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Would you play a "Forward Leaning" game?

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

?

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. Apostate

    Apostate Well-Known Cupcake

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    Perhaps I didn't explain this well enough the first time around, but my point -- with this particular aspect of things, anyways -- was that it would be very difficult for a writer to make a meaningful degree of characterization in this regard without it overcoming the rest of the character's identity in the limited "screen time" they have throughout the game's story. To me, tossing in a curt bio line to the tune of "btw, he's gay" and calling it a day is as much of a disservice to the narrative as it would be to go overboard in announcing it.

    Of course, this is the viewpoint of someone who dearly wishes that things like sexuality could just be accepted as private matters. To me, unless that aspect of a character is an organic part of the story, it doesn't need to be mentioned. Straight or gay, trans or cis, I don't see how any of it's relevant or why any of it needs to be public information unless it ties into the greater story in some way.

    If those relationships are happening in the story, if that backstory for a character is relevant, and the writers can weave it in without stealing the spotlight from where it really needs to be... I would applaud that. That would be masterful storytelling.

    I just don't see things done masterfully very often, so I'm inclined to skepticism.
  2. Steampunkette

    Steampunkette Cupcake-About-Town

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    As someone affected by a lack of representation in media: I dislike the dichotomy of "Masterful" or "None". There is a middle ground, and in most cases that is where representation is going to occur. Personally I'd take anything above "Decent" representation, myself.

    -Rachel-
  3. Apostate

    Apostate Well-Known Cupcake

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    I'm apparently fumbling my words here. The actual dichotomy was between "too little" and "too much", with "masterful" being the way out of that quagmire. Perhaps the word "skillful" would have been better.

    I don't know that I consider media representation an end worth pursuing in and of itself, but that's obviously personal opinion (the kind that can't even be quasi-feasibly justified as art critique)and best left for another conversation.
  4. Carebear Commander

    Carebear Commander Cupcake-About-Town

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    Now that I've had time to mull this over, here's how I feel about what the OP have discussed!

    Gender changes: Since transgendered characters are a possibility, do you mean gender only, sex only, or both? Without further clarification, I don’t like this idea. I feel like being able to change either of these on the fly would break immersion.

    Gay/Lesbian/Bi/Transgendered: I don’t mind having these kind of characters in a game. I’m actually quite interested in transgendered ones though, I haven’t really noticed any in the games I’ve played. Aside from the player, I would imagine it would be difficult to tell which NPCs were and were not unless they were integral to the storyline.

    Racism and Sexism: For better or for worse, the world would feel entirely alien to me without either of these elements. I’m also curious what kind of struggles there would be in place of these. Even though both of these are bad, it’s really awesome to watch characters overcome them.

    Major race and ethnicity of the US: If the game takes place in an alternate version of the US, that’s fine.

    Black Female Leader: I feel like I would like this character more if she had to overcome racism and sexism to reach her position. It would make her more relatable in my eyes.

    Armor: As long as men could also get away with wearing high heels and miniskirts! But seriously, I’m fine as long as they have options that range from scantily clad to more realistic for both genders.

    Character Creation: I don’t like this. I like the idea of white males not being the default, but I don’t like specific race filters. So I’d rather have everything be completely random.
  5. Steampunkette

    Steampunkette Cupcake-About-Town

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    Gender changes: In CoH you could change your costume every 20 seconds, and each of your costumes could have it's own sex-model, male female and huge male. So in that way you could change on the fly, usually tied to a costume-change emote like drinking a serum or being surrounded in a flash of light.

    GLBT: Firstly, it's transgender. Not transgendered. It's a state of being, not an event, y'know? A person is transgender. Transgender doesn't happen to them. Outside of that: There pretty much are no transgender or transsexual characters in gaming. And the few there are are generally treated pretty poorly. The two I can think of off the top of my head are Poison (from Street Fighter) and Bridget (of Guilty Gears). And I think it'd be more likely, in a game, to have their transsexuality or transgender issues in their backstory rather than something integral to a storyline. After all, most heterosexual cisgender storylines don't revolve around someone being a cisgender heterosexual.

    Racism/Sexism: Flying people shooting infinite energy and fire out of their hands is cool, but ditching sexism/racism is a step too far? :p I get what you mean, I just think it's something people put way too much weight on for the "Realism" of the game.

    Major Race and Ethnicity of the US: Not sure what you mean, here. There'd still be the normal demographics of a city, and similar breakdown of superheroes/villains based on those lines.

    Black Female Leader: Glass Ceiling issues. Yeah, it's a problem.

    Armor: Cool.

    Character Creation: Random could also work. But random kind of needs parameters to avoid becoming... questionable.
    [​IMG]

    -Rachel-
  6. Apostate

    Apostate Well-Known Cupcake

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    It's a bit like old crime flicks where you've got a bunch of made men who can't swear. A guy's just finished helping someone into a new pair of cement shoes, but dropping the F-bomb is apparently too much for him. So instead of saying what a sleazy, amoral <REDACTED> would say, he reaches for a bunch of sanitized not-quite-swear words. The kind you'd use if you dropped your plate at Thanksgiving dinner and your grandmother was present. When a character's actions or dialogue get artificially sanitized, I don't think it helps the story.

    I honestly wouldn't care, though, if you weren't billing deliberate censorship as a feature of the game. I'm not suggesting that every villain should announce himself with an explosive torrent of racial epithets and hate speech, but I don't know that I would consider the conscious removal of any and all possible conflict of that kind from the game (at least not if you're also going to advertise a cast of characters that it would be particularly relevant to)something to hype up.
  7. Steampunkette

    Steampunkette Cupcake-About-Town

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    I can understand some of the frustration about censorship (There's no way McClain should say "Yippie Kai Yay, Mother Lover"). How it feels wrong to have stand-ins thrown in your face (Farging iceholes!). But what if the insults were normal insults, cursewords and all, but didn't touch on race or sex? After all, "You son of a B#$%#@!" is pretty standard in comics and we could handle that through the normal text filter so players could get their full curse on.

    But would you even notice if there were minority characters around without racially motivated storylines/epithets if it hadn't been brought to your attention?

    -Rachel-
  8. Apostate

    Apostate Well-Known Cupcake

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    Almost certainly not, no. Which is why I think your story direction in that particular regard might be a card you'd want to keep close to your chest. Announcing beforehand that you're going to deliberately carve out all of a thing subjects the action to a lot more scrutiny than just... quietly executing it would.

    That's just me, though. My concerns have been allayed.
  9. Steampunkette

    Steampunkette Cupcake-About-Town

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    The game company I hope to work for soon: I would be on the Game Design/Combat Systems team. The lore/composition would be completely out of my hands. Just thought it would be an interesting topic.

    -Rachel-
  10. Nayukhuut`Chet

    Nayukhuut`Chet Cupcake

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    Hrm.... I do not think I would play this. It's not that I have issues with any of the points you brought up, I do not, it's purely that I prefer my games in a fantasy/sci-fi setting and not in real life. That being said, I have no issues with it otherwise. It's just that I don't really care to play a game that's set in the "real world". Do all that in space or in a fantasy setting with new and interesting races and lore and you can sign me right up!
  11. Eluldor

    Eluldor Cupcake-About-Town

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    I don't particularly like superheroes, nor do those aspects make or break a game for me, so I voted on two choices.
  12. Inukeu

    Inukeu Well-Known Cupcake

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    dont care so pressed "yes I aint botherd" on the other hand I wuddnt play a super hero game but thats not really the point here is it :p
  13. Carebear Commander

    Carebear Commander Cupcake-About-Town

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    I don't know what you're talking about! This guy/girl (can't tell lol) is fabulous! But I understand potential issues. Maybe a way to hold various parameters (like skin tone and such) and randomize everything else?
  14. Belligerent

    Belligerent New Cupcake

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    Eh, I don't enjoy a side of Agendas in my MMOs. I don't care about a clump of pixel's sexuality. To each their own and all that, but if I don't ask about it, I really don't want to know ( or, have it shoved in my face). I don't run around announcing or defining myself by my sexuality, and I get annoyed when someone else does. I get too much of the 'cater to this vocal minority or that cause' in real life. Just my 2 cents.
  15. Steampunkette

    Steampunkette Cupcake-About-Town

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    Another, related question.

    I've seen a fair number of responses which amount to people not wanting things "Shoved in their face"

    What would qualify as shoved in your face?

    If two characters are dating is that shoving it in your face?

    If two characters are obviously in love but no confirmation about dating is involved: Is that shoving it in your face?

    If two characters have a wedding as an in-game event is something being shoved in your face?

    And then the reverse: Is it alright if a pair of heterosexual characters do the same? Such as Manticore/Sister Psyche or Thrall/Aggra or non-canonical player characters having in-character weddings. Does that shove Heterosexuality into your face? Would that be acceptable or unacceptable?

    -Rachel-
  16. Apostate

    Apostate Well-Known Cupcake

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    Depends on how "front and center" the affair is. I honestly -did- resent the drudgery with Thrall and Aggra, not because I resent the assertion of heteronormativity but because I considered the whole thing to be a dull, tedious exercise in lackluster storytelling. Of course, I thought that whole expansion's writing was an abrupt plummet in quality, and the fact that I was subjected to maudlin nonsense focused on Metzen's favorite Mary Sue is what bred most of my distaste for it.

    Really, Thrall is a wonderful example of a character that's shoved in the players' faces. Manticore/Sister Psyche tying the knot in an optional event is one thing. The players who care can revel in the experience, the ones who don't care have no reason to be bothered by it. Thrall's interminable personal woes, though, focus directly into numerous cinematics, quest chains, and dungeons. Thrall is <REDACTED>ing -omnipresent-. There was no escaping the reach of Green Jesus in the Cataclysm storylines.

    City of Heroes/Villains was actually rather good about this. They had that lengthy roster of characters, and those so inclined could pore over them all and learn a great deal about Paragon City and the Rogue Isles. There was a broad and fairly deep narrative that a person could immerse themselves in... if they chose. If a player -didn't- care about any of that, it was all pretty easy to ignore.

    That said, none of the examples I remember you listing so far strike me as gratuitously heavy-handed... but, again, the declaration of intent you started this thread with will draw a lot of attention. It's a lot like attending a private social function and announcing your religious and political affiliations at the door. Not only do you risk alienating those on the opposite side of the ideological aisle, a lot of the lukewarms and unaffiliateds will roll their eyes and go, "Oh, great. Another -activist-."
  17. Konoko

    Konoko Cupcake-About-Town

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    Hey as long as I can shove a sword through someone's gullet I'm happy.
  18. Belligerent

    Belligerent New Cupcake

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    The Thrall/Aggra example was spot on. It seemed like tacked on, shoddy writing. Being able to discover people's relationships and whatnot with some digging into their backstory is fine. Having it tacked on to something that is completely unrelated isn't.

    As I said in my previous post, I don't care who does what with whom, I just don't care to hear about it. Too often those of the LBGT community seem identify themselves by their sexuality, as if that matters in any given pursuit aside from sex and dating. I don't introduce myself as a heterosexual, I don't feel the need to.

    I think it boils down to what people see as the "default" sexuality, I think most of us assume people are hetero, because that's 'normal', or rather common. I see media writing in sexuality in places it doesn't belong all the time in what appears to be an attempt to bring the other sexualities into the same neighborhood as heterosexuality. As idealistic as that seems, I don't ever see it happening.
  19. ThatGrumpyScotsman

    ThatGrumpyScotsman New Cupcake

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    I don't see the problem, here. Clearly we have a Martian who clearly has some Germanic heritage and who also happens to be a citizen of Scotland. She's wearing the honourary Clan Coburg family tartan, after all! :D

    A perfect example of in-game diversity.

    http://www.scottishtartans.org/german.htm
  20. Infraynor

    Infraynor New Cupcake

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    "Allowed players to play trans* characters through the use of model and pronoun decoupling"
    Before answering the question, I think this point is ridiculous and wrong. A transgender person wishes to be known as the opposite gender, if they were to play that it would just reinforce that they aren't what they feel they should be. If someone non-trans were to play that then imo it could be considered pretty offensive.

    Everything else is largely irrelevant to the game though because why is an npcs sexuality going to change how you play, how is their colour going to change it, so on and so on.

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