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Soapbox: Ignoring The Objectification Of Women In Games Won't Make the Problem Go Away

Posted by Damien McFerran

Should we boycott Senran Kagura Burst's balloon-breasted characters?

Long-time readers of Nintendo Life will be aware that we've given a fair amount of coverage to Senran Kagura Burst, a 3DS fighting game which recently launched in Europe amid a campaign which focused almost entirely on the title's bevy of busty female combatants. To be honest, I personally found the advertising amusing — especially the UK YouTube spots which likened the title to the kind of dirty magazines teenage boys would secrete under their beds in fear of their mothers finding them (before the internet came along, anyway) — but a recent conversation in the Nintendo Life office forced me to sharply rethink my previously ambivalent stance.

The whole exchange was triggered by the fact that we'd re-tweeted an image via the Nintendo Life twitter account which came directly from PQube (the company handling the distribution of the game in Europe) showing a plastic figurine of one of the characters from the game with a 3DS game cartridge wedged between her impossibly large (and mostly exposed) breasts. At the time it was absent-mindedly re-tweeted, it seemed like harmless fun that was largely in keeping with our coverage of the game up to that point, but the person I was speaking to — a woman, for what it's worth — strongly believed that when viewed out of context (as much on Twitter is), it came across as crass and sexist. I should probably also point out that the woman in question isn't an outsider who views gaming with bemused disgust — she's a seasoned player herself.

I countered by pointing out that we'd already covered the game several times and always taken a tongue-in-cheek approach, poking fun at the over-the-top sexualization of the characters, and also mentioned that a campaign against the game had already been instigated by Official Nintendo Magazine — which attracted a large degree of criticism from its readers [Editor's note: ONM has since been in contact to point out that this was actually a blog post, and doesn't necessarily reflect the opinions of the publication as a whole]. This didn't pacify the affronted person, who pointed out that as a father and husband myself, I should feel just as uncomfortable as she did with this kind of subject matter, and that Nintendo Life should be making a stand against this kind of thing.

The conversation ended as abruptly as it began, but it got me thinking — should we really promote and encourage this kind of content in our games? And should sites like Nintendo Life be speaking out against it?

Gaming has grown up a lot in the past few years, and we're now tackling some pretty mature topics in the titles that we play. However, it's impossible to escape the fact that a large number of players are young men, and these boiling infernos of testosterone are highly susceptible to focused marketing which involves nubile, scantily-clad girls — those of you living in the UK who have entered a newsagents or supermarket in the past few years will be well aware of this fact, as "lad's mags" such as Zoo and Nuts — both of which showcase barely-dressed ladies on their front covers — are sometimes sold next to mainstream magazines such as The Radio Times and Official Nintendo Magazine; some major brands, not all, are imposing rules that mature front covers are partially covered or placed on top shelves. Should this be happening? Probably not. Can it be stopped? One would hope so, but there's a fairly large sector of the population which insists that stopping people from getting hold of what they want is a bad idea, not a good one.

Whenever anyone mentions censorship in regards to gaming, the pitchforks and flaming torches are never far behind; as is the case with so many facets of modern media, people seem very reluctant to agree with the notion that they should be told what they can and can't watch, listen to or play. I'm certainly not in favour of widespread censorship, but as a parent I can see why certain games fall into questionable territory, and it could be said that our industry needs to censor itself to a certain extent. It speaks volumes that Nintendo doesn't even show Senran Kagura Burst's box art on its official site, which would suggest that the company is aware the game isn't really suitable for its target audience. That then begs another question — why has Nintendo allowed this title to be published in the first place, and why is it available on the 3DS eShop? Parental controls are all very well, but many younger gamers could potentially be in a position to purchase and download the game without having to alert their parents to the fact.

To cloud the issue further, Senran Kagura Burst is actually quite a good game, with chaotic action, a long storyline, great music and some excellent visuals. It certainly seems to have found an audience on the 3DS — the Japanese version sold well enough to merit a sequel, and it made it into the UK top 40 sales chart — no mean feat for such a niche release in a region so traditionally hostile of such overtly-Japanese games. How much of this was down to the questionable subject matter and racy promotional videos is up for debate, but it's fair to say that the game's focus on large-chested females won't have done its commercial chances any harm. Does that mean it's fine to make excuses for the game's often ludicrous portrayal of women? While the games industry has come a long way since the male-dominated days of the '80s and '90s, it's still easy to forget that there are a lot of female gamers out there who could — and indeed will — be offended by such imagery, especially on a console which is supposed to be family-friendly, like the 3DS.

Another thing to consider is that this is a Japanese game, and attitudes to such imagery in that particular country are very, very different to elsewhere in the world. Anime shows and movies — as well as manga comic books — are packed with over-sexualized female characters, so you could argue that there cultural considerations to take into account — simply put, Senran Kagura Burst is unlikely to have caused the same furore in its native Japan as it has elsewhere. But has the overtly smutty marketing by PQube for the European launch made things worse?

There will be those who argue that male characters are equally exaggerated in modern games; most FPS shooters boast chisel-jawed space marines with muscles the size of a small European country, but the difference there is that these characters are arguably not intended for the sexual gratification of female players — they are there to make male players feel strong and powerful by association. While many male players have voiced concern with the predictable way in which men are portrayed in games, I don't personally recall ever feeling intimidated or offended by the rippling muscles of my on-screen avatar — something which I suspect can't be said of female gamers playing a title like Senran Kagura Burst, which shows its lead characters shedding their clothing and pushing their ample assets into the player's face. The objective here is titillation, which makes it relatively easy to see why female players — just like the one who confronted me in the Nintendo Life office — are so uneasy with this situation.

In an industry that is dominated by the tastes and demands of a young and male audience, it's always going to be difficult to fight against such objectification — just ask the author of the aforementioned Official Nintendo Magazine piece — but that doesn't mean it shouldn't happen. As I said, we've have actually come a long way in the past few decades — Lara Croft's transformation from big-breasted Barbie Doll to battle-hardened, troubled woman in the recent Tomb Raider reboot being a fine example of just how far. The industry is maturing as the average age of gamers rises, but that doesn't mean that developers and publishers won't still be tempted to exploit the raging hormones of younger males. Whether or not we — or companies like Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony — should allow them to is another matter.


What's your stance on this topic? Should games like Senran Kagura Burst be celebrated for bringing diversity to the industry, or are they little more than smut for gamers? Vote in the poll below and be sure to leave a comment.

Do you find titles like Senran Kagura Burst offensive? (532 votes)

Yes, the game's portrayal of women is purely for the gratification of male gamers

30%

No, I find the images in the game to be appealing but they're not sexist

54%

I'm not entirely sure either way

17%

Please login to vote in this poll.

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User Comments (492)

Kodeen

#1

Kodeen said:

But since this is a Japanese game I have to ask, are these girls also 14 years old?

kuribo4

#2

kuribo4 said:

I think the human race is capable of respecting women even with the existence of fanservicey 3DS games.
I won't play it though. Kill la Kill is awesome. This is just...crossing the line I guess.

willobee

#3

willobee said:

While I personally don't care for the style, it has every right to exist.

I just hate how media about killing dozens if not hundreds of human beings is okay, but anything involving sexuality is considered by many to be off limits. All of it should be permitted.

GoodGoshJosh

#4

GoodGoshJosh said:

Also, it's important to note that this game and its imagery are purely for what they expect a heterosexual male gamer to play and desire. As a queer gamer, I see this game and just roll my eyes as it's so obviously based on objectifying women in a creepy manner. Sure, it has every right to exist, but we can do better as people and gamers.

Blast

#7

Blast said:

I JUST WANT THESE JAPAN STUDIOS TO START GIVING THESE GIRLS OLDER AGES!!! Stop making these girls 14-16 and giving them womanly bodies! I've over 18 now! That stuff bothers me!!!!

Peach64

#9

Peach64 said:

I find the game hugely cringe-inducing, but just like the debate yesterday on Binding of Isaac, I'm not going to say it should not exist. I'll just avoid it. Is it really a good game thought? Metacritic seems to suggest otherwise.

KimimiStaff

#10

Kimimi said:

I personally find the issue isn't so much games like Senran Kagura by itself, but the sheer volume of games that are geared towards this demographic that's the problem. To my eyes mainstream gaming is pretty much one of three choices - do you want sexy ladies, guns, or a kids game? There's no sense of balance.

If the industry or supporters of this sort of look want to take some "heat" off themselves the best thing they can do isn't to go LOL TEENAGE BOYS, as the EU marketing campaign has done, but to make sure there are quality alternatives available without this young straight male slant. TV and movies have plenty of gratuitous flesh on display too; but the difference there is that how much of that you consume is more down to the individual than it is with gaming.

shingi_70

#11

shingi_70 said:

@Mizore

Well that doesn't change the fact that it might be a crappy potrayal of women. Though looking at the game it seems that it would be furthest thing.

I have more problems with the way the characters look underage.

spidey1010

#12

spidey1010 said:

I wouldn't say I find this kind of thing "offensive"...
It just strikes me as immature and cringe-worthy at first appearance, causing me to then avoid it.

eviLaTtenDant

#13

eviLaTtenDant said:

Damo wrote:

Senran Kagura Burst is actually quite a good game, with chaotic action, a long storyline, great music and some excellent visuals

Which is the only reason i'll be buying it whenever it actually releases in Germany.

I don't like the portrayal i've seen in the trailers and pics very much either and i can understand females that are offended by it and i wouldn't feel like i've missed out on much if this were never released in Europe.
All i'm saying is that i wouldn't "fight" for this game like i would for The Binding of Isaac where I'd say they should just put a warning there that it contains stuff that religious people might get offended by.

Blast

#15

Blast said:

@shingi_70 I hate how they are underrage too but thats' Japan's culture, man. That's the one of the very few things I hate about Japan. They consider middle school kids to be "adults" in a way.

Jayvir

#16

Jayvir said:

If people are against the sex appeal of women and are offended by big breasts, then people should be completely offended by the standard male image in games. They are usually a spiky haired, hulked out manly man with super muscles. There is objectification of both sexes. Everyone just seems to eager to ignore one side.

Gerbwmu

#17

Gerbwmu said:

It's a game. It has a rating. If someone wants to buy it so be it. I think there are worse things in life to worry about then this. If you get your morals, behavior, and personality from video games then the problem is much deeper then what game you are playing.

If you refuse to buy it because it bothers you....good for you. If you enjoy it because of the girls....well to each his own.....as long as you aren't hurting anyone else.....I don't care what you do in the privacy of your own home or in this case on your 3DS.

DarkKirby

#18

DarkKirby said:

Unless you think porn should be banned, you need to get off your politically correct obsessed high horse that video game females need to be about and with average to ugly looking females.

We all know men aren't objectified at all in the media right? Male protagonists in games are typically about ugly, overweight, weak men right? Oh wait, no, the men in video games are also typically muscular and handsome. So now you're talking about a double standard.

It's media for entertainment. Don't like it, don't buy it, don't tell other people they should feel offended by it and that it shouldn't exist because it makes some people feel bad or offended.

theblackdragonAdmin

#20

theblackdragon said:

"And should sites like Nintendo Life be speaking out against it?"

People? Sure, go for it. Websites, not so much. While I do happen to side with NL occasionally, I don't like the idea of potentially being wrangled into a political battle without my knowledge or consent just because I happen to have a shield here, nor do I like the idea of other members of staff being forced into the same sort of situation. I'd much rather people come to their senses on their own about things like this.

Zemus-DJ

#21

Zemus-DJ said:

You got to be joking right? Cause I mean it's so cool to blow someone's brains out. I rather my kids play something like this then to play a realistic shooter. Sex is a normal thing, we wouldn't be here after all. Killing someone isn't normal. Just my 2cents :P

CaviarMeths

#22

CaviarMeths said:

Does the game have an extremely limited appeal outside of its specific target audience? Of course. It knows it and doesn't try to pretend otherwise. It actually IS a good game without all the fanservice, but let's not try to hide the fact that it is a fanservice game. A lot of people won't like it. That's a given.

Is it damaging to impressionable minds or disrespectful to women? Lolno. Come on. It's silly cartoon cheekiness. This is about as disrespectful to women as Need for Speed is disrespectful to law enforcement. Yes, you have to outrun the cops in the game, but it's not teaching or encouraging anyone to outrun the cops in real life.

As for the ages of the girls, it's appropriate. The game is aimed at teenagers and the girls are teenagers. Oh noes.

TruenoGT

#23

TruenoGT said:

Just like movies, music, books, paintings, etc, the video game world should big enough to handle topics and themes of all varieties whether it's falling blocks or crazy boobs.

unrandomsam

#24

unrandomsam said:

@Blast I am not bothered about that particularly but it does creep me out when say a 20 year old woman is made to look about 12/13. For advertising and stuff.

ejvirzi

#25

ejvirzi said:

There is a difference in actual women asserting their sexuality, and game developers using sexuality as a marketing ploy. Acting as if this game is somehow feminist, or a positive portrayal of women, would be ridiculous. Even if the game has a deep story line, the problems remain. However, this doesn't mean the game is misogynist. Though maybe it is, i don't know.

Peach64

#26

Peach64 said:

@DarkKirby The male characters are strong and handsome, I'm guessing because that's what the male players want to be like. Do you think females want to look like these characters? Objectification isn't making characters too good to be true, it's rather twisting these characters into a male fantasy. As I said above, I don't think there's any reason to stop this kind of game existing, but just pointing out the situation a little different to strong/handsome male characters.

DamoAdmin

#27

Damo said:

@Jayvir As I mentioned in the feature, burly space marines aren't there to titillate female players, they're there to make male players feel powerful. The women in games like Senran Kagura are there purely as eye-candy.

GuSolarFlare

#28

GuSolarFlare said:

I don't see how this is any more offensive than many western games with all the sex stuff and all, saying this game is bad and overly sexist is either being naive, unaware of ANY game rated above 13, narrow minded or biased against japanese stuff....

MadchesterManc

#29

MadchesterManc said:

I wouldn't be surprised if the white Knight crusading regarding this game by male journalists is more offensive to some women as their basically portraying them to be frail & weak minded as to not make up their own minds on the games content by providing a review and boycott it in their ignorance.

I guess websites are going to start boycotting Otome games now too seen as they objectify males in a similar way? I doubt it...

sinalefa

#30

sinalefa said:

@Damo

Some of my female friends love superhero movies. And not because of the action or the plot, but because there are handsome men in tights or tight armor. You should have seen them squealing like schoolgirls when Henry Cavill appears bare chested in Man of Steel.

Kinda like Pixar or Dreamworks movies having innuendo jokes for the adults, I feel they are marketing ploys that appeal to both markets, for different reasons.

EarthboundBenjy

#33

EarthboundBenjy said:

The characters in this game are very well-developed. I can very much see this game appealing to many people, male and female, and not just boys looking for cheap titillation.
It's very obvious that the game is intended to provide said titillation, but it comes off as funny just as much as it comes off as sexy. I say it's fine that there are all sorts of games, stuff like this included.

PrincessSugoi

#34

PrincessSugoi said:

My answer to the question is no.

I'm sick of the idea that this type of thing can only be appealing to the hetero male audience and every female in the vicinity should have their panties in a knot. I'm also sick of this negative attention only being directed at things that overly sexualize women. There a lot of Japanese games and anime and such that feature women in a provocative manner but there's also plenty that depict males in that manner for the pure enjoyment of female otaku or fujoshi. Why doesn't anyone ever get on their soapbox for that part of the industry? All the reactions I ever see for that stuff is people shaking their heads then moving on but trade out that all male cast for a female one then suddenly it's a social debate. It's like an unconscious idea that only women can be objectified or "victims" because they're weak. When things like Free! can exist peacefully while Senran Kagura gets put on the guillotine, THAT'S what I personally find offensive as a female.

My attitude towards fanservice in general: It's just sex ffs. People like getting turned on as part of their entertainment just like people like getting scared or teary eyed. I only have a problem with it when it's used to cover up something that fails in other important aspects but SKB doesn't have that problem. It arguably has the problem in the title but from my perspective, it's just entertainment.

CaviarMeths

#35

CaviarMeths said:

The thing about doing the reverse of this and objectifying men for the primary purpose of titillating female gamers is that material actually does exist. You could even go so far as to say that BL/Shounen Ai works dominate fanfiction.

But the difference is that it just doesn't sell. We don't have Senran Kagura Burst with manly men bursting out of their clothes for all the girls out there because, let's be honest, no one would actually buy it.

And I'm not really willing to call the free market sexist. It's about as neutral as it gets.

Samed

#36

Samed said:

Is just awful, most of the male characters in games are really muscular and fit. Why is not that a male objectification? why is different if is made on a women?. This is absurd.

ejvirzi

#37

ejvirzi said:

Men are not historically oppressed as men, while women are historically oppressed because they are women. There is a major difference between when men are portrayed in a sexual manner than when women are.

PJEDavison

#38

PJEDavison said:

Here's the thing: A game character having large breasts does not automatically make it sexist or exploitative. Senran Kagura admittedly pushes the boundaries somewhat with its panty-flashing and whatnot, but this is a common ploy in both games and anime from Japan. There's nothing overtly or outright sexual in Senran Kagura; it's all silly teasing of the "point and giggle" mould, and to be honest after a while you simply stop noticing it.

Were the girls in Senran Kagura nothing more than sex objects or eye candy, I'd question its place on shelves. However, the fact is that Senran Kagura's characters are both well-written and well-defined; they're realised and explored in a high level of depth throughout the game's visual novel sequences, and it's abundantly clear that those who wrote the game have a huge amount of respect for them.

Sadly, there's a lot of people (not pointing fingers here, I might add!) who are only judging the game based on its most notorious elements without actually playing it — a matter not helped by the way it's been marketed and promoted. Talk to anyone who's actually playing and enjoying it, though, and their reaction will not be "lol, boobs" but rather more complex feelings about the characters, their motivations and their own personal experiences with the game.

This piece over on Tiny Cartridge is a great read that explores the matter in more detail: http://tinycartridge.com/post/76988591792/reconsidering-senran-kagura-burst-senran-kagura

TL;DR: I love Senran Kagura, and I will defend its right to exist to the death. Consider playing it in depth before judging it.

Peach64

#39

Peach64 said:

@Samed As has been pointed out a couple of times, those male characters are the sort of image that males want to be. They want to be muscular and fit, but do you think females want ridiculously over-sized breasts and skirts so tiny it shows off their underwear when they move?

I'm really shocked so many people think this is the same as a buff male character :o

There ARE things that objectify males in the same way this does to females, but in Western culture? Not so much.

WingedSnagret

#40

WingedSnagret said:

Instead of arguing about the whole sexual topic itself, I shall simply state that my main problem is with how unrealistic the girls are physically portrayed. The fact that their breasts are bigger then their heads is just stupid. Yeah they can be huge in real life, but only through plastic surgery.

The fact that a body part is embellished to nonsensical proportions simply to "increase" sex appeal doesn't seem right.

GuSolarFlare

#41

GuSolarFlare said:

@PJEDavidson I didn't get Senran Kagura yet but I agree with you how can super strong girls that aren't helpless and fight for themselves be seen as sexual objects?

NINTENCHIP

#42

NINTENCHIP said:

As for my own two cents:

1) The franchise crosses some lines, and it IS made purely for the gratification of male gamers. They can even be dressed up in pasties in the Vita game, for crying out loud. How would I know? A friend of mine has the Vita game. Total weab, so most Japan-stuff gets a pass from him. Including the rape stuff.

2) Sexually objectified characters aren't exactly sexist. It can be seen as demeaning, but you're not coming to any broad conclusions based on sex. You're not discriminating either. It's just a stupid character design choice solely to make men think with their peanuts. Not ban-worthy, but it's peculiar.

3) Lastly, I think women want to see themselves as desirable as possible when playing a game...but this is a "no". Men don't get the features thrown in a mess when designing men, but they do for girls, for some reason. If they're gonna make big boobs, at LEAST don't make the physics look like the freaking moon landing, or DoA on the PSP. They "plop", not bounce around in 30 directions. Part of the issue is that they don't even move in a way that even somewhat resembles real jiggly bits. It's creepy, and if they fixed that about the physics, it would definitely settle better with gamers, even if only by a little bit. THEN we could get to the other stuff (ages, costume choices, the whole "tearing" thing...)

PAAppleyard

#43

PAAppleyard said:

@willobee you said what I was going to say.

It's seems like its ok to nuke a city for example but when a game has busty female characters we have debates about sexism.

Personally I'd like to readdress the balance if it can be done in a non Pervy way. For example I don't think the old Tomb Raider games are at all pervy.

Yorumi

#44

Yorumi said:

There's a few different issues here. The first is sadly the game's existence says more about gamers than anything else. If it didn't sell they wouldn't make it, so clearly gamers are saying they want objectified women. I wish people did have more respect for women but some things never change.

Should it be banned? Certainly not by a government. By nintendo? It would have been nice to see them refuse to publish it. It would be nice to see them take a stand and say women just deserve more respect than that.

Should websites be getting into this? Hard to say, I don't really like how political games are becoming, on the other hand it is nice when some aspect of media actually stands up for some decency.

KimimiStaff

#45

Kimimi said:

@PJEDavison - That TinyCartridge post is quoting somebody with a direct financial/commercial interest in portraying the game in a positive light.

LordJumpMad

#46

LordJumpMad said:

Ahhh, the internet where perverts unite to stand up for what they think is right.
Hey fellas, you know one girl that won't judge you? Your left hand.

GalacticMario28

#47

GalacticMario28 said:

I'm not a fan of oversexualization like this, but I'm not about to try and stop it from existing. There's an audience for everything, including this kind of thing; rather than deny an audience what they want, I think it's best to take extra measures to make sure those who would be offended by it have as little exposure to it as possible. Obviously that's a lot easier said than done, but I think that's the closest to a win-win we can get in this situation.

linkzero65

#48

linkzero65 said:

Saying this game is sexist is like saying porno is sexist! yeah i know these girls are like what 16? but hey im in high school and there is a lot of girls showing their tits everywhere. and then again this game is japanese what did you expect?

NINTENCHIP

#49

NINTENCHIP said:

@Yorumi Well, respect for women =/= objectification of women. An objectified depiction of a person doesn't mean you don't respect that gender. It's just an objectified depiction of a person.

It shouldn't be banned by ANYONE. If gamers want it, they want it. Nintendo banning even this would only tarnish their rep more. It's already good/bad enough they don't have much in the way of violent games. This is really their only mature series they got on the 3DS.

PAAppleyard

#50

PAAppleyard said:

I would like to see debates about violence in games I think that's far more of a pressing issue!

WiiULoveSquid

#51

WiiULoveSquid said:

As long as the world convinces itself that nothing should be barred from the playground of the mind, then the potential reality of more peace and goodness in this world will always be in contention with that which is obsessed over in the mind.

Hunter-D

#55

Hunter-D said:

Not interested in games like Senran Kagura so I just don't buy them.
That's as much thought as I've ever given it.

ejamer

#56

ejamer said:

I think it's interesting to see where people draw these arbitrary lines over what is ok and what isn't. Sexism? Violence? These things are ok to exist, but not to market?

I don't really like the approach of the game in question so choose not to support it. For me, that's where the line is drawn and that's where it ends. Maybe we should all be more socially active and protest against the game... but my take is that this game is just a symptom of a larger cultural issue, and protesting over a video game won't promote actual change.

Phantom_R

#57

Phantom_R said:

Women are absolutely objectified in video games. But it's the same deal with men, too. One of the reasons why I love Phantom R (from Rhythm Thief) so much is that he's one of very few male characters who use agility over wit, and is capable of love without acting the least bit angsty.

Yes, women are more than sexy twigs with boobies, but let's also remember that men are more than dirty, beefy hulks who can't resist punching anything that moves.

Everyone objectifies everyone. That's the point I'm making.

shinokami

#59

shinokami said:

@NINTENCHIP In all honesty I bought the game because of the gameplay, the fanservice (which is not really much as they make it sound) is just an extra

sketchturner

#60

sketchturner said:

Men ought to be bothered by this just as much as women. Turning women into sex objects is ultimately bad for all of society. I agree with those saying violence in video games is a problem, but that doesn't diminish the dangers of sexism. Nothing good can come from either.

HylianJowiStaff

#61

HylianJowi said:

@ejamer I don't think I could possibly have worded a response more succinctly than that. That's precisely my thought.

Gioku

#63

Gioku said:

I honestly don't see it as a problem, so there's nothing to be ignored. It is what it is. Are these real girls? No, they are not. It's just like the "violence in video games" deal. How is sexuality worse than violence?

unrandomsam

#64

unrandomsam said:

@ejvirzi The thing is what modern feminists want is not equality (They are not pushing for an equal proportion of women to die doing the most dangerous jobs.) Or for father's to have equal rights when it comes to custody. So it ends up equality when it suits them special privileges otherwise which is not equality by definition.

Hong

#65

Hong said:

As a feminist, I have no issue with the portrayal of women in a game designed for sexual gratification.

My issue is when the sole representation of women in a product are to be victims or sexualized, or just obnoxiously designed based on some narrow scope of what it means to be a woman, in products where sexual or romantic themes are not the core value. Cases where male characters are treated like actual... people. This includes tropes such as the damsel in distress, bikini armour, and the token pink female.

PrincessSugoi

#66

PrincessSugoi said:

@Peach64

"There ARE things that objectify males in the same way this does to females, but in Western culture? Not so much."

Agreed. The problem here though is that this debate is over a Japanese game, a place where such a market actually does exist. If the point was specifically about Western gaming culture, a Western game would have been appropriate instead of a niche localization that wasn't going to appeal much more to anyone but weaboos.

Agreed on the rest of your comment as well but at the same time, it tickles me seeing the constant debates on how women are drawn in comic books to titillate male readers meanwhile, me and other female comic book fans are drooling over how hot Scott Summers looks in spandex. :P

shinokami

#68

shinokami said:

To everyone saying that this game is oversexualized and degrades women:

You have not played it and you truly have no clue what you are talking about, the advertising makes it look more perverted than it actually is, and Homura is by far one of the most baddonkey and strongest female characters I have seen in video games. The gameplay is great and the story is good, the sexual themes is just Japan's humor and I find it ironically when we bash them when we have shows like Family Guy and South Park
Please watch the profanity — TBD

BakaKnight

#69

BakaKnight said:

I don't know... I find myself agreeing with the main point, BUT find the game choice "not right"... I mean... there are a lot of games made with pure "fanservice" which has only that as sell point. Such games could be considered an offense for women, I can understand that view; indeed I think it's sad when developpers just place big breasted girls in a product and "done, it will sell!". It's an offense to all gamers in general, not just to women >_>;

But Senren Kagura Burst has also gameplay as far as I know, the review here was very good as even reminded in the article (would like to say I'm agreeing with it, but the title in Italy will arrive next month -o-; ), so it should maybe deserve to not be mixed with pure "hey, look here, BREASTS!!!" games.

Definitly anyway I see the problem and why this game got involved in it so so much, while, in their way, humouruous the advertise and cover choice for this game really annoyed me somehow. Finally a fanservice game with real gameplay come out and what they do? They sell it only for the breasts. pushing only that aspect to the extreme OF COURSE!
This time more than the game is the advertise to blame, they made a title with a lot of good elements look like it has only breasts, breasts and more breasts and that own the game is like owning some extreme porn... I guess that will catch a lot of teenagers attentions? It will make it sell way more? I don't know, but surely it ruins the image of the game -_-;

Kirk

#70

Kirk said:

"Should we boycott Senran Kagura Burst's balloon-breasted characters?"

Nope.

If there's room for things like porn and hentai in this world, which CLEARLY there is, then there's room for a video game where you get to see some big bouncy fully covered boobs.

I think I've said enough.

Dave24

#71

Dave24 said:

So we should be also offended that the guys can't have fun with Barbies? Or by Playboys etc.? This game demographic is clear.

GuSolarFlare

#72

GuSolarFlare said:

@shinokami the anime I know that gets the closest to horrible things like South Park and Family Guy is Gintama and Gintama is tame compared those waste shows

DarkKirby

#73

DarkKirby said:

@Peach64
It's still a double standard. It's saying it's okay to objectify men but not women just because more people complain about it.

I don't give a crap that men in the media, in and out of video games, are typically handsome, muscular, and good looking in general. I don't feel like less of a person or that the media is creating an unfair image for most average men to have to live up to. They pick those men to be shown BECAUSE they are good looking, and like it or not MOST people would rather look at someone who is good looking rather than ugly, even other men. It's the same reason women in the media, in and out of video games, are typically good looking. I would rather look at something that is good looking rather than ugly. That's all it comes down to.

I am not "happy" or "okay" that male protagonist are typically good looking because I want to "be like that". Such a thing never even crossed my mind. I was always just indifferent toward it. I do not expect myself to be or strive to be a handsome muscleman because of the media or video games. So no, it's not "more okay" to objectify men because "men want to be good looking but women don't". That's ridiculous. Given the chance, I think most people would choose to have amazing genes that made them extremely good looking (by whatever standards current society deemed attractive), smart, and strong. It's not a one sided for one sex thing. Most people aren't extremely good looking, smart, and strong, that's life.

You should know, I am 100% for free speech and against censorship and as such am against political correctness. I know you said you don't think the game shouldn't exist because it's not politically correct, I'm just explaining the flawed reasoning that it's okay to objectify men but not women because men want to be good looking but women don't or shouldn't have to be, but it amounts to the same thing. In the end you are saying it's okay to objectify men but not women just because more people complain about it.

HappyHappyist

#74

HappyHappyist said:

saying games like this shouldn't exist is like saying that girly magazines shouldn't exist. if you say this game is stupid and shouldn't exist, you are just wrong.
everything in the media has an audience, if if you don't like balloon breasted females, you don't need to play Senran Kagura, nor do you need to buy a girly magazine. no one is making you buy anything, so saying what other people should or shouldn't be allowed to buy, play, or read. if you find something offensive, that doesn't mean everyone else does, you don't need to play the game.
also, over-suxualization is ALL OVER the place in the media. Movies, books, comic books, magazines, and video games. women are over-sexualized EVERYWHERE in the media, so don't act like when it's in a videogame, a crime has been committed.
i've said it before, but video games are about as sexual as the real world. the reason there are strip clubs in GTA is because they're there in real life and people like going there. the reason some women have bubble-breasts in cartoons is because girls still get breast implants. until the day comes that all women treat themselves with dignity, we won't see the end of over-sexualization anywhere.
tl;dr : if you don't like bubble-breasted women, or anything for that matter, don't let you preferences get in the way of my preferences.

Senario

#75

Senario said:

Meh, I see no problem with this type of game besides my personal adversity to their supposed age due to preference.

You aren't really doing anything but looking at appealing(attractive) characters and people have been doing that forever, recently for actors (Chris Hemsworths Thor) to actresseses. In art it is completely acceptable for a full nude sculpture of a woman. And these games don't take that leap into sexual activity or rape. Sure, there are games that do. But they are mostly on PC and generally a small bit of niche games, half of which do have a legit story. Oh and western games are far worse at it because romances are not very believable, I had trouble suspending my disbelief in dragon age and Mass effect. The female chars romance sequences were not very convincing.

Squid

#76

Squid said:

Personally, I play it and I feel there's a lot more to the characters than just the boobs. They have personalities, and dialogue. Most of them (some of them just submit to the usual cliche anime tropes) are actually strong female characters, while maintaining the fact that a strong female character doesn't need to be a tough lesbian. Plus the majority of the game doesn't really feel too focused on the sex appeal. It pokes fun at it when it can, but its obviously done as humor, and not integral to enjoying most of the game. After playing it and understanding the characters, I've come to love some of them, not cause of their boobs, because they're actually likable characters. None of them are really objectified in my book.

Another thing, there's only one male main character in the game, and he never makes a comment on the girls or is the punchline of some nosebleed-type Japanese humor. He treats the other characters like human beings, and doesn't act sexist toward them. Honestly it's one thing I find that ever-so-slightly sets this apart from most anime that often fall victim to that, like Gurren Lagann, Kill la Kill, etc.

SanderEvers

#77

SanderEvers said:

Well now we're on the subject of Lara Croft...

http://www5.picturepush.com/photo/a/12407128/img/Anonymous/Lara's-Evolution-Chart-2013.bmp

Her body has had some transformations over the years. More detailed, and smaller breasts. She does look more realistic in the later games.
I do prefer more realistic characters than characters with unnatural big breasts.
But I'm in no way opposed to a strong female lead in a game. And we get more and more of those. (Remeber Me, Mirror's Edge, Beyond Good and Evil, Metroid, etc) Which is good ;)

Also the point of this soap box. Well, in any case rule 34 must be applied. You should know that ;) And this game, I think it's okay for the people that like such games. I wouldn't play it, though.

noctowl

#78

noctowl said:

I like supporting anything that makes "social justice warriors" angry.

Do you know that some people are angry that Wii Fit trainer is in Smash because they say it's " fat shaming" and "thin privilege"

So yeah, if this game is upsetting feminazis then I absolutely support it.

TromboneGamer

#80

TromboneGamer said:

Objectification of women is always a touchy subject, but many a time feminists lash out at this sexualization or ant-feminists will lash out at even the smallest of censorship. It's either hard or impossible to find middle ground. It's a hate or be hated world right now.

Tiredman

#81

Tiredman said:

This game has an age rating of Teen. Teens are usually past the impressionable brain stage of development. This is pretty much the same thing as tons of other shows on t.v. be they gore, over the top comedy, like South Park, and so on. As somebody said earlier, if a teenager is going to get their morals and ways to live from a game, then something is terribly wrong with their parents.

Live and let live. The developers of this game aren't hurting anybody. The only ones who feel hurt are those who are so ingrained in feminism that seeing an underwear model in a commercial makes them take up arms.

BoobooMama

#82

BoobooMama said:

Oh noes! The white knights need to stop acting as if though women are fragile little snow flakes. Stop pretending to be offended, sexuality is nothing to fear.

Super_Gravy

#83

Super_Gravy said:

I kinda want to see an separate poll for male and female to see the result and maybe that poll will tell us more of ourselves?

AugustusOxy

#84

AugustusOxy said:

This crap is really childish idealistic drivel.

All humans are objectified. That is what society does. The moment you get a job you become an employee, if you make bread, you become a baker. All things to take away your individuality.

If feminists would actually play senran (which is an amazing game) they'd realize that the women in Senran happen to be some of the most fleshed out and deep female characters I've seen in a game in a long time. God forbid women have large breasts and be sexual in nature.

This isn't an issue of how women are portrayed in video games, its an issue of women not liking men drooling over stuff like this. Women are allowed to complain about this but yet they have horrible idealizations and objectifications all over day time television.

Fricken deal with it, the game was fun as hell, and I would have played it if it were about dudes with their clothes exploding off-- people act like clothes exploding off in fighting games is a new concept. Big burley menly men have been blowing their clothes off in anime and video games for years and years. To see a girl do it once is a nice breath of fresh air.

#dealwith #growup #feministslikestupidsexiststufftoo

6ch6ris6

#85

6ch6ris6 said:

still no one cares about how men are portraied in media (videogames included): super bodybuilder-type figures with beards and total macho behaviour

AugustusOxy

#86

AugustusOxy said:

If I see anymore pro feminists crap on this news site I'll probably stop following it, I'm not joking. Stop bringing crap like this up to appeal to social justice warrior women who would rather seen the censorship of art, just as long as they get to see what they want in pop culture instead of what men might want to see.

#womenbetryingtocontroleandcensoreverything #howisthatequality

Jayvir

#87

Jayvir said:

Even with the porn industry, and everyone's lack of caring for the actresses in that media, they'll pick on a video game? These games have every right to exist. Just because you don't agree or like it, it doesn't mean that everything in the vein should cease to continue. If you don't like it, don't buy it, don't pay attention to it. The vast majority of the vocal feminists are pathetic people and what they lobby for is not equal rights between male and female.

Yorumi

#88

Yorumi said:

It's really sad how many people commenting feel the need to be insulting in this discussion. If you can't make your point without an insult don't make it.

mhsillen

#89

mhsillen said:

A bigger concern is the way Samus was turned into a messy bowl of jello in other M

Ernest_The_Crab

#90

Ernest_The_Crab said:

@PJEDavison Doesn't that make it ironic then that those people are in fact the ones treating the girls as "sex objects"? They obviously haven't put in the effort to research any aspect of the game and are judging the characters based on looks?

Which is effectively what treating someone as a sex object means..."Objectification more broadly means treating a person as a commodity or an object, without regard to their personality or dignity"

AJ_Lethal

#92

AJ_Lethal said:

Whoa, it's this DragonCrownGate 2.0 beta?

Seriously, I find Samus characterization in Metroid Other M way more appaling than big-breasted teenage gals duking it out.

Gintoki3

#94

Gintoki3 said:

I have to agree with AugustusOxy that I'm sick to death of feminist crap everywhere. :/ It's ONE game.. and only a FEW games do anything remotely "objectifying" to FAKE women. It's meant for guys that like that genre, it's not meant for people that hate it to cry about it.. seriously. I doubt Senran Kagura affects anybody other than the people that already liked it. Stop trying to ruin gaming.

SamirMalik

#96

SamirMalik said:

@Blast to be fair, the age of consent (legal age...kinda) in japan is 13. You can even live on your own at that age if you need to.

Yomerodes

#97

Yomerodes said:

Marvelous produced a lot of games in the past 10 years that I consider top notch (Little King's Story, Muramasa, Arc Rise Fantasia, Avalon Code, Harvest Moon A Wonderful Life, No More Heroes, the entire Rune Factory Franchise, etc.)

When I saw that they were behind Senran Kagura, I decided to give the game a chance (if it ever appeared in America, that is), and I did, not because of the girls or because I thought the game was going to be perfection incarnated, I gave the game a chance because I like the company, and I trust them in this kind of situtations.

I got Senran Kagura Burst during the first week of release, so far having put more than 10 hours in it, and so far being completely pleased with my purchase. I like the game and I like the gameplay, the funny and nonsensical fanservice is just a curious novelty.

Ryno

#98

Ryno said:

Please punch me if I think any video game character is attractive for longer then one second. Also, I think this game looks ridiculous.

mhsillen

#99

mhsillen said:

I have a problem with Samus going from a fearless warrior into a weak willed do as the man says therapy needing chicken.

DualWielding

#100

DualWielding said:

My fear is that nintendo would get scared by the controversy and ban the localization of the sequel

maC_N_Cheezer

#101

maC_N_Cheezer said:

@Peach64 I don't want to be like those make characters. I'm fine with who I am. In fact it make women who see men like that in video games, TV and movies have to high of standards. Don't put opinions in other peoples mouths to justify your own.

steamtrain

#102

steamtrain said:

If you actually are worried about being objectified, you should stop identifying yourself as the personification of the tragic history of abused women.

bloodycelt

#103

bloodycelt said:

@Blast
90210, Friday the 13th, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Carrie, Romeo and Juliet?
Is it really that different, watching a 30 year old woman pretend to be a high school girl or an animated character drawn like an adult?

Ralizah

#105

Ralizah said:

The marketing was probably a bit crass, but the controversy over this title is blown out of proportion. It's not like this is some other extreme title that actually is deeply offensive. Our culture is already inundated with sexual objectification of both men and women, only we pretend not to notice it.

Let's be honest: people aren't offended by this game because of the fanservice. They're offended because the game doesn't apologize for its juvenile preoccupation with the female body.

And, to be frank, I see nothing wrong with female characters being designed to fit male fantasies if it has a primarily male demographic as its intended target. Plenty of media aimed at women portrays the men involved as impossibly handsome and sexy individuals. Should we ban that, too?

MadchesterManc

#106

MadchesterManc said:

@Yomerodes It's so easy to spot those that haven't played the game & those that have. Those, like you & I, that have played the game seem to have been left with the same impression that it's a fun & enjoyable game with an interesting cast. A far cry from the usual slurs and jibes from those that clearly haven't played the game like to throw around.

@Ernest_The_Crab That's a really good point
point

SamirMalik

#107

SamirMalik said:

@shingi_70 Well in Japan they aren't underaged. They are above 13, the Japanese legal age, but not 18, the "max love" age. At age 13 you can live on your own.

Squiggle55

#108

Squiggle55 said:

Should games like this be boycotted? No. Absolutely not. As a father I am 100% more likely to feel the compulsion to boycott games like Call of Duty, because I fear the desensitization to violence much more than I do the exposure to nudity. Sex is natural, murder is not.

I'm the last person in the world who would discriminate against anybody, and I would never intentionally be insulting to a woman, or anyone for that matter. I believe in women's rights the same way I believe in rights for everyone. But women who are offended by the sexualization of humans need to step back and think about what they're even mad about. They weren't disrespected. Nobody insulted them. Would they feel the same way if someone made a game with the sexualization of men? Spoiler alert: no they wouldn't.

SamirMalik

#109

SamirMalik said:

I find the game to be funny. Basically, boobs are like the japanese version of penis jokes, though are MUCH less disgusting than talking about your "size" all day. Yuck. Though I perfer the fanservice jokes as long as they don't go WAY too far to the point that its like a....you know.... rather than a silly action game and make them go bare like in Highschool DxD. For a comedy that went too far.
Please watch the profanity — TBD

PrincessSugoi

#110

PrincessSugoi said:

Reading some of the comments in defense of Senran's characters, I was just reminded of the first visual novel segment for Asuka.

A boy confesses to her out of the blue. She doesn't know what to make of it since they just met. She starts to develop feelings for him as they see each other more and she learns more of how he is as a person. She still is conflicted though because she thinks love would be too complicated being a Shinobi. Her grandfather Hanzo then tells her of how her parents met and her father gave up his dream so he could work in Hanzo's sushi restaurant and support the love of his life's career as a Shinobi. Seeing that her crush has a promising career as a baseball star, Asuka then makes the decision to reject the guy's feelings so they could both pursue their dreams without a relationship possibly interfering.

Just a little insight for those that think just because Asuka has balloons for breasts that makes her any less stronger of a character than Lara Flatchest up there.

@Ernest_The_Crab Yes, it's very ironic indeed.

BossBattles

#111

BossBattles said:

If this is the route this site is going to take, I have no reason to visit it. Men suffer ALL the same things, so to only point it out for women is what is TRULY sexist.

Bass_X0

#112

Bass_X0 said:

Eh. People complain when they can't see Randy get an abortion in the UK version of the new South Park game yet they also complain when cleavage is being shown in Senran Kagura Burst...

BossBattles

#114

BossBattles said:

Impossibly large breasts? Please. Some women have large natural breasts. It is sexist to point out large breasts as a "dirty" or "offensive" thing. LOL

TheAdrock

#115

TheAdrock said:

The objectification of women is not a problem. Women ARE objects of male sexual desire, and 99.9% of women LIKE IT THAT WAY... or else women wouldn't try so hard to look good for us (hair, nails, fitness, bras, heels, perfume, et al). If you disagree then you are naive.

SocksandSocks

#117

SocksandSocks said:

Good article. Ballanced and fair. I don't know how I feel about it. I won't lie and say I haven't been attracted to the coverage of this game, but I do feel a little uneasy about the whole thing. I suppose this sort of game is to be expected in an industry whose two highest selling games last year were 1. a war sim and a sandbox where you are free to kill anyone you want. I'm not saying I wouldn't buy either of these games if they had come to Wii U (I did get Black Ops 2, but skipped Ghosts), but per unit sold the medium has more questionable content than the film industry.

Ryno

#118

Ryno said:

@theadrock13: Depends if woman can capitalize on their sexuality then they may enjoy being objectified. But for some woman "objectification" can lead to all types of insecurities, eating, and mood disorders, etc.

GuSolarFlare

#119

GuSolarFlare said:

ok, after the post #117 I give up on defending the japanese media and I'll side with the fake moralists......
that was going too far.

Squid

#120

Squid said:

@theadrock13 Gay women don't even account for only .01% of all women, thus your argument is already wrong even if i didn't already not agree with it.
Please watch the insults — TBD

TheAdrock

#121

TheAdrock said:

^ naive. My original statement remains true and cannot be disproved. The only people who deny truth have been brainwashed or have no understanding of human sexuality.

Onett

#122

Onett said:

The fact that rubbish like Senran Kagura Burst sells is indicative of the consumer. It's a shame that Marvelous AQL resorted to cheap marketing gimmicks to sell a surprisingly solid game that didn't require the raunchy tactics.

R-L-A-George

#123

R-L-A-George said:

@theblackdragon Amen! Also leaving room for social justice nuts and special snowflakes flaming looking for attention and them not taking responsibility for their trolling. Is an issue. When you block them they may go into playing the victim and martyr, calling on their army. They're like 4chan. D:

@boxmonkey Unless you're being sarcastic, bad idea. We live in a world where woman, are different shapes and sizes. The SG girls are not terribly unrealistic.

@Squiggle55 Yes the make games with sexualized men, they just don't go beyond shirtless and with underwear because with exceptions. Men are funny naked to both genders, as does unrealistically sized genitals. Woman have big breast, natural to fake and they appeal to both genders.

@bossbattles AMEN

Honestly, People that complain about this game have not seen Queen's Blade which has an episode where a character pretty much gets raped during a fight. QB is an anime about a woman only fighting tournament.

Despite being a bit kinky, SK is nothing. Although it is rather typical in harem genre of anime for there to be at least one female character that has the privilege to molest another female, whether it's accidental, playful or lust.

nin

#124

nin said:

There's objectification of both sexes in media. People just tend to ignore the male side because they think that all male objectification is positive while all female objectification is negative, which is not necessarily the case. First of all, romance novels aimed towards women are a thing. Second, the sexualized female characters are not always weak or subservient to men. While I won't deny there are cases of female objectification where they are certainly are, Senran Kagura isn't one of them. Sexualized does not equal sexist.

Romeo

#125

Romeo said:

so sad that people always have to make such a big deal about stuff like this, really annoying
sexism.. feminists.. ahhh, just be quiet :/

Yorumi

#127

Yorumi said:

@R-L-A-George pointing to other bad behavior isn't a justification for more bad behavior. The topic is specifically about this game, there's been nothing to suggest the people who have a problem with this game don't also have a problem with a lot of other serializing and objectifying of women.

@Romeo you don't have to be a feminist, or even female, to think women deserve to be treated better than this.

Dark-Link73

#129

Dark-Link73 said:

My comment most likely be lost at the bottom but what the heck...

Any women (and person in general for that matter) that complaints of the objectification of women (OoW) in video games need to wake up and smell the coffee. SEX SELLS! and as long as it continue to sell, objectification of women will continue to exist. OoW is EVERYWHERE. TV, magazines, internet, books, movies, EVERYWHERE. All those women that loved Fifty Shades of Grey? OoW is in it. Peach in Strikers? OoW is in it. The Bachelor TV show? OoW is in it. Stiletto shoes and summer wear? You can bet your butt OoW is in it!!!!

Do I enjoy it? As much as the next guy! Does that man I advocate it? Hell no (I have a daughter and I know how much she'll struggle in this man-oriented world). The point is, as long as we are driven to procreate in a sexual way for the continuity of the species, OoW will exist.
Please watch the profanity — TBD

Romeo

#130

Romeo said:

@Onett or maybe you're just uptight and can't let some people enjoy games you don't

@Yorumi
that's not what im saying... im saying that always talking about it and making such a big deal because of a game like this.. is just pathetic
so what.. games like this aren't supposed to exist anymore? because women feel so inferior because of it?

ohhh.. buhu.. its a game, move on and stop crying
always making such a big deal about stuff like this is just pathetic and won't help, just don't buy the game if it's not for you and move on

Eisenbolan

#131

Eisenbolan said:

I am forwarding this article to a jezebel.com forum. Its an interesting well written article.

Beetlejuice

#132

Beetlejuice said:

@Ryno

Ya, because none of those problems affect young males either, right?

Plenty of males have eating disorders, body image issues, obsessions with working out and low self esteem based on their bodies as well. Lets not pretend these issues are exclusive to women.

For every game that "objectifies" women, there are ten that objectify men as hyper aggressive, musclebound meatheads, yet there are no special interest groups whining about that.

Yorumi

#133

Yorumi said:

@Romeo it's not crying it's just encouraging people to show some respect to others, as well as some maturity. Just because you can do something doesn't make it right.

vattodev

#134

vattodev said:

Even though the concept of SKB is a fun idea (brawler with air combos and specials), the excessive abuse of things that flirt with pornography doesn't really appeal to me. It's weird, because I like games with sexy girls, like the Warriors Orochi series, for example. But in those games, even though there are sexy girls, it's not forced into your game. You can certainly play without any visual abuse. SKB crosses that line and focuses too much on a very specific group of people that want a game that has 100% fan serviced characters. It's similar to porn, but lighter. Though I read that (as most japanese fanserviced games) there is a lot of character development in SKB, which is exactly the opposite of objectification.

KarateKid1234

#135

KarateKid1234 said:

No, I refuse to boycott Video Game Characters. It's just like that degrading, feminist campaign "Ban bossy". I think we should all boycoot today's society and it's very often naivety.
I mean, COME ON! Usually i'm a lazy, normal internet fr00b, and I usually don't read long articles, but if you're going to be against a simple game, a simple piece of plastic, either you are kidding, trying to take away a simple inanimate object or just that.......well, maybe I'm getting carried away, but come on! If you think this is degrading women, that's stupid. Sometimes, they degrade themselves. Same goes for FEMINISTS. They are probably the level of the Pineapple. A lot of Feminists are hated for reasons, and it's because they can be very stupid. Anyone can be stupid, but i'm just pointing out they are. in the end, everyone today has been dumbed down to the level of a kidnegardener. Honestly, as you can tell, Senran Kagura is like an Anime-based game. In anime, Girls (and boys, in all honesty) are dumbed down. Honestly, I thought it was a bad thing, but when we ended up to today, I just feel it's as equal as it is.
Look, I am a raging nugget here, yes I am. I am a raging little fanboy. I am, whatever insult you call me. Yes. Except you guys need to wake the (Super Nintendo, now 40% off! -1993) up and realize, that it's a game! The way it objectifies a certain gender is fine. You can have whatever opinions on it. I just feel people need to stop being nitpicky pansies about the game. Everything I am saying is arguable. This is just my point of view. I'm not sure if I read this article right, but from the looks of the poll, and the Chris-Chan Ken Penders God-like (sarcasm) comments, I'm sure i'm right

...jesus tapdancing christ, my jimmies are rustled! >;( no, really. i've never been so mad in my life. i'm just this kind of guy.

Romeo

#137

Romeo said:

so what.. a game in which you can see some cleavage is a big deal now?
it has to do with "respect" ??

the way i see it... developers are working on this game.. it's their (+ the publishers) choice what they're gonna work on... then they'll release it

people who like it = buy it
people who don't = ignore it and move on

if it's not for you, stop whining
sex sells, deal with it.. it's always been that way. why does this 1 game bother/affect you so much?
"doens't make it right" .. so developing a game like this isn't okay?

why not? just because you don't like it?
guess what.. not everyone is as uptight as you are... and since we're talking about "maturity"
it would be mature to just move on and stop whining over things which don't affect you in any way

TheAdrock

#138

TheAdrock said:

@JohnRedcorn I don't disagree with you, except that "men as hyper aggressive, musclebound meatheads" is a stereotype not a sexual objectification. But certainly men are viewed as sex objects as are women — and rightly so. If not then the species would die out. Men go to strip joints and women go to the male review... not for an emotional connection but to see sexual objects. These are just facts of nature that naive feminists wish to pretend doesn't exist, meanwhile they paint their nails too...

TrueWiiMaster

#139

TrueWiiMaster said:

This reeks of hypocrisy. So this game shouldn't be supported because of how it depicts women, but similar depictions of men in video games don't matter? That's a double standard. If you complain about this but have no problem with buff, shirtless guys, you're probably a hypocrite.

Beetlejuice

#141

Beetlejuice said:

@TrueWiiMaster

Mario being a fat, blue collar Italian guy with a mustache who speaks broken english is a racial caricature too. Hopefully NL writes an article about this disgusting fact soon.

KarateKid1234

#143

KarateKid1234 said:

@JohnRedcorn I love you.

@LunaPon-3 That's just Phil Fish dumb. That's basically boycotting Cartoons. I don't want to hear any B.S. like "it has a different art style so iz diffurent". So, is Rayman Legends a picture book? Is a Tomato a Vegetable? Is a Human a Robot? I wouldn't think so.

unrandomsam

#144

unrandomsam said:

@Yorumi It is not real - it is harmless.

It is also not being used as an impossible template causing real issues like lots of the so called female empowerment garbage.

I find it highly unlikely that this game will cause a single female to try and become like any of its characters using whatever methods.

GuSolarFlare

#145

GuSolarFlare said:

@LunaPon-3 yes let's completely boycott the japanese media.
goes watch D-Frag(yeah the one with the girl so busty that her jacket's zipper went flying and knocked out the MC)

unrandomsam

#147

unrandomsam said:

Ignoring these articles eventually would make them stop (Little chance of that happening though which is somewhat amusing).

OGGamer

#148

OGGamer said:

"especially the UK YouTube spots which likened the title to the kind of dirty magazines teenage boys would (secrete)under their beds "
Ewwwwwwww I hope that was a typo Damien .

VincentV

#149

VincentV said:

This is why I'm actually interested in the new Tomb Raider. Lara Croft is an actual character, not some model. The gameplay is also good I've heard. I'll support an honest effort when I see one.

gthegman157

#150

gthegman157 said:

I think a better point is who the hell is aroused by video game characters? masturbating to virtual and especially anime characters is f*cked up. I have never comprehended how anime porn exists

KeithTheGeek

#151

KeithTheGeek said:

I suppose it all comes down on how you view it. I personally think it's entirely possible to still respect women (and men, depending on circumstance) while enjoying media that objectifies them. It's the same debate over violent media- just because you might enjoy blowing someone's brains out in GTA doesn't mean you'll go out and do the same for real. Likewise, whatever crude reasons you have for playing a game like this one doesn't mean you'll go out and treat a woman like an object.

Saying we should boycott the game is silly. It's up to the consumer to do their research and decide for themselves whether they feel the game crosses the line. For my part, I think it's immature and a bit cheeky, and I'll probably never buy the game, but it's not because I like or dislike the art. It'd be based on if the game was interesting enough to actually be worth playing.

I'd also like to point out that the poll options are silly, as well. It's entirely possible to think the game doesn't look appealing and still think it isn't sexist. It almost seems as if you're trying to force a certain idea onto us- that male gamers can't help but find the game pleasing because of its well-endowed cast of characters.

AyeHaley

#152

AyeHaley said:

I must say, guys get sexualized as well..not as much as women but still quite a lot.

AcesHigh

#153

AcesHigh said:

This is an old topic and gets older and crustier every time I read it. This debate has been going on since boobs evolved from a pallet of 256 colors to a bunch of triangles. But the argument is even older than that. It's been argued the same with movies, TV and any other pop culture were "perfection" is delivered to a consumer that demands no less. The proportions in gaming women characters vary form thin and lithe to athletic to bombshell - just as in movies, TV, cartoons and reality TV. But the same goes for men. No one talks about the impossibly muscled men no shorter than 6'4" that are constantly delivered through not only TV, etc. - but games too. Look at the male heroes. And like women, not ALL mae characters are impossibly muscled and fit. But the vast majority are still very handsome and very, very fit. More so than probably 80% of the world's populace.

So if we're going to continue to talk about this tired subject, why don't we open it up to not just objectification of women, but the bamboosling of the general public by multiple industries - trying to sell us a Utopian view of life. And if we DO argue this, then it's very simple... history has shown time and time again that we don't buy less than perfection... we may want to debate it. But... sorry folks... the same people crying about the objectification of women in games (TV, movies, etc.) will be the first to walk right past a product where average, overweight Plain Jane with bad skin, nappy hair and crooked teeth is the main focus - unless it's comedy. Would love to put this topic to rest finally.

AcesHigh

#156

AcesHigh said:

@KarateKid1234 Nice avatar dude! I guess I'm not the only person imagining that Felix Jr's. Golden hammer ("handed down by Daddy", per Wreck it Ralph) came from Mario!

WesCash

#157

WesCash said:

The game clearly objectifies women, that's not even up for debate. But as silly and tasteless as it may be, it has every right to exist. I'd say the same thing about a game with scantily clad males in it.

The_Fox

#158

The_Fox said:

People absolutely unwilling to even consider the possibility of women being objectified in games (which seems to be about half of the posters here) makes me sad for humanity.

KarateKid1234

#160

KarateKid1234 said:

@The_Fox It's a Video Game; if a game hurts you so much, you must be new. It's. FICTIONAL. Not, REAL. When has Italians ever started squishing Midgets? When has Hedgehogs ever started eating chili dogs, wearing gloves, wearing sneakers, and didn't know how to swim?

Ryno

#161

Ryno said:

@WesCash: "The game clearly objectifies women, that's not even up for debate. But as silly and tasteless as it may be, it has every right to exist. I'd say the same thing about a game with scantily clad males in it. "

Yeah, those games that contain the men who wear thongs and have the waxed chests totally deserve to exist. In fact we need more of them.

R-L-A-George

#162

R-L-A-George said:

@Yorumi I wasn't making a justification. I was just saying that there are worse. We live in world of odd sexualism and fetishes. In anime, male characters more likely get beat up for even attempting what most female characters get away with.
There is a little female empowerment, in playing a character we like aesthetically and move set wise that people may find offensive, sexually objectified and just plain unrealistic. We all objectify and we'd be hypocrites to curse men to death just because they may objectify woman.

AcesHigh

#163

AcesHigh said:

@The_Fox Well... as I mentioned in my post, just turn the TV on, go to the movies or pick up any one of the trash rags in your supermarket and you will probably start weeping where you stand. Because the issue is much bigger than video games. The problem is that the reason that we BUY this stuff is BECAUSE of our humanity. Our DNA is written to desire certain physical traits in choosing out mates. If you want to blame someone, blame God or the Big Head in the sky for wiring us this way (same for women towards men, BTW - but we don't talk about that because games are still predominantly male). Also, if you want to blame someone, blame ourselves for not buying games, movies, shows, magazines that show plane Jane with her acne and pooch are the main focus of the product.

Tryken

#165

Tryken said:

You know, I come to Nintendolife to avoid the overly-politically-correct blog spam of Kotaku and other Gawker websites.

Why don't we address Dante's design from Devil May Cry? What about animes like "Free"? Kuroko no Basket? What about the massive objectification and slash of the two brothers in Supernatural? Shirtless Thor? One thing I really like about Japan, especially in anime, is that they're not afraid to appeal to both female and male sexuality. Yet here we immediately throw out a political correct card and go conservative here. It doesn't bother me if exaggerated males are presented for the entertainment of women. I think women are smart enough to separate fantasy from reality. Why isn't this credit given to men?

The problem with the "this game has over-the-top sexy girls, therefor it advances the objectification of women" is that 1.) It's a slippery slope fallacy and 2.) It stifles expression in art. Does killing droves of people in GTA cause respect for the law to decrease in reality? No, it doesn't. Does porn convince you that when you get pizza delivered by a blonde she should rip her top off? No, because it's fantasy meant for entertainment. It's just important that those who are mature enough to separate fantasy and reality play it. And at the end of the day? Just like WesCash said, it has the right to exist. You don't get to fight for video games being an art and then turn around and start censoring it. It's hypocritical. If a certain piece of art doesn't appeal to you for a personal reason, don't buy it.

Please don't become like Kotaku and start witch hunting whatever politically correct topic is currently trending at the time, especially one as false-positive as this one.

AcesHigh

#166

AcesHigh said:

@KarateKid1234 The only thing that foils this theory (which saddened me) is that Felix referred to Mario as "Mario" when he thought he was knocking at the penthouse door (when it was really Ralph). Felix doesn't seem like the type to call his dad by his first name. :(

Stu13

#168

Stu13 said:

I am very much a progressive liberal in my private life. A white male who is a big supporter of equal rights for everyone who is not one or either of those things.

That being said, I still frickin' love this game.

It's a video game populated with make-believe characters. You'd have to be pretty sick to hold women to some sort of exaggerated, cartoonish standard of beauty because of Senran Kagura Burst.

Ren

#169

Ren said:

Nice that people can at least acknowledge that this is indeed an issue. The point is not "should we censor it?" it's about a larger scale problem that men; people to understand why it's not ok to just ignore it forever so the impulse to create games like this just isn't as strong and accepted.
Stuff is ridiculous and embarassing; Sex is normal and it does sell; I like sex as much as the next person but this doesn't make it just fine to have every fictional female character wearing lingerie and tits popping out as their only "personality trait". The RPG stuff is sometimes the worst in that there are these female "warriors" running around in armor with a g-string and cleavage hanging out; it's just dumb looking and immediately tells me that the creators have not moved an inch from the minds of the sheltered hermits that have historically created most video games.
I actually believe that there is a massive market for "adult" games of this sort, and actually pornography is not fundamentally wrong in that it can be a healthy outlet for some people. but Video Games are still stigmatized by adults as a thing for "kids" at their core. Even obviously adult themed games like Last of Us are viewed as just more violent outliers in a kids format. If society could treat gaming as the mature, diverse medium that it is there would surely be a place for a properly regulated XXX adult set of games.
That's a different issue than this here but I only mean that this kind of obviously aimed at kids game that makes ALL women look like sex toys is horrible and that's a problem with gaming over all but a different kind of industry on the publics eyes could also support a properly rated and regulated adult games industry; I'm surprised it hasn't happened already.

KarateKid1234

#170

KarateKid1234 said:

@Ren At least you make sense about it and aren't just a blockhead who quickly makes assumptions. It's ok to like the game, it's ok to dislike it.

sevex

#171

sevex said:

I'd say it takes a pretty fantastic imagination to perceive the characters in this game as anything close to real women.

Aside from that, in order to objectify a woman you need an actual woman, not some animated pictures on a screen.

AcesHigh

#172

AcesHigh said:

@Tryken I agree with you 100%. I think the problem is that some people just like to hear themselves talk or like to sound smarter than they really are or like to show how "adult" they are by being "PC". Or maybe all of the above. This topic is a very myopic view of a much larger topic that spans all media. And it's one that we, as human beings with certain urges and programming in our DNA, simply prefer to buy if we have a choice of pretty over plain. It's the same thing as calling someone a snob for preferring a nicely cooked meal over a can of brussel sprouts. No different folks... next topic.

mch

#173

mch said:

Education is the key. It will be a more and more precious and limited good as the population on the planet is increasing in never seen amounts. Oh our mind is so vulnerable to ideologies unless we can nourish it and set it free from boundaries - trough dialectic I propose to you.

KarateKid1234

#174

KarateKid1234 said:

@sevex Well said. Constructive Video Models are in no way downgrading, antagonizing or objectifying.

P.S. Your picture's glorious. "HERE'S-A-ME! WARIO!"

SCAR392

#176

SCAR392 said:

I'm not interested in this game. There's alot of stuff like this out there that could be considered more inappropriate, more accessible, and less expensive.

This is a $30 game, IIRC. You've seen a trailer if you're willing to dish out $30. It's not even that bad, IMO. Gears of War has "tank" men, but also has characters like Sonya and that other girl that fight with them.

Besides, I thought there were guy characters in the game, too.

KarateKid1234

#178

KarateKid1234 said:

@JohnRedcorn Remember that Spongebob episode where Patrick and Spongebob were in a boxing arena and they looked buff with no clothes on but underwear? It's kinda like that.

shaneoh

#179

shaneoh said:

@JohnRedcorn

I find it hilarious, same as SKB

Honestly what is wrong with people these days. There are no people in these games, they are pixels. No sentience, no emotions, just bits of light that our brain organises into thinking they look like people

KarateKid1234

#180

KarateKid1234 said:

First Women complain about so little girl characters in games, now, when they get it, they complain more? Jesus...

EarthboundBenjy

#181

EarthboundBenjy said:

I see more people complaining about political correctness and defending the game than I do people actually complaining about the game. I think this means everything's going to be okay in the end.

The_Fox

#182

The_Fox said:

@KarateKid1234
Saying that it doesn't count because it's fictional is the ultimate cop out. I guess books, movies, plays and television should get a free pass also, then?

WaLzgiStaff

#185

WaLzgi said:

I personally think these kinds of games are disgusting. You can throw pitchforks at me all you want. I don't like sexualization on either gender.

ShadJV

#186

ShadJV said:

First of all, I'm from the US, not the UK, so I can't speak for how it is across the Atlantic, so bear that in mind when I say I disagree with any form of censorship. I do NOT believe any content such as this should be attainable for children, who are still quite impressionable, and if the issue is kids obtaining this, I believe it reflects on parents or parental controls. The fact remains, with the accessibility of the internet, if a minor truly wants to view sexual content, he/she likely will find a way. Personally, I do not believe that's an excuse for censorship. Yes, I see sexism here, but for a different issue: if men were the ones being displayed here for sexual gratification (and there is media that does this, even if not in gaming), very few would care. If there are people who want to see this sort of media, who are we to tell them what they can purchase? If the argument is it changes how they view women, first of all that's a poor reflection of their character that they are so easily affected and I doubt they'd feel differently without this media, and second that isn't a reason to take away someone's rights; smoking cigarettes can harm others with secondhand smoke yet we don't illegalize that. I respect anyone's right to be disgusted with this "objectification of women", but who are we to shove our viewpoints on women? I've played games that do this, though not for sexual reasons, and couldn't care less about the content's existence. I'm all for sexual equality and would risk my life for equality, but every adult has the right to create or view whatever media they like, especially when it's fictional characters. An adult should be able to separate fiction from reality, though, and it's not our responsibility to baby them; if they treat people as an object, lock 'em up for all I care, but these games don't depict real people and, if people are getting their jollies from fictional images, who cares? As long as they treat real people equally, let them do what they want when they're alone.

theblackdragonAdmin

#190

theblackdragon said:

@KarateKid1234: I'm pretty sure we're not using brains as computer displays, so I'm not sure where you came up with the idea that our brains create pixels. That said, the article was created to foster discussion, which has happened quite spectacularly. If flames are what you're interested in starting, we ask that you keep them to yourself. Thanks!

Klimbatize

#194

Klimbatize said:

@KarateKid1234 "First Women complain about so little girl characters in games, now, when they get it, they complain more? Jesus..."

LOL, what a spectacularly dopey comment.

GuSolarFlare

#195

GuSolarFlare said:

@R-L-A-George what, you've been to the looks around deep net? how is it? I heard lots of things about it but never had the guts to go there seems too dangerous in a certain way....

Super_Gravy

#196

Super_Gravy said:

@theblackdragon: Since you are an girl or I assume so. Do you think the complaints are from the women or the men? I know some women in real life enjoys those kind of stuffs.

NINTENCHIP

#202

NINTENCHIP said:

@Yorumi It's a 3rd party IP that sells on Nintendo's console. It'd be straight DAMNING for them to ban it just because of this. It'd send a negative message: We really don't give a rats behind about 3rd parties, at all.

theblackdragonAdmin

#203

theblackdragon said:

@R-L-A-George: That reply was directed toward that one user in particular to address their prior comment. You're right, it hasn't really been that bad in here, all things considered. :3

@Super_Gravy: I'm not sure what you're asking, but my gender aside, making assumptions or generalizations about the demographic of people who find this sort of game personally distasteful (or not, as the case may be) would serve no purpose here. I'm afraid I don't have the data to properly answer your question.

bonesy91

#204

bonesy91 said:

If it bothers you don't play it. Simple as that. Do I like drugs? No so I don't smoke them. And I don't plan on boycotting my local 7 eleven for selling them.

And yes some people like myself can look past the sex and see the great story and amazing gameplay this title offered. Sorry but I don't get off to cartoons.

HyperSonicEXE

#205

HyperSonicEXE said:

@Damo
They don't have to be jacked under a suit of power armor.
Besides, just like feminism isn't about what males think of female objectification, the same applies here. If men are bothered by the over-muscular portrayals in media, that's our grievance - no one else gets to determine that, we do. This street goes both ways.

@Peach64
Actually, male objectification is MORE prevalent in the West, but men just aren't vocal about it. Cars, movies, underwear ads, cologne ads, vomit-inducing displays in the front of Abercrombie and Fitch and other stores of its ilk, comics, videogames, a plethora of places.

Anyway, I really am disappointed in even the thought to call for a boycott on Senran Kagura, a game that's clearly and unabashedly tongue-in-cheek and certainly geared at male gamers (though I'd love to play it with a female). On top of that, it's bloody censored, which is part of why I haven't bought it. All of these squabbles and feelings are getting in the way of artistic expression. This already damaged MN9, and I'm just praying it doesn't affect Shantae: Half Genie Hero.
I hope this is the last of the clickbait.

hngdmn

#207

hngdmn said:

"Parental controls are all very well, but many younger gamers could potentially be in a position to purchase and download the game without having to alert their parents to the fact."
That's a ridiculous argument. It applies to every game on every platform.
"The objective here is titillation, which makes it relatively easy to see why female players — just like the one who confronted me in the Nintendo Life office — are so uneasy with this situation."
So? It only means the main demographic for this game are not women. Do every game has to appeal to everyone? Games targeted towards females shouldn't exist because of male players?

theblackdragonAdmin

#208

theblackdragon said:

y'know what, I've actually been thinking about this article for a while today, @Damo, and something's been bothering me — why is it important that we know that "a woman, for what it's worth" pointed this out to you? And why is it important that we know "she's a seasoned player herself"? If you're going to do a soapbox article like this, for pete's sake, man, own it. Don't give yourself an easy out, like you have a Long-Term Experience Female Gamer™ hidden in a closet someplace that you can roll out on occasion so people who disagree will shake their heads knowingly as they think 'oh a woman put him up to it'.

It's like saying 'why thank you for the compliment, a (insert ethnic minority here) lady did my hair'. Why is it important that we know she's of a particular ethnic minority? What impact does that have on the quality of my hairstyle that could possibly not be the product of a stereotype? Or introducing my neighbor to someone as 'a really sweet man, he's gay'. Of what importance is his sexual orientation to a casual acquaintance — or me, for that matter? What purpose does it serve other than to paint the person involved with a big fat brushstroke and then put all of those who share their gender, ethnicity, or sexual orientation under the same microscope?

Klimbatize

#209

Klimbatize said:

What a well-thought out point from tbd, and for what it's worth, everyone...she's from the South. :O

OldWeeDog

#213

OldWeeDog said:

Hey all :) . Ok I've been following this for a while now. Here's my tuppence worth. It is only a game. If you want to get into the moral and ethics of it, then lets go. Remembering that you also need to talk about games like GTA, COD, Zombie U and the like. Different cultures have different tastes. I think that boycotting it is going OTT. If you don't like it then vote with you wallet, purse, bank card or whatever. What if the game portrayed you having 5,6 or more wives, like in some countries in Africa where it is normal? I bet the God Squad would be up in arms. Each to their own, thats what I say. It is only a game.
Live and let live.

Zach

#214

Zach said:

Thanks for wiring this Damien. Great article. I hate the idea that we're supposed to just accept the objectification of half of the human race. The seeds it plants in the minds of straight men, gay men and women are "it's ok to see women as less than people", "something is wrong with you for not liking this" and "you are an object". The culture this type of thing has contributed to is incredibly dangerous and harmful.

Galenmereth

#216

Galenmereth said:

Well, better abolish porn, implement draconian porn filters, and otherwise do what the UK is doing.

Sounds great; I'll keep holding onto my freedom of expression thank you very much. Games are art, and if you're going to not allow certain kinds of art, then you are censoring art. Once you censor art, you've lost it as a society.

theblackdragonAdmin

#217

theblackdragon said:

@lz: you don't get it — my entire comment was about exactly that problem. it's not important that i'm from the South other than to color me with stereotypes, for good or ill. it's not important that my neighbor is gay, it's not important that my hairdresser is of an ethnic minority, and it's not important that the person who showed @Damo a different point of view be a Long-Term Experience Female Gamer™. The important thing is that his eyes have been opened, my hair is fabulous, and my neighbor is a nice guy.

and also, that grits are amazing :3

Kid_A

#218

Kid_A said:

There's no logical person on the other side of this issue. Obviously women should not be objectified.

Ren

#219

Ren said:

clearly this is just not the place to expect serious informed discussion about the still vast objectification of women in games, movies, TV, print, everywhere.. And what Feminism means, about how privilege and patriarchy play into these depictions and problems. It's ceaselessly amazing how many young men like to fly into defensive rage and dismissal about anything that calls into question the clear privilege that men enjoy in societies around the world. I'd love to come back in 20 more years and see if anyone has learned anything. Just the mention of Anita Sarkesian is depressing as she endured totally unjustified rage, denial, even death threats for her thoughtful work in discussing the most obvious of trends in gaming.

OldWeeDog

#221

OldWeeDog said:

@Unca_Lz Why save it for later? It is just as relevant to the above discussion. It was the West that put the Taliban in power in Iraq in the first place. A 'normal' game for Japan gets translated and imported to the West. However, it is too shocking for some western sensibilities and dispositions so it needs to be 'boycotted' does anybody see an analogy here?

For Gods sake, who said anything about women being objectified? Why are games like GTA not being brought up where- dare I say it- prostitution is portrayed? Why is it only 1 game?

SMEXIZELDAMAN

#222

SMEXIZELDAMAN said:

Yeah, the game is pretty gross. It's a problem with humanity that sex is such an unnaturally inflamed desire, so our societies, being made up of people with that desire, will as a result focus on that desire in books, movies, music, video games, art and other things. It's really a problem with the human condition and it will never go away in that sense. Does that make it right? Not in the slightest. In fact, the casual oversexualization in the game makes it even worse, showing us how depraved humanity really is.

Spectator

#223

Spectator said:

Interesting topic, but this subject matter won't be resolved anytime soon unless consumers stop buying, and that probably won't happen anytime soon.

YorkshireNed

#224

YorkshireNed said:

Its a difficult question. If you'd asked me when I was 18, I would have laughed at you and called on free speech and letting the buyer decide. Now as a Husband and a Father to a young daugther, with statistics about breast implants on the rise, I feel differently. These sort of images create a physical image that young people cannot live up to. Of course, the same applies to impossibly muscled heroes [which thinking back, definitely affected my self esteem as a young guy]. However, I would hate to ever see any official legal censorship being imposed. I think a discussion like this is a good way forwards and to always bring up these issues in any coverage of such games. There is a lot of Japanese culture I love [esp. Nintendo games, Japanese psychedelic rock and Japanese history] but I don't want to import the sexualisation of children

CharleSketch

#225

CharleSketch said:

Political correctness is ridiculous, even more so in a gaming news website. As long as it's not downright insulting, I see no problem with the particular depiction of a character, male or female. Specially in this case, considering how well-developed the girls are in this game (pun intended).

All this discussion is doing is make me want to go back to play the game even more, and I might as well just do that.

Rafie

#226

Rafie said:

I LOVE BOOBS! I'm sorry. That added nothing to the topic at hand. sigh Me personally, I don't think there is a problem with it. This is all fiction. It's video game characters for crying out loud. Not actual people. Let the boobs stay, I say!

Mattiator

#227

Mattiator said:

Will I buy SKB? No, I don't find the game appealing nor the fanservice titillating. But I wouldn't dream of condemning or boycotting it simply because I don't like it. We have enough outside challenges as an industry to be fighting internally over stuff like this (especially when in the US there's legislature being drafted that would make M-rated games not qualify as art for the purposes of tax breaks). Everyone's free to have their opinion, but everyone else is free to criticize and not buy their products if they don't like it.

Drobotic

#228

Drobotic said:

It's okay to have a big-boobed character with personality.It's not okay to just have boobs with legs.

rylo151

#230

rylo151 said:

what i don't understand is, how is this considered offensive, but you can play a game like call of duty where you brutally murder hundreds of people and that's just fine. how is sexuality more offensive than gore and murder??

Ultra_Mario1001

#233

Ultra_Mario1001 said:

These games are most definitively sexist and they objectify women. There is a difference between burly men and anime characters in this game. Games like this and how the media portrays women lead to psychological diseases like anorexia. Nintendo should have gone out of their way and cut out the immature and disgusting portrayal of women.

rylo151

#234

rylo151 said:

but either way censorship is not the answer, maybe some sort of education to encourage people away from this type of thing, they are only making games like this because there is an audience for it. still i would rather people deal with "murder simulators" before this type of content.

Doma

#235

Doma said:

The idea that somebody could actually be offended by these game's existence, is stupefying to me. The disgust/outrage is so fake, it's embarrassing.

One thing i just can't take seriously with this topic, is when the campaigners (ha) are males, supposedly speaking on behalf of females.

Ultra_Mario1001

#237

Ultra_Mario1001 said:

@rylo151
The problem here isn't with the graphical maturity of the game. The issue at hand is that women are being sexually objectified in this game. Honestly, I think that it's immature and disgusting. For example, look at the image of the stand above. If you don't think that is not a disgusting portrayal of women, I don't know what to say.

daggdroppen

#238

daggdroppen said:

Oh, please stop talking so much about this game and matter. Its embarissing and ironic that this gets so much attention. what about every bloody game nowadays where you kill hundreads of ppl? Cmon ppl. Get real! This is sick!

mhsillen

#241

mhsillen said:

go to your local mall and observe how young woman dress and tell me what is the difference between girls in this game and them. It is down right embarrassing
I think woman of today should dress like they respectthemselves not object themselves

rylo151

#243

rylo151 said:

the issue i have is this is an issue, but everyone is fine with COD battlefield and any other type of game, movie tvshow that is all about death gore and murder. this is harmless, they are not real people and if some woman is that insecure about herself that this offends her then she has a lot bigger issues to worry about than this game.

Ultra_Mario1001

#244

Ultra_Mario1001 said:

@rylo151
According to that logic, it would be okay to have nudity in games just because it is harmless or that it's not real. Games and media have a very real effect on this minds of people.

rylo151

#245

rylo151 said:

Yes, nudity would not offend me as much as the content that is now already considered normal for games and other media. i would even let my children watch something with nudity (not porn) before letting them watch an action movie filled with murder.

B3ND3R

#247

B3ND3R said:

Honestly I could care less... A good game is a good game no matter how it's presented..

Tigus

#249

Tigus said:

I think to a point this is a bit much and not just this game. Games that put or view women in this way is going a little too far, but both should be viewed for both men and women.

User1988

#250

User1988 said:

That poll is proof that most of you have been brainwashed by the patriarchy. These posts saying, "sure it's sexist but whatever it's a game," are why sexism still exists. We need to be LOUD about this crap. If those were pictures of men in banana hammocks with oversized and over detailed genitalia you'd all be really f*cking uncomfortable right now. But because they're women and it's "Japanese culture" it doesn't matter? Screw that. Objectification is still objectification no matter where it comes from or who it targets and it's always disgusting.

Jazzer94

#251

Jazzer94 said:

@Damo Normally I think NL articles are fairly accurate but the fact that you neglect to mention the article on ONM was a blog post and was addressed as not the views of ONM themselves bugs me besides that I have no problems.

MetalKingShield

#252

MetalKingShield said:

Honestly, I think we're becoming prudish in the West. It's a sad day when games developers have to think twice about whether they can include a bikini, or nudity or whatever.

ZephyrTortera

#253

ZephyrTortera said:

I just think that both genders should be more realistic. Sora from KH isn't super big and buff, but a strong teenage/young adult, and just like in the article, Laura Croft in the newest Tomb Raider is beautiful and strong without having breasts that are overly huge. I could imagine knowing a girl like her in my school. I must admit, it happens more to women more than men, and yet I don't think it completely deserves to be abolished, more realistic characters should be implemented in as many games as possible. The Bravely Default cast is also a good example of what is could be like. The main characters were normal looking people for the most part. (I mean, most of the time they're in chibi form, but in the animated cutscenes, pretty normal.) But that's just how I view the problem, and how I think it could be solved.

User1988

#254

User1988 said:

Nudity isn't even the issue here. Or the size of their breasts. It's the fact that these women are portrayed as sex OBJECTS. If they were naked for any reason other than to attract the male gaze it would be different.

And no, this does not happen to men. Ever. Men with big muscles in games are idealized but not objectified. There is a HUGE difference.

Arcamenel

#255

Arcamenel said:

These games are not made for women. It's just the fact of it. They objectify women and make them nothing but boobs on legs. You can't equate that to overly masculine male game protagonists because that is idealization not objectification. The characters still have depth and a likeable personality. These type of games have tons of fluff with the characters not being much deeper than a kiddy pool. That is the difference.

User1988

#256

User1988 said:

@unrandomsam Anorexia is caused by the media telling women that they need to be skinnier than they are in order to be loved. That is all. It's a disease that we as a society have created and it needs to be treated with love and respect. And objectified women aren't "normal" in the media. They're usually airbrushed to give them bigger breasts and slimmer waists.

hngdmn

#257

hngdmn said:

@ User1988
" If those were pictures of men in banana hammocks with oversized and over detailed genitalia you'd all be really f*cking uncomfortable right now. "
Yes. Would we be saying that it should be censored and people shouldn't make these games because it objectifies men? Most likely no.

Tobias95

#258

Tobias95 said:

No, I got nothing against this game. Dochi dochi shimpanja 2 on the othr hand (or whatever the games name is) is a completely diffrent thing. I got nothing against games that sexualies girls (or boys for that mather) as long as I dont harass them, or its shotacon or lolicon. That would be worse for me.

Dr_Corndog

#259

Dr_Corndog said:

I found this sentence to be interesting: "Gaming has grown up a lot in the past few years, and we're now tackling some pretty mature topics in the titles that we play." Considering this game is about as immature as it gets.

CrazyOtto

#260

CrazyOtto said:

I think there should be more fanservice games with both scantily-clad women and bishounens in speedos and less with only one gender getting sexualized.

hngdmn

#263

hngdmn said:

@CrazyOtto
I'm sure there is but...why? Doesn't make sense much from a commercial standpoint because you might make your consumers confused or uncomfortable with some of the game content.

Ralek85

#264

Ralek85 said:

I have to strongly disagree with the whole sentiment, that gaming has matured when it comes to sex and gender roles. I don't really know where the notion comes from but I guess it is just one of those instances where people tell themselves over and over the thing they want to hear .... and somehow that manages a turn-around in perception .. which in turn substitutes for reality Oo And please nobody mention Mass Effect or the likes as an example of oh-how-mature the whole thing just got ... or at least stop to thinkit about for a moment before you write it down ... and then don't!

CrazyOtto

#265

CrazyOtto said:

@hngdmn You're right there, games that feature both would only be successful among an even smaller niche of bixsexual gamers compared to the ones that only sexualize one gender.

MadchesterManc

#266

MadchesterManc said:

It tickles me when you consider this game originated from the Japanese gaming industry. It's amusing because said industry also produces Otome games that objectify males & are clearly aimed at female Gamers. Entire areas of stores are dedicated to these games & can be freely imported or translation versions are available on PC. Clearly if people take issue with this, shouldn't Otome gaMes follow suit? The real issue is not Senran Kagura Burst. The real issue is the western gaming industry doesn't offer the same diversity & neutrality as the Japanese industry does so people jump on the hate bandwagon when a title like this springs up instead of querying western developers & publishers where games aimed at the female audience are

Ralek85

#268

Ralek85 said:

@MadchesterManc That's what most people call a double standart and yeah well ... when it comes to question of gender equality and sexism a double standart can be employed in one-direction and in one direction only ... else it would be hyporcrisy. I know I know it's very confusing, but that's no coincidence considering very confusing is a euphemism for political correctness. I remember some very intense discussion with women being upset (rightly so) that they were not allowed to service in German armed forces at the same time some of us young gentlemen were very, very upset that we were conscripted ...

unrandomsam

#269

unrandomsam said:

@User1988 Is obesity caused by the advertising of junk food ? or alcoholism caused by similar factors. (Why not treat them all the same as smoking ?).

Franklin

#270

Franklin said:

I don't quite understand the need for it. Most teenage boys have access to the internet.

Superryanworld

#271

Superryanworld said:

This is a issue that has made some progress,but still has a way to go.With character's like Lara croft,samus Aran,Bayonetta,and the boss that trained snake in the metalgear series,are such cool/fun character's I could care less that they're female.Then you have games like dead or alive or soulcalibur ,and while they are fun game's I swear whoever created the characters for those games must think like jiraiya from the naruto series.

Xiao_Pai

#272

Xiao_Pai said:

lol, everyone acting like SKB is the only game with giant jiggling boobs...hell even a MARIO game had big jiggly boobs. (and its still considered to be one of the best SNES games out there. :p )

AVahne

#273

AVahne said:

Meh, still buying the game. Well...once there's a sale or price drop, because I can't justify spending over $15-20 on Nintendo's eShop while there isn't an account system active.

mamp

#274

mamp said:

@JohnRedcorn You just won the internet as easily as you won Nancy's heart.
Also this is the perfect time for women to get their revenge!!! They should make a game with guys and their clothes rip off. They should give them overized acorns that are over the top bouncy and look like they're about to burst out of their pants. Make them take their shirt off as much as they do on those girly movies like twilight (Jacob just can't seem to keep his shirt on). Get revenge and teach us a lesson XD
In all seriousness though not bashing genders just trolling it's what I do.

unrandomsam

#275

unrandomsam said:

I never knew you blew onto the 3DS to make their skirts go up. (That was not in the review).

I think I will buy my brother a copy. (He is married to a staunch modern feminist).

Frapp

#276

Frapp said:

Two things:
1. If your staffer is so easily offended by images such as this, then she may be better off choosing a different career path to media.
2. At every place where I have worked – from the smallest office, through international newspapers, to worldwide media corporations – if someone had the impertinence to lecture another that they should think the same way 'because they are a father and a husband' then they would quickly be shown the door. She's very lucky she's working for your site.

AJWolfTill

#277

AJWolfTill said:

@Jayvir @TrueWiiMaster @DarkKirby
I think you three are missing the point. There is a great deal of difference between utilising stereotypically "attractive" male and female characters and the sexual objectification of either gender. Sure there are a tonne of burly handsome male characters and as many busty beautiful female characters. While I do think that the image issues which result from this are debatably even sided this game is not one of those cases. This is extreme sexual objectification.
Seriously just look at the front cover! Replace that cover with a ripped male torso and a pair of pants which are tightly hugging the hard bulge underneath whilst being pulled down just short of the base. You don't have to have a problem of that image existing but can you not see how walking into a game shop or popping onto a game site and repeatendly seeing the bulge cropping up again and again even if all you wanted to do was check out a Mario Kart trailer.

Potrayal of girls in gaming is not on the same level as males. I care because it is unjust but also because I love videogames and want them to be better than these squallid shackles.

mamp

#278

mamp said:

Just read most of TBDs comments this is why you're the greatest dragon ever XD
Yeah I think I'd be done with a website that thinks they can shove their views onto everyone else (Fox news am I right LOL). I think maybe that's why I haven't really liked the soapbox article because if you read them it feels like you're telling us this is wrong you should think like me. Playing GTA is wrong windwaker is better, this game is wrong and sexist and we should all hate stuff like this, etc. just cuz you ask for our opinion at the end of the article doesn't excuse the fact that the whole article was just the author telling us games like these are bad and we should all think like you or that "female" gamer you had to mention just to prove a point and make your article resonate with more readers.

Manaphy2007

#279

Manaphy2007 said:

@Mizore you are right and people should get their priorities straight, fanservice is fanservice and if people like it then they should not be judged. i for one have not beaten senran kagura burst and im waiting for a n.american localization for the second. i just wish nintendo should be more open with these kinds of games (there are more in jp and a few in the usa) and let these go home with those whole like these types of games and let them be happy. if someone buys x-rated games then he/she should has the right to, as long as they are of legal age to buy them, whatever that legal age may be. i do not see girls as objects and i respect them even in games and sex is not a crime unless its assault or forced and buying fanservice games is not a crime.

unrandomsam

#280

unrandomsam said:

What we need is a matters of import on Doki Doki Majo Shinpan to put this game into perspective.

Manaphy2007

#281

Manaphy2007 said:

@unrandomsam i did not know that and i will try that next time im playing senran kagura burst and it is a fun fanservice beat-em-up game, just like code of princess, speaking of i wonder if there will be a sequel for the 3ds and if they decide a vita version. another sorta fanservice game is liberation maiden and is a fun shooter game. like i said earlier i wish there was more fanservice games that not only have that but a lot of content gameplay wise.

Manaphy2007

#283

Manaphy2007 said:

Duel Love is a fanservice game mostly targeting towards girls and yet they dont bash on it, not that m saying they should. if people judge me that i like fanservice then let them, i could care less, even final fantasy has some fanservice. while on the subject i think they should target the media because they are far worse than games, like game of thrones, game shows that have young girls looking like how they should look, beauty pagents, to name a few.

Nintendo_Ninja

#284

Nintendo_Ninja said:

Games like Senran Kagura Burst have stupid characters. They are simply for male gamers to watch as they flaunt their assets and fight. Is this game mainly about fighting? Look at the cover. Case closed. I don't find them offensive (Because I'm a dude), But I find it stupid.

PunchaYoBuns

#285

PunchaYoBuns said:

@willobee Well said. Horrible awful violence should be much more questionable than enjoying the physical attributes of women. If anyone thinks for a second that it doesn't swing both ways, guess again. Look no further than the ABUNDANCE of shirtless ripped hot men in movies and film (Twilight, Magic Mike) - then there is literature - (50 Shades of Grey) - and the list goes on. Women enjoy a physically fit man every bit as much as a man enjoys a voluptuous woman. Neither of those things is morally wrong. Rather they are quite natural. Now, we can all admit that Japan takes things to a whole other level and it's really not equal in their media, but in America I would argue that within the last decade or two we've become pretty balanced as far as male/female sexuality on display.

Nintendo_Ninja

#288

Nintendo_Ninja said:

Gruesome violence is also not important in a game. It adds nothing and I also find it stupid. Plus, look at a game like Zelda or Pokémon. Do the female characters flaunt their assets, or does Zelda? No. You know why? BECAUSE IT ISN'T NEEDED! Overly gruesome or overly sexual scenes aren't needed to make a game good. Graphics, gameplay, and story are the most important aspects of a game.

unrandomsam

#291

unrandomsam said:

@Manaphy2007 I like Game of Thrones because they haven't messed up the story too much. (If adding pointless extra sex scenes is the price for that so be it). Hardly anything ends up telling the proper story. (e.g Legend of the Seeker could have been loads better if it just followed the books. The changes to V for Vendetta totally miss the point. Watchdogs (The film) is fine).

shaneoh

#293

shaneoh said:

@vamkar
People with too much time on their hands and not enough sense to know that noone truly cares about their opinion (which makes the rest of my post all the more pointless).

@Nintendo_Ninja
"Gameplay, and story are the most important aspects of a game."

Fixed that for you. If you've played a text adventure game, you will understand why.

@PunchaYoBuns
You're spot on, my GF has a thing for captain america and thor, but I don't rant on about objectification when she gets all drooly about it. If she started expecting such things in the looks, behaviour and physique from me, she would be sorely disappointed.

@Ultra_Mario1001
"According to that logic, it would be okay to have nudity in games just because it is harmless or that it's not real. Games and media have a very real effect on this minds of people."

Disagree. I was playing video games since before there were rating systems for them. My parents allowed me to play an animated strip poker game when I was three years old. I've never expected anyone to take their clothes off whenever they've lost a game of poker to me (would have made college embarrassing as it was just a bunch of dudes). Those who think such things are a reflection on how things should be in real life are mentally disturbed and should not be exposed to such media in any form. It's like saying Dungeons and Dragons turn people into satanic cultists. (but then these are the same people who claim that D&D turns you into a satanic cultist). They want something to blame other than their poor parenting skills.

Ren

#294

Ren said:

Jesus, has anyone read even so much as the title of this article? "Ignoring The Objectification Of Women In Games Won't Make the Problem Go Away". That is the thesis in question. No one has said it should be banned or not be allowed to exist, or that it's any better or worse than whatever random other japanese sex game about guys you can come up with. The point is only that it SUCKS.
That this game is clearly and openly about these women being sexy and shtupable and they are designed in a way that looks as though that is why they exist. And that is downright reprehensible and we should all think about why that is and why maybe it would be cool if that didn't happen SO damn often in games. The above comments are exactly why this hasn't changed in over 30 years in this industry. Isn't it about time some of us consumers thought about why we like games and if this the kind of constant representation we want for ANYBODY?!
This isn't about XXX games, which may even have a place in some market, it's about the portrayal of women and girls in just any old regular game (sometimes for young kids) as buxom, dripping wet sluts that exist to serve men. That isn't ok to me and it's worth discussing why. It feels just shameful to be among peers who are so ignorant and arrogant.

Captain_Balko

#295

Captain_Balko said:

I'd like to throw in my likely controversial two cents -

So what if women are being objectified in video games? People in general are objectified all the time. If the audience is mainly male, and the developer will make more money by "objectifying", then so be it. The same thing happens in the reverse when it comes to men in romance movies / novels. I mean, have you SEEN those pre-teen girl movies like Twilight? The men are objectified constantly. Their shirt is off every ten minutes. And there is nothing wrong with that, because it's what the target demographic wants. In Capitalism, if somebody wants something, and you can make money by giving it to them, you GIVE IT TO THEM. That's all there is to it.

unrandomsam

#296

unrandomsam said:

@Captain_Balko So what about adding 3D porn to the 3DS eshop ? It is not all there is to it by a long shot. The only market where it truly works like that is the black market.

Xiao_Pai

#297

Xiao_Pai said:

I have a more important question...............
silence...
...Anybody know which article has the most amount of comments on NintendoLife, just wondering. lol

Neko_Rukiafan

#299

Neko_Rukiafan said:

@theblackdragon I completely agree with you! I'd never buy a game like this in a million years, but I wouldn't start a movement against this sort of game under the guise of my own website because that makes it look like it's the view of everyone who works for the website instead of just a personal view.

Ruffigan

#300

Ruffigan said:

The quality of a game is the sum of its parts. If a game has an involving story; tight game play; high replay value; and deplorable, sexist imagery it should be reflected in the rating. While we can fault the developers for making games with buxom babes, they're making these games for us, and as consumers and reviewers it is our job to relay our satisfaction with their products back to them. If we keep heaping praise on games such as this, they're going to keep making them. People are crying 'CENSORSHIP!', but what, here, is being lost by making these characters normal looking, relatable women? Offensive imagery that doesn't further the plot or add artistic merit? People are saying this is a great game, so why would deflating their breasts and showing respect for another potential demographic be a bad thing?I think the staff of Nintendo Life, IGN, Kotaku, etc. should grow some balls and start docking points for exploitation and controversy without merit.

I-U

#302

I-U said:

I have enjoyed my experience so far with Senran Kagura Burst. Since breasts aren't the main focus of this game, that being the game's face-paced combat, I feel the objectification is not done by the game but by the player. If you came away from the game thinking that these women solely provide breasts for a male gamer, then I would say you've chosen to objectify the characters. I personally take the game's action as a lot of these characters' portrayal, more so than their breasts. If anything, I would argue that this game is becoming a victim of a campaign that is overblown by people seeing one portion of these women, choosing to ignore completely the more significant portrayal brought in by the game's action and the fighting style of these women.

Ruffigan

#303

Ruffigan said:

@I-U
If the characters having gigantic breasts is not a necessary component of the game, they draw attention away from their unique and well-developed personalities, AND it offends potential customers, why do the characters need them at all?

DarkKirby

#304

DarkKirby said:

@AJWolfTill

I said it before and I'll say it again. I am 100% for free speech and against censorship and as such am against political correctness. So no, I do not think men with a speedos and a bulge should be censored because of some kind of personal disgust with seeing it or because some people don't want to see it. I don't think some people being offended should EVER be a reason for something to not exist or to be censored.

As saying goes, "I may not agree with what you say, but I'll defend (to the death) your right to say it".

And in the end, you are still saying the same thing, that it's okay to objectify men but not women just because more people complain about it.

Wowfunhappy

#305

Wowfunhappy said:

I don't find the game "offensive" per se, but I think it's pretty darn tasteless, and I do kind of wish Nintendo Life was giving it less coverage.

I'm not saying that the game as a whole should be "banned" or anything, for the same reason I don't think porn should be banned. It's free speech, and it has a right to exist. But porn also has it's own time and place... it's given a certain distance from other types of media. I think the same should apply with a game like this.

hngdmn

#306

hngdmn said:

@Ruffigan
Because it attracts other potential customers? Because some people like this kind of thing? Because the creators wanted it to be that way?

Xiao_Pai

#307

Xiao_Pai said:

" I don't understand how people find these deformed characters sexually attractive" Welcome to the world of anime.

kokirii

#308

kokirii said:

No point in getting into arguments with people whose minds are made up. Just wanted to say that as a man with an infant daughter hoping against hope that something about our culture's hunger to objectify people and hyper-sexualize everything changes before she becomes a teenager, I appreciate this Soapbox, Damien.

Marioman64

#309

Marioman64 said:

these things are more accepted in japan. game was made in japan, then localized and released elsewhere. of course other cultures are going to respond differently

Ruffigan

#310

Ruffigan said:

@hngdmn
If the creators want to pander to perverts that's fine and well, but it detracts from and stigmatizes the game and its fanbase, as well as giving the finger to a major demographic, and that needs to be reflected when reviewing these games.

NINTENCHIP

#311

NINTENCHIP said:

@shaneoh You make good points, and that's the other side of this coin: Yea, it isn't tasteful, but it's not taboo worthy either. There's a line one should cross, based on the context of their society, before we get into that. Still, people going "it's no big deal" don't realize just how warped Japan's sex culture is. They had an issue somewhat recently where some young boys tried to start a, and I kid you not, "rape club". Yes...a "rape CLUB". Like, a club dedicated to extracurricular stalking, molestation, raping, and mind breaking. That, and "Battle Raper: The Game" was a thing. Then there's Sengoku Rance, and on the slightly less edgy side, there's Qwaser of Stigmata that's a thing. FYI: None of that is safe for work.

Still, this is all on another level in comparison to SKB, but that doesn't mean that SKB isn't comparable. There's gotta be some degree of class here, in some shape or form. I can't show this to people that aren't nerds or otakus/weabs without expecting weird looks and/or remarks. Hell, I'm the one that give my friends that own these games those same weird looks and/or remarks.

But even with all that said...it's not something to call people to arms against. If people wanna buy it, they can buy it. It's not truly sexist, so why not?

Side note: Guys like Thor and Cap America aren't objectified. They're idealized. If they had ball sacks hanging to the floor and a chain that could smack someone with a slight turn of the hips, then yea, that'd be comparable.

DarkKirby

#312

DarkKirby said:

@Ruffigan
@Wowfunhappy

It's called having a target audience. You don't have to like how the characters look, some people do. Like how how action movies are targeted at men, and dramas targeted at women. You don't have to be that gender or targeted demographic to enjoy those genres, but they were designed with that target audience in mind, they were not made to appeal to everybody, as much forms of media are not, nor do I think they should need to be. And of course, how yaoi (man on man love typically featuring handsome and/or cute men) is made with expectation that most of the people purchasing it will be women. And free speech and artistic freedom, which should never be restricted.

I-U

#313

I-U said:

@Ruffigan
The breasts do draw attention, but if you're arguing that they completely take all the attention or even most of the attention away from the personalities they're given through story and gameplay, I'd say that's a case of the person wanting to objectify them, immaturity or a combination of the two. While I can see a reason to remove the breast proportions due to those who are really sensitive to this, I also don't want to see the change solely due to that reason because I do feel it's being overblown.

raghouse

#314

raghouse said:

It is done to gain attention and to sell games. Ignoring it is exactly what would make it go away.

shaneoh

#315

shaneoh said:

@NINTENCHIP
Yes, cap and thor aren't objectifiable in my eyes, but the way my GF reacts to them is something completely different. It's not all about the organs, but other parts of the body and personality as well such as face shape, submissiveness, legs, feet and hands.

I agree there is a line, and the examples you have provided do cross it, no ifs buts and maybes about it.

Edit: Ughh, I wanted to start playing Wii U, that was an hour ago....

Backwardsonapig

#317

Backwardsonapig said:

Some girls might want to be appreciated for their beauty, but that doesn't mean they want to be sought after purely for their body. I can understand why a woman would have problems with an overtly sexualized character in a video game that also lacks any redeeming personality.
Women, in general, are far more often judged by their appearance and not for their character. It's a societal norm. Guys face this as well, but I would argue it's to a far lesser extent. Sure, you could point to the crazily handsome muscular men that appear in video games to counter this, but these characters are used, because they are empowering to the mainly male audience of video games. Guys like to see a strong hero, because it makes them feel powerful as well. If there were to be a game where say, the male protagonist was merely a sex object, the game would probably fail with male gamers. Imagine seeing a character with a huge bulge near his junk, and that is similar to how women feel about games with busty women. And also, think about how few game developers make male characters like that, and then think of all the games that have overly sexualized women.
This game is clearly marketed to men, and it does sexualize the women. However, while I haven't played the game personally, it appears to be that these women are not, merely sex objects, but are developed characters that value beyond their sex appeal, and thus, I have no problem with this game, and I don't think others should either. There are much worse games, movies, and books to be outraged about on the issue of objectification of women; that said, I think it's an important discussions be had. I could go on, but this comment is already long enough as is.

Ruffigan

#319

Ruffigan said:

@I-U
That's not a case of someone objectifying them, they ARE being objectified. They are women with supposedly deep personalities being portrayed in an undignified, sexually explicit, and shallow manner to sell a game to men. That is the DEFINITION of objectification.

@DarkKirby
I'm aware of what a target audience is, and that this game is marketed toward young men. I'm also all for freedom of speech and artistic expression. But what, exactly, are they expressing? That they like girls with big tits? Freedom comes with responsibility, and part of that responsibility is knowing how your actions and expressions influence others. If you're going to make art that shimmies on the border of pornographic and projects negative societal values, that art needs to be targeted at people old enough and wise enough to understand that, which their target audience is not. This game is a light example of that: from what I can tell the characters are well defined and have much more value beyond their overt sexualization. I'm personally not very offended by this game (the advertising and figurines are more offensive), but this soapbox is not just about this game but the objectification of women in video games in general, which is a serious problem.

k8sMum

#320

k8sMum said:

having read every comment made up to this point, what i am noticing as much as anything is the attitude of many of those who are very pro SKB come across as angry. at women who dare complain, at men who dare complain, at the thot that gratuitous sexualisation and/or objectification might actually be real, that anyone who disagrees with them is a prude, that men have it as bad or worse. the 'whataboutery' arguments are rampant: violence is worse so this cannot be a problem.

i don't like the thot of any game being censored, but don't drool over the boobs then tell us you read playboy for the articles. or that developers have no say in how viewers will interpret their work so the have no responsibility in any of this.

yuwarite

#321

yuwarite said:

Everyone who has a problem with sexual objectification of their gender has low self esteem; here's reality: Your BF/GF/Crush/Husband/Wife will always lust over someone other than you, get over it and face reality.

And stop caring that there are people who enjoy these kinds of games; get over yourself and leave them alone to enjoy their game.

DarkKirby

#324

DarkKirby said:

Ruffigan
But what, exactly, are they expressing?

Artistic freedom means something should be doable and can exist simply because the artist wanted it that way, there doesn't have to be some deep meaning behind it.

I said already in my earlier posts, I am 100% for free speech and against censorship and as such am against political correctness. You are saying you are for freedom of speech except when it's something you disagree with.

shaneoh

#325

shaneoh said:

@DarkKirby
"You are saying you are for freedom of speech except when it's something you disagree with."

And in a sentence you've summed up every person on the planet

k8sMum

#326

k8sMum said:

@AugustusOxy

'whataboutery' is not a valid argument.

anyhoo: your statement of about 9 hrs ago pretty much put where you stand on anything to do with women who see their life experiences differently than you.

MotorTCD

#329

MotorTCD said:

You know i don't cry over objectification when i see characters like kratos.
the fact is their are almost no UGLY playable characters in games.

Ruffigan

#331

Ruffigan said:

@DarkKirby
I'm saying there are ramifications. You can yell 'FIRE' in a crowded movie theater, but don't be upset when you're charged with disorderly conduct. You can wear black face on Halloween, but don't be upset if someone breaks your nose. You can slander someone's work, but don't be upset when they sue you for libel. You can make offensive caricatures of women, but don't be upset when people protest your work. Freedom comes with responsibility, and freedom does not protect you from the consequences of saying or expressing stupid things.

Chibi-Hobo

#332

Chibi-Hobo said:

@Kimimi - Your last line hits the issue perfectly for me. I can't even think of anything to add or clarify. (Much appreciated.)

Squid

#333

Squid said:

@DarkKirby
"Artistic freedom means something should be doable and can exist simply because the artist wanted it that way, there doesn't have to be some deep meaning behind it."

Allow me to just chime in because it turns out what you said here is practically exactly why SKB exists.

http://www.kotaku.com.au/2011/04/what-this-man-really-wanted-was-to-see-breasts-in-3d/

I'd like to say I agree with your views on censorship, but when the only artistic freedom that would be defended by not censoring is the fact that he just wanted there to be boobs, I do question what's really at stake if it were censored. It reminds me of this one censorship in the Japanese Pokemon Electric Tale of Pikachu manga, it had to do with boobs as well. I'd rather suggest looking it up yourself if you care to, but it seems the to be the same kind of "artistic freedom", it was something somewhat perverted that was in the manga, but it had no real purpose of being there (especially in a children's manga) and was edited out in the English version. Personally, when it comes to changing something perverted like this, that holds no bearing on the rest of the work (maybe one could argue that the boobs are important to the rest of SKB, personally I don't think so) I don't see it as such an attack on someone's artistic freedom.

Manaphy2007

#334

Manaphy2007 said:

@Mizore that and its what gives the characters a charm. look at soul calibur, fanservice with few with giant hooters, ninja gaiden i can name more but their main focus is not the women and objectifying.

Lalivero

#335

Lalivero said:

@Mizore All of those comments minus ~ 6 were made on that one day, so good luck. XD

It may beat out one of the Rayman Legends Wii U delay threads though, which had like just over 600 on the second.

Looks like things are slowing down atm. Heheh

Manaphy2007

#336

Manaphy2007 said:

anyone seen the anime version? tell me in your opinion if you like it or not, im gonna watch it regardless

Senario

#337

Senario said:

I don't look anything like movie heroes such as Thor or Captain America. Heck, I don't look like iron man either. I don't look like any male character on TV or in movies. I am shortish at 5'6 Or about 166cm tall. I have a roundish face and am not super fit or super fat. And I cannot hope to look like any of these characters because I am not white, I am southeast asian. I have literally been turned away by people because I am asian whether it be just friends, asking to hang out, going on a date, or otherwise. So don't tell me that male image in movies is less harmful or not harmful. But you know what? I can't change it and I don't see why I should let it bother me in the long term. Having these images in media shouldn't change my opinion or whether or not I will like something. Thor is a good movie series even if I cannot and will never be Thor like. And Senran Kagura burst may have big breasted women but it is still an action game people do like and feel that it isn't completely fanservice.

Jollykarp

#340

Jollykarp said:

Interesting piece. I do wish there were more options on the poll though, as I'm not really in a position to argue either view.

I'll admit it's pretty futile to defend the content of the game or the advertising. I honestly thought it was going to be pretty niche. But it charted, and seeing as from the activity on this site it's fairly popular. As much as I would like to disagree that sex and controversy sells, we constantly see reminders that it's a truth of the industry. I'm still trying to figure out what implications that has for gaming as a whole though.

faint

#341

faint said:

im to buzy playing games to read all of this. do i plan on buying this game? no, but i am buying coception. supose we can talk about that one next week.

one thing is certin @staff this article and comment section definately sold at least a few copys. no such thing as bad publicity........

JaxonH

#342

JaxonH said:

@Blast

They're video game characters. They have no ages. Their ages are whatever you imagine them to be. Just because someone slaps an arbitrary number on a girl and says "I thus declare this girl is, let's say, 15", doesn't mean they couldn't have just as easily slapped an arbitrary number of, let's say, 25. Besides, ages in video games are rarely revealed. The age of the character is whatever you want it to be in your mind. So stop imagining these sexual female characters to be underage, and they won't be.

It's hard to portray age in a video game, especially a game running on meager 3DS hardware. The best indicator is the fact they're fully grown in both stature (height) and sexual development. That should be enough right there to let you know the woman in question is at least 18. I mean seriously, how are developers going to make a girl look 19 as opposed to 16? What differences would you see in the character model? None. None whatsoever. The girls are only underage if you insist on imagining they are.

mikeymaster2001

#343

mikeymaster2001 said:

I'm pretty hesitant to wade into this, because of the awful way that I've been treated on this site in the past, on this very topic. So all I'll say is that I disagree with this sort of treatment of women.
@k8smum
I'm with you.

andrea987

#344

andrea987 said:

I think some people are overestimating the human race. There's no best way to make something (no matter how morally wrong) acceptable, than to depict it as 'light-hearted fun' or amusing. Satire is something else, but even that is often appreciated by the general public more for the content and not for the message it would like to convey.

DarkKirby

#347

DarkKirby said:

@shaneoh
You are right, so I will make clear where I "disagree" with expression.

Where I believe freedom of expression should be "stopped", is when someone is directly, unfairly, and unwillingly physically harmed by the production of said expression or something else that is by itself already wrong, like if you steal/break someone's possessions (against their will).

Example: Someone robs, kidnaps and tortures someone in what they call art and expressing themselves, but theft, kidnapping and torturing someone against their will is itself wrong.

Someone making a movie about and with the intention of promoting how one race is better that all others and everyone except this one race should be treated as slaves. Every actor and actress in the movie agreed to participate in it willingly and nobody was hurt against their will in its production. Do I agree with the intended message of the movie? Of course not, I disagree with it intently. I believe in "actual" equality (not forced equality). I will try to reason with people who believe in racism and explain why people should be treated and judged for who they are and not what they are. But I do not think said film should be censored because I disagree with it's intended message. Nobody was harmed in the making of the film and even if I disagree with it, they have the right to express their views.

As I said before "I may not agree with what you say, but I'll defend your right to say it".

@Ruffigan
"Potential" ramifications doesn't mean something should be censored.

Yelling "fire" in a non fire situation in a crowd directly causes people physical harm and it's been proven because (sadly) many people in crowds are cowardly panicky creatures who would kill innocents to save themselves.

You should be able to wear black face on any day of the year. People can hate you for it, they can insult you for it, they can tell you to drop dead, but if they physically harm you for it that's assault, causing you physical harm, and wrong.

Suing for libel is when someone damages someone's reputation with false statements in such a way they are caused injury, not when you slander their work. That said, I don't think defamation should be necessarily sue-able as you are not physically harming someone by it, but I understand why suing for libel exists when the defamation is proven to consist of proven lies. When suing for libel, it really comes down to in what way was said person harmed by said lies. Emotionally harmed? No.

People can absolutely protest against your work if they disagree with it, what I'm saying is said work should not be censored or prevented from existing because people disagree with it. But if the protester/s are doing something wrong in the act of their protest, such as non verbally harming the creator of the work or others, the protester/s are wrong as you can't physically harm, steal from, or damage the property of people you disagree with.

Like how recently a few cities have banned electronic cigarettes in public spaces and tried to restrict their sales, because "kids and others might get the wrong idea about what they are". Smoking near others in enclosed spaces can cause them physical harm. Electronic cigarettes cannot harm people nearby those who use them, and is a growing and popular preferred method for many to try and QUIT smoking, as it contains nicotine but no tobacco or smoke. So they are banning it just because "people might get the wrong idea that smoking is okay", which I believe to be wrong. And no, I don't smoke, so I don't have a personal stake in this. I just don't believe in making things illegal because people might "get the wrong idea".

JaxonH

#348

JaxonH said:

@mikeymaster2001

Don't hesitate to share your opinions. No one should bully you for having a different point of view. We agree to disagree here, at least, that's the idea anyways.

mikeymaster2001

#350

mikeymaster2001 said:

@JaxonH
Thanks, but that seems to only be the idea. Not the reality. As Ralph Waldo Emerson was reported to have said, "What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say." But thanks anyway.

defrb

#351

defrb said:

It's respectless, designed by man.
They like to see perfect woman with boobs that fall out of their dresses.
Imagine a game where guys have balls as big as balloons and woman look normal. Its stupid.
When i play games like this (its not the only game with insane big boobs) i feel like a teenager hwo's getting to little attention.

DarkKirby

#353

DarkKirby said:

@KodyWB-98
Believing in freedom of speech means people with views you disagree with have a right to express their views as well. As I said before, I will speak and reason against things I disagree with, but I would not want it censored.

NodesforNoids

#354

NodesforNoids said:

I find the question simple enough to explain away: men have not been vocal about the way men are portrayed in such media. Men and women have BOTH been vocal about how women have been portrayed.
The advertising shows this true: stylish, covered men on cover art.. shirtless and half naked within.
It's a problem for the critics on the other side of things as there is no hiding how women are or will be portrayed.
Female sexuality, not sex in general, sells. And it sells EVERYTHING. From Go Daddy and 70% of car enthusiast magazines to video games, anime, movies and clothing, it's all a parade of female sexuality.
And honestly, that's not my biggest concern. By biggest concern is the vulnerable, submissive take the entertainment industry has put on things. Not only does it seem to suggest and promote sex but to encourage rape culture.
Let's face facts: 99% of people are intelligent, socially responsible, moderately respectful beings. But for the 1% that twists things to their reality, rape and sexual assault are very real consequences of encouraging the desensitization towards nudity and sexuality.
These kinds of media might be 'only kidding around', but they're not conducting anything positive in the vein of truly opening us up to greater acceptance of nudity or sexuality.
Desensitization: bad
Acceptance: good

Deathgaze

#355

Deathgaze said:

We should boycott the game because it's a God-awful game. Want a fighter? Go and play Tekken, Street Fighter or something with depth. Not this sorry excuse.

R_Champ

#356

R_Champ said:

@Jayvir

GAWD, finally someone says it. Even things like Justin Bieber, Twilight, and Fabio on all those romance novels are also objectification of men, but no one ever seems to touch that. I understand women have gotten the short end of the stick for a long time, but because of that people think it's entirely one-sided and never talk about it.

I think the only solution is constantly ask yourself if you're treating people like people because otherwise you're just a big fat hypocrite. How many of you have school girls, nurses, etc in your internet bookmarks? Probably 95% of you. Is that objectification? You betcha, but as long question your mentality towards women (or men) and try to improve upon it, you can do whatever the heck you want. I got preached at enough in church and towns full of hipsters to know most people are just BS'ing hypocrites about this kind of stuff. Like what you like, just don't be drone.

Crimson_Ridley

#357

Crimson_Ridley said:

I don't find this sexist at all. One thing you'll know about males and females is that they find certain body parts rather attractive. Having a girl with big breasts is just the same as having men with overly muscular torsos. Do they never think that it might be insensitive towards slimmer men? No, they only care about how they are being portrayed.

Let me tell you something else; many women store their phones and money in their bras to keep them safe. How is this picture any different to that. The only people that find these things sexist are the sexist people themselves.

tigermask

#358

tigermask said:

I would argue with some of the 'anti-feminist' and 'male rights' posters but you're all so backwards and close-minded it would be like shouting at the sky to stop it raining. This game isn't art, it is trash trying to make a quick buck from selling sex like countless others that have come before it.

StarDust4Ever

#359

StarDust4Ever said:

I wonder what would Anita Sarkeesian of Feminist Frequency have to say about this? She's the woman who raised 150k on Kickstarter to raise public awareness on female stereotypes, and whom released the infamous 3 part video series "Tropes Vs Women".

Jazzer94

#360

Jazzer94 said:

@Jowy You realise this is a beat em up not a fighter so at least get the recommendation right and say something like Streets of Rage.

SetupDisk

#361

SetupDisk said:

I find crap like this hilarious. "I don't like something because I feel this is what is wrong with it!" The rest of the world must be wrong or part of the problem if they don't agree. Shove off and grow up. I can see the entertainment value in this and guess what? I have never sexually assaulted a woman verbally or physically. I have lots of female friends/coworkers who I treat all as equals, not sexual objects I lust after.

People that are "influenced" by stuff like this are full of crap. Just making excuses where if this didn't exist something else would be at blame.

Deathgaze

#362

Deathgaze said:

@Jazzer94 Either way, I looked at the promotional videos Nintendo Life posted and called it quits on the spot. Knew it was nothing more than another modern age terrible Japanese game. I just remember someone mentioning it was a fighter. Never mind me.

khuenq

#364

khuenq said:

I don't see anything wrong with Senran Kagura Burst. It's just the people who over reacted when looking at it. Every single day, you watch a lot of movies and music videos and they all have some sexy scenes, sometimes the people in those movie, those music video make love with each other!!! So why do games have to be so fresh like it was made only for 5-year-old children? We have something called "rating" and "parental control" so if children can access adult contents, it is our responsibility and it is we who have problems, not the game itself.

I am against censorship. If any entertainment content is inappropriate, just don't publish it. When publish, just don't censor anything.

Kosmo

#365

Kosmo said:

Then, men should attack games like God of War for displaying such overwhelming level of testoterone. ANd DUke Nukem. Those games are not purveying an acceptable and realistic image of men... (is what I would say if I was the kind of idiot who wanted to censor games)
Double-standards, man...

Peach64

#366

Peach64 said:

@NINTENCHIP

"Side note: Guys like Thor and Cap America aren't objectified. They're idealized. If they had ball sacks hanging to the floor and a chain that could smack someone with a slight turn of the hips, then yea, that'd be comparable."

THANK YOU! The vast majority of these comments think objectifying means making a character attractive. That's NOT what is going on with SKB. I don't think I've ever seen so many people miss the point of the discussion entirely. Damo wasn't asking if it's okay to have sexy characters in a game, and he wasn't asking if sexual themes in a game were okay.

TrueWiiMaster

#368

TrueWiiMaster said:

@AJWolfTill
What you're describing sounds more graphic than this game. As far as I can tell (I don't own the game), the least these girls wear is basically bikinis, which are generally accepted. In other words, the clothing isn't really where the controversy is coming from. Some of the controversy certainly stems from the way their clothes are destroyed (which isn't unlike male characters losing their shirts so often it's become a cliche), but most of it probably comes from their exaggerated bodies (which aren't unlike the exaggerated men often found in games, movies, etc). Again, if you're against this game, but fine with buff, shirtless men, you're being hypocritical.

Zach

#369

Zach said:

@User1988 I haven't read all of your replies, but from what I've read so far, I agree 100% with you. Thank you.

PvtOttobot

#371

PvtOttobot said:

The objectification of women and the worship of sex has reached an all time high, especially in Britain! It's not this game that is the problem but the country's mindset, after dumping religion (I'm a Christian and face harsh opposition and slander daily) Britain's morals have gone down the drain, there is apparently no other reason to not have sex with whoever you want (that is, if they give consent) so Britain has taken this and let it flourish.

Sinister

#372

Sinister said:

The problem is that people that are offended (and this is not exclusive to women but rather happens pretty much everywhere) cry foul way too often and way too soon.
Now everyone is so used to them that noone really cares anymore.

Zach

#374

Zach said:

I lost patience for the "it's just Japanese culture" argument when I bought my wife the first two Bakuman mangas, having thoroughly enjoyed the creators' other work, Death Note, together, only to find that it had female characters openly stating that they were just women and their dreams could not amount to those of men. I was sure she was taking this out of context until I read it myself and agreed completely. It's this type of dismissal of women in art that feeds a sexist culture, a culture that can ignore how widespread sexual crimes against women are, a culture where we get extreme examples like the Steubenville incident because of people not taking women seriously as human beings. And that's how you have a culture that immediately vilifies women who would have their birth control covered by national insurance, automatically imagining her as an insatiable sexual creature who should just wants to have a lot of sex (when many women use birth control to regulate their cycles or prevent horribly painful menstruations and treat endometriosis), and yet looks the other way when so much Viagra and so many penis pumps are bought through national insurance programs like Medicare in the United States. I'm not exaggerating. We should be demonizing this stuff the same way that we now demonize racist portrayals of blacks, Italians, Asians and otherwise when at one time they were so common. It certainly made it harder for those cultures to be taken seriously, to seek justice, to feel like full members of society. Not because art should be censored, but because art should be responsible. Would we be so quick to accept Senran Kagura Burst's art style if it were about avaricious Jews with huge noses, blacks with huge lips who eat watermelon all the time and are lazy, Asians who swap their "l"s and "r"s? You can exaggerate it to a degree where you can call it a "style" but it's still racist at the core. Just like this is sexist at the core. The result is an entire segment of the population being trained to feel that they are unimportant, that they are less than the norm. That they shouldn't worry about being taken seriously. That maybe, the patriarchy is correct. Women came out against the Equal Rights Amendment when it was first proposed as well, because they had been trained to think that their only correct place was in the home with the family. Sure, that's a fine choice to make for an individual, but a terrible thing to impose on others and a soul-crushing prospect for some. We have to remember that presently and historically, it's been men who have been in power in these cultures. And in a Western culture, it's white men who have been in power. The powerful can either choose to take responsibility and make responsible art, or appeal to the lowest common denominator and keep encouraging its audiences to view women as nothing more than the sum of their body parts. Eating disorders are an epidemic, sexual assault is on the rampage, and this type of stuff feeds into the mindset that says it's ok to not take these things too seriously. But it's all part of the same thing. And it's something that the culture-makers, the artists, the game makers should consider. They have a responsibility to do the right thing. They can either buy a share in the "it's ok to objectify women" set, or they can treat women as actual human beings and try to make a game that's good and entertaining without it being at their expense. (Easy fix: give the guys huge unrealistic oversexualized images too. But that assumes that fighting for equality at the production end is the problem, when all this stuff points to is inequality at the creation end. Art that results from a sexist stance that refuses to question itself can't be fixed by an equality band-aid, and the type of art that unquestioningly puts this type of portrayal into the world only strengthens that inequality. And more people go on unquestioningly accepting it, and the cycle continues.)

DualWielding

#375

DualWielding said:

@Jowy

You do know this is a complete separate genre? this is a 2D beat em up, not a 1 on 1 fighter..... It's like streets of rage or final fight, not like street fighter or tekken.... that's why I like 2D Beat'em ups is a genre that has been lackign quality entries as of late, if it was a 1 on 1 fighter I wouldn't care because as you mention there is no shortage of quality entries in that genre

Marshi

#376

Marshi said:

@Jayvir I was going to write exactly that. Men in games are usually depicted as super men with massive upper bodies and an attitude of violence in mind. So why dont guys feel offended? Some women just get way to defensive. A girl friend of mine even looked at senren kagura and said it felt empowering to her having these "sexy anime girls"(her words not mine) as the protagonists of the game.

People just get way too pc nowadays!

AJWolfTill

#377

AJWolfTill said:

@DarkKirby I wasn't saying it's ok to objectify one and not the other, I was trying to say that it is an incredibly one sided marketspace and the equivalent use of men just doesn't exist. I don't mind men being objectified because I have no justification to objecting to equal treatment. There does not seem to be any artistic expression going on here it is just gameplay mechanics tied to 3d breasts, girls stripping each other and lingering panty shots. I don't mind this game existing but it should not recieve such mainstream coverage due it's degrading content.

AJWolfTill

#378

AJWolfTill said:

@TrueWiiMaster
As I said, there is a difference between using sexually attractive characters through which to live out power fantasies or whatever. I don't mind characters being 'prime specimens' (but I am all for diversity).
This isn't about having attractive characters, this is about those characters being sexually exploited ridiculously. The screenshots at the end of the article, cover art as well as the marketing make it abundantly clear that the primary focus of this game is to reduce these characters to sex objects. I don't care if this game exists but it shouldn't recieve the same self space and coverage as games which are not preying on female sexuality and male sex drives.

TrueWiiMaster

#379

TrueWiiMaster said:

@Zach
In Bakuman, are you referring to when he describes the girl as something like "good at being a girl" (I haven't read it in a while)? Because as I recall, both the boy and the girl are pursuing their dreams, and neither of them is dreaming small.

Zach

#380

Zach said:

@TrueWiiMaster No, I'm not. It was something like: the boy tells his dad he wants to draw comics, the dad says he should pursue his dreams, the mom laments aloud that women's dreams aren't as important as men's, something like that.

TrickySx4

#381

TrickySx4 said:

I grow weary of these articles. All the girls I know who are gamers play these types of games and enjoys them. This may be a shock... but this game doesn't portray women, they are anime characters.

TrueWiiMaster

#382

TrueWiiMaster said:

@AJWolfTill
Many people who have the game have commented that that wasn't the case, saying that the characters have a lot of personality, and can even be good examples of a strong female character. Nintendo Life itself said the game was quite good, giving it an 8. Senran Kagura may use its characters' looks to grab attention, but the game seems to stand well on its own.

Einherjar

#383

Einherjar said:

I hesitated to post a comment on here and poke into this hornets nest, but the headline just urks me.
What "Problem" are we talking about ? The last time i checken, men were either overly handsome ala Nathan Drake and co or meaty, buffed bulldozers who are constantly rude and vulgar.
Or look at some JRPGs, Tales of for instance, Men are most often whimps, pervs, womanizers or blatant idiots or the "Overly handsome, overly baddonkey" trope from above.
I hate it that this so called "problem" just gets viewed from one side only. There are plenty of other examples.
MGS 3 for instance. Everyone is blabbering how Eva is just there for her curves. That beast just played her cards right. She wore that attire beause she knew that she could entangle all the men around her. And thats what she did. SHE won at the end, not because she was a busty damsel in distress, but because she cleverly exploited the natural "needs" of a desperate man, facing the green hell on a daily basis.
Or look at "The Boss". She is a woman, who gets treated with utmost respect not because she is a woman, but because or her expertise, because of her abilitys.
When something like Senran Kagura is becoming a problem, i petition for the removal of every male videogame character that followes the above mentioned tropes.
I dont want masculanity to be constantly portrayed by whimpy, whiny pervs. But guess what, noone ever complained. Noone had a problem with that because its fiction. I dont care if its a whimp or a baddonkey, a male or female lead, handsome or not.
And for that matter: Why are people getting so upset by fictional characters in the first place ? Why is it ok for 90% of the teen girls on facebook to post their "sexy body shots" ? They are objectifying themselfes if that is even a thing.
This big breatsted trope is mostly played for laughs. Its satire, a caricaturization. If youre offendet by that, by a fictional anime / videogame character, you have bigger problems than that.
Please watch the profanity — TBD

LordJumpMad

#385

LordJumpMad said:

I like how everyone defends this game like it's is their girlfriend.
The only thing that most of you prove is that you are willing to buy some awful "softcore porn" no matter how bad the game is.
I mean, if you wanted a good game that have boobies, then get Dead or Alive, no one made a big deal when that came out because the game was more then just boobies.

TrueWiiMaster

#386

TrueWiiMaster said:

@Zach
I remembered the line but not the context, so I checked my copy. The quote is from the father, but said by the mother. It was, "Men have dreams that women will never be able to understand." In the context, the mom doesn't understand why her son wants to pursue his particular dream, but the dad does. I don't think it was meant to undermine women's dreams, just to say that men and women are different. As I said before, the manga itself is about a boy and a girl both pursuing their dreams to the best of their ability.

Einherjar

#389

Einherjar said:

@TrueWiiMaster A friend of mine bought the game just for the lulz. Came for the boobies, stayed for an, as he said, preety good old school brawler. The game seems to be actually pretty good, sadly, i havent played it yet.

FantasiaWHT

#390

FantasiaWHT said:

Just wanted to say bad poll - you can say "no it's not offensive" without having to find it appealing.

Metafalica

#391

Metafalica said:

After been reading through alot of text I cant see why ppl rly are discussing this. Have read alot and one fine post made from Princess_Sugoi that reads as follows:

"My answer to the question is no.

I'm sick of the idea that this type of thing can only be appealing to the hetero male audience and every female in the vicinity should have their panties in a knot. I'm also sick of this negative attention only being directed at things that overly sexualize women. There a lot of Japanese games and anime and such that feature women in a provocative manner but there's also plenty that depict males in that manner for the pure enjoyment of female otaku or fujoshi. Why doesn't anyone ever get on their soapbox for that part of the industry? All the reactions I ever see for that stuff is people shaking their heads then moving on but trade out that all male cast for a female one then suddenly it's a social debate. It's like an unconscious idea that only women can be objectified or "victims" because they're weak. When things like Free! can exist peacefully while Senran Kagura gets put on the guillotine, THAT'S what I personally find offensive as a female.

My attitude towards fanservice in general: It's just sex ffs. People like getting turned on as part of their entertainment just like people like getting scared or teary eyed. I only have a problem with it when it's used to cover up something that fails in other important aspects but SKB doesn't have that problem. It arguably has the problem in the title but from my perspective, it's just entertainment."

Thats like the best freakin post in here.
The Second best one is from Einherjar. Can't say anything else. Cuse the whine about this game is getting abit too much rly.

Einherjar

#392

Einherjar said:

@Metafalica Only the second best ? dawww >.<
Thanks for the compliment and for reposting that comment. WIth almost 400 posts, stuff like this gets overlooked pretty easy.
And i couldnt have said it better actually.
I also find it rather strange that its widely excepted to "objectify" men (Chrom from Fire Emblem in his swimming attire comes to mind), that its only natural to portray male leads as buffed, jacked knights in shining armor, but as soon as female proportions get caricaturized, everyone is up in arms.
I may be wrong here, but i bet that nofemale gamer said "well, its a natural protrait of a trained male body" when seing the abopve mentioned image, and rather said "look at THAT body :3"
And theres nothing wrong with that. Its fiction. Nothing more, nothing less. Its made to get your imagination running wild, in whatever way: To scare you, to ruffle you up emotionally or to arrouse you. Its only natural.
And like i sad in my previous post, its mostly played for laughs anyways, so who cares ?

LordJumpMad

#393

LordJumpMad said:

@Einherjar
Well....you see.....
Leave my boobies alone.....Slavery! Another thing that I saw people using to defend their point!

Well I'm not a boobie craze teenage to really care for this topic, but it is what it is.

Zach

#395

Zach said:

@TrueWiiMaster Sorry, that line is so clearly sexist. Men have some dreams that women can't understand? How is that anything but saying that women aren't equal? And any argument that men's dreams are different than women's is basically arguing that "separate but equal" makes sense. Separate is never equal. Especially when the dialogue is set by those who are in power.

SetupDisk

#396

SetupDisk said:

@Einherjar
As I have seen hilariously posted in this article by some all men want to be like that! All men have the same ideal physical shape and want to be heros! The hypocritical statements by some here would be cause for anger if they weren't so silly.

Captain_Balko

#397

Captain_Balko said:

@unrandomsam Now, the problem with that is that there are legal issues, and also the matter of reputation. Obviously my statement isn't the case when legal complications arise. Furthermore, a company must protect their reputation, and transitioning into pornography would be a hard blow to their image and therefore their ability to make money. A game like this is harmless - an incredibly minute amount of people in the target demographic would consider it "sullying" to have it on Nintendo's eShop and would stop purchasing from Nintendo because of it. But if there were no legal problems and Nintendo didn't have to worry about losing its good reputation, and there is a market for it (and I believe there is, because I read about somebody taking pornographic images and editing them and putting them on an SD card so they can be viewed in 3D on the 3DS camera), there should absolutely be pornography on the eShop. Such is Capitalism.

AndymanMessiah

#398

AndymanMessiah said:

It's interesting to bring up the Tomb Raider reboot which pretty much demoted Lara Croft from the strong, independent dinosaur-murdering baddonkey adventurer, video game icon and, yes, sex symbol she used to be in a horribly misguided attempt at turning her into a female and much less confident Nathan Drake. I actually expected people would object more to this treatment but here we are with yet another article that, although briefly, celebrates character assassination. I'm curious, what did the article writer think about Other M?

Anyway, this is my stance on the subject (and sensitive people should probably look away now): Women should be allowed to be just as ridiculously sexy and baddonkey as men, and if some people have a problem with that then that is their problem entirely. It's probably worth talking over with a psychiatrist because it's obvious that their low self-esteem is making them compare themselves to fictional characters. That's not healthy.

Please watch the profanity — TBD

Apparently I have you people to watch it for me, so thanks. Also buttocks, whether it's good or bad, is not an example of profanity that I know of. Is there a list of unacceptable words somewhere on the site that I can read?

Galenmereth

#399

Galenmereth said:

@Zach: Excuse me here, but you do know men and women are psychologically and physiologically different, right? We should all have the same rights in society, obviously, but to say that women === men is ridiculous. Women have a tendency to fantasize differently about sex than men, for example. Women have a tendency (and do note my repeat use of the word "tendency", because of course this is not globally true for all women everywhere) to be desired, and physiologically women have a tendency to be more attracted to men that can provide for them. This is biology and psychology that combines into what people consider "stereotypes", which it is; we are mammals and our actions and thoughts can be explained to great lengths by basic psychological archetypes.

This is why one has to consider this when one looks for problems in the way women are presented to men in mediums such as art, books, and games; because it's usually teams consisting of mostly men that make these games, and often they target them towards male demographics. I'm sure by now you're thinking "but it's about time we changed this", and I agree to some extent; we should strive to evolve as a species. However, you cannot ignore the presence of biology, psychology, and the inherent physiological and psychological differences between the sexes.

If you look at soap operas that are made for female demographics, I will imagine you'd be hard pressed not to see the male characters as objectified. But they're objectified differently than women usually are; they don't go around dangling super large manly bits, for example, but they do build off psychological archetypes and physical stereotypes that women have a tendency to largely find attractive.

It worries me that we are looking at this so very "black and white"; as if it's all either good or bad. Objectification is inherent in our psychology; we are each and every one of us the only subject in our reality. Everyone else is an object, because we can only try to understand their complex feelings and thoughts, but we can never truly know anyone but ourselves. Objectification combined with sexuality is necessary, because imagination is necessary for a healthy sexuality.

GameGoddess32

#400

GameGoddess32 said:

Here is my personal opinion..there are LOTS of other mediums that have been objectifying women for many years..even some Renaissance paintings objectify women..it's nothing new..I'm a woman,and personally I find these kinds of games laughable..like the DoA games,those women are bouncing around,breasts flying,and I find it funny,because it's so out of proportion and exaggerated..now,thankfully they have more bare chested men on TV(and some bare chested women if you watch Showtime) and I enjoy all that man candy..this game is not "pornographic" nor does it objectify women any more than anything else..I say if you want it,buy it..if you don't want it and think it's disgusting,then DON'T buy it..personally I wouldn't,but not because of the bouncing breasts,I find that funny..no one talks about shirtless men on TV being "objectified"..anybody,man or woman will objectify the other sex from time to time,it happens..like Galenmereth said objectification combined with sexuality is necessary,because imagination is necessary for a healthy sex life..some people WILL take it further than just fantasizing,but hey,that's what some humans do because THEY'RE NUTS..

TantXL

#401

TantXL said:

It's not sexist, i just hope the girls aren't 14 years old. I don't get why some people would find this offensive, it's not real.

World

#404

World said:

As a girl who (duh) plays video games, I really have no problem with this simply because Japanese video games like this one are an INCREDIBLY niche market. The four or five guys and girls who say "yeah, I am attracted to these pretend ladies" are hardly hurting anyone.

And honestly, in my humble-yet-raging feminist opinion, this "objectification" stuff is a pretty shallow pseudo-debate.

Maybe tomorrow we'll tackle masculine bias in the gaming industry, and how various folks insist that, in order for a game to be legitimate, it must also incidentally conform to various masculine (not necessarily male) standards of existence (i.e., grim because that's realistic, punishing difficulty because "that's how life is", and so on and on).

Maybe that!

Jazzer94

#406

Jazzer94 said:

I'm going to keep this as short as possible: Because something is perceived as acceptable in society at this current moment does not always make it right or the case in reality, yesterday I went to a play called "Red Velvet" that was based on Ira Frederick Aldridge the reason for why I'm bringing this up is at the time in 1800s it was perceived that only a white person could be a stage stage actor Ira Frederick Aldridge stood out as trying to change this misconception. The reason I mentioned this is that maybe at this current moment it seems harmless to have these sexual themes in the games we play like how it has been deemed accepted to have sexual themes in most of our media but just maybe the current system and our way of thinking is wrong and needs change.

World

#407

World said:

@Galenmereth I had this big speech prepared about radical feminism and how actually it's at least mostly socially-constructed, if you ask me, to promote heteronormativity (man I love that I can talk about video games AND use that word)...but then your icon makes me think we're on the same side! So, like, carry on!

kuribo4

#408

kuribo4 said:

@Pikachupwnage I watched 6 episodes, but now I'm watching Gurren Lagann which I haven't seen either and then Kill la Kill. Ryuko is awesome. She's like Goku, but not just an imitation like in so many TV series.

XCWarrior

#409

XCWarrior said:

Wow 400+ comments....

As others have said, it's a game. Not meant to be realistic. Just have fun with it. I plan to pick the game up eventually.

And the reboot of Tomb Raider isn't exactly setting the world on fire. Though I don't know how many games in the series were ever actually all that good.

Ren

#410

Ren said:

This is the kind of internet discussion that scares me and gives me pause about the hope for the future of the world.
There are some vastly misunderstood stereotypes about "radical feminism" from people who don't understand what feminism is at all (it's not that deep/ 'activisty' thing, it's a basic idea that women should be treated equally as humans, take it as far as you want; you are probably a feminist like I am, it's not a dirty word)

the idea that men are equally mistreated in portrayals in media is ridiculous and flawed in that what matters about any fictionalized image and it's agregious nature only comes down to the real world power structure, which is one where men enjoy freedoms and advantages that are worlds beyond what any woman could imagine. If you think some tough guys without shirts on in movies is hurting mens "shaky position" in society that you are simply diluting yourself and need to get out of your house more.
Negative and sexualized portrayals of women is a constant unending thing in every corner of every society and affects every portion of womens' everyday lives since it has been the norm for centuries.
A lot of the people here clearly have just not left home and experience some of the dark realities of how the world actually works.
You need to step out of your male privilege and try to imagine for a moment what a person goes through their entire life being diminished, sexualized, pressured to put her look/image above everything else, told she is not as good/skilled as a boy, fed only toys about cooking/makeup/being pretty, shown only 'strong' women who can manipulate with sexual favors, etc. etc.

there is nothing you can say to a young white boy to make them understand that feminism has a real purpose, and is not about anyone being angry or lording over anyone, it's just about seeing everyone respected as humans. Like the ignorant video posted above somewhere people just don't know what they're talking about, and need to actually look up what feminism is, and what it stands for.
It's not a secret radical club of angry lesbians, it's just anyone who wants women to be treated with equal respect, and part of that is just recognizing some of the problems with the way we treat people everywhere, still (yes, the patriarchy; the world that has been dominated and brutlized by men for centuries; it's not a myth). It's just pathetic to see people (like the woman in that video) spouting random defensive jargon about 'free speech' and entertainment and 'this is how capitalism works'.
So great, basically as this article poses; ignore it all, and accept it as it is (stay on your couch gaming); or actually get out into the world and think about how maybe the world can actually evolve beyond what your tv feeds you.

World

#411

World said:

@Ren

"there is nothing you can say to a young white boy to make them understand that feminism has a real purpose"

You're (sadly) right! And also I'm guilty of misrepresenting radical feminism sometimes (it's admittedly tough to disconnect the patriarchy and the patriarch, so to speak, and that's a problem I admit I have).

I think discussions like this are good though (in spite of the inability to get anywhere), because it gets sort of insular folks like me out of my comfy little milieu of like-minded folks.

Robo-Knight

#412

Robo-Knight said:

If this helps, my Girl Friend loves Senran Kagura Burst, so much in fact that she's going as Ikaruga for Connecticon this year, she's already even ordered her Costume from a really good Website, I forgot which.

But too be blunt & too directly prove my point, if a Girl who loves this Game and is looking forward too dressing up as one of the Characters from this Game, then maybe it's not so purely sexist, I mean it does come from Japan AND no one is forcing you too look at it, much less play it.

If you don't like a Game like this, then don't play it and don't go forcing your opinions down other peoples throats.

This is just a comment aimed at everyone in general I guess.

devilwaffle

#413

devilwaffle said:

Personally, I think that there's no problem with this game. Yes, it objectifies women and is made entirely for pleasuring a male audience, but that doesn't offend me in the slightest. although they aren't nearly as common, girls have their own medias that objectify men, and are made with a female audience in mind. in the videogame industry a lot of these follow under yaoi dating simulators. Do those offend me, though? nope. Lots of people enjoy them so I've no reason to tell them it's wrong.

Zach

#414

Zach said:

@Galenmerth Men and women are psychologically and physiologically different. Men and women can understand each others' dreams. Men and women can both legitimately dream of being a comic book artist, which is the point at issue in Bakuman in my example. Meaning that Bakuman is not talking about how men and women fantasize differently or some other such argument, but being sexist and dismissive.

mr570

#415

mr570 said:

So many people going off topic in this thread and using this as a soap-box for a varity of personal agendas it seems. In any case, the game is a lot of fun for a variety of reasons. Gameplay / Art / Story / Etc. If certain elements are done in a way which does not appeal to you, just skip this title, but don't think that you should be making that decision for others.

thelastgogeta

#416

thelastgogeta said:

Woah, this is still going a day after... I intended to address a bunch of comments before but will settle for addressing the soapbox itself.

First off, the title... I'm not convinced that the objectification of women in games... is a problem to begin with. The approach that many have with claims like this are that adults, otherwise of age individuals, younger individuals and unstable individuals are going to be pushed into being desensitized individuals who hate/disrespect women, drive recklessly and kill hundreds for no reason.

Since GTA V managed to sell over 32.5 million copies by February 2014, managing to reach every primary school gamer I've chatted to and features not only some abhorrent characters, torture and all sorts of crimes... In addition, it isn't the first GTA or video game to reach beyond the age rating in tens of millions and we have so few... or even no murders or crimes connected in a substantial way to Rockstar's Bully, Red Dead, GTA and Manhunt series or heck mass media in general. I don't see an issue. Younger gamers "might" play this? Younger viewers might switch on the DVD player and find the Human Centipede.

People can separate fictional works or constructed works from reality for the most part, even when it is the children you want to hide from whatever. In addition, works which portray or allude to insensitive content aren't necessarily at fault for doing so, Senran Kagura plays with a number of tropes some have some loathing for but still has a solid story, a cast of fun characters who never feel "exploited" (debatable) unless you count up to 10 skippable seconds in every mission or if you are the type to pan cameras for interesting views in Smash Bros...

The question of whether Nintendo Life or other sites should take a stance on the games on not... I wouldn't mind a writer or few having an opinion for their opinion pieces and reviews, nor to be honest a site deciding to focus in a specific field like this one focuses on Nintendo games and GamesIndustry gives us a good deal of analysis and numbers. Just know that people are going to find it odd when you dismiss Senran Kagura, but promote Dead or Alive, Bayonetta 2, Fire Emblem (which with the last installment is more of a dating sim game than most of my library), The Wonderful 101 or any game with a playful sense of sexuality.

I think there were two problems with the exchange on Twitter, one is that you didn't have any sort of "SFW" standard for when you posted on Twitter as even if it is a playful game or whatever... The other one is that the woman who responded was unnecessarily sensitive in their response (maybe?) and overlooking the work itself despite how it was marketed. Senran Kagura as you say is a fairly good brawler and also one who a fun cast of characters (Bonus points for over 24 girls in the main installments and only one guy without it going for a harem direction? Or not?) and sound story.

I don't think the recent Tomb Raider should be seen as a sign of how far the industry has come. Every year we have sleazy H-games, brilliant carved H-games, games with poor female protagonists/no female protagonists (exchangable to a number of you), games with more developed female protagonists. Get what you want and keep an eye out for games which play with something you don't like on the surface being good...

I'm going to have a lot of comments to read later on and expect to be repeating dozens of points...

Nearly forgot to address it, but many games exist to "objectify" men in a similar sense (VitaminX, VitaminZ, Kuroko no Basket 3DS, Sweet Fuse, Hakuoki, Starry Sky, Fire Emblem Awakening and so on), not that few of them tend to be localised. Their equals in other industries could be called Twilight, Magic Mike, Fifty Shades of Grey among others.

... Done, spent too much time here.

AlexSays

#417

AlexSays said:

"If certain elements are done in a way which does not appeal to you, just skip this title, but don't think that you should be making that decision for others."

Amen to this

k8sMum

#418

k8sMum said:

@AlexSays

how far do you go with the not caring whatever is in a game/movie/book/whatever? are only those in favour of something allowed to have and voice an opinion?

i would never push for this game to be not available for those who want it. however, it is nonsense to pretend that the imbalance between how males are seen to be objectified by some here and the ways that women truly are doesn't exist.

if you truly don't care what others think, we may as well do away with any attempts at debate or conversation about anything. the gods forbid you might see another's point of view as valid even whilst disagreeing with it.

Klinny

#419

Klinny said:

Oh wow, over 400 comments. I'm probably not saying anything new here, but I thought I'd join in anyways.

As a woman I was never offended by the title. However, I wasn't interested in it personally as I find the remarkably large breasts on the characters to look incredibly silly. They look like they have large jiggly water balloons strapped to their chests. Even if there's some sort of story and even if these characters have some sort of personality, even as a woman I am only going to be looking at their giant jiggly in-your-face breasts. To say that this is a byproduct of my innate inclination to objectify women is a little silly as well, considering that these characters were designed specifically to be objectified.

However, after watching some gameplay videos I'll admit that I was laughing pretty hard. There were half-naked girls squealing while smashing their butts together. There were cut-scenes where the girls' clothes spontaneously and conveniently rip in their butt and cleavage area, (seriously, who designs these outfits? I'd want a refund.) It is clearly pure objectification for the pleasure of the player. I'm pretty sure that no one playing is going to watch one of those cut-scenes and go, "Hey man, did you see that girl's awesome personality?"

With that being said, if taken in a lighthearted tongue-and-cheek sort of way, the game is hilarious. It is absolutely ridiculous and I almost died laughing as I was showing these videos to my boyfriend. I told him that I almost wanted to play it. Is this game clearly and blatantly all about the sexualization and objectification of women? Yes, absolutely. Do I feel oppressed for having seen it? No, not really. This game is funny because it is such an unrealistic portrayal of women and the player recognizes this distinction. Problems with these games arise when given to players who are unable to separate fantasy from reality, but does that mean that they should be disallowed altogether?

Also I wonder if it is Nintendo's job to censor this kind of thing. Games like these exist because there is a demand for it and a market for it. While these kinds of things do reinforce gender stereotypes, I would argue that we are not a society that alters its values based on the media, but that the media is a reflection of our society's values. They make it because it sells. I think we have to take some responsibility here, and acknowledge that what we buy and what we support has an influence on how games are made. The strong female characters that we are seeing in games today are a reflection of a society that wants to see these kinds of women.

(Also I see a lot of people making the point that there is objectification and unrealistic ideals and standards for men in the video game industry as well. However, I don't think this makes it okay to objectify women so much as it implies that we need to work on creating good characters in general, regardless of gender.)

Edit: I didn't vote in the poll because there was no option to state that I do not find the images appealing, and yeah they're a little bit sexist, but still I have somehow remained unoffended.

theberrage

#420

theberrage said:

2 options.
1) women should be portrayed as stick figures
2) developers need to allow gamers to customize breast size for all female characters.
The poll question is hilarious. If you say you're not offended then @damo thinks you have a hard-on. Really the question just needed a yes or no answer.

Xiao_Pai

#421

Xiao_Pai said:

Come on people! We can totally surpass 800 comments in this article, keep it up! x3

k8sMum

#422

k8sMum said:

@Klinny

there is a lot of common sense in what you write. however (you knew that was coming :-)), many today have no idea what feminism has accomplished for women over the decades and take it for granted.

one wit here has already used the lovely term 'feminazi', which is just arrogant, dismissive and defensive.

people who see a problem are being told to shut up and don't buy it. there needs to be some respect for the opinions of others even if we don't agree with them. they are being told they have problems because they don't like an aspect of the gaming community. there are posts telling people they are the problem, without even attempting to see things from the other side.

has anyone actually called for this game to be banned? i don't think so, but i see intolerance from those who think there cannot be a problem because they don't see one.

that is what i worry about: seeing the world in black and white with no grey areas that most slog thru.

DarkKirby

#423

DarkKirby said:

@AJWolfTill
I mentioned it in a later post, but artistic freedom means something should be doable and can exist simply because the artist wanted it that way, there doesn't have to be some deep meaning behind it.

As others have mentioned (and you'd know if you played it), Senran Kagura specifically isn't a game that solely has the characters portrayed as sex objects.

You say there isn't any "objectification" of men, but that isn't really true, as other people have brought it up. As the stereotypes go, there things men typically look for in women, but there are things women typically look for in men, but they are not the same things, and media exists to appeal to these stereotypes just the same.

Appearance is typically a trait both sexes look at, but it's typically higher on the priority list for men. As always, realize, with all stereotypes, there is a reason the stereotypes exists (there were enough people in a certain group that had these traits), but that doesn't mean they apply everyone.

http://hellobeautiful.com/2012/06/01/what-women-look-for-in-men/

http://www.cracked.com/article_18866_5-reasons-women-are-as-shallow-as-men-according-to-science.html

Frapp

#424

Frapp said:

Not offended by the game or the plastic model, but am offended by and incredulous of some of the statements by right-on posters here who think they have a monopoly on the truth.

triforcepower73

#425

triforcepower73 said:

I think the gaming industry needs to get with the times and realize that(last I checked) around 40% of gamers are female. Now I'm not a female myself, but I can sympathize with them.

unrandomsam

#426

unrandomsam said:

@triforcepower73 I don't see why every game should have to (Or even want to try) appeal to everybody. (There is not the same kind of outrage against Barbie games or Imagine xyz).

Phle

#429

Phle said:

To be honest, I think Lara has gone from "ok" to awfully offensive. Anyone can be a stick with balloon boobs, it's just to stop eating and get fake boobs. Looking like the girls from Senran Kagura Burst is actually even easier, you just need the fake boobs, new clothes, more makeup and get your hair coloured. Looking like Lara does now one the other hand, is a lifestyle choice. She is thin, but still trained, flawless faced, but no makeup, her hair just looks naturally awesome. A girl looking like that won't have time in her daily schedule to play the game, she is busy maintaining her hot model flawless body. I'm a girl, and I rather want totally unrealistic women in games than unusually epic flawless ones.

AlexSays

#434

AlexSays said:

"how far do you go with the not caring whatever is in a game/movie/book/whatever? are only those in favour of something allowed to have and voice an opinion?"

How far? Oh I go all the way
My entertainment options just shouldn't be impacted by anyone's personal beliefs.

There's a certain segment of the population that will be offended by anything, and collectively I don't care what any of them think.

AlexSays

#435

AlexSays said:

"if you truly don't care what others think, we may as well do away with any attempts at debate or conversation about anything. the gods forbid you might see another's point of view as valid even whilst disagreeing with it."

And also I'm okay with this, wrong person to try this approach lol
There's no 'not seeing your point of view', I see it just fine. I just A) don't care and B) would not like your personal opinion to have any impact whatsoever on what I enjoy.

Same goes for everyone else with a personal agenda they'd like to push.

EarthboundBenjy

#436

EarthboundBenjy said:

I want to point out the poll doesn't really cover every perspective.

There's a "Yes because it's purely for male gratifaction"
There's a "No, I like it, but it's fine"
and there's an "Undecided".

...Where's the "No, it's fine, but I'm personally not interested" option?
And where's the "No, though it's obvious that game was made to appeal to,men, I don't think there's a problem here" option?

JelloVert

#438

JelloVert said:

And then the same people whining about this game sit on their couch, play Grand Theft Auto 5, and pay strippers to give them topless lap dances.

Galenmereth

#439

Galenmereth said:

@Phle There are all sorts of women out there; don't stigmatize naturally thin and muscular women who look good without makeup. They exist, too, you know.

While the above is slightly in jest – they do exist, though – this is the problem with this argument; there are all sorts of women out there. All sorts. There are women who find games like Senran Kagura Burst a lot of fun, without them wanting to (or not) look like the girs in the game, or not even offended in the slightest. The fight shouldn't be against the portrayal of women in fantastic settings; it should be about equality in rights and opportunity. All this energy is wasted on something that art has done since we started to draw anything more detailed than stick figures on cave walls: Artists paint people unrealistically, often idealistically to impress or to arouse. This is not something that hurts women; lower wages, lack of human rights (like in the Middle East) and being robbed of opportunities in male dominated societies: That is what hurts women.

We objectify men just as much as women; it's just different, because different objectifications interest (or turn on) women, than men. This is something people would understand if they actually talked to a lot of different people.

bobfulci

#440

bobfulci said:

Women constantly playing the victim is getting tiresome anymore. I refuse to believe that any logical, level-headed human being would be somehow mentally damaged by cartoon characters with large breasts. It's just ridiculous and in America in particular, this "victim" culture has been rising higher than ever lately. If you look at the characters in this game and are left psychologically affected in a negative way, then I would suggest that you have an inferiority complex to begin with. I am a male and despite the rather silly comments on here about male characters representing "someone I would like to be" and therefor not subject to the same type of scrutiny that a female character would be is patently ridiculous to the extreme. So what is it we should do? make ALL characters, male and female some type of formless stick figure as to not offend anyone? Surely if they were skinny, then the overweight crowd would be offended. If they were blue-eyed then the brown-eyed people would be offended. It's a can of worms best left alone. The bottom line is this; If you are offended by the way the characters are drawn, simply DO NOT PLAY THE GAME. And as for you NINTENDO LIFE, are you seriously considering NOT giving attention to games that OBJECTIFY women? Do yourselves and all of your readers a favor and do not go down that road for it's simply CENSORSHIP by exclusion. Have any of you given thought to the fact that MARIO and LUIGI might be offensive to Italians? Should be boycott Mario? Anyone? Where does my "victim" crowd stand on this one? Nintendo Life, would you care to comment on this?

blodermoder

#441

blodermoder said:

@Galenmereth
"Art" shapes our culture, and our culture shapes society. Why don't we have the volume of racial stereotypes in art like in the 30s? Because it reinforces stereotypes that uphold the current norms that (in this specific example) keeps women from getting equal power to men.

So informing people of objectification and promoting boycotts of harmful content is a perfect way to waste ones energy.

Also, why do anything if you can spend all your time helping women in middle east instead of playing video games? People choose to spend their time and energy as they please.

Metaknight_3Raw

#443

Metaknight_3Raw said:

I disagree with the muscular men is the same thing analogy. Geralt is kinda ugly, very covered up in clothes and carries a very successful RPG series. The Witcher 3 is one of the most anticipated games this year. What ugly or average covered up woman also has this success?

I don't think the problem is objectification of women but the fact that there is nothing to balance it out. With male characters many are objectified and many are not and have successful franchises. Mario? Link? Geralt? Nathan Drake is good looking but he is not sexualised. Fox? Pit? Too many to name.

What we need is more successful franchises with female leads then games like this wouldn't stick out so much. Who's up for a Zelda game? More Metroid anyone :D

unrandomsam

#444

unrandomsam said:

@Galenmereth I know one woman who fits that definition of "naturally thin and muscular women who look good without makeup" - not sure 100% where it is natural or through training though.

Her main problem is the design of high fashion clothing that is designed by gay men to look good on unnaturally skeleton women. (As in she thinks they design it for men so there is no way to such as her to wear it properly).

TechnoEA

#445

TechnoEA said:

I vote no

It's only objectification or wrong when it has to do women. Yet these same white knights and feminists are completely silent and play opposition whenever a POC complains about being yet ANOTHER stereotype in a Video Game and claim we're pulling the race card; saying it's the "Artist/Writers Vision".

So it's the "Artist/Writers Vision" deal with it. I actually agree with it.

Don't like it ? Make your own game or don't buy it. Speak with your wallet.

ToxieDogg

#447

ToxieDogg said:

And the parents/soccer moms brigade strikes again. Sorry Damo, but you found the content acceptable before when looking at it as a gamer, it's no good now getting on your high horse looking at it as a parent.

It's up to parents to protect their own kids, not the rest of us.

Galenmereth

#448

Galenmereth said:

@blodermoder Sure, but please also read my earlier post about psychology and biology, and do also account for sexuality: While no doubt we should always strive to improve and do better in society and culture, not all objectification is inherently bad. If you are going to claim that games can instill values in society, then why are we not all mass-murderers and raving psychopaths by now? For all of the hours I have spent fragging people in Unreal Tournament 2k4 (the count exceeded 1500 hours last I checked, many many years ago), I am a pacifist in reality; I refused military duty, and while I have trained martial arts, I have used it to never have to fight anyone. For all of the hours I have spent watching anime which obviously objectifies women, I do in no way confuse that with real women; contrary, I watch such shows with women and we both find them amusing, often funny in their banality (a pantyshot again?) Obviously this is anecdotal, but do understand that people in general are not paper thin charicatures; few people play a game and think that women in real life are sluts because the women in the game is. I do understand that a few do, but that is actually a whole other psychological issue, which usually will fall under different categories of delusion. Entertainment and art can reinforce stereotypes, obviously, but you also have to understand the flipside of this: That entertainment and art can be a contrast to reality to bring about a broader look on reality as a whole. I would hate for everything to be homogenized so as to not offend anyone, not that it's possible in the slightest.

AlexSays

#450

AlexSays said:

"nope. i don't believe you do see my opinion. you are merely attacking. your agenda is showing, lad."

hahaha my agenda to let people enjoy what they want?
Yep you nailed it, great work on your part lol

Senario

#451

Senario said:

@TechnoEA yes, agreed. Nobody ever seems to bat an eye when all Asian male characters are bad guys, lack emotions, and are "unattractive". Those types of things are harmful but not acknowledged.

thatguyEZ

#452

thatguyEZ said:

It's a fun game and I love it, I'm not the biggest fan of the art direction but the gameplay is solid. The devs are free to do what they want, it's their game and I don't want feminists to ruin something that most of them probably don't even know exists. It's just a game, get over it.

angerami

#454

angerami said:

Any body how says won't buy this game because is disrespectful to females probably cant even buy it because their parents wont lol, if they can and wont, they are not otakus and they dont even watch anime nor manga, that is why the otakus also buy a playstation for those reasons, bunch of little kids commenting on a mature game lol

blodermoder

#455

blodermoder said:

@Galenmereth
Yes, I read your post about difference in psychology and biology. But why does it matter? It's a very bad excuse to sexually objectify people at all.

And you're showing some great cognitive dissonance towards gamings effects on your own mind. It's very obvious that you, like a lot of gamers have learned to be indifferent towards things like violence, online bigotry and sexual objectification. After playing for so long you learn that "it must be natural" for women to be showed this way in the media and that it's something to laugh at. Add peer pressure-arguments: "since everyone does it, why is it wrong?".

And yes, I'd rather live in a society where sexual objectification isn't the norm.

Galenmereth

#456

Galenmereth said:

@blodermoder Physical attraction is a necessary and fundamental part of mammal psychology, humans included. While many (myself included) tend to prefer emotional and psychological compatibility more than physiological qualities, physical appearance still plays a significant part when it comes to being able to be attracted to another person. And if you're going to have a healthy relationship with another person, you need to be emotionally and physically attracted to them. If neither is lacking, it can't last long. The scales may tip differently for different people, but both are significant.

This is where sexual objectification comes in: We all have different preferences in physical characteristics when looking for a mate. And make no mistake: Most of our life is spent looking for a mate in one way or another. We are driven by this basic instinct much more than most of us seem aware of. And now enters the common difference between the male and female psyche and instincts when it comes to finding a sexual partner: Males tend to be far more physical. Breasts, hips, skin tone (as a sign of poor or good health), hair qualities, overall body shape; these are important characteristics for a male to find a partner, because it determines the success of healthy and strong offspring. Females also look for physical characteristics, of course, but while physical strength was paramount for healthy offspring in the distant past, in modern times, the strength of a man can be measured by his wealth and/or his power over others (leadership). Today, relative wealth and influence is much more beneficial in terms of security of offspring than physical health. Of course, if a man has a strong, lean physical body and wealth and power, then that is the ideal suitor.

At this point it's apparent that while the options for a succesfull mate have become more varied for females, for men it's to a much lesser degree. Physical appearance, in most societies, is still the dominating factor. These are not absolutes, however, and it varies greatly from society to society; from the west, where women pursue long careers often at the cost of having children – to the middle east, where things are standing still and women are still very suppressed.

This is not off topic, actually: Art can be as much self-fullfillment and gratification as it is social commentary. Pornography, whatever one might think of the demeaning position it puts women in even in modern western society (something I personally cannot enjoy watching), is important. It's important because sexuality when one is alone is as important as when with a partner. But sometimes sexuality is a bit more subtle than that; just playing around in a fantasy environment where all the characters are ample bosomed women flashing their panties can, obviously, have a negative affect on a child's mind, but it can also have a positive effect on a mature mind. Because you get to live out a fantasy that isn't real, you can be more equipped to tackle reality, where everything is far more complicated, comes at an enormous emotional toll (dating is very tough for most people, especially if it doesn't go well). This is where sexual objectification is a good thing; because humans have sexual fantasies, and we can live these out to some extent in virtual environments where no real people are hurt. The few that tend to not understand the gap between reality and the virtual realm have psychological problems that would pose a problem regardless of whether their fantasy plays out in their mind or on a TV screen.

I'd like to comment on the cognitive dissonance part: I am not indifferent towards violence, but I am a curious person. I like to experience as many different experiences as possible in life, bar dangerous substances that alter the chemical makeup of my brain far more rapidly than visual and audio input does. While I'm no doubt indifferent to a certain extent to violence seen on a screen – the internet has caused this – I still do not enjoy violence for the sake of violence. Games like GTA, for example, are amusing playgrounds, but I do find the often gratuitous violence to take more away from the experience than it gives. It removes the weight of violence, and makes every scene that is meant to shock (through story) that much less effective. I do not think that it's only natural for women to be shown this way, but I think that as long as there's variation in how women are depicted – and with today's tv shows, movies and games, there's greater variation than ever.

Sexual objectification will be the norm for a long time: It is a part of our basic instincts. But we have moved into an era where the objectification of people – men and women alike – is more and more in safe fantasy environments, and we are bridging the rights gap between the sexes more and more. That is the important fight: That both sexes be allowed the same fantasies, the same freedoms and opportunities, and the same rights to enjoy objectified charicatures of the gender(s) that they are attracted to.

andrea987

#457

andrea987 said:

@blodermoder Completely agree. Unfortunately is not humanly possible to revert these processes, we crossed the line ages ago. But we're not alone, let's leave it at that.

TrueWiiMaster

#462

TrueWiiMaster said:

@Zach
Again, I don't think that was what the author meant. I think he was just saying that men and women are indeed different, and oftentimes do have trouble understanding each other. I don't think pointing that out is sexist or derogatory, especially in the context of the quote. Nowhere in the book does it imply that women's dreams have to be different from men's, nor does it ever imply that women's dreams are at all inferior to men's. As I said before, the story is about a boy and a girl both pursuing lofty dreams.

blodermoder

#463

blodermoder said:

@Galenmereth
First of all, thank you. I'm happy that you took the time to explain your points, but I still don't agree with them.

Pornography doesn't just fill out a void, where someone can safely practice sexual fantasies. It does actually create a need for more and more pornography. But I'm not here to make an argument against porn, I'm against sexual objectification.

Sexual objectification takes advantage of our basic instincts and distorts our view on reality. It's so rooted into our subconscious that we take it as normal. Safe environments like video games and movies is in some ways more harmful than real life. Movies have the power to sexually objectify women (and men) in masses compared to sexist co-workers.

Sexual objectification leads to dehumanization. It leads to bad self-consciousness, bad self-image and bad mental health.

So yes, even to a mature mind, sexual objectification in something outside of pornography can be both harmful to men and women. Both as users and as objectified fantasies.

In short: no, sexual objectification doesn't bridge the gap between women and men, it segregates women and men into caricatures that affect them in everyday life. Instead of being free TO sexually objectify, we should be free FROM sexual objectification and work towards sexual subjectification of both sexes.

thatguyEZ

#464

thatguyEZ said:

Parents should be parenting their kids, not expecting companies and developers to do it for them.

scrubbyscum999

#465

scrubbyscum999 said:

I get tired of these discussions. If you don't like it don't buy. So I like Senran Kagura. I like beat em ups. I like fanservice. I like cool characters. So what? Just let me play me **** game without calling me the devil.

khululy

#466

khululy said:

@Peach64 is metacritic the collective opinion of the world?

I've watched the anime based on these game series but while incredibly silly there is a lot of fun being made about it's presentation and it doesn't take itself as serious as the people who claim the game is harmful.
The game is only harmful for people who are unable to act and think like reasonable adults.
As for those who can, by all means do, or do not, enjoy some bouncy boob brawler bouts.

momoiiru

#467

momoiiru said:

My own personal take on this - I feel like Senran Kagura Burst is being condemned sans context. Does this excuse the marketing material produced for the game? Certainly not. But when you're presented with a niche title meant initially for a Japanese market I feel like that is where it has to be looked at from that perspective when deciding whether it is worth a boycott or is simply a product of it's environment.

I bought it, I'm enjoying it. Do I feel offended? No, not really. Will some women feel uncomfortable? Probably. Will some men? Probably. I think in this kind of situation it's more a "buy or don't buy" kind of game. Boycotting it in the West won't affect it's creation in the East, it will only hinder these games being released. (And some may argue that's appropriate or not)

Vhyper1985

#468

Vhyper1985 said:

At the end of the day I say the promotion of this game is very similar to the "Carry On" films from back in the day, it's silly fun & the makers & promoters know this, sure the game isn't to everyone's tastes, but if you're worried about your kids playing ("someone think of the children") the box has a rating on it & it's both YOUR responsibility & the shop assistants to prevent younger gamers getting their hands on games with material that isn't suitable in it!

For those offended by this game, look at it this way.. it could be MUCH worse, the characters are cartoony, there isn't any nudity (some people out there still think there is) & in the end it's not even real, it's a game, it makes as much sense as PETA complaining about killing virtual whales in Assassins Creed 4... As to whether this game should have been published? I think It should, it has & it's not done badly to be honest + if smaller Japanese devs see that even niche titles do well over here it may encourage more studios to release their games in the west!

In the end if you're offended by it, follow the advice given to every other form of media, if you don't like something don't listen, view or play it!

(Can't wait to see people's reaction to Akiba's Trip which was just announced for a western release ;) )

Metafalica

#469

Metafalica said:

@Vhyper1985 I agree on evertyhing u wrote and like what u are pointing out and what has been said many times earlier in the comments, but some can't take that to their minds. And also, its gonna be fun if the poopiedoodoocacapoopledooplestorm continues on akiba trips comment page or if nintendolife scribblenauts writes something similar, or if all the ruckus just dies down nice and easy (that would probably be for the best).
Please watch the profanity — TBD

3MonthBeef

#470

3MonthBeef said:

Women have Twilight and endless romance novels. Guys have risque videogames which are not many by comparison. Guys have porn but women have d*ld*s (any size their choosing), plus the option of going black and never coming back (disclaimer: a simple pop-culture inside joke for you literal-netizens out there).

So it all balances out.

RpgN

#471

RpgN said:

Of course the game's portrayal of women is purely for the gratification of male gamers.

Champollion

#472

Champollion said:

Wow. What a debate. Is there something more to say here? Well, actually, yes.

First of all: it's not about this particular game and whether or not it should be banned or censored. I see many comment asking "what about this or that other game, they are not singled out, why are they OK and this one not?". Well, they're not either. This game is singled out, not because it's the only one of its kind, but because BOOOOOBS are its main selling point and raison d'être.

Second: it's not about sexuality, or even porn. It's about objectification, which — as several people already pointed out — is not the same thing as idealisation. The problem is not that women in video games are sexy, it's that most of the times they're hardly anything else but sexy. If the main character is a warior / soldier / adventurer of some sort, of course he or she's not going to look like a couch potato. If it's a man, he will most likely be fit and muscular, because that's part of the job. If it's a woman though, in most games she will more likely have impractically huge breast and an excuse of an armor that hardly covers anything but her lady parts. (And, the camera will focus on said lady parts, too.)

Objectification of men in romance novels is really not on par with objectification of women in general. Somep people cited Twilight as evidence of men objectification. Come on! Men may be eye-candified here, but they're still the main protagonists as far as action is concerned. Bella is passive, submissive, almost inexistent in contrast. (In that respect, though, I'd argue that objectification in SKB is not as bad as in other games, since at least women, however impossibly "sexy", are protagonists, and from what I've read seem to really lead the story and have personalities. But again, it's not only about this game.)

And it's not really the same problem as violence either, for at least two reasons. First, in our society, violence is perfectly OK is some contexts — war is violent by nature, it is socially accepted, if only as a necessary evil, and if you want to make a game about war, it has to be violent. Sexism is not OK in any context, save maybe for pretends in the intimacy of the bedroom. Yet, and that's the second point, sexism is about everywhere. In character design (http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2013/04/24 ), in the lack of character design — so many more male than female characters ! —, in background / secondary characters, etc. Part of this is the reflection of the real world (e.g. "podium girls" and "race queens" in racing games), but that doesn't make it any less sexist, and why should that be kept in the game anyway?

People say: "there are exceptions" or "it goes the other way too". Indeed. This game or that one may have strong female characters. They are still minority. This game or that one may have weak male character only there as eye candy for gay men and hetero women. They're also the exception, and not only that : it's just as wrong. The only reason it gets less attention than sexism against women is that, once again, it's much, much less frequent.

I read many coments going "you think it's sexist, but it's Japan's culture, so it's OK". Well, Japanese culture IS pretty sexist, so that's basically saying sexism is OK. So much for that argument. (Japan was recently singled out as one of the country that has the lowest number of women in politics. It ranks in the very bottom of the list, well below such countries as Ukraine or Russia, North Korea, Syria or Saudi Arabia. Not saying that there's a direct relationship here (see below), nor that the percentage of women in Parliament is the key to everything (Saudi Arabia is also slightly above the US in this list...), but I can't help thinking there may be a problem there.)

There are also many comments dismissing the issue on account that "it's just a game, it doesn't influence people". There's a big misconception here. When people say games or media have an influence, they don't mean playing, say, a violent game will turn you a mass murderer. It's not an all-or-nothing situation, and it's not necessaryly 100% either. Saying : "I've been playing violent games for so many years, and I haven't killed anybody", is akin to dismissing the link between smoking and cancer saying "my grandpa was a heavy smoker and he died aged 100 from a non smoking-related cause". Not everybody reacts the same, the correlation is a matter of statistics, of average reaction — and even if you've performed well at school and remained staunchly non-violent after a life of playing violent games, who's to say you wouldn't have done even better if you had not played those games ? And I believe evidence is there that, yes, violent games encourage violent behavior (don't have time to look for references to back this claim now, but I'll check that later.) I'm not sure if there is scientific evidence that sexist representations in games have an influence on players, but one thing I know is that anecdotal evidence is not relevant to the question.

Anyway. I'm sure I'm still forgetting some points, but I have to stop somewhere.

TL:DR: This particular game is not a problem or a proof in itself (anecdotal evidence again!), but yes, sexism is a real issue.

blodermoder

#473

blodermoder said:

@Vhyper1985
It's not about nudity or sexy men and women. It's about sexual objectification.
Your whale killing-example doesn't work here. Instead: compare it to racial stereotyping.
Whale killings happens in real life, not in games.
Sexual objectification can happen in games.

Vhyper1985

#474

Vhyper1985 said:

@Metafalica Thanks, the only reason I mention other titles is that SKB isn't as bad as some other titles out there & threads like these are bound to pop up with other games, I'm sick of seeing them too i'll be honest but hey it's gonna happen

@blodermoder Sooo Sexual Objectification doesn't happen in real life eh... Must be nice to not have strip clubs, prostitution etc in your fantasy world... It DOES happen in the real world. Racial Stereotyping happens in the real world too, I help run a car racing team & have employed female drivers before & you'd be amazed at the amount of flak they can get from other male drivers on other teams simply because they are women.... Sorry to say but this crap DOES happen. As I mentioned in my previous comment though my comparison with the PETA debacle is similar in that you're not focusing on the real problem, all the people that are offended by this game should remember that this is a game, it's not real, it's a video game by a small developer who got lucky at the end of the day & had a laugh because of it... If you really wanted to help the world become a better place with less objectification & racial stereotyping for women go out into the real world instead of complaining about a video game, which again if you don't like the look of don't play it... simple! Oh & while I remember does this mean I can complain once the sequel comes out since Senran Kagura 2 actually has 2 male playable characters.... jus sayin... equal oppourtunities & all.. speaking of which you'd also be surprised how many females I know who have actually played & enjoyed SKB fan service & all simply because they can see it as I do, a silly game that knows it's silly but is also a lot of fun.

FYI Whale killings did happen in games go play Assassin's Creed 4 ;)

blodermoder

#475

blodermoder said:

@Vhyper1985
Did you even read my post? I never wrote that racial stereotyping and sexual objectification don't happen in real life.

When someone kills a whale in real life, a whale gets killed.
When someone kills a whale in a game, a whale ISN'T killed.
When someone sexually objectify women in real life, women is objectified.
When someone sexually objectify women in a game, women is objectified.

And hey, I am out in the real world and making a change, one action doesn't cancel out another.

Vhyper1985

#476

Vhyper1985 said:

@blodermoder

Have YOU read your comment? Read it again & you'll see how one might come to the conclusion that you were insinuating that objectification & stereotyping don't happen in real life....

That being said from your latest comment (cheers for replying btw) given that both games are actually out that include the things you mentioned (whale killing & sexual objectification) not all players are objectifying women when they play SKB, but IF they were would it not be better they are doing so with a character that doesn't exist in a video game & not a real person? The game itself isn't serious + most people who play it find it funny (in my experience) due to the sheer ludicrous nature of it & aren't suddenly going to go out into the real world & start objectifying women. In the same way people who kill a virtual whale or even another person in a game won't then go out & think "well I did this in a game so it must be ok" you'd have to be mental to think that way & have bigger problems in your life if you do!

blodermoder

#477

blodermoder said:

@Vhyper1985
I'm sorry for being a little unclear.

It's the developers of SKB that are objectifying women, therefore gamers of SKB are direct participants of this sexual objectification by supporting this kind of media.

The problem isn't the objectification of individuals (like the characters), it's the objectification of all women.

It's not just about making people objectify women (or men) in real life. People who don't objectify women in real life promote the idea that objectification is okay when they are buying and enjoying games and movies that do just that. In many cases, people who don't objectify denies that there are problems associated with it.

And because of this: People and companies who do objectify women are given a "OK" to objectify women as they please when no-one reacts, because objectification isn't even recognized as a problem.

element187

#478

element187 said:

"Ignoring The Objectification Of Women In Games Won't Make the Problem Go Away"

See there is where you are going wrong. We are not ignoring it because we want it to go away, we ignore it because we are indifferent about the whole conversation.... Look, publishers/developers can make games for whoever they want, and if it upsets people, then DON'T BUY THE PRODUCT. It's a very simple concept to grasp here.... We are all adults, I think. And we all live in country that supposedly has freedom, no? If there wasn't a market for it, it wouldn't exist, its as simple as that. If you are offended or sickened by a video game, you have problems, but the great thing about liberty is you can CHOOSE to not purchase said product.... I guess these idiots going around complaining about it instead of ignoring it is the real issue here. Trying to FORCE the issue isn't going to bring anyone around to their side, in fact its doing a great job in repelling most people away from their beliefs. It is childish to complain about this.

"And should sites like Nintendo Life be speaking out against it"
NO. Just ignore the issue :) If people are offended by your tongue-in-cheek approach to this topic then maybe they don't need to click on a link and read it? Nobody is forcing them to read the article.... but I guess complaining about everything is so much easier then choosing not to take an action.

R-L-A-George

#481

R-L-A-George said:

@HyperSonicEXE I hope it doesn't get in the way of Shantae either. I am a tad worried about artistic expression, why would they treat artistic expression like it was a sin to humanity or "woman kind". Like I say a lot; You cannot tell people how to express themselves but all you can do is make the art that you want. If you don't like a product or the colour marketed for your gender, you have a choice not to buy or choose the other colour selections in the men's. As consumers there is infinite possibilities. You can't go around telling people that there is something wrong with them because they like playing these games or playing a certain character. There is also the parents these days, it's up to them to do the parenting not up to the industry. Games like Senran Kagura have an appropriate cover because it kind of tells the content of the game besides the fighting. Don't know why people make such a big deal about retail covers when they are accurate.

Champollion

#482

Champollion said:

@element187 "its doing a great job in repelling most people away from their beliefs. It is childish to complain about this." You may be right, but ignoring it is unlikely to convince anyone either: how to raise awareness about an issue without talking about it?

tanasten

#483

tanasten said:

"Should we boycott Senran Kagura Burst's balloon-breasted characters?"

Loving no. Love playing fantasy games with fantasy girls. We should ban every game that involves war and different races as the enemy before that.
Please watch the profanity — TBD

khululy

#484

khululy said:

"While the games industry has come a long way since the male-dominated days of the '80s and '90s, it's still easy to forget that there are a lot of female gamers out there who could — and indeed will — be offended by such imagery," And they should suck it up and get on with their lives.

I am offended that some offended people want to destroy my option and freedom to play a game with big breasted women.

I get offended about war games with square jawed white dudes with some quasi military nonsense spouting to their token racial buddy. I think it's racist and it draws an image of men being brave heroic and altruistic saviours of the world while most of them are just egocentric testosterone loaded layabouts that eat red meat and watch sports (not(entirely) true, I know but it's just as silly an argument).

Should all games have pop music because lyrics about demons and the devil might offend christians in a game like Devil may Cry? Should we not have black npc's spawn in a GTA chicken diner because it might offend Jessy Jackson?
I think it's(the arguement) simply playing on peoples fears of doing the "right" thing like you should feel guilty enjoying the beauties of the female body.
The real problem is trying to be politically correct and last time I checked politics they where not correct.

MetalKingShield

#485

MetalKingShield said:

@R-L-A-George and @HyperSonicEXE - I hope this doesn't get in the way of Shantae too. Have you noticed anything in particular of concern? Half-Genie Hero has always looked sexless to me, but we'll see what Pirate's Curse turns out like. Risky Boots was all boobs and hips in Risky's Revenge, and I hope that doesn't change. I just love the female form and it seems it's becoming taboo to depict it in a way that accentuates it. OK, Senran Kagura Burst is silly (and there's nothing wrong with that), but it's also how the bikini was censored in Bravely Default etc, etc. The list could go on for a while.

HyperSonicEXE

#486

HyperSonicEXE said:

@R-L-A-George
@MetalKingShield
While I would understand some measure of concern making sure that Shantae and co. are not -oversexualized- in the first multi-platform launch for the franchise, no, nothing has gone awry just yet. And given that the concept of Shantae is fairly rooted in a realistic clothing design and having been created by Erin Bozon, I do not believe anything ill will befall the project. Additionally, the current myriad of prototype artworks and character designs uphold WayForward's balanced stance heretofore with nothing changed, and they seem very keen to understanding that sexualized character designs may hamper popularity and sales, particularly in the family-friendly case of Shantae.

MetalKingShield

#487

MetalKingShield said:

Although Shantae was never overly sexualised, I liked how it had a theme of beauty and the female form. For example, the statues in Risky's Revenge where you learnt the transformations (or, as I say, Risky Boots herself). There was nothing dirty about it whatsoever - it was just about curves and aesthetics - and it's this that I fear we might lose if we keep thinking the female form is "rude" and needs to be covered up.

tj3dsXL

#488

tj3dsXL said:

@ EVERYONE ABOVE : you cant compair digital life to that of the normal human one, you can only decide to become one or the other or both. If you choose the digital world of thus sort just remember to take a break every 45mins and so on !!!!

etherwinter

#489

etherwinter said:

I wanted to post this for a while, but technical issues and all. Ahem. Also this is not poking at the author of the article, but more gaming journalism in general.

How about stop worrying so much over FICTIONAL VIDEO GAME CHARACTERS. Things like this have been in art for CENTURIES. Paintings, photography, and today, TV/movies and video games.

How about you people start focusing on actual problems women are facing in the real world rather than what happens to a 2D sprite or 3D model on a screen? Write more articles about how some religions/countries treat their women--REAL WOMEN. But focusing on reality isn’t your job now, is it? Otherwise you’d have a better grasp about what it is you’re actually talking about.

How about you write about ACTUAL problems facing the industry? Like developers/publishers pouring money into marketing rather than developing? Or how some journalists are CLEARLY paid off. But of course, that doesn't matter at all, right? A fanservicey set of chicks kicking butt in a game is WAY MORE problematic than something like that. And of course, these girls are capable, strong both physically and mentally. The only difference between them and Lara Croft is... they show some more skin. How offensive. They actually have personalities, motives, etc. But their characters are ignored and they are reduced to mere objects by the same people who cry objectification. Somehow their ability to show some skin negates everything else about them.

I am sick and tired of this. If a fictional girl shows so much as some cleavage and panties, there's an outcry. Are you so sheltered and immature? No, you're not acting 'mature' by singling out VIDEO GAMES like this and then saying "OMG THIS FICTIONAL CHARACTER HAS LARGE MOVING BREASTS AND IS SHOWING CLEAVAGE! THIS IS WRONG. I AM OFFENDED." That is the opposite of mature. You are complaining about something that is so small it makes you look like you're just whining. This is like walking up to a woman --a stranger-- who is showing cleavage and complaining about it to the people around her. You are not seen as helpful or doing good, but just a nuisance and whiner.

On the topic of real women; do peoples’ heads explode when they see a REAL attractive woman in a bikini? How about when, during a movie, a woman shows some cleavage and thigh? Because you know that PG-13 movies allows some nudity. No? Because people complaining about this make me think otherwise.

Oh, this amused me: people are worried about their children being exposed to this. Then be a good parent? Don't buy these games for them? Pretty sure it's not rated "For all ages". Parents should do the parenting. DO NOT ask the developers to do the parenting for you. Hell, they even try to help with parental controls to make things easier for you. I worry about parents who think that the world has to do their parenting for them.

Another thing--so WHAT if the developers wanted it to be a fanservice game? What is the problem? You are thinking about boycotting something like this, for what purpose? Because it is harmful? And if it is so harmful, what of graphic violence and gore, and potentially disturbing or unsettling imagery which is in most games? These are not equally as harmful? Maybe you should think about boycotting those instead. Or do you just want to continue having double standards? Do you want to boycott free speech and artistic freedom while you're at it? You know, some of the things that civilization is built upon?

If this kind of thing "offends you" then keep on trucking. The game world is vast. You'll surely find some other game to play.

I don't see the Barbie game developers catering to boys--maybe they should try. I'm offended by Barbie games. I will boycott them for having things I dislike, and not having things I like. Ken is way too handsome. He should look more relatable. They should cater more to me, to the demographic I'M part of.

"but what, here, is being lost by making these characters normal looking, relatable women?"

I doubt they’re meant to be relatable. Why would they be? Do you relate to Superman? Or for a better example, Batman in the Arkham games? Nope. Not at all. He and his situations are not relatable and not at all normal. Neither is Lara Croft and her situations. Or Nathan Drake, or Solid Snake. You cannot identify with these characters. The majority of characters in video games are like this. You can make them ‘believable’, yes, but it’s still very much in fantasy universes and their situations are not at all relatable. You can still be concerned for and get attached to characters whether there’s fanservice or not. That is not a wall to bar you from seeing personalities or motives, or whatever.

So what would you lose? How about style, artistic integrity/freedom? Uniqueness? The developer wanted it this way. This is like asking Bayonetta or Sorceress from Dragon's Crown to look more 'relatable', more… normal. No, that's not going to work. It's part of the style and uniqueness of the game and its designs. It's also what the developer envisioned. Why do you want to take that freedom away? Even if it’s a shallow vision such as wanting to see boobs in 3D, it’s still an artistic expression. It doesn’t have to be DEEP to be art, but people in the game industry seem to suffer from the idea that things must have a deeper meaning or be complex to be considered art. That’s not the case. Sure, they may not be masterpieces, but it’s still expression. Still art.

These are the developers who don't pour money into advertising more than game development. They actually develop out of love of video games and their visions, targeting small demographics rather than making a game that's run-of-the-mill, pandering to everyone. So what if they 'give the finger to major demographics'. That wasn't their goal in the first place. It literally boils down to "if you don't like it, don't play it", because it wasn't made with you in mind. Move on.

Not all games cater to everyone. And they SHOULD NOT. All you'll get at the end is a general, tasteless, committee-approved paste that's put onto a cartridge or disc and sent off to you for $60US.

Freedom does come with responsibility yes. That is how it has always been. However the people creating this are not upset at the protests. The ones who are offended are upset. There is no consequence for something like this. Or rather, there shouldn't be. Artists have died for their art. In artistic circles, forcing artists to censor or change their art would be seen as a stifling of freedom of expression and creativity. Critics would by and large stand up for the artist. What is this in video gaming circles? Ah, "perfectly valid censorship of stupid things" Why? "Because it offends me."

These are fictional characters. They do not exist. They have no bearing on what happens in real life unless you cannot differentiate between fiction and reality. Can you differentiate between fiction and reality? Yes? Then you shouldn't have a problem.

There is no "serious problem with objectification" in video games. I can count more harmful problems than this overblown one. If you really consider this a problem, please set your targets on TV, commercials, ads, movies, music videos etc. Video games are the least of your 'problems'.

It’s like some of you people live in a bubble.

The video game industry needs to grow up. Particularly the journalist portion. Games that take away control from the player repeatedly because of frequent cutscenes or ‘cinematic gameplay’. Games that are almost ‘push button to win’ offering no difficulty or challenge. These aren’t problems, but fictional characters in video games are. Games that aren't even finished are rushed to meet deadlines have had millions of dollars more going into marketing rather than development. This is also not a problem, but fictional characters in video games are. Publishers cut out pieces of their game, charge a full 60$ for it and then charge extra for the pieces. This is not a problem, but fictional characters in video games are. Publishers pay off game journalists to give games high scores rather than reviewing them fairly. This is not a problem, but fictional characters in video games are. Companies litter console homescreens with ads. Some games even have advertisements in them. Of course, these are not problematic at all. But how a fictional character looks, how she's shaped, what she wears--this is the REAL problem. We should kick up a storm about this. Should we boycott games like this?

Video games are NOT a soapbox for social agenda. Conforming to your worldviews is NOT a prerequisite for ANY form of entertainment.

You’ll only succeed in barring Japanese games from the west. And I would not like that to happen. Japanese games in general have a variety and fantastical nature and style that you rarely ever see coming from the west.

If you don’t like The Birth of Venus, then stop complaining about it while looking at it and go look at the Mona Lisa instead.

The world is FULL of stuff that people will think is fun to them. It just seems so pointless to waste time on things you don’t like or can’t understand.

Fun facts: Japan has had female protagonists for the longest while. In fact, the first game to feature one was a Japanese game. Japanese games in general also have MORE female protagonists than the west. Also, despite fanservice (as eroticism is a part of Japanese culture), most of them are MORE than comparable to Lara Croft. For every strong western female character, there are 5 more strong Japanese female characters.

The game industry hasn’t been ‘growing up in recent years’. Lara Croft is late to a growing party.

kensredemption

#490

kensredemption said:

Holy crap, the UK can get away with a lot with their ads. If they were to broadcast that in the US, people would have a fit over the innuendo and the FCC would have a heyday with it.

Anyway, this objectification of women...I don't know. I mean sure, pixelated women are sexy and give me an outlet for my own insecurities and frustrations, but I know that real, respectable and powerful women are nothing like them. They're not vulnerable or prone to fighting in public with their midriff exposed, let alone their cleavage.

Games like this target a niche market - that of pre-pubescent teenage boys who stuff socks into their underwear to compensate for their lack of "masculinity". Well, that's my opinion, anyway.

R-L-A-George

#492

R-L-A-George said:

@HyperSonicEXE It's not what I was talking about necessarily. There is a MMO based on gods and goddesses from many cultures. The designs are or were based on historical designs and powers that match their folklore. Well people started complaining about it, what I meant by "used to". Now they just have a shallow stereotype version of the character people were complaining about.

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