I have already stated that. From what I remember, there is at least two males and eleven females. As for gender-neutral, admittedly the Detective is the only one I remember, but gender-neutral characters are nearly always forgettable; for most authors, those characters are made solely to meet CoG’s publishing requirements, and not because the author cares at all to create an interesting and dynamic gender-neutral character. So, it’s political in nature rather than artistic. There is a better way of creating gender-neutral characters that does not force the player to endure politics, but I am saving that little gold nugget for my own works.
I’d encourage any author who has been forced to create non-binary characters to step forward and complain of the treachery of having to write for us.
Including more or mainly female characters is no more inherently “political” than writing mostly male characters.
If you call it gold-nugget yet apolitical I kinda wonder how that’s going to work out.
Tell me via DM if you like, my lips are sealed.
Also I would say the statement about it being “simply advisable” IS political through and through, and goes more against ‘artistic choices’ than anything (ESPECIALLY since such concern only ever seems to come up when there’s more female chars (cis trans or presenting), rarely if ever if there’s an male majority)
But this would be a topic on its own.
I seem to have hit a nerve.
All I am saying is that it is a requirement to publish a game under the CoG label, and those that want the rewards of a CoG labelled game will sacrifice a little artistic freedom to get it. My theory is that, if it wasn’t a requirement, most authors just wouldn’t bother with it, whatever their reasons. I will let the matter rest with that.
Others can agree or disagree at their leisure, but I believed the point about the heavy female cast weakened the game and so I advised accordingly. The author is free to do as they wish with said advice.
From my unscientific tallying-up-by-memory, female 18, male 6, non-binary 4. None of them are gender-flipped. That’s named characters - there are plenty of incidental male and non-binary characters who aren’t named.
So yes, there is an imbalance. I wanted to showcase lots of kinds of female characters in a genre which doesn’t always have them in huge supply, and sometimes pigeonholes them in particular roles (not thinking of CoG games here, just a lot of mainstream fantasy novels and games). So there are female dockworkers, gang leaders, bossy old ladies, and more. If they feel interchangeable, that’s a pity, but I don’t think them being female automatically makes that the case.
I also wanted to explore different sorts of ruthlessness and idealism through different female characters - again, that variety isn’t often something you see, especially in media about crime. For example Aleixi, a hard-bitten, driven middle-aged woman who would die for her crew and ideals, is an unusual female character, and I like that (and if anyone knows of other characters like her, please tell me because I want to encounter them!).
I did think quite a lot about Otavia and Fuchsia’s genders. I didn’t want to present “Otavia and Fuschio” where Otavia came across uncertain and weak while her brother was violent and confident. Nor did I want “Otavio and Fuchsia” where Otavio could be beaten down by his mean, overly emotional/aggressive sister. So i decided to make them both women. Plus, I enjoy reading, playing and writing sister relationships.
I find it really interesting that some people found it disorientating to play as a man. That’s something I didn’t foresee at all!
@GenericGem I can assure you that the non-binary characters are in the game because of artistic choice and not any sort of publishing requirement. It was important to me that I develop interesting non-binary characters. I’m not sure if you were including Blood Money in the forgettable/only there for politics comment; to be honest, Blood Money isn’t “about” gender - as far as politics goes, it’s much more about wealth, corruption and class - and the idea that, say, Pereira’s existence in the game is inherently political is baffling to me.
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‘They’ is gramatically correct, and not dehumanizing like ‘it’.
In my 3 decades of life, which I admit is not the longest time, I have always been taught, used, and heard others use the singular ‘they’ to refer to something gender neutral or gender unknown/ambiguous, etc. Its only been literally the past 2 years I’ve ever seen anyone calling this out as not accurate or whatever.
I know many people who choose to use they/them/their pronouns, and 100 times out of 100 I’d rather there be representation of their pronouns over any sort of ‘correct grammar.’ (and since language is a constantly evolving thing, arguing that a common phrase is technically incorrect grammar is a fool’s game anyways.)
No, no nerves hit really, it’s just…odd to be told what happens editorially by someone who…doesn’t know what happens, editorially. I.e., why theorize? An actual CoG editor is right here and happy to answer questions.
I have never said to an author “you should include a/more non-binary character/s.”
On very rare occasions I’ve observed at the pitch stage when there’s a gender imbalance. Even in those instances, I don’t think I’ve ever “required” anyone to change NPCs. I’ve asked them what they think about the lack of gender balance in the cast of characters they’ve created. It’s then up to the author to defend their artistic choices, as I think Hannah has done, ably.
I think you would like to put forth some kind of narrative about what goes on behind the scenes here, and how COG editors are “forcing their politics on authors” just like we do on our readership, by your lights. But it just doesn’t happen in this way.
Personally, i think there was nothing wrong or imbalance with your world… and as @CypherK also agree, we didn’t actually notice such outcome , because whether in a fictional or real world , we are just part of the world or environment we live / work in without us over thinking what it should/ shouldn’t be…
For example, if i join a company where 80% of the employees are female workers , should i question about the “imbalance” of the company structure ?
And you did a wonderful job in giving all these female characters a “natural” role in the society , i believe in some movies , comics or even books… when female characters are dominating the story line, it is because the producer/author want to emphasis on how a male protagonist could be the center of attraction to all these female characters, which such outcome never occur in your story … they were all common workers or co-workers within a society , it did give a refreshing feeling on how a male protagonist will act in this society … the interaction with non-binary characters is cool too.
I reject that ad hominem.
I have merely pointed out that I have never used “they” to refer to a single person and that being forced to do so felt disruptive and wrong.
And I should think that’s a fair critique to voice.
I’d rather have to guess a person’s gender and be wrong about it than use what I view as a clearly plural - and therefore utterly wrong - pronoun.
Now maybe it’s a cultural thing (I’m not a native English speaker, and we don’t have “singular plural pronouns” in my mother tongue).
As per the very Wikipedia article you linked, though, this use of “they” seems to be contested even amongst native English speakers and this would warrant a discussion.
But I don’t see why I should bother as being honest, here, is apparently considered “offensive” and “inappropriate”.
I’d argue it’s the exact opposite of “fair to voice”.
Compare it to naming a sight in your hometown. For years you thought it’s called one thing. What do you do upon learning that it isn’t?
It’s a process of relearning.
It takes time, but, going by experience, it’s like learning to ride a bike or do flipflops.
Start using it and see how it feels in 6 months.
Also (this is going very Offtopic now, sorry) it is ‘contested’ greatly due to heteronormativity, transmisia and constricting genderroles.
Edit: also, out of curiousity: what is your native language
That’s probably the single most condescending way you could have answered without being openly insulting.
So not only do I have no right to an opinion, I also have no right to think the way I do.
Instead, I’m expected to just adopt your inherently superior point of view and be thankful for it.
Any attempt to resist this will automatically label me a homophobe, transphobe and a misogynist.
Don’t you think that’s a tiny bit manipulative?
As for my native language, that would be German (I’m Swiss.)
“Frag mal Mika. Die hatten doch sowas gesagt.”
(Ask Mika. They said something like that)
We do have the singular they, or rather the singular third person article.
You voiced your view that a grammatical correct usage of they is bad and must not be used cause you are not familiar with it, while saying that a dehumanizing it is superior because you are used to it. Heck, you even call dehumanizing non-cis people “resisting”.
“Die hatten” is objectively wrong.
If it isn’t, please give me a grammatical term to look up.
That part is your fabrication.
I have never said “it” should be used.
I have - quite on the contrary - been very clearly against using anything other than"he" or “she”.
Edit: @resuri08 as you wish
Just as @Mary_Duffy found it odd to be told what happens editorially by someone who … doesn’t know what happens, editorially … I find proclamations made about beta testing by someone who … doesn’t know what happens in beta testing odd.
Knowing both the process here and industry-wide, the beta testers who actually participate in testing here and the authors involved in most of the games here, I can unequivocally state that the representation of NPC characters was most likely an intentional choice of the author - @HannahPS can confirm if she desires.
More than likely, the testers in multiple feedback sessions had pointed the balance out. I’ve seen this sort of thing be pointed out multiple times by different beta testers on more than one published game here.
While I respect the opinions of others and their ability to express those opinions, when I see statements such as this, I roll my eyes and joke with my tester friends on just how far off the mark these types of conclusions usually are.
For what it’s worth, I played through the game with a male protagonist and didn’t find it jarring at all. Rather, I feel that the MC is quite secure regarding how the world works----I see it as the world being balanced and it’s just that the major figures in his life happen to be ladies, and that’s fine. What would alienate me gender-wise is if the NPC responses and interactions with the MC were obviously written for a female MC, and that didn’t happen here.
As a player, I also find that ladies being given the usually male roles of ‘gritty, unsexy positions of power’ is quite refreshing. Particular older ladies in positions of power! Of course balance is a good thing to strive for, but doing things you don’t see all that often is also appreciated.
Two cents on the subject. Thank you for the game, dear author, I quite enjoyed it! (The obtuseness of the stats was confusing, NGL, but I have came to appreciate it.)
A small note: i noted various choicebodies that have a “i decided what i am going to do” option. When picking that the story seems to skip forward. Is that intended? Am i doing something wrong?
Pretty sure it’s intended. The phrasing of the option should imply a shift in time. I.e., this is now a decision that’s been made: here’s how it plays out.