Simon_Jester wrote:Well, criticism of the games as art is not criticism of the gamers. Insofar as the gamers get criticized, it's usually because a certain chunk of their membership is literally walking right into that criticism, while the rest facepalms.
People view criticism of the most random shit they do, are a part of, or own as criticism to themselves all the time. Gamers are like this with other gamers, even in the same genre: put a Quake and a UT guy in the same room. There's going to be a lot of arguing, mostly about taste. Then have a Counter-Strike guy walk in and watch both the Arena shooter guys club him to death.
As part of this, we generally assume people are defending a particular pastime you do not because they play it themselves. Not to say there isn't a portion of the playerbase that isn't loud and obnoxious, but do we really know how many strong they are? Look at something like the WoW official forums. You'd think it's doomsday and everything is horrible, but people complain a lot more than they compliment. And even if there were 10,000 people claiming the sky is falling, there's 5-10 million
more just playing the game completely unaware of all the bullshit going on because they are content.
So, if someone were to say "WoW players are whiny babies, just look at the WoW forums," I'm sure there'd be a lot of people pissed off. And when journalists and bloggers start comparing the average gamer to felons who need to be dragged into a jail-cell, you'll have some problems generating any kind of traction for change.
Vendetta wrote:The point is that it ignores the agency of the female character, she is reduced to an object as far as the story is concerned, not a person with opinions and desires of her own who acts in furtherance of those desires. In the classic damsel in distress story absolutely nothing would change if you removed the woman and replaced her with the hero's favourite stick. Because she's not a person, she's an object for men to squabble over. That's what I mean about being a commodity, she's an object of value not a person.
Agency has been a major issue in gaming for a long time. The problem isn't so much that women lack agency, it's that generally only the player has agency. And when you have a female character with no agency and
you rely on the go-to female stereotypes, they are rightfully offended. I'm offended because considering technology, that shit should not play in anything but the most brain-dead of shooter games.
But I don't see agency really making a comeback. No Ur-Quan fighting their own war on a dead-line instead of just waiting around for you to blow them up. No NPCs in Wizardry rounding up essential quest items themselves and changing the dynamic of the game. Agency tends to be much to complicated for players to deal with or developers to bother cheating at faking.
Sadly, the only real recent example of agency (and with women to boot) comes from the gutted RPG Skyrim. Delphine not only has the gall to steal your stuff (even though from a gameplay standpoint, she did nothing), she forces you to prove you're the Dragonborn, and will blow you off unless you kill Parthunaxx. Even Karliah holds off her plans only because she needed something to bring Mercer into the open (which you happily accomplish for the both of them). Hell, Astrid might qualify as well. Meanwhile, Alduin does one thing during an extended cutscene, then hangs around doing nothing while you ensure his demise.