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Obligatorily cliche statement about society in 5, 4, 3, 2...
Today's society is usually characterized as one that exploits and objectifies women's bodies. The woman's body in movies and TV is often much more bare than that of men's bodies. A good look at MTV usually is enough to confirm this: the booty shot in rap videos, the scantily clad female arm ornaments, Britney Spears- they all seem to point to the fact that in current pop culture, the woman has to show more skin. Well, in RPG's, that sexist stereotype seems to be fading, and in some games, abandoned.
For the sake of more accurate argument, let us look at the last two games that the author has played, namely, Vagrant Story and Final Fantasy IX. In both games, there are male characters that wear just as little, if not less clothing than those of female characters. Here, for the enjoymen- err... information of the reader, are some examples from the aforementioned games.
Kuja. Let us discuss his garments, specifically, those chest height and below. If you haven't seen Kuja of Final Fantasy IX, or if you just don't remember, here's an attempt at a description of what lies beneath that little potbelly. The cloth that wraps about his hips and thighs could be called a thong, or maybe a loincloth. Perhaps it is a swaddling cloth? A less polite editorial writer might call it a diaper, even. Nevertheless, Kuja stands in all his pretty sorcerer glory with very little covering up his upper legs and torso. His legs are much less bare than those of, say, Princess Garnet, who mostly walks about the game clad in an orange jumpsuit that hides those legs of hers quite sufficiently.
Then, of course, there are Ashley Riot and Sydney Losstarot of Vagrant Story. For me, at least, the first sight of Sydney induced the following train of thought in my head:
"WHAM! It's a torso.
Sydney's upper body is very bare, and those pants really make a person blink a few times with its dangerously low lacedness (despite the fact that lacedness most probably isn't a word). Ashley's pants, on the other hand, do not necessarily have the doubletake factor that Syd's do, but his arms, chest, and back, are very much open for public view. This is one of the games where the men and women wear clothes that are equally revealing. Callo's outfit, though exposing less skin than that of Sydney or Ashley, is certainly clingy, and there are certainly some men coughcoughdukebardorbacough whose prudish ensembles make up partially for the lack of clothing on the part of their costars.
Yes, the scales are starting to even out a little for the sexes, at least in these recent games. It may not be a revolution just yet, but it's a start, and what better place for this new transformation than in RPGs? Who knows, putting male and females on an equal plane regarding clothes (or lack of) may catch on in other aspects of society, and that would certainly something positive for current civilization. Maybe one day we can sit our grandkids on our laps, flip through TV channels and magazines, and see that women are no longer treated more as sex objects than men. Then we may sigh to ourselves, and say, "Ahh. And it's all thanks to Kuja's thong."
The writing is clear, concise, and the colloquial style and the jokes combine to make it an extremely readable editorial, light and easygoing. There's a minor grammatical error - pants take 'their' rather than 'it's', and no, laced-ness isn't a word, but that wasn't counted as an error the author admitted he couldn't think of a word, I couldn't come up with any other word to fit either.
The subject matter is certainly original if nothing else, and the arguments contained within the editorial are rock solid, although there could have been a couple more examples, and maybe a counterexample or two, but it certainly never hurt it.
Finally, it's just an overall feeling that I can't put my finger on - this very well written, funny, light, and original editorial is definitely deserving of a mark such as this.
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