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Monday, 18th June, 2012, 07:12 AM #161
Myrmidon (Lvl 10)
You might have to only play indie games produced by women and guys sensitive to their male privilege to fully avoid sexism in the printed games. You may need to only game with trusted friends (and not at cons or game stores or meetup groups) if you want to avoid sexism from other players.
The hobby, as a whole, is rife with sexism. That doesn't mean every bit of the hobby is drenched in misogyny, but it does mean that it's present a whole lot of the time. And that's one of the barriers that prevents women (and some men) from enjoying gaming as much as the average male player.
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Monday, 18th June, 2012, 08:46 AM #162
Scout (Lvl 6)
And I listen. My priority above anything else, including the game's success is for the social experience to be pleasant for everyone. Sure, I'll dig adhering to genre, puzzle solving, system tweaking etc... but really, I always say RPGs are games of imagination, they're a very personal experience for the participant and I want everyone to be comfortable with that. At the end of every session I GM there's 10 minutes allocated to discussions and feedback on what took place. I also insist that my door is always open privately if something's wrong.
I did tons of fine tuning thanks to that. Sometimes people didn't like the system used, or wanted to try a new genre. Sometimes they thought they didn't get enough game time in the session. Sometimes people just didn't like the roleplaying experience and thought it was boring.
But I can't remember one single instance of someone telling me: "I enjoy roleplaying, but the depiction in the books are really getting in the way of my fun".
Gender issues we had usually came up when consulting for new campaigns. Some genres and settings were too tricky and voted off before trying, or right after chargen, or after a session or two (Off the top of my head, Western and very recently, a 16th century japanese campaign. Our group had concerns that these games might not be terribly fun in the long run.
I have never claimed that there is absolutely no sexism in gaming. There's sexism everywhere and that most certainly includes gaming. I've read about it in books, I've seen it happen in sessions I was a part of, mostly during teenage years.
What I did say is that I do not subscribe to the notion that this hobby as a whole is actively not serving "a kind". Especially not in this day and age where there are so many awesome products to choose from in the market. It's an extremely empowering hobby anyway.
You have to remember my original objection had to do with how the industry supposedly chases away scores of women because of how they are depicted. And how this apparently explains why gamers as a demographic don't match with the general population.
On the industry side, I guess it's about more and more designers appealing to these people who like roleplaying as a concept, but are turned off, feel left out or downright antagonized. IME, people in general (there are exceptions) like to play a character of the same gender. So right off the bat, you need RPGs that allows the opportunity to create main female characters that are interesting and can do interesting things if you want to attract female gamers.
Interestingly enough, IME among my players, that has surprisingly very little to do with sexualization and a lot to do with kickass-o-meter. They want to feel empowered, have an impact at the game level and in the story. How they conceptualize their characters however, varies tremendously.
Monday, 18th June, 2012, 08:54 AM #163
Scout (Lvl 6)
Monday, 18th June, 2012, 09:18 AM #164
Superhero (Lvl 15)
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I have been playing a long time and I never used to say anything. I felt that the guys would not get it or they would accuse me of being over sensitive or do what some of the guys have one over the years on threads on this subject which is argue why should they have to give up their cheese cake to accommodate me.
The art alone has never made me want to quit gaming the attitude of male players made me leave DnD for most of the 80s and I played Hero games where the sexism didn't seem as bad.
Sexism may not be rife but it still is here a few months ago when we were discussing art in DnD next the thread ended up getting locked, a female gamer who blogs left EnWorld over how she was treated she blogged about it. I got a private message from a male gamer who actually said any of the men standing up for the women are only doing it to score brownie points because they hope to get laid. And that woman don't really belong in gaming and we should stop trying to force our way in where we don't belong.
I have a friend who has a male sounding name she emailed a DM who was looking for players and they agreed to meet. When he saw she was a woman he told her no that woman were not welcome at his table because his group were serious players and didn't want women who come looking for boy friends. My friend is a very serious gamer and since she is married to a non gamer she was only looking for a game not a mate. This did not happen back in the 80s this happened last year.
You sound like a good DM who makes the game fun for all your players so maybe you have not seen this kind of behavior or would not tolerate it at your table.
I play with a lot of great guys and it is better than it was in the past but it is still can raise its ugly head.
Favorite line heard at the table "I am killing to subdue" Kavo the Dwarf
Monday, 18th June, 2012, 10:01 AM #165
Scout (Lvl 6)
It's certainly not a very exciting selection of products as far as I'm concerned but I tend to be picky when it comes to RPGs.
I do know about Harn and have to speak about this. Harn is a special case because it so ferociously goes for a historical middle age vibe with dashes of Middle-Earth. It's very well done but very... limiting. HarnWorld is realistic enough that it will be boring to most people. HarnMaster (the system) is also vying for realism. The result of both is that they are unwelcoming to fantasy adventuring and, unfortunately, about as unwelcoming to female adventurers as the middle-age would be.
I wouldn't subject any players of mine through it as is. I do mine it for ideas, though. But as a rule of thumb, many historical products or those leaning toward a historical vibe will be awful for female players.
Because I have mixed groups, I tend to focus on fantasy, superheroes and sci-fi because the possibilities are a lot more interesting for everyone. Harn is kinda like the antithesis of that.
Now, I read the rest of the entries and there was a lot of crap. But as far as unrealistic armors and the like, it's not an issue with the female gamers I know. What is an issue is whether they can kick ass or not. The amount of skin they want to show is up to them. Having a variety of useful, empowering archetypes usable by female characters is what it's all about for my players.
As for the rape thing... that's horrible. This should totally not fly with the other players around the table and even less so with the organizers. You should never, ever be bullied or feel like crap when the goal is to have fun.
I have no idea why women are not more representative in the hobby (sorry, I know we disagree on that) and even less so why they aren't getting involved more into publishing and designing. That's where the real power is and in this day and age, it's doable with the most limited resources.
Monday, 18th June, 2012, 12:44 PM #166
Novice (Lvl 1)
You say you have felt sexism from playing RPGs, and I ask this question( because i need a better understanding of where it is coming from) was it the books, or game, or the people you played with? Because honestly, I have played with many women who loved RPGs and never once got mad at the art work, but if someone said something wrong which some men do. They would feel uncommfortable. And when that happens the problem needs to be addressed right then.
If its the books, if when you open it up and the pictures are uncommfortably graphic, tell the DM/GM i dont feel comfortable playing this, IF he is a good friend, player, or GM he wont have an issue with finding a different game style.
Sexism is out there, but it doesnt mean you have to be uncomfortable you have the power as a person to say I want nothing to do with this, and walk away from a particular RPG or situation.
(about the art work...and I know I am stepping on egg shells) Women and men have differences in appearance. The males physical body is ugly, I've had this convo with a a man who is into men, other guys who are into women, and women into men. And every single one of them agreed that a women's body is more beautiful. Though i feel this is often (and sadly) missued, it is the main way that company's are able to describe these women(not justifying it or saying I am ok with it. Just that no one has found a better way.)
(my attitude) my attitude is not "it is pointless to speak up", it is actually complete opposite. As I described its I do something when I have something to do. If you dont have a solution why are you wasting energy complaining (complsining does not equal to speaking up or out)? that energy you are wasting could be used to come up with a better solution. All I am saying is if you don't like it, and it is broken, then dont complain. Complaining solves nothing, what solves problems are people putting there heads together and designing a new way.
I love hearing issues and problems, and I am all for speaking out, but what I like to hear after a complaint is... "i was thinking and I believe this might make it better...." I try not to let my anger be the only thing I bring to a situation. Complaints don't work in life, they don't work in relationships, they don't work when school work is late. But what does work is having an answer.
I care about sexism, I am a husband and a father to 2 girls who will one day be women in this harsh world. But I plan on teaching them "my attitude" (see above paragraph) I want them to change things not complain that it is unfair.
Change comes from more than just words or an idea, it comes from our actions and desires to make something better.
Again this is only my opinion/view i dont expect or think everyone should agree. Heck that is why we are all different. So if u have been offended i apologize.
Last edited by TheShroud; Monday, 18th June, 2012 at 01:08 PM.
Monday, 18th June, 2012, 02:13 PM #167
Hydra (Lvl 25)
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Elf Witch and others haven't been saying (and they can correct me if I'm way off base here) "the art drove me away". They're saying "sexism in the hobby, of which art is but one example, makes me feel less wanted here". They're also citing skeevy male gamers, bad convention experiences, inappropriate descriptive terms of them, and so on.
In the case of Genysys, it's not really the art; there isn't much to speak of yet. It's phrases like "There's nothing sexier than a hot gamer chick who knows how to throw it down and keep up with the boys". Ignoring the question of what is "keeping up with the boys", exactly, it carries an implication that it is difficult for a woman to to do so, that it is sexy when you find one that can, and that "keeping up with the boys" is a goal to be lauded. And that's problematic not just because of the words themselves, but because it is revealing of how some men see the women in our hobby. It's a display of an attitude which goes beyond that mere phrase - it says that it's a "boys'" game.
I probably overwrought that paragraph a bit.
Last edited by Morrus; Monday, 18th June, 2012 at 02:22 PM.
Monday, 18th June, 2012, 02:36 PM #168
Novice (Lvl 1)
Last edited by TheShroud; Monday, 18th June, 2012 at 02:41 PM.
Monday, 18th June, 2012, 06:24 PM #169
Waghalter (Lvl 7)
Depends on what you think a 'range' is. If the issue is women feeling discriminated against or discouraged because they perceive that the hobby positions them as cheesecake and devalues their character representation, and a huge percentage - so far, 100% of the women in this thread who don't work for the company in question - are saying this very clearly, I'm not sure this represents a 'range' even if there is some division in the group that isn't being targeted.What if there are a range of opinions, even after you filter out the obligatory agitators and dimbulbs? Maybe at the end of the day, you gotta accept that even some reasonable people are gonna have their buttons pushed the wrong way, and your attempts to assuage their concerns are going to have limited effectiveness at best.
Monday, 18th June, 2012, 06:39 PM #170
Hydra (Lvl 25)
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I can understand that. I don't want to be driven away from games, either.
They want to play these games, not have to walk away from them. That's not so unreasonable, is it?
And they have designed a solution; they keep suggesting it. It's a really simple, easy one: not being sexist.(my attitude) my attitude is not "it is pointless to speak up", it is actually complete opposite. As I described its I do something when I have something to do. If you dont have a solution why are you wasting energy complaining (complsining does not equal to speaking up or out)? that energy you are wasting could be used to come up with a better solution. All I am saying is if you don't like it, and it is broken, then dont complain. Complaining solves nothing, what solves problems are people putting there heads together and designing a new way.
Honestly, it ain't that hard. Sure, everyone slips up from time to time, but just being more cognizant of the effect one's language and manner have on other people can make a world of difference. In the long run, it all just comes down to respect.