The Philosophy, Art, and Social Influence of games
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BoringSupreez
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Re: Interesting Research: "Sexist Games=Sexist Gamers?"

by BoringSupreez Wed Jul 29, 2015 12:07 pm

Exhuminator wrote:
BoringSupreez wrote:I don't see that question being asked in this thread, or that fact being denied by anyone here.

It was originally implied when this poster said:

Tempest wrote: What is it that makes violence and aggression so appealing to male gamers?


The implication being that these elements are not appealing to female gamers. When in reality there are female gamers who do find these elements appealing, as we've discussed in detail since.

Ok, yes, that's been apparent from the start. Just look at the games our handful of female Racketboy members play for proof of that.

What I was saying is that males have a natural tendency to like violence, which manifests itself through the videogames we play. Females may find violence appealing as well, as there are girl gamers who pay Fallout or Dark Souls or whathaveyou. But it's a predominantly male fascination, as the article referencing the WoW statistics shows.

Unless, of course, someone has a different theory to account for the gender gap seen with "core" games.
prfsnl_gmr wrote:There is nothing feigned about it. What I wrote is a display of actual moral superiority.
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Re: Interesting Research: "Sexist Games=Sexist Gamers?"

by the7k Wed Jul 29, 2015 1:56 pm

I think we really need to recognize whether it's nature or nurture. Considering before agriculture there were many cases of societies that placed women in warring roles right alongside men, I lean on the side of nurture.

And I wish there was a study that could find out just how many women who aren't interested in gaming now had expressed an interest as a child and were denied. Or how many girls who are into gaming only got into it due to a sibling or friend exposing them to it or giving them an easy way to play without parental approval.

Also, maybe it's just me, but I've seen a large amount of females in my time that play survival horror games. As in, real survival horror, not whatever the hell Resident Evil has become these days. Survival horror, puzzle, and dance games seem to be the domain of female players, and most survival horror games are pretty damn violent.

And hey, this "girls don't play games" thing doesn't seem to be an issue everywhere outside the states. Dengeki PlayStation even has a monthly offshoot magazine called Dengeki Girl's Style specifically for games targeted at female audiences. I'd say for a monthly magazine to exist that caters to female audiences, there has to be a demand to match it.
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Tempest
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Re: Interesting Research: "Sexist Games=Sexist Gamers?"

by Tempest Thu Jul 30, 2015 6:49 am

the7k wrote:Have you ever thought that the reason many of the most well known video games are violent and aggressive is because violence is a strength of the medium? In just the same way that story and narration is a weakness of the medium, for pretty much the same reason?

In my opinion, interactivity is the medium’s strength. There are many games that have garnered critical acclaim that are not overly violent.

Violence isn’t a strength of the medium either. Rather, it’s a popular limitation imposed on it by the developers, who seem to know few other ways of including player action towards story conflict resolution.

the7k wrote:A movie, for example, has to do a lot of work to get you to feel adrenaline during an action scene and, especially with modern movies, they don't usually succeed. Because that person isn't us. We are observers. We can appreciate the character and their relationships, but feeling any sort of primal urges that the character is supposed to be feeling is rare.

Indeed, moviemakers have to work hard to coerce audiences to feel the characters’ emotions. The way an actor/actress portrays a certain emotion or action helps audiences emphasise with the character/s. A composer uses specific musical cues at precise moments to elicit a particular emotional audience response. A director frames a shot a particular way to cause audiences to react in a specific way. A screenwriter uses certain dialogue and character actions over the course of a story to help audiences empathise with their characters and feel a particular way about them at certain points of the narrative. If you would like further evidence on how movies create audience response, I suggest reading some David Bordwell.

I disagree that films don’t succeed in creating an audience-character connection. Otherwise, why would visual storytelling be so popular? Audiences watch films and TV shows to connect with characters and feel for them.

Like you imply, games have the potential to be more affective since players take control of the protagonist and, through their actions and decisions, becomes them. Hence, interactivity, rather than violence, is their strength.

In the past, connecting with characters in games was clunkier because of the medium’s lack of storytelling finesse, usually down to the medium’s restrictions at the time. Many games only offered a brief story in the manual and players had to use their imaginations to fill in the rest (not that this was necessarily bad, given the medium’s limitations in the past). Fortunately (or not, depending on your point of view) this is changing.

Exhuminator wrote:Why would someone "grow out of stuff like FPS"? Are you implying the genre is inherently childish?

I’m male and to be honest I’ve outgrown the genre. I can go back and play the classics from my adolescence, like Doom, Duke 3D, Quake, etc, but modern FPS overly emphasise realism. Hunting down and killing realistic looking enemies, to me, is very repellent. It’s almost as if the developers are glorifying this sort of behaviour. Perhaps this is one reason why female gamers, in general avoid the genre.

As for whether the genre is childish, that depends on your opinion on war and violence in general.

Exhuminator wrote:
Tempest wrote: What is it that makes violence and aggression so appealing to male gamers?

The implication being that these elements are not appealing to female gamers. When in reality there are female gamers who do find these elements appealing, as we've discussed in detail since.

It wasn’t my intention to imply that violence doesn’t appeal to female gamers, only that it is more appealing to male gamers, who, let’s be honest, drive this industry and have done since its conception. If females had been those who had championed gaming instead of males would there be no violent games? Unlikely. But I imagine violence wouldn’t be the dominant form of player action in games.

BoringSupreez wrote:What I was saying is that males have a natural tendency to like violence, which manifests itself through the videogames we play. Females may find violence appealing as well, as there are girl gamers who pay Fallout or Dark Souls or whathaveyou. But it's a predominantly male fascination, as the article referencing the WoW statistics shows.

Thank you. I agree completely.
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Re: Interesting Research: "Sexist Games=Sexist Gamers?"

by Jmustang1968 Thu Jul 30, 2015 8:18 am

I don't even know what point you guys are trying to make or argue about now. If you don't like FPS or violent games, then don't buy them. If enough not enough people buy them than less will be made.

There are tons of non-violent or mild cartoonish violence games out there to satisfy those who dislike violent games.
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Exhuminator
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Re: Interesting Research: "Sexist Games=Sexist Gamers?"

by Exhuminator Thu Jul 30, 2015 8:19 am

Tempest wrote:Violence isn’t a strength of the medium either. Rather, it’s a popular limitation imposed on it by the developers

I agree with this.

But we also have to accept the reality that violence does sell video games to a large demographic. It's why so many video game covers have an angry looking dude on it holding a gun. (Sometimes accompanied by an attractive looking female.) Vicarious empowerment by proxy. Ego fantasies.
Tempest wrote:I’m male and to be honest I’ve outgrown the genre.

Perhaps you and I have different interpretations of what the term "outgrown" means. I'd say you developed a distaste for the modern FPS genre.
Tempest wrote:modern FPS overly emphasise realism. Hunting down and killing realistic looking enemies, to me, is very repellent. It’s almost as if the developers are glorifying this sort of behaviour

Those games are made because they sell. If gamers were interested in buying unrealistic FPS games, those would be created in droves instead. The subject matter is selected by the consumer ultimately. The developers are only glorifying their ability to make a paycheck if anything.
Tempest wrote:As for whether the genre is childish, that depends on your opinion on war and violence in general.

I consider such things more barbaric in mindset than simply childish. I wouldn't consider a barbarian to be childlike. Ignorant perhaps... but ignorance permeates all ages of humanity.
Tempest wrote:only that it is more appealing to male gamers, who, let’s be honest, drive this industry

I'm not so sure males are solely driving the industry these days. There are lots of reports coming out lately that challenge that assumption. Here are just a few:

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2 ... -games-iab

http://www.pcgamer.com/researchers-find ... ber-males/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/mor ... nage-boys/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women_and ... urvey_data

If nothing else, women are at least strongly catching up to men in consumption of this medium.

As to what kinds of games men prefer, obviously violent ones. Some women enjoy those sorts of games as well. Ultimately though, women seem to prefer games which incorporate social aspects. I'm sure that's why there's so many women on WoW for instance.

Here's a very interesting study you guys should read over:

http://usabilitynews.org/video-games-ma ... er-social/

A few tidbits from it:

Image

Average age first started to play video games: Males 6.60 / Females 9.30

Preference for violent vs. non-violent content: Males: Strongly Violent / Females: Equal preference
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BoringSupreez
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Re: Interesting Research: "Sexist Games=Sexist Gamers?"

by BoringSupreez Thu Jul 30, 2015 8:38 am

Tempest wrote:
the7k wrote:Have you ever thought that the reason many of the most well known video games are violent and aggressive is because violence is a strength of the medium? In just the same way that story and narration is a weakness of the medium, for pretty much the same reason?

In my opinion, interactivity is the medium’s strength. There are many games that have garnered critical acclaim that are not overly violent.

Violence isn’t a strength of the medium either. Rather, it’s a popular limitation imposed on it by the developers, who seem to know few other ways of including player action towards story conflict resolution.

That's a popular limitation imposed on life as a whole, Tempest. Violence as a means of conflict resolution is the story of both history and nature, whether it's a bear solving the conflict of his hunger by eating a salmon or one nation solving a resource shortage by invading another. Violence is represented in gaming because of its prominent place in real life. That's why people can relate to it, and that's why developers rely on it.

I don't think violence in media is going to go away until one of two things happen: someone finds a way to rewire humanity's basic natures, or a draconian tyranny starts regulating everything Soviet-style. In which case, you've got bigger issues than games.

To be honest, I enjoy violence in video games and would hate to see it go. It's fun, it's cool, and it's relaxing in it's own way. If I want to play a game where people talk everything out and no one gets hurt, I've got puzzle games, point-and-click adventures, and those Japanese virtual novel things. Which I do play from time to time, but they just aren't quite the same rush.

Exhuminator wrote:
Tempest wrote:only that it is more appealing to male gamers, who, let’s be honest, drive this industry

I'm not so sure males are solely driving the industry these days. There are lots of reports coming out lately that challenge that assumption. Here are just a few:

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2 ... -games-iab

http://www.pcgamer.com/researchers-find ... ber-males/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/mor ... nage-boys/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women_and ... urvey_data

If nothing else, women are at least strongly catching up to men in consumption of this medium.

As to what kinds of games men prefer, obviously violent ones. Some women enjoy those sorts of games as well. Ultimately though, women seem to prefer games which incorporate social aspects. I'm sure that's why there's so many women on WoW for instance.

Men don't solely drive the industry these days, but they still drive the "core" AAA segment. According to the articles you posted, women primarily drive mobile gaming and genres such as puzzles. They may be catching up, but effectively they're driving in a separate lane.
prfsnl_gmr wrote:There is nothing feigned about it. What I wrote is a display of actual moral superiority.
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Re: Interesting Research: "Sexist Games=Sexist Gamers?"

by Exhuminator Thu Jul 30, 2015 8:45 am

BoringSupreez wrote:They may be catching up, but effectively they're driving in a separate lane.

If you take gaming as a whole, women are playing about as much as men, if not a little more. That's the point the articles were making.

That said, if you look at gaming from a monetary perspective, it is likely true that males are still the primary driving economic influence.
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Re: Interesting Research: "Sexist Games=Sexist Gamers?"

by the7k Thu Jul 30, 2015 9:06 pm

@Tempest
So then, what medium does capture violence stronger than video games?

For violence to not be one of video gaming's strengths, that means that there has to be a medium out there that does it better. So, what medium one ups video games when it comes to depicting violent interactions?

Violence a limitation? How? There's plenty of games out there that don't have violence, I'm not saying a game has to be violent. I'm saying that if you want to create something that is violent, it will be stronger as a video game than any other medium.
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Re: Interesting Research: "Sexist Games=Sexist Gamers?"

by Tempest Tue Aug 04, 2015 9:01 am

the7k wrote:@Tempest
So then, what medium does capture violence stronger than video games?

For violence to not be one of video gaming's strengths, that means that there has to be a medium out there that does it better. So, what medium one ups video games when it comes to depicting violent interactions?


I don't understand why you believe another medium has to do violence better than videogames. That was never my point. Not everything is a competition. My point is that videogames are simply saturated with violent content and that this is not the only way to present conflict.

the7k wrote:Violence a limitation? How? There's plenty of games out there that don't have violence, I'm not saying a game has to be violent. I'm saying that if you want to create something that is violent, it will be stronger as a video game than any other medium.


Violence is a limitation of videogame design because developers insist on using it as the primary way they present a story's conflict. This is only one way to present story conflict. Think about life. Every time you encounter a problem or an obstacle, is your first reaction to attack it?

Violence is a limitation in videogame design because many developers use violent conflict as the default gameplay mechanic for overcoming story conflict. They do this without stretching their imaginations towards other possible methods. As examples, what about making logic based puzzles or visual-spacial puzzles the core gameplay mechanics of more games? The human creature is a creative being capable of imagining plenty of innovative alternatives. Surely primate-brain style conflict resolution like violence isn't the only method of creating interesting, engaging, and cathartic games.
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Re: Interesting Research: "Sexist Games=Sexist Gamers?"

by Erik_Twice Tue Aug 04, 2015 10:35 am

Tempest wrote:My point is that videogames are simply saturated with violent content and that this is not the only way to present conflict.

Ultimately, this is a generalization that relies on one's definition of "violent content" and the interpretation of not just a given game, but video games as a whole.

It's like saying that modern gaming has too much hand-holding: A reasonable and even agreeable position that is not as easy to defend as it seems, specially not through loaded terms like "primate-brain violence" which one would be hard-pressed to apply to fairly to most games.

And when it comes down to it, there's absolutely no shortage of non-violent games. I don't agree at all that there's an artistic problem at hand, these games are more popular than they have been in a very long time and there are more titles than there have ever been.

Violence is a limitation in videogame design because many developers use violent conflict as the default gameplay mechanic for overcoming story conflict.

Violence is not a game mechanic.

I also don't agree it's a limitation anymore than cutscenes, levelling-up and crafting are. There's absolutely no shortage of non-violent games.

BoringSupreez wrote:Men don't solely drive the industry these days, but they still drive the "core" AAA segment. According to the articles you posted, women primarily drive mobile gaming and genres such as puzzles. They may be catching up, but effectively they're driving in a separate lane.

I simply think that less women are hobbyists than men. If you control for that variable, there's not actually that much of a difference between what different sexes play.
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