Samus’ actual story is, of course, a little more complicated – but we feel that this clip inspired by one of the quirks of her career perfectly highlights the ultimate problem with the “sex sells” approach to games involving violence etc.
That is: the standard protagonist for pretty much all of video games history has been a (usually middle aged) guy – so by definition not the kind who’s found sexy by straight men. The need for sex to sell only magically appears if there’s a female protagonist and a marketing guy as sleezy as Samus’ agent.
Which is way, way more often than it should be.
This week’s throwback: only slightly exaggerated story of how Samus Aran became a legendary video game heroine… at the low, low cost of hiding her gender for 99% of the original game only to strip for a high score as an iconic example of Women as a Reward.
And by Nintendo gradually sexing up her in-combat design to be more conventionally appealing to the cishet dudebro audience, including direct contradiction of earlier established costume rules. 🙃
Which again, is not done to the male protagonists.