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My biggest issue with the gender binary in The Outer Worlds:


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On 11/27/2019 at 6:28 PM, Obsidian_Lover_69 said:

When making a character, especially when hitting randomize, there is a complete disconnect between sex and gender identifiers. You can make a woman with a full beard and jawline, you can make a man with a soft face and bone structure, you can make someone androgynous or non binary.

Yet, there is not a single NPC that breaks the gender boundary in the whole game. Everyone looks and presents like typical men and women. It would make sense that in the future the lines of gender are blurred, so its strange that only you do so.

Anyway, have a nice day, thanks for listenin'.

I don't really think it makes much sense to believe genders will be blurred, frankly.  Let's review the last 10,000 years of human history--gender definitions have always been quite pronounced--and that's because of the biological roles of human genetics.  Men cannot conceive and bear young, women cannot help but doing those things because their very genetics demands it.  Genetic imperative is an extremely strong motivator--much, much stronger than the whims of temporary social change or mores.  Social change over the last 10k years has been astoundingly diverse--yet the roles dictated by genetics haven't changed at all.  Thus women are women and men are men and never shall the twain meet--at least genetically, speaking. The psychological games people may play with themselves is an entirely different subject, imo, and such persons are always in the distinct minority, regardless of culture, etc.

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It's very well known that I don't make mistakes, so if you should stumble across the odd error here and there in what I have written, you may immediately deduce--quite correctly--that I did not write it... :biggrin:

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The women in The Outer Worlds are far more androgynous than in the modern western world. It doesn't follow that the presenation of gender will merge into androgynous. Gender and sex aren't separate entities like a minority of people try to make out, the binary will always exist, the details can change. European and Egyption culture had men in make up, but that faded out of style.

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On 1/25/2020 at 6:57 PM, AwesomeOcelot said:

The women in The Outer Worlds are far more androgynous than in the modern western world. It doesn't follow that the presenation of gender will merge into androgynous. Gender and sex aren't separate entities like a minority of people try to make out, the binary will always exist, the details can change. European and Egyption culture had men in make up, but that faded out of style.

Unless your the front men of a band!

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The fact that i can pick pronoun/gender of my hero but still have freedom of design is good. Why not? If someone feels better running with androgynous character good for them, if other want to make a woman with a beard just for laughts even better.

The culture in OT is retro futurism, so i would not expect much cultural drift, and even expect some traditionalism, they literraly sleep for last thousands of years. You can argue that strict definition of each gender is mirror of strict job position in corporate system.

If OE decides to make queer character sure why not, the adventure seakers are generally misfist, so being queer is ok.

But with all NPC you do what you have idea for. It is hard to get good execution of bad idea.

 

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  • 2 months later...

Nothing bad with spreading a positive message of equality and unity, but i feel like people are giving too much importance to gender and sexuality these days.

It's something so private and personal and it shouldn't be questioned by anyone. We share the same dignity as human beings no matter what.

We did a lot but the process of self consciousness will never stop. Never. And it's clear that on 7.594 billion people on earth there will always be some ignorant ****.

In my opinion there isn't really a big problem, especially in fictional media. There's no safe space to preserve. What have always mattered is how coherent and compelling the characters, the gameplay and eventually the story is.  

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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest Ontarah

I think there's always a disconnect between allowing a player to have a choice in character design and that design mattering or being reflected in the game world.  This might be a silly comparison with this, but it's sort of like when some games have sliders for height and weight.  Or their being completely crazy makeup options that enable you to make your PC look like a clown.  You can pick whatever, but chances are the game is just not going to respond to whatever particular combinations you picked in some nuanced way and the devs aren't going to get wildly creative with character models of NPCs because it takes a lot of time. 

Binaries are just easier to deal with from a developer perspective than spectrums are.  Is this character male or female?  Is this character an elf or a human?  Is this character a mage or a fighter? are *way* easier to deal with than an idiosyncratic spectrum that allows for potentially dozens of gradations.   And they are also way easier when you are designing NPCs on a limited time and budget.

Given that, it's a pretty easy choice to give your player the full run of the character creator because it's not resource intensive, but less so to devote time to making sure every NPC is a lovingly sculpted individual with a highly distinctive combination of race, gender, height, weight, and so on features.   So, sure, you could throw in a couple of lady models with beards or something, but I think that opens you up to accusations of tokenism and not taking it seriously. 

Also, frankly "androgynous" is kind of subjective.  It was routine on the old Bioware forums that completely ordinary looking female characters get accused of looking butch.  I've gotten accused of lesbianism because I wear flannel shirts.  Other than being so avert about it as to potentially be accused of turning it into a comedy and or painstakingly making sure every NPC has unique but subtle features, how do you go about doing this in an organic way?   

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