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Posts posted by keiiii

  1. I find it interesting that a lot of the go-to examples of stupidly sexualized women are Japanese games. Whereas HL2 woman and Beyond Good and Evil woman are Western games. Maybe this says a lot more about Japan than the West?

    Japanese games tend to objectify characters of both genders. It's just that female-catering male characters are sometimes (but not always) very subtle. Even the most blatant offenders can be subtle compared to their female counterparts.

    I present to you THE most blatant example I can think of:


    Hisame Shizumaru from the Samurai Spirits series. A shota-flavored pretty boy, polite and kind, BUT suffering from amnesia as well as some kind of rampaging evil persona (fangirls love pretty boys with psychological baggage). His ideal type is described as "an older sister who could take care of him" (i.e. the age group of females to which he's designed to appeal). One of his taking-hit-screams is this incredibly moany, uke-tastic "yamete." Seriously, the first time I heard him say it, I lol'd so hard. But if you just look at his character design, nothing really screams HI I EXIST TO PANDER TO FANGIRLS. Compare to Iroha, a female character from the same series.

    I think part of the reason for this subtlety is that skin-tight garments and/or excessive skin baring of male characters don't really appeal to the majority of females. I know that's certainly true for myself. Think of the male characters with the biggest female followings -- Link, Sephiroth, etc. None of them walks around in a skin-tight body suit or a thong speedo.

    Raiden from MGS series is an interesting case. He wears a tight body suit, and he does have a decent (not huge) sized female following, but his character design was produced/directed by a bisexual male. The following scantily clad males were also designed by a bisexual male artist:

    note them exposed cheeks

    dude needs new pants

    EDIT: I'm not claiming Shizumaru is less objectified than Iroha. Just saying the objectification is harder to see at first glance.

  2. 2. If so, do you feel that the sexualized look or oversexualization of female characters makes you uncomfortable or prevents you from playing certain games?

    3. If not, is it due to the previously mentioned reason(I gave a short preamble of our discussion) or for any other reasons?

    The general response from 4 girls I've asked thus far not including 3 friends I had dinner with last night was that over sexualization doesn't bug them. In fact, some of them LIKE the oversexualized female fantasy characters.

    After I asked them, 2 of them offered that they feel that they'd play more games if there were more that were designed for female players, so there's definitely some sentiment that games are designed for males however.

    You're asking the wrong questions. The presence of oversexualized female characters is not the main factor that drives females away. Look at the covers of women's magazines. Airbrushed photos of models in bikinis are not uncommon at all. Those may not be as sexualized as typical sexy video game characters, but 'sexiness' and 'over-idealized' factors are definitely present.

    The key is this:

    if there were more that were designed for female players
    there's definitely some sentiment that games are designed for males

    It's not the presence of oversexualized females. It is the SHORTAGE of characters/ elements designed for females. It's the imbalance.

  3. This thread needs more lady opinions.

    Let it be known for the record that I have XX chromosomes.

    I really don't care about door holding (though I can imagine exceptional cases, like if some crazy dude insisted how all females were fragile ladies to be treated like noble ladies or whatever), but I do have an opinion on objectification of characters of both sexes in fiction.

  4. If everyone shut the hell up about racism and sexism and whatnot for a generation, I could see the successive generation treating everyone else as equals or nearly so because they were never handed the lens to see those who are different as *fundamentally* different or deserving of special/reserved treatment.

    Has been proven wrong by countless generations of slavery and extreme male dominance in many parts of the world throughout history. Concepts like "sexism" didn't even exist back when people took sexism for granted.

    I agree that overdoing the awareness thing can do more harm than good, but just shutting up and ignoring it entirely isn't the answer, either.

  5. Alright, so then, here's my next question. What's the best way to translate this into actual video games? Social/interpersonal would lead to adventure games or maybe RPGs, but then RPG characters by their very nature aren't 'plain'.

    Jade might be a good example of a great female character...or rather, a great character in general...but does the game itself appeal to women? I'm having trouble trying to find the right way to say this, I suppose, but should we worry about the characters not being sexist, if the game itself doesn't appeal to the gender we're worried about offending?

    Right, sometimes it doesn't matter. As an extreme example, hentai game developers don't have to worry about offending or appealing to females.

    The thing is that there could/would be a lot more females playing games if more games were (successfully) designed to appeal to them. Japanese games tend to "solve" this problem NOT by de-objectifying female characters, but by including objectified MALE characters in the cast that genuinely appeal to female gamers. It doesn't exactly promote realistic/ empowering portrayal of either gender, but it works as far as garnering female fanbase is concerned.

  6. This thread reminds me of dead or alive XD

    Interestingly, even Dead or Alive tried to provide something for female gamers with Ein ("pretty boy with psychological baggage" which happens to be amnesia in this case). Didn't quite succeed for obvious reasons, but it was something. XD

    Even though Japanese games are infamous for ridiculous objectification of female characters, Japanese games tend to have greater female followings because both genders are objectified.

  7. I'm not sure if this has been brought up, but there is also sexism towards men. Take your standard fps hero, such as Marcus Fenix. A grizzly, massive dude with a gravely voice. Your standard hard ass who shows no feelings. Certainly not every soldier behaves like this.

    That's unrealistic, but is not sexist because characters like those are male empowerment fantasy. They hold no appeal to the majority of actual female consumers.

  8. Video games aren't sexist for having attractive female characters. No one is saying you need to have a competent, UNattractive female character for a game to be not sexist. I'm not even complaining about video games catering to fantasies of male gamers.

    The problem is something else.

    Problem #1: imbalance. There aren't nearly enough characters, male or female, designed to cater to females. THAT's why there aren't as many female gamers. Archaon hit the nail on the head. Hollywood has chick flicks. How many chick flicky video games have you seen?

    Someone brought up Twilight as an example, and even though I personally don't like that series, it's a GREAT example of an entire series shamelessly catering to females. I don't see a lot of video games devoted to catering to the fantasies of the female audience. I do see a whole lot devoted to catering to male fantasies, though.

    This imbalance is definitely less severe with Japanese games, as they provide obligatory Pretty Boys With Psychological Baggage. Even a franchise like Dead or Alive has Ein (who failed to garner popularity, presumably because anyone who would have found him attractive were driven away by the boobs before he was even introduced to the series). Instead of de-sexualizing female characters, they sexualize males. That's fine, but I would like to see this done in a more believable, less cliche ways.

    Problem #2, and the more insidious of the two: people fail to recognize this imbalance.

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