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Men and Women.


Romier S
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I was recently reading an fascinating article on the ideological needs of our society to overtly sexualise and consequently neutralise certain personality traits (intelligence, assertiveness) of feminine characters in the videogames we play today. Examples given were of course Lara Croft, Cate Archer of No One Lives Forever fame, Bloodrayne and a few others. Now the article was veered much more towards a "post-feminist" view which I usually dismiss as being pro-freminist drivel that concerns sexism and the male inability to view women as more than a sexual instrument (which *is* a problem and I sympathize but ladies nice guys do in fact exist!). The subject matter here was somehow different and resonated a bit more which inevitably got the old wheels turning.

 

As a group of eclectic and diversified individuals, where exactly do you view the roles of man and woman in a game? You see the main problem I have with the constant cry of sexism in gaming is that men are for the most portrayed as being overly muscular, well built archetypes. Now that is indeed a generalization and there are, as always, exceptions but in looking at some of the major titles on the market women are not the only ones being idealized and placed in a role of being sexually attractive and appealing to the eye.

 

Take for the instance the latest game in the Prince of Persia series: The Sands of Time. I have spoken with several female gamers since the release of the game who find the main character to be very attractive. More interestingly one woman I spoke with commented that she enjoyed the latter parts of the game where the princes' shirt was torn off the most. I find that fascinating from a male point of view because we all spend a great deal of time joking about how sexy Bloodrayne is and its almost "wrong" to find a digitized man or woman attractive but its seems even more taboo for a women to join in the fun. Of course sexuality is as very big part of our nature and in the end it comes down to whatever "gets your goat" if you catch my drift. More to the point however, is the industry in fact just as guilty of objectifying the male image as it is that of a women?

 

Perhaps the answer lies in the mind of the man sitting next to you on a bus or your good buddy you enjoy playing games with. Are we, as men, threatened by a strong willed women and does that physchological fear trickle down to our taste when playing certain games? Is it easier for us to play a women in a game who is placed in a position of sexual objectification? Or do we simply relish channeling our sexual desires through a female character? Is that the fundamental difference in how men and women are viewed in the various forms of entertainment we enjoy, including videogames?

 

From a feminine perspective is there is any form of self-fullfillment you get from playing a male lead in a game as opposed to a women? What are your feelings towards a strong feminine archetype in a videogame? Take for instance the character of Samus Aran in the popular Metroid series of games. She is the embodiment of the very traits I mentioned above. She is intelligent, agressive and assertive and she is in my opinion one of the strongest (both figuratively and literally) female leads found in a game because she is for the most part *not* placed in a position of being a sexual creature. I'm sure many will remember the ending to the original Metroid when the player finds out that the person underneath the suit was in fact a women all along.(One of the greatest twists every placed in a videogame.) Is it so suprising that a women could have filled that role? The most interesting answer is that to most men the answer to that question is a resounding YES! (Oh boy now I'm the one doling out the pro-feminist rhetoric :tu: )

 

Now I realize I have asked alot of questions and provided very little answers but that is the exact point of this thread. I want to hear your thoughts on the subject. I want to know how you feel about the idealization of men AND women in this industry. Is it in fact an ideoligical need of our society or is there more to it than that?

 

ADDITION: I could also comment on the need for many male gamers to select female avatars in online and offline Role-Playing games but that would need to be another thread all together. ;)

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To be fair to those women who liked the shirtless hero in PoP, I suspect they wouldn't object vociferously to the princess showing a little leg or cleavage.

 

I think you raise an interesting point about how men are portrayed. Why is this? Is it a double-standard? Not necessarily. First, people who raise the issue of female portrayal in videogames may be concerned about getting more females interested in gaming. This isn't an issue with males.

 

Second, people who raise the issue of female portrayal may be concerned about harmful stereotypes, not so much stereotypes in general. This can be a less compelling argument to me when we're talking about DOA or Lara Croft. Sure their forms may represent the artists' conceptions of a perfect physique, but they aren't showing women as being, say, unable to defend themselves and not as capable as male characters. And, as we said, men are often portrayed in the same manner physically.

 

As we said in previous discusisons, good writing is a key to minimizing (or even eliminating) the effects of negative portrayals. It's like Eddie Izzard says about "executive" tranvestites. J. Edgar Hoover wasn't nuts because he dressed up in women's clothing. He was nuts because, well, he was nuts and a bad guy.

 

Similarly, George Costanza is portrayed as a pitiable character because of his actions and various mental problems -- not because he is balding. Here we can see that good writing (and acting) avoided the nasty pitfall of a negative stereotype.

 

-j

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She is intelligent, agressive and assertive and she is in my opinion one of the strongest (both figuratively and literally) female leads found in a game because she is for the most part *not* placed in a position of being a sexual creature.

 

I don't have time to respond to this entire post (way too much food for thought, Romier), but I would like to respond specifically to this comment.

 

Yes, I agree that Samus embodies the "strong female" role in every regard. However, I would like to point out that one of the goals in every Metroid game is complete it as quickly as possible (or in the case of Metroid Prime, try to find as many items as possible) so that the player can see the sexy Samus Aran without her power suit on. So, in a way, one could say that she is objectified.

 

I just wanted to point that out.

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I don't have time to respond to this entire post (way too much food for thought, Romier)

 

Come now thats the point of the forum Jeff . Get off your lazy butt and add to the meal 8) .

 

so that the player can see the sexy Samus Aran without her power suit on. So, in a way, one could say that she is objectified.

 

Definitely but as a whole I would say that Samus is one of the few female characters that has been and can be placed in a strong "role model" capacity for female gamers. Or perhaps is the goal you pointed out only a goal to us piggish males? :tu:

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Originally posted by FutureVoid@Mar 2 2004, 07:18 PM

Come now thats the point of the forum Jeff . Get off your lazy butt and add to the meal 8) .

Seriously, I'm at work right, so I can't type everything I want to without putting my job in serious jeopardy. That is, unless you want to start paying us mods for the outstanding job we do here. :D

 

I promise that later on I will bring over a good, old-fashioned Minnesota hot dish of ideas and comments. All this talk of food is making me wish that it was time for my lunch break.

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As I am wont to do, I will appeal to evolutionary theory for some input on this subject. In so doing, I will make generalizations, and as with most every generalization, there are exceptions. I also want to stress that because certain traits are found to exist, does not mean they are morally right! I'm not going to address videogames specifically, but I want to provide a backdrop to the discussion of the difference between men and women when it comes to sexuality.

 

Here are some gross generalizations: Men seek out physically attractive women, women seek out successful men (that can be measured monitarily or in terms of social status). I hope everyone understands that this does not mean that women don't care what a man looks like, but on average the status of a man is ranked more highly than his looks by women, and status barely ranks at all for for men seeking women. This is confirmed across cultures on every inhabited continent and every society studied.

 

It's pretty well established that men are more visually stimulated than women are. Meaning that men prefer to simply look at a beautiful woman then women like looking at handsome men (the porn industry should be a strong indication of this). Whereas women would rather interact with an attractive man, and in fact the interaction is more often the focal point of attraction for a woman (i.e. what he says can be even more attractive than how he looks).

 

Here is some evolutionary reasoning for this (I'm going to cut out a TON of detail to keep this short); In the environment in which we evolved our sexuality? (by "our" I mean the human species) there was no such thing as a condom, or any form of reliable birth control. To have sex was nearly equivalent to getting pregnant. For men, this is not such a big deal. But for women it means, at a minumum, several months of your life is spent supporting the needs of a growing fetus.

 

This difference in 'parental investment' turns out to have far-reaching consequences in the way the sexes approach sexuality. For women it means being choosy about who you decide to mate with, it means sizing up your potential mate carefully. Because his genes are going to be in your children and they had better be worth your time. For men it means mate as often as you can, because there's no penalty (in evolutionary terms), and in fact there is a huge benefit (more copies of your genes -- which is a feed-forward system...the more copies of filandering genes, the more filandering that happens in the next generation, and so-on).

 

There is evidence that ancestral men helped support their children, but there is also evidence that men 'fooled around' quite a bit (more than gorillas, but less than chimps, our two closest relatives). And there is no doubt that women almost always took on more of the burden of child-rearing than did men. For women, fooling around isn't as easy as it is for men because pregnancy was costly for a woman. This doesn't mean women didn't fool around, but that they were very careful about who they fool around with and how often.

 

It's important to realize that when I talk about mating, it's not just sex proper, but the emotions and feelings that evolved to establish desire or repulsion toward something or someone. Sex itself is only an outcome of the emotions that preceed it. If that makes sense.

 

I realize that I'm running really long here, so let me cut to the chase. Because of the disparate goals men and women have evolved, they approach sexuality in different ways.

 

For men, it means even if women treat them as sexual objects, they should't care, because there's no evolutionary brake against sex. As far as men's genes are concerned, the more the better.

 

For women, it's more about the quality of the man, which is a reflection of his genes. If he seems like a reliable person, he's more likely to stay around and care for the children (again, this is about the feelings that have evolved, not neccessarily about literally having children). If he's strong, then your children are likely to be strong as well (and so your investment in the children will be more worthwhile), likewise if he is successful.

 

I have glossed over many many details, and my rendition might suffer from this, but I don't want to write a novel and I'm sure few will want to read a longer post. Trust me when I say that the above is very narrow in scope, and that there is a lot more to say. For those interested, here a couple fantastic books that go into this topic in the detail it deserves:

 

 

The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature

The Mating Mind : How Sexual Choice Shaped the Evolution of Human Nature

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Very interesting stuff from everybody.

 

Definitely but as a whole I would say that Samus is one of the few female characters that has been and can be placed in a strong "role model" capacity for female gamers. Or perhaps is the goal you pointed out only a goal to us piggish males?

 

In addition to what J.Fo said, I wanted to point out that before her identity is revealed, Samus goes through the entire game assumed to be a male character, not as a female. I think this is why she embodied the " intelligent, agressive and assertive" role Romier described. The writers wanted the player to think Samus was a man, thus endowing her with apparently masculine qualities. They did this for the plot, as far as I can tell, not because they explicitly wanted a strong female lead.

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The writers wanted the player to think Samus was a man

 

Ah excellent point and theres the rub, is that the root of why we find Samus to be such a great feamle protagonist? Are we as men so comfortable with her character because of that? Is it because her armor gives her such a distant and "cold" view that in the beginning we were able to associate her as being a man? I mean up until that point we could not see her as a sexually attractive woman. Only when the armor was peeled back and she was revealed to be a blonde in a pair of panties were we hit with the real deal. To an extent playing Metroid today you could theoretically ignore the fact that Samus is a women and imagine her to be anything you'd like. Its not as though it would be difficult.

 

Also I don't want or mean to turn this into a Samus discussion and to be honest its the last that I will mention of this but I did want to say that your words Sam can only truly be applied to the first Metroid. The Samus of Metroid 2, Metroid Fusion, Zero Mission and Prime exhibited the same character traits I noted in my previous post, however in accordance with your previous point above and my comments afterwards, the "damage" so to speak may have already been done since again you could simply imagine Samus as being anything you would like. ;)

 

Also..Excellent post Ed! Great groundwork for the conversation at hand.

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One problem I have with talking about the representation of men or women in video games is that there are so many different kinds of games. It's kind of like complaining about the representation of men and women in movies. It's such a broad category, with a huge variety of characters, stories and degrees of realism.

 

I mean, if you look at certain genres, like FPS, male characters on the whole end up looking like murderous fanatics. But no one (or few) thinks that this is an unfair view of men because we know that it's not meant as a rolemodel, it's entertainment.

 

A game like GTA3 (which I didn't finish, so my opinion might be skewed) isn't particularly kind to men or women. Although it does seem like men have all the power in the game, and women are more or less window-dressing. But who is looking to a game like that for rolemodels? It's a caricature of a certain period of time, in some sense its art. Is the fear that kids will take this for the way things are, and come to think of women as things to be used for entertainment? I'd like to see some research on this in place of conjecture.

 

One way of thinking about it is what if you reversed the gender of every character in GTA3? Would that be more fair to the female gender? I think we instinctively recognize that the game would suddenly be very unrealistic, because in the real world men are more violent (back to evolution), men are more aggressive and forceful. I think the outcry against a 'bizarro GTA3' might be significant because women would suddenly be the 'bad-guys' so to speak.

 

I don't want to sound like there is no problem, I'm just not sure videogames have a responsibility to portray anyone in any particular way. I'm not a woman, and I might feel differently about this if I was...maybe one of the women on these forums could chime in with their feelings?

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My primary goal in playing a videogame is whether or not it doesn't suck. The women in the game can look as plain as Jade from Beyond Good and Evil or ridiculously unrealistic like Tina in DOA Xtreme Beach Volleyball. I could care less as long as the game plays well.

 

The only game that offended me with half-naked females was Wrath Unleashed. Totally unnecessary. But even in that instance, the woman in question was a demigod who was the biggest hero in the game and was 25% responsible for the fate of the universe. Sure beats being barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen getting a bowl of pork rinds for some fat slob watching football with his hand down his crotch playing sack-hockey.

 

P.S. No HTML tags = :bang: x 100 MUST. REMEMBER. TO. USE. BRACKETS. NOT. < AND >.

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I would like to get back to one of the questions Romier posed in his initial post, which was, "Is the industry in fact just as guilty of objectifying the male image as it is that of a women?" I think this is a fascinating question and one that could get lost in a discussion like this where the focus will no doubt be on how females are portrayed. It is a question that we cannot overlook though, since in order to really understand how females are portrayed, it is paramount to understand how men are portrayed.

 

To be blunt, my answer to that question is yes. Men are most certainly objectified in much the same way as women are in games. That is to say, the vast majority of playable male characters are what one could consider to be physically, and therefore sexually, attractive. Yet, no one seems to care. Why is that? For me, it simply has to do with differences in how our society characterizes the sexual attributes between men and women. Allow me to explain.

 

Since Romier brought it up, I will use the Prince from Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time as an example. From a purely physical standpoint, he exhibits many traits that are perceived as masculine. He is muscular, agile, and (depending on the player's ability) a great warrior. He is also handsome and rich to boot. Considering that he must solve numerous puzzles to make his way through the palace, he could be considered intelligent, even though his behavior through much of the game paints him as immature and quite spoiled. These traits - particularly strength and intelligence - are traditionally desired characteristics for a man to have in order to attract a woman.

 

On the other hand, the attributes that accompany being feminine are quite the opposite. Traditionally, men have perceived women as weaker (physically), overly emotional, less intelligent, and therefore inferior. In short, uniquely feminine characteristics are less desirable than their masculine counterparts. No man wants to be considered weak or overly emotional and many women want to be known for their strength and intelligence. Please note, that I am not saying that I agree with this. Obviously women can be the equals (or superiors) of men in both ways. I?m just trying to point how the very general differences here between masculinity and femininity.

 

Which leads me to my point. The fact that our society favors masculine attributes means that when a male character such as the Prince appears in a game, it is not considered to be detrimental for him to be physically attractive. Conversely, a character like Lara Croft, who is strong, intelligent, brave, and very wealthy, is seen primarily as a sexual object because of her hourglass figure, a distinctly feminine trait. I suppose if Lara had been a fat, ugly woman, no one would care. Of course, if she were a fat, ugly woman, chances are there wouldn?t have been many Tomb Raider games.

 

The women in the game can look as plain as Jade from Beyond Good and Evil or ridiculously unrealistic like Tina in DOA Xtreme Beach Volleyball.

 

Jade was ?plain?? Man, you have high standards! :D

 

While we?re on the subject, I do think that Jade is another example of a good female lead in a game. She exhibits all the qualities of a strong female lead, and though she was an attractive videogame character (in my humble eyes at least), the game did not objectify her in any way that I can think of.

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Actually, the physical representation of men in games kind of ties in to the final comment in Romier's initial post. Previous articles I've read of men playing women in games actually point a major factor to them actually identifying more with the female character. Sure, the gender of the character is different, but many geeks would rather see themselves on screen as the skinny, less muscular character who has to use their speed and intelligence to get through the game, than the part-time weightlifter who can bludgeon wild animals to death with their bare hands. Are you really more like Astaroth than Sophitia?

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It's good to point out that the folks on this forum are a different breed than the casual gamer, and games are made for the mainstream casual gamer. So what does the average gamer (16-25 yr old male) want out of games? The same thing average Americans want out of most of their fantasy: escape.

 

So where should we escape to? A world where you have a fat, unattractive avatar who is unskilled and uncharismatic? Or one filled with young, sexy, beautiful women and muscular, exceptionally talented men? Well, I know which game based on the two premises above would sell better (and so do the game designers.) So that's the way they make it.

 

It's the same for all fantasy mediums, pick one out of a hat and you'll see it instantly. Check out the cover art to any modern comic, ever see women or men built like that walking around? I used to work out in college 5-6 times a week and I never saw anyone who looked that good.

 

Fantasy novels are no better. There is the rare bird that doesn't need the clique sexual hooks to make it (Harry Potter, LOTR), but those indulge a different kind of escape for the reader. My wife and I own an editting company and we handle all kinds of books for publication. If we read a fantasy book that doesn't have the sex hooks in there and it isn't a Tolkien level of immersion, that's comment #1 (add it!) It's what gets the publishers to print the book and sell it to readers. One of the best examples is anything under the Conan comic, movie, or book line. If you want the sexual archtypes laid out in spades for you, that's your rosetta stone!

 

Anyway, I guess my point is that all fantasy is pretty basic and centers around escaping your real life. And so if you are going to construct an escape for people, you want to cast as wide a net as possible to make the most sales. What sells is sex and men want are beautiful women, women want competent (or strong, successful) men, and both like to play as the sexual archtype that the other finds attractive.

 

Not that this is anything you all don't know, but as a professional writer/editor I'm telling you it is definitely by design and not circumstance.

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On the other hand, the attributes that accompany being feminine are quite the opposite. Traditionally, men have perceived women as weaker (physically), overly emotional, less intelligent, and therefore inferior.

 

It seems to me you are saying two different things here. One is attributes that accompany femininity, the other men's perception of femininity. The two overlap, of course, but they also diverge.

 

It is generally true that women are physically weaker than men (but not a lot, which is an indication that men didn't physically fight over women much during our evolution, whereas with gorillas the size difference between females and males is huge, correlating with the fact that they do fight over females a great deal), it is true that women are more emotionally connected (and men often perceive it as 'overly so') which appears to be one of the reasons that women live longer than men, but women are definitely not less intelligent, although again I think it's not uncommon for this bias to exist in men, as you said.

 

Which leads me to my point. The fact that our society favors masculine attributes means that when a male character such as the Prince appears in a game, it is not considered to be detrimental for him to be physically attractive. Conversely, a character like Lara Croft, who is strong, intelligent, brave, and very wealthy, is seen primarily as a sexual object because of her hourglass figure, a distinctly feminine trait. I suppose if Lara had been a fat, ugly woman, no one would care. Of course, if she were a fat, ugly woman, chances are there wouldn?t have been many Tomb Raider games.

 

You are on to something here, but I don't think it has anything to do with 'our society' in particular - the bias toward male characteristics is nearly universal in human cultures. This probably stems from sexual selection, the effect that women's choices have on evolution. Women have had a lot of influence over the course of evolution of men by being choosy about who they mate with (see my post above). This means that men who flaunt their strength, intelligence, and wealth are more likely to attract a woman. In the environment in which we evolved, women chose men based on those criteria, which, in future generations, reinforces those behaviors in the male children of those unions (and crucially, the criteria used to choose in the female children of them) leading to us, 'modern' humans (we are not significantly genetically different from humans that lived 100,00 years ago).

 

Men have also influenced the evolution of women through sexual selection, but not to the same degree because men simply aren't as choosy. The choice criteria for men do overlap with those of women, intelligence is high on the list, but status is not, nor is physical strength. The main area of difference is that men sought fertility, which interestingly enough is highly correlated with certain physical characteristics, most notably the 'hourglass' figure you mentioned. (again, I need to caution that this is not a description of what men consciously look for, they don't say "ooh she looks fertile" - its the outcome of thousands of years of mate choice, men who choose fertile partners more often have kids, and those kids grow up into men with the same biases that made the choice, or women with the same characteristics that were chosen, it's another feed-forward system). It turns out that the classic hourglass figure is in fact closely correlated with fertility.

 

It is mate choice multiplied by tens of thousands of generations that lead to the sexual (and other) characteristics of men and women. Now this may sound like the basis of an argument that it is women's 'fault' that men are more often in positions of power, and dominance, than women. And that it's just a fact of nature that men seek out women who look a certain way, so it's OK to objectify women. But as I said in my first post in this thread, one is not entitled to argue that because something IS that it is how things SHOULD be. In fact, recognizing the origins of these kinds of inqequalities is the very best way to combat them.

 

And, to beat a dead horse, I've only scratched the surface of the theory of sexual selection, I urge anyone who wants to know more to get "The Mating Mind" which I linked to above, the story is a lot deeper than this and frankly quite mind-blowing, IMO.

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Let me just put it this way: I'd much rather play as an attractive chick than a plain Jane who-ever. Females want to play the uber-kickass "hot" girl just as much as guys want to stare at the digitalized boobs. I *always* pick a female character in a game where there's a choice and applaude the existance of games such as Bloodrayne and P.N.03 (even if the first level makes me feel dizzy as hell) where a female is the ONLY choice. Back in the 80s - there wasn't much of a luxury of playing as a girl character. It was all about the guys then. From fat plumbers to elves hailing from Hyrule. I guess I identify with the female characters more but also enjoy looking at them more in general. Now if more games had uber cool male characters like Alucard, the "real" Link, Siegfried (Soul Caliber), Shinobi, THE Prince from POP, etc instead of the usual cookie cutter beefcake that has muscles upon muscles I'd probably enjoy playing as "male" characters more often than not. Women like girly men. If you don't believe me, just surf the net a bit for some fanart. They draw millions of pics of Cloud, Sephiroth, Squall and Tidus.

 

Then again I also love DOA: Xtreme Beach Volleyball and all the cleavage that goes with it so my opinion is not exactly the "norm". My female friends and I usually fight over who gets to be Peach and Daisy in Mario Party though... I just think the media has hyped it all up too much. That and Lara Croft. She's probably the worst designed character I've seen that people seem to identify with. She just looks.... "wrong".

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Examples given were of course Lara Croft, Cate Archer of No One Lives Forever fame, Bloodrayne and a few others.

 

It's interesting to me that Cate is mentioned among those since I think she's one of the strongest female characters I've seen in a game. She is beautiful and sexy as well, but at least it's in a naturalistic way, as opposed to Lara and Bloodrayne, who are more like porn stars (and Lara of course has a particularly grotesque character design).

 

I'm sure many will remember the ending to the original Metroid when the player finds out that the person underneath the suit was in fact a women all along.(One of the greatest twists every placed in a videogame.)

 

Heh. I remember finishing this game with my friends and we actually predicted this. When the armor started fading off, we were each saying "I bet it's a chick underneath!" and sure enough there she was. Didn't change our opinions about the game one way or another (we liked it), although we did wonder if that blaster thing was something she wore or if she was literally one-armed, which seemed much more radical to our young minds than the twist regarding the character's sex :)

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This thread has made me realize that I wouldn't love playing as Ivy so much (in Soul Calibur) if she wasn't female (that is, if the character with her weapon and all her moves was male instead). And I don't find her attractive. There's just something sweet about kickin butt with a female character...

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Actually, Ivy is the one female character in Soul Calibur I don't like. She's a bit too stereotypical Leather Girl, while Taki is far too busy cutting you to ribbons to bother with the whole ogling thing. And besides, Sophitia has the whole 'Gabrielle from Xena' thing going if you want to talk who is the most attractive. :)

 

On the other hand, getting me to play anyone other than Mitsurugi in that game is difficult; he's just the coolest, and he's got great hair.

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On the other hand, getting me to play anyone other than Mitsurugi in that game is difficult; he's just the coolest, and he's got great hair.

 

He's also the ultimate character for button mashing. Any button masher can get their game on with Mitsurugi as I have found out disturbingly a few times. He is cool though. Sophitia disturbs me too much in SC2. She was my character of choice for Soul Blade and SC1 but now she looks like someone's mother which detracts the coolness factor by quite a bit. I prefer Ivy as well. I like her moves and she has the neatest weapon in the game.

 

I guess my whole point in general is that women like to play as female characters but just as guys do, we want to play as someone that's viewed as being "COOL". Many people both ladies and dudes enjoy playing Devil May Cry just because Dante is freaking cool to play as, or Castlevania: Symphony of the Night because of Alucard and his flowing locks and movements. He was just a "cool" character (which I wish they would resurrect again! Cmon! He was the best!). Same thing with Bloodrayne. She may look like a "porn star" to some, but her moves and outfit are just neat. Now if they would give us a game featuring a "cat" chick with wings I'd be a happy camper.

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"He's also the ultimate character for button mashing"

 

I fear you may have mistaken him for Kilik. If anyone is a button masher's dream, its that cheap like git; losing any style points he might have had in the process. At least Mitsi has all those funky stances to play with. Whenever I reach a bit in single-player that is too hard, I just swich to Kilik and mash for ten minutes until I get past it; its just rude.

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Humans as a general rule of thumb enjoy looking at beautiful things. Noffin wrong with that at all. Most of the popular video game characters are fit & trim, and most of them, both men & women are very appealing to look at.

 

One of the reasons I liked Silent Hill so much was that Harry was just a regular Joe. He was not a super studly guy who was ex-military/police/superhero. That was part of the attraction of the story for me. A good example of a female character like Harry, is Alex Roivas from Eternal Darkness Sanity's Requiem. I don't recall her job in the game, and I don't feel like booting it up to find out right now, but both Harry & Alex are everyday people who have to overcome some pretty messed up obstacles to solve the mystery that has intruded in their lives. Yet while Harry spends the game dressed in jeans and a jacket, Alex is wearing a nice tight black muscle shirt. Even the S.T.A.R.S. team of Resident Evil series are not super cops. Yet, again each of them have been portrayed as attractive to look at in some way. Even Barry, the old man of the team is somewhat attractive.

 

Dynasty Warriors is one of the few games where playable characters have a well rounded appearence to choose from. There are quite a few women playable characters, who for the most part are pretty. But one of my main complaints of this game has always been that no woman in her right mind is gonna go to battle wearing 1) High heels or 2) hot pants. Get real here folks. I much prefer to play as say .... Rebecca from Resident Evil who at least is dressed in a sensible manner to go zombie hunting. The other game I can recall having less than attractive people is Street Fighter. And the men in the Dynasty Warriors range from beautiful to kind of chubby. When we play Dynasty Warriors we each play a few of the characters, trading off and building their attack and defense stats up and then one of us will run them through the story mode while the other works on getting the next character ready.

 

It seems like it is the single player games that have the main character as being overly attractive. And the fighting games that have people of all appearences to choose from.

Most of the single player games can be very long, and over the time people spend in the gameplay, they can begin to identify with the character. Hence a lot of topics on BB's with titles like " Who is hotter ? Jill or Rebecca ? " and over 100 replies as to who is what to different people.

 

As long as the media industry knows that sex sells, then it will be selling the sexual angle ( in this case, an attractive appearence ) to the people who shell out those hard earned dollars to indulge in it.

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  • 1 month later...

Resurrecting this thread for a bit more discussion. Coincidental like, Greg Kasavin recently posted this in his Gamespotting article:

 

http://www.gamespot.com/features/6093308/p-2.html

 

Some quotes:

 

Anyway, so now we know Samus' "secret," and while she's still best known for that red and gold armor of hers, fans of the Metroid games also know that each game in the series encourages them to reach the finish line as quickly as possible to catch a glimpse of the woman beneath the suit. While I wouldn't go so far as to say that I disapprove of this--I like the series, after all, and it's targeted at people like me--it also rubs me the wrong way. I don't appreciate that Samus being a woman is a punch line.

 

 

I never finished ICO. Not only did I get stuck at a certain point about halfway through, but more to the point, I grew sick and tired of the girl, Yorda, and her uselessness. This character was so pathetic, it almost made me angry. I admit that this is not the effect the game was intended to have on me or on anyone; however, here's this supposedly sympathetic female character in a video game that can do absolutely nothing for herself and is constantly in danger of being kidnapped. Who better than a man--or in this case, just a boy--to come to her rescue. In short, I decided that Yorda deserved her fate and that ICO was one big male fantasy about being the classic hunter/provider/protector. The woman is there for comfort, and the man must do all the work. Sorry, no, that's not what I've been taught from living in the Bay Area for most of my life

 

Some interesting comments to mull over. I'll update with my thoughts soon.

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