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Thread: Women in Refrigerators - Currents

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    RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff InstaTrent's Avatar
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    Women in Refrigerators - Currents

    One last issue of Currents before Trent hits PAX East. This week, the industry hates female protagonists, EA's CEO hits the dusty trail, and a man-made disaster strikes SimCity.

    CURRENTS!
    Last edited by InstaTrent; 03-20-2013 at 12:32 PM.
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    Quia ego sic dico RPGamer Staff Severin Mira's Avatar
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    Random techy side note on the octa-core processor in the S4 - in practice the effective clock speed isn't any quicker than a quad-core processor of the same speed as only four will be working at once, it'll just switch which four depending on what you're doing. That may help with other stuff like battery life but performance-wise it very likely won't make much difference (especially as even the high-end quad-core ones aren't that challenged at present).[/industry analyst mode]
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    Under watcher LordKaiser's Avatar
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    Still waiting for Phantasy Online 2.
    Never buy a game published by D3 Publisher that is not WKCII. They cheated on their fans by releasing a game that they didn't support not even for a year and they released a rushed translation.

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    GM,DM,PC,NPC,1P,2P & TG TG Barighm's Avatar
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    I think the stigma surrounding female protagonists is the result of garbage market research. Some people made games the CRITICS say were very good, but because they didn't sell, it couldn't POSSIBLY be because the games weren't really that good. No, it's because WOMEN were the main characters. Nevermind the fact the original Tomb Raider was a smash hit because it was fresh and original for its time. It's basically the same twisted logic that sees a classic franchise warped into some crappy FPS and then canceled because the publisher thinks fans have lost interest in the franchise just because we didn't buy into their butchering of the most recent game.

    I can think of several reasons explaining why games like Mirror's Edge and Beyond Good and Evil didn't sell. Frankly, I thought Beyond sucked. The story was unoriginal and predictable, its dark tones made the cartoony setting feel awkward, some levels dragged on and on, the game was clearly designed to be a stealth game so the combat elements didn't really work, and the final boss was cheap. I haven't played Mirror's Edge, but the gameplay footage of the game I have seen struck me as very one-dimensional and awkward. The colour scheme is also part of the game's design, but it doesn't look very good compared to other games unhindered by the contrasts. How can you advertise a game like that in a society full of graphics *****s? No, it's prety clear why those games didn't sell.

    This is the part where I say I don't get people who can't play characters of the opposite gender, but the truth is I DO get those people: they just can't get past sex as their primary motivator.
    Last edited by TG Barighm; 03-20-2013 at 02:25 PM.

  5. #5
    That Guy You Hate RPGamer Staff omegabyte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TG Barighm View Post
    I think the stigma surrounding female protagonists is the result of garbage market research. Some people made games the CRITICS say were very good, but because they didn't sell, it couldn't POSSIBLY be because the games weren't really that good. No, it's because WOMEN were the main characters. Nevermind the fact the original Tomb Raider was a smash hit because it was fresh and original for its time. It's basically the same twisted logic that sees a classic franchise warped into some crappy FPS and then canceled because the publisher thinks fans have lost interest in the franchise just because we didn't buy into their butchering of the most recent game.

    I can think of several reasons explaining why games like Mirror's Edge and Beyond Good and Evil didn't sell. Frankly, I thought Beyond sucked. The story was unoriginal and predictable, its dark tones made the cartoony setting feel awkward, some levels dragged on and on, the game was clearly designed to be a stealth game so the combat elements didn't really work, and the final boss was cheap. I haven't played Mirror's Edge, but the gameplay footage of the game I have seen struck me as very one-dimensional and awkward. The colour scheme is also part of the game's design, but it doesn't look very good compared to other games unhindered by the contrasts. How can you advertise a game like that in a society full of graphics *****s? No, it's prety clear why those games didn't sell.

    This is the part where I say I don't get people who can't play characters of the opposite gender, but the truth is I DO get those people: they just can't get past sex as their primary motivator.
    Beyond Good and Evil failed to sell well because it was poorly marketed when it was first released. It became a slow-burning cult hit afterwards, once word of mouth got around. There are lots of games that are like this: Psychonauts, Nier, Valkyria Chronicles to name a few. Mirror's Edge had very mixed reviews when it was released, and the concept was weird to begin with, essentially a first person platformer (and it can be pointed out that when a game is played in the first person, the gender of the protagonist is kind of a non-issue. Portal's protagonist is technically female, but she might as well be a mannequin for all the difference it makes). I don't think gender really played into either one, unless it was on the mind of the marketing people who failed to actually promote the titles.
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    GM,DM,PC,NPC,1P,2P & TG TG Barighm's Avatar
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    Beyond Good and Evil failed to sell well because it was poorly marketed when it was first released.
    You're missing my point. Maybe Beyond just wasn't all that good much like Vagrant Story wasn't really all that great (and it was marketed just fine). The Bouncer had great marketing, but it flat-out sucked. In contrast, some games go on to sell like crazy without much marketing (Minecraft didn't really do much at first), thus I can't accept marketing as the sole reason for its failure. Heck, I enjoyed Earth Defense Force more than I enjoyed Gears of War 3, but I'm not lamenting its lack of marketing for its failure. I can see why more people don't like it (the very existence of Gears being one such reason).
    Last edited by TG Barighm; 03-25-2013 at 01:10 PM.

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    Member Kiralyn's Avatar
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    re: women protagonists, guys won't play girls, etc.....

    You know, given how much I'm always seeing people rave about Jennifer Hale's FemShep performance in Mass Effect? I was completely surprised by the statistic Bioware showed recently that only 18% of players used a female Shepard. And this even after they had that stupid Facebook thing to pick FemShep's "official" appearance and made a female version of the trailer.

    One, that's kind of depressing (as someone who enjoys female protagonists). And two, it makes me wonder if the marketing & shareholder dweebs are right - the general gaming market is a bunch of insecure dudes who can't imagine playing a game with a woman character. :/

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    Member hoktomaster's Avatar
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    I don't mind playing Female characters as long as they don't look like Ellen Page, I had a few female WOW characters

    *Damn Ellen Page*
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    Gunclaws and Meow. Administrator Paws's Avatar
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    I play pretty much 50% male/female characters in WoW. Single player games I go with who I like the look of the most; I don't think I necessarily default to a female character.

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    GM,DM,PC,NPC,1P,2P & TG TG Barighm's Avatar
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    I play pretty much 50% male/female characters in WoW.
    Likewise. I like to model my characters after D&D/ttRPG characters, PC and NPC, I've made in the past. If I don't have a comparable character, such as what was the case with my Pandaren monk, I'll choose based on other factors such as animation quality and colour. I found the male pandaren's animations a little goofy, so I ended up with a female.

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    Well, in the case of the first Mass Effect, I felt like the male Shepard was presented as the default choice. I tend not to be someone who doesn't customize the appearance of my character unless asked because I'm pretty lazy, but when I learned later that I could actually be a female Shepard, I did find it but I believe it was under "create a custom character" or something of that like.

    Not that this explains that 18% statistic at all, but I don't feel like female Shepard was presented as a choice as obviously as it could have been (e.g. the female protagonist is in Persona 3 Portable).

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    Under watcher LordKaiser's Avatar
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    Buy Between 2 Souls if you want to use a average human protagonist.

    Talking about online games, I go with Kaiselly or Kairitza sometimes. I know a guy who used to lust after my avi on WKC2.
    Never buy a game published by D3 Publisher that is not WKCII. They cheated on their fans by releasing a game that they didn't support not even for a year and they released a rushed translation.

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    GM,DM,PC,NPC,1P,2P & TG TG Barighm's Avatar
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    I felt like the male Shepard was presented as the default choice. I tend not to be someone who doesn't customize the appearance of my character unless asked because I'm pretty lazy, but when I learned later that I could actually be a female Shepard, I did find it but I believe it was under "create a custom character" or something of that like.
    That makes sense. That same data also said most people played the Soldier class, also the default choice. Hardcore gamers like to believe EVERYONE wants absolute control over how they customize their characters, but the reality is casual gamers like to dive right in without thinking about what or why (see the removal of the traditional talent system in WoW). I mean, yeesh, most people pick the first choice on a poll or survey simply because it's the first choice.
    Last edited by TG Barighm; 03-25-2013 at 02:13 PM.

  14. #14
    Member Kiralyn's Avatar
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    Interestingly, on that 18% statistic..... I've been hanging out on the official Skyrim forums since before the game came out. Several times over the months before release, there were poll threads asking the question "Are you going to play a male or female character?" Around 200-300 poll responses each time - and it always came out to be roughly 80-20 male-female. Yeah, it's not a huge sample (and it's not representative of the general playerbase, since it's the people diehard enough to be following a game for months before release), but it's still quite close to the 82/18 Mass Effect ratio.

    Not sure we can read anything into that, but it's still an interesting similarity.

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