fantastic article on diversity in gaming. I hope you take the time out of your day to read it, I absolutely love it and it’s v important. Especially with BL2, this is a good read.
I saw you post this yesterday, and pretty much predicted that there would be a “Truxican Standoff” of people considering whether or not to comment on this. With mutually assured destruction being the only foreseeable outcome as everyone only every worries about the crazies from either side coming out of the woodwork.
I read the article. I agree with his points on the idea that diversity in gaming can absolutely potentially be about adding, and not necessarily subtracting. I concur with much of what he says in it’s entirety. I don’t particularly like the writing style (over-reference, mixed analogies), but for all I know that is how his editor believes he’ll get people to read through an opinion piece.
Now with the article reference out of the way, let me get to the substance of the matter.
Diversity in gaming isn’t a “political agenda”, the notion of it in a media platform is absolutely absurd. 100% of AAA games and well over 99% of all games in general originate from countries that have specific provisions in them that allow for freedom of artistic expression. This government guarantee is usually nothing more than an extension of existing freedom of speech laws, and art as a category most often goes under that sphere. As such, there have been those who have found issue with the fact that the industry seems to cater mainly to white heterosexual males. The United States, being one of the largest game producers and one of the most heterogeneous countries on the list, naturally takes the majority of the blame.
Women are often hypersexualized or treated as trophies. Black characters can often lack nuance, and are required to speak in ebonics. Homosexual males must be flamboyant (and their sexuality is the only recognizable aspect of their characters). Transgender and Disabled are practically ignored as some entities traveling here from rift in space-time.
(NOTE: I know there are plenty of examples of games breaking those cliches I have listed above. The reference, ironically, is a generalization that shows a trend.)
Inclusive gaming isn’t an agenda, it’s almost surely a right. An individual has no more right to prohibit some one from making a homosexual character the focus of a storyline than gay men would have the right to do so with a heterosexual character. Any form of expression must be opened to the public, and in being so, should more often than not reflect the public.
My favorite argument I heard was that many of these ‘gamers’ found it difficult to play as a “gay character”, as they found it very difficult to relate with his interests or his plight. Something I am certain must have had every gay man from here to Tangier laughing until they realized how sad the irony was.
If you really think there is a “war on games” compare GTA, DOA and clones of the pair to the few instances of games with a diverse cast (i.e. Borderlands), if there is a war, inclusive gaming is losing.
But that isn’t to say that all the voices on the side of diversity are in anyway positive ones, more often than not they’re leeches to the cause.
The Borderlands we all know and love was targeted by several groups for their portrayal of “Miss Moxxi” as the overtly sexual femme fatale she was. They claimed that she was a “trope” and nothing more. First, they’re about as dim as Good Friday, when you consider the fact that Moxxi is a god-damn satire. Secondly, and I feel as if I must say far more importantly, even if that is how they wished to portray here, with absolutely no cheek to it, they’d have the right to do so.
Having an entire cast of women strut out in bikinis and fight in that manner is one thing, having a single female in a diverse cast be overtly sexualized is nothing more than an inevitability. One that occurs in reality. (I thought we were supposed to be okay with women expressing their sexuality). Not to mention Miss Moxxi is an incredibly powerful character. She is portrayed as clever, independent, and almost wholly positive (in regards to the slight spectrum we’re operating it). So what is wrong with it?
What many people don’t understand about many of these “social justice warriors” is they’re not the real warriors in this battle whatsoever. They’re just starved for attention. They desperately crave it and the people who are most against them are the one’s giving it to them. They don’t care about women’s, minority, or LGBT rights. Sure, they may put on a good show as if they do, but the sheer amount of exposure they get and the way they present themselves could lead even the most partial observer to detect something is wrong.
Do you know who are the real champions in this fight? The pro bono lawyers who take cases in discrimination or harassment in many of these firms we’ve mentioned. The young girl who takes time out of her day to learn script in order to perhaps one day make a game she can identify with. The LGBT couple opening different charities and funds in order to empower a minority.
The most pitiful part about this struggle is that both the forces for evolution and stagnation have managed to buy in to the con-men. We are not talking about the relevant facts in this discourse, nor do we present ourselves with substance. The dialogue has shifted from the matter and moved its way on to the mirth, where the topic is now what we think of those who have monopolized the discussion for their own gain.
These are no different than your syndicated news networks, who spend less time reporting and more time reporting on what the other side is reporting (to mention Colin Quinn).
Whenever a balance is reached, or a hurdle overcome, whomever has anything to gain from chaos will make sure that doesn’t remain that way for very long.
I actually really can agree though : )
This is SUPER cool!
also on black people in games: Barrett from ff7 immediately comes to mind. prime example of bad characters.
and also it astounds me that people consider the existence of anything beyond the norm some political thing. And then talking about pandering? : / most games are pandering in the first place, the only reason people throw that word around is when it starts pandering to people that aren’t like them.
but thanks for responding! These threads always get messy, you can always go back to the thread that never died on the old forums, about Burch’s diversity article. Man…
Jian, I think you’re misunderstanding me and taking it to a level you really don’t need to.
Especially considering how long you’ve known me, why even take that approach mate? Really?
What is angering you so. Please, sincerely, do express it.
sorry, I’m tired and on edge and making dumb assumptions
I edited @giuvito, I’m sorry :s
on another note have you seen all the #boycottstarwarsvii craze? It’s a bunch of crazy white supremacists whining about how SW7 hates white people
Mate, first. I’d like to ask why you’re taking this approach to me presenting you with a notion. Is it necessary? You’re usually one to opt on gentlemen’s discourse, and have gone so far as to laud me when I have been on your side of an argument in the past. Why would you suddenly act like this?
I know you’re far beyond such a guttural response, and frankly I can tell this topic must affect you deeply on some level I may not understand by how much I know you, so I fully understand if you came off curt earlier. But pressuring anyone of out discourse is poor form, and I know that 99% of the time you wouldn’t do that.
Which to clarify I am NOT in ANYWAY against inclusivity in gaming. It should be promoted and those who whine about it will get swept away.
Social justice warrior is a pejorative to describe the whole demonym, but there are many who stand to gain from nothing more than complaining about nuances they don’t describe. Moxxi was fine as she was. Borderlands was filled to the brim with positive female characters starting as early as BL1. Helena Pierce was maimed and disabled, and still arguably one of the most admirable characters in the plot (I loved her). It is equivalent to believing Othello a play about the dangers of black people, because the only scene one saw is some one smothering his wife with a pillow (spoiler).
I had to genuinely google “Anita” to be reminded of who she was. So, no, it wasn’t “Anti-Anita” stuff. That being said, I can pretty much assure you I wouldn’t be taking my viewpoints from some one’s youtube channel. I’d have to view her content before giving it any thought.
At no point and time was I trying to play the “both sides” of the argument card. I think if you re-read it over with a clear head, you’ll see the point I was trying to make. I’ll illustrate it again with brevity.
Inclusivity and Diversity in gaming is long overdue, and I am enthused to play from perspectives that are different from my own. I’m glad to see that people are taking an interest and voicing their concerns as to the lack of diversity as well as the method in which the concern has been handled.
What I will refuse to do, and I have never seen a good reason for the opposite, is to protest perfectly rational positives and negatives in already existing characters. Nor do I believe that the most effective way in taking on an discrimination is by way of “blog posts”, or anything of the sort.
What concerns me most about this is not the view points, my friend. I agree with those. It is that by my knowledge of human nature, I know they take a far second to self exposure. I’ve met people who have done much more for the benefit of others without making themselves the selling point.
I would like to add that you have no reason to apologize, as I can imagine you were heated because this topic may personally affect you, and I may not know the source. The best way for societal development is logical debate, and I welcome your view points on the matter.
So please feel free to continue, and I compel you to write out your views on the matter.
i edited : /
refresh? i’m sorry. I was assuming dumb stuff
No reason to apologize, @jianderson, express yourself mate.
Ohh my God. Yeah, I saw that. What I really want an answer to is all that Ewok racism we’ve been privy to!
No problem Jian! It is way in the past. Seriously though. Let us hear your views on it. I feel like you’d have much to elucidate.
like I said, I’m just super on edge. Past couple days have been intense. I have so much to do ;…; I’ve overextended myself lately so I’m away from home 12-14 hours a day now
BSW7 was led by a ton of neoreactionaries on twitter. all complaining about white genocide, aka miscegenation. it’s the weirdest stuff
lol I’ve said my piece back in the older threads, but I feel like BL in general has been doing awesome. I mean, BL2 was there, and then bam, we had Aurelia and Janey and it was so cool. I feel like it’s doing more to show a wider universe, not just in terms of space but in terms of the people too and I want to see it continue in BL3 even without a lot of the staff.
I feel like this article really articulated my position on the whole thing, ya know? That it’s more about representation and being able to see yourself in games. That’s what gets me about how whiny people got about Witcher 3, constantly abusing the term ‘historical accuracy’ as some grand defense of not including any brown/black people. when there’s dragons and space ships and whatnot, why aren’t there people in wheelchairs doing cool stuff (aka Oracle, but way better)? Aurelia is a huge step forward imo
So I read the linked article. It sounds like someone bitching about other people bitching. But is the article legit? Yeah sure, why not?
In the end, I am sometimes confused by why people are bitching so much. I tend to see details in a vacuum, and then not in a vacuum, and back in a vacuum and rinse/repeat/etc. just so I don’t miss anything that might be important.
Does Charles Xavier count as someone doing cool stuff in a wheelchair, or is he too white, middle-aged, and male to be considered?
Why the hell would I want to see myself in a game? I’m a boring-ass 20 year old, give me someone else to be as :p. Or to quote Ben Croshaw: “…I know it’s so that we can project ourselves into the game, but I don’t find myself terribly engaging as a character.”
She’s Hammerlock’s sister, what’s so special about her apart from her being snobby and mind boggling wealthy?
And yet Blackheart said in a recent thread that as a lesbian she doesn’t like that she’s supposed to connect with Janey when she views Janey’s homosexuality as her primary characteristic.
I don’t particularly mean myself. I mean marginalized folks
where did she say she spoke for all? Why use her own experience as a club to disown the experiences of others?
There’s a gay guy over on reddit I really admire, cubbance, and I know that he felt BL2 as a game really validated his identity, at least in terms of being a gamer. It makes a difference. It matters.
I never said she was speaking for everyone, just herself.
well, there you have it.
And what’s special about Aurelia apart from her being rich?
a black woman not held to stereotypes, and being super rich?
i feel like you’re not understanding the concept here : /
I never noticed her being black. Never actually paid attention to that.
diversity is about representation, yo.
@Giuvito Please, my friend, run for presidency of america. We need you.