Thursday, 12 July 2012

Confab Podcast #1: Sexism in Video games

We have been working hard to bring you our first ever podcast, we hope you enjoy listening to it.

This week sees listeners join the Editor, Benjamyn Carron and contributors: Emma-Lee Davidson, Andy Robison, Charlotte Peters and lastly Michael Palmer talk about sexism in the video games industry.

Be sure to check out the article which spawned the topic for this weeks podcast: here

Related media:

6:15 Minecraft - No Female Characters

13:38 Dead Rising Cross dressing

15:40 Soul Calibur Females

16:30 Ivy from Soul Calibur 

By Ben Carron


Even while joking is there enough sex in video games?
When there are people wanting video games to be seen as an artistic medium shouldn't devlopers be tackling sexuality as a subject in videogames? Things like this could possibly show videogames being more mature in a way, but not "mature" in the way of "hey look, boobs" as in tackling more mature subjects as in sexuality.

I think you're right, until there are more controversial (but tastefully handled) subjects in games they will fail to be taken seriously as a true art form. The problem is it hasn't been tackled in such a way yet and most developers seem to be shying away from this in favour of a more commercially accepted (by that I mean 'tried-and-tested' rather than ground breaking) product. I think it is for this reason that indie games are in a better position to offer this as, like I mentioned in the podcast, they tend to be more personal, made because they send a message that the developer wants to send, in a game the developer wanted to make rather than Triple A titles which for the most part deliver only what will sell, what is safe (in keeping consumers buying, not in being controversial; plenty of mainstream games are controversial!)

Very interesting podcast. I'm not much of a gamer but I do wonder what mods are available these days? You used to be able to get all kinds of mods to make the clothes fall off the women or make porn mags appear in the game. I never did see anything to make the men naked though..

Ben, you always sound like you have a cold, also lol at the pronounciation of 'genre'.
Emma-Lee, you're what kept me listening!

Emma, there are almost no games in the mainstream that will tackle real issues, but to there are a few big name games that talk about serious issues such as silent hill 2 talking about suicide and persona 3 with parts of the game featuring a macho male character hiding their sexuality and a woman in the game not being happy in her body and her character being transgender. A indie game called "Edmund" is a game centred around rape and the protagonist of the game being the rapist.

Also the person talking about mods there is a infamous mod for half-life 2 that removes all of Aylx Vances clothing and if this mod is used it basically destroys the strong female character that she is.

Finella, I pretty much did have a stuffy nose during that podcast. Also 'Genre' is one of the few words where by I prefer the US pronunciation. You won't hear me saying 'alu-mi-num' though!

A lot of good points but there are certain things I think you should read up on, such as false equialence, rape culture and not assume all feminists must share the same opinions on everything.

I think both men and women would appreciate more diversity in character design and it's not just a female issue. As a game developer and story writer I try to make sure to get diversity and depth into both male and female characters.

And as a last comment, gawd please I just want to play my fighting games with a female character that doesn't look like a crazy hooker/carnival freakshow.

@Emni, I agree with you on character diversity, that was a point I was trying to make. As for feminism I didn't mean to generalise, I only meant there is one extreme, just as there is one extreme quarter of sexists.

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