Harley Quinn

I know she's never left all that much to the imagination, but . . .

Compare the looks of Joker and Harley Quinn in the upcoming Arkham Asylum.

I wonder when it'll be okay to not super-sex everything up for the male video gamers? I understand the desire to see sexy women ('cause gosh, they aren't anywhere else!), but when is there going to be a middle road? Or just a basic understanding that 'sexy' doesn't need to mean 'falling out of their shirts while their pants fall down'?

Pretty sure that's not too much to ask.


Elwood said...

Says the "Girl From the Internet?" *snerk* :)

Mike Miller said...

Really it will stop when these games aren't being desinged by guys who never get out and see what "real life attractive women" look like, so all their sprites look like pornstar proportioned blow up dolls, and yes more than half the time female dialouge in these games is more than a bit degrading and sexist... it'll only change change for reals when people in the industry A) admit its a problem and B) resolve to do something about it. Sadly that may be some time.

oh and Elwood so totally has a point ;)

Kirk Warren said...

@Mike Miller - That's a little harsh. There are female lead designers (not many, but some) responsible for major game releases, such as Assassins Creed, and similar projects.

The reason behind the use of oversexed females is because people buy the games that have them in it regardless of quality.

If there was public backlash or sales decreases associated with this behaviour, then they would stop using them.

It has very little to do with the fact it's a male creator dominated industry. If it did, how do you explain every guy being either the effeminent pretty boy model or the gun toting muscle man? Hard gay fantasies from working with men so often?

The whole topic has very little to do with video games and is more about society on the whole. TV, movies, video games, comics, magazines and everything in between depicts women, and men, to a lesser extent, in this manner.

Taking the opportunity to deride video game programmers and make insinuations about their personal lives as a way of venting isnt the best way to go about making a point.

Mike Miller said...

@Kirk Warren: Oh I am by no means letting the consumer off the hook, people do buy this kind of stuff, otherwise DOA: Volleyball and games of its ilk would never be made, I'm more refering to the people who create brain-dead oversexed female characters that are both sexist and pointless, and there are a lot of them in video games. My comment wasn't meant to attack game programmers as a whole, just the responsible parties.

Kristina Wright said...

I love my comments section.

I fall in the middle--this is a supply and demand world, and often I feel it's hard to judge the suppliers. In cases where I feel it's extreme over-sexualization, which I've posted about before, I hold them up responsible. I feel this is pretty just.

I'm pretty disappointed in the decision to kill off that clumsy, sweet Harley for the sex-queen here--perhaps a wardrobe malfunction has been included, just to clumsy her up a bit. ;)

I think I fall in the middle here, where my main problem is the demand, like you were saying, Kirk. I also feel though, that if suppliers take it down a few notches in games, it wouldn't hurt a soul.

Awesome comments, guys.

Alex said...

Hi, just came across your blog and thought it was interesting.

Normally I'd say that "middle of the road" is a relative term, and that gender differences occur are a result of intrinsic differences between the sexes, all within reason.

But Jesus, what the hell are these people even thinking?! Why even mess with what Harley and turn her into a whore? How would it even appeal to more males by changing her look at all?

This is a bit more complicated an issue than just supply-and-demand. The tendency seems to be that games are marketed using excessive amounts of sex when game quality is compromised. Whether poor game quality or marketing causes this is unclear. However, I think it does stand pretty true that better games of higher story and gameplay quality don't turn this route. (Like all rules though, it's not always true; Square has a huge tendency to sell their games with overly-idealized characters, both male and female.)

Unfortunately, sex sells, and companies that are lacking in some departments are going to attempt to compensate. For companies to stop attempting this, selling sex would have to be unprofitable.

But in terms of male/female urges and the stupidity of consumers, that's just not going to happen. The game will most likely not sell well because of poor quality, but it won't stop companies from continuing to make more garbage titles and attempt to up their sales through ridiculous costumes. It might help if, as Mike said, some designers were either realistic or women, but I don't think that'll help all that much considering that businesses are looking to make money by any means possible. Even an intelligent woman at the helm would realize that the bottom line is more important than any sort of reality.

segasonic said...

The designers didn't think that Harley in her skin tight outfit was sexy enough? A woman doesn't have to parade around half naked in order to be sexy you know.

And I shudder when I think of how they might handle some of the other female Bat chaacters.