PDA

View Full Version : BGE2: On Fair Representation and Sexy Old Lizardwomen



Kamitto
12-22-2017, 10:47 PM
...there need to be some older women, some younger non sexy woman, some gross cyber augmented women, and a lot of female hybrids (unless there is BGAE lore that says hybrids can't be female? If that's the case it still seems like a weird cop-out but this should mean there needs to be even more diversity within the female human population)

This thread is a spin-off of treestandland's post, BGE2: Strong Female Characters (https://forums.ubi.com/showthread.php/1698696-BGE2-Strong-Female-Characters).

Something I've noticed about sci-fi and fantasy properties in general, and games in particular, is that whenever there are humanoid (but not human) characters, like the Hybrids, there is a pattern to the gender distribution. Specifically, if you've got an "ugly" species, like say, lizardpeople, the females of that species are conspicuously absent. Seriously, name me a female lizardperson in any lore. Werewolves and bug-monsters, same deal.

BUT...if the animal that the humanoid is mixed with is a more "sexy" animal (?!) like a cat or a fox or a rabbit, then you'll see the female versions, and probably over-represented. Like in the case of the Viera of FF lore, there are ONLY females. Not a problem in itself, but you're telling me that not one Viera on the whole planet opted for a more masculine gender representation? Which is why I totally respect treestandland's commitment to a create a bunny-man protagonist.

DO that, player. DO that.

I think this comes back to the hetero male gaze thing, right? Lizards and rhinos and freaky bug monsters are not "sexy" through that lens, and so they have to be men, because male characters are allowed to have their value defined in numerous ways - strength, intelligence, cleverness, sexiness, comedy, and so on. Women characters are often narrowly defined by their sex appeal. Or in the absence of that, they are utterly desexualized, as in the case of older women. A lizard woman probably won't be sexy (in most cases, but if that's your thing, no shame) - and so rather than give her some actual humanized purpose, creators just disavow her existence. Perhaps the assumption is that all the lizard women are at home tending to the eggs?

Come on, bruh. :(

Now, in BGE's case, since we don't know too much about any individual hybrid characters, we might not be able to tell from concept art whether a character is male or female (no genitals visible so far!) Or more meaningfully - whether they're a man, woman, or nonbinary in their gender identity.

So let this be my formal plea, Team BGE, that if and when you diversify the female characters as treestandland suggests, go all the way with it. Give me an old, fat, bearded q-u-e-e-r lizard transwoman who is unapologetic in her occasional need to roll her wheelchair to the back of the shop after hours to rub one off, because damn if she ain't independent in her sexuality. And since tone is lost on the internet, know I am being quite serious, not flippant or ironic or facetious.

Do the devs need to create this particular character? No. But I'd like the BGE2 world to be such that she wouldn't be an anomaly, or worse, the butt of some mean-spirited joke. Because guess what? Real people exist at the intersection of multiple identities, and should be respected for where they are located, not where anyone else expects or demands them to be.

KIERROK
12-23-2017, 01:26 AM
I'm confused at what I just read. Are you saying there's no game that has female lizardfolk?

Kamitto
12-23-2017, 03:53 PM
I'm confused at what I just read. Are you saying there's no game that has female lizardfolk?

Not that I know of, but I'm open to being corrected. I suppose they're implied, but they never appear on screen. But my post isn't really about lizardpeople, so much as what the gender distribution of certain races says about the role and value of women characters.

Anything else that's confusing?

AlexandaBleak
12-23-2017, 05:15 PM
I have to say I agree wholeheartedly with what you've written Kamitto.

Like you say Gender distribution in nonhuman species in media is often times very sexist in nature, either there are very few or no women present, and there's some messed up sexist reason as to why that is or there is a species that are all women and yet they for some reason conform to the heterosexual males gaze.

I totally agree that the gender distribution should be fair and even among the hybrids, but on the other hand there is some possibility for interesting story telling here, now bear with me here, so Hybrids are created and manufactured by humans, as essentially a new slave class, they are used for everything from manual labour to entertainment or even forced prostitution. Now my thought it would the scientists making these hybrids care about gender distribution, probably not, they would be going for the most profitable models, and sexism is unfortunately profitable, so it’s quite possible that these scientists would make the majority of their manual labour workers male (or Assigned male, gender is a spectrum and has no bearing on biology, but that’s a whole other discussion) because of the sexist idea that men are stronger, and hybrids made for entertainment and the like might have more even distribution or may sway towards the majority being women because of the male gaze and sexism etc., and this could be an excellent opportunity to discuss and explore how that is a messed up thing to do and how sexist it is.

And on another note I cannot agree more with what you wrote about intersectionality, and everything you highlighted, and I know you make a point of saying you’re not being facetious, but like you totally aren’t, I myself am a Nonbinary Trans girl, I’m ***** as all hell, I’m disabled, I am a lot of things and almost all of my friends are as well. I mean positive and accurate Transgender representation is real damn important to me, I made a whole thread about it, and I stressed in there that we aren’t one dimensional characters where being trans is all there is to us and that being trans is only one aspect of what we are, intersectionality of identities is supper important, I’m just glad you brought that up.

KIERROK
12-23-2017, 06:04 PM
They're alot of games, namely RPGs that have female races, both playable and non. You should try Elder Scrolls Online, ES3: Morrowind (don't confuse with ESO: Morrowind that's an expansion to Online), ES4: Oblivion, and last so far ES5: Skyrim. Online is a prequel set 1,000 years before Skyrim. 800 before Morrowind and Oblivion. All Elder Scrolls, I know for a fact, have lizard folk with playable female. They're a slave race called argonians. They worship beings called the Hist, ancient beings that look like trees. They're said to of turned the argonian race into their current look, from regular lizards.
I'm a big argonian fan: avatar. I'm a nerd when it comes to their lore, and I love to RP as their Shadowscales.
Here's a link on them http://en.uesp.net/wiki/Lore:Argonian. A female http://en.m.uesp.net/wiki/Skyrim:Shahvee from Skyrim. Elder Scrolls Online, Morrowind, and Skyrim also lets to become a werewolf. There's also female spiders called Spider Daedroths, which are one of many demons in Elder Scrolls lore. There's a female for pretty much everything in Elder Scrolls.

There's also Dragonborn females from Dungeons & Dragons https://minohkim.deviantart.com/art/Neverwinter-Tyranny-of-Dragons-Dragonborn-482848601 Both tabletop and Neverwinter, however in Neverwinter they're under an expensive expansion.

I never played it, but I read in world of wargraft there's a playable wolf race, with females.

There's many games with females of a certain race, that's unless the race lore wise is both.

Kamitto
12-24-2017, 12:55 AM
Now my thought it would the scientists making these hybrids care about gender distribution, probably not, they would be going for the most profitable models, and sexism is unfortunately profitable, so itís quite possible that these scientists would make the majority of their manual labour workers male (or Assigned male, gender is a spectrum and has no bearing on biology, but thatís a whole other discussion) because of the sexist idea that men are stronger, and hybrids made for entertainment and the like might have more even distribution or may sway towards the majority being women because of the male gaze and sexism etc., and this could be an excellent opportunity to discuss and explore how that is a messed up thing to do and how sexist it is.

I take your point, but I wonder if what's profitable today necessarily informs what's profitable in the 24th century? If actual scientists head these hybrid projects, then surely they've found that sex does not strictly determine suitability for certain kinds of labor, at least not universally, because we're talking about animal traits. In many species, the female is larger and/or stronger.

Given the syntheses of different earth cultures, and another 300 years, maybe the burden of sex work is more evenly distributed across genders? That is to say, maybe more hetero women are empowered (socially and financially) to pay for male hybrids - because, whoa, I hear those elephant dudes can do special things with those...trunks. And maybe q-u-e-e-r dudes jack the male hybrid stock price even higher? So many were made for the factories at first, that now there's a high demand for them in the sex trade?

This is fun. :)


I mean positive and accurate Transgender representation is real damn important to me, I made a whole thread about it, and I stressed in there that we arenít one dimensional characters where being trans is all there is to us and that being trans is only one aspect of what we are, intersectionality of identities is super important, Iím just glad you brought that up.

Yeah, even before I came to understand these dynamics better, I thought it strange that q-u-e-e-r folks were portrayed so that their sexuality was at the center of every single plotline, as opposed to merely shaping their experience, like any another significant aspect of their identity. It's why I actually appreciated Zevran from Dragon Age. He was sexually fluid, but that only came up when it was relevant. At the same time, I think it's important that it not be glossed over as inconsequential, and therefore never mentioned. Where it informs positionality in society (privilege vs. oppression), then it should factor into the story. Here, a good example may be Dorian from DA:I. In both cases, I'm sure there are critiques - like Zevran's fluidity translating automatically into promiscuity, and Dorian's backstory being a bit generic in spite of the magical part of it. Progress, nonetheless.


They're a lot of games, namely RPGs that have female races, both playable and non. [...] I never played it, but I read in world of wargraft there's a playable wolf race, with females.


Well, I wasn't so much saying they don't exist at all. They'd have to, for the species to continue. I'm saying they rarely, if ever, make an appearance. It sounds like Elder Scrolls is doing something different, which is great, but that's still an outlier. And yes, I remember World of Warcraft being the first game in which I'd ever seen a female orc. Shadowrun also allows for that. These cases are still, by and large, the exception.

Bringing it back to BGE, I think Mei might've been the only female hybrid in the first game, and surprise, surprise, she was a cat-woman. To be fair, it may have been difficult to determine gender at a glance, and maybe I presumed male in the absence of any obvious identifiers. I certainly can't distinguish a male rhino from a female, after all. But other species definitely do have greater sexual dimorphism (like lions, cattle, and peafowl), and I think the developers should take those into consideration when designing the hybrid NPCs.

(Side note, connecting all of the above: Peacock hybrids would be a hot commodity in the sex trade! Way moreso than the peahens. :) )

KIERROK
12-24-2017, 02:43 AM
Well, I wasn't so much saying they don't exist at all. They'd have to, for the species to continue. I'm saying they rarely, if ever, make an appearance. It sounds like Elder Scrolls is doing something different, which is great, but that's still an outlier. And yes, I remember World of Warcraft being the first game in which I'd ever seen a female orc. Shadowrun also allows for that. These cases are still, by and large, the exception.

Bringing it back to BGE, I think Mei might've been the only female hybrid in the first game, and surprise, surprise, she was a cat-woman. To be fair, it may have been difficult to determine gender at a glance, and maybe I presumed male in the absence of any obvious identifiers. I certainly can't distinguish a male rhino from a female, after all. But other species definitely do have greater sexual dimorphism (like lions, cattle, and peafowl), and I think the developers should take those into consideration when designing the hybrid NPCs.

(Side note, connecting all of the above: Peacock hybrids would be a hot commodity in the sex trade! Way moreso than the peahens. :) )

Well, Elder Scrolls has been since the '90s. Skyrim came out in 2011. They've had females of all races since the fist games. They've had LGBT characters, in all games, even interacial. The one god of the Dark Elves (Dunmer), is a hermaphrodite who slept with a demon prince named Molag Bal. Their union even begot children.

These are just my opinions, they're not to beat yours down. The one thing I have a bit of a gripe about, at least with the argonians, the rest of the races are spot. Female argonians have breasts, or what look like breasts. Many fans came up with a counter, saying they aren't traditional breasts. Like real lizards, they're likely a form of attracting a mate... Me: They're lizards, it's hard to tell a male from female. I'm not sure how beyond Good and Evil 2 will do this. Will all reptiles look similar, with certain difference like voice or body build. Or will we have reptile breast, things. Now unlike Elder Scrolls, where argonians are legit reptiles, I can see reptile hybrids with such things, because they do have human (mammal) DNA. I guess it also will depend on DNA ratio, like where a hybrid with 80% reptile DNA and 20% human DNA wouldn't have mammary glands. Where a 70% human 30% reptile would. So it'd be left to the player to decide if they would want their female reptile hybrid to have breasts or not.

Ganet2
12-26-2017, 10:39 AM
If you're looking for a game with female lizards I suppose Divinity Original Sin 2 would be an option.

Legion-495
12-27-2017, 09:59 AM
To my knowledge (Transgender) that is such a niche issue where it is questionable to invest as a dev.

I will probably get a lot of hate, but I'm rather scientific and go by biological standpoint where male and female is standard everything else is super niche and even those consist of those two. TO have that said, but I think if they have the time and money they can invest in a "third" gender representation.
Well sexy is such a subjective thing^^ but as far as I understand all of this it is basically about representation of female characters and as several have pointed out there are prime examples of how this has been managed already... Skyrim is great^^

It is very likely that hybrids will have mainly the human male and female traits to see which gender they have. That is quite standard. I doubt you will be able to fully remove those tho. We will see and how NPCs are is also a big question.

KIERROK
12-27-2017, 05:51 PM
Just throwing this out there @Legion. They've said religion would play a part in BGE2, and since were in a city (of many) that's heavily influenced by Hindu/Buddism. It's possible the devs may do some homework and include Hindu beliefs on gender. Just saying.

As a side note, sorry if it seems I'm stalking, because that's not the case. I saw you replied to my message on Twitter, so I followed ^^

ElPrimordial
12-28-2017, 01:32 AM
To my knowledge (Transgender) that is such a niche issue where it is questionable to invest as a dev.
It is very likely that hybrids will have mainly the human male and female traits to see which gender they have. That is quite standard. I doubt you will be able to fully remove those tho. We will see and how NPCs are is also a big question.

Actually I was quite surprised to watch in their pre-pre alpha character creator the possibility to switch among so different species. Frankly never expected such tool with deep customization, so create transgender characters and everything in between and beyond shouldn't be that hard. That video already show us that they're already making the hardest part. As Ancel says, I don't think anyone was made something similar even in movie industry. Its an utterly achievement similar to their video game engine.

UbiBorghal
01-02-2018, 06:41 PM
Moved to Space Monkey Program as per OP request, again. Interesting stuff here, guys. Keep it up!

WiwarK9
01-24-2018, 02:05 PM
https://www.instagram.com/p/BaoL6-sAR-5/?taken-by=michelancel
Here is what you wanted just remplace lizard by pig and you've got it.

DevilmanSinner
02-06-2018, 06:33 AM
Just throwing this out there @Legion. They've said religion would play a part in BGE2, and since were in a city (of many) that's heavily influenced by Hindu/Buddism. It's possible the devs may do some homework and include Hindu beliefs on gender. Just saying.
I'd hope they do their homework on Hindu and Buddhist beliefs regarding gender! It would be insensitive to not, especially if genetic engineers who create hybrids are the ones with those beliefs. Hinduism and Buddhism have a very amenable relationship to science (look up anything our current Dalai Lama has said about science and discovery and how spirituality should evolve accordingly).



That's a tall order, yet of course it's made for all the right reasons. I wonder whether the audience would swallow that order though. Intersection of multiple minoritized identities is, I hope and believe, a concept that people begin to warm up to. Yet intersection of five, six, seven, eight, nine minoritized traits may be seen as "pandering" even by semi-allied CIS people; but more importantly, it may unfortunately also be seen as a detestably grotesque parody by members of a whole lot of minoritized groups.
People with 5+ minoritized traits exist though, I think that's the point. In a group of minorities, you'll have the less complexly oppressed (i.e. spanish, gay, middle class male) and then the level 9000 oppressed (i.e. black, bisexual, impoverished, transwoman, with a host of disabilities and a history of abuse) sharing the same meal while discussing the fine points of rebellion. It's not pandering when you simply allow the multidimensional gamut of representation to merely exist.


BG&E2 actually does seem to push the limits with the character design posted by WiwarK9. A character that could go either way, really, depending on her portrayal in the game. A character to challenge our own preconceptions. She's obviously a heavily exploited person, bred for very special sexual appetites of the ruling class. If we give her a helpful, intelligent, sweet-natured character, the character would be humanized, we'd accept her more easily. But what if this life has made her hardened, egoistic, indifferent, brazen and sexually forward?

It would be a very, very credible character concept really. But I wonder whether we'd accept it. Maybe this is what BG&E2 has to do, has to try, but I'd be lying to myself if I didn't expect a whole lot of controversy particularly among minoritized groups around such a character.
Oh there will be controversy, no doubt. But as I've tried to highlight in your quote above, either of those characters, when written well, work! The crux is the writing. If every character has a wildly complex oppression narrative, your world building will become convoluted and impossible to relate to. Some characters (and people) are less complex in their intersection with minoritized traits. I personally have many minoritized traits. My friend, T, does not. He has other traits which make him unique and we accept each other for what those are.

I think this discussion is incredible and important. Not for just the character visual design, but for how a character has to be written with enough nuance as to avoid being a token of oppression within a group that attracts a type.

I'm sure I'm not perfectly getting my point across the best I can but I'm trying. Essentially, don't limit the minoritized traits and let them occur as organically as they can within a universe that is purposefully designed and written.

KIERROK
02-06-2018, 08:45 AM
I'd hope they do their homework on Hindu and Buddhist beliefs regarding gender! It would be insensitive to not, especially if genetic engineers who create hybrids are the ones with those beliefs. Hinduism and Buddhism have a very amenable relationship to science (look up anything our current Dalai Lama has said about science and discovery and how spirituality should evolve accordingly).

I'm not a religious man, though I respect people's belief as along as they respect mine. However, I'm pretty well aware of his holiness the Dalai Lama. I even follow him (or an agent/bot) on Twitter. I am fascinated by Hindu, Buddhist, and Japanese Shinto beliefs and philosophies.

DevilmanSinner
02-08-2018, 03:33 AM
I do think we're getting somewhere. But I also believe that one of the very last things, one of the last things that we'll get rid off in visual narratives, is to associate femininity with conventional beauty, and conventional beauty with righteousness.

I think something I got caught up in is the relationship between the visual representations and the stories that may overlay them. Let the character creation run free and as undeterred as possible and let the narratives come about as organically as possible. Most good stories write themselves (like good banter between charismatic people, often regardless of their belief differences). The biological implications of the character creator should not hinder the socialized gender implications of the characters that exist. From those intersections--against a well constructed world--we get interesting characters and stories, I think.



You can't have a hundred rounded characters. You need a whole lot of flat ones that the rounded characters may bounce off of. Else you're building a flipper machine with no borders and no obstacles. There goes my ball. No fun! :cool:

I think the Witcher 3 did a good job of this. Lots of background NPCs that were flat, but varied enough (esp when it came to beliefs, genders, sexualities, classes, etc) to give life to the background and context to the rounder characters whose stories you interacted with.

Kamitto
05-10-2018, 11:01 PM
I've been gone awhile. But I was really excited to see some of the substance of this thread make it into a question for the devs on the last livestream.

To follow up on what's been said…yeah, I'm not expecting a whole world fully of incredibly nuanced and complex characters with intersectional identities. Even ONE of those would be great, along with the near infinite potential for the character creation system. And I mean, since it's been talked about, they might as well commit to that sexy old queer lizardwoman. :)

As it stands, it looks like this game is going to do a lot for progress in terms of diverse representations.

Heysam
06-13-2018, 08:05 PM
Guys, not here to pop your bubble or something. But I don't think this is feasible, character creation is about sex (male or female bodyparts) and not about gender. Changing sex changes how you character looks like ingame, but changing gender doesn't do anything ingame. I know you feel the need to represent everyone but including LGBTQ in the character creation? Could you give me concrete examples on how this would work and have any impact on the character itself and ingame? Because in my opinion a gay guy just looks like a guy to me, same with lesbians. A queer or whatever like a woman/man but a bit excentric, so I don't think this is going to fly.


Give me an old, fat, bearded q-u-e-e-r lizard transwoman who is unapologetic in her occasional need to roll her wheelchair to the back of the shop after hours to rub one off, because damn if she ain't independent in her sexuality.

Don't give me that woman with a snake in her pants bullsh*t please, that's just asking for too much. I can understand that some people feel trapped in their own body and feel attracted to the same sex/gender, but a guy that dresses as a woman but still wants to keep their male parts? Nah, I don't buy that. Gender has become so liberal that people are inventing a new gender each day, hell I've even seen a guy who identified himself as a wolfperson and kept howling. He really thought he could communicate with canines. Or a woman who identified herself as a cat and wore cat ears and made her own fluffy tail and meow'd to her cat ( I mean the real one ).
People often say gender is like a spectrum, it can be anything. I'm thinking that they're confusing it with their imagination … I may have gone a bit overboard with this, but that's what I think. Correct me if I'm wrong.

But about the representation of women and hybrid women, I completely agree with you guys. They should stop the oversexualizing of women in games as if they have no other use than to please guys. Or the overly clichť "strong woman" protagonist, there are more to woman than just those 2 roles. The ratio could be also be more even, I always found it strange when there was a female pro(or an-)tagonist that leads a crew or team with no other women in it. Like she's the exception on the women that actually rose to the top, what about the women that didn't rise to the top and are still struggling.