Bill Nye and Boobs, Science and Art.
I am always happy when I see Bill Nye. He is a painfully charismatic man. There is no reason that he shouldn’t be constantly in videos teaching people science. At the bottom of this article I’ll be linking to one of the many neat but short videos he’s made to help educate people about the Juno satellite and the planet Jupiter. They are each fascinating and you should watch them all right now.
Then maybe come back because I’ll be talking about boobs a bit. People like boobs right? This will mostly involve video games because they are my primary source of entertainment and as close to a field of expertise as I might ever actually have. Lots of people, a whole lot, look at video games and lament the over sexualization of the characters. They see a character like Ivy from Soul Calibur and much anger is spewed.
The general rants can be found at the bottom of any post about these games. Usually lamenting how horrifying it is that women would be dressed this way, how unrealistic the breasts move, how no person in their right mind would ever battle in their underwear.
But over the years I’ve had a different opinion on the topic. I look at it as a work of art. It is astounding to me the lengths that entertainers will go to step right up the edges of what cultures say is acceptable without being swallowed alive by lawsuits. The outfit that ivy is wearing is astoundingly revealing but it manages to not break any indecency laws. How remarkably it is what you can show before you’ve scarred the children (read: before they see a nipple).
This game in particular is sort of the amusing apex of sexual spam. The backstory as far as I can tell is that they are in a post apocalyptic world where all the men have died. Alright I can get with that I suppose (sucks for me), but I’m not privy as to why they are all basically nude. They mount massive mechs but expose most of their nearly nude body out the front of them. [Extra note: I would be amiss if I didn’t mention that SB also goes right on past clever tricks and sells censor bar removers :p. On the bright side, for those upset, you can only be so nude.]
Then again I’ve seen an awful lot of games where you defeat the massive tank by shooting the gunner/driver in the head. But I digress, this isn’t my point.
My point is the efforts that companies go through to do this stuff is rather remarkable. I admit that all things are likely better in moderation but these sort of attacks on prudishness are likely positive in the end. Western culture has a crippling fear of sexuality that has turned it into something worse than violence. A child can kill a hundred thousand civilians in GTA and nobody bats an eye (as I feel they shouldn’t), but someone uncovers a sex game hidden in the code and suddenly the children are under attack.
Three hundred pound men bash into each other for the first half of a game watched by millions of people. Permanent brain and spinal damage being dealt out to quite a few of them (as they’ll statistically find out later in life). Nobody cares, this is just a good ole game. Janet Jackson shows a nipple from a thousand feet away (that I didn’t even notice when I watched the show) and families are in uproar.
Getting flashbacks to that superbowl. I must admit.
I personally am amazed by the lengths that people will go to provide sexuality in games. While we might think it is “easy” it really is something of a black market. Like trying to peddle a drug on your street corner. These things that likely shouldn’t be illegal but are shunned, on occasion for reasons we don’t even fully grasp when we think about it.
To me this is no different than the continual poking on television to push back the indecency rules related to swearing, sex, and violence. I like to believe we as a society (and perhaps as a people soon) can grow up and get beyond these childish boundaries. Anyone disturbed enough to be “inspired” in any negative way by this content will have done so anyways.
By all means, I’m not saying love sexuality or the way sexual game content is marketed. I wouldn’t tell you you should love anything (besides maybe me? Just a little please :3). I’m saying that it is rather impressive. I also think that the revulsion that some people spew towards this kind of content might speak of some darker underbelly to our society. We look at it as steps towards equality or defeating chauvinism but it sounds barely different than demanding all women characters have their bodies fully clothed (which is required by video game publishers in the UAE and likely other places).
My advice to people, if I am in any place to give it, is a bit weird but we’ll see how it goes. Respect other human beings, no matter what entertainment you like, no matter what life you were brought up in, no matter what culture tells you. If you see someone that can’t accomplish this, don’t look towards entertainment for the source of the problem. These are responses to a market, not the cause of the market. These things aren’t even inherently damaging. The failure lies in a poor education. People have gender rolls reinforced from nearly the second they are born until the day they likely step away from education all together.
Sexuality, no matter how ludicrous, should never generate negative feelings in people. This is in many ways the only reason you even exist to feel in the first place. The human body should always be a thing to celebrate. If you find that others are celebrating it in a way you do not appreciate while also not infringing upon the safety of others, leave them be and find your own personal niche. There is a good chance there will be millions of people waiting there for you.
I know for me looking at sexuality in games as something interesting rather than something titillating or demeaning has allowed me to enjoy any game, no matter how ludicrous the attire might be. I can see many great injustices in the world, none of them involve people (real or otherwise) being willingly nude or nearly nude. I also suspect that anyone disgusted by these things is trying to treat the symptom.
The truth lies in education. Educate people openly and honestly, if this content remains, it deserves to remain.
Now that I’ve gotten this little random thought out of the way, why don’t you go look at this video below that features Bill Nye and Jupiter! I can assure you that Jupiter is in nothing but its birthday suit.