Tropes vs Women vs State of the business

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  11 November 2013
I don't think studios are downsizing due to lack of appeal to female gamers, I think it's due more to a-symmetrical improvements in technology, profiteering, un-professionalism, and poor management.

By "a-symmetrical improvements" I mean that the tech for displaying games evolved faster than the tech for creating them. Rendering engines improved, but the workflow for creating assets relied on redundant steps like high/low poly baking and light mapping. Asset creation takes longer and art budgets spiral out of control. Add to that a workforce that conceals how long work actually takes to produce (unprofessional), CEOs from backgrounds other than games (poor management), and accountants that suggest firing employees between projects rather than re-allocating them to new ones all while projecting profits based on IPs owned by other companies (profiteering) and yes, studios often find themselves in a financial mess.

That, in my opinion, is why so many studios downsize.

As for Anita Sarkeesian, according to her TED talk, she's a "pop culture critic", not a focus group or a female developer. I don't see why her opinions are so polarizing.

In terms of attracting female gamers, almost all of the ones I know are attracted to strong character development and storytelling. Being a little playful helps too but it's not mandatory, neither is character gender for that matter. Btw, strong character development often desexualizes characters in the process, though wardrobe helps.

Here's a great test to see if a movie/game has a gender bias toward men:
1) Are there more than one female, main characters?
2) Do they have a conversation alone with each other?
3) About something other than a man/sex?
If the answer to all three is yes, the game probably isn't biased.
 
  11 November 2013
Originally Posted by imashination: Well that right there is the main reason for the inequality, historically speaking, women just havent been interested in computer games or computers period, the most common thing I hear is that theyre made for men, theyre sexist, theyre not for women and it is largely true... but this is something which has defined the industry since the start even when games were largely androgynous. Pacman, defender, missile command, tetris, pong; even at this early stage, women just werent that interested. So of course if theres only one sex dominating the jobs then games will go down a specific route.


Why are you offended by the thought that there would, alongside of what is made today, be games that cater to a wider audience?

Originally Posted by imashination: Computer games have a very low barrier to entry, grab a game, make a mod to transform the game, you can make it anything you like, if you have a good idea, gamers dont care who has made a game, so long as it is fun.


I don't agree with you there. But then that is a whole other debate, what to do to better the gender climate in the game industry. Gamers cares who made their games to a certain extent.

Originally Posted by imashination: A lot of people are annoyed and will be overly defensive because from many gamer's point of view, shes attacking the games they loved and enjoyed. For the longest time, if I as a guy played games or talked about them publicly, I would be the target of ridicule from girls, but its what Ive enjoyed and grown up with. A lot of men are pissed off because their hobby and past time which has spent the longest time being mocked by women.... now has them complaining that video games arent targeted at women and that they dont cater to their desires. Even today I have a female friend, shes constantly taking the piss out of her boyfriend because he enjoys playing video games.


Actually i do NOT get you. First you are all hurt when girls make fun of your "friend" for gaming. Then you are all hurt when someone suggests reasons why gaming is frowned upon and offers points to better so that girlfriends world wide will be more keen on gaming.

Originally Posted by imashination: With that said, I dont see anyone complaining that women are making games, or that games are more and more being targeted towards them. The complaints are that shes digging into one of the most irrelevant, unimportant parts of the games, the simple damsel in distress. For a simple game where you have mere seconds to explain the story before the game starts, "go rescue your girlfriend" is one of the simplest you can possibly come up with, and seeing as guys have for the most part been the people that buy the consoles and games, it just made sense to have the male protagonist rescue a lady. For all the difference it makes, you could replace the damsel with a doughnut, its just a thing you like to work you way towards.


Then why oh why do you get so upset over a doughnut?
I'll tell you why this is a small detail yet such a huge thing. Cause technology, games included, have excluded girls and women for such a long time. It is a society structure that needs to be torn down. And when tearing down a structure like this every little stone matters. The girls who starts playing video games today who grow up to be tomorrows geeks needs something they can relate to.

Originally Posted by imashination: My sympathy-o-meter isnt even twitching. Ive had death threats in response to making training videos for christs sake. If you make a public profile of yourself and put yourself out there, people wont like you, and bored anonymous 12 year olds will send you messages saying theyre going to kill you. Grow a thicker skin, throwing every mean message you get as evidence to support your cause wont garner any support.


This kind of cyber bullying is often harsher when aimed towards women. Women also more often sees the threats become reality as physical violence. What you are doing when you are justifying and diminishing that kind of harassment is simply proving the point that there is a lot of sexism in this world we need to fight. Wherever we find it.


Originally Posted by imashination: Thats quite an accurate observation, but I wouldnt come to that conclusion. Games have been a boys club to a large degree for a long time, but not because the boys have banned the girls, but because the girls didnt want to join in and play. Now after a number of years, the girls are complaining the club doesnt cater towards them.


I didn't play games until we got our first nintendo. Do you think I CHOSE to not have a commandore? Take a good look at any family with both girls and boys, if they are all given ipads, will the girls choose not to play? No.
The women who are at the average gaming age today didn't make a choice as kids, it was made for them. Now these girls have grown up and they are saying that they don't accept that.
They are doing so by actually being the largest group of casual gamers, and the console/PC gaming industry is missing out on it.


Originally Posted by imashination: No, its because shes shallow and weasely.

I think you are shallow and weasely. Heck, your mom is shallow and weasely. Point is, my opinion of you or your mom doesn't make any facts you state any less valid.


Originally Posted by imashination: I'd be inclined to agree entirely with that, yes, most comments are from immature boys. But shes using every little child-like comment as ammo against the genuine criticisms, dismissing every well thought out discussion as childish, but at the same time elevating every childish comment to that of a serious threat.


Nah. She is prolly just, to the core, tired of trolls who have an opinion on her because she is a woman. Just look at this forum. Look at what a total thatcheresque iron lady Leigh have had to be cause every single fucker here has had an opinion about her person. There is a reason why there is so few female moderators on forums like this. No woman has the energy to deal with all the shit about their person that men stands in line to dish out as soon as a woman becomes prominent.

Originally Posted by imashination: Ive watched every one of her videos more than once, Ive watched videos supporting her and videos against her. Im curious, what good points do you think she makes, and what comments from her do you think are rubbish? IMHO a few of the things she says have merit, but nothing thats new or original.


She brings up the most needed debate of our time. Its not new, its not original. It is just the most needed.

Originally Posted by imashination: All of her videos and presentations come across as overly rehearsed and edited, nothing she says seems to come from the heart, nothing she says seems like she actually cares about the topic, shes just picked something popular and and latched on. Take her live stage presentations and her appearance on a news channel; she says the exact same lines word for word each and every time. Its like watching a politician.


But then, there we go again, your opinion on how a woman does something. How she looks while saying something. Not what she does.

Originally Posted by imashination: Just so you dont get the wrong idea, I want to see more women making games, I think more games should be aimed at women or at no sex in particular and yes, there are plenty of shallow things men do in games (bouncing boobs in fighting games anyone?). I think Anita is rubbish at putting across any factual or coherent arguments, she just panders to the feminazis* throwing up as many buzzwords as she can fit in.
*Nothing to do with feminism, just the man hating crazies who will bend anything a man says or does into a reason to hate them more.


I am going to tell you why this becomes a contradiction in it self. Do you believe in gender equality? If the answer is YES then fine, You are a feminist. It is that simple.
The "femnazi" is a parody of a feminist painted up to diminish a feminist. You see, if you get angry as a man you are a MAN and there is probably reason for your anger. If I get angry as a woman, people are quick to draw me a "hysterical hormone woman" stereotype costume to dress up in. It is not considered appealing to be angry as a woman.
This is so deeply rooted that women themselves often use the femnazi approach. "I believe in gender equality but I'm not one of them femnazis who are all angry and want to bite dicks of and shit."
In this manner we can all blame some imaginary femnazi who runs around eating dick and not have to focus on the real problem. We are not equals. I'm a woman. To a lot of men, I am not worth as much as a human being.
If you want to live in that world, keep commenting on how a woman looks while doing something. Keep talking about "femnazist" which effectively makes people stop listening as soon as they hear the word "feminist". Or start tearing the structure down, brick by brick.
 
  11 November 2013
Originally Posted by talljon: I don't think studios are downsizing due to lack of appeal to female gamers, I think it's due more to a-symmetrical improvements in technology, profiteering, un-professionalism, and poor management.

By "a-symmetrical improvements" I mean that the tech for displaying games evolved faster than the tech for creating them. Rendering engines improved, but the workflow for creating assets relied on redundant steps like high/low poly baking and light mapping. Asset creation takes longer and art budgets spiral out of control. Add to that a workforce that conceals how long work actually takes to produce (unprofessional), CEOs from backgrounds other than games (poor management), and accountants that suggest firing employees between projects rather than re-allocating them to new ones all while projecting profits based on IPs owned by other companies (profiteering) and yes, studios often find themselves in a financial mess.

That, in my opinion, is why so many studios downsize.

As for Anita Sarkeesian, according to her TED talk, she's a "pop culture critic", not a focus group or a female developer. I don't see why her opinions are so polarizing.

In terms of attracting female gamers, almost all of the ones I know are attracted to strong character development and storytelling. Being a little playful helps too but it's not mandatory, neither is character gender for that matter. Btw, strong character development often desexualizes characters in the process, though wardrobe helps.

Here's a great test to see if a movie/game has a gender bias toward men:
1) Are there more than one female, main characters?
2) Do they have a conversation alone with each other?
3) About something other than a man/sex?
If the answer to all three is yes, the game probably isn't biased.


I agree with you that studios aren't downsizing due to lack of appeal to female gamers. The way I see it, casual gamers are not exactly picky when it comes to graphic. I wonder why we aren't seeing a gravity towards using that fact and seeing studios bridging the gap between hardware platforms. And maybe a potential upswing in tapping into a growing market.
Damit! I just want my monkey island crossplattform universe to play in! ^^
 
  11 November 2013
Originally Posted by Alice: Why are you offended by the thought that there would, alongside of what is made today, be games that cater to a wider audience?



I don't agree with you there. But then that is a whole other debate, what to do to better the gender climate in the game industry. Gamers cares who made their games to a certain extent.



Actually i do NOT get you. First you are all hurt when girls make fun of your "friend" for gaming. Then you are all hurt when someone suggests reasons why gaming is frowned upon and offers points to better so that girlfriends world wide will be more keen on gaming.



Then why oh why do you get so upset over a doughnut?
I'll tell you why this is a small detail yet such a huge thing. Cause technology, games included, have excluded girls and women for such a long time. It is a society structure that needs to be torn down. And when tearing down a structure like this every little stone matters. The girls who starts playing video games today who grow up to be tomorrows geeks needs something they can relate to.



This kind of cyber bullying is often harsher when aimed towards women. Women also more often sees the threats become reality as physical violence. What you are doing when you are justifying and diminishing that kind of harassment is simply proving the point that there is a lot of sexism in this world we need to fight. Wherever we find it.




I didn't play games until we got our first nintendo. Do you think I CHOSE to not have a commandore? Take a good look at any family with both girls and boys, if they are all given ipads, will the girls choose not to play? No.
The women who are at the average gaming age today didn't make a choice as kids, it was made for them. Now these girls have grown up and they are saying that they don't accept that.
They are doing so by actually being the largest group of casual gamers, and the console/PC gaming industry is missing out on it.



I think you are shallow and weasely. Heck, your mom is shallow and weasely. Point is, my opinion of you or your mom doesn't make any facts you state any less valid.




Nah. She is prolly just, to the core, tired of trolls who have an opinion on her because she is a woman. Just look at this forum. Look at what a total thatcheresque iron lady Leigh have had to be cause every single fucker here has had an opinion about her person. There is a reason why there is so few female moderators on forums like this. No woman has the energy to deal with all the shit about their person that men stands in line to dish out as soon as a woman becomes prominent.



She brings up the most needed debate of our time. Its not new, its not original. It is just the most needed.



But then, there we go again, your opinion on how a woman does something. How she looks while saying something. Not what she does.



I am going to tell you why this becomes a contradiction in it self. Do you believe in gender equality? If the answer is YES then fine, You are a feminist. It is that simple.
The "femnazi" is a parody of a feminist painted up to diminish a feminist. You see, if you get angry as a man you are a MAN and there is probably reason for your anger. If I get angry as a woman, people are quick to draw me a "hysterical hormone woman" stereotype costume to dress up in. It is not considered appealing to be angry as a woman.
This is so deeply rooted that women themselves often use the femnazi approach. "I believe in gender equality but I'm not one of them femnazis who are all angry and want to bite dicks of and shit."
In this manner we can all blame some imaginary femnazi who runs around eating dick and not have to focus on the real problem. We are not equals. I'm a woman. To a lot of men, I am not worth as much as a human being.
If you want to live in that world, keep commenting on how a woman looks while doing something. Keep talking about "femnazist" which effectively makes people stop listening as soon as they hear the word "feminist". Or start tearing the structure down, brick by brick.


So very shocked to find the OP to be no more than an angry and argumentative feminist.
You are such a put upon victim aren't you?

This is very similar behavior to the race baiting Al Sharptons out there who only exist as
long as dimwits allow you to prattle on with just more of the same old school and worn out pc talking points. And you wonder why men turn you off after sampling some of your priceless arguing nuggets as listed in your last post?

blech!
 
  11 November 2013
I don't know anything about the actual topic, but this recent article seems to be appropriate to it. Maybe as gaming within families becomes more ubiquitous the gender disparity will disappear as a natural course.
__________________
I don't know
 
  11 November 2013
Originally Posted by Artbot: There are very few devs who make it their mission to uphold any kind of moral code since it's not approval they are after - it's money. If being sensitive to the portrayal of women in games could make more money for publishers, they'd do it in a heartbeat. They tend to go where the money is, not so much out of greed, but merely to stay in business.

There is also a trmendous difference between the depiction of women in games and attempting to attract more female players. Believe me, the industry would love nothing more than to include more females among their money-spending customers.


This is what we should talk about.

Who cares about Anita?
__________________
Passion is the key.
Miysis 3D
 
  11 November 2013
Originally Posted by Tama: So very shocked to find the OP to be no more than an angry and argumentative feminist.
You are such a put upon victim aren't you?

This is very similar behavior to the race baiting Al Sharptons out there who only exist as
long as dimwits allow you to prattle on with just more of the same old school and worn out pc talking points. And you wonder why men turn you off after sampling some of your priceless arguing nuggets as listed in your last post?

blech!


You waited all the debate until now to try to make a stab at me as a person?
Thats cute. I guess the answer to this question;
Originally Posted by Alice: Tell me, are you always this rude or is it towards women in particular?

from page one has its answer. You simply don't like women. It is ok. I have a game for you.
 
  11 November 2013
Hello Artbot!
Didn't see you there, sorry. I guess you have a very insightful opinion there =_^
Would you agree if an assumption that accessibility to a game makes all the difference? (Mobile vs console. Downloading vs dragging your ass to a store etc.)
 
  11 November 2013
Originally Posted by PaulEMcLaughlin: You guys know that there are plenty of women in the armed services right? Many are trained marksmen (markswomen?)


And how many of them do you see as a major characters in Battlefield or Modern Warfare?
__________________
kevinbakercg.com
 
  11 November 2013
Originally Posted by Ordibble-Plop: I don't know anything about the actual topic, but this recent article seems to be appropriate to it. Maybe as gaming within families becomes more ubiquitous the gender disparity will disappear as a natural course.


I truly hope it will. The reason for starting this thread was to see if console developers have some form of awareness about this ongoing social structure change. And to see if there's any initiative to benefit from it not just on the casual game side
 
  11 November 2013
Im just curious as to one thing...
If women feel under represented in games or that the games are not made for them, why dont they just go and make their own game made for other women and sell it to the growing female market... I mean this is capitalism , if you have a product and think it would sell well, why not just make it ...?
 
  11 November 2013
Quote: Why are you offended by the thought that there would, alongside of what is made today, be games that cater to a wider audience?


I said the exact opposite, I welcome female game devs, games and players. Im just saying, I can see why some people react so negatively against the "why dont you make games for me?" spouted by someone that doesnt even play them.

Quote: Then why oh why do you get so upset over a doughnut?


What?...

Quote: I'll tell you why this is a small detail yet such a huge thing. Cause technology, games included, have excluded girls and women for such a long time.


Technology excludes you? Technology is neutral, if you want to use it, use it

Quote: The women who are at the average gaming age today didn't make a choice as kids, it was made for them. Now these girls have grown up and they are saying that they don't accept that.
They are doing so by actually being the largest group of casual gamers, and the console/PC gaming industry is missing out on it.


Surely youve answered your own question there? Currently women are far more interested in simpler casual games, which inherently are more suited to tablets and handhelds. If the interest only extends as far as using the end-user consumption devices and not the machine which the games are made on, then its not surprising that theres less pc games they enjoy.

Today, right now, they have the choice to buy a pc, install a game, and if they wish, start writing mods and if its decent, publish it later on a game in its own right, portal is a perfect example. Any barrier to enty is entirely self-imposed. Nobody at the pc store is going to refuse to sell you a machine, Steam will sell you a copy of halflife and youre welcome to band together with anyone you like a publish a game.

Quote: I think you are shallow and weasely. Heck, your mom is shallow and weasely. Point is, my opinion of you or your mom doesn't make any facts you state any less valid.


Werent you complaining just a short while ago that someone else wasn't being civil and was making personal attacks towards you?...

Quote: But then, there we go again, your opinion on how a woman does something. How she looks while saying something. Not what she does.


I dont care whether the person that made these videos is male or female, only you do. It has no impact to me, I just disagree entirely with what it is theyre saying. Ive never mentioned her looks, only you have. Ive only mentioned how she comes across in her videos and interviews, all of which would have been the same regardless of sex.

Quote: I am going to tell you why this becomes a contradiction in it self. Do you believe in gender equality? If the answer is YES then fine, You are a feminist. It is that simple.


Im a humanist. I agree with what the feminist movement started with, looking for equality for women. But many parts of it have now evolved long past looking for equality and concentrate on finding offence in every part of life they possibly can.

Quote: The "femnazi" is a parody of a feminist painted up to diminish a feminist.


Oh, she's parodying, I see. www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvYyGTmcP80
__________________
Matthew O'Neill
www.3dfluff.com
 
  11 November 2013
Originally Posted by imashination: ...

I'll make a less fragmented answer for you as soon as I've had a good nights sleep and talked to my sister who worked at terminal 3 on LAX yesterday.
Cheerio!

(Edit, Tho I thought i was abundantly absurd in my statement when I claimed I had an opinion on your mom. Point there; I have no way of knowing anything of you or your mom so why should I assume things about you and use that opinion to dismiss what you are saying?)

Last edited by Alice : 11 November 2013 at 11:31 PM.
 
  11 November 2013
How to create a game that women specifically will like (opens Excel)

Create a massive spreadsheet with "things women like" "fears" "aspirations" etc etc and correlate it against a multitude of statistical and stereotyped metrics, use that as the basis of direction in order to generate the most appealing game design towards specific genitalia.

Does that sound cynical? Well i think it is, as essentially your asking for the basis of design to be based on a gender, when you do that, it generates stuff like lets dance, sing star, wii fit, princess peach, see a pattern? Its like basing a design on Race, sexuality nationality, political bias, its a very cynical way to design but it can be done.

The best games in my opinion, are the ones based on art, story, history, culture, mechanics, a mix of these things. Not gender

Last edited by conbom : 11 November 2013 at 11:39 PM.
 
  11 November 2013
Originally Posted by conbom: How to create a game that women specifically will like (opens Excel)

Create a massive spreadsheet with "things women like" and correlate it against a multitude of statistical and stereotyped metrics, use that as the basis of direction in order to generate the most appealing game design towards specific genitalia.

Does that sound cynical? It generates stuff like lets dance, sing star, wii fit, princess peach, see a pattern here?

The best games in my opinion, are the ones based on art, story, culture and mechanics. Not gender.


<3 good point.
(Tho I personally would like to add, or subtract stuff that's blatant sexist and make games more accessible. For example a monkey island universe. Where even my infant can learn some game mechanics and stuff on my mobile, while games played as casual game and friends made on the PC version are all accessible no matter the hardware.)
 
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