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

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universetwisters
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#31

Posted 02 May 2014 - 02:49 AM

How about multiple characters, with one female protag ?

Exactly! That could've worked in V, especially if they replaced boring old Franklin with one.


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#32

Posted 02 May 2014 - 03:57 AM

I like Franklin :(

 

I'm all for female protagonists, in both films and video games. But I AM sick of the same stereotypes they always have for female protagonists.

 

A female protagonist in an action movie/video game is typically tough, agile and "sexy". Or sexualised. One or the other. If they're not using their curves as a distraction or to talk their way into somewhere, they're kicking some muscled dimwit in the face for making a pass. This is really boring! I've seen this done so many times that it's ridiculous. I'm sure everyone can think of heaps of examples.

 

Also, with the above example, these tough yet "sexy" characters will MORE OFTEN than NOT will be introduced as capable and strong, but then by the end of the story, they'll be put in a situation where they have to be rescued by another (usually male) character. Think Trinity from the Matrix. Think of Leeloo from The Fifth Element. Think of any woman in a Stephen Sommers movie. Heck, even Fiona from Shrek...

 

Almost equally as annoying is the stereotype of the "average girl" who is forced to be tough by the circumstances. The screaming, terrorized girl who has to grab the knife/gun to fight off all villains. Bam, story over, girl cries. Then she comes back in the sequel as the other stereotype I mentioned. This archetype has been done to death almost as much.

 

Yet writers fall upon these tropes over and over whenever they have to create a female protagonist. But, of course, there are examples of great female video game/movie characters that don't rely on these archetypes, but as far as video games are concerned, they are spread very thin.

 

But on the point of Rockstar making a female protagonist.

 

First of all, at this stage, they would just be pandering to create a game with a female lead. This would attract more criticism than praise. A "too little, too late" response from the feminists and a "you sold out to the critics" response from the fans.

 

Second, Rockstar loves to play to Tropes. That's part of their appeal. With GTA, they take big, dumb Hollywood blockbuster moments/characters and build a video game around them. Hollywood hates women, so therefore the GTA universe has to as well. There's plenty of room for female leads in Rockstar games, but maybe not GTA, where they've got a formula that works.

 

I've yelled all these points across the room at my girlfriend on several occasions, and she does actually agree with this argument of mine. But most girls who play GTA that I've talked to don't even care if the protagonist is male or female, so all this recent (?) criticism must all be a part of the current "rape culture" extreme feminism movement.  

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#33

Posted 02 May 2014 - 10:21 PM Edited by D- Ice, 02 May 2014 - 10:24 PM.

You make some great points universetwisters, I completely agree it's high time we get a female protagonist.

The biggest issue I can think of with female protagonists is that, regardless of stereotypes, it is a fact that on average females are less physically strong that males. In a game like GTA, this could affect two aspects - melee fightng and heavy weapons usage. The melee aspects can be easily solved with the use of alternate fighting styles - something done very well in games like Wet. The heavy weapons problem can also be easily solved in not using ridiculously bulky weapons like the mini-gun, or having the protagonist's movements impeded like with Tommy Vercetti in VC. Alternatively, they can just use a particularly strong female protagonist - she doesn't necessarily have to be very femanine.

 

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

My friend, I think you are forgetting or disregarding the existance of two important concepts - lesbians and male prostitutes.

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#34

Posted 03 May 2014 - 10:02 PM

Apart from your bullsh*ts, in topic, I do think a female protagonist could fit in. 


universetwisters
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#35

Posted 03 May 2014 - 10:05 PM

Apart from your bullsh*ts, in topic, I do think a female protagonist could fit in. 

Is there a reason as to why you don't think they can fit in?


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#36

Posted 03 May 2014 - 10:11 PM

As much as i Love Females i Really don't  want to play as one quite Simply because she would be a liz torres / Catalina type Character who were not bad but i found them to be quite Irritating  and i could only really take them both in Small Doses i think it was the Whole mean Bitch Attitude it annoys me  so playing as a Character like that all the Time Would be Rather Annoying. 

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#37

Posted 03 May 2014 - 11:34 PM Edited by Blennerville, 03 May 2014 - 11:34 PM.

i know how we can decide this; lets throw a female boxer in the ring with with a male boxer. If the woman wins i will give in.

 

women got to know their limitations

 


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#38

Posted 04 May 2014 - 02:01 AM Edited by godforgivesthelostdont, 04 May 2014 - 02:02 AM.

As someone who is both a big GTA fan and a feminist, I think there are things people misunderstand about what feminists expect from GTA.

 

A female protagonist would definitely be great to have, but not necessary.  It wouldn't be a cure-all for the problems GTA has with women.  

 

We don't want female characters to be free from sin.  In fact, enough games idealize women as pure innocent heavenly creatures and that's not good.  I want women in GTA to be deeply flawed characters and I want them to be indecent people.  I want them every bit as bad as the male characters.  

 

But, and here's the important part, their flaws shouldn't be gender stereotypes because the flaws in the male character aren't gender stereotypes.  Men get to be sociopathic bank-heisters.  Women get to be prostitutes and strippers.

 

Notice how Michael, Trevor and Franklin don't center their life around women, but the female characters roles are largely based off of how they affect men.  And it's not just GTA that does this, but lots of games/movies out there too.

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#39

Posted 04 May 2014 - 02:37 AM

There are female characters in GTA that aren't prostitutes and strippers. And all the men aren't sociopathic.

 

And the world of GTA exists outside of GTA V. Through talking about stereotypes, you've stereotyped GTA, just like the media who over-blow every controversy surrounding the series.

 

Also, this sort of gender stereotyping largely stems from Hollywood, don't forget. You mentioned that yourself. No one seems to be up in arms that Black Widow always looks like a stripper on Avenger's movie posters... (Captain America 2 is my notable favourite ATM) Or that the poster for Divergent focuses more on the girl's ass than face. Sexuality is a large part of the action/sci-fi/crime culture, and until that view changes GTA is gonna stay the same...


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#40

Posted 04 May 2014 - 03:12 AM

There are female characters in GTA that aren't prostitutes and strippers.

Do I deny this?  I would say overall that the majority of female characters exist in relation to men or to service horny guys.  You'd have a tough time naming female characters that aren't gender stereotypes or one-notes.

 

And all the men aren't sociopathic.

 

"Riiight...." Well, in GTA5 they are, except Floyd.  In other GTA games, they're relatively more decent but most of them (probably 90%+) are still sleazy. 

 

And the world of GTA exists outside of GTA V. Through talking about stereotypes, you've stereotyped GTA.

 

Which other GTA games would you say are vastly different in this regard?

 

just like the media who over-blow every controversy surrounding the series.

 

so you're basically associating me with something i'm not affiliated that has made claims (presumably the "gta causes violence" thing) that i've never made

 

Also, this sort of gender stereotyping largely stems from Hollywood, don't forget. You mentioned that yourself.

 

So?  Doesn't make it good.

 

No one seems to be up in arms that Black Widow always looks like a stripper on Avenger's movie posters... (Captain America 2 is my notable favourite ATM) Or that the poster for Divergent focuses more on the girl's ass than face.

 

Personally haven't seen them.  But sexist movies should be equally criticized.  I agree with you that games are often seen as morally decaying while movies get away with a lot of sh*t.

 

Sexuality is a large part of the action/sci-fi/crime culture, and until that view changes GTA is gonna stay the same...

 

Agree.  This is why I pointed out that GTA is not alone.  I think most of the game industry still operates on the same premises.


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#41

Posted 04 May 2014 - 12:01 PM

 

Apart from your bullsh*ts, in topic, I do think a female protagonist could fit in. 

Is there a reason as to why you don't think they can fit in?

 

I like them. 


universetwisters
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#42

Posted 11 May 2014 - 01:09 AM Edited by universetwisters, 11 May 2014 - 01:09 AM.

 

 

Apart from your bullsh*ts, in topic, I do think a female protagonist could fit in. 

Is there a reason as to why you don't think they can fit in?

 

I like them. 

 

Damn, I think I misread your original post.

 

But yeah, it'd be cool to see some female characters in DLCs in the future. The UL paper guy said Karen/Michelle used to be a criminal before she started working for them, Paige Harris said she could help fight in the Jewel Store job, Taliana Martinez was a getaway driver, etc.

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#43

Posted 11 May 2014 - 01:40 AM

the only way im having a female Protagonist is if she is a lesbian and we get to watch real Lesbian foot Fetish Films On the In Game Television then MAYBE i might just go along with it.


universetwisters
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#44

Posted 11 May 2014 - 01:43 AM

... and we get to watch real Lesbian foot Fetish Films On the In Game Television then MAYBE i might just go along with it.

 

350x700px-LL-d6fd7b5f_29403-Ron-Swanson-

 

I've had over enough internet for today.

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Fortress
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#45

Posted 12 May 2014 - 02:27 AM

 



 


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.
 

I like how you keep blowing off the hookers and strip clubs part.

You may not like it, but a fair number of players do.


Now, if she was part of a trio that would be fine, but let me offer something else: Why do we need one, exactly?


Tell me, point by point, why a female protagonist would benefit the series, besides pleasing the SJWs.

universetwisters
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#46

Posted 12 May 2014 - 02:41 AM

 

 


 

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.
 

I like how you keep blowing off the hookers and strip clubs part.

You may not like it, but a fair number of players do.


Now, if she was part of a trio that would be fine, but let me offer something else: Why do we need one, exactly?


Tell me, point by point, why a female protagonist would benefit the series, besides pleasing the SJWs.

 

I never said she couldn't be part of a trio or another group. Can you find specifically where I said that?


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#47

Posted 12 May 2014 - 02:46 AM

 


 

 


 

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.
 

I like how you keep blowing off the hookers and strip clubs part.

You may not like it, but a fair number of players do.


Now, if she was part of a trio that would be fine, but let me offer something else: Why do we need one, exactly?


Tell me, point by point, why a female protagonist would benefit the series, besides pleasing the SJWs.
 
I never said she couldn't be part of a trio or another group. Can you find specifically where I said that?
 

I never said you said that.


But I've asked a question. How exactly would the series benefit with a female protagonist?

What would a female do differently that would make her worth playing?

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#48

Posted 12 May 2014 - 02:53 AM

 never said you said that.



But I've asked a question. How exactly would the series benefit with a female protagonist?

What would a female do differently that would make her worth playing?

 

 

You say I keep blowing off the strip club part and you deny it, but regardless of that, I'll address your point: The same could be said about black protagonists, or biker protagonists. What would the series benefit from their inclusion?


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#49

Posted 12 May 2014 - 03:15 AM

 

 never said you said that.



But I've asked a question. How exactly would the series benefit with a female protagonist?

What would a female do differently that would make her worth playing?

 

 

You say I keep blowing off the strip club part and you deny it, but regardless of that, I'll address your point: The same could be said about black protagonists, or biker protagonists. What would the series benefit from their inclusion?

 

 

Well, I'd argue the race of the character plays little role, but as for bikers, it offers a different perspective.

 

 

HOWEVER, before you go saying that a female would also offer one, let me make a point.

 

 

Story-wise, it would absolutely offer a new perspective. But the story is only about half or less of what the majority of people play GTA for.

 

 

At its core, GTA is a series about testosterone poisioning in a sandbox environment. It supercedes any aspect of race or affiliation becuase of that.

 

 

However, the same cannot be said for a woman protagonist because of the (percieved, I'm not advocating I'm just stating facts) societal roles placed on men and women,

 

 

A lot of complaints about the idea do stem from this. I'm nto saying it's right, but this is how things are right now.

 

 

 

Now, I KNOW you've talked about relatbility already, and used Samus as an example. Samus works for a different reason, though, that makes it sort of like comparing apples ot oranges.

 

 

 

The Metroid series' demographic is not something based on gender, but more on age (about early teens and up). That's why Samus works there.

 

 

 

GTA, however, is unquestionably male-orientated. It is designed with male players in mind. As such, its fanbase is mostly male. There are some females, of course, but let's think for a moment.

 

 

Is it really economically viable to pander to a new demographic when what has been established has been proven to work? Rockstar knowsa who their audience is. Why scorn them for a smaller group that may not even be interested in the series given its premise or its history?

 

 

Furthermore, there is a plague of shoehorned female characters in games recently. They have no reason to be there at all, they're onyl in their to cater to those who don't shut up about it. As such they are terribly underwritten and sterotypical "sassy woman who don't need no man" or alternatively the ice queen. They're written as females first and as characters second.

 

 

Now granted, this has been around even before people started whining about it, but it's only gotten worse since.

 

 

A female should only be added if her character is worth salt, not because it would fit a warped definition of equal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now , the idea of three protagonists would fix most of the gameplay errors, however, relating to that bit about female characters usually being underdeveloped...

 

 

Okay, let's say, for a moment, that this hypothetical female character Rockstar makes as a third protagonist is well-written, believable, and fully developed. They don't do it because they're being asked to, they do it because it benefits her character.

 

 

We still run into one fundamental gameplay flaw. We've already established that in this kind of world, with a mostly male demographic, the core fanbase isn't terribly interested in causing chaos as a woman. Again, not advocating it, just stating facts.

 

 

She would be underused outside of missions, and probably the fans would feel alienated when forced to play as her during them.

 

 

 

What do you suggest be done to alleviate this? What gameplay gimmick could she have that would make her worth playing over the other two? I mean, Frankling, Trevor and Michael all had some difference to them.

 

 

LEt's extend that. Let's make the three protagonists have different playstyles, and different aspects.

 

 

Let's give this character something that makes her useful and FUN to play as, so that notions of playing as a woman are gone.

 

 

 

 

Basically, what I'm saying is, we shouldn't have a female character just because we want a female character. We don't want to separate the player from the game world, which is what shoving one in there would do.

 

 

We have to think about game mechanics. Something that would make this woman strong enough stroywise AND gameplay wise that the player will see past their own social beliefs and merge with the world, regardless of what is or isn't between their character's legs.

 

 

 

It worked for Metroid because the game was about exploration and isolation. How and what could be done to make it work for GTA?


universetwisters
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#50

Posted 12 May 2014 - 03:26 AM

I'm not sure what you're trying to hit at, either it's because I'm tired or you bring up at least 30 points in a lengthy post, but to answer your last few points, how does exploration and isolation work exclusively for female protagonists and not male ones? That being said, I don't see we shouldn't have a female character just for the sake of having one in. There's plenty of other female criminals in the GTA series that could be protagonists such as Taliana Martinez from V and Karen before she worked for the UL paper/IAA
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#51

Posted 12 May 2014 - 03:33 AM

I didn't say that exploration worked exclusively for female characters.

 

I was just explaining why Samus worked as a female protagonist. It's because of what the game is about (isolated exploration) and who its audience is, which isn't really determined by gender, while GTA is vey clearly male-orientated.

 

 

 

I said that as a counter to what you said about female protagonist relatability. You said it was bull that a male couldn't relate with a female and used Samus as an example. I explained why Samus is a different case.


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#52

Posted 12 May 2014 - 03:44 AM

I wasn't the one who used Samus in the original post.

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#53

Posted 12 May 2014 - 04:02 AM

My mistake.

 

 

My point remains, regardless. Relatability remains an issue.


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#54

Posted 13 May 2014 - 08:55 PM

My mistake.

 

 

My point remains, regardless. Relatability remains an issue.

 

You don't think the same could be said for people like Franklin or Johnny or even Niko?


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#55

Posted 14 May 2014 - 01:06 AM



 



My mistake.

 

 

My point remains, regardless. Relatability remains an issue.

 

You don't think the same could be said for people like Franklin or Johnny or even Niko?

 

 

I don't believe so, no. It's about the societal roles associated with men and women.

 

 

Again, I'm not advocating that there is any real difference, but that is how the average gamer would see it. Playing as Franklin or Johnny or Niko is totally okay because they're men and men are socially believed to be violent and unruly and everything GTA is about.

 

 

The social view of women is different, as evidenced by all the complaints regarding the idea. The vast majority see a very hard line between the two sexes, and wouldn't feel comfortable playing as a woman in a very masculine power fantasy of a game.

 

 

 

I concur that things need to change, but is GTA really the best series to initiate this sort of change in?

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#56

Posted 14 May 2014 - 01:20 AM

What is the difference? That men are the type of people who do all the dirty stuff and women sit at home? You do know there's women who do crime and stuff, right? I pointed that out in an example in the OP.


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#57

Posted 14 May 2014 - 01:32 AM

You make a good point OP, I'd love to see a female protagonist as well, however I think it would only work with more than one protagonist, that way it balances out. Someone said earlier "The female character would have to be lesbian or bisexual or it will turn off the guys who play the game with the male strippers". Well. what about all the girls who play these games? I'm sure not every girl who plays wants to get a dance from a female stripper.

Just because we haven't had a female protagonist yet doesn't mean they don't fit into a GTA game, maybe Rockstar's just too conservative to make the step, but if they ever decide to go down that route, I doubt it would be off-putting. Just because you can't relate to a certain character doesn't automatically make them a terrible character, as long as they have a good story/background, I'm sure a female protagonist would be a revolutionary step in the right direction. 

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#58

Posted 14 May 2014 - 01:43 AM

Good points you make aswell. On the topic of the strip clubs, would the really be necessary in GTA? I never go to strip clubs in GTA and the longest I've ever been in one was when I had to go there as Trevor to do missions, but then again, that's just me. If Rockstar chooses to keep strippers and whatnot in the next GTA, either they could have a gay strip club or a straight strip club, with women and stuff. I don't see how that can't work, seeing as both exist in real life and we already saw a gay bar in TBOGT.

 

On the fact of Rockstar being too conservative, I might disagree with you on that to a degree. Looking at the evolution of GTA then and now, you can tell them going far from conservative. The cartoony violence in III evolved into a torture mission in V and all the other cool analogies you like. The fact that Rockstar added the option for a female protagonist in GTA 4's mutliplayer and expanded on that with GTA Online, it could be a hint of some sort as to how Rockstar is moving away from the conservative "male-centric" angle and branching out. Plus, if all the gameplay videos of GTA Online are anything to go by, many people like their ladies over men.

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#59

Posted 14 May 2014 - 01:52 AM

Well, you're not wrong I guess. There must be a reason why Rockstar hasn't tried it yet, since they are branching out on all other fronts (GTA Online is the prime example), but who knows what the future will bring, maybe we'll see one in GTA VI, or maybe we won't see one until GTA VII or even later. All I know is, if they decide to do it, I'm sure they will take their time to make it work, and not throw one in there just so they can say "You people wanted a female character, well there you go..."

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#60

Posted 14 May 2014 - 01:59 AM

I know the source game project thing I'm working on is going to have a female protagonist, but the plot itself deals with video game addiction/antisocial personality disorder as opposed to something actually related to crime. That being said, perhaps Rockstar could do something like that or take an angle like that? They kept saying Trevor was supposed to have the same insane mindset as a GTA player who causes chaos, but why not take it a step further and throw in a "New Kids" or "Trailer Park Boys"-esque hint of APD?

But yeah, female protagonists, much like male ones, got to be well written. 

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