Fact-checking the orcs

Vox Day is annoyed that people are annoyed that there aren’t enough female characters in video games. He has a post about it, titled Why we don’t put girls in games. That’s silly; everybody knows why. It’s because “we” don’t want to, because “we” think “girls” are very nice for a few limited purposes but other than that they’re just a pain in the ass.

Yet another clueless wonder is yapping about the absence of the unnecessary from video games:

There is a point to including playable female characters in games…

Having taken it as fact that there is a point to including female characters in video games, why on earth are we still hearing excuses for their absence in 2014? Because it is an excuse. There is no reason not to do it. You won’t alienate your existing market by acknowledging the existence of women. You won’t take anything away from your existing market.

See? Vox Day says it right there. “Girls” are unnecessary.

He comments on the clueless wonder’s commentary:

I am a game designer. I am designing and producing a game that 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 [want] 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.

Sums it up, doesn’t it. Let’s face it – putting women in anything makes no sense and will not make the anything any better as an anything. That’s just how it is.

Or rather, it’s how it looks to people like Vox Day, because it’s what he’s used to, and he’s not sharp enough to try to see around what he’s used to – while keeping the interests of people who are not Vox Day in mind – and realize it could be otherwise. Putting women in the priesthood makes no sense. Putting women in movies makes no sense except in very limited numbers and with very little to say or do. Just plain including women in the real world makes no sense.

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.

So…the orcs and elves and dwarves are all men too? And we’re just supposed to assume that, to know that without being told? Because being male is normal and being female is aberrant and weird?

Plus, as Man Boobz hilariously points out, he’s saying that women defy belief while [male] orcs and elves and dwarves are as credible as peanut butter or crew socks. Huh.

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.

Wow. The guy really gets everything backward, doesn’t he. Human women are totally unbelievable, and on the other hand, putting female characters in a gladiatorial game would be an act of brutal sadism. Doooooooooood, it’s a game, you’re designing it, you can make the women invincible, plus besides it’s not sadism because they’re characters in a game.

Lordy. I’m not used to this level of…um…let’s call it innocence.

We could, of course, throw out historical verisimilitude. But we’re not going to. Because we value that verisimilitude far more than we value the opinion of a few whiny women who don’t play the sort of games we make anyhow.

Historical verisimilitude? Did he confuse himself by talking about Rome? Orcs and elves don’t have historical verisimilitude.

And when we design a game with a particular female market in mind, we don’t worry about hurting the feelings of men who we know have no interest in that sort of game.

But the woman is right. There is no point in debating. We’re not interested in debating her. We’re not interested in listening to her. As it happens, we couldn’t possibly care less what she thinks one way or the other.

Oh. I take it back about calling it “innocence” to be polite. The guy is thick as two short planks and he’s nasty.

Remind me who he is again?


  1. Stacy says

    He’s a sexist, racist shitweasel with pretensions to being a writer.

    P.S. Why does Windows squiggle-underline “shitweasel”? I spelled it right.

  2. suttkus says

    Yeah, female gladiators would have been completely unrealistic.


    Woops, don’t know how that link got there, as clearly the concept is simply preposterous. That link probably doesn’t even connect to anything. Clearly, that would be preposterous.

    But orcs and elves? Totally realistic. You can see them in movies and everything.

  3. says

    Putting women in the game would be an act of brutal sadism, an act of barbarism even by pagan Roman standards

    Or as C.S.Lewis put it: “Battles are ugly when women fight” (spoken by Aslan, but in this case I think he’s serving as the author’s mouthpiece). What, and they aren’t ugly when men fight? This from a guy who survived the trenches of France?

  4. A Hermit says

    Vox Day is a second rate SF writer and right wing religious blowhard. Real name Ted Beale; son of convicted felon tax “resistor” Robert Beale

    I had an argument with him about martial arts training once; me arguing that controlled contact was preferable, him claiming that full contact is better because getting hit repeatedly in head makes you better able to take a punch.

    Which might explain a lot…

  5. Bjarte Foshaug says

    Orcs and elves don’t have historical verisimilitude.

    Actually, I wouldn’t completely rule out the possibility that Vox Day and his ilk might be orcs. It certainly would explain a lot.

  6. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @2.suttkus :

    Woops, don’t know how that link got there, as clearly the concept is simply preposterous. That link probably doesn’t even connect to anything.

    It does y’know. i just clicked it and tread the info there.

    This link :


    Connects too or at least I hope it does. Thinking of dwarfs and women in fiction its at least one plausible~ish (in ‘verse) explanation that could’ve been used.

    The legends of the ancient Greek contain warrior women too and this isn’t unusual or restricted to them. The star Bellatrix (Gamma Orionis) for instance means “warrior woman” and it is sometimes referred to as the “Amazon star” plus there’s warrior Queen Hippolyte who encountered Hercules.

    Considering real history though we have the tale of Cleopatra leading Egyptian troops, the first English Queen Elizabeth armoured up and was prepared to meet the Spanish Armada invaders on land if need be in 1588. Also, I believe the Heike (of patterned crab fame) women accompanied the men and were equally samurai able to fight as well, and, hell, even Mohammad’s erstwhile child “bride” Aisha ended up leading a battle on camel back.

  7. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    Considering real history though we have the tale of Cleopatra, Elizabeth the Great, the Heike (Taira) clan, Aisha & the Battle of the Camel* etc ..

    … And, (D’oh! How could I forget!) the most famous and successful of them all Queen Boadiccea (spelling?) who fought for the Celts / Britons against the Romans, Joan of Arc and Bone of Bonnie and Clyde fame. Then there’d also the woman pirates Anne Bonny and Mary Read who fought more bravely than their male counterparts and were every bit as ruthless.

    In Greek mythology we have the Maenads as well found notably in Euripides’ tragedy, ‘The Bacchae’ where these baccahanalian women (who include Queen Agave) tear King Pentheus limb from limb and literally rip his head off! We also have Queen Clytemnestra, sister to Helen of Troy who murders King Agamemmon in the bath with an axe and then her daughter Electra helps her brother Orestes murder her and her stepfather and Clytemnestras’ lover and accomplice in Agamemnon’s murder Aegistheus. (Its complicated!) Okay these latter cases are more crime than war but still.

    Incidentally the mythological Amazon Queen Hippolyta :


    About whoem there are conflicting legends is also a characetr inShakespeares polays and one thattrurns out to be triumphant.

    So William Shakespeare, The Bard, has no trouble with strong warrior women in his medieval plays but this Vox Day dropkick won’t put the in a modern computer game? Yeesh! Just how behind the times can the MRA’s get?

    * Don’t blame me that’s what they actually call it. Its on wikipedia.

  8. brucegorton says

    I know it is wrong, I know its primitive and tribal but Vox Day always makes me feel a bit better about things.

    I mean, every time I see anything about him I instantly feel a weird sort of relief – at least Vox Day is one of theirs.

  9. lpetrich says

    Weird thing: Vox Day made a video game called “The War in Heaven” back in about 2000. It had some interesting concepts. You could play as an angel and fight your way past a lot of demons from heaven to hell. Or you could play as a demon and fight your way past a lot of angels from hell to heaven. Both the angel and the demon player characters were apparently female. Heaven, hell, the angels, and the demons all seemed like they had come out of pseudo-medieval sword and sorcery.

  10. Argle Bargle says

    Just to show how smrt he was, some years ago Vox Day posted a gif of his Mensa card. It was expired.

  11. doubtthat says

    The total lack of self-awareness is remarkable. The proximity of “historical verisimilitude” and similar concepts to the mythical creatures is so tight that I have trouble believing it wasn’t a joke. Given his history, though, it obviously isn’t.

    Hell, I remember hating the aspect of those games that pigeonholed the player into a specific race: you want to be the warrior, better pick a troll or an ogre because they’re big and strong. I always just wanted to play a version of myself in those games, and when arguing with folks they would always defer to this rational argument: of course a human isn’t going to be as strong and agile as a wolf-beast ogre creature. Why? You have goddamn magic fireballs and all kinds of crazy nonsense, but the idea of a human having supernatural powers is too much?

    And now this, taking it to the next level. Yes, there is a character that plays a lute and makes dragons fight, but the idea of a woman picking up a sword would just ruin the experience. The arbitrary rules of the fantasy genre have always baffled me. Of course, this Vox fellow is just looking for reasons to promote his misogyny.

  12. Athywren says

    I don’t get it… even tossing aside the whole “fantasy” element, does he not know that women come in more than one variety?
    I mean, it should be enough to look at a handful of men in a lineup to put the lie to the blanket statement that “men are strong,” and it should therefore follow that women, too, vary in physical strength and martial ability. But we can also look at a handful of women in a lineup to see that “women are weak” is demonstrably false. Real world evidence and logic, and suspension of disbelief in a fantasy world all allow for women to be fighters. So… wtf? Y u no logic, Vox Day? Oh, right, it’s Vox Day. Ne’er mind.

  13. noastronomer says


    I believe that proposal *is* different from the vast majority of *successful* video game developers.

    There are some that do not but the majority of successful games include women. Admittedly often stereotyped and lacking in clothing, but they are there. Also a long-time gamer I have this tip for Mr Day : A fantasy game that does not feature female flesh is DOA.

  14. MyaR says

    These doodz actually think that women aren’t already playing their games, they just want to spoil the menz fun. I mean, why would a girl want to play a combat game? They’re just interested in dress-up and housekeeping and baby-having games, not manly man games. I mean, they’d strain their ladyparts if they tried to play Ted Beale’s awesome gladiator macho game.

  15. aziraphale says

    For me one of the high points of The Lord Of The Rings (the books) was when Eowyn slew the Lord of the Nazgul and his steed. I wonder if Vox ceased believing at that point.

    Or maybe he doesn’t do anything as wimpish as actually read.

  16. kevinalexander says

    There’s an old Peanuts cartoon where Lucy (I think) looks at a drawing that Linus has made and comments that the figure in the drawing has his hands behind his back. She asks if this is meant to represent something, something, psychological something.
    Linus replies no, he just doesn’t know how to draw hands.
    I’m thinking that Vox and others don’t actually know any women and have no clue how to draw them and don’t want to be laughed at for trying.


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