Hi, folks. I’m working on a series of posts about Magic that is proving to be more time consuming than I thought. So I thought I’d post a bit of WTF that I stumbled across on various gaming news sites just to tide you folks over while I continue to pull together research for the posts about Magic. Hopefully I’ll be able to get the first Magic post up tomorrow.
WTF the first: Duke Nukem Forever
Okay. I’ll admit that I’ve avoided dealing with Duke Nukem Forever, mostly because it just seemed too easy. I mean, pointing out how DNF is sexist is pretty much like shooting fish in a barrel. I mean, first we have the cover:
Now I have to admit that I do love that we get an angle of Duke that is almost exclusively used with female characters (I tend to think of it as “boob perspective”) – it’s a nice example of sexualization that male characters don’t usually get, even if Duke is pretty covered. But check out the manicured female hand. They are LITERALLY using a female body part to imply sexual gratification. It’s like they thought, well why bother showing the whole woman when all you really need is the hand? Ugh. And then you have the fact that half of the preview screens that are being released are of strippers, or lesbians, or lesbian strippers, or strippers with dildos…
Add to all of this the recent kerfuffle about the “Capture the Babe” mode and it seems mind-boggling that anyone could possibly argue against Duke Nukem being blatantly and horrifically sexist. I mean, Christ. In “Capture the Babe”, women are LITERALLY objects to be fought over. They are things, not people. It doesn’t get more clear cut than that.
So it should come as no surprise that Jim Sterling, that bastion of feminist advocacy, is arguing that we shouldn’t care if Duke Nukem Forever is sexist. Because, after all:
Does it really f*cking matter? When it comes to fictional people doing fictional things to each other in a fictional world, does it really affect you? No, it doesn’t, no matter how much you pretend a game like DNF could influence society with the “messages” you’ve projected onto it.
Seriously, how does it send the message that violence against women is normal? What’s normal about spanking women while people shoot at you with a shrink ray?
Oh, Jim Sterling. Thank you for helping me to keep sight of the big picture. Silly me! Why should I care about how women are portrayed in video games? After all, we all know that real people are never influenced by the media they consume. At all. Full stop.
Jim also did another post lampooning an article about DNF on the Fox News website about DNF’s sexism and harmful portrayals of women. And here’s the thing – I loathe Fox with every fiber of my being, but I think it was a pretty good article. I was pretty surprised, especially after the “video games cause rape” story that came out of Fox, that they were capable of producing a piece that limited itself to attacking DNF and not gaming in general. Certainly it was better than Jim’s, who couldn’t resist ending his feature on the Fox article with yet another rape joke. (Because we know how much Jim loves to joke about rape…)
Of course, Jim doesn’t get credit for the ONLY game news fail regarding DNF. I also found this feature on IGN making similar claims that Duke Nukem Forever is not sexist. In the feature, Editor Tristan Ogilvie writes about his experience as being the only gamer on a recent panel about gaming. Naturally the subject of DNF came up as a point against gaming. And here’s the thing, I think Tristan would have made a much better defense of gaming as not being a deviant hobby by coming and saying “sure, Duke Nukem Forever is sexist – but don’t judge all of gaming by one title” than by using weak-sauce arguments like:
…Similarly, if I play Duke Nukem Forever’s ‘Capture the Babe’ mode in all its bottom-slapping glory, I’m not suddenly going to start smacking women on the backside and calling them “sugartits” as though I’ve been thawed out from a state of suspended animation since the 1960s like Austin Powers (or nearing the end of a 12-hour bender like modern day Mel Gibson), because I’m well aware that to commit such acts wouldn’t be acceptable social behaviour by society’s standards…
Not very convincing, Tristan. Not very convincing at all.
Eternal Light Trailer
While browsing through the headlines on the IGN website, I stumbled across this trailer for the upcoming game Eternal Light (a game I’d previously never heard of). What caught my eye was the subtitle: “These monster-slaying, near-naked battle witches enjoy killing dragons. And breathing heavily.”
Curious, I fired up the trailer and discovered they weren’t kidding. Check out these screens:
The first thirty seconds features a slow camera pan around a mostly naked woman wearing a chainmail bikini… while she breathes heavily. Like, having sex heavily. Real subtle, guys. The rest of the trailer features in game combat shots that feature a lot of ridiculous camera angles where you can aaaaaalmost see ladybits but not quite. Frankly, it looks like a fanservice engine to me.
And of course the comments are pretty predictable:
I’m about as shallow as can be. I see boobs and I’m in. Don’t judge me.i want to agree with all the haters but, boobs, 6 boobs goddamnLike RedXIII i see 6 good arguments to buy this game, count me in!Did someone say something about there being a dragon in this video…? All I saw was boobs.