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Sexual Objects in Feminist Clothing?

The number of female protagonists in video games has sharply increased in recent years. From Lara Croft to D. Va and Widowmaker in Overwatch or Ellie in Last of Us, there’s no denying the move to cast women characters in the lead in many of today’s gaming franchises. The question I have is whether this is in fact a shift in the direction towards gender equality and a real desire to branch out the target client base to include female consumers. The evidence to the contrary lies in the character design of these string, intelligent, independent women and girls who nevertheless remain depicted in what constitute for CIS male players as erotically charged and sexually arousing body types and outfits. Further proof of this underlying trend can be seen in the fact that all of these “empowering” characters are extremely popular in rape based hentai games and videos. Is the gaming industry (designers and consumers) still in the end just a cesspit of misogynistic desires despite the work of women challenging gamer culture through a history of conflicts as #gamergate?

  • I do not much play many games, but I believe that females characters in games have been and continue to be portrayed sexually. In most games, a female character's outfit reveals more skin than a male character's outfit. In some cases, the strength of a female is lower than a male character's strength. In some sense, this brings up the concept of male domination and female subordination. Although this is not true to all cases, I still believe that it is a reoccurring theme. It also leaves a negative effect on individuals because they might not want to choose a female character because it is weaker than the other male characters. – decalcomania 5 years ago

Wrecking Ball / Hammond - Design Genius or Just Plain Absurd?

Blizzard has just unveiled it’s latest addition to their line-up of heroes in Overwatch: a hyper-intelligent hamster in a mechanized hamster ball. Yes, you read that correctly.

We have had robots, animals, people, and people in mech-suits in Overwatch before: but this takes it to the next level. Hammond’s design and in-game iabilities are unlike any other heroes and he brings something entirely new to the table. Hammond rolls up into a ball, and rolls around the stage at high speeds – and uses a grappling hook to attach onto the environment to become a sentient "Wrecking Ball." The way this character uses the environment and the in-game physics engine is fun and new in so many ways – but has it gone too far?

The problem with characters/abilities who interact with environments and physics in multiplayer games is that it almost always leads to glitches and exploits. Look at Symmetra and Mei for example who create stage hazards which have been known to cause all kinds of glitches and exploits (the ice wall and teleporter glitches).

Is this character’s unique toolkit an asset that helps Hammond stand apart from the rest – or is it just going to be a glitchy balancing nightmare as we all try to avoid a giant swinging ball on the pillars of KOTH maps like Numbani and Lijiang Towers?