Yes, Female Armour Is Somewhat Inadequate

Yes, Female Armour Is Somewhat Inadequate

While this clip was minted with fantasy clichés in general in mind, seeing as video games draw from them (and are as guilty of perpetuating them) as anything else, this is still highly relevant.


  • This has a point.

    Double standards in art direction are always identified as a problem, but developers keep maintaining them.

    Related point: there was a *huge* outcry after the E3 demo for Mass Effect 3 showed Ashley (the heavily-armoured female soldier from the first game) in a skimpy catsuit with high heeled boots.

    Needless to say Bioware had to quickly clarify that she’d have other options available, including armour that actually made sense (by, y’know, providing protection).

    • Oh please, what’s the point of wearing armor if you don’t look hot as / sexy in it. These are game after all, ya know, like FICTION, as in not real. If were gonna be that realistic the game might as well not exist.

      • Most of the best fiction I find changes a few key things and keeps everything else consistent.

        When things don’t make sense they take you out of the experience.

        • I debated just letting this go but I have a couple of theories.

          1: Its actually not different for guys and and there is no double standard, the stereotype for men is strength, barbarism, athletic and generally handsome when we all know 3/4 of the people playing these games are skinny / overweight hairy and debatably nothing like that (to put it in nice terms).

          2: You were born without a sense of humour

          3. You suffer from any number of social impairments that render woman in general as what you think they are telling you they are (when they’re not). What if a chick playing wants cute / sexy armour?

          4. You don’t understand that a game is fiction and the relentless pursuit of realism has driven the fun factor of games and entertainment into the ground

          5. You are 25 or under and know everything already anyway so whatever you say must be right and you twitter excruciating things like ‘watched tv’ as is every mundane activity you do is somehow interesting (which it isn’t).

          • None of that excuses the double standard. It’s there and it shouldn’t be.

            Joking about it or calling it fiction trivialises the real impact of media on people’s perceptions. You can’t say “all CHICK armour has to be FOR HOTNESS YEAHHHHH” then run a mile when someone points out that it’s a) objectifying and b) ridiculous.

            It’s also not a good idea to get defensive or insulting when people point out something you don’t like.

            I’m perfectly comfortable with what I said and what I do. It’d be nice if you could argue the point without getting personal.

          • You must be right. I’m so sorry. They should send all game ideas to you for approval before they do anything. That should fix the fun factor.

          • 1: It’s completely different for guys due to fanboys’ lurking fear of finding other males even vaguely attractive. Male fantasy armour rarely promotes a ‘take me, big boy’ ambiance.

            2: You apparently don’t know a sense of humour when it bites you on your well-armoured behind.

            3. What if women don’t want to be called ‘chicks’? God, what decade do you live in?

            4. I understand that a game is fiction, and if it overstresses my willing suspension of disbelief, I’m going to stop enjoying it. Putting female warriors in absurd bits of tinsel will definitely earn a sneer and a fast drop.

            5. I am 25 or older, and think you’ve got a whole raft of attitude problems, including a superiority complex. Boy.

          • Well, I guess if four random nerds voice the same opinion, no one else in the world must think any differnt. Boy.

          • Well, I guess if four random nerds voice the same opoion, then the rest of the world must agree. boy.

          • I’d usually agree that you should give games a free pass because it’s fiction. But guess what, many people play games for a sense of escapism, and especially games that intend to immerse you in a well-crafted universe that strives, if not for realism, but believability.

            Considering how Mass Effect, a series that goes into ridiculous lengths in its Codex to assuage science geeks and has everything anchored in practicality… Giving a female character fanservice boob armour is ridiculous.

            Your attacks on other members isn’t appreciated, it’s juvenile and makes you look like an insecure douche. What can you possibly hope to gain with baseless accusations about another’s personality, age or appearance? You know nothing about him. He’s just a guy on the internet whose username is Aidan. This just cheapens and discredits your position.

        • So, if I understand correctly, we’re *all* okay with a game that has scantily clad men and women? I could live with that. Choose according to your taste and everyone gets sexy.

  • What do you want Luke Plunkett? Do you want the women to sacrifice mobility and end up getting killed?

    That’s it isn’t it, you hate women and want them all to die?

    I thought as such.

  • I really wish whomever is incharge of art design would grow up and realise that “Sexy” and “Slutty” aren’t the same thing.

  • The speed they gain from the conservative design helps them capitalise on the distraction said design causes in their enemies.
    To quote Garrus Valkarian, “I had reach, she had flexibility.”

  • I’ve always had a problem with the ridiculous ways armour is depicted on the female form.

    Cliched as hell, they’ll run around in a fur bikini with maybe a crotch plate or steel bra.

    Why is it so hard for designers to see a fully tanked up female warrior is hella hot?

    And the Japanese are worse! Always the same “cute” design! And voice acting!! Gaaaaargh!!!


    • Japanese men (for the most part) prefer submissive and ‘innocent’ girls, which is why their voice actors deliberately use high pitched voices and sound like 12 year olds. And heavens alive if you let them get hit in combat, because they’d make a sound like they’re being raped by their parents’ murderer.

  • Dragon Age has done reasonably well on the armour front, not letting “design” choices get in the way of things like… protection.

    ME however, decided that “unique” female looks (Jack especially) are more important than say, practical combat kit.

    But then again, just about every MMO out there has their share of scantily clad women of all species, armour or no.

    • Female Hawke is pretty sensible. But serial offenders like WoW with the infamous boob armour defy reason. Yes. They made specially crafted boob slots out of steel where realistically any sword or lance would conveniently slide right into the cleavage and crush the sternum.

  • If I cant beat the angry spider monkey in my pants while playing, i aint interested…

    Seriously though, as an artist myself I cannot bring myself to draw cheesecake because it doesnt make real worl sense.

    Also, I killed off Ashley in Mass Effect.

  • I’ve always said that if I have to look at my character’s bum for an extended period of time, I may as well enjoy it…

  • Im not here to argue the wrong right of this. But surely developers do what most people want? And if people dont want it… they wont buy it. That said if the majority of people want something else, its up to game developers to do that and of course thats what Developers DO do, cause its what makes them money.

    • Thing is that most people don’t buy the games because the female characters are in skimpy clothing, we buy them for the plot or gameplay. Some people consider the skimpy clothing a bonus, some a detriment, I’d really like to see a well conducted survey on this… I’m a bit curious as to the results. Personally it depends on the character for me, if a woman is a warrior I’d rather them be armored appropriately, if its an enchantress or something similar then sexier clothing works well. Additionally, having a mix allows for another way to character build.

  • I’m all for both genders being able to have the sexy armour/practical armour. Take Bloodrayne, just wouldn’t be the same if she was wearing armour. Admitedly, I can’t think of a male example, but if it did happen (Don’t say Duke =P), I wouldn’t mind.

  • It’s kind of amusing that a woman running around in very little armour always brings out a big discussion but you throw a male barbarian running around in a fur loincloth into a game and everyone is cool with it. Or how about the “Pirate Pete” look with the shirt that reveals half of a guy’s chest with his tight emo pants? Dante certainly didn’t get any flak for running around bare chested in DMC 3. The Prince of Persia did a very slow undress over the course of Sands of Time and everyone was cool with that. Solid Snake has a very tightly molded camouflage suit that we don’t complain about.

    I think us males should start protesting against shirtless men in games and stand up for men’s lib! Besides, I don’t want to play as someone that looks better than I do.

  • Yeah, men are sometimes sexualised too – Dante in any DMC is a great example. Ladies certainly have no problem with that. However, how many sexualised female characters can you think of compared to men? And how many are fun and sexy, versus unrealistic outfit just for the sexy?

    As a female gamer, I like good looking men in games. I also appreciate good looking female characters, and really have no problem with them pushing reality a little bit in order to get a sexier look. It’s just ridiculous when characters in combat are wearing stupidly useless clothing in terms of protection, all to expose more skin and look hotter.

Log in to comment on this story!