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Subject: Sexist game design? rss

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Carl Frodge
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Why would a designer make part or all of their game blatantly sexist?

I was watching a How To Play video for Rampage, which I didn't know anything about before the video, and I just don't understand. Why would a designer blatantly make part of their game sexist? What could they possibly gain by doing this? A bad reputation? Less fans? I just don't get it.
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Moshe Callen
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Unfortunately it increases sales and gains publicity.
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Tobias Strobe
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Would you kindly link to the video/explain the sexist material?
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Donald
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Or describe it slowly....
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Carl Frodge
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whac3 wrote:
Unfortunately it increases sales and gains publicity.
How sad...

Ilthuain wrote:
Would you kindly link to the video/explain the sexist material?
Nothing about the video is sexist, the game itself is. Essentially, the only women (designated by the fact that they have a dress) in the world of Rampage are Blondes (which in and of itself is a stereotype for ditzy, stupid women), and that's their only defining feature. Whereas the men all have important jobs like Reportter, Soldier, and Businessman.

The fact that they put a dress on a meeple to signify it as a woman only makes it worse, because before, a meeple was a meeple, no specified gender. But by adding the dress, it says "This is a woman, women are ditzy and stupid and wear dresses, and are defined by their hair color, and the ones without a dress are men, men have jobs and are defined by their skills."

This is the video:


I want to aslo clarify a few things:
1.I love Rodney Smith's videos and that includes this one.
2.I don't automatically think Rampage is a terrible game because of this aspect of it.
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Seth Iniguez
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This goes back a couple layers, but . . .

Rampage appears to be based off the '80s video game, which is based off of old giant monster movies.

The concept of the 'blonde' is based off of Fae Wray's character in King Kong. As the movie is 80 years old, it may come across as dated, and the game carries some of the same baggage in an attempt to be true to the original source material.

Could the designers have attempted to take a more modern look at the role of women in resisting giant monsters? Sure, but they might have not quite matched the same 'feel' of the original source material.

Although I am a feminist, I don't find the Rampage game to be particularly offensive when viewed within its certain historical context.
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Michael Carter
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Do you not know what Rampage is? Have you never played the video games?
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agentkuo wrote:
This is a woman, women are ditzy and stupid and wear dresses...

I dunno...

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Crypt Keeper
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On the other hand...

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Tobias Strobe
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Okay, now that I have a better idea, I'll tell you what this looks like from my perspective (male video game designer, late 30s).

It probably wasn't intentional. Very little thought was put into the messages conveyed by the characters in the game, other than "this is a trope that we see in monster movies". Monster movie tropes are pretty damn sexist... that doesn't greatly bother some people (like me and my wife), but it makes sense that it could bother others. Sexism in monster movies is a fairly ubiquitous, so honestly I wouldn't expect this to be much different simply because it is a board game.

The meeples wearing dresses is not inherently sexist. Some people wear dresses and this changes their profile. Not having played the game, it might be sexist in practice. I don't see how switching from a gender neutral figure to a gendered figure is necessarily sexist or problematic, although it is possible if you try.

I've worked on games where we intentionally made female characters more sexy in order to push sales, and it was far more blatant than having women in dresses. As Moshe said, it totally works... and that's why we do it in those cases.

There are some excellent examples of more overt sexism in board game design. IMO, the sexism in this game (from what I've seen) is more of a lazy cultural sexism amplified by the theme.
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Carl Frodge
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Gialmere wrote:
agentkuo wrote:
This is a woman, women are ditzy and stupid and wear dresses...

I dunno...

Problematic bathroom signs is another issue entirely.

mlcarter815 wrote:
Do you not know what Rampage is? Have you never played the video games?
Yes, I have, they're quite fun. The portrayal of women in the video games was sexist too.
 
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Clay
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agentkuo wrote:


mlcarter815 wrote:
Do you not know what Rampage is? Have you never played the video games?
Yes, I have, they're quite fun. The portrayal of women in the video games was sexist too.

Right. That's the point. The game uses a sexist portrayal to mirror a sexist portrayal in the source material that is being emulated, or at least that's what I would assume is happening. Is it problematic to reference sexism? Certainly there's a risk of being misunderstood but once the intent is clear all should be fine, right?
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Paul W
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None of the Meeples in that game have any meaningful identity, our any agency. From my experiences with the game,I think calling it sexist is an example of political correctness run amok. I do think sexism in board games is a legitimate concern...I just don't find this to be a reasonable example of it.
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bjlillo wrote:
Gialmere wrote:
agentkuo wrote:
This is a woman, women are ditzy and stupid and wear dresses...

I dunno...


That's not a dress. It's a cape.

i thought women are depicted wearing a cone of shame around their bodies.

 
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bjlillo wrote:
Gialmere wrote:
agentkuo wrote:
This is a woman, women are ditzy and stupid and wear dresses...

I dunno...


That's not a dress. It's a cape.

is it a bird?, is it a plane?
 
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Moshe Callen
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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mlcarter815 wrote:
Do you not know what Rampage is? Have you never played the video games?
Never even heard of it before.
 
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2010s board game based on a mid 80s arcade game based on 1950s B-Movie Drive-In monster films.

Sexist game design? No.


The art direction is called spoof or homage.


Now if you claim that it is Monsterist, well you have me there.
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Michael Carter
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whac3 wrote:
mlcarter815 wrote:
Do you not know what Rampage is? Have you never played the video games?
Never even heard of it before.

You need to get out more.
 
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Moshe Callen
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
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mlcarter815 wrote:
whac3 wrote:
mlcarter815 wrote:
Do you not know what Rampage is? Have you never played the video games?
Never even heard of it before.

You need to get out more.
Where would I have to go?
 
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whac3 wrote:
mlcarter815 wrote:
whac3 wrote:
mlcarter815 wrote:
Do you not know what Rampage is? Have you never played the video games?
Never even heard of it before.

You need to get out more.
Where would I have to go?

It's old school enough that you could probably find it or knock-off versions of it as a flash game somewhere online. I know you can almost certainly get it for a variety of emulators if you wanted to go to those lengths. I remember having a lot of fun with it but can't tell you if it's aged well.

Synopsis: Three (or more in the sequels) people have been transformed into giant monsters by toxic waste and decide to tear everything apart for some reason that is probably clarified but that nobody really cares about. So you walk around as a giant ape or whatever punching buildings (which you can also climb and jump around on) and gobbling up pedestrians on the street or hanging out of windows. Endless hordes of soldiers and tanks tickle you with their bullets the whole time too. It's pretty much the same level over and over with slight variations but somehow it stays entertaining, especially with a friend or two to mess with.
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whac3 wrote:
mlcarter815 wrote:
whac3 wrote:
mlcarter815 wrote:
Do you not know what Rampage is? Have you never played the video games?
Never even heard of it before.

You need to get out more.
Where would I have to go?

A 1986 video arcade.
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Moshe Callen
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
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lfisher wrote:
whac3 wrote:
mlcarter815 wrote:
whac3 wrote:
mlcarter815 wrote:
Do you not know what Rampage is? Have you never played the video games?
Never even heard of it before.

You need to get out more.
Where would I have to go?

A 1986 video arcade.
Ah, as a teenager in the 80's I looked at video games as a waste of money I rarely had. I tended to buy books instead.
 
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whac3 wrote:
lfisher wrote:
whac3 wrote:
mlcarter815 wrote:
whac3 wrote:
mlcarter815 wrote:
Do you not know what Rampage is? Have you never played the video games?
Never even heard of it before.

You need to get out more.
Where would I have to go?

A 1986 video arcade.
Ah, as a teenager in the 80's I looked at video games as a waste of money I rarely had. I tended to buy books instead.


Well, duh.


That's why kids played them, and bought comic books, baseball cards, candy, D&D, movies and parachute pants.


If you were any good you could play and hour of Rampage for like $1.50...about half of the time and about the same money invested in seeing a movie.


Of course I was the neighborhood kid, never at a loss for jobs. Mowing lawns, going to the grocery store, raking leaves, babysitting, washing cars, 300 copy morning paper route.

I spent my money as it came in on frivolous pop culture crap that now I have a 20 years career in.


and my pop & lock routine is still pretty fresh
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Moshe Callen
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I was a poor kid and rarely had any money. $0.25 was a lot o money to me, even as a teenager. The nearest place to get a job was not in walking distance either except for the odd chores I did for a neighbor.
 
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Monsters chasing blondes is as old as King Kong. It fits perfectly with the genre and isn't remotely sexist. You could make an argument that the original monster movies are sexist, but certainly not the game.
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