I recently picked up Final Fantasy IX. While the game left a very good initial impression on me, I decided to not keep playing it as I found the random battles in the game too tedious, in particular given the long loading times of the PlayStation. I perked up a few times in the drawn out intro sequence as the narration is rather light-hearted, but then a pre-rendered sequence was played that perfectly illustrates that we are not moving towards a better future. I first wanted to capture it from a playthrough online, but then I found the following thumbnail:
This is princess Garnet, seemingly flirting with the main character as she gently smiles at him. This is exactly the scene I was looking for. Moments ago, she looks at him with a blank expression but then she coyly smiles at him. A lot is told in those two seconds. I found it masterful. Without wanting to spoil anything, the context is that you want to kidnap her, so you do not expect her to smile at you at all. It is probably telling that Sony chose this particular scene as the thumbnail for advertising the PS4 release of this PSX classic. No matter what your particular preferences for women are, we can probably agree that princess Garnet is, at the very least, pleasant to look at (and has a nice chest, too).
Now fast-forward 20 years, and you get this:
When you take an exaggerated male character and slap a female face on it, you get Alloy from Horizon: Zero Dawn or its upcoming sequel Forbidden West. It is absolutely baffling that we now no longer put attractive women in video games but women who are not even just average. Instead, you get to look at genuinely off-putting female characters in your video games nowadays. This is one reason why I am not overly interested in modern games anymore because there is little to be had in terms of escapism if you have to look at ugly characters on the screen. It is worse than reality in many cases, if you consider the cast of Cyberpunk 2077, for instance.
Thankfully, there are still companies around who put attractive characters in video games. However, those are normally not mainstream companies whereas it was not too long ago that AAA games had you look at attractive male and female characters. To look at how far Square-Enix, the company who made Final Fantasy IX, has fallen, check out the main character of their upcoming game Forspoken:
This is the ugliest female character in a major release to date, in my opinion. I thought that we had hit rock bottom with Control (middle-aged woman with square jaw) or Returnal (granny with wrinkles and a saggy ass) but this takes the cake. Strangely enough, the real-world model this character is based on is relatively attractive. It seems the current process is to make absolutely everything ugly. Oh, and if you watch trailers of the game, you will hear the main character curse like a sailor and even speak of a “muhfuggin’ dragon”. It is as cringe-worthy as it is off-putting. Man, can you even remember when we taught women to not swear?
This blog depends on your contributions. So, share your view and comment on this article (comment policy). Then, to ensure the survival of this blog, donate. If you haven’t bought Aaron’s books yet, buy them, all of them. Lastly, if you want tailored and honest advice, book some one-on-one consultation sessions.