White knighting and sexism

There's a trend going on right now that really disturbs me. As a guy who loves games, and as a guy who loves women.

White knights of the internet, fighting Women's War against Man, what is it that propels you to praise normalcy in the face of fantasy? We've had an evolution from a point where it was alright to portray every single character in a game in a fashion completely disconnected from reality, to a point where women are exempt from that rule. This is a sign of the maturing of the art form, and it's good. We're asking our character designers to craft characters that inspire our imaginations to share in their world. The Uncharted games have given us characters as real as any hollywood character, and that's a real achievement.

What worries me, is that now the focus seems to have moved away from arguing against the ridiculous disregard for physical law in character design, and has become a veiled argument against sexuality itself.

Today I read a long, rambling thread on how much the female character designs in Syndicate were sexually provocative, and thus "wrong". This made me angry enough to need to take a walk around the house (which probably says a lot about me).

Men of the internet, if you encounter a female character design that is not identifiable as an aberration of physical law, yet you still find it sexually provocative, I strongly suggest you sit the fuck down and shut the fuck up. The counter argument to these punk cyber synth goth trenchcoat gun ladies appears to be that Jade or Zoey were "good girls", and that these girls are "bad girls", therefore sexism. You're basically saying that if a girl wants to be a sexual being and chooses an attire to match that, or worse, if a girl doesn't share your idea of what is physically attractive, then she needs to go back to the drawing board and put on some clothes, because man, ladies need to know better than to wear push up bras and leave their shirts buttoned up all the way. I mean PROPRIETY come on.

The office guy! The biker! The army vet! The.. girl!

You men... I'll fight with you against the Ivy's and 90s era Laras any day, but if you simply see a girl with a corset and cleavage and you don't like it, you can get the fuck out. The Syndicate characters are some of the best female characters I've seen in a while, simply because they look murderous as shit yet confident enough to wear whatever they want. Kevlar corsets, for fucks sake. You're complaining about cleavage (not practical!), yet it's ok that nobody wears a helmet.

There's nothing more infuriating in this debate than pretending to fight the fight for women's rights, yet in actuality to be fighting for your own selfish need to be "good". It's so misguided to think that women need to be girls next door with moderate makeup and no sense of style or pride in their appearance to somehow be strong characters. If anything is keeping girls in games under the boot, it's men's desire to normalize them and craft worlds in which women are nothing but blank templates on which to project their fantasies. To wax nerdy for a moment, in artificial intelligence, Markov models work by examining past states to build a concept of the world, yet once enough time has passed, the average of all states means you don't know shit about the world at all.

You want to divide all girls by their number and ensure they're conforming to the public notion of what a girl should be, and you know what? Nobody wants to be average, and with time, you've successfully dehumanized women. Good fucking job, white knights.

Requisite elitist douchebag recommendation: Read some fucking Paglia, then rejoin the conversation.

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Posted by Sunjammer

There's a trend going on right now that really disturbs me. As a guy who loves games, and as a guy who loves women.

White knights of the internet, fighting Women's War against Man, what is it that propels you to praise normalcy in the face of fantasy? We've had an evolution from a point where it was alright to portray every single character in a game in a fashion completely disconnected from reality, to a point where women are exempt from that rule. This is a sign of the maturing of the art form, and it's good. We're asking our character designers to craft characters that inspire our imaginations to share in their world. The Uncharted games have given us characters as real as any hollywood character, and that's a real achievement.

What worries me, is that now the focus seems to have moved away from arguing against the ridiculous disregard for physical law in character design, and has become a veiled argument against sexuality itself.

Today I read a long, rambling thread on how much the female character designs in Syndicate were sexually provocative, and thus "wrong". This made me angry enough to need to take a walk around the house (which probably says a lot about me).

Men of the internet, if you encounter a female character design that is not identifiable as an aberration of physical law, yet you still find it sexually provocative, I strongly suggest you sit the fuck down and shut the fuck up. The counter argument to these punk cyber synth goth trenchcoat gun ladies appears to be that Jade or Zoey were "good girls", and that these girls are "bad girls", therefore sexism. You're basically saying that if a girl wants to be a sexual being and chooses an attire to match that, or worse, if a girl doesn't share your idea of what is physically attractive, then she needs to go back to the drawing board and put on some clothes, because man, ladies need to know better than to wear push up bras and leave their shirts buttoned up all the way. I mean PROPRIETY come on.

The office guy! The biker! The army vet! The.. girl!

You men... I'll fight with you against the Ivy's and 90s era Laras any day, but if you simply see a girl with a corset and cleavage and you don't like it, you can get the fuck out. The Syndicate characters are some of the best female characters I've seen in a while, simply because they look murderous as shit yet confident enough to wear whatever they want. Kevlar corsets, for fucks sake. You're complaining about cleavage (not practical!), yet it's ok that nobody wears a helmet.

There's nothing more infuriating in this debate than pretending to fight the fight for women's rights, yet in actuality to be fighting for your own selfish need to be "good". It's so misguided to think that women need to be girls next door with moderate makeup and no sense of style or pride in their appearance to somehow be strong characters. If anything is keeping girls in games under the boot, it's men's desire to normalize them and craft worlds in which women are nothing but blank templates on which to project their fantasies. To wax nerdy for a moment, in artificial intelligence, Markov models work by examining past states to build a concept of the world, yet once enough time has passed, the average of all states means you don't know shit about the world at all.

You want to divide all girls by their number and ensure they're conforming to the public notion of what a girl should be, and you know what? Nobody wants to be average, and with time, you've successfully dehumanized women. Good fucking job, white knights.

Requisite elitist douchebag recommendation: Read some fucking Paglia, then rejoin the conversation.

Posted by Mmmslash

My issue with women in regards to gaming communities often has very little to do with the actual women. Assuming she isn't one of the "girl gamers" who uses it as an excuse to bedazzle nerdy boys on the internet (and I like to imagine this is minority, for my own sake), it's the men around them who turn everything into a shitfest.

9 time sout of 10, if I am playing something multiplayer and a woman makes herself known as a woman (whether from voice chat, or a simple, noninflammatory comment), it seems like a half dozen guys immediately regress into caveman mode. If they're not asking to see her tits, or asking her for him IM name, or asking her to friend them, they're busy trying to defend her honor (of a perfect stranger, no less), towards the men doing so. It's fucking appalling.

So, I usually never play with girl gamers, and it's not even their fault. Seriously, fuck people, man.

Posted by LordXavierBritish

I love you arm bird man.

Posted by BraveToaster

@Mmmslash said:

My issue with women in regards to gaming communities often has very little to do with the actual women. Assuming she isn't one of the "girl gamers" who uses it as an excuse to bedazzle nerdy boys on the internet (and I like to imagine this is minority, for my own sake), it's the men around them who turn everything into a shitfest.

9 time sout of 10, if I am playing something multiplayer and a woman makes herself known as a woman (whether from voice chat, or a simple, noninflammatory comment), it seems like a half dozen guys immediately regress into caveman mode. If they're not asking to see her tits, or asking her for him IM name, or asking her to friend them, they're busy trying to defend her honor (of a perfect stranger, no less), towards the men doing so. It's fucking appalling.

So, I usually never play with girl gamers, and it's not even their fault. Seriously, fuck people, man.

Yeah, this is one of the reasons why I no longer use my headset.

Posted by Sunjammer

That's kind of a separate topic, but I'd be interested in hearing GOOD stories of women playing games with men. I know it happens in MMORPGs and guilds.

Sometimes I genuinely feel the idea of internet anonymity needs to die for the internet to mature. People turn into such asswads when they don't have to take responsibility for what they do.

Posted by upwarDBound

@Sunjammer: Admit it, you're just a horndog. ;)

Posted by FancySoapsMan

Good read.

Posted by benjaebe

Good read. Bioshock Infinite comes to mind, where so many people seemed outraged that Elizabeth had cleavage even though it was historically appropriate, fit the art style and had no impact on her ability to be an engaging and well-realized character (just watch any of the behind the scenes with the voice actors, you'll see Ken Levine and the VAs take the characters very seriously.) It's like people tried so hard to be politically correct or against "sexualization" that they were pretty much guilty of the same thing.

Posted by Mmmslash

@Axxol: It's telling, I had no idea you were a lady until that comment.

Posted by Branthog

One problem is that people are constantly misusing words. Misogyny is applied to anything short of pure adulation of women, rather than to hatred of women as the word means. Sexist and sexism is applied to everything, including stereotypes, rather than actual discrimination. And both words are used as "winners". That is, words that can be thrown at you. That one in a conversation can label you with to cause you to automatically lose the discussion in the same way "racist" is sometimes used. It doesn't matter if it's unfairly applied or not. Just using it is a nuclear bomb of "win" for your side.

The matter isn't helped by the endless "this is me being an intellectually stimulating legitimate journalist" types out there in the gaming industry who only really know of two ways to make themselves appear thoughtful (as well as convenient linkbaiting) -- those two ways being "are games art?" and "women/sexism/misogyny in gaming". When even these supposed "journalists" misuse and abuse the English language, you can't expect much from the common mouth-breather holding a lance on his white donkey.

It's further complicated by things like double-standards. Men are constantly portrayed as bumbling mouth-breathing overweight daft dolts on sit-coms, on commercials, and in movies. Portraying any type of female stereotype means you're "sexist" (discriminating on basis of gender) and "misogynist" (hate women). Show a half naked dude drinking a diet pepsi during a break during his construction work while a bunch of women ogle him from an office window on the third floor and it's no problem. Be even fractionally responsive to an equally attractive female or acknowledge any individual female body part or acknowledge that the female physique is different from the male in any way whatsoever and you're a sexist and misogynist.

We're all adults. We understand that there is more to women than tits and ass and more to men than a wallet or a car or a ripped abdomen. We also understand that the opposite sex likes a lot of things about each other that are considered superficial and stereotypical. That doesn't mean that's all women see in men or that's all men see in women. And, yes, it'd be great to have a greater diversity of women portrayed in games or, for that matter, men portrayed in sit-coms (how many sit-coms can you count on your fingers where the man was portrayed like Mr. Brady rather than Kevin James? Maybe two or three, if you're generous).

Fortunately, as adults, we're capable of being superficial, highly sexual and sexualized, as well as deep, introspective, thoughtful, considerate, and compassionate. We're capable of liking physical appearance and mental aptitude. We're even capable of acknowledging stereotypes and finding humor in them, while applying them unfairly to each other across the board and seeing individuals as individuals. We aren't warped or broken by these things.

I suppose my real frustration with these discussions and articles -- other than misusing the English language so that you can classify entire groups of people as misogynist and sexist with no real accurate justification so you have something to talk about or feel superior about -- is how disingenuous it all seems. It's the intellectual or journalistic equivalent to the guy who goes to yoga class or church to pick up chicks and thinks he's fooling everyone into thinking he's really totally sincere about either one. It's usually easy to pick up on someone being trendy or pandering.

@Axxol said:

@Mmmslash said:

My issue with women in regards to gaming communities often has very little to do with the actual women. Assuming she isn't one of the "girl gamers" who uses it as an excuse to bedazzle nerdy boys on the internet (and I like to imagine this is minority, for my own sake), it's the men around them who turn everything into a shitfest.

9 time sout of 10, if I am playing something multiplayer and a woman makes herself known as a woman (whether from voice chat, or a simple, noninflammatory comment), it seems like a half dozen guys immediately regress into caveman mode. If they're not asking to see her tits, or asking her for him IM name, or asking her to friend them, they're busy trying to defend her honor (of a perfect stranger, no less), towards the men doing so. It's fucking appalling.

So, I usually never play with girl gamers, and it's not even their fault. Seriously, fuck people, man.

Yeah, this is one of the reasons why I no longer use my headset.

Frankly, it's nothing new, either. This happened well over a decade ago, too (and a decade before that, on BBSes). There's nothing like enjoying a nice game of Counter-Strike when a female joins the game and it all devolves into guys vying for her attention. Either in a mouth-breathing direct moron way or in a "look at me, aren't I different from these other jackhole apes?" way. It all boils down to everyone sucking at the game for rest of her visit and becoming nothing more than a big chat room. On one hand, it makes me feel bad for female gamers who just want to play a game. Glad I don't have to put up with it like they do. On the other hand, I've known plenty (in fact, one used to be a regular on our CS server) who make a point of letting everyone know they're a girl and playing it up... while also pretending they don't want the attention and are just there to play the game. So coy. So annoying. In fact, I lived with one of these for some time. Drove me fucking nuts to watch and made me wonder what was going on in someone's head that they would find value in going into a game full of nerdy males that they probably wouldn't give the time to in person and distracting them all and hoping that they pay attention to her (while pretending that it's all a bother and she doesn't want them to pay attention to her).

I would imagine girls who just want to fucking play games (and should neither have to put up with all the attention nor have to go out of their way to disguise their gender to avoid it) hate that just as much.

Anyway, I'm sure about three quarters of those reading this are getting ready to tell me I"m a misogynist and a sexist, so everything above this line can be easily dismissed and made irrelevant. Hurrah for discussion!

Posted by theodacourt

@Sunjammer: I was a regular at some CoD 1, UO and 2 clan servers and they had some women in them. They were never treated any different than any other member or regular. I was a shy teenager at the time (still shy, just not a teenager) so I didn't talk, but I listened to the team speak channel and everyone was lovely, men and women, but it was mostly men.

Posted by Sunjammer

@upwarDBound: Who ISN'T? ;-P

Posted by BraveToaster

@Mmmslash said:

@Axxol: It's telling, I had no idea you were a lady until that comment.

No, I'm a man. I'm just tired of the shitfest that Xbox Live chat can be. I stopped using my headset because I don't want to hear other people talk. It's kind of hard to enjoy the game when some twat is calling you the N word.

Posted by Animasta

There's clothing that's appropriate for the setting, and there's clothing that's inappropriate. Not many people complained about Catherine being sexist, but Catherine wasn't actually fighting anyone, she was dolled up for the sole purpose of seducing Vincent. Yet in a battle scenario I should think that you want to be fully covered if bullets come flying, eh?

Posted by Sunjammer

@theodacourt: Yeah I think, like with most bad things, we hear more shouting about the horror stories than the happy days. Who wants to talk about things working out as expected?

@Branthog " It's the intellectual or journalistic equivalent to the guy who goes to yoga class or church to pick up chicks and thinks he's fooling everyone into thinking he's really totally sincere about either one." Spot on. Great read.

Edited by Sunjammer

@Animasta: Again, see my point that no player character in that trailer is wearing a helmet, male or female. Character designers can't be held responsible for where your eyes wander when trying to make sense of an image. That you think cleavage is eye-catching is your problem.

Actually, why do you care what's practical anyway? What's that got to do with sexism in the slightest other than your own perception of what is normal? Stop making decisions for other people, and that's the core of my argument.

Edited by Animasta

@Sunjammer said:

@Animasta: Again, see my point that no man (or woman) in that trailer is wearing a helmet. Character designers can't be held responsible for where your eyes wander when trying to make sense of an image. That you think cleavage is eye-catching is your problem.

well, consider this; if none of them are wearing helmets, than that was a gameplay conceit, not a design choice. Maybe it's easier for people to remember who you are, instead of everyone wearing the same helmet or something.

edit: I'm not making decisions for other people though?

Posted by Sunjammer

@Animasta: The moment you decide that not wearing a helmet is okay, but it's not okay to wear clothes with cleavage, yes, you are making decisions for other people. She can wear what the hell she wants.

See, dude, I'm not calling you sexist here, but the line between the subjectivity of saying something doesn't appeal to you and saying something is objectively wrong can be a hair's breadth. In other words, until her outfit screams she's a slave to cock, it's none of your business, or mine, what she's wearing. You're free to feel something, positive or negative, about the image that's presented to you, but claiming political high ground because of your subjective response is baffling.

Edited by StarvingGamer

@Sunjammer said:

In other words, until her outfit screams she's a slave to cock, it's none of your business, or mine, what she's wearing.

Made me imagine a tiny tank top with underboob and the words SLAVE TO COCK in giant letters across the front. Then I imagined it with a built in speaker screaming "I'M A SLAVE TO COCK!" on loop. Then I chuckled.

EDIT: In my defense I'm a non-caffeine drinker who is currently running on 0 sleep and 48 ounces of coffee so my brain feels funny.

Edited by Animasta

@Sunjammer: I wasn't even saying it was objectively wrong, I was just offering some differing points of view, but apparently that means I want her to NOT EXPRESS HER INHERIT SEXUALITY (that's a silly thing to say considering this is a video game, but whatever) I just think that the head of this syndicate office should make them wear clothing that protects them to the fullest.

think you need to calm down bud

Posted by Sunjammer

@Animasta: Haha you're probably right. I guess i've been in a combative mood :-) I didn't mean to attack you, I guess I just assumed I'd have to defend myself vigorously.

Edited by avidwriter

I've noticed 99% of the time these "white knights" think they will win over the girls heart if they defend them. They are usually the basement dwelling virgin neck-beards who have never felt the kiss or touch of a woman that turn into these internet "white knights". It's pretty sad actually.

EDIT : Also, it's a video game. Play it or don't just STFU honestly.

Posted by Sunjammer

@avidwriter: Well it is a romantic idea, you can't deny that. It makes a naive kind of sense to want to stand up for women, because then you'll be attractive, right?

The world is a better place when you abstract it away to some simple rules, but it never is that simple.

Posted by Trylks

@Animasta: @Sunjammer: helmets, that thing. http://www.vgcats.com/comics/?strip_id=218

I think the root of all these problems is repression, and they are nowhere to get solved with more repression, that is going to make them worse. My humble opinion.

Accepting we are humans and we like appealing individuals (the kind of individuals that appeal each one) is the right way to go. Accept your nature, embrace it and enjoy it, there is nothing bad in that.

Then we can move to more important things.

Posted by TaliciaDragonsong

I must admit I dislike these threads more then the actual sexism threads.
Boys will be boys, let them enjoy their balloon tits, I'll laugh at it and/or steer clear while I enjoy other forms of art (or videogames, in plain).
 
I've had my fair share of white knighters fighting online battles for me, but they were so busy being white knights they never notice I already logged off (MMO's) or ran off to do some actual gaming. 
 
I don't care who does what in the name of who the fuck cares.

Posted by kingzetta

so we're not talking about white knight chronicles?

Posted by Sunjammer

@TaliciaDragonsong: It's not about balloon tits though. It's about attire. And when people complain about the slightest display of cleavage, we need to start asking questions about what exactly it is people expect from the world around them.

Posted by Artigkar

@Branthog: I just would like to tell you that I agree with your post. So right

Edited by Alexandruxx
@Animasta: I know he is overreacting, but he does have a point. In pretty much all videogames, characters are just stereotypes, and they are dressed accordingly. But everyone just pays attention to females. What about Chris and his oversised muscles(RE5)? People only focused on Sheeva's ass.
Edited by Juno500

@Sunjammer said:

@Animasta: Again, see my point that no player character in that trailer is wearing a helmet, male or female. Character designers can't be held responsible for where your eyes wander when trying to make sense of an image. That you think cleavage is eye-catching is your problem.

This is true, but at the same time, don't fool yourself into thinking that when game developers make a character busty female character with revealing clothes, it's never an attempt to pander to a male crowd. It's not necessarily terrible or unacceptable to do so, but there's no doubt that it happens, and many female characters are made with it in mind.

@avidwriter said:

I've noticed 99% of the time these "white knights" think they will win over the girls heart if they defend them. They are usually the basement dwelling virgin neck-beards who have never felt the kiss or touch of a woman that turn into these internet "white knights". It's pretty sad actually.

I'd like to see how you came up with these figures because they strike me as being complete bullshit.

Posted by Animasta

@Alexandruxx said:

@Animasta: I know he is overreacting, but he does have a point. In pretty much all videogames, characters are just stereotypes, and they are dressed accordingly. But everyone just pays attentipn to females. What about Chris and his oversised muscles(RE5)? People only focused on Sheeva's ass.

I thought the only thing people paid attention to in that game was the zombie tribal people

sure, you're right, but there's more male characters that don't have oversized muscles than there are female characters that are less than... voluptuous. admittedly there are more male characters in video games anyway but still

Posted by ZeForgotten

White Knighting is the best thing ever(dumbest thing I've ever heard about)

One guy defends a chick online against someone, probably a stoner.(bullet to the head works better but that's just my opinon on them)

Then people Go "waah waah, white knighting is so lame, boo, boo" and now they're trying to defend the chick from the White Knight.. bascially by being the new White Knight..

Online
Posted by Sunjammer

@Juno500: Designing a character to be appealing is their job though. I have no illusions at all about why design choices are made, but I take exception to the idea that we need to somehow enforce normalcy and mediocrity among female character designs in particular. I find that alarming. I have as much beef with balloon tits and thongs as anyone when it's clearly exploitive, but cleavage is, jesus christ, cleavage is FINE. What is this, the 1700s?

Posted by Sunjammer

@ZeForgotten: White knights on white knights sounds like an even battle to me. Seriously though. I just want people to stop enforcing normalcy. It goes both ways.

Posted by gale
Men of the internet, if you encounter a female character design that is not identifiable as an aberration of physical law, yet you still find it sexually provocative, I strongly suggest you sit the fuck down and shut the fuck up. The counter argument to these punk cyber synth goth trenchcoat gun ladies appears to be that Jade or Zoey were "good girls", and that these girls are "bad girls", therefore sexism. You're basically saying that if a girl wants to be a sexual being and chooses an attire to match that, or worse, if a girl doesn't share your idea of what is physically attractive, then she needs to go back to the drawing board and put on some clothes, because man, ladies need to know better than to wear push up bras and leave their shirts buttoned up all the way. I mean PROPRIETY come on.

While I suppose I somewhat agree, I think it's important to note that there is a difference between a female character owning her sexuality, and a female character who's sexuality is being used purely as eye candy, and it's not always that difficult to tell the difference. You're right that denouncing any depiction of female sexuality as sexist, and being bored by any female character not depicted sexually are essentially different flavours of the same problem (e.g. the perception of a woman's sexuality as being public property, among other things) but I feel it's important to note, at the same time, that sometimes a sexy depiction of a female character is also a sexist depiction of a female character. It's not as simple as saying that any female character wearing a skimpy outfit is just proving how much of a fuck she gives about what's "prudent" or "normal"; sometimes it's just what the concept artist drew, out of a desire to make the character hot to look at, and it has had literally zero influence or connection to who the character actually is. I mean, even ignoring entirely the question of depicted attitudes being sexist, for the sake of simplicity, the number of female characters who dress skimpily as an expression of her character and sexuality is vastly outstripped by the number of female characters who dress skimpily for no reason, or even in *contradiction* to her character and sexuality.

Culture doesn't exist in a vacuum, and while a single game displaying sexist attitudes isn't in itself much of an issue, an abundance of games displaying sexist attitudes is; they serve to reinforce and validate ideas that are used against real people in the real world. And when a subculture is already as openly hostile towards women as gaming culture so casually is, that becomes a serious problem.

TLDR: Sometimes a cigar is just a symbolic penis.

Edited by bybeach

Where's her boobs?

Where is the short skirt?

Is that a girl?

Posted by ZeForgotten

@Sunjammer said:

@ZeForgotten: White knights on white knights sounds like an even battle to me. Seriously though. I just want people to stop enforcing normalcy. It goes both ways.

No matter how you put it, both sides are filled with idiots.

One side has those guys who defend chicks and thinks that it somehow gets them laid. Some just do it to be friendly.

The other side has the idiots who go against the white knights saying stuff like "The chick can defend herself!", oddly enough they also think they're gonna get laid.

Online
Posted by Sunjammer

@gale: Yep. TLDR of my post, really, is that while they are linked, sexuality isn't synonymous with sexist. It seems some people are on a hair trigger, and confuse the two. Just to reiterate, I totally agree that the batshit crazy character designs like Ivy and that chick from X-Blades are blatantly sexist. But being offended by the cleavage in Syndicate is, in my mind, equally sexist.

Posted by ZeForgotten

@bybeach said:

Where's her boobs?

Where is the short skirt?

Is that a girl?

Nono, that's not a girl. He just screams like one and is constantly annoying. His name is Louis

Online
Posted by Juno500

@Sunjammer said:

@Juno500: Designing a character to be appealing is their job though. I have no illusions at all about why design choices are made, but I take exception to the idea that we need to somehow enforce normalcy and mediocrity among female character designs in particular. I find that alarming. I have as much beef with balloon tits and thongs as anyone when it's clearly exploitive, but cleavage is, jesus christ, cleavage is FINE. What is this, the 1700s?

Sure it's their job, but the real problem exists when they design characters in which sex appeal is the only thing they have going for them. Even ignoring any issue of sexism or pandering, it's lazy and uninteresting characterization. Isn't that reason enough to criticize it?

As for your the issue of cleavage, how many people are actually complaining about cleavage though? I think you're taking a very small group of people and generalizing. Like in your OP you called it a "trend". What evidence is there of that?

Posted by Mmmslash

@Axxol said:

@Mmmslash said:

@Axxol: It's telling, I had no idea you were a lady until that comment.

No, I'm a man. I'm just tired of the shitfest that Xbox Live chat can be. I stopped using my headset because I don't want to hear other people talk. It's kind of hard to enjoy the game when some twat is calling you the N word.

Oh, I misunderstood, obviously.

Still, though, I agree with you. People with anonymity are almost universally reprehensible. It's like as soon as there is accountability, people see it as a reason to stop acting like a decent human being.

Posted by Sunjammer
@Juno500: Sure it's their job, but the real problem exists when they design characters in which sex appeal is the only thing they have going for them. Even ignoring any issue of sexism or pandering, it's lazy and uninteresting characterization. Isn't that reason enough to criticize it?

Of course, but those aren't the designs I was talking about.

As for the trend I'm referring to I'm not talking about cleavage. I'm talking about the urge to produce female character designs that are incrementally more and more normalized and desexualized, because the slightest inclusion of sexuality in a character design seems prone to inspire outrage.

Specifically about cleavage, just people freaking out over the Syndicate trailer, as well as Elizabeth's design for Bioshock Infinite, and the Battle of Femshep. There's enough discussion about it that I feel okay about calling it out.

Posted by McGhee

@Sunjammer:

I completely agree. I've been wanting to say basically this for a while, but am too lazy. I also don't want to get stuck in endless arguments.

This is the same as people that criticize models which I just hate. People say, "Real women don't look like that. Real women aren't all wasting away thin. Real women have curves." etc. It is just an argument for mediocrity out of jealousy and embarrassment. Actually, a lot of woman are naturally extremely thin. Others work out a lot to achieve that look. So instead of these complainers making excuses for their own fat asses maybe they should go the fucking gym and quit judging women who are better looking. Just because you are thin, it doesn't mean you're a crack smoking anorexic.

Posted by gale

@Sunjammer: Man, I was so ready to have to fight you on this. Literally sighed with relief. We probably have different points at which we draw the line and say "Nope, that's just silly", but I'm glad there's could be a conversation, at least. I mean, I would kind of raise an eyebrow at standard issue kevlar corsets, but I'm not going to protest especially strenuously about it when way bigger problems are getting handwaved. I'm not totally OK with it, and I'd hate to belittle people who do honestly find it more problematic than I do, but it's not a battle I'm personally upset about conceding, I guess.

Posted by Brodehouse

White knights have first strike and protection against black.

Does that make people who attack women on the internet into black knights?

Posted by Alexandruxx
@Animasta: I remember there being some discutions about Sheeva, but yeah, there was alot more attention given to racism.
About women being sexualised more then men, I think that is a part of our culture. Everyday on the street women dress alot more provocatly then men. Maybe I am noticing it more because I am a men, but the clothes that most woman (girls?) wear, are definetly built to evidentiate stuff. Women thight jeans ( alot tighter then what Klepeck wears), short skirts and T-shirts that leave the belly to be seen (forgot the name).
And I saw a 14 years old that was wearing some shorts that looked like they could be her underwear.
 
Also, women are a lot more sexualized in music videos. And don't forget the Megan Fox(y) 3D ass shot. 

PS:I know I have typos, but englisn is not my natal language.
Posted by el_tajij

@Sunjammer: Well written man, great read. Couldn't agree more, but y'know, if there's way for people to put down other people or stand themselves on a pedestal - they'll sure as hell use it.

Edited by Juno500

@Sunjammer said:

As for the trend I'm referring to I'm not talking about cleavage. I'm talking about the urge to produce female character designs that are incrementally more and more normalized and desexualized, because the slightest inclusion of sexuality in a character design seems prone to inspire outrage.

Specifically about cleavage, just people freaking out over the Syndicate trailer, as well as Elizabeth's design for Bioshock Infinite, and the Battle of Femshep. There's enough discussion about it that I feel okay about calling it out.

So to support your argument, you bring up 3 incidents, all of which likely involved only a vocal minority and therefore were unlikely to reliably represent the gaming community at large.

I'm sorry, I honestly am not convinced there's a trend here. I'm not saying you're flat out wrong, but at best you've got a flimsy case here.

Posted by actionTACO

@Sunjammer said:

@Juno500: Sure it's their job, but the real problem exists when they design characters in which sex appeal is the only thing they have going for them. Even ignoring any issue of sexism or pandering, it's lazy and uninteresting characterization. Isn't that reason enough to criticize it?

Of course, but those aren't the designs I was talking about.

As for the trend I'm referring to I'm not talking about cleavage. I'm talking about the urge to produce female character designs that are incrementally more and more normalized and desexualized, because the slightest inclusion of sexuality in a character design seems prone to inspire outrage.

Specifically about cleavage, just people freaking out over the Syndicate trailer, as well as Elizabeth's design for Bioshock Infinite, and the Battle of Femshep. There's enough discussion about it that I feel okay about calling it out.

why do these characters need to be sexualized at all? and why is always almost elusively female characters? i doubt we'll ever see nathan drake in short-shorts or marcus fenix with a giant cod-piece on his armor.

Posted by Sunjammer

@Juno500: That's cool, we can agree to disagree. It was an impulsive post in the first place, but I felt super right about posting it, so that's all I can say ;-) In any case I think it's an interesting discussion.

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