is actually wrong with it? People have definitely accused games of being sexist for all of those things before, so I can't see how it's not true.
Let’s look at it phrase by phrase.
If women in your game look good, you are sexist
Well, that’s not true. It’s perfectly possible to have good-looking women in games without being accused of sexism, mainly by not sexualising them out-of-context and not just using them to add window dressing. Treat them like the other characters, with aspects other than their looks, the characters commenting on their looks or the camera caressing them at any opportunity.
If they look bad, you are sexist
There really aren’t that many ‘bad-looking’ female characters in games, they tend to be either extremely good looking (the vast majority) or grotesque (a tiny minority). ‘The inclusion of somewhat less attractive female characters would actually be a step towards diversity considering the trend for them looking like either supermodels or monsters with little inbetween.
If you can fight with them, you are misogynistic
The most visable/common female enemy units in games are probably in Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls/Fallout games, I’ve never seen accusations of misogyny for a game including general female enemies. If they exist, it certainly isn’t the majority opinion.
Edit: I did see people complaining about Drake getting beaten up by Nadine in Uncharted 4, but that was more about men moaning about not being able to beat up a professional soldier who happened to be female. Funny that.
if you don’t have any women, because there is no correct way to have them, you are misogynistic
I’ve never seen Total War accused of sexism for not including women in several hundred different historical military formations. If it’s a fantasy game, history doesn’t apply. If historical accuracy is important to the game, don’t bend the rules to make it even easier to include one group of people and exclude others. Simple.
it’s a witch hunt and it’s affecting my artistic freedom
No, it’s criticism of such shitty opinions based on sweeping remarks about women as a whole. You are free to create what you like, but if you talk a load of easily refuted generalisations about reactions to female characters in games in a public forum, having multiple people point out that your arguments don’t make sense is not a witch hunt. Being proud of ignorant statements and t-shirts that wouldn’t be out of place at an alt-right rally doesn’t add credence to generalised claims of understanding the ‘hypocrisy’ of how women think.
 
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ara

Member
Oct 26, 2017
6,413
I sort of remember some people having a problem with Mass Effect Andromeda due to the "ugly" ladies in it. But those people were certainly not the SJW cucks Vavra is clearly talking about.
 

Weltall Zero

Member
Oct 26, 2017
10,555
Madrid
I see this quote posted a lot by people who hate Vavra, but can someone explain what is actually wrong with it? People have definitely accused games of being sexist for all of those things before, so I can't see how it's not true.
Since others have already addressed why the quote is total bullshit, let me also draw your attention to the passive-agressive shirt he's wearing.
 

Filament Star

Attempted to circumvent ban with alt account
Banned
Oct 25, 2017
1,817
Well, first of all he assumes the same people are criticizing all the examples he's citing. These alt-righters are masters of lumping everyone into one big straw man and claiming he can never be pleased.
I don't think that assumption is there? Just that someone will call it sexist. Also "These alt-righters are masters of lumping everyone into one big straw man."

it's incredibly reductionist and puts any complain in the some bag in clearly bad faith. The truth is more complicated than this.

Also, his artistic freedom isn't compromised because feedback, it's just another excuse.
It's reductionist I guess, but so is calling a game sexist for any one of those elements, which again does happen like he said. Also calling a game/ it's creator sexist isn't really feedback. It's just an attack that always spirals into hatred of them.

Since others have already addressed why the quote is total bullshit, let me also draw your attention to the passive-agressive shirt he's wearing.
I mean that picture is there to make people think the quote is trolling. It's not like he said that while wearing the shirt.
 

Redcrayon

Zoinks!
Moderator
Oct 27, 2017
6,357
UK
I mean that picture is there to make people think the quote is trolling. It's not like he said that while wearing the shirt.
The quote is a pile of ridiculous generalisations about the reception of female characters with or without the dubious fashion sense of it’s speaker.

In the last year we’ve seen female characters leading Horizon, Splatoon, Nier, Uncharted, Hellblade, Celeste and loads more. If there was a witch hunt about them because it’s impossible to make a female character, as opposed to a relatively tiny amount of reasonable criticism of aspects of some of the games amidst near-universal praise (at least three of them were widely shortlisted on GOTY lists) otherwise, I must have missed it. What he objects to is people calling out sexist shit.
 
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spool

Member
Oct 27, 2017
359
Additionally, Bioware has a long history of having women baddies to shoot/sword/magic to death, and I can't say I've ever seen any complaints about this. Quite the opposite in fact!
 

RalchAC

Member
Oct 27, 2017
825
Let’s look at it phrase by phrase.
Well, that’s not true. It’s perfectly possible to have good-looking women in games without being accused of sexism, mainly by not sexualising them out-of-context and not just using them to add window dressing. Treat them like the other characters, with aspects other than their looks, the characters commenting on their looks or the camera caressing them at any opportunity.

There really aren’t that many ‘bad-looking’ female characters in games, they tend to be either extremely good looking (the vast majority) or grotesque (a tiny minority). ‘The inclusion of somewhat less attractive female characters would actually be a step towards diversity considering the trend for them looking like either supermodels or monsters with little inbetween.

The most visable/common female enemy units in games are probably in Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls/Fallout games, I’ve never seen accusations of misogyny for a game including general female enemies. If they exist, it certainly isn’t the majority opinion.
Edit: I did see people complaining about Drake getting beaten up by Nadine in Uncharted 4, but that was more about men moaning about not being able to beat up a professional soldier who happened to be female. Funny that.

I’ve never seen Total War accused of sexism for not including women in several hundred different historical military formations. If it’s a fantasy game, history doesn’t apply. If historical accuracy is important to the game, don’t bend the rules to make it even easier to include one group of people and exclude others. Simple.

No, it’s criticism of such shitty opinions based on sweeping remarks about women as a whole. You are free to create what you like, but if you talk a load of easily refuted generalisations about reactions to female characters in games in a public forum, having multiple people point out that your arguments don’t make sense is not a witch hunt. Being proud of ignorant statements and t-shirts that wouldn’t be out of place at an alt-right rally doesn’t add credence to generalised claims of understanding the ‘hypocrisy’ of how women think.
I feel like people asking for black folks in a game based in medieval eastern Europe was a bit strange, and having a black merchant in it would have (rightfully) seen as a token rather than actual representation. The thing is, that there were minorities that were present in the area during those ages. See gipsies, which seemingly originated in India and started emigrating to different parts of Europe in the middle ages. Even today they have a rather big presence around the area. They have a distinct culture and look quite different from the average inhabitant from the area.

If they had been asked, and his answers had been: "We want the game to stay as close to the actual period as possible, it's always been our aim. For that reason we decided to not include them in our game; however, we made sure to have an appropiately and respectfully represent the minority that were actually present in the area."

This whole thing would have been avoided. But no, you want people to picture you as the edgy, smart guy that doesn't care about what others say and laughs at social media while he drinks coffee using a mug that has written "SJW tears" in capital letters.

Regardless of him being a GamerGater and an alt-righter or not, he is downright stupid. Seriously, I feel bad for his studio community manager.
 

Redcrayon

Zoinks!
Moderator
Oct 27, 2017
6,357
UK
I feel like people asking for black folks in a game based in medieval eastern Europe was a bit strange, and having a black merchant in it would have (rightfully) seen as a token rather than actual representation. The thing is, that there were minorities that were present in the area during those ages. See gipsies, which seemingly originated in India and started emigrating to different parts of Europe in the middle ages. Even today they have a rather big presence around the area. They have a distinct culture and look quite different from the average inhabitant from the area.

If they had been asked, and his answers had been: "We want the game to stay as close to the actual period as possible, it's always been our aim. For that reason we decided to not include them in our game; however, we made sure to have an appropiately and respectfully represent the minority that were actually present in the area."

This whole thing would have been avoided. But no, you want people to picture you as the edgy, smart guy that doesn't care about what others say and laughs at social media while he drinks coffee using a mug that has written "SJW tears" in capital letters.

Regardless of him being a GamerGater and an alt-righter or not, he is downright stupid. Seriously, I feel bad for his studio community manager.
Oh, absolutely, like I said, I don’t see people complaining about the hundreds of medieval units and their origins in Total War, it’s easy to gain the benefit of the doubt when you aren’t known for making weird generalisations about both female characters and an imagined ess-jay-dubya mob that somehow has it in for the freedom of creators.
 
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SchrodingerC

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,998
Additionally, Bioware has a long history of having women baddies to shoot/sword/magic to death, and I can't say I've ever seen any complaints about this. Quite the opposite in fact!
That’s true; in mass effect Shepard fights many female baddies, even entire units that were comprised of mainly fem enemies. Its been awhile, but I believe the Dragon Age series also had plenty of female enemies as well.
 

Morrigan

Armoring
Moderator
Oct 24, 2017
12,504
Filament Star That quote is a mess because it's a giant strawman. You assert that people have actually called games sexist "for those reasons" but, as someone who has been pretty vocal and paid attention to a lot of feminist commentary, I've never seen it. So I wonder where you're seeing these accusations of sexism because "female characters in the game are pretty" or "you can fight them".
 

DragonKeeper

Member
Nov 14, 2017
705
The problem where female baddies are concerned has more to do with some of them also being sexualized. Violence and sex should not be mixed in these contexts. However, I can also understand a negative reaction to seeing violence done to female characters due to the male/female dynamic of domestic abuse and violence in general in the real world. I once did art for a little flash game years ago where you flung a ragdoll character around trying to rack up damage on it. The ragdoll characters were things like "anime guy", "politician guy", "zombie guy", etc. We discussed have female ragdolls but considering the nature of the game, decided against it.

This of course in no way excuses how casually society can treat male on male violence (or downright laugh at female on male violence).
 

esserius

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,746
I can't speak to his intentions, but I'm kinda baffled that people could possibly think that that Splatoon tattoo isn't sexualized lol. Unless we're at a point where female characters are so hypersexualized that tits and ass with sultry over the shoulder gaze isn't considered sexual anymore.
Nah, you right. I just think we got caught up in trying not to be too judgmental. I think a lot of it had to do with the politeness on display. Maybe we just react more positively when people come in and ask for advice without first accusing us of doing something wrong?
 

psychowave

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,655
The problem where female baddies are concerned has more to do with some of them also being sexualized. Violence and sex should not be mixed in these contexts. However, I can also understand a negative reaction to seeing violence done to female characters due to the male/female dynamic of domestic abuse and violence in general in the real world. I once did art for a little flash game years ago where you flung a ragdoll character around trying to rack up damage on it. The ragdoll characters were things like "anime guy", "politician guy", "zombie guy", etc. We discussed have female ragdolls but considering the nature of the game, decided against it.

This of course in no way excuses how casually society can treat male on male violence (or downright laugh at female on male violence).
People will whine endlessly about the fact that male on female violence is a taboo in media, and then do nothing about the fact that hundreds of thousands of men around the world continue to abuse and even kill their wives and girlfriends day after day.
 

HyperFerret

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,134
On the topic of female enemies, Final Fantasy XIV also has plenty of female enemies of all races. Not once have I seen people complain about it.

Like, yesterday I did a quest to get some supplies from poachers and the game either intentionally or unintentionally spawn all the poachers as female. I didn't even bat an eye at the time, but looking back it's neat that the game just does this without shoving it into your face that "Look! Women can fight too!!"

It also tends to treat sexuality more natural than other games. It doesn't shy qway from it being a thing, and it doesn't shove it into your face either with "hurhur sex! Am i rite?" Characters make euphemisms in casual conversation, and both male and female outfits allow the players to be as badass or sexy looking as they want. Homosexuality is accepted in Eorzea, and the only sexual taboo seems to be race-mixing but it's unclear if it's because of cultural or biological reasons. I've done an "escort" quest (iykwim) and I've done a quest where you have to make a bunch of leather collars for a client and not ask. Some people may find all the double-entendres a bit tiring or too much, but it makes the world fill more lived in to me.

Even I find amusement from some of the dumb wordplay and most of time I hate overt sexual things in games :P
 

ShyMel

Member
Oct 31, 2017
2,137
It's reductionist I guess, but so is calling a game sexist for any one of those elements, which again does happen like he said. Also calling a game/ it's creator sexist isn't really feedback. It's just an attack that always spirals into hatred of them.
Most people are not just calling a game sexist without explaining our reasoning. Criticizing the treatment of women in a game is not an attack.
 

Marvelous

Member
Nov 3, 2017
180
I see this quote posted a lot by people who hate Vavra, but can someone explain what is actually wrong with it? People have definitely accused games of being sexist for all of those things before, so I can't see how it's not true.
For one, it is a completely broken argument that goes against critical thought in favor of sensationalism. Each sentence and sentiment in it is a straw man argument in that it is painting some vague picture where someone/everyone is simultaneously against all of those things, which is likely not true. You may have seen individuals express different parts of the statement, but have you ever seen an individual express all of them simultaneously?

Likely, if someone has an issue with the way this guy handles women in his art, it's likely not that it's because they're sexy or they're ugly. Instead, it's another issue that pertains to all of them, specifically how he portrays them himself. The underlying issue might not be just that they're sexy or just that they're ugly, but instead the portrayal by the individual who is doing it incorrectly or in a disrespectful manner.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,784
Point is, it wasn't IP for kids.
It absolutely was. I distinctly remember a storefront in Barcelona that was advertising, among other things, shirts with super sexualized Nickelodeon characters. This was right next to a Mcdonalds and the street in general had a bunch of places kids would frequent.

And I mean, see my post above the one you quoted about sexualization being a part of IPs aimed at kids in Japan, which Splatoon is. God, the things I saw at Nakano Broadway where kids were hanging around...
 

SolidSnakex

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,328
On the topic of female enemies, Final Fantasy XIV also has plenty of female enemies of all races. Not once have I seen people complain about it.
From what i've seen, it's far more about the degree of violence and how upclose it is shown rather than violence in general. When the current-gen editions of GTAV launched there was a FP video that came out of someone going around killing people. The one that people seemed to take issue with was when the person playing was running around on a beach chopping women with a machete. Several years ago when GoW: Ascension launched there was a sequence where Kratos stomps a Furies face and several reviewers commented on how it made them uncomfortable, even though in terms of violence it was actually really tame compared to really anything you'd find in past games. And most recently you had the TLoU:PII cutscene in which people specifically noted that the violence against Yara made them uncomfortable.
 

Choppasmith

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,551
Beaumont, CA
Speaking of FF, I just opened up the FFXII Collector's Edition the other day and I looked at the judges..



and I thought (thinking of the posts in this thread regarding characters from Fire Emblem and XC2), "Isn't it cool that you could tell someone that one of those is a woman and they wouldn't be able to immediately tell who it was?"

It's Drace, the last one on the right end.

In before someone sees this and goes, "Ah HA! Stupid SJWs just want women covered! Bunch of prudes!"
 

Chitown B

Member
Nov 15, 2017
4,188
I understand what the OP is saying. My additional take on the entirety of gaming avatars is that men are over-sexualized too, just in an "acceptable" way. If I see another set of man nipples or huge dudes with their shirts off to show their muscles, or giant codpieces........ I think you get my drift. It makes us "average" guys feel bad about our own body image. Overall men are more visual with our attraction, but rippling muscles, whether just under a tight shirt or completely nude upper half, are still sexual things.

Yes, I read this " "Men are sexualized too." It's a false equivalence, also explained in detail in the thread."

It's not a false equivalence. It's as equivalent physically as you can get. Tops are tops, bottoms are bottoms.
 

Chitown B

Member
Nov 15, 2017
4,188
Do you think that men are sexualized to the same degree that women are in video games?
No, obviously. If all we're talking about is "degree of objectification" then this thread wouldn't be 253 pages. Nothing is ever fully equivalent, that's almost impossible. But it's as close an example as possible for this discussion.
 

esserius

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,746
I wonder how many times we'll have to explain the same stuff we've been explaining for... weeks? Months? Years?

*sigh*
 

ShyMel

Member
Oct 31, 2017
2,137
No, obviously. If all we're talking about is "degree of objectification" then this thread wouldn't be 253 pages. Nothing is ever fully equivalent, that's almost impossible. But it's as close an example as possible for this discussion.
The reason "men are sexualized too" is called a false equivalent in the OP is for the reason you just gave. The degree to which men are sexualized in games is no where near the level that female characters face. You do not see male characters running around in booty shorts with tight fighting tops to the same degree that female characters face. And in some of those cases, those male characters are being positioned as a joke and are not meant to be desirable in the way the the female characters are.
 

esserius

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,746
What you're describing is toxic masculinity and it's not really comparable to the experiences women are exposed to. It's different, and it's why the comparison is considered a false equivalence.
 

MochaKoffee

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,303
On the topic of female enemies, Final Fantasy XIV also has plenty of female enemies of all races. Not once have I seen people complain about it.
Some of the bosses are pretty eye-roll worthy, like Sophia or the Siren(Especially the weird convulsion boob jiggle thing Sophia does when she's killed). But normal enemies are usually fine, yeah.
The violence is never really graphic, outside of one scene where a character loses a limb, which I think is probably an important distinction here. Most people aren't going to really complain about cartoony groans and slumping over.
 

BossAttack

Member
Oct 27, 2017
17,736
I try to forget DA2, but yes you’re right. Was she really the main baddie though? She seemed more like an end boss that happened to become super magic hitler because of a statue, compared to the Qunari leader who felt like the true villian.
She's a consistent presence throughout the entire game and central to the Mage-Templar conflict that is the heart of DA2's story. So I'd consider her the real main baddie.
 

rras1994

Member
Nov 4, 2017
3,042
I try to forget DA2, but yes you’re right. Was she really the main baddie though? She seemed more like an end boss that happened to become super magic hitler because of a statue, compared to the Qunari leader who felt like the true villian.
She's the main villian of Act 3 (though depending on your opinion she could tie with Anders), while the Qunari leader would be the main villian in Act 2 (and I'd say Bartrand would be the main villian in Act 1). It's not really that unsual though for the Dragon Age games to have more than one main villian though, I'd argue they all do.
 

Dmax3901

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,200
I understand what the OP is saying. My additional take on the entirety of gaming avatars is that men are over-sexualized too, just in an "acceptable" way. If I see another set of man nipples or huge dudes with their shirts off to show their muscles, or giant codpieces........ I think you get my drift. It makes us "average" guys feel bad about our own body image. Overall men are more visual with our attraction, but rippling muscles, whether just under a tight shirt or completely nude upper half, are still sexual things.

Yes, I read this " "Men are sexualized too." It's a false equivalence, also explained in detail in the thread."

It's not a false equivalence. It's as equivalent physically as you can get. Tops are tops, bottoms are bottoms.
As a man, I disagree. A man can walk around with his top off and it is no big deal, a woman, not so much. That already says a lot about the gulf between those two things when it comes to how they're viewed sexually.

Second, in games most of the dudes with muscles aren't designed to be sexy to women, first and foremost. They're there to make us boys feel strong and powerful. You could argue it's different in movies, where eye candy for women is for sure a selling point, but in games it's almost non-existent. The opposite, women characters being eye candy for male gamers, is almost universal.
 

SchrodingerC

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,998
She's a consistent presence throughout the entire game and central to the Mage-Templar conflict that is the heart of DA2's story. So I'd consider her the real main baddie.
She's the main villian of Act 3 (though depending on your opinion she could tie with Anders), while the Qunari leader would be the main villian in Act 2 (and I'd say Bartrand would be the main villian in Act 1). It's not really that unsual though for the Dragon Age games to have more than one main villian though, I'd argue they all do.
Ahh, ok.
I mostly remember the first arc as the companion collect-a-thon so the background details regarding the Templar leader and are fuzzy.
The Qunari leader sticks out more as the compelling villain.
 

Chitown B

Member
Nov 15, 2017
4,188
As a man, I disagree. A man can walk around with his top off and it is no big deal, a woman, not so much. That already says a lot about the gulf between those two things when it comes to how they're viewed sexually.
Because of USA society. Go to UK/Europe. It's not a big deal there. We both have nipples.
 
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