Female Avatars

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Destructinator
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Re: Female Avatars

Post by Destructinator »

EarthCake wrote:
February 23rd, 2020, 7:09 pm
Destructinator wrote:
February 23rd, 2020, 4:06 am
...you could 100% change Tallin to a female and change nothing else and it wouldn't be weird.
Actually,
Spoiler:
You got me there. I was referring more to Tallin's personality and decisions throughout the campaign. But if Tallin were made into a female then the part where they get married could be taken out. Of course this doesn't matter because that wasn't really the point I was making.

Destructinator
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Re: Female Avatars

Post by Destructinator »

BTIsaac wrote:
February 24th, 2020, 4:25 pm
Destructinator wrote:
February 23rd, 2020, 4:06 am
Hi, new to the conversation, you could 100% change Tallin to a female and change nothing else and it wouldn't be weird.
It would be, and not for story reasons, but because it will be painfully obvious that this is a male character who was gender-flipped at the last moment. Men and women are not interchangeable, at least as far as humans in real life are concerned.
Tallin does not do anything that's male specific, his main trait is he's brave an a great leader. So you are claiming that when women are brave and great leaders that is suspicious.

shevegen
Posts: 283
Joined: June 3rd, 2004, 4:35 pm

Re: Female Avatars

Post by shevegen »

I guess part of the problem is that the storylines are often specific for a character; and that
character has a gender normally.

There are some add-ons that allow you to pick a specific character, where the gender happens
to be different. A bit like the old game books, if anyone remembers them - where you could
set the path you would proceed. (Granted, you could not have that flexibility in these books
either, due to just one major storyline, but you get the idea).

I think rewriting any storyline merely because of gender is too much work. BUT perhaps there
could be more add-on campaigns that would either have a female lead; or, even better, that
would allow more flexibility/choice in general.

As an ad-hoc "fix", it may probably be possible to just replace the main icon with another one,
e. g. another gender; and automatically fix the pronounciations e. g. he/she, via a macro. The
latter was used on an oldschool MUD that I have played, so the monsters that were generated
always had the proper gender-fitting description.

"This fat troll looks really ugly, his belly hanging down to the ground and almost touching it."
and so forth (that was just made up but you get the idea; "his/her" automatically replaced).

But, to conclude again: I think for existing campaigns and add-ons, this seems too much
work. For future ones, would be great if people could consider that. I think the net-effect
will be very small-ish though - don't think people will be playing wesnoth more based on
GENDER. If anything then GOOD STORYLINES would make people want to play GOOD
ADDON-CAMPAIGNS.

MathBrush wrote:

> Half of the world are women, so it's just normal to make female characters.

Actually that is not completely true. At birth rate, there is a slight surplus of male ones,
but they have a higher tendency to die throughout the time, more risk, more vulnerable
to many diseases (just think of genetic back-up systems, like red-green blindness
affects more males, females tend to have a higher life span and so forth) - so in the
later years, there will be more females in most civilized societies. So it is not quite
50:50. But anyway, I don't think comparing fantasy to reallife works very well. We
could have any campaign setting and scenario here.

I guess most players are male, and most campaign-creators are male too. You can ask
why that is so; and how to increase the female ratio, but if we look at it right now,
objectively this is just an objective, factual statement. So more female players, more
campaign creators that may be female and they could create campaigns with more
female leads. Still I think the more important point should be about the quality of
the storyline itself. Anyone knows Raymond Feist? An aging fantasy author. He writes
really good novels (if you ignore a bit of repetition now and then). He also creates great
characters, female ones too (although, admittedly ... it is difficult for a male author to
"think female", similar as it is for a female author to "think male"). Creating a good storyline
will solve lots of things in the long run, including gender-disparity.

For dwarves it should not matter because they all look alike and have beards. ;)

BTIsaac wrote:

> See, this is what i mean. We're talking about war stories here. People instinctively expect
> men to be the focus of such stories as well as it's heroes, just as they expect men to be
> the ones doing any other high risk jobs

I don't think this is necessarily true per se, but if you look at reallife, if we take that as an
example, most wars were started by men, and propagated by men too - in the old days
that is. (These days it is more about money but we digress here.)

I think if you have some storyline that makes sense, why not? I could think of, like raiders
first arriving at some village, and causing damage, with only one or a few survivor, and
the main one being ... female. So she would be put into a role, and based on that, you
create some story that follows on.

BTIsaac wrote:

> Virtually all men are naturally expected to be agents, risk takers, protectors, workers and/or leaders

Says who? :)

BTIsaac wrote:

> With women, there is no such expectation. Instead, societies like our own, gives men
> and women the same options, so when we see a woman in this role it's seen as out of
> the ordinary and when something is out of the ordinary, it means there's some kind
> of story behind it.

I don't think there are the same options per se. But it is just one aspect of many differences,
e. g. compare someone who is poor and trying to get an education in the USA - that will
be harder than someone who is rich. And that is not necessarily tied to gender per se
but the modern-day apartheid system that is in place. Good thing we have wikipedia and
free videos!

BTIsaac wrote:

>> For me it is much easier to create a male character simply because I am a male.

> That too can be an issue, but it's what a skilled writer would consider a challenge.

Well - I have played a lot of MUDs back when I was youngish; and read a gazillion of
novels, too.

In my experience, male folks have a very hard time thinking like female; and vice versa.

I can give many examples of male players in a MUD who roleplayed female characters
who tried to constantly beat up something or someone. The discussions also were
quite "male-ish". Vice-versa, you had female players roleplaying as male character and
these tend to end up as super-softies.

Even with good authors of novels, they have a hard time thinking like a female or vice
versa. This is just a rule of thumb; really good storytellers can avoid that, or spend a
lot of time thinking about things and making sense.

To me what Sergey wrote there seems simple too - he is male, the storylines he
creates are simple too. Why make it more complicated. :D

Tom_of_Wesnoth wrote:

> Then there's the curious case of the Wesnothian mage - half of all recruited mages are female, but
> almost all of the named mages that I can think of are male.

You are right; this is a bit strange.

Perhaps the wesnoth team should come up with some new female mage for the main campaign. ;)

Tom_of_Wesnoth wrote:

> I don't know about that. Having a 'kind of evil' character forced to work alongside the good guys by circumstances
> is a pretty cool idea, IMO.

Well .. often the game mechanics work against that. For example, some add-ons have an aura of evil;
but also folks who give aura of light. I find that weird. If most of my army is lawful, I actually place the
guy with the aura that causes the other units to fight worse (since they are lawful), to be far away -
and that then annoys me, since I have to place him somewhere away from the main action or so. :P

Then there is another campaign with an orc unit that is useless. It annoys me to have this orc unit
and control him. If he dies, the scenario is lost, so he annoys me twice!

I am not disagreeing with you per se - it CAN make the storyline more interesting. But the gameplay
implications can be annoying too ... so I am not sure if it is a win-win. It seems like a "win-difficult"
situations more than a "win-win".

Destructinator wrote:

> Hi, new to the conversation, you could 100% change Tallin to a female and change nothing else and it
> wouldn't be weird.

Would be cool if we could have more campaigns in general where we could have different actors
as main. Perhaps if this would be simpler for creators to do ... hmm. To me it just sounds like a lot of
work in general. And if I were to have a very long campaign, changing this all due to another lead
character seems like such a marginal gain.

But I think Tom_of_Wesnoth pointing out that there are many female mages as recruits but no
leading female mage char, is a valid complaint. Guess some artist should try luck at a female
leader type mage (or any leader type; outlaws are weird because most portraits have a mask,
so that makes it a bit difficult to guess which gender is behind that mask...).

Byron
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Location: West Virginia

Re: Female Avatars

Post by Byron »

Sometimes events cause a woman to take charge. I'm thinking of Queen Boudica who almost defeated a Roman Legion after she, & her daughters, were raped, as an act of war. There were strong women leaders in Ancient Egypt, even a Shawnee Princess who was a warrior leader. A history buff can probably give you even more, & better, examples. It is male arrogance that is reflected in these comments, certainly not wisdom.

A convincing female hero can be written into a campaign. It's 2020, the era of men is ending. A better era, the era of humans is beginning. Even in America, women are running for President, though we are behind the rest of the world in this regard. When a male journalist asked the Prime Minister of Latvia about her being a women leader, her reply was, "We are a small country. We can't ignore half of our population, the way that you do."

BTIsaac
Posts: 411
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Re: Female Avatars

Post by BTIsaac »

Destructinator wrote:
March 1st, 2020, 7:27 am
Tallin does not do anything that's male specific, his main trait is he's brave an a great leader. So you are claiming that when women are brave and great leaders that is suspicious.
No. I'm saying it's out of the ordinary. Something that's brought about by exceptional circumstances.
shevegen wrote:
March 2nd, 2020, 12:00 am
BTIsaac wrote:
>See, this is what i mean. We're talking about war stories here. People instinctively expect men to be the focus of such stories as well as it's heroes, just as they expect men to be the ones doing any other high risk jobs.

I don't think this is necessarily true per se, but if you look at reallife, if we take that as an example, most wars were started by men, and propagated by men too - in the old days that is. (These days it is more about money but we digress here.)
Wars are started by groups of people, over factors far more complex than simply "money". Especially since money has no intrinsic value. Without an economy behind it, it's basically toilet paper.
Men typically start wars and fight them, but only because the people who's job includes starting wars and fighting them are almost exclusively men, because...
BTIsaac wrote:
> Virtually all men are naturally expected to be agents, risk takers, protectors, workers and/or leaders

Says who? :)
History? Society? Women who date/ are married to men who don't live up to these expectations?
BTIsaac wrote:
> With women, there is no such expectation. Instead, societies like our own, gives men and women the same options, so when we see a woman in this role it's seen as out of the ordinary and when something is out of the ordinary, it means there's some kind of story behind it.

I don't think there are the same options per se. But it is just one aspect of many differences, e. g. compare someone who is poor and trying to get an education in the USA - that will be harder than someone who is rich. And that is not necessarily tied to gender per se but the modern-day apartheid system that is in place. Good thing we have wikipedia and free videos!
But this topic IS about gender.
BTIsaac wrote:
> For me it is much easier to create a male character simply because I am a male.
> That too can be an issue, but it's what a skilled writer would consider a challenge.

I can give many examples of male players in a MUD who roleplayed female characters who tried to constantly beat up something or someone. The discussions also were quite "male-ish". Vice-versa, you had female players roleplaying as male character and these tend to end up as super-softies.

Even with good authors of novels, they have a hard time thinking like a female or vice versa. This is just a rule of thumb; really good storytellers can avoid that, or spend a lot of time thinking about things and making sense.

To me what Sergey wrote there seems simple too - he is male, the storylines he creates are simple too. Why make it more complicated. :D
You just scratched the surface of a really big problem with modern fiction.
But I think Tom_of_Wesnoth pointing out that there are many female mages as recruits but no leading female mage char, is a valid complaint. Guess some artist should try luck at a female leader type mage.
There is in fact an ongoing effort to create a campaign with a female mage lead, based on the "last exam" UMC. Not sure how that's coming along. The person making it did contact me about it months ago but I couldn't really offer much input.

BTIsaac
Posts: 411
Joined: December 7th, 2017, 7:30 am

Re: Female Avatars

Post by BTIsaac »

Byron wrote:
March 2nd, 2020, 3:52 am
Sometimes events cause a woman to take charge. I'm thinking of Queen Boudica who almost defeated a Roman Legion after she, & her daughters, were raped, as an act of war. There were strong women leaders in Ancient Egypt, even a Shawnee Princess who was a warrior leader. A history buff can probably give you even more, & better, examples.
And all of these were exceptional cases. These women were pushed into circumstances that required them to take up roles that men were REQUIRED to fill anyway.
It is male arrogance that is reflected in these comments, certainly not wisdom... It's 2020, the era of men is ending. A better era, the era of humans is beginning.
Very dramatic. Unfortunately this isn't the appropriate place to flaunt oratory skills. Also, not relevant to this discussion.
A convincing female hero can be written into a campaign.
Nobody claimed otherwise. So what exactly are you arguing here?
Even in America, women are running for President, though we are behind the rest of the world in this regard. When a male journalist asked the Prime Minister of Latvia about her being a women leader, her reply was, "We are a small country. We can't ignore half of our population, the way that you do."
I'll keep that in mind when we're discussing writing a story in a contemporary setting.

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MathBrush
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Re: Female Avatars

Post by MathBrush »

I just wanted to make sure I had all the reasoning right:

Men can create orc and undead characters, but can’t create women characters because they can’t “think female”.

Units use heavy armor when gunpowder is invented, fight dragons and teleport, but female war leaders are “unrealistic”.

Let me know if you come up with any more reasons to keep women characters out of the game!

Tad_Carlucci
Developer
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Re: Female Avatars

Post by Tad_Carlucci »

The only one which matters: nobody has done it.

If you feel that strongly about it, design a campaign, test and debug it as UMC, and get people asking for it to advance to mainline.
I forked real life and now I'm getting merge conflicts.

BTIsaac
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Re: Female Avatars

Post by BTIsaac »

MathBrush wrote:
March 3rd, 2020, 6:22 pm
Let me know if you come up with any more reasons to keep women characters out of the game!
Sigh. Here it comes.
Nobody said we should keep women characters out of this game. Nobody even suggested it. And even IF that is what we wanted, what we think wouldn't matter, because anyone could make a campaign with a female protagonist, and the devs could even mainline one or two, and there's nothing we could do to stop it. For all intents and purposes, this is a strawman claim. One I'm very familiar with.
Men can create orc and undead characters, but can’t create women characters because they can’t “think female”.

Units use heavy armor when gunpowder is invented, fight dragons and teleport, but female war leaders are “unrealistic”.
Two claims that nobody here made. What was said, is that most men are going to have a hard time writing female characters in a believable way. Writing women isn't the same as writing men, and aside from skilled writers, which most people are not, the average person will have trouble writing a realistic character of the opposite sex.

Nobody said that female war leaders are unrealistic, but that it's unusual. In times of war, men are expected to fight and sacrifice, while women are expected to survive, because they're not expendable, and this is especially true for less advanced societies. Our society just so happens to be advanced to the point where our existence is secure enough to allow women to take greater risks if that's something they're interested in, and this is a very recent achievement. Projecting it back on what essentially are medieval societies, even imaginary ones, is nothing short of presentism.

With the possible exception of elves - a race with a long natural lifespan, which reduces existential risks - a community in the world of wesnoth needs to be very desperate to put women in danger by allowing them to partake in battle. People don't become soldiers to flaunt their strength. By all means, feel free to come up with a story of a "female war leader". Just remember that there's more to a female character than the pronoun used to refer to her.

And one last thing. The whole "dragons and magic are unrealisitc" argument is irritating to no end and needs to just die already. I hear it every single time when people want to justify shoehorning tropes specific to a contemporary setting, into a work that's medieval fantasy. Unless the fantastic aspects of the world are so expansive that they radically alter the lifestyles and everyday struggles of the comon folk (which is very obviously not the case with wesnothians at least), any inevitable consequence of said lifestyle and struggles will remain the same. Unfortunately, this also means that a woman is unlikely to become a war leader, unless exceptional circumstances specific to her case, force her into that position (note that outlaws, or peasant militias in frontier villages are such exceptional cases).

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GunChleoc
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Re: Female Avatars

Post by GunChleoc »

Tad_Carlucci wrote:
March 3rd, 2020, 9:10 pm
The only one which matters: nobody has done it.

If you feel that strongly about it, design a campaign, test and debug it as UMC, and get people asking for it to advance to mainline.
This. We can keep discussing this all day long, but the only way to get campaigns with female leads is for somebody to do the work to create and then maintain some.
shevegen wrote:
March 2nd, 2020, 12:00 am
As an ad-hoc "fix", it may probably be possible to just replace the main icon with another one,
e. g. another gender; and automatically fix the pronounciations e. g. he/she, via a macro. The
latter was used on an oldschool MUD that I have played, so the monsters that were generated
always had the proper gender-fitting description.

"This fat troll looks really ugly, his belly hanging down to the ground and almost touching it."
and so forth (that was just made up but you get the idea; "his/her" automatically replaced).
This will not work for languages unlike English. For example, in my language:

his belly -> a brù
her belly -> a bhrù

his father -> athair
her father -> a h-athair

his sword -> an claidheamh aige
her sword -> a' chlaidheamh aice

We have to keep using the system that we currently have with the female^ prefix. It works, and with modern translation tools, the additional translation effort is small.

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MathBrush
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Re: Female Avatars

Post by MathBrush »

Well, I think GunChleoc has a point, that we just need to make these campaigns with women as leads. My last campaign had a female thief lead (Knalgans of Steel), and I think I'll keep experimenting with that to see how it turns out.

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