...or how women get screwed in video games (pun intended).
Ever since Rockstar tried screwed over the ESRB by adding unlockable content to their game, the Video Game world has been buzzing with talk about sex and video games. Talk has centered around what sex already exists, what kind of sex there is, how games with sex in them should be rated, and how we should classify the kind of sex in the game so that it can be rated. Very little talk, however, has centered around the sexist nature of sex in the video game world.
Video games, by and large, assume that whether you’re playing a female character or not, you’re going to want to have sex with a female character, or at least be sexually attracted to a female character (or monster).
Case in point, and the one that’s most recently pissed me off has to do with two ‘pet’ creatures. One in EverQuest II and one in World of Warcraft. After level twenty in World of Warcraft, a Warlock gets a pet ‘Succubus’. She’s busty, barely dressed, and she possesses the ability to stun her targets by mesmerizing them with her sexiness. As if that weren’t bad enough, her idle animation is slapping her ass and making a squeaking sound.
In EverQuest II, the Succubus is a special, high level Necromancer pet named the ’ Grim Temptress’. She looks even more human-like than the one in World of Warcraft, and she’s dressed like a prostitute might, including super-duper micro-mini and push-up bra.
The Succubus disturbed me a great deal. The Grim Temptress just made me stop and stare in wide-eyed horror. To me, this is very close to having a black man following you around everywhere. These ‘pets’ are slaves, and they’re made to look very close to human females or human sex slaves.
Now, here’s the rub. I wouldn’t be so disturbed if the reverse were true… if there were Grim Tempters and Incubus to balance out the Temptress and Succubus. But there aren’t, and these aren’t the only two games to blatantly disregard the notion that female characters (and players) might want a different experience.
In some games, you don’t even get the option to play a female character. In others, you’re given the option, but when given the chance to have sex with some other character, the character is female.
The reason? The bulk of game-playing America are homophobic, socially challenged men with very vivid fantasies about playing females who get to have sex with other females. Even when female characters are added to the game, they aren’t added with equal importance, nor are they added with the thought that maybe, just maybe, a woman might be playing that female character.
The video game industry as of late has been talking a lot about making video games more “mainstream”. Until games stop catering to pubescent fantasies of hot girl-on-girl action, that just isn’t going to happen.
Addendum for the MMOrgy and IGDA visitors: This is an old post, but feel free to add comments to a new one I put up for the extra traffic.