By Sunjammer 91 Comments
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.
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.