Oh hell no.
I have been playing video games since 1980. I have been making them since 1997. To anyone telling me the games I enjoy (on nearly every genre/platform out there) and the games I make (and I have made many, across nearly every genre/platform out there) are not “real games” , I have only this to say:
GET OFF MY FUCKING LAWN.
(Also absolutely applies to the variant of “women don’t belong in/play games”, with added orbital strikes for flavor.)
Video game reactionaries fucking love their “No true Scotsman” fallacies, don’t they? No
On Girl Gamers and Mythical Unicorns
” — fan message
On behalf of the people with whom I work, you’re welcome. BioWare doesn’t do everything perfectly, and our games can’t be everything to everyone, but we do what we can and we appreciate your support.
I will say that, from a personal standpoint, I just will never get the attitude that some have about girls not being “real” gamers.
I suppose it’s because I’ve been fortunate in that regard. I helmed a D&D club in high school that consisted of mostly girl players. As an adult, I’m blessed with a large group of gamer friends—many of whom are also girls. Or, rather, women.
If I’ve learned anything from them over the years, it’s that one cannot sum up what type of players they are with a simple generalization. Some dislike “rules” (I use quotes because that’s the way they say the word, with air quotes implied) and roll their eyes every time combat occurs. Some are avid rule-crunchers, and will dissect a game’s mechanics until they figure out how to bend them to their merciless whims. Some make support characters only, while others make bloodthirsty combat tanks.
If you want a player who will jump into a plot with both feet, reveling in how the resulting chaos destroys their character utterly (and offers great roleplay opportunities), I know women who’ll do that. If you want a player who will obsess about a game, talking about it with other players even when it’s not running—to the point of having side-scenes with other characters—I know women who’ll do that, too. Some of them are definitely casual players, others are so hardcore it would make a reddit nerd weep with envy.
When it comes to videogames, some mostly play MMO’s, some mostly play action games (the more violent the better), some mostly play CRPG’s… and others have little to no interest in videogames at all. Some of these women play videogames more than I do, with the skillz to show for it.
Here’s the thing: these facts are all true for my male friends as well. There is absolutely no difference.
Maybe I’m just fortunate, and throughout my life have stumbled across fabulous unicorns who exist nowhere else in the world. I think it’s more likely that, when there are guys out there who dismiss girl gamers, they just don’t know any.
Perhaps they need to get out more.
This is the same gorgeously animated, acclaimed franchise that devotes an entire subset of game play to tree-climbing. Swinging from limb to limb high above the incredibly detailed world? High on the priority list of Assassin’s Creed features. Putting a single woman into an active role in the game? Nah.
This is the same studio that employed a visual effects team of over 40 people in order to design the unique properties of snowflakes. Literally, the women of Tangled and Frozen were less distinguishable to Disney animation software than a pile of snow.
The tangle of issues and layers of sexism that contribute to this situation is overwhelming, but at the core is the fundamentally flawed way women are portrayed in comics, animation, and gaming: a feedback loop of sexual objectification and industry complacence.
When you perpetuate the idea, across various art-based mediums, that women in drawn art, comics, and animation must and should look and move with flowy, exaggerated gestures, graceful movements, and hips, chest, and ass thrust forward in order to pander to the male gaze at all times, then you make it easier, later on, to use your own sexist animation and art standards as an excuse for why you don’t have more women.
We take you on a visual walk-through of the gaming industry and animation culture’s resistance to making women look, act, and move like human beings.
Important and potent.
The Civilization series of strategy epics is one of the great wonders of gaming.
Sid Meier’s map-based tech-chasers and military sims pull together science, history, fun and competition to create games, like Civilization 5, that fold humanity’s technological achievements into our deepest desires for domination and power.
Sid Meier’s Civilization: Beyond Earth is the natural extension of a series of games that begin in a pre-agricultural age, pulling the player right up to intergalactic travel. It is the story of what happens when humanity ventures out towards new planets.
Game Development Myths: Multiplayer Takes Away from Single Player (part 2 of 2)
This is actually part two of a two-part series. The first part addresses what happens when a game is first planned, and how changes affect the overall process at various points during development. This post, however, will tackle the other aspect - Does adding multiplayer to a project actually take resources away from the single player development?
The answer to this is, as usual, “Not usually, but sometimes.”
The ESA has released its annual report on the state of gaming, and there are some pretty interesting bits of data in there.
Things that stood out to me:
- Women over the age of 18 represent over double the market share of boys 18 and younger.
- Women aged 50 and older who play games have increased by 32% from 2012 to 2013
- Frequent Game Purchasers are divided cleanly down the middle in terms of gender - 50/50 exactly.
- Casual and Social games are still growing the fastest and aren’t going anywhere.
- 95% of parents pay attention to the games their kids play, and 58% play games with their kids
- Game sales growth is slowing down
- Physical box sales continue to dwindle compared to digital sales
It’s definitely worth a read if you’re interested in the business of video games at all.
News screens from Dragon Age: Inquisition
Special thanks for this to Dragon Age Community on VKontakte
deviija replied to your post: “You know something is really really bad when it makes you look back on…”:I think that’s giving Cage and the game more credit than it should… or maybe that scene just happened to have better justification of agency and weaponizing of sex. But, to me, it still just reeks of yet more “sexy danger” for dudes to watch.
Oh god yea no we’re pretty sure whatever actual feminist merit that moment has is not by design and only exists in isolation from the rest of the game.
It’s not as if the scene redeems the game’s portrayal of women, or in David Cage’s other games, or the games industry at large. It’s also not as if we’re necessarily “right” about how the level should be interpreted.
If I had to make a definitive statement about my take on it, I’d say: There’s enough room in how that particular level plays out for a positive interpretation, such as the one summarized in the original post. Which puts it far ahead of those in MGS V, or other scenes in Heavy Rain itself.
On the other hand, it is hard to judge scenes like this which may (or may not, depending on your perspective) be “borderline,” when they exist within an industry that consistently fails women, and fails them spectacularly.
Bioware is the company who made a canon bisexual woman only available for male shepards
Bioware is the company that had a fucking beauty contest for me3’s default femshep’s appearance
Bioware is the company that made Femshep’s unable to call Kaidan out on his shit if she romanced someone else in ME2 & he tried to pull the whole “cheated” line while Maleshep’s could instantly shut down Ashley in the same scene
Bioware is the company that made a race of sexy, blue aliens and then proceeded to slut shame them & toss any agency or respectfullness that a long-lived species could have had out the window for the male dudebro’s titillation
Bioware is the company that created a genetically engineered “perfect” woman and then had every character in the game call her bitch, slut and every name in between.
Bioware is the company that made zero mention of there even being a female Shepard until the last game of the series
Bioware is the company that made it so that FemShep was the only Shepard that had an LI die on her no matter what they did in the previous games.
Bioware is also the company that made it so one of of FemShep’s LI’s cheated on her and got another woman pregnant and then had that LI come back later and say they were going to name the baby after her & Shepard had to be totally fine with it.
Don’t you fucking dare reblog something from me about the underrepresentation & mistreatment of women in Bioware games and tell me how ” they are all for what you want” when this shit is not what I want in my video games.
Not to dispute the point that even BioWare has a long way to go, but it’s not off-topic to point out that literally all of these examples are from Mass Effect. And the list is hardly comprehensive if it’s meant to be a catalog of that IP’s sins.
That’s not to say Dragon Age isn’t without its own problems, but there’s a clearly different track record here. I hope the team responsible for Mass Effect improves in their next (currently unannounced) project.