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Sex and Video Games

19 Nov

body_sm_ratios1On Reddit today, there was a game designer asking if his female character was sexy, but not so sexy that it was conforming to the usual female game design stereotype….  So it got me thinking.

“Sexy” is subjective. What you find sexy I might not find sexy. And what is sexy by one regions definitions will not be the same in another.

For instance, this character has the mandatory large breasts, hour glass figure, and swaying hips that western society deems “sexy”. If you go to Japan, or Brazil it won’t be the same standard. They don’t have the same stereotypical “sexy” idea of women that we do in the west.

Now, is it still perpetuating the stereotype of video games? I don’t think so, because she isn’t half naked and her figure actually has a natural curvy form, while still being close to realistic, though not quiet.

Now.. as a woman I find the whole discussion to be trivial in general. “You’re painting women as sex objects” … No, they are painting them as caricatures of the “sexy woman”. That is to say, grossly out of proportion, gravity defying, and completely unrealistic. Some of them ape superhero proportions, but many of them don’t even bother with that. If that is a man’s idea of an ideal woman then he is in for a sad awakening when he goes looking for a real one.

Advertising has done far more to paint woman as sex objects than video games ever have, and yet fem-libers will shout far louder about a woman in impractical armor in a video game then they will about the anorexic looking fashion models, and half naked women in commercials and magazines with photoshopped bodies.

A character in a video game ISN’T REAL! It isn’t even close. It doesn’t paint an idealistic picture of a woman, it paints a fake, unattainable in any circumstances woman. What’s more, it doesn’t just do this for the women, it does this for the men as well.

Women who get all irritated about video game avatars are clearly not versed in gaming and comic book culture, nor do they know anything about the historical trend of art. Both men and women were painted, drawn, sculpted, and shown in the idealized versions of the time and place they originated, and/or caricatures of those ideals. It only sometimes has something to do with sex, other times it’s just something “pretty” to look at, or commentating on society as a whole.

And if they are versed in art history, then why the hell are they so argumentative about the whole thing? Why aren’t they using it as discussion instead of just saying “DON’T DO THAT!”

Superheros are a mans power fantasy? So because I’m female I’m not allowed to have the same fantasy? I want to fantasize that I’m the sexy muscular woman with all the power under my sword, able to slice through dragons, orcs and trolls with one swing of my sword. That’s my power fantasy!

Just because you are offended at something THAT DOESN’T MAKE IT WRONG! Stop fucking up life for the rest of us just because you got your panties in a twist. Let me have my fantasy for one fricking minute, and just enjoy being beautiful, strong, and capable, even though I’m not in real life.

And really, isn’t that what a video game is all about in the first place?

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10 Comments

Posted by on November 19, 2013 in Commentary

 

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10 responses to “Sex and Video Games

  1. serpentophelia

    November 19, 2013 at 11:42 pm

    I’m really glad that someone has said something about this. Although I am one of those girls that gets a little irritated at the stupid body proportions of girls in media in general, I find myself playing females in video games more than males. I want to be the sexy, powerful woman! I so totally agree with you!
    I also agree that, although the vision of girls proportions and armor is really bad in video games, it isn’t as far reaching as some of the other media that you have mentioned (advertising mostly). I mean, this reaches everyone! Games with “try-hard sexy” girls only reach and influence a small number of our population, and this is mostly men. I’m really glad someone has said something about this, and you made your point very clear. I really appreciate this.

     
    • CrissyMoss

      November 19, 2013 at 11:47 pm

      I’m glad someone else agreed, and I’m glad it was another woman who shared my point of view. It’s really hard to speak up with ultra feminists attack people that don’t agree with them.

      (Not to say I don’t agree with feminism in general, just that some people go above and beyond and ruin it for the rest of us.)

       
      • serpentophelia

        November 19, 2013 at 11:57 pm

        I call myself a feminist, but I believe I am more of a humanist. I push for respect rather than just straight up equality.
        I find that a lot of the ‘feminists’ today are just extremists… They give the rest of us a bad rep.

         
      • CrissyMoss

        November 20, 2013 at 12:09 am

        Exactly!

         
  2. scantan

    November 20, 2013 at 12:14 am

    I think the solution to this is user generated characters, like in Saints Row, Mass Effect, Dragon Age, etc. That way, everyone can get what they want. Given the choice, I usually play as a woman then and not an unrealistic one either.

     
    • serpentophelia

      November 20, 2013 at 12:20 am

      This is very true. I just started playing Neverwinter not too long ago with my boyfriend and the character customization is so deep and thoughtful that it makes me feel more connected to my character. AND the max bust size is like a C cup. Made me so happy and giddy.

       
    • CrissyMoss

      November 20, 2013 at 12:44 am

      That’s quite true. I always play as a woman, cause they are prettier. And I’ve noticed I like a certain kind of face, which is kind of elfin, not realistic. Body… mostly average because eh. It’s what the character does, and wears, that I enjoy more then the actual body.

       
      • serpentophelia

        November 20, 2013 at 1:02 am

        Yeah, I find most men in games to be stereotyped as well. Big and strong and muscular and grrr… That’s why I don’t like playing them as much. I’d be totally into playing the small mage dude with glasses.
        I love darker looking faces and races, like the tieflings in Neverwinter.

         
      • scantan

        November 21, 2013 at 3:38 am

        I’m not 100% sure why I always play as a woman. It might just be due to it being less common, so the story seems more original just by it being from a female persepective. Which is quite sad when you think about it.

        Also, Jennifer Hale is a great voice actor 🙂

         
      • CrissyMoss

        November 21, 2013 at 9:12 am

        My ex said he always played as a woman in MMO because it was a higher percentage of people giving you stuff for free… cause maybe you’re a girl. That tapered off a lot when people realized that 50% of the “girls” on the server were really men. Then again… I was a girl, and I got free stuff in real life too 😉

         

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