[E3] The rise of female characters - how organic does it feel

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The telltale signs of political bias are actually missing from the new Assassin's Creed, i.e. namely the character design of Kassandra is actually physically attractive - aka a no-go for the neo-puritanical Sarkeesian crowd who equate beauty with some form of oppressive evil (just check Mass Effect Andromeda for example where women were made ugly - on purpose). It's no joke, i.e. one of the most jarring aspects of Ellie's kiss in the new Last of Us game is the fact the designers also deliberately made her girlfriend... ugly. By choice. That's way more dubious than simply inserting a female protagonist & indicative of a agenda driven approach to their work.
I think some of you are mistaking ugly with realistic and average.
 
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I'm loving it. I have a sweet spot for strong deadly female characters like Lara or Ellie or Alloy. And I really be really happy if for example Persona had female lead from time to time or Witcher 3 spin-off with Ciri (the parts of book where Ciri start her bandit life and follow up confrontation with Bonehart are my favourites) . Hate for me all you want but I even like SW Rey despite her Mary Sue godlike abilities.

What I'm not a fan of is modern anti-sexual puritanism and boring super safe character design like female characters in previous AC game (through that's recent since Aveline was one of best characters in that series)
 
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Haha, joke post right? If hooked noses & bad skin are a turn on, be my guest. This is what tolerating mediocrity leads to, i.e. a race to a lowest common denominator in which fugly people are heralded as the 'new normal'. How about no? Back in the real world a vast section of the western world's female population is far more attractive.i
This is absurd in my view. This thread is the first that I’m reading that Aloy is unattractive and now it’s the TLOU 2 trailer women.

Aren’t 40% of Americans in the overweight and obese range and somewhere close to for a number of Western countries?

Video game characters are innately photogenic which is far and away better than average human beings. All that has changed now is that the character designers are taking cues from real life references, often from the voice actors themselves.

Ellie bears a resemblance to her voice actress and I’m guessing the artist for her dance partner can point to a real life example.

Maybe they’re not attractive to you but nobody else cares about that.
 
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Maybe they’re not attractive to you but nobody else cares about that.
If that were true, women such as Bryce Dallas Howard & Jennifer Laurence wouldn't be cast as leads in huge Hollywood blockbusters (to name just two). People want beauty (shocking, right?) There is a definition of beauty & this is the complete opposite (the one on the left):




By the way, I'm in France - so your USA obesity remark doesn't apply here.
 
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Kadayi

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I'm a little doped up due to a bad case of hayfever and a tonne of medication, but IIRC the Protag in the new AC game is a Spartan. Having read some Spartan history books, their women were pretty formidable and albeit they didn't necessarily undertake exactly the same training as the men, they knew how to handle themselves. I think the missed opportunity with playing a female character in the game is probably not having a more gymnastic skillset at their disposal versus the male character (think rogue versus fighter), however, the game looks dope and it might lure me back to the series.

As for female protags. I'm A-OK with them. Given the choice, I'll always go female versus male.
 
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Cybrwzrd

Anime waifu panty shots are basically the same thing as paintings of the french baroque masters, if you think about it.
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I really don't care. I rather like games with female protagonists. But that kiss had a bit of the creepy "lets put cute teenage lesbians in the game to be edgy, and look how hot two girls kissing is *tee-hee*" vibe to me, but whatever.
 
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Much of the criticism seems to be about developers “making a statement”. What is really meant is you don’t like the statement they’re making with their product.
I don't think this is it. A good writer can make a point through subtlety. They can weave Their audience through complicated moral and ethical issues and bring them to a point that makes them question their own principles and ideas.

And then they are bad writers. When they try to make a statement, it is almost certainly done heavy heavy-handed. Instead of subtlety, the issue is dealt with as if the writer is painting with a heavy Club rather than a fine brush.

For example, having Ellie as the main character of tlou 2 seems very natural. The kiss scene was fine by me, though I can see where some would find it heavy-handed since it was so Central to the trailer since it was out of context of the game and presented more as a marketing point. Wolfenstein suddenly having two twin daughters seems forced.

I don't generally identify with protagonists at all, and Skip through story and plot in almost all cases. I don't really care who I play as. I'd be playing tlou 2 regardless of whether the protagonist was Joel, Ellie, or Ralphie from The Simpsons. But I appreciate that It is Well written and tlou is one of the few games that actually made me identify with it's characters

This is absurd in my view. This thread is the first that I’m reading that Aloy is unattractive and now it’s the TLOU 2 trailer women
aloy is shockingly beautiful. I'm surprised someone is arguing she's ugly as well.
 
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Its not organic, i think devs are just cashing in on feminisim. We know this cause the sudden surge of female chracters began when feminist movement blow up in the industry.

Personally i dont have an issue with it, its sure as hell not organic tho. This surge should have begun 30 years ago.
 
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Oh, I was talking about your second sentence when you said "nothing has changed" and I said "we are seeing more female protagonist on the western side".

Meant that Japan never has the issue of having female protagonists that the West has been known to have.. I edited my previous post to further state what I mean. My apologies.
Sorry about that on my end as well, I was in a rush and that came across as more aggressive than I meant.
 
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If that were true, women such as Bryce Dallas Howard & Jennifer Laurence wouldn't be cast as leads in huge Hollywood blockbusters (to name just two). People want beauty (shocking, right?) There is a definition of beauty & this is the complete opposite (the one on the left):




By the way, I'm in France - so your USA obesity remark doesn't apply here.
You used ‘Western’ so stating you’re from France is irrelevant.

Is this forgettable named character a lead character in TLOU2? Not every actress leading a movie is or is required to be attractive. It depends on the underlying narrative.

Charlize Theron won an Academy award for best actress in Monster for example and she was far from conventional standards for attractiveness. It stands to show that watching movies is not about your standard for beauty.

There were plenty of attractive women in Black Panther that look nothing like either Howard or Lawrence and despite her fandom and attractiveness, Emilia Clarke’s acting is terrible.

Steve Buscemi, Adam Driver, Jay Baruchel, all get by with conventional looks. They may not be the leads in Superhero films but they shine in other areas.

Similarly a post-apocalyptic game isn’t a film you’d be expecting a lot of make-up unless it’s in the form of tribal paint and tattoos.
 
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"Feminism" mentioned in this context normally is about the sex-negative (nowadays mainstream, but it wasn't always like that) wing that goes full Taliban on sexual appeal of women, is rather frustrating. "Sexual objectification" is just a random thought, not a solid theory built on facts. People of both genders need sexual objects, they actually do exist for women too.

Other than that, I wish people would realize that diversity is when you have a choice and not when you flip the switch and go from only males to only females and from only white males to anything, but white males.

It is also wise to remember the reason why we actually need various characters: it's easier to relate to the character that is like you (the main argument of about why so few women play non-mobile games) but works it both ways.

Other than that, I'm playing HZD at the moment, and enjoying it very much.
The bolded is true, but the default in society still is and has always been straight, white and male. So I think it's necessary to "flip the switch" and have games with only female leads, who're not straight and not exclusively white. Why? Because these people do exist and play these games.

If you look at the statistics for games released this year alone, I guarantee there are more where you play as a white male or animal/creature/robot over a woman or person of color. Same with books, movies, TV shows and every other entertainment medium.
 
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The bolded is true, but the default in society still is and has always been straight, white and male. So I think it's necessary to "flip the switch" and have games with only female leads, who're not straight and not exclusively white. Why? Because these people do exist and play these games.

If you look at the statistics for games released this year alone, I guarantee there are more where you play as a white male or animal/creature/robot over a woman or person of color. Same with books, movies, TV shows and every other entertainment medium.
White people will eventually become a minority in the US. Sorry to burst your bubble.
 
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Its not organic, i think devs are just cashing in on feminisim. We know this cause the sudden surge of female chracters began when feminist movement blow up in the industry.

Personally i dont have an issue with it, its sure as hell not organic tho. This surge should have begun 30 years ago.
That's assuming most of society has moved beyond the idea of 'father/protector', 'mother/nurturer' roles. I don't think most of society has.
 
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Movies and video games targeted at men have always had a mix of male and female leads. However, the male demographic is saturated, men are earning fewer degrees, and (young) men are earning less overall. The market needs to find a female audience so it needs to gradually change their formula. The percentage of female leads is going to be only one changing factor.
 
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aloy is shockingly beautiful. I'm surprised someone is arguing she's ugly as well.
I haven't even played HZD yet (I do want to, but man there's so many games to play) and while I don't personally find her as highly attractive as you, she's definitely not someone I would turn down a date with in terms of just her looks (since I don't know her personality because I haven't played the game yet). Like if someone doesn't find her attractive, fine, but she's clearly not ugly unless you hold people to a ridiculous standard in terms of beauty.
 
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I don't really feel like I noticed a big problem with female game characters being crowbarred in without reason. The Ellie stuff seemed fine with me. Maybe it was something they highlighted from the game to get moral crusaders to rally behind the game, but when that scene is just taking place inside of the game itself, it won't seem offputting.

What I did notice was that every single time they had people playing games, they always made sure to get the full diversity panel checklisted. There was always at least one female playing with a group of guys, when that will be much more rare in reality. It was an obvious thing. Not really a problem, but it's obvious at this point that companies are very afraid to show a group of people without females and all races involved because there's a twitter lunatic backlash waiting.
 
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I don't necessarily see a "rise" in female heroes. They've always been there, but militant feminists complained that they're not to their liking for whatever reason. Even a strong female character like 2B got lambasted last year merely because of what she wore.

I didn't like the scene because it's PDA. Has nothing to do with the sexes - I had no complaints about Left Behind's kiss.
That's understandable though - does her attire help her achieve her objective in any way? I don't think it's just "militant" feminists complaining about this though.

Some people, like myself for example would like the video games industry to just grow up. Maybe the community would follow suit, and this hobby would finally stop being looked down upon by everyone else.
 
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You used ‘Western’ so stating you’re from France is irrelevant.
Yet you were apparently ready to equate the USA's obesity level with the entirety of the western world. Just saying. I certainly don't want to argue further on this issue because I really don't care that much - at all. I only make note of the fact the developers (for xyz reasons) deliberately made her that way. They could have fixed her face, yet didn't. They could have chosen a far better looking girl, yet didn't. That means they're making a statement.

As for Charlize Theron, wasn't she a supermodel who was 'uglied' on purpose for the role? She got her Oscar because the Academy is infatuated with such movies & always has been... whereas the wider audience? Not so much. I also (for what it's worth) mentioned the fact I don't like these new deliberately ugly male leads in video games either. It's just jarring considering for a century Hollywood & the fashion industry did their utmost to fix blemishes via lighting, makeup & special effects (some could argue they went too far into unrealistic territory), yet in games the creators are now going in the opposite direction & choosing to make their characters look mediocre (themselves going too far the other way).

I don't like it, and that's my right. At least Japanese games seem to be immune to this problem.
 

Cybrwzrd

Anime waifu panty shots are basically the same thing as paintings of the french baroque masters, if you think about it.
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The bolded is true, but the default in society still is and has always been straight, white and male. So I think it's necessary to "flip the switch" and have games with only female leads, who're not straight and not exclusively white. Why? Because these people do exist and play these games.

If you look at the statistics for games released this year alone, I guarantee there are more where you play as a white male or animal/creature/robot over a woman or person of color. Same with books, movies, TV shows and every other entertainment medium.
I'd be curious to see the stats, and why do animals/creatures/robots get classified as straight white males? Maybe media made in the US and Europe, both predominately white, are going to skew that way for representation, but no media is made in other countries with different populations?
 
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I'm not against this lol. This is where it's heading all over the west. People best get used to it. No amount of racism is going to stop globalization.
"Accept the destruction of white nations, or else ur a racist!"

Fortunately, Europe will eventually fix this horror before it's too late. People are waking up all over the continent. I don't want to derail this topic either, I just find such throwaway comments which celebrate the demise of an entire race (aka "in ur face whitey, suck it!") heinous.
 
Aug 3, 2010
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In a cave outside of Whooville.
Why don’t we dissect attractiveness levels for male characters? Oh that’s right....
Why bother? If they're attractive and buff, then they're just male power fantasies. Women never stoop so low as to be attracted to attractive depictions of men. Only lowly men do something so pathetic!

So every depiction of everything that has ever occurred has been for men and against women. Checkmate!
 

TGO

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I usually play as female if the option is there
I've played and enjoyed TLOU and Left Behind and had no problem with them
Ellie was a Oh right response and thought nothing more of it.
The trailer was fantastic and I never questioned Ellies abilities while watching it.
But I don't think the kiss and wording was needed and would have preferred that information to be given to me in the game at the right time in a tasteful manner.
It seemed forced and in your face
You knew it was coming too

I'm also shocked 3 trailers in and we actually haven't seen Joel yet.
Maybe he is Dead but I imagine the lad she was talking to was referring to Joel when he mentioned her Dad
Still it's looks fantastic.
 
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It's inevitable that the increase in female representation will feel to an extent "not organic". People will criticize female leads more since it's not the norm, and often the characters are partially laden with intent to "support the cause" of feminism. I see the Uncharted 4 and TLOU2 strong female moments very much as a statement the devs want to make about their support. It can come off as preachy, but that's unavoidable imo. It doesn't necessarily serve the games' quality, but it's what the devs want to do so it's their choice if they want to make any statements about current issues and talking points in society. Usually people don't want to see these themes in games since they're gaming for escapism, so adding it breeds a certain amount of disdain. You need to be very careful of how to present any such hot topics. I had no issues with Ellie's kiss, but the subtext was pretty obvious, and it's not one of the reasons why I want to play the game. Her relationship status isn't of interest to me in that world, it's just flavor text for the character, and I do hope the game doesn't make it a main focus as that would detract from things I find more interesting.

As it is, I think there's a good amount of variety to characters in gaming, and plenty of female leads. Perhaps the female leads are starting to show some symptoms of the same issues as male leads though, with having certain generic qualities that make a lead character. The protagonists often do follow a lot of very tired tropes, be they men or women. If you look at the current cavalcade of female leads in western AAA titles, you can certainly see what design choices the devs like to make when creating a "modern strong female lead", and it's a relatively limited set of attributes. I do think it's better than the 360 era gruff American bro archetype, but not that much. I also feel like a lot of European devs try too much to ape the Hollywood tropes with their games, and that makes the Western AAA industry a bit too samey despite how much cultural variety there actually is.

That said, I don't think the amount of strong female leads will do all that much to make more women play games or join the industry. The industry being more inclusive is one thing, but that doesn't mean the majority of women are suddenly going to care one bit more about gaming. Making women more interested in gaming and STEM professions is going to require a lot more effort, and I'm not sure if there's any point to it beyond breaking any potential barriers for those who do want to be a part of it. I don't think it'll ever be 50/50. I do want women to be more aware and accepting of gaming than they are on the whole, and that applies to much of society even now in 2018. Gaming is still seen way too much as a thing for boys, and that requires an attitude adjustment from parents, which tends to take generations to actually change.
 
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Haha, joke post right? If hooked noses & bad skin are a turn on, be my guest. This is what tolerating mediocrity leads to, i.e. a race to a lowest common denominator in which fugly people are heralded as the 'new normal'. How about no? Back in the real world a vast section of the western world's female population is far more attractive.
Back in the real world people don't mutate into human venus flytraps either.
 
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The telltale signs of political bias are actually missing from the new Assassin's Creed, i.e. namely the character design of Kassandra is actually physically attractive - aka a no-go for the neo-puritanical Sarkeesian crowd who equate beauty with some form of oppressive evil (just check Mass Effect Andromeda for example where women were made ugly - on purpose). It's no joke, i.e. one of the most jarring aspects of Ellie's kiss in the new Last of Us game is the fact the designers also deliberately made her girlfriend... ugly. By choice. That's way more dubious than simply inserting a female protagonist & indicative of a agenda driven approach to their work.
Tbf though, from my personal experience, most lesbian women aren't the most attractive women and/or have strong male features.
 
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Haha, joke post right? If hooked noses & bad skin are a turn on, be my guest. This is what tolerating mediocrity leads to, i.e. a race to a lowest common denominator in which fugly people are heralded as the 'new normal'. How about no? Back in the real world a vast section of the western world's female population is far more attractive.

And no, if you re-read my post on the previous page I already stated I like Kassandra in the new Assassin's Creed game because she adds to the aesthetic beauty of the experience (Ancient Greece by default is already visually fantastic) even if it isn't exactly realistic. I don't care for realism in that game, at all. It's not WW2,
I think the whole thing is a joke because of what you just pointed out. Notice all the recent female leads are gorgeous or at least not ugly. If you want real diversity, shouldn't ugly women be represented? Ugly male protagonists have been in video games for a long time.
 
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I will say that I am absolutely fine with female leads, we have had plenty in the past. What I do not like is the fact that all these new female leads are only in these positions because a narrative is being forced. I do not support this in any creative medium, as anything that feels forced will ALWAYS feel wrong, no matter what. IE a white female playing Martin Luther King Jr.. When is that happening? Because it is absolutely the direction we are headed.
 
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What question the realness of a petite woman fighting big men in video games but not also questioned the big men they make 40 foot Leafs and do rolls from 70 ft in the air without spraining an ankle or breaking a leg?

My dude why push back against female lead characters in games? The only reason why you believe it is not organic is because you believe male lead characters should be the default. Let's just be honest here. It's totally fine that these women are lead characters in video games. They are just games. We are all having fun. It's all Make-Believe.
 
Apr 15, 2018
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As long as the games are good I don't really care...

It is funny that all the complaints about tropes and cliche writing are now just being grafted onto female characters. Just goes to show it was never about doing anything new or original
 
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I love it. Women are awesome and there's absolutely no reason to be against more stories featuring them in a lead spot. I think people confuse the idea of women/black/LGBT characters being featured prominently, which is absolutely fine and would only enrich the experience, with the obnoxious tumblr danger hair millennial fucks that seem to live solely for that reason and make everything political. I get it, that crowd is fucking irritating, but let's not mix things up and be afraid of ever pandering to them and more than anything don't let anything unrelated to art ever affect our judgment on the art itself.
 
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What question the realness of a petite woman fighting big men in video games but not also questioned the big men they make 40 foot Leafs and do rolls from 70 ft in the air without spraining an ankle or breaking a leg?

My dude why push back against female lead characters in games? The only reason why you believe it is not organic is because you believe male lead characters should be the default. Let's just be honest here. It's totally fine that these women are lead characters in video games. They are just games. We are all having fun. It's all Make-Believe.
Wait a minute, people do that all the time. "bald space marine, anime boys with big swords, floating medpaks blah blah blah" How long was Uncharted dogged with that "Ludonarrative Dissonance" bullshit.

It seems as if the complaints changes almost solely due to a characters gender
 
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What bothers me is that people automatically assume that game developers are catering to some "SJW" movement. It's like do people remember Lara Croft, Samus Aran, Jill Valentine, Claire Redfield and Aya Brea?

Personally, I think it's good. It's
 
Likes: Straight Edge
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I personally don't see any problem with having female protagonists (especially when well-written). However, there are some issues, especially in physical conflicts. Whenever a game or movie is going for realism, it is really jarring for me to have a female character beating down a dude twice her size.

One recent example for me, is the movie Atomic Blonde. Charlize Theron's character has a few brutal brawls with several men. I kept asking my friend if she was supposed to have super powers or something, because there is no way someone is taking that kind of beating from someone twice their size and getting up. I realize physical combat in games/movies is already fake enough, but it is getting even harder to hold on to the shred of suspension of disbelief with this direction.

I know it is popular nowadays to say everyone can be the same (which is not true at all, there are serious differences between not just men and women, but from one individual to the next). Having a character play to their strength is better in my opinion.

I was a little put off by The Last of Us 2. In general the game looks good, but some of the Ellie situations are a little jarring. She looks pretty small, whereas Joel looked like a big guy. I also don't get the lesbian in your face theme. Nothing wrong with a lesbian protagonist, however most games don't do that for a trailer unless pandering. Sure, there are plenty of trailers with heterosexual protagonists, but they don't purposefully have them make out in sizzle reels or stage demos.
 
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I'm anti SJW/PC-culture, but right now, with TLOU2 for example, people are taking things wayyyy too far.
I always picture some of these whiners as virgin neckbeards who act out of spite to hide their insecurities.

What matters most in a story-driven game is that the characters are well-portrayed. Gender shouldn't be an issue.
Some of the best characters in gaming are female: The Boss, Lara Croft, Nariko, Aloy, Senua, Ellie, etc. (more from other platforms).

It's rather pathetic to trash a game because the main character happens to be female.
Grow tf up.
 
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Depends on the game and setting.
It feels pretty organic and normal for sequels, that just focus now on the former female co-lead in the Last of Us Part 2 and Gears 5
Horizon Zero Dawn also felt natural as a whole new story.

For Assassins Creed and Battlefield V it feels more like a forced thing for diversity purposes.
It's still not as bad as the film industry is doing it with The Last Jedi, Ghostbusters and Oceans 8
 

Danjin44

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I was a little put off by The Last of Us 2. In general the game looks good, but some of the Ellie situations are a little jarring. She looks pretty small, whereas Joel looked like a big guy. I also don't get the lesbian in your face theme. Nothing wrong with a lesbian protagonist, however most games don't do that for a trailer unless pandering. Sure, there are plenty of trailers with heterosexual protagonists, but they don't purposefully have them make out in sizzle reels or stage demos.
But couldn't we say same thing with Joel? Lets be honest here no normal person could do what Joel did. He even took out bunch of guys that were heavily armed in
hospital
 
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