Bulging brains -- and breasts

By Janelle Brown


Salon Staff
July 11, 2000 11:03PM (UTC)

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Yes, it does seem as though the lead female characters in a lot of video games are just sorry excuses for putting a scantily clad woman in for the eye-candy factor. But putting a character in a skintight suit isn't just a looks thing. It's a programming thing. It's a lot easier to code a bodysuit than a long, billowing dress. You'd have to factor in the way the clothes move when the character moves, and all that. Gamers would bitch loud and long about it if it wasn't perfect. Then they'd wait for a patch to fix it.

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And face it, the gaming industry is a growing part of the entertainment industry. How many times have I gone to a movie, and the lead female character is wearing something revealing, if anything? Sex sells. Period. But aside from that, if the game looks pretty but sucks to play, people aren't going to like it. There's only a small section of the population that will buy a game because they think the lead character is "hot." Every gamer I've every talked to that's ever bought a game has not bought it based on what the character looks like. They buy it based on the game-play, the graphics and the almighty fun factor.

-- Aaron Johnson

Get over it. I don't know about you, but every time I've seen a man in a video game, he is built bigger than Schwarzenegger. Ever play "Duke Nukem"? It features a steroid-laden meathead battling aliens in a tank top. So what?

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Have you ever watched TV or a movie? Mostly, anyone with an average build, bust, face or whatever isn't the star but the "quirky ugly neighbor." The scrawny guys on TV are huge in comparison to my body-building friends. The flat women on TV are overflowing compared to most women I know. The ugly guy/girl in any number of "Pygmalion" ripoffs is just a model with mussed-up hair and glasses.

My friend is a fantasy video game designer. She has a hard time keeping the (young, male) art department from drawing all women as mostly naked sexpots. Video games, however, are just another medium where the norm is to project our sexual ideals onto the hero.

-- Scott Tringali

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