In class, we discussed gender representation in videogames, namely female physiques in videogames. The discussion on the representation of a female body and female characteristics got me thinking about representation of different genders by other ethnic groups. Using google and youtube, I noticed that a lot of American videogames focus on body build whereas a lot of video games designed by Asian designers focus more on facial features. Asian videogames, namely Japanese videogames, focus more on developing attractive facial features in both males and females. Common themes in all Japanese videogames characters include a sharp chin, a small, almost non-existent nose, huge doll eyes, and small mouths.
The bodies of most characters are usually lanky and not G.I. Joe big. American videogames, on the other hand, focus greatly on the physique of their characters. With Lara Croft, it is quite obvious that the main focus for the designers was creating her Barbie-like body.
In terms of characteristics of main characters in videogames, I noticed that a lot of Japanese videogames that I know of don’t portray women as very aggressive or outgoing. Moreover, they are rarely made into the only main characters in a game, unless they’re targeting females as players.
I get that games from different cultures probably represent their standards of beauty in that culture. But I wonder: Would a game like Lara Croft Tomb Raider elicit the same response it did with Americans? Would men be attracted to a female character that is very different from the regular characters they normally play as or see in videogames? Or would a videogame like this be dismissed because it doesn’t meet the characteristics of the player don’t match up to the characteristics developed for standard female characters in Japanese videogames?