Gender Expression in Games (part 2)


A while back, I wrote about making female characters in games. In all of that, there was something I didn’t mention, for fear of judgement: I love making my characters sexy.

When I started Saints Row The Third, I cranked up the Sex Appeal meter to full; I wanted to run around and shoot stuff with ridiculous mondo titties bouncing around. Hell yeah. In Dark Souls II, I threw on the skimpy Sorceress garb the second I got it. Same deal with Lightning Returns: I threw on all the swimsuits where you can see part of her butt. If you can see their bits and bobs, then I’m satisfied.

Now, I don’t do this because I’m a pervert or anything. Wait, I take that back: I AM a pervert, but that’s not the reason I’m so keen on sexing up my vid con protagonists. I mentioned before that in making female characters in games, I’m trying to make my “ideal” form. When I realized that I wanted to be a girl, I wanted everything that comes with being a girl. I want that body; I want to look down at my chest and be all “hell yeah,” and not have this flat shit that makes me look like a teenage boy, despite being in my late 20s. I follow a lot of women on various social media platforms, and I’m not going to lie: I feel a little jealous of them at times. They’re all so damned pretty, and seeing them be so damned pretty makes my physical “imperfections” feel all the more pronounced. That morning stubble is a little more rough. My voice slips to a more masculine tone. It sucks. Of course, I don’t say this out loud, because then it sounds like I harbor resentment towards my friends, and I don’t. I love them! I’m glad they think my weird ass is worth being friends with! It’s just bad feelings towards myself that I have.

In games, though, this is not a problem. I can go into a character creator, and give myself that female face and that female body that I’ve always wanted. I’ve always hated the concept of “games as a form of escapism,” but over time, I’m realizing that that is exactly what I’ve been doing. Once I fire up my Playstation, the gender problems I have in the real world (of which there are many) cease to exist, and I’m just a woman, plain and simple. I’m pretty sure it’s the main reason I still care about games, despite all the dehumanizing and demoralizing nonsense and falderal surrounding them.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that I only want sexy outfits. I want to be able to wear a ludicrous battle bikini as easily as I can a badass suit of armor covered in spikes and shit; I like having a choice in the matter. But being able to be that confident, sexy person that I wish I could be is something that I think is really cool.

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