R P G A M E R . C O M   -   E D I T O R I A L S

Give the Lady Some Armor!

Ian Charles Eller

Now, don’t mistake me for some prepubescent, whiny school kid who still thinks girls are gross. I assure you, I’m halfway through my sixteenth year of existence and have enough testosterone and sex drive flowing through my veins to make up for an entire county’s worth of the aforementioned schoolchildren. However...enough is enough.

When I see an advertisement for a videogame, I generally expect to see something that at least mildly pertains to the game, perhaps a collection of the characters involved or a battle shot. When I look at advertisements for games like Champions: Return to Arms, however, I just have to stop and shake my head. You all know what I’m talking about; the blond, big-breasted woman in the suit of armor that resembles a bikini more than anything else. For a moment let’s transcend reality and assume that this suit of armor will indeed protect her from an enemy’s attack. With this assumption, we can move on to the topic of this essay: the use of sex appeal in videogames, and the subsequent objectification of women.

Nobody can deny that it’s happening. It has been happening for a long time, actually. Lara Croft, the universal sex symbol for the video gaming world, is one of the first and very best examples. She was ridiculously proportioned, given a conveniently tight outfit, and could oft be seen wearing considerably less than her regular outfit. From her things merely escalated; the games utilizing female sexuality as a central theme are too numerous to count. There’s Dead or Alive, Sudeki, Rumble Roses, Final Fantasy X-2, BloodRayne, Death by Degrees, Playboy: The Mansion, and Leisure Suit Larry for starters; I won’t even begin to delve into every other game that has female sexuality as a secondary characteristic, mainly because that genre concerns almost every other game ever created. Then, of course, if I really wanted to I could also delve into the recent issue of Playboy that featured several videogame females. But, for the sake of attempting to be laconic, I won't.

And so I ask you, mankind, is it really so necessary to bedeck the women of videogames in outfits that barely cover their bodies, while at the same time making sure that they have ridiculously proportioned assets? Aren’t we, as human beings, higher and more sophisticated than this? After all, isn’t this merely one step below pornography? Not so much the explicitness of pornography, but the implications of pornography; more specifically, that women are simply objects (hence, the objectification of women) and should only be used for pleasure.

And, as much as some of you would like to argue, a muscle-bound gladiator hardly constitutes objectification of men. In fact, comparatively speaking, there are relatively little male characters today that actually sport gargantuan muscles in the first place. No, this objectification is limited solely to women.

Now, I’m sure many of you right now are outraged. “How could he imply that about me?!,” “I’ve never thought that about women!,” “This is ridiculous!,” and so on and so forth. But you don’t have to specifically think and believe that statement to commit the said crime; all you have to do is accept and enjoy the sexual mediums in which video game women are presented. So, my fellow human beings, the next time you sit down to play a video game, think a little before commenting positively on the boobalicious, scantily clad female on the screen before you. I hate to break it to you, but women are human beings too; they are not objects to be used simply for bodily felicity.

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