Sexism in games

17 May

I’m very aware of gender roles and stereotypes, and when I find one it irritates me. I think this is a problem that plagues the video game industry a lot more than it does role playing. There are very few main female characters in video games, and slightly more secondary female characters. A lot of the games with secondary female characters suffer from “white male syndrome” as my girlfriend puts it. AKA, the other female/minority characters need you, the white male to come and save them in some capacity. (This irritates the hell out of me too)

When a game does have a main female character, the majority of the time she is simply a sex object. Here are a few examples:

Lara CroftXbladesHeavenly Sword

Now don’t get me wrong, I’ll admit, being a white male, I enjoy these characters aesthetically, but come on, can’t we have a few normal female main characters? What about Faith from Mirror’s Edge?

mirrors edge

See, now that’s better. It’s like my girlfriend if I skip on following the directions when making her Mac & Cheese. That’s a character I can relate to! (The guard that is ~_^)

Admittedly, I’ve never played Mirror’s edge, so I don’t know what Faith is like as a character, but aesthetically she’s nice. The other problem a lot of video games have is that the women in them are either incompetent, or cold hostile bitches.

Alyx Vance from Half-life is an exception.

She’s competent, able to handle her self, intelligent, and emotionally mature. I wish more female characters were like her. Unfortunately, she’s a secondary character to Gordon Freeman, a white male (albeit, one of my favorite characters)

So what brought all this on? Well currently I’m having a lot of fun playing “Overlord”. You play as this huge well…..overlord:

overlord

Obviously a white male. The problem is, one of the missions was for me to find a “mistress” for the tower. (Come to think of it, that sounds dirty) Anyways, I had to rescue this one sorceress woman, Rose.

RoseOk, obviously she is supposed to be a sex symbol, but what REALLY got to me was when I “rescued” her and brought her back to my destroyed tower, she said that she would clean up a bit and put a kettle on. No! You take that huge fucking axe (the overlord has a huge axe btw) and you go out and kick ass! Tell him to fucking go to the grocery store and cook dinner for once!

I know I might sound crazy, but shit like this drives me mad! A woman should damn well be able to go out and lead a horde of minions pillaging through the country side while her husband stays home and cooks! Gah!

50 Responses to “Sexism in games”

  1. Oddysey May 17, 2009 at 10:06 pm #

    I can’t decide if you’re being ironic or not.

    “Clean up a bit and put the kettle on” is okay as far as it goes; it makes sense for most fantasy time periods. If the character doesn’t have much obvious personality beyond “happy home-maker” that’s more of a problem, because even women who like doing the home-maker thing have thoughts beyond that. Which is where the trouble starts with Overlord. Sudden transformation between “dagger and thigh-highs” and “clean up and put the kettle on” starts edging into gratuitous-straight-male-fantasy-land. Which is really the whole problem: female characters who exist only to reconfirm straight male prejudices and fantasies.

  2. Alex Schröder May 18, 2009 at 3:13 am #

    What irritates me is that RPG publishers like Paizo follow the boob trend by adding large boobs to every woman.

    I’ve had my best friend’s kid look at my D&D books and the oldest girls asks me: “Why are all the women half naked with giant breasts?” There I was trying to explain sex-driven marketing to a ten year old…

  3. Brian May 18, 2009 at 10:18 pm #

    Hey, she is a sorceress. Maybe she’s brewing magic potions in that kettle to turn your warriors into bloodthirsty but slavishly loyal dragonmen. Just make sure they’re slavishly loyal to you and not her. ;)

    A good wife will re-load for you, a great one will take up a knife and slit your enemies’ throats.

  4. Marauder July 23, 2009 at 10:55 pm #

    Thats the reality, not only a game. Women are mostly incompetent or cold hostile bitches or both. The few that aren’t, are kept hidden like a treasure. I really like how Faith looks, but who else prefers integrity to tits and ass? Commercial products are for the masses not for individuals.

  5. Alicia August 1, 2009 at 1:50 am #

    If a man was the main character, he’d be muscly. How is this not the same thing?
    I say let the characters be attractive.
    Claiming such trivial trivial things is sexism, just makes you sound like you have self esteem issues.

  6. Oddysey August 1, 2009 at 4:35 pm #

    Marauder: Hey, kids! This is called “misogyny.” It means, “I can’t get a girl friend. It must be because there’s something wrong with women!”

    Alicia: It’s not simply about “attractiveness.” Muscles are associated with power as much as they are with sex. It makes sense for a guy who’s the main character in a fighting game to be powerful; the fact that this makes him sexy is pretty inevitable given our cultural and biological realities. It doesn’t make any sense for a woman who’s the main character in a fighting game to wear almost no clothes and no armor, except as part of their presentation as objects for adolescent males to ogle.

    (Nevermind the fact that it’s possible for a woman to be attractive without being nearly naked or having porn-star bodies. Faith, as our friend above rightly points out, is quite attractive, while still being authentic to her role.)

  7. Kelly August 22, 2009 at 2:23 am #

    I’m not sure i agree. i feel that female characters are all over the gaming industry. and of course these girls are going to have banging bodies, why wouldn’t they? i mean they are jumping around, running and doing all sort of physically demanding thing, wouldn’t it be natural to assume they would be toned and fit. All main women in the gaming industry are hot and/or busty, likewise with the men who are handsome, chiseled and…well hot.

  8. trick September 5, 2009 at 1:17 pm #

    umm, i suppose muscles represent power, but isn’t that still a sterotype of men, that all men need to be powerful? plus, if its not meant to be attractive, why do most of the men have attractive faces? the thing is, everything is supposed to be bad-ass. And whats more badass then a half naked porn star that can kick ass? not much i’ll tell you.

    also, the thing about the overlord, how else do you expect a mistress thats taking care of the tower to act?

    ps: what you said about you feeling like you’re the guard getting beat up by the girl in relation to the way you’re girl treats you, i find that sexist. your girl shouldn’t treat you like a slave

  9. Neural September 17, 2009 at 7:46 pm #

    Alyx Vance was mentioned, as well as overly muscled male characters. Well, Half-Life defies all stereotypes because Gordon Freeman fights intellectually, and as such doesn’t require an excessive physique. I can’t much agree with the whole sexist thing – Zoe from Left 4 Dead, female Cmmdr. Shepard, female lead from Fable and Fallout and even many supporting female roles are not characterized by stereotypes. The stance that your taking can easily be used to summarize all society – yet it simply isn’t so. They fact that you found some non stereotypical female characters provides the proof – and Lara Croft is very intelligent.

  10. anastasia October 11, 2009 at 1:40 am #

    well what about the fable series? you can choose to be a man or a woman, and the woman does not have to be a sexy vixen, sh can turn out to be a huge ugly lookin beast.

  11. Pirate Pete October 11, 2009 at 2:09 am #

    Sex sells. It always has and it always will.

  12. Ray October 11, 2009 at 2:51 am #

    I must say that you neglected to mention The Boss, from Metal Gear Solid 3. She is one of the greatest video game characters of all time, male or female.

  13. Sid October 17, 2009 at 11:49 pm #

    I used to have respect for women…. that ended after being shat upon by soooo many…. so I’m not as offended by their portrayal as you might be.

  14. godlesspaladin October 18, 2009 at 1:29 am #

    Sid, if every woman shat on you, do you think it might be because of some way you were acting? I mean, I don’t know about you, but if every person was being mean to me, I would at least stop to consider if it might be anything I was doing that provoked their behavior.

  15. Fish October 22, 2009 at 6:17 pm #

    Wait, wait, wait. So you haven’t played Mirror’s Edge, where the female protagonist has motivation and purpose for the work she’s doing, but are assuming because she looks attractive that they are being sexist? Because she’s attractive? Have you WATCHED television? A movie? A play? A commercial? An advertisement? Gone to the art museum? Studied any form of art, ever? The physical ideal is as much a part of art as yeast is a part of beer. It’s been this way for ever. I’m going to go out on a limb and say you’re no Marcus Phoenix, or Max Payne, or John McClain and they’re pretty much the physical ideal of men by men, so why aren’t you complaining about sexism toward men? I mean, a man can’t be as masculine as these guys, right? “Oh, it’s not fair I can’t be as muscular as this guy. The media’s warping my perceptions of what a male is.” There’s been a growing trend in the game industry recently, for strong female leads. Hell, Final Fantasy XIII is starring one. Though it isn’t a far cry from Tidus…or Cloud…or Squall, for that matter. I mean, they’re really just keeping the female role, but the reason they’re so androgynous is because both men and women can identify with them. But I digress. The point is, if any woman out there feels like the video game industry is being unfair to women, go out and make a game and I GUARANTEE it will sell well. So help me, if I play one more first person shooter with shields, two weapons, and a grenade button… That said, if I read one more article on sexism in video games… It’s a dry well. Men like to play out the ideal masculine role as (I’m sure) women want to play out an ideal feminine roll, but the player defines the role. That’s why, in the best games, the player either doesn’t talk (Half-Life 2, Halo, Grand Theft Auto III, Gran Tourismo, the Legend of Zelda), the lead character is androgynous (Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy VII, VIII, IX, X, XI, XIII), or you choose your sex (WoW/ANY mmorpg, Fallout, Baldur’s Gate II, Oblivion, ect). (Games loosely taken from http://www.gamespot.com/gamespot/features/all/greatestgames/ and one’s that should have been there).

    • godlesspaladin October 23, 2009 at 12:10 am #

      Ok, so you obviously didn’t read the post. No, I do not think the people in Mirror’s Edge are being sexist. I put her up as a good example, not an example of sexism.

      And I do complain about sexism towards men, perhaps you might want to read my post “What it means to be a man

      And no, I don’t like playing out the bullshit idea of “the ideal masculine role” just like the “ideal feminine roll” is bullshit and created by other misogynistic men to give themselves boners.

  16. Fish October 22, 2009 at 6:30 pm #

    As an addendum, then there’s games like Gears of War were males get to carry out the male ideal, and games like Barbie-whatever-the-hell where women get to play out what society tells them is the female ideal until we BOTH realize it’s entirely irrelevant and just an ideal. If you don’t like it, I suggest you write a strongly worded letter to Culture. I’m sure it will reply in a timely manner, and with the utmost respect. Until FOX news gets a hold of it. As women in the gaming industry increase, strong female characters will increase. Same thing happened in books, movies, television, and whatever new media’s on the horizon. Just because us men love nothing more than pretending we can throw an axe into an orc’s face, or chainsaw an zombie in two, or have firefights with alien terrorists, doesn’t mean the video game industry is sexist. It means men buy more video games, and a company is going for the largest market share. It’s business, it’s society, it’s evolution. If any women are reading this, go make a god damn game so I can stop ducking behind cover to charge my shields. PLEASE get us out of the box. FIN.

    P.S. Sorry about the rant, but not sorry enough.

  17. Fish October 27, 2009 at 12:16 am #

    So you’ve never had the fantasy of protecting those you love against all odds? Don’t think the name “Godless Paladin” has escaped my notice. I’m calling bullshit on your anti-masculine bullshit.

  18. godlesspaladin October 27, 2009 at 10:37 am #

    Protecting people I love has nothing to do with whether they’re male or female. And I created “Godless Paladin” not because I have some grand fantasies of being a hero, rather “Godless” because of the blog’s original Atheist focus, and “Paladin” because I loved that class in the Diablo games and I’m into medieval stuff and I have a suit of armor.

  19. Alicia October 27, 2009 at 4:13 pm #

    Political correctness, like feminism, has been taken too far. We’re so used to complaining & whining about unfair treatment that we’re no longer capable of seeing that in some arenas, equality has been achieved, and in many cases – overachieved.

    What exactly do you think you’re achieving by campaigning against the display of a woman’s cleavage in a computer game, for example?
    There are two reasons why women typically complain about this type of thing:
    1. A lack of self-esteem.
    2. A result of feminist-driven brainwashing to the extent of being sexist itself.

    There is one reason that I’d like to point out that is of a benefit to women, when displaying women in this manner: it suggests that females are the more attractive gender.
    The fact is: you’ve been wrongly taught that all women don’t want to see themselves portrayed like this. You’re wrong. I speak from experience, and any woman who does have an issue with it – has far greater issues than than how women are portrayed in a computer game.

    You’re right in saying that a female character doesn’t need to be half-naked to kill aliens, but so what? I’m not going to complain about it. In fact, what I’d much more prefer is that the male characters were half-naked too! It’s well and truly time for men to be shown for the attractive creatures they are. ;)

    What you say is something that once you would’ve been highly respected for amongst the female community, but it’s no longer required. Women have more power than you might realise and we don’t need you to save or protect us.

    In Sid’s defence: don’t be so naive to think that women aren’t any less capable of treating men unfairly. In theory, your response to him may hold some weight, but would you have given him that response if he was a girl discussing men? Probably not, and there my friend lies your inability to practice equality.

    I am increasingly seeing the self-esteem in men dropping and the arrogance in women rising. You’d be far better of campaigning for the celebration of men and their natural beauty, than wasting your time fighting a cause for a gender that you’re not a part of, that doesn’t need your help, and doesn’t always agree with what you’re trying to achieve on our behalf.

  20. Oddysey October 27, 2009 at 5:52 pm #

    Feminism, just for the record, isn’t about men vs. women, or “the female community.” It’s about the way gender interacts with power within our society, and the effect that has on our ability to be individuals. It has a history, yes, of forming as part of the women’s lib movement, the fight for the vote and all of that. But these days it has a significant theoretical component that underpins the activism. It’s the study of patriarchy and its mechanisms. Patriarchy is responsible for women being presented as agency-less vessels for male fantasies, but it’s also responsible for the assumption that men are too stupid to resist their own libidos — for example, that they’ll buy bad games as long as there are tits on the cover.

    “Sexy, half-naked chick,” as a lone image, is pretty neutral. Lots of people like to look at that kind of thing; lots of people like to look at sexy, half-nake men, too. (Firmly in the latter category, but I can respect the former. ;) ) But when you put it on a video game cover? Suddenly you’re saying “this game is for straight men” and “men will buy anything if this image is attached to it” and “a woman’s main power is the effect her body has on men” and, if it’s a character who has a dangerous job, or does anything where it would really make sense for her to be wearing clothes, “it’s more important that this game/character turn men on than make sense.”

    Which, okay, if you want to make those statements, it’s your game, your playground. When most games in a culture are making those statements? When for every game you name that doesn’t, you can name at least two that do? Then it’s worth talking about. There’s something going on there. Why is that cultural message so pervasive? What effect does it have on real life interactions between men and women? Or interactions within genders? Those are the kinds of questions that form the basis of feminism.

  21. Kira November 10, 2009 at 4:41 pm #

    i am a woman, and i love playing a sexy female role. i wouldn’t want to be playing a game with just a regular lookin chick. if I’m playin a chick she’d better be hot. it’s not as much of a problem as you think.

  22. FaBZ. iM A PusSy Monster November 11, 2009 at 2:46 pm #

    firstly, in an uneeded and completely irrelevant reply to anastasia, comment 10, the female character is only ugly if u are evil, and if you are good she is quite top heavy (i love that phrase. So many possibilities!) secondly,godless paladin, what u are sayin is crap. the games in which women are portrayed on the ->FRONT COVER<- as sex symbols, they generally are more independent and excercise chastity well. The games in which women are really perverted and whores who jiggle and strut their way through all the levels in the game,well, the only two i can think of are playboy, the mansion (which shouldnt be counted as it is basically porno) and the urbz:sims in the city, which is only perverted cos the sims people wanted to appeal to more adults. and you forgot to mention that, sex symbols are only sex symbols if you see them like that. the girl on x blade looks like, 11. unless you are some sort of paedophile,i do not see how she is sexy.
    iM a Sexy BeAst

  23. JJ November 25, 2009 at 7:35 pm #

    I think you’re missing something fundamental here… Who decides what is sexy? Just because certain characters are made to be sexy, doesn’t mean they appeal to everyone. And to those they don’t appeal to, is it then sexism?
    Of the characters you listed, Faith in Mirror’s Edge is by far the one with the most sex appeal (and I’ve played the awesome game). Does it diminish a sex when they are portrayed (and perceived) sexy? Of course not. Sex is a huge part in our lives. You can’t just pick one part of a human life and say that just because THIS portrayed, it’s diminishing. Then you could take just about anything, riding a bike or what have you, and say that just because this is in focus, it’s diminishing. On the contrary, I think it’s diminishing and negative control to rule out that you can’t portray a woman or a man in what you think is a sexy way, without automatically stereotyping.

    You say that: “When a game does have a main female character, the majority of the time she is simply a sex object.” Well, maybe she’s a sex object to you. Maybe it’s your personal issues that are the subject you should take a look at. I’m not stating that you have any, I’m just pointing out that, for example a character like Tomb Raider has got a whole lot more going than just sex appeal. If this is all you see, then perhaps you should look again :)
    Besides that, there are ton’s of games with that don’t have sex appeal at all. In fact, most games don’t. Just look at what’s out there. There’s only a handful with sexy male of female characters, the rest are concerning other things. Personally I think it’s nice that we ALSO have games with characters that have a strong sex appeal, like Faith in Mirror’s Edge (or Tomb Raider for those that feel that she’s sexy, or all the guys and girls in Conan and similar). We need that too, among all the thousands of other games that don’t have it.

  24. Azul Skyy November 27, 2009 at 3:53 pm #

    Guys, its simple. and it was already covered by Pirate Pete. Sex Sells and it always will.

    Also, when I play a game I want to escape reality. I’m not Johnny Depp, or Toby Keith, I’m 18, I look decent in my opinion, my girlfriend likes how I look. So why would i want to play me in a video game?

    I play the game to immerse myself in a world beyond my own for a couple hours. If I’m going to be a chick, I’m going to be a bangin’ hot one. If I’m going to be a dude, I wanna be ripped and James Bond. So what if most of the women in video games are sexy?

  25. Turborat December 1, 2009 at 6:45 pm #

    While women wear wonderbras, miniskirts, makeup (which simulates a woman in an orgasm state), high heel shoes, nail polish, lipstick, stockings or nylons etc etc the argument is a moot point.

    I’m guessing your girlfriend is Alyx Vance when she’s lying round the house but who is she when she goes out?

    Don’t get me wrong – I admire what you’re trying to say. But take a look around. Women were doing this to themselves way before white male gaming took it to another level…

  26. Andy Huang December 1, 2009 at 9:56 pm #

    haha, I think this whole discussion is kinda silly. If we just take a time out and think about what the VAST MAJORITY of people who play video games are like, then it’s easy to understand why games/tv/movies, pretty much everything in popular media is so sexed up. And as a guy, I don’t mind that once in a while. Of course do the games have to be sexed up to be successful? No. But the board of directors at the video game companies add it in there for an extra dose of insurance.

  27. Oddysey December 2, 2009 at 3:39 pm #

    @Turborat — If by “your girlfriend” you mean “godlesspaladin’s girlfriend,” that would be me. If you’re really curious about what I look like in public, my picture is on my website. My hair is a little longer these days and I’ve got a spiffier hat, but you get the idea.

    Women don’t dress the way you’ve described spontaneously. It’s a response to the sexual-power-as-women’s-only-power male-gaze social beauty system that we live in. Just like how guys buy ridiculous, expensive shit (cars, jewelry, whatever) because the culture tells them that’ll get women to sleep with them.

    Me, I get attention from guys by being crazy smart, and by taking my boyfriend seriously as a person rather than something I can manipulate by being sexy. And he gets attention from me by being thoughtful, dependable, funny, and cute. Which is harder than relationship our culture tells us we should have, especially since we’ve got all these messages telling us that we could “get what we want” so much easier if we just stopped treating each other like people, but ultimately a lot more satisfying.

  28. Brian December 2, 2009 at 7:52 pm #

    Women don’t dress the way you’ve described spontaneously. It’s a response to the sexual-power-as-women’s-only-power male-gaze social beauty system that we live in.

    Well, it’s not that simple, either.

    It’s long been observed that while women may, at times, dress to attract the attention of men, they most often dress to meet the standards and approval of other women. If a woman fails to wear makeup, for instance, it’s her mother or close female friends who are most likely to comment on it. (And trust me, if women’s primary aim was to attract the attention of men, they’d not need to work half as hard on it as they do. ;) )

    One thing I’ve observed that separates nerd women from the mainstream is that nerd women are more likely to use clothing as a form of self-expression, and are far more likely to dress on the fringes of what is acceptable. Rather than following what is in fashion, they’re likely to create or join fashion subcultures (goth, for instance) and even within these subcultures, they seek more often to communicate something about themselves rather than achieving the approval of a peer group or the attentions of the preferred sex, though they won’t mind if that happens, too.

    But now I’ve gone far afield from the topic at hand.

  29. Mercedes December 20, 2009 at 2:47 pm #

    I do agree that female characters in games tend to be weak. I do understand that with fantasy games, a lot take place in pre-modern times, so women will have lesser roles. Yet, even in medieval times the woman would act as a valuable advisor, and some of the most powerful or scary leaders were women (Cleopatra was a female leader of Egypt, and there was a Chinese woman who is infamous for killing all of her opponents in the government).

    What bugs me, is the lack of a brain in some of them. They should also wear some more cloths, and have a personality.

    Also, the physique bugs me. I can understand fit bodies, but large breasts don’t always make sense. In fact if they are rather fit the breasts should be a little smaller, due to increased muscles in the chest and a lower amount of fat, because breasts are just fat and mammary glands.

  30. superflychic December 28, 2009 at 8:49 pm #

    I find that “white males” saving a dependent female character in a video game is chivalry, not sexism. However, I do agree that I get angry when every RPG add I see has a busty girl staring at me. Women, it’s just a fact of life, aren’t as physically strong as men. Of course, being in a video game would make the fattest of us smoking hot. Feminists go out of control when women seem to not get more then their fair share. I want an equal opportunity to prove myself, not more than I need just because I’m a girl.

    It’s really nice when a guy respects me, but I don’t like the fact that today’s society has taught them that they have to.

  31. godlesspaladin December 28, 2009 at 10:48 pm #

    Superflychic, would you please clarify your definition of ‘respect’ for me? They way I tend to use that word, you’ve made it sound like you think it’s a bad thing that men have been ‘taught’ to behave courteously towards others, including women. (And gee, if you think guys have been taught to respect women, I know a lot of women who wish they knew the guys you do.)

  32. superflychic December 29, 2009 at 10:19 pm #

    I don’t like it when some men see women as nothing more than someone to get satisfaction from, but I also dislike when a man feels he has to be especially kind or guarded with what he says if I’m around, just because I’m a woman. If he really does feel protective or caring towards me, let him do it! I’m not saying I mind it when this happens. I suppose I mean, only be nice if you really feel that way, not because you think you have to be. I’m happy that you, godlesspaladin, feel respectful and defensive of women, but don’t reprehend others because they don’t share your views. Thank you for your courtesy towards my gender.

  33. Geoff January 1, 2010 at 8:12 pm #

    Check out Mirror’s Edge if you have not already. Faith is a strong female character. 3-dimensional and a pleasure to play as. :) I’m a male and past only her looks ;), find her well-written. Can’t wait for future installments in the series.

  34. Daedalus January 18, 2010 at 6:38 am #

    I am a WoW junky [male] … most of my level 80 WoW characters are powerful female caster classes. Honestly … when I started playing WoW 3 years ago … I had a male character or two .. they soon all became females. The females just look better in the gear, I love the concept of powerful females, and I don’t want to stare at a dude’s ass for hours on end. Funny observation though … most female players are married men (draw from that what you want). The sexist in me, my Warrior Tank … he is male .. don’t like females taking all the hits in the front line, it is a man’s job :P

  35. MohtasaUnique January 25, 2010 at 1:05 am #

    I know what you mean. If you’ve ever played Dragon Age, you’ve got your character, which I have never seen anyone on any video have a black guy made; you have Alistair (white male); and you have Morrigan, who is an obvious “sex-object” as you put it. In the beginning she says things like “I will stay here and make me something to eat” and “don’t forget dinner is on the stove mother, I don’t want to come home to a burnt down hut”. On top of that, she’s a stone-cold bitch.

    Of course, you have Wynne, but she’s secondary and therefore, not the sex-object of the game, and you have Stenn who is black-ish, but again, secondary.

  36. u are a REATARD February 10, 2010 at 4:13 pm #

    i like it when girls are tough and fight but i dont like the outfits…… BUT STILL ALL MAIN CARICTERS always ARE BOYS(I DONT LIKE THAT) AND GIRLS SHOULD FIGHT TO SO ya i think ur saying that girls cant fight in games ….. >..<!!!

  37. bappy February 16, 2010 at 7:44 pm #

    wow, there is something seriously wwrong with you guys getting all worked up over this. its a god damn video game for christ’s sake. if u guys keep complaining, video games of the future will suck ass b/c there will be no adventure.

  38. [HCI]Heihachi February 18, 2010 at 9:14 am #

    I think you are going about this the wrong way. Why can’t a fictional charactor be sexy. I mean would you really buy a game like Tomb Raider if Lara Coft wieghed 200 pounds and had a dog face while having to regain your energy by eating jelly filled donouts and How fast can you run from a T-Rex if she was an overwieght slob. Not to mention that even in our society everyone tries to look their best. So then if you go to the beach should we tell everyone they cant were bikini’s because it is unfair to the other girls. So should all the charactors in games be fat and ugly. No that is such a terrible idea. You need to lay off video games before everything is shitty and boring. If you all keep this shit up there will be games like, Watching Paint dry part 2, Washing Dishes, extreme Concentrating and folding laundry.

    It make no sense what-so-ever that there are groups of people who complain about shit like Attarctive people in video games. Isnt there more important shit to complain about. Like why dont you complain about tax increase, or heath care reform or maybe corruption of government. But no you pick on things that are fun, you perfer to fuck everything fun up.

    So please for the sake of future gamers everywhere shut the f@ck up and stop picking on games. There is no reason why people can’t be attarctive. Maybe oneday you can make your fantasy game where you can play the overweight butch lesbian character who dont need no man. but untill then please shut up and a least be thankfull that things dont go your way.

  39. Danilda February 26, 2010 at 6:06 pm #

    Hey, thank You so much for this article. I am a woman and it gets me mad too sexism or stereotypes. I agree with you. Is like I always say, A man is not worth more than I, and I am not worth more than a man. Therefore, I can be brave, as well as he can go to the kitchen and prepare some meal. You rock!

  40. Zhalig March 6, 2010 at 9:20 pm #

    it seems to me that both sides of the argument have some merit. but those of you who are saying it isn’t sexist, stop, it is and there is nothing you can do about it. however, how sexist is it? in a medieval setting, it’s true women would be quite likely to be little more than slaves as there were very few in those days who treated them as equals. but the truth is, they also were far less likely to wear revealing clothing, especially the upper class women. back then it was a status symbol to have a dress consisting of yards and yards of fabric. as far as how busty the women are, I don’t think that is too sexist because quite frankly, a lot of women go to extensive lengths, even surgery, to get a bigger chest. so could you not say the women of today are further pushing this image? where the men are concerned, very few medieval men would have been skinny, maybe some scholars or someone hit with a disease, but the more well off men were likely training to be soldiers or lords where the peasants were doing extremely difficult physical labor, of course they are going to be strong! I guess what I am trying to say is that yes video games tend to be sexist, but it isn’t entirely inaccurate to history as well as both men and women pushing the images farther into the extremes.

  41. Jeff March 21, 2010 at 4:16 am #

    It’s video games… It’s entertainment… You have to consider that these are male artists designing these characters. It’s not just that sex sells, it’s also about the beauty of the character design.
    Instead of putting your perspective in the opposite sex, put it in the perspective of the game designer because their choices are what really matter. I’m a concept artist and I know for a fact that when it comes to action-based characters, our main influences come from comic book style characters and with today’s advances in graphics, we now can even take a step into making our games more cinematic. Main characters are usually sexy and attractive. These images simply look better. Game design/character design is VERY difficult people and when we finally do come out with something after years of hard work, we want to make sure it sells. Eye candy is what this kind of art is all about. Not just about pleasing the public. Sexist? I think that term has higher standards now in the 21st century. The entertainment industry has always been solely based on image. I can think of quite a few more things in this world that are quite more sexist than video game characters.

  42. Andy March 27, 2010 at 8:34 am #

    Wow, so many good comments, I feel it would be hard for me to speak my mind without sounding redundant but here goes. While I do agree that there is a certain level of sexism in games, at some points being so blatant it’s absurd. I really feel it’s only an attempt to cater to an audience it supplies. Saving the damsel in distress does make women appear fragile and needy but what about the other side of it? Is it wrong to be a hero? Is wrong to want to be? In a society where women want to be strong and independent, it makes life hard for guys who just want to hold the door open (to anyone) but end up misinterpreted as chauvinistic and demeaning. Chivalry has no place it seems, but we buy into the idea cause it makes some of us feel good. Don’t get me wrong, everyone is allowed to have an opinion, but if you really don’t like something, speak with your wallet. Don’t buy things that offend you and hopefully the powers that be will get the message. It’s just difficult when the masses are generally looking for T&A, but hey it could be worse right? Could be a female lead that weighed 800 lbs., warts, green skin, and used fart attacks to fell her enemies. Ha ha, now that’s a game I would play..

  43. Pard April 30, 2010 at 8:58 pm #

    Maybe not every guy in the world wants to be a “metro-sexual” such as your self and therefor should not have to play a pussy warrior cooking and folding laundry in a face smashing video game. As for Sexy female characters… well if your this bothered maybe you should consider the fact either one you think living on the side of feminist to be to your advantage sex wise or your gay. I’m just saying.

  44. kanga May 6, 2010 at 11:28 pm #

    Where have you been dude? Two games off the top of my head: Mass effect 2, Oblivion the elder scrolls, oh yes and that dragonage thing. These pretty blockbuster games allow you to play as a female character. Baulder’s gate (or however it is spelled). Actually quite a few. Games are fantasy, and in many of our minds ladies dash about in steel undies. Most of the costumes you see couldnt stop a butter knife. This doesnt stop our darlings from kicking major digital butt 24/7. You views are kind of wonky.

  45. Cxeraxies May 11, 2010 at 12:41 pm #

    What ever,its entertaining and lets you forget about the typalicy of real life… which is pretty routine for most.

    Shud up and play the game.

    Cxeraxies–> 1 bad ass bitch.

  46. Jesse July 6, 2010 at 11:54 am #

    I think this is an excellent post. It’s refreshing to see someone acknowledge the obvious, rather than try to excuse or justify it.

    For those of you saying, “that’s how it was in that time period,” you should really stop and acknowledge the obvious. WHAT “time period” are you talking about? Back in the day when there were sorcerers and orcs? That ISN’T a time period. It never was! It’s fantasy- WE CREATED IT. It’s not a reflection of past times, it’s a reflection of present times.

  47. slip July 26, 2010 at 5:28 am #

    IMHO, strong female lead characters are very sexy. I’d much rather help a strong female character (Zelda/samus) who’s not afraid to get rough to reach there goals, than the guy who has to save the bimbo (Peach/every three minutes.
    Game developers need to learn that a female lead can be well written AND sexy at the same time without worrying to much on apperance. Just don’t give her a hunched back or a harlip and she’ll be fine.

  48. teo September 1, 2010 at 2:09 am #

    You should never play Duke Nuken, women there are like piece of meat… Congrats on the great attitude!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Men and Feminism? « The Godless Paladin - October 19, 2009

    [...] way women are portrayed in most video games. I tried feebly to mention some of the points I made in this post about sexism in games. How I can count strong, competent female main characters on one hand, [...]

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