Well, This is a Weird Excuse For Not Having Women in Your Video Game

The brutally enjoyable Chivalry: Medieval Warfare is set in, duh, medieval times. If one was to ask the developers of the game why you can’t play as a female soldier, the answer should have been “because there weren’t any”.

But when a fan asked the question of Steve “Tibberius” Piggott, boss of developers Torn Banner, the answer she got was…strange.

This is a tough one, I actually think that adding female characters to a game like this would make it appeal less to females. Which at first sounds strange, but from my experience of the general maturity level of the internet and the unfortunately male dominated FPS market… I don’t think that it would add to the experience for women or men given the actions that would likely occur.
Hopefully that helps you understand why we decided not to go that route… I am totally fine with women fighting, but its the fact that it would probably overall harm the way the community would play the game that has me concerned.

You’re right. That does sound strange. And also totally wrong.

Add some ladies. Why not? [Chivalry, via VG247]


    ' I am totally fine with women fighting'.

    'Could you clarify that Mr Piggott?'

    'In like mud or jelly, stuff like that you know? Or just pulling hair and scratching, that's kind of cool too.'

    If I'm understanding him right, most guys tend to be jerks to women in multiplayer settings and presumably women would choose to play as female characters in the game which would just make them easly identified targets for aforementioned jerkish behaviour. This of course creates a negative experience for female players but can also creates a negative experience for male players who don't like that sort of behaviour or who may become targets themselves if they choose to play as a female character.

    He's probably partially right, but it's still not a good reason not to include female characters. Jerk behaviour in multiplayer games is going to happen with or without playable female characters and besides, should developers really avoid including things in their games because some random jerks are going to be jerks? What kind of message does that send.

      Totally agree with what you're saying here. Female gamers cop a lot of crap from male gamers and female character models could only be a catalyst for it but as you have mentioned, this is a solution in which only the bully wins. Removing them only inconveniences paying gamers and the female demographic.

      The real solution is dedicated servers with moderators. Valve prove the gaming majority don't have to be prepubescent jerks if you show them their behaviour will be punished.

      Yeah, one way or another it's still a dude deciding and enforcing What's Best For Women and that's never a good way to approach this type of thing. Reminds me of the BF LAN party that decided to prevent sexual harassment by banning women from attending. Plus referring to women as "females" outside a scientific or medical context is generally deserving of some side-eye.

      That said, I could be wrong what he wrote seems to me more like rationalization than a genuine line of reasoning. Maybe it's not worth examining too specifically.

    Perfect example of where the simplest answer would have been the best one, but it was substituted for drivel.

      Developer explains how it would encourage sexism of multiple kinds, commentor calls it 'drivel'.

      If you disagree, then that's fine, but it would lovely if you'd explain why you think he's wrong instead of spouting useless drivel (read: insubstantial comments which do not add anything to the discussion) yourself. Please see Dire Wolf's comments above for how you should be doing it.

      (So there's also some substance here, I must agree with the developer's assessment of the likely outcomes, and also consider that it would have cost a bunch of extra money to only hurt the game's community.)

        Um, what? The simplest answer would have been: "there were no female soldiers, that is why there aren't any in the game". To ramble on about sexist attitudes is drivel, and obviously not the reason why they weren't included.

        Good try, though. You've provided your contrived sensitivity to the female gaming community. Here is your star: ★ - place it next to your name.

        Last edited 02/11/12 9:09 am

          That might be the simplest answer, but it's probably not the reason.
          If the developers actual reason was what he said, then it's not drivel, irrespective of whether you like the answer.

          Honestly, I'm searching what I know of Chivalry, as well as the game's website for any clue that the game is remotely concerned with historicity. They're definitely not marketing it that way. So that's not a great answer either.

          I think the real answer is the developers just don't really care, and are fine with perpetuating the types of attitudes and representations that they've seen in the games they grew up on and loved. That's not a very PR-friendly answer, though.

    Lets put it this way, how many women were in the front line during the medievil times in the english realm?


      does Mary Queen of Scots count?

    lets not forget the logistics of it too. When you make a multiplayer game with balanced forces and intend to offer either sex for all choices you need to build entire new models for each, then animate them differently (as the male/female skeleton differs) and then test them continually to make sure they work and remain balanced. This is a tremendous amount of effort for games where the actual female force would have been a minority.

    Of course that's no justification, I still think developers should do it but it needs to be acknowledged as it just adds to the many reasons why a developer may not manage to incorporate it.

      Actually, a new skeleton probably wouldn't be necessary. In something like Brink with cartoonishly exaggerated physiques, that excuse would hold more weight. But Half-Life 2, for example, used a universal biped skeleton for its human characters. Since female fighters in Chivalry would presumably be dressed up in the same bulky armor, that would further minimize the problem--you could probably get away with just swapping head models and voice actors, in fact.

    This isn't a problem with the developers it's a problem with the community. It needs to grow up.

      A fair but sad point, considering the average gamer is supposedly in the mid-thirties.

        unfortunately, physical age does not denote mental and emotional maturity.

    Self censorship? Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Where are all the kiddies blaming it on Islam?

    It's interesting, by trying to protect women, he's actually holding them back and being sexist.

    There's actually more women than men. I think that should be reflected in our media. If you want to play as a girl, you should be able to.

    A guy too afraid he might offend here.

    I agree that there shouldnt be any biased against women, but for the sake of history and accuracy, exactly how many women fought in armour? none or very very few.

      Joan D'Arc is the only one I can think of.

        Sigourney Weaver wore an exoskeleton to battle the alien queen.

      Chivalry's website markets it as having great hack and slash action, brutal combat, a high degree of control over melee combat, and as being a finely-tuned competitive multiplayer game. Nowhere does it say anything about realism or historical accuracy.

      The historicity defense tends to get brought out to avoid doing stuff like putting women in games but the rest of the time people are happy to brush it off with "oh it's just a game, it's not supposed to be realistic."

    For anyone that's incredibly offended by this game's lack of such n such, Skyrim should offer a substantial substitute

    Real answer: It's expensive to make that many new models and animations and we didn't think we'd make our money back on the deal.

      Reading the response I think of Mass Effect. A majority of guys chose a femshep over the actual Shepard. Presented with a choice guys chose a female character in fear of being "gay" for picking a guy and wanting to hear a guys voice all through the story line. I didn't immediately jump to the PlayStation Home scene of a crowd of guys winking and dancing around the one girl in the courtyard but, it is also a valid reason.

      But, ultimately I think @blake hit the nail on the head.

    I'd prefer not to have the abilty to hack a woman in half with an axe in Chivalry but I don't know that that makes me sexist.

    They really should have stuck with the not historically accurate reason. People may still not like it, but at least it would have been a valid point. They also shouldn't add them for exactly that reason, if historical accuracy is what they are going for in the game.

    And, my topic got locked. Way to go, Torn Banner.

    I can't say I am surprised it was locked. I am sure that lovely Steelfury *lady* will be celebrating the fact she got the last word in. I actually had posted a reply seconds after it got locked but it's probably for the best, as I think just replying to that kind of stuff lowers your IQ and shortens your life expectancy.

    I know that I am a little late on this topic, but I just found out about this game and did not like half of the comments that I read.
    They do not mention historical accuracy, which we cannot prove whether or not women were on the front lines at all. They could have been there in some degree in some civilizations. It's not like we have a complete historical account of the medieval time. There is even debate about what really happened only 50 years ago, like the JFK assassination. Not trying to start that argument, just stating the fact.
    As for him saying the word female instead of women, there are female children that play these kinds of games.
    As for the developers comments, I quite I often play a female character and I am constantly being 'hit on' and harassed by other male players. People see a female character and they get stupid, even more so than usual. He might have chosen the wrong words. I would have said something different. Maybe, "There is too much general disregard of decency when a good portion of the gaming community comes into contact with a female character so we opted to leave them out; however, if we receive enough feedback about this, we can always release an update."
    There could be female characters, but I really don't see the big deal with there not being any. Personally, I see no problem with slashing up a female or a male. If we are at war, we are at war. Total war should never be off the table.
    There are plenty of games out there that do not include female characters that I never hear any complaints about. Battlefield and Call of Duty have no female characters and there is no debate about it. Fact is, there are a few countries that have women in combat roles. Those games should include women before Chivalry does.
    Bottom line, if you do not like what a game has to offer, complain to the developers about why you chose to not purchase their game.

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