Jimquisition: Boob Wars and Dragon Crowns

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I find these sorts of videos/articles by gaming journalists to be very hypocritical. Many of them (Jim included) had a real go at the gaming community for complaining about mass effect 3's ending since it's art and that was what the artist wanted (though it's debatable if that's what they wanted or if EA told them to just slap any old ending on it but I'm not opening that one again). Then something like this comes along where it is very clearly a stialised art choice and everyone condemns the artist for it.

I'm sorry guys but I'm one of those who believes their is no "too far" when it comes to art, you'll always find someone to be offended by something. Thing should be taken as intended, if no offence is intended then it's fine. Some people will get offended but that is not because of the artist's work that's because they put their own interpretation on it. Some of the great works of art, music and film were very controversial in their day. Either everything is ok or nothing is, stop trying to draw arbitrary "do not cross" lines all over the place.

cookyy2k:
and everyone condemns the artist for it.

don't generalize, this is part of what got us into this mess :P

uanime5:

In the Witcher the sorceresses used their magic to ensure they remained beautiful even if they were hundreds of years old. Would you accept this as an acceptable reason for a woman who knows magic to be young looking with large breasts?

In a word, yes. The quest for everlasting youth has been a trope for aeons, both in real life (Elizabeth Báthory allegedly bathing in virgin blood) to lore (every bloody fairy tale in the world). Hell, Michelle Pfeiffer played the hell out of that very role in Stardust, didn't she?

But in your example, beauty is a goal. The quest for it defines a character, right? An evil queen doing evil things to stay young and beautiful, a sorceress craving and abusing magic for that goal - that's a story unto itself, right there. A character having big tits just because? Ehh...

Toilet:
I see your point but in your case of the character being relevant to the design aren't we being a bit to fast to judge that the spellcasters figure has no relevance to her character when the game isn't out yet and we know nothing about her aside from the ridiculous figure? I am running blind with this idea so it may be moot but what if the spellcaster has access to shape changing spells as most witches/wizards do in their relevant lore. It's a totally hypothetical idea but the idea I am trying to put across is that her design might be relevant to her character.

Also your answer doesn't really answer why it is a bad thing, I still don't see an issue with sexualized depictions aside from it can maybe hurt story telling (according to your theory). I don't think people would be losing their shit over this issue to this extent if non relevant gratuitous titties only hurt story telling.

I am with you on the "we don't know yet" thing. Hell, I am sort of with you on the notion that this whole brouhaha is a mite exaggerated, especially since Vanillaware's dudes have been huge bloody beefcakes sine Odin Sphere - but again, here's that caveat about muscles being useful in battle (as an aside, this is why I actually prefer the recent "monster thighs" Chun Li over the wisp of a girl she used to be - her muscular legs make sense when she's lightning kicking blokes into oblivion).

As for the story part - anything that is unnecessary should be left out. To use my example again, in a medium about a dude working at his computer all day, the fact that he has shoulders like a fucking forklift or is hung like a horse is of no relevance, so why put it there at all?

Red X:

cookyy2k:
and everyone condemns the artist for it.

don't generalize, this is part of what got us into this mess :P

Sorry, A lot of people condemn the artist, that better :p

Honestly, I've almost completely given up on the discussion of gender in video games because of these shouting matches.

Yes, there are real problems, and yes, I would like to see some things change, but I'm left with no confidence that anyone on either side is actually competent to address these issues or to discuss them in a mature way. It's just an endless back and forth of wild supposition, gross generalization, vilification and heretication.

The Dragon's Crown debate confuses and irritates me because it appears not to be, in any sense, about Dragon's Crown, or even the design of the sorceress. The arguments levied against it consistently fall back on the standard image of women in video games, the (in my opinion somewhat overstated) lack of other options, and the design of female characters to cater exclusively to a demographic of heterosexual men. That being the case, it mystifies me that these people are choosing to target one possibly satirical character in a niche game which provides other options (personally, I'm going to be playing the amazon; I don't find her attractive, but I don't need to, either, and I've never seen a game which let me play as a woman who is a rippling tower of muscle before), when there are so many better targets out there. People say the design is a lazy, bog-standard marketing ploy, but looking at the rest of the art design, I find it hard to believe that any of these designs were specifically intended to please anyone other than George Kamitani himself.

I also consistently see the existence of non-standard female character designs dismissed on the basis that some men are into that, which really rings hollow to me. Some men are into pretty anything. I can go out right now and find porn sites devoted to obese women, hairy women muscular women, amputee women, women with enormous labia, and just about anything else stereotyped as unattractive or unfeminine. Every single strong, well-written, conservatively dressed woman you can dream up is going to have plenty of men who find her attractive. The same can be said of women and their interest in men. A character being considered sexually appealing by a certain group does not invalidate that character as anything other than a sex object or necessitate that they were designed specifically to appeal to that group. That sort of analysis takes the idea that a character must be designed to appeal to a heterosexual male audience as its starting point, rather than starting with the actual content being analyzed and reaching that conclusion.

Aside from that, I seriously question the extent to which a player character can be objectified. It seems to me that they must necessarily have some degree of agency, and thus subjectivity, in order for the game to function at all. In that sense, I find it intellectually problematic to consider a character like Dragon's Crown's sorceress as if she were an NPC or a character in a film, held up by the director to the passive gaze of the audience, rather than the active medium through which the audience is intended to identify and interact with the game's narrative and environment.

I would also like to stop hearing about how such-and-such character is a 'male power fantasy' for me. No one bothered to ask me what I fantasize about, and insisting that a character, image, or archetype represents my fantasies in the face of my statements to the contrary constitute a denial of subjectivity, which is a form of objectification. I do not fantasize about being a big muscle man. I do not fantasize about running around bloodily tearing things in two. I do not fantasize about no-strings attached sex with large numbers of conventionally attractive women. I fantasize about being more feminine, and my 'power fantasies' revolve around calm, methodical management from the comfort of a reclining couch. Do you know how many games cater to those fantasies? In my experience, there are pretty much none. So stop telling me that all of this shit you don't like is for me; it isn't.

evilthecat:
While overall I think the message in this episode is excellent and when it comes to the so-called "boob wars" I couldn't agree more, I feel that it's somewhat incorrect to assume this controversy is simply another debate about sexualized character design. It started off that way with Jason Schreier's original comment, but that's certainly not why Kamitani got so much shit on social media. The real issue here is that you shouldn't respond to criticism (especially not by journalists whose job is to give opinion on your product) by engaging in casual homophobia.

Now, to be fair, Kamitani's "joke" would probably have been completely acceptable had it only been viewed in Japan, because casual homophobia remains perfectly acceptable in Japan. Even his "apology" makes it perfectly clear that he still doesn't actually understand why the joke was offensive, but it was. It was offensive because it implies a) that if Jason Schreier had been gay this alone would be grounds to laugh at him and b) that the wider opinions of actual gay people aren't actually important and don't have to be considered.

I think most of us can agree that Schreier's original comment was, at best, phrased badly, he's said as much himself. But as he also said, he's a critic of games. He's allowed to pass comment on the art in games, as indeed is anyone. If he doesn't like something, he can give it a public thumbs down because that's his job. Remember when Jim called the developers of Aliens: Colonial Marines liars? Would it have been appropriate for them to respond with "Lol, you just didn't like the game because there wasn't enough butsecks in it for you!"

Deflecting criticism by personally attacking a critic is bad practice. Deflecting criticism by trying to homophobically bully a critic, and by extension insulting every gay person in the world is beyond bad practice, it's crossing the line into stupidville. The hatemail and negative social media attention Kamitani is recieving now is completely deserved, and while an apology (even a vague and insincere apology which makes it clear you have no idea why people are angry with you) is a good start, the damage is largely done now.

What "damage"?

An otherwise rather low profile Japanese fantasy game have gotten immense publicity over this in the western nerd hemisphere. How many people knew of "Dragon's Crown" before this controversy took off? Who'd seen - and noticed - the concept/publicity art for it?

If just 5 % of the people who've been part of the discussion end up buying the game, either because they've become interested in it on its own merits, or to spite the lust for the artist self-censoring, I'd wager it'll make far more than it would had nobody found big breasts so offensive. Controversy is an excellent marketing tool, so long as there are people siding with you/who don't care about the issue who'll see your game being argued over.

I'm pretty sure Kamitani can handle a bit of hate mail from offended people who'd never have bought the game anyway - and hence really have no business commenting on it, any more than straight men have commenting on gay porn offending them - if the pain is soothed by sales figures. The thing that actually matters.

Imperator_DK:
What "damage"?

An otherwise rather low profile Japanese fantasy game have gotten immense publicity over this in the western nerd hemisphere. How many people knew of "Dragon's Crown" before this controversy took off? Who'd seen - and noticed - the concept/publicity art for it?

If just 5 % of the people who've been part of the discussion end up buying the game, either because they've become interested in it on its own merits, or to spite the lust for the artist self-censoring, I'd wager it'll make far more than it would had nobody found big breasts so offensive. Controversy is an excellent marketing tool, so long as there are people siding with you/who don't care about the issue who'll see it.

I'm pretty sure Kamitani can handle a bit of hate mail from offended people who'd never have bought the game anyway - and hence really have no business commenting on it, any more than straight men have commenting on gay porn offending them - if the pain is soothed by sales figures. The thing that actually matters.

And therein lies the crux.

Archangel357:
In storytelling, every part of a character should be relevant to the story. A villain needs a reason to be bad besides "he's an arsehole", just like a "seductress" needs more reasons to be "sexy" than "it will increase sales by 10%".

Archangel357:
Women are 50% of the population. How many members of Western parliaments are women? How many are CEOs of multinational corporations? Wall Street banks? How many are heads of government/state?

What percentage of women want to be politicians, CEOs, investment bankers, heads of Government? If this percentage of women wanting to do these jobs is less than the percentage of men that want to do these jobs then you will never have an equal number of men and women doing these jobs.

Not to mention the fact that you neglect the reason WHY women end up more often doing lower-paying work.

Women tend to prefer part time work because it allows them to spend more time with their children. Women prefer lower paying jobs because they're less stressful and usually require more personal skills rather than management skills. I've even read stories by employers who have tried to promote women to higher paying jobs only for these women to refuse promotions simply because they prefer the job they're currently in.

Look, we can discuss the minutiae till the cows come home, but the fact of the matter is that power is still distributed unequally among the sexes. This is due to many reasons, of course, not just the simplistic "teh sexismz", but it is a fact.

Though power isn't evenly distributed among the sexes the reason is often more to do with women not seeking out positions of power than men denying women these positions. No one should assume that because there are unequal distributions that the reason is discrimination.

Gender relations in Vanillaware games.

image

Just saying.

can't say I like the designs ether, the Amazon just looks off, to off to find 'sexy', while most this guys male characters have always rubbed me wrong.

I liked the player character designs of Odin Sphere, those where pretty sensible over all

Archangel357:

Imperator_DK:
What "damage"?

An otherwise rather low profile Japanese fantasy game have gotten immense publicity over this in the western nerd hemisphere. How many people knew of "Dragon's Crown" before this controversy took off? Who'd seen - and noticed - the concept/publicity art for it?

If just 5 % of the people who've been part of the discussion end up buying the game, either because they've become interested in it on its own merits, or to spite the lust for the artist self-censoring, I'd wager it'll make far more than it would had nobody found big breasts so offensive. Controversy is an excellent marketing tool, so long as there are people siding with you/who don't care about the issue who'll see it.

I'm pretty sure Kamitani can handle a bit of hate mail from offended people who'd never have bought the game anyway - and hence really have no business commenting on it, any more than straight men have commenting on gay porn offending them - if the pain is soothed by sales figures. The thing that actually matters.

And therein lies the crux.

Archangel357:
In storytelling, every part of a character should be relevant to the story. A villain needs a reason to be bad besides "he's an arsehole", just like a "seductress" needs more reasons to be "sexy" than "it will increase sales by 10%".

Don't think that's your call to make.

It is and remains the call of the writers and artists themselves how to create their works. Including whether or not to think commercial considerations into the development of them.

If you don't like the game, don't buy it. If you would have bought the game save for one thing, by all means send a constructive criticism to the developer, and more importantly actually buy similar games who do it right. If it's better business not to do it, then it won't be done. People who voice their interest in and support for the overall project are the only ones likely to actually be heard; For good reason, as they're the only ones who should have any potential say in it. It's they who'll be playing it, after all.

But lo and behold, it's not better business, because the people complaining about it wouldn't actually buy "Dragon's Crown" anyway, even if all female characters in it were AA-cups dressed in Burqa's[1]. They simply complain on the internet. Which is worth about as much as they'd pay for the game.

[1] In which case a considerably larger segment probably wouldn't buy it.

uanime5:
What percentage of women want to be politicians, CEOs, investment bankers, heads of Government? If this percentage of women wanting to do these jobs is less than the percentage of men that want to do these jobs then you will never have an equal number of men and women doing these jobs.

Oh, I agree, but I think that between 50% and the current 5%, there is a rather large grey area.

Women tend to prefer part time work because it allows them to spend more time with their children. Women prefer lower paying jobs because they're less stressful and usually require more personal skills rather than management skills. I've even read stories by employers who have tried to promote women to higher paying jobs only for these women to refuse promotions simply because they prefer the job they're currently in.

There is that. There is also the possibility that they see a world dominated by men and give up early on breaking through the glass ceiling.

Though power isn't evenly distributed among the sexes the reason is often more to do with women not seeking out positions of power than men denying women these positions. No one should assume that because there are unequal distributions that the reason is discrimination.

Nobody is suggesting that there is a grand conspiracy. I am, however, saying that old social standards die hard. It took 50 after the Civil Rights movement for America to have a black president. It took Germany 80 years after universal suffrage to have a female chancellor. Also, you are mixing up my notions of "just" and "equal". Again - there is a pretty wide gulf between 5% and 50%.

Jim, that was the best straight up outro you have ever done. Great video all around.

Archangel357:

*snip*

To illustrate my point: if we had a game in which sexual prowess were of no consequence to the character's goals, but a male character were, in promotional materials, artwork etc, depicted as having an enormous penis, would you have a problem with that?

All very good points, and I understand and agree with what you mean.

As for the last part that I did not cut out: No, it honestly would not bother me at all. I genuinely do not care about that kind of thing, be it males or females being used.

Would I be interested in the game? Probably not, but I also don't tend to like games with sexualised women either. I do not defend them because I like them or play games that include them, but because I don't see them as harmful, and therefore do not see them as an issue.

BreakfastMan:

It isn't her body type that is the problem; it is the fact that she as portrayed as a sex object in a way all the other characters in the game aren't. This wouldn't be bad if it wasn't so common for crap like that to happen. It isn't necessarily sexualization that is the problem; it is the lack of diversity, and what that does to reinforce traditional gender roles. Ben Kochera had a pretty good article on such things on the PAR a while back.

No argument there, I have always strongly believed that the lack of diversity is the issue, not the actual sexualisation itself. Although as for the first sentence, I'd say that having one character as more sexual than the others, is showing diversity. There are more sensible characters, and there are characters with disturbing shaped bodies, so it's not like a message is being made that women should look a certain way.

The different being, you are not expected to act such ways IRL. Grabbing a shotgun and curb-stomping cops is looked down upon in society. The problem is about roles that society pushes people towards and encourages. Society generally doesn't encourage being a sociopathic criminal.

A very good point, although I'd say the cause and affect are the other way around. Sexualised media exists because of attitudes that already exist, they do not exist because of the media creating them.

Sex sells because people like sex. People don't like sex because sex is sold.

If people want to complain that sexual media reinforces or encourages these already existent beliefs, I can accept their point, although I'd disagree purely because I believe most people can easily differentiate between fiction and reality.

Although perhaps I am being too optimistic.

I disagree; Violent media often shows acts that are stupidly impossible. Sexualization often shows images that are at least probable (yes, I have met women with breasts bigger than their head IRL. No, I don't know how they walk).

Absolutely, it happens both ways, but I will bring up a point I have made in other discussions.

There are different "types" of fiction. There is fiction such as Halo, where it tries to stay grounded and "believable", where you are supposed to happily suspend your disbelief. In these stories, they try and keep things logical as much as they can. The troops wear realistic armour, when a person does something impossible, there is an in-universe explanation for it (like the Spartan's armour) and the game has a consistent logic to it.

Games with overly sexualised women very rarely fit that description. They are not grounded, or the kind of game that is trying to be "believable". They are more like fantasies, where things don't have to make sense or be explained. Like how in anime, characters often have unrealistic hair colours, and nobody bats an eyelid. That kind of thing is considerably less common in "serious" ones, but in light hearted or over the top ones you will see it more often.

There are always exceptions of course, and I am by no means saying that all sexualised characters are okay, but I strongly believe that there is a large divide between fiction and reality, and that a lot of people tend to blur it too much when it comes to their criticisms.

Only if you afford me the same courtesy. XD

Of course. I am many things, not all of them good, but I try my hardest not to be a hypocrite.

Imperator_DK:
Don't think that's your call to make.

Oh, I am in no way saying what they are and what they are not allowed to do. What I am saying is that by doing something gratuitously, they leave themselves open to accusations of pandering - which, lo and behold, is what we have right now.

Lunar Templar:
can't say I like the designs ether, the Amazon just looks off, to off to find 'sexy', while most this guys male characters have always rubbed me wrong.

I liked the player character designs of Odin Sphere, those where pretty sensible over all

Ehh...

Remember Velvet?

image

Hope that's not too NSFW.

^I could have sworn she wore some sort of trousers in the game proper.

The problem is that the moment one side lowers their metaphorical sword it's not viewed as an attempt to open dialogue as-so-much as it's viewed as it is to gesture "I've lost, please lob my head off".

It's the Golden Balls problem; Both sides would rather lose than take half the "money" and noting short of people's heads flying for it is going to stop it from happening.

On the upside, I'm sure Atlus will get a whole load of sales off this.

ConanThe3rd:
^I could have sworn she wore some sort of trousers in the game proper.

She had a towel draped over her bum, if memory serves.

Archangel357:
...
Oh, I am in no way saying what they are and what they are not allowed to do. What I am saying is that by doing something gratuitously, they leave themselves open to accusations of pandering - which, lo and behold, is what we have right now.

Accusation which don't have any effect.

There'll always be people offended by violence or breasts in fictional media, and they should never be taken seriously. They're useful publicity tools to help get the game out to its actual target demographic though. The one its designers choose to design it for, as they have every right to do.

Archangel357:
snip

you remember Gwen? Mercedes? how about Oswald? or the bad ass the was Cornelius? (dragon slaying bunny rabbit, all your space marine WISH they could be that bad ass)

just picking out Velvet and pointing her out doesn't make my comment less true :p

th3dark3rsh33p:
Thank God for Jim... this is EXACTLY the kind of thing I wish more people did. Discuss things and go into a conversation willing to learn something at the very least.

Agreed. I one time had a blog post on a different site months back inspired by a lot of the talks about how the game industry is changing and shifting and how AAA development -as it is right now- just isn't tenable for the long haul. I got about four comments that were at least were reasonable and respectful in disagreeing with me or in some cases very openly agreeing with me, the detractors provided genuinely decent counter-arguments on the matter that I acknowledged openly in the comments. Then I got about five or so that intentionally just fell into the "no, you're wrong, I disagree, and I'm just going to ignore what you're trying to discuss in favor of trying to stroke my e-peen because apparently I've got nothing better to do". One of them even, as if out of some vindictive pleasure, stated "here's your one star rating!" at the end.

You could feel the spit and fire coming off of it, and it was like night and day when you'd look at what people wrote.

But there was a way to avoid all crap about the sorceresses design
Name her "Witch" and suddenly her design seems fitting
Stereotypical witches are OBSESSED with their looks
They sacrifice kids to regain youth, they do all kind of nasty stuff to be hot and sexy and desirable
And it only makes sense that their clothes would show as much of that hard crafted perfect body as possible

Imperator_DK:

Archangel357:
...
Oh, I am in no way saying what they are and what they are not allowed to do. What I am saying is that by doing something gratuitously, they leave themselves open to accusations of pandering - which, lo and behold, is what we have right now.

Accusation which don't have any effect.

There'll always be people offended by violence or breasts in fictional media, and they should never be taken seriously. They're useful publicity tools to help get the game out to its actual target demographic though. The one its designers choose to design it for, as they have every right to do.

What you are doing is leading the entire notion of critique ad absurdum. Sure, pointing out that Twilight or Transformers 2 are stupid, pandering drivel won't keep millions from watching them, but it needs to be said nonetheless. Pointing out that the tits here are mere pandering won't affect sales of the game negatively, but that doesn't mean that their right to artistic expression trumps my right to express my attitude towards it.

The problem at large here, and the reason for all this, is the self-conscious reaction of a large segement of the gaming population which does not want to be perceived as the kind of people who enjoy this kind of pandering, since it plays right into the stereotypes about our community held by the general population.

Captcha: mea culpa. Indeed.

Archangel357:
...
What you are doing is leading the entire notion of critique ad absurdum. Sure, pointing out that Twilight or Transformers 2 are stupid, pandering drivel won't keep millions from watching them, but it needs to be said nonetheless.

Why?

If people are enjoying Twilight, what business do you - who don't have to go see it, and don't have any stake in the franchise - have criticizing it? People can figure that out for themselves, and the people who're actually vested in the thing should determine which path it should take. Let 13 year old girls and desperate housewives be the judge of products aimed at 13 year old girls and desperate housewives.

Pointing out that the tits here are mere pandering won't affect sales of the game negatively, but that doesn't mean that their right to artistic expression trumps my right to express my attitude towards it.

You have every right to condemn it. Just as anyone else have every right to condemn you for doing so.

The problem at large here, and the reason for all this, is the self-conscious reaction of a large segement of the gaming population which does not want to be perceived as the kind of people who enjoy this kind of pandering, since it plays right into the stereotypes about our community held by the general population.

Well, since there's nothing harmful about enjoying pandering, they should simply own up their desires instead. If the target demographic weren't actually that kind of people, then it wouldn't be created. Which would lead to the same reaction, as they obviously won't be standing idly by to watch the games they enjoy being purged.

For those of you looking for a (halfway-)decent game that could be called Boob Wars, I'd recommend the Comedy Central flash game made for the South Park episode Major Boobage. Since it's no longer supported by CC anymore, you'll have to search for another host of your choice. Still, it's a cute tie-in flash game and features some pretty colossal boobs.

This was a thing that I remember appreciating as the end result of Anita Sarkeesian's first chapter of her Tropes v. Women in video games, once the initial flash and internet conflagration smoldered out, is that it motivated more rational voices about femininity and female roles in video games (or in media in general) lest Sarkeesian's be the only visible voice actually in the dialogue.

Sarkeesian is a bit more hard-line a feminist than most, so hers is not the only example of civilized discourse we'd want on the subject. Granted, in our post-Christian world we're still a bit weirded out about human sexuality and gender roles, which is why we're get so...funny-in-the-head...over it, need this kind of impetus to get comfortable with talking about it and expressing opinions that don't sound adolescent.

Regardless, I really didn't know what to think about the Sorceress' endowments in Dragon Crown because it kinda blends in with all the other ridiculous oversexualization in games. She and the Amazon both smack relentlessly of author appeal, and I think if it were presented as such there might be less of an issue.

238U

Is Fantasy Action Figure Willem Dafoe raising his thumb in approval of raising an index finger in protest?

Personally, I feel the game needs much more in the way of half naked hairy Dwarfs throwing their bulk around the screen. There's a considerable absence of the fantasy equivalent of Muscle March in the medium as it is. Why isn't there a Fist of the North Star styled Lord of the Rings game or fan art floating around anywhere?

Yeah, it kinda sucks. I know the artist was trying to go for exaggerations, but the thing is, it's a serious game, not a parody. Pretty much all the character designs male and female just seem ugly as hell. Which sucks, because I really like the artist's work, otherwise. Like Jim said, look the elf. Sexy, but practical. Wizard's a practical character design, as well. Handsome dark look to him. Both the amazon and the dwarf look like Abobo at the end of the Double Dragon movie (I was a kid, shut up). The knight is about 80% shoulders. The sorceress could have been the poster girl for the game if she had normal boobs, but now it's just comical. She could have the most interesting backstory and deepest plot in the game, but I just can't take her seriously now. Which isn't good, since the story for the game is a serious fantasy one, like, say, Golden Axe.

Now, if this game was a big parody that poked fun of the genre, it'd be entirely different. The exaggerated characters would make perfect sense, and the elf and the wizard would be the ones that'd seem out of place.

Context is everything.

Imperator_DK:

If people are enjoying Twilight, what business do you - who don't have to go see it, and don't have any stake in the franchise - have criticizing it? People can figure that out for themselves,

I don't know, it's popularity seems to suggest that hasn't happened yet XD

I guess we need to wait 10 more years :)

Imperator_DK:

Why?

If people are enjoying Twilight, what business do you - who don't have to go see it, and don't have any stake in the franchise - have criticizing it? People can figure that out for themselves, and the people who're actually vested in the thing should determine which path it should take. Let 13 year old girls and desperate housewives be the judge of products aimed at 13 year old girls and desperate housewives.

Because there are things such as canon and objective quality in art, and critics are the ones tasked with upholding those things. If we only measured commercial success, Sex and the City 2 would be considered a better movie than Melancholia (don't get hung up on the examples, just illustrating a point here), and the idea of critical acclaim would go right out the window.

Which reminds me, Okami had some serious cleavage in it, as well. Hmm.

You have every right to condemn it. Just as anyone else have every right to condemn you for doing so.

And where did I suggest that that wasn't the case? If their artistic (or commercial) expression can be subject to my critical sensibilities, then obviously the latter are subject to criticism and debate, as well.

Well, since there's nothing harmful about enjoying pandering, they should simply own up their desires instead. If the target demographic weren't actually that kind of people, then it wouldn't be created. Which would lead to the same reaction, as they obviously won't be standing idly by to watch the games they enjoy being purged.

Hence, my use of the expression "self-conscious".

Though I really doubt many women can exist with similar proportions to the sorceress, I do enjoy the design of the game. A large portion of the art from the game is exaggeration in one form or another. Sure the women are designed to look sexy, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with liking the models/avatars. To me it just seems that people are hating on such models because it's cool and hip and popping fresh to dislike sexy women in lingerie.

Why is there such mindless hate? Sure that not every woman is going to look like that but there are women, and men -_- ... :P, who want to dress and look sexy. To me the intellectual thing to do is accept the difference in people and not force your view of "morals" onto an individual.

To me a sexually objectified woman would be one who has no trail of thought other than looking sexy to produce babies, THAT is objectifying women. If a woman wants to look sexy as hell kicking ass and saving the world, more power to her. :P

Excellent ideas, Jim! It seems we can't discuss anything, let alone sexism in video games, without both sides erupting into volcanoes of rage (is that a band name yet?) and butthurtedness to have any meaningful debate to come up with solutions. And I thought your dinky little axe was woefully inadequate for the challenge you took on.

DVS BSTrD:

Jimothy Sterling:

DVS BSTrD:

Also: Boob Wars sounds like a game I'd like to play.

There actually IS a game called Boob Wars. It's about how rape is a noble act that saves the world.

It's unpleasant.

Making a game called Boob Wars unpleasant...

THAT my friend is a crime for which we should reinstitute hanging, drawing and quartering. And not necessarily in that order.

Hear hear! I want front row seats to that show!

People losing their minds over this, have they not seen queens blade or scarlet blade. I forget wich it is called =\

I remember when Bayonetta came out, there was an interview where someone asked Platinum what the deal was with the rampant sexuality. He responded in a very matter of fact fashion, "What's wrong with wanting to see something beautiful?", which I thought was interesting. Also, keep in mind that Japan has a different sociological perspective to this kind of stuff. I like to think we have a bit of an issue missing the forest through the trees when if comes to this kind of stuff.

I do understand the argument of why there is such a disproportionate amount of overt sexual characterization to what I'm sure many of us would prefer. I would just like to make the point that I do see some positive steps being made. I really did enjoy the new Tomb Raider and I know I couldn't imagine playing Mass Effect without a female Shep. The fact these games have received relative successes is certainly a positive thing in my eyes.

I just hope the video game industry continues to improve on it. I REALLY hope they don't mess up Mirror's Edge 2.

Seems rather ironic that Jim calls for discussion, without discussing much, and rallies against pointless arguments by basically arguing pointlessly against everybody else who isn't him.

Imperator_DK:
I'm pretty sure Kamitani can handle a bit of hate mail from offended people who'd never have bought the game anyway - and hence really have no business commenting on it, any more than straight men have commenting on gay porn offending them - if the pain is soothed by sales figures. The thing that actually matters.

Yes, because gay men never buy games. They're too busy oiling each other up and dressing up in leather to have normal hobbies.

And obviously, the only media gay people can consume is gay porn, because of course that's the only media specifically targeted at them to the exclusion of other demographics. No gay person would ever buy a piece of media intended primarily for a heterosexual audience. Why would they need to, I mean they have plenty of gay porn to watch.

Maybe I spoke too soon about Japan having a problem with casual homophobia..

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