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eye roll (Gaming)

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Monday, December 02, 2019, 12:10 (10 days ago) @ Kermit
edited by Cody Miller, Monday, December 02, 2019, 12:14

If someone somewhere did have an issue with it, I don't see VR as significantly different from an FPS or even a third-person game in that regard--plus [what cruelLegacey said]. I think as a mass phenomenon among gamers this is a straw man (or person), but it seems fairly common these days to assume the idiocy or bigotry of a big swath of the population on any subject (and it certainly is flattering to do so).

I don't assume idiocy or blatant bigotry. Those people are the tip of the iceberg. And what you don't see are all the subtle biases that are milder version of this that are nevertheless harmful. And if you don't see a difference between VR and third person in this regard I don't know what to tell you.

I am not talking about just PLAYING as a female character. I'm talking about empathizing with one. And this is something people struggle with. Even me.

This is the other side of the same coin, but I have a huge issue with the argument that I can't relate to or identify with a protagonist who doesn't share my physical attributes or biographical details. F that noise all the home.

Why then do nearly all playable female protagonists in games either:

1. Fetishized (e.g. Bayonetta)
2. Masculine (anyone doing masculine things like shooting and fighting)

When are you ever asked to actually identify with a female character? It's not often.

Why did Dontnod go from publisher to publisher dozens of times, only to hear the same thing? 'We love it, but can you make Max a boy?"

You've seen Ex Machina, which is the perfect example. The Turing test was a metaphor to see if men could empathize with a woman. And if you hated the ending, then you failed. There's a reason why Caleb was set up as the main character. Why the audience was primed to see the world through his view. The test then was whether you could empathize with Ava. And judging by reactions very few could.

A comic is going around about the author's experience as a kid. In class, they were asked to talk about a fictional character they admired. He chose a female character, and was laughed at. The teacher then suggested he choose a boy character instead. Meanwhile the girls were free to choose male or female characters to admire with no backlash or embarrassment.

We actively discourage men to identify with women. There's a big push for strong female role models for women. But where is the push for strong female role models for MEN?

First and third person games still rely on empathy. The character is not you. You see them on screen or else in cutscenes. But in VR? It's you. So it's a fantastic opportunity. But this is squandered when all you do is shoot and render disembodied hands.


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