Social Justice in games is becoming a well discussed topic among intellectuals in the gaming community like Jim Sterling and Extra Credits. I, Isabelle Sunny Moon, would very much like to throw my own hat into the ring in regards to this subject with my new series. Problematics in Video games.
Although Western games in recent years have become incredibly progressive and friendly to WLGBTQP indivduals, Japanese games have becoming increasingly known for being incredibly problematic. Nintendo games in particular are a strong offender, as they still seem to think that it is acceptable to design entire games around the concept of rescuing a woman.
In a lot of ways Astral Chain is worse than even that. I could not believe the amount of problematic material that is present in this one release. There were a couple of things I complained about on twitter when the first trailer was released, and I still maintain that these are serious issues.
First, and perhaps most importantly… the oversexualized female character design. Although I applaud the developers for attempting to create a narrative that is virtually unchanged whether or not you choose a male or female character, a narrative that allows the female character to kick ass and take names, the female PC’s design is incredible problematic. That tiny waist. Those shorts. That ass that is somehow always in frame. Those stockings.
Well okay I love the stockings and definitely am going to buy something like that for my next GF but my point still stands that real women DO NOT LOOK LIKE THIS. It’s disgusting how often she’s sexually portrayed for the benefit of male viewer. In the male path she must recover from a severe injury at once point and shows a lot of skin. You see a lot of her breats and that abnormally flat stomach. Disgusting.
Other female characters aren’t much better. Most fail the Bechdel test in that the vast majority of them revolve their lives around men. Blatant offenders are Alicia and Marie.
What should have been a story about badass female cops kicking ass and smashing the patriarchy becomes a mess when you realize that the men in the game are not the villains! Instead of arresting male criminals you are mostly fighting an otherworldly entity… which seems to like taking the form of oversexualized females.
Also there’s no lesbian dating option. I wanna be with ALL of these girls. PlatinumGames… you know what to do!