Saturday, 9 August 2014

Winners Expose Everything, Losers Cover Up.

Note: Links without pictures may not be safe for work (NSFW). I am not a Muslim, nor Christian. Religion won't be the main focus of this post. I am simply offering alternative design suggestions beyond the bikini-or-burqa dilemma.

One look at most advertisements for popular video games, films, and other forms of pop culture that pictures women reveals several things:
1) Women are usually posed to show their assets.
2) The content is often second nature to the fanservice.
3) The fanservice sometimes does not match the situation.

Remember Evony? It's an extreme case that happens to hit all three points in its advertising, although it didn't actually show women in lingerie ingame.

Dead or Alive or Scarlet Blade is a better example of fanservice to the max in the games proper. Mostly string bikinis or other borderline clothes, and if it's a fantasy-themed game, there's going to be a metallic bikini or two. Maybe even three? Why not one for every lass, regardless of what she might think if she were real?

The other side of the scale is not much better, as most artists tend to go overboard in trying to avoid controversy by only drawing burqas or long shapeless robes.

A pervert's worst fear on the right.
Right: Fanboys' retort to reasonable armours.

Considering that fanservice sells, however, it is more likely that the artists using robes are merely mocking critics in a tasteless manner. That, my friends, is a fallacy. Clothes are not just stringy bikinis or shapeless burqas, unlike the statement "You're either with us, or with them!"

In the case of clothes, there is a wide variety of designs that can cover up and still look good. Only problem is that most artists only know how to draw the very extremes, forgetting about the times when they have to tone it down a little.

A different style of long robes.
Robes/hijab aren't drab and same. (Source)

Then again, there is a game where all the main characters except one wear full nun habits. That's beside the point.

Again, modesty is not dull/drab/loserish/etc. (Source)

To drive the point of modest clothes being more than burqa, here are some examples of characters outside Disney or Pixar who wear clothes that clearly show who they are without being skimpy or shapeless. Some spoilers in the links.

Batgirl Redux.
This DC character wears a jumpsuit that is tailored to her body, and it is appropriate for the story that she appears in. It's not excessively form fitting, but enough for the reader to notice that she's a she, and the suit has a colorful bat motif.

Faith, Mirror's Edge.
A lean athlete who runs and jumps across her home city in her career as a courier. Her clothes bare her arms, head, and neck, but not much more than that. Her outfit is that of a sportswoman's, or an everyday person. She is also very lean and tough-looking due to being a criminal of sorts.

Saber, Fate/Stay Night.
The idea behind her is King Arthur as a woman. Long story. She wears a cross between a medieval court dress and heavy armour. Her main form isn't revealing, but her Red form is a different matter altogether.

Jade, Beyond Good and Evil.
A photo-journalist who ends up having to save the world from an alien scourge. Her outfit design is basic, but distinguished by its recurring motif of green, as befitting the name Jade.

While she wears a crop top that exposes part of her stomach, the flesh-baring effect is minimized by the rest of her outfit, which covers almost everywhere else. Like Faith, Jade has a lean build.

Jade was designed to be a realistic character with her own goals rather than mere fanservice.

Dovahkiin, The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim.
Should you choose to play as a woman and not install too many game modifications that change appearances, the default female armours of Skyrim aren't too bad. That is, compared to the multitude of iron/steel lingerie out there in other game.

Fortunately, there are some Skyrim mods that don't turn the Dovahkiin into another generic fantasy model. It takes a bit more effort to find those compared to the club-wear looks.

In short, you don't have to be Muslim, Victorian, or a prudish loser to want the choice of not so revealing clothes. It is my hope that more game designers learn to let their game women wear clothes that don't shoehorn them into being walking sex icons, especially in medieval/fantasy-themed games.


P. S. Don't take titles too seriously here.

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