It’s Not the Size, But the Number of Polygons by Caryn “Hellchick” Law
Gaming’s famous women (and a token male) look at 5 female models
There was a time when female video game characters were few and far between, and what few there were were so pixelated and miniscule that it was next to impossible to know for certain their gender. Ms. PacMan was possibly the first female lead game character to enter the scene, but she wasn’t much more than a cross-dressing PacMan (nice lipstick). Nowadays, game characters are so richly detailed that no pink bow on Duke Nukem’s head is going to convince us that he’s female, despite how hilarious it would look. You could say that the women in today’s games have come a long way.
But just how realistic are they? The female models of today’s video games might be compared to Barbie – a doll who, if she were made into a life-size woman, wouldn’t be able to stand on her own two feet due to her rather ahh, generous upper proportions. In an industry where the size of the female models’ chests seems to increase faster than processor speeds, we wondered how representative today’s game chicks are of the female species. To address this issue, GameSpy has asked Stevie “Killcreek” Case, level designer at ION Storm and one of the first well-known female gamers, and Planetquake’s own Mynx, the queen of advice, to offer their opinions on five female game characters from video game history. Adding his “expert” opinion to the subject is GameSpy’s own resident, self-proclaimed breast expert, Dave “Fargo” Kosak.
Fargo: Breasts are a lifelong study for me, really. You can never truly know it all. I like to really get a handle on the subject matter, you know, get in to my work, so to speak.
1. Ms. Pacman
Mynx: Ms. Thang was the first woman to show the men how it should be done. She had it all: looks, brains, an insatiable appetite for dots. What more could you ask for? Well, sure, a torso would be nice, but who are we to argue the particulars, eh?
Killcreek: Absolutely one of my favorite female characters of all time. This chick was working it! She did her thing with the same speed and vigor as Mr. PacMan, and even had to time give birth to Junior in the third cinematic. She knew the power of femininity and wore that pink bow proudly, all the while kicking ass and chomping dots.
Fargo: Blah blah blah blah, this girls’ lips just wouldn’t stop moving. I don’t know how Mr. Pac gets anything done around the house.
2. Princess Toadstool (Super Mario Bros.)
Mynx: I’m not much for the “oh rescue me, you big strong greasy Italian plumber!” type, but hey, she knew how to work it. Her shape was pretty good, considering she seemed to barely push 3 inches tall. Petite is okay, though, I guess. “They” say more than a handful is really just a waste, anyway. Her crown was probably heavier than her hooters.
Killcreek: This sweet little thing couldn’t jump too high, but she sure could float. Her graceful skill came in handy more than once in the world of dreams. Her childish appearance fails to reveal her true hardcore-ness, but at least she is well covered. What are Mario and Luigi doing hanging around with a little girl anyway? She ought to be at home in bed.
Fargo: At least her proportions are halfway human. Go Princess Toadstool! She’s a C-cup, I’m thinkin’. My only beef with her is at the end of Mario 64 she baked a cake. A CAKE! Dude, I just jumped over pools of lava for you. Can’t I at least get some steak? Maybe a mashed potato?
3. Quake 2 female marine
Mynx: It’s all in the attitude, baby. This chick kicks ass and takes names. Sure, it’s a little hard to aim a gun or hold your enemy in a headlock when you’ve got 38DD’s, but with the aid of a good sports bra I’m sure rocket jumping wouldn’t be an issue. Nothing like a solid 38-16-35 frame on a marine.
Killcreek: She is about as hardcore as they come. Unlike most of her contemporaries, she even wears a battle-appropriate outfit. Her somewhat unrealistic body is muscular enough to make it non-offensive. The focus is her killing skills rather than her body, and that is a nice change from the norm.
Fargo: Honestly, she might be a B-cup, I don’t know how thick that armor is. Space marines in the future will have no doubt invented the “wonder-armor” to artificially inflate the cleavage. But at least she looks like she could actually hold her own in a fight, unlike…
4. Lara Croft
Mynx: Blech. I’ve always unaffectionately referred to Ms. Croft as “torpedo tits”. Her size 0 body and 38J knockers have rubbed me the wrong way from the git-go. If she were real (the boobs most certainly wouldn’t be) those babies would sway somewhere around the vicinity of her kneecaps. Of course, no giant-chested frame would be complete without a too-tight t-shirt and hotpants. Of course, men can’t reconcile a powerful chick unless she’s got enormous boobs and hot pants, right? If you’re gonna burp the gecko, why not just read Playboy instead of bothering to play a game?
Killcreek: I have always had mixed feelings about Lara. Her original shape was beyond ridiculous. No mortal could achieve such proportions and remain standing upright! Fantasy is fun, but I prefer to play a character that maintains some semblance of anatomical realism. I like breasts as much as the next guy, but c’mon now! On the positive side, the Tomb Raider series seems to be fairly popular among women. At least Lara’s high profile profile would appear to have drawn some open-minded women into the wonderful world of gaming. A wide range of heroines is desirable to appeal to a wide variety of preferences, so I feel that there is a place for Lara — even on a chick-friendly game shelf. I see her a first step towards the goal of portraying women as strong and vital in games.
Fargo: Killcreek just said, “I like breasts as much as the next guy.” That was cool.
5. Rynn (Drakan)
Mynx: Not bad. She’s got a nice shape without being overexaggerated. Long, lithe, catlike. And hey, you’ve gotta like a woman who wears a lace-up leather corset. I’d imagine her as a nice solid C cup – plenty there to prove her womanhood without leaping over the line and becoming ridiculously cartoon-like (*cough* Lara *cough*). At least she’d be able to walk upright. Some of these models (ahem, Lara) would have to crawl on all fours to support the weight of their breasts. Then again, maybe “on all fours” is just how the creators want us to think of their models…
Killcreek: Rynn has a lot going for her. She’s pretty, yet not overdone. There is nothing wrong with an attractive female lead, in fact its nice to play a good-looking girl. I can definitely appreciate the beauty of a woman. Though she appears to be busting out of her leather corset, her sexuality is much more understated than it could be. Rynn is tough, talented, and on a mission. She possess a nice mix of looks and skill as she kicks monster ass: an excellent combination in my book.
Fargo: [Says nothing. Long, thin stream of drool begins to descend from his lips.]
There you have it, female fronts from front to back. We could go on, but Fargo’s getting to frisky and, frankly, it’s making me uncomfortable. What doyou think about the anatomy of gaming’s female heroes and villains? Writefeedback or post on the Forum and let us know what gets your engine revving and what’s a total joke.
-Caryn “Hellchick” Law