The opinions expressed in The Parapet of Rant are entirely of the author herself (One Nora Hanney). I happen to love scantily clad virtual underage ninja girls. I also drink too much.
You know what are great? Video games. You know what's not so great? Blatant sexism. Unfortunately for some reason those two things have a tendency to go hand in hand. And while I could probably write a much longer article on things like the ratio between female leads and male leads (I don't have an exact number, but hyperbole would have me believe it's about a bazillion to one in favour of male characters) or the continuous use of the "Damsel in Distress" trope (What would Princess Peach ever do without Mario following her to all those castles? Maybe she was actually sick of his shit and trying to get away from the stalking bastard) I have instead decided to focus on one particular thing that seems prevalent in video games, which I will be calling: Bare All But The Breast Plate.
I like to play video games, I like boobs and I like to play as a female character when I have the option. However, I don't like being reminded that a lot of the time women are there to be big, jiggly, bouncing double balls of sex appeal, because the horny male teenager demographic is still being played to even though gamers cover a much wider range than 16 year old Timmy, sitting in his room playing World of Warcraft and wanking over Night Elves.
It's gotten to a stage where a woman could be wearing bottlecaps on her nipples and a piece of tinfoil on her clit and be declared battle ready. There's a need to show these women as fighters that really just want a good sexin'. That once you got their armour off (Don't worry, that won't take long) they'd happily let you take them from whatever position, coz it's not like they have more important things to be dealing with, like fighting whatever war they were wearing armour for in the first place.
When I was younger we owned a copy of Spellforce: The Order of Dawn. This is the cover.
Sexy lady, fights evil while looking sexy. It's like they drew her, her armoured panties and her generous side-boob revealing upper armour and then thought "Oh, let's give her some modesty. On second thought, let's just throw a translucent piece of fabric at her arse and hope it sticks."
A couple of months ago I started playing Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines again. Here's what my Malkavian character started out wearing:
If we needed anymore proof of the ridiculous way female characters are stereotyped, an option of that character's background is "Ex-Gymnast Stripper". Seriously?! Seriously. Ex-Gymnast Stripper.
Moving past that piece of bullshit, I played the game and enjoyed myself wandering around, killing vampires and demons, feeding on people and just in general running amok as a creature of the night. And then I needed to upgrade my armour so I went to the nearest tradesman and bought something that was simply called Heavy Armour and I equipped it. This is what my character changed into:
If anyone wore any of this shit into an actual fight, with actual weapons, that armour would be about as effective as a bra made of play-dough and cheese wire.
Let me demonstrate with the help of my good friend, MS Paint:
All it takes is a few arrows (yes, those are arrows. Don't judge, I'm making a point not trying to win an award for photoshop) and our lovely ladies are done for. Arrows, swords, or just some well aimed punches is all it's going to take to do serious damage to those characters even though they're supposedly dressed to do battle. It's even become some games selling points, as these posters for Soul Caliber V show.
Their advertisement basically consists of : Play this game. Why? LADY'S BITS! YEEEEA!
And if you don't see the hypersexualisation of female character's as an issue then just look at this.