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Mrstarker: The issue is that a sizable amount of female characters are objectified and sexualised in video games, no matter how impractical it may be.
Could you, for the benefit of everyone, explain to us WHERE and HOW that is the case, and WHY you believe this to be bad?
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Spinorial: Wow, somehow this thread turned into a morass of pointless arguments, closeted bigotry, and misbegotten "opinions". To think that none of this should have even been debatable... :(
Canada: home of the social justice brigade.
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Vestin: Could you, for the benefit of everyone, explain to us WHERE and HOW that is the case, and WHY you believe this to be bad?
Frankly, I'm amazed that I would even have to do that, but okay. Here's a link to a somewhat recent study: http://www.google.ee/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&ved=0CDUQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nouspace.net%2Fdene%2F475%2Fvideogames.pdf&ei=HJOaUumPDvDy7AavhIDgBQ&usg=AFQjCNFo7Ahfp4bT70F_1xgf39SJ0nUGJg&sig2=BaDgv0ri36dcCc1R-AORXg

Let me quote from the abstract:

Female characters are more likely than male characters to be portrayed as sexualized (60% versus 1%), scantily clad (39% versus 8%) and as showing a mix of sex and aggression (39 versus 1%).
Why is it a bad thing? I would argue that such a one-sided and one-dimensional portrayal is bad in and of itself, leading to worse characters, but it also affects people who are consuming the media adversely. Just a selection from the study I posted above:

Research suggests that exposure to physical appearance ideals in the media are connected with poor body image (Dohnt & Tiggemann 2006; Tiggemann and McGill 2004) and self-destructive behaviors such as pathogenic dieting practices (Thomsen et al. 2002). Media also exert a strong influence on male body image, as stereotypes of hyper-masculinity are connected with the drive for muscularity, motivating boys and young men to engage in unhealthy practices such as compulsive weight training and illegal steroid use (Smolak and Stein 2006).

Recently, Harrison (2003) demonstrated that the modern media ideal for feminine beauty is what she calls “curvaceously thin.” For example, the ideal bust–waist–hip proportion of 36–24–36 would correspond to women’s clothing sizes 10–2–4, which translates to an abnormally small waist and hips, but a medium-sized (and therefore relatively large) bust. Using a sample of 231 male and female college students (average age 20), Harrison (2003) found that exposure to curvaceously thin images of females predicted the personal acceptance of this figure as an ideal by both men and women. Furthermore, greater exposure to the curvaceously thin ideal predicted approval of women’s use of cosmetic surgery by both men and women.
Post edited November 30, 2013 by Mrstarker
Just a note but: it's pretty much been shown through studies, that the worst influence by a huge margin, are TV and movies because girls actually look up at actresses. That article makes a lot of assumptions by drawing lines from TV/movies to games, it seems to me, which is pretty stupid if you understand how the two differ.

For starters, the games that "sin" the most are barely played by girls, games are still clearly fake in design, are often stylized and don't contain real actors for people to grow attached to and look up at. As such, I believe the influence on people is almost zero when it comes to body image.

In the end, TV and movies are the ones that should tone it down first - it's pointless to go after games when a far larger source, like 100-fold as bad, exists and overshadows games. That's the problem I have with RPS being all white knight on our collective asses - it's akin to a forest fire going on to your left and some dweep bitching at someone else for lighting a cigarette because the smoke bothers them. It shows such blind-sided approach that it's painful. Not to mention RPS do far more damage than good by creating "us vs them" attitudes all over the place.
I can understand why feminists are disgusted by female costumes in games. Just look at all those innocent cosplay girls that are brutally forced by horny pedophiles to wear this light costumes:

victims gallery 1
victims gallery 2
victims gallery 3

How easy they could catch a cold in winter...

And as we all already know games force people to become sexist because games also makes young man run amok!

:->
Post edited December 01, 2013 by viperfdl
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Red_Avatar: Just a note but: it's pretty much been shown through studies, that the worst influence by a huge margin, are TV and movies because girls actually look up at actresses. That article makes a lot of assumptions by drawing lines from TV/movies to games, it seems to me, which is pretty stupid if you understand how the two differ.

For starters, the games that "sin" the most are barely played by girls, games are still clearly fake in design, are often stylized and don't contain real actors for people to grow attached to and look up at. As such, I believe the influence on people is almost zero when it comes to body image.
Fine, let's consider photorealistic games, which are closer to TV and movies.

Here's one study for women: http://www.google.ee/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CCwQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fdmitriwilliams.com%2Ffemalebodies.pdf&ei=C6uaUqGvDtHA7Abs0YD4Ag&usg=AFQjCNGlIs_KBymdKI4nxwqMpbCWbNS0Aw&sig2=XzStI59LyYHbOdCTkZvzPw

The 150 top-selling video games sold in the U.S. across nine platforms were content analyzed to study representations of female bodies. All human females in the games were captured via screenshot and body parts measured. These measurements were then compared to actual anthropometric data drawn from a representative sample of 3,000 American women. The results show that female video game characters at low levels of photorealism are systematically larger than the average American woman whereas female characters at the highest level of photorealism are systematically thinner. This study also found that games rated for children featured females that are thinner than characters in games rated for adults. These findings are discussed in terms of cultivation theory.
Here's one study for men: http://online5.org/download/1119

The 150 top-selling video games were content analyzed to study representations ofmale bodies. Human males in the games were captured via screenshot and body parts measured. These measurements were then compared to anthropometric data drawn from a representative sample of 1120 North American men. Characters at high levels of photorealism were larger than the average American male, but these characters did not mirror the V-shaped ideal found in mainstream media. Characters at low levels of photorealism were also larger than the average American male, but these characters were so much larger that they appeared cartoonish. Idealized male characters were more likely to be found in games for children than in games for adults. Implications for cultivation theory are discussed.
One thing to note in these studies is that the ideal female body is not attainable without major surgery for most women while the ideal male body is attainable for most men. Also, characters with overly muscular bodies are a lot of the times at least somewhat justified by the role of the character and the setting they appear in (Kratos is a Spartan warrior, etc) and much less likely to appear when the setting doesn't justify it.

Oh, and about the effects, how about this study: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11199-009-9683-8

The present study utilized an experimental design to investigate the short term effects of exposure to sexualized female video game characters on gender stereotyping and female self-concept in emerging adults. Bussey and Bandura’s (1999) social cognitive theory of gender development and differentiation was used to explicate this relationship. Undergraduate students (N = 328) at a large U.S. Southwestern university participated in the study. Students were randomly assigned to play a “sexualized” heroine, a “non-sexualized” heroine, or no video game; then completed an online questionnaire. Female self-efficacy was negatively affected by game play with the sexualized female character. Results cautiously suggest that playing a sexualized video game heroine unfavorably influenced people’s beliefs about women in the real world.
There are more studies that link objectification to eating disorders, sexual dysfunction, greater tolerance of sexual harrassment, etc.
Post edited December 01, 2013 by Mrstarker
Whenever I read articles or comments complaining about "sexualization" of female characters, I keep wondering why the complaints are one-sided. The social justice zealots shriek over images of "attractive" (I use quotes because I don't get aroused by pixels or drawings) women but they never seem to complain about sexualized male characters.

The following is about toys but illustrates my point:

http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/736x/32/c0/9a/32c09a7645e67679ecee082ec60f815f.jpg
You basically ignored 90% of my post and the entire point I was making ... .

YOU linked an article that falsely linked games and portrayal of women to a bad body image when I was merely showing how it's a pointless comparison. Girls aren't so stupid as to compare themselves to pixels of non-existing people - especially when the exposure is very very low in the first place. They DO compare themselves to very slim actresses (which are everywhere in the media) which, studies have shown, is where the real problem lies.

If you want a nice comparison: lots of girls wanted to be like Angelina Jolie, but expected themselves to look like the game-version of Lara Croft.

To repeat my point: it's wasted time to talk about negative body image when there's so little exposure and even then, it has very little to no influence. There's a MUCH better argument to be had about how it influences guys and specifically how they expect girls to look - and even there, TV & movies are a far bigger influence.
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infinite9: Whenever I read articles or comments complaining about "sexualization" of female characters, I keep wondering why the complaints are one-sided. The social justice zealots shriek over images of "attractive" (I use quotes because I don't get aroused by pixels or drawings) women but they never seem to complain about sexualized male characters.

The following is about toys but illustrates my point:

http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/736x/32/c0/9a/32c09a7645e67679ecee082ec60f815f.jpg
With Barbie, the real joke is that these are toys for girls. They're not even designed to appeal to guys and the only reason Barbie is so thin, is because girls prefer them that way - something which the media time and time again, neglect to mention. As kids, we preferred our toys beefy and muscular as well - like He-Man - so it's more about fantasy, about dreaming of being very thin and slim and pretty vs being very strong and muscular and powerful. They're idle dreams but kids PREFER it that way. You might as well complain about how Harry Potter promotes magic - it's FANTASY.
Post edited December 01, 2013 by Red_Avatar
Men and feminine commentary:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77lPjNhL5X4

Tough guys stereotype:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XoABPi5wTI4
Post edited December 01, 2013 by keeveek
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infinite9: Whenever I read articles or comments complaining about "sexualization" of female characters, I keep wondering why the complaints are one-sided. The social justice zealots shriek over images of "attractive" (I use quotes because I don't get aroused by pixels or drawings) women but they never seem to complain about sexualized male characters.

The following is about toys but illustrates my point:

http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/736x/32/c0/9a/32c09a7645e67679ecee082ec60f815f.jpg
That might be because it's not a problem. If you're a man, you're never gonna get insults and being shamed for being in your underwear and muscly. This is pretty much the man ideal (muscly, virile, manly, powerful, seemingly in control). The character's name is "He-Man" for chissakes.

And please, He-Man isn't an unhealthy and unfair standard of beauty leading to a crisis for young boys and their self esteem. No one ever said "I'm not as pretty as He-Man, I can't bend metal with my little fingers, i'm a failure" and has gone on a depression because of this. Actually no male character is the cause to this kind of thing. Female "models" are, however, the cause of depression, anorexia and other severe mental disorders and physical problems. Boys don't die because they tried too hard to look like He-Man. On the other hand, because of exactly "unrealistic, unfair and unhealthy standards of beauty", many girls are suffering from low self esteem, bullying, psychological disorders, eating disorders and other cheerful things.

Bit off-topic here, but just look up videos of men weight lifting on youtube and see the comments. Try to count the insults. You can count them on your hand. Now look up the same videos for the opposing genders.

So, no, this very image is sexist and against equality as a whole.
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infinite9: Whenever I read articles or comments complaining about "sexualization" of female characters, I keep wondering why the complaints are one-sided. The social justice zealots shriek over images of "attractive" (I use quotes because I don't get aroused by pixels or drawings) women but they never seem to complain about sexualized male characters.

The following is about toys but illustrates my point:

http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/736x/32/c0/9a/32c09a7645e67679ecee082ec60f815f.jpg
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Red_Avatar: With Barbie, the real joke is that these are toys for girls. They're not even designed to appeal to guys and the only reason Barbie is so thin, is because girls prefer them that way - something which the media time and time again, neglect to mention. As kids, we preferred our toys beefy and muscular as well - like He-Man - so it's more about fantasy, about dreaming of being very thin and slim and pretty vs being very strong and muscular and powerful. They're idle dreams but kids PREFER it that way. You might as well complain about how Harry Potter promotes magic - it's FANTASY.
You missed the point of my comment. I was pointing out how hypersensitive some people are getting over things like pixels arranged to look like scantily-clad attractive women and how it sort of relates to the complaints about those dolls. Also, I was pointing out how these hypersensitive types only look at selective cases. They'll point out female sexualization but never male sexualization. I was basically pointing out selective outrage.

Also, the avatars that gamers control are also fantasy and I can argue that the avatars look the way the players want them to look. In other words, you accidentally gave credibility to the example I used.
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Shadowcat69: snip
You probably never heard that if you don't have Abs than you are a pussy and not a man. You probably never heard that if you like take care of children you are a pussy, not a man. You probably never heard that if you shave your armpits then you're a pussy, not a man.

Please stop with "this is not stereotype, this is ideal" bullshit.

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Shadowcat69: Boys don't die because they tried too hard to look like He-Man.
You fucking kidding me? Your ignorance is horrible. Please look up the two videos I linked in my previous post.
Post edited December 01, 2013 by keeveek
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Red_Avatar: YOU linked an article that falsely linked games and portrayal of women to a bad body image when I was merely showing how it's a pointless comparison. Girls aren't so stupid as to compare themselves to pixels of non-existing people - especially when the exposure is very very low in the first place. They DO compare themselves to very slim actresses (which are everywhere in the media) which, studies have shown, is where the real problem lies.

If you want a nice comparison: lots of girls wanted to be like Angelina Jolie, but expected themselves to look like the game-version of Lara Croft.

To repeat my point: it's wasted time to talk about negative body image when there's so little exposure and even then, it has very little to no influence. There's a MUCH better argument to be had about how it influences guys and specifically how they expect girls to look - and even there, TV & movies are a far bigger influence.
1) In the previous post I linked to a study that specifically shows that women are affected negatively by a sexualised character.

2) Women do play video games.

3) TV and movies may have a bigger influence, but it does not mean we should ignore issues in video games.
Post edited December 01, 2013 by Mrstarker
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Red_Avatar: Just a note but: it's pretty much been shown through studies, that the worst influence by a huge margin, are TV and movies because girls actually look up at actresses. That article makes a lot of assumptions by drawing lines from TV/movies to games, it seems to me, which is pretty stupid if you understand how the two differ.

For starters, the games that "sin" the most are barely played by girls, games are still clearly fake in design, are often stylized and don't contain real actors for people to grow attached to and look up at. As such, I believe the influence on people is almost zero when it comes to body image.

In the end, TV and movies are the ones that should tone it down first - it's pointless to go after games when a far larger source, like 100-fold as bad, exists and overshadows games. That's the problem I have with RPS being all white knight on our collective asses - it's akin to a forest fire going on to your left and some dweep bitching at someone else for lighting a cigarette because the smoke bothers them. It shows such blind-sided approach that it's painful. Not to mention RPS do far more damage than good by creating "us vs them" attitudes all over the place.
I can assure you, having a pair of ovaries does not affect whether or not you enjoy a certain genre of video games. Given that the majority of female characters in video games are depicted in a similar fashion, I am quite curious what specific games or genres do not "sin" that you think are "played by girls."

---

Personally I think the market will eventually reward diversity of characters as the customers migrate towards purchasing what they find to be the best match to what they want to play. If it's not viable then it wont sell. If it is viable then it will. Choice just has to be offered in the first place so people can, you know, choose. Already there is a bit of a shift as certain companies start listening closer to the customers, particularly with Kickstarter. Take Project Eternity's Cadegund for example. Her original concept art looked like this, but due to a negative reception on the boards she now looks like this. Was it a necessary change? Was it a good change? Depends entirely on your point of view; the fact is though that it was a change. A change by Obsidian in direct response to customer feedback. That's pretty spiffy.
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Melhelix: Take Project Eternity's Cadegund for example. Her original concept art looked like this, but due to a negative reception on the boards she now looks like this. Was it a necessary change? Was it a good change? Depends entirely on your point of view; the fact is though that it was a change. A change by Obsidian in direct response to customer feedback. That's pretty spiffy.
Evidently, they have not done their research:

Edit: oh, and speaking of breastplates:
Attachments:
Post edited December 01, 2013 by Mrstarker