Top 10: Blatantly Misogynistic Games

Lollipop Chainsaw

A lot has been said about sexism and video games, especially during the past few years. The perception of women in video games has changed and some titles are finally treating women like they deserve. But every now and then, we play a title that treat women as sex subjects that wear little to no items of clothing or princesses who need rescuing. That’s why I decided to work on a list with some of the most misogynistic games ever made. There are dozens (if you not hundreds of games) that fall under this category, so making this list proved to be more difficult that I had anticipated. So if you’re thinking about a game in particular that wasn’t included on this list, feel free to share ideas in the comment section.


10. Dragon Quest VIII

Dragon Quest VIII is one of the best Japanese role-playing games ever made, yet one character in particular was included for the sole purpose of showing her breasts. I played over a hundred hours of this game and the only thing I can remember about Jessica are her boobs and that some of the unlockable costumes showed her as a bunny girl, dancer and so on. By the way, while I was doing research for this article I also remembered that one of her attacks (called “puff puff”) involves showing her cleavage at enemies so that they fall in love with her.

Jessica Albert - Dragon Quest VIII


9. Dragon’s Crown

I haven’t played Dragon’s Crown yet, but the game seems like a fantastic 2D action-RPG. So it’s definitely a shame that every single female (and male) character you encounter is anatomically exaggerated. In a sense, the sorceress feels like a competent and capable character. Then again, her outfits are way too revealing and explicit.

Dragon's Crown (Vita)


8. Okami

I’m currently playing Okami for the purposes of review. I’m really enjoying the game, but there’s something unfortunate about Clover Studios’ highly praised adventure title: one of the main characters (called Issun) keeps making sexist remarks. He refers to women as “busty babes” and when he sees someone with large breasts he refers to them as “melons.” The worst part about it is that this isn’t an accident. Those comments are deliberate and for whatever reason, the writers chose to make Issun a pervert. The rest of the game has everything to be considered a modern masterpiece, but that character and his sexist comments ruins part of what makes Okami such a terrific Zelda-like.

Okami


7. Duke Nukem Forever

Duke Nukem Forever feels like an antiquated title, but that shouldn’t be an excuse for some deliberate sexist comments. So what’s the game’s premise? Basically, aliens come to our planet to steal our women. There are sexual references, naked women, breasts attached to walls (which you can slap) and so on. Everything about this game is downright offensive. Some might disagree, but to a certain extent, Duke itself is a stereotypical male character. He’s tall muscular, obsessed with sex and constantly helping woman.

Duke Nukem Forever (Kiss)


6. Onechanbara: Bikini Samurai Squad

In Onechanbara, you play as a bikini-wearing woman who kills zombies using a katana. In a sense, it feels like this shouldn’t be taken that seriously. After all, there are dozens of exploitation films that have similar premises. But like most titles on this list, Onechambara insists on portraying women as objects. The fact that its visuals, gameplay and story are terrible also doesn’t help.

Onechanbara


5. Lollipop Chainsaw

Lollipop Chainsaw’s main character Juliet is an eighteen-year old cheerleader who uses some of the most unconventional weapons and moves to kill the undead. Like Bayonetta, it seems like Juliet is hyper sexualized as a way of criticizing the medium. But it’s hard to tell…

Lollipop Chainsaw (Screenshot)


4. Bayonetta

At first, Platinum Games’ Bayonetta felt so extreme and over-the-top that some of the sequences weren’t that uncomfortable. After all, Bayonetta doesn’t “look” like a woman. She’s anatomically disproportionate, since her head is too small, her legs too long and she keeps moving in ways that are simply unnatural. Yet again, the titular character is hyper sexualized to an almost impossible degree. She undresses after every boss fight, she keeps spreading her legs in uncomfortable ways and she constantly poses in a sexually suggestive manner.

Bayonetta (Xbox 360)


3. Tomb Raider

Like it or not, Lara Croft is the sexual icon and when most people think about the character, they immediately associate it with our beloved medium. Every single technological advancement brought new features that were used to make Lara ever more overly sexualized and that’s a shame, because this could have been the character to change the medium.

Tomb Raider


2. Metroid: Other M

The Metroid franchise has been one of the few video game series to portray a female lead in a non-sexualised way and then Metroid: Other M came out… In Other M, Samus has incredible powers, but it seems like she can’t use those powers unless a man tells her to. She never defies the authority of her former commander, Adam Malkovich.

Metroid - Other M


1. Dead or Alive Extreme Beach Volleyball

Historically, the Dead or Alive series has been one of the most misogynistic franchises ever. For instance, one of Dead or Alive 2’s most popular features was that the game had specific physics related to breasts. Undoubtedly, Dead or Alive Extreme Beach Volleyball’s main draw is that there are women and that they aren’t afraid to show their breasts. The worst part is that Tecmo wanted to disguise that with a volleyball simulator façade on top of all the sexism. Graphically, the game was appealing and the volleyball mechanics weren’t that bad, but those aspects don’t make Extreme Beach Volleyball less exploitative.

Dead or Alive - Xtreme Beach Volleyball

  • topkekm8

    Lol. On some of these, you can clearly tell you haven’t played them at all. It’s very funny to me.

    • Hi! Back when I wrote this article, I hadn’t played some games on this list (I mentioned that on Dragon’s Crown, for instance.) Nevertheless, if you have any specific corrections about any of the games that appear here, feel free to write them as a comment and I’ll check it out. Thanks for the feedback!

  • Cody

    This article is so bad I honestly can’t tell if it’s satire or not. Okami? Lollipop Chainsaw? Are you for fucking real?

    • Hi! This article isn’t satirical and I did some research before posting. I think misogyny and the representation of women in general is a serious problems in video games and more people should talk about it and to be completely honest, choosing just ten games was remarkably difficult. Remember that misogyny takes different forms and it could be anything from blatant hatred towards women to belittling of women.

      In the case of Okami, there’s a character called Issun who speaks all the time because Amaterasu, the protagonist, is mute. This little bug usually talks about women’s “melons,” hides in their cleavage, refers to women as “busty babes” and the list goes on and on. To be clear, I did enjoy most of Okami (there’s a glowing review of the game on the site if you’re interested) and while I think the action-adventure title is gorgeous and creative, I think it’s possible to like something and be critical of it at the same time.

      As for Lollipop Chainsaw, things become more complicated. To many, cheerleader Juliet Starling was created to fulfill the fantasies of men (she wears short skirts and bikinis throughout the game and don’t get me started on some of those achievements which involve looking up Juliet’s skirt.) Some propose that Juliet is a strong character who can take care of herself and she is more than capable both physically and intellectually. But there’s more. To others, Juliet’s boyfriend, Nick, is also objectified and quite literally, since he’s just a talking head hanging from Juliet’s skirt. Jim Sterling talked about this at length here http://www.destructoid.com/objectification-and-lollipop-chainsaw-229700.phtml.

      So that’s what I have to say about those games in particular, but feel free to let me know what you think.

      • Bob

        I agree that computer games do have a problem in the way that they represent women but this is not a very good list. The problem with the word Misogyny is that campaigners often lump it in with other forms of sexist attitudes, the only game in this list that I would say is misogynistic is Duke Nukem Forever, most of the games on the list objectify women DOA, Bayoneta and I’m guessing BSS(as I have not played it).

        Games I don’t think even belong on this list: Other M, I did certainly did not like the characterisation of Samus but her being a weak female does not equate sexism. Tomb Raider, the fact that she thin with large breast or later looking like a super model also does not show a hatred of females, many hold her up as a positive role model. Dragon Quest when you look at the females in isolation of all of the other art work then the game certainly looks to be qualified to appear in this list but if you look at the rest of the art work you will see that the features of every character human, animal fantasy beast has this over the top exaggerated art style.

        Okami is a game I have never played but does having a sexist character in a game mean that the game is sexist? Well that would of course depend on the rest of the product, 12 Years A Slave has racist characters in it for example, but it’s used to high light a problem. I’m not sure how this game treats this sexist character. D.Q also is not a game I’ve played but i’m guessing that this is more humorous than for titillation looking at the art work.

        • First of all, thanks for taking the time to write such a detailed comment. Misogyny can take different forms and while we usually think that it refers to just hatred towards women, it can also involve mistrust or mistreatment.

          Now about some of the games you mention. Tomb Raider: over, the years there have been different points of views about the character of Lara Croft and while some people think that she represents a positive change agent, others think she can be a negative role on younger women, so this is totally subjective.

          Dragon Quest: I understand that the game uses an exaggerated art style, but in this case, it’s used to perpetuate sexist attitudes and there are several examples to illustrate that (some Jessica’s outfits include the playboy bunny, dancer and bikini costumes and she even has a sex appeal skill tree branch.) Also, the term “puff puff” appears several times in the game and it refers to an onomatopeia that involves a woman rubbing her breasts in a man’s face. Some female characters and enemies in DQVIII have that attack.

          Okami: I understand that a game that introduces a sexist person doesn’t automatically make that game sexist. But what’s the point of having a sexist character in your game if you never comment on that? Like you said, 12 Years a Slaves has racism, but that’s one of the main themes of the movie and that has an impact because it makes the viewer reflect on those issues. I don’t think Okami uses that character to raise any problems or anything like that. If anything, I maintains a stereotypical point of view and nothing else.

          Of course, this is my personal opinion about these games and anyone can disagree. Thanks again for the comment!