Pixel-shaded, polygon-animated BOOBS!

Are you kidding me?

Are you kidding me?

This frame is from the trailer of a new video game, Metal Gear Solid V. The woman pictured here is one of the protagonists. Notice anything about her? In these scene, she's infiltrating an enemy base of some kind--possibly a ship.

Her outfit is outrageous. Not only is outrageous, but it's completely unlike what male characters wear in games. I'm no prude. I'm ok with people wearing whatever they're comfortable in. You won't hear me telling people to cover up on the beach, or preaching about modesty. But, this is different. This is an surreal end to a consistent trend: the treatment of women as objects in video game culture.

I don't game as much as I once did. There just aren't enough hours in the day. But, I appreciate what games offer: a new and wonderful means to tell stories and experience the impossible. I've  explored alien worlds, flown across the continent, and built civilizations. At their best, video games immerse us in imaginary worlds in ways impossible via other media.

I love what gaming represents.

What I don't love is seeing this kind of thing. I'm a dad with two daughters. I spend a lot of time and energy to give them this message, "You are important and valued." Games like this then say, "Most of that value comes from your breasts."

Traditional media is bad enough in its handling of femininity, but the nature of virtual environments allows these trends to become so extreme that I thought this was a parody at first. It has to stop.

Oddly enough, Metal Gear Solid may help. The comments from gamers to this trailer are overwhelming negative. Male gamers everywhere see this image, and are insulted and put off. Perhaps this moment is a turning point in video game culture--and a change like that can drive markets in new directions.

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