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Vox Day: My orc and troll fighting game won’t have any women in it, because that wouldn’t be historically accurate

If you want historically accurate male-on-male combat action, the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association Board of Directors Simulator 3000: 2011 Edition is the way to go
If you want historically accurate male-on-male combat action, the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association Board of Directors Simulator 3000: 2011 Edition is the way to go

So our old friend Vox Day is working on a video game. And he’s decided to make a bold and unprecedented choice in his design of the game: he’s not going to have any ladies in it.

But it turns out this choice has nothing to do with anything so pedestrian as misogyny. In fact, it was the only rational choice he could make. Let’s let him explain. He has such a way with words. (He’s apparently some sort of writer.)

I am a game designer. I am designing and producing a game that does not, and will not, have a single female character in it. This is not because I am misogynistic. This is not because I do not women to play the game. This is because putting women in the game makes no sense, violates the principle of the suspension of disbelief, and will not make the game any better as a game.

Well, that makes sense. I mean, the game is probably some game that has to have only male characters to be believable. You know, like Dance Party with the American Presidents or the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association Board of Directors Simulator 3000 or something like that.

I am the lead designer of First Sword, a combat management game. The game has orcs and men, elves and dwarves. It has goblins and trolls. But it has no women.

Uh, wait. It’s a combat game filled with orcs, goblins and trolls, but putting women in it would “violate …  the principle of the suspension of disbelief.”

Because the game is a gladiator game. Women cannot credibly fight as gladiators. We don’t put women in the game for the same reason we don’t put bunny rabbits or children in the game.

Well, why not? You put fucking orcs in it. Why not make a combat game with bunny rabbits?

Actually, someone already did that. It’s called Overgrowth. And it’s supposed to be pretty good.

Putting women in the game would be an act of brutal sadism, an act of barbarism even by pagan Roman standards. While the Romans did occasionally put female gladiators in the arena, they were there as a comedic act.

Really? This is a VIDEO GAME. You can do whatever you want with it. It is really harder to imagine a woman being able to fight a man than it is to imagine entire races of imaginary humanoid creatures?

We could, of course, throw out historical verisimilitude. But we’re not going to. Because we value that verisimilitude far more than we value the opinion of a few whiny women who don’t play the sort of games we make anyhow.

Historical verisimilitude? Historical verisimilitude?!

YOU’RE MAKING A GAME ABOUT ORCS AND TROLLS.

ORCS AND TROLLS DO NOT EXIST.

THEY HAVE NEVER EXISTED.

THERE IS NO HISTORY THAT INCLUDES ORCS AND TROLLS.

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Samsara
Samsara
8 years ago

I don’t game but have lots of friends who do. They talk a lot about the misogyny in the online gaming world. I really don’t get why game developers are not targeting women. It seems like an untapped market. That you could make money by expanding your target audience but don’t because of wonky justifications just makes your prejudice so much more obvious.

Marie
8 years ago

@skanky tits

The first time my best friend tried to play D&D, it was with a bunch of geeky guys she was friends with. She was the only girl in the room so they thought it would be reeeally funny to rape her character. The whole experience was so gross and off putting that it put her off D&D for like 3-4 years :/

Oh wow those guys sound like major league assholes.

gillyrosebee
8 years ago

I really don’t get why game developers are not targeting women. It seems like an untapped market. That you could make money by expanding your target audience but don’t because of wonky justifications just makes your prejudice so much more obvious.

Never underestimate the power and allure of ideology.

And cooties.

thebobgoblin
8 years ago

@swanky tits

What a bunch of little creeps. I’m proud to say that my gaming friends never did anything like that to female gamers. We stumbled in other ways, of course, but nothing so horrible as that.

I hope she found some better people to play with.

thebobgoblin
8 years ago

Oops, I meant skanky, not swanky. Sorry for the typo.

Skanky Tits
8 years ago

It really pisses me off when people respond to the idea of women or POC in Tolkien inspired high fantasy settings with “IT’S NOT HISTORICALLY ACCURATE!!!! THIS IS MEANT TO BE BASED ON EUROPEAN HISTORY!!!!1”.

It’s a genre built on unlikely heroes and epic, extraordinary events. Just because something wasn’t a common occurrence in actual Northern European history doesn’t mean it’s not in keeping with high fantasy conventions. Most fantasy universes are much more concerned with the Boudiccas and Napoleons and Rasputins than with business as usual.

Skanky Tits
8 years ago

It really pisses me off when people respond to the idea of women or POC in Tolkien inspired high fantasy settings with “IT’S NOT HISTORICALLY ACCURATE!!!! THIS IS MEANT TO BE BASED ON EUROPEAN HISTORY!!!!1”.

It’s a genre built on unlikely heroes and epic, extraordinary events. Just because something wasn’t a common occurrence in actual Northern European history doesn’t mean it’s not in keeping with high fantasy conventions. Most fantasy universes are much more concerned with the Boudiccas and Napoleons and Rasputins than with business as usual.

wordsp1nner
wordsp1nner
8 years ago

If anyone needs a refresher on who Vox Day is, here are some of what has landed him on Manboobz previously:

http://manboobz.com/2013/02/24/vox-day-women-working-is-worse-than-rape/

http://manboobz.com/2013/12/12/vox-day-dont-call-your-wife-the-boss-because-women-are-dogs-or-something/

http://manboobz.com/2013/07/08/vox-day-on-charles-saatchi-divorcing-your-wife-after-shes-already-left-you-is-a-totally-alpha-move/

http://manboobz.com/2012/06/06/does-manosphere-blogger-vox-day-really-support-the-murder-and-mutilation-of-women/

He’s a terrible person, incredibly racist and sexist, and really has a bug up his butt about women who can fight.

In my last NanoNovel, one of the cultures (not the one the MC lives in, but one she has family in and has a bit of a… distorted view of*) is kind of a matriarchal Sparta–separate spheres, but the men’s sphere is the military (and some related professions)* and the women’s is… everything else. Family matters tend to be left to the oldest woman in the family, but adults are usually autonomous, especially with sex. In their defense, they are basically neighbors to a very expansionist (well, until the civil war broke out) empire, so being fairly militarized is understandable.

*She’s never been there, so all she has are stereotypes and her mother’s stories, and she’s built up a mythology around being a strong matriarch (for herself and her younger sister). She doesn’t understand how rigid the separation of roles is, and how nastily enforced. This hasn’t come out.

**Not ever man is a soldier, but those who aren’t tend to be questioned. This includes the MC’s grandfather. The MC has grown up in the empire, which is a patriarchy on the level of the US currently. Both sides of the civil war have female soldiers, though not as many on the establishment side. The MC’s love interest is a female soldier from the rebel side of the civil war.

gillyrosebee
8 years ago

Yargh! What is the aural equivalent of brain bleach? I’m pretty sure it includes Pomplamoose…

BritterSweet
8 years ago

It’s ridiculous to say the existence of orcs and trolls is more historically accurate than the existence of women. But in my opinion, it’s most likely for the better that a game Vox Day makes has no women in it. I mean, if he did, can you imagine how he would portray them? Maybe you can, but you probably shouldn’t.

hellkell
hellkell
8 years ago

Brittersweet, good point about how a woman in VD’s game would be portrayed. Thanks for the scary thought of the day..

Skanky Tits: your nym makes me laugh (in a good way).

2-D Man
2-D Man
8 years ago

YOU’RE MAKING A GAME ABOUT ORCS AND TROLLS.

ORCS AND TROLLS DO NOT EXIST.

Then how do you explain Vox Day? Checkmate, Futrelle!

Checkmate.

bbeaty
bbeaty
8 years ago

@gillyrosebee

Thanks to you, I just lost an hour to Pomplamoose videos.

Seriously, thanks!

gillyrosebee
8 years ago

bbeaty, an hour spent listening to/looking at Nataly Dawn can NOT be described as “lost”!

…and you’re welcome!

AIT
AIT
8 years ago

David:

Love that song! Though, if that’s what people really don’t want to hear in music, they really must not want to hear tuba. Heard tuba through a good part of that song. Which makes me sad. I admit it’s not really a starring instrument, but still, I like a good bass line, even in orchestral. But I do agree with the copious amounts of advertisement tied to religious observances.

Back on topic, I still have yet to introduce my players (DnD 3.5) to the elven society and the dwarven society in my campaign, and that’s just the main playable races they haven’t met yet. They have met characters from those races, but not huge representations of the races themselves. I’m hoping I can subtly introduce some themes like general acceptance of people’s sexuality. I am hoping they are all mature adults who can handle that stuff. That was what my first DM tried to do with us, to get us to think, and to give us some kind of knowledge/insight we could apply to the real world.

And perhaps I could have the elves be a more matriarchal society. Actually… it’d really throw them for a loop if the dwarves were a matriarchal group. Especially given that And I could totally see how it would work, too. I’m definitely making the dwarves in my campaign living in a matriarchal society. Thank you, Man Boobz, you’ve given me a little creative burst. Now you all must be my idea bounce for a line I want one of my future dwarf NPCs to use.

“Ever knocked on a dwarf’s head? You’d swear you’re knockin’ on rocks! Any creature that could pass a rock as big as a fist between their legs is tough in ways no man could never be!” ~Sorin, the escort to the Dwarven cities, whenever my players get there.

Kiwi girl
Kiwi girl
8 years ago

Just going to add this, because NZ actress and was filmed in NZ. Sadly I could not find a single good YouTube video that didn’t have a bloody music track dubbed over the top.

cloudiah
8 years ago

I don’t even know what to say about this post, but it made me laugh very hard. Which was very welcome. I’m so behind, but I simply must read all the comments now!

Buttercup Q. Skullpants
Buttercup Q. Skullpants
8 years ago

I was wondering what the hell “combat management” was. It turns out to be code for “slave-owning asshole”. From the game’s website:

First Sword is the first combat management game for mobile and online play. Featuring a sophisticated commentary engine of more than 5,000 messages that allows for unprecedented precision, First Sword allows you to buy, sell, train, and fight your gladiators in an epic fantasy world.

Gladiators are purchased from a pool of slaves, convicts, and prisoners-of-war or bought from other gladiator stables. They range from feeble goblins to powerful trolls, depending upon whom the legions of mighty Amorr have most recently waged war. Pay regular attention to the latest news to know the right time to buy low and sell high. Hiring experienced ex-gladiators as trainers permits you to improve the skills of your gladiators without risking them in the arena, but the only way to increase your status and move from the small arenas of the provinces to the great Imperial coliseums is to fight your gladiators and see them win more than they lose.

Aren’t most games structured to have the main character be an underdog? Someone you can root for? I could see playing as a gladiator, and earning glory through your own sweat and ingenuity, but purchasing and managing a “stable” of slaves and watching them fight for your entertainment is morally skeevy and a little cowardly. It’s not all that different from dogfighting. It’s not even like you’d be playing a fun campy villain; you’d be playing a creepy flesh-trafficking turdblossom, one layer removed from the action. What skills are involved, other than buying and selling? Just a horrible premise, badly executed.

“The legions of mighty Amorr” made me LOL, though. It sounds like a thousand Pepe Le Pews armed with chocolates.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
8 years ago

From the FATAL link.

judging from the FATAL theme song, which sounds like the Cookie Monster chasing a drum kit being pushed down a flight of stairs

Ah, so the creators like black metal. Of course they do.

Buttercup Q. Skullpants
Buttercup Q. Skullpants
8 years ago

I think my most unwanted song would include jaw harp, vuvuzelas, and liberal sampling of “My Humps”.

Kiwi girl
Kiwi girl
8 years ago

Neil Diamond. Unwanted.

Xanthë
8 years ago

Cassandra, no surprises there at all. :/

Given that David posted the world’s worst song so that one might think it’s vaguely on-topic, I was tempted to post the YouTube of Cookie Monster and the Glisseo! Percussion Orchestra… but embedding it here would be too much like actual trolling. It’s really, really awful.

Link b0rked: youtube . com / watch?v=8TLlbVW-VA0

Sir Bodsworth Rugglesby III
Sir Bodsworth Rugglesby III
8 years ago

Did somebody mention Cookie Monster singing?

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
8 years ago

It occurs to me that not everyone here will have had the, um, pleasure of experiencing the soundtrack to which FATAL was composed for themselves. Here you go.

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