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Would you play a "Forward Leaning" game?

Discussion in 'Gaming Arena' started by Steampunkette, Jul 24, 2013.

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Would you Play in an MMO Modern-day superheroic setting that:

  1. Yes, it wouldn't bother me at all.

    50.0%
  2. Yes, though some of these topics make me uncomfortable.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Yes, though I don't particularly like superheroes.

    38.5%
  4. Yes, though I don't particularly like the genre and some of these topics make me uncomfortable.

    3.8%
  5. Maybe. I don't particularly like superheroes.

    11.5%
  6. Maybe. Some of these topics make me uncomfortable.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  7. Maybe. I don't particularly like superheroes and some of these topics make me uncomfortable.

    3.8%
  8. No. I don't particularly like Superheroes.

    15.4%
  9. No. These topics make me uncomfortable.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  10. No. These topics make me uncomfortable and I dislike Superheroes.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Steampunkette

    Steampunkette Cupcake-About-Town

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    Curious... Would you Play in an MMO Modern-day superheroic setting that:
    • Allowed Gender Changes without an additional fee
    • Had canonical Gay characters
    • Had canonical Lesbian characters
    • Had canonical Bisexual characters
    • Had canonical Trans* characters
    • Actively avoided Racism and Sexism in storylines and NPC dialogue
    • Included signature characters of each gender and major race/ethnicity in the US
    • Had a Primary signature character in the form of a Black Female leader
    • Allowed players to play trans* characters through the use of model and pronoun decoupling
    • Allowed both Male and Female characters to utilize all of the same armor styles
    • Randomizes the base model at character creation to be male or female, white, black, hispanic, native american, or asian and then allows the player to completely customize.
    Please bear in mind that these facets of the game are not front and center, or jammed into the player's face, but do exist. The primary focus of the game would be on the player's superhero and that superhero's actions/story. NPCs and other PCs, however, would have the above options and functions.

    -Rachel-
  2. Narrack

    Narrack Cupcake

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    I hope I've explained my self properly as i know these topics (for some strange reason) are controversial but just incase I haven't ill sum it up like this

    I don't care what people do with their own lives its their businesses not mine and their choices do not bother me, I judge people on how they treat others not by who they fall in love with or the *equipment* they were born with.
    Anthony Pemberton likes this.
  3. Steampunkette

    Steampunkette Cupcake-About-Town

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    While Racism and sexism are issues in the real world, the hope is that erasing them without erasing sex or race will give people who are consistently bombarded with microaggressions a space where it doesn't occur. This is also part of the reason the primary signature NPC is a black female without the tied in racism and sexism of a glass ceiling: To show that in this version of the world it simply doesn't exist.

    As for the ethnic randomization at character creation: It doesn't make you a black man or an Asian woman. It randomizes base options which you can, as always modify. In many games where a player can customize their character the default assumption is white male. Take Mass Effect, for example. When you create a new character the generator's first default is a white male with dark hair and blue eyes. If you choose to make a female you have to click a different option beyond "New Character". And if you want them to be any race other than white you have to go through the various menus. This system would randomize rather than default, but it would still be a baseline that the player could then alter as they see fit.

    As for pronouns it's really a matter of shorthanding a discussion rather than repeating a name over and over. Sally was talking to Jason and Sally said that Sally wanted to see Jason's boat because Sally likes fishing. Too many Sallies!

    -Rachel-
  4. Ennui

    Ennui Cupcake

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    i agree with narrack on the "I find stuff like that irreverent because i believe nobody should care who loves who i think people saying their gay,strait whatever should be about as controversial as saying "i like toast". infact it would be cool if there were no labels and the first time you found out what they like was when they showed affection to a partner." thing.

    "Please bear in mind that these facets of the game are not front and center, or jammed into the player's face, but do exist."

    my question is, how do you know these characters don't exist in all sorts of games today? but because they aren't as you said, jammed into the players faces, and never come up in the game, due to it being say, an action game.

    none of the topics presented bother me in the slightest, i'm just confused at what the point of this hypothetical game is. because if its a superhero game, its an actiony game where except in cutscenes that most people (read: me) skip, personal relationships aren't likely to come up often. that is unless the developer does make giant signs pointing to the fact that these interpersonal relationships are in the game, which runs counter-intuitive to your claim that these facets of the game aren't being forced down the players throats.

    and having the option to decouple the character model's and pronouns, kind of does jam it in the players face, also what point would this serve in the game? because unless *everyone* in the world already knows who you are, the people you run into for quests, etc. are going to refer to you as the pronoun your character looks like. and wouldn't they just call you by your name anyways? or "hey, you!"

    and if you're trying to make a "this is real life" just with super heroes... well avoiding sexism and racism in the gameworld would feel forced. since these topics exist, and are very much in the world. i wish they weren't, but they are.

    you said that the point of the game is on the character and their story. i don't really see what point any of these topics have in relation to the player character.

    TL;DR: i don't get what the point of these topics would be in a video game. if as you say they aren't jammed in front and center, then yes, i would play it, barring the game was fun, and i didn't have WS to play ;) if the game wasn't fun, well then no, i wouldn't play it. but you didn't leave an option for that. the poll options were pretty heavy handed also imo.

    i really do hope i explained myself well enough.
  5. Steampunkette

    Steampunkette Cupcake-About-Town

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    You are. And I actually was planning on making several more options, but had to cut down because I reached the maximum limit of potential answers.

    As for the pronouns: It would be reflected in NPC text. If you ever played City of Heroes you ran across NPCs that would refer to your character's major accomplishments while talking to each other. Like "Did you hear about Silversaint? She beat the heck out of Lord Nemesis!" A player could choose a female model and a male pronoun to have "She" turn into "He" when referring to their character. Though in this case it would likely default to the model-sex for pronoun use.

    As for how to avoid throat-cramming: Mostly in the form of hints or character background information. If, for example, there were a dynamic duo that people hinted at being a gay couple which is then confirmed in lore by reading a specific book or something similar, most players who don't look into the lore wouldn't know about it. But it would be affirmation and acknowledgement for homosexual players that they exist within the game world. The same for trans* characters if they look into someone's backstory and learn that the person transitioned.

    The would be to be inclusive to different groups. I'm just curious as to how many people would be put off by such inclusion.

    -Rachel-
  6. Carebear Commander

    Carebear Commander Cupcake-About-Town

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    I don't think most people would notice or care unless it was "in your face."

    Also, this thread wouldn't happen to be a way for you to gauge people's reactions to a game you're working on, would it?
  7. Steampunkette

    Steampunkette Cupcake-About-Town

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    It's based on a discussion in another thread which lead to me sending a PM and then thinking that it should be asked more widely.

    -Rachel-
  8. Carebear Commander

    Carebear Commander Cupcake-About-Town

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    Is it possible I could have a link to that thread?

    I also think these are issues that should be addressed, but at the same time, I think that it should be discussed in terms of games in general as opposed to a specific genre. Like maybe people would be more interested in this topic if it didn't focus on Super Hero MMOs specifically.

    Since I like this topic, I'll probably reply later with my opinion on each of the aspects you discussed. I've been going crazy thinking about them lol.
  9. Steampunkette

    Steampunkette Cupcake-About-Town

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  10. Dedlaw

    Dedlaw Cupcake-About-Town

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    Reading through the checklist, the only thought that came to my mind was that I don't even consider those things when deciding if I like a game or not.

    Only one that is a factor for me was character randomization. I couldn't care less about locking me into a specific ethnicity or gender, but I always feel deprived if I can't manually tweak my appearance.
  11. Dedlaw

    Dedlaw Cupcake-About-Town

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    Even if it's in your face it's not necessarily a bad thing.

    In Morrowind there's a character (one of the faction leaders) who is pretty perverted, he insists you call him "Uncle Crassius", give him a kiss, even undress for him. It made him one of the most popular NPCs due people finding him hilarious.
  12. EpicBubble

    EpicBubble Cupcake

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    I thought it was because he was a great novelist :p (only people who played the elderscrolls series will understand)

    Just 1 thing "Randomizes the base model at character creation to be male or female, white, black, hispanic, native american, or asian and then allows the player to completely customize."

    This is a big no no you will just have people that keep re rolling till they get the look they want. So it would defeat the purpose. Besides especially with a super hero setting people want to create the super hero they always wanted to be so even limiting or restricting sometime such as race or gender would be detrimental.

    Im not sure super heroes genre would be the best to represent this forward thinking. Since superheros are still to close to home even though they are suppose to symbolize the best of humans.
  13. Dedlaw

    Dedlaw Cupcake-About-Town

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    lol yeah, just further proves how perverted he is :p
  14. Steampunkette

    Steampunkette Cupcake-About-Town

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    Err... No. It changes the default base model for each character that you can then customize. Start out with a white guy with bulging muscles? You can customize him into a black woman in a svelte or overweight bodystyle as normal. It's just that there is no default to white male. You still would pick your skin tone, hair style, facial structures and texture... It just wouldn't always start -ou- as a white guy with dark hair and a bit of stubble.

    -Rachel-
  15. Dedlaw

    Dedlaw Cupcake-About-Town

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    Oh, well in that case I don't see any problems with your list
  16. Fingers

    Fingers Cupcake-About-Town

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    No objections whatsoever.

    I'm a little confused by "Canonical", though - looked it up on online dictionaries and couldn't find anything that made sense to me. If someone could explain what it means I'd be grateful.
  17. Steampunkette

    Steampunkette Cupcake-About-Town

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    Within the story's canon or Lore. Rather than Fan interpretation of the character. Do you watch the Supernatural TV series? Within the canon, Castiel and Dean are close friends who have strong issues. Dean is seen as a big brother to him, after a fashion. In the fan world, they're homosexual lovers. Canonically, or in canon, Dean is straight.

    -Rachel-
  18. Fingers

    Fingers Cupcake-About-Town

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    Thanks for that, Rachel - that combined with a few additional searches provided me with an understanding of its meaning and usage. Thanks for taking the time to explain it, much appreciated :).

    My understanding of this now tells me that an original or official work is is canon and that anything written by others that deviates from this is non-canon.

    I shouldn't be surprised that I haven't come across this before since where gaming is concerned I'm not one for delving into or exploring lore.

    I didn't want to cast my vote until that was clarified, but have now cast it :).
  19. Apostate

    Apostate Well-Known Cupcake

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    If City of Heroes came back and had a slew of LGBT characters, it wouldn't bother me. I would find it a little silly, as I don't know what would compel superheroes and villains to make their sexual preferences part of their costumed alter ego, but that's more of an artistic disagreement than a philosophical one. The problem I see with it is that such characters would have to be pulling narrative double duty, in that they would have to be credible heroes/villains on their own merits in addition to whatever additional labels they're being saddled with. In most game settings, the major NPC characters are rarely allotted enough narrative budget to have more than one defining characteristic. I've yet to see anyone juggle a large cast of NPCs without most (all, usually)of them becoming one-dimensional.

    Since it seems to me like Homosexuality Man would be just as distasteful as Heterosexuality Man, I think anyone undertaking such a venture would have their work cut out from them when it came to creating a cast of characters who neither flinched away from their specific quirks nor relied on them as crutches. Managing to do that -while- centering the game's story around the player would be nothing short of miraculous.

    I'm also a little wary of the "avoids racism/sexism in storylines and dialogue" bit both because it seems like an additional layer of sanitizing contrivance and because, when you're juggling so many diverse identities at once, it's going to be impossible to avoid -any- implications (or inferences, at least)of bias. The first part, admittedly, is a personal preference. I'm not pro-racism, but I'm definitely anti-childproof worlds. If you want there to be genuinely bad people in the game, and I'm assuming you do... because superheroes... then those bad people need to be credibly bad people who do credibly bad things. If one of the street level gangs that the superheroes smack around for early XP is some kind of hate group, I don't think that would hurt the game.

    And the second part... that's just a very tall order. You can be ambitious and you can be safe, but I don't think anyone can be both at once. Even if you try to include everyone, you'll never be able to please everyone.
  20. Steampunkette

    Steampunkette Cupcake-About-Town

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    Statesman of City of Heroes was the leader of the Freedom Phalanx, oldest superhero on record and grandfather of Ms. Liberty. What if he'd been "One of" Ms. Liberty's adoptive fathers, instead?

    Manticore and Sister Psyche got married in a huge event. What if Swan and Aurora Borealis had attended the wedding together?

    There are ways to do it without making the character itself "About" their sexuality or trans* status.

    -Rachel-

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