1 expert and 3 parents have answered
No, it's just dumb. The gaming and consumer technology industry is staffed by a high proportion of men who wear t-shirts with slogans well into their forties whose desks look like teenager's bedrooms. James Bond was eroticised when Daniel Craig put on those tiny blue trunks and emerged from the water, but it wasn't disgusting, just a bit silly.
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Yes it is disgusting. It's another #1reasonwhy there are so few female games creators - because it's apparently acceptable to pull this kind of sexist/misogynistic dumb rubbish (for more on the #1reasonwhy movement of female games creators speaking out on their treatment via Twitter see http://www.theguardian.com/technology/gamesblog/2012/nov/28/games-industry-sexism-on-twitter). It shows how baseline offensive videogames can be.
The fact that a) Hideo Kojima, a very eminent and famous Japanese games developer thinks it's OK to come out with this kind of idiotic opinion, and the fact that b) David Ellis' comment is seen as controversial among many gamers is exactly why videogames are in such a parlous and problematic state right now.
The games industry has for far too long relied on picking the low hanging-fruit of the games world - teenage boys who are reached with very obvious and antisocial targeting (violence, sexual imagery, sexual violence, dangerous driving, loud heavy metal etc.). Now, to my mind there's nothing wrong with the odd bit of heavy metal, violence and even sexual imagery. It's when the entire industry just does this ad nauseum and without any subtlety or depth that it becomes a problem.
Happily, the chickens are coming home to roost - an entire generation of gamers are progressively rejecting "AAA" big budget console games (the worst offenders) and transferring over to short, cheap tablet and smartphone games - these are much more likely to focus on inventive mechanics and innovative storytelling than they are on scantily clad ladies and guns and blood. Because, well, just shooting people in the face endlessly while buxom babes coo at you got kinda old in about 1995.
So, yes, it's both dumb and disgusting. But happily, Kojima and his endless cutscenes is a dinosaur in a games industry that's rapidly having to evolve and change to match the changing nature of videogames and how and where they're played. For every idiot like Kojima, there's now someone making a game like Minecraft or Angry Birds or Thomas Was Alone.
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I have been enraged by it for hours. Honestly, you'd think that after a year of really high levels of hype and anti-sexism in gaming sentiment that a designer would stop, think and be more aware. Objectifying women in gaming needs to stop. Just stop.
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I really don't see the outrage here.
I assume the reaction is related to this: -
I fail to see anything disgusting when you actually see the image in question. There's a number of words come to my mind; unnecessary, tarty, unrealistic, but frankly I fail to see anything 'disgusting' that fills me with revulsion or offence.
I don't even see it as erotic, but then again, erotic is a personal definition for which there is no absolute. What one person sees as erotic might not arouse any desires in another.
The developer in question isn't a native english speaker, so there's significant opportunity for mis-interpretation here. It would seem that like many of these stories that may be the case here.
The image that is referred to in the article is not significantly worse in my view than the ever-increasing augmentation of characters like Lara Croft in Tomb Raider, or a multitude of other similar video games. Maybe more impractically dressed, but there's been more flesh on display in other games than here. We also don't know the age rating for this game yet, which must have a significant impact on the appropriateness of the characters' dress.
The nature of the characters dress is highly impractical, the holes in the hosiery might be unnecessary, but you could equally argue that any gun-toting rough and tumble character who's going to dress like that will end up looking like that.
It's all a question of perspective, we should remember it's a game, not real life. People of all ages are very good at separating fantasy from real life, in the same way I separated the fantasy and violence of cartoons from my childhood from the real world, and the fantasy of movies I watch now from my everyday life.
The question I always ask myself in these situations is 'Where's the harm?', rapidly followed by 'Where's the evidence?'.
It's here the argument falls apart, almost all of the 'evidence' relating to any effect this might have on children falls apart under close analysis. The best analysis I've been able to find, that does withstand proper scrutiny, is the Scottish Executive's 'External Research on Sexualised Goods Aimed at Children'.
I can't capture all of it's conclusions here, but to precis, it finds that both parents' and childrens' assessment of the impact of our modern world to be surprisingly nuanced, and very far from the black and white that is pressented, frequently with a religious 'moral' judgement, in other reports and analyses.
I urge any parent to read it, it's available online here: -