Preferability of "non gender segregation" world in CoG


#1

Hi everyone,

(Before anything else, let me just add to any moderator out there that I have made a search to see if there are already any threads about this topic. I didn’t found any. Feel free to close this thread if my search was inefficient or to change its category if it was placed in the wrong one :cry:).

Back to topic. So I may or may not be starting to write (talking to shrink mode: or maybe I’m talking about a friend of mine… :grin:) a game about mobsters in a fictional version of the US (more creative freedom and such), where the PC starts at jail :fearful:. When creating some of the non playable characters that the PC meets at prison I faced a question that I found very interesting.

And so I decided to pose the question to this fantastic community, always ready to discuss gender related things: do you prefer a book/game where there isn’t any kind of gender segregation (to the point of jails and prisons being unisex) despite the fact that it occurs in a “realistic” society, or would you prefer a true realism-inspired world where, for example, jail population is divided by sex?

Please note that any reflection on this issue is not intended to focus on my little pet project, it is a quite abstract question. That being said, I wouldn’t (obviously) object if some of the answers contemplated my specific problem (gender segregation of the jail population) :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:.

Also, note that I know very well the difference between sex and gender. I only used the terms in an interchangeable way so that all people could understand the question.

Thanks in advance.


Discrimination and Escapism in Interactive Fiction
Enforcers of Magic : Hope [THREAD MOVED]
#2

Fact is, a lot of us plays these games a escapism.

So, if you’re aiming to invite non-binary or trans individuals into reading your game, it’s best to go with the former unless a portion of your game is dedicated to going against the sex based system or at least proving it wrong and backwards and insulting to these people.

Thinking about my physical attributes… I’m not happy, and it’s not a great way to start off a story by any means. :confused:

I wouldn’t be against a gender-segregated jail over that of a sex-segregated jail; I’ve used that in my writing before.

Overall, I’m not here to be realistic. If I want something with people making it all about my genitals, I will go outside and talk to a cis. I don’t like it. So yeah, I’m one of those people that prefers equality over accuracy.


#3

In a truly realistic scenario, I think prison is the absolute last place somebody of an opposite sex or gender should expect to receive any sort of positive treatment.

People in prison tend not to receive positive treatment anyway, but if the criminal populace were allowed access to the opposite sex or gender, that wouldn’t be fun scenario for anybody. Even with the same sex or gender in the prison population, acts such as sexual assault or straight-up murder are pretty damn high. Introducing people of the opposite sex or gender would in all likelihood increase that statistic from an already uncomfortable level to an inhumane one, given the not very nice nature of a great deal of prisoners.

Personally, I would have to say that I prefer it when jail population is divided by sex, because inclusivity and playing as the person you want to play as is pretty important at CoG, and a lack of gender segregation in a realistically-set prison would probably make minority-related sexual assault or regular assault, which is quite a large statistic already a great deal higher, which some people may not be okay with.

But I’m approaching this from an uber-realistic perspective, and I don’t recall any literature that gives evidence to the contrary for what I’m suggesting. And this is also assuming that you’re approaching it from the regular prison system, but a truly realistic jail perspective would be tricky to master. But again, this is me; I’d be interested in playing said realistic scenario if handled properly.


#4

I actually thought of the opening to Saints Row 2 & 3. That prison is mixed gendered. I wonder how many people actually stopped to think about that. My guess is not very many.


#5

I like games that are logical or completely illogical like in Alice in Wonderland. You could have a mixed gender jail, but you should address the possible problems like assault (or concentual activities) leading to children who have to be put in the foster system because both parents are imprisoned. If you say this is a small sterilized experimental non-violent population with embezzlers, con artists, theives, drug acticts, or political rebels, or maybe unwanted minorities like a Japanese internment camp; that would be better than completely ignoring the issue.


#6

In a general sense, it all depends on the genre and how realistic the game is intended to be. If you’re writing historical or contemporary realistic fiction, and don’t have any type of gender segregation, that wouldn’t make any sense, and would feel like a completely arbitrary decision on the part of the author… it would be completely immersion-breaking in a work that otherwise was mostly historically accurate.

If the game is set in the future, or in a magical fantasy land, I’ll be more willing to suspend my disbelief, although even in those settings I personally prefer a good dose of realism.

Your prison, for instance, it depends on the time and place and system. If your fictional US is set in the past or present, then the prison system is unlikely to be anything other than a punitive system, in which case I agree with @Alexodia. If it’s set sometime in the future, then it’s not too unlikely the prison system might have shifted to a rehabilitative system instead (like in Finland for example), focused on reinserting individuals into society, teaching them the error of their ways and educating them instead of simply seeking retribution by removing them from society. In that case, I would have less of a hard time imagining a mixed gendered prison population.


#7

I’m very thankful for all the responses. Thanks to you all.

Well, I guess that is quite a strong argument for making the jail unisex. Thanks for the input.

I never played Staints Row. A question if I may. Was the possibility of sexual assault ever dealt with?

The game is past in the present time of a fictional version of the US, the Federal States of America. It is, otherwise, a very realistic game. I only use a different version of a country inspired by America because I’m not really an american (so how could I, realistically, tell a story that goes on, lets say, in New York?) and because the main character is part of a “ethnic/cultural” mafia that doesn’t exist in the US, and that dominates a very small part of the country (a part of a State, to be precise) where the said culture became dominant thought immigration.

About the setting where the games begins (and where it doesn’t stays that long), it isn’t a prison for the already convicted. It is a jail for those pending trial. That doesn’t mean that it is a small jail. At the time of the beginning of the story, it houses 100 people waiting trial.

The problem of the jail not being unisex has a deep consequence for the whole story. I don’t want female readers/players having a difference experience from male ones. Mobsters aren’t really the most inclusive group for women. And the whole “road to power” story that could work with that particular female perspective (adding to it the discrimination of women) isn’t part of my tale.

The PC is the grandchild of the family boss. His/her father is the underboss. The game is as much the tale of a mobster family (their “professional” and personal struggles) as it is of the PC itself.

Then, including female readers in the exact same path of the male ones was a big part of the reason that led me to entertain the possibility of a “non sex segregation” world.

Also, the setting (criminal world) is as violent as it needs to be (hell, you might end up the story killing some of your own kin and in an wrecked emotional state). But I wasn’t really planning to add anything like rape or any other kind of sexual violence. That is too disturbing for so many people that have been victim of those crimes. In that way, there isn’t that much “raw and pure realism”. It is a tale about characters, the tale of a family leading a criminal organization involved in a dangerous world. it isn’t supposed to be a traumatizing experience. Just (I wish :sweat_smile:) a good story with an interesting setting and what the reader might choose to be a very exciting and/or emotional path for its character.


#8

You know, I didn’t even notice…


#9

Personally, I hate when gender is treated as if it’s just a palet swap and not a massive deciding factor on how a person’s life will turn out. In best case scenarios, ignoring gender differences becomes inconsequential because of other factors. In most, it just seems lazy.


#10

I’m one of the not many, in fact I made a big fuss to my friends that it’s not fair that I would be stuck in a prison with men, but Saints Row always has terrible openings since you start off as a man. I don’t care about the masks and the voice distortion or the mic not working, they should just make the character generation first :rolling_eyes:


#11

Literally almost everyone’s arguments here ignores nb people and trans people who are going to probably going to get a heckload of dysphoria from this…


#12

On this matter (and ignoring for now the issue of the jail population), the question will always be if female readers prefer the most realistic option when it comes to CoG world, or if they prefer a game where sex discrimination doesn’t exist, where people don’t even think of their world on terms of male and female.

In the same note, people who have a “non traditional” gender identity prefer a CoG world where they need to face the same shitty discrimination they face in the real world, or is it better if the story is a way of escapism, taking the reader to a world where his differences from the dominating majority are completly accepted, without any kind of second thought from the NPCs.

I’m a white heterosexual male. But if anything in my biology or in my identity were to be a target of discrimination, I am pretty sure I would like to read a game that, for a few hours, tackled my differences concerning sex or gender as something as socially natural as being blonde or redhead.

But I never lived that kind of social discrimination, so I would like to see female readers and readers with “non traditional” gender identity speak their minds on this issue. A lot of future projects in this community could win a lot from this kind of discussion.


#13

I think it kind of depends on what you intend to write. Any kind of segregation is good if you intend to put drama and “crude” themes on the story. Besides it, it’s also good to read something that actually SEES the segregation and prejudice, you know, like, doesn’t act like “it doesn’t exist and it’s all victimism” :rolling_eyes:.

On other hand, if there’s no segregation, it opens a larger wave of varieties of characters. You don’t get stuck on making like 10 heterossexual white cis-male that all look the same for a bigger role for example. Besides that, it’s good to play a game where your gender is free and equal to others, it’s a good route of escape from this real world we live :confused: and you can always create something else to diverge the characters later.

I, personally, prefer when it doesn’t exist, especially for a fictional world, because if it’s fictional, I don’t get the sensation of “selective blindness” that I said before, to pretend it doesn’t exist, because it can really NEVER have existed in this fictional world.
Plus, I’m genderfluid, so I assume that in this game, if gender segregation exist, we would have a male jail and a female jail, right? So even if you put the non-binary option for the MC, I would still be putted on a binary jail. I already live through this gender separation enough on the real world, so :disappointed_relieved: my preference is to have a unisex jail.


#14

That’s interesting; I tried to tailor my own response towards non-binary and trans people as well as simply female or male people, since both of said criteria are much more likely to be victims of various kinds of assault than one with a binary gender, from what I’ve read. I’d also assume that a prison system doesn’t care about your gender identity enough to accommodate towards such a gender; there’d likely be…dissatisfaction in either scenario.

I don’t think that’s what the question will always be; discrimination against females is culturally relative. Granted, it’s practically universally established in most all cultures that most base their social attitudes around, but that’s one of the reasons that I sometimes prefer the former; biologically, males and females are different in quite a few ways, one of the key aspects being that males are often physically stronger and more powerful than females. In the subsequent establishment of culture when strength dictated your social power rather than other factors, it makes me wonder just how divorced from our own humanity this new version of humanity would be to be able to set aside such things in order for equality of some kind. It makes me wonder what else would be different; if there would be much less conflict and warfare in the world, since such humans would be much more accustomed to coexisting peacefully, in a sense.

I’m rather cynical in the sense that I believe humans will always find a way to hate and fear one another regardless, but in such a development of humanity, I wonder how potentially narrow-minded such a viewpoint is.


#15

This statement is transphobic. Trans women are “simply” female. Trans men are “simply” male. They are their genders.

Literally binary trans people get assaulted too?

You mean cis. You mean cis people.


#16

My apologies then, perhaps I should have clarified.

I’m also of the opinion that transgender people are the gender that they feel they are irregardless of their natural sex, but objectively, the rest of the world doesn’t see it that way. Obviously I don’t need to explain that to you, but I was simply trying to draw a distinction between cisgender people and transgender people and the problems they face, yes.

Perhaps I could have worded that more appropriately.


#17

I don’t like illogical games yet I also don’t like racist/sexist/unbeatably negative games which is why I don’t play a whole lot of negative games.

I don’t know a lot about mobs, but organized crime is probably more organized than a bunch of crazy people doing random crazy things. I don’t think any sane (allied) person would attack the child of the boss. As long as there isn’t any glaringly obvious logic questions like how a unisex prison works, a lot of sex things are ignored in most games. Characters can have relations with everyone and never end up with children or STDs.

As long as the setting is modern or future an equal gender organized crime syndicate could be plausible.


#18

This is hard, but the short of it is that I prefer that it doesn’t exist.

The long of it is that I don’t mind a little difference, but I do mean a little and I want that difference to be adressed and I want to be allowed to be a woman and preferable a non binary person as well and I want all the same opportunities the men gets in the long run.

It also takes focus from the story for me both as a reader and as a writer, but that is not necessarily a bad thing.

But what really get my hackles up is if someone writes something which is gendered and then calls it realism or cry that they have to because it is realistic. It is fiction, it is never going to be reality and nobody forced anybody to write what they did.

As for you specific question. Unless you are planning on making a genderfluid prison (Which admittely could be interesting), it might just be easier to make it unisex if you are allowing for more than two gender identities anyway.


#19

You know what I don’t like? Games that use casual sexism/racism/transphobia etc. to make their worlds look more “gritty” and “dark” like man I did not waste my money on this for you to have an outlet to be disgusting.

Ninja’d! Oh my! Anyway, take a look at this sarcastic hunk of writing advice, if you haven’t already.

People that cry “it’s the majority, trans people are a minority and thus don’t warrant games or characters” don’t really get that also the “majority” race is Han Chinese and the “majority” age around 40; “majority” genders are about equally male and female.

So, in order to be a perfectly neutral representation of humanity, you’d need a middle-aged bi-genderfluid Han Chinese person.

What is “natural” depends on where you are. Before colonisation by whites there were many more nb people then there are today, and LGBTQA+ people tend to stick together too, so it’s not impossible that ever character in a given game would be trans or gay.

You can have a dystopian, gritty world without putting real-life minorities down to make it.


#20

I finally suceeded in ninja’ing someone. :sunglasses:

And that link where both funny or true.

On a more serious note. This:

Is so true. I have read dystopian novels which treated gender discrimination well, but they were few and they were about that specific discriminaiton. Most dystopian novels just use it as a short hand for look how gritty my world is.

It is lazy.