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The Tits Are Alright: Games, Art, and Beauty

Alexa Ray Corriea of DualShockers.com discusses the outrage about the display of beauty in video games, and explains why it's not at a all a bad thing.

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jc485732189d ago (Edited 2189d ago )

I've always admired the beauty behind the characters from the East. I just wish they did more in the West though (there are a few like Uncharted). It's best to have some tits to look at then have none at all. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to say that tits has something to do with beauty at all. Even males have their beauty side to them. I'm getting tired of the same old men on steroids or the whole military stereotype, but if they got some interesting personality then I have nothing to complain.

Abriael2189d ago

It goes both ways, IMHO. Normally the west seems to be more "In your face" when they put a big pair of breasts on a character, but maybe that's because I'm just more used to see them on characters from Japan.

Lately, though, I've seen some exceptional character designs coming from both areas. But the most funny part is that Lightning doesn't even have that big of a rack :D

NiKK_4192189d ago

Umm... To me, the East seems to be more "in your face," but that's my opinion. Usually, every time I see some anime cartoon on they make sure to have all the females half-dressed with their boobs out. I think it's just a cultural difference, though.

ronin4life2189d ago (Edited 2189d ago )

That's because Japan is very honest and understanding about sex in their culture as a part of human life, while most of the west tries to hide sex while simultaneously exploit and glorify it, creating a very uncomfortable and immature perception of what is simply a natural part of human life, nikk.

GoldenPheasant2189d ago

@ronin

yeah, if wanting to f*** your "adopted" sister = honesty, count me out.

jlar2189d ago

This is a dumb article because he's writing about something that isn't even real pffffbbbbbbtt.....digital boobies. THE REAL THING IS BETTER!!!!!! THERE ISN'T ANY POINT IN EVEN GIVING THESE IMAGINARY THINGS ANY THOUGHT.

inveni02189d ago

One word: Elena.

There's a chick that never shows too much cleavage but wins you over nonetheless. It IS possible to be attractive without being flashy...or fleshy.

I do like fleshy, though.

alexaray2189d ago

"This is a dumb article because he's writing about something that isn't even real pffffbbbbbbtt."

For the record, jlar... I'm a girl. ;)

Pozzle2188d ago (Edited 2188d ago )

"That's because Japan is very honest and understanding about sex in their culture as a part of human life, while most of the west tries to hide sex while simultaneously exploit and glorify it,"

Nooooooo. Not to sound harsh, but Japan is definitely not like that at all. Even though Japan is OK about things like public baths and changing clothes in front of others, sex itself is largely considered something you keep behind closed doors in Japan. You don't talk about it, you rarely hear it mentioned in general discussion on TV, and sex education in Japanese schools primarily discusses female menstruation and male ejaculation over actual sex.

Japan exploits and glorifies it in the media a similar manner as the West, but irl sex is largely considered a private topic. Don't even get me started on the traditional gender roles and hygiene "rules" many Japanese people consider important when it comes to sex.

Seriously, though, Japanese culture consists of a weird simultaneous mix of extreme sexualization and sexual innocence/ignorance.

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iamtehpwn2189d ago

I would like to see more non-generic characters from both sides of the ocean. I remember playing classic Eastern games like Final Fantasy 8 and characters like Squall who were stylish and still masculine.

And it is weird to think we now have games where you have an East/West divide of super muscular bald guys and long haired girly men. Even Squall was turned into one for Kingdom Hearts. I'd like to see more "Squall" balanced male characters.

Abriael2189d ago

Not that i disagree (I don't), but I know quite a few people that would be outraged at hearing you define Squall as masculine :D

news4geeks2189d ago

men on steroids are the best of men though.

jayhitcher2189d ago

I just find it somewhat disheartening that sexuality is considered so analogous to the nature of being a "strong character".
Yes, there's value to being open about sexuality, but the fact that so many "strong female characters" are so focused on being beautiful/sexually attractive in their designs annoys me. The same thing applies to male characters. It's the same thing that's screwing over the DC reboot; everyone's a "strong, liberated character", so you're ending up with Starfire dressing like a stripper to match her polyamorous character traits.

But I guess, in any medium, people are more quick to like characters when they're aesthetically appealing.

Abriael2189d ago (Edited 2189d ago )

I honestly don't think that's always (or even more often than not) the case. Just look at lightning. Her sexuality is normally very, very, very muted. And that's probably one of the reasons why I appreciate her so much, alongside her strenght (and the new plate armor, that I consider sexier than a bikini, mind you, call me strange if you will).

A reason why some character designers like to draw their "strong ladies" also rather sexy is simple. They draw them tall and muscular, and to keep proportions right, a nicely sized breast area is almost necessary. Also, when you go to great lenghts designing a muscular character, covering that musculature with too many layer of clothes doesn't work that well.

ashiksorel2189d ago

I think the idea that one should be ashamed to explore the depths of human sexuality, is wrong. As human beings it is only natural for us see things physically attractive to us. There is a lot more to looks but the first thing we look at is the physical appearance.

It's what we do automatically, should we be ashamed of it?
No, absolutely not.

What makes a female a female and what makes a male a male, is distinct differences in physical appearance. It's what stand out to us the most. Because that is how nature intended it to be.

GrandTheftZamboni2189d ago

Yeah, man. It's interesting how moral values established by primitive shepherds are still around us 5000 years later. They are probably right about dangers of being too physical, though. Thankfully, there is no more stoning, at least in the West.

ashiksorel2189d ago

This post has got me laughing in agreement.

300 points!!

CrzyFooL2189d ago

ain't nothing wrong with that.

ronin4life2189d ago (Edited 2189d ago )

The problem, I think, with characters in most western made games open for discussion on this topic, is that they try to make a sex object out of their characters, or make them for that purpose alone, then atempt to legitimize the character with lame excuses to keep detractors away and hope people don't see them as sexist pigs.
In most eastern games, however, there seems to be more honesty and openess, that is perceived by the west to be shameless exploitation and blatant sexism.
Take senran kagura's developer, for instance. He openly admits the entire point of him making the game is to show the players boobs in 3d. Is this exploitation? Maybe. But you know what? Most human males like boobs, and denying his right to make a game like this, or someones right to enjoy it, is in itself antagonisticly sexist. It seems shameless, but he's just being honest about his sexuality and doing what a game developer is supposed to do: making what he believes will be an enjoyable game, even if it is low brow.
Now, let's pretend this game was made by a WESTERN company. What would happen next?
People would bash it and accuse the dev. of being a sexist perv, causing an "heartfelt" apology and some lame "artistic" reason as an excuse to make himself look better. What about that, from the media to the developer, is honest, natural, or mature?
Bottom line: sex exists. And it isn't going anywhere anytime soon. So we can accept this about ourselves and others and be honest about it. Or, we can be immature, whiny babies who will always be uncomfortable with ourselves and our humanity.

Edit- damn, that was a long comment.

Bimkoblerutso2189d ago

I couldn't disagree with that assessment more. For the most part, sexuality in video games is not portrayed maturely on EITHER side of the pond. That's the whole point. Sexuality is not a seemingly underaged girl with pink hair transforming into a "magical girl," or a woman warrior going to battle looking like a dominatrix or a beautiful, scantily clad archaeologist with massive implants jumping around caves unfettered.

When it's done maturely (as in Catherine, for example), there is nothing wrong with it and it can in fact enhance the experience, but for the most part the industry has delegated sexuality to a form of exploitation.

ronin4life2189d ago (Edited 2189d ago )

No, it is all about understanding and acceptance, even if it is exploitation.
If you see someone walking down the street that attracts you, should you feel ashamed? After all, you are basically exploiting that persons appearance to make yourself feel good, even if you don't realise it.
Sex is just a part of human life, and Japan gets this. That's why it can seem so in your face there. But in America and some other western countries, we live in denial about the subject, and often feel uncomfortable with its display. What about this is mature?
And I'm sorry, but all I get out of Catherine is exploitation of sex and mature conventions to draw attention to itself. If it wasn't so racy and purposefully mature, I would never had heard of its existence.

Edit- also, when you make a game with sexy ladies, it is more exploitive of people sexually attracted to women than to women themselves. When a game is made with this exploitation in mind and made known to potential customers, is it still exploitation? After all, both parties know what they are doing.
But, what about a game like mass effect? Do the developers say "hey, everyone likes sex, so BAM, sex scene"? No. They say " it furthers the story and the relationships between the characters", denying the fact that it was inserted mostly to create interest in the game from people who would think it was more mature than it actually was: a blatant exploitation of people's interest in sex. And so was Catherine.

JoelT2189d ago

Sex sells, doesn't matter the industry, it just may be more prevalent in some than it is in others. When it comes to games, I, personally see them as art and the developers as the creators. If they want to make the ideal man or ideal woman, more power to them. A part of being human is finding the idea of symmetry beautiful . If designers and developers want to mold characters into the "ideal" versions of themselves I'm all for it as it will make the whole experience much easier on the eyes.

Bimkoblerutso2189d ago (Edited 2189d ago )

@ronin4life
First of all, I SERIOUSLY doubt you actually played Catherine if that's what you got out of the game.

Secondly, I will never accept exploitation. If sexuality is incorporated organically into the context of the game, fine, I have absolutely no problem with it. It would be insulting if prostitutes dressed like Quakers in GTA. But I am not going to be goaded into purchasing a game simply because I like looking at some boobies bounce...and I DO like looking at bouncing boobies, just to be clear.

The second it is used as exploitation (that is, a means of shallowly selling a few more copies of the game), then no, I do not accept or respect it's presence in my games because it is devoid of all artistic value within the context it is presented.

Edit: and to answer your question, no you should not feel guilty for being attracted to a good looking woman on the street. If you all of a sudden decide you need to start buying her frivolous gifts...then you should feel like an idiot, yes.

Chadness2189d ago (Edited 2189d ago )

@ronin4life: I agree mostly. I think Japan gets what the majority of Americans don't - and this is a general statement that can even apply outside the realm of video games - they GET that sexuality is a part of life. Which it is.

We're always "ashamed" somehow in the west of this sexuality. Can some of it be objectifying women (or men)? Sure it can. But the majority of the time in Eastern games (sans a few), that isn't the point.

However, I disagree with you about Catherine. That is probably one of the most non-gratuitous mature games I've ever played. The sexuality itself was not as "in your face" in the game, that is mostly the marketing, of which Atlus USA toned things down EXTENSIVELY over what Atlus Japan used to market the thing.

The game itself is very mature, and non-gratuitous in the least.

ronin4life2189d ago (Edited 2189d ago )

Bimko, I never played it, nor did I claim to have. And what I mean to say is that it isn't gratuitous or graphically sexual, just that the developers knew there would be more interest in it if it was advertised as being mature. Months went by of promotions for Catherine without any gameplay details whatsoever because they weren't trying to sell the game, they were selling the mature plot, and thus exploiting the people interested in it based on this.
And what is inorganic about sex in a sexy game? By your logic, senran kagura is not exploitive, because as I stated earlier, that is the point of the game. Meaning, by the nature of the games world, design, and advertisement, it is organic to itself.

Edit- yes, I know that Catherine is Japanese. But one of the reasons I lack caring for it is what I perceive to be its exploitive marketing that reminded me of western game design. (The way they advertised and developed it made me feel that they had America and the west in mind through its entire development, is what I mean)

Bimkoblerutso2189d ago

Senran Kagura is exploitative because it's a ridiculous premise. It's still being untrue to it's context, it just doesn't really pretend to present itself as art in the first place, much like pornography. It's only really presented as a masturbatory tool.

But look, I actually understand where you're coming from and I can't argue that America in general is backwards in it's perception of sexuality. I mean, in a perfect world we wouldn't slap an 'R' rating on movies simply because of a stray, split-second shot of a boob, and allow death and destruction in our 'PG' movies. We just disagree on what constitutes exploitation. I have no more bubbles to talk with you anymore about this.

ronin4life2189d ago (Edited 2189d ago )

Ok, this is my last bubble, so I will make my case and leave.
I don't believe that sex in Japanese games is usually exploitive because of the nature of presentation. Sex is simply seen as a natural part of life, and just isn't that big a deal. Although sex is used to "exploit" consumers in Japan as it is in America, this fact is also accepted and understood as a natural part of their lives, and is therefore not exploitive after all.
But in America, we feel ashamed and are lacking acceptance and honesty in a broader picture, yet still exploit sex for marketing and other purposes. This makes it hard for our society to treat sex in a mature fasion and accept it as it really is: a natural part of humanity, and thus, a part of society, which causes controversy where it isn't warranted. And the exploitation can often come from this controversy and lack of honesty about ourselves and our society as a whole. As such, game characters and scenarios are created and molded with this in mind, with the intent of exploiting customers for their natural feelings in an underhanded way.
Edit- first, I'm sleepy, so this comment that I posted may not make sense. Sorry.
Second, and separately from my comment, senran kaguras creator simply wanted to create something that would be fun. Even if its content is smutty, if it is enjoyable and can be appreciated by its target audience, than isn't being true to itself and its audience? And couldn't some even claim, that as such, it is a sort of art of functional accomplishment? As art is subjective, however, of course not everyone would think so. But if someone does, dosen't that give it some validation? ( I have no actual opinion on it, but still)

And lastly, it has been a pleasure debating with you all on this matter. Thank you very much

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