Monday, 1 February 2010

Standard Roles

So, I've just come back from a gaming convention. I didn't actually get to do much tabletop, but one game I did stuck out to me and my crazy liberal feminist goggles.

That being a game that was sort of a crossover between Firefly and Aliens 4, using the characters from the movie as the crew of a ship in the Firefly universe.

It was notable to me because not only were there two female PCs in the party - despite not having two female players, and I wasn't even playing one of the girls - but that there were female NPCs out there doing things. Doing things other than shopping, whoring, and being rescued.

Most people writing/running these con games aren't professionals. They're just making up a story (sometimes as they go along). And for these reasons, they tend to fall into defaults. Quite often, all the pregen PCs being handed out are male - I don't think I've EVER seen an all-female party, and I bet it would be the entire focus of the plot if there were. If the town has a leader, it's a guy. If someone needs rescuing, it's a girl. If there's a barmaid, she has killer cleavage and negotiable virtue.

It was refreshing to see a PC being picked up in a bar by a woman who was 'ugly' - a short burly scarred muscular gun-nut, hitting on a character of exactly the same type. They arm-wrestled, shared drinks, and went off together.

1 comment:

Lexington Alexander said...

LOL! I agree. We need to have more of a variety of bodies in the visual media. Unfortunately, marketers and advertisers generally stick to what sells. Their defense usually lies in the fact that they aren't seeking to make good PR, they are responding to the market forces in order to drive profit and profit alone.