4 years ago1,000+ Views
In light of the GamerGate nonsense that’s going around, I found this neat article talking about the five most sexist games ever. As a girl who likes video games, this matters to me, a lot actually but there’s one thing I always try to remember. I think a lot of times women in games who wear revealing outfits or are “sexy” in some way get labeled sexist too, and I don’t really agree with that. I used to think that way, but a really good friend of mine helped explain it to me. Wearing a low cut shirt or mini skirt or whatever isn’t sexist. Defining the character by what they wear is what’s sexist. As long as the character is written well (Lara Croft or Ada Wong), it shouldn’t matter what they wear because that’s just one tiny part of the character. When a character is written just as some one dimensional object to be used, that’s what’s sexist. It wouldn’t matter if she was wearing a full body potato sack, if she’s there to be objectified it’s sexist. Now that I have my rant out of the way let’s get into the list! + Custer’s Revenge + Atari 2600, 1982 Custer’s Revenge lives on in infamy as one of those games I will probably never ever play XD you’re literal goal in the game to so get to the captured native american woman to have sex with her. That’s your goal, that’s the entire point of the game. + Grand Theft Auto V + Multiplatform, 2013 GTA is known for being ultra violent, and it is, all the GTA games are stupid violent, but the way that violence is taken out against women is especially nasty. All the women in the game are called “bitches” and that’s the nicest part. What makes this one extra awful to me is co-founder of Rockstar Games doesn’t even think it’s a problem in the games to treat women so badly. “I don’t think we revel in the mistreatment of women at all. I just think in the world we’re representing, in ‘Grand Theft Auto,’ that it’s appropriate.” Nah bro, there’s nothing appropriate about punching a prostitute before running her over with your car. + God Of War II + PlayStation3 and PS Vita, 2007 GOW and GOW 2 are actually kind cool. Not revolutionary or anything, but fun. But the sexism, oh man the sexism. The mechanics sound fun and the story even sounds kinda interesting, but then there’s this weird unnecessary sex scene that doesn’t serve any purpose except “look sex!” XP + Dead or Aline Paradize + PlayStation Portable, 2010 Oooh DOA, best known not for its mechanics or plot or anything actually game related, no DOA is best known for its physics defying boobs. It’s also seriously creepy, you win the affection of women in the game by giving them presents and then you can spy on them while they’re changing. Totally gross. + Catherine + PS3 and Xbox 360, 2011 Definitely the most infamous game ever, both for its weird, disturbing, psychological-ness, but also for the sexism. Catherine features two female characters, Catherine and Katherine (how original?) and they’re honestly so archetypal they’re just silly. Katherine is the mousy ball and chain, Catherine is the fun, free, crazy, wild, “I’m going to kill you in your sleep haha” one. They’re written to be polar opposites, good and bad, boring and exciting, when real people just aren’t like that. EXTRA BONUS SEXIST GAME! Metroid: Other M Wii, 2010 This game is so un-freaking-believably awful I can hardly explain it. What makes it worse than the rest of them imo is it takes a female character who WAS awesome and turns her into a whiny, objectified child with no agency. I could go on about this for years but the Zero Punctuation review and Morgan Webb’s X-Play review ( sum up everything that’s wrong with it, but to me Other M is the number one most sexist game of all time because it takes something that was not sexist at all and shatters it completely.
@uberwren YUS!!! I was really surprised Other M wasn't on the list actually cause it's so freaking awful! Samus is one of the greatest game characters EVER and just as Webb says the least sexualized so having her reduced to that was insulting XP
@Spudsy2061 yeah I agree, DOA gave themselves a negative image and then just bought further into it when that's not what the games were really about. custer's revenge is kind of terrifying tbh XD @uberwren explained just about all I was thinking about Catherine already actually lol cause I get what you're saying, but it's more about it being that the characters aren't people, they're people shaped morality choices that don't have agency or characterization if that makes sense. I do get what you're saying tho and it's a fair point c:
To me the sexism in Catherine isn't about what they wear or how "sexual" they are, it's about the fact that both women are written as plot devices rather than characters. They are the way they to make the player make moral choices, just as @Spudsy2061 said, NOT to be PEOPLE. A rule I generally like to use is the lamp rule, adopted from Nostalgia Chick. Could the female character be replaced with an attractive lamp (save the lamp, choose one lap over another, dose the lamp provide "illuminating" exposition, etcetera). To me, both Katherine and Catherine are lamps with no personhood of their own. As for the rest I totally agree, particularly regarding Other M which I have railed about repeatedly to basically anyone who will listen.
@AgentCory The thing for me was that the puzzle gameplay in Catherine was so entertaining but then ruined by the absolutely boring scenes in the bar. The problem in tune is with the writing as @uberwren I believe was leading to. You *could* make the argument that Catherine is a caricature for the main character's fear of the uncertainty of commitment & marriage to Katherine, but that argument is still a poor one. It would fail to explain the whole serial killer angle or why you're forced into making the decisions you do in the confessional. In the end @uberwren is right, Catherine is more of a tool used to steer the plot instead of being a well developed part of it. Even then I feel like you're taught to hate Katherine all game as you yourself pointed out. It's almost as if the makers decided to just throw everything popular into a game: crime drama (albeit, poor crime drama), puzzle games (around 2011 puzzle gaming was on a huge rise), and over-stereotyped women. It makes me wonder when the big game makers will finally ease off all the sexism but Catherine is also a foreign made game. If it eradicates itself (itself being sexism) for the better here in the States is might not translate overseas for sometime. It has to stop though. Great card mate.
I must admit I'm a huge DOA player as DoA 2 got me into fighting games. It is rather sexist though, I will admit and the series kinda permanently gave itself that stigma with the 2 volleyball games & Paradise. Catherine's a bit different though. I wouldn't call Catherine (the character) "fun" as she's more psychotic and the game has the moral yes/no system with the booth choices you have to make. They are written like polar opposites but I'd argue Catherine is designed the way she is because her character is there to tempt the main character away from Katherine. It drives her cause more into the players mind by the way she is. The game overall is a metaphor I think for the sacrifices we make for each other and why we make them. Custer's Revenge is a horrible game. It's absolutely disgusting and deserves to be in a bin on banished games like The Guy Game. Why were those games even made?
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