GBAtemp Debate Club: Videogame Sexism

Discussion in 'General Off-Topic Chat' started by TotalInsanity4, Oct 25, 2015.

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Do you believe video game marketing disproportionately favors males? (Choose best answer)

Poll closed Nov 7, 2015.
  1. Yes; and game companies are missing a great opportunity to gain consumers

    3 vote(s)
    5.4%
  2. Yes; but with good reason- the games I'm thinking of have a disproportionate male userbase

    10 vote(s)
    17.9%
  3. Yes; and game content is overwhelmingly male-oriented, too

    6 vote(s)
    10.7%
  4. No; and you feminists stop being paranoid about everything

    23 vote(s)
    41.1%
  5. No; I've actually noticed a lot of acceptance for females in the games I play

    10 vote(s)
    17.9%
  6. No; but I haven't really payed attention either way

    2 vote(s)
    3.6%
  7. (Other, please specify in thread)

    2 vote(s)
    3.6%
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  1. TotalInsanity4
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    TotalInsanity4 GBAtemp Supreme Overlord

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    Holy cow, I apologize for this being as late as it is :blink: I was gone all day for All-State auditions and thought I would have wifi, but there was not. Anyway, this week's topic was suggested by a good friend of mine from school.

    This week's topic:
    [​IMG]
    Do you feel videogames are disproportionately advertised towards a male audience, despite females making up a large part of the demographic? Why or why not?

    Resources

    The rules are simple: Every week I will be posting a new topic for all of GBAtemp to debate on in a free-for-all style. There are no winners or losers, the sole purpose of these debates are to learn other's views about important issues. For each topic, I will be posting a list of resources to help you with your debates that may be added to upon request. After a week has passed, I will ask a moderator to close the thread so that a new topic may be created. I will also accept PMs of topics, as my understanding of controversial topics only extends to the US, I'd love to get some international issues in here too ^_^
    Remember to keep it civil, take people's views into consideration, and above all, HAVE FUN!

    Note: As the creator of the debate, I am going to try to remain non-partisan and only comment on this thread if I feel as though something someone has said needs clarification. All political views on my part for this debate and all moving forward are being chucked out the window. HOWEVER, if the debate is going slowly, I may from time-to-time assume the role of the side that most needs help.
    I will participate in the polls, though, because polls are fun :P

    Previous topics
     
    Last edited by TotalInsanity4, Oct 26, 2015
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  2. migles

    migles Mei the sexiest bae

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    my dad works for nintendo.
    from the experience i had when trying "girly" games... (barby, dress up, make up, talking cute animals, fremium games like candy rush saga)
    i don't think girls that play "true" games are not missing much...
    however changes like more customization and female characters, or more extra stuff designed for girls are really welcome
    i am always choose female character... i preefer my character to be a pretty with a cute look than an "action man" model...
     
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  3. HaloEliteLegend

    HaloEliteLegend ~Apprentice Game Designer~

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    Hmm, OK... I think there are developers who definitely take some things way too far. Then there's developers that use sexual themes responsibly to better their product.

    For example, a hentai game goes in with mysogenistic views right away, while a game like Final Fantasy will adhere to "Creative Direction" for their character designs.

    I do think there is an utter lack of strong female leads. Even those like Lara Croft are sexualized for the heck of it, despite the validity of "Creative Direction."

    Often times, a strong female lead may be overshadowed by an even stronger male lead.
     
    Last edited by HaloEliteLegend, Oct 25, 2015
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  4. Chary

    Chary Never sleeps

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    Disproportionately advertised? Males make up a larger demographic of gamers than females do, I don't think that's disproportionate. While "sources" say that women play more games than males, that's just the occasional game of candy crush. Chances are, those women aren't going to pay much attention to gaming advertisements. I've never felt like games needed to be advertised specifically to me as a woman. To me, this has always a topic that feminists on Tumblr love to toss around, so they can cry they're not represented enough in media.
     
  5. RustInPeace

    RustInPeace Samurai Cop

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    I'll just second this and also mention that women can be represented strongly in games. As overly sexual as she is, Bayonetta is very badass. Chun Li, the outfit and appearance, but she kicks a lot of ass. Samus Aran too.

    I would love to have a female friend that plays video games, so much nerdism to share. As far as video games women can play, there's a lot really. Not just women, anyone. Pokemon, cosplayers galore and fans of all types. Super Smash Bros for sure, I played the first game a lot with my sisters. Street Fighter, these easier to handle fighting games. Mortal Kombat too, but this was Armageddon, and it was in 2010, I don't know if it would fly in the 90s. By then I saw more female gamers and those more open about these hardcore games. Even kids, I played Armageddon with my little sister, who was under 10 at the time.

    But yeah, it's marketed to men because they are the ones buying the games mostly. I don't think that's sexist, it's targeting a market they know will consume. The women that do buy, are the ones that dig what men dig. Just because more men like something, doesn't mean some women can't like them all the same, if not more.

    As far as women represented in video games, there's the badasses, but there's others. Someone I heard about, a woman in MSGV that's never fully clothed or something? Japanese much? They are perverted, look at their porn!
     
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  6. Chary

    Chary Never sleeps

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    Huh? There's tons of great female characters, and from huge franchises, too. Walking Dead, Metroid, Bayonetta, Portal, the Final Fantasy series, the Tales of series, Mirrors Edge, Bioshock Infinite, Ace Attorney, Persona, TLOUS, and so on and so forth. And has Laura Croft really been needlessly sexualized past the PS1 games?
     
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  7. chavosaur

    chavosaur Austin Trujillo

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    A gamer can be classified as anyone that plays any form of casual game, regardless of if it is a mobile title or not.

    When it comes to this topic, tumblr and femenism tropes are thrown around like the biggest joke the internet has to offer when it reality, while extreme at times, these members have very valid points that wind up being ignored because "LELELELGIRLSTUMBLREMOTIONS"

    When it comes to representation in media, it is HYPER-sexualized in regards to women. There is absolutely no denying that and you can absolutely argue that it is advertised unfairly.

    When you think of advertising for the male audience, you see hyper sexualized females coupled with violence, fast cars, all things "men should love."
    When "female games," are advertised, 9/10 times you are seeing frilly pink baby dress up or nintendogs games that are meant to cater toward gender roles that have been beat into kids heads since they were born.

    Just because you see the occasional female lead in a video game, doesn't mean that the market in general doesn't heavily gear towards a male audience, regardless of if they are the ones that primarily play video games or not.

    These gender roles apply to a variety of products, gaming included. I don't think you can honestly argue as a female gamer yourself, that the market doesn't already cater to a male audience considering how women are treated and handled in a variety of the games you play.

    You can absolutely name a small handful of games that just so happen to include a female protagonist or supporting female character but the fact of the matter is, those games are a dime a dozen. Consider the multitude of other games that feature blatant sexist tropes to the female audience in a multitude of ways, or just the ways females aren't even represented in general.

    I'll be very interested to see how this topic continues to move forward.
     
  8. ShadowOne333

    ShadowOne333 GBAtemp Guru

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    God please no.
    No more of this Anita Sarkeesian BS. -,-
     
  9. Haloman800

    Haloman800 a real gril

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    Thunderf00t ripped Anita Sarkeesian and her phony arguments to shreds. Literally every one of her claims is false.
     
  10. Haloman800

    Haloman800 a real gril

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    Also, "Do you feel videogames are disproportionately advertised towards a male audience" Yup, because males tend to like video games more, that doesn't make it sexist, it's business; you market to your largest audience. That would be like asking "Do you feel tampons are disproportionately advertised towards a female audience?" And the answer is of course. is it sexist? No.

    There are also video games marketed/more popular with women (FarmVille, Sims, Tetris), so this entire "debate" is moot.
     
  11. VinsCool

    VinsCool Comfortably Numb

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    the tampon argument made me giggle :P
     
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  12. The_Meistro

    The_Meistro GBATemp's "Official" Hank Hill

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    On youtube It will toatally change your opinion on this subject
     
  13. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    Disproportionately advertised... at a base level no -- advertising and marketing wonks seem to know what they are doing in the game world more often than not, and more consistently than many of the rest, and I imagine they maximise their return quite well. At a higher level I have to wonder what more might do. This mindset may have seen led to a bit of circular logic arising (because previous advertising then current advertising) and the perception is reality thing also plays a part.

    Disproportionately geared towards. Depends what you need to be geared towards. I saw Tomb Raider mentioned and it is widely held that the form chosen was the result of an error but one that was ran with, history shows that worked. At the same time would sticking tits on a player character model make a difference (I have seen it happen in the past but I am not even close to being able to go past anecdotal)? One might ponder whether a character written to have an arc seen in other media that does well with a lot of women, however that would be unfair as they would also require a well written game or three to be the baseline. If someone wants to try then I would be curious the see the thoughts that went into it and the resulting product, though given the porn for women ( https://xkcd.com/714/ ) stuff it could go quite wrong.

    Women making up more of the game playing market. I can believe that, or at least I have no reason to disbelieve that, however I will join the others in wondering about how it might be be further characterised -- hours played, variability in hours played, money invested, alternative value (I see bingo advertised on TV and there is invariably a chat featured deliberately mentioned within, heads on servers and running fan sites counts for something). Hardcore vs casual makes about as much sense as the concept of genre to me, which is to say there is something underpinning it but the concept itself is fairly pointless in this day and age. Back to the further characterisation I imagine it could be anything you like if you blend it right but I imagine many of the more desirable ones would skew male.
     
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  14. HaloEliteLegend

    HaloEliteLegend ~Apprentice Game Designer~

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    I know they exist, but I feel they are sometimes overshadowed by other male leads, or not fleshed out enough. But then again, what I'm saying is extremely broad and does not fully encompass each individual series.
     
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  15. TotalInsanity4
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    TotalInsanity4 GBAtemp Supreme Overlord

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    Added another resource
     
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  16. SammyPoke

    SammyPoke GBAtemp Regular

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    Ok, seeing as I am the only person who voted 'other' let me specify my view on the the whole females in video-games and this sexism rant that has been going on since I guess people where able to communicate with others across the world from the internet. Gamers have existed since the dawn of time, weather these people were male, female, black, white, gay, straight, conservative, liberal, yata. . . (yata, you get the drift) it didn't matter because they were all there for the same reason. To play video-games. Now as time passed-on and people began closely socializing with one another (forming *clicks*) thus creating their own "gaming subculture" this thus not mean that their subculture represents the general, nor the entire view, of Gamers (which is a multidimensional group). It just means that they enjoy the same thing (gaming) in a niche manner (people who played dungeons and dragons were one of the first) that doesn't mean that people who play these games are thus *one of them* though people tend to associate the two because of stereotypes. Which the media loves to endorse because . . wait for it. . . $it gives them money and ratings$.
    Warning: Spoilers inside!
    When I look at a Gamer, I look at someone who's just like me, (not by race, or religion, or any other extraneous circumstance) but because we both have a fondness for video-games. The whole sexism, B.S. is only partially true, it's mainly a politically disguised media tool to get more females involved in video-games and thus generate revenue for the parties involved. I'm not against it (though I am vigilant on who I support on weather their endeavors are sincere or fraudulent).
     
    Last edited by SammyPoke, Oct 26, 2015
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  17. FrozenIndignation

    FrozenIndignation Tyrant R. of ye olde Prinny Squad

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    "Videogame Sexism" you say? Oh boy, I can't wait for this to target respective issues of both men and women in...

    Oh...

    OH...

    *sigh* Okay, so is it sexist to appeal to your market demographic?
    Those articles suggest that the majority of female audiences play mobile games; low entry cost for low game costs.
    Okay, then should we start marketing mid range entry cost+ and (relatively) high game cost to such a demographic?
    Here's another thing, the identity of "gamer" is not something people who play casually tend to associate themselves with, KINDA what spawned the whole slew of "gamers are dead" articles last year.

    Honestly, sexualizing female characters is WAY easier to do than to sexualize a male character. I DARE YOU to try and sexualize a male character without making it look hilarious.
    Hell, I've talked to someone who saw a character drawn in a swim suit and all he could think is "OMFG SEXUALIZED", god forbid he ever went to a public swimming pool or the beach.
    And games that do use women shallowly, like ride to hell retribution, or duke nukem forever (I struggle to think of more of that ilk) these games are not looked favorably on, it's cringe worthy, and we focus on the gameplay which is poor to begin with.

    We. Don't. Care.

    Gameplay >>> all

    Honestly I'm starting to think "sexist towards women" seems nothing more than a some kinda perverted power fantasy =_= OH, YOU'VE GOT IT SOOOOOOOO MUCH WORSE THAN ME, LET ME BE YOUR SHINING KNIGHT IN ARMOUR. ick. Doesn't help that it's the same biological imperative we've had since the paleolithic era.

    And "strong female characters"? Why? Do we only have "strong male characters"? No. We have a variety of male characters, fools, melodramatics, troubled, the weak growing past their weaknesses, we give these to male characters and complain when we give them to females despite the flaws being what made the character interesting to begin with.
    Most games we see males as flawed characters murdering hundreds on hundreds of male characters, and yet give the option to kill a female character and we ban games.

    EDIT:

    In the interest of making this more like a debate.
    Semantically yes.
    You could call anyone who buys an ice cream an ice cream critic.
    You could call anyone who thinks men and women should have equal rights an egalitarian.
    You could call someone who opens the door for you a communist.
    You could call someone at looking you a psychopathic murderer hell bent on doing unspeakable things for you.
    These have a common problem though: self identity is missing.
    And people who do play casual games mobile or no, have a tendency to not associate with that label.
    It's one thing to be accepting of them into gaming culture (and I support that), but another for what choices people make.

    Some points are, indeed, valid. But you need to wade through the raw sewage to find those gems. Further, some "issues" come in their misunderstanding and representation, which, fair enough, we're only human. But then there's misunderstandings that spread around like a rabbit population unchecked.

    Wage gap (for example) is based on mean earnings in company. So you get stuff like comparing the mean earnings of nurses (female dominated) and doctors (mostly male dominated) and then we take that doctors are being paid more and come to the conclusion that women earn less.
    It does not take account of positions, it does not take account of hours worked, it does not account for overtime. (Also interestingly, Women are out earning their male counterparts now for those under 30).

    Further, it's been illegal in most western countries to discriminate in payment, so either 1: people are breaking the law, therefore advocating for laws to enforce this won't work. or 2: Women, as opposed to the decisions available to men, have more choices that allow them to not earn to the same degree.

    And then there are mainstream feminist outside of tumblr that have questionable practices but I've put too much effort to this already :/

    Honestly how do you define hyper-sexualized .-.
    Lara Croft in her initial iterations had a large chest, is that hyper sexualized? Then does that mean if a women has a large bust she's inherently hyper-sexualized? Or is it her clothing choice presented as something no sane person would do?

    As for adverts I admit I have not seen any in far too long a time. But let's go with some recent ones shall we?

    Warning: Spoilers inside!
    I dunno >_> none of those seem too bad, I also tend to think stuff advertised to men is usually gender neutral whereas marketing to women specifically tries to alienate men.
    But even so, is there anything wrong inherently with sexualizaiton? It's KINDA what carbon based life forms do >_>;

    Actually, I'd love to see the opposite happen to be honest, not enough love for men these days :/ well... outside of the completely female dominated romance novels market. I actually wish men would stop worshiping women like some kinda deity. But now I'm taking you out of context purely so I can digress.

    Very true, marketing is generally slanted towards the demographic that is most profitable.
    Whether it be clothing being female dominated market, books, movies, TV shows, wine or video games and beer for men.

    Ah gender roles. How they amuse me as a concept. It's like a chicken and egg paradigm o3o did gender roles come first or did people make decisions to create those gender roles?
    I think my honest answer is to look at human brains =q= ah, delicious succulent white and grey matter, how you differ (typically) between gender (not touching transgender brains and gay/lesbian/bi stuff patterns either) you find that the composition of white and grey matter to vary in concentration. And then you have the effects of sex related hormones acting in influencing (important, INFLUENCING) decisions the concept of "gender roles" starts seeming more of a predictor of behaviors rather than a rigged behavioral control device. And it will exist as long as we cling so tightly to our sense of identity. though I do like seeing people clumsily waltz around the idea.

    And so it caters to a male audience, so what? Sweets in coffee shops tends to cater more to a female audience because of the way our associated biochemistry affects our tastes over thousands of years of environmental and genetic survival and minor mutations. And honestly? just because females are not always portrayed in a positive light does not mean men in the games always are either.

    I consider the inverse of this more likely, but for the interest of giving other people more food for thought: care to tell me some of those blatant sexist tropes? Just a name will be fine, will search them on tvtropes +A+
    Thing with tropes is, they're a story telling element .-. tropes inherently in and of themselves are not bad, but act as a means for which we can decipher elements of a story as something we relate to.
    Worse though, is when they're conflated with stereotypes.

    Me too o3o I want people to think about this kinda stuff beyond just shallow ideas.

    Thing that really bothers me is that we keep focusing on the effects of something on one side of the equation :/ if we have true issues we wish to solve we need to look at both sides, and that's seeing the effect stuff has on men as well.
    Sexism goes both ways.
     
    Last edited by FrozenIndignation, Oct 26, 2015 - Reason: I r gud debat
  18. TotalInsanity4
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    TotalInsanity4 GBAtemp Supreme Overlord

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    Hence why I created the Debate Club :)

    Edit: It should also be mentioned that the topic question is only a conversation starter, I actually would expect conversation to branch out a bit, especially for this particular topic
     
    Last edited by TotalInsanity4, Oct 26, 2015
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  19. TotalInsanity4
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    TotalInsanity4 GBAtemp Supreme Overlord

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    Since discussion has slowed, I'm going to chime in again:

    I'm surprised no one from either side has mentioned these yet:
    Warning: Spoilers inside!
     
  20. FrozenIndignation

    FrozenIndignation Tyrant R. of ye olde Prinny Squad

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    Oh, they advertise mobile games now .-. eww...
     
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