Monday, October 27, 2014

Sexy Ladies Aren't the Problem

So Gamergate. That's a thing that's happening right now. It compels me to blog. Not about Gamergate, actually, because I'm not sure what I have to say that hasn't already been said by people better at writing than me. What I am actually going to blog about are some of the awful logical fallacies that I see popping up on Twitter and elsewhere.

I fear I didn't have the foresight to save links to them, but I saw one post that accused Anita Sarkeesian of being a hypocrite because she wore makeup during a talk once. Another post accused people who object to sexist representations of female characters in games of being "offended by the human body." (Y'know, because all female characters in games are accurate portrayals of the human body.)

Anyway. So the problem with that is that that's not the problem. (At least from my perspective. I guess I can't speak for the rest of the internet gang.) The problem is not that sexualized female characters exist everywhere, it's that other kinds of female characters don't. I don't see anything inherently wrong with games like Lollipop Chainsaw existing, but it would be nice to see, y'know, other types of female characters too. And there are some, certainly, but not nearly as many as their male counterparts.

Let's look at Twisted Metal 2, for example. And older game, admittedly, and one I'm rather fond of, but one that provides a fairly textbook example of the problem with the representation of female characters in video games.

Of the 16 playable characters (if we count the hidden boss characters), 13 are male. We have a few sexy male characters, sure, but we also have: a walking skeleton, a grizzled war veteran, a hobo, two psycho clowns, a creepy witchdoctor, a tortured guy trapped in massive wheels, and a fiery demon.

The female characters are: a sexy copy, a sexy racer and a sexy teenager.

So yeah. You can see why one might consider the gender balance a little lopsided. That's just one game, but it's not that hard to find other examples.

tl;dr the problem isn't that there are sexy female characters, the problem is that there aren't (m)any others

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