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Author Topic: Feminist Game Design [split from Religion in Role-Playing]  (Read 17233 times)
Thuringwaethiel
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Posts: 17


« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2004, 08:19:33 AM »

Quote from: pete_darby
LHoD: well, LeGuin managed to get at least one novel out of it, so there should be enough to get at least one session of a game ;-)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't it all about the politics? (confession: I've been following the Guardian's recent UKL kick, so I'm better "externally informed" about her stuff than I have bene for a long time). In the novel, there's at least two big political situations: the slide into war, and the intervention of the Ekumen. Both of these are subtly informed and modified by the hermaphroditism of the Gethenians.


It's been a while since I read LHoD, but let's see.. Great text, BTW, although there was a couple of details that bugged me. But the big lines first: I don't remember the Ekumen stuff, but wasn't the coming war the first actual war in their history? Something to suggest that since there were no males, many reasons to war were absent, but also that not all wars are "male thing". Or something..

The two things that stuck out to my eyes (IIRC): lack of rape and presentation of homosexuality. First, it makes sense that there would be less sexual violence, but the total absence doesn't sound right. Of course in our world vast majority of abuse is by man and upon a woman, but all other variants exist too. And the homosexuality thingie.. Gethenians were represented as majorly "straight" but "gays" were also mentioned. Not very realistic since there was only one sex. That means everybody are homosexual by default (and if someone happens to be straight, they'd be in trouble since there is no opposite sex).

Ok, enough off-topic rant, I had something to say, also..

Quote
Next question: why is questioning gender roles necessarily feminist?


It's not, actually. Feminists tend to do it a lot and loudly, though, thus getting all the "credit". There are professions that study gender roles (historians, sociologists), and gender roles are big issue to gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgendered and transsexed people, too. I'd guess people in job life and sports have to grab the bull by the horns every now and then. And let's not forget the RPG designers.... ;)

Of course we might think any gender role questioning drives the feminist agenda, but as declared, there are many different "schools" of feminism, several of them in semi-open war with each other. For example, I'm a feminist myself, but I despise some people who call themselves with same label. Their worldview differs vastly from my own. Then again, protestants and catholics are both christians, and look what that did to them..
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Matt Wilson
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 1121

student, second edition


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« Reply #16 on: February 12, 2004, 08:37:45 AM »

Hey James:

First, it's really cool to see a thread where a bunch of guys are talking about feminist issues, and I think it's awesome of you to want to explore the stuff.

My take on feminism is that it has everything to do with empowerment. Who's making the decisions about women? Can women make all the same choices that men can? With the same ease?

To make a successful game that focused purely on that? I dunno. My fear is that it'd be too easy to rely on loud stereotypes and say, "that's not me," which would run contrary to the whole point.

Where I work, we have maybe 8 women in a company of about 60. How do you deal with something like that in a game? I'm sure nobody here thinks they're sexist, but there's still an imbalance and nobody really talks about it.

One other thought: MLwM is easy to "get" because we have a pretty solid understanding of what a healthy relationship is supposed to be. There are plenty of real-world examples. Where is there such an example regarding gender-equality?
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Emily Care
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« Reply #17 on: February 12, 2004, 09:16:31 AM »

Hi all,

My take on addressing gender issues and sexism in a game is one I'm developing called Breaking the Ice.  It's a two person game where you play a character of the gender (or ethnicity, politics, sexual orientation etc), of the other player. Each person is a player and gm or guide in turn, and the goal is to create complex, satisfying characters.  The setting is a series of dates that the characters go on.

I've been working on this for a good while, but finally it's in (at least alpha) playtestable form.   I'll have to get it out on the indie game forum soon.

I have hopes for it being a good approach to create dialogue about gender expectations and roles, as well as to break them down. The funny thing to me about writing it is that I don't believe in gender except as a cultural construct. So here I am writing a game based on these differences as part of the premise!

Yrs,
Emily Care
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clehrich
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« Reply #18 on: February 12, 2004, 09:20:47 AM »

Quote from: Emily Care
The funny thing to me about writing it is that I don't believe in gender except as a cultural construct. So here I am writing a game based on these differences as part of the premise!
This makes perfect logical sense to me.  By making such structures as gender explicitly constructed, i.e. by having each player work to build up such things within play, you reveal the constructed nature of gender and so forth.

Sounds cool -- I look forward to it on the Indie Games forum.

Chris Lehrich
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Chris Lehrich
lumpley
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« Reply #19 on: February 12, 2004, 10:25:40 AM »

I've been privileged to see a little bit of Em's game, and it's going to be wicked cool.

I think that the "problem" of feminist games is very much like the problem of Christian games.  To genuinely take on the issues, you have to take them on at the player level, not the in-game level.  That means: you create gender-charged in-game situations for the players to pronounce judgement on.  And that in turn means: you risk the players coming to the "wrong" conclusions.  You can't have a game that both provokes actual thought about an issue and preconstrains which side you'll come down on.

Provoking actual thought about gender is what makes a feminist game, I'd say, at least according to my own feminism.  For men, simply thinking about gender is a feminist act; discussing and examining it with other people is admirable and pretty hardcore.

Given that, My Life with Master is a feminist game for sure.  I can't imagine how you'd play My Life with Master without making moral judgements about gender and gender-based relationships.  Notice, for instance, that right there in the rules it says that Master isn't married.  However that plays out in your game, it's a feminist issue you'll be addressing.

Trollbabe's another one.  Gender issues you'll have to confront, right in the title of the game.

And Nicotine Girls!

-Vincent
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Doctor Xero
Member

Posts: 433


« Reply #20 on: February 12, 2004, 12:42:25 PM »

Much to respond to . . .

Quote from: pete_darby
Next question: why is questioning gender roles necessarily feminist?


Only because women were the first gender in modern history to question gender roles in an organized
fashion.  For Anglo-Europeans, this questioning began centuries ago in England, when the oppressiveness
of male gender roles caused serious emotional problems but the oppressiveness of female gender roles
was literally life-threatening and therefore more immediately intolerable for its victims.

There is still a tremendous amount of political distrust of any focus on male gender oppression out of the
(not always unreasonable) fear that this will discount female gender oppression.  It still frustrates me
that the paranoid hostility of a tiny but very loud minority of feminists destroyed the majority of profeminist
men's groups, leaving only chauvenist men's groups such as Promisekeepers around for men seeking
support groups.  The result : the only remaining supportive groups for men reinforce sexist gender roles.

I find all this personally frustrating.  I have faced a great deal of prejudice for being a male feminist and
gender scholar.

Quote from: Thuringwaethiel
That means everybody are homosexual by default (and if someone happens to be straight, they'd be in trouble
since there is no opposite sex)


If memory serves, the Gethenians were referencing people who remained one gender only as perverse -- in
their world the concept of homosexuality would have no meaning, but a refusal to be both genders would strike
them as a defiance of biology.  Insisting on being always masculine or always feminine was seen as perverse on
that world.

Quote from: Thuringwaethiel
Of course in our world vast majority of abuse is by man and upon a woman


Actually, that's a falsehood propagated by gender role blinders and ideological incredulity -- according to
gender roles, women must be the victims (this idea was popularized by the Matriarch Feminists in 1600s
England to evoke sympathy for the plight of women), so it's easier for most people to imagine women as
victims of abuse, and according to gender roles men must be empowered or lose all identity rights, so it's
easier for most people to imagine men as the force of authority (and therefore the victimizers) in such
situations.

However, the most accurate studies have shown that the majority of victims of non-lethal spouse abuse are
men not women.  This is one of the tragedies of gender role stereotyping -- that people's intuitions are so
thoroughly filtered through gender roles that these studies are ignored, discounted, or as has occurred
many times, rebutted with the claim that "When a man injures a woman it is abusive but when a woman
injures a man he must have had it coming to him!"

I still recall one gender studies forum where a man admitted publically that he had been a victim of spouse
abuse.  One of the women there told him that he must not be much of a man, then, and therefore his own
experiences were irrelevant.

Quote from: sirogit
I had this idea of a game that parodies WW and their typical caste systems, with the game based on the creature
Human with two separate castes, Man & Woman. Each having a written doctrine on how they view the other.
Guess it's a lot lighter than what people were aiming for in this thread but it's interesting as a different method.


< loud laughter! > I love it!

In general, the most admirable feminists and men's movement scholars and activists I have met all have
a good sense of humor about these things -- I suspect it is what enables them to keep their sanity!

Quote from: Emily Care
My take on addressing gender issues and sexism in a game is one I'm developing called Breaking the Ice.
It's a two person game where you play a character of the gender (or ethnicity, politics, sexual orientation
etc), of the other player.


Is there any chance you might create a form of that which I could use with my associates and friends who are
not RPG people?  I think such a game would be wonderfully useful in my work with various activist circles,
gender studies groups, etc., but not if I have to first school them in the notions of RPGs.

Thanks!

Doctor Xero
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KingstonC
Member

Posts: 51


« Reply #21 on: February 12, 2004, 05:45:03 PM »

Hello,

Quote from: Doctor Xero


Actually, that's a falsehood propagated by gender role blinders and ideological incredulity -- according to
gender roles, women must be the victims (this idea was popularized by the Matriarch Feminists in 1600s
England to evoke sympathy for the plight of women), so it's easier for most people to imagine women as
victims of abuse, and according to gender roles men must be empowered or lose all identity rights, so it's
easier for most people to imagine men as the force of authority (and therefore the victimizers) in such
situations.


reading this, It got me thinking about the archetype of the "warrior woman" in RPGs and fandom generally. The warrior woman archetype is pretty rare in pop culture before the 1960's and the sexually objectified "hot warrior woman" seems to be a very recent character indeed. But why are all these images appearing now?

Explanations range from the charitable, "Independent, super competent women are sexy!" to the uncharitable "All women are meat! Even you, tough girl!" I suspect that at least some of the appeal of the warrior woman is a direct result of the double standard Dr. Xero speaks of above.

Progressive, feminist friendly men, by definition, must see women as their equals.  In the patriarchy, women are often victims of men's aggression, which the progressive feminist friendly man must oppose. This puts the progressive man in a bind whenever he is in conflict with a woman for he can neither condescend to her, and not treat her as an equal, but he must also handle her with kid gloves, otherwise he would embody the patriarchy.

But, the warrior woman is clearly not going to be the victim of male aggression, so in her the contradiction resolves itself. no wonder the warrior woman is so attractive to modern progressive, feminist friendly men.

For an example of all of this in action, check out Trollbabe comics "naked helpless sacrifice scene" in which only the naked applies.
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Librisia
Member

Posts: 35


« Reply #22 on: February 12, 2004, 06:45:46 PM »

sigroit, I think using humor is an excellent idea.  It would allow people to explore the issues in a non-threatening way.  This would address the concern Matt had about the "not me!" element.

abusive relationships are not always one-sided.  Co-combative relationsips involve partners abusing *eachother*.  

Doctor Xero wrote:
Quote
However, the most accurate studies have shown that the majority of victims of non-lethal spouse abuse are
men not women.


I am skeptipal (to quote a recent breakfast cereal commercial).  If you could send me the bibliographic information on those off the thread, Dr., I would appreciate it.  I'm not saying you're a liar - it's just that your information doesn't jibe with my own experiences (my mother works in domestic abuse victim advocacy).  It's one of those, "I want to check those sources myself" things.  I know men who have been victims of domestic violence - so I'm not trying to diminish that reality either.

Vincent is right (and may yet become another member of my reserve husband list - sorry if you feel demeaned and objectified by that, Vincent) that a game of this sort has to let the players go where they're going to go with the conclusions.  Exploring the issues is a big enough step to satisfy my feminist gaming sensibilities.  Trying to railroad people into the "correct attitude" isn't going to help anything.

James' ideas are interesting.  I would also suggest something like an 'empathy' stat to make you more or less prone to see the oppression of other characters.  But then I also think an "intentions" dynamic of some kind would be useful, for those times when our well-meaning actions end up reinforcing the very stereotypes we think we are fighting.  I stink at game design/mechanics, but these are thoughts that popped that might be useful to those of you out there who are doing the actual designing.

Krista
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Doctor Xero
Member

Posts: 433


« Reply #23 on: February 12, 2004, 07:41:43 PM »

Quote from: Librisia
I am skeptical (to quote a recent breakfast cereal commercial).


I know that a number of people are skeptical about this, as it violates deeply ingrained gender role assumptions, Kristin, but most will simply find it easier to ignore it.  Thank you for asking.

Answering you is not off-topic because it hopefully provides insight into how to handle such issues in feminist games.

Here are a few bits of scholarly research to whet your whistle.  If you want more, yes, I'll look for my notes on this topic, but via e-mail then.

Keep in mind that research on abused men is harder to find because most researchers don't think about it, because there are no major grants for it, and because there is negative political capital in researching it (some professors who discuss domestic abuse have been censured for even mentioning that men are also victims of abuse!).



When a woman is hit in a cartoon, it's a crime, but when a husband is battered, it's a joke (for example, cartoons showing a woman chasing her husband with a rolling-pin for a laugh -- in Disney's Beauty and the Beast, the audience is encouraged to laugh when a huge woman hits her tiny husband with a rolling pin).  In a study in 1963, the researcher pointed out that wives committed 73% of all domestic violence in newspaper comic strips -- and the husband's suffering was depicted as a source of humor (Saenger).

It is similarly true about rape, with male anal rape victims constantly treated as jokes in television and film (just take a look at Mall Rats!) and female rape victims almost never treated as sources of humor.

A study of spousal murder between 1948 and 1952 found that wives and husbands are almost equally likely to murder the other (7.8% by wives, 8% by husbands) (Wolfgang 1958).  A study of spousal murder between 1976 and 1985 found little change except that "Black husbands were at greater risk of spouse homicide victimization than Black wives or White spouses of either sex" (Mercy & Saltzman 1989).

"Nonfatal violence committed by women against men is less likely to be reported to the police than is violence by men against women; thus, women assaulters who come to the attention of the police are likely to be those who have produced a fatal result" (Wilt & Bannon, 1976).

In 1977, researcher Suzanne Steinmetz showed that a higher percentage of wives have used physical violence than the percentage of husbands; a number of studies showed that the wives' average violence score tended to be higher than did the husbands'.  Steinmetz further found that women were no less likely to attack first than were men (Steinmetz 1977-78).  Steinmetz wrote that "the most unreported crime is not wife beating -- it's husband beating" (Langley & Levy 1977).

The result of her studies?  No increases in concerns about husband abuse.  Instead, women alleging they were feminists issued a bomb threat against one of her public speaking engagements, threatened to murder her children, and embarked upon a campaign to have her tenure revoked.

In 1980, a nationally representative study of family violence determined that wives tended to be more abusive in almost all violence categories except pushing and shoving and that the total violence scores between husbands and wives were statistically even (Straus, Gelles & Steinmetz, 1980).

In 1985, Straus & Gelles found that domestic violence against women dropped from 12.1% to 11.3% while domestic violence against men rose from 11.6% to 12.1%, surpassing that of women.  Straus & Gelles wrote that "violence by wives has not been an object of public concern...  In fact, our 1975 study was criticized for presenting statistics on violence by wives."

In 1986, a report on violence in teen dating found that girls were violent more frequently than boys.  (In Social Work, the journal of the National Association of Social Workers, Nov/Dec 1986)

Dave Gross writes, "The idea of women being violent is a hard thing for many people to believe.  It goes against the stereotype of the passive and helpless female.  This, in spite of the fact that women are known to be more likely than men to commit child abuse and child murder (Daly & Wilson 1988 report 54% of parent-child murders where the child is under 17 were committed by the mother in Canada between 1974 and 1983, for instance.  The Statistical Abstract of the United States 1987 reports that of reported child maltreatment cases between 1980 and 1984 between 57.0% and 61.4% of these were perpetrated by the mother.  Nagi 1977 found 53.1% of perpetrators were female, 21% male and 22.6% both.  Note that because mothers tend to have more access to children than do fathers that these results should not be interpreted to mean that were things equal, women would still commit more abuse)."

"Husband abuse should not be viewed as merely the opposite side of the coin to wife abuse.  Both are part of the same problem, which should be described as one ~person~ abusing another ~person~.  The problem must be faced and dealt with not in terms of sex but in terms of humanity" (Langley & Levy, 1977).

Unfortunately, most people discount all the above findings.  These findings violate ingrained gender role socialization.  These findings threaten the still-strong Cult of Motherhood and the restrictive romanticization of women as "the fairer sex".  Too many people are so obsessed with the fact that laws once sanctioned wife abuse that they view any tangent as a genuine threat.  Or they don't want to share the status of victimhood because acknowledging male victims may dilute their political efforts to end wife abuse.  And if a conventionally-socialized man acknowledges that men can be victimized by women around other conventionally-socialized men, they discount what he says and instead doubt his "manliness" because gender roles claim that victimization by women is a sign of weakness and therefore always deserved.

Maybe this explains why Ohio governor Richard F. Celeste felt free to grant clemency to 25 women who were in prison for murdering their husbands because of "battered woman syndrome", a defense which has been denied to men (Wilkerson 1990).

I hope that helps.

Doctor Xero
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james_west
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Posts: 292


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« Reply #24 on: February 12, 2004, 10:53:17 PM »

Doctor Xero's post is so filled with hooks to hang comments on, it's hard to resist ... but to attempt to stay focussed, I think that my take-home message is; distinguishing one's experience as an individual from one's experience as a member of a class is difficult, for any given individual. Or, perhaps, even our ideas about what gender issues are, are biased by our ideas about what gender issues are.

Emily's game is interesting, because I'd been thinking of a 'virtual experience' game design, whereas hers sounds like more of a 'collaborative storytelling' game design for exploring gender issues. Which is probably a superior design, or at least an easier way to make a design that reflects the players' priorities in this area, than injecting ones' own prejudices into the design by trying to make a decent simulation. This seems especially true given Doctor Xero et al's thread about mistaken ideas about gender issues.

While Lumpley's comments about many games inherently including gender issues is well taken, and probably true, they're not really front-and-center in either MLwM or Trollbabe.

- James
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contracycle
Member

Posts: 2807


« Reply #25 on: February 13, 2004, 04:28:25 AM »

There are some things missing, it seems to me, from the above analysis of spousal abuse.  The violence legitmised by patriarchy against women is not limited only to the husband; it can apply to brothers and fathers too.

Obviously, violence by fathers against daughters is very underreported, sanctioned as it is by a general willingness to permit parents to use force against their children.  But equally, as in the case of honour killings - in which, for example, a provocatively clothed daughter is murdered by her male relatives for "bringing shame upon the family" - they are often under-investigated too.  The point here is that addressing only spousal abuse may obscure a much broader issue of male on female violence generally, rather than specifically within marriage.

I understand that women are substantially more likely to die at the hands of a man known to them than men, who are proportionately more likely to die at the hands of a stranger, although I cannot cite the reference for this claim.

In regards the commutig of sentences, I think it may be dangerous to presume that this occurred becuase of an unwillingness to accept female violebce as something that happens for the following reason.  Maxine Carr, like Myra Hindley before her, has had her judicial tarif extended unilaterally by the home secretary; the reason for these extensions is that the crime (child murder) is somehow more grievous because it was committed by a woman (although Carr was only an accessory after the fact).  This is in line with a stereotypical view of women as "natural" mothers and being "naturally" nonviolent; therefore such "dangerous women" are in violation of more than the law, but the "natural order", and the punishment reflects this outrage.  Therefore I say it may be quite reasonable to cast doubt on a judge or juries decisions to impose a sentence if it is believed that they would NOT have imposed the same sentence for the same offence if it were perpetrated by a man for whom violence is "natural".
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Christopher Weeks
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Posts: 683


« Reply #26 on: February 13, 2004, 04:41:53 AM »

A few things:

Misogyny  

This started with Krista's essay and has continued as these related discussions progress.  I always thought misogyny was, as the dictionaries indicate, a hatred of women.  But is seems that the folks around here believe that, as an example, old Star Trek is an example of misogyny.

Is misogyny now taken to mean any deviation from the belief that men and women are identical?

sex v. ethnicity

Does it matter, in game design/play or other life-interpretations of these issues, that there is a genuine difference between the sexes but not between the races?  I mean, skin color and other physiological attribute associated with a race/breed can be interbred with, usually, many gradations of effect.  But no amount of breeding is going to get a cross between males and females because of the inherently binary nature of the chromosome.  (Well, OK, so maybe lots of time might do funny things to this genetic construct, but that's a silly point for this conversation, I think.)

The nature of predjudice

Am I the only one who thinks of me prejudices as useful psychological instruments?  Sure, if I let them control me, that's bad, but otherwise they help me to sift through huge amounts of incoming data and make decisions much more quickly than I might otherwise.  I judge people on the way they're acting, the way they dress, the company they keep, the care they take of their teeth, their grooming, their music, their skin tone, their sex, and everything else I can detect.  And so do you.  Why pretend it's a bad thing or that it's unique to "bad" individuals?  I don't see how that helps anyone.

I feel like I have more to write, but I'm on my way out of town and late.

Chris
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contracycle
Member

Posts: 2807


« Reply #27 on: February 13, 2004, 05:12:43 AM »

Quote from: Christopher Weeks
A few things:

Misogyny  
Is misogyny now taken to mean any deviation from the belief that men and women are identical?


No, that Trek is using misogynist tropes which arrogate to wopmen a primary role as sex-objects and menial workers (even in the 23rd century, women are telephone operators in miniskirts)

Quote

sex v. ethnicity
But no amount of breeding is going to get a cross between males and females because of the inherently binary nature of the chromosome.  (Well, OK, so maybe lots of time might do funny things to this genetic construct, but that's a silly point for this conversation, I think.)


Becuase th evariation between individuals is larger than the variation between sexes as a group.  So priviliging such deviation in systematic terms requires explanantion.

Quote

The nature of predjudice
Am I the only one who thinks of me prejudices as useful psychological instruments?  Sure, if I let them control me, that's bad, but otherwise they help me to sift through huge amounts of incoming data and make decisions much more quickly than I might otherwise.  .... .  Why pretend it's a bad thing or that it's unique to "bad" individuals?  I don't see how that helps anyone.


The question is not about "bad people"... the issue is why otherwise good people carry out these things.  It is mistake to think that every racist is a bitter hate-filled loner - a mistake and an easy out.

It is a bad thing becuase decisions based on such assumptions are likely to be wrong.  Generalisation and prejudice are not the same thing: of course you learn general cases to cut down the amount of analysis you have to do; no point continually reinventing the wheel.  But a generalisation for its own sake, or ageneralisation which allows of no exceptions or modifications, is just plain dangerous.

An excellent example of recent vintage happened on the Channel 4 news a coupe of years ago; a rugby manager had refused to have a female player in his club.  He was interviewed by phone, and expressed the view that girls are into frilly dresses and perfume and anything pink, and had neither the familiarity nor physique to handle rugby; it was not a sport for girlies (his term).  However, the news ran his interview over a still photograph of the women in question, rippling with muscle, tall and broad, covered in mud from the pitch.  She, individually, had both he grit and the grunt to play; but his prejudicial view of what women WERE, necessarily, meant he apparently had not even bothered to find if this INDIVIDUAL had what it took.
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Librisia
Member

Posts: 35


« Reply #28 on: February 13, 2004, 06:59:46 AM »

Sorry to digress from the current topic.  I haven't figured out the cross-post functions yet, so bear with me.  

I'll be posting revised statements regarding my hypothesis about the male dominance in rpgs tomorrow or the day after.  

As veterans of the Forge's culture, can you please advise whether I should post here or the other thread?

Thanks,
Krista
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james_west
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« Reply #29 on: February 13, 2004, 07:09:21 AM »

Quote from: John Kim in 'religion and role-playing'
For example, a religious practice may include storytelling such as parables -- but that story has a goal in the real world beyond just being fun to hear.


I thought that line struck to the heart of the matter we're discussing here very well. It also made me think (not to belabor our jargon) that explicitly feminist game design is -necessarily- narrativist, since it is inherently attempting to address premise. We've already had a number of posts that claim that if you don't allow the players to think about the issues for themselves - if you force the premise - then you lose most of the value for the game.

To a certain extent - and, now that I think of it, someone's already brought this up - how to design games with addressing feminist or gender issues is a subset of the class of games specifically designed to address any moral issue.

Much narrativist design - sorceror for instance - is designed with the thought that it will be used to address moral issues (thus, Ron's focus on the topic), although it's my personal opinion that this is addressed far more through exhortation in Sorceror than in explicit design (at least until you hit the supplements). In Sorceror, however, more explicit premise is found in the supplements, which create specific settings which scream a particular moral issue.

Hum. Seems like a way to make a more 'virtual experience' game than Emilys, that addresses race/gender is to write a Sorceror supplement in which Humanity is defined in a fashion relevant to these issues.

Quote from: Christopher Weeks
Does it matter, in game design/play or other life-interpretations of these issues, that there is a genuine difference between the sexes but not between the races?


I think that's why it'd be easier for me to design a game about racism than sexism. When I hear minorities talk about ways in which the system f*cked with them, their responses seem pretty much identical to what mine would be under the circumstances - except that they generally seem better at controlling their anger than I think I would be (probably through long training). When I hear women talking, they seem like aliens.

So - I think it does make a difference. If I were to design a game premised on racism, I think the point I'd try to stress is how inherently reasonable even apparently odious behavior is, under the circumstances (contempt for the law, distrust of formal education, etc.) In order for a game on gender issues to make much sense, I think it'd be neccesary for me to understand better women's priorities. Which are, presumably, not identical to men's, although I recognize that there is a great degree of overlap.

- James

Aside: I can say that women think like aliens with confidence because one of the valuable services my (female) techs provide is to tell me how to interact with my wife. I do what they tell me, although it never makes any sense to me, and they're always right. Strongly implies that gender substantially overrides individual differences in priorities. :-)[/i]
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