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#219831 - 10/22/07 10:45 AM Games with women characters - recommendations?
rebecca53 Offline
Shy Boomer

Registered: 09/19/07
Posts: 19
Loc: Bay Area CA
I'm new to the GameBoomers community, so I'm unfamiliar with the ages and genders, etc., here, but it seems that there are a fair number of women. I'm in my 50s, and have long been a feminist even when that was a worse word than it is today. I love adventure games. I love adventure games with women protagonists, and I equally love adventure games with men protagonists. I only ask that they're realistic and interesting characters. But -- it's the "realistic" that I'm having more and more of a hard time with.

Is there anyone else out there who is sick and tired of seeing Barbie-Borg women "heroes" with large chests accentuated by whatever clothing the men game designers give them? Clothing that is A) tighter than the men's, and B) made up of 50% less fabric? Women who are given the personalities of teenagers? When was the last time you found a woman hero in a game who actually had an adult personality? For that matter, when was the last time you actually saw a woman in a game who was older than 25?

If you know of any games without overtly sexist childlike portrayals of women, would you please post recommendations here?

Maybe it was the fact that I was really looking forward to Culpa Innata... and then I watched the trailer. Just now. For pete's sake, at the end of it the "hero" is sitting in bed in her bikini underwear, after swaying her hips constantly as she walked throughout the game in her skin-tight (or was it just painted on?) clothing accentuated by the scoop-pattern around her breasts. I fully expected to see her chest bounce when she ran, but I guess they couldn't even go that far. I realize that men make most of these games, and believe me, I'm not thrilled with that, and I keep hoping that game developers are going to realize that women make up a hefty % of adventure game players. But, that doesn't seem to happen. I understand reality - I'm simply really, reallllllly tired of it.

And, kudos to Jonathan Boakes, who deliberately created a real woman in The Lost Crown, in what appeared to be a small protest against Barbie-Borg characters. At least, that's what it sounded like from what he said on his website.

So -- any recommendations out there? Anyone else sick and tired of it, too?

Thank you,
Rebecca

currently playing: Barrow Hill; Time Stands Still. Queued: Murder on the Orient Express; AnaCapri; East Side Story; BS:Sleeping Dragon; Post Mortem; Traitor's Gate.
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#219838 - 10/22/07 10:59 AM Re: Games with women characters - recommendations? [Re: rebecca53]
acornia Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 06/24/01
Posts: 3805
Loc: Kentucky, USA
See you found the broken sword games. Have you tried Syberia and Journey to the Center of the Earth? Still life is another. Also one of the Egypt games.
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#219848 - 10/22/07 11:26 AM Re: Games with women characters - recommendations? [Re: acornia]
rebecca53 Offline
Shy Boomer

Registered: 09/19/07
Posts: 19
Loc: Bay Area CA
Hi Acornia,

Thank you -- yes, liked Syberia, very much, both of them. Didn't like Still Life so much because she grated on me, a lot. Unduly snarky, and at the point I tried it I was a little sick of snark everywhere, lol. It's as if a woman has to be either a petulant teenager or snide and snarky in order for her to be a hero -- I guess because she's less threatening (less likeable), or something? I dunno, and I can't say I care why smile .

We did play Egyptian Prophesy, if that's the one you're thinking of, which had a woman as hero, and liked it very much - the household here is kind of Egyptology-nuts. It was fun to play as a woman who had to use brains and creativity to save the civilization, and who had to earn the respect of her elders.

I've not heard of Journey to the Center of the Earth. I will definitely look into it. Thank you!
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#219868 - 10/22/07 12:05 PM Re: Games with women characters - recommendations? [Re: rebecca53]
old lady Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 05/17/06
Posts: 582
Loc: cornwall england
Why not try Return to Mysterious Island? I think you will find her quite a fisty women. luck

I was going to recommend East Side Story but see you are already playing it. I'm about half way through and loving every minute.
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#219871 - 10/22/07 12:11 PM Re: Games with women characters - recommendations? [Re: rebecca53]
Jenny100 Offline
GB Reviewer Glitches Moderator
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 10/24/00
Posts: 35208
Loc: southeast USA
Egypt 2: The Heliopolis Prophecy featured Tifet, who is one of the best female protagonists. The Egyptian Prophecy is the 3rd Egypt game in the series. Although the protagonist was a nice character, judging from the way she dressed (see ***here***, I wonder if it was Heliopolis Prophecy that you were thinking of rather than Egyptian Prophecy.

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#219888 - 10/22/07 12:31 PM Re: Games with women characters - recommendations? [Re: Jenny100]
GuybrushThreepwood Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 09/06/03
Posts: 3263
Loc: Lincoln, NE
third person games:
Kings Quest IV: The Perils of Rosella
Kings Quest VII: The Princeless Bride

first person games:
The Syndney Mystery
Carol Reed Mysteries
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#219900 - 10/22/07 12:47 PM Re: Games with women characters - recommendations? [Re: GuybrushThreepwood]
Renee Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 01/04/07
Posts: 962
Loc: Northern California
I recommend the Gabriel Knight series - Gracie is a smart, strong, no nonsense woman who keeps Gabe in his place! wink I think you'll like her.

wave
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#219907 - 10/22/07 01:05 PM Re: Games with women characters - recommendations? [Re: Jenny100]
rebecca53 Offline
Shy Boomer

Registered: 09/19/07
Posts: 19
Loc: Bay Area CA
Old Lady -- Thank you for the rec. Did try Return to Mysterious Island, and yes, liked the character smile and the game as a whole! Unfortunately, hit a dead end late in the game, because we had used a banana (I think it was a banana) in solving a puzzle earlier than we should have, and needed said banana to get past something and no longer had it. Was mighty peeved smile . Really glad to hear East Side Story is good! I should have made mention of the MDNA games - there's not only a woman protagonist who on the whole isn't stupid, but the other women characters are, to state the obvious, real women smile , and there's more than one in each game! Different types of women, too! Wow, what a concept wink . I also love the pierced tattoo guy smile .

###########

Jenny -- Thank you for the rec for Egypt II, the Heliopsis Prophesy. Strangely enough, I have the game, unwrapped, and never played it because Egypt (I) was pretty much hated from the get go. Had to pixel hunt in this loooong corridor for something I can't remember now and the hunting was tedious and felt rather pointless. We had just finished Riddle of the Sphinx which was such a great game, that this one felt like a bad knockoff, lol. Probably not a fair comparison smile . To your point -- yes, I know that the woman in Egyptian Prophesy was sexed up in clothing and, yes, boo on that. But, A) that was somewhat appropriate for the time period, and B) I don't remember seeing her in the game (?), and C) we liked her personality and her story arc. But D) -- I didn't realize that Egypt, Egypt II, and Egyptian Prophesy were related. Huh. I'll see if Egypt II can be played in this machine - it's original and I think only runs up to WinME. Nice to know it's good!! Thank you!

###########

Guybrush -- Thank you for the recs to Kings Quest IV & VII smile and The Sydney Mystery. I'm not familiar with any of them, so will definitely check them out! Thank you smile

###########

Renee wave -- Thank you for the rec for Gabriel Knight! I forgot that Beast Within is also in the Queue, because I just bought it from a Boomer. I understand the third one has more of Gracie as an actual character that you can play, right? I'm hoping that Jane Jensen's new game -- name is forgotten -- will also have a positive woman characterization in there somewhere smile . Thank you!


Edited by rebecca53 (10/22/07 01:12 PM)
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#219915 - 10/22/07 01:18 PM Re: Games with women characters - recommendations? [Re: rebecca53]
UpToo Late Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 06/17/04
Posts: 503
Loc: NY, USA
If you haven't already done so, you MUST play The Longest Journey! That is my ABSOLUTE favorite game, and the main character is a wonderful, smart woman!

I haven't played the follow-up game to it, and in fact can't even remember what it's called at the moment, but apparently it's rather different from TLJ, and the main character is a different person, so I don't know if it would suit what you like. But DEFINITELY play The Longest Journey!

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#219941 - 10/22/07 01:56 PM Re: Games with women characters - recommendations? [Re: UpToo Late]
Tomer Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 06/12/07
Posts: 793
Loc: Tel Aviv, Israel.
Rebecca,
Well said! I feel *just* the same way - I'm sick of the fact that women protagonists are always barbie like, and for some more modern games, maybe not barbie-like, but definitelly attractive, vivid, young. (only these days they might have some "manly" attributes - how wild is that!)
We all know that many explorers/adventurers out there (men and women) aren't necessarily beautiful (in modern society's eyes) and fit.
Don't get me wrong - I think the longest journey, Syberia, Gabriel knight - all of these - are brilliant, beautiful games, but they all rely on what Rebbeca described. The women there are always fit and attractive (well kinda).
Is it just me, or are there more "over-weight" people out there in the US than we see in these games.
It's about time games should start be realistic, and I couldn't agree more-
Same annoying phenomena of commercials with skinny models that are so proportionated I'm not sure their body could carry it (and it probably doesn't).
This is the main cause for anorexia, eating problems, and depression that's connected with it.

And there are a lot of researchs that prove that.

So, Rebbeca, Thumbs up.
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#219942 - 10/22/07 01:57 PM Re: Games with women characters - recommendations? [Re: Tomer]
Tomer Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 06/12/07
Posts: 793
Loc: Tel Aviv, Israel.
Oh, and as for a recommendation:
Myst smile
You are what you are.
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#220000 - 10/22/07 03:16 PM Re: Games with women characters - recommendations? [Re: Tomer]
Darleen03 Offline
Adept Boomer

Registered: 12/13/03
Posts: 14687
Loc: Northeast NJ
I really have no recommendations for a game.
As I am very happy with the way games are made..

I never payed much attention on whether a character is Fat,Skinny,Bald,No Teeth,Female or Male.

I enjoy the games if its a good game..
All I can say is when woman developer's become prominent they can make a game anyway they want.

My opinion grin
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#220004 - 10/22/07 03:31 PM Re: Games with women characters - recommendations? [Re: Tomer]
RayBres Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 05/30/06
Posts: 165
Loc: Des Plaines, Illinois
Rebecca, you bring up a subject that has caused me for a long time to be curious about what's going on in developers' minds when they're doing the women characters, so I've decided to enter a few thoughts about this.

Either the developers are operating under the illusion that men are the biggest percentage players of their games, or they know something we don't and it's not an illusion at all. Whatever. think shame

(By the way, I'm male and have four granddaughters, the youngest of whom is 18, so I have some idea as to what young women are up to these days.)

You wouldn't want to play either of the first two Dracula games. Recently I posted a comment about the upcoming Dracula 3 game that was so outrageously sexist that (I hoped) people would see that I was being sarcastic (well, MaG seemed to get it) about the first two. In these, Mina Harker is unrealistically buxom and her only function is to be unconscious so she can get carried around by Dracula and Jonathan Harker, with a good deal of emphasis on her anatomy. Dracula has three helpers (whom I referred to as "Dracula's girlfriends") who are, basically, naked. Totally unnecessary and completely exploitative.

Even in The Egyptian Prophecy, the character Maya may be dressed as they dressed then, but when she has a vision of what'll happen if she fails at her task, the top of her dress gets blown off! Why? shame

Consider what as intelligent a developer as Ragnar Tornquist did in The Longest Journey and Dreamfall. In TLJ, April Ryan has a couple of sequences in her underwear. Couldn't she have been wearing PJ's instead? In the latter of the two games, Zoe Castillo goes to Arcadia and is dressed in an OK costume, but when she goes in search of Faith or goes to the Storytime, she's also in her underwear! Why's that? If it's her "astral" body (or whatever that's called), why isn't she naked or, better, dressed the same as in Arcadia? Also, what exactly is going on with the depiction of the White Draic Kin? shame shame shame

So, are you really sure of your statement that women make up a large percentage of adventure game players? It's true that there are a lot of women who moderate and contribute to this and other forums of this type, but I don't know that that translates to their being a hefty percentage of players. think

However, I don't want you to think that I'm not on your side, as I hope my comments above have made clear. You're right! Complain to the developers at their game forums, which exist for most games currently released. They say that they want your feedback, so let them know.luck

I see that you're playing Murder on the Orient Express, and the lady protagonist in that one is realistic, I think.

I'll go through my long list of past games and see how many reasonable ones I can find. Stay tuned. smile
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#220032 - 10/22/07 04:20 PM Re: Games with women characters - recommendations? [Re: Tomer]
Karsten Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 10/25/06
Posts: 1461
Loc: Denmark, Europe
I think I know what was going on in Ragnar's mind when he designed Zoë and April. Ragnar is a Norwegian, and many Norwegian and Scandinavian women do sleep in their underwear, not in a PJ. I have played the first part of TLJ and Dreamfall, and I do find that is is an important thing to the story that the female avatar in both games are in their underwear. Both will need to get something out of a closet, and both discovers something very valuable to the character, the story and the player smile

There's even a lesbian woman in TLJ who talks very freely about her sexual adventurers and who swears a lot. So, if you're easily offended by these sort of thing, then don't play TLJ. I'm not, especially as this adds to the story and to depiction of how April's girlfriend is characterized.

I don't tend to think about how women are portrayed in adventure games, but when you consider that April and Zoë both are meant to be smart, clever and to solve puzzles, and they do apparently smile then they can be smart and look good as well I think. Kate Walker in Syberia 1-2 and the female protagonist in Secret Files: Tunguska also know how to use their brains to progress in the game.

I fail to see the barbie-like dimensions in 16-year old April or Zoë, or the barbie-like dimensions in Kate Walker or the female detectives in Post Mortem and Still Life. The 16 or 20 year? old April is probably more concerned about her issues with her father than about how she looks in society's eyes, I think.

As I understand it, in Dreamfall when you need to fight, you play as the man, Kieran?. To me, this is more 'sexist' (to use that word) as this implies that women can't do well in a fist fight or that getting into a fistfight isn't very lady-lake, if yo get my drift here...

In RPGs you can usually choose a character to be male or female as well as choosing their age. Maybe this was an idea for adventure game makers to get some inspiration from when they make adventure games?

/Karsten



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#220034 - 10/22/07 04:28 PM Re: Games with women characters - recommendations? [Re: Karsten]
MaG Offline
Administrator
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 12/28/99
Posts: 65674
April fights in Dreamfall also.

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#220042 - 10/22/07 04:54 PM Re: Games with women characters - recommendations? [Re: rebecca53]
chrissie Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 01/15/05
Posts: 4403
Loc: london uk
Hi Rebecca, I think you made a lot of good points but would argue that for the most part AGs are maybe guilty of a little stereotyping but are not overtly sexist - they are more guilty of being ageist! lol If the story is good I don't care how the protagonist is portrayed, yes, they are usually young, often with tight/skimpy clothing but, I have to say a lot more respectably dressed than I see on the bus every morning (regardless of the weather!) In the games I just see it as a reflection of the way that young women choose to dress in the real world. If they are doing their job in the game it should not make any difference to your feelings about them! (Does that make sense?) The only games that I have really come across that can be accused of overt sexism fall in other categories outside of pure AG! The most obvious is Tomb Raider featuring the impossible attributes of Lara Croft. But, hey, I don't take any notice, they are excellent games!

On the subject of having older characters - for me, story is everything, if it's good enough a game could have a protanonist with no hair, teeth & wear tartan slippers! rotfl Seriously it might be nice if sometimes older women were featured.
smile

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#220043 - 10/22/07 04:57 PM Re: Games with women characters - recommendations? [Re: Karsten]
RayBres Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 05/30/06
Posts: 165
Loc: Des Plaines, Illinois
Originally Posted By: Karsten
I think I know what was going on in Ragnar's mind when he designed Zoë and April. Ragnar is a Norwegian, and many Norwegian and Scandinavian women do sleep in their underwear, not in a PJ. I have played the first part of TLJ and Dreamfall, and I do find that is is an important thing to the story that the female avatar in both games are in their underwear.


Neither of these female characters is supposed to be Norwegian, nor do I see any reason you give as to why it's important to the story that they be so dressed.
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#220072 - 10/22/07 05:41 PM Re: Games with women characters - recommendations? [Re: RayBres]
Karsten Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 10/25/06
Posts: 1461
Loc: Denmark, Europe
For me, the story is everything, too smile I wouldn't mind an older detective or protagonist solving the puzzles in adventure games.
If we're talking about older female protagonists, I think we need to see a Jessica Fletcher mystery adventure game or a Jane Marple adventure mystery game. Sherlock Holmes adventure games do feature an older (male) protagonist, but in the recent games, he is not seen on screen as I understand it.

And thank you, MAG, for re-assuring me that April fights in Dreamfall, too. I hadn't quite gotten to that part yet, but it's good to know smile

As for Ragnar being Norwegian, I think we all bear part of culture with us when we make games. I don't think that Ragnar meant to offend anyone by having April or Zoë running around in their underwear. April is dreaming at the start of TLJ, and then wakes up, gets out of bed and is in her underwear, just like thousands of other women in Scandinavia. Ragnar just thought about how women normally look when they wake up and put that into the game. And normally, most females in Scandinavia will wear a t-shirt and underwear when they go to sleep. Sometimes they might wear a PJ, but only when its cold outside...

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#220081 - 10/22/07 05:59 PM Re: Games with women characters - recommendations? [Re: RayBres]
Teddo Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 04/22/01
Posts: 627
Loc: Florida
First of all, I'm not gay, AND I do enjoy seeing beautiful sexy women in games, just as I enjoy beautiful sexy men. Gabriel Knight sure rang my chimes. To me, it's not an important part of the game, but is nice eye candy. I enjoy adult games as long as they don't go overboard, though I realize that is subjective.
Probably because the Nancy Drew games are slanted toward a younger audience, you don't find "objectionable" dress or bodies.
You will find older characters in games...not as the main characters, but holding sizeable roles. By the way, I'm in my mid seventies and am far from a "wild thing".

Teddo
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#220087 - 10/22/07 06:05 PM Re: Games with women characters - recommendations? [Re: Karsten]
RayBres Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 05/30/06
Posts: 165
Loc: Des Plaines, Illinois
Karsten, I don't want to get into a dispute about this, and of course you're entitled to your opinions. Nevertheless, neither of these women characters are supposed to be Scandinavian, and I doubt that you or I or anyone else has any claim to insight as to what Ragnar was thinking about this or any other subject under the sun unless he has so stated.

As for all of us carrying our culture with us, Ragnar was educated in the UK and now lives in the US. So, he knows something about other cultures too. smile
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#220088 - 10/22/07 06:07 PM Re: Games with women characters - recommendations? [Re: rebecca53]
Jenny100 Offline
GB Reviewer Glitches Moderator
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 10/24/00
Posts: 35208
Loc: southeast USA
Originally Posted By: rebecca53
Jenny -- Thank you for the rec for Egypt II, the Heliopsis Prophesy. Strangely enough, I have the game, unwrapped, and never played it because Egypt (I) was pretty much hated from the get go.


Egypt 1 was awful. The best part of it was the encyclopedia. shocked

Egypt 2 has a patch for crashes in XP which may also help with a problem with panning being too fast on modern computers (which are much faster than the 200 MHz or so computer the game was originally designed for).
http://www.adventurecompanygames.com/tac/support/pc/patches/egypt2.php

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#220107 - 10/22/07 06:34 PM Re: Games with women characters - recommendations? [Re: Jenny100]
Darleen03 Offline
Adept Boomer

Registered: 12/13/03
Posts: 14687
Loc: Northeast NJ
I really think that some are taking it way to personal.

This is a game <people>
Games make us happy...Now we are going to resort to being politically correct in adventure games..Oh please..

I am so happy that the developers are starting to realize the mass adventure gamers out there....They are making great games..

Why would anyone want to destroy that by saying they are making games for one gender only ..and in a sexist fashion..

This post is not fair at all........

Example........Al Emmo the charater was made to talk & look like Woody Allen....Some did not like him.......I loved the little Nerd ..cause he fit the part...

Who cares if a girl is sexy or not......I love to see pretty woman...

OH Geezzzzz...

Lets not make this an issue....The deveolpers are doing a fine job as far as i am concern thumbsup

PS...I love Lara Croft from the tomb raider games.. hearts



Edited by Darleen2003 (10/22/07 06:53 PM)
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#220147 - 10/22/07 07:45 PM Re: Games with women characters - recommendations? [Re: Darleen03]
Becky Offline
The Medieval Lady
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 02/16/00
Posts: 26893
Loc: Stony Brook, New York, USA
Let's get back to recommending games with strong female characters in them, and not criticize or get into specifics about other gamers' reactions. Everybody's entitled to their own likes and dislikes.

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#220162 - 10/22/07 08:13 PM Re: Games with women characters - recommendations? [Re: Becky]
RayBres Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 05/30/06
Posts: 165
Loc: Des Plaines, Illinois
Yes, Becky, exactly.

To get back on topic, here's a list of games which have significant female characters (if not protagonists) that aren't just eye candy but have decent characters and make good contributions:

Atlantis: New Worlds Await You (is that III? - the one with the Mastroianni character), Black Dahlia, Cameron Files (both), Monkey Island games (Elaine), Destination: Treasure Island, Echo: Secrets of the Lost Cavern, The Dig, Jack the Ripper, The Last Express, Law & Order: Justice Is Served, Journeyman Project games, The Messenger, The Moment of Silence, Mystery of the Druids, Myst (any), Sanitarium (Sara!), Secrets of Da Vinci, Tex Murphy games (Chelsea), The Watchmaker, The X-Files Game.

That's the best I could do quickly.



Edited by RayBres (10/22/07 08:15 PM)
Edit Reason: typos
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#220200 - 10/22/07 09:19 PM Re: Games with women characters - recommendations? [Re: RayBres]
Darleen03 Offline
Adept Boomer

Registered: 12/13/03
Posts: 14687
Loc: Northeast NJ
Hi RayBres

I guess you sumed it up...Thats a good list thumbsup

Hey Becky hearts
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GameBoomers
"Games Are More Enticing Because Of Our "MaG"nificent Efficient Radiant Site"

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#220209 - 10/22/07 09:45 PM Re: Games with women characters - recommendations? [Re: Darleen03]
RayBres Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 05/30/06
Posts: 165
Loc: Des Plaines, Illinois
Thanks, Darleen. I should mention that I omitted games that had already been named in the thread. And, alas, there's always one that gets away: Paradise. oops


Edited by RayBres (10/22/07 09:46 PM)
Edit Reason: yet more typos
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#220264 - 10/22/07 11:34 PM Re: Games with women characters - recommendations? [Re: RayBres]
rebecca53 Offline
Shy Boomer

Registered: 09/19/07
Posts: 19
Loc: Bay Area CA
Wow, I go to work for the day/evening and come back to sort of a wild discussion. Thank you to everyone who gave me some recommendations, and by now this thread has devolved to the point that I'm unable to reply individually, but as a whole, thank you. I've made my list and will follow up with searching and reading reviews and such. Happy game playing ahead smile . Thank you, also, for the tips about XP compatibility, and the confirmation that Egypt (I) really was horrible smile .

I certainly have any number of reactions to some of the opinions which have been voiced. Personally, I don't honestly care if people have no problem with Barbie characters developed by men, if they can ignore that and feel okay about supporting the developers, that's their choice and I have no response to it. I'm too old, and have been around about this too many times to believe that much will ever fundamentally change. For goodness sakes, this is 2007, and the obsession with cleavage (not that there's anything wrong with cleavage, per se wink ) is as strong as it ever was, if not stronger, and women come down hard on feminists as strongly, it not more strongly, than they ever did.

But that's another topic for a different forum. For me, the most depressing aspect of game design is epitomized by Culpa Innata. That is a game which is set in a self-defined (by the developers) future time. This is supposed to be our enlightened future. A point in our cultural development when the world(s) will be a very different place, where it's assumed that learning and technology will have advanced the civilization to, at least, some degree. And the woman protagonist looks like she's the blow-up doll fantasy of a thirteen year old boy. That is, frankly, depressing.

To go sort of OT here, a long time ago (like 25+ years or so), a man named John Varley wrote some ground-breaking science fiction books. Wizard; Titan; and Demon. There was a woman hero/protagonist, and another woman who was her side-kick. There were male characters, too, among other alien life forms wink . He wrote such fascinating, strong, flawed, insecure, intelligent, complex women that most women who read the books assumed "John Varley" was a woman's pseudonym. It wasn't. I still love sci-fi, and it's one of the reasons I play adventure games. Maybe I simply long for a John Varley type of character to get behind, and maybe I simply hope that any man imagining the future would look beyond his own adolescent (completely unrealistic) fantasies and give me a real woman to get behind.

Thank you, again, for the recs. They are sincerely appreciated. Happy gaming, everyone.
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#220272 - 10/23/07 12:25 AM Re: Games with women characters - recommendations? [Re: rebecca53]
MaG Offline
Administrator
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 12/28/99
Posts: 65674
Maybe if you see more of the game Culpa than just a trailer, you might get a more in depth view of the heroine of the game. She might just surprise you with her character; regardless of how she looks.
Phoenix might even be as good as April or Ariane or Kate Walker.

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#220304 - 10/23/07 04:31 AM Re: Games with women characters - recommendations? [Re: MaG]
Karsten Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 10/25/06
Posts: 1461
Loc: Denmark, Europe
-eh- I wasn't out to tell anyone that their view was wrong or something like that. I'm too old for this, but as said before, story is everything to me.

Maybe it's because I live in Denmark where we have female attorney general who is sharp politically as well as good looking. (although some south europeans apparently still thinks she's the secretary or something like that, but that's a discussion for another day, I think).

The point I'm trying to make is that women, both in real life, and in adventure games, can be smart and goodlooking at the same time and be dressed somewhat accordingly to their gender.

And I don't mean the traditional D&D or male way of thinking women should dress in computergames. I just mean cowboypants, t-shirts, and the occasionally party gown and such things.

I know it isn't an adventure game, but I think you will be surprised if you play Bioware's new sci-fi game, Mass Effect. You can play as a female Shepard, the main character in the game. I even think you can make a somewhat older female Shepard.

And the female Shepard can be as hardhitting or as diplomatic as her male counterpart. That's becaise Bioware truly has great writers, among them one Patrick Weekes who I think wrote some of female Shepard's lines in the game.

This brings us back to adventure games with a female lead or characters:

King's Quest 4 and King's Quest 7 have some of the best written female leads in adventure games, I think. You can get the new
King's Quest Collection if you so choose.

Just a quick mentioning of the games I can think of right now:
Gabriel Knight 1-3, Broken Sword 1-4, Syberia 1-2, Carol Reed mysteries (from Michael and Ellen's MDNA games in Sweden),
The Longest Journey, Dreamfall, Secret files: Tunguska.

I just remembered two more games: Return to Mysterious Island, and Journey to the Center of the Earth that also features female protagonists.

As for the John Varley's writings why don't people write his publishing house or himself to see if he would be interested in adapting one of his novels? or short stories for an adventure game? If not, make we could turn to either Ursula K. Le Guin, the grand dame of the sci litterature, or to a Lady who recently won the Nobel Prize for her writings, Doris Lessing...

I think I will go check out the new Culpa Innata now ---
to form my opinion on it.

/Karsten


Edited by Karsten (10/23/07 04:36 AM)
Edit Reason: layout
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#220361 - 10/23/07 08:41 AM Re: Games with women characters - recommendations? [Re: Karsten]
Becky Offline
The Medieval Lady
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 02/16/00
Posts: 26893
Loc: Stony Brook, New York, USA
I just received this press release below. I thought it might interest those participating on this thread:

Quote:
"XFIRE DEBATE CLUB" TO DISCUSS WOMEN AND GAMING

Join the Panel on Thursday, October 25 at 4:00 PM EDT


WHAT:
Xfire - the eight million strong gaming community - is proud to present an all-new installment of the "Xfire Debate Club - Women and Gaming." In this interactive debate, a panel of women experts will discuss a range of subjects including gaming culture, game marketing, portrayal of female characters in video games, the online gaming experience as women, and participation in gaming communities.

WHO:
Xfire welcomes the following "Debate Club" participants:
· Leigh Alexander, Staff Writer, Gamasutra;
· Colette Bennett, Editor, Destructoid;
· Amber "AthenaTwin" Dalton, Clan Leader and Founder, PMS Clan;
· Robyn Fleming, Senior Editor, Cerise Magazine;
· Maggie Green, Associate Editor, Weekends, Kotaku;
· Jasmin Kassner, Founder, PixelTamer Games;
· Helen Kennedy, Senior Lecturer, University of the West of England;
· Christa "TriXie" Phillips, Community Editor, Xbox.com;
· Lesley Smith, Freelance Games Journalist; and
· The Xfire Community

WHEN:
Thursday, October 25, 4:00pm EDT

WHERE:
Via Xfire, www.xfire.com/debate

WHY:
"Women play an increasingly important role within the gaming industry as gaming becomes ever more mainstream," said Frederic Descamps, senior director of marketing at Xfire. "We are thrilled to welcome this panel of experts, each of whom brings a unique perspective and approach to issues facing women in the industry."



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#220371 - 10/23/07 09:02 AM Re: Games with women characters - recommendations? [Re: Darleen03]
UpToo Late Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 06/17/04
Posts: 503
Loc: NY, USA
I just wanted to add that it IS possible to have natural double-DD's AND an MFA -- I know I do. The two are not mutually exclusive.

[I hope I phrased that in a sufficiently "family-friendly" way -- just trying to inject a bit of humor while also pointing out that some women actually are "well endowed" (i.e, it's not only a matter of game-designer fantasy), and, more importantly, that intelligence and various "attributes" are not necessarily mutually exclusive. whistle smile ]

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#220385 - 10/23/07 09:46 AM Re: Games with women characters - recommendations? [Re: UpToo Late]
Becky Offline
The Medieval Lady
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 02/16/00
Posts: 26893
Loc: Stony Brook, New York, USA
Up Too Late -- it's so family friendly, I don't understand it. lol They say ignorance is bliss.

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#220390 - 10/23/07 10:04 AM Re: Games with women characters - recommendations? [Re: Becky]
BrownEyedTigre Offline
The Sassy Global Moderator PR Liaison
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 01/04/04
Posts: 64429
Loc: In the Naughty Corner
Becky, CYPM. lol

Ana wave
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#220394 - 10/23/07 10:09 AM Re: Games with women characters - recommendations? [Re: BrownEyedTigre]
UpToo Late Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 06/17/04
Posts: 503
Loc: NY, USA
LOL, Becky and Ana/BrownEyedTigre.

Becky, if Ana hasn't explained it sufficiently in her PM to you, just e-mail me and I'll explain, lol. thumbsup lol

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#220410 - 10/23/07 10:51 AM Re: Games with women characters - recommendations? [Re: Becky]
rebecca53 Offline
Shy Boomer

Registered: 09/19/07
Posts: 19
Loc: Bay Area CA
Thank you, Becky, for the head's up re: the discussion of women and gaming. I will definitely check it out, and hope that they cover adventure games and not simply those other types wink .

I only have two other points to make before I move on (I have software to test; my boss - though lover of adventure games - is raggin' on me to find those bugs! lol).

There is a common argument that's made whenever someone points out sexism (or homophobia, or racism.... etc). It's the "you don't have any right to criticize others because then you're the one whose not letting other people be free to be whomever they want to be. You're the one who's acting the judge. And that's wrong." It's a deflecting argument, and it's mostly specious. It's telling the person to, basically, shut up, and no matter how "cleverly" it's done, the bottom line is the same. Shut up and stop rocking the boat.

I have every right to judge a game designer's attitude and perspective based upon a trailer or a demo. They're trying to sell the game, and presenting their best face to do so. I call sexism, and I call nonsense, and I voice extreme disappointment in a real lack of "big picture" thinking on the part of Culpa Innata's game designers.

That they may make the protagonist's personality in a more mainstream/acceptable/potentially positive way is almost worse, and I could point anyone to any number of essays and treatise's on how and why that makes it worse but I don't have the time right now to find them. Quick and dirty (so to speak wink ) -- putting a "strong" personality in a blow-up doll body isn't feminist, or empowering (as if that's even their goal) for women and girls. It's a double whammy message. "Look, kids, you can be smart and clever and strong (as long as you keep those pesky emotions to yourself!), but don't forget you have to look like a Playboy bunny in the process! *That's* the ideal woman, don'tchaknow!"

I'm not saying that Culpa Innata's game designers even thought that far when they created this character. I would guess that they didn't think anything except how well she would sell the product.

I'm also not saying that every woman who is well-endowed is automatically an idiot, or automatically anything. I am saying that this game is an example of a number of bad things that I see in adventure games. As far as I can tell, the game designers aren't particularly looking for my business and don't care if they get my $ for their game or not. They don't look for 50+ year old feminist (women or men) adventure gamers. I would hazard a guess that they don't even think there are any and wouldn't care if there were. Unfair on my part? Why? Because...... they might have given the character intelligence? How generous of them. </sarcasm>

I care about these things, and I choose to spend my $ to support game designers who do, too. I'm honestly heartsick at what girls and young women take away from these gaming experiences. These fantasy worlds that are supposed to be rife with the possibilities of what the future might offer. Someone upthread had it right - they take away all kinds of bad and dangerous messages. I choose not to give these guys my hard-earned $. I have no doubt that I'll survive just fine without playing Culpa Innata, lol.


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#220424 - 10/23/07 11:12 AM Re: Games with women characters - recommendations? [Re: rebecca53]
BrownEyedTigre Offline
The Sassy Global Moderator PR Liaison
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 01/04/04
Posts: 64429
Loc: In the Naughty Corner
Quote:
I'm not saying that Culpa Innata's game designers even thought that far when they created this character. I would guess that they didn't think anything except how well she would sell the product.


Rebecca, you have not played the game, so it is unfair for you to state the reasoning behind the developers portrayal of the heroine in Culpa Innata. She fits in well with the story and she is more in control than you can imagine of her sexuality and feminism. They gave a lot of thought on how to create and portray her and I believe they got they point across very well.

Ana wave
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#220427 - 10/23/07 11:19 AM Re: Games with women characters - recommendations? [Re: BrownEyedTigre]
UpToo Late Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 06/17/04
Posts: 503
Loc: NY, USA
Rebecca,

I hope you don't think that I thought you were implying that all "well-endowed" women are idiots or anything along those lines -- I did not think that was your position. smile

My comments were meant in general, to add to the discussion, and were definitely not directed specifically towards you. In fact I respect your view, and I agree that all too often game designers do create female characters with unrealistically endowed yet otherwise very slender bodies. I'm smart, I'm naturally large-chested, and I'm a feminist, lol! (Well, actually "humanist" would be closer to the actuality for me, but let's not quibble, lol).

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#220429 - 10/23/07 11:21 AM Re: Games with women characters - recommendations? [Re: rebecca53]
acornia Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 06/24/01
Posts: 3805
Loc: Kentucky, USA
Wow, don't really care a whole lot about how a character looks as much as acts. Find it curious that you came to gaming from reading sci-fi. I did, too. Bought Betrayal in Krondor at the same time that bought my computer. Also bought The Dig when it came out. Feist and Foster are both authors that I like.

Also wouldn't mind seeing Jane Marple or Mrs Pollifax mysteries. Or someone younger like in the Margeret Maron? mysteries. One series is with a cop and the other with a judge.
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#220481 - 10/23/07 01:47 PM Re: Games with women characters - recommendations? [Re: acornia]
Becky Offline
The Medieval Lady
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 02/16/00
Posts: 26893
Loc: Stony Brook, New York, USA
Thanks Ana! lol

Rebecca -- Thematic Spoilers for Culpa Innata Within:

Click to reveal..
Culpa Innata is a deeper game than would appear from seeing the trailers or even from playing the first couple of hours of the game. You may find that, by two-thirds of the way through, the developers agree more with your world view than you think. Part of the point of the game is definitely that surface appearances and a focus on youth and wealth are troubling (to put it mildly).

However, to get there the game does show the youth-and-money-is-everything lifestyle in what at first seems to be a flattering light.


If you do ever play the game, when you're done, I'd be curious as to your reaction to the way these issues were handled.

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#220722 - 10/23/07 11:01 PM Re: Games with women characters - recommendations? [Re: Becky]
Mad Offline
True Blue Boomer

Registered: 11/21/00
Posts: 23191
Loc: United Kingdom
Hi smile

Well, I have to say that this has all become very serious woozy

I personally play games to have FUN and if the story is good and the puzzles don't drive me insane, well then I enjoy myself bravo

So do I passionately care about the sex or shape or about any other attributes of my protagonist ??

Not a whit !! lol

Cheers.

Mad devilchili
_________________________
Time : The Most Precious Commodity

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#220756 - 10/24/07 01:58 AM Re: Games with women characters - recommendations? [Re: rebecca53]
Diamond Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 09/11/02
Posts: 538
Loc: Yorkshire
Originally Posted By: rebecca53
Is there anyone else out there who is sick and tired of seeing Barbie-Borg women "heroes" with large chests accentuated by whatever clothing the men game designers give them? Clothing that is A) tighter than the men's, and B) made up of 50% less fabric? Women who are given the personalities of teenagers? When was the last time you found a woman hero in a game who actually had an adult personality? For that matter, when was the last time you actually saw a woman in a game who was older than 25?

If you know of any games without overtly sexist childlike portrayals of women, would you please post recommendations here?

You should try So Blonde when it comes out soon. Now on the surface it may look like exactly what you don't want from a game with the female heroine being a 17-year-old, slim, well-stacked, dumb blonde. However, we specifically took the stereotype as a way of exploring how a character can develop into something much more than how they begin.
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