‘Strafe’ Says Fuck You to Old, Archaic Views on Gender

Yup. Just having a pitch slider would have been perfectly fine for making me feel a little more comfy but putting the symbols on it still means you’re gendering pitch. My voice is pretty deep but I’m not a guy, basically.


yeah this isn’t so much a “fuck you” as “let’s purport to be progressive but just kinda show up our Incorrect Conceptions Of Gender”


i get what they are trying to do here but having a voice pitch slider also determine your gender is a bit…hmm.

good intentions but questionable execution.

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Looking at this art it doesn’t look to me like someone like DoomGuy blasting away demons by the dozens (regardless of gender, I might add).

Good idea, but poor execution. It genders voice pitch and doesn’t include people who aren’t on that spectrum. Agender, Bigender, Genderqueer, etc.

agree w what’s been said. It’s prescriptive still.

would people’s preference be to have it say “Select your gender”, then a list that lets you check a box … male, female, genderqueer, male and female, no gender, then provide the voice slider thingy? what does the ultimate gender selection thing look like?

Just have the voice slider and don’t gender the player character imo. If the character is meant to be a cipher accessible to anyone of any gender then people will fill in that blank themselves. Clearly there aren’t any writing hoops in this game that they’d have to jump through to account for the player’s gender.


Just don’t have gender selection period maybe?

correlating higher-pitched voices with a gender of “female” is part of what leads trans people to feeling like we need to modulate our voice to pass IRL. and that’s so frustrating, like the more i think about it the more this choice frustrates me. i get the intent, and i appreciate it, but it’s still in a place that doesn’t work for me and my experience of gender


Whoof… I just had a flashback to every conversation I’ve ever had with trans friends who fucked their throats up trying to sound “like a girl” or “like a boy”. This isn’t as revolutionary as they think it is.


They are trying - that’s great. Representation of a gender spectrum - that’s great. Linking it to voice pitch - that’s not great. Have they done more harm than good? I can’t judge being a straight cis male. Gender is complex, and, importantly, non-binary - attempting to wrestle with it in games is good but you should be more thoughtful about it.

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Personally I’m happy they at least tried something, it always helps having some choice in who or what you play. If it’s true that the pitch defines your gender however then we’re kind of back to square one.

Am I miss-remembering or did Saint’s Row 2 and 3 (haven’t played 4) let you create your character however you wanted AND pick a voice actor to voice them, regardless of the voice actor’s gender? If true it was probably implemented as more of a joke but I seem to remember appreciating it nevertheless.


I’m on this same boat of things. It’s a net positive even though it could of been thought out a bit more.

I’m willing to give the team credit since it’s something to start with that can be further refined in the future. Not to mention it might be their first try at looking for ways to show a (small) spectrum of gender without the usual “Chainmail Bikini” trope. (Also, THANK YOU for not using the Blue/Pink scale)

I think that would help in another update is to have a modifier on that scale as well. (ie, octicve/ptich up and down with the slider as well?) So that female isn’t high pitched only. Maybe add agender to the center of the slider as well to better show to the crowd that non-binary is an option too.

Overall though, I feel that not having symbols on the slider would of caused the usual issue of “They’re all dudes unless otherwise stated” problem. There are better options but this is a good start at representation without being completely problematic.

i don’t know if you read like, anybody else’s posts in this thread but this is absolutely just going to make its problems worse

I think literally just removing those “gender symbols” would be a step in the right direction. uncouple the conception of a voice pitch belonging to a gender and you’ve done some good.

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I have, but the part that worries me is that no gender usually defaults to male in FPS. ><;;

It’s a very complicated problem but one where we need to nudge the common player to seeing that their character isn’t just a dood by default. Our group here can state many of the problems with this option, but people on the outside are not going to understand the issues unless there’s other parts broken down first.

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I think an unmarked voice slider would be enough to fix this problem. I feel like if there was a high to low voice pitch slider, the average player would probably still read that as “oh, I’m choosing between playing a [cis] man and a [cis] woman,” without the game explicitly stating that all men have deep voices and all women have high voices (or implying that all non-binary people somehow have voices exactly in the middle of the two ends of the spectrum).

‘No assumed gender’ defaulting to ‘male’ in the FPS genre isn’t a problem that can be fixed by a voice slider anyway. If someone wants to see their character as a man, then they will until blatant evidence is given otherwise, and that sort of evidence usually requires a PC model that’s more than just a pair of hands, and sometimes actual Word of God.

The issue, I think, is that you’re implying that this slider will help break down barriers of understanding between a certain demographic (cispeople who don’t know anything about the gender spectrum) and trans people, but that’s not really true. If a cisperson who played video games actually wanted an understanding about trans people, they could do better by looking up resources on the internet or actually talking to trans people willing to explain things they don’t understand. A slider like this isn’t going to do much to break down barriers, and I don’t think they should be patting themselves on the back for an idea that, in the end, is still binary.

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I agree, a slider is as much of a barrier-breaker like a paper bag can be used to hold water. My stance is more on the side that this game’s general demographic never heard of holding water in the first place.

I use this water analogy since one of the bigger issues in the gaming space right now is that the usual voices are heavily cis-male dominated. As such, the community that usually appear around these games are not going to go out of that circle. Much like seeing a word or a sign used often without context, it can spark enough of a question in people to find out that the world is much much bigger.

It’s a small step, but something that lead others to bigger ones in the future for people who don’t seek out the other voices/perspectives in games.