The world of gaming isn't known for its friendliness to women. There are damsels in distress, sexualized characters, and only a few who are portrayed in a multidimentional way. Female characters in video games are not only less powerful (and certainly less numerous) than male characters, they are usually impossibly-figured, with tiny waists, long legs, longer hair and giant breasts programmed to jiggle enticingly. Yes, even the popular, and powerful Lightning character from Final Fantasy got a breast enlargement and developers spent their time engineering "breast physics" so they will move realistically in the latest version of the game.
Despite the fact that 45 percent of gamers are women from a variety of ethnic backgrounds, it's still white males who create the games, and the sexist trend in games doesn't seem to be going anywhere. But game writer Jenn Frank maybe making some inroads to change.
As part of a snarky commentary about the Final Fantasy/Lightning boob job, Frank Tweeted recently that "I'm gonna make a game called 'Final Reality,' and it's gonna be about how I just accidentally smeared tons of deodorant all over my left [breast]." She then followed it up with, "What if you had to watch a sexy videogame character also buy bras, cry softly when she can't find one that fits and go in for mammograms?" These obvious jokes got a huge response, enough so that she decided to do a 'boob jam' (a jam is a game-development challenge over a set, usually short period of time) around the idea that breasts have a lot more to them than just entertainment value.
According to Tech News Daily, "The purpose of "Boob Jam," as the challenge is titled, is to have videogame developers and creators make a videogame that deals with an aspect of female breasts other than the fact that they're sexy and fun to look at."
Who knows how this freestyle game creation will go, who will be involved and what will end up resulting from it. But if men and women both get involved in making a game that's about more than just a female character's chest size and 'jiggle quotient' then maybe the gaming world will have a little more realistic take on the real women who play so many of their games.
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- How the Olympics improve women's body image
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