Editorial: All the Boobs

They spell deadly with two Ds.

Namco Bandai felt their fans should know just how large the breasts of each character in Soul Calibur are.

Since the dawn of the video games industry, the majority of players have been male. So great was the male demographic that many developers would not even consider women while making their games. Perhaps this is how today we still see games that try to appeal to base male instincts to sell games.

My first encounter with overt sexuality in a game was Dead or Alive on the PlayStation in 1998. I was 16 and although it was not the first time I had seen women in skimpy outfits jumping around the screen, this particular game tried to (poorly) simulate the momentum of the female characters breasts as they moved. This lead to an amusing afternoon where I would practice moves only to see each breast bounce off in a different direction. Little did I know that this would become a selling point of the series in later iterations as for the second game Tecmo went so far as to create a physics engine dedicated entirely to the animation of the female characters breasts.

She needs a whip to keep the fanboys away.

Ivy could hurt an opponent by turning around rather quickly.

A later spin-off title would take this one step further. Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball caused a certain amount of controversy following the announcement and subsequent release of the game. It was criticized for laying a thin veneer of respectability and legitimate gameplay over simply watching lusty, scantily-clad women with large, bouncing breasts jog, roll around in the sand, scoot across tree trunks, and other suggestive activities, pandering to the lowest common denominator. Reviewers were split because the volleyball section was actually half decent. A later sequel dropped the volleyball from the title, suggesting the focus was aimed more at the ladies than the games that accompanied them.

Dead or Alive is not the only series guilty of exploiting its female cast in this way. The women of Soul Calibur also have breasts that defy the laws of physics, most notably the character Taki, whose body seems to have borrowed its motions from the original DoA. Then there is Ivy who, despite being an adult, seems to have grown in cup size in each iteration of the game. This also happened to Lara Croft before a Tomb Raider reboot bought her down to a more ‘manageable’ size.

You've got to love girls who will dress up.

Jessica Nigri routinely cosplays in revealing outfits.

Today there are even more games that try to sell sex to men, but these character designs are not all bad news though. For each revealing outfit, there is a woman who will tailor a toned-down version of the outfit for themselves to cosplay as their favourite characters. Compared to films and books, games have only recently been able to show characters in enough detail for people to make accurate costumes (excluding concept art), and while there have been female leads in the past, they have been few and far between. I am no expert on feminism, but I have to admire the number of women who attempt to pull off the more outrageous outfits, even if they do not have the body type to suit them. As the industry has grown and found more female gamers, so too has the number of strong female leads increased also. This is likely because there are more women involved in development now than ever before.

There are still far too many male gamers who are obsessed with knowing the intimate details of the anatomy of female characters they play. Perhaps this is why industry journalist Jenn Frank decided to create an event called ‘Boob Jam’, the purpose of which is to have videogame creators make a game that deals with an aspect of female breasts other than the fact that they are sexy and fun to look at. While I hope this will find its way into the mainstream and catch the attention of women who do not currently play games, I am quite doubtful that there will be anything particularly good to play at the event. I believe that either too much attention will be paid to visuals, or that the games will not live up to the task and just provide teenagers with something to stare at. Maybe it is not just the men who enjoy breasts.

How do you feel about the portrayal of women in games? Do you think that we need special physics engines to make sure boobs bounce correctly? Let me know in the comments!

69 comments on “Editorial: All the Boobs”

  1. Firstly, let me just say that I found Lightning’s recent breast enhancements to be the height of retardation.

    Beyond that I don’t really care.

    Some guys like looking at wobbly jiggle-breasts. Some women enjoy playing as voluptuous sex-goddess archetypes.

    Sexualisation isn’t anywhere near as exclusionary as dour feminists would have you believe.

    I generally don’t mind ridiculous boobs so long as they don’t harm the tone of a game that would otherwise be treated seriously.

    Basically, game designers just need to know their audience. Dead or Alive was all about the boobs from day1, and that’s OK.

    At any rate, I’d sooner have weaboos onanising over a fully-formed pin-up girl than some pre-pubescent anime Waifu.

  2. If one cannot enjoy a game because some of the chararacters are drawn in an excessive way, then one is probably paying too much attention to how the characters are drawn–which is to say, one is hypersensisitive.

    It reminds me of the Bible bashers who say they cannot enjoy games with the potential for same sex relationships (ME), and the religious fanatics who say they cannot enjoy games which have imaginary, cultish religions (FFT). Most games are not politicised assaults. The hypersensitive are keen on making politicised assaults, and they view the world solely in such terms. This does not mean it is so.

    We can either have a world where video games are an artistic medium (even if not every game is art), or we can have a world where they are a mass-consumer product produced, like pills and peas, according to strict FDA-style guidelines. If the former, then it is artistic expression and if one does not like it then one should simply not buy it. But if the latter, we might as well leave off gaming entirely, and consign it to the hands of the devils who would prefer to turn it into network television at $60 per episode ($100 in Australia).

  3. I’m with Julian especially in thinking that boosting an already established character’s bust size (within a direct sequel that is maintaining the series’ art style) is completely ridiculous.

    I also think hypersexuality is great and is a necessary part of the sexual spectrum. But I personally feel that it is focused on too heavily and without enough self-awareness, and too often in a way that diminishes a woman for her sexuality and uplifts a man for his (meaning that while both men and women are shown as sexual ideals that most ordinary men and women have no chance of imitating, it also perpetuates what I believe to be the sexist notion that woman are sluts when they have lots of sex and like it (and “slut” is a bad thing) and men are studs when they have lots of sex and like it (and “stud” is a good thing)), but like Lusipurr says, that is my feeling, and it should have no bearing on what developers actually produce. I’m also free to not purchase a game if I feel that strongly.

    That being said, expressing annoyance and discussing criticism should not be right out. If any patterns emerge in games, gamers are always outspoken in saying what they don’t like and what they feel would make the game better were it changed or removed. It’s not advocating for censorship. Well, sometimes it is, but that’s when it’s bad. I think it’s fine to note that all bust sizes in Dragon Age 2 are of equal large size, and to be personally annoyed because of it and wish it wasn’t that way, but I am annoyed with a LOT of things about Dragon Age 2 and wish a lot of things weren’t the way they were (largely that I wish it wasn’t a full-priced DLC pack, which I believe it is).

    I think reducing women to huge tits and men to ripped bare chests is a disservice to the potential of gaming in their current quantities. This is an opinion, not a call to developers to make games they don’t want to make. And while Julian is certainly right in stating that sexualization is sprinkled generously across both genders, I strongly feel that the male gaze is very present and more damaging to women. While it might be discouraging for a man to play a game and see a rippling mass of a man and feel like he might be inadequate, male sexuality is still shown as something positive. And while extremely busty women in games might be very capable in battle, I feel their sexuality is often shown in a diminishing way in addition to her usually unrealistic proportions. A man is shown to be powerful and respected and a badass when he is overtly sexual. A woman is shown to be manipulative and subservient and less worthy of respect when she is overtly sexual. I feel this is something that is consistent in mainstream culture and I feel it is problematic.

    That is my belief. I am not saying I am right or that games need to or should be changed based on my personal observations and beliefs created out of them.

    While there is absolutely hypersensitivity and people trying to censor using social issues as a platform, and those things are certainly unhelpful and in some cases deplorable, I believe there is a nuanced and interesting debate beneath those extremes that is as on the table as any other aspect of games that we all spend hours discussing.

  4. “But I personally feel that it is focused on too heavily and without enough self-awareness, and too often in a way that diminishes a woman for her sexuality and uplifts a man for his (meaning that while both men and women are shown as sexual ideals that most ordinary men and women have no chance of imitating, it also perpetuates what I believe to be the sexist notion that woman are sluts when they have lots of sex and like it (and “slut” is a bad thing) and men are studs when they have lots of sex and like it (and “stud” is a good thing)), but like Lusipurr says, that is my feeling, and it should have no bearing on what developers actually produce. I’m also free to not purchase a game if I feel that strongly.”

    I can’t really think of any such value judgements in gaming that are not deliberately ridiculous like Duke Nukem, Leisure Suit Larry, or God of War.

    “I think reducing women to huge tits and men to ripped bare chests is a disservice to the potential of gaming in their current quantities.”

    Many games don’t aspire to be anything which requires more than a crude archetype.

    “While it might be discouraging for a man to play a game and see a rippling mass of a man and feel like he might be inadequate, male sexuality is still shown as something positive.”

    I think you’re only recognising one side of the sexualised male spectrum. In Japan series like ‘Tales of’ and ‘FF’ [particularly XV] depict many of their characters through the female gaze by utilising host archetypes. Case and point, I understand that in Japan the ‘Tales of’ series is far more popular among the female gaming demographic [I think].

    “While it might be discouraging for a man to play a game and see a rippling mass of a man and feel like he might be inadequate, male sexuality is still shown as something positive. ”

    Strongly disagree. The sexualised muscle-man stereotype is frequently seen to go hand-in-glove with brutishness and uninteligence.

    At any rate, sexualised women are not the only depictions of Women in gaming, which bares mentioning because many white-knights and feminazis pretend that it is otherwise.

  5. Name some unsexualised women in gaming that are not animated or cell shaded. You’ve sparked my curiosity.

  6. I can name some actually, Jason. The protagonist from Portal. Femshep. Dagger.

    Julian, it seems we still disagree firmly on some opinions and observations, but I am extremely pleased that we debated the actual topic. I respect and disagree with your stance.

  7. Sure, you can name some. But are the numbers anywhere close to equal?

  8. “Name some unsexualised women in gaming that are not animated or cell shaded. ”

    Poor choice of words given the medium, but I guess by ‘animated’ you mean cartoon style.

    This is also an extremely difficult question to answer, given that one person’s idea of a sexualised character is liable to differ from that of another.

    My list would include Chelle, Alex Vance, Maria/Mary (SH2), The Boss (MGS3), Yuna (FFX not FFX-2), Jade (Beyond Good & Evil), April Ryan, Zoe Castillo (may have butchered her name), Lightning (before her undignified revamp, obviously), Kreia, Heather (SH3), Emily (Deadly Premonition), Ellie, Elizabeth, Chloe (Uncharted), The chick from Gears of War 3 (probably), Peach, Zelda, and lots of the lovely ladies from Persona 3 and 4.

    Lots of other examples that I’d like to cite, but won’t due to my lack of first hand knowledge.

    Again, some of the Women that I have mentioned are not sexless enough to satisfy a feminist, but I consider their sexuality to be within normal parameters and/or their behaviour is justified by the narrative.

  9. @Ethan: I disagree with your inclusion of any female leads from WRPG games, since they are essentially an empty vessel for the player to pour their own personality into.

  10. @Julian – I only mentioned Femshep who has such considerable script and relationships with other characters that I would heavily dispute your point.

  11. They are your relationships, Ethan. The dialogue approach that she takes can go any number of ways, and I just don’t see how it would even be possible for Bioware to present her through a sexually objectified lens while still allowing for player agency.

  12. By the way others talk to her. Paragon or Renegade, Shepard is respected, and her relationships are between two people, regardless if they are sexual relationships. Attraction is presented as a part of life, but in an adult fashion. Bioware could have easily done what you suggest. Shepard has a personality and is still allowed to make decisions within that. Either way, she (or he, I’m assuming) is still task-oriented and necessarily simple in presenting his/her opinion, so as to accomplish things as effectively and efficiently as possible. S/he’s also sharp, but a little cheesy and tends to take herself a little too seriously. The characters could have said different things to her and she could have reacted in different ways that wouldn’t suggest the fully formed character she is, even if some of those forms are player decided. There is an impressive, but still finite number of options.

    Certainly some WRPG heroes are empty vessels, but Shepard is a distinct framework.

  13. @Julian – Because equality is the very crux of the feminist argument. Perhaps feminism was a poor word choice on your part? No one here is saying that female characters cannot or should not be sexualised. All of us are in agreement that the idea of censoring any piece of media for such a reason is absurd. However, objectification and victimization of women is a problem across all forms of media, and once sexualization leans too heavily towards either of those it is a problem. In my experience, women that have a problem with sexualisation in video games are mostly concerned that the numbers skew far too heavily in favor of male gaze. This is also the feminist stance, and while I may disagree with some extremists, women and feminists alike have a valid argument and every right to express their opinions without being systematically dismissed.

    I’m not looking for a fight here, I’m just trying to present the other side of this issue. Maybe I should write an Editorial called “All the Penises” to even things out :D

  14. Jason, Nobody would read that article. Hahaha.

    I agree with the sentiment that hyper-sexualized women in games is fine as long as it fits the game, and people who don’t like that should simply not buy those games while not condemning developers who make them nor the people who play them.

    In a women’s studies course I took (this is like 11,000 years ago) the teacher, who was a feminist of sorts said that she doesn’t mind porn, or sexualization of women as long as they don’t constantly portray women as being dominated or victimized.

  15. I’m male, I like boobs. Sue me. That said I want games to be enjoyable more than I want boob physics. If a good game comes with good boobs, then hurrah to me. The Atelier games have handsome men intended to appeal to young ladies. Didn’t stop me from playing those. Really I just think people like to be pissy over things. And games have always been an easy target.

  16. I don’t see why there have to be equal numbers of every sort of game for every sort of person.

    People don’t have a ‘right’ to have the games they want made, actually be made. So certainly, nor do they have a ‘right’ to have such games made in equal numbers as some other subset of gaming. And thankfully, too.

    Do we bitch and moan that too many romance novels are being made compared to westerns? It’s an inequality! Woe! Or perhaps, not all inequality is a great moral evil which must be combatted with pitchforks and swords and a great deal of hand-wringing and sanctimonious bullshit. Perhaps inequality in artistic luxury markets (and that is what gaming is, don’t kid yourself) is just a sign of that market’s demographic, and will change along with the demographic, as all such markets do.

  17. @Ethan: Not only would a sexualised Shepard grossly breach Bioware’s mission statement of player agency, but they would also have had to either confront the player with situations wherein the only courses of action/dialogue were sexual ones, else any possible sexualisation of the character would have to be perpetrated by the player themselves. Either that, or Bioware would have to wrest significant control away from the player in order to sexualise her through non-interactive cutscenes.

    Even then Bioware would have to place Male Shepard in the same exact situations, else make mountains of extra work for themselves.

    I stand by my assertion that Female Shepard doesn’t qualify for this discussion, as it would have been completely untenable for Bioware to even try to sexualise her.

    @Jason: I don’t think that feminists have really paid more than lip-service to equality for a while now…

    Feminists comprise nothing like 50% of the market – they just menstruate the loudest – so I really don’t see why any disinterested developer would give two shits about their shrill yammering when making their games. If anything, their views and interests are being grossly overrepresented in both gaming and game media.

    I’ve known a fair number of girls who have actually enjoyed playing as the big-busted bimbo characters – so please don’t try to claim that angry feminist = woman. Sure, the fact that some women enjoy using these stereotypes reflects the fact that they are conforming to male concepts of beauty etc., but that doesn’t alter the fact that some ladies enjoy the wish-fulfillment of being desirable to the male gaze [which incidentally is why women often doll themselves up, rather than protecting their modesty with feminist-grade flannel].

    Then there’s the fact that everyone who makes the ridiculous accusation of an epidemic of sexism in gaming tends to conveniently ignore female representations in social gaming/casual gaming/iOS-Android gaming [you know, the areas of gaming which are actually most popular amongst women], and instead place their focus exclusively on AAA action games [where males comprise the largest segment of the audience] – and claim that extremely narrow focus as a representative sample of the industry as a whole.

    At any rate, if feminists are unable to countenance playing games wherein they may encounter sexualised female stereotypes and would prefer to play games with a strong female lead, then those games exist – they should play those games and be happy. They won’t however, as IMO feminists enjoy being outraged more than they do being happy or playing video games. Thus, they [seemingly] ignore the games which would be perfectly acceptable to their views, while whinging and whining about the existence of games that were clearly not made for them. Feminist entitlement.

    Basically, games made for young men are ridiculously and unforgivably uninclusive towards people who are unable to tolerate any view that is not their own. Time to change the world through loud complaining.

  18. “Women account for only 11 percent of game designers and 3 percent of programmers.” -Source: http://www.bostonglobe.com 27 January 2013.

    Feminists are raising their voices on the outside because they cannot penetrate the industry enough to do it from within. Until the above numbers increase, I personally see nothing wrong with this.

    @Lusipurr – So what you are suggesting is that eventually the demographic will change, so any women who want more equality should keep their mouths shut and wait? Sorry, but I fail to recall any great change throughout history that was brought about by complacency and listlessness.

    @ Julian – What you are describing is not feminism. It is extremism. That is okay, it is a common misconception. However your remarks do validate the feminist opinion, as feminists feel that the overall female voice is not being heard, and you clearly are not listening.

    The only argument I ever presented on this topic is that everyone is entitled to their opinion on this issue, and as such sould be treated with respect. If you disagree, fine, but vitriol never leads to progress.

  19. Women account for only 11 percent of game designers and 3 percent of programmers.

    Then you should totally convince more women to become designers and programmers – there is an over-representative surfeit of them in science and education, so you might start there by convincing them all to take up shitty programming jobs…

    Additionally, you seem to have completely failed to understand what Lusipurr was getting at. The wares of the game market will reflect the tastes of the demography that purchase them. The shrill harangue of morons will effect little more than complacency and listlessness – because it is money that talks. If more women consume AAA games then more AAA games that appeal to women will be made. If more women do not consume AAA games then there is no reason that such games should be made. Simple. It’s cute that you think you’re leading a revolution though.

  20. @Julian – In regards to Shepard, I’m going to concede because I realized I was arguing a different point. I lost sight that the debate was specifically about the sexualisation of Shepard. That being said, I still don’t understand your arguments. Shepard still has a personality and choices that are essentially different paths in the same direction. It still gives the player agency, but within a specific framework of a character. The fact that Bioware chose to make both iterations of Shepard human beings instead of hyper-sexual beings does not take away from the fact that Bioware chose to make both iterations of Shepard human beings instead of hyper-sexual beings. In fact, it is the same fact.

    Plus, Shepard IS a sexual being, just not a hyper-sexual being, which is part of why I love the character so much. But it was my fault. I was answering the question “which female characters are treated like human beings and aren’t given personality traits and don’t have unfair assumptions made simply by virtue of being a female character.” That question was certainly not asked, so I apologize for answering it.

    I should make it clear that I certainly do not argue for less sexuality in games. Be it hyper-sexuality or something more nuanced. In fact, my favourite genre, the JRPG is one of the worst offenders of sexual muting in games, often attempting to portray romances while apparently claiming that both characters are incapable of being attracted to anybody. But now I’m wildly spewing stuff in random directions, so I’ll go back to my hut.

  21. I’m not a feminist, I’m simply presenting an argument you fail to understand. Why are you making this a personal issue?

  22. @Ethan: There are certain narrative beats that Shepard has to follow simply due to the logistics of this being a game and gamers not being able to choose every line of dialogue for themselves, but s/he has a fairly weak presence of character in isolation from the player owing to the need for Shepard to be all things to all people.

    I just don’t see the scope for Bioware to have been able to exploit Shepard – though I’m sure they wouldn’t have regardless, as they seem quite socially aware.

    @Jason: There, there.

  23. Oh trust me, I don’t need any consolation from Captain Negativity. Keep spewing the hate, it will protect you from those oh so terrifying diverse opinions :D

  24. Diverse opinions is not a metaphor for correct ones. Plenty of people have opinions, most of which are wrong. Feminists are gender-supremacists and justify their existence by constantly seeking a conflict much in the same way that organizations like your local news agency creates filler material when not enough people die in car accidents that day.

  25. @SN: If most AAA games don’t appeal to women, then most AAA games won’t be bought by women. So for women to get more games made for them they would have to buy games they don’t like? That said I’m not sure how the feminist view (extreme or otherwise) is being “overrepresented” in gaming while games simultaneously “reflect the tastes of the demography that purchase them.”

    and

    “ladies enjoy the wish-fulfillment of being desirable to the male gaze [which incidentally is why women often doll themselves up”. Most women wear makeup on a daily basis not because they want to fulfill a wish to be gazed at by men, but because it’s often what’s expected of them by men and women. Yet, this expectancy falls in line with the straight-male desire because that perspective’s innate desire is a dominant cultural force. Which isn’t to say no woman wants to be looked at by a man.

    But anyway, it’s a male dominated hobby, and as a result it’s a hobby that caters to male tastes. Doesn’t surprise me in the least. But are they male tastes, truly? Or are they what companies think young men want? This might also beg the question “what are young men expected to want?” and does this influence what young men show themselves to enjoy, and so on.

  26. @Wolfe: Yes, but I do not think that Jason’s opinions are incorrect. He is just saying that not all feminists act like supremacists. That’s just the bad feminists. I have known a few active feminists (not a lot but a few) personally, and none of the, are the type that would attack video games like this. They just want to ensure that this idea that women should be subservient and get paid less gets spreads no further and fades away. Perhaps those feminists whom are not the nazi type are fewer in number or are less vocal, but originally it was for equality that still has not completely happened, and the proper feminists are getting a bad rep for the actions of crappy ones.i

    @Mel: I’m sure there are some games aimed at women, so if those games sold more, games for that audience would increase, as SiliconNoob said.

  27. Yes, Mel. Women don’t actually want to make themselves attractive to the opposite sex, but a failure to be sexy would result in X happening to them – and we wouldn’t want that now, would we?

    *SN shakes his fist at society*

  28. I’ll make sure to imply what you said next time so your response makes more sense. :p

  29. Wow, Jason, you really said it best. Julian just isn’t listening.

  30. @Jason: “So what you are suggesting is that eventually the demographic will change, so any women who want more equality should keep their mouths shut and wait? Sorry, but I fail to recall any great change throughout history that was brought about by complacency and listlessness.”

    Nope, I didn’t say that at all. Though it would be really fine for you if I had.

    I believe the ‘putting a ridiculous argument in someone else’s mouth and then demolishing it’ is called a ‘Straw Man’, yes?

  31. “Or perhaps, not all inequality is a great moral evil which must be combatted with pitchforks and swords and a great deal of hand-wringing and sanctimonious bullshit. Perhaps inequality in artistic luxury markets (and that is what gaming is, don’t kid yourself) is just a sign of that market’s demographic, and will change along with the demographic, as all such markets do.”

    To me that suggests staying silent and waiting for the change to happen rather than attempting to affect it by raising one’s voice. If that is not what you meant, pardon me.

  32. @Jason: Pardon granted.

    Though I hasten to add that my argument not meaning what you initially suggested does not mean that it must therefore be in wholehearted agreement with you. This is not an either-or proposition.

    In fact, I strenuously disagree with your evaluation, and I also happen to think that you’ve accepted some shocking equivocation, as Wolfe implies, to wit, that diversity is the same thing as quality/desirability/morality/goodness, etc., and that equality is similarly so, and so on, whereas diversity and equality are just diversity and equality, and are not good of their own inherent natures. In some situations they are good, in others they are trivial, and in still others they are bad–and even dangerous.

    I do not want diversity in my black socks, for example. Nor do I think that you should be on a level with both murderers and saints for the sake of equality. I do not think the world needs (or ought to have) the same number of JRPGs made as FPS games, given the huge disparity in the audiences of the two genres. If the audience changes, so should the market. And it will, because there is money to made in the doing. It won’t take people screaming about it, either.

    Two more things:
    1) The idea that ‘equality is the crux of the entire feminist argument’ tells me that you have a very imperfect idea of feminism and the history of feminism. Whilst that proposition may be true for a certain type of feminism (one largely shelved after the 1990s), it is not the belief of the vast majority of modern feminists who would describe themselves as such. Indeed, they would probably be very offended were they to hear their position described thus.
    2) If you are going to criticise Julian for ad hominems, we should be more sympathetic to your plight if you did not employ them yourself, as when you said, “Oh trust me, I don’t need any consolation from Captain Negativity. Keep spewing the hate, it will protect you from those oh so terrifying diverse opinions.”

    Julian was not spewing hate, and there were arguments, not opinions being presented, as evidenced by the argumentative support given them. –Unless you are suggesting that you did not have an argument, and were merely stating your reckons, in which case you can surely speak only for yourself.

    Finally, I cannot find any ad hominems by Julian directed at you, despite you saying he was ‘making it personal’–just as I cannot find examples of him ‘not understanding’ your argument, despite you claiming so. I remind you that claiming Julian is making the argument personal, and claiming that Julian does not understand your argument is not the same thing as demonstrating or proving that it is the case–and this you most certainly have not done.

  33. “In fact, I strenuously disagree with your evaluation, and I also happen to think that you’ve accepted some shocking equivocation, as Wolfe implies, to wit, that diversity is the same thing as quality/desirability/morality/goodness, etc., and that equality is similarly so, and so on, whereas diversity and equality are just diversity and equality, and are not good of their own inherent natures.”

    You certainly extrapolated a lot about my world view from a few paragraphs. Who is the straw man now?

    For your consideration: fem·i·nism – the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.

    “Feminists comprise nothing like 50% of the market – they just menstruate the loudest – so I really don’t see why any disinterested developer would give two shits about their shrill yammering when making their games.”

    If that is not hate, please enlighten me as to what exactly it is. I doubt Julian needed you to defend him, but I apologize profusely if I hurt anyone’s feels.

  34. @Jason:

    “For your consideration: fem·i·nism – the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.”

    Quoting the dictionary, whilst probably very successful in your previous internet arguments, doesn’t cut a lot of ice with people who actually study feminism as part of their academic career. To put that another way: very good, you’ve found a definition somewhere which supports your argument, but it doesn’t really touch the point I made and which you have dodged: that feminism as it really exists today is not about equality in the sense that you think it is. That sort of feminism died a death in the 1990s, and continues to be quite non-mainstream today, despite what ill-informed people on the internet–however strenuous their plaints–believe to the contrary. Dictionary definitions do not trump reality, nor are they actually as proscriptive as you seem to believe they are–especially when they stand in ignorance of Paglia, Butler, and a quarter of a century of feminist critique.

    “You certainly extrapolated a lot about my world view from a few paragraphs. Who is the straw man now?”

    I don’t have to extrapolate what you say, Jason.

    Your words: “Oh trust me, I don’t need any consolation from Captain Negativity. Keep spewing the hate, it will protect you from those oh so terrifying diverse opinions,” make it very clear that you consider diverse opinions (which supposedly terrify Julian, though anyone who has spoken to him knows this is not the case) the obverse of the ‘Negativity’ which he, in your ad homniem, personifies: i.e., positivity. And if diversity is a necessary positive, then my observation is quite a straight-forward representation of your position. The fact that your argumentative methods place you in unpleasant logical quandaries is not, itself, a straw man–however much you might wish it to be so for the sake of gaining argumentative counter-thrusts against me.

    “If that is not hate, please enlighten me as to what exactly it is. I doubt Julian needed you to defend him, but I apologize profusely if I hurt anyone’s feels.”

    If you doubt that Julian needs me to defend him, then I fail to see why you are asking me to enlighten you as to his position.

    Your continued assaults on other staff members (portraying them as hate-mongers and fearful of opposition), however motivated by your own ‘hurt feels’ as it may be, will not be endured much longer. I suggest you govern yourself accordingly.

  35. Wow. This is the point at which I formally remove myself from all conversations of this nature on Lusipurr.com for the rest of eternity.

  36. Your continued assaults on other staff members (portraying them as hate-mongers and fearful of opposition), however motivated by your own ‘hurt feels’ as it may be, will not be endured much longer. I suggest you govern yourself accordingly.

    I’d just like to point out that to the best of my knowledge I have not actually personally attacked Jason anywhere in this thread – unless of course he is unhappy with my derision of his revolutionary zeal, in which case he should get over the fact that I reserve the right to disrespect any position that has been arrived at without reference to reason or logic.

    I don’t much mind being referred to as ‘captain negativity’, nor regard it as much of a personal attack – since I am a fairly negative fellow – but I do bristle at the implicit assertion that failure to drink from the feminist Kool-Aide = negativity, hate, etc.

  37. @SN: My assessment, arrived at earlier (see my comment above) is the same as yours.

    I have seen TsubakiSamurai claim a lot of things in this comments thread. I have yet to see much evidence (or, indeed, any evidence) to support his claims (that you are attacking him, that you do not understand his argument, &c.).

    Suggesting you are motivated by hatred or malice, however, is a bridge too far.

  38. No, and he doesn’t seem to want to touch any one of the criticisms that we’ve made, which is why I’ve taken to dismissing him with Gorilla memes.

  39. @SN: Not, perhaps, the most tactful way to counter an argument, but it was one I’ve never seen before, and so I did laugh.

    Where on earth did that meme originate? And why?

  40. Wow. I found this comment section to be a tremendously challenging read. (I would also like to apologize to the author; I am sure your intentions for discussion were far removed from the result).

    I have been disappointed and disheartened by some of the name-calling and generalizations made throughout these arguments; I am not sure all of them deserve the name.

    Ethan and Andrew, thank you for your interesting and respectful insights. I wish we could engage in further discussion, but I have a strong suspicion I am not the targeted demographic for this site.

    To the author: As an involuntary H-cup, I find the boob-physics and general attire of women in gaming to be laughable. Even using stairs is an often painful endeavor for me. The get-up that some of those women take into battle are beyond implausible. It’s true, sex sells. It is also highly probable that a silent audience of gamers (of all gender spectrums) suffer through questionable character design for the quality of the gameplay.

    Boobs aside, there are many things I wish I could find on the market that are not there. It makes finding games that thrill me all the more wonderful. Most recently, Fire Emblem Awakening.

    My final, and off-topic conversation contribution:

    As far as feminism and gaming goes, I am quite impressed with Anita Sarkeesian’s ongoing “Tropes vs. Women” video project. It’s sparked some interesting discussions between my friends and I. It is also perhaps worth noting that my personal definition of feminism is as simple as the one Jason shared from the dictionary: equality. Every day I encourage young people of all socio-economic backgrounds, races, and gender-identities to treat each other with respect through my chosen career; passionate would be too slight of a word to describe the depth of my feeling on the topic.

  41. No sooner does a staff-member get his wrist verbally slapped than a new commenter appears!

    I don’t actually think that we’ve had a discussion on feminism which hasn’t resulted in at least one new commenter – STRATEGY HO!

  42. I am glad to hear that there are other people who believe that Feminism should be about equality, but that does not change the fact that institutionalised Feminism is seldom about equality, but–as SN rightly points out–that is often eager to claim ‘equality’ and mean something completely other. And, I hasten to add, not all of these alternative approaches to Feminism are bad. But some of them (perhaps even a lot of them) are. And the most vocal of these are, typically, the worst (as is usual).

    (Incidentally, equality doesn’t mean telling people they cannot produce the games they want to produce, or which their target audience desires.)

    Finally, as a professor of English, I am amazed, saddened, and disappointed that anyone would praise someone for using a random dictionary definition as a way of settling an argument about the definition of a nebulous school of theory. I realise that doing so is like the ‘instant win’ button on the internet, but it is not actually constructive in any way. It’s just an example of another fallacy, in this case the Appeal to Authority.

    Do you not realise that the dictionary is written by people who also have their own biases and positions? Do you not realise that what you are attempting to define is something huge, nebulous, and replete with subtlety so that it cannot be described in a succinct line? Are you not aware that the definitions in dictionaries must needs lag behind reality? Or that they are representative of what a subset of people take the words to mean, rather than how they are actually used in a formal sense–or sometimes, even in a general sense?

    In any case, this has shown me that I need to reiterate more strenuously than ever that citing the dictionary as support for an argument is not, in fact, support for that argument, unless your argument is related to word etymology, in which case the dictionary (and then specifically the OED) is only the starting point, beyond which research must take one.

  43. If a young lady [or fellow] were interested in equality then I hardly see why they’d throw their lot in with a movement wherein 99% of its of its current academic output advocates for inequality, and wherein any dissenting voices of equality have to struggle in order not to be closed down and shut out of the entire establishment.

  44. Welcome, Fremdschämen! I hope you stick around, there’s never a dull moment.

  45. @Fremdschämen Welcome, and thanks for taking the time to read the rather lengthy discussion.

    I work with a couple of women who like to play games, and it was from conversion with them that this post came about. While they laugh off the skimpy costumes, they questioned why the same themes keep reoccurring.

  46. @Lusipurr: Well shhh! Don’t let her know that! The facade! THE FACADE!!!

  47. @Ethos: I thought the facade was in the shop, having its smile polished?

  48. Wolfe, the corners of that box are a little sharp for my liking…

  49. I suppose the Feminist movement, as described by Lusipurr who says he’s been involved with it academically, has been eclipsed by people who don’t know what they’re doing. But *A* feminist movement shouldn’t therefore be laughed out of discussion. An undeserved inequality of the sexes does exist in certain aspects of society and it ought to change. But I don’t believe I’m informing Lusi or SN of this, as I think they understand this.

  50. @Julian: You’re right, someone might suffer a papercut, or poke their eyes out, providing they’re removed their AI-augmented Reality Enhancers. I’ll pass this along to the multicultural division to ensure that it meets the needs of our Hemophiliac clients.

  51. @Wolfe: How about a soft, plush sphere?–not too small, lest it be swallowed or trod upon–and not too large, lest it fall on someone and suffocate them.

  52. @Lusispurr: The Committee approves of the plush, but expresses some fears about the spherical nature too closely resembling the male reproductive organs, which could potentially traumatize some of our younger female demographics. Perhaps something with a little less suggestive qualities? Suffocation is always a concern as well, not merely with our products, but with day to day life. We’re currently working on a product to address the many dangers an open mouth poses to one’s health and society. Expect details soon.

  53. @Wolfe: We’re currently working on a product to address the many dangers an open mouth poses to one’s health and society. Expect details soon.

    I have been advocating this for years. One way to solve the issue is to install bullets in the heads of at-risk individuals. And, in fact, you’ll be pleased to hear that there are already a number of installation devices on the market, tailored to whether one wishes to protect a single individual or a group of individuals all at once.

  54. @Lusipurr: I am indeed pleased to hear of this rather new technology. Some of my colleagues are already expressing interest in this new frontier of public relations. I’m planning to attend a public protest for a demonstration of this radical new technology, and hope to be as impressed by the application as I am the theory.

  55. @Lusipurr: I’ll have a full report on stand-by! Expect a follow-up report from my correspondents in Gaza as well! Cheers!

  56. I should hope that the plush packaging is not a static electricity hazard!

  57. I’m a little late to the party, but I will happily share my thoughts. Scott asks if we need a special physics engine to ensure that titties bounce correct. The most politically correct way to answer this question is “No shit we do!” or “Fuck yeah, we do!”. Titties are a big part, and sometimes the biggest part, of many video games. Had Sony come out and shouted “Titties will bounce correctly on the PS4”, well, it goes without saying that I would have sold my wife into the sex trade so I could buy as many fucking PS4’s that I could get my hands on.

    Titties aside, there was a time that feminism was based around some noble ideas, but that time has long since passed. Now, it is used the same way the handicapped use their disabilities, they want their equality but only on their terms. The handicapped want to be treated the same as normal people, but threaten to take away their special line at Disney Land and prepare for ‘tard rage. Most feminists are the same, they don’t want to be the stereotypical “housewife”, but ask them to do some yard work and suddenly that is only a “man’s job”.

    Quite frankly, I am sick and tired that every industry has to seemingly cater to 100% of the population. Gaming is largely a male pastime, as such, games are designed for male gamers, hence, the big-titted bitches in games. Gaming should not attempt to cater to people that don’t play games. Most women DO NOT buy video games, why should we worry what they think? I don’t listen to rap music, as such I don’t expect Jay Z to attempt to market his latest album to me.

    If feminists really want more games to be about them, crying on the sidelines is not the way to do it. They need to get out there and do something about it, like, perhaps, starting an all-girl development company. Of course, this is not the equality they want, as this means they would actually have to put hard work into their cause, rather than sitting back and letting the men do the problem solving.

  58. This comment is merely to get the post to 69 total comments. I feel that this is the perfect number of comments for this post.

    [We agree with Gyme, and hence COMMENTS LOCKED to keep the post at 69 comments exactly. -Lusi]

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