Is it bad that videogame characters are sexualised?

laggyteabag

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I have always preferred character designs that are made to look practical over what is made to look sexy, but sometimes the sexy designs are part of the charm of the game, especially when that charm is one of the selling points of the game (ie Bayonetta).
 

Irick

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mecegirl said:
Of course not...cuz that would be stupid. It's also not what people are doing.

Simply being an attractive character doesn't automatically make a chracter sexulized. Take for example Lulu from FFX vs the Sorceress from Dragon's Crown. Both are magic wielding busty ladies but one is obviously more sexulized than the other.
Please express the degree of sexualization without using subjective terminology.
These categories of attractiveness and sexualization do not seem exclusive as they have been presented.

It is not very obvious.
 

theSteamSupported

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Irick said:
I am unsure if you intended this as a challenge, but it appears that I can find at least hard data on the representation of characters. [http://ocw.metu.edu.tr/file.php/85/ceit706/week5/Williams_Martins_Consalvo_Ivory_Representation.pdf] Subjective aspects are understandably difficult to find hard statistics on.

Basicly, games closely follow TV in terms of gender representation and role.
What I was talking about was the presence amongst women working as vg artists, not presence of female characters (although that is an issue for another day).

Whatever, my original point was that, whatever the truth is, the catering to the straight male demographic isn't as much of an issue as portraying women as passive objects in violent and/or sexual contexts.
 

spartan231490

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There is absolutely nothing wrong with it. P.C. junkies and the legions of those indoctrinated by victim culture will take any excuse to play the victim. They have been taught that this will give them attention and in many cases pity or other rewards. This does not mean that they are right. Game companies make games with sexualized characters because of business. more people will play or even buy a game because it has a sexy main character, than will not play or buy it for the same reason. It's cost/benefit analysis at it's finest, deal with it.
 

mecegirl

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This is Lulu.


This is the Sorceress


Both pictures are official artwork. Both characters are from Japanese dev teams. Both pictures were taken from google image search. Now I don't know if the searches results will differ because sometimes google will change results based on your past searches.

I used the second image for Lulu just because it was the first image of her with her entire body in the picture. https://www.google.com/search?q=lul...YCA&ved=0CAgQ_AUoAQ&biw=1600&bih=761#imgdii=_

I used the first image for the Sorceress.
https://www.google.com/search?q=sor... it takes are "tits" to sexualize a chracter.
 

WindKnight

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LifeCharacter said:
Gorrath said:
There is only one justification required for making a game; you, the artist, want to make it (even if "want" here is purely driven by profit.)
The "justification" isn't in the sense that developers needs justification to design-by-committee a game while their fans harp on artistic freedom, it's in the sense that people like to point to Kratos as a counterclaim to sexism in the industry. He's the counterweight to the DOA's plastic children in that people like pretending an ugly rage monster is just as sexualized as whatever dumb female character the industry vomited forth that week.
If I can go off on a tangent, I've personally found a lot of dudes who will cite Conan, Kratos or even a fully clothed Superman as 'objectified men' will react hostilely if presented with male characters or art of male characters sexualised for the female gaze without any concession to male dignity/ power fantasies. They'll be disgusted, angry, freaked out and will often resort to homophobic terms to describe the art/characters... and yet will never consider this is maybe what its like for women to be presented overwhelmingly with over sexualised female characters.
 

Irick

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mecegirl said:
You can choose to not see both the similarities and differences between how each character is drawn and presented if you wish. You can choose to ignore that despite how she's dressed most of the suggestive art with Lulu is fan made. But a character can be dressed in a provocative way without being sexulized. So its not that all it takes are "tits" to sexualize a chracter.
You have not explained anything. You have pointed me to two pictures and told me the issue is obvious.
Can you not express why you think one is more sexualised?

Otherwise we are working on cultural assumptions that can not hope to be helpful outside our assumed context.

Implying that I am ignoring the issue is disingenuous. Sexuality can not be easily described, nor is it consistent across cultures. I personally find Lulu's presentation to be extremely sexually charged. In fact, it is quite deliberate and seems to convey a cold control. While her clothing is superficially more covering, it takes care to show her thigh and lingerie. The use of belts implies restraint. Quite literally she seems to be an icon for sexual repression and dangerious 'exotisism' just from the visual imagery.

But why should we care about how they appear? Sexuality is going to be relative. The judgment as to whether or not a character has been sexualized or if the character is just sexual comes down to how they act as a character. Is it something that defines them? Is it just part of their identity, an incidental, or is that all they are?
 

Gearhead mk2

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Sexualisation in itself isn't bad. It's just that it's EVERYWHERE, and often done quite poorly or for no good reason. I can think of a few examples where it's core to the character (Bayonetta, Shadow Rise) or downplayed (Sheva at least in her default outfit, Cortana in Halo 1 and 4) but there's quite a few characters that are just one dimensional eye candy. And there are cases where it goes against the character's personality like Samus' look in Other M, or where it makes no sense like Mu's Kill La Kill style armour. It breaks suspension of disbelief for me when I see something like Cammy's leotard thong or Quiet's warzone bikini, because I don't think "this is what this person would actually wear", I think " the artist was a perv or is trying to appeal to pervs". If you want to have a fanservicey character in your game, justify it by writing an actual personality around it that explains why they act like that, and don't stick characters that don't have that justification in fetish outfits.

On the male sexualised character thing, I can't really think of any male characters that are meant to titillate. James Vega, Chrom and Snake at a stretch, but that's it. And even the few I can think of have actual character and personality instead of just being pure beefcake, so they can't really be compared to the bland T&A du jour. If anyone can think of a character only meant to give the laides and gay guys a little something, please point them out to me.
 

WindKnight

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slo said:
I probably should also accept lots of female character types common to anime and manga, and almost all of them were used in countless harem anime and date-sim games and... Then I don't know what isn't sexualization of female characters.
But thank you for your reply.
Keep in mind that if a female character is in a harem or dating sim and set up as being 'dateable' by the main character, their usually an archetype designed so the veiwer or player can pick out whichever girl is 'their type' to focus on and be their particular choice.

http://schoolgirlmilkycrisis.com/2009/06/23/the-nolans-system/

this kind of covers those archetypes and their characteristics/appeal, within the context oo the pop band that inspired these five main archetypes.
 

QuicklyAcross

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Whenever something is done for its own sake, then yes.
Whenever its intentional and fits in well with the character and or lore (see QoP for Dota 2 for example) then not really no, since thats kind of the point.
As was the point with Bayonetta.

"But comedic and ironic sexism is still sexism" - Every sjw ever.
No and its neither problematic nor does it turn people into bigoted misogynists
 

QuicklyAcross

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We can also take a step back and have some actual perspective and think if something like this has real life impact.
Does playing violent video games make you more violent? No, this fallacy has been debunked several times.
Does playing video games featuring sexualised characters make you more of a pervert and more of a misandrist or misogynist? No, this fallacy has been debunked aswell.

/Thread ?
 

Erttheking

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It's bad when it's shallow, one dimensional, and there's no alternative options though. Also when it clashes with the tone of the story. When Miranda is supposed to be on a mission to save millions of lives in ME2, I find it rather jarring when she wears an outfit designed to show off her ass.
 

mecegirl

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slo said:
mecegirl said:
slo said:
But, I don't get to scream "strong jawline!" and call it sexualization and get people to agree with me, the way people do with "big boobs! sexualization!"
So I there's still no way to rigidly compare sexualization of characters in games.
In the manner of "X out of Y male characters have Z, sexualization is X/Y" and "A out of B female characters have D, sexualization is A/B".
Of course not...cuz that would be stupid. It's also not what people are doing.

Simply being an attractive character doesn't automatically make a chracter sexulized. Take for example Lulu from FFX vs the Sorceress from Dragon's Crown. Both are magic wielding busty ladies but one is obviously more sexulized than the other.
Um. English is a foreign language to me, so please tell me, is it really okay to use the word "sexualized" for something that did not have some prior less sexual state of being? It feels to me like using the word "dried" for something that was never wet to begin with.
Shouldn't it be just "more sexual" and "less sexual", or something along these lines?
It feels confusing.
I don't think your confusion is because of the English language, but because of a misunderstanding of what makes something sexual. A chracter, or a person, being attractive doesn't automatically make everything they do sexual. Proper grooming aside, an attractive person will be attractive in jeans and a button down shirt. They will also be attractive in skimpy swimwear. But what they are wearing(or not wearing) won't automatically make their appearance sexual because very few things are inherently sexual. Without a particular frame work even nudity isn't inherently sexual.

Female Olympic beach volleyball players wear bikinis while playing, and while they are all nice to look at because of how fit they are, there is nothing sexual about it. They are just playing the game.

They are not playing up their sexuality for the camera like a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model will.

Just like there is a man wearing jeans and a button down shirt.

And, well, stuff like this.
 

EternallyBored

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grimner said:
TopazFusion said:
Zhukov said:
PS. Okay, maybe I'm just sticking up for a favourite character here, but how is Liara from ME hypersexualised? She's dressed pretty modestly (unless you have a thing for armoured lab coats) and she's relatively demure in personality.
I was wondering that too.

Maybe the OP meant to say Miranda, or possibly Samara.

Even Miranda is given context in her "I'm genetically designed to have an edge" backstory.

Regarding Liara, she argually sexed up a bit between ME1 and ME3, but her character also underwent significant evolution between games.
Miranda was given context for why she was beautiful, notsomuch for why she was running around a battlefield in a jumpsuit that seemed molded for her ass, I'm pretty sure no amount of beauty is going to matter to the Geth and the collectors. She also came into the picture in Mass Effect 2 and was the first squadmate you meet where you start to realize that the Mass effect 1 hardsuits were being discarded so that Miranda could run around in a skintight catsuit and jack could wear her belt bra.

So it had the added effect of ticking off the lore nerds from Mass Effect 1 that knew that the hardsuits were more than just armor, and that Bioware was ditching the dangerous environment mechanics in favor of showing some skin, even in levels where such a thing should have gotten them all killed.

Miranda also likely wouldn't have gotten as much flak if her ass didn't seem to have a magnet that attracted the point of view camera during cutscenes sometimes, she's a good character in and of herself, but she unfortunately became sort of the posterchild for Biowares changes between mass effect 1 and mass effect 2, and the fears that the recent EA acquisition was starting to put its influence on the series.
 

michael87cn

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Is it bad for people to look sexy in a movie? Of course. When we pay money to be entertained, we want to see drab, boring people, damnit!

I mean, I pay money for a game. I want it to be AS BORING AS POSSIBLE. Also, normal. NOTHING can be exaggerated, or even exciting in the least. Hell, and if its at all fantastical? Oh boy, have we got a problem. There's nothing worse than fun, after all.

In short, no a character can never be sexy. It is WRONG to see something sexy. Or worse, to pay money to enjoy it! EVERYTHING needs to be normal. Its wrong because I say so. Don't you just feel terrible about yourself?