A Bingo Game For Ridiculous Female Armour

A Bingo Game For Ridiculous Female Armour

Problematic female armour — the kind of gear that battle-oriented characters wear that exists more for the viewer's titillation than for protection — is kind of cliche. Really, was only a matter of time before someone came along and made up a bingo card as a means of critiquing this kind of armour.

Check it out — this bingo card is the work of OzzieScribbler. "Use as a reference to quantify how ridiculous a female armour is," Ozzie writes on their deviantART. The rules are written right on the image, if you want to play whenever you see a new scantily clad female character in media.

And there's even a bingo card for some of the arguments that critiquing absurd female armour elicits.

Both are handy, fun resources to have when discussing stereotypical female armor and some of the tired discussions around the subject. Maybe they're not the most fun bingo game out there, but they certainly make a point. All of the squares have reasoning behind them, too—you can find the reasoning for the first PDF here, and the arguments against them here.

UPDATE: The original version of this post included the full-sized bingo cards, but we've shrunk them down at the artist's request. Go check out her site!


    My Dark Souls character has Elite Knight armour and a Boar's head helmet.

    I totally missed the memo about armor in fantasy games needing to actually be realistic and practical. Because when I'm shooting fireballs and casting blizzard spells in a vain attempt to kill a dragon, I always think to myself "Gee, this skimpy outfit sure ruins the realism and immersion of this game... I wish my character had more clothes on."

      Actually, it does. While playing Dragons Age 2 I come across Flemmeth and while I appreciate that they gave her a unique design as opposed to their character generator from the first game, all I could think about was how stupid her boob window was.

        The only time I ever experienced this was with Resident Evil Revelations. Jessica's outfit seemed highly unrealistic for a game that was attempting to be scary and 'realistic' in a setting where the temperature was clearly in the low single digits.

        It felt out of place and it ruined the immersion a bit due to the genre of game. But other than that, I've had no issue with how sensationalized and over the top most characters in games are.

        I too could easily complain about how unrealistic and stupid Gears of War characters are. They make professional body builders look like emo kids. But I won't because I'm not a self entitled individual that thinks every game needs to cater for my needs and appease my sense of what a game should and shouldn't do.

        Let the developers/artists decide what their vision for a character/game is. And if I have issues with a game, I'm free to choose to not play it.

          All of your arguments are in the second table.

            Albeit largely warped and skewed to support the main opinion piece.

            Ok, but what does that mean? They are invalid? Why? Because the creator believes them to be incorrect somehow? Does it make that opinion an objective truth?

            The "no no, it's a male power fantasy" counter-argument used when mens' portrayal in video games is brought up is surely the most tired and weak. Yet every time it is still used as a crutch for these sorts of arguments. It only applies when you recognise one type of power exists in the world, in which case, your worldview is incredibly childlike.

          You're missing the point. Surprisingly(!) it's not about YOU. The article is not trying to tell you how you should personally feel about this stuff or what to believe. It's about changing the industry standard in which women are little else than objects of visual sexual gratification, rather than human beings.

          I'm extremely sorry that your apparently God-given, unequivocal right to see bouncy mammaries in as little cover as could be imagined is being contested by all those pesky women claiming to have the right not to be objectified. They just need to not buy the game and stop bitching (and also, show their boobs to you on demand.)

            Yeah, you're right. I'm a male chauvinist and I'm currently replying from a strip club with a pair of boobs in my face. You've hit the nail square on the head!

              Ooh, snarky sarcasm. My logic arguments cannot stand up to that and you emerge victorious. I'm sorry I dared to try to make you consider other people rights and feelings.

              Wait. No. I'm actually not leaving it like this. Once again, it's not about you! I'm making an argument about a general state of affairs and you choose to take it as a personal attack in order to deflect the matter. Why should everyone care about your super easily hurt feelings when you have prominently showed that you don't care about a huge chunk of the Earth's population's feelings?

                I just explained above why. It's because I'm a male chauvinistic bastard with no empathy who thinks that it's all about me, myself and I.

                And yeah, you totally hurt my feelings. Went through a whole box of tissues crying about an 'argument' I had online today. ;)

                Also, perhaps I didn't state what I meant clearly or it was misinterpreted. This isn't so much about what I want because I don't care whether a game is realistic or whether it has boobs or not (in fact you can read my comment about RE:R where I've stated that it did put me off once because it made the game unrealistic).

                It's more about the 'huge chunk of the Earth's population' needing to feel like every game caters for their every need. Instead of just enjoying the game for what it is and choosing to let their wallet decide if something doesn't feel right for them.

                To me Gears of War is highly unrealistic and complete utter nonsense when it comes to portraying males and the male figure. They're reduced to dumb jocks with unrealistic proportions that could never in a million years perform those acrobatic feats. Not to mention that, save but a few instances, they have the personalities of a pet rock.

                Do I sit here whinging and bitching about how stupid and unrealistic it is? How it negatively portrays males? No I don't. I play the game, I enjoy what I can from it just like any other game and if I don't like it, I have the choice from thousands of other games that will actually cater for my needs.

            I did not realise that freedom of expression should only extend to the point of offending someone.

      Fantasy games shouldn't be unrealistic /s

        And yet you have the innate ability to carry what is surely 400+ kg of swords, armour, junk and assorted coins. I think people need to wise up and realise that if you don't like the image you could speak loudest with your wallet, but unfortunately not every one feels the same and they will over look such slights because they enjoy the games (and that is fair enough).

        I love the image of MF as the article image, wow could you be more stupid. League of legends roster boasts way more males with ridiculous body images/armour than females.

      It absolutely does for me, playing Dead Space 3, running around in armour, talking to scientists in similar armour or coverall, meet only female.. Boobs everywhere. It is ridiculous.

      If everyone had their chest on show, maybe, but when it is only one gender, the fact that you DONT notice shows just how normal you think it is to sexualise women.

    Leona, my current main in LoL, ends up doing pretty well. Only ticks 1 or 2 boxes.

    Pantheon, on the other hand...

      Riot actually talked a fair bit about their art design at PAX Aus last year, and how they're actively trying to steer clear of the whole "metal bikini" cliché as much as they can. They were quite open and candid about the issue, and it was pretty interesting to hear their take on the current state of female character design in the game industry.

      Ironstylus in particular was quite vocal on the subject. Apparantly it's one of his pet peeves when character design is compromised for the sake of fan service. Hence they've been trying to introduce more female characters in full armour, like Leona, Quinn, and reqorking designs for other characters like Sejuani.

        They said that.. It lasted a couple of weeks/skins and now they're right back to it 50% of the time lol.

          50% is actually pretty reasonable imo. Some people genuinely like characters in skimpy outfits, and some don't.

          I had a chat to a few Riot staff about the whole thing after the art panel while they were sketching. They said that it's pretty much impossible to get rid of all the sexualised artwork in the game, because honestly, a significant portion of the player base wants it, and are prepared to pay for it.

          One of the things they noted was that they put a lot of effort into making sure Leona was a strong looking female character in heavy armour, yet the first they people started asking for was a skin of her in a swimsuit. I'd imagine it must get a tad frustrating. As much as some of them were adamantly in favour of more realistic battle clothing, sex DOES sell.

          The goal as far as they are concerned is not to go back and change the art for all the characters, but rather to make sure that default character skins were more consistent with the character's concept. For example, while it's reasonable to expect someone like Ahri or Ms Fortune to wear skimpy clothes, you would not expect someone like Sejuani to ride a boar in the snow wearing a bikini.

          I'd be fine with them putting out nothing but fully clothed female characters, but I know it's not a realistic expectation. The fact they are at least providing plenty of options is good enough for me.

            Oh yeah, I agree entirely. I don't mind them at all and know some women who absolutely love cosplaying in such outfits even heh!

    The second table is meant as some sort of easy strawman?
    The attitude here is "Sexy armour is wrong no matter what. Any arguments or comments to the contrary addressing any aspect what so ever are also wrong".

    This just comes off as childish. We all get annoyed when there's too much of something and sexy armour quickly becomes a tried, unsexy cliché when it's the norm or always used out of context (where all other characters are well armoured) , but that doesn't make all use of it wrong and we shouldn't demonise the concept in a blanket fashion.

    I realise this is supposed to be a type of comedy, but it still provokes discussion.

      Very well put.

        No it's not. Every single argument on the second table is both completely vapid and meaningless and also -and this is the important bit- one that has by real life defenders of the female armour double standard. So criticising them AND the idiots who use them is completely and utterly valid.

        If you have a problem with that... then honestly I don't care. When someone's wrong about a social problem, you don't much care if you hurt their feelings calling them out about it.

      If you had read the page this comes from you would see that she has no problem when it comes to sexuality. She supports the idea that a female barbarian would be topless. She is against pointlessly sexual armor, like say, a chain mail bikini or "light armor" which wouldn't protect you in the slightest. She makes the point that actual light armor is a real thing and doesn't mean that your vital organs have to be exposed.

      It's in the table because the creator doesn't want to have to address these counter-arguments. It may lead to actual discourse, and that's not going to fix anything.

    DAMN this makes me mad. Not the whole thing. The first bingo chart is great, allowing everyone to poke fun at the medium and themselves while promoting discussion. That second one just ruins everything by injecting the very contempt we've been trying to avoid in this debate.

    Last edited 11/03/14 3:30 pm

      That's patricia for you. She doesn't want equality for women, she wants to beat men down at the same time as though we're all chauvinists who's opinions are invalid, even when we largely agree with the dress code idea, but hate her "women are better than men who are pigs" tactics.

      We don't hate women Patricia, we just don't like you.

      Last edited 11/03/14 3:31 pm

        It's also Tumblr for you.

        Hmm, I wonder what Patricia's tumblr is. There's 0% chance that she doesn't have one, after all.

      The second chart points out why nothing is changing. "lol yes look how ridiculous sexy armour is, oh well, more boobs please" is not doing anything

    Thinking of Skyrim, I think I could just stamp the whole card in one go...

    Except that there's underwear in Skyrim, with a complete lack of thongs.

    One of my favorite character designs was Chell from portal. She had the long fall boots and the only need for armor was turrets which were part of the puzzle. So she just went around in a singlet and tracksuit. It looked good, comfortable and practical.

    It always annoys me somewhat that when these discussion turn to attacking the male side of the equation, men have absolutely no defense at all because every possible option is countered by "Male power fantasy" or "Loin cloths are funny/normal, bikinis are not". I would really love for someone to give an example of how men can be sexualised because so far everything I have thought of has been knocked back as either a "false equivalence" or "male power fantasy".

    Even though I know it isn't true, sometimes it feels like females are actively preserving their ability to be offended at things rather than trying to even up the scales. Equality is something that is achieved on both sides. If you keep adding to both sides to maintain balance, it's just going to fall apart. You need to take from one side while bringing up the other.

      Frankly, if men have "absolutely no defence at all", then maybe that should be a hint that you probably shouldn't be defending it. Be honest and say "I like it because I like seeing boobs". It's not against the law to like boobs. It's when that love of boobs compromises the product (eg "we make the characters sexy to sell more so now even our nun and queen and 12 year old girl characters are sexy"" instead of "we make the design sexy because it accurately reflects the character's personality") that it becomes an issue.

      Last edited 12/03/14 3:29 am

      True, it's called "moving the goalposts": there can be no equivalence because the standards will always change in order to maintain the contention.

    I love Patricia articles, they always manage to get a good chuckle or two out of me, although I wonder if actual feminists find articles like this offensive...

    I love reading the comments on articles like this. So much Dudebro butthurt.

    "It always annoys me somewhat that when these discussion turn to attacking the male side of the equation"

    If your fear is being treated the same way you treat women, maybe stop and have a think.

    Please replace those full-images of my bingo with thumbnails, as original Kotaku site did at my request.
    I was never asked about making this article and I do not consent to publish my graphics in full resolution anywhere else than on my bikiniarmorbattledamage Tumblr blog and my deviantArt gallery.

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