A Conversation

Keflyn

I’m writing a blog entry on how there is no articles on male representation in games and asking why its ok for men to be stereotyped but not women

16:37Rachel

it’s a good plan, i need to write something similar

have you found no articles on it?

16:38Keflyn

I’m gonna say how maybe its all down to jealously at the end of the post xD

16:38Rachel

haha what that we’re jealous of characters?

16:38Keflyn

No, i’ve typed it in and just got articles on women..

Your jealous of the way the characters look its why you complain about them

16:39 Rachel

maybe a little, but i’d never want to look as slaggish as some

16:39 Keflyn

That’s why i’m saying it might be down to jealously

also wrote about how it might have to do with other media and how skinny women are considered as unhealthy and a bad influence on womens health but muscly men aren’t

16:40Rachel

i think the thing with the beefy male issue is that in fighting games,you have to be beefy to fight

but that doesn’t explain why they give them generic hard-man looks

like their face n stuff

16:41Keflyn

but women in them games as well wouldn’t be as skinny as they are

16:41Rachel

nah they’d be muscly and in very good shape

i don’t mind women like that

it’s when they’re bikini clad that it annoys me

16:42Keflyn

but even magic users and stuff are always skinny as well

16:42Rachel

true

16:42Keflyn

i mean there not skinny

there equally as muscly

16:43Rachel

mm i get ye

16:43Keflyn

i mention how men are always muscly killing machines in games

16:44Rachel

it depends what the story is

a lot of fighting games stories are “killing machine getting revenge”

if you wrote that in a book no one would buy it

16:45Keflyn

nope

16:46Keflyn

its just weird how there is hardly any or nothing on male representation in games, its like the way there shown is perfect

16:48Rachel

doesn’t that show guys don’t care or don’t want to admit they they care?

16:48Keflyn

That’s what I said

but even is the minority of men are effected by it why shouldn’t they try to appeal to them like they do with women?

16:50Rachel

do a poll

ask if guys care what their characters look like

and if it turns out they do

ask people why they don’t do anything about it?

16:51Keflyn

I might do

16:52Rachel

i’d of thought women do because they’ve always been degraded by men

and the games industry is one of the only art/media one’s left to not really include women

16:53Keflyn

But would you like it if we made every female character really ugly?

16:54Rachel

it’s not about the looks, it’s about the way they’re dressed

their personalities

sometimes the looks- if they’re not even real proportions. Like when lara crofts head was smaller than her waist

16:54Keflyn

Lara croft and Nariko are sure not wearing much but there personality is about being a strong women? Men personalities in games arent always the best alot of the time there equally as annoying

16:55Rachel

but most games are good with that

16:56Rachel

lara doesn’t wear much, but she never has her cleavage out

the only thing is the shorts

16:56Keflyn

I’ve seen you wear shorts like that before :):)

16:56Rachel

yup : D

which is why i don’t mind lara

16:57Keflyn

But alot of women DO dress like alot of the female characters in games

16:57Rachel

i’d of thought it was more the other way round

it kinda goes Media>Women>Games

16:57Keflyn

Thats what I mean, women in real life do wear equally as little clothes as some female characters in games

16:58Rachel

but women in real life aren’t going out fighting monsters

and most of the time they dress in little when they’re going on nights out

17:00Keflyn

I just don’t feel that women put up a good argument when it comes to this stuff because most of them are as bad as the characters. Its like when black people hate racism and being called the N word but alot of them use it themselves

17:00Rachel

i agree completely, women slag themselves up a lot

but if they were told “you’ve been missioned to fight off Lord Ezergold” or something

17:01Keflyn

yes its bad for the girls who dont but if you don’t stop doing it as a whole how can you expect the other media to?

17:01Rachel

they wont put their sexy shoes on and a bikini

17:02Keflyn

I dont think i’ve see a game where a girl in high heels and a bikini is fighting in world war 2

17:02Rachel

they released a game recently with girls in bikinis fighting zombies

http://www.joystiq.com/2009/02/10/hot-girls-slicing-up-zombies-is-something-we-can-immediately-ide/

and there’s another with this women in a latex onsie with ridiculously long legs and high heels

17:03Keflyn

thats one of them cheap arms they try to appeal to the men in order to make quick money

17:04Rachel

exactly

17:04Keflyn

i dont count them as games because there stupid

17:04Rachel

but a huge group of men got together and thought that was a good idea

17:04Keflyn

its not a serious game though.

17:04Rachel

and they’re in the game industry

it doesn’t make me laugh

17:05Keflyn

Its one of them games that were made for the purpose of horny guys

its not like one of them games that try to appeal to the mass market.

17:06Rachel

that doesn’t give it an excuse to make it though

17:06Keflyn

no but if they made a game with men in underwear nothing would be said

17:06Rachel

you don’t see any games out there where you play a beefy jerk in a leopard print thong

it would!

no one would buy it

maybe for a joke

17:07Keflyn

and you think people will buy that game?

17:07Rachel

not at all

none of my friends would like it

17:07Keflyn

I still dont think that game is as bad as the play boy game that was created by a female

17:08Rachel

but females are what playboy is all about

it’s sad

it puts women down

playboy women just want to look like porn

and that’s what’s seen as desirable

17:08Keflyn

but a women made that game so why is it always blamed on the men?

17:09Rachel

so suddenly we’re all put under pressure cause guys think women like looking like that

because the men are the majority

17:09Keflyn

the majority of gamers are men too

17:09Rachel

60% yeah

17:11Keflyn

blaming the majority isnt the way to do it

17:12Rachel

i’m afriad that’s how most people work

17:13Keflyn

and thats how people try to sell stuff by appealing to the majority

17:13Rachel

and it’s wrong

maybe women would be the majority if people tried to make games that they liked

but they don’t want to

because they think they’re the minority, and dont play games

17:14Keflyn

What sort of game would you like there to be?

17:15Rachel

i’m not a very good example cause most games please me. But i do enjoy puzzle related ones

like tomb raider

i don’t even know myself what women want

it’s hard to know if you’ve never tried it cause it’s not been made

17:16Keflyn

Lara Croft is wearing acceptable clothing for what she does, she is in alot of very hot places

17:16Rachel

she is

and they need to be durable, not like latex jump suits

which is why i don’t mind what she wears

17:17Keflyn

people complain about her body proportions aswell but she is just as exaggerated as alot of males bodys

17:17Rachel

i think old lara was a bit too unbelievable

but i like the way she is now

pretty much the same as angelina

17:18Keflyn

but look at He Man for example. he is a rediculos size and only steriods would get you there.

17:18Rachel

it’s funny cause if you look at the US army, the UK army too, they’re not beefy at all

they’re in good shape

but they don’t look like a killing machine

17:19Keflyn

exactly,, but in games there muscles have been doubled in size to that of a body builder

17:20Keflyn

that wouldnt be realistic in a game

17:20Rachel

i agree

but they’re made like that because that’s what the designer is jealous of

it’s all about fantasy

women characters are an object of someone’s fantasy

17:21Keflyn

I just think people like to complain

17:21Rachel

what they want the woman to look like

and so are men

17:22Keflyn

There all made to that state that is consider “perfect”

17:22Rachel

i think there are just a lot of social issues out there that give people something to complain about

yeah

it’s so hard

like

there are loads of women out there that are slags

and dress like it

and a lot of men like that, the woman is pretty much dressed to say ‘i’m up for it’

everything about them, small waist, big boobs, good features attracts male attention, cause that’s what genetics is about

which then puts pressure on the not so good looking people to dress like them

or they think they wouldn’t stand a chance with men

and they’re right, i’ve been shunned by loads of guys because i don’t look pretty

17:25Keflyn

Thats why

maybe its because they were just not attracted to you?

it doesnt mean your ugly

17:26Rachel

so that’s probably why sometimes i like to dress a bit sexy because i feel it’s making up for the fact i have low self image issues

17:27Keflyn

I’ve spoken to so many people that think your attractive Rachel and very pretty so its all down to personal prefrence.

17:27Rachel

oh..thanks haha

17:28Keflyn

I think a girl is more un attrative when she dresses like a slag

17:28Rachel

me too

17:28Keflyn

some dont

17:28Rachel

it was on tv yesterday on that sex ed programme that’s out now

17:28Keflyn

Thats why I think the girls in men mags are ugly.

17:28Rachel

i think some guys will want to have sex with a woman like that but then after want nothing to do with them

everything about the girl will turn them on but once they’ve got what they wanted they don’t need her anymore

17:29Keflyn

Are you as offended by pornos and men mag as you are when it comes to games that display women in the same way?

17:29Rachel

yes

i would never want to look like the girls in them

but at the same time there are things i want to improve on myself

17:30Keflyn

when they create games like that they are trying to appeal to that market because thats where they see the money is

17:31Rachel

totally

17:31Keflyn

then there are games like The Sims that appeal more to females

17:31Rachel

but i think they’re ignoring the fact there is money in girls too

17:31Keflyn

and they try to aim it more towards that market

17:31Rachel

i think a lot of women like ‘toys’ like the sims, and spore

because it’s more creative

17:32Keflyn

There not ignoring it, they just not bothered by it,They find it easier to appeal to the 60% of males then to the females

17:32Rachel

true

17:32Keflyn

even you said you don’t know what girls want from games

– A conversation between a friend and myself, we are both studying Gender in games for our Critical Studies project. It’s quite handy to have a male point of view, and I have a feeling we’re both going to be racking each others brains for answers and understanding of the opposite gender.

The beggining of the conversation started with the theory that women are jealous of the female characters, and that’s why they complain about the way video game characters look. I think in some cases Keflyn is right, the women that are created for the majority of games are made to look “perfect”. This is probably a marketing technique, if most of the consumers are men, they may be more likely to buy the game if there’s a  “sexy” woman in it. But how are we supposed to not be jealous? Everything about the “perfect” character is challenging our self-image. Firstly, it was designed by a man (in most cases, I would hope) and he designed her to look how he wanted a woman to look. We are immediately aware that we don’t look like that, and unless we undergo countless number or surgeries, probably never will. So perhaps anger kicks in (in the form of jealousy) because we know we could never be her, or maybe you’re not jealous, but angry that she has been created to TRY and make you jealous. But games are not alone here, TV programmes and Film do the same thing. The main female characters of The OC are all beautiful, and most of the extras too (and so are the men). Because they know that this will attract the most viewers, without caring whether the majority of teenage girls and boys will tune and “wish I looked like that”, because they are still watching it, despite their insecurities. In fact, it’s probably their insecurities making them watch it. But the difference between TV/Film and games is that that actors in TV and Film are real people, and so they are believable. Where as the characters in games are created by someone, and so instead of thinking “They’re beautiful, I’m jealous of how they look but that’s just how genes work, it’s not their fault.” we think “They’re beautiful because someone made them like that. I’m jealous because that’s what someone thinks I should look like.”

We also adressed how it’s not only women but men that are created to be “perfect”. Let’s use Chris Redfield as an example:

chris_redfield1

re525mv91

In the first image, he resembles a generic man, medium built and not outstandingly attractive. In the most recent version of the game, they have made him extremely muscly, and although it’s difficult to see here, made him slightly more attractive looking. The first image is much less intimidating, his physique is believable for what he is required to do. For some reason, they decided that he needed to be pumped up on steroids and undergo some facial surgery in order to what? Encourage more players? There is already a large audience that play Resident Evil, and would buy it despite a change in his appearance. Maybe they wanted to encourage girls to pick up the game, as everything about his body reflects the Sociobiological Theory of Attractiveness where women are attracted to men who look like they can protect them. This also explains why men are more attracted to women with a small waist, big hips and large breasts, as they show signs of fertility. I certainly hope men are intimidated by his appearance, as it would give them a taste of their own medicine.

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