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Brictoria
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14 Oct 2020, 7:53 am

An interesting take on the impact racism and sexism has had on video games (and society)...


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Bradleigh
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14 Oct 2020, 8:57 am

Kind of sounds like the guy is projecting a little bit, and his explanation does belay a belay some sexist opinions. He apparently complained about some character being a woman, a heavy minigun character I think he said, and he thinks that her being a woman makes her too unrealistic. And this only his side of what happened, but he did sound pretty hung up on saying that she was Ugandan, saying she sounded too street rather than a commando he said that he would have preferred. I have some suspicion that he may have carried some tone in mentioning that she sounded too Ugandan that might have had people calling him out on racism, it did not matter if he did not mention skin colour.

And then he started going off about representation in games, that he does not like how there are pushes to diversify casts such as even amounts of male and female characters to choose from and a number of races too. He seems to think that the people concerned about inclusive amounts of races and genders are the real racists and sexists, and thinks that the diversity should only be in the parts that it "makes sense", whatever that means. He also pulled the having a black friend card. And just a quick reference to thinking that the BLM protests get people killed.

But that is a curious look of how someone can be so entrenched in their thinking where they have convinced themselves that people who want proper representation are somehow causing greater problems in regards to race and sex. If he was blind as he said to the issue, then he would never have mentioned having a problem with a heavy character that was a woman and "Ugandan".


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14 Oct 2020, 9:01 am

When you consider that white males are over-represented in the video game industry -- as both designers and players -- then it should come as no surprise that the content of video games is both racist and sexist, and that any departure from racism or sexism in video games is viewed with contempt and derision by those same white males.


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14 Oct 2020, 10:25 am

Fnord wrote:
When you consider that white males are over-represented in the video game industry -- as both designers and players -- then it should come as no surprise that the content of video games is both racist and sexist, and that any departure from racism or sexism in video games is viewed with contempt and derision by those same white males.


When I was in university almost nobody was black and while there were women the vast majority where men on my computing course so it's no wonder games tend to be a projection of typical western male ideals. Im not one of these woke people it should be noted, its just what happens if a field of work is dominated by a certain demographic and believe they can carry on as they see fit.

I actually found the women in the class to be the most competent and skilled of them all so it would be interesting if a company of women started up and made their own games to compete with the usual rinse and repeat action titles.



Last edited by Nades on 14 Oct 2020, 10:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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14 Oct 2020, 10:26 am

Apparently, this is the culprit:

Image

Clearly, they should have gone with this instead, so it would be more realistic:

Image

... regardless, the persistent vitriol from online multiplayer games is one of the reasons why I stick to single player games...


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14 Oct 2020, 10:47 am

Have to agree that I didn’t find the original video at all compelling. It certainly isn’t a rounded examination of the issues of race and gender in video games.

It was relatively trivial for me to find videos of women using miniguns. While the small women in the videos might be expected to suffer fatigue if they tried to run around with one, I think a larger woman doing it doesn’t seem like an unreasonable notion.

Describing the woman in question as “Ugandan/Jamaican” is... erm... a bit odd. Jamaica is in the Caribbean and Uganda is in East Africa. Perhaps this woman really does have that mix of heritage, but conflating two incredibly different countries doesn’t reflect particularly well on the guy. But I understand his primary objection was to a woman lifting a heavy thing, so this seems to be more about his sexism than his racism.



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14 Oct 2020, 3:50 pm

Several things:

1. A small woman with a big gun is unrealistic? So are most depictions of protagonist's abilities in video games. Video games aren't "realistic" for men or women.

2. People who don't think heterosexual white men should always be the default protagonist are "racist?" The same people making this asinine argument would lose their minds if every protagonist was a black female. Why should white men be considered the default representation of all of humanity?

3. Lastly, anyone who is mad that there is merely the OPTION to play as something other than a white man can go play the thousands of other games where the protagonist is a white dude.

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14 Oct 2020, 4:12 pm

I just finished playing a game called "Mafia III"
which i really enjoyed, and all through the game there is constant racism.

It is there intentionally, not to offend but to depict how life really was in some parts of the US during the 60s.

And the hero in the game, is a African American male called Lincoln Clay (as in Cassius Clay aka Muhammad Ali).


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14 Oct 2020, 4:38 pm

XFilesGeek wrote:
2. People who don't think heterosexual white men should always be the default protagonist are "racist?" The same people making this asinine argument would lose their minds if every protagonist was a black female. Why should white men be considered the default representation of all of humanity?


One of the things I really like about the Splatoon series is the little thing that against the norm the female Inkling is the default, and is incredibly easy to change gender and skin colour. Granted, it isn't a human.


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14 Oct 2020, 9:44 pm

The majority of people complaining about too much 'politics' in games are white men who are irked by the fact that 'white man' is no longer considered the universal default for video game characters especially protagonists. In their eyes, a character is either white or 'political', male or 'political', straight or 'political'. They say these things in an attempt to convince others and themselves that their aversion to seeing these kinds of characters in more games nowadays is out of a civil, polite distaste for needless injection of politics into something and not unconsciously being threatened at the sight of their privilege being slowly dismantled.

If you need any more proof that it is not 'politics' in games in general that they take issue with, take a quick look at what these people so often hold up as great games--because they are often full of social and political themes:
Final Fantasy 7 - the very first thing you do in the game is carry out an act of ecoterrorism against a corporation that is quite literally killing the planet
Bioshock - a scathing indictment of Randian individualism
Deus Ex - or any number of other cyberpunk games, which are mostly overtly anti-corporate
Fallout - one of the core messages is that nationalism and American exceptionalism are self-destructive and immoral
And other games/series that I could spend paragraphs on explaining their political messages: Metal Gear, Mass Effect, Call of Duty (some), Mirrors Edge, Half Life, Horizon Zero Dawn, Papers Please, etc.


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14 Oct 2020, 10:06 pm

XFilesGeek wrote:
Why should white men be considered the default representation of all of humanity?
\


You mean like the way white women are the default representation for all females in humanity?



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14 Oct 2020, 10:10 pm

roronoa79 wrote:
The majority of people complaining about too much 'politics' in games are white men who are irked by the fact that 'white man' is no longer considered the universal default for video game characters especially protagonists. In their eyes, a character is either white or 'political', male or 'political', straight or 'political'. They say these things in an attempt to convince others and themselves that their aversion to seeing these kinds of characters in more games nowadays is out of a civil, polite distaste for needless injection of politics into something and not unconsciously being threatened at the sight of their privilege being slowly dismantled.]


I used to do multiplayer games with my brother back in 1998/99 when video games were much more clunkier than now. I recall back then you could choose avatars from various races/genders and in some science fiction type games even species.

20 years later has that changed?



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14 Oct 2020, 10:17 pm

I believe there are quiet a few console games that you can choose your gender as well as race.
Not many transvestites, transexuals or trans gender hero's though.

But i guess if you calculated the population, the vast majority of people on the planet have not had sex changes.

I think that the entertainment industry has made big effort in presenting positive characters who represent this minority in life.

I don't know if i have played many games where the hero is intentionally disabled as we are, i.e. suffering from a neurological developmental disorder. I am not sure if that is such a bad thing, i mean, its bad enough to live life with this disorder let alone for it to spill out into our escapist fantasies in console games.



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14 Oct 2020, 10:25 pm

madbutnotmad wrote:
I don't know if i have played many games where the hero is intentionally disabled as we are, i.e. suffering from a neurological developmental disorder. I am not sure if that is such a bad thing, i mean, its bad enough to live life with this disorder let alone for it to spill out into our escapist fantasies in console games.


How would you depict an avatar with autism?



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15 Oct 2020, 12:54 am

cyberdad wrote:
I used to do multiplayer games with my brother back in 1998/99 when video games were much more clunkier than now. I recall back then you could choose avatars from various races/genders and in some science fiction type games even species.

20 years later has that changed?

No, it honestly has not. There has always been a wide variety of character customization in games with 'blank slate' protagonists. This pushback against representation on games has not had to do with games where you can represent whoever you want, so much as it has been a pushback against increased representation of non-white-male main characters in video games.

Even in the past with games like Tomb Raider, I don't remember people complaining at the time that it was some kind of political choice to have the protagonist be a woman. The complaint I heard were more that it was a 'girly game', but that doesn't really fly anymore. I think it's become more of a sore point with white male gamers in the last ~15 years (?) as feminism has grown in prominence and women are being more represented in media.

Playing as a different people or race is also not really anything new. Elder Scrolls for example has allowed the player to play different races of man and mer in every game, and that series started in '94. But again, this amount of character customization was mainly restricted to RPG's until the last ~15 years. For most other games without character customization, your player character was almost certainly going to be white or Asian (or a cute animal mascot). I struggle to think of games with black main characters from before 2005--outside of licensed games for other media that have black main characters, like Blade. The only two that come to my mind are Carl 'CJ' Johnson from GTA San Andreas and Barret Wallace from Final Fantasy 7. The last decade has been a comparative boom in terms of black representation in video games: Assassin's Creed III Liberation, Left 4 Dead, Prototype 2, Mafia III, Grand Theft Auto V; but we still have a ways to go.


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15 Oct 2020, 2:11 am

cyberdad wrote:
madbutnotmad wrote:
I don't know if i have played many games where the hero is intentionally disabled as we are, i.e. suffering from a neurological developmental disorder. I am not sure if that is such a bad thing, i mean, its bad enough to live life with this disorder let alone for it to spill out into our escapist fantasies in console games.


How would you depict an avatar with autism?


Every so often, no matter what you tell them to do they end up getting distracted by something they find deeply interesting that has utterly no relevance to the game; sometimes when you enter a bright or loud space you take damage and can't advance; your character is at a severe disadvantage when trying to interact with other characters and NPCs.