Time to get srs.
This is a big issue and since feminist rants are kinda my thing sometimes I should give my two cents about this big issue.
Basically I think both sides of the issue tend to be full of shit a lot of the time. So I have a little message for both.Male gamers:
Ok listen up. I know there are some women who really are insecure ugly fatasses who just can't get over the concept of women in games ever having large breasts. But not every feminist is gonna invade your home and set your PS3 on fire. What upsets a lot of women is not that female characters ARE sexualized, it's the fact that too many female characters today have "being sexy" as their sole defining characteristic. As opposed to the more diverse array of male archtypes we've seen in gaming over the years.
And to the guys who justify the lack of diversity in video game protagonists with shit like "I'm a dude, I wanna be a dude, I never wanna be a chick" well, FUCK YOU. There's enough games with steroid pumping douchebags in them for sucks sake, it wouldn't hurt you to play as a chick every now and then. Expand your mind a bit and learn to play games that don't just appeal to your basic generic male fantasies and perhaps offer an interesting story and perspective instead. You know?
Here's some good advice. You really want the feminists to shut up? Well how about not giving them more stuff to bitch about via your ignorant behavior? How about addressing the fact that there is legit sexism in the video game community like Battlefield 3 not allowing girls to their LAN parties?
Instead of shrugging it off like it's not important and girls are just on the rag if they take offense to that stuff? It just makes you look like idiots.
Oh and all that fucking sexism, racism and homophobia that stinks up every online gaming community doesn't help either. It doesn't just turn away women, but every decent human being who is not a gamer already but is considering taking up the hobby. One taste of Call of Duty online with the mics on is enough to make anyone outside of the gaming circle reject the whole medium and I can't blame them honestly.
And don't even get me started on the frat boy douchebags who make up the whole "hardcore" gaming demographic (the same people who ironically hijacked the hobby from us nerds around 15 years ago) and how they always have a conniption fit over the fact that there is indeed a market for, you know GIRLS, and the fact that there is a market for games that actually use primary colors and don't conform to the "hardcore" gamer's generic, all brown-all the time macho wank fantasies.
Just go to any game forum to see what I mean. Girls, kids, grandparents, retro gamers like me. We're all the enemy because we're not supporting the "real" games. We're holding back "progress".
It's not just sexism, there's a serious problem with many gamers who can't accept that people outside their circle are getting interested in their hobby. A hobby they still hold a as a kind of secret "for us guys only" club thing. That kinda attitude may have been cute when we were kids, but now it's just sad.
There will always be enough FPSs to go around (sadly). Your grandma playing wii bowling isn't gonna destroy what you love. So if adult male gamers stopped freaking out just because a few companies are less interested in them and more interested in casuals, girls, little kids, their moms and grandparents and people like me (who grew out of gaming long ago because we think console gaming hit it's peak in quality somewhere around 1994 before Sony ruined everything forever) then perhaps that whole stereotype about gamers being total fucking losers with the worst social skills in the world wouldn't be so dominant in every other form of media right now.
No medium as big as video games should be treated like it's exclusive to a specific kind of person, let alone a specific gender. Lots of guys act this way. And it's embarassing.
If you're not one of these people. Congratulations, you're ok.Female gamers:
SOME GAMES JUST AREN'T FOR YOU. GET THE FUCK OVER IT. Yes video games really have a long way to go in it's depiction of females (and ethnic minorities, and homosexuals and transgendered) but you have to accept that there will always be video games marketed to males and males only. That really isn't a bad thing ladies.
Not every game can appeal to everyone. The fact that the mainstream video game market in the west is overflooded with the same stuff for the same people is a problem, an economic problem in fact. But the niche audiences they appeal to are not the problem. Just like you girls like things that's exclusively marketed to girls (like fucking Twilight, that is YOUR fault) and that's all just fine, us guys like T&A, and there will always be video games with T&A. Bitching about that alone is not standing up for your rights. It just makes you obnoxious.
Guys fapping to pixels is not oppressing you and it's not in itself what is holding the video game industry back from a more diverse market. Female protagonists in gaming are rare because female gamers are rare. And you have our hard ons to thank for the prominence of female video game characters period.
You have to be insane to think video game companies are gonna make more games for a female demographic when there isn't much of one to begin with, at least not one that can ever compete with the male demographic. Thing is women (for various reasons) are just less inclined to invest as much time in the hobby as males are, that's the real reason it's predominately a male thing. I think it has less to do with how women are depicted in games and more with the fact that most women just have no interest in making a major hobby out of gaming.
Girls will have to support the industry more if they want to see more female characters FOR female gamers. Instead of thinking things will get better if they bitch about it long enough.
The reason games are not moving foward in gender equality is not because men like fucking Dead or Alive ok? It's just softcore porn, and unlike what Andrea the Hutt likes to think, porn is not the big obstacle that's getting in the way of women's rights.
When women are complaining about the depiction of women in mediums they have little or no actual interest in, it makes them look desperate for issues to complain about, as if women don't have to face any serious issues anymore. Which every rational person knows is false. Let's be realistic. Why should games appeal to people who DON'T play them? There is no reason.
You know why guys don't complain about the way we are depicted in schlocky romance novels? BECAUSE WE DON'T READ THAT SHIT.
So to the girls who don't play games, there is no reason for the industry to make you feel better, so leave us the fuck alone.
And for girls who do play games? Just keep playing the games you like and accept that there will always be games specifically for a male audience. We need more games that appeal to women yes. But bitching about the fact that games which appeal to male sexual fantasies even exist
only makes you look bitter and jealous and unaccepting of basic aspects of what appeals to men. In other words every negative feminist stereotype you DON'T want to be if you ever hope to be accepted as part of the gaming community.
And please, PLEASE don't be the kind of real life straw feminist who projects your fears of patriarchy onto everything and assume that EVERY video game and female character is sexist just because you absolutely HAVE to believe there is some big anti female conspiracy that every video game company is a part of. Zelda is not a sexist stereotype just because she gets kidnapped and has to be rescued. Nintendo likes damsels in distress because they are a fantasy tradition and are a great way to frame the simplistic plots in games like Zelda and Mario that don't call for anything terribly complex in the way of narrative. It's not because the Japanese fucking hate women. The fact that some so called feminists are even pulling that xenophobic bullshit makes me sick. Do not associate yourself with these people.
So just keep those things in mind, and beyond that, play the games you like, avoid the ones you don't and just never give into male gamers who are misogynistic fucktards trying to seclude women from their sacred hobby. And perhaps do your part and try to get more girls into the hobby by finding stuff you think may appeal to them. More girl gamers means more video game companies taking girl gamers into consideration, meaning more games girls will like. That's a simple solution that doesn't have to involve waging war on male gamers and their interests.
It also means more cosplayers and that's a plus for both genders.