Jimquisition: Stupid Sexy Bayonetta

Rellik San

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Spot1990 said:
Batou667 said:
So... completely preoccupied by the sexualisation aspect? The first mention of gameplay comes approximately 4.5 minutes into a 5.5 minute video?

Actually, I'm completely unsurprised.
This wasn't a review. You do know that right? This was a video called "Stupid Sexy Bayonetta", discussing the debate about sexualisation in videogames (and defending Bayonetta). It wasn't about the gameplay. Is it really that ridiculous that a video about sexualisation spends most of it's time being about sexualisation?
Except the video isn't about that either... it's about having an opinion, everyone has a right to one, if you disagree, sit down and talk like grown ups you both might learn something, if you can't just part ways and move on. Bayonetta is really just a framing device for the discussion about discussion.
 

vid87

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I'd like to put out an idea that sounds off-topic but I believe is somewhat of an endorsement for Bayonetta and the kind of interesting storylines someone that over-the-top can produce:

What if she met Travis Touchdown?

Think about it: a (nearly) rock-hard stupid otaku man-child with a self-destructive libido (he gets into the assassin game just for the possibility of getting laid) versus a confident, take-no-crap woman whose sexuality is a Dynasty Warriors level force of nature. I don't know how gratuitous something like that would have to be to do the scenario "justice" (both characters were wanted for Smash Bros but that venue would severely censor everything) and I can see the argument that involving male sexuality might dilute her purpose by making her an object of desire (or not if the whole thing is deconstructed right), but to me it plays out like an unstoppable force meeting an immovable object and seems like it would be a blast to see.
 

Lightknight

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undeadsuitor said:
Lightknight said:
Ugh, she's so disproportionate and her "sexy" often comes across as old librarian, not sexy librarian.

I am still regularly baffled when people use Bayonetta and "sexy" in the same discussion.
old librarian?

is it because they gave her sharp cheek bones and a strong face more appropriate for her actual age (30s) instead of making her baby-faced like a lot of other character designs do?

idk, i think thats why
Well, for example, this picture always comes to mind:

http://cdn2.vox-cdn.com/entry_photo_images/8416889/WiiU_Bayonetta2_scrn08_E3.jpg

When I see this, it reminds me of old women that wear broaches and doily shawls with saggy breasts and old fashioned beauty marks. The ruffled neck part of her undershirt is particularly old school. She doesn't look 30 to me. She looks 40 or older with a dye job. The librarian bit is because that's the look they explicitly shot for with the glasses. Like someone decided to run with the sexy librarian and went with the senior librarian instead.

So yeah, she strikes me as an old woman with horrendously out of proportion body parts. I mean, look at the woman behind her too. How in the world can these terrible disfigured women be perceived as attractive rather than evoking sorrow on their behalf. Part of beauty is symmetry and healthy proportions. To me, they look decidedly not that.
 

ryukage_sama

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VanQ said:
"I think Bayonetta is sexist because it has gratuitous ass and crotch shots" <- Gets across that it's opinion, won't cause any issue from me.
"Bayonetta is sexist because it has gratuitous ass and crotch shots" <- Immediately earns my ire, expressing opinion as fact.

Also, the first 50 seconds of that video was the most condescending assery I've experienced in a long time. People were dicks to you on twitter, that's awful. Don't take it out on your audience.
The entirety of the human population should not be required to put "I think" in front of every subjective statement. In your own post, you failed to follow this requirement. It's an unreasonable, unnecessary standard for statements which would be obviously subjective.

Also, I never felt that Jim was taking anything out on me. I understand that he was referring to other people who were guilty of things I never took part in. Why should I be offended when he is clearly criticizing somebody else?
 

VanQ

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ryukage_sama said:
VanQ said:
"I think Bayonetta is sexist because it has gratuitous ass and crotch shots" <- Gets across that it's opinion, won't cause any issue from me.
"Bayonetta is sexist because it has gratuitous ass and crotch shots" <- Immediately earns my ire, expressing opinion as fact.

Also, the first 50 seconds of that video was the most condescending assery I've experienced in a long time. People were dicks to you on twitter, that's awful. Don't take it out on your audience.
The entirety of the human population should not be required to put "I think" in front of every subjective statement. In your own post, you failed to follow this requirement. It's an unreasonable, unnecessary standard for statements which would be obviously subjective.

Also, I never felt that Jim was taking anything out on me. I understand that he was referring to other people who were guilty of things I never took part in. Why should I be offended when he is clearly criticizing somebody else?
There are a myriad of ways that one can express that what they're saying is an opinion. You're taking grievance with an example. Move along.
 

VanQ

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Lightknight said:
undeadsuitor said:
Lightknight said:
Ugh, she's so disproportionate and her "sexy" often comes across as old librarian, not sexy librarian.

I am still regularly baffled when people use Bayonetta and "sexy" in the same discussion.
old librarian?

is it because they gave her sharp cheek bones and a strong face more appropriate for her actual age (30s) instead of making her baby-faced like a lot of other character designs do?

idk, i think thats why
Well, for example, this picture always comes to mind:

http://cdn2.vox-cdn.com/entry_photo_images/8416889/WiiU_Bayonetta2_scrn08_E3.jpg

When I see this, it reminds me of old women that wear broaches and doily shawls with saggy breasts and old fashioned beauty marks. The ruffled neck part of her undershirt is particularly old school. She doesn't look 30 to me. She looks 40 or older with a dye job. The librarian bit is because that's the look they explicitly shot for with the glasses. Like someone decided to run with the sexy librarian and went with the senior librarian instead.

So yeah, she strikes me as an old woman with horrendously out of proportion body parts. I mean, look at the woman behind her too. How in the world can these terrible disfigured women be perceived as attractive rather than evoking sorrow on their behalf. Part of beauty is symmetry and healthy proportions. To me, they look decidedly not that.
I'm glad I'm not the only one that thought that. I always thought that Bayonetta acted sexy but never actually found her sexually appealing in any way. I always thought she was satire/parody of what people complain about.
 

Lightknight

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VanQ said:
I'm glad I'm not the only one that thought that. I always thought that Bayonetta acted sexy but never actually found her sexually appealing in any way. I always thought she was satire/parody of what people complain about.
Whew, someone else! Exactly. She does all kinds of sexy posturing and sure, she shows some skin here and there, but attractive isn't what comes to mind.

Honestly, I'd say her proportions fall into the uncanny valley for me.
 

Deadcyde

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Lightknight said:
VanQ said:
I'm glad I'm not the only one that thought that. I always thought that Bayonetta acted sexy but never actually found her sexually appealing in any way. I always thought she was satire/parody of what people complain about.
Whew, someone else! Exactly. She does all kinds of sexy posturing and sure, she shows some skin here and there, but attractive isn't what comes to mind.

Honestly, I'd say her proportions fall into the uncanny valley for me.
Bayonetta escaping the uncanny valley.

Insert crevice jokes and bam.. bayonetta 3.

To be far i think it's more the fact that she's a fictional character is why she doesn't do it for me. But to be fair, aren't all fantasies fictional?
 

Lightknight

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Deadcyde said:
Lightknight said:
VanQ said:
I'm glad I'm not the only one that thought that. I always thought that Bayonetta acted sexy but never actually found her sexually appealing in any way. I always thought she was satire/parody of what people complain about.
Whew, someone else! Exactly. She does all kinds of sexy posturing and sure, she shows some skin here and there, but attractive isn't what comes to mind.

Honestly, I'd say her proportions fall into the uncanny valley for me.
Bayonetta escaping the uncanny valley.

Insert crevice jokes and bam.. bayonetta 3.

To be far i think it's more the fact that she's a fictional character is why she doesn't do it for me. But to be fair, aren't all fantasies fictional?
Fantasies can certainly become realities. Fantasies are just outlandish desires but not necessarily impossible.

I'd say that there are fictional characters that I am very much attracted to. For example, the beach volleyball girls that Jim is always showing when discussing gratuitous sexual objectification in gaming. Those girls are hot and although I wouldn't necessarily call their proportions normal, they do look healthy and appealing. sure, if I saw them in real life as real people I'd probably think there's something wrong with their eyes. But it just isn't as blatant.

There are then also numerous other characters that I don't find jarring in the least. Not necessarily attractive but not ugly either. Bayonetta, however, is sooooo out of proportion that attraction isn't even a thought in my mind.
 

Rellik San

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Lightknight said:
Deadcyde said:
Lightknight said:
VanQ said:
I'm glad I'm not the only one that thought that. I always thought that Bayonetta acted sexy but never actually found her sexually appealing in any way. I always thought she was satire/parody of what people complain about.
Whew, someone else! Exactly. She does all kinds of sexy posturing and sure, she shows some skin here and there, but attractive isn't what comes to mind.

Honestly, I'd say her proportions fall into the uncanny valley for me.
Bayonetta escaping the uncanny valley.

Insert crevice jokes and bam.. bayonetta 3.

To be far i think it's more the fact that she's a fictional character is why she doesn't do it for me. But to be fair, aren't all fantasies fictional?
Fantasies can certainly become realities. Fantasies are just outlandish desires but not necessarily impossible.

I'd say that there are fictional characters that I am very much attracted to. For example, the beach volleyball girls that Jim is always showing when discussing gratuitous sexual objectification in gaming. Those girls are hot and although I wouldn't necessarily call their proportions normal, they do look healthy and appealing.

There are then also numerous other characters that I don't find jarring in the least. Not necessarily attractive but not ugly either. Bayonetta, however, is sooooo out of proportion that attraction isn't even a thought in my mind.
NOW! THis is an interesting point, is Bayonetta designed to be sexy or represent an extreme of ideas that people find sexy (Long legs? ONLY THE LONGEST! impossible back curvature? NOT EVEN A CHIROPRACTER COULD CORRECT HER!) she's a representation of the concept of sexiness as opposed to being sexy herself?

What does this mean for her interpretation and her actions? Does this mean she could stand as a satire on the archetypes of sexy and how absurd the "ideal" supposedly is?
 

Lightknight

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Rellik San said:
NOW! THis is an interesting point, is Bayonetta designed to be sexy or represent an extreme of ideas that people find sexy (Long legs? ONLY THE LONGEST! impossible back curvature? NOT EVEN A CHIROPRACTER COULD CORRECT HER!) she's a representation of the concept of sexiness as opposed to being sexy herself?

What does this mean for her interpretation and her actions? Does this mean she could stand as a satire on the archetypes of sexy and how absurd the "ideal" supposedly is?
If not, then the designers have utterly failed at whatever else their goal was. I sincerely hope that this was their intention because that would be genius and I love to find genius in works of art.
 

Rellik San

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So here's another angle worth looking at, brought to my attention via Twitter... we've discussed this from aspects of what the character means, how she's represented, what we thing she's representing and how people have reacted to her... however, I don't think I've seen anyone bring up the issue of her from a cultural standpoint... that standpoint being... her creators and designers culture:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbSL2wvlq0Q

This helps explain a lot about character design and such practices in Japan, it's an interesting cultural look at the topic and sure there is still the argument of "Well they should conform to the global market standard"... but I'm sure those of you who dwell on such things would also agree, that would be a pretty imperialistic and colonialist argument (I dun liek ur kulcha, mak mah uncomvertabul).

I know most of you aren't really that way and that last comment was aimed at an incredibly vocal minority, mostly made up of people who thankfully seem to have not engaged in this conversation meaning we've actually been able to discuss it without vitriol. :)
 

Kwak

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"Yes even feminist disagree with each other, and no, they don't threaten to come each others house to do murder" -Jim Sterling
So who threatened to go over to polygon's house and do a murder over this?
Because obviously that happened or you wouldn't have felt the need to say it, yeah?
 

Gather

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Death threats against women are terrible however... Death threats against non-women are just as terrible?

I do agree, that a characters appearance should be tailored to their personality... But I try to be one of those guys that play games and not think about the implications.
 

DragonDai

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Wisq said:
DragonDai said:
The first is that it is NOT okay to dock a game's Metacritic score because you personally have a moral or societal concern with a video game.
This statement is ridiculous by its very nature.

One, there's a reason that we have multiple critics out there, rather than just a single official critic that gives everything a single official score. It's because we want multiple viewpoints.

When you're looking to judge works of media, you want to read multiple reviews, look at the points they raise, determine which of those points are relevant to you, and decide accordingly. Long-term, you can find reviewers you generally agree with and take their opinions as stronger than others, although you should still never rely on a single reviewer (who knows, they might have just been having a really good/bad day).

Two, similarly, there's a reason that Metacritic is an aggregate of multiple reviews. It attempts to quickly gauge the overall objective quality of a game by combining multiple subjective reviews. A single bad review isn't going to have a huge impact on the Metacritic score, so long as it's a major game with a lot of reviews.

Plus, subject matter matters. If I have two games, both with the exact same game mechanics, exact same technical specs and performance, etc etc., and one of them is a typical shooter while the other one is Baby Murder Simulator 2014, you know what? Yeah, I expect the latter to get some lower scores. Some reviewers found it objectionable. Some people playing it will find it objectionable. Therefore, you could say it's an objectively worse game by virtue of the fact that fewer people can enjoy it. If you're looking for a sure-fire gift, pick the first game; if it's for yourself, then just make your own damn decision.

Three, on the subject of Metacritic scores as determining how much money devs make and whatnot: So what? This is the fault of the publishers who make these stupid decisions. Letting this affect review scores amounts to blackmail. There are other, far more useful and important stats you could be basing bonuses on; you know, like, how many copies a game sells? And keep in mind that a huge number of people still buy games without reading a single review, just based on brand names and marketing (which is how Aliens: Colonial Marines sold over 1.31 million copies).
Been a couple days since you posted this, so you might not even see my reply, but what the hell, your response needed a response, so here I am to give it to you. :)

First, you say that "When you're looking to judge works of media, you want to read multiple reviews, look at the points they raise, determine which of those points are relevant to you, and decide accordingly." And I couldn't agree more. In a perfect world, this would be how ALL consumers consumed ALL products. In the real world, however, the VAST majority of consumers don't care/don't have time to do this. At best, they glance at a metacritic score and move on, and at worst, they by a product solely on advertising and hype. There is a reason Metacritic scores matter so much to publishers, and that's because the overall metacritic score sells games.

(As a quite aside, no, I couldn't give two shits about bonuses/money made off of Metacritic scores. People seem to think this could be the ONLY reason to worry about Metacritic scores. It isn't. What I DO give two shits about people missing out on a great game because the metacritic score is artificially low and that's the only thing a person checked. Is it their fault for not doing their homework? Partially, but it is equally the fault of the biased reviewer purposefully misleading their readers as to the objective quality of a product.)

Second, Metacritic works well in the case of a game like Shadow of Mordor. You're totally justified in thinking that Polygon's artificially low score didn't really impact Shadow of Mordor at all to the casual review reader who probably looks at Metacritic's aggregate and moves on. But that won't be the case for smaller titles. Many smaller titles will have a MUCH smaller pool of reviews, and one artificially lower score can and will drastically affect their overall score. And that doesn't even account for the fact that if a couple of reviewers were all on a mailing list together, for instance, and one of them found a game that was objectively good but had some social or moral element that said reviewer didn't like he could convince his buddies to all also review it negatively and tank the score of a smaller game. Not that that sort of thing would EVER happen...oh wait...

Third. Subject matter DOES matter to games. And there is PLENTY of space to write about subject matter in the review. I have NO problems with journalists voicing their opinions on games, no matter what that opinion is. But I do have a problem with objectively good games being given artificially bad scores because of subjective bias. You can make your subjective opinion on subjective content of a game without affecting the review score. There are many ways to do this. I'll have an example of this how this can be done right a little later on, at the end of this reply. But at the end of the day, if you're numerical score is affected by your subjective bias to a subjective part of the game, you are a bad reviewer, end of story. This would be no different than if a game reviewer docked points off of GTA because it was violent, and violence is wrong, or if a reviewer docked points off of Viva Pinata because it WASN'T violent. Both of those examples are JUST as bad a reviewer docking points off of Bayonetta 2 for it being "sexist."

So yeah, that's my reply, here's the link I promised:

https://www.christcenteredgamer.com/index.php/reviews/56-console/xbox360/5672-watchmen-the-end-is-nigh-xbox-360

It's a Christian-centric gaming website that reviews games based on their objective merits AND their subjective/moral merits SEPARATELY. If the religious right can review games in a proper, objective manner but the general gaming press cannot, there is an OBVIOUS and CLEAR issue with the general gaming press.
 

conmag9

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Lightknight said:
VanQ said:
I'm glad I'm not the only one that thought that. I always thought that Bayonetta acted sexy but never actually found her sexually appealing in any way. I always thought she was satire/parody of what people complain about.
Whew, someone else! Exactly. She does all kinds of sexy posturing and sure, she shows some skin here and there, but attractive isn't what comes to mind.

Honestly, I'd say her proportions fall into the uncanny valley for me.
I'm with you guys. Bayonetta just creeps me out for those reasons primarily (that, and I can't imagine why anyone would be stupid enough to say "yes" to a bargain for one's soul when equivalent powers are available from non-demons). Nearly everything about her is repulsive to me in some way or another. During the times I was playing (which admittedly wasn't that long, and mostly at the insistence of someone else), I found myself rooting for the angels more often than not.
 

Uriel_Hayabusa

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Kid Dynomite said:
My problem with Bayonetta is that I can't actually imagine her initiating or engaging in sexual intercourse.

For all the BDSM aesthetics and the lollipop licking innuendo, she doesn't actually strike me as a sexual being. She strikes me as a thirteen year old boy's "sexy drawing" from her giraffe-esque proportions to the "I just hit puberty and feel funny about my one teacher" librarian look. Bayonetta is the embodiment of a sort of chaste fetishization; the female equivalent of your virgin male friend who always blurts out, "That's what she said!" knowing he'd curl up into a nervous ball of insecurity if the proposition of his penis entering a vagina ever became a possibility. The fact Bayonetta's character design is from a woman isn't any more a counterargument than arguing Tyler Perry can't be a black "modern-day minstrel show" director.

Add in the "male gaze" aspect, and her characterization becomes even more baffling. Take the intro cutscene of Bayonetta 2: While she's dodging attacks, her dress gets torn off by lances and Bayonetta... titters erotically. What? Why? How is she possibly getting off on this? You'd think a sex positive character who routinely becomes nude during battle (her apathy toward it used as justification) wouldn't be so impressed by this particular instance of being disrobed yet, alas, for the sake of the nerds on the other side of the camera, she has to play it up. Likewise, are we supposed to find all the bondage-style whipping erotic? Is the game suggesting Bayonetta finds whipping angel/demon centaurs or what the fuck ever they are, hot? This lack of consideration reveals the primary concern to be the veneer of sexuality to Trojan horse in fan-service under the guise of "parody/irony" while actual characterization remains a distant second. Might as well have Dante sucking down oysters and licking envelopes while never actually trying to stick his dick in anything.

Lastly, the means by which she's empowered are distinct from the "sexuality" aspect. Curbstomping demons isn't a direct corollary of her being a "sexually-liberated woman". At absolute best, she's a clumsy parody of what the target-audience finds appealing. Luckily, the games are quite good, but defending the characterization of a cardboard cut-out in a cardboard plot seems as misguided as labeling Nicki Minaj's "Anaconda" video a feminist statement.
This is, hands down, the single best counter-argument I've seen to the whole notion that Bayonetta is supposedly a ''feminist'' or ''empowering'' character. If I wore a hat, I'd tip it to you.
 

CaitSeith

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Kid Dynomite said:
Luckily, the games are quite good, but defending the characterization of a cardboard cut-out in a cardboard plot seems as misguided as labeling Nicki Minaj's "Anaconda" video a feminist statement.
It's funny you say that, as I have hear some people actually stating the Anaconda's feminist statement (just WTF?). Internet, gotta love it!