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-   -   Gamasutra - Sexism and Sexuality In Games (http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=20937)

Couchpotato June 21st, 2013 13:54

Gamasutra - Sexism and Sexuality In Games
 
Gamasutra has posted a video from the GDC Vault of Bioware's David Gaider from GDC 2013. The topic "Sexism and Sexuality In Games."

Quote:

"Are we requiring the female protagonist to work harder and sell more in order to prove herself?" asks Dragon Age lead writer David Gaider, in this GDC 2013 video about sexism and sexuality in games, free courtesy of GDC Vault.

In examining his own career, Gaider takes a brief look at how romantic characters evolved from Baldur's Gate II to the Dragon Age series. While he recognizes not all games can or should be all things to all people, he believes the industry could be less dis-inviting of players who would otherwise be paying customers.

He urges those who choose to design minority characters to consider their roles and purpose in the game. Additionally, he suggests those of privilege to seek out possible groups affected by design choices and talk to them, or if security requires it not leave the office, to hire diversely. Their unique viewpoints, he said, should be considered "assets," not "affirmative action."

Session Name: Sex in Video Games

Speaker(s): David Gaider

Company Name(s): BioWare EA

Track / Format: Design

Description: Games have reached the point where realistic portrayals of sex and adult relationships are possible, but what does this mean to us as developers? How much responsibility do we have in addressing issues of sexism and sexuality, and are we inadvertently making statements about what is acceptable, even when we don't mean to say anything at all? Our industry is struggling with a conflict between the desire to be taken seriously as an art form, and the desire to avoid addressing social issues because what we make are "just games." These things have implications on our sales, and while they can be addressed, it can only happen if we are willing to acknowledge that greater discussion of the topic within the industry is merited.

More information.

joxer June 21st, 2013 13:54

Isn't the one who should talk about this topic anyone from FO2 team and not Bioware?
There is no Bioware game where your "toon" can have sex with just about anything, can get married, divorced, can make a porn movie and etc. In Bioware's games all you get a few smalltalk options and "bedding", that's it.

Roq June 21st, 2013 13:56

Games don't have to be about everything. Write a good plot and if that happens to have a compelling story arc that involves some social issue or other, by all means include it. But, don't imagine that gamers need to be preached at by force fitting the current politically correct zeitgeist into games.

Capt. Huggy Face June 21st, 2013 17:45

Quote:

Originally Posted by Roq (Post 1061204446)
Games don't have to be about everything. Write a good plot and if that happens to have a compelling story arc that involves some social issue or other, by all means include it. But, don't imagine that gamers need to be preached at by force fitting the current politically correct zeitgeist into games.

This. Doing what this BioWare stooge suggests is a sure recipe for bad writing. Simply write what is appropriate for your setting and characters.

What exactly makes BioWare in expert in this field? Gay elf sex triggered, as the other poster mentioned, by small talk? Employees of the company continually spout off on this topic, sounding like high schoolers given an improptu essay assignment. Open letter to BioWare: Get over yourselves.

Sacred_Path June 21st, 2013 19:38

So very tired.

TheMadGamer June 21st, 2013 19:39

I didn't watch the 48 minute video but going by the title here I just have to say, again, that YES YES YES ABSOLUTLEY YESSSSSS the issues of Sex and Sexuality are important to us humans and worthy of discussion and endless debate.

But all the arguing and endless debating and the multitudes of ways people can get hung up on some particular discussion on the topics are the very reasons why I game. To just take a break from all this kind of stuff.

These guys are spending too much time on this stuff. Go make fun games. People will play them. Leave all the complicatedness of sex and sexuality for Oprah and Dr. Phil.

Alrik Fassbauer June 21st, 2013 19:40

Who needs Sex to sell things if a story is good ?

HiddenX June 21st, 2013 20:18

Most men and women are attracted to beauty. This can be a landscape, an animal, a flower, a car, a movie, a picture, postage stamp … and naturally a naked human body.

The most normal thing in the world. I have no problem with nudity and/or showing sexuality in games as long it is not degrading.

One important condition:
If the game is for kids make it child-oriented / suitable for children.

lilmagi June 21st, 2013 20:53

Wow, did you guys watch the video? His point wasn't to include the minority stuff, but rather to ask your self, "why am I doing this?" (to the devs). or "If I include this, how am I treating it and why?".
Basically, get second hand opinion of people that don't think like you. (his example of the plot point that was meant to be creepy shows this)
And not to get surprised when people criticize your decisions. To have "I mean to do this", rather "This wasn't mean to be interpreted like that."

JDR13 June 21st, 2013 20:55

A discussion about sex and sexuality in games… how novel.

Funny how we seem to get this at least once a month.

JemyM June 21st, 2013 21:05

Let me point out that there are very sinister political reasons in putting [sexism] and [sexuality] in the same sentence. The first is discrimination based on sex, like blocking someone from a job for example. Sexism is dysfunctional in a modern society. Sexuality is something completely different.

The groups who like to use both in the same sentence usually try to ride on work against the former to attack the latter.

holeraw June 21st, 2013 21:21

Quote:

Games have reached the point where realistic portrayals of sex and adult relationships are possible, but what does this mean to us as developers? How much responsibility do we have in addressing issues of sexism and sexuality, and are we inadvertently making statements about what is acceptable, even when we don't mean to say anything at all? Our industry is struggling with a conflict between the desire to be taken seriously as an art form, and the desire to avoid addressing social issues because what we make are "just games." These things have implications on our sales, and while they can be addressed, it can only happen if we are willing to acknowledge that greater discussion of the topic within the industry is merited.
Aww…. They grow up so fast! Does hair start growing down there? Are you sometimes wet when you wake up? Or maybe you're already in the stage of spending a lot of time locked in the bathroom? Don't worry it's all natural, maybe it's time we had 'the talk'…

Why on earth is a 40 year old man so obsessed by these issues instead of just simply handling them in a natural adult way?

Couchpotato June 21st, 2013 22:54

Quote:

Originally Posted by lilmagi (Post 1061204483)
Wow, did you guys watch the video? His point wasn't to include the minority stuff, but rather to ask your self, "why am I doing this?" (to the devs). or "If I include this, how am I treating it and why?".
Basically, get second hand opinion of people that don't think like you. (his example of the plot point that was meant to be creepy shows this)
And not to get surprised when people criticize your decisions. To have "I mean to do this", rather "This wasn't mean to be interpreted like that."

Exactly people like to jump to conclusions without reading or watching. It's a common practice and I'm sure we all have done it a few times.

TheMadGamer June 21st, 2013 23:01

Quote:

Originally Posted by Couchpotato (Post 1061204499)
Exactly people like to jump to conclusions without reading or watching.

I'm guilty of that I even admitted it in my first post in this thread.

But given the title of the article and that the video is over 40 minutes long on a titled subject I'm not willing to spend that much time on, I did say in advance my comments were based on the title used here at the watch. Next time I'll just pass since I really should have watched the video before commenting.

Couchpotato June 21st, 2013 23:21

Quote:

Originally Posted by TheMadGamer (Post 1061204502)
I'm guilty of that I even admitted it in my first post in this thread.

But given the title of the article and that the video is over 40 minutes long on a titled subject I'm not willing to spend that much time on, I did say in advance my comments were based on the title used here at the watch. Next time I'll just pass since I really should have watched the video before commenting.


I wasn't targeting you.:) It's just something I see on most internet sites. Yours is the best post in the topic.

holeraw June 21st, 2013 23:22

If this guy has something of interest to say on the subject it would be in his work first and foremost, but he, and Bioware in general, approach sexuality the same way a romantic high school kid does. As such I don't see why we should expect that his speech would be of any value to anyone that is interested in an adult approach.

DArtagnan June 22nd, 2013 11:01

They're called games, right? Not political-statement-facilitators.

Ok ok, so someone is gay or whatever and wants to take his own personal experience with that and make entire games around it.

To me, sexuality as a topic is trivial and your preference is incidental and boring. I don't give a shit about what you like to do with your body - just as long as you don't hurt anyone in the process.

But keep all that crap out of your game if you expect me to enjoy it. It's not interesting enough to warrant this level of attention.

When you create a character - make sure his or her sexuality and preferences are kept in the background - unless it's an essential part of his or her role in the story. Most people don't carry around signs that say what they want to fuck.

Learn from that.

If this is about acceptance and tolerance - then the best way to talk about our differences is not to.

Damian June 22nd, 2013 11:05

Quote:

Originally Posted by DArtagnan (Post 1061204542)
They're called games, right? Not political-statement-facilitators.

Ok ok, so someone is gay or whatever and wants to take his own personal experience with that and make entire games around it.

To me, sexuality as a topic is trivial and your preference is incidental and boring. I don't give a shit about what you like to do with your body - just as long as you don't hurt anyone in the process.

But keep all that crap out of your game if you expect me to enjoy it. It's not interesting enough to warrant this level of attention.

When you create a character - make sure his or her sexuality and preferences are kept in the background - unless it's an essential part of his or her role in the story. Most people don't carry around signs that say what they want to fuck.

Learn from that.


I agree with this. I prefer my games to have sexuality as irrelevant. I want to talk about stuff that people dont talk about much, the more weird it is the better. Talk about sex and sexism in games is boring.

Alrik Fassbauer June 22nd, 2013 12:41

Quote:

Originally Posted by JemyM (Post 1061204485)
Let me point out that there are very sinister political reasons in putting [sexism] and [sexuality] in the same sentence. The first is discrimination based on sex, like blocking someone from a job for example. Sexism is dysfunctional in a modern society. Sexuality is something completely different.

The groups who like to use both in the same sentence usually try to ride on work against the former to attack the latter.

So you mean that they use sexism as a kind of tool to go against sexuality ?
Or how do I have to understand this ? It's not fully clear vto me.

Anyway, it's an interesting thought.

Mr Smiley June 22nd, 2013 12:43

How about a game that is mainly about sex? It would probably be insurmountably difficult to make a serious, mature RPG focused on sex, but I would like to play one.


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