As a follow up to HBomber’s excellent video discussing how popular media (especially games) doesn’t objectify men I thought it was worth pointing out that the double standard is especially obvious if one looks at novelty superhero costumes (using the above examples or any of those featured at @fucknosexistcostumes)
Male costumes commonly come with the padding to simulate the muscular physiques, because they’re to make the “every man” feel like a superhero without having to work out or diet.
Female costumes commonly are sized with the assumption the wearer will fit within conventional beauty standards commonly assigned to superheroes. The “every woman” is expected to diet and exercise to look like a drawing in a comic book.
On top of that: women who don’t fit within the very narrow, artificial beauty standards will find that the family pets get better costume options than they do.
It’s really amazing how much of reality you have to willfully disregard to try to support the “men are sexually objectified too!” argument.
Halloween throwback time! Reminder that to wear a mass-produced superhero novelty costume, ladies need to come in conventionally sexy size and shape (and usually ready to show more skin), while guys get the outfit to compensate their everyman figure with foam abs.
I suppose I should be grateful that the girl costumes don’t compensate with foam boobs and butts, cause we all know that’s the Woman Power Fantasy: being slim thicc. 😬
There is one primary topic for this tidy up, but one that we thought was very important on many levels.
If you haven’t already – please consider not sending any money to Blizzard.
In addition to their general awful representation (and claiming cookies for improvement while getting worse), in the past few weeks Blizzard has:
- Announced they are deny a Hearthstone tournament winner his prize, and ban him from play for twelve months, based off him supporting the (non-violent) Hong Kong liberation movement
- Also suspended the broadcaster crew filming interview for no apparent reason other something happened while they were doing their job.
- Announced they understood people were upset, so they’d halve the suspension times (and pay the prize to the winner) – while stressing that they absolutely were not doing this to support China
- Told China, at the exact same time, they were doing this to show there would be zero tolerance to criticism of China’s policies
- Did I mention that original “it’s not China” announcement looked suspiciously like it was written by someone in China?
- Banned accounts on their forums for 1000 years for mentioning support of Hong Kong
- Scrambled the name of the “Gay Boys” guild (is this a bad time to point out in 2015 they wanted to participate in Pride despite having zero LGBT characters and a long history of homophobia and transphobia)
At this point, it’s pretty safe to say that Blizzard is not only comfortable with supporting authoritarian regimes, but actively courting them in the hopes of increasing revenues… basically they’re the bad guys in all their properties.
But, to ensure that this isn’t completely a downer we do also want to draw attention to:
- The artists who have transformed (clearly against Blizzard’s will) Mei into a symbol of Hong Kong’s liberation.
- The Blizzard staff members who staged a walk out and publicly stood up to their employers despite the obvious risks to their careers.
- Chung “blitzchung” Ng Wai, who stood up tall when suspended and having gone through all of this has taken the time to express that Blizzard should lift the suspension on the broadcasters.
- The courageous protesters in Hong Kong who are asserting their rights and demanding accountability from their government.
Please consider letting this inspire you to be more politically aware and active in your life. Starting by declining to spend in a manner that leads to that money going to Blizzard.
(And of course, since there’s capital G gamers involved: please do double check any commentary you see on this that seems suspicious. Particularly if it is targeting the workers at Blizzard rather than the company’s controllers)
– wincenworks, ~Ozzie & -Icy
This whole thread is definitely worth reading for a better understanding of The Creepy Marketing Guy and why so many games, particularly in early campaigns, seem to rely on generic strategies like sex sells.
So the next time you see a promotion for a game that seems to focus entirely on boobs, butts and explosions then you can be sure that it’s because the marketing guys are getting paid for the campaign, not the sales of the game, and they probably got to interfere in the process of game development, messing with the original vision of the developers, to make that happen.
And since some iteration of “you just hate for women to be sexy!” continues to be an “argument” constantly brought up in defense of such advertising (and of in-game framing – just look at the predictable replies under our Tuesday reblog), let’s quote the closing tweet from the thread:
As we’ve been saying since the beginning of the sex sells tag, you won’t go far with “selling sex” unless sex is the actual product. And the Creepy Marketing Guy will laugh at you all the way to the bank.
In MGSV if you ogle Quiet, she “poses” for you suggestively. In Death
Stranding if you stare at Sam’s crotch, he punches you. The framing of
both of these are bad. One is framed as a reward, the other is framed as
“no homo!” despite the player’s action in both being the same. I don’t
care if you worship Kojima, we REALLY need to talk about the “male gaze”
perspective in his games, and stop giving him a pass because you love
On the one hand, I do appreciate that ogling a character who isn’t comfortable with it comes with consequences. On the other hand, I doubt there are consequences for ogling any of the ladies. I also agree with the “no-homo” and violence criticism. Are guys not allowed to say “hey, could you stop staring at my crotch? It’s making me uncomfortable”? Wincenworks, please confirm.
This really points out the big double standard in the last 2 games from Kojima, as well as most of the media we criticize on this blog: that men have agency and women are just objects meant for consumption, whether that’s for fan-service, being a plot device, or being a lamp. The two lady characters I know from the reveals from Death Stranding are named Mother and Fragile, so that’s…. not promising at all.
Punching people in the face for looking at their crotch is generally frowned upon in society, as it is usually customary for the other party to demand you be removed from premises or charged, even in places which still have “gay panic” defenses on the books. (What I’m saying is this normalizes the absurd justifications cishet men use for real violence against real men-loving-men)
I’d also like to point out that while Kojima apologists are quick to blame Konami for everything from Quiet to climate change, the last time Kojima had near total creative control was Policenauts (where he famously even controlled the music queues via scripting rather than directions).
Policenauts is a game where nearly every female character’s breasts are an interactable item and the first appearance of Meryl from the Metal Gear Solid series, specifically so he could include a mini-game where she invites with her boobs if you score high enough at target practice.
Oh well, at least we’ll always have this helicopter ride.
What class is she? Horrifically Overpowered Titninja?
I love playing Pathfinder, but I don’t understand why someone chose this for the cover…
So I looked up what that book is supposed to be… and it’s a “What not to do” kind of guide. Fair enough, I guess?
Quote from the publisher’s description:
We’re not suggesting any GM should allow these feats into a campaign. In fact, we advise against it. Seriously, the whole product is called “Horrifically Overpowered Feats,” which seemed like a dead giveaway that we’re not encouraging anyone to use these rules.
Is the cover also supposed to be a dead giveaway to this being intentionally ridiculous? 🤨 Because straight-up recreating something bad/nonsensical does not yet satire make. Satirizing sexist game art is actually really hard, as @wundergeek taught us.