I think the biggest thing gamers fail to recognize when discussing sexism in video games is presentation. This is the biggest reason why I can never see characters like Zangief even be remotely equivalent to female characters. Disregarding every other difference that sets them apart, when was the last time you saw the camera creepily do a pan across Zangief sensually massaging his breasts and ending on his stuck out ass? His walk cycle isn’t him wildly shaking his hips. None of his animations flaunt his body in the sense that you’re supposed to be attracted to him. And to top it all off I know that, if this actually happened, it would be done as a joke.
Thank you for this post! It’s a nice concise explanation
Even if we somehow agreed that a bare-chested dude in a speedo/loincloth is the direct male counterpart to a lady in a physically impossible non-costume (consult our bingo archive for examples) – which we don’t agree with – it still wouldn’t take into account the differences in body language, camera angles and other factors that frame a character as an object instead of a person.
Presentation is also how you get woman characters who may be fully clothed, but are still objectified. Miranda from Mass Effect may not score very high on the bingo, but when her ass is the only part of her in a shot of her talking to Shepard…