We know women in video games are nearly always represented in a hypersexualized manner. This means their breasts and hips are exaggerated, often with skinny limbs, presenting a figure that’s physically impossible in real life. This trait is emphasized through both their clothing and their lack thereof. While there is a never-ending list of evidence in support of this, I want to list some quick examples (with visuals!).
Many games (such as The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim) give their female characters breast-shaped armor to wear. While it’s nice these women get to engage in combat, this is impractical and would actually get them killed. Why? This is because, rather than deflecting blows from weaponry, breast-shaped armor actually increases the chances that say, a sword, will slide inward, towards the center of the chest. Not good!
Taking armor out of the equation, women in other games appear practically nude (in-game sex workers aside). In League of Legends, for example, female characters are displayed in skimpy clothing, breasts hardly contained in their bra or cut-off shift, and leather straps that encircle their hips and thighs. The pictures shown above are not the worst offenders.
In the most recent Tomb Raider game, while I’ve discussed her portrayal is still appalling, yes, the new Lara Croft is less sexualized. However, there are still subtle hints given by her clothing. Her appearance consists of a tank top that clings to her curvaceous body the entire game (but okay, she has pants at least now). She also has a bag strap crossing between her breasts, drawing attention to her chest.
I haven’t discussed the implications of these trends just yet — simply pointing them out. So, what other dress patterns have you noticed? Feel free to list examples!
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