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Ice-Pick Lodge forums • Male bias
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 Post subject: Male bias
PostPosted: 04 Dec 2009, 06:02 
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What's the typical female reaction to The Void ? Not much women in the credits, and hmm.. the male bias is a little more pronounced than in most games :)
There's a woman I want to get into the good stuff i.e video games, but even though The Void is superb and masterfully thought I'm not sure how she's going to react, even though by that time I'll already know if she appreciates games in general and phantasmagoric trips. Experiences anyone ? What sort of review would The Void have got if gaming websites and magazines were populated by women ? :twisted:


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 Post subject: Re: Male bias
PostPosted: 04 Dec 2009, 11:54 
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http://www.adventuregamers.com/article/id,1089/

That sort of review; unfounded, full of misplaced feminism.


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 Post subject: Re: Male bias
PostPosted: 04 Dec 2009, 15:54 
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Heh, first of all the review that Throdax linked to was written by a man (Andrea is a male name in Italy). :P

Hmm... I think determining typical female reaction might be quite a challenge - what's the typical reaction to The Void anyway, regardless of gender? BTW, I'll hazard a guess - typical fairly positive (?) reaction might be it's artistic and innovative, while difficult, obscure, and not necessarily fun; typical negative might call it pretentious with unengaging, repetitive gameplay. (I like to think that it's not that big of a difference when it comes to gender, only partially true stereotypes - "women like romantic comedies, men like action flicks" - but liking movies with Hugh Grant over those with Steven Seagal does not make you more of a woman than a man, or the other way round...)

The Void is indeed a challenging game - it means that as a means of "getting into video games" it could be ineffective. For someone not used to games, understanding its mechanics at a level necessary to survive might not be easy. On the other hand - The Void is very different from other games, so maybe gaming background wouldn't be helpful anyway. :wink:

If you're worried about the "male bias" of the Void, I guess the question you need to ask is what's the "typical female reaction" to erotica featuring women? And I suppose there's no good answer to it, as approach to sexual matters is quite an individual thing. Best to know what's the views on erotica of the woman in question, I guess (that is, if she won't find it extremely offensive and sexist like the Adventure Gamers reviewer did).

Edit: Anyway, I think that any attempt at spreading some The Void love is worthwhile, and as it indeed is a great experience, not only compared to other games; and since it's an intelligent, ambitious game it might be just right for getting the medium some appreciation, if the new player is persistent and determined enough. :P


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 Post subject: Re: Male bias
PostPosted: 04 Dec 2009, 18:35 
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Heh, first of all the review that Throdax linked to was written by a man (Andrea is a male name in Italy). :P

Hmm... I think determining typical female reaction might be quite a challenge - what's the typical reaction to The Void anyway, regardless of gender? BTW, I'll hazard a guess - typical fairly positive (?) reaction might be it's artistic and innovative, while difficult, obscure, and not necessarily fun; typical negative might call it pretentious with unengaging, repetitive gameplay. (I like to think that it's not that big of a difference when it comes to gender, only partially true stereotypes - "women like romantic comedies, men like action flicks" - but liking movies with Hugh Grant over those with Steven Seagal does not make you more of a woman than a man, or the other way round...)

The Void is indeed a challenging game - it means that as a means of "getting into video games" it could be ineffective. For someone not used to games, understanding its mechanics at a level necessary to survive might not be easy. On the other hand - The Void is very different from other games, so maybe gaming background wouldn't be helpful anyway. :wink:

If you're worried about the "male bias" of the Void, I guess the question you need to ask is what's the "typical female reaction" to erotica featuring women? And I suppose there's no good answer to it, as approach to sexual matters is quite an individual thing. Best to know what's the views on erotica of the woman in question, I guess (that is, if she won't find it extremely offensive and sexist like the Adventure Gamers reviewer did).

Edit: Anyway, I think that any attempt at spreading some The Void love is worthwhile, and as it indeed is a great experience, not only compared to other games; and since it's an intelligent, ambitious game it might be just right for getting the medium some appreciation, if the new player is persistent and determined enough. :P
You can be a man and still be full of feminism notions :P


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 Post subject: Re: Male bias
PostPosted: 04 Dec 2009, 22:14 
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You can be a man and still be full of feminism notions :P
Believe me, I know it first-hand (well, sorta). :P (Though perhaps we all should slowly start moving towards gender equality rather than simply feminism, but that's another topic altogether).

Anyway, by definition it's impossible to have erotica without treating the characters as sexual objects. And I don't think that denouncing a whole art genre just because of a history of "social oppression" of one sex would be right - I doubt that it's high, if at all, on the list of feminism's goals.

Why The Void features only female erotica is, again, another topic altogether - probably partly because male erotica doesn't seem particularly developed or widespread in art and culture. What caused it? Artists and art recipients being historically predominantly male? (or, in the case of Sappho, literally Lesbian?) Homophobia? (because those attracted to one gender can still appreciate erotica featuring the other gender, can't they?) Lower demand? (but I suppose that all the Harlequin novels do sell? :P)



All this probably doesn't answer Syniurge's question any more, so I'll just rephrase what I've written before - just make sure she doesn't have any objections to some female erotica, and be sure to give her a few tips along the way if she feels overwhelmed, and she might live, and maybe even have fun. ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Male bias
PostPosted: 07 Dec 2009, 03:51 
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Think I'll chuck my 2 pennies worth in here...

While some of the sister donation scenes are very sexualised - Ava's in particular springs to mind - some are less so. The Nameless Sister, while featuring the same level of nudity as the other Sister Obscuras, doesn't strike me as being sexy. Beautiful, certainly but sexy, not so much. The Sister in the tower (Ira, Ima?) is another example - I imagine its hard to be sexy when you have...well...I'll say no more about her predicament, lest I spoil it.

Is the nudity and so on excessive or unwarranted? Hard to say. Perhaps a little excessive in places but unwarranted, I would have to say no. Nudity plays a role in many paintings, be it as a depiction of innocence, temptation or straightforward lust - why should the artistic medium of games be any different just because it involves a higher degree of interaction? Each of the Sisters signifies a different aspect of human nature, much like the Brothers and it would make sense for the nudity to be reflective of different meanings.

My final comment would be that your Obscura spends its time naked as well and doesn't even have any particle effects. It does beg the question though - the representations of the Brothers, I'm guessing, are their physical forms, like Uta's boat, or Nameless in the tree. If the Void depicted the Brother's Obscuras, I suspect they would be naked as well (with/without particle effects as appropriate). However, as there is no reason in the gameplay that would require the player to see a Brother's Obscura, its something we can only guess at.

/end long-winded wall of text


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 Post subject: Re: Male bias
PostPosted: 08 Dec 2009, 02:15 
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Well, I'm a woman and I absolutely love The Void. It doesn't offend my feelings in any way. In my opinion, the sisters' nudity is more artistic than erotic. For me it's more like Greek statues or classical paintings. They are aesthetically (not only physically) pleasant to look at. And, like almost every detail in The Void, it has a deeper symbolic meaning (the purity and defenselessness of a dream, for example).


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 Post subject: Re: Male bias
PostPosted: 08 Dec 2009, 06:03 
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@MasamuneSSX

Now if only we could see what the Brothers Obscura would look like, THAT would be something special!


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 Post subject: Re: Male bias
PostPosted: 08 Dec 2009, 21:14 
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While some of the sister donation scenes are very sexualised - Ava's in particular springs to mind - some are less so. The Nameless Sister, while featuring the same level of nudity as the other Sister Obscuras, doesn't strike me as being sexy. Beautiful, certainly but sexy, not so much. The Sister in the tower (Ira, Ima?) is another example - I imagine its hard to be sexy when you have...well...I'll say no more about her predicament, lest I spoil it.
Well, as to Ima, I imagine that bondage and/or duress aren't that uncommon a fantasy... :) Also, yeah, Ava and Ire, maybe Aya too, are the most overtly sexual, while others hardly are (like Una, Echo, and Yani) but... tastes vary.
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Is the nudity and so on excessive or unwarranted? Hard to say. Perhaps a little excessive in places but unwarranted, I would have to say no. Nudity plays a role in many paintings, be it as a depiction of innocence, temptation or straightforward lust - why should the artistic medium of games be any different just because it involves a higher degree of interaction? Each of the Sisters signifies a different aspect of human nature, much like the Brothers and it would make sense for the nudity to be reflective of different meanings.
Hard to disagree with this. I only suspect that some people simply don't appreciate having tits & ass shoved in their face when they don't feel like it (or at all) - and let's face it, for most probably playing video games does not create the necessary mood. But there isn't really any problem there - The Void simply isn't for those people, it's not like they're forced to buy/play it.
Plus, the amount of erotica in The Void isn't really that much more than what we get in movies (the regular kind, of course :wink: ) or even some commercials.
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It does beg the question though - the representations of the Brothers, I'm guessing, are their physical forms, like Uta's boat, or Nameless in the tree. If the Void depicted the Brother's Obscuras, I suspect they would be naked as well (with/without particle effects as appropriate). However, as there is no reason in the gameplay that would require the player to see a Brother's Obscura, its something we can only guess at.
(I'm unfamiliar with the term Obscura - the version I played was Polish Tension, and it either didn't exist back then, or got translated into something I can't easily connect to this, it's been almost a year since I played it, so maybe I just don't remember.)
The Brothers, though, unlike Sisters, don't seem to have to "disrobe" just to have a conversation; they also seem to have no appreciation for beauty/creation, and mutilated (improved?) their own bodies willingly (?), so perhaps it wouldn't be so...

I also agree with what Arjen said. The way the Sisters move when they're fed, and the way the light particles surround them is usually just... very pretty, more than sexual. (Heh, they kinda remind me of the transformations from Sailor Moon etc., though in reverse :lol: - wonder if it's been some inspiration?)


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 Post subject: Re: Male bias
PostPosted: 08 Dec 2009, 21:47 
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The Void.... Sailor Moon -_- please don't go there.


Like Arjen said you can compare The Void nakedness to those of the renaissance era, and I don't see many people fapping Millo's Venus. :|

I find The Void a lot more erotic to those gun wielding spandex ladies in other games and I find that refreshing in a game; it also serves the a purpose in The Void, to coax the players into falling the their beauty making them believe what they say is always true using their body to charm the player.


I'm rambling again, so I'll stop :D


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 Post subject: Re: Male bias
PostPosted: 08 Dec 2009, 22:40 
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The Void.... Sailor Moon -_- please don't go there.


Like Arjen said you can compare The Void nakedness to those of the renaissance era, and I don't see many people fapping Millo's Venus. :|

I find The Void a lot more erotic to those gun wielding spandex ladies in other games and I find that refreshing in a game; it also serves the a purpose in The Void, to coax the players into falling the their beauty making them believe what they say is always true using their body to charm the player.


I'm rambling again, so I'll stop :D
That's exactly it. It's about temptation and seduction. The fact that we can and are debating about it makes the issue a lot more complex than some cheap and tacky sex scene in GTA or Dragon Age. Don't get me wrong though, Dragon Age is freaking awesome in its own way =3

Kemo - I vaguely recall obscura being another word for soul, spirit, phantasm or ghost, although the word is rarely used in everday english. Perhaps it does explain things though - when you are communicating to a Sister, it is done soul-to-soul, hence the ability to use the Donor Glyph with them. The Brothers crawled up from The Nightmare - do they even have souls? Is being self-aware and alive all that is needed for a soul?


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 Post subject: Re: Male bias
PostPosted: 08 Dec 2009, 23:23 
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Like Arjen said you can compare The Void nakedness to those of the renaissance era, and I don't see many people fapping Millo's Venus. :|
Because if they do they do it in private... :roll: Also, now we have a very easy access to more direct stimuli, and who knows what was going on in ancient times... :P
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I find The Void a lot more erotic to those gun wielding spandex ladies in other games and I find that refreshing in a game; it also serves the a purpose in The Void, to coax the players into falling the their beauty making them believe what they say is always true using their body to charm the player.
I agree with Sisters being far more refined than the crude sexuality which is served to us through other media every day...

I also agree that the erotic aspects of The Void are a conscious and successful artistic choice (despite some reviewers thinking otherwise), even on a very basic level - the players may want to continue feeding the Sisters with colour just to see them more and more exposed.
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Kemo - I vaguely recall obscura being another word for soul, spirit, phantasm or ghost, although the word is rarely used in everday english. Perhaps it does explain things though - when you are communicating to a Sister, it is done soul-to-soul, hence the ability to use the Donor Glyph with them. The Brothers crawled up from The Nightmare - do they even have souls? Is being self-aware and alive all that is needed for a soul?
Perhaps the Brothers do not want to become so close to the player, they do not want to reveal their true soul (it might go with the stereotype of males being less emotional, empathetic). But maybe by becoming partly machines they indeed lost a lot of their humanity and, thus, soul. The Sisters on the other hand (like stereotypical female images) are more likely to wear their, excuse the pun, hearts on their sleeves; they perhaps cannot communicate without revealing a part of themselves, and cannot do it without trusting, so they require a gift of colour...


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 Post subject: Re: Male bias
PostPosted: 14 Dec 2009, 01:58 
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My fiancee frequently watches me play video games, because it's easier for her to get the good stories out of video game without having to put in the effort of playing it. Lucky me! I began playing The Void recently and fell in love with the gameplay and story, and my fiancee seems to enjoy it too. Granted, she's not the kind of person who reacts strongly to sexism in media, and she only makes the occasional joke that I'm playing the game partly for the nudity, but she seems to genuinely enjoy the artful expression of the story.

Personally, I am more of a gender equality believer than she is, and while some of the gender representations in the game are very particular, I don't feel that they're biased. In some ways there is some bias against the male roles in the game, due to the brothers' ardent belief in preservation and obedience of dictem, representing the male consciousness. The brothers project a psychological blindness that goes beyond their physical blindness, so set in their ways that they refuse to accept any other possibilities.

The donor animations for the sisters seem more sensual than sexual, and the sisters are varied in personality. Ava is a classic example of the strong sexual creature, with a languishing sphynx right in the entry to her chamber. But characters like Eli and Uta are imperious, strong-willed female characters who even exposed and defenseless seem to be in charge of your confrontations with them.

The Void to me seems to represent the core archetypes of each gender, the "soul" of humanity as it were.


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 Post subject: Re: Male bias
PostPosted: 01 Jan 2010, 10:05 
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I like it, apart from the way the chains linger on the nipples anyway, which makes them look it look like the girls are wearing some sort of stripper-bikini. The nudity shows what a vulnerable position the Sisters are in, and the way they twist with color is beautiful besides. The way they move is in tandem with the way they think too; Ole swings her knees then stares at them, marveling at her body in childlike wonder, Una practically vibrates with power, moving her limbs in slow, deliberate movements which waste nothing, like the fall of a smith's hammer, etc. Sure Ava's are sexual, but as most women can tell you, sexuality is another kind of power and she does seem to enjoy lording over golden eyes.

As an end note, although I am female I'm also a lesbian. I'm not really sure if that effects the validity of my opinion on this. >_>


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 Post subject: Re: Male bias
PostPosted: 01 Jan 2010, 18:22 
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Female here and feminist: no, I'm not going to apologize for the latter. I trust that Ice-Pick Lodge and the Void players are more intelligent than the average mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging gaming crowd and thus are above dismissing gender concerns as "misplaced notions of feminism." Don't disappoint, please.

With that said, I do think that there'd have been little if any difference had some of the Brothers been female, and some of the Sisters male (and they can just be called "hunters"--which is what the game's code refers to the Brothers as anyway--and whatever else could be come up with for the Sisters), apart from most gamers and developers being straight males who aren't secure enough to spend a long time staring at naked, young males undulating sensually to music because obviously that'll make them gay or something. There's the fact that the player's obscura shows a naked male, but it's nowhere near fleshed-out, pun intended, as the Sisters' nudity. Glowing outline versus nubile, colorful bodies. It's not even a valid comparison. And most of the Sisters don't come off as balanced either: they tend to be manipulative, and if not manipulative then extremely vulnerable (the two "free" Sisters, Aya and Echo, are somewhat different in that regard, but even then they're defenseless against your color). It doesn't speak well of the writers' attitude toward gender/sexuality politics.

On the other hand, to give the writers a benefit of the doubt, much of the nudity's anything but sexy. Yani dancing on a ball? Not exactly blaring "come here and screw me silly" signals--not to mention that she looks about twelve, which would've been all kinds of wrong. Eli doing a series of athletic work-out? Yeah, about as erotic as watching my neighbor's cat chase a bird. I also acknowledge that some of the Sisters aren't submissive, cringing types; Eli is dryly ironic and self-deprecating, Uta is grimly determined, Aya is pushy. There's also the fact that I suspect the Void's entire story is one huge metaphor and nothing in it really exists as such; both Sisters, Brothers, predators and all are manifestations of the player's psyche, ala Silent Hill 2's bubble-head nurses being manifestations of James' sexual frustration and Pyramid Head his guilt/judge. In that light, I can see the reason for the Brothers/Sisters dichotomy and genders. But there isn't enough information.

Summary: gender in the Void is rather iffy, but I wouldn't rush to declare it misogynistic due to several reasons. Plus, in Pathologic one of the playable characters is a woman, so I imagine Ice-Pick Lodge's writers aren't uncomfortable with a female protagonist or not-victimized women in general.

By the way, I feel I've missed a few things. Echo and Aya are the only Sisters not bound to chambers and I get the impression they're not paired or under control of any Brother either (Aya can't be paired with Montgolfier since she tells you he's taken over Ole). How/why? Did I miss a dialogue that explains/implies how they "freed" themselves?


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 Post subject: Re: Male bias
PostPosted: 02 Jan 2010, 06:48 
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By the way, I feel I've missed a few things. Echo and Aya are the only Sisters not bound to chambers and I get the impression they're not paired or under control of any Brother either (Aya can't be paired with Montgolfier since she tells you he's taken over Ole). How/why? Did I miss a dialogue that explains/implies how they "freed" themselves?
I haven't beaten the game yet so I may be missing information, but if I remember correctly Echo mentions that she and Aya were the creator's favorites and thus given license to roam (though that sort of backfired as they no longer had reliable sources of Color).


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 Post subject: Re: Male bias
PostPosted: 04 Jan 2010, 13:02 
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To be honest I think the males of the void are treated a little worse than the sisters.
The main character is killed right at the beginning and I don't think that the transformation
of the brothers from human to whatever the hell they are now was entirely painless.


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 Post subject: Re: Male bias
PostPosted: 04 Jan 2010, 15:29 
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You completely miss the point. Dead, transformed or not, the Brothers and the player--all male--wield the power in the Void. They're the ones who can make things happen, the player in particular. In contrast, the Sisters are completely defenseless both against the players and the Brothers. Their hearts can be ripped out, they can be fed the wrong nerva, their realms can be damaged, and there's nothing they can do about it apart from hissing a few objections. Hell, when you feed them the wrong color, they don't even so much as talk back. It's rather disturbing and it's not a surprise accusations of misogyny are leveled at the game.

In fact, considering how mute and personality-less the player character is, it's again a case that he doesn't have to be male in the first place; the obscura could just as easily have been left genderless. It's not like you're going to make use of your penis in the course of the game.


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 Post subject: Re: Male bias
PostPosted: 04 Jan 2010, 20:37 
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I don't think anyone in the the void wields any power.

The main character is merely a puppet of the player and even without that he as a soul has no choice but to reunite with his owner or obey one of the sisters and send her to the surface.

The brothers desperately fight the death of the sleeper, afraid of the slightest change but in the end they just delay the inevitable. From the game we learn that they tried to bring the colour back but failed to do so. Now without colour in the void and the brothers refusing to believe that there could be an even higher border (it's called borders in the german version) they collect the last drops out of fear of going back into the nightmares.

The sisters are bound in their place unable to really do anything until freed. After being set free by the player they still don't do anything or go anywhere because they get ready to ascend but I think they are able to. Echo and Aya can do this from the beginning but don't have a way to get colour besides the player.

Even the colour itself strikes me as powerless. It can do many things but not on its own. The colour always needs someone who uses it and even then it can't decide what it's used for.


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 Post subject: Re: Male bias
PostPosted: 04 Jan 2010, 20:44 
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I don't think anyone in the the void wields any power.
Even if that's the case, you can't deny that the Brothers and the player have power over the Sisters. That's the point, not whether the denizens of the Void in general are helpless or not.


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 Post subject: Re: Male bias
PostPosted: 04 Jan 2010, 21:05 
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Ah ok you are right.


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 Post subject: Re: Male bias
PostPosted: 05 Jan 2010, 06:54 
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Hey everybody, I'm a staff writer for GayGamer.net, but I also operate my own blog as well. After reading the review mentioned at the top of this thread I was compelled to write a rather exhaustive response to the portion of it that accused the game of favoring sexist stereotypes. I hope the self-advertisement can be forgiven, because I've really found this thread extremely fascinating and the discussion itself pretty interesting.

http://ctrlclick.com/2010/01/on-feminin ... -the-void/
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I don't think anyone in the the void wields any power.
Even if that's the case, you can't deny that the Brothers and the player have power over the Sisters. That's the point, not whether the denizens of the Void in general are helpless or not.
I think at first glance you can come to this conclusion, but in my personal opinion I feel like it misses the intended subtext of the story.

It's explained a few times that the Brothers are there to provide for the Sisters, and the Sisters are responsible for the reincarnation that the Void will blossom into. Before you arrived there was a cycle and balance where the Brothers would collect Color and give it to the Sisters, allowing them to use it as fuel to punch through to the next world. That cycle has broken apart and now the Sisters are prisoners while the Brothers have taken control.

On the surface this screams "male bias," but you're constantly reminded that this is not how things are supposed to be and the Brothers have poisoned the Void because of it. Color itself has left because of what they've done, and only begins to return when you appear. The Sisters react to this as a positive omen while the Brothers regard you suspiciously and as a threat.

When the system worked as intended, the Brothers and Sisters were equals performing a necessary function. The Brothers were the hunter/gatherers, and the Sisters took what they brought home and nursed it into a new existence, like ants foraging for food to bring back to the Queen of the nest.

That system is disturbed now, but the game makes it clear that the Void has suffered because of it.
_________________


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 Post subject: Re: Male bias
PostPosted: 05 Jan 2010, 11:29 
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You know, I really do like the game a lot and as I've said, I'm willing to give the writers benefit of the doubt. Nor do I like the review you took exception to, because like you I also find it inaccurate and thought the reviewer was trying too hard to be a sensitive new-age guy. But...
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When the system worked as intended, the Brothers and Sisters were equals performing a necessary function. The Brothers were the hunter/gatherers, and the Sisters took what they brought home and nursed it into a new existence, like ants foraging for food to bring back to the Queen of the nest.
Yes, uhm, I'm not sure you're helping. As I said: would it have mattered if some of the hunters/gatherers were female, and some of the nurturers male? Because as I'm sure you know, that happens among some animals and various human tribes. Thematically, the Brothers' and Sisters' sexes genuinely don't matter. It's just that, as I've said, most of the devs are probably straight men, and so are most gamers. They wouldn't be comfortable with staring at naked young men for extended lengths of time, though I imagine you would be fine with that: so with that in mind, would your reaction to the game have been any different had some of the hunters been grotesque females and some of the nurturers porcelain-skinned, pale-haired boys?
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That is your role in the game; finding the Sisters, gathering the resources necessary to save them, strengthening them and then setting them free.
Which makes them essentially passive vessels. Let me assure you that I'd love to veer away from possible sexism--I don't want something I enjoyed so much to be so iffy either--but in this case it's a tough cookie to ignore it altogether.
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The Sisters are all represented in nymphic beauty, while the Brothers are ghastly monstrosities of flesh warped beyond any human recognition.
I understand where you're coming from, but in the media at large, it's more acceptable for men to be ugly. There's a cultural prejudice against women who don't fit the societal ideal: that's why so many are bothered about their weight, clothes, and looks. Girls are taught to cultivate their appearances because there's the underlying concept that they have nothing else going for them--not intelligence, not personality, not anything; so it's been going on for centuries. Men, on the other hand, can be plain and even unpleasant-looking within a certain limit. As long as they're "manly" enough (muscular, good at sports, whatever). This is why I prefer to see The Void as a giant metaphor or imaginary--it'd explain, and to a certain excuse, the dichotomy between Sisters and Brothers. If The Void were an actual fantasy world (ala Middle-earth), then I'd have raised an eyebrow over the fact that none of the Sisters is anywhere close to plain/average-looking.

You do make a good point about some of the Brothers, though. Warden, for example, is a swinging cage. He barely has limbs. They are, in a way, imprisoned in their bodies; unlike Sisters, for them there's no possibility of freedom or ascent however much color they gobble up.


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 Post subject: Re: Male bias
PostPosted: 05 Jan 2010, 11:41 
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05 Jan 2010, 06:39

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Which makes them essentially passive vessels. Let me assure you that I'd love to veer away from possible sexism--I don't want something I enjoyed so much to be so iffy either--but in this case it's a tough cookie to ignore it altogether.
I don't actually agree with this. Through the course of the game, the voice of Color tells you that the Sisters are there to be responsible for giving birth to a whole new world, and it is their role in the cycle to create and foster this act of creation. The Brothers gather the Color to provide for the Sisters, then the Sisters drain the Void and move on, while the Brothers are sacrificed so this cycle can continue. After the Void dies, the Sisters take over. That's far from being a passive vessel, they're practically god-like in that capacity. I used the ant metaphor specifically; would you say that the Queen is simply a passive vessel? She's responsible for the continuation of the entirety of the nest and without her the male ants have no purpose.

I wouldn't personally care if some of the Brothers were female and some of the Sisters male, but I think the developers were trying to hone in on the metaphor of Brothers = fathers, Sisters = mothers, and appealing to classic gender paradigms was an easy way to do that. But I don't agree that they're represented in a negatively stereotypical way that puts the Sisters at a disadvantage; as you point out, the Brothers are ultimately never going to be able to reincarnate. They are there only to strengthen the Sisters so that they can create a new world, and for that to happen they have to die with the Void.

But definitely The Void is rife in metaphor and symbolism. That was one of the things that made me enjoy it so much.
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 Post subject: Re: Male bias
PostPosted: 05 Jan 2010, 11:58 
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23 Dec 2009, 21:12

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After the Void dies, the Sisters take over.
They don't. One Sister ascends; everyone else folds up with the imploding Void and dies. From what the colors have said, there's only so much color to go around, so even when things were "normal" and balanced, most of the Sisters would have died anyway.
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I used the ant metaphor specifically; would you say that the Queen is simply a passive vessel? She's responsible for the continuation of the entirety of the nest and without her the male ants have no purpose.
Er... actually yes, they are. Queen ants are the epitome of this, especially since they grow so huge and bloated they can't even move. They're there to spawn and then they die. Let me repeat that: they give birth to a lot of ants and they die. That's it. Finished. Nothing else. Again, you're not helping your case. By the way, you know that not all workers are male, right?
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appealing to classic gender paradigms was an easy way to do that.
A paradigm that's itself problematic, and really I'd have thought taking an easy way out would be low on the list of IPL's priorities.


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