Enquirer Home Page | Twitter | Back to Improbable Island

 Forum Index > Season Two > Feature Requests, Ideas and Feedback New Topic Post Reply
 To Gender, or not to Gender?
 |  Printable Version
Harris
 Wednesday, December 07 2011 @ 04:29 PM UTC (Read 9297 times)  
Forum Improbable Badass
Improbable Badass

Status: offline

Registered: 11/24/09
Posts: 456


CMJ EDIT:
These are the ground rules for this thread. If you can't follow them, don't get involved.
1. This thread is about the programming and writing issues involved in moving away from a gender binary. That is all this is about, do not try to change the subject. If you want to fuck about with semantics, politics and other noise that isn't about writing or PHP, take it to email.
2. The only argument against accommodating non-binary characters is that it's probably impossible.
3. We are going to make the attempt whether you like it or not. Arguing against it is meaningless.
4. If you have suggestions, please try to understand what you're asking for.
5. Remember that this is more complicated than you think - but that doesn't mean you shouldn't suggest things. Just understand that about 99% of suggestions will be impossible to carry out - we're looking for the 1% that is merely very hard.



NOTE: This is a split from Programming Rants: Commentary and Bios. http://enquirer.improbableisland.com/forum/viewtopic.php?showtopic=26215


Quote by: Sasha

Quote by: Harris

Agreed on the principle of gender display importance being greater than arms and armor display importance, but from the technical aspect, did you know that CMJ has also said that preferences, as a whole, muck up the game?
Also- you jump straight to a "non-binary gendered/ally player must wait until Season Three to feel more OOCly welcome"? Why? This is the same game that has a foetid Midget brothel! In game IS insensitive- it's part of the point.
Out of game, what are you basing that claim on, exactly? I do not refer to indvidual players' actions, of course (sadly, dickheads happen); I mean how have you decided that the game is being run/programmed/written that way?



Erm, the difference between a foetid Midget brothel and how the meta-game addresses non-binary genders ought to be obvious. 1) It's roleplay/gameworld vs. mechanics/meta-game; 2) One is being played for laughs, the other isn't. You might also note I haven't complained about the jungle encounter with Doc. Paprika's whackjob (though come to think of it, I haven't encountered that one in a while) - that's at least in part because it's gameworld silliness.

I am aware there are technical issues surrounding Preferences in general, and said as much in a previous post, and offered two options for avoiding the use of Preferences altogether (that turned out not to be workable ideas, but not being a programmer, I'm used to my programming ideas not actually working). However, going from a system where you can hide your gender and say you are whatever you want without having people just peek at your mouseover and contradict or even challenge you (something that has happened to me more than once) to one where you cannot, and making a stand on that, cannot send a positive message to people negatively affected in one way or another by the gender-binary standard (whether in-character or in Real Life).

And I didn't intend to say "this is how the game is being made," because I'm sure the slight to non-binary people and their allies is unintentional. CMJ's track record (that I've seen) suggests he's a pretty cool frood in general, including gender issues. I'm worried about how this is coming across, not that there's OMG A WAR MARCH FOR DISCRIMINATION going on here. What you quoted me on is simply a somewhat strong (but not hyperbolic, since I don't feel it's an unreasonable inference for someone newer than I am to the Island and its politics) interpretation.

This issue can also be disruptive of some roleplay (and there was enough of a problem with this already).





I hope this makes sense?



I suppose I didn't make my reply clear- I apologize, because imagine that it was my slang usage that muddied my reply. I meant to address the different points for in the game, and in real life as well, but only separated them by saying "In game" and "Out of game".

The difference is; that's why I was taking exception to you naming off only in-game examples, then seemingly citing that there were these in-game examples and out-of game examples (that you never listed) that make the Island an unfriendly place to folk who ascribe to Not Female or Male persuasion. Making such players uncomfortable, I can easily see. But unfriendly? I see nothing of that in the game, or in the evidence you gave. Hence why I wanted to know what you meant by "outright unfriendly to people whose... Real Life selves live outside the artificial gender binary" and calling CMJ's decisions "questionable" (partial quoting is intentional here, as these were the only parts I saw that needed to be argued with) .

Again, the differences between the game itself's presentation, and meta-game presentation IS obvious. Hopefully you can see where your phrasing, however, made it sound like you were sharply criticizing both, and doing so while only supporting your criticism of the game with facts, and not your meta-game criticism.

Thank you, I believe I understand you now. You meant to say 'Here are problems I see in the game now, and here are some potential problems I see coming out of them.'
Right?
If that's the case, I still disagree. I see no evidence anywhere that out of game unfriendliness from the site itself is likely to be a problem. Possible? Sure. Anything's possible. But nothing to suggest that this game will come across as hateful/dismissive/etc. to anyone who really looks at it closely (I say this as a practicing Catholic who has regularly killed and eaten the Pope in this macabre little playground, by the way. I don't like it, but I am damn sure that neither CMJ, nor Emily, nor any of the Moderators mean that encounter as anything other than a silly joke, having seen the rest of the game, and how they run it and create it. They're real hoopy froods, the lot of 'em.).

If I'm not understanding you, please rephrase?


"Ain't nothin' left to do but smile, smile, smile." -The Grateful Dead
 
Profile Email Website
Quote
Count Sessine
 Wednesday, December 07 2011 @ 07:05 PM UTC  
Forum Moderator
Moderator

Status: offline

Registered: 08/16/08
Posts: 1402

Okay, now that it's a separate topic... I'm not The Expert on what can and can't be done with the code this Season (that would be CMJ!), but I have looked at the code enough to be able to offer, maybe, a second-best opinion.

There are two kinds of gender-specification here -- as far as the game code is concerned -- and the discussion will go better if we don't conflate them.

1. The binary male-female indicator in the Accounts table.
2. How gender is presented to other players, primarily in the Commentary mouseover.

The first one wasn't CMJ's design. It was inherited from LotGD, and it still has many ramifications throughout the game. Changing it this Season is just not practical. At all. When we get to Season Three many things will change, and (guessing here, but based on CMJ's responses in Labs) this is quite likely to be one of them. We can still talk about what would be a good way to design this to be a more reasonable fit to the complexity of real-world gender, but be aware that this is a) implying a hell of a lot of coding changes, and b) necessarily, for technical reasons, not about to be implemented any time soon.

As for the second one ... well, we now have the ability to hide our Race-and-Gender. (And Clan!) It seems to me that if those two, Race and Gender, could just be separated into two independent prefs, as they logically are... oh dear. I'm asking for a new preference! But with the clean new table design, maybe this one would not be too onerous?


 
Profile Email
Quote
CavemanJoe
 Wednesday, December 07 2011 @ 07:17 PM UTC  
Forum Admin
Admin

Status: offline

Registered: 02/24/08
Posts: 2281

Quote by: Count+Sessine

As for the second one ... well, we now have the ability to hide our Race-and-Gender. (And Clan!) It seems to me that if those two, Race and Gender, could just be separated into two independent prefs, as they logically are... oh dear. I'm asking for a new preference! But with the clean new table design, maybe this one would not be too onerous?



Preferences about what to insert into chat are doable. It was the preferences about what to display that were fucking everything up (show other people's armour, show other people's avatars, etc etc etc). I guess we can separate out race and gender into distinct prefs.

As to Season Three, I'm honestly dreading the idea of having the vast, multidimensional analogue spectrum of gender in one hand, and a programming language in another. It's gonna be like trying to mash a rainbow through a square-shaped hole with a hammer.


 
Profile Email Website
Quote
Sneaky
 Wednesday, December 07 2011 @ 08:59 PM UTC  
Forum Contender
Contender

Status: offline

Registered: 05/04/10
Posts: 69

Quote by: CavemanJoe



Preferences about what to insert into chat are doable. It was the preferences about what to display that were fucking everything up (show other people's armour, show other people's avatars, etc etc etc). I guess we can separate out race and gender into distinct prefs.

As to Season Three, I'm honestly dreading the idea of having the vast, multidimensional analogue spectrum of gender in one hand, and a programming language in another. It's gonna be like trying to mash a rainbow through a square-shaped hole with a hammer.



Makes sense. That's a lot of names to add and take account for (do you use 'they' or 'it'? will that upset?).


http://i2.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/000/560/004/989.gif
 
Profile Email
Quote
CavemanJoe
 Wednesday, December 07 2011 @ 09:26 PM UTC  
Forum Admin
Admin

Status: offline

Registered: 02/24/08
Posts: 2281

It'll be They.


 
Profile Email Website
Quote
Awesome Fred
 Thursday, December 08 2011 @ 12:25 AM UTC  
Forum Improbable Badass
Improbable Badass

Status: offline

Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 585

Here's the message I had hidden (was it really hidden?) in the last thread:

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

My personal preference on the stance is to simply never define the player's gender nor sexuality, only define that of the recipient NPCs of the various issues.

However that actually doesn't help my biggest gender nitpick:

One of the biggest problems with gender I find is when writing Monster Submissions. I can't ever assume the reader is one gender or the other (or something else altogether), which lend to archaic language ("One doesn't like to pick sides..."), plural pronouns on a singular subject ("A person can pick whichever one they want..."), cumbersome prose ("Whether he or she prefers, he or she may choose whichever he or she wishes..."), or visually unattractive text ("(S)he will choose at character creation to be referred to as "him/her"...").

And I have no idea whether people like using the hermaphroditic "hir", "shi", and all that other stuff I don't even know.

For me, I think Jungle Monster gender handling would be optimal by doing...

...wait for it...

...opt-in gender prefs.


+ Jungle fights that assume nothing about the player's gender are always active and not a pref.

+ You can check a box that says, "Allow Jungle Monsters to view me as Male.". That means the player can now also fight monsters where the text somehow indicates the reader is Male. These jungle monsters are flagged "Appear for Male" behind the scenes.

+ You can check a box that says, "Allow Jungle Monsters to view me as Female". This does exactly the same as the Male version, for females.

And that's it. Players can check neither, or check both, or check one or the other. I'd prefer these were about gender pronouns though, as I don't intend on any Monster Submissions to refer to specific dangly-bit-possession. It's all just about gender pronouns.

And this problem could all be avoid if English had a gender-neutral pronoun that did not imply that the noun is an inanimate object. (That's not really a failing of English specifically--the vast majority of languages, I've been told, all fail this as well.)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The thing is, is that everything I wrote has blinders on to almost everything else with the exception of Monster descriptions. Would the system be useful for flagging appropriateness of other encounters as well? Is it at all acceptable?


 
Profile Email
Quote
Reverb
 Thursday, December 08 2011 @ 12:53 AM UTC  
Forum Improbable Badass
Improbable Badass

Status: offline

Registered: 08/28/09
Posts: 448

Meh. A hook that checks the player's file for their gender could automatically sort out the pronouns for you.


"Censure acquits the Raven, but pursues the Dove." "So, that means i'm -always- innocent, right?"
 
Profile Email
Quote
CavemanJoe
 Thursday, December 08 2011 @ 01:44 AM UTC  
Forum Admin
Admin

Status: offline

Registered: 02/24/08
Posts: 2281

@Awesome Fred: If we had the spare time to do that, then we'd have aquatic monsters, monsters that only come out at night, monsters for whom the text always makes contextual sense, monsters with time and weather sensitive text... It's a maybe-oneday-someday thing, and will probably have to wait for Season Three.


 
Profile Email Website
Quote
Sasha
 Thursday, December 08 2011 @ 09:09 AM UTC  
Forum Contestant
Contestant

Status: offline

Registered: 04/03/11
Posts: 17

Quote by: Harris

Thank you, I believe I understand you now. You meant to say 'Here are problems I see in the game now, and here are some potential problems I see coming out of them.'
Right?
If that's the case, I still disagree. I see no evidence anywhere that out of game unfriendliness from the site itself is likely to be a problem. Possible? Sure. Anything's possible. But nothing to suggest that this game will come across as hateful/dismissive/etc. to anyone who really looks at it closely (I say this as a practicing Catholic who has regularly killed and eaten the Pope in this macabre little playground, by the way. I don't like it, but I am damn sure that neither CMJ, nor Emily, nor any of the Moderators mean that encounter as anything other than a silly joke, having seen the rest of the game, and how they run it and create it. They're real hoopy froods, the lot of 'em.).

If I'm not understanding you, please rephrase?




I don't think we're misunderstanding each other at this point. I'd say we may have to agree to disagree but as of CMJ's posts my concern, if not the entire discussion, may be moot (and thank you for that, CMJ!).


Quote by: CavemanJoe

It'll be They.



I'm not sure this is the right solution. In a similar vein with Fred, I don't really like the use of plural pronouns for singular anyone/anything, and to take his point about monster submissions in another direction, I should point out it's entirely possible to avoid gender references altogether. It's especially possible with events (the Island signup sequence, monster encounters, flirting with Emily/Seth, the kissing booth, getting Danquests, etc.) written in the second person, as specific gendered pronouns are, or at least can be, replaced in almost all instances by "you" outside of formal address ("sir/madam/lord/lady" etc.).

Come to think of it, so much of the Island is written in the second person that third-person "he does this, she says that" pronoun use in reference to the player's character may simply be unnecessary, reducing the "mashing a rainbow through a square hole with a hammer" headache when Season Three comes. The majority of third-person writing on the Island is done by players in Story, so far as I can see, and we generally take care of ourselves when it comes to that.

Then again, I may have failed to understand how deep the Season Three changes will be, just now. I don't know.



Edit because new self-display preferences are already in. This is what I get for checking the forum before the Island, I guess.

Thank you very much, Joe!


 
Profile Email
Quote
Harris
 Thursday, December 08 2011 @ 09:40 AM UTC  
Forum Improbable Badass
Improbable Badass

Status: offline

Registered: 11/24/09
Posts: 456

Quote by: Sasha


I don't think we're misunderstanding each other at this point. I'd say we may have to agree to disagree but as of CMJ's posts my concern, if not the entire discussion, may be moot (and thank you for that, CMJ!).



Always glad to know I'm making sense, and simultaneously understanding the other person. Smile

Is gender in game a point worth worrying about? No. Is it worth considering? Yes. If nothing else, I think we can both agree that it'd help make Mutants and Robots become more logically detailed from a roleplaying perspective if there were a third gender option. Shall we respectfully disagree and agree too?


"Ain't nothin' left to do but smile, smile, smile." -The Grateful Dead
 
Profile Email Website
Quote
Sasha
 Thursday, December 08 2011 @ 12:47 PM UTC  
Forum Contestant
Contestant

Status: offline

Registered: 04/03/11
Posts: 17

Quote by: Harris

Is gender in game a point worth worrying about? No.



I can't agree with you on that, or I wouldn't have brought the point up in the first place. Wink


 
Profile Email
Quote
Maniak
 Thursday, December 08 2011 @ 02:38 PM UTC  
Forum Improbable Badass
Improbable Badass

Status: offline

Registered: 10/11/10
Posts: 298

*throws a wrench into the spokes*

You've been discussing the player's sex, rather than gender.

*hurries out*


http://maniak.cu.cc/
 
Profile Email Website
Quote
Harris
 Thursday, December 08 2011 @ 04:45 PM UTC  
Forum Improbable Badass
Improbable Badass

Status: offline

Registered: 11/24/09
Posts: 456

Quote by: Maniak

*throws a wrench into the spokes*

You've been discussing the player's sex, rather than gender.

*hurries out*



Why, Maniak! How very progressive of you!
AND IT'S WRONG!
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gender?show=0&t=1323362516

So nyah. Razz


"Ain't nothin' left to do but smile, smile, smile." -The Grateful Dead
 
Profile Email Website
Quote
Harris
 Thursday, December 08 2011 @ 04:52 PM UTC  
Forum Improbable Badass
Improbable Badass

Status: offline

Registered: 11/24/09
Posts: 456

Quote by: Sasha

Quote by: Harris

Is gender in game a point worth worrying about? No.



I can't agree with you on that, or I wouldn't have brought the point up in the first place. Wink




: pouts in a corner. Frown

(I highly suggest not worrying! It's bad for you blood pressure! Razz )


I...have to let the discussion get back on track now. There's only a certain amount of emoticons one can use before it is deemed socially obnoxious...

Ahem.

Kidding aside, you did know what I meant there, right? Just to not act in fear, and to act in calm instead.


"Ain't nothin' left to do but smile, smile, smile." -The Grateful Dead
 
Profile Email Website
Quote
Allardyce
 Thursday, December 08 2011 @ 11:03 PM UTC  
Forum Newbie
Newbie

Status: offline

Registered: 05/14/11
Posts: 8

Quote by: Harris

Quote by: Maniak

*throws a wrench into the spokes*

You've been discussing the player's sex, rather than gender.

*hurries out*



Why, Maniak! How very progressive of you!
AND IT'S WRONG!
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gender?show=0&t=1323362516

So nyah. Razz



Even though you've been discussing gender, the game refers to the Male and Female distinction as one of sex, according to the Contestant List. The distinction here of course is that the former is based on social identity, and the latter is based on chromosomes.

Chromosomes are not something that one can change. But that isn't the point I want to make with this post, since chromosomes are not something you can readily see. There's a more important dynamic to consider here, if we absolutely must consider the the gravity of the implications of this very, very simple game being "gender binary."

The thing to consider here is that no one but Doctor Paprika ever asks you to pull down your trousers so that they can get a look at your junk. Every other non-player character in the game (as well as every roleplay character) technically distinguishes gender/sex based on what you tell them you are. This is, of course, because they can't simply look at you and make a determination the way real people do in real life.

Yes, it's very, very rare that someone would not try to determine what gender or biological sex a person is based on sight as soon as they get a look at them. That's just something that people naturally do, because like most animals, humans expect one sex or the other.

You can count on the players to be sensitive to gender issues (for the most part), but you can't count on the game to be nearly as sensitive. The characters in the game either don't care what gender you are because they'll hump anything, or they don't care for your progressive mumbo-jumbo and think you look like a pre-pubescent boy or some kind of slightly less nauseating mutant. The characters of the game would identify sex based on appearances if they could, and if they couldn't, they'd just take a wild guess, and/or make light of that fact.

It's the natural response. Even many of the people who don't mind it or are supportive of it would still make light of it, because if one insists on taking issues like these too seriously, it can be kind of a bitter experience for everyone. That's true in real life, and it's certainly true on the Island, where nearly every subject is treated in a campy or satirical way.


When my character was a plant creature, he was not only fully hermaphroditic (like most plants, in possession of both male and female reproductive plant structures), but he no longer resembled anything remotely humanoid. I hid his gender in the Preferences. People of course would refer to my character as "he" or "she" depending on how they interpreted the character's avatar. I myself only referred the character as "it" in narration.

You may rue and lament it, but this is how the world works.


My point is that I strongly, strongly disagree that this is an issue worth worrying about, and additionally I disagree with adding non-binary gender identity options. An option to hide Sex without hiding Race? Sure. Maybe an option to hide Sex from other players? Why not. But the sex you choose at the start of the game is how the characters are going to interpret your sex based on how you look, just like how if you hide your Sex/Race, people will interpret your sex based on your commentary description/avatar/narration.

Based on what I've seen, not one single non-player character on the Island is ever going to naturally refer to someone as anything other than "he" or "she", because that just isn't natural behavior. Unless you're a particularly horrific mutant or have two sets of genitals hanging out (or both), in which case "it" may be the nicest thing someone calls you.


If anything, the dialogue when starting the game could be slightly tweaked to reflect that the choice of male or female is one that reflects what kind of genitals non-player characters will assume you have, but I don't believe it is rational or worthwhile to do more than that in response to this issue.


 
Profile Email
Quote
Harris
 Friday, December 09 2011 @ 02:37 AM UTC  
Forum Improbable Badass
Improbable Badass

Status: offline

Registered: 11/24/09
Posts: 456

Excellently put, Allardyce. Lacking reason to believe a common problem with the game being written as it is exists, all changing the game around in the way that you're asking for, Sasha, would do is at best make the narrative clunky and unabsorbing.

Awesome Fred gave very good examples of that:

I can't ever assume the reader is one gender or the other (or something else altogether), which lend to archaic language ("One doesn't like to pick sides..."), plural pronouns on a singular subject ("A person can pick whichever one they want..."), cumbersome prose ("Whether he or she prefers, he or she may choose whichever he or she wishes..."), or visually unattractive text ("(S)he will choose at character creation to be referred to as "him/her"...").



This is good reading at times, but reading text like this every time gender/sex comes up? No. That would suck.


"Ain't nothin' left to do but smile, smile, smile." -The Grateful Dead
 
Profile Email Website
Quote
CavemanJoe
 Friday, December 09 2011 @ 04:11 AM UTC  
Forum Admin
Admin

Status: offline

Registered: 02/24/08
Posts: 2281

To be fair, guys, you make good, logical points against catering towards non-binary players and characters. But there's also a strong logical point to not supporting VI players either; namely, that designing for VI players takes up a healthy chunk of time so that we can cater to a very small margin of our player base.

And yet we do it anyway, because fuck it - somebody's got to.

Allardyce, your argument was well-written and logical, unless you're looking at it from the point of view of someone whose gender exists outside of the binary - who could, I'd hazard a guess, agree with all of your points but differ with you on what all those points add up to.

Since 2009-odd when I decided that we were - sometime in the future when we'd figured out how - going to start expanding out of the binary, I've been writing quests and plot events that didn't query the character's gender. With the exception of the Rohit the Robot introduction (see if you can spot where!), none of the stuff I've written hooks into gender at all, but it's very hard to write that way. This is a problem of writing and programming.

It's a foregone conclusion that yes, we should do this. The politics are settled, because I say so (one of the perks of being a dictator). We support blind users, we even have a fair stab at trying to support Internet Explorer users, so why not?

The question, really, is "How in the blue fuck are we actually going to do this? Can it even be done, or is this a fool's errand?"

In 2010 I had a conversation with an intersexed person about the Island, and I pointed them to a discussion on Labs about that very thing - one that went into quite some technical detail.

Shall I show you their proposal? They sent me this. And presumably dusted off their hands, sat back in their chair and said "Right, job done!"

For a gamer, who once took me to task for sticking to a gender binary, I can't believe just how far they missed the point. The point is over here, right? And they're on fucking Mars. That's how far they missed the point by. As someone who plays games, they must have some idea of how they work, right? You don't drive a car around believing that it runs on unicorn farts.

We need programmers in this conversation. Master programmers. Master programmers who understand modern gender issues. I've only been dicking around in PHP for six years - that's not enough XP for this.

In short... this isn't about politics, it's about programming, and it's more complicated than you think. It's more complicated than I think, and I know for a fact that it's going to be horribly horribly complicated, and that when I actually sit down to do it, it'll turn out even more complicated than I thought it was.

Any ideas are welcome, but if they're gonna be useful, you're gonna have to shout up your recommendations from the bottom of the coding rabbithole.


 
Profile Email Website
Quote
Harris
 Friday, December 09 2011 @ 04:47 AM UTC  
Forum Improbable Badass
Improbable Badass

Status: offline

Registered: 11/24/09
Posts: 456

Yessir!

Much less on topic, but a bit of relevant memory you just jogged, Mister Joe-

Quote by: George Bernard Shaw

"Some people see things as they are and say why? I dream things that never were and say, why not?"



In the context of the quote itself alone, and who said it, a very important, if not vital part of writing, and writing well. So hell, go for it. I still disagree with the writing choice on principle, but as you said, it's your game, Sir!

At worst, you will exercise your damn fertile imagination, and imaginations need exercise. As for coding it, yeah, I have to stick to wishing you very good luck in this.


"Ain't nothin' left to do but smile, smile, smile." -The Grateful Dead
 
Profile Email Website
Quote
Sasha
 Saturday, December 10 2011 @ 01:12 AM UTC  
Forum Contestant
Contestant

Status: offline

Registered: 04/03/11
Posts: 17

Quote by: Allardyce

Even though you've been discussing gender, the game refers to the Male and Female distinction as one of sex, according to the Contestant List. The distinction here of course is that the former is based on social identity, and the latter is based on chromosomes.

Chromosomes are not something that one can change. But that isn't the point I want to make with this post, since chromosomes are not something you can readily see. There's a more important dynamic to consider here, if we absolutely must consider the the gravity of the implications of this very, very simple game being "gender binary."

(And some stuff about Real Life. Clipped to make this not a megapost.)




One, wouldn't you agree that the Island is an exercise in fantasy, we could try to move further from how the world does work and closer to how it should? People already do that for their straight, non-monogamous, gay, lesbian, transsexual and hermaphroditic characters, and I see no good reason not to include non-binary-gendered people and characters. Can it be confusing? Sometimes. But making no effort in that vein whatsoever only reinforces the standard of pretending non-binary genders are invisible or don't exist, which just strengthens the pervasive ignorance surrounding the issue and further marginalizes the effected people. The status quo cannot be accepted just because it is the status quo; if it is accepted, it must be because it works. One need only look at the social issues of today to see quite clearly that it does not (and I don't just mean for LGBT/etc people; racism and sexism are alive and well, even if their form has changed somewhat, in the developed world).

Two, your point about chromosomes is not as relevant as you seem to believe. Sex is not entirely determined by chromosomes; there are intersex conditions where the genitals may be a partial combination of both genitalia with only one chromosomal pointer; there are intersex conditions where the genitals may simply be the opposite of how everything else, including chromosomes, was wired; and there are chimaeras (if I understand them correctly, at least). It seems mother Nature herself disagrees with the social setting of someone's sex in stone, even by the perhaps-overrated standard of chromosomes.

Also, you did read where there's going to be a third option in some form next season, right? So.. yeah, even the Contestant List is going to disagree with you.




If you don't want to read all of the above, one possible summary is an accusation that you are justifying the status quo by saying it is the status quo, which is a pretty serious logical fallacy. Neutral

Rather than continue to push aside the issue and all people involved, it might be time to look at languages which do have appropriate pronouns, and to engage them in the good old English practice of mugging them for vocabulary and going through their pockets for spare grammar.


 
Profile Email
Quote
Sasha
 Saturday, December 10 2011 @ 01:26 AM UTC  
Forum Contestant
Contestant

Status: offline

Registered: 04/03/11
Posts: 17

Quote by: Harris

...all changing the game around in the way that you're asking for, Sasha, would do is at best make the narrative clunky and unabsorbing.

Awesome Fred gave very good examples of that:

I can't ever assume the reader is one gender or the other (or something else altogether), which lend to archaic language ("One doesn't like to pick sides..."), plural pronouns on a singular subject ("A person can pick whichever one they want..."), cumbersome prose ("Whether he or she prefers, he or she may choose whichever he or she wishes..."), or visually unattractive text ("(S)he will choose at character creation to be referred to as "him/her"...").



This is good reading at times, but reading text like this every time gender/sex comes up? No. That would suck.




Except that's how the game is written already, and by your comments I assume that you do not find the Island's narrative features clunky, unabsorbing, or "suck" as they stand. Almost everything is in the second person, and there are very few direct gender references in deference to the player's right to choose from more than one gender. I'm not suggesting some massive overhaul or anything, just to continue being unassuming about the character's gender, which isn't all that hard in the second person. Fred's examples are all third person, which the Island uses... very little of.


 
Profile Email
Quote
Content generated in: 0.89 seconds
New Topic Post Reply



 All times are UTC. The time is now 09:33 PM.

Normal Topic Normal Topic
Locked Topic Locked Topic
Sticky Topic Sticky Topic
New Post New Post
Sticky Topic W/ New Post Sticky Topic W/ New Post
Locked Topic W/ New Post Locked Topic W/ New Post
View Anonymous Posts 
Anonymous users can post 
Filtered HTML Allowed 
Censored Content