AuthorTopic: Big boobed characters in video games  (Read 95095 times)

Offline jengy

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Re: Big boobed characters in video games

Reply #110 on: January 21, 2013, 07:25:03 pm
I find feminism, as a woman, very confusing.

There always attempts to neuter female sexuality when, if you are a sexually satisfied woman, you love sex and being sexy, you are comfortable with those two things, and can appreciate it.

Some people believe big-breasted women to be offensive. However, ALL of art and media (movies, books, and games) is skewed to be context sensitive.

Rarely do writers use main characters in books that are ugly, despite the fact that ugliness is just another variable of appearance, another shade to be chosen from a palette, and can be used to promote an idea or character identity. There are rarely cries against this practice.

I do agree that artists must do things intentionally. If ugly is your intention, if you have motivation for it, then that is great. Ugly things are incredibly interesting. But there always needs to be active thinking by both consumer and artist. It’s shallow thinking that leads to exploitation of any group.

One rarely hears complaints from feminists about extraordinarily pretty everyone in movies tends to be (men, women, and children alike). Attractiveness is apparently divorced from sexuality in this mindset. But sexualilty becomes vilified rather than shallowness. 

I believe what we should do is teach others to ignore media, and it for what is, and embrace all forms, and think intelligently about what we consume.

Porn is not inherently wrong, but in a negative light it can be seen as two people objectifying themselves. However, in the end it is a sexual aid that can be spun into a positive thing (jobs for porn stars, crews, directors, something for your poor old grandpa to watch).

And, if the actor is taught to be a strong minded person, s/he will empower themselves with their abilities and see their “art” for what it is, and continue to respect/empower themselves how they see fit. But it is true, they must be of a conscious and intentional mindset when they make this career their life.

It’s true that an artist that draws a sexy lady may become sexy-lady driven after a while. If that is their pleasure, then let them be. However, it can be said that drawing any other type of thing is probably also healthy for the artist. But telling people what the make their art of is ridiculous and cuts off the communication that art provides to the world. It stifles the artist from being able to illustrate what they are interested in (in this case, sexy ladies). Stopping conversations with rules and regulations is usually a lot less interesting that letting artists do what they’d like and hurts they way we express our ideas to each other.

When you start talking about limiting art, then you start talking about limiting yourself. The lesson that needs to be taught is not that making big-boobed people is wrong.

Art is context sensitive, and we must strive to cultivate intelligent people. Everyone has the right to enjoy sex, in all its forms. We should think about what we are looking at, rather than shun it or label it as wrong.

It is more empowering as a woman to decide that sex is great and to respect it among everyone, rather than be offended by another woman being portrayed as a sexual being. Because, we all are.

Offline Helm

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Re: Big boobed characters in video games

Reply #111 on: January 21, 2013, 07:57:55 pm
If many groups of females had started game companies in the 80's and 90's because they thought computers and Dungeons and Dragons was awesome, things would've looked different. How about that? (It's a sort of truism, of course.)

How does one (starting a lot of videogame companies in the '80s) relate to the other (because they thought Dungeons and Dragons was awesome)? I am not clear on the point you're trying to make.

Are you aware of this?

Offline Seiseki

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Re: Big boobed characters in video games

Reply #112 on: January 21, 2013, 08:08:20 pm
It is more empowering as a woman to decide that sex is great and to respect it among everyone, rather than be offended by another woman being portrayed as a sexual being.

I think this is right.
But I have started to become aware that the opposite is also right, women should be able to be portrayed as not sexual and not idealized/stereotypical.

Let's take this as an example:



A character from Borderlands 2.
My knee-jerk reaction was a typical "do-not-want!
I think the "do-not-want" part is due to being used to seeing women in game as "do-want"..  :-[
Which sorta highlights the issues with games and sexuality being from a male perspective and a majority of female characters being sexualized.

And let's look at Half-life 2.


Alyx.
There's no do-want knee-jerk reaction, but she is still good looking. (wait, is that duct tape on her shoulder?)



Alyx.
This probably warrants a more typical "ohmygosh that's hot" reaction..
And it's the kind of depiction that most male gamers expect/want to see in games.

Are you aware of this?
while women were left with everything the men didn't want to do.

After programing turned out to be really interesting, men took it back.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2013, 08:19:59 pm by Seiseki »

Offline Conzeit

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Re: Big boobed characters in video games

Reply #113 on: January 21, 2013, 08:42:28 pm
I dont even know what to say or not say anymore. I'm just glad Jengy posted.

I thought it was healthy for us to see how these femme fatale stereotypes were more stupid than we were able to see, so that we as a community were able to see what we were designing a bit better,  maybe to design our characters as person first, and then factor their sex and their particular gender roles in their designs in, out of our own will. 

But when there starts to be talk about nagging some developer to tone down Probertson's game it seems like a very colonialist thinking kind of thing where we want to shape the world to our perception of what's right, intervening where there's only the perception of someone being victimized instead of actual victims.

Offline Arne

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Re: Big boobed characters in video games

Reply #114 on: January 21, 2013, 08:45:23 pm
Oh. I do have a fully formed opinion on ideal breast size. It's (B+C+C)/3. I've been fine tuning the formula for ages. Looking at the thread title... if I were to forcibly impose this personal ideal of mine upon the masses, would I... be the good guy?

Helm> It was a half joke nod to Richard Garriott and Origin (along with many other games created back then, which were strongly influenced by DnD in particular). I think it's likely that a gamer will develop an interest in developing games. Back then, gamers also happily played PnP games and for some time PnP was the only viable option. That is the connection which was there for me. In Sweden, PnP was a big thing and we sprouted several game devs back then thanks to the computer density.

I'm familiar with Ada and female programmers. Interestingly (not mentioned directly in that article I think), the early "computers" were actually made of women sitting (in rows and columns) doing calculations manually, sort of like a big bio computer (needless to say, it was monotonous labor). My dad saw this visiting Zeiss (a company which made camera lenses) in Germany, but apparently the job predates even Babbage's attempts at automatizing it. Games with figurative characters were created much later, of course, and it wasn't really a job back then, but rather a hobby which turned into something, as in Garriot's case. As for the point, it was a delayed comment on the article. More female "nerds" (as in the specific type which want to create worlds at any cost, I should clarify) would help, along with other things, I'm sure.

PixelPileDriver> I've taken both art and programming classes, and in both cases there were a quite a lot of female students. However, I don't think any of them had any sort of interest in making games, whilst a significant portion of the guys did (this was quite a many years ago).

I actually state outright in my contact FAQ that I'm not a team guy, but this doesn't stop people from contacting me. I know skilled artists who've done things of questionable nature, but still have jobs at big developers. I think, at least with art, they look at your stuff first and foremost. Programming skill is much, much harder to gauge.


Seiseki> Lots of girls do game art and indie development now though. That alone means things will change. Edit: Creating a game isn't necessarily an insurmountable problem because you won't get hired by some asshole. As I noted earlier, guys like Braben, Garriot and others did games in their free time, and nowadays you can go indie.


Jengy> Artists have always been straddling the loosely defined fence that is moral responsibility and creative freedom (How many people did I offend, or entertain with my FSM painting?). I don't think anyone can define that boundary clearly, but it's clear that it's moving. I wouldn't consider creating a work which describes the exotic negros and their practical use as labor, like I might have been more inclined to do a few hundred years ago, and probably could have done more or less unquestioned.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2013, 09:27:41 pm by Arne »

Offline Conzeit

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Re: Big boobed characters in video games

Reply #115 on: January 21, 2013, 08:54:43 pm
I forgot to say that I really liked the point of about lack of ugly looking people, or rather interesting faces. That reminded me of something Lorne Lanning (oddworld creator) said, about how back in the time of westerns when the good the bad and the ugly were made a lot more facetypes were visible on-screen but nowdays it's all fair skinned whitewashed people.

There's something else, too. How come non-model looking people always tend to be the minions of the bad guy? happens a lot specially in anime. That's boring and dumb as fuck, that was one thing I really liked about the Matrix's Oracle she was powerful as fuck and she was just an old lady.

Offline rikfuzz

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Re: Big boobed characters in video games

Reply #116 on: January 21, 2013, 10:04:51 pm
The comments seem to tell a different story - female developers getting turned away from AAA companies in favor of similarly skilled men, subtle (or not so) hostility (references toward the dead island ad with the headless bikini torso?)
I like the way she kept telling that women are the one who need to change. As usual, isn't that the problem in every place? Why can't women stop being so uptight and stop complaining!
Yeah.

For what it's worth, I know 44 people in the games industry, and the gender is split totally evenly (huge selection bias*, but interesting).  If I only counted people in EA the girls would be a not too slim majority. 

(*particularly I'm friends with more artists than coders).

Offline Arne

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Re: Big boobed characters in video games

Reply #117 on: January 21, 2013, 11:25:43 pm
I just realized that I'm probably the wrong person to think about this. As a compulsively creative person, I'm perhaps too prone to using the "beggars can't be choosers" argument since it's so easy for me to be a chooser, and I'm pretty good at filtering (I wonder if it has lead to my obscure tastes?) which is another form of choosing. It's difficult for me to sympathize with passivity. Consumers are almost lower life forms to me, especially those who don't even filter and have things seemingly willingly thrust upon them. But when people seem content I often envy the ability to be a receptacle.

However, we all have cultural luggage from the previous occupants thrust upon us and some of it is junk which needs to be sorted through. Shan't think too highly about the available choices, perhaps.

Whatever is at the core of the poodle, pragmatically I still think being change is more conductive to actual change because it's directly applied force rather than some guys at the roadside yelling at people how to drive. It could become a discussion about which system has the best moral awareness, but it feels like a wanky esoteric endeavor. It's possible that I underestimate the role that Zeitgeist plays in providing a foundation for the changers, I don't really know, so I won't solidify my opinion too much.

rikfuzz> I've been in various gamedev communities since... long ago, and I've watched the ratio change drastically. Also, getting hired is difficult and wanting to quit is easy (crunch, surrounding incompetence or jerk boss being the most common reasons). It's anecdotal, but I think I've only ever heard guys complain about these things.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2013, 12:02:53 am by Arne »

Offline Ai

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Re: Big boobed characters in video games

Reply #118 on: January 22, 2013, 03:03:44 am
I find feminism, as a woman, very confusing.

There always attempts to neuter female sexuality when, if you are a sexually satisfied woman, you love sex and being sexy, you are comfortable with those two things, and can appreciate it.

Some people believe big-breasted women to be offensive.
I just realized one obvious problem with that line of thinking -- big breasted women don't find themselves offensive. Naturally. Although the physical issues of having such large breasts and the behaviour they elicit seem to often be offensive to them.

Quote
However, ALL of art and media (movies, books, and games) is skewed to be context sensitive.

Rarely do writers use main characters in books that are ugly, despite the fact that ugliness is just another variable of appearance, another shade to be chosen from a palette, and can be used to promote an idea or character identity. There are rarely cries against this practice.
You might say the problem here is cheap and nasty use of tropes, with little or no subtlety. It's like drawing the symbol for a airplane instead of actually drawing -a- airplane. You haven't created an X type of character or situation, only the archetype of one.

Quote
I do agree that artists must do things intentionally. If ugly is your intention, if you have motivation for it, then that is great. Ugly things are incredibly interesting. But there always needs to be active thinking by both consumer and artist. It’s shallow thinking that leads to exploitation of any group.
That's very true. Gratuitous creation of either -- ugly or beautiful things -- is not actually helpful in a broader context.
I can certainly agree with Arne's sentiment that 'consumers sometimes seem like lesser beings', and I think it is because of an increasing awareness that creation is really not optional if you want to not be shallow; If I spend more time in a given day consuming than producing, then my thinking starts to get lazy and haphazard.

Ideally, we need every person creating (in this case some kind of art) regularly. This takes the shine off of the things we might look at in awe as consumers, to instead look like an ordinary thing that mainly took hard work and cooperation. Personally this makes it much easier for me to say 'nope, not interested in that -- too generic/ I could do better/ doesn't really make sense. I'll draw some non-generic stuff with those themes instead' (and of course come out of it better informed, rather than merely entertained.)

Quote
One rarely hears complaints from feminists about extraordinarily pretty everyone in movies tends to be (men, women, and children alike). Attractiveness is apparently divorced from sexuality in this mindset. But sexualilty becomes vilified rather than shallowness. 
This is a very on-target point. Whether the consumer treats the media (or any given part of it) as simply candy, or something to consider and understand, is a major aspect of whether sexualization (ie. not portraying someone who HAS a sex life, but someone whose ONLY relevance to the media is sex)

Quote
I believe what we should do is teach others to ignore media, and see it for what is, and embrace all forms, and think intelligently about what we consume.
FTFY. Yes!

Quote
. Stopping conversations with rules and regulations is usually a lot less interesting that letting artists do what they’d like and hurts they way we express our ideas to each other.
On the other hand, what you like often isn't what's most beneficial to you, so we need to do better than just 'let people do their own thing'. This is the isolationist failure mode that's common in our individualistic western society. We need to communicate with more people, not only the ones we find comforting or easy to talk to.

Quote
When you start talking about limiting art, then you start talking about limiting yourself. The lesson that needs to be taught is not that making big-boobed people is wrong.
Absolutely. To me, saying 'you can't draw that' is the same as saying 'you can't think that' -- '1984'esque wrongness. If I really am literally incapable of drawing that (whatever 'that' is), then my brain is broken.

Quote
Art is context sensitive, and we must strive to cultivate intelligent people. Everyone has the right to enjoy sex, in all its forms. We should think about what we are looking at, rather than shun it or label it as wrong.

It is more empowering as a woman to decide that sex is great and to respect it among everyone, rather than be offended by another woman being portrayed as a sexual being. Because, we all are.
I think what is at issue in this thread is not so much whether a woman is portrayed as a sexual being (doing that well is still rare, really, and it would be good to have more accurate portrayal), but whether this portrayal is 1-dimensional. I mean, there really are people for whom sex rules their lives.  But AFAICS these people are in a strange headspace and rarely happy regardless of how much sex they have, so it's somewhat.. ah, what comes to mind is it's like a socially clueless person who offends through ignorance .. to portray a character whose main thing is enjoying their sexuality without also portraying the ill effects of having such a 1-dimensional life, in the context of a semi-serious work (ie. a narrative of some length)

It is more empowering as a woman to decide that sex is great and to respect it among everyone, rather than be offended by another woman being portrayed as a sexual being.

I think this is right.
But I have started to become aware that the opposite is also right, women should be able to be portrayed as not sexual and not idealized/stereotypical.

Let's take this as an example:



A character from Borderlands 2.
My knee-jerk reaction was a typical "do-not-want!
I think the "do-not-want" part is due to being used to seeing women in game as "do-want"..  :-[
Which sorta highlights the issues with games and sexuality being from a male perspective and a majority of female characters being sexualized.
It does, but I'd like to offer an alternative perspective: the 'do (not) want' reaction is not a problem.

People intentionally put things that invoke 'do not want' in video games all the time. Consider the whole horror/survival genre. The problem is when people then think .. 'and that's bad'. It's not bad.. uh there are more things you can imagine in relation to a character than just having sex with them, I hope  :lol:. Even the main character doesn't have to be "good looking" for the audience to connect, they just have to be -charismatic-. They have to capture your imagination, but that's doesn't have to mean tying it to the bed.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2013, 05:51:37 am by Ai »
If you insist on being pessimistic about your own abilities, consider also being pessimistic about the accuracy of that pessimistic judgement.

Offline Ymedron

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Re: Big boobed characters in video games

Reply #119 on: January 22, 2013, 05:17:54 am
As a side note, I was actually happy to see that wardrobe-lady design... until I went to the kotaku page.
Comments full of players bitching and whining and moaning. It's like they absolutely had to have everything conform to their needs. Like there wasn't a single character they were happy with because of the developers adding someone who wasn't to their tastes.

*throw hands in the air*
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