Bring On the Smexy
Let me start by saying that I am, although on hiatus a student in game art and design,and fully female. You should also know that I'm married with two kids and happily wed to Sephris, who is in fact as crazy as he sounds. So I'm not only a gamer girl, I'm a gamer woman. It just doesn't come off as impressive if you don't have that double consonant.
That being said, as a first time blogger myself, while watching my husband go crazy typing his blogs and reading to approve others blogs, I've noticed a surprising trend among my gender. This seems to be the right to complain about stereotyping women. I'll be the first, and maybe last woman that you'll ever hear mutter these words. I don't care. If you are a gamer girl, or a geek of any sort, then you girls must be aware of the fact that men aren't the only people stereotyping women.
We in fact see it everyday. When those still in high school walk down the hall and see the bimbos on the cheerleader team and wrinkle their noses, it's not because those airheads are the atypical behavior. It is because smart women who don't care about appearances or fitting in aren't incredibly easy to find. And so, the male population looks to them as the standard of what a woman is, because sadly, that is what more women than should be are.
You can say all you want that sexy outfits and objectifying turn off female gamers, and maybe to an extent that's true. Personally? I love those sexy outfits, I imagine myself turning heads and doing it with the bold flair I can't pull off in real life. And no, I'm not a bimbo, but I am shy.
Are their bodies unrealistic? Yes. Also, who cares? The standard of beauty changes so often that realism is relative. And in our world there's plenty of girls out there getting boob jobs and collagen, and it's not because of the influence of video games.
Did you know that the most common justification for using such exaggerated body types among the artists isn't "OOOOOOooooh Boobies?" Very few men making these women are the drooling cavemen you'd expect. The justification? It's a 2 dimensional space being represented 3 dimensional. You know how the camera adds ten pounds? This applies to video games too. See the screen is going to flatten out your character, and that is going to eliminate some of the form, on top of which, your screen is probably not as big as an actual person. So you've got small figures that you are trying to make sure people can tell are females. That's right, even from the back. So this requires a silhouette that says woman all over it. Otherwise, you might mistake it for a man.
Not that this can't be done without sexualizing, but damn if it isn't harder. And it's already enough of a pain in the ass to make a 3d model look right. Trust me. In a lot of game creation timelines your slot to work is nowhere near what it would take for perfection. So if you ask if they sexualize women, the answer is yes, and if you want that to stop then your going to be seeing a lot more androgynous forms wandering about your screen. Does this make it right? Once again I ask the question that ought to be on your mind, which is, who cares?
Really though, that's not what I'm here to write about. I'm not about countering those arguments; I just wanted to put that out there before I made a request to the gamer girl community. Stop asking for less eye candy for men and start asking for more variety of eye candy for women! For me, this all starts with the villains.
I'm not talking anti-heroes. The bad guy that you get to play. I'm talking sweet, sweet, sexy evil. It's not that hard, one part charm, one part maniacal genius, and one part narcissistic. The last video game guy who did it for me? Sephiroth, as if you're surprised. If a guy would gut me before I got to give him my number, that's a start. For crying out loud though, can't he be hot? I'm tired of bad girls who look like vixens being countered by mutated disgusting blobs or balding scarred up freaks. Where's my hotness? Where's that dark and evil man who scares me shitless in a good way? Why does the bad guy so often have to look bad?
I'd like to see a bad guy who's a fallen angel, set out to corrupt humanity. Handsome, shirtless, dark cascading hair tumbling down his pale but pristine, well cut, shoulders. Blackened wings unfolding in the contrast of a setting sun and reflecting oily raven colors. His wings then enfolding around a female protagonist against her will, the feathers gently resting in the small of her back and tickling gently up her spine as strong hands pull her in close and he begins to whisper threats into her.... sorry, got a little off track there.
I know I may be a minority, but I'm not the only girl out there who feels this way. The dark side has cookies after all, and there are villain fan-girls out there who get no fan service. For that matter there's frankly just not enough fan service for women in general. I want my fellow women to stop complaining that men are objectifying women for their delights, and start asking that a few men be created with theirs in mind too. Then, men can have their cake, and girls can eat it too.
So that's my thoughts, and note that those are only my thoughts, my opinions. I really don't care if you don't change yours; in fact it's highly unlikely that you will. Just know that there are girls out there like me who are ignored by the gaming world. We are waiting for our fantasies to be fulfilled in a game. Waiting for our turn to fall in love with a character. Sure it's not all about looks, attitude is going to matter too, but it has to start somewhere. Let it start with the smexy.
The image for this article is lovingly stolen (for the moment) from: http://cantas78.deviantart....