As always, gamers are complaining online. This week’s issue was caused by the newly-released Dragon’s Crown. For those who haven’t been paying attention, Dragon’s Crown is a 2D fantasy action-RPG for the PlayStation 3 and Vita. The controversy stems right from the chest of the game’s Sorceress character. Her breasts are big, ridiculously big. This put people in a fury. Common complaints were mainly that the game is sexist and the developers were excluding women gamers with their unrealistic depiction of women. I think there isn’t anything sexist about this at all. In fact, almost none of the things people complain about in this industry is sexist.
Has anybody heard of target demographics? For everything that has ever been made, there is a target audience. Most gamers are guys. Guess what most guys like? Attractive women. That includes boobs. Average gamers are in their 30s and if they were interested in this game, they were already going to buy it. But who knows how many teenage boys only heard about this game because of all the talk about a character’s breasts? This isn’t for us. Why are so many people turning this into an attack? The mature thing to do is just pick a different character class if you don’t like it. Stop going out of your way to be offended. Just accept that isn’t for you, find something that is and continue your life.
The other example in recent memory is the zombie torso bust from Dead Island: Riptide. In case you don’t remember, it was announced earlier this year that one of the special editions of Dead Island: Riptide would be the “Zombie Bait” edition. [Editor's Note: Only available in Europe and Australia - LF] The main selling point to this edition was a statue of a bikini-clad, armless and headless zombie torso with blood all over it. As far as zombie merchandise goes, it was a unique piece. Again, instead of just simply not buying it because it wasn’t for them, people decided to rally against it online with most comments simply stating that the statue was gross and/or sexist.
On one level, I do see where people were coming from. The statue is targeting a very specific audience. But on another level, I really don’t see why people had to get defensive just because of the existence of this statue. If you think about it in the context of Dead Island, the statue does make sense. The game takes place in a tropical climate, so many people wear bikinis. If the bikini is common on the island, it only makes sense some zombies would still be wearing one. Also, when fighting zombies with sharp weapons, you could dismember them, so it stands to reason you could see a headless, armless bikini-clad body covered in blood. [Editor's Note #2: This statue was actually meant to be the bust of a female victim of a zombie attack, not a zombie itself. Still, the arguments still stand. - LF]
A lot of the comments also said things like, “who would want this?” People who like zombie stuff, that’s who. I have a big collection of video game merchandise, but also some zombie stuff. Now, I wouldn’t buy this statue and put it on a shelf with my Mario and Yoshi plushies, but it would make a badass centerpiece that my Walking Dead action figures could crowd around. Just because you don’t like something doesn’t mean it shouldn’t exist. There is a crowd for almost everything, so speak with your wallets. If something is truly so awful that nobody wants it, then nobody will buy it. The company will pay the price by not making back the return on investment it had hoped to receive.
The damsel in distress argument is also getting old. Want to know why a disproportionate amount of video games have male protagonists saving females? Because that is the way all media is. That’s why. Gaming is a fairly new medium in the grand scheme of things. Movies and TV shows had already established a long tradition of this portrayal before video games were even created. Also, guess what? The story works. People buy/watch/play things with this story all the time, so the money keeps coming in. Why would companies “fix” this if, in their eyes, nothing is wrong?
Quit complaining about sexism. This industry isn’t sexist, it just knows the majority of its audience and targets things towards them. When I watch My Little Pony with my daughter, I’m not offended when I see a commercial for a Barbie or Easy Bake Oven. I know it makes sense for that show’s audience and I continue my life. Is the makeup industry sexist for primarily targeting women? Are Spike TV and the Oprah Winfrey Network sexist for knowing their target audiences? Stop playing victim and just enjoy your life.
Think I’m a wrong, ignorant, misogynist? Feel free to comment below. Let’s talk about it.