GO MAKE ME A SANDWICH: SEXUALITY IN BAYONETTA (AND OTHER GAMES)

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Craze
i bet she's a diva with a potion popping problem
13616
http://gomakemeasandwich.wordpress.com/2011/06/03/bayonetta-and-the-male-gaze/

You all should really, really read this blog if you're at all interested in developing a game that has a female character. It's one of my favorite blogs, and this post is (in my opinion) one of the best.

Here's an excerpt:

GoMakeMeASandwich
If Bayonetta were an actual person, then it would make sense to proclaim that her sexuality is a choice and that she’s an empowering female figure. But she’s not a real woman. Everything about her was designed to be sexually appealing by a man who in his own words thinks that all women should strive to be as sexual as Bayonetta. These are not the words of someone who was looking to create a character that would turn stereotypes on their head, nor are they the words of someone who is genuinely interested in creating empowering female characters. Kamiya’s sole concern in creating Bayonetta was to create an action character who was his ideal woman and designing her for maximum sex-appeal for the straight male viewer.

The blog, Go Make Me a Sandwich, covers sexuality in videogames and D&D/MtG and how absolutely wretched the treatment and display of women are in them. This GMMAS goes far beyond "fantasy/scifi women are sluts, fix it" and shows just how bizarrely misrepresented females are.

What do you think about sexuality in videogames? Do you agree with GMMAS? Should we, as game developers, take note of gender and sexuality?

Bonus studies: True Female Characters video by Extra Credits
Yeah.

Well.

I want to comment but the thing is I'm really, really bad at sexuality. But yes. I'd like games that were more. Or less. It's not like stuff like DOA doesn't annoy me but on the other hand the heterosexual male in me doesn't mind at all.

It's the Bechdel Test thingie. Movies can't pass it. Games probably can't pass it either. But it's awesome if they do. The problem is that I'm fairly passive in this and that's probably the point I want to make.

It's all well and good to point out how skewed things are. But as long as I (the hetero male) is enjoying myself... Well screw all the others right? I won't be a bringer of change. I couldn't do it even if I wanted to (and I want to a little bit, but since I'm so bad at it my way of making "good" female characters is by making them male and then changing their names at the last moment).

Yeah I didn't come with much worthwhile. Only that I don't know how to pull it off but would like to see it pulled off by others.
Sex sells, what more can you say? It doesn't bother me so long as it doesn't detract from the believability of the character (in the case of a story driven game) or from how fun the game is (in the case of a game that isn't leaning heavily on character development).

EDIT:

I've never played Bayonetta so I couldn't possibly comment on that game as an example.
I don't seem to take it as seriously as others. Why shouldn't he be able to create something like that? It is his game, after all. I really don't mind it and that's how I feel about it.

Also, I'm finding it quite common nowadays to see male's sexual desire vilified as perverse and disgusting morally while a woman's is seen as somehow pure. I wonder what would happen if a woman were to create her dream man with the ultimate sex appeal in a game? Would men accuse her of sexual objectification? Truth is, I don't really care. If that's the character they want to make, more power to 'em. I don't find it appalling at all, and as long as the character's physical attributes aren't in the way of characterization or function, then I'm fine with it.
<edit: nah that makes no sense>
Before you edited your post, since I saw what you wrote, I would not be adverse to a female centric game in which the male protagonist's sex appeal is maximized for female players. I'd have no problems with it.

You were right the first time, since you mentioned that this is a male dominated field. However, some men in video games are designed and tailored specifically to women, but they're usually a lot more subtle in depiction than most fanservice females in video games. I think a lot of what it has to do with is subtlety. Bayonetta was anything but subtle, but again, it was not trying to be.

I'm not sure if I even made any sense, but there ya go.
Surprise! Sexism (and racism and tons more of god awful shit) are still very prevalent in modern society.

re: Bayonetta's design process- You can check this out.
Crimson, you made sense. =P

author=Fallen-Griever
Sex sells, what more can you say? It doesn't bother me so long as it doesn't detract from the believability of the character (in the case of a story driven game) or from how fun the game is (in the case of a game that isn't leaning heavily on character development).

EDIT:

I've never played Bayonetta so I couldn't possibly comment on that game as an example.

Basically.


I don't think it's consciousness decision to put the female movement back by 75 years, or to present female characters as nothing more than sex objects. And let's be real, it's not as if there's a shortage of male characters with long white hair and/or muscles like Dwayne Johnson.

Some designs can be OTT (Mortal Kombat), but the same typically applies to male characters. I personally never had an issue with it. It's just a game.
Craze
i bet she's a diva with a potion popping problem
13616
I am not a female, but a gay male. My idea of a very sexy videogame male would be Balthier or Basch, or even Fenris from DA2.

These men are wearing clothes, even though Basch shows... some undershirt. Compare to Fran, Rikku-2, or Tifa's boobies. (I wouldn't mind more of bubble butt on Balthier, though.)
author=Craze
I am not a female, but a gay male. My idea of a very sexy videogame male would be Balthier or Basch, or even Fenris from DA2.

These men are wearing clothes, even though Basch shows... some undershirt. Compare to Fran, Rikku-2, or Tifa's boobies. (I wouldn't mind more of bubble butt on Balthier, though.)


There's the subtlety I was talking about. Women portrayed in video games tend to be... less than subtle, but not every time. As a straight male, I would welcome some more Balthier or (shirtless) Basch, to be honest. I'm not the Vaan or Tidus kind of guy, though. And yes, I'm being serious. It doesn't bother me in the slightest. Video game mancrushes happen.

Again, however, I do feel that Kamiya was free to do what he pleased in the design process. It's not as if Bayonetta was explicit in any kind of way. He also mentioned that it was a parody of oversexualized females in games, but whenever someone uses the word parody in an interview, I tend to be skeptic of their overall intentions.
Great. Another blog telling you that you should agree with them. I'll pass on infecting my brain with waste but I'll respond to the question you asked in your post.
author=Craze
What do you think about sexuality in videogames? Do you agree with GMMAS? Should we, as game developers, take note of gender and sexuality?

No, we shouldn't. Make the game that speaks YOUR OWN voice. Personally, I don't *create* art to cater to people...I create it to speak my own message.

Men and women are different. We'll always be different.
treeghost
a lot better than being a wapanese kiddo
38
http://www.browserbeware.com/images/me.jpg
no wonder she writes about sexism in videogames

by the way some videogames have a special "target audience" and that's why Bayonetta
is obviously for japanese otakus

author=Craze
I am not a female, but a gay male.
Ok.
The reason it's more subtle is because it would alienate a lot more people if it wasn't. Gaying up something even a little bit is a sure-fire way to freak people out. (Though I suppose this is an alien concept to a lot of people who play jrpgs)

One example that I haven't followed too closely but seems to fit the bill at a glance. Is this very site's "The Long Goodbye". At some point in the game's development (most of the blog posts seem to have disappeared so I can't really confirm) a lot of people seemed upset at how... Well... "girly" it was (they probably didn't use that word but some weird anime-specific word that I can't remember).

I think this is pretty much an example of a game that basically was made without the "male gaze" mentioned in the original post's blog. And because it didn't quite fit in where it should have fit in it upset people.

Or something like that.
Thiamor
I assure you I'm no where NEAR as STUPID as one might think.
63
Well we get a lot of people who would be considered outcasts in a sexual aspect, talking more about being sexually objectified. Because if they don't get people acting any such way towards them, they cry. Again, it can be wrong, but most of the reasons they do it, is to get even.
author=Thiamor
Well we get a lot of people who would be considered outcasts in a sexual aspect, talking more about being sexually objectified. Because if they don't get people acting any such way towards them, they cry. Again, it can be wrong, but most of the reasons they do it, is to get even.



That's also the reason why you a lot of gay men online that jump on the feminism bandwagon. Not that that's the case here. I just noticed it a lot...especially with an old friend of mine who couldn't deal with the fact that everyone knew he was gay before he did, lol.
http://www.browserbeware.com/images/me.jpgno wonder she writes about sexism in videogames

by the way some videogames have a special "target audience" and that's why Bayonetta
is obviously for japanese otakus

Even I can recognise that there was no need for the first part of your post (although I did almost laugh. I'm a bad person). The second part makes a good point though, that the target audience you're aiming for is incredibly important when you're drawing up character designs. If you're not aiming a game at women then why do you need to worry about offending them? We shouldn't try and enforce political correctness on every, single videogame (or any art form), it will lead to stagnation as people worry more about offending people than entertaining them.
author=Thiamor
Well we get a lot of people who would be considered outcasts in a sexual aspect, talking more about being sexually objectified. Because if they don't get people acting any such way towards them, they cry. Again, it can be wrong, but most of the reasons they do it, is to get even.


It sounds really horrible to say but yeah a lot of people really are this petty.
Thiamor
I assure you I'm no where NEAR as STUPID as one might think.
63
Most of the world is petty. You get many petty people, and a small bit of good, humble people who act out to help and to be truthful.
Bayonetta is cool because it's an honest character, which removes the cringing.

Miranda from Mass Effect isn't cool because the developers tried to create emotional ties and situations while always having the camera pointing at a very specific spot. The situation ends up becoming awkward.

she was ugly anyway. 8/
Not only was Miranda ugly but she was a stuck up bitch who never stopped smiling.

*Forced to sacrifice 300,000 people*
Miranda: :}

*Her sister is in grave danger*
Miranda: :}