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Games and discrimination

Discussion in 'Alley of Dangerous Angles' started by The Soul Forever Seeking, Dec 15, 2003.

  1. The Soul Forever Seeking Gems: 10/31
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    Hey. We've all been exposed to stereotyping, racism, or some other form of prejudice in one way or another, whether it was some crazy guy on a street corner shouting about how homosexuals will cause the apocalypse, or seeing something awful on TV.

    I'm talking today, though, about something much closer to SP's heart. Video games.
    My question is this:
    Have you ever seen discrimination in a video game? Even if you liked a game, maybe there was something strange in it. You can be general or specific. For example, in RPGs in general, female characters are weaker than males, and are more likely to be mages, who can't equip anything stronger than a 'bonk branch'. Also, with your generic RPG love sidestory, the female is all doey-eyed and obsessed over the hero, but he's too brainless to even notice.

    Another, more specific example, (remember these can be ANY game, regardless of genre) is the case of Command & Conquer: Red Alert II. Basically, in multiplayer mode, you can choose from several different countries. All the countries are either Soviet or Allied, but each one gets a unique unit that supposedly reflects on that country's military. I.e., the Americans get paratroopers, the British get Snipers, etc.

    Libya's (a Soviet country in the game) unit is a man who gives his life for his country, he runs up to enemy soldiers and detonates a bomb strapped to his chest. The Soviets already got such a unit, a guy named Crazy Ivan. The Libyan suicide bomber is stronger, and has a bigger blast radius. The problem?

    The Libyan unique unit, reflection of his country, is called the Terrorist.

    Anyone else have examples, or am I just crazy?
     
  2. chevalier

    chevalier Knight of Everfull Chalice ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    The Soul Forever Seeking, there is a strong chance that you are crazy.

    Do you really believe that an average woman is as strong and tough as an average man?
     
  3. Jack Funk Gems: 24/31
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    LOL. :D

    I don't think any of the examples that you gave really support your hypothesis. Special units by country is not really "stereotyping, racism, or some other form of prejudice". As far as the RPG side story, those are archetypes, not to be taken seriously. So the Lybians have a unit called a "terrorist". This is unrealistic? How?

    I do agree with your basic premise though. I just think you need some stronger examples though. You could certainly cite the Drow, the "dark" elves, as an example of racial sterotyping. i.e. Black = bad

    I think that "stereotyping, racism, or some other form of prejudice" can be used responsibly in a game as well. For instance, in Jagged Alliance 2 (a game that uses broad archetypes as well), certain American mercenaries would not stay on your team if you hired Russians. This demonstrated that prejudice exists in the world and makes you deal with it. If realistic (or at least believable), this can provide a new element to team building.
     
  4. BOC

    BOC Let the wild run free Veteran

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    If you want to see some realy racist games, see these . Unfortunately, nazis have already put their hands in the gaming industry.
     
  5. Oaz Gems: 29/31
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    In my opinion, there's enough sexism in fantasy-based RPGs, especially when it comes to pen-and-paper D&D.

    It's a fantasy world. Women can fantasize that they're the physical counterparts, just like men can fantasize they're super-duper Fighters or Mages. Besides, it's simply unfair to female players who want to play effective female characters (replace "female" with "Asian", "Black", etc. here).

    Or, hey, let's just take it a step further and say that women characters can't be Clerics, Paladins, Monks, and all those other things unrealistic for a women back in the day (and in the day too).

    Please. Everyone knows Drow Assassins and Rangers are cool. :D
     
  6. InquisitorX Gems: 4/31
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    Interesting topic, although I think you are overanalyzing. Video games, particularly the ones we play (rpgs), seems to be very fair.

    Using the example of RPGs, women seem to be just as powerful and important as males.

    Baldur's Gate had Jaheria and Viconia (the protagonist could be a female also). Final Fantasy 4 had Rosa and Rydia (who was the most devasting character in the game). Torment had Annah and Fall-from-Grace. Look at Valkyrie Profile. You play a extremely stern and powerful goddess.

    Almost every fighting game has multiple female characters (they always seem to be the agile ones...)

    True, in games females generally are mages, or agility-type fighters. But isn't it obvious that females are smarter and agile than males. ;)
     
  7. Nakia

    Nakia The night is mine Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    My favorite non-RPG series, Cultures, is sexist but try and play the games without women. I would like to see a few changes but only a few. Equal does not mean identical. I alway play BG as a female and Arcanum as a male. IMO the newer RPG's are fair.
     
  8. chevalier

    chevalier Knight of Everfull Chalice ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    Sorry, but you're missing the point. I don't say women can't bulk up etc. Or that they can't become priests (Where is that from? Earth has a long tradition of priestesses in Eastern, Greek and Roman religions), paladins (well, I can only think of St Jeanne D'Arc, but I'm sure there's a few I can't just recall ATM), warriors (Lady de Montfort was a kickass one), rangers (cliche female elven ranger!) and the like. Why not?

    I say that per average, women are weaker and less tough than men. And thus a woman needs quite a lot of training to match an average man evenly. I fail to see how this is unfair if it's reality. If it's not reality for someone, he can always arm-wrestle his sister, mother and gf.

    If a female player wants a Lucy CN female barb with 16 STR, let her have it. Sure, why not. She's only going to be quite more unusual than her Arnold CN male barb with 16 STR ;)

    If that's unfair with someone, he needs professional help ASAP.

    It's also ridiculous to maintain the difference in build - ie women are, per average, left shorter, lighter and slimmer than men in general, while trying to give them the same average strength and toughness. That's downright inconsistent.

    News: males with strength and stamina of women don't really become warriors.

    To sum up, I have no problems with female characters having whatever scores they have. Even if this means equality in point buy or roll min/max points. I, however, have a moon-sized problem with the illusion that average scores are equal for both genders. And with setting a fixed quota of female warriors. Stupid. More than just wrong. Stupid. Wrongfulness can be corrected, amended, rectified. Stupidity can't. And that's what the almighty PC-ness is.

    Yea, and remove quotas from parliaments. I want people chosen for their qualification, not for their gender. I don't care what is in the MP's pants. I care what his programme is. Same for ministers and others.
     
  9. Oaz Gems: 29/31
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    Last time I checked, Elves were skinny and short (several inches shorter than humans). They suffer no penalties to Strength. Dwarves are considerably shorter than humans. They suffer no penalties to Strength. Gnomes in the AD&D games suffer no penalties to Strength.

    Oh, wait. Those are fantasy races.

    And the women in CRPGs are in a fantasy world.

    Maybe we can call someone from Greyhawk or FR to check how strong and tough women are in fantasy worlds.
     
  10. Manus Gems: 13/31
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    Well let's see, Elves suffer a hit to con, while dwarves gain a bonus. Elves gain a bonus to dexterity based upon their litheness (the same reason for losing points in constitution, their physical build), Halflings (which you didn't mention) actually do recieve a penalty to their strength based on their race. Both gnomes and halflings recieve a penalty to all things which strength affects (such as their encumberance limit, damage, and the types of weapons they may weild). I believe that gnomes in third edition did recently gain a bonus in constitution, but I believe this was intended to reflect a mental thing (such as their stamina and endurance, forcing themselves on so to speak) rather than a physical. Half-Orcs gain a bonus to both srength and constitution.

    Dwarves if anything should gain a bonus to their strength based on their stockiness and build, I assume this is balanced out to nothing to even up with their size.
    So you can see that all, or at least most of, the modifications are actually in place, most based on physical stature.

    To me, the biggest event of sexism in games is that females do not sometimes recieve a penalty to strength and toughness when they should, as it is a reflection of the average person. A female character can still have a strength that surpasses a male, based on stat-rolls and training of course, and so if you want to 'fantasize' about higher stats, then you can 'fantasize' about a character which has such stats, not that all do.

    Hell, following that reasoning why not just give everyone +40 to all their attributes, or make them invincible.

    Keep in mind that while it is based in a fantasy world that is merely the name of the genre, and that all things within that world are tried to be kept realisitic, and representative of realistic laws, such as size affects strength, as does gender. All, or at least most, of the things in said world are rooted in fact or legend from our own universe. There is really not much at all that peeople have made up just for the hell of it becasue they think it would be nicer, except of course when the discordance between gender (which in older games was always present) is removed, for political correctness and general placation.

    They are not 'women in fantasy worlds', they are women, who are in a fantasy world. If the general rules of common sense can apply to everything else, I don't see why it shouldn't here.
     
  11. Ishmael Gems: 4/31
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    I agree that certain "stereotypes" based an sex and race (within reason) are acceptable in games beacuse art is meant to imitate life.

    Also, you cannot neccesarily fault the greator of a game beacuse all things created are in part a reflection of the time and place in which they are created.

    But I think that we are getting a bit off of topic, which was to think of examples of this phenomenon: In the old Gi-Joe video games, as well as cartoons, the "Cobra-La" bore a striking resembelance to the "Hisbo-La" (sic?) and, needless to say, were framed in an unsavoury light. Also fantasy games and books in general tend to give middle eastern personas to many a mage and sorcerer, which coincides with CRUSADE AGE views on the middle east. Thats 600 years of prjudice and counting.
     
  12. Elendrile Gems: 5/31
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    While you can't argue the fact that there would be statistical differences between the sexes I don't think it's clear to everyone how large a difference of 1 in stats is supposed to be. In 3rd edition DnD ruloes it takes 4 levels to increase a stat by 1 and an item that permanantly increases a stat by 1 costs around 27,500 gold pieces. Is the difference between sexes THAT much that it warrants stat changes? I don't think so, but if you do, please realize that there should be as few amount of rules possible that prevents a player from playing what they want to play.
    And as for the whole Drow debate; Drow have been around as long as Elves have which is why they are black, coming from the old European beliefs that darkness is symbolic of evil. So just get over it. Hopefully we're all intelligent enough to distinguish the difference between Drow and Africans.
     
  13. chevalier

    chevalier Knight of Everfull Chalice ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    Take a few girls to the gym. Have them lift as much as they can. Add up the scores. Divide by the number of the girls. Look into the table for STR: weight allowance and stuff.

    1 point difference in STR is like 10 or 15 lbs weight allowance difference. It' even more than an average man gains over an average woman.

    Look, there have been court cases of 14 year old boys (wimpy compared to grown men) raping 25 year old full-grown women.

    I don't ***** so much about there not being an adjustment. I ***** all the time about ridiculous pretensions that average woman STR and CON be equal to average man STR and CON. Well, it's quite funny to pretend men are equal to women in DEX, too, per average.

    After all, Viconia is Pam and not Naomi or Tyra :shake:
     
  14. Jack Funk Gems: 24/31
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    @Elendrile
    You have a source to back this up? Or are we to accept that it is true because you say it is? Why was darkness symbolic of evil?

    BTW, I am over it. I think all of this PC stuff is nonsense. We were asked for examples, so I provided one.

    Additionally:

    And hopefully we are all intelligent enough to recognize that, on average, women are not as physically strong as men. That dwarves don't exist. That these are games. That this is a fantasy world.

    Why are we having this discussion again?
     
  15. Equester Gems: 18/31
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    In mainly Teutonic and Norse folklore, the elves were originally the spirits of the dead who brought fertility. Later they became supernatural beings, shaped as humans, who are either very beautiful (elves of light) or extremely ugly (dark / black elves). They were worshipped in trees, mountains and waterfalls. The Danish elves are beautiful creatures, but they have hollow backs. The Celtic elves are the size of humans.... all taken from
    http://www.pantheon.org/articles/e/elf.html

    that should backup that darkness aint good

    and dwarf's do exist, not as a race of their own, but hey
     
  16. Greenlion420 Gems: 8/31
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    @ Jack Funk: we're having this conversation because TSFS was bored.

    Yes, these are just games. But, we take our gaming seriously, hence the existence of SP.

    Drow are not from Afrika and my wife can kick my butt anyday.

    Nuff said.
     
  17. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    Actually, I believe I read somewhere that the Drow originally lived as surface elves in some jungle area of Faerun, hence the dark skin. They only moved underground later.

    Obviously their skin wouldn't get dark if they went underground, just the opposite.
     
  18. Shura Gems: 25/31
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    [​IMG] *Wonders just how sarcastic Tal is being with the above remark*

    :mommy: :mommy:
     
  19. Equester Gems: 18/31
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    History of the Drow, The Descent:

    We know very little of the Ilythiiri, or "Elves of the South," before this crucial event. Even then they were known as "Dark Elves," for the hue of their skins. They dwelt in the jungles and hot forests of the South. A proud, warlike, culturally advanced (some sages of other elven peoples say "decadent") folk, the Ilythiiri attacked all neighbors, including other elven tribes. Their cruel raids and depredations, ordered by warlike nobility and the clergy of their two cruel deities, Ghaunadaur and Lolth, forced elves, humans, dwarves, and others to ally against them.

    Defeated in a series of titanic magical battles, the dark elves fled into underground warrens they had earlier discovered. This event, known as "the Descent," marked the end of the drow as a surface-dwelling race.

    history of the drow. part one from bg.
     
  20. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    [​IMG] So, I was right. What are you talking about, Shura?
     
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