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Default-user MC
MC said:
I'm not sure these arguments work at all. - Authorial intent ("Could The Catcher in the Rye have had a female main character? Sure. But that's not...
The problem with the ACU treatment of the issue wasn't just their conscious decision that a lead female character was unnecessary. It was their consideration that it was unnecessary in a coop multiplayer part of the game, where there are 4 lead characters AND the fact that they decided to justify their decision with poor, tired excuses. The crux of the matter is not that in one particular game might be only a male protagonist to choose from. The point is that representation of female characters is scarily low when it comes to lead characters and wrong in general for playable or non-playable characters. And yes, it may not bother you to play as a woman in a game. What about not being able to play as man in the majority of games, would that bother you? What if that's the case for most games during many years? And what if the times that you find a female lead character or NPC, 8 out of 10 times (I'm being generous) that character is hypersexualized, or treated as disposable, or as an object? If that was the case, you would end up having problems with big parts of this industry. And there's where the bottom line is. If we want to build a game industry that is more inclusive and more diverse, we need to start making it that way.
Default-user MC
MC said:
I'm not sure these arguments work at all. - Authorial intent ("Could The Catcher in the Rye have had a female main character? Sure. But that's not...
Wall of text... I promise that post had paragraphs
Default-user MC
I'm not sure these arguments work at all. - Authorial intent ("Could The Catcher in the Rye have had a female main character? Sure. But that's not how the author wrote it."): Many games are much less about authorial intent than books or films. In games, because you usually play a character, identification with that particular character is stronger. Yes, you mention this later in the article, but knowing about it does not seem to stop you from trying to make the point anyway. - Strongarming change in story-driven games: That's not exactly how this works. Not even how this most recent internet argument works that way. In AC Unity the discussion was not necessarily about having a different lead character (although let's remember there are at least four assassins in the trailer, all men), but about having the option to play a female character in the multiplayer portion of the game. - "Change has to come naturally". What does this mean? That change is going to come how and when and why? You are underestimating the power of inertia and culturally ingrained prejudices on design decisions. Complaining as consumers of the media about the content of that media is as valid engine of change as any. - "If there's a demand for more female characters, then those games will happen. If they aren't backed or supported, then why are we having this argument anyway?" This part really bothers me, because it makes me wonder if you even see the reasons behind the whole debate.This is a circular process, where support for female characters depend on the size of the demand, and that size of the demand is affected by how many female lead characters there are. It's is definitely not a good idea to hide behind the "there is no demand" argument in games, especially if we ever want them to be considered as seriously as literature or film are. And what if we apply the same argument to all minority issues in the same way? "If there's a demand for more black characters on screen, then those films will happen. If not, we shouldn't have the debate". Well, of course we should have the debate, because if all decisions are taken by the sheer force of numbers... well, then we have the inertia problem I talked about earlier, don't we? Yes, we should support games that make the effort to be more inclusive. Yes, we should support the games that show a wider gamut of choices, and better stories with different well-done characters. But those games and options are not going to come spontaneously from the ground, that's a change of attitude in the industry that we all, devs and consumers, are responsible for and we should undertake.Complaining about it and shaming Ubisoft for using silly reasons to make an idiotic decision is a perfectly valid avenue for change, even if it bothers you.
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