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Why a female protagonist doesn't fit in GTA (debunked)

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universetwisters
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#1

Posted 19 April 2014 - 10:59 PM

So yeah, this here's the big bold thread on the common arguments as to why people don't think female protagonists would fit into GTA and I try to debunk them through statistics and facts. Let's begin our quest.

 

Background

 

So this whole shabang started about a few months ago. I was working with some guy who was making a GTA mod, he would make the buildings and I would find references for them, seeing as if you live in Denmark, it's hard to come across good looking American buildings. So he tells me to make a plot for the mod to go with his map, so I'm cool with it. I decide to write something that hasn't been done before. Not your typical "start at the bottom, rise to the top" gig. Something new, something that hasn't been done before. Part of that was a female protagonist. So I make a plot, some missions, and so forth. I also get in touch with a character modeller and he was generous enough to make a model of the character. So when the time comes to show it to him, he and this other dude that butted his way in just flips their sh*t. Needless to say, a female protagonist didn't click to them. If I hadn't put so much work into the plot and whatnot, I would've went back to the drawing board and started fresh, but if they sh*t on all the work me and my buddies did as far as the model, character development, etc. went with arguments straight from the 1950s like "I don't want any women running in my town", I threw in the towel. Not only that, but the mod itself was snowballing into a giant clusterf*ck of inaccuracies and a lack of motivation. Henceforth, I packed up and left, and now putting the work to a Source engine game.

Now time to address why people don't want a female protagonist, both the people I worked with and other people.

 

"GTA is a male-centric game"

 

Bullsh*t. Female protagonists have been in GTA since Grand Theft Auto 1, even though it didn't affect the gameplay much. Nobody seemed to complain then, and even then, people complain at the sight of unfamiliar situations and/or settings. Look at when San Andreas was announced, for instance. People flipped their sh*t because you took control of a black protagonist. Now look at CJ. He's one of the most popular GTA protagonists, popular enough to the point where fanboys constantly whine to Rockstar about adding him back to GTA 5. Taking the point further, female protagonists were an option in both GTA 4's multiplayer and GTA Online. If the above argument were true, then Rockstar would count female protagonists out of the equation entirely. Female Protagonists don't seem to change much from Male protagonists in GTA Online, aside from a few cutscenes. They can still steal, rob, and do stuff (more on that below) just as good as their male counterparts do. Another thing worth noting is that the bulk of players I've seen have female protagonists themselves.

 

"Women can't commit crimes like males do"

 

Bullsh*t. While males commit the bulk of violent crimes such as murder, you can't turn a blind eye to the fact that females are also capable of committing crimes. It's not like they're physically unable to pick up a gun and shoot somebody. They're perfectly capable of killing people, as they are robbing stores, carjacking, and even robbing banks. While it is true that the number of female criminals outnumber male criminals, the argument above holds little to no validity because, after a quick google search, you can find that women CAN commit the same crimes males do, perhaps even to a more gruesome degree.

 

"Women are too girly and 'bubblegum' to make a good protagonist out of"

 

Bullsh*t. All of my ex's were psycho nutters who would have made perfect protagonists. I won't expand on that, though, because I would like to prove this point through facts, as opposed to personal experience. But the fact still stands, though. If we get out regularly, we have all met some wacky chick. But not all protagonists have to be axe-crazy like Trevor. There's many kinds of female criminals in reality, such as Griselda Blanco, who was the f*cking mentor of Pablo Escobar. Let that set in for a minute. Other "gritty" females out there are Queen Mary 1 who got at least 300 protestants burned at the stake, and Bonnie Parker, the bank robbing accomplice to Clyde Barrow. Not only that, but who's to say all guys are nit and grit? There's a lot of effeminate men out there, but I won't dive into it. Fact of the matter, though, is that not every single woman in the world is a bubblegum pop artist.

 

"A female protagonist is hard to relate to"

 

Bullsh*t. By that logic, male protagonists who aren't the same ethnic group would be hard to relate to. We're all human when you boil it down. We all have wants and needs. Some vary between people, but you can't deny that it's true. I'm an 18-year old white male who lived in the suburbs of Washington DC and Orlando all his life. I haven't had much experience to gangs, outside of tryhards at various schools I went to. Despite that, I don't have a problem playing as a drug lord who wears Hawaiian shirts, or an Eastern European immigrant, or even a black gangbanger who's trying to be a more professional criminal. All of these characters are fiction, and as such, shouldn't be a concern whether or not we can relate to them. Of course, it's cool if there were a protagonist that shares the same traits as me, but it's just that. It would be "cool", and nothing more. I'm not going to boycott the game if it turns out the protagonist hates model trains with a passion or anything like that. It's just a character. I don't need to relate to a character. I would much rather play as the character and enjoy their story as opposed to have their story built around what I can relate to. I enjoyed Johnny's story in TLAD, for example, but that doesn't mean I drive a Harley, or hang around biker gangs. I couldn't relate to Johnny as a protagonist because I wasn't a biker, but just because you can't relate to a protagonist doesn't mean you can't enjoy their story.

 

"The Feminists would get pissed and throw eggs at us"

 

Bullsh*t? It's kinda debatable, come think of it. After GTA 5 came out, feminists get mad at the game because the bulk of the female characters were degrading. Not only that, but the bulk of females in the GTA series had some pretty big flaws with them. Tracy De Santa and her "valley girl" sleep-around lifestyle, Mary Ann and her obsession with being top dog, and so forth. But then again, the same could be said about the male characters. The only good genuinely "good" character in GTA 5 that comes to mind is Floyd, and he doesn't last for long. Henceforth, the argument that the game portrays females in a bad light doesn't hold too true, seeing as most, if not all of the male characters aren't the best in the bunch. Especially when the said bunch consists of robbers, liars, theives, backstabbers, and so forth.

 

                                                                                                                                                                        Conclusion

I hope those few debunkings have changed your opinion on why a female protagonist CAN fit in GTA. I'm not sure how else to end this, so I'll just leave it here. Toodles.
 

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thesmileys
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#2

Posted 19 April 2014 - 11:04 PM

For that matter, we should just keep on with male protags, the only difference would be the pair of tits.


universetwisters
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#3

Posted 19 April 2014 - 11:11 PM

For that matter, we should just keep on with male protags, the only difference would be the pair of tits.

 

Why not mix it up? The same could be said about protagonists that have a different ethnicity from one another.

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Gr33n17
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#4

Posted 19 April 2014 - 11:13 PM Edited by Gr33n17, 19 April 2014 - 11:14 PM.

Definitely agree with what you're saying; perhaps it's a case of Rockstar being stuck in their old ways. 

 

 

I honestly can't think of a valid reason as to why female protagonists are few and far between

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universetwisters
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#5

Posted 19 April 2014 - 11:14 PM

I honestly can't think of a valid reason as to why there's rarely female protagonists

 

I'm guessing people who don't want change. But then again, if Rockstar can do three protags, there's nothing saying they can't have one of them be a female.

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thesmileys
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#6

Posted 19 April 2014 - 11:21 PM

 

For that matter, we should just keep on with male protags, the only difference would be the pair of tits.

 

Why not mix it up? The same could be said about protagonists that have a different ethnicity from one another.

 

I don't know but, a female protag would be too forced, a woman going around with an AK47, dealing drugs, kicking ass, etc etc is laughable and unless I'm forgetting a past characters of theirs, I don't believe Rockstar can write a good female lead.

 

For the mixing it up thing, i feel you, but just not for GTA.

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universetwisters
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#7

Posted 19 April 2014 - 11:22 PM

I don't know but, a female protag would be too forced, a woman going around with an AK47, dealing drugs, kicking ass, etc etc is laughable and unless I'm forgetting a past characters of theirs, I don't believe Rockstar can write a good female lead.

 

Did you read the post?

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orbitalraindrops
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#8

Posted 19 April 2014 - 11:23 PM Edited by orbitalraindrops, 19 April 2014 - 11:24 PM.

 

 

For that matter, we should just keep on with male protags, the only difference would be the pair of tits.

 

Why not mix it up? The same could be said about protagonists that have a different ethnicity from one another.

 

I don't know but, a female protag would be too forced, a woman going around with an AK47, dealing drugs, kicking ass, etc etc is laughable and unless I'm forgetting a past characters of theirs, I don't believe Rockstar can write a good female lead.

 

For the mixing it up thing, i feel you, but just not for GTA.

 

Uuuuh catalina. She wasnt a protag but she did all those things and it was scary not laughable.

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Mr.Killa
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#9

Posted 19 April 2014 - 11:24 PM

I have no problem with a female protag, as long as it´s not the only protag. I mean, if there was only protagonist, and it was a woman, she would have to be lesbian or bisexual, as most GTA-players would feel pretty uncomfortable going to a male strip club or pick up a male prostitute (Which I´m sure excist). If she had to be crazy, they could take inspiration from crazy females in movies, like Xenia Onatopp from Goldeneye, or Simon Gruber´s girlfriend from Die Hard 3. Or she could be more classy, like alot of other female villains from James Bond.


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#10

Posted 19 April 2014 - 11:27 PM Edited by Gr33n17, 19 April 2014 - 11:33 PM.

i think a lot of people would be down with a female protagonist as long as the story is good because let's be honest could you imagine a female Franklin, Trevor or Michael.

 

a female Franklin rags to riches wouldn't work the same way as it stands

a female Trevor... haha

a female Michael has the most potential if the 'witness protection' angle was the focal point of the character

 

Now if you had Amanda's character, who was a bit more vindictive i.e. a money grabbing b*tch or something that could potentially work in an anti-hero role and would make more sense I think


thesmileys
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#11

Posted 19 April 2014 - 11:33 PM

 

I don't know but, a female protag would be too forced, a woman going around with an AK47, dealing drugs, kicking ass, etc etc is laughable and unless I'm forgetting a past characters of theirs, I don't believe Rockstar can write a good female lead.

 

Did you read the post?

 

ya


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#12

Posted 19 April 2014 - 11:41 PM Edited by Blennerville, 19 April 2014 - 11:55 PM.

id imagine R* have learned from the past or at least i hope they have and dont give this crap of having a female character just for the sake of it any notice at all, because you just know that the people who are whinging to have female characters now will be the same people to complain that the female character is sh*t and doesnt have any depth if it happens.

 

You dont ask people what they want or else we would have just got faster horses instead of cars :lol:


universetwisters
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#13

Posted 19 April 2014 - 11:41 PM

 

 

I don't know but, a female protag would be too forced, a woman going around with an AK47, dealing drugs, kicking ass, etc etc is laughable and unless I'm forgetting a past characters of theirs, I don't believe Rockstar can write a good female lead.

 

Did you read the post?

 

ya

 

 

You must have missed something then, seeing as I explain how your idea of a woman dealing drugs and kicking ass, while not as common, is still possible,

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thesmileys
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#14

Posted 20 April 2014 - 12:03 AM Edited by thesmileys, 20 April 2014 - 12:04 AM.

 

 

 

I don't know but, a female protag would be too forced, a woman going around with an AK47, dealing drugs, kicking ass, etc etc is laughable and unless I'm forgetting a past characters of theirs, I don't believe Rockstar can write a good female lead.

 

Did you read the post?

 

ya

 

 

You must have missed something then, seeing as I explain how your idea of a woman dealing drugs and kicking ass, while not as common, is still possible,

 

It'd be very funny, good ol' girls with guns,  Saints Row style.


universetwisters
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#15

Posted 20 April 2014 - 12:06 AM

It'd be very funny, good ol' girls with guns,  Saints Row style.

 

And guys with guns aren't funny too?

 

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#16

Posted 20 April 2014 - 12:18 AM

Yep, pretty funny.

 


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#17

Posted 20 April 2014 - 12:25 AM

And why would you want a female protag, you wouldn't be able to sex up the hookers :(.


universetwisters
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#18

Posted 20 April 2014 - 12:29 AM

And why would you want a female protag, you wouldn't be able to sex up the hookers :(.

I very rarely pick up hookers in GTA. Even then, not every town has hookers.


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#19

Posted 20 April 2014 - 12:31 AM

Starting each para off with bullsh*t, mhm not very appealing. I'm fine with playing a male character. Should've expanded on your nutty exs, would've made a much better topic.


universetwisters
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#20

Posted 20 April 2014 - 12:37 AM

Starting each para off with bullsh*t, mhm not very appealing. I'm fine with playing a male character. Should've expanded on your nutty exs, would've made a much better topic.

 

"mhm"?

My ex's are perfect candidates for GTA protagonist, seeing as one is a hate-fueled neo nazi and the other one is a sneaky backstabber, but I tried to keep the information in the sections accurate and credible. There's very little documented stuff on the things my ex's say, as opposed to many documented actions of the other women I mention.


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#21

Posted 20 April 2014 - 03:51 AM

I see how YOU yourself rationalize it, but I think it'd be hard to preach to a large audience. I really think CJ is a lousy example. Most people just feel nostalgic for whacky San Andreas; consequently, associating their favorite GTA with CJ. You break CJ down, and he's a boring, submissive, vapid c*nt. I doubt the race comparison is really appropriate. 

 

But anyways, it's good to look at outside games.

Who are the most famous women in games? Samus? A mute in a suit, she could basically be a man and her character wouldn't change. Lara Croft? She's strong and independent, but not without several T n A flashes to the audience. There's a tough triangle that female characters need to be in the center of in order to capture the respect of a male audience member. They need to be tough but not a butch feminist. They need to be sexy but not slutty. And they need to be headstrong but not intimidating. 

 

Frankly, I think GTA's refrained because it's more trouble than it's worth in that regard. I heard some statistic that 80% of video game players are male, and that includes ALL games, like Candy Crush and other sh*t mostly played by girls.

To make a female character just seems like... trying to make a female character for the sake of making a female character... (Like Franklin being black in GTA V for the sake of being black in GTA V) Most people want to play a character that they can both relate to and develop. Hence, our old archetypes. Have you ever played a game or watched a show with the token friends of the protagonist? The fat guy, the smart guy, the coward, etc,  and then the woman. Until this general idea of "gender and race are enough for establishing a character" dissipates sufficiently, I don't see a female protagonist being viable.

 

Lastly, woman do commit crimes, but statistically are under 20% of people who commit violent crimes. That includes murder, and usually women favor poison or something more indirect than men. Women and men are different, and if you're vying for gender equality, I think "women can be violent murders too, if they want!" is a bad approach. How our brains are wired, I just can't picture a woman, attractive and dainty enough to be beloved by male audiences, to be mowing down police. It's like Juliet from Lolly Pop Chainsaw, seeing as how those are the types of women who usually make it into GTA games. It's just not credible.

 

All just my opinion, of course.

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thesmileys
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#22

Posted 20 April 2014 - 04:22 AM

I see how YOU yourself rationalize it, but I think it'd be hard to preach to a large audience. I really think CJ is a lousy example. Most people just feel nostalgic for whacky San Andreas; consequently, associating their favorite GTA with CJ. You break CJ down, and he's a boring, submissive, vapid c*nt. I doubt the race comparison is really appropriate. 

 

But anyways, it's good to look at outside games.

Who are the most famous women in games? Samus? A mute in a suit, she could basically be a man and her character wouldn't change. Lara Croft? She's strong and independent, but not without several T n A flashes to the audience. There's a tough triangle that female characters need to be in the center of in order to capture the respect of a male audience member. They need to be tough but not a butch feminist. They need to be sexy but not slutty. And they need to be headstrong but not intimidating. 

 

Frankly, I think GTA's refrained because it's more trouble than it's worth in that regard. I heard some statistic that 80% of video game players are male, and that includes ALL games, like Candy Crush and other sh*t mostly played by girls.

To make a female character just seems like... trying to make a female character for the sake of making a female character... (Like Franklin being black in GTA V for the sake of being black in GTA V) Most people want to play a character that they can both relate to and develop. Hence, our old archetypes. Have you ever played a game or watched a show with the token friends of the protagonist? The fat guy, the smart guy, the coward, etc,  and then the woman. Until this general idea of "gender and race are enough for establishing a character" dissipates sufficiently, I don't see a female protagonist being viable.

 

Lastly, woman do commit crimes, but statistically are under 20% of people who commit violent crimes. That includes murder, and usually women favor poison or something more indirect than men. Women and men are different, and if you're vying for gender equality, I think "women can be violent murders too, if they want!" is a bad approach. How our brains are wired, I just can't picture a woman, attractive and dainty enough to be beloved by male audiences, to be mowing down police. It's like Juliet from Lolly Pop Chainsaw, seeing as how those are the types of women who usually make it into GTA games. It's just not credible.

 

All just my opinion, of course.

 

Exactly, i mean GTA trying to be realistic. I don't think a female protagonist would work at all.1st its a lot harder to make a gritty tough female character in such a setting that doesn't come off as being forced. Lots of the tough female characters in games don't feel like real people.

Also, the character being female would take over half the damn story. Criminals are generally sexist and wouldn't respect a female protagonist. it'd become a major theme and that's no really fitting for a GTA game at all. i don't want to play a GTA game to "overcome stereotypes" i want GTA to take advantage of stereotypes....also if all the criminal characters act like a crazy badass female assassin gangbanger person is normal and nothing unusual about that it'd be immersion breaking.

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#23

Posted 20 April 2014 - 11:49 AM

Female criminals do exist, why not?


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#24

Posted 20 April 2014 - 05:39 PM

I know I've mentioned this before, but I'd really like to see a husband and wife or brother and sister criminal duo. I think that could be quite interesting, especially if it was an older sister/younger brother pair.

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#25

Posted 20 April 2014 - 05:59 PM

I really think a sneaky Marilyn Monroe look-alike in a 1960s Las Venturas setting would work pretty well, personally. I mean, we've seen it in movies before, haven't we? A girl who plays the innocent damsel on the surface, but underneath it all is a criminal mastermind. 

 

A modern female protagonist wouldn't be impossible either, honestly, just take any girl off the street who's been wronged by society and feels a burning need for revenge. *shrugs*

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#26

Posted 20 April 2014 - 07:27 PM

A female Trevor... Haha.


We already have a female character who is crazy as Trevor, although you can't play as her unless you have cheat codes or a PC.

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#27

Posted 20 April 2014 - 09:36 PM

 

A female Trevor... Haha.


We already have a female character who is crazy as Trevor, although you can't play as her unless you have cheat codes or a PC.

 

 

Exactly. The points people make saying that female protagonists can't work don't seem to see that. Psycho chicks exist in real life. Female criminals exist in real life. It's a perfect combo.

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#28

Posted 20 April 2014 - 11:16 PM

 

 

A female Trevor... Haha.


We already have a female character who is crazy as Trevor, although you can't play as her unless you have cheat codes or a PC.

 

 

Exactly. The points people make saying that female protagonists can't work don't seem to see that. Psycho chicks exist in real life. Female criminals exist in real life. It's a perfect combo.

 

 

 

The fact that Trevor has a fanbase really proves you can put anyone in GTA and have them "work". 

 

Let's get someone like Helga from Loadout, over-hype the trailers, and have a million dollar sequel.

 

3eb1cd0e22a0c56a190352611e02f5fb.png


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#29

Posted 20 April 2014 - 11:42 PM

 

 

 

A female Trevor... Haha.


We already have a female character who is crazy as Trevor, although you can't play as her unless you have cheat codes or a PC.

 

 

Exactly. The points people make saying that female protagonists can't work don't seem to see that. Psycho chicks exist in real life. Female criminals exist in real life. It's a perfect combo.

 

 

 

The fact that Trevor has a fanbase really proves you can put anyone in GTA and have them "work". 

 

Let's get someone like Helga from Loadout, over-hype the trailers, and have a million dollar sequel.

 

-snip-

 

I'm almost positive he was making an allusion to Catalina. The only similarities to her I can make with Trevor are the fact that they're clingy (in CJ's case) and act off an impulse. But still, she also has some traits of Michael, such as backstabbing on Claude. 

 

But yeah, someone who fits Catalina's impulsive mindset could work for a female protagonist. If they could have a biker gang protagonist (biker gangs make up about 1% of motorbike riders) and somebody who was a poorly-written protagonist (Vic, Niko, Luis) then why not try something new with a female? There's no reason why it can't work. Hell, maybe even Karen/Michelle from IV. She said she used to be a criminal in the past life, or alludes to it.


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#30

Posted 02 May 2014 - 12:45 AM

How about multiple characters, with one female protag ?

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