The Pizza gal seems very inappropriate

Discussion in 'Feedback and Suggestions' started by Django Hawkins, Sep 19, 2013.

  1. Sam Jones

    Sam Jones Mushroom Warrior

    It's been proven to my satisfaction elsewhere that anything will be a turn off to some people. I think that what you need to prove is that harm might be done by the portrayal. Here's where that stands in my mind:

    Gary assumes Karen isn't an RPG player because of her gender. This doesn't bother me. It's not a bad assumption (I'd ballpark the male-female ration in RPGs as 4:1 in the time where this is set), but more importantly, it's not negative. It's not an inherently admirable thing to play role playing games. Would I think it was acceptable if it was a black guy, and Gary assumed black guys don't play RPGs? I'd actually like it better because it's less a cliche.

    Also, Karen has a pink unicorn on her box. Neither pink nor unicorns are bad things. It's following a stereotype, but it's a color choice.

    Now, are they following a kind of script where a nerdy guy gains confidence and gets a woman as a reward? Kind of, and that's a bit offensive. Karen isn't too fleshed out, but a little, and desirability isn't her defining character trait. The way it's set up is pretty innocent.

    I haven't finished it yet, so I don't know what I'm going to think when I actually see this first-hand.
  2. Gerry Quinn

    Gerry Quinn Goblin Champion

    You haven't gotten to where Karen becomes a pole dancer to earn money for Gary to buy back his cards from Melvin?
  3. ElShafto

    ElShafto Goblin Champion

    ... and then the giant squid comes in and eats them all.
  4. Hutto

    Hutto Kobold

    Yeah, people getting turned off by Karen having a pink box is something I don't understand at all. I understand there are bad stereotypes of women in gaming, but having a pink gaming box isn't one of them. I wish I could talk to someone that was turned off by Karen. Overly large breasts in games? Sure, even though I like to play impossibly buff male characters in games, I can see why some people would be turned off by girls with ridiculous shapes. All male cast? I like to play as male characters, so I can get why women would like to play as females. But a pink box for one the cast of a light, over-the-top, tongue-in-cheek satire lampooning RPGs?

    I had a male friend who bought a hot pink laptop. Sure, I ribbed him a little when he got it, but at the end of the day it really doesn't matter to anyone. Well, except for the OP's friends apparently.

    Would someone really be so turned off from Karen's pink box that they wouldn't want to play Card Hunter?

    I guess we all have our pet peeves...
    ParodyKnaveBob likes this.
  5. rephikul

    rephikul Mushroom Warrior

    I works as an IT technician and whenever they ask I tell them to buy pink or yellow laptops, usually to no avail. Those color stand out so much it's hard to get lost of them. From an economic standpoint, they are the best
  6. Tess

    Tess Blue Manchu

    Once upon a time, nearly all programmers were women:

    Unfortunately, this isn't a new thing. The percentage of women studying computer science has been in slow decline since about 1986. Seriously, 1986!

    There are swarms of theories buzzing around that. My own circles tend to attribute it to the fact that we take computers for granted, now. They are seen as ubiquitous tools or appliances. It's not like using a toaster makes you want to study Toaster Science, right?

    In contrast, back when I was a kid, microcomputers were a huge novelty, and if you knew how to use a computer, you were seen as a computer person, and were encouraged to do computery things.

    The challenge, today, is how to get kids to see past the appliance. That's a tough thing to accomplish in a classroom. Unfortunately, a lot of teachers aren't equipped to provide that kind of experience in an appealing way.

    I haven't read it, but I'm well aware of the problem of girls suddenly losing interest in STEM subjects at that age. We talk about it a lot in some of the women-in-tech circles I'm in.

    Heck, even I completely stopped programming between the ages of 12 and 16. Isn't that weird? Why on earth did I just suddenly stop programming for multiple years? I mean... wow, I can't even imagine stopping programming, today. That would be like losing my ability to speak.

    You should definitely read up on some of what Maria Klawe has been up to, and her successes increasing the number of women in Computer Science at Harvey Mudd, without using quotas. This is really good stuff:
    CMU has also been experimenting with some new approaches:

    What both of these programs have in common is that they have thrown out the assumption that incoming CS majors need to be people who are already hotshot programmers. They put newbie programmers on a safe side-track, where they don't need to compete directly with the Melvins of the CS world, and they can just relax and have fun learning. This really helps level the playing field for the students who missed out on opportunities when they were younger. This includes a lot of women, but it also has the potential to include other non-tech-privileged students who would have previously been discouraged from studying CS. This is exciting. I hope other Universities are paying attention!
  7. Megadestructo

    Megadestructo Shark Card

    I read that Carnegie Mellon article a little ways back and it was awesome.
  8. Sisquinanamook

    Sisquinanamook Orc Soldier

    Wait... now that you mention it...
    Well it wasn't actually between 12 and 16 but I definetly had a time in my teenage years where I was not interested in Programming at all. I think for me it was between the ages of 14/15 and 18/20.
    Could never stop playing video games though ^^*
  9. Sam Jones

    Sam Jones Mushroom Warrior

    My best guess is that computers became central to big business which brought with it a sexist power structure. It's similar to the film industry. In the 30s and before, there was almost as many women directing and screenwriting as there were men. When movies became more popular, some big money came into Hollywood, and those jobs started going about 80% to men.

    I really wanted to get into programming from about twelve to sixteen. At sixteen, I decided I didn't have the temperament for it. I understood the principles, but my code was terrible. At about twenty-four, I got back in, and I didn't have the organizational problems I'd had at sixteen. That could be developmental.
  10. xienwolf

    xienwolf Goblin Champion

    I haven't progressed beyond level 11 in Beta or Live. And honestly, I stopped reading anything around level 6 or so. I just like the gameplay, and the story didn't hook me.

    But from what I have read when people post "spoilers" of the overall storyline...

    Would anything at all in the story not make sense if Karen were a male instead of female?

    Replace any line which outright says Karen is a girl with jock, popular kid, or some other "thing that Melvin and Gary are not" since that would be GRAMMATICALLY incorrect after the swap to male.

    But what I have heard others say happens, and what I have seen myself... you can swap Karen out with a dude, and nothing is out of place. Which at least in my books, qualifies you instantly as non-sexist.
  11. Gerry Quinn

    Gerry Quinn Goblin Champion

    Well, some of Gary's early comments about 'fair maiden' etc. would get a bit homoerotic.
  12. hebble

    hebble Kobold

    Yeah, Gary is clearly attracted to her. If you switch her gender and make Gary gay then you'd keep the story line somewhat intact. Now the developers have said explicitly that the characters have a fear of the opposite gender, but I think making Gary (and the pizza dude) gay would be the equivalent. Gary's attraction to Karen is essential to the initial interactions.

Share This Page