Gaming women are degrading to real women? Really?
Finally, I really believe that I have to take this one on -- the notion that video game women degrade or defame real women because of their depictions. In my honest opinion, that's only really half true.
While VG women certainly may have overblown proportions and tight clothing, many of them aren't exactly weak or stupid. They're usually also not just there to be saved by some handsome, burly man. Many of these women are extremely dominant, going out to take care of things instead of waiting around for someone else to do it.
Off the top of my head, Lara Croft is a world-renowned archaeologist/historian, Joanna "Perfect" Dark is a highly trusted secret agent, Sniper Wolf is a trained military expert, Antonia Bayle rules Qeynos with a strong passion and intelligence, Jaina Proudmoore strains herself keeping relations between the Alliance and the Horde in check, and Bayonetta is someone who can and will kick your ass.
All of those women may have questionable outfits/fashion taste, but their positions aren't exactly "degrading to women." These are all highly respected and highly trusted women in positions of power, and that's not even including the characters we create in our games who end up being heroes of the land. If anything, video games have a history of keeping a very level field between men and women, sometimes even flipping the traditional power roles to favor women.
Don't judge a woman by her cup size
What started off as a distaste for artistic choices in a single game has just turned this column into a jaunt through gender perceptions and the roles of females in MMOs and other assorted video games. Could I keep going with these assertions? Absolutely. This column only scratches the surface of what is a truly deep and fascinating look into how and why we make artistic decisions in any medium.
So if you're looking for a more realistic depiction of a woman, perhaps you should go check out a Barbie... er... never mind. Oh, I know, perhaps take in some classical art... wait... no... another bad example. Comics? Oooooh, yeah, those don't have realistic depictions either. Movies? No. Books? Probably not. Oh, wait, I know.
If you want a realistic depiction of a woman, just sit on your local park bench and people watch. It seems our fantastical heroes, both men and women, are here to stay in more than just games.
Seraphina Brennan is the weekly writer of Anti-Aliased who is proud of her video game women. When she's not writing here for Massively, she's rambling on her personal blog, The Experience Curve. If you want to message her, send her an e-mail at seraphina AT massively DOT com. You can also follow her on Twitter through Massively, or through her personal feed, @sera_brennan.