Presenting Episode Six; which can be thought of as a sort-of followup to Episode Two. We discuss (well.. I discuss, at least) the somewhat uncomfortable and not-at-all clearcut issue of objectification of women in the video game medium, the likely cultural/societal reasons for it, the ramifications of these design choices on gamers and gamer-culture, possible solutions and any other serious-sounding excuse I can find to run suggestive pictures of the girls from "Dead or Alive." Helloooooo, web traffice ;)
This is the first one of these to hit where I haven't used the sound-speed editing at all, so I hope people aren't too dissapointed to learn how dull my normal speaking voice is.
Overall, I'm happy with how this one turned out considering actually picking a definative point of view was kind of a challenge. On the one hand, as I admit more-or-less upfront in the video-proper.. I not only COMPLETELY understand "why" game designers tend to present their female characters in these ways - I don't see a damn thing wrong with it in the broad sense: You want characters to be appealing, and it doesn't get much more appealing than a sexy, large-breasted girl wearing next to nothing jumping around with ninja skills and yelping in Manga-nese. It's not a new phenomenon, look up a 1940s comic book character called "Phantom Lady" sometime. On the other hand, when you take a step back and look at the medium objectively the fact that characters as ridiculously proportioned/costumed as Mai Shiranui or "Soul Calibur's" Ivy tend to pass entirely without comment (other than "whoa," I mean) well... that says and implies a lot of things about game culture and NONE of it is especially flattering.
So... it's not that I want to see Team Ninja sign all the girls up for reduction-surgery or anything, but we DO probably want to be more aware of how this fits in to the culture, perceptions and all of that. I mean, just keep in mind: The "Tomb Raider" series has NEVER had a single installment that was anything other than average as an overall game, but was SOMEHOW popular and well-known enough to warrant two huge-budget movies starring an Academy Award winner. Lara Croft has TWO movies while Link and Zelda don't have ONE... entirely on the basis of digitally-rendered titties. That's what's known as letting things get out of hand, people.