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Heroines of Video Games Group

Want to discuss women in games besides how "hot" they are? Instead of focusing on female assets, we'll be discussing how much females can kick ass and save the day! Whoever you like, let's talk about the positive female heroines in games!

Femme Fails

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  • Okay group. Let's try going in a different direction of sorts. We've discussed our favorite women in video games. We've rounded up our top 10's, and even waxed poetic on the lesser known ladies of games and delved into their flaws. But ultimately we've been talking about the positive and inspiring female characters that we love.

    So now it's time to give the floor to those woman in video games that we despise. Where there is a ying it's time to bring the yang. What female characters or video game series do you think have brought a negative, stereotypical or demeaning light to women in video games and in what way do you feel this it potentially damaging in a short or even long term way?

  • Basically any girl fighter in the Tekken series. I mean really?!

  • Hmm I couldn't think of a specific character (at this moment), but as for series, I'd rank Duke Nukem and GTA pretty low for negatively portraying women. I haven't played these games, so correct me if I'm wrong. From what I've seen, in the DN series, women are either just used for sex or are damsels in distress. For example: there's a "capture the babe" mode in which a hysterical female "needs" a slap on the butt. It's disgusting. As for GTA, we've talked a little before about prostitutes in the series, but I don't like how one can have sex with a prostitute and then kill her. I know violence is an option for men and women in game, but unlike the men, there's no strong female presence other than this. There isn't a female protagonist or main character in the game. I've seen arguments saying that GTA is supposed to show the ugliness and immorality of the drug world and society. However, if Rocksteady wanted to make a more mature, influencing game, couldn't they have had a female cop or crime lord? Or maybe show the dark side of prostitution by telling a prostitute's story? It's disappointing when game developers don't think beyond stereotypes.

  • Ah, I was wondering if we'd make a thread like this.


    I agree with SHurvivor about the Tekken girls. It's weird -- a big appeal to me for fighting games is a diversity of casts, and characters like Chun-Li and Sonya Blade helped me get into fighting games. But Tekken is probably the only fighter I've played where I DON'T have a favorite female. I don't like the Williams sisters (dominating b*tch-type characters), and even the more innocuous ones, like Xiaoyu (cutesy genki girl) and Asuka (tomboy), are pretty stereotypical and bland.


    Actually, I do have a couple faves: Lili and Alisa, but I prefer my favorite male characters in Tekken to the females overall. :/


    I feel like Soulcalibur has gotten MUCH more offensive than Tekken, though, with the ridiculous portrayal of Ivy the dominatrix and Taki the jazzercize ninja kunoichi. I have no problems with a dominatrix character in Soulcalibur, but why does Ivy dress like that? She's a character with a dark and depressing backstory, so why should she dress like a stripper?! And Taki is just -- her outfit is so unstealthy, Naruto would be embarrassed by it for several reasons. Their outfits are completely impractical. TBH, it's character designs like this that has hurt Soulcalibur's credibility as a game for me. I've never felt that was towards any other game before for a similar reason. :/


    As for Duke Nukem and GTA, I'd say that DN is MUCH more offensive than GTA, because GTA does sometimes portray women sympathetically, and DN... doesn't. But yeah, it would be nice if there were a stronger female presence in GTA. How interesting would it be if there were a female lead in a GTA game? I've been thinking about that for a while.

  • Yang is evil? Can you back this up or is it an assumption? Anyways on the nite of the question. Pretty much all fighting games have unproportional women, but as for one famous character I've never liked we be princess Peach. Absolutely. Passionately. Hate. Princess. Peach. She is the most sterotypical and stupid princess ever. Period. I also have to agree with Ace on GTA. I don't know of you've noticed but on every GTA box art there is a women. You never see her in the game she is just on the cover so people can say "oh that's what kind of women are in that game". That's all I can think of right now.

  • Also Ace, Rockstar made GTA not Rocksteady. Haha had to point it out. Sorry :)

  • @badgerbil I haven't played Soul Caliber but I have seen characters, such as Ivy, and I agree it's ridiculous. Designing impractical, sexy clothing is something many developers do. If you're going to be fighting, you'd want armor for protection. You're going to want your stomach and other areas covered.

    @LA I forgot about Princess Peach! Someone should make a game where she isn't the damsel. That's be pretty cool. LOL thanks for the correction! I guess I was getting too contemplative to remember. I mixed that up with the other studio, Rocksteady... close enough lol. I played Arkham Asylum (none of Rockstar's games) so I guess that's why. Rocksteady is a cooler name anyway! XD

  • ace13:
    Someone should make a game where she isn't the damsel. That's be pretty cool

    Actually Ace, they did. Super Princess Peach. It was released for the DS a few years back. And it's a pretty fun game.


    @badgerbil. I agree with you on that. I like the series well enough, but the way they handle the women in those games is just ridiculous.

  • Thanks for pointing that out DJH. I haven't played a handheld game in forever, but that sounds cool.

  • Ashley Williams from Mass Effect was pretty bad, so was Miranda Lawson.  Princess Peach is...don't even get me started on her; And the old Lara Croft.

  • I'm still trying to figure out who get's my vote but like J, the old Laura Croft comes to mind. Granted she still kicked @ss and took names later, but her physical design *rolls eyes*...well, pretty much just that.

  • @J Warrior:  What's wrong with Ashley?! :)   And while I expected to hear it, the constant bashing of Miranda is unnecessary to me.  Personally, there is a point where an attractive female with a good body can be accepted and relieved from feminist guillotine when her strong character backs her up.  And  Miranda has one heck of a character, being genetically built to the specifications of her demented, obsessive father and fights both a physical and psychological battle against his influence over her life.  She's caught between giving in to the perfection he built her for and the freedom she's strived for for years, both for herself and her sister.  Also her sexuality is used as a tactical ruse, blending it with her initial confidence and illusion of strength to craft an intentional first impression of her, perhaps even a stereotype, and then send that impression crashing to the ground when her true self is revealed later in the game, where her emotional weakness is on display.  And then in Mass Effect 3 she undergoes a dramatic growth that demonstrates how she has chosen a path for herself and attains an honest strength, as apposed to her illusions in 2.  I believe when a character is written like this, it is wrong to then say to Bioware "you can't give her a nice looking bum and a tight, sci-fi outfit (like all the others) because she's the deep one."  To me, that's simply zealous feminism, and the cause could surely do with less of that.

    Anyway, I certainly agree with Ivy and Taki, the latter's colour scheme is just stupid considering her role, and her cup size is hardly flattering in an outfit THAT tight, but Ivy is truly revolting.  Both her impossible body and ludicrously skimpy outfit is outright distasteful, then added with her dominatrix leanings you really have to ask how many adults were really on the Project Soul dev team. :)  I've heard she's a bit better in V, which I still have to get, but nothing can wash away the her memory in IV.

    As for GTA, the thing with the prostitutes is a real shame, as Rockstar is one of the best mature storytellers.  I've only played their Red Dead Redemption, where you only see the prostitutes but don't 'interact' with them as the lead is a family man, but their games are continually renowned for their stories and characters, so I think they should either do what ace suggested (which is brilliant) or extend the cutscene animation after the deed is done so that she's out of shooting range when you get control again.  I flying blind here since I've never played a GTA, so the simplest thing would probably be to just remove the money from her pockets, so you don't get anything from killing her.  Do what ace said anyway! :)      

  • @Nikolas: I didn't like Ashley because she was that racist, humans are the best, other species suck, kind of character. She went against the commanders orders and constantly questioned him/her. She made a terrible decision on Virmire, going against my orders, that angered me and my Shepard. Made that story defying decision at the end of that mission easier. (I won't go into details because I don't want to spoil anything)

    I don't have a problem with Miranda's appearance at all. Sure, she might look like the "perfect woman", but for me, she was just a dull character. She might have the killer body, but let's not overlook her behavior, she seems to act like an, ice queen, are those the words I'm looking for?  Let's not forget her involvement with Cerberus. She's also Frigid, arrogant, and filled with sarcastic remarks, which always had me rolling my eyes. I can't find her as an interesting, or a likable character. Miranda just bored me throughout my whole playthrough.  

  • I agree with J Warrior about Miranda.  I don't HATE her, but I don't like her either.  She's just...bland...to me.  I don't know.  I just didn't like her that much.

    As for the Soul Calibur girls, I don't really dislike any of the girls' personalities, but I do agree that their outfits (and proportions) are incredibly ridiculous.

    I had to think on it for a while, but I guess my personal Femme Fail was Lightning from FFXIII.  I just don't like her at all.   She's so witchy all the time and to everyone.  I think the reason I don't like her is that she epitomizes the idea that you have to be a complete and utter WITCH in order to be a "strong" woman.  That is so untrue!  Strength is definitely a good thing, not putting up with crap is definitely a good thing, but being mean and rude to everyone is definitely not.

  • My knee jerk reaction as to which character and/or game series gets the award for "Best Misogynist Art Direction in a Video Game" was going to be Soul Caliber. While she might have been interesting to look at when I was 12 (the management apologizes to any 12 year old's in the audience today) Ivy now resembles someone who has two hot air balloons fighting for attention on her chest region more then the "damaged and ruthless fighter" that she is painted up to be.  

    But then an old trauma that had been pushed back into the darkest corners of my mind began to resurface after nearly 10 years...

    Here was a game who's developers (Team Ninja) boasted the fact that they had developed a game engine giving the mammary section of it's female characters independent movement from each other on a par with two rotund free range gerbils playing jump rope. Add to that, a slew of un-lockable outfits for the girls to play dress up in. Or undress as was the case.

    But as I was about to bestow that illustrious award upon DOA's womanizing cranium...a deeper scar reared it's much uglier head...

    I can not describe how playing both of these games made me feel without using words that begin with F and S and rhyme with the words Truck and Spit. Although that said, these games did give me the urge to drive my truck over them and then spit upon their crushed corpses. Not only does DOA Volleyball offer...well, besides nothing, it does add the ever so useful mechanic of camera zooms. So you can get close to the action and deep plot of scenes like this:

    Oh, and don't let me forget the groundbreaking achievement of Team Ninja by improving upon said mammary mobility. Yes brothers and sisters...they move with much more force...

    And while I am sure some of you are wondering "Well Deck, you should have gotten all you needed to know about the game just by looking at the cover. Why did you play not one, but both games?"

    That question could be better answered by directing it at my girlfriend at the time (now ex) who wanted to play these games. WANTED TO PLAY THESE GAMES. On purpose.

    We don't talk much anymore...

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