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Sexism

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I don't play games but honestly...

 

First they objectify her body. Then they make her body more normal and instead... objectify her character. And call it A Great Change.

 

I'm especially mad at the "you'll want to protect her". WTF - is this what most gamers do? "Protect" the characters? Are there games where any male characters need to be "protected"?

 

And why the heck did they need to fit in an attempted rape? Rape is not commonly known as building a character... it's generally associated with an overwhelming feeling of weakness and helplessness, nothing easily turned into strength because you Do Not Experience Strenght.

 

 

Gawd.

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You guys should try playing RPGs. You can design some much better characters in those. *and* put them in relatively normal clothing if you want.

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You guys should try playing RPGs. You can design some much better characters in those. *and* put them in relatively normal clothing if you want.

Or maybe certain game makers should stop being misogynistic jerkwads?

 

I do play RPGs. I've got a really large number of 4e D&D books. I've been playing for a few years and now am running a game. The art in it is a good bit less chain mail bikini than RPGs used to be, but there's still a whole lot of examples of ridiculous T&A in them.

 

What this guy has said about what they are doing with Lara Croft is insulting to everyone, not just women.

Edited by Princess Artemis

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I play rpgs and I always play men because the armor for women is usually armored bikinis. It just doesn't make sense to me. That's not going to protect you from anything. Plus I get embarrassed when people think I'm watching an adult film when I'm just playing a violent video game because for some reason the female character sounds like she seems to think that getting stabbed or burning to death is oh so satisfying.

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I play rpgs and I always play men because the armor for women is usually armored bikinis.

^This.

 

And when I play MMORPGs, I prefer the male character because if you play a female, some gamers think that you're a girl and will hit on you. It's annoying.

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Mm, reminds me of the demo for Mass Effect 3. I was really excited to play that game until I got to play through the demo and learned that the plot apparently revolves around Shepard and his new Krogan buddy kidnapping a bunch of Krogan females for breeding experiments, whether the females like it or not. Personally I play Shepard as a good guy and I just couldn't reconcile being a good guy and trying to save the universe with kidnapping the females of a sentient species for forced breeding programs. Of course the fact that those females are immune to the genophage means they have no rights and no ability to make decisions for themselves, and there is absolutely nothing insulting or oppressive about that. <.<

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(SammiiDoogles) -- I totally agree with the rape thing, it's a weak and borderline insensitive plot device. Rape isn't some radioactive spider that bites you and gives you superpowers.

 

I thought this reader comment summed it up well. I mean, why should rape ever be an "origin story?" There are so many things wrong with that idea...

 

1) The idea that being raped or nearly-raped will usually turn a woman into a hardened vengeance machine, somehow "forged in the fire of rape."

 

2) The idea that becoming a hardened vengeance machine is actually the ideal "strong" reaction for a woman to have.

 

3) The idea that a woman can recover from a rape or attempted rape with no support from friends or family, no discussion, no therapy, no coping -- that she can just lock it up inside and it will have no negative repercussions whatsoever.

 

4) The idea that a woman achieves her strength or character depth or "powers" through rape, as if she were somehow weaker, less interesting, or had no distinct personality *until* someone tried to rape her.

 

5) The idea that rape is typically a spontaneous savage event performed by a mob of unknown strangers, not by someone the woman knows and trusts. (I know it can happen all sorts of ways, but fiction seldom deals with the fact of so-called "date rape," "acquaintance rape," "domestic partner rape," etc.)

 

Arrrrrrrrgh. I used to work in a game store (RPGs (the original pencil/paper kind), board games, card games, etc.), and just... RPG art is so horrid. I used to get into discussions about it with customer friends, talking about how unrealistic it was that every woman seemed to have a cleavage-revealing keyhole opening in their armor, or armor that fit them like a second skin, not to mention all those breasts that defied gravity or were shaped literally like bubbles, or all the cover images that showed women from the crotch-up angle, often in things blatantly resembling lingerie. I swear, a lot of game artists seem to be using porn magazines as references, rather than live models -- there are *so* many poses and outfits that could only have come from pornography.

ETA: ...and why doesn't Lara Croft get to keep her chest? Seriously, what was the logic in reducing her cup size -- did they think "vulnerable/traumatized/realistic" and "large chest" were mutually exclusive? >_<

Edited by Kelkelen

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...and why doesn't Lara Croft get to keep her chest? Seriously, what was the logic in reducing her cup size -- did they think "vulnerable/traumatized/realistic" and "large chest" were mutually exclusive? >_<

I dunno, but I suspect it's because it makes you look younger, somehow less mature and less of a woman.

 

Which means that I would need gangs of men protecting me whenever I go out the door.

 

Seriously, where's the logic, game makers?

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Mm, reminds me of the demo for Mass Effect 3. I was really excited to play that game until I got to play through the demo and learned that the plot apparently revolves around Shepard and his new Krogan buddy kidnapping a bunch of Krogan females for breeding experiments, whether the females like it or not. Personally I play Shepard as a good guy and I just couldn't reconcile being a good guy and trying to save the universe with kidnapping the females of a sentient species for forced breeding programs. Of course the fact that those females are immune to the genophage means they have no rights and no ability to make decisions for themselves, and there is absolutely nothing insulting or oppressive about that. <.<

I do not see a problem with that quest, to be honest. First off, there is no kidnapping involved. Not to mention the female Krogan were all willing participants in the experiments. They want to cure the genophage enough to volunteer as test subjects. You are going to Sur'Kesh to pick up the female Krogan to bring her back to her homeplanet where she will frankly be better treated. This is an alliance between groups, and all parties are willing participants.

 

Eve herself is a very strong-willed Krogan who can handle herself. She is just as excited as anyone that her race is not going into extinction. There are no forced breeding programs to be had, nor any kidnapping. Nor any forcing of any kind. A demo is supposed to give you a taste of the game. Obviously they aren't going to go into the character development and politics that went into the situation because then why would you buy the game?

 

I also don't have a problem with lowering Lara's cup size. I think it makes her less of a sex object. Putting all the other things wrong aside (the near-rape, etc), I don't have a problem with this one.

Edited by 7Deadly$ins

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I also don't have a problem with lowering Lara's cup size. I think it makes her less of a sex object. Putting all the other things wrong aside (the near-rape, etc), I don't have a problem with this one.

All the other wrong things actually just make her an object of a different kind. Exploitation is exploitation. Mr. Exec. Producer seems to think nothing of suggesting that the best way to "humanize" a sexy character is to break her multiple times and reduce her to a cornered animal state.

 

I'd rather her be kicking butt, personally. I don't play the games though, so besides the typical T&A marketing they used to do with her, I don't know how sex object-y she was.

 

~~

 

As an example of what I think of as a feminine (not female!!) character done well...

 

user posted image

 

That's powerful. No T&A, no broken anatomy (well, not the parts that map to human, anyhow), comfortable, confident pose...a bit wasp-waisted though. Still *points* video game artists are capable of creating characters that are both powerful and clearly feminine.

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Does that really... count? I don't really see anything "clearly feminine" about whatever that is.

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I laughed at how pathetic and ridiculous this is for like 2 minutes straight when I saw this. Cynder the dragon. With boobs. For Skylanders Giants, which appeals to young children. (Plenty of older people like it as well, of course, but most of the people who are looking for the current figures are kids or are looking for their kids. We're talking the 6-10 range here, too.)

Linky for size~

 

I mean, I don't like the look of her in the first Skylanders, though at least her first figure doesn't emphasize it as much...

 

I don't get why they couldn't keep her original scale design...

 

 

I guess she's just not female enough without the boobs, though. >_<'

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I guess she's just not female enough without the boobs, though.  >_<'

Yep, because to make a non human character look female, one must give it boobs to make it obvious...

 

user posted image

 

I also liked that dragons original design much more. the scale pattern personally just looked more female to me than the boob design because the boob design actually makes certain armors that males wore.

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Does that really... count? I don't really see anything "clearly feminine" about whatever that is.

7Deadly$ins, that's a picture of Diablo (from Diablo 3) in a more 'feminine' form than usual, having just possessed a woman's body, as opposed to his 'normal' form from Diablo 2:

 

user posted image

 

Anyway, there's an interesting Kickstarter project going on at the moment about the representation of women in video games: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/566429...-in-video-games

 

About this Project:

 

I love playing video games but I’m regularly disappointed in the limited and limiting ways women are represented.  This video project will explore, analyze and deconstruct some of the most common tropes and stereotypes of female characters in games.  The series will highlight the larger recurring patterns and conventions used within the gaming industry rather than just focusing on the worst offenders.  I’m going to need your help to make it happen!

 

As a gamer, a pop culture critic and a fan, I’m always working to balance my enjoyment of media while simultaneously being critical of problematic gender representations. With my video web series Feminist Frequency, I look at the way women are portrayed in mass media and the impact they have on our culture and society.

It was originally looking for $6,000 funding and has now hit upwards of $140,000 (!!) pledged.

 

(Edited for typing fails >.<)

Edited by Zaxian

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Does that really... count? I don't really see anything "clearly feminine" about whatever that is.

"When our game's story opened the door to infusing Diablo's form with feminine attributes, we took the opportunity to add lean, regal qualities to our villain's bestial might." --The Art of Diablo III

 

It counts to me because they didn't take the easy way out and decide that a feminine Diablo = a sexed up strumpet. They made him look feminine and awesome at the same time. It can be done! Now if they'd only do it more often with female characters!

 

I couldn't find a picture online of the even more blatantly obviously feminine art for this video game character (and my scanner isn't working, foo), but there's another example where he's even posed in a similar way to Diablo 3's female demon hunter, complete with swaying hips and his chest plates are decidedly...busty. It's a pretty cool image of that character looking awesome and feminine at the same time.

 

What doesn't look clearly feminine about it? The child-bearing hips? The lithe musculature? Narrow waist (too narrow)? The curvacious legs? The normal curve of the back?

 

I guess she's just not female enough without the boobs, though. >_<'

 

Apparently >_<

Edited by Princess Artemis

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I also don't have a problem with lowering Lara's cup size. I think it makes her less of a sex object. Putting all the other things wrong aside (the near-rape, etc), I don't have a problem with this one.

Okay, well... I have two problems with it.

 

One, (my smallest problem with it) this is supposed to be the same character as in the previous games. Her chest has *probably* developed to its full size, or close to it, by the time she's 21. So they want us to believe it's the same character in the same world except magically her bust developed smaller.

 

Two, having large boobs is NOT what makes someone a sex object. Objectifying someone is treating them as a sex object. She should be able to have large boobs while AT THE SAME TIME having those boobs less fixated on by the game -- the angles don't need to focus on them, her clothing doesn't need to be skin tight, they don't need gratuitous shots or nipple definition -- if they don't want to portray her as a sex object. But just *possessing* sizable boobs is *not* the problem! Hers weren't even *that* big before, and I'm tired of the attitude that big breasts automatically = skanky and/or exploited, instead of people acknowledging that a person's breast size is not related to their sexual tendencies.

 

Yes, this is personal for me. My chest is large. I've taken flak for it since I was about 13. I was self-conscious for a LONG time before I finally got my head on straight and realized that the problem was with other people's attitudes towards breasts, and I shouldn't have to feel obliged to hide in a shapeless sack or else be branded as a censorkip.gif.

Edited by Kelkelen

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Cynder's design is one reason why I never touched Skylanders (along with disliking Spyro's design and the fact you have to buy all those toys in order to play the different characters). Why...oh why? Boobs on dragons do not compute! (and one of the artists I follow on DA have taken to mocking this Cynder by caller her 'Cyndertits').

 

On Lara...I was never a fan of the series mainly because of the sexification of the character (including those huge breasts they slapped on her). That said, I think the smaller breasts would be a step in the right direction, as putting big boobs on any female character just screams 'fanservice' to me (because, sadly, thats usually the reason they are put there in the first place).

 

Trust me, I wish boobs in general were not so sexualized....

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Yep, because to make a non human character look female, one must give it boobs to make it obvious...

 

user posted image

 

I also liked that dragons original design much more. the scale pattern personally just looked more female to me than the boob design because the boob design actually makes certain armors that males wore.

I can understand doing it for characters that are designed to look very human in general, but she's not an anthro dragon, she's a dragon-dragon. D:

 

Depending on how it's done, adding such aspects of human anatomy can flow with the art and look fine, but too often they try to slap super-ginormo boobs on an anthro character and it just looks awkward. >_<' They don't need the boobs...

 

 

And Cynder looked female before they did that, I agree. Things like the way she moved and her general design conveyed that she was female just fine without boobs, IMO...

 

 

Okay, here's the backlash/hatred to the blog tht was posted above;

 

(WARNING. VERY, VERY DISGUSTING/BAD LUANGUAGE/ECT)

 

http://www.feministfrequency.com/2012/06/h...ing-on-youtube/

 

And people put up with the ape-crap?

And this just shows how sexism has gotten so ingrained in our culture so as to be unable to recognize it for what it is... This is sad.

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It's extremely sad, Kage. I'm seriously disappointed with the way our world on the internet works modernly.

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It's extremely sad, Kage. I'm seriously disappointed with the way our world on the internet works modernly.

I wish people didn't feel so horribly emboldened by their anonymity. sad.gif I mean... how does anyone *ever* think it's somehow become acceptable to spew such disgusting hatred, anti-semitism, rape threats, death threats...

 

...and all because someone declares their intention to explore and discuss the stock female characters used in the majority of video games?

 

o_O

 

How is that EVEN such a hot button!??

Well, I'm thoroughly convinced that rabid misogyny is alive and well.

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I wish people didn't feel so horribly emboldened by their anonymity. sad.gif I mean... how does anyone *ever* think it's somehow become acceptable to spew such disgusting hatred, anti-semitism, rape threats, death threats...

I dunno. It's sick, though. Especially when you see somebody use anon to say "Hey, [insert slur relating to whatever the anon dislikes here] , you should kill yourself already! Nobody wants you here!"

 

It's just... D: Being anon can be good, when use use the boldness to overcome things like shyness, but when you use it as an excuse to attack others, to spew hatred and to perpetuate the abuse of others we need to stop...

 

 

And just... ARGH. You DO NOT behave that way. D< I wish that their actual identities could be put out there for all the world to see, so they couldn't hide their hate behind anon anymore.

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I've not played the Elder Scrolls RPGs, though.

The Elder Scrolls are excellent, I have played and modded the last three games and still mod Skyrim.

 

The company makes a game that is VERY gender equal, with no sexualization of the female form at all. Very equal and equal roles throughout the Elder Scrolls world. With female leaders and guards. I love the Elder Scrolls for this very thing.

 

Only once in their most recent game, Skyrim, they have gone slightly in the direction that so many male gamers want and you will find one outfit that is very skimpy and stupid in a freezing cold climate.

 

However, Bethesda released the creation kit along with each of their games and all of us modders can add in whatever we want....I love making towns and houses and in these I also ensure there are equal genders and equal races throughout my work and people who use my mods have commented on this and told me that they notice it and love it.

 

Unfortunately what a lot of other modders do with the creation kit is make rape mods, sex mods, insanely skimpy armor and clothes mods, female body mods with a choice of breast size ranging to the absurdly large, adjustible bottom sizes and a massively unrealistic depiction of the female form. As a woman I do find it offensive, but if we do mention it we get slammed down, told to shut up and told that it isn't hurting anyone. IF you don't like it move on and ignore it, they say.

 

I don't believe that women are comfortable with it, regardless of how some claim to be. The fact is that if you say anything you are called a radical feminist with 'out there' beliefs about how women are treated and you are not worth listening to. Soooo many women do not speak up because of this ridicule and treatment if they do. Sexism is very much alive and thriving.

 

I made the mistake of speaking up about a rape mod and telling the site owner that hosted the mod that it was incredibly offensive to women everywhere. While some others spoke up in support of me, the majority attacked me for it. Launching a massive argument on what constitutes rape, which I couldn't believe we were even having. People were bringing up laws on rape and what constitues rape or sexual assault. Claiming the mod was not 'rape'. Trying to tell me that forced penetration of a woman does not constitute rape by law. It was just sick. Notably all the females in the argument were on my side and a good porportion of men too. Everyone on the other side of the argument was male.

 

In the end the site owner said that we had not convinced him that the mod was a rape mod, despite the author even saying it was a rape mod in the description. The site owner claimed that it was not rape because it was some tentacled monster that the player could 'summon' ingame to tie up a female NPC (non player character for those that don't play RPGs) and then literally rape her with tentacles, all realistic sound effects included. If it had been a human, then it would constitute rape. Which is just beyond sick. I got told to shut up and if I didn't like the mod, don't download and use it.

 

Anyway, back to the point of my post, the Elder Scrolls is a very great game and has not bought into the sexualization of the female form as so many other games have. However, the players themselves make and add that sexualization in. That said, there are a lot of male and female players that are very tired of it.

Edited by Dubious

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On the subject of video games (though it also applies otherwise) I do not mind the females having "sexy" bodies. There is nothing wrong with it. Being good-looking/attractive by itself does not make a woman less capable or, forbid it, someone with 'loose morals'. (Give her at least so much muscle that I (thin woman myself) do not get the impression that I can lift her into the air and fling her halfway across the room like a rag-doll using just a single hand, though.)

 

What I say is: keep them realistic. If the female character naturally looks like a DD-size long-legged supermodel, so be it, but give her outfit which suits the situation and do not make her act in a way that seems so pathetic that it makes one want to strangle rather than aid her.

If the character is attending a beach party for whatever reason, then let her wear a bikini suit (or go topless for what I care), since in that particular situation, the outfit is explainable and fits the scenario. We are not advocating making showing bare skin a taboo, either. However, if the character is in a cold weather and requires some extra warmth, in a dangerous situation and needs her vital parts protected, et cetera, et cetera, let her wear an appropriate outfit. A bullet vest that leaves the stomach bare is, I tell you, a very poor investment. Similarly, one would want to protect your thighs, since those have finger-thickness blood-vessels in them, and it does not take three guesses to figure out what happens if one of those gets severed by a well-aimed sword-stab. Also, hypothermia is a serious threat if the weather is not sufficiently warm; you do not want to lose a fight because your fingers are too numb to hold a sword, not to mention that you can actually die from it if it gets bad enough.

 

Sure, the males are 'idealized' (plenty not to my tastes, sorrily), too, and some guys claim not to have a problem with it. (As people occasionally like to point out as a counter-argument.) However, would the guys under question still have no problems with it if the 'idealized' males were forced to attend gun- or sword-fights wearing nothing but what looks to be an exceptionally fancy thong?

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Sure, the males are 'idealized' (plenty not to my tastes, sorrily), too, and some guys claim not to have a problem with it. (As people occasionally like to point out as a counter-argument.) However, would the guys under question still have no problems with it if the 'idealized' males were forced to attend gun- or sword-fights wearing nothing but what looks to be an exceptionally fancy thong?

Have you seen some male Barbarian outfits? Fancy thong is kinda what springs to mind.

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