On 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?