I’m saying that having women presented as whole individuals who very much add to the game and to the experience in a multi-faceted way doesn’t really square with women who exist solely in the world to be fucked and to literally collect like football stickers. It’s not really about the sex at all, it’s about the role of the women-the former example is that of as an equal to all other characters bar the protagonist; the other exists solely to please the player as a literal object, both within and outside the game itself.
The idea on the hand of women in games being presented as something both strong and individual while nevertheless also being something bendable to the will of the male protagonist and a trophy for them to notch off certainly is contradictory. None the less in my opinion the true goal of feminism is equality, it is not about the promotion of women above all else, it is about the promotion of women in reaction to millennia of oppression. True feminism to me is the removal of mysognony so that women can be focussed on as individuals. A truly revolutionary game in regards to gender will not have strong female characters. It will just have good characters. Some of them will be women, some men. They won’t be the same, but gender will just be one of many things which shapes who they are, rather than the main one, which is the case for even non sexualised computer game females.
Example-If you added male prostitutes to the Witcher I think the issue of all the sex card stuff even would be removed in all honesty. As it stands it’s ugly and uncompromising because it reflects how many men consider women. There are posts on the Witcher forums which discuss favourite cards and women to sex, which I think is pretty dire. If you add gender equality to that though it removes the issue of gender and becomes about something else at a stroke without hiding behind anything. It becomes about sex as a commodity and collectible stuff, or about a silly little thing. It doesn’t suggest women should be exclusively tied to this discussion which is where the harm lies, nor does it suggest they aren’t sexual beings either.
Many women, my wife included, are both impressive all round individuals and also incredibly conventionally sexy and hot and all that stuff, the two are by no means contradictory, which I think is a creeping issue in the very necessary reaction to sexism within gaming. Because women have been presented as largely sexual objects in popular culture around games, the notion is that any female who adheres to this must be a bad example or compromise somehow. This simply isn’t true. Being demure isn’t positive either and saying that good examples must dress in a certain way or cover up etc is just another form of telling women who to be and what to do. The whole point is that you judge someone, irrespective of gender, on who they are, what they do, not what they look like. Sex is a blank canvas-it can be empowering and edifying, debilitating, abusive, anything really. It all depends on the context. Merely reading boobies and revealing clothing as sexist is bad practice in my opinion. Let’s be honest, it usually is, but the point is you need to engage with it to really know. If you preach without knowing or trying to understand in favour of your preffered method of seeing the world, it’s just another form of telling people what to do and what to think, which at heart is what sexism and mysogony is.
I think people have seen the hot woman in the trailer and largely ranked her as a sexy collectible on the grounds of her looks alone (there’s an irony there somewhere about the shallowness of judging something as shallow on the basis of nothing but looks) when she could turn out to be the most brilliant portrayal of woman in gaming. The fact is we just don’t know, and there isn’t enough to go on.