Critical Examination: Sexy Armor as Expression

Now that Anita has finally cut the last of her shackles loose (Jonathan McIntosh), she’s making new videos about the stuff she was already making videos of, and there’s a noticeable drop in quality.  It’s almost like McIntosh scripting things for her was what made it work.  Because while Anita doesn’t believe a word that comes out of her mouth when it comes to all these feminism nonsense, Jonny boy did.  He bought it all.  Now the driving force behind making good points about stuff on her channel is gone.  But hey, when you’re a con artist, it’s only natural that you want less loose ends to work with.

Her latest video is entitled “Lingerie is Not Armor.”  You can look it up at your leisure.  I’m honestly not responding to the video itself, because the points she’s made are all ones that she’s brought up before.  The idea that sexy women is bad because men are sexist pigs (a mentality reminiscent of the patriarchs in 50’s television shows), these things were designed for men and men alone (because she has to make sure and exclude lesbian and bisexual women.  We’ll get back to that later), and it’s not the same when it’s men.  She also makes points about how the armor is impractical, but that’s a non-issue.  Games weren’t designed for realism.  When I play Bloodborne and a giant monster slashes at my character and does a fuck-ton of damage, I don’t believe that if I stab myself with a blood vial that I’m magically cured.  Games are fantasy for a reason.  If you want a realistic game where women are in armor, fantastic.  Oh, right, back during the time when armor was a thing, you’d pretty much never find a woman in it because women were at home tending after the place and making babies.  But don’t pay attention to that.  Historical context is a magical thing that Anita Sarkeesian knows fuck-all about.

In all her videos talking about this subject, there’s one thing that I think is getting lost in the conversation – the subjectivity of art.  It really is.  This fact beats the hell out of everything that Sarkeesian is saying, because it can’t be denied.  Which brings me to this Critical Examination.

When I listen to this piece of music, it produces in me an emotional reaction.

For me, it’s a feeling of peace.  But there are other things.  It also brings back memories of my grandmother.  I used to listen to this piece a lot at her house.  I remember the sunny days when I used to sit and talk with her.  It’s nice.  Makes the feels muscles work.  What reaction does it put in you?  If you’re a metalhead, probably nothing.  Or maybe one of “Why am I listening to this?”  I could have a room filled with a dozen people and there would be a dozen reactions to this piece.  All of them coming from a very different place.

Let’s take a look at a different piece of art.  This one is from a former friend of mine.

Solitude

Solitude, by Emily Gelino-Bequette

What does that make you feel?  I know that everyone in my audience is going to have a different reaction to this piece.  It’s the nature of art.  I think it’s beautiful and it elicits an actually sorrowful reaction because of what happened between the girl who painted this and I.  Bet you don’t feel that way.  That’s natural.

I know what you’re asking – what does this have to do with sexy armor on women in vidya.  Well, I’ll tell you.  Video games are an art medium.  It cannot be denied at this point.  They incorporate all the elements of art, from the visual to the audio.  The best games are able to use the art of good storytelling to weave fantastic narratives that get the players emotionally invested.  But even without the story-telling, it is still an artistic medium.

The Sarkeesian argument boils down to this idea that women in video games are nothing more than designed to be sex objects.  How laughable.  The reason for her ignorance (you’re mansplaining, Lucien!) is because she knows nothing about the video game design process.  Let’s take one of her favorite targets to rail on – Quiet.

Quiet 2When you first look at Quiet’s character design, that is pretty sexy.  Those who don’t understand context or how this medium works would look at her and be very quick to castigate her as just some sex object.  “Progressives” like Jim Sterling did just that.  But here’s the thing – this isn’t just some character who was designed to titillate the male player.  This was a character who had a TON of work put into her design.  The Sterlings and Sarkeesians of the backwash that is games journalism seem to forget that the facial animations, motion capture, and voice acting were all done by the same person.  A person who had to work her ass off and go to crazy lengths in order to get it to look and act as genuinely as she seems to in this game.  But hey, I’m sure that they’ll say that she has some “internalized misogyny” or some other dumb thing.  Because why bother giving women credit for the work they do when there’s a point to be made, am I right?

Naturally, they also can ignore context too.  Like how you don’t have to have Quiet as a team member.  After the battle with her, you can kill her.  That is an option.  Or you can never take her on missions with you.  Not to mention that there are different clothing options for her, some of which aren’t even remotely sexy.  Like this number.

METAL GEAR SOLID V: THE PHANTOM PAIN_20160305183144

Believe it or not, but I actually like this outfit better, but that’s just because I find chicks in uniform kind of hot.  Makes me wonder what it would be like to peel her out of it.  Sexy.  In any case, these things are lost to the people we’re talking about.  Why?  In Sarkeesian’s case, it’s because she can’t afford to let context damage the narrative.  The narrative has to be maintained, no matter what.  To hell with those who disagree.  Sterling is a sexist idiot who drank the Kool-Aid.  He’s like McIntosh in that way.

The point I’m making is that these characters and their “lingerie armor” is just as open to interpretation as any other form of this medium.  Every perspective is going to be different.  Even though SJWs seem to move in lock-step with one-another, even their empty heads have different opinions about what characters like Quiet represent.  But the thing about Sarkeesian is that she doesn’t leave herself open to that perspective.  Her entire argument is beholden to the idea that her interpretation is the only one.  There can be no other.  A statement that is as ridiculous as it is asinine.  The ego of this woman, to believe that if it isn’t how she sees women, it’s wrong.  I can’t help but wonder why this woman and her ilk have such a problem with conservatives.  Their mindset is just like the dad in Leave it to Beaver.

What I find most troubling about this is the fact that so many people follow this point of view.  They think it’s the correct way to view things.  Did any of her sexist followers even bother to look at the fact that art is more than just one individual person’s perspective?  Of course not.  Because Saint Anita said so!  Feminism is their religion, after all.  And you don’t questions the preacher’s message.  Just ask Catholics how that works.  These people have a values system that is given to them by their leader and is understood to be above reproach.  Why?  Because if you question it, you are sexist and hate woman or whatever else.

Meanwhile, for those of us who actually care about this medium and are actually people who play video games (something that, by her own statement she does not), we can see that this issue isn’t as simple as – woman in sexy outfit is bad!  The thing that truly baffles me is how many people who claim to be critics of this medium go along with that thinking.  The likes of Naughty Dog takes what this woman says very seriously.  It’s so weird.

Since this is all subjective, let me know what your opinions are in the Comments.  Unlike Anita, I allow people to express their opinions.  I know, really weird, right?

Until next time, a quote,

“I dream my painting and I paint my dream.” – Vincent Van Gogh

Peace out,

Maverick

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