Monday, September 7, 2015

Professional at being offended

I stumbled across an article from bulimia.com which stated that "These days, there’s rarely a media type that isn’t criticized for its body image depictions, and video games are no exception."

While I kinda agree with her legs and arms for the stronger impression, the belly bump is a BIT pushing it for someone who walks around as much as she does and fights using martial arts.

I will open up my mouth regarding this issue once.

First time I ever considered the matter of graphics and realism in video games was when World of Warcraft came out and I picked my very first character. As I frolicked in the night-elven forests with my new hunter I did contemplate on how I would look like if I would do a similar amount of running, swinging sword and gathering flowers as my character. I'd say several pounds thinner, and I'm by no means overweight.

There are two views I have on how women are depicted in video games.

1) The lore

I welcome anyone to play WoW for 4-6 hours a day for three months. After that I want them to live 4-6 months where, every day, they do exactly the same things their character has done. Climbing mountains, frolicking flowery hills, riding, swimming, swinging a sword. Four to six hours per day. After that I want them to come to me and tell me what their body type is.

Whether or not it is likeable, sitting at the computer does not equal sports. It would be awesome if it did; I hate jogging, but there are some things I hate more than going outside with my running shoes. Namely my back, my wrists, my shoulders going through horrible pain if I don't exercise. And, yes, I dislike my thighs getting flabby when I don't run.

Claiming that a character should be overweight despite the incredible amount of exercise he or she goes through on a daily basis makes me irrationally upset as a lore-oriented gamer. It is just not plausible.

2) The visuals

While not all women should be stick figures and being a stick figure does not equal to being beautiful, there is a certain truth to the images we see in video games. This truth is simple: those characters are what we like to look. They are escapism from reality, yes, but they are also our ideals.

There is an old saying going around the internet claiming that what is wrong with women is the following:

When men see an unrealistic image such as James Bond, they aspire to be that man. The man becomes their mountain top. They aspire to climb this mountain top even when it seems unreachable.

When women see an unrealistic image such as Lara Croft, they start complaining about the unrealistic standard set for them. Instead of attempting to conquer the mountain top, they claim that they have to be declared the new mountain top.

I find this true, and I find this obnoxious.

Ladies, not being able to separate fiction from real life is an illness. Eating disorder is a mental health issue. These are both problems not to be toyed with, and if you suffer from either of these you should seek help.

However, world will always have things which will make you reconsider everything you believe in, everything about yourself and your values. If you don't like the mountain top, nobody forces you to climb it. Pick your own mountain top. Climb it.

But don't let the mountain top destroy you. That perfection is unobtainable is not an excuse not to strife for it.

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