Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Categories

Axis & Allies 1942 Online is now available in Early Access! Buy it on Steam. The FAQ is available.
New Premium Module: Tyrants of the Moonsea! Read More
Attention, new and old users! Please read the new rules of conduct for the forums, and we hope you enjoy your stay!

Why do women play Baldur's Gate?

11415171920

Comments

  • the_spyderthe_spyder Member Posts: 5,017
    @Dee - where we differ still is where you say "And others". But perhaps it is worth dropping here as we are probably mostly aligned. Nuff said from my end.

  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447
    @the_spyder Most of the time it's me educating myself, admittedly. Usually my soapboxing comes in the form of conversations like this one, where there seems to be a miscommunication about what feminism is, versus how it's often characterized. I view literary feminism in the same way that I view any literary criticism: it's another tool in my creative set.

    To that end I think this conversation is a valuable one, if only because now you know what I mean when I talk about feminism, and you know that it's different from what someone else means. But given that we've both expressed ourselves pretty thoroughly and arrived at a positive outcome.

    That's kind of neat.

    the_spyder
  • SquireSquire Member Posts: 512



    @Squire - try this on for size. I have "Knights of the old republic" on my Ipod. I also have a long train commute and will often times play that while waiting to get down town. Which camp does that put me in?

    That's not the only game you play, or the only time you play games, though, is it? :p

    Regardless of how you pass long journeys, you still actively make time to play games during your free time. That's the best distinction that I can think of, otherwise we hit too many grey areas...is it the platform that's important, or the genre, or the average time spent, that makes one a "hardcore gamer"?

  • the_spyderthe_spyder Member Posts: 5,017
    @Squire - LOL. Clearly not. I do play many games, including the little known one called Baldur's Gate. Ever heard of it? The point I was trying to (over) make was that "For me", I don't discount people who play Bejewelled or Candy Crush, so long as they are active enthusiasts of the games. I don't discriminate based on platform or even game content. So long as they love the games, that is enough "For me". Everyone else can make their own assessment as to what a gamer is.

  • VallmyrVallmyr Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 2,368
    edited October 2015
    Everyone knows console gamers aren't TRUE gamers.
    Right?
    :wink:

    Edit: This is a joke, I own consoles though I do primarily game on my PC

    Nonnahswriterthe_spyder
  • NonnahswriterNonnahswriter Member Posts: 2,520
    Vallmyr said:

    Everyone knows console gamers aren't TRUE gamers.
    Right?
    :wink:

    Edit: This is a joke, I own consoles though I do primarily game on my PC

    What's that? You're playing a game on your phone?

    REAL GAMERS use handhelds! *clutches her Nintendo 3DS*

    (Disclaimer: I'm also completely joking. :tongue: )

    the_spyder
  • mlnevesemlnevese Member, Moderator Posts: 9,481
    How long until REAL gamers are the ones who use VR glasses? :)

    Nonnahswriterthe_spyder
  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447
    I do all my real gaming on my Apple Watch.

    What?

    NonnahswriterNimranthe_spyderLaflamme
  • ElrandirElrandir Member Posts: 1,584
    Perhaps I missed a comment in there somewhere, but I was the one who brought up using genres and it seems that my comment was misconstrued.

    My point was not that we define gamers by specific genres, but that we use genres as a way to better identify a male to female gamer ratio, as some self-identified gamers consider things like Flappy Bird, or Angry Birds, or... Something Else Bird as enough of a game to gain the title of gamer. Not that it can't be, but when we lay a blanket statement of "These people identify as gamers." down, it makes one wonder what they themselves quantify as being worthy of the title. (Worthiness. Ha! Who knew we nerdy recluses would ever be so arrogant as to speak of worthiness of a once derogatory title. I suppose humanity does love its pride.)

    More importantly, though, it's incredibly interesting to see what genres men and women tend towards, and frankly, I'm more interested in that than what the ratio of male to female gamers is in general.

    (And yes, I am very much aware that there was a somewhat lengthy conversation between the genre one and my current post, but I can only do so much. Sorry I'm not omnipresent.)

  • SquireSquire Member Posts: 512
    @the_spyder indeed, that's the same point I'm trying to make. To be classed as a gamer - or indeed, any hobbyist - one would need to demonstrate a certain level of commitment to the hobby.

    There's a difference between somebody who just reads during lunch breaks, and somebody who's a member of a book club. There's a difference between someone who plays football for a local team, and one who just goes to the park for a kick-around every so often, and there's a difference between someone who actively makes time to play games, and someone who just plays to pass time.

    I don't want to restrict it to platforms, or game types because I'm sure there are people who spend as many hobby hours playing Candy Crush as I spend playing Elite: Dangerous, or Fallout: New Vegas. That's why I think it's better to label somebody a "gamer" due to whether or not they actively make time to game. :)

    ALso...how did we get to this from "why do women play Baldur's Gate?" anyway? I think we kind of went off on a tangent. :D

  • NonnahswriterNonnahswriter Member Posts: 2,520
    Squire said:

    ALso...how did we get to this from "why do women play Baldur's Gate?" anyway? I think we kind of went off on a tangent. :D

    Not the first time it's happened...

    *munches popcorn*

    the_spyderElrandir
  • AlmateriaAlmateria Member Posts: 257

    Vallmyr said:

    Everyone knows console gamers aren't TRUE gamers.
    Right?
    :wink:

    Edit: This is a joke, I own consoles though I do primarily game on my PC

    What's that? You're playing a game on your phone?

    REAL GAMERS use handhelds! *clutches her Nintendo 3DS*

    (Disclaimer: I'm also completely joking. :tongue: )
    Handhelds are literally for children and manchildren, sorry!

  • NimranNimran Member Posts: 4,842
    edited October 2015
    Dee said:

    I do all my real gaming on my Apple Watch.

    What?

    Lucky you... I couldn't afford one.

  • meaglothmeagloth Member Posts: 3,806
    edited October 2015
    Dee said:



    When it comes to gender representation, the same possibilities exist. Except now you're being affected by what the game is deeming "acceptable" behavior. You see a male character exert dominance over a woman in a game and you don't see anyone in the game point out that it's wrong, and that joins the catalogue of experiences you have that combine to determine your own feelings about that sort of behavior, which can (though not necessarily will) affect your behavior in real life.

    Does that mean you can't have a womanizing character in your game? No, of course not. But if you're being careful, if you're being aware, if you're being responsible as a content creator, you should probably know that if your womanizing character doesn't face any sort of consequences for their behavior, that inevitably sends the message to the player that, within the setting you've created, womanizing behavior is acceptable--and, along with the rest of your player's experiences, that can lead some players to believe it's okay to (for example) make cat-calls at women on the street.


    @dee you seem to be saying that videogame developers should censor their characters and only place good role models in game, or at least punish bad role models in order to subconsciously change the behavior of the consumer to what they've deemed as "correct."

  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447
    If the developer is placing a character within their world, it's the developer's responsibility to be aware of what that character means in the context of that world. A character that treats women like garbage becomes problematic when the rest of the world ignores that treatment or praises it, just like a character murdering civilians in the street becomes problematic if that behavior is ignored or praised within the game.

    Think of it like finding the "author's message" in a book you're reading (we all had to do that when I was in school). You're looking for clues as to what the author intended when they created their world the way they did. If you notice that, hey, the main character in this book is beating up prostitutes and no one's saying anything, and then the main character makes jokes about it to his friends, what do you think the author is trying to say there?

    Maybe he's commenting on the ease with which we discard the people we think are beneath us. In that sense, it's a powerful political statement--but you can only look at the clues the author gives you. If the author seems to be enjoying the main character's behavior just as much as the main character, then that changes the context of the character's actions.

    A video game is no different. If the developer allows the player to beat up prostitutes, and makes that behavior fun for the player, it stops being a commentary on society and starts being a problematic design choice.

    For Eldoth/Skie/Garrick (I was thinking of the wrong character earlier; Eldoth is the one I meant, not Coran), the behavior Eldoth exhibits is countered by Garrick's sticking up for Skie. But if the player doesn't have Garrick in their party, no one stands up to Eldoth, and Skie doesn't stick up for herself either. At that point, Eldoth's behavior becomes problematic.

    Which, again, isn't to say that the game as a whole is problematic, or that Eldoth's character should be censored. It was a massive game being developed in 1997, by a team that was reasonably new to making games, and there's only so much you can do to account for the player's party composition. Baldur's Gate II would have handled the situation better, most likely by giving the player the choice to tell Eldoth he's being a terrible person, or by giving more characters the chance to stick up for Skie when "enough is enough".

    I hope that all makes sense. There's a lot of problematic sitautions in Baldur's Gate. Minsc is a character who has clearly been disabled mentally by some past injury, which everyone in the entire world apparently finds hysterical (unless, like me, you've drawn the inevitable conclusion that Boo actually is an intelligent space-faring rodent that only Minsc can understand).

    And Minsc is one of my favorite characters. But if Minsc were being created today, his condition would be handled differently, more responsibly--and the result would be a more compelling character in general.

    So no, don't censor your characters. Justify them. Write them well. All it takes is a minute to think about "What does it mean, if I make this character a woman? How does that change the story, and how does the world change around this character if I want the story to not be about the character's gender?"

    There's nothing wrong with political correctness, if it makes you a better writer. In an ideal world, that's exactly what it should do.

    Nonnahswriter
  • the_spyderthe_spyder Member Posts: 5,017
    Squire said:

    @the_spyder indeed, that's the same point I'm trying to make. To be classed as a gamer - or indeed, any hobbyist - one would need to demonstrate a certain level of commitment to the hobby.

    Here we agree.
    Squire said:


    There's a difference between somebody who just reads during lunch breaks, and somebody who's a member of a book club. There's a difference between someone who plays football for a local team, and one who just goes to the park for a kick-around every so often, and there's a difference between someone who actively makes time to play games, and someone who just plays to pass time.

    here not so much. I have a whole library of books and it is my intent to physically read some 800 books before I die, if not more. yet I do not belong to a book club and I only really have time to read during lunch or occasionally before bed. I don't think that makes me any less of a bibliophile than anyone else.
    Squire said:


    I don't want to restrict it to platforms, or game types because I'm sure there are people who spend as many hobby hours playing Candy Crush as I spend playing Elite: Dangerous, or Fallout: New Vegas. That's why I think it's better to label somebody a "gamer" due to whether or not they actively make time to game. :)

    And back to agreeing. Maybe I just read the second paragraph incorrectly and we are actually saying the same thing but in different words? That could easily be my mistake.
    Squire said:


    ALso...how did we get to this from "why do women play Baldur's Gate?" anyway? I think we kind of went off on a tangent. :D

    Doh.

    image

    On a slightly more serious note. @Dee. I think I get where you are coming from. Where I see danger is when content writers attempt to 'Be responsible' by applying their own value systems to others and expect to be thanked for it. Or worse yet, where they don't give the consumer enough credit to realize that certain characters are dirt bags and are not intended to be taken as role models.

    If the person was brought up correctly, they will know the difference. If they WEREN'T brought up correctly, you aren't going to prevent them from acting that way by hiding the content.

    Granted there is a time and a place for everything and that is why movies (and now games, of which I am happy) have mature ratings. I certainly wouldn't show a rape scene in a Disney cartoon for instance, but beyond that, the point where an artist limits their own creativity in some miss-guided attempt to 'Shield' the consumer from their own better judgment seems to me to be a bit of a problem.

  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447
    A coda: the term "problematic" assumes that the author is not intending their work to offend anyone. It assumes that the author is simply unaware of how their work will be interpreted by specific groups. Critical analysis is designed to educate the author (or the reader), so that the author can fix the problem (assuming, again, that the author intends to fix it).

    It's roughly equivalent to pointing out an embarrassing typo that changes the meaning of a sentence.

    Nonnahswriter
  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447
    edited October 2015
    @the_spyder I don't disagree, but again, it's not about hiding content; it's about justifying it when you need it or want it to be there, and leaving it out when you don't.

    EDIT: Unless we're talking about trigger warnings, but that's an entirely separate discussion.

  • SquireSquire Member Posts: 512

    ...Or worse yet, where they don't give the consumer enough credit to realize that certain characters are dirt bags and are not intended to be taken as role models.

    If the person was brought up correctly, they will know the difference. If they WEREN'T brought up correctly, you aren't going to prevent them from acting that way by hiding the content.

    QFT.

    (actually, do we still say "qft"? I think I'm a bit behind in my cyberspeak so I may be using outdated expressions. ;) )

    the_spyder
  • the_spyderthe_spyder Member Posts: 5,017
    edited October 2015
    @Dee - and maybe we are simply talking at different things.

    The example I would use to illustrate my point is this. In the development of another Isometric D&D style role playing game from a few years ago, there was created a character that was obviously gay. Story lines were implemented and dialogue was recorded for this character. In the final hours prior to release, this character (along with a whole host of other changes mandated by the parent company) had the vast majority of his content removed from the game. This orphaned a fair amount of content and left several important, if not key, quest lines broken.

    The reason given for the changes was that the character was written offensively and that was not the type of image that they wanted present in their game. I've since played the game with a community patch that restored most of his interactions and find none of it offensive. I get that someone was trying to help out, but I felt that the people making the decision to pull the content were less concerned with others being offended and more concerned with how They themselves felt. It was rather insulting to me as a consumer that I was subject to someone else's prejudice and hatred and as a result had to miss out on (until it was restored by an unfunded community effort) decent and interesting content.

    I am sure that type of thing goes on more often than we all imagine. To use your example of a character that is denigrating towards women with no consequences, I can see someone feeling that is offensive and having it removed "For the community benefit". That actually insults the consumer because it is saying that we don't have the capacity to see the character as negative and still deal with them.

  • NonnahswriterNonnahswriter Member Posts: 2,520
    Almateria said:

    Vallmyr said:

    Everyone knows console gamers aren't TRUE gamers.
    Right?
    :wink:

    Edit: This is a joke, I own consoles though I do primarily game on my PC

    What's that? You're playing a game on your phone?

    REAL GAMERS use handhelds! *clutches her Nintendo 3DS*

    (Disclaimer: I'm also completely joking. :tongue: )
    Handhelds are literally for children and manchildren, sorry!
    image

  • LadyRhianLadyRhian Member Posts: 14,694
    Squire said:


    There's a difference between somebody who just reads during lunch breaks, and somebody who's a member of a book club. There's a difference between someone who plays football for a local team, and one who just goes to the park for a kick-around every so often, and there's a difference between someone who actively makes time to play games, and someone who just plays to pass time.

    here not so much. I have a whole library of books and it is my intent to physically read some 800 books before I die, if not more. yet I do not belong to a book club and I only really have time to read during lunch or occasionally before bed. I don't think that makes me any less of a bibliophile than anyone else.

    Only 800? Slacker! ;)

    Seriously- I know this was passed a while back, but how one defines "Hardcore" vs. "Casual" is also a thing. Like there are people in the "Gaming Community" who think that "Frat Dudebros" who spend all their time playing games like "CODBLOPS" or whatever other shooter played in a lot of male college Frats are casuals, and to be a hardcore gamer, you have to have played more than just a few shooter titles (or more than a few shooter titles in a series or two) to be the most "casual" players of all... (Not saying I necessarily agree, but that's what I've heard.)

    And, of course, Yahtzee Croshaw makes jokes about the "Console 'tards" and the "Glorious PC Master Race" from time to time as well.

    How do I define "Hardcore"? Someone who has played a wide variety of games in more than one genre of gaming. If all you are doing Is playing an endless variety of shooter games, or all the versions only of Shooter Game X or "Shooter Game X and Y", then... well...

    I don't classify people into "Hardcore" and "casual", though, even among gamers, geeks/nerds or whatever, because that's like declaring some people second class citizens. Everyone likes different things, and to label people "Just a freaking casual" reminds me awfully about the supposedly "Fake Geek Girls". :P We do not approve (to quote Queen Victoria).

    Me, I'd have to say that I'm not a fake anything. I've been a D&D player since the Moldvay boxed set, I've been playing computer games since the late 80's, and arcade games since Space Invaders. You don't try and diss me, and I won't laugh you out of the room. :)

    NonnahswriterBelgarathMTH
  • the_spyderthe_spyder Member Posts: 5,017
    For the longest time I was a PC elitist and in fact I still have a much vaunted 'Gamer laptop'. It can still run anything currently out on the market, if not necessarily at the top specs.

    I also have a PS3 and PS4 and a 360 and actually spend a fair amount of time at them (well, the PS3/4 anyway). I appreciate what PCs can do for gaming and most of my favorite games are still on the PC, and understand that even those that do translate into consoles don't always do it well (Dragon age anyone?). But I do play a healthy (Un-healthy??) number of games on my consoles.

    Where I am trying to draw clarity is that I think that anyone who is dedicated to gaming as a pass-time, someone who enthuses about upcoming games, someone who doesn't simply play the games through lack of anything better to do, should be considered a 'gamer'. The difference between 'Casual' and 'hard core' shouldn't be defined by platform or game genre, nor even the number of different games played, but based on an honest enthusiasm and dedication to playing the games themselves.

  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447
    edited October 2015
    @the_spyder That's certainly a problem. If the publisher thought the content might be offensive, they should have A) figured it out sooner, or B) helped the developer to fix the content, rather than cutting it completely. For the developer's part, ideally they would have already answered the questions that might have prevented the publisher's intervention.

    There's certainly an issue of overcorrection. And the end of a development process is the wrong time to be making those corrections--because at that point, yeah, what you're describing is censorship.

    On the subject of consumers being either on one side of the spectrum or the other (being smart enough to figure it out on their own, or being unswayed by a critical analysis), that's true; a lot of people already know how they feel about gender or race or religion.

    But there's also a significant chunk in the middle of that spectrum that is looking for answers or maybe is just a bit careless about the world, who makes racist jokes because it doesn't occur to them that someone might be offended, who makes cat-calls at women on the street because they're showing appreciation and don't realize that they're making the women uncomfortable, who might change their views if they were presented with the reality that what they're doing is a problem.

    The people who already know it's problematic will nod their heads and say "Yep, it is", and go back to what they were doing. The target audience of critical analysis is the guy on the street (or in this context, the game dev studio) who, if someone told him the problem, might say "Oh man, really? I had no idea."

    The number of studios who hire feminist analysts (like Anita Sarkeesian) to come speak at their companies is an indication that there is room for that growth, and that there are people out there who want to make that growth but don't know how.

    (EDIT: This post was in response to something earlier, not your most recent post. It's long past time for me to bow out of the discussion, in any case. If anyone wants to discuss the topic further, feel free to send me a private message!)

  • MathsorcererMathsorcerer Member Posts: 2,725
    Dee said:

    A coda: the term "problematic" assumes that the author is not intending their work to offend anyone. It assumes that the author is simply unaware of how their work will be interpreted by specific groups. Critical analysis is designed to educate the author (or the reader), so that the author can fix the problem (assuming, again, that the author intends to fix it).

    It's roughly equivalent to pointing out an embarrassing typo that changes the meaning of a sentence.

    If we start censoring ourselves in order to avoid offending anyone then no one will wind up being able to say anything. It doesn't matter if Group A will find something offensive; an author should write what they want to write and let the readers place value upon it as they see fit, whether they love it or hate it. There are far too many people these days who are far too sensitive and sometimes go out of their way to find things about which to be offended; any time you hear someone talking about "microaggressions" you have found on of those overly-sensitive people who need to find a quiet place and practice some meditative breathing.

    Everyone needs to have their toes stepped on from time to time on purpose specifically to remind them of two things: 1) you (or your group) aren't any better or any worse than anyone else (or any other group) and 2) never forget that reality is often capricious and cruel so there is nothing we can do in the face of that cruelty-as-force-of-nature other than steel our resolve and keep moving forward.

    ElrandirmeaglothArchaos
  • the_spyderthe_spyder Member Posts: 5,017
    @Dee - thanks for the energetic discussion.

    @Mathsorcerer - too true. Particularly in today's society, everyone seems to be lining up to take offense at something (even myself apparently???). It's a problem.

  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447
    @Mathsorcerer I'll only say that I never once said content creators should censor themselves (in fact I explicitly stated that I wasn't calling for that), or even that they shouldn't tell the stories they want. Yes, by all means, tell the story you want to tell. Just make it a good story, and know what the implications are for your decisions as storyteller. You can tell a plenty compelling story about a hopeless world, even fill it with racism and sexism, if you do it right and you do it intentionally. The term "problematic" is aimed at cases where it doesn't appear to be intentional; it's a request for clarification, voiced in the context of "This is what you're saying means to this group of people. Is that what you intended to say?"

    And that, as they say, is that. Really this time. ;)

  • MathsorcererMathsorcerer Member Posts: 2,725
    The old maxim always holds: say what you mean and mean what you say.

    Unless, of course, your intent is to disorient and/or deprogram your readers on purpose.

This discussion has been closed.