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155 comments

  • BloodyEm - July 3, 2014 11:54 a.m.

    I think a LOT of the browser games are taking this too far. I've seen too many "Want to have a roman orgy?" titles, that I knew were simple town-creation games. It makes me beg the question, where does propaganda start, as far as advertising games? I don't need anyone to be naked, (though a decent, though not over exaggerated, set of abs doesn't hurt), I just need the gameplay itself to be good. Is that so wrong?
  • FoxdenRacing - July 3, 2014 11:45 a.m.

    Disclaimer: I like anime, and JRPGs. I understand that anything animated and coming from Japan is going to feature impossible clothes, idealized and sometimes comically-exaggerated proportions, and social norms that make me uncomfortable [such as the cultural view of 'you're now an adult' coming to pass a few years sooner over there]. That said...I'm glad it's not just me seeing things. I'm not about to raise a stink about good-natured exaggeration [of either gender...I'm no more upset about men being turned into a charicature ala Colonel Armstrong from Full Metal Alchemist than I am about Naga from Slayers]. And well-executed comic exaggeration is just that: funny. At that point, it's silly and should be viewed as such. But it's out of control. I don't agree with the Moe movement at all [the moving of stories from 'coming of age' / growing into being an adult to stories about the struggles of puberty / growing into an adult's body], don't agree with the shift from 'fantasy means idealized versions of the human form' to 'fantasy means normal people get disgusted while the worst pervs in the darkest corners of the 'net can get off to it'. It's to the point that I almost sold Agarest War 2 back just on principle...being offered $5 for a game I paid $40 for was adding insult to injury, so it sits on the shelf, untouched, since discovering the 'massage' thing. Seriously? Japanese devs think gamers are so insular, so pathetic, that the only way they'll get attention from the opposite sex is pervy minigames? I also can't defend some of the western games. Saints Row 3 did a good job of lampooning it, but when it comes to indies...doing something ironically is still doing it.
  • avedon-arcade - July 3, 2014 11:29 a.m.

    It's part of the reason why I just can't play Bayonetta as well. She's too ridiculous of a character, even if that's the point, I'm not into it.
  • gooberboobs - July 3, 2014 11:56 p.m.

    Must be hard living with such shit taste.
  • Akakyu-IX - July 3, 2014 11:19 a.m.

    I would like to point out that a lot of the blatant sexualization in Japanese media is because sex is different as a concept over there than it is here. Here in America sex is taboo. If it's anywhere visible it's the world's biggest deal and everyone needs to flock over to it and ostracize it and those who exposed people to it. This leads to the kind of awkward sexually repressed people we have today who are have all these misconceptions about sex because talking about it isn't "okay ". And when it is shown it has to be displayed in this fake, romantic manner that is honestly lacking from a lot of day-to-day shagging. In Japan, while they have their own cultural taboos about sexuality, everything is a lot more open, and I don't see any reason why it matters. Sex isn't an evil thing we have to hide from the world. It's just that in the west we had been exposed to different things that ultimately would lead to different views on sexuality from Japan. If you don't have to explain Grand Theft Auto to people, you shouldn't have to explain Record of Agarest. I will admit however the lolicon thing is a tad much though. I have my limits as far as tolerance goes.
  • chiarafan - July 3, 2014 12:27 p.m.

    I idsagree. Sex is a taboo topic more in Japan than in other parts of the world. I mean the real sex, sex between two adults, in a explicit way. So they have to express their sexual desires in so perverted form. I live in Europe, I can assure you that we are very liberal in sexual issues, and yet these games are often censored, and generally rejected by the public. Pedophilia is not a game, and it´s not funny.
  • bar1scorpio - July 3, 2014 4:56 p.m.

    Let's face it, you're not going to slut shame a people who's origin myth involves using t*tties to cancel the apocalypse and make the sun come out and festivals that involves parading giant dildos through the streets.
  • carlnath - July 2, 2014 11:52 p.m.

    Dang, I picked the wrong one to introduce first. Extra Credits... True Female Characters talks about why we should see more family issues and women in difficult roles like choices about actual issues women are concerned about. And of course, how I discoverd Extra Credits. Western RPG's vs. Japanese RPG.s I was having an insanely hard time explaining to same friend what the difference was. This made it abundantly clear. Japan is a collectivist society that focuses on group dynamics and promotion of the team. Western society is a society of Cowboys, Knights, Heroines and glorification of the individual. (Also, I hate menu driven combat) So, while in Japan gameplay focuses on character development, in the west it focuses on vicariously empowering the player. This isn't how they explained it.. (also, shame on you Japan.... Japan has a long history of the objectification of women, and if you go there now you'll see expectations of female behavior that we would find downright offensive.)
  • carlnath - July 2, 2014 11:23 p.m.

    This was actually the primary decider for the Sony systems in both mine and my friends decision on our next choice in the console war. (The other factor being, ain't none of you consoles being backwards compatible, regardless of the facts that the hardware can totally handle an Xbox 360 or PS3 emulator) We literally could not find a for PS game in store that didn't have "fanservice" for the playstation. He is going with a Wii U and I'm considering it, even though I've been a hardcore Xbox fan since the original. But when we were talking about it, we were looking for large numbers of new titles we would like... and on the Playstation systems (handheld too) the vast majority of titles are either multi-console and therefore irrelevant in our choice, or featured sexual content in the ESRB, and if not that, skin tight pantie revealing costumes. And on the Xbox side of things, (and perhaps a bit of topic) we only encountered what amounts to the same 1st person shooter engine cloned across multiple "skins" and legacy games that just aren't out style like GTA and Saint's Row, sorry I just ain't into being no gangster. The guns might be different but the play is basically like a different flavor of ice cream for each. That said, there are some great titles out there, but they are by far the exception and not the rule. If you'd like to see something good on this topic go to youtube and search for Extra Credits Video Games and the Female Audience. By no means is it the only time they talk about the development in what is a truly profound medium for delivering narrative and great shared experiences.
  • beachjustice - June 3, 2014 10:12 p.m.

    Couldn't disagree more, I'm afraid. All of the following are personal prob. 1.) The fact that your friends can't handle sexualized characters is their own personal problem. Humans have sex drives. If a subset of people can't handle entertainment with a sexual dimension, then they shouldn't play games with sexual content. If there are enough of them, there will be a market for censored games as well. What is not necessary, is the common 'holier than thou' puritanical insistence that industry stop catering to consumers that appreciate fanservice. 2.) The fact that our culture conflates having overt sex appeal with being otherwise worthless human being is a problem. Games featuring women with large breasts, intended for sexual appeal, is not a problem. Is it the fault of the pornography industry that a pornstar is objectified? Or is it the fault of the end user, doing the objectifying? I'd say, in an ideal world, a man or woman can appreciate a pornstar and still accept that they are jut as inherently valuable as a complete human as oneself. Objectification of women existed long before pornography, long before fanservice and playstation. By arguing we need to reduce porn or fanservice, we're indicating implicit acceptance that it is a fitting response for a man to objectify a woman as a consequence of her behavior or attire. As a bisexual male from a religiously conservative south asian family, I know our culture has a problem with human sexuality and objectifying women. That problem is with the mindset of individuals. That problem is not pornography or sexually appealing video game characters. It's a problem of perception, not media itself. It's a problem of distinguishing characters from complete humans; that is the source of our problem. 3.) Call us perverts if you want, but sex is appealing. Some people are admired for their intelligence. Some are admired for their creativity. Some are admired for their willpower. For kindness, athleticism, beauty, and also sex appeal. It is true that beauty is in the eye of the beholder; but it's not inherently less worthy of admiration or respect as any other trait either. It's not as though we stop respecting a great mathematician simply because he's talented intellectually. So why is sex appeal any less worthy of admiration?
  • chiarafan - July 3, 2014 12:37 p.m.

    Sex and sexism are not the same. Sex is great, we all like to see the attractive people in our games. But reducing women (and often girls) to mere sexual objects is sexism.
  • blue_shayde - May 12, 2014 9:51 p.m.

    Oh look. A guy can write an article complaining about the over sexualization of women in games and not be called a feminest, but if we girl gamers suggest something is a little overdone, we are shot down and undermined as serious gamers. Seriously, I'm happy to see someone who gets it. As a gamer and a fan of anime and jrpgs, I am used to the fanservice thrown at guy gamers. As a girl gamer, I often actually wish for a few games like this for me. I would LOVE to try playing Agarest War, but it doesn't seem like it would be fun for a girl to play. Currently, I'm playing Demon Gaze, which is a really good game. I can get past the sexualized art, cause there are male models for a girl gamer to enjoy as well. My complaint is more the comments left by other gamers. Such as 'Prometh *huff* *huff* in the behind *pant* sexy' that seems to dominate about 70% of the messages left in my dungeon level. (at least atlus gave us the option to delete messages) Its all a bit hypocritical to. If a game has sexualized women and suggestive or outright lesbian scenes, its a-ok and wonderful to guy gamers. They'll defend it to their death. But if a game comes out pandering to girl fanservice, or has even a bit of gay/yaoi scenes...its evil, gay, and terrible? Yet no one yells at the guys and calls them misogamists. =T *sigh* In the end, I love anime and video games, and I really love rpgs and used to love jrpgs. I love the stories japanese games come up with...such as The Guided Fate Paradox game where you become God by way of a japanese lottery machine in a mall. But sometimes I wish the industry would remember that us girl gamers are out there to and growing. I really want a good game like Conception, but with the option to play a girl character and have a male harem. Now...let the cries of 'feminist' begin......... *sits back*
  • Akakyu-IX - July 3, 2014 11:32 a.m.

    I understand hour opinion. I would like to point out however that it is not that these games don't exist, they do to a degree. Gay and/or bisexual characters with prominent parts exist in Mass Effect, Dragon Age, a plethora of Japanese media, and it's implicit in even MORE Japanese media. It's not like there has never been a gay thing in the world of gaming. It's not like the two big-name Series' I mentioned that allow male on male are being shunned globally for that. But you can't complain that it's hypocrisy that men don't wanna see male-on-male if you don't want to see female-on-female. I don't want to sound like the asshole in the room, but it's not all about giving the minority what they want. I agree wholeheartedly that things should be more even, but I also think that nobody should really complain, for the same reasons that women can hit and berate men and call it female empowerment, or can sexualize or objectify men with no repercussion. If you want equality then you can bear the criticisms too. If I'm a misogynist for enjoying a bit of fan-service you're just as bad for desiring or enjoying it.
  • BigDaddyWallace - July 3, 2014 10:27 p.m.

    No one has gone on an shunned Mass Effect or Dragon Age for anything other than each consecutive game has worse game play and has been dumbed down over its predecessor. And lets not forget the awful ME3 ending debacle, where they ripped the original Deus Ex ending, nearly word for word, and just color coded the eyes in a still image.
  • FoxdenRacing - July 3, 2014 12:05 p.m.

    Three cheers for FB article reposts, I'm only 3 weeks late. Feminist? Nah, that I reserve for the obnoxious, zealous hypocrites...the 'You're a horrible person and should want to castrate yourself for daring to have hormones and find any woman attractive!', 'No, I'm not a hypocrite for considering only the physical, then getting angry when you dare give the physical even a passing thought!' and 'When I put on a top so low-cut you can see the cups of my bra as a way to beg for attention, I didn't mean attention from YOU' types. A thought-out post that boils down to 'Hey, girls like sex too, where's the stuff for us?' and 'Ok, that's kinda creepy...when half of the guys playing agree, it's too far maybe?' Fine by me.
  • hngqtr - July 4, 2014 2:20 p.m.

    Atlus doesn't have anything to do with Demon Gaze. It was published by NIS America in the west and Kadokawa Games in Japan. Also, as you probably know, the are a lot of fanservice games for girls in Japan but they rarely get localized. So it's not really a problem with japanese developers, just publishers.
  • Ravenbom - April 2, 2014 2:32 p.m.

    I got tired of most JRPGs for the same reason I will never watch MTV again. MTV used to empathize the M and now it's just TV and shitty TV at that. JRPGs are now just J...........rpgs. They got Japan-ed the fuck out. The real turning point was everyone's favorite, FF7. Sure, Fire Emblem, Tactics Ogre and FF Tactics, basically only Strategy RPGs managed to stay a little more moderate. (FF Tactics had to eventually keep up with FF aesthetics) It took me years to realize this as I kept comparing every new FF game to FF3/6. So what I'm saying to Henry is that I think that this is something that is largely cultural and Hank is just caught up on the one lascivious aspect of something that is broadly cultural. Take Pokemon for example, it's a JRPG but I think it's success is in a broader appeal. In other words, it's a somewhat basic JRPG that never let itself get Japan-ed out the ass. Fan service is a symptom, not the issue.
  • watevermanimlost - March 21, 2014 11:13 a.m.

    Thank you Henry for showing me interesting games I would have missed if you hadn't talked about.
  • TokenGamesRadarFurry - March 19, 2014 9:41 p.m.

    This is one of the reasons I got tired of Japanese games a while ago; its all pandering to what seems to be an enormous perverted Japanese demographic. I like a nice bust and/or booty, of course, but when there seems to be no end to borderline porn shoehorned into all these Japanese-developed games, it puts me off to the whole thing.
  • rxb - March 19, 2014 8:49 a.m.

    Being over 30 and watching a lot of anime, I totally agree with Henry. Its embarrassing and unnecessary in a lot of situations. Maybe I've just grown up a bit. I remember how funny I thought the wobbly boobs were in Dead or Alive 15 years ago. Ive no problem with sexy characters but making everyone over sexualised doesn't really add any thing in my opinion. I think this is different from the South Park case too. People love South Park for the offensive crass humour. Loving JRPGs, anime and manga is normally an appreciation of gameplay, stories, artwork or creativity.

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