On Titillation and Skin

TITILLATION and SKINThis will be another one of those “Adult” themed blog posts. So hide those that are offended by the word titillation.

Games are… an interesting medium, to say the least. Interactivity is a scary thing for the moral guardians of today, especially when it comes to sex and violence.

If you harken back to ye old 2003, you will remember the name “Jack Thomspon” spoken with a mixture of hatred and contempt. Jack was a person who thought that video games caused violence, and was trying to get nearly all violent video games banned.

A slight oversimplification, yes, but it is pertinent to the story at hand, specifically Omega Labyrinth. OL is a game about boobs, and them increasing in size. You play as a young women who wants to look pretty, and decides her small bust is holding her back. Of course, she then goes to a plastic surgeon and has a pair of bre-

OK, I can’t finish that sentence with a straight face. No, OL is actually about a woman travelling through a dungeon, killing monsters and levelling up her breasts. It features special systems like using your breasts to identify items, getting more powerful the more “hot and bothered” you are, and… well… that’s about it. Oh, and it’s Japanese, because of course it is.

I am absolutely enraged by this game. Nothing is making me madder than the blatant disregard for the progress we have made as a culture, nay, as a people. If we allow this degradation of morals to continue, we will be awash in a frothy sea of degeneracy and bile the likes of which no man has ever seen. The sheer flagrant abuse this game encourages is mind blowing in it’s audacity and intensity. Never before have I seen anything as abused as the term roguelike.

Gotcha there, didn’t I? Of course, you can find out my particular feelings towards the sodomy of the term “roguelike” in my Ziggurat review. But, today I wanted to talk about the type of rage that goes on regarding this type of game. By, “this type of game”, I mean sexy or otherwise “problematic” games. It seems people are not quite as passionate as I am regarding the definition of “roguelike”.

Anyways, the game has, of course, garnered flak for it’s erotic content. There is no actual, total nudity, but there might as well be. So people are angered by this blatant sexism and inappropriateness of the game and… I honestly am having trouble seeing why.

I don’t see female game characters as people. There, I said it. I see them as objects to be used by me or put in my path as obstacles. Put down your pitchforks, because I feel that way about every single character in every single game ever made. Mario is a tool for me to progress, Peach is a goal, and Bowser is an obstacle. They could replace everything with slightly damp patches of clay, and it wouldn’t really make a difference. Mario could be rescuing Peach from Bowser, or Bowser could rescure Mario from Peach, and I would feel the same way.

The point is, from a programming point of view, every instance of a thing is literally an object. The most well written, well rounded, well drawn, and well represented character is just an object, just the same as every poorly written flat character. Female characters are no less objects as the health pickups are objects.

When I see Queen of Pain in Dota 2, I don’t see a sexy succubus with less armor than a stripper, I see an annoying, blinking, silencing, DOTing and bursting semi-carry. When I see Zelda, all I see is a big “Quest Objective”, just like with every “damsel in distress” ever made. When I see the female damsel giving the male spelunker a kiss in Spelunky, I don’t see it as sexual services as a reward for my hard work, I see it as extra health as a reward for my hard work.

And this doesn’t just go for video games, every instance of a “sexualized” character kind of blows over me. When I see Lilliana of the Veil, I don’t see a skimpy dressed woman posing in a problematic way, I see a three cost sorcery that sacrifices an opponent’s creature and can enable my flashback. And…

You know what, I had to actually research this. Yes, I had to step out into Google to desperately try to find sexist games that I have played. And you know what? I couldn’t find nearly as much as I wanted.

Even when I look at supposed “feminist” games like Portal, I just don’t see it. I don’t see Chell as a woman, I see her as a position, size, and velocity. When I see Ittle Dew, I don’t see a non-sexualized, non-damsel, I see a square hitbox that can equip various items and can be hurt by the environment and enemies. When I see Samus Aran, I don’t see a badass space bounty hunter in huge spherical pauldrons, I see the character I am controlling who can fire missiles and turn into a ball.

So, to recap, all female characters are tools for my enjoyment. This also applies to every single noun in video gaming, but people will focus on the women.

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