I was sitting in the office, minding my own business and then my wife sent me a link to this picture:
It got me thinking... The artist here is right. The nudity and sexism of games or any other medium is only a problem for those who can't see through it. Kinda obvious, right? Took me 30 years to realize that? Maybe. You can pause now and have some time to laugh at me. Yes, I will continue on the topic. Stop laughing, I'm dead serious.
I grew up int he 90's, with the games from the 90's and all the surrounding popculture. And with the 90's being the age of Lara Croft, Baywatch and Duke Nukem. I am a perfect example of a priviledged white male brainwashed by our lovely medium. I confess to all the sins of a teenage gamer. I did always have Tifa in my party in Final Fantasy VII (one of the reasons was because her limit break was the only skill-based one, but let's be honest, boobs were important too). I did play only female characters in Dead or Alive (because frankly, who plays with the guys? I've seen girls play this game, and they choose girls too). I did play Wet: The Sexy Empire as an underaged kid, along with several Japanese erotic game novels (and I did enjoy the good writing, not just sex scenes).
You now have every right to discard my opinion as biased, manipulated and sick to the bone, but... All this allowed me to grow into the man I am today. It allowed me to play BioShock: Infinite without staring at Elizabeth's boobs and instead focusing on her story. It allows me to look at Akiba's Trip not only as a fan service, but also a really fun game with decent story and really, really cleverly abstract mechanic. It allowed me to critically look at Catherine and what choice I would make if I were in Vincent's shoes. And I did not base it at all on which pair of tits I liked better (in case you wondered, I liked Katherine's better, while I'd still choose Catherine). I am able to look at Quiet as a tragic character, completely ignoring her appearance and not getting a boner during the water scenes.
But I still want to be strong and fast like Solid Snake. Be able to pull up myself and a busty gal with one hand like Cloud. And I wouldn't mind having muscles like Duke, because hell, who would? Apart from gymnasts, volleyball players, anyone who wants to fit in any door... But you get my point :) Does the fact that I'm physically inferior to the idea of these characters make me rage? No. They are representations of physical traits that many of us find attractive. I can either bitch about it or go to the gym.
Sex and sexualization is a part of life and part of every medium and every art. It makes perfect sense that in a fantasy world we want to see visually pleasing characters. The fact that I like Quiet as a character won't make me dress her in the baggy outfit just to prove some moot point, because I don't want her to feel uncomfortable. Even if mechanically she won't suffocate or anything. And yes, sometimes the pervy stuff gets pretty ridiculous, but I love how games like Lollipop Chainsaw or Bayonetta grew so self aware that they are practically parodying themselves while still having lots of fun, innovative, amazing gameplay.
People are saying that sexualized characters in games promote imbossible standards among the audience and that is partially true. Partially, because these standards aren't impossible and some fantastic proportions can be successfully translated (not transfered to real life. Just look at the professional cosplayers. Both male and female. Also, there is nothing wrong with the second part. Is it bad that a medium makes people want to be more fit? Can anyone honestly tell me that by liking big boobs I'm doing something wrong? I wanted a girl who isn't just smart, but busty as well. I married a girl who isn't just smart, but busty, sweet and caring too. It can be done, so what's the problem?
The problem occurs only when we can't look past the sometimes oversexualized coating. When we automatically call the character a bimbo just because she shows some cleavage. When we deny the character any personality it might have just because it has muscles bigger than us. Ass rounder than ours. I can only hope that the ones that feel offended or endangered by more sexualized content will someday be able to clear their vision of their unfulfilled, perverted, juvenile thoughts and see the busty and muscular characters as virtual persons, not just pieces of meat.
And seriously, go hit the gym, you lazy asses. Those juicy chicks and hunky dudes won't just settle for any fat nerd ;)