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 Post subject: Re: In the present day and time, are Syreen still acceptable
PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:54 am 
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Hunam adventurer
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Shiver wrote:
That is a really strange argument. Why would Star Control be a game that exclusively appeals to men?


That's a good question with some interesting possible answers but it is utterly and totally beside the point. It is also intentionally dishonest.

I clearly said, twice, that MOST of the people who play it will be men. You claim I am saying "exclusively". [REDACTED] anybody can see that I did not write what you claim I wrote.

All that aside: the point is that a game like Star Control DOES tend to appeal to men. Mass Effect is a fairly different experience with a lot more social interaction, which is why the female proportion of the playerbase will be higher. We are not talking about Mass Effect, don't move the goalposts. We are talking about Star Control, a game where fast-paced action combat is the core of the gameplay. Some women will enjoy this. Far more men will. That's well-established for anybody who has paid any attention to how the demographics work out in the market.

"Why" is an entirely different topic.


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 Post subject: Re: In the present day and time, are Syreen still acceptable
PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:37 am 
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Ilwrath torturer
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I'm not a mod, but I've been here a long time. Not trying to back seat moderate but I think this is a good time for all of us to remember the rules.

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 Post subject: Re: In the present day and time, are Syreen still acceptable
PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:40 am 
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ZFP Peacekeeper
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Shiver wrote:
... Why would Star Control be a game that exclusively appeals to men? ...

vok3 wrote:
... You claim I am saying "exclusively". ...

Shiver did not claim what you state he claimed.

vok3 wrote:
[REDACTED]

Unacceptable.

Maloo Oture wrote:
... Not trying to back seat moderate ...

?

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 Post subject: Re: In the present day and time, are Syreen still acceptable
PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:11 pm 
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Hunam adventurer

Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 8:44 pm
Posts: 36
fluffy_banana wrote:
So, card-carrying social justice warrior here, but I think removing the only explicitly female-coded species/character you can directly speak to (if I remember correctly) in the original game would be the wrong way to go. The way the Syreen were portrayed was always pretty tacky frankly -- it's not really a matter of "in the present day". The low-hanging-fruit innuendo and the way they were dressed might have been eye-roll-worthy, sure, but the biggest problem was probably following the "blue aliens automatically fall in love with strange humans" script/trope to a tee without really lampshading it. Objectification isn't really about including revealing clothes and bad jokes or not, it's about agency. Sure, Star Control species are cartoonish, but for almost every other major species we get a well-drawn picture of what motivates their people or at least their actions toward Zelnick and the Alliance of Free Stars: fear for the Spathi, control for the Kzer-Za, kindness and mischief for the Pkunk, profit and curiousity for the Melnorme, honour for the Shofixti, and so on. For the Syreen ... it's not really clear, and I think the dialogue suffered for that. All that was left was the sex jokes; which it's okay to have -- all I'm saying is it's a pretty bad look for that to be their raison d'etre. So don't toss the Syreen out: just take it as an opportunity to make the game better.


I disagree with this actually, having replayed the game recently. I won't deny that some of the sexual material with Talana is overdone and even cringey, but the Syreen are not one-dimensional and they have some depth beyond that. They are torn between wanting to be free and their love for the new homeworld they had always wanted underneath under the slaveshield. They don't like the Ur-quan, yet in some ways fallow slavery at Betelgeuse is better than living in habitat ships. They are motivated very much by their love for old Syra - both in Talana's initial hesitation toward helping you (since the Ur-quan have given them a close substitute for what they most wanted) and eventually revenge on the Mycon for destroying it, and can be very dangerous when sufficiently motivated to act.

The Syreen also indirectly help develop the Kzer-za further - in their own twisted sort of way, the Ur-quan can sometimes be relatively benevolent imperial slave overlords.

If you give Talana more clothes and tone down the innuendo, they would still be a decently fleshed-out race (no pun intended...), especially compared to what they started with in SC1.


Last edited by Mormont on Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:34 pm, edited 12 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: In the present day and time, are Syreen still acceptable
PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:18 pm 
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ZFP Peacekeeper
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Alvarin wrote:
Shiver wrote:
... Why would Star Control be a game that exclusively appeals to men? ...

vok3 wrote:
... You claim I am saying "exclusively". ...

Shiver did not claim what you state he claimed.


He did, but I think it was a reasonable error considering the bulk of the previous statement being focused on game elements that would be exclusively appealing towards… people who are attracted to women.

Alvarin wrote:
vok3 wrote:
[REDACTED]

Unacceptable.


Yeah.

Vok3, you escalated well past what is okay. This is not StarDestroyer.net.


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 Post subject: Re: In the present day and time, are Syreen still acceptable
PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:16 pm 
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Hunam adventurer
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Quote:
The thing is that the Syreen are wearing rather revealing "uniforms". Military uniforms that are impractical in battle, as they will NOT offer any form of protection.

I'm going to have to disagree with this. The Syreen are in space. They're surrounded by huge masses of metal that would be protecting them. (They don't in Star Control's mechanics, but anyway....) So it wouldn't benefit the pilots to be wearing armor, and that's why no pilot of any race does so. Even the Orz captains don't don the marine suits they obviously have available.

In fact, I would say that the way the Syreen dress is exactly how they should given their tactics. Remember that the Syreen are based on the Siren, and their strategy is all about seduction. Dressing provocatively helps with that strategy.

I would also note that Feminists should appreciate this aspect of the Syreen. It portrays femininity as powerful, forcing their enemies (through hypnotic seduction) to bend to their will. How could you possibly be a woman and not appreciate that?

Quote:
Also, I would love the Syreen male to appear in a sequel. The way we have our females stereotyped when "serving": standing in the background, serving coffee/water/refreshments and showing off their ten-packs and biceps. And in full "feathers" (make-up, hairdo, ear-rings, ...), as they are the gender competing for the female's attention, and having to be the pretty ones.

First thing's first: I should note that because of how the Penetrator is designed, most Syreen ships are loaded with male crew which came from enemy ships. You wouldn't expect them to be in the Captain's quarters, though; they'd be busy manning the ship.

But regarding what male Syreen would do, I think you have it backwards. Remember, in SC lore, the Syreen share a very close ancestor with humans, and still the same species in fact, which is why Zelnick is able to have children with Talana. Given that, it would be reasonable to assume that Syreen biology, wants, and needs would be very similar to those of humans.

It's a common Feminist myth that we women wear jewelry, makeup, and nice clothes because we're competing for male attention. I don't understand why this is such a common myth, but it's just not true for most of us. We wear these things because we like them. I'm sure the tendency evolved because it helps attract mates, but if the basic sexual dimorphism of the Syreen is roughly similar to that of humans, we can assume that, just like in humans, Syreen men are more built for physical activity than Syreen women. You have also suggested this. As such, I think it would be reasonable to expect that basic procreation-based behaviors would also be very similar: the women attract men with good looks, and the men attract women with utility. As such, Syreen women, just like human women, would like to decorate themselves with things like jewelry and makeup (again, not consciously to attract mates, but rather just because it's what they like to do). Syreen men, on the other hand, almost certainly would not. Instead, they would focus on showing off their strength (so clothing that reveals their muscles would of course be worn, just like human men do in real life), as well as their devotion, reliability, etc. Don't imagine hordes of drag queens bringing coffee over; imagine something more like a big guy who stands behind the fragile boss and does all her dirty work, gives her massages, fights for her, runs heavy machinery, etc, etc.


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 Post subject: Re: In the present day and time, are Syreen still acceptable
PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:13 pm 
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Atum-ta the Sixth
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Ogo3142 wrote:
So it wouldn't benefit the pilots to be wearing armor, and that's why no pilot of any race does so. Even the Orz captains don't don the marine suits they obviously have available.


...Except the Thraddash, which somehow makes perfect sense.

Quote:
I would also note that Feminists should appreciate this aspect of the Syreen. It portrays femininity as powerful, forcing their enemies (through hypnotic seduction) to bend to their will. How could you possibly be a woman and not appreciate that?


Because of the implication that, out of all the weapons in their arsenal, their most effective one is sex? It also implies something similar about men, and how they are entirely unable to resist. Put it all together, and you get a bunch of negative stereotypes reinforcing each other.

Mind you, this is just me playing devil's advocate. I think the Syreen backstory makes plenty of sense, and makes them well rounded characters to boot. As Mormont said above, take away the skimpy clothes and innuendo, and there is still compelling material there about the Syreen's conflicting motivations and relationship with the Ur-Quan.

Quote:
But regarding what male Syreen would do, I think you have it backwards. Remember, in SC lore, the Syreen share a very close ancestor with humans, and still the same species in fact, which is why Zelnick is able to have children with Talana. Given that, it would be reasonable to assume that Syreen biology, wants, and needs would be very similar to those of humans.


All of that is left (probably intentionally) open and up for debate. In the ending of the game, we last see Talana when Zelnick is waking up. After the time skip, it's never really stated who "Grandma" is, and it's definitely been suggested that things don't work out between Talana and Zelnick and the grandkids are fully human.

What we do know, however, is that Talana says that Humans and Syreen are very culturally different. The ideas we associate with feminism all stem from a culture that has no analogue among the Syreen, which is something Talana outright states. So it's quite likely that in a society where both genders are and have always been equal, courtship behaviors are likely to be very different. If I had to hazard a guess, both genders dress primarily for comfort, which probably means the males end up as scantily clad as the females.


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 Post subject: Re: In the present day and time, are Syreen still acceptable
PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:19 pm 
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Ilwrath torturer
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I know I'm getting off track here....but what the hell did vok link?!

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 Post subject: Re: In the present day and time, are Syreen still acceptable
PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:32 pm 
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Atum-ta the Sixth
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It wasn't a link, it was some rather inflammatory commentary. Best if you didn't get a chance to see it.


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 Post subject: Re: In the present day and time, are Syreen still acceptable
PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 4:59 pm 
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Arilou wiseguy
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He apologized to me over PM. My earlier post was obnoxious, so I can understand why someone would find it frustrating. Of course, there's plenty to say about the issue on both (many?) sides. For instance, I remember reading EVE Online's devs bemoaning that their game had virtually no appeal to women at all; "women don't want to play as a spaceship" was the quote that stuck with me about that. So to an extent, it was an understandable reaction; I wasn't taking the issue seriously enough.


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