on Jul 29, 2008
Yesterday’s discussion of Geralt got me thinking, which is never a good thing and should be avoided at all costs. But it’s too late now, and I can’t rest until I get the answer to a
simple four-paragraph question:
We have many fetching female leads in videogames. In fact, off the top of my head I can’t think of ever seeing any plain or unattractive ladies on the cover of a videogame. Maybe my standards are low, but it seems that most are either genuinely attractive in a realistic sort of way (Alyx Vance) or idealized fantasy supermodel boob-job Maxim-style attractive. (I’m not personally such a fan of the latter, but I’m also a grouchy and possibly senile old man who has tastes out of alignment with most of the rest of our culture.) At any rate: Women protagonists in videogames are invariably attractive on some level.
(Let’s just pretend I made a “John Romero is a hot chick” joke somewhere in that last paragraph. I know I’m supposed to, but after all these years my heart just isn’t in it anymore.)
But as far as I can tell, the same doesn’t seem to be true of the men in American / European games. (We’re ignoring Japanese games, which is another whole subject entirely and will threadjack this whole discussion before it even gets going if we don’t disqualify them right off the bat.) I realize tastes vary, and answers are likely to be all over the map, but I can’t help but notice that aside from their muscles, most male videogame characters don’t look anything like the average male sex symbol. “Grizzled” is a word that can be used to describe about 90% of them. “Horribly deformed or scarred” applies to a good percentage as well. And of course there is the ever popular category of “faceless“.
But there must be a few good-looking men in the world of videogames. For my own curiosity, would you care to list who you think is attractive? And in case you’ve forgotten the title of this post already, this really is a question for women. If I wanted the clueless half-guesses of a hetrosexual male I would have just asked myself instead of typing 373 words on the subject.
Shamus Young is an old-school OpenGL programmer, author, and composer. He runs this site and if anything is broken you should probably blame him.