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This, pretty much. If you understand gender as a spectrum more so than a binary set of male/female then anything that isn't just "male" or "female" would fall into the "non-binary" category.

But there is no binary, that's the point. Saying that there is implies that there's some kind of a strict definition of these terms, which there isn't. When you click on male or female when creating a character, all you do is select your character model. Your personality, who you are is entirely up to you, and is not determined by the choice of that model at all. 

 

Which is why I said that the choice should be relabelled as 'sex' and not 'gender', because the latter refers to something that, while related to your sex, isn't your sex and thus shouldn't dictate your model. When it comes to gender, giving two options for it and immediately associating each to a male and female character model is indeed limiting gender to a binary choice.

 

 

But the game does ask you for your sex, and not for your gender. And the OP asks for a THIRD option for gender while there aren't even a FIRST nor a SECOND option for gender.

 

The game simply does not let you choose your gender identity whatsoever; it simply asks for your character's sex.

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Which is why I said that the choice should be relabelled as 'sex' and not 'gender', because the latter refers to something that, while related to your sex, isn't your sex and thus shouldn't dictate your model. When it comes to gender, giving two options for it and immediately associating each to a male and female character model is indeed limiting gender to a binary choice.

This is incredibly confusing. In russian there isn't even an equivalent for "gender", there's just "sex". So i'm having a big difficulty understanding what gender even supposed to mean in the first place, let alone when it's non-binary. And judging by the answers i'm getting, it's not that much clearer for other people as well.

 

Yeah, unfortunately many things get lost in translation like that. Just like there is no English word for 'mu'.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender

 

Check the wiki article out. As it mentions at the start, 'sex' is part of what can define gender but gender refers also to aspects involving social structures and identity. Also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex_and_gender_distinction

Edited by algroth

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This, pretty much. If you understand gender as a spectrum more so than a binary set of male/female then anything that isn't just "male" or "female" would fall into the "non-binary" category.

But there is no binary, that's the point. Saying that there is implies that there's some kind of a strict definition of these terms, which there isn't. When you click on male or female when creating a character, all you do is select your character model. Your personality, who you are is entirely up to you, and is not determined by the choice of that model at all. 

 

Which is why I said that the choice should be relabelled as 'sex' and not 'gender', because the latter refers to something that, while related to your sex, isn't your sex and thus shouldn't dictate your model. When it comes to gender, giving two options for it and immediately associating each to a male and female character model is indeed limiting gender to a binary choice.

 

 

But the game does ask you for your sex, and not for your gender. And the OP asks for a THIRD option for gender while there aren't even a FIRST nor a SECOND option for gender.

 

The game simply does not let you choose your gender identity whatsoever; it simply asks for your character's sex.

 

Hah, indeed it does. So yeah, I don't think a third option is necessary.

 

I don't mind there being an option or two where you might be able to 'define' your gender identity a little more within the game, but yeah, I don't think this should be a character creation feature myself (personally I'm of the opinion that the more you can define by your actions in-game instead of pre-determining them through a character creator, the better).

Edited by algroth

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Which is why I said that the choice should be relabelled as 'sex' and not 'gender', because the latter refers to something that, while related to your sex, isn't your sex and thus shouldn't dictate your model. When it comes to gender, giving two options for it and immediately associating each to a male and female character model is indeed limiting gender to a binary choice.

This is incredibly confusing. In russian there isn't even an equivalent for "gender", there's just "sex". So i'm having a big difficulty understanding what gender even supposed to mean in the first place, let alone when it's non-binary. And judging by the answers i'm getting, it's not that much clearer for other people as well.

 

Yeah, it becomes a real problem when you attempt to translate it into other cultures and languages.

 

Gender is like, the identity, the way the person views themselves, while sex is the biological.

 

 

 

 

Which is why I said that the choice should be relabelled as 'sex' and not 'gender', because the latter refers to something that, while related to your sex, isn't your sex and thus shouldn't dictate your model. When it comes to gender, giving two options for it and immediately associating each to a male and female character model is indeed limiting gender to a binary choice.

This is incredibly confusing. In russian there isn't even an equivalent for "gender", there's just "sex". So i'm having a big difficulty understanding what gender even supposed to mean in the first place, let alone when it's non-binary. And judging by the answers i'm getting, it's not that much clearer for other people as well.

 

Yeah, unfortunately many things get lost in translation like that. Just like there is no English word for 'mu'.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender

 

Check the wiki article out. As it mentions at the start, 'sex' is part of what can define gender but gender refers also to aspects involving social structures and identity.

 

 

Are you talking about the greek alphabet? Differing alphabets is something different than having a word which has no translated equivalent in another language. Like say, schadenfreude, though I think english has gone and adopted that word.

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This is incredibly confusing. In russian there isn't even an equivalent for "gender", there's just "sex". So i'm having a big difficulty understanding what gender even supposed to mean in the first place, let alone when it's non-binary. And judging by the answers i'm getting, it's not that much clearer for other people as well.

 

How about пол? https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%93%D0%B5%D0%BD%D0%B4%D0%B5%D1%80

 

In german there isn't a word as far as I know and I have no problems with the concept. I can't get rid of the feeling that you play dumb.

Edited by Lord_Mord

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Which is why I said that the choice should be relabelled as 'sex' and not 'gender', because the latter refers to something that, while related to your sex, isn't your sex and thus shouldn't dictate your model. When it comes to gender, giving two options for it and immediately associating each to a male and female character model is indeed limiting gender to a binary choice.

This is incredibly confusing. In russian there isn't even an equivalent for "gender", there's just "sex". So i'm having a big difficulty understanding what gender even supposed to mean in the first place, let alone when it's non-binary. And judging by the answers i'm getting, it's not that much clearer for other people as well.

 

Yeah, unfortunately many things get lost in translation like that. Just like there is no English word for 'mu'.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender

 

Check the wiki article out. As it mentions at the start, 'sex' is part of what can define gender but gender refers also to aspects involving social structures and identity.

 

 

Are you talking about the greek alphabet? Differing alphabets is something different than having a word which has no translated equivalent in another language. Like say, schadenfreude, though I think english has gone and adopted that word.

 

No, I mean the Zen concept, which might closest relate to a state of non-being or non-existence, or existence prior to knowing. It is often translated to 'nothing' or 'nothingness' but is not quite that. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mu_(negative)

 

And yeah, at the lack of a certain term or expression, a lot of languages borrow from one another. Weltschmerz is another German term adopted by the English language that I quite like. And of course for Japanese there's all the gairaigo terms.

Edited by algroth

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This isn't quite accurate though. The Engwithans are said by Iovara to have found out that there was indeed 'nothing' where they believed to be gods, and thus created surrogate gods for people to not lose faith. The reason is important here, as it is not the same reason that motivated the creation of the gods in Greek mythology or other faiths. In Pillars you are only left with the atheist position in the end, because the gods are just there to conceal the nothingness that is behind.

 

How would one go about discovering that there is 'nothing' though? I'm about as strong an atheist as I think it's possible to rationally be, but I don't think we can (or ever will be able to) rule out the possibility that the Universe was created by something that could be described as a god. As soon as we start talking about things happening outside of our own physical reality we lose the ability to make empirical observations.

 

Now it's quite possible to rule out specific kinds of gods, in particular ones that directly intervene in the world and provide moral instruction in the way of revelation, and given a large part of why the Engwithans felt the need to create gods to fill the gap was the fear of how people would act without a source of transcendental morality (something that a mere demiurge doesn't provide), but I don't think there is any meaningful way to absolutely disprove the existence of a creator. Ultimately an unfeeling/uninterested creator will be indistinguishable from the nothingness that the Engwithans found.

 

However I still stand by my point about it not being an atheistic world. There are gods. It only feels atheistic if you insist that your gods are in fact the creators of the world.

 

However, the way Iovara and Thaos both phrase their revelations leaves no room for such ambiguities.

 

Well what they say represents what they believe, but they might very well be wrong.

Edited by JerekKruger

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This isn't quite accurate though. The Engwithans are said by Iovara to have found out that there was indeed 'nothing' where they believed to be gods, and thus created surrogate gods for people to not lose faith. The reason is important here, as it is not the same reason that motivated the creation of the gods in Greek mythology or other faiths. In Pillars you are only left with the atheist position in the end, because the gods are just there to conceal the nothingness that is behind.

 

How would one go about discovering that there is 'nothing' though? I'm about as strong an atheist as I think it's possible to rationally be, but I don't think we can (or ever will be able to) rule out the possibility that the Universe was created by something that could be described as a god. As soon as we start talking about things happening outside of our own physical reality we lose the ability to make empirical observations.

 

Now it's quite possible to rule out specific kinds of gods, in particular ones that directly intervene in the world and provide moral instruction in the way of revelation, and given a large part of why the Engwithans felt the need to create gods to fill the gap was the fear of how people would act without a source of transcendental morality (something that a mere demiurge doesn't provide), but I don't think there is any meaningful way to absolutely disprove the existence of a creator. Ultimately an unfeeling/uninterested creator will be indistinguishable from the nothingness that the Engwithans found.

 

However I still stand by my point about it not being an atheistic world. There are gods. It only feels atheistic if you insist that your gods are in fact the creators of the world.

 

It is never explained how the Engwithans arrive to that conclusion, just that they found in their search that there was indeed nothing, and thus filled that void. It's true that there is no logical way of reaching this conclusion in our world and for our society but in the world of Eora certain things that are matters of belief in ours such as souls are made real and 'accessible' by some individuals so it could be possible that the Engwithans had found a way of reaching the Beyond (which we might see more of in Deadfire, by looking at the gameplay videos) and made the assertion that there was indeed no sentient or guiding entity that we might abscribe the characteristics of a god to.

 

Again, though, this is all really delving into the Comic Book Guy side of things, and to my mind at least it's a bit irrelevant, because the point of this revelation in the overall narrative is that gods are human constructs and thus the inversion of theocentric to anthropocentric is complete. We can obsess about the possibilities but they aren't really relevant to what is told, and by and large go against the game's discourse as well. What we know by what we find out through Iovara and Thaos and our flashbacks with them is that the constructs that the Engwithans did create, they did so with the deliberate intention of fooling the people so as to avoid the consequences of a faithless world. They are in the end part of a *lie*, as acknowledged by both Iovara and Thaos, and not just as manifestations of concepts that came about thanks to people's faiths in the way a god might do in, say, a context like Planescape. They are there as a veil from the truth that there is indeed nothing, not there for the belief that there are forces that govern their world and so on. In the context of the game these gods do exist because we interact with them, but their role as gods is to the player's awareness revoked by the end as they are nothing more than constructs made to deceive. Whether there is *more* out there in the world of Eora I don't think is all too relevant and moreover due to the particular qualities and roles of Iovara and Thaos in the story, there is no reason to really doubt their assertions either. Whatever we can speculate about the natural and divine order of Eora is largely based on wishful thinking.

 

 

 

 

However, the way Iovara and Thaos both phrase their revelations leaves no room for such ambiguities.

 

Well what they say represents what they believe, but they might very well be wrong.

 

 

Well, this is an issue for me, because I would agree that what they speak of should be what they believe. But that is not how the game configures their revelations at all. Iovara, for one, is set by her context in the story and by her martyrdom in the name of 'truth' for her revelation to be, in effect, true. Thaos himself is leader of a hermetic cult, but the revelation that he then confirms is one that resignifies all of his *belief* as a lie made to conceal that truth - we can only assume by this juxtaposition that the thing he concealed and which he dies keeping a secret is, in the context of this story, true. Again, we can argue outside the game that these are all subject to a personal perspective and could be the result of a chain of partial pictures, first by the Engwithans' lack of awareness of a true deity, then by Thaos and Iovara's adherence to the Engwithans' error. But again I don't see how this is shown to be a possibility by what we have to go with in the game.

Edited by algroth
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This, pretty much. If you understand gender as a spectrum more so than a binary set of male/female then anything that isn't just "male" or "female" would fall into the "non-binary" category.

But there is no binary, that's the point. Saying that there is implies that there's some kind of a strict definition of these terms, which there isn't. When you click on male or female when creating a character, all you do is select your character model. Your personality, who you are is entirely up to you, and is not determined by the choice of that model at all. 

 

Which is why I said that the choice should be relabelled as 'sex' and not 'gender', because the latter refers to something that, while related to your sex, isn't your sex and thus shouldn't dictate your model. When it comes to gender, giving two options for it and immediately associating each to a male and female character model is indeed limiting gender to a binary choice.

 

 

But the game does ask you for your sex, and not for your gender. And the OP asks for a THIRD option for gender while there aren't even a FIRST nor a SECOND option for gender.

 

The game simply does not let you choose your gender identity whatsoever; it simply asks for your character's sex.

 

 

This is an exceptionally good argument which more or less invalidates the entire discussion. You are choosing a physical phenotype. These are things a person is born with. ``Gender" isn't actually implemented in the game. As far as I can tell, the PC never actually makes any gender based comments or decisions. The closest is the option to have sex with a man or a woman, and that's sexual preference. I'm sure there are times, though I can't recall any offhand, where you are treated differently based on your SEX, but that is something you are born with. This world doesn't seem to have the technology to actual preform gender reassignment surgery. However, there is something else that the devs could do which I mention at the bottom. I've finished responding to this post.

 

 

 

You do realise you just tried to insult me with a sexist stereotype?

 

You're a clever little girl, aren't you?

 

 

That is antagonistic and entire unhelpful. It isn't even useful in proving a point.

 

I'm honestly doubting it would be that hard to implement. Now I don't have code to look at from PoE right now, but I'm assuming it works on the same basis as the Baldur's Gate game in terms of referencing gender. That is to say, when one would state the PC's gender it would check (Male/Female) variable and implement (he/her). I don't really understand how adding a third variable, which we call "Other" would be that hard to add.

If it's so easy to implement a third gender, which as has been stated already is pointless given the last of a first or second, then why is it so many devs choose to have only one sex/gender?

 

-------------------------

 

In any case, I think the real issue here is whether we are going to be having every minor represented? It seems shallow to pander to the vocal tiny minority, while ignoring larger minorities. I've already listed one which affects me, but what about people with physical deformities, or serious mental illness? The obese are completely unrepresented. As far as I can tell there isn't a single obese character model, yet they make up over 37% of the US population, and >70% are overweight.

 

These are the sorts of things mods are for. If you truly want to have every possible group represented, allow for modding. Look at Skyrim. You have all kinds of mods. Most are about adding slutty clothes, and the large majority of the rest is combat/gameplay, but there are also some for bringing in marginal player cases.

 

------------------------

 

As for the suggestion I spoke of earlier, I think it would pretty really awsome if a pair of animancers, one male one female, would have their souls exchanged. This would not only display gender dysphoria, but also sex inequality. Of my two closest freinds, I've known one since she was a little boy, and was really shocked at how people treated woman versus men. Gender inequality doesn't seem to be an issue in Dyrwood, which I'm disappointed at. It feels like a much more common problem is being swept under the rug.

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It's a fantasy world. Why should it reflect the world we currently live in? And one issue that is currently on the radar in that world at that. There are millions of other issues one could cover if that was the aim.

 

Nay, shy well clear of things like this I say. Look what the sleezedogs did to our beloved Baldur's Gate. Okay, the political pointscoring was far from the biggest issue with the downgrading of the games, but it was still a big distraction. I want press and the game itself to be about Eora and all the wonderful folks in it, not some relatively minor issue on Planet Earth.

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It's a fantasy world. Why should it reflect the world we currently live in?

 

Because that's what good fantasy worlds do? This is really the worst justification you could go for for the lack of this kind of content in the game (or any content for that matter).

Edited by algroth
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It's a fantasy world. Why should it reflect the world we currently live in? And one issue that is currently on the radar in that world at that. There are millions of other issues one could cover if that was the aim.

 

Nay, shy well clear of things like this I say. Look what the sleezedogs did to our beloved Baldur's Gate. Okay, the political pointscoring was far from the biggest issue with the downgrading of the games, but it was still a big distraction. I want press and the game itself to be about Eora and all the wonderful folks in it, not some relatively minor issue on Planet Earth.

The fact that it is another world actual works both for and against these sorts of things. In one regard it helps. Is it really that hard to believe that 20 different genders are recognized when you are already expected to believe that dragons and magic are real?

 

``Man, when that unicorn slew that dragon by kicking it to death, my immersion of totally broken. Everyone knows they use their horns for that sort of thing."

 

On the other hand, the fact that it is removed from Earth means that there may not even be an issue, or that the issue is so bad that society has swept it under the rug like homosexuality in the mid 1900s.

 

It can go either way, but I can agree that trying to tackle hot button issues in a video game is a bad idea. I think in some genre's the medium of a game is good for that sort of thing, but CRPGs, aren't one of those. They are already complicated enough without entangling real world issues into make-believe ones.

 

edit: In either case it doesn't lend weight to the argument. A make-beleive setting opens up ``what ifs" and it's up to creative teams or individual creators to turn that opportunity into something that can be enjoyed, or which can edify.

Edited by nstgc
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Sorry for double posting, but I wanted to make sure it was seen. I don't want to clutter up this thread anymore, but honestly, I'm confused as to why gender matters so much to people in general. I don't have a strong sense of gender so to me this is all non-sense. I reach into my pants and I'm definitely male, but that isn't the same as me saying that's my gender. Until recently I thought the two synonymous, but now, it seems as though they aren't. I recognize that I am male, but that isn't a part of who I am so I have no reference when people start talking about their gender and their character's gender disagreeing. I'm not sure I'm making sense, so please see the thread I made.

 

https://forums.obsidian.net/topic/93614-your-gendersex-in-video-games-and-does-it-matter-to-you/

 

edit: To be clear, regardless of the that thread's content, I feel this request for a third gender is ridiculous. There isn't a first or second gender, hot button issues in CRPGs are bad news, it's impractical and at best only serves to appease a very small group of people, and it's insulting to every other minority which is ignored, minorities which are larger.

Edited by nstgc

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@algroth - I'll have to replay PoE to really reply to your post properly. It's something I do intend to do before Deadfire, though I very well might have forgotten this thread by the time I do.

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Sorry for double posting, but I wanted to make sure it was seen. I don't want to clutter up this thread anymore, but honestly, I'm confused as to why gender matters so much to people in general. I don't have a strong sense of gender so to me this is all non-sense.

 

Gender is one of the main pillars of a person's identity, it sets on everyone a series of expectations both from themselves and from others onto themselves, and already conditions one's growth, education, relationships, social circles and more. In a time where we're more open to questioning these roles and expectations and our personal fulfillment of each, it's no wonder that now's a time in which people do not wish to be associated with all the baggage that comes with the gender assigned to them by their sex.

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@algroth - I'll have to replay PoE to really reply to your post properly. It's something I do intend to do before Deadfire, though I very well might have forgotten this thread by the time I do.

I would like to hear your opinions then! :D

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Sorry for double posting, but I wanted to make sure it was seen. I don't want to clutter up this thread anymore, but honestly, I'm confused as to why gender matters so much to people in general. I don't have a strong sense of gender so to me this is all non-sense.

 

Gender is one of the main pillars of a person's identity, it sets on everyone a series of expectations both from themselves and from others onto themselves, and already conditions one's growth, education, relationships, social circles and more. In a time where we're more open to questioning these roles and expectations and our personal fulfillment of each, it's no wonder that now's a time in which people do not wish to be associated with all the baggage that comes with the gender assigned to them by their sex.

 

Well, either I've been trying hard for years to be different, which is most certainly not in my personality, or I'm an aberration, because I don't think of myself or others in terms of male or female. There are people I want to have sex with because they make me happy in my pants, and those that don't. I want to have sex with the former, but not the later. That's as close as I get to gender identity.

Edited by nstgc

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Sorry for double posting, but I wanted to make sure it was seen. I don't want to clutter up this thread anymore, but honestly, I'm confused as to why gender matters so much to people in general. I don't have a strong sense of gender so to me this is all non-sense.

 

Gender is one of the main pillars of a person's identity, it sets on everyone a series of expectations both from themselves and from others onto themselves, and already conditions one's growth, education, relationships, social circles and more. In a time where we're more open to questioning these roles and expectations and our personal fulfillment of each, it's no wonder that now's a time in which people do not wish to be associated with all the baggage that comes with the gender assigned to them by their sex.

 

Well, either I've been trying hard for years to be different, which is most certainly not in my personality, or I'm an aberration, because I don't think of myself or others in terms of male or female. There are people I want to have sex with because they make me happy in my pants, and those that don't. I want to have sex with the former, but not the later. That's as close as I get to gender identity.

 

That's fine and it doesn't apply to everyone, but it does to many.

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@Algroth (to avoid massive quote) Yeah, but it makes discussions like this even more annoying then I'd already find them. I'd already be annoyed for reasons I've already stated, but now I also don't even see the point in it. Same issue when people talk about gay marriage. I simply don't understand why it's an issue in the first place.

 

Tough times. Tough times.

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Gender is one of the main pillars of a person's identity, it sets on everyone a series of expectations both from themselves and from others onto themselves, and already conditions one's growth, education, relationships, social circles and more. In a time where we're more open to questioning these roles and expectations and our personal fulfillment of each, it's no wonder that now's a time in which people do not wish to be associated with all the baggage that comes with the gender assigned to them by their sex.

See, that's the problem. If this gender thing is as profound as you say it is, how come i never noticed it? If it is as big as you say, why i never felt any of it? And i am, being a straight man, have a much stronger feminine side than an average male would. So, if there were these big expectations, you'd think i would've noticed them, but i didn't. Never really felt like i had to conform to any kind of expectation.

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Gender is one of the main pillars of a person's identity, it sets on everyone a series of expectations both from themselves and from others onto themselves, and already conditions one's growth, education, relationships, social circles and more. In a time where we're more open to questioning these roles and expectations and our personal fulfillment of each, it's no wonder that now's a time in which people do not wish to be associated with all the baggage that comes with the gender assigned to them by their sex.

See, that's the problem. If this gender thing is as profound as you say it is, how come i never noticed it? If it is as big as you say, why i never felt any of it? And i am, being a straight man, have a much stronger feminine side than an average male would. So, if there were these big expectations, you'd think i would've noticed them, but i didn't. Never really felt like i had to conform to any kind of expectation.

 

 

Culture would go a long way towards explaining how come you never really noticed it.

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I'm honestly doubting it would be that hard to implement. Now I don't have code to look at from PoE right now, but I'm assuming it works on the same basis as the Baldur's Gate game in terms of referencing gender. That is to say, when one would state the PC's gender it would check (Male/Female) variable and implement (he/her). I don't really understand how adding a third variable, which we call "Other" would be that hard to add.

 

If it's so easy to implement a third gender, which as has been stated already is pointless given the last of a first or second, then why is it so many devs choose to have only one sex/gender?

 

 

That is a more than a little bit different a situation though. In big AAA games one would need to rig a full new model, animations, VA work,  and multiple sets of reactions toward the PC. None of these problems would be had in PoE given that the PC doesn't speak, would already use the same animations, and the models are reapeatedly used already. What is being asked for is more of a textual variable to be added along the already present She/He

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Culture would go a long way towards explaining how come you never really noticed it.

Doubt it. Unless we have in Russia some equality paradise that i'm not aware of. I mean, of course there are stereotypes. But stereotypes are a far cry from these gender expectations that apperantly shape everything that there is about us. 

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I'm honestly doubting it would be that hard to implement. Now I don't have code to look at from PoE right now, but I'm assuming it works on the same basis as the Baldur's Gate game in terms of referencing gender. That is to say, when one would state the PC's gender it would check (Male/Female) variable and implement (he/her). I don't really understand how adding a third variable, which we call "Other" would be that hard to add.

 

If it's so easy to implement a third gender, which as has been stated already is pointless given the last of a first or second, then why is it so many devs choose to have only one sex/gender?

 

 

That is a more than a little bit different a situation though. In big AAA games one would need to rig a full new model, animations, VA work,  and multiple sets of reactions toward the PC. None of these problems would be had in PoE given that the PC doesn't speak, would already use the same animations, and the models are reapeatedly used already. What is being asked for is more of a textual variable to be added along the already present She/He

 

Sure. But what would you do? You can't have every NPC just KNOW that you identify as some third gender. Unless they are already familiar with you the PC would have to correct them. Then you have to script that interaction. Will they be ``sure, whatever" about it, or have some other, more interesting, an development intense, response? And it would have to be consistent. My number one complaint about Dragon Age: Origins is that they are inconsistent about using the player's back ground. Playing as the dwarven noble was especially immersion braking as a result. If they had just thrown the whole Origins' to the wind, it wouldn't have been a big deal. Do it right or don't do it at all.

 

edit: Not only that, but the devs would have to make sure they don't offend anyone in the process. And THAT would take a lot of effort. Think about the trans character in Mass Defect: Andromeda. Bioware has a track record of being very inclusive with stuff like that, but the bungled it to such a degree that everyone was mad at them.

Edited by nstgc
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Gender is one of the main pillars of a person's identity, it sets on everyone a series of expectations both from themselves and from others onto themselves, and already conditions one's growth, education, relationships, social circles and more. In a time where we're more open to questioning these roles and expectations and our personal fulfillment of each, it's no wonder that now's a time in which people do not wish to be associated with all the baggage that comes with the gender assigned to them by their sex.

See, that's the problem. If this gender thing is as profound as you say it is, how come i never noticed it? If it is as big as you say, why i never felt any of it? And i am, being a straight man, have a much stronger feminine side than an average male would. So, if there were these big expectations, you'd think i would've noticed them, but i didn't. Never really felt like i had to conform to any kind of expectation.

 

 

See, that bit I bolded is a perfect example of why it is as profound as I say it is in you too, as even as you deny noticing it there are qualities you immediately associate with the feminine and the masculine. The strength and awareness of these matters varies from culture to culture and individual to individual but it is there, in every society there is a determined role and assumed behaviour for both male and female that is indoctrinated to us from a young age. I cannot speak for your childhood experiences but in my case all of the following seemed pretty true, if not to me then to others: if you spend too much time with another guy, being close friends and so on, the rest of the kids assume intimacy and start calling you gay; if you show any tendencies that might be described as soft or feminine, you are assumed to be gay; 'gay' is itself the ickiest thing a boy of a young age can be accused of because it also implies a loss of virility, you like boys like girls do. But boys are meant to be strong, boys don't cry, boys stand up and are tough and so on. We learn from a young age thanks to peer pressure that masculinity is represented best by a particular set of characteristics, and feminity by the opposite characteristics as well. Girls like Barbie dolls, boys don't. Boys like video games, girls don't. If a boy likes girl pop, something is wrong with him, he's less of a man for it. If a woman likes boxing, she is more of a tomboy and less of a woman for it. As brother of a professional boxer I've seen countless times where women were less appealing to the men in the room because they happened to box.

 

None of this means that because a boy likes dolls he does not identify as male or because a girl boxes she does not identify as female, of course, but the societal prejudices and pressures towards members of either sex still exist and whenever you go against them you are bound to create friction with someone or other. Again, nowadays this is opening up, the societal norms for how men and women must be is no longer as strict or clear-cut, and are growing more evident in light of growing awareness of sexism, feminism, patriachial structures, homophobia, queer culture and so on. Amidst it all more people are feeling like what they know to be "male" or "female" and what they feel society asks of them as such is not who they are and want to be. Perhaps the pressure of adhering to the gender expectations is something you never felt, I'd be inclined to believe that it's a pressure you are unaware or don't want to acknowledge you ever felt, but if you indeed haven't then it still doesn't preclude that many others have.

Edited by algroth
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