Women In The Military Speak about Their Portrayals In Video Games

Twenty-three year old Ashley Shaffer is a decorated Marine, having served two tours over in Afghanistan before she was twenty-one. Twenty-seven year old Lisa Smith is a proud woman of the Navy and a veteran, having joined immediately after graduating high school, and has served overseas in Iraq. One more thing they have in common is that they are both gamers that hold very specific views regarding the roles and depictions of women in combat games.

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TekoIie1832d ago

Apparently I dont want women serving in the military and have been actively preventing them from doing so...

News to me :/

cleft51832d ago (Edited 1832d ago )

I get the point of this article, but ultimate I disagree with the writer but I can certainly understand how real soldiers wouldn't care for the fictional representation of Quiet. The writer should do an article about how cops feel about the cop massacres people go on in video games as well. I am going to guess that they don't care for it for the most part either.

When did people start thinking MGS games represented realism in their character models, particularly the central characters, is beyond me. The central characters in MGS games tend to represent themes or memes that Kojima is trying to convey to the audience. MGS isn't about accurately portraying male or female characters so this whole article misses the central point of the game and what Kojima is trying to convey.

Studio-YaMi1832d ago

You are EXACTLY correct in all that you wrote and expressed,well said !

Roccetarius1832d ago

You're totally right, Cleft. It's about Cosplay and selling Figurines. :)

Studio-YaMi1832d ago (Edited 1832d ago )

Aha,so let's just see women with dude faces instead in video games,no beauty factor whatsoever,no artistic taste,no visionary or anything fantasize-able about any women since it's considered degrading .. ok GOT IT !

Might as well remove female as a gender and just group males and females under one united name for the sake of equality.

-_- these articles .. argh !
Leave women in video games away from this crap.

I am attracted to beautiful women,whether it's sexual or just glancing at pure beauty,guess I am degrading a woman for wanting her to be FEMININE,huh ?

IcicleTrepan1832d ago

give me a break. That's like a male detective bitching that his job is not that of Batman.

HonestDragon1832d ago (Edited 1832d ago )

Well, that was certainly informative. Never got to hear the perspective from female soldiers about video games. But then again, this was only two out of the many who serve with their own opinions. I think in the long run (especially because of certain games from 2013) female protagonists and supporting characters are having better roles in video games.

Metal Gear Solid's Quiet is obviously and realistically not battle ready, but this is Metal Gear Solid. The series has always had a fantasy-like approach despite its military background. Psychics, superhumans, AI, robotic attack units, etc have all been featured. Any one soldier can tell you that in combat they are wearing heavy gear, but I think it's the cultural difference that is what's causing a rift between everyone regarding Quiet.

As for Call of Duty, yes, it is about time that they have female soldiers in the game. It made me wonder why in Modern Warfare 2 when the east coast is invaded that there was not one single female infantry soldier. Hell, there wasn't a combat ready female soldier at all. For me, as a Spanish male, I was glad we technically got to play a Spanish character in MW2. I say technically because he doesn't say anything nor do we see get any characterization from him, but I digress. It is progress to be sure, but it remains to be seen exactly how Ghosts will treat its female characters.

TenorCleft11832d ago

MGS can't just turn around and remind everyone that they weren't trying to make a realistic franchise or character, that's not the point. If someone calls you racist, reminding them that you weren't actually trying not to be racist isn't a defence.
Furthermore, this is most certainly not true, given the responses from the team behind the game. You are meant to care about characters and relate to them. The game has been referred to by the developers as "character and story driven". Given this, you can't possibly claim that the MGS universe isn't about realism, so they are absolved from their responsibility to not portray women in an absurd and offensive manner.

You can't pile millions of polygons into a character who is human, looks human, and is meant to have thoughts, emotions, feelings, and be a key part of the story, and then be all, "Ahh, but it's not realistic!" because it just is.

Let's be totally honest here, the developers had a decision to make. We can either build a character with integrity, and a portrayal of a woman which isn't offensive, or we can pull all of her clothes off, get her tits out, and put holes in her underwear. They (unbelievably) went for option 2.

Either they want to use the libido of male gamers to sell more copies, or they want to use the libido of men in general to make the prospect of buying figurines and cos-playing more attractive to whoever wants to do that stuff. All of that, weighed against the harm you do to both women in general, as well as the perception of the gaming industry as a whole.

Concerning male libido. First of all, who the hell is buying games because there is an attractive supporting character? I mean, seriously? I don't get why they're going to games to get that kind of satisfaction, when you could just maybe try building a relationship with an actual woman? Failing that, you could just turn to porn, and not drag the videogame industry through a pile of female-objectifying crap. Second of all, on the figurines and cosplaying, same thing applies. they don't need to design Quiet like this for that to happen. The only people buying the figurines are people who really love the franchise. they're probably going to be buying figurines anyway, regardless of how much skin she's showing. Second of all, if cos-players want to sexualise their outfit, that's fine, they can do that. In fact, they do that already, taking totally non-sexualised characters, like those from the Pokemon universe, and sexualising them. Quiet is going to get the exact same cos-play treatment regardless of the clothing on her character model.
And even if you don't buy that, and they're going to make twice the profit now that they've gotten Quiet's breasts out (spoiler: they won't) they still made that decision in the face of the offensiveness of such a portrayal. First of all, it's bad for the industry as a whole, especially when outside investment for gaming studios is becoming more and more vital as studios battle both piracy and a shitty economy. Secondly, it's just a shitty thing to do to women in general. I mean, it's kind of a dick move to wave this kind of character in front of the female gamers who are going to be picking this game up. Granted, some of them might not even care, maybe not even a majority, but is the extra cash really worth the offence you cause to the women that do care?