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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. Steampunkette

    Steampunkette Cupcake-About-Town

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    There are trans* individuals who are comfortable with their birth body but identify as a member of the opposite gender. Or genderless. Or bi-gender.

    -Rachel-
  2. Belligerent

    Belligerent New Cupcake

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    I never really subscribed to the whole ' identifying' as one gender or the other. Unless it's in the case of hermaphrodites. If you're born with certain plumbing and chromosomes, that's what gender you are. Wanting to be a gender doesn't make you that gender anymore than me wanting to be a certain ethnicity makes me that ethnicity.
  3. Steampunkette

    Steampunkette Cupcake-About-Town

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    Bear in mind that transsexuals who have had surgery to correct the issue of their sex and how it relates to their gender still have the chromosomes of a person of their birth sex. This does not determine their gender. The gender is the interaction of personality with social construct and is an identification of self.

    A person can have a male body but identify strongly as a woman while feeling comfortable with her male body and existing in female gender roles. Is it the most common possible configuration of traits? No. But that doesn't make it invalid.

    -Rachel-
  4. Belligerent

    Belligerent New Cupcake

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    We got way off topic, but having such things in a game that is supposed to be an escape from the real world kind of defeats the purpose.
  5. Ignious

    Ignious New Cupcake

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    So basically a superhero version of Second life?
  6. Steampunkette

    Steampunkette Cupcake-About-Town

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    No player created costume/worlditems/emotes. Nothing of THAT nature. Still the standard "Rated T for Teen" storyline, content, naming, and behavioral expectations for players. Just exposure and positive examples of non-sexual and non-gender conforming individuals as well as characters of non-white ethnicities and non-male gender in positions of story importance.

    There's a vast difference between writing about characters that aren't straight or cisgender and having a crazy porn-centric game world.

    -Rachel-
  7. Belligerent

    Belligerent New Cupcake

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    Having them in the game is fine. Having them in the game and making an agenda out of it, not so much. I really don't see how the sexuality/gender identity/race of a clump of pixels is even an issue. I never looked to videogames or movies as sources for rolemodels in my own life, I'm sure most people probably don't.
  8. Steampunkette

    Steampunkette Cupcake-About-Town

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    Sociology disagrees. It turns out that white male children who watch TV and play Videogames have higher self confidence and satisfaction than any gender/ethnicity combination which doesn't (including white males). But among females of any ethnicity and males of any non-white ethnicity have lower self esteem and confidence if they watch TV and play games than those who don't.

    Because of the cultural and social implications they learn from the stories they are told by television and gaming they tend to take away more negativity on the basis of the characters most like them being absent, vilified, or victimized. While white male characters are the primary protagonists in addition to being antagonists in many (but not nearly all) stories.

    -Rachel-
  9. Belligerent

    Belligerent New Cupcake

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    An isolated case study doesn't make it fact. I wonder how many of those children had satisfying home lives, with proper role models? Any child raised in a home where they feel safe, and have a positive outlook on things such as marriage and the interactions between their mother and father, will have higher self confidence and satisfaction than a child that hasn't. Media is one of many ways we're influenced, but I wouldn't say it's a source of role models.
  10. Steampunkette

    Steampunkette Cupcake-About-Town

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    It's one of several. And the study involved children from across the lower middle to upper middle class spectrum, so the disadvantages specifically facing impoverished children wouldn't be an attributing factor. And in many cases where TV was involved siblings within the same household of different gender (including white children) were both monitored. The white males got the ego boost, the white females had lower self confidence and self esteem.

    Media has a major influence on teaching children what the world outside is like. Even in cases where the Fantasy Elements are blatantly false the character interactions and presentation stick with the child. Depending on how much media a person consumes they may have one small group of "Real" people telling them that racism is bad and all people are equal while it's socially reinforced in hundreds of other instances through their day that minorities aren't as important or worthwhile.

    I will concede that how much media affects personal outlook based on intergender and interracial presentations and primarily white male protagonists in presentation is in debate. But while it is debatable as to how much it affects people it isn't really in debate whether it affects people. And the people it affects the most negatively are the people with the least positive representation.

    -Rachel-
  11. Belligerent

    Belligerent New Cupcake

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    I think if you're looking to be bothered by something ( or the lack thereof), you'll find it. I don't care what race/gender/creed my videogame character is, so long as they aren't X because of Y agenda. Especially in the US, the PC, 'Everyone is a Special Snowflake' Crowd is getting their hands in everything, and it's helping nobody when they get out into the real world. Perpetuating this mentality in our entertainment media is only contributing to the problem.

    Edit: Also, I don't think media plays a big a part as you make it out to be. I was raised by a single mother who worked several jobs. She was never home. I grew up watching Sly Stallone, Chuck Norris and Jean-Claude Van Damme. I played Atari, Colecovision, Sega and the NES. Was my moral compass dictated by these things? Is how I am as an adult man influenced in any way by 70s and 80s action movies? No. They were shallow entertainment. Much like an old song, they can bring back some memories, and that's pretty much it in the grand scheme of things.
  12. Steampunkette

    Steampunkette Cupcake-About-Town

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    Every person is a combination of nature and nurture. They are who they are because of what they were born with and what happened to them to shape who they are. Media is a part of that shaping, and in sociology that fact isn't questioned. It's HOW MUCH they are shaped that is in question.

    The Ad Hominem attacks on Political Correctness and Special Snowflakes and Agendas are pointless deflection. People say that it's a problem BECAUSE it is a problem. Just one that, apparently, doesn't affect you. I've experienced, firsthand, just how drastic the difference is between being perceived as a member of a social majority and actually being a member of a social minority.

    -Rachel-
  13. Belligerent

    Belligerent New Cupcake

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    If doesn't effect me, because I don't let it. Does that mean I haven't experienced the differences between being a majority and minority? No. I don't look for validation or celebration of my social class, gender, creed or sexual proclivities in my videogames. What you view as pointless deflection, simply isn't. Every day we're bombarded with agendas and movements telling us to support this group, and that group. March for this cause, donate here. Why do we need to bring that nonsense into our videogames? Especially, when you know it won't be subtle or organic to the lore of the game. It's disruptive and obnoxious. I don't see the need to have characters that are written in the lore as LGBT, when many characters don't have any confirmed sexual orientation at all, or simply asexual for all intents and purposes. If it's an MMORPG, then Role-play your orientation, if it's that important.
  14. Steampunkette

    Steampunkette Cupcake-About-Town

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    That's kind of a misleading statement, though. In our society (Western) any character without a defined sexuality is assumed to default to heterosexual. It's why people think that noting someone is NOT heterosexual is obnoxious in a lot of cases, because that's the only way to know someone isn't straight.

    Trans* individuals have the same problem in representation. Unless it is actively acknowledged that a character is trans* the default assumption is that they are cisgender. And in a lot of cases any discussion to the contrary on either of these items, even for characters who don't have a confirmed sexuality, is viewed as gross, pointless, and pushing agenda.

    Castiel and Dean Winchester of Supernatural, for example, are often shipped as a homosexual couple with Dean as a bisexual character. It's shouted down as trying to push an agenda even though Dean's sexuality has never been confirmed to be heterosexual to the exclusion of bisexuality.

    This creates a catch 22 situation where creating a non-straight character is pushing an agenda or discussing a character who is of ambiguous sexuality is pushing an agenda. Which is to say that every character should be presented as heterosexual or not have their sexuality remarked on in any way whatsoever, or else someone is pushing an agenda.

    The "Agenda" that is being pushed is representation. To see characters that share qualities and struggles with members of the audience that don't have that connection to characters who don't share specific qualities or struggles. To have the experiences of people who aren't white, straight, cisgender males given space to be shared.

    Honestly I can't think of a good reason to be against representation in media aside from "I don't wanna see it" which is a perfectly valid statement, in the end.

    -Rachel-
  15. Belligerent

    Belligerent New Cupcake

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    Heterosexuality is considered the 'default' sexuality because it's the most common one. It's the means by which the human race reproduces. It's not heterosexuals shouting down the LBGT community. LBGTs are a fraction of humanity by comparison.

    As far as Supernatural goes, Dean has been with women in the show, so one could easily assume he's hetero. The ridiculous shipping with Castiel is just fetishist nonsense.

    My point being, is even the LBGT commnity is guilty of assuming someone is hetero. In fact, I'd say they're more guilty of it than heteros are, they tend to inject orientation into circumstances where it doesn't matter. Most heteros probably don't even voice an opinion one way or another, especially if a person's orientation has no point in the given circumstance.

    Straight, white males aren't the only options in most MMOs. There are a plethora of gender/race combinations that most MMOs offer at character creation. Making a statement of " This character is LBGT" when there is no contextual reason for it, smacks of attention-seeking. That attention-seeking, and the subsequent catering is what I don't want to see in a game.
  16. Carebear Commander

    Carebear Commander Cupcake-About-Town

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    I think the first post should have included some examples of how the various aspects you've bought up will not be thrown in the player's face. I know you've replied to others with examples and after reading them, I thought "Oh, that's not a big deal." I know it's silly, but it can be difficult to imagine a game including such diversity without it being thrown in our faces. I suppose it's too late to edit the first post and I'm not sure if I should have PM'ed you instead of replied here, this just all came to me suddenly after checking up on this thread.
    Apostate likes this.
  17. Steampunkette

    Steampunkette Cupcake-About-Town

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    Pretty much, Carebear. Though I didn't expect quite so much response from the "In my face" angle.

    As for your comment on MMO characters, Belligerent: I'm referring specifically to canonical characters. Like Malvolio or Lazarin. We are shown that Lazarin is straight because he had a wife and daughter. What if he had a husband and adopted daughter, for example. Would that be in someone's face or pushing an agenda? What if Malvolio had been Black?

    Depending on who you ask both of those are pushing agendas into people's faces.

    -Rachel-
  18. Apostate

    Apostate Well-Known Cupcake

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    Would it be weird if Malvolio is black? The mascot of an empire that's obsessed with blood purity? Who's led by a faction of inbreeding aristocrats with ultra-idealized Caucasian features? And is himself clearly from the upper echelons of that society? While being a walking, talking reference to 18th century British imperialists?

    Yeah, it'd be a little weird if Malvolio was black. Don't get me wrong, there's something undeniably sexy about a strong black man with a suave British accent, but I don't know if Malvolio is the character for the job there. He's a mascot, he's there to cause reactions in people, so the fact that he's such a textbook character is a good choice. To a lot of players, Malvolio is supposed to be emblematic of "The Man" in history, and I think he's a perfect capture of it.

    Lazarin... there's more wiggle room. I still don't know if I'd change it, because the emo zombies are supposed to be tragic, and the fact of the matter is that there are probably more people who find the wife/daughter thing a more relatable tragedy. But you could change it, technically, without a lot of fuss. Even though his wife died while pregnant with his daughter, the husband/daughter situation could work with zero change in dramatic impact by making it a gruesome accident of some kind that claimed them both. The element of life being claimed before its time is probably most obvious and direct with the pregnant wife dying by something he couldn't cure, but... whatever. I doubt anybody really cares about the metaphysical symbolism of alchemy.

    It's also helped that this is all off-screen stuff, we never meet Lazarin's wife or child, so you could effect this change while actually having no change at all in the character beyond a simple factoid. A factoid that's significant to the character because it's a formative element in his backstory, but insignificant to the audience because there's not a lot of screen time on it. Which is how I think it would probably be best to approach something like that, initially... almost as like an Easter Egg sort of deal. To the people who want to see/hear more non-heteronormative stuff in their stories, they can find it and enjoy it. To the people who don't want to hear anything about -anyone's- sexuality, it's just five seconds of reading (assuming they even read the lore to begin with)that they can quickly move on from. And then later, the writers could expand on that, if the audience wanted to see more and they wanted to write more, with more expanded lore stuff.

    I would approach it like a series of comic books, personally, with regards to character development. Keep it simple and brief and "under the radar" at first, because the people who actually want to see it -will- find it (and they'll show other people who'd take interest), and then, as a character gains traction with the audience, offer expanded bits of story, focusing on that character, for those parts of the audience. Something like what City of Heroes/Villains did with the player being able to choose their patrons, that was a neat system. And there's always official fiction that can be done outside of the game itself.

    And, simply for the record's sake, that's the way I would handle -all- NPC characterization, not just anything outside the contemporary norm. Story, in a game, should be rich, deep, and -optional-.
  19. Belligerent

    Belligerent New Cupcake

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    You assume he's straight, because he has a wife and daughter. There is room for RP even in his backstory, if so desired. As far as Malvolio being black, I really couldn't care less. Racial representation is one thing, sexual orientation, when it really doesn't apply, is another.

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