The sorry state of gender in gaming in one photo from Destructoid

pax guys

Imagine if four female cosplayers were photographed in costumes that were essentially underwear at PAX East.  Jessica Nigri was wearing more when she was the subject of a scandal.


Not only is Jessica more covered in both these images than the men in question, but she’s obviously put more time, more care, and more conscious thought into her costumes.  They fit better, and she’s better groomed.  But she’s considered lewd, while the guys are considered “fun” or “silly”.

This double standard — that men are allowed to be “harmlessly” nearly naked — and women aren’t?  THAT IS SEXISM IN THE VIDEO GAME INDUSTRY.

Note that the dude on the right is dangerously close to a testicular wardrobe malfunction.

I have no issue with the top photo on its own.  But I am bothered by the fact that female gamers can’t have this sort of fun without risking the wrath of the internet descending on them.

We need the same standards for men and women in all things in gaming.  Period.  PAX East just failed the He-Man and She-Ra test.

21 thoughts on “The sorry state of gender in gaming in one photo from Destructoid”

  1. The question is who is shaming women in gaming? gamers? or outsiders who say gaming is bad and peverted? I’m betting some high profile feminists are on the latter group.

  2. It is the way things work. Half naked women has a response of “RAPE!!!!” in males (according to media), but there is not a panic like that about male nudity. And since complaining about sexism in the video game industry (when it comes to halfnaked females) will give you 50 virtue points and complaining about male sexuality in video games will give you -50 points + an MRA debuff.
    It just says itself what will happen really.

  3. I agree 100%. Not sure who the unmentioned villain of this article is? When the ‘wrath of the internet’ descends on scantily clad women in games/gaming, it ain’t coming from male gamers…

  4. It’s probably only half gender related. The other half is attractiveness. $20 says they’d be fine with Jessica’s pictures if she we 250 – 300 pounds.

  5. It’s because ideologues keep beating over our heads that the female form is inherently corrupt or immoral by nature of it existing. Every radical belief seeks to control what woman can and will do with their bodies. New Age Feminism and Social Justice are no exceptions. Why can’t we let women make their own damn individual choices.

  6. This is my biggest criticism on Anita Sarkeesian.

    From her very first video, where she talked about damsels in distress, she said that adding more dudes in distress would not be a solution, because that’s “equal-opportunity oppression”. She wants the entire trope gone altogether. No person should need rescuing ever again in fiction. Same applies to everything else she has ever complained about. She wants them all gone.

    A more reasonable person would say, instead of only featuring male-oriented fan service, put some female-oriented fan service as well. Or ask us in the beginning of the game what kind of genitals we prefer, and change the content accordingly. Simple things, everybody is happy. Except Anita Sarkeesian, of course.

  7. I 100% agree with your sentiment and believe it should be allowed to go both ways, but your photo of the 4 dudes is from a convention in California called Anime Los Angeles. Did cosplays akin to the one you posted take place at Pax this year? It’d help the argument a lot more since you’re aimin’ this at PAX to a degree.

  8. Alright two things here…

    1) This happened back in 2012. Why are you bringing it up now?

    2) She was asked to change because PAX had/has a no booth babes policy at their expos. If she wasn’t being paid to promote the game and was just a regular attendee cosplaying it probably would have been fine.

  9. Funny you should mention men in underwear being kicked out of PAX East 2012!

    But you’re right, women should be allowed to wear whatever they please.

    It seems in this particular case Nigri was in costume in a professional capacity. According to Kotaku, she had been hired to wear the costume on the show floor. PAX has had a strict no booth babe policy for about 6 years IIRC. I assume those underwear megamen were not hired to do so? Anyways, she was asked to leave the show floor after the staff received complaints.

    While your post is ill informed, your sentiment is still right, women should be allowed to wear whatever they please. Should we tell those complainers to stop complaining?

  10. Good points except the one about costume quality. Kind of a pointless jab. The men’s costumes required the right amount of effort for the point of the costumes.

  11. In 2005 I attended Anime Expo for the first time, my first convention ever. It was a very different time in the world of Anime, Cosplay and Conventions. I remember being excited seeing cosplayers in mass for the first time but there was one infamous Cosplayer I wanted to meet above all else; Man-Faye, a somewhat out of shape, harry dude that dressed up like Faye Valentine from Cowboy Bebop.

    Unfortunately, he was banned. I not sure exactly why he was banned and thus can’t be sure it’s relevant to this topic, but it seem the double standard in Convention Cosplay policing goes deeper. It does stop at a Male-Good Female-Bad paradigm but seems to extend to the implied gender of the clothing. A man dressing like a provocative female is often treated as more offensive/ban worthy by conventions than a man wearing less as a male character.

  12. “This double standard — that men are allowed to be “harmlessly” nearly naked — and women aren’t? ”

    Umm, yes they are. Nobody’s stopping them, you even posted a picture of a woman doing this. You’re complaining about something that doesn’t exist.

  13. I agree with Chris and morbid both. It’s wierd that this only happens when it comes to cosplay and video games. I mean look at all the women at awards shows that are dressed really scantily. Yet no o e looks down or ostracizes them. With that being the case that kind of equality should definitely cross over into the video gaming world.

  14. It’s like you’re trying to find a problem where there isn’t one.

    Comparing Jessica Nigri and a bunch of random dudes… well first of all you’re reaching pretty hard to grasp at straws. Second – you’re really showing how removed you are from the culture. Cosplay and the designers, will design them with a purpose in mind. The Megaman Cosplay is DESIGNED to be silly. Jessica Nigri’s are not. She certainly could design one that bears skin and also be silly but… that’s not her style.

    You should probably comment on something you’re more familiar with.

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