Sexism in Video Games; And Why IGN has it Wrong…

I recently stumbled upon IGN, as I casually do every couple weeks, to see what nonsense they’re propagandizing this time around. As my day goes about, I find another bland “top ten” list or “5 reasons why blah blah, blah blah’s,” and then I stumble upon a gem . I urge you to read as it is actually quite an interesting take on the subject of sexism, however a bit misguided. It’s not the tone that I found ridiculous, rather it’s attempt at defining misogyny and how women in video games are portrayed with all the sanctity of a rub rag. Squarely, I take insult at the jab of one of my favorite characters in video games, Ivy Valentine.



To be fair, Spaniards love gold and absolutely relish the fur trade…

So, it’s not like her tits were never revealing and it’s blatantly obvious that the poster in question is meant as a double entendre. I’ve been playing Ivy since Soul Calibur I and her melons were pretty evident then! And a game that was aimed at a 16 year old, which showed girls in very little clothing, should have been a hot button topic of debate back then, but it wasn’t. So go figure. Even more egregious than the new poster displaying Ivy’s smoothly tanned, boner rockets is the companion poster featuring Voldo’s disgusting crotch!!!


SCIV render may be a fake, but how it became the official Facebook profile’s avatar is beyond me…

 

Not that I have anything against crotches, I’m all for them. I certainly have no problem undressing in a locker room full of dicks all up in my purview. Voldo is just….really, really creepy. Even as I type this, I see this render and the crotch is just piercing my fragile soul, as if to suck it straight from my body for Voldo to store in the money pit. And then all the strings riding and saddling up and down his thighs, it probably just makes his fights all the more pleasurable as they tickle his sensitive regions. Top that with the fact that he’s blind, heightening his other senses, I bet he’s just overloading with ecstasy. And jeez, have you seen the spider crotch??? The fuck is that?!

And, if anything, Ivy’s more clothed now than she ever was before so if your gonna fault Project Soul for the advert, then why stop there? How about SNK with their even more ludicrously dressed, Mai Shiranui? Her outfit is a red table cloth held together by a waistband that locks on to her size 0 waist with pure luck and sheer willpower(or “deus ex” as she-hulk calls it). The Dead or Alive series is even more guilty of this, especially with their beach ball game. They’re the real culprits of shameless debauchery. Their games aren’t even tournament worthy, let alone “good.” Plus, I don’t see Project Soul promoting anything like this, and should we mention “Bounce Mode?” It makes me wonder if the author ever played any Soul Calibur games or other sexually intuitive games like Bayonetta to even make such baseless judgments or if they’re just aiming for view counts. In either case, it’s just sad to see and for the most part, the Soul Calibur games are actually, I don’t know, awesome!? Oh, that’s right! Soul Calibur I and II are two of the most critically acclaimed fighting games of all-time. Sure III and IV fell off in gameplay, but SCV looks to bring the game back to it’s roots which is the main reason people play these games. If you think girls with big boobs are the sole reason to play Soul Calibur, you obviously don’t play the game because you’d know that it offers so much more than that. And the oddest thing of all is that sex appeal plays, at most, a tertiary role to the gameplay and story, not to mention the lore. And let’s not forget all the beefcakes with the muscly-arms and washboard abs and jaw-lines chiseled by the Gods themselves.



That thong doesn’t show ENOUGH bulge if you ask me…

Obviously, Bioshock Infinite is suffering similar objections, which is even less “in yo face.” Much less! If you’ve seen any of the gameplay, you literally have to pause at such awkward moments in the trailer to really envelope yourself in Elizabeth’s cleavage. So why the hate? People are apparently mad that her corset pushes her tits up too much; or because the simple fact that she has “big bewbage.” Are you kidding? Do you have any idea what a corset is used for? Did you know it was a common article of clothing for that particular time setting? Do people seriously overreact and make an even bigger deal of the situation than the set of Double D’s they were complaining about, without even taking an objective approach? You can fucking bet your fine ass they do.

OMG! You mean girls actually do look like that? And want to?!?! OMGNOFACKINGWAISRSLY?!?!?!


I take notice with this particular comment, “Sure, big breasts are a staple of comedy, of selling crap, of low entertainment – think Benny Hill – but they pop up in videogames on a regularity and prominence that makes it impossible to deny gaming’s status as the giggling schoolboy of popular entertainment.”

 


Really? Regularity and Prominence? How’s that judgment compare to the promotion of violence? And Giggling schoolboy? Then, what does that make the Entertainment Industry or better yet, the Porn Industry? If the video game industry is the giggling schoolboy discovering his manhood, then the movie industry is the father teaching the birds and the bee’s and the Porn Industry is the bastard uncle with the rapist glasses guilty of war crimes against humanity. Video games are probably the tamest of any other industry in it’s promotion of big boobs, smack-friendly asses and the ever so rare, crotch shot, as you’ll pretty much only see these types of ads on the internet. How many tv-based video game commercials do you see promoting sex to any degree? And even public outcry for most banned commercials is grossly over-exaggerated. Heidi Klum doing her version of the classic Tom Cruise scene from Risky Business is, ironically, too risky. Even though there’s a good chance that the mom who bought their kid this game also subscribes to Victoria’s Secret where the magazines eventually find their way to the reading basket in the bathroom. Yeah, I have a reading basket! My point being; that Heidi Klum is practically the world’s most famous lingerie model and seeing her in underwear is no different than seeing Superman in tights or Steven Seagal being a hack. To make this an issue is ridiculous, if only for the fact that an AXE commercial with angels in skimpy tunics and body wraps, practically relishes in it’s promotion of promiscuity, if not in clothing, then with insinuation. Really, it depicts the purest souls of Heaven being easily corrupted by….deodorant? And no one see’s this as a problem? And let’s not be too jaded at the fact that Victoria’s Secret ads air any time during the day for EVERYONE to see. Does no one see the implications or the differences? Or do we just pick and choose our battles when or soapboxes deem them worthy?

 


At the end of the day, deodorant is just that, and a game is just a game. Any person, company or industry should be free to sell what they want at their own risk and we, as consumers can make a choice to support or condemn it. But to force entities to change their product’s advertisements at our behest is ridiculous and it only serves to restrict self-expression in whatever form that may be. It should go without saying, but there’s always exceptions to the rule.

 

Sometimes, you just have to walk away…

 


“Although she has powers, she neither understands them fully, nor is able to properly control them. She is, in short, a male fantasy.” The first thing that popped in my mind was, “Why does this particular sentence sound so familiar?” Then it hit me, “TETSUO!”

 


You ever seen the animated film, Akira? Tetsuo was a young kid with a reliance on his best friend, and eventually greatest enemy, Kaneda. Without going too much off subject, Tetsuo begins manifesting mental abilities that allow him to protect himself and stop relying on others to bail him out, but throughout the film, he struggles to fully grasp and control his powers until they ultimately consume him. You could even plug Gohan, from DBZ, into this equation, as he could only tap into his potential power when angered, something he couldn’t fully control until he got much older. Basically, I don’t see this as inherently a female characterization, because with any skill, you have to work hard to become masterful. People do have natural abilities, but you still need hard work to carve them into equitable skills. It happens all the time in comics and movies among both genders. Yes, she’s a damsel in distress. Yes, she depends on a rugged government outlaw hired by a seedy organization to rescue her from her “ogre.” But the beauty of it all, is that he depends on her as well in order to advance in gameplay. She isn’t completely helpless like the article makes her out to be. I would think nowadays, men look for stronger females counterparts, especially since we thrive in a culture where women are more prominent in the world of business. It’s ironic that I write this to another male, arguing about the representation of women in video games.

 


So I asked my wife, whom I share with about as many common interests as a polar bear does with a penguin. It took her about 4 minutes into the gameplay before she fully noticed Elizabeth’s breasts. She said the gameplay was, “…a bit fast, even during slow scenes to really take notice. I noticed her pretty dress before anything else, but mostly because it’s all purple.” She even agreed the attire was appropriate for the time setting and, “What does it matter if she has big boobs? I have big boobs, you don’t see me complaining about them. Grow the fuck up if you can’t handle it.” So there you have it.

 


If you play Soul Calibur, do you pick Sophitia because she’s blonde with nice tits or because you love her sword/shield play style? Especially when you consider the average round lasts less than a minute, that’s not a lot of time to get your rocks off, let alone proper time for your brain to adjust to a fight. When playing Street Fighter, do you simply choose Cammy because she wears a high rising thong, or because her cannon spike is one of her sweetest set-ups? To pretend it’s not everywhere is ridiculous, but to completely lambaste one game for being up front with their product when it’s quite obviously meant as a joke, then who’s taking it too far?

 


If you don’t buy a certain game because it displays boobs or dicks, you’re only proving you’re just as shallow and close-minded as any chauvinist, woman hater, simply because you refuse to buy a game without even checking it’s content, to see how well the game plays or if the sexual aspects even play a significant part of the game. I’m sorry to say, but you’re wrong in your attitude. Whether it’s in your face, coy and under the radar or plainly and completely shameless, it’s honest and most times the sex appeal has no bearing on the gameplay.



Not the actual reason you bought Street Fighter IV, but who is it hurting? Your penis…


– J. “I forgot to put my signature” Agamemnon

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About the author

Amuro Jay has been writing and editing content for over 6 years. His interests include Gundam, anime, Battlefield, action movies, Gundam, K-Drama, , RPG's, and Gunpla.