BATTLEPANTIES (and gurl gamers)

Hi. :)
I have a vagina, and I play video games.

I'm not into Mario, Pacman or Tetris; I didn't grow up kicking my brother's ass at Street Fighter. Shit, it's only been the last few years that video games interested me at all. It started with City of Heroes and Oblivion, and then TF2 was my babby's first FPS. (In the glory days, mind you, before the hat fiasco. "Hatageddon," as T insists it be called.) And really, it's not that FPS-y.

In recent years I've played the shit out of Killing Floor, Borderlands, L4D2 and, recently, APB [Reloaded]. I've sampled several MMOs, including Rift and Warhammer online. I've wasted away many hours in other games that mostly turned out to be shit but were fun for a drunken LAN.

Girls play non-casual video games too.

It's frustrating that people treat girls differently in video games. There's plenty of girls out there who will take advantage of that - loudly proclaiming to be gamer girls, presumably in the hopes of being raised upon a pedestal and fawned over by thousands of desperate male gamers. You see this most often at comic cons - hundreds of girls wearing little more than bodypaint and tape. And what's with the "sexifying" of characters? Aren't there enough scantily-clad female characters you can dress up as without having to be a "sexy" pikachu or a "sexy" stormtrooper?

TBH, I just want to play the damn games. I want to be able to use voice chat and not cause a wave of snap judgments to be made about me because I have a female voice. I don't want to be whispered with "Ur char is sexxxxy ;)." I don't want to be given free gold and special treatment. Some games don't even give me the option of playing as a female (I'm lookin' at you, TF2 and Killing Floor), which is - frankly - insulting. It's as if females aren't even considered. And, no, I don't like to pose naked while covered in console controllers.

I notice the odd treatment quite a lot more in APB than in any other game I've played; probably because the City of Heroes community was, comparatively, quite mature and I otherwise don't tend to play games with online communities. There have been several times in APB where someone in district (global) chat would say, "It's not like any real girls play this game. All the female chars are just dudes." I would say something at this point, but really... what's the point? No one would believe me, and if they did I would just get spammed with bullshit.

But most earnestly, I don't want to be forced to wear battlepanties.

Costume sets/intro art for Sacred 2

This is terrible for my immersion, and fantasy is the worst culprit. Do you honestly think a tank is going to run into the fray wearing nothing but a thong and a chestplate that is little more than a golden bowl strapped to each tit? Don't those mages get cold wearing only silken wrappings? And I've worn leather before. Those rogues would be nothing but a bundle of creaking and tinkling buckles.

There's a strange disconnect between female and male fantasy armour sets. The men turn out like they're literal tanks, piled high with ridiculous greeble, while there seems to be some sort of law that women much have bare thighs and bare tummies.

And, oh boy, the games that have enough body customization to include a "breast size" slider? Bahahaha. APB is one of them; most of the female criminals and enforcers are rocking around in bikinis, thongs, thigh-highs and EEE breasts. It's extremely impractical, what with all the bullets, grenades, dirty alleys, ladders, car explosions and other related chaos that you encounter in a typical San Paro day. I recognize that a community made almost entirely of seventeen year old boys is going to be full of naked women, but the company itself hasn't done much to encourage other behaviours. They offer six different styles of bra, and only one type of t-shirt. It's pretty clear what their opinion of the whole thing is.

In summary, Down with fan service, Up with immersion

All you guys may say it's fair and all in good fun, but you're not the ones having to prance around in nothing but a girdle of fortitude and stockings of strength.

12 things about

BATTLEPANTIES (and gurl gamers)
  1. Yeah, I think a single Wii remote would be good for you to pose with.

  2. No wait! you'll definitely need the Tassels of Intimidation to.

    sorry about that.

  3. Yeah, I need something to cover my penis, and a Wiimote is like, the perfect size.

    One can only be so shameless.

  4. Not bad. I could get by with just a memory stick but I swear that's only because there is always a chilly breeze around here.

  5. Haha. You have 2 things to be "thankful" for in this rant:

    1. The target demographic having penises and
    2. A chunk of gamer girls who embellish the over-sexed visage of their in game counterparts.

    Personally chicks don't get special treatment from me - friends do. If I ever craft for you in a game I'll be sure to give you more shiny parts for the bad guys to aim for xD

  6. A: Games shouldn't make you stressed! They're supposed to be fun! Except when they make you really, really angry. >:(

    Tratz: I agree on both points. I love playing with friends, it makes games so much better. And having someone who will give you free stuff and not expect cybersex in return is awesome, haha.

  7. Welcome to the internet.

    If you take away the ability to see a man's filthy, horrible husk, you open him up to a lot of flirting options. One of these options is simply ogling and wasting everyone's time and patience. One of these is designing female game characters who look like they're wearing the hangers their clothes came on instead of the clothes themselves. And yes, this is can be... kind of creepy, and very annoying. But there's one thing it is VERY good for:

    Rooting out stupidity and douchebaggery.

    If a game has no sensible female character options? It's probably a shitty game to begin with. If a user is so entranced by the idea of a vagina being somewhere near a video game that he must change his demeanour, or the very nature of the game -- he is a douchebag. These are useful cues.

    I mean shit, I LOVE Oblivion, because I don't have to play a big burly muscly dude. For example: I can be a cat. Or a skinny dark elf with bad hair. Cues that a game is good include its failure to use sex as a marketable feature. So that's useful for me to see in a game -- the ability to know what the developers were thinking.

  8. @Scott:

    This interview/article/post/text-item says it all way better than I can,

    "This is where some geek women find their acceptable place in geek communities, because even the most sexist of geek men is going to be okay with women being around as long as they’re dressed up like sex objects. Too often, women in geek cultures are only welcomed if they are decoration, sexy versions of the the things geek men love, not equal participants or fellow fans. Forever Geek (one of the very few non-feminist blogs I bother with), for example, has, in the just the past two months, posted with glee about female models naked except for high heels and stormtrooper helmets gracing skateboards, a car wash in which women dressed in sexy Princess Leia costumes washed cars, and Star Wars corsets. Geek communities love women, as long as their members don’t have to think of those women as people. And cosplay has become an unfortunate site of, as you so aptly put it, the creation of object-heroes. "

    - Courtney Stoker, "Courtney Stoker on Feminist Geek"

  9. Oh, and I forgot to add: in my small experience, the games that tend to not offer female characters are those that have lots of voice clips (other than "URGH! HURRAGH!") and pre-set characters. I'm guessing it's something to do with production costs. I have yet to encounter a game that has character customization and only offers one sex.

  10. Put that way, I see what you/Courtney means. It isn't new, though video games have some catching up to do in terms of media awareness of sexism. TV has pretty much caught up (for the most part), Movies do alright, depending on the genre, but games seem to have this issue of always being last to hit the sensible mark. Yea, we've come along way with Duke, but you're right in a way. I actually do feel like a dick playing a lot of games, because interactions (or even visuals) of most female characters in games (nevermind your OWN character, should it be female) are decidedly sexist and... not to mention... incredibly awkward.

    I think there's some headway being made, though, especially as technology rounds some corners. As games become slowly more photorealistic (and I don't mean BROWN), there's more room for real writers with real, good ideas about what female characters can mean to the gaming world, and how far that door can open if they just try for once. They can be more creative, so long as someone gives them half a chance. I'm sure one day some clever studio will realize the potential of an untapped (lol) market and allow real roles for women in games.

  11. *SINCE Duke. Not WITH. Wow, yea.


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