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Default Telepath Tactics - Using Female Lead Characters

June 11th, 2013, 13:04
Craig Stern explains in a blog on his site why he is using female lead characters in Telepath Tactics, referring to amongst others the recent Tropes vs Women debate.
We tend go through life with a lot of unconscious assumptions about “the way women are” and “the way men are” ingrained in us. Inevitably, we are shaped by our social norms–and just as surely, we are shaped by the stories that we tell each other to justify those norms. There are observed psychological quirks in the human brain that play into this dynamic, things that show up over and over in studies, things with names like expectation confirmation and the just world hypothesis.
The bottom line is, it takes work–actual conscious effort–not to fall back on stereotypes when interacting with, thinking about, or writing about people from different groups. But that effort is important to make. The lazy route, merely writing what is expected, leads to predictable stories and characters that are nigh indistinguishable from the characters in other tales.
That need for effort applies equally to all characters regardless of their sex; however, the stakes are higher for those of us who would write female protagonists into our games. Female leads are comparatively rare, and are therefore subject to greater scrutiny when they do appear (see e.g. Lara Croft). There are a lot of well-intentioned people out there who will be sniffing around for any bad assumptions I’ve let slip through in my own attempts at writing female leads, and I fully expect that they will (quite justifiably) hold my feet to the fire for any such mistakes.
The question arises: is it worth all that extra pressure? Why not just write another game starring a male lead? My reasons follow.
This is followed by 4 reasons that motivated him in this direction.
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June 11th, 2013, 13:04
I applaud him for this. I'm not interested in any of his games though. The comments on his site are degrading to the usual sides that all these topics usually end up as though. Your either for it or agaisnt it there is no middle ground.

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June 11th, 2013, 17:16
He lost me a point one, realism, because it's irrelevant when dealing with individuals. There are always individual exceptions. For example, Brienne of Tarth in A Song of Ice of Fire is an example of a female knight handled well in an otherwise fairly realistic pseudo-medieval Europe expy.
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