Tobold's Blog
Thursday, August 29, 2013
 
Gender equality among video game protagonists

Gamasutra recently wasted the perfectly good headline of We Don't Need the Haters with a perfectly good introduction about game developers receiving death threats on a post that then narrowly defined the problem as one of gender equality among video game protagonists. Although most games are either gender neutral or give the choice of gender for the protagonist, the author reduced the problem of haters in video games to statistics on how in the minority of games where you can't choose your gender the protagonist is male. Really? If only there were exactly as many games with female protagonists as with male protagonists we would have solved all problems with haters? I don't think so!

The problem with hate around video games has two dimensions, and the more serious one doesn't even take place in the games itself, and thus can't possibly be solved through game design: The problem of people taking their problem with a game out of the game and into real life. If video game developers get death threats for modifying the stats of a weapon in a game, the solution is not to never make balance adjustments to game any more. Rather the solution should be increased criminal prosecution, with internet companies forced by law enforcement entities to reveal the real identity of the people making the threats. There is absolutely no reason why a disgruntled gamer making death threats to a developer should be treated any more leniently than a disgruntled customer in a supermarket making death threats to the employees there.

The other dimension of the problem is that video games are disproportionately about extreme violence. This is where much of the gender inequality comes from: In the real world, physical violence is not gender equal, but mostly committed by men. The reason why World War II shooters have male soldiers as protagonists is one of historical accuracy, not sexism. And trying to force gender equality in violence is not necessarily desirable. I recently watched a modern take on Grimm's fairy tales, the TV series "Once Upon a Time", which evidently had undergone that sort of gender equality treatment: It ended showing Snow White in a murderous rage going after guards with a dwarven pickaxe and killing lots of people. Is that really better than the original? I doubt it! My childhood memories were ruined, I say!

As another example I have seen several reviews of the latest Tomb Raider which remarked how the sensitivity of the young Lara depicted in the cut scenes clashed with the cold-blooded murder gameplay the same Lara shows when controlled by the player. How can anybody suggest that we can solve the problem of hate in video games by showing more women in the role of murderous lunatic?

The first step towards a solution has to be creating less hateful and less violent games. Why is multiplayer almost synonymous with players working against each other and killing each other? We need more collaborative multiplayer games, and more games about other things in life than killing and blowing stuff up. And if games become more constructive and more about collaboration, having more female protagonists will come naturally. At best gender inequality among video game protagonists is a narrow symptom of a much wider problem. Just trying to heal the symptom without going after the root cause will achieve nothing.

Comments:
the author reduced the problem of haters in video games to statistics on how in the minority of games where you can't choose your gender the protagonist is male.

You forgot "made-up" in front of statistics. The only hard number is the total number of games, the rest is unsure or just a random guess.

Overall, it's one of those articles who end up doing a worse job than just shutting up. When you want to underline a problem, the least is to show that your arguments have a base in reality, otherwise it's too easy to dismiss it. Random guessing does not cut it.

Rather the solution should be increased criminal prosecution, with internet companies forced by law enforcement entities to reveal the real identity of the people making the threats.

There's not need for "increased" anything. Laws already exist and can be used to deal with the problem. There's no difference with RL death threats and online death threats: you have to document, call a lawyer, file a lawsuit. This is how it works, there can be no shortcut or "special case" just because it's online.

 
There is a problem with making games less violent: games are about players competing against each other. While the violence in Chess is not pictured, you still "kill" pawns, rooks, knights and other soldiers of the enemy team.

The only games where players are not directly pitted against each other are when they compete in scores like sprinters. They all run in their own lanes, but still there will be one winner.

A game without winner and loser is not a game - by definition.
 
Sorry for the doublepost, pressed button to early.

What I meant is that gender equality indeed means that women get equal share of violence, both on the violent and the victim side.

The very idea that "violence is male" is sexist.
 
These are lots of different topics come together. as for the main question about female characters in games (and 'rolemodels' in general) I've always had the same view:
replacing the female stereotype with the male stereotype, no thanks. That's not my understanding of equality or issue solving. diversity yes please, imitation no - or we end up in a similarly limiting situation with social pressures and pre-conceived notions of how women/men are supposed to be.

I am a lot more in the 'let's value differences equally' rather than 'let's make everyone the same'-camp, even if it proves to be much tricker, less radical. this is unfortunately not the case in today's society and we can see it best in economy where many more women-dominated branches (caretakers, nurses, admin, personnel etc.) are paid less. my answer would be: value these jobs more, pay them better - at least just as much as trying to get more women into other branches (and men). both is equally important an action.

Oh and, less-combat centric games in general is something that should be discussed a lot more, in greater variety!! especially for MMOs where it's still such a big deal if they feature an omg-crafting-only-class. ;)
 
The very idea that "violence is male" is sexist.

How can the truth be "sexist"? There is a proven gender gap in violent crimes, with males committing 90% of homicides and nearly 90% of prison inmates being male. On the subject of non-criminal violence, the USA only removed the ban on women performing combat roles in the army this year.

Just because some people WISH for gender equality doesn't make it so. Violence IS predominantly male.
 
Tobold, your logic is flawed. The fact that men perform violent acts more frequently does not meant that women are less capable for violence. It merely means that their social conditioning gives them less opportunities to be violent (e.g. very few families train their daughers to fight).

There is another truth: women in general get lesser pay then men (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Male%E2%80%93female_income_disparity_in_the_United_States). By your logic, this means that women are bad, unproductive workers. In reality, though, it is just socially acceptable to pay women less for the same amount of work.
 
@souldrinker: the fact that men perform violent acts more often than women means that they are more violent. This is a fact, what you add later is interpretation, and with wild hypotheses you can demonstrate anything (if my grandma had wings, she'd me a 747 after all). I could interpret that society/mindset having evolved in a system which pushes men (and not women) to violence is a consequence of them being innately configured for it.

There is another truth: women in general get lesser pay then men (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Male%E2%80%93female_income_disparity_in_the_United_States). By your logic, this means that women are bad, unproductive workers. In reality, though, it is just socially acceptable to pay women less for the same amount of work.

This follows only if you make the assumption that the salary is 100% correlated with productivity and 0% with any other variable, i.e. you are basing your conclusion on the assumption that racism/sexism/connections/etc.etc. don't play any role in determining your position and salary. Again, with false assumptions you can demonstrate anything.
 
@souldrinker: So are you saying that it would be desirable to close this gender gap by providing more role models in video games with the express purpose to create more female violent criminals? If that is your purpose, I can see how you would be upset that the heroes of GTA are always male.

I would approach the problem from a different angle and raise male children in a less violent culture of films and video games, teaching them to be more constructive and collaborative instead of destructive and aggressive.
 
@Helistar: I certainly did not made the assumption that salary is 100% determined by productivity. This was just an anology to Tobold's assumption that number of violet crimes commited is 100% determined by "inclination to violence".

Both assumptions are wrong.
 
@Tobold: I never stated what you're attributing to me. I do not want to close any gaps. In fact, the gender percentages of violent criminals do not interest me a bit. I'm only interested in that the absolute number of violent crimes goes down.

I read your blog long enough to see several posts where you argue that violence in games is not connected with real life violence. Thus I have every reason to believe that you do not really think that more violent female "role models" in games will lead to rise in feminine criminal violence. Do you?

Lastly, I never played GTA so unfortunately I didn't have the chance to be upset.
 
IMHO, any physical difference between genders have been overshadowed by the invention of the Great Equalizer. The capability is there in everyone. But whether the society encourages or discourages using that capability is a whole another issue. Like other forms of art, games allow us to explore that.. should we choose to do so. On one hand, games can be used to model reality in all it's imperfections. On the other, they can serve as a thought experiment to see whether altering certain givens about our world would result in utopias or dystopias. Or something in between.

So what do you want your games to be? I don't think there's a one-size-fits-all answer to that. What we need is enough authors to fulfill all niches.
 
@souldrinker: I don't understand, you seem to directly contradict yourself:

A) "It merely means that their social conditioning gives them less opportunities to be violent (e.g. very few families train their daughers to fight)."

B) "Thus I have every reason to believe that you do not really think that more violent female "role models" in games will lead to rise in feminine criminal violence."

What are "more violent female role models in games" other than "social conditioning"? If you believe that violence in men is due to "social conditioning", and not due to men being inherently more violent, then how can you exclude violence in various media from this "social conditioning"? It isn't as if violent young men were "trained by their families to fight", at least not any more today in our culture.
 
Mass Effect 3 Multiplayer. Co-op only. Just saying.

 
"The other dimension of the problem is that video games are disproportionately about extreme violence. This is where much of the gender inequality comes from"

Gender inequality comes from the general sexism in the video games industry. Game developers think only straight males play their games, so they do games to appeal to this public. One of the consequences is that the protagonist is often a male.

Plus your remark is horribly sexist.
You're just saying that because women are poor sensible beings they shouldn't be allowed to be featured as killers in games ?

Some girls like violent games. They should be allowed to play a protagonist they can identify to.

Making less violent games might be a good idea(althought I'm not sure people playing combat-based games would love playing that), but it's not the solution to gender inequality. The solution to gender inequality is "Stop being sexist"
 
Some girls like violent games. They should be allowed to play a protagonist they can identify to

Nobody said otherwise. There are quite a number of games out there in which you either are given the choice, or the protagonist is gender-neutral, or where the protagonist is female.

But "some girls like violent games" does not mean "50% of violent games should have female protagonists". That solves nothing, least of all gender equality.
 
I don't know....I really want to see this show "Once upon a Time" now. I have no idea why the idea of a murderous Snow White with a pick axe sounds so cool to me. Must be all the video games I play ;)
 
The past was sexist, so the WWII games can be both historically accurate and sexist. That doesn't make it right.
 
Can we just play games without having academics dissect them? Without having the bureau of cultural compliance rate the games on the politically correct scales? If people are politically correct they will buy politically correct games. Titles like "Gender Equality Wars", "Love Tribes", and "Gia Earth Mother Quest" just never seem to sell despite what the ministry of truth laments. Agreeing that games should be more "inclusive" "equitable or "less violent" publicly but never playing those games privately does not earn you brownie points in heaven.
 
The past was sexist, so the WWII games can be both historically accurate and sexist. That doesn't make it right.

Would you have preferred a gender equal alternative history World War II with 12 million dead female soldiers? I can't see what is "right" about that.
 
Isn't warframe a co-op only game as well?
 
I read this article yesterday and was pretty annoyed with all the assumptions that author was making. He basically had no hard data to back up his arguments, so it became "assume this" and "assume that". I was surprised no one called him out on that in Gamasutra's comments.

I do agree with the whole "ignore the haters" thing, but it goes both ways. Developers should make the game they want to make. If it calls for a male protagonist, then so be it. It's their creative choice what the characters will be. They should not artificially add a female protagonist just try to please more people. There's always people that will hate your game no matter what you do..
 
@Tobold: I do not contradict myself. My two statements you cite:

1) In my opinion, women are inherently as violent as men but they are brought up by their parents to be physically weak and submissive while men are encouraged to be agressive and competitve;

2) I read your blog and you repeatedly wrote that in-game violence doesn't lead to out-of-game violence. Because you voiced this opinion, you might not believe that violent female protagonists in games will increase female agression in real life.

These two statement aren't even connected: the first is about my opinion on one subject, the other is about your opinion on completely different subject.
 
repeatedly wrote that in-game violence doesn't lead to out-of-game violence

I'm pretty sure I never stated that this way. There have been lots of examples over the years of in-game conflict spilling over into the real, out-of-game world. Video gamers are some of the worst jerks on the internet, and far more likely to resort to cyber-bullying and death threats than other groups of customers.

Let me quote myself from one of my longer posts on the effect of violence in video games: "I do believe that violent films and video games can change a teenagers general attitude to violence. And him watching too much porn is likely to change his attitude towards women. Nevertheless nearly everybody is able to distinguish reality from fantasy. While overexposure to violence in media might change somebodies general attitude, it is highly unlikely that he will want to re-enact Pulp Fiction or Grand Theft Auto. The very few isolated cases that can't tell reality from fiction are just as likely to jump of the roof trying to play Superman as they are to play Dirty Harry. Making violence in media illegal to save a handful of nutters wouldn't work, and would be more likely to make people unable to deal with the all too real violence in the real world.
"


So while I certainly always was against simplistic statements like "video games make children violent", I also always said that a overall culture of violence from all media including games changes people's attitude towards violence, makes violence more acceptable because it feels "normal".

My point against violent female protagonists in video games is not that they would make girls violent. It is that they would make the game feel artificial, unreal, because in the real world the overwhelming majority of violence is committed by men. Except for a few exceptions in the history of mankind, it was men who went to war and women who stayed home. Maxine Payne, Samantha Fisher, or Amanda Jensen wouldn't work as well as Max, Sam, and Adam.
 
Tobold: But "some girls like violent games" does not mean "50% of violent games should have female protagonists". That solves nothing, least of all gender equality.

Well, what percentage of violent games do you think should have female protagonists?

Sometimes it seems like there's a general assumption that the protagonist of every game is "supposed to be" a white male and that any deviation from this standard needs to be debated at length before we can permit it.

I think that just the opposite is true. There are already so many games with white male protagonists that I think that developers should debate any decision to make a game with yet another one.

Tori: I really want to see this show "Once upon a Time" now. I have no idea why the idea of a murderous Snow White with a pick axe sounds so cool to me.

I've watched both seasons and I'm looking forward to the next one - it's got some fun subversions of Disney movies, and it gives us a Snow White who doesn't just lie around in a coma and wait for a man to rescue her. (And it's also got an Evil Queen who has a motive beyond "I'm jealous of Snow White because the magic mirror thinks she's prettier than me.")

I suppose I should warn the dudebros that the male characters are all schlubs (except for Rumplestiltskin, who steals every scene he's in). So you might want to avoid it if you don't like programs with no strong male characters.
 
"Although most games are either gender neutral or give the choice of gender for the protagonist"

What games have you been playing? Pretty much any AAA game with a story released recently has a male lead. Some of the biggest multiplayer games out there, Call of Duty, Battlefield and even the good ol' Counterstrike don't give any option to select a female character.

And even the whole point about extreme violence is... well, not the point. There needs to be more equality in video games period, not just on shooters. Even if you consider the violence side, we are not talking about real violence, but video game violence, and propension to real violence plays no role here unless you can show me a study that proves that women dislike violent video games by nature. In any case, this is not about violent video games.
 
Well, what percentage of violent games do you think should have female protagonists?

I think that developers should have the freedom to decide that for themselves without a visit from the political correctness police.

There are already so many games with white male protagonists that I think that developers should debate any decision to make a game with yet another one.

Again, that should be their decision. If they want to be historically accurate or not totally change existing lore, they should be allowed to do that. Even if history is full of gender and race inequality and homophobia. You can't demand them to chance half of the soldiers in their historical war drama into women, just because your world view of today demands gender equality.
 
What games have you been playing?

I was referring to the statistics shown in the article I linked to, showing 90% of games being gender neutral. That would be ALL games, which includes stuff like Tetris where there is no human protagonist at all, and games like Civilization or World of Warcraft, where you have a choice between male and female characters.

propension to real violence plays no role here

Of course it does! If you have a game like Mafia or GTA and you want to depict a realistic story of gangsters, then it is very much of importance that real gangsters are overwhelmingly male.
 
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People send death threats due to lack of pixel boobs or epeens?

Faith in Humanity = -75.
 
I'm not sure I understand your argument. In your original article, you said:

The first step towards a solution has to be creating less hateful and less violent games. Why is multiplayer almost synonymous with players working against each other and killing each other?

But now, on the topic of female protagonists, you're saying:

I think that developers should have the freedom to decide that for themselves without a visit from the political correctness police.

Have you changed your mind about how much freedom developers should have? Or are you saying that developers need to worry about gratuitous violence but don't need to worry about sexist stereotypes? If so, I'd disagree...those are both pretty bad problems. I don't think that they should be fixed through regulation, but I think that we-as-consumers should pay more attention to what we're buying, and we should encourage developers to pay more attention to what they're doing. Most of the violence and stereotyping isn't being put in with deliberate malice, it's just that some people are lazily copying other peoples' bad ideas.

We've been talking about "Once Upon A Time", which reminds me of some of the earlier Disney movies. The classic three "princess" movies were Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella, and all three of them had the same central plot: The main character is a woman and sits around waiting for a man to solve all her problems for her. In two of the movies she's actually comatose while she waits.

"Once Upon A Time" turns this on its head by taking the basic elements of well-known fairy tales, but allowing the women to make conscious decisions to solve their own problems...that's not to say that they don't need to ask for help sometimes, but they always bear primary responsibility for seeing things through. (If "Once Upon A Time" is too violent, then movies like "Brave" and "Wreck-It Ralph" have the same type of character.)

That change didn't just happen by itself. It took a lot of people telling the movie studios that they expected better, and then it took a lot of people at the movie studios deciding to listen.

Anyway, if Disney was able to make that sort of radical change, then the gaming industry really ought to be able to follow suit.
 
To this day I am still surprised by the number of people who will respond to the news of a co-op PVE game with, "What? No PVP? Pffft, fail."
 
Also, I've taken to bowing out of anything that looks like a typical gender equality debate, on most sites.

The 'popular' attitude seems overwhelmingly stupid to me; going for equivalence, not equality.

Like Tobold suggests, violence has overwhelmingly been the province of men, not only for millenia past, but even today. We're just physiologically different in ways that predisposes certain attitudes and preferences in occupations. The same people shrieking for incentives for female game designers are always less comfortable about proportionate incentives to get more men into being stay-at-home fathers, nurses, teachers, or child-care workers.

I think it's pretty telling that the US Department of Labor statistics puts around 93% of workplace deaths as being suffered by men. But do we see campaigning for greater female representation in dangerous occupations to even up that death ratio a bit?

No. Of course not.

http://www.quickmeme.com/meme/3uv4bx/
 
Just because some people WISH for gender equality doesn't make it so. Violence IS predominantly male.

Sure, under current, established cultural mores.

You have provided no evidence to believe some inherent, physiological predisposition however. You are essentially claiming that there is no possible way we would be able to nurture an entire generation of hyperviolent girls with any sort of Sparta-esque training regimen started at birth. Hell, it likely wouldn't take even that much to do - morality is a learned response, not an innate quality.

Drop some babies off at an island with scientists, and we could likely flip the entire human history script in a single generation.

Why is multiplayer almost synonymous with players working against each other and killing each other?

Because shooters are one of the easiest kind of games to make that allow competition, progression, mastery, and instant feedback in one, nice grokkable package. Plus, competitive multiplayer is players creating content for themselves. Portal 2 co-op was fun... but then the content ended. Meanwhile, people still play Counter-Strike decades later.

To be honest, fighting violence is a fool's errand. What is soccer/football if not abstracted warfare?
 
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Also, I've taken to bowing out of anything that looks like a typical gender equality debate, on most sites.

Yes, me too.

The same people shrieking for incentives for female game designers are always less comfortable about proportionate incentives to get more men into being stay-at-home fathers, nurses, teachers, or child-care workers.

Well, now. Don't forget that those jobs have traditionally been denigrated as "women's work", and they pay less than equally-hard jobs that are traditionally male.

So a lot of young men think something like, "Why should I train to work as a nurse and then break my neck for crap wages, when I could train to work as a plumber or an electrician instead?" If nursing jobs had more prestige and paid a decent salary, then more men would apply for them.

Anyway, is this a problem you're interested in fixing? You could always take one of those jobs yourself and serve as a role model. (I hope you're not just sitting around and waiting for some other man to solve the problem for you!)

I think it's pretty telling that the US Department of Labor statistics puts around 93% of workplace deaths as being suffered by men. But do we see campaigning for greater female representation in dangerous occupations to even up that death ratio a bit?

Well, yes, of course we see that! Surely you've seen all the stories about women seeking combat roles in the military, or jobs on the police force. (I should say, decent jobs on the police force, not full-time meter-maid duty.) These are prestigious jobs that pay a fair salary, so it's no surprise that women would want them.

Here's a story you might find interesting. It's about a women who wanted to be a coal miner, which is about the crappiest and most dangerous job there is. She had to struggle to get the job, and once she got in, her male co-workers immediately started trying to force her to quit. You can read the whole story at:
http://www.mikehughes.tv/content/womens-movement-history-was-made-congress-and-coal-mines

Anyway, for most jobs, workplace death isn't a men-vs-women issue. It's a workers-vs-management issue. If management cared more about worker safety, we'd see a lot fewer workplace deaths. Frankly there's no reason why anyone should get killed in a coal mine.
 
You are essentially claiming that there is no possible way we would be able to nurture an entire generation of hyperviolent girls with any sort of Sparta-esque training regimen started at birth. Hell, it likely wouldn't take even that much to do - morality is a learned response, not an innate quality.

First of all, I never said that. Scientific evidence clearly says that behavior is a mix of nature and nurture. But then, why would you WANT to create a breed of violent girls? If you had the ability to change behavior by changing video games, wouldn't it be far better to culturally reprogram men to behave like women and make everybody LESS violent instead of making everybody MORE violent?

In the Wikipedia article on the gender gap in crime it says Nearly 9 times as many men (5,037,000) as women (581,000) had ever at one time been incarcerated in a State or Federal prison at year end 2001.. Do you want the police to increasingly target women with their "stop and frisk" policy until gender equality in the prison population is reached? I don't think gender equality everywhere is a desirable goal.

Most video game protagonists are murderous lunatics. Showing more women in that role is not desirable, it is borderline libelous, because in reality women are better behaved.
 
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But then, why would you WANT to create a breed of violent girls?

For exactly the same reasons you'd create a breed of violent boys? If there is a national threat or you live in a militarized society, you want all members to be able to fight equally.

A good example of raising 'hardened' girls is Israel. Women get mandatory military training and are expected to perform in a war, the same way men do i.e. they are sent to the fronts (although women serve for only 2 years, while men do the full 3).
 
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Pro Tip for arguments on the internet: The mix of insults, trolling, and walls of text that might work on a forum won't work if you use it to attack the author of a blog who is in control of the comment delete function. It is a bit like shouting drunken insults at a barman, at some point you'll just get kicked out of the bar.
 
Paraphrased from "The Moral Animal":

Since males can increase the number of their offspring by increasing violence, but the number of offspring for females is restricted by time, evolution would push for more violence in males, and limit violence in females to that necessary for protecting their offspring.
 
evolution would push for more violence in males, and limit violence in females to that necessary for protecting their offspring.

Evolutionary Psychology is in a pretty sad state at this point. There are some people doing valid work, but there are also a lot of people who are abusing it in order to justify their personal desire to return to 1950's-style race and gender roles. You have to take everything that's said with a grain of salt, especially if it involves cultural prejudices.

There at least two flaws in your argument above. First, it's obvious that women can increase their number of offspring by using violence to chase rival women away. (And we see this happening in the real world. It even happened under 1950's-style gender roles, where it was called "catfighting".)

The other flaw is that men and women aren't different species. If there's a gene that increases propensity to violence, then both men and women will inherit it. It's possible that the gene will express itself differently in men and women (maybe due to differences in hormone levels), but there's no guarantee this will happen.
 
abusing it in order to justify

There was no intention of justification, just a possible explanation for the difference. Just because the evolution of our brains might only have been possible because we ate meat doesn't mean we can't be vegetarians now.

Personally I would like there to be less violence overall, both in men and in women. Fortunately it seems likely that this is already happening (people urge me to read "The Better Angels of our Nature", but I haven't, yet).

women can increase their number of offspring by using violence to chase rival women away

1. The amount of offspring would still be limited by the gestation period and the years of fertility.
2. I imagine chased away females could still get pregnant, just by less desirable males.

but there's no guarantee this will happen

It has been a while since I read the book, but I think the theory is that if there is a significant enough evolutionary advantage, it would. There is at least one chromosome that is significantly different between males and females, but your explanation of a hormone based influence makes sense too.
 
Anita Sarkeesian has a lot to answer for. This debate just keeps going on and on. I feel that people look too deeply into it.

Ultimately men like violent games. I like violent games. I like killing people in games and I don't apologise for it. The majority of gamers are men. Developers make games for the market and the market is predominantly male, simple as that.

Now people will argue that women are becoming increasing more involved in gaming but crucially those are not the types of games we are discussing. Stats are a bit misleading in that respect. Sure there are more women buying and playing AAA's but a lot of the growth in female players is in other areas.

We can have women protagonists in video games but they typically behave as a male would - hence Lara acting like a woman in cut scenes and a man during game play. The reasons for that being obvious.

Well in case it isn't obvious I will state it. Men went to defeat the bad guy by blowing his head off with a shot gun. They do not want to defeat the bad guy by using the female method of seducing him, moving into his house, having children, having an affair and then using the courts to evict the bad guy from his own house and bankrupting him with child support payments.

Kicking Bowser into a lava pit is more fun for me.

I also see something interesting in the workplace. I see far more female senior managers now than I did 20 years ago. But I note that their management style is distinctly "male". They got to where they were by behaving like men.

The more feminine women simply don't drive themselves forwards. The top male managers certainly don't discriminate against the more feminine women in favour of the more masculine women, in fact if there were any discrimination it would likely be the opposite for obvious reasons!

I've gone a bit off topic but I thought that was an interesting observation. I stress that it is an observation as opposed to an "opinion". It is just a fact that the successful women I meet are all men with long hair and bits missing.

If you want to do well in areas in which men evolved to excel, then you typically have to adopt the same characteristics that natural selection instilled in men over millennia.
 
This is totally unrelated but I thought you would be interested anyway. Wow is announcing server merges in 5.4. As expected, they are disguising it as a feature called "Connected Realms."


 
I don't want to derail Tobold's topic by debating that one here, but I wanted to say that using the phrase "disguising" suggests that is a loaded statement on your part.

It implies that Blizzard are trying to hide that subs have declined and that low populations are a problem.

On the contrary, they have been absolutely clear in public about why they need to do it. They have also emphasised why it is different to mergers so as to put players minds at rest who might have been afraid of the usual pitfalls that come with true mergers (name clashes etc).

Anyway I am mindful that Tobold will start a separate topic if he wishes to discuss it so I won't continue that one here.
 
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