February 14th, 2008

Who knew thunder thighs could kill?

I’ve never been a Street Fighter fan (I’m much more of a Soul Calibur girl myself), but I can’t help but find it interesting how the gaming blogosphere is reacting to these images from the newest installment of the never ending series, Street Fighter IV. Specifically, I’m amazed how attached people feel to Chun Li, the fighter whose dumpling-like pigtails and outrageous curves have been charming gamers since the old days. Even if she’s gained a few extra pounds of muscle and possibly been switched out for a transvestite, she’s still the most hardcore girl in giant white boots I know. Look! Her sizable thighs seems to be literally pulverizing her opponents.

Talking about Chun Li makes me think of all the ridiculously proportioned, bad ass female fighters video games have thrown our way over the years–and what it means when we play as them. Of course, there’s the obvious appeal of their realistic battle physics (read: bouncing breasts), but is it somehow sadistic when male gamers play as male characters and beat the crap out of women? Or maybe something masochistic when those same male players choose female characters and beat the crap out of men? And as a woman gamer, what’s the best type of fighter to pick? If you go with a girl, you get to inflict pixelated pain in the name of female empowerment, but then you still have that crazy body type and that skimpy little outfit staring at you from the screen.

Personally, when it comes to Soul Calibur, I solve the issue by playing as Voldo. He kicks ass, he freaks other players out, and his gender and sexuality are so deeply in question you can’t help but break down some stereotypes just by watching him writhe. As for Scott, my Soul Calibur partner and significant other, he prefers Sophitia, who uses the power of her crotch to break the necks of her enemies. Now what does that say?

P.S. Happy Valentine’s Day! If there’s a fellow games dork in your life, this card is still my favorite.

Tags: fighting, game characters, girl-on-girl, new games, thinking and over-thinking

19 Responses to “Street Fighter IV: Hitting on Girls or Just Plain Hitting Them?”

  1. Twitch Says:

    I’ve always been a big fan of Voldo as well. Watching people turn away from the arcade machine in a mixture of disturbed bewilderment and a vague sense of humiliation has brought me great joy countless times. It’s the fact that he’s so questionable that makes him so enjoyable for me.

    Generally speaking though, I’ve tended to gravitate toward the small cute girls in fighting games as they tend to swap out power for outright speed allowing me to fight in a non-stop flurry of activity which I enjoy immensely (and the fact that my opponent gets beaten with one of the ‘weakest’ characters also brings me a measure of joy). As such, Talim is my second choice in Soul Calibur though the games are generally too well balanced to say that any character in particular is noticeably weaker than the rest.

    Personally, I prefer to think of the fact that female fighters are readily capable of holding their own and often outright demolishing male opponets in fighting games as being rather pro-female (as you so astutely pointed out already), but I likewise can’t deny the fact that I very much enjoy letting my anima run free in these and other types of games.

  2. Darkpen Says:

    Damn SF4’s artist and his thick-girls fetish! >:( Makes us skinny-girl fetishists suffer!

    I’ll probably end up playing as that Crimson Viper chick (the slight hint and flavor of SNK love is enough to move me away from the classic cast). Who do you think you’ll end up picking, Bonnie, or are you still holding out for something fresh in SF4?

  3. Scott Jon Siegel Says:

    Here’s my personal gamer valentine of choice.

    Makes me giggle.

  4. Bonnie Ruberg Says:

    Hmm, I don’t know. C Viper is looking pretty cool, but playing her seems like it might be like playing Ivy: just too female empowerment, pain inflicting obvious. And to be honest, the cast of men seems pretty boring (i.e. predictable and muscle-y). I might just be holding out :).

  5. Bonnie Ruberg Says:

    Scott, am I your pokemon, or are you mine? ‘Cause if I have to go around all Vday saying only my name, or listening to you say yours, we might not make it to our romantic lunch :).

  6. Scott Jon Siegel Says:

    Clearly you’re my Pok√©mon, but you can be one of those rare types that can actually speak English (like Meowth).

    Wow… really letting my true colors show here, huh?

  7. Bonnie Ruberg Says:

    Dude, I hate Meowth. He’s the most annoying (and least adorable) pokemon of all. Ooh, can I be a water pokemon? Please!?

  8. Cadallin Says:

    I would argue that in a strictly egalitarian feminist perspective, fighting games are a negative influence simply because they glamorize and sexualize violence.

    Is the visceral appeal we experience in these games simply a result of our enculturation into a culture that idealizes violence?

    In our enjoyment of these games are we playing a role analogous to that of a Southern Racist reveling in “the artistic merit and profound philosophical argument present in ‘The Birth of A Nation'”?

    None of which is to say I find the above argument true. I find it highly unpalatable. At the same time I find it troublingly compelling.

    How do we maintain conflict in media in a sex and woman positive way?

  9. Bonnie Ruberg Says:

    I would argue that in a strictly egalitarian feminist perspective, fighting games are a negative influence simply because they glamorize and sexualize violence.
    Cadallin, I’m not sure what makes this a “feminine” persective (?). The idea that violence is negative doesn’t seem to pertain to one gender or the other, especially since characters of both genders are experiencing the violence…

  10. Cadallin Says:

    Sorry, I think I was internally connecting humanist ideals with positions I have had described to me as “egalitarian feminism.” In general I refers to arguments about the worth of human beings and how that implies the wrongness of violence.

    This isn’t inherently a feminist a perspective, but it certainly isn’t at odds with any egalitarian feminism I’ve had encountered.

    Or to rephrase what I was trying to say: I’m not sure its possible to pick a fighter that solves the issues, because it is the violence that is fundamentally the problem.

    Also, I miss the petite Chun Li :(

  11. Anne Packrat Says:

    Frankly, I’m not disturbed by Chun Li’s thighs so much as the fact that it looks like she’s packing a twig and berries if you know what I mean.

    And I like playing either an electric yellow rat, or a small pink puffball that sucks up things and spits them out…. What does that say about me as a woman?

  12. Bonnie Ruberg Says:

    Haha, well, if you wanna know *my* thoughts on Kirby

  13. Anne Packrat Says:

    Actually, wow, that’s kind of interesting. I absolutely love Kirby and even want to name a son Kirby (mind you I wouldn’t do that if it wasn’t a name already).

    You know in one of the cartoon episodes we go inside Kirby’s stomach… It’s essentially a pocket dimension where all the stuff he’s eaten just floats around (mostly it’s filled with apples).

    And dude, let me know any time you want a hardcore Eva discussion.

  14. Bonnie Ruberg Says:

    Haha, I always want a hardcore Eva discussion. What Eva particular is on your mind?

  15. Darkpen Says:

    What is this? An Eva discussion? D:

    How about that one episode where Rei decides to be a BMX rider D:

    Oh wait, that never happened :(

  16. Bonnie Ruberg Says:

    Seriously. What *is* that all about? I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love random merch as much as the next Eva fan, but still…

  17. Anne Packrat Says:

    Is anyone else as disturbed by the Petit Eva OVA series as I am?

    And I’m still waiting for my Nun!Rei. We need to finish that fetish rainbow, Gainax!

  18. Bonnie Ruberg Says:

    Oh, but then you couldn’t see her pretty blue hair. Then she’d just be a sad, sad looking pale girl :).

  19. Darkpen Says:

    is the petit eva series even out (on the intertubes)?

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