This Month in Misogyny: Exposed Minors, Hair-Pulling, and Advanced Elephantiasis «

Video games have a history of turning off women worldwide, and for good reason: like television and movies, gaming tends to embrace certain regressive ideals — though on a level unmatched by other forms of entertainment. As production costs escalate, you’d think developers would take a stab at inclusiveness, rather than alienating potential female customers with characters who will later be described by their “assets” in terrible Internet writing near you. But no, in the futuristic sounding year of 2012, gaming for women still exists in a segregated ghetto, while most of the industry is content to continue distributing the low-hanging fruit their audience loves.

Giving up gaming for a hobby that doesn’t induce feelings of ickiness would make for a surefire solution, though a bit drastic; instead, why don’t we try out the time-tested practice of public shaming to examine the most misogynistic gaming offenses this month?

Hyperdimension Neptunia mk2 Continues Bringing the “Reclusive Pervert” Genre Westward

 

If you read our TGS 2011-related feature on the changing face of Japanese game development, you’d know that Eastern gaming has gone through a significant transformation over the past decade. As Japanese consumers spend less time with traditional game systems and more time with smartphones, certain developers have taken it upon themselves to appease the devoted pervert demographic for the sake of profits. This undercurrent of sleaze has always existed within Japanese gaming, though mostly in the form of shameful PC titles with suggestive names like “Sexy Beach” and not-so-suggestive names like “Battle Raper 2.” These days, we have Square-Enix of all companies directly addressing their audience on the status of panties in Final Fantasy Type-0. What a time to be alive, when a developer must seriously take into consideration the player’s desire to see cotton underthings.

More than any other publisher, Nippon Ichi has embraced Japanese gaming’s turn to the dark side with a series of embarrassments designed to appeal to their audience’s inner sex offender. It’s important to note that not every Japanese company sinks so low; the combined efforts of developers Nippon Ichi, Idea Factory, and Compile Heart can be held responsible for tainting the reputation of modern Japanese gaming. Most of their titles have stayed overseas, for reasons that should be obvious; for instance, 2010′s Criminal Girls features a cast of buxom lasses forced to undergo the trials of an otherworldly sex dungeon. And in the stomach-churning tradition of this very specific type of game, Criminal Girls depicts its characters in the “they’re drawn to look like children but they’re actually adultsmoe style.

It’s important to note that these “mainstream” pervy games rarely come close to being sexually explicit; rather, heavy layers of innuendo insulate the ribaldry in a protective shell — almost as if someone at Nippon Ichi realized it might be a Bad Thing if someone thought the company endorsed pedophilia. In order to reject such claims, games like Criminal Girls focus on teasing the player with what could be regarded as harmless fun under the cloudiest of apologist lenses.

 

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