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Female characters at E3 this year versus last year

Bold One

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Dec 10, 2013
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A great step in the right direction but still lacking diversity

of all the games shown at E3 this far how many protags were not White?

The gender debate tends to steal all the focus but a greater degree of representation is still missing
 

Garlador

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A great step in the right direction but still lacking diversity

of all the games shown at E3 this far how many protags were not White?

The gender debate tends to steal all the focus but a greater degree of representation is still missing
Well, at least with Fallout 4, I'll make my own black man (or woman) named Howard.

But, yes, more colored or ethnic protagonists please. Faith from Mirror's Edge is the only major one I recall.
 

Karkador

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A great step in the right direction but still lacking diversity

of all the games shown at E3 this far how many protags were not White?

The gender debate tends to steal all the focus but a greater degree of representation is still missing
Then let's start the conversations. I will be there to talk about the issues, and I'll cheer for it to improve, along with the current gender representation talks. This is only the beginning.
In every case, we need to respond that we noticed the shift, and we appreciate it.
 

Knox

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I think it's much more likely that developers that would have wanted their main characters to be female anyway now have something they can point to and say "see, people actually want this" as opposed to being immediately shut down by publishers whose skewed market research says that the lead has to be a macho white male. And if you really just want to be cynical, these decisions are at worst being made for the same reason they've always been, because someone in the company thinks it will sell more copies. Only now they think they can do it with female characters.
 

Deified Data

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Jul 6, 2011
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Doing it just for the sake off.
You wont get much of an interesting character if they are just slapping a skin on just to make ppl happy.

If the character is meant to be female and the personality was thought out, good stuff.
What does this look like, exactly? It's a concern a few people seem to have but I can't think of a single instance of it in gaming.

Feminism is to bring women to equal standing to man in terms of choice, opportunity, treatment, and respect. Not representation. Representation is a unnecessarily desire, it[s like a Workplace that mostly Women work for hiring a bunch of men just to have equal gender representation even though the men are unqualified or there were better female applicants for the job. That's not what we should be supporting or saying feminism supports, so we can say it was highly desired from people for these sort of protagonists. But it wasn't a necessity or purpose of what Feminism should be or is.

So in essence:
Unfair Women Treatment and Objectification is what feminists are challenging the video game industry with.
Representation is a desire, or a want, but not a necessity needed.
Eh? Of course representation is a facet of feminism in gaming.

I'm not sure what you're saying. All things being equal a female protagonist has every right to be there as a male protagonist, no one's trying to fill a quota.
 

Zen_Arcade

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May 23, 2012
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Is this thread only meant to be about games where the female characters are already established by the developer and not user created? Because if not OP could add that Fallout 4 is the first Fallout game where you can play as a female.
 

Merc_

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Sep 6, 2014
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Females are (slightly over) half of the population. They're not a minority like minorities are. There's never going to be a point where you see minorities represented in games to the same degree as females or white people.

But don't despair — look how much help being loud about issues did for feminism this year! Let's be loud about other issues to bring up other representation in the following years. Just, you know, preferably not shitting in a thread where we're celebrating our progress so far! :)
You realize that WoC make up part of the female population your talking about right? Also lmao at your second paragraph. That's some whitefeminism.txt right there.

"Don't bring down our good feelings for white female representation by talking about how WoC still aren't getting equal treatment." Fucking perfect.
 

lifa-cobex

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What does this look like, exactly? It's a concern a few people seem to have but I can't think of a single instance of it in gaming.
What does what look like?
If a character is made just for the sake of it, it generally becomes obvious.
Kinda like Bioware and its cast of perfectly diverse main character.
You lose personality.

If a character is designed to be as such to a personality then the character becomes more memorable.

Basically not making a flat 2d bland female to just make the mass happy.
 

kamorra

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Jan 13, 2007
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Is this thread only meant to be about games where the female characters are already established by the developer and not user created? Because if not OP could add that Fallout 4 is the first Fallout game where you can play as a female.
You could play as a female in FO3 and New Vegas.
 

Zen_Arcade

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May 23, 2012
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I'm asking if the thread is only talking about premade protagonists that the developer creates (Like all of the ones listed in the OP) or if user created female characters count too. Because Fallout 4 letting you create a female character for the first time seemed to make people pretty happy as well.
You could play as a female in FO3 and New Vegas.
Oh really? My bad then, I thought I saw people getting excited about being able to play as a woman back in the Bethesda conference thread. I guess it shouldn't be added to the OP if it was something the series had already done. Nevermind.
 

Deified Data

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Jul 6, 2011
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What does what look like?
A character made just for the sake of feminism. I'm not bullshitting you, I honestly can't think of any. It seems like a hollow concern to me.

I'm asking if the thread is only talking about premade protagonists that the developer creates (Like all of the ones listed in the OP) or if user created female characters count too. Because Fallout 4 letting you create a female character for the first time seemed to make people pretty happy as well.
As another poster mentioned, the series has allowed this since Fallout 1.
 

Syriel

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Sep 21, 2009
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Well, at least with Fallout 4, I'll make my own black man (or woman) named Howard.

But, yes, more colored or ethnic protagonists please. Faith from Mirror's Edge is the only major one I recall.
Gigantic led with an African American female hero.
 
It was definitely something I noticed and was happy to see. Very cool.

Weird to see people listing Cammy in here though, I wouldn't exactly call her and Chun-Li's new designs a positive improvement. They're not -that- different than their past designs I guess, but they sure have DOA levels of boob physics going on. Especially on the character select screen.
 

Creaking

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Oh really? My bad then, I thought I saw people getting excited about being able to play as a woman back in the Bethesda conference thread. I guess it shouldn't be added to the OP if it was something the series had already done. Nevermind.
That's because there were rumors that you would only be able to play as a male before the E3 demo. It was relieved excitement.
 

Zen_Arcade

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May 23, 2012
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A character made just for the sake of feminism. I'm not bullshitting you, I honestly can't think of any. It seems like a hollow concern to me.



As another poster mentioned, the series has allowed this since Fallout 1.
Yeah, that's my bad. I haven't played much of the Fallout games and thought I saw people getting excited about playing a woman in the Bethesda thread. I must have been mistaken. Don't mind me.
That's because there were rumors that you would only be able to play as a male before the E3 demo. It was relieved excitement.
Ohh, this must have been why people were getting excited. I thought it was the other way around.
 

Deified Data

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Yeah, that's my bad. I haven't played much of the Fallout games and thought I saw people getting excited about playing a woman in the Bethesda thread. I must have been mistaken. Don't mind me.
It's alright - watching the footage for a second I almost thought you'd be stuck playing a guy until Todd Howard said you didn't have to.
 

Dice//

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A great step in the right direction but still lacking diversity

of all the games shown at E3 this far how many protags were not White?

The gender debate tends to steal all the focus but a greater degree of representation is still missing
I love seeing more unique women enter games but fully agree that more PoC should also be getting in there.

Obviously not aimed at BoldOne, but I hate...HATE when people see this as "quota filling". What is that supposed to mean??????
 

liliththepale

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You realize that WoC make up part of the female population your talking about right? Also lmao at your second paragraph. That's some whitefeminism.txt right there.

"Don't bring down our good feelings for white female representation by talking about how WoC still aren't getting equal treatment." Fucking perfect.
Are you kidding me? What if we had a thread celebrating a bunch of male PoC in games, and I came in shitting up the thread saying "yeah but none of them are women". I would be misspoken because that's not the right time or place for me to say something like that.

Of course women also fill the whole color spectrum in real life. Denying that would be incredibly foolish. I just think it's exhausting to never celebrate any victories we have, to always move the goal posts and never be happy about anything.
 

User 73706

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A great step in the right direction but still lacking diversity

of all the games shown at E3 this far how many protags were not White?

The gender debate tends to steal all the focus but a greater degree of representation is still missing
There are at least two characters of color playable in Halo 5: Guardians: Locke, who's black, and Tanaka, who's mixed African / East Asian. Olympia Vale's nationality hasn't been revealed yet, but based on her name it's possible she's of either Greek or French descent (not that those are people of color).

does Evie even count when the game has a suppose 25% play rate with her?
I would say so, otherwise the H5G cast would be marginalized into only counting 12.5% a pop if you want to get technical.

To having characters that "default" to male despite not having an explicit reason for said character being male. The whole "female characters need to be female for a reason, otherwise it's just checking boxes" rhetoric just does more harm in setting possible characters back, because you don't see anyone making that claim saying that the typical buzzcut 18-35 straight white military dudebro archetype needs to justify himself within his setting. Depending on how deep down the rabbit hole you want to go, you do have "good games" justifying maleness (The Last of Us establishes a clear father-daughter bond with Joel and Ellie), but at the same time there are plenty of AAA games with money and care put into them that still have nothing but a white male ensemble and a single girl in line with the Smurfette Principle (The Order: 1886 has graphics that outshine the native settings on most PC titles and magic, werewolves, and tesla coil railguns out the wazoo but still couldn't splurge on protags / NPCs of color outside of a handful that occupy a modicum of the game).
 

lifa-cobex

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A character made just for the sake of feminism. I'm not bullshitting you, I honestly can't think of any. It seems like a hollow concern to me.
Top of my head i guess Portal. Dunno really.

You were replying to that person about games not including females just for the sake of feminism.
You said why would this be an issue.

It's something that hit the headlines in gaming in a major way in the past year or so.
It might be tempting for creators just to stick a woman in for the sake of keeping ppl happy and supposedly "diverse"

Feminism wasn't a thing talked much about in previous years so I think developers just made shit the way they wanted to make in terms of gender and not pander to the masses of the hot topic.
 

Darknight

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Mar 20, 2007
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I love seeing more unique women enter games but fully agree that more PoC should also be getting in there.

Obviously not aimed at BoldOne, but I hate...HATE when people see this as "quota filling". What is that supposed to mean??????
I think it means they (devs or team or whoever) is placing minorities in their titles to please a group of people.

So last year some of these companies got some flack for not having diversity so now they do. (New AC game came to mind) Its hard to say how genuine this choice was. Did they do it because they wanted or because they were force to? Based on past games/showings, white males were the prominent sex in these games. Still is but I dont know. I kind of agree to a certain extent.

Also when I saw the Halo 5 footage, they had asian chick, white chick, white dude and black guy. I felt like they were trying to please people of more than one race/sex at the same time (kill 2 birds with one stone) or give them some slack on this "diversity" topic. While its a great thing, I think it looks forced. I dont know. Maybe when these types of things are more common, I wont be so unsure about their true motives.
 

Ikael

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Aug 11, 2006
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Good, good. See guys? Female characters can start to popullate our videogaming world by addition, not substraction. Yay!
 

Orthogonal

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I can guarantee feminism played significant roles in realizing all of these protagonists. Why is that a problem?
I think he means it would be better if game designers were choosing female protagonists for artistic reasons and not because of political pressure.
 

liliththepale

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Top of my head i guess Portal. Dunno really.

You were replying to that person about games not including females just for the sake of feminism.
You said why would this be an issue.

It's something that hit the headlines in gaming in a major way in the past year or so.
It might be tempting for creators just to stick a woman in for the sake of keeping ppl happy and supposedly "diverse"

Feminism wasn't a thing talked much about in previous years so I think developers just made shit the way they wanted to make in terms of gender and not pander to the masses of the hot topic.
Feminism is more of a hot-button issue than most other things in gaming, but a lot of game design is copying the new hotness. Remember when 3D platformers were the big thing? There was a time when if you wanted to make a game with your characters/story, the default game for it to be was a 3D platformer. For example, the first couple Harry Potter licensed games were platformers. That's just inertia.

Similarly, playing as a male protagonist has been inertial for so long. It's just "what you do". A lot of making female protagonists is certainly reactive design, but most of game design is reactive like that. It's just not as topical usually.
 

Dictator93

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We have to wait a few months to actually see how many of these female characters are just token elements to buy popular cred with critics.

I expect a good amount of them to be 2 dimensional or overly joss-whedon type female characters (stronk, cute, 4th breaking and witty: oh waifu). These are games created by massive corporations don't forget, not James Joyce novels.
 

User 73706

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Also when I saw the Halo 5 footage, they had asian chick, white chick, white dude and black guy. I felt like they were trying to please people or give them some slack on this "diversity" topic. While its a great thing, I think it looks forced. I dont know. Maybe when these types of things are more common, I wont be so unsure about their true motives.
lmao
 

Karkador

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Mar 3, 2010
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We have to wait a few months to actually see how many of these female characters are just token elements to buy popular cred with critics.

I expect a good amount of them to be 2 dimensional or overly joss-whedon type female characters (stronk, cute, 4th breaking and witty: oh waifu). These are games created by massive corporations don't forget, not James Joyce novels.
This is like the "Yeah, but you're not a real gamer" narrative, but directed at the women starring in the games rather than the women playing the games
 

Bold One

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Dec 10, 2013
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Then let's start the conversations. I will be there to talk about the issues, and I'll cheer for it to improve, along with the current gender representation talks. This is only the beginning.
In every case, we need to respond that we noticed the shift, and we appreciate it.
All we can do is talk and talk and con ourselves into thinking our tweeting and hashtag slacktivism is making a difference. It isn't, it was in the best interest of the competing powers that be to appease the grumblings especially in the current climate where feminism is a hot topic. But all of Male and female come in all different shades and complexions, nothing showed that better than at Sony's presser than when the Camera pans over the crowd.

Its all well and coming here and patting ourselves on the back, but looking at the pics posted in the first page brings the reality of real diversity into sharp relief.
 

lifa-cobex

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To having characters that "default" to male despite not having an explicit reason for said character being male. The whole "female characters need to be female for a reason, otherwise it's just checking boxes" rhetoric just does more harm in setting possible characters back, because you don't see anyone making that claim saying that the typical buzzcut 18-35 straight white military dudebro archetype needs to justify himself within his setting. Depending on how deep down the rabbit hole you want to go, you do have "good games" justifying maleness (The Last of Us establishes a clear father-daughter bond with Joel and Ellie), but at the same time there are plenty of AAA games with money and care put into them that still have nothing but a white male ensemble and a single girl in line with the Smurfette Principle (The Order: 1886 has graphics that outshine the native settings on most PC titles and magic, werewolves, and tesla coil railguns out the wazoo but still couldn't splurge on protags / NPCs of color outside of a handful that occupy a modicum of the game).
If i was to take a random stab in the dark, I would guess it's because developers just didn't really care and probably thought that ppl wouldn't think too much into it.
It's only in the recent few years where it become major headlines in the gaming news. It's a key opportunity for developers to say "of look how progressive we are" and try that end of the market.

I can only really speak for myself when i say, It never really was a thing that bothered me. When i was a lad, playing Lara Croft or Crash Bandicoot when i was a kid never really said anything about what gender they were or if it was a "thing" to be questioned. They were just games to me.
Now i'm almost 30 and it blows me away with how well they can portray a characters personality. But honestly it doesn't really hit me as a issue if i'm playing male or female. But it does stand out if token female, black or gay characters are thrown in just for effect.
It's more natural to me if a character just excepts who they are without making a character defining trait. It's better when it's just one part of a personality.

So to say what I was originally saying, I hope developers aren't just jumping on the hot topic just to keep people happy. If you're gonna make a female character. Make one with an actual character in mind
 

Morrigan Stark

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Jul 23, 2010
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OP could add that Fallout 4 is the first Fallout game where you can play as a female.
lol

I think it means they (devs or team or whoever) is placing minorities in their titles to please a group of people.
Yeah that's bad.

Placing a non-minority in their title to please a group of people, however, is A-OK, and Artistic Creative Freedom (tm).
 

Dice//

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I think it means they (devs or team or whoever) is placing minorities in their titles to please a group of people.

So last year some of these companies got some flack for not having diversity so now they do. (New AC game came to mind) Its hard to say how genuine this choice was. Did they do it because they wanted or because they were force to? Based on past games/showings, white males were the prominent sex in these games. Still is but I dont know. I kind of agree to a certain extent.

Also when I saw the Halo 5 footage, they had asian chick, white chick, white dude and black guy. I felt like they were trying to please people of more than one race/sex at the same time (kill 2 birds with one stone) or give them some slack on this "diversity" topic. While its a great thing, I think it looks forced. I dont know. Maybe when these types of things are more common, I wont be so unsure about their true motives.

Oh no, diversity.

The way I see it is that if a character's gender and race isn't part of their character --- and often times it isn't (especially the latter) --- then I don't see the big deal. There is no gun to developer's heads about 'fulfilling minority quotas', but I do think it's a good idea for many many reasons.
 

Moonlight

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Also when I saw the Halo 5 footage, they had asian chick, white chick, white dude and black guy. I felt like they were trying to please people of more than one race/sex at the same time (kill 2 birds with one stone) or give them some slack on this "diversity" topic. While its a great thing, I think it looks forced. I dont know. Maybe when these types of things are more common, I wont be so unsure about their true motives.
It's five hundred years in the future, and Asians and black people look forced? I don't, uh, I don't get it.
 

Merc_

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Sep 6, 2014
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Are you kidding me? What if we had a thread celebrating a bunch of male PoC in games, and I came in shitting up the thread saying "yeah but none of them are women". I would be misspoken because that's not the right time or place for me to say something like that.

Of course women also fill the whole color spectrum in real life. Denying that would be incredibly foolish. I just think it's exhausting to never celebrate any victories we have, to always move the goal posts and never be happy about anything.
That would be different since that would be a thread focused around a single type of person (ie. race). Not a whole spectrum like women. This thread is about female characters period, and folks are rightfully pointing out how only one type of women is really being represented.

The other reason folks bring it up is because feminism has a long history of ignoring WoC and not saying anything is a good way to let this sort of shit fade into the background. Sorry if that kills your buzz.
 

User 73706

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It's a key opportunity for developers to say "of look how progressive we are" and try that end of the market.

I can only really speak for myself when i say, It never really was a thing that bothered me.
Take a minute and read what you just posted here.

But it does stand out if token female, black or gay characters are thrown in just for effect.
It's more natural to me if a character just excepts who they are without making a character defining trait. It's better when it's just one part of a personality.
But it doesn't stand out when Jason McCoolblades "MORE LIKE TEN SHITLOADS" McGee saves unintelligent native peoples, guns down hundreds of the evil Ambiguously Brown Cartel, turns out to be the savior of a bunch of people who just so happen aren't white, and James Bonds his way into an unwilling chick's mouth at the end of the game, right? You're a straight white dude, aren't you? Token straight white dudes don't stand out to you because you're a straight white dude. You're not looking at this with any sense of perspective.
 

lifa-cobex

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Feminism is more of a hot-button issue than most other things in gaming, but a lot of game design is copying the new hotness. Remember when 3D platformers were the big thing? There was a time when if you wanted to make a game with your characters/story, the default game for it to be was a 3D platformer. For example, the first couple Harry Potter licensed games were platformers. That's just inertia.

Similarly, playing as a male protagonist has been inertial for so long. It's just "what you do". A lot of making female protagonists is certainly reactive design, but most of game design is reactive like that. It's just not as topical usually.
To be honest I just never noticed. I just play for whatever the game is about.
I get were you're coming from. It's the norm and ppl think it could do with a change.
But to me its something that doesn't really effect anything.
If a character is designed with a woman in mind so it can be from a woman's pov, cool.
But just slapping a female skin on just for "look were with it too".
I mean sure go for it if that's what they wanna do. But in terms of actually changing things for equality, I don't really see anything actually changing.
 

Deified Data

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I think he means it would be better if game designers were choosing female protagonists for artistic reasons and not because of political pressure.
My response to that assertion is that the political pressure to create male protagonists is far greater, and backed up in the past by sales figures. No one's going to threaten a developer with death for creating a male protagonist.