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Old 2011-08-08, 00:55   Link #841
Vallen Chaos Valiant
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Originally Posted by james0246 View Post
^Unless Humanity has drastically changed in just a few hundred years (or Shepard had such a fucked up childhood that the character is now asexual), gender and sexual preference should always be defining characteristic that create differences between Shepards, and for the game not to reflect this messes with the emersion of the experience (imo).
You would get in trouble if you actually try to define what you just said; i.e. please tell me in what way should female Shepard behave that would make her different from male Shepard, without using stereotypes that end up insult players.

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The game is orientated to a male Shepard and so is the dialogue, while is true what you say about gender should be a defining charasteristic, We could just say that a Female Shepard will act exactly like a Male Shepard, in other words, Female shepard is not lady like.
By definition of what a "Lady" is, Female Shepard can't do her job and be a lady at the same time. Ladies don't shoot people.

As was pointed out in Utena, to demand gender differentiation would mean to demand gender roles. And it is easy to point out that under that criteria, Female Shepard would not be able to even BE a Spectre.

It boils down to this; how and why you would want female Shepard to be a different person to the male version? And how would you make changes in a way that isn't perceived as derogatory?
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Old 2011-08-08, 01:18   Link #842
FlareKnight
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I don't think the point that james is trying to make is off or one that will get him in trouble. Even in the future you'd figure that the sex you are born with will have an impact on your life and how people interact with you. It's not demanding gender roles or forcing people into certain behaviors. Unless of course we are just assuming in the future all people treat each other asexually.

Anyways I don't really care since I only play as male Shepard anyways .

Will focus on less deep topics, like what kind of firepower the Normandy will be packing for Mass Effect 3 .
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Old 2011-08-08, 01:28   Link #843
james0246
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I want F-Shep and M-Shep to have distinct personalities. I said nothing of gender roles, though I wouldn't mind realistic gender identities (Right now, due to their exact dialogue, M-Shep and F-Shep could be said to have the same identity (the player character), consequently their romantic entanglements seem less realistic since their underlying gender identity comes across as confusingly similar (which makes their romantic choices unrealistic to their core identity)). That being said, an easy solution is to simply give the characters different lines, even if the intent behind the lines stays the same. While the content may not change, the fact that the delivery changes will almost instantly add character definition to either gender without needing to conform or break any specific gender roles (admittedly, F-Shep already breaks many gender roles).
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Old 2011-08-08, 02:16   Link #844
Vallen Chaos Valiant
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Originally Posted by FlareKnight View Post
I don't think the point that james is trying to make is off or one that will get him in trouble. Even in the future you'd figure that the sex you are born with will have an impact on your life and how people interact with you. It's not demanding gender roles or forcing people into certain behaviors. Unless of course we are just assuming in the future all people treat each other asexually.

Anyways I don't really care since I only play as male Shepard anyways .

Will focus on less deep topics, like what kind of firepower the Normandy will be packing for Mass Effect 3 .
It WOULD get him it trouble, the second he tries to list examples of what he would consider an appropriate "feminine" version of Shepard.
As I say, it is all about jumping from theory to practice. What sounds nice on paper would come out horrendous in the game.


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I want F-Shep and M-Shep to have distinct personalities.
Ah, then you want the two Shepards to be different people, then? Then one of them would not be Shepard anymore.

That would mean that the entire story would change depending on the gender, and the audience would get screwed over just because they picked one gender over another.

e,g:
"What did you mean Tali died because I choose the female Shepard?"


This is something all game makers realised very quickly. They cannot differentiate between genders for the protagonist, because to do so means forcing the audience to make an uninformed choice about the game.

And finally, isn't it the player that determine what Shepard's personality is suppose to be? So why should gender matter if the player has the final say?

Quote:
That being said, an easy solution is to simply give the characters different lines, even if the intent behind the lines stays the same
Give me an example. And I will tell you exactly why it would not work.
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Old 2011-08-08, 02:47   Link #845
k//eternal
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Originally Posted by FlareKnight View Post
I don't think the point that james is trying to make is off or one that will get him in trouble. Even in the future you'd figure that the sex you are born with will have an impact on your life and how people interact with you. It's not demanding gender roles or forcing people into certain behaviors. Unless of course we are just assuming in the future all people treat each other asexually.
Considering you're dealing with several other species in this setting, differences between sexes in humans are quite trivial in comparison. I don't think some of the aliens can tell the difference between male and female humans too well and wouldn't treat Shepard any differently. Not to mention that in reality humans are trending toward throwing out traditional gender roles, just look at the history of women's rights.

I don't know what the alternative to "treating people asexually" is supposed to be. If you're talking about sexually charged interactions, keep in mind that nobody is actually into everyone of one sex or another. Someone's "type" is a lot more specific than that, and this is just one bullet point on the list.

Male Shepard and FemShep are the same character in a different body. It's just a parameter of the character customization process. I don't expect intrinsic differences in personality (aside from my dialogue choices) between my redhead Shep and someone else's blond Shep, either.
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Old 2011-08-08, 04:53   Link #846
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Lots of sexist comments here today. Fem Shep is a soldier, why the fuck should she behave differently than the male Shep, they come from the exact same background. Gender identities are nurtured, it is not something that comes natural to any of us.
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Old 2011-08-08, 05:49   Link #847
Westlo
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Originally Posted by Vallen Chaos Valiant View Post
And finally, isn't it the player that determine what Shepard's personality is suppose to be? So why should gender matter if the player has the final say?
Exactly, my Femshep and Shep are different classes and I make them act quite different. Of course FemShep and Shep playing Paragon Soldiers is exactly the same outside of romances. Make one of them start to get red eyes, have a different class, the game changes than.
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Old 2011-08-08, 07:02   Link #848
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Sheesh, all i was talking about was little bit diffrent lines, some lines work for men and some work for women.

If tali said the line about her being rescued by a "dashing" commander yada yada it would seem awkward seeing that Dashing is more of a male term. I'm... not sure what the female counterpart is for dashing tho.
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Old 2011-08-08, 10:37   Link #849
james0246
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vallen Chaos Valiant View Post
It WOULD get him it trouble, the second he tries to list examples of what he would consider an appropriate "feminine" version of Shepard.
I never said feminine, I said woman. Gender Roles are mostly unimportant to my basic desire for the character to not be gender neutral in all their non-romance scenes.

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Originally Posted by Vallen Chaos Valiant View Post
Ah, then you want the two Shepards to be different people, then? Then one of them would not be Shepard anymore.
Considering Shepard can both save the galaxy or doom the galaxy, aren't we already dealing with separate characters? Yet both are still Shepard.

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Originally Posted by Vallen Chaos Valiant View Post
That would mean that the entire story would change depending on the gender, and the audience would get screwed over just because they picked one gender over another.
That is completely missing the point I started with. I said, in not so many words, that the audience, when playing through as a separate gender, shouldn't have to sit through the exact same story. Consequently, I do want 2 stories so that when replaying the game I have some real reason (outside of simply romancing Kaiden or Garrus, etc) to replay the game.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vallen Chaos Valiant View Post
e,g:
"What did you mean Tali died because I choose the female Shepard?"
Arguably, I can claim that Kaiden died in ME1 partially because I played a male character that romanced Ashley. And the reverse happened when I played as a female character. Either way, my gender identity did impact my decision on who to save and who to let die.

That being said, why is this a bad choice. Who you are intrinsically affects the world around you. Part of who you are is your gender identity. So, wouldn't it be more realistic for situations to arise (sometimes) based on gender identity?

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Originally Posted by Vallen Chaos Valiant View Post
So why should gender matter if the player has the final say?
Because the game does reward gender identity, but only in the romances, which I find strange and unrealistic.

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Originally Posted by Vallen Chaos Valiant View Post
This is something all game makers realised very quickly. They cannot differentiate between genders for the protagonist, because to do so means forcing the audience to make an uninformed choice about the game.
I understand what you are saying, and I even agree in principle (if nothing else I acknowledge that it would extraordinarily difficult to actually finance the creation of what amounts to two distinct protagonists.), but I’d still like some incentive for replayability. (One need only look at Dragon Age: Origins to see that the different races greatly impacted replayability. If a game can do that based on race, stereotypical or not, why not gender?)

Quote:
Originally Posted by k//eternal View Post
Considering you're dealing with several other species in this setting, differences between sexes in humans are quite trivial in comparison. I don't think some of the aliens can tell the difference between male and female humans too well and wouldn't treat Shepard any differently. Not to mention that in reality humans are trending toward throwing out traditional gender roles, just look at the history of women's rights.
Considering Miranda's acknowledged in-universe "perfect" butt, the lack of many human females in positions of authority (in the army or otherwise), etc, the world is obviously not as gender neutral as playing Shepard implies.

Additionally, you are dealing with humans at least an equal amount of time to all the aliens, so even if alien races find the matter trivial, it is not quite as realistic of the human race.

Quote:
Originally Posted by k//eternal View Post
I don't know what the alternative to "treating people asexually" is supposed to be. If you're talking about sexually charged interactions, keep in mind that nobody is actually into everyone of one sex or another. Someone's "type" is a lot more specific than that, and this is just one bullet point on the list.
That's a good point. I fully acknowledge that my desire for differing personalities is somewhat unfeasible (or at least too costly). Ultimately, my argument is more against RPGs and gaming culture in general than simply Mass Effect.

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Originally Posted by Irkalla View Post
Lots of sexist comments here today. Fem Shep is a soldier, why the fuck should she behave differently than the male Shep, they come from the exact same background. Gender identities are nurtured, it is not something that comes natural to any of us.
Gender Identities are nurtured and mostly established by the age of 3 or so...which means Shepard would have been a man or a woman before she/he became a soldier (gasp). Shepard wasn't grown in a tank to be a soldier, so arguing that simply because he/she is a soldier now means there is no gender identity, is false (and considering there are romances, each Shep obviously has some form of gender identity (I merely dislike that their separate gender identities in bed are not really shown out of bed)). I know plenty of soldiers that are distinctly female and their breasts or lack thereof is not the main indicators for them being female.

---

That being said, I feel I have diverted the discussion and for that I apologize. Please respond (and I might respond via PM in kind), but I will take this off the thread for now.

Last edited by james0246; 2011-08-08 at 11:00.
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Old 2011-08-08, 10:40   Link #850
Vallen Chaos Valiant
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Originally Posted by Kyero Fox View Post
Sheesh, all i was talking about was little bit diffrent lines, some lines work for men and some work for women.

If tali said the line about her being rescued by a "dashing" commander yada yada it would seem awkward seeing that Dashing is more of a male term. I'm... not sure what the female counterpart is for dashing tho.
There is no female counterpart. Women were not allowed to be Dashing. But Femshep is Dashing all the same despite dictionary definitions.
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Old 2011-08-08, 11:02   Link #851
Kyero Fox
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and thats the end of that.

who else has the feelin that shepard dies in the end no matter what? ... I got a sinking feeling .. but who knows ><
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Old 2011-08-08, 11:46   Link #852
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If s/he does, it better be one fucking hellacious blaze of unsurpassed glory.
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Old 2011-08-08, 11:48   Link #853
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from my experience, male and female shepard DO have different personalities

male shepard has a generally even temperament, except when he's angry
and as much as he tries to be bad-ass, there is a goofy dorkish tone in his voice that comes out every know in then.

female shepard is OH SO SERIOUS all the time.. she inherently emits this dangerous aura all the time.. which good if you're playing that kind of character.. but not so good if you're not.
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Old 2011-08-08, 11:51   Link #854
Keroko
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In my opinion, the difference in Shepard's gender should not be noticable through Shepard's actions, but rather the actions of those around Shepard. Shepard is who we make of him or her. It is the player who forges Shepard into the character he or she is, and that should not change. Violent or kind, patient or reckless, gay or straight, we as the player should determine these qualities.

That does not mean, however, that the same thing goes for the characters around us. Yes, we define the character of Shepard, but the people inhabiting the Mass Effect galaxy have their own personalities. Personalities we do not control. These people could, and in my opinion should, be the key to defining the difference between male and female Shepard.

For example, a stubborn stereotyped NPC might be more reluctant to trust a female Shepard in combat, or a guard might be easier persuaded by a female Shepard to let her pass. A male Shepard might get into more ego-fueled fights during his conversations in a bar, or have more trouble with a certain infamous reporter.

On the romantic front, just because our Shepard is gay or straight should not change the romantic priorities of the characters around her. This is one of the pitfalls Dragon Age 2 fell into, making almost everyone both straight and gay, and was played much better in Origins with Zevran and Liliana. We should not be able to romance everyone because we want to, but also because the characters we try to romance want to.
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Old 2011-08-08, 11:55   Link #855
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This femshep/maleshep discussion is slowly killing me....
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Old 2011-08-08, 12:04   Link #856
Kyero Fox
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If s/he does, it better be one fucking hellacious blaze of unsurpassed glory.
THats gonna be pretty difficult with the society we have today in the internet..
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Old 2011-08-08, 12:53   Link #857
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Spoiler for sup:
Well, I'm going to half agree and half disagree with this. Like james already mentioned, the two Shepards have virtually identical dialogue. That's kind of an issue of laziness as you put it--I feel the same way about male and female Hawke in DA2. Their dialogue is practically identical, with only a few tiny differences.

It'd be nice if they actually had different scripts. That way, there would be more than simply a cosmetic difference and the ability to romance different NPCs between the two Shepards.

I'd love for a canon!Shepard and fem!Shepard to have completely different lines. That way, you'd up the replay value--and I'd actually play as a male Shepard if there were differences in the story and dialogue between the two.

I've played Dragon Age Origins several times, for different origins--while the bulk of the story is virtually the same, there are many dialogue differences between a human mage, a Dalish elf and a dwarf noble Warden. But there was no recorded voice for the Warden, so it's a little easier to understand.

However I still consider it laziness on Bioware's part. Since they already had to have a male and female voice actor, they could have easily just had a different script for Mark Meer and Jennifer Hale.
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Old 2011-08-08, 13:18   Link #858
Keroko
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They could, yes. But that goes contrary to the design philosophy of the game, that being that you are the one who decides who Shepard is.

You mentioned Origins, and that's nearly exactly what I meant. Not that Shepard becomes a different character based on her gender, but that the world itself treats her differently based on her gender.
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Old 2011-08-08, 14:00   Link #859
k//eternal
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Originally Posted by Key Board View Post
from my experience, male and female shepard DO have different personalities

male shepard has a generally even temperament, except when he's angry
and as much as he tries to be bad-ass, there is a goofy dorkish tone in his voice that comes out every know in then.

female shepard is OH SO SERIOUS all the time.. she inherently emits this dangerous aura all the time.. which good if you're playing that kind of character.. but not so good if you're not.
I don't think that's intentional, but they can't exactly hire the same voice actor for both.

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Originally Posted by Keroko View Post
You mentioned Origins, and that's nearly exactly what I meant. Not that Shepard becomes a different character based on her gender, but that the world itself treats her differently based on her gender.
Actually, yes, I think a few touches of this would be very cool. I suspect that some groups obsessed with "political correctness" would whine upon hearing about the game being different for differently-sexed Shepards, though.
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Old 2011-08-08, 16:16   Link #860
Keroko
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Probably, but they'd whine if Shepard gets different dialog based on gender as well. If it's the world that treats Shepard differently, then they both keep the "player decides who Shepard is" element and the extra replay value for playing both genders.
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