|I'm drawing my own concepts for what I would want from a game. My goal is to find a nice middle ground between eastern and western art and design.|
For a while now I've been thinking about the role of women in video games. I've read through numerous articles about sexism in games and the majority of them have rubbed me the wrong way and now I think I've pinpointed why that is; they're rarely constructive.
Far too many articles and the discussions they kick off start by "attacking" a specific game for being sexist in one way or another before moving on to how the whole industry needs to grow up. The intentions are pure and it's absolutely true that games are embarrassingly bad at creating interesting female driven plots, but how is pointing out individual games and unloading unrealistic expectations on them helping? A 1up article I commented on some time ago summed up everything that's wrong (www.1up.com/features/month-mis…). It only helped to turn people against the real issues. It's sensationalism to drive page views. Games do have far too many male-targeted games but that doesn't mean we should not support and enjoy those games, variety is the spice of life and I'll never understand why championing one thing means we have to exclude another.
I say we get past all the stand offish hate and start looking for solutions!
I believe we, the video game industry and the gamers, should be putting effort into getting more variety in our games. More roles for women, more games that break the reliance on excessive violence and a wider range of narratives that can appeal to older audiences. Think outside the box on how games are played. Why does every game need to be combat driven? How come combat is usually the big focus; does it really need to be? Exploration, adventure and that thrill of discovery need more love these days.
I believe we need to get past believing that sex appeal and idealistic character designs are somehow against women and start really looking for equal representations. I use sex appeal in some of my art, as do a lot of my favorite artists but where's the logic in believing that getting rid of sex in games will make anything better.
One big problem I see is how come we, the game industry and the gamers, don't seem to support female lead characters. Why are so many female led games niche titles with little chance at mainstream success (e.g. Mirror's Edge, Venetica, Atelier series, Remember Me). Is it just too risky to make big budget female led games? What does it take, Tomb Raider was considered a disappointment when it sold 3.4 Mil copies in a month. Are the gamers actually sending the game industry the message that only sex sells? What about the women who make games? Why aren't we more accepting of them (kotaku.com/5963528/heres-a-dev…)? These are some of the harder questions we should be asking.
TL;DR I don't believe sex and violence detract from video games, but I believe there is a lot we can add to games. So lets add to the discussion on how to tackle women in games in a constructive way. Of course there's way more involved but these are some of the things I've been thinking about lately. Anyway that was lengthy but nevertheless, does anybody have any thoughts, opinions, just hate everything I typed?