Game Developers and Unintentional Sexism

in games on (#3FY)
story imageThe Atlantic looked at a recent update from the developers of the game Desktop Dungeons to discuss problems with gender bias in gaming , asking "can a work be racist or sexist if its creator doesn't mean for it to be?"
The developers of the game had recently been adding female character art to their game with the intention that they would be "adventurers first and runway models second."
While activly trying to avoid doing everything the "simple" way, they came into some problems due to subconcious shorthands creeping in.
"This adjustment turned out to be startlingly non-trivial - you'd think that a bunch of supposedly conscious, mindful individuals would instantly be able to nail a "good female look" (bonus points for having a woman on our crew, right?), but huge swathes of our artistic language tended to be informed by sexist and one-dimensional portrayals. We regularly surprised ourselves with how much we took for granted."

Re: Of course (Score: 5, Interesting)

by on 2014-03-14 12:20 (#J8)

I cannot agree with your assertion about racism, it would make the entire word meaningles. The word racism simply describes any statement or belief that different (human) races are different beyond color of skin. This gets ugly when this is taken so far as to say one race is superior/inferior to another because of these alleged differences.

When it comes to the character portraits, I agree with most of what you are saying, especially this part:

However, there's nothing particularly enlightened here - no one likes to fantasize about being ugly. Even the grizzled-veteran-with-the-knife-fighting-scars fantasy is just a different kind of attractiveness.

Personally I think they made the characters far too ugly and weird - they don't have to be pretty, young supermodels, but they certainly don't ALL need to be ugly either.
Post Comment
46, 9 or 100: the highest is?