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Which of you keeps asking for half naked women in games?

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m not too bothered who the protagonist is in a game, as long as it’s written well. I’m as happy playing a character like  James Earl Cash in Manhunt, as I am Chell in Portal. It doesn’t matter to me as long as the setting is good, or the story, or the mechanics and preferably a mixture of all of that. Likewise, how the character looks doesn’t bother me, as long as it fits. If I’m playing a skinny nerd, or a super hero or a mindless zombie, it has no bearing on my ability to enjoy a game. Likewise, if I’m playing a female character, I really don’t need to see her cleavage as she runs around. That’s not what Russian fans of Warface think though, they want to see all of that.

Crytek made a choice recently to allow its players from around the world to specify how they’d like a model in the free to play shooter to look, but not just any model: the female one. The male one was designed by Crytek in-house, which calls in to question why they would pick the female one for outsourcing? The obvious answer is that that’s the one some fans will care about and clearly they do, as the response from much of the developer’s Russian fan base led to this:

warface

I know it’s not Dragon’s Crown gratuitous, but it just looks silly. According to the Wired interview, this was the toned down version as well. There were apparently calls for high heels and even skimpier clothing too, so Crytek obviously feels it knows better than its fans in some ways, but why not in the entire design of the model itself?

It’s not just in Russia that it’s doing this, but in other countries too. China has its own specific female skin that Crytek executive producer, Joshua Howard, describes as more “Chinese,” but also disproportionate and unrealistic. Nobody is suggesting that his company make a game that’s ultra realistic, that’s fine, but then why not go all in like Saint’s Row and have naked dudes wandering around with dildo weaponry? If not, if you’re making a shooter about war, how about just make a female model that’s armoured the same as the dudes?

It’s just silly and juvenile, like anime fan-service. What are we all 14 here? The average gamer is well into their 30s and yet developers (and clearly some fans) still think the world needs all female characters to wear immersion breaking, tit revealing attire. Nobody is saying that sort of stuff isn’t just wonderful to look at in real life, or on a website, but in a game, it’s so unneeded. I don’t need to be turned on while playing a shooter and if anything, seeing female characters without any body armour or with some leg skin showing in a war zone, is just immersion breaking.

Designing different characters for different regions of the world would make sense if you were simply doing it so that local players played with characters that look more like themselves, but doing it specifically for the female models seems gratuitous and objectifying.

That doesn’t mean I don’t think there could and possibly should be differences between male and female characters in a game (thought that would potentially be problematic in a competitive shooter) as there are probably some interesting gameplay mechanics to be found there – in fact, Mount and Blade Warband makes certain aspects of the game harder if you’re female due to the time period – but throwing in female skins that are designed to titillate rather than focus on gameplay, seems so ridiculous when that isn’t the focus of the game.

KitGuru Says: Seriously guys, we have to get past this. We’ve seen how the media portrays us a bunch of frat-house killers waiting to hit the streets, but this is part of the problem. Stuff like this makes gamers out to be so immature, as if we won’t play a game as a female character unless we can pretend we’re staring at her half-naked body for some other purpose. Even if you do get turned on by digital avatars, that’s not the point of this game, so why do we need it? 

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10 comments

  1. Very well said!! I couldn’t agree more, everyone needs to get past the stage where they still act like a bunch of twelve year olds wanting semi-nude models in-game. Let’s not forget that there are many female gamers in the gaming community, what about respecting them for a change? Hopefully Crytek will change their minds a bit and lead the way for other developers. Keep up the great articles Jon!

  2. Really good points Jon. One of my favourite games of last few years is Skyrim. The stock version of the game does a surprisingly good job of representing different sexes and races as just people – in their look, behaviour, interactions and the way they play. This is particularly refreshing when you look at the history of fantasy games and visual media – Conan (The 80’s film and games) is quite a good illustration.

    One of the best aspects of Skyrim has been the way modding was embraced and facilitated by Bethesda. To me it highlighted the best and worst of gamers – some of the creativity and ability shown by the modders has blown me away. The moves to make the game MORE immersive, add elements of “realism”, enhance the visuals, add humour etc are fantastic. But then there’s the nudity mods, and the skimpier armour mods (are they all for the female characters?).

    Some gamers ARE 14, and/or immature. So there’s a niche for devs to fill. But most of us aren’t. It’s heartening to see that (on Steam Workshop and Nexus) there’s a lot more of the mature creative mods around.

    I’d like to know what some gamer women make of it all, but I think the way women are portrayed in a lot of our games is actually degrading to gamer men in some ways.

  3. The reason we have half naked female characters in games is because at present, men need an excuse to play as a woman that is deemed “socially acceptable”.

    Since society seems only to look upon men as mostly aggressive, beer swilling, war loving low-IQ morons, or money grabbing, zero-ethics, womanising pseudo-rapists, any man that is seen to be breaking that pattern is automatically verbally abused, shunned or used as a target for derisive and childish verbal abuse. Any man wishing to explore even the vaguest of his feminine attributes (and yes, most guys DO have them) is immediately cast out and told to “hand in his man card”. We hear this crap day after day; catcalls in online gaming, trolls on message boards and even people on the streets.

    Society seems to have decided that men are only allowed to conform to these very narrow stereotype, and so the media and entertainment industries play to that stereotype in an effort to sell their products to as wide an audience as possible. It is a vicious circle that will not be broken until one side or the other makes a drastic change. Considering the power of the media and entertainment industries to effect wide reaching changes over large groups of people quickly and efficiently, it may sadly be a case of waiting for them to break the cycle.

    tl;dr We have half/mostly/might as well be naked playable female characters in games because “I like staring at a chicks ass” is the only socially acceptable response a man is allowed to give without being called “Fag”, “Homo” or some other such amazingly witty “Insults”*.

    *Please note I do not think being Homosexual is bad, and therefore would not consider it personally insulting to be called such. It is however indicative of the society around us that such things are commonplace.

  4. I personally like the characters to be dressed the part. Kind of like what you were saying. It is way out of place for a female character to be in the middle of a war zone and wearing booty shorts a halter top and high heels. The clothes should fit the story and the place / time it is happening in, otherwise it takes away from the story and makes it seem like its a B rated game. A lot of the games I buy I purchase to play the story line and then of course afterwards hit up the multi-player etc. Dont get me wrong tits are great, but makes the tits fit in with whats going on and dont over do it lol.

  5. II was in the beta for warface and when they added the female models I had to mention in game chat why are the females fits all out its really is a same too because its a really good game that now has this one part to take away from the experience I don’t need cleavageto aim at when playing a shooter sorry crytek

  6. “The world needs all female characters to wear immersion breaking, tit revealing attire”

    Of course we do, because games are fantasy.

    As much as you want to sugar coat it for a wider audience, it all boils down to the fact its a fantasy. Games are used as a means of transporting ourselves into another world, and if the main customer base voted that, then let them do it.

    I’m sure 50 shades of grey didn’t have a slightly overweight, bearded man who relies on glasses to see as a character. Because its fantasy.

  7. I am bothered with female protagonists. I don’t want to play as them, this is my PERSONAL OPINION, it will most likely never change.

  8. Kristian Williams

    All I can think is it would burn like fuck if she got a brass casing caught in there.

  9. It is not me, I’m asking for fully nude. But preferably not in a game where it did not make sense at all.

  10. I have no problem with the way she looks. I like sexy. It’s not real life folks, it’s fantasy and escapism. I don’t demand the women in my life wear stuff like this.