Sidestepper wrote:I'm not sure I completely follow your argument, but QCF has never claimed that their attempt was perfect or that they had somehow solved the problem of sexism. The most critical remarks about their engagement of gender have been from themselves, from the very beginning.
It's true that they have been critical about their engagement of gender, and that's great. They've also given me the impression from time to time that they see portrayal of men and women as identical other than in how they look (and what they're named) as somehow an improvement in the portrayal of women in video games (when in fact it's exactly what's done frequently for years). Maybe I'm misreading that, but that's what I'm reading.
Sidestepper wrote:I had previously understood QCF to be claiming that the fact that they only made cosmetic differences between the sexes was somehow a step ahead in non-sexist portrayal of women. What I had said was that that's what the gaming industry has generally done, for understandable reasons
I disagree with this. Your standard action game shows women wearing chain mail bikini briefs and their dialogue is mostly them purring about how sexy they are (random example: Starcraft II had Kerrigan with permanent high-heel feet). Showing women in practical gear and portraying them as grizzled veterans is definitely a step ahead of the industry standard. This should be the baseline, and maybe that's your point, but it isn't the baseline, and that's my point.
I completely agree with you here. I don't really have any issue with how women are portrayed in DD. What I take issue with is the insinuation that QCF's conscious decision to randomly make half of the heroes "female" in look and name only is somehow part of their better portrayal of women, when that feature alone is an absolutely traditional way of portraying women in computer games. (And given the male-focused history and content of computer games and RPGs, I think a good argument can be made that it's sexist. However, it's easier to identify what's wrong than it is to identify what's right, so I am not faulting QCF on the design decision they made, just their portrayal of the significance of that decision.)
Sidestepper wrote:As for women in DDT being men in disguise, I don't understand what you are saying. The women don't conceptualize or experience things differently from the men because none of the adventurers have opinions or personalities to begin with.
Right, and many many computer games have been doing just that for years and not saying that they're making a statement. As dislekcia said:
dislekcia wrote:In fact we're adding a lot of extra art to the game for no gameplay difference whatsoever, simply so that we can have gender be randomly assigned every time you play, because that's something we feel is important. That's what makes it a statement, if we didn't care, we'd just not do it at all.
QCF could have varied the frequency at which different race/class combinations were different sexes. They could followed or inverted stereotypes or they could have tried to do it according to "realism" instead of stereotypes. I am not commending this course of action, I am just giving it as an example of something that would have been a statement without creating balancing issues.
Hopefully this answers dislekcia's questions too.
In summary: I am not criticizing how women were portrayed in DD, but I am criticizing QCF's framing of one specific design decision. That one specific decision was reasonable and understandable, but it was not a statement.