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Enough: we must all try to kick sexism out of gaming

Thursday, 12 April 2012 09:10 GMT By Patrick Garratt

The sexism in games debate has finally gone mainstream, but can it ever be a winnable battle? Yes it can, says Patrick Garratt, and we’re all responsible for aiming for victory.

The truth is that games are sexist in their depiction of women to a depressing degree. I raised the point on a press trip dinner last year: how many female characters can you think of that aren’t obviously designed to be sexually attractive to men? Apart from Shepard, no one around the table could suggest a single one.

GDC 2012 was a one-story show. David Cage’s Kara demo encapsulated the disastrous situation we currently face with female characters in games by reducing its protagonist, a female robot, to an absolute sexist stereotype. She can “look after your house, do the cooking, mind the kids,” and is “entirely at your disposal as a sexual partner.” Her voice is demure. She has a pout and wide blue eyes, blemishless breasts and peachy buttocks. As her skin forms she covers her nipples and genitals and her male creator pronounces her, “Ready for work, honey.” Confused, she questions what’s about to happen. He goes on to call her “baby” before starting to disassemble her for becoming cognisant.

Kara’s life is under threat because she admits to thinking, an unacceptable trait if she’s to fulfil the perceived normality of her role as a female. The man putting her together and the society she’s about to enter are sexist if they’re beholden to our own. The timing of Cage’s piece is hardly accidental.

Evidently, video gaming has a substantial problem with women. The subject of how females are portrayed in games has hardened recently, with a new breed of mainstream feminist games writer – the two that most easily spring to mind are Keza MacDonald and Brenna Hillier – having thrown their weight behind the insistence that sexism in both games and gamer culture shouldn’t be ignored.

Instances of blatant and insidious sexism in games aren’t difficult to spot. A stunning example of community-based sexism arose in February, when competitive fighting game player Aris Bakhtanians was lynched by the games journalism community for sexually harassing Miranda Pakozdi on a live stream for Capcom’s Cross Assault show. Capcom did nothing to stop it, and was forced to apologise after Bakhtanians claimed aggressive sexism is an integral part of the fighter community.

Less obvious examples of how women are belittled in games content itself are typified by BioWare’s recent decision to leave specifics of FemShep’s first public marketing appearance to the perennially erect. The female version of the Mass Effect hero has existed in all the series’s instalments, but EA only decided to use her image publicly for the first time on the special edition of Mass Effect 3. The default FemShep was a stern, non-sexualised woman, and became a poster-girl to the feminist and LGBT gaming community as a result. BioWare provoked fury, however, by allowing the public to vote on the image to the used on the box; it wasn’t difficult to argue the studio was asking its hugely male-oriented audience, “Which one of these would you most like to have sex with?” For some, the failure to stand behind the “real” FemShep in the public eye was a crippling disappointment.

It was a shame – BioWare has done much to destigmatise same-sex relationships in games by including them in its RPGs, and has become something of a bastion of inclusiveness in the industry – but the truth is that games are sexist in their depiction of women to a depressing degree. Having Brenna on staff has been revelatory in terms of forcing me to consider the issue. I raised the point on a press trip dinner last year: how many female characters can you think of that aren’t obviously designed to be sexually attractive to men? Apart from Shepard, no one around the table could suggest a single one. Moreover, how many are designed with ludicrous armour and impossible breasts (look in the gallery below if you’re struggling, although I doubt you’ll have much trouble)? Or look like blow-up dolls? Or serve to be nothing more than a love interest?

David Cage’s Kara demo attacked the issue of
sexism by reducing its lead to an impeccable
sexist stereotype.

Even Ken Levine was forced to defend himself on the issue with Elizabeth’s character in BioShock Infinite recently, saying he’d “barely thought about” the fact she’s a pretty young women with an overflowing bosom. If you say so, Ken.

It’s easy to be angered by gaming’s ludicrous depiction of women, but let’s not kid ourselves. The situation in games is hardly unique. Issues surrounding the treatment of women in the media are widespread, and aren’t limited to fiction. UK freelancer Sarah Ditum clashed with author Gail Dines on New Left Project recently over Dines’ book Pornland, which argues a pro-banning stance towards pornography. In this follow-up piece on her blog, Ditum explained incredulously that Dines, who describes herself as a “radical feminist,” refused to even define what pornography actually is. If definitions elude those leading the charge against what they see as the evil of porn – unarguably the definitive example of a medium sexually objectifying women – surely it’s true that gaming’s age-old, mainstream brand of comic book sexism will be impossible to root out?

Is gaming’s fledgling anti-sexism movement a lost cause?

The problem

Before we go blundering into any answers, we need to avoid “doing a Dines” and define what we mean by “sexism”.

According to this, sexism is:

  • 1. attitudes or behavior based on traditional stereotypes of sexual roles.
  • 2. discrimination or devaluation based on a person’s sex, as in restricted job opportunities; especially, such discrimination directed against women.

Hopefully it’s immediately obvious that games aren’t just sexist towards women: they’re generally just sexist. Men in games – we’re talking about core games here – are invariably rendered as muscular and violent. Men tend to not be unduly offended by these images, as they describe males as powerful, physically dominant and heroic. While some may find this flattering and an exercise in fantasy fulfilment, it doesn’t mean these depictions aren’t sexist.

Unfortunately, female characters in games can play on “traditional stereotypes” in that the comic-style accentuation is placed on sexual attributes and casting the woman primarily as a sexual entity. It’s easier to see why this is going to be offensive to women. Think about it: is there even a single “sexy” male character in games?

When we’re discussing sexism in games, we’re usually talking about women being displayed as either sex objects or in traditional, supporting, submissive or “frail” roles. Goats are normally got over things like Ivy’s chest in SoulCalibur, Dead or Alive’s jiggling or Bayonetta’s behind. Princess Peach always needs to be rescued, remember.

This is not a contained problem, and it does matter. Sexism in games is industry-wide, and stereotypes can be damaging. There’s a wealth of documentation on how gender stereotyping can detrimentally effect a person’s perception of the opposite sex. A good example in relation to men is pornography. Watching too much porn can lead to a perception that women are nothing more than sexual objects, for fairly obvious reasons.

The phenomenon’s reversible. A typical example for women is “chick lit” and “chick flicks”. Excessive consumption of this style of fiction can be damaging in that it may leave women with unrealistic expectations of men and loving relationships.

Damage related to media-based sexism isn’t age-blind, either. Children are bombarded with images of sexual stereotypes from year dot. Any parent will know exactly what I’m talking about. Trying to protect a young daughter from the “truth” that women are princesses and live in pink castles can be a heart-breaking exercise in futility. Well-meaning relatives buy Disney Princess for girls and toy JCBs for boys. There’s virtually nothing you can do about it.

But we can do something about sexism in video games. Sexist themes in games could, in theory, lead both men and women to gestate a skewed perception of the female sex. And that’s not acceptable.

Do something

While I’m not about to stop reporting on games in which women are depicted sexually – I can’t: I’d have no business – we don’t have to encourage it. If you’re a media-owner or journalist, just think about what you’re doing. When you’re selecting an image to use at the head of a feature, don’t pick the one with the over-sized breasts. Similarly, maybe you should stop flagging up images of cosplayers for the sake of brandishing a photograph of an attractive woman in a pair of knickers on your homepage.

When you’re cropping images for your pieces, don’t put the one-third point – this is the natural interest area in any image – on a female character’s chest or backside. By doing that you’re displaying the character as a sexual object, intentionally or otherwise. You don’t have to. It’s better to hit the eyes.

Do this:

Not this:

Try to pick an image in which the women is doing something, as opposed to standing still in a submissive pose. Try to avoid images of female characters arranged in their pants. Yes, Catherine, we’re looking at you (or not, as the case may be). Ask yourself this: does this image mean, “Ejaculate here, please”? Then don’t use it.

Modifying your choices in this way isn’t censorship. This is behaving with an increased level of responsibility. Video games are not pornography. If you ran a porn site, then yes, you would want to put pictures of people in sexually enticing poses front and centre on your property. You don’t. Games are a mainstream medium and should be inclusive. We should be required to be responsible. At least try to be.

As a reader, you have the right to find the sexual objectification of people in games distasteful. If you find a site constantly pushing degrading images of women or talking in a sexist way, stop visiting. Seriously, if you’re a heterosexual man and the best you can do to look at a “hot” woman is to go to a games site, you’ve led a blinkered existence. If you want to masturbate to people fucking, go look at some porn. That’s what it’s for.

The same goes for your buying habits. If you’re not comfortable with the way a game portrays women, you don’t have to buy it. Be active. If you don’t like it, don’t be a part of it.

And as for content creators, it’s time to at least assess the possibility that 1970s attitudes towards female stereotypes are as out of date as Jesus. Maybe there’s room for core games in which non-sexualised women are as powerful and pro-active as men. Imagine that.

Kara eventually saves her own life by admitting to being scared. We should all be trying to create an environment where she doesn’t have to be. I’m not suggesting cropping an image in a certain way is going to stomp out sexism in games overnight, but let’s at least start somewhere.

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153 Comments

  1. mathare92

    You know, you guys are also guilty of placing blatantly suggestive pics to accompany articles from time to time. The recent Kitana Vita article springs to mind (it’s on page 3 at time of writing). Now obviously, since it’s about Kitana you have put her on there, and that’s just the way she’s designed. Hence the argument: it’s all unavoidable sometimes.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Patrick Garratt

    Yep, I agree. And we’re going to stop it.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. expose the core

    Great piece of writing, things like these keep me checking this site regularly.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. Talkar

    Great read Pat. Let me start off by saying that i don’t think there is any sensible human that can deny there is sexism in games. However, why should we really care? I may get flamed for this but this is my opinion on the matter: Women go around in close to none clothing, they were shoes that are designed to excite men that are into that stuff, they use a vocabulary in daily speak which is also designed to achieve the same results. So since the women themselves want to be viewed sexually, and men enjoy viewing them as such, what is the problem? In video games, doesn’t the creator of a character model or game hold the rights to do with it what they want? I’m sure i’ve heard that games are art, so let us treat it as such. In the end i also think it would be boring to play, for example a Gears of War where the only women in the game has no special features, are flatchested and voiced by a crooked old lady. And where the men are not pumped at all, and voiced by a 13 year old teenager.
    Let me finish this off by saying, that the comment i just made isn’t made to antagonize anyone, it is merely my point of view, and i respect anyone elses.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. Robo_1

    Really great article Pat, totally agree too, sexism has no place in gaming or anywhere else for that matter.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. manamana

    Well, Faith from Mirrors Edge came to my mind, while I read the first grey box (how is it called btw.?)

    #6 3 years ago
  7. GrimRita

    Maybe its me but when I look at any gaming artwork I never think ‘man, she has big tits, this is a day 1 purchase now’.

    After reading another quality sribble from Pat, clearly the problem is much deeper.

    I think back to when I first saw Chun Li in Street fighter and decided that I would play her simply because she looked like she could kick ass!

    #7 3 years ago
  8. Danbojones

    Fucking great piece, Pat. I am sick of working in an industry which constantly panders to the masturbatory fantasies of frustrated little boys instead of evolving into a mature medium.

    Until games cease to think of females as decoration and rescue-fodder, we’ll never be anything but another tool to preserve a neolithic status quo.

    It’s bullshit, and it has to stop.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. G1GAHURTZ

    Skullgirls… Now there’s a sexist game!

    Another point… Sorry Pat, but I have to say that I find an article that condemns ‘sexism’ in games, whilst encouraging the use of pornography to be hypocritical.

    I’m of the opinion that you have no problem with porn, in general, from your tweets. So I was interested to see how you managed to rationalise that stance with the subject of this article.

    I’m not sure that it’s possible for anyone to claim a moral high-ground on the derogatory depiction of women in games, whilst also sympathising with an industry that makes billions upon billions by exploiting the needs of women by *literally* turning them into sexual objects.

    You mentioned that the media in general is way more than knee deep in it’s blatant sexism, and I certainly agree on that point.

    However, trying to ‘make a difference’ to one tiny subsection seems incredibly futile to me.

    There is a much wider problem here than a few video game charachters with jiggle.

    #9 3 years ago
  10. viralshag

    It is a good article and there no doubt is sexism, as much as any industry I guess, but I tend to also agree with Talkar and Grim.

    Maybe I’m wrong when I say that *most* women want or try to make themselves look attractive or more attractive, it certainly seems that way to me in the real world.

    Considering all of the “artistic and creative rights” that were defended by so many for the writers at Bioware and the ending of ME3, are we not asking the same thing by telling the character artists that they have to change their idea of what they want their female characters to look like? Obviously, some *are* over-sexualised but this is the artists choice.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. OrbitMonkey

    What’s this? Men beating their breast about women showing their breasts!!?

    #11 3 years ago
  12. polygem

    great article. i am so sick of it as well. i am also sick of this super macho bullshit in most games, even if there aren´t many female charakters involved. i love the gameplay of gears of war for example, but the charakters. jesus…on the other hand there was this kind of old and ugly rasta women charakter too. she was kind of cool, can´t recall her name right now. i don´t mind some chessyness if done right it can be great fun, but i really do not need that overmacho crap. countless games you could name in this department. countless. it´s a shame. i believe it is kind of changing though. i can see it change. the last of us could turn out to have a cool tough girl charakter for example. i also think that zelda was kind of cool in most LoZ games, not playable though.
    i would love to see and play more cool, tough female non cliche videogame charakters.

    #12 3 years ago
  13. Patrick Garratt

    @9 – I think porn needs to exist and there’s a place for it. I don’t agree with censorship. Adults want it and they should be allowed to view it if they like.

    The point I’m trying to make in the article is that games aren’t porn, and I don’t believe sexual stereotypes in games should be pushed in the way they currently are. Games are a mainstream form of entertainment and we shouldn’t support sexism in it as such.

    Pornography is pornography. I run a games site. VG247 can be non-sexist (as far as possible) and I can still believe that people have a right to view pornography. I do believe the two things are exclusive.

    Can there be pornographic games? Sure. Should we be plastering our site in images from them? No, because we’re not a porn site and women may find it degrading. It’s not inclusive.

    I get what you’re saying, and sexism is clearly a massive issue far beyond games, but games aren’t porn. If every TV show was filled with female characters with fake breasts wearing g-strings and all the men were psychopathic bodybuilders there’d be uproar because it’s a mainstream medium. I think the sexism debate is only really starting to happen in games now as it’s truly hitting the mainstream.

    Porn’s about people wanking. It’s sexist in a biological sense. It’s not the same thing.

    #13 3 years ago
  14. Alyxma

    Nice piece of writing, however theres one thing I disagree on, even if I get flamed for this, its fiction. Video Games are fiction, sexism can exist all it wants in fiction as it is not real. I cannot stress that enough, of course in the real world it is frowned upon, but if you say sexism should be removed from video games, next you’ll say get violence out.. Its moronic. Sexism is everywhere unfortunetly, and we stop it where it counts. If you think that stopping sexism in video games will help peoples understanding of eachother and have more respect for eachother, youre wrong, despite most people being foolish, they can tell the difference in placing civil ideals in reality without letting fiction interfere as it is only entertainment, and not real. And if someone says please think of the children, they have mommy & Daddy to help out, and if there reports of children being sexist, thats the parents problem.

    #14 3 years ago
  15. Gheritt White

    “How many female characters can you think of that aren’t obviously designed to be sexually attractive to men?”

    Portal’s Chell – one of my all-time favorite protagonists EVAR.

    #15 3 years ago
  16. Patrick Garratt

    And thanks, all. Glad you liked it!

    #16 3 years ago
  17. StolenGlory

    Very enlightening article.

    It does raise one little alarm bell in my head though.

    How can/would you go about combating the sexism of sponsorship based advertisers? For example, if Soul Calibur V is the flavour of the month and have stuck a tossing great banner, animated ad and art side-bars on the site; where do you draw the line, or can you draw the line?

    Do you respectfully inform them to modify the ad (which they likely won’t do if they perceive the ad to be relevant to a centerpiece character – Lara, Catherine, et al’) or just let sleeping dogs lie and realise that the marketing battle will probably be the last one to be won in the war against sexism in gaming?

    #17 3 years ago
  18. Cirius

    You make a very interesting point about the one-third area that I’ve never noticed before. As a writer, I’ve never really thought about the importance of the images I’m selecting, and the impact they could have on people.

    Consider me slightly more educated, and I shall endeavour to be a little more responsible in future.

    #18 3 years ago
  19. Patrick Garratt

    @17 – Yep, it’s really difficult. If something was really blatant I would flag it. Like, we wouldn’t carry Evony ads. In fact, publishers tend to stick to images of men for core marketing, and our ad chaps are really good about making sure our creatives aren’t “trashy,” so we’ve never really had a situation like it.

    But yeah, if I came to the site one morning and it was covering in giant boobs, I’d have something to say about it.

    #19 3 years ago
  20. capitan_mosca

    Sexism in video games is something nobody can deny, that’s a fact.

    Now, if you are looking for not sexualized female characters in mainstream videogames, I’d suggest you have a look at Hammer or Theresa from Fable II, Helena from Uncharted, or even Laverne from The Day of the Tentacle, and I’m sure there would be many others if you just look around.

    True, you shouldn’t have to LOOK for them, that’s the problem.

    #20 3 years ago
  21. GwynbleiddiuM

    Great read, although this is not entirely the gaming industry’s fault, you can find worst in music, tv and movie industry as well, advertisement business is the pioneer in sexism. And Gaming industry is trying to compete with every other form of entertainment. Wants more shares so they have to set foot in territories that all the others are, yes it’s disgusting in some cases but it can’t really be helped right now. When creativity lacks you can always pander to basic needs of humanity. It’s the driving force of every industry these days. When you sell your soul to have a successful business you wont give a crap about the message you carry with your product, you just want the precious green bills, profit.

    #21 3 years ago
  22. StolenGlory

    @19

    That’s good to know then, that you have a ‘decency’ filter of sorts in regards to what gets shown.

    You see some sites and they quite literally just let any old shit through.

    #22 3 years ago
  23. Alyxma

    To the big txt at the beginning of this whole post. Women are suppose to be attractive towards men, vice versa.

    #23 3 years ago
  24. endgame

    What!? LOL! What tools! This articles fails! Why? Because.. Ah f**k it I’m not even going to bother.

    #24 3 years ago
  25. jnms

    Great article Pat.

    But you missed the point about Kara. She is an Archetype – not a mere stereotype.

    Archetypes are universal principles, fundamental building blocks so to speak. Kara is the Archetype of femininity. Unfortunate for her because in a sexist society that will be exploited and totally misunderstood…because people will see her as ‘sexy’. Which of course she is. But she isn’t sexy because she is merely a feminine stereotype. She is sexy because that is what femininity is.

    Point being we are in a pretty fucked up place when people start seeing archetypal femininity as ‘sexism’. Kara lives in a sexist world (I will cook, look after the kids etc. this is all stereotypical sexism).

    But her physical traits, her personality, her body language and mannerisms are all perfect feminine archetypes. It’s why Kara works on a much deeper level than being merely ‘sexy’

    The real issue isn’t in the expression of Kara’s femininity – which is flawless and perfect in the way all femininity actually is. The real problem is in the exploitation of femininity, and the corruption of turning it into commercialized stereotyped boobs and ass.

    #25 3 years ago
  26. Da Man

    First, we must kick Qtes out of gaming.

    #26 3 years ago
  27. Phasmatis75

    Epic Fail for two main reasons.
    1) it is not your place to tell human beings how to think. All people like this want is a grey world where we have to be ashamed of any depiction of our sexuality. People shouldn’t be told they need to feel ashamed of what they see or like.

    2)You didn’t touch on the male aspect. How many games have men as hulking behemoths? That is equally sexist. It basically says this is what every man should be. Or how about how men have to wear armor? Why is it that women in games can go with those skimpy outfits but men have to be fully Armored. That is also an example of sexism.

    But you see you don’t care about sexism in games. You are just hiding behind an issue to push your agenda. It is very evident in the things that you exclude from your article.

    #27 3 years ago
  28. djhsecondnature

    Good read, but I think it’s a dangerous road to assume that an attractive female character is therefore sexist.

    In regards to the opening grey quote:

    Faith, Jade (BG&E) Elena and Chloe (Uncharted), FemShep, Chell, Chun-Li (to a degree), Lightning, Samus, Zelda.

    Now those are just the ones that I can think off of the top of my head, so I’m more worried at the lack of recall from some “press”.

    You’d say all are/can be attractive characters. That’s not the issue though. It’s when their sexual nature overbears there actual personality and character.

    #28 3 years ago
  29. absolutezero

    ITS A FUCKING ROBOT.

    To be honest if theres a fucking anti-sexism campaign going then it needs to encompass males alongside females (equality fuckers). There are a never ending stream of sexist, idealistic portrayals of males throughout all modern media. Thats perfectly fucking fine though.

    To be honest this is never going to change, ever. This piece could have championed the best of female depictions in video games (Heather in SH3, April Ryan in the Longest Journey) instead its the samething that I’ve read on RPS and dribbling out of Jim Sterling. I like a good old Witch Hunt but these games are being created for an audience. That audience does not really like being insulted, talked down to and told how to think. Which is ultimately exactly how all of these editorials come off.

    Brow beating neanderthals for liking boobs more or less.

    “When you’re cropping images for your pieces, don’t put the one-third point – this is the natural interest area in any image – on a female character’s chest or backside. By doing that you’re displaying the character as a sexual object, intentionally or otherwise. ”

    This is hilarious. Women have boobs and bums. Do not look at either of them lest you objectify. Still have to somehow attract opposite sex to procreate and continue the species.

    Do not look at boobs or bums in fictional media, its perfectly fine in real life.

    Remember folks Hepler got attacked because she had a vagina and not at all because she was a terrible writer. EA totally won the Golden Poo because of homophobia and not at all because they’ve been a fucking stain for the past 2 years.

    #29 3 years ago
  30. AgentofOrder

    @10 I’ve worked several places where the artists have drawn a female character one way and the marketing department have waded in and demanded ridiculous boobs and tiny clothes. Its definitely not the artist’s choice. Its lazy marketing.

    #30 3 years ago
  31. Dragon246

    Mainstream or not, I dont care how game depicts anyone. There exists games that are completely sexist and some are devoid of it. If people dont like it, move forward. No generalisations can be done in video games, for they are available in forms and flavours and every one of them have their own fans. Some people want to play with a “girly” girl and some with a “manly” man, and pubs want to make games like that, they should be allowed to do that. People should have more tolerance towards things they dont like .

    #31 3 years ago
  32. Jockie

    There are plenty of non-sexualised female characters I can think of.

    Jill Valentine in the RE games has never really been sexualised (i’m sure she has in fan art and the like, and she wore a dress for RE3). Strong female character, although she suffers from the same awful writing as every other character in the franchise. Same could be said of Claire Redfield (but she’s less iconic).

    Shodan – Might be a an AI, but still female, still awesome.

    Aeris from FFVII – there are plenty of FF characters who are sexualised and have ludicrously skimpy outfits. But arguably the most iconic of them, was the sweet girl who willingly sacrificed herself for pretty noble reasons. Lightning from the more recent outings is a reserved and serious lady too, not a sex object.

    And so on..

    Anyway, I’m not denying there is a problem, but there are egs and it’s not like they’re extremely obscure.

    #32 3 years ago
  33. YoungZer0

    @30: Exactly what i thought. Marketing people simply have no idea or real imagination.

    #33 3 years ago
  34. G1GAHURTZ

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHjQzBwawNM

    #34 3 years ago
  35. thesamy

    BIG TIT GIRLS IS COOL!
    if thay will stop this “sexist” act user will loss intrest,
    and if user loss intrest the companies loss money.

    “Just put a pair of tits on that” –Unkown CEO of a rich comapny

    #35 3 years ago
  36. SC

    Great article. I’m surprised at the amount of people who absolutely refuse to see that there might be an issue with the way women (and men) are depicted in videogames. The industry is often regarded and juvenile and this is one of the reasons why. The same childish attitudes towards women are also prevalent within the industry. It is harmful. Can you imagine if all media depicted men and women in this way? Fine if the game is meant to be erotic, fine if it’s meant to be titillating, but most of the time we’re just seeing hugely unrealistic representations of women, dressed in ridiculous bizarre ways, for absolutely no reason other than that it’s the closest some geek somewhere will probably get to ever getting his dick wet. The games industry wants some respect? Stop treating male and female characters as if they’ve been invented by teenage boys!

    Also this comment from Talkar: “Women go around in close to none clothing, they were shoes that are designed to excite men that are into that stuff, they use a vocabulary in daily speak which is also designed to achieve the same results. So since the women themselves want to be viewed sexually, and men enjoy viewing them as such, what is the problem?”

    You are part of the problem. I don’t go around in close to nothing, I don’t wear high heels ever (which is what I presume you mean) and I don’t use vocabulary designed to titillate you. And I’m a woman. I don’t want to be viewed sexually by you or anyone else who’s not my boyfriend and I think you’ll find that most women don’t. Hey, I play guitar too, do you think this is something I do to try and attract you? Your comment leads me to believe your opinion of women is based solely on female videogame characters.

    And you think it would be boring to play Gears of War if the women were flat-chested and the guys not pumped? Is the only reason you played it for the tits and the hot guys? Seriously, I’m not even sure if you’re trolling or not.

    I’ve seen a couple of great pieces recently on sexism in games and the games industry, in many ways it’s incredibly heartening to see, but it’s also really sad to see when the comments are full of guys whining for people to leave their tits alone. Grow up.

    #36 3 years ago
  37. silkvg247

    Good read but as a female my main gripe with girls in games (or movies, or shows) is how they are usually the damsel in distress, in need of rescue, or just downright bloody useless. So they literally only exist as eye candy.

    If there’s a chick with blatant sexual overtones but she kicks bloody ass (ala Bayonetta) I have no qualms at all with appearance! I don’t think we should hide boobs, I think we should stop caring either way if they’re shown or not like we would if it were a male chest.

    I don’t care if little boys get off on overly sexualised imagery of girls. The problem isn’t in games. The problem, which you kind of touched on, is that the moment you see any sort of suggestion of a woman’s form, it’s deemed sexy – but the same doesn’t apply to males?! Why not?

    I don’t know the answer to that, but to be honest I like that there are gorgeous women in games, I’d actually be sad if they ever got censored. The over the top ones just make me laugh.

    It isn’t imagery, In MY opinion you’re barking up the wrong tree. Women will always be sexy. Unless you censor us to all wear suits (which again, is sexy!) then I have no idea how or why you would change this. The female form, is sexy. I’m sure that the male form is sexy to those who like men – it’s just that society doesn’t make a big “hooha” over sexy male imagery, does it? Isn’t that the core issue, that we actually hide male sexiness or rather dont promote it anywhere near as much as female? Old Spice got it right by being humerous about it.

    The core issue in games is personality, women existing as objects, things that need help, things that provide no use to the story other than an obstacle. I want women to play a part, maybe even rescue the protaganist, if they are’t the main character that is. The most recent game that got this almost right was Infamous 2 – with not one but two powerful females who help (not hinder!) throughout the story. Both sexy by the way. Unfortunately one of them needed rescuing so it does lose some points for that old cliche.

    #37 3 years ago
  38. AgentofOrder

    @36 High-Five!

    #38 3 years ago
  39. absolutezero

    When you have an agenda you can evidence anywhere and everywhere.

    When do we tackle Racism, or homophobia? Or discrimination? Or killing other humans or blah blah blah blah.

    Get offended, its ok to be offended! Being offended is not a bad thing.

    Get angry, get vocal just don’t get fucking preachy and never expect everyone to take you seriously.

    #39 3 years ago
  40. freedoms_stain

    Touchy subject (clearly).

    Clearly much of gaming is fantastical, ergo character models are also fantastical. I’m not putting that forward as an excuse for some of the more risqué (and often ridiculous) portrayals of women in video games, but I am saying that given context then artists do have some justification for “idealised” fantasy women.

    There are a few examples in your image gallery, Pat, that I find interesting that you included. The new Lara Croft for example, reasonably realistically proportioned and wearing an outfit that pretty much resembles my girlfriends daily attire (except she’d be in jeans and trainers rather than boots and khaki’s).

    Ashe from FF12, certainly in the chosen picture it’s quite sexualised, but the woman herself is not unrealistically proportioned and her outfit could quite easily be swapped for contemporary urban wear exposing as much skin and not be considered unusual walking down the street of any Western city in the middle of the day.

    The L4D image? Are we looking at the Witch or Zoe here? Zoe wears jeans and a hoody, has a normal figure, is a playable character, no sexualisation or gender role there, the witch? Well, all of the special infected are more scantily clad than the normal infected, it stands to reason due to their morphological mutations that their former clothes don’t fit. The Witch model is hardly sexy either. I think the choice of perspective for the image was for dramatic effect rather than to titillate us with The Witches arse.

    I do believe there are right ways and wrong ways to go about female character design and designers should have a good hard think about whether having excessive amounts of tits and arses swinging about all over the place really fits with the rest of their game or if they’re just doing it to fit some outdated notion of what is sexy.

    #40 3 years ago
  41. viralshag

    @36, You can hardly say you he is “part of the problem” because he expressed an opinion that I think a lot of people might agree with, regardless of them being gamers or not.

    It’s his opinion and just because *you* don’t dress as his example, doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen and he is wrong. Unless you have become the sole voice for the female population the world over I don’t see how you can call him out for what he said.

    His view may be from a male perspective and yours is that of a female, a female who doesn’t feel the need to “dress up” for guys or whatever. It certainly doesn’t help the cause to attack his opinion.

    #41 3 years ago
  42. SC

    He made a statement about what women do. I’m a woman and I don’t do those things. Which proves his statement wrong about women wanting to be sexualised. That’s what I’m pointing out. Had he said “some women” then his argument would still have been void because “some women” wanting to be sexualised still does not warrant a *majority* of women being sexualised unecessarily in videogames.

    Can you not see that it’s harmful to make that assumption about all women? And totally inappropriate in an argument like this one.

    “Women go around in shoes that were designed to excite men.”

    Disgusting.

    #42 3 years ago
  43. Mike

    I take issue with many points in the article. However, my main issue is with the element of what female characters aren’t designed to make you want to sleep with them.

    Almost every lead role in every film ever made, ever, features a desireable – sometimes directly, somtime indirectly – sexually attractive woman.

    Women, believe it or not, are sexually desirable to many men. And when one writes a screenplay, a book, a whatever, the characters in it are usually elements of your fantasy. If I wrote a male lead character he would be the kind of man I either am already, or would want to be – most likely both. If the female was the lead character, then she would be the type of woman I would want to be with. It’s perfectly natural. And it definitely isn’t sexist.

    The problem lies in two main areas: The first is the people who write and design videogames are base neanderthal men who get off on cheap jazz-mags and drawing pictures of penises on everything and laughing about it.

    The second is the fact that, like it or not, 90% of games are action based. Your character is going to be physically fit. Now physically fit doesn’t mean huge breasts, but it does mean curves. Unavoidable. If you had a woman with a muffin top running around with an AK on some endless battle taking weeks then the fact that he body is “normal” is simply unrealistic. Show me a non-muscular lead in an action game/film/book/TV series etc. They’re not there because it wouldn’t be realistic. Also, 99% of people write about relationships. SO if you have a female lead or a female with a main role in your game that is a love interest then she’s going to have to look good.

    Now “look good” is of course subjective but we do have some genetic criteria, proved by science, that dictates what we are attracted to and why. Gaming, like any other media, builds upon a stereotype to include as many people as people. (You want everyone who plays your game to understand why x is attracted to y).

    SO basically, I don’t see any problem whatsoever.

    I DO however take issue with the ridiculous Japanese-esque depictions of women in general, and also in videogames. It’s crude, crass, base and actually rather ugly.

    But Miranda, Liara, FemShep are all strong believeable, attractive characters who yeah, I’d like to get to know better, but at the same time don’t purely see them as just more red lights in the district.

    We’re all too quick to shout “-ist!” at people these days. You’re a racist, you’re sexist, you’re feminist. A healthy dose of perspective and understanding is needed on a socio-political level and fundamental changes in attitude need to reach across most of the Western hemisphere before we begin to focus our attention on a fledgling institution (mainly in terms of narrative) as the main sinner. If, indeed, painting a picture of a sexually desribale lady ever will be a sin. I hope not.

    #43 3 years ago
  44. djhsecondnature

    @36 – It’s a natural human feeling and want to be both attracted to the opposite (or same) sex, and equally to want to be attractive. You say that you don’t want men other than your boyfriend to view you sexually, but I’d wager you’re in the minority. Most people love the feeling of being wanted, even if they never want someone to act on it.

    #44 3 years ago
  45. silkvg247

    I’d like to add that I do believe imagery is a problem when it comes to things like chicks in heavy armour looking like they’re headed to a beach swim party. But that isn’t because it’s sexist, it’s because it’s unrealistic and stupid. I do hope that kind of stuff changes, yes. Other than that I stand by my post.

    Also in regards to the chick getting picked on at the gaming event. I looked into that. I think it was wrong, but I also think it’s being tackled from the wrong angle. That girl should have given as good as she got, I know I would have. Yes it was wrong they were asking her cup size etc, but other than that, blatant bullying is just how those idiots are. You’re supposed to give it back.. not run away crying. If they really had to bring boobs into it, I’d probably have been asking if they’d grown chest hair yet, how thick, how big their dick was etc. i.e. giving the same treatment back.

    It was immaturity more than sexism.

    #45 3 years ago
  46. viralshag

    @42, If that’s what you’re basing it on then personally I think you’re nitpicking on his wording and making a bigger deal out of his comment than required.

    #46 3 years ago
  47. freedoms_stain

    Some of you may be interested in this: http://womenfighters.tumblr.com/

    I was directed to it from the Boing Boing blog last year, a tumblr that catalogues images of women in believable armour. Compare these to your typical MMO depictions.

    #47 3 years ago
  48. Freek

    It also depends on the game and the style you are going for. If you want to tell a seriouse story, then you need a properly designed character to fitt that role.
    If you are going for a “Suda 51 grindhouse absurdadity” then you need to bring out the cliché’s.
    Half naked girls and chesty steroid abusing men aren’t inherently bad, it all depends on what direction you want the game to go in.

    #48 3 years ago
  49. viralshag

    @47, Personally, I still think a lot of the characters are still attractive, even in more believable armour.

    Also: That “Seelah the Paladin” pic on page 3 is awesome.

    #49 3 years ago
  50. freedoms_stain

    @49, reminds me of War from Darksiders.

    Yeah, despite being in realistic armour most of these chicks have been designed with very pretty feminine faces.

    George R R Martin’s Briene (as described in the books) is probably a bit more what a woman able to stand and move with agility in full plate and wield a broadsword would look like.

    Remarkably free of scars too for warriors :p

    #50 3 years ago
  51. Night Hunter

    freedoms_stain described the subject pretty good I think. The problem is not that women in games are sexy, I think in most media women are depicted as attractive, at least if they serve as main characters. The problem therefore lies not with attractiveness but with oversexualizing them. Take Jenny from The Darkness for example. In my opinion she was an attractive woman but nothing about her screamed sex object. She had her own look, a little bit fucked up maybe, she wasn’t scantily clad or anything but she still looked good. Same thing with Alyx Vance from HL.

    I’m honestly surprised that they included a pic of Trip from Enslaved. I mean yeah her clothes are revealing to a certain point and she is the damsel in distress at more than one point in the game but still, she is a woman that takes control, I mean she enslaves Monkey, she is in charge and in the game there is nothing sexual about her aside from her being hit on by Pigsy …

    The pic of Catherine makes no goddam sense whatsoever, the game is about relationships and sex, Vincent being tempted by a femme fatale, thi is one of the games that actually should toy with sexual imagery because it reflects the content of the game.

    Of course there are a lot of negative examples, a lot of games are full of women with boobs the size of watermelons in revealing outfits and whatnot. And there lies the problem in my opinion because that is ALL THAT THEY ARE, sex objects. If it were the same character model with a deep and well written personality I could definitely live with it but I think the deeper the character became the less it actually needed oversexualizing, but let’s not kid ourselves, they will remain attractive in most instances, that’s just the way visual media works.

    Just my 2 cents

    #51 3 years ago
  52. dirigiblebill

    Great piece, Pat. I do have a few off-the-cuff quibbles though.

    “By doing that you’re displaying the character as a sexual object, intentionally or otherwise. You don’t have to. It’s better to hit the eyes.”

    Better but not best – eyes can be sexy, and thus sexist. Look at what happens here – http://cache.gawkerassets.com/assets/images/9/2012/01/ab8245236bf99eb1b0f6ff7e29afbac3.jpg. The re-treatment of her facial features, including eye dimensions, is as offputting as what’s been done to her chest.

    In general, focussing too heavily on the physical side of things limits your approach. I’d say the more damaging classic sexist portrayals are those which are “softer” on the eyes and thus easier to forgive, or harder to see coming. Princess Peach, for instance. And it’s possible to exaggerate a character’s boobs and bum without diminishing her capacity as an agent – Bayonetta’s the obvious example. In fairness you do touch on this at points in the article.

    /two thumbs

    #52 3 years ago
  53. silkvg247

    You guys are all sexist for ignoring my comments ;)

    #53 3 years ago
  54. Mike

    It should also be noted that almost every picture apart from Lara is Japanese.

    Tells its own story.

    #54 3 years ago
  55. viralshag

    @53, Did you say something? All I heard was “listen to my boobs”… and I was listening with my eyes intently…

    :P

    In reply to your comments though, I would agree. I think it would be a shame to see woman portrayed as “less attractive” for the sake of sexism. Like you, I would rather see attractive characters in games.

    When it comes to personalities and usefulness though, I’m not sure where I stand because I can’t honestly think of a game where I have thought something along the lines of “this girl is good for nothing but a pair boobs to gawk at.”

    In truth, female game characters that will stick out to me are the Mass Effect girls, because they all kicked ass. And the same goes for Bayonetta, I have only recently started playing and she’s a great example of a sexy strong female character.

    #55 3 years ago
  56. G1GAHURTZ

    @53:

    We’re not sexist.

    Maybe we’re just wondering why your husband lets you use a laptop in the kitchen…!

    #56 3 years ago
  57. Da Man

    If you think late Lara Croft is sexualized, you’re a sad person.

    #57 3 years ago
  58. Clupula

    Honestly, I think it’s a little sad that images of the human body offend you so much.

    That said, I think we need to focus less on images of Ivy and more on the behavior at Cross Assault. I agree with Ken Levine that I can’t see anything remotely sexist about a character wearing that outfit in Bioshock Infinite, but I don’t agree that guys chanting, “Rape that bitch!” is ever acceptable.

    There is such a thing as context. To call out Kara or Catherine as sexist is fairly dangerous, in my opinion. It’s saying that we can’t even discuss sexuality without an “ist” label being thrown about. Someone wants to make a game full of fan service? Hey, there’s an audience for that. Let them have their game.

    On the other hand, when it comes to real live, breathing people, as it did at Cross Assault, I fail to see how Cammy showing her ass in her win pose has anything to do with the men there acting like cavemen. I grew up in the porn industry and I have never treated women this way. In fact, it’s funny, as an artist who frequently uses female nudity in his promotional artwork, how feminists will constantly call me sexist, while a lot of males I know who I will chide for referring to a female as a slut for the crime of enjoying sex, will call me, get this, “a feminist.”

    There needs to be a middle ground in attitudes, where we don’t have to be afraid of a pair of breasts, yet can acknowledge that, just maybe, there might be a mind in there too.

    I have seen pornography (and videogames and movies) that I find sexist and offensive. Duke Nukem Forever, for example, I found offensive not because it included strippers and nudity, but that when one is later raped and impregnated by aliens, she still begs Duke that she can lose the weight. Previous to that moment, I found the sexual content immature, yes, but perfectly within context. Duke’s a famous guy who saved the world, so, of course, he’d have groupies.

    But for the woman in question to still be a submissive little lamb when she’s about to die, instead of yelling at him, “Get me the hell out of here, Mr. Hero! You’re supposed to be the savior of mankind and I’m going to die because you can’t even do that!”

    It’s about context. If you start just out-and-out condemning the female body, you’re just as bad as the people you claim to be against.

    #58 3 years ago
  59. freedoms_stain

    @51, I almost commented on Trip, then I remembered that in the source material Tripitaka is a monk. If you go from Monk to tight pants, exposed navel and a bit o’ cleavage then you have an argument for sexualising a character that didn’t need it and possibly shouldn’t have had it.

    #59 3 years ago
  60. diego-rbb-93

    Surprised to see nobody has named Valve for their female characters, as I think, they are the better balanced according to the Pat´s article (great peace, man, although there are some points I think, that are a bit extremist, I think Kara or Catherine should be seen in a more apropiated context).

    #60 3 years ago
  61. Night Hunter

    @59: Still, it’s all about the end product. In the story the Monkey King was a god. Going from that to slave could be called pretty sexist against males ;)

    #61 3 years ago
  62. Clupula

    As I said, though, the article forgets that “sexy” does not always equal “sexist” and that nudity does not always equal “sexy,” in the first place. Do you want to be the person who puts underpants on David?

    #62 3 years ago
  63. sybs

    “Kara’s life is under threat because she admits to thinking, an unacceptable trait if she’s to fulfil the perceived normality of her role as a female. ”

    No, it’s her role as an android that people can purchase to be servants. The writer has taken that trailer totally out of context in a paranoid fashion.

    #63 3 years ago
  64. tenthousandgothsonacid

    You may as well delete all other comments apart from silkvg247′s as she completely hit the nail on the head. At the risk of sounding like Nigel Tufnell There’s nothing wrong with being sexy. We just need less helpless games in girls. Uncharted gets it right.

    #64 3 years ago
  65. Mike

    I’m sexy.

    #65 3 years ago
  66. PEYJ

    I can see the problem with too much sexyness in games as every media is a part of social constructions. I feel however that one of the biggest problems spawned by such discussions as this one, is that it creates a picture of women being victims in this debate and that men are guilty of making them victims. That is social construction in itself.

    As for sexy men in video games they can’t really be compared to women or how the women are sexy. I would say that ther are Several sexy male characters in video games: Male Shephard, Nathan Drake, Cole McGrath, Ezio are some that springs to mind. They have both personality and good looks, which are the basic trademarks of being sexy, I believe.

    “especially, such discrimination directed against women.” This one has become old fashioned in my opinion and can be placed alongside women being victims and men being guilty of it.

    #66 3 years ago
  67. Da Man

    >Nathan Drake
    >Personality

    Pick one.

    #67 3 years ago
  68. PEYJ

    @37

    About Kuo in need of being rescued: I don’t really see that it undermined her strength. Besides when she did need rescue it was because she was about to become like him which is a different theme than damsel in distress.

    #68 3 years ago
  69. NoPizzaNoCry

    “how many female characters can you think of that aren’t obviously designed to be sexually attractive to men?”

    - Jade – Beyond good & Evil

    #69 3 years ago
  70. kupocake

    Oddly enough, one of the portrayals I found most annoying in recent games is your Female sidekick in Dead Space 2. It’s barely for reasons of sexism – she was mostly just one of those ‘casual tomboys’ we’ve been enduring ever since Half-Life 2, back when such a trope seemed a little smarter and more original.

    What really got me though is that, yes she’s ‘covering up’, but these things are relative. Dead Space 2 is a game in which you, as a armor-plated one man army are regularly killed in scenes of quasi-sexual assault. It’s like the devs felt ‘hey, we’ve created a normal looking female character, good for us’ and then completely forgot what world they were dropping her into.

    That kind of lack of thought seriously undermines the credibility of such characters. You can’t play Dead Space 2 without tripping over mechanical suits, or encountering thousands of bladed, face rapey enemies. Or getting thrown into space. What kind of idiot (of either gender) would wear their sports top in a situation like that?

    #70 3 years ago
  71. Da Man

    Srs bsns.

    #71 3 years ago
  72. Telepathic.Geometry

    I really liked this article Pat, and found it provocative, which is what we really need, because a lot of people don’t consider the issue at all to begin with…

    However, I don’t agree with a couple of points.

    First of all, I don’t see Kara as being in any way sexist, as in that fiction she is being manufactured as an object for (presumably) male customers. It fits the fiction. She’s not even built like a busty Ivy type either.

    Secondly, I don’t like the idea of cropping photos to remove tits and asses. I don’t want a picture of nine toes that crops out his crotch in the picture, because he has three balls. I think that in a way, by going that route you are kind of being anti-sexist as opposed to not sexist, like a priest or something, deciding what’s naughty and not. Just give it to me raw, and let me eat I say.

    I have a long history of mis-representing my opinion on the internets and getting into pointless rows, but I’ll try anyway. Like in South Park, when Chef realises that the kids are so not-racist that they don’t even know that the black guy is getting strung up by the white guys, I think that we need to become non-sexist by not spending money on things with blatant sex-advertising.

    If you think this problem is bad in the West, come to Japan, sexism is fucking rife here, and I probably hate it ten times more than the next guy, but I think that censorship is the wrong way to go. Just cut what you feel is pointless bullshit (which may include pointless sexist advertising or media) and let that be your guiding star I say.

    Anyway, long story short, thanks for the provocative article. :)

    #72 3 years ago
  73. dragonsight

    what am i going to do… spend 60 usd of MY money for a main character female that is fat, dumb and ugly?

    you play a video game to have fun. one of the fun things about being a guy is to look at a sexy female and get turned on. that is fun! not once when i have been horny did i say, “wow, this sucks.. i feel so down right now…the world sucks”. why havnt i said that before… because being horny feels awesome. i am spending money on a game, i want some sexy in there somewhere.

    sexist is saying a female is unable to do something that a guy is able to do. to have a female in a game that is very attractive is not sexist. i am sure she can suck me off as good as any guy :D AHAAHAAH

    #73 3 years ago
  74. Clupula

    @70 – in her defense, if she was already dressed like that when shit went down, I doubt she’d run home to go change while everything is falling to hell. It’s kinda like when people run out of their homes naked during earthquakes.

    #74 3 years ago
  75. ukslim

    Good article. It’s difficult to cover the subject without sounding preachy and, um, you almost managed.

    A problem I have is that like many other people, I *enjoy* certain kinds of content containing portrayals of sexy women. The nurse in Skullgirls makes me smile. My character in Phantasy Star Online was a girl with a great arse (I called her Celeste, after Daphne and Celeste). I don’t see anything wrong with being open about the feelings for certain shaped humans, that biology foisted upon me.

    The problem is *not* the existence of these portrayals. The problem is the absence of more realistic portrayals. In cinema, you have Underworld, but you also have Vera Drake, and there’s room for both. As much as we like to think of gaming as a mature art form, there are few gaming Vera Drakes.

    #75 3 years ago
  76. Lord Gremlin

    I don’t have a problem with sexism in games, I’d just prefer it to work both ways – to objectify both men and women. Well, as long as it’s all actually fun to play. As proved by Tomb Raider you can add as much sexism as you want, game will still suck.

    #76 3 years ago
  77. LOLshock94

    sexism is everywhere, deal with it

    #77 3 years ago
  78. themadjock

    Pat, did you know Emma Boyes at CVG posted a very similar article to this today?

    http://www.computerandvideogames.com/343569/features/the-games-industry-is-a-sausage-party-its-time-to-take-women-seriously/

    #78 3 years ago
  79. guts118

    As far as I’m concerned, this whole argument is idiotic. And is written by someone who thinks they’re being clever. Mainly because these characters are not women! Or Men! Or Elves! They’re fictional characters!

    If the argument is that human rights should be extended to drawings, such as Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck, then shouldn’t Elmer Fudd be in prison for attempted murder.

    Lets face it, who really cares about characters in books or games, because they are completely made up and have no basis in the real world. Nobody is being exploited. Only if a character was based a real person, could I see anyone being harmed by the events in a work of fiction.

    The only other complaint I can see is that “sexism” in games, or any other media, somehow condones sexism and will increase the likelihood of someone being sexist in real life.

    If everything unacceptable in real life, should also be unacceptable in games. Then aren’t there more important things! Like theft, GBH or murder.
    Oh yeah, and the release of weaponized biological virus’s, that turn people into zombies. That would be really unacceptable in real life, so the Resident Evil games should be banned! Or re-written, so instead, the T-Virus makes people act very nice to each other and donate all their money to charity. That would be a great game!

    #79 3 years ago
  80. JB

    I cant wait for next bible class ^^

    #80 3 years ago
  81. Sini

    fuck that, as a heterosexual male i dont see anything wrong with showing off female characters in games.

    #81 3 years ago
  82. BaconMonkey

    Good piece Pat :)

    BTW, you forgot the “iconic” picture of Taki from Soul Calibur 2, 3 or 4 with erect nips.

    #82 3 years ago
  83. _LarZen_

    Let me gues…this is written by an american…

    #83 3 years ago
  84. Phoenixblight

    @83

    Nope you would be wrong sir

    #84 3 years ago
  85. Sadismek

    @83 Yeah, because Pat is an American aaaaall the waaaaay.

    #85 3 years ago
  86. Johnny Cullen

    I am a real American,
    Fighting for the rights of every man,
    I am a real American,
    Fight for what’s right. Fight for your life

    #86 3 years ago
  87. Alyxma

    You cannot general say you are sick of something and want it gone when others like it, and that particular thing is apart of nature. Leave it alone and focus on making games better for everyone, for example petitioning against dark souls using GFWL, and protesting against the next gen consoles not supporting 2nd hand games… Stupid online pass, id rather pay sub for psn like xbl

    #87 3 years ago
  88. Johnny Cullen

    Think you’re looking for Dark Souls, dude.

    #88 3 years ago
  89. marijnlems

    Patrick, I applaud you for not only writing an article like this (in direct opposition to the vocal minority in this website’s comments section), but also linking it to your publishing policies. Action is needed and I hope that other websites follow suit.

    #89 3 years ago
  90. Gekidami

    “The same goes for your buying habits. If you’re not comfortable with the way a game portrays women, you don’t have to buy it. Be active. If you don’t like it, don’t be a part of it.”
    Hum, i guess from now on, Pat is going to have to be really careful about what games he gets. ‘Live by the sword, die by the sword’, as they say.

    #90 3 years ago
  91. manamana

    Congrats Pat – you are second hottest on N4G as of now. :-D

    #91 3 years ago
  92. Jack Greenary

    This is a great article, some sites are full of ignorant gamers completely blind or unaccepting of this issue. The gaming industry currently caters predominantly for white straight males, falling into this category I used to also be unaware of this problem as it’s so easy to just accept things the way they are if your not being underepresented. It’d be great if we could all work togethor to get rid of sexism in games and not just sexism but also unrepresentation of other sexual orientations, Bioware is the in my eyes the best well known company which has done this, As they have love interests for all along with fairly balanced gender representations throughout their games.

    I have to admit I didn’t pick up on it in that tech demo, but now you pointed it out, it’s quite apparent. If the gaming industry were to start balancing out their sexism scales then this could in turn perhaps encourage more female game developers who could speed up this process.

    #92 3 years ago
  93. thebishop

    Obviously there is sexism in videogames. Most female characters in games are designed to appeal to a male fantasy. Hell, David Cage may even be a sexist.

    But you’re wrong to use the Kara demo as a jumping-off point to talk about sexism. The fact that this *robot* is in part designed to fulfill sexual desires (in the context of the story), cannot be construed as sexist. All the examples you list are understood by anyone with a pulse as observations/critiques on the society which developed this machine.

    The developers clearly intend for the audience to feel sympathy for Kara precisely because it is aware enough to know it is exploited. It doesn’t take a whole hell of a lot of interpretation to imagine a full-length game would discuss issues of sexual exploitation, body autonomy, and any number of other feminist issues within the context of a sci-fi AI plot.

    In short: Get a goddamn brain.

    #93 3 years ago
  94. LOLshock94

    sexism is good and it will never ever die away 1up to tits
    not unless the media and celebrity’s stop using sexism for money

    #94 3 years ago
  95. fearmonkey

    I agree that sexism is too common in games, but I can’t see it going away.. Why? because it’s not just games, it’s movies, it’s comic books, it’s book covers, it’s ad’s in a magazine, it’s in an album cover, etc, etc…

    Spike TV’s VGA are an embarrassment in their pandering to this kind of imagery. The movie grandma’s boy is just like that, it’s not just the industry, it’s how society views the industry, and the industry doesn’t try to go past that….

    The RPG infinite undiscovery was annoying it’s portrayal of a gay character, very over the top and stereotypical, it’s not just the ladies.

    I get so tired of the beefcake characters as the hero, or the very handsome and dashing hero that is in every game. Why can’t games use more average looking people? Why is there hardly any overweight characters in games outside of comedic effect? Why is that most female characters have the over the top feminine stripper voice, and the male voice’s sound like he-men? Evidently it’s because it sells, and as long as people buy the baloney they will continue making baloney..

    So, unless you can convince the buying public to stop this in all forms in industries i cannot see anything happening.

    #95 3 years ago
  96. VoiD3d

    Whilst I don’t agree with some of the points you made, or examples you used, this article did make me stop and think about a lot of things we take for granted in games, and your overall argument is a solid one. I also thought it was well written, until I read this:

    “And as for content creators, it’s time to at least assess the possibility that 1970s attitudes towards female stereotypes are as out of date as Jesus.”

    Sadly, that removed any hint of legitimacy your article had. I am not a Christian, but making a remark that is offensive to a certain group of people whilst attacking those that make offensive remarks about women is ludicrous. If you did not mean that as an anti-religious remark, I suggest you change it to be a little clearer and to avoid upsetting people. If you did, you really need to rethink the way you approach opinion pieces, because I have no respect for you.

    #96 3 years ago
  97. Spiftacular

    Thank you.

    Thank you thank you thank you. I am a woman; I’ve played video games since I was old enough to hold a mouse/controller. I love playing video games, but I have never loved the overt and widely accepted sexism everywhere. People have always known that this sexism exists, they just never thought it was a problem. It’s so heartening to have more and more people say “This isn’t okay” and to have more and more game companies provide options and diversity. There’s nothing inherently wrong with a sexualized female character, just as there’s nothing inherently wrong with having a hugely muscled super-masculine male character. The problem arises when that’s the only option, again and again and again.

    You have written a great article–pointing out that men suffer from sexism, too; being sure to define what you’re actually talking about, with good examples; and offering steps towards a solution that are quick and easy to implement.

    Again, thank you.

    #97 3 years ago
  98. dirigiblebill

    “But you’re wrong to use the Kara demo as a jumping-off point to talk about sexism. The fact that this *robot* is in part designed to fulfill sexual desires (in the context of the story), cannot be construed as sexist. All the examples you list are understood by anyone with a pulse as observations/critiques on the society which developed this machine.”

    Nowhere in the piece does Pat argue that Cage’s film itself is sexist – he presents it as a portrayal of sexism. Perhaps you should try reading stuff before throwing your little tantrums, hey?

    #98 3 years ago
  99. osric90

    I enjoy hotness in every kind of media.

    #99 3 years ago
  100. tatsujin

    Yo Pat. I got no problem with sexy characters in games. They’re games, dude. They should be designed with unreal fantasy. Also, just for your information – sexy female toons aren’t only attractive to men, it is also attractive to women. Women, in general, are the most -desired- creatures for their beauty.

    #100 3 years ago
  101. eikons

    Companies develop stuff that sells better. Attractive females sell better than normal ones. Same goes for men, by the way. Do we live up to image of beardy muscular guys that jump around with guns blazing? We’re exploring fantasies in games, might as well explore attractive ones.

    In games were women have control over their looks, such as MMO’s and RPG’s – they walk around in similarly revealing outfits and choose the cutest face with largest eyes and so forth. Not on occasion; nearly ALL the time.

    Finally, I don’t see why you would include Lara Croft. If you know anything about the series, you’d know it has done a lot to transform the image of females in games to self-sufficient, strong and intelligent. In more recent versions of the game, her appearance has become less exaggerated as well.

    From any feminist kind of position, you should be cheering for Tomb Raider. Unless of course the cover art scared you off in the ninetees.

    #101 3 years ago
  102. women_should_cook

    “Think about it: is there even a single “sexy” male character in games?”

    Have you ever played a videogame? Ever?

    #102 3 years ago
  103. hurr

    “Think about it: is there even a single “sexy” male character in games?”
    Gordon Freeman
    Adam Jensen
    Master Chief. Completely serious.
    The Skyrim and Dark Souls characters depicted on the covers.
    Space Marines. Completely serious.
    All of the main characters from the Assassins Creed series
    Dante and Virgil
    Link, Ghirahim, and Ganon
    Actually, every character in every Japanese game that isn’t the “quirky fat companion” stereotype.
    Actually, every male character in EVERY game that isn’t the “quirky fat/scrawny” stereotype, or the main male character from Animal Crossing. Unless you want him to be. That’s your own thing.
    Even the furry characters
    Because heaven forbid we don’t pander to those furry women

    Oh, and I appreciate you putting PRINCESS ZELDA in your gallery of “sexualized women”. Princess Zelda, who is the epitome of pure maidens, and in the picture you chose is wearing the most modest dress ever conceived, the incarnation of a powerful goddess, who is later herself incarnated into a powerful sorceress, and who is only “sexualized” by being the love interest for the game.

    Catherine is (partially) a DATING SIM
    why on EARTH would you put an unattractive character into a dating sim.
    That is just silly.

    And I don’t see the point of nitpicking at that robot video. They’re robots. Would you use a robot as anything other than a maid, and do they ever imply that there isn’t another line of male versions of them? Are you aware of the fact that this “sentient robots oh my” topic is a complete cliche now?

    This entire article just comes off as someone who is intimidated by attractive women. There IS sexism in video games (hello, Lollipop Chainsaw), but I think there’s some serious sexism in this article as well.

    #103 3 years ago
  104. Turbobutts

    Sounds like feminazis are just jealous of the beautiful video game women we get to enjoy looking at.

    #104 3 years ago
  105. Legitimoso

    Thanks for the image montage to jerk it to at the bottom, I’ll be back next week, penis in hand.

    #105 3 years ago
  106. ammoplus

    Is this a joke article?

    “Think about it: is there even a single “sexy” male character in games?”
    Every video game, from Doomguy to Mass effect (OH MASS EFFECT IS A BIG OFFENDER)

    Their are more “sexualized” males than females in video games, when female show up they most recognizable are the ones who are sexual. You can not name one at your press seem to cement that idea.

    Males are sexual thus recognizable, master chief being mysterious tall strong, traits that females tend to “list” of being sexy. Look at Shepard say how is not sexualized.

    If this is a joke piece then you got me good. ha

    #106 3 years ago
  107. Not The Eyes

    tl;dr – Stop making people look attractive in video games.

    /rolleyes

    #107 3 years ago
  108. Da Man

    >Gordon Freeman
    >Sexy

    Pick one.

    >Nerd
    >Gordon Freeman

    Pick any.

    #108 3 years ago
  109. ammoplus

    That being said I’m going to purchase lollipop, not cuz of the art, but the people behind it.

    If the character was a fabulous hunk not a cheerleader, it seems that people who are concerned about “sexism” won’t bat an eyelash at him.

    #109 3 years ago
  110. RexMcCoolguy

    “Kara’s life is under threat because she admits to thinking, an unacceptable trait if she’s to fulfil the perceived normality of her role as a female. The man putting her together and the society she’s about to enter are sexist if they’re beholden to our own. The timing of Cage’s piece is hardly accidental.”

    Well you seem to ignore the fact that she’s not a woman. She is a robot in a world where true AI is not allowed.
    Even more disturbing is the fact that you use The Witch from l4d as an example of over sexualized.

    Having someone who looks nothing close to attractive and a practically dressed character (who if the author had actually played the game, which I doubt, would know, is a well developed character in her own right utterly outside her sexuality) isn’t just shooting yourself in the foot, it’s hitting your foot, setting off the particle accelerator and inadvertently creating a black hole destroying reality.

    You used Erica form Catherine as another example.If you actually played the game you would have known she’s not a woman.

    You used the new Lara Croft design as another example. She is completely average and not sexualised any more.Oh my!She’s wearing normal clothing *gasp* and she has BREASTS!!

    You listed Zelda as an example. REALLY ? ZELDA ?How is that over sexualized? That’s like saying the statue of liberty is over-sexualized!

    There are greek columns more risqué than that.

    You actually said that there are no sexy characters. Ahaha. Wow.
    Let’s have a little list : Drake from uncharted
    Ezio and Desmond from Assassin’s Creed, arguably Altair.
    Soap Mac Tavish, Ghost, Gaz, hell even Price if you’re into that kind of stuff.
    Makarov and Yuri look above average as well.
    and the list goes on and on.

    Now let’s address another point:
    “The truth is that games are sexist in their depiction of women to a depressing degree. I raised the point on a press trip dinner last year: how many female characters can you think of that aren’t obviously designed to be sexually attractive to men? Apart from Shepard, no one around the table could suggest a single one.”

    Oh really ?
    Alyx Vance
    Faith from Mirrors Edge
    Zoey from L4D
    That German Doctor from Bioshock
    Deadly from CoD4
    Jaina from Warcraft
    Naomi from MGS
    Several girls from the first RE games
    The women from Dead Space
    Kreia from KotOR
    Heather from Silent Hill
    Jade from Beyond Good and Evil
    Even Bayonetta that obviously goes out of her way to appear sexy
    is presented as independent and in control of her sexuality and so on.

    How about we men also take a stand against misandry ?
    How about we make a list against the objectification of men as giant hulks of meat and bald space marines that only know how to hold a gun ?

    #110 3 years ago
  111. Turbobutts

    BE PATRICK GARRETT. WRITE A HEADLINE ABOUT YOURSELF IN THIRD PERSON.

    #111 3 years ago
  112. JohnQCitizen

    Think about it: is there even a single “sexy” male character in games?

    Excuse me? Is this a serious question? Do you seriously believe there are no remotely handsome, good looking and “sexy” males in videogames?

    The sexualisation of men is a more prevalent issue in the videogame industry, whilst the videogame industry took steps with strong, independent women (i.e Lara Croft, Ashley Williams, Liara, Kreia, Alyx Vance, Jade, Lightning, Midna, Tyrande Whisperwind, Chell, Faith) the videogame industry is still entrench in sexism against the male gender.

    I mean when was the last time you saw a completely ugly, socially inept and unfit male in a leading role of a videogame? Where are all the videogames starring ugly neckbeards, ugly pimply Dungeons & Dragons nerds and neckbearded otakus who cannot get a date if his life depended on it?

    Instead the male gender gets bombarded with unfair stereotypes that men should be strong (in both body and soul), have an excellent physique and unbelievably handsome? I mean look at merely a handful of examples of sexualisation of men, Commander Shepherd from Mass Effect, Anders from Dragon Age,Johnny Cage from Mortal Kombat, Guile from Streetfighter, Adam Jenson from Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Nathan Drake from Uncharted, Marcus Fenix from Gears of War, Canderous Ordo from Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, The Prince from Prince of Persia, Ezio from Assassin’s Creed, Duke Nukem from Duke Nukem, Captain Titus from Warhammer 40K: Space Marine, Squall from Final Fantasy VIII, Dante from Devil May Cry, Solid Snake from Metal Gear Solid, Chris Redfield from Resident Evil, Siegfried from Soul Calibur, Arthas from Warcraft, Cloud Strife from Final Fantasy VII.

    Why is it then, that feminism revolves around double standards. Allowing men to be held up to such unrealistic standards of sexualisation. Whilst making women look like women one of the greatest sins one can commit?

    Double standards is utterly disgusting. One of the biggest oppressors of mankind.

    #112 3 years ago
  113. CornP

    Okay, first off I agree with some points you bring in this article. Females are objectified in games and that is a reality. I kinda feel uncomfortable with some games that seem to spend more budget on “boob physics” than on anything else.
    But the overall tone of your article I find very far fetched. I mean: “by allowing the public to vote on the image to the used on the box; it wasn’t difficult to argue the studio was asking its hugely male-oriented audience, “Which one of these would you most like to have sex with?””
    What the hell was that? I don’t know if you are joking or really have that sort of perverted mind all the time. If the objectifying of women is ALL you want to see, that’s what you’re going to see. But honestly, I don’t think that the poll was implying anything like that.
    I also liked the demo of the story about the robot girl. But I seriously think there was A LOT more to it than just the fact that ‘sex’ is mentioned. Though I gotta admit, if that demo was “feminist” it was a lot more touching and has a lot more class than some people who go making assumptions all the time and start comparing every minor thing with sex. Maybe it’s because that sort of people get more page views or something..

    #113 3 years ago
  114. hoopy

    “David Cage’s Kara demo encapsulated the disastrous situation we currently face with female characters in games by reducing its protagonist, a female robot, to an absolute sexist stereotype.”

    Yes, if you take it completely at face value and assume everything in it is arepresentation of the author’s beliefs. Did you pay any attention at all to how the story is presented and how it ends? No, I guess not.

    “Kara’s life is under threat because she admits to thinking, an unacceptable trait if she’s to fulfil the perceived normality of her role as a female.”

    An unacceptable trait for a robot. Stories about robots and other automata breaking free of their programming are as old as science fiction. Much older than that, if you include golems and other mythical creatures. So this really has nothing to do with Kara being a woman. And who even believes that thinking is an unacceptable trait for women?

    “According to this, sexism is: 1. attitudes or behavior based on traditional stereotypes of sexual roles.”

    Sexism is anything that doesn’t advance and reinforce the great social experiment known as feminism. Of course!

    When women walk around half-naked, get shitfaced and take it in all holes from strange men, feminists will tell you they’re “expressing their sexuality,” and to criticize their behavior would be “slut shaming.” In general feminists dislike modesty, chastity and monogamy. So why all the hand-wringing and wailing when there’s a sexy woman in a video game? Could it be because those games are mostly designed for and played by men? Women have a feeling of control when they’re out cosplaying as streetwalkers, but they have no control over the imaginary women of video games, who are entirely at the mercy of the icky beta males holding the controllers. I think that’s what this is about.

    Certainly the oversexualization of women in video games is a legitimate issue, but it’s always approached in a highly dishonest manner by highly dishonest people, who always define the problem and frame the discussion through feminism.

    #114 3 years ago
  115. zeroskie

    The way I see it, you must A) have not thought through your argument or B) are trolling the public for more hits to this website.

    There are many great points that are mentioned in the comments section about how you are attributing Kara’s role as a servant to the fact that she is a woman, ignoring the fact that she is a ROBOT.

    There are many points that you ignore:

    1) Men are unfairly oversexualized just as much as women in video games, if not more. Video games are an escape from reality in which all characters are designed to be more attractive than realistically possible.
    2) There are many examples of strong female roles, ESPECIALLY Lara Croft, so I don’t know why you would include her in the pictures as evidence of your point. That series, more than any other, has paved the way for FemShep and Alyx Vance and other strong female roles. The new reboot of Tomb Raider has made it their goal to de-sexualize Lara and focus more on her personality and intelligence. ARGUMENT NULLIFIED.
    3) I would argue that Men’s PECS are centered in the shot just as much as women’s breasts.

    Feminism is a respectable campaign to end the mistreatment of women or at least to give them the same privleges that we, as men, are privy to without even realizing. However, your article is so completely wrong that you give feminism a bad name. Please Respond to any of the comments posted here, I would like to hear what you have to say.

    #115 3 years ago
  116. IcyEyes

    Look, I wrote a serious post, then I read again your “article” and in the end I think this is a REAL joke. Seriously, I think there isn’t anyone with a so narrow view, so it must be a joke.
    Have a good day.

    #116 3 years ago
  117. oliverSmith

    What an asinine, fatuous load of garbage you have written, Patrick Garratt.

    You completely missed the point of the “Kara” tech demo. That tech demo tells the short story of a robotic woman who is assembled from nothing, gains consciousness, and is shipped to a store to be bought like a table or chair.

    The moral of that short film called to question the practices of the factory. If you paid any sort of attention at all, you would have picked up on the fact that *the makers of that film agree with everything you are saying*. You are like the people who argue against Harry Potter by quoting evil things Voldemort says when, after actually reading the book, it becomes clear that the book does not endorse anything Voldemort is saying (the opposite is true).

    The “Kara” short film designed the lead character as a sexist stereotype *in order to question such a stereotype*. This was something you should have noticed when the robot was being disassembled, a scene that was meant to evoke sympathy toward the robotic character and leave the audience with the gut feeling that the factory is an evil place and the things they do there are wrong.

    In short, feminists should be hailing this short film as support for their ideologies, but gut-reaction “journalists” like Patrick Garratt see the sexist stereotype and shut off their brain, never asking what the purpose of the stereotype was in the film. Filmmakers can feature evil characters and evil sayings, that does not mean they endorse those characters or sayings. Often, the point is to show the world how and why those characters/ideas/stereotypes are evil. That is exactly the case in this “Kara” short film you are griping about.

    I guess if Patrick had his way, no character in any piece of media would ever be able to say anything remotely controversial, even if the purpose of such controversial statements is to demonize and discredit them.

    Patrick, I applaud you for a level of short-sightedness and lack of attention that so few in this world could honestly achieve.

    #117 3 years ago
  118. correctingallday

    lol,, Just off the top of my head, little sister, jade, and big sisters. THE BIGGER question here is how many games have you &your brown nose (I follow what you say) friends played & know of,, i,m thinking not many,, But to be honest I want good looking females in my games,, So stop ya bitching don’t like it don’t play it,,, Damn feminist ruin everything,, enjoyed making your selfs look weaker.

    #118 3 years ago
  119. Patrick Garratt

    Best comments ever. Cheevo unlocked.

    #119 3 years ago
  120. absolutezero

    /v/ pls go.

    #120 3 years ago
  121. Aimless

    @119 I thought it was going okay until the N4G posse of internet heroes arrived.

    For what it’s worth I agree with the basic thrust of the article. The interpretation of the Kara tech demo was a bit of a stretch and the gallery of images at the end don’t do the article any favours, but I appreciate the sentiment of wanting to be more mindful in your coverage. You seem too quick to label representation as objectification, though: there’s nothing wrong with a female character being attractive, its when that is the summation of their inclusion that things turn ugly.

    Personally I dislike character designs like Ivy because they come across as pandering to a specific demographic, namely teenage boys. That kind of female depiction seems transparently cynical, actively unattractive and needlessly exclusive of the wider audience. By comparison I think the latest incarnation of Lara Croft is fantastic: she’s beautiful but not unrealistically accentuated or suggestive, making for a more inclusive character.

    Beauty is not something to be ashamed of. It’s the cynical perversion of it that is problematic.

    #121 3 years ago
  122. LOLshock94

    hahhaahahaha where the hell did all those nerds come from?

    #122 3 years ago
  123. Night Hunter

    “Beauty is not something to be ashamed of. It’s the cynical perversion of it that is problematic.”

    ^this!

    #123 3 years ago
  124. Not The Eyes

    That’s right, just completely ignore critiques of the article and try to claim they all come from one single website to flood the comments. Pathetic.

    At least address the critiques.

    #124 3 years ago
  125. Night Hunter

    @Not The eyes: yeah right because about 15 comments who all have about the same wording in just over an hour doesn’t seem strange …

    #125 3 years ago
  126. JohnQCitizen

    @Night Hunter

    That’s a very good use of an ad hominem attack, however simply because my comment is similar to those of other people does not negate its validity. Nor am I attempting to use ad populum to my advantage.

    Please tell me how men are not sexualised and how the sexualisation of men is okay whilst the sexualisation of women isn’t?

    #126 3 years ago
  127. Night Hunter

    No one said that men aren’t sexualized, have you even read the comments on the first page? There already was a debate about it (ad populum that) and the truth of the matter is this article is more than a day old ;)

    #127 3 years ago
  128. Aimless

    @126 I think you’re making the same mistake as Pat did in the article, conflating representation and objectification.

    Whilst many male game characters are clearly modelled to be attractive, they are very rarely sexualised in the same manner as their female counterparts. Men almost never star in soft-focus shower scenes or have the camera angle centre on their arse, whilst such treatment of women in games is rife. It is very much one of those double standards you despise.

    #128 3 years ago
  129. Turbobutts

    @Aimless Are you blind not to notice the sheer masses of stereotypically manly war hero characters with bald hair and a three day beards in video games these days?

    #129 3 years ago
  130. OrbitMonkey

    ^ You mean that stereotype that MALE gamers find most appealing? Who actively protest if it’s changed (read up on what went down when Cole from infamous was given a new hairdo)?

    #130 3 years ago
  131. Turbobutts

    Well, I don’t find it appealing. But you don’t see me writing terrible articles on video game websites about it and trying to start some kind of boycott or whatever the author of this piece of sh* is trying to accomplish.

    #131 3 years ago
  132. Aimless

    @129 I’m not sure why you’re questioning my vision when your comment only acts to support my point.

    Thanks?

    #132 3 years ago
  133. absolutezero

    I’d really really really like to see what Pat thinks about the Comic book industry.

    An Industry looked down upon by most of the public at large, an industry that can produce highly affecting works of art like Palestine but is also filled with sex, and sexism. Much like gaming then, no?

    Being serious for just a short second what exactly is wrong with video games being seen in the same light as comic books, what difference does it make other than making it more socially acceptable? So you want an entire industry to change just to make it easier to tell people what you are interested in?

    There are many sexist games, there are many many games that are not sexist in the slightest, oh look just like comic books.

    I guess its not cool to admit that you like something thats seen as “sad” or “nerdy”.

    #133 3 years ago
  134. DSB

    Personally I think this is the sort of “issue” you take up when you get bored enough. Once society is fixed, once everybody’s allowed to vote, once everybody’s earning a decent wage, kids are going to school, and you just need one more thing to bitch about, this is the sort of thing you go to.

    Men and women have been depicted sexually in art since cave paintings, it’s literally the biggest non-issue I could possibly imagine. In Greek art the exact same focus was applied to men. No one has ever had a problem with that.

    It would make sense if it was actually a huge burden to women everywhere that they’re sexy and wanted and idealized, but in reality it’s as much of an advantage as it is the opposite. It’s just a human condition, older than time itself.

    If we were actually to start forcing women to dress a certain way, or forcing them to do anything else against their will, that would be a problem. Alas, we’ve done nothing but move further and further away from that sort of society. Women are free, and I can’t think of any I know who suffer for their sex.

    Although I know some who’d love that to be the case, so they have a cause to dedicate themselves to, in a society that really doesn’t leave a lot to be desired.

    #134 3 years ago
  135. Zach D.

    I agree entirely. While we’re at it, we need to down play the sexualization of male characters. Everywhere I go it’s physically fit and handsome men; I am tired of it. Video games, movies, books, EVERYWHERE! Stop seeing us as objects women!

    Pretty stupid when you look at it. People like looking at attractive things, it’s how nature works. You can’t get mad when humans are humans.

    #135 3 years ago
  136. Not The Eyes

    Well said DSB.

    #136 3 years ago
  137. Talkar

    I think that in some games sexism has to be there.
    If you create a game that takes place in the 1600th century, and you wanted the game to stay somewhat true to history. It wouldn’t make much sense if the women had as many rights as the men did. This isn’t something that should go away completely, but should be used when necessary.

    #137 3 years ago
  138. Da Man

    Really don’t want to live in a society where girls buy guys flowers..

    #138 3 years ago
  139. OrbitMonkey

    I’ve never read so much ill-thought, defensive bullshit…

    That’s my opinion on some of the comments anyhoo ;-)

    #139 3 years ago
  140. lunayasha

    Im a female, and while I do agree there is an over abundance of female being submissive and sexual in nature, I do not disagree with its usage. We are talking about fantasy, there are plenty of games, books, movies, and other media that have these types of characters however, there a many strong and dominant female characters as well.

    Samus Aran Metriod – games
    Balsa Moribito Series – books
    Sigourney Weaver Alien Series – movies
    Hilda Outlaw Star – Anime
    Motoko Kusanagi Ghost in the Shell- OVA
    Lenneth, Hrist, Silmera Valkyrie Profile – game

    Need I go on?

    What is lacking is the use of males as being explicitly sexual in nature and content in the video game industry in America, but we do see a lot of it in the the manga industry, for instance shounen ai, ecchi, and yaoi. Thank you Japan. *Salutes there ingenuity* And a bit of it in the Japanese gaming industry.

    Companies such as TriAce and Konami have done a great job with making male character attractive, sexy, sensitive, or thouught-ful, things you dont normally see in males in American video games.

    For instance:
    Valkyrie Profile series: Lawfer, Lucian, Loki, Janus, Llewellyn, Lezard Valeth, Rufus, Gabriel Celeste
    Star Ocean series: Feyt, Abel Knox
    Castlvania series: Alcurd, Malus, Trevor Belmont, Leon Belmont, Simon Belmont, Issac, Hector, Dracula – He almost always handsome in these series

    There are even a few scenes in video games that are purely for the the fan girls of video games: Ie Issac kisses Simon in Castlevania Curse of Darkness, Lezard Valeth being all gushy when he get his hands on Lenneth

    I would like to see a video games that catered towards women’s taste in men, like the Eroge genre but without the sex, building a relationship with a male character in a game. I think there is a huge market just waiting to be tapped we just dont see it as clearly. A gaming genre that’s about developing relationships while you adventure through the game.

    #140 3 years ago
  141. OrbitMonkey

    @140, You my friend are one sick pervert -_-

    #141 3 years ago
  142. lunayasha

    @OrbitMonkey, that may be so, but Im a horny female, and and if I have to play games that have scantly clad women in them, I say bring on the scantly clad men!
    And can you honestly say you’ve never been attracted to a female in a video game?! Why wouldn’t I be attracted to sexy male? Its natural to me.

    #142 3 years ago
  143. ammoplus

    @142
    Scantly clad males?

    That been around since the SNES.

    -MK
    -SF
    -God of War
    -Prince of Persia
    -Mass Effect
    -devil may Cry

    all have its fair share of female but you play as a half naked male, while some females have skimpy clothing.

    #143 3 years ago
  144. lunayasha

    @ammoplus read post 140, understood but shouldn’t be that much of a stretch to reverse the roles of how males and females are perceived in video games. Just as there are male nanny’s, nurses,or dancers in real life why not have games that put a sensitive light on men. Besides in the past men would play female roles in theatres and even kissed in those scenes. And obviously people play video game genres they are interested in so nothing says you have buy into my concepts its just a suggestion for female takers and game designers.

    #144 3 years ago
  145. lunayasha

    Patrick, good article however I think you’ve misinterpreted the trailer for Kara. It was meant to showcase quantic dreams new hardware. I actually felt emotion for the AI Kara in this scene. As for the writer David Cage I don’t much about him so I can’t form an opinion on how he views female roles, but as a gamer I was astounded by the amount of realism and emotion from watching the trailer. However I do think it would have been a more appropriate choice to have not to chosen a female model for this scene, because it did in way come off as making women seem submissive and diminutive. But I believe this scene was about artificial intelligence and how society can mass produce a companion but society itself has failed to acknowledge the sentient life form of the robot itself. Thus showing society’s lack of compassion and understanding. I have a question for you, would you have placed this trailer in your article if it was a male AI? Would you have said this scene was sexist towards males? it is true that society is or rather media is sexualizing women (forgive my incorrect grammar).

    #145 3 years ago
  146. pottejd

    @145, I disagree with the first 3 words of your post. This article would be good if it was well thought out, planned, and prepared. It’s obvious from the fact that it has been unanimously refuted by everyone (I saw links to this article on 4 other VG news sites). The problem with people who complain about the over sexualization of women in games, is that they all say the same things. They refer to the same games, the same characters, the same plots. Yet none of them provide any new information to the argument, despite the fact that 99% of the population finds their argument to be garbage. I can think of a few ways to get people to stop complaining about sexism in video games:
    (1) just remove breasts entirely. Or just have no female characters. Then they can get mad about how there are no female characters instead. (2)we can also go the community route, and just make every single character in every video game from here on out into an androgynous, multi-racial, hairless, creature thing.
    (3) Probably the best option, but a bit time consuming. At the beginning of every game, before the players can start the game itself, they have to single-handedly create the appearance for every pc and npc in their game universe.

    #146 3 years ago
  147. lunayasha

    @pottejd, I see your point, I posted my own opinion comment 140, that’s where I stand with this whole issue.

    #147 3 years ago
  148. JB

    Im all for censorship too, as long as the guns, knives, swords, guns and gore is still clearly visible of course…

    #148 3 years ago
  149. OrbitMonkey

    Anyone would think this article was about removing the internet, rather than a critique on sexism.

    #149 3 years ago
  150. LLLookAtYouHacker

    @pottejd

    “(1) just remove breasts entirely. Or just have no female characters. Then they can get mad about how there are no female characters instead.”

    What you have just stated is objectifying and sexist in itself. Breasts are merely and have always been a natural and beautiful part of the human body; mammary glands. How are breasts to blame? All we have to blame is ourselves for perverting their primal image, and what we claim to be “sexualisation” in this area is just our immature inability to accept that being attracted to the human body is a natural thing.

    Sexualisation is when a character is portrayed as nothing more than a sexual object, not merely endowing them with a conventionally attractive body. For f**ks sake.

    #150 3 years ago
  151. LLLookAtYouHacker

    Oh, and in regards to Patrick Garratt…

    http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/9.377125-Increasingly-skinny-women-in-video-games-and-the-ambiguity-of-sexualisation-sexism

    Here’s an article I wrote on The Escapist. Read it.

    I don’t even know where to start when you suggest that the mere representation of breasts is the problem… that’s the most immature (and ironically) objectifying suggestion I’ve ever read.

    #151 3 years ago
  152. Havikz

    AHAHAHAHHAHHAAA…
    HAHAHAHAHHAH…
    HAHAHAAA..
    HAH..
    That gave me a good laugh…

    #152 2 years ago
  153. Vice

    Most pitiful and pathetic read ever. This dude got issues. Serious issues.

    #153 2 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    Konami has officially revealed the release date of Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain alongside the game’s Day 1 and Collector’s Edition. Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain will release September 1, worldwide, as previously leaked. It will be available on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. The PC Steam […]

  • EU Club Nintendo: Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds soundtrack back in stock

    Club Nintendo members in Europe can once again pick up The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds soundtrack. For 3000 Stars, members of the program will receive the double-CD soundtrack which features 89 tracks with liner notes from Ryo Nagamatsu and 12 sheet music excerpts. It also comes with 16 Milk Bar Musician pieces. […]

  • HTC apologises over “confusing” Half-Life VR comments

    HTC has misspoke when it talked about Half-Life coming to VR headset Vive. HTC chairwoman Cher Wang has apologised over the comments she made yesterday about the possibility of Half-Life coming to Vive, the VR headset it’s manufacturing with the help of Valve. Sources close to Valve, have indicated to the BBC that the developer […]

  • What do Heists and Daily Objectives tell us about the future of GTA Online?

    Daily Objectives could be more important to GTA Online than Heists. These theories and more, from a giddy Matt Martin. Yesterday Rockstar dropped a bombshell. Not only is it releasing Heists next week – the mythical 4-player missions for GTA Online – but it’s also going to be introducing daily challenges and more modes to […]

  • Breaking down Hardline Premium, is it worth it?

    Having been announced just a few days ago, the Premium service for Battlefield Hardline has been a topic of constant debate among the Battlefield community. Many look at Hardline as a Battlefield off-shoot that will just tide everyone over until Battlefront comes out in the fall. EA has other plans however, announcing a $50 Premium […]

  • Watch Dogs sold more than GTA 5 and FIFA 15 in Australia in 2014

    Watch Dogs outsold GTA 5, and FIFA 15, at retail in Australia last year. According to data obtained by the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (IGEA) from the NPD Group Australia, last year’s year retail sales charts look a bit different in Australia. The top-selling game was Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, followed by Watch […]

  • Watch PC footage of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt from GDC 2015

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has a new gameplay video available that shows a bit of action from the PC version. The video below was captured from Nvidia’s GDC conference live-stream. Developer CD Projekt RED was on hand to show off The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt‘s graphical prowess running on a PC. Thanks, GamesHQMedia.

  • Dying Light: Hard Mode and Ultimate Survivor Bundle out March 10

    Dying Light’s second DLC drop, the Ultimate Survivor Bundle, and the free Hard Mode, have been given a solid release date alongside a new trailer. Dying Light developer Techland has confirmed that the Ultimate Survivor Bundle, the game’s second DLC drop, will release March 10. The DLC is part of the season pass, but will […]

  • Exploration puzzler Ether One is coming to PlayStation 4

    Ether One, the first-person exploration game that puts you in the minds of other people to help change events of their past is coming to PlayStation 4 this year. Ether One is coming to PlayStation 4 this year, developer White Paper Games announced at GDC 2015. A retail version will also be available alongside the […]

  • Larian “murdered” Divinity: Dragon Commander to focus on Original Sin

    Divinity: Original Sin developer Larian talked very candidly about the business side of development and the many unfortunate events that took place for the game to come out as it did. Larian Studios founder Swen Vincke gave a post-mortem on the troubled development of Divinity: Original Sin, and how it managed to overcome all of […]

  • Firewatch probably has the most natural dialogue of any game to date

    Firewatch developer Campo Santo has revealed the first ever gameplay footage of the upcoming exploration game. Firewatch is the first game from super indie studio Campo Santo. The game is set in the Wyoming forests where the player will be exploring the environment and act as a fire lookout. The game features extensive voice-acting as […]

  • White Night launch trailer is a noir thriller trip

    White Night is here, not long after it was revealed and with a mysterious launch trailer. White Night, the black-and-white survival horror set in 1930s Boston, has revealed its launch trailer. White Night is mix of old-school horror, exploration and puzzling solving in an eerie, noir setting. The game’s main mechanic is light. any object […]

  • Free-to-play is “a significant part” of PlayStation’s digital future

    Free-to-play games on PlayStation 4 have seen enough growth that Sony is now considering the model a major part of its future digital business. Sarah Thompson, senior account executive for PlayStation’s free-to-play business said at a GDC panel that Sony has witnessed impressive growth in the free-to-play sector. “We’re really looking at this as a […]

  • Double Fine Adventure Kickstarter documentary releasing free on YouTube

    Broken Age making of documentary Double Fine Adventure will be made available to all. When Double Fine turned to crowdfunding, changing the industry forever, it promised to give an unprecedented look behind the scenes with a professional documentary of the whole development process of Broken Age. That documentary was initially restricted to Kickstarter backers, but […]

  • Gone Home console ports cancelled following Midnight City difficulties

    Gone Home won’t be made available to the console masses after all. Indie hit Gone Home was announced for console release almost exactly one year ago, and we’ve heard absolutely nothing since then. Turns out, that’s because it’s not happening: developer the Fullbright Company confirmed to Eurogamer that the ports have been cancelled. “Our publishing […]

  • Microsoft rang Mojang the day Notch joked about selling

    Minecraft developer Mojang was sold because founder Markus “Notch” Persson made a joke on Twitter. Ever wondered how Minecraft came to be a Microsoft property? It’s actually a pretty great story. Remember when Notch tweeted this? Anyone want to buy my share of Mojang so I can move on with my life? Getting hate for […]

  • Halo: The Master Chief Collection matchmaking update rolling out

    Halo: The Master Chief Collection has been updated to help fix its tragic matchmaking. Again. Now almost four months old, Halo: The Master Chief Collection was still pretty broken as of this morning, with rubbish matchmaking and plenty of other issues to go around. 343 Industries is still trying to fix it, and has today […]

  • Nvidia unveils Shield, an Android 4K Smart TV set top box

    Nvidia has named yet another product “Shield” in an attempt to render us all hopelessly confused. The heart of Nvidia’s GDC 2015 press conference was the Shield, a $200 Android set top box launching in May. Apparently the “world’s first 4K Android TV”, the Shield supports 4K content encoded with h.265. The box runs on […]