The Big Picture: Gender Games

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That was good that and relevant to what's happening in the New DCU.

Daaaah Whoosh:

lockgar:

Or maybe make a female character that you don't want to fuck? Just a thought. Maybe have an actual person who happens to be female, and not an object of sexual desire?

All right, then. Why don't we talk about how the leading men in video games always look handsome and well-built, then? There are seldom any fat or ugly men in games, especially in many RPGs, where there is only one body type per gender for every human NPC. Normally, both sexes are portrayed in a way that makes them attractive to most people. I'm just trying to say that if it's going to be that way, it might as well be equal for both men and women in all respects. I mean, I'm all for seeing a bunch of non-attractive people in video games, as long as it's not just the women.

I agree with you regarding the fact that it has to be equal for both, though I wouldn't say that it's really the issue of being "handsome" or "pretty". In visual media, virtually all characters are good looking; after all, it's a visual media, and people need something nice to look at for hours. There's nothing wrong with that in my opinion. I like to look at nice people, men, and women as well. However, there's a difference between being handsome, pretty or just generally good looking and looking like you jumped out of a porn. And it's mostly women who look like they entered the wrong studio on their way to porn filming. They are not just good looking, they are exaggerated in such way that it's neither plausible nor does it make sense for them to be a part of that video game/movie/TV show/whatever.

A lot of people immediately mention muscled men, but to those men, muscles are an essential part of their job description and come from life-long training. Soldiers, warriors, policemen and similar types of characters cannot perform their jobs without some amount of muscles (especially if they carry around unrealistically huge weapons). However, when it comes to women, they seem to have an unrealistic look that makes me think "She can't possibly do that" and breaks immersion; their bodies are in no way connected with their jobs, they do not benefit from it and they would actually be at a rather great disadvantage with such proportions. Huge boobs are not necessary for a woman to do any job, they actually pretty much get in the way, can cause severe back pains and don't do much for your agility. Huge boobs in combination with tiny arms is even more ridiculous (Lara Croft would be the prime example here I think, and no matter how much I love her, she is just plain ridiculous. Just look at her arms; she can't possibly lift her own body with them, let alone do all those acrobatics. It simply does not work and I don't care about it being just a game where you kill dinosaurs and mummies). If we include a really small waist and other silly proportions, women usually end up looking like they could not physically exist and for no other reason than to be an object to look at. Exaggeration exists in male characters as well and it's equally annoying, but at least bigger-than-head muscles serve a purpose. You know, they make him fit for battle and I immediately do not fear that my character will snap like a twig if someone touches him (also, muscles are not in there for those men to be sexualized; comparing them to boobs makes no sense as most women do not find huge muscles as the object of desire. A man flaunting his muscles demands respect and shows how awesome he is, which are personality/ability traits. A woman flaunting boobs in a suggestive cleavage does not say "I radiate authority!", she says "I clearly want your dick!"). I also know that men are not a uniformed life-form, attracted to such silly proportionated women, but characters like that still exist. There are other things about female characters that go into the equation such as impractical hair and useless outfits. As Bob said, it's not even just how the outfit looks and the pose is much more important. Still, when I see some female outfit, I usually groan in annoyance because I immediately assume that the person who designed it obviously never saw a real woman or never left the house for that matter. Anyone who thinks it is easy or normal to do anything but pole dancing and stripping in those kinds of outfits, needs to go out in the world and meet someone from the 50% of the Earth's population. Thongs, bikinis, cleavages, strips, see-through clothes, high-heels... Do they really have a logical, practical and useful possible usage for a game character that is supposed to be a human being with a brain and characterization, abilities and a personality? No (with the excuse of a character who despite that, has strong characterization and it's a part of their character. It can be done well, but it's mostly done because it's a cheap way out and supposedly, it brings profit because "sex sells").

Anyway, yes, I agree with the fact that characters in general, regardless of the gender and media, need to be slightly more realistic. I don't necessarily want them to be ugly or fat, I just want them to make sense and to be in tune with what the character does, which also includes the outfits to match that person's personality. If a woman is a perverted bitch, let her have her cleavage (although, huge boobs and silly proportions are still not necessary to convey the message). If she's supposed to be a fucking awesome heroine that kicks ass, make her look like that. I wouldn't want Lara to be ugly and masculine, I'd just like for her body figure to make sense with what she does for a living. Same with men, really. No need to exaggerate with muscles, not even a heroic warrior needs to have arms bigger than his head. Handsome and pretty people can stay, they are not the problem, and handsome men are not the equivalent of ridiculously sexualized women.

Also, great episode, Bob!

They are just doing it for the 'greater good'. I think it is pretty safe to say that a majority of people that play the kind of games that contain skimpy outfits are males so its just fan service. Pandering to their audience if you will.
If people want to change it make heterosexual males the minority of the gamer base and then you can throw in something that will please the new majority. But I think this is already the case for certain games. You don't see many males playing farmville and you dont see skimpy outfits on farmville.

I was wondering if Bob was gonna do this topic and it's good to see him coming at it from a different angle. Now that I've thought about it, he's right, I've been gaming for something like 15 years and and now that I think about it, out side Nintendo almost every game I've played with a major Female character has had her in some variation of "hey, I know I'm in the middle of a sword fight but I'm gonna pose like this is a goddamn photoshoot." Fuck even Nintendo isn't immune from that is seems with that Zero Suit Samus design in Brawl.

Princess Rose:

Aiddon:
Ah, 3rd Birthday, probably the most sexist and poorly written game EVER to have come out of Square (written by resident hack Motomu Toriyama no less). Aya had always been sexualized to a degree considering that there was quite a bit of promotional art like her wearing her jacket but not a shirt underneath, one where she was nude but covered in blood, another where Eve was nibbling on her ear (with Aya CLEARLY not enjoying herself), or where she was nude surrounded by...stuff. Even the shower scene in 2 was relatively harmless. T3B...whoo, I can't even BEGIN on where that game drops the ball.

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.

To be fair, El Shadai and X-men Origin: Wolverine did have the same clothes/armor ripping mechanic.

I do that 2 thing need to happen in the game industry to make things more fair. First, there needs to be more non-sexualized (and more diversed body-types for) female protagonists. Second, some blatant beefcake would be nice for those into that, even though Japan seems to be slightly ahead of us when it comes to that.

kickyourass:
I was wondering if Bob was gonna do this topic and it's good to see him coming at it from a different angle. Now that I've thought about it, he's right, I've been gaming for something like 15 years and and now that I think about it, out side Nintendo almost every game I've played with a major Female character has had her in some variation of "hey, I know I'm in the middle of a sword fight but I'm gonna pose like this is a goddamn photoshoot." Fuck even Nintendo isn't immune from that is seems with that Zero Suit Samus design in Brawl.

You got to admit that the Zero suit did make more sense than most of the other underclothing Samus wore under her suit in most of the other Metroid games.

lockgar:

NameIsRobertPaulson:
How a character poses is VERY open to interpretation. Morrigan Aensland gives that pose, because she's a succubus, and could kill you seven times before you blink, so she can afford to show off. Cammy has a stronger fighting stance then almost the entire SF roster, there's nothing feminine about that.

By the way, nice use of Marcus Fenix (360) and Nathan Drake (PS3) to cover the Nintendo fan-boyism. Not gonna quiet the crowd though.

So yeah, bad character design for women? I don't even understand why this is still an issue when people have the internet and a simple google search can get any amount of nakedness you could want. This applies for any media that tries to use sex to "enhance" the experience. I just find it pandering.

Thank you, I'v been saying this for a long time. I remember getting SC2 when I was 17, starting to play with Taki in her red body-suit (the one where the boobs bounce like crazy with every little move) and just going "Oh HELL no".
I don't care that it is sexist (which I think it is), I just find it distracting and pandering. If I want to look at animated boobs, I got hentai just one google-search away.
When I play fighting-games, I want to kick ass, not masturbate.

So, I say, go with same rule as should be applied to movies/literature/televison: If sex/sexuality of a character doesn't directly add to the story, the mood or the immersion, cut it the hell out.

I'm just going to point to the fine ladies known as Anya Stroud and Sam Byrne and give a standing ovation to Epic Games for schooling the gaming industry on how to make good looking female characters who don't have their bodies on show when they go into battle.

4173:

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.

Woohoo! I've learned to use the "quote" function...

(Yes, this was a bit of a slow day.)

One of the problems with the argument is that so often people try to bring it down to an absolute. Sexy done right does not equal objectification, and neither does alluring. The question is one of depth. The word "objectification" literally means "being transformed into an object."

You get a woman who has a character, emotions, goals, dreams, in a skin-tight bodysuit for a reason that makes sense, and that's a sexy character - it is not objectification. I can't speak for James Bond (too far on the hetero side, here), but Selene from Underworld is very sexy - but most of that comes from being a competent, driven action hero who comes across as a real...um...human being (well, vampire, but she started out as a human being).

You get a woman who is wearing clothing for a task that no woman in her right mind would ever wear, and has little to no characteristics other than being sexy, and you've got objectification. It is a bit of a sliding scale, but I think that's the best way to look at it.

And, finally, The_root_of_all_evil wrote "It does mean not dismissing the other sides views out of hand though." and "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."

Root, a word to the wise: if you're going to contribute to a forum discussion about objectification of women filled with examples both stated in words and illustrated in pictures, please don't make your objection to somebody's post on the side of all the examples a general demand for proof. It makes you look like one of those creationists who, upon being surrounded by missing evolutionary links, keeps asking for one.

MovieBob:
Gender Games

Those (not so) pesky feminists.

Watch Video

Short version: gamers are pissed at the wrong people.

As a person who encountered scantily clad women in games, movies, pornography and other media long before I learned how to actually talk to women, and how to be something other than just a friend to some of them, I always sort of figured that the more I talk about how I'm entitled to my Big Titty Lesbians #38 and how hot Chun Li is, the longer it's going to take for me to go on my first date/actually kiss a girl/lose my virginity. And then I figured out why. It was even more crushing to realize that so many of these images not only do not represent, say, 90% of the female population, but that a great deal of them, particularly in anime and video games, don't even represent the most surgically enhanced women out there. They represent something that doesn't even exist in real life.

That, and I find some of the Mass Effect characters to be a Helluvah lot more sexy because there breasts look like, y'know, breasts and not like, well, Tecmo breasts. There bodies look like female bodies (exceptionally thin and fit bodies, but bodies, nonetheless). I couldn't fathom jerking it to one of the Ninja Gaiden "babes" (well, maybe 8-bit Irene Lew :P ) when I was 13 years old.

coates32:

To be fair, El Shadai and X-men Origin: Wolverine did have the same clothes/armor ripping mechanic.

I do that 2 thing need to happen in the game industry to make things more fair. First, there needs to be more non-sexualized (and more diversed body-types for) female protagonists. Second, some blatant beefcake would be nice for those into that, even though Japan seems to be slightly ahead of us when it comes to that.

Admittedly, yes, Japan does provide equal-opportunity fanservice a lot better than the West does. Even in stuff written by men the guys tend to be lookers. Heck, even Soul Calibur has no shortage of eyecandy with guys like Sieg, Mitsu, Kilik, Maxi, and Raphael and is even getting some new additions with ZWEI and Patroklos

hmm never saw it that way. Interesting.

Bob is pretty good at selling an idea about games as if there's no realistic objection to it, as he does here. I completely agree that poses, especially static box art, are specifically designed to convey meaning. I fundamentally disagree that half of the images he uses to support his idea that "all female poses are about selling sexuality" truly are examples of this. Sonya Blade, Kitana, and plenty of other females looked to me like they were in strong, resolute, or even aggrssive poses. What I did notice is that the ladies were often wearing much less clothing, but Bob decided that's not a problem in this episode.

Honestly, I think the problem is breasts. Not that video game makers keep making them so big (although they might could tone it down a bit), but that for myself and probably all of my male friends, if we see a woman's breasts or some other fundamentally sexually provocative body part, style of dress, or action, it's next to impossible for us not to think about the woman in a sexual way. George Carlin put it best: "The thought that occurs to a man most often is 'Boy, I'd sure like to f--- that.'" I wish it weren't true, but it is. It's quite honestly a cross that men have to bear (and I'm not saying women don't, I'm just not speaking about their psyches at the moment). Women will be sexualized as long as men are there to look at them.

As for the idea that video game makers need to acknowledge the tiny percentage of their audience that can't stand hypersexualized women, NO. No one owes the non-heteronormative audience anything. That would be like me getting mad at Frito Lay because they don't have Milk-Flavored Doritos. The people producing a product have the right to sell whatever they want. You have the right not to buy it. You also have the right to make your own product if you want it so badly. Those are your options. Deal with it.

Sjakie:
Free speech, apparantly, is only good if people that complain about something get their way and that is not free speech but censorship!

Oh, please.

This insistence some westerners have whenever debates such as this arises that they can merely hide behind their precious 'free speech' as though it were some impenetrable shield that they are sooooo fucking entitled to is such a bloody cop-out. If anything, it is impeding what could possibly become a healthy debate, if half the contenders would consider any potential concession on their part a breach of their sacred right to be dickbags.

This is not about free speech or any such nonsense. This is about common sense and not being a jerk.

mostly i agree, but the thing is... a lot of those female poses you showed us to make your point do actually tell us something non-sexual about the character. i love everything you have to say bob, but it kinda fealt like while i was seeing a big of story in the poses of say, cammy, what'shername from heavenly sword, chun li, etc, it kinda fealt like you were resolved to not see anything but your point is said pictures.
what's wrong with chun li's pose? she's looking at the camera? thus checking herself out? it implies where looking through the eyes of her opponent, just like they did with that bowza pose you showed and had good things to complain about.

Suddenly, I consider that character design has depths I never imagined...

DragonLord Seth:
I always hold Tifa Lockheart and Faith as the 2 most "practical" game girls. Now, I've never payed a Final Fantasy game, and couldn't tell you which one Tifa was in (was it... 7?), but from looking over her character design... ignoring the massive balloon tits... I would have to say that she dresses for success more than the "Armor Rating" decree.
image
I mean, if I had to pit Ivy and Tifa in a fight, taking away Ivy's advantage where tight metal and cloth doesn't mean shit, I would put my money on Tifa. I mean, srsly guise, have you ever seen a woman try to run or be acrobatic in high heels?

Speaking as someone who has played through most of VII, which is the Final Fantasy game Tifa was in, while she does have a pretty practical, normal costume design (Especially compared with so many other Tetsuya Nomura designs; Look at Yuffie Kisaragi from the same damn game, for Christ's sake. Why is she only wearing half a sweater secured around her midriff with a belt? What's with that sleeve thing? And why is she only wearing mesh on half of her joints? Friggin' hipster ninja...), her character is definitely not one that I find appealing as a feminist. The short, basically spoiler-free version is that her entire existence revolves around Cloud. It's not quite as bad as Rosa from IV who literally has no character beyond being a perfect girlfriend for Cecil and all that entails, but between Tifa's own emotional dependence and her inexplicable blimp-breasts that never seem to interfere with her martial arts, she's not exactly my favorite character from VII.

Ironically enough, it's for this exact opposite reason that Yuffie is my favorite character. Yeah, she has her own date scene with Cloud and one of the things you can do to get points toward it is for the party to save her from a certain situation that you'd think, as a ninja, she wouldn't have gotten into in the first place, but she has her own ambition (That plays into why some fans hate her), her own desires, and her own faults that come naturally as part of her being a privileged teenage girl. It's a shame the Compilation materials came along and Flanderized her the same way they ruined everyone else, Cloud's snarky personality probably being the absolute greatest loss.

Beliyal:

Daaaah Whoosh:

lockgar:

Or maybe make a female character that you don't want to fuck? Just a thought. Maybe have an actual person who happens to be female, and not an object of sexual desire?

All right, then. Why don't we talk about how the leading men in video games always look handsome and well-built, then? There are seldom any fat or ugly men in games, especially in many RPGs, where there is only one body type per gender for every human NPC. Normally, both sexes are portrayed in a way that makes them attractive to most people. I'm just trying to say that if it's going to be that way, it might as well be equal for both men and women in all respects. I mean, I'm all for seeing a bunch of non-attractive people in video games, as long as it's not just the women.

I agree with you regarding the fact that it has to be equal for both, though I wouldn't say that it's really the issue of being "handsome" or "pretty". In visual media, virtually all characters are good looking; after all, it's a visual media, and people need something nice to look at for hours. There's nothing wrong with that in my opinion. I like to look at nice people, men, and women as well. However, there's a difference between being handsome, pretty or just generally good looking and looking like you jumped out of a porn. And it's mostly women who look like they entered the wrong studio on their way to porn filming. They are not just good looking, they are exaggerated in such way that it's neither plausible nor does it make sense for them to be a part of that video game/movie/TV show/whatever.

A lot of people immediately mention muscled men, but to those men, muscles are an essential part of their job description and come from life-long training. Soldiers, warriors, policemen and similar types of characters cannot perform their jobs without some amount of muscles (especially if they carry around unrealistically huge weapons). However, when it comes to women, they seem to have an unrealistic look that makes me think "She can't possibly do that" and breaks immersion; their bodies are in no way connected with their jobs, they do not benefit from it and they would actually be at a rather great disadvantage with such proportions. Huge boobs are not necessary for a woman to do any job, they actually pretty much get in the way, can cause severe back pains and don't do much for your agility. Huge boobs in combination with tiny arms is even more ridiculous (Lara Croft would be the prime example here I think, and no matter how much I love her, she is just plain ridiculous. Just look at her arms; she can't possibly lift her own body with them, let alone do all those acrobatics. It simply does not work and I don't care about it being just a game where you kill dinosaurs and mummies). If we include a really small waist and other silly proportions, women usually end up looking like they could not physically exist and for no other reason than to be an object to look at. Exaggeration exists in male characters as well and it's equally annoying, but at least bigger-than-head muscles serve a purpose. You know, they make him fit for battle and I immediately do not fear that my character will snap like a twig if someone touches him (also, muscles are not in there for those men to be sexualized; comparing them to boobs makes no sense as most women do not find huge muscles as the object of desire. A man flaunting his muscles demands respect and shows how awesome he is, which are personality/ability traits. A woman flaunting boobs in a suggestive cleavage does not say "I radiate authority!", she says "I clearly want your dick!"). I also know that men are not a uniformed life-form, attracted to such silly proportionated women, but characters like that still exist. There are other things about female characters that go into the equation such as impractical hair and useless outfits. As Bob said, it's not even just how the outfit looks and the pose is much more important. Still, when I see some female outfit, I usually groan in annoyance because I immediately assume that the person who designed it obviously never saw a real woman or never left the house for that matter. Anyone who thinks it is easy or normal to do anything but pole dancing and stripping in those kinds of outfits, needs to go out in the world and meet someone from the 50% of the Earth's population. Thongs, bikinis, cleavages, strips, see-through clothes, high-heels... Do they really have a logical, practical and useful possible usage for a game character that is supposed to be a human being with a brain and characterization, abilities and a personality? No (with the excuse of a character who despite that, has strong characterization and it's a part of their character. It can be done well, but it's mostly done because it's a cheap way out and supposedly, it brings profit because "sex sells").

Anyway, yes, I agree with the fact that characters in general, regardless of the gender and media, need to be slightly more realistic. I don't necessarily want them to be ugly or fat, I just want them to make sense and to be in tune with what the character does, which also includes the outfits to match that person's personality. If a woman is a perverted bitch, let her have her cleavage (although, huge boobs and silly proportions are still not necessary to convey the message). If she's supposed to be a fucking awesome heroine that kicks ass, make her look like that. I wouldn't want Lara to be ugly and masculine, I'd just like for her body figure to make sense with what she does for a living. Same with men, really. No need to exaggerate with muscles, not even a heroic warrior needs to have arms bigger than his head. Handsome and pretty people can stay, they are not the problem, and handsome men are not the equivalent of ridiculously sexualized women.

Also, great episode, Bob!

To both of you claiming men are objectified just as much as women, two of the most iconic men in gaming are Mario and Luigi. One's fat, the other's skinny, and they both have potato noses hanging under some bushy 'staches. How many women can you find who'd want to tap that?

Also, how many explicitly female villains you can count who are monstrous or just plain ugly as Bowser, Ridley or Zemus/Zeromus? And no, Gruntilda doesn't count, considering that cutscene Banjo-Kazooie rewards you with when you get a game over.

Valid points and pony references? Bob, have I mentioned that I love you recently?

Gotta admit, Every now and then I like the whole "here have some obvious eye candy thing" Hey, Im dude I spank it. That is a thing that happens, But Im gonna be honest. Its not classy, and it makes playing games awkward if friends are around. and lately its been making it awkward when Im alone.

I mean hey, you want to pander to your audience. Thats cool. And I would totally support some more romance/sex options in most games. But I just wish they didnt put huge titties all over the packaging. I mean hell, I like skimpy outfits but maybe make them unlockables? Maybe give me dignity as a choice? cause right now Im getting fan-service weather I want it or not. If its gotten so smutty that I the horny young man am made uncomfortable then I cant imagine what all the girls who play have to put up with.

TL:DR?
Give me a smutt off button. Or give me clothes on by default and the ability to get them off. Off by default just makes me feel like Im in a virtual strip club. Allllll the time. Its awkward.

This isn't a complex issue.

When women and females start buying video games and showing support of those games without a.) trying to look as hot and adorable as possible in cosplay costumes at gaming conventions and b.) in the quantities that 14-40 year old men do then we'll see the industry move away from this sort of thing.

It's simple demographics. By any measure you'd care to review male, and especially young adult males outnumber "female game players" by such a large margin I'm not even sure it's comparable at this point. Sure everyone knows a girl or two who "plays video games" and some of them might even be "hardcore" about it, but for the most part girls are too busy with other interests than sitting indoors slogging their way through yet another title. Even girl "friendly" games or neutral games like Kirby, Super Mario brothers, and stuff like that only get casual attention.

If I'm wrong, somebody needs to show me several substantive studies showing this is not the case, because I certainly couldn't find any that do.

And just like big blockbuster hollywood crapfest films, the games industry caters to the audience that banks for them. They could care less about the feelings of a subset of society that doesn't provide a noticeable portion of their profits.

Until such a time that women are storming gaming stores the way men do, expect plenty of big tits and camel toe armor.

Movie bob+extra creditz talks on sexuality in gaming are worthy to be sent to all developers around the world! And i think we are starting to move forward, like in GOW3 and hopefully other AAA titles.

RJ Dalton:

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 meant in actual games. rule63 exists for almost everything on the internet in general... of course i wouldnt claim that nobody has ever drawn a female E. Honda, a popular character for what... 20 years or something? :/

way to ignore everything else i said btw. top notch...

PrototypeC:

Don't even get me started on what they've done to poor Ivy... surely a genius of her calibur would appreciate wearing a shirt?! If I ever dare to choose her, everyone comes to the same conclusion about me. Oh yes, you know what it is.

It always confused me back in the days of SC2 when i first played it...
if shes so posh and serious, why would she lower herself like that?

what conclusion did people come to when you picked Voldo though? he's in a similar situation to her, but male.

Morrigan? Sure. Not a single person has come up with a good reason why every OTHER female character makes those kinds of poses. Besides, why hasn't anyone just staked her with a cross or something by now?

Mileena likes to act like she's perpetually in heat all the time because she's jealous of her sister (original and she's a clone? Ah whatever) and the fact that Kitana doesn't have a big monster jaw. So what's Kitana's excuse, or Jade's, for that matter?

Don't even get me started on what they've done to poor Ivy... surely a genius of her calibur would appreciate wearing a shirt?! If I ever dare to choose her, everyone comes to the same conclusion about me. Oh yes, you know what it is.

Could not agree with you more, Bob.

I find this is a bigger problem in Japanese games than it is in Western games, especially in the last 5 or 10 years. We have a long way to go to an actual, fleshed out, living, breathing female character in a game, but the West is inching closer to it.

I think right off the bat, Alex from Half Life 2 is the best portrayal of a woman in games so far. The women in the Uncharted games are also a lot less one dimensional than many portrayals, although I still think the way they are portrayed is mostly sexist and serving 50s-era stereotypes.

Here in Japan, on the other hand, there is literally no progress being made in this regard, despite very specific movements and even laws in the last decade or so geared at equality for women. Ironically though, most of my female gamer friends from the west had a thing for Bayonetta. Go figure.

well i agree about preti much everything you said exept one thing
the twilight guys now i know the meaning was "stop complaining about the dude having to go around topless all the time" but is that realy we have to complain about those movies? just sayin...

TheLastTatlFan:
To both of you claiming men are objectified just as much as women, two of the most iconic men in gaming are Mario and Luigi. One's fat, the other's skinny, and they both have potato noses hanging under some bushy 'staches. How many women can you find who'd want to tap that?

Also, how many explicitly female villains you can count who are monstrous or just plain ugly as Bowser, Ridley or Zemus/Zeromus? And no, Gruntilda doesn't count, considering that cutscene Banjo-Kazooie rewards you with when you get a game over.

I'm afraid to think about there being women who'd like to tap Mario and Luigi.

But seriously, yes, it's true. Men are certainly not objectified just as much as women, although there are instances. However, it's difficult to say whether is it really objectifying men in the same way women are objectified or is it just pandering to some macho fantasy. Aside from the antiquity, throughout history, I don't think men were ever perceived as sexual objects in the same manner women were.

HyenaThePirate:
This isn't a complex issue.

When women and females start buying video games and showing support of those games without a.) trying to look as hot and adorable as possible in cosplay costumes at gaming conventions and b.) in the quantities that 14-40 year old men do then we'll see the industry move away from this sort of thing.

It's simple demographics. By any measure you'd care to review male, and especially young adult males outnumber "female game players" by such a large margin I'm not even sure it's comparable at this point. Sure everyone knows a girl or two who "plays video games" and some of them might even be "hardcore" about it, but for the most part girls are too busy with other interests than sitting indoors slogging their way through yet another title. Even girl "friendly" games or neutral games like Kirby, Super Mario brothers, and stuff like that only get casual attention.

If I'm wrong, somebody needs to show me several substantive studies showing this is not the case, because I certainly couldn't find any that do.

And just like big blockbuster hollywood crapfest films, the games industry caters to the audience that banks for them. They could care less about the feelings of a subset of society that doesn't provide a noticeable portion of their profits.

Until such a time that women are storming gaming stores the way men do, expect plenty of big tits and camel toe armor.

Even if what you said was true and set in stone, does it mean that men deserve and want bland sexual objects as "characters"? Is it really okay to be lazy and just put huge tits and a skimpy outfit on a female character and call it a day, no matter what that character does, who she is and what she is supposed to do in the setting? I think it's insulting to the both of us; it assumes women won't play it anyway because, they just don't play games, and it also assumes men are drooling idiots that have no sense for characterization and story and play games for tits and ass.

garjian:

i meant in actual games. rule63 exists for almost everything on the internet in general... of course i wouldnt claim that nobody has ever drawn a female E. Honda, a popular character for what... 20 years or something? :/

It wasn't so much ignoring everything else as it was failing to connect point a to point b. I've also been known to occasionally fail the Turing test.

I was reminded of J. Sheas post on Soul Calibur about how the male characters costumes makeing more sense then the female charters most of the time when watching this video. The post can be found here:
http://exploringbelievability.blogspot.com/2011/05/analysis-soul-calibur.html

lockgar:
...Or maybe make a female character that you don't want to fuck? Just a thought. Maybe have an actual person who happens to be female, and not an object of sexual desire?

There is one that gets close... Alyx Vance from HL2 and it's episodes... but she's not exactly as you describe because her personality and abilities and not just her looks make her attractive anyway. If you play through the HL2 series you'll see what I am talking about

Maybe it's just me missing the point completely, but the examples from Japanese games, I just wrote them off as just cultural differences and left them at that. If I saw a Western game company do the same thing, then I would raise more of an eyebrow at them.

But Japan did bring Heather from Silent Hill 3, and she didn't dress like a total whore, and she was a great female character. I wouldn't recommend any feminist to look at the soundtrack cover to that game, even though it's a great soundtrack, but I will give them credit for trying.

Yes, there are gamers that really need to think before they speak, but so do some feminists since this is something that both sides need to communicate clearly on. Personally, I get irritated by both sides since they make the problem worse than it really should be. Feminists do have a point when there's a character that's not dressed for the occasion, if you will, but gamers need to respect that and understand where they are coming from, and try to get game companies to get that.

Also, a few people mentioned 3rd Birthday, and I have this to say. I must be a disgrace to my gender since I loved that game and I didn't have much of a problem with the whole clothing thing (read: I thought it was stupid and moved on), again I just wrote it off as Japan being Japan and me not living there to get it, and that's not the game's fault.

Princess Rose:

This example is FAR better than anything I caught in MovieBob's video. There is no point to bringing fighting games into the mix and probably if you know ANYTHING about ANY of his male character choices you looked them up too. Here however you have a perfect example of a narratives main character being sold on pointless T and A, well leg anyway.
My pet peeve as of late has been mass effect. In ME1 all the women on your crew wore practical armour that provided shielding and protection. In ME2 you have a woman who wears a belt to cover her nipples and one wearing a catsuit so tight you need a bottle of lube to get into it every morning. Seriously when you go into a alien ship with no atmosphere that is exposed to the depths of space, you put on a friggun shirt, its just common sense.
You will never convince people that the T and A in fighting games is in any way worse than a guy in a thong and leopard head, when the characters are just vacant shells, but you will convince them by showing a characters depth and identity taken away and replaced with jiggle physics and vogue shots.

HyenaThePirate:
This isn't a complex issue.

When women and females start buying video games and showing support of those games without a.) trying to look as hot and adorable as possible in cosplay costumes at gaming conventions and b.) in the quantities that 14-40 year old men do then we'll see the industry move away from this sort of thing.

It's simple demographics. By any measure you'd care to review male, and especially young adult males outnumber "female game players" by such a large margin I'm not even sure it's comparable at this point. Sure everyone knows a girl or two who "plays video games" and some of them might even be "hardcore" about it, but for the most part girls are too busy with other interests than sitting indoors slogging their way through yet another title. Even girl "friendly" games or neutral games like Kirby, Super Mario brothers, and stuff like that only get casual attention.

If I'm wrong, somebody needs to show me several substantive studies showing this is not the case, because I certainly couldn't find any that do.

And just like big blockbuster hollywood crapfest films, the games industry caters to the audience that banks for them. They could care less about the feelings of a subset of society that doesn't provide a noticeable portion of their profits.

Until such a time that women are storming gaming stores the way men do, expect plenty of big tits and camel toe armor.

Forty-two percent of all players are women and women over 18 years of age are one of the industry's fastest growing demographics.

Today, adult women represent a greater portion of the game-playing population (37 percent) than boys age 17 or younger (13 percent).

Source: http://www.theesa.com/facts/gameplayer.asp

Protip: Look up "video game demographic information" before you make claims about video game demographic information. Consider that this comes from the ESA, who have a vested interest in reporting accurate statistics on the matter.

Edit: full study (2011) available here: http://www.theesa.com/facts/pdfs/ESA_EF_2011.pdf

Wow, I wrote a long post, I think it would be wrong to inflict it on this forum without spoiler tags. It's a long response, but I felt it was warranted:

In closing...

The_root_of_all_evil:
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.

Okay... let's look at MetaCritic's top 5 games of all time.

1. GTA IV - Let's just say that the cover art features guys with guns, riding motocycles, helicopters, and cars while the sole woman pictured is licking a lollypop.

2. Super Mario Galaxy 1 & 2 - Mario must rescue the princess *sigh* while also repairing an observatory for another woman. In the sequel, we lose the second woman.

3. Tony Hawk's Proskater 4 - This one, I will happily admit was pretty balanced, gender-wise. You could be whatever gender you wished.

4. GTA III - More or less similar to the complaints to GTA IV. Female NPCs have a somewhat more important role, but not much.

5. Half Life 2 - Definitely a win for female characters. Biggest complaint is that you have to play as Gordon and not Alyx.

Note that not a one of these features a female protagonist. It's really not "rude" to point out facts. In all of the above, women are victims, villains, or at best, a sidekick in need of rescue.

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

Well, frankly, Side A is wrong. Flat Earthers are wrong, also. It's not being opinionated, or rude, or anything else. Sometimes people are wrong. Even about things they believe very strongly. Often especially about things they believe very strongly.

Let feminists have their panties in a bunch, as long as we buy the games we like, devs will keep making them. There are less games targeted at female because there are less female gamers. If you want devs to make games that you like (I don't really know what a feminist would like, lol), then start playing and buying more games. This reminds me of the Mass Effect sex scene scandal and the hot coffee mod scandal. These are just feminists sticking their heads into something that other people enjoy.

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