Over on Massively, Seraphina Brennan talks about the use of large-breasted women in video games. Her viewpoint there (and in her follow up post on her own blog) is that it’s just a fantastical depiction and therefore she isn’t offended. She also talks about despite being large breasted and overly sexual, video game women are sometimes still the strong and powerful characters who rely on more than their looks to be successful in games. I think this is true, but how many people really have the brains, the looks of perfection, and the strength and power to defeat any foe? Does that matter?
Someone in the comments at Massively asked her how she’d feel if it was a negative depiction of a transgender individual, being that Seraphina herself is MTF. She responds:
To answer that, um, isn’t that how transgendered people are normally portrayed in the media? We’re always these super sexy girls who try to lure men into dirty, penis filled traps. We’re never normal women. Yet, you don’t see me rioting in the streets over that issue. Honestly, I’m usually the first one laughing at those jokes because I know it’s exactly not how it is depicted.
Yes my dear, you’re right. And thankfully – you realize that the media portrayal isn’t truth because you are a normal, happy, transgender human being. Unfortunately, many people do not have the good fortune to know someone who is transgender in real life. They get their knowledge by watching television, listening to music, and playing video games. And when people don’t know enough about someone, they’re threatening…which is a recipe for a hate crime. I don’t think a proper response to inaccurate media portrayals is “oh well”, I think it’s “fuck em – let’s go after them, prove a point, get some accurate representations there to increase the education of people like us.”
The fact that fantasy isn’t just fantasy is what this blog is all about. Video games are powerful and do influence perceptions, thoughts, and actions. They are as much influential as other forms of media and should be treated as such.
What do you all think? Is it okay to let down feminist guards when immersed in fantasy worlds?