Night Elves, you dress like sluts. Vierra in Ivalice, you’re fetish fuel. Bunny in Bunny Must Die, are you kidding me you flat-chested rabbit/cat-eared albino in a bunny suit? Sill Plain pre-Sengoku Rance, your kimono looks a lot better than being practically naked. Any woman ever drawn by Luis Royo, you’re a whore, not a warrior. Put down that sword and find someone without a fetish for impractical armor.
I’m certain we have all heard it from feminists that skimpy outfits and sexualization of women in media is demeaning to them. Well it goes both ways really on the gender spectrum, but I have an opinion on this oft-discussed subject as well; dressing videogame characters like sluts is pathetic. Completely pathetic.
I’ve played more games than I’ve written articles, and I’m no stranger to female and male outfits being a huge tease. There can be some nice aesthetics to these kinds of things, but in excess it’s honestly just the artists pushing their fetish into the game or thinking that their entire demographic is horny teenagers. Here’s a hint, if you wear a very teasing outfit, you’re not being daring, you’re being a hack.
The fanservice aspect does draw some attention, but in my experience, people who flaunt as much skin as the T-rating will let them get away with just draw rolled eyes. Anyone who actually likes such outfits gets a similar reaction or one that damages their reputation in some way because of people thinking they’re perverts.
It’s even worse when it’s on main characters. To me, a character in a slutty outfit is just attention whoring, as though she’s saying “Hey look at me! What I lack in awesomeness I make up for in giving you a boner”. Even if said character can be crazily awesome in their own right, being badly dressed just knocks off plenty of points.
Hell, look at Arcueid from Tsukihime, there is not a single scratch of fanservice on her, not one. The only way she could show less skin would involve wearing gloves, and believe me she has 88/55/85 as her measurements. Is she awesome? Yes she is. A Generation-zero vampire who can wipe the floor with who she damn well pleases with a pretty neat personality.
Then you get Fran from Final Fantasy XII, who, like all vierra, dresses like THAT. Of course, if you’ve played FFXII you’ll know that she has the personality of a pile of rocks and the only memorable scene is when Vaan asks her “How old are you again?” a good bit into the game. Her accent is awesome though.
(Guess which one you get to see naked)
Personally if a character dresses like this, this, this, this, or this, I have a very difficult time taking them seriously at first, even when they are genuinely good characters (and I had to actively look for awesome characters who dressed like that). Oversexualizing a fictional character is more demeaning to your target audience than females, I feel. It in turn also makes people who think less of people who actually like them as a character instead of how they dress.
Know what I find funny? I’ve read a good handful of visual novels with erotic content and most of the females dress better than shoddy attempts at fanservice from complete hacks who aren’t allowed to show too much.