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Default Sexism, Racism, & Homophobia In Games

March 28th, 2014, 00:02
Rock, Paper, Shotgun has a new interview pushing their social justice campaign with Bioware's Manveer Heir about Sexism, Racism, and Homophobia in games.

Link- http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2014…w/#more-197715
RPS: Do you think things are headed in a good direction overall? I’ve asked a lot of people this question during GDC, and responses have been all over the place, from emphatic yeses to, “I barely feel comfortable walking the show floor.”

Heir: I think they’re improving. Slowly. I don’t think we’re anywhere close to good yet. I think we’re not terrible, but we’re probably bad. This is where I would want it. So we’re making small steps, but we could be making so much faster, and I think the conversations start with that. There’s obviously going to be push back, but I think if we keep doing it we’ll keep making those steps. And if we keep being cognisant then we can make larger and faster steps.

I think momentum happens at some point. Then all of a sudden people are like, “Well, yes, why can’t I have another really strong woman character hero? And why can’t she be gay? Why can’t I be a transgender character? Or why can’t I express myself in whatever way I want in a game? Why is my only option binary gender?”
You may remember his speech from GDC 2014 that was linked a few days back. Allot of members voiced their opinions. Here was the link to the news-bit.

Link- http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=23800

So go ahead and discuss the topic to your hearts content, but remember please keep your comments civil. Most of us should be adults on this site.

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March 28th, 2014, 01:20
While i generally view bEAware's position as the champion of all things Lgbt and women's rights-y to be nothing more then blatant pr pandering motivated by money the guy does have some valid points.
Given the frequency of these talks from bEAware officials of late tho i am guessing we are in for tons of shallow gay romances and stereotypical "strong women" in DA Inquisition.
Tho i guess that is kind of a given at this point.
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March 28th, 2014, 01:26
Ah, two more reasons NOT to buy the game then!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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March 28th, 2014, 02:06
Remind me to read what EA/Bioware has to say about things once they abandon DLC:The Game scam.
Before they stop with it, I couldn't care less about their opinion on anything. Phobias and isms included.

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March 28th, 2014, 04:42
I'd prefer my gaming not be turned into a platform for social activism, but I guess the "progressives" would rather shove change down everyone's throat thru every inappropriate mechanism available and provoke the inevitable backlash (and then somehow managed to act surprised and hurt by it) than exercise a little patience and common sense.

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March 28th, 2014, 04:56
I shall quote one of the reply's on the article as it sums up RPS perfectly.
Wow, you are like a dog with a bone recently.

You are so determined to get on the same soap-box you’ve been running into the ground for the last year or so that even when the interview starts to naturally shift away from sexism and homophobia, you can’t let it – you jam the brakes on and ensure a direction that feels forced and unbending.

I am guessing that this huge sexism angle is something that you’ve agreed on at an editorial level, that it is driving up clicks and ad revenue. So well done on that level. But just a little bit of subtlety can go a long way.
I wont deny what they talk about is a problem but the site goes to far sometimes. I don't know what happened, but in the last two years I really hate reading their articles.

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Last edited by Couchpotato; March 28th, 2014 at 06:46.
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March 28th, 2014, 06:48
I went berserk after reading their statement about the 'social justice' stuff, and threw heavy ammo at them. Now I'm a little more relaxed and, thus, rational.
The main point here is: they think that they have a responsibility as developers to change the people's point of view, morals, etc. in the same way a professor, priest or father thinks on their students, worshipers, sons, and this is where they miss the point.
Adult Gamers (DA, ME, are M rated) are already formed people. They have lived long enough to already have their own opinions about sexuality, race, faith, politics. Some have a better understanding, some others don't.
Personally, I feel insulted when someone is trying to teach me basic things about morality, respect, tolerance, equality. They are treating me like a child, and of course they assume that I'm not in position to have my own judgment (and they already judged me).
I play pen and paper RPGs since I was 14. I learned there where it resides the real freedom in RPGs: play as another person, the power choice, imagination, and creativity. This is what a RPG is all about. The Dungeon Master, Director, Guardian of the Arcanes, or whathever you're used to call him/her never judges a player, never try to impart, dictate, indoctrinate a player. They advice, suggest, comment, but it's up to the player. Always.
The Hypocrisy at the media is getting too far. I've seen reviewers destroying games like 'Dragon's Crown', just because they think the art is sexist. The game is IMO fantastic, as a fan of Golden Axe, Knights Of the Round, Tower or Doom, and Shadows over Mystara, is the revival of the genre, done well.
The media is praising EA/Bioware because their 'Social Fighters' status, the same people who decided to not show me nudity, because is sexist (seeing nude women is worse that killing one), decided that I have not to cheat or date two characters at the same time in game, because is not correct, and punish me if I do so. They put gay or lesbian characters in front of me with no other reason, just to show me that there are different people with different orientation.
I can like or dislike their work (mostly like), but the treatment I get for them, while I'm playing their games is just insulting. Quite the opposite the treatment I got while I played 'The Witcher 2', they treat me like an adult.
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March 28th, 2014, 07:00
Games often seek to reflect real world issues, even if it's a fantasy setting, and the real world is sexist, racist, and homophobic and always will be to some extent. I have no issue with this stuff being included in games as long as it's included thoughtfully, not just because the developer is an ignorant bigot.
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March 28th, 2014, 13:56
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
I wont deny what they talk about is a problem but the site goes to far sometimes. I don't know what happened, but in the last two years I really hate reading their articles.
Why replicate it on here then, especially on a site where people push the story upfront, story that is at the root of the issue?

In the meantime, Project Zomboid has reached build 25 (with 3D models) and yet no report about it…

Time is short.
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March 29th, 2014, 15:10
I see two issues:
- Sexism, Racism, & Homophobia In Games
- Sexism, Racism, & Homophobia In Game MAKERS.

Both exist and are undeniable - and undeniably an issue … but for different reasons. The question - particularly in the case of the first point is not just WHAT but IF anything should be done.

We all know that game development in particular is a 'frat-boy culture', but it is interesting reading that it has actually gotten WORSE rather than better since the early days of game development. That is an issue - in the US there are worker discrimination and treatment laws, which exist based on a history of companies - and executives - treating employees like slabs of meat and using power to manipulate situations. That continues, and is why we need laws. Several states are trying to make it legal to use discrimination based on religion to provide a safe harbor for actions such as violence and disenfranchisement. THAT is a problem.

As for products … if someone wants to make a 'hit the queer with a stick' or 'cross burning simulator 2014' or 'light the testicles of the US war criminals on fire' game … what say should people outside the company have? None - you have your 'say' with your wallet. If you want to picket the stores selling it, so long as you obey the rules, go for it. But leave alone the company who wants to make it.

That to me is the problem - the line between a product of a private company and the lives of actual people.

You do not have the right as a corporate entity to treat one equal person different than the other based on skin color or religion or gender, nor should you based on marital status, gender identification or sexual orientation or country of origin.

That does NOT mean you can't personally have racist, sexist, homophobic feelings or opinions … and you are certainly allowed to make your own personal choices that way. Buy stuff that supports your agenda, and if you make things you should be free to make products that way also.

And yes I know about the factual reality that media doesn't exist in isolation, and that the pressures and issues that come from TV shows, advertising, movies and video games are VERY real … that even as we get more obese there are more kids (boys as well as girls) with eating disorders … and that is an entirely different issue that I am not certain how to address. If we believe it is our responsibility to safeguard children we should do something, but if we do not allow children to learn critical thinking and adaptation and coping strategies are we really helping?

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March 29th, 2014, 16:49
Originally Posted by txa1265 View Post
And yes I know about the factual reality that media doesn't exist in isolation, and that the pressures and issues that come from TV shows, advertising, movies and video games are VERY real … that even as we get more obese there are more kids (boys as well as girls) with eating disorders … and that is an entirely different issue that I am not certain how to address. If we believe it is our responsibility to safeguard children we should do something, but if we do not allow children to learn critical thinking and adaptation and coping strategies are we really helping?
I think you've hit on an important aspect, though. Childhood obesity is a physical issue (yeah, yeah, underlying psychological inputs, just go with it for now) where the rationale for correction is personal and public health. The whole "alternate lifestyle" campaign is a social issue where the rationale for correction is social activism by an extremely vocal minority that happens to be "in good graces" at this point in time.

I just don't see the approach. More power to 'em, really, but this war being waged thru all aspects of the media to forcefeed social acceptance seems rather Orwellian to me. Social agendas being crowbarred into video games? It's certainly valid to throw out the "you just wouldn't understand" angle, but I don't know that I'd be comfortable using this approach to drive some change important to me.

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March 29th, 2014, 17:16
Guys you're commenting a political attitude of some Bioware employee. The same employee milks your wallet with numerous endless overexpensive DLC. And obviously pretends it's no big deal like whatever other things so there is no Bioware comment on it anywhere.

How about dealing with the scam issue first. After that we can chitchat about every possible political correctness that isn't shamelessly emptying our pockets.

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May 2nd, 2014, 10:25
Originally Posted by joxer View Post
Guys you're commenting a political attitude of some Bioware employee. The same employee milks your wallet with numerous endless overexpensive DLC. And obviously pretends it's no big deal like whatever other things so there is no Bioware comment on it anywhere.

How about dealing with the scam issue first. After that we can chitchat about every possible political correctness that isn't shamelessly emptying our pockets.
Unfortunately with higher end/cost games comes higher prices. Would you prefer companies charging you $90 USD off the bat?
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May 2nd, 2014, 11:21
Honestly I don't care for the price, I'll pay any price they ask, just give me the full game on the release day, not a comatic halfdead stuff that shines only after you pay a bit more months later, then more a year later, then more when I've already forgot what was happening.

And okay, it's not surprising some stuff was not made on the release and is available as DLC later. But then make it as a bloody standalone DLC like Ubisoft does recently. I don't want to reinstall the game over and over just to see how some horse armor looks! Or what happens in Bioware games, DLC critically affects the whole game and even sequels!

Oh and… The topic title is brilliant.
Please do not check the spoiler if you're underaged.
Spoiler – warning, nudity

This is not photoshoped pic but was taken on the game promotion in Russia 5 years ago.

Sorry but when it comes to Bioware, their obvious fake political correctness makes me sick. On one side yelling "we're soooooo great as we're gayfriendly", on another they use typical sex exploitation for the promotion.
Don't get me wrong, I don't object seeing tits here and there when it comes to advertising, but hell, if Bioware is so "above average" as they claim to be, where are naked guys then?

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May 2nd, 2014, 12:37
I agree that games should be finished upon launch. The dlc should be part of an expansion etc etc. DLC never sells as well as the main title anyway. It is the mindset of publishers that is at fault here. They believe dlc will make them more money but in the long run it will cost them more money.

As for the second part, I believe it is a case of the one that is more accepted in society these days. I think that lesbianism seems more accepted than the gay male couple. I think when lesbians become accepted, they gay male couple will be accepted too by default because who likes hypocrites anyway.
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May 2nd, 2014, 13:43
Originally Posted by Damian View Post
They believe dlc will make them more money but in the long run it will cost them more money.
I would like to understand why you think this is true? The 'freemium' model is already proven successful, DLC is nearly pure profit, and even with lower sales companies are actually doing better these past couple of years … so … ?

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May 2nd, 2014, 14:04
I'll agree with Damian on the society part, it's not that the society didn't improve, even more on it, two females seem to be taken as "more hot" in some cases for example some eastern europe female duo (T.A.T.U - Ya Soshla S Uma) pretended to be lesbians only to sell more singles - and in fact they sold more that way.

What I see as the general problem is modern values. Family is usually the #1 value, and you don't have to be conservative to support that idea. The problematic part is the definition of that same family. Is a family really just something that can be presented as male+female branches on a tree?
I don't think so, as there is no real reason to present a human family the same way you'd do with animals. Humans (can) have so complex relationships that it's IMO both retarded and insulting to use the same measurement you'd use on animals.

And okay, Bioware integrated exactly that, complex relationships in their games, respecting everyone. That's not my problem with them. I'm also not talking about quality of the writing or sillyness where all NPCs are hitting on my character that I made visually very ugly.
My problem is that "the patronizing" came from a company that with every new game disrespects the audience's wallet. Not only that, they have an attitude like they were first after the homophobia subject in games. And they were not. I don't know who was, but I do remember FO2.

Sadly, because of their greed, I believe all Bioware does is just carefully constructed PR aimed to sell more game copies. You gay? Hey, we adore you, now buy our game. You lesbian? We love so much that we made a right game just for you!
And even more sadly, it'll work. The game quality won't matter. Only the content that should have been treated as a normal thing, not as some exclusive stuff never seen anywhere else.

Writing all this tired me, out of a protest, I'm gonna treat myself with buying some LGBT boring visual novel "game" that sucks unbelievably, but at least it's devs don't make a fuss whenever possible.

txa, yes it's pure profit and will remain exactly that till the baloon explodes and the audience simply realizes it's degrading the games quality and stops buying it.

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May 2nd, 2014, 14:59
Originally Posted by txa1265 View Post
I would like to understand why you think this is true? The 'freemium' model is already proven successful, DLC is nearly pure profit, and even with lower sales companies are actually doing better these past couple of years … so … ?
The freemium models works because the content is there however bonus stuff is payed for like playing longer etc. But for regular game it is cannibalizing on the next game. If they made 3 games instead without dlc and 2 with dlc i think the 2 with dlc would lose out.
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May 2nd, 2014, 16:11
Originally Posted by Damian View Post
The freemium models works because the content is there however bonus stuff is payed for like playing longer etc. But for regular game it is cannibalizing on the next game. If they made 3 games instead without dlc and 2 with dlc i think the 2 with dlc would lose out.
I totally get what you are saying - and while I am not 'full-on joxer' in my thoughts, I am not a fan of DLC-laden games - but I don't think most gamers think like those of us on this forum. I think there is a balancing act going on - the growth of for-pay games and also increasing pushiness of in-app crap. No clue when it will all shake out …

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May 3rd, 2014, 15:20
I want more weak men, or should I say men that are more "human". I haven't been able to relate to most modern male heroes.

I liked James Sunderland in Silent Hill 2. He was broken and depressed. The whole story is about his personal loss.

I liked Ethan Mars in Heavy Rain. Again, burdened with his personal loss, struggling with depression and agoraphobia.

I liked Guybrush Threepwood. I like him because of his incompetence and habit of ending up the damsel in the story all the time.

I like these characters because they are "real men" facing "real challenges". While Threepwood is a joke, Sunderland and Mars are not. They struggle against real emotions and real fears, not aliens or fictional wars.

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