Imagine for a moment that you’ve just spent a number of hours trying to complete a game with promises of a alternate costumes as your award. Now imagine that you’ve finally finished the game and you’re award is well…Not what you were really expecting…Your new costume ends up being quite revealing to the point where you feel a bit uncomfortable using it.
Earlier tonight Amaterasu and Roanthehero were reminiscing about a game the three of us had play sometime ago, Tenchu Z. The game might not have been the best game in the world, but the three of us enjoyed playing with the co-op and had fun unlocking all the things you could for the costumes. They then began to talk about some of the cooler outfits they got including the military outfits awarded to them when completing the main missions. That’s when Amaterasu brought up something that would soon spark an interesting thought, I got pure crap.
Being a chick, I naturally played through the game as a female ninja. The outfit awarded to me when I finished the missions was a furries’ fantasy. Needless to say, I was disappointed with the fact that they got bad ass looking outfits while I, on the other hand, got a skimpy catgirl suit. Even Amaterasu felt a little bad for me that my pat on the back for my hard work was half assed to me.
Tonight while playing though Resident Evil 5 on Veteran, Amaterasu decided to ask me what I thought about Sheva’s alternate costumes. I told him that I would probably never use them because as a straight female, I don’t want to look at another woman’s ass. As a guy, Amaterasu had no issues with Sheva’s outfit because, well, it’s hot, but even a part of him felt that Capcom should have offered something less revealing. He said that he kind of wished that they had another combat styled outfit (like Chris’ S.T.A.R.S outfit) for her or at least something a bit more causal since chances are, when she’s not in a fight she probably doesn’t walk in a bikini or mini skirt.
It’s understandable that developers cater more to the men than women when it comes to character designs since women are a minority when it comes to gaming. Yet for those of us who do play games, we get screwed over time and time again. I’m not trying to sound feministic where with this post…I don’t care that a female character’s clothing might be sexy to appeal to all the guys that play it, but does that still mean that I can’t get something?
As Amaterasu told me tonight, he would feel upset if most of the clothing and alternate costumes he got in games were revealing. He told me that he’d never want to play as Chris in a Speedo and could understand why I didn’t have plans on playing as Sheva in either one of her outfits. It would feel too awkward. Amaterasu felt that developers needed to be a bit equal. If they’re going to give female characters skimpy outfits for guys to look at, then they might as well give the male characters something skimpy too so the females, like myself, have something “pleasant” to look at too. Or at least give us the option to use a costume that doesn’t make the character we’re playing look like a whore.
I then told him about my experience with Warhammer Online. I told him that I honestly feel a bit uncomfortable playing as my favorite race and class just because of how the females are portrayed. The guys get full length, completely closed cloaks while us girls get a slit thigh skirt and bra-like top complete with nipples lumps popping up in the top. While it’s true it’s more or less trying to appeal to that guy who wants to look at a hot girl all day, it still doesn’t shake the unfairness that I feel. As you can see in the background of the screenshots, there’s previews of what the class looks like in higher level armor. Again, even if I invest my time I’m still going to end up with my character’s boobs hanging out. Hell, one class isn’t even available to male characters and naturally it features thongs/bikini tops as the primary clothing.
Why do I have to parade around with almost nothing on just because I’m a girl while the guys are fully clothed? Why can’t I have more options with clothing choices so I can at least be a little less distasteful if I want to be but guys can still have their fantasies? Or at least why can’t the male characters walk around without a shirt so I have something to stare at?
Perhaps developers and gamers both need to grow up a bit and realize that being attractive doesn’t necessarily mean being revealing. You can’t tell me that Sheva still wouldn’t be hot if she was wearing a pair of tight jeans in a tank top. You’d still see that she has long, thin legs with an hourglass shaped body, a solid chest, and still have a beautiful face even if she wasn’t dressed in the tribal bikini. And the same goes for so many other characters in games, including MMOs where it seems for girls, the less clothing you wear the stronger your armor is which logically makes no sense.
The fact of the matter is that it’s perfectly fine to have characters dressed skimpily but is it honestly too hard to have at least one costume that isn’t so that way people like me feel like at least we get something?