Dragon's Crown Review: Buxom Babes and Battleaxes

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erttheking:

Dreiko:

erttheking:

Just because it exists and is popular doesn't mean that it is immune from criticism.

Also I have to disagree with that video. It basically says that the reason there's so much sexism in the industry is because men can't write female characters, that's not true. I write female characters all the time, it's not hard. As for games that they're interested in, taste in video games isn't exactly defined by gender. My female friend likes shooters just as much as any guy. I'm not saying that developers should drop everything they do and start all over again to appeal to women, I'm just saying that they should remember that women are buying the games too. And frankly the solution to that is easy, a balanced cast. Persona 4 did it no problem. Really the writing in the industry right now just kind of sucks overall, that's a big part of the problem as is the over reliance on sex. It needs to be worked on.

Persona 4 did a lot of things which count as sexist too, they were just never brought under a microscope like how Dragon's Crown stuff was. Rise's entire dungeon or Yukiko's LITERAL damsel in distess Shadow could have very easily become targets of controversy. (never mind the Christmas eve sexual encounters with the entire female leads and support cast, the padgeons, the bathingsuit scene of the field trip, Nanako joking about marrying you, Mooroka buying gravure magazines of 15-year-old girl idols despite being a teacher, etc. etc. etc.)

Well-written female characters do not preclude games from having content someone can potentially find objectionable if they were pre-desposed to being offended by something. Often times both co-exist as a singular expression. Especially so in Japanese-made things.

But Persona 4 got away with it for a reason, and it was for a very good reason. Damsel in distress is not an inherently bad trope, and Persona 4 handled it better than most because the damsel in distress was a personification of Yukiko's insecurity of feeling helpless. Arguing that that was sexist would be like arguing that Kanji's shadow was homophobic, it's not saying being feminine or homosexual is bad, it was a personification of their fears. Also with the rest of the examples, I think you're kind of missing the point with exactly why Dragon's Crown is under such heavy controversy. Pretty much all of those things were jokes which added to the very light hearted atmosphere, and the Christmas encounters were the culmination of a relationship that had been building up over a long time, in some cases the course of the entire game. Not to mention the sex was "You spend a long time with x" so I don't follow the concept of it being sexist. Though I suppose there's the "do it with everyone" aspect, but even then that's more down to the player being a dick.

But you're missing the main point, do you know why people don't really get mad at Persona 4 for those things? Because the female characters in that game were people. The entire cast was comprised of well rounded, sensibly designed characters all of them likable in their own way. Chie, Yukiko, Rise and Naoto were all well developed people. The Sorceress is just a woman with big breasts. No redeeming qualities, nothing else to her. A woman with big breasts is her lone identity. And that's why people get mad at Dragon's Crown and not Persona 4.

I don't think we even know who she is yet, that's the issue. The game isn't out. You may find out more about her than the story. I think it is the people rather than the game itself which makes her "the boob person" or some such thing. To me she's a magician who throws fireballs and hurricanes and can bring skeletons to life way more than a pair of overly supple breasts.

It's also quite unfair and unrealistic to demand that a agme such as this have the level of character detail and depth than a game like persona did. This genre just isn't suited for that, it doesn't have an hour and a half worth of cutscenes when you press new game before letting you do anything other than progress the dialog box. You literally are unfair in expecting it to compare with that level of characterization and to build that level of deep motivation for why each person looks as they do.

You're saying that contexts redeems potentially sexist things of their sexism in persona, I agree, I feel this game's context as a "lightearted, satyrical, fantasy/DnD trope reimagining" does the same. It redeems the sorceress out of any sexism and turns her into an over the top variant of the typical sexy witch trope that has persisted for ages.

erttheking:
Just because it exists and is popular doesn't mean that it is immune from criticism.

Criticize away, never said you couldn't. Some people criticize the existence of strip clubs, guess how effective that criticism has been? Last time I checked they're everywhere, big cities especially.

I repeat, criticize away. Nothing is stopping you. Have at it :)

erttheking:
Also I have to disagree with that video. It basically says that the reason there's so much sexism in the industry is because men can't write female characters, that's not true. I write female characters all the time, it's not hard.

Then become a game developer and show everyone how it's done. Nothing is stopping you. Have at it :)

Yuuki:

erttheking:
Just because it exists and is popular doesn't mean that it is immune from criticism.

Criticize away, never said you couldn't. Some people criticize the existence of strip clubs, guess how effective that criticism has been? Last time I checked they're everywhere, big cities especially.

I repeat, criticize away. Nothing is stopping you. Have at it :)

erttheking:
Also I have to disagree with that video. It basically says that the reason there's so much sexism in the industry is because men can't write female characters, that's not true. I write female characters all the time, it's not hard.

Then become a game developer and show those men how it's done. Nothing is stopping you. Have at it :)

You know, I have to say I really don't like that argument, I want to write, but I want to write books, more control over the creative vision and more of a personal touch. I have no idea how to get a job in the gaming industry, I have no desire to get a job in the gaming industry, gaming is my hobby, I don't want to make my hobby my job, that is a very miserable experience. Not to mention writing in the gaming industry has been proven to be a nightmare considering that you have to fight tooth and nail in order to have the main character be a woman.

I'm sorry, it just kind of annoys me that you can't really seem to criticize some things without the "Let's see you do better" argument, and I just really REALLY don't like that argument. I have no money, I'm still in college, and game developer is a very unstable job. I don't WANT to write for video games, but just because I write and don't write for video games doesn't mean I'm not allowed to criticize the design for characters. I mean, designing sensible female characters isn't hard. Look, I came up with these a year ago.

http://s3.photobucket.com/user/neko-hime-cfi/media/FROMASHES2.png.html

erttheking:

You know, I have to say I really don't like that argument, I want to write, but I want to write books, more control over the creative vision and more of a personal touch. I have no idea how to get a job in the gaming industry, I have no desire to get a job in the gaming industry, gaming is my hobby, I don't want to make my hobby my job, that is a very miserable experience. Not to mention writing in the gaming industry has been proven to be a nightmare considering that you have to fight tooth and nail in order to have the main character be a woman.

I'm sorry, it just kind of annoys me that you can't really seem to criticize some things without the "Let's see you do better" argument, and I just really REALLY don't like that argument. I have no money, I'm still in college, and game developer is a very unstable job. I don't WANT to write for video games, but just because I write and don't write for video games doesn't mean I'm not allowed to criticize the design for characters. I mean, designing sensible female characters isn't hard. Look, I came up with these a year ago.

http://s3.photobucket.com/user/neko-hime-cfi/media/FROMASHES2.png.html

Nice sketches :)

Alright I'll stop using the "lets see you do better" argument. Male developers can absolutely write female characters, the video didn't say they can't. All he said was that there is an extremely obvious reason why you will never see a 50/50 gender balance games OR a fair representation of women in games, when 90% of developers are male. Expecting a big chunk of those developers to CHOOSE to write female characters (on top of writing them well) is completely and utterly unrealistic, because males generally don't associate with being female or playing as females due to...you know...not being goddamn female. Males know the male mentality best, guys know what guys want. Females know what females want. There is a small overlap but it's not much. There is also room for gender-neutral games because tons of them already exist, but expecting ALL games to be gender-neutral is just as unrealistic as expecting a 50/50 gender balance. That's all he was saying.

Criticizing a male-dominated industry for making for making too many games aimed at males is the perfect example of not being able to see the forest for the trees. We are at the limits of what a male-oriented industry can achieve in terms of "fairness" towards female characters...drastically more women need to take up careers in game development, the true change starts there. Criticize away : /

Yuuki:

erttheking:

Yuuki:

Criticize away, never said you couldn't. Some people criticize the existence of strip clubs, guess how effective that criticism has been? Last time I checked they're everywhere, big cities especially.

I repeat, criticize away. Nothing is stopping you. Have at it :)

Then become a game developer and show those men how it's done. Nothing is stopping you. Have at it :)

You know, I have to say I really don't like that argument, I want to write, but I want to write books, more control over the creative vision and more of a personal touch. I have no idea how to get a job in the gaming industry, I have no desire to get a job in the gaming industry, gaming is my hobby, I don't want to make my hobby my job, that is a very miserable experience. Not to mention writing in the gaming industry has been proven to be a nightmare considering that you have to fight tooth and nail in order to have the main character be a woman.

I'm sorry, it just kind of annoys me that you can't really seem to criticize some things without the "Let's see you do better" argument, and I just really REALLY don't like that argument. I have no money, I'm still in college, and game developer is a very unstable job. I don't WANT to write for video games, but just because I write and don't write for video games doesn't mean I'm not allowed to criticize the design for characters. I mean, designing sensible female characters isn't hard. Look, I came up with these a year ago.

http://s3.photobucket.com/user/neko-hime-cfi/media/FROMASHES2.png.html

Nice sketches :)

Alright I'll stop using the "lets see you do better" argument. Male developers can absolute write female characters, the video really didn't say they can't. All he said was that there is an extremely obvious reason why you will never see a 50/50 gender balance when 90% of developers are male. Expecting a big chunk of those developers to CHOOSE to write female characters (on top of writing them well) is completely and utterly unrealistic, because males don't associate with being females or playing as females due to...you know...not being goddamn female. Males know the male mentality best, males know what males want. Females know what females what. There is an overlap, but it's not much. That's all he was saying.

Thanks, but I didn't draw them. They're my characters, but a fan drew them.

I guess as a writer that argument is just a sore spot for me. I mean, I've only been writing for four years and I don't find writing female characters hard at all. You just write human beings that happen to be women. Yeah you need to change some of the more subtle details, but for the most part they're the same concept.

I will admit that while I believe the game deserved better than your 3/5, your review and reasons why you gave it such a score are valid and actually intriguing. Unlike other game reviewers you give the game its due and do not throw the baby out with the bathwater that is the depiction of the characters in the art. Dinging it for having no visual power growth, tedious and somewhat unclear quest/mission design are definitely solid complaints against an otherwise great and extremely fun game.

I still do long to hear someone complain at length about the lack of what seemed like a perfect reason for Cross-Buy. As well as the fact it lacks the ability for the Vita and PS3 versions to communicate with each other. Being on both Sony's "boxes" and not having either feature really begs the question as to why the game has a single trophy list.

-Axle-:

Windknight:

-Axle-:
[quote="Windknight" post="6.823754.19957248"][quote="-Axle-" post="6.823754.19957148"]
If you were talking about a serious setting, then you'd have an easier time making that argument but then it completely falls out of line with the current subject considering the entire universe is based on exaggeration and exhibitionism.

Again the Writer had decided she knew enough about what she was doing to wear the proper gear. Doesn't that seem to suggest that the artists decision to overide that because he wanted fanservice was at bets misguided?

I'm a little lost, so you're implying that one person wrote the scene and another changed it? Is that what happened in Dragon's Crown? or only in the example you are giving?

I'm talking about the comic book example - the welding. And yes, the writer and the artist were different people, and the writer had scripted the scene as the character being in the correct gear, and the artists changed it simply because he wanted some breasts to draw. This is the point I'm making, that as the scene was written a sensible person had an accident and was hurt. Because someone wanted boobs, the scene got turned into an immature person who deosn't know what she's doing getting hurt because of her foolishness. The 'need' for boobs sabotaged the character.

The overwhelming majority have been talking about the graphics, I guess I can't come here to learn anything about the game itself. Oh well.
This kind of game needs to exist today for the type of gameplay it presents, and it needs to be developed for the next generation of consoles. Otherwize it's more of the same - FPS and RPGs with very lackluster combat.
Everyone else has commented on the gender issues, so I'll leave that alone. Dead or Alive 5 is coming out, so I expect more of the same there...except that game really IS about T&A.

Headdrivehardscrew:

-Dragmire-:
Pro/Con breakdown is a great addition to the review.

This game looks stunning, I'll definitely be picking it up.

Welcome to the club.

If you liked the old fantasy beat'em slash'em burn'em ups from Capcom and the whole palette of same game, different name, different graphics and stuff, it's pretty awesome. Same basic gameplay as, say, Final Fight (Shadows over Mystara, Tower of Doom, Knights of the Round, Golden Axe, etc. etc. etc), but I find it absolutely enjoyable.

It needs to be revisited and developed further. You say they're all the same game with different characters.....much can be said about the current generation of games (rpgs esp) where the characters are different but the mechanics are the same. Many of the latest actio RPGs are borrowing from that list you made and I'm really enjoying that trend, however long it lasts.
Glad for Dragon's Crown, Dragon's Dogma and Amalur. Here's to hope.

Dreiko:
snip

I understand what you're trying to say, but there is a little problem. Assuming you had a team of all female game developers and ignoring the fact that funding and making games is really hard for anyone, and the result was a game made by women for only women, you know what that would be? Sexist and exclusionary.

I personally believe the key is not to have a "boys only" "girls only" club where games are split between genders,
but to have a team of as equal as possible numbers, working together. It's okay to have a game with aspects that appeal to men (want a character that's bluntly fan service, have at it!), however if you're going to have such a character to pander to the male audience, you should also maybe include a character to pander to the female audience as well.
Equal opportunity pandering is not as hard as people seem to make it out to be.

The Witcher 2 is one of my favorite games, and while the guys (or anyone interested) could have as much fun as they want with all the optional sex scenes, I got to stare at Iorveth. The character profile for him says the scars on his face took away his elven beauty ...it really didn't. The Witcher 2 also includes Saskia, who is a good female character IMO.

Windknight:

-Axle-:

What's "sensible" is a product of a lot of outside influences and it evolves over time and with society. What responsibility does a video game, specifically one set in a fictional fantasy setting, have towards displaying any subject matter tastefully? Should an artist always try to appeal to the sensibilities of every demographic out there? A minimum number of two demographics (male and female)?

Flipping the tables again, if someone designed the same game but with the intention to appeal primarily to a female demographic with male characters that are not seen as "tastefull" or "sensible", is that something that is wrong / negative / should not exist / etc.? And if so, why?

I have to keep coming back to the question of why and I hope you understand why that is (no pun intended).

Except we're not talking about one videogame here really.

Because we seem to be talking about two different things, I'll just reiterate that my argument this entire time has been directed towards the tendency of attaching negative traits to the portrayal of a hyper-sexualized female character and saying that they're "stupid", "weak", "less than x", etc. or that they do not embody the traits of "strength", "power", "dominance", etc. because of the manner they are depicted / posed / etc.

Windknight:

If it was just one videogame, no-one would really take offence or notice, apart from liking or disliking the art on its own merits according to their own personal tastes.

I have to disagree. Quantity does not justify correctness.

So if there was a racist game here or there, no-one would really take offence or notice, apart from liking or disliking the art on its own merits according to their own personal tastes? Sounds unreasonable right?

The fact that there is an over saturation of this kind of depiction can be a lot of things; tiring, unoriginal, overdone, etc., it does not, however, define what traits that character depiction carries though, especially when it comes to value.

Windknight:

This is about how videogames in general, comics in general and other media in general treat women.

I'm not trying to be critical, but I do have to address your positioning on that statement because it implies that women (not a person, a demographic) have a relationship with video games (an industry), which is personifying two very non-human things. What I think you're driving at is that you feel the manner in how women have been depicted by these industries has somehow been detrimental to the demographic of women.

Now while this would be a giant discussion on its own, I will ask the question again, does any individual artist have a responsibility to depict any or all demographics in a manner they find tasteful?

Windknight:

Dragons Crown is not being singled out, its being caught up alongside all the other games and comics treating women as tits and ass objects and not as characters and people.

Why is a woman portrayed seductively on display become an object to you?

I'm not accusing you of doing this intentionally or trying to label you as a bad person, so please don't misunderstand what I'm trying to say as an attack but this is precisely what I'm arguing. This tendency to devalue the image of a woman that is hyper-sexualized on the basis that it has no worth because it doesn't embody the definition of what's "tasteful" to you (or whoever). This is a very damaging outlook for both genders because it indirectly attaches negative connotations to sexual presentation.

Is it wrong to prefer different imagery that better meets your definition of "sexy" or "tasteful"? Absolutely not. But it doesn't make what doesn't meet your definition of sexy or tasteful worth less or stripped of any positive attributes.

Windknight:

None of my arguments have been about one game specifically or one comic specifically except as examples of a trend as a whole, and that trend is women being portrayed as sexy first, and any other merits they have being ignored because they don't promote that sexiness.

Ok, got it.

What I have to challenge then is your notion that their other merits are ignored. This is something done by the individual, not what is being presented. You are subconsciously performing a "valuation" of a character by looking for certain things to be displayed and when they are not, or better said, when other aspects are emphasized instead (such as exaggerated sexual overtones), it results in your judgement. When the judgement crosses into the territory of false association, that's what I'm concerned about.

Windknight:

And to reiterate - a lot of women do not want to be defined by their appearance, good or bad, and if their gamers, find it uncomfortable to find the vast of majority of characters of their genders are pretty much created to show off as much skin as possible - to appeal to a teenage male, without any thought to appeal to a teenage girl or a woman.

So again, where does this factor into the negative associations made towards the portrayal of a hyper-sexualized female character?

The manner of how women are depicted and would like to be depicted is an entirely different issue but I'll address it since its clearly something you feel strongly about (hopefully you can show me the same courtecy by addressing the questions I've posed to you).

I've asked you this question before in this discussion and in order to make progress I have to pose it again. What responsibility does an entertainment piece have towards appealing to multiple demographics? Do you think a movie like Magic Mike had the intention to appeal to men AND women, or mostly women? Was it wrong for it to do so? What if it depicted men in a manner that didn't meet your definition of "tasteful", would it be wrong then? Why?

I ask this question because I think it will answer whether you are consistent in your approach towards the subject at a high level.

Windknight:

And again, if this was just one game, people would not be bothered. But it is NOT just one game. its the vast majority of them.

I've addressed this earlier but will mention it again. Whether something is acceptable or not should not be based on quantity, but on its own aspects.

I get that you're trying to encourage "a better way forward" and I don't disagree that injecting variety into the medium would do just that. I also don't think its a bad thing to encourage the creation of more female characters without an emphasis on their sexuality. I DO think its a bad thing to badger the creation of hyper-sexualized female characters as it attaches negative attitudes towards those depictions.

Windknight:

-Axle-:

Windknight:

Again the Writer had decided she knew enough about what she was doing to wear the proper gear. Doesn't that seem to suggest that the artists decision to overide that because he wanted fanservice was at bets misguided?

I'm a little lost, so you're implying that one person wrote the scene and another changed it? Is that what happened in Dragon's Crown? or only in the example you are giving?

I'm talking about the comic book example - the welding. And yes, the writer and the artist were different people, and the writer had scripted the scene as the character being in the correct gear, and the artists changed it simply because he wanted some breasts to draw. This is the point I'm making, that as the scene was written a sensible person had an accident and was hurt. Because someone wanted boobs, the scene got turned into an immature person who deosn't know what she's doing getting hurt because of her foolishness. The 'need' for boobs sabotaged the character.

Ok, so yes, in that SPECIFIC setup, you're absolutely right but I hope you see how you've polarized the entire question by splitting the creation of the character in two and having two cooks in the kitchen. Its more about someone "changing" something rather than what it was like to begin with. This happens all the time and without sexuality even being at stake. How many people didn't like the new DMC Dante or SW: Episodes I / II / III? Same idea.

In order to address your question, the writer and artist would have to be the same person. Likewise, coming back to Dragon's Crown, was there someone who created the Amazon character before the artist drew her? Did they stray from that design and create something that betrayed the original concept? To my knowledge, the answer to those questions is no.

Further into your question, the character's intelligence, strength, talent, etc. all need to be taken into the context of their universe. I'll ask the question of Tony Stark again, if they depicted him in a movie with a sexual appeal to women while welding in his mansion (and subsequently getting injured), would that rob his character of his intelligence, strength, worth, etc.

-Axle-:

Snip

(shrugs)

I've explained to you why objectifying women is bad multiple times, and provided a number of links with explanations and clarifications. If your going to pretend I haven't, then I really don't see the need to engage with you any further.

Because I'm an anatomy freak I can't love the art style as much as I want to.
I mean...fuck just everything in those colors! I want to rub my face in it!

Otherwise it looks like an average game with beautiful visuals. Something to pass the time away.
Of course due to the nature of some of the...women I am a bit afraid to play the game out in public lest a DDD breast lady pops up on screen at the same time someone is looking at my tablet.

It looks like I'm slowing becoming a big fan of Atlus games - they seem to be developing genres pretty close to my preference of genres.
Anyway, I've been quietly keeping interested of Dragons Crown since I heard about it (via the controversy) and I'm glad it's gained an at least "passable" review, with one of the main cons being the character design.
It's not something I'm an advocate for, but I will definitely be able to look past the ridiculous (and I think satirical) breasts on the sorceress and hopefully will be able to enjoy the game when I pick it up.

gamernerdtg2:

Headdrivehardscrew:

If you liked the old fantasy beat'em slash'em burn'em ups from Capcom and the whole palette of same game, different name, different graphics and stuff, it's pretty awesome. Same basic gameplay as, say, Final Fight (Shadows over Mystara, Tower of Doom, Knights of the Round, Golden Axe, etc. etc. etc), but I find it absolutely enjoyable.

It needs to be revisited and developed further. You say they're all the same game with different characters.....much can be said about the current generation of games (rpgs esp) where the characters are different but the mechanics are the same. Many of the latest actio RPGs are borrowing from that list you made and I'm really enjoying that trend, however long it lasts.
Glad for Dragon's Crown, Dragon's Dogma and Amalur. Here's to hope.

Aye, I agree. Brought back with a bang, I want/need/crave more of it. Because it's fun.

Indeed, I did say those games (plus Captain Commando, Cadillacs and Dinosaurs, Warriors of Fate, the Punisher, Alien vs. Predator, Irem's Undercover Cops and all I might have forgotten) were practically the same offering in various flavours. We got futuristic and fantastic stuff, all while eliminating foes of various sizes and picking up food items from the floor to replenish health. They were all mostly quite simple games - easy to pick up, but some were quite hard to master - and finish.

Most FPS shooters these days cost multitudes to produce, they only last 5-6 hours on average and the tacked-on multiplayer is, more often than not, not worth the hassle. I find the majority of them to be a waste of time, money, resources, talent and shelf space. Some of them even do their best to exhume, humiliate and utterly destroy beloved old franchises. That does not amuse me much.

I'm not so certain about modern RPGs borrowing much from the games of old, but any proper fantasy game that - to whatever extent - relies on established fantasy lore and expectations is bound to feature bits and pieces and patches and whole chunks of stuff we've already seen and hopefully haven't grown tired of yet.

I really like Dragon's Crown, and while I find it somewhat difficult to compare it to Dragon's Dogma and the ill-fated Amalur, I like those games as well. Funny enough though, that I found myself preferring Amalur over Dragon's Dogma, as I found combat and enemy variety and design to be quite bombastic, even though the game had obvious issues. Dragon's Dogma felt like a true hybrid hermaphroditic halfbreed and I didn't like it's take on the class system too much. The pawn system felt like something half-arsed Ubisoft would come up with. The incessant banter of the NPCs got from boring to annoying to intolerable at the speed of light... and, yet, I liked it because it did a lot of things right. Not quite the same things Amalur 0.8 beta alpha rushed final release, but they all saw me entertained for hours. Not too shabby, that.

Casual Shinji:
It's always good to exaggerate your character designs to a degree, but for Christ's sake keep it balanced. Most of the characters in this game look like they're suffering from elephantiasis. This amount of body horror would make David Cronenberg blush.

If the "keep it balanced" rule were to be applied to the arts, many acclaimed works would be eliminated. Historically, imbalance is the means by which most unveiling has occurred. Balance as an ideal belongs in politics, physics and marriage.

Blood Brain Barrier:

Casual Shinji:
It's always good to exaggerate your character designs to a degree, but for Christ's sake keep it balanced. Most of the characters in this game look like they're suffering from elephantiasis. This amount of body horror would make David Cronenberg blush.

If the "keep it balanced" rule were to be applied to the arts, many acclaimed works would be eliminated. Historically, imbalance is the means by which most unveiling has occurred. Balance as an ideal belongs in politics, physics and marriage.

This instant however it's applied to playable characters.

I love Dali, but I wouldn't want one of his creations to be a main character in a game.

Eclipse Dragon:

Dreiko:
snip

I understand what you're trying to say, but there is a little problem. Assuming you had a team of all female game developers and ignoring the fact that funding and making games is really hard for anyone, and the result was a game made by women for only women, you know what that would be? Sexist and exclusionary.

I personally believe the key is not to have a "boys only" "girls only" club where games are split between genders,
but to have a team of as equal as possible numbers, working together. It's okay to have a game with aspects that appeal to men (want a character that's bluntly fan service, have at it!), however if you're going to have such a character to pander to the male audience, you should also maybe include a character to pander to the female audience as well.
Equal opportunity pandering is not as hard as people seem to make it out to be.

The Witcher 2 is one of my favorite games, and while the guys (or anyone interested) could have as much fun as they want with all the optional sex scenes, I got to stare at Iorveth. The character profile for him says the scars on his face took away his elven beauty ...it really didn't. The Witcher 2 also includes Saskia, who is a good female character IMO.

Why would the game that women want to play necessarily be something for "girls only"? I truly don't understand it. Tons of girls apparently enjoy games made for guys, I'm sure there'd be lots of guys who'd enjoy the game made for girls in the same fashion.

When there's conflict of vision, it's better to not muddle things by going easy on your vision enough so that half of the other person's vision can also be included. That's called game desing by comitee and it's not a good way to make games.

I'm not advocating gender segregation here of course but it is good to just have a single person's crystal clear vision that is only strengthened by the others' visions as your end goal rather than a muddled mess of multiple conflicting visions. To put it more clearly, a game like Bayonetta has a clear vision, a game like that knows what it is and it's unique and stands out cause it adheres to its singular notion and goes full force. We want more games like it, games unapologetically sticking to their guns. I believe Dragon's Crown does this thing too and it should be celebrated.

Here goes my two cents:

I am a woman. I am purchasing this title day one. The art is a stylistic choice, whether you accept that or not. You wanna be offended? Fine. Be offended. I'd rather be a sorceress shooting down monsters and making hordes of skeletons than playing Lara Croft almost getting raped by some douchecanoe. I like what I've seen of the gameplay; I could care less about the story or the characters 'questionable looks' if the gameplay is as awesome as it appears. I think The Last of Us gave gamers their fill of intense story.

It's a beat em up. It's a game. It's supposed to be fun. Get over it.

And just as a reminder, this is my opinion. The great thing about opinions is that NOBODY is 100% correct.

Quick, somebody put up a delusional argument about women rights to cover up the fact we are prudish puritans who would sooner talk about porn than making love 'cause it's a dirty thing.

Pariah164:
Here goes my two cents:

I am a woman. I am purchasing this title day one. The art is a stylistic choice, whether you accept that or not. You wanna be offended? Fine. Be offended. I'd rather be a sorceress shooting down monsters and making hordes of skeletons than playing Lara Croft almost getting raped by some douchecanoe. I like what I've seen of the gameplay; I could care less about the story or the characters 'questionable looks' if the gameplay is as awesome as it appears. I think The Last of Us gave gamers their fill of intense story.

It's a beat em up. It's a game. It's supposed to be fun. Get over it.

And just as a reminder, this is my opinion. The great thing about opinions is that NOBODY is 100% correct.

Sad thing is is that when people make the arguement that women can like this kind of stuff or people say" I got a lady friend and she loves this game." they usually just pretend that such a thing is a lie, that no self respecting woman can like titilation in there games! This is just a man lying to gain favor in the debate. Oddly enough your screen name is rather appropriate here.

And yeah I got two lady friends who dont feel the weight of oppression when they play titilating games AND enjoy them. Also got one that thinks that her whole gender is being persecuted against whenever things like this happen.

The following is a peaty nerd complaint about he game. Dwarf, Elf and Amazon are not classes. Elf and Dwarf are races and Amazon is more of a society. They could have called the Dwarf barbarian. The Elf ranger.... Wow, I play way to much D&D. >_>

Nasrin:
Dragon's Crown Review: Buxom Babes and Battleaxes

Ever seen a mermaid with a butt? You have now.

Read Full Article

The original designs for Mermaids always had Butts... just wanted to say that. .

Kc Abshere:
The following is a peaty nerd complaint about he game. Dwarf, Elf and Amazon are not classes. Elf and Dwarf are races and Amazon is more of a society. They could have called the Dwarf barbarian. The Elf ranger.... Wow, I play way to much D&D. >_>

Haha! I thought the same thing!

To be fair, in a lot of spin-offs of D&D (electronic or not) those two were considered classes. This game is based on that.

But it would be cool to play a dwarf mage, an elf paladin, an orc cleric, a gnome warrior, a goblin barbarian, a mind-flayer ranger...

Dragonbums:
Because I'm an anatomy freak I can't love the art style as much as I want to.
I mean...fuck just everything in those colors! I want to rub my face in it!

Otherwise it looks like an average game with beautiful visuals. Something to pass the time away.
Of course due to the nature of some of the...women I am a bit afraid to play the game out in public lest a DDD breast lady pops up on screen at the same time someone is looking at my tablet.

I am passing through that the same problem. Let's beat the shame!

Dreiko:

Eclipse Dragon:

Dreiko:
snip

I understand what you're trying to say, but there is a little problem. Assuming you had a team of all female game developers and ignoring the fact that funding and making games is really hard for anyone, and the result was a game made by women for only women, you know what that would be? Sexist and exclusionary.

I personally believe the key is not to have a "boys only" "girls only" club where games are split between genders,
but to have a team of as equal as possible numbers, working together. It's okay to have a game with aspects that appeal to men (want a character that's bluntly fan service, have at it!), however if you're going to have such a character to pander to the male audience, you should also maybe include a character to pander to the female audience as well.
Equal opportunity pandering is not as hard as people seem to make it out to be.

The Witcher 2 is one of my favorite games, and while the guys (or anyone interested) could have as much fun as they want with all the optional sex scenes, I got to stare at Iorveth. The character profile for him says the scars on his face took away his elven beauty ...it really didn't. The Witcher 2 also includes Saskia, who is a good female character IMO.

Why would the game that women want to play necessarily be something for "girls only"? I truly don't understand it. Tons of girls apparently enjoy games made for guys, I'm sure there'd be lots of guys who'd enjoy the game made for girls in the same fashion.

When there's conflict of vision, it's better to not muddle things by going easy on your vision enough so that half of the other person's vision can also be included. That's called game desing by comitee and it's not a good way to make games.

I'm not advocating gender segregation here of course but it is good to just have a single person's crystal clear vision that is only strengthened by the others' visions as your end goal rather than a muddled mess of multiple conflicting visions. To put it more clearly, a game like Bayonetta has a clear vision, a game like that knows what it is and it's unique and stands out cause it adheres to its singular notion and goes full force. We want more games like it, games unapologetically sticking to their guns. I believe Dragon's Crown does this thing too and it should be celebrated.

Amen to that.

That said we need more females in the industry to add different views and ideas to fresh it out and diversify the games. We miss points when a specific area is dominated by only one gender (be it games, literature, science...). Women and men have differences. And this is a GOOD thing because it adds variety and "different" doesn't mean "worse".

I am fine with media/art created for a specific audience. Be it to a gender, to a culture, to everyone. It is all fine. And it is very cool that there is people that can cross the bridged of labels (like the girls here who are willing to play the game or the guys who read Kimi ni Todoke.

What I think is the main problem is the line where criticism becomes censorship. Compare:

"I think the exageration in the art style is a bit silly. Also, there are already a lot of games that goes for the male desire. The market for that is already saturated. Can't they explore alternatives?"

"It is obviously fantastic bodies. But I wonder if people are sane enough to know that. Else they are going for a lot of plastic surgeries and steroids. I also hope that who has read "50 Shades" are not thinking that the only acceptable men are billionaires and that women have the absolute power of redeeming guys."

What I don't like:

"The art is sexist. The kind of thing that only teenage boys would like."

This is not only calling male sexuality bad and filthy, but also that being a teenage boy is prove that you are dumb.

When somebody says that, quote this guy from another site:

"As usual, feminism not using logic or facts to back her arguments. They labeled it as an "Adolescent Fantasy".

So I did my own scientific research on this subject: I'm 28 years old, I masturbated to the sorceress massive breasts, and the results were favourable. Age was not an impediment."

Windknight:

-Axle-:

Snip

(shrugs)

I've explained to you why objectifying women is bad multiple times, and provided a number of links with explanations and clarifications. If your going to pretend I haven't, then I really don't see the need to engage with you any further.

Have you engaged with me at all?

Looking back at our posts, I've answered every single one of your questions and even elaborated on my rationale. I haven't seen you do the same for the statements I've put forward, so I'm not sure why you're disappointed.

If you want to maintain that you disagree regardless of what has been discussed, that's fine. But I would expect you to at least have the capacity to acknowledge the fact that your argument wasn't about whether objectifying women is good or bad (everyone knows its bad), it was whether this classifies as objectification and why, which again, you haven't explained much further than what boils down to "this appeals more to men than women".

Lastly, I'll say it again, my argument was a concern with attaching negative connotations to depictions of hyper-sexualized women.

Grahav:
What I don't like:

"The art is sexist. The kind of thing that only teenage boys would like."

This is not only calling male sexuality bad and filthy, but also that being a teenage boy is prove that you are dumb.

This is essentially a tangent I was trying to address in my earlier posts.

I feel like people are trying to encourage diversity by badgering things that either challenge their sensibilities or has been overdone before instead of simply encouraging what they want. It would be in line with "we already have thousands of smartphones in black, so any smartphone in black is crap and/or a bad thing" instead of "the new black smartphone doesn't do much new except bring back an old infrastructure that hasn't been used in years".

Grahav:

When somebody says that, quote this guy from another site:

"As usual, feminism not using logic or facts to back her arguments. They labeled it as an "Adolescent Fantasy".

I would say its an assumption to say that anyone who makes that statement is a feminist though. One because they likely haven't mentioned whether they identify as one or not, and secondly for the same reason that you wouldn't want to make the assumption that a Christian / Muslim / Jew / etc. makes a statement that may resemble only a portion of that demographic.

Playing Muramasa The Demon Blade of late, I find this to be...sorta meh to be honest, it sure does look nice with it all hand drawn, but the gaming quality doesn't look too enjoyable, I mean just playing muramasa THERE IS A LOT OF BULLSHIT, the gall of having a instant death mode is certainly doable but can't be won with hard work and skill alone, and that is aggravating to know you simply can't win without X, or you crawl out of a boss thanks to items rather than timing and whatnot. I understand that the art designs are exaggerated, I'm fine with exaggeration, the amazon is fine in my eyes because it makes sense, the warriors make sense, the wizard.....okay it feels a bit weird there, and the sorceress is blatant exaggeration of her sexual characteristics, I don't really like that kind of mind set from a developer, I'll keep an eye out for it and watch and read other reviews, but the fact that Vanilla finished this might mean they'll start doing something about that 3DS game they were talking about when it came out, a 2-D Vannilaware game on my 3DS....YUM.

BTW I'm so going Elf, I don't care what anyone says, she is adorable and I will forever gawk at her adorable face.

Giant breasts are always a put off for me. Just a thing. I prefer smaller breasts or medium breasts. If I was made to play the game, I would just choose the wizard or elf. The backgrounds look pretty. And just.. my god.. That color palette.

Women who are drawn in over exaggerated fashion always kind of made me awkward, but not in a self conscience way. It made me awkward because I always prefer realistic proportions, for males and females, with some exceptions (longer legs, more pronounced facial features). Big breasts make me uncomfortable in the same way a far too long penis makes me uncomfortable. It is a fetish that I am not fond of. I only get an issue if everything I love is plagued by it. Thousands and thousands of gargantuan genetalia and mammaries the size of mammoths. Everywhere.

I eagerly await Dragon's Crown. It looks very different from Amalur and Dogma for sure, but you understand what I'm saying. There was something about Golden Axe, Double Dragon, etc that this last generation didn't run with. You can make some solid, engaging games with those old models, especially with the RPG elements. THAT's why Amalur and Dogma are in my library. For all their flaws I still have an old school attitude that helps me to enjoy those games. All those flaws you point out - and Dragon's Crown probably has flaws - won't stop me from enjoying the game.
In fact, one of the things I enjoyed was working around flaws in older games....these days we can have the best of both worlds though. Perhaps the games we're talking about got ignored because people got frustrated playing them? It's an intriguing question for me as an aging gamer.

Pariah164:
Here goes my two cents:

I am a woman. I am purchasing this title day one. The art is a stylistic choice, whether you accept that or not. You wanna be offended? Fine. Be offended. I'd rather be a sorceress shooting down monsters and making hordes of skeletons than playing Lara Croft almost getting raped by some douchecanoe. I like what I've seen of the gameplay; I could care less about the story or the characters 'questionable looks' if the gameplay is as awesome as it appears. I think The Last of Us gave gamers their fill of intense story.

It's a beat em up. It's a game. It's supposed to be fun. Get over it.

And just as a reminder, this is my opinion. The great thing about opinions is that NOBODY is 100% correct.

But I wish more people like you would speak up b/c you actually are talking about the game itself. That's why I came here, to find out about the game. Sure these issues exist, but I agree with you.

Axle, I found your conversation very thought provoking, I tried to answer some of your last questions as best as I could, since I just sort of jumped in her. Hope that is ok.

-Axle-:

Because we seem to be talking about two different things, I'll just reiterate that my argument this entire time has been directed towards the tendency of attaching negative traits to the portrayal of a hyper-sexualized female character and saying that they're "stupid", "weak", "less than x", etc. or that they do not embody the traits of "strength", "power", "dominance", etc. because of the manner they are depicted / posed / etc.

Completely agree with this. All things can be seen as "sexual". It depends on the lens of the person who is viewing it. Just because the sorceress has large breasts does not make the character sexual, nor does the fact that her breasts respond to environmental physics. However, the traits that the Amazon and Sorceress have, can be easily aligned with sexuality. Are the male characters given traits that can heavily represent sexuality as well?

I say this because, to show sexually related things or "objectifying" characters in media is not and should not be deemed as negative, but if women are only put in situations that can be aligned with sexuality when the men are not, then it is a form of sexism. Most media does not do this, since sex sells, creators want all of their characters associated with it in someway lol.

I'll use the welding argument that has been posted earlier in this thread. Is the woman is the only one with that low cut shirt in order to have her breasts out while working at this insanely hot factory. Do the men wear t-shirts or tank tops or v-necks, as well, or is it just the female characters? If it is just the woman with her skin showing, but not the men, then the artist is not depicting the image accurately and it would be a form of sexism. It is not hyper-sexualized and her breasts are only out because the artist wants them out, not because it makes sense with the scene. The woman is not equal to the men in the same scene if she is wearing something different only because she is a woman and the artist wants to draw her differently in a place where uniformity would probably be expected. (Also I am assuming that this is a serious story we are talking about in a factory, not something funny or whimsical). Now if everyone is wearing less clothing, maybe to show just how unbearably hot that factory is, then who cares.

-Axle-:

I have to disagree. Quantity does not justify correctness.

So if there was a racist game here or there, no-one would really take offence or notice, apart from liking or disliking the art on its own merits according to their own personal tastes? Sounds unreasonable right?

The fact that there is an over saturation of this kind of depiction can be a lot of things; tiring, unoriginal, overdone, etc., it does not, however, define what traits that character depiction carries though, especially when it comes to value.

Mostly agree with this. Especially bolded. In terms of sexuality, pointing out that something is not equal does not automatically devalue the character that is being objectified (i'm putting that in quotes because I do not know if that is the word I want to be using)

Look at Bayonetta. Dante did not need to be naked in his game, and in my opinion, the two of them are very much the same character, two sides of the same coin if you will (male / female). Did you nudity and ass shot take away from her character? In my opinion, no, and if you stuck around till the end of the game, you learned very quickly, not matter what she was wearing, you don't f* with a witch.

Now, could the game have had the option to keep her costume on when she summoned demons? Sure, but her character still was not hurt because she was naked. It only, in my mind, brings to light the fact that Dante has not been naked in his games (until the reboot lol).

I do however, disagree with your statement, for characters that have firmly established backgrounds that would not warrant certain types of hyper-sexualization. I will discuss this with Ms. Marvel from the Avengers later in this post.

-Axle-:

I'm not trying to be critical, but I do have to address your positioning on that statement because it implies that women (not a person, a demographic) have a relationship with video games (an industry), which is personifying two very non-human things. What I think you're driving at is that you feel the manner in how women have been depicted by these industries has somehow been detrimental to the demographic of women.

Now while this would be a giant discussion on its own, I will ask the question again, does any individual artist have a responsibility to depict any or all demographics in a manner they find tasteful?

I have to somewhat disagree with the 1st part. A demographic may embody a stereotype, which is a broad idea of people from certain backgrounds. While its not "good" to stereotype people, it happens, and it is actually the way the brain is designed to organize things so that we can save room and energy. Its called a schema instead of stereotype.

I don't believe that any artist has a responsibility to produce something that is "tasteful", because tastefulness is based too much on individual preference. However, I do think that an artist has a responsibility to give 100% to the product they are representing. Dragon's Crown is a hyper / over-exaggerated game of fun (that's the message I get from the trailers). However, the male characters only look....slightly over-exaggerated. I was very disappointed the Conan looking guy was not an alternate skin for the male knight, as he would have looked more in line with the Amazon and Sorceress.

I also want to point out Saints Row IV. That game is over the top, at least that's what its previews would have you think. They have scantily clad women AND men. It's almost like they took that extra step, but it definitely does not look "tasteful" lol

I think Dragon's Crown and Saints Row are games that push boundaries, and should be encouraged to do so. I simple don't think Dragon's Crown went far enough with their male characters yet.

-Axle-:

Why is a woman portrayed seductively on display become an object to you?

I'm not accusing you of doing this intentionally or trying to label you as a bad person, so please don't misunderstand what I'm trying to say as an attack but this is precisely what I'm arguing. This tendency to devalue the image of a woman that is hyper-sexualized on the basis that it has no worth because it doesn't embody the definition of what's "tasteful" to you (or whoever). This is a very damaging outlook for both genders because it indirectly attaches negative connotations to sexual presentation.

Is it wrong to prefer different imagery that better meets your definition of "sexy" or "tasteful"? Absolutely not. But it doesn't make what doesn't meet your definition of sexy or tasteful worth less or stripped of any positive attributes.

I think you are missing something very important from the term, objectification, and that is treating someone as a thing without regard to their dignity. And that last part is often how I define when a character or person is being objectified

I definitely agree with your last statement. However, most of the time, men are not hyper-sexualized in the same way. If odd poses for women, equal sexuality, why aren't men put in odd poses? If less clothing equates to sexuality, why not put men in less clothing?

Or do we have to start asking whether men and women define sexuality differently? (rhetorical lol)
Since I don't want to drift to far from the game, I wonder, is there anything about the sexuality of the Wizard, Knight, and Dwarf in Dragon's Crown that could be equal to the sexuality of the Sorceress, Amazon, and Elf. What are those traits, and why is their value equal or not equal?

I want to look at Chris Redfields sailor costume in RE: Revelations. A number of people called the costume "gay". Why is it when a male character gets put in a fan-service outfit (similar to that of his female counterparts), his sexuality is questions. Sounds like people just want to complain.

-Axle-:

Ok, got it.

What I have to challenge then is your notion that their other merits are ignored. This is something done by the individual, not what is being presented. You are subconsciously performing a "valuation" of a character by looking for certain things to be displayed and when they are not, or better said, when other aspects are emphasized instead (such as exaggerated sexual overtones), it results in your judgement. When the judgement crosses into the territory of false association, that's what I'm concerned about.

I agree and disagree. Depending on the media being looked at. Dragon's Crown, I thought the designs were great and it looks like it will be a cult classic type of game.

Now for something more mainstream, and with an established female character who has a very particular background, yes, certain things do invite judgement, because they are wrong based on the stereotype of the information that is well known and supposed to be important to the character. An example would be every time Ms. Marvel has her ass out and hip cocked to the side as she addresses another character. In my opinion, the character of Ms. Marvel is a highly respected and decorated air force pilot. Much of her background implies that she would not stand with her hip cocked and ass out, because, in my opinion, it does not equate to the expected mannerisms of her field, however, it looks as though it is done to make her more attractive, which goes against the characters traits. Does this mean she would never stand relaxed, or wear a bikini or her Ms. Marvel uniform, no (she is invulnerable after all, she could realistically fight naked if she wanted to and not worry about injury. However, during a team briefing or talking business to her teammates, to government officials, the character of Ms. Marvel should probably be depicted in a way that best represents the military and its expected behaviors.

You asked if artists should be responsible to make things tastefully, my answer is still no, but when working with established characters and continuity, they do have a responsibility to provide an accurate representation of that character or the traits of people and groups that character is representing.

-Axle-:

So again, where does this factor into the negative associations made towards the portrayal of a hyper-sexualized female character?

The manner of how women are depicted and would like to be depicted is an entirely different issue but I'll address it since its clearly something you feel strongly about (hopefully you can show me the same courtecy by addressing the questions I've posed to you).

I've asked you this question before in this discussion and in order to make progress I have to pose it again. What responsibility does an entertainment piece have towards appealing to multiple demographics? Do you think a movie like Magic Mike had the intention to appeal to men AND women, or mostly women? Was it wrong for it to do so? What if it depicted men in a manner that didn't meet your definition of "tasteful", would it be wrong then? Why?

I ask this question because I think it will answer whether you are consistent in your approach towards the subject at a high level.

I know your questions have not been directed toward me, but I will still answer because I have been intrigued by this conversation.

I, again do not think there is anything wrong with depictions of hyper-sexualization, unless it goes against the characters background, as I have discussed earlier. I also want to point out that this is for official mediums, fan-art, anything goes, IMO.

Magic Mike was clearly geared towards women and gay men, both groups who are sexually / romantically interested in males. I personally thought the movie was too tasteful, and did not push the envelope like Strip Tease with Demi Moore did.

That brings me to my small issue with Dragon's Crown, it didn't push the hyper-sexuality with the male characters enough. Does this mean that it is only being geared towards men, or that men cannot be hyper-sexualized in media that men predominately use? I ask this because you asked about Magic Mike, must they always be separate, and if fan-service outfits are included for men, does it automatically associate negative attributes with their sexuality?

-Axle-:

I've addressed this earlier but will mention it again. Whether something is acceptable or not should not be based on quantity, but on its own aspects.

I get that you're trying to encourage "a better way forward" and I don't disagree that injecting variety into the medium would do just that. I also don't think its a bad thing to encourage the creation of more female characters without an emphasis on their sexuality. I DO think its a bad thing to badger the creation of hyper-sexualized female characters as it attaches negative attitudes towards those depictions.

I agree for general characters / depictions. For established characters, any sexuality should fit within the lines that have been drawn. Again, I use Ms. Marvel for my example.

In my opinion, hyper-sexualization is not a negative thing, however, is it needed to get female characters into the media? In my opinion, it depends. Look at the elf, no one is complaining about her right? Lara Crofts new game did very well (I thought people were pulling at straws about her controversial scenes, but that's just me, especially when rape would have been a very real concern for a teenage girl after being stranded on the island). What about Bayonetta, would her game have been worse without the hyper-sexualization or would it have been used at all if we were playing as a male witch instead?

Dragon's Crown looks to be a great game, but they did not deliver on the hyper-sexualized male. It feels, to me, like they didn't take that last step, when others, like Saints Row IV, are starting to do so.

http://www.metacritic.com/game/playstation-3/dragons-crown/critic-reviews

I don't normally go to this website but I was linked and out of curiocity I scrolled down and the source of the lowest review took me by surprise. I guess the star system is a good way to soften a blow cause this game's revew, at least the video semgent, did NOT play out as a 60.

Currently, the escapist has the absolute LOWEST score, with every other review averaging something like 85 or so. It strikes me as odd.

Minity:
Axle, I found your conversation very thought provoking, I tried to answer some of your last questions as best as I could, since I just sort of jumped in her. Hope that is ok.

My hat is off to you sir / madam. I'm happy to explore the topic more with anyone willing.

I'm going to do my best at trimming the post as best as possible, but if I miss anything or take it out of context, please don't think its intentional (just trying to reduce the "wall of text" for any others as much as possible).

Minity:

...All things can be seen as "sexual". It depends on the lens of the person who is viewing it. Just because the sorceress has large breasts does not make the character sexual, nor does the fact that her breasts respond to environmental physics. However, the traits that the Amazon and Sorceress have, can be easily aligned with sexuality.

I would've said their presentation as I align "traits" more with personality, but I think you just mean the way they are depicted. The exaggerated size, the somewhat cartoon-like physics, the emphasis on their sexualily, etc. all point towards sex, and absolutely agree. A clear grab for attention for the demographic attracted to those kinds of women.

Minity:

(1) Are the male characters given traits that can heavily represent sexuality as well?

I say this because, to show sexually related things or "objectifying" characters in media is not and should not be deemed as negative, but (2) if women are only put in situations that can be aligned with sexuality when the men are not, then it is a form of sexism. (3) Most media does not do this, since sex sells, creators want all of their characters associated with it in someway lol.

*tried to split this one up to avoid confusion

(1) Absolutely not, at least not from a traditional straight-female perspective

(2) Disagree there. I have to ask why you think that is.
Sexism is defined and very much tied to devaluing someone or discriminating against them on the basis of their sex, so how is that happening here? Simply emphasizing one gender's sex while the other isn't, isn't grounds for sexism (or discriminating / devaluing them). I guess an easy example would be a lesbian-geared sexual piece of entertainment. If it was made for that demographic specifically, would they bother emphasizing male sexuality? Clearly not, as its outside of their scope (intent), so I wouldn't classify it as sexist against men simply because that audience has been excluded (or better said, not considered).

(3) Sex definitely sells although I'm not sure I believe most media is as even-handed as you seem to think (I'd say a lot of them still lean heavily towards appealing to men, but I thinks that's ultimately because its been done longer and thus easier to do as a result)

Minity:

I'll use the welding argument that has been posted earlier in this thread. Is the woman is the only one with that low cut shirt in order to have her breasts out while working at this insanely hot factory. Do the men wear t-shirts or tank tops or v-necks, as well, or is it just the female characters? If it is just the woman with her skin showing, but not the men, then the artist is not depicting the image accurately and it would be a form of sexism. It is not hyper-sexualized and her breasts are only out because the artist wants them out, not because it makes sense with the scene. The woman is not equal to the men in the same scene if she is wearing something different only because she is a woman and the artist wants to draw her differently in a place where uniformity would probably be expected. (Also I am assuming that this is a serious story we are talking about in a factory, not something funny or whimsical). Now if everyone is wearing less clothing, maybe to show just how unbearably hot that factory is, then who cares.

So we're clearly at odds here since I'm of the opposite view. I would ask you is why you think both gender's need to be treated the same in any given scene (from a presentation perspective, not dignity), but let's park that thought as I think it may get flushed out in the other sections.

What I will say here, for the sake of understanding, is that if the situation was reversed (topless men, fully clothed women), I wouldn't call that sexist just because only the men's sexuality was highlighted. (Let me know where you'd stand on that situation)

Minity:

...In terms of sexuality, pointing out that something is not equal does not automatically devalue the character that is being objectified (i'm putting that in quotes because I do not know if that is the word I want to be using)

I think its worth mentioning here that I think a lot of people are thinking of the same word you are.

What's important is to distinguish between "objectification" of a human being, as it pertains to their worth rather than an "object of desire". I think a lot of people identify the Sorceress and Amazon as "objects of desire" for certain men. That's not objectification, its just a common saying not to be confused the the actual definition of objectification. For example, my daughter is the object of my affection, that doesn't mean I'm objectifying her, its just an expression. I'm thinking perhaps that's why the word "objectify" came to mind for you.

Minity:

Look at Bayonetta. Dante did not need to be naked in his game, and in my opinion, the two of them are very much the same character, two sides of the same coin if you will (male / female). Did you nudity and ass shot take away from her character? In my opinion, no, and if you stuck around till the end of the game, you learned very quickly, not matter what she was wearing, you don't f* with a witch.

Now, could the game have had the option to keep her costume on when she summoned demons? Sure, but her character still was not hurt because she was naked. It only, in my mind, brings to light the fact that Dante has not been naked in his games (until the reboot lol).

...until the reboot is right! lol

I agree, and its clearly chalked up to the creator being a straight male attracted to women. If it was the reverse (with the same inclinations towards highlighting sex), then Dante for certain would have been overly sexualized in the same manner. However, the concept would probably never get very far on the business side since publishers would likely shy away from any eroticism that excludes straight men. I'll add a note here before anyone asks, that I don't think that's out of sexism, but out of business risk (I'll expand if asked).

Minity:

I do however, disagree with your statement, for characters that have firmly established backgrounds that would not warrant certain types of hyper-sexualization. I will discuss this with Ms. Marvel from the Avengers later in this post.

I think we actually do agree on that point, at least to an extent.

If you have an established character who's sexuality was never previously highlighted and it all of a sudden is, its clearly a departure from their roots and one that may very well betray the character. But is it sexist? I don't know, I have to say no as otherwise no character could ever evolve from where they started without being labelled in one way or another. Or in other words, why would sexuality be the only character change that could not occur.

I don't feel I have a way of articulating this well, so I'll just put my thoughts down quickly;
I loved The Last of Us, I also loved the fact that Ellie was never sexualized in the game. I will admit that I was worried that at some point in the game, even if she wasn't in a bikini, that they'd do an "ass shot" or something that would somehow put her in a position to appeal to men in a sexual manner. Needless to say, that never happened and I was very impressed. If they were to do a sequel or show Ellie in the future as an adult, would it be sexist to showcase her sexuality for the sake of arousal? I would say no, but it would certainly betray the nature of her character and the atmosphere of the story in my eyes. Kind of like what Square does with Final Fantasy (lol)

PS. I have the same fear about HitGirl in Kick A$$.

Minity:

...I don't believe that any artist has a responsibility to produce something that is "tasteful", because tastefulness is based too much on individual preference. However, I do think that an artist has a responsibility to give 100% to the product they are representing.

Doesn't "give 100% to the product" result in the same thing? ie. highly subjective to each person's opinion.

Minity:

Dragon's Crown is a hyper / over-exaggerated game of fun (that's the message I get from the trailers). However, the male characters only look....slightly over-exaggerated. I was very disappointed the Conan looking guy was not an alternate skin for the male knight, as he would have looked more in line with the Amazon and Sorceress.

I also want to point out Saints Row IV. That game is over the top, at least that's what its previews would have you think. They have scantily clad women AND men. It's almost like they took that extra step, but it definitely does not look "tasteful" lol

I think Dragon's Crown and Saints Row are games that push boundaries, and should be encouraged to do so. I simple don't think Dragon's Crown went far enough with their male characters yet.

I'm not sure how you think the men are only slightly exaggerated in DC when they're not proportionally accurate either and by a longshot.

SR IV (or III) is a good subject to look at for this topic. Lots of sexuality on display but due to the character customization, you can be anything you want male or female. What I want to point out is this;

-Had SR III or IV only been geared towards women and resulting in a one-sided customization, would that have classified as sexist to you?

-Do you think women are as attracted at the prospect of a naked male avatar as much as men are attracted to a naked female avatar? Why do you think that is?

Minity:

I think you are missing something very important from the term, objectification, and that is treating someone as a thing without regard to their dignity. And that last part is often how I define when a character or person is being objectified

I don't necessarily disagree with your definition, but I contest that a sexualized representation of a female (or male) counts as treating someone as a "thing". For one, its not a real person (we're talking about a drawing here or VG character), and two why are they a thing? The game has them on the same level as any of the other heroes and balanced the same way. They're not sold, traded, treated as property, etc. By the same token, is a naked male avatar in SR III / IV created without consideration for their dignity (were they a person), does that then mean they are objectified?

Minity:

...However, most of the time, men are not hyper-sexualized in the same way. If odd poses for women, equal sexuality, why aren't men put in odd poses? If less clothing equates to sexuality, why not put men in less clothing?

Or do we have to start asking whether men and women define sexuality differently? (rhetorical lol)
Since I don't want to drift to far from the game, I wonder, is there anything about the sexuality of the Wizard, Knight, and Dwarf in Dragon's Crown that could be equal to the sexuality of the Sorceress, Amazon, and Elf. What are those traits, and why is their value equal or not equal?

I want to look at Chris Redfields sailor costume in RE: Revelations. A number of people called the costume "gay". Why is it when a male character gets put in a fan-service outfit (similar to that of his female counterparts), his sexuality is questions. Sounds like people just want to complain.

I haven't seen the sailor outfit but to me that sounds like its geared towards gay men, not women (and gay men seem to make a lot of other men uncomfortable, so no big surprise there why some would complain).

To answer the crucial question here though, what's sexually appealing to a man and woman is different. There's a reason why you don't see more men in thongs, and its not because women don't like "smut". Having said that, there's no reason why men couldn't be overly sexualized from a female perspective, it just hasn't happened yet since the majority of the business (men and women business people BTW) do still believe the lucrative side of the business is towards teenage males.

Minity:

...Now for something more mainstream, and with an established female character who has a very particular background, yes, certain things do invite judgement, because they are wrong based on the stereotype of the information that is well known and supposed to be important to the character. An example would be every time Ms. Marvel has her ass out and hip cocked to the side as she addresses another character... Does this mean she would never stand relaxed, or wear a bikini or her Ms. Marvel uniform, no (she is invulnerable after all, she could realistically fight naked if she wanted to and not worry about injury. However, during a team briefing or talking business to her teammates, to government officials, the character of Ms. Marvel should probably be depicted in a way that best represents the military and its expected behaviors.

I apologize, I'm not sure I follow the first part of your statement but I can try to answer the latter.

The thing about a comic book character is that they are tossed around to different people all the time. If someone created a character that had nothing to them other than their sexuality, someone could come later on and give them more substance (the opposite is also true, and obviously more common). While this would be a departure of their roots, its not inherently something I would label as "good" or "bad" from a moral perspective. For example, I think Michael Bay's Transformers betray the majority of the original characters and he didn't even highlight their sexuality (who's the audience there?). Inversely, if someone came along and made a Batman movie that showcased Bruce Wayne's sexuality with a pure focus on female appeal (for my purposes, imagine something that wouldn't appeal to men for the most part), it would betray his character, but I wouldn't call it something "bad" from a moral perspective.

Minity:

You asked if artists should be responsible to make things tastefully, my answer is still no, but when working with established characters and continuity, they do have a responsibility to provide an accurate representation of that character or the traits of people and groups that character is representing.

Agreed!

Minity:

I know your questions have not been directed toward me, but I will still answer because I have been intrigued by this conversation.

I, again do not think there is anything wrong with depictions of hyper-sexualization, unless it goes against the characters background, as I have discussed earlier. I also want to point out that this is for official mediums, fan-art, anything goes, IMO.

Magic Mike was clearly geared towards women and gay men, both groups who are sexually / romantically interested in males. I personally thought the movie was too tasteful, and did not push the envelope like Strip Tease with Demi Moore did.

That brings me to my small issue with Dragon's Crown, it didn't push the hyper-sexuality with the male characters enough. Does this mean that it is only being geared towards men, or that men cannot be hyper-sexualized in media that men predominately use? I ask this because you asked about Magic Mike, must they always be separate, and if fan-service outfits are included for men, does it automatically associate negative attributes with their sexuality?

I definitely think DC was geared towards men without much consideration for women. That's not to say it was done to exclude women, its just that they weren't doing anything specifically to attract women. Kind of how some car designs are done with one gender in mind over the other. They're not trying to exclude anyone, but their focus is towards one end of the spectrum instead of a balance. I don't see anything wrong with that.

Minity:

I agree for general characters / depictions. For established characters, any sexuality should fit within the lines that have been drawn. Again, I use Ms. Marvel for my example.

(1)In my opinion, hyper-sexualization is not a negative thing, however, is it needed to get female characters into the media? In my opinion, it depends. (2)Look at the elf, no one is complaining about her right? Lara Crofts new game did very well (I thought people were pulling at straws about her controversial scenes, but that's just me, especially when rape would have been a very real concern for a teenage girl after being stranded on the island). What about Bayonetta, would her game have been worse without the hyper-sexualization or would it have been used at all if we were playing as a male witch instead?

(3) Dragon's Crown looks to be a great game, but they did not deliver on the hyper-sexualized male. It feels, to me, like they didn't take that last step, when others, like Saints Row IV, are starting to do so.

(1) It certainly is not needed, but it is used as a tool to get attention as it has proven very effective in the past. Kind of how putting out an average military FPS will garner a few hundred thousand sales without much effort regardless of quality. Sex appeal towards men is used in the same fashion. The problem (if any) is that it results in the same kind of female character (from a design perspective) being presented time and time again.

(2) I think someone could be offended by the elf, but due to the contrast with the Amazon and Sorceress, it goes unnoticed. Again, its up to each person's individual taste about what's "too much". Female character's don't need their sexuality to be highlighted to be a good character, but they certainly wouldn't be the same character without them. So Bayonetta without the sexual overtones wouldn't be the same character. Does that mean the game wouldn't be any good? Of course not, but the character would be about different things.

(3) So this is one of the most interesting parts to me, did DC need to take that step (hyper-sexualize the males). Would women have gravitated towards it the way men do in the same numbers? I personally don't think it was needed, but it would have certainly made the game stand out, more so. I think it would've widened its appeal as well by making it more "inclusionary" (not a word, I know, sorry). The only issue I see is balance. When you start to gear something towards everyone, its harder to take liberties with the material to the extent you like to since its bound to make someone uncomfortable. For example, it would be extremely difficult to make a game with hyper-sexualized characters that appeals to both heterosexuals and homosexuals. If you wanted to be successful, chances are, you'd have to lean more towards one audience or the other.

I do look forward to the day when someone does a version of a game that is very sexual but without the straight male audience in mind. I'd love to see the reactions as well as whether people would see that as a step forward or backwards. The only thing I don't look forward to, is the ignorance that is bound to come out (from both sides) trying to attack each other for the mere value of simply attacking them.

-Axle-:

My hat is off to you sir / madam. I'm happy to explore the topic more with anyone willing.

I'm going to do my best at trimming the post as best as possible, but if I miss anything or take it out of context, please don't think its intentional (just trying to reduce the "wall of text" for any others as much as possible).

Cheers, good sir. I will try to do the same, about cutting down the posts. :)

-Axle-:

(2) Disagree there. I have to ask why you think that is.
Sexism is defined and very much tied to devaluing someone or discriminating against them on the basis of their sex, so how is that happening here? Simply emphasizing one gender's sex while the other isn't, isn't grounds for sexism (or discriminating / devaluing them). I guess an easy example would be a lesbian-geared sexual piece of entertainment. If it was made for that demographic specifically, would they bother emphasizing male sexuality?

(3) Sex definitely sells although I'm not sure I believe most media is as even-handed as you seem to think (I'd say a lot of them still lean heavily towards appealing to men, but I thinks that's ultimately because its been done longer and thus easier to do as a result)

2. So for your definition of sexism, it sounds as if we need another term. Now, my next statement, and any after, will be with the intent the DC was meant for all audiences. Because I agree, if it was not meant for a particular group, why cater to them? However, I am responding to what could be "sexism" in the game, based on what others have complained or argued about. So I am going to twist your argument a bit, but if DC was made by Lesbians, predominately for Lesbians, but they still promoted as something for everyone to enjoy, and they did not hyper-sexualize at least one of the males, it would be a form of sexism / discrimination in my opinion.

3. I am not saying media is even handed, far from it. I just believe that men are presented in a way, that does make them more sexual. Meaning creators are prepared for the men to sell to women, gay men, and straight men a like. Daniel Radcliff made the comment that he will miss Harry Potter because he won't get to star in action roles any longer. Its not like he is unappealing to those who fancy the men, but he isn't the epitome of the male "action star", so we won't be getting those roles. That type of treatment of people, men and women, is what I was describing.

-Axle-:

So we're clearly at odds here since I'm of the opposite view. I would ask you is (1)why you think both gender's need to be treated the same in any given scene (from a presentation perspective, not dignity), but let's park that thought as I think it may get flushed out in the other sections.

What I will say here, for the sake of understanding, is that if the situation was reversed (topless men, fully clothed women), {2)I wouldn't call that sexist just because only the men's sexuality was highlighted. (Let me know where you'd stand on that situation)

1. Because I am basing this scene as severely realistic and the feminist movement, in my opinion, was designed to give equal rights to women. To me, this means if the men are wearing protective gear, so must the woman. Why is the woman put in the scene in different attire just for sexual reasons, when we could just make her protective gear sexy / form fitting instead of putting her in completely different clothing. That would be a step in the better direction at least.

2. What else should we call something that differentiates between people based only on their sex? One of my favorite scenes in a movie, that I do not believe has any sexism, is the shower scene from Starship Troopers. Everyone is naked in the shower room. No is treated differently or has any more / less shown based on their sex. Sexism happens. It isn't always bad and most media will never be as equal as that shower scene, but what else would we call it?

-Axle-:

What's important is to distinguish between "objectification" of a human being, as it pertains to their worth rather than an "object of desire". .... That's not objectification, its just a common saying not to be confused the the actual definition of objectification. For example, my daughter is the object of my affection, that doesn't mean I'm objectifying her, its just an expression.

I think that I agree with you...So for me, the characters are not objectified, because, as of now, they do not appear to have personalities. They are hyper-exaggerated place holders that are representing archetypes. That does not mean that they are objectified just because they are well endowed versions of the those archetypes. Is that along the lines of what you think as well?

-Axle-:

I agree, and its clearly chalked up to the creator being a straight male attracted to women. If it was the reverse (with the same inclinations towards highlighting sex), then Dante for certain would have been overly sexualized in the same manner. However, the concept would probably never get very far on the business side since publishers would likely shy away from any eroticism that excludes straight men. I'll add a note here before anyone asks, that I don't think that's out of sexism, but out of business risk (I'll expand if asked).

Do you think that is sexist, I mean of American people, not just the creators? If the creators want to hyper-sexualize Dante, but can't because it won't sell well since he is a man, but can and are even expected to do so for Bayonetta, isn't that unequal treatment?

-Axle-:

.... that may very well betray the character. (1)But is it sexist? I don't know, I have to say no as otherwise no character could ever evolve from where they started without being labelled in one way or another. Or in other words, why would sexuality be the only character change that could not occur.

I don't feel I have a way of articulating this well, so I'll just put my thoughts down quickly;
I loved The Last of Us....If they were to do a sequel or show Ellie in the future as an adult, (2)would it be sexist to showcase her sexuality for the sake of arousal? I would say no, but it would certainly betray the nature of her character and the atmosphere of the story in my eyes.

PS. I have the same fear about HitGirl in Kick A$$.

1. It all depends on the situation and the story and if it is happening only because of the characters sex. Would the change happen if the character was of the opposite sex? That is what I think about if I hear a change being sexist.

2. Yes, I would think so, only if the male is not sexualized as well, because it is only for the sake of arousal. Now...if it was to progress her character....again situational difference.

I never have even thought of HitGirl being sexual....I am little nervous you said that LMAO. Hopefully they will still true to the character.

-Axle-:

Doesn't "give 100% to the product" result in the same thing? ie. highly subjective to each person's opinion.

It is very subjective...touche lol. The artist must give their best....and then you get what you get, so we can have these types of discussions LOL

I believe you said / agreed with me earlier, that the men in DC were not nearly hyper-sexualized like the Amazon and Sorceress. That is what I meant by 100%, but again, it is subjective.

-Axle-:

(1)I'm not sure how you think the men are only slightly exaggerated in DC when they're not proportionally accurate either and by a longshot.

SR IV (or III) is a good subject to look at for this topic. Lots of sexuality on display but due to the character customization, you can be anything you want male or female. What I want to point out is this;

(2).-Had SR III or IV only been geared towards women and resulting in a one-sided customization, would that have classified as sexist to you?

(3)-Do you think women are as attracted at the prospect of a naked male avatar as much as men are attracted to a naked female avatar? Why do you think that is?

1. I guess I mean hyper-sexualized. I was trying to avoid using the word over and over
2. Yes it would have been sexist in my opinion
3. I am not sure. I do not think they are often given the option to choose and therefor are not socially taught to be attracted to a naked male avatar. Judging by the success of Magic Mike, I would say that there is something attractive about male nudity to women.

-Axle-:

...but I contest that a sexualized representation of a female (or male) counts as treating someone as a "thing". For one, its not a real person (we're talking about a drawing here or VG character), and two why are they a thing? The game has them on the same level as any of the other heroes and balanced the same way. They're not sold, traded, treated as property, etc. By the same token, is a naked male avatar in SR III / IV created without consideration for their dignity (were they a person), does that then mean they are objectified?

Hmmm...I am not going to touch on the fact that the characters are not real people, though we could discuss that more if you would like. I will say, they are representing people in some way.

I again think objectification has not been the term I want to use.

-Axle-:

(1.)I haven't seen the sailor outfit but to me that sounds like its geared towards gay men, not women (and gay men seem to make a lot of other men uncomfortable, so no big surprise there why some would complain).

(2)... what's sexually appealing to a man and woman is different...you don't see more men in thongs, and (2)its not because women don't like "smut". ...there's no reason why men couldn't be overly sexualized from a female perspective, it just hasn't happened yet since the majority of the business (men and women business people BTW) do still believe the lucrative side of the business is towards teenage males.

1. Here is a link:

http://download.gamezone.com/uploads/image/data/1146328/article_post_width_Resident-Evil-Revelations-costumes.jpg

Isn't being gay a form of sexuality? The depiction of some of these women makes people, not just other women, uncomfortable, but it is still included. Should something not be included, just because it makes a group uncomfortable? Wouldn't that still be a form of sexism? I guess that is why I believe there is some sexism in the game. I like the designs of the characters, and the women, but the hyper-sexualized style was not given to the men in the same manner. Was that done because the straight male audience might be uncomfortable with it,because that is not equal. Will it stop me from playing, definitely not. lol

2. I also want to point out that I am not talking about what men and women want. I am simply discussing equal treatment of the characters in the game. As a straight man, I am sure you know what makes other men sexually attractive to women or even gay men to an extent (I am assuming you are a straight male because you made the comment about having a daughter). Hope that is ok.

You know, when other people think a male is sexy, it might not be something that is always openly stated, but people, both men and women, gay or straight know what it is. So, why can we not over-sexualize the male characters, when we know what people think is sexy? As you said earlier, men could be the object of desire for other men, in the sense that they would like to be like them, and their sexuality is a part of that. (Not saying they are sexually interested in other men, even if they are gay, but that they want to have the same traits as another man they admire.)

-Axle-:

...but I wouldn't call it something "bad" from a moral perspective.

I don't think it is "bad" to sexualize characters. Could you give me an example of how Batman would be sexualized to appeal more to women? I think he is very sexy now, for both men and women. Again, the sexism from my POV, does not matter whose perspective we are using.

-Axle-:

I definitely think DC was geared towards men without much consideration for women. That's not to say it was done to exclude women, its just that they weren't doing anything specifically to attract women. They're not trying to exclude anyone, but their focus is towards one end of the spectrum instead of a balance. I don't see anything wrong with that.

Agreed! However....

-Axle-:

(1) It certainly is not needed, but it is used as a tool to get attention as it has proven very effective in the past....Sex appeal towards men is used in the same fashion. The problem (if any) is that it results in the same kind of female character (from a design perspective) being presented time and time again.

(2) I think someone could be offended by the elf, but due to the contrast with the Amazon and Sorceress, it goes unnoticed. Again, its up to each person's individual taste about what's "too much". Female character's don't need their sexuality to be highlighted to be a good character, but they certainly wouldn't be the same character without them. So Bayonetta without the sexual overtones wouldn't be the same character. Does that mean the game wouldn't be any good? Of course not, but the character would be about different things.

(3) So this is one of the most interesting parts to me, did DC need to take that step (hyper-sexualize the males). Would women have gravitated towards it the way men do in the same numbers? ....For example, it would be extremely difficult to make a game with hyper-sexualized characters that appeals to both heterosexuals and homosexuals. If you wanted to be successful, chances are, you'd have to lean more towards one audience or the other.

I do look forward to the day when someone does a version of a game that is very sexual but without the straight male audience in mind. I'd love to see the reactions as well as whether people would see that as a step forward or backwards. The only thing I don't look forward to, is the ignorance that is bound to come out (from both sides) trying to attack each other for the mere value of simply attacking them.

1. To me, that is the sexism I am referring to (bolded your quote), women must be depicted a certain way in order to be included, rather than have non-sexualized options

2. I agree about Bayonetta if her sexuality was removed completely. However, if her sexuality was toned down some (no ass shots, or nudity) I feel her character would've still remained in tact. I felt it was used as a gimmick, to get people hooked, because about half-way through the game, I felt that the nudity and ass-shots started to get ignored, or weren't used as heavily. If you took it away completely, i.e. she isn't flirtatious, she doesn't purposefully use her sex appeal to make others uncomfortable, then yes she would be a completely different character.

3. Again, I do not think that DC has sexist elements because it excludes the female audiences. DC has sexism, because, out of all the exaggerated characters, only the female ones are hyper-sexualized. It shows that the men, do not need to be hyper-sexualized in order for the product to be successful and that the women should be. It is not necessarily bad, but neither is pointing it out.

I truly do believe that the game could have hyper-sexualized the male characters, without alienating the straight male audience. I mean, isn't this the same audience that tells others to get over it, and just enjoy the game? Maybe it is time they practice what they preach, and judging by the success of the SR games, I would say they would be ok for the most part. (Thanks for the info on SR, I've never actually played, just saw the previews and what now).

Hope I didn't come off as too preachy at the end, but I don't think I did a good job of cutting down the wall LMAO

Sorry for that.

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