It seems that the gaming world is finally waking up to the fact that women DO actually play video games. They (the gaming industry) are not being mature about it, but the fact that a female perspective and voice is being heard more and more is a very good thing in my books.
The latest controversy to break out in the video game world has been over niche gaming studio Vanillaware's recent title "Dragon's Crown," and the absurdly sexualized female character of "The Sorceress" www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQKCga…
Some people are, naturally, offended that such a ludicrous character design with no sense of reality or function even exists, while the other side keeps saying "why are we even talking about this?" Both sides are being vocal, but they also seem to be talking past one another. One side seems to want to rid gaming entirely of sexy character designs, while the other seems to think this is some sort of "feminist agenda" and are being sexist in response because they fear having a discussion about it will take away these sorts of games that they enjoy.
With both sides arguing passionately for and against her design, I just wanted to throw my two cents into the ring...
I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with having a sexy character in any medium. I also think that attempts to rid them entirely from games/books/whatever "just because" is kinda silly. A character being sexy does not automatically objectify them. Making a character "sexy" for no other reason than to gawk at them, does.
I think that the variety of what is known as "sexy" needs to be expanded upon. The stereotypical skinny, skimpily clad, big boob/butt ,"attractive," female character design needs to be just one of MANY sexy design options. Women don't have to be underdressed or have an hourglass figure to be considered sexy. Women can be completely clothed and still be attractive. They can be various shapes and sizes and still be "hot." (And this goes for men as well, though it's far less of an issue for them.)
The Vanillaware game is an interesting discussion, but I feel that it's getting in the way of a much bigger problem in the industry that we're not addressing. Sexy female characters are not inherently bad. The lack of variety and the industry's insistence that only one type of design choice for "sexy" women IS.
What are your thoughts? Do you agree or disagree? What sort of characters (male or female) do you find sexy but not sexist? Do such characters even exist in your mind? Do you think this is a worthwhile discussion or do you think we should just ignore it?