This is a super-loaded question and will most likely steer some people away from me, even though they are my personal views (being that we’re on Tumblr); but I have to give a disclaimer to state that I feel that everyone, male or female, has a right to be offended by anything, and also to have an opinion. That is their right and to take that from them would be undue censoring. So now that that’s out of the way, here’s my stance:
I’m a straight guy. Appropriate to my nature, I’m attracted to a woman’s body. And appropriate to my natural gender makeup, I have visual instincts when it comes to sexual preferences. (It’s not always the case as a whole with my makeup-group; there is always an exception to the norm.) Therefore, I see nothing wrong with liking sexy things. It’s pretty natural, even beyond my gender. What I draw is enjoyable for me at the time, simple as that. Yes, that includes pin-uppy imagery of scantily-clad women at times. Does that mean what I draw reflects my view on what I want to see or don’t care about on a social level? Not at all.
I feel that the video game industry (within games themselves, NOT the corporate aspect, which is troubled with sexism and misogyny), though we all know how saturated it is when it comes to the portrayal of female characters, shouldn’t be scrutinized for this. It is similar to the remarks made about mass murderers being linked to video games having too much violence. It _could_ have an effect, but it’s far from the reason a murderer commits a crime. They’re just crazy, demented people, at times with health issues and lack of proper social upbringing. I feel that fiction relates to reality in some instances. However, I also feel that fiction should be primarily seen as fiction itself.
An outlandish and provocative outfit in a fantasy world where nothing else makes sense shouldn’t be taken at all seriously, just as much as a Playboy (or Playgirl) photo should be taken seriously. It serves a purpose: to entertain in some way or another. Whether someone finds whatever entertainment from anything is up to that person individually and is really no one else’s business.
This is the problem where some are fuzing two instances together:
You can be a socially inept, basement-dwelling dude with a hard drive stacked full of porn and whack it 10 times everyday, and jump on the couch at primetime where your preferred gaming choice is a night of Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball 2, and end it off with your favorite 18+ dating sim before bed, but that DOES NOT give you the right to mistreat any living, breathing, woman-who-has-very-human-feelings-not-unlike-yours, you see in the street or online. It also doesn’t give you the right to assume a real-life, breathing and free-thinking woman, if she’s dressed with a tight-fitting red dress with her cleavage showing to be disrespectfully ogled and cat-called. That’s just plain common sense. Yet, there are tons of men who do this anyway. *sigh*
Games don’t make people do anything. I saw my first naked gal when I was 7 years old with many naked girls since from that time, and I think I turned out pretty okay. I love and played many, many, many video games in my lifetime. I have a dad and mother who both carefully taught me right from wrong and that there’s a time and place for everything “socially acceptable”. I have a wife who I love dearly and would always drive myself to compromise for her feelings if she felt uncomfortable about anything. And I love drawing female characters, scantily-clad at times. (I have a bad draw-too-much habit, though… And I can get messy at times… Can’t be perfect, I guess.)
As for what I’d like to see when it comes to female characters in video games: I want more diverse female characters, and for them to be seen in a positive light! Heck, my own first game is starring a strong, smart female character and is driven by primarily a majority-female cast! But should every girl wear a comfy tee and faded jeans? Not at all. There is nothing at all wrong with being or dressing sexy. I even threw folks for a loop with Bliss’ design by making her young (she’s “18 and legal”, I assure you) and voluptuously sexy but majority of the time keeping her fully clothed with no skin showing, in contrast, I made Esmy have the most revealing outfit IN CRYAMORE but you don’t think of that when you see Esmy act in character. She comes off as intellectually “cool” more than sexy because of it.
So I’m all for diverse portrayals of women IN the actual video games. I’m A-OK with Samus kicking massive butt in her rocket heels just as i am comfortable with her kicking massive butt in her Varia Suit. It’s fantasy. You take it as is.
As for the douchebags who find themselves getting off to touching and mistreating women in public conventions and venues because you find them personally “hot” or because they’re cosplaying Mai Shiranui or Morrigan (or not), you can go kindly screw yourselves, because you are socially backwards and a disease to society. Keep it in your fantasies.
That’s my stance. Sorry for the long-windedness! I hope no one hates me after this! ^__^;