Increasingly skinny women in video games?

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That's how it is, as stupid as it is and how much we wish it weren't.

Unfortunately, it's not just women, OK it's definitely more of a problem for women, but the thing is throughout all of fiction, characters fit to some ideal standards.

Male characters fit idealized standards too, unfortunately there are more ways for men to be idealized.

You have the typical broad shouldered, handsome, body builder physique. Let's just call this one, the Superman.

Then you have the more realistically proportioned characters, but they're still rugged and handsome, we'll refer to this one as the Drake.

Then, and perhaps the most common idealized form for males is a badass. A badass character doesn't need to look attractive, so long as they look, well, badass. Now badassery is the common binding thread among all idealized male characters, but this type of character seems to be specifically designed around the concept. We'll call this one the Fenix.

Now Marcus up there isn't what one would traditionally call attractive. You might even refer to him as ugly, but his look serves a purpose and identifies him as a badass murder machine, which is perhaps, the ultimate idealized male form, even if it's not your own particular ideal.

Now we look at female characters, and in terms of appearance only, well most, nearly all, of them don't differ too much. Almost every important female character is attractive.

Now while female characters can indeed be badass, and in fact every one of the characters I included in that spoiler are, in terms of appearance they all fit a similar physical mold. You'd be hard pressed to find a female variant of Marcus up there. For whatever reason no one seems to want to play as "ugly" females, even if they were sheer representations of raw brutal badassery.

I'm inclined to say that it's the fault of writers and developers, but I'm thinking it's partially the fault of the audience too. Now, this is just conjecture on my part, given that I lack the double-X chromosome, but just as being badass is part of the male fantasy, isn't being beautiful part of the female fantasy?
Now, not beautiful in the manner of Huge tits, pronounced ass and minimal clothing that we have in most games, but still "beautiful" in a generally attractive sense.

At any rate my point is: I'm actually not sure I have one. This is more of an observation than a point making thing; also I felt like posting some pictures.

RatRace123:
-snip-

You kinda break your point with femshep down there.. She's not exactly winning any beauty contests.

Then again no Mass Effect female is winning any beauty contests. >.>

OTOH she does look like a badass, which is good too. Nausicaa (non-gaming example ahoy!) is kind of a bad ass, and kinda plain. Uh..gaming example..gaming example...FemShep.

I agree with most of these posts. It's really centered around a woman's constant desire to be beautiful, youthful, skinny, etc. Thus, many females characters are.

FemShep ugly? Give me a break. She's up there with Alyx of Half Life-- tough, confident and good looking. Known a good number of military women and athletes like that, too. Guess it depends on whether that is a turn on for you or not. Me, I like women who don't look and act like they'll break in half at the first sign of danger.

I dunno, though. I remember a video panel on this subject composed of women gamers and devs (think it was on the Escapist, in fact). They pretty much said that "sexy" doesn't bug them in female characters so much as "incompetent". In other words, a character who acts like a bimbo is far more irritating than one who looks like one.

That said, a quarter century after Aliens came out, we still see damn few female main characters like Ripley-- not precisely ugly, but hardly "sexy" (Chell from Portal being the only example I can think of in videogames)

image

Muspelheim:

WoW Killer:
Yes I find it increasingly silly. It's nothing really to do with weight though, it's just a consequence of weight being related to attractiveness socially. Women are made up to be attractive in games, despite how impractical that may be...

image

Wha..? ._.

And let me guess... The men in that game all got real armour, can't have male nudity scaring away all the teenaged boys, can we?

Agreed, it's a silly beauty ideal, but it's not exactly exclusive to games. Personally, I'm alright with it as longs as it conforms to one rule: does the bodytype make sense for the role? I doubt few powerful mle warriors have arms like spagetti. A mage-type might get away with looking a bit more slender, but still... Those people aren't walking down a catwalk before being assaulted by ten different stylists all day long. They fight battles, which tend to be fairly sweaty and exhausting affairs.
Nothing wrong with some curves, but I'd prefer them to A) be attached to some muscle and basic bodyfat and B) covered in something that seems like reasonable equipment for actual fighting.

A second houserule of mine is that I'm prepared to overlook that, I can totally buy overidealized bodies, hulking Aaahhrnolds in little fur pants fighting skellingtons side by side with a Playboy bunny wearing a few bits of parchment.
But note how both Aaaaahrnooold and Ms. Fanservice are wearing revealing fantasy-armour. If we've got a realistic setting with realistic expectations of protection, then both sexes should be equipped with it, because it makes no bloody sense otherwise. If the setting is more fantastic, where a bikini won't equal a casualty in five minutes, then there is no reason to cover the blokes up in plate. It's just so blatant and sleazy what you're trying to do if you choose that option; "Aaaaaarrrr, check out dat ass! An' dem jugs! Oh, noes! I saw a bare chest! I might be gaaaaaaay! Hide it! Hiiide it!"

In short: Plate thongs for EVERYONE, or plate thongs for noone. It is that simple.

No the men dress like male whores too, at least my elf does.

Muspelheim:

WoW Killer:
Yes I find it increasingly silly. It's nothing really to do with weight though, it's just a consequence of weight being related to attractiveness socially. Women are made up to be attractive in games, despite how impractical that may be...

image

Wha..? ._.

And let me guess... The men in that game all got real armour, can't have male nudity scaring away all the teenaged boys, can we?

Agreed, it's a silly beauty ideal, but it's not exactly exclusive to games. Personally, I'm alright with it as longs as it conforms to one rule: does the bodytype make sense for the role? I doubt few powerful mle warriors have arms like spagetti. A mage-type might get away with looking a bit more slender, but still... Those people aren't walking down a catwalk before being assaulted by ten different stylists all day long. They fight battles, which tend to be fairly sweaty and exhausting affairs.
Nothing wrong with some curves, but I'd prefer them to A) be attached to some muscle and basic bodyfat and B) covered in something that seems like reasonable equipment for actual fighting.

A second houserule of mine is that I'm prepared to overlook that, I can totally buy overidealized bodies, hulking Aaahhrnolds in little fur pants fighting skellingtons side by side with a Playboy bunny wearing a few bits of parchment.
But note how both Aaaaahrnooold and Ms. Fanservice are wearing revealing fantasy-armour. If we've got a realistic setting with realistic expectations of protection, then both sexes should be equipped with it, because it makes no bloody sense otherwise. If the setting is more fantastic, where a bikini won't equal a casualty in five minutes, then there is no reason to cover the blokes up in plate. It's just so blatant and sleazy what you're trying to do if you choose that option; "Aaaaaarrrr, check out dat ass! An' dem jugs! Oh, noes! I saw a bare chest! I might be gaaaaaaay! Hide it! Hiiide it!"

In short: Plate thongs for EVERYONE, or plate thongs for noone. It is that simple.

Some of the male armor is normal armor, although there is a lot of them especially the devil race, that are in lycra and bondage gear, about as bad as the women. But I think the human males are normal.

Strain42:

Y'know what I'd like to see? A fat character where the subject of their weight is never once addressed. Not the dorky comic sidekick or anything. Just a normal dude (or dudette) who just happens to be a bit overweight.

Vegosiux:

Zhukov:

That said, it would be cool to see some more chunky and/or chubby characters in games, if only for the sake of variety.

You mean, in main roles, not the generic "nerd virgin" role, I assume.

But yeah, that'd be interesting to see how successful it is...

Not that it's part of the "normal" game, but I think all of the little unlockables that Naughty Dog put into the Uncharted games are hilarious.

I don't really have anything OT to say, because all of the sarcastic or passive-aggressive comments have been taken, and I don't really need to repeat the true comments.

actually ...

its the character models that annoy me more then the 'armor'.

is it to much to ask that that 'tanking' classes have male and female models that look like they can do the job? not like you can't make 'burly sexy'
image

image

Most characters in games both male and female are held up to idealized standards, not just women, get over it already.

funny enough the super skinny model is more female's vision of what beauty is than men's. most men would probably agree that there is a threshold to skinniness where it becomes extremely un-sexy.

honestly most men just care about the boobs.

dont get me wrong, TERA is a large step backwards in this subject, but the industry as a whole has gotten a lot better in the past 7 years and will continue to improve (hopefully). We are seeing more and more great female characters in games who are not over-sexed.

TERA does make me /facepalm. i dont mind eye candy, but this goes way too far.

sex sells, the objectification of women is easy because it's been done for so long, not to mention that a very large proportion of gamers are still male aged between 15-30, and the easiest way to catch their attention is by not making them think with their heads.

Risingblade:

So, is anyone else wondering how much super glue it takes to hold on the part across the stomach?

[edit] Oh, and it is genius, the more you grind, the more skin you see. Grinding takes time, and you spending time grinding is money for them.

JaceArveduin:

Risingblade:

So, is anyone else wondering how much super glue it takes to hold on the part across the stomach?

[edit] Oh, and it is genius, the more you grind, the more skin you see. Grinding takes time, and you spending time grinding is money for them.

You know, after erm...inspecting... that image... does anyone else think that models hands are overly large?

FelixG:

JaceArveduin:

Risingblade:

So, is anyone else wondering how much super glue it takes to hold on the part across the stomach?

[edit] Oh, and it is genius, the more you grind, the more skin you see. Grinding takes time, and you spending time grinding is money for them.

You know, after erm...inspecting... that image... does anyone else think that models hands are overly large?

I... You know, they actually DO look too big... Apparently my knack for spotting things doesn't work as well when scantily clad women are involved. That's a weakness I need to work on fixing...

370999:
This isn't anyone's fault, it's how society has just turned out. But it's true. Now I'm not a feminist, but there it is...

Why aren't you a feminist? Feminism is believing that women should be given the same rights and opportunities as men. How can any modern thinking person not be a feminist?

LookAtYouHacker:

Don't think i'm a fat b*****d who rejects people who want to lose weight and thinks all skinny people are anorexics :( Thank you for your time.

I'll get to the topic in a sec, but what word is "B*****d" supposed to be? I know a lot of words that could stand some censorship but none of them start with a B, or end with a D.

I'm just interested, that's all.

I'm getting sick and tired of skinny chicks too.
You see the male Commander Shepard and he's this big beefy dude
but the Girl Shepard is skinny sexy. (I mean, I assume that women find guy Shepard sexy too, but I digress)
In the games context they've been through the exact same stuff, they should have very similar body builds.

I can't even think of the last female character I saw who didn't look like some sort of supermodel. (Dwarven women in Dragon Age Origins)

So, you're the best sword fighter your village has to offer. Why do you look like


Are muscles, scars, or blemishes honestly too much to ask for in a female character?
Is the prospect of not being able to ring every possible ounce of sex appeal out of any given property that frightening?

I don't play WoW but I hear that female Orcs are skinny. I'm tired of it.

Mikeyfell:

LookAtYouHacker:

Don't think i'm a fat b*****d who rejects people who want to lose weight and thinks all skinny people are anorexics :( Thank you for your time.

I'll get to the topic in a sec, but what word is "B*****d" supposed to be? I know a lot of words that could stand some censorship but none of them start with a B, or end with a D.

I'm just interested, that's all.

I'm getting sick and tired of skinny chicks too.
You see the male Commander Shepard and he's this big beefy dude
but the Girl Shepard is skinny sexy. (I mean, I assume that women find guy Shepard sexy too, but I digress)
In the games context they've been through the exact same stuff, they should have very similar body builds.

I can't even think of the last female character I saw who didn't look like some sort of supermodel. (Dwarven women in Dragon Age Origins)

So, you're the best sword fighter your village has to offer. Why do you look like


Are muscles, scars, or blemishes honestly too much to ask for in a female character?
Is the prospect of not being able to ring every possible ounce of sex appeal out of any given property that frightening?

I don't play WoW but I hear that female Orcs are skinny. I'm tired of it.

Emma Honeywell from The Last Remnant is a general with scars over her face (the only part of her body that is exposed as she is wearing full armor). she is also older (looks to be in her 40's). Also has an interesting fighting style and is a great character.

granted the experience is ruined by her daughter, who is obviously much younger, sexier, and has similiar armor/looks except that is contains a short skirt rather than the armored legs that her mother has. Thankfully the daughter doesnt talk much (or in the game until mostly the end)

Don't read this the wrong way, I love the first two films in the Aliens franchise to death as much as the next geek, but are female gamers really crying out for the chance to play games taking on the role of a protective mother figure?

There are also huge problems with surgically removing what makes Ripley awesome from the medium of film and transplanting it into a game. In the films Ripley's key motivation to answer the hero's call to action, defy genre expectations and survive her horrific circumstances stems from her being a mother, whether that role is acquired through biological means or frontier-style adoption of orphans. Firstly you just cannot have an unlikely hero like Ripley in a video game precisely because the medium tells you who the main character is as soon as you start playing with the movement controls. Likewise the limitations of the medium make any attempt to design a game around an escort mechanic, especially when the NPC being escorted is incredibly fragile and easily killed, an exercise in hating your fellow man or woman.

FelixG:

JaceArveduin:
[quote="Risingblade" post="9.377125.14709049"]

You know, after erm...inspecting... that image... does anyone else think that models hands are overly large?

If you had bought a sex change procedure that was that 'effective', wouldn't you want to show it off even if they couldn't do anything about your man hands?

Lunar Templar:
actually ...

its the character models that annoy me more then the 'armor'.

is it to much to ask that that 'tanking' classes have male and female models that look like they can do the job? not like you can't make 'burly sexy'

I'm of two minds on that Barbarian design. On one hand, it's sorta nice to see attractiveness taking a back seat to sharing the front seat with badassery. (It would be even better to, you know, have a female version of an imposing warrior being designed as an imposing warrior first and foremost, though.) On the other hand, wtb armor that protects torso + femoral arteries, blizz.

FelixG:
image

Most characters in games both male and female are held up to idealized standards, not just women, get over it already.

That's the best attitude I've heard of. Find something bad, ignore it and move on! Let's accept ignore everything bad and never care about trying to change anything!

Live will be so much better.

SL33TBL1ND:

370999:
This isn't anyone's fault, it's how society has just turned out. But it's true. Now I'm not a feminist, but there it is...

Why aren't you a feminist? Feminism is believing that women should be given the same rights and opportunities as men. How can any modern thinking person not be a feminist?

The fact that women are disadvantaged is self-evident. Interest in that subject matter is not something I can easily sum up. In short I find it grubby and boring, and don't really care. That's why I'm not a feminist.

Perhaps an upcoming game that breaks the mould would be Xenonauts and their realistic depiction of female soldiers:

image

image

They're portrayed as pragmatic fighting troops instead of fitting into some artificial and impractical sexual ideal that society/men/women/the audience etc... have about how women should look.

Is this glamour magazine cover material? No. Is it how female troops in the field actually look? Yes.

370999:

SL33TBL1ND:

370999:
This isn't anyone's fault, it's how society has just turned out. But it's true. Now I'm not a feminist, but there it is...

Why aren't you a feminist? Feminism is believing that women should be given the same rights and opportunities as men. How can any modern thinking person not be a feminist?

The fact that women are disadvantaged is self-evident. Interest in that subject matter is not something I can easily sum up. In short I find it grubby and boring, and don't really care. That's why I'm not a feminist.

Then you misunderstood what a feminist is. Are you for women having the same rights as men? If yes, you are a feminist. It doesn't matter whether you do anything about it or are enthusiastic on the subject.

I don't do anything about it, or read up on it or anything like that. I'm still for people having equal rights.

Holy shit, I've never ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever noticed that! You're so motherfucking correct!
Yup. Just leavin't this here. You decide whether I was being sarcastic or SUPER sarcastic.
Assuming you give a fuck. You probably don't.

SL33TBL1ND:

370999:

SL33TBL1ND:

Why aren't you a feminist? Feminism is believing that women should be given the same rights and opportunities as men. How can any modern thinking person not be a feminist?

The fact that women are disadvantaged is self-evident. Interest in that subject matter is not something I can easily sum up. In short I find it grubby and boring, and don't really care. That's why I'm not a feminist.

Then you misunderstood what a feminist is. Are you for women having the same rights as men? If yes, you are a feminist. It doesn't matter whether you do anything about it or are enthusiastic on the subject.

I don't do anything about it, or read up on it or anything like that. I'm still for people having equal rights.

For the sake of argument I looked up a couple of definitions. Emphasis mine

advocating social, political, legal, and economic rights for women equal to those of men.
an advocate of such rights.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/feminist

: the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes
: organized activity on behalf of women's rights and interests

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/feminism

the belief that women should be allowed the same rights, power and opportunities as men and be treated in the same way, or the set of activities intended to achieve this stat

http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/feminism

So I do believe that is 2:1 to me.

SL33TBL1ND:

370999:

SL33TBL1ND:

Why aren't you a feminist? Feminism is believing that women should be given the same rights and opportunities as men. How can any modern thinking person not be a feminist?

The fact that women are disadvantaged is self-evident. Interest in that subject matter is not something I can easily sum up. In short I find it grubby and boring, and don't really care. That's why I'm not a feminist.

Then you misunderstood what a feminist is. Are you for women having the same rights as men? If yes, you are a feminist. It doesn't matter whether you do anything about it or are enthusiastic on the subject.

I don't do anything about it, or read up on it or anything like that. I'm still for people having equal rights.

I presume she's mixing up feminazi and feminist.

EclipseoftheDarkSun:

SL33TBL1ND:

370999:

The fact that women are disadvantaged is self-evident. Interest in that subject matter is not something I can easily sum up. In short I find it grubby and boring, and don't really care. That's why I'm not a feminist.

Then you misunderstood what a feminist is. Are you for women having the same rights as men? If yes, you are a feminist. It doesn't matter whether you do anything about it or are enthusiastic on the subject.

I don't do anything about it, or read up on it or anything like that. I'm still for people having equal rights.

I presume she's mixing up feminazi and feminist.

I'm a boy!

And I;m disagreeing with him on wherever it means advocate or simply believer of a certain idea.

Vault101:
to be honest? its not the thing that most concerns me when you have "women and agmes" in the same sentence

the problem is within the rest of our culture

Yeah, there ya go.

The issue with culture, sexual appeal and woman when it comes to said sexual appeal is that our culture is shy around sex and sexual appeal, so when a society is less open with it then creators will have a urge to build a sexual appeal that will sell and most people are sexually attracted to women.

Consider it marketing ploy, consider it Men making Women sexy looking for fapping material but its honestly just for easier money.

370999:

SL33TBL1ND:

370999:

The fact that women are disadvantaged is self-evident. Interest in that subject matter is not something I can easily sum up. In short I find it grubby and boring, and don't really care. That's why I'm not a feminist.

Then you misunderstood what a feminist is. Are you for women having the same rights as men? If yes, you are a feminist. It doesn't matter whether you do anything about it or are enthusiastic on the subject.

I don't do anything about it, or read up on it or anything like that. I'm still for people having equal rights.

For the sake of argument I looked up a couple of definitions. Emphasis mine

advocating social, political, legal, and economic rights for women equal to those of men.
an advocate of such rights.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/feminist

: the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes
: organized activity on behalf of women's rights and interests

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/feminism

the belief that women should be allowed the same rights, power and opportunities as men and be treated in the same way, or the set of activities intended to achieve this stat

http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/feminism

So I do believe that is 2:1 to me.

I think you'll find that what most people mean when they say they're a feminist is that they're behind women getting equal rights, not that they necessarily go out and act on that.

370999:

I'm a boy!

And I;m disagreeing with him on wherever it means advocate or simply believer of a certain idea.

My bad - I jumped to conclusions based on your avatar. Anyway, who cares about the definition exactly.. semantics can be quite boring.. I support the feminist ideal (not the feminazi ideal), but I don't go out and do demonstrations for anything, including feminism.

Muspelheim:

Also, this is fairly topical:

image

Strangely, apart from the Hulk, I couldn't tell much of a difference. That's just me though.

On topic though, I'm certain women seen in gaming back in the 90's were just as thin. Reiko from Ridge Racer, the women in Virtua Fighter, etc. I don't think their physic has changed too much, but more what they're wearing.

LookAtYouHacker:
NEW

Beyond Good And Evil

Samus

Farah

I can go on, really. This isn't new: You've just accepted it so much that you didn't even realise it was a thing until now. Hell, instead of listing off female characters from older games that are skinny, how about someone try to name actual female characters from games who A: had a role beyond a statis NPC or enemy or something that doesn't quickly cease to be a part of the game after a single encounter, and B: isn't not-skinny or not-slim as part of their only character trait.

SL33TBL1ND:

370999:

SL33TBL1ND:

Then you misunderstood what a feminist is. Are you for women having the same rights as men? If yes, you are a feminist. It doesn't matter whether you do anything about it or are enthusiastic on the subject.

I don't do anything about it, or read up on it or anything like that. I'm still for people having equal rights.

For the sake of argument I looked up a couple of definitions. Emphasis mine

advocating social, political, legal, and economic rights for women equal to those of men.
an advocate of such rights.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/feminist

: the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes
: organized activity on behalf of women's rights and interests

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/feminism

the belief that women should be allowed the same rights, power and opportunities as men and be treated in the same way, or the set of activities intended to achieve this stat

http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/feminism

So I do believe that is 2:1 to me.

I think you'll find that what most people mean when they say they're a feminist is that they're behind women getting equal rights, not that they necessarily go out and act on that.

I haven't. I'm not saying your wrong but the colloquial use I've grown up means advocate. Which I'm not. Agree to disagree?

EclipseoftheDarkSun:

370999:

I'm a boy!

And I;m disagreeing with him on wherever it means advocate or simply believer of a certain idea.

My bad. Anyway, who cares about the definition exactly.. semantics can be quite boring..

I do!

Terramax:

Muspelheim:

Also, this is fairly topical:

image

Strangely, apart from the Hulk, I couldn't tell much of a difference. That's just me though.

On topic though, I'm certain women seen in gaming back in the 90's were just as thin. Reiko from Ridge Racer, the women in Virtua Fighter, etc. I don't think their physic has changed too much, but more what they're wearing.

Well, there was one or two genuine Avenger posters (from google images) that showed her side-on, but most didn't have an exaggerated sexual pose. So, I think that distorted reality a bit there.

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