A few ways games and designers can advance (s)


Here, in the cesspool known as the Internet, there is a huge out crying to videogame designers for certain changes in the way games are presented in terms of the characters. Some people are making claims such as, “It’s about time that we had XXX”, or even, “Why not make XXX a YYY just because?” Well, thank god the game designers don’t listen to those idiots.

However, just like a shiny piece of corn in an otherwise pile of muddy diarrhea, there is some small glimmer of intelligence in those requests. Unlike them, who present the notions and ideas like a child wearing a helmet licking glass in a candy store, I’m going to bring up them up in a way which actually makes sense. Made it past the “trolololo” intro? Good, you’re on your way to some enlightenment as a gamer and/or designer.

This isn’t going to be straight forward list, since I absolutely despise that “writing” style, so expect to read. I’ll also list a few games which got “it” right after each subject addressed.


1. More Male or Female Selections or Just Good Female Protagonists
I’m loving the fact more games are showcasing more females as leads. Not because it’s needed, it’s just a nice new take on things. I’ll admit to being a little burned out on playing the badass Rambo-esque guy. There are obviously games which need it, but let’s have some fresh takes on things. Games like Outlast, even though they feature a male lead, are excellent because you’re not a walking death-god. There was nothing scary about F.E.A.R. outside of jump scares because you could take out anything in your path. <– (A conversation for another entry)

What we do need is the ability in more games to choose if you’re male or female. There has to be a reason for it, though, and not a “just because”. Lara Croft, as the best example, has proven people don’t give a damn if you’re male or female in a game which doesn’t give you the option of choosing as long as the character is likeable and the gameplay is solid. Skullgirls was awesome and featured an all female cast.

We don’t need a female protagonist in Grand Theft Auto. Would it be an interesting change? Yes. It’s not needed, though. Is it really necessary to make your hero a woman? No, but if it fits, then do it. Don’t do it just because a bunch of whiny, hand out babies demand it.

Games which got it right:
Skyrim
Fable 1/2/3
Borderlands 1/2
Grand Theft Auto 5: GTA Online
Mass Effect 1/2/3
Skullgirls
Tomb Raider (all entries)
Neverwinter Nights 1/2
Dragon Age: Origins
Left 4 Dead 1/2


2. LB/GT Options and Characters
Before a lot of my reader base starts screaming at me over the fact I don’t support gay marriage: Shut up.

There, so anyway, as long as things are there for a reason, why not? I’m not interested in having my male character slam butts or having my female character slam clams, but there should be the option for those who do. Obviously this wouldn’t work in all games, but for open world games where we’re supposed to be making up our own version of the story this would make sense. Of course it wouldn’t make sense if it’s established characters such as Grand Theft Auto 5, so don’t start thinking along those lines.

How about some gay antagonists, such as Gay Tony from Grand Theft Auto 4: Episodes from Liberty City: The Ballad of Gay Tony? Say what you will, he was antagonist for sure. Maybe not directly to your character, but oh yeah, he was a bad guy. Or how about Silva from Skyfall? The enemy doesn’t have to be like he’s marching in a pride parade (a dildo strapped to and pointed into his butt while wearing a thong, fruit basket hat, and screaming, “I’m a pony! I’m a pony!”), but he could help make things uncomfortable. I know Silva sure made things creepy in Skyfall.

For the love of god, though, don’t go the damn Dr Who or, more specifically, Torchwood route where everyone is bi-sexual. Give me a damn break. Sorry, but Russell T. Davies only thinks he can write for adults. No, Anthony Burch, he doesn’t know how to write LB/GT characters and you need to stop taking writing cues from him. Oooh, I’m such a bitch.

Also, don’t force it on gamers. Don’t force gamers to engage in the activities, just leave it as an option if they so wish. Then again, forcing your player to deal with an LB/GT interaction to make them uncomfortable is okay. If the character is straight and suddenly they’re forced into a situation they have to get away from, then hey, that’s all fair enough.

Would I have a problem playing a lesbian or gay character in a narrative? Nope, just don’t force me to engage in sexual activities. We aren’t forced to engage in sexual activities in games with straight characters. Just be fucking mature about this and don’t think you HAVE to put those activities in the game just to emphasis the sexuality of the characters.

Games which got it right:
Fable 1/2/3
Skyrim
Grand Theft Auto 4: Episodes from Liberty City: The Ballad of Gay Tony


3. Racism and Sexism
Be it your protagonist, antagonist, or NPC, include it. Racism and sexism is real and should not be avoided. Father Comstock in Bioshock: Infinite was such an excellent antagonist because he was much more than a fist shaker. He had personality and his deep rooted racism helped define him. The racism portrayed by father Comstock helped give me reason to hate him.

I know what some of you are thinking: Vaas from Far Cry 3 made you hate him! Not really…I never had a reason to hate neither him nor Buck. I didn’t think they were good people and felt that gaming world was better off without them, but I never felt the deep seated urge to full on annihilate them.

Racism and sexism can both help the player to either despise or agree with someone. If you don’t think there are people out there who played Red Dead Redemption and agreed with Herbert Moon, well, you’re wrong. Also, making a character racist or sexist can give the character more flavor. It’s a great way to make the player feel a little uncomfortable. A character’s in-game friend who is one, either, or both can give the player that conflicting emotion in a game filled with choices, be them moral, ethical, or mission based.

What I’m very obviously not talking about here is anything like Ride to Hell. That’s just pure exploitism and provides nothing to the experience. Still, there would be nothing wrong with finding out the main villain or even an adversary is running a forced prostitution ring which needs to be broken up or something similar. What about a woman who hates men just because? No reason, she just hates men because of some stupid skewed view of the world? Yeah, paint feminism in that terrible light just like chauvinism.

Games which got it right:
Bioshock: Infinite
Red Dead Redemption
Skyrim
Mass Effect 1/2/3


4. Female Villains and Enemies
Right up there with the ability to choose a male or female character is to have more female enemies. Some women are just bad people and some women are bad people who actually hurt people or have them hurt. I find Brooke Augustine from Infamous: Second Son to be one of the best female antagonists ever. She was highly effective, extremely sure of herself, and even had the “I’m the good guy!” mentality. Another great villain was Astonema from Power Rangers: In Space. She was extremely effective and just kicked ass. Why aren’t we seeing more of this?

Also, there really does need to be more female enemies. I’m tired of shooting the same carbon copy men. Skyrim got this right with having female enemies show up in the mix. Trust me, only a very small group of people, who aren’t going to be playing your game anyway, will be having problems with killing female enemies. This isn’t a domestic violence issue. This isn’t a sensitivity issue (WTF doesn’t that mean anyway?). It’s a political and bias issue for not doing it. Looking at you, Anthony Birch, once again. Yep…gotta call you out on this bullshit.

If I’m going against a criminal organization, chances are, there’s going to be some females involved in the illegal activities by choice. Sex traders let women be in charge of looking after, forcing, and “educating” the women they kidnap into the trade. Let’s see that reflected in the games.

Want equality? Start giving it and stop looking away from making women or certain demographics be involved. Also, make the females human!

Game which got it right
Skyrim
Infamous: Second Son
Mass Effect 1/2/3
God of War 1/2/3
Left 4 Dead 1/2


There…there’s four ways you can mature and evolve in game design and story writing. Don’t let your political biases or personal whinings to limit you in it all.

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3 thoughts on “A few ways games and designers can advance (s)

    • Regardless, that doesn’t take away from doing the things listed here. What you’re talking about is definitely a topic for another full entry.

      • Not at all =) Just posting my two cents ya douche LOL. Maybe you and I can put together something in the future about this other topic

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