Author Topic: Female characters done both wrong and right.  (Read 6215 times)

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Offline Iain Baker

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Female characters done both wrong and right.
Hi everyone!

My first article for a ‘proper’ bona fide video games website. Looks like the last two year’s hard work is starting to pay off.  Fingers crossed I’ll start getting paid to do this one day.

I have highlighted a female character from the HLP stables as an example of a female character done well. Can you guess who that is?
Enjoy!

http://coin-drop.com/dumb-and-exploitative-character-design-in-video-games/
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Re: Female characters done both wrong and right.
That reminds me, has anyone drawn fanart of what Noemi Laporte actually looks like?

For some reason, I imagine her as African/Asian.

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Offline Ghostavo

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Re: Female characters done both wrong and right.
Isn't Poison a transvestite?
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Online DefCynodont119

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Re: Female characters done both wrong and right.
Gosh those comments. . .  :ick:  It's almost like none of them read it beyond the title. . .  Can't say I expected more tho.


Nice article! Ehh, It's not a terrible article. I Like your point about whether or not it's appropriate for the setting.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2019, 08:12:11 pm by DefCynodont119 »
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Offline Iain Baker

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Re: Female characters done both wrong and right.
Isn't Poison a transvestite?

It depends on which region s/he is in. IIR in Japan she is a cis gender female, in America she is a transsexual woman. Or it might be the other way around, I cant remember which off the top of my head.

One region had an issue with beating up women in video games back in the '90s, and as she is an enemy in Final Fight, you beat her up a lot. (Since its a side scrolling brawler, you beat up many copies of her - because, er 'game logic')  :p


So in that region Capcom said. 'Its ok, she is a transsexual woman, so technically you are still hitting a man' or words to that affect. #Game industry logic  :lol:
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Offline Iain Baker

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Re: Female characters done both wrong and right.
That reminds me, has anyone drawn fanart of what Noemi Laporte actually looks like?

For some reason, I imagine her as African/Asian.

Going by the short stories linked below, she is originally from Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, and is described as being dark skinned. So yeah, pretty sure she is African.


Morrigan in the Sunglare
http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/dickinson_03_14/

Morrigan in Shadow
http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/dickinson_12_15/





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Re: Female characters done both wrong and right.
That reminds me, has anyone drawn fanart of what Noemi Laporte actually looks like?

Yes, but that was never "official" as it never was confirmed BP-canon by the team, never became part of the mod and later went missing. This includes several other characters as well.

 

Offline Spoon

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Re: Female characters done both wrong and right.
Gosh those comments. . .  :ick:  It's almost like none of them read it beyond the title. . .  Can't say I expected more tho.

I agree with the comments, personally. These kind of articles are always objectively terrible and never add anything of actual value. "Oh no, sexy and/or scanditly clad female characters! How terrible! Just look at how awful these all are! How exploitative". Ayyy, okay. I couldn't make it half way past this article without rolling my eyes.

Sorry Iain, I'm just going to be super blunt with you here. If this is the kind of content that you want to write about, I sure as heck hope you aren't going to get paid for it. The internet has too many of these kind of ****ty, valueless articles decrying the evils of sexy female characters in games already. We don't need more of this kind of low level garbage.

Seriously. Let's take this absolutely dreadful golden axe example that you provided:
Quote
Bikinis are not sensible attire, however, for fighting sword-wielding skeletons, (or the fire-breathing dragons!), in a war zone straight out of Conan the Barbarian. Unfortunately, no one told Golden Axe’s Tyris Flare this.
1. It's a stylistic art choice, you dingus. Basically every character in Golden Axe wears barely any armor, aside from some helmets and shoulder pads. Most of the male characters are bare chested to show off their amazing abs and muscles. The Conan the barbarian comparison isn't all that far off.
Which brings me to 2. What's this dumb double standard you're going with here? You mention how Tyris wears a bikini, but then just casually neglect to mention the MASS OF ****ING MUSCLES that is Gilius who is center stage of the picture, wearing nothing but a speedo?
3. I played the hell out of Golden Axe as a kid. I grew up just fine.
4. There is nothing wrong with the stylistic choice of Golden Axe. Heck, there is nothing wrong with any of the examples you provided. You can like or dislike them, but there's nothing wrong with them.
5. Games are amazing in that they can choose to be not realistic. If every character in any game ever, wore nothing but historically accurate armor, **** would get stale quick. It would be uncreative as all heck.

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I am no prude.
Suuuure. But here you go, writing a low effort article decrying how there are female game characters who show off skin.

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Is this really what we want?
Yes. Yes I do.
I can't speak for everyone, neither can you, but there are plenty of people out there, who are not in mortal distress about female characters wearing silly outfits in video games.
Imagine being so bothered by this that you go out of your way to write an article about it. Kind of sad imo.

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I don’t want my youngest daughter seeing Cammy’s camel toe,

Why? What's the worse that can happen? Is she going to suffer mental trauma? Will she die? Will she turn into a delinquent or a hooker when she grows up because she saw Cammy's camel toe as a kid?

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or dressing up as her for Halloween. Indeed, my youngest has been an outspoken critic of such portrayals. If an eight-year-old girl can see this is a problem, then perhaps we should take note.
Oh nooooo, why won't anyone think of the chiiiilllddreeeeen???
Did you just unironically make this argument?
Yeah wow, I sure hold the opinion of a 8 year old boy in high regard! He sure knows a lot about the world! He sure knows a lot about woman and about the portrayal of women in games! I bet he's not going to change his opinion about any of this when he hits puberty!
We should all just take a moment and ask the nearest 8 year old about what they think about games that are outside of their age catagory and then base our opinions off of this.  :lol:

I was going to point out that he's 5 years too young for the Teen ESRB rating that street fighter has but then you proceed to write this gem:
Quote
At least the aforementioned games are aimed at a teenage-to-adult audience, so it could be argued that children would not see these portrayals. This is complete BS, of course, since kids see all sorts of things that are not ‘age appropriate’, even if their parents make every effort to prevent this.
Haha oh heck off.
"There can be no adult content because kids may see it" Again, did you just seriously make this 'argument?'
Seriously? For real? How is anyone going to take your seriously?

I could spend several hours picking apart all the things that are just wrong about this article. But it would be a waste of my time, because there's already ton of these utterly basic and unimaginative articles already out there. Good grief. Please. Just stop writing this kind of trash.
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Offline Det. Bullock

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Re: Female characters done both wrong and right.
@Spoon: There is a difference between being a prude and kind of raising an eyebrow at the fact that female characters in games have to often be a piece of ass first and a character second.

Miranda Lawson in particular was something that really made me go "Really, Bioware"? It didn't help that after some really well written and heartfelt dialogues you had the dialogue wheel drawing attention to her arse. And Mass Effect 2 is basically a gigantic fanservice pack for the entire setting, you get from a hardcore sci fi setting with everyone wearing head to toe tactical gear or spacesuits in combat to people wearing skintight or skimpy clothing and no more of a fricking breathing mask in an alien environment with no breathable air.

PS: Cammy's design also really perplexed me to no end, especially the perpetual wedgie. And some at Capcom probably got the point since she made a cameo in another game series with a very similar attire only wearing military shorts over the leotard. A pity because I actually like her story, her moveset, her original stage and most of all her theme song.

Regarding Mika, she's kind of meant to be a flamboyant wrestler so while a bit of a stretch her outfit is not too out of place.

PPS: there is also the issue that a naked man is very rarely framed in the same way as a naked woman is and games, probably because they still think their audience is essentially horny male teenagers, are hit really bad by it, they aren't sexualized because sure as hell they aren't subjected to continous crotch and ass shots. There are exceptions of course but they are really few and far between while with women you could just throw a dart while blindolded and hit an example of weirdly out of place sexualization. Sometimes it's like games are perpetually stuck in the 90s era of comic books in that regard.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2019, 07:21:21 pm by Det. Bullock »
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Offline Thaeris

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Re: Female characters done both wrong and right.
ROFL

People can and most certainly should voice their opinions. Furthermore, these opinions ultimately do seep into the market environment (for better or worse) - television is both a good and bad example of this, as are games. Opinions matter more when there's little-to-no market choice, but that's no longer an issue in the market. That's the first point.

Concerning parents... parents need to understand that media is made by adults. Sometimes childish adults, but adults nevertheless. Unless Fred Rogers is making your children's games, you have every reason to wonder about the contents of those games. Seeing as market choice is no longer an issue in choosing game media, you need to do your job and make sure that what you put in front of your children is something you feel is suitable for their consumption. Because, like, it's your job. That's the second point.

Concerning exploitation, it's always debatable, but refer back to the first point. All of your "bad" examples sold well because they were "bad." If you don't want that content these days, buy something else. People like smut, perhaps to their detriment, but that fact is unlikely to change. However, the examples you give in your article are probably not as exploitative as you suggest - all of those ladies (don't know about the cartoon character) are tough, and will beat you to a pulp or blow you to bits in the games they are from. They are fantasy characters from fantasy games, and their personalities seem to fit. The settings they inhabit are often profane or lude, and then filled with violence. If you want a simulation of realism, you should have never played those examples in the first place. That's the first part of my third point.

Concerning realism when it comes to exploitation, I'll throw my direct opinion on the matter in the ring now: realistic games are unlikely to have girls, let alone pretty girls, in the thick of it. Historically this is an anomaly when it happens - the reasons are simple regardless of who chooses to get offended: most ladies are not hard-wired for that sort of thing, they're not as well adapted for it as their male counterparts, and it's not a good choice when it comes to continuing the species. Therefore, unless your lady character is flying around in an aircraft, behind a rifle from cover (Soviet snipers are a good example), or well protected with something like a tank, front line combat is a bad idea. In actual conversation, soldiers I've known have scorned the notion of ladies in front-line action. Because we're men, we are in general hard-wired to want to protect the ladies - if something were to happen to them, we tend to abandon what we're doing to help. If it's a life and death situation, that psychology could result in a lot more people getting killed than in a situation with all men. [There's also a really dark side you could bring up about the side fighting against the female combatants, but I won't go there.] So, unless you've got a game centered around say, partisans fighting occupation, I'm going to argue that putting ladies in a realistic portrayal of direct combat is it's own flavor of exploitation, because it's kind of an affront to history and human nature, possibly even human survival. It might be viable in some settings, but not many. That said, if you want more realism, be prepared to have less interesting female characters in games involving combat... and it seems that most games involve combat. The point continues!

Personality is possibly a point of exploitation, but I'm not sure any of those games you highlight demonstrate this really well... BUT, perhaps there is an example: I've not played Tomb Raider in any guise, so the taste of feet might find me for this comment - but, didn't Laura Croft start out as a tough gun-slinging archaeologist regardless of her sexualized design? Didn't she then eventually become somewhat... abused?.. by the last trailer for a Tomb Raider game I recall seeing? If that perception is accurate, how is that good for a character who must be an action star? You're possibly taking a character who has been made unfit for combat, and might not even want to be there... and then you put them in that exact situation? There's certainly room for stories like that, but in its own way, is it any better than what you rail against? At least the characters in the fighting games seemed like they belonged there, because clearly getting into brawls was their thing. They have personas, no matter how shallow, that warrant them being where they're at. I'm thus going to conclude that putting a character where they don't belong or should not belong is both dumb and exploitative, and you didn't touch on that at all when it comes to women in games. Fantasy games have fantasy women for a reason: Take away the fantasy and it's either unrealistic or abusive. That's my third point in total.

So, to wrap this thing up, if the best you can do is complain about a lack of clothing on women in fighting games, you've not done much to advance your cause. Lude fantasy will always be there, but I think trying to make things more realistic in your choice of games is actually worse in this case, because it opens up the women for some actually horrific abuse that no decent person would want to see. If you need fantasy with more conservatively dressed women, I must imagine that it's out there somewhere.
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Offline MP-Ryan

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Re: Female characters done both wrong and right.
With all respect to Iain, while I don't think the article is terribly well written and some of the arguments aren't well-thought out - Golden Axe is a genuinely bad example based just on the cover art - I also think Spoon above is completely off-base.

Games have a historical habit of being authored, built, and designed predominantly by men for a male audience.  Thankfully this is changing, but I don't think it's at all prudish or unreasonable to note that games still have a tendency to be illustrated for the male gaze, and there are many examples of this throughout the gaming world.  There is a difference between personal style, and gratuitous skin just for the players' titillation.  I don't tend to play a lot of games with the jarring examples given in Iain's post, but I have a pretty excellent set of examples that I can draw on from recent RPGs.

Let's use Miranda Lawson's character from ME2 as a bad example, because I think Iain is spot-on here.  Miranda's dress preferences and explanation are absolutely fine in the context of scenarios that make sense - where they are absolutely not fine, however, are in known combat missions.  It makes zero sense.  OTOH, Dragon Age did this right with Morrigan, who is scantily-clad, but it is clearly a character attribute that does not lessen her personality in the slightest, and actually makes sense in her case - she's a badass wild mage perfectly capable of protecting herself using magic and doesn't need a lot of clunky armour or heavy clothing if she doesn't feel like it, and I'd welcome anyone to even try to give an example of Morrigan's dress cheapening her character.  It'd just be silly.  Isabela in DA2 is another character with certain perhaps questionable clothing choices, but again, in character it makes perfect sense and there is nothing wrong with it.  Compare to Lara Croft in the original Tomb Raider games - not only do the outfits make literally no sense, but simple issues like proportions make it clear the intent is objectification and titillation, not any respect for the character.

The problem is not that female characters are scantily clad - the problem comes about when that clothing and other design choices' purpose is quite obviously objectification instead of a character feature.  And frankly, if some designers - I'm looking at the numerous questionable anime-style titles popping up on Steam here - want to build games essentially around objectification and that's clear up front, the fact that there's a market for it means they'll get made.  On the other hand, games that want to be recognized seriously for their storytelling as artistic works need to confront this historical issue because their audiences are a lot bigger and more diverse than the "we want to see tits and asses" crowd.

I think Iain's construction of the argument is somewhat clunky - with all respect - but his basic point that games can evolve and do better in the diversity of the manner women are presented is legitimate.  Hell, games could do much better in representing diversity generally - when was the last time you saw a game with an even moderately-overweight protagonist, male or female? (On that note, I tried to make my DA:I female Inquisitor a little bit chubby in the face on purpose).  Yet another thing I thought The Witcher 3 did moderatetely well - while NPC models are re-used, the main cast does not consist entirely of tall, slim, fit, and attractive people.  And before anyone leaps in with an "oh, that's just an SJW argument," OUR world is made of up a diverse cast of people that do all kinds of amazing things - why would it be realistic to believe that such diversity would not be prevalent in a fictional world?
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Offline MP-Ryan

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Re: Female characters done both wrong and right.
Concerning realism when it comes to exploitation, I'll throw my direct opinion on the matter in the ring now: realistic games are unlikely to have girls, let alone pretty girls, in the thick of it. Historically this is an anomaly when it happens - the reasons are simple regardless of who chooses to get offended: most ladies are not hard-wired for that sort of thing, they're not as well adapted for it as their male counterparts, and it's not a good choice when it comes to continuing the species. Therefore, unless your lady character is flying around in an aircraft, behind a rifle from cover (Soviet snipers are a good example), or well protected with something like a tank, front line combat is a bad idea. In actual conversation, soldiers I've known have scorned the notion of ladies in front-line action. Because we're men, we are in general hard-wired to want to protect the ladies - if something were to happen to them, we tend to abandon what we're doing to help. If it's a life and death situation, that psychology could result in a lot more people getting killed than in a situation with all men. [There's also a really dark side you could bring up about the side fighting against the female combatants, but I won't go there.] So, unless you've got a game centered around say, partisans fighting occupation, I'm going to argue that putting ladies in a realistic portrayal of direct combat is it's own flavor of exploitation, because it's kind of an affront to history and human nature, possibly even human survival. It might be viable in some settings, but not many. That said, if you want more realism, be prepared to have less interesting female characters in games involving combat... and it seems that most games involve combat. The point continues!

If your game is about historical wars between Western countries from roughly 1600 to 1990ish, then yes, portraying large numbers of women as front-line combatants in organized military units would not be all that realistic.  But that's a pretty tiny, narrow range of games and subjects.

On the subject of female capability generally as combatants, however, well.... I work in law enforcement.  Fully half my colleagues are female, many of my trainers are female, and a good number could take me, you, or pretty much anyone else I've met apart.  The above quote is nothing but stereotypical tripe outside of the limited context I acknowledged because in a fictional title you can literally do pretty much whatever you feel like.
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Online DefCynodont119

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Re: Female characters done both wrong and right.
I don't really have a strong opinion on this issue, But after Re-Reading the article there are definitely some tonal mistakes in the piece.
(It's too direct and condescending)  (Title is clickbaity)

And I haven't played any of those games so I had no context for the example characters.
(After Reading the other posts it does seem like a few of the examples aren't helping the argument)

Hopefully this criticism is constructive.

So upon further inspection mr. Baker I'm gonna downgrade my earlier "Nice article!" comment to a "Ehh, It's not a terrible article."



Anyway, I will say that a character's appearance should serve the character's overall design and setting FIRST, all else second.
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Re: Female characters done both wrong and right.
(Title is clickbaity)

Well that's what you probably have to do if you want to get paied for writing articles. The same mechanism of attention grabbing probably goes for game developers aiming at the mass market.

 

Offline Firesteel

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Re: Female characters done both wrong and right.
Possibly because I've been around the discourse too long (since it's at least partially my job to be there), this feels very five years ago. I don't think it's bad to talk about this stuff but these are all examples that get cited to a ridiculous degree.

I'm not saying we should give fighting games passes on character design and sexualization, but as far as they go vs a lot of the other stuff, they're less problematic in my eyes on a visual design standpoint than pretty much everything else you cited. (Though that quote I'm too tired to find the source of about how all the female characters in one of the Street Fighter games having less health is a whole 'nother ball of wax).

The only other character I  have any stake in at all that you talked about is Miranda. Compared to Bayonetta, she's laughable in comparison. I wouldn't find her outfit design so cringe-worthy if she was a sexual or exhibitionist character like Bayonetta, but other than saying "she's designed to be perfect" that's about the extent of her sexuality unless you explicitly romance her. If she'd been dryly inserting double entendres places and being a tsundere, the outfit would have made more sense. (Those camera angles tho, dear god Bioware, I was in the demographic you were pandering to when that game launched and I still found it cringe inducing).

My biggest comment is that you went after such well trod, low hanging fruit (even my example of Bayonetta's pretty old) and I don't feel like you're adding much to the conversation. Admittedly I just got done drafting a conference paper so my standards are in a completely different space right now but as I said at the beginning, this feels outdated.

Thanks to the industry still pandering to the same people, talking about this stuff is important, but we have plenty of newer, more interesting things to talk about.

For example, why are people more okay with 2B in Nier Automata? Some of it is of course because of Yoko Taro's propensity for being horny on main (just look at Kaine in the first Nier) but it's also because both 2B and Kaine are more than just their visual designs, which are at least marginally better integrated with their characters than Miranda's.
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Offline 0rph3u5

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Re: Female characters done both wrong and right.
My first article for a ‘proper’ bona fide video games website. Looks like the last two year’s hard work is starting to pay off.  Fingers crossed I’ll start getting paid to do this one day.

Congratulations, Iain.

Now I am going to read it :)
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Re: Female characters done both wrong and right.

Even having been the boy that these designs all cater to, they were all so over the top that they never really registered for me. The discourse tends to center around the basic stuff of "videogames should move beyond this" vs "videogames should continue to do this exclusively" but even if you think the latter surely you can see that these character designs are just... really bad?

 
Re: Female characters done both wrong and right.
@Firesteel

You say that about Miranda but don't forget Tali's romance being all about the logistic and medical difficulties of getting together and do you see how much she's risking because she wants youuuuuuu.

Oh and Garrus's adorable awkwardness, but he gets a pass <3

 
Re: Female characters done both wrong and right.
For example, why are people more okay with 2B in Nier Automata? Some of it is of course because of Yoko Taro's propensity for being horny on main (just look at Kaine in the first Nier) but it's also because both 2B and Kaine are more than just their visual designs, which are at least marginally better integrated with their characters than Miranda's.

also to be honest it's because yoko taro's work is always full of weird, insane and disturbing **** so having a woman run around in negligee is a lot less tonally offputting than ME2's camera constantly trying to give miranda a colonoscopy, and a lot less boring than every fighting game full of ripped dudes and bikini models
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Offline Lorric

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Re: Female characters done both wrong and right.
Gosh those comments. . .  :ick:  It's almost like none of them read it beyond the title. . .  Can't say I expected more tho.

I agree with the comments, personally. These kind of articles are always objectively terrible and never add anything of actual value. "Oh no, sexy and/or scanditly clad female characters! How terrible! Just look at how awful these all are! How exploitative". Ayyy, okay. I couldn't make it half way past this article without rolling my eyes.

Sorry Iain, I'm just going to be super blunt with you here. If this is the kind of content that you want to write about, I sure as heck hope you aren't going to get paid for it. The internet has too many of these kind of ****ty, valueless articles decrying the evils of sexy female characters in games already. We don't need more of this kind of low level garbage.

Seriously. Let's take this absolutely dreadful golden axe example that you provided:
Quote
Bikinis are not sensible attire, however, for fighting sword-wielding skeletons, (or the fire-breathing dragons!), in a war zone straight out of Conan the Barbarian. Unfortunately, no one told Golden Axe’s Tyris Flare this.
1. It's a stylistic art choice, you dingus. Basically every character in Golden Axe wears barely any armor, aside from some helmets and shoulder pads. Most of the male characters are bare chested to show off their amazing abs and muscles. The Conan the barbarian comparison isn't all that far off.
Which brings me to 2. What's this dumb double standard you're going with here? You mention how Tyris wears a bikini, but then just casually neglect to mention the MASS OF ****ING MUSCLES that is Gilius who is center stage of the picture, wearing nothing but a speedo?
3. I played the hell out of Golden Axe as a kid. I grew up just fine.
4. There is nothing wrong with the stylistic choice of Golden Axe. Heck, there is nothing wrong with any of the examples you provided. You can like or dislike them, but there's nothing wrong with them.
5. Games are amazing in that they can choose to be not realistic. If every character in any game ever, wore nothing but historically accurate armor, **** would get stale quick. It would be uncreative as all heck.

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I am no prude.
Suuuure. But here you go, writing a low effort article decrying how there are female game characters who show off skin.

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Is this really what we want?
Yes. Yes I do.
I can't speak for everyone, neither can you, but there are plenty of people out there, who are not in mortal distress about female characters wearing silly outfits in video games.
Imagine being so bothered by this that you go out of your way to write an article about it. Kind of sad imo.

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I don’t want my youngest daughter seeing Cammy’s camel toe,

Why? What's the worse that can happen? Is she going to suffer mental trauma? Will she die? Will she turn into a delinquent or a hooker when she grows up because she saw Cammy's camel toe as a kid?

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or dressing up as her for Halloween. Indeed, my youngest has been an outspoken critic of such portrayals. If an eight-year-old girl can see this is a problem, then perhaps we should take note.
Oh nooooo, why won't anyone think of the chiiiilllddreeeeen???
Did you just unironically make this argument?
Yeah wow, I sure hold the opinion of a 8 year old boy in high regard! He sure knows a lot about the world! He sure knows a lot about woman and about the portrayal of women in games! I bet he's not going to change his opinion about any of this when he hits puberty!
We should all just take a moment and ask the nearest 8 year old about what they think about games that are outside of their age catagory and then base our opinions off of this.  :lol:

I was going to point out that he's 5 years too young for the Teen ESRB rating that street fighter has but then you proceed to write this gem:
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At least the aforementioned games are aimed at a teenage-to-adult audience, so it could be argued that children would not see these portrayals. This is complete BS, of course, since kids see all sorts of things that are not ‘age appropriate’, even if their parents make every effort to prevent this.
Haha oh heck off.
"There can be no adult content because kids may see it" Again, did you just seriously make this 'argument?'
Seriously? For real? How is anyone going to take your seriously?

I could spend several hours picking apart all the things that are just wrong about this article. But it would be a waste of my time, because there's already ton of these utterly basic and unimaginative articles already out there. Good grief. Please. Just stop writing this kind of trash.
At first, I was quite shocked at you just going in hard with both barrels with no preamble like this and thinking is that really necessary? But on reflection, bravo. Bravo Spoon. This was exactly what was required here. If it wasn't a member of the site, I'd have had no such thoughts, so why should he get special treatment? In fact, it's more imperative that you do this, as you have more chance of having an influence because of being a member of this forum, especially as a prominent one. It's a rare opportunity that should be taken and I'm behind you on this 100%.

This is the kind of **** that gamers hate. And with damn good reason. I really can't add much as Spoon did it better than I could, but let the people vote with their wallets. If a character has generated a lot of fanart, then that tells you it was a good character.

Also, if you want to promote this kind of thing, you still can. I roll my eyes at female "armour" too, and I don't think anyone (or at least not many) would have a problem if your article was more along the lines of recommending games to gamers who get turned off by this than virtue signalling. Then you'd be putting info out there and leaving people free to choose what they do with that info without that this is bad and if you like it you should feel bad undertone running through it.

Choice of course is even better. If you have cosmetic options that don't effect stats, then everyone's a winner. While I much prefer practical armour, running around with a girl in a bikini cutting everyone to shreds is absurd, silly fun and there's nothing wrong with that.