What do you feel about fan service?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Pierman Walter, Jan 1, 2017.

  1. Pierman Walter

    Pierman Walter Chunk Monster Veteran

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    @LightningLord2 It isn't obvious, since my username has a masculine name and the word "man" in it, and my profile picture is of a male character cosplaying another male character, and I don't like Anita Sarkeesian's methods, and I am casually talking how it's great for games to have sexy people in them, BUT... *thunderclap* ... I was actually a girl this whole time. Plot twist of the century.
     
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  2. RetroBoy

    RetroBoy Veteran Veteran

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    Commences obligatory harassment and marginalization. ;)
     
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  3. Diretooth

    Diretooth Lv. 23 Werewolf Veteran

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    While feminism and objectification are fascinating topics, especially when in conjunction to fanservice, at the end of the day we have to remember that we are discussing video games, and other stories. Outside of blatant cases of misogyny and misandry in various works, as well as flat only-there-for-the-fanservice characters, we must remember that they are just stories, fiction, and should not stress ourselves out over whether or not something is, itself, sexist to either group. Thus, I ask that if you have a knee-jerk reaction to something said or mentioned, pause a moment before you type, then pause afterward. Think to yourself, 'Does this have any actual bearing to the topic at hand, and am I just putting forth my views on everyone, regardless of the topic?' If so, then save it for a relevant topic, or create your own.


    That being said, fanservice is a fairly nebulous thing, there isn't strictly an end all be all scenario which is strictly fanservice. Sometimes, people put something in that would normally be fanservice, except played out realistically, and becoming fandisservice. I've had scenarios in my own stories that people have called me out on, regardless of the context. Take for instance, I have a character named Emily. She is described as attractive, but not so much that a large group of guys hound her. She has a small group of men who are interested in her either romantically or sexually. The main thing about her personality is that she is strong, both in will and of body and dislikes when people hit on her.


    I've had people call me out on this character because of two opposing ideals. Some people want me to play up her attractiveness, to make her flirty and not punch guys because they become a little too pushy. On the other end, I have people ask me to make her butch or even lesbian and wholly unattractive to anyone but butch lesbians (Or people who are into very butch women). Which I find kind of funny and sad, given that her entire characterization is that she is not Ms. Fanservice, that she is her own person, dealing with her own problems, both biological and external, yet at the same time having realistic views of other guys she deems attractive. She has love interests, but the moment things outside of those love interests goes awry, such as a Werewolf attacking her family or a relatively normal person starts trying to kill her family members, she focuses on the current situation and doesn't spare a second thought to people she's merely attracted to.


    But, some people are really adamant about her being sexy or otherwise pandering to their viewpoints of what is attractive and what they want to see rather than what the story needs. Fanservice depends on the character, not the other way around. If you can remove a character entirely from the plot and her only contribution is fanservice, you're doing it wrong, you're providing an empty story. Similarly, I had a fairly innocuous scene in my Game of the Gods story where the main characters are discussing whether or not panties exist on the world they're on. Some people took the scene to be a bunch of guys fantasizing about panties, which it wasn't, as one character brought it up after having a thought. Some thought it was fanservice for them, as a female character had, somewhat jokingly, stated to her brother that she was, indeed, going commando when he asserted she wasn't. These are instances of where fanservice is seen where it actually isn't, just some world building and random conversation.


    As for why I bring this up at this point, it wasn't before. Sometimes, what is seen as fanservice wasn't meant as such. Sometimes a random thought is a random thought, sometimes it's actual invoked fanservice. Ultimately, someone is going to find something to be fanservice, even if it's something horrifying, or painful.
     
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  4. LightningLord2

    LightningLord2 Psionic Bird Thrower Veteran

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    Honestly, whether or not sexism and misogyny would be harmful to society or not within the game, consider that for certain audiences, it can still sour the experience. Also, you will always bring forth your own opinions and present them to the player, whether you intend that or not, be that from the storytelling, the tone of the game or even how you handle game mechanics. 


    Second, I can give you a good lead on how to help characterize Emily better: What are her interests? What does she do in her free time? What goals does she pursue in life? Basically, you simply develop her character outside of romantic interest.


    Lastly, what you mean to say in a certain scene means nothing to the player. Their interpretation of a scene in your game is usually more valid than yours.


    @Pierman Walter I apologize for incorrectly assuming you're male.
     
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  5. Andronius

    Andronius Apprentice Veteran

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    Indeed, what a great thorough and perfect analysis, wonderfully written. I absolutely agree with everything.
     
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  6. Andronius

    Andronius Apprentice Veteran

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    Fascinating! :kaoluv: I was so immersed reading this! For a moment I felt like I was reading Marvin Harris, but better written and much more interesting because you speak of games and like the psychology aspects of game-making etc. Now I'm curious of what would be your insight regarding more things! For instance: what to think of a game like Lunar and a character like Nash (my favorite, obviously). I think this game was revolutionary in many interesting ways, also sexually speaking, for the time it was made.
     
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  7. RetroBoy

    RetroBoy Veteran Veteran

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    Unfortunately I never played Lunar and I dont know anything about Nash. :)
     
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  8. Andronius

    Andronius Apprentice Veteran

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    O M G‼️ That's such a pity‼️ Please, don't miss the chance to experience that wonderful classic. Nowadays, with FFXIV, XV, Pillars of Eternity 2 and everything else that's happening, few of those inmortal classics of yore are remembered, and each day more and more ppl forget about them... :headshake: but if you call yourself @RetroBoy i think you might probably appreciate the inner beauty and historical importance of Lunar. It's a little great masterpiece, like a beautifully crafted Fabergé egg. Additionally, if you do try it one day, you'll see much interesting things besides the game itself and it's beautiful art, for instance regarding gender and roles and the different treatment and understanding of nudity in Asian vs Western cultures and so on. Also, most importantly, Nash was one of the first "sexually ambiguous" male characters to ever appear in an RPG, and the treatment they did of that character was so well done: natural, funny but respectful at the same time, and beautiful to see, specially when I was very little (all that changed in the sequels, re-makes and re-releases, alas, where they "corrected" and censored everything, to better adapt the product to the North American market, so better get the 1993 first English version if you can)... but hey, one look is worth a thousand words:
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2017
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  9. Pine Towers

    Pine Towers Knight Hospitaller Veteran

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    Can't agree with you, @LightningLord2 , on this:
    He's strong because he's a barbarian. He must be so to survive. Yes, he could use armor, but if he had money for it. So much that, when he becomes king, he does use a leather armor:
    [​IMG]
    And about females being attract to this, any cheap romance book cover does exactly Conan-esque physical:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    And lets not forget Barbie.

    So, about fanservice, I first think there should be fans to service to. And to have fans, the product must be good in the first place, before doing fanservice. Which leads to the second part of all this: Does a fanservice serve the fans? Does your game allows fanservice to be viable? DOTA sure does. DOOM does not.

    It all boils down to the game itself and which is your target audience.

    Edited to spoiler the images. Thank you for the advice, @Kes
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2017
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  10. Kes

    Kes Global Moderators Global Mod

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    @Pine Towers Please put that wall of images into a spoiler. It practically breaks mobile phone access to the thread.

    Thanks.
     
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  11. Wavelength

    Wavelength Pre-Merge Boot Moderator

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    This topic has treaded a lot of different paths and some interesting tangents on masculinity/femininity, but as a latecomer to the discussion, I just wanted to add my opinion about the original question - when sexually-charged "fanservice" is foisted on me in games (or anime or movies or any other visual medium), it irritates me more often than not.

    It's not that I don't find cute, fictional young women attractive. Some of them turn me on, for sure (and I'm only slightly ashamed to admit it!). But I can find them attractive without the blatant in-your-face sexualization; I have a working imagination and I can use when I want to.

    The "fanservice" that usually pops up in games and anime involves shots where girls unknowingly open themselves up to having people (whether just the audience or both the audience and characters) ogle their bare skin, or overly contrived situations where girls are forced to sport extremely revealing wear. It makes me nearly as uncomfortable as when a wasted frat girl walks up to my dinner table and starts grinding me and propositions sex (which feels so weird to write, but yeah it's happened a few times). It's unwanted. I was just trying to have dinner! I was just trying to get into the plot of a good anime. I wasn't trying to take advantage of someone. Or maybe I did want to get laid tonight but not by someone who wouldn't be into me if they weren't hammered, and maybe not by you anyhow.

    So it all just comes across as really weird and uncomfortable because it's literally being forced on me whether I wanted it or not and to make things worse it's usually being presented in a way that I feel like I'm taking advantage of the character. I like sex and sexuality in stories, I like sex and sexuality in general and in my own life, but in neither one do I see the value of watching a girl (or guy) expose herself to me with the implication "take advantage of me!".

    The amazing thing is - in an interactive medium like video games, designers can give audiences the choice whether they want to get in position to see those shots or enter a situation that everyone knows is going to involve debauchery, yet they almost invariably insist on forcing it on the player whether they like it or not. Even in a one-way medium like anime, it's not hard to include a more neutral shot and publish a separate art book with some more titillating shots. The people behind the works don't seem to ever use these opportunities, so I'm left to conclude that they believe a great majority of their audience enjoys every panty shot they sprinkle in - and I believe that in most cases they're wrong.

    So I entirely agree with the large number of mature people in this thread who have voiced that sexuality needs to make sense within the context of the situation, but I'd also add that it should be the audience - not the author - who should go out of their way (in the sense of "opting in") to find that situation.
     
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