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Women

Feminism! photo
Feminism!

E3 2015: You play like a girl


And that's a very good thing
Jun 19
// Matthew Razak
[Here's a guest editorial from Matthew Razak, Editor-in-Chief of Flixist, and former Destructoid staff. You may remember him as Cowzilla. It's nice to have him back.] This year as I sat at home watching press events from all ...
Females in eSports photo
Females in eSports

Sexism and Super Smash at Press Start LAN


Why is this still commonplace?
May 10
// Jed Whitaker
Neha Chhetri, better known as LiloNStitchface or Lilo for short, is a pro Super Smash Bros. Melee player that you may recognize from the Super Smash Bros. Invitational hosted by Nintendo at E3 last year. Lilo is no stran...
Online gaming photo
Online gaming

Lonely Chinese gamers can hire escorts for the feels


What a time to be alive
Apr 22
// Robert Summa
The Chinese can take gaming very seriously. So seriously in fact that they have created an entire industry revolved around keeping lonely gamers happy while grinding away in their virtual wastelands. While in places like Amer...

Tropes vs Women photo
Tropes vs Women

New Tropes vs Women series Positive Female Characters debuts


Checkmate, Link!
Mar 31
// Jed Whitaker
Everyone's favorite feminist Anita Sarkeesian is back and this time with a new sub-series of Tropes vs Women in Gaming called Positive Female Characters. In the debut episode Anita takes a look at the main character fro...
We Can Do It! photo
We Can Do It!

'Do it' with female Nintendo characters to celebrate Women's History Month


Pretty risqué of Nintendo if you ask me
Mar 17
// Jed Whitaker
Nintendo sent out a press release celebrating Women's History Month with details about the history of its strong female characters, but I think the company might have missed the point. In the gallery below are pictures that w...

Why are so few of Evolve's characters female?

Feb 08 // Kyle MacGregor
At one point this involved reworking a female character into a man. Markov, one of the assaults, started out as Nikola, but Robb says his character designers never quite realized their vision for her. Consequently, she was scrapped in favor of what would wind up a male form. Asked if Turtle Rock felt pressure from the outside to make those sort of changes, Robb said his team never discussed which demographics would be represented or in what capacity. Apparently, it was just about "making cool, compelling characters."  "One of things that was really important to the character team, we wanted to make the female characters we do have strong, intelligent, cool female characters," he said. "We kept all their clothes on. We didn't go for the whole Dead or Alive-- There's no boob jiggle or any of that bullshit." Robb said the team has many more character ideas kicking around, "a lot" of which are female. He hopes to explore them should the game do well at market. We'll just have to wait and see. Evolve launches this Tuesday, February 10 for Xbox One, PC, and PlayStation 4.
Evolve female characters photo
The creative director responds
Evolve will launch with twelve hunters: eight men, three women, and a robot, though it's referred to as a "he." Of the three female characters, two are medics (Val and Caira) and the other (Maggie) is a trapper. There are cur...

Mobile Games photo
Mobile Games

Women spending more on mobile games than men


...both in terms of time and money
Aug 07
// Kyle MacGregor
Women spend more time and money on mobile games than men, according to a recent study conducted by Yahoo subsidiary Flurry. The mobile analytics firm collected data indicating female players make 31 percent more in-app purcha...
Better photo
Better

eSports tourney keeps women only event, opens men's division to all


Now women can play Hearthstone, too
Jul 03
// Steven Hansen
The International eSports Federation recently announced, in an "effort to promote e-Sports as a legitimate sport," its upcoming tournament would be segregated based on gender. Because, you know, that's what the real sports do...
She Got Game photo
She Got Game

She Got Game doc focuses on the strengths of women in gaming


Featuring Dames making Games, competitive Smash players and more
Apr 20
// Jonathan Holmes
One of the criticisms that's commonly levied at feminism (in gaming or otherwise) is that it focuses a lot on what people can't or shouldn't do, and not enough on what they can and should do. I don't share that criticism ove...
Tropes vs Women in Games photo
Tropes vs Women in Games

Latest Tropes vs Women in Games is all very reasonable


Don't fly off the handle all at once now
Nov 19
// Steven Hansen
"Ms. Male" is not a comfortable thing to say. Really, "Ms." isn't, either. I've just always pronounced it closer to "Miss." Stupid prefixes. Anyway, the newest Tropes vs Women in games -- it's been a while since the last one...
Women for Warface photo
Women for Warface

Crytek's Warface is getting playable women soldiers


It's still a dumb name; also, the ladies are sexualised because of fan feedback
Oct 09
// Steven Hansen
Warface, which I still can't say with a straight face, is adding playable women avatars to the fray. According to executive producer Joshua Howard, speaking to Games Beat, the "female characters are a big hit" in Russia, wher...

Jimquisition: Vertigo

Sep 30 // Jim Sterling
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Jimquisition happens every Monday!
Let's look for a playable woman protagonist in a videogame that doesn't rely on the same pool of restrictive stereotypes as every other playable woman protagonist. To do this, let's look at a fighting game from 1994. That one about the dinosaurs. Yes, that one. Because I damn well sure can't find many better example. Folks, be prepared ... to RAGE.

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Jimquisition happens every Monday!
Freedom of expression is not freedom to express without challenge. A game is within its rights to include any content it does, but that content is not sacred. Puppeteer features a boy as the hero, not a girl. Gavin Moore wa...

Jimquisition: Neutered

Aug 12 // Jim Sterling
Jimquisition photo
Jimquisition happens every Monday!
Why do gamers defend their favorite titles from criticism with such volatility? According to some, it's because they don't want to see their genitalia removed. Is inclusivity the enemy of creativity? Is restriction an inherent part of congeniality? The Jimquisition considers recent controversies against the fear of a game being "neutered" to "pander" to new audiences.

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Rhymedown Spectacular: The Straw Beast


The brains behind Jimquisition and Zero Punctuation get lyrical
Aug 07
// Jim Sterling
This week, your good buddies Yahtzee n' Jim both take a turn for the horrific. There's a loving ode to Slender Man, coupled with the boasting of the nefarious Straw Beast. The eldritch terrors that lie within are not for the faint of heart.  You have been warned. Wooooaaaaahhhhhh!
Tropes vs Women in Games photo
Tropes vs Women in Games

Tropes vs Women in Video Games: Damsel in Distress part 3


The dude abides
Aug 02
// Steven Hansen
In the third "Damsel in Distress" portion of Tropes vs Women in Video Games, Anita Sarkeesian looks at the "ironic sexism" that has accompanied retro sensibilities being in vogue and looks at the reversal of the "damsel" tro...
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Lightning Returns director ordered bigger, jiggling boobs


Sigh
Jul 29
// Jim Sterling
Lightning's either experienced a miracle or paid for a boob job in Lightning Returns, bumping up from a Japanese C cup to a D Cup. Her breasts will also jiggle now, depending on what she's wearing, because the director wanted...
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Nintendo PR actively promoting playable female characters


Pikmin 3 hailed as the start of many
Jul 25
// Jim Sterling
Nintendo is generally thought to exist in its own fancy little bubble, protected from the outside world and faintly out of touch with the rest of us. However, Nintendo of America's marketing department may be a bit more savvy...

Jimquisition: Gamer Guys

Jul 08 // Jim Sterling
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Jimquisition happens every Monday!
Jimquisition travels to another time and another place, examining a world taken over by gamer guys and their testosterone-addled inanity. Something must be done! Fortunately, your ol' pal Jim Sterling is here to take those insincere culture thieves down a peg, and put gaming in the hands of those to whom it belongs. Welcome to the Sarkybastardverse, which is definitely a real thing now.

Gamers urge Nintendo for a playable Zelda

Jul 03 // Jim Sterling
I can really see no reason why this shouldn't be a thing. Whatever your feelings on gender representation in games might be, I think we can all at least agree the kidnapped princess thing is more than a little played out. It'd be fantastic to see Zelda have far more agency in her own story, and if that means making her playable, that'll be all for the better.  People merrily flipped out during E3 when it was revealed Princess Peach would be playable for the first time in forever in Super Mario 3D World, while Zelda herself has proven no stranger to kicking ass in the Super Smash Bros. series. Meanwhile, enterprising coders have done the legwork and made Zelda playable on their own time, so it's not like people don't want it.  Obviously, Nintendo will do what Nintendo will do, because Nintendo is Nintendo and that's what it does. I would definitely be on board for a game actively starring the princess, though, and it's very clear I'm far from the only one who would.
Playable Zelda petition photo
Hell, her name's in the title!
Nintendo is being asked by fans to make Zelda, the eponymous princess of the Legend of Zelda series, a stronger and more influential character. Responding to Eiji Aonuma, who said he'd consider a playable Zelda if fans reques...

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Game magazine scrubs Ellie from The Last of Us artwork


The Creepy Cull continues
Jun 19
// Jim Sterling
I've talked at length about the Creepy Cull of female protagonists in the game industry, where women are shunted off promotional materials and deemed unworthy to act as playable characters. It seems the scythe is wielded not ...
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Microsoft clarifies Xbox One's Killer Instinct situation


Not scripted, says Microsoft
Jun 10
// Jim Sterling
[Update: Microsoft has issued a response to the kerfuffle surrounding the incident this morning, which reads as such: "The comments in question during the Killer Instinct demo were not scripted. The demo was meant to include...

Boy's club: Why don't more women play EVE Online?

Jun 03 // Joseph Leray
Despite only comprising a meager four percent of the user base, women aren’t entirely unrepresented in EVE Online. Ali Aras, for example, is the online name of a woman currently serving as vice-secretary of EVE’s eighth Council of Stellar Management, a player-elected committee that liaises between developers and players. Still, EVE Online’s gender ratio is overwhelmingly, if not surprisingly, dominated by men, even compared to other MMOs. In a paper for Beyond Barbie and Mortal Kombat: New Perspectives on Gender and Gaming, researcher Nick Yee presents the result of a multi-year survey of over 40,000 MMO players: roughly 15% of them are women. If EVE Online were trending with the broader landscape of MMOs, we should expect to see almost four times as many women than are currently subscribed. “I think we have to be realistic about what EVE Online is,” says Thor Gunnarsson, vice-president of business development at CCP. “Science fiction-themed worlds tend to attract men.” In a separate interview, EVE senior producer Andie Nordgren echoes Gunnarsson’s explanation, almost verbatim: “Part of it is due to the theme of the game. Science fiction is an extremely male-dominated domain,” she tells me. If EVE Online’s hard-nosed sci-fi trappings have been a stumbling block for women players, CCP is hoping that the supernatural horror of World of Darkness, an in-development MMO based on White Wolf’s Vampire: the Masquerade series, proves more alluring. World of Darkness centers on the interpersonal drama and large-scale politics of a group of vampire clans, set against a gritty, urban backdrop. “When White Wolf was really the rock star of the pen-and-paper games industry, what they did was they created a fiction setting that, back in the day, had an almost equal gender balance,” Gunnarsson explains. “That was unheard of in tabletop gaming, and we’re certainly hoping to achieve something similar with World of Darkness in the future.” “The genre lends itself towards having a female population,” senior producer Chris McDonough explains. “When we were making Vampire: the Masquerade, you’d go to conventions and events and there was a significant number of women in that audience.” “Will there be more women interested in this than in EVE? The answer is yes.” It’s not enough to chalk the dearth of women playing EVE Online to their perceived distaste for science fiction, though: the game’s accessibility, interface, complexity, and design are also at fault. “There’s bad complexity in EVE,” Nordgren tells me bluntly. “Only a certain type of person will ever work their way through it, and the majority of those people are guys.” One example of bad complexity she gives is that new players often don’t have access to the information they need to understand the game’s mechanics. “We have those kinds of accessibility problems that we’re working on,” she explains, “and I think if we can shift some of this bad complexity out and just keep some of the good, interesting, challenging complexity, then we should get more female players as a result of that.” However, “It’s not a goal for us as a development team to specifically increase the number of female players,” Nordgren says. Having a broader and more balanced fanbase would be a by product of good design, “more an indicator than something strive for.” McDonough and his team are taking a similar tack with World of Darkness. Referring to his work on Vampire: the Masquerade, he explains that his team "never made a product that catered or specifically targeted women; we made a product that we thought would appeal to all gamers.” “Women are gamers just like everybody else, and our role isn’t to specifically point a product at them, but instead to make a product that we think satisfies a lot of different player-types,” he continues. “And when women fall into that player-type, that’s fantastic, and we think there will be some in World of Darkness.”
EVE Online photo
Better design will attract more diverse players, says CCP
According to David Reid, CCP Games' chief marketing officer, 96 percent of the people subscribing to his company's flagship MMO EVE Online are male. That's crazy high.

Promoted Blog photo
Promoted Blog

The secret origin of Princess Peach


Promoted from our Community Blogs!
Jun 01
// Voltech
[Dtoid community blogger Voltech just blew my mind. --Mr Andy Dixon] I know that opinions may vary pretty wildly on the game, but in all honesty, I like PlayStation All-Stars. I like it a lot more than I thought I would, and ...
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Tropes vs Women in Video Games: Damsel in Distress part 2


The Call of Sarkeesian rings out once more
May 29
// Jim Sterling
Tropes vs Women in Video Games, the series that is single-handedly destroying all of gaming because a woman said a thing on the Internet once, has launched its second episode. That'll explain why all babies cried out in the ...
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Xbox One reveal has TWO WOMEN on a stage at once!


Sony humiliated in shock turn of events!
May 21
// Jim Sterling
When Sony had its PS4 reveal a while back, some people wondered why it had absolutely zero women on stage. Microsoft has today gained an early advantage in the console war, managing to fit not one, but TWO women in its Xbox O...

How eager nipples and a tight thong fought casual sexism

May 15 // Jim Sterling
Bro-sie the Riveter was created as a male counterpart to Ms. Underboob, and was hung in her place ... with emphasis on the hung.  Things went well on the morning of the switch. Anonymous was giddy with delight, co-workers discovered the prank (unleashed on April 1) and laughed. Everything was fine until Mark Long himself arrived, and saw his beloved boobs replaced with a magnificent man-package.  "We hear a loud: 'What the hell is this?!' And then all goes quiet. Ten minutes pass. We panic. "We are both suddenly and painfully aware that we have, in fact, just punked the CEO of our company. He is by all accounts an awesome dude. He is also a late-50s ex-army guy who happens to determine our employment futures in an at-will state. Meep." Fortunately, Long is as awesome as the employee hints, as he not only saw the funny side, he reflected on how his choice of decor may affect others.  "That was a brilliant prank," Long told his employee, "You called me on exactly the bullshit I need to be called on. I put up pictures of half-naked girls around the office all the time and I never think about it. I’m taking you and Sam to lunch. And after that, we’re going to hang both prints, side by side." It can be argued that Long kind of missed the point, since the original poster is still up. It's at least a compromise though, which is one step in a half-decent direction. You don't get too many of them these days, and it's always pleasant to see. It's also a nice lesson in how many people might come across as assholes but are just, well, kind of ignorant of a problem and, once they're aware, they can take steps to fix their part in it.  Not always though. Some of them really are just total assholes. You need to call them out on their shit to separate them, though, and this was certainly an amusing example of that being done. 
Sexy Hawken photo
Bro-sie the Riveter versus Ruby Underboob
Hawken publisher Meteor has, in its office, a piece of art featuring a woman with a bountiful underboob and very little in the way of clothing, hung in place by CEO Mark Long. The half-naked woman, named "Ruby Underboob"...

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Jimquisition happens every Monday!
A common argument in the ongoing debate over gender and videogames is that women and men both are equally objectified. Is that really true? As always, Emperor God King Jim Sterling puts His holy foot down and delivers wisdom true to the masses. He totally isn't smug about it, either!

Gearbox artist slams Dragon's Crown character design

May 01 // Jim Sterling
As one might expect, Hamm's comments have drawn considerable heat from Dragon's Crown fans, particularly on NeoGAF. Gearbox's own history of female design has been brought up multiple times in response to the criticism, with Borderlands' Mad Moxxi and Duke Nukem Forever's entire existence providing alleged examples of similar female objectification.  Images such as the one above have been used to refute Hamm's point, though to be fair, it's worth pointing out that Hamm is responsible only for Gearbox's environmental art, and her own designs of female characters are both tasteful and quite excellent. Still, gender issues are treacherous waters, and it's inevitable Gearbox's history would be part of the splashback.  That said, it's also been argued that Gearbox's designs as they stand can't be compared to Dragon's Crown's overtly exaggerated characters.  "Nothing in Borderlands posted so far is remotely in the same ballpark," said one NeoGAF poster.  Indeed, while Moxxi clearly has her breasts on show, she is at least sensibly proportioned and her costume actually fits the context of her character. She's not going out to battle dressed in that attire, she's supposed to be an entertainer and the owner of a bar with a deliberately titillating aesthetic. That's not to say she's designed inherently "better" than Tamikani's characters, but it's hard to compare the two in this particular discussion.  In any case, the Dragon's Crown debate rages on, even as those who claim to be tired of it continue to post in forum and comment threads every time it comes up. Indeed, this shows no signs of going away yet.  Still, this is probably the most advertising a Vanillaware game's ever gotten.
Dragon's Crown photo
The boob wars continue
The Dragon's Crown "thing" shows no sign of stopping, with vehement and sometimes venomous opinions flying this way and that. To bring you up to speed, Vanillaware's upcoming brawler features a big-boobed Sorceress, the desig...

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Jimquisition: Boob Wars and Dragon Crowns


Jimquisition happens every Monday!
Apr 29
// Jim Sterling
Dragon's Crown has become the latest game involved in a big argument. Big boobs, burly dwarves, and Kotaku were all involved. Gender issues in games are important. They are worth thinking about. They are, contrary to po...

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