AuthorTopic: Big boobed characters in video games  (Read 75267 times)

Offline Crow

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Big boobed characters in video games

on: January 16, 2013, 04:04:16 pm
Ymedron got me to think about this, and I'd like to start a discussion on the topic. I'd like to write a little more to start things off, but can't thing of anything very good, so you'll have to do with a short paragraph.

Boobs in video games. Often used so characters are distinguishable as females, or so some developers say, apparently. Of course there's also the whole "sex sells" things that comes into play, and I bet it works. Very well, at that - see several free to play MMORPGs. Are they necessary? I don't think so! Take a look, for example, at Mirror's Edge. Faith is female, but doesn't have a lot of cleavage at all, yet she is a very fitting character and - obviously - easily recognizable as a female. No big boobs required for high sales, eh?

So, what do you guys and gals say? I'd like to read a little more about your opinion :)

Offline Carnivac

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Re: Big boobed characters in video games

Reply #1 on: January 16, 2013, 04:13:26 pm
Did Mirror's Edge sell well?  I used to find it in the bargain bins of my then local game shop for 3.   Not that I bought it (not into first person games although playing the demo some years ago I do think it does do the viewpoint a hell of a lot more convincing than most other first person games)

I was gonna mention Jade from Beyond Good & Evil as a non-busty female lead but that didn't sell well at all...

I've never cared much for overt sexuality in video games cos they often seem just too obviously designed to make thousands of video game nerds have a hard on and that's an image I simply do not want to think about.    Also I like practical character design (no silly giant moussed hair or spikes poking out all over a costume, no high heel boots on the lady) and often the female leads with the biggest breasts tend to be so stupidly exposed that they'd be dead in seconds in a real battle. 
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Offline rikfuzz

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Re: Big boobed characters in video games

Reply #2 on: January 16, 2013, 05:21:24 pm
I had a quick look at the game charts, and there was only one game in the charts that even had a female on the cover, Just Dance 4.  I think this is probably a title that's aimed more at female players anyway, but the character in question wasn't sexualised at all. (In the cover at least, there's some marketing materials where some people might argue it was, but it'd be a stretch - obviously its influences are music videos and stuff which are pretty sexualised - without offending the female market).

An anecdotal aside, but all my female artist friends are much more obsessed with drawing breasts than their male counterparts.

It's only one chart, so not a huge amount of data, but it doesn't appear to be necessary or endemic. Perhaps it's a little more than occasional guilty pleasure, but I'd actually argue video games are not the "worst offenders" here. I think the lack of female representation is far more worrying. 

Offline Crow

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Re: Big boobed characters in video games

Reply #3 on: January 16, 2013, 06:10:12 pm
Did Mirror's Edge sell well?  I used to find it in the bargain bins of my then local game shop for 3.   Not that I bought it (not into first person games although playing the demo some years ago I do think it does do the viewpoint a hell of a lot more convincing than most other first person games)

Well, maybe not a top-selling game, but definitely good, and it has received quite some praise. Also, apparently, a second part might be out at some point in the near future.


I was gonna mention Jade from Beyond Good & Evil as a non-busty female lead but that didn't sell well at all...

Hahaha, I actually thought about mentioning that in the first post :D

Offline Carnivac

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Re: Big boobed characters in video games

Reply #4 on: January 16, 2013, 07:48:34 pm
Hahaha, I actually thought about mentioning that in the first post :D

Weeell, she got two purchases from me.  Original release almost 10 years ago on my PS2 and more recently the 'HD remake' off PSN back in 2011.  Fun game and she's got more charm than all the of Dead or Alive ladies (if you can call them that... inflatable dolls might be more apt) combined. 
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Offline Streaksy

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Re: Big boobed characters in video games

Reply #5 on: January 17, 2013, 02:12:01 am
I think Mirror's Edge did pretty well because it looked good in the trailers, then I imagine people found out it was awful.  Got it in a Steam sale and it's terrible but very pretty.

I think cool, fit girls sell anyway, and a nice massive rack is just an easy way.  Thinking back to the first Tombraider... I really thought it was refreshing and new and wasn't over-done.  I was 17 I think, and it doesn't take a ton of soul-searching to work out that just maybe the fit arse permanantly on screen and glimpses of enormous jugs might have had some influence on my initial appreciation of it.

I think there's a pink-haired dominatrix character in Street Fighter or Tekken now with 2/3 of her bodyweight carried in her bra and the rest in her hips.  I don't think that would swing a game sale in my case, but if I was a youngun today, who knows.  Oh, and Tifa from FF7.  She's stacked right up, but there's no attention drawn to it in the game, and she's a really nice character.  Ooh, and Elexis Sinclair fron SiN.  Loved the game, and played it recently and it was just awful, even by yesterday's standards.  It does make me wonder how sexy women affected my perceptions of things I THOUGHT I was judging objectively.  There's plenty proof for it.  Sexy girls at car races and car showrooms makes no sense but makes plenty money, so you don't even have to go further than an illogical association for sex to sell something.  I've seen pictures of game exposes at events like E3 and some stalls have models in cosplay of game characters, and I BET the bigger the chest, the more men wander over to check the game out.

Those stupid twins in the new Duke Nukem game (which I quite like) definitely aren't why I like it, but 15 years ago, I'm sure they'd raise my interest in the game without any concious record of the reason.

As for today, a cool female character does still get my attention if I'm being honest with myself, and obviously I'm wired to respond to nice boobs.  There just aren't many I can think of that don't override the response with annoyance.  Girls these days have to be bad-ass and formulaic and unnessecary.

Or that's all just me.  :D

Offline Ryumaru

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Re: Big boobed characters in video games

Reply #6 on: January 17, 2013, 02:39:55 am
Disclaimer: devil's advocate here

Would it be acceptable for a female to be in the same amount of dress as this guy?
http://www.creativeuncut.com/gallery-17/sc5-algol.html

Where is his armor pointing?
http://www.creativeuncut.com/gallery-21/doa5-ryu-hayabusa.html


I wonder what the metaphor here is:
http://www.creativeuncut.com/gallery-01/ff7-sephiroth.html

Sexuality in video games is more layered than most probably think of. I would argue that males are just as sexualized, if not more in many cases. The reason they don't have to be nude is because they are often carrying weapons which are innately phallic. I would assume in a humanity where the roles of genders were reversed, we would be complaining about large muscles, confident poses, and successful attire as opposed to large breats, stereotypical shy inward facing knees, and revealing clothing.

Offline Dusty

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Re: Big boobed characters in video games

Reply #7 on: January 17, 2013, 02:48:14 am
It's hard to say if games don't sell well strictly because they have a female lead/female on the cover, because there are a lot of factors that can contribute to a game not selling well, besides the fact that it's a female(at least "average females"). There are plenty of games out there that don't sell well despite being great games, and with male leads as well. Sometimes a game just doesn't get the marketing it deserves and fails to grab large-scale attention. Sure, gamers may have heard of it and it gets tons of positive reception... but that doesn't push the numbers that determine if it sells well or not.

One game that comes to mind with an average-looking female lead that did well critically and commercially is Silent Hill 3; you also have Final Fantasy 13, which sold quite well(but with some poor reception). There's also Portal and Portal 2, and I think the Perfect Dark series did pretty well....... does Mrs. Pac Man count? :P None of these games really have their lead females with over-sized boobs selling their sexuality(contrasting to games like Bayonetta). I mean ya, they tend to look pretty, but males get the same treatment; males tend to be designed to be either overly masculine or at least handsome.

Offline Carnivac

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Re: Big boobed characters in video games

Reply #8 on: January 17, 2013, 08:52:12 am
does Mrs. Pac Man count? :P

Technically it's Ms. Pac-Man and she's pure sex.
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Offline PixelPiledriver

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Re: Big boobed characters in video games

Reply #9 on: January 17, 2013, 11:42:22 am
Sex appeal is a component of human life.
When used to represent the female gender, breasts are an obvious connection.
Perhaps the dislike towards large breasts is the feeling that sexuality is a private matter.

We could divide every female character we can think of into groups of breast size but I'm not sure that's entirely useful.
There's a huge amount of counter examples already in existence.

I'm not completely convinced by the common argument that its not realistic for a character to dress or be a certain way because the real life counter part wouldn't work.
If video game characters where in it to make sense of their surroundings, Mario would take a bus to Bowser's castle instead of walking, or he would stay home and call the police to report a kidnapping.
Sonic wouldn't run fast because hedgehogs really aren't that impressive speed wise.
Humor falls apart quickly in the same way.
Once we say something isn't funny, or that it couldn't have happened like that, it seizes to be amusing.

Don't get me wrong.
Designing a female in fully functional armor IS interesting and cool.
But it doesn't make a design with revealing armor less interesting.
There are different characterizations.

Games are made by people, and those individuals have certain likes, dislikes, and ideas.
Not all game developers sit around thinking, "If we increase the boob size by this much we'll make this much more money".
Many of them are using their skills to add work to a project that they think improves it.
But the artist and art are independent.
Drawing a murder does not make you a criminal.
Drawing large breasts does not make you a sex fiend.

Variety in design let's us describe different kinds of characters.
Scaling proportions is a powerful structure for doing so.
I enjoy creating female characters with a variety of features.

These are just my own thoughts on the matter.
They in no way attempt to solve what is considered to be a problem, as I don't see it as one.
Sex is a great and positive thing.
And knowing that it is, we seek what it is... ~ Aristotle, Posterior Analytics, Chapter 1