It has been months since I have come here, and for those who pay attention, sorry. Some may notice I have removed a couple posts, well more on that tomorrow.
Any way, I decided to check the search terms being used to find this blog. They are mostly fine, stuff like “saints row 5” or “change soldier in warface” but one very long entry caught my eye. It read “it would be funny if you could make the female soldiers on cod ghosts to wear bikinis.” Ugh. Now I tried to see how easy I got linked to because of this. I certainly wasn’t on the first 5 pages of Google, so whoever this was either used another search engine or really dug to find me.
Lets deconstruct this, as it really points out a major flaw with how the games industry, and many male gamers (many means a lot, not all), view woman.
Firstly, I am slightly mystified by “funny.” What is funny about women in bikinis? If you asked this of what ever, please do enlighten me, because I fail to see the humour value. Do you go to the beach and die of laughter? Is there something about a barely covered woman that tickles your funny bone? Ok, that last bit just grossed me out a little (think and you’ll get it). Anyway, what about it makes it funny. I presume it would be the daftness of the concept of woman running into battle wearing a bikini, especially on snowy maps. It smacks a little of Arthur and his knights riding imaginary horses throughout the entire Monty Python and the Holy Grail film. Yet, why is it funny for just the woman to be in bikini? Why not also the men? Could they not wear Budgie Smugglers? That’s a Banana Hammock for you Americans. Certainly Mount Your Friends thinks so, in a deeply disturbing wash my mind with bleach kinda way. But then again, seeing men run into battle nearly naked, or even completely, is often reserved for the ultimate of badasses, think the Beowulf and 300 films. So in what way is it different for woman?
Well that brings me onto my next point, its for the process of ogling them. There really is no other other reason for it. Look to games like Dead or Alive: Xtreme, a game made for the sole purpose of getting all their female characters in bikinis, or Onechanbara: Bikini Samurai Sqaud, which combines my least two favourite things, Zombies and needless objectification. Ok, both of those are Japanese examples, but the make a lot of them (don’t even get me started on the Vampire/Demon/sun-allergic beat-em-up where you strip the baddies, although many of them are male… um I have no idea if that balances out now in my head). Sex sells. Why? Unfortunately, for all that our society is still making progress on the equality front, straight, white cis-men still have the highest disposable income. No offence if you are by the way, it certainly isn’t your fault, society as a whole still needs fixing. Back to my point! Most white, straight cis-men will be drawn to a game even more if it has even a little sex appeal. So games will often cater to that. Is it wrong? Yes. Will it ever stop? Unlikely. As long as “it would be funny if you could make the female soldiers on cod ghosts to wear bikinis” is still a phrase games will likely answer the call.
I can hear someone now (hopefully not anyone reading this blog) “But Emily (have I told you my name yet? Well I have now) didn’t you previously say you were ok with nudity as long as it serves a purpose? How is this any different?” Well my imaginary MRA sounding chum, My description of purpose was more or less aligned towards how the audience should interpret what is being shown to them. I do mention how arousal can help convey emotions, and nudity, or near nudity, can be used to convey this. However, in COD: Ghosts, you are in a war zone, shooting baddies, who in return are shooting you. You should feel exhilarated, pumped up, alive, not running around aroused. If you were playing against me, you wouldn’t get much of a look, as a large hole would be were your character’s eyes used to be. Of course you wouldn’t be playing against me, I’ll be of playing something decent while you sit around drooling over a bunch of polygons.