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Sexy, sexy sexism in the Hitman: Absolution trailer.
Tags: feminism video games
May I suggest a spot of Ms Marple or something to calm you down?
I'm female. I play games, FPS-types, MGS, Portal etc. (I'm the sort that fumes with rage when people tell me women only game because it's "social", ha,no chance).
My first thoughts after watching the trailor: COOL! It's a little corny. But it definitely wowed me with the CGI. Bit forgettable and vapid though.
I don't know, maybe I'm just not sensitive enough to see it. Or maybe I just take it with a pinch of salt. Most video games are a pantomime to me - I accept their ridiculousness and am fully aware of it. I think this is a healthy attitude to take.
Things are so androcentric in video games because the vast majority of them (with exceptions Helen pointed out in her link) are produced by men - hence cartoonish masculinity and hyper femininity. It's a similar issue to mainstream movies. But I don't think this is done in some sort of sinister, malicious way. Even if it is subconscious and not explicitly orchestrated, I don't think there is much deliberate malice behind these Hulk-like men and porn star female characters - accepting that will make you less angry.
What is the solution? What is a video game that would keep everyone happy? I suspect there is no solution apart from waiting until we reach tipping point: when so many women will be in gaming, filmmaking, writing, comics etc. that we start to see more non-sexualised but still kick-ass women. Yet at the same time those women might just buy into the idea that to be acceptable you have to be half decent looking, because women can be complicit in this crap too. Ah, so no hope for average looking women like me .... but doesn't the same go for men? We see the bum shot Helen mentioned but the hyper masculine men in games, is that not the other side of the same coin?
I'm rambling, and I'm not sure what my point is anymore. I don't want to just say "lighten up", because this business of women defining their confidence on their sex appeal is wide-spread, but I *do* definitely see similar things being levelled at men: the ridiculous push to be promiscuous even if it ain't your thing must be difficult. Is that not the same thing, being defined by sex?
I guess my point is, you'll feel better once you introduce a little perspective into this.
These points have all been addressed, a thousand times over Ironfly, so forgive me for not going over them again (if interested there are plenty of articles/writings on the issues, by folks much more eloquent than me is what i'm saying!)
Anyway the games are rarely the point, it's the presentation of the women that is, and the counter-argument that "men are hyper masculine" is really a non-starter. Men in games aren't sexualised, aren't victims for the women to rescue, aren't followed around by the camera focusing on their package, aren't made fun of by the npcs - imagine a setting where in the middle of the story an npc remarks "huh, your a MALE fighter? weird" - or words to that effect.
It isn't a question of perspective, it's a question of why, in 2012, women have to ignore the sexism to enjoy a game - or get called all names under the sun if we point it out and ask for fairer representation.
I don't doubt sexism in gaming exists. If you got that impression from my comment that is a shame.
Personally I don't take issue with the gaming industry itself, but whatever mechanisms (underlying assumptions and dogma) are at play in society to create strictly defined gender roles - to me that is the root cause of most sexism. Tackle that and you'll make headway in a fairer representation of gender in all arenas including gaming, the effects will trickle down.
But the important question for me is: how the hell are we going to do this?!
This article was even lazier than you claim the trailer is. Feminists really can be such bores *sometimes*.
Helen Lewis is deputy editor of the New Statesman. She tweets @helenlewis