Is Video Game Nudity Acceptable?

Trigger Warnings: Not Safe For Work, Nudity

Now, from my previous post you may assume that I am totally against the use of nudity as I bashed using scantily woman to Click Bait. However this isn’t exactly true. You see I am not really against nudity, I watch plenty of Anime where it is common place in the mad stuff I watch. What I am against is it being used inappropriately. What I would like to explore here is two terms I call “Realistic Nudity” and “Nudity Equality.” Lets start with the first one.

Realistic Nudity: So what do I mean by this? Well, nudity is real, and there are obvious times when we are nude. For example, few people shower with clothes one, although they may have a swimsuit on if they have been swimming. As such really I feel it is acceptable to have nudity in these situations. I am not however suggesting that you can throw in a shower for some nudity, although this does happen:

Starship Troopers Shower

What was the point of this scene?

Ok, this is taken from a film, but this provides a talking point. I was just saying that a shower scene is acceptable to include nudity, however this isn’t really the case. What is the point of the shower scene here from Starship Troopers? We learn a little about the character as they talk, but really this scene could have taken place in the barracks. I find it difficult to reason the choice here beyond “We can show some boobs!” However, Starship Troopers has anther nude scene, (SPOILER ALERT!) where Dizzy finally manages to romance Rico.

Work hard and one day a teacher will help you before interrupting.

This results in the start of a sex scene, though we don’t see beyond undressing and kissing. I actually find this nudity more acceptable as it is what it is, sex. Most people are naked whilst having sex, and sex in this case is the start of a long waited relationship for Dizzy, and the start of a hopefully more successful one for Rico. As such a bit of arousal in the audience is acceptable, as movies are supposed to invoke emotions in us, that’s generally why we watch them. Games could take a similar approach as they also try to invoke emotions (more on that in the future). However, they tend not to, and can even misogynically use sex as mini games during the game play. Kratos of God of War is especially good at this:

I bet Kratos never expected to be censored like that.

I bet Kratos never expected to be censored like that.

Really, there is no need for these, Kratos is not in love, he is simply fulfilling the straight male audience’s fantasy. Think, we never see this from the perspective of female characters (Bioware’s games do have female lead sex scenes but they are based upon relationships, not one night stands). In truth, nudity in ancient Greece was not really considered bad or shameful, as with most ancient cultures. As such I could also perhaps accept nudity within games based in these cultures, however it would need to include my second term, Nudity Equality.

Nudity Equality: Nudity is more often than not, woman, and above the belt too. This is obviously because breast are generally the more attractive of woman’s External Sexual Characteristics. Men obviously are considered nude if the don’t wear a top, where as woman are. I do find myself somewhat agreeing with Radical Feminists who seek to have their breasts considered more than sexual objects. This may be because as a MtF Transsexual, I have had to give up the ability to be topless publicly, although it was a privilege I rarely used. I find myself angered when woman are asked to Breast feed in private whilst some hairy fat man is showing his Moobs to the worlds. I guess what I am trying to say, is that nudity should be equal. If you won’t have naked men, don’t have naked woman. Oddly, Grand Theft Auto 4 has included a naked man in one of its Downloadable Content packs.

I bet you are glad for the censor bars now!

I bet you are glad for the censor bars now!

Perhaps a step in the correct direction if it wasn’t for GTA’s continued misogyny. Games should in my opinion accept both or neither. If we take the example of a romance scene, why do we she all the ladies bits but none of the mans? Shower scenes are also very female centric. I’ll link you to Mitch’s brilliant Male Gaze article again. Lets accept the male form (go that sounds weird coming from me) as we seem to accept the female one.

So there you go. I think it is acceptable, but only under certain circumstances. It needs to be realistically believable, without simply being thrown in for the sake of it. Nudity should also encompass more than just woman, as at the moment it is really misogynistic. In the sense of my equality, you may have noticed I have censored not only the woman’s chests, but also the men’s. If you feel my argument is somewhat invalidated by the censoring, let me know.

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