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vert1 Jun 19, 2016 (edited Jun 22, 2016)

This is a thread to discuss representation in media. The goal is to put arguments about roles here instead of having every thread on art become toxic by including them there. Please refrain from insults and other nastiness. The two main concerns are over inclusion and portrayal. The two main events of recent were the Oscars and TLOZ: Breath of the Wild.

The Oscars: The answer is to not beg or ask people who aren't including you for roles in Hollywood films. They don't even like you most likely. Pleading to them makes you look bad. Whining for inclusion is also very irritating.

Now the portrayal of races that are negative should be commented on. This is the real issue when people in power choose to include you. It's very sad to see actors, of whom only 1% make enough off that profession to not have a second job, portray characters that make their race look bad. Sometimes this agenda can be seen in a charmingly annoying light and sometimes it prevents those who can see negative/decadent patterns from enjoying non-white films.

The truth is we want to see films based off of who we are or our values. If not the issue of self-negation comes up.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: Link is a male character. He doesn't need to change for me. Nintendo can do what they want with him. With that written, I don't like how androgynous they made him in this game. Nintendo says female players like this. It doesn't make me too uncomfortable since I'm not planning on gazing at Link's face, but I don't want Nintendo to pull a Bridget with the character.



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Amazingu Jun 20, 2016

I think the problem with Zelda is that fans have been wanting to play as a female Link for quite some time, of which Nintendo seems to be aware, since they introduced a new character called "Linkle" in the Hyrule Warriors games.

Compound this with the rumors of BotW allegedly giving players the option to choose a gender, and the fact that Nintendo teased some BotW materials that kind of sort of seemed to imply that this was actually going to be the case, and I can understand why people are now disappointed/upset that it turns out not to be true, even if Nintendo never promised anything. There's a little bit of that "we thought we were going to get something for no reason and now we're angry because we're not getting it" thing going on for sure, but I'd be lying if I said I'm not a tad disappointed myself.

Does the series NEED this addition? No.
Would it be nice if the option was there? Yes, of course. It always is.

Jay Jun 20, 2016

With games, I think I'm in the same place as I am with comics. If the majority of well-established favourites are male, or white or both, and those are the titles that sell again and again and will be with us every generation, it would take about a billion years (well worked out estimate) to achieve anything resembling balance. So I have no problem switching things up. There is nothing I can see that would be negatively affected by Link being female so, for me, it's why not? One of my favourite examples of this is the Battlestar Galactica reboot which switched up roles and, personally, I thought it rocked. Yeah, I love classic Dirk Benedict and nothing will take that away from me but Kara Thrace was fantastic so I'm glad that happened. I like the idea of improved representation and yet can't quite see why I would need to be protective about any character on gender alone so I'm likely always going to come down on the side of, yeah try it.

Dragonfish Dog Jun 20, 2016 (edited Jun 20, 2016)

Jay wrote:

There is nothing I can see that would be negatively affected by Link being female so, for me, it's why not?

Because it's like saying men are completely replaceable by women.

You want your female characters? Okay, but don't take a character that's been male since the beginning of the start of a series, and then all of a sudden, change their gender.

Linkle in Hyrule Warriors was a perfect compromise for this, I think. Was Zelda a playable character too? I don't know, never got a Wii U.

It's kind of like with the comic book series Thor, they tried to make him female all of a sudden.

Thor is a character established by Norse mythology, and he's always been male.

You want female characters from Norse mythology, you have people like Freya.

GoldfishX Jun 20, 2016

I have enough issues finding games or movies or comics to care about nowadays. Gender and race politics in them are the least of my concerns.

Where the "female Link" argument loses me is...Why not just make a separate female character, like in a Pokemon game? People don't make the same argument for a female Mario or a female Little Mac. I can't even disagree with it...I have no idea why it even exists. Can I just chalk this one up to how stupid modern gaming has become? This was never a concern in the past.

Amazingu Jun 20, 2016

Dragonfish Dog wrote:

Because it's like saying men are completely replaceable by women.

Would it deeply shock you to know that they are?
Because they are.

You want your female characters? Okay, but don't take a character that's been male since the beginning of the start of a series, and then all of a sudden, change their gender.

Considering that you play as multiple incarnations of Link, there's really no reason why he'd have to be male every single time. It would be weird if he was suddenly a girl in the same continuity (i.e. a guy in OoT but a girl in Majora's Mask), but why couldn't he be a girl in a completely new time line?
And the same goes for any other fictional character. There's no reason to keep someone the same gender if you're going to create multiple timelines or continuities.

Linkle in Hyrule Warriors was a perfect compromise for this, I think. Was Zelda a playable character too? I don't know, never got a Wii U.

Yep, Zelda was playable too.

It's kind of like with the comic book series Thor, they tried to make him female all of a sudden.
Thor is a character established by Norse mythology, and he's always been male.

He's also a completely fictional character, like all gods, so again, there's no reason he HAS to be male.
It's called "creative liberty."

Amazingu Jun 20, 2016

GoldfishX wrote:

Where the "female Link" argument loses me is...Why not just make a separate female character, like in a Pokemon game?

I think most people would be happy with this, actually.

You raise a good point though, one that I've wondered about myself as well: why Link?
Why does no one ask for a female Mario?
I think it's because the Zelda games are more about the story and adventure, and I think people like having the option to play as different genders in more story-driven games. Just my guess though.

This was never a concern in the past.

Neither was racism or allowing women to vote.
Times move on.

Dragonfish Dog Jun 20, 2016 (edited Jun 20, 2016)

GoldfishX wrote:

I have enough issues finding games or movies or comics to care about nowadays. Gender and race politics in them are the least of my concerns.

That's pretty much my stance too, except topics like this appear on EVERY message board I go to, it's often multiple threads/topics too, and it gets annoying after awhile that the only thing gamers seem to care or want to talk about are gender or race politics. On forums for gaming.

Here's a game for everybody to look at:
http://www.eventheocean.com/

Now, if I told you about a GREAT GAME that starred a fat, Black-Asian transexual (insert other fancy gender studies words here) woman, be honest with me - would you not totally laugh your ass off at me for said suggestion? 'Cuz you just KNOW fat people are totally cut out for running at high speeds, and jumping great distances, right?

Amazingu wrote:
Dragonfish Dog wrote:

Because it's like saying men are completely replaceable by women.

Would it deeply shock you to know that they are?
Because they are.

Except for the fact that women aren't going to have anything (sperm) to inseminate themselves with if men weren't around.

Foster distrust between the two sexes (that's what all this progressive gender thinking aims to achieve), e.g., "Men exist to beat their wives" and "Women exist to divorce men for their money," and well, and it's no surprise that the gender-climate in this country is what it is.

And, yeah, you're totally right; women completely FLOCK to dirty jobs like construction work, trash collection, or active military duty on a field of battle. They would SO replace men in those fields!

Amazingu wrote:

He's also a completely fictional character, like all gods, so again, there's no reason he HAS to be male. It's called "creative liberty."

You call it "Creative Liberty," but it's really known as "Histrionics."

'Cuz it would totally be okay if someone just decided that Jesus was Black, or female, or a black female.

So, Amazingu, how's that slick gender studies degree treating you? Being employed one day a week at Local Coffee Shop, for about 4-6 hours per shift, must be treating you pretty well, huh?

Yeah, I could do without being treated with the snarky, pointed attitude, too. You get out what you put in.

GoldfishX Jun 20, 2016 (edited Jun 20, 2016)

Amazingu wrote:

Neither was racism or allowing women to vote.
Times move on.

I think this is an apples to peaches comparison...Representation in entertainment is hardly the same as allowing women/minorities to vote or not be discriminated against. Basic rights that even the most hardline rightwingers can't deny unless they are totally insane or extremist vs purely frivolous stuff. At some point, you just reach the point of tokenism and everything becomes idiotic.

Think about Power Rangers...You had two (sometimes three) white males, one black male, one Asian female and one white female. That's diverse right? Not if someone argues, "well, why not a black female? or an Asian male? or why do there have to be two or three white males? or why don't we have a gay character in there? or a transsexual?" How does one win that battle?

You just get to the point where they try to please everyone and end up pleasing no one. Then the original focus of the entertainment is lost.

Edit: Also see: The new Ghostbusters. And the funny thing is, not only are people complaining about the all female cast, I've seen them complain about the role of the black girl compared to the three white girls. Me? I don't think the movie is going to be worth seeing regardless of how many token minorities they shovel into it. This is one of the most painful examples of what I'm referring to above.

Amazingu Jun 20, 2016

Dragonfish Dog wrote:

That's pretty much my stance too, except topics like this appear on EVERY message board I go to, it's often multiple threads/topics too, and it gets annoying after awhile that the only thing gamers seem to care or want to talk about are gender or race politics. On forums for gaming.

Can you imagine how annoying it is for entire races and genders to be completely ignored by mainstream media?
Not finding any kind of representation in their favorite pastimes, except maybe as laughing stocks?
What you are displaying here, mister Dragonfish Dog, is the very definition of straight white male privilege.
You don't HAVE to care about these things, because they don't affect you in any way.
In fact, you seem insulted by the mere idea of diversity. People like you are the problem.

Here's a game for everybody to look at:
http://www.eventheocean.com/

Now, if I told you about a GREAT GAME that starred a fat, Black-Asian transexual (insert other fancy gender studies words here) woman, be honest with me - would you not totally laugh your ass off at me for said suggestion? 'Cuz you just KNOW fat people are totally cut out for running at high speeds, and jumping great distances, right?

See, so you're obviously bigoted and narrow-minded.
No, I would not laugh at that suggestion, but I'll laugh at you for your neanderthal way of thinking.

I checked the game (thanks for the tip!), and it looks cool.
I'm kind of getting tired of the retro-themed metroid-style indie platformer, but I certainly have no issues with the main character, apart from the fact that the art design is terrible.

And, yeah, you're totally right; women completely FLOCK to dirty jobs like construction work and trash collection. They would SO replace men in those fields!

They would if they wanted to.
But nobody "flocks" to jobs like trash collection.

Amazingu wrote:

'Cuz it would totally be okay if someone just decided that Jesus was Black, or female, or a black female.

Are you saying he was white?
Wouldn't be so sure...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Race_and_ … e_of_Jesus

Anyway, in the name of fiction, I'd say everything goes, yeah.
Again, that's the sole issue here: we're talking about FICTION.
Fiction does not need to be restricted by reality or facts, that's why it's fiction.

So, Amazingu, how's that slick gender studies degree treating you? Being employed one day a week at Local Coffee Shop, for about 4-6 hours per shift, must be treating you pretty well, huh?

lol

I'm not going to dignify that with a serious response, but even if that were true, that's a pretty low blow, man.
Have I ever made fun of you (or even made assumptions about you) based on what you do for a living or how much money you make?
Snark is one thing, but let's not compare e-penis sizes, shall we?

Amazingu Jun 20, 2016

GoldfishX wrote:

I think this is an apples to peaches comparison...Representation in entertainment is hardly the same as allowing women/minorities to vote or not be discriminated against. Basic rights that even the most hardline rightwingers can't deny unless they are totally insane or extremist vs purely frivolous stuff. At some point, you just reach the point of tokenism and everything becomes idiotic.

It was an extreme example, sure, but I wouldn't say it's that far removed from discrimination.
I mean, obviously no one's human rights are being infringed upon or anything, but it IS just another example of how minorities are not treated equally.
And like it or not, if minorities are not treated equally in popular entertainment, that tends to reflect on how they are treated in real life as well.

Think about Power Rangers...You had two (sometimes three) white males, one black male, one Asian female and one white female. That's diverse right? Not if someone argues, "well, why not a black female? or an Asian male? or why do there have to be two or three white males? or why don't we have a gay character in there? or a transsexual?" How does one win that battle?

I think the fact that you would consider it a "battle" is indicative of the problem.
Why not just let it happen? Why fight it? What if everything you described would actually happen?
What would be wrong with that? Why stop anywhere? Why put restrictions on anything?
If it works, it works. If it doesn't, it doesn't.

Edit: Also see: The new Ghostbusters. And the funny thing is, not only are people complaining about the all female cast, I've seen them complain about the role of the black girl compared to the three white girls. Me? I don't think the movie is going to be worth seeing regardless of how many token minorities they shovel into it. This is one of the most painful examples of what I'm referring to above.

I think the problem with the new GB movie is just that it looks terrible in trailers.
Has nothing to do with the cast. Trailers just make it look terribly unfunny.

GoldfishX Jun 21, 2016

Amazingu wrote:

I think the fact that you would consider it a "battle" is indicative of the problem.
Why not just let it happen? Why fight it? What if everything you described would actually happen?
What would be wrong with that? Why stop anywhere? Why put restrictions on anything?
If it works, it works. If it doesn't, it doesn't.

The point (the "battle" if you will) is the whining will never stop. My example was that of tokenism that fails to please everyone, as was the Ghostbusters example. There will always be something to whine about. Meanwhile, everyone I knew who grew up watching Power Rangers never cared about any of that, even though it was noticeable. I wonder if it would be noticed or criticized nowadays.

Amazingu wrote:

It was an extreme example, sure, but I wouldn't say it's that far removed from discrimination.
I mean, obviously no one's human rights are being infringed upon or anything, but it IS just another example of how minorities are not treated equally.
And like it or not, if minorities are not treated equally in popular entertainment, that tends to reflect on how they are treated in real life as well.

I'm reading this and just thinking how little it ever mattered what race or color the characters in my classic NES games were. Is Balloon Fight racist because there isn't a black guy? Do we need an Asian Link? A Scottish Kid Icarus? An Arabian Mario...oh wait. Again, maybe videogames becoming more lifelike isn't such a great thing.

The one thing I do grant that has always been noticeable is whether there are female characters available. In the case of Mario 2, I thought Peach being a playable character was pretty damn clever and not something forced into the storyline.

raynebc Jun 21, 2016

Amazingu wrote:

Would it deeply shock you to know that they are?
Because they are.

Not so much when it comes to certain things like brute strength.  There are differences between the capabilities of the two sexes.  Biologically the two were never intended to be identical.  I also agree with Dog on the point that men perform more dangerous work than women overall, and consequently are considered more expendable.

Razakin Jun 21, 2016

Amazingu wrote:

I think the problem with the new GB movie is just that it looks terrible in trailers.
Has nothing to do with the cast. Trailers just make it look terribly unfunny.

The UK trailer was actually pretty good.

Also, there was discussion about women flocking construction sites etc., there was a case in here Finland where a woman tried to apply a job in logging job. She called about the job, and was told that there was no more openings left, but funnily enough, when she made her male friend call for the same job, suddenly there was. But yeah, clearly women are delicate things that can't handle dirty or physical jobs.

GoldfishX wrote:

I'm reading this and just thinking how little it ever mattered what race or color the characters in my classic NES games were. Is Balloon Fight racist because there isn't a black guy? Do we need an Asian Link? A Scottish Kid Icarus? An Arabian Mario...oh wait. Again, maybe videogames becoming more lifelike isn't such a great thing.

You do realize that things were bit shitty related to race and sex-issues during those times? And what's so bad about things being diverse? Just because people want diverse cast, or female MC's, doesn't make that your cookie cutter bald white muscle tanks are gonna go away. They would not be dime in a dozen anymore.

Why I feel that there are just people in gaming stuck in the 80's/90's and don't want progression to happen because MAH GAMES MAH STUFF DON'T CHANGE PLZOR. And game's for SURE can't be criticized for lack of diversity etc., because they're delicate pieces of art. Or something.

Amazingu Jun 21, 2016

GoldfishX wrote:

The point (the "battle" if you will) is the whining will never stop. My example was that of tokenism that fails to please everyone, as was the Ghostbusters example. There will always be something to whine about. Meanwhile, everyone I knew who grew up watching Power Rangers never cared about any of that, even though it was noticeable. I wonder if it would be noticed or criticized nowadays.

I'm reading this and just thinking how little it ever mattered what race or color the characters in my classic NES games were. Is Balloon Fight racist because there isn't a black guy? Do we need an Asian Link? A Scottish Kid Icarus? An Arabian Mario...oh wait. Again, maybe videogames becoming more lifelike isn't such a great thing.

My point was, and I'm glad to see Razakin agree: the fact that it was not considered a problem in the 80s/90s doesn't mean it should still be okay NOW, because the 80s were indeed pretty (casually) sexist and racist.
Like I said, times move on. What was acceptable then should not necessarily be acceptable now.

Jay Jun 21, 2016

Amazingu sums up the main issues really well. Link is a good fit because we have established that he (she) has many different incarnations. It makes sense in that world. That said, if someone did want to change Mario to a girl, I wouldn't get my panties in a bunch. Diversity is more important to some people who don't have decent representation than the fictional cartoon plumber I play as having a penis is to me. The only reason I could possibly object is to protect the position of privilege I have now. In fact, I have never even seen his penis. I don't know that he has one. There was a petition going around to get Nintendo to show it but I can't find it now.

I'm all for better representation for everyone. Truth is, I can understand people getting very attached to their fictional characters (I do too) but not at the expense of something that might achieve some good for real people. So I welcome female Link, penisless Mario and whatever else anyone would like to try out.

avatar! Jun 21, 2016 (edited Jun 21, 2016)

Interesting discussions!

As for women not liking "men's jobs", I don't think that really flies for the most part. Example:
http://www.rawstory.com/2016/06/ohio-gi … nal-event/

"An Ohio teenager who won a gold medal in a statewide masonry competition — and the first girl to win the top prize — found out on Facebook that she won’t be allowed to compete at a national leadership and skills conference...The spokeswoman said no errors were made on the judges’ scoring sheets — and Clifford called foul."

However, clearly there's still sexism and racism alive in the world. Also, I'm not saying that games should be PC, but at the same time "things" should not be as whitewashed as a William Blake painting:

http://ramhornd.blogspot.com/2011/04/blakes-jesus.html
A blond, blue-eyed Jesus?? Laughable, and yet many people want to think that's how Jesus looked.

So anyway, if you get to choose to play as a female or male Link, how exactly that a problem to anyone I fail to see...

GoldfishX Jun 22, 2016

Okay, so we get a Scottish Kid Icarus, a black Balloon Fighter and an Asian Link into the mix and the gaming world is better off...Got it! Hey, why not throw in a Siberian Ice Climbers while we're at it? I mean, CLEARLY, Nana and Popo are Canadian...or from Minnesota...who cares, things need to change because DIVERSITY! And let's make Thomas from Kung Fu hispanic while we're at it.

And then of course, someone comes along and complains that Samus only represents slender/athletic females.

vert1 Jun 22, 2016 (edited Jun 22, 2016)

The diversity issue is endless. I think the amusing thing is that even when the slider option is available the issue then shifts to who the company will show on the boxart, and it's usually the default white skin (i.e. Splatoon). And then even if everyone is represented such as on a poster the issue of how much space each character takes up becomes centerfold (i.e. China's Star Wars poster shrinking Finn).

Dragonfish Dog wrote:

That's pretty much my stance too, except topics like this appear on EVERY message board I go to, it's often multiple threads/topics too, and it gets annoying after awhile that the only thing gamers seem to care or want to talk about are gender or race politics. On forums for gaming.

The first time this started to really bother me was how much words were typed on Other M's story. How are these people putting so much passion into fighting over cutscenes while no one cared to break down the mechanics and aesthetics of the game in such detail outside of that. I also think this was the first time media portrayal of a Nintendo character was so fiercely scrutinized.

I did not notice any of this talk about gender or race during the GC/PS2/XBOX era.

[]Purity, Diversity, and the Polarization of Mankind[]

Jay Jun 22, 2016

In that respect, this is a positive sign. Gaming has become a more accepted medium, validated, played by wider groups of people, acknowledged by those who don't play them. A more diverse medium, in spite of itself. And so, like film and books, open to examination, criticism and discussion, as any medium should be.

Amazingu Jun 22, 2016

vert1 wrote:

The first time this started to really bother me was how much words were typed on Other M's story. How are these people putting so much passion into fighting over cutscenes while no one cared to break down the mechanics and aesthetics of the game in such detail outside of that. I also think this was the first time media portrayal of a Nintendo character was so fiercely scrutinized.

I did not notice any of this talk about gender or race during the GC/PS2/XBOX era.

1. What Jay said.

2. Looking at a story and forming opinions about how characters are represented is much easier than analyzing game mechanics, I think. I mean, even if you look at most review sites out there, very few reviewers seem adept at (or even interested in) analyzing video games from a design perspective. Most of the things they'll talk about in their reviews is related to story and characters, and just whether the game is "fun" or not.
And those are supposed to be "professional" reviewers. Regular consumers are even less likely to be interested in conversations on mechanics when story-related discussions are much easier to wrap your head around, considering that's what people talk about when discussing movies and books as well.

It's why Naughty Dog's games always score so well. Everyone talks about the likable characters and remembers the bombastic Hollywood-movie situations, but few people notice how incredibly mechanically weak their games are.

GoldfishX Jun 22, 2016 (edited Jun 22, 2016)

You lost me there...Game mechanics to me are the foundation of why I play videogames. Stuff like level design, movement options, progression, difficulty, the placement of the little red spot you have to shoot to kill the boss, etc require time playing the game to get a feel for and properly judge. If they feel "off", then normally the game is bad to me. This is what separates games from other forms of media...the interactivity. The gameplay. If consumers aren't paying attention to the game's mechanics, I certainly wonder what they're wasting $60 on videogames to play on a $400 console. Modern gaming for you, I guess...

And unfortunately, most game review sites nowadays do an exceptionally poor job and something as subjective as "fun" can easily be bought with some advertising dollars.

Nowadays, I can see something like this: "While Contra is a moderately fun game where you run and shoot all kinds of stuff, I was triggered by the extreme macho-ness of two white guys running shirtless through the jungle carrying large guns and it ruined what little there is to this game."

Or better yet, someone who might give Gradius a 1/10 because they do not feel enough storyline is given to the driver of the Vic Viper.

Amazingu Jun 22, 2016

GoldfishX wrote:

You lost me there...

Did I?
Because you actually seem to agree with me on this smile

What I'm saying is that a lot of consumers (not all of them, obviously) aren't paying attention to the game's mechanics, and the reason they blow $60 on their games is because what they really want is an interactive movie.

Razakin Jun 22, 2016

GoldfishX wrote:

Nowadays, I can see something like this: "While Contra is a moderately fun game where you run and shoot all kinds of stuff, I was triggered by the extreme macho-ness of two white guys running shirtless through the jungle carrying large guns and it ruined what little there is to this game."

Or better yet, someone who might give Gradius a 1/10 because they do not feel enough storyline is given to the driver of the Vic Viper.

Except stuff like that wouldn't happen, as good reviewers do know what genre a game is and what that genre requires from the game. But then, guess internet just loves to do hyperboles and shitty examples to try to prove their points. Also, it's still so stupid to compare games from 80's or early 90's to current ones, games and gaming has changed from 'simple' games into more bigger and complex ones. Some with good stories and fun gameplay, some with badshit awful stories and shitty controls.

And honestly, really don't understand why people look down upon if reviewers or others seem to enjoy stories of the games more than game mechanics. If I'm gonna drop 20+ hours into a game, the story better be good someway, otherwise it's just gonna kill my mood to play it, even if the game mechanics would be superb. All always depends what genre the game is and what is the general aspect of the game.

I mean, probably a really small percentage of people who are into CoD's or BF's don't give a crap about the story/campaign, but are interested how the mechanics have been tweaked from last iteration. And then people who enjoy games like The Last of Us, or Life is Strange are into the stories of the games, not how stellar the gameplay mechanics are.

GoldfishX Jun 22, 2016

Amazingu wrote:

Did I?
Because you actually seem to agree with me on this smile

What I'm saying is that a lot of consumers (not all of them, obviously) aren't paying attention to the game's mechanics, and the reason they blow $60 on their games is because what they really want is an interactive movie.

You said it was easier to focus on story and characters...We do agree on that. What I am saying is that is a BAD thing and those are the type of people I don't want judging videogames. These are also the same people that might, say, nitpick a game for not having a minority as a lead character.

I would argue if that is what people want, there's the perfect site for that:

www.youtube.com

No fussy controls, no patterns to memorize, no hand-eye coordination issues, no frustration from dying numerous times...People can just sit back and either nitpick or enjoy the show. And it doesn't cost them a thing.

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