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Some Thoughts on Gender in the Game

1
AuthorMessage
Champion
May 03, 2011
447
I guess I'm writing this in response to several posts I've read the last few weeks, as well as my own ongoing--"frustration" is too strong a word--maybe dissatisfaction with the way some (not all) things are gender-coded in the game. Recent posts about Life spells (too girly), Santa hats (girl versions are silly and un-Santa-ish), the color pink (not allowed for guys) and the King of the Jungle badge (obviously not created with female players in mind) have led me to wonder what the community thinks, overall, about the way gender is handled in the game. It's pretty clear to me that some of the designers are a little behind the times as far as gender goes. I know that when I was a kid, things were a lot more rigidly gendered than they are now, at least in some (not all) respects. It's okay for boys to play sports and take dance classes now if they want. Girls are just as aggressive on the sports field as guys. Fashion isn't nearly as gender-specific as it used to be. But some of the design decisions in the game seem to hark back to older notions of gender roles.

Personally, I wish I could be Queen of the Jungle. I think the girl Santa hats look like something Whistler's Mother would wear. And why shouldn't guys wear pink if they want?

I guess I'd draw the line at high heels :? ...but anyway, I'd be interested in hearing what players think about this issue. Should KI get with the times and be more gender-neutral in some areas (fashion, spells, badges)? Or do things seem fine the way they are?

Just curious.

Adherent
Mar 12, 2010
2787
Lately I've been feeling the same way. I would like to see more "unisex" clothing, items, badges, colors, whatever.

The Santa hats seem to be a "missed opportunity" for me. We have Santa hats that just have the snowball at the end of the cap, and they could be red and white (or dyeable too), and they could be "unisex". We don't need beards or bonnets to distinguish male/female.

I was happy when I saw some of the gear in Dragonspyre. I got a set for my ice wizard (forget the name just now), and when I was dueling with three guys, one of them said "Hey, look at the Sword Saint (my badge name)". "Isn't that MY outfit?" His friend said "yes", and he said "kewl" (his word, not mine). I think gear at the Dragonspyre level has the best choices for unisex items.

But as I said, I do agree. Would like to see some changes on choices. :?


Illuminator
Feb 09, 2009
1473
I'm torn on the subject to be honest. On one hand, yes. Making the gender polarity of the game a little less...polar would prove to be beneficial. On the other hand, it does irk me a bit when people insist on making things gender-neutral. There's a certain... condescension (for lack of a better word) about it that just annoys me. Maybe it's just the traditional in me. I don't know; I'm interested to see where this thread goes though. There is one thing I'm sure of: neither pink, nor any other colors will be added to the color choice. KI has already given their answer to any color addition/modification questions and have concluded that there's so much work involved in a project like that that the ends simply don't justify the means.

Mastermind
Jun 23, 2010
345
AkihiroHattori5 wrote:
I'm torn on the subject to be honest. On one hand, yes. Making the gender polarity of the game a little less...polar would prove to be beneficial. On the other hand, it does irk me a bit when people insist on making things gender-neutral. There's a certain... condescension (for lack of a better word) about it that just annoys me. Maybe it's just the traditional in me. I don't know; I'm interested to see where this thread goes though. There is one thing I'm sure of: neither pink, nor any other colors will be added to the color choice. KI has already given their answer to any color addition/modification questions and have concluded that there's so much work involved in a project like that that the ends simply don't justify the means.


Boy do I understand what you are saying.

My take on the badge is this, "King of the Jungle" refers to Lions, all Lions. (Yes I am well aware of the dissatisfaction some females feel about it. I don't feel that at all. I grew up when gender roles were much more strictly defined. So I won't engage in discussion about it. I won't change their minds and they won't change mine.)

I feel like gender neutrality like world peace are nice concepts but will likely not happen until human nature changes.

I personally would rather see KI fix bugs and make new content.

Megan

Champion
May 03, 2011
447
So I won't engage in discussion about it. I won't change their minds and they won't change mine

I guess my feeling is that discussion, here as elsewhere, is simply to see/hear/read what other people think, to understand where they are coming from. Not to "change minds," or "win" the discussion. I am a teacher, and know that minds are changed through experience, not argument. But hearing different points of view gives us a reference point from which to filter or understand our experience. Not trying to ideologically bash anyone over the head here--just collecting responses.

That said, I (personally) would feel silly with a badge that says "king." Women aren't kings. I do wish there were an option on this. And I don't feel that some minimal awareness of gender by the designers has to happen at the expense of content and bugs. Not looking for a complete overhaul of the game, here. That would be silly.

Tabitha

Survivor
Jul 06, 2011
25
"King" of the jungle is a reference that has been used forever. I don't think it was meant to identify gender. KI obviously uses many cultural references. Would I wear a badge that said "Queen" of the jungle? Probably not. I just don't think "King" was intended to divide genders.

As for most other things, pink, fairy wings, and such, kids will be kids. It's up to the parents to break down gender roles, and it's up to adults to try and be mature with their own views in game.

I haven't played a single game I can think of that had unisex outfits. That's not to say it shouldn't be done. Or, better yet, just let either gender wear male or female clothing. Especially since there is so little difference in the game models. (on a side note, I would love to see adult model wizards in the game)

Is this all an issue? Maybe. Is it a big issue? No.

Champion
May 03, 2011
447
Would I wear a badge that said "Queen" of the jungle? Probably not.

Exactly my point.

Administrator
I realize this doesn't address all the concerns, but the "King of the Jungle" badge will soon be changing to "Ruler of the Jungle" for this very reason.

We appreciate your feedback on this matter.


community@wizard101.com
Illuminator
Feb 09, 2009
1473
mom2mykidzcrcj wrote:
Boy do I understand what you are saying.

My take on the badge is this, "King of the Jungle" refers to Lions, all Lions. (Yes I am well aware of the dissatisfaction some females feel about it. I don't feel that at all. I grew up when gender roles were much more strictly defined. So I won't engage in discussion about it. I won't change their minds and they won't change mine.)

I feel like gender neutrality like world peace are nice concepts but will likely not happen until human nature changes.

I personally would rather see KI fix bugs and make new content.

Megan


I totally agree with you. In my opinion, the title "King of the Jungle" isn't that bad. The word 'King' does denote maleness, but its second definition is much more ambiguous: "A person or thing regarded as the finest or most important in its sphere or group." Seeing this, I don't get why it's being changed to "Ruler of the Jungle". That, in my opinion, is ridiculous. It's exactly what I mean by unnecessary gender neutrality. "King of the Jungle" is an expression for crying out loud! There's a time, a place, and a severity level for gender neutrality, and I think the changing of "King of the Jungle" to "Ruler of the Jungle" was really uncalled for.

Like you said gender neutrality could work in theory, but not anytime soon.

I, too, would rather see KI working on refining the game than making it more PC.

Mastermind
Jun 23, 2010
345
tabby714 wrote:
So I won't engage in discussion about it. I won't change their minds and they won't change mine

I guess my feeling is that discussion, here as elsewhere, is simply to see/hear/read what other people think, to understand where they are coming from. Not to "change minds," or "win" the discussion. I am a teacher, and know that minds are changed through experience, not argument. But hearing different points of view gives us a reference point from which to filter or understand our experience. Not trying to ideologically bash anyone over the head here--just collecting responses.

That said, I (personally) would feel silly with a badge that says "king." Women aren't kings. I do wish there were an option on this. And I don't feel that some minimal awareness of gender by the designers has to happen at the expense of content and bugs. Not looking for a complete overhaul of the game, here. That would be silly.

Tabitha


I must apologize to you Tabitha. I am so very sorry that I came off very rude. I did not mean to be. I was in on a very long discussion on the Badge elsewhere. At the end of the day nobody really changed their mind. On top of that I have had a long stressful week and was afraid I would stick my foot in mouth on this topic. I did anyway.

For me the Badge did not bother me at all. My favorite saying is "I am woman hear me roar." and with my sense of humor the badge fit me perfectly. I applaud KI for listening to their players and finding a more neutral Badge for those who were offended.

Megan


Mastermind
Jun 23, 2010
345
AkihiroHattori5 wrote:
mom2mykidzcrcj wrote:
Boy do I understand what you are saying.

My take on the badge is this, "King of the Jungle" refers to Lions, all Lions. (Yes I am well aware of the dissatisfaction some females feel about it. I don't feel that at all. I grew up when gender roles were much more strictly defined. So I won't engage in discussion about it. I won't change their minds and they won't change mine.)

I feel like gender neutrality like world peace are nice concepts but will likely not happen until human nature changes.

I personally would rather see KI fix bugs and make new content.

Megan


I totally agree with you. In my opinion, the title "King of the Jungle" isn't that bad. The word 'King' does denote maleness, but its second definition is much more ambiguous: "A person or thing regarded as the finest or most important in its sphere or group." Seeing this, I don't get why it's being changed to "Ruler of the Jungle". That, in my opinion, is ridiculous. It's exactly what I mean by unnecessary gender neutrality. "King of the Jungle" is an expression for crying out loud! There's a time, a place, and a severity level for gender neutrality, and I think the changing of "King of the Jungle" to "Ruler of the Jungle" was really uncalled for.

Like you said gender neutrality could work in theory, but not anytime soon.

I, too, would rather see KI working on refining the game than making it more PC.


I know from another conversation about this elsewhere many women and some men were offended by the Badge. I took it a face value and plugged in the meaning of the phrase I was taught. I was never taught to associate it with males, just lions.

I do applaud KI changing it. (I am going to bookmark this thread. I want it for the next KI doesn't listen to us post.) Having the Badge remain the same and offending many players is not worth it IMO. KI made the best decision for them. I respect it and them for addressing it.

Megan

Champion
May 03, 2011
447
@Megan: No problem whatsoever. And I completely sympathize with being exasperated when discussions seem to go nowhere! I've been in on some of those myself--here, and in the rest of my life as well. Faculty meetings come to mind... :? But thanks for your reply. I hope your week gets better! :-)

Professor Greyrose, KI, thanks for hearing and responding to our concerns. When I earn the Ruler of the Jungle badge, I promise to take my responsibilities seriously and not let the power go to my head. :D

Tabitha

Hero
Jun 11, 2010
729
The whole 'King of the Jungle' thing isn't really going to bother me. It's an expression, and it refers to the mighty Lion. But that Santa Bonnett...That's where I draw the line! Nobody messes with my Santa Hat! I just want a plain, old, regular, traditional, Santa Hat. All I ask. Oh, and for the whole 'Guys in Pink' battle, I say just do it to make people happy. I really don't care, but apparently there are some people out there that do.

Illuminator
Feb 09, 2009
1473
eggywig wrote:
The whole 'King of the Jungle' thing isn't really going to bother me. It's an expression, and it refers to the mighty Lion. But that Santa Bonnett...That's where I draw the line! Nobody messes with my Santa Hat! I just want a plain, old, regular, traditional, Santa Hat. All I ask. Oh, and for the whole 'Guys in Pink' battle, I say just do it to make people happy. I really don't care, but apparently there are some people out there that do.


They made a Santa bonnet?! What kind of foolery is that?

Survivor
Jun 14, 2011
38
yes i feel the same way exactly the same way this game is "sexist".
Well one day i decided to get a santa "boy" outfit for my girl character emma. So i got on my other character i had just made a boy person. I went into shopping district got the santa outfit, went to my dorm put it in my traded iteams (hole outfit) and gave it to emma, in emma i had gottton a girl "Mrs.Claus" outfit"so then i went on emma got into traded iteams got out that outfit put it on emma and what do you know! ITS THE MRS CLAUS OUTFIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Shame on you kings isle we might be girls but that doesnt mean we cant wear "boy" clothes. Like saying girls always wear pink and boys always wear blue! grrrrrr.
why?
please reply any proffesor!!!!!!!!!!!
emma raincloud

Survivor
Oct 14, 2011
10
Survivor
Jan 17, 2011
18
LIFE spells are not Girly , yeah sure they may not all that powerful and be able to pwn in pvp but still you cant beat that accuracy. Plus life has the best healing spells of them all so you could heal anytime you want so you could go on battling for about an hour without fearing defeat. P.S. i have lvl 70 life friends and they own at this game .

Isaac Stormfinder lvl 53 Grandmaster Sorcerer :D
Secondary School: Life :D

Defender
Jul 13, 2009
152
I think I understand where KI was initially going with this. Many players are kids, and when i was a kid (since i'm barely a teenager that wasn't long ago) everyone was very strict in defining thier gender. I was one of the few girls that didn't automatically choose pink as a favorite color, and guys wouldn't wear pink if it saved thier life. Also, KI is most likely made up of only adults, and therefor some (SOME, not all) may not understand that some ideas have changed in things like that. Maybe we should just be happy girls arent stuck in puffy dresses all the time...

Amber Stormsong Level 58 Diviner

Delver
Sep 22, 2010
213
Professor Greyrose wrote:
I realize this doesn't address all the concerns, but the "King of the Jungle" badge will soon be changing to "Ruler of the Jungle" for this very reason.

We appreciate your feedback on this matter.


Thank you Professor Greyrose for Hearing your fans again....and making them happy....

I for one don't look into to things like this....I mean Really It's a game But i guess everyone as opinions like every one has a .... (fill in the Blank)

Thanks For Reading

Illuminator
Feb 09, 2009
1473
solar113 wrote:
LIFE spells are not Girly , yeah sure they may not all that powerful and be able to pwn in pvp but still you cant beat that accuracy. Plus life has the best healing spells of them all so you could heal anytime you want so you could go on battling for about an hour without fearing defeat. P.S. i have lvl 70 life friends and they own at this game .

Isaac Stormfinder lvl 53 Grandmaster Sorcerer :D
Secondary School: Life :D


I made a thread about this, so I'll only speak for myself. Like I said, my beef with Life is that the attacks are very one dimensional. They're almost always these attacks that are unnecessarily cutesy and corny, and seemingly more annoying than threatening if they were done in real life. If I was a wizard and my opponent cast a Leviathan, I'd go running for the hills. If my opponent cast Gnomes! I might be hurt in the end, but I'd kinda be like, "Really? That's it? Wow." It's nothing personally against Life; ultimately, I don't feel it's "girly", I appreciate its mediums, and I love my Theurgist. I just don't like the attacks for the most part.

Delver
Jun 21, 2009
247
I'm surprized that KI focuses so much on gender, being a life boy myself. Part of it is are culture which is difficult to escape. Like in another post, why don't they use different races.

Survivor
Mar 08, 2009
13
If KI wants to change every badge so they all have both a male and female version that is fine and no problem. Educating people about what the original badge (King of the Jungle) means is also a very responsible and easy route to take. Having changed the badge does set a precedence for changing every badge that could be construed as having a gender attached to it. Most think all the badges are just fine the way they are, and I agree.

King of the Jungle refers to Lions not men, boys, or males.
One of the definitions of King: A person or thing regarded as the finest or most important in its sphere or group.
KI didn't need to change the Badge.

KI bring back King of the Jungle please.

Champion
May 03, 2011
447
One of the definitions of King: A person or thing regarded as the finest or most important in its sphere or group.

Sorry, no. A king is, grammatically, etymologically, and historically male. This badge problem has been resolved, but I guess I am confused as to why some people keep insisting on something that everything in their education should tell them is untrue. Kings are not gender-neutral. "King of the Jungle" is an anthropomorphic designation for lions. Not lionesses. Anthropomorphic means using human qualities to metaphorically describe something non-human. Kings are male humans. Kings of the Jungle are metaphorically kings, and literally male. Come on, let's be real. When have you ever heard a woman or female of any kind called "King?"

This was the only badge, to my knowledge (and I have played through every world) that had (notice past tense, it's now fixed) a gendered designation. So your odd assertion that "every badge" would have to be changed has no basis in reality.

If you "have no problem" with the designation King for both genders (no matter how grammatically, etymologically, and historically inaccurate it may have been), that's cool. But don't try to bend the semantic truths to turn your opinion into a universal truth. English is what it is. Gendered terms exist so people will know what we're talking about when we say words like "king," or "princess," or "lady," or "lord." We have a perfectly adequate set of gender-neutral words, too: "warrior," for example.

Yes, some words have become less gender-specific over time, like "hero." We no longer need the word "heroine," so it's seldom used. Likewise "actresses" are now usually referred to as actors, at least in the profession itself. But King still holds its old meaning--and until we start to see female rulers routinely referred to as Kings rather than Queens, the meaning of these two words remains clear and unambiguous. Language changes owing to custom and use, not someone's opinion.

We English speakers like the terms King and Queen---at least I do, being an old-fashioned sort--so I doubt they will ever become gender-neutral. I hope not. Our fairy tales and history books would lose a lot, I think. So I am not arguing that one shouldn't have gendered terms in some contexts. Not at all! I would not have minded being Queen of the Jungle, but that's a lot of programming for something pretty trivial. I did object to being called King, though, since that word does not, and never has, referred to women. At all.

Again, it's fine to have an opinion. Fine that you don't mind "King" as a universal designation. Had you stopped there, I wouldn't have added to this thread. But it's not fine to assert that one's opinion is based on irrevocable fact. Because in this case, the grammatical and semantic facts are what they are. End of story.

Tabitha, Professor of English and Ruler of the Jungle

Survivor
Mar 08, 2009
13
The Badge King of the Jungle is the reward for defeating a very large number of lions. It is not a reward for beating a jungle. The reason they used King of the Jungle is because it is an extremely common and very old term for lions both male and female lions.

A badge called Ruler of the Jungle does not makes since in relation to the accomplishment. If I had defeated all of Zafarai or all of a jungle area then Ruler of the Jungle would make since.

Their is no reason to argue female or male about this Badge.

Facts about the King of the Jungle badge:
1.) The badge is gender neutral.
2.) King of the Jungle refers to lions.
3.) You must defeat a very large number of lions to get the gender neutral lion badges.

I know some would try to spin or twist the above basic facts, but they are facts and not opinion. An opinion is weather or not you like the badge. Dissecting one word of a title instead of considering the whole title is akin to saying there is only a moon in the sky because you want to ignore all those stars.

Emeprordark Professor of Physics and King of the Jungle

Hero
Jun 11, 2010
729
AkihiroHattori5 wrote:
eggywig wrote:
The whole 'King of the Jungle' thing isn't really going to bother me. It's an expression, and it refers to the mighty Lion. But that Santa Bonnett...That's where I draw the line! Nobody messes with my Santa Hat! I just want a plain, old, regular, traditional, Santa Hat. All I ask. Oh, and for the whole 'Guys in Pink' battle, I say just do it to make people happy. I really don't care, but apparently there are some people out there that do.


They made a Santa bonnet?! What kind of foolery is that?


The girl version of the Santa Hat is a bonnet looking thing.

1