Today my attention was drawn to an article called “Video Games and Male Gaze – are we men or boys?” This article raises a real issue in my book about how women are portrayed in video games, especially in the recent trailer for the popular Hitman franchise, where some scantily clad nuns are dispatched by Agent 47.
I don’t want to sound like a bleeding heart when I say this, but I’m tired of seeing so many boobs and butts in video games. Some would argue a sort of Camille Paglia argument, saying that these women are sexual conquerors. They are able to control hetero-sexual men (and sometimes lesbians) with their bodies. I understand that when game developers do this they are trying to attract their primary audience, which are heterosexual males, but what about the rest of us?
Does anyone else remember feeling embarrassed while playing Soul Calibur II when Ivy’s boobs and butt are submitted to ridiculous jiggling fits every time she moves?
But I understand what Brandon Sheffield is saying about the “Male Gaze” in movies and video games. The Male Gaze is used to purposefully draw attention to a woman’s curves, whether she is real or fictional. But I have a major problem with the Male Gaze.
I feel like game developers are forgetting that women make up a large portion of the market and that we’re not going anywhere. We’re slightly more eclectic when it comes to games. We’ll play anything, even though developers are under the impression that we’d rather play games like Cooking Mama, The Sims, or Harvest Moon they need to move past this. We DO play games like Halo Reach and my biggest beef with that game was the size of my character’s butt.
But as my friend said: “You’re an eight foot tall Spartan. You’re gonna have a big ass.”
It seems that I’m not the only one who noticed the “largeness” or the female Spartan butt though…
People say that even though these women have on very little clothing, they should be figures that women admire because of their strength. I’m sorry but I do NOT admire Lara Croft. I feel embarrassed for her.
Young women need role models and they’re not going to find them in video games, especially when the development of female characters is so focused on the so-called “Male Gaze.”
And let me put it out there that I don’t think it’s wrong for men to look at women. That’s fine. Men can look and women look too. It’s the elementary stages of new life, but I still feel embarrassed with the proliferation of lady parts in video games.
I want to know something right now, are you there to play video games or are you there to be aroused?