Some Resident Evil 5 Perspective

MTV’s Multiplayer blog has an excellent series of articles about black professionals in the game industry. The entire series is a really interesting, and I recommend that you read the whole thing. I decided to post about the series because one of the topics that is discussed is the Resident Evil 5 trailer, which, as we’ve discussed before, ended up offending a lot of people. What’s so fantastic about the series is that the diverse opinions that are expressed are coming from people who are authorities on video games. Unlike many other discussions about this topic that popped up on the net, there’s no confusion about what games are about or who they are for; the topic is not diluted by general misinformation about video games as a medium. Also, all of the people interviewed for the series explain their perspectives with extreme clarity and articulacy.

I wanted to post a couple of quotes about Resident Evil 5, but if I did that people would probably take them out of context and respond without reading the article as a whole. So instead, I’ll just leave you with this quote by Newsweeks’ N’Gai Croal that I found really insightful and well-stated:

I’m saying people don’t realize how colonized their minds are by stereotypes.

Go. Read the whole series.

28 thoughts on “Some Resident Evil 5 Perspective

  1. Race is really hard to deal with.
    In the US good ole political correctness has done to much to bury the race issue but not really fix it.

    While reading those articles I kept hearing the term “diversity” which is a very PC way of shoving change down people’s mouths without changing their hearts

  2. > Sylphglitch

    I’m not sure what you mean about the term “diversity.” The game industry is dominated by white males, no question. Personally I believe that all diversity is strength; a group can make better decisions and come up with better ideas if their members are more diverse. Race is one form of diversity, gender is another. The game industry is quite homogeneous, and I think that developers and gamers would be much better off if the industry was made up of the same variety of people that compose its audience.

  3. I like Mr. Croal. He’s very lucid.

    I honestly didn’t see the problem that some people have with the Resident Evil 5 trailer upon first viewing. I was merely excited to see footage of a new RE game, a very pretty new game set in an exciting and new environment. Of course, the controversy(such as it is) kicked up pretty quickly. And here we are.

    I think it’s interesting how much ruckus has been kicked up by this trailer, especially considering how little real information it contains to anyone not intimately familiar with the series as a whole: the whole trailer is basically a tantalizing fan service orgy. I get that people who are uninformed about the series and it’s history can pull violently racist themes from it. I get that people who view the trailer as a complete thing, independent of the background and history of the series that the trailer patently assumes you know and understand, are liable to take away some unsavory images. So why am I so pissed off about the brouhaha surrounding it?

    Part of it is die-hard cynicism. I grew up in the ghetto: most of my friends were poor blacks. None of them care about a game like this, guaranteed: I know for a fact that many of the guys want to play it. It doesn’t change the objective ‘racism’ of the images of course, but it does lend a bit of perspective to the way I view the trailer and the furor surrounding it.

    Speaking of perspective, we all know the japanese as a people are slightly xenophobic and racist. ‘We’ in this instance being huge video game nerds… Who are the trailer’s target demographic. Is it possible that the higher=ups at Capcom Japan honestly don’t understand the problem we’re having over here with the trailer, since they’re the ones developing the game and have no parallels to our own civil rights movement and racial integration? That’s where my money is, incidentally.

    Mr. Croal is right in one thing, and that’s that Capcom has to be VERY CAREFUL with how they present this game to the North American audience. Taken in context, I’m sure that the game itself is fine, but the last thing we need as an industry and as a burgeoning art form is this kind of public flogging.

  4. > Geoff

    I think Croal’s point was that just because you don’t see racism in the video doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist; it just means your mind is either “colonized by stereotypes” or you lack sufficient experience to realize that the content might be offensive. What I really liked about his argument is that he was extremely careful to draw a line between images that are offensive to black people because they have “history” and things that are designed to be racist. When I posted about this before, my point was that Capcom was not likely to have expected the reaction that the video provoked (not that they are off the hook, just that they were perhaps clumsy in their design and presentation of the video). I think Croal very deftly restates this in a way that drives home why the content can still be offensive to people even if it wasn’t intentional.

    Also, I think you just made the same mistake you are condemning Croal for. Statements like “we all know the japanese as a people are slightly xenophobic and racist” are, I’m sorry to say, xenophobic and racist. You just spoke for 127 million people. Are you sure that you’re comfortable with that?

  5. Good point Geoff.
    I think you kinda hint the nail on the head.

    When I watched the trailer for the first time I was happy to see new info on RE5. I couldn’t care less who Chris was shooting. If a company like Umbrella needed to start over again, a Carribean or Africa country with hordes of poor people with little or no government who be the perfect place. I’m pretty sure that is more in line with what the writers for RE5 are going for.

    It’s not like it hasn’t happened in real life.
    Go watch a movie called “The Constant Gardener.”

    To Chris…
    I guess I view things slightly differently. I believe in group decisions performance and acheivements mean everything. Gender and race are crutches for people who can’t keep up with the competition…

  6. > Syphglitch

    I’m not suggesting that we should have people of color or more women in the game industry because it’s the politically correct thing to do. I’m saying that the reason to have as many different types of people as possible, in any endeavor, including games, is that the end product will be higher quality. We’d have better games on the market today if the game industry was not run almost exclusively by white males. I mean, I’m a white male and I work in the game industry, so I have some experience to back up this claim.

    I think yours is a view that is very easy to hold if you are a white male. It is also, I think, a very narrow viewpoint. I think you should refer back to Croal’s point about many gamers just “not seeing” the content that he sees in the RE5 trailer. The implication is not that he’s looking for racism, its that the audience is complacent when it comes to race issues.

    Why aren’t there more black people or women in the industry? In other parts of the software engineering world the disparity is not nearly as dramatic as it is in the games industry. Why do you think that is? Hint: it’s not because black people or women are incapable of being good game developers, as your “performance” comment seems to suggest.

  7. >Chris

    Firstly, I apologize in regards to my statement about the japanese: it was out of line. I was being flippant and sarcastic, which you mistook as ‘racist’ being a white male with obvious PC tendencies. My mistake. Secondly I never condemned Croal. In fact, I complimented his insight and meant it.

    My point, which I admit was less than clear, was that the interview with N’Gai makes excellent sense in the context of the trailer alone. But N’Gai is probably also the only one making any real sense here, as everyone else is too busy blowing the whole goddamn thing way out of proportion. That trailer is thirty seconds long. I think we can all agree that the trailer cleverly uses racial tension and tropes to cause a visceral reaction in the viewer. I thought it was purposeful, ballsy and well done and only made me more excited for the game.

    Yes, I see the same things that Croal sees. I just put them in what I’m sure was the developers context. There are no women or children because you aren’t meant to empathize with anything but Chris Redfield for that thirty seconds: you’re meant to be tense. You’re meant to see how alone and how in danger the character you’re going to control is.

    But if you add internet retards or the media in general to anything, you get a tempest in a teapot. Now we have a minor firestorm over what is essentially nothing but a PR trick.

    Yes, this trailer touches on some uncomfortable concepts and histories. It reminds people of the sins of the past, and is actually pretty brazen in a lot of it’s imagery. I’m just asking that people remember the context. That’s all.

  8. > Geoff

    I made a very similar argument on this blog not too long ago. It’s linked to in the post. So I don’t disagree with the idea that the trailer should be considered within context.

    What I thought was quite interesting about Croal (and the other guy who commented on RE5 as well, even though they didn’t agree) had to say about the trailer is that he has a fantastic understanding of video games as a medium that he’s able to sidestep the PR lunacy that surrounds video games and talk about what really bothers him about the trailer. And there are things about the trailer that legitimately bother him.

    I think it’s too easy to write the whole thing off as “people don’t understand games and don’t treat them fairly.” Croal does understand games and isn’t treating them specially, and yet there are still problems with the trailer in his mind. To me, that means that when all the PR lunacy and firestorm junk is removed that there is still material that is offensive to some people in the trailer–it’s not all just ignorant panic.

    Croal even goes out of his way to stipulate that he doesn’t think that Capcom intentionally tried to make the trailer offensive or racist but that nevertheless there are valid reasons for perceiving it that way. The argument that I’ve made, and the one that I think you are making, is that we shouldn’t call something racist unless it is intended to be racist. The point Croal is making is that regardless of intent, some imagery can be deeply offensive to some people. And that’s probably not ok.

  9. I like Mr. Croal’s comments. I expressed a very similar sentiment on this site in a previous discussion of the RE5 trailer. At first it doesn’t seem to make sense that people might consider the RE5 trailer as racist when nobody said the same for RE4. However, the histories that come with those different images are very different. It really makes sense to me that, given the history, many people are very, very sensitive to images of a white guy killing black people, even if it is fantasy.

    Here’s an analogy, it might be kind of silly but I think it expresses my point fairly well. If a guy named Joe gets extreme food poisoning from a piece of banana cream pie, banana cream pie will become very aversive to him. Likewise, bananas might become aversive to him as well, maybe even other kinds of pie. The point is, it will always have that history. Imagine that you are Joe, and somebody, intentionally or not, puts a piece of banana cream pie in front of you. You would not like that experience.

    Now, this really isnt that big of a deal, its just one person, and there are tons of other desserts for Joe eat, and, relatively speaking, getting food poisoning is not that bad of a consequence. But, let’s do some substitutions. For Joe, substitute a whole race of people. Image that that race of people has been historically severely oppressed and even killed by another race of people. For the banana cream, or bananas, or pie, substitute images even slightly related to being oppressed and killed.

    In my opinion, if I was to inadvertently put a piece of Banana cream pie down in front of Joe without knowing his history, I would feel kind of bad and make a point to not do it again, but I wouldn’t think it was that big of a deal. On the other hand, with regard to a whole race of people who have been oppressed and murdered throughout history, my preference is to be a lot more sensitive.

  10. I never said that minorities couldn’t get into the industry. I’m sure their more then capable of getting in and doing good things. I don’t think someone should get a free handout based on the color of their skin or gender.

    You work in the industry Chris, why do think you there are so few minorities in the gaming industry?

    To Altercon, good point I wouldn’t go out my way to put the offensive pie in front of Joe, but Joe has to realize other people like Banana
    Cream pie. Joe has decided to let his entire outlook on Banana Cream pie be bound by the past.

  11. > Sylphglitch

    I don’t think anybody is asking for a free handout. What they are saying is that despite having the same skills as white men, women and African Americans can’t get jobs in the game industry (or are not trying). I think the obvious conclusion is that the system is not fair, and that there are systemic problems with the industry that keep groups other than white men from being able to join up. That’s a pretty straight-forward definition of racism if you ask me.

    If you read the articles, you notice that Croal and others are noting that black kids are certainly playing plenty of video games, so the lack of black people in the industry is confusing. The article mentions a number of black characters in video games that are clearly stereotypical; one conclusion that I think is not very difficult to draw is that stereotypical characters are both the cause and result of a homogenous industry. The women I know who do work in the game industry, for example, are universally annoyed with the portrayal of women in most video games; that probably has something to do with those characters being the product of all-male development teams.

    It sounds to me like your argument is that black people and women are asking for special treatment because of their race or gender. I think that they are asking to be treated the same as everybody else, and that the one-sidedness of the industry (and of many other aspects of American culture) is evidence that their plight is the result of discrimination.

    Like I said before, your viewpoint is a very easy one to hold if you are within the majority group and have never had to deal with discriminatory issues first hand. I’m not calling you a racist or anything; I’m just saying that your perspective is naive.

  12. So Chris you say the industry is slighted against people who are not white and are female.

    About how females are portrayed in videogames, I think that has to do more with the market(teen males) videogames are aimed at then the fact the industry is ruled by white males.

    My question to you is how would you fix the issue at hand then?

    Is there any one else here who works in the industry? It would be interesting to hear other viewpoint on this.

  13. > Sylphglitch

    Well, of course it’s not the game industry alone that has this problem. The game industry is an example of the problems this country has with gender and race issues, and since this is a gaming blog I think it’s an example worthy of discussion, but the problem runs much deeper. The majority of computer science majors are white males, for example; the problems with discrimination that the game industry has have their roots in similar problems in all sorts of places.

    I don’t have a solution for this problem (and I don’t think anybody does). But one way to move forward from where we are now is to have a discussion like this, to raise awareness that racism and sexism in America are not things of the past. Too many people would like to believe that those ugly aspects of American culture are behind us, and while I think that the country has made huge advances in this area in the last half-century, there clearly remain significant issues. Talking about the problem, especially in a way that is connected to people’s everyday lives (like, “hey, you know how video games tend to be really similar? maybe there’s a reason for that…”), is a great way to get people thinking.

    I don’t think that there’s any quick fix for America as a whole or for the game industry, but talking about small steps we can make and agreeing that the status quo isn’t acceptable is a very good place to start.

  14. I hand’t even considered any sort of racist component to RE5, being that you’re mainly shooting up black people as a white protagonist. you know whyI haven’t? because it’s SILLY.

    but if you REALLY want to get so out of line that you call RE5 a racist game, you’ve also got to answer to a big “So what?” from me.

    joke time: at least it might sell well in the south.

    whoever gets offended of things like this just need to lighten up.


  15. > zeroth

    Clearly you didn’t read the article linked in the post. If you had, you’d know that even amongst the black industry folks that are interviewed, there isn’t agreement on whether the Resident Evil 5 trailer is racist or not.

    You’d also know that the main thrust of the discussion is not “is this game racist” but “why do people find the trailer offensive” and “why are black characters in video games so one-sided.” And another point that Syphglitch and I discuss above is that many people choose to ignore the issue of race in video games, or simply lack the experience to see the perspectives of other people.

    Simplifying the discussion to “is this racist or not” defeats the purpose. Go read the articles before commenting, please.

  16. you’re right, I skipped the article. I did go back and read it though. The least you could take from my post is that I’m one of the “so many gamers who could not at all see it. Like literally couldn’t see it.”

  17. I will agree with on the fact that the industry is dominated by white males.

    I think that has to do with the difference between men and women. I’ve only met handful of women in Comp Sci majors. Most of them did it because they were good at math or thought it was “the way to go”. Most men I meet in Comp Sci majors are in because they enjoy programming/computers. There were exceptions, but that is how I saw it.

    If a certain group doesn’t like the way things are, they should get involved and change it. The Wii is a great target for games that don’t follow the typical white male shooter box genre.
    Supposedly it’s very cheap to develop for, or go make a PS3/360 game, just get involved.

  18. quit mentally segregating people. This is the reason for the silliness about RE5 being racist. You are creating problem where none exists in the first place. To say that RE5 is racist without knowing of or considering all the evidence to the contrary is a blind and uneducated judgement.

    It is not a problem that the industry is dominated by men. If women aren’t interested in games, then so be it. There are differences between men and women, and to acknowledge Boys play with guns, girls play with dolls. true or false? Its our chemicle nature which defines our interests, not a superiority dillusion.

    When you stop thinking of people as minorities, as statistics, as GROUPS, and begin thinking of of blacks, whites, gays, etc, all as people – then we can start treating one another with the same respect that we treat thos of our own skin, sexuality, religion, etc. Something like HEAVEN might dawn.

  19. screwed up my post. fix:

    “…There are differences between men and women, and to acknowledge thatis not sexist. ”

  20. > Zeroth

    While I agree that a world in which all people were treated equally would be ideal. But we don’t live in that world, and what you are saying in your argument is that we should ignore problems that exist in this world. Inequality is a problem; the idea that women don’t work in the game industry because they are “not interested” is incredibly naive. In fact, I think that your “it’s not really a problem” attitude perpetuates the problem because you refuse to admit that inequality exists in America today and therefore cannot participate in correcting the problem.

    It’s like saying, “why don’t all homeless people just go get jobs?” Clearly it’s not quite that easy, is it? The fact that the game industry is homogeneous is a huge problem, I think; as I said in an earlier post, it means that the types of games we get are limited to a particular cultural spectrum. It is also indicative of other problems; if all things were equal, we should expect to see the same distribution of race and gender within the game industry that we see in society at large. That’s not the case, and some generalization like “women aren’t interested in games” isn’t sufficient to describe the discrepancy (and indeed is another example of the grouping that you are complaining about).

    I think that diversity, in any form, is a strength. I also think that you have to be extremely closed minded to believe that there is no problem with race or gender inequality in this country.

  21. A homeless person cant “just get a job” because he’s on that slippery slope of not having the materials or the means. I find that to be an unfair analogy for this topic.

    There are many more men interested in game development than women. Now if only a small percentage of all of these people are REALLY skilled at what they do, its highly likely that a man is going to get the job simply because of the uneven ratio. if there is any sort of inequality going on, It would be very difficult to prove. Even if employees are chosen at random, I imagine we’d see just about the same ratio of men to women as we do now.

    Yes, I am naive on this subject by definition, but I still question it’s legitimacy. You, Chris, are quite experienced in the game development industry – have you seen any sort of prejudice like this?

    Show me a woman who wants to make games who has the skills, but is unable to find work because of prejudice, and I will concede.

  22. > Zeroth

    I think that the homeless person analogy is fair. Some people find it easier to blame homeless people (rather than the society at large) for the problem of homelessness, as it makes them feel more comfortable about their lives. Similarly, your argument is that there are not very many women in the game industry because women are choosing not to enter it.

    My question to you is, what turns women away? I mean, you said yourself that we should be considering people as individuals rather than groups, and given that logic (which I agree with) we can reasonably assume that there’s no innate bias in women for or against video games. Your argument seems to suggest that women not wanting to work in game development is somehow the natural order of things. I’m telling you that there are reasons that the industry is so one-sided, and it’s not because there area no interested women.

    Your most recent post about the number of women on my message boards is a classic example of naive reasoning. First of all, the answer is that yes, there are a number of women who frequent the board. The real fallacy in your argument is that you assume that one message board, or one site, might possibly be representative of all women. If you believe your own rhetoric about not grouping people together based on things that don’t really define them (like gender), you have to accept that there are potentially just as many female gamers as men.

    In reality, I think that the majority (by a small margin, but still the majority) of console gamers are men. And I think that’s a problem. And I think that the reason that gamers are mostly men is that games are made by mostly men. And I think that is a problem.

    You asked for an example based on my experience. When I was a CS major, the first year the classes were split pretty much 50/50 between women and men. By the time I graduated four years later, only three women in my class graduated with me. What happened to the rest of them? Most of them went on to be math majors or something similar, I think. The problem certainly wasn’t ability; some of the women I worked with in school and then subsequently in the industry have been phenomenal engineers. No, there was another reason for the lack of women in the CS class upon graduation, and it’s probably the same reason that there are not very many women in computer science programs across the country.

    You can pretend it’s not a problem if you want, but (to me anyway) it sounds like you are trying to justify your own lack of action. You don’t have to set out to change the world or anything, but denying that there’s even an issue is probably the worst thing you can do.

  23. is it a problem that boys play “cops & robbers” as children and girls dont?
    that girls play with dolls and boys dont?
    that the NBA is doinated by black males?
    that babysitting is dominated by women?
    that men don’t like to cheer lead?

    these are all the same kind of ‘problem’ as female gamers and developers.

    The sexes have different interests. Sexual Identity is deeper than hormones and chemistry and male or female, but it is a fact that most people lie firmly on one end or the other. Gender is not the ultimate definition of our interests, but you must admit that it playes a huge role, whether you argue it is due to nature or nurture.

    “My question to you is, what turns women away?”

    Women don’t generally like to sit around in front of a screen for years on end ignoring the outside world. Wouldn’t you agree that men tend to be more independent than women? Women need social interactions, relationships, drama, gossip, etc – this is overwhelmingly statistically true. granted a lot of men are this way as well, men are more liable to just sit down in front of a screen and be fascinated with a game and give no care about social interactions. It is more liable for a man to become socially disconnected enough to play with a toy for a long time, and become a hobbyist.

    “Your most recent post about the number of women on my message boards is a classic example of naive reasoning”

    I’m not drawing a shallow analogy between the sex of members of this forum to anything else. I’m pointing out that just because there is an imbalance doesn’t mean that it is caused by someting horrible or faulty, such as prejudice. It may certainly be just the way things have turned out to be. you can’t expect equal balance of everything in life, the universe is far more chaotic than that.

    “If you believe your own rhetoric about not grouping people together based on things that don’t really define them (like gender), you have to accept that there are potentially just as many female gamers as men.”

    I do not have to believe that all genders and races will equally share interests just to suggest that we should treat each other with equal respect. I am not suggesting that we don’t group people together as men, women, rocket scientists, movie goer, black, whatever – I’m just saying that these differences are not enough to base any sort of opinion on their group as a whole – which we all agree with. But this is what I feel all this anti-racist and anti-sexist talk is doing: reinforcing the idea that races and sexes are absolutely separate from one another. This is THE problem I have.

    “In reality, I think that the majority (by a small margin, but still the majority) of console gamers are men. And I think that’s a problem. And I think that the reason that gamers are mostly men is that games are made by mostly men. And I think that is a problem.”

    There have been countless female-targeted games in the past, and nearly all of them for Consoles. There are a lot of games that all gender identities can appreciate, such as The Sims. They’ve drawn in a few females, but it hasn’t really done a whole lot.

    “there was another reason for the lack of women in the CS class upon graduation, and it’s probably the same reason that there are not very many women in computer science programs across the country.”

    but – what IS that reason? Can it really be prejudice? It’s possible one or two of them got pregnant – you see men don’t have that problem. aside from that, I’d like to find out why so many women were dropping out.

    “You can pretend it’s not a problem if you want, but (to me anyway) it sounds like you are trying to justify your own lack of action. You don’t have to set out to change the world or anything, but denying that there’s even an issue is probably the worst thing you can do.”

    I’m skeptical by nature, and I find it best. Your college example is interesting, and there is at least a good possibility that sexism caused the drop outs, or at least a side effect of it (like women feeling like they dont belong there)

  24. Going waaay back to the top of the page, I’d like to reiterate Croal’s quotes about people’s “mind being colonized by stereotypes.”

    Every time you say “women generally do this” or “men usually are like that,” you are applying a stereotype. So no, I do NOT agree with you that women are less independent than men, or that women are all more interested in social interaction than men. If you were really serious about giving women equal respect, you wouldn’t be comfortable with statements that paint 1/2 of the world into a particular set of constraints.

    There ARE differences between men and women, of course. But to extrapolate that to say that all differences in equality can be explained by physiology is stupid. Not so long ago people made that same argument about women not being interested in sports, and I think that nowadays you’d be called a lunatic if you made such a suggestion. No single individual on the planet can be summed up by generalizations, and when you make a generalization like that, you are contorting the individuality of every woman. I think that if you want to really treat people equally, you have to take them for who they are and not place them in some group that you have defined in your mind as “this is how all women are.”

    I think that cultural inequities are a much more likely explanation for why there are fewer women in the game industry (and computer science industry as a whole) than women being intrinsically uninterested in the subject. Let me try to narrow this culture-wide problem to just the realm of video games. You mentioned that there have been women-targeted games in the past. What you didn’t mention is that they are almost all failures, and that they are almost all developed by men. What do female gamers want? Maybe it would be good to ask some women. The market has clearly shown that it’s not Barbie Horse Rider, no matter how pink they make the box.

    This is a failure of the industry. There’s nothing about video games as a medium that should bias it towards one gender or the other, and yet we find that the industry as a whole is incredibly biased. If we lived in a more balanced world there wouldn’t be any particular bias amongst video game makers or players; I think that means we’d have a lot of types of video games that don’t exist now. And that’s a great goal: increasing the variety and diversity of the medium can only strengthen it and make it more culturally relevant. But to do that, the industry itself needs more diversity.

    Like I said before, your attitude that there should be no differences in treatment for people depending on race or gender is respectable. It is also, I think, naive because it does not match reality today. Of course there should be no discrimination of any kind, but the honest truth is that we are a culture that is surrounded by inequity. In the interests of moving towards a better future, one in which there isn’t such disparity between races, or genders, or sexual orientations, or whatever, we must engage in discussion about about the problem. Denying that a problem exists only reenforces and prolongs it.

  25. for the sake of this discussion, I mean the same thing when I say “independant” and “loner” – I mean a person who is more liable to stay at home and chill rather than get out of the house and do things.

    “If you were really serious about giving women equal respect, you wouldn’t be comfortable with statements that paint 1/2 of the world into a particular set of constraints. There ARE differences between men and women, of course. But to extrapolate that to say that all differences in equality can be explained by physiology is stupid. Not so long ago people made that same argument about women not being interested in sports, and I think that nowadays you’d be called a lunatic if you made such a suggestion. No single individual on the planet can be summed up by generalizations, and when you make a generalization like that, you are contorting the individuality of every woman. I think that if you want to really treat people equally, you have to take them for who they are and not place them in some group that you have defined in your mind as “this is how all women are.” ”

    I have NEVER been as rigid in my comments as you are calling them to be.
    It is fair to say that there are far more male loners than female loners, I believe it is true. at NO point did I EVER say that “All Men are Loners” or that “No Women are Loners”, or “this is how all women are” – I’ve only said that because of whatever reason (nature/nurture/culture/candy) men have a larger TENDANCY to be loners, simply because statistically very many more men than women ARE loners. If you can see that, then you can see my reasoning for why women don’t play games as much as men.

    It’s a shame to see people interested in things and yet not pursue them due to cultural stress against it.

    It is not that I don’t acknowledge that sexism, racism, etc exist, it’s just that I feel there is a lot of anti-prejudice going on against things that aren’t prejudice in the first place. That results in counter-productivity because it reinforces cultural grouping in our minds.

    I think women are quite likely to be subject to prejudice in computer-related fields, and this would likely have repurcussions for game development.

    As for *playing* games:
    You’ve suggested that females aren’t playing games because they aren’t attracted to it (because there aren’t many games that appeal to females). Already you’ve concluded that females are _generally_ not interested (even if thats due to lack of diversity among games). So even If it is silly cultural phenomonea that causes females to be less interested, it remains a game diversity issue and not a sexism issue. The lack of games is a lack of interest, which results in a lack of games. quite circular.

    Plus, most male gamers get the hots for female gamers. I doubt there is much sexism in this area whatsoever.

    In conclusion:
    since women aren’t facing any bigorty about PLAYING games, and yet there are very FEW female gamers, there will be even LESS females interested in MAKING games – a very very small number. and those very few are finally killed off via the computer-related prejudice. So I think even if we get rid of the prejudice, we’d still have a very small number of female game developers.

  26. Couple of points.

    1) We have hard data that shows that fewer women buy games. This isn’t just some amorphous “feeling,” it’s actually been researched.

    2) Saying “most men do blah” or “most women do blah” is effectively the same as saying “all men do blah.” You are grouping a huge number of people (“most” of 1/2 of the world) and making an assumption about all of them. That’s what applying a stereotype is. You are considering them based on their group before you consider them based on their personality or whatever traits are unique to the individual.

    3) I don’t buy “statistically men are more loaners” nor do I buy the idea that loaners are more likely to play more video games. Stereotypes reinforcing more stereotypes; the general population is not well described. I think a lot of your logic is based on assumptions that have no real factual basis.

    4) It’s not a “shame” that the culture prohibits some people from doing what they want to do because of their race or gender, it’s criminal! It causes so many problems throughout our society; games being sort of one-sided and limited is just one of the more frivolous issues that inequality creates.

    5) I’m not suggesting that women are not interested in games. There are many women gamers (see the link above), and a lot of them happen to enjoy horror games as well. But with a few exceptions, video games are made by men and targeted by men, which is preventing a larger population of women from becoming interested in the medium. And unless the game industry itself becomes more diverse, I don’t see how that can change. And for the game industry to be more diverse, the whole rest of the country has to generally be a leveler playing field.

    6) (Last point, I swear). I understand that your attitude is a reaction to a lot of hand waving about diversity and equality. However, despite the politically correct fervor that surrounds this issue, it is nonetheless a real issue worthy of real discussion. As I mentioned earlier in this thread, it’s very easy to disregard another persons legitimate complaint if you yourself do not have similar experience; and as you are (I assume) a non-minority male, you can’t really know what that experience is like (neither, I might add, can I). Don’t let your lack of ability to relate to other people’s problems blind you to the fact that these problems exist.

  27. zeroth: “is there even a single female on your message boards?”

    Yes… that would be ME.

    Am I the only one? Who knows. I haven’t checked, and this is the internet. People may lie, so how are you ever really going to know? You say that your comments aren’t rigid, but they certainly sounded that way to me, whether or not that is truly how you meant them to be. You can’t hear a tone of voice through types words.

    Anyways, back to topic. What upsets me the most is how many bloggers that I have read posting angrily about RE5 without doing any research behind it. All some people will do is look at this 30 minute trailer and run to their online journals and forums and begin flaming it as ‘racist’. I do agree with Croal that the images can be viewed as offensive when you have so little context to place it in from that trailer alone. My problem is when people aren’t willing to take a few moments and search out the real story, but spend that time instead drudging the game through the mud before it has even been released. This doesn’t necessarily apply only to games, though. When people tear something apart without any real knowledge about it other than a glimpse that they may have caught, they aren’t basing their argument accurately. It is a sad thing that people are offended by the images, but it’s foolish to begin screaming about something you don’t understand when you haven’t made the effort to find the whole story. Such actions can be more hurtful to their cause in the end, or smear a good name that never had any ill intentions.

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