The Reality of Female Video Game Characters

The Reality of Female Video Game Characters

In almost every video game that has ever been created awaits the beautiful female video game character. This character can come in many different forms from the damsel in distress to the hardened battle-ready soldier. The one thing these characters have in common? They paint an unrealistic picture of females IRL.

There are many video game females, ranging in age, size, beauty, etc., however the main characters will share similar characteristics that are uncommon outside of the gaming ‘verse. Studies have shown that the use of unrealistic images of females on TV and in magazines is very damaging to females’ self-esteem and although video game characters are digital, I believe the findings would be quite similar. By using these near-perfect females in video games, it could also promote the wrong idea of what a female truly is to males.

Hair

A female video game character will always have gorgeous hair. Not only will her hair be voluptuous and perfectly sculpted, you will usually find it is a rich and luscious colour. The female video game character has also discovered a way to have excessively long hair without a single split end. There are so many things that are wrong with a female being able to maintain perfect hair 100% of the time that I will focus on a few of the major flaws, the first being a character’s ability to maintain perfectly coiffed hair.

Now, in some instances I can believe this. At the beginning of a game when we first meet the character? Yes. When the character gets up from resting? Yes. When the character has just teleported/fast-travelled? Sure, we will pretend they could have showered and packed a blow-dryer. When the character is in any type of battle, on a moving object/in an open vehicle, running for their life, or basically moving beyond a slow jog? No.

Although some hair styles can hold longer than others, the majority of them would fall out after the first special attack. Generally up-dos last longer than others, which are usually based on the ridiculous amount of bobby-pins and hair spray which has been applied to “glue” the hair in place. I would bet a great up-do would last an entire evening of running, traveling in/on fast moving vehicles, and even some light combat. This being said, we generally don’t see female characters with well secured up-dos. They generally sport short hair, hair that is in a pony tail, hair that is in a half-up/half-down style or hair that is completely down; the common trait in these hair styles is that the hair is always gorgeous, voluptuous, and flowing. The thing about flowing hair is that there is no hair spray or other products to hold the hair in place, and that is where we run into problems.

Another myth that is portrayed in female video game characters is the stunning hair colour these vixens run around with. These girls always have the best hair colours which range from natural looking colours, to off-the-wall bright and rich colours. One character whose hair I am terribly envious of is Nariko from Heavenly Sword. Her hair is such a dynamic red colour which is not natural IRL making it very difficult to replicate for a female (hair dye every 4-6 weeks, specially formulated shampoo…). Now Nariko is not alone in sporting bright hair, many video game characters must carry a box of hair dye with them at all times in order to maintain their intense colour.

Outfits

Some video games get this right, kind of. Some video games will put their vixens in skin tight armor, but at least it’s functional towards combat! Other games will dress their characters in outfits that would make the vampires at Fangtasia look like they are conservatively dressed. As a female, I can say that we like to look good; some females view clothing as a reflection of themselves. However, if I realized that I was going to defeat some sort of evil, I would quickly lose the booty shorts and grab the combat armor.

…really?

The female video game character must have shares in double-sided tape in order to ensure her scantily-clad outfit stays in place. The majority of the time, the outfit includes a very revealing top which enhances her already enhanced bosom (more on that topic later), and very tight shorts or pants which should be giving the ultimate wedgie. Alas, the female video game character rises above the inconvenience of atomic wedgies in order to maintain her ability to kick ass. How these outfits stay in place during game play is beyond me. With wardrobe malfunctions a common place IRL, I am sure celebs like Janet Jackson and Britney Spears would pay a small fortune to learn their secret.

Another essential part of the female video game character’s outfit is her shoes. Females in general love their shoes; some are even self-proclaimed shoe addicts who possess thousands of pairs. Although we love what stilettos do for our legs, most females can agree that running (let alone fighting) in stilettos would be less than ideal. I won’t deny that the majority of us have practice running in heels, trying to catch the last bus after a night out, but I am sure we can all agree that it is not very comfortable. There is zero ankle support, so rolling your ankle in a pair of 4-inch stilettos can be very, very dangerous (sometimes more so than stepping on a frag-mine).  However, Bayonetta takes the cake for the most uncomfortable and dangerous shoes; could you even imagine how dangerous it could be to roll your ankle in those deadly heels? Female video game characters that sport high-heeled boots and shoes have definitely had some training in taping ankles or know something that we do not.

Appearance

Now I was going to talk about how a female video game character always has a perfectly sculpted body with a very low body-fat percentage, however, I am going to leave that alone as we can conclude the female video game character must put in a lot of hours at the gym in order to maintain their insane fitness level (not to mention that the seemingly run everywhere!). With more and more North Americans tipping the scales to an unhealthy weight, I am going to applaud these lovely ladies for maintaining a great physique and hope that it is achieved with healthy eating and exercise.

What I do not understand is how not one of these ladies ever encounters a blemish of any sort. Their skin is always an even tone, which is free of any imperfections. Now maybe the female video game character takes great care of her skin. Maybe she carries around a moisturizer and an exfoliant. This still doesn’t explain why she never gets a stress pimple. The vast majority of females have experienced this bugger of a blemish, always appearing when we are most stressed. Judging by the amount of stress that is happening throughout a game, there should be at least one little outbreak.

Boobs

That’s right folks; it’s the category you have all been waiting for.

The female video game character displays some very nice assets in this category that many men, and women, have ogled. Her hourglass shape is one that only few celebrities have been able to achieve (with or without the help of plastic surgery). The majority of these sweater-puppies only come in large or extra large, ranging from perhaps a D to FF. Pairing these voluptuous lady lumps with a micro-mini waist paints a very unrealistic image of what the average, silicon-free, woman looks like IRL. The average North American female boasts a B cup, which seems modest in comparison to large sizes you see in video games. With video games consistently promoting females with larger than life chests, it is easy to see how this could skew people’s image of what a female should look like.

Not only is the size of these bosoms unrealistic, but their qualities are as well. First of all, most women who are involved in any cardio-related activity will opt for a cleavage-destroying sports bra instead of the cleavage-enhancing bras we are to assume the female video game character is wearing. The great thing about wearing a sports bra is that it secures your boobs and prevents significant bounce, which can be quite painful! The negative thing about a sports bra is that it completely takes away any cleavage that you had, which is the opposite of what is happening to the female video game character. Not only would wearing a push-up bra while running be cause for an impending wardrobe malfunction, the constant bounce would be sure to cause some serious damage. With the lack of bounce in a female video character’s assets, one can only assume that they have discovered an incredibly supportive push-up sports bra or they are robots (hey… it has happened before!).

With the female video game character having more in common with Barbie than a real female, it is scary to see how this could affect how others view the concept of a female. Based on surface traits alone, video games state that females should be perfect in appearance and should maintain this appearance in any type of activity. Video games are not the only culprit of this ridiculous notion; movies, books, TV shows and other forms of media are all guilty of perpetuation. Hopefully, we can surpass this obsession with perfection and see more realistic female video game characters in the near future.

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