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  1. #741
    Man, gaming really does attract a bunch of woke nonces. I'm glad I've aged out of this phase.

  2. #742
    Quote Originally Posted by Adamas102 View Post
    We’ve had decades upon decades of media showcasing heterosexuality, and in contrast have only just barely passed the point where official legal policy was essentially “keep that gay shit to yourselves”. You ask what “special attention” they deserve? How about a good variety of representation instead of an arbitrary “you only deserve to be represented by X% of characters”.
    When do you think it's applicable to ask a producer/creator to change their dream to include more representation and why? What sort of areas of film or gaming should this apply to? Is it representation proportional to the setting, the country, the world? Is it something that should be encouraged, incentivized, or should it be enforced in some way?

    When it comes down to the nuts and bolts of actually getting your representation you so crave, it gets a lot more difficult and you are starting to really edge in to personal creative freedoms.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Stormbringer View Post
    See, this says a lot about you as a person. It says that you think anyone that's not straight is a freak, that they're unnatural, that they're wrong. Because, after all, if they weren't, they would be "normal", wouldn't they?

    Despite the fact that they're only acting on things completely out of their control. There's nothing wrong with being gay, or bi, or transgender, or anything else. They are people, just like you and I, and are deserving of all the same rights and respect as anyone else (this coming from a straight white cis male).

    Please, try to educate yourself on the matter. Maybe actually have some conversations with LGBT+ people. You might learn something important.
    My, how stunning and brave of you to express your misguided outrage. I've been openly gay for nearly 2 decades and I agree that gay relationships aren't normal in the same way that working an overnight shift isn't normal, or that having these kind of conversations with people like you isn't normal. It's not saying something doesn't exist, or that it's a disease, or whatever else you want to build a strawman out of. The less we blow up with outrage because we're painting everyone who disagrees with us as villains the better.

    Quote Originally Posted by RadasNoir View Post
    Ah, you're just a straight-up homophobe. Well, that will make it even easier to just dismiss any "arguments" you have, then.
    This is just the modern day equivalent of calling someone a witch. I really hope that people like you come to understand you're making the issues worse and not better by acting and thinking this way.

  3. #743
    Quote Originally Posted by Adamas102 View Post
    And you're still wrong. If you don't even understand what the tool does then perhaps it would be better for you to ignore it rather than continue to spout bullshit.
    I believe I understand what the tool does. So I take offense to you not being civil and accusing me of being foolish, deceptive, or insincere. Maybe try to be a civil person and try to carry on a normal conversation instead of just insulting. You think being mean to me is how to convince me I'm wrong? You think being mean will convince anyone you are right? Use your words. Explain why I'm wrong. I'm here. I'm listening. Do better.

    "Take the time to sit down and talk with your adversaries. You will learn something, and they will learn something from you. When two enemies are talking, they are not fighting. It's when the talking ceases that the ground becomes fertile for violence. So keep the conversation going."
    ~ Daryl Davis

  4. #744
    Quote Originally Posted by Ragedaug View Post
    Explain why I'm wrong.
    I did, in post #733. I took your doubling down on your misconceptions in subsequent posts as a desire to simply continue the drama that this thread has built up. Perhaps you just didn’t see my earlier response to your questions which clarified what the tool actually does.

  5. #745
    Quote Originally Posted by Adamas102 View Post
    I did, in post #733. I took your doubling down on your misconceptions in subsequent posts as a desire to simply continue the drama that this thread has built up. Perhaps you just didn’t see my earlier response to your questions which clarified what the tool actually does.
    Well, your last 2 responses were just "nope", so those didn't help at all. Otherwise, here's my response to your claims.


    0 isn't bad, it means common given the particular baselines determined by the development team using the tool. 10 isn't good, it just means rare. It has nothing to do with worth or value.
    This looks a lot like doublespeak, and I'm not necessarily blaming you for that, but if that's what the creators of the tool said, I'm not buying it. Trying to say an obvious thing doesn't mean what it obviously means. You don't put out a 'scoring' system if there's no point to the scores. To me it's obvious that the purpose of giving "common" characters a score of 0 is to deter designers from creating them, making it 'bad' in a creator's mind to create a "0" character. Conversely giving characters with less common qualities a high score incentivizes designers to create them. The entire idea behind the score is to convince game developers to create characters with higher scores. Thus, 0 = bad and 10 = good.


    The tool doesn't create ANYTHING. The aim isn't to use the tool to create only character with "high scores".
    You are misunderstanding me here (could be entirely my fault for how I stated it). I'm not talking about the tool creating the characters. I'm talking about the tool 'creating' the idea in the developer's mind on how to design their characters.


    As for tokenism, the tool theoretically can identify such characters given that token characters are usually pretty generic, inserted only give a generalized representation of one particular group and typically heavy on stereotypes. Since the tool determines the prevalence of a number of traits (again, compared against the baseline inputs and also taking into account the cast of characters as a group), it can (again, theoretically) tell you "hey, looks like the one gay character you included has a lot of traits in common with stereotypical representations of gay people" or something to that nature. Then it's up to the developers to decide whether the character is fine as is or whether they might want to develop the character better in order to present them as more than just a token representation.
    There's already been a couple folks who have explained how the tool is going to be misused and will result in creating token characters. Sure, it's up to the developers to use it correctly, but if they are dumb enough to rely on this tool to inform them how they need to create characters, the likelihood is that they won't know how to use the information it provides correctly

    "Take the time to sit down and talk with your adversaries. You will learn something, and they will learn something from you. When two enemies are talking, they are not fighting. It's when the talking ceases that the ground becomes fertile for violence. So keep the conversation going."
    ~ Daryl Davis

  6. #746
    Quote Originally Posted by Goatfish View Post
    When do you think it's applicable to ask a producer/creator to change their dream to include more representation and why?
    As a consumer? Never. I'm not part of the creative process.

    As the manager of a design team where creating a cast of characters is a long, collaborative process? Often.

    It's not like driving diversity and representation is something new here. Take a game like Diablo 2 for instance. You could easily make that game where all the PCs are just different versions of generic, muscle bound, white guy (yeah, you'd have to rename the Amazon but it's doable). Obviously a lot of thought was put into the design process such that we ended up with increased representation and a relatively diverse set of characters.

    So it's not diversity for the sake of diversity that is the problem. It's just that nowadays we recognize that there's even MORE variety that can be represented in a cast of characters. Apparently some people have a problem with that even though these are fictional characters designed from the ground up and don't need to adhere to any sort of realistic demographic proportionality.

    Quote Originally Posted by Goatfish View Post
    What sort of areas of film or gaming should this apply to?
    Regardless of medium, having a cast of fleshed out, unique, and interesting characters is a positive thing. Or do you have a problem with avoiding stereotypes and overused tropes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goatfish View Post
    Is it representation proportional to the setting, the country, the world?
    Depends. Setting can certainly put some constraints on character creation. If you're making a game that takes place in a particular real world time period and location then you could be working within a limited set of constraints, but there could still be a lot of variety to explore when creating a cast of characters.

    On the flip side, for a game like Overwatch which is designed to have a very eclectic cast of characters then you're completely unconstrained, and pushing the bounds of diversity and representation is kinda the name of the game in terms of design.

    In both examples though, representation doesn't have to be proportional to anything because no matter what the setting is, a cast of fictional characters is a tiny subset of the whole. That subset can be comprised of any demographic makeup that could exist in the setting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Goatfish View Post
    Is it something that should be encouraged, incentivized, or should it be enforced in some way?
    If I were a game designer I'd certainly encourage the members of my team to put a great deal of thought into character creation because average, generic characters aren't interesting or memorable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Goatfish View Post
    When it comes down to the nuts and bolts of actually getting your representation you so crave, it gets a lot more difficult and you are starting to really edge in to personal creative freedoms.
    I don't know why you're talking about the creative process being some sort of sacred thing that cannot be challenged. If you're just a lone author writing a book then by all means just write what you know. However, here we're talking about a team of people working together to create via collaborative process, and challenging peoples' ideas is part of that process. We all have unconscious biases and typically create only based on our limited personal experiences. That's where having a diverse team of creators comes in, by providing a diverse pool of experience from which to draw.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Ragedaug View Post
    This looks a lot like doublespeak, and I'm not necessarily blaming you for that, but if that's what the creators of the tool said, I'm not buying it. Trying to say an obvious thing doesn't mean what it obviously means. You don't put out a 'scoring' system if there's no point to the scores. To me it's obvious that the purpose of giving "common" characters a score of 0 is to deter designers from creating them, making it 'bad' in a creator's mind to create a "0" character. Conversely giving characters with less common qualities a high score incentivizes designers to create them. The entire idea behind the score is to convince game developers to create characters with higher scores. Thus, 0 = bad and 10 = good.
    It's not that there's no point to the scores. It's that they don't mean what you think they mean. They could have gone with "extremely rare, very rare, somewhat rare, rare, lower than average, average, higher than average, common, somewhat common, very common, extremely common" but (surprisingly enough) a numeric system of 10-0 is far simpler to read and easier to analyze. The idea that these scores ascribe value is purely based on your preconception of "low number bad, high number good".

    What you also fail to realize is that those numbers are determined by a variety of changeable baselines. That means what scores "low" in one scenario might score "high" in another. For example, if you run the tool to internally compare a cast of 10 characters where 9 are men and 1 is a woman, then for gender you'll see the men with a low score and the woman with a high score. You, and other people in this thread, would apparently take that to mean the tool is saying men are worse or less valuable than women. However, if you flipped it such that it was 9 women and 1 man, then the tool would show the women with a low score and the man with a high score. Why? Because the tool simply gauges prevalence of traits within the system.

    As stated in the "Beyond Gaming" section, the baselines can be changed and calibrated to be relevant to genre and setting. That means no particular trait is good or bad since its score can change depending on the parameters and comparison group.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ragedaug View Post
    You are misunderstanding me here (could be entirely my fault for how I stated it). I'm not talking about the tool creating the characters. I'm talking about the tool 'creating' the idea in the developer's mind on how to design their characters.
    This is all based on the idea that designers simply aren't smart enough to understand how an analytical tool works and what it can be used for. Sure, there's always going to be some people who misuse a tool, but just because one person injures themselves with a hammer doesn't mean you tell everyone to stop using hammers, right?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ragedaug View Post
    There's already been a couple folks who have explained how the tool is going to be misused and will result in creating token characters. Sure, it's up to the developers to use it correctly, but if they are dumb enough to rely on this tool to inform them how they need to create characters, the likelihood is that they won't know how to use the information it provides correctly
    It's a bit on the nose for you to claim that only "dumb enough" developers would use the information from this tool incorrectly when that idea is predicated on them holding the same views that you do; that the scores attribute value and are a target to aim for.

    The fact of the matter is that we all have unconscious biases and tend to create based on what is familiar to us. The creative process isn't perfect, and you need only look at the large number of token and stereotype characters that have made it into games throughout the ages (all without the use of this kind of tool). Sometimes a trope can be useful and appropriate, but often times the designers just didn't know better. If the tool can identify traits that are commonly seen in token characters, then it can help designers avoid such pitfalls. That doesn't mean they're bad designers, it simply addresses a limitation that all of us have.
    Last edited by Adamas102; 2022-05-28 at 08:37 AM.

  7. #747
    I find it funny they consider Torbjörn's culture, Swedish openness to immigrants and equality, to be rubbish.

    So much wrong with this chart.

  8. #748
    Quote Originally Posted by Goatfish View Post
    This is just the modern day equivalent of calling someone a witch. I really hope that people like you come to understand you're making the issues worse and not better by acting and thinking this way.
    Well, the difference is that homophobes exist and witches don't.

    And I'm afraid I will never be tolerant of the intolerant.

  9. #749
    Quote Originally Posted by Adamas102 View Post
    As a consumer? Never. I'm not part of the creative process.

    As the manager of a design team where creating a cast of characters is a long, collaborative process? Often.
    So you don't want to tell the creators what to do, you want the managers of the creators to tell them what to do? Isn't this just semantics?

    It's not like driving diversity and representation is something new here. Take a game like Diablo 2 for instance. You could easily make that game where all the PCs are just different versions of generic, muscle bound, white guy (yeah, you'd have to rename the Amazon but it's doable). Obviously a lot of thought was put into the design process such that we ended up with increased representation and a relatively diverse set of characters.
    Do you have any examples of games where there is a lack of diversity where there otherwise should be? I see a lot of arguments about making the whole cast straight white men, but I don't see any examples where this actually happens in a way that doesn't make sense to the setting. On the other hand, we can see tons of examples where diversity seems to be shoehorned in as a form of marketing or propaganda, or even just seemingly thrown in as a whim ala FF7.

    So it's not diversity for the sake of diversity that is the problem. It's just that nowadays we recognize that there's even MORE variety that can be represented in a cast of characters. Apparently some people have a problem with that even though these are fictional characters designed from the ground up and don't need to adhere to any sort of realistic demographic proportionality.
    Making it diverse just for the sake of being diverse IS the problem. My argument has been that it's fine to insert diversity in the settings where it makes sense. If your location is North Korea and you decide to make it an ethnic melting pot, you're going to have a hard time justifying it. You're also going to have a hard time breaking established norms in even fictional race history. Those established norms are part of what define a thing as what it is, and if you're going to break them it has to make sense in context otherwise you should expect to be attacked by fans.
    It's like watching people begin to understand that humans are individuals and watching intersectionality slowly break people up into smaller and smaller groups until what I guess the end goal will be that all 8 billion of us need to be represented fairly in every piece of media. Who is deciding the metrics in which we are too similar to be allowed in the same media?

    Regardless of medium, having a cast of fleshed out, unique, and interesting characters is a positive thing. Or do you have a problem with avoiding stereotypes and overused tropes?
    I'm mixed on stereotype usage, and I don't really think it's avoidable. The thing about stereotypes is that they are often based in reality, but people are too dumb and end up applying stereotypes to everyone. I think having interesting characters is a positive thing, but I care far more about their ideas and beliefs than the color of their skin, their sexuality, their cultural heritage, or anything else measured by this tool (unless it's directly necessary for the story). If we look at a game like FF7, there really wasn't a reason for Barret to be black, and it didn't play any role in the story. If anything it made him stand out more and some people started calling the game racist because he got paired with some actions that some people think of as negative stereotypes.
    I personally don't care what attributes someone has unless they make a difference in play, or if they are being shoved down my throat. I have a longstanding borderline hatred for the "gay" stereotypes as are portrayed in most media, and the lispy, arrogant, feminine attributes that are always portrayed grate on me. It's even worse when influenceable people see these stereotypes and then act them out in real life. You can see this a lot in the bouncy and expressive people who are mimicking how people act in Disney movies.

    I guess the best answer I have is that I understand the need to use caricatures of things to get people to understand what you are referencing both subtly and overtly, but at the same time I equally dislike that it's how things are. I think part of the problem is a now flooded market with people who have access to most of the market at any time through the internet is pushing creators to make wilder and wilder characters and people to take on wilder personalities so that they feel like an individual.

    In both examples though, representation doesn't have to be proportional to anything because no matter what the setting is, a cast of fictional characters is a tiny subset of the whole. That subset can be comprised of any demographic makeup that could exist in the setting.
    Fair enough, but you understand how that feels odd to people right? If 999 out of 1000 people in a setting are ogres, but you fantasize a group that consists of a gnoll, goblin, walrus, skeleton, and only one ogre it's going to feel pretty fucking weird. With actual fantasy races its easier to let it go, but if you start applying that to mirror cultures on earth you're going to run into issues. You might say that a group of 5 ogres would be boring, but I highly disagree. I personally think that's really discriminatory thinking.

    If I were a game designer I'd certainly encourage the members of my team to put a great deal of thought into character creation because average, generic characters aren't interesting or memorable.
    I don't even know what this means. What is an average/generic character? Are we talking Stormwind guard #246 who you aren't supposed to remember because he isn't really a part of the story? I keep seeing people talk about this, and maybe I'm just dumb. Skyrim has a lot of boring and generic characters I suppose, but that's because you aren't supposed to remember all 3000 npc's you interact with. It's not even different IRL and when I go get burger king I don't remember the kid in the back getting my fries. But the kid getting my fries is important even if they aren't memorable.

    I don't know why you're talking about the creative process being some sort of sacred thing that cannot be challenged. If you're just a lone author writing a book then by all means just write what you know. However, here we're talking about a team of people working together to create via collaborative process, and challenging peoples' ideas is part of that process. We all have unconscious biases and typically create only based on our limited personal experiences. That's where having a diverse team of creators comes in, by providing a diverse pool of experience from which to draw.
    So you want to influence the design of a thing to enforce diversity by having quotas of different people whom the developers need to collab with? Honestly you're just making it sound worse and worse, but maybe I'm just asking the wrong questions. I do think that personal creative freedom is key, and that might include working with other creators by choice. Is your goal to get rid of biases in creative endeavors or something? Why?

    I mean, maybe I am really dumb, but half the goal of me consuming the work of someone else is so that I can see things from a different viewpoint and compare it to my own. I don't have any real interest is consolidating those other viewpoints into a single woke amalgam that ends up feeling soulless despite its great diversity and often ends up feeling like it's preaching at me instead of just showing me how someone else views the world. I WANT to see their bias, and forming your diverse group isn't even eliminating any biases, it's just forming a new one based on a group identity instead. There are no solutions, there are only trade-offs.
    Last edited by Goatfish; 2022-05-28 at 04:55 PM.

  10. #750
    Quote Originally Posted by Goatfish View Post
    So you don't want to tell the creators what to do, you want the managers of the creators to tell them what to do? Isn't this just semantics?
    No, it's not semantics. It's the creative director's job to give the team direction and tell them what to do. Why are you trying to make this about me? I didn't make the tool nor am I sending Blizzard angry letters about how they should make their games. The tool is not meant to be a replacement to the creative process, which in a company the size of ATVI and Blizzard is always going to be a collaborative effort, not just a singular person's dream.

    Quote Originally Posted by Goatfish View Post
    Do you have any examples of games where there is a lack of diversity where there otherwise should be? I see a lot of arguments about making the whole cast straight white men, but I don't see any examples where this actually happens in a way that doesn't make sense to the setting. On the other hand, we can see tons of examples where diversity seems to be shoehorned in as a form of marketing or propaganda, or even just seemingly thrown in as a whim ala FF7.
    Historically, the trend has pretty much been to start with a straight, male (more often than not white) protagonist and if you have more characters beyond that then MAYBE you get to squeeze in a bit more diversity throughout. That's not to say every game starts with this template, but the vast majority have. Video gaming demographics have shifted a lot in recent times, but no one here seems to be bothered by the fact that over 80% of video game protagonists are still male when less than 60% of gamers are male themselves.

    You're right that a lot of representation seen in games in the past hasn't been meaningful representation, and that's one of the big reasons why there has been more attention drawn to that recently. It's also one of the things the tool is supposedly designed to identify since token characters like the ones you're thinking of tend to be very one dimensional, stereotypical representations of whatever diversity box they're meant to check off. No one is arguing that we need more of those kinds of characters, but rather that SOME of the care and attention that has been given to so many well designed straight male protagonists over the years be given to other types of characters.

    Now before you flip a shit and start assuming things that I haven't said, let me be clear; that does NOT mean replace all straight male protagonists. It means that the scales are already WAY out of balance and there is plenty of room to have more diversity throughout.

    Quote Originally Posted by Goatfish View Post
    Making it diverse just for the sake of being diverse IS the problem. My argument has been that it's fine to insert diversity in the settings where it makes sense. If your location is North Korea and you decide to make it an ethnic melting pot, you're going to have a hard time justifying it. You're also going to have a hard time breaking established norms in even fictional race history. Those established norms are part of what define a thing as what it is, and if you're going to break them it has to make sense in context otherwise you should expect to be attacked by fans.
    It's like watching people begin to understand that humans are individuals and watching intersectionality slowly break people up into smaller and smaller groups until what I guess the end goal will be that all 8 billion of us need to be represented fairly in every piece of media. Who is deciding the metrics in which we are too similar to be allowed in the same media?
    Again, no one is stipulating that there should be an X diversity standard across all settings and media. The tool makes a point of noting that the baselines it compares to can be manipulated to make them appropriate for the genre and setting. It's also not just about the most common traits that people like to bring up (race, gender, and sexual identity). Like I said above, the scales have always been heavily skewed toward a particular demographic and it doesn't NEED to be that way.

    On the idea of "it has to make sense" we're talking about video games, not documentaries. Games almost always follow hero characters that by design break the norm or don't even have to be representative of the main demographic of the setting. A game set in North Korea? Sounds like a job for a character like James Bond, Sam Fisher, Solid Snake, or any of the other plethora of white male covert ops superheroes. If you're already on board with the unrealistic scenario of a lone super spy soldier able to take down armies of henchmen on his own then why can't the character be a woman? Or someone of Central American or Indian origin?

    Once again, it's not about hard and fast rules for replacing everything. It's about seeing opportunities to break away from the overwhelmingly common tropes and norms that have dominated games (and entertainment in general) for decades.

    Quote Originally Posted by Goatfish View Post
    I'm mixed on stereotype usage, and I don't really think it's avoidable. The thing about stereotypes is that they are often based in reality, but people are too dumb and end up applying stereotypes to everyone. I think having interesting characters is a positive thing, but I care far more about their ideas and beliefs than the color of their skin, their sexuality, their cultural heritage, or anything else measured by this tool (unless it's directly necessary for the story). If we look at a game like FF7, there really wasn't a reason for Barret to be black, and it didn't play any role in the story. If anything it made him stand out more and some people started calling the game racist because he got paired with some actions that some people think of as negative stereotypes.
    I personally don't care what attributes someone has unless they make a difference in play, or if they are being shoved down my throat. I have a longstanding borderline hatred for the "gay" stereotypes as are portrayed in most media, and the lispy, arrogant, feminine attributes that are always portrayed grate on me. It's even worse when influenceable people see these stereotypes and then act them out in real life. You can see this a lot in the bouncy and expressive people who are mimicking how people act in Disney movies.
    Yeah, it's easy for me as well to say that I don't care about a character's skin, sexuality, etc. because pretty much all the games I've played throughout the years have revolved around a significant number of characters that match me in most, if not all, those traits. That's not to say that all straight, white, male characters are great characters, but when they make up the vast majority you're going to have a good pool of well designed, interesting, memorable characters. The same cannot be said for a lot of other demographics.

    It's also one of the issue with the idea some people have mentioned in this thread that game representation should mirror overall demographic representation (it never has in the past, but let's ignore that for a moment). If say, gay people only get to be represented in 7% of characters, that means almost none of them will ever be primary protagonists, most are going to be poorly implemented stereotypical representations, and often times they simply won't even be included at all. As noted before, the tool is meant to be able to identify such overplayed traits in typically tokenized characters in order to help curtail those issues.

    Quote Originally Posted by Goatfish View Post
    Fair enough, but you understand how that feels odd to people right? If 999 out of 1000 people in a setting are ogres, but you fantasize a group that consists of a gnoll, goblin, walrus, skeleton, and only one ogre it's going to feel pretty fucking weird. With actual fantasy races its easier to let it go, but if you start applying that to mirror cultures on earth you're going to run into issues. You might say that a group of 5 ogres would be boring, but I highly disagree. I personally think that's really discriminatory thinking.
    I don't really care if it feels odd to SOME people. If those gnoll, goblin, walrus, and skeleton characters are well fleshed out, given good backstories, and have compelling reasons to work together then I don't care if they're in a setting of primarily ogres. Why would I care? You've already established it's a totally fantastical setting so if all these races exist then I see no reason why the story can't revolve around a small group made up of said races.

    Quote Originally Posted by Goatfish View Post
    So you want to influence the design of a thing to enforce diversity by having quotas of different people whom the developers need to collab with? Honestly you're just making it sound worse and worse, but maybe I'm just asking the wrong questions. I do think that personal creative freedom is key, and that might include working with other creators by choice. Is your goal to get rid of biases in creative endeavors or something? Why?
    I didn't mentioned anything about quotas...

    I'll pose a question to you. Do you think the only people who deserve to exert their creative freedom in the video game design space are straight, white or Asian males? It's certainly a position that has been voiced by other people on these forums, and it's certainly one of the reasons why video game character demographics are so heavily skewed. If everyone who doesn't fit that mold is seen as an unqualified, quota driven, diversity hire then how is a more diverse video gaming audience going to see more representation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goatfish View Post
    I mean, maybe I am really dumb, but half the goal of me consuming the work of someone else is so that I can see things from a different viewpoint and compare it to my own. I don't have any real interest is consolidating those other viewpoints into a single woke amalgam that ends up feeling soulless despite its great diversity and often ends up feeling like it's preaching at me instead of just showing me how someone else views the world. I WANT to see their bias, and forming your diverse group isn't even eliminating any biases, it's just forming a new one based on a group identity instead. There are no solutions, there are only trade-offs.
    Not sure I follow you here. The world is far more diverse than media (video games included) have portrayed for decades. It's not about making some singular "woke amalgam" to shoehorn into everything. Or that everyone must have totally equal representation. It's simply about recognizing that there is most definitely space for meaningful diversity and representation.

  11. #751
    Quote Originally Posted by Adamas102 View Post
    <snip>
    I'll pose a question to you. Do you think the only people who deserve to exert their creative freedom in the video game design space are straight, white or Asian males? It's certainly a position that has been voiced by other people on these forums, and it's certainly one of the reasons why video game character demographics are so heavily skewed. If everyone who doesn't fit that mold is seen as an unqualified, quota driven, diversity hire then how is a more diverse video gaming audience going to see more representation?
    What do you mean deserve? Has there been a black gay male video game creator who has been banned from making a game full of people that represent him and his life? If someone wants to make that game, they are more than capable of going down that road. You get these people into the companies by removing diversity hiring as a practice and letting people earn a job by portraying their skills. I'll stick with judging people and characters by the content of their character and not the color of their skin. No one deserves representation, you have to build it for yourselves.

    Not sure I follow you here. The world is far more diverse than media (video games included) have portrayed for decades. It's not about making some singular "woke amalgam" to shoehorn into everything. Or that everyone must have totally equal representation. It's simply about recognizing that there is most definitely space for meaningful diversity and representation.
    What the fuck does this even mean. Step away from the fucking platitudes and good feelings and give me something solid to work with for gods sake. On one hand you're saying that we shouldn't force creators to do anything and that it's a fantasy setting so who the fuck cares, and on the other hand we need to make sure that everyone feels represented. Your entire response is an enigma formed of platitudes that mean nothing and assume some sort of morality involved in making sure enough people who weren't even involved in the creation of the product get represented. This is like mailing participation trophies to someone who never even went to the event.

    I don't even give a shit about anything else, just explain clearly what you mean by "meaningful diversity and representation". What the fuck is this? What does it look like? How do you implement it? How many groups and subgroups and combinations of said groups are you going to break down to be represented? If I'm half Irish, is portraying a Scotsman close enough because we're kinda similar and both white? How racially judgmental and unforgiving of cultural backgrounds do you want to go?

    I'm not going to lie that you sound racist and tribalist as heck. Even the whole "Yeah, it's easy for me as well to say that I don't care about a character's skin, sexuality, etc. because pretty much all the games I've played throughout the years have revolved around a significant number of characters that match me in most, if not all, those traits." ... Why does this even fucking matter to you? Do you think I cared if 8-bit Mario or Battletoads represented me? Maybe I'm just getting old and growing up in the 8-bit era of gaming made me not give any shits what the main character looked like since he was a collection of pixels. If we go back to FF7, do you think I felt represented by Cloud Strife just because we shared a skin color? I don't know what sort of weird racial bonding ideas are being projected here but I object to them.

    Am I just losing my mind when I hear people say shit like "We need black skinned orcs so I can better relate it to my racial heritage" when the orcs are baseline green skinned!?! This whole thing has gone off the rails and we're ceding ground to actual racists even in fantasy settings. I don't know about anyone else here, but I want good games regardless of if the main character is a man/woman, white/black/green/purple, living/dead/undead, human/frog/spirit/wolf whatever. A couple of my favorite games are Hollow Knight and Ori and the Blind Forest, games with 0 representation of any traits outlined by this tool. We don't know the characters gender, sexuality, ethnicity, cultural heritage, nothing.

  12. #752
    Quote Originally Posted by Adamas102 View Post
    It's a bit on the nose for you to claim that only "dumb enough" developers would use the information from this tool incorrectly when that idea is predicated on them holding the same views that you do; that the scores attribute value and are a target to aim for.

    The fact of the matter is that we all have unconscious biases and tend to create based on what is familiar to us. The creative process isn't perfect, and you need only look at the large number of token and stereotype characters that have made it into games throughout the ages (all without the use of this kind of tool). Sometimes a trope can be useful and appropriate, but often times the designers just didn't know better. If the tool can identify traits that are commonly seen in token characters, then it can help designers avoid such pitfalls. That doesn't mean they're bad designers, it simply addresses a limitation that all of us have.
    If you understand you have the unconscious bias in the first place and are actively taking measures to fight against those innate tendencies, then you don't need the tool to tell you what are common features among your characters and what are uncommon...because you are already aware of your bias and actively looking to correct it.

    So again, the only people this tool helps are people too dumb to realize what characteristics are common and which are rare. The likelihood is that we will end up with a lot of stereotypical token characters because the tool will give the designers a 10 when they create them. The sad part is that nearly no one is real life matches what will score a 10, so these new diverse characters won't actually represent any real people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adamas102 View Post
    No, it's not semantics. It's the creative director's job to give the team direction and tell them what to do. Why are you trying to make this about me? I didn't make the tool nor am I sending Blizzard angry letters about how they should make their games. The tool is not meant to be a replacement to the creative process, which in a company the size of ATVI and Blizzard is always going to be a collaborative effort, not just a singular person's dream.
    It is semantics. You can't say 'you' aren't telling the designers what to design when 'you' are telling their bosses what to tell them to design. It's exactly the same thing.

    "I'm not telling designers to make what I want. I'm telling the designer's managers that they must enforce what I want to make the designers do what I want. And if the designers won't, then the manager needs to hire other designers that will".

    Yeah, that's totally not telling designers what to make. /facepalm

    Like what the U.S. Federal government tried to do last year and were shot down in court, because it's a dumb semantic game. "We aren't forcing anyone to vaccinated, we are just forcing all their bosses to fire them if they refuse".
    Last edited by Ragedaug; 2022-05-30 at 04:00 AM.

    "Take the time to sit down and talk with your adversaries. You will learn something, and they will learn something from you. When two enemies are talking, they are not fighting. It's when the talking ceases that the ground becomes fertile for violence. So keep the conversation going."
    ~ Daryl Davis

  13. #753
    Over 9000! Kithelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dald View Post
    Man, gaming really does attract a bunch of woke nonces. I'm glad I've aged out of this phase.
    And yet you're still here crying about it? Two weeks later

  14. #754
    Quote Originally Posted by Ragedaug View Post
    If you understand you have the unconscious bias in the first place and are actively taking measures to fight against those innate tendencies, then you don't need the tool to tell you what are common features among your characters and what are uncommon...because you are already aware of your bias and actively looking to correct it.
    Wouldn't that tool help precisely with that process, though? With a lot of characters around and a lot on your mind, it can be hard to simply keep track of everything. Seems to me that's WHY they came up with a tool like this: to support that kind of self-awareness process.

    Keep in mind these are MASSIVE teams - all across a game it can easily involve hundreds of people. At that point it's a logistical and management necessity to have some tools rather than just eyeballing everything, even with the best of intentions.

    I'm not saying it's a particularly great tool or super necessary, but I get the sentiment behind it. It's a data analysis tool for internal use - it gives analysts something to work with that's if not perfectly objective then at least more objective than "I felt we were doing okay".

    That doesn't excuse the botched attempt at virtue signaling that was the death knell of this entire announcement, of course. This should have remained an entirely internal process, just like dozens of others that analyze other data sets.

  15. #755
    Quote Originally Posted by Adamas102 View Post
    What you describe in the second paragraph is pretty much what the tool does. It uses inputs and baselines that can be changed to accommodate different settings, and spits out metrics based on how prevalent traits are within the group and compared to the baselines. So your example of an "entire cast of overweight, black, transgendered people" would garner a lot of "low" scores because of the lack of variety within the group. That doesn't mean it's a value judgement on those traits, it's just telling you "diversity amongst this cast of characters is low" and then it's up to the developers to decide what to do with that information. It's also not about saying "you have a problem" but rather "there might be room to develop these characters more".

    0 isn't "bad" and 10 isn't "good". The aim isn't to get an "amazing score" because that's not how the system works. They're really just an indication of how prevalent certain traits are given the parameters that are set beforehand. 0 means common, 10 means rare. And yeah, I've said it before, the "scoring" system as it's presented isn't great (partially because of how easily misconstrued it is by people who don't even read the article), but no matter what they went with the smooth brains would still try to use the system to grade themselves and then bitch about how it's unfair.

    With the last example you gave comparing a "cis, white, male cast" to a "black, female, lesbian cast", the tool is going to give both groups low scores because internally there's no diversity there. That might be fine depending on the setting the game takes place in, and from there the tool would also gauge a number of other traits that could tell you "hey, looks like you copy/pasted the template for "surfer dude-bro" or "sassy black woman" for all of these characters. Is there more room for variety here?".
    How far we have fallen that games aren't made by talented and passionate artists who just want to tell their story with characters they think would be awesome. Now they are at the mercy of a tool telling them they have to make a *insert diverse race with x number of mental disorders*.
    Last edited by GreenJesus; 2022-05-30 at 04:06 AM.

  16. #756
    Quote Originally Posted by Goatfish View Post
    You get these people into the companies by removing diversity hiring as a practice and letting people earn a job by portraying their skills. I'll stick with judging people and characters by the content of their character and not the color of their skin.
    I had a strong suspicion when you brought up "quotas" that your understanding of diversity in hiring practices would be as weak as your understanding about the tool this thread is about. We've already posted a few walls of text in what is essentially a dead thread so if you want my full response on why diversity hiring initiatives are both good and necessary I can send it via PM.

    Quote Originally Posted by Goatfish View Post
    /snip
    This is pretty much the pinnacle of arguing from a position of entitlement. So basically, you don't care about personal representation (unsurprising given there are a plethora of good characters that overlap your demographics), as such you can't understand why someone else would want to see more representation, and therefor you believe that everything is totally fine as is and any push to have more diversity and representation is unnecessary and/or harmful. Is that more or less correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goatfish View Post
    Step away from the fucking platitudes and good feelings and give me something solid to work with for gods sake.
    "It's not about making some singular "woke amalgam" to shoehorn into everything" isn't a platitude. It's a response to your ridiculous idea that the goal is to somehow distill diversity into something that merely represents the opposite of the majority in every way and has "no soul". No one is arguing for this.

    "Or that everyone must have totally equal representation" isn't a platitude, it's a direct response to your all too common straw man that involves jumping from "we could use more diversity" to "oh, so every single person needs a character that represents them?". No one is arguing that every combination of traits needs an ideal character representative.

    "It's simply about recognizing that there is most definitely space for meaningful diversity and representation" isn't a platitude. "Meaningful diversity" means seeing more variety in the demographics that get to be well written and/or central characters that drive the action rather than passive, secondary, stereotyped, and token characters. It's super simple. There are certainly times when it's important for a character to be white, or black, or male, or female, or straight, or from Brazil, or from London, or whatever. However, more often than not straight/male/white is just the default setting.

    You want something to work with? Let's take a character I referenced in my last post; James Bond (we're still tangentially on video games here since future James Bond games will be based on whatever actor is next cast in the role). There are a lot of traits that are central to the character but despite having been always portrayed by white actors his skin color isn't central to who he is. This is an example of "space for diversity" where casting can extend past the narrow constraints of previous renditions of the character. That doesn't mean "don't cast another white guy". It means look for someone who can embody the central outward traits of the character (British, slim, average height, good looking with cold eyes and a cruel mouth) regardless of skin color.

    Quote Originally Posted by Goatfish View Post
    I don't know about anyone else here, but I want good games regardless of if the main character is a man/woman, white/black/green/purple, living/dead/undead, human/frog/spirit/wolf whatever.
    You say you don't care about any of these things, yet apparently harbor a "longstanding borderline hatred" for how gay characters are typically represented. Now take those strong feelings and imagine how someone else who might also not have great, if any, representation might feel. Do you think women love the idea of having so many strong, action driven, male protagonists to choose from while so many female characters are relegated to the role of damsel in distress, wife/girlfriend killed to drive male protagonist's story, or pigeonholed into typical support/caregiver roles? Or people of color generally being relegated to secondary, highly stereotyped characters?

    People want good games AND they want more diversity. Those things aren't mutually exclusive. You can certainly have both, so why are you so strongly in favor of maintaining the already lopsided status quo? If none of it really matters to you then why are you even concerned with any of this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goatfish View Post
    I'm not going to lie that you sound racist and tribalist as heck.
    Do you even know what these words mean? Please, point out where I was prejudiced against a particular racial or ethnic group, or expressed a heightened sense of loyalty to my tribe (whatever tribe you think that might be).

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Ragedaug View Post
    If you understand you have the unconscious bias in the first place and are actively taking measures to fight against those innate tendencies, then you don't need the tool to tell you what are common features among your characters and what are uncommon...because you are already aware of your bias and actively looking to correct it.
    You understand what the term "unconscious" means, right? Yes, you can TRY to curb unconscious bias, but much of it is automatic based on preconceived notions that are almost hardwired via our upbringing and experiences. The tool is supposed to AID in this process, not supersede it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ragedaug View Post
    It is semantics. You can't say 'you' aren't telling the designers what to design when 'you' are telling their bosses what to tell them to design. It's exactly the same thing.

    "I'm not telling designers to make what I want. I'm telling the designer's managers that they must enforce what I want to make the designers do what I want. And if the designers won't, then the manager needs to hire other designers that will".

    Yeah, that's totally not telling designers what to make. /facepalm
    Fuck off, dude. At no point did I say that I want to tell designers or their bosses what to design. I didn't create the tool, and I'm not messaging either of these groups with my thoughts on the matter.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by GreenJesus View Post
    Now they are at the mercy of a tool telling them they have to make a *insert diverse race with x number of mental disorders*.
    Tell me you don't know what you're talking about without telling me you don't know what you're talking about...
    Last edited by Adamas102; 2022-05-30 at 07:09 AM.

  17. #757
    Quote Originally Posted by Kithelle View Post
    And yet you're still here crying about it? Two weeks later
    Go suck your girlfriends dick

  18. #758
    Quote Originally Posted by GreenJesus View Post
    How far we have fallen that games aren't made by talented and passionate artists who just want to tell their story with characters they think would be awesome. Now they are at the mercy of a tool telling them they have to make a *insert diverse race with x number of mental disorders*.
    To be fair, it's not quite that simple.

    Very often representational details don't influence the character itself a whole lot. It might not matter whether a particular character is African or Asian or whatever, for example. It might not even matter what gender they are. Or any number of other things.

    The problem is that there is a history of bias in those seemingly irrelevant details that very often skewed design towards certain traits - usually whatever is the normative standard in the respective cultural context. A lot of superheroes from the olden days for example tended to be white, heterosexual men; not because the characters just had to be that way, but because that was a set of parameters easily defaulted to. Now things are changing, that's all.

    Of course, you're not wrong that representational agendas absolutely can and do get out of hand. What's supposed to be a background detail is blown out of proportion and becomes a self-serving identifier - so instead of being a character with any number of traits and one of them happens to be, say, that they're gay, people overcorrect and make a character whose MAIN or DEFINING characteristic is that they're gay; or it becomes such a dominant characteristic it starts to overshadow others and infringe on the main/defining characteristics. That's a real and justified fear people have. Not because they're against more representation, but because it's usually a sign of lazy and bad writing.

    All that being said, we're not quite in a world where art simply intuits diversity. A lot of the crusty patterns of old are deeply ingrained, and passed on in socialization. Awareness and self-examination are important when it comes to your own work. Is this tool the best way to assist with that? Probably not. It's more of a corporate insurance mechanism to tick all the right appeals boxes. But the PRINCIPLE isn't entirely unsound.

    The whole problem is that it's so damn difficult to liberate your own thinking from biases and preconceptions. A lot of art is based on creative intuition. There's lots of thought and planning involved to be sure, but always less than there is in the analysis of others. You can't compete with the critique of a crowd. If it was just about giving artists free reign and trusting them to come up with cool stuff, we wouldn't have had this problem in the first place. It's precisely BECAUSE there's unconscious biases at work that people try and come up with ways to make them less important. Same principles as with tools that combat biases in e.g. hiring practices - if it was easy to just treat everyone equally and solely based on merit, we wouldn't have the documented inequalities we see.

    I'm not saying this tool is particularly good, and I sure as hell am not defending them abusing it as a PR virtue signaling device (which was stupid and borderline offensive). But "just trust the artists!" is something that sounds better in principle than it works in practice. At least for now.

  19. #759
    I'm surprised this hasn't been locked and that mods haven't been giving more infractions on this thread. Like....holy shit there is a lot of aggressive bigotry on this news post.

  20. #760
    Quote Originally Posted by Kithelle View Post
    And yet you're still here crying about it? Two weeks later
    You sound butthurt for no reason. Did I hurt your feelings somehow? I just now loaded up mmo-champion for the first time in a while and saw this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheRevenantHero View Post
    I'm surprised this hasn't been locked and that mods haven't been giving more infractions on this thread. Like....holy shit there is a lot of aggressive bigotry on this news post.
    Not everyone shares your narrow and whiny view of things.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RadasNoir View Post
    Well, the difference is that homophobes exist and witches don't.

    And I'm afraid I will never be tolerant of the intolerant.
    Glad you get all your views and ways to act from Wikipedia. It's an interesting choice, if a bit robotic.

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