It’s been a while since I’ve heard anything about Jerk-Of-All-Trades Theodore Beale, also known as Vox Day. He’s a creationist, an MRA, and a generally self-satisfied, self-proclaimed polymath. And he’s making a video game that, in his words (Manboobz link!), “does not, and will not, have a single female character in it.”
This is not because I am misogynistic. This is not because I do not women to play the game. This is because putting women in the game makes no sense, violates the principle of the suspension of disbelief, and will not make the game any better as a game.
I am the lead designer of First Sword, a combat management game. The game has orcs and men, elves and dwarves. It has goblins and trolls. But it has no women.
Why not? Because the game is a gladiator game. Women cannot credibly fight as gladiators. We don’t put women in the game for the same reason we don’t put bunny rabbits or children in the game. Putting women in the game would be an act of brutal sadism, an act of barbarism even by pagan Roman standards. While the Romans did occasionally put female gladiators in the arena, they were there as a comedic act. They were occasionally matched against midgets, which the Romans apparently found hilarious.
We could, of course, throw out historical verisimilitude. But we’re not going to.
Therefore, any time a human character is matched up against an orc or elf or troll, the human stands in an empty ring, swipes the air a few times then the crowd cheers. Because those things don’t exist. Women, on the other hand, exist; and there are definitely examples throughout history of women being absolutely badass at combat. Take, for instance, Joan of Arc, who fought a whole damn country.
Or, say, Jeanne de Clisson, the Lioness of Brittany, who went on a piratical rampage personally beheading French noblemen with an axe, for fifteen years, after her nobleman husband was unfairly executed by King Phillip VI while visiting France during a tournament.
But women in a fighting game? Perish the thought. That wouldn’t be historically accurate! Orcs, on the other hand…
I fully expect a last second change of heart wherein the women are put back into the game, as shadowy puppetmasters of a vast gynocracy and where the last boss spermjacks the main character in act 3 to evoke some pathos.
Hat tip to Stacy.