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Skylanders, genders, and marketing
oogamania Yellow Sparx Gems: 1417
#1 Posted: 16:00:31 27/04/2014 | Topic Creator
Dark, you may move this anywhere you'd like if this is in the wrong spot.

After reading through a post that I found about Trap Team that somehow turned into gender equality of boys and girls, I think it is time I make this separate discussion topic to, hopefully peter out these ridiculous complaints of “there isn’t enough girls” or “there aren’t any equality of boys and girl Skylanders!” Now, why is there so few girls compared to boys? Let’s take a look at the target audience of Skylanders.

Skylanders primary target audience is children, right? Its secondary audience is probably parents or the “casual” market. Their primary target market is children aged 6 to twelve. Children of that age group are not going to DEEPLY concern themselves over an issue that will seemingly never go away. Secondly, parents, their secondary audience will buy this game to have fun with their kids. Not to concern themselves with an issue that shouldn’t be an issue to begin with. If you’ve been to Mcdonalds recently you will notice Skylanders and My Little Pony as the featured toys. The choice of what gender their marketing is geared towards is pretty obvious. Still, why would they choose boys over girls? Based on this study, “Given the content of many video games, it’s not surprising that a lot of the advertising for video games is aimed right at boys and men alike.”

http://www.education.com/facts...ed-video-games/

It may not be the fact of gender, but the socialization and age of these kids of different sexes. Plus, there are those that feel girls aren’t into games which is ridiculous. Or it could be that the marketing world feels that selling games to boys is easier than girls. In my personal experiences, I’ve met far more boys in online gaming than girls, despite the gradual rise of girl gamers compared to the past. This study suggests that by the end of 2013 women will make up 51% of the gaming world.

http://www.policymic.com/artic...lay-video-games

What does sexes and marketing have to do with Skylanders? It has plenty to do with it. Without marketing, we wouldn’t have a clear understanding of how to run a business. Sexes are what we were created to be and how we are to be. Boys, in general love those cool, tough, ruggid toys, such as transformers and hot wheels, while the girls, in general love the cute, harmless toys, such My little Pony and the littlest pet shop. Just to be clear, not all are in this category of male and female and this is why marketing is so important. Bronies are a good example because the obvious target audience is young females but the male bronies seemingly dominate, however that may not be the case. They may not be as profitable as the target market even though this group is the most active and vocal.

The point is we live in a society that is unequal and has been for centuries. Skylanders had plenty of females added is SF, but some still complain. The target is boys, therefore there are more male Skylanders. What’s the point of adding more girls when the numbers will continue to stay uneven? For example, the boys = 5 toys and the girls = 2 toys. We add more girls, it will be 10 toys for boys and 4 toys for girls. Trying to create gender equality in an unequal system made by imperfect beings is not possible. Every wave has had more boys than girls because based on THEIR marketing strategy, more boys play their games than girls. This is why businesses have a primary target and a secondary target audience. Some may even have a third.

In conclusion, there are plenty of males and females. We got popular ones like Whirlwind, Stealth Elf, Hex, Flashwing, Cynder, Starstrike, Ninjini and so many others that, from what I’ve seen are more popular than Spyro. There are some that thought Whirlwind and Strastrike was a male which is understandable because characters like Cynder and Sprocket is a bit more obvious based on their physical features. Girls, just be glad that these guys aren’t over sexualizing these females as they do with sooo many video game heroines.
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Edited 1 time - Last edited at 16:05:04 27/04/2014 by oogamania
GhostRoaster Yellow Sparx Gems: 1803
#2 Posted: 17:12:17 27/04/2014
We live in a society where everyone has a grievance. Mine is on good and different gameplay on skylanders smilie
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ninja9351 Emerald Sparx Gems: 4924
#3 Posted: 17:38:12 27/04/2014
I have a friend who is very sexist and I can't stand that about him. He says that girls should stay at home doing housework and cooking and that men should work. This isn't 1920 people. Girls actually get paid less doing the same thing that guys do. This is very unfair. I understand why the SWAP Force had no girls in it but still the only new core females were; Smolderdash, Punk Shock, and Scratch. I'm not asking for 50/50 boys and girls but even 70/30 boys/girls would be nicer then the current 85/15 boy to girl ratio. The same friend I mentioned earlier recent got into Skylanders himself. He wants to get Cynder because she's awesome but can't stand her because she is a girl. I talked about Whirlwind and he scoffed at her because she's "girly". Which she is but it's no reason not to get her. He liked Smolderdash until I told him that Smolderdash was a girl. Sexism exsits in today's society and because of that I think that the 70/30 to 60/40 boy/girl ratio range would be ideal for the franchise.
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Zylek Yellow Sparx Gems: 1920
#4 Posted: 18:08:23 27/04/2014
Actually there was also Star Strike who is a girl, so 25% female corelanders. My daughter was really upset there wasn't any female Swap Force characters and didn't really except the excuse of having a female top with a male bottom, she said who cares. I'm hoping that they go back to including more females in the Trap Masters characters.
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Epic popthorn Emerald Sparx Gems: 3053
#5 Posted: 18:19:25 27/04/2014
Quote: ninja9351
I have a friend who is very sexist and I can't stand that about him. He says that girls should stay at home doing housework and cooking and that men should work. This isn't 1920 people. Girls actually get paid less doing the same thing that guys do. This is very unfair. I understand why the SWAP Force had no girls in it but still the only new core females were; Smolderdash, Punk Shock, and Scratch. I'm not asking for 50/50 boys and girls but even 70/30 boys/girls would be nicer then the current 85/15 boy to girl ratio. The same friend I mentioned earlier recent got into Skylanders himself. He wants to get Cynder because she's awesome but can't stand her because she is a girl. I talked about Whirlwind and he scoffed at her because she's "girly". Which she is but it's no reason not to get her. He liked Smolderdash until I told him that Smolderdash was a girl. Sexism exsits in today's society and because of that I think that the 70/30 to 60/40 boy/girl ratio range would be ideal for the franchise.


You forgot about rollerbrawl and star strike but I get why the swappers were all male because it would be wierd if if there was a male with female parts or vise versa and also to me most of the females are either popular or OP
ninja9351 Emerald Sparx Gems: 4924
#6 Posted: 18:30:37 27/04/2014
Quote: Epic popthorn
Quote: ninja9351
I have a friend who is very sexist and I can't stand that about him. He says that girls should stay at home doing housework and cooking and that men should work. This isn't 1920 people. Girls actually get paid less doing the same thing that guys do. This is very unfair. I understand why the SWAP Force had no girls in it but still the only new core females were; Smolderdash, Punk Shock, and Scratch. I'm not asking for 50/50 boys and girls but even 70/30 boys/girls would be nicer then the current 85/15 boy to girl ratio. The same friend I mentioned earlier recent got into Skylanders himself. He wants to get Cynder because she's awesome but can't stand her because she is a girl. I talked about Whirlwind and he scoffed at her because she's "girly". Which she is but it's no reason not to get her. He liked Smolderdash until I told him that Smolderdash was a girl. Sexism exsits in today's society and because of that I think that the 70/30 to 60/40 boy/girl ratio range would be ideal for the franchise.


You forgot about rollerbrawl and star strike but I get why the swappers were all male because it would be wierd if if there was a male with female parts or vise versa and also to me most of the females are either popular or OP



Oh sorry about that, but still my point was there weren't many 27/5 boy girl ratio still stands.
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UncleBob Ripto Gems: 4565
#7 Posted: 18:31:44 27/04/2014
You know, there's an Anime in Japan where a boy turns into a girl whenever he gets wet.

This, obviously, raises all kinds of questions regarding sexuality, genders, organs, etc. that I won't get into here.

The creator of the series, when asked, simply stated "I don't think about that and neither should you!"

I don't understand why Japan can have such a hugely popular series aimed at kids and this isn't an issue, but the idea of a series in the US where characters, who have no real interactions or anything close to a romantic subplot, can't switch tops/bottoms because they're different genders.
GoldenCamo Green Sparx Gems: 146
#8 Posted: 18:31:58 27/04/2014
I expect 1-3 female Trap Masters; no less, no more.
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newkill Emerald Sparx Gems: 3962
#9 Posted: 19:13:25 27/04/2014
Some stats, number of female characters in each game:

Spyro's Adventure: 5/32 (16%)
Giants: 4/16 (25%)
Swap Force: 5/32 (16%)

Total: 14/80 (18%)

I'm betting on between 20% and 25% for Trap Team. Surely there will be a few female villains.
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TheShadowDragon Ripto Gems: 2886
#10 Posted: 19:16:23 27/04/2014
As long as the Trap Masters are coming, I really hope to see the more than three Trap Mistresses. The Swap Force doesn't have female members for obvious reasons.
Razz Platinum Sparx Gems: 5992
#11 Posted: 19:26:56 27/04/2014
The strict gender binary/"boys vs. girls" sort for culture/mentality is mostly a product of Western societies and is especially prevalent in America. We don't have equality between the sexes, that's the short and long of it, and that's not right or fair and we need to change that. We are making those changes, but it's slow. Bringing up stuff like the gender inequality in Skylanders seems small and trivial, but it's not trivial to the little girls who are playing it.

I'm really glad I'm not the only person on this site who thinks about this stuff now. ^_^
UncleBob Ripto Gems: 4565
#12 Posted: 20:06:18 27/04/2014
Err... Gender inequality isn't exclusive to "Western Societies" by any means.
Razz Platinum Sparx Gems: 5992
#13 Posted: 20:20:51 27/04/2014
I didn't say it was. It's just very prevalent in our society, while there are a number of other societies today who have three, five, or no limit on the genders within them.
DaMadNes Blue Sparx Gems: 944
#14 Posted: 20:23:49 27/04/2014
I have 3 stepdaughters who love skylanders. None of them complain or feel slighted about the "disproportionate" amount of female characters. Actually, other than ninjini, their fav characters are the little cutsy characters like wreckingball and pop thorn.

The low number of girl characters is not a big deal, why make it one?
ninja9351 Emerald Sparx Gems: 4924
#15 Posted: 20:28:20 27/04/2014
Quote: DaMadNes
I have 3 stepdaughters who love skylanders. None of them complain or feel slighted about the "disproportionate" amount of female characters. Actually, other than ninjini, their fav characters are the little cutsy characters like wreckingball and pop thorn.

The low number of girl characters is not a big deal, why make it one?



Because it makes no sence to have 40-50% female and only 18% of the total characters being female.
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UncleBob Ripto Gems: 4565
#16 Posted: 20:31:53 27/04/2014
Quote: Razz
I didn't say it was. It's just very prevalent in our society, while there are a number of other societies today who have three, five, or no limit on the genders within them.


You stated it was "mostly a product of". The history of a gender binary is tied to the history of the sex binary and has nothing to do with one specific culture, aside from "Earth culture".

Also, mixing "sex" and "gender" is bad - one's a biological term relating to X/Y chromosomes and one's a cognitive term relating to a state of mind (and this forum isn't the place to debate *what* is the root cause of that state of mind and that's not what I'm implying, before anyone accuses me of anything).
Razz Platinum Sparx Gems: 5992
#17 Posted: 20:36:57 27/04/2014
I misspoke somewhat there, but I can't agree with you that the sex binary controls the gender binary completely (because there are many examples in which it does not).

Yes, that's very much true. Sex and gender are very different things and that's a big of a big topic to tackle here.

re: the topic
Little girls are not necessarily cognizant of how not being represented affects them. But there are dozens of studies which show that a lack of representation in cartoons, games, and other media does have very negative effects on the self esteem and future lives of little girls. Half the population is female. It's pretty unfair that, even in a series that's been pretty good for female characters like Skylanders, they make up at most 1/4 of the playable characters.

Inequality is a big deal because it affects everyone, male, female, and otherwise. Corporations and companies need to hear from their customers who find it more important, so topics like this do serve a very good purpose.
sklndrmommy Yellow Sparx Gems: 1508
#18 Posted: 20:44:16 27/04/2014
At one point I heard an interview about SF that stated the SF characters were meant to be unisex to avoid gender switching issues. Playing the game all the characters/voices/etc seem to be male but I suppose they could be very non feminine females such as Stink Bomb and Free Ranger. Overall I'm not bothered by the lack of equal gender numbers in Skylanders and I am glad that females that exist are just females that fight with no emphasis on boob size, etc. such as Tomb raider and other video games. I realize the target age for this game is different than Tomb Raider so comparing to to DI or even Mario Brothers, I'm glad there are "normal" females that are not princess. I'm glad the figures are fully clothed and wearing clothing appropriate to the character and not another addition of swim suit Barbie. While there may still be room for improvement I am glad for these things. I wish skylanders would make more non obvious female characters such as Whirlwind versus Stealth Elf, because focusing on the female form reinforces body image. Though without the form, we would only know the characters were female by a high pitched voice or maybe by color of attire. I also don't want to encourage the idea a woman can't be feminine and a good Skylander/fighter... So maybe I don't know what I want or maybe this is why I'm ok with things as they are. Males and females are different and can bring different strengths, I don't like gender inequality but that is different than admitting gender differences. For being a fighting game, I think Skylanders has done a decent job of keeping the overall game gender neutral (my husband's female character on GTA-V looks like a transvestite and my brother only made one to look up her skirt when she crouches to fight :-/)

Much of gender associations and expectations can come from how these things are addressed at home. DS and I love Skylanders and while many of his favorite characters are male, has no problem with playing as a girl and doesn't act like its a big deal. His little sister is too young to really play with us but she loves playing with the figures as if they were a My Little Pony and doesn't seem to prefer the females over the males (she does seem to prefer brighter colors such as Pop Fizz, Hot Dog, Ninjini and Flashwing).

I wouldn't mind more female characters but I don't feel discriminated because there are not more.
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UncleBob Ripto Gems: 4565
#19 Posted: 20:49:56 27/04/2014
Quote: Razz
[...]I can't agree with you that the sex binary controls the gender binary completely[...]


Umm... I didn't say that though. I said the *history* of the two are intertwined. That is all I said and meant nothing more by it. Women are expected to do womanly things because of their sex, men are expected to do manly things because of their sex - history of all cultures are full of this - it's not tied to one specific culture, simply tied to the easy to understand chromosome (or genitalia, as it would have been back in ye olden' days).

Quote:
Corporations and companies need to hear from their customers who find it more important, so topics like this do serve a very good purpose.


This. Corporations make product that sells - and so long as boys toys sell in the fashion that they do ("girls" and "boys" toys sell in two totally different patterns, as multiple studies have shown), they're going to continue doing what sells - there will be some outliers left behind (the boy who wants to play with Barbies and the girl who wants to play with GI Joes) - but that's where parents need to come in and say "You know, it's perfectly okay if you want to play with a Barbie." instead of freaking out about what they think this might mean about their son's gender identity.
GhostRoaster Yellow Sparx Gems: 1803
#20 Posted: 21:10:26 27/04/2014
Quote: Razz
I misspoke somewhat there, but I can't agree with you that the sex binary controls the gender binary completely (because there are many examples in which it does not).

Yes, that's very much true. Sex and gender are very different things and that's a big of a big topic to tackle here.

re: the topic
Little girls are not necessarily cognizant of how not being represented affects them. But there are dozens of studies which show that a lack of representation in cartoons, games, and other media does have very negative effects on the self esteem and future lives of little girls. Half the population is female. It's pretty unfair that, even in a series that's been pretty good for female characters like Skylanders, they make up at most 1/4 of the playable characters.

Inequality is a big deal because it affects everyone, male, female, and otherwise. Corporations and companies need to hear from their customers who find it more important, so topics like this do serve a very good purpose.


So the idea is to take it to task on a family friendly gaming website where people can talk about a cool game? Let's take it elsewhere then. Too philisophically deep for the majority of the participants of this site, nor appropriate.
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Edited 1 time - Last edited at 21:11:28 27/04/2014 by GhostRoaster
Hexin_Wishes Yellow Sparx Gems: 1522
#21 Posted: 21:25:19 27/04/2014
No, GhostRoaster, most of the participants on the site are people of age (parents mostly) looking for information to buy Skylanders. They have the capacity to discuss things and there is nothing inappropriate with calling out the series for having such a low representation of female heroes.

The problem of Skylanders lack of female representation is that it reinforces the idea that being female and being a hero is rare. I have a feeling it's development is an old boys club, in all of the media I've seen (forgive me if I'm wrong) it's always been a male talking about the product and these males have been in a position of power, do you see where I am going with this?

I find there are core characters ambiguous enough that you could make them any gender (ShroomBoom, Scratch) and I will reiterate and say there's no reason why there couldn't have been female Swappers. Luckily, they hinted there would be at least one female Trapper.
ZapNorris Ripto Gems: 5109
#22 Posted: 21:27:27 27/04/2014
for the love of god, quit complaining!
Razz Platinum Sparx Gems: 5992
#23 Posted: 21:35:50 27/04/2014
UncleBob: Haha, whoops. I was multitasking and not paying enough attention to what you were saying. Sorry about that.

Hexin Wishes: YES! YeEEEEEESSS!!!

ZapNorris: Read the topic before complaining (and making yourself hilariously hypocritical in the process).
GhostRoaster Yellow Sparx Gems: 1803
#24 Posted: 21:38:32 27/04/2014
Quote: Hexin_Wishes
No, GhostRoaster, most of the participants on the site are people of age (parents mostly) looking for information to buy Skylanders. They have the capacity to discuss things and there is nothing inappropriate with calling out the series for having such a low representation of female heroes.

The problem of Skylanders lack of female representation is that it reinforces the idea that being female and being a hero is rare. I have a feeling it's development is an old boys club, in all of the media I've seen (forgive me if I'm wrong) it's always been a male talking about the product and these males have been in a position of power, do you see where I am going with this?

I find there are core characters ambiguous enough that you could make them any gender (ShroomBoom, Scratch) and I will reiterate and say there's no reason why there couldn't have been female Swappers. Luckily, they hinted there would be at least one female Trapper.


So, is Wrecking Ball male or female? Cause God I hope its a transgender.
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Edited 1 time - Last edited at 21:38:55 27/04/2014 by GhostRoaster
Hexin_Wishes Yellow Sparx Gems: 1522
#25 Posted: 21:46:49 27/04/2014
Quote: GhostRoaster

So, is Wrecking Ball male or female? Cause God I hope its a transgender.


Cute snark, but entirely missing the point. Wrecking Ball an ambiguous design that could have gone either way. It was decided to be male by TfB but who's to say they couldn't have made Wrecking Ball a female?

FYI: Even if it was transgender, it would still be male or female at a point. I think you're thinking about hermaphrodites...
Razz Platinum Sparx Gems: 5992
#26 Posted: 22:02:42 27/04/2014
There are some non-binary transgender folks, just so you know; agender/neutrois (people who identify as neither male nor female), intersex (people who are both male and female due to biology), genderqueer/gender fluid (people who don't identify as one gender all the time but switch between them), and more I can't think of off the top of my head.

But, yeah. There are a number of characters in Skylanders who could have been female and there's no actual reason for them not to be, but they've been arbitrarily assigned male genders (Hot Dog, Fright Rider, Wrecking Ball, Funny Bone...it's a huge list). The male characters are given a huge amount of variety and shape while the females fall into exactly two body types, both of which subtly hint that even heroic girls have to be pretty (another inequality problem).
Hexin_Wishes Yellow Sparx Gems: 1522
#27 Posted: 22:24:38 27/04/2014
Intersex aren't really Trans* simply because of their Intersex status (most are assigned a sex at birth by parents anyways) and most genderqueers still identify with a sex even if their gender presentation is shifting. Oh the discussions we could have about what's valid for/within the Trans* community, but this isn't Translanders.

Is Funny Bone officially male? Sad, I was hoping they'd make it a female since we already have a male doglike creature.

I don't think many people think Sprocket is "pretty" but she isn't as ugly" as say Boomer, so there you go.
wideawakewesley Emerald Sparx Gems: 3271
#28 Posted: 22:35:17 27/04/2014
A few years ago, these kinds of discussions wouldn't even be seen on forums for adult games, so I see it as a very positive step that we're now seeing adults discussing children's games in this manner. I hope Toys For Bob push the number of female characters beyond 25% in Trap Team because the only way we're going to see change is by taking baby steps like that to encourage boys and girls to challenge the way the society wants to make them view the world.
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DaMadNes Blue Sparx Gems: 944
#29 Posted: 22:52:17 27/04/2014
I'm confident that the number of female skylanders, the fact black widow is the only female character in the avengers (MCU), or that there are no notable female transformers is not going to affect my kids' self esteem. If it does, I am probly doing a poor job parenting. These are not toys and entertainment, not the measuring stick by which they will define themselves.

@ninja - I'm interested in seeinf the research that suggests 40 - 50 % of kids who play skylanders are girls. If you could lass a link along I would be greatful.
GhostRoaster Yellow Sparx Gems: 1803
#30 Posted: 22:53:43 27/04/2014
Quote: Hexin_Wishes
Quote: GhostRoaster

So, is Wrecking Ball male or female? Cause God I hope its a transgender.


Cute snark, but entirely missing the point. Wrecking Ball an ambiguous design that could have gone either way. It was decided to be male by TfB but who's to say they couldn't have made Wrecking Ball a female?

FYI: Even if it was transgender, it would still be male or female at a point. I think you're thinking about hermaphrodites...


Nope. I want equality for transgenders in video games.
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bilbobagins3 Gold Sparx Gems: 2869
#31 Posted: 23:27:00 27/04/2014
You guys all realize somebody at Activision or TFB is going to read this and say...hmmm...you know how we could sell basically two versions of every character from here on out? Get ready for male versions of characters with new Wow Pows and female versions of the characters with new Pow Wows!
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Razz Platinum Sparx Gems: 5992
#32 Posted: 23:40:22 27/04/2014
I would wholeheartedly support that, honestly. But, if nothing else, if someone from TfB/Activision/where ever reads this and thinks about it at all, that's a bit of progress in it's own right.

Quote:
I'm confident that the number of female skylanders, the fact black widow is the only female character in the avengers (MCU), or that there are no notable female transformers is not going to affect my kids' self esteem. If it does, I am probly doing a poor job parenting. These are not toys and entertainment, not the measuring stick by which they will define themselves.


It wouldn't make you a poor parent for not being able to do anything for your daughters against the overwhelming social pressure from media that puts male characters in varied, unique, dominant, powerful roles while keeping most female characters in a minority role and conventionally attractive even when they are presented otherwise more fairly. I can't speak for anyone else, but cartoons and fiction meant a lot to me as a kid and not being represented at all did have a negative impact I am only now beginning to unravel (in my 30s).

Quote:
@ninja - I'm interested in seeinf the research that suggests 40 - 50 % of kids who play skylanders are girls. If you could lass a link along I would be greatful.


I think ninja was saying that 40-50% of the human population is female (last I heard, the stats are that it's 51% of the population is female, at least in the US), and somewhere between 49-51% of the gaming population as a whole is female (according to a few studies). I don't know if any specific census has been taken for Skylanders itself, but it'd be interesting to find out if Activision's marketing department has those numbers.
Hexin_Wishes Yellow Sparx Gems: 1522
#33 Posted: 23:51:29 27/04/2014
Quote: GhostRoaster
Quote: Hexin_Wishes
Quote: GhostRoaster

So, is Wrecking Ball male or female? Cause God I hope its a transgender.


Cute snark, but entirely missing the point. Wrecking Ball an ambiguous design that could have gone either way. It was decided to be male by TfB but who's to say they couldn't have made Wrecking Ball a female?

FYI: Even if it was transgender, it would still be male or female at a point. I think you're thinking about hermaphrodites...


Nope. I want equality for transgenders in video games.


If you're being serious then I'm with you. The issue is these are creatures and not humans to begin with, there's no real way of knowing the difference between male/female of their species. I mean, who's to say the characters aren't Trans* right now? Maybe Roller Brawl was born male and they've accepted her preferred gender pronoun of female?

If TfB/Activision had a blatant Trans* Skylander then that would be amazing and actually innovative for a popular children's video game series.
wideawakewesley Emerald Sparx Gems: 3271
#34 Posted: 00:04:14 28/04/2014
Quote: Razz
It wouldn't make you a poor parent for not being able to do anything for your daughters against the overwhelming social pressure from media that puts male characters in varied, unique, dominant, powerful roles while keeping most female characters in a minority role and conventionally attractive even when they are presented otherwise more fairly. I can't speak for anyone else, but cartoons and fiction meant a lot to me as a kid and not being represented at all did have a negative impact I am only now beginning to unravel (in my 30s).


This is a key point. Most women and men don't/won't even realise the effect societal views have on them until they are much older (if at all). My son is 7 and my daughter is 4 and I've already started to try and fight against the marketing, peer pressure etc. For example, I was recently given a copy of the My Little Pony CCG, which I was told is a really fun game. My son really enjoys CCGs, but when I asked if he would play My Little Pony with me, his immediate reaction was no. When I dug a little deeper, there was no rational reason for him not wanting to play it, he wasn't even prepared to give it a go to see if it was fun. It was a game for girls and thus, he shouldn't play it (even though his Dad was wanting to play it). This coming from a boy I've done my damnedest to make believe everything is for everyone. Unfortunately our children don't spend the majority of their time with their parents, they spend it with other children at school who's views are more along societal lines.
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Razz Platinum Sparx Gems: 5992
#35 Posted: 00:18:49 28/04/2014
You are the coolest parent, wideawakewesley. :) And you're point is 100% the truth. Using myself as a direct example, I outright lied (even to myself) about my gender identity and orientation because I wanted to fit in that badly with my peer group (despite not getting along with most of them). Social pressures are huge and they do matter, whether we want to acknowledge that or not. It's really gratifying to see this generation moving forward on these issues, but we all have a long way to go. The earlier you start with good, healthy socialization, the more well balanced kids will be as they age.

Oh my gosh, trans* Roller Brawl is the cutest idea. :) I would support the heck out of any official trans* characters in any franchise like this, and I know for a fact that seeing such characters would make a lot of young trans* kids feel better (yes, some young children out there know they are trans*). I know it's going to be awhile before something like that happens, but it would be really wonderful. Heck, I'd probably buy that entire Skylanders game just to see a well represented trans* character for kids. :)
oogamania Yellow Sparx Gems: 1417
#36 Posted: 01:12:24 28/04/2014 | Topic Creator
We’ve made an Interesting discussion, folks. I’m curious about this one thing that I haven’t mentioned in this topic. As an adult, which is what most of us here are what would be more important to you when you buy a Skylanders game for your kids or even for yourself? Those that have children, what do you perceive as the most important thing to them?

For me, I’m more concerned about playing a great video game that is worth the value of my scarce amount of cash and time I have. They could swap anyone’s gender for all I care. Spyro could be renamed Spyra, or Gill Grunt could renamed Jill Grunt. I don’t care as long as it is worth the bang for my buck. I won’t discuss the transgender thing.

EDIT:Helix_hex, the way you mention “it's always been a male talking about the product and these males have been in a position of power,” sounds…villainous. I say it’s villainous because it seems more like a power struggle than a gender nor Skylanders issue. Villains want absolute power which is something no man can obtain. Here’s the thing; if girls we’re in a higher position of power, the boys will start complaining saying “these girls have too much power!” , thus creating an endless cycle of politics and hate. This is worrysome.
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Check out my Skylanders comic in the fanart forum!
Edited 1 time - Last edited at 01:38:03 28/04/2014 by oogamania
Mesuxelf Ripto Gems: 3666
#37 Posted: 01:24:47 28/04/2014
tl;dr?
Razz Platinum Sparx Gems: 5992
#38 Posted: 01:52:53 28/04/2014
^ Get some coffee and settle in. Most of these posts are dealing with stuff that can't be summed up in nice little tidbits.

Quote:
As an adult, which is what most of us here are what would be more important to you when you buy a Skylanders game for your kids or even for yourself? Those that have children, what do you perceive as the most important thing to them?


I'm inclined to go for a game that looks fun to play by my own standards. I will almost always dismiss games that have the immediate premise of "princess/lady needs rescuing by a guy"; that's been so overdone in my lifetime that there's nothing interesting to it (the only exception I've made for that in the past five years has been a single Super Mario platformer, and that entirely because it is literally what I grew up on). Because it is so rare, I do always give games with female protagonists/leads a second look and I am more inclined to be interested in playing those (this is exactly how I found out about Crypt of the Necrodancer).

I don't have kids myself, but whenever I think about giving games to friends/relatives who do, I look for stuff that is positive toward both genders. I wouldn't recommend Rayman Origins for my best friend's kids, but I am going to give her family my Skylanders collection. :)

re: Evil Corporate Men in Power ;)
Quote:
Here’s the thing; if girls we’re in a higher position of power, the boys will start complaining saying “these girls have too much power!” , thus creating an endless cycle of politics and hate.


The trouble with this kind of logic is that it has never happened in all of known history, whereas men in power is a very real thing now and has led to some very bad stuff happening to women (see: the fight over women's rights to their bodies and how most pieces of legislation that takes away those rights has been passed by straight, white, older men; or the fact that women still make less than men even though an increasing number of families are led by single working mothers). I honestly doubt we will ever reach a point where women have more power than men (unless some horrible chromosomal disease wipes most/all men out somehow). By the time we hit real, honest equality, I doubt that kind of situation will be an issue.

I can't speak for everyone, but the real goal of all of this (to me) is that all humans, regardless of sex, gender, or identity, will someday be seen as equal, nobody being more superior than anyone else because of the bodies we were born into. We are a very long way from that.
Hexin_Wishes Yellow Sparx Gems: 1522
#39 Posted: 02:23:07 28/04/2014
Quote: oogamania
I don’t care as long as it is worth the bang for my buck. I won’t discuss the transgender thing.


...

Quote: oogamania

EDIT:Helix_hex, the way you mention “it's always been a male talking about the product and these males have been in a position of power,” sounds…villainous. I say it’s villainous because it seems more like a power struggle than a gender nor Skylanders issue. Villains want absolute power which is something no man can obtain. Here’s the thing; if girls we’re in a higher position of power, the boys will start complaining saying “these girls have too much power!” , thus creating an endless cycle of politics and hate. This is worrysome.


I don't know who this "Helix_hex" is but since they sound like my post I will answer for him/her (since it's my quote you anyways Shadamania). If you actually read that sentence you'd understand that I was referring to the development of Skylanders being a process of mostly males. Though, substitute it with any other profession and it's bound to fit. We live in a Patriarchal society, that's simply a(n unfortunate) fact.

The boys of today whine when women are in power because they've been raised to see women/the feminine as weak and they are supposed to be subordinate to them. Misogyny is real, but that wasn't something I was bringing up at all since Skylanders only suffers from a lack of equal representation not hatred of women.
GhostRoaster Yellow Sparx Gems: 1803
#40 Posted: 02:57:13 28/04/2014
I think Skylanders is a video game, not a way of life. It appears people with too much time on their hands shape the country, while the others are too busy working for what few things the government decides we can keep. Maybe if you keep putting your head in the lion's mouth, something will happen...

Hey I'm all for a better world. But I'm kinda tired of being told what I should think, and how I should think. Want to parade on ideologies? There's a website for that. Just not this one. This one is targeted for kids who like talking about video games. Sure there's adult here---but this seems better suited for the Stuff and Nonsense section.

Peace!
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RIP GhostRoaster. He's reanimated as TakeYourLemons but occasionally is resurrected from the beyond when needed.
Edited 4 times - Last edited at 03:03:35 28/04/2014 by GhostRoaster
Arc of Archives Yellow Sparx Gems: 1486
#41 Posted: 03:06:38 28/04/2014
Quote: Me, on another topic
I'd like to see more female characters too. I don't really care about the marketing, personally, I'd just like to see them do more interesting stuff with girl characters. Like Razz says a lot of the girls are pretty humanoids, or in an attempt to make the girls seem tougher, the very opposite, dragonine. I... I'm trying so hard to think right now, guys, but I can't think of any female Skylanders right now that aren't either humanoid or dragonlike, and I can't. Actually, I just remembered Punk Shock, and maybe Star Strike counts... And how I could I forget Sonic Boom... Still don't think that having just three is very good, and the designs of the former two still fall into the "pretty but graceful" stereotype(though Punk Shock's personality doesn't- alas, they just made her into a tomboy instead of something more interesting, although it works anyway), and Sonic Boom is still dangerously close to dragonlike, although she's a bit more slender than the others. Of the girls we have who are either humanoid or dragonlike I think Hex, Sprocket and maybe Scratch depending on how you see her aren't "pretty but graceful". Why can't someone like Hot Dog be a girl? He doesn't fall into any of the huge typical female tropes. Heck, when I first saw him, I was hoping he was a girl. He easily looks like he could be. And most importantly he feels different from the rest of the girls. He is a lot smaller than the rest of them, and he doesn't really have much grace or prettiness. It's not a huge issue- but seeing more variation in the female character designs would just be a good thing. Sonic Boom was a relatively inventive girl character back in SA with her surprisingly serious backstory as well as her extremely rough voice, because it gives her a bit of a sad touch, to me, anyway. In general- she was actually a good character, and that's what matters. I'm not saying that someone like Punk Shock isn't a good character, but in particular, Sonic Boom stood above the others because they didn't just slap a female-based trope onto her and call it a personality. You can still use stereotypes and get a good character if you make them well, but it's even better if you get something more original to work, because it becomes more memorable. Too bad they made Sonic Boom all "mum" when they gave her dialogue in Giants and dropped her meanness. Of course, this also works the other way around, the amount of generic "hero"/"crazy" male characters is really disappointing(not that I think making them female would instantly make them more interesting). Well... They're getting better with it. Slowly. Hey, maybe someday they'll actually make a female as original as Sonic Boom used to be. ;P


It isn't a dealbreaker for me that there aren't more females but it could only be a good thing. Heck, why can't we have a bulky, porky, large Skylander girl(I'm actually playing Pokémon right now and I thought that up because of my girl Emboar)? Zoo Lou could have been that. If all the girl characters have to have some feminine quality, Zoo Lou has a ponytail(although that's good for a bit of male design diversity! Now if only the females were similar and they didn't all have to fall under a female trope explicitly and had one or two of the males' qualities, like more bulk). Razz is right in that the girls we have now only have a couple of builds that are just adjusted to fit their themes, there aren't girls with varying builds like there are with boys, who have the dragonlike (every dragon) and humanoid (Flameslinger, Chop Chop, Rider) builds, and many more. We don't have a girl with Wham Shell or Trigger Happy or Wrecking Ball's builds. I'm not saying all those builds would work if you just swapped those characters to female... Well, actually, on those specific characters I'm confident that they could, and Wrecking Ball even has a voice that sounds feminine enough to pass in SA... The point is to illustrate how they can make diverse builds that could pass as girls with their male characters, but they don't make similrly diverse builds for the female 'landers. I'm not an artist so I'm not an expert on body builds, but if you told me those three characters were female, it wouldn't strike me as too odd for them. In the male 'landers, different species get much more variation than the female humanoids and dragons have... Bash is supposed to be a dragon but is much bulkier than any of the other ones, although honestly most of the humanoids in the series are the same(but then you look at Double Trouble and Lightning Rod, while not explicitly human, have many similar traits while having a much different body build, and Kaos himself and Eon also do that)... Yes, some fall into the heroic stereotypes in design or personality (Free Ranger and Rip Tide spring to mind) but unlike females they have so many other varied personality and design types... Regardless, again... I stress that the point of this is to show how they have built so many different-looking males and yet so many of the females are so similar. Of course, that's not an issue with just Skylanders, it seems to be pretty common in media in general. Plus, Skylanders has things within the gameplay that annoy me much more than this issue. However, that doesn't mean that we shouldn't discuss this, either.

Quote: Razz
It wouldn't make you a poor parent for not being able to do anything for your daughters against the overwhelming social pressure from media that puts male characters in varied, unique, dominant, powerful roles while keeping most female characters in a minority role and conventionally attractive even when they are presented otherwise more fairly. I can't speak for anyone else, but cartoons and fiction meant a lot to me as a kid and not being represented at all did have a negative impact I am only now beginning to unravel (in my 30s).

I'm just going to quote this because it really resonates with me(though, thankfully, I've managed to catch this problem earlier, and I'm just going to assume that's because it's such a big discussion today and I just heard about it sooner).
Edited 1 time - Last edited at 03:10:09 28/04/2014 by Arc of Archives
DaMadNes Blue Sparx Gems: 944
#42 Posted: 03:21:00 28/04/2014
The notion that the number of girl skylanders is a big social factor in the development of kids is ludacris to me. I don't think I'm more well adjusted because I had heman or gi joe to identify with. The social pressures I worry about for my girls come from gangs, drugs, and... boys. Skylanders gender diversity is really low on my list of things worry about.

Sorry guys I don't think the ratio matters. If you do, I respectfully disagree with you.
UncleBob Ripto Gems: 4565
#43 Posted: 03:21:59 28/04/2014
Quote: GhostRoaster
I think Skylanders is a video game, not a way of life. It appears people with too much time on their hands shape the country, while the others are too busy working for what few things the government decides we can keep. Maybe if you keep putting your head in the lion's mouth, something will happen...

Hey I'm all for a better world. But I'm kinda tired of being told what I should think, and how I should think. Want to parade on ideologies? There's a website for that. Just not this one. This one is targeted for kids who like talking about video games. Sure there's adult here---but this seems better suited for the Stuff and Nonsense section.

Peace!


It's the occasional thread where this even comes up.

If this website is for talking about a fun video game and nothing else, will you jump into all of the threads that go on anti-scalping tangents and tell folks to shut up about that too? smilie
Razz Platinum Sparx Gems: 5992
#44 Posted: 03:36:52 28/04/2014
Yeah, the number of (seemingly) entitled folks who show up in these specific threads always gets me. :D The same people will complain to high heavens over something minor in the games ("The price went up! RAR!!" "My favorite character didn't get a repose! UGH!!!" "Why does everybody like X and not Y! ROAR!!!") but as soon as folks come in with thoughts and discussion about this specific aspect (which is very important to some people) it's a whole lot "Stop complaining, WAUGH!!!". :D

If you think inadequate representation of females doesn't matter to little girls, I've got a gigantic mountain of research papers done by numerous psychologists, psychiatrists, researchers, market researchers, analysts, and social scientists that says otherwise. Just because it doesn't matter to you personally doesn't mean it doesn't matter. Sharing your toys equally with girls isn't the same as giving them up or having them taken away.
Hexin_Wishes Yellow Sparx Gems: 1522
#45 Posted: 05:14:46 28/04/2014
Quote: DaMadNes
The notion that the number of girl skylanders is a big social factor in the development of kids is ludacris to me. I don't think I'm more well adjusted because I had heman or gi joe to identify with. The social pressures I worry about for my girls come from gangs, drugs, and... boys. Skylanders gender diversity is really low on my list of things worry about.

Sorry guys I don't think the ratio matters. If you do, I respectfully disagree with you.


No one said anything about the concept of being "well-adjusted" nor was there any relevant reason to namedrop rapper Ludacris into this (I believe the word you're looking for is "ludicrous").

Skylanders is a popular franchise that children buy into. Regardless of whether you believe it or not, it's definitely related to sociology and the development of children. Subconsciously, children recognize that these heroic teams tend to have few girls. Boys are mainly the heroes while girls get to be princess. Skylanders have done a decent job in making sure there are a few females in the game (though Cali is a modern damsel in distress too often) but 18% of the playable characters being female is an abysmal number.

You should probably also wake up and realize that there are other pressures imposed upon girls throughout the general media. I sincerely hope you have a talk with your girls to dismantle and discuss these notions.
Okaps Platinum Sparx Gems: 6245
#46 Posted: 05:16:45 28/04/2014
I think what's important is that TFB didn't fall into the "boys never buy girls" trap and did their own thing.
The game might still have been a success if it didn't have any female characters, but it proves that having a gender-diverse cast is not a death-sentence like many toy companies seem to believe.
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#all Spyros are valid
Pyrofer Gold Sparx Gems: 2495
#47 Posted: 07:40:28 28/04/2014
First, I am glad that this thread has not turned into what it could have. Good work on constructive comments guys (and gals).
Let's keep it this clean and polite so it doesn't get locked.

Secondly, Is diversity in games good? YES.

There could be many reasons but there is only one that matters. While it is clearly a fantasy game it should in some way reflect the real world or we won't connect with it. There is massive diversity in life so why not games.

Should the diversity be 'forced'? No. It could easily be detrimental to the game and the 'cause' you associate with it. Putting a mix of female characters in is fine. Forcing a larger number to be female just for the sake of it benefits nobody.

I would be interested to know the % of women in the army...

Lastly, Equality. Do I wish we were all equal? NO. Do I want a world where everybody is equal? No.
I want a world where we are all UNIQUE. Where we are all different. I want a world where each person is judged based on their own personal abilities and skills rather than compared to a template that they must meet.
I don't want people to fear saying they are stronger or faster or smarter than somebody else because they don't want to "oppress" them or get in trouble for breaking the equality. Some people just ARE stronger or faster or smarter, deal with it. Instead of complaining about lack of equality look for your own strengths.

People are different. Men and women are different. Can we stop going on about "equality" and go for Acceptance of difference instead? It's a much easier, more realistic and to be honest, better goal.
wombatandchips Green Sparx Gems: 388
#48 Posted: 08:22:01 28/04/2014
Quote: Okaps
I think what's important is that TFB didn't fall into the "boys never buy girls" trap and did their own thing.
The game might still have been a success if it didn't have any female characters, but it proves that having a gender-diverse cast is not a death-sentence like many toy companies seem to believe.



At least, they didn't completely buy into that idea. It seems to me that if they didn't buy into it at all they would have more girl characters. The story someone gave above about their son not wanting to play the My little pony game is a perfect example of how boys can get it into their heads (from people at school etc) that it's negative for boys to like things considered to be for girls. I know a little boy (who's dad owns a MLP shirt) who would put the show on and tell his mom he was putting it on for her to watch rather than own that he wanted to watch it. And he was only 4. But there is very little if any stigma attached to a girl liking boys things. It's almost considered a positive. I've heard plenty of parents proudly tell of their daughter liking boys stuff, like it makes them tougher or exceptional in some way. On the flip side I know college age guys that hide their My little ponies stuff from their parents because they don't want to deal with what they believe their parents will think.

A lot of people say that things like not having a lot of girl characters is not a big deal. It maybe just a little thing, but there are a lot of little things like this. They add up. They get to you after a while. You don't think it bothers you and then the guy at McDonalds is open-minded enough not to care that you are 34 and getting a happy meal, but he does automatically assume you want the pony toy and not the Skylander and you realize you are involuntarily scowling at him...

I don't think skylanders is especially geared towards boys. I think they do a pretty good job with having broad appeal. I think that's actually why the McDonald's thing and the number of female characters is rather irksome. These really don't really seem to me as marketed towards specifically boys. I never felt as if they were boys toys. Certainly my nieces don't, they love them just as much as their dolls. I know just as many girls that play as I do boys. So the relatively low percentage of female characters just seems pointlessly out of touch.
wideawakewesley Emerald Sparx Gems: 3271
#49 Posted: 08:48:26 28/04/2014
Talking of McDonalds, this is a great read:

http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_..._meal_toys.html
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Contributor to Family Gamer TV - http://www.familygamer.tv/
Follow me on twitter - http://www.twitter.com/wideawakewesley
Earth-Dragon Blue Sparx Gems: 972
#50 Posted: 09:22:50 28/04/2014
I always hate when this subject comes up.

There are more female human-esque Skylanders then male human-esque Skylanders. The monsters are monsters. Do my nieces care what gender hot dog, zap, hot head are? Hardly.

I don't hear these people complaining that Skylanders need more females complain that the X-men line-up needs more males (currently all females).

Edit - wow......leave out a couple letters and that argument makes no sense.
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Glad heroic challenges are gone. Imagine doing 165 per skylander. That's 27225 challenges. No thank you.
Edited 1 time - Last edited at 17:03:29 28/04/2014 by Earth-Dragon
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