So a while back I wrote this Cblog about modern gaming and the problem with boobs. I thought it was going to be a single blog examining the two extremes and asking for a middle ground on it. This is a sequel to it which is not looking at two sides of the argument at all its playing Devilís advocate almost and questioning certain things that have recently been said.
So to start with lets address Dead or Alive 5. Now while Jim Sterling covered this I have to raise the question. Did I miss the Memo ? No seriously did I miss one as having only played two DOA games properly for any amount of time I think I missed something in this debate. DOA 1 launched and brought with it Boob physics, completely insane un realistic Boob physics but that was its unique selling point when it came to the market, that was its main way to obviously differentiate itself from the other fighting games out at the time. The Boob physics were to say the least unrealistic. In DOA 2 this was sorted out a bit and the same with DOA 4. I have never played the DOA beach volley ball series and Iím not defending anything relating to that other than I did hear the volleyball stuff was solid. The kind of mad thing is the boobs have become the focus. In another recent Cblog Jonathan Holmes commented saying ďThe idea is that it's not good for a female videogame charactesr to be a one dimensional sex objectsĒ.
Now with my limited involvement in the DOA series I can say the female characters arenít one dimensional sex objects;
Tina Armstrong = a Female wrestler and Daughter of a legendary wrestler, determined to break out on her own and have her own career not simply follow the idea her Father wants for her.
Kasumi = a run away female ninja abandoning her destiny of being "defender of mankind" to seek revenge on the person who crippled her brother.
Ayane = a Female Assassin sent to kill Kasumi for being a traitor to the clan.
Helena = a famous Opera singer tracking down her motherís killer and she even took of the DOA company who hold the tournament.
But yet the boobs have become the focus. Taking this story and throwing the idea that Anita Sarkeesian considers Faith from Mirrors Edge to be a good female character I started to notice a stupid trend. Boobs. Thatís right it appears boobs have become a focus once again, I accidentally touched on this topic in some of my previous cblogs without realising. I've wondered why Lara Croft is considered a sex symbol and not a strong female role model. Well it appears Iíve hit the answer, its boob sizes.
No really itís as simple as that, itís almost a form of videogame boob envy (Hey if itís meant to be a thing guys are envious about not having large Johnsons then surely it can exist the other way round). So like a good article writer I decided to research this more and stumbled upon lists of good female leads. Can you guess how many had much of a rack on them ? Not many some listed Chell from portal as a good female lead, so yeh apparently a good female character is one that doesnít speak make of that what you will. I was kind of shocked, most characters considered good role models were to say the least slightly flat from Beyond Good and Evilís Jade to Alyx Vance. One character generally overlooked is Lara Croft who you could say is female Indianna Jones except for the fact how many times does she end up seeing the love interest die or end up being the one to kill them yet she quickly recovers. This is essentially a female character with the almost the background of Batman. Why Batman ? Because Iíve seriously seen an argument stating if Batman were Female heíd be a better role Model than Samus from Other M. The difference between Lara Croft and Batman, Ms Croft is not neurological mess she is not forever paranoid and is capable of opening up (something Batman has only ever managed to do with Talia Al Ghoul really).
Now the general defence for male characters in video gaming all being muscle bound brutes or almost gymnasts is ďIt gives a sense of Masculinity and lets guys play not as themselves but these characters giving a sense of power and masculinityĒ. However this argument then seeming doesnít apply equally as with female characters with large busts there are two arguments applied; they are influencing people to try and be like them / see this as perfection or they are being used as sexy symbols. The problem with arguing that its influencing people is then therefore so are male characters to claim it doesnít is to imply that Men are in some way less affected by the idea of social fashion than women (I wonít argue either way on this as thatís for psychologists to argue for years to come) . The second argument of them being sex objects seemingly ignores the character themselves and as such only makes them a sex object at all due to their character being ignored in which case every character is a sex object pretty much if you just take them on physical appearance as youíre only measuring them on their aesthetic ďworthĒ. The question is then why are better endowed female characters worse role models than smaller busted ones ?
Is this all anyone is seeing when they look at large breasted characters ?
So to take the argument that Male characters are somehow projects itís the same reason that Casinos have no mirrors so everyone can feel like James Bond. So if that is why all male characters seemingly conform to certain characteristics then by the same logic there is nothing wrong with a 7 foot Amazonian Warrior with cleavage you could ski down, because there might be some girl gamers out there who do want to play as a character like that (assuming the developers make it a good character). To suggest this isnít right because no everyone will want to play as that character then suggests that Male characters are just as bad because my reviewer persona the Kodu (from some of my other works) looks like this ?
shame I'm uglier than this in reality but still
Itís not a million miles from me and itís not some hulking muscle bound six pack toting brute so does that mean the only characters I should want to play as are like me ? This seems to be a giant stumbling block for me when I end up questioning if something is sexist as most arguments about a character being sexist are suggesting they appeal to a male audience but the same canít be said for Male characters appealing to women (which I joked about in another previous blog). With everyone seemingly writing off certain characters value purely on their looks and saying ďOh in reality women donít look like thatĒ being some reasoning but is it really a reason a small busted character is a better role model because some women are small busted ? Doesnít that mean large busted characters are also role models because some women are large busted ?
[size=9] "Am I too late for the 7 foot Amazonian Warrior with cleavage you could ski down ?"
To sum up, there isnít really a legitimate reason to condemn a character on boobs alone and to claim DOA 5 is sexist because of it, kind of makes people claiming that as bad as those they are calling sexist. However the legitimate objection to DOA 5 boobs is not the size but nothing more than a crappy physics engine / coding and the failure to evolve. Thatís right DOA 5 should be being fired on for its physics which have seemingly devolved back to that of DOA 1 and not evolved, they are a feature of the game the problem is that feature is now showing its age just like polygon and angular graphics. DOA 5 is honestly just one of those games you can look at and say the physics just arenít right, no more no less until of course you bring in the alternative costumes to which I have one retort which counter any claim of sexist for the female characters being able to fight in bras. This argument is Zack, his default costume sees him wearing a bra and while I this next bit is doubtful considering this is the internet, I suggest this may even be a fetish.