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It’s especially funny to me how in the interest of supposed “historically accurate, well-researched, completely immersive” game or comic universes, women seem to be excluded from the narrative yet again. Some game & comic worlds are so elaborately designed and detailed that even terrain-accurate flora and fauna appear, but somehow women are deemed less important than plants and animals. Sure, include period-accurate colloquialisms and speech patterns, include amazing feats of computer/console graphics and traditional rendering, but don’t outfit your female characters and female NPCs in anything less than a standard “female” outfit regardless of the time period - that wouldn’t be realistic!
This isn’t about the way these women appear - and yet it is, at the same time. It’s not about the clothes - it’s about the iconography. It’s about the dominant male gaze and how it effects nearly everything we know and what we think we know about women in media. By eschewing the established rules of historical accuracy for JUST the female characters, the notion is that somehow the women are different - they are divorced from the narrative, and therefore must look the part, according to game developers.
By reducing female characters to one-dimensional decorations and cartoon approximations of what we think femininity means - or what femininity should mean, we effectively destroy any connection that the player might be able to form with these characters. But then again, say you’re a feminist in a male-dominated industry of any kind and watch as the heads turn and the tempers flare - it’s not all that different.
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