The Big Picture: Gender Games

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Princess Rose:

So true. The clothing-tearing physics (and that it was actually a game mechanic concerning how well your "armor" of jeans and a t-shirt protected you got less as they got torn to ribbons) was in really poor taste.

You can see the decline in Aya's character as the cover poses get less and less evocative. First game, she's as determined as Kratos - and her character is deep and interesting.

Third Birthday, she's vacant, walking fan-service - and her character is flat.

What's more, the gameplay fell along with her character. I still replay PE1 for the really good and unique combat. PE2... less so. Haven't finished Third Birthday - got distracted by other, better games.

I've gotten into the habit of replaying 1 and 2 every fall (hey, survival horror month and all) because I like Aya and the rest of the cast (yes, even that silly bastard Kyle). What I also really like about the series is that it never fell into that faux-female-empowerment cliche of making the men useless in order to artificially strengthen the heroine. Sure, Aya is awesome and competent, but not because Daniel (whose awesome manliness was saved the horror of being in T3B) or Maeda were ineffectual. Also, that twist at T3B's end makes me wanna drag Toriyama before Hideaki Sena and force him to profusely apologize.

I'm a little disappointed in this episode. While Bob is taking the industry and gamers in general to task for generalizing their depictions of women and views of feminism, his own analysis is far to broad and general to actually note that the conventions are changing and evolving.

While yes the (for lack of a better term) Misogynistic presentations of women still exist in games. Quite a lot. But where they exist seems to be narrowing. Look at the bulk of Bob's examples. More and more of the perceived "bad" ones are either straight up Japanese games, which like it or not are coming from a wildly different cultural perspective, or they are mainly testosterone fueled fighting games.

But more and more we are seeing examples where game designers are moving away from this aesthetic. Look at the female characters in Dragon Age 2. (love or hate the game) They pretty much behave in exactly the manner that Bob wishes for. Even frequent offender SquareEnix seems to have met the standards of expression in FFXIII with Lightning (granted they immediately broke them again with Fang, Vanille and Hope!) (Wait what do you mean Hope isn't some underaged schoolgirl? A Boy? Really?). He mentions Nathan Drake, but doesn't point out that Uncharted's designers did an equally strong job of emotional comunication with the female lead Elena Fisher. For all the examples of games with women done poorly, there are also examples of them done right. and more and more of them with each game generation. Just look at the teasers for Bioshock Infinite.

I'm not saying that there isn't still quite a distance to travel on this road. But lets not blow things out of proportion in the name of political correctness. And also lets not assume problems where there are none. Bob caught a piece of it. Women do actually prefer attractive "pretty" female characters. Often moreso then the men. Don't believe me, just look at any magazine rack or add campaign. Look at the cover of Cosmo. You realize who that is selling to, right? Women moreso then men often want their avatars to be that attractive mirror that they hold up to themselves. Just look at MMO's World of Warcraft. It has a large female population. Pretty much none of which will play a short dumpy female Dwarf. Female gamers tend to be the ones most prone to collect all of the "sexy" bikini chainmail armor types. Trying to figure this out and get it right in the still male dominated industry is enough to make your head hurt. and as I said will probably end up solving the wrong or a nonexistent problem.

remnant_phoenix:

sleeky01:
So it's not about the skimpy outfits per se, but how they are posed in said outfits....

Perhaps I have too much testosterone, but could someone provide an example of the difference?

snipped for length

I'll agree with you, and also point out that the look on her face in the first one is kind of a "grim determination" while the second one looks like "oh, I'm so lost without a big strong man to tell me where to go. Will you be that big strong man?"
Heh, that's literal empowerment fantasy.

I focus on the face because that's the one thing similar in the two pics.

So I looked up Andrea Dworkin on ye olde Wikipedia. I stopped reading when I reached the part where she claimed that the very act of vaginal penetration is degrading to women.

So that's where the "women hate sex" stereotype came from!

And so, the plot thickens...
Bob, I think you might've just discussed the missing link to finding the balance between aproaching female characters maturely and responsibly while still letting them be sexy.

I loved it. I've always use the argument: They do it to men as well!
I very much hope that this trend, given the growing outcry, will start to decline. I doubt it, but I hope.

Robert B. Marks:
4173: "It's funny you use Batman as an example, because the various Batgirls and Batwomen are usually more covered up than the Robins."

Yeah, that's what came to mind - I had just been reading the article about the comics, and reading all of those posts in reply that amounted to "Yeah, but men are oversexualized too!"

And, I'll concede what I've seen of Batman is pretty close to the way things should be done. Catwoman doesn't look like a stripper, and neither do the other female characters. But, you look at video game characters, and wow...just wow. There are female video game costumes that would require glue or double-sided tape just to work.

(And, speaking of Robin, well, I'm not a comic book fan, so what I've seen has tended to be on TV, and there the Batman and Robin combination freaks the hell out of me. Most of the time, Robin looks like he's around 12 years old - Batman should go to jail for endangerment of a minor. And that's not counting all of the other unfortunate implications of having a "boy wonder" actually being a boy.)

Yes, Robin is very much a case where one has to say "comic book logic" and just go with it.

Anyway, back on topic... A lot of the replies are pretty horrid, but I think she (I assume this was the Comics Alliance article) overstates her case a little bit. Well, she actually points out how she may be overstating her case; the problem isn't having sex and cheesecake, the problem is when it is systematic or institutional. It is arguable the controversy got exaggerated because both issues came out the same week (probably as coincidence)...the flip side is it may be problematic to have a status quo in which that coincidence is somewhat likely.

As an aside, although the Batwomen may be more covered up than average, that doesn't mean they are immune. It isn't unheard of for an artist to render the exciting action sequence from the p.o.v of someone starring at Batgirl's ass. On the other hand, it is probably hard to make an athletic woman NOT look at least somewhat sexy in a skin tight bodysuit.

remnant_phoenix:

4173:
edit 2: Huh, that second Dragon Age pic doesn't seem too poorly posed.

It's not nearly as bad as some, but take note of the exposed upper thigh, the thigh-high boots, and the way she has one knee pulled over slightly in that coy flirtatious way.

The first picture represents Leliana's confidence and combat skill.

The second picture is nowhere near as bad as Dead or Alive, true. But when you look it, you see that everything else that this picture could say about her character is down-played by the focus on Leliana being attractive/sexy, to the exclusion of anything else you could draw about her character. And that's exactly what Bob is talking about.

I'll give you the knees. No argument.

The boots and the skirt, I'm not entirely convinced. I think they fall into the [huge] grey area where in and of themselves they are stylistic/characterization/harmless but when ubiquitous for female characters, or too many are used on the same character, a problem.

My disinterest in this subject is astounding. I despise the over-sexualised lust-objects that populate every fighter and bad shooter in this medium, but that doesn't mean I'm going to "take a stand" or some sh*te. I'm just not interested in the sort of games that feel they need to shove t*ts in my face to grab my attention; I don't need some big, cultural reason for that.

I liked this episode a lot. I always love seeing the smaller nuances of issues like Gender Games and how they fit into, well... The Big Picture. Poses are a wonderful point, and I think that thinking about poses really can provide the missing information between these two groups.

I adore Torneko Taloon, by the way. Speaking of which, Dragon Quest IV's designs on the whole itself is an interesting example, specifically the two sisters, Mina and Maya. They look alike, but in addition to their clothes, their poses are much more indicative of which is the somewhat stuffy fortune teller, and which is the gambling dancing girl. Clothing is one thing, but their poses in the original art really hammer the difference in.

heh, so true about the poses.

Want a specific reference? Check out the Idle stance and animations for Male and Female Hawke in Dragon Age 2. Male Hawke just kind of stands there. Female Hawke cocks her hips and sticks out her chest like she's posing for a lingerie ad.

I asked my wife to take a look one time, not telling her specifically what I wanted her to see. First words out of her mouth: "Why is she standing like that?"

On a completely different note, I was thinking about it the other day and I came to the conclusion that women might actually be more shallow than men. If nothing else, they're more selective when it comes to physical appearance.

Take the average guy and present him with the average woman. Odds are he'll find her attractive. Now take the average woman and present her with an average guy. Same result? Not typically. I made this argument to my wife (who is obviously not shallow, since she married me), and she agreed. She also pointed out that this is likely a result of evolution. It makes sense for the males to find a wider range of potential partners attractive, since they can have multiple partners at once. Females, on the other hand, are limited to carrying one offspring at a time, so it makes sense for them to be selective when choosing a mate.

The Moral? As much of a stink as people make about the way women are portrayed in media, it's actually men who are under more pressure to look/act a certain way. I used to think I was unusual in that I find virtually every woman I see attractive in one way or another, but when I asked other guys about it, they say the same thing.

This episode is pretty pathetic. It's hard to take a discourse on gender portrayal seriously from a guy who has outright REPEATEDLY objectified women and continues to objectify women without batting an eye. Just go watch any of his Escape to the Movies episodes. Odds say it won't take you long to hear him oggle and drool over a woman, or talk about how he wants to see X actress naked, or in a highly provocative role. Even worse, he has never been above bashing people who believe that he is sexist for stating these things. What right does Bob has to discuss gender portrayal given his background regarding anti-feminism?

Heck, you can tell MovieBob doesn't want to STOP objectifying women because of how he approaches the argument (it isn't the clothes or the massive amount of sexualitzation of women in video games, but just how the pose). This ENTIRE video is rendered moot given the background of the speaker.

I want my 5 minutes back.

That really gets to the heart of an issue that I thought was somewhere else. Thanks for the episode!

Thank you, MovieBob.

The_root_of_all_evil:

Robert B. Marks:
The feminists are right on this one, and the gamers are wrong.

Nice to see we have an objective view on things here. *sigh* Shall we just lock this thread now before it gets to personal insults?

Objective does not mean that both sides are right. It is simply untrue that female characters get the kind of characterization and development that male characters receive. There are occasional exceptions, but nowhere near parity on how men and women are treated in most mediums.

Father Time:

Princess Rose:

Father Time:
God damnit Bob. Don't ever say something's an exception that proves a rule. Exceptions are evidence against rules.

Yes, but the fact that their IS an exception proves that the rule exists, however mildly flawed. That's what the phrase means - you couldn't have an exception to a rule if the rule doesn't exist.

Under that logic anything can be a rule.

For example I can make up a rule that bands don't have girls' names in their song titles.

Now here's a quiz with 99 exceptions to that rule

http://www.sporcle.com/games/g/womentitled_songs

But hey it's the exceptions that prove the rule exists.

None of those things are considered exceptions - lots of bands have girls' names in them.

The point is that the idea already exists in people's minds. People already recognize the exception as different and unique. Hence, if people generally accept that the exception is a unique circumstance, then it shows that the "rule" - the generalization that things work a certain way - does indeed exist.

Now, if you asked 1000 people on the street if they could name any band with girls' names in them, and most of those people either couldn't, or only named one or two of the bands on your list, then you'd have the backing for a "rule" - because in that case, you would have shown that the tendency does indeed exist.

You alone can't make up a rule or the exceptions - the point is this is something that large groups of people create/see.

I disagree. Half of the appeal of Aya Brea was her broken bird/heroin chic/artsty/angsty nude aesthetic. The entire first game is seduced by the dark power of lesbianism eliminating man (seriously a major plot is destroying the individual touch of men even in their own semen to have EVE create the perfect child) thing. She inescpicably spends the first level is tight dress.

But it was all still elegant and, especially for the time, stylish and new dichotomy of normalcy and posh with brutality and freaki-ness (great for a largely 'first' modern rpg unifying the conventions of modern movie and the pre-lotr fantasy rpg). Something that is mirrored with Melissa-Eve and her evolution into monstrous opera diva, living incubator, a raggedy afterbirth/caraccident and finally mad naked fairy queen. Sexual imagery clings to the series something fierce. but with some meaning and class even if only really stylish body horror clash

PEII WAS a disaster where the art and post and semi-style went to just porn, we got a shower scene and Brea couldn't wear pants in the desert while fighting doberman sized scorpions (seriously I face palmed at this as much as the damned tank control). She was dressed as a pandering playmate more more acurately the game seemed unable to find its legs stealing RE controls, Lora Croft's outfit, Squall Leonhart's sword...and the monsters just seemed more... contrived and dumb as to horrorific and unique and made even less sense.

3rd Birthday seemed more a return to form. Even better. Less wain etheral half dumb stares more alert processing looks. Her powers don't have her having hot flashes before "sexy" fainting (in that way actual people don't actually fall) and the vest and torn jeans with emphasis on the gun. . . Okay its a model pose, but at least rock/grunge and I see worry but not dumbfounded etheral mindlessness OR generic nothing but ass kicking here. There is a sexy there but like I could see on a street but not at the expense of me thinking there is a person facing some tough shit there.

And then the clothing mechanic (facepalm) sigh. No... just NO.

I'd just quickly pop in and say "hey, Bob, that's a nice angle you played there, I agree", but last time I did that and I ended up having to defend "feminists" for about a dozen posts.

But hey, it's a fight worth having. I like it. I also like it when people assume I'm a woman for doing it, so I appreciate the subversion value in it, too.

It's a reasonable argument, and not one that needs to bring up feminism at all.

There's also something here to how the male and female mind are different. If you wanted to pose a male character to turn on a female player you would do it differently. A lot of male characters are, in fact, posing that way. Same for the way they dress. Dressing a character as revealing as possible my turn on a male player, it doesn't always work that way for a female. There are impractical male costumes that seem to be targeting female sensibilities. Men just don't complain about it because, 1. They don't recognize it, and 2. They usually aren't as degrading as their female counter parts.

For example, my wife finds FF8 Squall in his dress uniform really hot. An argument could be made that that whole dance scene was purely targeted at the female players.

Belaam:

Objective does not mean that both sides are right.

It does mean not dismissing the other sides views out of hand though.

It is simply untrue that female characters get the kind of characterization and development that male characters receive. There are occasional exceptions, but nowhere near parity on how men and women are treated in most mediums.

But there you go again. There is no point making these sort of statements because they're rude and unhelpful to an ongoing discussion. If you believe something like that then you need to at least provide proof - and preferably a way to resolve it.

Simply saying "Side A is wrong" is no better than "This".

Darmani:
I disagree. Half of the appeal of Aya Brea was her broken bird/heroin chic/artsty/angsty nude aesthetic. The entire first game is seduced by the dark power of lesbianism eliminating man (seriously a major plot is destroying the individual touch of men even in their own semen to have EVE create the perfect child) thing. She inescpicably spends the first level is tight dress.

But it was all still elegant and, especially for the time, stylish and new dichotomy of normalcy and posh with brutality and freaki-ness. Something that is mirrored with Melissa-Eve and her evolution into monstrous opera demon, living incubator, a raggedy afterbirth and finally mad naked fairy queen. Sexual imagery clings to the series something fierce.

PEII WAS a disaster where the art and post and semi-tyle went to just porn, we got a shower scene and Brea couldn't wear pants, in the desert while fighting doberman sized scorpions. She was dressed as a pandering playmate more more acurately the game seemed unable to find its legs stealing RE controls, Lora Croft's outfit, Squall Leonhart's sword...and the monsters just seemed more... contrived and dumb.

3rd Birthday seemed more a return to form. Even better. Less wain etheral half dumb stares more alert processing looks. Her powers don't have her having hot flashes before "sexy" fainting (in that way actual people don't actually fall) and the vest and torn jeans with emphasis on the gun. Okay its a model pose, but at least rock/grunge and I see worry but not dumbfounded etheral worry. There is a sexy there but like I could see on a street but not at the expense of me thinking there is a person facing some tough shit there.

And then the clothing mechanic (facepalm) sigh.

Agreed on most of your points except there's a perfectly good reason why Aya's in a dress in the first few scenes: She was attending a fancy show, with a date who bails on her at the first sight of spontaneous combustion. I'd rather ask why did she bring her work gun to a date.

Really well done, Bob. Really well done. You picked a topic, took a strong and interesting stand on it, and took it the whole way through. Kudos.

Extra points for not trying to defend the defensive gamer dudes on this one because you're simply not trying to take away their boobs. Instead you're trying to allow ladies to actually be characters in games instead of always just being strippers. That's absolutely laudable.

Darmani:
I disagree. Half of the appeal of Aya Brea was her broken bird/heroin chic/artsty/angsty nude aesthetic. The entire first game is seduced by the dark power of lesbianism eliminating man (seriously a major plot is destroying the individual touch of men even in their own semen to have EVE create the perfect child) thing. She inescpicably spends the first level is tight dress.

But it was all still elegant and, especially for the time, stylish and new dichotomy of normalcy and posh with brutality and freaki-ness (great for a largely 'first' modern rpg unifying the conventions of modern movie and the pre-lotr fantasy rpg). Something that is mirrored with Melissa-Eve and her evolution into monstrous opera diva, living incubator, a raggedy afterbirth/caraccident and finally mad naked fairy queen. Sexual imagery clings to the series something fierce. but with some meaning and class even if only really stylish body horror clash

PEII WAS a disaster where the art and post and semi-style went to just porn, we got a shower scene and Brea couldn't wear pants in the desert while fighting doberman sized scorpions (seriously I face palmed at this as much as the damned tank control). She was dressed as a pandering playmate more more acurately the game seemed unable to find its legs stealing RE controls, Lora Croft's outfit, Squall Leonhart's sword...and the monsters just seemed more... contrived and dumb as to horrorific and unique and made even less sense.

3rd Birthday seemed more a return to form. Even better. Less wain etheral half dumb stares more alert processing looks. Her powers don't have her having hot flashes before "sexy" fainting (in that way actual people don't actually fall) and the vest and torn jeans with emphasis on the gun. . . Okay its a model pose, but at least rock/grunge and I see worry but not dumbfounded etheral mindlessness OR generic nothing but ass kicking here. There is a sexy there but like I could see on a street but not at the expense of me thinking there is a person facing some tough shit there.

And then the clothing mechanic (facepalm) sigh. No... just NO.

....Way to miss the champ like a point

Agreed.

Also speaking as a someone who likes women, I do not find 99% of those 'sexy' female characters, well, sexy.
Even ignoring the fact that I find good characterisation and intelligence sexy, and looking just the physical appearance, anorexics with balloons taped on their chest wearing skimpy clothing leaving little to imagination is not my idea of attractive.

Not to mention, huge breasts with jiggle-physics just make me feel bad. Do you have any idea how painful that would be?
There are good reasons why women generally wear bras, expecially when doing sports.

garjian:

wheres the rule63 of image?
they dont exist, probably because it wouldnt be attractive, to a mainstream audience at least...

Just because it made me curious, I had to check out your claim for myself and you, sir, are wrong: http://rule63.paheal.net/post/view/13747?search=E._Honda
It's safe for work, don't worry.

On a side note: Why the fuck are there Russian characters in my recapcha?

I find it amusing that you complained that women aren't presented in any way other than to be sexy--yet numerous of those shots conveyed all sorts of personality traits. Perhaps the problem is more that you're so fixated on the tits that you can't see past them.

I expect that much of this can also be attributed to the fact that there is rampant fear of homoeroticism among men--since even the suggestion of esthetic appreciation for other males is supposed to be completely emasculating in "normal" culture. If they played up the sexy aspect of *male* characters, male gamers would flee screaming in fear. You could even say that women have the higher status here, because they're free to be expressly sexual, whereas men are required to keep it in the closet.

Most of the cultures in the world that *actually* subjugate women *do not* permit women to openly express their sexuality--in fact, a woman appearing in a sexy outfit is more likely to be cursed or stoned (or raped to "teach her a lesson") than celebrated. There was a time when this pertained in the U.S. and Europe as well. The ability to display women as "sex objects" is actually a huge step forward in freedom for women, and ought to be embraced as such if people are REALLY concerned with "women's issues".

You know who the real Neanderthals are? The people on the Bioware forums who object to Isabela as a LI because she's a "slut" and a "whore", as obviously evidenced by her forwardness and open sexuality. The solution is not to demand that Isabela be covered up, but to demand that people who make assumptions such as these be called what they are: imbeciles. Being openly sexual is not an indictment on Isabela (or Bioware!). The reaction is an indictment on the rigid douchebags who can't see past the tits.

My beef with feminism (and with most "isms") is largely that they take ONE fact that has MANY complex reasons behind it, ascribe ONE reason to it that favors their prejudice on the matter, and then complain about it, thus tarring everybody and anybody with the same brush. If your goal is truly to see women treated as *individuals*, why do you demonize your opponents as if they belonged to some faceless collective? And, worse, why do some feminists go about this idea of "freeing women" as a return to some kind of horrific neo-Puritanism where women or artworks who flaunt their sexuality are once again reduced to the state of being offered up for public stoning?

And still worse, after you've turned actual women into rigid prudes, you go after the men who turn to artwork for consolation and ruin whatever small pleasure they take in it.

If you want to improve the world, go around trumpeting the things you find *good*. There's enough whining, complaining, and sourness already.

Bayonetta was so great but it, sadly, wasn't really surprising that a lot of people missed the point. I get that it was made by a male designer who explicitly said that he wanted the character to be sexy, and there are plenty of reasons to be wary of the game coming from that sort of origin. Anyone paying attention though would pretty easily be able to see that the primary metaphor the game operates on is that of a woman who uses the expression of her sexuality as a weapon to destroy the masculine symbols that dominate women sexually and physically, and the game contextualizes those symbols as religious imagery (I don't think I'd be too far off if I suggest that the game draws pretty heavy parallels to Catholicism in this area) which give the conflict a pretty significant historical weight. If that doesn't fit with the definition of empowerment, I don't know what does.

omegawyrm:
Bayonetta was so great but it, sadly, wasn't really surprising that a lot of people missed the point. I get that it was made by a male designer who explicitly said that he wanted the character to be sexy, and there are plenty of reasons to be wary of the game coming from that sort of origin. Anyone paying attention though would pretty easily be able to see that the primary metaphor the game operates on is that of a woman who uses the expression of her sexuality as a weapon to destroy the masculine symbols that dominate women sexually and physically, and the game contextualizes those symbols as religious imagery (I don't think I'd be too far off if I suggest that the game draws pretty heavy parallels to Catholicism in this area) which give the conflict a pretty significant historical weight. If that doesn't fit with the definition of empowerment, I don't know what does.

One problem though: Bayonetta ain't sexy. At all. She has no sense of grace or elegance to her supposed sex appeal and flaunts it WAAAAAY too much, almost like someone who's so insecure about their supposed beauty that they have to shove it in everyone's face every five minutes. Kamiya just doesn't have the ability to be able to address the idea of sexual expression

Good on you Bob. That about sums up my feelings for the most part. Ones that have gotten some rather odd reactions from how I think. For example, I take little issue with Ivy Valentine. Especially since SC5 has her donning more clothing again. But it was never the clothing that bothered me, the fact she's putting more on shows that as a character she has gotten older because she literally has. Her oversexaulized poses ingame (not counting art, those did generally bug me) made sense, because her intention was to be a character aware of her sexuality and uses it as a weapon along with her WHIP sword.

No, the characters I took issue with were Sophitia and Taki. Two characters that had oversexualized moves, which went completely against the character painted. Sophitia is supposed to be a champion of the Greek pantheon, and a wholesome character. Then she wins a fight and basically says "I'm so so pretty, check out my boobs." in victory pose. Or Taki, a goddam ninja, who in SC3 and 4 had a victory pose where she is literally shoving her chest out there. Fun fact for those that don't know, what few women were able to be warriors or soldiers in fuedal Japan, be it doing assassinations or whatever like a ninja would, wrapped their breasts down, so they wouldn't get in the way. Taki has like G cups. THIS DOES NOT COMPUTE.

I do hope you do a video on the stupidity of the super model complex in gaming. It's so out of hand except by a very small handful of studios that understand woman can still be strong and attractive without having to be 'classically' beautiful. (I'm looking right at Valve for this one.) What makes it worse, in the example of Alyx, is that she's a strong but down to Earth looking heroine, and idiots go and do shit like this: http://img230.imageshack.us/img230/504/halflife22.jpg
Yup, that's what Alyx needed. A face of a super model, bigger tits with jiggle bones, and more navel showing. And you wonder why women tend to assume men are all misogynist idiots.

After watching the video I felt it was... unfinished. Bob led to the point but he didn't really cover it in detail. He didn't give a proper shoutout to games that do regard their female characters as deep and nuanced as any other characters. Oh well.

This is why I always preferred Aya Brea to Lara Croft back in the PSX days. Aya had a semblance of substance, of character and character growth.

Overwhelming amount of fighting game examples... Which are developed in Japan... Just saying.

I'm not gonna dispute that gaming is inundated with under-characterized/over-sexualized female characters, but I will say that it isn't my job to change this issue. I'm a consumer who, until last December, was a heterosexual teenager. I'm fairly literate to games, along with many other forms of media, and I realize that the only power I have is to either vote with my dollar or complain on a message board. Neither of those actually does anything without a lot of people agreeing with me.

I didn't buy Dead Space 2 because of their dumb ads about moms disliking my games. My mom would probably like that games content, because she worked on the sets of Aliens and The Thing. I don't play fighting games because of the promise of tits. In fact, no fighting game character or story is fleshed out very well because of the arcade roots of the genre.

Aiddon:

omegawyrm:
Bayonetta was so great but it, sadly, wasn't really surprising that a lot of people missed the point. I get that it was made by a male designer who explicitly said that he wanted the character to be sexy, and there are plenty of reasons to be wary of the game coming from that sort of origin. Anyone paying attention though would pretty easily be able to see that the primary metaphor the game operates on is that of a woman who uses the expression of her sexuality as a weapon to destroy the masculine symbols that dominate women sexually and physically, and the game contextualizes those symbols as religious imagery (I don't think I'd be too far off if I suggest that the game draws pretty heavy parallels to Catholicism in this area) which give the conflict a pretty significant historical weight. If that doesn't fit with the definition of empowerment, I don't know what does.

One problem though: Bayonetta ain't sexy. At all. She has no sense of grace or elegance to her supposed sex appeal and flaunts it WAAAAAY too much, almost like someone who's so insecure about their supposed beauty that they have to shove it in everyone's face every five minutes. Kamiya just doesn't have the ability to be able to address the idea of sexual expression

Uh, well, you're entitled to your opinion, but I'm going to disagree. Both me and my fiance think Bayonetta was a really fun and sexy character, and I don't think the subjective opinion on whether you find the character sexy or not changes what the central metaphor of the story is. I don't really think what you said damages my thesis that Bayonetta was an empowerment fantasy for female sexuality, and that was really cool because that's kind of a novel, or at least rare, narrative, especially in video games.

I'd say, summed up quiet well for a 5min video!
Now, what i don't get is, that while i recognize more arguments from the, lets call it "reasonable side", demanding less stereotyped, more realistic and deep characters, or other, new approaches (despite, lets face it, some characters we just love to be polarised as they are), why are game companies seldom responding to this? When a game is released with a well made female character (or a very well made character in general), it usually gets awesome reviews for this, so why won't some companies recognize the importance of this matter? And i think those who'd cry about their "sexy stylized females" removed from games, while i think this is evitable by itself, the "other" side would overweight eventually.
And they should fucking stop trying to tell me it is "natural physics", that boobs bounce three times after every movement, why some still do this in their games, animations or whatever?!
More refering to games right now, i think the matter as a whole is much bigger and needs some more time to be discussed and changed.

you make a good point but I just dont care about this since i am a hetero male and more often then not i like how companies portray those pixelated women as sexy.
Yes, most pixelated women are there since 'sex sells', but that goes for almost all advertising/products.
I dont hear guys complaining about the Old-spice commercial and that one actively puts down all boyfriends/men in favor of a sexual fantasy geared towards women.
Point is: whining never solved anything. You either suck it up/let it go, or go out and do something new and constructive with that. An example that comes to mind is how the new Lara Croft looks more cool then sexy this time around.

And lets face it, a lot of those 'complaining feminists' just need to grow thicker skin instead of fatter ... skin. But this goes for everything that whiners whine about: sexual, racial, political and moral.
Free speech, apparantly, is only good if people that complain about something get their way and that is not free speech but censorship!

Aisaku:
After watching the video I felt it was... unfinished. Bob led to the point but he didn't really cover it in detail. He didn't give a proper shoutout to games that do regard their female characters as deep and nuanced as any other characters. Oh well.

This is why I always preferred Aya Brea to Lara Croft back in the PSX days. Aya had a semblance of substance, of character and character growth.

Well Bob does only have 5 minutes to work with or so.

As for the Aya to Lara comparison, that's sorta not fair, honestly. Aya in the first game was a better character, but then went down the same slope as Lara. The character Lara started with wasn't that bad, but do to bogus rumors started as jokes in EGM (how countless urban legends of gaming started), the Nude Raider joke became big and Lara was quickly changed into a sex symbol instead of a human being. When Lara is allowed to be Lara, the character isn't bad at all, sometimes really good. Case in point: Guardian of Light. In that she's exactly what she was meant to be, a female Indiana Jones with an equally sharp wit. At least Lara is getting another chance because of GoL and the remake, whereas Third Birthday was about the most offensive thing they could of done to Aya. But it's SE, so I pretty much expected that.

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