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[Column] General: Stereotyping Men in Videogames

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Comments

  • NephelaiNephelai SydneyPosts: 182Member Uncommon

    Women traded their body for security and resources at day one and that model worked for a very long time because it was simple and kept the population going. While these days security isn't an issue and resources are readily available it's still going to take a long time to breed out +100k years of hard wired behaviors - it'll change but by evolution not revolution.

     

    Having said that I'm mid 40's and have been playing games a long time - I've met and become good friends with over 50 people (men and women) and have honestly never met a bad person. Some qwerky but not bad. I can still remember the first time I traveled on a train to a capital city to met my Quake Clan members for the country championships - heart was racing but in the end the whole weekend is one I'll always remember - if not thru trying to drink it away. Gaming has been a great compliment to my RL overall.

     

    PS: The reason I always play female characters is the over amplification of the male characters - cant stand looking at them.

  • DamonVileDamonVile Vancouver, BCPosts: 4,818Member

    I never put much faith in amateur psychology.  People tend to see things as too black and white. Why we do things is never as simple as the couple of lines in a post make them out to be.

     

    btw guys have more than one emotion...you forgot hungry and horny.

  • RazeeksterRazeekster Solon, MEPosts: 2,201Member Uncommon

    I am so glad you made this article! I am growing so sick and tired of men who play games commenting every time they see a man who is more feminine in features than what they'd like. Not every man is a muscle bound freak. It's sort of a sign to me that a lot of male gamers aren't really in touch with the world nowadays, and how insulting their comments come off to some (seriously, some of you guys on here come off as scared that you're going to be called gay or something by not insulting feminine looking men. Honestly, though you just come off as homophobic... It's like you're trying to hide something ~cough-cough~).

     

    I'm personally looking forward to the day where the hero of the story is a gay/lesbian character and no one cares because it's not some huge freaking deal of life and death. I can hope right?

     
     

    Smile

  • VelocinoxVelocinox Old Folks Home, CAPosts: 810Member Uncommon
    Uhm... but by definition if you do not have muscles you ARE weak... Literally, and not the modern colloquial for literally, but the strict literal definition of literally, as in literally literally weak... literally.

    'Sandbox MMO' is a PTSD trigger word for anyone who has the experience to know that anonymous players invariably use a 'sandbox' in the same manner a housecat does.


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    No game is more fun than the one you can't play, and no game is more boring than one which you've become familiar.


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  • monstermmomonstermmo Glendale, CAPosts: 1,062Member

    lol This is great! And I think it just goes to show the difference between the male and female gamers. Male's don't tend to mind this "stereotype." We want to be the stereotypical buff heroes.

    I'd love to write a big thing about this but I'm not quite in the mood right now. While I do think it's a good topic and offers up the other side of the coin, I also can't help but think it's not genuine. Not that it's badly written or anything. I think it's damn good for trying to look at it from the opposite sexes point of view but it's about as good as it would be if I were to try and write something from a female point of view.

    We're not completely ignorant of the opposite sexes thoughts and feelings but we still don't experience them in the same manner. If i were to write an article on the same subject it would look entirely different. I keep meaning to but I really just haven't gotten to the point where I care enough to do it yet.

    Sexism exists, it's real bad, but Sarkeesian goes to extremes in my opinion.

    Excellent article, thank you.

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  • BurninatorXBurninatorX rancho cordova, CAPosts: 25Member
    [mod edit]

    ^Basically this.^

    "I wish the action hero of this game was a fat hairy guy whose beard doesn't grow quite right, like me!" - said no one ever.

    Most men just understand that it is a game and not representative of men, nor is it supposed to be. They also know that a fat lazy guy wouldn't be able to do any of this stuff, therefore it wouldn't make any sense for that to be an action hero. It is fantasy, a story, a fairy tale, not real life. Why has this been going on so long? Because it doesn't matter and nobody cares. The people playing the game are not bothered by it, no problem. [mod edit]

  • AldersAlders Jack Burton'sPosts: 1,857Member Uncommon

    Men and women that are insecure with themselves tend to have a problem with this.

    I personally don't give a crap how sexy, manly, or overly feminine characters are in video games and i know plenty of women that feel the same way about female characters.

    [mod edit]

  • TheLizardbonesTheLizardbones Arkham, VAPosts: 10,910Member

     


    Originally posted by BurninatorX
    [mod edit]

     

    "I wish the action hero of this game was a fat hairy guy whose beard doesn't grow quite right, like me!" - said no one ever.

    Most men just understand that it is a game and not representative of men, nor is it supposed to be. They also know that a fat lazy guy wouldn't be able to do any of this stuff, therefore it wouldn't make any sense for that to be an action hero. It is fantasy, a story, a fairy tale, not real life. Why has this been going on so long? Because it doesn't matter and nobody cares. The people playing the game are not bothered by it, no problem. [mod edit]


    The reason the stereotypes of men in video games aren't talked about much is because they are designed to be the fantasy of what men want to be. It would be surprising if men found them offensive. Heck, they are generally an example of what most people want to be. Heroic, honorable, capable of handling any situation, the sole reason that events are happening and generally healthy. In short, the hero.

    What next. Oh, it's the irony of putting women in a group of people who do not understand that video games aren't actually real, while at the same time implying that stereotypes don't exist.

    "I want to be a useless Damsel In Distress" said no woman, ever. They may want the Knight In Shining Armor, but they don't want to be the useless, voiceless, largely brainless collection of features that mean sex symbol being a Damsel In Distress implies.

    The big thing is these types of things seem to be lessening over time and in the overall gaming market there isn't really that much stereotyping happening. In a lot of games it's just impossible because there aren't actual people involved. I think this makes for better games because avoiding stereotypes either requires giving players more choice, or in creating better characters in general.

     

    I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

  • OlgarkOlgark BostonPosts: 319Member Uncommon

    Its one reason I often role a female character in computer RPGs. I find the male characters to be cartoonish and over the top steroid freaks. As a male gamer I bonded more with Geralt of the Witcher series in the books and games. Sure he has a lot of muscles but he also shows emotion and a great deal of thought.

     

    I don't complain though as I see this as fantasy and fiction, I am just not sure why women feel they need to complain about such things. Maybe its in their own nature to analyse everything and pick it apart. In my experience women are never happy with any kind of result, and will always find something to moan about.

    image

  • EhliyaEhliya Washington, DCPosts: 199Member

    Not sure this is a gender thing.  Almost all MMORPGs define player advancement and achievement through one single criteria, which is killing things.  Kill, kill, kill, whether its MOBS, NPC or other players.  It applies equally to women - they have to step up and slay or get left behind.  Every other human value and activity is made subordinate to killing.

    I think this is done because it is easy and cheaper than developing more complex and varied activities for players.

     

  • AnslemAnslem Ft. Lauderdale, FLPosts: 215Member
    Regarding killing mobs, the only advantage I've ever had when playing a female toon was in UO. One of the bosses would reflect damage from male toons. You could cast polymorph to avoid this though. 

    Played: Ultima Online - DaoC - WoW -

  • GhavriggGhavrigg Halifax, NSPosts: 774Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Razeekster

    I am so glad you made this article! I am growing so sick and tired of men who play games commenting every time they see a man who is more feminine in features than what they'd like. Not every man is a muscle bound freak. It's sort of a sign to me that a lot of male gamers aren't really in touch with the world nowadays, and how insulting their comments come off to some (seriously, some of you guys on here come off as scared that you're going to be called gay or something by not insulting feminine looking men. Honestly, though you just come off as homophobic... It's like you're trying to hide something ~cough-cough~).

     

    I'm personally looking forward to the day where the hero of the story is a gay/lesbian character and no one cares because it's not some huge freaking deal of life and death. I can hope right?

     
     

    I found it funny, that at every restaurant, fast food place, etc., that I've worked at, everyone just acts gay jokingly. I've never really worried much about it, but when it comes to heroes in games and movies, I do find I generally prefer straight if there is anything sexual at all going on, because I can relate to it more. In the end, as long as the game is fun, though, I don't think I'd have TOO much of a problem... just as long as they don't go over the top and have a gay guy be a crossdressing, make-up wearing, skinny boy who might as well be a chick but they decided to add him in as "male" to be controversial.

    As for now, though, you can always play the Dragon Age games and choose gay options, if you'd like. That seems to be the closest you'll get at the moment.

  • Segun777Segun777 Jade Dynasty Correspondent Lemont, PAPosts: 97Member
    Nice article! More than anything, what I want is better characters. Max Payne 3 was a joke compared to the first two, like it lost it's soul. Video games oddly enough for a medium mostly focused on a single character tend to have very few memorable ones.
  • DracomonDracomon Alexandra HeadlandPosts: 29Member

    "Anger! Anger and revenge! Grr! Grief? Subvert it into anger! Love? Never heard of it! Fear? Only the weak feel fear! Happiness? Happiness is when I revel in my anger!

    The problem is, that’s all crap. Human beings feel emotion, it’s hardwired into all of us before birth."

    Have you ever considered that it is you that is wrong? Why should i feel negative emotions such as fear or sadness? Thats just silly. Deliberately converting feelings to anger is much smarter. It gives you the strength and motivation to face anything.

    I am old enough to have faced many of those emotions you mentioned, and i have stared everyone of them down.  

    Until you have done that, you will never understand the inner strength you gain from knowing nothing can harm you. It is both liberating and enlightening at the same time.

    Anyway,  it was interesting to get a females point of view. Even if she doesn't have a clue what it is to be a non sooky cry baby male of the species. ;)

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  • RazeeksterRazeekster Solon, MEPosts: 2,201Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Ghavrigg
    Originally posted by Razeekster

    I am so glad you made this article! I am growing so sick and tired of men who play games commenting every time they see a man who is more feminine in features than what they'd like. Not every man is a muscle bound freak. It's sort of a sign to me that a lot of male gamers aren't really in touch with the world nowadays, and how insulting their comments come off to some (seriously, some of you guys on here come off as scared that you're going to be called gay or something by not insulting feminine looking men. Honestly, though you just come off as homophobic... It's like you're trying to hide something ~cough-cough~).

     

    I'm personally looking forward to the day where the hero of the story is a gay/lesbian character and no one cares because it's not some huge freaking deal of life and death. I can hope right?

     
     

    I found it funny, that at every restaurant, fast food place, etc., that I've worked at, everyone just acts gay jokingly. I've never really worried much about it, but when it comes to heroes in games and movies, I do find I generally prefer straight if there is anything sexual at all going on, because I can relate to it more. In the end, as long as the game is fun, though, I don't think I'd have TOO much of a problem... just as long as they don't go over the top and have a gay guy be a crossdressing, make-up wearing, skinny boy who might as well be a chick but they decided to add him in as "male" to be controversial.

    As for now, though, you can always play the Dragon Age games and choose gay options, if you'd like. That seems to be the closest you'll get at the moment.

    Yeah, that would be a little over the top! I think it would be awesome if an MMO developer thought about all the people when they were doing character creation. I mean, some games don't even give you the option to have different skins colors besides white and tan... It would be nice to see a character creation that catered to the straights, to the gays, to the lesbians, and to all races and not just to the white Caucasian gamer. That way everyone would be happy.

     

    Smile

  • MondoA2JMondoA2J Henderson, NVPosts: 258Member
    Originally posted by Occa

    "Anger! Anger and revenge! Grr! Grief? Subvert it into anger! Love? Never heard of it! Fear? Only the weak feel fear! Happiness? Happiness is when I revel in my anger!

    The problem is, that’s all crap. Human beings feel emotion, it’s hardwired into all of us before birth."

    Have you ever considered that it is you that is wrong? Why should i feel negative emotions such as fear or sadness? Thats just silly. Deliberately converting feelings to anger is much smarter. It gives you the strength and motivation to face anything.

    I am old enough to have faced many of those emotions you mentioned, and i have stared everyone of them down.  

    Until you have done that, you will never understand the inner strength you gain from knowing nothing can harm you. It is both liberating and enlightening at the same time.

    Anyway,  it was interesting to get a females point of view. Even if she doesn't have a clue what it is to be a non sooky cry baby male of the species. ;)

    Oh my god Anakin Skywalker is that you?! Sorry you came off very Sith like in your opinion.

    I don't think converting emotions into anger is necessarily a healthy thing to do for a human being. Sometimes everybody needs to cry, or grieve. Anger is not always a healthy emotionally response. You may have some anger issues. ;)

    The inner strength from always being angry? That's called rage.

    Also you don't know what the OP has gone through, just cause her opinion is different from you, doesn't make it invalid or a "sooky cry baby male of the species." Being snarky and passive aggressive isn't very mature for someone who has faced many emotions. 

    Chances are though you will convert however this posts makes you feel into anger. Enjoy Mustafar!

     

    MMORPG Gamers/Developers need a reality check!

  • TheMaahesTheMaahes Marlborough, MAPosts: 185Member

    I agree with your article. Hit a number of good points.

     

    These stereotype articles need to stop including Kratos. Poor guy gets a lot of hate for those guns and anger problems.

  • fiontarfiontar Dana, MAPosts: 3,719Member

    The reason most men don't rally against those tropes is because they would be afraid it would be seen as a sign of weakness. I know a lot of guys who have groaned over those tropes in private, but few, if any, will attack them in public, less they be seen as less than manly men.

    I think these tropes are a big reason why so many men are playing female characters today. They can't really relate to the male characters, so they might as well just play a female character for the eye candy, or for the experience of just playing a toon with out the pressures to constantly exhibit their testosterone driven manliness!

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  • RohnRohn Saint Peters, MOPosts: 3,740Member Uncommon

    The underlying premise of the article is:

    Traditional male or masculine behavior is bad, wrong, evil, etc.

    Therefore, anything that reinforces traditional masculine behavior - in this case, games - are also bad.

    The premise itself is biased and sexist.

    This type of agenda-laden gender bashing has literally been going on for decades.  If anything needs to stop, we should start there.

     

    Hell hath no fury like an MMORPG player scorned.

  • melyne28melyne28 PanevezysPosts: 2Member
     Please, stop and think for a minute. Is it really stereotypes and games are wrong? First of all - stereotypes works. In games, in social life, everywhere. We not even recognising we using them. Sad, but true. And nothing will change that. In history was some tryings to do so. I tell you a secret - it failed. Games just give people what they want to be but can't in real live -strong (and good looking ) heroes. Like some sort of fairy tales. I agree, that some people not happy with that, I'm not allways happy with that. Like female player I don't like some types of armour or female image in some games . But I understand that games industry is not about fixing society. It's about making money and It just gives people what they want. And have in mind that gamers are mostly men. Fantasy sells. Dream sells. And here majority wins. 
  • KeilaniKeilani AntwerpPosts: 17Member

    Haha! Funny how on the videos the comments are disabled.

     

    Anyway, I don't care how men or women are pictured in games. We all know what the reality is, at least, we should know.

    But, doesn't every man dream to be a hero? To be tough, not only in looks but also in charachter. Don't women dream of being the one who is helped and admired by the men?

    Why making a big fuss out of it. xD  And it's not all the games that show women as people who cannot save themself (I refer here to Lara Croft from Tomb Raider)

    Plus it's not only in games that these things happen, also in books, but no one complains about books...

    Games are meant to be fun, so what there are stereotypes? In games you can be whatever you want. Are you offended by a game? Don't play it. It's easy as that.

  • YamotaYamota LondonPosts: 6,620Member
    Do men really care about this kind of stuff? I doubt it, we play games to have fun and dont give a hoot about gender stereotyping. I havent even thought about it before reading this article. Talk about first world problems...
  • TymorisTymoris AthensPosts: 360Member

    Kudos for the article it was very interesting and had some very good points.

    And yeah I agree I I was fortunate having such a family. Hopefully I can pass on such fortune in some way:)

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  • TymorisTymoris AthensPosts: 360Member
    Originally posted by Yamota
    Do men really care about this kind of stuff? I doubt it, we play games to have fun and dont give a hoot about gender stereotyping. I havent even thought about it before reading this article. Talk about first world problems...

    Actually a lot of that stuff are not being done consciously. That's why they are being so problematic.

    For example in most mmos I have played, my male friends are always surprised when a girl is being a warrior class instead of a mage class:P

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  • GranDuxGranDux Phoenix, AZPosts: 70Member
    Originally posted by Ghavrigg

    This is not so much a video game issue, as it is an Western societal issue. Western game developers, mainly,  are just catering to the masses for entertainment, and if what the people want is huge muscled up angry brutes, then that's what they're gonna create. 

    The Japanese game developers like to throw in a big muscular dude here and there (and some of their games are all about them, still) but they seem to be more about how it's not the size of the protagonist, but their mental will to complete the task. They also have their emotional extremes, but I've seen more happy heroes from Asian games in general than from the Western games, as well as male heroes that will break down and cry more often.

    Just my experience, though. I may have just missed all the games that counter what I said on both sides of the world. 

    It's one of the main reasons why there is interest in non-western games particularly for myself. The characters, along with their designs are much more intriguing and thought out. Often times the characters do rely on their mental capabilities to handle a task and have a variety of customization features offer where the player can easily design the look they wish of the character in HD definitions.

    There are big-brute type characters in the games but most time they are portrayed as angry "brawns but no brains". Often times in western games I find characters just going on murder sprees and killing just to kill . At least in the japanese games there are reasons most of the time why the characters do what they do. Madness, survival, or even as a requirement of their world. The development is simply much more flesh-out and the characters have more of a humane attribute to them than a predictable and often times over-use hollywood cliche and blood-baths for fun. Which makes the characters much more interesting to see, than the standard good guy/angry brute/save my honor role I've seen so many times in western games.

    Yes, male characters are actually allowed to cry show fear or even fail in japanese games or be feminine, or turn from a good guy to a bad guy. It is also interesting to see the many different shapes and heights of characters rather than the generic standard of what a male or female video-game character is "suppose" to look like. There's skinny characters, short characters, plump characters and sometimes even unattractive or just bizzare looking ones too.

     
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