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Submitted by MelonieMac 603d ago | opinion piece

Sexual Exploitation in Gaming

It's not uncommon to see a game exploit female characters sexually in order to make a sale, but the question is... do people really like it in the first place? (Culture, Industry)

Attached Video
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onyoursistersback  +   603d ago
MelonieMac  +   603d ago
Can't tell if you are serious or sarcastic xD
cfc78  +   603d ago
I think he's serious lol
Abriael  +   603d ago
I honestly think the term "sexually exploited" is out of place here. We're talking about pixels. You sexually exploit people, not pixels.
Lord_Sloth  +   602d ago
Why does nobody ever complain about all the guys with rock hard abs and biceps the size of an average guys Torso?

People don't like playing characters who aren't aesthetically pleasing. If you toss Kratos out there women then to vary more in taste. Some of them like that gruff quality.

Yes, people like sect game characters, otherwise Lara Croft wouldn't have been in Playboy which wouldn't exist in the 1st place either.
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MaxXAttaxX  +   602d ago
It comes down to character design.
More conservative or realistic female character designs end up being more boring. You need some thing that grabs people's attention, whether it's something cute, colorful or sexy. Otherwise, the female character might as well be replaced by a dude in some instances.

Unless you have a really good script and a well written character, such as... Ellie from TLoU for example, then you don't need such designs. But those types of games are rare.

About Lara Croft. People might expect bigger breasts because that's how the character was established and has been for years. Had Tomb Raider starred a flat chested character from the beginning, no one would be complaining today. Guaranteed.
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PoSTedUP  +   602d ago
i guess if women didnt sexually exploit themselves everywhere except church then it wouldnt be everywhere and in everything, huh? yes, ppl like it just as much as women like showing it. personally it doesnt matter to me............awwww Who Am I Kidding.. XD. i say if it is something stupid that makes a certain group of women mad: keep it. maybe theyll learn to mind what other men and women are doing and focus on Real issues that they ignore, but proclaim to care about. its no different than the media attacking videogames, both of them Know they arent Really trying to solve Anything. they turn to videogames bc they are lazy and feel it is an easy way to deal with something they never intended to make a difference with in the first place. they are the deinition of pretentious.
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Anthotis  +   602d ago
I guess women only like it when they're exploited on their own terms?

Nah, the women who show off their bodies in public/media aren't the ones bothered by this. It's the women who are so repulsive, misshapen or lacking in areas that they can't dress in the same whorish way, who hate seeing desirable women in any setting, especially when men are drooling over them.

It's jealousy, and yeah, feminists and fem-orcs are that pathetic, they even find pixelated women threatening.

Women can't stand competition.
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Septic  +   602d ago
Lol yeah I read the Neogaf thread. Was hilarious. That advert with the breasts getting bigger. And the Bayonetta gif...smh

You should have put that pic or gifs in the video
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Back-to-Back  +   602d ago
I love my women sexualized

dcj0524  +   602d ago
Exactly. Lol they act like looking good is a sin.
HighResHero  +   603d ago
Notice all the pictures are of only the sexualized women, not the men, which seem to be just as common.
People should save their ridiculous double-standards lest they end up being laughed at as pathetic relics of the past.
Good looking PEOPLE are "exploited" to get sales. It's called marketing.
If the article is actually decent and reasonable, I'm sorry. I just can't risk giving a click to any more redundant nonsense.
MelonieMac  +   603d ago
I'm not referring to "attractive" people. There is a big difference between attractive and sexually exploited. Many female characters prance around in lingerie instead of armor. It's not very common you see that with male characters - I certainly cannot recall it.

Female characters in general are not very often empowered unless it is for their sexuality. This is not the case with the majority of male characters. So no, this is not a double standard.
kevinsheeks  +   603d ago
whats sexualized about a woman assassin moving through the artic in a bra in thong that's called survival dammit :P

keep in mind I'm joking -_-
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HighResHero  +   603d ago
I respect your opinion, but I hope you know that it's your opinion.
Since you seem nice I will add a few thoughts.
Firstly, men traditionally do not wear lingerie. Their armor and muscles could be considered sexy by women, just as the "sexy armor" women wear in games is considered sexy by men.
I don't think it is extremely common for women to prance around in lingerie in games either, but it does happen. It is an aspect of the female aesthetic that men find beautiful and incorporate often with reverence into their creations. There are many "male characteristics" that I could say were abhorrent and constantly "exploited" that are never mentioned.
Calling out what many people would consider double standards might seem like an effort to milk a drying source of attention.
I would love to watch your video and try to see more about where you are coming from, but it wont load for some reason.
Inception  +   603d ago

"Many female characters prance around in lingerie instead of armor"

You look at this female characters like they are real person. When in fact they're just fiction. And video games strongly supported fictions too. Because hey, one of the reason we play video games because we wants to take a break from reality.

If we always based female characters in video games to reality, than the majority of video game designers will stuck with boring characters. There will be no smart, sexy, and badass female protagonist like Bayonetta, Lara Croft, Nariko, Dead or Alive girls, Samus Aran, etc :(
SilentNegotiator  +   603d ago
"Many female characters prance around in lingerie instead of armor"

Except men aren't typically sexualized in lingerie...they're sexualized with masculinity, such as a man would be in armor. Women ARE sexualized in lingerie because instead of masculinity - a quality related to the impervious - women are sexualized with penetrability (not meant to be a pun), a quality of vulnerability.

Trying to find examples of men running around in thongs is hardly the right way to make the comparison to the treatment of males in games. Men are frequently stereotyped as knuckle-dragging balls of rage; but then I wouldn't NECESSARILY say that they get pushed into that stereotype as much as women in theirs (if only because males characters make up a bigger part of the videogames universe and thus get more opportunities for diversity), but that's a difficult thing to quantify without like, cataloging every game character.
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MEsoJD  +   602d ago
If this was really a problem, the main audience would stop purchasing games with characters depicted in such ways, but that's not the case. Not only that, but the game industry is largely male and they as artist and men should be able to depict whatever they please and let the people vote with their wallets. Instead of people bitching about this supposed issue, they should either not buy these games or develop their own. The indie scene has brought a very diverse list of games that can cater to any taste.
Really though my main annoyance is with society in general. The outcry and sometimes overreaction to sexism pertaining to women while ignoring the issues men deal with is sad. The media likes to act like everything is perfect when your a guy, but that's far from the case. There are advantages and disadvantages to each sex.
Prime157  +   602d ago
Whereas I can't possibly imagine where you are coming from, I do believe that part of the reason is very similar to the attraction issue that women also use... "women want a man who is confident." (Vice versa)

Can't tell you how many times I heard that growing up. I used to scoff and chalk it up to "confidence vs narcissism." Rather than, what, truly, is confidence.

It wasn't until I dated an insecure girl that I started to think about this situation. I thought she was beautiful, second to none. However, she always had issues with herself that encroached into my opinions; no matter how hard I tried, she just shoved my thoughts off... we dated for 2 years and I still miss her.

So, I think that I, as a male, can imagine what you mean, but I will always not understand something about women the same way you won't about men.

Eh, society blows both sides out of proportion, anyway... I'm ending my rant, not trying to start a fight or anything.
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madjedi  +   602d ago
Exactly what makes your viewpoint of the big differences right and high res's wrong. Because i see that same mindset repeated often with these types of articles.

I swear we heard the same outrage in god of war, because the oracle had a see through shirt on. And yet women in ancient greece wore it.

Btw you can state your views on the subject as a female gamer, doesn't mean people will pay you anymore mind than the other bloggerstalking about the same general subject.
chobit_A5HL3Y  +   602d ago
omg, i love you melonie!!! :DDD i'm a sub to your channel o3o don't listen to these HATERS <333
Summons75  +   602d ago
And kratos running around in a loin cloth and way over sized with muscles being the "perfect male body" isn't?

Someone sure has sexist idealsabd it sure isn't the gaming industry.
Ausbo  +   602d ago
I respect your opinion, but I feel that this is becoming less a problem. Games nay have nudity and sex but many times its done correctly like in mass effect. From the recent games I've seen, it seems as though women aren't being exploited as "sex objects" as much as they used to be.
fardan85  +   603d ago
Devs try to give a LIKEABLE look to their characters, unfortunately, it seems like they don't have much ideas about how to make a likeable female characters. I'm guessing most of the gamers are males, and it's easier to make a good male character, that's why we don't see much over sexualized male characters.
Personally, small boobs or large one, cleavage or not,it's not a big deal.
My fav female character of all time is Ellie "TLOU".
MonstaTruk  +   602d ago
"Likeable" female characters, to the core gaming audience: big tits, slim waist, nice @$$. "Likeable" male characters, to the core gaming audience: plenty of muscles, Brad Pitt looks, and James Earl Jones-type voice. The key point here is "core gaming audience". If a developer wanted to capture the g@y women audience, make a game that caters to g@y women; and if that audience likes the game, they'll buy it! Point is, that's NOT the core gaming audience, but you want them to make games for "others"? Why? That's not what the masses want. They should anyway because...YOU...say so? :-/
Vegamyster  +   603d ago
Since AD-block i haven't had to look at those weird sexualized game ads lol. Games with a more serious tone generally don't have characters that portray male or females accurately, they either look like models who are perfectly toned or have over exaggerated muscles/boobs. I stopped caring about this stuff a while ago, i play games for the gameplay first.
MonstaTruk  +   602d ago
What's "weird" about it? "Traditional" video game character portrayals are "weird" to you? What other part of society do you jump into without being a "student of the game" and just start calling their traditional way of doing things as being "weird"? *smh*
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Vegamyster  +   602d ago
Boobs that expand and contract to get peoples attention with the tag "Play this awesome RPG!" ect isn't my idea of a "traditional" ad.
King-u-mad  +   603d ago
People who complain and or promote sexual exploitation, using it as a primary reason to play games... are casual gamers. It is annoying because Publishers force devs to cater to the casual audience for more $$$. But that is the world we live in as of now. Hopefully it changes soon, because there are many, many, MANY more problems in the gaming community that also need fixing. But back on topic, I don't mind if a female character in a game looks visually appealing (I am a guy after all.), but if that is the main focus, I could care less about the game. Especially since I am in school for CIS (Computer Information Systems) and Videogame Design... I will hope to be able to get my input into gaming, where it counts. Hopefully sparking a trend of true growth rather than exploited growth. Which is the major trend as of now.
cfc78  +   603d ago
I wouldn't have Lara Croft any other way.
Inception  +   603d ago
Or DoA girls, Nariko, Bayonetta, etc

Oh man, gaming will be a bit boring without those sexy & badass girls >.<
MonstaTruk  +   602d ago
Thank you. I agree 100%...

These are VIDEO GAMES, people. Not REALITY. These are FANTASY WORLDS, we're playing in. This is the tradition of our video game culture. If you want reality, with realistic-looking men and women, turn on CNN... :-/
spike  +   603d ago
Good luck on your career King U Mad.
DarthSocio  +   603d ago
Feminists have to ruin everything.
MeteorPanda  +   603d ago
oh c'mon. this is hardly about feminists...
contradictory  +   603d ago
can't really say i like overly sexualized characters
but i've got no problem with them either

and the market for it will not go away anytime near future
i don't really care as long as the developers are allowed to do what the hell they want with their games
imtheman2013  +   603d ago
Thank you. The females that stream on Twitch, that very obviously show their cleavage, make me sick. It is a huge slap in the face to anyone who actually provides a good channel without having to objectify themselves, because, ya know, they're actually there to play games and ENTERTAIN people. I swear, so many channels that are worthy of viewers get overlooked, while channels with clueless, pretty girls get thousands of viewers --who eventually PAY them to continue being clueless and pretty-- when they don't deserve them.

When I find a female streamer who is dressed like a normal person, with the camera pointed at her FACE rather than her chest, I breathe a sigh of relief. It's good to know that at least a few people haven't lost their dignity; though, I'm sure those who disagree with me will give me plenty of reasons why pointing a webcam at a woman's chest is completely dignified.

(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻
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kevinsheeks  +   603d ago
That kills me to no end I use to be into broadcasting and I would check other channels these females would play soooo dirty

here you are putting your heart into your show just to click over and see a girl chewing gum in a tighter then usual bra just killing you in views

and I always give every person a chance so i'd stick around just to see if the topic was at least worth listening to just to find out there wasn't a topic just a pretty face and a little sexual innuendo
SilentNegotiator  +   602d ago
Why can't a woman show cleavage without you assuming that they're pandering? Can't a woman choose to show cleavage as millions of women do every day? Or do you just assume that any woman showing cleavage is "indecent"?

Do you have a problem with sex-positive feminism?
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kevinsheeks  +   602d ago
Can I just say I don't have a problem with sex-positive feminism >.> I wrote a long reply but it got deleted when I agreed with your comment
imtheman2013  +   602d ago
It's like Kevinsheeks said, when I go into a channel and see a woman with half of her chest hanging out, I'll give her the benefit of the doubt at first. But most of those channels are just littered with with sexual innuendo and sexually charged chatter. There are most certainly attractive women that stream that also provide entertaining content, but that's rare to see on Twitch. Twitch is a place for people to come together and be entertained through the common enjoyment of video games, and the women that go there to "entertain" by showing off their cleavage --and thereby profiting from it-- are a blight on the site.

A women has the freedom to show her cleavage whenever she pleases, but to do so on a live streaming website that is meant for video game entertainment is, in my obvious opinion, distasteful. It has nothing to do with indecency; it has to do with the fact that these women are, very blatantly, exploiting the fact that the majority of the Twitch community is male. By doing this, they have to work half as hard as their male and female counterparts who decide to focus on entertaining and the game to achieve a large viewership and, ultimately, a profit. I mean, kudos to them for being smart enough to understand that if they show cleavage they'll get hordes of rabid men paying them money for a chance to see more...

And, finally, no. I do not have a problem with sex-positive feminism. Women have the right to freely sexualize themselves however they deem fit. As for myself, to say that doing so in certain situations, let's say a website made for live streaming video game content, isn't obnoxious would be false.
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MeteorPanda  +   603d ago
aren't females like half the gamer population now? would be pretty dumb nowadays to isolate.

if you're going to sexually exploit...have candy for both genders! all l ask :<
cyguration  +   602d ago
Females are half the gaming population but NOT in the core sector.

There are more female casual gamers driving sales in web games, Facebook titles and mobile games. If you pay close attention, majority of those games are geared toward females (usually social).

Dudebros hang out with the shoot 'em ups and core titles on consoles and PC and portable devices like the Vita and 3DS. You'll find sexually exploited females in those games because that's the demographic it caters toward.

It's the same as all those terrible shows on the CW have a bunch of pretty-boys aimed at luring in those teenage girl viewers, because that's their demographic.
MeteorPanda  +   602d ago
since when was the media 100% correct? You're basically saying girls in the kitchen, men in the field...Girls are making a higher % in console and hand held gaming, get used to it buddy.

I don't know any girl still playing fb games, they all play pokemon, monster hunter, Dragons crown on vita, not many of you guys realize this, cater to girls as well, that's all l'm asking for. if you're going to make something sexy, do so for both parties somewhere in your game.

- a girl
SilentNegotiator  +   602d ago
"It's the same as all those terrible shows on the CW have a bunch of pretty-boys aimed at luring in those teenage girl viewers, because that's their demographic"
Exactly. The CW has loads of promotional material with guys with their shirts off. And that's because their shows are AIMED at teen girls, like a game aimed at teen boys might use sexy women.

"Get used to it, buddy"? Geez, he didn't say he didn't want females playing shooters, he didn't say that games shouldn't have material for both parties, he didn't say that there WEREN'T females playing non-casual games...he said that females aren't "half" of the core genres of games.

I'm not going to dispute whether or not that's true (mostly because I'm too lazy to google it), but are you really THAT INSECURE that your response to that is "get used to it buddy"? cyguration showed you a lot more respect than that.
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jazmac  +   602d ago
If girls made up enough % in the console/PC/Hand Held market you would see that reflected in the games being released by developers, since that clearly isn't the case cyguration is the one who's correct here.

Just because you don't know any girls still playing facebook games doesn't mean girls don't play facebook're one person in a sea of many, anecdotal evidence is the worst kind of evidence to provide as proof that something is true.

Their is nothing wrong with you wanting more balance in your games but just don't expect it to happen because as of now, male is still the target demographic and realistically I don't expect that change any time soon if ever.

The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.
mydyingparadiselost  +   602d ago
Someday I'm sure we'll see a Benonetta game with bulging crotch torture moves and big bicep beat it off action...
cfc78  +   603d ago
Can't imagine it working the same for male characters can you imagine the next duke nukem running around in a jock strap i can't and i don't want to.
taijutsu363  +   602d ago
Idk about exploitaion such a harsh word and all that but for me imo games have always been about playing in a world where things that would not normally happen...happen.

Like Tomb Raider I mean i dont know bout you but the likelihood of seeing a female wearing a tight shirt and wearing short shorts in the real world is unlikely.

So I dont really mind if developers wanna pushing the boundaries wether there are big chested flat chested ill most likely still buy and play the game.
KwietStorm  +   602d ago
I'm floored by the comments here. I thought it was common knowledge that traditionally, female characters in games have been overly saturated with a sexual design or approach. But I just see Melonie being told she's off base. Saying the male characters are the same thing with abs and armor LOL that;s hilarious to me.
thelaughingwiseman  +   602d ago
Think of it this way, there is a huge different in variety between the way men look in games, and the way women look. Many people look at the more famous games as their examples.

Male protagonist vary greatly. There would be a lot more variation, and what gets lost is that in the same AAA games where females get exploited, so are males.

There is, sadly, less variation of Female protagonist, either they're ridiculously good looking or they are fat for comedic effect (that lady from Borderlands 2, Fat Cake Princess). As more and more games come out, I think we will also see more variation of women in games, where it's not exploitative hot, or comically fat
MelonieMac  +   602d ago
Honestly, I don't even find attractiveness to be an issue. I love playing as attractive characters, male or female. The issue is that female characters are often designed to be a sexual fantasy object. They wear lingerie for armor, they constantly moan, they talk in seductive voices/ dialogue, and their animations look like they are walking down a runway instead of running away from a group of gunmen like an athlete.

It's ridiculous and out of hand. Honestly though, I like characters like the new Orchid from Killer Instinct, for example. Yeah, she is extremely sexy, but it's done tastefully and she has more substance than just that. Her character is very strong, her legs are muscular, and she actually looks like she could pull off those moves! She's a tough as nails fighter, as opposed to the Orchid from past games whose finishing move was literally flashing her breasts at her opponent.
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jazmac  +   602d ago
You're missing the point, when people say "well male characters looks are over exaggerated as well" they're saying that if women want to complain about female characters being over exaggerated then you men could do the same thing too and really the gaming experience would be all round worse for it if we all started thinking like that.

If sales show that men like seeing women in games with massive tits/whatever else, why is it wrong that developers then provide that and why is it wrong for men to want that in there games?
thelaughingwiseman  +   602d ago
If there is a demand, then by God there will be a supply. Games were created by men, and has had a high male following. And it is also an Industry were it's main focus is fantasy (be it war-simulator to alternate realities). This is an industry I've seen where Freedom of Speech is at its Zenith. So many games coming out for a variety of different people. There are a fare amount of sexualized women, but that's just a small pique of the bigger spectrum.

Although, I would also like to see "less desirable" main characters in AAA games. You know, chubby, not good looking; characters that are messed up, not just mentally, but physically. Relateable characters are pretty cool. Heavy Rain had a fat detective and it was pretty cool. I'd like to play as a fat Lara Croft, like I was able to play a fat Nathan Drake in Uncharted
valormeer  +   602d ago
Oh great here we go again.
azure1990  +   602d ago
Melonie is cute
JackVagina  +   602d ago
This girl is a complete sellout. I unsubbed her ages ago, half of her videos is just promotional crap
il-JumperMT  +   602d ago
Lets not mention the men in Dragon's Crown with impossible propotions
MelonieMac  +   602d ago
The issue here isn't exactly proportions, but more so character portrayal in general. I'm a huge fan of the classic Lara Croft. Proportions are the least of my concern.
Activemessiah  +   602d ago
People are still moaning about drawings like they're real... subject is getting boring now.
level 360  +   602d ago
For sure there are a lot of female game developers, writers and even game producer/directors..

..probably tell about your dilemma to them.

Sex sells whether it be an attractive/ugly man, woman, gay person, androgynous or whatever form of gender/sexual preference your into.
Zizi  +   602d ago
Sexual exploitation is necessary if it is needed; if it's not, then throw it away.

Ellie in 'The Last of Us' and Lara Croft in the newest 'Tomb Raider' are not sexualized. However, they can still look both hot and powerful in their own ways.

That's what I believe.
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MelonieMac  +   602d ago
Looking attractive and being exploited are two completely different things. Attractive characters are great - that is not the issue I raised and I'm not sure why it is being confused by some.
LetoAtreides82  +   602d ago
I watched the video. Your example of the change in bazooka girl from DMC 3 and DMC 4, yes I see an increase in breast size and her posture in DMC 4 is more about flaunting her body whereas in DMC 3 she looks like she just wants to kick ass. However I haven't played those games so I can't say much more than that.

It is still possible for that character to be a badass and beast mode with the bazooka even with her increased breast size, but not having played the game I don't know how she plays out in it. She could even be using her body as a strategy against men, deceiving them into thinking she's a sextoy, and when they let their guard down she murders them.
abdullahabdulhadi  +   602d ago
Nice job melonie keep it up
Are_The_MaDNess  +   602d ago
how can we play Skyrim without it?!
Dr_Yo  +   602d ago
Of coarse a FEMALE bickers about this. She's just mad because she's flat :)
cheesee  +   602d ago
lyvon  +   602d ago
The typical sexist brigade who NEVER have anything to say when it is MEN who are objectified in the media or video games...they always act like it goes only one way.

The same brigade who NEVER has anything to say when WOMEN's magazines (written by women FOR women) objectify women in so many different ways. Not a word is ever spoken. The same brigade who LOVES to ignore the fact that it is mainly WOMEN who put undue pressure on other WOMEN to be a certain size and to look a certain way - not men.

I'm still yet to find a MAN who finds any of those size 0 - 6 models on women's magazines attractive. But yet women everyday are striving to look like that...what could be the reasoning behind that?

And do answer the question, why is it that you see no problem with male objectification? is it more likely that when you scream "sexism" you're really just screaming "I'm insecure"?
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KingKevo  +   602d ago
The last episode of the Final Bosman on GT kind of looked at this topic as well and I think both are correct. There are so many issues with this and also stuff like sexual preference and identity, races, religion, and looks in general.

Sometimes I'm surprised that in this industry that used to be made of and by nerds and weirdos and outsiders, people that care more about personalities, stuff like that is still very often treated in a dumb way, an offensive and disrespectful way very often and that the core audience is still this white young straight male or at least the typical stuff young guys want, hot chicks and a hero they'd want to be. It's really frustrating and uncreative and I'm very thankful that in recent years more and more people are trying to change that, small devs and even big studios (like ND with The Last Of Us). There's still a lot of work to do here though.
Remy_S  +   602d ago
Clickbait, think of something original next time.
DCfan  +   602d ago
Lvl 67 with the Sorceress. :D
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