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"Yet Another Generic White Dude" - A legitimate discussion on criticism regarding character design diversity

OP
OP
Veelk
Oct 25, 2017
3,628
Oh, I'm sure SotL could be a great film in its own right had it featured a male lead, but then we wouldn't have a female lead and on goes the scenario. The reason I choice this film in particular was to give an example of a strong female protagonist with a story made from her point of view that speaks to women in general. I haven't read any of the books so I can't say whether or not Starling is a 1-1 portrayal or entirely the doings of Hollywood writers and the excellent acting of Jodie Foster, but there are themes that are addressed that speaks to a feminine POV that goes well beyond her encounters with Dr. Lector and it speaks to an audience that rarely sees that type of portrayal front and center on screen. I'm not entirely sure what your argument is because we seem to be in agreement when it comes to representation, but I'm assuming not when it comes to writing or roles being interchangeable? Or are you suggesting that any role could work with any person if the writer creates it neutrally? Which, I'm not disagreeing couldn't work, but it loses the small touches that makes the character uniquely tailored to a certain demographic. Even taking race and gender out of the equation, Naughty Dog created the character of Bill and it is implied that he is a gay man who learns that his partner was dead. The narrative and writing subtly hinted at his sexuality without making him a caricature or glossing over what his being in the game represents for some gays who play the game. If his lover was changed to let's say his wife then that representation is lost, but the story would still be good.

Games are doing things that other visual mediums can't in where we get to control digital avatars for a time and learn of their stories, their goals and motivations, their love interests and other desires. Maybe it's my projecting, but I believe that representation should try to be more than just cosmetic and while a great story could make the LGTBQs, blacks, the Latinx, the Asians, and women characters on screen excellent characters, it would be a wasted opportunity not to try for more even if just to make the player walk in their shoes. Games like Mass Effect or Elder Scrolls are great, but we could do non-role playing games better, right?
The key to our difference of opinions seems to me like it comes down to what we attribute the 'little details' to.

The reason I brought up the TV Hannibal Lector comparison is because your argument was that there was a certain intricacy to how Clarice Starling was depicted that is inherent to a male-female dynamic that explores it from a female perspective. That to change representation arbitrarily would ruin that somehow. My counterargument to that is that TV Hannibal Lector more or less did that, took those same themes and applied it to a relationship with pretty strong homosexual undertones, and it worked wonderfully. I'm not saying it's the same exact dynamic because they are different characters with different histories, motivations, and goals, but if you asked me to list out the details of how Will Graham's relationship with Hannibal differs from Clarice Starlings, the male-female difference is one of the last things I'd list, because in terms of the conflicted romantic feels they have for Hannibal, their cores are fairly similar. I've also started reading more gay romance literature, and what strikes me is how many plots could basically just be heterosexual relationships with barely changing anything.

Which isn't to say that there isn't nuance or subtlety to the relationships. What I'm trying to say is that it seems to me that the romances gay people experience with each other is at all dissimilar from the romances straight people have, without losing much of any personal touches to those relationships. You seem to be implying that "diversity for diversity's sake" means that writing has an excuse to be half-assed, writers will not put as much effort into nuanced characterization if they can just fall back on the excuse that they are writing a minority figure, but that's just not true. In almost every circumstance, people want good, well written characters. And yes, there will be occasions where a characters minority status can inform the characterization in a way that is simply not possible if the character did not have that minority status.

But it's simply incorrect to say that a character whose a minority MUST be informed by their minority aspect or else the minority aspect must be deemed widowdressing. And this is important to acknowledge because it helps emphasize that we are fundamentally all alike. Sometimes, the best way to break the prejudiced expectations put on these perceptions is to ignore them as if they didn't exist. Because really...they don't except as long as we make them exist in real life. So that should be reflected in our fiction. Sometimes, it's proper to right a minority figure, even if that aspect doesn't play into their characters much, if at all.


Edit: I think the reason I feel rather strongly about this is that the idea that there are major distinctions between white, striaght, cis guys and other kinds of human beings is because that belief is largely manufactured by white, straight, cis guys who want to maintain being the majority power. People who support this structure want you to believe there is no way a woman can think and act in basically the same way a man does, or a gay person as a straight person, and so on. There is science that does make distinctions in some aspects between cultural identities, but not as many as you'd think and even fewer if you discount the ones we can change over time. So part of my rebellion agianst this idea is supporting the idea that minority figures CAN occupy the same roles with the same nuances that white, cis men believe are exclusive to them
 
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Oct 27, 2017
11,586
Eh. Not every game needs to be progressive, and just because the PC is white it doesn't mean there can't be progressive elements elsewhere.
It says a lot about how incredibly pitiful the situation is that having a non-white main character is considered progressive. It's a perfectly normal expectation
 

Zambayoshi

Banned
Member
Nov 2, 2017
97
Counterpoint: yes, for the reasons you stated.


Well, yes. It's because they're developers why it's their decision, and it's their decision because they're the developers. It literally isn't a decision for anyone else to make. No matter how many times this gets repeated, no matter what topic, it still doesn't really mean anything.

Tautologies aside, being the sole arbiter of a choice (if that's truly the case, even) doesn't make one's pick beyond criticism.
One can criticise to one's heart's content, but any choice the developers could make would be a valid choice. Any ethnicity would be seen as a good choice by a section of people. The argument here is more about who is more 'deserving' of having 'their' ethnicity represented in any given work. There is no objectively right answer to that.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,736
Canada
Eh. Not every game needs to be progressive, and just because the PC is white it doesn't mean there can't be progressive elements elsewhere.
I'm tired of being represented from the sidelines, in the few moments I am at all. In games without a choice of player character, what makes straight white men so much more deserving of being a headliner over other forms of representation that are sidelined?

"Not every game needs to be progressive" comes with an implicit unsaid acknowledgement that the straight white male somehow EARNED its place as the default and that other options are always going to be some form of progressive challenge to the norm. You see what's troubling with that, right?

Didn't Respawn make Apex Legends?? I don't even think that game *has* a white male PC
Caustic and Mirage.
 

i-Lo

Avenger
Oct 31, 2017
6,993
Not America
One can criticise to one's heart's content, but any choice the developers could make would be a valid choice. Any ethnicity would be seen as a good choice by a section of people. The argument here is more about who is more 'deserving' of having 'their' ethnicity represented in any given work. There is no objectively right answer to that.
*epic facepalm*

Way to miss the crux, the ramification of the discussion.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,387
I'm so tired of having these massive, sprawling, fantastical settings with hundreds upon thousands of unique alien races and seeing them always sidelined for yet another generic human protagonist - because aliens just aren't relatable or some shit, nevermind that we've anthropomorphized all kinds of things including inanimate objects. No, it's too much of a risk so we gotta play it safe and introduce yet another generic median male character even though there are SO MANY MORE INTERESTING POSSIBILITIES. SO MANY.

Fuck, when was the last time we had an alien being the main character for one of these things? And why the hell isn't it a thing? Goddamn it. I'm sick of this shit. Really, truly sick of it.
 
Jul 5, 2018
343
I'm tired of being represented from the sidelines, in the few moments I am at all. In games without a choice of player character, what makes straight white men so much more deserving of being a headliner over other forms of representation that are sidelined?
For an honest answer, it's just "percentage of audience". It's no secret that the majority of gamers (especially those interested in Star Wars) are white men. Of course, the reason for this is likely a lot to do with the fact that most Star Wars media featured white male protags, and of course that the US is ~50% white. One could make a very strong argument that featuring more diverse protagonists could attract other steadily growing minority groups in the US, and I do think EA is aware of this.

That said, western companies have been really good lately about diversity among protagonists and EA is shockingly at the front of it. I think they deserve some credit, honestly.

"Not every game needs to be progressive" comes with an implicit unsaid acknowledgement that the straight white male somehow EARNED its place as the default and that other options are always going to be some form of progressive challenge to the norm. You see what's troubling with that, right?
They "earned" it in the sense that that is the group most heavily spending money on these kinds of games. I don't think the word earned is appropriate here tho.



Caustic and Mirage.
Is Caustic white? And I thought Mirage was hispanic?
 
Oct 28, 2017
2,433
One can criticise to one's heart's content, but any choice the developers could make would be a valid choice. Any ethnicity would be seen as a good choice by a section of people. The argument here is more about who is more 'deserving' of having 'their' ethnicity represented in any given work. There is no objectively right answer to that.
not being snarky here, just curious, how is 'everyone' not an objectively right answer?
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,956
Yeah I’m kind of tired of being a white guy in almost every game I play. We should be at the point that we could choose our main character by race and gender no matter what game we’re in. (Unless it’s like a period piece or something)
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,638
I'm tired of being represented from the sidelines, in the few moments I am at all. In games without a choice of player character, what makes straight white men so much more deserving of being a headliner over other forms of representation that are sidelined?

"Not every game needs to be progressive" comes with an implicit unsaid acknowledgement that the straight white male somehow EARNED its place as the default and that other options are always going to be some form of progressive challenge to the norm. You see what's troubling with that, right?



Caustic and Mirage.
What makes you think a brown man like Mirage is white?
 
Oct 28, 2017
2,433
Yeah I’m kind of tired of being a white guy in almost every game I play. We should be at the point that we could choose our main character by race and gender no matter what game we’re in. (Unless it’s like a period piece or something)
Create a character is not the solution imo, that kind of takes the representation out of representation. There is a reason why almost nobody says "Commander Shepard" when you ask for a list of black female characters in videogames.
They are good for a subsection of games, but not a catch all answer for representation.
The answer isn't even as complicated as create a character, its just more games with diverse leads.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,065
To me, it depends if the character is written well in the first place. BJ from Wolfenstein is a white male and is one of the best written characters I have ever seen in a video game in a long ass time. Sad thing is, from what I've seen of this trailer, he looks kind of lame.
 
To me, it depends if the character is written well in the first place. BJ from Wolfenstein is a white male and is one of the best written characters I have ever seen in a video game in a long ass time. Sad thing is, from what I've seen of this trailer, he looks kind of lame.
it’s crazy that you can say this about BJ considering he was like the poster boy of boring white male protagonist before

machinegames did such a great job with his character
 
Oct 27, 2017
332
AYYYYYE WHERE THE MEXICANS AT THOUGH? seriously, I don’t know too much about space wars but I agree. White people have all the big roles and this dude seems like another of the same story. He’s a Jedi who has to learn how to use his powers cause he’s in hiding. Shit is wack.

Also white fragility in this thread and the original thread is 🤦🏽‍♂️. Y’all keep exposing ya selves for being super insensitive and unaware of the issues.

Also now that we here LET MY BLACK BROTHERS SHINE! As much as I want to see more Mexican representation i ain’t finna start doing the whole “why black people and not Mexicans?” Shit. It’s a process. The more minorities that get roles (whether it’s movies or games) will just naturally lead to an even more diverse looking landscape in media and then we’ll all win.
 
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Oct 27, 2017
1,956
Create a character is not the solution imo, that kind of takes the representation out of representation. There is a reason why almost nobody says "Commander Shepard" when you ask for a list of black female characters in videogames.
They are good for a subsection of games, but not a catch all answer for representation.
The answer isn't even as complicated as create a character, its just more games with diverse leads.
Yeah, I was just thinking more along the lines of this new SW game. BC that seems to be what most people are talking about.
 
Oct 27, 2017
4,978
When I saw that picture in the trailer I thought Tom Holland was involved.

And when I saw he was white I knew this would be a big topic on Era
 
Jan 7, 2018
244
I think EA with this game actively trying to be as generic as possible, to avoid any controversy (that worked out great, right?). Also, there's Chinese market, where the white dudes are all the rage now.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,211
AYYYYYE WHERE THE MEXICANS AT THOUGH? seriously, I don’t know too much about space wars but I agree. White people have all the big roles and this dude seems like another of the same story. He’s a Jedi who has to learn how to use his powers cause he’s in hiding. Shit is wack.

Also white fragility in this thread and the original thread is 🤦🏽‍♂️. Y’all keep exposing ya selves for being super insensitive and unaware of the issues.

Also now that we here LET MY BLACK BROTHERS SHINE! As much as I want to see more Mexican representation i ain’t finna start doing the whole “why black people and not Mexicans?” Shit. It’s a process. The more minorities that get roles (whether it’s movies or games) will just naturally lead to an even more diverse looking landscape in media and then we’ll all win.
I find it weird when people don't want diversity, because it's fiction and not the real world. Like bro that's why there should be, if the main character can be played by any race.. why not
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,211
Didn't Respawn make Apex Legends?? I don't even think that game *has* a white male PC
In the panel the head of Disney guy chose the actor even after Respawn did not, he was in the "other" list of actors for the role, he said he was looking for a Clint Eastwood actor to play him and he was picked.

Disney doesn't really care about diversity to be honest, so kinda expected especially with Star Wars
+ Double post sorry
 
Nov 2, 2017
97
not being snarky here, just curious, how is 'everyone' not an objectively right answer?
Fair point. I was equating merit with entitlement. Regardless of everyone 'deserving' a protagonist of an ethnicity they find relatable, outside of the create-a-character type of game, it's an impossibility for everyone to have that delivered by the developer.
 
Nov 2, 2017
97
*epic facepalm*

Way to miss the crux, the ramification of the discussion.
You mean the whole 'ethnic minorities deserve greater representation in video games' discussion? I'm not really qualified to give an opinion on that, but I'll happily listen to what others have to say about it. If you meant something else, then I probably did miss that :-)
 
Apr 1, 2019
607
I did some thinking, after resting last night

I don't think the problem is white male protagonists, its boring Nathan Drak-eish white male protagonists

if you look at something like the GTA series and Rockstar in general. Hell i will make the claim that Rockstar has the most diverse white male protagonists that avoid the brown haired 30 something everyman trope than any other developer

lets look at Rockstar's white GTA protagonists

Claude- ok, he's a mute avatar character, not much of a character (GTA 3)

Tommy Vercetti- Italian mobster

Toni Cipriani- Italian mobster

Niko Bellic- Serbian ex-special forces

Johnny Klebitz- Jewish Biker

Michael Townley/DeSanta- probably the closest to the generic white male trope, a midwestern bank robber, the first really anglo protagonist in GTA

Trevor Phillips- Canadian redneck psychopath

no one complains about these characters, even though they are white males.

Cal is just boring
 
I'm so tired of having these massive, sprawling, fantastical settings with hundreds upon thousands of unique alien races and seeing them always sidelined for yet another generic human protagonist - because aliens just aren't relatable or some shit, nevermind that we've anthropomorphized all kinds of things including inanimate objects. No, it's too much of a risk so we gotta play it safe and introduce yet another generic median male character even though there are SO MANY MORE INTERESTING POSSIBILITIES. SO MANY.

Fuck, when was the last time we had an alien being the main character for one of these things? And why the hell isn't it a thing? Goddamn it. I'm sick of this shit. Really, truly sick of it.
I'm old enough to remember a time when the player characters were elves, hedgehogs, bandicoots, crocodiles, lombaxes, cats, robots and all manner of inhuman characters. And somehow I could relate to all of them. So I don't think it'd be a stretch to play as a twi'lek, rodian, nautolan or kel dor. There's got to be an interesting story there.
 
Oct 29, 2017
744
The key to our difference of opinions seems to me like it comes down to what we attribute the 'little details' to.

The reason I brought up the TV Hannibal Lector comparison is because your argument was that there was a certain intricacy to how Clarice Starling was depicted that is inherent to a male-female dynamic that explores it from a female perspective. That to change representation arbitrarily would ruin that somehow. My counterargument to that is that TV Hannibal Lector more or less did that, took those same themes and applied it to a relationship with pretty strong homosexual undertones, and it worked wonderfully. I'm not saying it's the same exact dynamic because they are different characters with different histories, motivations, and goals, but if you asked me to list out the details of how Will Graham's relationship with Hannibal differs from Clarice Starlings, the male-female difference is one of the last things I'd list, because in terms of the conflicted romantic feels they have for Hannibal, their cores are fairly similar. I've also started reading more gay romance literature, and what strikes me is how many plots could basically just be heterosexual relationships with barely changing anything.

Which isn't to say that there isn't nuance or subtlety to the relationships. What I'm trying to say is that it seems to me that the romances gay people experience with each other is at all dissimilar from the romances straight people have, without losing much of any personal touches to those relationships. You seem to be implying that "diversity for diversity's sake" means that writing has an excuse to be half-assed, writers will not put as much effort into nuanced characterization if they can just fall back on the excuse that they are writing a minority figure, but that's just not true. In almost every circumstance, people want good, well written characters. And yes, there will be occasions where a characters minority status can inform the characterization in a way that is simply not possible if the character did not have that minority status.

But it's simply incorrect to say that a character whose a minority MUST be informed by their minority aspect or else the minority aspect must be deemed widowdressing. And this is important to acknowledge because it helps emphasize that we are fundamentally all alike. Sometimes, the best way to break the prejudiced expectations put on these perceptions is to ignore them as if they didn't exist. Because really...they don't except as long as we make them exist in real life. So that should be reflected in our fiction. Sometimes, it's proper to right a minority figure, even if that aspect doesn't play into their characters much, if at all.


Edit: I think the reason I feel rather strongly about this is that the idea that there are major distinctions between white, striaght, cis guys and other kinds of human beings is because that belief is largely manufactured by white, straight, cis guys who want to maintain being the majority power. People who support this structure want you to believe there is no way a woman can think and act in basically the same way a man does, or a gay person as a straight person, and so on. There is science that does make distinctions in some aspects between cultural identities, but not as many as you'd think and even fewer if you discount the ones we can change over time. So part of my rebellion agianst this idea is supporting the idea that minority figures CAN occupy the same roles with the same nuances that white, cis men believe are exclusive to them
I never meant to imply that great characterization need to speak to the nuances of minorities. In fact, most great or important figures that aren't white and/or male have been created and are fully fledged, downright aspirational characters. There's joy and great importance in seeing marginalized groups as the "Everyman", which is humanizing and one of the more better ways to represent such a group. Though, occasionally such a representation can veer towards exceptionalism and tokenism if done incorrectly. On the opposite end, you're right that leaning in on one groups' minority status could also be bad if done poorly (check out the negative commentaries for Detroit: Beyond Human).
Let's look at this like a cupcake, with the cake representing the character. You can have a solid cake/characterization and the addition of frosting is great writing (this is the Joel and Ellie's in video game references). What I'm talking about is the sprinkles, the little flourishes that gives the character another dimension to them. It maybe wholely unnecessary, but that extra bit is what makes it special to the majority that might not pick up on it or identity with. It's the extra head nod that says, "we recognize you". It's Ellie and Riley's relationship in the DLC. Not everyone likes or needs sprinkles on their cupcake and that's fine as it can still be a delicious treat without it.
What we're discussing can truly be circumvented with more diverse writers, but I hope you get what I'm saying.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,736
Canada
For an honest answer, it's just "percentage of audience". It's no secret that the majority of gamers (especially those interested in Star Wars) are white men. Of course, the reason for this is likely a lot to do with the fact that most Star Wars media featured white male protags, and of course that the US is ~50% white. One could make a very strong argument that featuring more diverse protagonists could attract other steadily growing minority groups in the US, and I do think EA is aware of this.

That said, western companies have been really good lately about diversity among protagonists and EA is shockingly at the front of it. I think they deserve some credit, honestly.

They "earned" it in the sense that that is the group most heavily spending money on these kinds of games. I don't think the word earned is appropriate here tho.
Your words were "not every game needs to be progressive". Do you not feel that statement is charged with a subtext that not being a straight white male is inherently "progressive", that my existence is an inherent challenge against the straight male (in my particular circumstance) majority? It's not "progressive" to represent the general population in games in an equal proportion to its existence within it. LGBTQ people make up anywhere from 3-10% of the population, but are represented in a fraction of a percentile of video game characters (let alone protagonists), with many of the few that exist being harmful stereotypes. It's not a challenge against the status quo to want diversity, it's asking games to, y'know, actually better reflect the status quo. For once.

I'll always give credit where it's due. EA has been one publisher who has made a stronger effort in the last 2 years, mostly with diversity of characters in games without a heavy narrative focus. But as with most publishers, when narrative is important? If there were Vegas odds on the outcome, "straight white male protagonist" would be considered the safest bet going. (hope it's OK to borrow this turn of phrase and use it more broadly) There's still a really thick glass ceiling when it comes to narrative-driven games and who ends up the protagonist.

But aside from the fact that you'd have to accept that this was absolutely a thoughtful decision to cater to the majority (which most here would say is likely not the case, which I'll come back to), that just creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. Straight white males make up the majority of gamers, so they're represented more, which alienates a large swath of people that are, demographically speaking, becoming more and more interested in playing games, but become discouraged when so little in the medium represents them, thus leaving straight white males as the majority of players by a wide margin. It's essentially engineering a consumer majority, favouring one consumer over another through deliberate acts of alienation. So again, I'll ask, you don't see the issue there? In such a circumstance, do you feel it's appropriate to continue that behaviour by suggesting that keeping the status quo in place more often than not is the right call?

And this comes with another implicit suggestion that white players will reject a more diverse protagonist. Catering to the fragility of the majority by not having them to accept a character that isn't like them while asking others to do that very same thing, should not be rewarded with more of the same to re-enforce an engineered audience majority, under any circumstances. Why do they deserve to have that privilege maintained while we're forced to be thankful for what little is given to others in return?

As I said in the beginning, though, the odds are pretty good that the straight white male is the protagonist because the creators are straight white males and don't have much imagination, which manages to make the recurrence even less justifiable, since we shouldn't reward unimaginative creations.

That brings me to my last point... I sometimes feel like this is a monkey's-paw wish for more diverse protagonists in narrative-driven games, because when you see how vapid and poorly-motivated so many of the protagonists in games are, you'd honestly be forgiven to say you'd rather have nothing than something that'll be written that poorly. Straight white male protagonists might be ripe with trope behaviour and shit characterization when written poorly, but I'm downright afraid that the same shit writing would lead to perpetuation of damaging characterizations and negative stereotypes if more diverse characters were the protagonists instead (see example: sexualized female protagonists).

Knowing that, it's still a risk worth taking. If THAT doesn't tell you how barren the landscape is for diverse protagonists and how desperate some of us want it to change, nothing else will.

Is Caustic white? And I thought Mirage was hispanic?
Pretty sure you're thinking of Octane. Mirage falls into the "Little Mac" zone where he is not pale but all other signs point to whiteness. Mirage's real name is Elliott Witt, so I consider that "case closed" on that mystery. Elliott is a stone's throw away from Skyler on the list of stereotypically-white names.
 
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Oct 27, 2017
2,235
It would have been nice to play as Ahsoka surviving in a world post Order 66
My wildest dreams would come true.

I did some thinking, after resting last night

I don't think the problem is white male protagonists, its boring Nathan Drak-eish white male protagonists
It would almost be fine if most generic white dude protagonists would have even a tenth of Nates charisma.
If you don't manage to create interesting white protagonists, you could at least make an effort to make uninteresting PoC or female protagonists.
 
Nov 7, 2018
280
The argument here is more about who is more 'deserving' of having 'their' ethnicity represented in any given work. There is no objectively right answer to that.
Nah, you're framing the argument in a disingenious way. When you say 'ethnicity', you aren't picturing the devs making a choice between different minorities, but makikg the choice of white protagonist vs every other non-white. From a representation perspective, there absolutely is an objective answer to the framing you actually have in mind.

If what you actually want to say is that video game companies don't have the social obligation of catering to minorities, then own it and say it. If that's not your point, then reflect on what you just wrote. Twice.

It's not "progressive" to represent the general population in games in an equal proportion to its existence within it.
It's amazing the amount of people that struggle with such a simple idea. I can't help but think the people who share this viewpoint are either in denial of how conservative they actually are, or just outright false-flagging.
 
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Jun 24, 2018
1,146
Red heads getting tons of representation over the last few years, this guy, the lady in Control and Aloy! Nice to see some ginger representation even if I'm only partially ginger.

Looks like the rest of the game has a varied cast even if the main character is playing it safe.
 
Oct 30, 2017
1,732
There's nothing intrinsically "wrong" about having "yet another generic white dude" protagonist.

Still, this doesn't invalidate any potential criticism about having "yet another generic white dude" protagonist.

The two aren't incompatible. The problem isn't "white dudes". It's the lack of diversity.
 
Oct 30, 2017
223
If i'm looking for representation. Why would i care at all if the person was French or German? or did those individuals stop being Caucasian? it's less reductionist and it's more to the point.
Fact of the matter is that they don't represent the under represented.
Because people in Europe actually care? That's what we identify over here. Some identify with their region even more than with their country (say Bavarian people in Germany)

Here in Europe the broad population doesn't identify with being "white"* or "caucasian" (which is a term noone actually uses, I doubt many of my friends ever heard of this term at all in Germany. And it's stupid to boot).

The broadest identification point I can think of is between Slavs in Eastern and Southern Europe and we don't want to be mixed together with Western Europe.

I identify as being Croatian (and smaller parts of Bosnia), German and European, but Croatia is actually never presented anywhere because the country is too insignificant. (Our serbian neighbours on the other hand are depicted in media, but often as some bad dude stereotype because of the Yugoslav War)


*aside from stupid nazi shits obviously, this is on top of their nationalism, because even if we identify with our country first, it doesn't mean that Europe is free of racism (just look at our soccer games and how black players are mocked or how Eastern Asians are often just a bunch of "Chinese" or "Japanese")
 
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Oct 28, 2017
1,257
Because people in Europe actually care? That's what we identify over here. Some identify with their region even more than with their country (say Bavarian people in Germany)

Here in Europe the broad population doesn't identify with being "white"* or "caucasian" (which is a term noone actually uses, I doubt many of my friends ever heard of this term at all in Germany. And it's stupid to boot).

The broadest identification point I can think of is between Slavs in Eastern and Southern Europe and we don't want to be mixed together with Western Europe.

I identify as being Croatian (and smaller parts of Bosnia), German and European, but Croatia is actually never presented anywhere because the country is too insignificant. (Our serbian neighbours on the other hand are depicted in media, but often as some bad dude stereotype because of the Yugoslav War)


*aside from stupid nazi shits obviously, this is on top of their nationalism, because even if we identify with our country first, it doesn't mean that Europe is free of racism (just look at our soccer games and how black players are mocked)
Well, among people who are all white it seems natural they would start looking for additional points of differentiation (like nationality) but that doesn't change the fact that they are all white.

Are you really going to sit there and complain that caucasian people from one specific country in Europe are under-represented and put that on parr with other people's entire races being ignored in media? Like, have some perspective, dude.

You take it so for granted that you will see your race in media that now you can move onto wanting to see people from even your specific country on top of that. Honestly, that sounds like the very definition of white privilege to me.

I live in Europe and race is definitely a thing here. It's not the same situation as the US that's true but not something to be hand-waved away either.
 
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Oct 30, 2017
223
Well, among people who are all white it seems natural they would start looking for additional points of differentiation (like nationality) but that doesn't change the fact that they are all white.
Yeah, but being "white" is not our main differentiator. That's not a "additional point".

Bosnia for example can be a wild mix of darker muslim bosnians who look like turks and white as hell croatians.

People in Europe will hate on other "white" people just as on Black people if it fits their xenophobia / racism, because nation / ethnicity comes first.

That said, all of this "identification" stuff is stupid if it's used to shit on other groups.

Are you really going to sit there and complain that caucasian people from one specific country in Europe are under-represented and put that on parr with other people's entire races being ignored in media? Like, have some perspective, dude.
That was not a direct comparison between Croatians and e.g. Black people, as it wasn't even the main point of my post.

You take it so for granted that you will see your race in media that now you can move onto wanted to see people from even your specific country on top of that. Honestly, that sounds like the very definition of white privilege to me.
Dude, I don't identify with the "white race", you don't get it?

I live in Europe and race is definitely a thing here. It's not the same situation as the US that's true but not something to be hand-waved away either.
As I already acknowledged in the last part of my post.
 

L Thammy

Spacenoid
Member
Oct 25, 2017
13,287
For an honest answer, it's just "percentage of audience". It's no secret that the majority of gamers (especially those interested in Star Wars) are white men. Of course, the reason for this is likely a lot to do with the fact that most Star Wars media featured white male protags, and of course that the US is ~50% white. One could make a very strong argument that featuring more diverse protagonists could attract other steadily growing minority groups in the US, and I do think EA is aware of this.

That said, western companies have been really good lately about diversity among protagonists and EA is shockingly at the front of it. I think they deserve some credit, honestly.
Old data that I have lying around:











I haven't seen stats for Star Wars, but I'd be surprised if it was male dominated considering how mainstream it is.
 
Oct 29, 2017
130
I'm a white dude, I like to feel like "I am my character" so I like it being a guy. I don't mine what race though doesn't change anything. I have trouble loosing my self in a game if I have to be a female though. I don't like to play as one at all. If they ever make me use Zelda instead of link it will crush me. I also hated the Mary Jane sections of Spiderman. Although that was more about the stealth and my dislike of it than anything else. I also didn't like the Miles sections for that reason.

That being said games are not just made for me though. I get that everyone wants to see what they want in the game. I like a character creator when it can be used for that reason.

To be honest I always hope that the main character is a man preferably white. Thats selfish and self centered for sure. At the end of the day though I buy games for me and that is what I want.
 
Oct 27, 2017
68
Companies make decisions that bring them most cash. I think they did their research to justify their decisions. Why should companies care about representation if it doesn't bring them more money? Why is this discussion not more in line with this "Yo, this is stupid, if they had minorities included as a main protag the game would sell 20% more, based on this and this...". Everything else is just meaningless IMO, considering we are talking about a consumeristic product. If it brings more money it makes sense, otherwise, CEO's should not care.
 
Nov 7, 2018
280
People in Europe will hate on other "white" people just as on Black people if it fits their xenophobia / racism, because nation / ethnicity comes first.
I feel like the hate "white people" inflict on "white people" usually stems from culture, not as much from race. Remember, the word 'ethnicity' encompasses a wide variety of identity traits. These types of discrimination can't be considered the same due to that alone, "race" is the factor that causes the stronger rejection of others.

I think what you're getting at is that people sometimes conflate "Europe" with "white identity" and people only think about either Western or Northern Europe when they hear that. Entire ethnicities get subordinated to that interpretation, but this is not any different than what happens with terms like "black culture" or "asian culture", they're equally reductive. You have to apply those terms to specific countries, or they don't mean anything by themselves.

Eastern Europe gets left out of the conversation more often than not, and I agree that it sucks.
 
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Oct 31, 2017
3,768
Companies make decisions that bring them most cash.
Like micro transactions that we all love, unquestionably

Can’t criticize them because it brings them the most cash

Also, just assuming white playable characters brings more money is unfounded presumptions based on your personal biases, not anything else but you assuming
 
Dec 29, 2017
622
Remember when we all ju
Companies make decisions that bring them most cash. I think they did their research to justify their decisions. Why should companies care about representation if it doesn't bring them more money? Why is this discussion not more in line with this "Yo, this is stupid, if they had minorities included as a main protag the game would sell 20% more, based on this and this...". Everything else is just meaningless IMO, considering we are talking about a consumeristic product. If it brings more money it makes sense, otherwise, CEO's should not care.
Respawn's last game was Apex legends. That game doesn't feature one boring white character.
 
Mar 16, 2019
125
Remember when EA/DICE made a Star Wars game with an Indian-American/female lead and this site (along with many others) claimed to make efforts to boycott it? Relishing in the fact that it undersold targets?
 
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