Message from discussion PC gender in IF
From: robotb...@aol.com (Robotboy8)
Date: 17 Jun 2001 23:44:44 GMT
Organization: AOL http://www.aol.com
Subject: Re: PC gender in IF
>One of the reviews for my entry in the PrologueComp made me think about
>people's attitudes toward PC gender (although this post has less to do
>specifically with my entry than with IF in general).
>As I understand it, the reviewer objected to the PC, a "hard-boiled"
>detective, being a female, especially as no advance notice was given. (In
>fact, the only indication of gender is a single pronoun buried in the last
>paragraph. Presumably substituting "his" for "her" would have excited no
>While every gender choice I made in my entry was deliberate, I certainly
>hadn't meant to shock anybody by the PC's gender (much less the gender of
>the deputy mayor (!)), especially since having a female PC is certainly
>nothing new in IF. (Nor is having a tough female detective in modern
>fiction, or in real life for that matter.)
>Is it necessary for such a character to be female only if "female-ness" is
>demanded by the plot or premise? A while back it was discussed here whether
>a character could happen to be homosexual without this fact being a major
>plot point. Gender seems to be less problematic, since it's usually *more*
>awkward to obscure a character's gender than otherwise.
>Or is there more of a dissonance simply because there's a strong
>indentification between the player with the PC, and that players prefer to
>feel that they are playing themselves, at least gender-wise?
>Regardless of my own clumsy attempts at prose, do readers in general require
>being gradually introduced to such concepts (like wading into a cold river),
>say with references to purses and lipstick, or by genre conventions (being a
>worried wife, or a damsel in distress)? I hope not, and I certainly
>wouldn't write that way.
Interesting point. If anything, I can't see why it would be shocking for the
main character to be female - just look at literature in general and you will
see many heroines. As to your point about homosexuality, that would be
interesting - but might <hiding my Cheerios and running away for fear of
starting argument> offend some people. On the other hand, liberals would
probably congratulate you. Hmm... How about this: a game where you are a
homosexual transvestite robotic female lemur, and ... Wait! Maybe I can
salvage this for the next Prologuecomp!
If I say so then it is so; if it is so, it's probably because I said so.