Blog Post # 5 – The Big Breasted Curse of Women in Video-Games

14 Dec

http://thefbomb.org/2010/12/the-big-breasted-curse-of-women-in-video-games/

I chose to write about this article because I am a pretty big fan of video games myself and the author of this article also had some great points about the stereotypical video game industry these days. The author starts  with saying that she considers herself a full-fledged gamer and that she is pretty good at it.  She points out that, ‘for a boy to be a video game fanatic is completely acceptable but the same does not go for girls! To be a girl and a gamer is to be a stranger in a strange land…a male created virtual space.’ She also says that girls are taught to be practical and therefore we dont see a lot of women in the game developing industry. She points out some facts like women represent 38% of gamers but only 11% of game developers. She also talks about how diverse video game male characters can be – bulky, gaunt, average looking , triumphant heroes, shady villains and so on. But when it comes to female characters it is much more constricted. They are often forced to play the helpless princess role giving the male lead character a chance to flex his muscles and save the day. She also states that female characters are often portrayed as meek, shy, weak, submissive, innocent, naive and so on. She also greatly stresses the fact that most female charcters in video games make ‘Barbie’ look  like just an average girl. She talks about how these charcters have impossibly long and slender legs, skinny waists but wide hips and breasts that mimic medium sized watermelons. She adds to it that the body proportions of 90% of female characters in video games are an insult to women in real life. Because of these reasons, she likes playing survival horror games – the kinds with zombies and flesh eating dogs, because zombies dont care whether you are male or female, or whether you have gigantic breasts or not; they will try to eat your brains out either way.

I think that the author brought up a lot of great points. The video game industry without a doubt is a male dominated industry. We do not see a lot of female video game fans- not saying that there arent any, but its just very rare that we see some. I also totally agree with the author that  there is a lot of gender stereotypes and hypersexualization in games these days. But this relates to the fact that it is a male dominated industry. I can guarantee you that if the number of female gamers goes up significantly, we’ll start seeing the change in the video game industry as well. But at present since it is a male dominated industry, game developers will continue to make games based on men’s taste. I mean at the end of the day, since this is a business, all they care about is sales and profits. As long as the numbers look good, they’ll keep making games like these. To them what women’s views are on these topics mean very little as women are not particularly in the segment of their target market. Men enjoy playing games where a man is particularly the lead character and they also enjoy having beautiful and sexy female charcters in video games. Why would a guy want an ugly looking female charcter in a game? I mean arent video games all about fantasies? But I will say this that now there are quite a few games out in the market like Tomb Raider, Resident Evil, Velvet Assasin that have female lead characters and men still enjoy playing those. Now I know that the author did also bring up the point of Lara Croft having huge breasts in the game and which is one of the reasons why men buy that game. So lets take Velvet Assasin into consideration. In this game the lead character is a female and the story is set during WWII. The female lead is a prisoner who is trying to escape from German territory and kills all Germans who come in her way. Here she is fully covered up and does not have incredibly large breasts or anything. As a matter of fact, she has tiny breasts. But this game still was very successful. So this basically proves that even though most games based on ‘real man’s fantasies’ are generally successful, a lot of games that dont highlight any of these aspects but truly just focus on the plot and gameplay can be extremely successful. In the end it just has to be entertaining.  Also a lot of games these days are coming out which are basically gender neutral. Take for example Wii and the Xbox Kinnect. Most of the games featured in these consoles are based on sports, adventure and so on and even the characters in all these games are basically just avatars. But I said it before and I’ll say it again, this is a business and they’ll give the people what the people demand. If women want more games to come out that are not just moulded around men’s taste then maybe there should be more women getting involved in video games and become a significant part of the game developers’ target market for them to take into consideration their ideas and tastes. No offense but this is true.

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