Geek Girls Rule! #55 – An Article on Female Video Game Costumes that DIDN’T Make my Head Explode!

Start looking for the goat-headed boy, because the apocalypse, she’s a coming!

The article is “Top 5 most preposterous getups in games” and I agree with them.  A lot.  The commentary under the screen caps is freaking hilarious, too.  Under the screenshot of La Mariposa from Dead or Alive 4:  “…because nothing says “I’m a competent combatant and a smart scientist” like a butterfly mask, tassels and matching G-string. ”

Bwaa haa haa haa haaaaa!!!  I seriously want to meet the person who wrote this article.  I have a giant crush on their brain for that line alone. 

But really, the butt-flossing, barely there costumes on female characters in games have been making female gamers roll their eyes until they risk a sprain for years.  And for years we’ve just been grinning and bearing it.  But seriously, guys, you’ve been striving for new levels of stupid lately. 

Here’s the thing, if you want jiggle, there are games dedicated to jiggle.  I think Stax used to play this Beach Volleyball game on one of her consoles, that had all the jiggle you could hope for and more.  It was festival of water-balloon-like motion barely constrained by pixelated bikinis.  And those games have their place and audience.  Stax loves her the jiggly bits in her games. 

However, when I’m trying to play a fighting game, I want characters in realistic outfits that look like they might do some good, reasonable footwear, and no one flips their hair in battle. 

I love the SoulCalibur franchise.  I think the games are absolutely beautiful.  I like the gameplay.  I consistently beat the pants off of Mr. Geek Girl What Rules at it.  It’s a lovely game.  But what the hell is up with Ivy’s amazing disappearing outfits?  I swear, her already improbably skimpy outfit has gotten teenier in this latest incarnation of SoulCalibur.  I’m hoping that they still have the alternate costume of SoulCalibur III, where  she wore breeches and a waistcoat, and looked sexy as hell in them.  But the picture of her in the article I linked to above just made me roll my eyes and introduce my head to my desk.  What, butt-floss wasn’t bad enough?  Now we have to introduce boob-floss? 

However, in the same game we have Hildegard von Krone, who is competely and believably armored.  WTF, guys?  Is there some sort of conservation of pixelated armor theorem at work here?  “Well, see if we have this woman in believable armor, that uses up all of the armor pixel allotment we’re allowed for female characters, so we have to take those pixels from somewhere.”

Ok, Ivy’s old “armor” was bad enough.  Not to mention Xianghua’s mega-mini outfit and Sophitia’s miniskirt.  Taki was relatively reasonably dressed.  Granted, some of the male characters are also dressed pretty stupidly.  But Voldo’s actually been getting MORE clothed in successive games.  What gives here?

That said, though, I’ll still play it.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE SoulCalibur.  I’m less than enthused about the inclusion of Star Wars characters in it.  Keep Lucas’ money-grubbing, childhood raping hands off my favorite videogame, damn it!  But I’ll still play it.  Now I just need to break down and get a 360.

10 thoughts on “Geek Girls Rule! #55 – An Article on Female Video Game Costumes that DIDN’T Make my Head Explode!

  1. Testing of game avatars over time has revealed that female game players greatly prefer female avatars (whereas male players are generally happy to play with a female avatar) and that female players are more aware of gender stereotypes that their male counterparts; but nonetheless, when given a choice, female players express a strong preference for a hyersexualised female avatar in a preposterous getup.

    There is a whole book on this subject: “Gender Inclusive Game Design” by Sheri Graner Ray.

  2. I’d have to read it, and while I realize that data is not the plural of anecdote, nearly every female gamer I know is just sick and freaking tired of the hypersexualized female characters.

    I’ll have to look for the book and see what sorts of studies they reference, if they do.

  3. Ok, went to Google books and checked out the book, which means I didn’t get to read the whole thing, but I hit what looked like the applicable sections, and one very relevant piece of information I found was on page 105, where she talks about the fact that in online games like Ultima, with more realistic and NOT hypersexualized female characters, the majority of players are female.

    I will see if I can track down a used copy of the book so I can read the rest of it, it looks really interesting.

  4. Whilst the article was good and no-nead-explode-y, if you haven’t read the comments already, I strongly urge you don’t.

    I only managed 10 or so comments before catastrophic cranial expansion occurred. *gah!* Some of those people make me ashamed to be male, let alone a gamer.

  5. Ivy’s costume is absolutely ridiculous, but SC 4 has a great custom costume setup, so you can change the look for Ivy and for anyone else for that matter; as well as create your own characters. The official look may be silly, but at least you don’t have to just put up with it. 😉

  6. @BunnyM: I learned a LONG time ago to not read comment threads on articles like that. I’m trying to keep my blood pressure down.

    @Elf Girl: That’s good to know. I haven’t had a chance to play even the demo. But I so love the franchise.

  7. I just checked it and it’s working fine for me. Although the preview does come up as some sort of survey.

  8. Truth told, I mostly like Soul Caliber because it allowed me to make perfect facsimilies of most of my college’s English department. VICTORIANS vs. MODERNISTS, FIGHT!

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