The Return of Gore and Titties

Let’s get one thing straight. I love video games. Sometimes I’m unsure if they love me back though. I am unequivocably horrible at video games and usually end up being one of those people who just can’t make it to the end. I think I’ve beaten a total of three games in my entire life; Ocarina of Time, Portal and Super Mario Brothers for the Super Nintendo. The rest of them I’ve either watched the endings for online or called my friends over to beat.

So I’m a very casual gamer girl in the sense that I play video games and love them, but I really am not very good at them. I know I’m probably putting the other gamer girls to shame right now, but it’s true and at least I admit my faults. Hell, I couldn’t even beat Peggle.

The games industry has a lot of problems as much as I love it. Most noticeably to me is the blatant misogyny and objectifying of women. I guess I could make excuses for it and say that it’s a typically male dominated industry blah-de-blah-de-blah, but that doesn’t change the fact that the majority of women in video games their breasts are huge, their waists are skinny and their clothes are revealing. They are fetishized to a huge degree and for every fully clothed Yuna, there’s a how-the-hell-does-she-keep-her-tits-in-place Lulu.

Sc4-ivy
You guys remember Ivy, right?

There are better and worse examples of course, but it’s rare to see males in games fetishized to this degree. They tend to be big and tough, manly men who don’t have sensitive sides and don’t like anything that could be considered girly. One whiff of the gay is apparently enough to scare male gamers off (are they that insecure? maybe they’d like it) so the men in video games tend to be put into certain roles.

It’s infuriating and what set me off today was this special edition version of the Dead Island series. I’d heard really good things about Dead Island and had even just bought the first game off of Steam to play when I was done this whole novel business. I don’t know who on the marketing team thought that this was a good idea, but the Zombie Bait edition for Dead Island Riptide contains a one foot tall statue of a dismembered female torso. There’s rips and wounds in the stomach area, but don’t worry, those perky breasts are still in perfect working order.

Even looking at it makes me shudder and I just don’t get the fascination with gore and tits. It’s objectifying and dehumanizes women to the point of a sex doll, but even worse it tries to make the violence and gore that it embodies into something that is sexy. This certainly isn’t helping the argument that gamers are well-adjusted and fully functioning adults or that the games industry doesn’t glorify horrific violence. It kind of makes everything take a step back which is disappointing, but still less disappointing than the fact that these editions will probably sell out.