Gregory Lambert Ms. Amy Glaves English II September 4, 2012 It’s a Man’s World…Or Is It? It’s a man’s world… That statement is as stereotypical and offensive as it is wrong, but even today, many people still believe it to be true. Zoe Flower felt that way about the video gaming industry before she researched and wrote her article “Getting the Girl: The Myths, Misconceptions, and Misdemeanors of Females in Games” (Alfano 329-33) for Playstation Magazine nearly a decade ago.
She begins her work believing that in a time when women are struggling to become more empowered in society they are still being sexualized, objectified and exploited in the video game world. However, she is surprised by what she discovers and is able to see the video gaming industry in an entirely different light. In her article, Ms. Flower uses all three of Plato’s rhetorical appeals (Pathos, Logos, and Ethos) but the dominating appeal is Ethos in addition to considerable use of the Logos appeal.
Considering the sensitive subject matter one would expect the Pathos appeal be most prominent yet it is used the least which is surprising. After reading the article the thing that stands out is not only the facts she learns about female character development, but also, whom she learns it from. Ms. Flower is able to interview several top executives from multiple video game development companies. This lends instant credibility (Ethos) to the facts (Logos) that she presents regarding the development of female video game characters.
It ultimately builds a compelling argument that today’s popular female video game characters are not just another example of female exploitation but possibly even another step forward in the plight of female empowerment. This is the theme throughout the article, Ms. Flowers continually builds her argument, mostly by utilizing those two rhetorical appeals (Ethos & Logos). Nearly every person she interviews is some type of high level executive in the gaming industry, and is female.
Additionally, they all seem to provide facts, statistics, and the “big picture” logic that is involved in the creation and development of the female characters in their respective video games. While writing about her first meeting with a video gaming executive Ms. Flower stated that “When I requested an interview to discuss Cyberlore’s Playboy: The Mansion, I never even considered that the senior designer on the Sims-style project might be a woman – one pregnant with twins, in fact. As I expected, Brenda Brathwaite (senior designer of Cyberlore’s Playboy: The Mansion) has a lot to say about females in today’s games.
But I can guarantee it’s not what you might expect. ” (Flower 329-33) Ms. Brathwaite goes on to say “If you’re going to animate breasts, animate them properly. The breasts in the original Dark Alliance (video game) drove me nuts. If my breasts moved like that, I’d go to the doctor… or call an exorcist. ” (Flower 329-33) This logical appeal shows that characters appearance authenticity is a priority in game development, even to the senior designer, who happens to be a woman. The fact that she is a woman as well as a senior game designer increases her credibility (Ethos) with the intended audience.
It also shows that women are not only heavily involved in the process of creating these characters but are moving up the ranks as well (Logos). When Ms. Flower interviewed Liz Buckly, the project manager of Majesco’s Blood Rayne, regarding the games selection as Playboy Magazines Sexiest Game Character, Ms. Buckley asserted, “If you don’t have the gameplay to back up the character appeal, T;amp;A will only get you so far. BloodRayne resonates very well with our target audience of males ages 17 to 34, but Rayne has a huge female following as well.
I think that’s attributable to her strength and attitude – it’s definitely empowering to play as her. ” (Flower 329-33) This is also a smooth combination of the Ethos and Logos appeal, again building credibility by interviewing another top female gaming executive as well as the logical admission of the fact that the game is intended for a male audience ion17-34 yet is catching on with females due to the superior game play and the empowering feeling it gives to female gamers…not just because of a lot of T&A.
While interviewing Virginia McArthur (lead producer The Urbz: Sims in the City) regarding the success of the “Sims” franchise she found that the Sims game has a 50 percent female following yet still has all the sex appeal that men look for in video games. This seems to be the route to take in order to appeal to every gender without offending or driving away one. Ms.
McArthur basically admits that some of the design was intended to entice men however, when asked directly about the success of the Sims franchise goes on to say confidently: “When we brought The Urbz to consoles, we realized that what keeps females interested in our products is the customization and real-life interactions and scenarios they can play out as an Urb. Female players on consoles wanted to spend more time socializing and unlocking items and outfits; they wanted to spend less time on motives and watching animations. (Flower 329-33) This is, once again, using both rhetorical appeals. Ethos, by obtaining information from a senior female involved in the development of one of the most successful video games in the entire history of video gaming, as well as logos, by stating the fact that the game boasts approximately a fifty-fifty split between male and female consumers, revealing facts about the intended audience, in addition to sharing what she believes is the secret to getting females to play the game, and more importantly, keeping females interested in playing. Ms.
Flower began researching this article believing that most, if not all of the female characters in video games today were created by men and were intended to be purchased and played by men. This being said, Ms. Flower goes in with an open mind and is pleasantly surprised by what she learns. She learns that perhaps the gaming industry is not a bunch of “horney old men” exploiting women and catering to their millions of “horney men” fans, but could possibly be an industry that is moving forward in the hope of a world where women are treated fair and equal.
She effectively uses Plato’s Rhetorical appeals to convince her readers that this is the case without relying heavily on just emotional appeals (Pathos), but by presenting a strong argument, provided by interviewing credible females in the gaming industry. Additionally, Ms. Flower provides numerous facts from a female perspective regarding the thought process that goes into character and game development coupled with hard facts and statistics about many of the most popular games with sexy female characters.
It seems the video gaming industry is evolving, but evolution is an ongoing process that must continue. Considering the fact that females seem to have a powerful voice in the gaming industry, it appears that process should and will continue. It has been nearly sixteen years since the sexy brunette archeologist named Lara Croft entered the hearts and homes of gamers around the world as the lead character in the game Tomb Raider, but thanks to her groundbreaking character as well as all the strong women interviewed for the article and finally to the women who are creating video games today, Ms.
Flower should be proud. Works Cited Alfano, Christine L. , and Alyssa J. O’Brien, eds. “Understanding Strategies of Persuasion. ” Envision in Depth: Reading, Writing, and Researching Arguments. 2nd ed. New York: Pearson, 2011. 27-44. Print. Flower, Zoe. “Getting the Girl: The Myths, Misconceptions, and Misdemeanors of Female in Games. ” Envision in Depth: Reading, Writing, and Researching Arguments. Ed. Christine L. Alfano and Alyssa J. O’Brien. 2nd ed. New York: Pearson, 2011. 329-33. Print.