Affirmatively Furthering Fair Dames in Games

While going through Jeffro Johnson’s Google+ feed, I found this:

Yet again, social justice types bemoan the sexy female in video games, instead wanting everyone to dress the girls up in cargo pants and sensible shoes. But instead of taking the usual “free speech” stance, I’ll go a step farther.

I’ll make an affirmative case for dressing video game females in revealing clothes.

They’re pleasing to the eye. Video games are a visual medium, so aesthetics matter as much as gameplay. While not every game needs to look uniformly pretty, it does need to look presentable — and half-naked ladies aid in that. They draw eyeballs and make the product look easier to approach. Be careful, however — overuse or improper use can make your product look sleazier than you intend. Like all artistic enhancements, it should not be employed haphazardly.

They make a game feel more fantastical. A lot of scanty-dressed females turn up in Japanese anime-styled games, many of which are more lighthearted than your typical brown-and-gray Western AAA game. The Western games — especially in recent years — dress their females up in practical clothing that de-emphasizes their sex. The Japanese anime games, on the other hand, dress them up in a way that emphasizes their sex — and some games go so far as to dress them in revealing clothes. Since revealing clothes and high heels aren’t realistic for strenuous and dangerous activities like combat or adventuring, the clothes lend an air of fantasy to the work, giving it an escapist feel.

They don’t prevent strong characterization. A female in a revealing or sexualized outfit can still have strong traits as a character. She can still be an Action Girl. She can still have a sense of depth. Not all female characters have to run around in cargo pants and combat boots to be “serious”; good looks don’t prevent a good story.

Games work best when they have vitality and imagination, and inappropriately dressed female characters are an important part of that. Dullness and shapelessness do not indicate “maturity,” and alleged maturity doesn’t matter anyway because games only need to prove themselves to their audience.

My novel Sword & Flower has a Japanese pop star in a miniskirt because I think it looks cute.

This entry was posted in Creative freedom and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Affirmatively Furthering Fair Dames in Games

  1. Pingback: the female aesthetic | Rod Walker, Science Fiction Writer

  2. Twila Price says:

    Hey there.

    I will give you scantily clad anime girls if I can have scantily clad gorgeous boys on a one for one basis, preferably some straight out of a yaoi comic. Really, I wouldn’t get so cranky about sexy girls if the game makers and illustrators also catered to those of us who are hetero women. I mean, if you enjoy a game more because of attractive female illustrations, it stands to reason that I would also enjoy it with attractive males. Somehow, though, no one ever seems to put sexy men in video games or in my role-playing books. And all of the male gamers who groan about social justice types taking all the fun out don’t seem to care that my fun is rarely if ever catered to. I don’t fully appreciate sexily clad ladies in my gaming, since they don’t float my boat, and it gets tiresome when there is never a character that does float it.

    • Rawle Nyanzi says:

      The way I see it, it’s not a battle or a war — more stuff for everyone is better, and no one should be ashamed for liking attractive characters in their games, whether male or female. I like sexy dames, so I will encourage the creation of more dames.

      That being said, I managed to find a list of hot guys in AAA games. Hope this helps.

      On the indie side, Hanako Games is no slouch when it comes to handsome males either. You should check their stuff out.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *